A few days away from weblogging has, I hope, refreshed my approach. I had brought a northern habit with me, one of the things that is far cheaper here in the USA, and which was having a deeply negative effect on my attitude and outlook; and in a most dire way that of those around me. Habits fog the ability to pay clear attention and I am as happy as can be to have dropped it. Our time is too precious.
Today I'm serving up some articles that may be a few days old but are in no way beyond the best before date. I have no idea how or through which blogs I found them so if it was you please forgive my lack of attribution.
Robert Fisk gets some more candid comments from troops on the ground in Iraq, and asks One, two, three, what are they fighting for?
A previously undetectable steroid and a pseudo-amphetamine not in the original testing protocol may cause a number of athletes to lose medals from the recent world championships of athletics. What are the ethics of enhanced performance on, or for the rest of us minions, off the track? Be Very Afraid:
Cyborg Athletes, Transhuman Ideals & Posthumanity
|"The rot comes from the top. Even during the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, US forces declined to take responsibility for the innocents they killed. "We do not do body counts," General Tommy Franks announced."|
Freeman J. Dyson reviews Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré's Maps:Empires of Time, offering a rounded overview of Clockwork Science.
|"The transhuman status of present-day technologies dealt with in this paper, has been used to argue strongly that posthumanity is already present in elite sporting practices. In this context, where sport is largely recognised as a moral pursuit, championing human values, athletes are identifiable as already posthuman in their biological constitution and in the manner of approaching technology as an enhancing resource. Nevertheless, the pervading humanism that is also evident in sport and which is reflected by concerns for doping, demands the conclusion that sports also reflect a context where the human and posthuman is blurring."|
|"Poincaré and Einstein lived in a period of history when the transmission of time signals was a growth industry, and both of them were professionally involved in it."|
Whether merely thought of and brushed aside as if a piece of lint on a shirt or the actual and terrible mass murder called war, we are in general a species immersed in and predisposed to violence. Our media display this ultimate dis-harmony with glee since we eat it up en mass, allowing massive advertizing profits. Making love, tender consensual sex, is trotted out with timorous feelers (excuse me) (The cynical approach being to put the subliminal sex in the ads and tie it in with the violent show; drops of memetic napalm).
Analyzing Authoritarian Narcissism
From The Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists in 1975, we are presented with evidence that our ferocity, absolutely out of step with Darwinian fitness, can be explained by individual and group alienation from ourSelves. Body Pleasure and the Politics of Violence
|"Emotionally crippled, armored individuals, afraid of natural impulses, find compensatory (sadistic) satisfaction in "life-destructive" law and order, military imperialism, mass destruction and genocide -- all of which gets rationalized as "public safety" and "homeland security". Even the total "release" of nuclear annihilation may be (subconsciously) desired -- as a kind of tension-free nirvana or "cosmic orgasm" -- by pathological rulers and technocrats such as Dr. Strangelove (the necrophilic scientist in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film of that title)."|
|"A neuropsychologist contends that the greatest threat to world peace comes from those nations which have the most depriving environments for their children and which are most repressive of sexual affection and female sexuality."|
The Surveillance Camera Players condense Reich's weighty argument most poignantly.
An Open Letter to America: It's Time to Take Back Our Country, by John & Elaine Mellencamp
By way of the same source, Common Dreams, Senator Byrd, Major Media Spread Coverage of Bush-Nazi Nexus
|"The fight for freedom in this country has been long, painful, and ongoing. It is time to take back our country. Take it back from political agendas, corporate greed and overall manipulation. It is time to take action here in our land, in our own schools, neighborhoods, farms, and businesses. We have been lied to and terrorized by our own government, and it is time to take action. Now is the time to come together."|
Dominance and Its Dilemmas
|"Like Senator Byrd, tens of millions of Americans are deeply worried that this administration has waged an unprecedented assault on American civil rights and liberties. It has shredded the Constitution and the natural environment as none other in US history. Its unprovoked attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq have prompted thoughtful comparisons to the unprovoked Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. Its illegal detainment center at Guantanamo and its cavalier use of the drug war, the prison system and the powers arrogated through the Patriot Act and the Homeland Security apparatus have brought the US to the brink of dictatorship."|
|"Violence is a powerful instrument of control, as history demonstrates. But the dilemmas of dominance are not slight."|
Michael Finley is an amazing writer. Go to Oct. 7th ('03) and prepare to be chilled within, as only the best can project. Jeez, there's that distinction again and I just can't get rid of it.
Another reason for resolute support of Dennis Kucinich for President is, I'm afraid, that Michel Chossudovsky is right and that we are headed for Regime Rotation in America.
|"I was drunk. I was 30 years old, at my 15th year high school reunion in a small town in Ohio. And I was angry."|
Dennis deserves a quote here too, I am told by my finely tuned conscience. Kucinich is an obvious choice for President, sane, erudite, confident; and more than anything right!
|"There are significant differences. The NeoCons are more reckless than the Democrats, particularly with regard to nuclear policy. The Democrats under the Clinton adminstration were more skillful in using the UN system and multilateral framework to their advantage to effectively pursue their war agenda.
It is worth mentioning, however, that US Central Command (USCENTCOM) had already, during the Clinton administration, formulated "in theater war plans" to invade Iraq and Iran. And the stated objective of these 1995 war plans was oil:"|
Whatever happened to those places - real and imagined, old and new, worldly and unworldly - where everything would be perfect? I would like to point out a caveat: utopia is not a state to be desired. Topia is the realized state, utopia being equivalent I suppose to the Christian purgatory; a perhaps neccessary step on the journey and also the ultimate challenge. Is there No Way Out?
|"Airline security is, as we have learned, a deadly serious business. The traveling public deserves assurances that they and their loved ones will be safe in the air. But when does security in a democracy morph into something profoundly anti-democratic. This is a discussion we need to have. And the answer, as Gilmore knows, cannot be simply "search me?"!"|
Alexander Esih Muvrin continues to evolve his grok. The Grand Unified Theory - MU 27 aims for true inclusiveness.
|" As we return to the present, we ask ourselves if perhaps we are still, even now, early in the 21st Century, living in the after shock of the Sixties."|
|"We offer evidence that our revolutionary discoveries present a significant contribution towards resolving some of the current difficulties of grand-unification research, such as the questions regarding the fundamental structure of our universe, its origin, evolution and its age; the reconciliation of the mathematical concept of continuum and limitless continuity with the concept of spacetime; the concept of an acausal connection active in the spacetime continuum, where according to Carl Gustav Jung and Wolfgang Pauli, "our primary mathematical intuitions could be arranged before we become conscious of them" - with the number being primordial, pre-existent to our consciousness (in quantum mechanics there are effects such as quantum tunneling, radioactive decay of an atom and the probability function collapse that might be considered acausal); the essence of the material body, that is extension itself and its universal non-local connections; the shortcoming of the Cartesian coordinate system with its patchwork of bounding surfaces and coordinates; the indeterminate notion of a point particle; the space composed of points; the relationship of space to matter and light to time; the res cogitans and the res extensa; the cosmological position of man and the inevitability of the weak anthropic principle, as demonstrated within a cycle-interval of 1-5-9-13 stem cells -- an evolutionary cycle that is an integral, coherent, zusammenhangend part of the 27 stem cells of The Life Sequence."|
|"Remember, if it's deniable, it can't be a mistake! The Rule of Bushido says; "One can honor a worthy opponent only by keeing him off-balance". The Rule of Bush-ego says; "One can fool all of the people, all of the time ,as long as you only arrest the ones that are telling the truth."|
Allow me to make a distinction. \ On each side of this divide, a line if you will, lie entire universes of possibility; and every possibility is full contained within each; and so each's other within each. The act of creation, that little distinction I just made, implies unity. (...ever wonder why the number 1 is a mere line, or why 1+1, biologically, equals 3 or more?)
Now let me add another distinction to the first. +
It can be readily seen that we have squared the number of individual universes from two to four. The only point at which they meet (remember we are talking abstractions here, mathematics, and so the actual width or depth of the 'line(s)' actually has no value) is at a singularity - a mathematical point zero. This is the negation, as would be all further superimposed distinctions, of creation; and would in fact prevent the realization of the first creative distinction; or the second and subsequent distinctions. A black hole.
It is delightfully, yet painfully, obvious that there is only one line, and that Only Two Can Play This Game.
Seymour Hersh provides an impeccable look up the Stovepipe, and we can clearly see the filth.
"And now to god the father god the sun and holy ghost
And now to goddess mum and goddess daughter with the most
And now to godhead being and unbeing in the Place
That I am ever seeing in your face
To deserts of eternity without a night or day
Beyond through every being through beyond what men can say
Beyond and ever inward to the way it all began
Beyond and ever outward to the fallen works of man
And on beyond all this to that unpromising recess
That last familiar secret what not nobody can't guess"
James Mann talks about the political evolution and influences of Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld's Roots
|"The State of the Union speech was confounding to many members of the intelligence community, who could not understand how such intelligence could have got to the President without vetting. The former intelligence official who gave me the account of the forging of the documents told me that his colleagues were also startled by the speech."|
An absolutely wonderful chapter by Wade Davis, entheo-biologist of the first water. Shadows in the Sun - Plants of the Gods
|"Henry Kissinger apparently once commented that Rumsfeld was the "only person who could best him in a bureaucratic fight." How would you describe Rumsfeld's relationship with Kissinger?"|
|"On Earth, there are Some 800,000 species of plants feeding on the light of the sun. Of these, only a few thousand yield food and medicines, and only a mere hundred or so contain the compounds that transport the mind to distant realms of ethereal wonder. Strictly speaking, a hallucinogen is any chemical substance that distorts the senses and produces hallucinations -- perceptions or experiences that depart dramatically from ordinary reality. Academics call these drugs psychotomimetics (psychosis mimickers), psychotaraxics (mind disturbers), and psychedelics (mind manifesters). These dry terms quite inadequately describe the remarkable effects the compounds have on the human mind. Indeed, the sensations are so unearthly, the visions so startling, that most hallucinogenic plants acquired a sacred place in indigenous cultures. In rare cases, they were worshipped as gods incarnate."|
There is only one defense against the tactics we are likely to see over the next months in this perhaps ultimately important American election, and that is knowledge. I expect you were thinking I would say 'intelligence' or 'understanding' or 'attention', as these are the base yet cosmic attributes that truly raise us above the primate, but sheer brute knowledge is what will win the day when the mud flies.
Our best offense is a solid defense of knowing how it is possible to manipulate opinion, letting as many as we come into contact with 'in' on the tricks, and knowing that this knowledge will allow us to make decisions based on facts and not emotionally memeipulated drives. Cognitive Science Designs Political Ads - thanks to missing matter for the link
From Propaganda Techniques, this is how the Dean campaign would like you to think; or rather suspend thinking in favor of pull:
|"Negative information is easier to recall. It's more likely to alter existing opinions. They raise issues about which people care passionately, and they do it in easy to understand ways."|
|Bandwagon and Inevitable Victory. Bandwagon-and-inevitable-victory appeals attempt to persuade the target audience to take a course of action "everyone else is taking." "Join the crowd." This technique reinforces people's natural desire to be on the winning side. This technique is used to convince the audience that a program is an expression of an irresistible mass movement and that it is in their interest to join. "Inevitable victory" invites those not already on the bandwagon to join those already on the road to certain victory. Those already, or partially, on the bandwagon are reassured that staying aboard is the best course of action.|
Yes, I do believe. Dennis Kucinich will be the next President of the United States. I must think so, for otherwise the American Dream and perhaps Gaia's Hope will be irrevocably lost. The other quote/unquote Democratic candidates are anything but, with Dean and Lieberman being especially dangerous as disguised neocons in centrist clothing. A Bush re-election is unthinkable.
This Grist interview with Democratic presidential contender Dennis Kucinich demonstrates clearly that he is the person for the challenges ahead. Thanks to invisible worm for the pointer.
|"What differentiates me from all the other candidates is that I see the whole world as one, as being interconnected and interdependent. It's not to be divided along the lines of race, color, creed, or economic theory."|
Keep your eye on things with the new Guardian Unlimited weblog, US Vote 2004.
Bush's 'spirit' cursed with black magic, tossed into river (thanks bird on the moon)
Thanks to Whisky River for this great Sunday Meditation by Kurt Vonnegut
|"This is a traditional northern Thai ceremony aimed at keeping his spirit down on the riverbed so he could not come and exploit our natural resources or suppress our (farming) brothers with his superior influence."|
|"As I read the Book of Genesis, God didn't give Adam and Eve a whole planet.|
He gave them a manageable piece of property, for the sake of discussion let's say 200 acres.
I suggest to you Adams and Eves that you set as your goals the putting of some small part of the planet into something like safe and sane and decent order.
There's a lot of cleaning up to do.
There's a lot of rebuilding to do, both spiritual and physical.
And, again, there's going to be a lot of happiness. Don't forget to notice!
What painters and sculptors and writers do, incidentally, is put very small properties indeed into good order, as best they can.
A painter thinks, ''I can't fix the whole planet, but I can at least make this square of canvas what it ought to be.'' And a sculptor thinks the same about a lump of clay or marble. A writer thinks the same about a piece of paper, conventionally eleven inches long and eight and a half inches wide.
We're talking about something less than 200 acres, aren't we?"
I do realize that for dial-up readers this page is starting to get a bit unwieldy due to unarchived entries at the bottom. This will be rectified soon in a non--anal-retentive and fashionable way.
A particular focus of mine has been how we became full-bore human beings from our primate origins. While agreeing with John McCrone, author of Going Inside - the neuronaut's guide to the science of consciousness, that language has been the key to our extraordinary (if questionably efficatious) use of a large brain. I suspect the reason to use language was to allow communication of the amazing states experienced by the discovery of psychedelics by our primate forebears.
How speech shapes the human mind
Since registration is inevitable (assimilation anyone?), I'll allude to this highly instructive article from The Lancet concerning the use and misuse of cognitive enhancers. The quote below gives the essence a European phenomena in self/dependant medication-by-choice.
|"So the mind of an animal is caught in the flow of life. It is always taking an intelligent view of the moment, but has no freedom to take flight. Language would have changed all this. By taking a tool developed for organising their social world and turning it around to organise what went on inside their own heads, our recent ancestors would have been able to interrupt life's ceaseless tide and begin directing their thoughts elsewhere.|
Ambling along the path of possible smart drugs and neuro-degenerative retardants I came across the rarely seen in North America but long-approved in Europe memantine. If you, like I, have a parent in the early stages of dementia this may be a significant development in symptom relief and help delay onset of the disease. Drug for Late Stages of Alzheimer's Is Approved
|"The success of the Polypill, which has been sold in large volumes at low prices, paved the way for its controversial successor, the TetraTab, which contains derivatives of modafinil and fluoxetine and two memoryceuticals that interact with both AMPA and NMDA receptors. From the outset it was obvious to many independent researchers that TetraTab was never going to make a big impression on the middle-aged market (or the Polypill generation, as it has become known), for which is it was originally licensed. That was just a ploy to get the drug approved by the WDA, the cynics claimed, so that it could be given, off-label, to a much younger age-group. Children, with their highly plastic brains, were the ones who would get the most benefit from the drug, and the young market was where the most money would be made. The rapid developments made in genetics in the first decade of the 21st century meant that chemists could design drugs that target receptors located in specific regions of the brain, producing psychopharmaceuticals with mild side-effect profiles. And as increasing data showed that TetraTab was safe in both children and adults, the regulatory authorities had little option but to make the drug available over-the-counter.|
Completely changing direction, WTF? Has an administration already gone mad actually appointed this medieval maniac? The Pentagon Unleashes a Holy Warrior
|"In studies, some patients who took memantine have experienced improvements in memory and thinking skills. But for the vast majority, the drug merely slows the pace of deterioration, letting patients maintain certain functions a little longer."|
|"Ladies and gentleman, this is your enemy. It is the principalities of darkness. It is a demonic presence in that city that God revealed to me as the enemy."|
deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence (??)
Changes are a-head. It's Wake-Up Time.
The above statement must be appended to include significant potential for abuse by employers. Modafinil (Provigil in the U.S.A. and Alertec in Canada) is truly a remarkable step forward in tailored psychopharmacology, with many applications that are still being explored. Conditions that are already known to be amenable to treatment with modafinil - narcolepsy, sleep apnea, antidepressant augmentation and shift work fatigue - will surely be expanded to include use for personal life enhancement as well. With an informed consumer and an attentive physician there should be no problem with this.
|"In fact, the medical establishment is excited about Provigil precisely because it's the first effective stimulant with no significant potential for abuse."|
Employers and others in positions of control, on the other hand, will see these compounds (of which modafinil is just a taste of what's to come) as the ultimate human resource optimizer. This misapplication would be analogous to the difference between nuclear power and nuclear weapons; and I don't believe I'm over-dramatizing. Legislation opposing corporate (gr)need is unlikely in the current mirror-world, so we can expect widened testing against so-called recreational drugs and an increased pressure to be performance enhanced while on the job. The first wedge in the drive to enslave not only our bodies, but our Selves.
I could only get this SciAm article for free in spanish and the Google translator, while fairly good, has it's moments. Some additional translation may be required. If you are an imbiber of the green, be warned that uncontrolled laughter can cause tears. These are not harmful in any way, but back off your keyboard as they are ocean sead. Busca for the pill of intelligence
The persecution we call drug testing
|"But the use of powerful drugs as cognitivos estimuladores has always folloied the human habits, since that the people had started to take coffee."|
A neurochemical bath of a different order is had by Diana Winston as she finds her self a Fast Food Buddha.
|"The effect of the ban on recreational drugs - especially marijuana - is to turn anti-doping bodies into an extension of the law-enforcement agencies, something they have no business being. In an age of increasing liberalisation of the laws covering soft drugs (ed: excepting the U.S.A.), it is perverse that sportsmen and women should face ever more stringent regulation of their social activities. If others are not being harmed (let us leave aside the arguments about drug gangs and gun crime) and no competitive advantage is being gained, sporting bodies have no right to regulate competitors' social behaviour."|
|"Hmm, I wondered, will I get to eat the burgers before noon? Oh God, please, I just have to get rid of these people. What do they want? A blessing? A photo?"|
|"I intend to begin a new debate in America over the purpose of government and its responsibilities to the American people."|
Once again, Craig has pointed me to a devastatingly chilling reminder of the delicate nature of democracy. All the President's votes?
A quiet revolution is taking place in US politics.
This is an absolute must-read for all citizens of the U.S.A., as well as the direst of warning for all democracies (ostensible or not) that the seperation of State and Corporation must be as absolute as that of Church and State. Corporations, as Churches, must not have rights. Individuals have rights. Groups have responsibilities. This is the basis of democracy, the fabric of community, and the crux of sane governance.
|"It is still unclear exactly how results from these missing cards were tabulated, or if they were counted at all. And we will probably never know, for a highly disturbing reason. The vote count was not conducted by state elections officials, but by the private company that sold Georgia the voting machines in the first place, under a strict trade-secrecy contract that made it not only difficult but actually illegal - on pain of stiff criminal penalties - for the state to touch the equipment or examine the proprietary software to ensure the machines worked properly. There was not even a paper trail to follow up.|
"Life as a metaphor for sex. Hey, I can dig it. Time as the universal vagina into which YES proves NOs' point. Hey, maybe Nerve would hire me as cosmic correspondent." This was my original weblog entry, April 11th 1999. Come a long way, eh?
I can imagine a symbiosis. Like most arrangements of this sort the
net effect is beneficial, with assorted gross exceptions proving the
rule. An off-the-cuff hypothesis I've dreamt is that consciousness is a
neurochemical bath cohabiting in a 'chicken-or-egg' relationship with
prionic drive. This is what comes to mind persuing penultimately petite
proteins whilst indulging my apparently prionic need for greenery. Does Consciousness Exist?
Recently added to Dr. Hofmann's site is an excerpt from Stan Groff's Hallucinogens: A Reader. Say no more.
|"We cannot go in circles disproving consciousness by
questioning spontaneity of action and disproving spontaneity of action
by questioning the presence of consciousness."|
Giving Thanks in October 2003
|"Having an insight is not the same as being able to
apply that insight. There is no inherent connection between a mystical
experience of oneness and the expression or manifestation of that
oneness in the affairs of everyday life. This point is perhaps obvious,
and yet it is frequently overlooked by those who argue, on principle,
that a drug cannot induce a genuine mystical experience or play any
role in spiritual life. The internal factors of set, including
preparation, expectation, and intention, are the determinants of
whether a given experience is authentically religious. Equally,
intention is crucial to the question of whether an altered state
results in any lasting personality changes. Intention is the bridge
from the ordinary or "consensus reality" state to the state of
heightened consciousness; and it also provides a bridge from that
heightened state back to ordinary reality.|
This model allows us to understand how the same drug(s) could be
claimed by some to lead to nirvana or religious vision and in others
(for example, Charles Manson) could lead to perverse and sadistic
violence. The drug is only a tool, a catalyst, to attain certain
altered states; which altered states depend on the intention.
Thank you for reading my recently sporadic words. Thank you for such
kindness as to send mail to a now defunct isp (inexcusably tardy in
lettin' ya know), and realizing that copy/paste to
"email@example.com" will currently connect You, my Exquisite
EmpathMinds, to me, continental traveller with faith in Leonard Cohen's
projection that "Democracy is coming to the USA".
Of coarse (sic, eh) I must also give thanks that I see incredible
sarcasm in the Great Poet's Song, and so know that barring transhuman
effort and attention that we all are lost. Please. Pay Attention.
"Paying" attention is an interesting turn of phrase - those of us with
enough wealth in the true usable sense have choices of focus beyond
ken, and really don't have to "pay" for the opportunity. The vast
majority of Gaia's humans however live in positions of extremely
limited choices where attention and survival are inextricably linked,
and the price for a "wrong" tend-ancy is often fatal. Yet, we with care
to spare don't dare to spare too much care. That might give the rest
ideas that "they" could become as care-full too; which would require a
few extra planetships to sustain, or a rapid and actual redistribution
of human wealth, and conceptual re-evaluation of the nature of
progress. (Aldous Huxley's Island spells out the cure and the curse. There is no gratitude due for such manufactured non-sense.)
I am deeply thankful that my long journey east and south, five days,
1/8th of the way around the earth, entering a country that I consider a
rogue state, was joyfully consummated by attentive drivers with their
particular focus. I am home now, and can express my birthright to make
sure that democracy does indeed Come to the USA.
|"The close phylogenetic relationship of chimpanzees and
humans and the importance of documenting the range of variation in
African hominoid adaptations to forest habitats make it relevant to
questions about cooperation and competition among male hominins and to
reconstructing the behavioral ecology of early hominins and the last
common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans."|
My Dearest Readers, I am leaving the Yukon. This place of great space, unique and tolerant communities, of life still wild, has been the perfect womb for my Selfness. Incubated by this vastness to a state of complete readiness to make a gift of Me - My Love flowered in my arms.
And so, come Monday, I embark on a 5500 kilometer road trip to (re)join my soul-mate Cyndy. Our dreams will mesh as dharmatic, singular creativity - intrinsical immanence and certain explication. It is rare indeed to find that person who completes one's being, rarer still to have the calmness and courage to admit it - intense jealousy is the usual if repressed emotion experienced by those subjected to such professions.
Does that mean I'm being rude to you by expressing joy in our discovery? Are we so conditioned to the endlessly projected co-miserable states of quiet desperation that Love, sweet Love, is considered at best a passing neurochemical state (attribution implied, eh)? I think not. The singularity is, don't blink, missed IT.
Intrinsic Contextuality as the Crux of Consciousness
|"A stream of conscious experience is extremely contextual; it is impacted by sensory stimuli, drives and emotions, and the web of associations that link, directly or indirectly, the subject of experience to other elements of the individual's worldview. The contextuality of one's conscious experience both enhances and constrains the contextuality of one's behavior. Since we cannot know first-hand the conscious experience of another, it is by way of behavioral contextuality that we make judgements about whether or not, and to what extent, a system is conscious. Thus we believe that a deep understanding of contextuality is vital to the study of consciousness."|