Cassandra has moved. Ugo Bardi publishes now on a new site called "The Seneca Effect."

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Cassandra is Dead. Long Live Cassandra!

Cassandra has moved to a new site titled "The Seneca Effect

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, I guess 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"


The Seneca Blog

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 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 take decision 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. For sure, 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 seems to be 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 seems to me that it is also kept nearly invisible in the search engines. As I discussed in a previous post on Cassandra, we knew it was going to 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 to keep 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 simply 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 on line, although it won't be updated anymore.

I am working at renewing a blog that I had already created, called "The Seneca Trap."  It is online now with the name "The Seneca Effect". We'll see if it becomes another target for the PTBs!

In the meantime, I am passing to you a few paragraphs that I took from Dmitry Orlov's book "The Five Stages of Collapse." (2013) where he correctly predicted how the West was moving along a path that's taking it to follow the steps of the old Soviet Union, even in terms of censorship. Orlov describes how, at that time, people defended themselves from an obtrusive and obtuse regime. I guess we'll have to adopt the same techniques.


The Rise of Steganography

by Dmitry Orlov -- From "The Five Stages of Collapse" (2013)

I am sure that certain readers will at this point recollect schlocky American Cold War novels they wasted their time reading, or automatically conjure up secret codes and communications technologies used Financial Collapse to play a spy vs. spy cat-and-mouse game with the KGB, while others will want to think that the KGB was sufficiently incompetent and/or demoralized to just let all that secret communication slip by (I assure you that it was not). Well, having seen how it all works in practice, I am happy to disabuse you of all such notions. The only technologies involved were spoken word and pen and paper; the good results were achieved thanks to mental fortitude and solidarity.

The technique I saw used was an instance of steganography, which “is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message, a form of security through obscurity. The word is of Greek origin and means ‘concealed writing’ from the Greek words steganos (στεγανός), meaning ‘covered or protected’, and graphei (γραφή), meaning ‘writing'. There is the outer, public message, which is innocuous or insipid or annoyingly redundant (except for a few easily overlooked details); then there is the inner, private message, which can only be discerned by the intended recipient, who has prior knowledge. The key security feature is that the recipient needs to know that the message is a message at all, never mind decipher it.
My mother and my grandmother kept up a voluminous correspondence augmented by regular telephone conversations. They discussed everything from the weather to their reading to what they ate for breakfast. They also seemed to be curiously obsessed with pieces of porcelain: which tea set was a present from whom, who would have liked it, who had owned a similar one at one time or another, from whom they may have purchased it and how much they may have paid for it, how many cups were cracked or broken, whether they could be repaired, who was the clumsy one and broke a cup, who had been particularly skillful at gluing together a broken cup so that it is now as good as new and so on and so forth, all seemingly innocent prattle between two dotty women reminiscing about sentimental bits of bric-à-brac—but for someone in the know, laden with secret meanings. Cups were thousands of dollars. Tea sets were tens of thousands. Cracked cups were expenses incurred. Broken cups were deals that had fallen through. Any persons mentioned were not referred to by full name but by informal diminutives and endearments and referenced not to actual places and times but to private, shared memories. But there were also passages of general interest, such as soup or cake recipes, sometimes supplied with a passing comment addressed directly to the KGB censor, such as “Others who are reading this might find this interesting as well.” Who could possibly suspect secret, nefarious, conspiratorial intent in someone so seemingly guileless? Not even the KGB!

 

 

44 comments:

  1. This made me sad. Still, understandable.

    I look forward to Seneca Effect.

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    1. When something as sensible and inoffensive as Cassandra gets censored you know we are in the grip of madness.

      Im truly appalled by our decline into corporate fascism.

      On a brighter note I have read you since inception, great work can never die. We will support and move with you.

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    2. For what it's worth, I was on the fence about deleting Facebook -- or really most forms of mass social media -- the week before I read on Greer's blog that you'd been thought policed. I'll have you know as a long time reader and never commenter that their treatment of you sealed the deal. I deleted Facebook, reddit, and basically all of them save for discord. So thank you mostly for all of the wonderful musings on here over the years and partially for finally motivating me to leave those dreaded cesspools of groupthink.

      Delete
  2. I feel sad, Cassandra has done an amazing work! The times are odd, should be interesting but everything looks like a boring fog.
    Take care Ugo, and many thanks.

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  3. So farewell then Cassandra. Though thank goodness we are not losing you from the Blogosphere, Udo. Long live Seneca.

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  4. I wish you the best of luck. The problem with FB and 'modern' communication is that no one asks each other questions anymore.
    You refer to Orlow's book... How about the communication you take as an example about 'porcelain tea sets'. There, endless questions were asked and subjective experiences were exchanged.
    The big miss of FB and similar 'opinion' sites is that no one ever asks each other questions.

    You should check how often you ask a question to a respondent about their motivations, background and motives. You will be amazed...
    You never do! Neither do your respondents. That would only mean an infringement on your private life and your own experiences. And we obviously don't want that.

    How can you expect that a normal communication about important subjects can ever be established without 'the subject' and his personal experiences.
    I am not arguing for a 'psycho' site but for an exchange based on a 'dialectical' relationship between 'theory and experience' .

    Perhaps you can ask me a question as an exercise.




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    1. I'll ask you a question, Gerard..
      "Where do you think you will end up, trying to exhort people on the Internet?"

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  5. Just tried to post this on Facebook, they wouldn't allow it, violated their "community standards for spam." Going to miss this blog, Ugo, hope I can catch up with the new one.

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  6. I have long followed your blog and enjoyed your thoughts on history and the plights of today. I have lived through the Golden Age of the human race, and the future has been best told by Cassandra. So sad when the PTB decide they do not want to know what awaits them and most do not want to find a way to survive, but closing one's eyes and killing the messenger accomplishes nothing. Please include me as a subscriber for your next efforts. Regards, Sam Penny

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  7. Here's an article about FB's new policy on Covid posts -- may have some relevance to what happened....

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/facebook-covid-19-vaccine-ban_n_602182e2c5b6f38d06e6157b

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  8. Qué lamentable es ver como está actuando Facebook. Pero "a mal tiempo, buena cara", dice el refrán. Bienvenido "The Seneca Effect". Alcancé a publicar el 08.02.2021 la primera mitad del buen post de Jacopo Simonetta, en La Ventana Ciudadana. El lunes 15 se publicará la segunda mitad.

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  9. Facebook is too big for its boots. I relabel it in my head as "Faceboot", meaning, "Big boot on your face", while it robs your freedom of expression and tries to profit from your identity data. Faceboot, is now an algorithmically determined part of the denial of global warming and ongoing global resources depletion collapse of civilisation, and the rise of Facist Right Wing governments for the wealthy and influential. No doubt Faceboot prefers the easiest most deluded majority to exploit, pander to, and so protect from dangerous ideas which might upset them. Denial of death and associations is extremely strong in the shiny pink internet bubble world.

    Banning links in posts to Cassandra's legacy is good ammunition for those fair minded people who are working to break up big global monopolies like Google, Facebook, Amazon etc. I would prefer the blog be maintained. There is no reason why interesting writing on our systems predicaments and predictions cannot be published in multiple places at the same time, even if the Cassandra root URL is no longer the "canonical" URL registered in the facebook graph API.

    The main reason, I presume, is that these processses are direct evidence against the dangers of exponential "economic growth" and "making money" from consumerism, which is the official global false religion of national state governments and global corporations, of which Faceboot is a defactor social media delivery boy for obfuscating reality for the "powers that be". Faceboot works for those with the money, and own the better part of it, much like that older news-demon empire, the Murdoch Media. Since global ownership and wealth is extremely concentrated, and getting more so, this should not be any surprise.

    Rather than direct inclusion of url, take Orlov's hint of code phrases.
    Also, don't really need Face-Boot. There is plenty of other notification infrastructure on the internet. Literate people on the internet generally know how to find stuff outside of easy clicks on their faceboot convenience.

    At this point it now automatically censors any post with references to direct inclusion of a URL to a harmless and relatively unknown blog site "cassandra's legacy", and labels it "spam" as not appropriate to "Community Standards". Hence forth, do not include direct URLS in facebook posts, but insert your own words, images and text content, in coded phrases, so as not to make it so easy for the Face-Boot automatic algorithms.

    Face-boot will eventually die along with our overshoot of consuming economy, regardless of how "protective" it tries to be. It cannot afford to employ enough actual human beings to decode all our ambiguous meanings, and will soon have to start banning outright, the accounts of thought subversive persons like myself.

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  10. dear hugo, dear all, every morning I check if there is not a new article on casdandra legacy, you are one of the stars that enlighten my mind. thank you Hugo for the intelligence of your blog.

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  11. Ugo I know almost nothing about FB and its spinoffs and have never used it or any of the other SM sites because they are fundamentally "evil" and destructive by their very structure. They will be footnotes on the backside of the Seneca Curve and I hope I live long enough to witness their demise. Your blog has long been one of the clearest and most sensible and scholarly voices on the net and if something like this can happen, the net is surely doomed. We await your next effort. Thank you for your hard work.

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  12. Just a substantive comment

    During the great rouble crisis of the early 1990s, the cargo ship on which I sailed was stuck in the ice off the roadstead of Petersburg. For days! We killed time with the crew. We watched Doctor Zhivago... Ah yes Pasternak.... His book was smuggled out of the country and ended up in Italy.... The rest is history. The captain of my cargo ship 'The Baltic' tried in vain for ten years to bring the love of his life from Petersburg to Rotterdam. It did not work under the Glasnost, but it did now. During the rouble crisis of the early 1990s, Petersburg could best be compared to Naples as described by Curzio Malaperte in 'la Pelle'. Total chaos, everything had become worthless. The streets unsafe with criminal gangs and with people for whom 'civilisation' suddenly changed into a thin veneer... Those who want to understand something about 'censorship' should read the books on Stalinism by Adam Tooze or the diaries of Anna Akmatova. After that, censorship by FB is not so bad. Apparently "we" somehow find it interesting to refer to the blackest pages of human history. It shows the lack of 'reference' and experience. I wish you good luck with 'The Seneca's Effect'.

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    1. Yes... During the 1990s I was in Russia rather often. Difficult time, but the Russians were coping admirably. Of course, the criminal gangs were everywhere. As a foreigner, I was relatively safe. I understood that the gangs didn't want troubles with foreigners and they would ignore us as long as we didn't trespass some limits. Some foreigners I knew had big troubles for having courted the wrong girls. But, of course, if you were Russian it was a different life and my Russian friends had plenty of horror stories to tell me. That seems to be over, fortunately.

      About Pasternak, it is an interesting story. You surely know that the publication of his novel was sponsored by the CIA, which probably had something to do with the Nobel prize he obtained, too. Pasternak was a good man, truly living in the tradition of the great Russian intellectuals. But he found himself in the cross fire from both sides. He died mainly of stress, because of the abuse he received. But so is life. Now here in the West we can get some feeling of what it must be to targeted by everyone in your country.

      Delete
  13. I have never commented before but I have always read and enjoyed you blog.
    Thank you for the huge courage of sharing your thoughts.
    I have learned a lot.

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  14. Thanks Ugo.
    Congratulations on your notoriety!

    First they ignore you.
    Then they ridicule you.
    Then they fight you.
    Then you win.

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  15. As someone who has read your blog for many years, I am saddened by its end (transference?). I don't use Facebook at all and don't understand why being censored by them is important, but good luck with your new effort.

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  16. Agreed, thank you for saying exactly what has been on your mind for so long and so regularly! Please post the new link when you have the site ready.

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  17. Thanks for the praises, folks. We'll see to keep going and thanks for following!

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  18. Ugo,
    Thank you for the wonderful work on Cassandra's Legacy these many years. It is discouraging, nay downright dangerous, that TPTB engage in such scurrilous censorship of thoughtful investigation. However, we your readers, look forward to your new blog once available.

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  19. As a very new follower, I too look forward to more at a new site.

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  20. Interesting what happens to people when they discover that their worst forecasts are coming true.
    I have followed you for many years, Dr Bard.
    I know it is bad manners to go to somebody else's home and start telling inconvenient things.
    Kunstler, of "World made by hand" fame and whom you certainly must know about, when he saw the Collapse is really coming, and it caught him poor, joined the Trump gang, following the famous advice -Son join the Fascists, that people eat every day.
    Hijo hazte de derechas, esos comen todos los días.

    You are a decent person, but you started to drift away from Physics, your subject and into realms of the madness of Yuma -religion, and seeing everything through that lens.
    Not you perhaps, but people you gave space to spew religious madness.
    It is a pity that you worked in the USA, you respect them more than they deserve.
    Who gives a damn about the problems of the University, their students and their loans in the USA, Dr. Bardi, get a grip on reality.
    Sod them all!!

    You are not important enough to be persecuted, Dr Bardi, by TPTB.
    Get a grip on reality, consult a doctor, a psychiatrist or a psychoanalyst or even a clever priest, there are some.

    Age doesn't forgive, Bardi, and from some it comes earlier than for others.
    Nobel Prize Dr Santiago Ramón y cajal has a book that you can read or download chapter by chapter.
    https://cvc.cervantes.es/ciencia/cajal/cajal_80anos/default.htm
    «El mundo visto a los 80 años. Impresiones de un arteriosclerótico.»

    Receive, my dear Sir, the expression of my best wishes
    Armando Gascón

    Rest, Mozart, good healthy food, long walks, exercise within reason.
    That is the path to get your mental health back, Dr Bardi.

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    1. Armando Gascon: how patronising!

      For one thing, I would suggest that you exert even a little effort get up-to-date on the current and increasing censorship - it hits anyone who departs from the new narrative, big or small.

      And to suggest that our host's mental health is suffering, well, that leaves me almost speechless as to your bad manners.

      Of course, you are -as are so many others - in denial: a whole world-view, and way of life, is crumbling, to be replaced by the rapid growth of a sinister Totalitarianism built on lies, coercion, and faked 'science'.

      Try applying your own cure to yourself. You may recover - hope so.

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Anonymous. I was going to write something similar to Mr. Gascon, but you said it very well. It is strange how in the comments to a post many people seem to forget many elementary rules of courtesy. But it is OK, there is much worse!

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    3. Yes, Anonymous, no one is too puny to be ground under the heel of the boot.

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    4. Armando Gascón is a good one to keep in mind as a reference specimen of highest-grade incompetence: somebody so incompetent that they have no idea that they are incompetent and think themselves the most competent of all. His brain belongs in a case at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures at Sèvres labeled "Completely incompetent, do not use!" His purpose in life would be to serve as a warning unto others.

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    5. Thank you Orlov.
      I used to read you, I stopped long ago.
      As to incompetent I am a biologist, I would be very careful not to write about religion.
      Like all Spanish my age we had Sacred History in School and Secondary School so we are extremely well qualified in that.
      https://www.amazon.co.uk/Las-barbas-del-profeta-Spanish-ebook/dp/B08GJB3RVB
      I like Dr. Bardi, if in my opinion he's lost his mind I think it is my duty to tell him that, so he can get proper help.
      Orlov, I don't think you have ever read the book of Cajal I linked to.
      I am laughing at the cowardly reaction of people who see their worst predictions come true.
      Myself I am in joy, the Industrial Civilization collapses, billions are going to die, I am going to witness that.
      Bring it on!

      Delete
    6. Folks, take it easy. The world will have to learn how to go on without us, you know? And let's hope it is not too soon!

      Delete
  21. The PTBs are pretty much like the Greek gods, actually. Both just can't tolerate any lesser beings posing a threat to their place in the order of things.

    Guess I'll be missing Cassandra's Legacy. But, well, there'll be Seneca!

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  22. Been following you for a number of years now. From the believe in technical innovations that would help us, towards a gradually increasing negative mood of the blog until now you realize there isn't much hope anymore. It's logical to end it now and start new fresh with a more positive attitude.

    I enjoyed it and had a similar trip myself. It is my hope the your new blog will focus a bit on how we can reduce the negative effects of the coming changes.

    Thanks for this time, please post a link to your new blog here when published.

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  23. I wrote to the italian actor N. Balasso. He or his staff confirmed his videos were not censored by youtube and some were not available just because of wrong or broken links in the actor home page. So there was no censorship in that case.

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  24. Having been banned from Cassandra's Legacy early on, I feel your pain.
    Let's hope that poetic justice comes for Facebook and the like as well.
    Cheers.
    Harquebus.

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    1. It was because you deserved that, Harquebus! Maybe in the meantime you learned some good manners?

      Delete
  25. Ugo, I had noticed as much: that if I typed in "Cassandra's Legacy" in a search engine (even DDG, which I think still relies on Mr. Oogle), I couldn't find your page, and I would have to dig up an old bookmark or third-party mention. A sad state of affairs.

    Put yourself in "their" shoes, though, I suppose. They are trying to manage a Controlled Demolition of Industrial Civilization, and a few eggs will just have to be broken in the process, don't cha know?

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    1. Yes, exactly what I saw. It is impossible to find Cassandra's legacy on any search engine. It is not just Facebook that sabotaged the site. So, as the anonymous said, nobody is too small to avoid censorship.

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  26. No thanks at all for publishing on the open internet something that is reserved for those who paid money for my book. You have moved one step closer to having my books banned. Given the atmosphere of censorship, giving people access to valuable information without making them pay for it is just plain stupid. Sorry to tell you all something extremely obvious, but free speech is dead. However, there is still AFFORDABLE speech. See https://patreon.com/orlov or https:/subscribestar.com/orlov

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    1. Dmitry, sometimes you truly worry me. Not only it is perfectly legitimate to publish excerpts from a book, and I regularly bought your book, paying money for it. Then, an excerpt is always good advertising and it brings money to the author. And you are telling me something that I already know: free speech, at least in some forms, is dead. But do you think that hiding behind the Patreon wall hides you from the wrath of the PTBs? Come on.... Your books are published and available to everyone.

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    2. Looks like a slow, ongoing, ironic decline of Dmitry.

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  27. I just googled it and it came right up...the latest one today saying it has moved

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    1. Yes, strange. Same for me. But yesterday the blog didn't come up. Maybe they are happy to see that they succeeded in what they wanted to do (paranoia is a survival strategy).

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  28. Dear Ugo,

    It is likely just the Facebook algorithm censoring you. If enough people who don't like the message flag your writings or links to those as "spam" (or something similar) you will eventually get suppressed.

    I doubt you can ever (or at least in a near future) have a voice on an automatically moderated platform where the "normal" people can "vote to dislike" the content.

    Smoke some hopium and write happy things, I am sure you will have better success!!! (/s)

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    1. Yes, during the last few days I have experimented with flagging some sites on FB as "hate speech" -- let's see what happens. It is like a Western duel where both contestants shoot each other dead!

      Delete

Who

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)