abuddhas memes - november 2000 - page 2

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November's Nebulous Novae

Unable to dial into my faithful service provider yesterday I retired early and slept far more soundly than I ought. Whilst I dozed the darling canines exploded from the sigmoid flexure, through the anus, and all about the entranceway, boots et al; due to the effects of too much turkey-goo. This super-velocified excreta was discovered in all it's taupe glory by my dear landlady, who promptly rapped on the door saying, with space shuttle drollery, "Tony, we have a problem." Indeed...and what better way to start the day.

Nicholas Bostrom examines how my life took this fecal track down doggie drive. Well, actually, Nick doesn't know me nor is his essay aimed at any kind of individual predictive possibility, but he does present a fine case for the track hypothesis; Attractors and Values.
"Involuntary annihilation is not a value, but a very real possibility anyway; it's a plausible candidate for being one of the tracks in our future-topology."
In the Prologue to How We Became Posthuman Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics, N. Katherine Hayles brings us from Turing to Moravec and exposes the magic and the trick.
"You are the cyborg, and the cyborg is you."
With our seeming inability to come to ecostatic terms with our hyperconsumptive predilection, S. David Stoney pours iced neurons into our conceptual glass. Embodied Human Consciousness, Abrupt Global Climate Change, and Freedom also expesses the need for responsibility: We must look for and expect new ideas and flexible thinking from every citizen.
"Although accommodating to the "new" disquieting world of climate change will require considered (and considerable) reassessments in every arena of human endeavor, there is as much opportunity for progress as for retrogression."
Adding to the countless (go ahead, count 'em) uses of the cannabis plant, Kort E Patterson offers an alternative to putative psychiatric pharmacology. Therapeutic uses of Medical Marijuana in the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder
"Marijuana is the safest therapeutically active substance known to man... safer than many foods we commonly consume."
DEA Judge Francis L. Young

Chuck Hansen details The Oops List (Why won't the government come clean about it's nuclear weapons accidents?) within the potentially explosive confines of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
"Since 1988, I have assembled details of 96 U.S. nuclear weapons accidents and incidents, ranging in severity from gouges in external casings to fires and high explosive detonations."
In the case of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine: Ecstasy History, Neurochemistry, and Toxicology we get the straight dope - just the facts, man (from an Air Force M.D., no less).
"Their recommended dosage is 2 mg/kg as an initial dose with a booster dose after 3 to 4 hours of 0.5 to 1 mg/kg. It is also recommended that the user stay well-hydrated and refrain from vigorous physical activity to reduce the risk of serious hyperthermia and dehydration. Another important safety tip is having a trip guide to protect the user from risky behavior."
Michael Wilson, author of the mini-tome Infrastructural Warfare Threat Model, has the same name as our Finance Minister. That Michael Wilson, the economist, shudder, has presided over a significant dismantling of Canada's social and health care infrastructure. Some kind of cosmic irony is operating here.
"Impair C4I (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence) with C4D (chaos, catastrophe, confusion, computers, deception--note that computers are a constant force multiplier in either domain)."

By means of Apathy I got Cranky, which led me to a relatively modern Definition of Mass. Go figger...
"Instead, in special relativity it is better to talk about light having a mass-shell because it is a system of particles. In that case plane waves of light moving in one dimension have a zero mass-shell, whereas light moving spherically away from a source would have a nonzero mass-shell."
A massive essay, From Sex-Vixens to Senators - Representation in Nazi Porn and the Discourse of the American Right Wing adds weight to my understanding of why I am repulsed by rightists in general and most of their business in particular.
"The right wing's images of feminism discussed in this paper run the somewhat limited gamut between the grotesque and the ludicrous. They are not derived from a principled examination of feminism but from the right wing's own unacknowledged and unanalysed desires and anxieties."
Stockwell Day's hippy past gave way to best-dressed tag ... sold out, and bought in to unquestioning acceptance of the capitalist polymeme (with a Christian-right subplot). There is only one sane way to vote on Monday, fellow Canabinadians. If there is a Marijuana Party candidate in your riding, recognize the good fortune with a truly green choice. The Canadian Alliance wants to institute a tyranny of the majority by putting things such as capital punishment and abortion to referenda, as long as 400,000 signatures can be garnered for a petition on that particular issue. This of course should never come to pass in a liberal democracy, but just think of the impact if 1,000,000 of us put an X where Allan Rock and Jean Cretien cannot miss it. Vote for an MP MP !
"Absolutely, we got into trouble -- lots. Put it this way, I don't think I got enough spankings." Stock's eldest son
"Day is close with his boys."
Stocky Day: an avid Christian with staunch  morals

Inanity aside, we enter a surreal world - The Technologies of Orgasm (Chapter 1) by Rachel P. Maines - in which we learn of The Job Nobody Wanted.
"Given the ubiquity of these descriptions in the medical literature, it is surprising that the character and purpose of these massage treatments for hysteria and related disorders have received little attention from historians."

A Means of Control, the final scheduled Brain Food report by Jay Hanson, is a document of absolute clarity full of those aha! moments when truth becomes obvious in retrospect. It's conclusion, almost diametrically opposed to my own more singular view of the future, is bleak: But when the above scenario (anarchy) seems inevitable, the elites will simply depopulate most of the planet with a bioweapon. When the time comes, it will be the only logical solution to their problem. It's a first-strike tactic that leaves the built-infrastructure and other species in place and allows the elites to perpetuate their own genes into the foreseeable future: "War is a male reproductive strategy. All that is needed for the strategy to evolve, is that aggressors fight and win more often than they lose".
"Once the economist's neurons and dendrites are fully programmed (usually for life), economists serve as robotic broadcasting devices explicitly designed to hide the political nature of the economy from the public. In other words, the economist serves no function in society except to protect the ruling elites from public scrutiny while they loot the planet."
Richard Preston presses the point home with an exposition of The Bioweaponeers.
"Genetic engineering, in military terms, is the creation of genetically altered viruses and bacteria in order to enhance their power as weapons.
A virus that seems particularly amenable to engineering is smallpox. According to Alibek and others, it is possible that smallpox has left Russia for parts unknown, travelling in the pockets of mercenary biologists."
I feel an urgent need to re-cognize my innate optimism, if tempered by the knowledge that very spooky people are doing dastardly, despicable deeds. Timothy Leary, Gary Snyder, Alan Watts and Allen Ginsberg provide often sparkling, ageless words to funkify the despairing breast. The Houseboat Summit: February, 1967, Sausalito, Calif.
"They are liberated people, these kids, but they don't know where to go. They don't need leadership, but they need, I think, a variety of suggestions from people who have thought about this, giving them the options to move in any direction." Tim Leary
turn on, tune in, be
Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution - Nanomedicine.

Intelligence Amplification

Nano Electronics and 21st Century Global Ideological Warfare

If Uploads Come First - The crack of a future dawn

Brain Tennis

Mobile Code and Security: Why Java Security Is Important reinforces the decision to never enable java in my N* browser.
"One goal of this book is to educate Java users about the risks that they incur by surfing the World Wide Web with Java-enabled browsers. This chapter provides a gentle introduction to Java, and explains why Java is potentially dangerous."
These Notes on Damien Broderick's The Spike have been handily if hastily written by Michael Nielsen and give a nice purview of the singularity field. (deliciously oxymoronic, eh?)
"This is the first large piece of typing which I have completed using the Dvorak layout. It's a little piece of transhumanism all its own; I am now a faster, more accurate and less fatigued typist!"
Distant Star, The Electronic Magazine of the First Millennial Foundation, a group dedicated to colonizing the galaxy, reviews Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe.
"In a highly multidisciplinary subject one might simply be grateful for any comprehensive treatment, but a book on this subject which does not even mention the Fermi Paradox is clearly deficient in explaining why the subject needs treatment."
Comments on the Psilocybin mushroom
"Committed, persistent exploration of the transformational processes opened through establishment of a relationship with a particular class of plant entheogens, the tryptamines psilocin and psilocybin, provided the impetus to share some of the results of this work with others. This little monograph is addressed to those who have an interest in the long term developmental processes catalyzed by these plant compounds."

One of the disadvantages of on-line books is that, truthfully, one never can read the whole thing as a unit. The hypertextual flow would have the reader's rather than the author's interests satisfied (even in the absence of links the instantly gratified ability to grab further particular information is always enticing one away from the primary text). This chapter of The Psilocybin Solution stands well on it's own. The Earth is Alive and How I Found Out.
"My conclusion on this matter, based upon similar experiences, is that the mushroom allows one to listen to Nature as if she were a powerful teacher, a notion commonly held by native American peoples. Although such a belief might appear foolish and primitive, I have come to suspect that it contains some profound wisdom and insight that predates our modern Gaia theory and further, that psilocybin fungi can be used to help us recover this wisdom."

With a payload of only about one and a half percent and fuel making up the bulk of launch weight, attaining low earth orbit is costly and wasteful. A hybrid scheme such as that described in Space Elevators, Space Hotels, and Space Tourism is a very attractive option. If I were a venture capital administrator if wishes were horses... I would take a close look at this detailed proposal that expands on the work of Arthur C. Clarkeji and Y.N. Artsutanov. It is possible, utilizing existing technologies and materials, to send our overpaid executives, sports oligarchs and non-celibate-rities to Gaiambit. p'raps they could be offered incentives to keep going - out damn spot

a shrine to the trickle-up theory

When settled in to their high hotel (hey, no war on altered states up here) perhaps a bit of sailing would be de rigeur; made possible by this Breakthrough In Solar Sail Technology
"The fiber is a departure from solar sails of the past: it is about 200 times thicker than the thinnest solar sail materials, but so porous that it weighs the same."
Taken straight up/out from national borders, Russia and Canada could claim more universe than any other countries (yay, I want my 1/30,000,000th of 12% of the macrosphere, and I doth here take title of it!). Garry Davis re-asserts our global citizenship, explores the psycho-sphere of competing interests; and asks the non sequiturial Who Owns The Earth?
"Today's world people think naively that politicians have always run things. They never have and they never will. Politicians were only the pirates' visible stooges."
Buckminster Fuller
Taking an optimistic view that the pirate's ships will flounder in heavy psychelutionary seas, and that we can get together to share our earthship's resources, what is the prognosis for profusion? Robin Hanson provides the skinny that our future may be fat indeed. Long-Term Growth As A Sequence of Exponential Modes
"If it is possible for the economy to again transition to a faster mode, and if modes are comparable in terms of how much the economy grows when they dominate and how much faster new modes are, then within the next century we may see a transition to a growth mode where the doubling time is measured in weeks, not years."

The Moral Imperative of Our Future Evolution is an entirely credible exposition by John H. Campbell of the impact of our present understanding on our future being. Most of the component processes for private autoevolution are already in motion.
"Established species are far more notable for their stasis than change. Even throwing off a new daughter species does not seem to change an existing species. No one denies that species can gradually transform and do so to various extents, but this so-called "anagenesis" is relatively unimportant compared to geologically-sudden major saltation in the generation of novelty."
William Grassie howls at the moon of luminist feminism, and describes a field of hope; and mounting desperation, at this time of evolutionary criticality. Cyborgs, Trickster, and Hermes: Donna Haraway's Metatheory of Science and Religion
"Each blind man conceives of the elephant as radically different through his limited perception. In the parable, there is no question but that the elephant is real, that reality is real, and for that matter that the Divine is real, but that we are functionally blind."
David Deutsch eases us into the insights neccessary for a cognitive shift into superpositional space(s), in this Talk @ The Edge - It's A Much Bigger Thing Than It Looks.
"What I am aiming for now is a new kind of theory, quantum constructor theory, which is the theory of what can be built, or more generally, the theory of what can be done, physically."
Spike Magazine, which has kindled a fine weblog called Splinters, talked with Alan Warner about French intellectuals and the chemical generation genre; and shares an Existential Ecstasy. (excuse my boldness)
"I think intelligence should be legalised, I think, as the poet Robin Robertson says, writers write for the void."

Some oddish things have been finding their way onto my screen lately, including this rather unco argument that an Al Gore view of the future is a dangerous one. (Nader was the only sane vote after all...) Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr. goes on a temporal tromp within our Information Society: A Doomed Empire of Evil.
"Do not confuse prices with physical reality; rather, assess the meaning of prices, by subjecting them to the standard of physical reality. Such is the point of view of sane men and women, the point of view from which the lunacy of "Information Economy" is to be assessed rightly by sane accountants."
This is starting to scare me, as in a completely different search context I am slammed into the great wall of the Executive Intelligence Review (I'm Right, and you're not); again! They would like to take us away... From Cybernetics to Littleton -- Techniques in Mind Control ...unh huh.
"They (ed. meaning Tim Leary, Huxley, et al.) transformed American culture toward an erotic, perverse matrix, associated with the present "politically correct'' tyranny of tolerance for dehumanizing drug abuse, sexual perversion, and the glorification of violence."
Back to my divining senses, I am introduced to HAL's Legacy. From the foreword by Arthur C. Clarke to the last word by Daniel C. Dennet, this is a remarkable community of essays.
"If the group at SRI hadn't built Shakey, the first autonomous robot, we would have had more progress. Shakey should never have been built. There was a failure to recognize the deep problems in AI; for instance, those captured in Blocks World. The people building physical robots learned nothing."
Marvin Minsky
Few of us would ever consider punishing our own children with draconian measures and yet, as a collective of individuals who could not, we do. Betraying the Young - Children in the US Justice System shows that for all our professed care we are actually out of control, and so afraid of....our shadow.
"Disturbingly, however, a number of the violations are actually sanctioned by US laws. The USA has refused to implement fully the protection of the human rights of children provided by international standards."
Unicef - explore children's rights

Why Fight the Right? is Dedicated to stopping redneck politics in Canada, and answers the pressing question Who Is Stockwell Day?. Below is a list of the political contestants in our national erection. No clue who I support.
Alliance (Reform)
Tories (Progressive Conservative)
Libertarian Party
Bloc Quebecois
Liberal Party
New Democratic Party
Green Party
Communist Party
Communist Party (ML)
Natural Law Party
Marijuana Party
Jack Miles is Senior Advisor to the President of the J. Paul Getty Trust and author of God: A Biography. Here he delivers a Global Requiem - The Apocalyptic Moment in Religion, Science and Art.
"If McKibben is right and we are indeed living on "a new planet, not the earth we were born on," then the religions and arts that served us well enough on the old planet may no longer be serving us so well. On this new planet, the title The Sun Also Rises carries other connotations than those Hemingway intended, and the somber vision of Ecclesiastes no longer quiets the soul."
Lidewij Edelkoort (yeah, I love it too) gave a presentation of Futures, initially commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment of the Netherlands, and now opening new Doors of Perception.
"The bathrooms and kitchens will be almost clinical. Graphic design will be very pure and minimalistic. There will be a new and simple, sober elegance. Water will return."
The Big Bang Theory
according to
The difficulty is we are working on a different premise.
manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye yatatam api siddhanam kascin mam vetti tattvatah
full text of the Unabomber's Manifesto:

A cast of pundits displaying diverse skills, including those of the fabulously named Zbigniew Brzezinski, inform this investigation of Complexity, Global Politics and National Security, compiled by the ever concerned folks at the National Defense University.
"There are a number of planning mechanisms in the Department of Defense, both in the Secretary's office, and in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. But, you cannot plan national strategy on a complex variety of issues such as the ones I have mentioned from the vantage point of the Defense Department, which involves one particular motivation and perspective. This is not to negate the value of the mechanisms that exist, but they are constrained by a very specific institutional and professional perspective. There is nothing like a global political planning capability in the White House, literally nothing. I find it staggering."
I believe it was Dr. Menlo who mentioned that Sri Einstein had said that adopting a vegetarian diet is the single most important decision an individual can make to help the planet. To help those of us living amid moose munching madness is Simplicity vs. Complexity in Diet: Where Do We Find Truth? The culinary art of butchering science.
"Others who have long seen the headlights of science coming have kept busy constructing convoluted dietary "proofs" not seen anywhere in the halls of science, to justify the jungle diets of apes for savannah-dwelling humans. Compatriots point others to the proofs in justification for their diets while admitting they can't really follow the reasoning themselves. And at the same time the chef concocting the proofs is chopping, dismembering, and transforming the meaty research of science into a fruity-smelling salad of no-longer-recognizable ingredients that even most of their invited guests find hard to chew on, the real scientists whose research they are butchering up for others are labeled hacks."
Silvia Helena Cardoso, PhD and Renato M.E. Sabbatini, PhD wax philosophic on The Pleasure System, Drugs and Society, which looks at things from an entirely bio-mechano-chemical standpoint. Ignoring this anecdote deficient approach there is much here to attract, such as the well rendered animations and clear descriptions.
"Perhaps genetic engineering is the best weapon that our therapeutic arsenal has to eradicate or minimize the tragic compulsion for alcohol, cocaine and similar drugs."
The simplexity of it all! The Anthropic Principle Does Not Support Supernaturalism, or so say Michael Ikeda (statistics) and Bill Jefferys (astronomy) in this definitely finitive article that concludes by stating in no uncertain terms, The anthropic argument should be dropped. It is wrong.
"Now when considering a multiplicity of deities, say D1,D2,...,Di,..., we would have to specify a value of the likelihood function for each individual deity, specifying what the implications would be if that deity were the actual deity that created the universe."
the face of Dog

Paul Durban has bent into the wind of bioethical philosophy in a series of essays (book) rather plainly titled Activist Philosophy of Technology Essays 1989-99.
"In this book, I take it for granted that academic ethicists have at least made a beginning in taking note of technosocial problems. What I advocate is that they should take greater notice of these issues. And I am urging them to do so in an activist fashion."
The Raven manages to disparage all but the English in this diatribe concerning The Philosophy of Furniture.
"There could be nothing more directly offensive to the eye of an artist than the interior of what is termed in the United States - that is to say, in Appallachia - a well-furnished apartment. Its most usual defect is a want of keeping."
Being a Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture (MoMA) puts Robert Storr squarely Between a Rock and a Hard Place.
"Identity would seem to be a garment with which one covers the nakedness of the self: in which case, it is best that the garment be loose, a little like the robes of the desert, through which robes one's nakedness can always be felt, and sometimes discerned. This trust in one's nakedness is all that gives one the power to change one's robes."
James Baldwin
Neil Larsen critiques The Ends of the Earth
"Postcolonialism forgets, or never grasps, that the flip-side of "hybridity", "diasporic consciousness," etc. is the post-catastrophic holocaust of "monetary subjects without money."
"The three most dangerous things in the world are a programmer with a soldering iron, a hardware engineer with a software patch, and a user with an idea."
...thanks Eliezer
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© Abuddha Ahdduba, 2000