Knowing Something and Knowing the Name of Something

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing — that’s what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something. ~Richard Feynman

*Image Credit: “Richard Feynman — Paine Mansion Woods 1984” copyright Tamiko Thiel (used under CC license BY-SA-3.0)

Body Ritual among the Nacerima

The anthropologist has become so familiar with the diversity of ways in which different people behave in similar situations that he is not apt to be surprised by even the most exotic customs. In fact, if all of the logically possible combinations of behavior have not been found somewhere in the world, he is apt to suspect that they must be present in some yet undescribed tribe. The point has, in fact, been expressed with respect to clan organization by Murdock.  In this light, the magical beliefs and practices of the Nacirema present such unusual aspects that it seems desirable to describe them as an example of the extremes to which human behavior can go.

Professor Linton first brought the ritual of the Nacirema to the attention of anthropologists twenty years ago, but the culture of this people is still very poorly understood. They are a North American group living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles. Little is known of their origin, although tradition states that they came from the east….

Nacirema culture is characterized by a highly developed market economy which has evolved in a rich natural habitat. While much of the people’s time is devoted to economic pursuits, a large part of the fruits of these labors and a considerable portion of the day are spent in ritual activity. The focus of this activity is the human body, the appearance and health of which loom as a dominant concern in the ethos of the people. While such a concern is certainly not unusual, its ceremonial aspects and associated philosophy are unique.

The fundamental belief underlying the whole system appears to be that the human body is ugly and that its natural tendency is to debility and disease. Incarcerated in such a body, man’s only hope is to avert these characteristics through the use of ritual and ceremony. Every household has one or more shrines devoted to this purpose. The more powerful individuals in the society have several shrines in their houses and, in fact, the opulence of a house is often referred to in terms of the number of such ritual centers it possesses. Most houses are of wattle and daub construction, but the shrine rooms of the more wealthy are walled with stone. Poorer families imitate the rich by applying pottery plaques to their shrine walls.

While each family has at least one such shrine, the rituals associated with it are not family ceremonies but are private and secret. The rites are normally only discussed with children, and then only during the period when they are being initiated into these mysteries. I was able, however, to establish sufficient rapport with the natives to examine these shrines and to have the rituals described to me.

The focal point of the shrine is a box or chest which is built into the wall. In this chest are kept the many charms and magical potions without which no native believes he could live. These preparations are secured from a variety of specialized practitioners. The most powerful of these are the medicine men, whose assistance must be rewarded with substantial gifts. However, the medicine men do not provide the curative potions for their clients, but decide what the ingredients should be and then write them down in an ancient and secret language. This writing is understood only by the medicine men and by the herbalists who, for another gift, provide the required charm.

The charm is not disposed of after it has served its purpose, but is placed in the charmbox of the household shrine. As these magical materials are specific for certain ills, and the real or imagined maladies of the people are many, the charm-box is usually full to overflowing. The magical packets are so numerous that people forget what their purposes were and fear to use them again. While the natives are very vague on this point, we can only assume that the idea in retaining all the old magical materials is that their presence in the charm-box, before which the body rituals are conducted, will in some way protect the worshiper.

Beneath the charm-box is a small font. Each day every member of the family, in succession, enters the shrine room, bows his head before the charm-box, mingles different sorts of holy water in the font, and proceeds with a brief rite of ablution. The holy waters are secured from the Water Temple of the community, where the priests conduct elaborate ceremonies to make the liquid ritually pure.

In the hierarchy of magical practitioners, and below the medicine men in prestige, are specialists whose designation is best translated as “holy-mouth-men.” The Nacirema have an almost pathological horror of and fascination with the mouth, the condition of which is believed to have a supernatural influence on all social relationships. Were it not for the rituals of the mouth, they believe that their teeth would fall out, their gums bleed, their jaws shrink, their friends desert them, and their lovers reject them. They also believe that a strong relationship exists between oral and moral characteristics. For example, there is a ritual ablution of the mouth for children which is supposed to improve their moral fiber.

The daily body ritual performed by everyone includes a mouth-rite. Despite the fact that these people are so punctilious about care of the mouth, this rite involves a practice which strikes the uninitiated stranger as revolting. It was reported to me that the ritual consists of inserting a small bundle of hog hairs into the mouth, along with certain magical powders, and then moving the bundle in a highly formalized series of gestures.

In addition to the private mouth-rite, the people seek out a holy-mouth-man once or twice a year. These practitioners have an impressive set of paraphernalia, consisting of a variety of augers, awls, probes, and prods. The use of these objects in the exorcism of the evils of the mouth involves almost unbelievable ritual torture of the client. The holy-mouth-man opens the client’s mouth and, using the above mentioned tools, enlarges any holes which decay may have created in the teeth. Magical materials are put into these holes. If there are no naturally occurring holes in the teeth, large sections of one or more teeth are gouged out so that the supernatural substance can be applied. In the client’s view, the purpose of these ministrations is to arrest decay and to draw friends. The extremely sacred and traditional character of the rite is evident in the fact that the natives return to the holy-mouth-men year after year, despite the fact that their teeth continue to decay.

It is to be hoped that, when a thorough study of the Nacirema is made, there will be careful inquiry into the personality structure of these people. One has but to watch the gleam in the eye of a holy-mouth-man, as he jabs an awl into an exposed nerve, to suspect that a certain amount of sadism is involved. If this can be established, a very interesting pattern emerges, for most of the population shows definite masochistic tendencies. It was to these that Professor Linton referred in discussing a distinctive part of the daily body ritual which is performed only by men. This part of the rite includes scraping and lacerating the surface of the face with a sharp instrument. Special women’s rites are performed only four times during each lunar month, but what they lack in frequency is made up in barbarity. As part of this ceremony, women bake their heads in small ovens for about an hour. The theoretically interesting point is that what seems to be a preponderantly masochistic people have developed sadistic specialists.

The medicine men have an imposing temple, or latipso, in every community of any size. The more elaborate ceremonies required to treat very sick patients can only be performed at this temple. These ceremonies involve not only the thaumaturge but a permanent group of vestal maidens who move sedately about the temple chambers in distinctive costume and headdress.

The latipso ceremonies are so harsh that it is phenomenal that a fair proportion of the really sick natives who enter the temple ever recover. Small children whose indoctrination is still incomplete have been known to resist attempts to take them to the temple because “that is where you go to die.” Despite this fact, sick adults are not only willing but eager to undergo the protracted ritual purification, if they can afford to do so. No matter how ill the supplicant or how grave the emergency, the guardians of many temples will not admit a client if he cannot give a rich gift to the custodian. Even after one has gained and survived the ceremonies, the guardians will not permit the neophyte to leave until he makes still another gift.

The supplicant entering the temple is first stripped of all his or her clothes. In everyday life the Nacirema avoids exposure of his body and its natural functions. Bathing and excretory acts are performed only in the secrecy of the household shrine, where they are ritualized as part of the body-rites. Psychological shock results from the fact that body secrecy is suddenly lost upon entry into the latipso. A man, whose own wife has never seen him in an excretory act, suddenly finds himself naked and assisted by a vestal maiden while he performs his natural functions into a sacred vessel. This sort of ceremonial treatment is necessitated by the fact that the excreta are used by a diviner to ascertain the course and nature of the client’s sickness. Female clients, on the other hand, find their naked bodies are subjected to the scrutiny, manipulation and prodding of the medicine men.

Few supplicants in the temple are well enough to do anything but lie on their hard beds. The daily ceremonies, like the rites of the holy-mouth-men, involve discomfort and torture. With ritual precision, the vestals awaken their miserable charges each dawn and roll them about on their beds of pain while performing ablutions, in the formal movements of which the maidens are highly trained. At other times they insert magic wands in the supplicant’s mouth or force him to eat substances which are supposed to be healing. From time to time the medicine men come to their clients and jab magically treated needles into their flesh. The fact that these temple ceremonies may not cure, and may even kill the neophyte, in no way decreases the people’s faith in the medicine men.

There remains one other kind of practitioner, known as a “listener.” This witch-doctor has the power to exorcise the devils that lodge in the heads of people who have been bewitched. The Nacirema believe that parents bewitch their own children. Mothers are particularly suspected of putting a curse on children while teaching them the secret body rituals. The counter-magic of the witch-doctor is unusual in its lack of ritual. The patient simply tells the “listener” all his troubles and fears, beginning with the earliest difficulties he can remember. The memory displayed by the Nacirema in these exorcism sessions is truly remarkable. It is not uncommon for the patient to bemoan the rejection he felt upon being weaned as a babe, and a few individuals even see their troubles going back to the traumatic effects of their own birth.

In conclusion, mention must be made of certain practices which have their base in native esthetics but which depend upon the pervasive aversion to the natural body and its functions. There are ritual fasts to make fat people thin and ceremonial feasts to make thin people fat. Still other rites are used to make women’s breasts larger if they are small, and smaller if they are large. General dissatisfaction with breast shape is symbolized in the fact that the ideal form is virtually outside the range of human variation. A few women afflicted with almost inhuman hypermammary development are so idolized that they make a handsome living by simply going from village to village and permitting the natives to stare at them for a fee.

Reference has already been made to the fact that excretory functions are ritualized, routinized, and relegated to secrecy. Natural reproductive functions are similarly distorted. Intercourse is taboo as a topic and scheduled as an act. Efforts are made to avoid pregnancy by the use of magical materials or by limiting intercourse to certain phases of the moon. Conception is actually very infrequent. When pregnant, women dress so as to hide their condition. Parturition takes place in secret, without friends or relatives to assist, and the majority of women do not nurse their infants.

Our review of the ritual life of the Nacirema has certainly shown them to be a magic-ridden people. It is hard to understand how they have managed to exist so long under the burdens which they have imposed upon themselves. But even such exotic customs as these take on real meaning when they are viewed with the insight provided by Malinowski when he wrote:

Looking from far and above, from our high places of safety in the developed civilization, it is easy to see all the crudity and irrelevance of magic. But without its power and guidance early man could not have mastered his practical difficulties as he has done, nor could man have advanced to the higher stages of civilization.

Originally written by Horace Miner


Cosmic Consciousness

You are literally made of stardust and whatever becomes of you the particles from which you are made have been around since the dawn of time and will continue to live forever. ~Danny Scheinmann, Random Acts of Heroic Love

In other words, we are all a continuation of the big bang (if there was such a thing, but rather than looking at this as an actual event, let’s look at it as if it were the adjective about a particular event). Much the same as humans are conceived, and as thoughts are conceived, and as atoms collide, and as the earth peoples (like the apple tree apples–an idea borrowed from Alan Watts, but that is apropos I think), humans are.

TardezitaYes, no one can truly see the world the same way as another. Truly cannot see because each human has experienced his or her life, uniquely, through a unique set of happenstances and occurences and accidents and guidances etc; it is this uniqueness that establishes the subtle distinctions that can make each one of us a guru. In this way, all humans inherently possesses an infinity of probable potentialities. Each probability disappears or appears according to the conscious and willful choices made as human beings. These constitute the lovely differences between humans, which make it possible for humans to relate to one another on differing levels. When we find ourselves among greatness (whether that is a work of art, music composed, ballet, basketball game, graphic design, architecture, voice, etc.) we subjectively feel the meaning conveyed and we perceive that greatness wrapped up in a little piece of ourselves. . . so, in some ways we still experience it differently rather than the same. What we can all agree on is that as far as we know there does exist an external dimension, separate from us, yet somehow connected, called external reality (the amalgamation of all realizations, the collective mind). These are the genes of our sameness.

Fossil Sitting In Sun LightI, too, perceive in such a nondualistic manner. As the Winter leaves its cold tendrils in the early days of Spring, and as does one galaxy merges (not collides) with the other, passing through one another and leaving bits of each other within the makeup of the other, as is the nonduality in things. It can be difficult to distinguish one from the other, but only at certain levels of magnification. At one level, the distinction cannot be perceived, as a single point from which to begin or end cannot be perceived. Where do I end and Life begin?

The space around us is full of a living essence, which we are just beginning to understand. This essence is like a conduit that is affected by our thoughts. Like oscillations of a bowed string, the notes we play do matter. ~Shawn Hocking

It’s easy to travel down the nihilist path; I find myself doing this on occasion myself. Although, I don’t think of basing the why of things on their function constitutes nihilism. I think it’s a very realistic (no pun intended) way of perceiving the world about us. Nihilism only comes into play because this way does not include the existence of a god (as an anthropomorphic entity). Also, nihilism does not necessarily mean ending as in destruction. Even Nietzsche, the so-called father of nihilism, did not think this way, evident by his philosophy of the Superman. Nietzche was an evolutionist! He wanted a better kind of Man, as he was extremely displeased with the present lot.

Shawn Hocking ArtworkAnd so, that brings us to Love. Love, to me, is not an emotion, it is a way of being, a way of living in the world. Not so much with love, as *being* love’ in this way with every action, with every motion and with every will and want of your being embodies love, which is the natural tendency in humans. Love is a form of consciousness/conscience, and without them love cannot be experienced. And no, love is not only a human trait. The iconization and commodification of love is a human trait, yes. It is obvious that animals and other organisms love. Observe the cow, the lion, the cat, the dog, the deer, the elephant, the dolphin, the whale, the penguin, as well as the flower, the rock, the sea, and the desert.

Are we not all the embodiment of Life and Love, a cosmic consciousness?

[Cosmic Consciousness]*Image Credits (artwork used with permission through CC license and with express permission from Shawn Hocking)–
“Yin Yang Sky Earth — Illustration” by DonkeyHotey
“Fossil Sitting In Sun Light” by A Guy Taking Pictures
“Tardezita” by Eduardo Amorim
[Cosmic Consciousness] by Shawn Hocking
[Untitled] by Shawn Hocking

Nature By Numbers

Film by Cristobal Vila

*Image credit (used with permission of CC license)–
“Fibonacci” by Cedward Brice

Related Article

Complex States At Being

Emotions can be incredibly complex states of being/mind.

I just want to be happy by bravelittlebird on flickrPeople (particularly in this western culture) are afraid to experience emotion due to heavy amounts of socialization and conditioning, especially in school. You know, we’re taught to sit still, to be quiet, to “use our inside voices”, to line up, to avoid disorder and be orderly, to obey, to submit, to share. To share, but not to cooperate. There is a difference. Sharing does not necessarily imply or guarantee cooperation. In school, sharing is a behavioral technique; used as a means to control the behavior of a room full of pinging (that is, naturally rambunctious and curious-minded) short beings.

Let me tell you a story: a sad story about a little girl who cried.cry_baby_cry_by_Barbara_Pellizzon_flickr

To get to City Island one can walk across a 2,800 foot long truss bridge, which was exactly what I was doing when I spotted a brief exchange between a little girl and her father. The little girl’s father, pushing another child in a stroller, told the little girl to look around as well as look at all the fish visible in the River below. The little girl was throwing bread over the side of the bridge to the fish, and seemed very happy.

Later, having crossed the bridge, I was sat under a pavilion and saw the little girl and her family again as they were passing by. The little girl tripped over a rise in the structure of the sidewalk and fell very hard. So hard that I winced when I heard the sound. She immediately bawled, as I’m sure that hurt her terribly. Probably terrified at the pain, you know, she ran to her father for solace. . . and he admonished her. He yelled at her as he brushed the dirt from her clothes, “You gotta watch where you’re walking. You can’t be looking around while you’re walking!” He seemed actually angry with her that she tripped, an accident on her part, no intent to spoil his day whatsoever. She only cried harder asking then for her mommy. At this, her father really became angry and shouted, “That’s it! You’re going back to the car you can’t act right!”

Did you see the contradiction?

Just moments ago, on the bridge he was telling her to LOOK around, then minutes later punished her for doing exactly that. These are the kinds of happenings that disturb me in the world. What did that do to the mind of that little girl? How could she possible understand that kind of contradicting information from such a trusted and authoritative figure as her father? What was the impact upon her consciousness? What did she just unconsciously learn? How did that affect her ego? Her sense of self in the world she knows and how will that affect her sense of self in subsequent years?

Which brings me back to emotions and the horrors some humans have undergone. That suffering. What I think not many humans grok is that suffering can be soft, horror is not always large, it can be very subtle. . . like entropy, changing and developing small vibrations over time that then result in the current personality/identity of that child in the form of an adult.

The_Girl_Who_Cried_Wolf_by_GaelForcePhotography_flickrWhat happened to that little girl is a subtle terror, an event that will accompany who knows how many more and will shape her as a human being. It’s systematic, to get children all to sit still or to behave as one being so it could be easier (or more efficient) for the teacher to educate them. A good idea, sure, but in actuality what happens is that the children become standardized. The spark, the inspiration for creativity and innovation and imagination breaks down because the channels created have no room for them, no means to categorize something as unpredictable as a room full of children all having ideas simultaneously.

This is one way that fear of emotion is installed in the collective consciousness. That fear to really let go and be fully in the space. . .

“. . . and I’m free, free falling.” ~Tom Petty, ‘Free Falling’

*Image credits (used with permission through CC license)–
“I just want to be happy” by bravelittlebird
“cry, baby, cry” by Barbara Pellizzon
“The Girl Who Cried Wolf” by GaelForce Photography

The Wellspring of Quantum

Eclipse_by_Mario_in_arte_Akeu_flickrDepending upon the level of magnification, the scale or lens through which one perceives, society and its rules/laws change.

It does not stop there, in but a single dimension. Levels can overlap and can affect one another and send vibrations through the levels. What is being perceived, or conceived, or even social systems or social institutions within a society or within a framework of a corporation can change depending on the level. In other words, there are systems within systems, societies within societies, tangents within tangents, and all are approaching convergence without actually ever arriving definitively at a point of convergence, there is no real convergence coordinate, only a continuous—sometimes discrete—movement towards convergence.

Escher_3000_by_Roberto_Rizzato_flickrAlso, similar to the idea that there are small pockets of movements (social movements, civil rights movements, etc.) occurring simultaneously, often with none of the participants aware of the participation of the other participants [this idea is like the idea of cooperation, but like a prisoner’s dilemma inverted cooperation. The prisoner’s do not know each other, but in the act of operating selflessly—the movement itself, advocating civil rights or something like that—cooperate with one another to cause the same outcome, that of ending suffering and obtaining civil rights]). These are magnifications (magnifications also because each individual has an amalgamation of cells and genes and symbiosis with one’s environment through those cells, comprising a group, which operates like a cell, comprising a movement, which operates like an organ. All of this swinging from quantum to macro), protrusions into this “dimension” called Reality or The World.

But what we’re really talking about are cultures, or a culture, and there are cultures within cultures. To look at cultures is a big scale, I think (well, relatively.  Not relative to, like, the sun or something, but relative to say groups or departments or neighborhoods, which, incidentally can all be cultures. But I’m actually referring to volume in this line of thinking). So, at what level do we stop and say here is where we know what we are seeing? It’s like the Wave/Particle Problem. Why does a photon behave as a wave when unobserved and behave as a particle when observed? What is it about this observation that alters the potentialities of the atom? So, do we run into a problem (or did we run into a problem) when trying to ascertain from what level of magnification to begin? From where the problem can begin to be addressed? How to remove the self as the observer? Or, remain the observer while subjectively interacting with the environment that withdraws the elements that serve as catalyst for the movement?

We are the rudimentary manifestations of the quantum behavior of a photon.


*Image credit (used with permission through CC license)–
“Eclipse” by Mario in Arte Akeu
“Escher 3000” by Roberto Rizzato


Quantum Action Policy

From this quantized  eBay™, humans can order, for an equally astronomical fee, packets of time to dilate their day or night. . .

Pi_The_Transcendental_Number_by_Tom_Blackwell_flickrQuantum Order

Any mass object warps the spacetime surrounding it and drags spacetime along with it, causing a perversion of time. When someone wishes for more time, he or she should spin as close to the speed of light as humanly possible to increase the surrounding gravitational waves, therefore slowing time. Such that, anyone observing this “dance” (a sort of gathering momentum) will perceive the spinner as slowing down. At the point where the observer screams, “Wow! Is he/she ever moving slowly!” (or some equivalent exclamation) the Salt Pan Stereographic spinner can stop spinning (having conserved enough momentum) and carry out the remaining tasks of his/her daily routine, comfortable in knowing he/she has now enough time. I recommend a policy be enacted into Physical Law that at certain intervals of the workday, the entire planet could spin rapidly to near the speed of light. The accumulation of energy of every Human Being equaling the entire mass of Earth’s population should slow down time for the entire planet simultaneously. If we could somehow conserve this energy, those who were on the night side of the planet could use their extra time during their daylight and vice versa—a system of lending a continuous supply of extra time. Careful monitoring would need to be implemented to ensure that no single individual spins before his or her allotted interval, throwing the entire planet into a maelstrom. This average of interactions create the perception of Time. From this quantized  eBay™, humans can order, for an equally astronomical fee, packets of time to dilate  their day or night. The morphing of time could be a commercial venture. Imagine a stock market determined by time rather than digits.

Never Enough Time Factor

Einstein’s theory says that uniform motion is relative. So, the Earth’s Warp_Core_by_GarlandCannon_flickrpopulation could decide en masse to simply stand still (rest is a state of motion), effectively decreasing their velocity, acceleration, and motion to zero. This would remove the distribution of seemingly chaotic (a symptom to the Never Enough Time factor) events and human entropy from the equation of Time altogether. As the universe expands, it would drag humans along with it, stretching time out to infinite proportions relative to human perception. Much like the notion of singularity associated with falling into a black hole, and time will simply unfold before us, infinitely.

Cosmic To Do Lists

Hyper-Sky_by_FrankHg_flickrHuge amounts of Dark Energy can be utilized to accelerate the Earth to as close to near the speed of light as Earthly possible. This will slow down time enough that all the clocks on the planet will slow to a virtual stop, and all Humans will now have plenty of time to check off each task on those cosmic To Do lists, like repairing that leaky faucet, fixing that running toilet, filling in that nasty hole in the attic wall, completing the work in the Inbox at that job, reading all those new WP blog posts in that reader, etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum.

Stretch Spacetime

Multiverse_by_Kevin_Dooley_flickrIf the expansion or contraction of spacetime, and consequently the expansion or contraction of Time itself, is correlated to density, then this would mean that the more humans gathered in a particular spatial geographical region, the perception of Time at that position would increase proportional to the level of attraction (gravity) and the distance relative to each person in the area.  The amount of persons herded at one position is proportional to the perception of time. This proportion increases at the rate of assumptions relative to the volume of references to Time in communications. Therefore, with a cosmic density parameter, Ω0, equal to the mass of herded persons, spacetime is stretched, as well as all references to time itself.

 One Final (Disturbing) Recommendation

Corn_by_Klaus_Friese_flickrSir Isaac Newton postulated the Law of Gravity by the following equation:  where F = the gravitational force, G = the gravitational constant, 6.67×10-11 Nm2/kg2, m = mass of an object, and r = distance between m1 and m2. Distance is measured relative to time. The concept of time is perceived relative to some other object; therefore, Time is an illusion. If time is an illusion, then distance is also an illusion and r = 0. If r = 0, then there is no gravitational force.

In his General Theory of Relativity, Einstein wrote the following equation, referred to as Einstein’s Field Equations (EFE):  where Gαβ = curvature of spacetime as determined by the metric tensor, and Tαβ = stress-energy tensor. Solutions to EFE are metrics of spacetime, which constitutes the universe. If there is no gravitational force, then Gαβ = 0, and there is no spacetime curve problem. However, that would also mean there is no universe. As such, my final recommendation is that I promptly wink out of existence.


. . .more

*Image Credits (used through CC license)–
“Pi: The Transcendental Number” by Tom Blackwell
“Salt Pan Stereographic Panorama” by Martin Heigan
“Warp Core” by GarlandCannon
Hyper-Sky” by Frank Hg
“Multiverse” Image by Kevin Dooley under Creative Commons license
“Corn” by Klaus Friese
“Hypnotiq No. 71” by Shane Gorski

The Humdrum Syndrome and the Origins of the Mundane

A_Distortion_In_Spacetime_by_Torley_flickrThe Human Complaint–that there is never enough time–can be traced to the spacetime curve. Because spacetime is curved time can only follow a single one-dimensional path. Time, then, is available in only a finite amount, albeit, appearing infinite, but in actuality being a repeating finite amount. Hence, there is not enough for everyone. The Humdrum Syndrome, brought on by the Human Complaint and caused by the resulting circular path perceived by the spacetime curve, is an effect of the spacetime curve problem, and the origins of the Mundane. However, if spacetime were straight, and thus able to flow in multiple directions simultaneously, in this monochronic age where time is a resource and space a commodity, everyone perceiving in the third dimension could benefit.

The scope of the spacetime curve problem extends beyond the curvature of spacetime and cast tendrils out into the realms of velocity, acceleration, motion, position, and ultimately into the very material of human perception.

take_it_as_you_need_it_by_Parg_flickrTime is a sort of Doppler Effect to human beings, derived from our perception of the length of time it takes for some perceived object to travel from point A to point B. All observed objects are the perception of electromagnetic radiation in the form of the visible photonic spectrum, called Light. When we speak of Light, we are also speaking of matter. Any mass object warps the spacetime fabric surrounding it and drags spacetime along with it, causing a twisting of spacetime.

“[There is a] dependence of space and time on velocity: at speeds near that of light, space itself becomes contracted in the direction of motion and the passage of time slows.” ~Gravitation

The very existence of mass objects causes spacetime to be curved, Quantum_Gravity_NASA_GSFC_flickr and that curvature determines the perception of Time. Human beings (a mass object) perceive time relative to their present position on the spacetime grid. The Humdrum Syndrome is the effect of that perception on the observer as he or she observes the universe. The expansion of the universe, too, is accelerating, so humans believe that Time is also accelerating.

The faster an object moves the slower its time relative to its motion. Humans are already moving at a fast pace (relatively); therefore, as people move faster to try to catch up with the speed of light, they should actually be moving slower relative to an observer (the clock). As a human being attempts to catch the speed of light (his “pursuit of happiness”), he is, in effect, stretching time out to infinite proportions without ever gaining any space. In other words, his distance and velocity remain at zero.

Untitled_Tau_Zero_by_flickrHumans always perceive other objects relative to the time taken for the electromagnetic radiation emitted by that object to reach our eyes plus the time taken for our brains to compute the apparent look-position of that object. Thus, human perception of another object is always relative to the past. Humans may not even have begun to use the time available, because humans are essentially always moving backwards (into the future; making each one of us a potential time machine, with the body as the space vessel) relative to one’s reference point. Conversely, this same logic could also be interpreted to mean that humans have already consumed the time available and no one yet has awakened to the reality that we are, in fact, “Out of Time.”

more. . .
*Image credits (all artwork used under CC license)–
“A Distortion In Spacetime” by TORLEY
“take it as you need it” by Parg
“Quantum Gravity” by NASA Goddard Photo and Video
“Untitled” by Tau Zero

The Comfort of Homogenous Conditioning

“Abstraction today is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. The territory no longer precedes the map, nor survives it. Henceforth, it is the map that precedes the territory – precession of simulacra – it is the map that engenders the territory and if we were to revive the fable today, it would be the territory whose shreds are slowly rotting across the map. It is the real, and not the map, whose vestiges subsist here and there, in the deserts which are no longer those of the Empire, but our own. The desert of the real itself.” ~Baudrillard, “The Precession of Simulucra”, Simulucra and Simulation

Whatever_Happened_To_Baby_Jane_Doug_Bowman_flickrYou see, sameness works as a colloquial ideology, is synonymous to equality and fairness, and is upon which justice, comradery and companionship can be served. Upon which social roles/egos are constructed and adhered to, upon which identities are built and held dear. This is why uniqueness is wanting in the machine. Uniqueness means no more equal protection under the law, it means justice is not balanced, it means partners are not equal and the institution of marriage does not mean union. It means there is hatred in love and evil in good. Suddenly, things become very muddy. A system cannot function properly under true individuality as it cannot accommodate it. It can only pervert so that it resembles homogeneity closely enough that it can be assimilated, else the whole system grinds to a halt, and it falls apart.

Cyborg_Rising_Alain_Godineau_flickrA system has slots; a machine, gears. Moving parts, and all the moving parts have names and all the names must be true. No question for question brings pause, and in pause, there is no motion. When there is pause (or in another essay under another name could be called quiet when contrasted with the need, the compulsion for constant noise however stimulated and however delivered from the source) comes moments of breakdown. The machine if not perpetually moving (remember that motion is homogeneity) then decay begins immediately. That is to say the persistence of anti-homogeneity is a desperate will to self (the machine and its body of Worker Bs as self) preservation, elsewise death, a kind of nervous breakdown occurs, where a hold on a reality cannot be certain. Homogeneity and sameness promise known’s and certainty’s, easy living without mucking up the brain too much with incongruities.

For why do most people (the Worker Bs) abhor any who does not subscribe to their specific attributes or beliefs? Or perhaps why one is arrested if one’s house does not meet code, despite its obvious safety. Or perhaps why one is not served if one is not the same nationality with the same national beliefs. Who cares the similarities, who cares the original sources and how that applies to many so-called beliefs? Who cares the obvious evidence of certain delusions?

You see, ultimately, homogenous conditioning is comfortable. It’s easyPix_Jockey_3000_Roberto_Rizzato_flickr to comprehend. The questions do not run too deep.  The answers flow from the tongue in simple terms. Friendships are safe, and relationships pure and honest. The machine includes a contradiction, however. That of competition. In competition, there must be by definition a winner and a loser. Someone must be the better. Fret not, this is easily circumvented. The competition has rules, which all parties must follow, so that no one person has an advantage. Everyone comes from equal footing. Therefore, the win is a fair one. Again, homogeneity: fairness equality. I mean, it’s why cheating is not allowed. That is not a fair game. Sure; you can win by your own skill or merit, but you’ve got to be fair. You’re not allowed to profit, to gain an advantage from that skill or merit. That’s just not good sportsmanship.

Change is not good sportsmanship. Change means new rules and new rules mean old rules may no longer apply. Change means discomfort and grumbling ensues. No one likes to be inconvenienced, not in this age of [immediate] convenience. I mean, it is just a matter of people  not wanting to be disturbed? Or maybe it’s a subtle form of ‘Don’t tread on me’? Or maybe it’s the Peter Principle in full effect?

Cyborg_2.0_JD_Hancock_flickrI think it’s because of the nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty. People are afraid of the Great Fall (read: lose their identity) and they won’t be able to pull themselves back together again if things aren’t always and shall stay the same, in a world where every body is equal. I mean, traditional therapy is the idea that the self will be reconstituted. Conventional depression as the idea that the self (the connection to the machine and its comfortable [womb] homogenous conditioning) is in desperate need of rebuilding. To be resurrected as correct, to belong again to the popular consciousness, to be plugged back in. The self needs to be told that it does belong in the world (of homogeneity) and the world (the machine) accepts it. The self is approved above all reproach. An electronic baptism, clean in the eyes of god (god as the wholly machine). Righteousness appealed and delivered good. Sin-free, absolved of all sin and error.

Bureaucracy—an arm of the machine—includes this absolution. Cyborg_Madonna_Ian_FlickrWorker Bs are protected by the anonymity employed in the machine. Worker B is but a faceless, supposedly pleasant voice located miles away from the point of wrong (the actual error/problem in need of remedy). A general name as common as a raindrop. Total disconnect, neutral, neither friend nor foe. Worse than an adversary. What use is reason under such circumstances? There can be only might (read: smite from the apostle [AKA the boss] to find salvation).

A Worker B is only ‘WORKER B’, one of the many, a body corporate. A member of the corporation (read: corporeal; a pseudo-person, god’s image). Worker B only has meaning when understood as the corporation (another layer of inception. Do you see how I mean inception of the machine? Layers upon layers of cognitive engineering; a multi-dimensional, complex construct that exists only in abstraction, so doesn’t really exist at all, merely realized by the mind).

*Image credits (all work used under CC license)–
“Whatever Happened To Baby Jane” by Doug Bowman

“Cyborg Rising” by Alain Godineau

“Pix Jockey 3000” by Roberto Rizzato

Cyborg 2.0” by JD Hancock

“Cyborg Madonna” by Ian

The Wave Of The Future

“I’m not interested in the future. I’m interested in the future of the future.” ~Robert Doniger

Photography Is A Drug by RHiNO NEAL









Credits (for Where We Were)–
Clips (All clips are in public domain):
“How Our Country Grew”, Prelinger Archives
“Soybeans For Farm and Industry”, Prelinger Archives
“Miracles In Agriculture 1960”, Prelinger Archives
Atomic Bomb Test 1955, Stock Footage
“Nuclear Test Review 1945”, FedFlix
“Hydrogen Bomb Test 1952”, Stock Footage

“Babylon” by Kevin MacLeod,
“Blipotron” by Kevin MacLeod,

“Photography is a drug” by RHiNo NEAL