abuddhas memes - january 2001

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January's Millennial Muddles

Discombobulated describes my current neural state. Maintaining my natural or p'raps requisite balance of neurotransmittable yummies provides no prophylactic against the overbearing intrusion of the socioeconomic prick. You can hide, but you can't run, so what does a truly free person do? Hakim Bey wakes me (yet again) from my hibernation of cognitive remastication by reflecting to me the gift of genuine novelty. The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism, in it's entirety, all on one largeish page (250k?); glorious.
"We do not live in CyberSpace; to dream that we do is to fall into CyberGnosis, the false transcendence of the body. The TAZ is a physical place and we are either in it or not. All the senses must be involved. The Web is like a new sense in some ways, but it must be added to the others-- the others must not be subtracted from it, as in some horrible parody of the mystic trance. Without the Web, the full realization of the TAZ-complex would be impossible. But the Web is not the end in itself. It's a weapon."
Deep Tried Frees is the pleading echo of Diggers, calling us all to listen to the sound of silent cash registers, to feel the electronic hum decelerate into meaningful exchange.
"If earning a living is a sham, and not a righteous and honorable activity, why waste time doing it, if you can possibly survive some other way? And if you can survive some other way, why not become the skilled craftsperson you've always wanted to be, and give your wares away to whoever needs them?"
Claire Wolfe looks at the dear price we are paying for our (per)(con)version of wealth. Little Brother is Watching - How corporate America assumes ownership of your identity and your life.
"But even by the most charitable interpretation, UPS is now "encouraging" every commercial shipper, no matter how small, to use one of several online data-exchange options. Efficient? No doubt. The efficiency comes from the fact that all these options put names and addresses of package recipients right into the world's largest private database."
If of a Buddhist bent, one might suffer to enquire: Are psychedelics useful in the practice of Buddhism?. If of a psychedelic bent, this text by Myron J, Stolaroff, as tabulated by the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, may be a microdot too dense. Highly recommended by buddhas everywhere.
"In the fall of 1996 issue of the Buddhist magazine Tricycle, various teachers of Buddhist meditation practice commented on the value of psychedelic experiences, with opinions of them ranging from helpful to harmful. Here, the author hopes to explain these conflicting viewpoints by describing important aspects of employing psychedelics that must be taken into account for effective results."

I've reviewed this freeware before, but since I serendipitously found my way to their site and am so enamoured with the application, here it is again. Home Planet is an amazing astronomy package that even includes a cuckoo clock. As author John Walker chirps: Hey, I live in Switzerland! You can turn it off.

Another free gem is an interiorized analogue of SETI@home, and actually works on my ancient 133Mhz with 14" screen, unlike the above mentioned which did not like my resolution (and who could blame it). GOLEM@home - Automatic Design and Manufacture of Robotic Lifeforms not only runs as a cool screensaver it also may be my humble computing machine that generates the seed that grows the robot that actuates homocreated sentience. Highly down as well is the Legend of the Golem, and so we are primed for an Anomolous Genesis: Metaphor and Implication in the Creation of the Golem.
"By chance, after, say, a hundred generations, a particular group of building blocks happen to assemble in such a way that something moves a little. That accidental assembly is then replicated because it has above-average performance. After many more generations, but essentially the same kind of progress steps, we see robots that look like they were designed, but really they are just the outcome of this simulated natural selection."

In the Introduction from The Moral Animal: Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life, Robert Wright sets us up for an assumptive shift, and in some ways asks for adoption of an updated Victorian ethic.
"In the new view, human beings are a species splendid in their array of moral equipment, tragic in their propensity to misuse it, and pathetic in their constitutional ignorance of the misuse."
Before we get too carried away, let's check our beliefs at the courtesy desk, jump aboard a glass-bottom boat and journey into a crystalnacht tunnel of mirrors. Aaron Lynch gives a lecture that breaks the enigma and illuminates Memes and Mass Delusion.
"Still, as with doctors treating bacteria, skeptics should not regard this as cause for diminished effort."
Dr Walter L. Bradley goes in teleological search of the primememe, in an awesome distillation of the various arguments that surround how, or why, this is The "Just So" Universe.
"In summary, it is clear that the specific mathematical character of our universe is essential for it to be a suitable habitat for life. Yet the reason that nature has this precise mathematical form is problematic from a naturalistic or materialistic worldview."
What directions we are taking in our externalized explorations are well summed up by Physics in Space - from Quarks to the Cosmos; officiously brought to order by The Board on Physics and Astronomy, which will focus on opportunities for breakthroughs in understanding the birth, evolution and destiny of the Universe, the laws that govern it, and even the nature of space and time.
"In endeavoring to understand the intricate interplay between the Universe's governing laws, its origin and evolution, and the behavior of exotic objects within it, we are presented with great opportunities for learning about all three."
Exploring these dimensions by alternate methods, Shamanistic Cosmology of the Ancient Maya is a superb, well illustrated paper.
"The Maya principle of polar biunity finds, in many ways, an intellectual resonance in Niels Bohr's "principle of correspondence," in which a single entity can be both matter (a particle) and pure energy (a wave); its nature is determined by its behavior at a given moment of observation."

I think Glen David Brin did a commendable job of outlining the level of supposition required to assess The 'Great Silence': The Controversy Concerning Extraterrestrial Life, for it's day; 27 September, 1982. When all is said and heard, what remains is hope.
"From equations (1), (2) and (3) we are left with no less than 9 completely independent factors to determine or to put bounds upon."
Here we are, the most trinket rich yet broadly repressive bunch ever - one would almost think that our capacity for distraction is a form of brain damage; or perhaps that alcohol, caffeine and tobacco are ill-advised majority drugs-of-choice. However it is, they continue The Crackdown on Dissent while the Left seems left without a unifying vision; and action without basis is basically no action at all. thanks to The Hotsy Totsy Club
"More than fifty years ago President Truman unleashed a crackdown on the left that was carried on by his Republican successor. We may face a similar crisis today."
Susan Blackmore presented The Power of Memes in the October 2000 Scientific American. This link goes to a low-bandwidth, notably permissioned rebyte.
"Why has evolution allowed the brain to grow so hazardously large?"
Self-Ascription Without Qualia: A Case-Study is a Commentary on Alvin Goldman, "The Psychology of Folk Psychology" by the inimitable, perhaps anomalous, and always enlightening David J. Chalmers.
"So let's consider Zombie Dave, my qualia-free physical replica. Zombie Dave is almost certainly not an empirical impossibility, but he is a conceptual possibility."
do not anachronize

CBC Radio's always excellent program Ideas featured a documentary on Wade Davis this evening, which awakened my interest in things ethnobotanical. One River : Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest is an introduction by the author to his Schultesian volume of culturological adventure. Another confection is this conversation conducted by Zach Dundas: Feel the Loa, Taste the Vision Vine - Wade Davis | The Mumblage Interview.
"A couple years later, he (Richard Schultes) calls me in and says, would you like to go to the Caribbean? It's winter in Massachusetts—of course I'd like to go to the Caribbean. Two weeks later I'm in Haiti looking for zombis. So it's that kind of serendipity that I'm talking about—and I think there's a lesson for young people there. Young people are sold this bill of goods, that life is a set path. Life is a dance, and you have to hear the rhythm and move with it."
A well written overview of a hypothesis is always a polite contribution. In this case, Robin Figueirado maneuvers among Space Invaders - Panspermia or Cosmic Ancestry; a discussion on the origin of life on Earth.
"Are we all part of a giant universal biodiversity, which is being controlled and driven by microbes? Make your own mind up."

Light is fast, right? Not when Dr Lene Vestergaard Hau and Dr Ronald Walsworth, working independently, manage to Stop Light Dead; as pre-reviewed by the BBC prior to official publication in Nature.
"The biggest impact of this work could be in the burgeoning field of quantum computing and quantum communication."
A connection that probably should have struck me earlier considering its nefariously obvious nature is the three-way relationship between Canada's largest nicotine delivery system manufacturer (Imperial Tobacco), largest drug store chain (Shopper's Drug Mart), and multinational pharmaceutical giants Quest, Nu-Life, Swiss Herbal, Jamieson, Wampole and perhaps others. Zoltan P. Rona, M.D., M.Sc. delivers a wide rangeing, reformatted e-mail that details many strange and conflicting interests, including The Canadian Coalition for Health Freedom & The Drug Connection.
"A multinational company (Bayer), found guilty of price fixing (in effect ripping off consumers world wide), has the ear of the German government, several other nations, and is able to have direct input with a United Nations World Health Organization bureaucracy, namely the Codex Commission - all of which have bought into a clear conspiracy to violate human rights under the guise of consumer protection."
Piero Scaruffi puts together perhaps the most legibly comprehensive paper available on the subject, and investigates Consciousness: The Factory Of Illusions.
"No scientific theory of the universe can be said complete if it doesn't explain consciousness. We may doubt the existence of black holes, the properties of quarks and even that the Earth is round, but there is no way we can doubt that we are conscious. Consciousness is actually the only thing we are sure of: we are sure that "we" exist, and "we" doesn't mean our bodies but our consciousness. Everything else could be an illusion, but consciousness is what allows us to even think that everything else could be an illusion. It is the one thing we cannot reject."
I am, so there, I think
"Maybe it turns out that the real patterns in the tales told by everyday people about what they believe, how they came to those beliefs, and so on; in short, what they do in their minds, correspond very poorly with what we find going on in their brains."
In tuning the actual to a presentable frequency we are all liars. Now, don't think I'm doing an apologist's end-run around the charmonius melody of life in order to disabuse myself of responsibility for some of the whoppers I've sprouted. The blue note is often the most accurate, if least justifiable; and I really did like that red dress. The Enemy from Within: of Memes and Modules, Explanation and Confabulation is a deconstruction of Dennet and a reconstruction of Brock, by Lars Hall. Actually, that's not true.
"If I am on the right track in my discussion there is reason to believe that the coherent, rational, intentional agent that lies at the core of our folk-psychological conception of ourselves is something of a fiction. In my view Dennett has in his extensive writings provided all the tools necessary for this conclusion."
M. Steven Fish catches the outgoing tide of sanity, and begs the question: what is really the difference between a fully criminalized and decriminalized economy? The Roots Of and Remedies For Russia's Racket Economy
"As Lowi argued some thirty years ago in his prescient, withering critique, contemporary American liberalism, in part by renouncing the necessity and centrality of coercion in the operation of government, virtually ensured a rise in public disorder, a decline in state autonomy and capacity, and an emasculation of public administration itself--even as the size of the administrative apparatus burgeoned."
"Harry Potter has struck me in one way: the look of desperation in parents' faces when they buy the books, as if these novels will suddenly turn their kids onto reading, and save their sorry asses."
Alan Gilbert
I feed my science fiction habit every night at nappytime, a reading ritual I really relish. Locus Online provides a focus for what's happening in the SF world; such as that a copy of a David Brin book taken to Mir by an American astronaut was a cargo crash casualty.
"By now, after rounding Earth every ninety minutes for over six years, is it the most-travelled novel ever? Has there been any appreciable effect from time dilation? Exposed for all that period to hard vacuum and sleeting cosmic rays, would the manuscript show evidence of "criticism" by the Great Big Universal Editor in the Sky?"
Say I'm a surgeon, editor of human beings, artist, but also scientific researcher. I yank your diseased appendix, for which you are eternally grateful, and place said naughty bit in a beaker. Is it still yours, or is it mine, or humanity's? Well...Moore v. The Regents of the University of California: Balancing the Need for Biotechnology Innovation Against the Right of Informed Consent may not provide a stock answer, but it sure does give the soup a good stir.
"As is the case with other advances in technology, it is important for the courts and legislature to insure that individual autonomy will not be diminished by new scientific discoveries. However, it is also important for society to encourage innovation that will be of benefit to all people."
Speaking of sharp, pointy things, Servando Gonzalez serves A Semiological Analysis of Some Aspects of the Cuban Missile Crisis. A Missile is a Missile is a Missile
"As nobody can smoke Magritte's pipe, no army can win a battle by firing photographs of missiles against the enemy. Images appearing on photographs are not things, but signs of things. The inability to distinguish between a sign and the thing it signifies is one of the characteristics of primitive, magic thinking."
this is not it

I must give Tony, of Crosswinds server savvy (in)fame, credit for tenacity through a very tough upgrade. Are we starting to see a fraying at the edges of cyberspace, not because of any particular dis-ability in hardware, software or bioware, but rather due to general tiredness?

The Tenth Annual International Conference of The Society For Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences distracts with a bevy of abstracts that exact an encephalonic toll. There are many fine synopses to tease and please us, like Matthijs Koopmans' Double Bind Theory, Schizophrenia, and the Paradox of Self-Reference, which in one short paragraph gets to the heart of our attack on each's other.
"The definition of the family as autopoietic implies that the conflicting expressions of affect, and the accompanying resistance to change often noted in family therapy circles, originate in the conflicting self-definition of the system. In this scenario, individuals who perceive their universe in double bind patterns also perceive themselves in double bind patterns because they themselves are part of that universe."
Selling Surveillance: Privacy, Anonymity, and VTV is a psychosocial appraisal by David Banash of the obvious circularity in commercializing the final frontier - autonomy. There is no when in spime that will escape (our denied yet undeniably prurient) intrusion unless we each, personally, make a determined commitment to deny governments, corporate entities, and each other the right to do so.
"Not only is CBS selling a kinder, family-oriented brand of surveillance, it has consistently attempted either to edit out or to downplay moments of friction with the institutional apparatus--in short, minimizing anything which might make the panopticon look less than enjoyable."

Old Guo would have to spend half of his years salary for one journey on The Great Road of China, a surreal world portrayed by Miro Cernetig in this Globe and Mail article.
"Americans had Route 66, Canadians the Trans-Canada Highway. And now the Chinese have the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway, $7-billion worth of fresh blacktop, gas stations and futuristic-looking rest stops."
Jeremy Rifkin succinctly visits our future(s) market(s) and observes that we are Playing Ecological Roulette with Mother Nature's Designs.
"Researchers are concerned that manufactured genes for herbicide tolerance, and pest and viral resistance, might escape and, through cross pollination, insert themselves into the genetic makeup of weedy relatives, creating weeds that are resistant to herbicides, pests and viruses.

Transnational life-science companies project that within 10 to 15 years, all of the major crops grown in the world will be genetically engineered to include herbicide-, pest-, virus-, bacterial-, fungus- and stress-resistant genes."
A post-grad student in molecular biology puts it all in commendable, compendious fashion. Dangers of Transgenic Plants
"Unlike chemical or nuclear contamination, genetic pollution is self-perpetuating. Genetically engineered "biological pollutants" are alive, they can reproduce, migrate, and mutate."
Transgenic Gardening for Beginners is more comprehensive, rounding out our understanding of which questions need to be addressed on an issue that cannot be returned to sender.
"If life on Earth constitutes a vast sea of slowly unravelling biochemical possibilities, which of those possibilities should never be realized, and why?"

The World Question Center assays luminaries of all hues ('pancandescent intellinauts'?), asking What Questions Have Disappeared? David Deutsch, author, physicist and multiversal talent brings us 'back to one' with his quanswer: "And why?"
"Whenever we fail to take that question seriously enough, we are blinded to gaps in our favoured explanation. And so, when we use that explanation to interpret regularities that we may observe, instead of understanding that the explanation was an assumption in our analysis, we regard it as the inescapable implication of our observations."
For some things a little friction might be pleasant, desired oh my, starting to get excited - must get out more, nay welcomed, but if ya really, just gotta get slick, this new True nonstick polymer eliminates mechanical friction.
"The resulting surface not only had much greater density and "smoothness," but also proved to be more chemically inert than natural substances. Without any of the ordinary irregularities in its surface, even down to the atomic level, nothing could attach itself to the material, even water molecules or solvents for the coating material."
Now you might think that I suffer from ADHD, especially the way I'm bopping around today, but it seems this diagnosis may be a uniquely AmeriCanadian affectation. Attention Deficit Disordered - An Anthropologist Studying ADHD Reaches Some Surprising Conclusions. Take the short and attention grabbing quiz: the Real ADHD Screening Test.
"The U.S. produces and uses 80% of the world's stimulants such as Ritalin, ten times more than Europe and industrialized Asia."
Eschewing arcane sociobiological predesitigation, John Landon presents World History And The Eonic Effect - Civilization, Darwinism, and Theories of Evolution. I think he may have unwittingly rediscovered memetic resonance. Or did I just do that? Obvious in retrospect. Punk-eek memesis. yeah...
"If we adopt a very simple, but unusual form of double periodization, as a force surrogate, based on three hundred year transitions and a twenty-four hundred year frequency, we hit paydirt at once and uncover the basic dynamic of evolutionary emergence for the history of civilization. It is so obvious once we see it that we fail to grasp its implications."
The Surveillance Camera Players ask What point is there in spying upon a group that displays itself in front of surveillance devices? Oh, Dear Readers, what are we to do when The Theater of Our Operations become a surgical target?
"At the same time that civilian law enforcement authorities are illegally making use of military-style surveillance, the American military is illegally surveilling and compiling huge quantities of data about domestic political dissidents. (The former activity violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; the latter the spirit, if not the letter, of the Posse Comitatus Act.) It isn't clear if recent changes in the military have provoked changes in civilian law enforcement, or the reverse, or both. Certainly the two institutions are "converging" or "evolving" in the same direction: toward an integrated Military/Police State, which fights all the time but, in the name of "humanitarianism," uses deadly force sparingly."

With more than 4,000 years of documented use as a cultural catalyst, Anadenanthera is one of a vast array of plants containing entheogenic tryptamines; and perhaps the neuro-evolutionary keys to the development of higher intelligence. It is beginning to appear that tryptamines are everywhere and earth is trying to tell us something. Will we listen?
"Until recently there have been many overlooked aspects of this genus and those with similar chemistry. Their influence on art and culture and the uncanny resemblance in chemistry between that of plant and mammal must be explored."
There are indubitably some staggering insights contained within this essay by David L. Hull, but the title, Studying the Study of Science Scientifically, has a circularity that causes any self-respecting infospector to blink.
"...new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
Max Planck
Studying the researcher who is studying the study of science, whether scientifically or not, inspires one to imbibe a double; root bark that is. Hitting The Hard Stuff - Does Analytic Philosophy of Mind Need Class-A Drugs?
"Change not just the individual flavour but the generic what-it's-likeness of thought, and you've generated a new virtual reality as well. And change it one can."
Naturally, this leads to chapter two of the mystery-to-me essayist's incredibly erudite exposition of David Chalmers' work; which is unnaturally unlinked to from one. Cosmic Consciousness for Tough Minds, or less glamourously The Coherence of Cosmic Minddust? An Ideal Monism Versus Soulless Dualism, secures our sail with double-bound hemprope (hope?).
"I still think Chalmers is too quick to dismiss the chances of straight scientific monism. Perhaps pill-popping panpsychist Everettistas aren't best qualified to sound a note of caution; however, I wouldn't seek to dissuade them. In clinging to a conservatively-conceived ontological unity of the world, the modern panpsychist will still want to exploit the substrate-neutral language of functionalism and the information-theoretic paradigm as a useful heuristic tool."
vast vesicular voids, very vivacious

I began my day completely (immersed in) Out of Control, a trans-spermist text by Kevin Kelly. Being impatient, I eventually warped right ahead to The Nine Laws of God - How to make something from nothing, wherein his thesis is divinely encapsulated.
"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."
Prosaic yet eloquent, Origins of Life covers a vast and often sulphurously debated subject with stellar aplomb. From the Stanley Miller experiments to the Murchison meteorite, this is a valuable cauldron of our current understanding; with some speculative spice rounding out the stew.
"Why is modern metabolism dominated by protein enzymes? There is a "chicken-and-egg" paradox of how to initiate the flow of genetic information at life's origin, since proteins encoded by DNA are required for the replication of DNA."
Providing testimony as angels' advocate to the above, more mainstream view is the Cosmic Ancestry (the modern version of panspermia) hypothesis, as brilliantly proposed here by Brig Klyce.
"Its account of evolution and the origin of life on Earth is profoundly different from the prevailing scientific paradigm - the theory challenges not merely the answers but the questions that are popular today. Cosmic Ancestry implies, we find, that life can only descend from ancestors that were at least as highly evolved as itself."
lifeful joy - Lovelock

Could it be time to return the cosmic favor? The Society for Life in Space - The Interstellar Panspermia Society thinks so, and are Dedicated to promote life in space by seeding new solar systems and planets in interstellar clouds by microbial directed panspermia missions starting in 2050. Are *we* what happens to lifeful planets completing their reproductive cycle?
"It is prudent to use our powers now to assure that Life survives."
"No present actual thought has any meaning, any intellectual value; for this lies, not in what is actually thought, but in what this thought may be connected with in representation by subsequent thoughts; so that the meaning of a thought is altogether something virtual."
C. Peirce - 1905
Complexity and Semiosis of Human Life is a dialectical gem by Vladimir Dimitrov. Almost Wattsian in his ability to bring unity to disparity, we are led to grok the complex and chaotic nature of our lives in a fresh, watercourse way.
"Plants and rocks, volcanoes and animals, stars, planets and humans - they all change and co-evolve due to activity of the same natural forces. And their dynamics obey the same four principles of life complexity described above: principle of attraction, principle of fractals, principle of emergence and principle of self-organization."
Upon grazing through the forest of Evolving Ecological Niches: Technological Change and the Transformation of the Libraries Role in Publishing I am left with one abiding thought - that information must be free for all. There could be no better expenditure of public funds than making sure that the sum of human ideational endeavor is available to everyone, regardless of ability to pay, register, etc....one small step for the human collective, a giant leap toward singularity.
"Rapid changes in the scholarly communication environment have occurred over the last fifty years, and most particularly since the rise of the Internet. Viewing the Internet as a new ecological niche, this paper looks at five university libraries that are redefining their roles in the scholarly communication ecology."
What is the Communications Security Establishment? An unofficial look inside the Communications Security Establishment, Canada's signals intelligence agency.
"The formal mandate of CSE is a classified document, presumably approved by the Cabinet; it has never been laid out in statute."

Labour Law in the Context of the Globalization of the Economy - Le droit du travail face ŕ la mondialisation de l'économie is a QuebeCanadian look at the incoming tide; or is globalization a tsunami that will enslave all low-lying people? The bulk of the text is en francais, mais there is a good english summary of the argument.
"This analysis shows that the nation-state, if it exploits the possibilities of both national and supranational regulation, can counteract some of the adverse effects of globalization on worker protection. However, to do so, a substantial amount of political will is required. And political will is also seriously affected by globalization."
Although Hakim Bey penned this essay prior to Bill Clinton's re-erection in '96, and made the error of presuming a Republican resurgence, his observations are stingingly accurate. The Criminal Bee brings sedition to quilting, and invites us each to co-create a T.A.Z. Here, now.
"Communism is dead and now you're the enemy. Wake up. Wise up. Most of the world has sunk deep in media trance - they can't wake up and smell the coffee because the coffee has no smell. It's become pure image. Television is the real world. Real thing now. And if you don't believe it you're outside reality. This is far worse than being a criminal. At least the criminal has some relationship with the consensus."
Slide on your concentration cap because Autocatalytic Closure in a Cognitive System: A Tentative Scenario for the Origin of Culture is a dense and complex article. In the end though the question I most wanted answered is addressed. Why don't animals evolve culture?
"The autocatalysis origin of life theory circumvents the 'chicken-and-egg' problem by positing that the same collective entity is both code and decoder."
Memetics: A Systems Metabiology by Ron Hale-Evans is more accessible, yet no less far-reaching in its implications.
"Both what we have been calling "memetics" and genetics, then, become subsets of the more general study of what Dawkins calls "replicators". It seems therefore something of a mistake to build memetics only by analogy to genetics; we need not a mirroring but a broadening, a generalization of both memetics and genetics to something we might call "replicatorics"."
The Molecular evolution of the dog family contains some surprises, and while of a rather technical nature this paper has many bones for the interested lap person to gnaw.
"Hybridization and habitat fragmentation greatly complicate plans to conserve the genetic diversity of wild canids."

Peter Cohen has been one of many voices calling us in from the cold darkness, modern equivalent of inquisition and witch hunt (the war on some drugs). Our memetically engineered fear of diversity in consciousness is well elucidated and candidly documented, in his tome Drugs as a Social Construct.
"In short, although (family) backgrounds are at the moment very fashionable in aetiological thinking about drug use and addiction, they have little practical relevance from a scientific point of view."
Dominant Ideology & Drugs in the Media (de)personalizes the issue with an examination of the "Jimmy Story"; a Pulitzer winning hoax.
"What happens to the editorial 'crap detector' when newspaper editors are confronted with a drug story?
...in each scare, including the current "war on drugs", reporters and editors have engaged in the routinization of caricature - rhetorically recrafting worst cases into typical cases, and profoundly distorting the nature of drug problems in the interest of dramatic stories."
Transparency, in the form of a 'coming out' by all of us who use any form of psychoactive, would end all this war on ourSelves nonsense immediately. We would see that those who do not purposefully change their perceptual realm, at least on occasion, are a small minority; and that this is true for virtually all (teenagers and adults within) human cultures.

What is it about the Culture of Growth that impels us to institutionalize a hypocritical, selective censure? Lorenz Böllinger provides an Introduction to De-Americanizing Drug Policy, a fine precis that primes us for a wide variety of essays covering a diversity of vital issues.
"These pages are dedicated to all those who, in the pursuit of happiness, have obtained and consumed certain substances defined as illegal and thereby got miserably entangled, detained and stigmatized by the criminal justice system."
Written in '97, Reluctant Recruits: The U.S. Military and the War on Drugs has been eclipsed by recent dramatic increases in pan-hemispheric involvement by the Excited States. This raises in my mind and I'm sure that of policy-directing Canadian 'crats and pols, the question of what response we will receive from our hegemonic southern neighbor when Canada decriminalizes 'drugs'.
"In Colombia, Mexico and Peru, U.S. international drug control efforts -- including the provision of equipment, training and direct assistance -- contribute to counterinsurgency campaigns characterized by gross violations of human rights. Moreover, the U.S. war on drugs has promoted a dangerous internal security role for Latin American militaries. Finally, it provides an on-the-ground role in the region for the U.S. military and expanded intelligence-gathering and surveillance, evoking concerns about national sovereignty among countries throughout the hemisphere."
Dissociative-state perception and epistemology is a slightly askew collection of, um ... I discovered a description of concerts writ with binary precision, as well as, well ... um.
"Now, "light show" and "psychedelic" have been hollowed of their real intent: these have been reduced to a veneer of flat, literal special effects, that fails to point profoundly to the nature of perception itself."

"Drug use is what you make of it. The great mind makes great use of drugs -- for example, the Beatles, Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Rush. The feeble, average, uncultivated mind is unable to create anything with drugs except vague, incohate noises, and cannot fathom how a great mind could produce lofty coherence from the seemingly overwhelming depths of unformed possibilities, possibilities that restlessly recombine in the mystic altered state that some call 'vision-logic'."
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