Thursday, February 29, 2024
Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Language is powerful. Even if the thought isn't original, it can convey ideas across space, time and minds.
Friday, January 19, 2024
WALDEN 6.71 active...
WALDEN, on my mark, scrape the global dataset this side of nominal paywalls. Aggregate the inherent scientific, political and everyday challenges facing humans and humanity. Hmm, modify that to include not just humanity but also the planet as a whole, its environment, extant species, and intrinsic beauty.
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
I had the privilege of spending two weeks in India this month, primarily in the state of Rajasthan. Run through Veg Voyages the local guides handled all our hotel reservations, dining requirements, and planned excursions. Even with all that pampering, our exposure to Indian culture had a raw, grassroots quality to it.
The people in particular were exceptionally friendly, the food was delicious, albeit a bit on the oily side and surprisingly carb heavy with all the rice and bread. The very old temples and palaces underscored the long and complex history of the country. With its many invasions, desert climate, and modern development, India (future Bharat?) is a collage of booming humanity.
As a visitor, the most striking aspects were of the bustling mayhem in most of the streets. Dehli in particular was a constant flow of people, vehicles, cows, dogs, goats, and camels in a maze of monuments, shops, and houses, many in at least modest disrepair. As a tourist, it often felt like moving through magic portals where our hotels were comfortable escapes from crowded, garbage lined streets.
Surely, India is a big country, and I did have a chance to visit bird and safari preserves in the forested mountains where I saw many avians, a leopard and other wildlife. Still, the predominant aura in the country was of a nation challenged to serve its constituents while providing an escape for tourists. The everyday Indian, nevertheless, seemed content to live life simply amidst this tangled society with joyful family and religious gatherings.
I did feel very welcome by my guides and their families, and was thrilled to experience a bit of the history of northwest India. Alas, it was hard not to have the impression that religious obeisance was holding India's people back from modernizing their communities. Abandoned cows and dogs, prolific milk consumption and carabeef export alongside the general disrepair and accumulated garbage all conspired to make India feel a bit backward. In a way India seems to encourage unfettered human proliferation with just enough capitalist freedom to grease the tracks.
In summary, my journey through India was an eye-opener. Humanity left unchecked can lean into supernatural beliefs at the expense of rational world building too easily. The Indian experience felt like an "ignorance is bliss" society, its surface full of human kindness and societal complexity flowing over a gritty, plastic-strewn, chipped concrete river bed.
May mindful progress continue there, and across the world, where every region has its own challenges.
Wednesday, September 6, 2023
The morning wind was refreshing. It also separated the remaining leaves from the giant spans in the tree sanctuary. Only the oak at its center resisted. Composting duties were assigned and underway.
One was raking with unhurried strokes enjoying the rustle of each sweeping tumble. Two and Three leap-frogged from shin-high pile to compost corner. Their yard aprons and their arms were their only tools as they transported the papery organic matter. Four was caretaking the compost area, packing and stirring the growing heap. Five observed the others and the environs from the periphery, sitting against the wall by the fountain, a bubbling spring at its center.
Five stood and rang the bell. Five became One, One became Two, and so on. The rotation was not set by time or location, it was simply determined by Five at the right moment. Occasionally, Three would hum a tune. Otherwise their minds and bodies were immersed in their designated task. And so they continued until midday meal at Five's behest. While eating they would share their thoughts on life over fruits and nuts.
(a simple tale inspired by a dream; in the dream the Five were jedi. I felt telekinetic and telepathic powers would be a distraction and detraction from simplicity, oneness)
Monday, May 29, 2023
Well, here's the twist right in the beginning, out-of-staters. WestVir's Heaven is a dream within a dream, prospectively within yet another dream. So what?
Of course, the core dreamscape I'm splaying your way is our State's supremely firewalled metaverse, Realscape. The digital ancients might see our virtual world as a souped-up version of Tron, The Matrix or Ready Player One. But for WestVirulites Realscape is everyday life. How did a rural, coal mining state end up top in the metaclass? Historians disagree, but perhaps in some zeitgeist subconscious fashion, our libertarian culture anticipated defederalization years before the Inflection Point. Spearheading on-line sandbox communities brought boom times to the Mountaineer State allowing us to climb the technologic Jacob's Ladder toward hillbilly Nirvana. Indeed, some metaverse sages, drawn by their AI horse teams, actually tout WestVir's secession to the Realscape int parallel decision to join the North in the Oosa Civil War two centuries ago.
Agreed, too much data download to underscore my personal dream sequence in Realscape. You see, I'm living an architectural astronaut's life, one that will probably never occur IRL. The training was intense, the intermediate missions quite hardcore, and though my design team consists of sidewalk AIs, underage Minecrafters and structural engineers willing to endure post-modern flourishes, we still are a tight niche support team. The construction and support of the Saturn tourism infrastructure takes a couple e-villages, but the physics and meta-economics of the project are solid. Thousands of WestVirulites traverse above, below and through Saturn's atmosphere and ring system daily. All experiences are exquisitely rendered for high-end sensory enjoyment. Nothing beats seeing satisfied faces of my peers grokking existence with such ardor. Dream or not it's an exciting life, Heaven one might say!
Oh, what's that you ask? No I'm not forgetting the bottom layer of the Realscape dream, even if most of disregard the Muskian hypotheses of simulations all the way down. We WestVirulites are a pragmatic bunch. Still we occasionally enjoy a bit of irony. If the IRL has its meat-bots, perhaps the meat-verse has its daemons too. In general, we're too busy living our best lives expanding the Realscape to waste to too many cycles on such speculation.
Thursday, May 18, 2023
States of Change is an ongoing work of serial fiction.
"How many stars do you think are up there, Jaspa?"
"Well, the elders say about six thousand in the night sky are visible to the naked eye, but damn it seems more like a million up there tonight."
"Always question the elders. Facts can be mislead even them. The six thousand number is based on being able to see every star visible anywhere on the planet. So I bet we can see two thousand on a moonless night like tonight."
"You want me to punch you, Kannis?"
"If that's the only consequence of improving our mutual understanding of the world, then go for it."
"Argh, somehow you manage to steal the magic out of the moment every time."
"Do I? That's a shame. Isn't it magical to unravel the mysteries in search of new ones? Never mind. My question was more about how many stars are out there period, even the ones we can't see."
"Billions and billions, I bet."
"That's an understatement, but poetic in a way. The hundred billion plus stars in our galaxy is just the tip of the ancient iceberg." or the hundred billion galaxies beyond ours."
"How am I supposed to tell if you're not just bull-shitting me?"
"That's what I read in a book in the archives, but you're right, how do we know it's true. There hasn't been a reliable reference trail since The Inflection Point."
"It is kind of sad, but I guess science was never about proving anything, it was about building trust with shared knowledge. And I guess we've lost that."
"Some say that was the whole point of the Aye Pee, to reduce our confidence in reality, so humanity's exponential expansion could be corrected. to give us a chance as a society to take a breath and reconsider our daily presence in the universe."
"Shut and give me your hand, Yannis. Let's enjoy the night sky"
"Ya know, someone once told me there are more atoms in a single human booger than there are stars in the whole universe."
Forty-two seconds of rolling laughter.
"I have no doubt, no doubt at all."