I doubt Mr Munroe and I would actually disagree in principle on many political issues. But even when your cause is just, your argument can never be “my voice is louder”.

The thing every angry, morally-fired-up idealist misses, is that this isn’t actually a more enlightened age, because objectively there is no such thing. Your grandchildren will consider you just as awkward and outdated and “problematic” as you consider your grandparents, never mind how progressive they were in their youth. In five hundred years’ time we will be considered exactly as barbaric and misguided as people who enslaved each other and stoned adulterers to death, for a whole new set of reasons and cultural preferences. Every generation thinks the past was morally wrong.

And none of them are any better than the others. Oh, look, look at our rights, look at how permissive our culture is! I agree, of course, but that’s because of the age I was brought up in. Open a hole in time and we would find cultures that would find our social ideas exactly as horrifying as we would find theirs. Which of us is right? What the hell does “right” mean?

Ideology is one of the many, many, many tools people use to gang up on other people and beat them up. Fair play, even-handedness, the courage to be different, and tolerance for diversity are the only consistently laudable characteristics through history.

Self-examination is difficult. Going against the grain is difficult. But if 99 people say it has to be one way, for no other reason than they feel it’s so, I reckon you have a moral duty to voice the suggestion that it’s the other way.

Tags: xkcd

lisaquestions:

nevver:

Free Speech

Alt text from xkcd:

I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.





legitimisingmobmorality.png

This “we all think this way, therefore shutting down everyone who doesn’t is totally cool” approach is identical - identical - to that of every morally superior argument and pressure movement to, say, segregate schools, or keep The Gay out of the media, or any other ugly, repressive way a dominant ideology crushes its opposition. The method is the same. The sanctimonious moral priggishness is the same. Congratulations, you are encouraging people to have the moral accountability of a cheering onlooker at a lynch mob.

But of course, we’re right! We’re on the side of progress, we’re making things better! Guess what? The people arguing for segregation, the people fighting for chemical sterilisation of homosexuals or the banning of books that didn’t fit with their morality, they thought the exact same way. And they were gradually beaten out of the picture, as the current faceless wave of concern-trolling petty tyrants hopefully one way will be, because courageous people were able to stand up and publicly disagree with them.

Freedom and diversity of expression is a goal in itself and a sign of a healthy, functioning political atmosphere. A culture which is legitimising - celebrating! - ways to lock that down, to ostracise anyone who doesn’t toe the line and scream down everyone who defends them with twitter dogpiles and waves of emotive demagoguery terrifies me.

Fuck absolutely every tendentious piece of crap beginning “public service announcement”, fuck the obscene internet projection of American morality and legal concepts onto all of human culture (piss on your First Amendment, give me Article 19 of the UDHR) and fuck you, Randall Munroe, for giving the ever more terrifying internet moral monoculture another reason to never doubt itself. I hope Voltaire’s ghost punches you in the cock.

lisaquestions:

nevver:

Free Speech

Alt text from xkcd:

I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.

legitimisingmobmorality.png

This “we all think this way, therefore shutting down everyone who doesn’t is totally cool” approach is identical - identical - to that of every morally superior argument and pressure movement to, say, segregate schools, or keep The Gay out of the media, or any other ugly, repressive way a dominant ideology crushes its opposition. The method is the same. The sanctimonious moral priggishness is the same. Congratulations, you are encouraging people to have the moral accountability of a cheering onlooker at a lynch mob.

But of course, we’re right! We’re on the side of progress, we’re making things better! Guess what? The people arguing for segregation, the people fighting for chemical sterilisation of homosexuals or the banning of books that didn’t fit with their morality, they thought the exact same way. And they were gradually beaten out of the picture, as the current faceless wave of concern-trolling petty tyrants hopefully one way will be, because courageous people were able to stand up and publicly disagree with them. Freedom and diversity of expression is a goal in itself and a sign of a healthy, functioning political atmosphere. A culture which is legitimising - celebrating! - ways to lock that down, to ostracise anyone who doesn’t toe the line and scream down everyone who defends them with twitter dogpiles and waves of emotive demagoguery terrifies me.

Fuck absolutely every tendentious piece of crap beginning “public service announcement”, fuck the obscene internet projection of American morality and legal concepts onto all of human culture (piss on your First Amendment, give me Article 19 of the UDHR) and fuck you, Randall Munroe, for giving the ever more terrifying internet moral monoculture another reason to never doubt itself. I hope Voltaire’s ghost punches you in the cock.

(via merpuccino)

malformalady:

A remarkable series of photos taken in a Russian forest have been making the rounds on social media sites, showing what happens over time to instruments of carnage discarded in the woods. The striking images depict rifles, artillery shells, grenades and sapper shovels embedded in tree trunks - essentially swallowed up by the natural surroundings in a silent act of protest against human folly. It is likely that the helmets came to rest on young saplings during a battle. Over time, the maturing trees widened the bullet holes, and the helmets essentially became impaled.

malformalady:

A remarkable series of photos taken in a Russian forest have been making the rounds on social media sites, showing what happens over time to instruments of carnage discarded in the woods. The striking images depict rifles, artillery shells, grenades and sapper shovels embedded in tree trunks - essentially swallowed up by the natural surroundings in a silent act of protest against human folly. It is likely that the helmets came to rest on young saplings during a battle. Over time, the maturing trees widened the bullet holes, and the helmets essentially became impaled.

malformalady:

A Chinese businessman hid two illegally built extra storeys on his penthouse suite with trees and plants. The penthouse already had a roofgarden, but it was increased in size to deceive neighbours and officials.

malformalady:

A Chinese businessman hid two illegally built extra storeys on his penthouse suite with trees and plants. The penthouse already had a roofgarden, but it was increased in size to deceive neighbours and officials.

amightydirge:

The Koncerz was a type of extremely long thrusting sword used by Polish-Lithuanian Hussars during the 17th Century. The average length was about 1.5 meters long, or almost five feet. The edges were dull, as it was made as a mounted thrusting weapon. Hussars would usually use the Koncerz against armored opponents, switching to their curved Szablas to deal with lighter foes.

thesubversivesound:

Flavio Costantini (1926 – 2013) ‘The Art of Anarchy’

Flavio Costantini was born in Rome, Italy, in 1926. He served in the Italian Navy before becoming a commercial graphic artist in 1955. He has illustrated several books including The Art of Anarchy (1974), The Shadow Line (1989) and Letters from the Underworld (1997). 

image

More often than not it is the artist, writer or poet, rather than the historian or sociologist, who succeed in capturing the spirit of an age; in so doing, they make an important contribution to our understanding of society. Flavio Costantini is such a person. He sadly passed away on 20th May 2013.

(via cumsoline)

historicalfirearms:

Modular Weapons System: The EM-1 

Today the concept of modular weapons systems are steadily become more common with rifles like the FN-SCAR and the XM8.  These rifles can be adapted to fit multiple roles from battle rifles to designated marksmen’s weapons to light machine guns.  The concept dictates that a weapon can fit various roles by adapting the base pattern of the weapon by adding and removing barrels, bolts and stock furniture.  

The above scans taken from the provisional manual of the EM-1 show that the riflewas designed to be used as a semi-automatic rifle which could also be used as a ‘submachine gun’ or rather in fully automatic mode and in a more controlled fully automatic mode as a light machine gun.  Arguably the EM-1 does not fit this definition to the letter but the interesting idea of offering a quickly attachable integral bipod for a light machine gun role can be seen as an early attempt at this.  The forward grip/barrel shroud of the rifle is detached and slid over the barrel to allow the bipod to be fitted to the ‘fore-end retaining plunger’ (see image 4) and then the grip/shroud is slid back and locked into place.  This allowed the infantryman to use his rifle much like a light machine gun offering fully automatic fire for squad support.  The magazine capacity of the EM-1, much like the Bren Gun it would have supplemented or replaced, would have been limited by the rifle’s magazine capacity but this drawback was outweighed by the benefits of quickly adapting a rifle into a light machine gun.  

The EM-2 which was initially adopted by the British Army does not field the same bipod attachment method and due to the lack of photographs and the manual for the EM-2 being scanned I am unsure whether the same ‘light machine gun’ adaptability was carried over from the EM-1.

 

Source

(Source: historicalfirearms, via cumsoline)

mikeeverlasting:

From top to bottom:

LeMat Revolver

Volcanic Repeating Pistol

"Artillery" Luger

All beautifully engraved and adorned in an ornate, Art Deco style. I’m unsure who the engraver is or was. 

(via peashooter85)

dinoweird:

19th Century Tibeten carved ceremony skull

dinoweird:

19th Century Tibeten carved ceremony skull

(Source: stayostyle, via peashooter85)

Tags: skulls

"The whole experience of being hit by a bullet is very interesting and I think it is worth describing in detail."

— George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

georgy-konstantinovich-zhukov:

"Stuka attack on a Soviet HQ in the fortified citadel of Teryayevo, 22 miles outside of Moscow."

georgy-konstantinovich-zhukov:

"Stuka attack on a Soviet HQ in the fortified citadel of Teryayevo, 22 miles outside of Moscow."

taktophoto:

Unusual Military themed Oil Paintings by Geliographic Studio

(via diannefeinsteinvevo)

liladisco:


I found this in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and couldn’t not think of this blog. It’s part of a 15th century altarpiece. It’s goddamn terrifying.

"let me whisper nothings into your ear"

liladisco:

I found this in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and couldn’t not think of this blog. It’s part of a 15th century altarpiece. It’s goddamn terrifying.

"let me whisper nothings into your ear"

(Source: yaoihands)

"Whether for an eternity or just a minute, there was Frenkel at the junction with bullets flying past him in every direction. And instead of crossing that junction, I saw him dancing, as if in a trance. He cursed the shooters. Like he wanted to stay there forever. As if he wanted to show off his waltz amid the gunfire, with the posters of Bashir above his head.”

(Source: coppolla, via thearmedgentleman)