Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Be A Balloon
There I am in the deep quiet of the night stilled for the moment by the grandeur of the universe. It's just so FABULOUS. So immense, so tiny. So infinite. There is so much to explore I insist my brain be a forever balloon, something I can stretch and test till the end of Time. Knowing what I don't know cements my aversion to death. If I were facing The Reaper I would run as fast as light back to Life just to be able to ask, "What is that?" "Why is that?"
Things? Who cares about accumulating things when planets near and far beckon, when the Earth boasts "see what I made," when our own opposable thumbs knit phenomenal tools and tools and tools.
In the deep of that same night I imagine the sensation of body, the thrill of heart and skin that would accompany my very own handful of alien soil.
Me, I say keep your promised Heaven. Mine is here. Hell is wonder withdrawn. So I vote for reincarnation. This universe is too damned cool. My balloon brain can't wait for that next or next or next life that finally allows me my own Starship Enterprise, my own Millennium Falcon.
As the still night dissipates and the vibrating sun rises I invite you to marvel with me. Go here and here and here!
Expand your mind.
Be a balloon.
Friday, April 01, 2005
Become A Book
"Somewhere the saving and putting away had to begin again and someone had to do the saving and the keeping, one way or another, in books, in records, in people’s heads, any way at all so long as it was safe, free from moths, silverfish, rust and dry-rot, and men with matches."
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
- Vatican admits Galileo correct
- Censoring Science: IMAX and Evolution
- Hubble's Future
- Government and Corporate Interests Censor Science Reporting
- Self-Censorship Limits Science More Than Laws, Study Says
- Cox-2s safety summit sees FDA scientist censored
- EPA scientists censored by Republican appointed
- How Much Free Speech for Scientists?
- Texas Citizens for Science
Censorship is no joke. Become a book.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
US Churches: Den of Thieves?
"These mega-churches are places where members can not only pray, but work out in a gym, eat at a food court or browse in a bookstore. And they are becoming more popular across the country."
- Matthew-The Cleansing of the Temple
- 12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
- 13 and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
- Mark-The Cleansing of the Temple
- 15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
- 16 and would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
- 17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer but ye have made it a den of thieves.
- 18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.
- Luke-Cleaning of the Temple
- 45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;
- 46 saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
- 47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,
- 48 and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.
- John-The Cleansing of the Temple
- 13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
- 14 and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
- 15 and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
- 16 and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house a house of merchandise.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Okay, Dubya doesn't want to fund stem cell research. But there may yet be help for this man who's a few neurons short of a synapse.
His salvation? His hair.
He's got a pretty good natural rug. If he'd only donate some follicles to science, science might be able to do what The Wizard never could.
Grow him a brain.
Now, if only they could do something about his teeny tiny heart...
Monday, March 28, 2005
Eat Fuck Sleep Claim
There are 6.5 billion living human bodies on this earth. We've got the eat, fuck, sleep thing down pat.
But what about reproduction of the mind. Not brain. Mind. Ego.
As much as there is an insatiable drive to reproduce ourselves physically, it seems we also need to reproduce our minds as well. Think like me, be like me, do as I do. Believe what I believe. You have dreams? Mine are better.
This drive to reproduce the ego is separate from guidance but often confused with it. We teach our children to how to walk, what to eat, even where to shit. Okay. Essential. But there is a very fine line between teaching our child how to think versus what to think. Most parents never consider this line.
Most parents insist, not hope that, insist their children live life as they do. You'll only be happy if you get married and have kids. You should look and dress like we do. You should behave socially as we do. You should pray to the same god we do. Religion is, after all, more about faith in our ancestors than any god. Like all other social norms, most of us inherit religion. By maintaining that religion, our faith resides in the hope that our parents got it right.
But children question. Curiosity is natural. And how do parents respond to curiosity? Where did you get an idea like that? Who told you that? That's not how we do things in this house. The ego seeks control. Outside intrusion is quashed.
But not always. Rebellion is natural too. But the ego won't have that. The need for ego reproduction causes heartache and rips families apart.
That's what's happening in America today. We have all these vying egos tearing at our extended American family. Superegos so bent on control they will do anything, anything to gain power. Acceptance equals rightness. And since the superego knows it's right, it has no problem demanding acceptance.
They are afraid so we must be afraid and so create fearful situations. They know their god, their religion is right, we must know it too. Their kind of marriage, their dress, their places to shit. Their kind of government, which, in the case of the ego, can only be dictatorial.
Eat, fuck and sleep are the bare essentials for physical reproduction. But ego reproduction, the need for power, requires one other thing. Territory.
The world is shrinking. Our egos are fever pitched to stake claims. Physically and mentally.
Will a bumper sticker be the summation of our human legacy?
Whoever dies with the most things wins.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Legislate Consciousness-Have They No Sense of Decency?
The life and death of Terry Schiavo has been turned into a circus. The drooling media latched onto the very private struggles of her husband and family like starving leeches. And the intercession by politicians, from Florida governor Jeb Bush to the Congress of the United States, has disgraced our system of government. The current situation makes the witch hunts of the McCarthy era look like a day spent baking cookies. Why? Because the government is trying to legislate consciousness. For this one person, they are trying to define awareness.
There is no scientist, philosopher or theologian on this Earth who can definitively say what consciousness is. Nor is there any person that can definitively say what life is.
I know I'm alive because as, Descartes said, "I think therefore I am." But is thinking enough? Does this computer I'm writing into think? It processes information much as my brain does. My cat's brain processes information but does she think? She feels emotion. Recent studies have proved this. The tree outside my window, does that feel emotion? It grows and will probably live longer than I do. But is it aware? Does it feel sadness, extreme sadness as I have. Has it literally been weighed down by sadness as I have? I wonder if that tree knows the lightness of love. It's not just Red Bull that gives you wings.
If my whole body experiences my state of mind is my whole body conscious? If consciousness extends beyond the brain does it also extend beyond my body?
Carl Jung hypothesized a collective unconsciousness, Emile Durkheim, a collective consciousness. We could all be connected.
A team at Princeton University is studying this possibility. It's called the Global Consciousness Project. The study is "an international effort involving researchers from several institutions and countries, designed to explore whether the construct of interconnected consciousness can be scientifically validated through objective measurement." Their "network is designed to document and display any subtle, but direct effects of our collective consciousness reacting to global events."
The proof of a collective mind, the definitions of life and consciousness would all be significant demarcations in the human timeline.
But until we have one or all three how can we have the hubris to legislate what an individual considers as life for herself?
Fifteen years ago Terry Schiavo lost her ability to communicate for herself. We can see inside her brain but we cannot look into her mind wherever that is. So whatever she wanted for herself with regard to her current physical state can today only be determined by the knowledge and instincts of her husband and family and the science of her doctors. Congress making law for an individual dismisses the meaning of law. And because such grandstanding is the basest form of politics - using another human for personal gain - it also dismisses that consciousness known as Terry Schiavo.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Putin Fears Being Putout
According to a BBC report about the ousting of the Kyrgyz by protestors, "Russia, which considers Kyrgyzstan as part of its natural sphere of influence, urged the country to 'return onto a lawful path.' "
Lawful smawful. Is there any doubt that Vladimir Putin is afraid of becoming Vladimir Putout.
First Ukraine, now Kyrgystan.
Let's do this in the US.
All together now: "Red state ORANGE state 1 2 3..."
Poorer countries ignoring warnings of avian flu
Mistrust of reports on the avian flu (or bird flu) as a "western media hype" may hinder poorer countries from stocking up on needed vaccines. See this article from allAfrica.com. It could be devasting for the world if America's (and other western nations) policies of misinformation and slight of hand tactics prevent preparation for a flu pandemic. Have we cried wolf once too often? Let's remember that pandemic means worldwide. Last I looked, America was on planet Earth.
Here's a press release from the National Institutes of Health regarding a trial of experimental flu vaccine. They are testing a vaccine (targeting the flu strain HN51) manufactured in Swiftwater Pennsylvania by sanofi pasteur, a French company. Test sites will be located "in Rochester, NY, Baltimore and Los Angeles" and "will enroll a total of 450 healthy adults." Here's further information in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicler about the University of Rochester's participation.
Personally, I don't believe the warnings regarding a possible pandemic are western hype. I've been following this avian flu for several years, long before I started this blog. We do need to be concerned about this and should prepare. (If you want more info on what the bird flu is please read my blog of March 7, 2o05.)
Now, if the Bush administration's record on flu season preparation is any indication of what's to come, well...
One option...you could help Tom Ridge get his first Home Depot bonus by buying gobs of plastic and duct tape and making your own personal bubble...
Or you could go live out in the middle of nowhere...but then, as was pointed out to Scully in an episode of the X-Files...there is no more middle of nowhere.