abuddhas memes - October 2004

abuddhas memes


October's Oracular Origami

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Emotional Selection in Memes:
The Case of Urban Legends
"In legal and public policy circles, researchers have expressed repeated concerns that the media may skew public policy by provoking irrational fears. By provoking such fears, the media may cause society to skew public policy toward trivial but emotional "problems" and away from legitimate problems that are less emotional.

Although the media may deserve all the criticism it gets, irrational fears often propagate in the form of informal contemporary legends that use as experts only the ubiquitous "friend of a friend." Until we understand more about emotional selection, we are unlikely to understand the social implications of a marketplace of ideas that competes not only over truth but also over emotion."
Replete with supporting documentation, Randall Bornemann asks "is an Economic Crash Imminent?
"China holds an unimaginably large portion of US debt. Without China's continued support for the dollar, the US currency would have devalued to the point of worthlessness long ago. However, China has recently stated publicly that they are planning to diversify their holdings out of exclusively dollar denominated assets. The dollar is just not a good investment anymore.

These are the three major areas where the US could be forced to deploy militarily. We are already committed to Iraq due in large part to Saddam's profitable decision to sell oil in EUROs instead of dollars. Where will we end up next? And where will we get the troops?"
The Real Reasons Why Iran is the Next Target: The Emerging Euro-denominated International Oil Marker
"Pentagon sources confirm the Bush administration could undertake a desperate military strategy to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions while simultaneously attempting to prevent the Iranian oil Bourse from initiating a euro-based system for oil trades. The later would require forced "regime change" and the U.S. occupation of Iran. Obviously this would require a military draft. Objectively speaking, the post-war debacle in Iraq has clearly shown that such Imperial policies will be a catastrophic failure."

Twenty three contentious postulates vieing for validation, World Views: from fragmentation to integration offers the gamut in brief. Cultural or personal resolution will be anything but - brief that is, bubbling crude, lawyer's gold.
"We would like the monograph to serve as an invitation to join our effort and to create, together with us, a small - but hopefully dedicated - international forum that may generate a multiplicity of provisional and evolving world views, allowing ultimately the continuation of growth and the synthesis of fact and value, of explanation and meaning to be realized.

Some proposals are the generalisations of projects that are already under study in the various subdisciplines, but point towards a more encompassing world view. This is the case for the projects connected with invariants and symmetries, with the arrow of time, with unitarian theories in physics, with holisms, with order and chaos, with general anthropology. Other proposals express attempts towards integration that derive from more formal sciences (the projects connected with system theory, cybernetics and the theory of self-organisation belonging to this class). A third type of proposal originates in logic and methodology, looking for concepts that are used in many different disciplines and having a unifying momentum. The proposals connected with fundamental categories are of this style."
Yes, I am fully caught up in the ethicly despicable, literally nonsensical and yet globally important American election. No, I don't have a magic thought that would cause a Bushite to liberally flower. The Facts are all out, and the fact that half of those asked are abjectly unaware of them points to the effectiveness of distraction as a political weapon of mass misdirection.

Knowing that I am preaching to the choir prods me to leave the church and venture forth into The Timeless Infinite Universe. Discovering the Two Opposing Types of Order at once demonstrates that every action is a political one, yet that politics by its nature divides.
"In terms of the implicate order one may say that everything is enfolded into everything. This contrasts with the explicate order now dominant in physics in which things are unfolded in the sense that each thing lies only in its own particular region of space (and time) and outside the regions belonging to other things."
David Bohm
Abstractly deepening, I am led to ponder the relative value of The Influence of the Future on Cosmic Evolution.
"The concrete discovery of two orders resolves into focus a major conceptual shift first advocated in western science by physicist David Bohm. It exposes a supreme state in physical reality and leads to a teleological model of cosmological and biological evolution. In support of this shift, part three presents a surprising switch in mathematical modality, what one reader referred to as God's math, where positive and negative numbers, or matter and anti-matter, are understood to combine rather than cancel, making absolute zero a unified whole value, rather than nothing."

Alerted by Bruce Eisner, I am delighted to find Thanatos To Eros, 35 Years of Psychedelic Exploration by Myron Stolaroff is now available for free in its entirety.
"Now as I survey the planet, I can see wonderful places of light and beauty, but also many shadows, some of which are very grim. But I have learned it is possible to live more and more in the sunlight. I have glimpsed intimations of the brilliant, heavenly light that suffuses all -- a light so radiant, so healing, so completely full of love that it is sheer ecstasy to be immersed in it. In my highest moments, I can momentarily become this light. From this plane of existence the celestial light shines wherever I look, in every living creature, in every created object."
bird on the moon got me chuckling ... it's only funny 'cuz it's true...
"How many Bush administration officials does it take to change a light bulb?

None. There's nothing wrong with that light bulb. There is no need to change anything. We made the right decision and nothing has happened to change our minds. People who criticize this light bulb now, just because it doesn't work anymore, supported us when we first screwed it in, and when these flip-floppers insist on saying that it is burned out, they are merely giving aid and encouragement to the Forces of Darkness."

John Cleese

Rhetorica makes its debut in my brain, and it is meet and right that it so do. I don't know how it took me two and a half years to find this fine blog; perhaps yet another proof that serendipity is very much alive, allowing us, however faintly, to embrace hope. Yes, we must keep our spirits up and focus clear.
"Let's take a definition break: As I am using the terms here, "politics" refers to the ideological struggles involved in making decisions; "governance" refers to the creating and implementing of policy."
I don't think George W. Bush would last through one question period in Canada's Parliament. The Prime Minister and his government being held directly accountable by the opposition parties' unvetted questions (there are rules, such as speaking 'through' the Speaker of the House, and not saying "fuddle duddle"), all televised 'live', makes for democracy seen to be in action. Worldwide, democracy is not in trouble. The trouble is that in America, the self-centered-same Union espousing democracy world wide, democracy is on its deathbed if not already expired.

On Columbia
Noam Chomsky's introduction to
Doug Stokes, America's Other War:
Terrorizing Colombia
"Colombia, again, falls well within a much more general pattern, though in each case, the horrors that are endured are terrible in their own special and indescribable ways."

The schism of the coerced and the clear, each believing the other is the "other", now comes down to the wire. In order to understand the order of the coming Order we need to recognize that regardless of which candidate wins, the fundamental requirements of maintaining an American Lifestyle, far beyond a sustainable Earths' means, will set Kerry or Bush's agenda.

This implies a general steady-as-she-goes policy on just about any issue, but especially energy. Consumed by an energy addiction that directly fuels insane foreign interventions so as to ensure a steady flow of carbonaceous elixirs, America's governing council must float all the dream bubbles it can inflate.

We can be sure that the holo-opticon will continue to infiltrate our individuality, increasingly 'pushed' as neccessary for our own good. We will be fed memetic sandwiches 'til we can eat no more, yet our essences will waft away dis-spirited; hungry for the intelligence of balance.

Almost all countries are botching things up ecologically, and most are making at least token attempts to turn the tide. Americans in general remain oblivious, safely cocooned by a massively ignore-ist Media and a gargantuan Mindless military, feeding on the rest of the world's resources. This is exactly what the Rocker Waltonites ordered, being such good fellers 'n all.

Heretic's Heart: A Journey Through Spirit and Revolution, by Margo Adler, is a personal tale of how the dog wagged the tail, and the tale wagged, man; dig?
"True, my Berkeley was not the only one. It was a center of bohemianism, yet Ronald Reagan was the governor of the state when I graduated, in 1968, and his signature is on my diploma. Berkeley had the largest number of Nobel laureates and Peace Corps volunteers of any university, but also the largest number of federal contracts for nuclear weapons research."
Cosma Shalizi thoroughly reviews The Extended Phenotype, The Long Reach of the Gene, by Richard Dawkins. His finding, that "Ultimately, Dawkins presents a vision of the organic world and its appurtenances as overlapping fields of power exerted by replicators over each other and over the vehicles which they construct to carry themselves into future generations.", conjures reductionist heaven, I'd say.
"This is a technical and controversial work addressed to Dawkins's fellow biologists; it is also enviably, relentlessly clear, both in its prose and its logic. This is writing like a spear: a hard, sharp point, everything needed to drive the point home, and nothing else."
Quantum Consciousness is an essay by Adam McLean that traces our understanding, from the hermetic tradition to a principal perceptual uncertainty.
"The brain can no longer be seen as a vast piece of organic clockwork, but as a subtle device amplifying quantum events. If we trace a nerve impulse down to its root, there lies a quantum uncertainty, a sea of probability."

A New Hypothesis About Autoimmunity - Is it Possible to be Too Clean?, or more graphically, The Benefits of a Bacterial Swill
"This hypothesis could explain a discrepancy in the number of cases of autoimmune disease in developed and developing countries. Disease rates have been on the rise in developed countries in the last 50 years compared to their developing neighbors, presumably because people in less developed countries are exposed to more pathogens."
Catalytic indexicals by any other name would glom-on as well. The Redefinition of Memes: Ascribing Meaning to an Empty Cliché
"Gloms differ from indexicals. Gloms are primitive collections of families of meaning. Thus, when a child is learning about daddy going to the office, an entire realm of experience is built into the glom of "daddy's office," "office," and "going to the office." Only later will the child be able to separate the primitive wealth of experiences into distinguishable parts and associate a socially acceptable label with some of those parts to better "bound" the concept of daddy's office (the subway trip and its associated people and smells may be in the glom but will have been removed from the concept). By contrast, indexicals have no meaning independent from the situated context in which they are evoked."

I'd like to heartily welcome back Jak's View to my attention; too long gone but never forgotten. Also, Improprieties is hot with analysis and prognostication.
"Debate #1: Polarity: Intelligence vs. Deep Stupidity. Proved that charges of error and incompetence, richly demonstrated, can't hold a candle to mad credence.

Debate #2: Polarity: Calm Assurance vs. Petulant Querulousness. Lent support to the notion that pheromones of inarticulate, bursty buzzwords trigger more couch spud viagra than carefully phrased, clearly set forth positions.

Debate #3: Polarity should be: Safety vs. Danger. The undecided will turn not on whether Bush was incorrect, but whether he is dangerous. Bush has shown he's hell and leather on witless middle Eastern dictators. Is Kerry genial enough to prick the little man into losing it, if only for a blink, rendering visible the danger Mr. Bush poses to us?"
"Have you heard the news that's going round yeah
The man in charge has got to go
Cause he dances round the problem boy
And the problem is the man in charge you know..."

J.J. Cale, To Tulsa and Back, The Problem
Cancer on the Beat
Coming soon to a roof near you?
"TETRA, a new police communication system, is being linked to a cancer epidemic among both cops and civilians living near transmission masts. The government, meanwhile, is rolling out the system as if nothing is wrong.

There is a yawning discrepancy between the NRPB and others over safe levels of this kind of radiation. If you compare the NRPB's recommendations with others, in terms of miles per hour, it is as if in the UK an acceptable speed limit would be 2847mph while the EU recommends a limit of 9mph."
Footprint of Nations
"Nations that are not able to support domestic consumption with their own supply of nature are running what is called an ecological deficit. In other words, these countries are either importing ecological capacity from other places around the world, or they are taking it from future generations."
Fly through the vastness of First Nations, no map needed as each river or trail will lead to where you need to be. Aboriginal Peoples
"After some 500 years of a relationship that has swung from partnership to domination, from mutual respect and co-operation to paternalism and attempted assimilation, Canada must now work out fair and lasting terms of coexistence with Aboriginal people."
Dialogic led to Science, Surveillance, and the Culture of Control ... they've sold us a dead parrot. I am etymologically replete. Oh, just read the damn thing!
"Now, would you rather vote Republican or Democrat? For which major corporation would you like to work? Which shopping mall has the best deals this weekend? Do you want privacy or security?

Both the spies at the Pentagon-or maybe at some corporate headquarters, we always get confused as to which is which-and public interest advocates at, for example, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), state that we should and must have security and privacy. But it's another false choice, both sides of which, framed as they currently are, serve to divert our attention while those in power continue to extend their control."

Thanks to Root Cellar I got to correct What's wrong with this picture? The slight red intrusion into the Province of Alberta, Canada!, represents oil and gas interests tied closely to Texas and American geopolitics in general.

native alternative

Something that hits (relatively) close to home, and that will be a tough decision for a Premier running a recession ridden Province, I am passing this on from Youngfox Canada. In fact, were it not for the BC bud industy Canada's Left Coast would be in a right dire economic pickle.
"Pick up your phone and tell Premier Campbell of British Columbia that you want Jumbo Glacier Park protected from the developers who are lobbying to build a $450 million ski resort and a town of 6500 people in it.

Dial toll-free in BC: 1-800-663-7867
Outside BC call: 1-604-660-2421
The decision will be made on October 18th, time is running out.

Since that date is also the birthday of the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau, honour his legacy of conservation by doing your part to balance the equation.
TAKE ACTION by sending an online fax or email to register your desire for the conservation of one of the British Columbia's last remaining wild places from the irreversible destructive development which will destroy the habitat of thousands of native flora and fauna."
The astonishing decline of America, OR, How to go from respected sole world superpower to dangerous third world nation in just a couple generations. J.R. Mooneyham keeps on keeping on in the face of Uncle Scam.
"As one scientist advised his colleagues in an e-mail quoted by The New York Times: "Assume you are living in Stalinist Russia when communicating with the United States government."..."
CBC television goes for it on 4th down and long and only three weeks left on the clock. The Unauthorized Biography of Dick Cheney
"Their starting point was not 'let's try to figure out what is going on' but 'let's see what kind of information we can come up with to justify the policy line we want to pursue'.

Cheney was the driving force behind an orchestrated presentation to the American public of a different version of reality than the reality we saw."

The Curse of Dick Cheney


As a post-posting addendum, I completely agree with William Rivers Pitt in his assessment of The Scary Little Man. I was annoyed, however, with Kerry for not fully depressing the button, and so the elevator never came. This is why I scored the game a tie though as I said, perhaps this performance was part of a grander plan.

"Bush was every inch the angry man on Friday night, which is dangerous enough. But to witness anger combined with belligerent ignorance, with a willful denial of basic facts, to witness a man utterly incapable of admitting to any mistakes while his clear errors in judgment are costing his country in blood, to see that combination roiling within the man who is in charge of the most awesome military arsenal in the history of the planet, is more than dangerous."
Going back a few years I discover a subject I would much rather be considering: Life, the cosmos and everything. Just a bunch of people getting together and actually communicating... no, really!
"A few speakers touched on the issue of consciousness. This is a topic usually eschewed by physicists, but Don Page emphasized that physics is primarily concerned with observations and these are, at root, conscious perceptions. He argued that a particular observer's experience should be a random sample of all conscious experiences and discussed how one might derive the probability measure for this sample. Ultimately this must depend on unknown laws connecting consciousness with physics. Linde also proposed that consciousness might play a crucial role in the world, speculating that it might exist (like space-time) even without matter."

As I suspected, last night's debatable tete a tete avec la grande silence was a substantive washout. Bush demonstrated his commedia dell'arte, improvised from standardized situations and stock characters, along with a complete disdain for the truth and his everpresent anger at being brought to account.

Kerry appeared cowed to some extent, unable, unwilling, or unprepared to confront Bush on his gross dishonesty at crucial times. America needs a hurricane of truth to remain a free(?) country, not a gentle breeze suitable for partisan kite flying.

Call this one a draw, to my vast dismay, which leaves the three game series 1 - 0 - 1 in favor of Kerry. Perhaps this was a rope-a-dope move by Kerry before delivering knockout blows in the final round. Let us pray it is so because four more years of Bush may result in a third American revolution or, at best, American bankruptcy; in international good will as well as economically.

Staying in the "Comfort Zone"
"Only the most naive gamblers bet against physics, and only the most irresponsible bet with their grandchildren's resources."
Bush's Crimes Against Nature, by RFK Jr.
"Environmental injury is deficit spending. It's a way of loading the costs of our generation's prosperity onto the backs of our children."
Running Backward Into The Future
Some Considerations About the Nature of Time and Memory
"I consider various possibilities that our failure to perceive our future-memories is due to our failure to experientially resolve the Cartesian split. By severing subject from object we have severed ourselves from our memory. Models to restore that split, or to circumvent it, although coming from "physicists" tend to be articulated in the language of Eastern mysticism/religious practice. The concepts of "emptiness" and "consciousness" figure prominently."

To clarify the somewhat dialectic view that I made yesterday, I do recognize the shades of grey and color that mark the individual collective, and the energy coalescence that explicates as a larger society. Americans, as Canadians, demonstrate the potential of the best and the worst.

A free society discusses and corrects its flaws, without any subject being considered taboo. In America however, topics that won't be addressed by those seeking office are the very ones that are most crucial for the fate of the U.S.; and indeed all life on this Earthship.

I will be keenly listening during tomorrow's Presidential Stickle for mentions of Kyoto or even pollution issues in general, America's prison-industrial complex or the easing of drug laws, peak oil and its ramifications, planet-wide mass extinctions, etc.


This evening of vice Presidential (curiously punny that: vice, hmm) pettifogging, I am convulsed with a need for en-lighten-mental material to shake off the dark chaos of those who pursue dialogue with bullets. I arrive at a place of beauty, passion and logic. Transformation Metaphors, derived experimentally from the Chinese Book of Changes (I Ching), makes divined order hypertextual.
"A sustainable community can only influence others effectively when its external initiatives are consistent with its own internal mode of organization."
I decided to consult my own version of the I Ching (Wilhelm / Baynes translation, the one with an introduction by Carl Jung; but that's another story). When I threw for Edwards I was given 16 - Yu / Enthusiasm; with the following notices:
Six in the second place means:
Firm as a rock. Not a whole day
Perseverance brings good fortune.

Nine in the forth place means:
The source of enthusiasm.
He achieves great things.
Doubt not.
You gather friends around you
As a hair clasp gathers the hair.

Six in the fifth place means:
Persistantly ill, and yet still does not die.

Six at the top means:
Deluded enthusiasm.
But if after completion one changes
There is no blame.
I now held my nose and threw for Diabolical Dick, and was given 44 - Kou / Coming to meet - with the following:
Nine in the fifth place means:
A melon covered with willow leaves.
Hidden lines.
Then it drops down to one from heaven.
(The melon, like the fish, is a symbol of the principle of darkness.)

Nine at the top means:
He comes to meet with his horns.
Humiliation. No blame.
Later on this evening, a few post game observations. America's Left would be Canada's Right.

Canada: an egalitarian multicultural society governed by representative Parliamentary democracy; officially bilingual. Some notable national prides include medical care for all and a decent social safety net. Internationally known for peacekeeping missions.

U.S. America: an elitist multicultural society governed by a Republican (two party) plutocracy. Some notable national prides include monumental phallic symbols and copious consumption. Internationally known for being dangerous.