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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

A work in progress. Explaining words and phrases that I often use. Noting new and interesting ideas. Discussing certain verbal warning signs. There’s no social justice or political correctness here.

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 or that it is a dangerous idea.


Today's secret word is
raven       raven pendant (waning Moon)       Redmark       Red Queen hypothesis       regulatory capture       reinforcement learning       relation       religion       the Remnant       rent seeking       res ipsa loquitur       respectability politics       revanche       revealed vs. experienced       rhetoric       risqué       ritual sex       The Robot       Roodmas       roux       rule, Billy Graham       rule, Mike Pence       Rule of Threes, Survival       rule set       Rules for Radicals       Rules of Three       Rules of Wizardry            

raven     Corvus corax & Corvus brachyrhynchos

raven avatar
Raven bridges the worlds. He’s not about what you expect, he’s about showing you what is.

Raven is a spirit ally, one of my “totems” that I honor. Arizona ravens are mostly Corvus corax.

Ravens are about three to four times as big as a common crow. Raven feathers are shiny black with blue or purple highlights. The bill of the raven is stronger and more curved than a crow bill. Raven wings make a swishing sound. Raven wings are pointed and their tails are longer and wedge shaped.

My MacBook Air is named McFiach.
From a distance, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two corvids, but if you see a crow in Arizona, and think, "Man, that's the biggest crow I've ever seen," it's quite likely you're looking at a raven. And he's probably looking at you. The birds' opportunistic, calculating nature is displayed, in an unscientific sense, in a keen bright eye that misses nothing. Folklore abounds with tales of amazing feats of observation and problem solving among ravens, and biologists have begun demonstrating the birds' impressive intellectual capabilities in lab settings in recent years. Some evidence even suggests that ravens possess a sense of fun and an ability to engage in play. Their aerial stunts, including rolls, loops, and even sustained upside-down flying, support that theory.
In Praise of the Arizona Raven from Gateway To Sedona

The scientific name for ravens, crows and their relatives is Corvidae. There are over 120 species and they include ravens, crows, rooks, choughs, jackdaws, and magpies. In Celtic mythology the Raven features in many legends. This large bird feeding as it does on carrion with its black plumage and disturbing deep hoarse croak is often viewed with some foreboding for it can be seen as an omen of death. It can also be associated as a source of power, straddling as it does the worlds of the living and the dead therefore often depicted as messenger between the two. Ravens hovering over the scenes of battle, ready to swoop down on the bodies of the fallen must have been a fearsome sight to Celtic warriors. Little wonder then that they could be seen as having the power of gods.

In Norse mythology, Huginn (from Old Norse "thought") and Muninn (Old Norse "memory" or "mind") are a pair of ravens that fly all over the world, Midgard, and bring information to the god Odin. Huginn and Muninn are attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources: the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson; in the Third Grammatical Treatise, compiled in the 13th century by Óláfr Þórðarson; and in the poetry of skalds. The names of the ravens are sometimes modernly anglicized as Hugin and Munin.
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raven pendant (waning Moon)      See pendant, raven

Redmark      Autumnal equinox.

WebTree solar festival & quarter day marking the vernal equinox and the middle of autumn. A time of sacrifice and renewal. Redmark lasts from sunrise on the day before the equinox to sunrise the day after (traditional three days).

The Summerlord is defeated (but not killed) in ritual battle by his weird the Winterlord, beginning his diminishing and journey to the Gates of Death.

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Red Queen hypothesis

The “Red Queen” hypothesis in evolution is related to the coevolution of species. It states that species must continuously adapt and evolve to pass on genes to the next generation and also to keep from going extinct when other species within a symbiotic relationship are evolving. First proposed in 1973 by Leigh Van Valen, this part of the hypothesis is especially important in a predator-prey relationship or a parasitic relationship.

Predator/prey relationships are not the only factors in the Red Queen Hypothesis.

If many species are competing for the same resources, mutations are sometimes needed to prevent a species from being out-competed. This is possibly one of the reasons why sexual reproduction occurs in higher species. If no random mixing occurred, then a bacteria or parasite may quickly evolve into a lethal form which would wipe out a species.

Sexual reproduction means that in a large population, there would be enough individuals with resistance to breed, pass the trait on and continue the species.

In a strange way, this benefits both host and parasite because, if a parasite or bacteria was so effective that it killed the host species, then it too is guaranteed extinction.

This process of sexual selection may explain why the vast majority of genes in vertebrates are dormant and do nothing (often called ‘junk DNA’) as they are preserving possible mutations that might suddenly be needed in the future if the environment or parasite pressure changes.
Red Queen Hypothesis from Explorable

The Red Queen Hypothesis in evolutionary biology states that to survive an evolving system, one must co-evolve with the best traits to survive that system. Taken from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, the Red Queen tells Alice as they run a race against each other, "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"

As the economy declines and evolves, your role as the entrepreneur is to develop survival skills to keep your business in the running. That means you must do double the work your competitors are doing and take more initiative to keep yourself on top. Whether this means revamping your marketing, getting a business coach or scaling back your budget, what you do in these times is a test to your true viability. Remember, you're competing with a lot of other companies to fill those consumer niches. When people's jobs and money are at stake, you're likely to see more sabotage and selfishness for people and companies vying for the top spot.

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regulatory capture    caution

Regulatory capture is an economic theory that says regulatory agencies may come to be dominated by the industries or interests they are charged with regulating. The result is that the agency, which is charged with acting in the public's interest, instead acts in ways that benefit the industry it is supposed to be regulating.

Regulatory capture, also known as the economic theory of regulation, became known in the 1970s due the late George Stigler, a Nobel laureate economist at the University of Chicago, who first defined the term. Stigler noted that regulated industries maintain a keen and immediate interest in influencing regulators, whereas ordinary citizens are less motivated. Thus even though the rules in question, such as pollution standards, often affect citizens in the aggregate, individuals are unlikely to lobby regulators to the degree of regulated industries.

Moreover, regulated industries devote large budgets to influencing regulators at federal, state and local levels. By contrast, individual citizens spend only limited resources to advocate for their rights. Even well-organized groups in favor of tougher regulations, such as the Sierra Club a well-known environmental advocate, garner only modest resources relative to industry interests.
Regulatory Capture from Investopedia

Regulatory capture is a form of government failure. Government failure, also known as non-market failure, is imperfection in government performance. Regulatory capture is a form of rent-seeking – trying to get a larger slice of a market’s total wealth without creating any additional wealth for that market.

When regulatory capture exists, the interest of political groups or companies become more important than those of the public, which leads to a net loss to society.

Regulatory capture: putting the “crony” in crony capitalism for as long as regulations and politics have existed.
What is regulatory capture? from Knowledge Problem

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reinforcement learning

Reinforcement learning is an important type of Machine Learning where an agent learn how to behave in a environment by performing actions and seeing the results.

In recent years, we’ve seen a lot of improvements in this fascinating area of research. Examples include DeepMind and the Deep Q learning architecture in 2014, beating the champion of the game of Go with AlphaGo in 2016, OpenAI and the PPO in 2017, amongst others.

Reinforcement learning copies a very simple principle from nature. The psychologist Edward Thorndike documented it more than 100 years ago. Thorndike placed cats inside boxes from which they could escape only by pressing a lever. After a considerable amount of pacing around and meowing, the animals would eventually step on the lever by chance. After they learned to associate this behavior with the desired outcome, they eventually escaped with increasing speed.

Some of the very earliest artificial-intelligence researchers believed that this process might be usefully reproduced in machines. In 1951, Marvin Minsky, a student at Harvard who would become one of the founding fathers of AI as a professor at MIT, built a machine that used a simple form of reinforcement learning to mimic a rat learning to navigate a maze. Minsky’s Stochastic Neural Analogy Reinforcement Computer, or SNARC, consisted of dozens of tubes, motors, and clutches that simulated the behavior of 40 neurons and synapses. As a simulated rat made its way out of a virtual maze, the strength of some synaptic connections would increase, thereby reinforcing the underlying behavior.

A third alternative, much closer to supervised than unsupervised learning, is reinforcement learning: the learner receives feedback about the appropriateness of its response. For correct responses, reinforcement learning resembles supervised learning: in both cases, the learner receives information that what it did is appropriate. However, the two forms of learning differ significantly for errors, situations in which the learner's behavior is in some way inappropriate. In these situations, supervised learning lets the learner know exactly what it should have done, whereas reinforcement learning only says that the behavior was inappropriate and (usually) how inappropriate it was. In nature, reinforcement learning is much more common than supervised learning. It is rare that a teacher available who can say what should have been done when a mistake is made, and even when such a teacher is available, it is rare that the learner can interpret the teacher's feedback provides direct information about what needs to be changed in the learner, that is, features of the learner's nervous system. Consider an animal that has to learn some aspects of how to walk. It tries out various movements. Some work -- it moves forward -- and it is rewarded. Others fail -- it stumbles or falls down -- and it is punished with pain.

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relation     See kin


A shared, organized system for people interacting with the Divine. Faith is the juice that makes the system work.

  1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs
  2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects
  3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices

  1. The body of institutionalized expressions of sacred beliefs, observances and practices found within a given cultural context.
  2. A magical system combined with a philosophical and ethical system, usually oriented towards “supernatural” beings.
  3. A psychic structure composed of the shared beliefs, experiences and related habits of all members (not just the theologians) of any group calling itself “a religion.”
Isaac Bonewits,“glossary - Religion”, Real Magic

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the Remnant

The Remnant has always existed, since the beginning of man and it survives today. It is not possessed with extraordinary intelligence, wealth or power. Those that comprise it are just ordinary human beings, average by—and—large and you will never recognize them for what they are when you meet them, see them or hear them. They are the builders, re—builders and redeemers of humanity. They are the ones who sustain and regenerate society — and above all else — they persevere. You can guess who they are or might have been but you will never know with any certainty. They are friends of liberty though, that much I know.

The Remnant includes people of all colors, political parties, religious beliefs, gender, languages, cultures and ages. It is not just one thought process, other than truth, and while I cannot tell you who they are, I know who they are not. They are most definitely not Communists, Socialists, Fascists, self—serving elitists, nor anyone who believes in the power of the State. Simply put, the Remnant believes in good, limited government everywhere. And while tyrants, despots and dictators frequently appear from time to time, aided and abetted by those that serve them, and social experiments at the expense of liberty come and go, the Remnant is always there, ready to rebuild and try once more.

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rent seeking    caution

  1. the act or process of using one’s assets and resources to increase one’s share of existing wealth without creating new wealth.
  2. (specifically) the act or process of exploiting the political process or manipulating the economic environment to increase one’s revenue or profits:
    Rent-seeking by lobbyists succeeded in obtaining favorable tariff treatment for the company’s exports

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res ipsa loquitur

(rayz ip-sah loh-quit-her) n. Latin for "the thing speaks for itself," a doctrine of law that one is presumed to be negligent if he/she/it had exclusive control of whatever caused the injury even though there is no specific evidence of an act of negligence, and without negligence the accident would not have happened. Examples: a) a load of bricks on the roof of a building being constructed by Highrise Construction Co. falls and injures Paul Pedestrian below, and Highrise is liable for Pedestrian's injury even though no one saw the load fall. b) While under anesthetic, Isabel Patient's nerve in her arm is damaged although it was not part of the surgical procedure, and she is unaware of which of a dozen medical people in the room caused the damage. Under res ipsa loquitur all those connected with the operation are liable for negligence. Lawyers often shorten the doctrine to "res ips," and find it a handy shorthand for a complex doctrine.

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respectability politics

As dozens of televangelists, hundreds of politicos, and the Cosby case show, if you are going to talk the talk you’d better walk the walk first. Manifest it before you talk about it.
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revanche    caution

the policy of a state intent on regaining areas of its original territory that have been lost to other states as a result of war, a treaty signed under duress, etc.

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revealed versus experienced
     See the Journey vs. the Story


  1. (in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast.
  2. the art or science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech.
  3. the study of the effective use of language.
  4. the ability to use language effectively.
  5. the art of prose in general as opposed to verse.
  6. the art of making persuasive speeches; oratory.
  7. (in classical oratory) the art of influencing the thought and conduct of an audience.
  8. (in older use) a work on rhetoric

Research inspired by an entry at Chas Clifton's
Letter from Hardscrabble Creek

See also logos, pathos, lexicon, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modes_of_persuasion

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daringly close to indelicacy or impropriety; off-color:
For my archived images, breasts, nipples, genitalia, or bottom visible through transparent or translucent clothing but no overt sexual content.

See also bawdy, carnal, erotic, nude, sex

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ritual sex     See sex - ritual

The Robot

Passive state where learned scripts and behavioral maps govern conduct. Most people hide and let the Robot go through life for them. Bringing someone out of this state can be a challenge. It usually takes an out of the ordinary peak experience with enough “oomph” to upset the Robot’s programing.

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Roodmas     See Beltaine


Roux is made by cooking equal parts flour and fat together until the raw flavor of the flour cooks out and the roux has achieved the desired color. Butter is the most commonly used fat, but you can also make roux with oil, bacon grease, or other rendered fats.

There are four varieties of roux: white, blond, brown, and dark brown. The different colors are a result of how long the roux is cooked; white is cooked for the shortest time, while dark brown cooks the longest. White and blond roux are the most common, used to thicken sauces, soups, and chowders. Brown and dark brown roux have more flavor, but less thickening power than white or blond roux. Dark roux are primarily used in Cajun and Creole dishes, most notably gumbo and jambalaya.

If you're cooking and storing a batch of roux for future use, use clarified butter as it will harden when refrigerated, trapping the flour in suspension. This suspension helps to prevent lumps when the roux is whisked into a sauce or soup. Having a well-made roux on hand will make it easy to use this marvelous thickener in everyday cooking.
Some of the best sausage & shrimp gumbo I ever ate used a roux made from one cup of peanut oil and eight tablespoons of flour.
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rule, Billy Graham     See Billy Graham Rule

rule, Mike Pence     See Billy Graham Rule

rule set

Rule sets are behavior maps given for a specific situation.

Rule sets aren't the only way or the best way, but a working shortcut to get started quick.

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Rule of Threes, Survival     See Survival Rule of Threes

  1. Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.
    Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.
  2. Never go outside the expertise of your people.
    The result is confusion, fear, and retreat.
  3. Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.
    Here you want to cause confusion, fear, and retreat.
  4. Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.
    You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.
  5. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
    It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.
  6. A good tactic is one your people enjoy.
    If your people are not having a ball doing it, there is something very wrong with the tactic.
  7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
    Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time, after which it becomes a ritualistic commitment, like going to church on Sunday mornings. New issues and crises are always developing, and one's reaction becomes, "Well, my heart bleeds for those people and I'm all for the boycott, but after all there are other important things in life"—and there it goes.
  8. Keep the pressure on. Never let up.
    Use different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
  9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
  10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
    It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign. It should be remembered not only that the action is in the reaction but that action is itself the consequence of reaction and of reaction to the reaction, ad infinitum. The pressure produces the reaction, and constant pressure sustains action.
  11. If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.
    This is based on the principle that every positive has its negative. We have already seen the conversion of the negative into the positive, in Mahatma Gandhi's development of the tactic of passive resistance.
  12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
    You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying 'You're right—we don't know what to do about this issue. Now you tell us.'
  13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it
    The opposition must be singled out as the target and "frozen."…in a complex, interrelated, urban society, it becomes increasingly difficult to single out who is to blame for any particular evil. There is a constant…passing of the buck. …Obviously there is no point to tactics unless one has a target upon which to center the attacks… If an organization permits responsibility to be diffused and distributed in a number of areas, attack becomes impossible.

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Rules of Three

Gods there are a bunch. I keep collecting them and they keep proving useful.

  • Ro3 № 1 - Start by listening. Before you say anything, listen again. Just to make sure you understand, listen some more. - Quick notes to a new seeker
  • Ro3 № 2 - Ask questions. Question the answers. Question your questions. - Quick notes to a new seeker
  • Ro3 № 3 - Say only one thing for every three things they say. - Wisdom and the Three Percent, active listening
  • Ro3 № 4 - Let people discover truth before you speak. Make sure the truth is necessary before you speak. Judge if the listener is worthy of truth before you speak.
  • Ro3 № 5 - If you care for the other person, if you respect them, if you share deep passions with them, then the sex makes all that better. - Collecting pelts
  • Ro3 № 6 - If you find information on the internet, verify it with three offline, reputable, and independent sources and experiment BEFORE you depend on it.
  • Ro3 № 7 - To ease your pain and shame, share it separately with three people you trust to tell you truth. Then listen hard, because you will learn things you did not know.
  • Ro3 № 8 - Test it thrice.
  • Ro3 № 9 - Honor expects three warnings before you act.
  • Ro3 № 10 - Words matter. Actions matter more. Intentions don’t. - Would you know?
  • Ro3 № 11 - Know what you can do. Know what you're willing to do. Know the price you're willing to pay.
  • Ro3 № 12 - What you think you know is not what you need to know. Where you are is not where you need to be. Who you believe you are is not who you were meant to be. - Systematically
  • Ro3 № 13 - Books aren't destinations, they're signposts. Like it or not, you still make the journey yourself. You can always go further than the book can carry you.- Quick notes to a new seeker
  • Ro3 № 14 - At it's simplest, Shiva is not Loki who is not Brighid. Do not treat each of them the same. Do not expect the same from each of them. Respect them on their terms and make that respect a part of your life. - Really real pagan
  • Ro3 № 15 - Don’t hold someone responsible unless they were present, of age, and participating. Remember the Practical Grudge Limit.
  • Ro3 № 16 - Initiate — Celebrate — Operate
  • Ro3 № 17 - It’s not a real party unless it lasts three days.
  • Ro3 № 18 - Pay attention to other people. Find out what's important to them. Make it important to you. - Are you paying attention?
  • Ro3 № 19 - Give her at least two orgasms for every one of mine.
  • Ro3 № 20 - Start cunnilingus with three to the left, two to the right, one to the left, three to the right, two to the left, and then one to the right.
  • Ro3 № 21
    Keep what works. Fix what’s broke. Ditch the rest.
    The Eclectic Redes by Sunfell
    You don’t have time or energy to do anything else.
  • Ro3 № 22 - The honor is in giving truth when needed, helping when you can, and leaving the World a little better than how you found it. - It's only shame if I accept the premise.
  • Ro3 № 23 - Always do what you promised. Try to deliver more than you promised. Make it better today. Keep polishing. - Quick notes to a new seeker
  • Ro3 № 24 - I honor truth, liberty, and the rule of law in that order. - Truth, liberty and the rule of law
  • Ro3 № 25
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Do for yourself at least as much as you do for others. Don't do for others what they can do for themselves.
  • Ro3 № 26
    Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and meanwhile, do everything you can to make things better.
  • Ro3 № 27 - A living faith draws from three sources. There's what others have done before you. There's who you are and what you've done. And finally there's the link you make to the Divine. This dynamic tension shapes your faith. - Faith Triad
  • Ro3 № 28 - There are three types of history. There's the Official History™, there's the stories that people tell, and there's what really happened. - Synchronicity, coincidence, perception, and perspective
  • Ro3 № 29
    Give them the third best to go on with; the second best comes too late, the best never comes.
    Robert Watson-Watt
  • Ro3 № 30
    The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person - if you must. There is no third best.
  • Ro3 № 31 - Choose your own words and actions despite the threat of punishment. Accept responsibility for your choices. Trust that others will make their choices without your coercion.
    - three marks of an adult human
  • Ro3 № 32 - Ninety-seven percent of the time, there is no practical magickal solution. Three percent of the time, well, three is a magick number and that is when I use magick. - Three Percent, Wisdom and the Three Percent
  • Ro3 № 33 - Don't mention a negative without talking about three positives. - Obsessed with Christians
  • Ro3 № 34 - Fall down twice, get up three times. - Probably related/derived from the old Japanese proverb Nana korobi, ya oki which translates as “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”
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Rules of Wizardry      See Wizard’s Rules

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