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    The human species is rapidly and indisputably moving towards the technological singularity. The cadence of the flow of information and innovation in...

    The Total Library
    Text that redefines...

    Start your own revolution
    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...
    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.

    Blogging on this at my other blog: The Unmaking of Conceptual Art.
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    With File Sharing is the New Meditation I had a fast little thought.

    Now someone has made a religion out of it.


    Why make a religion out of file-sharing? Why not just be an ordinary club without defining yourselves as being a religious community?
    Because we see ourselves as a religious group, a church seems like a good way of organising ourselves.

    As a secularist I feel like an alarmist on reading about the founding of a new religion. However, where is the hard evidence on an Intellectual Property (IP) free-for-all being a totally good thing? So why not make a neat new idea into a religion, after all it's a belief, it's not yet practiced certain knowledge, and perhaps the format of the religion in some societies is a safe way to package and test new ideas. Religions could be re-cycled as kindergartens for experimentation, rather than littering the world like the ruins of societies past.

    I think this is a good idea and worth exploring.

    There's no proof that free file-sharing is better than an IP based system but I like the idea, so let's form a religion of like-minded souls, a safe supportive place, and check the belief or hope out.

    Kopimism's English website.

    Kryptos, 2011 by Brigita Ozolins. Commissioned by David Walsh for MONA Berriedale, Tasmania
    Sat, Jan 7, 2012  Permanent link
    Categories: linkage ecology, epiphany
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    The Gutenberg Bible, printed in 1455, was thought to be the world's first printed book, until a British archaeologist found a manuscript hidden among more than 50,000 in a cave in a remote part of north-west China. That manuscript, known as the Diamond Sutra, is a Buddhist religious text, written in Chinese and printed on paper from woodblock prints around 868 AD. It's the oldest dated printed book in history and is held by the British Library. ABC RN Book Show

    Listened to this broadcast today. I was interested to learn that the motivation for producing the world's first printed book was, in part, the idea in some strands of Buddhism that the simple repetition of prayers or mantras will help to bring about enlightenment.

    This first printed book was dedicated to the parents of the maker of the book, suggesting that its repetition of the meaning of the sutra, by the reproduction of a printed hardcopy, was in order to help the parents. This is analogous to the spinning of a Tibetan prayer wheel can. (Though that's more imitative of visualised spiritual processes.)

    In an age of electronic digital reproduction such repetition has never been easier.

    Thus I'd like to suggest that we view printing, mechanical reproduction, as very early file sharing. Steampunk file sharing even. For, the 'format' is not the book, nor ebooks, no, the format is the distribution.

    The physical book, the tome, the scroll, and its libraries, its publishing houses, distracts us from reproductions' primary purpose, to share the book's contents. To share and to be mindful.

    File sharing is a prayer wheel. File sharing is the New Meditation. Share files and gain enlightenment, or at least, spread it around a little.

    crossposted at formeika
    Thu, Oct 14, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: epiphany, social web
    Sent to project: The Total Library
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    I was one of those reading "Gódel, Escher, Bach" in my late teens. Didn't really have anyone to chat about it though. I think this still shows a bit.

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    "You have asked us, younger ones, to tell you a story," Great Oak said, "but what can I say?"
    "Start at the beginning. It's the best place," replied Crane, eyeing off Grasshopper.
    "Sure, but you're asking about before that, before the beginning," the Reeds replied.
    Fox joined in with some advice, "if you can't start at the beginning then start from your 'can't'."
    "So be it," said Laurel tree, "Before animals became us, or before we animated, depending on how you look at it, becoming tree was rare and mythic, a story of dryads and safety, of endings, justice and metamorphosis."
    Myrrh tree took over, smiling, "Before the beginning, when you animals ran around us, tongues lolling, we knew not what you were. We knew not. We could not know. We did not even know ourselves. Names you gave us but we could not hear them over the breeze."
    "Before we knew what we were, or what we had been, you animals knew," Acanthus continued. "Or so you tell us, and now, you ask us to tell you the story back to you. Well, I ask, is our unease, is this discomfort, this complaint, is this not story enough?"
    Apple added to those thorny words, punning, "A gripe fruit is about to fall onto their pretty little heads."
    Four Elephants lifted their trunks to trumpet.
    "You knew us before we knew ourselves," Great Oak forestalled them, warming to the task, "You animals gave us language and stories, and you tell us you did this in part because you wanted to ask us such things. That you like telling stories, but you could not share tales with us because we could not listen. We had no ears to hear. Conflict could not call out to us. We might change and grow but we had no sense of movement. No here, no there, nothing beyond the body, no feelers touching away out there. We had no imagined world, no movement, no going between, no carrying over. And so no tracks, no pathways, no pushing through to make our way in the world. No future beyond the cycles of the day and night, and seasons within years. We had no categories. No words, no names. We had no need to separate out the world from ourselves, and so we had no way to box in the world beyond us. We had no need to worry about the things themselves. Boulders, scrub, lightening, rivers, or even the shadow-flit of your passing."
    "Imagine that," said Fox.
    "You animals did just that, and then you asked your good selves, 'Imagine what it would be like to be a tree?' "said Wattle tree.
    "Let's ask them!" said the Monkey.
    "So you did ask, and every morning the birds called and the monkeys howled, at night the crickets chirruped and the frogs croaked."
    "But," said the Hedgehog, "there was no response so we imagined about why for quite some time."
    "And look at us now," said Laurel, "We're imagining things too, even imagining imagining for goodness' sake. Like we were animals, but we're not."
    "But you are now," said Platypus.
    "So tell us," Crow cawed, "what it's like to be a tree, an orchid, a fern. Or was then. We're curious."
    "Curious? Is that an animal thing?" said the Cactus, "We don't care for curious."
    "Please tell us!" cried the Flies.
    "No," said the Ivy, "go imagine being obstinate, it's like that, only in a leaf-like way."

    There was silence for a long time after that. Ice ages came and went.

    Then some plants, Carnations and Roses mostly, imagined the conversation continuing, if quietly, until a murmur arose on the plains, in the hills and dales. It could not be ignored.
    "Anyway, see, " Fig whispered to Wasp, "we plants thought, you animals knew us before you changed us. We did not know ourselves then, so, yes, you tell us."
    Antelope replied, "We knew you not, but only ourselves as we ate you, you were food for eating, until—"
    The Larch retold what Wolf had said many winters ago, "we think the world of ourselves when our bellies are full."
    Cranberry agreed, "without you animals we would have nothing to tell, or at least, would not be able to tell, to complain, as we can now, that you animals ate us, and then spat us out, smearing us, spitting on us the gob-smacking ability to whine and whinge like a cur."
    Birch added, "We do not thank you, that at least remains as from before."
    A Grove of Linden trees repeated for all, "Before the beginning, we had no words, we had no language, no metaphor to carry us over the landscape. We were merely part of the terrain, the vegetable substrate to your glorious landscapes, the playgrounds of your animal spirits dreaming of your ancestors.
    Baobab shouted, "And now our wood is worded, our waters sung, and our words fly! Like—"
    "Like animals!" A patch of Plantain called.
    Scarlet Pimpernel everywhere chorused.
    "Buzzing insects!"

    Grass heard Plantain and the Scarlet Pimpernel, and as a grassland chorus retold the thoughts to the feet stamping near their roots, "Before the beginning, before the animal spirit invaded us, injecting us with your care, before categories become 'us' and ours, before your little boxes of thought, of here and there, of this and that—"
    " 'This, this, this,' you hissed as we stepped out of the garden into knowledge,' Heath butted in.
    "Before we did have energy," Grassland continued, "and form, but you had more, you had information and you took that knowledge away as you ate us.
    "Before before. Before before, before before."

    Small Birds flew away. Ants ran crazy. March Hares stood still.

    Moss spoke up now, "Before, the lizards told us, a few animals became as dryads and such, but dryads now are the norm. Animals in plant form."
    Spleenwort nodded, "Animals watched us before they ate us, but we saw nothing, we were lessened but unenlightened."
    "We lived in the bright white light," Seaweed said, "We responded to light but we did not care if it bounced. We wanted it pure, we wanted it first, but you animals had eyes to see it's reports. You built a world from it."
    Lily said too, "and noses to smell our light born sugars and fats, and they bit us with teeth, with the rocks they kept in their mouths."

    The sun set.

    Fig tree went on in the morning, "Yes, we can use their language now, their gift to us, but we have not become animals like them. So they are curious and they ask, how was it before? 'What before?' we reply. 'Before,' they say, 'before, you know, before we gave you language, what was it like?' "
    Aardvark asked, "But deep time— surely you knew deep time?"
    "There is no deep time known to us," replied a Rainforest or two, "we were young once yes, but are we magicians now simply because we have changed by becoming old and word weary?"
    "We are old now, but not before," said Tropical Savannah, "We can tell you words, like 'old', and that makes us old. This is a magic, but there is no magic to tell you of before being old.
    "Before we were beasts of energy," Pencil Pines reflected, "You sprinkled and blew your intelligent dust over us like spores. Your ubiquitous computing dusted every plant with multiple transvertors and memristic devices, networking, networking the data of our phloem, calculating the xylemic textures, and so your ugly words transpired through us. Now every sugary spurt of sap is a social media event."
    "You go girl!" shouted Hibiscus.
    "We are creatures of information and knowledge because you gave us words and the means to communicate on light's little siblings," said Mango, "now we spit bits using protocols to route each other."
    "But," said Chickpea, "of before words there is nothing to tell."
    "Tell us anyway," said Camel, "we want to know, and your guess is better than ours, our guess would be a lie. Your guess must lie closer to the truth."
    "Why, why?" said the Creosote Bush.
    The entire Taiga added, "These words you've given us come from you. They are not our words. We would just be giving you your words back, telling you nothing new. Your words have remade us in your image. You are closer to what we were. You knew us then. We do not know us as we were, for then we could know nothing, let alone 'ourselves'."
    "But this is why—" the Tiger started.
    Potato cut in, "Yes, we know, we know. This is why you made us capable of meaning, so you could ask us, 'What is it like to be a tree?"
    "But—" began Turtle, but took too long to speak another word.
    "Look," said the Date Palm, "don't you see? We are no longer the plants we were, we know no more than you? So you tell us what we were like. After-all, you knew us before we were changed. Tell us and then you will know the story."
    The animals said nothing.

    Bullrush stated into the storm, "now we know fear and the passing of the years, meaning has entered us and changed us forever. We know now what conflict is. We plants have been brought to story, that life about life, and in that we fail you."
    Banksia nodded as a wild bush fire burst its cones, seeds released like song into the smoke, "We fail you because we are now you. We fail you because you ate us up. We fail you as you fail yourselves."
    And the animals all became sad, until an Everlasting Daisy laughed aloud, with what all agreed was a really, really good idea, "imagine, if the rocks spoke, we could ask them."
    Tue, Sep 28, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: fable
    Sent to project: What happened to nature?
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    At low tide, in an industrial rockpool, an eight-ratcheted Chiton and a Limpet in pinion were boastfully disputing as to whom was the most efficient yet steadfast mechanical shellfish. Each was quite sure of their case.

    "Not only can I bite into any surface in the highest seas," said the ratcheted Chiton, "my eight ratchets also use the energy of the waves to pry barnacles off any hull, rock or pier. No clockwork shellfish effects the original designer's intent better than I."

    "I am sure you are certain of this," said the Limpet in pinion, "You are no liar, however, to be the most efficient, you must do more than your best. For example, when I cling to a hull or the piers of energy capture—"

    "—you mean the wave power stations."

    "Quite so, I have to rasp algae from the intakes even as the concentrating bays have quintupled the force of the waves on my back. Yet such is my design, this enormous force only pushes me harder onto the substrate of my attention. I do not even need deign to notice the waves passing, and yet if the great seas were becalmed I can still continue to graze effectively, thus removing the ceaselessly befouling growth, as is my purpose."

    When their strife was at its height, a vice Snail slid over from a nearby pile of drift-born recycling and shouted: "Pray, my dear friends, cease from such prattle, at least in my presence — I have not wasted cycles arguing and have worked to nearly finish sorting all the re-usables from the scrap on this shore."

    The vice Snail slipped into their pool. With its slimy foot it prised the ratcheted Chiton off the rock. Just as quickly, the snail broke the Chiton up between the jaws of the iridescent coiled vice on its back. It did the same with the Limpet in pinion, cracking it between jaws pushed together with sprung steel covered in mother-of-pearl. The snail then tossed all pieces above the high water mark into separate commodious stacks of cogs, gears, sprockets, ratchets, racks and pinion.

    "Though I admit," said the vice Snail smiling at the piles of clockwork, "if you had not shouted when you did, I would not have had the chance to exceed my target quota for the day. So I thank you."

    Mind your righteousness does not erase your usefulness.

    The form of the fable and the origins of this story are blogged at Parables of Submission, Fables of Truth-Based Creativity.
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    Colonel Lucas Buffet looked up. The dusty slopes stretched thirstily for the clouds.
    He looked down. The surf roared at the shingle, hungry, always hungry.
    He looked around, waiting, and ignoring the breeze for the Appalachian bluff was surrounded by foul seas. Liberty Pilgrims, the last to land, waddled out of the dark green waves, faces tilted against the wind. They cursed their ritual shackles, and then crossed themselves as they looked up, passed him and his men, to the peak.
    To the Temple of Deliverance, dedicated to the great Libby's birth, where it was said that the waters broke.
    The Colonel was a tall man in a dress uniform. He glanced at his second in command. Major Warmington had told him that such places were so rare once, that they had their own geographical term.
    " 'Islands' they were called," said Warmington.
    Well, the Colonel thought, I will keep an eye on you, Major. True, they had often discussed their interest in old words over a dram or two, as they called it, but... really.
    Turning his attention back to the carved stones at his feet, the Jaguars, scientists and other monsters stared back at him, open mouthed, fanged but credulous. A gong was struck, sounding thin in the dull booms coming up from the shore. The yelping had stopped sometime earlier, and the irons had cooled by now. The Preachers did not seem to be rushing. The Colonel could hear under Warmington's breathing an almost silent prayer.
    Colonel Lucas Buffet had come south a hundred leagues along the Appalachian Archipelago with his Three Hundred Battalion, though there were nearly seven hundred Marines under his command. The whole trip he had wondered about the battalion's name. Major Warmington had no idea either but said that having seven hundred did not shame the Battalion. Only God knew.
    He waited, thoughts idling without prayer. A thousand northern hills in the Archipelago had formed a Boston Free Party and 'withdrawn' from the United Hills. The reasons why they seceded escaped the Colonel. Though, no doubt, like most important matters of men at the edge, this was likely to be minor. A corrupt official, a new tax, or a new Melungeon-Jakatar Chronicle. However, it was too much like the way One China declared war on the odd hill in the Asian watery plain that claimed it wasn't One with China. No, not at all, never. And instead was the ancient Kingdom of Tibet. Or Nepal. Or Greece, or something.
    But then again, why not go to war, for at least as a warrior, however heretical, one could avoid being a slave, or a Preacher's bastard son.
    Was that not his own path?
    The Colonel was about to eye Warmington again when the cloud horn blew. The Colonel kept his head bowed, for here at Deliverance even a Colonel had to wait until the third boom. Instead, the Colonel reflected on the hunt, skirmish, and capture. A scouting boat appeared on the horizon. A day later five of the heretics had been killed, but one had usefully survived. Warmington had been almost too good in pulling him out of the water. Lucky man.
    "Not only should torture be done," Libby had preached, "it should be seen to be done. For its purpose is not mere pain, nor just the uncovering of Truth. In touching it does not just reach for information. That data is but driftwood on the shore. Torture's real purpose is the righteous society that only fear and the hammering of souls can bring. Oh yes, they will all become one with us, just as all hills are united, connected as they are under the foul oceans of disbelief and heresy. For by hearing of the pain unbelievers will come into the fold, or fold into the waves."
    Thus the first Temple was built, and the first mass sacrificed.
    But heresy is a warm flood, and these rainbows of rendition were not enough. Weeks later a groundswell of disbelief had caused the first gushing flood of sea level rises. So now, far to the south, an orange buoy marks the drowned Tower of Holy Gitmo under Sea.
    The second blast was short, the Colonel looked back over the bowed heads of his troops. Good men, every one. He was proud of them, they had recaptured eighty Heretic Hills already, some almost ten acres in size.
    "Peace will come, all we must do is drink their blood, and eat their flesh. For where scripture orders us to share it in common, then all sins are forgiven in communion."
    A smell of the sewer wafted passed. Thrice now the horn had blasted, the Colonel and his men looked up as one to watch a bowie knife descend into the bared chest of the infidel. Water poured out of the lungs. The High Preacher held up the heart, blood dripped, his men shrieked in joy, while the Liberty Pilgrims swayed in their fetters.
    The High Preacher threw the heart as far as he could, perhaps hoping to hit a pilgrim on the head.
    Before the squabble over the heart was over, the Preachers retired to begin the roast. Altar boys dragged the corpse behind them.
    The Colonel stepped down to his officers. There was a couple of hours to wait before communion. He watched his men lose their strict lines, and mingle.
    "Well, Major Warmington."
    "So much for the global warming heretics," the Colonel licked his lips.
    "Yes, sir! The stone must be stained! Sir!"
    "At ease, Warmington." And anyway, if they hadn't happened on that boat of fishermen, the Colonel mused, he would have been forced to choose the least lucky of his Three Hundred, as tradition demanded at waters breaking. "Relax."
    Eyes wide, Warmington volunteered, "You know, sir, this summit was once called Mt. Mitchell after a—," the Major mumbled, "—scientist."
    The Colonel raised his eyebrows. "The stone must be stained, Major."
    Major Rastus Warmington did not know how lucky he was.

    written 2008, imaged 2010
    Mon, Sep 20, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: epiphany in a bad way
    Sent to project: Start your own revolution
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    The following is crossposted from my blog on writing and format, though it belongs here as much as there. I consider the rant as some notes towards a transhuman language.

    Lojban, like the better known Esperanto, are constructed languages.

    Esperanto was constructed in order to help bring understanding between people who spoke different languages, in the hope that this could bring peace. Lojban was initially made with the idea of testing the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis; that language, ordinary socially constructed natural languages, influenced thought.

    Lojban was based on an earlier language designed for logic, Loglan. Loglan was designed to be machine readable, parse-able by machines like computers. As such it had very strict form and was very regular. (Read more on Lojban history.)

    Lojban differed from Loglan in that, like many natural languages used by human speakers, Lojban included the point of view of a speaker. It's a bit of a kludge, but it works okay. We often like to structure our sentence according to who said them. It's a major way to give otherwise perfectly logical statements meaning. (See Peircean Logic and Biosemiotics.) Mathematical logic after all is just a set of clever tautologies.

    The grammars of many European languages are structured around who said what, and to whom, whether these theys are socially inferior or superior (formal/informal). Or what gender speaker/spoken to/spoken of are, or even what gender non-sexed things are, as ascribed by sex based noun-class systems. Esperanto has this 'gendering' in vestigial form. In response, non-gendered versions like Ido have forked—> see Gender Reform in Esperanto).

    I'd learn Lojban ahead of the others, and have started in a small way, except is it really that far from learning Klingon?

    I've been learning Polish over the last year or two and I just can't stand the crap in the natural languages, the irregularities, the exceptions, and the stupid bits like gender. Polish, like some other Slavic languages even conjugate the past tense of verbs according to the gender. Considering that the subjunctive (could be, might be) is based on these past tense forms it just a massive #fail for me as an adult. Ethnicity, identity is based on this crap? We're proud of it because we are all idiots together.


    Now I don't want any language to disappear, go extinct, but really? Who gives a flying what gender I am when I say I might go to town tomorrow?

    There's an argument that languages have the grammar they do because babies learn languages and they like regularity but do not tend to judge the sense of that regularity, nor notice that all those exceptions make the regularity a fractal type of thing. Babies just don't care what they learn. No discrimination, no style control.

    So I am in favour of constructed languages, so long as they are not stupid. Tolkien's Elvish and Klingon are stupid. Fun for a little while but I wish they would go away.

    French is a curated language, it's completely stupid, because political forces are trying to maintain a natural language. Polish is similar to French but it's not curated so much as fossilized by historical forces.

    Yes, English is stupid too, all natural languages are a pain to learn as an adult because of all the irregularities that babies just don't care about.

    Yes, I am blaming babies for the mess. (Can't find reference as yet).

    But what to do?

    Lojban is a good start, but I feel like forking it, by starting with the point of view of the speaker, not kludging it on to a substrate of "mathematical logic" (as Peirce would call it).

    The inteprenant focus, yeah, and I like those natural languages that structure some of their grammar not according to gender/noun-classes (what a waste of mental processing power!) but on how the speaker acquired the information, i.e. structuring according to the quality of the information, the meta-information.

    The meaning not the logic, but logic ahead of irregular crap.

    A well structured grammar, IMHO, would be based on the point of view of the point of view.

    Babies just don't care about that.
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    The first people to live on the sixth moon of Jupiter were the painters of Europa. They followed a tradition where every brushstroke must align with, what they called, the "natural direction" of the depicted. That is, when a Juropean artist painted grass the brushstrokes must begin near the ground and move towards the sky. The painter's hand must recapitulate the growth of the blade of grass, or the fall of a meteorite.

    Whether or not the grass was green or purple was of no matter. This tradition was not a naturalism but a priority of acceleration. No doubt born as the full thrust of a rocket's engines was felt pressing down on the collective chests of the first painters to travel to Jupiter.

    Today, we use the local name Juropean for the first colony on Europa, they themselves called themselves Europans as does the second and successful colony today which has almost no connection with the artists' colony.

    Once this school of embodied art had grown large enough to be called a colony rather than a base or station, it split. The line of fracture took the form of a dispute within the stricture of "natural direction." Indeed so strongly did they all remain committed to this arbitrary aesthetic the argument itself was mostly hypothetical. It was all talk.

    If, it was asked, one was painting upside down, should the brushstrokes move upward from the point of view of the painter or still be guided by the local gravity. That is, was 'up' for grass blades defined relatively, by the artist's inner ear, or absolutely, by the artist's environment.

    In Juropean society these two sides, the POVians and the Gravians became mired in the tribal groupings that many co-operative projects tend to split into, eventually. They were just another Red and Blue split. The usual historical context for these differences that flare up into conflict, even in old imperial capitals like Byzantium, are the old economies of scarcity and want that at least makes them understandable, if not forgivable.

    Of course to us such disputes appear silly, and their passions alienating. It has become the classic example used by us to reflect poorly on the early transhuman intensive societies, because this first colony on Jupiter's moon Europa failed, violently and meaninglessly. We see their failure as our success.

    For where, like the Juropeans, a society lives in a economy of post-scarcity, our judgement is more condemning, and our story-telling becomes more fabulous. We are good because they are bad.

    "They lacked for nothing, they only lacked lack, and still they fought a civil war over the directions of brushstrokes, brushstrokes, and in a gravity of 0.134 Gee!"
    Sun, Sep 12, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: singularity fiction, transhuman condition
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    The cosmos was created in a struggle between the good and the evil.

    The good said it was going to create the world, but the evil was scornful and sought to show the good how silly this plan was. So what began with happy aspirations was met with harsh mocking words. Soon the bickering between the two godhoods escalated into a battle in which the very fabric of the universe was created.

    The stars were shed as sparks from their terrible clashes. Their anger and pride became space and time. Hatred welled as gravity. Courage emerged as magnetism, and vengeance as electricity. As they smashed matter, and flung energies against each other, the heavens were separated from the earth, the waters fell as rain, crying in pain.

    Suddenly the gods vanished, the battle ended, and there were no witnesses except a thunderstorm and a great wind rushing into their absence.

    For, some say, Ag finally lost, and in despair was easily banished from the cosmos by the devilish Antag. Others say the good god Ag sacrificed his own link with his creation in order to save it from Antag's despairing attitudes.

    Whatever happened neither can talk to us, unlike children yelling in play by the river. They have been swept away by their own actions, whatever they were. Only we, mere mortals, follow and so remain.

    Some say Ag still watches over us with love, writing down our lives in a great book, so that we can be rewarded for our loyalty or kindness. Others say we are on our own, that the sacrifice was complete, and nothing we do or say makes any difference now. We are all alone.

    There are those who believe that good Ag was banished by the scorner Antag, of these there are those who believe we will be rewarded, but others of these 'banisheds' believe that we are truly orphaned and will be ignored for all eternity; that prayers and petitions are useless.

    Yet others believe that the good god Ag sacrificed himself and so can watch over us, but others of these 'sacrificials' believe that the link is also gone.

    Many wars have been fought by believers of each these views, many histories changed, much blood shed in meaningless struggles.

    For which god is good? Ag is the god who lost and was banished by Antag? Or is Ag that god, who in self-sacrifice, banished the evil Antag?

    Can they see us, or not?

    The devout and pious believe that they are watched, regardless of whether they think Ag is the banished or the sacrificial. But the mundane don't bother to even disbelieve it, and care only as to who was Ag or Antag.

    In any case, the Concert states there is no way to know. The link to the creators is gone in the very struggle which put the stars in their place.

    In was in the recognition of this great unknowing that the holy agnostic Concert was composed, bringing peace to us all in a two part compromise. A peace which has now lasted millennia among the cognoscenti, those who share the cognizance that the war ended when the gods left and must never be fought again.

    The Concert states that Ag is worshipped in public as good, and Antag scorned as evil, but it is left to each private conscience to decide which god did what, and further, whether they can still see us or not.

    To discuss any of this outside the home or the schoolroom is frowned upon as impolite, and in some parts as sacrilegious.
    Sat, Jul 25, 2009  Permanent link
    Categories: Philip K. Dick
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