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{Saturday, May 10, 2003}

today's special

At birth, we emerge from dream soup.
At death, we sink back into dream soup.
In between soups, there is a crossing of dry land.
Life is a portage.
Tom Robbins - Jitterbug Perfume
(No Exit Press, 2001, page 302)

A Fish called Hamlet
" ... many plant and animal species make both eggs and sperm during their lifetimes, making the idea of distinct "male" and "female" bodies untenable. In fact, says Robert Warner, professor of marine ecology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, many animals and plants function as both sexes at the same time, and some, like the hamlet fish, can change sex as conditions change, in a matter of minutes."

Alan Turing and morphogenesis

"All progress is based upon a universal, innate desire on the part of every organism to live beyond its income."
Samuel Butler

Deleuze/Guattari - "Du chaos naissent les Milieux et les Rhythmes."

Headline - Butterfly dreaming causes brainstorm

"Technological change is neither additive nor subtractive. It is ecological. I mean "ecological" in the same sense as the word is used by environmental scientists. One significant change generates total change. If you remove the caterpillars from a given habitat, you are not left with the same environment minus caterpillars: you have a new environment, and you have reconstituted the conditions of survival; the same is true if you add caterpillars to an environment that has had none. This is how the ecology of media works as well. A new technology does not add or subtract something. It changes everything."
Neil Postman - Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology (Vintage, 1993, page 18)

Philip Ball - Pattern of life

Media Ecology: Taking Account of the Knower - Stephen L. Talbott

Polar Gameshow Contestant Brian Discovered in Iceberg
"We've got to defrost him, don't we?"
Vote Now

The search for the missing universe

"What am I myself? What have I done? All that I have seen, heard, noted I have collected and used ... I have reaped the harvest that others have sown. My work is that of a collective being
and it bear's ..."
Goethe - The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Google mum
"I'm told this is the fourth business model for the company," Schmidt said. "We're very much not settled. As a private company we can afford to move" to different models at will.
Schmidt also forecast that by 2008, everyone would have a continuous wireless Internet connection.

Consciousness Based on Wireless?

"After three thousand years of explosion, by means of fragmentary and mechanical technologies, the Western world is imploding. During the mechanical ages we had extended our bodies in space. Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man - the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society, much as we have already extended our senses and our nerves by the various media. Whether the extension of consciousness, so long sought by advertisers for specific products, will be "a good thing" is a question that admits of a wide solution. There is little possibility of answering such questions about the extensions of man without considering all of them together. Any extension, whether of skin, hand, or foot, affects the whole psychic and social complex."
Marshall McLuhan - Understanding Media (1964)

"I think we have a chance in our lifetime of broadcasting consciousness in the same way we now broadcast light. Now consciousness is an activity, it's not a content. It's like hearing or doing something; it's a form of action."
Marshall McLuhan

New Light-Based Computer Operates At Quantum Speeds
By mixing the new beam with the original beam that entered the device, a single frequency will emerge as having been altered by its trip through the database.

Cultural Wisdom, Communication Theory, and the Metaphor of Resonance

"In a brilliant chapter called "The Magic Mind Rediscovered," Pauwels and Bergier contrast the two major aspects of mind: the digital (logical, rational, sequential) and analogue (intuitive, imaginative, creative). Exploring both aspects in science, art, and religion, they view today's physical theory as a modern argot or slang, embodying in analogue form the mysteries and secrets of the universe, just as the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages did through architecture and sculpture." Physics as Metaphor - Dr Roger Jones (Abacus, 1983, page 219)

Tuning in to genius - Were Einstein, Newton Austistic? [sic]

"A concrete pigeon in the hand is worth two abstract sparrows on the roof."
Kurt Schwitters - Premonitions

A Rainbow of Poets Who Rhyme From Life
A would-be actor and poet since he was 11, Poetri, now 28, started out trying to be a rap star but didn't get far. "I guess because I wasn't that good," he said. "Plus I wasn't willing to do, 'I'll kill your mother and your sister and your turtle and then I'll kill your ant farm.' "

A river runs through us
"Englishness and water are especially hard to separate. We spend an inordinate amount of time wondering whether or not it might fall from the sky."
Andrew Motion

Lightning jumpstarts evolution - Shocked bacteria swap genes - Power Bak - on pattern

"Alon noticed that some patterns in the networks were inexplicably more repetitive than they would be in randomized networks. This handful of patterns was singled out as a potential bundle of network motifs."
Genes, Neurons, and The Internet Found to Have Organizing Principles - Some Identical

More than 200 years ago, the German poet and philosopher Johann Wolfgang Goethe first proposed that floral organs are modified leaves.

Smoked eels in Mango sauce
Life 'began on the ocean floor'
" ... the cell came first and was later filled with living molecules."

Composition-in-Performance - Professor Lord - Lord Sutch's Life

"Von Franz points out that the ancient Greek words for number (arithmos) and rhythm (rhythmos) have a common origin in the verb to flow ..."
Roger S. Jones

Virtual Life-Forms Mutate, Shedding Light on Evolution
"What we are able to do is show how all components of the evolutionary process, the random and non-random, get together to form a highly complex gene which could not have evolved by random drift," said Adami.

Back at the lab

" ... all emotional, and therefore energy-laden, psychic processes evince a striking tendency to become rhythmical." Carl Jung

"From this sewage comes a medicine, a medicine made from a virus, the virus that cures." Horizon

"More American lives are lost each year to antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections than were claimed by the entire Vietnam War," says Richard Honour, president and CEO of Phage Therapeutics International ...
The Return of the Phage by Julie Wakefield
"These stalkers of bacteria were discovered during World War I by British bacteriologist Frederick Twort and independently two years later by the French-Canadian Felix D'Herelle, a self-taught medical maverick then at the Pasteur Institute ..."

this is the story of a phage
of aquarius

Unraveling the Mysteries of the Connected Age
What do we do when no one knows the words?

grandtextauto: introductory post
Can we guess together?

Ray Grasse - Cinema and the Birth of the Aquarian Age
"As with The Truman Show, the awakening of individuals into freedom is depicted in The Matrix as a transformation from a water-bound state to an air-based one, exemplified by Keanu Reeves's emergence from the amniotic sac into the open air."

Personal knowledge publishing and its uses in research

"To paraphrase Marshall McLuhan, we shape our networks and then our networks shape us."

Network theory's new math
When Watts and Strogatz published a paper on their small-world theories in Nature in 1998, it "touched off a storm of further work across many fields of science," Buchanan writes. "A version of their small-world geometry appears to lie behind the structure of crucial proteins in our bodies, the food webs of our ecosystems, and even the grammar and structure of the language we use. It is the architectural secret of the Internet ... "

Our Conscious Mind Could Be An Electromagnetic Field

James Joyce's Use of Ten One Hundred-Letter Words in Finnegans Wake has always been an intriguing feature of that novel. Eric McLuhan takes a new approach to the study of these thunderclap words by placing the Wake in the tradition of Menippean satires, where language was used as a means to shock and provoke. Seen in this light, Joyce's peculiar language and style become part of this Menippean tradition ...
The Role of Thunder in Finnegans Wake is the first book to examine this strangest and most prominent aspect of the language of the Wake, and explain its use in the context of classical Greek literature. Each thunderclap is a resonating logos that represents a transformation of human culture. McLuhan presents the thunders as encoding Joyce's study of ten major communications revolutions, ranging from neolithic technologies (speech, fire, etc.) through cities, the railroad and print, to radio, movies, and television. Seen in this fashion, Finnegans Wake is both an encyclopedia of the effects of technology in reshaping human culture and society, and a complete training course for detecting the changes in sensibility occasioned by new media.

the enigma of consciousness

Technology as Relationship
The nature of man's cultural environment is not spatial (environment is not what surrounds us) but relational.
Salaam Knowledge - Parvez Manzoor explores the Dynamics of Information Ecology
Could the harmony and spiritual equilibrium of Muslim culture be a gift of the Qur'an whose orality and literacy are both equally part and parcel of Muslim consciousness? With respect to the Qur'an, the propitious equilibrium of spatial and temporal biases in Islam must be regarded as an established fact. The question which Muslims have to answer, however, is how best to devise institutional setups that would help us maintain this precious balance. How, for instance, in the teaching of the Qur'an, can equal emphasis be given to its aural as well as visual ambience? These and a host of other questions may legitimately - and profitably - be deliberated in the light of our knowledge of the ecology of information. For, no one need dispute the words of William Kuhns, whose incisive The Post-Industrial Prophets: Interpretations of Technology has been so useful in producing this synopsis, that 'Media can liberate or confine man; just knowing that may one day make the difference'.

Armageddon simply means 'great awakening'
"I'm a mother of five I use birth analogies a lot, and it is so true of a birth on the biological level that when the pain becomes most intense is exactly the moment before birth. And when the baby is born and there's that great release for the mother and the child, the baby at first doesn't know it's been born. Its nervous system is not linked up, and it cries." Barbara Marx Hubbard

Who loves to breathe mammalian air
"Gradually it dawned on Mallarm� that pure poetry was impossible - a poetry which would have as its theme the poetic process itself. Henceforth the subject and framework of a poem would be the retracing of a moment of perception. For some of the Romantic poets the doctrine of the aesthetic moment as a moment out of time - a moment of arrested consciousness - had seemed the key to all poetry. The pre-Raphaelites had pushed this doctrine as far as they could. But Mallarm� saw deeper and Joyce saw the rest. Joyce it was who saw that Aquinas had the final answer sought by Mallarm�. The rational notes of beauty, integrity, consonance, and claritas traced by St. Thomas were actual stages of apprehension in every moment of human awareness.
And so we arrive at the paradox of this most esoteric of all art doctrines, namely that the most poetic thing in the world is the most ordinary human consciousness."
Marshall McLuhan - Catholic Humanism and Modern Letters (1954)
reprinted in The Medium and the Light: Reflections on Religion (Stoddart, 1999, pages 160 - 161)
Edited by Eric McLuhan and Jacek Szklarek

John Anthony West
"A civilization may be judged infallibly by what it does with its collective creative energy. (You do not have to be a Christian or even religious to recognize the truth of 'Ye shall know them by their fruits.' Matthew 7, 16)
We put the bulk of our creative energies into shopping malls, weapons of mass destruction, Hollywood and Television trash, bobble-head dolls and Disneyland, with a dollop left over for clever but emotionally bereft science and technology, most of it destructive and/or frivolous; a small percentage of it undeniably beneficial. Egypt (and all other ancient peoples to a greater or lesser extent) put their creative energies into temples, tombs and pyramids all designed to facilitate the quest for Immortality."

The Quest for Immortality

"We are like early amphibians, so to speak, struggling out of the waters that have hitherto covered our kind, into the air, seeking to breathe in a new fashion and emancipate ouselves from long accepted and long unquestioned necessities. At last it becomes for us a case of air or nothing. But the new land has not definitely emerged from the waters and we swim distressfully in an element we wish to abandon."

Kim considers these imaginary space trips to other worlds as practice for the real thing ... And what is the medium corresponding to air that we must learn to breathe in? The answer came to Kim in a silver flash ... Silence ... We are like water creatures looking up at the land and air and wondering how we can survive in that alien medium. The water we live in is Time. That alien medium we glimpse beyond time is Space. And that is where we are going.
William Seward Hall, the man of many faces and pen names

posted by Andrew 5/10/2003 07:01:00 PM