Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Not So Virtuous Circles Of Escalation

We're all bringing forces to bear at our borders. At our personal borders. Ideological and cultural borders, and our national borders.

I trust a little less, and give a little less, because I sense others doing the same thing.

I harden my political attitudes and moral priorities because I sense others doing the same thing.

I strengthen my national forces everywhere because I sense others doing the same thing.

And thus do not so virtuous circles of escalation become formed, hardened and fixed in place. And then do we become not only at war with ourselves, our social situations, and changing beliefs, we war with the rest of the world, as well as the very planet we live on.

Maybe if we interacted with each other more often, on a real level day to day as a natural part of keeping ourselves going, individually and as a group, maybe we could talk more about what's really going on at all of these supposed "borders." There are differences, and great variations possible between any of us, singularly and in groups, and if we don't continue to work at providing mutual understandings, and keeping the inherent tensions mollified to the best of our abilities, we can have very little expectation of surviving as a social species any further.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Quite Prominently Misstittled Article

Don't let that dissuade you though. It is a good article, and a fascinating change in perspective in the experience of tone.

To be more precise. This is how water feels music, at least at the boundary between it and air, and after the vibes have gone through some plastic to get to the water.

I think it feels better, at our boundaries between air and us, than it looks as an abstract image of the light reflecting off of the water, without any doubt at all. When you see these images, in fact, one wonders whether air and water are all that happy about interacting with each other, via music tones, at all. But then it might just be the surface simplistics of a much more complicated relationship. Those two do interact a lot, you know, and it must make for some unique blends of the superlative, and the ugly.

And then we come along and try to forge meaning into all of it. Watching all of the elements in their most intimate, and outrageously public, minglings. And we speak of them, as well as make images, which they must, in small ways, here and there, with the air predominantly getting in between a speaker, or an image, and the intended recipient of same. So some little bit of our meaning shapes come back to them, even if quite slowly, as sell as low powered. As they are infinitely patient, and equally as receptive to all interaction; surely some part of us registers within them, altering their spins and vectors if only as the now proverbial butterfly wings, flapping imaginatively, some far place other where.

No bottom lines here thankfully. Just endless imaginings where the boundaries keep coming and going, and coming back again. And we have marvelous patterns to see, and feel, along the way; music to the eyes, and tactility for the ears. Lovely. Just lovely.

This Is What Musical Notes Actually Look Like

Friday, April 7, 2017

Mind As The Mediator Of Objectification, Meaning Space, And Choice

I think Cosmolosophy is the way to bring consciousness and cosmology together, as I have explained here. What do you think?

Is Matter Conscious?

Why the central problem in neuroscience is mirrored in physics.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Not Only Is This Unbelievably short sighted...

...It illustrates only too well the complete lack of empathy our de facto ex president has. And all to save less than he probably flushes away every year in lawyers.

Trump Administration Hits Women’s Health Fund

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Are You A Fatalist?

With the way things are going now you could be forgiven to have "fatalist" be a default setting. When people ask me this question, though, I always tell them: Only in part.

I have to say that of course because I also often say: It just wasn't meant to be.

So what I am alluding to here when I certainly suggest fatalism outright, but claim only to be partly associated with it? It's something I am pretty sure you've heard already, in one form or another, but with some, hopefully, helpful embellishments.

The idea is that, as far as change is concerned, everything is a matter of inertia; applying to social systems, and human affairs just as surely as to the physical world. So, to invoke change is to apply a delta V of some sort to the current vector of what you want to change is now on. The bigger the thing is, naturally, as in the more things it affects, which also affect it, and the weight we give to its constituent components (their importance, meaning, etc.), the more delta V, applied at the right point of contact, with its own sense of where it is coming from pushing for the correct counter vector, that is required.

When you lay it out like this you can see why change is so fundamentally difficult no matter what the scale of meaning space, or physical space, you might be talking about. This is especially so when one also considers just how imperfect of sensory input receivers, and interpreters, we are. Imperfect, though, precisely because filtered, quick assumed objectifications of a situation make for very high survivability, and thus adaptability. The upshot, however, being that this imperfection leaves so much of what actually affects everything, interactively across complexities of feedback we are only starting to fully appreciate, hidden (which is why we have to look past boundaries, even as we keep them in mind). Which leaves us with the paradoxical situation where everything is important to what's going to happen next, but where "everything" is also completely unknowable; most assuredly for any meaning processor subsumed within at least one reality; one vector of experience association we call a Cosmos, but for which itself is not so improbably only one of many such vectors of association; perhaps branching off of each other at each new decision point, or quantum moment of probability realization.

In this situation one could be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that: If everything matters, than nothing matters because there's no way I can process strategies to take in everything. You can say nothing matters in the sense that all of the factors involved have virtual equal ignorance for us so trying to distinguish between important and not important is absurd. As actually living a life with this attitude doesn't usually work very well, practically speaking, so we put as much effort as we can in eliminating as much ignorance as we can so as to make the best informed guess we can; counting on gained experience, as we proceed, to update our best informed guesses so as to increase our odds of success; which, happily does occur sometimes. But therein, as they always say, lies the rub: Making our best informed choices usually improves our odds of beneficial outcomes, but we can never know exactly by how much, and however much it actually is, the outcome is still only so many chances out of another total we cannot know exactly.

This is why it is actually quite logical to say "shit happens." Shit happens is only another way of stating Murphy's law; that anything that can happen, will happen eventually. That it might be "shit" is a subjective reference certainly, but as we have evolved from a beginning steeped in scarcity, and supreme ignorance, ill formed choices would be an assured result, giving ample fertility for the development of situations where the "shit" of a bad outcome would likely surpass mere subjective assessment. And, unfortunately, that sort of thing can build its own kind of social inertia, with whole societies rising up from a continuing heritage of bad outcomes insuring more of same.

The question then becomes one of how a person integrates the understanding of this realization with an approach to life that provides some sense of hope. And that is where philosophies always come in.

In mine the idea is to take some comfort first in the fact that we are a fundamental part of it all. That we are as necessary as physical laws themselves because there must be meaning processors involved. There must be such because that is one half of the basic process of objectification in the first place. Therefore there must be mind, and the need for structure to not only persist, but to also grow. And the only way for such structure to grow is if it has meaning, and can interact with other structures that have meaning.

Mind, by itself, though, isn't enough. There must also be what is the most fundamental aspect of potential (I define the Entirety as "an unbounded singularity of infinite potential) in the first place: the need to come together and exchange at all. The basic requirement for process to be not only possible, but mandatory.

Meaning processors are essential to the realities they reside in because they are what everything is relative to. They are the go betweens for the mediation of physical space with meaning space, and thus a crucial aspect of what keeps a reality going. Keeps it meaningful to itself and thus tracing further, sustained as a ray of potential realized for the unimaginable, matrix gestalt of the Entirety as it does its endless, question answer dance for an ultimate that may simply be the just the process itself.

That there is so much, at any given moment, that we cannot objectively know, there must also be a willingness to embrace faith. Faith not necessarily in a deity, but in the very process for the search for meaning, knowing that it will always be something subject to change. And the best way to foster that faith is to internalize the idea that striving for thoughtful, loving structure, is the best way to increase the odds for everyone to make better, informed, best guesses on what the next choice should be. With that can there be the hope that better choices, built upon themselves, over and over again, in greater amalgamations of cooperative action, can move us from the negative focus of "what can happen," to the positive focus of what could happen, with a lot greater surety because we've grown in wisdom, and the ability to perceive more effectively, and meaningfully.

So yes, I am something of a fatalist, but with exceptions. I keep trying precisely because I have faith in the idea that an entirety made of of Love and Mind makes sense to me intellectually, and spiritually. That there is something there of the rational, and of the heart and soul; where the latter two represent what we feel physically, and emotionally. And in that, perhaps, is an important reason why we do well to keep a good balance with the animal, as well as the meaning processor that lives with it.

Everything is semi permeable so who knows, ultimately, what organizing forms allow for which kinds of sympathetic translation, or transmission, across what only seems like boundaries because of a particular frame of reference. Who knows, for instance, what limit on the kinds of reactions there might be when we instigate action for what we believe will be positive outcomes; especially if they are also amplified by the chosen interactions of others in support of what is essentially a shared vision. Do all of the energy interactions, whether from the movement of things, or collective agreement of what is actually achieved, end only with things in this reality? And if these are indeed reality variations, branching out everywhere, that permeate the Entirety, in infinite profusion, might they not also get a wiggle here, or a bump there, from each other? Infinitely subtle of course, but still enough to tickle the right receptor, however infinitesimal it also might be.

As such faith for me as always been another way of talking about magic; especially if you think of magic as the "so sufficiently advanced technology" we haven't had the chance to objectify it yet. Not the magic that an idiot sits there wishing for while his boat is sinking. The magic that's involved in hope, and wonder, and curiosity, and having the gall to take big chances even when you know the odds might not favor you. Choosing to take that chance because you are ready to sacrifice a great deal for something that thoughtful, loving structure lead you to believe in.

Good people will still die. Bad people will still prosper. Pain will still have to be born, along with the joy. It just seems easier to bear when you think that you are participating in the completion of a virtuous circle: Creation, order and continual interaction for new creation, with matter and meaning working away together to give infinite potential its endless process. And in all of that meaning processors making choices.

It works for me. I can only hope that there are at least parts of this that work for you.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Imagining The Future In The Name Of Money...

...So maybe a nominal name isn't really that important. What is important is the degree to which we allow our imaginations to be so shackled in the first place.


Tellart is at the forefront of an industry that doesn’t really have a name. What it does is sometimes labeled “design fiction,” a genre that imagines and acclimatizes you to a future that may soon come.

Playful, Creative Engineering...

...Is where you start getting into something for the sheer joy of discovering an unexpected, new way of doing things. And I'd be willing to bet that, though he certainly wouldn't turn entrepreneur money down if it were suddenly to appear because of his idea, that was the farthest thing from his mind when he first began toying with his approach here.

You see this all over the web of course, and it is a beautiful thing. Ordinary folks, learning on their own for the most part, and becoming practical engineers in one area of endeavor after another. People making beautiful musical instruments out of the damndest things. People modding existing games to such depth and width of variation that they create virtually new game experiences. Other people tearing apart old appliances for parts to make wonderfully absurd ray guns, super light flashlights, personal mass drivers, or some crazy Rube Goldberg device that does a whole lot of movement for no particular purpose, other than to be quite amazing to see, and feel, in operation.

This is what happens when you jump into something simply for the joy of exploring what you can find in your unique blend of seeing things, combined with what the material, or items, you are working with, resonate within you. Slapping things together, trial and error wise, until creative magic happens.

And if you weren't worried about money so much, or worried about whether you had value at all simply because abstract markets say your work potential isn't cost effective, despite the fact that, given half a chance you could learn a lot of whatever was needed. But when learning costs money too, well, something happens to the whole process of curiosity, wonder, and the desire to explore new things. It gets shackled to ledger books, arbitrary numbers of input and output, and those who can't help but become fixated on accounting to rule life (as opposed to the other way around), and the cold logic of net gain.

These are also some of the issues you should be thinking about when you consider where we are now with a fragile economy, and an ever more fragile mix of social needs, compromised government, and a planet that has had enough of the situation where prices seldom reflect true costs. Don't let these others, though, intimidate you into thinking they are more important than playful, creative exploration is. This is just as important because this is what helps make you a self actualizing, self motivated, successfully content individual; individuals without which would leave us with only the emotionally walking wounded. People who are confused, disaffected, quite often very angry, and way too often the most easily manipulated. A population that would be problematic even within a very healthy planet.

The question you have to ask yourself is this: Does the current economic operating system serve to mostly encourage, or mostly thwart, playful, creative exploration? If it is the latter than you really ought to start serious consideration as to what an alternative might be. I have tried to articulate a starting point where we could begin the discussion of what that alternative might be. I need you. I need everybody you know, and everybody they know to start asking the same question. And all you have to do is pass the idea along, and encourage them to do the same thing.

We don't have a lot of time here so I implore you. Put some urgency into this. It is most assuredly that important.


Richard Browning has been working in secret for the past ten months, attaching what are effectively small jet engines onto his limbs.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Attending The University Of The Info Sphere

People have asked me in the past why I never went back to finish a full college, and graduate, degree program. And what I've always said was that the expense was not worth the certificate of credibility thus obtained. And the fact of the matter is that the miniscule amount of money that I, and the government, spent on what was essentially a focused, liberal arts degree, with a side of Data Processing, was just about the most cost effective training program anybody's ever done.

Not only did it leave me with no debt, I ended up having a career that paid a very nice, upper middle class income for more than twenty five years. And I've always felt pretty good about that. I've also felt very lucky to have received the kind of quality learning Washington State's community college system provided at the time, and for which I can only assume continues to this day.

I mention this because it occurs to me now that, for the last 15 years at least, I have been attending a new school. A new school that is the only way one could possible do what Marshall McLuhan had prescribed, years ago, for those who would seek to understand the new media environments; becoming the guy who tries to be inside the tornado of whirling facets of content, forms, and new modes of absorbing complex mosaics of meanings, all juxtaposed in a never ending maelstrom of effect. Trying to be inside there and ferret out new, important connections.

The result of this 15 year, ongoing education, and investigative observation, is the thesis you now see being presented across two blogs (as well as the OldSoftyConcerns web page I used to have online). And presented on blogs so as to provide the forum for my defense of this thesis.

So. Whether I actually succeed in getting my "graduate degree," or not depends on the quality of the challenges I get as a part of my defense. And in that regard I have to say it's been a bit of a puzzle.

I don't know about you, but I don't think I've ever encountered a web forum of any kind where someone could go on proposing what ought to be an obviously controversial agenda, and yet receive virtually no comment at all on it (critical or otherwise); for nearly two years now, and something like 1000 posts in total (with Google's questionable view tracking system having indicated over 100K before they finally shut down the old Google+, where these posts get copied to).

Don't get me wrong. It changes nothing in a practical sense for me. I continue because I have to. I continue because of the splinter that's been in my brain or as long as I can remember: There just has to be a better way to do things. It doesn't leave me alone, and I can't leave it alone. That's just the way it is. I'm just curious is all. And as much as I'd like to have an affirmation on the graduate degree, I can assure you that continuing on without one is not going to cause me much grief at all at this point in my life. And even if it did, compared to everything else that's being done, or not being done, in the world today, you couldn't get anything more "small potatoes" than that.

The really important thing to remember, though, is that there are a lot more of you out there that are attending the same new university. My hope in that is that as many of you as possible would carve out a study program to use this new institution's unique properties to present your own graduate thesis; your own attempt to tease out important aspects that old institutional learning simply has no hope of even recognizing, letting alone articulating properly to any degree, graduate or otherwise.  Keep at it. If you feel it, it has value, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

To The Extent That Money Is Involved...

...These will be connections that are most likely not to be of benefit to you nearly as much as it will be of benefit to the guys operating the links, and controlling what the links do.

Buy into this folly at your peril.


Tesla and SpaceX founder launching Neuralink to explore technology of implanting tiny electrodes into the brain.

If There's No Credibility Left Isn't Government Already Shut Down, at least as far as all honest Americans are concerned?

How can either party continue pretending that the greatest shroud of distrust ever to be encountered by this Nation, that now hangs over the entire government, doesn't exist?

How can a putative Speaker of the House continue to be allowed to ignore obvious tampering with the investigation process by a committee chairman in his own party?

The simple fact of the matter now is that anything this GOP controlled government tries to pass will be tainted by this same shroud of lies, corruption and treason. And until that is removed the only thing that makes any sense at all is to just extend the last continuing resolution (the one passed before the taint was known) for as long as it takes to resolve this crisis of confidence.

Write to your representatives, and call them. Demand that a independent investigatory body be created, and funded for at least eighteen months of full, and robust staffing (it's easier to return money you don't spend than to have to ask for more). And to eliminate any controversy about selecting the participants Congress should simply decide to use the 5 most senior members of each party's Senate membership, giving joint chairmanship to the two most senior of these members of each party. This would then structurally demand the ongoing cooperation of both sides to get the job done.

Every American now who cares about the sovereignty of this nation needs to write, and call, their respective members of Congress and demand that nothing else be considered in this session at least until the establishment of this independent investigative body is created.

Another Government Shutdown Crisis Seems to Be Approaching

See Also:

Monday, March 27, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Here's A Philosophical Question For You

Has the basic point to, and strategy of, biological life always been to get to a level of structure where choice (remember how important choice can be in testing things like light?) via a meaning processor, is available?

Has it always been a race between two ways progressing after the singularity, and things started to cool down?

In the first, with things coming together as quanta, and then atomic structure, beginning the overall expansion of what, and when, you would have only non choice interactions going on to mediate better outcomes. In other words, the basic interactions of mass and energy so that the elements of the periodic table would start at the simplest, and get progressively more complex via fusion repeated over and over; to then create more complex molecular structures via irradiation, accretion (with the subsequent heat and pressure), as well as further, follow on chemical reactions with the new found, more complex compounds, etc.

Then you have biology finally kicking in with the processing structures for getting, holding on to, and making meaning of, information. Getting. Holding. Creating.  All in sufficient combination to provide a counterbalance to a fall to ultimate uniformity?

Said another way, if life, at least to the degree that it does create meaning processors, with the ability to make choices, didn't ever get started (however improbable that might be), or stay existing long enough, is there any other physical reason why a reality wouldn't always end up in a final entropy of total uniformity? Can the ordinary mixing of matter create it's own continuance in an ongoing expansion event?

Certainly, we don't even know now whether meaning processors, and nothing but good choices, would necessarily make a difference either, but it is fun to speculate on. I know there's been some work recently to show that purely physical laws could come up with ways to get, and forget, information, and could be seen as a type of life. The question then becomes whether that path could produce complex enough structures to get to the point where this could move beyond storing the simplest of cause and effect relationships and get to a layered matrix of stem, lower brain, and higher brain functionality; each one adapted to help the one above. A matrix that creates absolute adaptability to any socially coordinated, experience retrieval coding scheme (language), devised so far (and remember, some of these are really, really, mother frigging hard).

That being stated, however, doesn't prevent us from at least sticking to the contention that meaning processors, however they are formed, and the meaning space they create, might very well be essential in keeping a physical reality going. And as to why this should be so, I also have to wonder what causes singularities in the first place. The word of God? Or is it something more to do with encapsulation itself.

This is why my philosophy page has "Containers of Containers" in its title. For me, the unbelievable ubiquitousness of objectification, across all aspects of the entirety, has always been fascinating, and essential in understanding the entirety. That and the swirling mess of fields interacting because of already encapsulated swirling fields of interaction. Whereupon new connections are made and a new objectifications created; a process that is much the same whether you are talking about physical space at any scale, or meaning space.

What we end up with, in any case, is the singular viewpoint a meaning processor gets from having objectification occur at all; separating the inner from the outer and creating an identity. A self, and a point of view; which is simply saying a frame of reference another way, which is essential if one wants to talk about Relativity at all. And isn't it just a lovely coincidence then that this meaning processor also provides Relativity with something to be relative to?

Whatever the case may be, what do you think?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

How Many People Don't Get This Sort Of Affirmation...

...At all, let alone only occasionally; where even then it may be given grudgingly, or insincerely, or merely as the means to manipulate, with any number of other possible, not so helpful, qualifiers one could list if one chose to.

And remember, though there may be a bit of cliche in how this is presented, it is still a metaphor for something absolutely fundamental in healthy human development. Something that I would say occurs now in spite of how we are now organized, and not as an organic part of it.

What it represents is simply another way to describe both the need of, and hope for, thoughtful, loving structure.

As always. Become better informed. Ask deeper questions. Take peaceful action.

'Hi Stranger' Is A Weird, Relaxing And Life-Affirming Video You Need To Watch Right This Second

Another Example Of Why Experience Association Is So Fundamental To Situational Meaning

These first experiments trying to look into underlying pattern matching abilities of the subconscious mind, for what we call our gut feelings, are very important. More understanding here can't but help to understand how our minds work.

One could certainly wish that it wasn't under the auspices of trying to better weaponize intuition, but sometimes you have to take research effort where you can get it. One would also hope that the people involved in this research would keep a certain amount of humility towards what they are digging into. For instance, just because you see signal correlations between confusing input, and broader areas of where experience is held, doesn't necessarily mean you've identified the main mechanism. Certainly it can be one part of a greater whole, but care needs to be taken in not too quickly dismissing a host of other interactions with the environment one finds oneself in; and in this, of course, lies a great deal of nature of the filtering we do to make sensory input manageable for meaningful processing, and integration into our current worldview, in the first place. What this might suggest is that the interplay of meaning space, and how we form our unique takes on that space, as well as its integration with the larger, shared meaning space of the cultures, and societies we live in, are also very important in how a gut feeling is interpreted in the first place, or whether it's encouraged to be felt at all.

One thing, though, that I find particular interesting here is how this plays through the limbic system. Of how that suggests that our connection to the animal part of us is still very important, and will likely remain so as we go forward in our mental, and physical evolution.

Being an animal with an unbelievably adaptive meaning processing, neuron and synaptic matrix, causes us no end in difficulties. It also, however, provides us with a connection to other biological systems. That importance of that connection may never be fully understood, much less fully appreciated, but we really do need to keep an open mind to the possibility that it is huge, and absolutely, and fundamentally, necessary.

Can We Turn Our Intuition Into a Real-Life Superpower?

See Also:

Monday, March 20, 2017

How The Lack Of Meaning In One Area Of Your Life...

...Can lead to a perfect storm of meaning in everywhere else.

The story Digg had featured on a General's efforts to combat suicide in his command triggered another odd connection thread for me this morning.

The particulars here were that, because of his own issues with depression, he put real empathy into trying to find solutions at the army base he commanded. They turned out to be common sense solutions, from an empathy, treatment, sort of view, and, wonder of wonders, they helped quite a bit. They also, unfortunately, did not fit the Army's preconceptions of "garbage in, garbage out," problematice source material, as the real culprit. The general in question moved on, and the base went back to suicides as usual.

I bring this up in the context of meaning because a couple of contrasts popped up in my head when reading the suicide story.

On the one hand, one of the reasons people both love, and hate war, is that it is a great clarifier of connection to a purpose. Said another way, it is very difficult to participate in such directed violence with a lot distractions, or BS in your head. Focus comes down to the bone very quickly, as does your reliance on the people around you. Whereupon you form bonds of involvement with others, as well as with the behaviors required for the situation at hand, that one simply cannot get in ordinary civilian life, save for a very few professions; like cops, or firemen, or miners in a cave in, or rough necks on a sea rig in trouble, etc.

On the other hand, of course, participating in a war based both on lies, and on the results of religious extremism, itself the result of too many ways of seeing the world, all roiled up, and in each other's faces, literally, and figuratively, around the globe, and throughout the info sphere, makes taking the larger view of the violence as connected to anything really meaningful especially difficult. After all, we keep killing more and more, while nothing seems to change much, save for just how obviously empty the platitudes have become.

Connection is certainly essential in meaning, but that does not guarantee that the meaning thus supplied is always a pleasant one. One would suppose that it is sometimes yes, when you survive in battle, and sometimes no, depending on all of the collateral damage caused; something, unfortunately, you wouldn't expect gets processed until after action. Having a larger point, though, that you could draw upon, intimately involved, would logically be expected to help.

That I think, as well as the prolonged ship time for many of them, coming back home to become civil again, allowed a lot of GIs during WW2 to get through some much needed, personality reintegration processing, that needed to be done before they interacted with family and friends. The horror of what they had to participate in, seen in the context of the greater horror what they stopped, was something that gave you at least a decent chance to do a work around. And they would be coming home to a country that had reason to feel good about itself, as well as good feeling for the men and women who had to put a lot of their humanity on hold, in the thick of it, until the job was done. After all, the country was working again big time, and had just led something very, very important.

What we have now, however, in ordinary economic life, is a far cry from the economic life of the folks that, either went back to school on the GI bill, or, already having critical skills, went back to work to create the good life the thirties had made seem like a pipe dream. And to give us an even bigger head of steam, we would be the manufacturing titans to lead the world back to commercial prosperity. Why else would a guy like Kennedy have proclaimed that metaphorically shooting for the stars was something you did precisely because it was hard.

With everybody else getting back on board the competitive train, and the amounts of money that suddenly started flowing in all directions at once, and so much more efficiently now that it moved with the speed of electrons, competition itself became the new battle ground, with every country a theatre of operations for either the exploitation of resources with which to make things (but mostly to make more power), or the operations for dominance of markets to sell things.

In this marketing becomes everything. Not only in getting people to buy your brand in end use items, but also your brand in ideas, because we had to begin competing there as well. And the big problem there was that, even within a single country, there was great diversion of opinions that could be created simply because of the divergent interests of power players in different industry sectors, or even the same sectors, in some instances. And so our war of priorities began within our own borders, as well as the Cold War, because there was another player perceived as a different economic operating system. One that could somehow seduce whole populations of underdeveloped nations.

My point in going through all of this is to give you context for why we now have a commercialist, consumer society, so vapid, and empty of connected living. And how could it be otherwise when you work just to consume. And even worse, your contribution to that work is automatically valued less on an ongoing basis because the only thing that really has value in work any more is its efficiency. And here efficiency is defined as who, or what, can do more for less time and money. The who, or what, who can be retooled ever more rapidly as well, because constant disruption has become the competitive soup de jour.

Worse still is that we have become economic participants looked upon with increasing disdain by those with the real power; the masses who barely retain relevancy as consumers (if only the robots could take that over too), much less than those who deserve only the most manipulated of information flows. A situation that, more and more, makes "need to know" a right of providence for them, and an automatic distrust for us.

So now you have articles (posted here) on how white men aren't marrying anymore because they feel no worth. Couples having relationship problems because one or the other can't help carry the financial load. And kids killing themselves before they even get to this level of being unmoored because they have started out without value; were raised by people without value, and can see nothing on the horizon, save the next new hallucinatory experience ride, for which would give them the means to create their own reference point; their own sense of purposeful agency (with its unique blend of heritage and mentoring) that would just know automatically what would be the next rewarding thing to do.

In all of this can you not see why there are a lot of factors that would allow for the onset of perfect meaning storms? Storms of inner pointlessness that would have, could only have, one useful conclusion? One could imagine it, in fact, as another potential cascade event, waiting for each and everyone of us. Waiting for that one triggering realization that a specific aspect of now has set in motion. And the one new bit of meaninglessness suddenly puts stress on all of the other weak points. Weak points people have a way of glossing over. Ignoring. Or just burying under one stimulant, or sedative experience after another, that one can ingest, or physically climb into. A process that's good for the economy now ironically, but only up to a point.

Meaninglessness, and the manipulation of meaning. Pointless production and consumption to make bigger numbers in order to do more pointless production and consumption. And then you add  the delinquent notice (served in large part by Mother Nature) on all of the delayed costs, piled up over nearly 100 years of kicking such things down the road. This does not make for a situation filled with lots of advantageous options. And so I must advocate an option that does, on the whole of it, suck big time. Even I don't want to have to actually do this, but I just don't see a better alternative. And unless you think Capitalism can be fixed, the onus is on you to come up with a better alternative. The sooner the better.

The General Who Went to War On Suicide

A commander with a history of depression created a unique way to keep his soldiers from killing themselves. The Army had other ideas.
March 17, 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Thinking About Another Kind of Reminder System

Two big things, among others of course, going on now are coordinated marketing, and augmentation.
The link below is to a Ted Talk on augmentation, as that is way more sexy.

Coordinated marketing, though, has become so pervasive you almost hardly notice it any more, but just to be clear, that's the thing where, checking out, say, video projectors one place, for whatever reason, suddenly has you see video projector ads on every website you visit there on, until you either buy one, and then you get a subsequent cascade of associated product ads; or, if you don't purchase, maybe the ads change to other kinds of video screens, or VR sets.

People selling ideas, unfortunately, are using great economic clout to use these same coordinated marketing techniques to their advantage. Targeting demographics. Opinions. And then messaging to suggest buying into ways of proceeding more in line with the person, or group, making the investment. And just remember the "net gain" rule involved here. Such people don't make such investments for your benefit. They make them in the full expectation of profitable gain.

What if, in another parallel universe, instead of the money system we have now, the people there chose something like... Well, since it's convenient, like my alternative. I'd like to think that we'd still have something akin to the web we have now, focused, hopefully, a good deal more on the free flow of information for its own sake, of course, but also, at least in the case of the community's sub net, it would be an integral connection system, linking you to the community (ok, starting to get sidetracked here).

Anyways... In the process of going about your day, when you have some free time, and you were perusing items of interest online, and instead of ads you got reminders of not only what you had come to think were ideas, or descriptions, or habits, that would help you stay positive about things; remind you to have hope; remind you to remember the things you do have, as opposed to the things you don't have; reminders of the possible acts you could take to achieve other, broader range goals. And like I said, maybe it's not just what you were thinking might be good ideas, but personal AI assisted suggestions; a personal AI perhaps, that, from birth would keep track of how you did things, how you best succeeded, what made for your biggest difficulties. And what if you, or your parents early on, could control how much it did or didn't help. Just as you could control letting it consult with further, outside sources, to allow for a wide variety of input.

What I'm trying to talk about here is the notion of how we encourage people to get a better inner dialogue going. Of how we create better norms of what makes for good habits in doing everything we do. How do we do that in an ongoing, dynamic way? Keeping it both a personal discussion, as well as a community discussion, because the integration between both must always be ongoing process. And then, of course, how do we integrate the messages into everyday, community life.

I think about things like this and then I think about all of the potential of augmentation and, one way or another, knowing that it will come. Whether we like it or not. Whether it get's implemented in our best interests or not.

I also have to admit in this that my alternative would benefit greatly from even the most rudimentary form of this (having, say, glasses that could be any combination of see through,  or to see in combination with what's in front of you, as well as what truly integrated databases might provide across the depth, and breadth, of human experience, and abstract knowledge. All in real time and, with the right mix of wearable sensors, could make you capable beyond your wildest dreams. At the very least to operate current machines, or perform current tasks, you wouldn't be able to do now otherwise.

Or it could simply be the most cost effective means of social control ever devised. Control, which, given the disproportionate distribution of power now in existence, would not likely to be in your best interests.

What will guide the content of those databases, and what the main intent of the information thus provided by said sources is, ought to be of the utmost importance to you now. We can have augmentation for distraction. Disinformation. Escape. Hating on cue. Loving on Cue. Just to name a few examples. Or we can have it for what would be in the consensus best interest of the community. I believe that we cannot have both.

The choice here is in the hands of all of you. Keep in mind, though, that this may not last a great deal longer. Not only is the manipulation of the process of getting consensus in the first place in danger, our ability to organize effectively to counter the power of money also has a shelf life now. There's probably more than one angle to this but the main one that concerns me now is that the one weapon left to us as peaceful protest may not last. And that is our ability to organize as workers.

This problem concerns more than just an increasingly effective anti union campaign the right has been waging for decades now. It goes to the heart of what being made much less viable, "skill as commodity" wise, as competitors in the marketplaces of skill. A decade or two more and the number of alternatives to replace, or source elsewhere, they will have, even if very large numbers of us strike, will likely allow them to let us starve for as long as it takes to put the movement down.

Please think on this. Become better informed. Ask deeper questions. Take peaceful action.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Suggestion Concerning Doing Public Policy Discussions

These simply cannot be left to any form of extemporaneous dialogue any more. Whether that dialogue occurs via video, or live interaction. And we must do this for two main reasons.

First because too many Americans do not know how to create, or correctly interpret, the written word any more, in multi paragraph form, with even minimal complex sentences, and they absolutely need to because that ability is essential if you want any hope of parsing hyperbola from logical construction of an argument.

And secondly because what passes for debate now, with so much emphasis on the visual, is more about performance, than content; a context where the adept at extemporaneous hyperbola can spew forth syntactically correct combinations of nouns, verbs, adverbs and all the rest, and yet still not say anything meaningful. A painful experience we are all now becoming much too familiar with.

From now on debate should be done via thread posts on sanctioned servers, with the participants taking turns making statements, and responding with statement rebuttals. Side channels could be provided for observer comment threads, and perhaps also as a means for observers to vote questions over to the participants.

In conjunction with this, all further attempts to conduct such discussions via televised media be altered so that the participants are digitally removed from the picture, substituted, say, with a still shot, and in addition to the audio, the scroll at the bottom would be a mandatory closed captioned display of what is being said. To aid in being able to better digest that feed, it should also be streamed in such a fashion that the user always has the ability to hit the pause button; thus enabling easy, repetitive timeouts to go back and forth and double check that, yes, what you just heard was indeed nothing more than combinations of nouns, verbs, adverbs and all the rest, and yet still not say anything meaningful.

Since none of this is very likely I guess I'll have to make do with the following pledge: If what I've been talking about ever starts to gain wider notice, I will do only audio only interactions with the media. That way you don't have to look at another old dude spouting off about stuff, and I don't have to let you see how badly I do extemporaneous performance. Also, maybe, just maybe, there will be a bit more emphasis on the content, and a good deal less on the performance. A small gesture perhaps, but you have to try and do what you can.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

And Lest We Forget...

...This way of solving problems is still out there. Waiting to burn away all of the BS that has made keeping it hanging over our heads possible in the first place.

As much as I'd like to see the BS burned away, one would hope that a better way to do so could be found. I personally think that doing away with money would be a tremendous help here, but you would certainly expect that, wouldn't you.

What do you think?

Newly Declassified Nuclear Test Footage Shows The Terrifying Power Of A Nuclear Blast

Monday, March 13, 2017

As Someone Who Has Dealt With Both The Mental Illness...

...Of a parent, as well as my own issues with severe depression, I couldn't agree more with Gillian Anderson. It is time we gave a shit about mental illness in general, and most especially with young people.

Of course for me, the really heartbreaking aspect here is that we seem to be only able to come at this from a perspective of what it will cost; and with most of that within the terms of dollars and cents. Each community needs to take care of its own, and to do what it takes to get it done.

Gillian Anderson opens up about struggle with mental health, depression

Time To Doff The Hat Again...

...And give a salute out to an inspiring example of creative tenacity. That it is also a wonderful example of someone making new connections, by starting from new (or previously dismissed) assumptions is just a lot of very nice icing on the cake.

I am talking about one Jon Larsen of Denmark. Over a period of some eight years he found a way to determine the visual characteristics of cosmic dust particles; characteristics that are quite different, once you know what to look for, than what you see in our ordinary detritus and effluvia .

For a long time, scientists were having a hard time finding these same particles, and hadn't had any luck yet in figuring out why. As it happens, their approach had been centered more on trying to distinguish terrestrial from cosmic by chemical testing means. As the article indicates:

"...Mr. Larsen then changed tactics. Rather than looking exclusively for cosmic dust, he taught himself how to classify the dozens of different kinds of earthly contaminants, starting a process of elimination that slowly narrowed the candidates and raised the chances that some tiny fraction of the urban debris might turn out to belong to the cosmos.
The breakthrough came two years ago. In London, Dr. Genge studied one of the gathered particles — from Norway, not Timbuktu — and confirmed that it was indeed a traveler from outer space. Mr. Larsen quickly identified hundreds more..."
Way to go Mr. Larsen. What you have done is a wonderful achievement. It shows what a regular citizen can do with thought, investigation, imagination, and determination.

This is the kind of thing that gives me real hope for our future.

Flecks of Extraterrestrial Dust, All Over the Roof

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Perhaps We Should Start Solving Those Problems...

...As a part of our comprehensive journey to the stars.


Exploring the galaxy will only give our problems more room in which to expand.