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Sjef van Gaalen (M)
Amsterdam, NL
Immortal since Dec 11, 2007
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    ParanoidMystic     Wed, Mar 12, 2008  Permanent link
    Wow. Let it out, brother - it's ok.

    Not to you, but to your line of thinking - eat a bag of dicks. We are multi-dimensional beings having a three-dimensional experience. There's nothing we can produce in spacetime that will of itself help our malaise. The 50s were total garbage — the lowest point of materialism and slavish worship of ego's desire.

    "all 'exploring inner space' means is you are just being useless, or producing useless artifacts"

    Useless according to whom? The meat machine culture we've created? The industry-driven factory world we've built for ourselves? Deep regrets, but that world is decaying doo-doo only. It's the navel-gazers who have it right. Consciousness is somehow infolded into the fabric of our reality - intersecting in a way we still do not comprehend. Anything... literally anything... could instantaneously trigger that deep understanding one of us is searching for.

    Would you suppress that trigger for someone else because you have itchy eyes?

    That you're experiencing information overload can only mean one thing — your receptors are out of whack. Take a walk. Do some yoga. Join a local choir. Get some joy into that being and quickly!

    The future is not less information and more utility — it's pure information, plain and simple.

    Again, all respect to you. I suspect you aren't alone in your frustration. But seriously, don't let yourself cling to this line of logic. Gandhi laid it out for us very scientifically - the most powerful force on earth is Satyagraha, the struggle for truth. The motto of satyagraha is "I want you to thrive."

    "Think before posting and add some value dammit" <— does that sound like an invitation to thrive or an intellectual bully flexing on the playground? Bring the noise you like to hear!
         Thu, Mar 13, 2008  Permanent link
    No, I completely agree with you. Idleness and misanthropy go hand in hand, and although paranoidmystic seems to think that the 50's were the ultimate low point of materialistic philosophy holding power over the populace, I think that now is way worse. How come? Well, I'm not speaking for everyone in the world, but I'm talking about those who are still here in the western world who really know about everything going wrong in the world and just give a smirk, shrug their shoulders, and say "we're fucked lol oh well". I think that these kinds of thoughts hold a fair amount of people's minds if not a majority of them. I don't blame them, since they face a fair amount of cognitive dissonance over two ideals, one of which is screaming "if we don't do things different (without specifying very clearly or in ways that sound materialistically satisfying what needs to be done) we're fucked" and one which is "no, things are cool, nothing is fucked, go buy things to distract you because it's worked since you've been a little kid and it will keep working for the rest of your lifetime". One ideal is supported as a part of the definition of our culture and one is supported as an auxillary ideal that's perceived more like a chore that needs to be done rather than a matter of life or death.

    Did the baby boomers suffer from this dichotomy of purported truths and fuck everything up? Fuck yes! It's the whole reason neocons and yuppies were spawned. (etymology of yuppie: from yippie, the definitive anti-establishment group of the sixties, corrupted into "young urban professional" somewhere down the line as things went). They lived lives of believing that materialistic self-indulgence was the way to go as children, and of course as young adults they applied the same behaviour patterns when it came to doing drugs, which caused most of them (who really had nothing to do with the peace and love ideals and more to do with partying) to do too many drugs which caused even more cognitive dissonance which caused them to retreat away from peace, love, and the age of aquarius or whatever and back into their materialistic self-indulgences - The shift from favorite drugs as defined by popular culture being psychedelics to those favorite drugs being cocaine and speed for the go-getters to heroin for thee no-getters.

    I think that something which could help is convincing people on psychedelics that their materialistic bullshit is what's driving the world down, making each of them feel personally responsible for both the mess and the chore to clean it up, by making it not into a chore ordered by purported authority figures who are not perceived as authorative but a matter of a life and death, making them tear their eyes from winamp visualizations while going "whoa man that's trip yo" and getting them to instead have thoughtful conversations between themselves about the state of the world and what to do with it. It sure worked for me when I was about 16 to 17 along with a bunch of other events which transpired around that time that I won't discuss on the internet, but I bet it could work on a mass scale if someone put some real thought into it, couldn't it? Like, for a quick example off of the top of my head, a psychedelic videogame which focuses on a creative plot that tricks people into working towards one thing and then ending up not attaining that thing and instead learning the lesson of their follies which they are enacting at that very moment. The people who lament over never attaining that thing will be ridiculed by those who realize the message and its worth, and if they want to continue wasting their time smoking dope and playing videogames, so be it, because at least some others will break themselves out of the loop due to it all, right?
    meika     Thu, Mar 13, 2008  Permanent link
    Somehow everyone lost interest

    This is because consumer lead socio-economies had little need for productive activity or economic leadership from most people, this is because most productive decisions are made by large organisations (private and governmental) and most people's role is to consume what is 'broadcast' to them over TV. Currently the only other way to drive demand (with really only short term gain)(and long term catastroph) is military spending.

    The economy will soon shift away from big factories producing everything (and China will be the last place of that old style industrialization) to smaller more local fabbers and 3D printers.

    I can't wait to download from a design wiki the blueprints for new fuel celll and supercapacitor powered car, fit my own skin design over the top, customise a few points, maybe spray it with a titanium oxide based solar voltaic booster and email the design to my local 3D printers (if I am not rich enough to print out my own 3D printers).

    But until that starts happening Web 2.0 youtubing and flickring is as good as it gets. But shared ideas are powerful too.

    Actually scrub the car idea, I'll first fab a one-way rocket to pioneer Mars in my retirement.
    sjef     Sat, Mar 15, 2008  Permanent link
    ParanoidMystic, Thanks for playing.

    The 50's may have been total garbage, but can you really claim people are in a better state now? Obesity is at an all time high, and the (american) public school system is severely fucked. At any rate standards of education and general physical health were better back then.

    'Naval gazing' is useless to those that don't believe this world is nothing but shit. It may need a significant amount of fixing, but anyone who places that beyond reach and sees themselves content to lead an existence which leads to no development isn't helping.

    People find 'deep understanding' in all kinds of places, unfortunately it's generally not the right place, and their truth is only a placeholder for what could be achieved if they were aware of the greater truths being held from them. I wouldn't want to suppress greater understanding from anyone, quite the opposite. I also wouldn't want to see them falling into the traps provided by religion, drugs, or anything else that when used in the wrong proportions can lead to a state of mental slavery.

    If you believe that the future is pure information, well fine. Have your virtual worlds.
    Personally I don't see why I'd have to be satisfied with immersive sensory illusion as an existence. I enjoy exploring this world thanks, and I'd like to see it fixed, it's resources used efficiently, and it's people united in a common goal of the advancement of our kind. A logical extension of this would be expansion into space, and the exploration of other worlds.
    Would you deny our descendants that, and have them settle for a virtual surrogate?

    I'm not going to disagree with Ghandi, although I don't see how that statement you have quoted can be proven scientifically. I just don't believe that ultimate truth can be found through the shallow process of drug-induced 'self-reflection'. dimitridb's comment has already quite neatly expanded on that with a view similar to mine.

    As for the PS to my initial ranting, I'm sticking with it. I think this site has an extremely high potential as a space for the advancement of concepts that will improve our condition, and I don't want to see it slide into becoming just another mediocre niche social netjerk.
    The pace has slowed, and the ratio of rubbish to good content has crept up recently. That may be relative, but I know I'm not the only one that feels that way about it. People are coming in and not coming back because they aren't seeing the value in what's here. My statement is a call to consider that.

    meika, I don't think our economy will completely shift away from large scale industry, but as long as it means more efficient use of what we have, the bigger the shift to distributed manufacturing the better. You're right that peoples' lack of input is a real problem. Hopefully the fabject culture will be a real stimulus to people to take a participatory attitude in decisions about much more than just their possessions or immediately available goods.

    I wonder how long it will take for one-way space retirement flights to come available, can so see that becoming an industry...
    meika     Sat, Mar 15, 2008  Permanent link

    shall we go partners in a start up? mmmh, no,, no no no,

    We could sell it to Virgin I reckon,

    Spaceweaver     Sun, Mar 16, 2008  Permanent link
    I certainly share your frustration regarding the general condition of mankind. Yet, what would you make of the Buddha's enlightenment? I think this is one product of inner space exploration worthy to be treasured by humanity. This is one obvious example that comes to mind. More generally I believe that many of humanity's greatest achievements are products of inner space exploration. A thousand explorations might prove to be entirely pointless, but it worth the trouble even if one in a million would prove to be insightful. Frankly, it seems that most of human activity is pointless and boring. Its those ultimately rare moments of profound significance we should be after, but than it also means that we should recognize that most of what we do, inner exploration or otherwise, is pointless at the onset.
    meganmay     Sun, Mar 16, 2008  Permanent link
    I agree with Sjef and DimitriDB that the potential for thought provoking and possibly maybe even world changing that lies here on this little plot of webspace has been clouded lately by masses of unweighted material.

    But Ho! all is not lost. For one thing, if the content on Space Collective needs an upgrade then we must upgrade the content with more kick ass posts (i know i have been lagging on this) and then for two, promote each others posts like obsessive compulsive mouse clicking fanatics.

    Not existing within a vacuum of stellar content draws an interesting parallel to the reality of the world, and what deluded intellectuals we would be to think Space Collective wouldn't be a little messy as well. Its a decent simulation of what kind of crap must be cut through to really change the world.

    Such a battlecry as this —

    I enjoy exploring this world thanks, and I'd like to see it fixed, it's resources used efficiently, and it's people united in a common goal of the advancement of our kind.

    begs the question of — where do we begin?

    Though it opens up another can of worms, I like Meika's 3D printer vision because it puts forward a prototype for some potential future, and the idea of creating a small village of people that apply the online downloading model to physical production sounds like an interesting experiment to see through.

    The re-thinking of social structure through invention and experimentation is something I've been putting a lot of thought into lately. Ideas like creating an online nation, the end of money, using the abandoned railroad tracks of LA for personal transportation, and using human power to keep a laptop charged, are all prototypes and hypotheses that I'm in the process of putting into action on an experimental scale. Solutions to the worlds problems have to be invented and tested, and I've been thinking about a SC project along these lines for a while now, time to make it happen.

    cutting through the crap,

    sjef     Mon, Mar 17, 2008  Permanent link
    Spaceweaver - I have to say my knowledge of Buddhism is severely limited, but from what I know I guess I would consider it what I termed: "The exploration of self for the betterment of self".
    The danger I see is that the search for inner peace can lead to a state of complacent acceptance, and that the goals of improvement and changing of thought are lost.
    What needs to be avoided is that we become satisfied with a peace that is stagnant, because in our ever advancing world stagnation amounts only to decline.

    Your point that thousands of pointless paths may be taken before an insight is found is certainly valid, I would argue that once the insight has been found, the other paths are no longer pointless, but have served a purpose. I realize this can be interpreted as contradictory to statements made in the original post, so I'll have to better explain myself.
    It comes down to what we mean by 'exploration of inner space', my rant was directed in particular at the crowd whose definition mostly includes staring at fluorescent objects, and have lost focus of, or never understood the point that the goal is ultimately advancement.
    (I also laid it on a bit thick to get discussion going.)

    I'm not convinced that almost everything we do is pointless either (but yeah, it definitely seems that way at times), that attitude just seems somewhat defeatist. Every action we take effects our local universe, so if there's a goal to work towards nothing is pointless.

    megan - You're right about the crap cutting. As for the question of where we begin,
    I guess here. I know all I'm really doing is flailing around in this corner of the internet trying to get a large collection of ideas off my mind that have accumulated over time but never really had a place to be put down and solidified.
    Great things have already been started here, as Renes post highlights. Maybe the question is more how to keep the ball rolling, and in which direction?
         Tue, Mar 18, 2008  Permanent link
    It comes down to what we mean by 'exploration of inner space', my rant was directed in particular at the crowd whose definition mostly includes staring at fluorescent objects, and have lost focus of, or never understood the point that the goal is ultimately advancement.

    Nobody really likes candy ravers. hahahaha. You're so right about this, though, people doing that kinda stuff do give a bad rep to things they associate with that don't deserve the association.

    However, it's of note to really know the history of that culture. The rave scene used to really be about being an antidote to the rowdy football hooligan alcohol based junk and rich thatcher child party scenes of the late 1980s. People thought that they were about to change the world by converting everyone into their culture of acceptance and positivity, kids weren't doing 10 caps of (speedy as fuckin' sonic the hedgehog?) E a night and instead had stuff like comics handed out to them encouraging them to realize the potential of the less-is-more deal with the stuff. Too soon the positive elements of the original culture became nullified by commercialization and things became legislated, as a result of what happened with the mass media (Which serves the interest of evil and nothing else if you ask me, but that's another story that you can read if you want to check out an excellent book entitled"Manufacturing Consent" by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman). From reading the over-reactive bullshit in the tabloids, people started joining the scene just as an excuse to get really fucked up on lots of drugs all the time. Therefore, the happenings in the scene went away from things like the KLF burning the 1,000,000 pounds made off of their music as an artistic statement and underground groups throwing free parties for the sake of the betterment of mankind, and it mostly all became vapid and actions associated with the culture either empty or destructive. The commercialization of it all encouraged people to follow stereotypes and out of this came all that stuff that most people would rather forget about the 90's, like the infantile-regressive sort of cute yet fucking irritating candy ravers and tekked-out junglists shuffling around in hoodies trying too hard to look tough. The same thing has happened with all recent countercultures: Commercialization has turned the common consensus around punk from an artistic exercise of provocation by completely soaking questionable societal norms with the piss of dichotomy into shit like "punky colour" brand hair dye that you can pick up at fucking wal-mart or "the motherfucking princess" avril lavigne. It turned the common consensus around hip-hop from it being the most pertinent form of poetry of the last half of the 20th century to bling-bling barf. It's turning today's idea around, uhh... "hipsters" (for lack of a better word off the top of my head) from indy culture into "big indy" with most people who associate themselves around it not really giving a fuck either way that they're not getting past the materialistic aspect of it all, just cause it's the cool thing to do. Going back to drugs, well, I'm about to write an entry about that.
    Spaceweaver     Wed, Mar 19, 2008  Permanent link
    Sjef thanks for your clarifying comments. It seems to me we basically agree, and I would like to add a few clarifications of my own.

    I do not think that personal growth of the kind you describe as "The exploration of self for the betterment of self" is of any interest or relevance if it is not put in a wider perspective that goes beyond the individual and at least strives to transcend the locality of one’s existence. This already sets a standard of relevance and significance one can work with.

    We change, we transform and transcend by the power of ideas, and the source of ideas is nothing but inner space exploration. I dare claim that in some deep sense, our so called external existence is but a complex metaphor to our inner exploration. Our reality is transformed by ideas and the activities that are derived from these ideas. If you happen to live in a town and look around, you find you are immersed in physically materialized ideas. Even our communication here is a flow of ideas within ideas (computers) within ideas (the web), and so on.

    This being said, I certainly agree that not every musing that crosses one’s mind deserves the status of a significant idea mostly because they are not put in the light of a relevant context that extends their meaning beyond the locality of the individual experience. Indeed most of what you called “staring at fluorescent objects” belong to this category of local experiences within a local perspective, things we can hardly share or be fertilized by. The proliferation of such mind products may perhaps hint to their general mediocrity. Insightful potent ideas are difficult to come by and therefore are rare. It seems to me that the significance and potency of ideas follow an inverse power law of some kind, that is, quality is generally in inverse proportion to quantity.

    In this sense, what matters in thought and inner space exploration is the quality of the process and the quality of the products. How do we achieve a persistent increase in quality? I think the key is selection. Selection is the force that drives biological evolution; I suspect that in the evolution of ideas it is as critical, perhaps much more. Ideas and other mind products should stand to a selective standard, and it seems we should be able to establish such standards individually and collectively. This, I believe, makes life more interesting and fertile.

    As a concluding note, you should not read my position as defeatist but to the contrary. I think that human mind is in its infancy. Our minds are noisy and are wired to respond best to survival situations of all kinds. There is very little coherent reflective thought going on. It takes courage to accept this reality and strive to persistently increase the quality of our thought processes and their products. This is how one can actively participate in the evolution of mind.
    Ruud Kempers     Wed, Mar 19, 2008  Permanent link
    Sjef; As to speak in your own words.... (found in The Components of Thought Have Exploded)

    The list is a good idea, but I don't know about the exclusion of 'cliches' , as they are relative to ones prior knowledge.
    What may seem cliche to you or I could contain a complete new wealth of education to another and there's no way to tell where to draw the line.

    Now think about this;

    Space collective is a good idea, but I don't know about the exclusion of 'cliches'
    (Pictures as you call them), as they are relative to ones prior knowledge.
    What may seem a simple picture to you or I could contain a complete new wealth of education to another and there's no way to tell where to draw the line

    I think looking at one picture can do more to you then the explanation of the contributor.
    It can be a triggger to get your inner space working and make you form your ideas, opinions or conclusions about the things shown. This might even be the intention of the contributor. Signals! You respond to them your way or not.

    For me personally to write or even give an reasonable explanation of my ideas or thoughts in a foreign language is a difficulty.
    I do understand your point, but don't you think most contributors that do not keep up disappear by themselves...?

    This is part of giving 'the space' to an individual. So you find out whether you 'click' or 'delete'.
    To my opinion your reaction/frustration is completely and only from-out yourself.
    Is this an ego thing? Is the stuff you do worth more then the post of others?
    Or is this crap too others? I don't know.

    Try to understand other individuals. Ask questions why people post stuff like this directly to the contributor so you'lle understand and maybe start discussions.
    This should piss me off, but it doesn't. I actually feel sorry for ya.

    After reading your post I found myself deleting most of the previous post i made...
    So it might work giving your opinion but...
    Aren't opinions like assholes?
    folkert     Wed, Mar 19, 2008  Permanent link
    I love this thread for many reasons, one of which is that over its course it has started to provoke the opposite of its initial concerns.

    I feel like today's proliferation of choice made possible by increasing wealth, comfort and luxury leading to indulgence, decadence and corruption on the one hand, and on the other the decline of religion (for obvious reasons) that formerly provided masses with purpose and direction has left us in an open space, a vast lake that our raft spit us out into. Direction is (temporarily) lost and we are unsure of how large it is and where to go from here or where and when the river will continue.

    Obviously, the reality we perceive is only a minute slice of the reality we could be perceiving, which in turn is a minute slice of all of perceivable reality. The important thing when thinking about progress is to look at the places where society dare not look because if it would, all its values break down. It is up to us to take matters into our own hands and create the tools and weapons to make sure none of the dead-end situations mentioned in this conversation take hold and to realize that it's going to take some pretty crazy and dangerous strategies (not to mention alienating) to get the situation back on track and moving forward.

    And it can start right here.

    meika     Thu, Mar 20, 2008  Permanent link
    oh anyone can time travel now, there is even a time travel wiki now
    sjef     Thu, Mar 20, 2008  Permanent link
    dmitridb - Enjoyed your post on drugs.
    There is an ongoing cycle now in which each counterculture that starts to gain real pull and stimulates independent thought is seized on by commercial interest and re-sold to the public at large as a handy pre-packaged image of revolution, and it's worse now than ever before.
    That's my gripe with the 'revolution' of the 60's, while it happened on nowhere near the scale that it does now, that is the first time (as far as I can tell) that this happened on modern terms.
    How that cycle is to be broken or subverted is a pretty interesting (and huge) problem.

    Spaceweaver - Thanks for your detailed clarification, yeah we agree.
    In particular your point that growth must "transcend the locality of one’s existence" is an important one I missed.

    Ruud Kempers - Nice parallel you found there, but I don't think the comparison is equal. My comments in 'The Components of thought..." concerned books, which have a far higher educational value than pictures. You can argue that 'a picture is worth 1000 words', yeah well, that's still only 3 or 4 pages of a standard paperback. A picture may inspire but it can't educate to the extent a book can. Try explaining any detailed theory on life / science, even art in just pictures. Anyway I still allowed for pictures, just really damn good ones.
    Point taken on English being a second language, but hey it doesn't seem to have stopped you from making some pretty interesting contributions so far. I'm not a great writer either, it takes me far too long to get my thoughts down (and they're usually far from complete), but I find it worth the effort as a mental exercise.
    Finally, don't feel sorry for me, honestly. I'm ok. I have no intention of being a post nazi, that's why instead of running around being all up in everyone's threads I wrote an inflammatory rant with a title designed to offend most visitors on sight. It got people in and kicked off discussion, so I rate it as successful.

    folkert - Please provide P.O Box number of your contact, I have much to accomplish in the past.
    folkert     Thu, Mar 20, 2008  Permanent link
    "A picture may inspire but it can't educate to the extent a book can. Try explaining any detailed theory on life / science, even art in just pictures."

    While true in some ways, try describing to someone in words what a 3D projection of a rotating icositetrachoron performing a double rotation over two orthogonal planes looks like. Show them a series of pictures and you'll need far less words.
    sjef     Thu, Mar 20, 2008  Permanent link
    Good point, but if you just show someone the picture on it's own and they ask what it is and how it works, how are you going to explain it?

    folkert     Fri, Mar 21, 2008  Permanent link
    True, you'll still need a crapload of words to explain what is happening, but, and this would go into a whole other conversation, I was making the point that language is perhaps not the most efficient means of communicating concepts. Am working on a post about this.
    Ruud Kempers     Fri, Mar 21, 2008  Permanent link
    Great discussions dudes... Do we have any pictures??? Hahahaha.
    Sjef, got your answer... and you are right the discussions is worth it!

         Sat, Mar 22, 2008  Permanent link
    Folkert - I think your comment with that time-travelling dude hit the spot.

    Well said :D
    hello_world     Sat, Mar 22, 2008  Permanent link
    "While true in some ways, try describing to someone in words what a 3D projection of a rotating icositetrachoron performing a double rotation over two orthogonal planes looks like. Show them a series of pictures and you'll need far less words."

    To add to that. I think there is something to be said about experiencing rather than reading about a particular area of interest.

    Something written is after all a reduction or a perspective of the thing it is trying to describe it's not the thing in itself.

    You can't know the truth but you can be it so to speak.
    meika     Wed, Apr 2, 2008  Permanent link

    April Fool's

    why wasn't I quick enough to get it here on the day?
    awindow     Thu, Apr 3, 2008  Permanent link
    Really long-winded response reposted as it's own article. Whew.