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Soul In the Machine: Reinventing Capitalism--A Quick Re-Vision of Western History - By Howard Bloom

Howard was our guest on Thursday, October 14, 2004 at 9:00pm. We discussed his upcoming book entitled, "Soul in the Machine: Reinventing Capitalism--A Quick Re-Vision of Western History."

October 14 , 2004


Transcript of live chat session

TRANSCRIPT 11...

connected: ezChat version 0.54

Naturyl:: Hello Howard

howbloom:: Naturyl, hi. what's your name?

(jznet joined)

Naturyl: Jim

(tarav joined)

howbloom: ahhhh, Jim

howbloom: tell me more about yourself


tarav: hello

(#Kostya joined)

Naturyl: Well, I'm an Internet writer. I run a few communities, and I developed a worldview known as "dialectical monism."

howbloom: aha, people are piling in rapidly. hello, hello

jznet: rock n roll

(Chris OConnor joined)

#Kostya: Hi

Naturyl: I'm 29 and live in the "fine" state of Alabama. I am in the process of writing a book.

Chris OConnor: One sec please

howbloom: dialectical monism sounds like the subject of at least one entire chat session

Chris OConnor: Hey guys

howbloom: hi, chris

Chris OConnor: I'm babysitting while doing this

tarav: hey, chris

howbloom: aha

Chris OConnor: Hey Howard :) Good to see you

howbloom: :)

(quibbiteer joined)

Naturyl: Thanks, Howard. I'd be glad to do such a chat if asked.

Chris OConnor: Emily is 5 and Courtney is 10 and they are awesome

Chris OConnor: Howard - thank you for spending some time with us tonight ;)

howbloom: chris, those are your kids through the fractured marriage?

Chris OConnor: Howard - No, they're my brothers kids

Chris OConnor: My two nieces

tarav: better you than me chris!

howbloom: ahjhhhhh

Chris OConnor: haha I know

howbloom: I'm discovering that infants can be cute

howbloom: I've been trying to see at what age they turn social


Chris OConnor: I expect plenty to stagger in the next 15 minutes. People are always late. How long have you been in here Howard?

(Nostradafemme joined)

tarav: they are cute when they belong to someone else

Chris OConnor: Hello Gerry :)

howbloom: all by random sampling from my new office, a rattan couch outside a local tea lounge

Nostradafemme: hi chris. nice to be here.

Chris OConnor: I don't know if I'll ever have the energy to be a father. But I am pretty domestic.

howbloom: I got here three or four minutes ago

Chris OConnor: Ok, good

howbloom: had to give myself lots of time to log on...it's a tortuous process

Chris OConnor: It is exactly 9pm...we can wait a few seconds if you're ok with that

Chris OConnor: lol

howbloom: so tonight we are talking about Reinventing Capitalism, right?

Chris OConnor: I liked out other chat room, but it made things confusing to have 2 chat rooms

Chris OConnor: Yes, Howard

howbloom: chris, you are gracefully allowing me to run a grand experiment

Chris OConnor: And we can discuss the Iraq situation, the upcoming election, and anything else you hold dear

Naturyl: Oh, this is going to be good. Capitalism, what a fascinating subject.

Chris OConnor: Naturally Howard

howbloom: to test the first draft of a book on readers and get their input

Chris OConnor: you were our best guest to date

howbloom: before I write the final draft

howbloom: ahhh, chris, you warm the cockles and the muscles of my heart


Chris OConnor: About 15 members asked for copies of Reinventing Capitalism and I emailed the file to them

howbloom: great

Chris OConnor: Hopefully several of those are here tonight

howbloom: has anyone in this room had time to glance at the first draft?

tarav: i have it, but haven't read it yet--sorry

tarav: i plan to though

howbloom: that's ok

howbloom: who has read it?


tarav: so many books...so little time

Naturyl: I don't come to BookTalk often enough. If I'd known I could have gotten such a draft, I'd have asked for it

howbloom: my agony exactly, tarav

Chris OConnor: I have read some

Chris OConnor: Naturyl - howdy

tarav: you should come more! lol

Chris OConnor: one sec

Naturyl: Hi Chris

jznet: read it for the WIE magazine edit

howbloom: chris, can you do me a favor and send Naturyl a draft?

Chris OConnor: I can email it right now

howbloom: thanks

Chris OConnor: Naturyl - can you post your email right now?

howbloom: ok, why don't we begin

Naturyl: naturyl@humanists.net

Naturyl: thanks so much

howbloom: let me tell you what I'm doing right now, today

howbloom: and get your reaction to it, ok?


Chris OConnor: Ok, sending it right now

howbloom: I am trying to save Western Civilization

Chris OConnor: Ok, done

howbloom: a small and grubby task, but someone's gotta do it

Nostradafemme: yes, I've read R.C. and absolutely enjoyed it. Thought if was visually exciting.

howbloom: by the way, chris, can you send me a transcript when this is over?

Chris OConnor: Commendable

Chris OConnor: Howard - certainly :)

howbloom: ahh, Gerry, you always make me feel warm

Naturyl: Yes, and none too soon. It certainly could use some saving.

Chris OConnor: And we will also post it right here http://www.booktalk.org/transcript11.php

howbloom: I started out to try to save our civilization, yours and mine

Nostradafemme: well Howard, you're welcome. I loved the pics, graphics, and story line.

howbloom: by putting a mirror up to it and showing it how to perceive itself

howbloom: by the way, Gerry, the graphics are now gone from the book--I loved them too

howbloom: every one of us is a capitalist in some small way


Nostradafemme: oh, no. that was what I related to most!

Chris OConnor: several others just logged in

howbloom: every one of us is a participant in the western system

(MichaelangeloGlossolalia joined)

howbloom: and the western system has more than just capitalism at its heart

Chris OConnor: Howard - I have referred about 5 people to Lucifer Principle and they have all enjoyed it. So far it is my fav book

Chris OConnor: Hey Michael :)

howbloom: it also has a protest industry

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: hi guys

howbloom: hi Michael

howbloom: the two work hand in hand

howbloom: and side by side

howbloom: and each needs a radical upgrade


jznet: long name there M

howbloom: capitalism needs soul

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: the military-industrial-media-pharmaceutical-protest complex?

howbloom: and protest needs creative solutions

Chris OConnor: Just for everyone's info I will start recording a transcript soon and I ONLY edit misspellings, profanity of weird stuff. No content is edited.

howbloom: yes, you and I are a part of the protest industry, Michael

howbloom: but to be successful at what we do

howbloom: to achieve our goals


jznet: ah, the weird stuff can be the best though

howbloom: we have to sell what we do

Naturyl: I want to ask how capitalism can gain soul, but I'm assuming that will be answered in the draft, which is now downloading over my slow dial-up connection

howbloom: we have to persuade others

howbloom: Naturyl, I will try to answer that question as I ramble forward


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Capitalism gains soul by accelerating the process of making invisible realities visible, with as little distortion as possible.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: (in my opinion)

howbloom: it was very hard for me when I was in my 20s to realize that to be a person with a brain who was dedicated to new insights

Chris OConnor: Maybe Howard will explain it a little too

howbloom: to new solutions and to new points of view

howbloom: i was going to have to learn to sell

howbloom: the word selling has a smarmy connotation in our culture

howbloom: or at least the culture I aspired to

howbloom: the intellectual elite


Chris OConnor: Ok, lets start. I see several people on the site that have yet to enter the chat room. I'll start recording a transcript, which is a manual process of copying and pasting.

(RickU joined)

Chris OConnor: Welcome Howard Bloom! We all sincerely appreciate you taking time out of your busy life to chat with us.

Nostradafemme: I wonder if Howard would consider defining capitalism as it is known in 2004?

howbloom: even Death of a Salesman, a play that's a must-know item

Chris OConnor: Welcome Rick - pull up a chair

RickU: Thanks Chris

howbloom: if you want to gain intellectual elite status

Chris OConnor: I loved that play, but how depressing Howard

howbloom: in a funny way puts down Willy Loman

howbloom: it is about the death of the concept of selling within the intellectual elite as well as the tragedy of willy Loman

Chris OConnor: Is Willy Loman the main character?

howbloom: though Arthur Miller says "attention must be paid to this man"

RickU: Not in a funny way Mr. Bloom - it rejects Loman as a person

howbloom: yes, he's the salesman who collapses in the end

howbloom: yes, it empathizes and rejects


Chris OConnor: Anyone in sales knows that many a sales person collapses in the end. What a brutal life of ups and downs.

howbloom: it tosses Loman into an intellectual wastebasket as an unfortunate victim from a subordinate class

howbloom: the stance of the play is a dominance position

howbloom: in a strange way Miller uses Loman

howbloom: he denigrates him

howbloom: so confessing to yourself that you are a salesman

howbloom: is an absolute no-no if you want to feel that your real crowd


Nostradafemme: in most companies, Howard, salesmen have a prime role.

howbloom: the crowd that you aspire to

howbloom: the crowd that is your real home


Chris OConnor: hmm

howbloom: is the crowd of Harold Bloom

howbloom: the crowd of the writers in


RickU: The salesman in this instance is more of an analogy for the common man

howbloom: The New York Review of Books

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: difference between "salesman" and "entrepreneur" is belief in the product. "Salesman" implies the possibility of inflating the product to get more sales.

howbloom: The New York Times

RickU: Common man is bad - sorry -

howbloom: The New Yorker

RickU: By that I mean the mundane

howbloom: there is a glory in the common man that we intellectual snobs don't see

howbloom: but that's getting ahead of my story

howbloom: bear with me while I try to tell you this tale, ok?


Chris OConnor: An author recently sent me the rough draft of his new book which draws a correlation between natural selection and Capitalism. Looks incredible so far.

Chris OConnor: Take your time Howard

RickU: I AM a snob - and I don't see the glory. But I DO see the intrinsic value

RickU: And indeed. Listening so to speak

howbloom: lesson one, I woke up to the fact that if I was going to achieve any of my goals in life

howbloom: little goals like saving western civilization

howbloom: I was going to have to persuade people

howbloom: I was going to have to insert what I believed in into other people's lives


Chris OConnor: And what a persuader you are

howbloom: a lot of that persuading would take very hard work in a realm I was supposed to disdain

howbloom: in the realm of selling

howbloom: it was a hard thing to confess, much harder than it looks on your monitor


RickU: A problem we all face here Howard

Naturyl: Yes, this is something important

howbloom: when I finally embraced the word "salesman"

howbloom: I got a call from a friend

howbloom: I had helped start a small thing in the sixties called the hippie movement

howbloom: this friend was a sort of hippy groupie

howbloom: she loved hanging around folks of hippie fame

howbloom: for example when Robert Crumb, the famous and ultimate hippy cartoonist

howbloom: showed up at my art studio

howbloom: my friend, dove, showed up

howbloom: latched on to him

howbloom: and made damned sure she had sex with him

howbloom: that was scoring a point in her hippie report card

howbloom: she didn't just get an e for effort

howbloom: she got an a for vaginal penetration or oral sex, I'm not sure which


Chris OConnor: Hmm

howbloom: but I, being young and innocent

Chris OConnor: lovely

howbloom: thought she was one of my best friends

howbloom: after all, she had taken me out for thanksgiving dinner at the house where the fugs were living


howbloom: the ultimate hippy rock group

howbloom: and we had a wonderful time

howbloom: sharing thanksgiving mean intimacy, right?

howbloom: it means friendship


(#LanDroid joined)

howbloom: she'd also taken me to Sam Shepherd's wedding to the actress Karen Black

howbloom: it was at the heart of the East Village

howbloom: the saint marks church

howbloom: the Vatican of hippiedom


Chris OConnor: Welcome Lan

howbloom: there was cool aid in the punch and all the signs that this was the exclusive club of the hippie aristocracy

#LanDroid: Howdy...

howbloom: so dove called on the very day in which I'd been forced to embrace the fact that one must persuade, one must sell, one must spread ideas if you think they have the power to save anyone

howbloom: the instant I told dove I was going to have to "sell"

howbloom: her voice turned cold

howbloom: after years of what I thought was close, close friendship


Chris OConnor: Allergic to sales

howbloom: she disappeared from my life

howbloom: disappeared utterly


Chris OConnor: We're all salespeople, but some of us get paid

howbloom: 30 years later I tracked her down again

howbloom: and sent her an email telling her I'd been hurt when she dropped me

howbloom: she sent back such a disdainful email that I will probably never communicate with her again in my life


RickU: All capitalists are salespeople in their kind. They, at the very least, sell their talents.

RickU: That's terrible Howard -

howbloom: that is the price you can pay for admitting to yourself or to others that you have to sell to save anyone

Chris OConnor: What was her reasoning?

Naturyl: Some folks react quite strongly to the idea of trying to influence others. It all sounds like proselytizing to the ears of some.

howbloom: no reasoning,

RickU: No reasoning indeed

howbloom: telling your friends that you've fucked Robert crumb makes you big

Chris OConnor: People are strange.

howbloom: telling friends that you know a salesman gets you kicked out of the room

#LanDroid: Ohhh Mr. Natural.

howbloom: it makes you small, to say the least

howbloom: the point I'm getting at has to do with how to put soul in the machine


Naturyl: Yes, that is a strange way to think. I wonder why people would have trouble with the idea that you have to sell people on ideas?

howbloom: you can't put soul in your work

howbloom: if you despise what you do

howbloom: you can't put soul in your work

howbloom: if you believe that it's beneath you

howbloom: you can't put soul into your work if you separate it from your "real life"

howbloom: you can't put soul into your work if you "real life" begins at 5pm when you go home


RickU: And putting your soul into your work is the only thing that makes "work" tolerable to intellectuals

howbloom: your real life is your work

howbloom: and if you know that you can begin to put your passion where it matters

howbloom: into the work that you do every day

howbloom: now back to the story


Chris OConnor: True Rick

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: "sell" has many connotations

howbloom: the story of another revelation

howbloom: about soul in the machine


Chris OConnor: The machine of capitalism?

howbloom: I had founded and was running an art studio

howbloom: it was my way of escaping academia


Naturyl: Ala Descartes' "ghost in the machine?"

howbloom: it was my voyage of the beagle into what interested me most passionately

howbloom: finding the gods inside of us


RickU: Wait, why would you want to escape academia?

howbloom: finding the things that make our personal emotions roar

howbloom: that make them soar


jznet: and ghost in the shell

howbloom: that make them utterly transcend our flesh

Chris OConnor: Howard loves the real world interacting with the masses - figuring out what makes them tick

howbloom: and those emotions come to a peak in the rituals of groups

Naturyl: I don't know about Mr. Bloom, but I think I'd want to escape it, Rick. Academia is pretty dead, philosophically.

Chris OConnor: ...a social scientist

howbloom: they come to a peak in a holy roller church when Christ grabs hold of

howbloom: James Baldwin and he writhes on the floor for fourteen hours

howbloom: possessed by a god

howbloom: since there are no gods in the heavens


RickU: Nat - I'm truly wondering. I had guessed "Academia" to be a glorious place to interact.

howbloom: the god that possesses him has to be inside of him

Naturyl: That's always fascinated me. I've always wondered what causes such behavior

howbloom: where is it, what is it, how do I get to feel it, and how do I manage to explain it with my toolkit

howbloom: my vocabulary

howbloom: the only set of tools I have

howbloom: the tools of science?

howbloom: when a dozen men beat on drums in a macumba ritual

howbloom: in south America

howbloom: and one man is seized as James Baldwin is

howbloom: by yet another god

howbloom: whose name we north Americans don't know


Naturyl: Rick - maybe it is, but I don't think that modern academia is a good place to ask the questions that really matter. It seems to be about philogy rather than philosophy. For example, with the rise of analytic philosophy, metaphysics has become a black sheep. But I'm blabbing too much.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: If you want academia spend a lot of time cross-referencing ideas in Google. Or go to a library for a long time. Human groups get stale and distort everything.

howbloom: and he too writhes in pain and passion, sweat and ecstasy

howbloom: where is the god inside of him that has taken him over so utterly?

howbloom: why is there a god inside of him?


Chris OConnor: His imagination

howbloom: why is there a god inside of all of us

howbloom: once upon a time

howbloom: in the middle of the 20th century


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: any group dedicated to preserving itself as a group comes to distort things after a while. As soon as there's an inside narrative and an outside one and they don't intersect.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: academia included

howbloom: there was a man who knew how to gather groups of a quarter of a million people

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Barnum?

Naturyl: Hitler?

howbloom: and do to them what the Macumba drummers and their rituals did to the man who was seized by a god

howbloom: Naturyl got it

Naturyl: got to be Hitler

howbloom: Hitler gave a quarter of a million people

howbloom: participating in or watching a torchlight parade

howbloom: an ecstatic sense of being lifted out of themselves

howbloom: of touching something divine

howbloom: the soul of the volk

howbloom: the soul of the people

howbloom: the soul of Germany herself


Chris OConnor: volk = folk?

howbloom: the soul of her roots

howbloom: the soul of her future

howbloom: ein volk, ein Reich, ein fuehrer

howbloom: they chanted in their ecstasy


Chris OConnor: Umm ok. I knew that.

Naturyl: people, nation, leader

Naturyl: all one

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Hitler had poor boundary definition. Showing weakness terrified him. He surrounded himself with bullies whose anger he could direct outward, away from himself. The entire country became a Freudian sphincter, eliminating the "parasite".

howbloom: this was another aspect of the god inside

RickU: lol@Chris - can't blame you for not knowing German

howbloom: it comes alive in the rituals of groups

Chris OConnor: Thanks Rick ;)

howbloom: it seems to be the most personal experience we can have

RickU: But now I know how to insult you.

howbloom: but it puts us in touch with something we feel is far, far bigger than ourselves

howbloom: and we need that ecstasy


Chris OConnor: Interesting Michael. A Freudian sphincter.

howbloom: we need that sense of meaning

RickU: I don't know Howard.

RickU: It didn't put me in touch with anything bigger than myself

Chris OConnor: Most of us need that

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: sphincter=elimination, shame, perfectionism

howbloom: we need that sense of being lifted and of touching something higher

Naturyl: MG - I think that what Howard is getting at is the idea of how Hitler did what he did. Hitler was a bad leader, but it can't change the fact that he knew how to connect with people.

howbloom: something deep inside ourselves that is divine

RickU: I think we need to analyze WHY people think that they need that.

Chris OConnor: Michael - I like it

RickU: My wife needs it

howbloom: I wanted to seek the gods inside

Naturyl: Rick - you weren't in 1930's Germany

howbloom: now way could I do it in academia

RickU: That I understand.

howbloom: so when I got four fellowships

howbloom: to four different grad schools


RickU: But WHY did you feel the need to seek something greater?

howbloom: I turned them down and pulled a great escape

RickU: That's the crux of what I don't get.

Chris OConnor: Because he desires to touch people I think

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Hitler could read the vibes of a group. Most intellectuals can't, they're too deep in their heads.

howbloom: I jumped ship

Chris OConnor: multiply his efforts

howbloom: I looked for my Beagle--for my equivalent of the ship that Darwin took

Naturyl: I think that some people don't feel such a need, but the majority does. I will admit that I do. It's what drives me to ask big questions.

howbloom: to find his specimens in south America

Chris OConnor: Me too Naturyl

howbloom: the specimens he needed to put together a theory whose puzzles were percolating in his mind

howbloom: for me the Beagle was an art studio I co-founded

howbloom: and that's when I realized I needed to sell


RickU: Isn't there a difference though Howard?

howbloom: I believed in my artists passionately

Chris OConnor: interesting

howbloom: I loved the work they did with every sinew in me

RickU: Darwin rode Beagle in search of answers to his theory

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: should have started an advertising agency... I think you'd have done well at it.

howbloom: they were being kicked out of their apartments for not paying the rent

Chris OConnor: I wish I appreciated art the way some of you do. Music, this I have a passion for

howbloom: I wanted to make them a living

howbloom: I believed in them so I was going to have to sell them


Naturyl: So, your desire to share what your artists were doing with the rest of the world convinced you of the value of selling?

RickU: But in this metaphysical argument, you can't find answers that can be quantified

howbloom: the day I accepted that word, "sell", was the day I lost a friend I loved

howbloom: dove


jznet: some may consider music the highest form of 'art'

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: anticipating art is a good way to appreciate it. looking backwards isn't really what art is for, it's to see possibilities that aren't visible yet.

Chris OConnor: jz - Jason, right?

howbloom: music and visual art are two things that hit us in places we don't know

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: music is a really pure art, it's mostly mathematical and architectural

Naturyl: I guess we have to be prepared to sacrifice in pursuit of these big ideas.

jznet: sometimes:]

howbloom: we can feel it but we have a hard time putting it into words

Chris OConnor: lol

Naturyl: sacrifice.

RickU: I don't think so Howard

RickU: Music and visual art always hit me. When they hit me...in places that I DO know

RickU: And I don't feel the lesser for it

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: you have to sacrifice the tendency to distort your message to fit an audience's preconceptions. Human groups, including audiences, have a gravity to them.

Chris OConnor: Howard - I agree. I can't explain it but music changes my chemistry with just a few notes

tarav: i would have to agree with Rick here

Nostradafemme: guests just arrived. gotta go.

(Nostradafemme left)

Chris OConnor: Bye Gerry :)

howbloom: rather than diving into Rick's point, bear with me

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: maybe emotions are geometric ratios on some level

Chris OConnor: Ok, continue Howard

howbloom: I'm going to try to tell you how I learned the next lesson

howbloom: in putting soul in the machine


Chris OConnor: ok

jznet: i do not know how accurate it is but i came up with a tag for music that it is the remote control of the soul

Naturyl: Rick and tarav - I don't think anyone would suggest that you guys are the lesser for not having that desire to look deeper. I think some people just aren't wired that way - but most are

Chris OConnor: jz - I like that

howbloom: Albert Einstein's book on relativity told me something strange when I was in eighth grade

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: :thinks music is more like a Rorschach text, but different intervals have an affinity for different emotions, based on feelings of "falling away" and "approaching with anticipation" etc.

Chris OConnor: Music helped me through rough times when I was young...and I cannot fully explain it. It has always been like an escape for me, much the way hard drugs are to some people.

howbloom: it said, "to be a genius it's not enough to have a theory that only seven people in the world can understand.

howbloom: "to be a genius you have to have a theory that only seven people in the world can understand AND you have to be able to express it so simply


Chris OConnor: I've never heard that one before Howard

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: a minor third is like falling a little bit off a cliff from a major third, or stepping up from a second.

howbloom: that anyone with a reasonable degree of intelligence can understand it"

Naturyl: And that can be a tall order

Chris OConnor: Howard - So true.

howbloom: we all add our own flavors to things that we read that change our lives

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: maybe translating is the only real act of genius. Taking what's there and amplifying it, adding filters, changing contexts, etc.

howbloom: I was hooked on the notion of making science not just palatable and understandable, but delicious

howbloom: but back to Einstein

howbloom: here was one of the very few people I could relate to at the age of twelve


Chris OConnor: Carl Sagan shared that approach

howbloom: when I couldn't relate to other kids my age at all

RickU: Right...thus the idea of having to sell your ideas

howbloom: and was a social outcast

#LanDroid: I was thinking the same, Chris.

howbloom: and what was this role model telling me?

Chris OConnor: Most 12 year olds cannot even spell Einstein

howbloom: yes, Rick, I never realized that, he was telling me to sell

Chris OConnor: That he needed to learn how to sell?

howbloom: but I thought he was telling me to learn something that at that age I was incompetent at

howbloom: he was telling me to write


Chris OConnor: to share

howbloom: writing, he seemed to be telling me, was a necessary part of science

howbloom: yes, selling and sharing


RickU: To share is to sell to at least some of your audience. The sell is convincing people to accept your view

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: I think it's obligatory to have one kid in every classroom that identifies with Einstein.

howbloom: so while I was running the art studio I was looking for opportunities to write

Chris OConnor: or to consider your view

RickU: Christianity for whatever reason, has been very good at selling itself.

howbloom: I felt that the studio gave me a periscope position

RickU: consider is much better Chris - thanks

howbloom: a position from which I could see my way into two avenues I had to pursue

howbloom: to do what Einstein had told me to do


jznet: ok, so learning how to sell ideas is already well established in capitalism, this is well known.

howbloom: and what I wanted as well

Chris OConnor: I see no better way than writing to share your passions, interests, and philosophy with the world

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Christianity offers forgiveness, a chance to start over, and a peer group that loves you.

howbloom: those two avenues were writing and television

RickU: But, Howard - I still have trouble with your Beagle analogy

howbloom: in those days I was designing my own clothes

Chris OConnor: I'm allergic to Beagles

Chris OConnor: but alas

howbloom: it was the sixties

Naturyl: Christianity is an offer you can't refuse. Christianity is a Don Corleone-like proposition - you can accept eternal life in paradise as a free gift, and if you don't, you get the opposite. The selling method is clear

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: :thinks comic books are the ideal form of information, and underutilized

howbloom: so you could get away with all kinds of things

howbloom: one day I took my studio's portfolio out on my normal daily mission


RickU: It's not so much different now Howard. Just like then...you have to be able to accept the consequences

howbloom: spend your morning making appointments with anyone and everyone in the world who might be able to buy our art

Chris OConnor: Howard - you need to write an autobiography

howbloom: then in the afternoon visit at least five art directors and show them our stuff

jznet: yeh I used to love comics and was going to start an underground comic and was told i would have one out in a year at one point when i had not even been serious at it but lost interest

howbloom: one of my five appointments that afternoon was with the editor of an underground fashion magazine

howbloom: that I was hoping would be receptive to our work

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Ever read Uncle Sam by Alex Ross?

jznet: but love that medium and beyond that, animation

tarav: my favorite comic hero was Lobo

howbloom: i walked into the office where she and her staff worked

RickU: Keep on It Howard...we're still listening

howbloom: opened my artists' portfolio

howbloom: started pointing the pages that seemed relevant


Chris OConnor: Did Tara just speak up? Holy smokes.

tarav: lol

howbloom: enthusing over art I was genuinely in love with

howbloom: and instead of looking at the art


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Remind me to show you Uncle Sam, Howard, if I'm ever in Brooklyn.

tarav: i loved that comic, chris

howbloom: the editor looked at my clothes

howbloom: "Do you have more of these?" she said

howbloom: sure, I said


Chris OConnor: I'd like to see some of your self-designed clothing

howbloom: I have a whole closetful of them

Chris OConnor: Probably a T-back and space helmet.

howbloom: can you write about them for us? she asked

RickU: Wife's home.. a moment

howbloom: of course I could, Einstein had told me I had to become a writer and I'd been working on it since the age of twelve

Chris OConnor: Howard - pictures for your autobiography - those clothes

howbloom: the clothes are all gone, chris and there is only one photo

howbloom: and it's not of the stuff I designed


Chris OConnor: hmm

(MichaelangeloGlossolalia left)

howbloom: I didn't realize that you have to save things

howbloom: at any rate

howbloom: I went home and wrote an article on the philosophy behind the clothes I designed

howbloom: took it back to the editor and she liked it

howbloom: you have no idea of how hungry I was to have my first article published in a magazine


Chris OConnor: That had to be an incredible feeling

howbloom: writing for scientists--putting together seminar notes and foundation grant proposals

(MichaelangeloGlossolalia joined)

howbloom: and writing for the boy scouts

howbloom: despite having been kicked out of my boy scout troop for incompetence at Morse code

howbloom: these were things I'd done while dropping out of school and in summer vacations


jznet: so you got back at them by rewriting the code? :]

howbloom: but Einstein had told me write and I'd never been really published before

howbloom: the editor liked the article

howbloom: she gave me a few assignments

howbloom: she liked them too

howbloom: she made me a contributing editor to her magazine

howbloom: so in my spare time

howbloom: from six am to 8 am

howbloom: and from 8pm to 11pm

howbloom: I wrote magazine stories

howbloom: 178 of them

howbloom: it was the Einsteinian imperative


Chris OConnor: you dream big Howard

howbloom: and for some reason I loved every assignment she gave me

Chris OConnor: And then you take your dream and make it happen. I love that.

howbloom: they could have been interpreted as adventures or drudgery

howbloom: if you're going to write prose that lights other people up, the Einsteinian imperative

howbloom: then an assignment to review all of the Western gear stores in New York

howbloom: is an adventure


Chris OConnor: Western?

howbloom: a trip to places you would never have thought of going on your own

howbloom: yes, saddles, cowboy shirts, cowboy boots, cowboy belts, etc


Chris OConnor: Ahh ok. I only ask so that I can edit properly.

howbloom: so there I was writing my tail off

howbloom: when lesson number two in putting soul in the machine popped up

howbloom: I was covering an occult pseudoscience conference one day

howbloom: for yet another magazine that had shanghaied me into becoming a contributing editor, too

howbloom: natural lifestyles

howbloom: and someone at the conference saw me scribbling notes

howbloom: and must have realized I was a writer

howbloom: here was his question


Chris OConnor: drum roll please

howbloom: "would you like to edit a magazine?"

Chris OConnor: Holy shit

howbloom: hey, that would mean not having to get up at six am to write, right?

howbloom: my artists were all set up to cruise on their own

howbloom: or so they thought


(ZachSylvanus joined)

howbloom: I'd gotten them a gig as art directors for a brand new magazine

howbloom: maybe you've heard of it

howbloom: the national lampoon


#LanDroid: Sweet!

howbloom: there was a big check rolling in every month and the artists figured they had it made

Chris OConnor: Of course!

howbloom: so they kicked me out of the studio

howbloom: why share 25% with a guy who's doing nothing, right?


Chris OConnor: ahh

Chris OConnor: bastards

Naturyl: jeez

#LanDroid: Sounds like business.

howbloom: they got theirs, unfortunately

howbloom: they all went back to being unemployed alcoholics


jznet: sounds like soulless capitalism?

howbloom: who couldn't pay their rent

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: You were their den mother

howbloom: the soul-less capitalism was being practiced in this case by people who felt they were the essence of soul and the antithesis of capitalism

howbloom: greed is destructive to capitalism

howbloom: greed grinds soul OU


Naturyl: I guess you weren't "doing nothing" after all, as they discovered when they became broke alcoholics again

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: enantiodromia (Jung's word for things becoming their opposites)

howbloom: out of the machine

Naturyl: too late for them though

howbloom: yes, and I still mourn the best of them

howbloom: but that's another story or maybe it isn't


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: you were giving them a catalyst... they didn't realize your importance in their ecosystem

howbloom: but we'll try to milk its meaning another time

howbloom: so this kid asked if I wanted to edit a magazine


RickU: Does that mean you'll come back Howard?

howbloom: now follow this

howbloom: I'd been kicked out of the boy scouts, right?

howbloom: for incompetence at dots and dashes


(DaRk Penguin joined)

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: That wasn't YOU who taught all the Christian kids the second law of thermodynamics, was it?

jznet: DP, evening'

howbloom: but when I'd gotten a summer job after my freshman year of college

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: hi dp

howbloom: writing for the boy scouts of America

DaRk Penguin: hey

howbloom: and they'd assigned me the job of rewriting their booklets on camouflage and hunting and stalking

Chris OConnor: Howard - you didn't create the Boy scout salute did you?

howbloom: the fact that I couldn't even find my way into the woods much less find my way out of them didn't matter

howbloom: I had the responsibility of millions of kids on my shoulders

howbloom: I wanted them to be able to stalk and track like goblins

howbloom: I wanted them to succeed

howbloom: so I researched my ass off on stalking and tracking and camouflage

howbloom: I worked at understanding these three things I couldn't do

howbloom: that the boy scout editor gave me his biggest job, the most critical one on his platter

howbloom: writing a book called "ten steps to organize a boy scout troop"

howbloom: the book that would be the guide for would-be boy scout troop organizers all over North America

howbloom: and I did it

howbloom: I wrote it

howbloom: by researching ferociously


Naturyl: nice. I used to have "Field book," and I loved it

howbloom: so when I was asked if I wanted to edit a magazine

RickU: But the moral of the story is?

howbloom: there was one question I didn't think of asking

howbloom: "what is the magazine about?"

howbloom: whatever it was, I figured I'd be able to research it


#LanDroid: Uh oh.

Naturyl: That's daring

howbloom: so here I was seeking the gods inside, right?

howbloom: lesson number one had been salesmanship

howbloom: you can't be prophet if you can't persuade

howbloom: you can't be a scientist if you can't write clearly and deliciously


RickU: prophet?!

Chris OConnor: Profit

howbloom: Einstein and Isaiah were telling me to sell

howbloom: sorry, Isaiah was another role model


Chris OConnor: You cannot make a profit if you cannot persuade.

Chris OConnor: /bows

howbloom: a total outcast who came back with a message

howbloom: if Isaiah hadn't gotten that message across big time


Naturyl: Prophets get a bad name. Really, anyone who has a vision is a prophet of sorts. They aren't all guys in the dessert throwing rocks and screaming inanely

howbloom: if he hadn't sold and persuaded and shouted his ass off

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: the Old Testament prophets sold fear really well... always with an undertone of revenge against injustice

howbloom: we'd be deprived of one of the most vital phrases in our vocabulary

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: prophesy is scenario planning'

howbloom: one that sets our sights on one of the most vital aspirations we have

RickU: Indeed Michael

Naturyl: Bill Gates was a prophet, and it got him a profit of 50 billion

howbloom: turning swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks

#LanDroid: Yeah, we're getting close to that goal...

tarav: thank you for coming Howard

howbloom: that cliché does more to focus the ambitions of us humans than almost any other I can think of

RickU: Not we Howard

tarav: i must go

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Anyone who gives the tribe its symbols of identity gains the tribe's loyalty, and its money

tarav: bye all

howbloom: that's selling

RickU: G'night Tara

howbloom: that's boiling a message down to a bumper sticker motto

Chris OConnor: Night Tara

howbloom: something that glues itself to your mind

howbloom: but back to the magazine


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: night tare

howbloom: the magazine turned out to be about a form of group ritual

RickU: No Howard

(tarav left)

howbloom: it's a ritual that like the macumba and the holy roller rituals

RickU: In that you have simplified it too much. It could burn in my mind as a negative instead of a positive

howbloom: used rhythmic beats to pull the gods to life

RickU: positive rather

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: the Survivor producer talked about creating a sense of ritual.

howbloom: to yank them into vividness

howbloom: that ritual was something I'd never had a chance to participate in

howbloom: it was called rock and roll and I didn't know a darned thing about it


Naturyl: How can "swords to plowshares" be a negative?

Chris OConnor: Wow I love Nyquil

howbloom: I was an intellectual snob

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: just try converting swords into plowshares, you'll be called a traitor

howbloom: I listened to Beethoven, bartok, Stravinsky, and rachmaninoff

Naturyl: Perhaps, but being called a traitor does not make one such.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: true

howbloom: can I take a break for a second and run to the men's room?

Naturyl: of course

howbloom: is this story proving to be of any value to you?

howbloom: there's more to come

howbloom: brb


Naturyl: It is to me, and so is the draft, which is great, by the way

RickU: absolutely Howard - pee away

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Howard's life parallels in some surprising ways that of Willy Wonka

(#Kostya left)

Naturyl: I really need someone to defend capitalism to me. I'm pretty much one of these bloodsucking socialists

Chris OConnor: I want to make sure we don't lose anyone before he gets to the meat of the book

Naturyl: The only defenses of capitalism I hear are stupid ones, mostly from conservatives

Chris OConnor: Yes, well then you ought to present that to Howard Naturyl

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: I think capitalism's potential benefit is in its grassroots structure (not as easy to defend with huge global corps)

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: anything that gives people more freedom to take initiative will tend to do better than any centralized bureaucracy, including a corporatized one.

Naturyl: Howard's ideas on capitalism don't sound like the same, tired stuff. There is a ring of uniqueness and potential in them

Chris OConnor: My defense of capitalism is that it is natural

Naturyl: Well, so is cancer

Chris OConnor: Socialism flies in the face of natural selection

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Howard sees capitalism not as a producer of "stuff" but a process where a person interacts on a deep level with the people whose money he wants.

Naturyl: so does modern health care

Chris OConnor: Cancer doesn't create...it destroys.

ZachSylvanus: Chris, so is racism and other forms of centrism

RickU: I wouldn't separate them that clearly Chris

ZachSylvanus: natural, that is

RickU: Socialism and Capitalism are not that far removed from one another

Naturyl: Oh, but it does, Chris. All cancer does is create, and far faster than normal cells.

Chris OConnor: You're all wrong

RickU: Both require honesty

Chris OConnor: Just kidding!

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: capitalism is more natural... not necessarily natural in its current form, but more natural than some of the alternatives

Chris OConnor: LOL

howbloom: Rick's right

RickU: To truly work

Naturyl: unfortunately it creates something that kills us

RickU: *grins* Always good when a published author agrees w/ you.

howbloom: socialism and capitalism are slightly different versions of large bureaucratized industrial organization

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: cancer is an interesting motive... hijacking processes and turning them into producers of nothing of value that strangle things of value

howbloom: one just works a lot better than the other

RickU: Exactly right Howard

howbloom: but let's get back to the magazine

howbloom: and its lessons


howbloom: lesson number one,

RickU: And for good reason. Capitalism provides an incentive that socialism does not

howbloom: from the art studio and from Einstein

Naturyl: Howard challenges the idea that capitalism artificially manipulates desires and leads us to consume an endless array of superfluous products, which is something I haven't seen any pro-capitalist challenge effectively

howbloom: was that if you believe in something you have to sell it

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: I'm interested in grassroots entrepreneurial synergy. A net across the world made of decentralized free people as opposed to centralized elites and bureaucracies.

RickU: Ok Howard. Back to it

howbloom: if you believe you are onto something that can help humanity

howbloom: even if it helps only with the sort of delight


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: I think capitalists CAN hijack the culture forming process. Socialists do the same.

howbloom: that comes from the picture of an artist

howbloom: a picture that lights you up inside

howbloom: if you fail to sell it


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: brb

howbloom: you betray and cheat humanity

howbloom: now for the magazine


Naturyl: wow

RickU: I would argue you betray only yourself and your artist

howbloom: it turned out to be about rock and roll

RickU: yourself that is

RickU: Carry on.

Chris OConnor: And stones

Chris OConnor: Ones that roll

RickU: They gather no moss

howbloom: yes, you cheat yourself every minute and every day that you fail to find and put your passion in your work

howbloom: and you fail humanity


Naturyl: I would agree with Howard, and it's really something I need to hear, because I really am not putting enough effort into my book. It may only sell 10 copies, but I'm cheating those 10 people by goofing off

Chris OConnor: Rick - true

howbloom: your mission is messianic

jznet: a consistently current state of capitalism doesn't mean that a potential to reconfigure its processes though rare to identify and tough to imagine, possible maybe

howbloom: that's what capitalism is secretly and silently all about

howbloom: but back to the magazine

howbloom: as I said, it was about this form of music I didn't know

howbloom: but one of the first things I had to do when I took the job was go to a concert by a rapidly-declining blues band called Fleetwood Mac

howbloom: something remarkable happened at the concert

howbloom: it was at Carnegie Hall


#LanDroid: Rapidly declining at Carnegie Hall?

howbloom: it would be roughly seven years before Stevie Nicks would join the band and give it a new life

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: shhh Lan, it fits the narrative

howbloom: Carnegie Hall is a 3,500 seat hall

Chris OConnor: Damn I loved Fleetwood Mac

howbloom: when you are big, you play Madison square garden, capacity=18,000

howbloom: a concert does strange things to people even when it's normal, and this concert would not turn out to be normal

howbloom: it either bores you and makes all the most depressing half articulated feelings that you've got go dancing through you for an hour or two

howbloom: or it let's you drop your feeling of individual identity and draws you utterly out of yourself

howbloom: when it draws most of the audience out of itself


RickU: "The one good thing about Music, is when it hits you you feel no pain. So hit me with music."

Chris OConnor: Hit me with your best shot. Fire away.

howbloom: and into another form of that bigger than just yourself thing Hitler went for

RickU: I think that's what you're describing Howard. THAT feeling

howbloom: and that holy rollers and macumba ritualism go for

RickU: Not all music does that

howbloom: we used to call it getting the audience off

howbloom: orgasm for the soul

howbloom: collective orgasm

howbloom: it's a remarkable thing


Chris OConnor: I've had many a musical orgasm at concerts

howbloom: so the concert was only half doing what it was supposed to do

howbloom: it was in between the corrosive thoughts eating you alive and the music and performance and atmosphere pulling you outside yourself

howbloom: when something strange happened


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: soulgasms are a myth

howbloom: all the electricity to the stage went of

howbloom: the mikes were off


Chris OConnor: accidentally?

howbloom: the stage lights were off

Chris OConnor: wow

Naturyl: oh shit

Naturyl: somebody is in hot water

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: and everyone was afraid of the dark?

Chris OConnor: but they kept playing unplugged

RickU: I don't think so Michael - You've never had a revelation that rocked you? If you have, that's a soulgasm.

Chris OConnor: and this is when everything gelled

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Rick--sorry, I was thinking of the g-spot

howbloom: and some sort of emergency switching system did one of the most horrible things you can do to the audience of a concert that's on its way to possibly getting off

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: got confused

howbloom: possibly getting outside itself

howbloom: it turned on the house lights

howbloom: the lights above the audience


(pctacitus joined)

RickU: interesting

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: and they all teleported into different bodies!

Naturyl: yep, that will ruin it

howbloom: the lights that speak of normality

pctacitus: evening all

RickU: Quit being sarcastic and let him tell his story.

Chris OConnor: Hey Samuel! :)

Naturyl: ever been in a bar at closing time when the lights come on? You practically run from the place

RickU: Heya pc

howbloom: the lights that tell you, quick, it's time to don the mask of your individual identity again

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: hi pc

Chris OConnor: OMG Michael

howbloom: it's time to look dignified and composed

Chris OConnor: Exactly Howard...those lights suck

howbloom: it's time to tuck the gods that were oozing out of you

howbloom: back where they belong again\


Naturyl: The lights kill the whole thing

howbloom: hidden

howbloom: hidden utterly


Chris OConnor: I know exactly what you mean Howard

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: "tuck your deity in, please"

howbloom: where no one else, including you

howbloom: can see


DaRk Penguin: the soulgasm blew out the electricity. wow

howbloom: then Mick Fleetwood stepped to the very lip of the stage

#LanDroid: LOL@Michael...

Chris OConnor: How was this resolved?

Chris OConnor: I'm dying to know

howbloom: and rallied us like a general

howbloom: giving spirit to his troops


Chris OConnor: What did he say?

RickU: I only know what you mean in theory. You tuck yourself back inside and allow yourself to become presentable for public consumption...not teaching

pctacitus: do insurance companies cover soulgasms?

Chris OConnor: lol

howbloom: "We're not going to let a malfunctioning bunch of electrons stop this music," he said (I paraphrase in Bloomese)

RickU: Only Christian ones pc

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: pc--not if it soaks into the wood

howbloom: We're going to make this concert happen

Chris OConnor: So they played on....

howbloom: and he said it in a way that meant he was not just calling on the band

Chris OConnor: unplugged....with the lights off

Naturyl: everybody in the place sang?

howbloom: he was calling on all of us to rebel against this accident

howbloom: and he electrified us


pctacitus: I thought it was supposed to be unchristian to have insurance, protection from acts of god and all

howbloom: he pulled us together in the face of this enemy

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: so they dismembered an audience member, used the intestines to make very large vibrating strings, and continued on! That's inspiring.

RickU: The enemy of accident though...is that inspiring?

howbloom: he pulled us together in the face of darkness on the stage and light where it was not supposed to be--on our faces

howbloom: he made us face him again

howbloom: he made us come together as one


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: accidents are either with us or against us

howbloom: the band played on with no amps

howbloom: no mikes

howbloom: no nothing


Chris OConnor: Lets not derail Howard's story folks

Chris OConnor: please

howbloom: but that was not what counted

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: sorry Chris

Chris OConnor: No problem

howbloom: he made us, the audience his army and his family

(ZachSylvanus left)

howbloom: he pulled us out of ourselves so much more powerfully than a mere concert ever could

howbloom: we rebelled against accident

howbloom: and made it happen because he urged us to

howbloom: he catalyzed us

howbloom: he sparked us in some vital way

howbloom: he took the high stress of transition


Naturyl: I'll be interested to hear how this relates to the lessons of selling

howbloom: from concert to everyday life

howbloom: a stress we normally don't recognize

howbloom: and he turned it into energy

howbloom: he turned it into transcendence of an unexpected kind

howbloom: because of the stress of accident the gods in us came alive


Chris OConnor: events like that bring people together

howbloom: that's when I realized that somehow, by some strange accident, I'd found my Galapagos Islands

howbloom: I'd found the spot where the gods live and thrive


Chris OConnor: Neil Young did the same thing at one of his concerts when it started raining. It was an outdoor concert.

Naturyl: Maybe that is the kind of thing we need in our society, although I don't know how it could be catalyzed or who could do it

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: how long before accidents will be staged to get that effect? capitalism can be obsessively self-referencing...

howbloom: I'd found the place where ritual brings soul flaring and blazing to life

Naturyl: Well, that's a valid point, MG

RickU: How did you plan to make use of it Howard?

howbloom: Michael it is and isn't a valid point, I'm gonna digress for a minute

Naturyl: Then again, one could stage the catalyst, but not the reaction. Poor catalysts will simply be ignored, I would think

howbloom: I believe that pop culture helps a society focus its energies on creativity in the area of making life better for each other

howbloom: the area of goods and services

howbloom: rather than focusing its creativity on something else biology has built us for

howbloom: violence and war

howbloom: but that's a long subject for a later time in this discussion

howbloom: the first discovery of the rock magazine odyssey

howbloom: was that I'd found the ritual spot I was looking for, no matter how accidentally

howbloom: the second lesson was social

howbloom: there was a rock and roll aristocracy

howbloom: a self-appointed rock-crit elite


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: the soul-eaters

howbloom: a small group of folks who had declared themselves the kings and queens of rock criticism

howbloom: and, yes, they were the soul eaters

howbloom: somehow snobbery snuffs out soul

howbloom: they made it clear to me from the beginning that I was not a part of them

howbloom: at several points they actually tried to drive me out of their community

howbloom: I don't like cliques, especially elitist ones


Naturyl: snobbery excludes those from which the whole thing originally flows. It is like talking about plumbing while looking down on plumbers

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: easier to do something new if you're an outsider and used to being thrown out than if you're an insider who fears being thrown out for the first time.

howbloom: probably for a very selfish reason, they always exclude me

Naturyl: Probably a good sign

howbloom: but the fact is that they thought their job was to one-up each other in a status game

howbloom: their audience was each other


Naturyl: I've never seen much real value coming from self-appointed elites

RickU: It could be because hippy's smell funny...

howbloom: Lisa Robinson, the self-appointed queen of the group

howbloom: edited a magazine called Hit Parade


RickU: I'm sorry you think that Nat - I'm self-appointed elite

howbloom: who did she edit it for?

howbloom: who was her audience?

howbloom: was it the 60,000 kids who bought her magazine?

howbloom: no, absolutely not


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: It's classier to get delegates to self-appoint you an elite

Naturyl: Rick: in what sense are you self-appointed elite?

howbloom: they were beneath her

RickU: I am an intellectual classicist

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: everyone's a self-appointed elite if they view themselves as the center of the world's most crucial story

howbloom: it was her job to do what Marxist officials in the cultural commissariat used to do

RickU: And I feel that I am intellectually superior to a great bulk of humanity

howbloom: to "educate" her audience

howbloom: which meant ignoring every band her audience liked


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: the US is a self-appointed elite, in many ways.

pctacitus: Rick, do you read Latin or Greek?

howbloom: and writing about bands so arcane and tuneless

Naturyl: Oh, I see. Well, I can't disagree there is some value in that. The intellect is undeniably important, and intellectual superiority does qualify one to a certain extent

RickU: PC - only in a limited fashion. Why?

howbloom: that only a rock critic could love them

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: I don't see people as being intellectually inferior, but focused for emotional reasons on things that don't interest me

howbloom: bands so arcane and tuneless that by advocating them

pctacitus: A classicist is someone who studies the Greek and roman classics

howbloom: she could look hip, cool, and successfully snooty, successfully "in" to her friends

howbloom: ironically her friends, her fellow members of the rock crit elite


Chris OConnor: but her friends were not her target market

Naturyl: But the task of the intellectual (in my view) is to help everybody else. If everybody else is intellectually "disabled" in comparison, should we point and laugh, or should we try to improve their lot?

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: just the Greek and roman, or all literature of the time?

howbloom: were all Marxists, meaning they loved the people, right?

howbloom: the fact is they hated the people they wrote for


Chris OConnor: Sounds like they detested the people

howbloom: they were on a power trip

howbloom: when I was back in the art studio writing morning and night


pctacitus: Greek and roman, some Jewish texts, but that is really to shed light on Greece and Rome

howbloom: I'd proposed a story to esquire on drugs and sex among teenagers

howbloom: so I'd spent six months going out on weekends to a suburban community

howbloom: Meridian Connecticut


Chris OConnor: field research

RickU: Nat - you can't necessarily improve their lot. People are born with a certain capacity for thought (IMO)...

howbloom: with a tape recorder and note pads

howbloom: spending time with kids 15 and 16 years old

howbloom: and being taken in

howbloom: adopted like a mascot by them


Naturyl: Rick: that's true, but if you present intellectual things in such a way that average people can understand them, some insight might sneak in the back door.

(ecstian joined)

howbloom: shown the secret things that they were doing behind their parents back

Chris OConnor: Welcome Eric :)

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Elitism is common now because it's so much easier than it used to be to lose your social position. We all want to think we have some special thing that keeps us useful to the tribe.

ecstian: Hello Chris

RickU: I think only in the way that religion works Nat

RickU: They take it on Faith

howbloom: one group shunned me, one group embraced me, and I, like you, am very, very human

RickU: and to me that's just as bad as Christianity

howbloom: so which group do you think I championed?

Chris OConnor: Howard - I can see you fitting in with anybody

Chris OConnor: Howard - the one that shunned you

howbloom: thanks, chris

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Everything intellectual can be explained in a way that the average person can understand it. It's a matter of time before someone finds the right way to teach something.

Naturyl: Rick: maybe so, but as long as we are presenting worthwhile things, it is better for the masses to take it on faith than never to hear of it.

howbloom: the group that mattered to me was the kids I was serving

howbloom: the kids who read my magazine

howbloom: I wanted to know their desires, their needs, and the things that set a flame ablaze inside of them

howbloom: I wanted to feel them empathically


Chris OConnor: And did you find these things??

RickU: I never said that it shouldn't be presented - and Howard - a need to inform your audience - a key to teaching?

howbloom: I wanted to know how to champion them

Chris OConnor: Empathy is the key to world peace

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: I don't like talk of the "masses" as if they were people unlike us. That reminds me of the snobbier socialists and capitalists.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: I agree, Chris

RickU: A key Chris

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: empathy and creative expression of it.

RickU: Not the

howbloom: to be their advocate and, puny as I am, the person who fought on their behalf

Chris OConnor: You're not puny

Naturyl: MG - true, the "masses" is not an ideal term. I couldn't think of a better word at that moment

howbloom: I used a zillion self-invented "market research" techniques designed to get to the heart of my kids, not to their pocketbooks

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: I like Jung's word, "the collective"

Chris OConnor: Your vision makes you bigger than life

Chris OConnor: Ahh

howbloom: one technique I used was an focus group

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: individuals are pretty smart, collectives can be very paranoid, sluggish and stupid

pctacitus: chris, try empathizing with bin laden, see where that gets you

howbloom: guess what? It proved to be useless

howbloom: worse, in fact


Chris OConnor: Focus groups are controlled

Naturyl: but collectives reflect individual traits, only magnified

Chris OConnor: They are artificial

howbloom: focus groups give kids the power

howbloom: that the rock crit elite has


Naturyl: paranoia looks a lot worse when there is a mob of hundreds outside the door with torches

howbloom: and they use it to score ego points

Chris OConnor: But focus groups seem to be one of the best ways to get feedback

howbloom: take 2,000 kids

howbloom: rate them on typicality

howbloom: take the top 20

howbloom: see which ten are most able to articulate why they like and dislike things


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Chris--instant communication may change that.... my wife writes to companies when she wants to tell them something, because email is so easy.

RickU: Wait. clarify how

RickU: top 20 typical?

howbloom: make them a focus group, which is one of the things I did

RickU: What does that mean?

Naturyl: In order to set the stage for empathy to be practiced, certain things will have to be eliminated. Bin Laden is among them.

howbloom: and they instantly become atypical

Naturyl: Empathy is not stupidity

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: empathy is separate from security

howbloom: they start advocating strange and esoteric bands for the same reason rockcrit elitists do

howbloom: to prove their power

Naturyl: indeed MG

Chris OConnor: Howard - ahhh

howbloom: to score ego points

Chris OConnor: Howard exactly

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: empathy doesn't die because of fear, but because of political correctness. It's politically incorrect to show empathy for your enemy

RickU: No. Empathy is simply understanding and acknowledging someone else's lot

Chris OConnor: they're making a statement

howbloom: they cease to be guides to the heart of the masses

pctacitus: violence is the predicate for empathy, is that it Nat?

howbloom: now they, too, are elites

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: you can be afraid of someone and still empathize with them. It's just not a popular thing to do.

howbloom: and elites do not serve people

RickU: Walking a mile in someone else's shoes....

howbloom: elites steal from them

Chris OConnor: Howard - the only solution seems to be to watch without them knowing you're watching

howbloom: elites steal soul

RickU: No how

howbloom: that's why Marxism failed in the USSR and in China

RickU: I think you're prejudiced

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: the same focused, magnetic empathy some Christians feel watching The Passion can be focused on anyone, including someone you're supposed to hate.

howbloom: elites steal soul

#LanDroid: Curious - does anyone read rock crit elitists?

Naturyl: pctacitus, maybe so, sadly. Only because there are those who would use empathy as a tool to kill everyone else. Empathize with Bin Laden and he kills you. Oppose him and he kills you. No matter what, he kills you.

RickU: Elites don't ALWAYS steal soul

#LanDroid: bin Laden is over here because we are over there.

howbloom: and large-scale industrial socialism--Leninist Marxist societies--are run entirely by elites

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: elites don't so much steal soul as utilize people's tendency to kiss up to be at the center.

RickU: Elite's who start to fail almost always steal though

RickU: It's the basic problem with the capitalist structure.

howbloom: my job with reinventing capitalism is to show elites how to connect with their own passions

howbloom: and how to stop being robots


RickU: Because the elites who succeeded initially always have the power to steal

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: an elitist creates a magnetic field that distorts expression, since everyone's mind is focused on getting to the center of the anthill.

howbloom: by connecting with the people they serve, not by connecting with the peer group they hope to impress

RickU: initially

howbloom: back to the magazine

howbloom: it took me a year of trying all kinds of things to find how to connect to my audience


RickU: I agree how - you must connect with your own passion to prevail

howbloom: how to be in tune with its hungers and its heart

howbloom: which meant it took me a year to find techniques that let my audience guide me

howbloom: \that let my audience educate me


Chris OConnor: interesting perspective

howbloom: that let my audience become the, how do a put this?

howbloom: the crucible of my own passions

howbloom: helping me find passions I didn't know I had

howbloom: then I went to my publisher

howbloom: I laid out a plan

howbloom: a plan for totally changing the magazine

howbloom: a plan for making it fit my audience's hungers month after month after month

howbloom: and because other people do not measure success in terms of passion, in terms of soul

howbloom: I implied that he'd make money

howbloom: I told him outright I'd increase his sales

howbloom: he let me do it

howbloom: I made a new kind of music magazine, the kind my audience, and audiences and editors in Germany and France who's music magazines I'd studied, had taught me how to make

howbloom: our sales did something strange

howbloom: they shot up month by month by month

howbloom: in twelve months we had increased our circulation 211%

howbloom: why?


Chris OConnor: What were the actual changes you made? give us something more tangible

howbloom: because I didn't give a shit about the people in the industry, the insider elite

Chris OConnor: I can appreciate that, but what did you actually do to the mag?

howbloom: I wanted to expand my senses, I wanted to learn from the kids I worked for, I wanted to champion them in every way

howbloom: prophetic leadership leads to profits

howbloom: ok, what did I do?


jznet: know your audience, deliver

Chris OConnor: Yes, what?

howbloom: my publisher thought that kids get bored by reading over and over again about the same bands

howbloom: so he had a policy

howbloom: cover a band once a year and that's it


Chris OConnor: Hmm

howbloom: but when he first hired me he told me he wanted his magazine to read like time magazine

howbloom: so I spent a year analyzing time


Naturyl: your publisher was pretty clueless

howbloom: and I found that it doesn't work the way he thought

howbloom: it works on a soap opera formula


#LanDroid: That sounds wrong, I'd want to read about King Crimson every month.

Naturyl: kids will read about Britney Spears every week for a year and never get tired of it

howbloom: you've got a star, like the president of the United States

RickU: Nat - only if the back story changes. There still ahs to be new intrigue

howbloom: you don't run a story that regurgitates his biography

pctacitus: not a great argument about kids when you put it that way

howbloom: you write a story about what he's doing this week

Chris OConnor: So you kept the readers up to speed on everything to do with the major bands

howbloom: and because real life is filled with cliff hangers

RickU: indeed

Naturyl: Rick: agreed. There has to be some new gossip every week, although the formula for generating such back-story is always the same.

howbloom: the story leaves you breathless waiting for next week's episode

howbloom: I discovered that my audience had stars


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: pc, unless you give kids an intellectual role model they can identify with, it won't help to think they're shallow

RickU: Why do you think the debates captured us so?

howbloom: stars none of the rock magazines were covering

howbloom: it had its equivalent to the President

howbloom: just as you would have wanted to read about King Crimson every month

howbloom: my audience was dying to read about Alice Cooper


pctacitus: I was really just hoping for someone better than Brittany Spears

howbloom: and, no, it didn't want just his bio

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: pc--you're welcome to start a band : )

howbloom: it wanted to know what was happening to him this month

howbloom: and how the cliff-hanging end left of

howbloom: leaving you waiting for what happened next


RickU: And I'll bet the same basic journalistic questions applies - who what when where and why!

howbloom: one of the things that stamped itself into me not long after Einstein told me that to be a scientist you had to be a writer

RickU: If you based it in speculation...YAY National Enquirer

howbloom: was this tidbit about writing

howbloom: a good writer can find a good story in even the most mundane half hour of an ordinary life


jznet: i like to find talent that is out there already instead of having it delivered like main lines of media deliver, the hunt for talented unrecognized bands to me is cool and rewarding

howbloom: and Alice's life was not ordinary

RickU: I would concur with that Howard

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: agree with jz

howbloom: he was being hit by criticism and was being fed large sums of money, money he never expected in his life

RickU: They can, scientist or not...a good WRITER can make a half our of normalcy interesting

howbloom: I learned from my kids and from the spots they opened in my own heart

howbloom: that I wanted to know and they wanted to know how Alice had gone from being just an ordinary kid like you and me to being a star


RickU: But on that note, I have to be up in 6 hours. Thank you Mr. Bloom, and thanks as always to the booktalk crowd

howbloom: that transition story was critical

RickU: G'night

howbloom: thanks, Rick

pctacitus: night Rick

howbloom: how could I be like Alice?

Chris OConnor: Night Rick :)

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: night Rick

RickU: nighto

(RickU left)

howbloom: then it wanted to know every anecdote that had a tinge of sex and violence, a tinge of the outrageous and the titillating

howbloom: I asked kids to rate their favorite paragraphs in the magazine

howbloom: i offered free records to the first ten kids who responded

howbloom: we had tons of free records sitting around the office, they come in stacks two feet high every day

howbloom: hundreds of kids responded


Chris OConnor: awesome

howbloom: I circled the paragraphs they loved most and put a hash mark by the paragraph every time a kid voted for it

howbloom: the most popular paragraph in the magazine that month

howbloom: was in a story about Alice Cooper

howbloom: Alice was in the middle of playing Louie Louie

howbloom: a song with a kind of mystic meaning in those days

howbloom: it was an invitation to raunch

howbloom: it made a non-verbal statement to the crowd that "we are going very risqué"

howbloom: one girl pressed against the stage was showing what a lot of girls try to show to rock and rollers

howbloom: her cleavage, her sexuality

howbloom: one of the members of the band

howbloom: in the spirit of Louie Louie

howbloom: dropped a lit cigarette down between her breasts

howbloom: to me it was a revolting thing


Naturyl: owe

Chris OConnor: but she liked it

howbloom: but it wasn't the deed, it was the spirit

howbloom: yes, I suspect she's still bragging about it to this day

howbloom: it was a status symbol

Chris OConnor: I had Jon Bon Jovi sweat on me once.

howbloom: a sign of massed attention a sign of recognition

Chris OConnor: /bows

howbloom: but to the kids it meant stepping outside the bounds and going dangerous

howbloom: harmless violence

howbloom: harmless sexuality

howbloom: two key ingredients of western pop culture


pctacitus: funny I heard a story at dinner about someone peeing next to Henry Kissinger

howbloom: two of the ingredients that I suspect give us our freedoms

howbloom: lesson number two, the lesson from the rock magazine experience, the lesson for soul in the machine is this

howbloom: champion your audience

howbloom: love them

howbloom: let them help you find the selves inside of you you never knew

howbloom: my audience gave me something I'd never had--a teenage hood

howbloom: help them find the gods inside them too

howbloom: fight for them in the face of the cliques and all their snobbery

howbloom: convert the cliques to championing their audiences too

howbloom: the audience, your customers, can bring the soul to life in you

howbloom: and if you let them do it

howbloom: if you FIND your passions in your work

howbloom: you'll be rewarded for it

howbloom: so will your company

howbloom: my publisher went from a man of modest means

howbloom: to a man of wealth

howbloom: all based on my voyage of the beagle in pop culture


Naturyl: how does one do this when working, for example, at McDonalds?

howbloom: my Galapagos island of teenagers

Naturyl: can a fry cook do this? can a ditch digger?

howbloom: McDonalds is a great example

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: "Would the gods within you like fries with that?"

howbloom: what to YOU want out of McDonalds?

Naturyl: tasty greasy food

howbloom: you want delicious fries, delicious Big Macs, and delicious shakes, right?

Naturyl: yes indeed

howbloom: so if you're a fry-cook, make dem fries delicious

howbloom: get curious

howbloom: curious about how hot fat works

howbloom: curious about why potatoes change their texture when they hit that grease

howbloom: but curious most of all about how to make them even better to your own taste buds

howbloom: more addictive

howbloom: more delicious than even your bosses ever knew

howbloom: I'm serious, get passionate

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Howard, they have regulations about the fries, you're not allowed to innovate

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: they do everything by formula

#LanDroid: Hamburger University doesn't answers those questions?

Naturyl: I think that as MG says, you'd have to do it behind your boss' back

howbloom: you can think the improvements and then sell, persuade, just as I had to sell my publisher on changing his entire formula

#LanDroid: Hamburger University provides those restrictions.

Naturyl: that's why I used McD's as an example

howbloom: he made the money off of it, not me

howbloom: but who got the richness of the experience?

howbloom: who grew in understanding?

howbloom: would I ever trade that experience for something more mundane?

howbloom: not on your life


pctacitus: John Boyd stole computer time from his bosses at the air force, his thoughts are now taught in every self-respecting business school in the world

howbloom: feel the customer inside of you when you make those fries

howbloom: more important, when you're the person at the counter

Chris OConnor: PC - what thoughts were those?

Naturyl: I see your point. I guess what I'm asking, though, is how can a janitor really get passionate about mopping floor? How can a ditch digger get excited about swinging a pick? I'm wondering how those who work in menial positions can apply this

howbloom: feel the way you feel when it's you on the other side ordering fried

howbloom: fries

howbloom: you want a smile

howbloom: you want someone who no matter how brief the encounter


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: "I am your obsequious poltergeist, I know your spirit cries for golden, delicious French fries. That will be six dollars, please."

pctacitus: OODA loop, maneuver warfare, air land battle, energy maneuverability theory

howbloom: sees something special in you

howbloom: and frankly, you'll come back for that smile


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Imagining Howard as a motivational fry cook,

pctacitus: he stole computer time to do calculations and he was able to devote time and effort to thought because of it

howbloom: and when you come back for the fifth time, you'll hand a bit of your identity to that counter-person who smiled at you

howbloom: you'll share your name

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: pc, are you advocating stealing?

howbloom: you'll share a bit of your story

howbloom: you'll build a bond


Naturyl: But, how one motivate himself to do that kind of work when they are getting screwed by the boss, getting paid 6 bucks an hour, and treated like a dope?

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Howard, I think that's the fear... that the workers are handing their identity over with little recognition

Naturyl: what I'm asking is, how does one get into this frame of mind?

pctacitus: I'm advocating occasionally going behind your bosses back

howbloom: a lot of this has to do with perception, Naturyl

jznet: i think menial positions can be meant to be temporary positions but too many get stuck in ruts and limit their potential and lack motivations for diff reasons or stuck in a financial rut

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Naturyl--you get into beer. Beer becomes the motivation.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: pc--that's rather liberal of you

Naturyl: MG - I'm well aware. I know that one all too well.

howbloom: if you stand there resenting a list of grievances you will steal from yourself so badly that it's you who will be your victimizer

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: people work at McDonalds for one reason: they can't get anything else and they need money.

Naturyl: It's true, you do get into beer.

Naturyl: It becomes all you have

pctacitus: well I am a classical liberal in the 19th century European sense of the definition

howbloom: McDonalds does something wonderful it doesn't get credit for

Naturyl: or at least that's how you begin to see it

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Howard--not easy to see the god within your customer if your customer barely looks at you when ordering...

howbloom: before Ray Crock

howbloom: kids could not get jobs

howbloom: why?

howbloom: to get a job you needed to give your past job experience


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: McDonalds is convenient, but unhealthy. I had to force myself to eat at places other than jack in the box, or I'd end up with diabetes.

pctacitus: jobs were for adults only

howbloom: you had no past job experience

howbloom: with no past job experience you couldn't get a job

howbloom: but you couldn't get a job because you had no past job experience

Naturyl: So, Howard, are you suggesting that we should just put aside a mindset of complaining entirely? Isn't that what our boss wants? If we don't gripe about him paying us 6 an hour, won't he cut our pay to 5?

howbloom: catch 22

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: McDonalds is part of the system that weeds out kids who are bad at following orders.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: I'm not sure what the rest need... something that inspires them more than McDonalds perhaps.

howbloom: Naturyl, if I'd spent my days griping at Circus magazine I'd have wasted an opportunity of a lifetime

howbloom: I was being paid very little


Naturyl: Yeah, I do see your point

#LanDroid: Yes, but if you read about Ray Croc, how hard driving he was - a partner retired with $20 million and Ray was disgusted at that loser...

howbloom: and I did my work on an old Remington typewriter, a manual one that sapped my energy

quibbiteer: Just caught up to the present in the conversation and though this is besides the point now, I can't imagine a proper place to insert it later either.. Just thought that the metaphor way back of cancer and creation and all the thoughts circling around there were a bit inspiring. So I roughly tried to respond. So just wanted to pass on that bit of ephemeral ness before it wafted away. Getting back to the cancer... Cancer does create. It also destroys. but it's not creative. If we want to liken something in the world today to cancer it would be something like the terrorists since over all they aren't trying to really form a body, a rich context for others to be in. But rather a more uniform one that is spread by fear or by hijacking our Body's natural processes. In order to really "win" against the various cancers it seems you can be two types of anticancer. You can be something that searches out and kills the cancers.. And depending on the stage of cancer and the efficiency of the treatment (of body process) it could completely eliminate it or at least keep it under control. But it seems like the real type of anticancer metaphor is something that doesn't exist yet. Where you are not only creating but you are being creative as well. you are forming new layers and functions. In some ways an ideal way to escape cancer in away is before that gestation is complete. It seems like besides being antiterrorists we have to figure out ways to nurture them so they settle down, so they specialize to some other activity. Even if its politics it is more of dialogue and thus more creative. I think we have to make sure that we make it clear we want to hear what "They" have to say.. all those cancers or viruses out there and try to win them over to the side of true Life. Maybe then we'll be healthy enough "

(quibbiteer left)

(quibbiteer joined)

howbloom: locked in a windowless room

howbloom: a former storage closet

howbloom: closet


Naturyl: How much griping do you think is healthy ? A little, if it is justified, or none at all? Or do you feel that it is never justified? I'm interested in your view on this

howbloom: if I'd spent my hours using my imagination to manufacture complaints I could have spent the whole day boiling with anger

howbloom: and the whole day blind to the wonders that had been opened to me

howbloom: who would have lost the most from this--me, who'd lose ten to twelve hours for potential wonder a day

howbloom: or my boss, whose circulation would stay at 60,000 and never rise, but who never expected to see it rise anyway

howbloom: after all, it had never risen before I'd been there


#LanDroid: Did you state which magazine this was?

howbloom: and it's editor had been Danny Goldberg, a very bright guy

Chris OConnor: Rolling Stone?

Naturyl: In my view, social progress comes from griping to some extent. If people didn't bitch about having too little after retirement, we wouldn't have Social Security, for example. Do you think there is an alternative mechanism to produce social progress?

howbloom: a Marxist who is into making money

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: quibbit, I think that's a good point

pctacitus: isn't that hypocritical, or is he trying to fund a revolution?

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: just read that

howbloom: \and who now is rich but has never put his full heart and soul into any of the projects he's worked on

howbloom: a person who loves the people but despises them without knowing it

howbloom: the magazine was circus, do you know it?


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Howard, that would be just about everyone... everyone despises the masses, at least enough to make "us vs. them" statements involving the masses

Naturyl: If we don't express grievances, is there another way to get redress for problems?

howbloom: yes, make the business better

Naturyl: yes, I used to read circus as a kid

#LanDroid: Yes, I've seen it...

howbloom: make the business make more money

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Naturyl, perhaps the question is, if you were working at McDonalds, how would you get people to understand what it's like?

howbloom: then ask for a part of it

Naturyl: MG - yes, that's part of it. And if I leave out all the shitty aspects, I'm not really giving you a true picture of working at McDonalds

Naturyl: not that I work there BTW. :)

howbloom: it doesn't always work out directly--my publisher told me to tell him what I wanted in a raise

#LanDroid: That doesn't work for corporate bureaucrats...

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: If I worked at McDonalds, I'd try to make a short movie or something about it

howbloom: because he was beginning to roll in money

Naturyl: I did work there in my youth

howbloom: I asked for more than he wanted to give

Chris OConnor: always aim high

howbloom: so I gave him six months notice and wrote him a 57 page guide on how to do the sort of magazine I was credited for inventing--the heavy metal magazine

howbloom: but because I was spinning straw into gold in a windowless closet


jznet: i recently saw a very humorous short film simply on cutting tomatoes with a large machine

howbloom: Seymour Stein, the president of Sire Records, offered me a job at gulf & Western starting a pr department for G&Ws fourteen record companies

jznet: was all in the style, techniques, sounds effects, timing

howbloom: at the salary I'd asked for

Chris OConnor: So it worked out in the end

Naturyl: nice

howbloom: and because I worked my ass off trying to learn new things and to come to feel more people in my heart through the work that I was doing every day

howbloom: when abc bought bg&w

howbloom: g&w

howbloom: s

howbloom: music holding a year later


Naturyl: Howard, when you get a chance, I'm interested in your take on social welfare programs

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: I'm not sure "Give me a raise or I'll take my unparalleled French fry cooking skills to Wendy's" would be as compelling.

howbloom: they fired everyone but me

howbloom: and when I resigned because they'd fired my staff

howbloom: they flew a VP in who put a blank piece of paper on my desk

howbloom: and told me to fill in the names of the staff I wanted

howbloom: to fill in their salaries

howbloom: and to fill in the figure I wanted for me


Naturyl: MG - I agree. What Howard is saying makes a lot of sense, but it seems most applicable in middle class sort of jobs. It seems a lot more difficult to envision at Taco Bell

howbloom: I gave myself a modest raise and was now in the middle of a new adventure

howbloom: abc

howbloom: when you serve others well someone often pays you for it, especially if you do it in your job

howbloom: look, I got this weird phone call

howbloom: a year after ABC bought us

howbloom: it was from the lawyer who negotiated the deal

howbloom: did you see this story in the manuscript?

howbloom: I don't remember whether I left it in


Naturyl: I'm only about 1/3 way through

howbloom: the lawyer said something preposterous

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: can't remember

jznet: well I've learned the shitty jobs I've had though at times miserable in the moment gradually strengthen my work ethic and persistence, overcoming oppressive elements and to complete tasks i could be proud of in the end that led to better jobs eventually

howbloom: "Do you know why G&W was able to save that shithole of a music operation to ABC for so much money?"

howbloom: I had no idea

Naturyl: i searched the text for "lawyer" and couldn't find the story, so maybe you left it out

howbloom: "Because of you," he said

howbloom: Because you made dot records a major player in the country business and helped put sire records on the map

howbloom: at first I thought he was kidding me

howbloom: but he wasn't

howbloom: the reason the VP flew in from LA to NY

howbloom: and put that blank piece of paper on my desk was this


pctacitus: so you should have asked for enough money to retire after three years instead of a modest raise

howbloom: the presidents of sire and of dot had flown to LA

howbloom: they had met with the president of abc

howbloom: and they had told him that they would only stay with abc if abc made sure that I was a part of the package

howbloom: alas, it took my years to realize that fact

howbloom: or i might have asked for a higher raise

howbloom: but look, gang, I'm an intellectual geek

howbloom: the passions are my obsession, they're my scientific beat

howbloom: I may have under priced myself in the market or something of the sort

howbloom: but the fact is that I've come out of all this rich rich rich in adventure and in understanding


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: what neural mechanisms are involved in learning to value your worth in the eyes of others?

howbloom: having been at the center of things none of my scientific colleagues will ever perceive

howbloom: gang, I am exhausted after this soliloquy\

howbloom: and Michael, you are asking a good question and a tough one

howbloom: so let me try t answer it, then I should probably go, though I really wanted to ask questions of you


(Interbane joined)

Interbane: heyas, am I late?

Chris OConnor: Interbane - its about time!

Chris OConnor: Only 3 hours late

Interbane: ug, sorry...

Chris OConnor: lol

jznet: almost 3 hrs late :]

Interbane: Was waiting for this too... got too caught up in business

jznet: transcript for you

howbloom: in global brain , my second book, it says that we have inner judges

howbloom: that give us our sense of worth second by second


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: what do you do for people who have defective inner judges that make it impossible for them to sell themselves well?

howbloom: and that punish or reward us biologically

howbloom: depending on their verdict

howbloom: no one has researched where these inner judges are

howbloom: though the evidence for their existence is substantial


Naturyl: can the inner judges become deranged?

Naturyl: I think they can be, through emotional or verbal abuse

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Naturyl, according to interviews with a lot of serial killers and school shooters

howbloom: Michael, the evidence is present in your life and mine and in the life of everyone in this room

jznet: reassurance seems to be the only social remedy for the defective inner judges....providing solid examples to help provide a clearer view of their value

howbloom: yes, the inner judges can be deranged when we feel that no one around us values who we are and what we do

Naturyl: agreed

howbloom: working at McDonalds and perceiving your audience

jznet: sincere and consistent

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: do people mistake their inner judges for outer enemies?

howbloom: perceiving the people who will eat your fries rather than the bosses who pay you or the peers who tell you you should despise your work

howbloom: if you know that others loved what you did today, your inner judges will reward you


jznet: i think advanced stages can lead to that.....i think i have experienced that in the past, becomes projections that then deflect

Interbane: punish and reward us biologically. Such as our balloons being popped, or something more physical?

Naturyl: MG - I think so. In fact (IMO) it's probably one of the biggest problems for many people. The voice coming from within that says "you're no good" is mistaken for a voice coming from someone else, or worse yet, from the whole world

howbloom: and working at McDonalds will give you a greater sense of belonging and of being needed than sitting home with no work at all

Naturyl: I know I've struggled with it

howbloom: McDonalds today is missing the smile factor

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Naturyl--what happens if millions of people project their inner judges onto millions of other people?

howbloom: the employees have lost their gaiety, their hospitality

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Howard--unless you're sitting at home reading, maybe.

Naturyl: MG - I don't know. Howard could probably offer something on that.

howbloom: it's fashionable to rage when you're working at McDonalds

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: they fixed that, Howard. They hired retarded folks. They're very happy.

howbloom: it's fashionable to steal hour after hour of experience from your self

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: Just kidding... people don't really look at the retarded people

jznet: self generating gaiety or what have you needs to be fueled by employers as well, mutual advancement of the business model(s)

howbloom: sitting at home reading is a necessity for some of us

howbloom: but, god, is it a lonely proposition


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: I imagine it would be hard to get validation as a fast food worker... a lot of people don't even look at you in the eye

Naturyl: Yes, I agree, it's fashionable. But working at McDonalds does suck, in my opinion. I worked there, so I have some idea. Of course, it's possible I'm looking at everything wrong.

Interbane: isn't that self esteem being elevated or de-elevated. Having inner judges as opposed to variable self esteem doesn't seem parsimonious

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: "An enlightened man can be happy even in hell." - Buddhist proverb (not sure if it applies to working at McDonalds)

Chris OConnor: This has been an interesting chat

howbloom: "a lot of people don't even look you in the eye"---yes, that's a sign of rejection and a potent one

Naturyl: I understand what Howard is saying about how to look at things, but what I am wondering is how do we get to that place where we *can* look at things that way. How do we overcome negative thinking, especially if there is a whole lot of temptation to think negatively?

howbloom: but would they look you in the eye if you were one of the high spots of their day?

howbloom: if you took the initiative and tried to get to know the regulars

howbloom: and even chat a bit with the irregulars?


Naturyl: What is the process involved in learning to think this way? What steps would one take, specifically?

howbloom: well, my book is designed to help you make a perceptual shift

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: easier to value yourself if there are enough people valuing you. Even then it can be hard

howbloom: that's why it's got 66 chapters

howbloom: 66 lessons in re-perceiving the value of what we do

howbloom: the lens through which you see colors everything you view


jznet: placement is relevant here too I think....many may seem out of place or misplaced by employers who misread the biz environment as to who is good for what jobs so the poor performance can relate to the employers who have the power over that

howbloom: I'm trying to give you a new lens

howbloom: every job is a learning opportunity

howbloom: picking apples was the most boring job I've ever don


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: :agrees with jz... few people have the ability to know where they belong, most accept whatever roles they're given by others

howbloom: but I can still see the apples in my head at night

howbloom: when you can't be with the one you love, love the one your with


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: that almost sounds like the Hindu caste system... accept where you are and the gods will reincarnate you a level up

howbloom: if you connect with your destiny, with your primal passions, with your passion points, your imprinting points

howbloom: and if you make living your art and every day your opportunity


MichaelangeloGlossolalia: replace "gods" with the levers that determine people's value in the system

howbloom: you can find a piece of what you're looking for in nearly everything you do

Naturyl: If one is conditioned to think negatively, what specific steps can one take to get closer to this way of thinking? Sorry if this question is too big, I do understand you're tired and I don't mean to press. I'm just genuinely curious about this.

howbloom: no, gods are not levers, in some ways they're the opposite

howbloom: step one is a ghastly thing for an author to say

howbloom: but please, please read the book--even if it's only in first draft stage


Naturyl: absolutely

howbloom: lord knows when it will be finished

howbloom: it's title is not sexy to publishers


Interbane: hehe

ecstian: I must get going everybody. Thank you Howard for chatting with us this evening. I hope to see you again.

howbloom: and I've been sidetracked to write What Osama Wants From You--The Osama Code

Chris OConnor: Night Eric

Naturyl: It's better than "Universal Dialectic." That's what I'm going to be confronting publishers with soon. I can see the eye-rolls already

ecstian: Have a great evening everybody

jznet: thanks

(ecstian left)

Chris OConnor: Howard, thank you for an excellent evening! As always it has been a pleasure. :)

Naturyl: The Osama Code sounds very interesting

howbloom: I am thinking of calling reinventing capitalism--Save Your Civilization!!! Reinventing Capitalism: putting soul in the machine

Interbane: The Osama Code... that's a sexy title

howbloom: thanks, chris

Chris OConnor: I'll post a transcript of this chat session shortly after editing out misspellings and all of Michaels comments.

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: :likes "Reinventing Capitalism: Putting Soul In The Machine"

howbloom: thanks all

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: thanks Chris.

Chris OConnor: Just kidding Michael!

Naturyl: Thanks, Howard, it's been nice

Chris OConnor: And Howard…I shall email you the transcript too. We will all look forward to your new book.

Interbane: 8(

MichaelangeloGlossolalia: night guys.

Chris OConnor: Thank you all for making this a smooth chat everyone.

Naturyl: night MG

Interbane: Night all. Thanks for the notice Chris; too bad I received it too late.

(MichaelangeloGlossolalia left)

Chris OConnor: No problem Interbane. Check the Home page regularly.

Chris OConnor: Howard - you about had it?

(Interbane left)

Chris OConnor: about 18 people have the text file for Reinventing Capitalism now

Naturyl: I like that title. I think it will work.

Naturyl: Of course, I'm not published, so that's just an amateur opinion

Naturyl: it's something I'd pick up and look at based on the title

howbloom: which title, Naturyl?

Naturyl: "Reinventing Capitalism"

howbloom: I haven't figured out how to log off yet

howbloom: good

howbloom: Michael likes it, jz likes it and you and Michael and jz are my readers

howbloom: or my audience

howbloom: so Save Your Civilization doesn't do it for you?


Naturyl: Not for me. It's not bad, but I like "Reinventing Capitalism" better.

Chris OConnor: damn

howbloom: the title of the Osama book that I like the best is What The Nuclear Knights of Islam Want From You: The Osama Code

Chris OConnor: That one large post that quibbiteer made is messing up the transcript

howbloom: I got the transcript, thanks, Chris

Chris OConnor: I am having a problem capturing everything that happened after that point

Chris OConnor: But we need it too Howard

Chris OConnor: For the site

Chris OConnor: Can you email it to me at chris@booktalk.org?

Naturyl: How about "Reinventing Capitalism: Saving The Soul in the Machine."

howbloom: ok gang, any responses to What Osama Wants from You: The Osama Code

Naturyl: lol, look at me, giving title suggestion to Howard Bloom.

howbloom: versus

Naturyl: I must be nuts

howbloom: What the Nuclear Knights of Islam Want From You: The Osama Code?

Naturyl: no preference here. they both work

jznet: interesting suggestion

jznet: "to be nuts is natural" as my granny used to say :] joke

howbloom: Naturyl, I've just noted your variation on the reinventing capitalism subtitle


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