Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chapter 38: On Karma-driven temptation

here I invent a new temptation method.

I'm so happy - today I had  my first real temptation success. Not a soul brought down to hell - but at least I've pushed a human to do something evil. Banzaii!

In the last days, my coworkers had teased me for my Karma investigations, claiming they were worth for nothing. Guess what ? They were wrong.

This evening I saw a man in the tram who thought about what had happened earlier in the afternoon - a young man with a coloured shirt and too much glue in the hair. The advertizing company he works for had just signed a very profitable contract due to a "genius idea" involving a mammoth, a lightbulp and a... well I don't remember what else, and it doesn't matter. Point is, his boss had wrongly attributed the idea to him, although it was actually his coworker's idea. The man in the tram was in a dilemma: Should he tell the boss it was his coworker's idea, or do nothing? Telling the truth was "the right thing to do", but letting the boss believe it was his idea could earn him a raise...

This is just the kind of situation every tempter is waiting for. I decided to play the Karma card and wispered into his ear: "When you tell your boss the truth it might earn you some karma - but if you get this raise, you could spend a part of it to Haïti and get even more karma !"  Once I felt that my victim wasn't insensible to this argument, the rest was easy. I showed him in his mind an image of an imaginary Haïtian beauty on the ruins of her home, looking for food and crying over the loss of her family, and then an image of his coworker in front of his plasma TV, eating potato chips and watching a football game (my patient didn't like football). The choice was easy. He decided what I wanted him to decide - not for himself, but for the Haïtian beauty, and particularly for the Karma she produces. Victory!

(By the way, I doubt he will ever spend money to Haïti. But even if he does, this will not be my problem but the problem of the poor demon who happens to be next to him in this moment.)

 Anyway, this Karma approach seems to be a great method to gain points - and who knows, maybe even souls?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chapter 37: On international Karma trade

Where we learn that Karma is an important factor of world economics.

I went to the library to read more about Karma resellers. Turns out Karma is big business. Thousands of big and small international companies are involved in harvesting, exporting and reselling Karma - whic is funny, given that Karma does not actually exist. As far as I know, Karma is the single most important non-existant trade good in world economics. The market leader is a corporation called International-Red-Cross-Slash-Crescent. Most of it's "employees" are paid not with money but with Karma, which is preferable from an economical point of view.

Most of these organisations work as follows: First they identify Karma producers, in other words people in need for what humans call "humanitarian help". This may be victims of natual disasters, war, epidemies, famine or whatever. Earthquake regions, like for example Haïti, make wonderful karma harvesting areas. Then the organisations  "harvest" the karma: It means bringing to the harvesting area whatever the said producers need: Food, shelter, medication, helpers, teachers, physicians, ...  This is usually the most expensive part of the operation. In contrast, the transport of the karma is not expensive at all - remember, karma doesn't actually exist. The karma is the resold to the buyers, often people in "rich" countries or organisations with a perceived karma deficit. In many cases, the karma is even sold before it is harvested, which reduces the need for floating capital of the company. Advancing a nonexisting trade good is cheaper than advancing money.

There are two kinds of Karma production sites: Constant producers (usually poor countries) and "spontaneous" producers (usually sites of wars or natural disasters). The first ones have the advantage of being predictable and reliable, but the latter ones producing large amounts of high quality karma - at least perceived high quality, as people are ready to spend more money for it. Strangely, nobody likes to buy karma from some "forgotten war" or "recurring famine" which goes on forever, maybe because it's perceived as low quality, or simply because the marketing is not there: When it's not in the news, it can't be that bad.

In the library I found a map on international Karma trade, in a paper written by some R&D demon some years ago. The year is not specified, and I don't know whether the map is accurate (many infernal documentation on Earth isn't) but I'll print it anyway:

Note that there are many states importing karma on a yearly base, paid with tax money. This is called "development aid". It's mostly karma produced in countries constantly in need. The importers are usually democracies. The reason is probably that democratic gouvernments need to be perceived as "karmatic" in order to be reelected. Maybe this is pure marketing, or maybe they redistribute some of their karma to their electors. Kind of "karma bribe" for people who vote for them.

One last interesting observation: Many karma producers, particularly in Africa, are in urgent need for weapons. There are many arms traders selling them weapons against money, but nobody has the idea of exchanging weapons against karma.  Why is this so ? Some contries even sell karma against money and use the money to buy weapons, but wouldn't it be easier to exchange karma directly against weapons ? For the Red Cross and other karma traders, it would be a big business - not only they could harvest karma, but the sold weapons would also guarantee that the karma production doesn't stop. But yet nobody does it this way. Strange...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chapter 36: On Karma sellers

Where we learn what a beggar is.

You may remember chapter 20 where I had the theory that beggars are actually gratitude traders. The question remained what people do with gratitude bought from a beggar - obviously it's unlikely that the beggar will ever pay back what people did for him. But when we consider the Karma model and the fact that many people believe in some variant of this model, everything becomes much clearer:  

Beggars are actually karma sellers.

This works as follows: Whenever some human (or dolphin or tree) is in need, he(it) receives or generates Karma. He can't use it for himself, but someone else can harvest the karma by satisfying the need of the first creature. In other words, the first person sells karma against favours. In the case of beggars, this is often money:

Note that there is actually no such thing as karma, the whole trade happens in humans' imagination. Millions of people make a living from karma trade. More than that: There are actually karma resellers, people who collect money for other people in need:

An actual example are people collecting money for Haïti. There are two kinds of karma resellers: Professional resellers (who take their share of the money) and benevolent resellers (who take their share of the karma).

It seems that this is an important business. There are worldwide Karma trade companies, for example the Red Cross, Greenpeace, Amnesty International... I will do some research on this.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chapter 35: On Religion

where we learn what Karma is.

Why am I such a bad tempter? I think my main problem is that I overestimate human logic. I know that humans are partly driven by their Strange Subconscious Thingy, but I assume that their mind is able to understand the logic of egoism. However, most of them follow some other logic, a logic that makes altruism appear rational. If I don't understand this logic, I can't argue against it.

So I asked the old librarian whether he can explain me why so many humans consider altruism logical. I already had observed that some humans think that some supernatural power will reward them if they help each other. Turns out there are several rival concepts of supernatural rewards for being gentle. I'll try to resume the most important ones:

Earthly Reward
The simplest variant: Some humans believe that giving to other people is rewarded in this life by some metaphysical superviser, aka God. While it's kind of obvious that this is not how the world works, you would be surprised how many people think that is how the world should work. When humans suffer, they often ask "what did I do to deserve this", an attitude that assumes that luck and suffering happen for a reason, that they are rewards and punishment for former actions. 
Strangely, humans who have luck seldom wonder how they deserve it.

Earthly Karma
Same as the earthly reward coming from some metaphysical superviser - only without the superviser.

Heavenly Reward
Similar to the "Earthly Reward" theory, but the reward is delayed to the afterlife. The metaphysical superviser notes the good deeds and sins in a big book, and determines the reward or punishment after the death.
Depending on the religion, the reward consists on flying around and playing harp, on sitting in Abrahams lap, in having sex with 72 virgins, or whatever. Christianism initially promised an "Hevenly wedding feast", but as it is not clear who is married to whom, it has gradually been replaced by the flying-around-and-playing-harp variant, which is in my opinion much less appealing than the wedding feast, let alone the 72 virgins.

Note that this is maybe the closest to how things really work - but with some differences. Good deeds and sins are indeed listed in big books - but not by Heaven but by Hell, and not to reward or punish humans but tempters - see my last post. As mentioned in said post, it's not good deeds and sins that count for who goes to Heaven and who to Hell, but attitude. Deeds and sins are only symptoms.

Posthumous Karma
Same as "Heavenly Reward", but without the supervisor. Very popular in asian countries. The reward is often a pleasant reincarnation, for example not as a cockroach.

The same as "heavenly reward" where the superviser rewards good deeds in the afterlife, but without the good deeds. Calvinists believe that God chooses due to some obscure agenda who receives gifts in the afterlife and who doesn't, and that good deeds or sins don't have anything to do with it.

Advanced Calvinism
Like Calvinism, but the Almighty's chosen ones receive earthly gifts in addition to the heavenly ones. Earthly wealth is interpreted as sign for god's love. Amusingly, this somewhat inverts the "Heavenly Rewards" paradigm, as those who take from others get richer, which is interpretated as sign of God's grace, thus they are rewarded in the afterlife. That's why this system brings much more souls home to hell than anyone else. Infernal Marketing considers the popularity of Advanced Calvinism in the United States as one of its greatest successes. 

Those are the main variants of what humans consider "rewards by heaven". Maybe I forgot some - I'm new to the subject.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Chapter 34 : Evaluation

where we learn how tempting is measured.

Phew, what a month. January always means a lot of paperwork, as we have to do the "temptation accounts". It doesnt' limit itsemf to counting the souls brought down : Every tempted soul, every not tempted soul, every action or observation, every minute spent on the field has to be documented, justified, evaluated. To be honest, my performance last year was pathetic, which is normal given that I had virtually no formation as tempter, but which earns me nevertheless teasing and insults from my cotempters on a daily basis. The evaluation table, displayed at the wall of the office, looks like this:

The most points went, of course, to the ambitious tempter Lemalin and his rival, the wannabe-succubus Gharz. Wazaah is an old stager, his old fashioned methods earned him a good third place. But even Schlok, the depressive demon of despair, got a soul down and almost 1000 points. As for me... Don't mention it.

You might wonder how the points are calculated. Well, there are mainly two things which earn you points: Souls and sins. Tempting is actually not so much about sins but about attitude, the best sin doesn't bring a soul nearer to hell if it regrets it. Sins are for attitude what symptoms are for an illness. But attitude cannot be measured, sins and souls can, just as you can measure the gravity of a disease by it's symptoms and letality. Every soul brought down and every sin earns points according to complex tables and formulae.

Some demons rather focus on attitude, hoping to bring a maximum of souls down to Hell, whereas others only collect points with sins. Schlok belongs to the latter type. He doesn't even try to bring a soul home, he spends his time wandering around and jumping on occasions to make someone sin by despair. The soul he brought down was luck, a depressive and anorexic young woman who didn't need much help to commit suicide. I think it was a success or Infernal Marketing rather than of Schlok; decades of world wide anorexy propaganda with Barbie dolls and scrawny supermodels weren't in vain. But administration requires specifying a hunter for every killed prey, and as Schlok was at the right moment on this bridge to whisper "You're fat!" into the ear of the skinny girl in tears looking down into the black water, he got his soul on his hunting table.

(Don't ask me why suicide can bring a soul down. I don't make this kind of decisions, neither do my superiors, neither Satan Himself: The Enemy makes the rules, he sends down whatever soul he thinks has separated itself from Him, and Hell takes what it can get.)

Anyway, I need to improve my performance. Maybe I should talk to my "friend", the old librarian. He may have some tips for me how to hunt souls.