abuddhas memes - june 2000 - page two

abuddhas memes

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June's Jubilant Journeys

Teenage Sexuality, Body Politics and the Pedagogy of Display Prohibited from speaking as moral and political agents, youth become an empty category inhabited by the desires, fantasies, and interests of the adult world. (Henry A. Giroux).

Transhuman, n.
1.A human in a trance, mesmerized by a reflection in a magnifying glass. An ape with aspirations. One who feels that being meat is murder. Theme song: Über the Rainbow.
2.A public-domain Extropian.

The Joyous Cosmology is a brilliant arrangement of words describing experiences for which our language has no vocabulary. Alan Watts takes his next step in exploring conciousness. Here is the entire text.

I believe it is vital for our balanced (and our species') health that we take an honest, unbiased, scientific and comprehensive look at entheogens. In The Philosophy Behind the Writing of Pihkal Dr. Sasha Shulgin breaks his long public silence and provides perhaps the most passionate defense of psychedelics to date.


"Will robots inherit the earth? Yes, but they will be our children. We owe our minds to the deaths and lives of all the creatures that were ever engaged in the struggle called Evolution. Our job is to see that all this work shall not end up in meaningless waste." Marvin Minski concludes that our future is indeed biologically limited. He also asks a vital question: Do cultures have rights?

Well, here it is. The opportunity we've all been waiting for but really didn't have to wait for since when it is built, it will be as if it had already been built; so we can stop waiting. How to Construct a Time Machine "A Time Machine, that is, a device for exploring Time, is no more difficult to conceive of than a Space Machine, whether you consider Time as the fourth dimension of Space or as a locus essentially different because of its contents."

As Spider Robinson has so succinctly put; Shared pain is lessened; shared joy is increased; thus do we refute entropy.

Culture jamming is the responsibility of us all, as that is the only check able to provide balance to the otherwise overwhelming force of mass media and advertising. Steven Downs aims to crack the memetic egg in Hacking Memes. A simple and expedient example: "A popular tactic reacts to the increasing commercialization of the Web. A number of sites are creating and spreading spoof Web ads. Such ads are meme hacking at its best - they lay generally ignored, silently spreading subversion."

Gauge theory is now recognized as one of the most revolutionary discoveries in physics since the development of quantum mechanics. The study of the physics of consciousness, and Topological Geometrodynamics (TGD), provoke rather exciting speculations about the possibility of 'collective consciousness'.


Here's another mind-bending postulation by Max Tegmark. In this paper, it is suggested that most of this (the universe's) information is merely apparent, as seen from our subjective viewpoints, and that the algorithmic information content of the universe as a whole is close to zero. Does The Universe Contain Almost No Information?

Future history is usually best left to SF writers but An Illustrated Speculative Timeline of Technology and Social Change for the Next One Thousand Years is a well researched and insightful two part book, available in its entirety online.

National Security and the Information Revolution is a well presented case for vigilance.
"The National Security State is gearing up for infowar, and some of their proposals may have serious repercussions on your digital freedom."
The prologue to the online book The Psilocybin Solution sets the stage for a Prelude to a Paradigm Shift.
"It is my contention throughout this book that naturally occurring entheogenic plants and fungi are indeed the key to solving the twin mysteries of consciousness and reality. Once ingested, they are intimately involved with the bridge between consciousness and the world around us."
Technologically, we can now achieve man's historical goal - a post scarcity society. But socially and culturally, we are mired in the economic relations, institutions, attitudes and values of a barbarous past, of a social heritage created by material scarcity. Murray Bookchin wrote this more than thirty years ago in a leaflet called Toward a post-scarcity society: the American perspective and the SDS. So the years go by and a system that entrenches poverty in the name of a cheap and desperate labor force continues.


Charles S. Grob, M.D. examines Psychiatric Research with Hallucinogens and asks "What have we learned?"
"Jaffe, in the 7th and 8th editions of Goodman and Gilman, defined psychedelics as agents that produce changes in thought and perception normally experienced only during dreaming or at times of religious exultation. All of us should take a few minutes to think about the implications of that definition."
Filling the World with Self-Esteem: A Social History of Truth-Making
Steven Ward looks at the historical development of the concept of self-esteem (a fully circular meme?) "from a fragile idea used to ground the newly emerging discipline of psychology to a basic truth about human experience and motivation." The conclusion, that self-esteem only makes sense within the confines of an associational network, poses a fundamental challenge to sociological study.

Perhaps the virulogical view of language is also reversably applicable; viruses as the memetic transmission of DNA "ideas". Steven Shaviro leads us from Burrough's tapeworm to a transmemetic vision; in 2,861 well chosen words.
"Which came first, the intestine or the tapeworm?" In this epigram, Burroughs suggests that parasitism--corruption, plagiarism, surplus appropriation--is in fact conterminous with life itself.

When an individual with insight finds means to revolutionary ends, the poor sot may fall victim to The Gorbachev Phenomenon.
"The flow of life events, the so-called lived in world, may be thought of as aestrophic; that is, linear flow, where the numerous social systems with their imbedded ideas, policies and activities flow along, following almost parallel laminar trajectories."
French politics has always informed the American political psyche, and these observations by Jean Baudrillard are much needed at this critical juncture. A Conjuration of Imbeciles is an apt description of the current crop of poli-hacks.
"One must always be suspicious of the ruse of contamination, a ruse which, by means of the transparency of evil, mutates positivity into negativity, and a demand for liberty into "democratic despotism.""
Misinformed Voter is Your One Stop Shop for Political Spam.
""downright mean spirted" (sic)
Robert Barnes, on another topic altogether"
Judith Hayes, The Happy Heretic, does not see any joy in the fate of women living under the thumb of 'the men', man, and proceeds to cut through the pseudo-spiritual crap that is organized religion.
"Well, I've had enough. There is much more; but just as reading too much of the Bible's Old Testament can make you ill, this Koran can only be taken in small doses. Like arsenic."
Having alienated some significant portion of you, Dear Readers, I can only move to dis-qualify the above sweeping denigration with this quote from Religion and the Individual: a Social-Psychological Perspective. Our present age of dire balance cries out for each of us to live with our creative flow fully open.
"To understand dramatic, life-changing religious experiences, we made use of psychological analyses of another type of reality-transforming experiences, creativity. It was suggested that in creativity the cognitive structures that the individual uses to think about the world are changed. This cognitive restructuring leads to the creation of a new reality for the individual."
A novel reality could be adjudged by grokking the Swedenborg Glossary of Theistic Science. On the other hand, this vomitive verbiage obfuscates, and is perhaps best left to the masochist. A more graphical display of honest enquiry may be had in Margaret Masterman's "Theism as a Scientific Hypothesis"
"I will now, with the help of a logical system derived from Boole's insight, construct a mathematical iconic vehicle of the Christian Trinity; and I do this in all seriousness, not as a gimmick, since I think that Boole, in setting up his Laws of Thought, had a Trinitarian revelation as well as an Idempotent one."

Allan W Snyder approaches genuine novelty with a panoramic eye in this keynote address - Breaking Mindset.
"I think one of the fundamental questions facing the cognitive sciences is how we get ideas in the first place. How we actually think of something new. Indeed, here I want to take this question to the limit, because this question gives us insight into both the possibilities and the constraints of the mind."
New ideas are not confined to humans or even primates, as Colin Allen shows in bringing us up to date on our understanding of Animal cognition and animal minds.

In his forward to Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution, Stewart Brand tries to bring care to the carnival of revolution squared that is approaching.
"The science is good, the engineering is feasible, the paths of approach are many, the consequences are revolutionary-times-revolutionary, and the schedule is: in our lifetimes. "
Martin F. Downs and Pax Acidus lament the dearth of psychedelic art and literature with Scars of Adventures in Hyperspace.
"This decade, for all its literary goings-on, has produced few good, objective accounts of the psychedelic experience. In fact, we are faced with a wholesale extinction of the theme."

An Introduction to the Science of Artificial Intelligence is a clearly presented primer for Complex Natural Intelligences.
"It is not my aim to suprise or shock you--but the simplest way I can summarize is to say that there are now in the world machines that can think, that can learn and that can create. Moreover, their ability to do these things is going to increase rapidly until--in a visible future--the range of problems they can handle will be coextensive with the range to which the human mind has been applied."
Herbert Simon
Utility Fog: The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of -- all you need is fog, la, la, la, la, la; all you need is fog...fog; fog is all you need.

Keith Parkins knows a duck when he sees one, and asks the seditiously redolant question: are the Intelligence Services Unaccountable and Out of Control?
"We do misrepresent, lie, steal on occasion. But once you get beyond the question of whether we ought to do espionage, this is as ethical a group of people as you'll find."
Elizabeth Rindskopf, CIA General Counsel
Greg Egan is a science fiction writer with a talent for describing science fact. Here we navigate The Planck Dive - Cordelia's Tour, and get the view from near, and inside, a black hole.

As I remained in somewhat of a speculative mood I was serendipitously forwarded this timely Martian information by a pansensate wizard; and thought I'd pass the panspermate wisdom on. The Enterprise Mission points out some pretty odd things on our cosmic neighbor's surface.
"This image, M04-00291 (found by Hoagland) is certainly the most extraordinary. Located in an ancient ocean bed which has rifted apart due to some sort of cataclysmic stress are nothing less than a series of interlocking, reinforced and still intact translucent, glass-like tubes!"

The physics department at Oxford has surely bred it's share of submoronic lecturers, and one in particular has quantized sufficient energy to have The Wisdom of Dr Bowler created in his honor.
"It is very nice to know theoretically that the sun can exist."
EDGE 70 presents The Second Coming - A Manifesto by David Gelernter. There is by no means consensus on whether this is the actual direction of things to come, but there is also no doubt that the points raised are needed to inform us all. For instance, Orwell's Law that "any new technology that can be tried will be", is deemed by Gelernter to be empirical fact.
"Indeed the reverse is true. Most possible new technologies are never tried."
John McCarthy
To fully fill my need for simple declarative wisdom, serendipity brought a quail of quotes.
"Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action."
Clarifying the Triangular Circuit Theory of Attention and its Relations to Awareness - Replies to Seven Commentaries is an astounding if ultimately mechanistic look at what makes us (know that we) tick. I think my excitatory fibers are cohabiting with inhibitory subversives; thus my nutritional coffee needs.
"Thus, the impression of brightness, which is coded in earliest levels of the visual hierarchy, would be stronger in a percept than in an image, and brightness seems to be a prominent feature by which a percept is subjectively discriminated from an image."

'Incurable' Psychopaths Could Fill Health Centers begins by pointing out that the Canadian Province of (Harris-mentality) Ontario must examine it's policies. Then it proceeds to deliver a consise yet thorough backgrounder of those we rightly fear the most.
"But these men don't want any treatment because they believe there's nothing wrong with them. All we can do is offer them humane care and experimental treatment."
INSCOM Contingency Operations are being used to perform surveillance on domestic groups considered subversive. The Surveillance Camera Players have evidence that the Office of the Chief, Army Reserve (OCAR) at the Pentagon, as well as the Air Force and the Navy are doing this to them; and it may explain the inordinate military interest in my humble site.
"The formation of INSCOM provided the Army with a single instrument to conduct multi-discipline intelligence and security operations and electronic warfare at the level above corps and to produce finished intelligence tailored to the Army's needs."
A more prosaic, historical overview is the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command's The INSCOM Story.

So, why don't we spy on them a wee bit. Technology Demonstration Interests, The Act II Program gives some sight in to what the Army Research Office is willing to put out publicly. Here we can peruse plans for Battle Labs of all kinds, including a Power Parasitic Robot whose purpose, outlined below, seems deeply direful.
"To develop a robotic system that is attracted to and searches out energy sources upon which to reside. For example, the device might be able to (1) locate power cables, (2) attach itself to the cable, (3) draw its power from the cable, and (4) use the cable as a route of travel into and out of an area of operational interest."
Rising from the brain deadening inferno of military purgatory, Eleusis to PET scans: the mysteries of psychedelics is of a more helpful nature.
"Very few people realize that the use of LSD in terminal patients, for reduction of pain and improvement in the quality of life was well documented and statistically proven to be efficacious."

New Scientist profiles Unnatural Selection in an enquiry into why creationism and creationist science continue to flourish, even dictating educational policy.
"However it started, creationism is now being encouraged by right-wing political groups, which are exploiting people's misgivings about science to boost their membership and pursue wider goals."
Give a capitalist a ha'penny and he'll take a pound; of unskilled flesh. What will be The Next Economy?
"The introduction of digital currencies suggests a possible return of private currencies. It threatens the end of seigneurage, and raises questions about who can control the national money supply."
It is obvious that there is nowhere to go but down if On the razor's edge.
"Today's graduates are entering a winner-take-all world, says Prof. Thomas Homer-Dixon -- and most are painfully aware they've already lost the game."
The Global Semiosphere by Jesper Hoffmeyer is an essay that causes an entheosomatic redefinition by recognition - the world is the same but the view has cleared considerably.
"In my definition the semiosphere is a sphere like the atmosphere, the hydrosphere or the biosphere. It penetrates these spheres and consists in communication: sounds, odours, movements, colours, electric fields, waves of any kind, chemical signals, touch etc."
The Origins of Mathematical Physics: New Light on an Old Question
"Imagine that you have to start science from scratch."
Alexander Chislenko checks out Intelligent Information Filters and Enhanced Reality in this still leading-edge essay from three years ago.
"Reality filters may help you filter all signals coming from the world the way your favorite mail reader filters you messages, based on your stated preferences or advice from your peers. With such filters you may choose to see only the objects that are worthy of your attention, and completely remove useless and annoying sounds and images (such as advertisements) from your view. "

Drugs and the Brain provides a self-study entry level university course on the broad range of psychoactive substances and their effects. We tend to ignore that our most prevelant neurochemical adjuster is also one of the more damaging.
"Ethanol is a depressant drug that disturbs the normal chemical actions of nerve cells resulting in reduced efficiency of neural impulse conductance. "
Mechanisms of LSD: a Glimpse into the Serotonergic System delves into the nether realm of synaptic understanding; and we come away befuddled but wiser.
"Our postulated theories of LSD action only allow us a glimpse at the whole picture, and it is a rather incomplete, confusing glimpse at that."
A survey conducted by The Council on Spiritual Practices asked Do Psychedelic Drugs Mimic Awakened Kundalini?
"...the purpose of this survey was to test the hypothesis that the effects of psychedelic drugs (e.g. LSD, mescaline, peyote, etc.) are similar to the effects of a phenomena known in esoteric literature as the awakening of the kundalini."
Perhaps Zen Tantra is a good way to kundalinic experience. Now, if I could just meet the right woman...
"If your male partner does not have enough basic endurance to practice the above, do not let him train by himself."
Understanding Hinduism - Kundalini
"According to Tantra, the Kundalini, in the form of cosmic energy, is present in everything, even in a particle of matter."

Rita Lauria gets to the meaning of the message of VR in Virtual Reality: An Empirical-Metaphysical Testbed.
"The metaphysics of virtual reality suggests a physics of information, one with concomitant powerful implications."
My Grandmother always used to say that we need to eat seven pounds of dirt a year to stay healthy. The Hygiene Hypothesis suggests she may have been right; or just lazy.
"Prof. Rook believes that the rapid increase in immune-related diseases such as childhood diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may also be linked to our lack of exposure to soil bacteria during childhood. Lack of proper programming at an early age could have drastic consequences on the performance of the immune system later in life, he believes."
Philosophy of the Pseudoabsolute is of an ontological bent, and now so am I; bent that is.
"The psuedoabsolute is a dialectical unity of the absolute and relative and, as a "third reality," plays a great role in the spiritual life of humankind."
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© Abuddha Ahdduba, 2000