Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Mark Shea on Samizdat and Tacitus on a Similar Situation

The Catholic Weekly : Mark Shea: Heavenly Samizdat
By Mark Shea March 8, 2018

Obviously, there is a reference to underground activity in the former Soviet Union.

He is drawing parallels and here are two such I would like to further comment on:

Just as that was a major function of Soviet era samizdat, so it is major function of Resistance literature here in the age of Trump. Samizdat helps free minds from lies by circulating the truth among resisters. (Not, of course, that I mean to in any way compare the oppression suffered by victims of Communism with the aggravations of living under a dumb and incompetent aspiring authoritarian like Trump and the paltry 30% of the electorate who have been brainwashed to believe his lies. The point is to note the similarity of tactics, not the similarity of power. The US still has a free press and freedom of speech and we are still able to speak out about the lies. Heck! The work is largely being done by late night comedians who, under a truly oppressive regime, would long ago have been shot or poisoned with plutonium like Putin’s critics. This is a liberty that the brave critics of Communism never enjoyed and I thank God for it.)

OK, he is speaking about the age of Trump ... what about his own involvement in the age of Evolutionism?

The age in which Karl Keating can pretend that Young Earth Creationist tenets like only thousands of years back to Creation and a world wide flood and languages other than Hebrew coming from Babel are an 19th C Calvinist novum, and in which Anthony Zarrella will pretend that ....

As to angels, of course I believe in them, and I even regard it as wholly plausible that there are angels tasked with effectuating every one of the natural laws of the universe. It would bother me not at all to posit that there’s an angel whose divine assignment is to hold atoms together (what we call the “weak nuclear force”), or to regulate the flow of electrons, or to pull masses towards one another (“gravity”). I could even posit that there’s an individual angel assigned to the orbit of each planet and star.

But that is a satisfactory answer to the question of “Why do the physical laws work?” I don’t find it a particularly satisfying substitute for explicable, empirically deducible physical laws.

And no bishop tells Karl Keating he is a bad historian (he got an imprimatur for his hogwash even) and no bishop tells Anthony Zarrella he is not accurately accounting for Thomistic view of angelic movers. A man who is involved in that can give Trump a break.

As for me, in this age of evolutionism, I think that I am providing a potential of ... innizdat ... (else-publishing, as contrasting with self-publishing)*. As long as no one needs to go to prison for publishing what I write, it is not too selfish of me to offer others the possibility and to hope for royalties from them. I have also done conditions such that if anyone should go to prison for publishing what I wrote, it should not be for breach of royalty payments or for breach of copyright.

Here they are:

hglwrites : A little note on further use conditions

But in France and US, normally speaking, someone should be able to use them openly and therefore also to start sending me voluntary royalties.

How old are these conditions? Last post is from May 4, 2015. Second last post is from July 21, 2012, I certainly posted the conditions before that. Both the English and the French version.

I actually had to add a comment on the French version earlier, in 2013: Dec 13, 2013.

This was after a link originally in the conditions had become disactivated and so definitely after I added the conditions. So, at least five years these conditions have been in place.

But more, before being copied onto that one, they were added onto first message of my blog "deretour" after it was written, but at least before 26 October 2010, when I linked to that first message "de retour" as a way to linking to my conditions:

deretour : full url : version / présentation : pleins urls

This means, at least seven years the conditions are visible on the internet, the first message has by now been seen by at least (according to stats provided by google) 3652 times. Cannot access the times the conditions have been viewed on hglwrites, since that account was disconnected.

So many thousands could have started or enlarged a printing business from that offer. Note, I say enlarged, because the conditions do not exclude conventional publishers.

Did I mention anyone is free to print, sew and sell my essays or any reasonable collection of them (by theme or contrarywise on all different themes)?

Anyone, that means literally anyone.

And "my essays or any reasonable collection of them" means, you cannot later what is in an essay (beyond very moderate spelling correction, not stated, but there, and if including comment section on the posts, one can also delete the marks for who is saying sth between for instance different instances of myself adding content that way).

And "print, sew and sell" means any kind of publishing except pure glueback without sewn quiers which is very brittle. The stapled version on comic book or magasine format is acceptable.

Since big publishers do have these means, they could have. As to small publishers, well, they could learn to sew, cooperate with a book binder or settle for comic book format. I have given instructions for all steps up to sewing and binding, for anyone interested.

This means, sth has happened to stop this. I wonder what ... and if it has connection to viewer stats.

Each following stat is from one of my blogs, not giving all top ten, but the dominant one or ones. A country is counted as sole or last dominant one, if next country is about half as many or less, I did one exception for the really big blog these days.

If you don't like stats, skip these down to below the boxes!
Russia 1
Russia 2
Russia 12
Russia 2
Russia 5

Russia 1
Russia 1
Russia 1
Russia 1
Russia 1

Russia 12
Russia 4 Russia 1
Russia 10
Russia 3

Vietnam 5 France 4 Ukraine 4 United States 4
United Kingdom 699 France 259 Canada 103
United Kingdom 1

France 2
France 2
France 4
France 2

France 2 Ukraine 2

Ukraine 2
Ukraine 19

Poland 1 Ukraine 1

Poland 1

Canada 1 Poland 1

Italy 71
Italy 69

Spain 2

If, for instance, one blog has France 2 viewers and Spain 1 viewer today, France is dominant country since Spain has exactly half as many viewers. Any blog where a country with only one viewer is dominant country has that country as sole viewer today.

Let's look at the sole viewer countries, for blogs having only one visitor:

Russia 1
Russia 1
Russia 1
Russia 1
Russia 1
Russia 1
Russia 1
United Kingdom 1
Poland 1

And on some blogs where Russia had 2 views today, it was also sole country.

Now, Russia has experience with Samizdat, from two sides. From the KGB side and from the Samizdat side.

Supposing my viewers in Russia were in fact from Samizdat side, by now, I think, some of them might have discovered that Samizdat has become legal in Russia. Well, I suppose it has. I am not sure.

In that case, perhaps some of them might have started sending me some. Or some of the material might have come out into the free world traditionally such and been reprinted on larger scale.

On the other hand, if the Russian viewers are from the former KGB side, that might explain why my blogs are not being republished on paper in Russia and ... why perhaps too some of the other countries seem to prefer a fairly similar number of viewers over time and why none of the traditionally free countries has seen any paper publishing on larger scale of any of my six thousand plus articles.

Or why none of my music is played, for that matter.

Psychiatric specialists being involved in the watching is also fairly consistent with the former KGB scenario. It would involve looking at blog after blog and seeing I am not updating it, sometimes because it is an old blog with a successor or for a special finite purpose, sometimes because it is a blog I don't update every day, because I only do so when I have sth new to say on the subject.

When we look at the week, there is less Russian dominance and a bit more US and Ukrainean one ...

United States 6
United States 16
United States 17
United States 5

Russia 5
Russia 10
Russia 83
Russia 16
Russia 7
Russia 1
Russia 2
Russia 2
Russia 2
Russia 2

France 26
France 12

Italy 70
Italy 142
Italy 211
Italy 235

Japan 143

Ukraine 16
Ukraine 14
Ukraine 50

Russia 6 Germany 4 United States 3

Russia 13 United States 10
Russia 2 United States 2
Russia 13 United States 8

Poland 3 Russia 3
Poland 3 Russia 3

United Kingdom 1 Russia 1

Russia 3 Ukraine 2

France 10 Russia 10 United States 9
France 4 Russia 4 United States 3

Russia 6 Germany 4 Poland 4 France 3

Ukraine 103 United States 102 Russia 98

Russia 10 United States 7 Belgium 6

United Kingdom 4196 France 1854
Italy 72 Ukraine 52 United States 41

How if we compare with last month as well?

Russia 44
Russia 179
Russia 8
Russia 408
Russia 110

Russia 121
Russia 134
Russia 179
Russia 18
Russia 17

Russia 50
Russia 32
Russia 55
Russia 30
Russia 89

Russia 159
Russia 260
Russia 166
Russia 172
Russia 387

Russia 29
Russia 38

United States 42
United States 13

Italy 575
Italy 777

France 17760 United Kingdom 12352

Russia 427 Ukraine 382 Italy 348
Ukraine 460 Italy 446 Russia 429

Russia 665 Italy 488

Ukraine 17 Russia 14
Ukraine 35 Russia 31
Russia 67 Ukraine 47
Russia 275 Ukraine 179

United States 1894 Ukraine 1223 Russia 1116

Russia 33 United States 20
Russia 37 United States 20

Russia 260 Japan 158

Russia 27 France 21

So, for last month, Russian dominance is even more marked.

Just taking Ukraine, US and Russia here:

4233 : 30 = 141.1

Expected readers from month last 24 h = 141.

20 Real readers last 24 h.

140 : 20 = 7 Real readers are 1/7 of expected readers from month.

303 Real readers last week.

303 : 7 = 43.3 Expected readers from last week for last 24 hours.

43.3 : 20 = 2.165 Real readers are less than 1/2 of expected readers from last week.

141.1*7 = 987.7 Expected readers f o r last week from last month.

987.7 : 303 = 3.26 Real readers last week are less than 1/3 of what one could expect from last month.

Long story short : Russia, US and Ukraine have dominated my readership and diminished it. From month to week and from week to last 24 hours.

Also, France seems, on most of my blogs, to have a watchdog role. No blog has French dominance one week, let alone one month, except the one where France and UK share the dominance for quite some time now. As to its sister blog in French, it has Italian dominance.

So, for my resistance writing in an age of Evolutionism, I am fairly controlled resistance. Not because the big ones control what I write, but because they control who reads. For free countries, US and France can be pretty unfree, at times.

And I wonder how many of the Russian veterans from Samizdat era would in fact still believe printing from home is illegal - and I wonder if they would be right in Russia.

Now, second point.

Anyway, all this business of samizdat got me thinking. One of the oldest bodies of samizdat in the world is called the “New Testament”. It was written by a community living, not only under the threat of persecution by a brutal Roman regime that killed its Master by crucifixion and which periodically killed his servants by equally brutal means, but also under the rejection of its very own fathers, mothers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who were constantly telling the early Christians that they had lost their minds, that everything they believed is a lie, and that they are either crazy or liars too.

Such a community, telling the world such a tale as the incarnation, death, and resurrection of the God-man, needed to hear words of encouragement from one another—a lot. Its members needed to remind each other not merely to be brave against mobs that wanted to kill them, but against moms who pled with them to stop chasing after this nutty new cult that believed in a risen Messiah and claimed to have seen him with their own eyes. The great danger they faced was not persecution but seduction: the pleading call of friends and loved ones to see reason, abandon Jesus, and come along with them “for fellowship.”

The early Christians needed to tell each other, “No. You are not crazy. We saw the Risen Lord too. We heard his words. We saw the miracles. We saw the signs. We saw the apostles do such signs. We even saw each other do them. It’s all real. It’s all true. Be not afraid.”

This is why the letters of Paul are replete with admonitions to “encourage one another.” As Orwell noted, “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle. One thing that helps toward it is to keep a diary, or, at any rate, to keep some kind of record of one’s opinions about important events.” The New Testament is the Church’s diary. Every liturgy is a reading of that diary: a reminder of what happened, of what it means, of what the truth of things really is, that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. It is a call from our most ancient ancestors to hold fast to those truths no matter how much the world may lie to us.

Nearly all is correct.

One little point. In Roman Empire there was no such thing as copyright. Stealing a private letter and publishing it was punishable, I presume, but publishing whatever text you had bought or been sent was perfectly legal. This meant, each person copying could copy less than we would now, and still have more impact in the end - because others followed on.

Knowing you were not writing a faked text was back then an already developed art to which little has been added. It was a question of comparing the manuscripts you had.

And, as everything you copied for others could be copied in turn, it was mainly innizdat*.

This underground innizdat was what actually survived of contemporary history from AD 30 to AD 96 (the latest parts of Antiquities and possibly Jewish War excepted). Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are with Flavius Josephus our historians from Tiberius to Nerva's early reign.

And in Nerva's early reign, Tacitus explains why ...

We have read that the panegyrics pronounced by Arulenus Rusticus on Paetus Thrasea, and by Herennius Senecio on Priscus Helvidius, were made capital crimes, that not only their persons but their very books were objects of rage, and that the triumvirs were commissioned to burn in the forum those works of splendid genius. They fancied, forsooth, that in that fire the voice of the Roman people, the freedom of the Senate, and the conscience of the human race were perishing, while at the same time they banished the teachers of philosophy, and exiled every noble pursuit, that nothing good might anywhere confront them. Certainly we showed a magnificent example of patience; as a former age had witnessed the extreme of liberty, so we witnessed the extreme of servitude, when the informer robbed us of the interchange of speech and hearing. We should have lost memory as well as voice, had it been as easy to forget as to keep silence.

Chapter 2 of Agricola.

In other words from Tiberius to Domitian all the Roman Empire lived in a situation very close to that of Soviet Union. Because the latest surviving contemporary historian before this silence falls silent in AD 30 - when St John and Our Lord were speaking to Roman Soldiers in Palestine. It was Vellejus Paterculus, writing about the last 16 years, the first ones of Tiberius, in a very much more general way than he had written about Augustus.

I quoted both here:

somewhere else : Two of These Quoted (Silent Historians Argument Revisited)

I made the general observation about "silent historians" argument here:

somewhere else : 1st C Historians, Wikipedia Category

This is part of my Apologetics about the Resurrection of Christ, against the argument that no "contemporary and independent" historians confirm the Resurrection, nor even existence, of Jesus, Tacitus, Josephus, and Sueton all being next generation.

Well, there are no "independent" historians in that "contemporary" : the ones not enjoying the Church's faculties of preserving under ground publishing depended too much on the power and perished, if speaking about contemporary events. Tacitus, Sueton and Dio Cassius would all be quoting some historian from Nero's time - which we know now only in the quotes in Tacitus, Sueton and Dio Cassius. The Sovietic parallel was scaringly accurate.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
St Leo, bishop
martyred in Rome

PS, if the Church was so good at providing us with illegal writing in the age of Nero, it is astonishing if there would have been a true Church other than the Catholic and in the age of Constantine it survived in silence, like the Pagan Romans Tacitus spoke of. So much for Baptist Continuity theory, the second most absurd Church History after ... how about the "Church was never really Young Earth Creationist but discovered it was Evolutionist only after nearly 2000 years" ...

* OK, never learned Russian, and if my memory of "inny" = "other" is wrong, it would be a "false memory" from my time of learning Polish and having to leave off too soon. But I don't think it is.

Update next day
no clear dominant countryone dominant country
France 1 Russia 1
Poland 1 Russia 1
Ukraine 4 Indonesia 3 Russia 3 United States 3 Poland 2
Russia 10 Ukraine 9 United States 6 France 5 Brazil 3
United States 8 Ukraine 7 Russia 4

France 1 United States 1
France 1 United States 1 Vietnam 1
United Kingdom 713 France 414
Spain 1 France 1
France 2 Ukraine 2
Poland 2 Ukraine 2
Poland 2 Ukraine 2
Italy 74
Italy 75

Russia 10
Russia 1
Russia 1
Russia 2
Russia 38
Russia 7
Russia 17
Russia 1
Russia 1

France 5

Ukraine 2
Ukraine 2
Ukraine 2
Ukraine 2
Ukraine 14

Poland 1

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