abuddhas memes - september 2000

abuddhas memes

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September's Scintillating Scene

As well as interesting, read in an historical context Memetics; The Nascent Science of Ideas and their Transmission by J. Peter Vajk is also a precise, polished place-setting for the ideational repast that presently weighs our cognitive alter.
"Democratic institutions, some variation of capitalism, and significant personal liberty are the traditional values attributed to the West, but one other piece of the complex is especially important in this discussion, namely, the meme of tolerance."
With a title like The Reasons for the Unexpected Difficulties of Modern Life one might expect stodginess, but is instead greeted with the warmth of a personal letter combined with the precision of a great essay. Nancy Owlglass eyes the memetic prey (We think of ourselves as hybrid genetic/memetic organisms), (How can we avoid a future as slaves to a memetic hive?) and delivers the quiet, deadly end.
"I'd like to think the Buddhists were on to something with their denial of the reality or importance of the ego/soul and their skepticism towards words and symbols. On the other hand, there's no meme-hive quite so stunningly illustrative as, say, a Zen monastery."
evacuate & flush is in many ways the epitome of a weblog, leading it's lucky readers to points of high interest while comunicating a flavor of the person residing within.
So, thanks to Kenny for bringing me to The Idler wherein I am shocked by the venom of Noam Chomsky and the Holocaust Deniers by Werner Cohn.
"In other words, Chomsky's famous ability to obfuscate and the obscurity of most of his publications can only partially explain why his neo-Nazi involvements have escaped wide-spread criticism."
Andrew Levy brings us the story of 2010 : An Internet Odyssey, including a telling tale of the dissenting Los Cybrids who caution that The Internet, the Web, is the number-one tool in the arsenal of capitalist globalization. Andrew comments: Their remedy? The implantation of bacteria (not viruses) that would destroy the hardware upon which the entire Internet depends, while leaving individuals' PCs unharmed. Am I really, if unwill(tt)ingly, supporting the very structure I rail so heartily against?
"If one harbors doubts that corporations are investing, intensively, in mechanisms to monitor, respond to, squelch, and literally delete from the Web so-called "anticorporate activism," i.e., to punish the free speech of the consumer, citizen, disgruntled Protestant, or what have you, have a look at a new product from Dallas-based eWatch sold through a public relations agency called Edelman Interactive and PR Newswire."
Feeling disjointed and psychically vulnerable I am happily brought back into perspective by Evolving Beauty - Photographs by Eric Boutilier-Brown.


The Global Resources Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists brings us the map, wherein the fingerprints and harbingers of global warming are detailed. The effects are already being clearly felt (at least I feel it, and it's all the talk y'know...) here in our part of the north, with warmer dryer (sic, already!) winters and wetter cooler summers - we hardly had summer this year, more like a long spring and an early fall.
"Although many of the indicators are concentrated in North America and Europe -- where the science is the strongest -- the map clearly illustrates the global nature of climate changes."
The Alternative Physics and Cosmology FAQ is a comprehensive roundup of those still mysterious aspects of our current understanding.
"Some of the errors in science have been introduced because people simply forgot why someone else decided something many decades ago. Let us keep logical discussion alive rather than develop closed minds."
Trevor W. Marshall writes convincingly that Quantum Mechanics is not a Science; and offers an aside of poetry. This is just the tip of an iceberg of serious research, and attending this conceptual koan has certainly raised my level of amazement yet another notch.
"Physical science, or Natural Philosophy as it used to be called, is also poetry. It sets the backcloth to Life and the more profound topics pertaining thereto."
In the Application of Memetics, Michael Wilson has put it all together and in fourteen easy steps shows us how to do you. Unless of course you are doing us, in which case I suppose our magician's spells collide in a cacophonic memannihilation.
Propaganda and Memetics
"How do these two concepts differ? Propaganda creates a mindset that will accept or be neutral towards actions undertaken by the generating source. Memetics creates an active mindset that encourages participation (action, reaction, proselytizing) and perpetuation of the intent of the generating source. It depends on whether you want people to be sedate or pro-active."

Those promulgating the war on ourSelves would deny, nay denigrate, calumniate, and besmirch work/play (plork?) such as An Amateur Qualitative Study of 48 2C-T-7 (a fairly novel entheogenic compound) Subjective Bioassays.
"Not one person reported the same experience as another. This is the true blessing of the subjective bioassay. The subjective bioassay tells us that we must always take into account the differences in physiology and rates of molecular metabolism as well as rates of recognition of semiotic pattern. Indeed, we are all unique and one of a kind."
Following in the moccasin steps of Lewis and Clark, the author of the study above took the trip of a lifetime with his dad. The Last "Fur Bearing" Expedition by Canoe and Shank's Mare from Post Falls, Idaho to New Orleans, Louisiana June 1, 1984 - December 5, 1984.

Beyond Storage and Retrieval Some remarks on 'Media Memory'
by Geert Lovink
"Media memory is embedded in the way people are using machines, it is an active process of constructing the past, not a mere technical one, which can be reduced to 'storage' and 'retrieval'."
One out of six of us humans lives on the subcontinent, but I have read little on happenings there other than the usually alarmist tidbits picked up by the western media. I'll now return often to Rediff on the Net, compendium of all things Indian.


With a guffaw welling up like a beery burp that must be brupped, and as a (devilishly large) preface to the attentive enquiries that follow, the Big Golden Book o' Atheism brings me out of the land of Yellow Pasture of Low Grasses and High Manure and delivers Inspiration.
"While the Big Golden Book o' Atheism is authored by Her Holy Hoofness, we see a human element present."
In Physics we trust by Tarun Biswas is a humorous, biting and often bang-on examination of physics as religion. His intuition that the Third Coming (Newton and Einstein, eh) is imminent may not be merely immanent.
"Let me start by annoying anthropologists."
William Glasser, M.D is certainly blunt in the analysis of his own profession (I am painfully aware that we have made no measurable progress in reducing the number of people currently diagnosed and treated as if they are mentally ill.) which adds credibility to this look at Reality Therapy in the Year 2000.
"What Choice Theory makes crystal clear is that when 99% of the people in the world have difficulty getting along with someone else, they use an ancient, common-sense belief, I call external control psychology. This controlling, punishing, I-know-what's-right-for-you psychology is the source of the unsatisfying relationships present in so many people's lives. The more it is used in any relationship, the more the relationship is harmed and, eventually, destroyed. This psychology is a plague on humanity."
A Doctor of Another Sort brings us up to speed at this Olympic Time on the sure-to-be-highlighted subject of Psychoactive Drugs and Athletic Performance.
"At least one study showed that the use of alcohol by athletes was greater than that by sedentary college students."
The Walrus came, so I'll clam up and leave; to return earlier. Time Travel
"The evidence for travel in both directions in time exists in special relativity, general relativity and thermodynamics, and generally throughout the physical sciences. Without reverse time travel there are considerable philosophical and theoretical difficulties, such as that posed by Dirac's multiple infinite negative mass-energy background."

Rather than looking for the causes of joy, perhaps we could re-cognize that the greatest happiness is that experiential isness of transtemporal acausality. Nevertheless, the 3rd Annual Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Conference approached Consciousness and Well-being with a diversity of opinion; and don't be thrown off by the quote below, as after we finish laughing there is much of interest to sculpt our delight.
"This paper surveys the main causes of joy."
a finding:
"Zero-order correlations showed that the Existential Well-Being subscale of the SWBS was significantly and inversely related to the Bodily Symptoms subscale of the MPHQ (r(79) = -.303, p < .01), and positively related to the Perceived Health subscale of the MPHQ (r(79) = .405, p < .01)."
Jack London, Before Adam, Serialized in Everybody's Magazine, 1906-1907
These are our ancestors, and their history is our history.
Remember that as surely as we one day
swung down out of the trees and walked upright,
just as surely, on a far earlier day,
did we crawl up out of the sea
and achieve our first adventure on land.
Avoiding the Void, The Lack of Self in Psychotherapy and Buddhism, is a weighty offering that fills the nullity with a transpersonal view.
"The drugs that people take for non-medicinal reasons do more than numb pain or enhance pleasure or induce perceptual distortions. They are a weapon against the void."
Anxiety and Depression: A Philosophical Investigation has a look at the effect this dichotomy (dynamic tension) twixt joy and nonexistence has, and suggests that these states are a fundamental component of consciousness. How depressing....
"I believe that philosophy is an essential way of being human and that lived philosophy is prior to any of its methods and theories."
Anxious to move on, what do I run into but The Horror of Everyday Life: Taxidermy, Aesthetics, and Consumption in Horror Films. An antithetical exposure of our joyous projections from the weirdly named Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture. (??)

Straining the slimy mass of degeneration, the nuggets of pure creation glimmer hope. R. Buckminster Fuller's Grand Strategy for Solving Global Problems is conceptual gold.
"All of humanity has struggled, dreamed, hoped, worked, and prayed for this moment in history. It is up to us to help make it happen."
My goodness, dis-ease struck me both with a flu and a toothache; sheesh

I like the ality of this person's Ilk. Still with much to be enscribed a good start has been made, such as a brief precis and worthy linkage for Extropian Information.
"Transhumanism, an open mind or just the desire to remain in flux mentally and physically, it's always fascinating."
Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers conspire to question Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin?, and offer us a vision of The Extended Mind.
"We advocate a very different sort of externalism: an active externalism, based on the active role of the environment in driving cognitive processes."
Finally back on flow with the server (quantum states crossed!).

I am blown away by the simplicity yet depth, not to mention bevy of subtitular monikers, of the Technography Center, CoWorking, Celebrating Virtual connectivity, See What You Mean, Connect, Converge, Create, Complete. Memes flying everywhere, eh? We have many instruments to harmonize the infosphere/communosphere, where are the commensurate tools for the carnesphere?
"If you are looking for an index to a spectrum of "Webware" applications for supporting CoWorking, CNET's Webware page is probably the most exhaustive of current collections. Currently citing 80 different products, the index is bound to expand your repertoire of web-based utilities for supporting virtual teamwork."
Perhaps music is to our meat what webware is to the machine. ...sanctity and transgression both arise from the fracturing of the "order of intimacy", the separation of the "human" from "nature". (Bataille), thus The Utopian Blues.
"Why is the spirituality of the musician in "High" cultures so often a low-down spirituality?"
Steven Jan aims to apply the memetic paradigm to relationship itself! Replicating Sonorities: Towards a Memetics of Music
"I begin by examining briefly the relationship between memes in music and those in the verbal-conceptual realm in terms of the linguistic concepts of phonetics, syntax, and semantics."
Monogamy as a Prisoners Dilemma: Non-Monogamy as a Collective Action Problem by James J. Hughes Ph.D.
"Many ethologists and anthropologists now believe that monogamy is not "natural" behavior for humans."
Daryl E. Chubin, Senior Policy Officer, National Science Board Office, NSF, shows us the political edge of the scientific mobius in Transcending the Places That Hold Us: Public Policy and Participation in Science; and invites us to get active.
"Federal programs targeted to particular groups is no longer a viable policy strategy. Affirmative action as we know it is dead."

The morsel of space debris that made a close encounter with us in the southern Yukon continues to impress researchers, as Purdue puts this Primordial Meteorite in a Class by Itself.
"A chemical analysis of a rare, uncontaminated 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite that fell to Earth earlier this year shows that its composition sets it apart from other meteorites found on Earth, giving scientists a glimpse of the solar system that has not been seen before."
Mad Nation, People Working Together for Social Justice and Human Rights in Mental Health is adept at pointing out the insanity of our approach to in-sanity, and includes a rebuttal of Landerian mis-advice. The Simple Truth: Selling Coercion to Ann Landers
can you turn the other cheek now?

The War on OurSelves has never been the ballyhooed War on (some) Drugs, as is most ably decanted by F. Michael Wells; also a letter to President Clinton which could be reprised for the soon-to-be-erected Leader of the Free World.
"What there is is a cynical program of political duplicity; the intent of which is not to prevent drug abuse (which it encourages), but to create a climate of distrust, fear, hostility, alienation, divisiveness, and violence within our society. The so called "War on Drugs" is in reality a war of cultural prejudice waged primarily against the young, the poor, the non-white and the socially disaffected to the advantage of the Elected, the Corporate, the Privileged and the Few."
Considered thanks to Apathy for leading me to The Darwinism Home Game. I like this game, would like to adapt the rules for my bushy environs, and may just have finally gone over the edge...
"My claim was that my friends could drop me anywhere in the United States without money, without identification, without any support, and I would make my way home within a week."

High?, certainly not on life, as proved by a seemingly insatiable desire to drop anti-biological incendiaries. NATO Preparing New Military Strike in Balkans
"In a series of extraordinary meetings, CIA Director George Tenet met with Bulgarian President Petur Stoyanov, and other high officals."
Sebastian Bleasdale writes a comprehesive and very readable synopsis of our current understanding, in Entropy and the Universe.
"A beginning, a muddle, and an end."
D. Larkin
Psychofraud and Ethical Therapy by John David Garcia was written in 1974, and remains a valuable text. Entire book, well presented, a nice find.
"Ethics, as they will be discussed in this book, are not mystical, transcendental, existential, or mysterious. Rather, they are scientific, objectively derivable rules of how best to achieve our basic, innate goals."
Also available in it's grand entirety online is the above named ethicologist's more recent ('91) weighty tome: Creative Transformation, A Practical Guide for Maximizing Creativity. Frabjous!
"If the Ethical State cannot establish itself and survive in the United States, then it may possibly not survive in any other nation, because all other nations have less freedom than the United States. However, an Ethical State might start in other, less free nations by an act of ethical will from visionary leaders, as opposed to rising from the bottom by free choice as we have proposed. This is an unlikely, but not impossible, occurrence. That is, after all, how the United States started in the first place, when an ethical minority used its power at great personal risk to maximize creativity."
How to Overthrow the Government, Arianna Huffington
"The real battle line of the first presidential election of the new millennium will be drawn between those who answer to their corporate donors and those who speak for that single mother at the Burger King."

The Native American Ethnobotany Database; Foods, Drugs, Dyes, and Fibers of Native North American Peoples provides information that the major drug companies don't want us to have, such as this anti-angst concoction.
"Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh. ; Oleaceae
Algonquin, Tete-de-Boule Drug (Stimulant)
Infusion of inner bark taken for fatigue and depression."
Stephen Chilton sees that the creation of a just society is predicated on understanding the fundamentals, and offers Two Moments of Discourse Ethics that help us recognize relational reality.
"The bad news is that it doesn't say what's Right, or solve the problem of moral grounding, or enable us to persuade others willy-nilly to adopt our perspective, or tell us what institutions to use in our interactions.
On the other hand, the good news is that the theory gives us some indication of what's important, namely, actual discourse: dialogical vs. monological reasoning. It helps us understand what to let go of: being Right, and the burden of having to be Right. It gives us some indication of what we can hold onto, even in the face of outside pressure: our right to agree or disagree. And all of these give us a different sense of our relationship with others (or with the Other, if you like)."
I think tanks are marked by a distinct lack of intellectual acuity, being hunks of steel plate and all, but the material shot out by Think Tanks is often even more cognitively inert. This article from The John Birch Society, investigates Where The Revolution Is Being Planned.
"The Think Tanks are largely populated by carefully selected refugees from Academe who have been offered the opportunity to shed the rigors of dealing with beery sophomores for the headier wine of planning for the Brave New World."
A uniquely Canadian think tank, The Fraser Institute was asked, concerning The Kyoto protocol: Given that Canada is the largest per capita producer of carbon emissions how will this signing affect our living standards...?
"The signing will not significantly affect our living standards unless we actually try to achieve the targets set out in the Kyoto protocol."

I regret not remembering who led me to this fine essay, but a moving experience (thankfully no piano!), an emotionally draining and lachrymose bon voyage to my children who are returning to a warmer-wetter southwest for another school term, and continuous canine capers have all conspired to render me feckless. I'm not sure I enjoy feck(?) at the best of times, and so will leave competent commentary to R.U. Sirius. Whatever Happened to Mondo 2000's Cyber Revolution?, One fearless leader investigates.
"And further out on the futurist terrain, nanotechnology is starting to look realistic, the human genome has been tentatively mapped, and some people continue to do websites for adventure and fun, instead of money."
Thought Contagion and Mass Belief
"Memes can also gain advantage by sabotaging the replication and preservation of competing memes, a mechanism I call the adversative mode. The Nazi thought contagion illustrates this in several ways at once."
Scott J. Thompson, The Aesthetic Dimensions of Prohibitionist Realism
"The following essay on Walter Benjamin's writings and experimental protocols on hashish, opium and mescaline forms a kind of preamble to a series of articles on some of the aesthetic presuppositions of the War on Drugs in the United States and one of its precursors, Hitler's War on Drugs: Rauschgiftbekämpfung [The Fight Against Drugs] in the Third Reich, itself a long-forgotten importation of American Prohibition wedded to Nazi racial hygiene and a police state apparatus ever-ready to invoke the 'wholesome popular sentiment' expressed in the National Socialist-realist aesthetic to legitimize and enforce the performance principle of German fascism."
abuddhas memes has been listed over at ipoet.com's interesting links page, which instills pride, further musish attention, and some confusion.
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© Abuddha Ahdduba, 2000