They are coming with night-vision goggles, cellphones and possibly guns. They plan to unfold their lawn chairs within spitting distance of the Canada-U.S. border on Oct. 1.
What are they trying to do? Keep Americans from escaping to Canada? Or since Bubba’s job has been outsourced to China and he can’t afford cable anymore he’s going to spend his free time kicking back in a lawn chair watching the border for Fox News phantasms of Terror Masters creeping through the Canadian forests? Or is it just some excuse to get in a little varmint hunting? (and man, if they ever do anything to hurt bigfoot . . .)
“The cover of the book was rubbed with a patina made from lamp black, Yakskin glue, and brains. It was burnished to a gloss and inscribed with an ink made from crushed pearls and silver.” That is a description of the one of the Tibetan monastic manuscripts, or pothi, that Jim Canary discussed in his recent presentation, “The Tibetan Book: From Pothi to Pixels and Back Again,” at The Changing Book Conference (University of Iowa). Pothi were originally made of palm leaves. They are up to four feet in length and thin in shape; consisting of loose leaves in cloth covers pressed between wooden boards. They are sometimes housed in wooden boxes that resemble child-sized coffins. The Tibetan pothi are stored in long, narrow pigeon holes built into the walls surrounding the chanting area of the temple. Jim showed us a picture of these impressive libraries, with ceilings so high, the walls, and their overstuffed catacombs, disappear into darkness.
Jim Canary has over sixty of hours of video, taken during his trips to Tibet, documenting the monastic printing process. He plans to edit and publish the video as a CD Rom in tandem with a print book. He showed us some selections, which I do not have, so I will do my best to describe them. Video #1: a man sits on the stone steps outside the temple. There are two tall stacks of paper next to him and a bowl of water in front of him. He is preparing the paper for printing, taking one sheet from the top of the pile, passing it through a pan of water and placing it on top of the other pile. He has hundreds of sheets to dampen, so he is working in a brisk rhythmic manner. When he’s finished, the stack will be pressed between two wooden blocks. Video #2: printing takes place in a building across from the temple. The printing is done in teams of two. One man holds the hand-carved wooden block and prepares it with ink. His partner places each damp sheet on the wooden block for burnishing, then removes it and sets it aside to dry. The men work quickly in tandem, surrounded by the music of monks chanting in the temple next door. The tone and rhythm of the chant matches the rhythm of their work. It is designed to correspond with the heart beat, and it works to knit all participants together into a single, metaphorical “body” which is, in turn, joined to all humanity through the meditation. The result of all this unity is a book, shaped like a body, which will be housed, along with hundreds of others, in the temple walls.
Mr. Canary’s presentation was also about the future of these mystical books, which are being cataloged, preserved, reproduced and distributed using digital technology. Some monks are now working on laptops, transcribing text and burning DVDs. Here is an excerpt from a poem written by one of the monks in praise of digital materials, which, in his eyes, are as exquiste as a patina made from lamp black, Yakskin glue, and brains, burnished to a gloss and inscribed with an ink made from crushed pearls and silver are to me.
?The light of the disk is endless
like the light of the disks in the sky, sun and moon.
With a single push of our finger on a button
We pull up the shining gems of text?
Though it only just launched in March of this year, the Book of Thoth site has gotten something of an overhaul, and now features more conspiratorial content in addition to the usual stuff on Egypt, Magick, and the Tarot:
ThothWeb remains the only site on the internet to exclusively publish never before translated Egyptian texts including the 5,000 year old ?Alchemy of the Soul? which is one of the few texts to survive the destruction of pagan texts by the Roman church almost 2,000 years ago.
The site also has exclusive transcriptions over 140 UFO press clippings that had made headline news over a fifty-year period, from the Foo Fighters, Roswell and beyond. Thothweb has also collated some of the most amazing UFO quotations ever made, straight from the lips of presidents, the military and the government, providing a unique resource for all UFO researchers.
It is the opinion of this writer, that Robert Novak has been part of Operation MOCKINGBIRD for a very long time. (As has the Post’s Bob Woodward, and through which he gained the acumen for to reach and sustain a relationship with “Deepthroat”–now known to be the FBI’s then-second-in-command, Mark Felt.) Someone (and it appears certain now, that it is either Novak or Rove) knew definitively of Valerie Plame’s employment history. If the source was Novak, that he is also a CIA agent, working within a long-standing media-infiltration project, would be a winning bet.
If Robert Novak is employed by the Central Intelligence Agency via Operation MOCKINGBIRD, and if for whatever reason he confirmed Valerie Plame-Wilson’s identity to Karl Rove, it appears now that Mr. Rove is turning on his ultimate Source: a man who is very likely to be CIA himself. Spooks will be spooks, and spooks–as with any two humans–often don’t like each other. But Federal statutes are also Federal statutes, and the citizenry can’t be expected to abide by that which our Masters do not. What’s good for the goose, etc.
The mystery surrounding a cryptic string-based communication system used by ancient Incan administrators may at last be unravelling, thanks to computer analysis of hundreds of different knotted bundles.
The discovery provides a tantalising glimpse of bureaucracy in the Andean empire and may, for the first time, also reveal an Incan word written in string.
Woven from cotton, llama or alpaca wool, the mysterious string bundles – known as Khipu – consist of a single strand from which dangle up to thousands of subsidiary strings, each featuring a bewildering array of knots. Of the 600 or so Khipu that have been found, most date from between 1400 AD and 1500 AD. However, a few are thought to be about 1000 years old.
Spanish colonial documents suggest that Khipu were in some way used to keep records and communicate messages. Yet how the cords were used to convey useful information has puzzled generations of experts.
Unpicking the knots
Now, anthropologist Gary Urton and mathematician Carrie Brezine at Harvard University, Massachusetts, US, think they may have begun unravelling the knotty code. The pair built a searchable database containing key information about Khipu strings, such as the number and position of subsidiary strings and the number and position of knots tied in them.
The pair then used this database to search for similarities between 21 Khipus discovered in 1956 at the key Incan administrative base of Puruchuco, near modern day Lima in Peru. Superficial similarities suggested that the Khipu could be connected but the database revealed a crucial mathematical bond – the data represented by subsidiary strands on some of Khipu could be combined to create the strands found on more complex ones.
This suggests the Khipu were used to collate information from different parts of the empire, which stretched for more than 5500 kilometres. Brezine used the mathematical software package Mathematica to scour the database for other mathematical links ? and found several.
“Local accountants would forward information on accomplished tasks upward through the hierarchy, with information at each successive level representing the summation of accounts from the levels below,” Urton says. “This communication was used to record the information deemed most important to the state, which often included accounting and other data related to censuses, finances and the military.”
And Urton and Brezine go a step further. Given that the Puruchuco strings may represent collations of data different regions, they suggest that a characteristic figure-of-eight knot found on all of the 21 Puruchuco strings may represent the place itself. If so, it would be the first word to ever be extracted from an Incan Khipu.
Completely deciphering the Khipu may never be possible, Urton says, but further analysis of the Khipu database might reveal other details of life. New archaeological discoveries could also throw up some more surprises, Urton told New Scientist.
Using random event generators — computers that spew random output — they have participants focus their intent on controlling the machines’ output. Out of several million trials, they’ve detected small but “statistically significant” signs that minds may be able to interact with machines. However, researchers are careful not to claim that minds cause an effect or that they know the nature of the communication.
This is obviously interesting, but moreso because I’ve had a few discussions here and there dealing with the “occult” nature of our genders. It’s been my personal observation that, of those that have come unto me and learned anything that may be considered magical, females are more akin to subtle sensitivies, whereas males must work harder but lack the overwhelming lashback of fear that accompanies women’s foray into esoteric practices.
Here, the Wired article comments on this in a manner relative to my thoughts:?
Gender matters as well. Men tend to get results that match their intent, although the degree of the effect is often small. Women tend to get a bigger effect, but not necessarily the one they intend. For example, they might intend to direct balls in the random cascade machine to fall to the left, but they fall to the right instead.
Results are also greater if a male and female work together, but same-sex pairs produce no significant results. Pairs of the opposite sex who are romantically involved produce the best results ? often seven times greater than when the same individuals are tested alone. Brenda Dunne, a developmental psychologist and the lab’s manager, said the results in such cases often reflect the two gender styles. The effects are bigger, in keeping with what the female alone would tend to produce, but more on target, in keeping with what the male alone would produce.
“It’s almost as if there were two styles or two variables and they are complementary,” Dunne said. “(The masculine style) is associated with intentionality. The (feminine style) seems to be associated more with resonance.”
It’s been my experience that guys, when interested in matters of mysticism and magic, pursue it in a diligent, critical way. Developing skills, step by step, they slowly conquer their initial disbelief in the results that, over time, become commonplace ? yet occult to those inexperienced with magic. With the women, many who are aware and interested to partake in some trials (most of those I know are in their twenties), and they can easily accomplish these so-called psychic phenomenon much more quickly and with less stress than the men. However, they are afflicted by an emotional lashback, fear that muddies their experience and, more often than not, dissuades them from moving forth with their experiences. This is unfortunate because they need to deal with this fear to really embrace the potential powers that lie ahead of them. And because of this, men seem to have an upper-hand in that those with piqued curiosities move ahead and, at a slower rate, come to deal with the upsets and emotional turmoils that are thrown their way, rather than a tumultous experience all up-front as in many women’s cases.
Dunno if anyone out there has any comments or observations of their own regarding any of this?
Everyone ought to find themselves disturbed about the Minutemen. They represent the part of the Republican Party which seems to have blatantly embraced fascist tactics. Anytime the government starts authorizing vigiliantes, start getting really afraid.
You see them all along the side of the road. White crosses which mark where a drunk driver snuffed out a life. However, what of the bike riders taken out by irresponsible auto drivers? This interesting article discusses the burgeoning art project in Seattle and elsewhere which seeks to draw attention to the threat automobiles pose to those on bikes. It seems like a positive step toward the type of auto-free city I’ve advocated in other articles.
Sadly, the gentleman in charge of Fixed Earth dot Calm has not kept his domain payments current and you can’t get a look at the marvelous insanity that formed the site a mere two days ago. However, my friend Ben informed me that many of the forces behind “intelligent design” or whatever the fuck have also been taking further steps backward in scientific progress. Specifically, a new assault on “heliocentrism” (more on this later) seems underway. Put simply; the Christers don’t believe that the Earth moves at all, as a number of references to “fixed earth” appear in the Bible.
The part that sent a chill down my spine read something like “the world is one ten trillionth the size science thinks it is!” in large font with lots of exclamation points. What disturbs me about this involves some Howard Bloom-style psychobiology. On the Disinfo DVD Howard discusses a movement back into the darker recesses of the human mind- specifically the limbic functions of “fight or flight”, etc. which result in a return to the Dark Ages. Altho this dark ages would inevitably contain far more atrocities than the previous dark ages. The Westboro Baptist Church and this idea of “fixed earth” forms the template for the Future Dark Age.
However, I keep going back to the phrase above. It seems a strange re-formulation of pre-scientific cosmologies- those of the Sumerians, Egypt, etc. While such cosmologies work for the Illuminated they necessarily limit human psychogeography and in an extreme fashion. Never forget that some exist who seek to limit human psychogeography back at a pre-historic level. As occultists, revolutionaries and scientists, we must never forget the gigantic leap backward offered by such forces.
Poet/alt-country genius David Berman (lead singer of the elusive Silver Jews), in an interview with Pitchfork attesting to the fact that his band’s latest album, Tanglewood Numbers, got a little help from the occult:
Joe Funderburk, the guy who mixed this album… is a white witch from Gulfport, Mississippi. During mixing he would have to take days off to go in the woods with the other witches and warlocks. One day he invited [Steve] West [the drummer] and I. I did not want to go, but we were just getting to know Joe and his wife, Rowena, and both of us wondered if we insulted them by not attending their rituals [whether] they would cast some curse on the record…. So I made West go. Apparently, he danced naked in the woods. He was gibbering and covered in blood when he returned. I made him promise never to tell me what happened that night.