Ayn Rand’s Trojan Horse

It always seemed to me as if Ayn Rand was beyond reproach in terms of being a secret Communist spy.  I mean, could she have been more principally critical of the CCCP?

But recently, seeing how aspects of her radical laissez-faire economics have filtered into (Koch’s) tea party and politics in general, I start to wonder.  Perhaps the Russian strategy was to poison us with the radical form of our own ideology, packaged up like a crystalline virus of the mind.

The core problem with Rand’s philosophy (in this context) is that the Rearden’s, Galt’s, Roark’s and Taggart’s can’t be trusted to come together to make decisions and sacrifices for the whole.  They’re fine with gutting government, but they won’t, as represented both fictionally and in reality, come together to create an EPA to protect the environment from their own cost-cutting measures, for instance.  They won’t come together to address social issues at social scales that reflect the physical history and reality of biological and psychological humanity.

Most importantly, they’ll never try to care, because they already know so certainly and absolutely that they are right and that their reductionist axioms have already been completed and are unassailable and there are no inconvenient wholes or truths.  That’s the real virus, right there.  It’s insidious, and it can even be seen at work within the fracturing of Objectivism and the deep conflicts between its personalities.

What If Not Sports

First of all, let me be clear: I don’t have anything against sports themselves or spectating sports or betting on sports or video games.

But I had a thought today.  What if all the energy we put into these teams and stadiums and talk and thoughts, we instead put into lifting Africa and India (etc.) up out of their chaos and suffering?

I don’t know how we’d do that.  Certainly nothing straightforward, like sending ’em a bunch of money.  Oh wouldn’t that be slick n’ easy.

But I’m sure if we were to start filling the sta

A stadium filled with people absolutely pumped to be making the world a better place.

A stadium filled with people absolutely pumped to be actively making the world a better place.

diums of the world with a different purpose in mind and put our heads together and kept summarizing it at every level we could find, we’d come up with something everyone’s consciences could accept.

Even just a couple times a year, as a national or international event, this would likely have a titanic effect.  Stadiums represent a tremendous concentration of human focus.  There are problems crying for this in the world.

This

Ars Technica published this article: For a brighter robotics future, it’s time to offload their brains.

I commented:

This reads like Marvin Minsky‘s Society of Mind, mutatis mutandis.

In that vein, I wonder how the human conscious experience and distinction-engine can be integrated into this evolving www cloud API. Human creative perception as a service. The 3rd eye of the robot 😉

Something like a more gamified Mechanical Turk?

I think that’s a really good expression of a really good idea [that could save us all].

Matutinal Constitutional

Pavlov and I went for a walk this morning in the woods by our place.  There were some cool visual impressions and I even managed to capture a few of them.

IMG_4285

I wonder how many millions of years this piling upon itself has been occurring?

IMG_4288

Modern Totems.

IMG_4293

IMG_4316

IMG_4301

Brave guy.  It’s hard to get a sense of it, but he was quite a ways off the ground, and had went even further up.

IMG_4309

Such a noble little man.

IMG_4346

IMG_4353

IMG_4354

“This is art” is scrawled on the burnt trash bin in white.

IMG_4356

Merkabah, eh?

IMG_4363

IMG_4365

Things have been this way a while, it would appear.

IMG_4367

Palimpsest poetry.  I believe I read “winter gives its last dying breath” and google chimes in with “blew away the leaves autumn left behind” which, on examination, fits with what is itself blowing away in face of the winter of time, namely the paint applied by human (presumably) hands.

IMG_4369

I’m certainly curious what’s under the “free your mind” slab.  Occam’s Razor suggests a Merkabah initiation chamber.

IMG_4374

IMG_4377Something about this reminds of concrete computational units.  YMMV.

IMG_4378

The brain jar with two closed and an open third eye and a mouth saying AUM is suggestive.

IMG_4383

I love the image below.  Doesn’t that look like a crane from an old Japanese painting?  There’s a white paint bucket you can see on the ground in the next shot.  I can well imagine that the “crane” was produced by splashing the paint upwards.  Nevertheless, perfect!!!  It even manages to catch their “bird knees”.

IMG_4385

IMG_4386

See?  I think the paint splatter has better lines.

japanese crane

Even the picture manages to catch the very brilliant coloring of this heart on fire.

IMG_4390

IMG_4391

IMG_4394

IMG_4409

IMG_4410

IMG_4417

I guess those two trees are meant to be together, at least according to the vine.

IMG_4419

Eyes peering through the complexity.  Whose?  Mine or the painted being’s?  Both, maybe: it’s a quantum mechanical thing.

IMG_4423

Returning homesies, we came upon a previous subject from another angle.

IMG_4426

The Indirections of our Muscles

Meditation, I think, is all about breath.  Meditation isn’t really about breath at all.

Mind, consciousness, life seems to be most present in reaction.  While any rock will roll when kicked, only life will get better at dodging the foot.  There’s a feedback loop in there somewhere.

…/Sensation/Perception/Evaluation/Action/…

What happens when you tighten it?  What happens when the experiencing/learning mind samples data more quickly and performs more tests on nature?  The mind quickens.

Meditation is about quickening the mind.  <At least until the mind gets up to speed>

Working backwards, we need some data to sample, ever more quickly.  We need some kind of system to feed our evaluation-based choices back into.

Ahh, breath, there you are.

Breathing attentively is a rabbit’s hole, let’s be clear about that, though.  Then, so is life.  The number of details are astounding.  So many things are happening as I write this.  Different things are happening as you read it.  Existence is literally buzzing with a bunch of stuff that cannot but be forgotten as it continues to pile and bubble up.

And yet, stepping back, absolutely nothing changes at all – electrons and their ilk whirl about as energy equilibrates.  It’s been this way for a really long time and everything points to it continuing for a long time still.  So it is with breath.

The way down a rabbit hole isn’t by thinking about the end of the tunnel, it’s forward into the shape just ahead.  So it is with breath.

Breathing happens on many layers at once.  The purpose of breathing is to oxygenate the blood and also to dispose of waste.  This involves the coordination of almost all of the “sub” systems of the body and all of the systems of the body are tied into a very immediate dependency upon the breathing cycle.

Breath is interesting because, like blinking, it can be both automatic or intentional.  Unlike blinking, however, breath requires coordination of large muscles of the body and involves a displacement of mass that actually impacts the center of balance of the body.

Breath is of further interest and utility because it changes aspects of our blood chemistry that in turn change aspects of the brain that in turn change aspects of our experience in stable, dependable ways; especially when we pay attention to the details.

Why?  Why “especially when we pay attention to details”?  Consider 2 exercisees:

  1. Exercisee 1 doesn’t pay attention to the sensations that come back from their limbs as they move them about.  Pushing forwards is initiated in one conscious moment and consciousness does not return to the limb until sometime after the motion is complete.  In between, perhaps, the mind flickers over lunch and dinner and the sky and rocks and a glimmer off somewhere in a distance they’re not quite sure the direction of.
  2. Exercisee 2 moves their limbs slowly and attentively through space sucking into awareness information about the relative location of the limbs based on proprioreception, the feeling of the air on the skin, the alignment of the body to gravity, and, generally, from moment to moment, this person’s awareness flickers over a sophisticated array of experiences that keep pointing back to what is happening as a consequence of itself.

The lifting of weight causes our muscles to strengthen.  Moving attentively causes our nervous system to elaborate and refine.  These are the effects of our choices.

With these tools we can pull at the mind behind/within/throughout the meat.

Chi Reflections

dissipative hexagonal

Chi (ki, Qi, prana) is the presence of the continuation (not-losing/dropping/forgetting/moving-on-from-amnesically) of the experiential reverberations of a felt piece of energy.  Chi is the uninterrupted, continuous reverberation of an experiential state.

A Chi body, then, is a pool of reverberations that retains a sort of metabolic history.  A “proper” Chi body is a pool in which a sustainable, dissipative (thermodynamical steady-state) ripple-boil-pulse has long-term expression.

Om.  Let the speaker boom self-engulfingly.

I laugh joyously at my absurdity because within the inadequate, pseudo-scientific, pseudo-mystical terminology is an experience that is felt to be so really real and subtle and deep and liminal and yet expressible.

Thank www I have words and jpgs to poetaster to.