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flitting between realities like a fey child, astounded to disbelief by the sensation of living.

finding comrades in the records of the conqueror, the stilted conversations where seers divulge impossible knowledge to inquisitors that will see them burned. escapees of the elven court, former captives of that queen who binds with altered consent, caught and killed by fellow mortals bound to unfeeling machinery that is not so different at all.

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scottish witch trial records 

it really was surreal to peruse scottish witch trial records and find inquisitors dutifully notating how they coerced confessions, how they interpreted healers and political agitators and neuroatypical folx alike as satanists in order to have everyone they knew captured and killed. we downplay it today, somehow, but the witch trials were a pan-european political genocide without which the modern nation-state and all its crimes, perhaps even whiteness itself, would not be possible.

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re: scottish witch trial records 

the Enlightenment was a triumph only for the already powerful. do you understand? the conqueror lies even about his lies, and over generations lies become the creation myths of the conqueror's sons, until the gears of the machinery of oppression are turned by creatures who have never done anything else for any other reason but because it has always been done. it becomes unthinkable but to allow the machine to think for you. the blood on your hands, the gore on your boots, it is not there. you do not see it. the machine does not permit such thoughts. we have progressed beyond such barbarism now, you see.

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re: scottish witch trial records 

if you'd like to peruse this data too, check out the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft:

shca.ed.ac.uk/Research/witches

it's a publicly available database but unfortunately the data itself is in some arcane MS-Access format. i did some nonsense to turn it into JSON so lemme know if you'd prefer that dataset 👍

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scottish witch trial records 

@garbados totally fucked up that this is taught as some kind of quirky historical thing, yes

scottish witch trial records 

@garbados like in a Fun Fact sidebar: "did u know? Women used to be hunted!"

re: scottish witch trial records 

@June it's... astonishing, the degree to which i was taught outright fictions. the degree to which i accepted them.

re: scottish witch trial records 

@garbados yep let's all dress up like genocidal figures. My school literally had a "Puritan Day" and like a little cabin in the woods and they'd all dress up... It was absolutely absurd

re: scottish witch trial records 

@June i had a social studies teacher in my freshman year of high school who taught us about american intervention in Nicaragua, who showed us the atrocities and the deception and the manipulation that goes on even today. there was no "then we learned better" unlike every other such unit in my education. she tried to show us, like we somehow had managed to never be shown before, that we had been raised on convenient political fictions in order to make us into another generation of dutiful imperial weapons. for most of us, it didn't really register.

it was just more homework.

re: scottish witch trial records 

@garbados you should open a PR to push it upstream

re: scottish witch trial records 

@hirojin ok so like, funny story,,

their usage license is really confusing, so i reached out to the team and asked, hey, can i make a web app from this dataset? then, for months, a scottish professor asked me sideways questions about what exactly a "web" "app" is, or how exactly it is that i would "convert" the data. eventually he just stopped replying, so, resolution not achieved 😬

re: scottish witch trial records 

@garbados see, this is about as worse than i imagined

re: scottish witch trial records 

@garbados I would. :X

re: scottish witch trial records 

@Angle coming right up!

re: scottish witch trial records 

@Angle @zoe ok y'all here it is:

send.firefox.com/download/b6bc

it's actually in CSV form (i forgot i didn't generate a JSON blob). the research team provides some docs that help disambiguate field names and meanings which you can find on the project site: witches.shca.ed.ac.uk/index.cf

re: scottish witch trial records 

@garbados @zoe ...Wow, fuck those people. That's awful.

re: scottish witch trial records 

@Angle @zoe yeah the data architecture on this is

not rigorous

re: scottish witch trial records 

@garbados @zoe Well yes, but I was actually just reading the one on torture. It's awful.

re: scottish witch trial records 

@Angle @zoe oh, yes! that also.

re: scottish witch trial records 

@garbados i would
by the way: if someone were to release this version of the dataset would it totally not be your fault that the usage license may or may not have been broken

re: scottish witch trial records 

@zoe i don't think it would be my fault and i also don't think the research team will come after you about it. they seemed chiefly concerned with other academics stealing their work, so as long as you properly cite sources i'm pretty sure they'll be happy about it.

re: scottish witch trial records 

@garbados yeah i just want it to be more easily accessible bc, Yknow

re: scottish witch trial records 

@zoe cite sources and don't use it for profit 👍

re: scottish witch trial records 

@garbados as long as citing my sources is super easy i will do it

and i've never turned a profit in my life 🙂

scottish witch trial records, re: enlightenment 

@garbados I feel like much of my political education has been about becoming more and more critical of enlightenment thought, and yet I still can't bring myself to totally and completely throw out the theoretical baby with the barbaric colonialist bathwater, as it were.

scottish witch trial records, re: enlightenment 

@garbados IDK, in part because many of the best parts of 'western thought,' from Marx to Bookchin, and even the postmodernists, basically took enlightenment theory in different directions towards various radical, liberatory conclusions.

re: scottish witch trial records, re: enlightenment 

@NightRose yeah, that's a good point. i'm eager to call enlightenment stuff on its BS but i need to do more research if i want to form, like, a serious thesis about the conflicts and compromises at its heart re: marx, etc. the heart of that thesis is that the enlightenment represented an alliance between capitalists and libertarians, embodied in documents like founding US lit that both gives liberty a primacy but also considers certain people to be property. nowadays that alliance has totally come apart, and we see its tensions leaving governments utterly paralyzed.

scottish witch trial records 

@garbados Honestly it terrifies me, as a neuroatypical socialist who happens to be a witch I'd be totally fucked, actually the fear that similar witch scares re-emerge in modern society is the subjects of many nightmares I've had.

scottish witch trial records 

@garbados I think folk generally don't appreciate that like, people decided our society should be the way it is and killed for it. It's not some quirk of odds like flipping a coin.

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