3 Jul 2010 @ 07:01, by johnjoseph. Technology
Association is a process and technique which recently i have suggested can be used for aiding searches and connected technology, and which can provide an alternative to the traditional logic and syllogism of Greek thought. It is manifested in such diverse systems of thought as Plato's Forms and Jung's Archetypes and in itself creates the possibility of psycho-spiritual technologies.
21 Feb 2010 @ 16:40, by John Grieve
Heart and Soul Technologies
Whereas any practical application of a scientific theory is termed a technology, it should be possible to establish what I term "psycho-spiritual technologies", if it is indeed possible to unite conventional quantitative science with qualitative mysticism.
Also, as many writers have pointed out, while the physical, material technologies which are extensions of the human body have proliferated and reached unthought of heights, the same is not true of the powers of the human mind/ soul/ spirit.
If humanity is to grow up and mature, as is obviously a critical need at the present moment, psycho-spiritual technologies must be acknowledged for what they are.
1 Jul 2010 @ 22:02, by jhs. Recreation, Fun
Someone gave our little Anthony (3 yrs 2 months by now) a Vuvuzuela. BIIIIIIG MISTAKE!!!! Knowing already how to squeeze out sounds out of didgeridoos and everything that looks like a pipe, it took a mere 0 point five seconds to figure out how to drone along. For the full range, he needs some more physical strength, fortunately, but this will be only a matter of time. Meanwhile, at the most innocent moments, the sacred tranquillity of the Sandorian Grove is threatened by the mark-shattering call of the Vuvuzuela.
At the wedding of a neigbour of the Grove the other night, we forced him to let go of the develish thing. if I would have known that the bride showed up on a super-bike, a trike to be precise, I would have thought twice about it. A trike is one of the oddest solutions to the transportation problem. Considering where we live, I would have expected a lot of horses in front of the chapel. which would have made much more sense to me.
But, as we discussed already more than once on this BLOG, deep down in the religions of mankind the purpose of this Universe, life, and Everything can be summarized ultimately as sheer VANITY. Vanity in caps, to be clear. Only this bitter-sweet truth can also justify the current crazyness about some balls being kicked around on grass spots in South Africa.
Soccer, like any sport, is utterly useless, a waste in time and resources for everyone except for More >
1 Jul 2010 @ 02:21, by erlefrayne. Politics
Will Noynoy become an Akbar whose reign saw efficiency and good governance that led to the re-emergence of a country from the shambles of fragmentation and neglect to prosperity and fame? Or will he be a Nero of Manila who fiddles in the presidential palace as he watches his polity & economy burn upon his own behest? More >
30 Jun 2010 @ 14:51, by jhs. Travel
After three days full of soccer, heaps to eat, and lots of heated discussion, our sweet family came back from my mother-in-law who resides in a safe distance of more than 120km from the Grove. We survived the welcome-back kisses of our Rottweiler and Shepherd with only one blue eye and two torn shirts and I'm back in business again. Thanks to Mortimer, I got reminded of the grim prospects of the 'real' world, the oil still flushing out in the Gulf of Mexico, a fact much worse than Mexico's loss against Argentina on the soccer field.
The parallels are frightening: as on the soccer field, the players are running around like crazed chickens and nobody is stepping up to take a decisive action. TIME IS RUNNING OUT and and the rules are not as clear as to whether Nature will grant us humans an overtime or not.
Like in this worldcup what is lacking is 'der Wille zum Tor!", the 'Will to score', the will to take a concrete action to bring about a decision.
We're not talking just about good intentions here, not about wishful thinking or or public declarations. This 'field of dreams' is real, and large parts of it are under water now, water mixed with oil and hitherto unknown chemicals.
Is it simply the inability of the players on the field to put an end to the drama or is there a hidden strategy behind this? Some spectators begin to ask themselves who may be the coach behind the team of global players, and if those are perhaps just puppets on a string. As I mentioned in the 'worldcup for dummies', Italy's coach coaxed the downfall of his own team by ignoring the most simple archetypal strategies [link] of the soccer game until the last 20 minutes of the knock-out game. With only a few minutes more his late wisdom would have born fruits, but alas, time was running out and the acting world champion joined the fate of vice-champion France: going home early.
Unlike in the worldcup, though, mankind does not have a place to retreat to and rest: our playing field is Earth and it is the only field of dreams we have for now.
29 Jun 2010 @ 02:35, by erlefrayne. Education
While the rugs under our feet our changing, the old context of large classes (class sizes of 100-250) are still in vogue in many universities worldwide. Some other universities that may have abolished them in the past, are re-instituting the large class platform. More >
28 Jun 2010 @ 00:03, by ming. Systems Thinking
Synchronicities are meaningful coincidences. Subjectively meaningful. Several things happen in adjacent space or time that somehow fit together, even though they supposedly didn't have anything to do with each other.
Really, everything is always connected with everything else. The multiverse is probably really all in one piece. But there are so damned many pieces, and we're so out of touch with the inter-connectedness of everything, that most of the time most of the pieces just don't fit together at all.
Just look at your own day and the inflow you probably got today. Loads of e-mails, news stories, tweets, advertisements, phone calls, etc. Some of them were maybe exactly what you needed at the right time, but more likely, most of them didn't hit any spot and were just distractions.
A synchronicity would be if you suddenly get a bright idea, say that you could have a mushroom farm. Two seconds later you check your e-mail and, lo and behold, one of your friends just sent you an article about basement mushroom farming. It is a synchronicity. We could say that it is a random coincidence, because your friend didn't really know you just got that idea, and he sent the article for totally unrelated reasons. But it is meaningful to you, like a sign from the universe that, yes, that's a good idea.
Or, you join some new group on Facebook, and immediately run into somebody who you went to school with, who incidentally is into some other obscure unrelated thing you're into too, like paragliding or 12th century Russian poetry. A synchronicity. It isn't just some superstitious silliness. It tells you that stuff is connecting.
Just imagine now that we can jack up the rate of synchronicity in your life. More synchronicity per unit of time, and less non-synchronicity. What if most of the chance meetings you had turned out to be tremendously meaningful and useful? What if most of the unexpected pieces of information you received turned out to unexpectedly be exactly what you needed at the time?
There are lots of quite straightforward ways of increasing relevancy in your life. If we were talking ads, you could receive more targeted ads. Instead of ads targeted at "anybody and everybody", you might get ads that fit your profile, and that are likely to suggest something to you that you actually might want. Of course it would be even better if they only suggested to you exactly what you want, but it would still be an improvement. Amazon's book suggestions are pretty good, because I've bought from them and they can approximate what I might like that I don't already have. Book suggestions in random magazines in my mailbox are not very good.
By simply increasing the number of things I'm exposed to, we might increase the number of fits I run into. Particularly if we can lower the cost per exposure at the same time. It requires me much less effort to scan the twitter feeds of hundreds of people than it would take me to read all their blogs, which again is much less effort than would me needed if I had to interview each one to find out if we match somehow.
What we need and want, what inspires us, what triggers us - it is like the receptors on genes and anti-genes. OK, it probably isn't, but it is a suitable metaphor. Certain anti-genes will fit together with certain genes, because their "plugs" fit together. It is a general principle for many parts of living organisms. Receptors are essentially protein molecules to which certain types of signaling molecules can attach. Put a bunch of each together, in a big mix of other stuff, shake and stir it vigorously, and a lot of the receptors will end up connecting with the matching molecules. Increase the volume of any of them, or increase the speed of flow, or increase the random shaking, and you'll see more of them connect. Meme-receptors probably work the same.
It is a selection bias as well. One sees what one is looking for. But it is more than that. Synchronities are matches that we weren't particularly looking for at that time. Granted, we were looking for them elsewhere, so they were still present in our consciousness somewhere.
But it is all also more than that.
I would claim that synchronicities are a sign of collective intelligence. You see more synchronicities, something about the bigger system around you is working at a higher level. There's an alignment happening, possibly at a level you couldn't easily understand all by yourself.
It is like being "in the flow". Things are aligned. But not just aligned in a very straightforward one-dimensional way. Things are aligned at levels you aren't conscious of. So, things just appear when you need them, answers appear seconds after the question, solutions show up when there's a problem. You take a step into the river and a rock happens to be there to support you.
None of us appear to be smart enough individually to solve the big problems in the world. It doesn't matter if we put everything we know into a neat spreadsheet and analyze it carefully. We just tend to think in too few dimensions, like trying to solve five dimensional problems with two-dimensional logic.
So, we really, really need to find ways of operating at a higher order. The hope is for collective intelligence. That somehow we'll succeed in organizing ourselves in such a way that our efforts not only don't cancel each other out, but all together we accomplish more than the sum of our individual efforts. And that somehow the net result of our actions demonstrates a higher level of intelligence than what any one of us could have demonstrated individually. Collective Intelligence. Being smarter together.
Since it isn't just something we can *figure out* brute force the same old way we'll figure out what career to pursue or why our car makes a funny sound, we need some new types of tools.
We need tools that increase collective intelligence.
We also need ways of being aware of an increase in the signs of collective intelligence. I claim that synchronicity is one of those signs. If you see more synchronicities, more collective intelligence is happening. Something is lining up.
Like bio-feedback, if you have an indicator of whether something is going in the "right" direction or not, you might suddenly find that you can increase it, even though you didn't think you could. It certainly beats operating in the dark.
So, if you experience more fits, something more intelligent is going on. Even if you don't understand what it is, you might still be able to steer towards even more.
More surprisingly meaningful connections will, of course, weave even more coherence, and give rise to even more delightful just-in-time surprises.
27 Jun 2010 @ 02:28, by ming. Systems Thinking
The old civilization (human civilization in the last few thousand years) is pretty much based on the observation that humans, on the average, work badly together, but they can be controlled. Thus, history is the story of individuals, the lucky few who were in the right position to control others, and who knew how to do so. Alexander the Great couldn't have conquered much all by himself. His genius was in persuading 100s of thousands of soldiers to do what he said, to go and get killed so that he could be the dictator of a huge empire. Most memorable parts of history worked pretty much the same. Some guy used force and persuasion to make lots of people do what we wanted done, and the result became something impressive. Empires. Pyramids. Roman aqueducts. Greek temples.
Our society isn't much different today, other than that the control mechanisms have gotten much more clever and convoluted, and they've been camouflaged as democracy, free markets and free speech. What's different is that it is no longer the very visible kings or presidents who are in charge of very much. They go with the flow almost as much as everybody else. What hasn't changed is that it is the very, very few who control the majority of what's going on. But it is the vast majority that enable this to happen and that provide all the manpower. Despite that what they're getting isn't really working very well.
Western civilization - it would be a good idea, like Gandhi said. Democracy, that would be good idea too. Free markets would be an excellent thing to implement. We don't really have those, even though most people on the street would tell you that we do. They'd also tell you that money represents value, and that everybody has an equal opportunity, and one is free to say whatever one wants. All of which is a cartoonish propaganda reality which doesn't really exist anywhere on this planet.
However, the really good news is that all of it could change very, very quickly.
The thing is that we simply haven't worked out how to work together yet. The groups we're familiar with are simply collections of people who follow one leader, or a few leaders. Corporations. Governments. Religions. The News. We're talking about thousands or millions of people who voluntarily choose to do what a handful of people tell them to do. Usually towards their own ends, for their own gain, or simply based on their particular personal insanity.
Mind-boggling. Why do we do that?
Because collective intelligence hasn't worked for us so far.
You put a group of people together, most of the time, you'll end up with something more stupid than any of the individuals you put together. They'll argue, posture, waste time, and probably end up agreeing on something not very useful. But give them a leader, somebody who'll inspire them, give them a purpose, while making sure they get paid and fed, suddenly they'll all line up and do what they're told.
But imagine that a group of people actually suddenly could become more than the sum of its parts.
Imagine that the natural order of things would be that a group of people would self-organize in order to maximize their common interests. Imagine that together they'd accomplish more than simply the sum of their individual contributions, because of the synergy between then. They'd operate at a bigger order. Surprisingly clever and wonderful stuff would happen that none of them individually could have predicted, and that none of them directly caused.
That's called Collective Intelligence. That's when a group of people becomes smarter than any of them individually, and even smarter than them all together. It's a positive sum. 1 + 1 + 1 = 5.
That's not a wild-eyed fantasy. It is simply that humans haven't been very good at it so far. The result of that has been that 0.01% of the population control the other 99.99%, who do what they're told, and who're rewarded in some mediocre way for doing so.
Imagine that it changed one day. Maybe somebody came up with a tool that allowed people to actually work together. Maybe it just started happening by itself. Evolution. Suddenly we see win-win relationships around us.
Just like Alexander the Great by himself in his underwear wouldn't be worth much, and just like Adolf Hitler was just a little angry Austrian guy, part Jewish, mediocre painter, chronically constipated, most of the great leaders of civilization don't amount to much by themselves. Oh, some of them do. Some leaders would remain leaders even if we had a choice about it, because they're inspiring, because they're empowering and enabling catalysts who know how to make things happen.
But most of those very, very few who call the shots should probably be very afraid.
Because if we actually figured out how to work together, they'd be out of a job from one day to the next.
Elected leaders are only there because they've been elected. One little scandal, the truth coming out, will remove them from office in a couple of days. And nobody might vote for them next time.
Multi-billion dollar multi-national corporations are only in the position they are because people are buying their products, voluntarily, but without really knowing what's behind it, who's doing what, where these products come from, what the money is used for, etc. If they knew, they'd make different choices right away.
While we're scattered, disjoined, dispersed, unconnected, distracted and confused - we're not very effective.
We, the people, are the real power. If a million people agree on what is in our common interest, what's one anti-social asshole gonna do? Go hide? Unfortunately, today, that one guy is the CEO, and you could be laid off any day if you don't do what you're supposed to. But if we actually were talking with each other, he'd be the guy who'd be running for cover. Assuming he's one of those guys who got there by deceit and coercion.
There is one problem to solve. It is THE problem. How can we work together, towards our common interests, in a way that is constructive. In particular, how can we together solve complex problems that we wouldn't be able to solve individually.
It is called collective intelligence.
It isn't just some crazy left-wing idealist dream. It is probably the natural order of things. The universe works perfectly well. Stars are born, stars die. Evolution has gone on for billions of years. Billions of life forms coexist in great diversity and synergy. It is just us humans that for a few thousand years have gotten lost in the dark ages of mental and emotional separation. We found that we could think abstractly, invent stuff, communicate, organize, manipulate. That made us surprisingly productive and simultaneously surprisingly malleable and controllable.
Chances are that we don't remain dispersed for much longer. One way or another we'll figure out how to actually work together. Or we'll go extinct within the next couple of generations. Evolution happens when there's a bit of a crisis. Probably we'll change and we'll make it.
When we change, it will probably happen quickly. Because, really, it is not exactly about what any one of us are up to. Rather, when we find out that we can work together and the sum will be greater than the parts, there will be no way back.
That will be the Singularity.
When suddenly we no longer all are working against each other, allowing the few to manipulate us for their personal gain, when suddenly there is positive gain in all our collaborations. When suddenly humanity starts to feel smart and creative and constructive, rather than homicidal and suicidal. When humanity wakes up.
There are really only a few anti-social fucktards who'd even be against this. Most all of us want humanity to succeed. We want to be free. We want to make a difference. We want to be happy. Duh. Most people are good people.
If the truth is available, and easily communicated, and large groups of people can work together on common goals, big things can happen. It hasn't happened so far. It probably will soon. In part because technology is evolving rapidly. It will probably soon be impractical to keep us all apart.
Doesn't really matter if you're left wing or right wing or religious or scientific. There are a lot of artificial abstract ideas that separate us. But if we actually could talk about what we really care about, and work together on the solutions, nothing much would need to stop us.
Until we get there it is maybe a bit of a pain to try to work with others. Might be easier to either force somebody else to do it our way, or to follow somebody else's program.
But once we learn to actually network... the world will not be the same again. There probably won't be any way back.
So, if you're in the business of deceiving the many, for your own personal gain, be afraid. You'll need a new job soon. Something is emerging that you can't possibly compete with. More >
26 Jun 2010 @ 20:45, by jhs. Recreation, Fun
but why wait so long to shoot some goals????
Now the soccer fever finally swapped over to the States. Even Bill Clinton and Mick Jagger are discussing the game in the VIP section of the South African soccer stadium.
More than time, overtime so to speak, to explain why such a simple game is able to move so many emotions all over the world. Too late of course, oh well...
Worldcup for Dummies (from [link] )
(An archetypal analysis of ad-hoc teams for novices, experts, and fans alike)
This year the entire world entered into the soccer fever for an entire month. Worldwide? Well, the average North-American is clueless how 22 adult men can run after a ball for 90 minutes without shooting a single goal and still talk of a fascinating game. For someone who was not raised with this sport, who never played even a little bit at the beach, the fascination with this game is certainly an enigma. And those who know the game usually don't think much about its ṕsychology, its unwritten implicate rules - they simply enjoy the drama as it unfolds.
And a drama it is, a spectacle with well-defined characters, with its good guys and its bad boys, its fouls, fools, and everyone under the sun is an expert. While its actors are fighting to the last second with self-less dedication, the adrenaline level is building up significantly every minute. All the losses and misses, nearly-goals, lost chances, shots onto the goal being saved heroically, all of these increase the tension of actors and spectactors to seemingly unsupportable heights. Only then the final climax of a ball entering a goal can become an orgastic experience or a traumatic shock, depending which side one is supporting in the game. Without becoming a fan for one of the sides, the game is a pointless waste of time indeed. But if one does, for 90 minutes life has another meaning. And only so it can happen that the whistle of the referree after a match without a single goal can cause a huge sigh of relief, make ordinary people dance in the street in cold rain and create new symbols in today's life and culture. More >