MonthAugust 2004

New O’Reilly book: Brain Hacks

Designer Matt Webb and cognitive neuroscientist Tom Stafford are writing a book on the “design” of the brain:

To get where it is, the brain has made some fascinating design decisions. The layering of systems has produced a complex environment, with automatic and controlled highly mixed. This development over biological time has introduced constraints. As has the architecture–it takes time for slow signals to make their way from one area to another. And there are computational difficulties too: How much of its capabilities can the brain afford to invoke when a sub-second response is required? The tricks used leave traces. There are holes in our visual field that we continually cover up. There are certain sensory inputs that grab our attention faster and more thoroughly than we’d expect.

Interconnected: I’m Writing a Book

(via Dehiscence ).

Mad Ghoul interviews Peter Carroll

One of Michael’s older pieces, apparently. Carroll basically sums up what, to me, is one of the main “points” of Technoccult the web site:

Science usually begins as magick and then dissociates itself from it. Remember how chemistry grew out of alchemy, astronomy grew out of astrology, and medicine grew out of various shamanic practices. If some form of magick can create a real effect of some kind then it will eventually end up as a science. Some of what now passes for parapsychology will become science one day. I loathe the anti-scientific attitude of many modern occultists. I do not think that any scientific understanding we may achieve of magick will diminish magick in any way, it will expand the subject, both in theory and practice.

MadGhoul: Peter Carroll

See also this interview from the first issue of New World Disorder

For the last 17 years I have managed a trading company that I established, I have 20 staff and a large building and a respectable 7-figure turnover. Royalties from books rarely make anyone a living unless they write a best-selling novel. I gave up lecturing when I retired from the Pact. Early on I realized that you can only make money out of magic by setting up a cult or running a correspondence course, and this did not appeal to me. I immensely enjoy having my own business, with all the attendant risks and rewards.

Mad Ghoul interviews Modern Magick author Donald Michael Kraig

I’m a little late with this one:

MM speaks to certain people in a certain way at a certain time. I actually hope that someone will write something that will appeal to future generations in a way that is superior to MM and that my book becomes thought of as “Oh yeah, we used to read that years ago.”

I truly believe that we must evolve or die. This goes for magick, too. Modern Magick was about what people are doing in this cycle of time. In the future, there will be new needs and new approaches. I hope somebody will write that book to indicate how magick has evolved.

MadGhoul: Donald Michael Kraig

How to Make a Human

science art

The ‘Truth and Beauty’ exhibition focuses on the interaction between scientific evidence and imagery, and aesthetics.

The exhibition showcases work by contemporary artists, designers and filmmakers, including Heather Barnett, Richard Morris, Barbara Strasen and Tracey Holland – all of whose work draws inspiration from science.

Welcome Trust: Truth and Beauty

(via Dr. Menlo)

Osamu Tezuka’s Phoenix

A couple years ago I read this mind-bending sci-fi epic tragedy, Phoenix: a Tale of the Future by Osamu Tezuka. Tezuka is to eastern comics what Will Eisner and Alan Moore are to western comics. And then some. Tezuku is considered to be the father of manga and created over 150,000 pages of manga and over 60 animated movies and series before his death in 1989. The Phoenix saga was his most ambitious work, but he died before he could finish it. I’m pretty sure A Tale of the Future was the only book of the saga available in English at the time I read it, but now there’s three more books available. I can’t wait. Don’t let the cheesey covers fool you, this is some serious reading.

Wikipedia entry on Phoenix.

Some other books of note: Adolf and Buddha.

New comic from Alan and Leah Moore: Albion

I’ve got comics on the brain right now, obviously. Looks like Alan Moore’s not taking such a long vacation from comics after all. Wildstorm has acquired the rights to the IPC characters (a bunch of 60s British super heroes):

“To British comic creators, this really is the equivalent of DC’s silver Age characters – their versions of Green Lantern, the Flash, Hawkman and all of that,” Dunbier said. “If you talk about the original artist on Steel Claw, Jesus Blasco, he’s spoken about in hushed tones – everyone talks about whether or not his art was better on Steel Claw or on Return of the Claw.


And here’s more from Leah Moore, Alan’s daughter.

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