MonthJuly 2007

Can’t Blame the Sun for Global Warming, Says Study

The best, IMHO, alternate explanation for global warming is looking a bit less likely:

“The upshot is that somewhere between 1985 and 1987 all the solar factors that could have affected climate have been going in the wrong direction. If they were really a big factor we would have cooling by now.”

Reason Magazine science editor Ronald Baily adds:

Of course in areas that are prey to big uncertainties, no study is definitive. However, as the evidence for man-made global warming continues to accumulate, policymakers and citizens should turn our attention to what should be done about it. See some of my thoughts on the carbon taxes vs. carbon markets here.

Disclosure: Just in case any H&R readers missed it, I am a former skeptic of man-made global warming. See my mea culpa here.

Full Story: Hit and Run.

Anti-War Shirt Banned

bush lied they died

The Arizona Senate has unanimously passed a resolution banning the “Bush Lied, They Died” t-shirts from sale in the state. The shirts include the names of hundreds of U.S. troops killed in Iraq in fine print, which legislators apparently find unseemly, and which they say makes the shirts commercial speech, instead of political speech, which the Supreme Court says enjoys more First Amendment protection. […] The shirts have already been banned in Oklahoma and Louisiana, and Rep. Dan Boren is pushing legislation for a federal ban.

Full Story: Hit and Run.

(via American Samizdat).

Paul Laffoley Infinity Factory interviews

[these have been taken down – if anyone has them please let me know]

Thanks Ikipr!

Installing Ubuntu on a Windows laptop: not ready for prime time

I’ll try to keep this short, but here is my experience trying to install Ubuntu on my Dell Inspiron 1100 running Windows XP SP2.

I’m an IT professional, and I keep hearing that Ubuntu is incredibly simple to install, etc. etc. So I finally get around to cleaning up the hard drive space necessary and downloading the Live CD. I figure the Inspiron 1100 has been around long enough and was popular enough that by now Ubuntu should be working pretty well on it.

I run the live CD and everything seems to be going fine until I launch the installer. Ubuntu is only displaying in a small 640×480 box in the middle of my screen… I figured once it was installed I could get the drivers to fix it. But the installer needs more screen space than 640×480 and all the buttons and part of the text end up being cut-off.

So I take the CD, boot back into Windows and hit the support forums. They’re full of references to “dapper” “fiesty” etc. that I can’t figure out and don’t see any references to on the Ubuntu site (eventually I find them in Wikipedia, they’re code names for different version of Ubuntu). I find out that I’m out of luck using the live CD… the installer absolutely must have more than a 640×480 resolution. So I’m going to have to use a text based installer on the “alternate cd.” It takes me a while to figure out how to download the alternate but I find it and three hours later, it’s downloaded and I’m ready to try again.

It starts up, things are going fine, and it gets to the partitioner. I pick the first option, to resize my existing partition and then use the free space. Next, next, enter the new size of the partition, ok, ok… oh no! Bright red screen, “UNKNOWN ERROR PARTITION FAILED.”

Time to restart and boot back into Windows… I get profile corruption and file system corruption errors. After running chdisk I’m able to run Windows, but my profile is corrupted and system restore won’t work. I also discover that my partition has been resized, but the new partition is missing.

I tried to use the GPart live CD to fix the partitions, but GPart won’t work because it can’t display on my laptop monitor.

So my next step will be to get Partition Magic or something to try to get the partition working.

I’ve done some research and I may need a BIOS update. But I’m a bit nervous about doing a BIOS update since my laptop’s out of warranty, and one wrong move while flashing the BIOS will ruin the motherboard. It looks like w/o the BIOS update, even after a full install of Ubuntu I might not be able to get more than the 640×480 box. And that’s just assuming I can get the partition working.

I’m not sure how much time I want to invest in this right now… I might give it another shot next week.

After 6 hours all I’ve got to show for it is a corrupt Windows profile and a smaller hard drive. So I can’t help but conclude that Ubuntu is still not ready for “prime time.”

Some thoughts:

1. There should perhaps be a bit more warning of what a user is getting into trying to install Ubuntu, especially on laptops. It seems that these display problems are common.

2. I can’t understand why the GUI installer needs to be larger than 640×480

3. Is there a reason the text installer can’t be included on the live cd?

4. Why doesn’t the partitioner work?

The Yellow Sign: Timothy Leary?s Neurocomics & Promethea by Alan Moore

timothy leary's neurocomics

Wes Unruh explores Timothy Leary’s Neurocomics (torrent here) and Alan Moore’s Promethea (torrent here):

As I was reading this work, I was struck by how similar the work is to that of Alan Moore, specifically Promethea. Not simply the psychedelic nature of the work, but the way in which both of these works were about the underlying philosophical and metaphysical beliefs of the authors, and both presented in the most holistic way possible. They’re more like modern alchemical texts, grimoires for the psychonaut, without the layers of metaphor that Mike Carey might throw in or the allegories Chris Claremont developed to spread occultic ideas through more mainstream comics. (Granted, Grant Morrison does this in his own way as well, but not everyone is fully armed to read The Filth and his politics have raised more than a few eyebrows… )

Full Story: Alterati.

Post-esoZone event: Mystic Mountain Magick Meadow Retreat

Sadly I won’t be able to attend:

Sat thru Wed, August 18-22, 2K7, the week after esoZone in Portland, you should come to the Mystic Mountain Magick Meadow Retreat. After all of the workshops and events in esoZone, wouldn’t you like to spend more Quality time with all of these people you met and networked with in PDX? Wouldn’t you like to continue to meet even more like-minded people along the I-5 corridor? Aren’t you tired of always hearing a bunch of Talk about networking with other Magi, but very little Action? Haven’t you been meaning to get away for at least a few days with like-minded folk in the Mountains, working Magick?

Here’s the simple solution:

As I mentioned a few days ago, I am inviting other Experienced Magi to join me in my yearly Retreat in a location that is absolutely perfect for what will eventually host a yearly gathering of up to several hundred Magickal Practitioners. Not everyone will be able to stay all the way through Wed, but coming for a few days is better than not coming at all! We will be setting up a Temporary Autonomous Zone on Sat, with Closing ceremonies done on Wed.

There have been a few questions as far as what this event will be about, what to bring and expect, etc.:

The T.A.Z. will basically be a “Free Play Zone”.

It will be very Magickally Active–I do some of my most intensive Magick during my Retreats.

There will be plenty of opportunities for both Alone & Social Time.

One Intent I have for this year’s Gathering is to discuss all of these Networking projects that have been gathering Momentum, e.g. the I-5 Occulte’ Empyre, the Willamette Valley Magick Network, etc.

Some of the things that I like to do include Relaxing, Resting, Reflecting, Recuperating, ReCreating, ReJuvenating, Reading, Meditating, Trancing, Journeying, Magicking, Sharing, Teaching, Learning, Exploring, Hiking, Playing, Nothing, Slacking, Just Be-ing, etc…

The few Expectations I have for the Mystic Mountain Magick Meadow Retreat would include:

…no noisy machines, electronics, motors, music, etc. (although natural noises are encouraged!)
…encouraging Physical Safety
…self-reliance/bring what you will need–Sharing is encouraged, but not mandatory
…shedding Identities and truly Retreating for a time in the Mountains
…Respect others’ Space
…being a “Drama Free Zone”
…to Play Nice

To join us for the 2nd Annual Mystic Mountain Magick Meadow Retreat, please respond here or email me at

xi_o_teaz AT chaosmatrix DOT org

In a couple of weeks, we will be setting up a meeting place so that we can all drive to the Retreat together on Saturday afternoon (and then you may leave whenever you wish, should you need to leave early, etc).

Looking Forward!

Agape!

“Know Thy Selves”

Clifford Pickover interview

Jason Lubyk: You state in Sex, Drugs, Einstein and Elves that ‘if certain computer languages are more suited for modularity, size, speed or ease of use, could certain human languages be optimized for human growth potential, creativity, memorability, or for communicating one thoughts and emotions.’ Have you ever speculated what forms these languages would take, what would differentiate them from our existing languages?

Clifford Pickover: If language and words do shape our thoughts and tickle our neuronal circuits in interesting ways, I sometimes wonder how a child would develop if reared using an ‘invented’ language that was somehow optimized for mind-expansion, emotion, logic, or some other attribute. Perhaps our current language, which evolved chaotically through the millennia, may not be the most ‘optimal’ language for thinking big thoughts or reasoning beyond the limits of our own intuition.

I am not certain what form these special languages would take. However, such languages would probably be most effective if introduced when a child is young – at a time when language acquisition seems to take place more efficiently and effectively. This is a fascinating area of contemplation, given that debates still take place as to whether the biological contribution to our language abilities includes language-specific capacities, such as a universal grammar, which may constrain us. I also wonder if we would need different languages for the differing purposes of memorabilty, creativity, empathy and so forth. Incidentally, we already know that mathematical ‘languages’ can help us reason more clearly – at least for some kinds of mathematical contemplations – than traditional languages.

Because adults will not be fluent in this new language, they might not be good teachers of the language to children. Perhaps artificial entities will be required for the teaching task.

Full Story: Alterati.

John Shirley: Forgotten Solution

A blog post by John Shirley, posted in full because he doesn’t use permalinks:

A recent AP article was headlined “7 Million Americans in arms of the Law”. Marc Mauer of the Sentencing Project was quoted: “Misguided policies that create harsher sentences for nonviolent drug offenses are disproportionately responsible for the increasing rates…”

Amphetamine addiction is epidemic, crack addiction still festers, heroin addiction persists, alcoholism is always with us. Yet most drug addicts actually don’t want to be drug addicts. They’re stuck. Real rehab, something that works, is hard to come by. 12-Step groups help, but in the real world, hard-core addicts need longterm in-patient rehabilitation. Time clean is an essential treatment for drug addiction, and most addicts–especially amphetamine, heroin and crack addicts– need an extended period in a locked facility to get that clean time. There are a few programs like Moving Addicted Mothers Ahead, at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, that help addicts for free–and M.A.M.A. is particularly valuable, since helping an addict mother break the cycle helps her children and grandchildren too. But there are too few such programs, with too few beds.

I recently called around for a friend who is an addict, looking for long-term in-patient rehabilitation. There are plenty of extravagantly priced programs. Five to eight thousand dollars for thirty days is typical for those who were “moderately” priced, and thirty days isn’t enough. For people without enough cash, or insurance, there is almost no recourse. And most drug addicts, of course, live in poverty. Yes, the poverty that puts serious rehab out of reach is often the result of their addiction–but pointing out that it’s “all their fault” isn’t going to help society with the costs of drug-related crime and homelessness.

Many homeless are just the poor, often hardworking poor, who fell through the cracks of a callous system–but many others are drug addicts, alcoholics, or both. Homeless addicts cost communities millions of dollars in court costs, jailing costs, emergency room costs, policing costs. When they’re offered help, it’s usually piece meal, outpatient, and not something the addict can count on. They know they need the in-patient time. They know that a locked facility is what is going to work for them. And they know it’s not available. There is a long waiting list for the few free rehab programs. Many addicts are unlikely to be organized enough to get on the waiting list and monitor their access to rehab facilities. But offer them a quick entry into long-term rehab and a great many of them will take it, and gratefully. If we do the spadework, we can make them that offer.

Ask city managers and supervisors why there isn’t more easy access to free rehabilitation, they’ll say there is no way to pay for it. It’s not in the budget. But not making rehab a budget priority is itself financial mismanagement. We can save money, in the long run, by investing in the creation of new and extensive state, county, and city operated free rehabilitation for our thousands of indigent drug addicts and alcoholics. We need these facilities and we need lots of them. We can uproot homelessness, for many people, before it entwines their lives; we can head habitual drug addicts off before they become habitual criminals. We can save society millions of dollars by offering free rehabilitation to the poor–to the people society’s neglect has made so vulnerable to the despair that fosters drug addiction.

Robert Anton Wilson works available for download

From Frequency 23:

Robert Anton Wilson’s death signifies the dawn of a new generation of alternative philosophers/seekers – it’s with this in mind we are attempting to centralize his data for their consumption and benefit Download Raw Pack I + The Illuminati Papers Torrent Link for RAW pack II

RAW Pack I
contains Text of:

Schrodinger’s Cat Trilogy
Prometheus rising
Quantum Psychology
The Sex Magicians
Illuminatus Trilogy
Mask of the Illuminati
Principia Discordia
Excerpts and interviews
Also Download: The Illuminati Papers

RAW Pack II (is a torrent) which Contains Audio of:
Audio Interview on Disinfonation
Nova Connection 16 – Burroughs, Gysin, Leary and Wilson
Language and Reality
Namu Amida Buddha
Quantum Psychology
Secrets of Power
Techniqeus for Conciousness change
The Acceleration of Knowledge
The Leary Grid
Timothy Leary’s Death
On Conspiracy Theories
On The Church of the Subgenius

Also of course Check his video lecture The I in triangle Pt. I & II.

Uploaded Kindly by Greylodge.

These are RARed files, use the program over @ www.rarlabs.com to
extract them, the text varies from .pdf, .rtf, .html and so forth. You
will need a torrent client to hop on downloading the RARed audio in
packII

care of http://stealthisknowledge.liber.us

For more on Robert Anton Wilson, check out our dossier on him.

The Pirate’s Code

When Bob Dylan sang, ‘To live outside the law you must be honest,’ he probably wasn’t thinking of seventeenth-century pirate captains. Nonetheless, his dictum seems to apply to them. While pirates were certainly cruel and violent criminals, pirate ships were hardly the floating tyrannies of popular imagination. As a fascinating new paper (pdf) by Peter Leeson, an economist at George Mason University, and ‘The Republic of Pirates,’ a new book by Colin Woodard, make clear, pirate ships limited the power of captains and guaranteed crew members a say in the ship’s affairs. The surprising thing is that, even with this untraditional power structure, pirates were, in Leeson’s words, among ‘the most sophisticated and successful criminal organizations in history.’

Full Story: The New Yorker.

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