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].

Tat Twam Asi

Traditionally translated as “Thou art that”.  Interestingly, “tat”, Sanskrit for “that”, is the source of the word “that” in English.

I’m not a big fan of the “thou”s and the “art”s, however.

But I get that “tat” has special “spiritual” significance.  And “art” is a good word, generally.  Nevertheless, the traditional translation bothers me.  It probably has to do with that I’ve basically only encountered that archaic language in relation to religious frames of thought that I’d never accepted.  I almost prefer “That is you”.

Perhaps “This is you”.  But then my brain immediately picks up on a bit of redundancy in “…is is…” (and isn’t getting rid of just exactly that redundancy in thought and expression the point??) and wants to shorten the whole thing to “this you”.  But, too, it’s a little flat this way.  Lost some flare.  Forgettable.

So, then, more integrally, th(is) you”.  I’d pronounce it [thizz-you] since the “th” ends with the existential “is” and not the “-is” ending that traditionally finishes “this”.

I like “th(is) you” because it places the “is” of “you” in “this”.  That sort of syntactically mirrors what I think the statement is trying to point to, which is that the source of the very feeling of existing, the root of consciousness itself, is something that is inherent in and arises out of matter/energy.  Consciousness is rooted in existence.  It is inherent because it could as easily arise in another arrangement of “stuff” in another galaxy, etc.  I reject Earth-dependent notions of Soul as well as all Magical Wands that pop into existence to bootstrap its support.

Obviously, presence is a natural phenomenon, even if various growth narratives of matter/energy display varying degrees of experience.

Th(is) you

Humanity’s Physics

I just found cosmology and astrophysics to be highly amusing.  At least as is commonly understood in culture and everyday language and everyday identity.  Our idea of the universe as that which is bounded by what we can see when we (our scientists) look the farthest we can into space – which is to say when we piece out the signals from the farthest reaches of space-time that we can.

There are all these signals bathing the Earth all the time.  An incoherent jumble.  But, like the brain parsing out a visual scene before it, our scientific juggernaut continually sifts and sieves the information into coherent layers, connected and forming a total framework.

What’s so amusing?  That we actually think it is likely that our instruments can even see a tiny fraction into the depth of space-time.  That we form our big bang theories around the idea that as much universe was formed as we can detect.  And I’m not talking about all the dark matter we figure ought to be around based on all that we can detect.  That dark matter, as I understand it, is assumed to be some kind of a concomitant to the matter that isn’t dark.

What if really and truly the universe were like a fractal.  That the volume we can detect is literally an insignificant fraction of the whole.  That even as we peer out and back through time, our tunnel of visibility is like one path through the julia set.  Even this post is just a badly worded attempt to express an insight.  I think that applying our understanding of space to the “universe” cannot succeed.  Not three or four dimensional space.

What I’m really trying to get at isn’t that our scientists are off kilter.  They’re on a truth-arriving track.  It’s the human brain’s expectation of understanding things in terms of (even our most advanced) felt experiences of space.  We have this expectation of objects being containers of an immutable volume that only its constituents occupy.  That things “far apart” are indeed far apart.  There is no “spooky action at a distance”.  That “separateness” exists.  That “things” exist.  That “time” is something that keeps events apart.  That when we look out into space, things are “big” and that is different than how “small” things are in the microscope and beyond.

And it’s not that those feelings and understandings are “wrong”.  They’re approximations.  Rules of thumb.  Our deepest metaphysics are evolution’s rules of thumb.  These prejudices are our badges of ignorance and innocence.  The palpable “dinosaur within the bird”.

 

Articulating the Inarticulable

Have YOU ever had that feeling?  Which one!?  THAT one.  The one that wants to express but doesn’t have the tools to do so.  Like meaning just beyond any defining word or sentence.  Furniture without the carpentry to make it?  Song without instrument?  Any tip-of-the-“tongue” skill?  Butterfingers with deeply continuous intention.

Like Vivaldi’s winter that can’t find release, as at :39-:40 seconds on this particular you tube video.

Sometimes all we can do is headbang!!  Move our hips, roll our neck, unfocus our eyes, and move.  But sometimes, that’s not enough.  In my case, I could start conducting an unseen orchestra vigorously and look something  like Nietzsche in “When Nietzsche Wept” conducting his own unseen orchestra.

Might that feeling not be ‘spirit itself’?  It feels like what I imagine people to be talking about when they refer to spirit.  Why do I word it like that?  Imagine the word: “spirit”.  Do you accept it?  What?  The word!?  Or the concept behind it?!  What the concept points to.  Well, you need me to define, what am I pointing to, precisely, that I ask if you ‘accept’ or ‘not’?!  What’s the word mean?  Everyone’s got a different conception.

I can’t define it!!!  But I want to!!!  That’s it, itself.  The desire to point is what I’m pointing at.  The previous sentence refers to the motivation that resulted in the sentence being written; yours, mine.  All these sentences are so.  To answer questions; yours, mine.

There it is.  The disparity.  The felt distinction.  Whew!  I point to the nourishment that all the forms around; yours, mine…

 

Adaptive Hallucination

As I’ve been learning more about my anatomy (and physiology), about where things feel in relation to one another (under and behind) my face-centered consciousness, rather than on how they are spatially related on a drawn diagram in front of me, I’ve been developing the ability to actually see.

The visual modality has always been my primary, I think.  I write “I think” because I’ve always been very intuitive, too, and working on adaptively hallucinating my insides has brought these two “forces” together in an interestingly synergistic and metaeducational way.  The “hallucination”, or proprioreception with a dash of creativity (too much and you’re no longer adaptive), itself is developing as a result of exercising it.  Duh.

For me, with my visually specialized mind, this has given me something to remember.  For instance, I have a terrible auditory memory.  You can say something and I’ll likely forget it.  But if you show it to me or write it out I can have a practically eidetic memory for it.  My best bet, when it comes to remembering spoken things, is visualizing something and anchoring to that.

Pairing intuition with a motivation to, sort of, reify the intuited spatial and structural relationships visually has been giving the intuited “stuff” something to adhere to, something to grow from, a matrix.  Sort of like Katamari Damacy, the game where you roll a ball around and things stick to it and your ball keeps growing.

nintendo_katamari_by_tompreston-d16ehjs

Nietzsche (or Jung?? [reddit]) wrote in a very different context that nevertheless seems apropos:

For the branches to reach Heaven the roots must go down to Hell.

 I’ll pull that sword from the stone, yet.

Commercials That Educate

A specific example of the more general idea:

Producers of healthy foods (as well as other interested parties) should create an alliance of funds (I’d donate, perhaps the COOP could add 5% to my purchase and donate for me) to produce and market commercials that educate about food, healthy cooking, health research, and yes, brands that are exemplary.

Imagine an America in which the TV watchers not only have to see the same set of various commercials night after night promoting the stupid products and services we work ourselves up so much over, but also repetitions of commercials that show educational material about the body and health of cooking oils and how to cook and products that support that style of life.  Over the course of a year or two, the average viewer having seen literally thousands of such commercials, will probably have learned quite a few things.  These don’t have to be dryly educational and a piece of knowledge doesn’t have to be limited to one showing (although I would not reuse “footage” or “verbage” too much – want to spice it up with funny creative variation along pretty much every angle that is reasonable – still have to contend with ADHD, obviously).

It would practically be charitable to support such a thing.  Bill Gates could give a billion for commercials and we could all rejoice.

Prediction: American eating would transform radically.  And probably our foreign policy, too.

I’d also like to add that this would probably be a very high return on investment opportunity for American taxes, since with Obamacare, we’re all going to be footing quite a hefty (pun intended) bill for all our unhealthful.  We could transform the idea of a PBS into an educational taxpayer funded commercial stream that shows on all channels that have commercials, maybe even radio.