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The Principia Discordia (1963) (principiadiscordia.com)
178 points by empath75 70 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 52 comments



Can I recommend here John Higgs’ excellent book ‘The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds’ [0]

It’s ostensibly a bio of the band The KLF (or the justified ancients of Mu), who somehow had a successful music career by taking discordianism as far as it could go. However, the book widens to Robert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary, the Illuminatus and most of the second half of the 20th century.

If you haven’t heard of the KLF, they’re well worth looking into: after having a load of hits in the early 90s, they retired by machine-gunning the BRIT Award audience (with blanks), deleting their entire back catalogue and setting fire to all the money they’d earned.

[0] https://www.amazon.co.uk/KLF-Chaos-Burned-Million-Pounds/dp/...


Seconded. The book is a joy.

Also, the current UK discordian undercurrent is producing some fnord wonderful things. Daisy Eris’ Cosmic Trigger play has opened some excellent locks (perhaps not flood gates yet).

And the KLF have recently gone into businesses as undertakers [0].

[0]: https://www.mumufication.com/


I dunno, pretty sure the last few years with fake news, antivax, birthers, preppers, qanon, deepfakes, troll armies, bot farms and the like is proof that Operation Mindfuck has been more successful than the wildest dreams of the acid-soaked hippies that thought it’d be a lark in the 60s.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mindfuck


There's also the KLF's classic book, "The Manual: How To Have A Number 1 The Easy Way" which describes how to make a record that goes to #1 without having any talent or money: https://archive.org/details/TheManualHowToHaveANumber1TheEas...


Higgs has another book, perhaps even more philosophically aligned with discordianism, called "Stranger than We Can Imagine", which has as its thesis that the central defining trait of the 20th century was that it resisted making sense.


Sounds similar to the BBC documentary "Hyper-normalization":

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HyperNormalisation


And in 2017 they had a comeback event, where they launched a new book, and had people tell them why they burned all that money. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/aug/24/the-klf-take-l...

Edit: I also recommend reading "The Manual" which is their guide to making a #1 pop hit.


>they retired by machine-gunning the BRIT Award audience (with blanks)

I thought you were joking. Holy cow. (And holy chao.) https://youtu.be/h_I0b05zpJ4?t=160


We had copies of this and the Book of The Subgenius laying around my high school. Obviously Principia Discordia was from much earlier but the new wave/punk scene around the 80s-90s cusp in (of all places, Anchorage, Alaska) was all about this particular brand of weirdness.

We had all read Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! Trilogy as well and contented ourselves making obscure jokes having to do with Eris, the number 23, and Slack, and intricate collage flyers with the assistance of the copy machines at Kinko's. Good times.

Fuck 'em, even if they can take a joke. <3


At my university we discovered that if we passed lpr a multiple copy count, only the first copy would count against the print quota. That would have been really useful if the Campus Crusade for Chaos and Confusion existed and put up silly flyers—but of course sources differ on the cabal’s existence. Perhaps the truth will never be known.

I did manage to make it to the grave of Emperor Norton I back on 5/5/05, and met a pretender claiming to be Norton’s descendant. From what I know of the guy, he seems like an improvement over the current government fnord.


Can you fnord see the fnords?



"The movie's plot is based on the true story of a group of young computer hackers from Hannover, Germany. In the late 1980s the orphaned Karl Koch invests his inheritance in a flat and a home computer. At first he dials up to bulletin boards to discuss conspiracy theories inspired by his favorite novel, R.A. Wilson's "Illuminatus", but soon he and his friend David start breaking into government and military computers. Pepe, one of Karl's rather criminal acquaintances senses that there is money in computer cracking - he travels to east Berlin and tries to contact the KGB."

A bunch of dorks get online and talk about fandom stuff and it's all just playing around until Pepe contacts the KGB. So... uhh... that like... actually happened.

Reality generally requires surrealist fiction to capture. It's too weird for conventional narratives.


William Gibson put it nicely: every time one of these things happens, the job of sci-fi writers gets harder.

And now Psychedlic Warlord of the Cult of Dead Cow is running for President - but people are worried he's too mainstream and boring to elect. No wonder Gibson is writing recent-past stories these days.


>And now Psychedlic Warlord of the Cult of Dead Cow is running for President

Me, two minutes ago: "Oh, I bet he's some oddball fringe candidate who'll never get any press attention."

Me, after a quick google search: "Oh my god."


Right? Thirty years ago, Bill Clinton smoking pot was still a major moral question and Beto was a teenager writing weird short stories on forums. Now he's a bland mainstream candidate, his drugs-and-crime teen handle was about a three-day news story, and a former federal prosecutor candidate is making up stories about smoking pot to sound cool. "This makes my job harder" indeed...



A SERMON ON ETHICS AND LOVE has always stuck with me:

  "I am filled with fear and tormented with terrible visions of pain.
  Everywhere people are hurting one another, the planet is rampant with
  injustices, whole societies plunder groups of their own people, mothers
  imprison sons, children perish while brothers war. O, woe."
  
     WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH THAT, IF IT IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?
  
  "But nobody wants it! Everybody hates it."
  
     OH. WELL, THEN STOP.


I like that one as well as I think it's a great example of the intractability of coordination problems.


I'm a big fan of https://principiadiscordia.com/book/78.php -

DISCORDIAN SOCIETY SUPER SECRET CRYPTOGRAPHIC CYPHER CODE

Of possible interest to all Discordians, this information is herewith released from the vaults of A.I.S.B., under the auspices of Episkopos Dr. Mordecai Malignatius, KNS.

SAMPLE MESSAGE: ("HAIL ERIS")

CONVERSATION:

  A B C D E F G H I J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
STEP 1. Write out the message (HAIL ERIS) and put all the vowels at the end (HLRSAIEI)

STEP 2. Reverse order (IEIASRLH)

STEP 3. Convert to numbers (9-5-9-1-19-18-12-8)

STEP 4. Put into numerical order (1-5-8-9-9-12-18-19)

STEP 5. Convert back to letters (AEHIILRS)

This cryptographic cypher code is GUARANTEED TO BE 100% UNBREAKABLE.


    BOBoBoBoBoBoBOBoBoBoBoBoBOBoBoBoBoBoBOBoBfNoRdBoBOBoBoBoBoBoBOBoBoBoBoBoBOB
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    !::::'___`:::::::'___`:::::::'___`:::::::'___`:::::::'___`:::::::'___`::::!
    !:::'/_ _\`:::::'/_ _\`:::::'/_ _\`:::::'/_ _\`:::::'/_ _\`:::::'/_ _\`:::!
    !:::|/ ~ \|`::::|/ ~ \|  `::|/ ~ \|'   `|/ ~ \|::'  |/ ~ \|::::'|/ ~ \|:::!
    !:::|'-.-`|  :::|'-.-`|    :|'-.-`|     |'-.-`|:    |'-.-`|:::  |'-.-`|:::!
    !:: (|e|e|?   ::(|e|e|? '   (|e|e|? ` ' (|e|e|?   ` (|e|e|?.:   (|e|e|? ::!
    !.  `._^_,''   :`._^_,'..'  `._^_,'`...'`._^_,'  `..`._^_,'.   ``._^_,'  .!
    !.   \\=//       \\=//       \\=//       \\=//       \\=//       \\=//   .!
    :    U/_/        U/_/        U/_/        U/_/        U/_/        U/_/     :
    @/      \&~  @/      \&~  @/      \&~  @/      \&~  @/      \&~  @/      \&
    Y/\.::./\S\ /Y/\.::./\S\ /Y/\.::./\S\ /Y/\.::./\S\ /Y/\.::./\S\ /Y/\.::./\S
    E$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$E
    %%%%XX%%%%%%%%%%%XX%%%%%%%%%%%XX%%%%%%%%%%%XX%%%%%%%%%%%XX%%%%%%%%%%%XX%WiZ

"JITTLOV'S 3-D DOBBS" http://www.subgenius.com/bigfist/eyes/Jittlov3-D-Dobbs.html


R.A.W. had some great books and I always felt he was very underappreciated. Quantum Psychology in particular really changed my outlook, and I've always felt it should be talked about more.


Ya, he basically showed that quantum phenomenon happen all the time at macro-scale and nobody noticed. Weird.


All statements are true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.


This seems like RAW riffing off what in Buddhism is called catuskoti[1].

1: https://aeon.co/essays/the-logic-of-buddhist-philosophy-goes...


Sounds like a passage of Buddhist literature..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagarjuna#Sunyata


...or a tutorial on Javascript


I notice that this was posted by emptath75.

7 + 5 + 11 (yesterday’s date) = 23

It’s so obvious!


Contains the most profound written wisdom:

A Discordian is Prohibited of Believing what he reads.


This page and the next one are surprisingly lucid: https://principiadiscordia.com/book/56.php


For a second, I was excited to see someone created a discord about Principia Mathematica :-/


"I have come to tell you that you are free. Many ages ago, My consciousness left humanity, that they might develop themselves. I return to find this development approaching completion, but hindered by fear and by misunderstanding. You have built for yourselves psychic suits of armor, and clad in them, your vision is restricted, your movements are clumsy and painful, your skin is bruised, and your spirit is broiled in the sun. I am chaos. I am the substance from which your artists and scientists build rhythms. I am the spirit with which your children and clowns laugh in happy anarchy. I am chaos. I am alive, and I tell you that you are free."

--Eris Nancy Discordia


Hail Eris.


All hail Discordia.


Kallisti!


Discordianism has nothing on the Church of the Subgenius. I've read the pamplet and the Wikipedia page several times each, and still have no half coherent idea of what the church is about—except the chaos, of course.


If you do start to see anything coherent, begin to doubt your sanity.

Rule #1: we must all stick apart


Then I think you understand it.


'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.


Reading this over coffee and flicking through "Behold the Pale Horse" while William Gibson "strange cargo" plays in the background .. I can still smell the sage of the Bay Area bookshops where this was a staple.

I just checked however, and do already have a .PDF. How can one not have bumped into FNORD in this day and age ..


Earlier this year at SXSW a documentary about Subgenius was was screened. I supported its kickstarter, but I haven't watched it myself.

https://laughingsquid.com/jr-bob-dobbs-church-of-the-subgeni...


The Hell Law says that Hell is reserved exclusively for them that believe in it. Further, the lowest Rung in Hell is reserved for them that believe in it on the supposition that they'll go there if they don't.

(helped me out of a jam as someone raised christian...)



to my disappointment my distro doesn't provide `ddate` any longer :(


You can find code for several different implementations of ddate here:

https://rosettacode.org/wiki/Discordian_date


my only fully uv tattoo simply says fnord.


Once upon a time I had a corporation named Golden Apple Research Group. Discordianism inspired the name.


My first tattoo was (still is, I guess) of the Sacred Chao!

Hail Eris, all hail Discordia!


mine was also the sacred chao, followed by the uv fnord and later by the eye in the pyramid in flame, where the flames also light up in uv.


Mine was the hand of Eris :)


Hail Eris Discordia!


hail eris




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