EJ Fox

Pirates Witches and Hackers

In which the connections between three historical archetypes are explored

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Pirates -> Witches

The beginnings of things
The earliest mentions of pirates, witches, and hackers respectively
Shared lineage
Shared symbols / occult beliefs
“blessing of the fleet”
How people who subvert mainstream thinking are hidden
Source documents have been destroyed or never existed
Secrecy because their power was feared, secrecy causes fear
Tracing the lineages of anti-establishment thinkers and enclaves to early america and to now
Maps of pirate enclaves, short descriptions of their activites, relationship to folklore the occult
A culture of sharing, working as independent entities towards a common goal

This guy Cotton Mather hated pirates AND witches https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton_Mather#Ser`y

Even the most god-fearing ship captains and pirates knew that there were spirits of the sea to contend with that defied understanding. The ritual Blessing of the Fleet is just one example of that. Anytime a society encounters a powerful technology- and building wooden ships that can cross oceans certainly counts- there is a mystery and mysticism to those who can master it. The best seafarers were those who could harness knowledge of the stars, and obscure arabic runes written on hard-won maps.

Anyone who wanted to successfully navigate the globe would need to go consult people who understood these obscure technologies, who conducted themselves with varying degrees of kinship to the occult.

Everyday people make pilgrimage to the witches (a strange otherness to their dwelling) and wait for the oracles to perform mysterious procedures of divination. They receive snippets of information of hope or foreboding and rarely certainty. We still conduct similar rituals with our cars, phones, and computers- mysterious creatures as they are.

Pirates -> Hackers

Homes for anti-establishment people
The many names for anti-establishment outgroups and what makes hackers, pirates, and witches special and different
The ways they are viewed and covered in folklore and literature by the cultures that surround them
“Water-witches” mermaids, female pirates, pirate alliances with queens and female figures
Compare and contrast all of the ingredients that create enclaves of hackers, pirates, and witches and their shared enclaves
A shared anarchist attitude of creation
A natural home for queers and people thinking beyond norms
Coffee shop culture
The magical effect of the combination of open water and free-thinkers
Gold and bitcoin,
Extra-governmental wealth, feeding on the crumbs of colonizing nations
Crypto-anarchy, cyberstates and pirate utopias
Pirate havens - 17th century pirate havens to modern pirate havens (TOR, dark web, etc)

Talk of pirate utopias (and pirate women) http://www.eco-action.org/dod/no8/pirate.html

The pirate bay
Software cracking, sharing serial numbers
Ransomware, viruses, taking computer systems hostage
Hacker “code” and pirate “code” - rules of warfare even among thieves
The dark side of hackers and pirates - people who use their power for evil

Witches -> Hackers

Prosecution of people we fear
Prosecution of people with power we don’t understand
Society is not ready for new technologies or ways of thinking
Methods of subverting prosecution, of hiding
Uses of cyphers and codes and coded language
Localized methods of speaking, nicknames, staying hidden, avoiding authorities

“THEMALLEUS MALEFICARUM” Inquisition / witch-burning guide

“And this is the most powerful class of witches, who practise innumerable other harms also.For they raise hailstorms and hurtful tempests and lightnings; cause sterility in men and animals;offer to devils, or otherwise kill, the children whom they do not devour. But these are only thechildren who have not been re-born by baptism at the font, for they cannot devour those who havebeen baptized, nor any without God’s permission. They can also, before the eyes of their parents,and when no one is in sight, throw into the water children walking by the water side; they makehorses go mad under their riders; they can transport themselves from place to place through the air,either in body or in imagination; they can affect Judges and Magistrates so that they cannot hurtthem; they can cause themselves and other to keep silence under torture; they can bring about agreat trembling in the hands and horror in the minds of those who would arrest them; they canshow to others occult things and certain future events, by the information of devils, though thismay sometimes have a natural cause (see the question: Whether devils can foretell the future, inthe Second Book of Sentences); they can see absent things as if they were present; they can turn theminds of men to inordinate love or hatred; they can at times strike whom they will with lightning,and even kill some men and animals; they can make of no effect the generative desires, and eventhe power of copulation, cause abortion, kill infants in the mother’s womb by a mere exteriortouch; they can at time bewitch men and animals with a mere look, without touching them, andcause death; they dedicate their own children to devils; and in short, as has been said, they cancause all the plagues which other witches can only cause in part, that is, when the Justice of Godpermits such things to be. All these things this most powerful of all classes of witches can do, butthey cannot undo them.”

“And there was in the town of Mersburg in the diocese of Constance a certain young man whowas bewitched in such a way that he could never perform the carnal act with any woman exceptone. And many have heard him tell that he had often wished to refuse that woman, and take flightto other lands; but that hitherto he had been compelled to rise up in the night and to come veryquickly back, sometimes over land, and sometimes through the air as if he were flying.”

Breaking out of the simulation
Hacking the simulation would look imperceptible from witchcraft
All of the things that will be unlocked by allowing equitable access to the same knowledge and technologies
A potential chance to redeem the failures of how treated witches before, they should be celebrated and honored
Hackers-for-hire like the village witch would be paid for a certain spell or ritual or portion
The sharing of knowledge through books and runes

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