Sunday, December 20, 2009

Brunnian Link

Politically and mathematically, a link is defined as a knot comprised of multiple closed loops. The best way to differentiate between types of link connections is by first understanding a simple one loop knot. The most famous one loop knot is the one tied by Midas to hold the constructs of his father in place.

In ancient times, legitimacy of a king relied upon the fulfillment of oracle prophecy. In what Homer referred to as the "swift-horsed" and "many fortressed" land of Phrygia, there lived a king Otresus who had no sons. When Otresus died, a regent took temporary command of the kingdom until a new rightful heir could be determined.

The regent did not want to give up the throne, so he paid the oracle to create a very unlikely scenario: the new king would enter the capital city driving an ox-cart upon which an eagle would land. This seemed like a good test to the Phrygians because the trusted oracle said it would happen, and it wasn't likely to happen more than once.

Many generations of successful regents later, a poor peasant named Gordias rose in the ranks of the Phrygian senate due primarily to his outspoken critiques of the current regent and his willingness to accept bribes. Enemies of the regent paid a bird handler to train an eagle to land on the ox-cart of Gordias as he was entering the city. Gordias was instantly declared king.

By the time Gordias was succeeded by his son Midas, Phrygia had been transformed from a predominantly middle class society into extremes of affluence and poverty. The peasants did murmur and ask the oracle for guidance. Midas paid off the oracle to declare him the literal son of Cybele, the deification of the fertile Earth, the mountains and wild animals (especially lions and bees). The oracle also declared that anyone who would make a better king than Midas would be able to untie the knot that Midas had used to hitch his father's sacred ox-cart to a post.

Midas did not use an ordinary knot to tie his father Gordias' ox-cart to a post. He wasn't going to make the same mistake as the regent. Midas had an endless loop rope created of fiber from the bark of a European Cornel Dogwood tree. Such fiber shrinks after it is wetted and dried for the first time, never to expand again. Midas wetted the virgin fiber of his loop and folded it around the ox-cart ring and post. He put one side of the loop through the other and pulled it tight, and then used almost half of the rope to tie multiple overhand knots around the post and cart ring. With the other half of his rope loop, Midas created a second set of compounding overhand knots next to the first. The result was two large compound knots with a narrower section in between and the very last bit of loop left over. The king crossed the left over loop and stretched it over the unanchored side of the knot to reside in the middle, narrower section between the two complex knots. When the bark dried, the rope permanently shrank and the last loop could no longer be stretched over the complex knot at the end.

Midas effectively created the world's first Gordian Knot: a riddle with no solution; a game that appeared to have a winning scenario but in actuality, had none. The idea that a savior could come and untie the Gordian Knot placated the Phrygians enough to enable King Midas to steal the fruits of their labor for so long that visiting dignitaries reported the king to have a literal "golden touch."

Phrygian culture continued to deteriorate until it was eventually taken over or, as many Phrygians saw it, "rescued" by Cyrus the Great. Cyrus let folks worship their own Gods and oracles, so the sacred ox-cart continued to sit in the courtyard of the old palace until Alexander of Macedonia tried his hand at it. Solving the Gordian Knot riddle at this point would be the same as declaring war against Persia, but Alexander didn't care. He proclaimed the problem with the knot to be that it did not have any ends, something he easily rectified by slicing apart the key last loop Midas had stretched around the middle. The knot then came undone with no trouble.

The Phrygians declared Alexander to be their leader and the Persians to be their enemies. Many Phrygians understood that Alex cheated -- he did not win the game by the rules set down by the oracles -- but what were they going to do, tie a new knot?

Today we have another Gordian Knot in place, and another King Midas turning our middle class into beggars. As with the original Gordian Knot, ours had a solution within its own rules when the loops were loose, but as they contract, they constrict.

If we desired our own golden touch by draining the lifeblood from an otherwise productive civilization, here is how we would go about accomplishing it:

We start with any number of independent loops, each capable of intersecting with the others on a consensual basis. The ability to form relationships only where all parties consent guarantees that no intersection will be detrimental to any party.

Into this system that can only be constructive, we introduce the ability to punish. We weave a pattern around the independent loops specifically designed to give us the power to destroy constructs of others. Our loop will be a carrot, enticing the independents to form a Brunnian Link.

A Brunnian Link instantly creates dozens of indirect connections between constituents. This can generate profound instant growth by giving the entities an evolutionary advantage over their environment and competing loops. When the advantage is realized by the original constituents, we can start constricting the carrot loop we introduced. The other loops will let themselves be pulled in order to keep a good thing going.

To suck the wealth out of this society along with all it can harvest, in its superior form, from the environment, and all it can gain in conquest and enslavement of outside entities, we must create a self policing link. We must pull the loops into positions where they intersect with one another. At that point, the loops of our knot will maintain all relationships, not because each is necessarily beneficial, but because the only way to force the relationships they have come to rely upon is to force them all. The entire entity would be undone and all intersections would be lost if any loop failed to maintain any relationship and the other loops could not coerce it back into compliance.

At this point, we can suck massive wealth out of the loops because they have joined to become a superior life form. This new life functions as one being to rape the environment and subjugate everything around it. It exists only to make its constituents fatter because no other measure is possible. None of the intersections of the knot can be held accountable to any measure because they are all required in order for the knot to function. As long as its constituents keep expanding their affluence without lengthening their expense, the knot as a whole meets the only measure everyone can agree upon: that they are all fatter as one entity than they would be as independent loops.

Every knot eventually reaches a point where it cannot become any more efficient: the width to length ratio of each loop cannot grow within that knot configuration. The knot as a whole can expand, but it cannot become any more complex or continue to evolve. Entities outside of the loop that are still intersecting consensually, on the other hand, have the means to continue their evolution. Eventually, they will surpass our knot in size, complexity, and efficiency, but we don't care because we weren't trying to make a sustainable system. We made these loops powerful only so they could transfer all the wealth they could steal from their environment and other entities to us.

There isn't any way to get around the fact that when you artificially force intersections to occur, you are creating a monster with a limited life span.

As the poor creature loses its ability to steal from others and starts feeding on itself, we enter a volatile period that can be extremely rewarding to those of us sucking wealth from the link. At some point in its downward spiral, one of its constituents will come to the realization that the sooner they get out of the knot, the greater chance they have of not being completely wiped out by one of the other knots that are starting to form.

There is a way to get out of the knot, be we don't want them to figure it out because we want to suck every last bit of lifeblood from their systems. After these once thriving entities have served their purpose, we have no reason to leave them enough sustenance to keep themselves alive. We want to generate an illusion that the knot will somehow rebound. We want to keep the fantasy going for as long as possible. We want to spread the message of hope and change within a system that cannot possibly evolve with the rest of the world. We want them to blame each other, some elusive entity or even us, but we never want them discussing ideologies or even precise definitions of their terms because that would lead to the inevitable conclusion that the knot to which they jealously hold is the only thing enslaving them. We want them to keep religiously defending the instruments of their destruction till they draw their last breaths. If they ever let go of their hatred and fear, they'll remember that the only power the knot ever had over them was their unwillingness to let go.

The Fed's monetary scam would never work in a Constitutional Republic protecting "consent of the governed." A knot had to form and bind its constituents to it. Once we had reason to police each other, exposing the knot and its side effects became counterproductive because constituents rightly saw threats to any one intersection as a threat to the entire link.

The strength of the Brunnian Link is also its weakness. If only one person publicly refuses to obey the illegal edicts of a civil court judge and "gets away with it," nobody else would have any reason to keep trying to comply with orders they believe to be criminal, immoral, unethical or (increasingly in the Fed's dying economy) physically impossible to fulfill.

Will you be our modern day Alexander? Will you cut the link before our society is completely obliterated? If a thousand people demonstrate that they are willing to protect you from physical and economic coercion, are you willing to stand in front of a civil court judge while being televised and proclaim that you are bound only by the law and by the lawful contracts you sign, but never by the edicts of a judge?

I am.

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