MonthAugust 2005

Aesthetiscope

Having bought a copy of The Age of Spiritual Machines, by the genius Ray Kurzweil, after hearing about how Our Lady Peace essentially crafted their entire album, Spiritual Machines, around the concepts presented by Kurzweil? I feel I should probably read it sometime. But having it in my possession, along with years of Star Trek and watching The Animatrix, has inspired me to think muchly on the grand notion of intelligence and consciousness.

I am fairly certain that if androids were possible as of today, they would be very good at patrolling red and blue bases, and occasionally storming my home base just slightly before I can get my army up to tier-two weapons and tech? not to mention thieving magical power-ups from my garden. Judging by the videos I’ve seen of ASIMO, Honda’s robot, I would have more of a chance and I would feel safe with a baseball bat and perhaps a vat of cola to drop them into so I could watch them slowly be eaten away.

For the sake of sentiment, I did, in fact, cry in the movie A.I. when the poor robots were being destroyed at the Flesh Fare.

Anyhow, this whole MIT-tackles-semiotics thing is frighteningly out of my league. They are like ninja-smart, whereas I am only S-M-R-T smart. Delving into the intuitive understandings of language, Hugo Liu has been exploring stuff that I will post here in his own words? out of fear that I will reduce it to the dribbling ramblings of a retarded guinea pig:

The Aesthetiscope is an interactive art installation whose wall of color reacts to portray the relationship between some idea (a word, a poem, a song) and a person (a realist, a dreamer, a neurotic) standing before it. Each idea, for example the word sunset, is rich in association for a person. Perhaps he remembers in his mind what a sunset looks like. Or a sunset mades him think of other ideas like warmth, fuzzy, beautiful, serenity, relaxation. Perhaps it reminds him of some past event in his life. The contextual sphere of these personal associations form the Aesthetic about the idea. And the experience of that aesthetic is called its pathos. I wanted to choose a medium through which pathos could be convincingly portrayed, and so I chose colors because they are a complete microconsciousness of pathos, like taste and smell.

The Aesthetic is hard to articulate because it is usually experienced it as an undeconstructed gestalt. Any analysis of Aesthetic needs to be sensitive to its complexity — the multi-dimensional nature of connotation. The aesthetiscope analyzes each idea through a multi-perspectival linguistic analysis of connotation. The realms of analysis are “Think,” “Culturalize,” “See,” “Intuit,” and “Feel.” Each of these realms brings to bear a different perspectival vocabulary to the pathos description of an idea. “Think” generates rational connotations and entailments of the idea. “Culturalize” looks at the cultural entailments of the idea through the lens of a particular culture. “See” takes the idea as a source of imagery, bringing to bear our collective visual memory of objects, places, and events. “Intuit” is an exercise in automatic free assocations with the idea as a cue. “Feel” takes a sentimental stance toward the idea, connecting it to a word of feelings. The results of these analyses are mapped to a world of colors through psycho-physiocological color surveys based on the work of Berlin & Kay, and Goethe, and naturalistic sampling of colors from photos.

With these different vocabularies of aesthetic, we can try to make sense of a “sunset.” A sunset may be “Seen,” revealing the dark purple swatches with splashes of warm hues that characterize the visual rememberance of a sunset. But there is also an inner sunset. A sunset “Felt” and “Intuited” recalls warmth, beauty, and serenity, and these will bring about brighter, warmer, and more intense colors than the outer sunset.

The aesthetiscope encourages us to experience and reflect on Aesthetic in a new way.

The shizzle is here-izzle, via mit.edu

This is interesting in that it really begins to explore the interpretation of the manifest realm on an abstract level (read MIT’s PDF here). We all believed in Data, but we all somehow secretly doubted that the “emotion chip” that he obtained from his evil twin, Lore, was genuine. But Hugo Liu’s work today may be the precursor to developments that Dr Noonien Soong draw from, in the future, to develop such reactions that would be illogical but founded in the intuitive and sensationalistic interaction with the manifest world. It is a little cold to note, however, that he still managed to bang Tasha Yar in 2364. Sex without this pathos is simply just getting sticky and sweaty? or whatever in Data and Yar’s case.

EDIT ? I was thinking about creating sigils without the normal chaos magic way. For those of you not familiar with sigils, read something like this. For those of you I don’t have to explain it to, any thoughts on crafting such mechanisms (if they can be called such?) out of more abstract elements such as colours, shapes, notions, elements? This is beginning to ring true with the whole stereotype of witches and “voodoo” where they throw weird crap in a cauldron and make spells and shit. I hit on it more here where I try to blab about technical/design approaches to the occult. Any comments or ideas? Drop ’em here.

I remember hearing about some peculiar astral mechanics that Michael Bertiaux and his Cult of the Black Snake (whatever they’re called), where they’d engineer elements out of geometrics and colours and varying astral vibrations. Like Lego, they’d build smaller units and store them in the astral, then proceed to assemble them into larger machinations/patterns. I believe they were four-dimensional geometrices, which will only make sense to those of us that work with sidereal movement and crap.

The Self as Metaprogrammer

Came across this via Kris Olsvik and Nerdshit, by Chris Arkenberg:?

The human brain is not a static computing device merely receiving and processing information acquired by its sensoria but, rather, it is a dynamic and plastic network of neural centers, each specialized to handle specific tasks, coordinated with each other through a continuously changing array of associative connections between hundreds of billions of neural cells. (Readers are encouraged to look through “The Self & It’s Brain” by Karl Popper & John Eccles for exhaustive studies of neuronal plasticity in associative networks and their implications for consciousness.) While the various regions of the brain are shared by all humans, and the functions of those regions are essentially the same in each of us, the connections between them and the intangible interface which integrates experience between our senses and our mind is absolutely unique to each individual. Genetic predisposition, early imprints, and life experiences each contribute to the ever-evolving construct of the individual. And behind it all in the secret center of our mind, resides the self, absolutely intangible but undeniably real, stringing together the momentary snapshots of the sensoria, creating our sense of time and guiding the processes of mind in accord with its will. But while many may never question the way their mind and brain color their world, others seek to elevate the self to the level of meta-programmer and actively break the bonds of belief to rewire the associative network of the brain and its mind. Many tools exist for such a task, including the archaic techniques of shamanism, the use of psychedelic compounds, and the canon of western esoterica commonly known as magick. By employing these and other methods it is possible to directly modify the physiology of the brain and reprogram the mind in accord with the ideals of the self. (Please note that this paper is not intended to present a reductionist or mechanistic view of consciousness. The visionary experiences of shamanism and the phenomenology of magick are far more profound and ineffable than if they were simply side effects of metabolism.)

continued here?

EDIT ? I just found this via the writings of LVX23, which leads me to perhaps conclude that THEY MAY BE THE SAME PEOPLE! Or not. I do not know, cuz the other articles on there have no orthodox name. And the reason I was jumping around his site is cuz I need to e-mail him, but I am without a contact method. Please shoot me a msg on how to contact you.

Aurora borealis

This entry has nothing particularly stringent to do with the occult, but more with beauty. I just spent the past two days north, past Athabasca (where Nightbreed, the movie based on Clive Barker’s Cabal, has its city of monsters, Midian, located somewhere nearby ? we’ve never found it) at a small lake called Baptiste, and all last night ? between drinking and fireworks mishaps (no injuries, though a few would’ve been funnier in retrospect) ? the aurora borealis were out, aka “northern lights.”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/spacehutobservatory/sets/210704/

Because I’ve spent little time in the U.S. outside of my experiences staying in Seattle (and being attacked by what I swear was a leper, while attempting to purchase a tasty croissant), I have no clue whether as many people have the opportunity to witness this amazing fucking phenomenon first-hand? Two things to living this far north are that a) the sun is up till like 23:00 in the middle of summer, allowing for much more bare-clad women and drinking without stumbling over what you can’t see, and b) in the dead of winter we get maybe seven hours of daylight, if that, and it’s hard to explain how far my penis shrinks back inside of body when the temperature drops to -30?C on a regular basis (I don’t know what that is in Fahrenheit, but it’s freakin’ cold). Benefits, year-round I think, are that we do happen to get northern lights.

And it’s just impossible to explain how insanely cool it is to sit beneath a sky aflame in green and red plasma. It’s kind of like Star Trek or something. Some years ago, I was driving down a major road in Edmonton and traffic just stopped. The whole of the sky, literally a good 80 per cent of the sky had erupted into brilliant pink and deep reds. They light up everything, the city, forests, mountains, lakes, et cetera. The whole city stopped to watch, it seemed like.

We are all surrounded by beauty, and while I don’t have the fortune of aurora every night, I tend to personally lose myself in the cloud formations we get during summer here. I love the skies.

Perhaps next time you’re outside (or wherever) consciously see if you can actually find something you like to just lose yourself to. It’s a god-given gift to be able to see beauty, and I think so many of us forget that or take it for granted.

Aurora via Wikipedia

Aurora folklore, via Wikipedia:?

It is believed that during the first millennium AD, auroral activity was low. This might be the explanation as to why northern lights are never mentioned in the Eddas of Norse mythology. The first Old Norse account of nor?rlj?s is found in the Norwegian chronicle Konungs Skuggsj? from 1250 AD.

An old Scandinavian name for northern lights translates as herring flash. It was believed that northern lights were the reflections cast by large swarms of herring onto the sky.

The Finnish name for northern lights is revontulet, fox fires. According to legend, foxes made of fire lived in Lapland, and revontulet were the sparks they whisked up into the atmosphere with their tails.

The Sami people believed that one should be particularly careful and quiet when observed by the guovssahasat.

In Inuit folklore, northern lights were the spirits of the dead playing football with a walrus skull over the sky.

Other older theories speculated in that aurora borealis were the fires of the purgatory mountain on the reverse side of the globe; that the sun flares could reach around the world to its night side, or that glaciers could store energy so that they eventually became fluorescent (because of the midnight sun, northern lights can only be observed during winter in the polar regions).

Ken Wilber’s Integral Spiritual Center

Integral philosopher Ken Wilber has launched a new venture hot on the heels of Integral Naked, this one dedicated to promoting and exploring his “post-metaphysical” approach to mysticism. Participants in the Integral Spiritual Center include noted Kabbalists Reb. Marc Gafni and Reb. Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Patrick Sweeney (heir to the controversial Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche), Putting on the Mind of Christ author Jim Marion, Father Thomas Keating, Omega founder Elizabeth Lesser, and many others.

To mark the occasion, the characteristically prolific Wilber has penned a 118-page paper introducing the post-metaphysical approach, which includes a critique of Spiral Dynamics and a theoretical preview of the sequel to his admittedly lame “postmodern” novel Boomeritis. Wilber does all of this amidst growing concerns of the perceived cult-like nature of his organization and deficiencies of his four-quadrant model.

One thing is for certain, you’ll be hearing a lot more from Wilber later this year.

Community page ranking system

Mary Hodder on BlogHer. A few words about BlogHer, and this interesting bit:

After 45 minutes of intense anger and frustration from many audience speakers in the room toward Technorati link counts and top 100, I suggested we create a community based algorithm, based on more complex social relationships than links. It’s something I’ve been working on for few months, trying to frame, about what this problem is and how we might solve it. But it’s a complex issue and I’m also busy. So it’s taken a while. However, my blog post is almost done, and I do plan to put it up in the next day or so.

I look forward to seeing how she proposes to do this. I’m also curious about how useful an “open” algorithm will be. Part of why Google is so secretive about their ranking system is that they’re afraid people will cheat the system if they know how it works. Many have talked about creating an open source alternative to Google, but as far as I know nothing like this exists yet. I’m rooting for transparent algorithms, I’d love to see them take off, but I’m a bit skeptical. It does seem that perhaps search algorithms is the one place where secrecy is best.

Of course, Technorati’s system is pretty open: they just count links. At the very least, Hodder’s system should be more nuanced. A more complex rating system should be harder to scam, no?

Abe calls ‘bull shit’ on the long tail

Insightful piece by Abe on the “long tail”:

There is a huge philosophical issue at stake for those who are best termed the technorati, the boosters of high tech and networks roughly clustered around Anderson’s Wired Magazine. In this circle an awful lot of hope and thought has been invested in the idea that the internet and other ‘open’ networks are a democratizing force. The belief that this is true underlies the much of the moral framework that the technorati in. It gives them faith that they are doing the right thing. The discovery that networks tend to develop quickly into situations of inequality, situations that tend to map towards the very 80-20 power laws that characterize the vast inequalities of wealth and power the internet was supposed to route around, this discovery slices straight to heart of any faith in the democratic power of the internet.

Abe’s had a lot of really good pieces lately debunking the mythology of the new ‘net bubble. Check out the past month or so’s worth of his blog.

DEVESTATINGLY Effective Spells!

I was just reading over that propaganda comic that Benway was kind enough to post, it gave us a good laugh at work here. I don’t know which is funnier, leftist or rightist stuff. Actually no? I do, rightist propaganda is always a bit more funny cuz they have such a peculiar grasp of humour. At least hippies are light-hearted. It’s like putting Julius Evola on-stage with Robert Anton Wilson and asking them to do a joke-off. Perhaps, say, at the Just for Laughs festival in Montr?al.

Anyhow, speaking of funny, as I was perusing this fine site I came across this ad by Gooooogle or whutever it’s called:?

For the first time since the Pharaohs:
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With Extraordinary Power
by the End of the Week…

Even if you don’t know the difference between Magic and Magick Yet…”

Subscribe before Saturday, August 6 and also get 3 FREE spells for more Money, Love and Good Luck!

From Bogdan Ravaru & Giancarlo Capuccio…

Thursday, August 4
Dear Seeker,
ave you ever craved to have magic powers? And be able to use them whenever you please, to dramatically improve your life and help the ones you love?

Let’s pretend for a minute that you have the power to transform every thought, every wish and every dream into reality – RIGHT NOW…

What would you do? What would you create? What would you wish for… Money? Love? Happiness? Friends? Health? Protection? Revenge? POWER?
“What if we could show you a way to get ALL these things and more, WITHOUT sacrificing blood or selling your soul?”

We’d tell you everything right here, on this page, but it would be too easy for anybody get to this site and abuse this powerful information… (who knows how long we’ll even keep this page here anyway…)

This is why we kindly ask you to give us your name and email address and we will gladly send you to the page where the secrets are posted…

And, please give us your good email address because we want to send you some really valuable advice via email and 3 free spells for money, love and good luck…

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Black Magick White Magick

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I don’t know about you guys, but I need devestatingly potent spells to lay havoc and ruin to my enemies. Saskatchewan is to the east of us and I believe they have a eugenics programme underway. See, every girl I’ve met that has moved here (Alberta) from there (Saskatchewan) has been very, very attractive. Not in that Prairie punk sort of subcultural way I’ve been accustomed to here out west, but in a sort of suburban girl-next-door sort of way.

Interestingly, the Alberta Eugenics Board maintained the excellent standard of life we’ve come to expect in this province through the Alberta Sterilization Act, passed in 1928 along with another province and 28 states down yonder.

(Almost 3,000 people were sterilized under Alberta’s Sterilization Act. Many more were not released because they would not consent to sterilization. Even in 1972, the year the Act was finally repealed, 55 people were sterilized for their “danger of transmission to the progeny of mental deficiency” and for being “incapable of intelligent parenthood.”)

What I think Saskatchewan has implemented is a hawtness gene. While Americans fight obesity and clone dinosaurs, them quiet socialists next door have gone on to do what we’ve all been hoping for but no one has had the scientific “need” to do: fight ugliness.

Goths Silly goth

The world needs more attractive people. Even if you are a little obese, you can still be hot. I mean, there is a girl here at work who may be a few kilos overweight, but she’s cute.

As for the ad by Gooooogle, perhaps we need to implement some sort of post-natal beatings unto those that are propagating the ridiculous image of such spiritual matters. I know the occult doesn’t like to associate with the Wiccans, but they keep sticking their fingers in our cookie jar.

Perhaps some PR eugenics, some disassociation from the New Agers and the goths. Hmm, back to the occult brand thing.

Though speaking of genes, another Gooooogle ad took me to Ebay where they were selling “soft robes for magical use” and I found this. She must be a witch from Saskatchewan.

It’s still no excuse. Wait, no? she’s from France. I think Saskatchewan and France have something in common though. Perhaps they adopted the hawt eugenics programme that the Czech Republic obviously has in place. There can be no other explanation.

I need some books on occult eugenics. I think Aleister Crowley and Michael Bertiaux have some writings on this?

File Under: Best Thing Ever

Check out this comic book about the liberal-UN dominated future of America where bionic superman Sean Hannity broadcasts clandestinely under the Clinton/Moore regime. He then teams up with G. Gordon Liddy, Olly North and Reagan McGee. I can’t figure out the status of this- satire or commentary? The fact that the guy from EverQuest or whateverthefuck does the art confuses me more. I suppose that forms at least part of the joke. Check it out anyway. I should pre-order my copy…

Liberality for All Homepage

Japan Serves Pickles, Beaver

Japan’s censorship bureau for cinema finally lifted its long-standing ban on “pickles and beavers” (60s industry vernacular for “you-know-what”- teehee!). On the upside: you can now see all the Japanese snatch you like. On the downside: people with a fetish for the blur (see Bizarre‘s recent article “Japanese Sex Explosion”) seem completely fucked.

MSN-Mainichi Daily News Article

Greening the Ghetto

In opposition to the debasing welfare programs of both church and state stands EcoVillage Farm just outside the heart of Richmond, CA’s inner city. For anyone who has never been to Richmond, VA don’t think South Bronx- think Gary, IN, Springfield, MA, “the Bricks”, Compton, &c. Richmond resembles many other forgotten post-industrial towns whose residents have committed the ultimate crime of being poor in America.

Which seems only one reason why EcoVillage farm represents such a revolutionary attack on the status quo. Food no longer comes in plastic wrapped packages which cannot be smelled or handled but out of the soil and the toil of those tilling. “Ownership society” falls in the category of “phrases GWB perverts into right-wing bullshit.” However EcoVillage farm seems to represent an “ownership society” that anyone with a brain could get behind. Far from just another bourgeois “organic” farm stand, EcoVillage not only provides food but relevant skills.

This type of social welfare contains more tangible benefits than I can name. First, it puts food on people’s plates. Secondly, the co-op teaches useful skills which instill a sense of pride. Few things make a person hold their head up higher than the knowledge “I can produce something.”

Terrain Magazine Article: Shabaka’s Seedlings

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