MonthDecember 2003

Burning Man lectures online

Palenque Norte has finally posted the audio for some of their lectures from Burning Man 2003, including Erik Davis and Alex Grey (both great talks, I was there). They’ve also got lots of pictures from the event.

Palenque Norte Conversations

(via TechnoShamanic)

Scientific Evidence of Psychedelic Body Fluids

Abstracts of studies concerning DMT and other psychedelics present in urine. Most studies found that schizophrenic patients were no more likely than control to excrete DMT, but this one is interesting:

Studied the excretion of dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in 122 recently admitted psychiatric patients and 20 normal Ss. DMT was detected in the urine of 47% of those diagnosed by their psychiatrists as schizophrenic, 38% of those with other nonaffective psychoses, 13% of those with affective psychoses, 19% of those with neurotic and personality disorders, and 5% of the normal Ss. 99 of the patients were interviewed in a semistandardized fashion, and also categorized according to a variety of operational definitions of the psychoses. The operational definitions failed to reveal any group significantly more correlated with urinary DMT than did the hospital diagnosis of schizophrenia, but a discriminant function analysis of symptomatology could be used to define a group of 21 patients of whom 15 (71%) excreted detectable DMT. There was a general relationship between psychotic symptoms and urinary DMT, but specifically schizophrenic symptoms did not appear to be major determinants of DMT excretion.

Deoxy: Scientific Evidence of Psychedelic Body Fluids

(via TechnoShamanic)

Copenhagen autonomous zone to close down

Is it finally the end of the line for Christiania? The Danish government seems closer than ever to shutting it down.

Like almost everyone in Christiana, the 31-year-old, who refused to give his name, said that the state was using the drugs issue as an excuse to grab one of the capital’s most valuable tracts of land. ‘They just want more luxury flats for the rich,’ he said. ‘I built my own house here. I have two young children who are third generation Christianites. I am not going to give all that up without a struggle.’

I wonder if it will still be around this spring, I was planning on visiting. Of course, I hope they can last longer than that.

Full Story: The Guardian: End is nigh for the commune that kept hippie dream alive.

Reclaiming the grid: Portland’s City Repair


first Intersection Repair grew out of one man?s despair, strategic and unified neighborhood action, and a little bit of luck. In the early 1990s, Mark Lakeman, one of City Repair?s founders, returned to Portland after living with indigenous Mayan people in southern Mexico. ?I was in culture shock,? Lakeman recalls. ?The only way I could begin to survive was to try to recreate places where people could begin to talk with each other. I was living in this neighborhood where no one was talking, no one was interacting on the street, and I had just come from places where the commons was everywhere.? In response, Lakeman and a few friends constructed a ?renegade teahouse? in a backyard in Southeast Portland?s Sellwood neighborhood?an inviting, transparent structure made from recycled wood and plastic sheeting?and began opening it up to neighborhood residents for weekly potlucks.

Gift economy wiki

Potlatch: the Gift Economy. Needs some exploring.

Was just thinking about an interesting property of gift economies, such as Burning Man or (usually) the web: you pay to provide, not to consume. Consumption in a gift economy is free (ok, you pay a flat fee, like your ticket to Burning Man or your Internet access… but those things aren’t required). You can consume all you want, but if you want to provide something, that costs extra. And the more you provide, the more it costs you.

We Hate Spam, Congress Says. Except From Us

Even as Congress was unanimously approving a law aimed at reducing the flow of junk e-mail, members were sending out hundreds of thousands of unsolicited messages to constituents

Many members of Congress praise the new policy for allowing cheaper and more effective communications with constituents. But consumer advocacy groups say the policy may unfairly give an advantage to incumbents over challengers because it allows elected officials to use government resources to communicate with voters right up to Election Day. In addition, the consumer advocates say, sending bulk e-mail messages to constituents who have not agreed to receive it is essentially electronic junk mail, or spam.

Interactive music: The Last Signal

Independent Opposition Music Publishing is seeking short entries for an upcoming sound collage compilation based upon what the ending of this world might sound like.”

Via Fields | Weblog via Abe.

The psychedelic secrets of Santa Claus

Cannabis Culture explores the origins of the Santa Claus myth:

Santa also dresses like a mushroom gatherer. When it was time to go out and harvest the magical mushrooms, the ancient shamans would dress much like Santa, wearing red and white fur-trimmed coats and long black boots.

These peoples lived in dwellings made of birch and reindeer hide, called “yurts.” Somewhat similar to a teepee, the yurt’s central smokehole is often also used as an entrance. After gathering the mushrooms from under the sacred trees where they appeared, the shamans would fill their sacks and return home. Climbing down the chimney-entrances, they would share out the mushroom’s gifts with those within.

Cannabis Culture: The Psychedelic Secrets of Santa Claus

(via TechnoShamanic)

New Neofiles: Richard Metzger and more

The new NeoFiles is out already! It includes a new interview with Richard Metzger:

Aleister Crowley said once that the “magical” way to open a door was to walk across the room, turn the knob and pull and so – and I am being serious when I say this – the fact that you can basically go on the Internet and with a few simple “commands” make a book appear in the mail a few days later – that’s a magical act. You don’t even have to leave your home! And that also serves to illustrate how computer programming can be seen as directly analogous to following a spell from a medieval grimoire, if you take my point. It’s all about putting the effort into the right place isn’t it? I mean, you could try to constrain a demon to do your bidding and bring you that book, too, of course, but Amazon might be a little quicker!

Which is not to say that there isn?t a “hoodoo” component to magick, either, and when strange synchronicities and coincidences start to give you the “cosmic wink” well then you know you’re doing something right. But that’s another discussion entirely.

NeoFiles: Magical Connections.

Coffee fuelled the information exchanges of the 17th and 18th centuries

The Economist on the role of the coffee house in politics.

The coffee-houses that sprang up across Europe, starting around 1650, functioned as information exchanges for writers, politicians, businessmen and scientists. Like today’s websites, weblogs and discussion boards, coffee-houses were lively and often unreliable sources of information that typically specialised in a particular topic or political viewpoint. They were outlets for a stream of newsletters, pamphlets, advertising free-sheets and broadsides. Depending on the interests of their customers, some coffee-houses displayed commodity prices, share prices and shipping lists, whereas others provided foreign newsletters filled with coffee-house gossip from abroad.

Full Story: The Economist: The internet in a cup

(via Mutant)

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