How to Succeed with Binary Options Trading at Home 2020

TokenClub Bi-Weekly Report — Issue 114(5.4–5.17)

TokenClub Bi-Weekly Report — Issue 114(5.4–5.17)

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Hello everyone, thank you for your continued interest and support. In the past two weeks, various tasks of TokenClub have been progressing steadily. The product development and community operation progress this week are as follows:
1. TokenClub Events
1)Binance blockchain live streaming program “Block 101” joins TokenClub APP
TokenClub teamed up with Binance “Block 101” to host a series of live broadcast events. In the past two weeks, the big brothers such as the CEO of Feixin, Cobo co-founder Shenyu, and IOST co-founder Terry visited the TokenClub live broadcast room. See live summary. “Block 101” is a live broadcast of dialogues launched by Binance New Media Marketing Team, hosted by Jiayi, Anna, Liuliu, Yingge, Sisi, Qiqi, Doris, etc. Here will invite entrepreneurs in the industry, investment giants, opinion leaders, trading bulls or ordinary people with stories. Every Monday to Friday, with you in the TokenClub live room.

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2)Participate in poster forwarding, draw red envelope prize
When Bitcoin halves, TokenClub launches a poster forwarding red envelope campaign. On the day of the event, forward the poster to Twitter and the telegram group, and upload a screenshot to have the opportunity to extract the TCT red envelope award ~



3)Participate in live streaming interactive questions and win mysterious gift events
From May 11th to May 15th, TokenClub launched a live question and prize draw event. During the event, watch the block 101 live broadcast and interact with questions during the live broadcast, you will have the opportunity to get a mysterious gift from TokenClub.


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3)TokenClub’s self-media Bilaoye was invited to participate in AMA
a. On May 7th,Bilaoye was invited by UPChain to conduct an AMA with the theme of “Half Countdown, Where Will the Market Go” in the Chains community. AMA article link:
http://public.tokenup100.com/page/article.html?articleId=f1db8c6bfaa94886bbdd863ec9908252&from=timeline&isappinstalled=0
b. On May 8th, Bilaoye was invited by Golden Finance to conduct an AMA with the theme “Bitcoin Breaks Over US $ 10,000 and Will Do This in Half”. Review link:
https://m.jinse.com/live/topic?id=11813&from=singlemessage&isappinstalled=0
C. On May 14, Bilaoye was invited by Cailu Finance to conduct an AMA with the theme of “Correct Postures for Depositing Money” in the Cailu community.Review link:

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2.TokenClub Live
1) Summary
Recently, Feng Yuqing, the director of Yicai Global America, the first Chinese reporter to interview Buffett, the organizer & host of the First Financial New York Forum; a world-renowned financial expert, a professor of finance at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, and the director of the finance department -Cao Huining; ARPA founder Felix, SWFT Blockchain one-stop currency exchange cross-chain platform operation in Greater China & BD leader-Ye Fei, mining big man Binxin Mining CEO “Feige”, contract emperor co-founder Xiaoding, AlchemyPay co-founder Shi Xiang, financial expert & first-line trader Xu Zhe, Huobi Key Account Manager-Xiaotong, Roark Group & Bitribe & 499 Block founder sky, Cobo co-founder Shenyu, DappReview CEO Niu Fengxuan, IOST co-founder Terry; and TokenClub blockchain and cryptocurrency investment strategy senior expert-Zao Shen talks with you about the blockchain ~
On May 6, Block 101 Sisi Dialogue Felix, the founder of the hard-core technical team on the blockchain, ARPA Felix, the theme is “The Wall Street Battle of the Wall Street Elite”. In this live dialogue, the resume is dazzling. , The young man who was free to switch between “Yangchun Baixue” and “earthed gas” from the team’s initial heart chat to his investment strategy to the judgment of the entire currency market, his fanaticism of rock seems to explain a series of “adventure” options- — Longing for a more free and innovative world.


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On May 6th, TokenClub invited the one-stop SWFT Blockchain currency exchange cross-chain platform Greater China operation & BD leader-Ye Fei as a guest to “Jingjing at 8 o’clock” live broadcast, bringing us “flash exchange in the future block The theme of “Chain Payment Ecosystem” is shared. Mr. Ye made a detailed interpretation of SWFTC, and revealed the development plan of SWFTC, and exchanged questions and answers with fans enthusiastically.

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On May 7th, Block 101 Luna talked to the CEO of the mining industry, who is most familiar with KTV, Kexin Mining, “Fei Ge”. Liu Fei talked to Bin An Luna, he counted his mining “stepping on the pit road” “, Talking about halving the market and investment experience, talking to the second half, wearing a red Polo shirt, he began to persuade everyone to learn more in the KTV in Beijing at night, and recommended books.


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On May 8, the TokenClub live column-”Professor had an appointment” shared the theme: “BOC crude oil treasure and financial derivatives market”. In this issue, Professor Cao invited the first U.S. Global Director of the United States, the first Chinese reporter to interview Buffett, the organizer & host of the First Financial New York Forum, and Columbia University Master of International Relations Feng Yuqing to share with guests on Chain, digital currency financial derivatives market, etc. have done a detailed exchange analysis.

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On May 8th, block 101 was led by Binance BD’s head Li Jiayi, who talked about contract emperor co-founder Xiao Dingdang. He is an old code farmer who is known for his futures contract operations. He wrote a 10-year code, and the front end Everyone is familiar with it, and it is hard to say anything on the line of speech. Frankly, he talked from his fortune history to the story of the endless number of contract circles, and shared his trading iron law with everyone: there must be a stop loss; must practice more and try more.


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On May 9th, Zaoshen is coming ~ The sharing theme of this issue is: The Yangtze River will push back and forth, and one wave will be more than one wave. Speaking of the “Houlang” hot event, Zao Shen mainly analyzed the halving market with everyone in detail, to see how many opportunities there are and what strategies to choose. Soul asked: How much money did you make in this wave of quotes?


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On May 11, Block 101 was discussed by Binance Qiqi Dialogue AlchemyPay co-founder Shi Xiang, the former vice president of Zhongan Technology and the founder of Micro Index shared with you the experience of dealing with overseas regulators: supervision is not actually strong Groups, regulation will strike you because you are worried about doing bad things, but as long as you are willing to actively communicate, regulation usually gives a tolerance period. For more content, please move to the live room.

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May 12, Exclusive: Huobi Global & Knowing Daniel Interpretation of “Physical Currency, Debt Currency to Encrypted Digital Currency”. The key account manager of Huobi Global has a conversation with financial expert and front-line trader Xu Zhe, talking about physical currency, debt currency and encrypted digital currency. Work is tired enough, the market is already exciting enough, pick Xu Da Tucao various currencies, teach you to return all the money. The value of the young lady’s face is a feeling of emotion.


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On May 12, Block 101 was founded by Binance Thinking, the founder of Roark Group, Bitribe, and 499Block. Sky, a science and technology man from Tsinghua University and MIT, has the title of “Coin Circle Zheng Kai”. Sky said that starting a business in the blockchain industry is like drifting in the turbulent Amazon River. If you do n’t believe that you will eventually reach the sea, you will be thrown off. Sky believes that Bitcoin is essentially a consensus based on time. Halving is like escaping the monsters, and each level increases the consensus.

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On May 13th, Block 101 Luna talked to F2Pool and Cobo co-founder Shenyu, and talked about the “new” story of Bitcoin. Leo ’s Godfish talked to us about the monopoly of computing power, mining pool operations, halving and Cobo ’s future development goals. He said that 80–90% of personal assets are Bitcoin, and about 10% of Ethereum and other Strange coins from mining. It is called “the first segment of the coin circle” because “more pits are filled, so in the end each pit becomes a stalk.”

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On May 14, Niu Fengxuan, CEO of DappReview, talked about “how ordinary people make money through Dapp”. Niu Fengxuan graduated from Fudan and Stanford. He is a serious game enthusiast. He has written many in-depth game evaluations and is an early participant of Dapp. He said that many people think that the biggest application of blockchain is speculation, but the technology ultimately serves products and applications. In the long run, if blockchain can really bring changes and innovations to the world technically, then it must be C-side users should feel it in a more friendly way in other fields.


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On May 15th, Block 101 Yingge talked to IOST co-founder Terry and talked about “The Blockchain Ideal of Princeton Schoolmaster”. Terry told us about his sad history, happy history, and experience and experience of mining from college mining to graduate school to entrepreneurship, talked about the development direction of the blockchain market, and interacted with fans.


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On May 16th, senior expert Zao Shen brought a live broadcast on the theme of “Depth Is Insufficient In Operation, How To Play With Crash”. In this live broadcast, in addition to analyzing the macro level of the economy, Zao Shen also focused on sharing The specific operation skills emphasized the principle of buying and selling, and finally commented on the hot events such as the recent Federal Reserve announcement that it will not fall to negative interest rates.


3.TokenClub operation data
-Live data: 13 live broadcasts in the past two weeks, with over 600,000 views. TokenClub hosted a total of 835 live broadcasts with a total of 44.25 million views.
-Binary trade data: In the past two weeks, guess the rise and fall to participate in a total of 1060 times, the amount of participation exceeded 2 million TCT. At present, it is guessed that the rise and fall function has participated in a total of 1.11 million times, with a cumulative participation amount of 496 million TCT.
-Chat data: In the past two weeks, a total of 28,950 messages have been generated. A total of 4.83 milliom messages have been launched since the function was launched.
-Mini-game data: The mini-game has participated in a total of 7,830 times in the past two weeks. A total of 1,66 million self-functions have been online.
-Cut leeks game data together: Since the game was launched, the total number of user participation in the game was 954,364 TCT total consumption was 6,27 million gift certificate total consumption was 15,53 million and TCT mining output was 160,48.
-TokenClub KOL data: Over the past two weeks, the total reading volume of the BTCGrandpa article has been viewed by more than 300,000 people.
-Social media data: At present, the number of Weibo official accounts is 17,972 and the number of Twitter followers is 1310, and we have opened the official Medium account this week, welcome to follow.
-Telegram official group data: In the past 2 weeks, there were 310 chats in the group, and the total number of Telegram official groups is currently 2971.
-Medium data: Medium official account u/TokenClub has published 1 excellent articles, official announcements and updates are published in English, welcome to follow.
4.Communities
1)Overseas community
TokenClub held an event for forwarding Twitter and telegram group chats for overseas users. Bitcoin halved in less than two weeks, overseas users are more active in the telegram group, and some friends are more concerned about Binance Block 101 live broadcast, aggregation exchange, TCT usage and other issues, the administrator responded in time.On May 12th, when Bitcoin was halved, TokenClub organized a forwarding Twitter, telegram group chat prize event and participating in a live question asking interactive prize event for overseas users. There are many live broadcast events in the near future. The live broadcast poster information will be released to overseas users as soon as possible. The follow-up TokenClub will translate and broadcast high-quality live broadcast content to Twitter and Medium. Bitcoin halved, overseas users are more active in the telegram group, and some partners are more concerned about block 101 live broadcast, bitcoin future price trend, TCT usage and other issues, the administrator responded in time in the group.

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2)Domestic community
Last Friday, a holiday, the community opened the red envelope rain event, and brought a sincere gift to everyone while relaxing in the holiday. At the same time, it also sent the most sincere blessings to all mothers in the community on Mother’s Day. Thank you for your long-term support and help to the Orange Club community.


The third week of the second 100-day fixed investment plan held this week has been awarded. The participation of this event is still quite positive. This week, the bitcoin halving market was also opened in advance. If it starts according to the first day The small partners participating in the fixed investment should now have a certain floating win, so we adopt the correct cycle investment strategy to believe that it can bring unexpected benefits to everyone.


On May 9th and May 16th, TCT Fortune Free Academy carried out red envelope party activities as scheduled. In the event, in addition to GF red envelopes, students were reminded that there may be a callback risk after the pie halving, and short-term profits are available.


On the evening of May 3rd and May 10th, TCT Fortune Free Academy carried out the 51st and 52nd week sign-in sweepstakes, and rewarded the small TCT partners who had always insisted on signing in. In these two sign-in sweepstakes, the lucky friends received 20–180TCT as a reward. In addition, during the lucky draw, the college friends also actively expressed their opinions on the topic of this year’s bull market.

The Leek Paradise Community Conference will continue as usual every Sunday at 20:00. During the conference, members will discuss recent hot topics, including gifts and blessings for Mother ’s Day, and the halving of Bitcoin everyone is paying attention to. At the end, the friends in the group also showed a rare enthusiasm at the first sight. It seems that the market still affects the mood. The members routinely started a red envelope rain to cheer for the participating partners and encourage everyone to maintain patience and confidence. Of course, at the same time, we are encouraging ourselves to see the community meeting next week. Come on!

TokenClub volunteer community, sign in red envelopes every day, as long as you sign in every day, you can get good benefits, friends join us quickly! In the past two weeks, the community has conducted active partners.

TCT has been listed on Binance、Okex、Gate.io、ZB-M、MXC、Biki、Coinex、BigOne、Coinbene、Cybex、SWFT、Loopring、Rootrex etc.
TokenClub website: www.tokenclub.com
Telegram:https://t.me/token\_club
TokenClub App download QR code

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Heritage (4)

First Chapter
Previous Chapter
The view of Sanctuary was made even more impressive as An’Ra and his team waited in the V-Lift. Through the window, they can see the ornate streets curving through resplendent pools underneath, dotted by the occasional fountain.
“I hate this.” Vora groaned, dressed in a soldier’s standard battle uniform. “Why are we here, Commander?”
“We were investigating genocide and possible use of bioweapons,” Sonak explained, “Even without the first part, Strain Y is going to scare a lot of people. I think it’s reasonable for the Council to take a personal interest in this. Besides, I think the real issue here is the fact you might actually have to speak to the Council.”
“But...ugh, fine. Yes, I wasn’t mentally prepared for it when An’Ra came along and went, Party’s over, ass to the Council, now.”
“Hey now.” An’Ra feigned offense, “I didn’t say it that way, did I?”
“Kind of close, Commander.” Sonak chuckled.
“But still, I think that this isn’t about keeping the galaxy safe.” Vora sighed. “I think the Council’s keeping an eye open for any opportunity to to convince the galaxy they’re still in charge.”
“Or maybe they genuinely want to make sure that we’re not at risk of dying a horrible death by watching our own bodies melt.” Sonak shrugged. “Strain Y doesn’t care if you’re an officer or infantry.”
“That assumes the Council cares about what’s going on outside of these walls.” Vora glanced over, wariness in her look.
“Either way, we’re going to get our answer. Eyes open.” An’Ra said as the V-Lift doors parted ways, revealing the same ornate architecture within. Trees and grasses stole the eye as they walked through the hallways, various government officials from the myriad races conversing and conducting whatever business they were doing. After walking up some steps, they arrived at the large double-doors that lead to the Council Chambers. Standing on each side were the guards constantly on watch for any potential attack. Both of them Anaran, as expected. On approach, the guards opened up the doors to allow An’Ra and his team in.
When they entered, the room was probably more magnificent than they expected. A grand, curved window dominated the view. An unintrusive look into the beautiful splendor of Sanctuary. Directly in front of An’Ra and his team was a pathway that led to a semi-circular desk, standing in front of the raised platform that the Council sat, who had just now noticed the arrivals and are settling themselves in.
And it was there An’Ra got a good look at the Council. Four of them, half Esti, half Huak. An’Ra secretly never liked the Esti, the way he could see menacing fangs when their flat mouths opened, or those flaps of scale that expands outward into a hood. It just unnerved him, a reason he could never really find out. As soon as he sensed that they were ready, he walked up to the desk, wearing his officer’s dress uniform, comprised of a fine, smooth fabric shirt, adorned with a fluffy sash that went from his right shoulder down to his left side, shoulder pads accented with shining studs and finished with awards placed on his top-left chest, awards hard earned back in the Great War.
“Commander An’Ra.” The Huak councilor on the far right side, Neual, began, thick fingers interlaced together as he rested his hands on the desk. “Thank you for agreeing to this unusual request, we are very appreciative.”
“It’s no trouble, Councilor.” An’Ra gave a slight bow. “How can I help?”
“We’ll start at the beginning.” The first Esti councilor, Zhur, stated, holding up a secure datapad to ensure the information is easily accessible. “Strain Y. Your report says that while there is confirmation it was used, it was not used in significant quantities. Can you elaborate on that for us?”
“Previous uses of Strain Y all had one thing in common,” An’Ra began, “The amount deployed saturated the atmosphere of the planets they were used on. This is because, despite its lethality, is not actually that infectious. In order to guarantee the total elimination of a planet’s population, you will need to deploy it in such large numbers that everyone will be infected within minutes of deployment. In this case, for Planet 3, there simply wasn’t enough to reach that threshold.”
“At which you go on to state that thermal weapons were used in a state of panic,” Yhiz, the second Esti councilor, added, “Can you explain your reasoning for us?”
“As established before, Strain Y was used on the planet. My working theory is that, when they discovered that they grossly underestimated the amount needed, they panicked and used thermal weapons to both try and burn out the supplies used and finish the genocide they started.”
“But if thermal weapons were indeed used, how did you confirm Strain Y was deployed?” Zhur spoke up.
“We found pieces of Strain Y’s genetic material on the planet’s surface.” An’Ra glanced over to Zhur’s direction. “And as I arrived back in the system, I received a quantum packet from the expedition, stating that they have confirmed that Strain Y was indeed used. Adding that with the obvious use of thermal weaponry, I concluded that the attackers didn’t use enough of the weapon to guarantee extinction.”
Zhur leaned back in her seat, scarlet eyes fixated on the desk. An’Ra couldn’t tell if she was trying to find a counter argument or just processing the information.
“Have you found any evidence that can tell us if there’s more of the strain out in the galaxy?” Neual asked after giving a sigh through his wide nostrils.
“I’m afraid not, sir. All I can definitively say is that this planet fell victim to a biological Cruel Weapon.”
“I’m more concerned about the native life.” Ghala, the final and second Huak councilor, stated after being silent. “Are you absolutely certain that none of the planet’s indigenous life survived?”
“The scientific team said that there’s a very low chance of that.” An’Ra’s ears flattened. “And after seeing the surface myself, I must agree. I don’t think we should wait for a miracle.”
“Ah...I see.” Ghala leaned back in his chair, obviously disheartened. “Even if the planet is now incapable of supporting life, we still wish to move forward with a more symbolic gesture and statement by declaring Planet 3 of System AQ 115-4A illegal for colonization.”
“But let’s move onto what I believe is the most pressing issue: the identity of the attackers.” Neual leaned forward. “Based on your report, you and the team have found nothing that neither confirms nor clears any potential suspect?”
“That’s correct, Councilor.” An’Ra nodded. “We’ve found nothing, within the system and on the planet itself, that tells us anything about who did it.”
“Are there any surviving infrastructure on the planet?” Ghala asked, straightening his posture. “Even if there isn’t much, maybe the natives’ equipment has something we can use?”
“As established before, the planet was devastated terribly. There are indeed ruins of their civilization, but whether or not we can salvage anything from them is a different story.” An’Ra answered with a sigh.
“So in that case, the Qu’Rathi are still the likely aggressors then.” Zhur stated.
“I’m not convinced.” An’Ra shook his head. “Everything we have so far is just circumstantial, nothing solid.”
“Yes, that proves they did it. But looking at it from a different perspective, nothing that proves they didn’t do it either.” Zhur countered, her eyes squinting some.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to press forward with what I think you’re planning, Councilor.” An’Ra leaned forward on the table, ears flattening back. “If you do, and we uncover evidence that clearly proves their innocence, you will be pushing an innocent race away.”
“But if we uncover evidence that proves their guilt, then the trial will be much more expedient.” Yhiz joined in, his eyes also squinting slightly.
“With respect Council, I still think that’s the worst decision you can make.” An’Ra’s teeth began to bare as he spoke. “We can’t make any decision until we acquire more evidence.”
“Nothing we have proves that Strain Y is permanently removed as a future threat.” Zhur started, “Nothing we have proves that the Federation did not do anything. Right now, we have the threat of a Class 4 Cruel Weapon looming over everyone’s heads. People will start becoming scared, start wondering if their shadows will melt them at any time.”
“I know that Councilors!” An’Ra raised his voice. “Give me time! I’m not saying this is over yet, just let me keep looking!”
“We aren’t stopping your investigation, Commander.” Neual said, holding his hand up slightly. “We’re just informing you that you may not have the time you thought you had.”
“What does that mean?” An’Ra’s ears stuck out at an angle, mixed between stiffening and anger.
The councilors looked at each other for a few moments before Zhur stood up and took in a deep breath. “Commander, based on both the collected evidence so far, and lack of any other evidence, the Council has decided to proceed with charging the Qu’Rathi Federation on counts of Genocide, possession of a Cruel Weapon, and deployment of Cruel Weapons with intent for malicious harm. Out of respect for your efforts, Commander, we will give you eight months to continue your investigation. Beyond that, we will close your investigation to allow the courts time to process and review what has been collected.”
“Are you insane?!” An’Ra shouted. “Do you even realize what would happen if you’re wrong?!”
“We do, Commander.” Zhur nodded. “But the risk is just too high. The safety of the galaxy and justice for the inhabitants of System AQ 115-4A must be our top priority. This debrief is over.”
An’Ra stood in complete and stunned silence, watching the Council casually get up from their seats and dispersing to their own private offices. It wasn’t until that they have fully left the chambers that An’Ra finally found the will to move and regroup with Sonak and Vora, both of whom are also equally stunned.
“Those ekas!” Vora exclaimed. “It’s bad enough to be quick at accusing someone, but how dare they claim this is for those humans!”
“And here I thought all those things the news were saying was just to get people to watch them.” Sonak muttered softly. “Commander, obviously this is bad.”
“I know, Sonak.” An’Ra crossed his arms, ears now pointing straight back and teeth fully bared. “We can’t let them do this.”
“But what can we do?” Sonak exclaimed. “What options do we have?”
“Alliance Enforcement!” Vora declared. “Commander, what if you filed a complaint to the Lord-Enforcer? Tell him what’s going on?”
“That’s a good idea actually.” Sonak nodded. “If we convince the Lord-Enforcer that the Council is being too hasty with our investigation, which shouldn’t be hard, he just might deny the Council’s request for prosecution!”
“I can’t imagine the Lord-Enforcer approving this even without our complaint.” An’Ra replied. “Still, never hurts to be prepared. Come on, let’s get to it.”

Jur’El leaned back in the puffy seat he was assigned to. The restaurant he entered had a calm and relaxed atmosphere. The lighting was dimmed, which complimented the dark but cozy ambiance of the room. The walls and floor each had a dark-themed color scheme, the seats were of a different scheme but not too different to oppose the goal set by the designer. And although the building was packed with customers, their conversations did not threaten to turn anyone deaf. It was a quiet and relaxed experience, something he needed desperately.
Even now, as hard as he tried to focus on how delicious his food was, how balanced the flavor and texture of it was, he was still forced to relive what happened on Planet 3. He could hear the sudden screams of his colony group. The scientists who were first awoken that wanted to find out why their Life world was so different to the data they were given. To the families and menial workers who were just talking amongst themselves and organizing the supplies when those machines stormed the ship. And what still terrifies him, still sends his heart racing, was when that one machine entered the control room, blood drenching its chassis. Bits and pieces of Qu’Rathi innards on its cold mechanical manipulators. How it just stared at him, lifelessly, with a rifle aiming right at his chest. And those drills. Those ghenning drills.
He was forced out of his torment by the rough poking of his shoulder. When he looked, it was another Qu’Rathi. “Captain Jur’El, right?”
“Uh..yes, who are you?” He nodded in confusion.
“Jhen.” She introduced herself, quickly taking a seat opposite from him. “I need to talk to you.”
“About what?”
“The expedition to that system deep in the Dead Zone.” She glared at him, mandibles tense. “The same system who’s Life world had a native population, the very same world being investigated as a genocide site, where your expedition went to settle.”
“Jhen, please, we had no idea what was going on.” Jur’El leaned back, hands raised in a defensive posture. “All we were told was that this was the most pristine and beautiful Life world ever discovered in a system rich with stellar bodies.”
“I don’t care about that. What I care is how you seem to be the only one who came back.” Jhen started raising herself from her seat. “I’m pretty sure that anyone who attempts to colonize a freshly cleansed world is forcibly removed from that planet and returned to their respective people. So where is everyone?”
Jur’El’s eyes went wide. He knew exactly where this was going. “I...I can’t tell you.”
“Don’t you dare.” Jhen snarled, now leaning over the table. “I’ve heard enough of that from the company, I’m not here to be force-fed more of it!”
“Just...trust me,” Jur’El spoke softly, shakily leaving his seat, “You don’t want to know.”
“Don’t you ghenning walk away from me!” Jhen shouted, grabbing Jur’El’s shoulder firmly, the other patrons now locking eyes to the two. “Two of my sons were on that mission! What happened to them?!”
Jur’El clutched his head with a hand firmly, feeling tears exploding out of his eyes. His mind rushing back to those scenes. The sounds, the smell, the fear. Everything crashed into him all at once. And they’re not just memories now. They’re all coming back to him as if he was transported in time and placed back to the exact moment it started. Back to the moment where he was screaming for his wife and son to hide, to find a corner of the ship that was hard to see and to stay there until the shooting stopped. How he felt his heart give out when he heard them beg for their life when they were found, cut short by the merciless cracks of their alien weapons. How every possible feeling melted away when the clanking of the machine’s walking approached him, when he realized there was no nowhere in the control room to hide, not with how thorough those things were being. The frantic, mindless begging he got into when he saw the blood covered machine hold that weapon to him.
“You’re safe!” A voice rang out. It wasn’t much, but it was enough for him to come back. That scene melting away back into the restaurant. All those smells and sights to be gone. When he was certain that it was over, he looked around. There was Jhen, face beaten and currently being restrained by a blue-furred Anaran. And in front of him was another, gray-furred one. “You hear me? You’re safe now!”
“I...wh-what happened?”
“We saw what was going on. The Qu’Rathi over there? She was just screaming down your throat, all while you were just on the floor. Ken’A there nearly caved her face in by the time we got some distance between you two.”
“Th...thank you.” Jur’El muttered, shakily getting himself back on his feet with the help of the gray Anaran. Jur’El was just about to walk away when the Anaran firmly, but not threateningly, gripped his shoulder.
“I know the signs, friend.” He began softly. “Your soul is badly wounded and is bleeding heavily. Just like a doctor if you’re shot or cut, you need to find someone to talk to, get your soul back together.”
“As long as I don’t run into another person like her, I’ll be fine.” Jur’El countered, trying to walk away still.
“No, you won’t.” The Anaran still held his grip. “I need you to trust me. With how bad your soul is right now, doing anything other than talking to someone will just make it worse. And when your soul dies, well...believe me, it’s not a good experience, for anybody.”
Jur’El stared into the gray Anaran’s orange eyes for a moment before he let out a sigh. “You’re not going to give up, are you?”
“I’ve seen what happens too many times. Good Battle-Brothers, completely different people. Either they’re just shadows of themselves, or doomed to forever relive their horrors. If I have the chance to prevent it happening again, I’m giving it my all.”
Jur’El looked aside for a few moments, internally fighting himself as to whether he should comply or keep resisting. He finally reached his decision when he became certain that the Anaran would most likely hunt him down as a life mission if he didn’t seek therapy. “Fine, I’ll do it. Got anyone in mind?”
“A dear friend of mine. He’ll get you back on track, promise.” The Anaran patted Jur’El’s shoulder a few times before proceeding to lead him, motioning for Ken’A to let go of Jhen and follow.

Michael, accompanied by his newly founded Praetorian Guard, continued his leisurely stroll down the surprisingly spacious corridor. The hallway itself was typical. All-metal construction with evenly spaced rows of blue-white lights.
The Praetorian Guard themselves are comprised of those Servants who display both extreme scores in combat efficiency and effectiveness in defensive situations. Armed with the absolute best in magnetic-ballistics, the most impenetrable of armor designs and the highest optimized combat-frames, even a squad of these guards can hold off a virtual army, provided they aren’t subjected to bombardment or heavy ordinance.
Just as Michael was about to enter the main command center of the station he was touring, Central contacted him on a private channel.
“Master? Your new administration is ready.” He declared proudly.
“Alright, let’s begin the introductions.” Michael replied, signaling the guardsmen that he’s about to enter a meeting. Although unneeded, the Guard promptly took up a defensive formation around him. He assumes this is mostly to keep unwelcome guests from interrupting him.
The scenery of the tranquil design of the corridor melted away into the virtual world built by neon-blue blocks, the same visual that he witnessed when he first received the interface. After a few moments, several other Servants materialized and stood attention in a semi-circle in front of him.
“My Lord.” The first Servant bowed, its voice deep, if gruff. “I’m Supreme Commander Schwarzkopf, in charge of managing our armed forces and overseeing the grand strategy of the Imperium.”
“I am Secretary Elizabeth.” The second spoke with a calming, soothing feminine voice. “I’m responsible for ensuring our economy runs perfectly. In short, I make sure every project gets the hammers and resources it needs.”
“I’m Foreign Minister Edward, at your service m’Lord.” The third, with a distinct British accent and of a composed, controlled voice. “While regretfully I’m useless at this stage, the moment we initiate contact with xeno species, I’ll handle diplomatic affairs and achieving our goals through negotiations when possible.”
“No offense, but I thought every Servant wants to see aliens dead?” Michael spoke up with slight confusion.
“Oh, of course. The very idea of ripping out the entrails of a xeno and suffocating them with it brings such joy it’s therapeutic.” Benjamin replied. Michael was unsure if he was joking or not. “I was appointed because I displayed the most effective ability at hiding such feelings.”
“Ah...good to know.” Michael nodded dryly, not exactly assured. “Back to where we were?”
“Yes, Lord. I’m Director Mansfield.” The fourth spoke with an eloquent-sounding voice. “I’m in charge of Imperial Intelligence, running operations abroad and managing counter-intelligence on the homefront. I give you my word that we will know everything about the aliens and they will know nothing about us.”
“And that leaves me, Master.” Central began. “As a result of this delegation, I now possess more processing cycles towards research and development. That means that I’ll be in charge of ensuring Imperial dominance in technology. I will also act as your adjutant, filtering out information that does not need your attention.”
“Well...shit, this sounds like an actual government I’m in charge of.” Michael gave out a nervous chuckle. “All the more reason to get down to business though. Let’s start with the first matter. Schwarzkopf, how’s our military coming along?”
“It’s growing rapidly, your majesty.” He answered with distinct pride. “Already we have several hundred frigates, fifty light cruisers and twenty heavy cruisers, with the first wave of battleships due to exit the drydocks within a few days. Additionally, we have established four different army groups with fifty divisions each.”
“I thought we’d take a lot longer.” Michael stated with no hidden amazement.
“There’s great benefit in our workforce able to operate at a hundred percent every hour of the day.” Elizabeth commented, her emotion-flags also indicating pride. “And speaking of which, our population of Servants grows geometrically. That benefits both our economy and the military. Our economy by providing more workers in skilled and unskilled labor, and the military by providing more crew members and soldiers.”
“So in short, it won’t be long before we become a virtual powerhouse.” Michael said, arms crossed.
“Especially if we continue expanding.” Elizabeth nodded. “On that note, we have already claimed several dozen more systems.”
“With Rigel and Betelgeuse selected as naval bases.” Schwarzkopf chimed in.
“So we’re expanding in all the ways, got it.” Michael nodded. “Now the second matter. Terraforming Mars.”
“At present, there are two issues that must be resolved.” Central answered. “The first problem is the planet’s lack of a magnetosphere. Without that, any and all organic life would perish under lethal bombardment of the Sun’s solar wind, in addition to any sustainable atmosphere being lost to space. The second problem is Mars’ inability to retain heat, the cause for it’s known low planetary temperature.”
“And knowing you, you already have possible answers?” Mansfield shrugged.
“Correct. The heat issue is rather trivial to solve. Mars already has an abundant amount of carbon-dioxide within the atmosphere, a well known greenhouse gas. Combined with even more of the gas locked planet side, once temperatures begin to rise, we will set off a snowball effect. However, that is all for naught if the atmosphere is allowed to escape into space by solar wind.”
“So basically the key here is the magnetosphere.” Michael added. “Build that and everything becomes simple.”
“Exactly.” Central affirmed. “Already there are two main methods. One is to build superconducting rings around the planet and drive them with direct current. With enough power, we can generate magnetic fields strong enough to form a virtual magnetosphere.”
“And what’s the second?” Elizabeth said.
“The second is to construct a station at the L1 Lagrange Point that will generate a dipole magnetic field, diverting the solar wind around the planet instead of into it. Although it was simulated using slower, binary processing, the results indicate that Mars would gain half the atmospheric pressure of Earth’s within a few years.”
“So then, the main focus is building that magnetic shield.” Michael spoke firmly. “Elizabeth? Let’s get the ball rolling. Coordinate with Central as needed.”
“At once, my Lord.” Elizabeth bowed.

Unlike the Council chambers, the office of the Lord-Enforcer was much less opulent and more pragmatic. After going through the receptionist area, An’Ra and his team were escorted into the main office itself. However, just like the chambers, a large window dominated the view on entry, granting another view of a city district on Sanctuary.
And sitting in the more rectangular desk was the Lord-Enforcer himself, Dura. Blue eyed, with a fur of dull-orange it reminds of a sunset. As soon as An’Ra and his team walked into the office, the Enforcer sat up, tail wagging.
“Commander An’Ra, in my office!” He exclaimed, arms out to his sides. “Forgive me sir, but I never thought I’d see the day!”
“A pleasure to meet you, sir.” An’Ra replied warmly, greeting the Enforcer with their fists clasped together and pulling themselves inward, shoulder to shoulder.
“Please, no need to be formal with me.” Dura chuckled. “Sit down, what brings you here?”
After taking their respective seats, An’Ra looked at Dura grimly. “I’m here to file a delay on a request for prosecution against the Federation.”
Dura’s ears angled themselves in a mixture of stiffening and lowering. “I just got the paperwork from the Council. And I can tell you that won’t be needed. I’ve already submitted my rejection.”
“With respect, sir.” Sonak spoke up. “I get the feeling that the Council might fight that.”
“Don’t worry, I’m not going to present my back to them just because they ask.” Dura gave off a grin. “I might be some paper-tosser now, but that just means the battlefield is different. Don’t worry Commander, as long as I’m here, you’ll get the chance to finish this investigation properly.”
“Thank you, Enforcer.” An’Ra smiled as he got up from his seat. “With any luck, you won’t have to fight long.”
“Oh, take your time!” Dura replied with an inflection of humor. “This is the most exciting thing I’ve had in years. Was just about to smash my head on this desk any day now actually.”
“Wait, really?” Vora asked, ears stiffened.
“It’s just a joke, Vora.” Sonak assured dryly.
“Oh...” Her ears flattened as the team exited the office.
When they arrived in the main plaza where the Enforcer’s office is located, they congregated in a small collection of benches nearby an ornate fountain that commemorated the Anaran defense of Felaal IV, largely considered the turning point of the Great War, which further enhanced the beauty of the surrounding scenery of floating walkways above crystal-clear waters.
“Well, that’s a relief, hopefully.” An’Ra began, letting out a decompressing sigh.
“I meant what I said earlier, An’Ra.” Sonak said. “If the Council are determined to charge the Federation, which I’m sure they made abundantly clear, they’re not going to let the Enforcer drop mines in their path just like that.”
“Which just means we can’t lose our focus.” Vora replied sternly. “So, what are our options? We can’t exactly go back to Planet 3, there’s really no leads there.”
“What about that Detective we met when we arrived?” Sonak suggested. “He was handling that whistle blower. Maybe that’s something worth looking into?”
“There’s also the Nav-Net.” Vora said. “All we got right now is that the Feds were at that location, but what if we look at the rest of the network? Try and trace their path?”
“The network doesn’t extend into the Dead Zone.” Sonak countered.
“No, not like that. We look at the network across Alliance space. We start with the logs that end at the Dead Zone, and we try to backtrack their route.”
“We’ll need to obtain legal authorization for that, Vora.” An’Ra stated.
“Actually, if I could add something.” Sonak said with his arms crossed. “If the Federation didn’t actually do it, then that questions the credibility of those codes. I think there’s a question that hasn’t been asked yet. And that is, are those codes faked?”
“That’s...a good point actually.” Vora acceded. “If we get the legal permission to examine the NavNet logs, then if the Federation didn’t do it, the logs across the network won’t support it. Think about it. You need a big fleet to do what just happened, and that fleet has to come from somewhere.”
“And that would mean if this was a frame job, they need a way to account for that.” An’Ra continued, confidence flaring. “It’s one thing to trick a single Nav-Buoy, but I really doubt anyone is capable enough of affecting the network itself.”
“We still need the Enforcer’s help to get access to the network.” Sonak reminded.
“Let’s go get it then.” An’Ra stated firmly. With that, the team left their meeting spot and began returning to the Enforcer’s office.
With confidence in their step, the walk back to the office was much shorter compared to before. However, things took a turn when An’Ra and the team noticed a large gathering of officers around the office entrance. They didn’t have to time to wonder when a group exited the office, dragging a combative Dura out with them.
“Commander, this isn’t good.” Sonak growled under his breath.
An’Ra simply stepped forward and grabbed one of the arresting officers. “What in Arenar’s Sword is going on here?”
“Dura’s under arrest on suspicion of corruption.” The officer replied flatly. “Lil’Al has been appointed as acting Lord-Enforcer.”
“The Council’s behind this, Commander!” Dura shouted, his feet literally dragging along the floor as four officers were taking him away. “Don’t believe a word they say about me!”
An’Ra and his team just stood there in stunned silence, watching and hearing the Anaran official being dragged virtually kicking and screaming. By the time they returned to their senses, hushed conversations was populating both the room and outside.
“We’re not going to get in the network, are we?” Sonak asked, still recovering.
“We still have to try, come on.” An’Ra said, already moving. When the team returned to the office, standing next to the desk was a slender Esti. No doubt Lil’al. She was looking out the window when she turned around upon hearing the encroaching footsteps.
“Yes, may I help you?” She began.
“Acting Lord-Enforcer Lil’Al?” An’Ra began, trying the diplomatic route first. “I’m Commander An’Ra, investigating the genocide by use of Strain Y. We’d like to request legal authorization to examine the logs of the Nav-Net.”
“For what purpose?” She replied, taking her seat.
“We believe that it may hold evidence that either confirms or disproves the Federation’s alleged involvement in the attack.”
Lil’Al leaned back in her seat, staring at them. “The Nav-Net is the lifeblood of, well, everything. Commerce, tourism, law enforcement. It holds great information about who has gone where, and in what ship, Commander. You realize that, don’t you?”
“I do, and what you’ve said precisely states how important that is, how important the potential evidence is.”
Lil’Al stayed motionless for a few moments, her long, lithe fingers twiddling about that indicates her thought. “Very well, I’ll start the paperwork to get you authorization, just be mindful of what you’re about to analyze.”
“Thank you.” An’Ra gave a slight bow. “In addition, I’m not sure if it’s been passed along, but Dura has rejected the Council’s request for prosecuting the Federation. Can I assume you’ll uphold that?”
“I’m afraid not, Commander.” Lil’Al replied flatly. “The galaxy has suffered a great loss through the genocide of a race who’ve suffered the universe’s cruel sense of humor by being placed both far away from us and deep within an almost uninhabitable region. I have overturned Dura’s rash decision and accepted the Council’s request.”
“Then I’d like to file a delay on that decision, immediately.” An’Ra replied, ears flattened back.
“On what grounds?”
“Lack of decisive evidence, to start.”
“Same could be said on your side, Commander.” Lil’Al let out a sigh. “Yes, all the evidence collected thus far is not...ideal. However, the most significant points at this time are that a young race who was just about to leave their homeworld was exterminated through the most horrible of all options. We cannot ignore that.”
“But we also can’t rush to conclusions. We need to continue investigating and only go after someone if we have at least one crucial piece of information.” An’Ra countered, arms crossed and his teeth starting to bare.
“And I agree, that’s how it should be done.” Lil’Al replied. “But if we do, we risk dragging out an investigation to such a length we may end up forgetting this tragedy. We cannot allow such an insult to Planet 3’s memory. I’m sorry, but I must reject your petition for judiciary delay.”
Next Chapter
AN: Every single time I paste this in, Reddit is just determined to put it in some code block. Anyways, As of now, I've finally completely locked in the plot for this story, just one major question that could've changed a lot was on my mind for a while. Enjoy!
submitted by SynthoStellar to HFY [link] [comments]

Week 48; Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

The humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico worsened with the inadequate response by the federal government. Amid criticism, Trump threatened to pull out, but later backed off. Although the death count officially stands at 45, reporting revealed possibly hundreds more preventable deaths related to the Hurricane Maria.
Trump remains silent on both California’s deadliest wildfires and the deadliest combat incident since he took office. He continues to focus on undoing Obama’s legacy, piece-by-piece. The Mueller investigation hit Trump’s inner-circle, and social media’s role in aiding Russia continues to unfold.
  1. On Saturday night, Richard Spencer led another white supremacist torch-lit rally at University of Virginia. The rally lasted 10 minutes and 40-50 people attended. Spencer vowed, “we will keep coming back.”
  2. On Sunday, Trump attacked former ally Sen. Bob Corker in a series of incendiary tweets, saying “Corker “begged” me to endorse him for re-election” and “wanted to be Secretary of State.” Trump claimed to have said no to both.
  3. Corker responded, tweeting it’s a shame the WH has become an “adult day care center,” and that someone “missed their shift this morning.”
  4. On Sunday, Pence left a Colts game after a protest during the national anthem. Pence later issued a full statement opposing the protests. The Colts were playing the 49ers, a team known to protest.
  5. Before the game, Pence tweeted a photo of him and the Second Lady wearing Colts gear. The photo was one he originally tweeted in 2014.
  6. Shortly after, Trump tweeted he had asked Pence to leave the game “if any players kneeled,” and said he was proud of Pence and the Second Lady.
  7. The pool of journalists covering Pence were not allowed into the stadium, and were told, “there may be an early departure from the game.” ABC estimated Pence’s flight cost taxpayers nearly $250k.
  8. Bowing to pressure from Trump, the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, after kneeling with players in week 3 of the season, changed course saying any player who “disrespects the flag” by kneeling will not be allowed to play.
  9. On Tuesday, Trump threatened the NFL over protests saying the league is “getting massive tax breaks” and the law should be changed. This claim is false: the NFL gave up its 501(c)(6) tax-exempt status in 2015.
  10. On Tuesday, bowing to pressure from Trump and fans, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who previously had said players had the right to voice their opinions, sided with owners opposed to letting players demonstrate.
  11. On Monday, Pence headlined a fundraiser in CA for Republicans including controversial, Kremlin-ally Rep. Dana Rohrabacher. Rohrabacher had a previously undisclosed meeting in Russia with Veselnitskaya described in Week 47.
  12. University of Wisconsin approved a policy which calls for suspending or expelling students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations. The policy mirrors Republican legislation passed by the state Assembly.
  13. On Columbus Day, unlike Obama, Trump celebrated the “arrival of Europeans,” but did not mention of the suffering of Native Americans.
  14. On Sunday, the Trump’s DHS allowed the Jones Act waiver, which helped speed relief to Puerto Rico, to expire. No explanation was given.
  15. Trump’s EPA announced it would repeal the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s signature policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The statement described the regulation as the “so-called Clean Power Plan.”
  16. On Friday, Trump addressed the Value Voters Summit hosted by the Family Research Council, which has been classified by SPLC as an anti-gay hate group. Trump is the first US leader to address the group.
  17. Reuters reported the Trump regime has been quietly cutting support for halfway houses for federal prisoners, severing contracts with as many as 16 facilities, necessitating some inmates stay behind bars longer.
  18. ABC reported the Treasury Dept’s inspector general is looking into allegations reported by BuzzFeed in Week 47 that agency officials have been illegally looking at private financial records of US citizens.
  19. A report compiled by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) at House and Senate Democrats’ request, found the Trump transition team ignored ethics officials and refused to cooperate with the GAO.
  20. Trump named Kathleen Hartnett White to the WH’s Council on Environmental Quality. Hartnett White, a climate science denier, once also said, “fossil fuels dissolved the economic justification for slavery.”
  21. In response to a filing by CREW, Trump’s DOJ told a court in DC that Trump can destroy records without judicial review, including tweets.
  22. Brian Brooks became the second candidate under consideration for deputy Treasury Secretary to withdraw from consideration. Mnuchin said he has no plans to fill the number two slot in his agency.
  23. WAPO reported at the Interior Dept, when Zinke enters the building a staffer takes the elevator to the seventh floor, climbs the stairs to the roof and puts up a special flag. The flag comes down when he leaves.
  24. On Wednesday, NBC reported Tillerson calling Trump a “moron” was provoked by Trump suggesting a tenfold increase in the US nuclear arsenal during a July 20 meeting with the high-ranking national security leaders.
  25. In response to the story which he called “Fake News,” Trump tweeted a threat to revoke the broadcasting licenses of “NBC and the Networks.”
  26. Later that afternoon, at a news conference, Trump again lashed out at the independent news media saying it’s “frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.”
  27. In a statement Wednesday night, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse asked Trump if he was “recanting” his oath to protect the First Amendment.
  28. Indiana Republican lawmaker Jim Lucas drafted a bill that would require professional journalists to be licensed by state police.
  29. Under pressure to confirm Trump’s judicial nominees, McConnell will no longer allow “blue slips,” used by senators to deny a nominee from their state a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and vote on confirmation.
  30. The Trump regime withdrew from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), citing anti-Israel bias and a being in arrears on a $550 million payment. Israel remains part of UNESCO.
  31. NYT published an interview with Corker in which he said Trump is treating his office like a “reality show” with reckless threats at other country that could put our country “on the path to World War III.”
  32. Corker said he is concerned about Trump, and Trump’s behavior should concern “anyone who cares about our nation.” He added there is no ‘good cop, bad cop’ underway with Tillerson — Trump is undermining diplomacy.
  33. Corker said nearly all Senate Republican share his concerns: “the vast majority of our caucus understands what we’re dealing with here.”
  34. WAPO reported Trump is frustrated by his cabinet and that he is not getting enough credit for his handling of three hurricanes. Trump is lashing out and rupturing alliances with both Republicans and Democrats.
  35. One confidant said Trump is like a whistling teapot, saying when he does not blow off steam, he can turn into a pressure cooker and explode: “I think we are in pressure cooker territory.”
  36. Politico quoted 10 sources current and former WH aides who employed strategies like delays and distractions as “guardrails” in trying to manage Trump’s impulsivity.
  37. Vanity Fair reported sources say Trump is “unstable,” “losing a step,” and “unraveling.” They say the WH is in crisis as advisers struggle to contain Trump who is increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.
  38. Trump allegedly told his former bodyguard Schiller, “I hate everyone in the White House!” Kelly is allegedly miserable in the job, and is staying on in a sense of duty and to keep Trump from making disastrous decisions.
  39. One former official speculated Kelly and Mattis have discussed what they would do if Trump ordered a nuclear strike — “would they tackle him?”
  40. According to sources, Bannon said the risk to Trump’s presidency wasn’t impeachment, but the 25th Amendment. Bannon thinks Trump has only a 30% chance of making it the full term.
  41. In a column “What Bob Corker Sees in Trump,” conservative columnist Peggy Noonan urged Republicans they have a duty to speak on the record about what they see happening with Trump.
  42. On Thursday, at a signing ceremony for his health care executive order, Trump nearly walked out of the room without signing the order. Pence pulled him back in.
  43. On Tuesday, Trump said in an interview with Forbes that he could beat Tillerson in an IQ test. Trump met with Tillerson later that day at the WH.
  44. On Friday, Corker called out Trump for his effort to disempower Tillerson saying: “You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice.”
  45. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria said, “It’s very clear now that we essentially have no diplomacy going on in the United States,” adding the way Trump has treated Tillerson is “the most dramatic example of it.”
  46. On CBS’s 60 Minutes, Parscale claimed he fine-tuned ads on Facebook to directly reach voters with the exact messages they cared most about. He also claimed he handpicked Republican Facebook employees to help.
  47. Daily Beast reported the Kremlin recruited two black video bloggers, Williams and Kalvin Johnson, to produce incendiary YouTube videos calling Hillary a racist. The videos were spread on social media platforms.
  48. WAPO reported Google has uncovered evidence about $100k of ads purchased by Russian agents to spread disinformation on across the company’s many products, including YouTube, during the 2016 election.
  49. Google said the ads do not appear to be from the same Kremlin-linked troll farm that bought ads on Facebook. Some ads touted Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein, while others aimed to fan the flames of divisive issues.
  50. Rep. Devin Nunes, who recused himself as Chair of the House Intel Committee’s Russia probe, unilaterally signed off on subpoenas to Fusion GPS, the research firm that produced the Steele dossier. Democrats were not consulted.
  51. Reuters reported Chuck Grassley, the Republican chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is also taking steps to discredit the dossier according to Democrats on the committee.
  52. Carter Page told the Senate Intel Committee that he will not cooperate with any requests to appear before the panel on Russia, and will plead the Fifth.
  53. Daily Beast reported the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is looking at Cambridge Analytica’s work from the Trump campaign as part of its Russian probe.
  54. Cambridge Analytica, which has ownership ties to the Mercers and Bannon, was brought in to help the campaign by Kushner. The company is also under investigation in the UK watchdog for its role in Brexit.
  55. NYT reported Israel caught Kaspersky Lab working with the Russian government to search the world for US secrets, using Kaspersky software to scan for classified words. Kaspersky software is used by 400 million people.
  56. WSJ reported that Russia’s use of the Kaspersky program to spy on the US is broader and more pervasive than the operation against one individual in Week 47. Trump continues to deny Russian meddling in the US election.
  57. Politico reported as part their posture to cooperate, Trump’s attorneys may offer Mueller a meeting with Trump. If Mueller doesn’t ask by Thanksgiving, attorneys may force the issue by volunteering his time.
  58. Legal experts were surprised by Trump’s lawyers strategy noting Trump would be speaking under oath and he routinely distorts facts, and that Trump would be interviewed in connection with a criminal investigation.
  59. CNN reported Russian operatives used YouTube, Tumblr, and even Pokémon Go as part of their effort to interfere in the election, using a campaign titled “Don’t Shoot Us” to spread a divisive message.
  60. NBC reported Manafort had a previously undisclosed $26 million loan from Deripaska through a series of transactions. It is unclear if the $26 million is a loan or an indirect payment from the Russian oligarch.
  61. The loan brings the total financial relationship between Manafort and Deripaska to $60 million over the past decade, according to financial documents filed in Cyprus and the Cayman Islands.
  62. Manafort’s spokesman, Jason Maloni, initially responded to NBC with a statement including: “Mr. Manafort is not indebted to former clients today, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign.”
  63. Maloni’s statement was later revised and that sentence was removed. Both Manafort and Maloni have received subpoenas to supply documents and testimony in the Mueller probe.
  64. Yahoo reported Andrew Feinberg, former correspondent for Sputnik, provided a guide and emails to FBI investigators looking into possible violations of the law which requires agents of foreign nations to register with the DOJ.
  65. Further, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is investigating RT and Sputnik as possible parts of the Russian state-run propaganda machine in the broader probe into Russia’s election meddling.
  66. On Friday, Mueller’s team interviewed Trump’s former chief of staff, Priebus. Priebus’ lawyer said he voluntarily met with investigators and “was happy to answer all of their questions.”
  67. Priebus was present during Trump’s efforts to limit the Russia probe, and for discussions that led to the firing of Comey. He was also asked to leave the Oval Office before the infamous Trump-Comey conversation.
  68. Politico reported Twitter deleted tweets and other user data of potentially irreplaceable value to investigators in the Russia probe.
  69. Federal investigators believe Twitter was one of Russia’s most potent weapons. Bots and fake accounts launched recurring waves of pro-Trump, anti-Clinton story lines that were either false or greatly exaggerated.
  70. AP reported Twitter has turned over 201 accounts linked to Russian attempts at influencing the 2016 election to Senate investigators. It is unclear if the posts associated with these accounts have been deleted.
  71. CNN reported an attorney for Roger Stone said he has complied with the House Intel Committee request to provide the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks’ Assange.
  72. WSJ reported Congressional investigators are homing in on connections between the Trump campaign, and Facebook, and Twitter. Digital director Parscale was paid $88 million during the campaign, the highest paid vendor.
  73. Every vendor that worked with Parscale on the Trump campaign signed a nondisclosure agreement, and there are no federal disclosure requirements for online ads.
  74. Both Congress and Mueller are investigating the role activity on Facebook and Twitter played in the 2016 election, and whether the Russian social-media activity was in any connected to the Trump campaign.
  75. A Morning Consult poll found Trump’s approval has fallen in every state since he took office. The swings were as high as 30 percentage points in blue-states IL and CA, to 11 points in red-state LA.
  76. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found Trump’s popularity is eroding in small towns and rural communities: in September 47 approve/47 disapprove, down from 55/39 in his first four weeks in office.
  77. WAPO reported as of October 10, Trump’s first 263 days in office, he has made 1,318 false or misleading claims.
  78. The Brookings Institute released a 108-page report which concluded Trump “likely obstructed justice” in his firing of Comey. If Mueller agrees, there are legitimate articles of impeachment that could be drawn up.
  79. In a letter to Mattis, over 100 Democrats are demanding proof that Trump did indeed consult with the Pentagon as he claimed in a tweet, prior to announcing his ban of transgender individuals from military service.
  80. A Kaiser Foundation poll found 62% of Americans say Puerto Ricans aren’t getting the help they need. 76% were aware Puerto Ricans are US citizens.
  81. On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump threatened to abandon Puerto Rico’s recovery effort, blaming the island for its infrastructure problems and saying and relief workers would not stay “in P.R. forever.”
  82. The tweets follow harsh criticism from Puerto Rico of the Trump regime’s response to Hurricane Maria. One Puerto Rican said, “He doesn’t think of us as Americans.”
  83. Trump also quoted a Sharyl Attkisson, a television journalist with Sinclair Broadcasting, in saying that while Puerto Rico survived Hurricane Maria, now “a financial crisis looms largely of their own making.”
  84. Later Thursday, the WH issued a statement committing “the full force of the U.S. government” for now, but adding “successful recoveries do not last forever.”
  85. At a House Energy and Commerce hearing about efforts to rebuild the island’s energy grid, Sec. Rick Perry referred to Puerto Rico as a country.
  86. Next day, Trump referred to the Virgin Islands’ governor as a president.
  87. VOX reported although the official death count in Puerto Rico is 45, they found 81 death linked to Hurricane Maria, as well as 450 more reported deaths, most of causes still unknown, and 69 still missing.
  88. Puerto Rico’s governor said four deaths are being investigated as cases of leptospirosis, a disease spread by animals’ urine through contaminated water. A total of ten people have come down with the disease.
  89. Rachel Maddow reported a doctor resigned from the disaster response team in Puerto Rico after seeing medical workers getting manicures and pedicures from residents of the island in medical triage tents.
  90. NYT reported on Puerto Rico’s health care is in dire condition, and continues to suffer from mismanagement. The US Comfort ship with 800 medical personnel which can serve 250, has seen 82 patients in six days.
  91. CNN reported Puerto Ricans are drinking water from a hazardous-waste site, having no other options for water.
  92. A Politico/Morning Consult poll found just 32% of registered voters think the federal government has done enough to help Puerto Rico.
  93. Bloomberg revealed one of its reporters was inadvertently put on the Pentagon’s internal email list which detailed how to spin Hurricane Maria to convince the public that the government response was going well.
  94. On Thursday, Trump also signed an executive order ending Obamacare subsidies for the poor. Not paying the subsidies could boost premiums for millions and send the health insurance exchanges into turmoil.
  95. NPR estimated consumers who earn 400% of the federal poverty level — $48k for individuals or $98.4k for a family of four — will see their the cost of their plans rise by, on average, 20% nationwide.
  96. Doctors, hospitals, insurers, state insurance commissioners and patient advocates denounced Trump’s move. Trump actions puts pressure on Congress to protect consumers from soaring premiums.
  97. WSJ reported if Congress doesn’t succeed, WH aides said Trump “will claim victory” for ending the Iran deal, cutting billions in payments to health insurers, and deporting hundreds of thousands of immigrants.
  98. On Friday, a coalition of attorneys general from 18 states and DC filed a lawsuit to block Trump’s halt to subsidy payments under Obamacare.
  99. NYT reported as of Friday, Trump has taken 12 actions which could weaken Obamacare and curtail enrollment, including spreading negative news releases and posting infographics criticizing the health law.
  100. On Saturday, Trump boasted on Twitter that health insurance companies’ stocks “plunged yesterday” after his steps to dismantle Obamacare.
  101. A Kaiser Health poll found 71% of Americans say the Trump regime should work to improve Obamacare, while just 21% say make it fail.
  102. On Friday, Trump slammed Iran as a “menace” and called for “decertification” of the nuclear deal, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), saying Iran is “not living up to the spirit of the deal.”
  103. Trump sent the deal back to Congress with a 60-day window to address its “many serious flaws” or see it “terminated.”
  104. Top officials on Trump’s national security team, including Mattis and Tillerson, said Iran has technically complied with its restrictions. The International Atomic Energy Association also confirmed compliance.
  105. Daily Beast reported while McMaster also wanted to save the Iran Deal, Trump consulted Fox News’ Sean Hannity and former UN Ambassador John Bolton, two neoconservatives who pushed for decertification.
  106. The leaders of Britain, Germany and France declared their commitment to stand by JCPoA. They deal was the culmination of 16 years of diplomacy.
  107. After being added to Trump’s travel ban, Chad pulled its troops from the fight against Boko Haram in Niger. US officials had warned Trump his decision would have major consequences for the fight against terrorism.
  108. California’s deadliest wildfires charred more than 221,754 acres of land in Northern CA, and left at least 35 dead and hundreds more missing. Trump has yet to publicly comment or tweet about the wildfires.
  109. Nor has Trump publicly commented on the deadliest combat incident since he took office, which took place in Niger last Saturday while Trump was golfing. The ambush by ISIS left four soldiers dead and two wounded.
  110. As the week ended, 24 days after Hurricane Maria, just 64% of Puerto Ricans had access to drinking water, and only 14.6% had electricity.
  111. Trump spent his fourth weekend since Hurricane Maria golfing. On Saturday, he visited Trump National Golf Club in VA, his 72nd day of golf since taking office.
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Weekly news review (November 16-22)

Weekly news review (November 16-22)
Hello, everyone! Happy Monday! Let's dive into last week's news highlights ;)
https://preview.redd.it/9aogvhaket041.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=1d4bc9b6c06f1864aaa9aa50deb1c251f0d629f4
Earlier on Thursday, the National Assembly's Amendment Subcommittee on Parliamentary Affairs passed a legal amendment to the still-in-development Special Financial Transactions Information Act to force virtual asset exchanges to register with the Financial Services Commission (FSC). Those failing to do so would face up to five years in prison or a fine of up to 50 million won ($42,460).
Under the amendment, aimed to align the industry with international anti-money laundering guidance from FATF, crypto exchanges must also have so-called real name virtual bank accounts – sub accounts for users within an exchange's primary account – to avoid falling foul of the legislation.
Opposition lawmakers had expressed concerns that that exchanges without real-name virtual accounts would be forced to close, bringing further contraction of the domestic cryptocurrency industry.

Someone hacked the official website of the Monero cryptocurrency project and quietly replaced legitimate Linux and Windows binaries available for download with malicious versions designed to steal funds from users' wallets. The latest supply-chain cyberattack was revealed on Monday after a Monero user spotted that the cryptographic hash for binaries he downloaded from the official site didn't match the hashes listed on it.
At this moment, it's unclear how attackers managed to compromise the Monero website and how many users have been affected and lost their digital funds.

Having dropped to one-month lows below $8,000, bitcoin is now eyeing the first test of a key average support, now at $7,714, since April.
The top cryptocurrency by market value fell more than 2.4 percent in the 60 minutes to 08:00 UTC on Thursday to hit a low of $7,875 – a level last seen on Oct. 25, according to Bitstamp data. The drop marked a downside break of a 48-hour narrowing price range seen above $8,000.
Notably, with a slide to levels below $7,900, bitcoin has erased 80 percent of the rally from $7,293 to $10,350 seen in the second half of October.
On a month-to-date basis, the cryptocurrency is now reporting a loss of over 13 percent. Further, the cryptocurrency is trading in the red for the fourth straight week.
The dismal performance contradicts the positive seasonality factor: bitcoin has put on a good show in November in six out of the last eight years. Notably, prices gained for six straight years in November, starting from 2012 to 2017, before falling hard in November 2018.

The United Kingdom Jurisdiction Taskforce of the Lawtech Delivery Panel published a statement concerning the status of cryptocurrencies, distributed ledger technology (DLT) and smart contracts under English and Welsh private law.
U.K. entrepreneur network Tech Nation announced the paper’s publication on Nov. 18. The document attempts to address the legal uncertainties of cryptocurrency and recognizes crypto assets as tradeable property and smart contracts as enforceable agreements under local law.
Lawtech Delivery Panel director Jenifer Swallow noted that the worldwide smart contract market is expected to reach $300 million by 2023 while the World Economic Forum predicts that one-tenth of the global GDP will be stored on a blockchain by 2027. Due to this, she thinks adapting regulations on these new technologies is particularly important.

Institutional investors are aware of the risks that come with allocating a large percentage of their funds to a particular asset or market indices. For one, the downturn of such a market or asset would have a crippling effect on their returns. The same is true for investors that allocate the majority of their portfolio to asset classes that have strong correlations to one another. Hence, adopting a strategy that allows the allocation of funds to different asset classes, with little or no correlation, is the appropriate solution. This is where Bitcoin excels.
While other markets had moderate correlations to one or two traditional asset classes, Bitcoin maintained a very weak correlation to all of the asset classes examined. In other words, Bitcoin could fit nicely into an investment portfolio and boost returns.
VanEck’s study went further to prove Bitcoin’s eligibility as an investment option. This investigation entailed the assessment of the asymmetric return of portfolios allocated to varying percentages of equities, bonds and Bitcoin from January 2012 to July 2019. A portfolio with 58.5% of the fund distributed to equities, 38.5% to bonds and 0.5% to Bitcoin generated returns that surpassed that of a portfolio allocated solely to the S&P 500 by over 150% as of July 2019.

Have anything to say? Do so in the comments section down below!
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Victoria’s Secret: Have the Angels Fallen from Grace? (Interesting article on how the Epstein saga has affected the VS Brand)

Link to article
Link to archive of article: (I recommend archiving every article you come across. I usually use www.archive.is because I find it more user-friendly than The Wayback Machine.)
TEXT OF ARTICLE
Victoria’s Secret: Have the Angels Fallen from Grace?
by Dimitar Ganev | Oct 2, 2019

Victoria’s Secret, the largest lingerie retailer in the US, has been one of the most iconic apparel brands since the 1990s, not least because its sexually charged imaging set the industry’s standard for decades and exerted a strong influence on body image norms. But since 2015, the shares of its parent company L Brands have been dropping as sales keep taking hits from shifting consumer tastes, executive turnovers and emerging competition.
The Victoria’s Secret brand, built on skinny girls and scantily clad lingerie, is now largely perceived as inadequate for a time when consumers’ preferences have moved away from sex appeal and towards empowerment, inclusiveness and comfort. To many, the brand’s traditional marketing strategy, which bets on fashion shows where supermodels walk in stiletto heels and angel wings, seems tone-deaf in the era of #MeToo, which condemns all forms of objectifying women and imposing hard-to-achieve beauty standards.
The Victoria’s Secret Angels, once considered symbols of sexiness, have now started to alienate consumers: a recent study found that 68% of them like the brand “less than they used to” and 60% feel that Victoria’s Secret is “forced” or “fake.” Demand for its products has cooled as up-and-coming rival brands have become more attractive by promoting themselves through unedited images featuring women of more diverse shapes and sizes. The retail giant reported that it will close 53 stores in North America this year, citing a “decline in performance.”
The brand itself admitted that it relied on hypersexualised imaging for far too long and it needs to rethink its identity. At L Brands‘ recent investor day, John Mehas, head of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, asserted that the company needs to evolve and to reconnect with consumers by launching new products, hiring new executives and using new marketing strategies.
An essential part of the narrative shift would be a more diverse group of models, improving the merchandise, replacing the brand’s marketing chief and “rethinking” its annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show, the only fashion show regularly broadcast around the world, whose ratings keep falling. The brand hinted that network television would no longer be the “right fit” for the event, which has been criticised for being focused on empowering the models who walk in it instead of trying to relate to consumers.
Inclusivity, Diversity and Epstein
Many specialised fashion publications and business outlets embarked on questioning how the once-beloved brand managed to garner such a bad reputation. Analysing the media conversation around Victoria’s Secret in the top-tier English language publications from October 2018 to September 2019, we found that the most often discussed topics were body inclusivity, the company’s ties with Jeffrey Epstein and gender diversity:
The strongest coverage drivers for both the “Body inclusivity” and “LGBTQ+ diversity” topics were the comments which 71-year-old chief marketing officer Ed Razek made in a 2018 interview with Vogue that quickly went viral. Razek, who reportedly has final say over who’s in the televised fashion show, said that he didn’t think Victoria’s Secret‘s fashion event should include transgender or plus-size models because it is supposed to be “a fantasy”.
“Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should,” he said. “Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us. And they carp at us because we’re the leader.”
The remarks prompted a strong backlash from consumers. As with the most severe social media crises, Victoria’s Secret was embroiled in an outrage cascade — outbursts of moral judgment which start to drive the conversation around brands, their products and their corporate messages. In these cases, the virality of moral judgements is facilitated by the fact that most of the content on social media feeds and timelines is sorted according to its likelihood to generate engagement.
The fact that fashion brands in particular face a growing number of crises could be explained by the supposition that fashion items are often taken to be markers of cultural and social identity, and thus are susceptible to be perceived as controversial across social networks. For instance, designers often draw inspiration from other cultures’ traditions, which has recently given rise to accusations of “cultural appropriation”.
Razek later used the company’s Twitter account to issue a formal apology, saying that his remark “came across as insensitive.”
In August 2019, Razek retired just days after the lingerie brand hired its first openly transgender model for its teen label PINK: Brazilian Valentina Sampaio. The hire was generally welcomed by commentators – for instance, Kendall Jenner, daughter of trans icon Caitlyn Jenner, posted “celebrate trans women” to her 98 million Instagram followers.
Meanwhile, media monitoring organisation GLAAD, which deals with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, said Sampaio’s move comes as transgender people are becoming more visible in advertising. Examples of the trend include recent campaigns by Calvin Klein, Gap and H&M, while Playboy’s first transgender Playmate appeared in 2017.
Another strong coverage driver within the ‘Body inclusivity‘ topic was the protest outside Victoria’s Secret‘s store on Oxford Street in London, in which protesters stripped to their underwear and held signs demanding more diversity in fashion. To address such concerns, the latest investor meeting saw Victoria’s Secret deciding it will no longer rely on a small group of supermodels to promote its sexy lingerie, in a bid to use more inclusive marketing.
An example of this new strategy was an Instagram post of model Barbara Palvin, which was celebrated for being more body-inclusive, as social media users perceived Palvin to be curvier than the other supermodels. The post received over 780,000 likes in two days, generating 4.2 times the average number of likes, with users commenting that the model looks “normal” and “healthy”.
But the brand wasn’t that successful in managing another crisis: the widely publicised ties between L Brands founder Les Wexner and financier Jeffrey Epstein, an accused child sex trafficker who committed suicide in jail. Although Epstein didn’t actually work for Victoria’s Secret or L Brands, he had control over Wexner’s finances and personal life, according to reporting by The New York Times, and used his connections with Victoria’s Secret to facilitate his alleged crimes.
L Brands tried to distance itself from Epstein, saying it had cut ties with him nearly 12 years ago and disclosing that it had hired outside counsel to review the case. Wexner said: “Being taken advantage of by someone who was so sick, so cunning, so depraved, is something that I’m embarrassed that I was even close to. But that is in the past.”
In many media reports, the ‘Epstein ties‘ topic was closely related to the ‘Sexual harassment‘ topic, which was dominated by a petition urging Victoria’s Secret to take a stand against sexual harassment and violence. The open letter was addressed to Victoria’s Secret CEO John Mehas and signed by more than 100 models, many of whom have worked with the brand in the past, and also by the Model Alliance, an advocacy organisation in the fashion industry, and the Time’s Up movement against sexual harassment which was founded in response to the Weinstein effect and #MeToo.
The petition cited “numerous allegations of sexual assault, alleged rape, and sex trafficking of models and aspiring models”. Several of the company’s photographers have been accused of misconduct, on top of the links with Jeffrey Epstein. A Victoria’s Secret spokesperson said the firm has been in conversations with the Model Alliance “for some time”: “We are always concerned about the welfare of our models and want to continue to have dialogue with the Model Alliance and others to accomplish meaningful progress in the industry.”
Crisis mode
Ed Razek‘s aforementioned controversial comments regarding transgender and plus-size models made him the most often quoted spokesperson in the discussion around Victoria’s Secret:
Razek’s dominance in the conversation underlined the crisis of perception the brand suffers: his remarks were taken by many media outlets as a sign that the brand is unwilling to adapt to the current sociocultural climate. Models who have previously worked with the brand and who had a relatively large share of voice in the media conversation were quick to criticise him. For example. Karlie Kloss and Lily Aldridge posted a photo reading “Trans and GNC [gender non-conforming] people are not a debate” to their Instagram stories.
Karlie Kloss was one of the most vocal critics: she recently told Vogue that she had decided to terminate her relationship with Victoria’s Secret because the image was not “truly reflective” of who she was and the “kind of message I want to send to young women around the world about what it means to be beautiful.” Model Tess Holliday was harsher, leaving a message to Razek on Twitter following his Vogue interview: “Who needs VS anyway? They never supported plus ladies & now they are trying to dis my trans sisters? Hell nah. Kiss my fat ass, [Victoria’s Secret].”
The majority of media reports on Razek’s retirement announcement cited these remarks as one of the key points in his career and highlighted that he was one of the main figures in the highly sexualised beauty ideal put forth by the brand. The crisis of perception was also emphasised by the fact that L Brands CEO Les Wexner, another major corporate spokesperson in the conversation, was quoted primarily in relation to the Epstein scandal.
However, some of the spokespeople portrayed Victoria’s Secret in a positive light. Adriana Lima, one of the best-known Angels, quit the label after two decades and 18 fashion shows with the brand, sharing the news on Instagram with a heartfelt caption: “Dear Victoria, Thank you for showing me the world, sharing your secrets, and most importantly not just giving me wings but teaching me to fly.”
And while she presented the brand positively, some media publications reminded their readers of a an interview she gave to Grazia in 2011 in which she outlined the physical challenges she went through in order to be in shape, especially after her pregnancy.
Angel Behati Prinsloo tried to defend the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show against the criticism for its lack of transgender models and diverse body types. In an interview with Elle, she explained what the show stands for: ‘There’s a lot of talk about everything but I think people need to also understand that it’s a show. It’s not saying negative or positive about any body type, it’s ‘this is who they are’.”
In the meantime, Barbara Palvin was named as a Victoria’s Secret Angel after the successful Instagram post which customers perceived to be more body-inclusive. She announced the news to fans also via Instagram and her hire was generally interpreted by the media as a sign that the label is finally starting to listen to its critics.
CEO John Mehas‘ comments about the brand’s marketing shift were met with similar enthusiasm, especially his plans to include messaging that responds to the #MeToo movement. But the most warmly welcomed move was the hire of Valentina Sampaio: although some publications suggested that the brand’s first openly transgender model came too late, most commentators said that the retailer has finally moved in the right direction.
Lingerie wars
While Victoria’s Secret is caught up in a fierce discussion, L Brands‘ other flagship label, Bath & Body Works, a personal-goods retailer, continues to report strong earnings, supporting its struggling parent. Many reports on Victoria’s Secret‘s controversial reputation outlined this development, making Bath & Body Works the most frequently mentioned brand in the conversation:
While L Brands is firmly focused on the Victoria’s Secret turnaround story, Bath & Body Work is perceived as staying relevant with updated stores and new product tests, maintaining a wholesome image as “America’s sweetheart of beauty brands.” Its loyal core consumer base of millennial women is boosted by fan blogs and YouTube accounts dedicated to sharing new products. The brand also plans to ramp up volume by having a digital makeover for the first time in India.
Investors have even started pressuring L Brands to make Bath & Body Works a standalone company which would not be associated with Victoria’s Secret. Hedge fund Barington Capital, whose CEO James A. Mitarotonda was one of the few corporate spokespeople in the conversation, sent a lengthy letter to L Brands CEO Les Wexner arguing for a spinoff.
But after Bath & Body Works posted its first unchanged quarter of store traffic in five years during 2019’s second quarter, Jefferies analyst Randal Konik suggested that the best days for the bath and candle retailer may be over. Konik also said that the teen brand PINK is the next sore spot for L Brands, with sales falling by low double digits in the fourth quarter, as the label is “without fans and rudderless.”
ThirdLove, American Eagle Outfitters and Savage X Fenty were identified as the main competitors which have capitalised on Victoria’s Secret’s reputational struggles. ThirdLove, an online bra startup which was launched in 2013, was perceived as coming head to head with Victoria’s Secret as it focuses on inclusive sizing and marketing, which have helped its annual sales to grow at a rate of 180% for the past four years.
The brand opened its first pop-up store in New York in July 2019, putting itself in direct competition with Victoria’s Secret as the lingerie giant had a store less than a 10 minutes’ walk away. ThirdLove also joined the discussion around Razek’s comments, taking out a full-page ad in The New York Times, in which co-founder and co-CEO Heidi Zak said she was appalled when she read them: “I’ve read and re-read the interview at least 20 times, and each time I read it I’m even angrier. How in 2018 can the CMO of any public company — let alone one that claims to be for women — make such shocking, derogatory statements?”
When asked whether Victoria’s Secret was worried its customers might now be looking for something different, Razek mentioned ThirdLove: “We’re nobody’s ThirdLove,” Razek said. “We’re their first love. And Victoria’s Secret has been women’s first love from the beginning.”
American Eagle Outfitters was also viewed as one of the main companies to break Victoria’s Secret‘s grip on the apparel industry by offering fitting bras and using messaging which pitches inclusiveness and comfort over sex appeal. Its activewear and lingerie brand Aerie has built an image of an “anti-Victoria’s Secret” label with untouched ads featuring models of all shapes and sizes. Kyle Andrew, American Eagle’s CMO, said the company’s success is due to its willingness to experiment and find ways to better listen to its teen customer base.
Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty recent show, streamed on Amazon Prime, has been making headlines everywhere, with commentators saying it was everything that Victoria’s Secret’s annual runway show wishes it could be by featuring models of all shapes, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds, with a clear focus on body inclusivity and acceptance.
Meanwhile, retail corporation Target also tried to capitalise on Victoria’s Secret’s struggles with a strategy similar to ThirdLove, American Eagle Outfitters and Savage X Fenty: it launched a new bra and underwear brand called Auden with a campaign featuring women “in all different shapes and sizes.”
Nike was mentioned as one of the brands which have gotten ahead of the curve with their socially-conscious marketing efforts featuring ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who had participated in racial justice demonstrations during national anthem ceremonies. Fast-fashion brand H&M got involved in the discussion for selling a $199 bra similar to Victoria’s Secret’s $1 million Fantasy Bra as part of its collaboration with Moschino.
Victoria’s Secret‘s reputational woos come at a time when the fashion and apparel industries occupy a central place in the extensively covered #MeToo movement and play a major role in ongoing media discussions around gender and identity. Since such issues naturally polarise consumers, brands which are dealing with products directly related to them are regularly caught up in fierce debates.
The growing importance of the debates around gender in the fashion industry has also been highlighted in the accelerating gender-neutral trend. The latest seasons have seen luxury brands like Gucci, Saint Laurent and Haider Ackerman combining menswear and womenswear runway shows, Others, such as Proenza Schouler and Rodarte, have started showing women’s pre-collections or women’s ready-to-wear during the back-to-back menswear and couture calendar. Meanwhile, fast-fashion labels such as Zara started releasing ungendered collections with models of both sexes dressed in the same clothes.
There are also a growing number of new brands like the Phluid Project, Agender and Rebrand which are built around the concept of non-binary dressing. Beyond fashion houses, the trend has also been recently reinforced by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), which added a unisex/non-binary option for New York Fashion Week. Spokespeople for the CFDA explained that this decision came as a response to “a growing number of designers whose collections are not delineated by gender”, which “reflects the cultural momentum.”
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Defining morality

Please critique me and leave comments! Thanks! This is part of a larger work. I put this here hoping it will stand on its own as a way to look at morality and what I believe is the fundamental moral system which we are living in. Enjoy!
Worldview and Moral Reflexes
Our value judgements determine our outlook. In life hueristic thinking regarding value judgements is often a necessity. Your worldview will determine how well you fit into particular group(s). Whether or not you were in a group historically meant you survived or didn’t. This makes morality a survival issue for us. Thus we are deeply social creatures that need one another. An immoral or otherwise unwanted person would have been cast out of the group in our early human history. Being cast out of the group historically had grave consequences. This is why it can be such an intense emotional and psychological trauma to be left alone or shamed. Life can happen quickly, unexpectedly and with grave consequences, including socially. This is why I believe we have our morals as a reactive force. This is what it means to have a moral reflex. Our moral reflexes reflect our worldview. I believe this is so true that the two are indistinguishable. In order to appreciate this we must consider and define what society, culture and morality are.
Morality and Society
Cooperation: the Foundation of Society
The foundation of society, the ability for different individuals of the same species to work together in order to accomplish tasks, is the result of cooperation. All animal societies are based upon survival and cooperation. Without cooperation there is no society. The reason for morality as social necessity is clear: in order to counteract the intense survival needs and/or instincts of an individual creature an evolutionary mechanism must be enacted (e.g.-a moral conscience, a hive mind, etc…) in order to gain social benefits. There has to be some sort of evolutionary mechanism involved that gets individuals to cooperate.
Evolutionary social survival strategy necessarily must enact rules and enforce them and does so through evolutionary equipping and/or limitations and through conscious enforcement. For example, many limbic brained social animals exhibit a sense of fairness and outrage at injustice as well as compassion for the suffering of others. This is the product of having a limbic brain which enables a new, more sophisticated set of emotional responses. The only way for two individuals to cooperate is to be able to communicate and to follow rules (esp. regarding fairness). Lizards and crocodiles don’t cooperate and have no limbic brain. They are amoral. There is no society that they belong to. They have no need for morality. Morality is not something that exists as a ontological reality other than as an evolutionary device that enables cooperation amongst individuals.
Fairness: the Basis for Morality
Therefore, I contend that empathetic sensibilities which lead to a basic sense of fairness between individuals is the basis for a moral structure. Either we have access, entitlement and/or protection of our needs and give the very same to the other party or we fight and end up in an exploitative situation, at best. Violations of fairness cause us to exhibit outrage and/or disgust. When ourselves or others are wronged we feel sadness. These are some very basic moral responses that we have as humans. But cats and dogs have these responses as well. Does this mean there are evil cats and dogs? I believe that is the wrong question to ask. Evil and good are relative human terms. Now, if you asked if a dog or cat were as culpable or responsible as a human being the answer would be no. Their morality is much simpler because their brains are much simpler than ours. Like a child they need to be treated differently than an adult human who posseses theory of mind amongst other cognitive abilities that most animals do not apparently possess (it is hard to prove theory of mind in an animal- we can’t talk to them about their inner states, but dogs and cats are not in the running; dolphins, pigs, ravens, grey parrots are the more likely candidates).
I want to point out that you can have a society without morality. Insects are considered eusocial creatures. Their brains are very different. I think that we would be surprised to find that they have what we would consider a morality. They certainly have rules but a consciousness that makes value judgements? Is it a concern for the welfare of the species, group and/or individuals and how it affects each individual that makes us different from say, ants?
The Complex Nature of Morality
Theory of mind is the ability to comprehend mental agency in another being. It affects a persons moral choices and seems to be located in the Right Temporo-parietal Junction (RTPJ). The medial prefrontal cortex, the posterior cingulated, angular gyrus on the left and right sides and the ventral prefrontal cortex are also involved in making moral decisions. All have different neurological and cognitive functions. You can see that the whole issue of morality is actually quite complex from a neurological perspective. The brain is a modular instrument and therefore morality is going to look confusing to us if we think of things along a spectrum or a line. And yet this is what we do when we moralize. We think in dualisms and ask if it is right or wrong and how much so. More sophisticated questions we might ask are how and why it is so. Not all animals or even children have the capability to make the same moral judgments as adult humans due to neurological differences. We may even come to find that some species of animals may need to be regarded as morally more sophisticated than others. I believe that ultimately neuroscience will have a primary role in defining human and animal morality and in shaping our philosophies around morality as we discover more about how the brain functions.
The Neurological Nature of Morality
Words like intent, decision, volition or agency seem to be, upon initial consideration, necessarily differentiated aspects of morality. Upon considering animal morality it becomes clear that this is not necessary so. Crocodiles make decisions, have volition and intend things but cannot be considered moral creatures because they have no apparatus for morality. To exacerbate problems, we might consider crocodiles to have agency depending upon how we define agency. Therefore none of these aspects of mental reality actually have anything to do with morality. Morality is not a set of principles or a thing, it is a set of brain functions. Morality does not exist out there somewhere and it certainly isn’t a set of words. It is our brain using information and performing neurological functions. That’s the reality behind morality. There is a nuerological basis for regarding what is good for our well being and what is harmful or toxic to us, but these might just be good, convenient ways to categorize the world around us.
Good and Evil?
Our most basic neurological functions are binary in nature. A neuron either fires or it doesn’t. Just like in a computer, things are either a 0 (good/beneficial) or a 1 (evil/harmful). Our basic fear reaction is fight or flight. A binary reaction is the best one suited for survival because it’s the most efficient solution. No wonder we see things in terms of good and evil! Is this because that is the way reality is or because our brains are created this way? If reality does not come in some grand duality then what does this say about how limited we may be as far as our ability to perceive reality is concerned? Does the type of brain you get determine what type of reality you are able to witness? The scary answer is yes. We may never know if the universe really exists as a duality or not. The actual universe might be very different and may come in all sorts of possibilities beyond a mere duality. We may be ‘constructing’ a binary universe because, 1) it is possible to do so and 2) it is all we can comprehend.
Society and Morality Defined
This leads me to a very general definition of morality:
Society being defined as merely a set of rules that two or more individuals adhere to, we must conclude that any system of rules dictated by emotional responses to beneficial (good) and harmful (evil) outcomes regarding the well being of the group and/or the individuals in the group can be considered a moral system.
In this view morality is the foundation of society itself. From this point of view our individuals must possess a sophisticated enough emotional apparatus to care or have some stake in the well being of the group and/or other individuals in the group. This view also supports the idea that good and evil do not actually exist as absolutes in any real sense. These are relative terms. We use the terms good and evil because our value judgements are wrapped up in things based upon real, sometimes traumatic outcomes.
A Compassionate View: A Relative World
Societies can look very different and so can the rules about what is beneficial (good) and harmful (evil). We need to understand this about each other. People all over the world have different values about what they see as being good and evil. Oftentimes seeing things in terms of good and evil leads to a warfare stance between people, in my opinion. It is usually not the best way to look at things. I believe we need a more compassionate and inclusive way to look at problems of cultural moral differences that does not compromise our morality but defines it and clarifies the issues for us.
Morality: A Dilemma
We use a hueristic symbology we call words and attempt to describe our mental states with it. Unless you are a neuroscientist (and even they don’t know much about the brain) you have no other means to really approach mental states than to talk about them. The problem with this whole arraignment is that our descriptions are confusing because they probably don’t accurately describe the reality of what is neurologically happening. This is why we cannot adequately describe morality using words that attempt to describe mental states. And yet this is exactly what we must do because we have no other choice. As discussed, we can’t make spectrum generalizations when it comes to the actual mechanics of morality because we don’t really know what they are yet. Nuerology decides what the mechanics of morality are. Still, our brains seem to be designed to react to the world in a dualistic manner and we can’t help but speak of things in terms of good and bad. And so we continue to make spectrum generalizations when we moralize. I feel that it is useful to see that this process; the generation and sustenance of a moral framework, involves a somewhat arbitrary process of collective trust. When we explore morality as currency we shall discuss this process in more detail.
Culture
Culture Defined
Usually when we talk about culture we are talking about social norms, customary beliefs and social behaviors found in societies. I define culture as any expression of a society. If such expression is done either passively (i.e.-psychologically) or actively, then it is a cultural expression. In this view merely thinking is a cultural expression. Thinking is a cultural expression for the following reason; we are psychologically dependent upon others for a sense of self. This flies in the face of what we are usually taught about ourselves. We are taught that we are psychologically independent and therefore our psychological health is dependent upon only ourselves. This is pure fantasy. Consider that there are no ideas without symbols and no such thing as a ‘self’ without ideas. We use the symbology of language itself to create meaning. There is no self without another to teach us language. Therefore, there is no way to create a human self without another human self being involved. This is an inescapable conclusion. This indicates that relationship and society is of critical importance to our self identity and therefore our mental health. This is a new area of psychology being explored by psychotherapuetic relational theories. Dan Siegel is at the forefront of this new approach to defining the self as a social creature by nature.[2]
Even though thinking itself is an expression of culture it does not necessarily create culture. If thinking is an expression of culture, then any private thought is also cultural creation as long as it is expressed to another. Culture must be created between two or more people. You can’t create or have a society by yourself. Culture happens when society happens, that is why the two seem synonomous. Culture is the expression of society.
Institutions Defined
Culture is by its nature a social phenomenon. This means that even in our most intimate relationships we create culture. If we share any of this information with the world (like say, nude selfies!) and a group is interested (like viewers of a channel on TV) and this group therefore consumes this information, then we say that it has become a part of that group’s culture (the group that viewed it on TV, those talking about it because of someone’s viewing, etc…). If only your family is interested then it has just become part of your family culture. The power of the experience will decide whether or not you will all recall it, consider it significant and therefore call it culture in the traditional sense. Once they have become an established part of our culture and we have created artifacts around such practices we call them institutions. I define an institution as being a social practice that is established and considered significant to a community.
Power Shapes Culture
Power is what mainly shapes culture over time. Power in relationships, the lack of power, the power of an experience (including personal cognitively powerful experiences) are what determine whether or not we consider it to be culture. Usefulness, significance and meaning are all expressions of power. Consider that things have meaning when they have utility associated with them more than when they do not. For example, my broom in the closet becomes more significant if I actually use it a lot. If I never use it or need it then it becomes insignificant. When we need and engage with things they become significant to us. Usefulness or significance could be termed value and/or meaningfulness. Meaningfulness is of particular interest in defining power because we don’t typically think of meaning as being a form of power. Meaning has power to a mind. It has the power to make us feel, believe, think, interpret and dictates a person’s intent and responses. Usefulness reflects a more pragmatic approach compared to significance and/or meaningfulness which both imply states of mind. All involve an assessment of difference in states. We assess when we find something (anything – an idea, thought, feeling, experience) more significant than another thing (anything that can be imagined and or experienced).
Culture – A Discreet Process
Some people may not feel satisfied with this general definition of culture since I consider merely conversing to be culture. They may feel that there are certain things which we call culture and certain others which we don’t. Consider that everytime you speak to someone it is significant to that relationship. Every piece of information that is shared, whether that be verbal, emotional or physical is important to the relationship. Whether or not you or I or a million other people remember something or not is not a matter of whether it is culture or not; it is a matter of whether or not that particular bit of culture is significant enough to survive and how important it becomes to society over time. That society can be a society of two. It only takes two people to make a society according to my definition. What we usually consider to be ‘culture’ is really just an evolutionary process of how society and our social expressions develop over time. That is why contemporary definitions of culture seem so arbitrary. Consider that nearly anything can become significant over time with repetition. A noise, a saying can become significant. Who can say when a social expression becomes culture? What kind of expression? When does this happen? What size group does it require? For how long does the tradition need to exist for? How important to the society does it have to be? You can see that there is no way to answer these questions. I agree with the conventional description of culture when we apply it to large groups (and their institutions) that have existed over a long enough period of time to create culture. But I believe culture happens discreetly in pairs as well.
Morality and Power
Usually when people think of moral systems religion comes to mind or a grand philosophical tradition. When we consider the vast differences in moral systems across the planet and the ability for people to adopt several norms as their own, especially as the world has gotten smaller and people come into close association with other cultures, we must consider questions as to the hierarchical importance of different moral systems. Moral systems often co-exist as layers superposed on top of one another. Therefore societal norms and moral traditions do not necessarily constitute a fundamental system. If there is a fundamental system that exists it will determine the nature of a systemic order and will define all morale systems operating under its influence as well.
Relationship Power Dynamics
Being that society is two or more individuals in a relationship, relationships are of the utmost importance to the nature of morality itself. Since culture is shaped by power morality must be shaped by power and its expressions as well. Being that relationships, power and its expressions are so important to the nature of morality, this indicates that the dynamics of a relationship are what determines the fundamental nature of morality itself. The term ‘relationship dynamics’ implies a concern with the difference in power between parties. If it was static, there would be no difference in power. Therefore relationship dynamics are of utmost importance in defining a moral system. This becomes profound when we consider that there are only two fundamental types of relationship paradigms: either you are equals or you are unequal. There is no third option. This means that relationship dynamics consist of a party being either a peer, a dominant or a submissive in relation to another or others.
Fundamental Moral Systems
This clearly indicates that there are two distinct ways of expressing power. One is in a peer system the other is in a dominant/submissive system. These ‘systems’ are the fundamental moral systems of their respective societies. These are the two different types of relationship paradigms; equality, or peer to peer relationships and the dominance/submission paradigm. These relationship paradigms determine the nature of how two people will relate to one another and even can determine whether or not they will form a community together. Thus this clearly constitutes a fundamental moral system.
Once again, there are three basic types of relationship dynamics. Either you are a peer, or you are submissive or dominant in relationship to another or others. These are the basic rules, or relationship dynamics which constitute the basis for society itself. These dynamics play themselves out in the arena of our lives through four main avenues of social power; military, economics, ideas/knowledge and society itself or culture. We will explore these four avenues of social power in more depth below.
Moral Character Revealed: Wielded Power
Because culture is formed through the influences of powerful forces (experiences, thoughts, ideas, sensations, feelings, etc…) morality is based upon powerful experiences as well. The rules inherent in morality will be shaped by the power of an experience and the expressions of power in society itself. Since moral values are the rules upon which society is based the way power is expressed in a society will be a direct expression of that societies’ morale values. Whether or not we share, exploit, manipulate, coerce, allow or enable others defines us as a member of our society or as a society as a whole. These are all ways in which we exert power. This is what it means to act in accordance to your moral principles: you show up in the way you express power.
Therefore the way we wield power has everything to do with our morality. Wielding power has everything to do with the process of accumulating power as well. How one gets their power is just as important as how it is expressed. Was it obtained honestly through hard work, easily, dishonestly, bloodily, etc…is the power through someone else, is it tied to a resource? These are all questions regarding power accumulation and therefore determines how one wields power.
The fact that power is the main shaping force in culture may not be an metaphysical reality but rather an issue of perception because we have lived under despotism as a social order for thousands of years where power rules every aspect of life. This is so ingrained that we perhaps can’t see it. It may be that culture can be primarily driven by other factors than power, like information. A culture based upon negotiation where information is highly valued might create members that remember things based upon their data value more than on power value in their relationships.
The Four Powers of Society
Economist Ravi Batra theorized that there are four ages of human development (warriors, intellectuals, acquisitors and laborers) based upon the teachings of his mentor P.R. Sarkar in which he utilizes social cycle theory. [3] This theory is based on an analysis of four classes of society that claims that people are historically motivated differently. Batra believes that these are due to different types of people and that these patterns show up as historical cycles. I believe that these are types of social power, not people. Batra’s theory is similar to the Strauss–Howe generational theory, which also describes history recurring in a generational cycle.[4]
William Strauss and Neil Howe see four archetypes of people (Prophet, Nomad, Hero and Artist) that repeat sequentially throughout history. There is a striking similarity between this and Ravi Batra’s theory. I believe that both theories are correct in describing rotating cycles of history based upon human motivations. These four cycles of human motivation are merely the dynamic expression of four realms of social power rather than kinds of people, classes or motivations. Each realm of power creates a class of people associated with its power so it naturally seems like classes or types of people. Power dynamics in relationships are what truly defines us as a civilization.
Unique Powers per Realm
Each realm of power has unique characteristics associated with it, that it affects all other powers with: 1) The military trumps all other powers. Killing destroys all other social powers by killing off the (members of) society. 2) Economics sustains everything else. All of life, including thinking depends upon economics (you have to eat and expend calories to think which means that thinking is economically dependent). Nothing in society goes without the sustaining influence of economics. 3) Knowledge changes and adjusts all of society. New knowledge can be so powerful that it can and has changed the social order of humanity. It is common for new knowledge to create adjustments in society. 4) Culture is the expression of society itself. It is a subtle, irresistable force. Culture forms beliefs which allows us to know who we are as individuals and as a group. New ideas, spontaneous inspiration, robust institutions all come out of a vibrant culture.
Morals are the rules or systems of society itself. Morals determine the social order and expression of all four realms of power. The power of morality expressed is the worldview of its consumers. Worldview determines everything about a person and a society psychologically, culturally and morally.*
The Unique Power of Culture
Society and its expressions which we call culture, are like gravity. Irresistable, subtle and infused throughout our lives. In the realm of ideas we find another powerful social force. Ideas are powerful. Ideas charged with emotion (like a social movement) are potentially explosive. Such movements can become explosive forces of change. This is why when social movements take off they are often unstoppable except through means of a trump card – threatening violence or death often can suppress such movements.
The Search for a Fundamental Moral System
This all clearly indicates that we are searching for a Fundamental Moral System that operates in all four realms of power. This Fundamental Moral System will be show up as a systemically ingrained feature of all four realms of power. It will not necessarily be a set of norms, traditions, values or assumptions although these will all be aspects of our paradigm. The paradigm we seek must demonstrate a Fundamental Relationship Dynamic that is fundamentally different than a dualisticly opposed paradigm which is the cause of the psychological and cultural rift we see happening on the political stage. The discourse between right and left find their origins in these two paradigms that we seek.
Environmental Pressure and Epochal Cultural Evolution
In our quest to discover a Fundamental Moral System we must consider vast periods of time. In this context we must consider that culture is shaped and created in reaction to or in consideration of environmental pressures. Society can also create environmental pressure but environmental pressures often come from outside of social influence. It usually takes time for environmental pressure to have cultural effect. Culture often comes about not as a fully conscious decision. The cultural environment we live in can affect us in deep psychological ways. Direct personal knowledge will cause culture to change more rapidly but overcoming people’s ingrained beliefs takes time. Information sometimes only convinces people so much. The way that we live, how we live teaches us much deeper lessons about life and how the world is than any intellectual exercise ever can. Being that culture is shaped through power over time, a fundamental part of what determines cultural evolution is power in relationships just as it is for morality and for the exact same reasons. This is because morality and culture are both fundamental elements of what constitutes a society. They are also therefore different expressions of social currency.° If there is a fundamental shift in relationship dynamics then we can expect to see a fundamental shift in cultural outlooks as well.
Evolution and Cultural Development
Physics are the laws of nature which constrain and define physiological evolutionary strategies. Many human created technologies find direct analogues in nature. Cameras are the equivalent of eyes and contain the same technological elements (a rounded lens, light sensitive material, etc…). Sonar is a technology used in submarines and is used by bats and whales. The plumbing of our circulatory system is made up of valves which only allow for the blood to flow in one direction. Boolean computers are direct analogues to Boolean brains; DNA is a 4 bit digital information system as compared to the 2 bit computer system, etc... The reason life took on the forms that it did is because that is what is possible within the laws of physics.
So the question is; are there laws of physics which constrain and define cultural evolution?
In other words, if evolution has determined epochal cultural development then the development of culture over long periods of time will depend upon considerations of the survival of the species as a whole and the survival of the society in question, especially if the environment is harsh and brutal.
Sex and Violence
So what must make this cultural evolutionary system function? Rules around life (sex) and death (murder, killing, disease, etc…). I believe that behaviors and rules around these issues will simply have to appear because the issues of sex and killing/death are so weighty. Over large periods of time we can expect these things to show up as a deeply ingrained or even instinctual social expression that has become infused throughout our cultural expressions and institutions. When it comes to human beings we are no less susceptible socially, to these things (despite our cognitive plasticity) which rule over our genetic legacy; sex and death. Sex and death are what natural selection uses to determine the survival of our genes. All animal societies must contain basic behaviors and/or rules around sex and killing of members and non-members and how the individual will function within the society in relation to these things.
Evolutionary processes involve harsh environments in order for natural selection to operate. The system we are about to discuss, despotic morality, has recreated an institution which allows a selection process based upon killing and mating to occur. This institution is nothing other than warfare itself. In another environment, a peaceful environment, natural selection processes would not be able to operate. These are the same processes of natural selection. This is not a claim that natural selection is taking place. This is cultural selection happening.
Ingrained Global Morality
If culture is created and shaped through interactions with environmental pressures then evolutionary pressures will have a profound effect over long periods of time. The evolutionary pressures of reproduction/sexuality and killing/warfare should play a primary role in the creation of ingrained epochal cultural worldviews. They are evolutionary pressures because natural selection relies upon death and sex for evolutionary development. I believe that any assessment of a global morality must be shaped in terms of these factors. We must not look for an institution or a set of institutions but an ingrained system that is global in its scope. It will express itself in all four realms of power as an ingrained institutional feature.
Despotic Morality
Patriarchal Roots
There is an arena where evolutionary pressures of death and sex have a part in the historical development of an ingrained systemic order: all over the world men subjugate women. This is a global feature of modern humanity. I believe that patriarchy describes the evolution of the old moral system and that patriarchy is a social system designed to aid survival in brutally competitive warfare environments. Being that warfare is such a prominent feature of human history it cannot be ignored as a fundamental environmental pressure. There are few problems worse than war for a civilization. This ingrained system can be described as a despotic system where a patriarch or strong leader rules over subjects often with fiat power. A strong leader must be relied upon to make quick decisions of disastrous result for someone – either for your tribe or the enemies’. There is no time for debate in a war zone; thus the need for strong, decisive, faultless leaders.
The Foundations of Patriarchy: Warfare
In a warfare environment, since culture follows paths of least resistance the bigger, stronger, faster males, who don’t have to be vulnerable during childbirth would become more important to the survival of the tribe and begin to dominate in most cultures. Agriculture is widely viewed as being the reason why populations increased and specialization of duties occurred. With these changes came greater technological development. As specialization and differentiation occurred more complex social organizations begin to emerge. Eventually leadership qualities become of paramount importance (this is why women are attracted to these qualities in men!). Any specialization necessarily will create differentiation and therefore hierarchy. An increase in hierarchy in a despotic environment creates even greater differentiation in terms of rights, liberties and overall quality of life between different strata of social power. What you end up with is a king/dictatodespot/autocrat, some nobles and masses of comparatively poor except for specialized social niches like merchants, specialists, craftsmen, etc… which typically make up a sparse middle class. This is the natural order of things in the economic and cultural environments we live in today.
Despotic Morality Defined
As I stated before a moral system is defined as follows:
Society being defined as merely a set of rules that two or more individuals adhere to, we must conclude that any system of rules dictated by emotional responses to beneficial (good) and harmful (evil) consequences or outcomes regarding the well being of the group and/or the individuals in the group can be considered a moral system.
We have been living under an institution for thousands of years which features despotic systems. In this Despotic Morality you can find patriarchs and despots in all four realms of human social power: political, economic, ideological/knowledge and society itself. Kings, despots, dictators and to a lesser extent, workplace bosses, managers, executives and a company’s primary shareholders are all part of a despotic power framework. In the realm of knowledge religious patriarchs have dolled out fiat ignorance down through the ages. Also, the patriarchal hierarchy in religions across the planet historically contains little to no transparency and therefore limited agency or sovereignty on the part of its followers, at best. Traditional religion is a rank example of the patriarchal despotic moral system. On a root societal level the family patriarch should be familiar to everyone. Notice that nearly all of our corporate institutions including the corporate bodies which make up our democratic government are despotic in organizational structure. Most of them are also patriarchal and all of them were traditionally so. Notice that none of these institutions are organized as democratic systems, but they all could be.
Despotic Designs: Exploitation
All despotisms are designed to exploit. Despotism runs on power and competition at all levels of social organization. They are exploitative by their nature. Despotism is exploitative by definition: fiat power means the other party does not have any rights. A despot is someone with fiat power. The person with political fiat power literally gets to decide if the other person lives or dies. That is fiat power. In an economic fiat power situation the fiat power is limited to the laws of the land in question and therefore, usually limited to economic power, but not always. A person with fiat knowledge power means they have unquestionable authority when it comes to knowledge about a subject, idea or belief system. They can also gain fiat power over another persons’ agency and personal sovereignty. Argueably the most potent form of fiat power that there is; the control of another’s worldview. A person with fiat power in the cultural realm has the limited power of being a charismatic or popular personality. This can become a formidable power when combined with the other realms of power: i.e.- a military leader, an economic leader, a religious leader, a popular figure that charms, influences and perhaps engages in coercion or manipulation as well. Exploitation is merely a style of wielding power and despotism describes a social organizational style. It does not necessarily equate to a moral judgement. That is a matter of perceived ethical violations, which is a matter of which moral currency you ‘trade in’.*
That being said, the way in which despots in all realms have wielded power has left an indelible mark on history. They have shown very clearly what kind of morality they generally believe in by the way that they have wielded their power. I sometimes think that all of human trauma can be traced back to despotic origins. We are undergoing a crisis of abuse on an epic, global scale. Thankfully the solutions to our problems are within our grasp.
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Science and democracy have created a fundamental shift in the way we see the world. Part 2 Defining Morality.

Worldview and Moral Reflexes
Our value judgements determine our outlook. In life hueristic thinking regarding value judgements is often a necessity. Your worldview will determine how well you fit into particular group(s). Whether or not you were in a group historically meant you survived or didn’t. This makes morality a survival issue for us. Thus we are deeply social creatures that need one another. An immoral or otherwise unwanted person would have been cast out of the group in our early human history. Being cast out of the group historically had grave consequences. This is why it can be such an intense emotional and psychological trauma to be left alone or shamed. Life can happen quickly, unexpectedly and with grave consequences, including socially. This is why I believe we have our morals as a reactive force. This is what it means to have a moral reflex. Our moral reflexes reflect our worldview. I believe this is so true that the two are indistinguishable. In order to appreciate this we must consider and define what society, culture and morality are.
Morality and Society
Cooperation: the Foundation of Society
The foundation of society, the ability for different individuals of the same species to work together in order to accomplish tasks, is the result of cooperation. All animal societies are based upon survival and cooperation. Without cooperation there is no society. The reason for morality as social necessity is clear: in order to counteract the intense survival needs and/or instincts of an individual creature an evolutionary mechanism must be enacted (e.g.-a moral conscience, a hive mind, etc…) in order to gain social benefits. There has to be some sort of evolutionary mechanism involved that gets individuals to cooperate.
Evolutionary social survival strategy necessarily must enact rules and enforce them and does so through evolutionary equipping and/or limitations and through conscious enforcement. For example, many limbic brained social animals exhibit a sense of fairness and outrage at injustice as well as compassion for the suffering of others. This is the product of having a limbic brain which enables a new, more sophisticated set of emotional responses. The only way for two individuals to cooperate is to be able to communicate and to follow rules (esp. regarding fairness). Lizards and crocodiles don’t cooperate and have no limbic brain. They are amoral. There is no society that they belong to. They have no need for morality. Morality is not something that exists as a ontological reality other than as an evolutionary device that enables cooperation amongst individuals.
Fairness: the Basis for Morality
Therefore, I contend that empathetic sensibilities which lead to a basic sense of fairness between individuals is the basis for a moral structure. Either we have access, entitlement and/or protection of our needs and give the very same to the other party or we fight and end up in an exploitative situation, at best. Violations of fairness cause us to exhibit outrage and/or disgust. When ourselves or others are wronged we feel sadness. These are some very basic moral responses that we have as humans. But cats and dogs have these responses as well. Does this mean there are evil cats and dogs? I believe that is the wrong question to ask. Evil and good are relative human terms. Now, if you asked if a dog or cat were as culpable or responsible as a human being the answer would be no. Their morality is much simpler because their brains are much simpler than ours. Like a child they need to be treated differently than an adult human who posseses theory of mind amongst other cognitive abilities that most animals do not apparently possess (it is hard to prove theory of mind in an animal- we can’t talk to them about their inner states, but dogs and cats are not in the running; dolphins, pigs, ravens, grey parrots are the more likely candidates).
I want to point out that you can have a society without morality. Insects are considered eusocial creatures. Their brains are very different. I think that we would be surprised to find that they have what we would consider a morality. They certainly have rules but a consciousness that makes value judgements? Is it a concern for the welfare of the species, group and/or individuals and how it affects each individual that makes us different from say, ants?
The Complex Nature of Morality
Theory of mind is the ability to comprehend mental agency in another being. It affects a persons moral choices and seems to be located in the Right Temporo-parietal Junction (RTPJ). The medial prefrontal cortex, the posterior cingulated, angular gyrus on the left and right sides and the ventral prefrontal cortex are also involved in making moral decisions. All have different neurological and cognitive functions. You can see that the whole issue of morality is actually quite complex from a neurological perspective. The brain is a modular instrument and therefore morality is going to look confusing to us if we think of things along a spectrum or a line. And yet this is what we do when we moralize. We think in dualisms and ask if it is right or wrong and how much so. More sophisticated questions we might ask are how and why it is so. Not all animals or even children have the capability to make the same moral judgments as adult humans due to neurological differences. We may even come to find that some species of animals may need to be regarded as morally more sophisticated than others. I believe that ultimately neuroscience will have a primary role in defining human and animal morality and in shaping our philosophies around morality as we discover more about how the brain functions.
The Neurological Nature of Morality
Words like intent, decision, volition or agency seem to be, upon initial consideration, necessarily differentiated aspects of morality. Upon considering animal morality it becomes clear that this is not necessary so. Crocodiles make decisions, have volition and intend things but cannot be considered moral creatures because they have no apparatus for morality. To exacerbate problems, we might consider crocodiles to have agency depending upon how we define agency. Therefore none of these aspects of mental reality actually have anything to do with morality. Morality is not a set of principles or a thing, it is a set of brain functions. Morality does not exist out there somewhere and it certainly isn’t a set of words. It is our brain using information and performing neurological functions. That’s the reality behind morality. There is a nuerological basis for regarding what is good for our well being and what is harmful or toxic to us, but these might just be good, convenient ways to categorize the world around us.
Good and Evil?
Our most basic neurological functions are binary in nature. A neuron either fires or it doesn’t. Just like in a computer, things are either a 0 (good/beneficial) or a 1 (evil/harmful). Our basic fear reaction is fight or flight. A binary reaction is the best one suited for survival because it’s the most efficient solution. No wonder we see things in terms of good and evil! Is this because that is the way reality is or because our brains are created this way? If reality does not come in some grand duality then what does this say about how limited we may be as far as our ability to perceive reality is concerned? Does the type of brain you get determine what type of reality you are able to witness? The scary answer is yes. We may never know if the universe really exists as a duality or not. The actual universe might be very different and may come in all sorts of possibilities beyond a mere duality. We may be ‘constructing’ a binary universe because, 1) it is possible to do so and 2) it is all we can comprehend.
Society and Morality Defined
This leads me to a very general definition of morality:
Society being defined as merely a set of rules that two or more individuals adhere to, we must conclude that any system of rules dictated by emotional responses to beneficial (good) and harmful (evil) outcomes regarding the well being of the group and/or the individuals in the group can be considered a moral system.
In this view morality is the foundation of society itself. From this point of view our individuals must possess a sophisticated enough emotional apparatus to care or have some stake in the well being of the group and/or other individuals in the group. This view also supports the idea that good and evil do not actually exist as absolutes in any real sense. These are relative terms. We use the terms good and evil because our value judgements are wrapped up in things based upon real, sometimes traumatic outcomes.
A Compassionate View: A Relative World
Societies can look very different and so can the rules about what is beneficial (good) and harmful (evil). We need to understand this about each other. People all over the world have different values about what they see as being good and evil. Oftentimes seeing things in terms of good and evil leads to a warfare stance between people, in my opinion. It is usually not the best way to look at things. I believe we need a more compassionate and inclusive way to look at problems of cultural moral differences that does not compromise our morality but defines it and clarifies the issues for us.
Morality: A Dilemma
We use a hueristic symbology we call words and attempt to describe our mental states with it. Unless you are a neuroscientist (and even they don’t know much about the brain) you have no other means to really approach mental states than to talk about them. The problem with this whole arraignment is that our descriptions are confusing because they probably don’t accurately describe the reality of what is neurologically happening. This is why we cannot adequately describe morality using words that attempt to describe mental states. And yet this is exactly what we must do because we have no other choice. As discussed, we can’t make spectrum generalizations when it comes to the actual mechanics of morality because we don’t really know what they are yet. Nuerology decides what the mechanics of morality are. Still, our brains seem to be designed to react to the world in a dualistic manner and we can’t help but speak of things in terms of good and bad. And so we continue to make spectrum generalizations when we moralize. I feel that it is useful to see that this process; the generation and sustenance of a moral framework, involves a somewhat arbitrary process of collective trust. When we explore morality as currency we shall discuss this process in more detail.
Culture
Culture Defined
Usually when we talk about culture we are talking about social norms, customary beliefs and social behaviors found in societies. I define culture as any expression of a society. If such expression is done either passively (i.e.-psychologically) or actively, then it is a cultural expression. In this view merely thinking is a cultural expression. Thinking is a cultural expression for the following reason; we are psychologically dependent upon others for a sense of self. This flies in the face of what we are usually taught about ourselves. We are taught that we are psychologically independent and therefore our psychological health is dependent upon only ourselves. This is pure fantasy. Consider that there are no ideas without symbols and no such thing as a ‘self’ without ideas. We use the symbology of language itself to create meaning. There is no self without another to teach us language. Therefore, there is no way to create a human self without another human self being involved. This is an inescapable conclusion. This indicates that relationship and society is of critical importance to our self identity and therefore our mental health. This is a new area of psychology being explored by psychotherapuetic relational theories. Dan Siegel is at the forefront of this new approach to defining the self as a social creature by nature.[2]
Even though thinking itself is an expression of culture it does not necessarily create culture. If thinking is an expression of culture, then any private thought is also cultural creation as long as it is expressed to another. Culture must be created between two or more people. You can’t create or have a society by yourself. Culture happens when society happens, that is why the two seem synonomous. Culture is the expression of society.
Institutions Defined
Culture is by its nature a social phenomenon. This means that even in our most intimate relationships we create culture. If we share any of this information with the world (like say, nude selfies!) and a group is interested (like viewers of a channel on TV) and this group therefore consumes this information, then we say that it has become a part of that group’s culture (the group that viewed it on TV, those talking about it because of someone’s viewing, etc…). If only your family is interested then it has just become part of your family culture. The power of the experience will decide whether or not you will all recall it, consider it significant and therefore call it culture in the traditional sense. Once they have become an established part of our culture and we have created artifacts around such practices we call them institutions. I define an institution as being a social practice that is established and considered significant to a community.
Power Shapes Culture
Power is what mainly shapes culture over time. Power in relationships, the lack of power, the power of an experience (including personal cognitively powerful experiences) are what determine whether or not we consider it to be culture. Usefulness, significance and meaning are all expressions of power. Consider that things have meaning when they have utility associated with them more than when they do not. For example, my broom in the closet becomes more significant if I actually use it a lot. If I never use it or need it then it becomes insignificant. When we need and engage with things they become significant to us. Usefulness or significance could be termed value and/or meaningfulness. Meaningfulness is of particular interest in defining power because we don’t typically think of meaning as being a form of power. Meaning has power to a mind. It has the power to make us feel, believe, think, interpret and dictates a person’s intent and responses. Usefulness reflects a more pragmatic approach compared to significance and/or meaningfulness which both imply states of mind. All involve an assessment of difference in states. We assess when we find something (anything – an idea, thought, feeling, experience) more significant than another thing (anything that can be imagined and or experienced).
Culture – A Discreet Process
Some people may not feel satisfied with this general definition of culture since I consider merely conversing to be culture. They may feel that there are certain things which we call culture and certain others which we don’t. Consider that everytime you speak to someone it is significant to that relationship. Every piece of information that is shared, whether that be verbal, emotional or physical is important to the relationship. Whether or not you or I or a million other people remember something or not is not a matter of whether it is culture or not; it is a matter of whether or not that particular bit of culture is significant enough to survive and how important it becomes to society over time. That society can be a society of two. It only takes two people to make a society according to my definition. What we usually consider to be ‘culture’ is really just an evolutionary process of how society and our social expressions develop over time. That is why contemporary definitions of culture seem so arbitrary. Consider that nearly anything can become significant over time with repetition. A noise, a saying can become significant. Who can say when a social expression becomes culture? What kind of expression? When does this happen? What size group does it require? For how long does the tradition need to exist for? How important to the society does it have to be? You can see that there is no way to answer these questions. I agree with the conventional description of culture when we apply it to large groups (and their institutions) that have existed over a long enough period of time to create culture. But I believe culture happens discreetly in pairs as well.
Morality and Power
Usually when people think of moral systems religion comes to mind or a grand philosophical tradition. When we consider the vast differences in moral systems across the planet and the ability for people to adopt several norms as their own, especially as the world has gotten smaller and people come into close association with other cultures, we must consider questions as to the hierarchical importance of different moral systems. Moral systems often co-exist as layers superposed on top of one another. Therefore societal norms and moral traditions do not necessarily constitute a fundamental system. If there is a fundamental system that exists it will determine the nature of a systemic order and will define all morale systems operating under its influence as well.
Relationship Power Dynamics
Being that society is two or more individuals in a relationship, relationships are of the utmost importance to the nature of morality itself. Since culture is shaped by power morality must be shaped by power and its expressions as well. Being that relationships, power and its expressions are so important to the nature of morality, this indicates that the dynamics of a relationship are what determines the fundamental nature of morality itself. The term ‘relationship dynamics’ implies a concern with the difference in power between parties. If it was static, there would be no difference in power. Therefore relationship dynamics are of utmost importance in defining a moral system. This becomes profound when we consider that there are only two fundamental types of relationship paradigms: either you are equals or you are unequal. There is no third option. This means that relationship dynamics consist of a party being either a peer, a dominant or a submissive in relation to another or others.
Fundamental Moral Systems
This clearly indicates that there are two distinct ways of expressing power. One is in a peer system the other is in a dominant/submissive system. These ‘systems’ are the fundamental moral systems of their respective societies. These are the two different types of relationship paradigms; equality, or peer to peer relationships and the dominance/submission paradigm. These relationship paradigms determine the nature of how two people will relate to one another and even can determine whether or not they will form a community together. Thus this clearly constitutes a fundamental moral system.
Once again, there are three basic types of relationship dynamics. Either you are a peer, or you are submissive or dominant in relationship to another or others. These are the basic rules, or relationship dynamics which constitute the basis for society itself. These dynamics play themselves out in the arena of our lives through four main avenues of social power; military, economics, ideas/knowledge and society itself or culture. We will explore these four avenues of social power in more depth below.
Moral Character Revealed: Wielded Power
Because culture is formed through the influences of powerful forces (experiences, thoughts, ideas, sensations, feelings, etc…) morality is based upon powerful experiences as well. The rules inherent in morality will be shaped by the power of an experience and the expressions of power in society itself. Since moral values are the rules upon which society is based the way power is expressed in a society will be a direct expression of that societies’ morale values. Whether or not we share, exploit, manipulate, coerce, allow or enable others defines us as a member of our society or as a society as a whole. These are all ways in which we exert power. This is what it means to act in accordance to your moral principles: you show up in the way you express power.
Therefore the way we wield power has everything to do with our morality. Wielding power has everything to do with the process of accumulating power as well. How one gets their power is just as important as how it is expressed. Was it obtained honestly through hard work, easily, dishonestly, bloodily, etc…is the power through someone else, is it tied to a resource? These are all questions regarding power accumulation and therefore determines how one wields power.
The fact that power is the main shaping force in culture may not be an metaphysical reality but rather an issue of perception because we have lived under despotism as a social order for thousands of years where power rules every aspect of life. This is so ingrained that we perhaps can’t see it. It may be that culture can be primarily driven by other factors than power, like information. A culture based upon negotiation where information is highly valued might create members that remember things based upon their data value more than on power value in their relationships.
The Four Powers of Society
Economist Ravi Batra theorized that there are four ages of human development (warriors, intellectuals, acquisitors and laborers) based upon the teachings of his mentor P.R. Sarkar in which he utilizes social cycle theory. [3] This theory is based on an analysis of four classes of society that claims that people are historically motivated differently. Batra believes that these are due to different types of people and that these patterns show up as historical cycles. I believe that these are types of social power, not people. Batra’s theory is similar to the Strauss–Howe generational theory, which also describes history recurring in a generational cycle.[4]
William Strauss and Neil Howe see four archetypes of people (Prophet, Nomad, Hero and Artist) that repeat sequentially throughout history. There is a striking similarity between this and Ravi Batra’s theory. I believe that both theories are correct in describing rotating cycles of history based upon human motivations. These four cycles of human motivation are merely the dynamic expression of four realms of social power rather than kinds of people, classes or motivations. Each realm of power creates a class of people associated with its power so it naturally seems like classes or types of people. Power dynamics in relationships are what truly defines us as a civilization.
Unique Powers per Realm
Each realm of power has unique characteristics associated with it, that it affects all other powers with: 1) The military trumps all other powers. Killing destroys all other social powers by killing off the (members of) society. 2) Economics sustains everything else. All of life, including thinking depends upon economics (you have to eat and expend calories to think which means that thinking is economically dependent). Nothing in society goes without the sustaining influence of economics. 3) Knowledge changes and adjusts all of society. New knowledge can be so powerful that it can and has changed the social order of humanity. It is common for new knowledge to create adjustments in society. 4) Culture is the expression of society itself. It is a subtle, irresistable force. Culture forms beliefs which allows us to know who we are as individuals and as a group. New ideas, spontaneous inspiration, robust institutions all come out of a vibrant culture.
Morals are the rules or systems of society itself. Morals determine the social order and expression of all four realms of power. The power of morality expressed is the worldview of its consumers. Worldview determines everything about a person and a society psychologically, culturally and morally.*
The Unique Power of Culture
Society and its expressions which we call culture, are like gravity. Irresistable, subtle and infused throughout our lives. In the realm of ideas we find another powerful social force. Ideas are powerful. Ideas charged with emotion (like a social movement) are potentially explosive. Such movements can become explosive forces of change. This is why when social movements take off they are often unstoppable except through means of a trump card – threatening violence or death often can suppress such movements.
The Search for a Fundamental Moral System
This all clearly indicates that we are searching for a Fundamental Moral System that operates in all four realms of power. This Fundamental Moral System will be show up as a systemically ingrained feature of all four realms of power. It will not necessarily be a set of norms, traditions, values or assumptions although these will all be aspects of our paradigm. The paradigm we seek must demonstrate a Fundamental Relationship Dynamic that is fundamentally different than a dualisticly opposed paradigm which is the cause of the psychological and cultural rift we see happening on the political stage. The discourse between right and left find their origins in these two paradigms that we seek.
Environmental Pressure and Epochal Cultural Evolution
In our quest to discover a Fundamental Moral System we must consider vast periods of time. In this context we must consider that culture is shaped and created in reaction to or in consideration of environmental pressures. Society can also create environmental pressure but environmental pressures often come from outside of social influence. It usually takes time for environmental pressure to have cultural effect. Culture often comes about not as a fully conscious decision. The cultural environment we live in can affect us in deep psychological ways. Direct personal knowledge will cause culture to change more rapidly but overcoming people’s ingrained beliefs takes time. Information sometimes only convinces people so much. The way that we live, how we live teaches us much deeper lessons about life and how the world is than any intellectual exercise ever can. Being that culture is shaped through power over time, a fundamental part of what determines cultural evolution is power in relationships just as it is for morality and for the exact same reasons. This is because morality and culture are both fundamental elements of what constitutes a society. They are also therefore different expressions of social currency.° If there is a fundamental shift in relationship dynamics then we can expect to see a fundamental shift in cultural outlooks as well.
Evolution and Cultural Development
Physics are the laws of nature which constrain and define physiological evolutionary strategies. Many human created technologies find direct analogues in nature. Cameras are the equivalent of eyes and contain the same technological elements (a rounded lens, light sensitive material, etc…). Sonar is a technology used in submarines and is used by bats and whales. The plumbing of our circulatory system is made up of valves which only allow for the blood to flow in one direction. Boolean computers are direct analogues to Boolean brains; DNA is a 4 bit digital information system as compared to the 2 bit computer system, etc... The reason life took on the forms that it did is because that is what is possible within the laws of physics.
So the question is; are there laws of physics which constrain and define cultural evolution?
In other words, if evolution has determined epochal cultural development then the development of culture over long periods of time will depend upon considerations of the survival of the species as a whole and the survival of the society in question, especially if the environment is harsh and brutal.
Sex and Violence
So what must make this cultural evolutionary system function? Rules around life (sex) and death (murder, killing, disease, etc…). I believe that behaviors and rules around these issues will simply have to appear because the issues of sex and killing/death are so weighty. Over large periods of time we can expect these things to show up as a deeply ingrained or even instinctual social expression that has become infused throughout our cultural expressions and institutions. When it comes to human beings we are no less susceptible socially, to these things (despite our cognitive plasticity) which rule over our genetic legacy; sex and death. Sex and death are what natural selection uses to determine the survival of our genes. All animal societies must contain basic behaviors and/or rules around sex and killing of members and non-members and how the individual will function within the society in relation to these things.
Evolutionary processes involve harsh environments in order for natural selection to operate. The system we are about to discuss, despotic morality, has recreated an institution which allows a selection process based upon killing and mating to occur. This institution is nothing other than warfare itself. In another environment, a peaceful environment, natural selection processes would not be able to operate. These are the same processes of natural selection. This is not a claim that natural selection is taking place. This is cultural selection happening.
Ingrained Global Morality
If culture is created and shaped through interactions with environmental pressures then evolutionary pressures will have a profound effect over long periods of time. The evolutionary pressures of reproduction/sexuality and killing/warfare should play a primary role in the creation of ingrained epochal cultural worldviews. They are evolutionary pressures because natural selection relies upon death and sex for evolutionary development. I believe that any assessment of a global morality must be shaped in terms of these factors. We must not look for an institution or a set of institutions but an ingrained system that is global in its scope. It will express itself in all four realms of power as an ingrained institutional feature.
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