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Sunday, May 6, 2012

What if You Could Walk in Someone Else's Shoes?

One can say as much as one wishes that one can sympathize with discriminated people of other races, the divorcees, the handicapped, and blind or deaf-mute persons.

One can also say one sympathizes with  persons who struggle with ill-treatment by right-wing and mainstream Christians, as well as cruel homophobes, who all can't be bothered with transgender children, suicidal gay teens and bisexuals, true hermaphrodites, lesbians & gay men, whose very existence are an affront to people who are so dogmatic that any departure from what they believe causes discomfort and consternation.

However, if one could walk in the shoes of a victim of intolerance and hatred, one would experience such a shock to one's air-tight world-view as to astound and shame one for one's prior arrogance and contempt.

Having contempt of another person because their difference flies in the face of one's stubborn and defiant outlook can lead to insanity, neurosis and sometimes even murder.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Primitive Futurism - Futuristic Primitivism

Alternate titles: Savage Futurism - Futuristic Savagery, Primitive Future - Future Primitive

Remember when families sat around the dinner table and talked to each other? How about families visiting each other or visiting friends or church members? Today the average child in developed societies has a television, an Internet portal, and a cell phone to keep them as far away from other family members as possible.

In the pristine perfection of the Garden of Eden, and of non-contemporary family life, people were not as dependent on or obsessed with technology, as they are today, and no doubt, as they'll continue to be tomorrow. Every use of technology has its price. Yes, it improves our lives to a certain extent, but it also ruins something simpler and more natural that used to define being human in a very different way than it is defined now.

With all the gadgets and our dependence on them, we're now closer to being cybernetic organisms than our ancestors were. A cyborg was not made in the image of God. A cyborg was made in the image of 20th century humankind.

Perhaps our goal should be to travel backward/forward to a futuristic primitivism where instead of relying on high octane vehicles or their future equivalents, they would be replaced by recyclable bicycles, or wind driven devices that harness the clean power of the wind or the sun.

In H.G. Wells' novel the Time Machine, 802,701 years after a nuclear war forced humanity to live an almost Edenic life, it only appeared that way until closer scrutiny revealed that the price of a simpler and carefree world had its ugly underside. Perhaps a conscious return to naturalism or intentional primitivism is not really an option unless humanity is forced into it by forces beyond its control.

Only the idyllic Garden of Eden and future paradise, simplicity reborn, are the only viable options towards a return to a genuine intentional primitivism, a futuristic primitivism.

I, for one, hope never to see or use any of the following devices in a perfect future world, whether in this reality or in a transcendent one: I-Phones, I-Pods, Laptop Computers, Cell Phones, DVD players, CD players, televisions, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, automobiles, planes, radios. Yes, they can be wonderful devices that transport you to places and states of mind that you normally wouldn't visit. Then again, perhaps that is not a good thing.

Will there be technology in heaven and the new earth? Would it be heaven or a new earth without those reminders of our artificial life in this world?

Originally published in Northern Lord Southern Lord

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Voyage to the Stars

And what we're trying to inspire with the 100-Year Starship Study is that first step in establishing a bar that's high enough, with challenges that are hard enough that people will actually go start tackling some of these really hard problems."

Reach for the Stars

Saturday, October 1, 2011

"Psychohistory" Forecasts Near Future Events

"The emerging field of “Culturomics” seeks to explore broad cultural trends through the computerized analysis of vast digital book archives, offering novel insights into the functioning of human society."

"The paper, titled “Culturomics 2.0: Forecasting Large-Scale Human Behavior Using Global News Media Tone in Time and Space,” uses the tone and location of news coverage from across the world to forecast country stability (including retroactively predicting the recent Arab Spring), estimate Osama Bin Laden’s final location as a 200-kilometer radius around Abbottabad, and uncover the six world civilizations of the global news media. The research also demonstrates that the news is indeed becoming more negative and even visualizes global human societal conflict and cooperation over the last quarter century.

It seems like a real attempt at psychohistory from Isaac Asimov's Foundation series of novels. Psychohistory is a fictional science in Isaac Asimov's Foundation universe which combines history, sociology, and mathematical statistics to make general predictions about the future behavior of very large groups of people, such as the Galactic Empire."

For  decades, scientists, intellectuals and even Asimov himself didn't take the concept of psychohistory very seriously except for its use in science fiction master works. However, the concept persisted and apparently there is a legitimate social science called psychohistory which has nothing to do with the psychohistory that Asimov's Hari Seldon developed in the far future Foundation series. However, as the article and the websites that are giving serious attention to Culturomics indicate, a real life discipline somewhat similar in its intent to that of psychohistory is now in existence. Asimov can properly take his place among other visionaries, e.g., Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, among those whose Science Fiction visions influenced future science and/or the Social Sciences.

Culturomics 2.0: Forecasting Large-Scale Human Behavior Using Global News Media Tone in Time and Space

Monday, September 12, 2011

Secrets of Longevity

Miracles have been occurring for millennia. Evolution is one of the greatest miracles and mysteries of all. Since a second is as a thousand years to God might not an hour be as a million years. What if a million years hence by the grace of God humans with their God-given intelligence figure out how to progressively boost their longevity and one day turn off the aging of cells entirely?

If a tortoise can live to be 255 could not scientists find how to produce that longevity in humans? [*]


* 255 year-old tortoises
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

"New" Beatles albums produced at MIT

Perhaps a computer program will be developed that can generate fascinating works of literature or music based on post humous artistic developments close to the artist's death, biographical data, critics' research and the artist's complete body of work to produce near-believable literature or music for fans, old and new.

Previously unmaginable works might result, e.g., Mozart's 50th symphony and original 1970s Beatles' albums. Imagine a completely new string of hits challenging the Rolling Stones' "Miss You" or Pink Floyd's "Another brick in the wall' for the top of the charts or radio airplay.

The above scenario is based on the following idea alluded to in the article below [*]

* Mr. Hammond cited a media maven's prediction that a computer program might win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 20 years - and he begged to differ."

Please consult "Computer-generated articles are gaining traction:"
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

World Trade Center 3001

Build a virtual time machine and travel back to September 10, 2001: the day before the twin towers fell. Take along with you a list of all the planes that crashed and the passenger lists. Underscore the names of the terrorists on each list. From the 101st floor of one of the towers, fax the list to major newspapers, radio stations, as well as the FBI, CIA and the White House. Cause all major airports to be shut down until the Towers are emptied and guarded.

When the Towers fail to fall on the following morning, go forward in time to September 11, 3001. Stand at the base of the Twin Towers and look straight up at the aging and abandoned towers that stand as a monument to your time traveling achievement.

Instead of documentaries about the destruction of the Twin Towers, only what-if movies will be filmed about what almost took place.

Origionally published in Northern Lord vs. Southern Lord blog (
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

What Is the Meaning of It All?

If Intelligent Design is not responsible for the beauty and complexity of the world then it somehow came to be by pure, random chance. If that is the case then there is no essential reason for us to find ourselves existing in an improbable and inconsequential reality.

All of religion, philosophy and culture then is an honest or desperate attempt to make sense of why we are here and what it all means or might mean. Humanity might outlast the dinosaurs but if we don't, then what did it all mean and why did we bother with any of it in the first place?

Since we are here though why not get as much benefit, pleasure and mutual support from life and each other as possible?

Perhaps it's not so bad after all if you look at it that way. The challenge then becomes: how to interact with those who don't want to contribute and share the hard work that is essential to further each other's goals. Those are the evil ones. They're the ones who want to throw a wrench into the machinery.

How do we ethically deal with these flat notes in each others songs?

We accidentally were and then just as enigmatically, we could very well cease to be. Funny thing, Life?
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