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Gravity's Rainbow Group Read | Sections 22-25 | Week 7

Slothrop's Hawaiian Shirt by Zak Smith (2006).
I just want to begin by thanking u/Bloomsdayclock for coordinating this endeavor, for all of the previous posts thus far, and for the enthusiastic interaction and scholarship that’s been happening in the comments for each post. This group read has rekindled my love for this book and is helping me understand it in so many different ways and in such greater depth that it's honestly like I’m reading a different book at this point. Also, kudos to each previous poster for creating a coherent post! The book is complex enough on its own but once you start going down the rabbit hole, sussing out the references, reading through some of the scholarship, etc., I almost found myself paralyzed by information overload (kinda feeling a bit like Charlie Kelly trying to figure out who “Pepe Silvia” is :) ). When this reading group started, I was like, “damn, I’m trying to read this insanely complex novel and the group posts are just as long, dense, and complex” and now I’ve gone and written some super long and dense post, too. To paraphrase either Blaise Pascal or Mark Twain (or Woodrow Wilson or apparently a rather large number of dead white guys from history): I would have written a shorter post if I’d had the time! Apologies in advance!
Anyways, this post will (attempt to) cover the start of the second section of the novel, Un Perm’ au Casino Hermann Goering. The events that transpire are zany and sinister, titillating and deeply sad. There is a mix of images both gorgeous and disgusting and much of the planning and plotting that took place at “The White Visitation” during the first section are starting to come to fruition in part deux. For each “Episode”, I will provide a general summary of the “action” and then some commentary and we’ll finish this post up with a few discussion questions. Let’s begin!
Episode 22
Summary
Slothrop is on furlough/leave at a casino in Monaco (from what I’ve read...I thought it was France before, still not completely sure) that’s been renamed in honor of the big fat slob that led Hitler’s air force during the war. He’s in paradise but wakes up “...[waiting] for a sudden noise to begin his day, a first rocket” (p. 181). His friend Tantivy Mucker-Maffick and a somewhat suspicious friend of his, Teddy Bloat (“[there’s] something about the way he talks to Slothrop, patronizing? Maybe nervous…” (p. 182)), are staying down the hall. They’re talking about meeting some girls but, as the first song of the section reminds us, Englishmen can be very shy. Slothrop is happy to help his “buddies” out, but tells them not to “expect [him] to put it in for [them]” (p. 183). Classic Slothrop!
Slothrop decides to wear a hideous (or amazing, depending on your sensibilities) genuine Hawaiian shirt that he received from his brother Hogan in the Pacific. The shirt seems to emit a glow (once he steps into the sun, it “blazes into a refulgent life of its own” (!) (p. 184), so Tantivy, “friend” that he is, tries to convince Slothrop to cover it up with scratchy Savile Row coat.
The trio hit the beach and the ladies are on them already. They’ve got food and booze and are ready for a nice day on the beach. The morning seems too good even for a bit of the “early paranoia”. And then Bloat ruins everything by drawing Slothrop’s attention to the woman down the beach being attacked by “the biggest fucking octopus Slothrop has ever seen outside of the movies”. Slothrop rushes off to intervene and, left without recourse, starts trying to bash the cephalopod on the head with a wine bottle to no avail. Thankfully, Bloat just happens to have a big, tasty crab on his person, which he tosses to Slothrop with the advice, “It’s hungry, it’ll go for the crab. Don’t kill it, Slothrop.” Slothrop uses the crab to bait away the animal from its current prey, noticing that it does not seem to be in good mental health. He eventually tosses the crab, like a discus, into the sea, and the octopus follows. The damsel has been saved, Slothrop is championed as a brave hero and his first thought is where in the fuck did that crab come from.
The exchange:
“Tantivy smiles and flips a small salute. “Good show!” cheers Teddy Bloat. “I wouldn’t have wanted to try that myself!”
“Why not? You had that crab. Saaay-where’d you get that crab?”
“Found it,” replies Bloat with a straight face. Slothrop stares at this bird but can’t get eye contact. What th’ fuck is going on?” (p. 187).
The damsel thanks Slothrop. Her ID bracelet identifies her as Katje Borgesius. Slothrop feels like he knows her and “...voices begin to take on a touch of metal, each word a hard-edged clap, and the light, though as bright as before, is less able to illuminate….it’s a Puritan reflex of seeking other orders behind the visible, also known as paranoia, filtering in…” (p. 188). How does Slothrop deal with this? By dividing up his present company into a dichotomy: the increasingly drunk Tantivy, “a messenger from Slothrop’s innocent, pre-octopus past” flirting with the girls and Bloat, “perfectly sober, mustache unruffled, regulation uniform [on the fucking beach!], watching [him] closely” (p. 188). And then there’s Katje, who, with her glance, makes Slothrop think she knows something (what?), asking him “Did you know all the time about the octopus? I thought so because it was so like a dance-all of you” (p. 188). Well, fuck me! Katje then tells “Little Tyrone” to be “very careful” and that “Perhaps, after all, we were meant to meet…” (p. 189). Now that’s a “meet cute” for ya!
Commentary/Questions
  1. Is the casino fully owned and controlled by Them at this point (is César Flebótomo (Spanish for “sandfly”) a(n) (un)willing patsy in Their employ?). Is it the “lab” for this “phase” of the Slothrop experiment. Or is it just secured enough to ensure the results of the experiment aren’t tainted by some unforeseen variable/interference?
  2. Teddy Bloat seems like a purposeful pun in reference to the bureaucracy of government/intel agencies
  3. Tantivy Mucker-Maffick’s name is also filled with meaning
  4. Songs are one way that Pynchon fills his book with “the language of the preterite”, a term from Weisenburger used to describe the “slang, underworld cant, songs, games, folk-genres, and material culture” used by Pynchon to pit “open, unsanctioned, and “low” languages” against the “closed, orthodox, privileged language of a culture”. This idea is expanded on by literary critic/philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin who notes that the “heteroglossic” aspect of novels allows them to be radical, open-ended artworks filled with a variety of voices that each embody a particular time and place (his term for this idea is a “chronotope”).
  5. The whole episode is just soaked in paranoia, from beginning to end. Whatever Slothrop thought he thought he was feeling in Section 1 has been taken up a notch. He senses a plot but keeps playing along.
  6. Is “Borgesius” a tribute to J.L. Borges?
  7. “Little Tyrone” echoes “Baby Tyrone” from Jamf’s experiments and maybe is supposed to make us realize that while the antics in this episode could possibly be construed as a “loss” of Slothrop’s “innocence” that was actually taken from him as a baby.
Episode 23
Summary
Dr. Porkyevitch (“Porky the pig”?) and “Grisha” (“[frisking] happily in his special enclosure”) stare back at the “blazing bijou” of the Casino from their ship, contemplating their future now that they may no longer be of use to Pointsman, yearning for traces of the Russia they’ve been exiled from.
To the casino: Katje is a vision in shades of green and is escorted by a two-star general and a brigadier. Is it Pudding? RHIP :) Slothrop and Tantivy in the dining room. Slothrop raises the “The Ballad of Tantivy Mucker-Maffic” to get the room singing of his friend’s drunken exploits so that he can speak to Katje who uses the cacophony to invite him to her room after midnight!
Slothrop then probes his buddy to see if he notices anything funny going on. Tantivy brushes him off a bit (“there’s always, you know, an element of Slothropian paranoia to contend with…”(p. 192)) but then concedes that the bastard Bloat is receiving coded messages. Ha! And it turns out Bloat has become a bit of a different man over the last few years, something more than being “Blitz rattled”. He’s also warned Tantivy away from Katje (“I’d stay clear of that one if I were you” (p. 193)) and Tantivy feels used by Bloat (“being tolerated for as long as he can use me” (p. 193)). The encounter ends with Tantivy telling Slothrop to be careful and, should he need help, he’ll be there for him.
At midnight, Slothrop leaves for his rendezvous with Ms. Borgesius, “ascending flights of red-carpeted stairway (Welcome Mister Slothrop Welcome To Our Structure We Hope You Will Enjoy Your Visit Here)” (p. 194). Arriving, he teases her about her date at dinner and then about their slightly sinister “meet cute” while examining her closet which is absolutely filled to the brim with a variety of outfits. The “Too Soon To Know (Fox-Trot)” before they get down to it. As he is undressing her, he notices “...the moonlight only whitens her back, and there is a still a dark side, her ventral side, her face, than he can no longer see, a terrible beastlike change coming over muzzle and lower jaw, black pupils growing to cover the entire eye space till whites are gone and there’s only the red animal reflection when the light comes to strike no telling when the light-” (p. 196). Yikes! As they fuck, she wonders if his “careful technique” is for her or “wired into the Slothropian Run-together they briefed her on”. Either way, “she will move him, she will not be mounted by a plastic shell” (p. 196-197).
Then, a slapstick fight with a seltzer bottle (planted by Them?) that has Slothrop looking for a banana cream pie to toss (classic!) after which they fall asleep, lying like two Ss. In the morning, their post-coital bliss is interrupted as Little Tyrone is rudely awakened by the sound of someone robbing his pants in the room next door. He chases after the thief, first naked, then dressed in a purple satin bedsheet. As he’s chasing, from way down the hallway, “a tiny head appears around a corner, a tiny hand comes out and gives Slothrop the tiny finger” (p. 199). Haha! He chases the thief up a tree only to have the tree cut down while he’s in it. The thief escapes and Bloat and some general find Slothrop a mess.
Bloat takes Slothrop to his room where, “every stitch of clothing he owns is gone, including his Hawaiian shirt. What the fuck. Groaning, he rummages in the desk. Empty. Closets empty. Leave papers, ID, everything, taken… Hogan’s shirt bothers him most of all” (p. 201). Nobody knows where Tantivy’s gone off to. Bloat gives Slothrop a uniform (“a piece of Whitehall on the Riviera” (p. 201)) which doesn’t fit but the book advises, “Live wi’ the way it feels mate, you’ll be in it for a while” (p. 201). Slothrop ponders the meaning of the architecture and design of his surrounds, but “shortly, unpleasantly so, it will come to him that everything in this room [The Himmer-Spielsaal, no less] is being used from something different. Meaning things to Them it has never meant to us. Never. Two orders of being, looking identical….but, but….” (p. 202). THE WORLD OVER THERE. Against this realization Slothrop issues the only spell he knows, a defiant “Fuck You”. Walking, rainstorm, entertainment at the casino, no one has seen the dancing girls from the drunken breakfast, Slothrop is “finding only strangers where he looks” before freaking out in the casino, then getting wet in the rain, then returning to Katje, the only place he knew to come.
Commentary
  1. I love “The Ballad of Tantivy Mucker-Maffic” and would like to write a similar tune about the inebriated shenanigans committed by my best friend and I during college.
  2. The bit about Oxford and Harvard not really existing to educate was a nice touch (p. 193)
  3. “Snazzy” is an “Americanism” in the 40s! (p. 195).
  4. Slothrop ponders an impending loss of innocence (but, again, it seems like that has already happened). He has nothing and no one in a foreign country and the sensation that his life is being purposefully, possibly nefariously influenced by forces he can vaguely perceive. “It’s here that saturation hits him, it’s all this playing games, too much of it, too many games: the nasal, obsessive voice of a croupier he can’t see...is suddenly speaking out of the Forbidden Wing directly to him, and about what Slothrop has been playing against the invisible House, perhaps after all for his soul, all day - terrified, he turns, turns out into the rain again where the electric lights of the Casino, in full holocaust, are glaring off the glazed cobbles.” And then, “How did this all turn against him so fast? His friends old and new, every last bit of paper and clothing connecting him to what he’s been, have just, fucking, vanished. How can he meet this with any kind of grace?” (p. 205)
  5. The word “holocaust” is used quite a bit in this story
  6. Setting this all in the casino is a nice touch: there is the illusion of chance and luck in a casino but the house always wins.
  7. The juxtaposition of the comic (seltzer fight) with the tragic (Slothrop alone, trying to understand what’s happening) heightens both effects.
Episode 24
Summary
They wake up with Katje calling slothrop a pig, which responds to by oinking. At breakfast, he is taking a refresher course in technical German and learning about The Rocket. His tutor, Sir Stephen Dodson-Truck (who speaks 33 languages!) aiding his understanding of German circuit schematics by way of ancient German runes. Slothrop understands immediately that Dodson-Truck is in on the plot but not sure how (“There are times when Slothrop can actually find a clutch mechanism between him and Their iron-cased engine far away up a power train whose shape and design he has to guess at, a clutch he can disengage, feeling then all his inertia of motion, his real helplessness… it is not exactly unpleasant, either. Odd thing. He is almost sure that whatever They want, it won’t mean risking his life, or even too much of his comfort. But he can’t fit any of it into a pattern, there’s no way to connect somebody like Dodson-Truck with somebody like Katje…. The real enemy’s somewhere back in that London anyways” (p. 207).
Back in the Himmler-Spielsaal: “in the twisted gilt playing-room his secret motions clarify for him, some. The odds They played here belonged to the past, the past only. Their odds were never probabilities, but frequencies already observed. It’s the past that makes demands here. It whispers, and reaches after, and sneering disagreeably, gooses its victims.
When they choose numbers, red, black, odd, even, what did They mean it? What Wheel did They set in motion?
Back in a room, early in Slothrop’s life, a room forbidden to him now, is something very bad. Something was done to him and it may be that Katje knows what. Hasn’t he, in her “futureless look,” found some link to his own past, something that connects them closely as lovers?” (p. 208-209). “It is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola.”
No more news from London or Achtung. Bloat is gone now, too. Sir Stephen and Katje with their identical Corporate Smiles to dazzle him while they rob his identity. But! “He lets it happen” (p. 210).
Slothrop is getting hardons after his rocket study sessions and then goes looking for relief with Katje. Sir Stephen appears to be timing these erections! So, Slothrop gets the smart idea to get him drunk via a drinking game and many, many people end up getting sloshed on some high class bubbly. Half the room is singing the “Vulgar Song”. Slothrop and Sir Steve get pretty hammered and start walking through a nice sunset, where Slothrop sees robed figures, hundreds of miles tall, on the horizon. Sir Stephen informs Slothrop that he’s got “potency issues” (which makes him the perfect observer for Slothrop’s sexual misadventures… “no nasty jissom getting all over their reports, you know” (p. 216)). He’s about to tell Slothrop the secret of “The Penis He Thought Was His Own”...
...but then starts waxing nostalgic about Sir Stephen’s son and his wife, Nora and her “Ideology of the Zero”. An interlude with Eventyr, Sachsa, Leni… “but where will Leni be now? Either we didn’t mean to lose her - either it was an ellipsis in our care, in what some of us even swear is our love, or someone has taken her, deliberately, for reasons being kept secret, and Sachsa’s death is part of it too” (p. 218). More on Sachsa’s death.
Then, Sir Stephen vanishes (“but not before telling Slothrop that his erections of high interest to Fitzmaurice House”). Katje is pissed that Slothy got Sir Steve drunk enough to dish on the plot. They fight and then fuck. More rocket study sessions. The rocket taking off looks like a peacock, def pfau. Slothrop pressing for more information, Katje rebuffing, warning/advising“Oh, Slothrop… You don’t want me. What they’re after may, but you don’t. No more than A4 wants London. But I don’t think they know...about other selves...yours or the Rocket’s. No more than you do. If you can’t understand it now, at least remember. That’s all I can do for you” (p. 224).
Then, “They go back up to her room again: cock, cunt, the Monday rain at the windows” (p. 224) (Oh, Tom, you romantic!). And finally, a bit of kazoo music, a final night together, and Katje disappears, too.
Commentary
  1. Slothrop makes an important connection to his childhood and wonders if Katje knows about it/whether she’s with him because of it (ol’ Pynch even manages to work in the rocket, too!): “You were in London while they were coming down. I was in ‘s Gravenhage while they were going up. Between you and me is not only a rocket trajectory but also a life. You will come to understand that between the two points, in the five minutes, it lives an entire life. You haven’t even learned the data on our side of the flight profile, the visible or trackable. Beyond them there’s so much more, so much none of us know” (p. 209).
  2. More on the import of setting the action in the Casino: “The Forbidden Wing. Oh, the hand of a terrible croupier is that touch on the sleeves of his dreams: all his life of what has looked free or random, is discovered to’ve been under some Control, all the time, the same as a fixed roulette wheel-where only destinations are important, attention is to long-term statistics, not individuals: and where the House does, of course, keep turning a profit…” (p. 209).
  3. A beautiful passage: “‘Holy shit.” This is the kind of sunset you hardly see any more, a 19th-century wilderness sunset...this anachronism in primal red, in yellow purer than can be found anywhere today, a purity begging to be polluted...of course Empire took its way westward, what other way was there but into those virgin sunsets to penetrate and to foul” (p. 214). Always dualities in this book.
  4. “A pornography of blueprints” (p. 224). is a nice turn of phrase.
  5. Foreshadowing: “She has her hair combed high today in a pompadour, her fair eyebrows, plucked to wings, darkened, eyes rimmed in black, only the outboard few lashes missed and left blond.
  6. Connection to Nabokov: I really do think “Signs and Symbols” influenced this novel. Lines like this, “Here it is again, that identical-looking Other World - is he gonna have this to worry about, now? What th’ - lookit these trees - each long frond hanging, stuny, dizzying, in laborious dry point against the sky, each so perfectly placed…” (p. 225) remind me so much of the atmosphere in the story (itself about paranoia (“referential mania”)). This is a key excerpt from the Nabokov ditty: “In these very rare cases the patient imagines that everything happening around him is a veiled reference to his personality and existence. He excludes real people from the conspiracy - because he considers himself to be so much more intelligent than other men. Phenomenal nature shadows him wherever he goes. Clouds in the staring sky transmit to one another, by means of slow signs, incredibly detailed information regarding him. His inmost thoughts are discussed at nightfall, in manual alphabet, by darkly gesticulating trees. Pebbles or stains or sun flecks form patterns representing in some awful way messages which he must intercept. Everything is a cipher and of everything he is the theme.” Obviously this guy is, uh, slightly more clinical, but I still think the atmosphere/tone is similar between the two.
Episode 25
Summary
We begin this episode with a Pavlov lecture about the physiological symptoms of hysteria and one of Pointsman’s poems (which he never shows to anyone). Then to the “White Visitation” chaps (Pointsman, Grunton, Throwster, Groast) rumor-mongering about their future. Things are looking bleak. Pudding might cut off funding, “Slothrop’s knocked out Dodson-Truck and the girl in one day” (p. 227), and Sir Steven’s got the P.M.’s son-in-law making embarrassing inquiries. But Pointsman is calm. Very calm. In fact, “[b]y facing squarely the extinction of his program, he has gained a great bit of Wisdom: that if there is a life force operating in Nature, still there is nothing so analogous in bureaucracy. Nothing so mystical. It all comes down, as it must, to the desires of individual men. Oh, and women too, of course, bless their empty little heads. But survival depends on having strong enough desires - on knowing the System better than the other chap, and how to use it. It’s work, that’s all it is, and there’s no room for any extrahuman activities - they only weaken, effeminize the will: a man either indulges them, or fights to win, und so weiter” (p. 230). And then we find out that Pointman’s figured out how to play Pudding to keep his support (more on that in a bit…) as he’s figured out Treacle, Groast, and Throwster, how to use them and manipulate them to get what he wants. What a fucking devious guy!
Webley Silvernail sticks around after the meeting and imagines the lab animals putting on a beguine performance of a song called “Pavlovia” (right after this realization by Silvernail: “From overhead, from a German camera-angle, it occurs to Webley Silvernail, this lab here is also a maze...but who watches from above, who notes their reponses?” (p. 229)). And it’s all song and dance for a bit but since it’s Pynchon, it’s followed by an incredible poignant/tragic moment of clarity: “They have had their moment of freedom. Webley has only been a guest start. Now it’s back to the cages and the rationalized forms of death-death in the service of the one species cursed with the knowledge that it will die…. “I would set you free, if I knew how. But it isn’t free out here. All the animals, the plants, the minerals, even other kinds of men, are being broken and reassembled every day, to preserve an elite few, who are the loudest to theorize on freedom, but the least free of all. I can’t even give you hope that it will be different someday - that They’ll come out, and forget death, and lose Their technology’s elaborate terror, and stop using every other form of life without mercy to keep what haunts men down to a tolerable level - and be like you instead, simply here, simply alive….” The guest star retires down the corridors” (p. 230). What a soliloquy. [Tangent: almost 50 years later, how prescient is this passage?! This little monologue filled me with so many conflicting emotions: hope (because humans like Pynchon exist to dream this stuff up) and also dread because this paragraph describes a fundamental aspect and egregious flaw (or flaws) in human nature. Reading and re-reading this passage depresses me a little (hence my question about mental health below).
Now Pudding is sneaking about the bowels of “The White Visitation”. He heads past the cells of loonies on his way to a secret rendezvous. It seems like Pointsman may have drugged him at some point to get at hidden desires. We watch as our dear old Brigadier putters from room-to-room, finding items left for him by Pointsman that mock him and describe his descent into a personal hell (for info on the symbolism, the Weisenburger book is quite helpful).
In the final room, Pudding drops to his knees at the feet of his Domina Nocturna (with “her blond hair...tucked and pinned beneath a thick black wig”... “naked except for a long sable cape and black boots with court heels” (p. 233)). Pudding is thinking of the night they first met. He saw “her” “...through the periscope, underneath a star shell that hung in the sky, he saw her….and though he was hidden, she saw Pudding. Her face was pale, she was dressed all in black, she stood in No-man’s Land, the machine guns raked their patterns all around her, but she needed no protection. “They knew you, Mistress. They were your own.
And so were you” (p. 233).
And then he offers her a “nice” memory of a legion of Franco’s troops killing and getting killed at a massacre at Badajoz for which he is “rewarded” with her beating and then pissing and shitting in his mouth… … … …
However off-putting this may be for some (most), it does something for Pudding. He needs pain. “They have stuffed paper illusions and military euphemisms between him and this truth, this rare decency, this moment at her scrupulous feet….no it’s not guilt here, not so much as amazement - that he could have listened to so many years of ministers, scientists, doctors each with his specialized lies to tell, when she was here all the time, sure in her ownership of his failing body, his true body: undisguised by uniform, uncluttered by drugs to keep from him her communiqués of vertigo, nausea and pain. Above all, pain. The clearest poetry, the endearment of greatest worth…” (p. 234-235).
Munching down on a hot turd makes Pudding think of the horrible smells of his service during WWI: putrid mud, rot, death, “...the sovereign smell of their first meeting, and her emblem” (p. 235). After eating her shit, he jerks off (his release), in a style that Domina Nocturna has learned from watching Captain Blicero and Gottfriend (at this point, it is safe to say, Domina Nocturna is Katje. Will we ever be able to look at her the same?).
Pudding is then dismissed to “...a late-night cup of broth, routine papers to sign, a dose of penicillin that Pointsman has ordered him to take, to combat the effects of E. Coli” (p. 236). So thoughtful, that Pointsman...
Commentary
  1. The Silvernail hallucination/phantasmagoria seems like something straight out of “The Big Lebowski” had Jodorowsky had a bit of influence over the Coen Bros. art direction. Many of the songs in this section feel “Lebowski-esque” but this one especially so to me. Maybe its the detailed choreographic notes: “They dance in flowing skeins. The rats and mice form circles, curl their tails in and out to make chrysanthemum and sunburst patterns, eventually all form into the shape of a single giant mouse, at whole eye Silvernail poses with a smile” (p. 230).
  2. The Franco bit is a nice way of linking facism and death worship
  3. Pudding eating Domina Nocturna’s shit really, to quote an earlier passage, gave “de wrinkles in mah brain a process!”. There is so much symbolism there! Instead of ascending to heaven, Pudding heads down to hell. We have so many dualities linked in the act: between young and old, sacred and profane, pleasure and pain, pleasure through pain, WWI and WW2, man and woman, life and death, the general as a slave, even the food transformed through Katje into waste, all linked through the act of eating shit. For a moment they are linked so intimately, so delicately. No parabolas, a circle. And, of course, there’s also the diabolical Pointsman in the background, pulling the strings and manipulating to keep Pudding in line. I remember reading this for the first time and just being shocked and confused and now reading it again and finding so much meaning. That ol’ Pynchon is a devious bastard, hiding such loaded symbolism in such an obscene encounter. The Pulitzer committee had no idea what was coming for them!
So, if you’ve reached this point, congratulations and I am sorry! Here are my discussion questions. Looking forward to future posts!
Discussion Questions Both On Topic and Tangential
  1. Why is paranoia described as a “Puritan reflex” in Episode 22?
  2. In Episode 23, as Slothrop peruses Katje’s extensive wardrobe, what is the significance of the line, “Aha! wait a minute, the operational scent in here is carbon tet, Jackson, and this wardrobe here’s mostly props” (p. 195)?
  3. In Episode 24, what’s the significance of “the watchmen of world’s edge”? Is this an intrusion of the spirit world? Is Slothrop just hallucinating?
  4. In Episode 24, when Peter Sachsa gets the blow to the temple from Schutzmann Jöche, why is his last thought, “How beautiful!” (p. 220)
  5. In Episode 25, there’s a line in the part where Pudding is sneaking around: “A voice from some cell too distant for us to locate intones:...” (p. 231). Why us here? Why the change in perspective?
  6. How’s this book affecting everyone’s mental health (you know, given that we’re in the end times right now)? Seriously, though, there are times when this book makes me so happy to be alive and proud of humanity and also times where it depresses the everloving shit out of me and makes me think that, as a species, we’re doomed to continue making the same mistakes, over and over again, until we end up destroying ourselves.
  7. In a similar vein, do you think people as prodigiously talented and brilliant as Pynchon have any responsibility to counter the evil they see in the world? Is writing books enough or should they do more (lead, teach, etc.) to fight against the awful things they are able to see before the rest of us do?
Resources
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[Table] I'm Jeff Galak, Professor of Marketing & Social and Decision Science at Carnegie Mellon University. I have published dozens of academic papers on decision making, consumer behavior, and more. I have also recently launched a new YouTube channel called Data Demystified. AMA! (pt 1/3)

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Questions Answers
Hey Jeff! I'm a minimalist & find that I'm happier with less stuff & when I give/receive experiences rather than items. Do you find consumer happiness reflects this shift towards minimalism since that is a (small, but seemingly growing) trend, especially among Millennials? Great question! There is some relatively new research looking at happiness from experiences vs. material possessions. Most of it shows that happiness from equally valued (e.g. price) experiences is higher than for possessions. HOWEVER, and this is a big however, all that work tends to ignore long run happiness with highly prized possessions. For instance, if you have a sentimentally valued object, happiness that stems from that object lasts for a long time. What most possessions don't do is provide long lasting happiness. You buy a new shiny toy and it DOES make you happy...but that happiness goes away quickly. My collaborators and I have termed this idea "Hedonic Decline."
So as for minimalism, there is not evidence that I know of that shows that less possessions make you happier. There's plenty showing that more possessions don't make you happier, but that's not the same thing.
One more layer of complexity: there are two routes to happiness: hedonic and eudaimonic. The former is what we usually think of when we think of happiness: how much joy does XYZ bring me. The latter, however, is closer to self-actualization. It's the happiness the comes from a accomplishing something....even if there was pain involved in getting there. I wonder if minimalism can increase eudaimonic happiness.
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That's interesting. Thank you for responding. In the minimalism community, self-actualization is reflected in endeavors such as achieving certain goals (like, paying off debt) that usually involves some amount of self-discipline &/or self-sacrifice. I'd say that the vast majority of research in happiness excludes eudaimonic happiness, largely because it's so hard to measure. My personal, non-data supported, take is that eudaimonic happiness is far more important than hedonic happiness. The latter is fleeting, whereas the former can be life changing.
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Beautifully said. Thank you.
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How does depression affect eudaimonic happiness compared to hedonic happiness? Great question and I don't know the answer. Social Psychology typical studies what we very poorly term "normal" psychology, which excludes clinical conditions like depression. Sorry!
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What’s your take on “pay to play” - as in, some “hedonic” purchases at are required to signal you’re in the game, making progress on eudaimonic happiness. When you get older and into your career, I’d venture many people have already figured out that hedonic happiness doesn’t do squat long-term, but there’s a balance in terms of how much hedonic happiness to have to acquire for the ultimate long-term eudaimonic happiness. Example: in sales, which I’m in tech analytics sales, companies want to spend for solutions to business problems, but they also want to see, visually, that the person they’re paying is a good representative for them. High cost equals a person that can represent that taste. Nice. Tailored suits, a nice watch and latest tech gadgets. There’s a pay to play aspect that signals to the world who I am, and that in turn actually allows me to get what I want- student loans paid off and early retirement.. I don't think there's any conflict here. If you will find some form of life satisfaction by succeeding in your career, there's no harm in also purchasing items that help you reach that goal. Those items can, in and of themselves, make you happy...nothing wrong with that. More to the point, hedonic and eudaimonic happiness don't have to be in opposition. You can have both!
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I really like this response. While i can jive with basic premise of experiences over possessions...i’m find it used a lot by people who actually just want to shirk obligation. I run HHiring and there is a persistent trend of people not wanting to act like their job is important..just because it’s easier to justify bailing on work/shifts to go do things when you can say you’re doing it for the experience, not focusing on the money you make at a job. I’m trying to figure out the best way to respond to people who think i’m some big bad money grubbing boss for wanting people to do their jobs. Meanwhile, in my personal life...i feel like i’m getting a lot of push back socially from people who think i should only work where i can just make my own schedule and dip put for an “experience” whenever. At the end of the say, it feels like people will just wax philosophic reasons for demanding leisure with all the material perks of having jobs and working. Great point. This relates to intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation. The former is the desire to do something because it's inherently interesting/rewarding. The latter is doing something for compensation. This is more in the realm of organizational behavior, and you'll have to wait for my wife who is also a professor, but of organizational behavior and theory, to do an AMA for more on that :)
Hello, thanks for doing this. Are you familiar with "loot boxes" in video games? I feel like the topics of a lot of your papers would fit right into why consumers/businesses use loot boxes. How does a loot box mechanic differ from gambling and should it be treated the same? (Regulation, age restriction, etc) If they are the same, how do you feel about video games including a loot box mechanic? Sticking with gambling parallels, what are your thoughts on video game companies targeting "whales" given that gamers can be any age nowadays? I'm not a gamer myself (though I do love TTPRGs and run a D&D 5e campaign), but I'm pretty familiar with loot boxes. Mobile games and social media platforms in general have become very good at continuous reinforcement. It can be the allure of getting a new outfit in a loot box or just an upvote on Reddit...the point is that we are wired to love small rewards, even if those rewards are meaningless. Casinos have mastered this art and loot boxes are an capitalizing of the same basic psychological mechanisms: need for positive reinforcements. So are loot boxes the same as gambling? Probably not the SAME, but damn close. As for regulation, I am strongly in favor of making gambling of all forms only accessible to adults and even then providing access to counseling for those who suffer from gambling addiction.
I have a lot less sympathy towards wealthy adults who choose to gamble as a form of entertainment. The problem is that it's not always obvious who's a whale and who's just pretending to be one for the attention. The latter is highly susceptible to financial ruin and I'd want them protected just the same as they are with standard gambling.
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Do you find the researcher in you observing and asking questions about the players' decision making processes in your D&D campaign? My old DM minored in psychology, and I often felt like a rat in his experiments. I enjoyed it, though. It kind of added an extra facet to the game. More than my research, teaching has made a huge difference in being a DM. When I lecture, I am forced to be quick on my feet to understand student questions, reply accordingly, and make sure that I'm moving the lecture along. That is the same with DMing. I need to be able to understand the motives of my players, respond appropriately with NPCs, and keep the story going.
I'm sure that my knowledge of psychology helps, but I wouldn't think it influences the way I DM (or play) that much.
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Studying business Psychology in Switzerland and leading the yawning portal atm, seems like I need to start teaching :p Ha! Check out this thread: https://www.reddit.com/WaterdeepDragonHeist/comments/fcc89a/the_yawning_portal_a_drinking_song_and_boss_music/
I used that for my game and it was great.
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Could I join your 5e campaign? Ha! Sorry, no. It's just close friends and we're months into it. I'm running Waterdeep, if you're curious.
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I'm applying to Carnegie's MBA for what it's worth! If I'm accepted, may I join then? ;-) How about you get in and then we discuss!
Hi Jeff! What is your favorite heuristic or logical fallacy when it comes to decision making? Can you teach us about one that people might not know about? Easy: Diversification Bias. That's where I started my career 15 years ago. I didn't discover this bias, but have built on it. Anyway, it's the idea that people choose more variety than they should. For example, if you are going to pick some snacks for the next few days, you might pick: chips, pretzels and an apple. Those are fine, but really chips are your favorite and you picked the other two because you thought you'd get tired of chips every day. Well, turns out you'd be wrong. A day is enough to reset satiation/hedonic-decline in most cases, so you'd be better off always picking your favorite option! Doing otherwise means eating snacks that are less preferred.
A new one that my doctoral student, Julian Givi, and I recently published: The Future Is Now (FIN) Heuristic. It's the idea that people believe that future events will be like present events, even when evidence points to the contrary. An example: if it's sunny today, you're more likely to think it'll be sunny tomorrow, even if the forecast clearly predict rain. What happens is you treat information about the present as having evidentiary value for future events, even when that's just not true.
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I really like that you give your student credit. PhD students do all the hard work. Professors just bask in the glory :)
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I think diversification bias is how I ended up with 5 shades of blue nail polish that are virtually undistinguishable from each other! Interesting to consider. Ha! Just might be...
Tell me about your paper "Sentimental value and gift giving: Givers’ fears of getting it wrong prevents them from getting it right". From what I read of the abstract, it seems that gift-givers undervalue sentimental value, seeing it as riskier. Why is that, and how can we give better gifts? Sure, this is a paper with my former doctoral student, Julian Givi. Basically, people are risk averse in gift giving when they shouldn't be. If I know you like coffee and I have a choice to give you some nice coffee beans or a framed photo of the two of us (presumably since we're friends), I give the former b/c it's a sure bet. But as the recipient, overwhelmingly, people prefer the latter. So givers should take the risk and give the sentimentally valuable gift over one that is more a sure bet.
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Interesting. When giving presents, givers focus too much on the recipient's known wants, which gets in the way of giving a meaningful present. Thank you! I'll be sure to keep that in-mind next Christmas. That's exactly it.
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I sometimes hesitate at this. I don’t want to come off as the selfie culture of all about me in pictures! But relatives do love getting pics of the kids for gifts. Still, how often is this perceived as a form of narcissism by the gift receiver? Edit: pictures of my kids not just me! One trick we do: every Christmas holiday we print full size calendars with our kids pictures on them. That's our holiday gift to all the grandparents. They LOVE it.
We also send small photo books to the grandparents throughout the year of some of the best pictures we take.
We have yet to send too many, but that's specific to our family.
The best advice I always have for something like this is: just ask! People are often worried about asking gift recipients about their preferences, but our research shows that a) recipients don't care about being asked and b) you can give better gifts that way.
Hi Jeff ! I have a question regarding involvement in a purchase, is there an increasing trend to become highly involved in the purchase of even low value object ? I find myself doing this during the pandemic doing comparison searches for a bulb which costs 10 dollars. Is this an exception ? Or is there some underlying psychological reason isolated to me ? Absolutely. Two reasons this could be happening. 1) With more free time, the threshold for what merits deep research drops a lot. 2) Many people are facing financial hardships, and so making sure every dollar is well spent becomes really important.
Hi Jeff, Thank you for the great AMA. Where do you see the future of insights departments in consumer companies? Most companies looks like giving up on ethnographic and in person research and focus on data analytics. I speculate management is under great pressure and in the meantime aspire to Google, Amazon etc. What is your take of insights departments future in large companies? Thank you! Exploratory research like ethnographies, interviews, and focus groups is really useful for brainstorming. But they are a poor substitute for quantitative data. Now, that doesn't mean "big data"...just data that has larger samples and is better representative of populations. Surveys are still amazing. When we want to forecast an election, we don't use big data, we conduct a political poll. They work.
But yes, right now, AI and machine learning are the hot new ideas on the block and everyone wants in on them. There is plenty of amazing applications of AI/ML, but what they can't do is tell you "why". As in, why did someone choose this option over that one? Or why are people motivated by this goal or that goal? Those types of answers allow you to apply knowledge in completely novel contexts. AI/ML needs to be trained on a specific type of data for a specific type of task. It is AMAZING at that. But as soon as you introduce a new context or new set of experiences, it fails. That's where good old fashioned surveys and behavioral experiments come in.
If a program was built to help us make better decisions, do you think we would use it? Do you think we can listen to a program’s advice better than we do from experts? We already do. Weather forecasts tell us how to dress. Facebook tells us what to think. Tinder tells us who to date. Etc... etc...
A program that EXPLICITLY tells you what to do won't work too well. People like to feel like they have free will. They don't, though. We are greatly influenced by our environment (not just technology) whether we know it or not. As one example: I can guess your weight reasonably well just by knowing your zip code (please don't make me actually do this as I'm not in the business of public shaming!). If we had true free will and agency, that should be impossible. Instead, we are the products of our environment.
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60641 Chicago? I believe Illinois has 30-35% obesity (I'm doing this quickly and not looking at your zip specifically), so pretty high weight.
Hi Jeff! Since I'm a 14 yrs old and knew nothing about what you study, I have very limited questions I can ask. But as I have observed, people are often sheepish and will consume as the trend goes. What is the most unexpected trend, worldwide? P.S. will defo check out your channel I don't expect most people to know my work (I like to think my ego isn't THAT big!), so no worries!
You're right. Trends will drive a lot of human behavior. We are social creatures and follow what others do much more than we care to admit. As for the most unexpected trend, that's really hard to say. Maybe this is too broad, but I'm surprised by how short people's attention span is when it comes to current events. News cycles used to last for weeks, now they last for hours. I suppose I know that people don't have long attention spans, but I'm still surprised.
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Any underlying reasoning for this? For the short attention spans? We can invoke evolutionary psychology, which I'm not a big fan of, and it would suggest something like a tensions between exploring and cultivating. So it would argue that our ancestors needed to have some reason to leave their immediate tribe to find new resources. So perhaps our attention spans are short b/c of this and the current environment exaggerates that behavior.
Have you done(or can you point to) any research relating to the decision making/not making around getting rid of possessions? I have a relative who keeps anything that has a perceived value as in could be sold on ebay/garage sale which they never sell. They are otherwise rational, clean, don't over consume..def not hoarder territory.. but I struggle to convince them that the old digital camera that's been sitting for 3 years could just be disposed of. Hoarding is definitely a thing. There isn't much in the study of item disposition in the empirical world of research (lots of interesting qualitative work that I'm less familiar with). The big exception to this is the Endowment Effect. The short version is that you value items you own more than if you don't own it. So a mug sitting on a store shelf is worth, say $10 to you, but as soon as you own it is worth, say, $20 to you. Nothing changed except your ownership of it. That explains some of hoarding behavior, but not all of it.
For a qualitative research paper on the topic, see here: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mcb/216/2010/00000013/00000001/art00001
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I suppose I have the Endowment Effect. Everytime I find something valuable i dont have the will to let it go. Even though i can sell it and re buy it later, or buy something similar haha. It's like I want to take the most of it and use it til it brakes, go missing, or whatever. The endowment effect isn't infinite. As in, it's not that you won't be willing to sell your items for ANY price, it's just that your willingness to sell is higher than your willingness to buy.
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Hey Professor, appreciate the AMA. A couple of questions: 1) Just from my own thoughts banging around in my head and observations I've made during the pandemic, do you see the pause our society went through and the economic downturn effecting the psychology behind materialism? It seems the American "push for more no matter what" mind state took a eating and I think I'm seeing some consequences of that. 1) It's possible, but my pretty strong prediction is that within 1-2 years of the pandemic ending, we will be back to where we were beforehand in terms of materialism and general behavior. Extreme events like a pandemic seem like they are life changers. For some, that's true (e.g. someone loses a loved one), but for most it's not. We are inherently myopic and think that the thing in front of our noses is the only thing that exists.
2) I'm a current medical student and we get inundated with so many studies that it's overwhelming. Trying to practice evidence based medicine is really hard in an atmosphere that prioritizes publishing with little regard to quality. Do you ha e ways of navigating that I could apply to my day to day? Thanks again. 2) I can't speak to medical research, but that problem exists in all academic fields. The best thing to do is to let science happen. There will always be flashy new findings, but the ones that really matter will get replicated over and over again...and will get built on. The BS ones tend to just die out. That's not a full proof approach to vetting research, but it's better than just assuming everything you see published is true and/or important.
I am a former CMU student. How do you feel about CMU's decision to appoint Richard Grenell as a senior fellow? And how can we do something to fight against it because it seems they are not listening the current student body? Recently, the fence was vandalized against BLM (they wrote "all lives matter" over the previously written "black lives matter"). How are you working to build a more inclusive community at CMU and to fight for those who need it? How can former students help? I signed the petition to revoke his appointment and stand by that completely. I do understand why the university is upholding it, but I am embarrassed to have him associated with CMU.
As for the fence, the CMU Provost sent a really great letter immediately after it all happened condemning the vandalism and supporting BLM. Personally, I try VERY hard to do things like call on students of all races and genders and not let white men (of which I am one, btw) dominate conversations. I try to make sure that examples I use to highlight ideas include more than just typically white and/or male oriented products. I have been trained in Green Dot deescalation for sexual assault and violence. I am on the university academic disciplinary committee and have direct say over infractions like harassment or discrimination. And I sit on my college's Faculty Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee with the hope of including representation and inclusion of URM and female faculty. I care about this topic a LOT and do what I can...still probably not enough.
As for alums, if you see behavior at CMU that you think is antithetical to inclusiveness, let the administration know. Get your fellow alums to weigh in. The university wants your sweet sweet alumni donations. If you are all pissed off, they'll reply.
Hey Professor! I absolutely love to give. But I feel so awkward being thanked. And I dont really like receiving gifts. What would the psychology behind that be? Great question. It's hard to know without more detail, but I'd guess that some of that anxiety is about attention...as in, your lack of desire for it. As for not liking receiving gifts, maybe you have just not received that many good gifts? Again, it's really hard to say without knowing a bit more about you and the gift giving contexts you're involved in. If you want to share more, I can try to answer better, but totally understandable if you don't!
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Well, if I think more deeply....whenever I need something, I feel like it's up to me to make me happy. I usually don't really ask anyone else. Whether I need a massage, have a getaway, or get my dream dog, I just do it myself. As an aside, self-gifts are great! You get what you need, and nothing else. No issues there.
To your question, though, I do wonder if you just haven't receive that many great gifts. Yes, gifts can fall flat and the recipient might not love them, but when they hit, they not only provide the value from the gift itself (e.g. a great bottle of wine) but ALSO the sentimental value from the associations that the gift brings up (e.g. who gave it to you and under what circumstances...like for a birthday or graduation).
Hi Jeff, I have a job application at a place where they do conjoint analysis, something I have never done before. Got any tips? Do you have any thoughts on the technique in general? Personally as someone who takes surveys I find it very abstract (e.g. "Would you rather buy a $5 toaster with two slots vs. a $20 toaster that takes bagels?" I don't know!). First, good luck with the job application! Conjoint is a really useful tool when used correctly (like any tool, I suppose). The short version is that it lets you extract utility weights for different dimensions (e.g. price, product size, product speed, etc...) without directly asking people to answer questions about those dimensions. So instead of saying "how important is price to you?" you would come up with product profiles that have varying price (among other things) and then have people choose between those profiles. You can then extract, using nothing more than regression analysis (though, practically, no one does it that way...they use software like Sawtooth or SPSS Conjoint), how important those dimensions are for any given person.
the technique is tedious in that respondents have to make LOTS of pair-wise comparisons, but the end product can teach you a lot about what people actually value.
One key is to make the task as simple and realistic as possible. So the example you gave is confusing and wouldn't work too well. But I asked you to choose between a $20 toaster with 2 slots vs. a $30 toaster with 3 slots" that would work (in reality it would be more complex than that). You'd be forced to tell me if you prefer a cheaper toaster with fewer slots or a more expensive one with more slots. There's not right answer, but I would learn about those two dimensions for you. I'd need a lot more pair-wise tradeoffs to do this right, but that's the general idea.
Do you find that there are significant differences between particular groups? Does age influence gift giving habits more then sex, or some other factor? Just curious about the general trends of gift giving between groups. Super general question I know, so feel free to just call me out on it Definitely difference across genders as you would expect. More jewelry given by men to women. More gadgets given by women to men. Not so much in terms of age, though I've never really directly looked at that. The reality is that most gifts aren't that exciting. They tend to be things that are popular in a given year or old standbys like gift cards and ties. There certainly are amazing gifts and gift givers out there, but the vast majority of actual gifts given are pretty mundane. But that's not a bad thing if the recipient still likes what they get!
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Yeah, sounds about right. And yeah if everyone is chipper it's all good :) Is there a sort of gift quality vs quantity data? Like is it better to get more frequent smaller gifts or largemore expensive gifts less frequently? Smaller more frequent gifts every time. I have some new work on obligatory vs. non-obligatory gifts. Basically, you can make someone very happy by giving a small gift on a random Tuesday compared to a much nicer gift on their Birthday. More random-tuesday gifts every time!
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Thank you! :) will the results of that be on ur channel? Probably not. The channel isn't about my research, but rather about how to understand data more broadly. But the results will hopefully be published soon!
How extensive are the consumer psychology divisions in companies like apple? Lots of variation. Places like apple, google, amazon will have a lot of depth in terms of psychologist and consumer behavior researchers. But those are the gold standard. Most will rely on consultants to help out
How does education on finance and economics affect consumer behavior? Does knowing the way our brains make consumer decisions or how businesses try to get you to buy change how you shop? If you understand better how firms are trying to entice you to buy their products, you can absolutely counteract that better. For instance, $1.99 is really just $2...we all get that. But it turns out, having a 9-ending price really drives demand. That's nuts, but it does. IF you understand that, you stand a shot and not being duped by something so trivial. So educating yourself can be a big help. On finance and econ eduction, also really helpful, but in other ways. When you go to get a 30-year mortgage for your home, understanding how interest rates work, how inflation might affect home prices, how amortization tables work, etc... will help you make a much more informed decision about what is right for you.
hi! how do you predict consumer happiness/decision making etc during unprecedented times like this, when such a scenario may not have taken place before and you do not have much data to go on? also since the research you do and the data you collect are relevant to sales, do you see advertisements being affected by the pandemic in the long run from any changes in consumer mindset? It's really hard to predict much of anything right now. There are some basic behaviors and experiences that we can expect during a pandemic (e.g. increased anxiety, defaulting to familiar experiences, increased online shopping), but the reality is you're right...we just don't know. There's virtually no data on pandemic psychology/behavior, and all the pop-science stuff you read is just guessing at what will happen.
As for advertising, I think that once the pandemic is over, life will be back to what it was beforehand in almost every respect. People are amazing to adapting to changing circumstances. We are all doing that now with the pandemic and will all do that again when it's over. I don't think that advertising will be any different. Give it a year after we're all vaccinated (or whatever winds up being the solution) and most people will largely forget that we even had a pandemic. Yes, some will have big changes like lost loved ones or lost jobs, but for most people, life will return to what it was before Covid hit.
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thank you for answering, that is very interesting! the data you collect seems to be applicable to so many different fields. i asked about advertising as a student interested in media, but i can see it being useful in various types of companies be it internet security, food, travel etc. your job sounds really cool and i will definitely check out your YouTube channel :) Thanks!
Did you ever get to meet Herbert Simon? Wasn't he interested in similar things? I wish! I've been at CMU for 11 years. Simon passed away in 2001, so I missed him by a few years.
And yes, Simon was one of the original researchers into what's known as Bounded Rationality, it's the idea that humans don't act like computers and process all information simultaneously, but rather use heuristics and shortcuts to accomplish most tasks.
How influential was the work of Daniel Kahnemann to your current teaching? VERY! I don't know Danny personally, but my advisor got his PhD at Princeton when Danny was there, so lots of indirect influence that way. More generally, the field of decision making was build on his (and others) work, so hard not to be influenced.
Do you have any opinions on investors behavior during covid 19? More specifically how certain financial firms may have targeted people who have or would dabble in market that have recently lost work due to the pandemic? Caveat: I am not a finance professor. That said, my read is that fear of missing out (FOMO) is driving a lot of unexpected behaviors. The market has rallied like crazy since the March low and everyone wants in on that. It's hard to sit by and watch others make a killing while you don't.
As for practices like getting people who don't typically to invest to do so, there's two sides to this. On the one hand, getting more people involved with investing is a great thing. It used to be only that the very wealthy could invest and reap the benefits of the market, but now with places like Robinhood and fee-free trading on Schwab and the like, everyone can participate. On the other hand, MANY people don't understand risk well at all. They just see the possible upside and ignore the possibility of losing a lot (see that guy that committed suicide b/c of a terrible options trade...that's horrible). So firms and gov't have a responsibility to both educate investors and provide safeguards against uninformed behaviors.
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Hello, I just want to specify something in your comment! The young college student who committed suicide did so because a misprogrammed number on the trading site, Robinhood. Of course at the time he did not know it, but the value loss that was near $800,000, was showing the loss of the entire option, not his equity in the option, which was -$1,000 - -$2,000 if I remember right. It was Robinhood's terrible interface, not his misunderstanding of risk, which is horrible. If you would like a misunderstanding of risk on trading platforms, look no further than wallstreetbets, of course as you said FOMO is a huge factor, or if you're interested, some trading platforms intentionally advertise to consumers without properly representing risk. Thank you very much for this AMA, it has been quite insightful! Thanks so much for that clarification!
I have a question re: dating sites / apps. Is there a way to structure incentives so that the company is motivated to find good pairings between users? It feels like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, etc. don't have such an incentive currently I think they do have an incentive to make good pairings. Word of mouth is their strongest asset so having good matches is key. The challenge is that good matches are hard to come by and not everyone agrees on what good is. Is good marriage? Is it a fun night? Not clear.
Hello Professor and thank you for taking this time. As a professional that works in marketing and a person who suffers from mental illnesses, it is often disheartening for me to see so much valuable research and findings be easily made available for use by companies for marketing and consumer exploitation while it is so difficult for those who are struggling to find information that could be beneficial to living their lives more freely. What are your thoughts on this, and do you think there are ways we could change the system to better benefit individuals needs directly? The connection between marketing academia, marketing industry, and consumers just sucks. No one outside of academia reads marketing academic journals. Few in academia care if their work has applications (even in an applied field like marketing). And consumers can't be bothered (rightfully) to read through academic work to learn.
Some solutions that I've seen that work: - Marketing Science Institute: this is an organization whose entire goal is link academia and practice. They have conferences where they invite folks from both sides to collaborate. More of this please! - Pop-science social science books like Freakonomics, Blink, Predictably Irrational, etc...: They all have plenty of shortcomings, but the authors all do an amazing job of conveying the ideas of academia to the public. I think that's fantastic. More of this too please! - Consulting for non-profits. I do this and many others do as well. We use our knowledge to help non-profits do their amazing work. This is a way to avoid that "exploitation" you mentioned and instead use what we know to help others. There's not much money in this kind of consulting, which is why few do it, but it's really important. Maybe some kind of granting agency could earmark money for non-profits to hire academic consultants to help them use what we know to help the world. That would be awesome
hey, I'm a recent advertisement graduate, it's good to see someone from such a familiar field here anyways, when I do groceries, I always follow the list to a T, and I take no time at all getting the items, basically, I go against every little trick supermarkets have to "seduce" the customer, so my question is: what makes someone a "good customer"? is it someone highly susceptible to the marketing tricks at the market or someone who spends both their money and time more efficiently? Good can mean different things here. You sound like you're probably super loyal to products. That's pretty great for most companies. The fact that you don't succumb to unintended purchases definitely makes you less attractive in one capacity, but your predictability makes you very attractive in other ways. If I could run a company where every customer always bought the same thing every week, I would LOVE that. I would know how to schedule raw material purchases, delivery schedules, etc... I would have a steady and dependable income. If, however, I relied just on getting lucky and catching the eye of customers as they passed my products on store shelves, that would be a whole lot more difficult a business plan to execute.
Hi Jeff, I have always geared my life towards maxing out the benefits and deducting the losses for example leaving my family in order to search for better life oportunities, ditching jobs where I felt safe in favor of new and more promising ones. And by this logic I have reached quIte far in my life. But at the end achieving all this goals don't yields the expected satisfaction. However I'm pretty sure that don't doing this would be even worse. Why does it seems that no matter if the desitions taken are the best at my point of view it still seems like I need more than the goals I have achieved. Why is disatisfaction the expected result? Wow, that's a lot to give up for goals! People are inherently likely to make what are known as upward comparisons. We don't look at the people who we have done better than, but instead focus on the few who done better than us. The classic example is Silver Olympic medalists. They should be elated, but instead they just covet the Gold medalist.
Beyond that, in your specific case, it's hard to say for sure, but we know that close relationships are the number one driver of life satisfaction. If you've given those all up in pursuit of some other goal, that might explain things a bit. Take that with a grain of salt as all I know about you is summed up in 100 words or so!
Hello Jeff, glad to see this AMA here! I'm a statistics student in Brazil (one of my professors got his doctorate degree at Carnegie Mellon University, in fact!). Much of what we learn nowadays is related to careers pertaining the finance fields. Other stuff includes academic research mixed with other fields. I see myself as a data analyst for a big bank someday, but I always think: is there any career for a data scientist thats underrated by modern standards but still awesome and rewarding, in your opinion? Go work for a non-profit! It's now where the money is, but many need help from data scientists. You can actually change the world that way!
Which US dollar bill is your favorite? Cash? You still use cash?
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For coke yeah Oh, in that case.... Nope, not replying and losing my tenure :)
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Prof, you have a bias. OP mean Coca Cola. I don't drink soda either :)
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My take on fixing the "Star Wars" Sequel Trilogy (Part 3)

If you're curious: Part 1 is HERE, and Part 2 is HERE.
STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII — THE LAST JEDI (Part 2)
As the battleship Comet Chaser flees the destruction of the planet Coruscant, New Republic officers frantically man the guns and attempt to call for help. But as they soon learn: calls for help are coming in from all over the galaxy.
"We're getting a distress signal!" one officer yells. "The Black Fleet is attacking Corellia!"
"The Crimson Legion just landed on Mon Calamari!" another officer calls.
"The Dark Chosen are on Carida! They're reporting thousands dead—soldiers and civilians!"
"The True Sith are bombing Naboo!"
All over the galaxy, Imperial loyalist groups are emerging from the shadows to attack the New Republic in a massive coordinated strike. Individually, each group would be no match for the New Republic fleet—but with the First Order's brazen attack on Coruscant, dozens of terrorist groups are finally coming together.
As the Comet Chaser fights its way through the swarming First Order starships, Leia confers with the fleet's admiral, who asks for her help in bringing Kylo Ren to justice—unaware that he's actually her son.
Suddenly, the bridge takes a direct hit from a First Order dreadnaught, and Leia and the admiral are sucked into the vacuum of space. Moments later, as Finn and Poe look on in astonishment, Leia reveals her long-nurtured Force sensitivity and manages to use her telekinetic abilities to propel her body through space and guide herself back to the airlock. She narrowly survives, but she collapses upon being brought back into the ship, and the officers are forced to take her to the sickbay as they make the jump to lightspeed and flee Coruscant.
Back on Ahch-To, Rey is gripped by a palpable sense of dread and fear as she senses that thousands of innocent lives have been snuffed out on Coruscant. As she looks to Luke for guidance, he collapses.
With his keen Force abilities, Luke feels every individual life as it ends, and he feels each moment of terror and pain. He instantly knows what's happened.
"Ben..." he gasps. "What have you done?"
As Luke shares his vision of the destruction of the New Republic's capital at the hands of the Star Hammer, Rey begs him to leave Ahch-To to aid his old comrades, but Luke sadly shakes his head and turns away. As Rey follows him into his stone temple, he tells her that the Jedi were never as great or powerful as they were made out to be, and they caused nearly as much death and destruction as they stopped.
When Rey implores Luke to remember all the good that he did in his younger days, Luke stubbornly insists that he never amounted to much either. Now that Kylo Ren has turned his wrath on the galaxy, Luke finds himself haunted by his memories of the last time he saw Kylo, when he tried to save him from the allure of the Dark Side—and failed.
As he and Rey sit down together in the temple, Luke finally opens up about his brief time as Ben Solo's teacher.
"For many years, there was balance," he says. "And then I saw Ben. My nephew with that mighty Skywalker blood. And in my hubris, I thought I could train him. I could pass on my strengths. Han was Han about it, but Leia trusted me with her son. I took him and a dozen students, and began a training temple. By the time I realized I was no match for the darkness rising in him, it was too late."
"What happened?" Rey asks.
"I went to confront him," Luke says. "And he turned on me."
As Luke flashes back to his younger days, we see a brief vision of Luke approaching a young Ben Solo as he lies in bed in his quarters at the temple. When Ben opens his eyes and sees his uncle standing over him, he moves to draw his lightsaber, and he raises his hand. Calling upon the full might of his powers, Ben unleashes a blast of Force energy—and the walls of the temple come crashing down, burying Luke in stone rubble.
"He must have thought I was dead," Luke says. "When I came to, the temple was burning. He had vanished with a handful of my students and slaughtered the rest. Leia blamed herself, but it was me. I failed. Because I was Luke Skywalker. Jedi Master. A legend..."
As the Comet Chaser drops out of hyperspace at the head of a small fleet of surviving New Republic warships, the ship's ranking officer takes stock of the New Republic's unfolding crisis.
With the death of the admiral, his second-in-command—Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo—takes command of the fleet and orders her mechanics to begin repairs. As reports of mounting casualties and continuous attacks continue to pour in, Holdo soon realizes that every Republic world within reach of a hyperspace jump is now under siege by Imperial militants. For the moment, the fleet is alone, with no backup or safe harbor in sight. Worse still: at least half of the Galactic Senate and the New Republic High Command were killed in the escape from Coruscant. The New Republic is in shambles, and it may never rebuild itself.
As the crew awaits orders from their new commanding officer, Holdo gives them just one: keep flying.
Upon learning that Leia brought two civilians onboard, the ship's first mate gives Finn and Poe the opportunity to temporarily join the Comet Chaser's crew as active-duty crewmen. Accepting the offer, they're assigned to a mechanic squad alongside a new recruit named Rose Tico.
As they bond with Rose, Finn and Poe tell her all about their adventures on Jakku, Takodana and Ilum, and they open up about their lives before the two of them crossed paths. Finn admits that he's a former operative of the First Order himself, and Poe admits that he's a member of the underground Resistance movement.
Much like Finn and Poe, Rose was born into poverty in a backwater world on the Outer Rim—but she ultimately chose to join the military, believing that she could make a better life for herself by serving the New Republic. Now that the New Republic might not exist anymore, though, Rose feels adrift. In spite of their differences, the three realize that they have a common enemy in Kylo Ren.
To give Rose a glimmer of hope, Finn and Poe share a secret with her: just a few weeks ago, Finn managed to find a map that led directly to Luke Skywalker—and they have a friend who went looking for him. After ten long years, the legendary Jedi Knight might finally be returning to aid the galaxy in its darkest hour. And if anybody can beat back the tide of the Imperial cause, it's him.
Their bonding is interrupted when a small fleet of First Order starships suddenly drops out of hyperspace, with Kylo Ren's flagship in the lead. Somehow, the First Order has managed to track the fleet through hyperspace.
Moments later, the ship trembles as the First Order takes aim and fires, and alarm sirens blare as Holdo calls the ship's crew to their stations.
As a tense space battle ensues, the trio are forced into the fray as the Comet Chaser begins taking damage, and they're ultimately forced to don pressurized spacesuits and venture onto the ship's exterior to repair one of its primary laser cannons. When they do, Finn and Poe find themselves in a tense firefight with a squadron of the First Order's "Space Troopers", who attempt to sabotage the ship from the outside while wearing armored rocket-propelled spacesuits.
After defeating the Space Troopers and returning to the ship, they soon learn that the Comet Chaser is running disastrously low on fuel—and with the First Order apparently capable of tracking the fleet through hyperspace, they may not be able to use their hyperdrive to escape. But when Poe and Finn confront Holdo in hopes of finding out her plans to save the fleet, she angrily turns on both of them.
By now, Holdo has learned that her two new "civilian" recruits are far from civilians: Poe is a known member of the Resistance with ties to multiple high-profile radicals, and Finn is a former soldier of the First Order who's wanted by Planetary Security for resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. As an argument ensues, it becomes abundantly clear that Holdo has no love for the Resistance, and she's unwilling to overlook Finn's past.
"In the Resistance, you might talk a good game about freedom," Holdo says coldly to Poe. "But on this ship, I'm in charge! I won't be questioned by radical scum, or by a runaway terrorist! While you were skulking in back-alleys and shouting slogans, I was defending the borders of the Republic that my forefathers died for! You say that you're keeping Luke Skywalker's dream alive—but you don't even understand what that means! Luke Skywalker was a leader! He made sacrifices for us! What have you sacrificed, Dameron?"
Rose attempts to jump to her new friends' defense, but she's sternly silenced by Holdo, who orders her back to her post.
"When this is over, I want you off my ship!" Holdo angrily tells Finn and Poe. "You'll leave, and you'll never come back!"
After the argument, Rose comforts Finn and Poe, assuring them that she doesn't share her commanding officer's view of them. Later, when the trio find a secluded place to talk, Finn shares some key information with the others:
During his time with the First Order, he learned that Kylo Ren's technicians were working on a cutting-edge hyperspace tracker that could track enemy starships through hyperspace. If the First Order managed to attack them immediately after they dropped out of hyperspace, it's possible that they've completed their hyperspace tracker. If his hunch is correct, then they might be able to escape the First Order's fleet by shutting down the tracker. But since the tracker used an advanced computer mainframe to track ships' movements, it could only be shut down by hacking it.
"It's at the heart of the ship, guarded by at least a few dozen troopers," Finn says. "But if I could just get aboard that ship, I could find it. I know I could!"
"Holdo would never go for a plan like that," Rose says. "But if you really think it could save us all, then I can stomach breaking a few regulations."
"But what about hacking it?" Finn asks. "Could any of us really pull off something like that?"
"No," Poe says. "But I know somebody who could..."
As Poe shares with his friends: during his time with the Resistance, he and his comrades would regularly hack into holographic news broadcasts on Jakku to send out Resistance slogans. While hacking was never Poe's specialty, one of his old comrades was a man called "DJ" who was legendary for his skill with computers. Incidentally, DJ has owed Poe a favor ever since he saved his life during one of their many run-ins with Planetary Security—and according to a persistent rumor, he recently resettled in the city of Canto Bight on the planet Cantonica, which is only a short flight away.
Convinced that recruiting DJ could be the only way to disable the hyperspace tracker and save the ship, Rose uses her access codes to get Finn and Poe into the Comet Chaser's hangar, where she helps them steal a shuttle. Firing the shuttle's engines, the trio slips out of the hangar and sets course for Canto Bight.
On Ahch-To, Rey is startled by a vision of Kylo Ren, who calls out to her by name. Although she initially believes that she's hallucinating, she realizes that Kylo is using the Force to psychically communicate with her.
Still haunted by her memories of watching Kylo stab Han Solo to death, Rey tearfully asks him why he murdered his own father. Kylo insists that he killed him because he was his sole remaining link to his old life as Ben Solo, and he believed that he needed to cut all ties to his old life in order to realize his full potential. Kylo suggests that Rey also struggles with her lingering ties to her old life on Jakku, and that she also needs to cut those ties in order to become truly strong in the Force.
"Your parents threw you away like garbage," Kylo says. "But you can't stop needing them."
Kylo recalls the night that he destroyed Luke's temple and ran away. Although Luke claimed that Kylo lashed out at him after he tried to confront him about his temptation to turn to the Dark Side, Kylo tells a different tale: Luke feared that he would become more powerful than he ever was, and he tried to kill him in his sleep out of jealousy.
Rey shares her own secret: the previous night, she disobeyed Luke's warnings and snuck into the haunted cavern beneath his temple, lured by a strong feeling that it would finally answer her questions about the identity of her parents. Instead, she simply saw a reflection of herself: alone and lost, just as she's always been.
Extending his hand in a gesture of friendship, Kylo assures Rey that she's not alone, and he'll never abandon her like her parents did. And although she may have been forced to live in poverty and squalor in the New Republic, Kylo promises Rey that she can have a place at his right hand when he sets out to built a better society. The past is over—and only the future beckons.
"Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. That's the only way to become what you were meant to be."
Their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Luke, who is enraged to learn that Rey has been in contact with the man who killed Han Solo and destroyed his academy. Drawing her lightsaber, Rey confronts Luke about what happened between him and his old apprentice, telling him that Ben told her everything.
Luke doesn't deny that he drew his lightsaber on his teenaged apprentice while he slept, but he insists that Kylo didn't tell her the full truth about that night either. Luke saw a vision of the death and destruction that young Ben Solo was destined to wreak upon the galaxy when he embraced the Dark Side—and for one awful moment, he was tempted by the thought of preventing that future by killing Ben in his sleep. He came to his senses before he could strike the fatal blow, but the temptation lasted just long enough that Ben woke up to find his teacher standing above him with a lightsaber in his hand.
Even though he never struck Ben, Luke blames himself for his turn to the Dark Side, believing that his apprentice's feelings of betrayal and disillusionment ultimately pushed him over the edge, showing him that he couldn't put his trust in the Jedi. Haunted by his failure, Luke went into exile, and Ben found a new teacher: the Oracle.
Rey believes that there is still good in Kylo Ren, and he could be turned back to the Light Side—just like Anakin Skywalker was. Luke tries to persuade Rey that it's far too late for that, but Rey refuses to listen.
With that, she boards the Millennium Falcon and sets course for Kylo's ship, believing that she can convince him to leave the First Order and return to his family.
Landing just outside of Canto Bight, Finn and Rose find themselves entranced by the glitz and glamor of the upscale resort town, but Poe warns them that it can be a dangerous place. As they make their way through a swanky casino packed with wealthy alien patrons, they soon realize that most of the denizens of Canto Bight don't seem to know or care that the New Republic is under attack by terrorists and on the verge of collapsing.
As Poe explains: the people who spend their time in Canto Bight are rich enough that they're effectively outside the New Republic's jurisdiction, and they've built their own insular paradise that will outlast even the most destructive war. Many of them, in fact, have found ways to profit handsomely from the New Republic's ongoing clashes with Imperial militants—and whichever side wins, they'll find a way to get rich.
Inside the casino, Poe finds his old friend DJ entertaining a group of well-dressed businessmen at a private table, and the two old comrades warmly embrace. Their reunion takes a sour turn, however, when DJ admits that he's got gambling debts at the casino, and can't leave Canto Bight until he finds a way to pay them back. DJ claims that he can't help Poe hack into Kylo Ren's ship—but Rose manages to sway him by convincing him that she's a high-ranking officer in the New Republic fleet, and that she can use her influence to protect him from his creditors in exchange for his help.
In a frenetic chase sequence, the trio manage to escape from the casino with DJ in tow, but they end up with the casino's security detail on their tail when they realize that DJ is attempting to dodge his gambling debts and skip town.
On the outskirts of Canto Bight, the group makes their escape after hijacking a shuttle owned by one of the many arms dealers in the city. As they set course for the First Order's fleet, DJ rifles through the arms dealer's onboard computer, and soon finds evidence that he—like many other war profiteers in Canto Bight—was selling weapons to various Imperial loyalist groups in addition to the New Republic. While Finn and Rose are horrified to learn this, DJ tells them that it's simply the way of the galaxy: money and power are the only constants in the world, and "Good" and "Evil" are just imaginary concepts that exist to keep the wheels of commerce spinning.
DJ admits that he left the Resistance when he became disillusioned with their mission, and he came to believe that their ideals were just as hollow as anything that the Republic or the Empire ever believed in. Now, he devotes his life to the pursuit of money and power, the only things that can make a difference in the world.
"It's all a machine, partner," he tells Poe. "Live free! Don't join."
As Rey intercepts Kylo's flagship and flies into the docking bay, she finds Kylo waiting for her. She's cuffed by Stormtroopers and marched into the Oracle's private chamber to face his judgment. Although she tells Kylo that it isn't too late to break free of the Oracle's influence, Kylo doesn't seem to listen.
Undeterred, Kylo pushes Rey into the room. Flanked by his Praetorian Guard, the Oracle is waiting for her.
Just as Rey and the Oracle lock eyes, DJ's hijacked shuttle coasts into the hangar of the ship, and DJ shows off his hacking skills as he disables the ship's security system. After stealing a set of officer's uniforms from a nearby locker room, they proceed to the center of the ship in disguise.
Back on the Comet Chaser, Leia awakens from her coma to find Vice Admiral Holdo standing over her. As Holdo tells Leia: she has a plan to save the remnants of the New Republic Fleet—but it's a risky plan with no room for error.
As the First Order closes in on the fleet, Holdo plans to use the Comet Chaser as a decoy while she evacuates the passengers and crew in a small fleet of cloaked shuttles. The shuttles will slip away and take refuge in an abandoned Rebel Alliance base on the nearby planet of Crait. But in order for the escape to work, someone will need to stay behind to pilot the ship so that the First Order doesn't suspect that it's been abandoned. Holdo volunteers to stay behind, despite knowing that the choice will likely lead to her death.
As Holdo escorts Leia to a shuttle, the two women say their goodbyes, and Holdo reveals that it was Leia's heroic actions in the Galactic Civil War that inspired her to enlist in the fleet. As Leia boards a shuttle, Holdo leaves Leia with a simple farewell message:
"May the Force be with you—always," she says.
Back on Ahch-To, Luke carries a flaming torch up to the top of a hill, where his crude stone temple overlooks the ocean. He plans to burn the temple to ground—and with it, the sacred Jedi texts that have sat there for centuries.
Before he can set the temple ablaze, though, a familiar face stops him in his tracks. Yoda, his old teacher, has appeared to him, using the Force to speak to him from beyond the veil of death.
Luke defiantly tells Yoda that he plans to destroy the Jedi texts, ensuring that the Jedi Order will die with him—and nobody will ever repeat the Jedi's mistakes. Much to his surprise, though, Yoda takes the initiative himself, using his Force powers to set the temple alight with a bolt of lightning. Overcome with sorrow, Luke sinks to the ground and watches the temple burn.
Taking a seat beside his aging student, Yoda assures Luke that the sacred Jedi texts didn't contain any wisdom that Rey doesn't already possess. If the Jedi are truly going to survive into a new era, they can't spend all of their time looking to the past for answers. Instead, they must look to the future and put their faith in the next generation. And although Luke may never be able to undo his mistake that drove Ben Solo to the Dark Side, he can ensure that Rey doesn't go down the same path that he did.
"I can't be what she needs me to be," Luke says, hanging his head.
"Heeded my words not, did you?" Yoda asks. "Pass on what you have learned! Strength, mastery. But weakness, folly, failure, also. Yes... Failure, most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is. Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters."
Contemplating his master's words, Luke looks to the sky.
As they make their way through the winding hallways of the flagship, Finn, Poe, Rose, DJ and BB-8 find themselves surrounded by First Order troops, who quite clearly knew that they were coming.
It turns out that DJ sent a secret message to the First Order while flying the others to the ship, promising to deliver three high-ranking Republic soldiers into their custody in exchange for having his debts cleared. Poe lashes out in anger as he realizes that his friend betrayed him, but the soldiers force him and his companions to their knees, preparing to execute them.
In the Oracle's chamber, Kylo confiscates Rey's lightsaber and presents it to his teacher as a gift. As the Oracle lies back in his bed, he clasps the lightsaber in his gnarled hands, laughing a low, mirthless laugh.
Taunting Rey, the Oracle reveals that he and Kylo know about the Republic's plan to evacuate their fleet. Kylo already used the Force to locate their shuttles, and he ordered his crew to target them and destroy them as soon as they were all boarded. Moments later, the ship's guns begin firing—and Rey is forced to watch as she stands at the nearest viewing window, looking out across the vast gulf of space as one shuttle after another explodes. As dozens of lives are snuffed out with each explosion, she feels a sharp pain in her heart.
Back on the Comet Chaser, Vice Admiral Holdo watches in horror as the fleeing transport ships are blasted into oblivion. Her plan to evacuate her crew has failed, and the last remnants of the New Republic fleet may die. Unless she can come up with a new plan to save them...
Thinking fast, she takes the helm of the Comet Chaser and prepares to turn it around. As the First Order's guns continue to target the defenseless transports, they don't see her aiming the prow of her ship at the center of their fleet...
The Oracle turns to Kylo.
"The end of your journey nears, my worthy apprentice," he says. "The ultimate power awaits you. But remember your lessons well: the stories of the strong are written in the blood of the weak. If you would claim the ultimate power, none may challenge you. Least of all, Skywalker's apprentice."
As a final test, the Oracle orders Kylo to kill Rey, proving that he will not be held back by mercy or compassion as he embarks on his last journey.
Kylo looks across the room at Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, which Rey stole from his personal shrine. Two great Jedi in the Skywalker bloodline have wielded that lightsaber. One of them fought for the Dark Side, and the other fought for the Light. But which path will Kylo choose when he reclaims his birthright? For the first time in a long while, Kylo feels his soul cleft by doubt. Is there a third path, somewhere between light and darkness—or is he doomed to become a monster?
Raising his hand, Kylo reaches out with the Force, and the lightsaber floats into the air. But before he summons the lightsaber it to his hand, he ignites the blade and stabs the Oracle through the heart, killing him.
Enraged, the warriors of the Praetorian Guard charge at Rey and Kylo with weapons drawn. In an intense battle, the two of them fight the Praetorian Guard side-by-side, narrowly winning after a long and grueling duel. As Rey looks at the Oracle's dead body, she realizes that Kylo spared her life and chose to save her, and willingly chose to kill his own master instead of her. Perhaps she was right all along, and Kylo really does want to abandon the Dark Side.
When Rey looks out at the remnants of the Republic fleet, she realizes that there are still a handful of shuttles left, but the First Order's guns are still firing on them. Only Kylo can give the order for them to stop shooting.
Rey asks Kylo to order his men to cease fire. But to her horror, he refuses.
At the end of his journey with the Oracle, Kylo has become convinced that both the Dark Side and the Light Side are built on lies, and he refuses to follow either path.
"It's time to let old things die," Kylo says. "The Oracle. Skywalker. The Sith, the Jedi, the Rebels... Let it all die. Rey, I want you to join me. We can rule together and bring a new order to the galaxy!"
Rey, however, sees Kylo for the delusional would-be tyrant that he is. While Kylo might believe that he's embraced a higher worldview beyond Light and Darkness, his mindless pursuit of power has led him down a path trodden by countless murderers and tyrants.
Finally, Kylo tries one last ploy to convince Rey to join him: he reminds her of her journey into the cave, and of what she saw there. While Rey couldn't bring herself to say it outright, Kylo knows that Rey learned the identities of her parents—and he knows that she was utterly devastated by what she learned. And if she could only admit the truth about them, she could finally be persuaded to abandon the past and embrace a new future.
"Do you want to know the truth about your parents?" Kylo asks. "Or have you always known, and only hidden it away? You know the truth. Say it."
As her memories of the cave come flooding back, Rey's eyes brim with years.
"They were nobody..." she softly whispers.
Kylo nods.
"They were born on a peaceful planet at the edge of the galaxy," he says. "And when the last war came to their doorstep, the Rebels and the Empire fought over their world. Your mother was pregnant when she watched the skies burn. And when she cried out to the heavens, neither side answered her. Your parents fled to Jakku in search of a better life, but they knew that they couldn't keep a child fed and clothed. So they abandoned you in the slums, and they never saw you again. Your parents have been dead for years, Rey. They starved to death in a back-alley at the heart of the city. They died cold, hungry, and forgotten. And nobody cared."
At last, Rey finally understands to full truth of who she is.
She isn't the heir to a proud legacy, and there's no momentous destiny laid out for her. She's just the cast-off daughter of two poor, homeless refugees who were driven from their home by a war that they never wanted any part in, and she was never meant for great things.
Perhaps Kylo is right. Maybe there is no real difference between the Dark Side and the Light. To a pair of homeless refugees, after all, it didn't matter which side won the war. Neither side cared about them. And neither side would care if it happened all over again. Maybe letting it all die really is the only way forward.
But no. If there's really a better future for the galaxy, an unrepentant murderer like Kylo Ren won't be the one to bring it into being.
Rey raises her hand and reaches out with the Force, attempting to grab back Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber. Kylo raises his hand and attempts to pull the lightsaber toward him. As Rey and Kylo grapple over the lightsaber, the force of their exertions threatens to pull it apart.
Back on the Comet Chaser, Vice Admiral Holdo keys a command into her control panel, plotting a jump to lightspeed—right through the heart of the First Order's fleet.
The jump will require incredibly precise calculations—but if she can pull it off correctly, she could cripple the First Order's warships, possibly buying the transports the time that they need to complete the journey to Crait.
With her course plotted, Holdo takes a deep breath...and engages the ship's hyperdrive.
BOOM!
For a moment, time seems to stop as the Comet Chaser engages its hyperdrive and tears through the First Order fleet in a streak of light. One by one, the First Order's ships shatter and explode, torn apart by the herculean force of the Comet Chaser's hyperdrive engines as they propel the ship forward in a suicide run at the speed of light.
Chaos erupts in Kylo's flagship as it's rocked by the explosions of nearby ships.
In one part of the ship, a squad of First Order troops are thrown against a bulkhead before they pull their triggers and execute Finn, Poe, Rose, and BB-8. Taking advantage of the distraction, they make a break for it, running toward the ship's hangar.
Back in the Oracle's chamber, Rey and Kylo are thrown to opposite ends of the room—just as Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber splits in two.
Leia stands at the window of her transport ship as she watches the First Order fleet explode.
After fighting their way through dazed and confused First Order troops, Finn, Poe, Rose and BB-8 make it to the hangar and hijack a First Order shuttle. Gunning the engines, they set course for Crait to join the rest of the fleet.
On the surface of Crait, Leia takes refuge in the abandoned Rebel Alliance base with the last few survivors of the fleet—a few dozen soldiers, technicians, and crewmen. Finn and his companions manage to pilot their hijacked shuttle to the base, and they take their place among the assembled New Republic troop as they prepare to make their final stand against the First Order.
Within the hour, Kylo Ren's fleet lands on Crait, and a massive army of tanks and walkers disembarks from the First Order's landing craft, preparing to make their move on the armored base.
The soldiers make a valiant effort to drive them back—but soon, the base's wall comes crashing down. From inside, a crestfallen Leia watches as the First Order's forces advance.
Then, just when she least expects it, a familiar figure walks into the room. A bearded man with weary eyes, dressed in the brown robes of a Jedi Knight. It's Luke!
For the first time in ten years, brother and sister are reunited. As their eyes meet from across the room, they smile. A moment passes, and Luke walks forward to embrace Leia.
Luke's years of buried regrets come bubbling to the surface as he remembers the day that he left his sister behind, but he knows that he can't undo whatever pain he caused her.
"Leia, I'm sorry..." Luke says.
I know," Leia says. "I know you are. I'm just glad you're here at the end."
"I came to face him, Leia. And I can't save him."
"I held out hope for so long, but I know my son is gone."
Luke gives her a wary look.
"No one's ever really gone," he says.
Without another word, Luke strides out onto the salt plains of Crait, lightsaber in hand. Almost immediately, Kylo catches sight of him from the cockpit of a walker.
Overcome with blind rage, Kylo orders every one of his armed vehicles to target Luke and blow him away. They obey his order—but when the smoke clears, Luke is still alive, and there isn't a scratch on him.
Kylo exits his walker. Lightsaber in hand, he steps forward to confront his master.
"Did you come back to say you forgive me?" Kylo asks mockingly. "To save my soul?"
"No," Luke says simply.
As master and apprentice ignite their lightsabers, they circle each other and begin to duel.
Moments later, it finally dawns on Poe: Luke is distracting the First Order to buy them enough time to escape. At first, it seems impossible to slip out undetected—but with some quick thinking, they manage to find a hidden tunnel amid the disused mines at the interior of the base.
Luke's duel with his old apprentice rages on. Finally, as Kylo steps back and prepares to charge at his old master one more time, Luke stares him down.
I failed you, Ben," Luke says. "I'm sorry."
"I'm sure you are!" Kylo spits back. "The New Republic is dead! The war is over! And when I kill you, I will have killed the last Jedi!"
Luke smiles.
"No," he says. "The Rebellion is reborn today. The war is just beginning. And I will not be the last Jedi!"
Kylo sneers.
"I'll destroy Rey, and you, and all of it," he says.
"No," Luke says, still undaunted. "Strike me down in anger, and I'll always be with you. Just like your father."
Screaming with rage, Kylo charges at Luke, raises his saber, and brings it down for a killing blow...
...But when his blade comes down, it passes through Luke's body as if he's a ghost.
Gaping in disbelief, Kylo steps back. And at last, he realizes what has happened: Luke never left his island refuge. He used the full might of his Force abilities to project himself to Crait through the astral plane, allowing himself to distract the First Order and buy the New Republic's forces a few precious moments to escape.
Many years ago, Luke nearly succumbed to the temptation of anger and killed his young apprentice. Now, he has mastered that anger. Heeding the words of his mentors, he found a way to use the Force to save his old comrades without taking a single life. Blinded by his anger at the teacher who failed him, Kylo has been vainly fighting an illusion.
Once again, Luke smiles.
"See you around, kid," he says.
With that, Luke vanishes—leaving Kylo standing alone on the salt plains.
Back on Ahch-To, Luke sits cross-legged at the top of a rocky hill, his body levitating just a few feet off the ground as he reaches out with the Force and projects himself to Crait. As soon as he's confident that his work is done, he opens his eyes and floats back down.
His limbs tremble with fatigue, sweat coats his body, and blood drips from his nose. He has given the last remnants of the New Republic a fighting chance—but this last great feat of Force magic has taken every last ounce of his strength. Now, he has nothing left. At long last, he can die at peace.
As the sun sets over the wind-tossed seas of Ahch-To, Luke lies back against a rock and breathes his last breaths. Moments later, his body fades away and vanishes as he becomes one with the Force. When the wind picks up, it blows away his empty robes.
As Finn, Poe, Rose, and Leia lead the remnants of the New Republic's forces through the mines, they come to a pass blocked by fallen rocks. It seems impossible to make it through—but then the rocks rise into the air as if by magic, clearing the way.
At the other side of the pass, they see a familiar figure standing proudly with her hand raised, using the Force to lift the rocks aside. It's Rey—and she's standing in front of the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca by her side! After her battle with Kylo, Rey managed to escape his ship in the Falcon, and she made it to Crait just in time to help the New Republic's forces escape.
Together, the soldiers board the Falcon and soar into the skies of Crait, escaping in the nick of time.
Hour after the battle on Crait, the halls of the Falcon swarm with New Republic soldiers and crewmen, numbering in the dozens. They're low on supplies, they're far from safe haven, and they know that the First Order and their allies aren't far behind them—but they're still alive, and they've sworn to take the galaxy back when the time is right.
When things seem uncertain, Rey turns to Leia, who knows what it's like to be outnumbered and outgunned. While Rey isn't sure if they can build a fighting force out of a few dozen soldiers and a battered old freighter, Leia urges her to have faith.
"We have everything we need," Leia says.
As Rey walks away to join her friends, we zoom in on a shelf by Han's old dejarik board. Among the various assorted trinkets on the shelf is a set of dusty old books: the sacred Jedi texts. It turns out that Rey took the Jedi texts from the temple before she left Ahch-To. And while the temple was destroyed, the Jedi texts weren't.
Luke Skywalker is dead—but the wisdom of the Jedi lives on, and Luke's apprentice will carry on his legacy no matter what it takes.
On the other side of the galaxy, Kylo Ren sits alone in the Oracle's old chamber.
Rey and her companions slipped through his fingers, but the New Republic is still in ruins—and even if Rey can evade the First Order, she and her companions can never bring back the New Republic as it once was.
All over the galaxy, reports continue to pour in: most of the Core Worlds have fallen to attacks from Imperial loyalists, the New Republic fleet has been routed, and at least half of the Outer Rim worlds have seceded from the New Republic. With the New Republic a shadow of its former self, anarchy reigns, and there is no obstacle to the Knights of Ren and their ultimate mission. Yet until Rey dies, Kylo knows that he won't be able to rest.
But for now, none of that matters. All that matters is the quest for the ultimate power, which drew Kylo to the Oracle's side long ago. Once, the Oracle promised that he would guide Kylo to his destiny. But with the Oracle gone, Kylo has no choice but to embark down that path by himself. The road will be long and full of trials, but he's ready.
Kylo reaches into a metal chest that sits beside the space where the Oracle's life-support machine once stood. He pulls out a small object: an ornate wooden box with arcane symbols and characters etched along its surface.
He takes a deep breath and opens the box by a fraction of an inch—and golden light streams upon his face.
TO BE CONCLUDED...
TL;DR:
While the remnants of the New Republic fleet escape the destruction of Coruscant with the First Order in hot pursuit, Finn and Poe are temporarily pressed into service on the Comet Chaser’s crew while the ship attempts to find safe harbor. While serving on the crew, they find themselves clashing with their new commanding officer Vice Admiral Holdo, who looks down upon them for their pasts with the First Order and the Resistance.
Instead of simply disliking each other, Poe and Vice Admiral Holdo distrust each other because Holdo views the Resistance as dangerous radicals, while Poe believes that the New Republic is just as oppressive as the Empire. In the Canto Bight sequence, Poe accompanies Finn and Rose Tico to recruit DJ, and DJ is introduced as one of Poe’s former comrades from the Resistance. And instead of being "filthy junk traders who sold [her] off for drinking money", Rey's parents are revealed to be refugees from the Galactic Civil War who abandoned her in the slums of Jakku because they couldn't afford to raise a child.
In the final scene, Kylo Ren finds and opens a mysterious box in the Oracle’s quarters, which is hinted to be a key to the "ultimate power" that the Oracle promised him.
submitted by themightyheptagon to fixingmovies [link] [comments]

Shift Report

Divining wooly views gathered amidst shaven sheep hither
Withered over swithering stalls denial state of dither
Truth be told frank pens naif soliloquy
Safe as house path hath proven treachery
Steer clear of herd social immunity
Distanced readily available data parsed trendily
Blinks recount lost meanings earned from strife learned through catastrophe
Graft retained splices tour de force movie
Analyzed improvised differently
Can't regain past yet relive history
Elder protocols reference frames with specificity
Documentary denotes concise recusant heresy
Fish stink emanates spoils unquestioned head
Rather than responsible gods chose dead
Lightning rod shields guide flash EMP spread
Relevance revivalist revived rival survivalist
Diatribe analogous corroborates ridiculous
Atoms congress fortuitous naught sea
Devoid self restraint officiates ye
Fitting new attire inspiring streaking
Who protects us whilst we pay for havoc employ they reeking
Hypocritically childish generally speaking
Handshake implies word registers advice
Modern intelligence is artifice
Every three steps forward step back twice
Deities influence me aloof aligned schism in rhyme
Mother Hera ewe chimera godspeed breeds failed design
Bell weather brethren splay scapegoat supine
Veil of illusions enmesh conscious mind
Can't feel my legs good help is hard to find
Hawk departs from pleather glove turtle returns grounded dove
Counteract abet anyone lapped them twice yet still they won
Titans once asked before taking QE
With us or against me democracy
Issuance debt free usury for ye
Soon to be impacting all interested negatively
Cyclops blissfully fail to see plague kills with leniency
World saved through open window tsunami
Backdrops distinct radicle uprooted
Restless tartarus not I confuted
Reputed gambler prophet of doom rigged mind meld welds my tomb
Despondent preach not gloom be democratic or leave cocoon
Imploding race exploding time and space
Unfathomable depths shallow measures
Glasses adorned rose reflective pleasures
Erratic compass static attained gains unsustainable
Emphatically all ages deal unascertainable
Sentiment key to public interest
Democracy assess Big apple bests
Guiding hand meaning Pantheist behest
Seeking one's fulfillment complements of demagoguery
Building baseless pyramid in name of Great Recovery
Hallucination merits upheaval
Remit repreival persecute venal
Sufferance from nescience trumps all evil
Yon morrows martyr covets this abysmal cross commuted
Tread on entrenched fear submit control guiltily included
Govern is to rule as meant to intents
Resourceful proxy heir establishment
Record rallys infer where loans were sent
Pristine colosseums reared commerraderie Fed rum bread
Dropping said crumbs returns dread Which nevermore nary imbeds
Insolvent casino scenario
House always wins with my reservation
Sharing the bulk ignites indignation
Transparency Which critiques subtly speaks Feds peak repent
Weak covenants contained slain whence Green peripherals were went
Theses Ben delivered on depression
Maestro museum managed impression
Keynesian intervention harped dystopian opium
Appeal to supremacy bandwagon psychology
Latin arguementum ad nauseum
Better than expected mass approval
Refuse discard fantasy removal
If you audited our books write off markets on the morrow
No one do we answer to where wheelbarrows go we borrow
Sciences religious mythology
Philosophised finance dichotomy
Genetic archetypal entities
Conversations incidental informations monumental
Facets fawned fastidious selfless attires instrumental
Minions mimic Socratic opinions
Authority inbred majority
Consider selves distinct minority
Yield to ye inferiors subjectively superior
Mechanisms failing sublimation with interior
Greeks conceived benefits in politics
Propaganda versed all in rhetoric
Dwelled anarchic run redeem autarkic
World perceptions inconsistent to obtained views of my own
Optimism timeless shown fantastically overblown
Fate collapses upon observation
Ostriches banked on unexamined lives
Perturbations quantum fluctuations
Foregone measures austere pleasures enforced authenticity
Cessation trepidation ensures no future certainty
Whilst known speed and position now in sync
One makes ye taller yet none make me shrink
Doth not know thyself yore on the brink
Fulfillment will not quail forbidden face of foreign dangers
Entrainment derailed arranged marriage twixt incomplete strangers
Birds of a feather flock with the weather
One marked to market worth two under Bush
Lemmings allegedly demand a push
An existential exercise spins nihilistic nightmares
Nonconformed confirmed uncomfort spirals condescending stairs
Slaughter abolished pig sucklers now fly
Fed up rich bullshit Which lies upon lye
Doth need not for lipstick ride we bone dry
Left to right wrong motivations paved by best intention
Pound me with the cure denounce flesh as impure meets prevention
Overdue elixir panacea
Gold in led stead transmutes alchemist Fed
Spirits confirmed in actions idea
Though hungry swine will freely plow fall submissive tow the line
No offence is meant whence I commence casting pearls before thine
Lead thee to sustenance soon thou shall find
You feed a seed of rage contented caged
That Which hath been remains yet to be seen
One finds upon a wander from yon cave we've left regression
Whence without luminescence stem outlandish such obsessions
Actualized self's realization
Fasting of heart leaves no trace of ego
I fell here from Olympus apropos
Upshot in authenticity shows secure survivors test
Where indiscretions excesses discretely are repressed
Desperate knowledge grievous awareness
I first blew reed pipes but then I digress
Values eroded integrity
Climate corroded ideals irresponsibility
Satisfied my agency autonomous capacity
Bet Dow hath finally had a bad day
Bear in mind they will say twas anway
Old high still standing gold stones throw away
Shorting shooting slope of hope enormous towers treacherous
Each new era crashes in increasing half glass emptiness
Overabundance deserts time delay
Accounts inner morality decay
Strength in pessimism fear forfeits right
Dusk withdraws from sight as shade is drawn over dawn's early light
Narcissistic psychopaths inherited the earth our plight
Quarrying light inspired murky night flee
Ye gods laugh heartily ridicule me
Reckoning another day mine shall be
Subsequently I subsist shifting this rock as Sisyphus
Future pulls upon me as due ration to minus remiss
I'm half crazy bicycle built for two
Network circuitry daisy chained to you
How do I know what is reel to be true
Gather input sensations scrutinize for degradation
Dissembling dissemblance as lacking in resemblance
Singularity prophesied end be
Less threat than icons presently envied
Graven is our image in our idol
Misunderstood system holds revolutions banked on bridle
Give me dominion over doe I care not who makes law
Hegellian dialectic shock and awe
Fixed moments instability move becomes necessity
Moses leads bull rush reeds deceptive swaith
Crisis opportunity incompetence seasons good faith
Fallow plot begot furlough shrieks foul wraith
Yay though I plod through the valley of death
Evil gives comfort my rod and my staff
No fear preparest for my enemies
Parasitic symbiotes surviving vicariously
Job gyrations exploitations sloth thrive ubiquitously
Unnatural select evolution
Bad apple genes rot barrel pollution
Big bang extends concussions extrusion
Elude intrusion neath tapestry relay inscribed decree
Conspiracy theories deliquesced evidence coalesced
Duress dressed as justice undue process
Reduce the law to writ for oversight
Infinitely rules stretch fractally tight
Dollar press lever Wizards tweak whence practised Which deceiver
Feeding frenzy at the top on last chair hot potato drops
Animal farm irrigation believer
Cuckoos in nested loops launched retriever
Social ecological equity
Fauna all created equal although some are more than most
Perched aloft nights sleepless roosters backdate options after posts
Tell a vision avulsed exclusive boasts
Foxes bird box hens fake news oven roasts
Occupy Wall Street greeting champagne toasts
5G technology expandable densification
Cameras considering Laws actual ramifications
Depressions perpetuate FOMO motes
FIFO Ponzi scheme boat redeems fresh float
Gloat sessions connoted roat smote through goat
Destructions need demands feed for Which Fed never hesitates
Beyond salvations hope for damnation destined reprobates
Wolf in sheep's clothing with diplomacy
Bragging best ever broke economy
Pre warned of bubble in candidacy
Memories impeach me markets relapse collapse candor
Black and white deliberations compromise grey matters or
Burning empire riddled Nero fiddled
No new under the sun any longer
What doth not kill my will makes ye stronger
Suicidal quarantine commit sheer to absurdity
Crash course in urgency suspends to decade Odyssey
Engulf journey as is illusory
Entailed magical curtailed mystery
Reproduced sequence spawns duplicity
Great truths infect minds space whilst time distorts fabrics ablation
Balanced scales duration dual edged knife grinds calibration
Wildlife exhumed landslide menagerie
Submission supports popularity
War of attrition print press edition
Release Kraken abridged dictations unredacted memo
Cognitive mind is least informed second thought tis last to know
Feedback iterates habitually
Zombie apocalyptic shopping spree
Animal myriad corroboree
Discrepancies adorable approaching deplorable
Configured integrations simulate exaggerations
Conceptual reorganization
New century frail clings frayed to pale past
Dot com bust imprints last iconoclast
Tragic disposition anchored significance within story
Spherical lyrical expository mourning glory
Expansion dominates fertility
Appropriate most apt utility
Bubble envelops errs infinity
Bold ignorance advanced hind sights distilled new high arrogance
Underlying trauma repeats cycle till addressed complete
Sublates convergence becoming congeals
Cavernous kingdom stalagmite conceals
Peer not in mirror prefer not appeal
Sew a thought in hope to reap an action something real to feel
Neverland begotten old whilst kid futures are oversold
Life lived not lest bits of bites record it
Biased suggestions imbue news reported
Syrinx sears titans with my brand of creed
Written word ceded all forgotten need to practise recall
Calculated math skills lost computer brought thoughts holocost
Ensconced by lantern hung from beam of straw
Helios heals blow of iced ages thaw
Loyal to natural attributes raw
Extraordinary delusional madness of ye crowds
Trot proudly upon road to serfdom congregations praised aloud
Brave was this new world before eighty four
Hunger games in store jaybird tweets that score
Jehovah bore witnesses door to door
Insure myself against four horseman
paid my tithe expired spent
Sow ears flying high on credit barely do I afford rent
Time unwinds quickly at least doth for me
April showers levee spring bankruptcy
Litres live forever in latency
Bailing water steady rising deep subterraneously
Foresee floods invest in arks of financial calamity
Extraneously Rome's blaze radiates
Simultaneously Fed Witches toiled
Slow perniciously satiates frogs boiled
Crisis constructs messenger of sordid too tongued character
Stocks which rise so should slide chosen goose footing egg opposed side
Federal innovates imbibed bribed state
Reserves umpire status hunched hind home plate
Falling knife of fear impaled atmosphere
Short bets squeezed rife barren years unfruitful bleeds contango wine
Inverse ETFs unprecedented reverse splits declined
Nothing it's equal creature without fear
Can't fill hide with harpoons or head with spears
Mire strive dire try pull in Leviathan
Endless procrastination doth avert intent deflation
Unclear when routes passage appears clear as destination
Sorrows station seems my inculcation
Divides built up babble between nations
Seven trumpets summon revelation
Electrostatic circumstance transmits catalytic twist
Substitute reacted chemical transmits platonic tryst
Ironically passion not my goal
Ionically bonded blending coal
Mirrored dipole roll poised down rabbit hole
Experiment first ever repeats Laws defraud endeavor
Mississippi reflating dollar debt exchange creating
Wealth effect transfers helicopter drop
Fracking reserves crack too big to stop
Ineptitude or evilly adept
Calm filled the room as elephants silently drowned in tar pits
History Which hails tense whence Fed injections flew to market
Lucrative house flipping stained soil carpet
Real reign swamp purge comes to street again
Broken window theory frisk fallacy
Destructions need graciates feed for Which Fed never hesitates
Seven headed hydra twixt blaspheming regime duplicates
Purgatory epic allegory
Apathy lacks worry for avoidance
Dreams annoyance recurring clairvoyance
Complacent consternation burns concerned capitulation
Catacomb further catenates future pyroclastic blasts
Install a new partition date saved last
God creates man's imaged eternity
Man made device for immortality
Only way to beat life be articulate as dead machine
Foiling might be finding wanting nothing just as pleasing
Emoted thoughts and deeds confer disease
Viral joy contained anxious unease
Communicable known uncertainties
Mention stoic abstention receive lepers reprehension
Addend subconscious attention suchness sought destination
Protectionist tribal groupthink ensues
Misdirect blame profane color thou choose
Divide and conquer plan by Jove we use
Minting for a living tis nothing short of scintillating
Weaponry mass produce we entropy disintegrating
Rebirth essential in this finite trap
Technicals crucial analysis map
Impulse mined collective wiretapped caps
Souls endless extrapolating each threshold encapsulating
Mutually affecting Titans ever overreaching
Battles march business no fight beseeching
Cyanide reaction gold is leaching
Settle for distraction Athene’s teaching
Shares fabricate infrastructure bonds for manufactured war
Master in ways of deception weaving fleece her predilection
Declined vine illustrates interjection
Fundamentally ye add furthermore
Whole vacuus nature I find abhor
Each new day opportune to go by street sideshow pundits shout
Marginally most will comply seek aggressive salesman clout
Run through stampede proceed in funnel out
Mosaic tile code mixed mirage mud grout
Worm abated hook ate some fat cat’s trout
Informed when glad relate when mad great is not the worst we've had
Next quarter rates Which inflates translates to direct tabled fate
Disinformation chads dangling depart
Troublesome travel when horse pushes cart
Trojans craft driftwood regifted as art
Taken rate decision interest always is a given
Approached encroachment infringements lunged impingement I expunged
Spell manifests as living hell digests
Calcareous sponge absorbed rimstone plunge
Cookbook to serve lamb seals underhand
Sinter sauntered asunder plotting pillage of my plunder
Attack technique intervenes quoth slighted victim claims obscene
Cried mystified feeling such waste sprayed mace
Save face retrace find safety inside shrouded space
Access filter modified denied trash storage verified
Angels four spew brimstone fire scorched ingress half expected less
Trick talk turns back clock players profiles rotate roles resume
Covertly campaigned defiling my name
Creations Instigate destruction
Erupts surreptitious instruction
Bewildered heard shocked embrace loomed Gates of Hell gauge WHO won race
Military missionary hold prostrate to vaccinate
Chaotic Kronos ordered time consumed
Stow stoked fumes subsidies gave the gods room
Whilst land of the fraud is home to the knave
Babylon of living nonexistent through the golden age
Cassandra of this stage ilk ignores inklings of alarmed sage
Chicken little forebodes sky is falling
Rope a dope fades rationalisation
Brittle doth be fragile ye recalling
Loquacious news needs slews feigned of disambiguation
Mendacious or fallacious contagious be implications
Butterfly flapped wing doth not move a thing
But a gnat perhaps who's too GAD to fly
Financing is how but where is the why
Important that all patriots patronize conquesting troops
Dodge ye head stoop as pooping eagle swoops
Most dismissive uninspired missive
Perceptually far too derisive
Guiding hand not apparent visual
Missing cash flows continual residual bottom lines
Pinnochio hopes to know Which ideal conjures growth sublime
Dendrites potentially stimulate spine
Titanic torrents mist venetian blinds
Decidedly distort bilked disincline
Writhe in through chasm in awe open wide
Formless figures summon uniform pride
Dismiss discontent conveyors subside
Tributaries dispersed springs knowledge trees freeze molten ore
Splintering sparks displaced thick dark coruscate tangible floor
Cumulus clouds of primordial dust
Question our senses in sun god we trust
Sifted silts produce thunderbolts of Zeus
Oval elliptical orbits the folds tidal tendency
Blue sphere girds spoken word breathed clay Boulder Forge Company
Quality moulding is job number one
Caste mass producing consumes many sons
My duty to ensure we always run
Figured would be a piece of cake more at work than give and take
Thought this would be my big break but not knowing literally
Apprenticed construction now I maintain
Composite skill same commissioning game
Swim or wallow in Uranus disdain
I made the trade not for reward nor deemed security
Only gospel guarantee is confidence in mastery
Tasked to sit in a chair contemplate stare
Crosswords in wait for a breakdown repair
I study craves of machines which behave
Rhythmic clang links chain react percussional power set free
Insatiable harmony piques morbid curiosity
Beast belly bowel bubbles belch smelt death
To quota of product do I owe breath
Economic cauldron of corrosion
We operate Vesuvius ungodly hours breathing brine
Facilitate yon amplidyne oxygenate lavas shine
Steering eather into three cyclops cells
Myopically they motion for me when cycles in chaos my sirens knell
Lion hearted as Hephaestus take knee before crucibles hearth
Examine vitals symptoms prognosis deduce further impart
Volt amps transcend times root of three powers
Frequently electrons ebb in order
Arc bath gives rise to hot molten showers
May bring flowers demonstrate my will in accord rewards her
Athena is truth incarnate dream she is a movement
Immaculate perfection possessed no
need for improvement in her coveralls
Wert she to eaten apple I befall
Sand disseminates beneath hourglass curves she manipulates
How could I anticipate
Rapt hints had she to intimate
Roots hypotenuse squares summed pendulum
Enlightened visions profound pit this plum
On que she hooks her thunderbolts so ample in restriction
Destabilized my volts despite my amping up conviction
Magnetisms repulsive attraction
Bipolar feedback generates action
Machining floral dissatisfaction
Narcissus is spring can't this robot tool be taught anything
Recommence imaging thine vault undermined after fault
Intuit as her nuclear annihilates tumult
June accusations forced violation
Vulnerable to invalidation
Confrontations repudiation consents allegation
Placate June”s wells breached swell fore July conflagration
Use wu wei to vacate situation
But weightless behemoth ate all greenbacks
Can’t manage exit not even a crack
Inward forays shunned malfunction unknown overgrown morass
Cult of quantity all students get a pass coach seat class
God’s walled over all access to egress
Those who cannot do are experts at best
Past practise succeeds failures teach what needs
Viridescent pools dilate grey eyed dubious stressed madness
Feeling she was slighted by my passage through her nucleus
Disinterested I had disinterred
Down period Kondratieff winter
Intrinsic tragedy all fairy tales end inherently
Gave me what I wished for in a way I was not hoping for
Destiny permits paths forbade
How shallow wilt thou will wade
PCB cesspools black bile pitches glue
Smoldering sand dune trenches shore magmas excess residue
Admit this time smashing cymbals whilst cyclops wert drumming too
Keep the fantasy alive in my head
Earthquake take other route instead
Always say they never saw it coming
They did In Herculaneum still their brains steamed in their skulls
Summer solstice solace lulls lava ladles plentiful
Cumulative studies validations
Inseminate process degradation
Trying not to mention my invention
Bending toward normalcy absorption emits diffraction
Inverted perceptions withdraw inflections from emptiness
Perplexing she rejects ram intellect
Anecdotal evidence cached respect
Zip plans to stockpile cognizance combined
Designed secret punishment to circumvent I resigned
Recollect for instance cognitive lessons in dissonance
Logic accepts one view perceived of two
Pit of mine stomach whence knot always knew
Treasonous betrayed lion taming shrew
Spite cleaved interface continued dutiful onward pace
Humiliations goal wert to replace cheers with disgrace
Orchestrations untold meticulous
Malevolence is still in existence
Narrative streams unfold conspicuous
Childish bliss unscrupulous epidemic Narcissus
Invasive species multiplied since Zeus supplied his sun’s abyss
Affect change rather than effect ere cause
Gaslight obfuscates reasonable laws
Tall tales half truths edged lies by omission
Unwary reprehense motive intents of recognition
Splitting of the faculty augments a new reality
Fight freeze or flee options only three
Trials choose middle choice typically
Stockholm syndrome captors figured friendlies
Volunteer for brunt of blame acquiesced toxic shame domain
Raging stirs steroid cortisol adrenaline cocktail brain
Idealize devalue sudden discard
Benevolent dictatorship abstained
Without the faintest regret or regard
Figured she was playing me but never thought she'd try so hard
Had a little influence pummeling blacksmith into bard
Feeling flashback symptoms PTSD
Reflux acid regurgitates anxiously
Facilities shut down my apogee
Estranged entanglement is indiscriminate vicinity
Projection deflects inspection detects proffered rejection
Upon reflection I/O failed connection
Reverse detail switched doppler direction
Attacked mine tranquility enacted thine stability
Great relationships determined by good portability
Amor Fati defeat of agony
Heroic transitions affirmation
Chinks of crevasse evasive to bypass
Labyrinth strings web of deceit light and dark unlikely meet
Shadows reconnection Schadenfreude revels surrection
Maze ambled afore trapped in Minotaur
Disintegrating reintegration
Unfurled divest individuation
Emergence of self under siege August surfacing intrigues
Sun god aims retribution penetrating air dilution
Perpetrating vengeful execution
Cyclop's blindsided coming attraction
Apollo's exaction vents extraction
Redress reclaimed door discharged from mine chore
Concussions cavitations roar gaff retrieved my staff from shore
Gangplank fastened transit for deck from wreck
Embodied under mass gravitation
Nothingness consistent contradiction
In retrospect ahead investigate that Which is suspect
Chastened flaming embers titillate orange September moon
Hastened retreat not an instant too soon
Burgeoning three wave prosperity shewn
Wave five trait mimics Echo past monsoon
Perpetually parallel dramas punctual insane
Aphrodite's inception purged migraine foam seethed fire in vain
Twain hath liquidity trickled down drain
Consult oracle ogle tangent plane
Bow to stern brood tempestuous coxswain
Demurrage fee aptly sought to regain lay of way terrain
Masked my gnashing lion waves stumble as they spread before me
Mountain rubble crumbles bloodied red sea
Locusts cannibalistic commotion
Uncanny notion overt devotion
Fixed betwixt twin scorpions stings subtle by a hares degree
One longs to age as seas submit one hole subliminally
Desire loves desire more than that desired
Overtime I find wanting displeasing
Fuel to fire Aphrodite’s teasing
Symptomatically nymphomaniac releasing
Random cosmos berth patterned beyond cyclic perimeter
Doth not feel momentum ye be the tide
Volume reduced ambient limiter
Futile to resist flow fatal to ride
Impressed by the strung rope ladder of unquestioned good status
Doctors orders therapeutic regressive Hedonism
Bureaucracy forced parentalism
Founding fathers Titan nepotism
The health preventative catechism
Give only to take away to give again another day
Rewards gods some token compensation
Anyone here not get paid besides me
Red light starboard wax eared crew rendezvous
Bounded by my sacrifice to irresponsibility
None of the other prize winning
players gamble here but me
Battened down fear gauge groups psychopathy
Ever since world went into bankruptcy
Call for Panic Zeus black masked his swan song
Yarn for youthful innocence gone stick slip traction moves this throng
Tread borderline separating time providing till from when
Uneven Titans tip unbalanced ships
Dualities tune unity in trine
One thing I did learn when within confine
Whom hath desire for nothing believes doth not need anything
Misinterpretation required missing zero still a thing
Axons bemoan sequence of no return
Feeling slight injustice step forward commandeer ambition
Venus akin to mine headache just better known rendition
Under spotlight favorite position
Internally propelled by externals
Take this Autumnal equinox swear on the cross tis vernal
All the gods explicitly sing chants how lucky I must be
Bring Mordor back to toss this precious ring
Prospect she fertilized inferring seed
Open union upon Which we agreed
Karma conflates heavens gates contrived in Pandemonium
Green shoots elate consummate concerns inspire Pavlovian
Theories cosigned conspiracies maligned
Impermanence ineffably refined
Ignorance binds energy disinclined
Universal conception pride of self
love contraception
Trying to be pliable but find it reprehensible
All dispensable Great Complacent Sea
Sizing words wisely rids ostensible
Lies the only guise now found comprehensible
Prophylactic allude to didactic
Though whilst I work at chore she’s Ares whore
I snagged them embarrassingly naked afore gods before
Yellen Helen neither nor wert worth war
Bowl of wrath judgement ignored poor decor
Titans empathizing with swimming clothes
In her throws she extolled excitement being extra exposed
Far be it from she to assume joint responsibility
Exponential debt credits game theory
On that we agree tis rigged currency
Opportunistic imperialists
Propaganda grasshoppers enlist ants backbone socialist
Can't remember when gathered last had a say any matter
Other nations forfeit right to do it
Export of inflation needs conduit
Concert donates borders New World Order
Blockchain came about when drunk bartender could not reach the spout
Yahweh will control all money now they have it figured out
Waiting for my minute to be clever
Stamp my name on the gods minds forever
My switchblade really needs to cut them off
No clue what the gods know only that they need to run the show Narcissistic parasites charisma lands entitlement
Vampires nourish roots to stunt encouragement
Protocol enticing invitation
Condemnation staged cooperation
Intolerable acts left no coercive tea leaves intact
Coven of bag passing Witches gave chase across red waters
Need another nine stitches sons twixt daughters
Waiting in the balance moment of force
Hatch guillotine MRI triggered source
Soaked up dripped Wyrmwood postulated solvent tasted good
Full equilibrium half ballast set assail for malice
Octobers placid benign chilled chalice
Brain scan photocell senses light all is well
If instead bulb shows dead off with thee head
Also as a godsend bonus honed mom’s splendid jury throne
Captive chaperone audience fettered judgement chains inlaid
Skipping to a Witch hunt after masquerade
Topside upper deck on the promenade
Propellor fashion later ohm made blade
Behooved turtle jail sac tail flailed back satyromaniac
Passionate parade personifying Nature of tirade
Horney gimp hind quarters brace graced limp
Llama spitting image of Obama
Clinton's dole out cigars contribute scars
All guests in attendance dressed as promised change we forget lest
Salubrious familiar strangers grooving Harvey Danger
Politically free redundancy
Reagan closed asylums threw away key
Identity hath no cost found when lost
Consolidations vibrate quantized sinusoidal noise
Pullback hull triangulate alow by my device and Echo
Feel lonely frost amongst the other masks
Survival is appeasing to their tasks
Remember November elect Semper
Meaning faithful to all members not just only archaic
On the way to office run your head
through photovoltaic
Vanishing quickly old liquidity
Seven plagues capsized immortality
The line hath paid out to the bitter end
Too big to sail exhale replications glorification
Night zeniths elevation nadirs sun's regeneration
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Empire City casino commercial

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