Gregory Stock takes inventory on The Prospects for Human Germline Engineering and finds
that while our technology may enable us to interfere in life's flow, we
are ethically unprepared.
For a reason I can't
quite put my finger on, or my arm around, I wanted to find out what
research in human pheremone response has discovered. Perhaps the anecdotal evidence is best.
|"Though germline intervention may not be clinically feasible for
several decades, there is little doubt its potential is immense. One
day it may protect children from cancer, AIDS and other diseases,
enhance their intelligence and even extend their life spans. But the
technology also embodies a fundamental challenge: how far are
willing to go in reshaping the human form and psyche?"
Charles S. Grob, M.D.
examines Psychiatric Research with Hallucinogens and asks "What
have we learned?"
|"I love to see a lady with hairy armpits. Especially sweaty,
hairy pits that get all matted down from the wetness, either from a
hot, humid day, or during lovemaking. The scent of the sweat gives
me tremendous arousal, and I enjoy mutual licking of each others
It seems inevitable
when a bevvy of specialists from diverse disciplines get together to
discuss a topic that agreement will be scarce. Posing the question "Do Memes Account For Culture?", the participants had some
|"Jaffe, in the 7th and 8th editions of Goodman and Gilman,
defined psychedelics as agents that produce changes in thought and
perception normally experienced only during dreaming or at times of
religious exultation. All of us should take a few minutes to think
about the implications of that definition."
specialists could take the graduate course in Conversational Terrorism to help boost their cause. A word
salad, or sesquipedalianism, can easily create enough cognitive
dissonance to ensure compliance. Don't you agree?
|"The box of concepts available from Darwinism doesn't impress
this group. It seems a very small toolkit when so many theoretical
alternatives are already available and there is so much complexity
to explain. In fact, theory abounds in the social sciences. What is
lacking is insight into real social processes."
|"In view of the federal budget deficit, civil unrest, and
international politics, we need to consider that, notwithstanding
the mitigating circumstances, this country has got to get back on
its feet. Don't you
I am not a
vegetarian, but I would much rather eat a roast from an ex-cow that was
happy in life. In our economy of scale, my ex-mooing munch is just another
commodity; hamburger on the hoof. At MeatStinks.com an antimeme approach is used to get across
that non-human animals have rights too, and the Lettuce Ladies show
how to educate with veggies.
Creating Livable Alternatives to Wage Slavery (CLAWS),
shows great courage in promulgating ease. Let's spread the word folks,
"we're tired as hell and we're not going to take it anymore".
Nootropics may be able to help us adjust to the increasing
demands of balancing work with home. I'd rather be learning/teaching
(leaching, there's a posi-meme for ya: What do you do? I am a Leacher.)
with my kids.
|"I would like to see people refusing to work in any job they
felt was wrong. I would like to see work-dodgers: honourable and
brave people who refuse to continue to feed this monstrous
Chris Busby in his forward to Molly Scott Cato's book
Seven Myths About Work
consciousness is not well understood it is well and truly controllable by
those who desire such things. It is with the utmost vigilance that we must
guard our cognitive freedom, a task aided by fine groups like The Alchemind Society, an
International Association for Cognitive Liberty.
|"Picture this: You have a business meeting tomorrow with your
distributor. This meeting requires that you be in top form for some
critical negotiations. You have several reports to go over, many
facts to memorize, and above all you have to get some rest. Your
first step? A trip to the drug store, of course."
|"But, while certain justices have, at times, pointedly
acknowledged the fundamental nature of cognitive freedom and the
nefarious nature of government (or other outside) interference with
the intellect, this important freedom remains only obliquely defined
within the US legal system." From On Cognitive Liberty, part
Do not go to Chemical
Manipulation of Consciousness, Behavior, Health and Evolutionary
Potential in the Human Population unless you are clearly
trans-dysthymic and are able to integrate the fact that we have shit on
our metaphorical carpet, can't and won't clean it up, and there's no other
house to move to. (The dogs made me use that visualization; puppy
Snakes and rapids and paradise, Oh my! Bill Belleville
writes a wonderful tale of adventure in Guyana, and leaves me wondering
what's in the yellow mustard.
Dysthymia is a chronic condition endured by about 3% of
people, half of whom go untreated. The incidence of this illness has been
growing steadily since the industrial revolution. Often complicated by an
anxiety disorder the results can be devastating, including financial and
|"And then, as if to shatter any shards of ethnocentricity I
might have remaining: "Sometimes, visitors bring photographs and you
see the concrete jungles and understand what can happen to a place
when the people forget what is important."
JAMA provides an article that enquires into whether
depression is an adaptive behavior to untenable or stressful environments.
A position that would
raise anyone's spirits is available with the Northern Alaska
Environmental Center, based in Fairbanks. Helping to preserve the
environment, teaching children, and working in some of the last remaining
pristine wilderness on our earthship sounds like a dream job to me.
|"However, it is essential to emphasize that many depressions are
clearly disease states: some caused by dysregulations of negative
affect and others by brain defects unrelated to low mood. The fact
that low mood, and perhaps some depression, may be useful should not
distract attention from recognition that depression is one of
humanity's most serious medial problems."
Prodigal Genius, The Life of Nicola Tesla by John J.
O'Neill is a biography that was first printed in 1944 and is now available
on line; all 327 pages of it. I'm going to save it to disk for that rainy
day the net goes down; or I can't pay my access bill.
Estimating World GDP, One Million B.C. to the Present.
When you realize that the scale is logarithmic, the insight that naturally
follows is that the growth will soon go virtually straight up. How can
|"It is the story of the dazzling scintillations of a superman
who created a new world; it is a story that condemns woman as an
anchor of the flesh which retards the development of man and limits
his accomplishment--and, paradoxically, proves that even the most
successful life, if it does not include a woman, is a dismal
Michael Ignatieff asks a question that puts the squeeze on
a western tradition of moral liberalism and ethical conservatism.
As the compilers of
Law and Mind Control put it: "149 Subprojects / 80 Institutions / 185
Private Researchers". This was MKULTRA, concerned with 'the research
and development of chemical, biological, and radiological materials
capable of employment in clandestine operations to control human
|"If moral perfectionism is in fact an alibi for inaction, then
what kinds of arguments should we use to justify moral practices
like intervening on behalf of people's right to free speech in other
cultures and contexts?"
Further to this
enquiry is chapter nine of Father,
Son and CIA.
|"In order to meet the perceived threat to national security,
substantial programs for the testing and use of chemical and
biological agents--including projects involving the surreptitious
administration of LSD to unwitting nonvolunteer subjects at all
social levels, high and low, native American and foreign--were
conceived, and implemented. These programs resulted in substantial
violations of the rights of individuals within the United States."
|"I now had a fairly complete understanding of what Ewen Cameron
was trying to do, and I even had some sense of what his motivations
might have been. But there remained a piece of the puzzle yet to be
fixed in place. How was it that a psychiatrist in Canada was chosen
by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States to receive
money for research?"|
E. Nichols, Ph.D. is a researcher who maintains what one of his students
called "an oasis in the midwest". A Scientist Reflects
on the Discovery and future of LSD is a heartfelt thanks to Albert
Hoffman, and a look at where and how further research could be carried
The Serotonin Club has a very
readable synopsis of what is known and yet to be learned about this
|"Many influential people have made public pronouncements about
the dangers and lack of value of research with LSD and related
drugs. These individuals will eventually retire from public life and
relinquish their power and we must hope that more enlightened and
progressive persons will take their place. We also desperately need
a greater number of individuals to pursue Ph.D. and M.D. degrees who
believe that this research is worthwhile, and who are willing to
devote some portion of their effort to bringing about change."
If Long-Term Growth As A Sequence of Exponential Modes is a
guide, we are most certainly headed into a singular experience; perhaps
even during my lifetime!
Imitation may be the
sincerest form of flattery but my dogs have little need of it; they
already know they're perfect. Simon M. Reader and Kevin N. Lalandpose a
question that I can certainly answer in the affirmative: Do Animals Have Memes?
|"If history is a guide, the economy may transition within the
next 60 years or so to a faster mode, with a doubling time of one to
two years. Scientific progress may drive the current mode, while
computer hardware may drive the next."
|"Non-human animals may be poor imitators, but many are excellent
social learners. We argue that the meme concept can, and should, be
applied to animal cultural
antimeme activist, one feels impelled to engage in culture jamming. The Culture Jamming
Encyclopedia to the rescue with ideas. Exposing the Great God
Hoax is a prime example.
Coming soon to a
home near you are Five Future Religions Waiting To Happen. The televisionary
oracle Jay Kinney of the now defunct Gnosis Magazine looks toward the
light, and says:
Visualize Whirled Peas
While the religious
machinations turn, Erik Davis turns his attention to the religion that
machines invoke, in Corpus Cybermeticum: Digital mysticism and the religion of
explores The Myth of Eden from the perspective of Native American
|"Spiritually, we may be entering an age as vital and eclectic as
that seen in Alexandria nearly two millennium ago, when Gnosticism,
Judaism, hermeticism, Egyptian religion, Greek metaphysics,
Zoroastrianism, and Christianity created a delirious dance,
producing new forms of spirit from the mutant intermingling of
Is the 'impact
factor' as a way of judging the affect of a published paper analogous to
those desperate arbiters of figure skating, who end up giving their own
countries athletes the best scores despite using supposedly objective
criteria? Craig McGarty explores this tender issue.
|"I suppose one could argue that, while some of it may seem
overly harsh in its judgment against European ideology, it is meant
to suggest a simple necessity; namely, that the spirit world is
alive and well and in process of becoming reintegrated into the
world of flesh and living bone like it was before Europeans came to
the Western hemisphere."
|"The measure punishes journals which publish the work of authors
who do not have membership of these invisible colleges and is
virtually incapable of detecting genuine impact. It is not just a
bad measure it is an invitation to do bad
From the mouths of
babes....In this case the Drug Enforcement Agency (and the things they're
forcing those drugs to do!!) provides a most competent compendium of Future Synthetic Drugs of Abuse. Their astounding
Probably for highly
chaotic reasons Global Simplicity and Local Complexity is not available at
source, which is a shame because I'd like to see more. This is apparently
chapter twelve, and is a stand-alone must-read. If the Google link does
not work, I've mirrored it here.
|"The clandestine chemist of the future will be more
sophisticated than those of the present and compounds not yet
conceived of will be within their reach."
I think I was about
twelve years old when, begging to watch a late hockey game, I used the
fact that the game was 'live' as part of my argument. My dad, a physicist,
said "it's not 'live'" and pointed out why. I get the same feeling from The
Dream Body in Cyberspace; a kind of psychic dislocation due to
|"According to one mode of expression, the question What are laws
of nature? may be stated thus: What are the fewest and simplest
assumptions, which being granted, the whole existing order of nature
"When a finger
points at the moon, only an idiot looks at the finger." Chinese
aphorism quoted in Contemplating The Finger: Visuality and the Semiotics of
Chemistry, which aims to show that imagination plays as much of a role
|"The relation of the subject in cyberspace to the outside
observer mimics the relation between the dreamer while dreaming and
the ego consciousness of the dreamer when he or she awakens."
|"Chemistry's symbolic language is shown to mimic many features
of natural languages, including the ability to construct fictional
worlds. I argue that these 'scientific fictions' are as cognitively
valuable in chemistry as they are in ordinary life, and that
chemists creatively mix 'true' and 'fictional' representations of
molecules and substances."|
Theodore Adorno gives
me a mental pat on the back, reminding me that to see differently, freshly
is not to see wrongly.
begins, and ends, with me. In A Fantasy for
the Future we can experience a post-memetic fable which draws a
crystal picture of repercepted reality.
|"Whatever the intellectual does, is wrong. He experiences
drastically and vitally the ignominious choice that late capitalism
secretly presents to all its dependants: to become one more
grown-up, or to remain a child."
Scientific Psychology and Christian Theism is an empirical
examination of the role and relationship of Christianity with modern
|"Slowly, an awareness emerged that it was not "what" that had
changed, but "who". It was people who were affected. The world
remained the same, but the observers were perceiving differently."
Tantra Yoga brings the sacred to the sexual; symbolically,
actually, or usually both. This FAQ is a good place to start, answering
all except where a middle-aged man of dubious verticality (not there,
silly!) but absolute sincerity, could find a partner.
|"Alfred North Whitehead has argued that Christianity gave birth
to modern science by giving European minds the unalterable
conviction that every detailed occurrence exemplified a general
principle that could be discovered."
I seem to be
seeking clarity and precision today, perhaps as a counter to the muddy
clumsiness of my actual day. A realignment of my harmonius relational
waveflow is had by absorbing The
Physics of Consciousness; Virtual Chaos.
|"Consciousness it would seem, is the perception of an
interference pattern, by the interference pattern