Saturday, December 30, 2006

Reading list - [placeholder]

This post tries to echo the previous post somewhat...






And then doing something about it all?

Some cud....

"Western Civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages. One is the scientific spirit of adventure - the adventure into the unknown, an unknown which must be recognized as being unknown in order to be explored; the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered; the attitude that all is uncertain; to summarize it - the humility of the intellect. The other great heritage is Christian ethics - the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual - the humility of the spirit. These two heritages are logically, thoroughly consistent. But logic is not all; one needs one's heart to follow an idea. If people are going back to religion, what are they going back to? Is the modern church a place to give comfort to a man who doubts God - more, one who disbelieves in God? Is the modern church a place to give comfort and encouragement to the value of such doubts? So far, have we not drawn strength and comfort to maintain the one or the other of these consistent heritages in a way which attacks the values of the other? Is this unavoidable? How can we draw inspiration to support these two pillars of Western civilization so that they may stand together in full vigor, mutually unafraid? Is this not the central problem of our time?"

'The Relation of Science and Religion', Richard P. Feynman

Originally published by the California Institute of Technology in Engineering and Science magazine. Personally I would replace Christianity and the 'church' with 'religion', as this applies to many different forms and types of modern belief systems.

If one could really change the world in a long lasting meaningful way, it seems to me that a few barriers will always stand unless they are either a) stripped away ( which is unfortunately incredibly difficult with existing inertia and legacy frameworks and systems) or b) that of slowly replacing or superceeding that which is already there or appears to be working. Sometimes there is a slow and barely noticeable evolution; one that you don't notice until you actually stand back and see where you have come from, and other times there is massive paradigm shift that results in huge change by virtue of an idea, an invention or some catastrophic event ( which generally only lasts a short time in corporate or societal memory).

I posit that five basic concepts or issues are of utmost importance to how we think, live, learn and treat both our ecosystem and fellow sentient beings.

[ However, sometimes you find people have beaten you to it ;) )

a) mortality ( )
b) scarcity ( )
c) religion
d) education including information transparency and unfettered access to said information / knowledge
e) diet

So perhaps improvements could be made, or these concerns addressed by:

a) immortality - by constantly replacing or reprogramming our cells and fully understanding atomic / quantum interactions on molecular biology etc

b) nano-technological fabrication of goods and facilitation of services ( energy issues? ) and population control either voluntarily or involuntarily via governmental eugenics or Nature re-exerting balance via some form of mass infertility and hopefully preventing some form of Malthusian Catastrophe
c) a sweeping new unified religion / belief system similar to, if not expanding upon buddhism in its synergy with modern science, universal compassion and tolerance... or even a spontaneous new mass movement or group awakening / Enlightenment which seems to be brewing due to accelerating global disillusionment
d) free ( as in beer ) universal education and wider topics of learning for younger generations, including digitization thereof and free access to the sum of all human knowledge including all global libraries, universities and educational publications

Current and historical:

e) go vegan or vegetarian for everyone and everything's sake, including your own sanity and health! Why?
A gross simplification I know, ignoring current governments, regimes, political beliefs, markets, famine, drought, poverty, pollution etc etc.. where to begin? So many issues, so many problems... one problem I have spoken about before is that of archival, storage and standardisation of information and protocols to access said information. One must always assume rebuilding from an apocalypse e.g. instructions included, including the instructions for the instructions.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Quality and existence?

Impermanence and suffering, hand in hand?

Today's thought of the day comes from trying to cram too much in to one day, and then deciding to do only one thing! One tries to get the most, the best or the biggest from activities in a distinct period of time. So, who and what defines the quality of our experiences? Is it external, is it society or can it really be ourselves.. unfettered by external influences?

If we are perceiving and defining as we go ( a bit like new metaphysical theories that potentially become self-fulfilling prophecies..? ), then this world has already been defined in to existence, and continues to be so in the micro and the macro the further we wish to plunge. It will take some radical thinking to help undefine parts of it and a common moral/ethical system to guide 'science' as it does so. How deep can we go? Is Planck's constant really the limiting factor, until of course we go deeper?

Recently, after reading the 'Elementary Particles' (quoted in my last post), the problem of mortality does NOT allow us to absolve ourselves of the responsibilities to both our earth and our fellow man upon death ( we speak sometimes of our children inheriting the earth), but not everyone has children, and I believe people are still inherently selfish and even though they spend a lot of time thinking about the future, they are all selfish thought cycles. Being immortal, we would not be impermanent and as such, would both remember others actions and would be compelled to act in the common good in knowing we were all intrinsically part of the 'Wheel of Life'? Funnily enough though, an image of the vampires in the movie Blade(I|II|II)? spring to mind, whereupon they went down the other path in a meglomaniacal sense (only because there were the inferior humans still to be ruled!), there was somewhat of a respect for other 'immortal' vampires. ( Unfortunately though, vampires could still be killed in certain ways, as would potential future biologically immortal humans... albeit they would be free from disease and sickness, they could still be beheaded / incinerated etc. etc.) This is also apparent with the fictional Titans in Dune's 'Machine Crusade'Titans' , a continued set of Dune books written by Frank Herbert's son Brian.

Would be nice to address group consciousness without immortality though.... ;)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Elementarily T.I.R.E.D.?

The latest sociological acronym is "Tired" - the Thirty-something Independent Radical Educated Dropout.

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do - with your one wild and precious life?"

The Summer Day, Mary Oliver

"Children suffer the world that adults create for them and try their best to adapt to it; in time, usually, they will replicate it."

The Elemetary Particles, Michel Houellebecq, 1998

Have I exhausted all modern society has to offer - a year early at 29? Is it now time to change the world as previously envisaged? Enlightenment may be a pre-requisite. And these North American zen groups are either too scared, cliquey.... or there are too many stoners and looneys around this continent to warrant any form of trust in a stranger. I'll need to 'explore/meditate' back home in the EU, where the vibe is akin to the openness and friendliness of my second home, Australia. ( I hope ;)

Listening to inside, still confused...

Thought: All these coffee shops and coffee addicted people feed the 'chattering' monkey mind of the ego and keep the 'pain-body' emotionally hurting both itself and others. Keep those dumb 'battery' humans in their boxes consuming, keep their music/ipods playing when outside so they don't hear the real world.

Q. What's left to suppress? A visual overlay on the world to create a 'pseudo' reality?

Dream: Brother arrived at same conclusions as I. He felt even more hopeless. I ended up beating and bullying him not to give up. He went limp in my arms. He had passively accepted whatever fate was going to throw at him. He went to bed suicidal and woke up happy. Then another one of him appeared, and another and another - all taking multiple choices, directions etc. His essence and energy was becoming severely diluted the more 'hims' appeared, we (family) wanted him to stop multiplying but once he had started he couldn't and didn't want to. It was freeing and very powerful to him.

There was a building with lots of windows, some were filled with versions of him, some had large sloth/ant-eater bipeds that were also his essence too. They were smiling and looking up chuckling.

I tried to get him to come to Australia, he wouldn't. I realised I didn't live there anymore. By accident he ended up in a green hippie van traveling to New Zealand. I was happy about that.