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Messages - Madness

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Brain Science Podcast - Brain science lite, in my opinion. Some great interviews and reviews with some of my favorite academic heroes and heroines.
Books & Ideas - Same host as BSP, with a lite lite feel. I tried to have her get Bakker and Neuropath on it but to no apparent avail.

Alex Jones - Because "real" news sucks and this is much more entertaining, if barely critical...
Cutting Through the Matrix - Because he's Scottish, because he lives in the wilderness of Canada, and because "real" news sucks - professionalism is lax, if only a little more heavily critical...

I have a number of others in mind but you've sent me digging, Sci. I shall be back to add a few more of my favorite (though to be fair, I basically only listen to BSP or Alex Jones with breakfast, being my little free time at the moment).

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The White-Luck Warrior / Re: Nonmen religons.
« on: September 30, 2013, 09:16:33 pm »
I'll collect them after and link them here but there are at least three or four topics that overlap with these ideas already, Curethan. Not that I care about the newly created topic - just notation.

It can be argued that they are created from some kind of collective emotional subconscious, but it is more likely that they predate human civilization, at least from the hints of various nonmen and Baker's epigrams.

I like this, except I would amend it as "created from some kind of collective emotional subconscious of ensoulled beings."

If we attend Titirga's words in the False Dawn, it would seem that men sought instead to adopt the theology of nonmen.

Actually, my take away is that sorcerers, not the Many of humankind, embrace the Nonman theology. And I wonder why, if the Nonmen are not actually unilaterally damned by the Hundred...

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Wilshire did a decent job.

The actual quotation is "if," by the way.

If it is only after (something has occurred) that we understand what has come before (, that is, what actually happened when it actually occurred), then we (can) understand nothing (in the moment when things are actually happening).

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General Earwa / Re: TSA related art and stuff.
« on: September 30, 2013, 09:06:49 pm »
Those artistic works are awesome, Somnambulist and Quinthane. Real cool.

Conditioned, here's the rendition I promised you from about a year ago. I'm not much of a sketcher (though proud to say none of it is traced) and I have a much more artistically inclined friend working on digitizing it for us with proper colour palates from the TJE and WLW covers and adding script-work, etc.

Also, Somnambulist, I second wanting a frontal shot of the Inchoroi.

http://postimg.org/image/mddwkw7fr/

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The Thousandfold Thought / Re: Kellhus & Seswatha
« on: September 28, 2013, 10:51:32 pm »
Welcome to the Second Apocalypse, yullback.

We've had versions of this discussion elsewhere. My burning questions then change subtly. For instance, is Seswatha still an intact entity somehow? lockesnow, I believe, suggested that Seswatha used the Heart and the Dreams to achieve something resembling Shauriatas' immortality from TUC Ch. 1 Excerpt. If Seswatha still exists as his own agent, how much volition and agency does he have?

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Lol. Meh, I've been there - modern thug life loses its alluring romantic edge ;).

Intellect is. No matter where.

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I think there can be many reasons why people turn to drugs,and not all of them are destructive.It can easily end up being destructive of course,depending on the drug of choice.

Maybe a healthy and curious attitude toward altered states? It does not have to end up being something destructive.I know people who have learned much about themselves through various drugs,and ended up being a better person because of it.Many people just want to experience as much as possible in their rather short lifespan,and various drugs provide plenty of interesting experiences.

I think you're talking about information dissemination - the most popularized rendition, to me, seems to be the organized campaign against ecstasy. Statistics don't speak highly of this and james and you have both mentioned that new, stranger drugs have been created.

We definitely need more dialogue between parents and children, educators and parents, police and students, etc.

I guess I must sound like a hypocrite in certain aspects,and I think I might be a bit hypocritical,because I do want that balance of technology and nature.

I also feel I have to point out that I am not self-sufficient at all.I am planning to set up a little greenhouse to grow vegetables in.Although ascetics fascinate me,I am not quite there yet :) It is the surroundings that are key for me.Being out here,and still be able to talk to you guys is the perfect balance I need at the moment ;)

Lol, regardless, you're on a journey. The point remains that self-sufficient individuals still can't truly escape interaction with the current global civilization.

Think of Fukushima. Everyday it become more and more obvious that we need the best human minds available, regardless of nationality, race, gender, etc., working on safely containing and disposing the mess. Japan finally accepted international aid today but it's been almost two and half years.

It doesn't matter then that we are ignorant as hermits, isolated cultures, and the uninformed plebletariot (all of us) - what we don't know about the behaviors of society can hurt us.

Instead of another long post I'll just ask you a question Madness, what do you propose as the solution or the idea that is going to change things? I don't have any faith in fighting for change or altered perspectives. There is too much profit in drugs for anything to change. In fact what will happen is a massive intensification of the range and quantity of substances available. There will be many casualties and much psychosis, but also a lot of hard data gathered.

I'm not really sure but I definitely was trying to get the group of us freestyling on the topic.

I agree with your prediction but at the same time, the consequences of drug use often arise as a result of psychosocial dynamics other than usage - production, dissemination (purchase & sale), legislation proportional to black market value, social distinctions (alcohol vs. drugs).

Life: Chore that regularly convinces you to smoke dope instead.
...

I'm glad you didn't get caught in anything. I'm wondering at what you wanted to communicate with your anecdote though.

I wanted to take the time to watch the documentary on Mexico before I posted but I couldn't tonight.

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Philosophy & Science / Re: Julian Jaynes/V.S Ramachandran
« on: September 25, 2013, 11:52:46 pm »
I think that sounds like Harmony too, Royce.

Ok,I am just going to throw something out here.Jaynes suggest that conciousness does not make all that much difference to a lot of our activities.He mentions various examples like bicycling,tennis and so on where consciousness actually make things more difficult.He goes on to say that it is perfectly possible that there could have existed a race of men who spoke,judged,reasoned,solved problems,indeed did most of the things we do,but who were not conscious at all.The ego which has a birthday(5000 years ago?) is what makes us conscious.Before that he basically says that we were the same,just without a self :)

...

My problem with this is that if this is in some way true,why and how did the ego come into existence?

First off, Jaynes seems to be referring about what psychologists have come to be called 'procedural memory,' often skills, difficult to teach and conceptualize with language, that we learn by doing.

For the latter portion of the quote, to write completely hypothetically, the evolution of brains is like the metaphorical snowball rolling downhill - every new biological feature requires requisite neural tissue, which in turn adds to and allows for new, emergent patterns of activation. For instance, we go through the process of growing our brains during gestation as the brain has evolved (reptile, mammal, neocortex - humans).

Given that, consciousness might have spontaneously occurred after any given new feature (say, opposable thumbs).

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Philosophy & Science / Re: Rupert Sheldrake
« on: September 25, 2013, 11:41:12 pm »
Quote
Perhaps, he's simply highlighted an area of the brain that works to integrate multiple aspects of sensation to selectively perceive physical presences in a certain sensory peripheral...

Yeah,I have been wondering about that.So you are saying that there is a part of your brain that can cause the illusion of perceiving a presence of god? That would explain a lot :)

Hrm. No :). Proprioception is what some psychologists refer to as a sixth sense. It reflects your ability to sense the position of your body parts relative to one another. It's further theorized that something like what I posited above exists, which might sense individuals behind you or as "in your bubble," both of which are partially researched hypotheses. I think, Persinger is likely stimulating an area of the brain that activated during that sensation.

(EDIT: Also, it's good to remember that sensation and perception aren't all or nothing. People can and do train to heighten their perception and perceive in different ways - for instance, I spent time learning to lip read.)

As I wrote, it's a gradient. Some people sense God almighty, Richard Dawkins got a headache... and most variations in between.

I do not know if you are familiar with a british illusionist called Darren Brown? He actually convinced an atheist that he was having a profound religious experience.Not sure how,but he is skillful with tricks of the mind :)

No but I'll definitely check it out.

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Apologies in advance for the quote/response ratio. I like to be clear as I can manage.

I meant to say that enjoyment is pushed on us as the raison d'etre for existence but that it shouldn't be. I think that there's a kind of weird mystification going on, in which the culture tries to fool itself that it can stave off the threat of nihilism through adopting this attitude that consumerism saves us because it allows us to enjoy in spite of, and deny or defeat nihilism. IMO nihilism is part of the path we must embark on to liberate ourselves from being harvested as human commodities for the profit of the managers of our addictions and needs.

Are the people constituting culture, by whatever distinct divisions we want to draw, aware of this? Is nihilism even a natural progression? I'm something of an agnostic myself, though I try to resist classification. And, in the case of consumerism, existing participation doesn't strike me as a particularly convincing argument not to attempt difference.

When I said "for an organism addicted to oxygen, death is the only form of sobriety possible" what I meant was that while we are alive we will always be addicted to something, and always be slightly intoxicated by the world. Death IMO is a preferable state of being, and it is the only absolute in our lives and the only permanent liberation. Much suffering has been caused by the refusal to accept this fact. But if we accept it, then we can develop both compassion and an armour of knowledge that allows us to resist the madness and much of the pointless suffering and violence in the world.

There is a thread ;).

Death being the only absolute, I want to live - despite being adamant about denying immortality beyond a couple centuries.

The only other consensus I hear on this planet is that people live... lives were lived before us and lives will be lived after and so, for me, every effort must be made to make living better. And I'm not suggesting an ineffable better at some point in the future, I'm talking better than now cause everyone can agree that now has become truly ridiculous. We waste an incredible amount of our only real bartering chip (our brain) as a species to maintain this degree of apathy.

Which, brings us back to point and task. You've qualified 'intoxication' as a natural state (which reflects a minority literature suggesting that intoxication is a 'drive' like thirst or hunger). I've responded that at a certain level of description all interaction between the brain and the environment enacts chemical and electrical transmission like any other conscious state, including taking drugs (the argument continues that drugs add or detract something but so does sustenance, fear, sleep - if the state of the brain is chemical and electrical, changing it by those mechanisms is still a state of the brain?)

A detriment to a single human is a loss to us all. As a culture and society we embody and enact the reactions to the reality of living.

In the UK reporting negative, frustrated or generally nihilistic emotional states is grounds for psychiatric incarceration. Once there, you will eventually report the positive mental attitude the authorities want, or you won't leave.

The emotional realities of life, particularly for the proles, are too offensive to the dominant ideology of positive thinking for its own sake and absolute denial of the nihilistic implications of existence. We all have a duty to censor any expression of negativity with hope and a kind of wistful 'oh well it will all be ok if i just believe' type attitude.

That sounds particularly difficult in the UK but I feel that "censoring" attitude is prevalent in the Western Empire. But there are plenty of immediate cultural distinctions that quickly transcend that attitude in communication as well.

This is demanded by a psychiatric establishment that over medicates people with SSRI's ... Therefore consumption becomes a moral issue, when it is bad for us we must blame ourselves, and we must always believe that we need only believe in goodness and we can do it right in the future.

Vested interests and polarizing propoganda. It's not easy to do right by ourselves and it takes effortful practice. But it is on us to be informed and participate. There definitely should be a involved society, which constantly re-prioritizes how it wants to facilitate its constituents.

We are forced to believe in a maladaptive enlightenment fallacy that stretches individual autonomy into the realms of the supernatural. We are supposed to be subjects that only encounter reality after causally deliberating over it ... It's dangerous and damaging, but finding the truth is almost impossible in the noisey media deluge of junk science and hypo manic idiots advertising scams and faking positive consumer feedback on their websites.

We're definitely fed a certain perception - but we can fight for change, neh? I'm perfectly capable of believing that I'm back to black when my mortal form passes and still wanting to make a difference in the living realm while I'm here.

Instead of understanding the mechanical processes causing our diet and sobriety fails, we think of it in terms of guilt and discipline! That to me is evil. We think we can conjure attitudes out of thin air that will override reality itself.

Distinctions, nothing more. Disseminate clearer communication.

Of course, this arises because we don't have conscious access to such processes, our introspection and consciousness only provides the faintest data about what is going into our bodies and what the brain is doing. The brain produces thoughts, but we are never permitted to understand these thoughts as emanating from anything other than a supernatural construct - the self, which doesn't really exist!

I apologize as I strive to respond practically. I feel you're asking deeper questions...

Only a techno scientific understanding of ourselves as machines can help us. We must understand the truth of what we input into our bodies, and realize that this creates data which online communities can help us interpret. Only science can save us from becoming rats moving coins around the urban cage to get a cheap and dangerous dopamine hit.

Hrm. Science is constituted of real people with vested interests. And it's on the wrong side of a socioeconomic class distinction for most of us.

I think you understand that we can't simply resist this with prohibition. The only way out is through. Smarter drugs - an end to the mystical hedonistic attitude that dominates drug culture - a sub culture of neuro modification, health, healing, performance and expansion. We can dream of a future in which we develop new hardware for the brain and body. We can use it to meditate, for security, to play the financial markets, for performativity, or just to experience novel neurophysiologies. But we must resist the demand to use it to exhaust and damage ourselves in addiction.

I think you might fixated on a single dimension of the problem. It just isn't this simply.

Someone who has been made obese by junk food, or given diabetes and massive weight gain by SSRI's they don't need, someone who smokes themselves until disease and death, who becomes alcoholic, all are victims of their brains being hacked. Their suffering can at least show us the necessity to take control of our own neuro chemistry. To tend to our brains like a garden or a machine. To monitor and control what is inputted and record and compare the data of the effects. To develop a sub culture of technical modifcation, through software (memes, substances, experiences) and hardware (implants, tcds machines, new types of jewellry/accessories etc.)

Again, are you railing against the plebletariot's ignorance, the complacency of experts (family doctors, Lay's Chips, the Breweries, Starbucks, Kollisch/Hofmann), the legislation that makes them all possible, or Hammurabi's Code in the first place (by which I just meant codified laws of civilization and their philosophic necessity to keep us from the worst of us?)

This has turned into rants which are extremely subjective in nature.

While I don't think we've strayed all that much, I do think that the subjective straying keeps the conversation rich in profited wisdom. Greater chance of revelation ;). Plus, is this not how all societies affect change, by a handful of individuals on the intraweb ::)?

Although I agree with much of what James is saying,it is also just a subjective understanding of the nature of reality.There are tons of those out there.Which of those are true?Either none or everyone.No objective understanding exists,so we are left with sharing our subjective ones I guess.

Quote
The bold seems to reflect the consumerist outcry that james' has nicely articulated. But is it the only response?

No it is not the only response,but it is the one that is most visible,and because it is so visible,it makes sense to use that as a reason.
Who knows what is going on inside billions of brains? IMO I think this goes much deeper than consumerism.

We're all aspects of the phenomenon in question. james is, in fact, offering a sample perspective of the kind of mind that turns towards satiation in unadvised dietary choices or medicating chemically. To approach this specific crux from a different angle, what are other alternative explanations as to why people turn to drugs in the first place - if not wrestling with some kind of existential angst that james describes (whether it's an actually embodied mindset is a completely different story - few can adopt the sincerity of Peter Stormare in The Big Lebowski: "We’re Nihilists. We believe in nothing, Lebowski. Nothing.")

One way to look at it is that we have distanced ourselves more and more from what we know we are,namely nature.Maybe that makes us sick,and we behave irrationally and create this unsane civilization because we have to destroy,violate and consume the planet the keep the machine going.To me,getting out of the city worked for me.Surrounded by wilderness and animals,I have again found the peace I need to cope with existence.Am I running away? Maybe,but I needed to do something,or else I would literally loose my mind.To be part of a society is like taking part in a game.You choose to participate.There are people who chose not to participate(ascetics),and they exist just as much people who play the game does.Maybe there are ways the western civilization can be "saved" but I am not hopeful.

I applaud you, Royce, and many in my country adopt the same perspective towards the same end. But not participating isn't an option for me. The game is everywhere now. You can flee to the mountains but damn sure the world is going to come knocking before long.

Royce, I've seen the attitude you have articulated quite a lot recently and I've always been somewhat skeptical of it.

However, I'd agree with you that getting out of the city, getting 'back to nature' etc. is not only an extremely healthy and therapeutic thing to do, it's probably one of the easiest ways to heal someones nerves and psyche and prevent a breakdown.

...

we should see all these things as engineering problems.

You don't need nature because we are already so close to technically replicating all the functions nature provides - free heat, energy from the sun, soil and space to grow crops etc. with small scale personal technology. Certainly, the life you speak of has tremendous merits, however I worry about the regressive tendencies that sometimes manifest within it.

What does it mean to go back to nature other than to seek free but rapidly obsolescing sources of sustenance and energy?

I forgot to mention that I am not at all against technological inventions that improve aspects of existence,and make us less dependent on destroying the planet.I am not at all saying that everyone should start walking backwards,but are things better as they are now?

Aren't you discussing aspects of the same proposal? It is rare that someone in a self-sufficient living condition relies on a balance of technology and nature - harvesting solar energy seems the exemplar of what you are describing, james, that technologies should work to be displace relatively little that exists already?

Anyone check out Earthships? Great documentary to go along with it.

We now have enjoyment right in front of our noses 24/7 with gadgets in numerable forms.I can`t really see there is going to arrive any kind of global awakening where everyone realizes that this hunger for enjoyment is wrong.The reason for that is that most people do not agree with you.They love this lifestyle more than anything else.Comfort is the new drug.

Isn't it satisfying to freestyle alternatives, though? The world can be different. And, in my opinion, practically identifying the whys and the wherefores of the way things are is one of a number of places to being seeking the way things could be.

I have to cut this a little short, though there wasn't much else in the final posts by either of you, which compelled me to respond.

I have no issue with continue the discussion as trends but, though it is inextricably intwined in the conversation for qualify why people turn to drugs, I might make a separate topic.

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Philosophy & Science / Re: Rupert Sheldrake
« on: September 24, 2013, 01:31:52 pm »
TMS...

It's only a half-step better than TDCS. Accepting that half-step is TMS can depolarize or hyperpolarize, not simply the latter (as far as I've understood the mechanisms involved.

To clarify, also, participants in Persinger's pattern of stimulation can report from God clearly while others claim Aliens, or rather, simply vague personifications in their presence.

Perhaps, he's simply highlighted an area of the brain that works to integrate multiple aspects of sensation to selectively perceive physical presences in a certain sensory peripheral...

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Introduce Yourself / Re: Only Me
« on: September 23, 2013, 06:06:08 pm »
Welcome to The Second Apocalypse, Johnny.

Make yourself at home :).

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I know he did. I am not convinced that chewing gum solves the problem. It's too soft. We need more challenge, chewing wise, than this. The force of the pressure on our teeth and gums is critical...not only that you chew something.

I wonder if the Soylent community has addressed this?

Sure. Did i somehow imply that it can not?
And yes, it most probably is. Why is that a problem? I know we are not eating like our forebears..especially not like our forebears from before large scale industrialization...BUT why are we so sure that this is a problem? I mean it is not as if those forebears were that much healthier than we are. We live 80 on average, they lived around 30 years if that. I know that there are more factors to that than simple food intake...but still.
And you can try to take in less industrialized food without going the "extreme route".

I felt you were highlighting some disadvantages of Soylent that weren't mutually exclusive from the common intake.

Most of the detractions you voiced about Soylent might equally be voiced about consensual (if there is a majority at all) ingestion. I was thinking specifically about the "food pyramid" that was conceived and popularized, possibly with malicious intent, but most certainly without the understanding we enjoy today.

Has that been revised? Yes and no. But doesn't your perspective discount popularized notions of diet as much as it does Soylent?

Not sure i get what you are responding to (as you answered to a quote by me)? Care to elaborate?

Apologies, I simply used your words as a waystation in the ongoing dialogue.

I, again, felt that your arguments could easily be applied to consensual and popularized diets. Clearly, there are a whole range of diets the world over. Examples of longevity don't exactly pervade popular culture or enjoy mass embodiment (few jump on the Japanese or Mediterranean diets). I think james was right to highlight that most people don't come close to hitting the dietary requirements (and likely, those themselves are in need of revision).

I didn't/don't want opinions reflecting your own to limit the discussion (not that it has). I often try and take a more pervasive perspective in order to tease insight from ambiguity. Also, I like to consider as many perspectives as I can.

I am interested in your thoughts specifically, Kellais, but also in how we might consider the alternatives together (or, more specifically, how we might consider how considering the alternatives actually distorts, discounts, or negates our own personally-held conceptions).

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Philosophy & Science / Re: Spacetime Geometry may "falsify" locality?
« on: September 23, 2013, 05:40:31 pm »
I really enjoy these ideas of movement and geometry - for instance, the shapes generated by the elliptical orbit of the celestial spheres. And Cymatics 8).

But I'd need some serious maths learning before I could appreciate or contribute to conversations such as these.

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Philosophy & Science / Re: Rupert Sheldrake
« on: September 23, 2013, 05:33:50 pm »
I will watch it but I'm fairly familiar with Persinger's work and, worst of all, his research hasn't enjoyed much, if any, replication.

Also, the spectrum of experience is uninspiring to say the least - Dawkins, for instance, says he felt nothing more than a mild headache in Persinger's Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation helmet.

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