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Fnord. All things that defy category.

The Ideogrammatic Method: Weekly Assignments


Canto 1 from The Cantos of Ezra Pound and my commentary
[Editors note: all Canto commentary here]


Read opening matter & Chapter One of Pound’s ABC OF READING

Read my commentary on Copulating Currency [source unknown]

In the first 2 weeks buy or rent or somehow view DW Griffiths INTOLERANCE and study it as continuous montage — i.e. Ideogrammic Method

Meditate [& if you will, contemplate] upon:

Midnight Haiku

Mottled blueblack sky.
A sudden moon — briefly!
Then: Blueblack mottled sky…


Read Cantos 8 to 11 with my commentaries —
an ideogrammic presentation of one
typically atypical Renaissance man,
Sigismundo Pandolfo Malatesta

Consider ideogrammic method in relation
to the concept of extensional orientation
in General Semantics —

In extension we do not define humans as
mammals, mammals as vertebrates,
vertebrates as life forms etc
as caricatured by Fenollosa.

In extension we define humans as Odysseus,
Helen of Troy, El Cid, Lorenzo de Medici,
Eleanor of Aquitaine, Tom Jefferson,
Cunizza daRomano, John Adams, Kungfutse,
Tai Tsong, Andy Jackson, Yong Ching,
JP Morgan, etc etc as in the ideograms of the Cantos.

Pound & Fenollosa consider ideogram the
heart of poetry. Korzybski thought extensionality
the essence of science. Think about this
and cuss and discuss in the forums.


Read Canto 12 & 13 & my commentaries

Discuss in forums the treatment of “individulism”
in the Cantos as represented thus far by Odysseus [Canto I],
Malatesta [Cantos 8-11], the usurers [Canto 12]
and Kung fu Tse. [Canto 13]

Does the poem seem pro-individalism or anti?

Or does it display a “hierarchy of values”– e.g. great,
good enough, bad, terrible?

Read posted article on language and thought.

Discuss in relation to ideogrammic method and EP’s changes in style between & within Cantos.


Read chapters 2 to 5 in ABC OF READING

Discuss the equation “dichten=condensare” in the forums

Compare EP’s definitions with my own, “Greatness in writing signifies high INFORMATION.”
Do I disagree with Ez
or have I merely restated his view in cybertalk?

DARE to make your OWN personal list of Inventors, Masters etc. without reference to Ez’s list

Continue discussion in forums the treatment of “individulism” in the Cantos as represented thusfar by Odysseus [Canto I], Malatesta [Cantos 8-11], the usurers [Canto 12] and Kung fu Tse [Canto 13]


Read Canto II with my commentary. Discuss
or just cuss in Forums.

Read the following selection from
Uncle Bob’s Treasury of Great Poems.

Read commentary below.  Cusss or discuss. [material unonwn]


Read Canto 17 with my commentary.
Discuss or just cuss in Forums.

Since you didn’t do it last week,
read and comment on the selection from
Uncle Bob’s Treasury of Great Poems (now in Assignment Archive).

Read updated commentary below. Cuss or discuss.

Norbert Weiner, co-creator of Information Theory
and thus of the Net on which we speak to each other,
wrote in 1948 that great poetry contains more information than political speeches.

We cannot measure or define Information without
including the Receiver in the measurement or definition.
This PRECISELY mirrors the observer/observed
synergy in quantum mechanics but has received less publicity.

The only Information scenically and mathematically
measurable = the inability of the Receiver to guess
what’s coming next [the next “signal.’] In political
speeches, measurable information runs very near
the theoretical infinitesimal; you always know
what’s coming next.
In a “good” poem you don’t
know what’s coming next;
the greatest poems
[or fragments of poems]

consist of those that
have the faintly “spooky” quality of never
losing something of their original unpredictability,
for at least some Receivers.

These “fragments I have shelved [shored]” wd not illustrate
this so well if I had attached the author’s name
to each, thereby triggering conditioned reflexes.

How does each poetry selection illustrate —
or fail to illustrate — Weiner’s definition of high information?

If you have no ideas on any of these topics,
discuss something else, so I’ll at least know you’re alive.


 Canto 20 with commentary

read, meditate and write your own comments in the Forum


an ideogrammic
to the ideogrammic age….. [source unknown]

Read and discuss article in the forum


Be sure to see the movie of the week, Educating Rita,
and note isomorphisms with
Frankenstein, Simone and My Fair Lady.

Compare isomphisms of King Kong and Behind the Green Door

Based on the definitions given earlier,
write extensional/ideogrammic definitions of

Guide: an extensional/ideogrammic definition of US presidents:
Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, Bush, Clinton, Carter, Roosevelt, Adams, Bush, Harrison, Harrison, Roosevelt etc

Read and discuss in forum:
an ideogrammic
to the ideogrammic age…..


Read E and E-Prime

and do the exercizes


Study and discuss Cantos 31 & 32
[Commentary in the course forum…]

Compare this ideogram [Jefferson/Adams] with those concerning Odysseus, Malatesta, the Medici, Confucius, Baldy Bacon.

How much commentary seems really necesary?
How much does each ideogram ‘comment’ on the others?
Do you begin to grok ideogammic method?

Closing thoughts…..


Well, this course ended more quickly than
I expected. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves
as much as I did — and maybe even learned as
much as I did!

Some final notions —
go to the World Game and explore [& have fun!]:

Does ideogrammic method help you strategize in this game?

Compare this ideogram [Fullerworld] with Pound’s Cantos
concerning Odysseus, Malatesta, the Medici, Confucius, Baldy Bacon, Jefferson/Adams.

Fuller and Pound knew and appreciated each other’s work.
How many points of isomorphism can you detect?

Hope to hear from you again, maybe in another course!



Eight Dimensions of Mind: Weekly Assignments


I seem to have 44 of you in this seminar — 42 students, our Beloved Academy Admin, and an anonymous invited guest. By holy Qabala 44 = Horus. Does this mean something?

I don’t know; but according to Aleister Crowley we entered the Aeon of Horus 100 years ago — 100 years, 3 months and 20 days ago, if I calculate correctly. But perhaps that merely indicates whimsey on my part….

I hope and expect this seminar will prove a Learning Experience for all of us, especially me. I also hope we will all find it a lot of fun….

150 years ago, more or less, Emerson synthesized the barely emerging science of neuro-linguistics into a memorable mantra:

“Every word is a fossilized poem.”

That sentence ignited a flaming perception in the brain of a Harvard student named Ernest Fenollosa, and when Fenollosa died in 1914 his notebooks, turned over to Ezra Pound, ignited what some literary historians call the Revolution of the Word. One result: we all respect words a lot more and trust them a lot less.

Thus, while Freudians and Jungians speak of “levels of consciousness” or “unconsciousness,” Gurdjieff of “vibration levels,” Leary of neurological “circuits,” etc. and currently I speak of “dimensions,” this mostly represents a choice of metaphors and not a difference in subject matter.

If you grok that in its fullness, you will also dig why I call this workshop The 8 Dimensions of “Mind” and NOT The 8 Dimensions of Mind. If you don’t get it, hang in there: it will become clear as we proceed.

And just in case that bloody 44 does mean something, read and contemplate Chapter 44 from Crowley’s Book of Lies [falsely so called]:


Kappa-Epsilon-Phi-Alpha-Lambda-Eta Mu-Delta


The Magician, his breast bare, stands before an altar on which are his Burin, Bell, Thurible, and two of the Cakes of Light. In the Sign of the Enterer he reaches West across the Altar, and cries:
Hail Ra, that goest in Thy bark
Into the Caverns of the Dark!

He gives the sign of Silence, and takes the Bell, and Fire, in his hands.

East of the Altar see me stand
With Light and Musick in mine hand!

He strikes Eleven times upon the Bell 3 3 3-5 5 5 5 5- 3 3 3 and places the Fire in the Thurible.
I strike the Bell: I light the flame:
I utter the mysterious Name.

He strikes Eleven times upon the Bell.

Now I begin to pray: Thou Child,
Holy Thy name and undefiled!
Thy reign is come: Thy will is done.
Here is the Bread; here is the Blood.
Bring me through midnight to the Sun!
Save me from Evil and from Good!
That Thy one crown of all the Ten.
Even now and here be mine. AMEN.

He puts the first Cake on the Fire of the Thurible.

I burn the Incense-cake, proclaim
These adorations of Thy name.

He makes them as in Liber Legis, and strikes again Eleven times upon the Bell. With the Burin he then makes upon his breast the proper sign.

Behold this bleeding breast of mine
Gashed with the sacramental sign!

He puts the second Cake to the wound.

I stanch the blood; the wafer soaks It up, and the high priest invokes!

He eats the second Cake.

This Bread I eat. This Oath I swear As I enflame myself with prayer:
“There is no grace: there is no guilt:
This is the Law: DO WHAT THOU WILT!”

He strikes Eleven times upon the Bell, and cries

I entered in with woe; with mirth
I now go forth, and with thanksgiving,
To do my pleasure on the earth
Among the legions of the living.

He goeth forth.

COMMENTARY [by Crowley]


This is the special number of Horus; it is the Hebrew blood, and the multiplication of the 4 by the 11, the number of Magick, explains 4 in its finest sense. But see in particular the accounts in Equinox I, vii of the circumstances of the Equinox of the Gods.
The word “Phoenix” may be taken as including the idea of “Pelican”, the bird, which is fabled to feeds its young from the blood of its own breast. Yet the two ideas, though cognate, are not identical, and “Phoenix” is the more accurate symbol.
This chapter is explained in Chapter 62. It would be improper to comment further upon a ritual which has been accepted as official by the A.’.A.’.


PLEASE NOTE that I suggested that you “contemplate” this ritual, NOT that you perform it. Unless you have at least 10 years experince in Magick ritual of the Thelemic sort, you should not try performing any invovation of Horus. Reasons exist why occultists call him the Lord of Force and Fire.


Preface to Second Edition*
Chapter One
Chapter Two

*If you only have the first edition, you may skip this and just meditate on how to make fire out of ice.



Do all exercizes in Chapers 1 and 2

1. How many of these exercizes relate to the meta-model? How many to the Milton model? Do any of them comingle the meta-model with the Milton model?

2. Whether you’ve tackled Finnegans Wake before or not, open to the first page [numbered page 3] and write down all the overt or covert references to the Bible you can find. [Next Tuesday I’ll send you my own list.]

3. Why, of all the teachers in the world, did you seek out me? Why of all the years in your life, this year? Try to think of “all” possible answers again…..

4.Contemplate this haiku:

All is cloaked in fog;
The world seems empty, until —
Far off, a gull shrieks.

5. Go to Study and discuss. [“We are operating on many levels here.”]

6. Rent a DVD or Video of our Movie of the Week, D W Griffith’s masterpiece, INTOLERANCE, and feel free to join the Academy Forum and the discussion of it.

7. Record your exercize results in your Academy Journal


What a delightfully intelligent crew we have here…
I’m enjoying this dia-[or multi]-log immensely,
and I hope all of you enjoy it, too

For this week:

Read chapters 3 & 4 of Prometheus Rising

Do at least SOME of the exercizes

Continue at least some of last week’s exercizes

Read my Introduction to Weishaupt

Read the excerpt from the Wilson/Brown interview (full interview)

Read page 3 of FINNEGANS WAKE again, this time looking for
a) Mark Twain
b) Jonathan Swift
c) Lewis Carroll

Read the forum discussions of Bible links on page 3 of Finnegans Wake

Bring forth a Theory of why Joyce left the apostrophe out of Finnegan’s

Week Three Assignments

Read chapter 5 PromRis
Do the exercizes
Add to subjects:
George W Bush
John F Kerry
Try again on exercizes from Chapters 3 and 4

Read Protecting Biblical Marriage

Re-read page 3 of FINNEGANS WAKE looking for possible references to
a. geography & history of Dublin, Ireland
b. geography & history of Dublin, Georgia

Make 4 copies of the Leary Interpersonal Grid [PromRis p 76] using yr scanner or going to a xerox shop
Black out with pencil or crayon all wodges that describe your habitual interpersonal reactions [“games.”]
This represents a profile of the first two dimensions of yr ‘mind.’
Have 3 critters who know you fill out the same grid giving their profiles on you.

Week Four Assignments

Read chapter 6 PromRis and
Try again on exercizes from Chapters 3 and 4

Re-read page 3 of FINNEGANS WAKE looking
for wot Monty Pythin calls “the naughty parts”–
a. sex and sex organs
b. urination and defecation

If you hain’t already done this, make 4 copies of the Leary Interpersonal Grid [PromRis p 76] using yr scanner or going to a xerox shop

Black out with pencil or crayon all wodges that describe
your habitual interpersonal reactions [“games.”]
This represents a profile of the first two dimensions
of yr ‘mind’
Have 3 critters who know you fill out
the same grid giving their profiles on you.

Compare the different filters we have used on the
opening of FINNEGANS WAKE with different
filters used on “the world” — Christianity, Islam,
Marxism, Buddhism etc etc

Compare LSD with seeing all possible filters at once…..

Week 5 Assignments

Read PM chapters 7 and 8
DO the exercizes

Contribute to Forum with examples
of the acceleration/deceleration dialectic —
using recent or past history

Re-read page 3 of FINNEGANS WAKE looking
for possible references to
a. geography & history of Rome, Italy
b. the Three Stooges

Week 7 Assignments

Read chapter 11 PR

DO the exercizes especially the Christian Science
texts for the month. You can now find them online

If they seem like gibberish,
that’s okay; just do more pranayama and/or
smoke more pot, until you can decipher them.

Contribute to Forum, if you can, any interesting results of exercizes.

Note that Mrs Eddy entangles the meta-model
with the milton-model. Attempt disentanglement.

Read the attached article on Sexual Alchemy
and discuss in the Forum.

Week 8 Assignments

Read chapter 12 PR

DO the exercizes especially 3, 4, 5 and 6

Contribute to Forum, if you can, any interesting results of exercizes.

Read the attached article on Dreams of Flying and discuss in the Forum.

Forum Topics

Discuss one of your own experiences with the the neurogentic dimension and/or Jungian Collective Unconscious

Write down at least one dream this week just upon waking and examine Jungian Unconscious insights

Do you think the Jungian Collective Unconscious has been too heavily emphasized?

What other models are useful for these type of consciousness?

If you’ve read Rupert Sheldrake, discuss his “morphogenetic field” as a model for this data.

Week 9 Assignments

Read chapter 13 PM

DO the exercizes

Contribute to Forum, if you can, any interesting results of exercizes.

Read the attached article on CSICON
and discuss in the Forum.

Forum Topics
Discuss one of your own experiences with the abnormal or paranormal.
Any UFO experiences?


Read chapters 14 and 15 PM

DO the exercizes

Contribute to Forum, if you can, any interesting results of exercizes.

Read following story and assume it is literally true:

Stephanie and her friend walked into the music store after lunch.
Stephanie wanted to buy the new CD by the group, “No Girls Allowed”.
There was only one other person in the store when Stephanie and her friend arrived.
Stephanie asked, “How much is this CD?”
Stephanie’s friend said, “Here, let me see it.
I don’t think he heard you.
This tag says it costs $11.99.”

Check each of the following inferences as T [true], F [false] or ? [maybe]

1. Stephanie wanted to buy a CD.
2. Stephanie and her friend ate lunch together.
3. Stephanie owns a CD player.
4. There was only one boy in the store.
5. Two girls walked into a music store.
6. There are no boys in the “No Girls Allowed” group.
7. Stephanie and her friend are teenagers.
8. The store’s owner didn’t hear Stephanie because the music was too loud.
9. Stephanie had enough money to buy the CD.
10. The “No Girls Allowed” CD cost $11.99.
11. The owner of the store is a woman.
12. Stephanie wanted to buy a CD as a gift.
13. One of the CDs costs $11.99.
14. There were two boys in the store.
15. The clerk was hard of hearing.

Discuss the tricky ones in the Forum.


Read chapter 16 and attempt the exercizes

Consult [dead link}
for the Key to Efas Taem

Read and discuss The Relativity of “Reality” in the forum


Assignments — none!!

Altho’ I suggest that you read the last 3 chapters
of PR and discuss in the forum

And I wd/ feel happy if you write short [one sentence]
comments about
what you liked most about the course
and what you liked least about the course
Teaching online feels like a new and exciting art
but one which I need to learn by doing. All
feedback will help.

I want to thank all of you for what I have learned,
and I hope you all feel that you have learned
something too.

Non illuminati carborundum,


Conspiracy, Coincidence, and Code: Weekly Assignments


Read Chapters 1-5 in Cosmic Trigger III

Read entries on Howard Hughes Forgeries and
Hughes vs. Rockefeller in Everything Is Under Control
and follow as many of the links as you can until you get tired of turning pages

Read “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary” essay

Try the following gedakenexperiment:

Why does the opening sentence of James Joyce’s Ulysses have 22 words? Not 21 or 23, but exactly 22?
Why does the Cabalistic Tree of Life have 22 “paths”?
Why does the Tarot have 22 Trumps?
Why does Aleister Crowley’s Magick in Theory and Practice have 22 chapters?
Why does the last book of the Christian Bible [“Revelations”] have 22 chapters?
Why does Revelations appeal strongly to so many serial killers?
Why does the 22-word opening sentence of Ulysses contain “state” in its first word and “cross” in its last?
Have I given you A Vital Clue in these questions or just bamboozled you with coincidences???


Read Chapters 6-10 in Cosmic Trigger III
and discuss in the forum.

Read p3-16 in Saharasia and use the chart on p 5
to classify the vibe of the Republicans;
the Democrats;
the Greens;
the Libertarians;
the Guns&Dope party;
and discuss in the forum.

Read entry on ‘Hawthorne Abendsen’ in Everything is Under Control
Try the following gedakenexperiment:

“Maybe” is a thin reed to hang your life on but it’s all we’ve got.
–Woody Allen

This may not seem startling to gamers, but it sure woke me up; I learned about it on Law and Order last Sunday.

A type of program called a”bot ” can play a computer game “just like a human” and in the style of any chosen human, given enough skill on the part of the bot-maker.

It seems to me this surpasses virtual reality and approaches electronic cloning. After all, the bot can go on playing after the human has “died.”

A bot can also exist which, like an art forgery, seems to have the style and habits of a certain human but actually emerged from the brain of a clever faker.

This seems to me like virtual virtual reality and electronic immortality of a sort. If a bot plays chess like Alekhine, in what sense can we call Alekhine totally “dead”?

More: computer tech in general as brought us to the stage where producing a photo of a crime or even a moving picture of it does not prove a damned thing anymore. “I saw it with my own eyes” has become a bad joke.

I begin to feel that Maybe Logic will soon replace the Aristotelian either/or, not because of my books or Korzybski’s or von Neumann’s. but because virtual reality and artificial intelligence have destroyed certitude and left us with only degrees of probability.

BTW, do you feel absolutely sure “Robert Anton Wilson” wrote this and not some gol-danged bot?


Read Chapters 11-19 in Cosmic Trigger III
and discuss in the forum.

go to [dead link]
and discuss in the forum
[via the Wayback Machine, Wilson seems to be pointing to No Treason by Lysander Spooner]

go to
and discuss in the forum


Discuss in the forums,
in the order listed


Language as Conspiracy
G I Gurjieff
James Jesus Angleton
Principia Discordia
Knights of Malta
David Ferrie
The Con



If conspiracies never happen, why do so many states and nations have laws against them?

Have our laws resulted from paranoids in power?


Gordon Brown
Giordano Bruno
Timothy Leary
Wilhelm Reich
American Dynasty

Consider what I call The Jumping Jesus Phenomenon

Our psychic universe is expanding even more rapidly than the physical universe. Let us define the measurement of known scientific facts in the year 1 A.D. as “one jesus,” using the name of the celebrated philosopher born that year.

Before going any further, let us ask how long it took to arrive at one jesus. One way of estimating is to take the estimated age of homo sapiens, in which case it took 40,000 to 100,000 years.

How long did it take to double this accumulation of knowledge, to achieve two jesuses? It required 1500 years – until 1500 A.D. How long did it take to double again and obtain four jesuses? It required 250 years, and we had four jesuses in our larder by 1750.

The next doubling took 150 years, and by 1900 A.D. humanity had eight jesuses in our information account. The next doubling took 50 years, and by 1950 we had 16 jesuses. The next, ten years, and by 1960 we had 32 jesuses. The next doubling took seven years, and by 1967 we had 64 jesuses. And the next doubling took 6 years; by 1973 we have 128 jesuses.

There is no reason to imagine that the acceleration has stopped. Thus, we almost certainly reached 256 j around 1978-79 and 512 j in 1982.

In short, we are living in a mental transformation space; that is, an omnidimensional halo expanding toward infinity in all directions. And the electronic center of this halo of mentation is possibly everywhere. It is all available to you right where you are sitting now. Just plug in a terminal. The machine doesn’t care who or what you are.

Infophobia/Infophilia Quiz

Add the next term to the series:
2.ride horseback by jet

A certain job can be performed either by a human or a machine. We should
1.employ the human because “the devil makes work for idle hands.”
2.employ the human because otherwise he or she might be bored
3.employ the human because there is no way to organize society except by having most people work for wages
4.employ the machine because technology has no function other than to free people from toil.

Add the next term to the series:
1.hunt and gather

There is a magic machine with two buttons, each of which will create equality among humans. You will push
1.the button that makes everybody equally poor
2.the button that makes everybody equally rich

Working for wages
1.has always existed and always will exist ordained by God
3.did not appear on large scale until the Enclosure Acts drove the serfs off the land in the past 300 years
4.will become obsolete in the next 100 years
5.will become obsolete in the next 10 years

The best way to search for Higher Intelligence is to
1.find the right religion Carl Sagan’s Project Cyclops, which is searching for radio signals from advanced civilizations in the galaxy;
3.investigate UFO’s
4.research our own nervous system a starship and go looking.

Add the next term to the series:
1.Black Pride
2.Women’s Lib
3.Gay Pride

How much of the changes now happening result from conspiracies?

How much from the Jumping Jesus Phenomenon?

Ponder and discuss Lenin’s words on his deathbed:



Read “Malthus, Machiavelli, and Pop-Ecology” from my 1982 book,
Cuss and/or discuss in the forum.

Ponder Bucky Fuller’s claim that “we”
remain hooked on mideastern oil because the
corporate state hasn’t figured out how to put a METER
between us and the sun.

Gerard de Sede
Kenneth Grant
Golden Apple Corps
Holy Order of the Lemon
The Sirius Mystery


Read and discuss

Read Cosmic Trigger III, Chapter 22. “Beneath the Planet of the Priory of Sion.”

How much of this stuff seems “real’?
How much seems like fantasy or science fiction?
Could some of it make sense as metaphor?
As code?

Abductees Anonymous
Demonic Duck
Philip K Dick
Robert Morning Sky
Philip J Corso
Crying of Lot 49

Do you think this course intends to teach you new ways of reading and evaluating,
or to gradually reveal the Most Monstrous Conspiracy in the Galaxy?


John Birch Society
In Banks We Trust
The Naked Pope
Noble Drew Ali
World War II Deniers

Read and discuss–

A John Birch View:
The Red/Blue Map vs. Conspiracy Theories [source unknown]


President George Bush
The Second George Bush
Skull and Bones
Collier Brothers
Flight 553

I’m just learning to use my new computer….more comments Will follow later!

You are the most complicated thing in the cosmos. You can’t figure you out.
–Alan Watts


A basic crack will split the GOP’s Christian/Capitalist coalition apart.

Xtianity, a faith-based system, does not have to accept ANY facts at all, at all, and wd like to ban research-based groups.

Capitalism, a profit-based system, has to recognize SOME facts [those related to profit] and cannot afford to ban all research-based groups.

Out of this tiny crack an earthquake will emerge

What do you think? and how does this relate to conspiracies in general?

Read and discuss from EIUC
John Adams on Banking
Bank of England
Great Pirates
Ezra Pound


Read. Worry about. Discuss:

John F Kennedy Asssassination
Martin Luther King Assassination
Murder of Marilyn Monroe
Marina Oswald
Mary Pinchot Meyer
David Ferrie
Clay Shaw
Hale Boggs
Buddy Walthers
Sam Giancana
Eladio del Valle
“The Whole Bay of Pigs Thing”
Louis Lomax
Lee Bowers
ALBERT Guy Bogard
Mona Chaen
George de Mohrenscholdt’
The Three Tramps
Robert Kennedy Assassination

Does this look like coincidence? Happenstance? or–Something Sinister?

Meditate upon Ian Fleming’s aphorism “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.”

Consider and discuss synchronicity as yet another alternative…

Week Twelve Assignments

Divide all the groups we have examined into two groups – those fundamentally faith-based and those basically research-based. Does history make sense as a long quarrel between these two forces?

Does our society seem more faith-based or more research-based?

From what you know about Jefferson and our founders, do they seem more on one side or the other?


HAPPY HOLIDAYS and I hope to chat with you all Thursday!


34 Years After Bell’s Theorem: A Whole New Ball Game

Bell’s Theorem, a mathematical demonstration by physicist John Stewart Bell published in 1965, has become more popular than Tarot cards with New Agers, who think they understand it but generally don’t. Meanwhile it remains controversial with physicists, some of whom think they understand it but many of whom frankly admit they find it as perplexing as a chimpanzee in a Beethoven string quartet.

In a [hazardous] attempt to translate Bell’s math into the verbal forms in which we discuss what physics “means,” Bell seems to have proved that any two “particles”once in contact will continue to act as if connected no matter how far apart they move in “space” or “time” [or in space-time.] You can see why New Agers like this: it sounds like it supports the old magick idea that if you get ahold of a hair from your enemy, anything you do to the hair will effect him.

Unfortunately, things “aren’t” that simple.

Most physcists think a long series of experiments, especially those of Dr Alain Aspect and others in the 1970s and Aspect in 1982 have settled the matter. Particles once in contact certainly seem “connected,” or correlated, or at least dancing in the same ballet….But not all physicists have agreed. Some, the AntiBellists, still publish criticisms of alleged defects in the experiments. These arguments seem too technical to be summarized here, and only a small minority still cling to them, but this dissent needs to be mentioned since most New Agers don’t know about it. You can find more about this here. [See also, for general problems associated with Bell’s Theorem]

The most daring criticism of Bell comes from Dr N. David Berman of Columbia, who believes he has refined the possible interpretations of Bell down to two: (1) non-locality [“total rapport”] and (2) solipsism. We will explain non-locality below, but Dr Berman finds it so absurd that he prefers solipsism. [“Is The Moon There When Nobody Looks?”Physics Today, April 1985. He says it isn’t.]

Among those who accept Bell’s Theorem, Dr David Bohm of the University of London offers three interpretations of what it means:
‘It may mean that everything in the universe is in a kind of total rapport, so that whatever happens is related to everthing else [non-locality]; or it may mean that there is some kind of information that can travel faster than the speed of light; or it may mean that our concepts of space and time have to be modified in some way that we don’t understand.”(London Times, 20 Feb 1983)

Bohm’s first model,”total rapport,” also called non-locality, brings us very close– very, very close — to Oriental monism: “All is One,” as in Vedanta, Buddhism and Daoism. It also brings us in hailing distance of Jungian synchronicity, an idea that seems “occult” or worse to most scientists, even if it was once endorsed by Wolfgang Pauli,a quantum heavyweight and Nobel laureate. You can see why New Agers like this; it is argued with unction and plausibility in Capra’s The Tao of Physics. It means the particles “are” correlated because everything “is” correlated.

The strongest form of this non-local model is called super-determinism and means that everything”is” one thing, or at least one process. From the Big Bang to the last word of this sentence and beyond, nothing can be other than it is,since everything is part of a correlated whole. Nobody has openly endorsed this view but several (Stapp, Herbert et al) have accused others, especially Capra, of unknowingly endorsing it.

Bohm’s second alternative, information faster-than-light, brings us into realms previously explored only in science-fiction. Bell’s particles may be correlated because they are parts of an FTL (faster than light) cosmic Internet. If I can send an FTL message to my grandpa, it might change my whole universe to the extent that I wouldn’t be here at all. [E.g., he might be so shocked that he wouldn’t survive to reproduce.] This must either be rejected as impossible, or else it leads to the “parallel universe” model. I’m here in this universe, but in the universe next door the message removed me, so I never sent it there.

Even more radical offshots of this notion have been offered by Dr John Archibald Wheeler and Dr Jack Sarfatti. Dr Wheeler has proposed that every atomic or sub-atomic experiment we perform changes every particle in the universe everywhichway in time, back to the Big Bang. The universe is in constant creation, as in Sufism, but atomic physicists “are” its creators.

Dr Sarfatti is working on the theory of information-without-transportation and hopes to develop an FTL system which will indeed allow me to send an email (or its equivelant) to Julius Ceasar with all the paradoxes that might result producing multiple parallel universes.

Dr Bohm’s third alternative, modification of our ideas of space and time, could lead us anywhere…including back to the Kantian notion that space and time do not exist, but are only human projections, like persistent optical illusions.(Some think Relativity already demonstrates that…) The particles are correlated because they never moved in space or time, because space and time are just “in our heads.”

And there are other alternatives. Harrison (see URL above) suggests that we may have to abandon Aristotelian logic, i.e give up classifying things into only the two categories of “true and real” and “untrue and unreal.” In between, in Aristotle’s excluded middle, we may have the “maybe” proposed by von Neumann in 1933, the probabilistic logics (percentages/gambles) suggested by Korzybski, the four-valued logic of Rapoport (true, false, indeterminate and meaningless) or some system we haven’t found yet.

Others would rather give up “objectivity” — the basic pre-Bell axiom that we can describe an external world apart from our experiments or meddlings. Some say this rejection of objectivity was always meant by the Copenhagen Interpretation (invented by Neils Bohr long before Bell appeared,c 1926 in fact.) Generally, the Copenhagen view is stated as, We can only describe observer-observed interactions; we can never know anything about any hypothetical “observed” without an observer. Sounds like Zen to some, but others fear this is opening the door to Dr Berman’s solipsism and the moon that “is” only there when we look at it….

Bell’s Theorem “means a whole new ball game,” physicist Saul Paul Sirag told the present author once. Unfortunately, as we have seen, nobody feels really sure about the rules of the new game.

All we can say for sure is that “reality” ain’t what it used to be.

In the RAW

In an exclusive interview with Good Times, author and conspiracy theorist Robert Anton Wilson reflects on a world gone mad

By Charles O’Neill

Despite the internet rumors that he was assassinated by the CIA in 1994, Robert Anton Wilson, the man Timothy Leary once called “one of the most important scientific philosophers” of the 20th century, is alive and well and remains an influential voice in the American counter-culture. On September 18, 2002, he was the first patient to receive medical marijuana from members of the Santa Cruz City Council.

A former Associate Editor of Playboy, Wilson is perhaps best known for the classic Science-Fiction opus, Illuminatus!, co-authored with Robert Shea, in 1975. His subsequent trilogy, Schroedinger’s Cat, was hailed by New Scientist magazine as “the most scientific of all science fiction novels.” The scope of his work ranges from sci-fi and historical fiction to erudite and witty commentaries on psychology, the paranormal and quantum physics.

In his latest work, TSOG: The Thing That Ate The Constitution, Wilson takes the reader on a wild ride from the optimistic emancipation of Amsterdam to the Nazi-influenced inner workings of the U.S. Government. It is social satire and political revelation all in one – exposing the hypocrisies of faith-based organizations and revealing why Hannibal Lecter would make a better president then Dubya. He is subject of the documentary film, Maybe Logic: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson (

Wilson recently sat down with Good Times and, from his apartment overlooking the Monterey Bay, shared his impressions of the current political situation in America and around the world.

Good Times: What is your opinion of George W. Bush?

Robert Anton Wilson: I like Bush a lot. He gives me a deep sense of self-satisfaction. Despite all my suspicions, I am not the dumbest schmuck on the planet after all. That’s nice to know. He constantly reminds me of that. Bush was C-student in both high school and college. His former speech writer described him as incurious and uninformed. That is exactly the ideal president for this time in history. Most of the public is made up of C-students who are incurious and uninformed. What Bush says makes sense to them because they don’t know any more about the world then he does. No wonder he is so popular. The dumber you are and the dumber you appear, the more popular you will be with the public.

GT: How do you feel about this administration’s opposition to cloning?

RAW: They want to ban cloning which will put the United States, in the life sciences, decades behind the rest of the world. They don’t mind that we are behind in the life sciences, which primarily deals with the preservation of life, as long as we are ahead in the death sciences, which is how to deliver more and more explosive power over longer and longer distances in shorter and shorter times to kill more and more people. As long as the United States stays ahead in the death sciences the government doesn’t mind how far behind we fall in the life sciences. They are going to ban cloning and they won’t let you use the medicine your doctor believes in. Your doctor has no more rights then you do now.

GT: What is happening in Iraq right now?

RAW: It has to do with the life sciences vs. the death sciences. They don’t want anyone to have any weapons of mass destruction except governments they have under their own control, like Israel. Israel gets 3 billion dollars a year from the United States to kill Arabs. They don’t want the Arabs to get any money to fight back because Israel is the United States colony in the Mid-East. As long as they have access to atomic weapons and the others don’t then the others are all going to be terrorized. The United States doesn’t have to do its own fighting except when somebody gets especially uppidity like Saddam Hussein. Besides, that son of a bitch is sitting on our oil.

GT: Do you believe there is a link between the al Qaeda and Iraq?

RAW: Look at CNN and MSNBC or any of the corporate media, you can see the women in Iraq going around with their bare faces hanging out. Do you think Osama bin Laden approves of that? They are a very westernized country. They have no connection with al Quada at all. They are both on opposite poles in the Moslem world. All these attempts to link them to al Quada are like trying to link the Pope to Jerry Falwell. They are in the same general racket but they disagree with each other on every point of doctrine. There is no real connection between Iraq and al Quada. That is just the smoke screen they are putting up. It’s the oil. Everything is oil until the oil runs out and then they will find something else to fight over.

GT: What are your thoughts on Osama bin Laden?

RAW: If he hated freedom he would have bombed someplace like Amsterdam, where they have real freedom. He wouldn’t have bombed a country like this one that is run by a Tsarist Occupation Government. He doesn’t hate us for our freedom. He hates the West because the West is attacking the Arab world all the time.

GT: What do you think of the War on Terror?

RAW: It should be called the “War on Some Terrorists,” unless he plans to bomb the CIA headquarters in Langly, VA. If Bush was serious about making a war on terrorists, that is the first place he would bomb because they have been the worst terrorists in the last 50 years.

GT: How much of what we see of George W. Bush is the real George W. Bush?

RAW: When the teleprompter breaks down and he has to ad-lib, that’s when we see the real George W. Bush. When the teleprompter breaks down that’s when he comes up with those wonderful Bushisms like “they mis-underestimated me,” or “it would be a hell of a lot easier if this were a dictatorship and I was the dictator.” Otherwise he is just reading what’s written by professional liars that know how to stack the lies in a way to fool a population of C-students. The whole secret of how to run a government was reveled by J.R. Bob Dobbs (founder of the Church of the SubGenius) who said, “You know how dumb the average guy is? Well, mathematically, by definition, half of them are ever dumber than that.”

GT: Why is there a difference in the ways we are dealing with North Korea?

RAW: North Korea threatens to catch up with us in the death sciences so we are a bit afraid of North Korea. If we start heaving nuclear bombs at them, they may start heaving nuclear bombs back. The reason they keep talking about Saddam Hessein posing a threat is because he might have access to nuclear weapons and we want to get him before he gets the nuclear weapons because once he gets the nuclear weapons, we will have to treat him with diplomacy, like North Korea. That is very frightening for this administration because diplomacy requires the ability to think and the ability to negotiate and see the other guy’s playing field. All this is completely foreign to Dubya and his terminal gang. They understand war. They don’t understand diplomacy. North Korea frightens them much more than Iraq.

GT: What is your opinion of Bush’s proposed medical coverage for seniors?

RAW: I am a senior citizen, which means I am an old fart. Bush is offering us a choice between staying on Medicare with no prescription drug coverage or joining an HMO and getting prescription drug coverage, which means they are going to screw us every way they can. Everybody I know in my age group that has ever joined an HMO has quit it because it doesn’t do a damn thing. They take your money and they don’t give you anything in return. Nobody wants to belong to an HMO. Now he is trying to force us into the HMO’s by offering free prescription drugs, and it will turn out that’s another fraud, too, I’m sure. They are worse bandits then the Jesse James Gang. The only difference I can see between the HMO’s and the James Gang is that the James Gang rode horses.

GT: What is your feeling about this administration’s favor towards faith-based organizations?

RAW: Bush wants to put his money into faith-based organizations. You know what faith means? Huckleberry Finn explained it at the beginning of that great novel: Faith is believing what you know ain’t so. That is what Bush’s whole career and the whole Bush crime family career is based on: getting people to have faith in what they know ain’t so – like his prescription drug plan.

GT: Concerning the battle between the states and the feds over medical marijuana?

RAW: The 10th Amendment says very clearly that powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution are reserved to the states and the people. It seems very clear that 55 percent of the voters in California voted to let me have marijuana for my leg pains and the state agreed, but then the Attorney General of the United States said, “Well that doesn’t count.” States have no rights. The people have no rights.

GT: AIDS treatment in Africa?

RAW: All the AIDS relief for Africa means, to me, is that they are going to sell them more drugs from the big drug companies, some of which the Bush family has major interests in.

GT: What is your opinion of the anti-war movement?

RAW: I am really happy to see the extent of the protest even before this war has started. The last protest in Washington (on Jan. 18, 2003) was bigger than the biggest anti-Vietnam protest. So the protest has started before the war and that gives me some hope.

GT: Are the protests having any influence eon Middle America?

RAW: The average people in Middle America, despite all the sarcastic things I have just said about them, aren’t quite as dumb as I usually think because there have been more objections to this war than any war in my lifetime. Either the Bush gang are less talented liars than our previous governments, or this war is so goddamn absurd, no matter how they dress it up, they can’t sell it to the majority.

Canto XXXII (partial) commentary

The revolution,’said Mr Adams,
‘Took place in the minds of the people.’

A very umportant idea to Ez, which explains why he
repeats it in Canto 50.
He called his notions “voluntarist economics” as distinct
feom Marx’s materialist economics.
Anyway, in Adams’ day it did not qualify as wishful thinking to assume the people had minds.

…..deem it necessary to keep them down by hard labour, poverty,
and to take from them, as from bees, so much of their earnings
as that unremitting labour shall be necessary to obtain a
sufficient surplus
barely to sustain a scant life. And these earnings
they apply to maintain their privileged orders in splendour and
to fascinate the eyes of the people….as to an order of superior
June 12, í23 to Judge Johnson

Jeff, as already noted, not likely to succeed in American
politics today.

whether in a stye, stable or state-room,
let everything bend before them and banish whatever might
lead them to think….and thus are become as mere animals..
Cannibals of Europe are eating one another again…

More of letter to Johnson; ‘stye’ and ‘stable’ recall
Canto 2 [greed leading by reverse evolution to animal level]

…whether in a stye, a stable or in a stateroom….
Louis Sixteenth was a fool
The King of Spain was a fool, the King of Naples a fool
they dispatched two couriers weekly to tell each other, over a
thousand miles
what they had killed…..the King of Sardinia
was, like all the Bourbons, a fool, the
Portuguese Queen a Braganza and therefore by nature an idiot,
The successor to Frederic of Prussia, a mere hog
in body and mind, Gustavus and Joseph of Austria
were as you know really crazy, and George 3d was in
a straight waistcoat,

there remained none but old Catherine, too lately picked

In “The Jefferson-Adams Letters as Shrine and Monument” [SELECTED PROSE, New Directions,1972]
Ez paises Tom and John for not feeling inferior to
European intellectuals [see Canto 31] or European


a guisa de leon
The cannibals of Europe are eating one another again
quando si posa.

Jefferson wrapped around by Dante’s lines comparing
Sordello to a crouching lion. [Pound shared Dante’s high
regard for Sordello.] I think Ez regarded Jeff’s prose
and Sordello’s songs as comparable in concision and

Canto XXXI (partial) commentary

Tempus loquendi,
Tempus tacendi.

[a] a joke on the reader– Cantos 1-30 in general
and 17-30 in particular [minus
a few foreshadowings of Jefferson and Kung] have
alternated between Rennaisance history and modern
economic history. This opening sounds like we’re going
back to the Rennaisance again….but Ez has in mind
what he considers the second Rennaisance….

[b] the phrase [which means ‘A time to talk, a time to
keep silent’] : motto of Sigismundo Malatesta….but
as the use of cypher makes clear Jeff. also knew times
to keep silent…”Liberty always in danger” as Burke said

Said Mr. Jefferson: it wd. Have given us
modern dress for your statue….

Some wanted a ‘classical’ statue of Washington in Roman toga; Jeff wanted him in contemporary garb.
Cf Sigismundo’s shockingly ‘modern’ Temple [by the standards of his time[; Pound’s role as agitator for
modernism in literature, painting, sculpture, music etc.;
see especialy:

For years no water came, no rains fell
for the Emperor Tching Tang
grain scarce, prices rising
so that in 1760 Tching Tang opened the copper mines
(ante Christum)
made discs with square holes in their middles
and gave these to the people
wherewith they might buy grain
where there was grain
der in Baluba das Gewitter gemacht hat
Tching prayed on the mountain and
on his bath tub
Day by day make it new
cut underbrush,
pile the logs
keep it growing
Consider their sweats, the people’s
If you wd/ sit calm on throne
Canto 53

MAKE IT NEW: These ideograms which I rendered hsin jih jih hsin mean ax/logs, day, day, ax/logs — or, more generally house-building, every day, house-building;
or renew, day after day, renew. The idea: we can’t repeat the past exactly, must renew/revitalize it. Kung made this quote from Tching central to his politics; Pound made it central to his art and his art criticism.

BTW, Jefferson agreed with Tchng [and Ez] that an honest state has credit and need not borrow from private banks

I remember having written you while congress sat at An-
on water communication between ours and the western
particularly the information….of the plain between
Big Beaver and Cayohoga, which made me hope that a canal
navigation of Lake Erie and the Ohio. ..
You must have had
occasion of getting better information on this subject
and if you have you wd. oblige me
by a communication of it. I consider this canal,
if practicable, as a very important work.
T. J. to General Washington, 1787

Cf the bombards of Sigismundo; cf Kung [Canto 13]
“get up and do something useful”‘; cf Ez’s grandpaw
“sweating blood” to build his railway.[cantos 21-22]..
Ez built his own funiiture BTW and Bucky Fuller
admired its TEXNE

…no slaves north of Maryland district….

Jeff giving up [temporarily] on abolition of slavery
and concentrating on limiting its spread;
Pound’s heroes always appear with warts visible

…flower found in Connecticut that vegetates when suspended
in air….
screw more effectual if placed below surface of water.
Suspect that a countryman of ours, Mr Bushnell of Connecticut
is entitled to the merit of prior discovery.

Compare the contents of Sigismundo’s pouch [Canto 9];
two ideogrammic definitions of “Rennnaisance man’

And thus Mr Jefferson (president) to Tom Paine:
You expressed a wish to get a passage to this country
in a public vessel. Mr. Dawson is charged with orders
to the captain of the Maryland to receive and accommodate
with passage back, if you can depart on so short a warning…
in hopes you will find us returned to sentiments
worthy of former time… these you have laboured as
much as any man living. That you may long live to
continue your labours and to reap their fitting reward…
Assurances of my high esteem and attachment.

To illustrate Jeff.s solidarity with rationalism; this
kinda guy cd never succeed in American politics today

This country is really supposed to be on the eve of a XTZBK49HT
(parts of this letter in cipher)
Jefferson, from Paris, to Madison, Aug. 2, 1787

…care of the letters now enclosed. Most of them are
of a complexion not proper for the eye of the police.
From Monticello, April 16th. 1811
To Mr Barlow departing for Paris.

“A time to keep silence” See?

But observe that the public were at the same time paying
on it an interest exactly the same amount
(four million dollars). Where then is the gain to either
party which makes it a public blessing? to Mr Eppes, 1813

think about it…and about the current deficit

Canto IX commentary

A strong Whitman influence here, emphasized by the
repeated “one year”: cf Walt’s “I hear…”
Where WW used these rhythms to celebrate the energy
and optimism of 19th Century U.S., Ez uses them
to record a lot of energetic war and treachery–
the world in which, and against which, Sigismundo
built his Temple:

One year floods rose,
One year they fought in the snows,
One year hail fell, breaking the trees and walls.
Down here in the marsh they trapped him
            in one year,
And he stood in the water up to his neck
            to keep the hounds off him,
And he floundered about in the marsh
            and came in after three days,
That was Astorre Manfredi of Faenza
            who worked the ambush
            and set the dogs off to find him,
In the marsh, down here under Mantua,
And he fought in Fano, in a street fight,
            and that was nearly the end of him;
And the Emperor came down and knighted us,
And they had a wooden castle set up for fiesta,
And one year Basinio went out into the courtyard
            Where the lists were, and the palisades
            had been set for the tourneys,
And he talked down the anti-Hellene,
            And there was an heir male to seignor,
            And Madame Ginevra died.
And he, Sigismundo, was Capitan for the Venetians.
And he had sold off small castles
            and built the great Rocca to his plan,
And he fought like ten devils at Monteluro
            and got nothing but the victory
And old Sforza bitched us at Pesaro;
            (sic) March the 16th:

The “narrative voice” seems that of a common
soldier who served under Sigismundo.
“fought like ten devils” “Sforza bitched us”:
we come closer to modern vernacular,
in contrast to the previous Canti.

“that Messire Alessandro Sforza
            is become lord of Pesaro
through the wangle of the Illus. Sgr. Mr. Fedricho d’Orbino
Who worked the wangle with Galeaz
            through the wiggling of Messer Francesco,
Who waggled it so that Galeaz should sell Pesaro
            to Alex and Fossembrone to Feddy;

Wangle, wangle, wiggle, waggle: a
snakey imagery…..

and he hadn’t the right to sell.
And this he did bestialmente; that is Sforza did bestialmente
as he had promised him, Sigismundo, per capitoli
            to see that he, Malatesta, should have Pesaro”
And this cut us off from our south half
            and finished our game, thus, in the beginning,
And he, Sigismundo, spoke his mind to Francesco
            and we drove them out of the Marches.

And the King o’ Ragona, Alphonse le roy d’Aragon,
            was the next nail in our coffin,
And all you can say is, anyway,
that he Sigismundo called a town council
And Valturio said “as well for a sheep as a lamb”
            and this change-over (haec traditio)
As old bladder said “rem eorum saluavit
Saved the Florentine state; and that, maybe, was something.
And “Florence our natural ally” as they said in the meeting
            for whatever that was worth afterward.
And he began building the TEMPIO,
            and Polixena, his second wife, died.
And the Venetians sent down an ambassador
And said “speak humanely,
But tell him it’s no time for raising his pay.”
And the Venetians sent down for an ambassador
            with three pages of secret instructions
To the effect:  Did he think the campaign was a joy-ride?
And old Wattle-wattle slipped into Milan
But he coun’t stand Sidg being as high with the Venetians
And he talked it over with Feddy; and Feddy said ” Pesaro”
And old Foscari wrote “Caro mio
“If we split with Francesco you can have it
“And we’ll help you in every way possible.”
            But Feddy offered it sooner.
And Sigismundo got up a few arches,
And stole that marble in Classe, “stole” that is,
Casus est talis:
            Foscari doge, to the prefect of Ravenna
“Why, what, which, thunder, damnation????”

Casus est talis:

Casus est talis: That’s it, that’s the way it is.
Cf: Nec Spe Nec Metu [neither hope nor fear]
in Canto III.

            Filippo, commendatary of the abbazia
Of Sant Apollinaire Classe, Cardinal of Bologna
That he did one night (quandam nocte) sell to the
Illmo. Do., Do. Sigismund Malatesta
Lord of Arimininum, marble, porphyry, serpentine,
Whose men, Sigismundo’s, came with more than an hundred
two wheeled ox carts and deported, for the beautifying
of the tempio where was Santa Maria in Trivio
Where men, Sigismundo’s, came with more than an hundred
two wheeled ox carts and deported, for the beautifying’
of the tempio where was Santa Maria in Trivio
Where the same are now on the walls.  Four hundred
ducats to be paid back to the abbazia by the said swindling
Cardinal or his heirs.
            grnnh! rrnnh, pthg.
wheels, plaustra, oxen under night-shield,

Very cinematic: the grunts unite the Cardinal
and the oxen.

And on the 13th of August: Aloysius Purtheo,
The next abbot, to Sigismundo, receipt for 200 ducats
Corn-salve for the damage done in that scurry.

And there was the row about that German-Burgundian female

Sigismundo was accused of raping her so violently that
she died. Historians tend to reject this, but the
Inquisition included it among the 100-or-so
charges of which they found him guilty.
In a letter EP describes the charges as
“‘shrouded in  mystery’ or rather lies”

And it was his messianic year, Poliorcetes,
            but he was being a bit too POLUMETIS

polymetis: “many-minded”; many-sided; well-rounded–
a stock Homeric tag for Odysseus, in case the reader hasn’t already noticed the Odysseus/Malatesta

And the Venetians wouldn’t give him six months vacation.

And he went down to the old brick heap of Pesaro
            and waited for Feddy
And Feddy finally said “I am coming!…
            …to help Alessandro.”
And he said: “This time Mister Feddy has done it.”
He said: “Broglio, I’m the goat.  This time
            Mr. Feddy has done it (m’l’ha calata).”
And he’d lost his job with the Venetians,
And the stone didn’t come in from Istria:
And we sent men to the silk war;
And Wattle never paid up on the nail
            Though we signed on with Milan and Florence;
And he set up the bombards in muck down by Vada
            where nobody else could have set ’em
            and he took the wood out of the bombs
            and made ’em of two scoops of metal
And the jobs getting smaller and smaller,
            Until he signed on with Siena;
            And that time they grabbed his post-bag.
And what was it, anyhow?
            Pitigliano, a man with a ten acre lot,
Two lumps of tufa,
            and they’d taken his pasture land from him,
And Sidg had got back their horses,
            and he had two big lumps of tufa
            with six hundred pigs in the basements.
And the poor devils were dying of cold.
And this is what they found  in the post-bag:

By analogy with “Found Art” one can consider these
documents a “found ideogram.” They exemplify
Sigismundo Malatesta’s polymetis, and the mad
chaotic creative vortex in which he lived:

                        Ex Arimino die xxii Decembris
     “Magnifice ac potens domine, mi singularissime
“I advise yr. Lordship how
“I have been with master Alwidge who
“has shown me the design of the nave that goes in the middle,
“of the church and the design for the roof and…”
“Magnifico exso.  Signor Mio
“Sence to-day I am recommanded that I have to tel you my
“father’s opinium that he has shode to Mr. Genare about the
“valts of the cherch…etc…
  “Giovane of the Master alwise P. S.  I think it advisabl that
“I shud go to rome to talk to mister Albert so as I can no
“what he thinks about it rite.

Ez finds the right kinda English for each Italian voice….


Illustre signor mio, Messire Battista…”

“First: Ten slabs best red, seven by 15, by one third,
“Eight columns 15 by three and one third
            etc… with carriage, danars 151
  “Madame Isotta has had me write today about St. Galeazzo’s
“daughter.  The man who said young pullets make thin
“soup, knew what he was talking about.  We went to see the
“girl the other day. for all the good that did, and she denied
“the whole matter and kept her end up without losing her
“temper.  I think Madame Ixotta very nearly exhausted the
“matter.  Mi pare che avea decto hogni chossia.  All the
“children are well.  Where you are everyone is pleased and
“happy because of your taking the chateau here we are the
“reverse as you might say drifting without a rudder.  Madame
“Lucrezia has probably, or should have, written to you, I
“suppose you have the letter by now.  Everyone wants to be
“remembered to you.                     21 Dec.  D. de M.”

Ixotta degli Atti, Sigisundo’s longtime mistress and third
wife, here dealing with another of his mistresses.
War, temple-building and multiple mistresses…polymetis indeed.

“…sagramoro to put up the derricks.  There is a supply of
“beams at…”
  “Messire Malatesta is well and asks for you every day.  He
“is so much pleased with his pony, It wd. take me a month
“to write you all the fun he gets out of that pony.  I want to
“again remind you to write to Georgio Rambottom or to his
“boss to fix up that wall to the little garden that madame Isotta
“uses, for it is all flat on the ground now as I have already told
“him a lot of times, for all the good that does, so I am writing
“to your lordship in the matter I have done all that I can, for
“all the good that does as noboddy hear can do anything
“without you.
                “your faithful
                                            LUNARDA DA PALLA.
                                                20 Dec. 1454.”

Siggy even had time to be a good father/while
still supervising the Tempio from a distance.

“…gone over it with all the foremen and engineers.  And
“about the silver for the small medal…”

Magnifice ac potens
            “because the walls of…”

Malatesta de Malatestis ad Magnificum Dominum Patremque

“Exso. Dno. et Dno. sin Dno. Sigismundum Pandolfi Filium
            “malatestis Capitan General

“Magnificent and Exalted Lord and Father in especial my
“lord with due recommendation:  your letter has been pre-
“sented to me by Gentilino da Gradara and with it the bay
“pony (ronzino baictino) the which you have sent me, and
“which appears in my eyes a fine caparison’s charger, upon
“which I intend to learn all there is to know about riding, in
“consideration of yr. paternal affection for which I thank
“your excellency thus briefly and pray you continue to hold
“me in this esteem notifying you by the bearer of this that
“we are all in good health, as I hope and desire your Exct.
“Lordship is also: with continued remembrance I remain
            “Your son and servant
                            MALATESTA DE MALATESTIS.
            Given in Rimini, this the 22nd day of December
                                    anno domini 1454
                            (in the sixth year of his age)

Damn well-written for a 6-year-old; but then Sigismundo
led his first army at age 13…

  “Unfitting as it is that I should offer counsels to Hannibal…”

”     Magnifice ac potens domine, domine mi singularissime,
“humili recomendatione premissa etc.  This to advise your
“Mgt. Ldshp. how the second load of Veronese marble has
“finally got here, after being held up at Ferrara with no end
“of fuss and botheration, the whole of it having been then
  “I learned how it happened, and it has cost a few florins to
“get back the said load which had been seized for the skipper’s
“debt and defalcation; he having fled when the lighter was
“seized.  But that Yr. Mgt. Ldshp. may not lose the moneys
“paid out on his account I have had the lighter brought here
“and am holding it, against his arrival.  If not we still have
“the lighter.
  “As soon as the Xmas fetes are over I will have the stone
“chapel; first because the heavy frosts wd. certainly spoil
“the job; secondly because the aliofants aren’t yet here and
“and one can’t get the measurements for the cornice to the columns
“that are to rest on the aliofants.
  “They are doing the stairs to your room in the castle… I
“have had Messire Antonio degli Atti’s court paved and the
“stone benches put in it.
  “Ottavian is illuminating the bull.  I mean the bull for
“the chapel.  All the stone-cutters are waiting for spring
“weather to start work again.
  “the tomb is all done except part of the lid, and as soon as
“Messire Agostino gets back from Cesena I will see that he
“finishes it, ever recommending me to yr. Mgt. Ldshp.
                                             “believe me yr. faithful
                                              PETRUS GENARIIS.”

That’s what they found in the post-bag
And some more of it to the effect that
            he “lived and ruled”

Again, the theme of fragments, shelved [or shored]

et amava perdutamente Ixotta degli Atti
e “ne fu degna
            “constans in proposito
Placuit oculis principis
pulchra aspectu
populo grata (Italiaeque decus)

“And he loved Ixotta degli Atti to distraction, and
she deserved it; she that he loved to look upon,
and she pleased the people and was the ornament
of Italy”
The Temple has his initial, S, intertwined with hers, I,
all over the walls. Every naked Venus has her face.

“and built a temple so full of pagan works”
            i. e. Sigismund
and in the style of “Past ruin’d Latium”
The filigree hiding the gothic,
            with a touch of rhetoric in the whole
And the old sarcophagi,
            such as lie smothered in grass, by San Vitale.

In Canto 10 the Inquisition has more to say
about this pagan Temple and its maker…..

Canto VII commentary

These fragments you have shelved (shored).

Paraphrase from Eliot’s “Waste Land.”
Both Ez and Tom felt European culture
only survived in “fragments” after World War I.
Eliot thought they cd be “shored” [rescued]
Ez worries they might only get “shelved” [preserved.]
Cf MAKE IT NEW theme from Emperor Ching later.

 “Slut!”  “Bitch!”  Truth and Calliope
Slanging each other sous les lauriers:

Who gets the laurel: fact [Truth] or the Muse
of Epic Poetry? Ez ain’t sure. Cf opening
of Canto II: which Sordello “is” the “real”

That Alessandro was negroid. 

Alessando de Medici again, still more full of life
than 1919 London, bringing another fact
or rumor with him.

            And Malatesta
             Frater tamquam
Et compater carissime: tergo
                               …hanni de

The hero of the next four Cantos appears as
part of a mostly ruined document….
sorta like the letter containing all history
found in the garbage dump in Finnegans Wake.

And suddenly Sigismundo speaks directly to us
in “his own words” of at least in Ez’s invention
of a kind of English isomorphic to Sigd’s
15 Century aristocrat/soldier Italian:

Equivalent to:
                               Giohanni of the Medici,
Letter received, and in the matter of our Messire Gianozio,
One from him also, sent on in form and with all due dispatch,
Having added your wishes and memoranda.
As to arranging peace between you and the King of Ragona,
So far as I am concerned, it wd.
Give me the greatest possible pleasure,
At any rate nothing wd. give me more pleasure
    or be more acceptable to me,
And I shd. like to be party to it, as was promised me,
            either as participant or adherent.
As for my service money,
Perhaps you and your father wd. draw it
And send it on to me as quickly as possible.

They all wrote with unction and
lubricating oil in those days
even when asking to be paid;
but Sigismundo will surprise us:

And tell the Maestro di pentore
that there can be no question of
His painting the walls for the moment,
As the mortar is not yet dry
And it wd. be merely work chucked away
                 (buttato via)
But I want it to be quite clear, that until the chapels are ready
I will arrange for him to paint something else
So that both he and I shall
Get as much enjoyment as possible from it,
And in order that he may enter my service
And also because you write me that he needs cash,
I want to arrange with him to give him so much per year
And to assure him that he will get the sum agreed on.
You may say that I will deposit security
For him wherever he likes.
And let me have a clear answer,
For I mean to give him good treatment
So that he may come to live the rest
Of his life in my lands –
Unless you put him off it –
And for this I mean to make due provision,
So that he can work as he likes,
Or waste his time as he likes
(affatigandose per suo piacere o no
non gli manchera la provixione mai)
                                               never lacking provision.
                 In campo Illus. Domini Venetorum die 7
                 aprilis 1449 contra Cremonam

Sigd wrote that age 32 after 19 years as a professional
soldier-for-hire [yeah, he started at 13];|
his attitude toward artists much pleased Ez
and, as we shall shortly learn, wd please Kungfutse too

The money Sigd earned as killer-for-hire
went largely to creating the monument he
left behind, the  first Pagan temple built
in Itay in 1000 years, Tempio Malatesta

Pound’s Voluntarist Economics differs from
Deterministic Economics in positing creative
leaps of intelligence as ‘chaotic’ factors

 . . . . . and because the aforesaid most illustrious
Duke of Milan
Is content and wills that the aforesaid Lord Sigismundo
Go into the service of the most magnificent commune
of the Florentines
For alliance defensive of the two states,
Therefore between the aforesaid Illustrious Sigismund
And the respectable man Agnolo della Stufa,
                        ambassador, sindic and procurator
Appointed by the ten of the baily, etc., the half
Of these 50,000 florins, free of attainder,
For 1400 cavalry and four hundred foot
To come into the terrene of the commune
                        or elsewhere in Tuscany
As please the ten of the Baily,
And to be himself there with them in the service
of the commune
With his horsemen and his footmen
                   (gente di cavollo e da pie) etc.
Aug. 5 1452, register of the Ten of the Baily.

Even in documents as “dusty” as this Ez helps us
see the meaning of the STYLE: these guys sure
wuz perlite even about minute details…
sorta like the Confucian rulers we’ll meet later

From the forked rocks of Penna and Billi, on Carpegna
with the road leading under the cliff,
                        in the wind-shelter into Tuscany,
And the north road, toward the Marecchia
                        the mud-stretch full of cobbles.

Ez and Hemingway went over the scenes of Sigd’s
most famous battles, with Hem explaining military
details to the Quaker-raised Ez. Soomehow,
the above Imagist impressonism emoiged

” Ye spirits who of olde were in this land
Each under Love, and shaken,
Go with your lutes, awaken
The summer within her mind,
Who hath not Helen for peer
                  Yseut nor Batsabe.”

An early poem by Sigismundo; Ez stresses
the troubadour [Eleanor] influence.

With the interruption:

[always interruptions. Sigd lived that kind
of life….]

            Magnifico, compater et carissime
            (Johanni di Cosimo)
Venice has taken me on again
            At 7,000 a month, fiorini di Camera.
For 2,000 horse and four hundred footmen,
And it rains here by the gallon,
We have had to dig a new ditch.
In three or four days
I shall try to set up the bombards.

“I sing eternal war between light and mud”–Canto 73
Light and joy again:

Under the plumes, with the flakes and small wads of colour
Showering from the balconies
With the sheets spread from windows,
            with leaves and small branches pinned on them,
Arras hung from the railings; out of the dust,
With pheasant tails upright on their forelocks,
            The small white horses, the
Twelve girls riding in order, green satin in pannier’d habits;
Under the baldachino, silver’d with heavy stitches,
Bianca Visconti, with Sforza,
The peasant’s son and the duchess,
To Rimini, and to the wars southward,
Boats drawn on the sand, red-orange sails in the creek’s mouth,
For two days’ pleasure, mostly “la pesca,” fishing,
Di cui in the which he, Francesco, godeva molto.
            To the war southward
In which he, at that time, received an excellent hiding.

Best imagist outburst since Canto 2….

And the Greek emperor was in Florence
            (Ferrara having the pest)
And with him Gemisthus Plethon
Talking of the war about the temple at Delphos,
And of POSEIDON, concret Allgemeine,

Florence hosted a meeting between the Pope and
the Patriarch  of the Eastern Church, and there
Sigd met Gemisto Plethon, a neo-pagan
philosopher who profoundly impressed him.

Gemisto conceived “the sea” and/or the “sea-god”
as concrete abstractions, things you can experience
but still not totally concrete — e.g. the sea
changes every nanosecond but Poiseiden, Lyr,
So-Shu, the concrete images of the sea
reveal a form behind the metamorphoses

Many commentators believe Gemisto’s ideas
about seagods inspired the aquatic emphasis
of the Tempio Malatesta

And telling of how Plato went to Dionysius of Syracuse
Because he had observed that tyrants
Were most efficient in all that they set their hands to,
But he was unable to persuade Dionysius
To any amelioration.

I can’t read this  without thinking about poor
idealistic Ez trying to sell his ideas to Mussolini…..
but we leap ahead to Sigd’s chaotic & tragic
last years:

And in the gate at Ancona, between the foregate
And the main-gates
Sigismundo, ally, come through an enemy force,
To patch up some sort of treaty, passes one gate
And they shut it before they open the next gate, and he says:
“Now you have me,
           Caught lke a hen in a coop.”
And the captain of the watch says: “Yes Messire Sigismundo,
But we want this town for ourselves.”
            With the church against him, 

[for heresy and paganism]

With the Medici bank for itself,   
With wattle Sforza against him
Sforza Francesco, wattle-nose,
Who married him (Sigismundo) his (Francesco’s)
Daughter in September,
Who stole Pesaro in October (as Broglio says “bestialmente“),
Who stood with the Venetians in November,
With the Milanese in December,
Sold Milan in November, stole Milan in December
Or something of that sort,
Commanded the Milanese in the spring,
the Venetians at midsummer,
The Milanese in the autumn,
And was Naples’ ally in October,
            He, Sigismundo, templum aedificavit


In Romagna, teeming with cattle thieves,
            with the game lost in mid-channel,
And never quite lost till’ 50,
            and never quite lost till the end, in Romagna,
So that Galeaz sold Pesaro “to get pay for his cattle.”

And Poictiers, you know, Guillaume Poictiers,
            had brought the song up out of Spain
with the singers and viels.  But here they wanted a setting.
By Marecchia, where the water comes down over the cobbles
And Mastin had come to Verucchio,
            and the sword, Paolo il Bello’s,
            caught in the arras
And, in Este’s house, Parisina
For this tribe paid always,

She paid with more than money. Story
comes later.

and the house
Called also Atreides’,
And the wind is still for a little
And the dusk rolled
            to one side a little
And he was twelve at the time, Sigismundo,
And no dues had been paid for three years,
And his elder brother gone pious;
And that year they fought in the streets,
And that year he got out to Cesena
            And brought back the levies,
And that year he crossed by night over Foglia, and…

Some consider Sigismundo one of the worst
monsters of the Rennaisance; some consider
him its most maligned hero. I think Ez
presents him as a case in the development
of Western Individualism
another heir of Odysseus
OUTSIDE Dante’s categories
a one man hell/purgatory/paradiso

But we have 3 more canti about him
coming at us

Truth or Calliope?
Which the slut, which the bitch?