Monday, October 9, 2023

Cassandra is Dead. Long Live Cassandra!

After the fall of Troy, Cassandra was taken as Agamemnon's "pallake" (concubine) and taken to Mycenae, where she was killed by Clytemnestra, Agamemnon's wife. The destiny of prophetesses is never so bright, especially when they turn out to have been right. Something similar, although fortunately much less tragic, happened to the Cassandra blog, censored on Facebook by the powers that be. So, it is time to call it quits. But Cassandra is not dead! She reincarnated in the form of the Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca. Click on the image below to link to the new blog "The Seneca Effect" on Substack. 

On March 2, 2011, I started the blog that I titled "Cassandra's Legacy." 10 years later, the blog had accumulated 974 posts, 332 followers, and more than 5 million visualizations (5289.929). Recently, the blog had stabilized at around 2,000-3,000 views per day. It is now moving to a different site with a different title: "The Seneca Effect"

The reasons for this move are not because I wanted to. I was forced to change. Cassandra was a small blog, by all means, but I always had the sensation that it was not without an impact on the nebulous constellation of the people, high up, whom we call "the powers that be" (the PTBs).

It is a story that reminds me of the legend that George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq in 2003 after he had learned about peak oil from something written by people belonging to ASPO (the Association for the Study of Peak Oil). Apparently, he was impressed by the concept of "peak oil," so much that he decided to invade Iraq to secure the oil reserves there. 

Reasonably, it can't be but a legend, but are we sure? After all, the people who make decisions are not smarter than us, just richer. And they can misunderstand things just like we all do. Of course, their blunders make much more noise.  

And so, it may well be that many things that we are seeing around us have a logic. Certainly, it is past the time when a certain kind of message could be eliminated simply by ignoring it. Now, it has to be actively suppressed. And that is what's happening with censorship rampant in the social media. Even the Cassandra blog, even though not important in itself, attracted the wrath of the powers that be. It was censored on Facebook, and it is also kept nearly invisible in the search engines. As I discussed in a previous post on Cassandra, we knew it would happen and it did. 

Of course, this blog could survive even while boycotted by Facebook, but when you discover that you are in the crosshairs of someone big and powerful, it is better to duck down and take cover. It makes little sense to insist on keeping an indefensible position. It is time for Cassandra to fold. 

But this is not a defeat. It is a badge of honor that the PTBs noticed this blog and acted against it (O.K., maybe it was just a glitch of some complicated AI program, who knows?). In any case, closing the blog means recognizing that the memetic war follows the standard rules of war. It is all about movement. And that's what Cassandra is doing. It is moving. We all do. The only things that never move are the dead, and we are still very much alive! And "Cassandra's Legacy" will remain online, although it won't be updated anymore.

So, I moved to a blog with a different title, called, "The Seneca Effect". It was also targeted by the powers that be and it had to move away from the blogger platform. Right now, it found refuge on Substack. We'll see how it fares there!

And now, no more shall my prophecy peer forth from behind a veil

like a new-wedded bride
But it will rush upon me clear as a fresh wind 
blowing against the sun's uprising so as to dash against its rays, 
like a wave, a woe far mightier than mine. 
No more by riddles will I instruct you. 
And bear me witness, as, running close behind, 
I scent the track of crimes done long ago. 
For from this roof never departs a choir chanting in unison, 
but singing no harmonious tune; 
for it tells of no good.

Aeschilus, Agamemnon

Below, Cassandra as interpreted by the AI


Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)