MonthMay 2006

The art of Doug Williams

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Doug Williams art.

Chuck Pahlaniuk on living as a story that you’ve created

A Chuck Pahlaniuk lecture on non-protest activism, dealing with living life as a narrative of your own devising, amongst other things.

(thanks johnb!)

First two chapters of Daniel Pinchbeck’s new book

Disinfo has posted the first two chapters of Daniel Pinchbeck’s new book 2012 : The Return of Quetzalcoatl:

Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Honky-Tonk Dragon: comic book creation and self-publishing

My good friend Punk Elf has started a new blog centered mostly around comic book creation and self-publishing, with a particularly high tech focus. Check it out if you’re interested in comics, DIY media, and the intersections of technology and creativity.

Honky-Tonk Dragon.

Rushkoff’s Follow-Up to His Faith as Disease Column

Original column: Faith = Illness.

Follow-up:

The fact that the Bible has two versions of creation should not be a surprise to anyone who takes the time to read the first page or two of any standard Bible text. This is not some convoluted DaVinci Code fictional deconstruction of non-existent material. I’m talking normal, look-at-the-words-and-glean-their-most-basic-meaning stuff, here.

Genesis, Chapter 1, verse 27, says that God created Man and Woman together, after making all the animals.
Genesis, Chapter 2, verse 7, has God creating Man before the plants and the animals. Adam walks around a while, lonely. Then Woman is created out of Adam’s rib in verse 22.

Was Colbert right? The brain in your gut

Psychology Today:

But researchers have discovered that the nerve cells in the belly are more than just the workhorses of digestion. In fact, they are saying we have a “second brain”–a simple nervous system in the belly that functions unconsciously, partly independent of the big brain in our heads. This collection of neurons doesn’t just control digestion once the food’s already down the hatch. It plays a role in appetite, eating, and perhaps even helps us decide what food we like to eat.

Full Story: Psychology Today: Listening to the Belly.

Is racism physically addictive?

I don’t see racism as something that’s just going to fizzle and go away. Racism is a dangerous mind-virus that must be systematically exterminated. Usually, I would think of “total eradication” of anything as narrow-minded, but I see no other solution. Of course, locking up or killing racists won’t get rid of the problem, but would probably only make it worse. How do you fight a social contagion? Perhaps these ideas from John Shirley can give us a better idea of the causes of racism.

What happens in a human brain when a racist impulse is exercised? Anger is expressed; hatred is released; adrenaline and other chemicals are secreted. Ancient ?wiring? in the brain is electrified, in some sense. If you were a primitive man concerned with survival, and, mostly, only survival, you were fiercely tribalistic–instinctively so. Nature made you that way. My tribe good, distant tribe bad. You could cautiously trade with other tribes but the more distant they were, the more dangerous, perhaps, they’d be–the ones from distant places were less likely to be trading partners, they would look and act a bit differently. Different genetic and cultural pools. They might seem more likely to intrude–being from distance places they’re not settled, they’re looking for new territories. They’re not just ?the guys who live over by the buffalo wallow.? So you instinctively fear and hate them. Instincts use rewards to prompt our activities, rewards in the form of endorphins and the like, bringing feelings of pleasure. So it feels good to hate them.

Full Story: John Shirley: Is racism physically addictive?.

Normally, I try to limit the amount of political stuff I post here, but the mental illness known as racism is currently driving some very destructive US policy. In the past few weeks I’ve heard from many people who are buying into the propaganda and lies of the racially motivated anti-immigration movement. Here’s a collection of resources:

Dispelling Myths About Immigrants.

Memories of a sorcerer: notes on Gilles Deleuze-Felix Guattari, Austin Osman Spare and Anomalous Sorceries

How incredibly useful:

My aim here is to introduce the philosophers Deleuze-Guattari[i] to readers perhaps unfamiliar with their work and indicate something curious about their work, which is that it appears to have some sort of relation in a practical sense to the concept of the sorcerer. Whilst not a central figure in Deleuze and Guattari?s work, the sorcerer and the witch are themes that do crop up in their texts more often than might be expected and play more than a simply ?metaphorical? role. I think that Deleuze and Guattari can provide a resource for those interested in sorcery, magic and witchcraft in two ways: firstly they can provide theoretical tools which can challenge or at least complement structuralist, constructivist and historicist accounts and so can be of use to researchers attempting to understand these phenomena; secondly, they can provide a theoretical resource for those within the magical community who at times attempt to theorise their practise with what are essentially philosophical concepts.

Memories of a sorcerer: notes on Gilles Deleuze-Felix Guattari, Austin Osman Spare and Anomalous Sorceries [PDF].

Thanks Bill!

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