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Daniel Rourke (M, 37)
London, UK
Immortal since Dec 18, 2007
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All things would be visibly connected if one could discover at a single glance and in its totality the tracings of an Ariadne’s thread leading thought into its own labyrinth.
- Georges Bataille
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    Polytopia
    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...

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    Text that redefines...

    Start your own revolution
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    How to stay in touch with our biological origins in a world devoid of nature? The majestic nature that once inspired poets, painters and...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    From Rourke's personal cargo

    The Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness
    Project: Polytopia


    Voice: Alan Watts

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    Comments:


    Wildcat     Thu, Mar 12, 2009  Permanent link
    Brilliant presentation of a brilliant realization, now if only we could convince the universe at large that chasing its own tail, entails that the universe, the chasing and the tail are grammatical conventions.. ahh ;-)
    thanks for this posting, it brings back the good old understanding of substantial thought, I take it that you stand behind the statements of the illustrious Mr.A.Watts?
    Rourke     Sun, Mar 15, 2009  Permanent link
    I definitely do tend towards a mind/matter idea of reality that goes far beyond the implications of quantum theory. I don't know much about Alan Watts work or ideas, but I love this little snippet. I get the idea that he is quite the spiritual guru, so that worries me about the context that this quote came from. Anyone know about the original recording?

    I just read (in this month's Seed Magazine) a conversation between physicist Paul Steinhardt and philosopher/historian of physics, Peter Galison. Their conversation touched on the expanding universe model (enhanced by Alan Watts' musing). Their conversation can be read and/or watched here.

    It has always struck me that the way we examine the outer reaches of the universe has profound metaphysical implications. For instance, when we look out to the furthest edge of visible reality we see the universe as it was 13.5 billion years ago. What's more, we see this region from the past moving away from us at an ever increasing velocity. What is it to say that you see a 13.5 billion year old region of space moving away from your location? That region of space and time is not presently in the form we see it - it has had 13.5 billion years to change. The expansion we measure occurred billions of years ago. So surely to say that space is expanding at an ever faster rate is merely to say that 13.5 billion years ago space was expanding at an ever faster rate? My brain just turns to mush at this point.

    But whatever the implications for space and time itself, in a very real and simple sense what we do now is impacting on the whole of reality. We see the universe in its infancy when we look through our telescopes. That light, travelling across billions of years of space and time reaches us, bringing us in direct contact with the beginnings of the universe that spawned us. The physicist's consciousness starts as a grumbling stomach in the morning and by afternoon is draped over 13.5 billion years of the cosmos.

    Now not only my brain but also my mind is a mush.

    I asked about the problem of factoring time into observing universe expansion some years ago over at AskMetafilter. Some of the answers are fascinating:

    - Factoring 'Time' into Astronomic Observations

    You might like this question (and answers) too:

    - A Problem of Scale: Halfway in size between an atom and the universe

    Science can only provide answers up to a point. Science is really about finding new, and deeper, questions to ask.
    Rourke     Mon, Mar 23, 2009  Permanent link
    I wrote an article addressing some of these concerns for 3quarksdaily.com (it can also be seen, in part, here). The second half of this piece will be published later next month...
     
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