Even in absurdity, sacrament.     Even in hardship, holiness.     Even in doubt, faith.     Even in chaos, realization.    Even in paradox, blessedness

 

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"Life expands or shrinks in proportion to one's courage."    ~Anain Nin

{ Wednesday, 31 August, 2005 }

On Looting

...[A]n older woman was interviewed after taking part in the "looting" of a store for food. After giving her full name, she expressed a great deal of remorse for what she was doing, saying that every time she'd ever seen looters on television, she'd been extremely upset by it and never thought she'd be in their shoes. Well, shame on anyone who would make these people -- who are in the middle of a literal hell on Earth -- feel as if scavenging for bread and clean water from flooded and abandoned stores is somehow wrong or shameful.

jaybird found this for you @ 20:50 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Photo essay: As Katrina Struck, Bush Vacationed

What Bush saw: At El Pueblo Mirage, guests relax on the luxurious greens

What Bush missed: In Louisiana, residents dig themselves out from under the trees

jaybird found this for you @ 16:26 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Things are getting strange

This is a moblog* post:

11255716620027.jpg

$3.06 gas, tensions high


UPDATE: Asheville is in a state of panic. Because of the gas main rupture, gas prices surged 40 cents overnight, and many stations are closing, posting limits, and denying anyone with gas cans. Schools are contemplating closing as gasoline may be limited to emergency vehicles only. Wild. Some folks are going apeshit in grocery stores.

UPDATE: The always laconic Citizen-Times has a terribly dry news story on the shortage.
BlogAsheville has a far more lively and more entertaining read (because it is in fact citizen journalism and not ducky corporate yawnage). This series of events and the disarming (and de-legging) cost of gas has forced me to cancel a trip home to Delaware to check up on family, all of whom have have gone through a lot this year. That, considering the massive life-shattering events going on for millions of Americans right now, is not much of a sacrifice.

I was hoping to go down to Mississippi or Louisiana this weekend to help, but there is a 3 week committment, so I'm going to try to volunteer at the Red Cross office. I'm also making a challenge to my office to raise $500 for the Red Cross for Katrina relief. It's something.

When I was filling up after a half-hour journey for gas, a school bus pulled up to the diesel pump, and a teacher's aide was quizzing the lil' ones about why they were stopping for gas. I heard many kids yell out "THE WAR!" and a few yelling out "HURRICANE!" I would've been one of the nerds beaten up for shouting out "panic buying based on a short-term interruption of oil and another artificial price spike for light sweet crude by the oligarchies which control fuel markets!"

*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone..

jaybird found this for you @ 14:29 in Local- Western North Carolina | | permalink



When the levee breaks...

It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.

-- Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; New Orleans Times-Picayune, June 8, 2004.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:24 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



How out of touch is George Bush on this disaster?


'Nuff said

jaybird found this for you @ 07:54 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



{ Tuesday, 30 August, 2005 }

shit.

Things in Louisiana and Mississippi are going to absolute hell. Please donate. Please volunteer. Please give blood, food, clothes to the Red Cross. Please expand your compassion wide and do something. Too many people just aren't quite noticing... there's not enough Guard troops (they're in Iraq), flood prevention funding for NOLA was severely cut by Bush in 2003, and poor fucker, he's cutting his vacation short by two days. I rarely use raw language on this site, but I've just got to say it... fuck him. This is a major "wake up" situation here. The government has failed in a criminally negligent manner to protect the population by redirecting critical resources away from the states and into a black hole of a false war. Citizens rising up with their compassion and giving to those who will directly help those in the Gulf States is a way to subvert a useless government through direct action by its people.

Doing something compassionate right now is revolutionary, and American. Godspeed Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.

jaybird found this for you @ 21:17 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Cats in sinks.


"Its about cats. In sinks." [via metachat]

jaybird found this for you @ 16:22 in cat blogging | | permalink



Coal into liquid fuel?

The process is called Fischer-Tropsch, named for the German scientists who developed the process in the 1920s for converting coal to diesel fuel, which later ran the Nazi war machine. In more recent decades, the process was used in South Africa to fuel its vehicles when the world would not trade with the apartheid nation. It still produces 150,000 barrels of fuel a day from coal. Energy technology firms in the United States and elsewhere have fine-tuned F-T to make both its process and products pollution-free.

"There are no smoke stacks..."

jaybird found this for you @ 12:19 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



Teleport this

In recent years, many physicists have become excited about a phenomenon called "quantum teleportation," which works only with infinitesimally tiny particles. It might lead to new ways of transmitting cryptographically secure messages, some speculate, but not human beings for a long time to come, if ever.

jaybird found this for you @ 08:15 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



{ Monday, 29 August, 2005 }

Homo exhibitionist takes over zoo's Bear Mountain

We may be watching evolution in action. Or, we may be watching eight intrepid volunteers shivering their way through an inclement August Bank Holiday as part of the world's first "human zoo". They will live in an open enclosure for three days (though in a nod to the insulatory inadequacies of fig leaves, they will be allowed home each night) as part of a project designed to demonstrate man's impact on the environment and reveal his fundamentally atavistic nature...

jaybird found this for you @ 20:06 in Interesting People | | permalink



Fractal Thinking: This is Not the Title of This Essay

This essay is full of mistakes. Idea after idea and sentence after sentence is simply wrong. This sentence, for example, is false. Worse yet, this not even complete sentence! A long time ago (so the legend goes) a Cretan prophet by the name of Epimenides declared that "All Cretans are liars." This paradoxical statement has come to be known as the Epimenides paradox or the Liar paradox This Adam (or atom) of paradoxes has been reformulated into countless variants, yielding such gems as "I am lying," and "this sentence is false." It has been split, ("The following sentence is true. The preceding sentence is false.") boxed, translated and quoted in the Bible. In short, one would assume that the Liar Paradox had been beaten to death. In 1931, a German mathematician named Kurt Gödel breathed new life into the Liar paradox in a paper poetically entitled "On Formally Undecidable Propositions in Principia Mathematica and Related Systems I": Gödel's work demonstrated that paradox forms an implicit part of every axiomatic system of logical reasoning. In this essay, I will be examining the problems which self reference and paradox pose to systems of reasoning especially formalized mathematical and logical reasoning. These two areas, in their quest for objective truth become very interesting in the light of Gödel's revelations. In the end, it may turn out that their quests for a formalized objective truth may have been in vain...

jaybird found this for you @ 16:12 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



Mulkey: Cindy Sheehan's courageous stand

...Sheehan has helped move the national conversation on the war to the tipping point. For while the Bush administration continues to predict victory in Iraq and admits to no errors in judgment, truth is finally taking hold. As we knew it ultimately would, the reality of this bloody tragedy (over 1,800 American and perhaps 100,000 Iraqi deaths) has trumped this administration's hubris, arrogance and wishful thinking (being greeted as liberators, finding weapons of mass destruction and quickly exiting after transforming Iraq into a western-style democracy). At this time 54 percent of Americans believe it was a mistake to enter Iraq in the first place, 61 percent believe Bush is mishandling the war and Bush's approval rating, according to a recent poll, now stands at 36 percent.

One woman's courageous stance has reawakened us to our power, to the fact that a single citizen can make a difference and that millions of us standing together can create transformation.

jaybird found this for you @ 12:09 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Daily Lush: The Hurricane

There is little sense of impending disaster here. Instead, drunken tourists howl sports trivia at each other while a game plays on the oversized television. The elegant aspects of Pat O's are routinely offset by the bar's more craven business sensibilities: souvenir glasses, terrible music, and a smiling woman who walks up to couples with a camera and asks them if they wouldn't like their photos taken, for a fee, of course. Many drink Hurricanes, which, with its generous dollop of rum, is alcoholic enough to put even an experienced drinker off-balance. Drinking one is something of a baptism by fire for visitors, who can often be seen staggering along Bourbon Street for hours afterward, throwing money at local hustlers or staring in amazement at children tap dancing with bottlecaps nailed to the bottoms of their shoes.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:47 in Blogosphere, Tech & Internet | | permalink



{ Sunday, 28 August, 2005 }

Tom Waits

"Well, I wish I was in New Orleans
I can see it in my dreams
arm-in-arm down Burgundy
a bottle and my friends and me
hoist up a few tall cool ones
play some pool and listen to that
tenor saxophone calling me home
and I can hear the band begin
"When the Saints Go Marching In"
by the whiskers on my chin
New Orleans, I'll be there

I'll drink you under the table
be red nose go for walks
the old haunts what I wants
is red beans and rice
and wear the dress I like so well
and meet me at the old saloon
make sure there's a Dixie moon
New Orleans, I'll be there

and deal the cards roll the dice
if it ain't that ole Chuck E. Weiss
and Clayborn Avenue me and you
Sam Jones and all
and I wish I was in New Orleans
I can see it in my dreams
arm-in-arm down Burgundy
a bottle and my friends and me
New Orleans, I'll be there..."

jaybird found this for you @ 22:53 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



Hurricane Katrina

Everyone, please consider giving right now to the Red Cross and any local food banks and relief agencies in New Orleans. We could have a catastrophe of untold proportions on our hands this time tomorrow.

I had been planning on seeing relatives in Delaware later this week, but if it turns out that relief workers will be needed, I'm heading down.

Godspeed, N'awlins.

jaybird found this for you @ 19:08 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



{ Saturday, 27 August, 2005 }

Announcing Ashevillegames.com

Effective immediately, Asheville NC is under a game advisory.

Beginning in October, an unprecedented city-wide game will begin. For two weeks, contestants will have only one objective; to find and 'eliminate' an opposing random contestant by way of water gun. That's right... we are starting a game of 'assassin' via the moistening power of water pistols. This will be Asheville Game #1: Operation Moist Target.

OMT will have strict player rules to assure that targets are eliminated fairly. OMT will provide contestants with a dossier of their target, and there will be a 24/7 reporting system of wetness, arbitrated by judges. OMT will end in a final death round, where remaining contestants will be given dossiers on very elusive targets. Local celebrities may be involved. Local businesses will be compliant, and some will sponsor prizes and a gala after-party.

Signups will begin in early October at Max and Rosie's and Temptations. The $10 registration fee will benefit Manna Food Bank, and will help fund the prize of the final winner. The aim of the operation is fun, for a good cause. Visit Ashevillegames.com for emerging details, rules, and the schedule of play, which will be posted within the next few days.

A new game with a new aim will be announced in the spring.... Ashevillegames.com will organize a minimum of two games per year benefiting local charities. Operation Moist Target is the first of these, so go ahead... follow Ashevillegames.com for details and for signup information.

We double dog dare you to stay dry.

jaybird found this for you @ 23:45 in Local- Western North Carolina | | permalink



Sidewalk Stories

This sidewalk collects shadows as a raven collects the shiny.
Writ into this recline,
A billion thoughts, passing fancies, secrets folded and tucked a day,
While we noble savages write careless odes to eachother under this billowing canopy.
Humanity, you wander hungry as a pigeon,
Seeking out in your strut breadcrumbs of transcendence.
This cement, strewn with leaves and adverbs,
Tells stories of idle and twisted, woven thought,
As storeys rise above in stately pronouncement.
Friends meet 'tween the up and down,
And destination distracts them like some random monkey...
Look! Passage!
This is indulgent;
Guessing the minds and times of passerby
As rivulets of novella and poesie amble by
And the pigeons race from perspective to context, rooftop to rooftop.
One must savor, like a cheap cigar, breeze-blown conversation
And the stellar interpretations by the artists,
Agog with all the passing glitter.
Write on, teeming feet and tamed schedules,
Pass along with your head full of theatre,
So we on the sides can ponder your purpose.
Write on, in a blur of discarded rumination,
On your way to the sophisticate gala, to the shelter,
To the feathery rustle of ascendence, breadcrumb in beak,
Hope beneath your feet.

jaybird found this for you @ 11:58 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



{ Friday, 26 August, 2005 }

Cindy's Return Speech

They are going to know that I’m not going to give up and today was really hard when I came in and saw Casey bigger than life over there. I miss him so much and I miss him more every day, but like that song “Joe Hill,” Casey’s not dead. I see him in all of your eyes and Casey will never die. And they can kill the body, but they can’t kill the love and the spirit, and no matter how hard they try they can’t do that.

jaybird found this for you @ 21:38 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



The Future Starts Now

“In many areas of the world, something as simple as a water filter or a mosquito net could save many lives... Such small, simple products would cost almost nothing to produce with a nanofactory.” What I want to propose is that because the cost of saving lives with a water filter or an insecticide-treated mosquito net is already so negligible, especially considering the benefit it confers, that unless we actively devote ourselves to saving lives with the technologies cheaply at our disposal today, then we cannot expect more sophisticated nanotechnological solutions to these problems to be employed to that purpose, however much cheaper, more powerful, more effective they may be.

jaybird found this for you @ 17:25 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



Bob Moog's Car

This is a moblog* post:

11251453420025.jpg

The late genius' car, sitting all alone on an Asheville street. He will be missed.
*Moblogging is posting from a cellphone or other wireless device- if a picture, it's taken from the phone.

jaybird found this for you @ 16:03 in Local- Western North Carolina | | permalink



Peru's glaciers in retreat

The stalactites hang like glass daggers over the glacial lake. Ice peaks rise against the bright blue sky like crystal pyramids. Mounds of dark rock rise up between the snow and ice, discoloured after years of being covered by the glacier.

This is Pastoruri. In the past 10 years, its ice caps have retreated by about 200m. Soon it, like many other glaciers in Peru, will have disappeared almost completely. At about 5,000m, or just over 16,000ft, it is one of the glaciers worst affected by climate change in Peru. And Peru, in turn, is one of the countries worst affected by climate change in the world.

Sitting between the tropics, where the sun is particularly fierce, and home to more tropical glaciers than anywhere else, this South American country is especially vulnerable to rising temperatures. Experts predict all the Peruvian glaciers below 5,500m will disappear by 2015. This is the majority of Peru's glaciers.

jaybird found this for you @ 13:14 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



The Pentagon is looking for a few good bloggers

Jesus' General gets an inquiry from CENTCOMedy:

I am a Public Affairs Officer writing from US Central Command. I would like to inquire about the possibility of you posting a link to our web site. I see that you are covering a lot of different types of stories in a lot of countries. I would like to get some of the stories out that are happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa. This is the area of responsibility for CENTCOM. Due to the nature of your blog, and the wide variety of information you cover, your blog is ideal for news stories. I have attached a couple of postings* that have been used by other Bloggers, please let me know.

Hilarity ensues, via amberglow on mefi.

jaybird found this for you @ 09:08 in Blogosphere, Tech & Internet | | permalink



{ Thursday, 25 August, 2005 }

Pride: The Great Queers of History

For example: Harmodius and Aristogiton (6th cent. BC)... Lovers famous for overthrowing the tyrant Hipparchus in 527 BCE, thereby inaugurating Athenian democracy. Celebrated for their mutual devotion and love of liberty. Many statues of the pair survive.

jaybird found this for you @ 20:39 in Gay, Lesbian, Queer & Free | | permalink



Way of the Sufi: Pakistan's mystical Islam thrives

The mystical form of Islam espoused by Sufi saints for hundreds of years continues to thrive in Pakistan despite opposition from religious hardliners and the authorities.

As the sun sets on a Thursday evening, hundreds of working class people descend on a shrine to the eighth-century mystic, Abdullah Shah Ghazi, in Karachi. The shrine is located on a hill in the upmarket Clifton district of Pakistan's financial capital, flanked by swanky shopping malls and the posh residential area of Defence. In the grounds below the shrine gather electricians, plumbers, construction workers, vagabonds, transvestites, prostitutes. Encircled by a cheering crowd, men take turns in a weightlifting competition. Another circle dances to the drumbeat of the shrine's dhol players. Devotional singing, or "qawali", emanates from an enclosure adjacent to the open grounds, yet another crowd swaying under its spell...

jaybird found this for you @ 16:32 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



The Venerable Robert Anton Wilson: Premature Illumination

"Faith-based organizations say we don't need any more research, we know enough now, we can be dogmatic, whereas researchers say we don't know enough now, investigate, research," argues Wilson. "Faith is a reason to become stupid: 'From this point forward, I will remain stupid.' To me, faith-based organizations are responsible for everything I see wrong with this planet. Research-based organizations are responsible for everything I like about it. Before the French Revolution, the average life expectancy was 37 years. Now it's 78 years. All due to research-based organizations. Not at all due to faith-based organizations. All faith-based organizations give you is George Bush. Research-based organizations give you cures for disease."

jaybird found this for you @ 12:23 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



Our quaint lil' mountain tremblor

A magnitude 3.8 earthquake shook parts of Western North Carolina Wednesday night, rattling homes and residents across the mountains.

The minor quake hit at 11:09 p.m. about 2 miles southeast of Hot Springs in Madison County, 25 miles north of Asheville, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center.

“It was widely felt across Western North Carolina and northeast Georgia...”

It was quite the event in apartment D, home of jaybird. From a light sleep, I darted right up off the couch as I felt "the Earth move under my feet," minus the "sky come tumblin' down." There was a slight rumbling sound, and I could also head the downstairs neighbors running around in frenzy. The vibration rate was very high, and I'm very embarrassed to say but my first comic thought was that our rolling mountains had employed the use of a gargantuan 'personal massager' to kindle their late summer passions. Ursula the cat stood in place also, both of us looking toward the door, but neither moving. The equivalent human expression on her mug would've been 'huh?'.

Again, another glorious reminder that we are indeed planet-bound, and are subject to the whims and whimsies of our host, as she hurls through space and is governed in her spinning by eddies of molten rock and the silent shifting of continents, much as a dancer's veils will billow...

jaybird found this for you @ 08:10 in Local- Western North Carolina | | permalink



{ Wednesday, 24 August, 2005 }

earthquake!

I was woken from a particularly early sleep by a strange vibration... it seemed as if the house was getting a Swedish massage. I discounted it for a few minutes until I decided to see for myself and behold:

Magnitude 3.8
Date-Time Thursday, August 25, 2005 at 03:09:41 (UTC)
= Coordinated Universal Time
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 at 11:09:41 PM
= local time at epicenter
Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
Location 35.878°N, 82.797°W
Depth 5 km (3.1 miles) set by location program
Region NORTH CAROLINA
Distances 4 km (2 miles) ESE (122°) from Hot Springs, NC
14 km (9 miles) NW (308°) from Marshall, NC
23 km (14 miles) WNW (284°) from Mars Hill, NC
104 km (64 miles) E (95°) from Knoxville, TN
218 km (135 miles) WNW (302°) from JAARS, NC
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 7.8 km (4.8 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters Nst= 28, Nph= 28, Dmin=100.1 km, Rmss=1.42 sec, Gp= 79°,
M-type="Nuttli" surface wave magnitude (MLg), Version=6
Source USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID usceaf
Felt Reports 0.0 ( ).

jaybird found this for you @ 23:31 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



God and Purpose in Universe

Remember entropy is the trend towards disorder that dominates the simpler processes of light, particles, atoms, and simple molecules. Reductionistic science is insensitive to ‘wholes’, synergy and syntropy. Syntropy is the trend towards order that dominates the more complex processes of complex molecules, plants, animals, and humans. Remember further that while entropy dominates simpler processes syntropy is found at every level of process. And while syntropy dominates complex processes, entropy is found at every level of process. Reductionistic science focuses on ‘parts’ and not on ‘wholes’. Purpose is found in the ‘wholes’ and not in the ‘parts’. Reductionistic science is blind to purpose.

Evolution is a synergic phenomenon, however it was discovered and first described by Darwin, Wallace, Spencer, and Huxley. These classical scientists were of course time-binders and also bound in time. They lived and thought in the 19th century when reductionistic science ruled. The belief that purpose cannot be found in universe is a reductionistic error that persists even today...

jaybird found this for you @ 20:08 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



Consciousness as Relationship

Picture an amoeba propelling itself sluggishly in a pond. It inadvertently approaches the inlet from the local paper mill. The water is becoming too warm and growing acid. It reflexively changes direction to avoid the threat. A conscious act? Arguably, but it is nonetheless a demonstration of a degree of consciousness. But what is the heart of this consciousness? Is it in the capacity to react? Is it the ability to choose an alternative? It's easy to get lost in intellectualizing this issue. But if we use the simple idea that consciousness is relationship the question becomes much clearer and the meaning for our lives becomes evident. The amoeba is in relationship to its environment. It has enough of a sense of its own beingness that it recognizes when this relationship is more or less nurturing and within its capacities attempts to fulfill its needs, or avoid threat.

If consciousness is relationship, then considering the evolution of consciousness from a "lower" to a "higher" state is really to ask about a growing capacity for relationship. But in terms that really matter to us as ordinary people, isn't this really our growing capacity for intimacy? Yes intimacy, our capacity for emotional closeness, our capacity to feel connection or lack of connection. This is primarily intimacy with ourselves, a knowledge of how our minds work, an ever deepening comfort with our bodies and our feeling nature. More importantly intimacy is acceptance, a profound acceptance of ourselves. And none of us can reach such acceptance without simultaneously being challenged and opened by relationship with others. Higher consciousness is profound relationship, a deep sense of connection with and compassion for other people and ultimately our world. For all the ways we intellectualize and mystify enlightenment, isn't it true that those who we acknowledge as enlightened are individuals who bring us a deeper understanding of ourselves and a greater sense of relationship with each other?

[via community of minds]

jaybird found this for you @ 16:03 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



The Other Olympics

Indian_game1104.jpg

At the border of the Tocantins River in Brazil, on the outskirts of the Amazon rainforest, fourteen indian tribes competed in the First Traditional Indian Games of Pará (I Jogos Tradicionais Indigenas do Pará). From 15–20 June 2004, 470 indian men, women and children played ancient and modern games, such as soccer, archery, spear throwing, tug–of–war, canoeing, swimming and running. Some gave stunning demonstrations of traditional sports played only by their own tribes, like the tree–log relay race of the Gavião indians, where men carry 200–pound (90 kilogram) logs on their back, or the hockey sport of the Kayapo indians called Ronkrã.

What should one expect from such an event? An Amazon carnival? A beautiful parade of feathers and body–painting? A thrilling competition between “real” athletes trained by the jungle? Or a simple portrait of people trying to find their place in the world?

More than a sports event, it was an opportunity for the daily audience of 3,000 to see how Brazil’s indians are struggling to relate to modern society and each other – protecting their own culture as they assimilate to urban life.

[via mefi]

jaybird found this for you @ 11:56 in Culture, People & Customs | | permalink



Ecology of Everyday Life

Ecological activists need not repeat the same errors committed by the old left which emphasized issues of quantitative need over matters of qualitative desire. Marx believed that a universal condition of material need caused all social strife and injustice. Accordingly, Marx asserted that after material inequity was abolished through the revolutionary process, social relations would be automatically improved, restoring quality of life to realms outside of labor as well. Marx could not have anticipated the degree to which capitalism would invade and erode the realm of home and the everyday in the post-war era. Again, for Marx, it was primarily the sphere of work that was poisoned with alienation, and it was there that he placed the locus of his theory. The sixties brought a needed challenge to Marxist theory. Groups such as the Situationists in France, as well as sectors of the American New Left expanded their focus to address the encroachment of capitalism into everyday life. The New Left's emphasis on such qualitative domains as sensuality, art, and nature stood as a response to Emma Goldman's apocryphal warning to Marxists decades before: If I can't dance, in your revolution, I'm not coming. As these movements illustrated, a focus on desire keeps our eyes on the qualitative dimension of life. It allows us to attend to the ways in which the process of commodification extends into our relationships with each other and with the natural world, reducing parents to `child-care providers', the sick to `consumers of health-care', and nature to patentable `genetic material'.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:28 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



{ Tuesday, 23 August, 2005 }

From Pagan resurgence to Pagan global culture

I think that contemporary Paganism has been influenced by the counter-culture's worldviews of celebrating and enjoying life, communing with Nature, exploring consciousness and life's mysteries. That has been one significant influence. The idea of having a form of spirituality where male and female dimensions of the Divine are in balance, which you might call feminist or some may call gender equity, is another important influence. The environmental preservation relevance is another very important influence. Many people come to Paganism because they are hungry for a religion, a spiritual home, that encourages them to pray and practice their religion outdoors, allows them to honor the Divine not just as some transcendent being but something that immanent, that is within us, that connects us with the greater Circle of Life, also known the web of life or as the sacred hoop as some native people call it.

[via corpus mmothra]

jaybird found this for you @ 20:12 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



Busting the Metaphor: The Brain is Not a Computer

...Researchers found that the brain continuously shifts between states rather than having internal "variables" that contain discrete "values" that are updated as the result of calculation processes. According to researcher Michael Spivey, "In thinking of cognition as working as a biological organism does... you do not have to be in one state or another like a computer, but can have values in between -- you can be partially in one state and another, and then eventually gravitate to a unique interpretation, as in finally recognizing a spoken word." The brain is not composed of modules that pass the results of calculations back and forth; there are no "results," just continual modulation.

This notion becomes interesting when you combine it with the Extended Mind metaphor proposed by Clark and Chalmers. They contend that the brain offloads its processing into the external environment whenever convenient. It's not actually possible to separate such offloaded calculations from calculations done inside the brain... The mind is not separate from the body (or environment) in some Cartesian sense; it is part of both.

jaybird found this for you @ 16:08 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



"Christian" Calls for Assasination of Chavez

Twit, Pat Robertson: You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war. And I don't think any oil shipments will stop. But this man is a terrific danger and the United ... This is in our sphere of influence, so we can't let this happen. We have the Monroe Doctrine, we have other doctrines that we have announced. And without question, this is a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil, that could hurt us very badly. We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.

Non-Twit, Thinking Person: Well, Gee, why not call upon the Thunder God to just plain smite him... y'know, send a hoard of locusts or even a few busloads of bingo-happy lepers? Why pull out the big guns? You, know, Pat-dear, you'll have to do a little work around with that whole Sixth Commandment thing? Oh, and you of all people ought to know what happens when you martyr someone who is the hotness, right? If you do it, be sure to wash your hands, m'kay?

jaybird found this for you @ 12:59 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



Steinem: A Balance Between Nature and Nurture

I no longer believe the conservative message that children are naturally selfish and destructive creatures who need civilizing by hierarchies or painful controls. On the contrary, I believe that hierarchy and painful controls create destructive people. And I no longer believe the liberal message that children are blank slates on which society can write anything. On the contrary, I believe that a unique core self is born into every human being -- the result of millennia of environment and heredity combined in an unpredictable way that could never happen before or again.

The truth is, we've been seduced into asking the wrong question by those who hope that the social order they want is inborn, or those who hope they can write the one they want on our uniquely long human childhoods.

jaybird found this for you @ 08:51 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



{ Monday, 22 August, 2005 }

Six great enigmas of ancient civilizations

We stand today at an unprecedented turning point in human history. In recent years two versions of ancient history have formed. One, we shall call ‘alternative’ history, the other we shall refer to as ‘official’ history. The former ponders over a variety of anomalies and tries to make sense out of the corpus of evidence, i.e., the pyramids and timelines, why they were built, by whom and when. The latter conducts digs, catalogues pottery shards, and tries to defend its proposal there are no enigmas, and virtually everything is explained.

There is no more dialogue and no more polite, gloves on debate. The proponents of ‘official’ history have taken an increasingly political and ideological approach to the issue. They now do little more than offer pronouncements of the historical ‘truth’ on the one hand, and denounce of all those who dare challenge officialdom on the other. In this context we offer evidence that our ‘scholars’, the gatekeepers who control our institutions of ‘higher learning’, refuse to consider.

jaybird found this for you @ 15:40 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink



Fire in the sky

For about a month between June 23 and July 20, English skies were thick with a "peculiar haze" or "smoky fog" while terrible lightning storms left people cowering in their homes. One storm provided five men with a stay of execution at Tyburn as the gallows, and assembled crowd, were flooded.

"The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust-coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting..."

Despite winds that seemed to change direction with alarming frequency, the country was engulfed in a heat so stifling that meat was said to rot within a day and the air was filled with clouds of flies. It was a turbulent year for planet Earth...

jaybird found this for you @ 11:36 in Forteana, Phenomena & the Bizarre | | permalink



Scientists Mess with the Speed of Light

Light in a vacuum travels at approximately 186,000 miles per second, but a popular misconception is that, according to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, nothing in the universe can travel faster than this speed. This seeming paradox can be resolved because a pulse of light is actually made up of many separate frequency components, each of which moves at their own velocities. This is known as the pulse’s phase velocity. If all the frequency components have the same phase velocity, then the overall pulse will also appear to move at that velocity.

However, if the components have different phase velocities, then the pulse’s overall velocity will depend on the relationships between the velocities of the separate components. If the velocities differ, the pulse is said to be moving at the group velocity. By tweaking the relationship between phase velocities, it’s possible to adjust the group velocity and create the illusion that parts of the pulse are traveling faster than the speed of light.

jaybird found this for you @ 07:21 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



{ Sunday, 21 August, 2005 }

a naked man in the moonlight

I'm standing just outside my door
In the full moonlight
Completely naked, beer in hand,
And I'll be damned but this is technically illegal
But what is law
When there is only the universe,
And the collapse of time before you?

I make a drunken oath to the moon
Which makes silver light upon my kitchen floor
That I will commit, with foolhardy abandon,
To love in all its names
And through all its muses
With the starry desire
To evolve it, to grow it
Far beyond its monosyllabic shell
To find its growth within
And like some invasive foreign vine
To wrap around me, to root the soul
Until everything I am has been turned
By its hungry tendrils
Which feed the source...

The crickets orchestrate
Like some chamber music for ghosts
And I breathe, and sip the elixir of madness
As my skin, all of it,
Reflects the fever dreams of great distance.
You know how it is, right?
This stirring passion to become, at once,
With the wide and fecund vista?
Somewhere, amid the constellations and sleeping houses,
There is a lover awaiting
Some god determined to deliver the goods
Within the pauses of these night-creatures,
Wherein my memories, so entangled and comedic,
Will reconcile with these holy designs
And thus can be set free...

Again, I am a naked man on a porch
Creating with each awkward step
Swirls of petite weather which will swoop up the detritus
Of forgotten intonations
And will assemble them into some weird sense, a cosmic collage
Around a central theme.
O Moon, take these wine-kiss'd words
And make of them a sensible shelter
Where, at last,
There will be wisdom flowing like a breeze
And warm hands that will wrap around like moonlight.

jaybird found this for you @ 00:01 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



{ Saturday, 20 August, 2005 }

Whitman: I Sing the Body Eclectic

I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves?
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul? And if the body
were not the soul, what is the soul? [more]

jaybird found this for you @ 16:19 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



{ Friday, 19 August, 2005 }

friday lunacy

Today is one of the crazier ones... written by a deity bent on dipping her characters into the deepest, sweetest vat of surreality imaginable. I'm in the midst of an 8-hour 500 mile (total) round trip mission to Raleigh for work, and after rushing back to Asheville at speeds which bend light I'll be donning my emcee threads to host an annual hunger awareness event downtown. It's living on the edge, baby.

Anyway, here's some likies for today... choose bliss, y'all...

  • Relevant Flickr tags: vigil, cindysheehan, moveon.
  • Two articles by me, currently in print (aw gee shucks): A Block of Cheese and the Value of Life, Holy Jokes and Sacred Clowns.
  • Tibetan monks meet the laptop: The light of the disk is endless.
  • Seven Political Blasphemies of contemporary America: Daring to ask the blasphemous questions.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:25 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    { Thursday, 18 August, 2005 }

    Michio Kaku: Parallel universes, the Matrix, and superintelligence

    Our Universe seems to have known that we were coming. The conditions for life are extremely stringent. Life and consciousness can only exist in a very narrow band of physical parameters. For example, if the proton is not stable, then the Universe will collapse into a useless heap of electrons and neutrinos. If the proton were a little bit different in mass, it would decay, and all our DNA molecules would decay along with it.

    In fact, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of coincidences, happy coincidences, that make life possible. Life, and especially consciousness, is quite fragile. It depends on stable matter, like protons, that exists for billions of years in a stable environment, sufficient to create autocatalytic molecules that can reproduce themselves, and thereby create Life. In physics, it is extremely hard to create this kind of Universe. You have to play with the parameters, you have to juggle the numbers, cook the books, in order to create a Universe which is consistent with Life.

    However, the Multiverse idea explains this problem, because it simply means we coexist with dead Universes. In other Universes, the proton is not stable. In other Universes, the Big Bang took place, and then it collapsed rapidly into a Big Crunch, or these Universes had a Big Bang, and immediately went into a Big Freeze, where temperatures were so low, that Life could never get started.

    So, in the Multiverse of Universes, many of these Universes are in fact dead, and our Universe in this sense is special, in that Life is possible in this Universe. Now, in religion, we have the Judeo-Christian idea of an instant of time, a genesis, when God said, "Let there be light." But in Buddhism, we have a contradictory philosophy, which says that the Universe is timeless. It had no beginning, and it had no end, it just is. It's eternal, and it has no beginning or end.

    The Multiverse idea allows us to combine these two pictures into a coherent, pleasing picture. It says that in the beginning, there was nothing, nothing but hyperspace, perhaps ten- or eleven-dimensional hyperspace. But hyperspace was unstable, because of the quantum principle. And because of the quantum principle, there were fluctuations, fluctuations in nothing. This means that bubbles began to form in nothing, and these bubbles began to expand rapidly, giving us the Universe. So, in other words, the Judeo-Christian genesis takes place within the Buddhist nirvana, all the time, and our Multiverse percolates universes.

    [via reallity carnival]

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:33 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    If these walls could talk, they would whisper

    Silence holds a paradoxical place in science and in human consciousness. In science, the quietest conditions that modern technology allow are invariably used to research sound. And our own search for "peace and quiet" never extends as far as wanting no noise at all. Real silence is strange and disturbing, not relaxing. Most people cannot sleep without at least some background sound.

    The closest humankind can get to complete silence is the inside of a heavily soundproofed anechoic chamber, a handful of which exist in universities and labs across Britain. These are used for a range of interesting research - but they also have a profound effect on the people who go into them.

    My search for one leads me to University College London, whose anechoic ("without echo") room is in an anonymous, windowless building. In one of the busiest parts of campus, and next to the low hum of an electricity substation, it is hard to believe the unassuming walls can block out all sounds. Dave Cushing, a technician in the phonetics and linguistics department, which owns the facility, shows me the stacks of equipment used in the chamber, and the extensive precautions taken to keep sound pollution inside to a minimum.

    Stepping into the chamber is a strange experience, "like being in a field in the middle of the night" according to John Fithyan who runs Southampton University's facility. The silence is profound and the room looks unusual too, with jagged sound-cancelling spikes covering the walls and ceiling that take on a menacing look in the dim light. A 70s-style padded armchair sits incongruously in this other-worldly environment. As I sit on the chair, I try to speak. My voice sounds quiet and dead, and yet I am conscious of the sound of my breathing. As I hold my breath and try to experience the silence without the sound of my breath, I begin to hear a whistling noise in my ears. The experience is disconcerting.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:29 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    Alice in Quantum Land

    “Good morning, Alice,” a voice said. Or at least it seemed like a voice.

    Alice rubbed her eyes. She'd fallen asleep in the orchard, and had been dreaming of tea parties with singing cakes and dancing oysters. She rubbed her eyes and looked around, but there was no one in sight. Had the voice been in the dream, she wondered? Or maybe she was still dreaming. She'd caught herself enough times in that trap, thinking she had woken up, only to discover she was still dreaming. It always annoyed her.

    “Good morning, Alice.” There it was again. But where was it coming from? Alice had become used to voices that came from strange and unexpected places, or were disconnected from the people or things who were speaking, but not voices that came from nowhere.

    “Good morning,” replied Alice cautiously but politely, not wanting to upset whoever, or whatever, this might be. “Who are you? Or more to the point, where are you?”

    “I'm a quantum,” the voice continued. “You've been hearing a lot about quantum physics and all the strange conclusions that it leads to in your world, so I thought it was time you heard from me, and got a picture of how the world looks from a quantum's point of view.

    “As to where I am, I am everywhere and nowhere. Always and nowhen.”

    Alice knew better than to let her mind be worried by paradox. Just about everything she had heard so far was paradoxical in some way or other, and trying to understand paradoxes was bound to lead to even greater confusion.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:09 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    Invocation at the Borderland

    I know this place (perhaps you do too)
    It is a quiet place, a little dark, a little distant.
    We don’t talk about it often,
    Descriptions of its topography evade genial conversation
    If you glimpse it, you will likely avert your gaze
    To the safe, the secure, the known.
    Oh, for it to be further away,
    Too much trouble for our curious footpaths to wind toward,
    A borderland far a’field.
    Away, away, we wish the thought
    Yet it returns tonight, like a big-eyed child
    Stone silent, hand awaiting yours,
    Walk, walk there now,
    Step into this place, this country, this lonely alcove
    Which, like the known turf of our days on Earth
    Holds the sun much like your body absorbs it
    Yet we are strangers in this place.
    It’s rugged, and you’re tired,
    Yet the child is determined to show you
    This desperate, heaving, clutching, hungry land
    With those eyes as smooth as planets
    You must go. You must see.
    You must sit upon this hard dirt
    With all your senses lit like bonfires against the cold
    For the child, you must be here.
    What of home?
    What of the sleek streets and tailored words
    That rise above the city in golden promise?
    Does it tug you like the child tugs
    Asking you silently to follow
    To touch the brittle and scant grains
    To tongue the water, brimming with slow, doleful songs,
    To taste all that is left.
    You search your pocket for hope,
    Some starry jewel of reassurance,
    And there is dust, and wind, and those eyes
    Write upon your soul a transcendental verse;
    “After this, we will be free.”
    Where is this place?
    What is this suffering, and why?
    What prospect is there for me to convey?
    “After this, we will be free.”

    Is there such a thing as spare transformation
    Which I can toss into an upturned hat as easily as pennies?
    All these questions yet the answer is insistent
    It won’t let you go, listen...
    (drums)
    It’s the heart, it’s home, it contains everything.
    The heart even contains that borderland afar,
    And the big-eyed silent child,
    Waiting to hold your hand
    And show you a village at the edge of our conscience.

    We hold, as deep as our nimble thoughts dare to fly,
    All that lives, and has lived, and ever shall.
    Therefore, in the resonant space between beats upon the heart-drum,
    There is great hunger... within us.
    There are eyes which implore the skies for release, for bread, for love-
    Love in its most truthful form... sustenance.
    That place, so foreign, beats within;
    Our very blood which thrives binds us to the very blood which suffers,
    And to the creation and birthpangs
    Of equity, of fairness, which will one day spring up fountains
    And make peace within that home
    And that mother will weep rivers of joy!


    For now,
    We must nourish with what we truly have,
    To feed the work of compassion
    For that child, for that far borderland.
    Let the soul’s labor of tonight
    Bring forth with tenacity the green fields of tomorrow.
    “After this, we will be free.”
    “After this, we will be free.”

    This poem will be read as the invocation to the 4th Annual Western North Carolina Hunger Banquet, which I'm hosting for the third year tomorrow. More info about the Hunger Banquet idea here. For those of you in Asheville, the event will be held at the YMI Cultural Center, 6-8pm, downtown. Tickets are $10, and the event is sponored by Jubilee Community and a veriety of downtown restaurants and charitable organizations.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:28 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    { Wednesday, 17 August, 2005 }

    Asheville Blogs get Ink'd

    0817cover.jpg

    The grassroots movement of the soul

    Yet another local variation on blogging is Bird On The Moon, a collection of consciousness-exploring essays, poems and links.

    "I'm still trying to figure out exactly what [Bird On The Moon] is," says creator Jay Joslin. "It's sort of a daily work in progress."

    A reader of other blogs for years, Joslin created Bird On The Moon in 2002 as a way to get his feet wet in the medium. He says that his personal experiences with writing (he's the author of two poetry and essay collections) made him want to explore the new possibilities with reader interaction that blogs have opened up.

    "I like to look at blogging as the grassroots movement of the soul," he observes. "I like to wonder how we can use this tool to evolve our knowledge of consciousness and the soul just a wee, little bit more."

    While the majority of Joslin's posts involve Zen-koanlike musings on a range of topics – from silence to quantum physics – there are also personal revelations. For instance, Joslin says that his recent post about nearly drowning in an accident on a waterfall provoked a flood of responses.

    "Every day, there are people that are in crisis and experiencing such tremendous life-changing forces," he says. "But their stories aren't necessarily being told. That's the whole idea behind Bird On The Moon. I really try to bring out issues and topics that represent the mystery of being alive."

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:23 in Blogosphere, Tech & Internet | | permalink



    Scientists find errors in global warming data

    After examining the satellite data, collected since 1979 by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather satellites... [scinetists] found that the satellites had drifted in orbit, throwing off the timing of temperature measures. Essentially, the satellites were increasingly reporting nighttime temperatures as daytime ones, leading to a false cooling trend. The team also found a math error in the calculations...

    [The petroleum industry... has used the data disparities to dispute the views of global-warming activists. In recent years, however, the institute has softened its public statements, acknowledging that the planet is indeed getting warmer but still maintaining that the change is happening so slowly that the impact is minimal.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:57 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    Midsummer's Dream Galaxies

    It is almost certain that we will never be able to send a probe out of our Milky Way to take a snapshot, in the same way as the first satellites could do to give us striking images of planet Earth. But astronomers do not need this to imagine what our bigger home resembles. And they have a pretty good idea of it.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:54 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    Bruce Cockburn: Pacing the Cage

    A stunning piece of music and poetry...

    Sunset is an angel weeping
    Holding out a bloody sword
    No matter how I squint I cannot
    Make out what it's pointing toward
    Sometimes you feel like you live too long
    Days drip slowly on the page
    You catch yourself
    Pacing the cage

    I've proven who I am so many times
    The magnetic strip's worn thin
    And each time I was someone else
    And every one was taken in
    Powers chatter in high places
    Stir up eddies in the dust of rage
    Set me to pacing the cage

    I never knew what you all wanted
    So I gave you everything
    All that I could pillage
    All the spells that I could sing
    It's as if the thing were written
    In the constitution of the age
    Sooner or later you'll wind up
    Pacing the cage

    Sometimes the best map will not guide you
    You can't see what's round the bend
    Sometimes the road leads through dark places
    Sometimes the darkness is your friend
    Today these eyes scan bleached-out land
    For the coming of the outbound stage
    Pacing the cage
    Pacing the cage

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:49 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



    { Tuesday, 16 August, 2005 }

    Andrew Harvey: Sun at Midnight

    This first dark night purifies all of the senses so that they can become the vehicle of the inner divine self. This first dark night is extreme, but it's not as extreme as the second dark night. It's a purification that enables the ordinary senses to start registering the divine world. Through devotion, through meditation, through intense mystical practice, you start to see the divine light. At first it just flashes, and then when the process is complete, you have an overwhelming experience in which you see the entire creation as a manifestation of the light, and your consciousness is one with that. This is not enlightenment. This begins what is called the state of illumination. Although the senses are purified, and although they're able now to register the divinity of the world, the ego is still subtly present. So there has to be a second death on the path, which is the death of the personal identity.

    One example I use... is a rose bush. If you imagine the growth of divine consciousness as being like the growth of a rose, then a cutting from the original rose would have to be placed in the earth. It has to be watered by prayer and by devotion and by meditation. It comes up out of the ground, it has to be protected. Then it grows thorns -- the thorns of discrimination and wisdom. Then it flings out branches and all the created powers come through -- mystical listening. Then, on those branches, buds appear, and those buds contain the potential of the rose because they're juicy with all kinds of recognition. But something else has to happen for the open rose to be created. The bud has to be broken. Jesus said if the grain does not die, then the corn will not spring up. If the bud isn't broken, the full rose will not open. That breaking of the bud is annihilation and crucifixion of the false self.

    The entire world is now going through a massive crucifixion on all levels. It's going through an environmental crucifixion -- hundreds of species are vanishing every month. It's going through a personal crucifixion. There are two billion people living on less than a dollar a day. It's going through a crucifixion of all the patriarchal systems -- look at Enron and what it has shown us about Corporate America. Look at the Catholic Churches' scandals of pedophilia and what it shows us about authority. Look at the growing disillusionment of politicians of all kinds. All of the systems are being exposed as illusory and as fantasy ridden -- as deeply corrupt and exploitative. There's another kind of crucifixion going on -- crucifixion of purpose and hope. Everybody is totally bewildered. They know that the world is potentially on the brink of total apocalypse. There's a tremendous danger that as people wake up to the horror of what is going on, they will run into political extremism or into fundamentalism of one kind or another. So it's extremely important that the wisdom of the dark night gets across because if people understand the necessity for this crucifixion, and understand that it's preparing the resurrection and the birth and an empowerment, then they will be prepared to go through it without fear -- or without too much fear -- trusting in the logic of the divine transformation.

    [my hero]

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:30 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



    Physics enlisted to help singles

    [An Oxford physicist] adapted a system for modelling atoms in radioactive decay to investigate how we look for partners. He found that "super daters", people who have many short relationships, have a good effect on others' lives. This is because they break up weak couples, forcing their victims to find better relationships.

    At the root of the system... is the similarity between the probability of the nucleus of an atom decaying and that of a couple breaking up. The decay of a nucleus is described in terms of "transit states": the series of change it has been through to get to its current situation. The probability of someone having been in two relationships, for example, is the same as that of a nucleus decaying twice.

    It appears that I will require, I don't know, a giant metaphorical fusion reactor. Commence the science, please.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:24 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    What Makes People Gay?

    ...No matter how imperfect these studies are, when you put them all together and examine them closely, the message is clear: While post-birth development may well play a supporting role, the roots of homosexuality, at least in men, appear to be in place by the time a child is born.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:11 in Gay, Lesbian, Queer & Free | | permalink



    Twain: Letters from the Earth

    "Very well, then, let us proceed. We have witnessed a wonderful thing; as to that, we are necessarily agreed. As to the value of it -- if it has any -- that is a matter which does not personally concern us. We can have as many opinions about it as we like, and that is our limit. We have no vote. I think Space was well enough, just as it was, and useful, too. Cold and dark -- a restful place, now and then, after a season of the overdelicate climate and trying splendors of heaven. But these are details of no considerable moment; the new feature, the immense feature, is -- what, gentlemen?"

    "The invention and introduction of automatic, unsupervised, self-regulating law for the government of those myriads of whirling and racing suns and worlds!"

    "That is it!" said Satan. "You perceive that it is a stupendous idea...

    jaybird found this for you @ 06:52 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



    emerge and plunge

    Take a moment to rest,
    Catch up with your shadow spinning behind you.
    Slow your eyes to just the sky
    And watch the passing theatre of the clouds
    Recounting histories, prognosticating through
    Sun-streaked simulacra.

    Where do your thoughts go?

    To the rage crumpled in the trash
    To be tossed to the curb by another's hand
    All those pages startred, never finished...

    To the stillness of a dark August night
    Where the lingering fireflies land on the screen door
    Pulsing, little invitations, tiny heralds,
    And you just stop to watch...

    To the illusion of illusion
    And the twisted questions of vexation
    That seize the tongue in a fit of art
    Yet only make sense in dreams...

    If thoughts are things
    You keep adding on to the castle
    Like some mad eccentric whose legacy is a footnote
    In some yellowed book
    Bargain-binned for it's ideosyncracy.
    Living in the head isn't for every temperment;
    It's hot and humid up there, the neuron-children
    Play in fire hydrant fountains,
    Opened with pipe wrenches,
    And the wilds teem with beasties and crawlies.
    If you could emerge, truly,
    Through the billowing curtains of your eyes
    And plunge into the outer city
    Whose streets your body navigates through
    Like a trolley on a track,
    You could make those crazy circles of flight
    That fluster the logician and seduce the artist's paint.
    If you could just stop thinking for a moment,
    You might start being.

    It's pointless to ask how a being can be
    Without being one.
    Knowledge comes through movement
    Much in the way a cloud becomes a turtle, or a Goddess;
    It just moves that way,
    And you don't just see it,
    You be it.

    So, rest.
    Don't let the standard of endless activity hinder you.
    The profoundest action is a daring lack of animation
    To just be still, as the night appears to be,
    Though we are barrelling toward some whirling reckoning
    Where our strength matters, where we emerge alive.

    There is time enough for tumult.
    Now, quiet.
    Now, be.

    jaybird found this for you @ 00:00 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    { Monday, 15 August, 2005 }

    The Heart Sutra in Tibetan and English [audio]

    The Buddha's Heart of Wisdom Gone Beyond. At one time I heard this speech: The Victorious Conqueror [Buddha] was at the King's castle on Vulture Hill in India, together with a great congregation of monks and a great congregation of bodhisattvas. And at that time the great bodhisattva, exhalted Chenrezig the mighty, himself completely accomplished in the deep wisdom gone to the other side [prajnaparamita], saw the five earthly heaps, and saw that they were, by their very nature, completly empty. Thereupon, by the power of Buddha, honorable Sariputra spoke thus to the great bodhisatva, the exalted Chenrezig the mighty: "Noble son, how should a person be taught who will succeed in accomplishing the deep knowledge gone to the other shore?"

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:46 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



    Sometimes, One Woman is All it Takes

    ...A single act of courage and determination can come to define a larger issue. Last Saturday, Mrs. Sheehan set up a roadside camp near Bush's ranch, which is now known as Prairie Chapel (The man truly has no shame), and vowed to remain there until Bush agreed to meet with her and answer questions about the war that has claimed the life of her son, Casey, and more than 1,800 others. In the week since, she has become a magnet for other antiwar activists and, perhaps as important, she has forced a gutless White House press corps to confront an issue it can no longer ignore: that a majority of Americans are rapidly losing faith in the scoundrels who lied us into a war with no coherent strategy for ending it.

    See also: Someone tell the president the war is over.

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:54 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    Project on the origins of life launched

    "We start with a mutual acknowledgment of the profound complexity of living systems...my expectation is that we will be able to reduce this to a very simple series of logical events that could have taken place with no divine intervention..." The theory of evolution has been both fascinating and religiously charged since its very beginnings, because it speaks directly to the place of people in the natural order. In another era, the idea that humans are the close cousins of apes -- a scientific fact now supported by overwhelming evidence -- was seen as both offensive and preposterous. Today's research of origins focuses on questions that seem as strange as the study of "ape men" once did: How can life arise from nonlife? How easy is it for this to happen? And does the universe teem with life, or is Earth a solitary island? ...[T]he origins of life initiative is part of a dramatic rethinking of how to conduct scientific research...

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:42 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    Levels of Consciousness

    ...if you catch yourself thinking about something else while reading (mind-wandering experience) you become “meta-conscious”; but before you became aware of this, you were thinking about something without knowing that you were doing so—you were “conscious..." “Meta-consciousness”, because it is limited to a reflection on one’s internal and invisible experiences, means private self-awareness.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:33 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    { Sunday, 14 August, 2005 }

    For the Warrior's Ceremony

    In the Spirit of Highest Friendship:

    Late into the night
    You battled with honor.
    As the sun rose,
    A shell broke
    A wolf took to the wilderness
    And you sat with your shadow...
    I felt it this morning
    As resolution came over you
    As the last sweat of your fight
    Became tomorrow's ocean tide
    I felt that you had
    Danced with your secret self
    Virtuous footing
    And in the end
    You lay heaped in exhaustion
    But never more open
    Never more you
    Ever more yourself.
    I felt your words pass in flight
    Of how new you are
    Much as song of a hawk's flight
    No longer a fledgling
    Yet not yet a wizened old bird.
    There is nothing but the work of living
    Before your sore and journey-worn feet
    And you have trained well in fighting,
    In thinking, in loving.
    You are a coast away
    And in ceremony
    And you are looked upon with such adoration
    By those who surround you this day.
    I cannot see but I know-
    I cannot fully know yet truly feel-
    That transformation has had you
    And upon your return
    I will learn of this new being,
    And of this old one, in kind.
    I hold you and yours in this
    Exhilaration that accompanies
    The fool's journey to knowledge.
    We share that road
    E'en as we are bedazzled by differing vistas,
    It's the road, man,
    It's the road we travel.
    Progress well through this, your day,
    Know that my heart bears witness
    Through the wolf tracks
    Which ramble through these dense woods
    Of transcendent wisdom
    Where right now, for now,
    You become
    And become again.

    Right now, my best friend Joshua is in LA in the final ceremony required to progress to brown belt in a highly specialized form of Kenpo. I write this in honor of him, his work, and in how this process has completely rewritten the codes of his soul. I also salute his loyal wife and my deeply dear friend Robin, who is joining with him today in love and devotion at this, the culmination of their journey to California. I hold both of you right now, and know that I'm somewhere in that dojo, because I sure am feeling it here.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:50 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    { Saturday, 13 August, 2005 }

    Spiffy, but slightly wonky

    As you can see, the redesign mayhem is under way. I've taken many things into consideration in undertaking this effort, including (of course) your fabulous input. The entire site will be migrating over to this style within a few weeks. Alas, however, nothing is perfect. MT is lopping off the last 1/3 of coding, for no apparent reason other than it being Saturday. I put in a support ticket over at Six Apart, and they're either laughing their asses off or getting out the schematics.

    You'll also notice a new contact page. A heck of a lot more efficient, methinks. Try it out and send me a few words. I'll get inline comments back on soon, I want to discern the wonkiness that MT is throwing before reinstalling MT-Blacklist. Trackbacks are gone as they were being mightily abused, and also because I think the net has outgrown them. I'll probably go with the Technorati system in the future. On future entries, the title will also serve as the link. A lot less clutter.

    I've been up since 3:30 this morning for no apparent reason. I'm yawning now but so far sleep has evaded me. No biggie. Watched a few stupendously awful films, but noting could bore me back to sleep. So I decided to code all day. Yipsters!

    But the truly glorious gift of insomnia was another round of Perseid watching. I saw about 7 last night/this morning, and a lot more the night before. One was so brilliant... it lit the sky like a shiny knife's edge, and left a glittery trail of plasma. Just to think: we are not that far at all from a complete vacuum. The Earth's atmosphere is like the skin of an apple, I've been told, between our rambunctious civilization and the infinite expanse that holds us, much in the way a speck of sand can get blown in a gale.

    I think I'll try a nap, and check to see if I can get the templates working again. I'll update my progress if you are truly interested.

    UPDATE: Finally, a decent measure of success was achieved after some incredibly bizarre problems. All the archives, categories, and templates appear to be working, and comments are back. Please report bugs. Finally, I will retreat away from MT for some genuine experience: watching a huge thunderstorm roll in.

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:37 in Blogosphere, Tech & Internet | | permalink



    { Friday, 12 August, 2005 }

    i spy with my duelling hemispheres...

    What are you looking at?

    By using stimuli that are briefly presented, researchers can know which hemisphere has what information. When J.W. is looking at center of the computer screen, images presented on the left half of the computer screen will be processed by the right hemisphere; the left hemisphere will process images presented on the right half of the computer screen. This is true for everyone (not just J.W.) and is called contralateral projection—the left hemisphere receives input from the right side of the world (vision, sound and touch) and controls the right side of your body; the right hemisphere does the same for the left. When J.W. keeps his eyes focused on the center of the screen, we know what each hemisphere is seeing (we know this for other people, too, but their hemispheres are connected and so information passes from one to the other). Using two very simple faces and a target detection task... [researchers] can find out how much the joint attention reflex depends on the face by manipulating whether or not the right hemisphere (the one with specialized face processing) is presented with the target.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:28 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    ...and happily ever after

    Famed swan couple is all-female

    Boston's beloved pair of swans -- feted by city leaders, residents, and tourists alike as one of the Hub's most celebrated summer attractions -- are a same-sex couple. Yes, scientific tests have shown that the pair, named Romeo and Juliet, are really Juliet and Juliet. The city's Parks and Recreation Department conducted the tests months ago, but didn't announce the results for fear of destroying the image of a Shakespearean love story unfolding each year in the Public Garden.

    "Each year when the swans go in, the kids immediately come to us and say, 'Which one's Romeo, and which one's Juliet? It's just like one of those fairy tales; why spoil it?"

    Um, nothing's spoiled. In fact, the story just got much sweeter. Finally, people can understand that homosexuality is just plain natural. Unless, of course, the righteous flag wavers condemn these creatures to hell. Bah. Nature Rules.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:21 in Gay, Lesbian, Queer & Free | | permalink



    the work of self-ing

    How We Understand Ourselves

    Studies have shown that information about the self is processed from each of the five senses. But little research to date has investigated how information from the different senses is integrated into an image of oneself. It has been suggested previously that multiple points in the brain (a distributed self-network) are involved in constructing a self image. However, the present study is the first to suggest that, rather than each sense acting independently, the five senses act together to contribute to the concept of self.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:53 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    "more evil than necessary"

    Bidness & Gubmints

    Government exists only by conflict. If there were no conflict, why would you need government? People must be regulated or they might walk out on their jobs and start looting department stores and murdering children. The state always assumes the worst about humanity. And it probably should, for now. Although we think we’re so special and evolved and “Chosen", the truth is that we’re barely out of the cradle, still baring our teeth and tucking our tails. A simple survey of the global sociopolitical zeitgeist reveals a species driven in large part by ape politics. Resource hoarding, tribal warfare, fear of the Other, sexual and physical dominance and submission, and an overall lack of self awareness - all these characterize modern human existence. Some tribal cultures have managed to find an equilibrium of harmony and sustainability, simple and peaceful. Others whirl out of control driven mad by imposed scarcity and repressive socialization or marched into oblivion by fearful men of god. The ongoing expansion of commerce ensures that the simple cultures will be duly “civilized” and taught how to make Nikes and buy cigarettes. Every ape is a potential contributor to capitalism.


    jaybird found this for you @ 07:42 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    meteoric

    Just caught about five fleeting flashes of the Perseid meteors. I'm back up at 4am for a few more, maybe pics. Another reminder that we are truly cosmic bodies...

    jaybird found this for you @ 01:47 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    { Thursday, 11 August, 2005 }

    ancient tabloid


    Egyptologist Discovers Ancient Gossip

    Ancient Egyptians gossiped about a bald queen, royals who had affairs, missing bodies, homosexuality [w00t!], harem intrigue and more... The findings suggest humans always have enjoyed chatting about personal or sensational information concerning others. They also reveal what officials communicated through their official artwork and hieroglyphics. "The ancient Egyptians believed that anything written down became magically true, so even if something was true, if it was unpleasant, it was usually not written... That is what makes it so interesting when you find out small details of what we would consider gossip."

    As an example... a text from around 5,000 years ago described how an unnamed king frequently visited one of his general's houses at night. The text repeats the phrase, "in whose home there was no wife," suggesting that the king was having a homosexual affair. "Did that mean the Egyptians were anti-homosexual in their opinions? Maybe not...The problem could have been that the general was not fulfilling his social duties by producing an heir from a wife." ...Another Egyptologist who has published many works on Egyptian history and culture, suggested people also gossiped about royals who partied too much.

    jaybird found this for you @ 21:37 in History, Civilization & Anthropology | | permalink



    balancing point


    Amazing Video of Rock Balancing

    jaybird found this for you @ 17:34 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



    Haiti as Target Practice

    How the US Press Missed the Story

    Was the story too dangerous to investigate? Was the situation indecipherable? Was the prospect of a weak regime giving way to another in the hemisphere's poorest country just not a story worth the time and effort? The tragedy of this episode is that much of it was abundantly transparent. Running a sixty-second web search on any of the principals involved leads one to a fetid two-decade history of CIA and U.S. ultra-right subterfuge in Haiti. The fact that the group in charge of Haiti policy today in the State Department has been literally gunning for Aristide since before his initial election as a champion of democracy in 1990 has been left all but unmentioned by the press. Also forgotten is the fact that members of the armed groups burning their way through Haiti's cities today include groups that, (according to myriad sources including sworn testimony before Congress by U.S. officials, reporters, and reports of Haitian recipients of covert aid,) were funneling drugs to the U.S. while in the pay of U.S. intelligence agents.

    jaybird found this for you @ 13:29 in Haiti | | permalink



    save the children (from Dobson)

    Is My Child Gay, and If So, How Do I Get Him To Beat Up Our Neighbor?
    ...Perhaps more interesting, however, is James Dobson's recently published guide for parents to help discover if their child is gay. (Dobson is the leader of the ultra-right-wing group, Focus on Family)

    It turns out it's quite simple, as long as the child is between the ages of 4 and 11, and is a boy. (Dobson doesn't seem to understand, or care, that homosexuality occurs in females, probably because he used to boycott Disney-owned ABC and therefore never saw the Ellen DeGeneres Show).

    There are seven simple steps:

    1) Your boy has a strong feeling he is "different from other boys." As we all know, boys must feel exactly like all other boys, or else they are clearly homosexual.

    2) "A tendency to cry easily, be less athletic, and dislike the roughhousing that other boys enjoy." Of course, on a relative scale, some boys are bound to be less athletic than others. Well, sorry. These boys are gay.

    3) "A persistent preference to play female roles in make-believe play." When you see him play cowboys and Indians, and he wants to be the squaw... uh, oh.

    4) "A strong preference to spend time in the company of girls and participate in their games and other pastimes." For example, boys must never play with their sisters. Isn't that the leading cause of homosexuality right there?

    5) "A susceptibility to be bullied by other boys, who may tease them unmercifully and call them 'queer,' 'fag' and 'gay.'" Yes, parents, if the kid next door calls your son a fag, then he is. Four year-old neighbors have a sixth sense: They see gay people.

    6) "A tendency to walk, talk, dress and even 'think' effeminately." Effeminate thinking is destroying our nation; someone better tell Condoleeza Rice.

    7). "A repeatedly stated desire to be -- or insistence that he is -- a girl." This is the clearest sign. Apparently, your young homosexual will actually announce his sexual orientation by telling you, while drinking his juicy-juice, that he is actually a girl. Not a gay. A girl.

    jaybird found this for you @ 09:25 in Gay, Lesbian, Queer & Free | | permalink



    { Wednesday, 10 August, 2005 }

    urban anamorphosis



    Virtual Street Reality
    ; rule bending chalk drawings [via mefi]

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:43 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



    jeffrey mishlove

    The Roots of Consciousness
    "Why am I me?" The chills and sensations of first being conscious of myself being conscious of myself are still vivid in my memory. I was a ten year old child then, sitting alone in my parents' bedroom, touching my own solid consciousness and wondering at it. I was stepping through the looking-glass seeing myself being myself seeing myself being myself...tasting infinity in a small body.

    I could be anybody. But I happen to be me. Why not someone else? And if I were someone else, could I not still be me?

    What does it mean to be an individual being? How is it possible that I exist? How is it I am able to sense myself? What is the self I sense I am?

    How is it I am able to be conscious? What does it mean to exercise consciousness?

    Does conscious awareness naturally emerge from the complex structure of physical atoms, molecules, cells and organs, that compose my body? Does consciousness reside somehow or emerge from the higher structure of my brain and nervous system? And, if so, how does that occur? What is it about the structure of my nervous system that allows me to discover myself as a human being? How can a brain formulate questions? Are thoughts and questions even things in the same sense that neurons and brains are things?

    As conscious beings, do we possess spirits and souls? Are we sparks of the divine fire?

    How close are we to understanding the origins of the universe, of life, of consciousness? Is it possible to answer questions such as ... Who are we? What does it mean to be human? What is the ultimate nature of matter? Of mind?

    In our time, the spiritual and material views seem quite divergent. In a way they both ring true. They each speak to part of our awareness. And, for many if not most people, they each, by themselves, leave us unsatisfied.

    We have myths and stories. We have world views, paradigms, constructs and hypotheses. We have competing dogmas, theologies and sciences. Do we have understanding? Can an integration of our scientific knowledge with the spiritual insights of humanity bring greater harmony to human civilization?

    We go about our business. We build cities and industries. We engage in buying and selling. We have families and raise children. We affiliate with religious teachings or other traditions.

    We sometimes avoid confronting the deep issues of being because there we feel insecure, even helpless. And like a mirror of our inner being, our society reflects our tension.

    Yet the mystery of being continues to rear its head. It will not go away. As we face ecological disaster, nuclear war, widespread drug addiction, widespread inhumanity, we are forced to notice the consequences of our lives in ever greater detail. Are not these horrendous situations the products of human consciousness and behavior? Can we any longer continue to address the major political, technological and social issues of our time without also examining the roots of our consciousness and our behavior?

    Can we reconcile our spiritual and material natures? Can we discover a cultural unity underlying the diverse dogmas, religions, and political systems on our planet?

    [The entire book is online at the link above]

    A valid reply from the [now obsolete] temporary comments system:

    Ray Kurzweil is out of his mind. He is a classic techno-pollyana of the worst kind. When he starts talking about "downloading" human minds into machines, he is not being scientific - he's being religious. We simply do not have clue one about what it is about us that we would be able to put in a bottle and have that be us.

    He looks at some trends, and, *voila*, HEAVEN! Well, as a wise man once said, "trend is not destiny". This is not science - it is a pathetic and forlorn faith.

    Sorry people, we're still made of meat, and we still need air, water, and food. We have limits, but limits within which we *could* have a wonderful world. But so long as nut-jobs like RK hold out visions of pie-in-the-sky, we'll never realize it.

    Cheers,

    - roebuck

    jaybird found this for you @ 15:39 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    the melting


    Alaskan people tell of climate change

    For the past 20 years climatologists and ice and atmosphere scientists have been working in Alaska studying climate change. Now they have discovered a rich new source of records extending their knowledge back by decades through the oral history of native Alaskans. Barrow is the most northerly town in the United States, lying 300 miles inside the Arctic Circle. And 92-year-old Bertha Leavitt is its oldest inhabitant.

    "When I was a child", she says, "it was so much colder and the winds in winter used to be fierce." She remembers her elders telling in their stories that the weather was going to change. And since her childhood she believes this has come true.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:32 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



    global struggle against a violent preident

    Chaos under heaven
    ...The president and his people - who have spent the last four years reaching for their dictionaries (the way gunfighters once reached for their six-guns) whenever they wanted to redefine our world to fit their needs - suddenly, and quite atypically, broke ranks over a definition. A week ago, led by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the president's top men and women began using a new phrase. The global war on terror (fondly, if inelegantly, known as GWOT) was to be no more. It was now the "global struggle against violent extremism" (or G-SAVE) and General Richard B Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained why. He told the National Press Club that he had "objected to the use of the term 'war on terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution".

    Somehow, the new term, and acronym, hit the planet like one of those "tripods" from Mars after the germs got to it. The media ridiculed it, and Bush, our "war president", agreed. He immediately broke ranks with his own spinmeisters. In a speech last week, he managed to use the phrase "war on terror" repeatedly and "global struggle against violent extremism" a total of zero times. According to former State Department counterterrorism official Larry Johnson, at a White House meeting a peeved "Bush reportedly said he was not in favor of the new term ... In fact, he said, 'no one checked with me'. That comment brought an uncomfortable silence to the assembled group of pooh-bahs. The president insisted it was still a war as far as he is concerned."

    Meh.

    jaybird found this for you @ 07:28 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    { Tuesday, 09 August, 2005 }

    The Human-Techno Future

    How Weird? How Soon?

    The foremost proponent of the heaven scenario is a guy named , a famed inventor—the classic geek hero. He looks at this curve of exponential change and what's going on in the GRIN technologies, and he thinks this is all terrific. He sees a curve going straight up to heaven, basically. He sees us conquering pain, suffering, death, stupidity, ignorance, ugliness, and basically doing this in our lifetime.

    That's one of the critical aspects of Radical Evolution: We're talking about the next 10 or 20 years. We're not talking about some far side of the moon. This is going to happen on our watch.

    In the heaven scenario that Ray and others portray, what happens is that the curve goes straight up, and there're all sorts of wonderful technological changes that solve all sorts of problems that have plagued mankind forever. This produces a change in what it means to be human that is basically good. As Ray describes it, it's essentially indistinguishable from the Christian version of heaven.

    Ray, for example, doesn't think he's going to die. He takes 250 pills a day. And his view of it is that if you can stay healthy for the next 20 years, the curve of technological change will be advancing so rapidly that an awful lot of what ails [us we] will essentially be able to conquer.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:36 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    breaching the brain's boundary

    Thoughts 'read' via brain scans

    ...People were shown two different images at the same time - a red stripy pattern in front of the right eye and a blue stripy pattern in front of the left. The volunteers wore special goggles which meant each eye saw only what was put in front of it.

    In that situation, the brain then switches awareness between both images, sometimes seeing one image and sometimes the other. While people's attention switched between the two images, the researchers used fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) brain scanning to monitor activity in the visual cortex.

    It was found that focusing on the red or the blue patterns led to specific, and noticeably different, patterns of brain activity. The fMRI scans could reliably be used to predict which of the images the volunteer was looking at, the researchers found.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:26 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    sun and water

    Rays Of Hope For Energy Woes

    If you ever wonder about how the world will produce enough
    energy to supply 9 billion people by mid-century — and whether that can be done without pumping off-the-charts amounts of carbon
    dioxide into the air — meet one of the minds trying to produce an
    answer. [Daniel] Nocera, 48, is trying to achieve an old, elusive dream: using the bountiful energy in sunlight to split water into its basic components, hydrogen and oxygen.

    The elements could then be used to supply clean-running fuel
    cells or new kinds of machinery. Or the energy created from the
    reaction itself, as atomic bonds are severed and re-formed, might
    be harnessed and stored. There is a beautiful model for this: photosynthesis. Sunlight kickstarts a reaction in which leaves break down water and carbon dioxide and turn them into oxygen and sugar, which plants use for fuel.

    But plants developed this process over billions of years, and
    even so, it's technically not that efficient. Nocera and other
    scientists are trying to replicate that — and perhaps improve on it in decades.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:22 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    welcome home discovery

    It is not always politcally popular to be a strong devotee of space travel and exploration. It is an expensive program riddled with white-knuckled risks. Yet it is so utterly important that the program continues, with care to assure safety. We must not shy away from the knowledge of the stars, for there are the keys to the sciences that can repair our grievously wounded ecology. And as a civilization that has lost its evolutionary trail, it is clear that our ladder to the ascension is through space technology, travel, and to echo Leary's ardent call, migration.

    This flight represents a commitment to that lofty goal- no matter the nation or flawed government behind it. This is about humans, and the soul. Cheers, Discovery, you've brought us back some stardust.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:12 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    { Monday, 08 August, 2005 }

    redesign - botm 3.0

    Look for a brighter, cleaner redesign this weekend. Click on screenshot for mockup. Huzzah!

    jaybird found this for you @ 23:27 in Blogosphere, Tech & Internet | | permalink



    mcgod to go

    Stadium crowds, thousands of rabid devotees, all chugging Jesus like Kool-Aid. Should you be afraid?

    Maybe the appeal is self-explanatory. Maybe you walk into one of these stadium-sized God-huts and everyone is forcibly blissed out and everyone is just numbly patriotic and everyone is throwing hand-rolled tubes of nickels (most megachurch parishioners have very low median incomes and little more than a high school education, and the vast majority are as white as bleached teeth) into the giant golden donation vats and snatching up freshly published copies of "He Died for Your Crappy Little Sins so Put Down the Porn and Listen Up, Sicko," and the vibe is so amped and the Jesus mania is so potent you'd think it's a Michael Jackson concert circa 1991 and you're Macaulay Culkin and everyone is made of glitter and cocaine and disquieting apprehension.

    Is this the appeal? The narcotic of delirious crowds? The intoxicating caught-up-in-it-ness? The drug of mass self-righteousness, sterilized and homogenized for easy suppository-like karmic insertion?

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:24 in Spirituality, Religion & Mythos | | permalink



    terra: tongue in cheek

    What I'd say to the Martians


    I admit that sometimes I think we are not so different after all. When you see one of your old ones trip and fall down, do you not point and laugh, just as we on Earth do? And I think we can agree that nothing is more admired by the people of Earth and Mars alike than a fine, high-quality cigarette. For fun, we humans like to ski down mountains covered with snow; you like to“milk” bacteria off of scum hills and pack them into your gill slits. Are we so different?

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:19 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



    so long


    'Queer as Folk' ends its 5-year run

    "It's been really historic. It's one of the first times that gays and lesbians got to see ourselves on TV in something other than the safe-bet friend or the neighbor. We were portrayed with authentic flair as real three-dimensional characters."

    NOTE: This is usually the last place to come to read up on teevee talk, but I found this show to be very important in a number of ways. While it may not have helped to portray queer people in less stereotypical ways, it put on screen something all of us could identify with. I will miss it.

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:11 in Gay, Lesbian, Queer & Free | | permalink



    pride in the being

    It's not about being queer,
    I think as I open the window
    And catch a few raindrops.
    It's about being a spirit,
    Some crazed bird driven by desire
    One that races the lavender of twilight
    Transfixed by the shadows
    Of the beloveds skipping
    Along the streets below.

    You just want to be connected,
    You want to fly
    On the breath of good words,
    That rise transcendant
    On the merits of their syllables.
    Can I dare utter the words
    "I am proud..."
    Without tripping over loose ends,
    Doubts dangling like the tatters
    Of the histories you wish you could forget.

    Yes, for God's sake,
    Dance with me, you vision,
    You prophecy made of skin and soul;
    I think often of meeting you
    But I won't wait...
    Rain doesn't wait to fall
    We just wait to notice.
    Shall I go mad over you? No.
    But entice me with whispers
    And I will fly a daredevil loopty-loop.

    Every now and then,
    I must think loudly about self,
    Particularily about a side of self
    As yet unmatched.
    The bird returns to the nest,
    The moon crouches on the horizon
    Then makes a mad dash toward tomorrow,
    Everything returns,
    And the world settles down in the end.
    Yet I am whole,
    And there is great mystery in understanding
    The insanity of love.

    ***

    {typo corrected --- thanks Cheryl in SAnta Barbara!}

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:01 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    { Sunday, 07 August, 2005 }

    lammastide extemporaneous

    A moment ago,
    The weight of the rain
    Bowed the branch, full of fruit,
    To the ground.

    A moment ago,
    A young hawk, a redtail,
    Surprised us by perching so close
    With those eyes.

    A moment ago
    The last petals fell off the flower
    Leaving bright green fulfillment on the stem
    The work, complete.

    A phantom must've shut the door,
    Or maybe it was the wind,
    But all these events
    Fruitions,
    Harvests born of the
    Wet works of creation
    Are as sudden as a rogue gust.

    Such air stirs the exultant green spires
    Of trees, we sing old songs
    To them, eating bread
    With honey,
    Walking to the flowers
    Beaded with jewels of rain
    Impossible creatures shelter under leaves.

    The creek is bursting with the business of flowing
    And it babbles desire like pentecost
    I throw a red leaf in and
    It spins, dances,
    Like some thought tossed
    In deep hope for meaning or love
    The kind we think of when we're alone with everything.

    And
    We are
    So full of
    Seeds, winging
    Ourselves onto any
    Path knowing that something
    Will eventually root and tendril out
    And we will become whole and authentic through
    Our curiosities that push through the soil of experience
    Wrapping around some stone of near-truth, and to thrive there.
    And so tonight as mountains revel in the wet work of creation,
    What blossom shall fall earthward, finished, bee-kissed
    Transformed by the labor of fruiting, of seeding
    Will I or anyone see its splash of color
    On the ground, a sygil of
    Life lived, within
    And without, we
    can't help
    Reflect
    It.

    A moment ago,
    I suddenly realized
    That last night's red wine
    Went untoasted.

    A moment ago
    I found a way with my
    Rainsoaked body to praise
    What's overlooked.

    A moment ago
    I stopped worrying whether
    These words were perfectly formed;
    That's what leaves
    ...and rain
    are for.

    jaybird found this for you @ 19:51 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    { Saturday, 06 August, 2005 }

    lawrence ferlinghetti

    To the Oracle at Delphi

    Great Oracle, why are you staring at me,
    do I baffle you, do I make you despair?
    I, Americus, the American,
    wrought from the dark in my mother long ago,
    from the dark of ancient Europa--
    Why are you staring at me now
    in the dusk of our civilization--
    Why are you staring at me
    as if I were America itself
    the new Empire
    vaster than any in ancient days
    with its electronic highways
    carrying its corporate monoculture
    around the world
    And English the Latin of our days--

    Great Oracle, sleeping through the centuries,
    Awaken now at last
    And tell us how to save us from ourselves
    and how to survive our own rulers
    who would make a plutocracy of our democracy
    in the Great Divide
    between the rich and the poor
    in whom Walt Whitman heard America singing

    O long-silent Sybil,
    you of the winged dreams,
    Speak out from your temple of light
    as the serious constellations
    with Greek names
    still stare down on us
    as a lighthouse moves its megaphone
    over the sea
    Speak out and shine upon us
    the sea-light of Greece
    the diamond light of Greece

    Far-seeing Sybil, forever hidden,
    Come out of your cave at last
    And speak to us in the poet's voice
    the voice of the fourth person singular
    the voice of the inscrutable future
    the voice of the people mixed
    with a wild soft laughter--
    And give us new dreams to dream,
    Give us new myths to live by!

    jaybird found this for you @ 11:58 in Authors, Books & Words | | permalink



    { Friday, 05 August, 2005 }

    less than zero

    Quantum information can be negative

    What could negative knowledge possibly mean? "If I tell it to you, you will know less," explained Dr Andreas Winter.

    Such strange situations can occur because what it means to know something is very different in the quantum world. "In the quantum world, we can know too much," added Dr Oppenheim, "and it is in these situations where one finds negative knowledge." Negative knowledge (or more precisely – ‘negative information’) turns out to be precisely the right amount to cancel the fact that we know too much.

    In the quantum world, there are things we just cannot know, no matter how clever we are. For example, we cannot know both the position and momentum of a small particle exactly. One can also have situations where someone knows more than everything. This is known as quantum ‘entanglement’, and when two people share entanglement, there can be negative information.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:56 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    One Square Inch of Silence


    Shhhhh

    The logic is simple: If a loud noise, such as the passing of an aircraft, can affect many square miles of wilderness lands around or below it, then it is reasonable to assume that a naturally quiet place, if kept quiet, would also affect many square miles around it. By managing a single point of park land, it is predicted that natural quiet will be restored throughout the park with substantially long noise-free intervals.

    One Square Inch of Silence seeks to designate a single square inch of land with a zero tolerance to human caused noise intrusions at Olympic National Park. Any noise intrusions into this area will produce a letter that asks the noise maker to voluntarily change their behavior. It is hoped that this test study will prove this method to be an effective and economical means for managing natural quiet.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:51 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



    painting inside the brain

    The artist as neuroscientist

    Although we rarely confuse a painting for the scene it presents, we are often taken in by the vividness of the lighting and the three-dimensional (3D) layout it captures. This is not surprising for a photorealistic painting, but even very abstract paintings can convey a striking sense of space and light, despite remarkable deviations from realism.

    The rules of physics that apply in a real scene are optional in a painting; they can be obeyed or ignored at the discretion of the artist to further the painting's intended effect. Some deviations, such as Picasso's skewed faces or the wildly coloured shadows in the works of Matisse and other Impressionists of the Fauvist school, are meant to be noticed as part of the style and message of the painting. There is, however, an 'alternative physics' operating in many paintings that few of us ever notice but which is just as improbable. These transgressions of standard physics — impossible shadows, colours, reflections or contours — often pass unnoticed by the viewer and do not interfere with the viewer's understanding of the scene. This is what makes them discoveries of neuroscience. Because we do not notice them, they reveal that our visual brain uses a simpler, reduced physics to understand the world. Artists use this alternative physics because these particular deviations from true physics do not matter to the viewer: the artist can take shortcuts, presenting cues more economically, and arranging surfaces and lights to suit the message of the piece rather than the requirements of the physical world.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:45 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    a man named kaluza and five dimensions

    The Five-Dimensional Continuum Approach to a Unified Field Theory [via orlin grabbe]

    ...The Kaluza-Klein theory had again become popular enough for other authors to come forward by the 1990s and offer their own views of the genesis of the hyper-dimensional theories. In his book Hyperspace, Michio Kaku renders the Kaluza theory into its own niche in the history of science,.while the book Modern Kaluza-Klein Theories, a collection of reprinted essays and articles which have had a direct influence on the development of superstring theories, includes copies of both Kaluza's and Klein's original papers from the1920s. The editors of this book have also included a historical essay on the development of the five-dimensional hypothesis and its relation to the superstring theories. However, these authors let the end of the story, the development of superstring theories, guide their histories of the five-dimensional hypothesis. So their histories are gravely incomplete and thus inadequate for truly historical purposes. Their histories are Whiggish since they have ignored the many other advances in hyper-dimensional work that do not seem to pertain directly to the theoretical structure of superstrings at first glance. They only tell of the work that fits their pre-conceived notion of what higher-dimensioned manifolds could be. Superstring theorists have adopted the Kaluza-Klein theory without regard for, and probably without any knowledge of, the criticisms that the theory originally faced. At least there is no evidence that other possible five-dimensional theories have been considered by the superstring theorists. Such a practice may be deemed adequate for scientific purposes and references by some scholars, but it is woefully incomplete for historians and philosophers. However, scientists could learn a great deal from a more thorough and comprehensive study of the development of hyper-dimensional theories as a whole.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:31 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    { Thursday, 04 August, 2005 }

    further thought on simulated reality

    A Simulation Game? [via orlin grabbe]

    Various schools of thought have proposed the idea that our world is mere appearance, and that there is some kind of underlying mystical truth that can explain everything.

    For example, religious mystics propose that it is the supernatural that is the true reality; meditators propose the absence of thought as a profoundly significant state of being; Idealist philosophers propose a "realm of ideas" which is the true reality; promoters of Near-Death Experiences propose that the NDE is the highter reality, and so on. Any idea or experience which diverges from daily experience is inevitably pointed to as the answer.

    While not part of this extreme, a recent argument by Dr. Nick Bostrom (Department of Philosophy, Yale University) has made modest waves in the media. According to reports, Bostrom believes that we are in fact probably living in a computer simulation.

    His reasoning is fairly simple. There will be a time when we are able to simulate sentient life on a large scale. If that is so, then there will be an enormous number of lives which will be simulated in the future. Eventually, it is not too far-fetched to think that this number will be far greater than the number of people who have ever lived.

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:38 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    juan cole

    Fisking the "War on Terror"

    ...In July, 2005, General Richard Myers, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that there was not actually any "War on Terror:" ' General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the National Press Club on Monday that he had "objected to the use of the term 'war on terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution." ' (Question: Does this mean we can have the Bill of Rights back, now?)

    The American Right, having created the Mujahideen and having mightily contributed to the creation of al-Qaeda, abruptly announced that there was something deeply wrong with Islam, that it kept producing terrorists.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:32 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    thinner ice

    Antarctic ice shelf collapse linked to global warming

    The collapse of a huge ice shelf in Antarctica in 2002 has no precedent in the past 11,000 years, a study that points the finger at global warming says. Measuring some 3,250 square kilometres in area and 220 metres thick, the Larsen B iceshelf broke away from the eastern Antarctic Peninsula in 2002, eventually disintegrating into giant icebergs.

    By chance, a US-led team of geologists had gathered a rich harvest of data around the iceshelf just before the spectacular collapse, including six cores that had been drilled into marine sediment. The cores contain the remains of plankton and algae embedded in layers of minerals, and their radiocarbon and oxygen isotopes provide clues about ice cover and climate change over the millennia.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:30 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



    meet at the common branch

    With a cupped hand raised
    With seeds to the wind,
    Await the bird that will perch
    And feed from your soul.

    The arm tingles
    And feathers bloom from skin
    And you have wings
    You know you always had song.

    The birdfeeder becomes the bird
    The eyes that watch the skies take to it
    The seed within becomes the seed sought
    And we transmute each other, flying.

    Ascendant, descendant, becoming is exchanged
    From a wing to a finger,
    A rumpled bed to a spiral nest,
    Emerge, emerge, fledglings, and meet at the common branch

    ...which begins as a root, and finishes as a dream.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:37 in Journaling the Infinite | | permalink



    { Wednesday, 03 August, 2005 }

    "tek-knowledgry"

    A Common Vision to Re-Work Magick

    It's limiting to assume magick must enchant in apocryphal aleph bets and wear the masks of dead gods in order to be "magick". Magick describes an evolving set of technologies that 1) allow access to and provide context for transcendent and liminal states of awareness, 2) function to bring the individual into some greater degree of connection and alignment with the macrocosm, and 3) enable the translation of imagination and will into material change. I'm on the side of GM and Doug Rushkoff: magick is everywhere and we're all magicians. We just need to take responsibility for that power and manifest the world that's most in line with the collective will and the balance of nature.

    The term "magick" itself is encumbered with associations and connotations, perhaps too weighty for it's own good. Labels are ultimately misleading and confining so it's probably best to simply let go of them. The language of magick needs a complete upgrade, anyway. Experience fuels insight. Insight breeds action. Action begets experience. This may be all we need to know about living. The esoteric toolkit is a set of technologies that can drill through the ego complex of identity to reach the core depths of the self. Magick may hint at demonic powers but the true strength is in self mastery. Without the steady smoothing of the stone of mind (or the sudden shattering of the mirror of self) we walk around like cattle, driven by base want and fear of the blade.

    NOTE: we shall overcome.

    jaybird found this for you @ 21:00 in Consciousness, Psychology & Philosophy | | permalink



    planet xena?

    The little rock causing a galactic storm

    Astronomers have found a new world orbiting the Sun. The giant lump of rock and ice is larger than the planet Pluto and is now the farthest known object in the solar system.

    The discovery was announced by US scientists yesterday and the object has unofficially been named Xena, after the TV series starring Lucy Lawless. 'We have always wanted to name something Xena,' said ...a member of the team that made the discovery using telescopes at the Palomar Observatory... Preliminary observations suggest Xena - officially known as 2003 UB313 - is an extremely strange world. It is currently 9 billion miles away from the Sun, roughly 100 times more distant than the Earth, and is now about three times more remote than Pluto. At its present distance, the Sun will appear so small in the sky it will almost be indistinguishable from other stars.

    Xena will also be incredibly cold. Its surface temperature is likely to be only a few degrees above absolute zero, while a year there - the time Xena takes to make one passage round the Sun on its highly elliptical orbit - will be the equivalent of 560 Earth years. Despite its distance, the little world is also proving to be highly controversial. Astronomers cannot agree whether it is a planet or just a jumped-up asteroid. Its discoverers are claiming Xena is the 10th planet. Other astronomers say it is just another of the Sun's minor planets. There are thousands of minor planets in the solar system, but only nine fully fledged major planets.

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:46 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink



    happy byproducts

    Organic farms best for wildlife

    Increased biodiversity was a "happy by-product" of sustainable farming practices and farmers working with "natural processes" to increase productivity... The fact the organic arable farms were more likely to have livestock on them also made them richer habitats for wildlife.

    "There were very large benefits right across the species spectrum." More organic farming would help "restore biodiversity within agricultural landscapes..."

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:32 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



    i am not a robot

    ...and I am alive, behind this veil of non-me related posts. I've just been too busy to type out a biography of microevents. There are definitely disturbances in the force, and I'm hopeful that I can have some real positive news to report soon. Meanwhile, savor the dog days.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:32 in Misc. Babble | | permalink



    { Tuesday, 02 August, 2005 }

    chilled out


    Arctic ocean depths teeming with life

    The remotest depths of the Arctic ocean are surprisingly full of life, including previously unknown species of jellyfish and worms, a scientific team which just finished exploring the area... The scientists... used robot submarines and sonar to probe an isolated 12,470-foot (3,800-meter) basin off Canada's Arctic coast where they fear species could be at risk from global warming.

    "We were surprised by the abundance and the diversity of life in this environment. Even at a depth of 3,000 meters we found animals on the sea floor, we found sea cucumbers ... and all kinds of jellyfish and crustaceans..."

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:38 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



    Monty Python meets the Department of Homeland Security

    Terry Gilliam's Brazil as a Prophetic Film

    government sponsored fake terror, consumerism, bureaucracy, fear, ugliness, parody and dreams of love...

    How could a film produced fifteen years ago have foreseen these developments in such remarkable detail? Perhaps because they are not new: they are recurring patterns in the way that states use and manufacture the threat of warfare in order to control their own citizens. State power tends to grow during wars because citizens become more willing to trade liberty for the security that states are willing to promise them. But when a war ends, the pendulum swings back at least partially. So why not manufacture a permanent state of war during which freedoms can be indefinitely suspended? Gilliam was writing history as well as foretelling the future. By creatively retelling the past as a work of fiction about the future, he exposes the totalitarian impulse.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:35 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



    depth of field


    Cambridge, England after dark and by moonlight. [via Mefi]

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:25 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



    { Monday, 01 August, 2005 }

    dire waters

    Vital marine species under threat

    The great predators of the seas - tuna, swordfish, marlin and others - could be on the way out. Canadian researchers who surveyed the catches from ocean fishery "hotspots" warn that not only are numbers in decline, but also the variety of species in any region. The research, published in Science today provides fresh ammunition for conservationists who want to see the creation of large, internationally protected marine parks where fish populations can breed and recover.

    Where fishermen might once have caught 10 different species, they now haul in only five. "It's not yet extinction - it's local fishing out of species...Where you once had a range of species in dense numbers, now you might catch one or two of a certain species."

    jaybird found this for you @ 20:24 in Environment, Ecology & Nature | | permalink



    a study of falsity

    Manufacturing dissent; Right-wing fearmongering passed off as real 'studies.'

    Paul Cameron, 65, who received his doctorate in psychology at the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1966, received widespread notice in 1983, when he cofounded the Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality. That organization eventually turned into Cameron's Family Research Institute. Cameron used his tiny think tank as a vehicle to publish reports saying homosexuals were more likely than heterosexuals to commit crimes and to molest children.

    The American Psychological Association quickly launched an investigation into Cameron's methodology after receiving complaints from some of its members. The association sent Cameron a letter in December 1983, saying it had decided to ''drop you from membership" because he had not cooperated with the investigation. (Asked if the association still has concerns about Cameron, a spokeswoman, Rhea Faberman, said: ''We are concerned about Dr. Cameron because we do believe that his methodology is weak.")

    In 1984, the Nebraska Psychological Association issued a statement saying it ''formally dissociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron."

    The American Sociological Association issued a resolution saying: ''Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism."

    jaybird found this for you @ 16:19 in News, Opinion & Politique | | permalink



    kubrick

    Alchemical Filmmaking

    The stone is the great impetus for the human race. At every turn it comes in and saves the human race from itself. The first time that it appears it saves the apemen from certain extinction. The second time it appears it saves the human race from the technical domination of this age. Without the intervention of the monolith this course would lead to certain extinction also. The third time it appears, it initiates Bowman into a kind of cosmic consciousness. Bowman has been to the end of the universe and back. He knows that he is in a prison of his own design, which is the meaning of the last few scenes in the hotel-like room. Bowman's ultimate realization that he is trapped is made symbolically by Kubrick with the breaking of the wine glass. Even after all that he has been through Bowman still makes mistakes. The wine glass is like a zen koan that illuminates the mind in a flash. His own fallibility thrusts the scene towards it's climax as the old man dies on the bed and sees the monolith for the last time. The Great Work of the stone is complete. There is now a man, a human, who understands the greater universe. This man also understands that he is trapped in a jail that his own consciousness has designed. With the realization of his own fallibility, and his own trapped spirit, he is finally liberated from the realm of the hotel prison, or the world of illusion. In that instant he understands what the book of stone is trying to tell him. He lifts his hand in a gesture of understanding. And in that moment he is transformed - without dying - into the Starchild.

    The stone has given Bowman the gifts that the Philosopher's Stone has always promised. Bowman has achieved complete gnosis, or knowledge, and now he has become immortal by overcoming physical death and being reborn. In that moment, he passes through the monolith one last time. The earth is ahead of him now and he will be reborn on that planet. Bowman will be a new human, just as different from Homo Sapiens as Homo Sapiens are different from that apeman who picked up that bone all that time ago. Nietzche's ape to man to superman theme, from his Thus Spoke Zarathustra essays, is mirrored perfectly by Strauss' music and Kubrick's movie. Kubrick has evoked the spiritual and physical evolution of our race as it has been transformed by this magical black stone.

    jaybird found this for you @ 12:18 in Art, Music, Theater & Film | | permalink



    GÖDEL

    The Nature of Mathematical Truth

    A symbolic sentence is called logically valid if and only if it becomes true under every interpretation of the language, the concept of an interpretation and truth under an interpretation being precisely defined within the realm of set theory. Whether based on naive or formal set theory, the proof is not constructive; it does not provide a method for deciding whether or not a sentence is valid. In other words, although, if a sentence is valid a proof for it can eventually be found by systematically running through all possible derivations in the calculus, there is no obvious method for finding counterexamples to sentences that are non-theorems. In fact, honing down Gödel's incompleteness proof to a finitely axiomatizable fragment of arithmetic eventually led to the conclusion that there cannot possibly be such an algorithm, at least not for any but the most anemic first order language. Thus, every reasonably expressive predicate calculus is what we call undecidable.

    jaybird found this for you @ 08:11 in Science, Quantum & Space | | permalink




     
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    0. If you find yourself wonderstruck, don’t forget to return the favor.

    1. Always be of service to the whole and the Holy. You’ll find that the Holy will reciprocate by being of service to your becoming Whole.

    2. You will be called upon to use your mind and your vision in ways I cannot possibly glimpse. Never turn down an offer to shine that light so uniquely yours to help others in their darkness, and you’ll find that when it’s your turn to be in the night that there’ll be someone along the way who happens to have a little glow to share .

    3. The rewards of being true to yourself  are infinite, even when outwardly your efforts are met with nothing.

    4. You’ll also see that  knowledge and wisdom will come from within yourself through your own struggle and curiosity... your loved ones may guide you to insight, but yours is the power to choose it.

    5. You’ll find that some of your choices could’ve been better, or at times were downright stupid. That’s okay... I have a closet full of reckless decisions, but without making them I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what a good one might feel like if I tried it on.

    6. Your growth will be a mysterious, comic, ecstatic and sometimes scary ride, and I pray that you strive to savor each minute of it, even the most difficult or embarrassing minutes. Don’t count on second chances.

    7. In those times when everything collapses around you, and what’s left won’t go right, don’t forget your chances of being alive in this solar system, in this galaxy, are a little on the slim side. So slim in fact that it could be called a miracle to breathe this air, drink this water, and have whet ever predicament you’re having no matter how you shake, rattle and roll it. So go with the cosmic flow and always choose something over nothing, while remembering that there’s a little of each one hidden in both.

    8. Respond as best as you can with love to adversity rather than reacting with fear... Love, in any situation and  being the primordial source and essence of ALL THIS STUFF, leaves / enters us with the most possible ways out / in.

    9. Whatever you’re doing, celebrate the process of doing as much, if not more, than what you’ve got when you’re done. Magic lives in the action.

    9 ½ . All matter is energy. All energy is infinite. We are but raindrops falling to the ocean, a short time in this shape until we’re reunited with the expanse from which we came. Your delicate yet sturdy, resilient body is a temporary shelter of energy that has swam the universe eternally and will continue eternally. You are a sudden crystallization of the infinite. One must ask themself, therefore, why be bored?

    9 3/4 . Choosing to live in the moment is courageous but becomes effortless once you begin...feeling obligated to survive in the past or future is dangerous and is difficult to continue. It’s one of the few risks I’d recommend not taking, right up there with trusting icons and shrugging off coincidences.

    10. The Universe itself it not confusing, we humans just like it that way. Do frogs seem bewildered , butterflies befuddled and amoebas addled? Nope, just us, my child. So, whenever things just don’t make sense, just take a deep breath and laugh as best you can, because that’s what you get for choosing this goofy, unpredictable place called Earth to embody yourself upon.