Thanks to Trevor for the link and headline.
According to Damon Lindelof, 9,078 people played Hurley’s numbers in the Mega Millions lottery last night. Four of the six numbers were selected, earning those that plaid the Lost numbers won $150 each. According to The Today Show’s Clicker blog, the numbers selected were 4, 8, 15, 25, and 47, plus the Mega Ball of 42.
Cryptogon puts some rather strange pieces together regarding the birth of octuplets last month. Definitely take this with a grain of salt, and keep the concept of apophenia in mind. But if this is true, it’s something up there with the Dharma Initiative and Mittelos Bioscience.
Here is a summary via Above Top Secret:
-Suicide note ended with a Masonic code-phrase signifying “distress”
-The man worked for a company called Kaiser Permanente
, which includes masonic symbolism in its logo
-Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center was involved in a controversial recent multiple birth of eight kids (octuplets) to a single mother.
-Lupoe also had twins…nothing conclusive to say about this, really, but as the author at the link notes, “What are the odds that one company (Kaiser Permanente) would be involved with two profoundly freakish stories involving twins at the same time?”
This is the first of a series of posts examining the a number of potential real life influences on the conception of the Dharma Initiative.
SRI International (previously known as Stanford Research Institute) is the clearest influence on the DHARMA Initiative (though DARPA is closer in name. Incidentally, SRI has been known to work for DARPA). SRI is a non-profit research institute working in a broad range of fields including, according to Wikipedia: “communications and networks, computing, economic development and science and technology policy, education, energy and the environment, engineering systems, pharmaceuticals and health sciences, homeland security and national defense, materials and structures, and robotics.”
Things got weird for SRI during the 60s and 70s, when it was engaged in parapsychology and LSD research. They hired L. Ron Hubbard, tested Uri Geller’s claims, and experimented with remote viewing.
They also compiled a report called The Changing Images of Man, contracted and funded by The Charles F. Kettering Foundation (the real life equivalent of Alvar Hanso?). The states purpose of Changing Images of Man:
First, we attempted to identify and assess the plausibility of a truly vast number of future possibilities for society. We next followed a method of analysis that determined which sequences of possible futures (that is, which “alternate future histories”) appeared to be the most plausible in light of human history and to most usefully serve the needs of policy research and development. Lastly, we derived a variety of policy implications, some of which dealt with how best to continue this type of inquiry.
The document allegedly comes to some creepy, fascist conclusions (I’ve not read it), and has been fodder for conspiracy theorists for years.
Transrealism (science fiction) is a literary mode that mixes the techniques of incorporating fantastic elements used in science fiction with the techniques of describing immediate perceptions from naturalistic realism. While combining the strengths of the two approaches, it is largely a reaction to their perceived weaknesses. Transrealism addresses the escapism and disconnect with reality of science fiction by providing for superior characterization through autobiographical features and simulation of the author’s acquaintances. It addresses the tiredness and boundaries of realism by using fantastic elements to create new metaphors for psychological change and to incorporate the author’s perception of a higher reality in which life is embedded. One possible source for this higher reality is the increasingly strange models of the universe put forward in theoretical astrophysics.
Transrealism has its historic antecedents in cyberpunk and Philip K. Dick, who can be considered a proto-transrealist author. Its main proponent and prominent figure is science fiction author Rudy Rucker. Rucker coined the term “transrealism” after seeing Dick’s A Scanner Darkly described as “transcendental autobiography,” and expounded the principles of transrealism in a short essay titled “A Transrealist Manifesto” in 1983. Rucker applied many of these principles in his short stories and novels, notably White Light and Saucer Wisdom. Damien Broderick has identified some other authors that have at some time utilized transrealist tropes to include Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood, Iain Banks, John Barth, J.G. Ballard, John Calvin Batchelor, Jonathon Carroll, Karen Joy Fowler, Lisa Goldstein, James Morrow, Thomas Pynchon, Joanna Russ and James Tiptree Jr.
More background reading, an article I wrote for Alterati last year:
“The battle for the mind of North America will be fought in the video arena: the Videodrome. The television screen is the retina of the mindâ€™s eye. Therefore, the television screen is part of the physical structure of the brain. Therefore, whatever appears on the television screen emerges as raw experience for those who watch it. Therefore, television is reality, and reality is less than television.” -Brian Oâ€™blivion, Videodrome.
This is an old article I wrote for the now defunct Key 23/Key 64 web site. It’s old piece of writing that I don’t stand by any more, but it does provide some background for the concepts I’ll be exploring here. The archive.org version contains the original comments, which are also worth reading.
From hypersigils to hyperstition or even Michael Mooreâ€™s claim that weâ€™re living in fictitious times, the life as fiction meme seems stronger than ever.
Grant Morrison often talks about hypersigils, which to him seem to represent one of the highest workings of magic. In his â€œPop Magic!â€ chapter of the Disinfo Book of Lies, he writes â€œThe hypersigil can take the form of a poem, a story, a dance or any other extended artistic activity you wish to try.â€ His own famous hypersigil, the Invisibles, came in the form of a comic book serialized over six years. Heâ€™s been inconsistent about the intent and the effects of this hypersigil, but I think he sums it up when he says it â€œenveloped me in a shiny, global sci-fi lifestyle I was really only dreaming of when I started writing the book in 1994â€ (CBR interview).
In other words, it made his life more exciting. For Morrison this is one of the most important aspects of magic (though he also says â€œâ€¦ if youâ€™re going to be a magician at all itâ€™s not about wanting to be scary and wearing a robe or something, what you have to do is you have to do things for peopleâ€ [Disinfo interview]).
R.U. Sirius describes a rather easier method of achieving a â€œnarrative lifestyleâ€:
In terms of social engineering, I think that, you know, you think of yourself as being in a story, and life will start to have the kind of dynamics that you would have if you were in a story, rather than if you were part of some dire laborious mechanism, you knowâ€¦ ( Better Propaganda interview)
And, actually, Morrison sort of backs this up:
Iâ€™d say to myself or whoever I was with, â€˜Itâ€™ll look good in the biography.â€™ and then Iâ€™d go ahead and do whatever daft thing it was – like taking acid on the sacred mesa or doing the bungee-jump, getting the haircut, dancing with the stranger, talking to the crowd – whatever I was â€™scaredâ€™ of mostly, or fancied doing, or never dared before, Iâ€™d try it on the basis that it would make for a more interesting read one day. (Pop Image interview)
At the other extreme, hyperstition, a confusing theory getting a thorough discussion on the Hyperstition blog, is more work than hypersigilization. Although loosely defined as â€œfictions that make themselves realâ€ hyperstitions have more complex characteristics than hypersigils. Anna Greenspan elucidates this in several posts on the blog, but a good starting point is here.
As a completely lazy writer, Iâ€™ve had more luck with R.U.â€™s method. There was a thread on Barbelith a while back asking if your life was written and drawn by comics creators, who would do it? I determined that my life was currently being written and drawn by Peter Bagge, but that Iâ€™d like it to be written by Grant Morrison, drawn by Philip Bond, and have a soundtrack by Gold Chains. But I never did any ritual to invoke a creative change in my life. But I did eventually write a statement of intent on my blog, and it seems to have worked. Since then my lifeâ€™s been a bit more exciting. Among other things Iâ€™ve traveled across Europe, taken up rock climbing, and joined this elite band of occulture thinkers.
Iâ€™m curious to hear personal experiences of hypersigilization, hyperstition creation, and fiction as life, as well as ideas for furthering the process.
Hatch 23 began as 1) a collaborative attempt to explore the “occult” themes in the television series Lost and 2) a promotional tool for Esozone, an occult themed conference/festival in Portland, OR.
Since 1) Danny never really got into the Hatch 23 project 2) Neither Danny nor I is still involved in Esozone and 3) I’m no longer particularly interested in the occult as such, it makes little to since to continue on “as is.”
So what now? I accidentally hit upon it with that last post: the TV/reality bleed-through.
Cobalt covered here how Lost encourages apophenia. And of course the Lost Experience staff deliberately bringing the show from the television into the real world. So we shouldn’t be surprised when elements of the Lost world show up in our world, Tlon style.
What does the Island have in store for us? Stay tuned, dear reader. I have the feeling it’s going to get weird.