The Null Device
Advice on how to prepare for the coming H5N1 flu pandemic. In short: get out of any major city, stockpile at least 3 months' worth of supplies (food, masks, fuel), and assume that civilisation as we know it will collapse. Also good in the event of a zombie holocaust.
Momus opines on recent attempts to promote Satanistic occultism as a key part of "alternative culture":
Yes, Satanism just strikes me as... silly, I'm afraid. Why abandon the idiocy of God if you're not also going to abandon the idiocy of The Devil? Sure, I love mystery, and I love "the old religion", the Greek pantheon, the Celts, Shinto, all that stuff. What I hate, though, is the way Christianity vilified fertility religions and made them "evil". You can still see the result of that in the way various speakers at the Disinfo conference, included on the DVD, have a certain "evil glow" in their eyes, or believe they possess an "evil charisma". America's idiotic binary culture forces you to be good or evil, with or against, constructive or destructive. The result is that alternative culture people internalize the stigma of otherness, becoming Fashion Goths and Slayer fans.
I dislike Satanism for aesthetic reasons too. Occult sections in bookstores are usually magnets for the spottiest, stupidest, most badly-dressed people. Occultist websites are appalling cautionary tales, evidence that, whatever else he does, Satan makes you commit every graphic design sin known to man. But I particularly resist precisely this thing that Jason Louv is advocating in Generation Hex, the stringing together of Satanism and alternative culture. I resist it because it's just fucking boring to see the counterculture summed up with a skull. But also because alternative culture has some important work to do, work it needs rationality and clear-headedness to carry through, and work which it needs to believe in its own ethical goodness to bring to mainstream acceptance. Wouldn't it be terrible if everyone, for instance, who thought there were other shibboleths than endless economic growth, all turned out to go to secret meetings and make secret signs to each other and think they were "evil"?