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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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    Catching up with the future. All major institutions in the world today are grappling to come to terms with the internet. The entertainment...

    What happened to nature?
    How to stay in touch with our biological origins in a world devoid of nature? The majestic nature that once inspired poets, painters and...

    The great enhancement debate
    What will happen when for the first time in ages different human species will inhabit the earth at the same time? The day may be upon us when people...
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    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.
    Living on a sad island,
    mountains sneak into my eyes,
    their rain drives me back to the door,
    eyelids cloud it over, out, into a blur,
    It seems worse today.



    Living here,
    I no longer write for humans,
    no trees hear me cry,
    the earth reaches over our ears,
    so I try to smile in kind,
    but my small change is returned,
    and the rejection lingers like
    you know
    no one understands
    that
    I've got myself
    and you've got
    everybody else.





    I'd like to leave,
    but,
    the red rock is unforgiving,
    white waves break me back,
    and big skies cheer them on,
    everyone is yelling,
    'come home, come home to us, come now,'
    but bind,
    the binary codes brand us,
    you, as outgoing,
    and little old me
    as incoming on a
    belittling mess of intelligence.


    So I long to stay,
    but,
    the dawn ruins my timing,
    and scans the lines
    for predictions of omens
    and auguries where others
    would avoid fate
    and all her works,
    feeling unbeholden to thought.





    ___________________________________________

    18th April 2008 Hobart Tasmania

    Thanks to Shevek for reminding me that I don't have to be dead to be a successful poet, or indeed be successful to be successful, just followed, though it's a pity I had to lose my humanity along the way.


    ps each second line should be indented almost to the end of the preceding line... doesn't seem to work...
    Tue, Apr 22, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: epiphany, transhuman condition
    Sent to project: The great enhancement debate
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    Apparently neuroaesthetics are the new black, and Professor Raymond Tallis thinks it's wrong. His column ends...
    Neuroaesthetics is wrong about the present state of neuroscience: we are not yet able to explain human consciousness, even less articulate self-consciousness as expressed in the reading and writing of poetry. It is wrong about our experience of literature. And it is wrong about humanity.


    So what then? Don't even try to use it til we've got it down pat? Wait until a good professor tells you?



    That's just a taster from episode 1 1 More Human Than Human... The whole series of How Art Made the World is worth watching but episodes 2 The Day Pictures Were Born and 4 - Once Upon A Time are the most interesting on this neuroaesthetics front.

    Why the same isn't true for literature I've no idea. Why neuroaesthetics cannot include the social I cannot fathom at all? Episode four obviously shows that it can and does, indeed episode one shows that, possibly, it is our ancestors sitting the the dark, in sensory depriving caves that leads them, in part at least, into drawing on the walls what they see in their minds' eyes, as part of shamanic social practices.

    MInd you, if neuroaesthetics is the new black, then that is where we should go to sit in caves and develop transhumanic practices of art for a new age. For poets and painters both, maybe together, mmmh, that does sound social.

    Fri, Apr 11, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: epiphany, neurology, neuroaesthetics
    Sent to project: What happened to nature?
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    I first really discovered the concept of a technological singularity when I read The Spike: How Our Lives Are Being Transformed By Rapidly Advancing Technologies by Damien Broderick just over ten years ago.

    While I had read some Vernor Vinge I did not read his Across Realtime stories until a few weeks ago. So the first time I read about the singularity in fiction was in Ken MacLeod's The Stone Canal.

    I was blown away.

    Mostly by Ken's use of political activism in his stories. A world I know nothing about really, and I do find I share some of Ken's views looking into the future. Two recent interviews.

    I really really enjoyed Charles Stross' Singularity Sky (another Scot SF writer) and accelerando (free download at the site).





    I've provided amazon.com links above but they are avaliable on your favourite p2p network. I am sure Charles Stross won't mind. He really puts the boot into those Austrian economists.



    I've written some 200 000 words on my own wetware singularity fiction novel but don't quite have the focus? energy? ambition? ego? to push it into some sort of completion.

    Currently sculpture seems more interesting. More real.

    Though the bronze age enhancement magic the ancient Cretan Consorts provided to the Goddess of the Mountain is not.

    Only desire is real throughout time, that's the human condition thing again. Should the magic come true, well, what will happen to desire? Without desire what are we?


    This is a supporting documents post to another epiphany post that I have yet to write up.
    Fri, Jan 11, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: epiphany, linkage ecology
    Sent to project: The great enhancement debate
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    I was waiting for Mona to drive her VW Beetle through the gate I had opened. We were entering the sheep paddock and leaving the area around the shack at Lanoma Point, a northern spur to the westward hook that was Cape Portland in the far north east of Tasmania. Named after some political peer of a far away relam by the dutiful explorer.



    I stared at the top of the post on which the gate swung. In the chainsaw marks, weathered and lichened, I saw oil. In the metal of the gate's hinges I saw coking coal. The car drove passed me and I saw it as coal and gas.

    The paddock was cleared by tractors after world war two by soldier settlers. More oil, more coal. The sandy soils are fairly useless for agriculture, otherwise why give them to soldier settlers. They need superphosphate spread over them all the time, more tractors, more petroleum.



    I closed the gate, got in the car and as we drove up Charmouth Hill, in a post-colonial sort of way, and I went all chatty about, about, about…



    It was a peak oil peak experience.



    "I read in a Scientific American some time ago that one in three nitrogen atoms is fixed from the atmosphere in factories now.

    "One, Two, Three, you, you there, you would not be here without fossil fuels. No nitrogen, no protein, no you.

    "We are oil. No oil, you see, no us.

    We went through a few more gates, passed the flocks of mated pairs of Cape Barren Geese and black swan at home on the wet paddocks.

    "No geese either, it'd be all scrub here still, and heath, no pasture for them to graze either.

    "No oil, no us.



    "Okay, okay, alright. You would be here Julie and not me.

    "No, not me, okay?"

    Fri, Jan 4, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: epiphany
    Sent to project: What happened to nature?
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    In the 'tricity' of Gdynia-Sopot-Gdansk in Poland there is a suburb with a cathedral, Oliwa Catedra. The suburb is named after the cathedral, Oliwa, or is it the other way around?

    I used to walk past it every morning from my lodgings to the intensive Polish language class I had started. This was in the mid-nineties, not long before I was emplaced.



    As a good lapsed catholic I never went inside, but outside I noted the occasional hubbub of various clergy hopping in and out of dark important cars. Lech Walesa lived a few doors down from the cathedral, and I was staying but a few more down the road.

    Eventually on some holiday or another I did go inside. It was very dark. My eyes adjusted to the narrow dark space and I saw figures everywhere. One of the side memorial altars caught my eye.



    Local notables of their time, they were everywhere. The men at least, with the token virgin mary here and there. Typical patriarchal nonsense, baboons in all their frivolousness. I shook my head and wandered up to the main alter area.



    I stared and stared into the counter-reformation's opulent vision of heaven and BANG it hit me.

    Hallalujah!

    Religion is all about foot traffic. It's about real estate. It's about the location, the location where people are most likely to be, to be wandering past and capturing the flow.

    Just like any fast food franchise. They were about the real estate, while the hamburger business, or the coffee business could be delegated to a franchisee and charged rent for their troubles/investment.

    Only the return wasn't profit, it was the return of believers to the the real esate and to that end churches were designed to download belief operating systems into peoples' sense of themselves. While the kernel, the tendency to believe, was probably a hardwired godspot thing, the interface was entirely in the hands of the priest.



    This requires drugs, or complex ritual, in order to impress the natives with the shaman's control of altered states and so by proxy, demonstrated their ability to intercede on the laity's behalf to the gods. And if not drugs then just some colour and movement as in a multimedia experience (the angels on top of these organ pipes go up and down)(the organ is famous).



    Churches and temples are very crude devices to engender a kind of virtual reality while operating instructions are written into the neurones of your behaviour.

    That's why it has to be repeated each and every Sunday. Such masses are not even analog recordings, but only symbolic.

    The real estate captured by the church was located next to a movement of people. The internet cannot be captured in the same way. The men in frocks drinking blood holding up the only copy in the parish of a text written out by hand in a language long dead— just won't be able to do the trick anymore. The technology has changed too much.

    We ate nature, that apple, but for too long we shitted out churches when we should have shitted like the sun, a shining light, and not these pathetic caves peeking into the afterlife.

    Techno-rapture transhuman dudes aren't much better a lot of the time.
    Wed, Dec 19, 2007  Permanent link
    Categories: epiphany
    Sent to project: What happened to nature?, Start your own revolution
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    It must have been twelve years ago.

    I was sitting in the Retro Cafe down at Salamanca Place here in Hobart. And I looked around, and it dawned on me that everything I could see had been made by us. Except when I looked up, the clouds, though we fiddle with them too.

    Every little thing, we made it, we planted it, we made it more, more…

    The gravel inbetween the paving stones. The sandstone warehouses built to store whale oil. The london plane trees (I think they're from Iran). As well as the more obvious cars and ships and silos.



    We made it more amenable to us and nothing as far as I could see was natural. It's natural for us to do this, but it's not natural. It's in our nature to make it so, so, unnatural.



    What happened to nature?

    We ate it.

    Yum.


    Wed, Dec 12, 2007  Permanent link
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    Sent to project: What happened to nature?
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