Doubletake accepts a singular view of the infrastructure required to keep NYC WET. Stanley Greenberg lives in Brooklyn. He is the author of Invisible New York: The Hidden Infrastructure of the City(1998).
|"It was not until last year that I was given access to all of the restricted spaces that I have wanted to see. Many of these places have been photographed only once, when the system was built; others have never been photographed at all."|
Forever Young - The new scientific search for immortality
Prognostication is the de-vine mandate of the World Future Society, whose most prescient forcast in my humble and non-qualified opinion, is that wetlands (duck heavens) play an important yet unrecognized role in climate.. Top 10 Forecasts from Outlook 2002
|"We understand aging at the molecular level sufficiently to not just imagine interventions to retard aging, but enough that we can describe them. It's an engineering project now, not a scientific one. We just don't know how long it will take.|
To which I say: Hurry up! The 22nd century looks too interesting to miss."
Aubrey de Grey
Vernor Vinge talks about the relation of science fiction to real life.
|"Half of the world's wetlands disappeared in the twentieth century, and development and other forces could consume another 50% of coastal wetlands by 2080."|
Imagine that political sense, actual egalitarian sensibilities combined with projected material sustainability, were to be adopted by a Central or South American nation. Now go (re)read Aldous Huxley's Island. No need to imagine; oiligarchical hegemony backed by sanctioned and institutionalized militarism is in-defensible. Does this bother you? Not in the least....
|"IW: Have you looked into the software problems involved in making anything like a human intelligence?|
Vernor Vinge: When you get very large systems, you have to shift over to probabilistic styles of programming and memory-based reasoning.
There will be a lot more overhead, a lot of slop compared to current standards. You do not have a nice algorithmic step toward a well-specified conclusion. But when you think about it, that's a lot like life."
Minus ten blogpoints for being able to identify from which recently famous diatribe that short yet spot-on observation was culled. How's Chávez Doing? Depends on Who's Talking
|"In an excellent New Yorker profile about Chávez , Jon Lee Anderson quotes a white middle-class Venezuelan as saying: "El peón tomado la finca"- "The peon has taken over the farm.")|
This symbolism strikes me as perverse. It prevents people from being able to take stock of Chávez 's very real accomplishments and his equally real mistakes. More importantly, it reduces politics to arguments and maneuvers centered on one man."
Intelligence, wit, courage and vision: Terence McKenna Interview by OMNI Magazine, May 1993
DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine) @deoxy is a most comprehensive bevy of abstracts and papers that are both scientifically 'literate' as well as lay-vailable.
|"I can't stomach the human tragedy of somebody going to the grave ignorant of what is possible. I make the analogy to sex. Few people can avoid some kind of experience with sex -- sex informs the experience of humanness; sex is a great joy and travail. I don't like to think about someone going to the grave without ever having contacted it. This work is that big. It's ours. It makes available an entire domain of being that somehow got lost, to our detriment. |
When the scientific establishment was informed that there would be no government-grant support for psychedelic research, they just bowed their fuzzy heads and went along with it. The consequences of their failure to stand up to that decision is a mangled society and a science that hasn't fulfilled it's agenda. In no other instance has science laid down so gutlessly and allowed the state to tell it how to do its business."
While we wouldn't dream of teaching our children obscene attitudes towards sexuality we offensively, if often defensively, persevere. We also, and even more consistently, persist to do so with and to their intelligence. This is not merely isolated incidents of abuse. This is institutionalized social control from the ground floor; a manifested Huxwellian future-now. Teach your children well... The Schaffer Library of Drug Policy and The Drug Library offer rational study guides for both adolescent and co-attendant elder.
Genus: Anadenanthera (Piptandenia)
Species: colubrina, contorta, excelsa, macrocarpa, peregrina
Black beans from these trees are toasted, pulverized and mixed with ashes or calcined shells to make psychedelic snuff called yopo by Indians in Orinoco basin in Colombia, Venezuela and possibly in southern part of Brasilian Amazon. Yopo is blown into the nostrils through bamboo tubes or snuffed by birdbone tubes. The trees grow in open plain areas, and leaves, bark and seeds contain DMT, 5-MeO-DMT and related compounds."
The November Coalition
|"Reaction toward the use of psychotropics by adolescents is diametrically polarized between Western cultures and indigenous groups."|
Canadian Government Commission of Inquiry - Cannabis
|"Maybe one of those people might be inspired to learn more about the war on drugs, mandatory minimum sentencing, alternatives to incarcerating low-level offenders, and the billions of dollars in public costs to maintain these failed policies of social control."|
just shy of incomprehensible
|"It has been clearly established that the occasional use of hemp in moderate doses may be beneficial. In regard to the physical effects, the Commission have come to the conclusion that the moderate use of hemp drugs, is practically attended by no evil results at all. There may be exceptional cases in which, owing to idiosyncrasies of constitution, the drugs in even moderate use of hemp drugs in even moderate use may be injurious, excessive use does cause injury. As in the case of other intoxicants, excessive use tends to weaken the constitution and to render the consumer more susceptible to disease … the excessive use of these drugs does not cause asthma. . . it may indirectly cause dysentery ... (and) it may cause bronchitis."|
When I first mentioned modafinil on this site some three years ago, having run across this seemingly magical addition to our pharmacopoeia by way of The Good Drug Guide, I immediately grokked: (!) this would be the drug that would plumb the line - that could and would not be able to be ignored by those on either side of the prohibitionist ridgepole.
The Great Awakening, cum The Washington Post (detect irony here), finally broaches the Provigil "problem". I can personally attest, with my doctor's considered assent, to the following - Lay down for a two-hour nap. As researchers say, this stuff doesn't prevent you from sleeping, it just controls the desire to. Arose alert. Went back to productive work. Naps are good, as the sleep researchers ceaselessly point out.
The Infinite War and its Roots
|"Originally aimed at narcoleptics, who fall asleep frequently and uncontrollably, modafinil works without the jitter, buzz, euphoria, crash, addictive characteristics or potential for paranoid delusion of stimulants like amphetamines or cocaine or even caffeine, researchers say. As with an increasing number of the so-called superhuman, posthuman or trans-human drugs or genetic manipulations rapidly entering our lives, modafinil thus calls into question some fundamental underpinnings of hundreds of thousands of years of thought regarding what are normal human capabilities.|
The implications for Washington are profound."
by Stan Goff
Scary HAARP music - Add Russia's Duma to the list of those worried about U.S. weather experiments.
|"It appears that the "democratic" form of imperialism at this conjuncture is coming to a close, and the mailed fist of yet another form of fascism is a real possibility in the near term. There is no "democratic" way out of this accumulation crisis, and as this crisis floods back from the periphery to the core, capital's assault on the U.S. working class will be sharpened, as we are seeing with Bush's concerted attack against the debilitated American trade union movement. As in Argentina, when the inevitable tumble into severe economic polarization happens, those who count themselves "middle class" will be rapidly pauperized as the banking system closes its doors to appropriate their savings."|
|"What the Russians are worried about (as they're trying to explain in badly translated prose from Moscow's Interfax News Agency) are U.S. plans to begin large-scale scientific experiments using the Alaska-based HAARP in 2003. Ninety Russian deputies signed the appeal against the HAARP program, charging that the experiments would create weapons capable of breaking radio communication lines and equipment installed on spaceships and rockets, provoke serious accidents in electricity networks and in oil and gas pipelines and have a negative impact on the mental health of people populating entire regions."|
Lifting a house - no steroids involved - land-entitled person to whom I pay monthly tithes made me an offer I couldn'a refuse - drilling and cutting angle iron is fun - wear a hat! - watch out for spiders when cleaning basement - basements contain personal items - best not to mention those - bilingual science teachers make great mates - no, I won't move to Quebec - neighbors are bizarre yet vital - vitality grows in direct proportion to dropping temperature and evacuating tourists - mosquitos follow tourists - bye, bye...
Fresh input may be a bit spotty for the next few days as I become a community activist in aiding and abetting acquaintances, allies and alter egos to relieve their woodies. Nothing like the smell of gas/oil mixture and a sharp chain to optimize a morning's cannenhanced thrill. Don't let your imaginations get carried away now...
This locally rendered interdependancy is still separated by subtle classic blues, mainly running along the lines of whether one works for the government or not. We are not a multi-assorted culture here in the north. There is Government (in all its various facets), which accounts for some 83% of our Territories' economy and is accrued by some 20% of our meagre population, and there are the hodge-podge of the rest of us getting by on combinations of under-the-table in-kind exchanges and social assistance packages that do not begin to address need. (..health care is still a right in Canada, though with increasing disparities...)
There is little guilt or cross-equanimity however. Those on the upper end of the economic spectrum invariably give me a ride when I must hitch-hike into town (an increasing rarity as I get to know others' schedules), but I have yet to be offered either equitable employment or an entheogenic endowment by anyone driving an SUV.
A weather reprieve from hostilities appears to be over; the last thing we need is a pBush in the direction of regional conflict that could so easily explode into mass madness. Dreams into nightmares
Quark Soup is a blend of herbivorous muons and thinly sliced bosonic smokies that led me to a terminally fusive essay: Science, Sustainability, and the Human Prospect
|"India today is a very different place; for some time now, the country has been told in no uncertain terms that the greatest threat to it comes from Pakistan, and the not so subtle sub-text is that the Muslims of India are a fifth column."|
|"The kinds of grassroots activities that are promoting sustainability on a local scale have become a powerful force throughout the world. Perhaps they are, fundamentally, only a reemphasis of what has been traditional. Whether establishing local clinics and sustainable industries in the Biligiri Rangan Hills of southern India, building people-based ecotourism centers on native lands in Kenya, rebuilding a broken landscape at the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve in South Australia, learning how to ranch sustainably on the vast grasslands of the Malpai Borderlands of New Mexico and Arizona, or simply rooting out alien plants on Albany Hill in the San Francisco Bay Area, the people who are pursuing sustainability in a direct and personal way will hugely affect the shape of the world in the future."|
Uribe Takes Hardline in Colombia with Bush's Blessing
Mano Firme, Corazon Pequeno
Tinighi namaste, Craig, for digging up another crucial addition to the generationally engineered malignant Shrubbery. An off-the-cuff tally: one hegemonic superpower, ten feudatories in absolute denial, one hundred and seventy enThralls in resigned timorousness. US admits plan to bring down Mugabe
|"The only Colombian crops that reliably fetch a good price are coca and opium poppies. To make matters worse, in order to fund his military build up, Uribe will be forced to either cut back on social services or borrow more money from international lenders."|
Stephen Marshall interviews Riane Eisler: Paradigm Shift - The Decline and Fall of the Dominator Culture So what do we retain of the dominator model? Do we have to throw it completely out?
|"The United States government has said it wants to see President Robert Mugabe removed from power and that it is working with the Zimbabwean opposition to bring about a change of administration."|
Between Anarchy in Economy and Leviathan in Society: American (Authoritarian) Conservatism Revisited is an absolutely essential read, brought to my attention by the absently apostrophic wood s lot; to whom I would like to offer deepest gratitude for honouring me as a blogparent (blush).
|"In some ways it would be wonderful, but actually no society can orient completely to one or the other. Maybe it can in the future, you know, after maybe a few generations of partnership child care and of partnership education worldwide, because it has to be global at this point. But for now, lets just start strengthening the partnership elements wherever we are. Whether it's at school, whether it's at home in our intimate relations. Whether it's political… and let's try to leave behind as much as possible of the dominator relations. And this is very important right now because we are in the period of massive dominator regression."|
Author Milan Z. Zafirovski provides a subtitle that will stick like a velcro meme in my cognitive craw. The Human Cost of Authoritarian Conservatism in the USA: Society as an Open Prison.
Economic Fascism is what our oligarchic oxymorons re-specify as 'gobalization'; and the rest of us disconsulately dispossesed denizens call re-perceived servility.
|"In the limiting or hypothetical case the unemployment rate could be brought to zero if this trend in prison population continues indefinitely though asymptotically--i.e., the prison population never equals the entire population-- which implies a curious solution to a major economic problem. Realistically, this may not be a deliberate solution but an unintended even perverse economic consequence of a certain form of social behavior (crime) and especially of a definite type of government policy (getting tough on crime)."|
|"Virtually all of the specific economic policies advocated by the Italian and German fascists of the 1930s have also been adopted in the United States in some form, and continue to be adopted to this day."|
The Invasion of the Memes - Is It Science Fiction?
Is physics watching over us?
|"But can't it also be said that ideas, ideologies, religions, books, music, technologies, etc., "compete" with one another? Yes, of course, but only metaphorically. To be precise, memes are differentially selected by prospective users, based on the users' preferences."|
How to Build a Time Machine
|"The incomprehensibility of our situation even drives Susskind's team to ponder whether an "unknown agent intervened in the evolution [of the Universe] for reasons of its own". But creationists should not rejoice: even a god such as this can't explain how things got so strange."|
It wouldn't be easy, but it might be possible
Keith Sutherland reviews The Mind Doesn't Work That Way: The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology by Jerry Fodor, who argues ...that 'some radical reorganisation of global cognitive structure' must have occurred in the process of getting from the minds of apes to homo sapiens, and it is hard to see how this could be attributed to Darwinian processes. I say 'look to the mushroom and cannagarden'.
|"Consider the time traveler who leaps ahead a year and reads about a new mathematical theorem in a future edition of Scientific American. He notes the details, returns to his own time and teaches the theorem to a student, who then writes it up for Scientific American. The article is, of course, the very one that the time traveler read. The question then arises: Where did the information about the theorem come from? Not from the time traveler, because he read it, but not from the student either, who learned it from the time traveler. The information seemingly came into existence from nowhere, reasonlessly."|
Remember Ruby Ridge - Ten years later, there are still important lessons. This is indeed an example that bears remembering, yet far from being an aberration I believe that these violations of civil and human rights are the (unacknowledged) cumulating norm in the hundreds (or thousands?) of raids that take place every day across U.S. America.
|"Although Fodor claims that this book is primarily a light-hearted and polemical attack on the New Synthesis (the fusion of the computational theory of mind and the 'massive modularity' thesis with a Darwinian theory of origins), he admits that he is 'worried half to death' about the failure of classical cognitive science, and explains the 'pervasive good cheer' of writers like Steven Pinker and Henry Plotkin with the aid of the psychoanalytic concepts of suppression and deep denial. Otherwise how could Pinker admit that we are far from being able to build a serviceable robot, but still claim that we know, more or less, how the cognitive mind works?"|
Krzysztof Kowalczyk's Weblog offers some succinct rules for good writing, which I disregard with self-inculpatory schadenfreude.
|"A new generation of young people who have never heard of Ruby Ridge are now emerging from the public-school system and are heading off to college and will thereafter begin their careers in business, education, journalism, government, and other fields. This generation will find it hard to fathom that the federal government could have killed a boy and an unarmed woman and then tried to deceive everyone about what had actually occurred and, in some instances, rationalize what did occur. That is why it is important to remember Ruby Ridge. Someone needs to remind the young people (and everyone else) that it really did happen - and that it will happen again if the government is not kept on a short leash."|
|"Employ the vernacular, while eschewing arcane and obfuscatory verbiage."|
As a committed Canuck I don't care if my PM smokes an occasional doobie, or enjoys extramarital outercourse (not that I'm suggesting any such proclivities in our present prime person), as long as the governance is level-headed, fiscal policy steady, and human rights recognition ubiquitous. If megaliths such as Nations can exist, big-picture 'leaders' are essential.
This Imaxian vision we demand of the politically erected makes demands that are in many ways diametrically opposed to the demands of the daily diadribble, and dubious deservings of sensationalist stories.
A question that keeps returning to attention, and has direct relevance to present affairs, is transparency. We, the mass of western consumerist society, are at best behind a gossamer film of privacy. Those in power (whether elected or civilly serving) have an obligation to be an order of magnitude more transparent.
A vast cross section of (mostly U.S. American) society is subjected to random drug testing - a positive result (false or not) equating to possible job loss and many other social and professional sanctions. It is not the rich or connected that are subjected to anti-entheogenic excrescence (unless a more nefarious end is meant), but rather you and me; the subjects of materialist carnality promoted to exorbitant exogenesis.
To get to the point of this soliloquy, I think that all politicians and those that support them must be subjected to the same rules of self-adjusted neurochemical restriction as they impose on the hoi polloi. You, the people of the world's only superpower, need to know what medications Dubya and his minions are taking - whether it's a President on Paxil or a General on GABA, a pilot on modafinil or a battalion on ergogenic substances. This information is vital.
Drugs, Brains and Behavior
|"1. The brain is the organ of behavior.|
2. Brain functions are controlled by unique interactions between neurotransmitter chemicals and specific receptor sites.
3. Ancient folk medicine and modern pharmacology are both based upon these principles of chemical specificity.
4. The sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions of the autonomic nervous system have served as models for understanding the more complex systems of chemical coding in the brain.
5. Brain chemistry, behavior and the environment have interpenetrating effects."
Do we lack the visceral fortitude to demand transparency from the top down, a precondition of true democracy, or are we content to suckle the teat of false economies that lead to Gaian exhaustion maintained by greedy grinches?
Alarming yet also promising cannabinoid research points to the possibility of a true diet pill. Molecules of tomorrow can also be the means to a horrid future in which TitanoCorp controls designer consciousness - and nature is further proscribed.
The Dalai Lama Addresses The American Government
|"Sanofi-Synthélabo first of all cloned the human cannabinoid receptor, then expressed this receptor in cells, and finally carried out screening to identify a chemical starting point. This approach made it possible to generate several potentially active molecules including SR 141716 or rimonabant."|
An Amazing Compendium Of Useful Statistics About Population and the Environment is a compulsive obsessives' dream, and caused me to lollygag, ruminating about the sinister picture that emerges. Most of these stats are @ seven years old or more - extrapolation to today's state is akin to gawking at a slow motion accident; disbelief and yet certainty.
|"...I believe that a "new world order" cannot truly emerge
unless it is matched by a "new world freedom." Order without freedom is
repression. Freedom without order is anarchy. We need both a new world
order that prohibits aggression and a new world freedom that supports the
liberty (of) individuals and nations."|
Explore North - reprise
|"The United States creates approximately 80% of the world's waste.|
Per capita consumption is up 45%, quality of life index is down by 51% over 20 years.
With 57.9million square miles of land area, the Earth has 98 people per square mile."
I wrote this in August '01 and for some ineffable reason want to reprise it today. Perhaps I'm trying to re-invigorate myself in preparation for the even more abjectly inane and insane horrors that lie ahead on our present course. Mini-metiers (that's you and me, folks) will again be called on to collate, disseminate; and above all pose the right questions.
Warfare has, unnoticed by a whiz-bang distracted public, been radically transformed. Pentagon Program Promotes Psychopharmacological Warfare
|The point is that we are, individually, culturo-collectively, utterly dependant on the whim of the military complex transfigured with industrial wont. Our only hope is to make sure that the military is accountable to the principles of freedom and human rights.|
With the use of military systems - from GPS (we know where you are) to mag-stripe ID (we know where you've been), to cookies (we know where you're going), to space cams and Echelon (we know who you are) - we are in a vortex of transparency; and each of us in a state of denial.
As a pseudo-Canadian-I'm-a-lumberjack-and-I'm-okay type, I'd really like to know that I could wear high-heels 'n a bra, if'n I wanted to; in the pool, injesting a Rasta reefer; with Barney - ..that okay with you Space Command?
More seriously, autonomy is the basis of democracy. We lose, in more ways than can be counted, to the collectivity of shared attention. Thus the absolute value of weblogs.
To allow Media to mediate is to allow the timekeeper to run the race.
Global Eye -- Strange Fruit
The acorns of any presidential administration never fall very far from the tree -- thus, the remarks made last week by one of George W. Bush's appointees to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission give us a pretty fair indication of what the future will look like if the Regime's seeds of tyranny ever come to full flower.
|"One class of drugs under consideration are fentanyls. The report's cover features a diagram of fentanyl. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) (ed: yeah, okay), the biological effects of fentanyls are indistinguishable from those of heroin, with the exception that the fentanyls may be hundreds of times more potent."|
The Walrasian and the Carpenter
|"British justice once seemed an enlightened counterweight to more primitive concepts of law, which vested all rights and power in the state and left individuals to the mercies -- tender or otherwise -- of arbitrary rulers. It sought to hedge in the corrupting nature of power with safeguards that stood between the accused and the great engines of coercion embodied in the state.
But it takes courage and wisdom to uphold such an ideal, to transcend our monkey-brain urges toward herd and hierarchy. And the leaders of the West are plainly losing their nerve -- and their senses -- in the headlong flight from individual liberty now infecting the "civilized" world.
Nice shirts, though."|
Interview with Dr. Clifford A. Pickover Pickover is a ubiquitous soul with his cosmic finger in so many pi's that it is not an entirely simple task to get a handle on the man's mental circumference.
|"If seven men with seven Macs|
Theorized for ninety years,
Do you suppose," Walrasian asked,
"That markets then might clear?"
"I doubt it, " said the Carpenter
And shed a bitter tear.
|"After all, with no accurate means of predicting our future, the time traveler must work today for a tomorrow that best fits his bliss, and only by educating, entertaining, enlightening, and expanding the minds of those around him in a spirit of kindness can the gentle souled time traveler hope for a tomorrow that is not merely a crazy copy of yesterday."|
Reflecting my own thoughts on the matter, Ronald Bailey considers Defenders of Earth - Are humans Gaia's immune system?
Within an utterly unregulated technological realm it is terrifying to contemplate that Scientists working for Kraft Foods are adding nanoparticles to fluids hoping to create "interactive beverages" that will change color or flavor at the whim of the consumer.No Small Matter! Nanotech Particles Penetrate Living Cells and Accumulate in Animal Organs
|"To what extent is our collective intelligence also a part of Gaia? Do we as a species constitute a Gaian nervous system and a brain which can consciously anticipate environmental changes?"|
The worst-case scenario is badbots run amuck. The Gray Goo Problem
|"It may be that the quality that makes nanoparticles so attractive to researchers trying to develop better drug-delivery systems-namely, their ability to enter the bloodstream and to cross the blood-brain barrier, as well as their ability to be taken up by individual cells-will turn out to be the same quality that makes them dangerous. The potential downside to the mobility of nanoparticles, including the possibility of "bad" particles joining forces with "good" nanoparticles, should be investigated with the utmost urgency, as companies race to find ways to bring us into intimate contact with human-made nanoparticles."|
Ayahuasca: An Ethnopharmacologic History and The Scientific Investigation of Ayahuasca: A Review of Past and Current Research provide ample grist for the Dennis McKenna psyche-mill: ...outside the perimeter of the cold light of reason cast by scientific scrutiny, there remain a number of issues surrounding ayahuasca that are unlikely be resolved by science alone, at least not by scientific methods as they are now understood. Ayahuasca is a symbiotic ally of the human species; its association with our species can be traced at least as far back as New World prehistory; the lessons we have acquired from it, in the course of millenia of coevolution, may have profound implications for what it is to be human, and to be an intelligent, questioning species within the biospheric community of species.
|"In Eric Drexler's classic "grey goo" scenario, out-of-control nanotech replicators wipe out all life on Earth. This paper by Robert A. Freitas Jr. was the first quantitative technical analysis of this catastrophic scenario, also offering possible solutions. It was written in part as an answer to Bill Joy's recent concerns."|
Kill the Corporation is the latest opinion piece from Dennis Fox, whose home page, Professing, is an eclectic wonderland of erudition.
|"Ayahuasca, or hoasca, whether known by these names, or any of numerous other designations, has long been a subject of fascination to ethnographers, botanists, psychopharmacologists, and others with an interest in the many facets of the human relationship with, and use of, psychoactive plants. With its complex botanical, chemical, and pharmacological characteristics, and its position of prime importance in the ethnomedical and magico-religious practices of indigenous Amazonian peoples, the investigation of ayahuasca in its many aspects has been an impetus to the furtherence of our scientific understanding of the brain/mind interface, and of the role that psychoactive plant alkaloids have played, and continue to play, in the quest of the human spirit to discover and to understand its own trancendent nature."|
|"What we really need, of course, is action at Moore's third level: questioning whether "kings, capitalists, priests, generals, bureaucrats, etc." -- or corporations, more to today's point -- "serve any useful social purpose at all""|
Know the ignoratio elenchi or exist fallaciously - this could be the defining and critical line we each, individually, must address; and post with prompt attention. A concise instruction in memetic prophylaxis - Logical Fallacies. A favorite of the milinmed complex (you know them) is the dishonest distraction:
Probiotics: Their Tiny Worlds Are Under Scrutiny
|"These fallacies are characterized by the illegitimate use of a logical operator in order to distract the reader from the apparent falsity of a certain proposition. "|
This precis is of a forthcoming book that may be of seminal potency. Real AI - New Approaches to Artificial General Intelligence brings together potent minds from various approaches to AGI; choreographed by the uniquely ubiquitous brilliance of Ben Goertzel.
|"The human body plays host to a complex and thriving microbial ecosystem of vast numbers of tiny creatures. Some of these species, already well studied, can cause disease. But a renewed appreciation is growing for many lesser-known species called probiotics that help maintain health and may have the potential to prevent disease."|
|"Our ideal would be to cover all major AGI research projects underway on the planet at this time. Currently we have chapters committed from a number of leading researchers in the area, as well as some lesser-known researchers from the younger generation, with equally outstanding ideas."|
Paul Feyerabend lifts a veil on the totalitarian nexus of institutionalized science, pointing out the similarities of myth and science; and their inherant dogmatism. Thinking ecologically, trans-science is forever transient. Against Method - Outline of an anarchistic theory of knowledge
|"Were this book to bear a title in an Indian language, it would have been called Mrutyu Upanishad or Death Upanishad."|
Prize phillow fight whose outcome can only be determined by a tabula non rasa. Plato and Cantor vs. Wittgenstein and Brouwer
|"Science is an essentially anarchistic enterprise: theoretical anarchism is more humanitarian and more likely to encourage progress than its law-and-order alternatives."|
Self and Other
|"Without going into an extensive examination of phenomenology and the psychology of learning, perception and cognition, let us consider the mind of a child."|
Out of Control is a summary of what we know about self-sustaining systems, both living ones such as a tropical wetland, or an artificial one, such as a computer simulation of our planet. Kevin Kelly presents the bees knees of a book, available entirely online (very well hypertextualized) or by order, that engenders intuitive recognition that The most unexpected things will brew in this bionic hivelike supermind.
|"What we have in common, most importantly, is this world. It has shaped our beliefs, our very sense of ourselves. And it is, ultimately, arbitrary. Who said things have to fall? Even percepts are symbolic; they represent the perceptual realm in a conventional way. The color spectrum, for instance, could be inverted, narrowed, even restricted to variations of tint, and the apparatus could still convey all the information about the perceptual realm which we currently have access to. The nature of this world apparently doesn't matter. What's the point, then?"|
|"By extracting the logical principle of both life and machines, and applying each to the task of building extremely complex systems, technicians are conjuring up contraptions that are at once both made and alive. This marriage between life and machines is one of convenience, because, in part, it has been forced by our current technical limitations. For the world of our own making has become so complicated that we must turn to the world of the born to understand how to manage it. That is, the more mechanical we make our fabricated environment, the more biological it will eventually have to be if it is to work at all. Our future is technological; but it will not be a world of gray steel. Rather our technological future is headed toward a neo-biological civilization."|
A stigma that never fades
Yet another slimy tentacle of the Scientology cult exists as the beyond ironically named Freedom Magazine. In their "report" Why Have Our Prisons Entered A Deadly Spiral?, psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotropic medications are seen as the major culprit.
Always receptive to an intelligent and lovely woman ( Dr. Fiorella Terenzi) - or is 'perennially potentially projective towards' more apropos - anyway, enjoying exquisite explication of the universal uulation, blended perfectly by Amara Graps, alongside the psychedelic Simpson's episode our beneficent CBC put on this afternoon, created a 'happy thought'.
|"While numerous factors contribute to the increasing prison population, one that emerges paramount is an increasing reliance on drugs at all levels of the system to deal with criminal behavior-a solution which has itself become one of the worst parts of the problem."|
There's nothing like Jamming With the Cosmos when the conduit is a lecturer who can perform a transformation in my character. I start out looking very scientific with a lab coat, hair up, with glasses and slowly I turn into a completely different glamorous, sensual image. They see that I can invent music with atoms- hydrogen atoms, and make it fashionable.
As a reviewer of David Bollier's Silent Theft, Jonathan Rowe proves yet again that the power of the pen is truly rendered critical.. The Majesty of the Commons
|"A culture of physical sciences that encourages both men and women to pursue different kinds of goals would be a good thing. More variety. Since science is a culturally-directed pursuit, it would be beneficial for all to have women involved in determining what science is, how it is practiced, how to put it to use in our lives, and what are its ideals and goals. I hope this dream isn't too far off."|
An original piece by Jonathan Rowe (and Clifford Cobb), which is very instructive and will undoubtedly bring my attention back to GAI (guaranteed annual income) obsessions, is How the Income Tax Became a Tax on Labor. Now, who ya gonna call...?
|"Silent Theft raises the kinds of questions that Washington typically represses. Is the continued extension of the market in time and space truly the path to human happiness, always and forever? Is the only alternative what The Wall Street Journal editorial page says it is---an all-encompassing Soviet-style state? Perhaps most important, is it really true that what lies outside the market has no real value until corralled within it; that the market improves and adds value to everything it touches?|
Most Americans probably would answer "No." Yet the belief is a bedrock economic assumption, the subtext of virtually all economic reporting and commentary."
As Stephen Schecter so precisely observes: All of contemporary social democracy is stuck in an updated version of Bernstein's debate with Marx. Concisely rendered, The End of Left and Right: Thoughts for Social Democracy is not so much a plea for centrism as glee for mentorism.
|"In the midst of a heated controversy over taxes, the young Winston Churchill articulated a guiding principle. Formerly the only question of the tax gatherer was, 'How much have you got?', he told his fellow-MPs. Now we also ask, 'How did you get it?"|
Although a bit dated and with ostensibly more moderate voices recently quavering populist pusillanimity , The Real Story Behind the Dismantling of The Canadian Welfare State: An anti-authoritarian perspective is certainly authoritative.
|"What would an alternative discourse be like? Perhaps one that is modest in its claims, sensitive in its concerns, and humorous in its style."|
|"The history of the rise of the welfare state in Canada reveals that state programs have been motivated by a consistent agenda of protecting the social order and that the dismantling of the welfare state is simply another version of this agenda. From the point of view of global capitalism, the welfare state is no longer a useful instrument in the project of assimilating populations into their prescribed roles within the social order."|
Paraphrasing a money edict we all ignore - "neither a follower nor leader be". The Availability of Mahatma Gandhi: A Personal Report by Makarand Paranjape provides insights for anyone contemplating nonviolent resistance.
Consciousness, Value and Functionalism
|"We must not be afraid of speaking for ourselves, of finding our own truth, of bearing witness to it, however frail or flawed it is. The idea is not to make ourselves dependent and helpless, running back to Gandhi for cover, but to align ourselves with his broader civilizational agenda and to push on further from where we are."|
|"Now we can use Leibniz's law to produce a very simple argument to show that brain states are not identical to states of consciousness:|
1) States of consciousness have intrinsic value.
2) Brain states only have instrumental value, hence do not have intrinsic value.
3) Therefore, brain states are not states of consciousness."
Become an Objectivist in Ten Easy Steps
|"All we have to do is let the future directed retarded waves produced by the acceleration of the body stimulate advanced waves from the matter along the future lightcone. They will converge in the present to produce the inertial reaction force, and cancel the advanced wave produced by the acceleration of the body that would otherwise propagate into the past."|
Farting Robots and Shitting Ducks
|"Man qua man is a rational animal."|
|"Stuart Wilkinson of the University of South Florida is a leader in the emerging field of what he terms "gastrobotics," yet Wilkinson's creatures are nowhere near the pooping stage -- the best he's been able to master so far is farts."|
Considering that cannabis was in all likelihood humanity's first cultivated plant and remains (the?) most widely distributed in both wild and domestic forms, the coincidental (talk about bad timing...) explosion of scientific research and prohibition of marijuana has created a large hole in our self-understanding.
Striving to catch up are a bevy of researchers, epitomized by Dr. Patricia H. Reggio, who here summarizes her current work.
|"The long term goal of our cannabinoid research is to elucidate the basis for the actions of the cannabinoids at the molecular level. To date, two cannabinoid receptors have been identified. The first receptor (CB1) is found largely in the brain. The second cannabinoid receptor (CB2) is found largely in the periphery. Both receptors are G-protein-coupled receptors."|
Last fall's International Cannabinoid Research Conference would have been a high point for many highbrow highballers et al. of higher cognitive processes.
The endogenous cannabinoid signalling system: chemistry, biochemistry and physiology is a scienterrifically literate examination, and has cool diagrams, man. Now, if I could remember what I just read...
|"The scene was surreal, politically charged, and slightly intimidating. Most American cannabinoid researchers are funded by the National Institute of Health, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), other government agencies, and pharmaceutical companies. Few of these funding sources are friendly to smoked marijuana or the marijuana legalization movement, and as I was to find out later, some officials representing NIDA are openly hostile to whole marijuana and those who believe that individual citizens should be able to do high level cannabinoid research in the privacy of their own brains."|
Cannabinoid Science Internet Mailing List
|"Anandamide, 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol and psychoactive cannabinoids (e.g. THC) may act at pre-sinaptic CB1 receptors and inhibit, via a pertussis toxin sensitive G-protein, inward calcium currents and adenylate cyclase, thereby influencing, respectively, the release of other neurotransmitters (inhibition) and outward potassium currents (facilitation). The latter effect may lead to potentiation of GABAB receptor-mediated neurotransmission. Endocannabinoids may also act at post-synaptic CB1 receptors and inhibit the re-uptake of neurotransmitters or modulate the likelyhood of action potential generation and impulse propagation'."|
I don't know how this slipped under my harm-reduction radar. Cannabis Spray Helps Ease Pain
Do some four footed animalslaves need bud in their brekky? Cannabinoid Receptors Key to Stress Response
|"Only three patients out of the 23 in the two groups said they received no benefit from the spray. Side effects included a high level of euphoria, or "high..."|
|"Cannabinoid receptors function like doors on cells that open to let in certain compounds that activate the cells. These receptors are on cells only in certain areas of the brain--including those associated with pain and pleasure."|
The Mithraism - Freemasonry Connection is a rather interesting introductory essay to a subject with a compleXian problem.
Going as far as I'll ever go in this direction, there is fun in frolicsome flak. The Wacky Cult News
|"Freemasonry is transmogrified Mithraism. One must understand that the Picti (the inhabitants of Calidonia, before it became Scotland), copied the Romans in just about everything: from kilts (taken from the Roman basic tunic), to bagpipes (what the Romans marched to), even to the sporan, which is based on the chain-mail to protect a legionary's groin, now transformed into a purse!"|
Low Earth Orbit
|"One day, in L.A., we got in the limousine and went down to the Scientology center on Sunset, and Elvis went in and talked to them. We waited in the car, but apparently they started doing all these charts and crap for him. Elvis came out and said 'Fuck those people! There's no way I'll ever get involved with that son-of-a-bitchin' group. All they want is my money.' Well, Peggy still kept on about it, so Elvis didn't date her any more. And he stayed away from Scientology like it was a cobra. He'd shit a brick to see how far Lisa Marie's gotten into it."|
It's wonderful to stumble onto a paper by a favorite writer that somehow eluded my google-eyed driftnet. Psychology of the Future - Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research by Stanislav Grof
|"And so I came home, back to Los Angeles, the most advanced civilization created by man, to the roads and crowds and bad air, and could not look upon it as the terminus on the railway of history, but rather, as a provincial station which stands in the shadow of the central depot. We are more than we have ever been, but we are not yet all we shall soon become, so far beyond what any of us can comprehend that even to glimpse it is enough to stun the reason into silence. Inside this silence I have written these words, which convey at best only the smallest portion of what I seem now to understand intuitively."|
A skeptic, humanist, atheist-agnostic goes on a grand corespondence that ends well. I agree, cynics are often boring. I think they are often bored. Skeptics are never bored. Commodification of Friendship - The Discomfort of Individualism
|"Academic circles have so far ignored and made light of the evidence that has been amassed by various avenues of modern consciousness research in this regard. They have thus been able to avoid a radical conceptual crisis that would be brought about by open-minded critical evaluation of the existing data. I firmly believe that it would lead to a radical change in our understanding of human nature and the nature of reality that would equal in its depth and significance the effects of the revolution in physics at the beginning of the twentieth century."|
|"I have decided that there is just not enough evidence to base my life and decisions on any of the many theories of afterlife I encounter. I will live as if I have one life and this is it, a good threescore-and-ten, more or less. Because of the real world consequences, to myself and others and the world, I will try to live it with honesty, integrity, kindness, passion and humour. I will sometimes fail miserably, sometimes surprise myself with my own wonderfulness. C'est la vie."|
If you'll have your tickets handy, we can now board the Singularity Shuttle for a journey down Alice's well. Buckle up and prepare for falloff.
Part of a proper camping experience is the exit poll. Then, at that exact point, an experience that could have been beyond words is qualified by definition - poor, fair, good, very good, excellent ("indescribable" being too ethereal, perhaps suggesting enhancement of one's stay by entheogenic means). Forest Service Complaints
|"The Lorentz model is limited at c meaning that a free-
fall to the speed of light is a "discontinuous" event.
At that point the algebraic variables representing the
test object are required to vanish and the Lorentz trans-
form ceases to be a valid model. Lightspeed is an evanes-
cent horizon forever beyond the scope of theoretical
physics because the prevailing mathematical paradigm is
boundary limited by a zero in the demoninator."|
Wherever we are there is A Place For Consciousness - The Theory of Natural Individuals.
|"The following are actual comments received last year from Forest Service registration sheets and comment cards after backpackers completed wilderness camping trips:"|
The sermon this week is An Essay on Theodicy but don't worry, falling asleep proves the thesis.
|"The result is a panexperientialist view very reminiscent of the sort proposed by Whitehead, in which the fundamental entities are processes composed of internally linked, experiential events. Some of these events would have to be irreducible state determinations of natural individuals."|
|"The Platonic and neo-Platonic idea of evil has to be firmly rejected, for these notions contradict the findings of our modern & contemporary sciences : chaos & order form a pair and no workable definition of "life" is possible without both.|
Judaism, Christianity & Islam are unable to articulate a theology of evil which satisfies the findings of chaostheory, namely :
(a) it is necessary to deal with evil as an "existent thing" (always tending towards the greatest possible randomness) and
(b) no living process is totally devoid of non-linearity."
Problems With Heaven - one of them being, and I'm quite sure of this, is that Dog (the supernal manifestation of godness, of course) would leave no bone ungnawed. Although bitchy at times she could, however, link our mortal disconnection clean while at the same time providing antimemotic prophylactic.
Recognizing my Englishness reflected (albeit obliquely) made reading The tragic ineptitude of the English male a dash uncomfortable; smashing satire?
|"Theists' reliance on the notion of Heaven raises several important problems. First, the notion of human existence in Heaven--be it disembodied or embodied--is conceptually unintelligible. Second, it remains a mystery how the denizens of Heaven can have free will and yet presumably do little that is morally wrong. Third, the existence of Heaven as a realm of human existence that is relatively free of moral evil undercuts the traditional free will defense to the argument from evil. Finally, the anti-universalism thesis is unfair while universalism seems pointless."|
Bush is becoming downright dangerous
|"Date number three and you still haven't spent more than half a moment alone with the English male. Doesn't he know that of all life's pleasures women enjoy undivided attention the most? If so, what is he afraid of?|
It's been suggested that the wall I'm encountering is that old cultural mainstay, English reserve. Frankly, I think it's simpler than that. The English male avoids being alone with a woman because he dreads being alone with a woman. In this regard, the boarding-school-educated types are by far the worst."
The Urban Ecology of Cannabis points out how much more friendly a hempen world would be.
|"The voice Americans should be listening to is that of the closest thing the United States had to a noble Roman tribune - former president Dwight Eisenhower. As this great American and former general was leaving office, he warned his people that the gravest threat they faced was not from abroad but from their own military-industrial complex."|
Augustinian, Prime-eh, yeah man!!
|"Cannabis in silvis primum natum est"|
Yes, here in the northern climes August is a time for hermitage in deed and demeanor. The bugs are in full blood-fest, tourists are far more prevelant than the wildlife or locals, the price of gas has jumped ten cents/litre in response to this southern invasion, and to top it all off the fireweed tells me there are only six weeks before first snow.
A more accurate indicator of impending return to coldness is the increase of fur on my kitchen floor. When huskies "blow" their coats the explosion of downy extraneousness infiltrates every aspect of what could, sans canids, be hair-free food (would you like to come for lunch?). Every year I think to myself that I must collect this fabulous downy evidence of fissiped mammals' eco-intelligence and entice my weaving neighbor to make a sweater or summat for me.
Trouble is that my usual approach is to compulsively shop-vac and discard (eventually), without any desire to separate the contents of aforesaid suckmachine. Anyway, socks at the great Wallmart of Formica are p'raps five bucks for three pair - Angie wants fifteen just to clean and comb the accumulated doggy tomentum; lord knows what an actual article of hosiery would command! But think of the comfort...
There is considerable comfort in visiting J.R. Mooneyham's web-projections; not due to psychic woolens staving off the coldness of real-'space' but rather that, by understanding, we are warmed in the glow of receptive satiety. A valuable mind in a notoriously mindless age.
Black Pluto's door is yet another directive from Bruce Sterling that touches vastly tender attentsions.
|"So, in truth, as of mid-2002, the USA is decidely not at war, in legal terms.|
With each passing day, Bush is not only stripping American citizens of powers they previously enjoyed to limit government's intrusion in their lives, but also making it harder for us to even know what our government is really up to, from day to day-- or what they'll do next."
Nation-Building Lite -Michael Ignatieff
|"In a global economy with a well-educated middle class and virtually open access to information from abroad, it does not seem likely that (the region's) stick and carrot approach to political management can be maintained indefinitely. Sooner or later, issues which have always been implicit in both religious and secular discourse will be made increasingly explicit. These include notions of citizenship, the rule of law, religious toleration and a regime legitimacy that comes not from appeals to security, ideology or achievement but from popular representation and a consensus among the nation at large."|
66666 bytes !?
In our mad rush toward increasingly singular (and therefore fascist?) grokness we tend to forget those who bent spime so as to enable modern technoscience. Tycho Brahe - Danish Astronomer
|"Imperial presence is the glue that holds Afghan deals together, but there is precious little of it to go around. By comparison, Bosnia, which would fit easily into a couple of Afghanistan's 30 provinces, has 18,000 peacekeepers. But there are none outside Kabul in a country the size of France. The United States wants a presence here, but not an occupation. Afghanistan has been an imperial plaything since the 19th century, and nothing makes an Afghan reach for his rifle faster than the presence of an occupying foreign power. So in Mazar, indeed anywhere outside Kabul, the imperial presence is a nebulous thing -- a Special Forces detachment here, a plane overhead there."|