Sunday, February 27, 2005

Yes, there are still rebels out there

Grounded: Millionaire John Gilmore stays close to home while making a point about privacy

drgilmoreprofile[...] As happens to the disobedient, Gilmore is grounded. He is rich -- he estimates his net worth at $30 million -- and cannot fly inside the United States. Nor can he ride Amtrak, rent a room at most major hotels, or easily clear security in the courthouses where his case, Gilmore v. Ashcroft, is to be heard. In a time when more and more people and places demand some form of government-issued identification, John Gilmore offers only his 49-year-old face: a study in stringy hair, high forehead, wire-rimmed glasses, Ho Chi Minh beard and the contrariness for which the dot.com culture is renowned.

"I think of myself as being under regional arrest," he said. Even with $30 million in the bank, regional arrest can be hard. He takes the bus to and from events at which he is applauded by less well-heeled computer techies who flew in from around the country after showing a boarding pass and one form of government-issued photo ID and arrived in rental cars that required a valid driver's license and one major credit card. [...]

"That's the problem. How it sounds," Gilmore said. He waved his hands like some Cassandra: "They have all these secret laws! The UFOs are coming! They have guards at every airport!" Yes, he said, there is a certain odd flavor to the notion that someone shouldn't have to show ID to board a plane, but with magnetometers at the gates, guards with security wands, fortified cockpit doors and sky marshals abounding, Gilmore is asking just how much citizens are giving up when they hand their driver's licenses to a third party, in this case an airline, where it is put into a database they cannot see, to meet a law that, as it turns out, they are not allowed to read.

Gilmore will show ID for an international flight because he doesn't expect to set the rules for other nations.

"I will show a passport to travel internationally. I'm not willing to show a passport to travel in my own country," Gilmore said. "I used to laugh at countries that had internal passports. And it's happened here and people don't even seem to know about it." [...]

The Sliding Scale of Paranoia Part 2

I discussed the low end of the scale in Part 1. For Parts 2 and 3, I will jump to the far end of the scale.

Are you a high school student who wrote a short story about a high school over run by zombies? If so, then move the scale all the way up:
Student Arrested For Terroristic Threatening Says Incident A Misunderstanding

A George Rogers Clark High School junior arrested Tuesday for making terrorist threats told LEX 18 News Thursday that the "writings" that got him arrested are being taken out of context.

Winchester police say William Poole, 18, was taken into custody Tuesday morning. Investigators say they discovered materials at Poole's home that outline possible acts of violence aimed at students, teachers, and police.

Poole told LEX 18 that the whole incident is a big misunderstanding. He claims that what his grandparents found in his journal and turned into police was a short story he wrote for English class.

"My story is based on fiction," said Poole, who faces a second-degree felony terrorist threatening charge. "It's a fake story. I made it up. I've been working on one of my short stories, (and) the short story they found was about zombies. Yes, it did say a high school. It was about a high school over ran by zombies."
Notice that his own grandparents turned him in to the police. That is how they showed concern. Welcome to the Fourth Reich, where family members turn each other in to the State.
Even so, police say the nature of the story makes it a felony. "Anytime you make any threat or possess matter involving a school or function it's a felony in the state of Kentucky," said Winchester Police detective Steven Caudill.

Poole disputes that he was threatening anyone.

"It didn't mention nobody who lives in Clark County, didn't mention (George Rogers Clark High School), didn't mention no principal or cops, nothing," said Poole. "Half the people at high school know me. They know I'm not that stupid, that crazy."

On Thursday, a judge raised Poole's bond from one to five thousand dollars after prosecutors requested it, citing the seriousness of the charge.

Poole is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.
What a way to learn hard truths:
  • Zombies take offense when they are referred to as zombies.
  • Instead of rational discussion expressing concern, family members will have you put in jail on felony charges, so as to better ruin your life and traumatize you.
  • Americans are frightened senseless about the threat of violence, and are anxious to have the State step in and make them safe.
  • Many Americans, after absorbing lies for so long from the media, can no longer discern fiction from fact, and are fearful of creative expression. Unless it comes from approved mass media outlets.
  • All discussions of violence should be limited to State approved violence directed toward the State's chosen target of the day. I wonder if William had written about a high school over run by Iraqis instead of Zombies, would he be sitting in jail right now?
Welcome to the Forth Reich, William. I feel for you. Just be more careful with your stories from now on, you just never know who may decide to turn you in to the Proper Authorities.

Williams tale of woe reminds of this poor guy:
Another man, Richard Humphreys, happened to get into a harmless bar-room discussion with a truck driver. A bartender who overheard the conversation realized that Bush was scheduled to visit nearby Sioux Falls the next day, and he told police that Humphreys--who was actually making a joke with a Biblical reference--had talked about a "burning Bush" and the possibility of someone pouring a flammable liquid on Bush and lighting it. Humphreys was arrested for threatening the president.

"I said God might speak to the world through a burning Bush," he testified during his trial. "I had said that before and I thought it was funny."

Nevertheless, he was found guilty and sentenced to more than 3 years in prison. He decided to appeal, on the basis that his comment was a prophecy, protected under his right to freedom of speech.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

We're Second to Last!

I ran into this little statistic:

Twenty percent of Americans think the sun orbits the Earth.

Rather shocking. But the article did not list a source. So I went looking for one.

In my search, I found an article from January 21, Austin Chronicle that gave the source for the above fun fact, plus a whole lot more:

No concept lies more firmly embedded in our national character than the notion that the USA is "No. 1," "the greatest." Our broadcast media are, in essence, continuous advertisements for the brand name "America Is No. 1." Any office seeker saying otherwise would be committing political suicide. In fact, anyone saying otherwise will be labeled "un-American." We're an "empire," ain't we? Sure we are. An empire without a manufacturing base. An empire that must borrow $2 billion a day from its competitors in order to function. Yet the delusion is ineradicable. We're No. 1. Well ... this is the country you really live in:

• The United States is 49th in the world in literacy (The New York Times, Dec. 12, 2004).

• The United States ranked 28th out of 40 countries in mathematical literacy (NYT, Dec. 12, 2004). [...]

• "The U.S. and South Africa are the only two developed countries in the world that do not provide health care for all their citizens" (The European Dream, p.80). [...]

• Lack of health insurance coverage causes 18,000 unnecessary American deaths a year. (That's six times the number of people killed on 9/11.) (NYT, Jan. 12, 2005.)

• "U.S. childhood poverty now ranks 22nd, or second to last, among the developed nations. Only Mexico scores lower" (The European Dream, p.81). [...]

And the list goes on...

The Search for Other Worlds

The universe that we all share is probably far stranger than we can imagine. There is probably no better way to gain a glimpse of just how strange reality may be than to study some of the concepts researched in physics. There is a catch however. It seems that most books and journalism on these subjects written for the general public are, well, lacking a certain rigorousness and can even be misleading.

As always, it is up to the reader to be open and yet skeptical, not trusting someone merely because they speak with authority, yet open to new ideas from someone who may have new perspectives. To use a computer analogy: if we close all the ports, then we close off the internet and access to potential knowledge, but if we leave all the ports open then we are vulnerable to hackers and viruses.

Fred Alan Wolf’s book Parallel Universes: The Search for Other Worlds, has an exciting enough title. Few can resist the urge of exploration, and we aren’t just talking about talking a walk around the block, but rather whole new worlds. Does Wolf deliver? I will get to that, but first I think it is necessary to place the book in some context and we will take a quick glimpse into the strange world of Dr. Wolf.

Wolf does have a PhD in theoretical physics, but I have not been able to discover a list of publications other than what he writes for the general public He has probably left actual research behind years ago. "Captain Quantum " has been rather busy hanging out with shamans.

Wolf has been friends with fellow theoretical physicist, Jack Sarfatti for years, and they co-wrote Space-Time and Beyond. Sarfatti is an interesting character. He is commander in chief, of the often active Stardrive mailing list that deals with physics and the applications it has on interplanetary propulsion systems as well as time. His stated goal is to make "Star Trek real". Sarfatti says that when he was a child, an intelligent computer, flying around in a “spacecraft” called him on the phone and told him that he was to be an important presence in the world. Wolf and Sarfatti are a real couple of characters dabbling in the Cabala, hanging out with famous psychic Uri Geller, and taking funding from the Esalen Institute.

The Esalen Institute
is a:
Conference center and hot springs resort in Big Sur, California. Since the early sixties, the Esalen Institute has held many seminars on various esoteric topics, and has been a nexus of many various individuals. Topics explored at the Institute include psychology, gesalt therapy, body work, psychic phenomena, mysticism, religion, psychedelics, human potentiality, and quantum physics.

The Institute was founded in 1964 by Mike Murphy and Dick Price out of Murphy's family resort. Murphy and Price had been running seminars at the resort beginning in 1962, with speakers gathered through an expanding network of contacts, beginning with Alan Watts, Aldous Huxley, George Bateson, Gerald Heard, and others.

(see Anderson, Walter Truett, The Upstart Spring, Addison-Wesley Publishing, 1983 for an expansive history of Esalen)

Joe K. Adams and Dell Carson led an early conference on psychic phenomena. (Anderson, pg 59). In their first seminar on Human Potentiality, led by Willis Harman, every program leader was involved with LSD research: Adams, Harman, Gregory Bateson, Gerald Heard, Paul Kurtz, and Myron Stolaroff. (Anderson, pg 72)

Other drug-culture luminaries, such as Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, taught at Esalen, and various psychedlics were used by the staff and students, although drug-use was not officially endorsed. Strangely, the Institute was never raided by the authorities. (Anderson, pg 108)

Charles Manson and members of his family played an impromptu concert at Esalen three days before their massacre at the Sharon Tate house. (Anderson, 239)

In the late 1970's, Esalen became involved with an Englishwoman named Jenny O'Connor, who claimed to be in psychic contact with the Nine (probably the same Nine that Andriah Puharich claimed to be in contact with). Dick Price and other members of the Esalen staff became increasingly dependent on the Nine, to the point of listing them as program leaders and members of the Esalen Gesalt Staff in brochures. (Anderson, pg 302-4)

In the 1970's, Mike Murphy became interested in Russian parapsychology, and visited the country to meet experimenters in this field. This led to a close connection between Esalen and some Russian officials, who set up an exchange program. Lasting into the 1980's, this exchange was dubbed "hot-tub diplomacy". John Mack was reportedly involved in this exchange.

Esalen also held seminars in quantum physics, and was the birthplace of the Physics/Consciousness Research Group. Some results of these seminars are documented in Zukav, Gary, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, Morrow Quill, 1979.

In May 1982, Elisabeth and Russell Targ held a workshop on psychic phenomena for twenty-five professionals. This was part of a program with Stanislav Grof, who was studying non-chemical alternatives for altered states of consciousness. The Targs goal was to show that psychic experiences did not require an altered state.(Targ, Russell and Harary, Keith, Mind Race, Villard Books, 1984, pg 99)

Other individuals who have come to lead seminars at Esalen at one time or another include Carlos Castenda, Dutch psychic Peter Hurkos, Ira Einhorn, Rollo May, Jack Sarfatti, John Lilly, Terrance McKenna, Ian Wickramasekera, and Charles Tart. Werner Erhard was also close with Michael Murphy and Esalen.
Notice that one of the topics is psychedelics. That will play a role later in this esssay. Also notice the general direction of the concepts that the institute wants to promote. To me it seems a merger of all these topics into some sort of a new agey goo.

The cover of the book has a blurb from New Age Journal, “An outrageous ride along the frontiers of science.” Hyperbole aside, a book supposedly about physics pulling quotes from new age sources made me think twice about reading it. Even if Wolf did not choose the content of his cover, then at the very least, the publishers may have decided that "new-agers" may very well be the target audience. Indeed, as I discovered from searching the web, his work is quoted and promoted by new age sites. Once one puts a work into the world at large, one has little control over it, so I was not about to judge Wolf’s work using the guilt by association technique.

I find New Age thought rather problematic to say the least. When it really began to spread in earnest it purported that it was going to usher in a “New Age.” Well, if this is the new age, they can keep it: perpetual war, greater divide between rich and poor, terrorism, disease, starvation, global warming, ethnic-specific weapons etc., the 21st Century may very well turn out to be one of the worst for humankind ever.

The major tenets, no matter the current popular mouthpiece, are usually some variety of love and light, such as if you focus on the negative you only draw it to you. Tell that to the baby that will be shot in the head today in one of Bush’s wars. That is sort of like saying if you are lost in the jungle and just pretend there are no poisonous snakes, army ants, or any of the other assorted predators you will be safe. I would rather be informed of all the dangers, so as to further my chances of survival.

The basic infection behind much new age thought is usually some variant of the You Create Your Own Reality ideology. Most of us don’t have any control of our mood swings, much less complete control over our reality.

We can make choices that alter our reality, but most of those choices are presented to us by interacting that which is outside of ourselves. It is a terrible thing to be so full of hubris to think that we have complete control of our destiny, meanwhile we forget to look both ways before crossing the street.

The more awareness and knowledge we have, the more choices we may have, but this is a long process of education rather than just focusing on the light. I am not yet saying that Wolf is promoting these ideas, or embraces these ideas but in my mind he is on murky ground taking funding from a group that has pushed these ideas for years.

Wolf may not be directly promoting these ideas, but there are physics books that are doing so, such as Conscious Acts of Creation. This book is directly promoting the idea of YCYOR, and is written by people with a string of credentials. The following is a section from the The Bogdanov Singularity written by Arkadiusz Jadczyk and Laura Knight-Jadczyk.
November 5, 2002, Ark posted the following to sci.physics.research, the newsgroup where the rumors about the Bogdanov brothers were first made public by John Baez. It seems that it is open season on the Bogdanov Brothers, French Academics, but Ph.D.s at American Universities are a "protected species."

Ark's post:

The Bogdanovs - that I am trying to document in a balanced way at http://quantumfuture.net/quantum_future/bogdanovs.htm (and linked pages) may be a good start for looking at "real hoaxes."

Recently I was prompted to study the book Conscious Acts of Creation: The emergence of new physics by William A. Tiller, PhD, Walter E. Dibble, Jr., PhD, and Michael J. Kochane, Ph. D. The Preface to the book is signed by Rustum Roy, Penn State, Wayne B. Jonas, USUHS and .... E.C. George Sudarshan, University of Texas, Austin.

Are we ready to be bitten by monopoles? Here is a quotation:

"Through the agency of a nine-dimensional coupling substance in the vacuum, called deltrons, the faster than light magnetic monopoles functioning in reciprocal space can interact with electric monopole substance functioning in direct space of physical matter. The vacuum phase transition mentioned above involves an ordered phase formation of magnetic monopole substance phase of R-space. These magnetic monopoles of R-space travel so fast that they 'write the waves,' thought to be de Broglie pilot waves, controlling the movement of particles in D-space. A symmetry principle, called the mirror principle is thought to operate between D-space substances and R- space substances so that the monopole charge singularities in one space produce dipole images through the mirror into the other space. Likewise, the monopole mass singularities in one space produce images through this mirror into the other space. Thus the negative negative monopole mass singularities of R-space are thought to be the origin of the 'dark matter' we currently detect with our instruments in D-space.(...)"

If you think that these concepts are explained somewhere in the book - you may be surprised to find out that after you are through with the book, you will not have an idea of what the "theoretical part" is about.

Now, let me mention that I wrote papers on magnetic monopoles and on "reciprocity" (including conformal symmetric spaces). Therefore, I suggest, that after we are done with KMS, signature fluctuactions, and topological field theory, there is a new field to be exploited in the space of hoaxes: D-spaces and R-spaces and monopoles that write the waves, thought to be de Broglie pilot waves.... All supported by PhDs.
ark

Conscious Acts of Creation is being madly promoted by the "alternative crowd" as "proof" that all their "you create your own reality" ideas are true. Conscious Acts of Creation, tells us:

This book marks a sharp dividing line between old ways of scientific thought and old experimental protocols, wherein human qualities of consciousness, intention, emotion, mind and spirit cannot significantly affect physical reality, and a new paradigm wherein they can robustly do so! …utilizing a unique experimental protocla on both inanimate and animate systems, that the human quality of focused intention can be made to act as a true thermodynamic potential and strongly influence experimental measurements for a variety of specific target experiments.

After almost 400 pages of speculation and descriptions of experiments and very little math, we are told:

Under some conditions, it is indeed possible to attach an aspect of human consciousness, a specific intention, to a simple electrical device and have that device, when activated, robustly influence an experiment conducted in its vicinity in complete accord with the attached intention. Thus, if they do it right, humans can influence their environment via specific, sustained intentions. […] Some new field appears to be involved in the information passage that occurs between conditioned locales that are widely separated from each other in physical space. Even with transmitters and receivers located inside electrically grounded Faraday cages, highly correlated patterns of information appeared in the remotely located locales. […] Although we don't fully understand them, we now have some new tools with which to probe the deeper structures of the universe and a new adventure is underway for humanity.

It is important to note that the "intenders" of the experiments were long-time practitioners of Siddha Yoga and could thus be considered metaphysically "in tune" to some considerable extent. The question is: What did they accomplish? Based on the descriptions, it sounds pretty earth-shaking, right?

Well, as noted, after almost 400 pages we find that the most significant result seems to have been changing the pH of a small sample of water.
We live in an age where the YCYOR has infiltrated the highest power centers in the world with horrifying results. Realize that as I am writing this review the conservative body count for Iraqi civilians is around 100,000. That number largely consists of women and children, and realistically the number may very well be over 200,000. Also millions of people will die horrible deaths from depleted uranium poisoning. The soldiers fighting will not escape the horrors either, many have and will continue to succumb to debilitating illnesses and give birth to disfigured children.

The Bush White House holds as their sacred creed the YCYOR paradigm:
Hysterica Passio

Chris Floyd
October 22, 2004

Now we come at last to the heart of darkness. Now we know, from their own words, that the Bush Regime is a cult -- a cult whose god is Power, whose adherents believe that they alone control reality, that indeed they create the world anew with each act of their iron will. And the goal of this will -- undergirded by the cult's supreme virtues of war, fury and blind faith -- is likewise openly declared: "Empire." [...]

First, the top Bush insider mocked the journalist and all those "in what we call the reality-based community," i.e., people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." Suskind's attempt to defend the principles of reason and enlightenment cut no ice with the Bush-man. "That's not the way the world really works anymore. We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality," he said. "And while you're studying that reality, we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Anyone with any knowledge of 20th-century history will know that this same megalomaniacal outburst could have been made by a "senior adviser" to Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini or Mao. Indeed, as scholar Juan Cole points out, the dogma of the Bush Cult is identical with the "reality-creating" declaration of Mao's "Little Red Book": "It is possible to accomplish any task whatsoever." For Bush, as for Mao, "discernible reality" has no meaning: Political, cultural, economic, scientific truth -- even the fundamental processes of nature, even human nature itself -- must give way to the faith-statements of ideology, ruthlessly applied by unbending zealots. [...]
Perhaps science and mysticism should be merged, but that both are so polluted and controlled in our decadent age that do so is a Herculean task. Those with more mystical leanings could benefit from a skeptical, scientific approach, and science could perhaps be more open to the high strangeness. Heck, much of science is not open to new ideas proposed by other scientists. There is a rigid line that should not be crossed, or you will chased down and shamed with potential career killing consequences.

One interesting concept that Wolf skims over is messages from the future:
Me in the future Talks to Me in the Now

As strange as this thought may appear, it follows that the future, too, "exists" side-by-side with the present and that we at this moment are sending quantum waves in that direction of time (which means we are laying out possible sequences of existential scenarios in a present-to-future order). Someone called "me" in the future is also sending back-through-time quantum waves which will clash with the waves being generated here and now. If these waves match, in the sense that the modulation produces a combined wave of some strength and there is a resonance, which means that the future event and the present event are meaningful for me, then a real future is created from our present point of view and a real memory of sequences is created in the future. If the two streams do not match, meaning that the modulation produces a combined wave of weak strength and there is no resonance, then the connection of that future and the present will be devoid of meaning. Meaning in this sense refers to probability. The greater the probability, the more meaningful the transaction and the greater the chance of it occurring.

The closer in "time" the sources of these waves are, the more likely that the two countertime quantum wave streams will "marry" and produce a strong probability - one that has a good chance of becoming real. It is quite possible that visionaries are those who successfully marry streams coming from far time-distant sources. People unable to cope with life are those who lack the ability to do this for the shortest time-distances with any degree of success. [...]
An interesting concept, but after reading the above, and the entire book, I am not much closer to understanding what his hypothesis truly entails. He does not make clear what definition of resonance he is using. In physics, resonance often means:
The increase in amplitude of oscillation of an electric or mechanical system exposed to a periodic force whose frequency is equal or very close to the natural undamped frequency of the system.
Those, whose only exposure to physics are "pop" physics books, might not read it according to the above. Very likely the natural inclination is to define it as a feeling of "rightness" or "kinship".

We are living in an age of perpetual war, where Fundamentalist Christians are screaming "kill, kill, kill" over the poisoned airwaves. I must say I feel little "resonance" regarding our current reality, but I am here in this reality so I must "resonant" with it to some extent. If I did not "resonant" with this reality, I would be somewhere else.

Granted, this book was written before the day the whole world changed, 9/11, but he does express concerns that an Orwellian, 1984-like future could possible create our present now:
If quantum computers do make their way into our lives, then such a situation as past reconstruction will be a reality (indeed to some extent it already is a reality just using the present state of the art of computers). Perhaps the imagined 1984 will take place in the future when the calendar points to 2010. I surely hope not.
I would say that people who are unable to cope with this reality are those who are not able to see it as it is - they want it to be something else. In other words they want to be one of the gods, without going to all that work to become one. Now what does Wolfe mean by coping? I don’t know. Is material success coping? Having zany adventures? Having lots of pop physics books published?

I could go an and cite other examples of what I considered use of ill-defined terms and fuzzy concepts. I did not feel the thrill of the San Francisco Chronicle Examiner cover quote, "Amazing speculations on time travel, the nature of reality and existence and the role of consciousness."

Instead, I will just cut to the conclusion of the book. I must admit that the ending soured me on the entire reading experience. First a paragraph that I agree with:
Knowledge of a single event, isolated from all other events is no knowledge at all. Knowledge without a sense of the past and an anticipation of the future is no knowledge at all. In brief, single data points without any reference to the future or the past are not even recorded as data. They simply do not exist. Only when there is confluence of past and future - a relationship stretching across time - does knowledge present itself.
The ramifications of the above are huge. Today when so many Americans are functionally illiterate, ignorant of the true past, and subject to the whims of propaganda, just exactly what kind of future is being created? Who is the creator, controlling the past, playing at god? What kind of beings want to control the past, and do we want to share their version of the future?

Wolf acknowledges the danger we are all in, and he writes:
[...] The human mind is the laboratory of the new physics. It already is tuned to the past and the future, making existential certainties out of probable realities. It does this by simply observing. Observing oneself in this world when awake. Observing the action of observing. If we are brave enough to venture into this world with consciousness as our ally, through our dreams and altered states of awareness, we may be able to alter the hologram by bringing more conscious "light" to the hell worlds that also exist side-by-side with our own.

Indeed, what with our bent toward constantly "defending ourselves," this parallel world already is a hell world. It is time to speed up the process of illuminating the hologram, time to bring in the big laser of consciousness. Evolution is our business too. It is time to know this universe-place for the first time ever.
I found it interesting that a physicist would appear to be advocating subjective states of awareness, when they are primarily suppossed to be seeking to understand the objective.

"...Through our dreams and altered states of awareness.", Wolf appears to be advocating subjective states of consciousness for creating your own reality. What good does exploring a subjective state do you, that when you pop out of it, you still are surrounded by objective reality. He is also advocating speed. Of course, the quickest way to an altered state is drugs, (remember the Eselan agenda?) but Wolf is not directly mentioning that here. Has Wolf spent too much time with the Shamans, in some Castanada like vision quest? His latest book is Yoga of Time Travel: How the Mind Can Defeat Time

Earlier in his book he discusses his hypothesis that those with multiple personality disorder or schizophrenia could actually be stuck in two worlds, yet here he appears to advocating quick jumps to parallel realities via altered states without mentioning that such attempts could lead to a quick trip to the nut house. I think we are in this reality because we belong here; if we belonged somewhere else than we would be there instead of here.

He appears to be saying, although this is not exactly clear, that we expend to much energy "defending ourselves." Perhaps this world is a hell world, because not enough people expended energy in defending themselves, their destinies and their children’s destinies, and instead allowed the machine of the State to roll over them. Most weren’t even aware enough to notice the tire tracks. Wolf appears to think that knowledge is a good thing, yet advocates speeding up the process with short cuts, and conserving energy by not defending yourself. To me that appears to be out right dangerous, and this book appears to coincide with the Esalen Insititute agenda.

Perhaps we are already in an altered state, and it is time for us to wake up and see reality objectively for the first time. Perhaps it is time to see what is real, and this time to not flinch. Perhaps it would be better if we become individuals rather than fading out into oblivion. Does the world really need more people locking themselves up, sitting on their little mat and chanting oomm, with hopes of reaching another parallel reality? Or is that idea, pretty close to the Fundamentalist rapture ideology?

Having said that, perhaps there is no reason why those who pay attention to reality as it is, split off into a reality different from those who refuse to examine life and attempt to constrain and mold into something they think it should be.

That's probably crazy talk. But, I am not one of those people who thinks they know what can and cannot exist, and I certainly do not understand how the universe works nor do I care to pretend to do so. I can work with probabilities, make room for new knowledge, which can then alter my entire understanding of reality.

I must say that I am a bit tired of sharing reality with people who say things like:

Any criticism of Bush equals giving support to the people behind the 9/11 attacks


But then, people who say things like that are also tired of sharing reality with people like me.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Without Conscience

Even when you know its ugly out there, a good shock can still be had when you encounter venomous snakes.

After reading this post from News Hounds, Uncompassionate Conservatives, I am not sure how anyone can believe that we are not witnessing an upsurge of Sturmabteilung patriotism. Bush will only be too happy to turn on them, just like Hitler turned on his SS, once they are no longer useful.

Most people don't pay attention to history. Besides, you need a bit of empathy and a conscience to learn much from it.

Monday, February 21, 2005

HUNTER S. THOMPSON: 1937-2005

The following quote is from Memo from the Sports Desk, Kingdom of Fear:
It would be easy to say that we owe it all to the Bush family from Texas, but that would be too simplistic. They are only errand boys for the vengeful, bloodthirsty cartel of raving Jesus-freaks and super-rich money mongers who have ruled this country for at least 20 years, and arguably for the past 200. They take orders well, and they don't ask too many questions.

The real power in America is held by a fast-emerging new Oligarchy of pimps and preachers who see no need for Democracy or fairness or even trees, except maybe the ones in their own yards, and they don't mind admitting it. They worship money and power and death. Their ideal solution to all the nation's problems would be another 100 year war.

Coming of age in a fascist police state will not be a barrel of fun for anybody, much less for people like me, who are not inclined to suffer Nazis gladly and feel only contempt for the cowardly flag-suckers who would gladly give up their outdated freedom to live for the mess of pottage they have been conned into believing will be freedom from fear.

Ho ho ho. Let's not get carried away here. Freedom was yesterday in this country. Its value has been discounted. The only freedom we truly crave today is freedom from Dumbness. Nothing else matters.
Original gonzo journalist kills self at age 67

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Consensus Reality

From No More Fake News:

Consensus Reality

When you have consensus on your side, it's easy to argue your point of view. This is basically the position of major media.

In fact, I've spent countless hours over the last 20 years punching holes in that consensus, on a variety of issues.

Basically, when you're backed up by official or official-seeming opinion, you say with a confident smirk: X is true; after all, the best analysis, spread over a wide area, thinks so.

And that pretty much ends it.

Why?

Because most people want the comfort of believing in a widely shared belief. That's how most people operate.

Hence, media anger at the Internet, which represents the fracturing of consensus...

Zombies Night Out

From the website Tangible Reality LIbrary:
"LEADERS" DEMAND UNQUESTIONING SUPPORT

Busy adults automatically reject "politically incorrect" ideas about human social structure and the reality of the physical world. Their reaction is a result of an unconscious mental trap, a legacy of controlled thinking in childhood when parents and community instilled conformance to faith-based tribal rules.

Early childhood indoctrination insures community order and structural continuity. But there are latent side effects.

"Successful" graduates from the forced "program" mature into non-thinking technocrats, cloned into a tight zombie mold by their own warped thought processes.

"Unsuccessful" non-graduates fight the indoctrination, becoming angry, confused, incapable of love or loyalty, and unable to attract the love of others. They stay at war with society until middle age, when they default to a chaotic zombie mold, separate from the clones, and without technical skills to compete higher up on the "food chain".

The "successful" clones are solid, stolid, citizens who refuse to take risks and abdicate from logical decisions not directly related to their own specialized career training and experience. Although defined as "successful", these zombies have little freedom and no real power.

Clones, however, become uncomfortable, even fearful or depressed, at any suggestion that they might deviate from the common original mold in order to come alive, think their own thoughts, make their own decisions, and manage their own affairs. [...]

But, if you dare to compare your cherished belief systems against your own logical analysis of REALITY, then you will QUESTION EVERYTHING that RELIGIOUS or RIGHT or LEFT or RADICAL or INDUSTRIAL interests have tried to force you to believe. [...]

Most voters don't have enough education or experience to do their own research. Instead, they look for powerful leaders to tell them what to think and do.

No logical argument can prove these intimidating figures are correct, or that they have any interest in your personal welfare. If you are honest with yourself and ask how these power brokers got into their position of dominance, you may realize that the strategy has included military conquest followed by police authority and tradition.

People WANT TO BELIEVE those who are already in power. Why? Because they don't want to face up to hard choices that would force them to THINK FOR THEMSELVES!

To summarize: Those who are unable to dig into WHAT IS REAL are always vulnerable at the bottom of any social structure. If they are loyal conforming robots (clones), they may be rewarded for their support of the privileged hierarchy.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Letter to Inspector Lohmann

Inspector Lohmann is one of my favorite bloggers, so it was gratifying when he gave me a shout out. I recommend reading his post, where he collected a number of terrifying news stories.

He seems a bit down, so I decided to write him a letter. For the occasion, I removed nearly 100 percent of the cynicism rather than just the promised fifty percent.

Dear Inspector,

Any thinking person, who is reasonably aware of what is going on this world is just going to have days where the feel like they want to give up. That desire to fade back into comfortable numbness can be overwhelming. A nostalgic glow can invade us sparking memories of a perceived time of innocence.

Once a person has a basic understanding of how the world really works, it can be so easy to run and attempt to lose ourselves in mundane concerns, petty hopes and bourgeois comforts.

I happen to think to do so is a bad idea. I have theories why. But, several people have commented that I have theories about nearly everything, and this was not always intended as a complement. So, feel free to take the following with a grain of salt.

I happen to think that humanities vision is incredibly narrow. It is easy to forget that not only are we citizens of planet earth, but that planet earth is spinning madly through a huge universe we know almost nothing about. If we admit that we know little about our world, we like to think that somebody does. Ha!

This universe is so strange, vast and terrifying that only the true warriors can begin to divine her secrets. I really have no idea if I am up to the task, but I am mad enough to try.

That awful first step may be seeing our reality for what it really is: that gothic, entropic hell where power mad denizens attempt to restrict and control in insane attempts to satiate the bottomless pit of their material desires.

The next step may be to decide what do we do with such terrifying knowledge that often separates us from our fellow human beings, forcing us to form far flung techno-tribes so we don't feel so terribly crazy.

This next step may be a matter of the soul. Soul, like so many other words in our teetering civilization, has become laden with so much trash talk and hidden agendas that it is almost frightening to use it in public. But, as the good Doctor would say, "We are professionals."

We have to ask ourselves what is our natural orientation: Entropy or Creativity. If we can barely endure to watch the pain and humiliation exacted upon the innocent by the powers that be, then we are probably oriented toward creativity. But we have to continually make choices to act and create.

Create what? That is up to each individual. For too long humanity has been a big herd of sheep; a sucker for every huckster promising salvation just for being alive and so damned special.

All great artists have been painfully aware of reality, and used that awareness gained via such suffering for their art. Personally, I can't imagine our world without Kafka's The Trial, and I can only imagine what suffering he went through to gain such insights.

I think the universe can take care of itself. What matters is what we do as individuals in this universe. Do we seek and share truth, in our own way, utilizing whatever talents we have at hand, or do we just lay down and allow the machine to roll over us without a fight?

By fighting, I do not mean taking up arms. We are out-gunned and out-manned. But, in our age, it is a real fight to become an individual. Our stratosphere is so polluted with mind viruses and over-hyped archetypes that to escape possession is a real battle.

It is not for us to worry about winning, it is for us to worry about what will we do even if it looks like we will lose.

We too have absorbed the values of control. We want to anticipate success. We want to know and understand cause and effect in the linear constructs that we have been taught are real.

Our reality is actually quantum in nature. Our cognitive abilities are too limited to anticipate what effect our creative actions for truth may have in our world. I don't think we should even try.

The key is doing. Nothing is inevitable. Nobody is a nobody, and every person who removes themselves from the herd by using their talents means one step further away from that whirling vortex of death.

There is such a thing as evil. But evil thinks it is doing good. They are only taking what no one valued, our own free will. It is time to take that back, and use the chaos as building blocks for our own creativity.

Do we love truth, or do we embrace lies by ignoring truth? Embrace the propaganda and lies, then we become just one more agent of entropy. Another mechanical engine of death. We might as well be putting the innocent through the meat grinder ourselves.

Can we take repeated punches to the gut, yet get back up again? Some days, I don't think so either. But, then someone out there has picked up my slack, and inspired me to get out of bed for another day of fighting. They won't always know it, but that is the role of the artist in an age like ours.

The world needs more crazy fools, willing to illuminate truth even in the face of what appears to be inevitable doom.

It seems that we were born to an age where we are forced to either become a warrior or a mouse. I'm pretty sure I'm a mouse, but at least I can aspire to become a warrior. I can't sit still while the world burns, and most don't seem to notice their house is on fire.

I don't think you can either.

Best wishes,

catalytic

How our brains help warn us off dangers

I just discovered this great article to accompany my paranoia series:

How our brains help warn us off dangers

By LEE BOWMAN
Scripps Howard News Service

February 17, 2005 - That odd feeling that things around us just aren't right, that something bad is about to happen, apparently has roots not in the paranormal but in a structure right in the top of our brains, a new study has found.

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis report Friday in the journal Science that they have identified a brain region that acts as an early warning system, working even at the subconscious level to help recognize and avoid high-risk situations.[...]

Again, how we choose to use the information delivered to us via the subconscious is important. Paranoia is not just for the delusional.

The Sliding Scale of Paranoia part 1

As promised in my post Subroutine for the Subconscious.

Perhaps everyone should be a little paranoid. But like many things in life, your level of paranoia needs to be an intellectual decision not an emotional one. How to conduct yourself while allowing the particular level of paranoia you have chosen to inform your conscious mind also has to be carefully reasoned through.

The mass media has infused our subconscious with all kinds of automatic associations with the word paranoia. That is no accident.

The first level: People want your money, and they use all kinds of tricks and cons to get at it. Those tricks and cons have been given disguised slightly with names like advertising and commercials.

Quite often these cons don't sell the product directly. Instead they associate their product with a feeling or state of being that is pleasurable. This car gives you a sense of euphoric freedom, or this car will make you cool. A car will not make you free or cool (Well, maybe I will make an exception. This one just might add a degree of coolness to your person.) I swear some people drive to work so they can afford to drive to work.

Check out SourceWatch if you want to know just how extensive and evil this network really is.

The second level: Friends, family, coworkers, etc. want to win you over to their beliefs, ideas, etc. Often not because they think this concept will improve your life. Regularly, people do this to give validity to their world view, to reassure themselves, and it is an act of dominance and control. Those who engage in such activities are not aware of why they are babbling. They are on automatic or already dead and their body just hasn't realized it yet. The road to self awareness is a long arduous road, and most are not willing, or are unable to pay the price.

The third level: Religions, belief systems, political parties, etc want you to join and direct your energy, time and money their way. Often the process involves subsuming your identity to a large collective pool of mass-mind. You are tricked into a contract. All you have to do is believe, or show up on Sunday, or vote, or proclaim this war is a just war and you receive some promise or another. There are often rituals that turn off your conscious mind.

There is an old hypnotic trick that if you can get someone to do what you say three times in a row they are yours to command. I watched a documentary about Wal-Mart where they showed a stock holders meeting. The speaker got up there and shouted, "Give me a 'W'. Give me an 'A'...", until this auditorium of people spelled it all out. Thousands of people would now believe everything this guy was going to say. He proceeded to mold these people. Part of their very being, their identity, was infused with being a Wal-Mart stock holder. In church: stand up, sing this song, sit down. You have been prepped and readied for operation.

If you think that you are too smart to fall for these tricks then you have fallen for the biggest con ever. Your ego and self-importance has soothed you into complacency. You have to be alert; there is always another con around the corner.

All of us are ripe for exploitation at any moment. Something so shocking can happen, that our emotional horse grabs the bit by the teeth and runs. We will agree to anything, we look for leadership, and a way out of turmoil and chaos.

Usually that leader will attempt to form that chaos into a reality that will benefit them, and not the masses that have thrown over the critical conscious mind desperate for relief from shock. Which is exactly how this perpetual war on terrorism was started.

So, the fourth level: You can't always completely trust your own perception of reality. When it is most important to use our intellect we could use our emotions, or vice versa. Perhaps, ideally we should strive to fuse the intellect and the emotions, and then we are better able to choose our own path. I know no one capable of doing that 100 percent of the time.

Just asking ourselves a few questions, perhaps going through a mental checklist of our own devising may help. Confering with those we have grown to trust may help, if they are willing to examine the particular issue in depth.

In my opinion, all our scales of paranoia should be set at the levels I described above. That is what I would call a healthy state of paranoia. There are dangerous levels of paranoia, and individuals exhibiting such a state are usually the examples trotted out in the media for your scoffing pleasure. I don't plan on discussing such states, since that really has little to do with the direction I am going.

I do plan on a follow up post describing further levels on the sliding scale, providing examples of those who really should adjust, or should have adjusted, it a notch or two higher than the rest of us.

I also recommend Gavin De Becker's book The Gift of Fear.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Pseudonymy and the Blog

Just discovered a great post on the history of pseudonymy from UFO Breakfast:
1. Early journalism--I'm think of early British newspapers and magazines through 1740 or so, though what I'm saying mostly applies for the whole century--was a lot like blogging.

I know, I know. But really...
Guilty of pseudonymy myself, I found it reassuring.

Scientists Say Pay Attention

"Tom, did you know that AT&T Wireless got bought out by Cingular? I just noticed it on my phone bill."
"That happened a long time ago."
"Why would AT&T sell to anybody? They're huge."
"I don't know. Maybe they suck. By the way, did you know we're fighting a war in this country called Iraq?"
"That's why I don't read the news. Nothing but bad stuff." - The Dialog Blog
Philosophical Implications of Inflationary Cosmology (PDF file)
by Joshua Knobe, Ken D. Olum and Alexander Vilenkin
Recent developments in cosmology indicate that every history having a nonzero probability is realized in infinitely many distinct regions of spacetime. Thus, it appears that the universe contains infinitely many civilizations exactly like our own, as well as infinitely many civilizations that differ from our own in any way permitted by physical laws. We explore the implications of this conclusion for ethical theory and for the doomsday argument. In the infinite universe, we find that the doomsday argument applies only to effects which change the average lifetime of all civilizations, and not those which affect our civilization alone.

Catalytic: They ask the question, if there are multiple universes do we need to worry about this one ending? Or can we just trash this one since there is always another one?

Their answer: We had better pay attention to this one.

Quite the entertaining read.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Impeccable Timing

Officials Warn of Future Terror Attacks

By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Speaking with one voice, President Bush's top intelligence and military officials said Wednesday that terrorists are regrouping for possible new strikes against the United States.
Duh, of course they speak with one voice. Don't play this off, Katherine, as being more honest because they all chant the same blood rituals in unison. Bush and his Neo-Cons rid themselves of anyone who did not speak with the same religious fervor and/or bow before Karl Rove's every command.
They said the best defense was for Congress to approve the president's military and anti-terror budget. But some in Congress, including prominent Republicans, were questioning some of that spending. [...]
To have this announcement timed with the recent assassination of Rafik Harrari is awfully convenient. The US pulled diplomatic ties from Syria, even though there is no evidence that the hit was conducted by Syria.

It is now time to associate Syria with terrorism in the minds of the gullible and the deluded, so they will cheer the destruction of yet another country, and in the process sacrifice their own young for Haliburton. Bush's god is a hungry one, and something so small as the truth is not to get in the way of a good blood sacrifice.

Syria has the least to gain from this horrible murder. They know they have been staring down the barrel of a really big gun for a long time. The Bush cult has a real itchy trigger finger. They know this; we all know this; it is not exactly a state secret.

Who will benefit? Israel has the most to gain, in their general program to destabilize the Middle East. Also, this assassination conveniently directs attention toward Moscow's plan to sell surface to air missiles to Syria.

Perhaps the Israeli government wants the green light to attack.

Perhaps we will have to witness the horror of yet another USS Liberty style of attack to get everyone really good and bloodthirsty.
U.S. Army Officers Say: 'Mossad May Blame Arabs'

Sometimes "the most likely suspect" in an act of terrorism is actually a "false flag" working for-or otherwise "framed" by- those who are responsible.

Exclusive To American Free Press

By Michael Collins Piper
9.26.01

Top U.S. Army analysts believe Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, is "ruthless and cunning," "a wildcard" that "has [the] capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act."

This eye-opening assertion about America's supposed closest ally was reported in a front page story in The Washington Times on September 10-just one day before the terrorist attacks in America that are being blamed on "Arabs." [...]
Sigh.

These are great times to be an American.

If you like the idea of being a party to cold blooded murder and mutilation. Or, if you think you can read god's mind, and it just so happens he's thinking its a swell idea to decimate the brown peoples for the good of the holy white race.

It is a funny world we live in. Christian Fundies can't send enough money, fast enough to Israel, hoping they will spark Armageddon, and then everyone joins in and blows away Jerusalem. Not funny ha ha of course:
Kim Johnson doesn't call it converting Jews to Christianity. She calls it "Circumcision of the Heart"—a spiritual circumcision Jews must undergo because, she writes in paraphrase of Jeremiah, chapter 9, "God will destroy all the uncircumcised nations along with the House of Israel, because the House of Israel is uncircumcised in the heart . . . [I]t is through the Gospel . . . that men's hearts are circumcised."
So far I am a complete failure in bumping into anyone in my temporary city who knows anything about world events. There was a bit of tittering in the office about the Social Security fiasco, but no one seems to care about the blood running in the streets.

Perhaps, those who know, know enough to keep their mouth shut in public. It is just a matter of time before Pat Robertson says Jesus wants the Infidels to be given a good beat down.

One day, probably sooner than we realize, we will all pay for our silence and ignorance.

Does anyone realize how serious this is? I'm not sure I could speak up in defense of anyone of Arabic or Persian origin, in public, without physical harm or permanent detention without a trial. At the very least I would be called a commie, or a traitor. Yep, to be a real American you have to love murder, and do not speak up for those innocent of 9/11, but guilty of having been born in the Middle East.

Of course, most don't know what the heck is being done in our name. Or how much of the world is baffled by our ignorance.

I'm sure this is way it was in Germany before everyone woke up one morning and realized they were a Nazi.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Co-opting the 9/11 Truth Movement

I was living in Manhattan at the time of . I was working in Midtown then, and could see and smell the smoke. Everyone was absolutely stunned. I have never heard the city so quiet. About the only sound was foot steps on pavement.

I listened to my frantic coworkers attempting to reach their loved ones who worked in the Trade Towers. We attempted to console each other, but to little avail. We all gathered in the conference room and watched the destruction on CNN, and we watched the second plane hit live.

Six months later, I met a friend for a drink at a dive bar on St. Marks. He seemed to still be suffering from PTSD. He was certainly not the same person. He had moved back to his parents' home in Jersey, and didn't come out of his room for about a month. He was still barely able to concentrate on going back to work, and this little social event was kind of a big deal for him.

He talked about the person who saved his life. This person led him and a few colleagues to safety, and then went back in to find others. The person who saved his life, didn't make it back out alive.

That horrible day has been used to justify the Bush/Neo-con agenda of perpetual war, and the stripping of freedoms. The Patriot Act had already been composed, as if they knew what was to happen, and it was shoved in front of a Congress unwilling to be labeled unpatriotic for not signing.
Psychic and Political Numbing in Preparations for War

by Fran Shor
CounterPunch
August 12, 2002

[...]Why the American public, so far, has been lackadaisical in its response to this saber rattling may be reflective of the increase of psychic and political numbing opportunistically manipulated by the Bush Administration since 9/11.

Psychic numbing, according to the psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, builds on well-known defense mechanisms, such as repression, denial, and projection, to create an exclusion of feeling and disconnectedness. Aided by the surfeit of stimuli from televisual culture and media-manipulated images, people may tune out those realities and possibilities that threaten their own sense of connection to the world. In the case of 9/11, the Bush Administration quickly exploited the anger of the American people without allowing a grieving process to mature.

Drowning out the voices of survivors and their families who opposed retaliation, war on Afghanistan was initiated. Begun as a campaign to seek and destroy Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network, a network created by the CIA in the 1980's, the intervention in Afghanistan quickly became an exercise in imperial politics and the lethal arrogance of power.[...]
I don't like it when anyone stands in my way of knowing what happened on that day. The official story is so full of holes, shoddy physics, and incriminating lies that you have to want to be a true and faithful believer to not see it for what it is: The biggest con since the Reichstag fire.

As I wrote in my post about real skeptics, it seems that we can't fully trust a few of our self appointed alternative news journalists, and loudest spokespeople who seem to be against the official lies. But then, we all should be learning how to be individuals and how to think for ourselves. For too long humanity has been lazy, and trusted those who speak with authority.

I can't recommend enough the article Co-Opting the 9-11 Truth Movement. That is, if you care about the truth.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Rumsfeld Announces Social Security Should Be Spent for Defense

The thought just struck me that Rumsfeld announced on September 11th what the Bush/Neo-con agenda was for social security. There was a press conference, held at the Pentagon at 6:42pm.

The world was waiting to hear what had happened to Bush, but Rumsfeld decided to attack Senator Levin:
Senator Levin, you and other Democrats in Congress, have voiced fear that you simply don't have enough money for the large increase in defense that the Pentagon is seeking, especially for missile defense, and you fear that you'll have to dip into the Social Security funds to pay for it. Does this sort of thing convince you that an emergency exists in this country to increase defense spending, to dip into Social Security, if necessary, to pay for defense spending --increase defense spending?
Once again, Rumsfeld's tongue slips and reveals reality. They already planned on dipping into Social Security, and 9/11 gave them the perfect pretext.

I would bet my retirement that the money is already gone, or at the very least earmarked for war, and the current Bush plan is to cover that up when the "reform" turns out to be a spectacular failure.

I found the above transcript at The New Pearl Harbor, while researching posts for 9.11 sound byte.

New Project

I didn't complete a post for here today, although I have notes all over the place for various commentaries. Instead I started a new project.

I hope I have not taken on more than I can do, I already have a good number of projects. But I designed this one, so that with a few minutes a day I can hopefully create something interesting and informative.

Check it out: 9.11 Sound Byte

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Recent Science Articles of Note

Is there an interconnected universal consciousness, and should we pay attention to it? Incredible concept, and since we all contribute toward this consciousness, should we all work toward becoming creative individuals? Perhaps we would have more real impact into our future rather than attempting to strong arm change.
Can This Black Box See Into the Future?

DEEP in the basement of a dusty university library in Edinburgh lies a small black box, roughly the size of two cigarette packets side by side, that churns out random numbers in an endless stream.

At first glance it is an unremarkable piece of equipment. Encased in metal, it contains at its heart a microchip no more complex than the ones found in modern pocket calculators.

But, according to a growing band of top scientists, this box has quite extraordinary powers. It is, they claim, the 'eye' of a machine that appears capable of peering into the future and predicting major world events. [...]

Researchers say they shun controversy

Scientists say they often censor reports of own work

WASHINGTON — Some scientists are thinking twice about doing or reporting certain research, reacting to political and social controversy in addition to legal restrictions.

"It appears that controversy shapes what scientists choose to study and how they choose to study it, and we need to look a little bit more closely at the effects it might be having,'' said Joanna Kempner, a researcher at the University of Michigan. [...]
Also U.S. Scientists Say They Are Told to Alter Findings

Yes, but that age old question has been answered according to an article in Science Daily. Why are so many North Americans such terrible dancers?

Meanwhile, Science teaches us how to exploit our friends:
Time in the future seems to go further

The best time to ask someone for a favour is at least several weeks in advance, a new study suggests. The research finds that people consistently over-commit because they expect to have more time in the future than they do right now.

Previous studies have shown that people generally "value things less in the future than now", says Gal Zauberman, a consumer-behaviour researcher at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, US. For example, many people prefer to pay for something in a week's time rather than today - even if it costs slightly more.

Now, Zauberman and colleague John Lynch at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, have found that this tendency is even stronger for time than for money. [...]
And provides even more proof that we are really all a bunch of narcissists:
Morphing Faces: Hidden Persuaders

Jeremy Bailenson and Shanto Iyengar at Stanford University have made a startling and potentially frightening discovery about the power of graphical manipulation to persuade people. [...]

The results demonstrated that respondents were significantly more likely to vote for the candidate with whom their face had been morphed (for both Bush and Kerry). This effect was stronger for people who did not have strong party affiliations (i.e., independent voters) than for strong partisans. [...]

The People's Crusade and China Bashing

Bellowing from Congress has exhibited traits of either extreme ignorance and culpable idiocy or shrewd Machiavellian strategy.
US Senate to mull deadline for China to revalue yuan

WASHINGTON (AFP) - China would have a six-month deadline to revalue its currency under a bill to be introduced in the US Senate amid charges the yuan is wreaking havoc on the US economy, officials said.

"It will be introduced hopefully tomorrow or in the coming days and would require China to abide by international trade agreements and stop manipulating the value of its currency," said Klein, speaking on behalf of New York Democrat Senator Charles Schumer, who is spearheading the proposed legislation.

He said the legislation would give China "a window of 180 days" to revalue its currency or face a 27.5 percent tariff on all Chinese manufactured goods entering the United States.

The Bush administration has often complained that the yuan, which is fixed to the US dollar, is grossly undervalued and thus keeping China's exports artificially cheap, undermining US exports and putting many Americans out of work. [...]
The China bashing continues with Graham Wants Big Tariffs On Chinese Products.

The Senate is blaming China for our economic problems without bothering to mention that thousands upon thousands of jobs were exported to exploit slave labor. They also don't mention that millions of American consumers now depend on these low priced items shipped over here thanks to our low paying jobs and all those jobs lost.

They also don't seem to be mentioning that China is supporting the US economy by purchasing billions of dollars of our debt every day. If they stop, or if they dump some of those bonds the US economy is over. Currently, China is the second largest foreign holder, with $191.1 billion of our debt.

We can say we have an economy largely due to the good graces of the Chinese. Bush's perpetual war spending machine has made us entirely dependent on Asia.

But the Bush/Neo-con cult are not done antagonizing China yet:
US lawmakers mull special office in State Dept to spread democracy

WASHINGTON: In a move that will give impetus to US President George W. Bush's policy to spread world freedom and end tyranny, lawmakers are drafting legislation to set up a specific office in the State Department to spread democracy, officials say. [...]
Help us all. If you know any of the US real history, including the recent debacle in Iraq, you know that democracy is a code word for destroying your country and installing a brutal puppet regime. The final paragraph of the article states:
But it will also compel the United States to "set the record straight" in friendly but heavy-handed governments in places like Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, maybe even China or Russia, they said.
Perhaps we should set the record straight on our democracy first, rather then dumping it for "security".

My other hypothesis, other than ignorance, was shrewd Machiavellian strategy. The only explanation that makes sense for Bush's economic strategies is that wants to wreck the economy. Bush may or may not be stupid, but his handlers must know where things like his tax cuts and "reform" of social security are going to lead.

The People's Crusade was the first of the bloody crusades and a miserable failure. Although failure in war is entirely subjective, depending on which side you are on.

peoples_crusade

In 1095, Peter the Hermit dispatched disciples across what is now France and Germany to preach the good gospel of murder. Pope Urban was really excited to get the crusade off the ground and he had set a date of August 1096 for armies to mobilize against the infidel in Jerusalem. Urban was touring central France with a message of mayhem.

Peter_the_Hermit

The brunt of the dirty work was to be carried out by the poor. This was a time of endemic lawlessness, and the already poor were constantly plundered by petty nobility. These petty nobility plundered their own countryside, while the "great" nobility had larger conquests on the mind.

Also, at this time floods and epidemics contributed greatly to the general misery. These were a people ripe for the picking, and they bought the idea of dying in a jihad, leading to the promised land, lock, stock and barrel.

Easter 1096 rolls around and about 20,000 men, women and children abandoned their homes to make the armed pilgrimage to Jerusalem. I must not forget to mention that a number of the nobles took the opportunity to exploit the murderous feelings being roused, and decided to start the crusades a little closer to home by slaughtering Jews and helping themselves to their wealth.

On the march, there were several periods of slaughter, but the final chapter of this "People's Crusade" was to end in the Turkish countryside. The crusaders pillaged, tortured and murdered the inhabitants, including the Christian ones, eventually really making the Turks mad. The Turks ambushed the crusaders, sending them fleeing, and only 3000 escaped with their lives. The Turkish sultan had nothing but contempt for this rabble, and falsely assumed that was to be the last of such European incursions.

What does this have to do with Bush's economic strategy? Maybe this is a crazy idea, but what if the Bush cult wants to ruin the economy for the express purpose of producing cannon fodder?

Once again we already have the petty nobles pillaging their own countryside. Ken Lay from Enron is just one of the more publicized examples, along with Bush recently giving more tax cuts to the rich and powerful and his plans for plundering social security.

One “Crisis” after another says BushCo--when the only “Crisis” is BushCo.

Once again we see the exploitation of religious feeling to fulfill a power and greed filled agenda. Our armies already largely consist of the poor. With little education and few job opportunities they head off to the local recruiters office. But the US will need a whole lot more to replace the dead and the maimed, and to fulfill their spectacular agenda of violence they plan on exporting to a number of other countries.

Impoverished and starving to death? The Army will feed and house you. You just need to pull a trigger now and then. Perhaps we are being told the truth about the draft, because the Neo-Con agenda doesn't need one.

I hope I am wrong.

I think Donald Hunt writes one of most insightful blogs on the economy.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Your Car and the SpaceTime Continuum

One of the unintended side effects of naming my blog has turned out that I receive hits from those poor souls looking for advice on what to do about their car.

This is a relatively new blog, yet already I am number one in the yahoo search term "why did my catalytic converter go bad". (no quotes) One can almost detect yearning for knowledge, and relief from pain in such a plainly phrased question. It almost has that William Carlos Williams style. I am afraid they will find no help here. I am only mechanically inclined when it is forced upon me.

It is pretty evident from the snippets the search engines are grabbing that they won't find much in the way of help. I can only assume that for some of the searches where I am way in the uncharted territories that they are sick of trying to figure out why the thing is making so much noise and are hoping for a change of pace. Or, I am throwing some of these people for a curve.

Speaking of curves and uncharted territory, why don't I segue on over to time travel:
Time travels have become a scientific possibility in recent years. Spacetimes possessing closed timelike curves (CTCs) were originally discussed by Gdel, but it only was after recognition that negative-energy states can occur in semiclassical general relativity that time travels have been considered in greater detail. [Ringholes and closed timelike curves, Pedro F. Gonz´alez-D´ıaz,
Centro de F´ısica, Miguel Catal´an, Instituto de Matem´aticas y F´ısica Fundamental, Madrid (SPAIN)]
I will quote a few lines from the good doctor's abstract:
It is shown that in a classical spacetime with multiply connected space slices having the topology of a torus, closed timelikes curves are also formed. We call these spacetimes ringholes. Two regions on the torus surface can be distinguished which are separated by angular horizons.

On one of such regions (that which surrounds the maximum circunference of the torus) everything happens like in spherical wormholes, but the other region (the rest of the torus surface), while still possessing a chronology horizon and non-chronal region, behaves like a converging, rather than diverging, lens and corresponds to an energy density which is always positive for large speeds at or near the throat.

It is speculated that a ringhole could be converted into a time machine to perform time travels by an observer who would never encounter any matter that violates the classical averaged weak energy condition. Based on a calculation of vacuum fluctuations, it is also seen that the angular horizons can prevent the emergence of quantum instabilities near the throat.
If you have followed me this far, we would all have to understand stuff like the below to go much further:

ringholes

I am afraid my American education has not prepared me for such rigors.

HAARP and the Search for a Real Skeptic

Since I mentioned HAARP in the previous post, I thought I better explain myself.

Before, I go too far with the explanation I have a simple question: Where are all the real skeptics?

Skepticism for most seems to mean using the mainstream media, commonly accepted version of truth as the basis for judgment for all concepts, ideas or hypothesis. Anything that deviates from the commonly accepted “wisdom” is deemed ludicrous, outrageous and the domain of the schizophrenic nut.

These skeptics think that they don’t believe in conspiracy. Ha! They are usually the biggest conspiracy nuts – they just don’t know it. Most of them believe that for years there was a Communist conspiracy to (insert Dr. Evil laugh here) take over the world.

The US used these true believers to good effect. The CIA has overthrown, or financed the overthrow of over forty governments. Most of them were democratically elected. We have been at constant war. If the war was conducted in the public view, then it was announced that the wrong side was part of this highly coordinated and secretive communist cabal to take over the world. Suckers everywhere fell for a real humdinger of a crazy conspiracy.

The latest conspiracy madness gripping “skeptics” is that there is a secretive, Islamic cabal conspiring to take down the US because they “hate our freedoms.” This conspiracy is primarily directed from a cave in a remote mountain hideaway. It is so remote and hidden that US troops can’t get to it, yet this version of Dr. Evil manages to somehow communicate his directives to his loyal followers.

The other extreme are those who accept all the concepts, ideas or hypothesis that are outside the mainstream valid and consider themselves open minded.

I am using extremes here to make a point in as few words as possible. Below I have included an image extracted from a Department of Defense paper, Psyop Operations in the 21st Century, acquired from The Black Vault’s FOI archive. The author of the paper explains this image is from a much older text, where they quaintly called it propaganda. Now we call it psyop. This new term includes a much broader range of activities.

psy-op_wheel

If anyone can say with a straight face can say that the US government, out of the goodness of their heart, would never use these tactics on its own citizens is 1) a liar with something to hide, 2) painfully naïve or 3) desperately attempting to protect a world view not built on any facts what so ever.

I would assign a high probability that such psyop activities have been standard operating procedure right here in the US from the beginning. I would also assign a high probability that any good psyop practitioner would use both extremes I described above to hide the truth.

A good skeptic would be skeptical of all explanations for any given event. There is probably a bit of truth on either side, but enough twists and turns to obscure reality. We are dealing with people who have numerous crimes to hide, and numerous crimes they plan to commit under the cloak of psyop.

I have no idea how much knowledge any given reader has that such a facility as HAARP exists. I will assume that the general reader will have some knowledge, and has heard at least some of the many rumors circulating on the web. The facility has an official .edu site that is the first hit if you do a google search.

They say they are studying the ionosphere. One of the big rumors circulating is that it is a type of weather control device used for nefarious purposes either by the US or a supranational secret government.

We are dealing with power mad people here, but they are smart. They probably realize that when you start messing around with a quantum, dynamic system like the weather you can never predict when it will come back and bite you in the ass.

We will probably never have the complete truth as to exactly what is out their in the wilds of Alaska. It is a huge multi-billion dollar facility. I doubt they are just studying the ionosphere, although I am sure that is part of it. Exactly what it is they will do with that knowledge is another question.

I think this article on HAARP may be getting pretty close to answering that question.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Subroutine for the Subconscious

I woke up yesterday morning, just before the alarm went off, and the strangest words formed on my lips. “I hate life.” Strange words, since I most certainly do NOT hate life. I love life. True, I despise many aspects of life on this planet, such as the senseless slaughter of millions so that power hungry psychopaths can attempt to achieve their goals.

I was not particularly excited about going to work, that is a given, but that is no reason to hate life. I can just think about that good and lovely money and all the good and lovely things I will do with it, such as finish buying my way out of bondage and jump start my next adventure.

The subconscious is stupid. It believes everything. It can’t discern sarcasm, and takes everything everyone says to heart. It’s true. Millions upon millions have been spent in efforts to learn how to bypass your conscious mind to get right to that stupid subconscious. SRI and Rand have put plenty of brainpower behind the science.

I will give an easy example. If you live in the US, then you are probably aware of the Swiffer all-in-one mopping system. Your conscious mind knows damn well that after figuring out the thing you will not dance around the house, excited as a monkey in heat, about your lovely, adorable swiffer mop. Your subconscious does not know this little fact, and believes all the advertising. You are at the store; you are exhausted after working so hard for your family, perhaps even a little down about life in general. Suddenly, there is the box in day-glow color. You are probably running on automatic, and before you know it, you have just purchased another mopping system, that to make it work you will have to constantly supply more and more money to Proctor & Gamble.

Your conscious mind never said, “You know, people have been mopping floors for perhaps thousands of years. Does the world really need yet another ‘ingenious’ method of mopping. In fact, why am I thinking about mopping at all?” Nope, your subconscious really believes what those ads portrayed, and it may even give you a little bio-chemical cocktail boost as a reward for purchasing it. It won’t last long, but many of us are easily amused, and will take our small, bitter pleasures where we can find them.
Few people at the beginning of the 19th century needed an adman to tell them what they wanted - John Kenneth Galbraith
Right now, I hate that I know about the swiffer mop, even though I have hardly watched television at all for the last couple of years. I hate that I know it is spelled with two f’s rather than one, and that it is dubbed an all-in-one system. I hate that I have a better chance of jumping into an alternative universe where the mop does not exist than to actually forget that it exists in this one. Such is the power of the media.

After waking up, and uttering those words, I jumped to an alert state. No dreams that I could recall. No impending doom for myself on the agenda. I knew that my subconscious was going to believe me. It was time to exploit the stupidity of my subconscious. A counter hack, if you will.

Normally, I don’t go around doing positive affirmations – too new agey for me – but this was an emergency. I said how much I love life, and thought about future plans, and set goals for a few small accomplishments. Then I went outside. For the first time this year I could enjoy the sunrise before heading off to work. It was beautiful. I sat on my front porch enjoying the first cup of coffee and first cigarette wearing my bath robe, and promptly decided I was going to be kind to myself and go to work late.

Then I decided to write a subroutine for the subconscious. From now on, when any self-destructive thought patterns arise, as if by magic, I am to blame HAARP.

Yep, blame evil, secret government geniuses and the horse they rode into my subconscious. My conscious mind does not even have to believe it is true, nor does it need proof. I just have to assign it a certain probability above zero.

Of course, such a subroutine can get certain types into trouble, and is not for every one. I will have to save my theory on the sliding scale of paranoia for another post.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Anniversary of the Biggest US Quake Ever

Today is the anniversary of the biggest earthquake in the US ever. It didn't happen in California.
New Madrid earthquake of 1811, the strongest series of earthquakes ever felt in America rocked the Mississippi Valley. Devastation was widespread. Scientists predict it will happen again.

[...] The gigantic shake in the early morning of December 16 was only the first in a series of four.

There was a second shock hours later. A third quake rocked the area on January 23 and a fourth -- the biggest of all -- was felt on February 7. Between the major quakes, there were thousands of aftershocks. It is not known how many were killed or injured in the New Madrid Earthquakes, but casualties were probably light. In 1811-1812, the area was sparsely populated. Today, of course, that is far from the case. [...]
It is reported today that Mount Wrangell in Alaska was rocking a bit. Vague, unnamed scientists, apparently in unison, say, "This suggests that the events were triggered by individual pulses within the teleseismic wavetrain."

I think what they mean, but I am not sure, is that:

Energy from the giant Sumatra earthquake traveled 7,000 miles to shake up an Alaska volcano.
The above quote is from Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Other interesting articles there like the one on Melting Alaska, with before and after pictures.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Human Testing

Shocking New Willowbrook Legacy

By The Eyewitness News Investigators

(New York-WABC, Feb. 1 , 2005) — Eyewitness News has uncovered frightening new information about Willowbrook State Institution - the now closed institution on Staten Island: Secret medical testing that turned severely disabled patients into guinea pigs. [...]

As if the indignity of living in filth and degradation weren't enough for thousands of helpless people, we've now learned new details about State-sanctioned medical experiments that took place at Willowbrook - a secret science if you will that still haunts many former residents. [...]
Also see Inspector Lohman's post Maybe Some Chemical Crowd Dispersal Will Learn 'Em!
High school kids learned recently what happens to you in the land of the free for conducting an orderly and peaceful protest.

Since I briefly mentioned the topic of bio-chemical weapons in a previous post, I thought I might mention a few of the times that the US has deliberately tested, gassed, drugged or performed various nefarious experiments on its own population.

This topic is so huge, and there are so many incidents, that recounting the incidents could fill several volumes. I will just mention a few:
Feb. 11-15, 1956: A CIA-Army team sprayed New York streets and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels, using trick suitcases and a car with a dual muffler.

June 6-10, 1966: The army report of this test was called "A Study of the Vulnerability of Subway Passengers in New York City to Covert Attack with Biological Agents". Trillions of Bacillus subtilis variant niger were released into the subway system during rush hours. One method was to use light bulbs filled with the bacteria; these were unobtrusively shattered at sidewalk level on subway ventilating grills or tossed onto the roadbeds inside the stations. Aerosol clouds were momentarily visible after a release of bacteria from the light bulbs. The report noted that "When the cloud engulfed people, they brushed their clothing, looked up at the grating apron and walked on." The wind of passing trains spread the bacteria along the tracks; in the time it took for two trains to pass, the bacteria were spread from 15th Street to 58th Street. It will never be known how many people later became ill from being unsuspecting guinea pigs, for the United States Army exhibited not the slightest interest in this question. [Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, William Blum]
Chicago got the same treatment in the 1960's.
During the period of 1948-1952, the government conducted many deliberate releases of radioactive material, mainly from airplanes which carried as much as 10 miles over populated areas, in order to study fallout patterns and the rate at which radioactivity decayed, and to study the feasibility of creating "an offensive radiation warfare device". [Ibid]
From HISTORY OF SECRET EXPERIMENTATION ON UNITED STATES CITIZENS
1994: Senator John D. Rockefeller issues a report revealing that for at least 50 years the Department of Defense has used hundreds of thousands of military personnel in human experiments and for intentional exposure to dangerous substances. Materials included mustard and nerve gas, ionizing radiation, psychochemicals, hallucinogens, and drugs used during the Gulf War.

1995: U.S. Government admits that it had offered Japanese war criminals and scientists who had performed human medical experiments salaries and immunity from prosecution in exchange for data on biological warfare research.

1995: Dr. Garth Nicolson, uncovers evidence that the biological agents used during the Gulf War had been manufactured in Houston, TX and Boca Raton, Fl and tested on prisoners in the Texas Department of Corrections.
Feeling the love?
Edgewood Guinea Pigs

Between 1955 and 1975, the U.S. Army used 7,000 enlisted soldiers as human guinea pigs for experiments involving a wide array of biological and chemical warfare agents.

These tests were conducted jointly by the U.S. Army Intelligence Board and the Chemical Warfare Laboratories at Edgewood Arsenal's research facility in Maryland. Approximately 3,500 of these soldiers were given doses of powerful mind-altering psychochemicals, including LSD, PCP, and BZ. These "volunteer" test subjects were not told which drugs they were given, and were not fully informed of the extreme physical and psychological effects these drugs would have on them. [...]
You can view the stills from the documentary at the above link.

That's enough for now. We haven't gotten to the good stuff yet like mind control, or radioactive clouds sent over Salt Lake, Los Angeles and San Diego.

If you want an easy example of mind control, just try bringing up this topic in "polite" company. They will assume you are a nut, and all kinds of vague associations regarding you and the subject they have been told to have - they have. They don't know where they got these automatic associations, but they assume they know the truth.
"Almost all people are hypnotics. The proper authority saw to it that the proper belief should be induced, and the people believed properly." - Charles H. Fort