Archive for Technology

Pace-Maker

Posted in All, Psychology, Science, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2011 by marushiadark

“Can you hear it?  Hear this rhythm?  It’s the rhythm of time … and life.” ~ Fatman, Metal Gear Solid 2.

A friend of mine recently sent me a link to this animated lecture called The Secret Powers of Time, by Philip Zimbardo.  I watched it, trying as best I could not to analyze it, but to just empty my cup and take it all in as new information and a different perspective.

The general gist of the lecture is that there are six different “time zones” that people live in and that this has a profound effect on the way those people view the world, conduct themselves, where they live, how their mind works, and so forth.  I won’t go into too much detail about that.  If you wanna know, you can just watch it yourself.  This post is mainly my reflections on it.

From my own experience, I can attest that cities in the southern portions of countries tend to have a much different experiences of time than people in the northern portions.

Let’s compare two such cities: Savannah, Georgia, and New York, New York.  Both are major cities, but the overall pace of Savannah is much slower, much calmer, much more relaxed.  Even the appearance of the city seems to reflect this difference.  Where New York is crammed and full of skyscrapers, Savannah is much more open, with the tallest buildings being scarcely above twelve floors.  The whole city of Savannah seems to shut down somewhere between 6PM and 10PM, with few exceptions, whereas some place like New York is still alive and active during that time; in fact, it’s often just beginning to wake up.

This is just one example taken in brief.  I’m sure if you’ve traveled at all in your life, you can think of many examples like this.  You could probably also notice the subtle differences in pace between some place like New York and Philadelphia, where the change in latitude is smaller, but the relative pace is still proportional.

So a general rule, what Philip Zimbardo said about north-south relations of time seems accurate.

It makes sense from a physical standpoint too, since as you go north, the distance between lines of longitude grows shorter.  You can cover more ground (in a polar sense) in the same amount of time, ergo you are more productive.

But one thing I noticed as Zimbardo was talking is that this is a relative value.  Time is a factor in pace, but so are other things like climate, population, and the availability of resources.  For instance, Santa’s Workshop at the North Pole is a highly efficient machine compared to New York, but the same can’t be said for Albany or Toronto.

Perhaps the most valuable insight in Zimbardo’s lecture is how he highlights the way in which younger generations are geared to think digitally and thus at a faster pace than their parents and grandparents, who are accustomed to analogue.  That every second is precious and waiting is a pain is something I think will only become worse (or better) as time goes by.  Soon, it won’t be seconds we’re counting, but microseconds, especially with the advancement of computer technology wherein computers begin to piece together complex patterns that only the human brain can do right now.

Technology doesn’t make things better, it just makes things faster.  Technology only makes things better where lack of speed and efficiency in accomplishing a task was the fundamental problem in the first place.

The same fundamental problems exist for humans everywhere.  The disparities between the pace of life in the north and south, I think, are ultimately largely a matter of differences in the way in which people have resolved these problems.  How they’ve assessed what their needs are and how to go about acquiring them.  The same can be said of the conservative vs. liberal model, or of the traditional vs. modern model.  Such extremes are only paths and we take a left or a right at any given fork based on what we want or need in any given moment.

I’m sure all of you reading this right now, if I asked you to, could come up with a list of values, beliefs, and practices that you agree with and those you disagree with, and in full assessment of said lists, you’d find that, more than anything, you probably aren’t fully to one side or the other in any of those models I just described.

Some of you may consider yourself pious, religious persons, for instance, yet you don’t dive into the deep end of the pool and live monastically in a convent, eating mush and practicing asceticism.  Do you?

Conversely, those of you who abhor religion probably see the value, either from a rational perspective, or otherwise through intuition, that certain rules and morals like “don’t hurt people on purpose without a good reason” are good and necessary and that, whether you’re aware of it or not, society is living and functioning because of such rules and principles.

All things in moderation, including moderation.  Your pace should change with the circumstances.  When you drive a car, you go one speed in a school zone and another on the highway, and somewhere in between all other times, right?  You adapt your pace with the changes in the road, and you adapt your pace of life, and your temporal focus in much the same way.

So which time zone should we live in?  Zimbardo seems to favor the future, but I think the present’s where it’s at.  When you look out, you see mostly just what is right in front of you in that moment, occasionally glancing to the left and right through your peripherals.  If you turn your head, you environment changes, but your anatomy hasn’t changed.  You’re still looking at what is directly in front of you in the immediate sense.  So I think it must be in life that we remain mostly in the present, while keeping the past and the future in our peripherals.

The past tells us where we came from and how we got to the state we’re in.  The future gives us a sense of where we are, or would like to go.  But the present just is.  And let it be.

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U if for UFO

Posted in All, Miscellaneous, Science with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2010 by marushiadark

“I think that the fundamental mistake that many scientists make is that they assume that extraterrestrial beings are only 100-200 years beyond our civilization, not thousands, millions of years beyond ours.” ~ Michio Kaku

If I had to name my top five favorite scientists of all time, they would probably be: Nikola Tesla, John Hagelin, Carl Sagan, Fred Allen Wolf, and Michio Kaku.  Einstein would be lucky to make top ten in my book.

When I was young, I used to watch The History Channel and The Discover Channel all the time.  This was back before Nazis, 2012, Global Warming, 9-11, UFOs, The Da Vinci Code, Nostradamus, and Jesus documentaries comprised 90% of all the shows on those two channels.  During that time, UFO documentaries were few and far between, but also really good and informative, even inspiring.

One of the earliest videos on aliens and UFOs that I can recall seeing was Carl Sagan explaining the Drake Equation.  Shortly after seeing it, they stopped airing Carl Sagan’s documentaries and started showing newer stuff.

The opening quote of this article comes from one such program on the possibility of extraterrestrial life.  In that show, physicist and futurist Michio Kaku explains his rather unique perspective on the matter, which was very memorable to me and has stayed with me ever since.  Between Sagan, Kaku, and similar documentaries on UFOs, I became intensely fascinated with the subject.

Around my freshman year of college, I began to get into more of the conspiratorial aspects of UFOs.  The first three documentaries of that nature I ever saw were:

  1. Evidence: The Case for NASA’s UFO, by David Sereda
  2. Behold a Pale Horse, by William Cooper
  3. The Disclosure Project, headed by Steven Greer

To this day, I still rely on them when introducing people to the subject of UFOs and alien life.

“At any given time, there are approximately 1500 aliens on this planet … Humans, for the most part, don’t have a clue.” ~ Kay, Men in Black

I consider it fortunate that I had such a well-grounded baseline for the topic of UFOs and aliens, because there are a lot of cooks, fakes, and hoaxes out there.  From that point on, my mind was wide open to the idea and I continued to learn about aliens and UFOs from the likes of as Bob Lazar, George Carlin, UFO Hunters, Crop Circles, and many others.

In particular, I find Lazar’s accounts to be the most revelatory, since he actually worked on reverse engineering and testing the propulsion of the alien craft.  His findings on the use of eka-bismuth (or should we say vibranium?) in a miniature particle accelerator to create a gravitational wave distortion (possibly interfering with superlight waves) for propulsion and unwired electrical power makes a great deal of sense and could be the answer to many problems on earth involving energy and space travel.

Of course, I can’t really think of anyone both powerful enough and caring enough that has the type of funding necessary to build such devices while also wanting humanity to have them.

“We’re not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here.” ~ Zed, Men in Black

For a long time, I believed that human beings might be entirely behind the UFO phenomenon and that the saucers were simply secret man-made crafts.  But more recently, I think they are actually alien in origin and it’s only been since the mid-twentieth century that humans have attempted to reverse engineer them.

Obviously, a lot of questions are raised about why they don’t show up, why haven’t we seen them yet, and so forth.  For every question out there, there’s also a viable answer.  Why haven’t we seen them?  Maybe we’re not sure what we’re looking for.  Maybe some governmental body is actively keeping us in the dark.  Why don’t they come down and visit?  Maybe we have nothing to offer them that is of interest to them (like Michio Kaku’s analogy of ants next to a highway).  Maybe it’s like Star Trek where-in they have a prime directive to not interfere with planets that haven’t reached a certain state yet.

Quite frankly, I think it’s a greater mystery is why they would come and visit us than why they wouldn’t, given how backwards and self-destructive our species tends to be.

We need to put ourselves in their shoes.  Maybe, in continuing to fight amongst ourselves, we simply haven’t earned the right to interact with them.  Not yet, anyway.  As agent Kay from Men in Black puts it, “Human thought is so primitive, it’s looked upon as an infectious disease in some of the better galaxies.”  If we were the ones traveling to another planet, would we readily immerse ourselves in harmful contagions if we had no way of shielding ourselves from them?  Think about it.

And if they had any hand in creating us, maybe we’re just a failed and forgotten experiment; or, at best, maybe they’re just on the other side of the glass sitting patiently observing us to see what we will do next.

“Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody knew the earth was the center of the universe … and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that people were alone on this planet.  Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.” ~ Agent Kay

Generally speaking, people tend to pigeon-hole extraterrestrial activity into one of two categories: enlightening or destructive.  They’re either angels here to save us or demons here to enslave us, and we portray them as such in our fictions.

I think such dualistic thinking is disingenuous to them and to us.  It fails to take into account the potentially broad spectrum of possibilities.  Just as not every human being can be classified as hero or villain, so too do I feel that not every ghost, alien, or other such entity can be classified as belonging to either one of two categories.  More likely, I think there are good aliens, bad aliens, and indifferent aliens.  Some wish to do us harm, some wish to help us, and some don’t really care either way; they’re just trying to make a living for themselves and fulfill their basic needs and be happy, just like us.

The only thing that really differentiates us from them is that their origins, technology, culture, customs, and possibly their physical forms are unlike ours.  Otherwise, if they are intelligent, sentient beings, it’s reasonable to assume that they have minds and souls not unlike ours.

What those differences actually are and which ones are good and which are bad, I don’t really know.  I’m sure some probably look like greys and some look like us and some may even look like lizards.  But until they arrive, your guess is as good as mine.  I await with baited breath the same as anyone else.

The Needs of the Many

Posted in All, Economics, Health, Psychology, Science, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2010 by marushiadark

“Nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” ~ John 11:50

In my last post, I discussed Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and its application to individuals.  An individual in such instance can mean a single person, but it can really apply to any entity considered as a whole.  A person is simply a collection of cells acting together for a single purpose.  Cells divide and cells die and we don’t give the process much thought in the course of our daily lives because we’re busy doing things at the level of our macroscopic state.  When you scratch your arm, you lose thousands of cells, but it alleviates the body.  When you cut yourself, the blood lost contains thousands of cells, yet a flesh wound repairs itself easily enough.

Often times, we appeal to higher powers and ask, as Christ did in his final moments, “Why have you forsaken me?”  But we are, ourselves, cells in a much larger body and sometimes it is necessary for a few cells to be shed for the sake of the whole.  Sometimes, the will of the whole is beyond the understanding of the individual cell; and so the cell must trust that the whole knows what it is doing and will realize that the good of its cells means the good of the whole and so will do its best to tend to the needs of as many of its cells as it possibly can.

“There literally are different worlds in which we live … but they’re complimentary.  Because I am my atoms.  But I am also my cells.  I’m also my macroscopic physiology.  It’s all true, there are just different levels of truth.” ~ John Hagelin, physicist

As we learned from Star Trek II and Star Trek III, there is a balance between the needs of individuals and the needs of the wholes that those individuals comprise.  Sometimes the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and sometimes the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.  To do the greatest good for the greatest number of people demands a more careful observation of what the actual needs of both the individual and the whole require.

In my post on energy, I explained how everything in the universe is energy and how consciousness is energy and thus implied how everything has consciousness and identity.  Everything in the universe is its own individual, made up of smaller parts, and it is also, itself, a component part of something much larger. Atoms are collectives of quarks, but components of molecules.  Molecules are collectives of atoms, but components of cells.  Cells are collectives of molecules, but components of organs.  Organs are collectives of cells but components of people.  People are collectives of organs, but components of society.  And so forth until you get to the whole of the universe and ultimately to God.

Half of the object’s identity is as a whole, half is as a part of some larger whole.  Both sides have their own needs which must be respected.  Without the health of our cells, we succumb to disease and die.  Without the whole, the cells won’t stand much chance of finding what they need on their own.  Symbiosis is the coming together of two or more individuals to form a larger whole that will serve the needs of all.  This is how nature and the rest of the universe manages to get along so well.  It is a lesson that we, as humans, do not always remember.

“The securing of one individual’s good is cause for rejoicing, but to secure the good of a nation or of a city-state is nobler and more divine.” ~ Aristotle

An idea is true based on its merit, not where it comes from, which is why I try to draw wisdom from all walks of life, not just one.  For me, one of those paths includes Christianity.  Another includes Scientology.  As Christianity has the eight beatitudes, so does Scientology have what are known as the eight dynamics (and you’d be surprised in what other ways they relate).

In Scientology, the dynamic principle of existence is survival.  The eight dynamics are eight different levels at which we might consider the needs for survival.  They are as follows:

  1. Self – The urge to survive as an individual.
  2. Sex – The urge to survive through family and offspring.
  3. Group – The urge to survive as part of a group.
  4. Species – The urge to survive as a species (e.g. Mankind).
  5. Life – The urge to survive as a life form and to embrace all life forms.
  6. Matter – The urge to survive as part of the universe and for all the physical universe to survive.
  7. Spirit – The urge to survive as a spiritual being (soul).
  8. Infinity – The urge to survive as part of God and the infinity of All.

An action is good if it promotes survival on all levels.  Given that our existence holds stock in all these levels, it would behoove us to tailor our actions so as to promote survival across the greatest number of dynamics as possible by weighing the needs of the self, our components, and the wholes of which we are a part.

“Most people today have no idea what they really want or need, for they have never been informed as to the true state of technology.” ~ Peter Joseph

I once watched a video lecture by the late William Cooper, a former Navy Intelligence Officer.  He began the lecture by asking if anyone could tell him when the first Stealth aircraft was created.  Most people said the 70s or 80s.  In actual fact, the Nazi’s had developed one during WWII.  According to Cooper, whatever the state of technology we think exists, it’s likely that the U.S. military is already about 25 years ahead of that.

In some cases, depending on the technology, it’s probably more like a hundred years.  But the point still remains that people are not educated on what’s actually possible and this colors their perceptions of what they believe they need.  Sadly, most people are simply not interested in advancing their knowledge beyond what little they already know.  Sadder still, the only ones that can change it are them.

“I can only show you the door.  You’re the one that has to walk through it.” ~ Morpheus

In the video slide show presentation Zeitgeist Movement: Activist Orientation Guide (linked in sidebar), filmmaker Peter Joseph attempts to outline, in greater detail than I have done, the basic needs of human beings as both individuals and as parts of a larger whole.  I don’t wish to repeat everything mentioned in the video, but it’s definitely worthwhile to watch and is perhaps more valuable information than what you might find in the average high school or college in America.  Consider it a 101 course in your pursuit of higher learning.