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Handwaving ... for The Repwblic in Wales ?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 7:49 pm    Post subject: Handwaving ... for The Repwblic in Wales ? Reply with quote


The above thread got posted originally in " Celf - Unspoken Words " and I was not expecting it to be of any great length but it has provided me with an easy lazy sort of thing to think about whilst growing into an explanation for a proposed symbolic gesture for Republicanism in Wales which refers to a long tradition of such gestures associated with Republicanism in Europe ... and I could post this into that thread, but this deals with a certain kind of self-depreciation which is common in Welsh culture which differentiates it in my mind from the cultures of other nations ... If the English dinner party social convention is that they never discuss any serious topic like religion or politics but always discuss such trivial things as cricket or the weather as if they were of vital importance and end up holding strenuous arguments about such things and never inviting those guests ever again ... well in my experience when the Welsh gather together to share a small bag of chips and a large bottle of cider our social convention is always to discuss any serious topic like religion or politics and never anything trivial like rugby or the weather because what is of vital importance to us is to end up holding strenuous arguments about such things and forever inviting those guests whomsoever again ... at least, in the company that I keep we do so and the most important part of making any kind of an argument for Republicans in Wales is our breaking it again afterwards : if we are bored we simply invent new arguments to trash -

- and this invariably involves a lot of handwaving - both literally and metaphorically - because the whole point of the exercise is to socialise and to therefore provide mutual entertainment : such discussions are not for the purposes of winning an argument but for amusing others and learning from them. As such conversations in Wales are more slanted towards the collaborative purpose of pursuing mutual understanding between people who may radically differ in their views and sensibilities and thence we are cooperating towards building a common understanding of the matters that are being discussed. This leads either to both being incorporated into an increased understanding which allows for all points of view or for a completely new point of view which invites everybody involved to unite in agreeing to something which none of then had ever thought of before. In other words, The People in Wales have a natural national inclination to wish to conduct their conversations in the Republican manner and there may be several reasons offered for this cultural phenomena ...

... e.g. Unlike The People in England who historically also used to behave in a very similar way but have ceased to do so since becoming ' civilised ' - i.e. ' citified ' - The People in Wales have historically had much more cohesive and smaller communities in which through daily familiarity and long term conversations which could be openly held because we knew and trusted each other, and we care about not hurting the feelings of those whose lives we share, we have had the occasions and inclinations to treat our differences with humour and forbearance until we can arrive at the desired end - a unity of opinion ... on the other hand this unity of community opinion has often been complained of as oppressively conservative - but on this third hand when our communities come into agreement upon a matter then we can change its minds with an impressive unity of purpose and cohesion ... and then woe betide those who oppose us, whether they be those who betray us, those who rule us or The Democrats in Wales.

I think that the most vital aspect of this cultural phenomena that is The Welsh Nation is our national compulsion to take the piss out ourselves, and that is why foreigners tend to portray us as fools : this may be either simply a misunderstanding or something lost in translation in crossing Offa's Dyke - or perhaps some kind of projection onto the Welsh by other nations of their variously undisclosed senses of their own inferiorities ?

Now I went out to buy a beer at that point in order to settle down to this and to openly express an opinion which I may have not stated so openly before ... something which I find it very difficult to take the piss out of : I want to restore Republicanism to Welsh Political Society - WPS ! - because we need it very badly - and right now ... and " The Black Faction " stand in our way. For the sake of explanations for foreigners, " The Black Faction " are the opposite pole to " The White Faction " and now that Repwblic is firmly established with myself and Marianne as public advocates of " White " let me restate the differences between the two and whilst I am about it all of the other factions in between which " Y Repwblic " was originally conceived as being able to serve through facilitating the business described on the heading of this bulletin board - " Conversations with Wales' Republicans : Poblachiaethwyr - Repwbligwyr - Gweriniaethwyr."

Both " White " and " Black " have honourable historical origins, and when these are correctly interpreted and not abused they are the collaborative counter-parts of each other. " White " is the colour traditionally associated with Republicanism because it was the colour of the " Toga Candida " - " The White Toga " - worn by the " candida-tes " for office in the Republic in Rome, and this was worn by Cicero the author of " De Res Publica " the book from which the advocates of this politics get our name, three others being " Cosmopolitans " ( " Citizens of The World " ) and " Nomocrats " ( advocates of " The Power of The Law " ) and " Nomarchs " ( advocates of " The Rule of Law.") When Caesar overthrew the Republic in Rome he donned the " Toga Candida " fully expecting to enter The Senate and be accepted as being fully entitled to wear it ... but he had not been elected, he had seized totalitarian power through a complete combination of Ultraisms : citing his religious office as Pontifex Maximus ( The Chief Hierarch, literally " Big Bridge Builder " ) his popular support obtained by bribing the poor ( as a ' Popularus ' i.e. Democrat ) the dependence of others upon his control of economic power ( as a ' Patron ' i.e. Aristocrat ) and above all the fact that his bid for power had been backed by several legions which had rebelled against The Republic in Rome upon the promise of plunder and glory ( as an ' Emperor ' i.e. Monarch.)

The People in Rome were now helpless and they knew it - but whilst Cicero the Republican had hoped to patiently argue for the restoration of " The Rule of Law " and was eventually murdered for doing so, Cato donned the " Toga Pulla " - " The Black Toga " and in obedience to The Senate of The Republic in Rome - i.e. to The Rule of Law - he led the active resistance in defying the tyrant : when Caesar walked into The Senate of The Republic in Rome he found himself to be virtually the only one wearing the " Toga Candida " - those who defied him and asserted The Republic in Rome against The Empire in Rome had followed Cato as leader and donned the " Toga Pulla " - " The Black Toga " - and covered their faces in mourning for the death of " The Public Interest " - " The Res Publica " - The Republic in Rome ...

... and when their protest was steadfastedly ignored and no arguments could dissuade Caesar - because he was confident that he could rule by coercion alone - then they methodically dealt with each and every Ultraism which he was using to prop up his regime : they set out to destroy all of Caesar's claims to political authority based on Hierarchy, Democracy, Aristocracy and Monarchy - and then when Caesar still finally refused to yield they finally - finally - disregarded the rule that no political matter could be settled by violence in The Senate of The Republic in Rome : because Caesar held himself to be above " The Rule of Law " and defined " The Public Interest " to be identical to his own - i.e. Caesar defined " The Rule of Law " not to be about the promotion of peace in society through a publicly administered system of justice but to be about the promotion of war in society through a privately administered system of injustice.

Well that was " The Republicans in Rome " more than two thousand years ago, but we are " The Republicans in Wales " and like any other kind of symbolism " Black " and " White " can be subverted indeed perverted for other uses ... " The Black Faction " actually do wear black clothing ( with white shirts ) and they march behind a black flag ( with the " White Eagle " symbol on it ) and they admittedly create a strikingly photogenic image at public events and journalists point cameras at them ( I have ) and ask them for their opinions on various matters ( I do ) but these journalists know nothing of Republicanism - and neither do " The Black Faction " ( but I do.) This is no joke : people from " The Black Faction " publicly represent themselves as being the spokespeople for what they call " Welsh Republicanism " which is an oxymoron - by definition Republicanism is Cosmopolitan and therefore knows no country, no nation, no state.

Furthermore they publicly celebrate those who in previous decades were private transgressors against " The Rule of Law " whilst also privately absolutely denying that they themselves would break any law : this is a completely topsy-turvy version of Republicanism which advocates publicly " breaking " laws in order to demonstrate that they are already " broken " but rejects any private transgressions against " The Rule of Law " - it is a citizen's and citizenne's duty to uphold all good laws and to oppose all bad laws and we only break laws for the purpose of contesting them in court rooms i.e. gratuitously privately breaking a law is a criminal act because nobody presents themselves publicly to make the political argument for it in a court room, and no act should be deemed to be " RePUBLICan " unless it is done PUBLICly - and all RePUBLICans ought to consult with beforehand and to hold themselves accountable afterwards to at least a few other RePUBLICans ... which is surely our problem with our present " The Black Faction " - that they are not Republicans at all ...

... but arguably those precedents which they imitate and celebrate might be considered to have been ... and I am a soft old sod for the most part and I am willing to view those participating in marching up and down and banging a big drum, dressed in black and following a black flag to be ... misguided ... but with guidance ... they could be useful - if they would stop posing as our spokespeople and if they would consider themselves to be the servants of the other Republicans in Wales and not pose before Welsh journalists as our leaders ... to put this view of them into context : one in five adults in Wales describe themselves as " Republican " - whatever that means to them - which means that potentially there are 500,000 - 600,000 of The People in Wales who might identify with and vote for a credible party which had the word " Republican " in its title : it would not be the fifth largest polling party in Wales but could be potentially the largest polling party in Wales ... there are about five thousand or even six thousand activists who describe themselves as " Republican " and that is a sufficient number to organise at every level in every election in Wales ... and this situation is much the same as that in England and Scotland also.

There has been a constitutional crisis going on in the political system called The United Kingdom for at least seventy years and Republicanism is the very political theory which deals in this sort of problem - but where are the Democratic Republican Parties of Scotland, England and Wales ? ... What has gone wrong ? ... Perhaps all of the problems are in evidence in the history of The Democratic Republican Party which is hoping to replace the old British Republican Party with the sort of Federal / Confederal model advocated by the United Republicans' vision of the late 18c ... they seem to be stuck in the 18c, either scared of the emerging Post-Modernist versions of Republicanism or entirely ignorant of them ... but the DRP is also apparently being interfered with by the supporters of the political system called The United Kingdom - despite their scrupulously law-abiding history - and possibly they were deliberately sabotaged in putting up candidates in the 2015 UK general election by the state's security services. In contrast to the DRP any Republican Party in Wales has to distance itself from actual criminal acts performed years ago by people claiming to be " Welsh Republicans " and those who continue to celebrate them - right now - and claim to speak for us, yet do not hold themselves to be accountable to us.

I have said it before : there are no more than five or six active members of " The Black Faction " and they are not Republicans whatever they claim - no Republican responds to the political opinions of anybody else with the threat of violence because we are in the business of political argument - yet they stand on public platforms denouncing those who refuse to follow them as " bradwyr " - " traitors " - ! - and their " politics " consists of no more than posing as patriots : they are not at all interested in the sort of diverse political conversations which define Republicanism ... and so in all likelyhood they will not be interested in reading let alone debating this view of themselves ... a handful of fleas standing high and mighty on the back of The White Elephant and denouncing it as a " parasite " ... five or six people placing themselves with a band and a flag at the front of a column of five or six hundred thousand people and then denouncing them as " bradwyr " for not following them off into the political wilderness ... Now I ask the reader to consider what I now tell you : I know some of them and they are not bad people - and I will allow that their intentions are sincere - but they tell me privately that they would never dream of copying the criminals whom they publicly celebrate ... but these five or six will not admit to the harm that their posturing pantomime paramilitary parades are doing to the five or six hundred thousand others who are trying to practice Republicanism ... so surely if they continue to hold themselves to not be accountable to the rest of us then this allegation which they continually hurl at us is to be applied more correctly to them -

- " bradwyr."

But are " the rest of us " all " White " ? Certainly not ... otherwise I would be making a claim for " White " being the leaders and spokespersons for " Republicanism in Wales " which would be as equally and preposterously false as those claims being made for " Black." Personally I think that if " White " were clearly and definitively explained - as I hope in the next two or three years to finally be able to do in a concise and coherent way on the repwblic.org website - then an awful lot of The People in Wales would be able to say " AH ! - So I am a REPUBLICAN ! - I knew that there had to be some sort of unifying political ideology for The Peace Movement and The Anti-Militarist Movement and The Environmental Movement and The Animal Rights Movement and The Human Rights Movement and ... etc " ... Nearly all of The People in Wales that I have met who actually know something about Republicanism - not to mention those who lamely claim that Democracy is the only possible political system but can not understand why it does not work - have not only been activists and supporters of such campaigns but also intuitively use Republican political methods ... and yet they can not see that their Conservative, Fascist, Liberal, Anarchist, Socialist and Communist ideologies can be all be used together within a Republican constitution whereas Democracy is an Ultraism whiich results in the progressive de-politicisation of society.

" ... from Voltaire's Eléments de la Philosophie de Newton, published in 1738."


Think of that old Republican symbol " The Eye in The Triangle " and of Voltaire's enthusiasm for Newton who had drawn The Eye to explain what he saw when light passed through his Prism. This was a symbol for The Enlightenment in 18c Europe which had been plunged into the darkness of de-politicisation by its Monarchies such as that in France where all political conversations had been made illegal. It was these Monarchies which used violence upon those who differed from them politically, whether these were internal or external political opponents, and the Monarchists were deemed to practice " Black " politics i.e. they used no political arguments, they simply fined, jailed or killed their political opponents. Against this society thrown into darkness The Republicans in Wales and The World invoked the image of Newton's " White " light, to banish the darkness of this society with enlightenment - " éclaircissement " in French* which is used for " explanation " and which properly translates into " eglurhad " in Welsh, but this Welsh word used for " explanation " has the sense not of the steady gleam of a sunbeam but of the sudden searing flash of a forked lightning which momentarily lends us the opportunity to see what the " Black " night is concealing ... to pass that " White " light through Newton's Prism and to see what The Eye then sees is to see that without all of its constituent colours present within it this light is not " White " ...

[ * yes, before anybody complains about this example of my twisting words with my " handwaving," in French they use " le Siècle des lumières " for " The Enlightenment " and in Welsh that is rendered as " yr Oes Oleuedig." ]

... In other words, if you try to subtract from " White " Republicanism any of its constituent colours then it is no longer " White " and therefore no longer Republicanism : in order to have a proper political discussion - in other words to adhere to a proper Republican method - you have to construct a political system which ensures that every political opinion is represented to critique the decisions made from every ideological angle : the only colour not present in " White " is " Black " which is the absence of all political colours i.e. the absence of politics - " Black " is the political colour beloved of Monarchists who do not bother to conduct political arguments but coerce others with violence ... The United Kingdom therefore is a state which is a non-political system which has clothed itself in the appearance of Democracy : at the heart of this non-political monstrosity is a massive " Black Faction " and therefore I deem this to have caused the reactions which have been continually spawning " The Black Factions " which have plagued The Republicans in Wales and The World who have been struggling against this for centuries - thus the idea of Republicanism as a " violent criminal conspiracy " is no more than the supporters of The United Kingdom projecting their own behaviour onto us.

Yes - of course The People in Wales have returned violence for violence on occasions and this is a perfectly understandable and natural reaction but in observing this Republicanism is only explaining it or predicting it - it is not condoning it nor advocating it because this is " The Left Hand Path of The Sinister Politics of Ultraism " i.e. " An Eye For An Eye - And Wales And The World Ends Up Blinded To What We Are Doing." Republicanism tries to model how a society is working in order to accurately predict what to do to remedy contended social situations and thus it advocates " The Right Hand Path of The Dexterous Politics of Altruism " i.e. Republicanism asks the question " What Is The Right Thing To Do ? " - and the answers which it gives are often difficult for us to stomach because it often demands that we must be prepared to die for The Republic in Wales and The World and it forbids us to kill for it excepting that we are permitted to prevent others being killed but in doing so we may only use the necessary amount of force ... Note the difference then between The Republicans in Wales and The Democrats in Wales who have not only initiated " pre-emptive " wars and argued that this is " defence " but allow householders to lawfully kill any intruders upon the same " pre-emptive " argument of " defence " - Republicanism asserts that everyone is subject to the same universal laws which are applied to both the state and the individual and does not accept this argument because it is based upon paranoid presumptions not facts. You will note the logical implications of this rational and reasonable argument ...

... There is no justification for " Black " methods except in the last resort : when the lives of The People in Wales are threatened by a murderous force which will kill us all ... prior to that some will still argue that it is a matter of escalation as we successively defy each Ultraism : that we will defy The Lies of Hierarchs by giving The People Truth ; The Hatreds of Democrats by giving The People Love ; The Slavery of Aristocrats by giving The People Freedom ; The War of Monarchs by giving The People Peace ... and it is in the latter where the logic of Republicanism demands that all of its factions turn " Black " ... when a society is placed under the pressure of counter-revolution, when these Ultraists make a prey of The People in Wales, dividing us against each other and scattering us like sheep, it is the role of those few of us loyal to The Public Interest and of whatever colour to not join in with The Democrats out of consideration of any temporary sectarian advantage to ourselves but to strive for mutual unity by considering the justice of the claims made for others in society ... The harder that the Ultraists drive us the closely our colours must become, ideally to merge into one colour - " White " - but as we are driven harder we are each in turn forced into reaction and resort by successive degrees into the same methods which the Ultraists use and ultimately most of us are understandably - and pardonably - forced onto " The Left Hand Path of The Sinister Politics of Ultraism " ... save perhaps a few ...

... This then is when The Republicans in Wales will finally turn " Black " - when we are faced with an armed invasion and when the lives of The People in Wales are at stake ... when every colour has been progressively dimmed from the palest tints of " White " through the brightest hues of Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red and Purple into the dullest shades of each hue until no colour can be distinguished from another and a different and undesired kind of unity prevails - in " Black." Of course there will still be Republicans in Wales who refuse to don the hallowed brownish-black uniforms of " The Black Legion " which were left for us by " La Seconde Légion des Francs " but the whole balance of the colours of Republicanism in Wales will have dramatically shifted. Of course there will still be a role for the remaining few " Whites " like myself in carrying forward " Y Faner Wen " in front of the massed ranks of these brownish-black uniforms of The Republicans in Wales ( - and all of the bottle-green uniforms of The Welsh Republicans will have disappeared into the hills - Laughing - ) because we Pacificatory Internationalists will still be convinced that we can make a last appeal to our shared common humanity to those shilling-men before us in the enemy's army ... and then from behind us will march those " Black " militias who will be treading our now gory corpses into the mud and stooping briefly to pick up our once White Flag and raise it again ... but by then it will be dyed brownish-black from that blood soaked black soil of Wales which they will be stepping forward over to defend The People in Wales ...

HELL : now I ask you - was THAT not a really grand piece of " handwaving " - ?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2015 01:02:37 +0100
Subject: Re: dai's " BIG BEN " PROEM on BBC Radio 4 's " PM " programme 28 / 08 / 15


On Sat, Aug 29, 2015 at 11:33 PM, David <xxxx> wrote:


It occurs in the middle of the continuing item on Big Ben at - 44.45+ - four weeks left to listen ?

They used this version

Why is there all of this time - and such fuss -

Being given to Big Ben, its timing to suss ?

We already know about Westminster's lies :

So why then should anyone find this a surprise -

That even their clock has been two-timing us ?

dai repwblic - Dai Saw - David B Lawrence - the author asserts his moral right - not to sue for copyright.


Subject: Handwaving, Fintan O'Toole etc RE: dai's " BIG BEN " PROEM on BBC Radio 4 's " PM " programme 28 / 08 / 15
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 2015 00:21:27 +0000

Dear XXXX,

thank you for the " thumbs up " - another hand signal which I considered as a possibly more positive sort of symbolic sign.

As for the " proems " I had got fed up having nothing to talk about but negative stuff and found it easier to try to amuse.

In broadcasting them it is more the case that in my spewing out words some of them must eventually stick somewhere ...

Nevertheless it is nice to have a small success and the way in which it was read it was a beat short which was appropriate.

Tonight I am experimenting with yet another browser called Maxthon - it looks promising ... it has an Alexa rating feature.

I am about to try to finish this piece " Handwaving " which took an unexpected turn with which I now hope to amuse you ...


... I took a bit of " The Book " to friends last night which may amuse you also : they promptly tore into it with criticisms ...

... it may be that I am finally going to really write it : I have a provisional offer from a professor in London to be " reader " ...

Now I do not know where I stand with you XXXX : my disposition towards you is one of wariness because of your behaviour but I note that you have put in hours of your life and your own money in your pursuit of the " Res Publica " and that you are still active in organising things socially as far as I know and that is probably far more important than what I am doing ... I am sure that you are wise enough to have correctly assessed the risks that you are undertaking and have accepted the possible consequences - and that I am a touch too paranoid in anticipating that now that the Conservatives hold both reins they are going to use the paranoia that they are manufacturing out of the negligeable risks of Islamicist terrorism in the UK to argue the case for getting rid of the existing Human Rights Act 1998. Indulge me now please in my paranoid speculation.

The Conservatives will replace the existing Human Rights Act 1998 with something which they will claim to be a " British " Human Rights " law " but by definition that will mean that there will be a boundary drawn including only those loyal to the UK who will be considered to be fully human and therfore entitled to any rights at all i.e. those not loyal will not have any rights at all. The point of such a " law " will be that it will be an arbitrary catch-all, a " sus law " to be draughted upon a grand scale which can then be deployed for any purpose upon any excuse. For example it will once more remove the defence which in 2003 the ruling of the House of Lords created against the Treason Felon Act 1948 without being able to bring it to an end because Tony Blair declined to obey their ruling and have the House of Commons bring it to an end.

I take it that you remember that I wrote to Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and Farage asking them to replace the Treason Felony Act 1848 with something better or simply to discard it once and for all i.e. to recognise that it is just as ludicrous to allege that Socialists are Stalinists as it is to allege that Republicans are terrorists : but none of them replied - save that I got a polite note from 10 Downing Street - so much then for " Democracy " when those professing themselves to be " The Democrats " do not even practice the common courtesies of acknowledging a letter let alone replying to it. In the light of what later appeared to be the deliberate political sabotage of the perfectly respectable Democratic Republican Party which is actually supporting the non-political system called The United Kingdom and of several other experiences that I have had, this is nothing less than a confidently practiced licenced prejudice against anybody who even mentions " The ' R ' Word."

This was one of the things which led up to my completely damning them all as " The Democrats " and drawing a sharp dividing line between those who support the United Kingdom and loudly proclaim themselves to be " The Democrats " and those of us who oppose the non-political system called " The United Kingdom " as being against " The Public Interest " and therefore can be termed " The Republicans " despite the fractured rainbow of our differences and the fact that many will not yet own the word and know bugger all about Republicanism yet this is the politics which they are instinctively groping towards and ... well - if only we could get them to trust us to trusting in the propaganda against us as supposed terrorists and to read some real Republican literature - as you know : my argument is that Republicans are Pacificators not Terrorists.

As you know my claim that one fifth of the electorate in Wales would consider voting for some kind of a party whose title contained " The ' R ' Word " is based upon what the opinion polls have been saying for seventy years or more, and this is a vital fact to throw in the faces of those who claim that " Republicans are Terrorists." If that were the case - where are the balaclava'd bombers, the masked gunmen and the bloody guillotines which would then in this paranoid fantastic notion of Republicanism in Wales to be supposedly found in every street in Wales ? Our trouble of course lies in that licenced prejudice manufactured against such an imagined Republican movement being used to justify the practices of those in every political party who loudly proclaim themselves to be " The Democrats in Wales " which are not compatible with the claims which they simultaneously make for Democracy. We should be loudly confronting them and very directly over this issue of their denying one fifth of the electorate the opportunity of voting for the political representatives of their choice.

But equally those who of us who publicly identify ourselves as Welsh Republicans, Republicans in Wales or as Some Other Kinds of Republicans have a responsibility to that one fifth of the electorate in Wales - who would consider voting for some kind of a party whose title contained " The ' R ' Word " - to deliver the kind of political party which they want to vote for. We have to be ruthless in confronting those fantasists who have swallowed up those paranoid fantastic notions about Welsh Republicanism or Republicanism in Wales, whether they are supposedly against an imagined Republicanism or for an imagined Republicanism. I am not saying that our imaginations do not play a part in our politics : the most pleasurable parts of our political lives involve imagining new ways of looking at our society and its problems - but our playing with our ideas has to be directed towards our purpose which is to deliver some kind of a Republican Party to that one fifth of the electorate in Wales : those who are playing with paranoid fantastic notions of " Republicanism " do not share our purpose.

You know what being a Republican in Wales is like : endless drudgery which is relieved by escaping into our imaginations.

Presently I would like to escape into Fintan O'Toole's imagination : have you noticed his books turning up remaindered ?


I bought these two -

Fintan's journalistic style looks like easy reading and this book basically consists of " Five Myths " and " Five Decencies."

Enough is Enough: How to Build a New Republic, 2010.

Fintan was the editor of this book which is more of academic essays by Dearbhail McDonald, Fred Powell, Phillip Petit etc

Up the Republic ! : Towards a New Ireland (editor), 2012

( Daf and I were in Bristol last week, skewered by bibliophile anxieties presented by " The Last Bookshop " in Park Street.)


dai repwblic - Dai Saw - David B Lawrence

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the end of the first piece I commented - " HELL : now I ask you - was THAT not a really grand piece of " handwaving " - ? "



" HANDWAVING - insubstantial words, arguments, gestures, or actions used in an attempt to explain or persuade ... a hand signal that one does not want to give a full explanation ; also, an argument that is not fully supported or fully convincing ... "


" HANDWAVE - A Hand Wave ( also memetically called "Scotch Tape" ) is any explanation involving the backstory, a retcon, or a use of phlebotinum, which is noteworthy for its lack of detail or coherence. The name comes from academia and techy-land, where a person explaining a process on a whiteboard gets to a part that is not well defined or important so just waves their hand around to indicate that Stuff Happens, then moves on to the important goodies. ... Typically, the use of this trope is an indicator of bad writing ; a good author is able to explain plot points with the utmost detail without interrupting the story's momentum. ... But sometimes, it's better to gloss over something trivial and get on with the story. Tropes Are Tools. When skillfully done, a handwave can make things plausible enough so that the audience achieves a Willing Suspension of Disbelief. It can also just turn the whole detail and its inexplicability into a joke. Scotch tape may not be strong, it may not be pretty, but it may be much better to have some sort of explanation than to have nothing at all. ... "

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handwaving ... [ A MUCH LONGER ARTICLE ]

" Handwaving is a pejorative label applied to the action of displaying the appearance of doing something, when actually doing little, or nothing. For example, it is applied to debate techniques that involve fallacies. It is also used in working situations where productive work is expected, but no work is actually accomplished. Handwaving can be an idiomatic term, and it can also be a literal descriptive term for the use of excessive body language gestures that may be perceived as lacking productivity in communication or other effort. ... The superlative expressions for the term, such as "vigorous handwaving" or "furious handwaving", are used to imply that the handwaver lacks confidence in the information being conveyed, and cannot actually convey the essence or core of his argument. The opposite of handwaving is sometimes called "nose-following". ... "

... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handwaving#Debate

" Handwaving is also occasionally used in informal debate or discussion. If the opponent in a debate uses the term, it is meant as a shorthand way to accuse the proponent in the debate of having committed an informal fallacy. In this sense, it is also as if a participant is waving their hands as to discourage an insect that is flying around their head, so are they waving away questions. The proponents in a debate might also use the term "handwaving" against themselves, in the same sense as a speculative fiction author, as noted above. When the proponents use this term, they are exposing to the opponent that they know the portion of their argument to which the term is being applied is weak. "Vigorous handwaving" or "furious handwaving" may also be used to indicate a very weak argument. In an unplanned or informal discussion or debate, the proponent may have little or no preparation. The proponents in the debate can use the word "handwaving" as a way to indicate that while they believe a statement is true, they cannot prove the argument at this time. Even in an informal debate, the phrase is only used to an intermediate step or ancillary issue, never the primary subject matter or end conclusion. Use of the term indicates that the proponent wishes to exclude from the debate discussion of the weak point in order to discuss a more central or important issue. ... "


Well, partly I write for the pleasure of it - I really seem to have given up bothering as to whether others are entertained by what I write - and partly I write to convey the way in which Republicans in Wales talk and think, albeit that " Y Repwblic " was supposed to have many more contributors than myself and Marianne which is how it stands now at the moment ... but given the way in which Republicans in Wales are so often misrepresented in the media ( and unlike in other countries we are treated with an unusual degree of hostility which is being publicly licenced by The Democrats in Wales ) and given no redress for their libels by the newspapers, radio and television broadcasters who will never retract their claims nor publish the fact that they have been corrected and objected to ... well publishing almost anything is better than nothing and the internet has been a boon in offering us just a small opportunity to refute the lies told against Republicans in Wales ... and even if " Y Repwblic " is a " Scotch Tape " lash up, it does in fact have very much the feel of how we talk even if it only conveys the opinions of only a couple of us ...

... and amongst " The Cardiff Illuminati " - if I may posit here a dubious hypothesis - the amount of " handwaving " was / is / will always be inversely proportional to ( the number of Illuminati present x the amount of alcohol consumed ) - and whilst such conversations are extremely diverse they almost always pose the same academic question - " HOW ON EARTH CAN YOU BELIEVE SUCH UTTERLY UNINFORMED RUBBISH ???? " ... and that - inevitably - leads into one of the core issues which defines Republicanism : upon what basis can you decide upon anything ?

One of the other things which surely defines or rather characterises Republicanism is the telling of tall stories in order to start an argument : Plato's Cave, Machiavelli's The Prince, More's Eutopia, Voltaire's Candide, Swift's Laputa, Islwyn Folc Elis' Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd ... and I think that it is noticeable how many Republicans in Wales - not me, but certainly a number of those other notably single and undoubtedly eligable and invariably male anoraks who find it so easy to differ over points of political doctrine but not over the rules of Dungeons and Dragons - who are simply fascinated by any activity which involves the conjunction of any rules with Fortuna determining the life or death of men of Virtue ... not to mention the Virtues of Dwarfs, Elves, Orcs, Dragons, Zombies, Vampires, Golems, Hobbits, Wizards ... Witches White or Black ... but of course the latter are rarely seen in these games because the sole Illuminata present is there to provide the sandwiches and put the children to bed ... although in fact she may well have already left in order to seek out somebody else's children to put to bed ... so there is another sort of waving of hands around in Republicanism in Wales ...

Last edited by dai on Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handwavium ... this redirects to " Unobtainium "

Perhaps you have seen the film " Avatar " ? If you understand it to be more than mere entertainment, you can see that it belongs to that same class of political stories which explore a political issue - like Laputa : an island whose levitation and movement is given a handwaving explanation, and which is home to a crazy university whose scholars mass-manufacture such unsupportable explanations. The aboriginal species on the alien planet in " Avatar " are being destroyed in the pursuit of " Unobtanium " - and this is more a less stock idea in science fiction, a rare precious substance whose properties are much sort after but whose actual existence is often purely theoretical, quite beside being also purely fictional. This is Sci-Fi's version of The Philosophers' Stone, The Holy Grail, The Golden Wonka-Ticket, the ... er ... Y Repwblic ... " The United Republic " is arguably equally elusive and fictional, mythical, theoretical ...

... but on the other hand " The United Republic " is a morally rational and ethically reasonable conceptualisation in comparison to " The United Kingdom " which is nothing less than a criminal conspiracy which persists through violence and as such it does not exist upon any basis which can be conceived as being founded upon an ethical basis that is unquestionably rooted in morality ...

... but the fact that such things are imaginary is more or less the whole point : Our " True Love " and " De Res Publica " may both be theoretical but we create these ideas in order to use them to create framworks of ideologies with which to think about our relationships ... " True Love " may be an imagined thing but it is imagined out of our real experiences and thus it enables us to make choices : would you really want to decide whom to spend the rest of your life with by simply rolling a dice, as if you were playing dungeons and dragons ? ... True, people might decide to get married upon some other basis such as a financial one but we must presume that they are going to be hard-headed about this and will not deceive themselves or others by calling this marriage one of " True Love " ... Likewise whilst " De Res Publica " is traditionally referred to as " The Bride " and female personifications of her are depicted in " White " Republicans have a very ordinary sort of relationship with their political ideology ... it is certainly not " True Love " ... but then, as on our real wedding-days, we are at first far too infatuated with our bride to notice her faults ... for we are in love with " Y Repwblic."

[ I wonder if everybody is deaf to my arguments sometimes -


- but then, being 53, I never trust anyone over 53 ... or under 53 -


- nor myself or anybody else whose imaginations are failing ...


... perhaps you might by now be sensing the implied magical associations of " handwaving " - ? ]


" Spellbinder ( also known as Waving Hands ) is a 1977 pencil-and-paper game invented by Richard Bartle and first published in his fanzine, Sauce of the Nile. It has since been re-created in a variety of formats, including X Window, play-by-email, Java applet, Android application, and web-based. ... Two or more players take the role of wizards, and the object of the game is to be the last wizard standing. Wizards can cast spells at other wizards, themselves, or summoned monsters. These spells are cast through gestures: each turn, the player chooses two gestures, one for each hand, from clap (C), wave (W), snap (S), wriggle fingers (F), proffered palm (P) and digit point (D). There are also the non-magical gestures stab (>) and nothing (-). Turns are resolved simultaneously once both wizards have submitted their gestures for a given turn. ...

... These gestures are built up via many turns to form spells. For instance, one can cast the spell "Magic Missile" by performing the S (snap) gesture followed by the D (digit point) with the same hand on a consecutive turn. This is usually denoted as 'SD' The spell is cast on the turn that the D is made, assuming no intervention (such as a Counter Spell). Play centers around the strategy of tracking what spells are being cast on all four (or more) hands, thus ensuring your spells achieve their desired effect while attempting to mitigate those of your opponent. ... The game is one of pure strategy; outside of the "Confusion" spell which causes a random gesture to be made all spell effects can be anticipated deterministically, making it akin to Chess or Go. Through a few minor variants to the rules, all random chance and other imbalances can be removed. ... "

http://www.gamecabinet.com/rules/WavingHands.html ... Scanned, OCRed, and edited by Andrew Buchanan

" Waving Hands from Duel Purpose ... The original name of the game was Spellbinder but, as that name has been used in a commercial game since Richard thought of it, he told me to think up some other name. The game is a rarity as it can be classed as a fairy game which is totally dependent upon skill ! ... This is a game concerning the imaginary conflict between two powerful wizards in a duel of sorcery. The two opponents perform magical gestures with their hands to create their supernatural weapons - spells. Some spells are so potent as to be able to blind a man, call forth terrifying creatures, or even kill the unfortunate victim instantly. ... Consequently, each wizard must rely on his own cunning to be able to time enough defensive spells to avoid the brunt of his adversary's attack, yet deliver sufficient offensive spells of his own to crack the magical armour of his opponent, and kill the wizard outright. ...
The game is an attempt to capture the spirit of such a battle in as simple yet exciting way as possible. The only equipment needed is pencil, paper and opponent. Time taken varies between 15 - 30 minutes. The inventor wishes to state that he has never been involved in a magical duel but would be interested to discover how realistic the game is for those who have been involved in such a bout. ... "

http://mud.co.uk/richard/spellbnd.htm ... a web page by the author Richard Bartle -

" For the first version, I used a board. Wizards were able to walk around, spells being represented by counters that moved at different speeds depending on how many gestures were used to create them. Although this worked, the map was cluttered and the bookkeeping tiresome; I felt it would make for quicker and more exciting play if I abstracted out the positional information and concentrated on the fun part - "programming" spells on-the-fly from gestures.

This second version also worked, but the strategy aspect was now exposed as too shallow. I therefore allowed wizards to gesture with both hands instead of just one, and introduced an extra, two-handed gesture to enforce occasional reconciliation between the gesture streams. I printed the rules to this third version in my postal games magazine, Sauce of the Nile.

The game was warmly received, and several games were played successfully by post. I negotiated for it to be published commercially by the same people who did my programmed-adventure game The Solo Dungeon, but (sigh) they went bankrupt before it happened. Unable to publish it myself (I was 17 and penniless at the time), I pretty well had to give up on that idea. Consequently, when one of my magazine's subscribers, Mike Lean, asked to reproduce the rules to Spellbinder in his own postal games magazine, Duel Purpose, I gave him permission and forgot about it. Well, that's not perhaps strictly true: the magic system from Spellbinder formed the basis of the one in my novel, INflamessight, however as a game I didn't do anything with it at all.

Many years later, I learned that people had programmed up Spellbinder to be played on computer. There were versions for email and head-to-head play. I was cited as its author, but was believed deceased (which, to the best of my knowledge, I am not). The game was also renamed each time it was rewritten, which is hardly surprising given the lousy title I gave it myself! I was nevertheless quite pleased to find that what I knew as Spellbinder was out there, living free, after all that time; it was like finding a long-lost friend. ... There are five different versions of Spellbinder that I'm aware of : Waving Hands, Spellcaster, Firetop Mountain, Spellcast and Spellcast Deathmatch, Warlocks ... "

PLAY WARLOCKS ONLINE - http://games.ravenblack.net/rules/1/intro.html

- WARLOCKS ANDROID APP - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.is.games.WarlocksDuel


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And slightly typo'd and eased out from this - http://everything2.com/title/Proof+by+handwaving

The infamous proof by handwaving is a revered practice in academic departments worldwide. While it is best deployed in the so-called " hard sciences," i.e. technical subjects, of mathematics, physics, and computer science, it is not without application in ’pataphysics, para-psychology, comparative and analytic literature studies, or sociology. The proof by handwaving, although wide-reaching in its application, is NOT a sturdy indefensible, and the wise will utilize it only rarely.

A few caveats :

• A chalkboard or whiteboard is nearly essential to the successful proof by handwaving. An overhead projector does not allow for the amount of distracting movement necessary for a successful proof by handwaving. In informal or strained circumstances, a cocktail napkin might suffice.

• Under no circumstances attempt a proof by handwaving in front of an audience of engineers. Engineers thrive on their understanding of minutia, which is why they are the bane of the stage magician, and they are typically rather tenacious. If it is unavoidable that you must employ the proof by handwaving on an audience of engineers, it is recommended you first soften them up with a few pitchers of beer.

The proof by handwaving, in seven simple steps :

1. Assure your command of the flow of the presentation. Allow no interruptions or questions, and make sure that their attention is upon what you are about to attempt to prove.

2. At your chalkboard, or reasonable analogue, write the starting state of the problem. Do this quickly, without hesitation. If the field of study is not one in which equations are common, abstract the facsimile of an equation from the situation, or construct a diagram.

3. Wave your non-writing hand around vacuously as you declare any constants or variables. In these declarations, make great assumptions about the level of understanding in the audience. Note the salient point, but nothing more.

Key phrases include :

• "Now, since … "
• "As we know, … "
• "Naturally, one finds … "

4. Attempt to impart as little information as possible; eschew elucidation; admit nothing. A thick foreign accent or an incomprehensible mumble may be helpful, although sheer enthusiasm may suffice. Similarly, copious indecipherable notes or marks against what is already written will obscure and divert specific attentions.

5. Cycle through these steps two or three times. Each time, re-write the equation making the obvious next step or add subsidiary equations that may or may not provide support or distraction.

6. Right before the crucial leap of logic that will enlighten the audience with your brilliant solution or results, stop dictating your own writing to the board. Wave both hands around, but do not flail as you point at various areas of the board. Best effect is achieved if you make strong gestures to your left (the audience’s right), standing from a position to the left of the board, although in some instances, standing directly in front of a particularly gratuitous progression is advised.

7. Now, clearly state the solution, you may wish to preface it with "therefore", or if you prefer, epilogue with "que-ee-dee". Then walk to a seat with deliberation. Take no questions.

Anecdotal evidence seems to support the theory that the proof by handwaving is most successful when the presenter possesses, or is believed to possess, or is paid to pretend to possess, expert knowledge of the topic. This power disparity between the presenter and the audience may hold the means by which to rate the effectiveness of any given attempt at proof by handwaving.

The proof by handwaving differs from discursive handwaving in that it is a distraction, a little act of magic, used disingenuously by the unprepared or charlatan. Facility in the employ of the proof by handwaving is not acheived through the practice of waving hands or tai chi push hands.


Subject: FW: http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=2858#2858 - FW: WRITE ABOUT THIS ? - spellbinder - waving hands - handwaving - games - metaphors - etc
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2015 09:02:51 +0000

Dear Friends of a Few of The Folks,

at the end of this piece -

http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=2858#2858 -

I quoted from a bulleting board contribution by Ouroboros and he has an interesting home page on that board -


Ouroboros tags this piece of writing -


- and one passage from that is -

Leave it to clampe to make magic out of something half-joking and completely ad-hoc. I'm baffled and bewildered when i try to classify the creature we've created - some strange analogue to community, no longer the writing experiment and playground i was so charmed with. I've contemplated quitting as the content i have to offer slips closer to the low end of our mediocre - generalists are useful in the first stages of a knowledge project, but easily exposed as hacks later on! yet somehow - some of my strongest relationships in the last few years have been directly attributable to E2 + the unique brilliancies of its people. Can we be a diaspora if we were never really together? Who knows, but within our kaleidoscopic variety, there does seem to be a noderness that we can call on as one calls on family, close or distant. Even if it's totally invented or imagined, it's real and its effects can be seen.

- and I think that that is a near-damned perfect expression of the nature of " Repwblic " i.e. the nature of bulletin boards ?

David B Lawrence


Subject: http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=2858#2858 - FW: WRITE ABOUT THIS ? - spellbinder - waving hands - handwaving - games - metaphors - etc
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 2015 08:49:00 +0000

Dear Ouroboros,

I wonder whether this email will reach you - I want to acknowledge to you my copying this piece published by you at the end of this thread - http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=2858#2858 - I have slightly typo'd it and eased the grammar - I wondered whether you yourself wrote it or whether you culled it from somewhere else ?




Subject: WRITE ABOUT THIS ? - spellbinder - waving hands - handwaving - games - metaphors - etc
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2015 23:59:55 +0000

( BCC to XXXX, because he might be interested in this )










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