Lost Lines

Baby Blues (undated)

Gettin’ pissed

You’re missed, pretty mamma

Gimme a kiss

But you done gone

And left me alone

Suckin’ the Blues

And rattlin’a bone.

 

Appro-Poe (1968)

I hate the day

Love the dark

Admire the Falcon

Loathe the Lark

I like the morbid

Scorn the norm

Caress the horrid

Kiss the storm

 

How Sililoquy of Me (1980)

To be

And not to be

That is the person

 

Knights of the Lounge Table (1993)

Knights of the Lounge Table

Sir Richard and Sir George

Skipped the light fantastic

Plunging straight into the Forge

Red-hot pokers forward, unsheathed swords

Lances thrusting, poles engorged

Lusty, thirsting to be quenched

Quickly, deeply in the wench

 

All’s Well That Ends (1970)

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning therof... Eccl 7:8

 

Silence rends the deaf’ning din

And Mercy bends the strongest stuff

What impends? Pay thee no mind

All’s well that ends

And that’s enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Loose Change #1

teddy roosevelt on limited government

— LIBERTARIANS

One type of libertarian naively believes that “Without the crushing rule of law, society will do a better job of regulating itself” (The Simpsons Season 19, Episode 3). Another type of libertarian is a sociopath who pays lip service to the “freedoms” of others but shows contempt for others whenever his own interests conflict with theirs.

— True and false sharing economies.

The true and false sharing systems (economies) should not be confused. I suggest basing the distinction on their long-term impacts on the distribution of wealth and power. Undercutting regulations intended to protect workers, consumers, investors, etc. without establishing adequate alternative forms of protection, might indicate a false economy. Coop principles and best practices, such as the Rochdale Principles and multi-stakeholder cooperatives, might go a long way towards avoiding false economies.

— Free speech

Free speech is necessary but not sufficient. Its pretty worthless without information quality control.

— EXCESSIVE FORCE

I suspect a large percentage of police suffer from undiagnosed PTSD and it may be a big factor in excessive force.  Excessive force should be prosecuted strongly but it seldom is, and that would not change the fact that our entire society is too militant, violent, and racist. Behavior doesn’t come from a vacuum. Take, for example, the Stanford Prison Experiment.

Hackathon invents the digital tools to fix Congress.

Will political apps evolve towards automating democracy? Are human life and consciousness just highly complex algorithms? I tentatively think so. The main problems with reverse-engineering human behavior are 1) quality control and 2) applications. Both tend to be dominated by the 1%.

Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world

NewScientist, Physics and Math. “The work, to be published in PLoS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships (see image).”

Does the term “interlocking ownerships” include interlocking boards of directors? Is the latter addressed at all? My hypothesis is that a small group of “Evil Wizards” runs the world. Many may be on life support in secret, fortified medical facilities. They anonymously direct the world’s governments and corporations via law firms. It is possible that the Evil Wizards take orders from extraterrestrials.

In Greece, two rival reform agendas battle for Europe’s future

“What’s at stake as officials debate Greece’s proposals for a renegotiated bailout is whether Europe stays committed to a radical neoliberal agenda or shifts back toward a social market economy, says DW’s Jasper Sky.”

Neoliberalism = a pseudo-academic facade for irrational market fundamentalism. A social market economy need not be ideological at all, but merely address the empirical realities of market failures.

New work suggests “a universe that was once much smaller, but never had the infinite density currently postulated.”

I can’t follow the actual math, but I have always been skeptical of singularities with infinite density in a dimensionless point. That has never been demonstrated empirically and it seems like an unparsimonious sort of hypothesis. “A very high density in a very small space” seems much more prudent to me.

No, You Shut Up!

Frequently funny, often without resorting to the usual stupidities.

A comedy-news program, hosted by Paul F. Tompkins and his puppet cohorts, that takes on the issues of the day until everyone gets too angry to discuss them any further. (fusion.net)

 

Me And You

timeline of ancient history 2The lamps of sages pierce dark ages,
guiding us through history
but Time has swept us out the door
and swallowed up the key.

Somehow, Love, as of now
Its just you and me.

Paradise was promised us,
but this is what nobody knew:
war and rumors of war in Heaven
kept help from getting through

Somehow, Love, here and now
its just me and you.

Richard

Human Broadband Connections

Source: Wikimedia

[Note: this is a reposting of material that is buried rather deeply in two other essays on this blog, xTopia and  The Meaning of Life.]

We all know things we don’t know how to express in words. When we try, they often sound like cliches and tautologies. But sometimes progress comes through persistent interaction with a friend, a partner, or a colleague. Sometimes two heads or three heads are better than one. Sometimes people who spend a lot of time together develop special kinds of connections. If we live or work together long enough and closely enough we may begin to establish what I call human broadband connections. This may evolve further as we keep house, interact with nature, travel, solve problems, share adventures, meet challenges and survive crises together, until we can finish each others sentences. We are beginning to realize that such intimacy can gradually change the chemistry and structure of the nervous system and allow for progressively increasing inter-personal communication bandwidth and synchronization. One example is menstrual synchrony.

Some might consider it to be an interpersonal spiritual connection, but it is a natural phenomenon that I would call bio-cognitive development (bio-cognitive = body + brain) and psycho-neuro-synchronization.

Bio-cognitive development partners are two or more peers engaging in an in-person practice that focuses not on learning facts but developing and practicing bio-cognitive skills such as high-bandwidth psycho-neuro-synchronization. Perhaps a more self-explanatory term is “interpersonal neural synchronization”. As psycho-physiological intimacy and coordination increases over time, the bandwidth and synchronization of the bio-cognitive communication increase. Some of the coordinating feedback channels are:

.

.

.Voice modulation, body language , airborne chemicals, and physical contact all stimulate the release of a wide array of neurotransmitters and other hormones throughout the body. These change the states of neural networks, nerves, and tissues throughout the body. That much is established fact.

Image: bigthink.com

My additional hypothesis is that all these channels of communication can gradually come into greater synchronization between people. Its similar to the way higher data throughput is achieved between nodes in a communication network as they each synchronize to the same timing, states, and protocols. The rate at which this happens between people and the degree to which it happens depends on the innate psycho-physiological characteristics of the participants as well as their acquired proficiencies. When well developed, interpersonal bio-cognitive communication bandwidth may change as much as the difference between a 300 baud asynchronous modem connection and a 10-gigabit broadband connection.

The importance of shared activity to developing bio-cognitive intimacy and high communication bandwidth can’t be over-emphasized. Important activities include, but aren’t limited to: singing and dancing, eating and drinking (especially alcohol), domestic housekeeping (especially kitchen work), manual labor (gardening/farm work, carpentry, etc.), professional work, artistic collaboration, dialog/debate, sports and recreation (camping is great), traveling, and adventure. Sharing risks and crises is especially effective for promoting empathy and trust. The more time participants spend together the better. Sharing living quarters and workplaces is especially effective, within the limits of intimacy fatigue. And of course if these things are done mindfully, with the intention of developing high-bandwidth intimacy, and with appropriate methods and skills, excellent results are possible. I have achieved such intimacy with several individuals and small groups who lived and worked together.

“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.”
-Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

As my friend Natural Lefty points out, on some level this is common sense and I am merely stating a truism of social psychology: people who hang together synchronize their language, culture, and behavior to some extent. This can have survival advantages but it can also have negative consequences such as excessive conformity or “group-think”. It can promote cooperation or it can lead to intra-group or inter-group conflicts. Even members of a well-organized wolf pack may attack each other savagely. So the devil is in the details–what are the actual empirical effects of cognitive synchronization and development in practice, on the ground. What effects prove positive and what effects lead to negative consequences. The process of distinguishing between the positive and negative results, maximizing one and minimizing the other, can be thought of as a process of quality control and continuous improvement.

To achieve continuous improvement and positive quality control, we should systematize and instrument our intentional community of self-study and self-development. We should consciously formalize our group dynamics in a context of systems science and rigorous experimental design. Process transcends objectives, but measurable objectives provide important feedback for process improvement.

The prerequisites for bio-cognitive development and psycho-neuro-synchronization of groups are motivation, opportunity, and resources. It is important that various conditions and tools are provided.

One way to provide conditions for bio-cognitive group development is to establish venues for the kinds of activities mentioned above, in which those activities can be offered to the public and simultaneously shared by a residential staff group. Another approach is to establish intentional communities. These can be urban or rural.

In addition to the shared activities mentioned above, some of the possible tools and techniques for bio-cognitive development and psycho-neuro-synchronization include:

These and many other tools can be used for increasing adult brain plasticity and promoting emotional and physiological states that enhance learning, memory, and neural network integration. Conducted in groups they can also promote psycho-neuro-synchronization and bio-cognitive group intimacy.

All this provides a matrix for accelerated cultural and cognitive evolution that is independent of gross brain anatomy. (Lets face it, we aren’t getting bigger brains any time soon.) Nonetheless, there is good reason to hope that radical self-knowledge, bio-cognitive development, neuro-physiological practice, and psycho-neuro-synchronization may all work together to promote developmental changes in the brain’s micro-structure and its operational patterns. We can try to examine and consciously modify various aspects of our irrationality, automaticity, implicit associations, cognitive biases, etc. With all these tools and techniques we may have a shot at developing a kind of persistent group consciousness capable of hosting perceptions and representations of reality and establishing behavioral innovations and capabilities well beyond the confines of the mainstream culture and language.

This just might help us keep each other alive a few decades longer.

Poor Richard

Related PRA 2.0 Posts:

Related Resources

GOP 2014: EFF SHIT UP FOR FREEDOM

Here’s a bumper sticker graphic courtesy of Elan Wilson:

Fuck Shit Up for Freedom - by Elan Wilson

If you have other bumper sticker ideas, either textual or graphical,  feel free to post in comments.

PR

Shutdown at the OK Corral

“The most accurate description of the Federal shutdown is an attempted corporate veto of American democracy. We must act accordingly. ” (occupynetwork.com)

I’d call it an attempted coup d’état.

Responding to David Brin‘s Government Shutdown or Showdown?:

“…one has to wonder about the author’s core assumption, that all of the right wing’s oligarchs want the United States to thrive.”

I doubt there is much nationalist sentiment in the upper rooms of the now globalized plutocracy. In fact, I imagine that a brutal punishment of the uppity US middle class in particular and the working classes of the world in general is pretty high on the agenda.

Despite the fact that a largely PR-driven model of subjugation-exploitation might be far more efficient and profitable, I imagine a deep emotional desire, perhaps fairly unconscious, on the part of the power-mad to wage a zero-sum, scorched-earth campaign against democracy. I think they perceive liberal democracy and self-governance as a far greater existential threat than climate change or the limits to growth in general. Besides, I think they see massive population reduction (survival of the richest) as a good solution to the latter. When the rich own nearly all the assets on earth they won’t need teeming masses to depress labor costs. By then they wont need much labor, period. Large populations will just be in the way, and they will represent the most clear and present danger to the elites.

Brin talks about the culture war as phase three of the US Civil War but it seems much bigger than that. Its a war on humanity. And Brin talks about a war on science but that’s only part of a larger war: a war on Reason. Not only self-government but Reason itself might vanish from the face of the earth for a very long time if psychopaths have their way.

GOP 2014: “FUCK SHIT UP FOR FREEDOM!”

Poor Richard

“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it.” – Political economist Frederic Bastiat, The Law [1850]

Adam Smith on taxes, inequality of riches, regulating banks

adam smith on taxes“The subjects of every state ought to contribute toward the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state ….[As Henry Home (Lord Kames) has written, a goal of taxation should be to] ‘remedy inequality of riches as much as possible, by relieving the poor and burdening the rich.'” — Adam Smith

“Though the principles of the banking trade may appear somewhat abstruse, the practice is capable of being reduced to strict rules. To depart upon any occasion from those rules, in consequence of some flattering speculation of extraordinary gain, is almost always extremely dangerous and frequently fatal to the banking company which attempts it.” — Adam Smith

%d bloggers like this: