Monday, November 30, 2015

Remembering Ken Nordine

With all of the discordant rhetoric, and disturbing imagery, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect back on a giant of radio, and recorded sound: Ken Nordine.

To say this guy was amazing is to hardly even begin to scratch the surface of what he could create with his voice, and vivid imagination. I urge you to check his stuff out. You won't be disappointed.

Ken Nordine - My Baby - YouTube

A Cosmolosophist Credo

Are You a Cosmolosophist?

First and foremost, understand that this is just an idea. An arrangement of meanings that will hopefully have inner, as well as outer, relevance as you plot your course through existence. As such, resist whatever temptation there may be in making rigid orthodoxy out of anything I suggest here. Remember that meanings are always temporary arrangements of things that make sense in both a practical, as well as heartfelt context.

Sentience is a fundamental part of the bigger context that it exists in. This is so because there must be object for there to be boundaries, and so there must also be systems of objectification. But object and boundary themselves are not enough without something to make, and hold, meaning of the gaps between each; meanings which automatically imply connection. With connection then comes the linkages that make for held structure, and the possibility to start layering collected objectification upon collected objectification.

In this process there must be observation, and so an observer, utilizing a singular point of reference to establish relative demarcations of where one thing ends and another begins, as well as to then, through the process of experience association, begin to understand the practical significance of juxtaposed things, both in terms of counts, and what might be there to count in the first place.

But even as sentience gains greater skill in counting, and better tools to count with, it must not be forgotten that the observer, as well as the tools utilized, are part of what is being observed, and that the very act of observing, as well as the choices made in making the observation, cannot avoid affecting the results; which is no more than to say that truly objective observation has its limits. It follows, then, that from this we must also concede that objective meaning also has it limits.

What else, then, do we ascribe to the power of connection, and the fundamental requirement that things, however objectified, come together and exchange?

It is here, of course, that our form of sentience has always had a great deal of trouble with; the intangible, that we feel in various ways, made worse by the ignorance of our infancy as a sentient species. Evolution has given us not only the ability to objectify and question, but to also know fear, lust, nurture, unmet need, and all forms of deprivation thus engendered. And so we invented myths and deities, and all manner of rites, and belief systems to go with them. Structured cooperation was essential for survival certainly, but also so susceptible to not only outright corruption, but the rigidity inherent in the social inertia of any organization made by sentient beings. One set of beliefs becomes orthodoxy. The hierarchy of power relationships becomes fixed, and suddenly it is blasphemy to question any obvious contradiction of orthodoxy. And those in power can throw down retribution without limit.

So for now, and subject to individual interpretation, let us agree on something approximating the following:

1. The Elemental Embrace, or Love, depending on your point of view, or scale of consideration, is one half of what makes the entirety.

2. Mind, or the fact of objectification, observer and meaning processing, is the other half.

3. The purpose of these two fundamentals, as far as a Cosmolosophist is concerned, is the creation of thoughtful, loving structure so that more of the entirety can be observed, known, and appreciated, to the best degree possible. A purpose that is essential for any reality to walk the path between completely unstructured interaction and absolute entropy

4. In this sentient beings must aspire to work a balance between objective, and subjective, truth; keeping in mind that there is a place for both the rational and irrational in all interactions. That faith and spirit walk hand in hand with proof, and the practical considerations there of.

5. The entirety may, or may not, be a recursive question answer engine, with each answer automatically forming the next question, but the essential assumption ought to remain that there is more to the connective power of meaning than what can be quantified within it; as well as more channels to mediate these links than we may be able to perceive at any given moment. Something that does not require any form of deity, even as it continues to allow for the possibility of same.

6. Anything is possible. That is the both the curse and the boon that we exist within. There is always inertia to consider, and everything will always have to deal with relative probabilities, but make no mistake. Sentient beings are fundamentally involved in how the entirety evolves. We can make every kind of hell, and every kind of heaven, that we can imagine. It just seems to me that neither extreme ought to have that much appeal to us.

7. Be a Warrior of the Heart, but choose your weapons, and how you use them, carefully. Just as a pen can be mightier than the sword, an idea can be more destructive than any bomb. And keep in mind the fact that strength can be expressed in so many more ways than mere muscle, or its extensions, can encompass. As such, never acquire power merely for the sake of power itself, nor hold on to it whether needed or not.

8. As you would treat others as you would have them treat you, always question yourself as you would question others as well. And always consider your own possibility of being wrong.

9. Try to find balance in both being and becoming, as well as doing for yourself, and doing for others. In both cases, both are important and neither completely outweighs the other.

10. Tolerance and cooperation. Cooperation and tolerance. These are essential to the survival of our species. Recognize that there will always be modes of thought, and living that will seem anywhere from wrong, to unconscionable, to one group, as opposed to another. The difficulty here, as anything is possible, especially when it comes to uncertainty, is that no one group will ever never know exactly when it is right to take action against others, even when the way the others live becomes extremely objectionable. Sometimes action must be taken, and sometimes it must not. In this violence to stop violence must be considered in only the most dire circumstances, precisely for what is at stake. At the end of the day, every group, or individual, must be very clear on what they risk in either taking, or not taking action, and why they feel the need to do so in the first place. In my view, if people can vote with their feet at the very least, then any situation that people might find themselves in has a non interventionist solution. And in that the offended group can always provide aid. If others choose to remain in that situation then the offended must give great weight to restraint.

11. People have the right to be stupid, and even destructive to at least a certain extent, because you cannot eliminate such modes of thought, or behavior by force alone; and even if you could you would risk becoming what you loath most to do it. Not only is what constitutes "stupid" subjective, but where what is helpful ends, and where what is "destructive" begins, is also subjective. Curing what we find offensive can be a fool's errand if taken too far. And That's only for starters, as history is abundant with examples of how evil came to be inherent in the organized efforts to crush whatever one belief system found offensive in another.

12, Stepping out to the stars is mandatory not only because the universe needs to be observed, and appreciated, but also because different ways of being need distance from each other so as to lessen the natural irritation those differences engender. In this Earth needs to become a no conflict zone, whatever our differences, so that we may all work together towards making that big step possible.

The Visionary art of Mark Henion: Please do check out his work.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Butterfly Effect if the Lovely Little thing were wielding the Mark 8 version of the "BFG" from Doom

Let's be clear here. The LHC is one amazing machine. It is a marvelous example of advanced engineering, as well as systems integration. And no gadget geek worth his salt wouldn't be impressed by it. As well as to say one can only admire the minds that came together to make such a construct possible.

Saying that, however, does not change the fact that these marvelously creative people still don't know the full implications of what pursuing inquiry via this method might entail.

I know I'm a broken record on this point but I feel very strongly that it should be repeated, even if there is good chance that I am completely wrong. The simple fact remains that, even at a quite low level of probability, the risks involved are too great.

The whole point here is that it may well not matter in the least that nature itself already creates such interactions as a matter of course in the play of expansion since the singularity first expressed its infinite mass. What we're talking about here is the potential difference it might make when a sentient meaning processor chooses to measure quantifiable events based on the arbitrary discharge of what is essentially a weapon. To be sure, a weapon that works at very, very small time scales precisely because of the tremendous energies applied to equally small bits of ammunition. The fact remains that the bottom line here is two fold in the troubling questions it ought to ask.

First, of course, is the basic notion of uncertainty in the first place; as with how you go about measuring light and what that can fundamentally change in the nature of outcomes between different choices. The second, however, ought to be more concerning as this is, as I have already stated, the most complex system we will ever encounter. Despite it being quite counter intuitive, our choice in firing off this weapon, after a certain point in the energy levels, may be initiative affects into the larger system, across channels of interaction we may not of have even dreamed of yet, that will have consequence far beyond the mere clouds of debris they ponder the tracks of now.

That's the crux of it. And however low the probability is, as one who's livelihood made him appreciated just how capricious even the most basic of complex systems can be, the continued use of this machine worries me greatly.

The LHC Is Now Colliding Lead at the Highest-Ever Energies

The LHC Is Now Colliding Lead at the Highest-Ever Energies

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Another Interesting Take on Relativistic Mass

This article in The Guardian reminds us of how fascinating the interrelationship of motion and mass is. You need only reconsider mass from a slightly altered perspective to see why.

Any significant mass, as in the case of a planet, or even a gravitational singularity, can be thought of, it seems to me, as simply a concentration of encapsulated motion objects. Motion and interaction within motion and interaction. The question then becomes what happens to the fabric of space time when such accumulations occur? It certainly must be related to relativistic mass or why would there also be time dilation between an observer going relatively faster than another observer; especially when the first observer approaches a significant percentage of the speed of light?

You also have to keep in mind the way we measure time in the first place, as with the number of oscillations of particular atoms. Simply more movement and interaction within what we have calculated to be the count of such regular movements within arbitrary notations of interval. It seems to me that interval in such systems really is "the space in duration," but space in tension or compression of a sort we haven't figured out quite yet. Or perhaps a consideration of space as something a great deal more complex than simply individual points in a Cartesian coordinate arrangement of more than three or four dimensions.

For me, as well as my philosophy, a reality is a vector of movement, and interaction, association, which starts from a singular reference point, creating a physical meaning space; which also has to coexist, in some fashion, with the inner meaning space of meaning processors, or sentient beings of one form or another. In this context the entirety is only one thing, with no external boundary. In essence an unbounded process of infinite potential, or infinite inner boundaries, and interactions. A reality vector creates space and interval simply because association along a vector has to be sequential by definition, and the sets of meanings (or new bits of bounded interaction) created along the way, at each arbitrary quantum moment, never go away, they simply allow for the expansion of new meanings. Space is still the one infinite thing it always has been, the only difference is between the meaning sets from quantum moment to quantum moment, along an arbitrary vector, and the limit of information transfer to keep meaning processors interactive with them.

In any case, though, this sort of new evidence serves, once again, to suggest to me that we ought to be spending more money looking into relativistic mass (away from our planet), and a lot less on bashing away at sub atomic particles with ever greater energies. We need to be out in space in a big way anyway, and there is still, in my admittedly non expert opinion, significant question as to the real efficacy, not to mention potential morality, of an approach to inquiry based on violence. The entirety will be the most complex system we will ever come up against and we simply have no right to assume that our very small inputs with colliders will not have large effects we cannot even guess at yet.

Artist's view of the satellites Galileo 5 and 6 being deployed in orbit.

Satellite launch accident provides unexpected test of Einstein’s theory

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Why Indeed

The answer to this Pacific Standard essay is, in my view of things, quite simple: For the same reason we keep asking "Why" in the first place: The need to question.

It is precisely why one of the main tenets of Cosmolosophy is the idea that the entirety can be thought of as an unimaginably immense question answer engine. An iterative process where the output forms the new input, and thus, more fodder to continue on indefinitely.

This essay, though, adds some lovely perspective to the underlying elements and I do recommend giving it a read, especially as it relates to preliterate times and how literacy gave us a sense of linear time; something any serious student of Marshal McLuhan would recognize immediately.

For my part, however, I think we were questioning things well before we had literacy, though probably not before we had established languages. Language itself, in my view, was a critical component in allowing for full sentience, as it is the very fact of objectification that gives us not only sense of the difference between inner, and out experience, but a sense of self in the first place, as well as a point of specific reference with which to experience from. You need only check out this other recent essay in Nautilus to understand just how important language is in that regard.

This is also why Mind, as well as the Elemental Embrace, form the two essential processes that make up the unimaginable question answer engine. Without mind (or meaning processor) there would be no objectification, and thus language, in the first place. As well as for there to be something for everything else to be relative to.

On the Left: The Future Is Now: Why We Can’t Resist the Pull of What Comes Next

Friday, November 13, 2015

Narrative, the question of events, and how we need to understand events in sequence

Aeon has provided us with another lovely article that I would recommend everyone read. "The Story Trap" by Philip Ball is a fascinating venture into both why we need narrative, and the pitfalls inherent there in.

Even when we see simple geometric shapes move about on a white background with no other informative ques we tend to ascribe an interpretive description in terms that make some kind of sense to the overall sequence. To some this might have emotional overtones, to others it might suggest formalistic behaviors responding to stimuli we have limited indications of.

And of course, such events don't need to be only visual, they can be purely auditory as well. Some people might listen to a passage of music and see suggestions of specific physical occurrences, and others would only feel the emotions tied to the experiences of life.

Even as Mr. Ball wonders at why we have this need for sequence explanation, he interprets this tendency towards a explanatory narrative to be fraught with error. For myself, however, the why, as well as the error probability, are quite understandable.

If you've had the chance to read the work of Robert Ornstein (most especially "The Evolution of Consciousness," to name a few) you know that he sees the way our brain works as the play of inner black boxes he calls simpletons. Areas of the brain that evolution has developed for the fast, and automatic, abstraction of exterior occurrence. We thus make quick guesses on boundaries (or the end of one thing and the beginning of another), as well as to the changes between these boundaries. The brain had to, of course, in order to survive. This is one of the reasons that optical illusions fool us.

As we have become more objectified with the advent of language, creating ever more layers of abstraction between what we experience, and how we interpret that experience, it is only to be expected that explanation for event sequences would become more complex; to the point even of an entire story line, complete of characters, motivations, and an outcome consistent of those motivations.

The bottom line here is that we are meaning processors. We have to make a sense of things for that is an inherent aspect of being a singular perceiver maintaining a shared grip, amongst other perceivers, on a reality peppered as it may be with errors. The interesting thing for me, however, is the degree to which the choices we make in perception, or interpretation, where the lines are drawn, and the boundaries made, have on reality itself. In a quantum world, after all, how you go about the measure of a thing affects how the thing will be ultimately determined.

Think on that and then consider: Might there be a possibility of errors in the physics narrative created by the bashing away at very small scales, with ever larger energies? Or are they simply creating a reality of violence.

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The story trap


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Menstrual Blood Should be Celebrated

I have another web site I want to endorse. I believe it is important for the same reason I believe women need to fight this horrible notion that their leakage needs to be characterized as "discharge." The site in question is @menstrual.blood, an Instragram account devoted to de-shaming something that absolutely needs to be celebrated (difficult physically though it can be for you guys).

Blood is primal. Blood is spiritual (after all, Catholics drink the figurative blood of Christ). And do we even need to mention the "hot blood of sex?"

I have always relished going down on the women I have loved, not to mention merely engaging in vaginal penetration, while they were menstruating. Not only is a woman more likely to be more sexually sensitive, and or desirous of sex, then, what could be more evocative of the surrender to your inner animal than covering yourself (to whatever degree) with her blood? We already revel in her lubricant after all. Why the hell should blood be any different?

More importantly, though, is the part this blood plays in the whole cycle of creative potential. We are animals, and we are more than animals. We can experience both the animal passion inherent in the need to propagate the species, but we can also contemplate the larger aspects of what coming together and mingling what are essential aspects of our being. In this you surrender yourself to more than just the inner animal. You surrender to the total involvement with another; to the remix of self containing what you were with what you will become as you internalize some of how they see and feel the world. Which is, of course, integral to how you want them to now see and feel you. Then you add the potential of creating another sentient life which is the physical mix of both of you; something you will share in the nurturing and teaching of. Something that your love and passion just makes essential.

How can the idea of blood, as well as the reality, not be a part of this? How can a certain amount of paganism not remain within the act of celebrating our physical need for connection, as well as our emotional need for same. For me, it's all part of keeping some sense of wonder and awe alive in an ever more objectified, and abstracted world.

Meet the Woman Running an Instagram Devoted to Menstrual Blood

Meet the Woman Running an Instagram Devoted to Menstrual Blood