MonthApril 2004

Brain Imaging, Applications 2004

on Die Puny Humans I saw this particular link:

Science’s mind games | Brain scans can now tell whether you’re lying or racist.

The University of Sydney’s Brain Dynamics Centre at Westmead Hospital was first to identify the brain networks that lie behind our emotional responses, by monitoring physical reactions to experiences at the same time as imaging their brains.

The centre’s director, Lea Williams, says we appear to have evolved a special brain network to store memories of emotional states that are critical to our survival – physical and social. This network involves the body, a primitive part of our brain known as the amygdala, and a frontal area involved in rational thinking.

Events can unconsciously trigger recall of the stored emotions, and working out what happens in the healthy “emotional brain”, and how this differs with gender or age, will help improve treatments for severe emotional disorders such as schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress and borderline personalities, she says.

the commercial applications of this kind of research are substantial (maybe it’s time Rushkoff wrote Coercion II?) and the ethical use of this information is certainly up for debate, but what interested me most isn’t that television has been recognized as a sensory apparatus and we’re finally getting to the science, but instead the implications this has for personal identity and emotional intelligence in a post-human society.

Philip K. Dick’s Religious Experience

[…] an interesting graphic interpretation of a series of events which happened to [Philip K.]Dick in March of 1974. He spent the remaining years of his life trying to figure out what happened in those fateful months.

This eight page graphic novel (Weirdo #17) is archived on the Internet for your enjoyment.

100 Years of Will

Jason Louv informs us that: “The following three days (April 8-10) are the 100th anniversary of the transmission of Liber AL vel Legis (The Book of the Law) by Aleister Crowley.”

shamanism site

Shamanism: Working with Animal Spirits

from the site:

Shamanism, the world’s oldest healing tradition, is found in all cultures on Earth.
Shamans work with their allies–the animal spirits.
Learn the wisdom of over three hundred of these spiritual teachers.

This is the largest (if somewhat haphazardly organized) site on animal energy in shamanic work that I’ve personally encountered..

(note that it is a geocities site, so it might get smushed by a lot of traffic. )

eyeball jewellery (with pic)

The latest fashion must-have: eyeball jewellery

Dutch eye surgeons have implanted tiny pieces of jewellery called “JewelEye” in the mucous membrane of the eyes of six women and one man in cosmetic surgery pioneered by an ophthalmic surgery research and development institute in Rotterdam.

The procedure involves inserting a 3.5mm wide piece of specially developed jewellery ? the range includes a glittering half-moon or heart ? into the eye’s mucous membrane under local anaesthetic at a cost of 500 to 1,000 euros.

Wow. I’m impressed.

Bianca’s Playhouse

“Note this: the Bible, Quran, Kabala, Vedas, Torah, Book of Mormon, and any other “sacred text” is nothing but a pack of lies. Fanciful creations. Hallucinary side effects. Madness in print. Invalid, unfounded, collections of paper worth no more than used toilet paper. (And for atheist: don’t think you aren’t included. The fact that you believe in NOTHING is a lie.)”

I first came across Bianca’s site a few months back while toying with google to search for some occult information. She’s an intelligent writer with a playful attitude and a good sense of humor. In fact, according to Jason Louv, she is supposed to be one of the writers in his upcoming Generation Hex anthology.

Depsychedelicised Wasteland?

Who’s Got the Acid? – These days, almost nobody. By Ryan Grim | Slate | MSN

Evidence of acid’s decline can be found practically everywhere you look: in the number of emergency room mentions of the drug; in an ongoing federal survey of drug use; in a huge drop in federal arrests; and in anecdotal reports from the field that the once ubiquitous psychedelic is exceedingly difficult to score. In major cities and college towns where LSD was once plentiful, it can’t be had at all.

…the decline in LSD use doesn’t look like a demand-side phenomena: The cultural hunger for a substance that lets you hold affordable conversations with God, watch walls melt, breathe colors, and explore your psyche remains unsated.

Memory Hole Blog

If any of you have been sleeping for the last month, like I apparently was, you might not have noticed that Russ Kick’s The Memory Hole now has a Moveable Type blog called The Memory Blog.

From the looks of things, this new blog will be consistently updated, unlike the original one; and it even contains the standard Moveable Type RSS feed for anyone that wants to syndicate it.

One Nation “Under God?”

“Clearly the function of the God reference—not part of the original pledge but inserted during the 1950s (when schoolchildren were taught that the Free World faced Godless Communism)— is designed to inculcate belief that the cosmos has a Creator that the Republic acknowledges and reveres, and in so doing attaches itself to that which is ultimately powerful, rational, holy and good.”

A very intelligently, if some cynically, written article about the “under God” controversy in the Pledge of Allegiance (via Disinfo). It might make you think twice.

Sourceryforge could become thee source for esoteric knowledge on the net.. and the more people out there who use it, the more useful it will become.

There are some distinct differences between Wikipedia & Sourceryforge, but the functionality is essentially similar.

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