logo Ming the Mechanic - Category: Inspiration
An old rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open, free and exciting is waking up.

Monday, June 9, 2003day link 

 Understanding Cosmic Creativity
Elisabet Sahtouris on shifts in humanity's collective consciousness:
We must collectively recognize what western science is only now discovering: that humanity and the rest of our living world are embedded within a far greater and fundamentally different reality than is encompassed by our current scientific worldview or paradigm. We are replacing the view of a non-living material/ electromagnetic universe with a greater non-physical reality of conscious intelligence as the never-ending source of scientifically known energy and matter—a cosmic source that has been known in many human cultures from ancient times. It is fundamentally conscious and creative, transforming or transmuting into material universes and other creative ventures. As Nobel laureate biologist George Wald of Harvard put it, "The stuff of the universe is mind stuff." Once this greater, consciously intelligent reality is acknowledged as existing both within and around us, we will recognize that we collectively co-create our experienced daily reality from our individual consciousness fields, from our collective beliefs about reality, including the belief that what we see or measure with instruments is all there is.

[ | 2003-06-09 23:26 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]

Thursday, May 29, 2003day link 

 Island Chronicles
picture Mark Frauenfelder of BoingBoing is moving from Los Angeles to Rorotonga in the South Pacific next month with his wife and two young daughters. Wow, very cool and adventurous. They will be chronicling their adventure at The Island Chronicles.
We want to find out what it is like for us, an urban American family – accustomed to 24-hour supermarkets, multiplex theaters, top quality medical care, freeways, high-rises, thousands of restaurants in a 20-mile radius, and a daily barrage of media – to slow down. So we moved to the South Pacific. Our first stop is Rarotonga, a tiny island in the South Pacific.

It's a big change for us. We'll be staying on a land mass that’s 99.9993 percent smaller than the United States. It means living among wild dogs, pigs and roosters (which run freely on the island), instead of screaming car alarms, smog-belching Hummers, and random incidents of road rage. It means spending long, sultry afternoons wandering through the rainforest as an after-school activity, rather than sitting in traffic on the 30-minute drive home from school, only to rush through computer games and indoor 'playdates' with other friends. It means picking mangos and breadfruit, buying taro root and coconuts from the front porches of people’s houses, and fishing for supper, rather than zapping a frozen gardenburger in the microwave the moment hunger strikes. It means experiencing life’s moments, rather than breathlessly trying to keep up with our schedules.
Best of luck to you. For me personally I think moving to the south of France is a big enough jump for me at this point. But it is not like I haven't considered the possibility of living on a South Pacific island.
[ | 2003-05-29 23:54 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Tuesday, May 27, 2003day link 

 Go thou Hoketh-Poketh
Via David Weinberger:
The Washington Post Style Invitational Contest asked readers to rewrite some banal instructions in the style of some famous writer. The winning entry was "The Hokey Pokey" song as if written by W. Shakespeare.
O proud left foot, that ventures quick within
Then soon upon a backward journey lithe.
Anon, once more the gesture, then begin:
Command sinistral pedestal to writhe.
Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke,
A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl.
To spin! A wilde release from Heavens yoke.
Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl.
The Hoke, the poke -- banish now thy doubt
Verily, I say, 'tis what it's all about.

-- by William Shakespeare
(Jeff Brechlin, Potomac Falls)

[ | 2003-05-27 18:01 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Tuesday, May 6, 2003day link 

 Cops or strippers
picture Reuters:
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- An Israeli policeman responding to neighbors' complaints about a rowdy all-female party received an unexpected welcome at the door when revellers mistook him for a stripper and began to take off his clothes and stroke him. "The women had ordered a stripper dressed as a police officer," national police spokesman Gil Kleiman said on Monday. The policeman showed the women his badge but they thought it was part of the act.
That's just splendid. So much better than going out and beating people up and arresting them. And now we're at it, imagine we send an army to some other county, and they just think the soldiers are all strippers and they take them inside to touch the hair on their chest and stuff dinars in their underwear. Nobody would get around to that war thing.
[ | 2003-05-06 23:59 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Laughter is the best medicine
Via SynEarth, from Laughter Club International.
Madan Kataria writes: In March, 1995, I thought of writing an article on 'Laughter - the best medicine' for 'My Doctor' a health magazine that I edited. When I found a large amount of scientific literature on the benefits of laughter on the human mind and body, I was amazed that very few people laugh and smile in Mumbai. I was very impressed by American journalist Norman Cousins' book 'Anatomy of an Illness' in which he described how he laughed his way out of incurable disease of the spine - Ankylosing Spondylitis. I also read about the research work done by Dr. Lee S. Berk from Loma Linda University, California, who showed how mirthful laughter reduced the stress hormone levels in the body and the effects of laughter on the immune system. Early morning at 4 a.m. on 13th March 1995, I was walking up and down in my living room and suddenly an idea flashed into my mind: If laughter is so good why not start a laughter club? Then I decided not to publish the article, but instead I went to a public park at Lokhandwala Complex, Andheri, in Mumbai and spoke to people about starting a Laughter Club. The remarkable thing about this idea was that I conceived it at 4 a.m. in the morning and within 3 hours a plan was put into action.
Hahah, sign me up. We need many of those. They have many splendid initiatives on that site. Corporate laughter seminars. The Laughter Bank. World Laughter Day. Instruction manual for Laughing for No Reason. News about new laughter clubs in Iran, Vietnam, Hungary, etc. ROFL.
[ | 2003-05-06 23:59 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]

 Matrix Reloaded
picture The new matrix movie has premiere here soon. I'm definitely not alone in being excited about that. Paul Hughes on Planet P:
This article in Slate came out a few days ago and it sums up nicely what I always felt about the matrix after seeing the first film - in the matrix we can do anything. Since the late 1980's after probing in depth the potential of consciousness becoming software via nanotechnology and perhaps quantum computers, I have endeavored to visualize the future of reality enhanced by fully customized hyper-intelligent neurological circuits and synthaesthic hyper-sensory pathways. This potential is the primary theme of my book-in-progress. As this article points out Neo shows us the way:
"The real source of the fascination with The Matrix is that, despite all appearances, the movie is not a dystopia. Rather, it's a utopia, a geek paradise. The Matrix is a sci-fi John Hughes movie, in which a misfit learns that he's actually cool. (Think Harry Potter with guns.) At the software company where Keanu Reeves works, his boss might as well be the principal castigating Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club when he says: "You have a problem with authority, Mr. Anderson. You believe that you are special. That somehow the rules do not apply to you. Obviously, you are mistaken." Of course, we learn that the oppressive Figure of Authority is the one who is mistaken. But instead of going to the prom, Keanu gets to pack heat, learn kung fu, wear a black trench coat and sunglasses, and, to top it off, he gets a hot, ass-kicking girlfriend who sports fetish wear. What kind of dystopia is this?"
Read on, more good stuff. Also, if you have broadband, go and see the animated short movie series Animatrix, outlining the history of the matrix.
[ | 2003-05-06 23:59 | 11 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Wednesday, April 30, 2003day link 

 Guerrilla Masquerade Party
picture SmartMobs mentions this site:
Guerrilla Masquerade Party is a monthly event consisting of large groups of people dressed in costumes of all sorts, arriving unannounced at various locations (most often bars). The concept comes from the tradition of Guerrilla Queer Bar -- where gays, lesbians, fags, dykes, trannies, bisexuals, and their friends show up en masse at 'straight' bars, effectively turning them queer for the nite. The agenda of GMP is simply to dress up and have fun. Nothing political, nothing complicated. We just want to add a little variety to Seattle's nitelife, and a little chaos while we're at it.
Sounds like great fun. Count me in.
[ | 2003-04-30 23:59 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Monday, April 28, 2003day link 

 Hello, my name is ..
picture This guy is wearing a name tag all the time. I've met people like that. And I've considered it myself. As the article says, it is friendly and welcoming. There's less of a barrier for people to start talking to you. It's an invitation. Plus it is easier to remember people, easier to recognize people. A web link would be even better, of course. I'd like to just click on people across the room with a laser pointer or something, and find out who they are. Well, maybe something else that doesn't turn them blind at the same time.
[ | 2003-04-28 16:36 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Saturday, April 26, 2003day link 

 Black dots
Count the black dots.

Or don't you trust your senses?

Maybe you need another blue pill.

[ | 2003-04-26 23:47 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Monday, April 21, 2003day link 

 Sex in the MRI Scanner
picture Xeni on BoingBoing:
If you liked Susannah's BoingBoing guestblog post of yore about The Operation (thanks, Kai), the experimental art-porn film shot with infrared, then you will dig this story about a French (of course) medical researcher using magnetic resonance imaging to observe how female internal anatomy accommodates a penis in a variety of sexual positions. I want pictures. The first BoingBoing reader to score them and post urls in this discuss forum -- or roll their own MRI erotica and post them online-- wins my undying blog-respect.

Update: Boingboing reader "ellison" shares these clinically accurate and decidedly non-prurient links to photographs from an earlier MRI-sex study referenced in the story above. Erotica, they ain't, but MRI images, they are. Link one, link two. > Update Two: aktiv1 shares a link to this very funny testimonial from a female Dutch anthropologist who discusses what it was like to be the subject of an earlier MRI-sex-photography project.
Great, science can be a lot of fun. We need to see a movie of course.
[ | 2003-04-21 23:57 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

Saturday, April 5, 2003day link 

picture One of my favorite Alan Watts books is "The Book (On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are)". Here's from the first chapter:
"It is a special kind of enlightenment to have this feeling that the usual, the way things normally are, is odd--uncanny and highly improbable. G. K. Chesterton once said that it is one thing to be amazed at a gorgon or a griffin, creatures which do not exist; but it is quite another and much higher thing to be amazed at a rhinoceros or a giraffe, creatures which do exist and look as if they don't. This feeling of universal oddity includes a basic and intense wondering about the sense of things. Why, of all possible worlds, this colossal and apparently unnecessary multitude of galaxies in a mysteriously curved space-time continuum, these myriads of differing tube-species playing frantic games of one-upmanship, these numberless ways of "doing it" from the elegant architecture of the snow crystal or the diatom to the startling magnificence of the lyrebird or the peacock?

Ludwig Wittgenstein and other modern "logical" philosophers have tried to suppress this question by saying that it has no meaning and ought not to be asked. Most philosophical problems are to be solved by getting rid of them, by coming to the point where you see that such questions as "Why this universe?" are a kind of intellectual neurosis, a misuse of words in that the question sounds sensible but is actually as meaningless as asking "Where is this universe?" when the only things that are anywhere must be somewhere inside the universe. The task of philosophy is to cure people of such nonsense, Wittgenstein, as we shall see, had a point there. Nevertheless wonder is not a disease. Wonder, and its expression in poetry and the arts, are among the most important things which seem to distinguish men from other animals and intelligent and sensitive people from morons.

Is there, then, some kind of a lowdown on this astounding scheme of things, something that never really gets out through the usual channels for the Answer--the historic religions and philosophies? There is. It has been said again and again, but in such a fashion that we, today, in this particular civilization do not hear it. We do not realize that it is utterly subversive, not so much in the political and moral sense, as in that it turns our ordinary view of things, our common sense, inside out and upside down. It may of course have political and moral consequences, but as yet we have no clear idea of what they may be. Hitherto this inner revolution of the mind has been confined to rather isolated individuals; it has never, to my knowledge, been widely characteristic of communities or societies. It has often been thought too dangerous for that. Hence the taboo."
Well, really Alan Watts is best to listen to, rather than read. There are many tapes of his talks, from the 60s. But in that book he presents a remarkably lucid explanation of what you are. Another way of putting it is that he takes apart the poorly founded illusion that you are a separate ego, isolated from and in conflict with the rest of the world. What is cool about it is that it is not in the form of mystical beliefs, but in the form of logical deduction, which you'd have a hard time arguing against. Thus it might be a way for compartmentalized western minds to come to terms with something bigger, without having to give up a belief in science and logic. There just really is no proof for the irrational belief that you're separate from the rest of the world. And if you accept the inevitable conclusion, everything is different.
[ | 2003-04-05 23:10 | 6 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Friday, March 28, 2003day link 

 Contemplating war in the land of peace
Nice e-mail from John Perry Barlow who was deep inside Brazil last week when war started.
"But even if I'd been in downtown São Paulo, the events in Baghdad would have seemed distant. Brazil is a floating world, a parallel universe of such size and cultural density that little enters or escapes its gravitational field. It is well accustomed to shrugging at Northern madnesses and continuing to pursue its own profoundly complex affairs.

Brazil is the world's largest Inside Joke. It is, to those who get it, sufficiently involving to render even such external considerations as the possible outbreak of Armageddon slightly irrelevant.

Besides, it seems to have an instinct for peace that runs the length of its history and is wisely aware that even opposing the bellicose behavior of less enlightened cultures adds energy to the cyclone of war. Brazil doesn't study war no more. The only organized conflict Brazil is likely to enter involves no weapon more lethal than a soccer ball."

[ | 2003-03-28 12:24 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]

Tuesday, March 18, 2003day link 

 The breeze at dawn
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep.

[ | 2003-03-18 23:59 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

Sunday, March 16, 2003day link 

 English without French
Funny spoof on how English would sound if we remove the French words from it. You know, some American politicians thought that if they just changed the name of "french fries" to "freedom fries" they would have gotten back at those damned Frenchies who have a mind of their own. But the French don't really call them "french fries" in the first place, and about 40% of English words come from French, so this is how they might go the full length.
[ | 2003-03-16 23:09 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Friday, March 7, 2003day link 

 Finding the Rhythm
picture I was just watching an interview with Christopher Walken on the Charlie Rose Show. He mentioned that the way he studies a script to prepare for a movie is as follows: He lays out all the pages in front of him in his kitchen and then he goes through them backwards, reading only his own lines, not looking at the other people's lines at all. Then he tries doing the lines in different voices, like as Elvis or as a U-boat commander, etc., still backwards. He does that until he finds the rhythm of it all, and it feels natural. He doesn't pay attention to the story. And when it feels right, and he senses the rhythm, then he goes and shows up on the set. And somehow, magically, his interpretation of the character always fits. But at the same time it always comes from an unexpected and unpredictable, possibly unnerving and unsettling, but always delightful place. ...Hm, I seem to find some deep wisdom there, that applies to many other things in life. Don't just try to fit in and do what is expected and required of you. Go and find your own true rhythm, and when you really feel it, come in and discover that, miraculously, it fits perfectly with everybody else's rhythms, and together we manifest something wonderful that has never before been seen.
[ | 2003-03-07 19:42 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Wednesday, March 5, 2003day link 

"You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred." --Woody Allen
[ | 2003-03-05 23:59 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 The Future we were promised
picture Fun exhibit entitled "Radebaugh - The Future We Were Promised" in Philadelphia. Article here. A.C. Radebaugh was a commercial illustrator whose works in the 30s, 40s and 50s painted a vision of a glorious tomorrow. Optimistic visions of flying cars and colonies on Mars. All the fun technology and the leisurely lifestyle we really *should* have had by now. Where is the future we were promised? Radebaugh's art is no less enjoyable today.
[ | 2003-03-05 23:59 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Friday, February 28, 2003day link 

 Would you be my neighbor?
"Mister Rogers wouldn't lie to us, but he wanted us to have a happy childhood anyway. Through it all, he talked to us like people."
Fred Rogers of "Mister Roger's Neighborhood" died Thursday. Articles: link, link, link.
"There's only one person in the whole world like you."
-- Mr.Rogers

[ | 2003-02-28 23:59 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

Tuesday, February 25, 2003day link 

 Love and the Revolution
From CommUnity of Minds:
"One is not allowed in the modern culture to speak about love, except in the most romantic and trivial sense of the word. Anyone who calls upon the capacity of people to practice brotherly and sisterly love is more likely to be ridiculed than to be taken seriously. The deepest difference between optimists and pessimists is their position in the debate about whether human beings are able to operate collectively from a basis of love. In a society that systematically develops in people their individualism, their competitiveness, and their cynicism, the pessimists are the vast majority.

That pessimism is the single greatest problem of the current social system, we think, and the deepest cause of unsustainability. A culture that cannot believe in, discuss, and develop the best human qualities is one that suffers from a tragic distortion of information. "How good a society does human nature permit?" asked psychologist Abraham Maslow. "How good a human nature does society permit?"

... It is difficult to speak of or to practice love, friendship, generosity, understanding, or solidarity within a system whose rules, goals, and information streams are geared for lesser human qualities. But we try, and we urge you to try. Be patient with yourself and others as you and they confront the difficulty of a changing world. Understand and empathize with inevitable resistance; there is some resistance, some clinging to the ways of unsustainability, within each of us. Include everyone in the new world. Everyone will be needed. Seek out and trust in the best human instincts in yourself and in everyone. Listen to the cynicism around you and pity those who believe it, but don't believe it yourself."

- Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, and Jørgen Randers

[ | 2003-02-25 23:59 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Monday, February 24, 2003day link 

 The world as energy
picture From Open Space and Whiskey River:
"See the world as energy, and become responsible for your energy. Realize that everything you do, say, and touch, everything you pass - even for a fleeting second - is affected and changed by you. You impact the animals and plants; the air, water, and buildings; and people - the energy of each drops or rises to reflect the subtle etheric pressure you place on it.

When you are angry, fearful, mean and vindictive, the energy of the room you are in starts to wobble and act chaotically. It metaphysically starts to implode. Anyone standing nearby will be robbed of energy and pulled down. Everything gets sucked into the vortex of your negative implosion.

With perception comes responsibility. Understand that if you are infinite you are everywhere, and you can be anywhere, and you are inside all things, and you affect them. Remember that the solidity of the world is an illusion created by the speed at which atoms oscillate. If they slowed down just a little, you'd be able to walk through walls. In an out-of-body experience, you have consciousness inside a subtle body that we believe weighs four grams. You can pass right through the wall.

In effect, physical reality is both opaque and ethereal - just a collective feeling. It's only by habit that you consider yourself solid. In a sense, you are a collection of particles, transmuted from being in the solid-particle state of physical existence to the more ethereal wave-state.

In the wave-state, you are an amorphous oscillation, existing at no particular place in space or time, with no particular human definition. That wave state contains your consciousness and can be driven by your force of will. Through it, you have an immense potential to exert yourself on the etheric reality. The wave can move, so you move. It's everywhere, so you can be everywhere."

-- Stuart Wilde, Silent Power
Indeed. Life is non-local. The illusion of the solid stuff comes from the way we think and feel and perceive.
[ | 2003-02-24 23:43 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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