Thursday, August 29, 2002

Chinese Calligraphy

Chinese Calligraphy
The evaluation of calligraphy thus clearly had an obvious social dimension, but it also had an important natural dimension that should not be overlooked. For example, early critics and connoisseurs often likened its expressive power to elements of the natural world, comparing the movement of the brush to the force of a boulder plummeting down a hillside or to the gracefulness of the fleeting patterns left on the surface of a pond by swimming geese. Writing also would frequently be described in physiological terms that invoked the "bones," "muscles," and "flesh" of a line. In short, while calligraphy involves the Confucian emphasis on the social, this cannot be separated from a more Daoist emphasis on the workings of nature.
Found this as part of my reflection about writing on a computer.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Understanding Internet - Extension of Media For some reason this is the only way this url will go into blogger? What's going on here? See the earlier post about this essay.

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Greek Mythology

Home Page
"Let us first make an announcement to the gods, saying that we are not going to investigate about them, for we do not claim to be able to do that." [Socrates, 469-399 BC. Plato, Cratylus
A lot more good quotes to humble an aspiring psychological writer on the same page. Looks like a good site.

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Laws of Media

Laws of Media By Eric & Marshall McLuhan
The McLuhans suggest (rightly, in my view) that every artifact or medium does four things: It enables something new, it obsoletes something, it rekindles something from the past, and it sets the stage for its own reversal to something new when pushed to the limit. If we understand each of these four attributes (or laws of media) we have a tool that can be applied to the development of our understanding of any new technology we encounter.
amazon Also: The Resonating Interval: Exploring the Tetrad

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Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Black Rose Books

Black Rose Books

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Marshall McLuhan - Articles

MCS: Marshall McLuhan Articles. McLuhan Reconsidered -- Jim Andrews Marshall McLuhan Meets William Gibson in "Cyberspace" Paul Grosswiler Links to his artiles, including MM and dialectics.

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Marx/Engels Library

Marx/Engels Library

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Monday, August 26, 2002


Ta'wil: In the same way as the term mutashabih was understood in contrast with the term muhkam, ta'wil is also to be understood in contrast with tafsir. The simplest meaning of tafsir is that it is a science of understanding the Qur'an or explaining the meanings of God's words in the Qur'an within the limits of human capacity. [7] The word ta'wil derives from awl in the sense of returning and reverting to something. [8] Both tafsir and ta'wil have been used in the Qur'an in the sense of exposition and explanation (Furqan, 32). Muhammad Hadi Ma'rifat is of the opinion that the word ta'wil occurs seventeen times in the Holy Qur'an;

1. five times in the sense of the ultimate outcome (ma'al; 4:59; 17:35; 7:35 twice; 10:39);
2. eight times in the sense of interpretation of dreams (12:6,21,36,37,44,45, 100, 101), and
3. four times in the sense of interpreting the mutashabih (3:7, twice; 18:78,82).

Some scholars consider ta'wil to mean foregoing the literal meaning of a text for its metaphorical sense without violating the norms of Arabic language for metaphorical usage, and in consonance with metaphorical relations, such as referring to a thing by the name of something similar to it or by its cause or that of something which is closely associated with it. [9] Some have held ta'wil to mean interpretation of mutashlibihat and the finding of a second meaning for the text which is called its inward or esoteric sense (batn) as opposed to its apparent and literal meaning (zahr).
I am following up here to a reference made in an earlier post, where Hillman relates Ta'wil to epistrophe.

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Sunday, August 25, 2002

Biosphere -- Noosphere

Vernor Vinge on the Singularity
Exploit the worldwide Internet as a combination human/machine tool. Of all the items on the list, progress in this is proceeding the fastest and may run us into the Singularity before anything else. The power and influence of even the present-day Internet is vastly underestimated. For instance, I think our contemporary computer systems would break under the weight of their own complexity if it weren't for the edge that the USENET "group mind" gives the system administration and support people! The very anarchy of the worldwide net development is evidence of its potential. As connectivity and bandwidth and archive size and computer speed all increase, we are seeing something like Lynn Margulis' [15] vision of the biosphere as data processor recapitulated, but at a million times greater speed and with millions of humanly intelligent agents (ourselves).
I have linked to this item before However I am following up on the biosphere notion -- see also the post re Chardin a day or so ago. [15] Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan, _Microcosmos, Four Billion Years of Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors_, Summit Books, 1986. amazon I could not resist adding this review from amazon, all new to me, I hope the reviewer (unknown from Texas 1998) is is ok with me quoting this:
This is an outstanding and very readable book on the world of microbes. Beautifully written and filled with insights, it should be required reading for biology students. I couldn't put it down and I hated biology in high school! I takes you from the beginnings of our planet to the present time, showing the reader the crucial role of microbes in the creation and maintenance of all life. This book will also be of interest to any serious student of the Gaia hypothesis. Read it and you will never think of cells, bacteria and viruses the same way again. You will come away with a humbling and enlightened view on man's place in a world created, dominated, and maintained by microbes. For those of you who don't know, Lyn Margulis is the ex wife of the late Carl Sagan (prior to Ayn Druian) and Ms. Margulis is Dorian Sagan's mother.Together, they make an excellent writing team.

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That or which?

Something, which I have never grasped before, explained here, beautifully: 0(zero)format. Emailed a copy to myself incase I need it and it goes.

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Saturday, August 24, 2002

Resistance MP3's

Thanks for the link Josh.
On this website are MP3 recordings of presentations. The topic for these presentations is political events/issues from a Socialist perspective.The source for the presentations is Marxism, an annual event in London, organised by the Socialist Workers Party. I am hoping to include other sources. They average at about 5MB for 40 minutes of audio (download time approx 20 minutes @ 56k). To minimise download time they have been edited down to the main presentation (contributions from the floor and summing up cut).

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Test post. Blogger is so messy. Pro features don't work for me. Email posts need too much editing later. They mess up the future posts. Drafts get lost. Spell checking is too slow, I am better off cutting and pasting into an editor. Never mind. Good to be on the Pro mailing list. I hope it all gets sorted. Later: Still having trouble, network errors all day, me or Blogger? Now trying IE. Now trying Pro1. Later... Pro1 got the next post up, but posted the future post again, which I can't remove. Now in Pro1, testing.

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PierreTeilhard was a strong visualiser. - Julian Huxley

This is from the intro by Julian Huxley, p 16 in my Fontana edition, to Phenomenon of Man by Pierre Teilhard De Chardin. amazon
Père Teilhard was a strong visualiser. He saw with hie minds eye that 'banal fact of the earth's roundness' the sphericity of man's environment -- was bound to cause this intensification of psychosocial activity. In an unlimited environment , man's thought and his resultant psychosocial activity would simply diffuse outward: it would extend over a greater area, but would remain thinly spread. But when it is confined to the spreading over the surface of a sphere, idea will encounter idea, and the result will be an organised web of thought, a noetic system operating under high tension, a piece of evolutionary machinery capable of generating high psychosocial energy.
It is all very well calling it energy but that is not quite it? I have a sense that the passage below (in an earlier post), where I talk about about Moreno's sociometric matrix shows that the two were grappling with the same idea. Note that Moreno too saw this matrix as a return of God. My hypothesis: Moreno's sociometric matrix, Chardin's noosphere, McLuhan's 'audio space', Jung's 'objective psyche' are all ways of exploring cyberspace. Here is a quote from Chardin, p 78 in my Fontana edition:
When I speak of the 'within' of the earth I do not of course mean those material depths in which -- a few miles beneath our feet -- lurks one of the most vexatious mysteries of science: the chemical nature and the exact physical condition of the internal region of the globe. The 'within' is used here ... to denote the 'psychic' face of that portion of the stuff of the cosmos enclosed from the beginning of time within the scope of the early earth.
Chardin puts it a little differently from the sympathetic but less metaphysical Huxley. So was the 'psychic' always there, or did it emerge with our activity?

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Friday, August 23, 2002


I have posted up more of my distractions!

dark with red

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My Psychodrama Thesis

The term psyche, underlying forces, focal conflict, central concern, unconscious processes and Bion’s notion of basic assumption have all been used in theis paper. Moreno’s concept of sociometric matrix brings in a new understanding of the unconscious of the group, and covers all of these ways of seeing the interconnections. It is satisfying to have found the concept of sociometric matrix in Moreno’s writing. That it is a "matrix" is a profound idea, which links it to a source, the womb, or more accurately the placenta, which nurtures all of life. That it is "sociometric" means that it can be empirically and experientially explored. Moreno’s work emphasises that sociometry is a science which can name and measure the living links between people and thus give us a secular grasp of what otherwise might remain exclusively intuitive and spiritual.
I like that.

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Thursday, August 22, 2002

Janus Head: An Interdisciplinary Journal

Here is the link. Here because this weblog is also my bookmarks. I have kept bookmarks for years but they tend to get lost when I change OSs or machines. And this weblog can be Googled, and thus keywords will return this page of philosophical, psychological, essays. I note that Robert D. Romanyshyn is on the board and that Jonathan Moreno is a contributor.

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RUMI - from "A New Rule"

Last night that moon came along,
drunk, dropping clothes in the street.
"Get up," I told my heart, "Give the soul a glass of wine.
The moment has come to join the nightingale in the garden,
to taste sugar with the soul-parrot."

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Tuesday, August 20, 2002

James Hillman's talk to astrology students.

Heaven Retains Within Its Sphere Half of All Bodies and Maladies [Paracelsus] Very clear on literalism.

I love this paragraph, with its interesting word epistrophé:
Each time an astrological consultation can return a characteristic to its divine character, polish a problem so it shines in a different light, reveal the God in the disease, let the client see clearly for a moment that other heavenly half, the astrologer is performing an epistrophé, returning a mess in the human to a myth in the Gods.
I get this from

\E*pis"tro*phe\, n. [L., from Gr. ? a turning toward, return, fr. ? to turn toward; 'epi` upon, to + ? to turn.] (Rhet.) A figure in which successive clauses end with the same word or affirmation; e. g., ``Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I.'' --2 Cor. xi. 22.
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
But it is much more than a rhetorical device. Hillman links this process to Neoplatonism and ta'wil in Persian mysticism. See also: Epistrophe

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Resurgence issue 213 - THE VIRTUES OF CAUTION by James Hillman

Illustration by Clifford Harper, woodcut like person contemplates landscape

Found this from the Pacifica site. I like the essay a lot. James Hillman does what he does so well that it is a work of art in its own right. Some of the luddite comes through, but that is a welcome antidote to crass technological excess.

More speed less haste. He seems to decry both. Here is an idea I am entertaining right now: Speed makes cyberspace visible. A subscription to a Journal was to be in a virtual community, a cyberspace, but the speed was too slow for us to see that, now in hindsight we can.
Here we must distinguish the moment of arrested movement from an identification with the arrest itself, as if beauty must stand still. But beauty, like caution, is not meant to stand still. The saying is not "Don’t leap," but "Look before you leap." Beauty means only for us to arrest for a moment the senseless insensitive forward thrust, in order to open the senses by inviting the aesthetic response. Then, as the arresting moment flees, the principle of precaution can incorporate into its innovative explorations an aesthetic awareness, insisting that any plan or project does not neglect the demand that beauty makes, or the deleterious effects of ugliness.

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Pacifica Graduate Institute | Graduate Research Library

Here is an extrodinary weblog. There I could spend months on this site! I will.

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Sunday, August 18, 2002

O'Reilly Network: Free Culture: Lawrence Lessig Keynote from OSCON 2002


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Saturday, August 17, 2002

A List Apart: 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web

Useful Tips. Here is my summary
  1. Purpose
  2. Often
  3. Tight
  4. Friends
  5. Enemies
  6. Story
  7. Speakout
  8. Sexy
  9. Archive
  10. Relax!

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Freeman Dyson

One of my favorite books is Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition" by Ed Regis. The book is a collection of stories about weird ideas and weird people. The transhuman condition is an idea suggested by Hans Moravec. It is the way you live when your memories and mental processes are down-loaded from your brain into a computer. The wiring system of the computer is a substitute for the axons and synapses of the brain. You can then use the computer as a back-up, to keep your personality going in case your brain gets smashed in a car accident, or in case your brain develops Alzheimer's. After your old brain is gone, you might decide to upload yourself into a new brain, or you might decide to cut your losses and live happily as a transhuman in the computer. The transhumans won't have to worry about keeping warm. They can adjust their temperature to fit their surroundings. If the computer is made of silicon, the transhuman condition is silicon-based life. Silicon-based life is a possible form for life in a cold universe to adopt, whether or not it happens to begin with water-based creatures like us made of flesh and blood.

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A New Kind of Science - Amazon


A New Kind of Science by Stephen Wolfram

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Posting to the Blog by email

Test. Later: Well that worked fine! I might do that more often.

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Forté Agent

Forté Home Page I have used Agent for a long time as my email client. I like it. New version out, and a road-map for development that looks great.

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Friday, August 16, 2002

Wolfram Science

shell patterns from the book

An excellent review: American Scientist - Computing Science
I have a sense we are seeing a paradigm shift happening here. It is not just Wolfram science, Wolfram Science is only possible in this age. Everything is shifting, and now science is getting a nudge. I listened to Wolfram in an hour of audio and I was intrigued, moved because of being in the presence of someone so self-confident and perhaps a genius of our time. I had a sense of hearing something totally fresh and of major importance.

Ray Kurzweil has made a gtitique: Reflections on Stephen Wolfram's "A New Kind of Science".

See this too: - Magazine Article God, Stephen Wolfram, and Everything Else Michael S. Malone, Forbes ASAP, 11.27.00, that is a year or more before the book came out. .

Also: Simulating the Replication of Life

Wired 10.06: The Man Who Cracked The Code to Everything ...
Figure 2. Pigment patterns on snail shells might be products of a biological system working something like a one-dimensional cellular automaton. Wolfram argues that various mollusks illustrate all possible patterns generated by a specific class of automata. The shells shown are identified as the banded marble cone (left) and the textile cone (right). [Top, bottom in my image here -- wl]

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Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Jung and the New Age


Editorial from Amazon:
From Book News, Inc.
Tacey (School of Communication, Arts, and Critical Inquiry, La Trobe U., Melbourne, Australia) offers a theoretical and philosophical account of the New Age phenomenon and the archetypal imperatives that have brought it to birth, including the tremendous influence of psychoanalyst Carl Jung. He investigates the appropriate of Jung as a prophet or mystic by the New Age movement and discusses the state of consciousness in New Age culture and the future of spirituality versus formal religion.Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

An article by David Tacey with the same title as the book: Jung and the New Age ~ A Study in Contrasts

And a post he made on the same theme in response to a comment of mine! (which just popped up in my search) Conversation with David Tacey sorted : Re: mystery versus intellect in Jung studies.

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Monday, August 12, 2002

10 Tips for Mouse Use

Go to CU ergo to see a list - I learnt a few things!

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Dr. Mardy Grothe, Chiastic Quotes of the Week -- August 11-17, 2002
"Have you ever noticed that it rains when you're sad?"
"Lots of people get sad when it rains."
"No baby, you don't get sad because it rains, it rains because you get sad."
-- From Tommy Lee Jones. "Men in Black II.
This sums up my last three complex items.

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Sunday, August 11, 2002

Yet more Metaxy

This time from James Hillman
Especially—this Neoplatonic tradition is thoroughly Western even if it is not empirical in method, rationalist in conception, or otherworldly spiritual in appeal. This tradition holds to the notion of soul as a first principle, placing this soul as a tertium between the perspectives of body (matter, nature, empirics) and of mind (spirit, logic, idea). Soul as the tertium, the perspective between others and from which others may be viewed, has been described as Hermetic consciousness (Lopez–Pedraza 1977), as “esse in anima” (Jung [1921] CW 6, §66, 77), as the position of the mundus imaginalis by Corbin, and by Neoplatonic writers on the intermediaries or figures of the metaxy. Body, soul, spirit: this tripartite anthropology further separates archetypal psychology from the usual Western dualistic division, whose history goes back before Descartes to at least the ninth century (869: Eighth General Council at Constantinople), occurring also in the medieval ascension of Averroes’ Aristotelianism over Avicenna’s Platonism. Consequences of this dualistic division are still being felt in that the psyche has become indistinguishable from bodily life, on the one hand, or from the life of the spirit on the other. In the dualistic tradition, psyche never had its own logos. There could be no true psychology. A first methodologically consistent attempt to articulate one in a philosophical style belongs also within the perimeters of archetypal psychology (Evangelos Christou 1963).

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More metaxy

Nous, Ananke and Eros: Reflections about the Images of the Soul by Marcus Vinicius Quintaes
João talks of love as being "a bridge which helps people connect these two places that are so very distant one from the other"; it is in this mediating space, on this bridge, in this intermediary region that the Greeks called Metaxy, that Eros is located, acts, and comes true. A region neither human nor divine, neither conscious nor unconscious, simply intercourse between regions. It is in this Metaxy, intermediary region where Eros can fly and burn with his arrows, that we find the realm of psychic reality: a place we should all go to, in search for the exercise of our Soul-making.

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I have liked to this essay before, it is crucial to my explorations, because the whole of psychotherapy is in the metaxy. The transference is participatory. The Imago match is participatory perception. Cyberspace is participatory, not just justice, good, beauty though these large ideas were the cyberspace at the time.
These theoretical uses, perception, relationships between the ideas, and epistemology are intertwined. The philosopher resembles Eros, because he or she is able to "know" both knowledge and opinion. He / she can know "true knowledge" because of participation in the ideas. Since he can participate in the ideas of justice, good, etc., the philosopher is even able to perceive the world better.(8) Since the philosopher is also able to participate in the (lesser) forms, including justice, good, beauty, he / she will be also be most virtuous. Thus, the theoretical uses of metaxy all band together to form a coherent picture of Plato's philosophy, a philosophy which is between idealism and realism.
Though I have trouble with the postmodern school as the writing never fully connects with me, there is a strong respect here for the archetypal trdition, here are some paragraphs to mull over from David L. Miller, 1966:
The world is itself a graphic interface with "icons" clicking us rather than we them. As Henry Corbin had noted, the world is mundus imaginalis, a medial imaginal cosmos, like Plato's metaxy, the realm of the phantasm. We are in a sort of Windows 95: an screen of images pointing to no-thing on either side but a so-called reality that is in fact virtual. William James had remarked that in the twentieth century the greatest discovery was the unconscious. Gilbert Durand has added that in the twenty-first century the greatest discovery will be the content of the unconscious: namely, images. Perhaps we are already there. From TV satellite dish, to computer terminal, laser holography, and imaging centers with diagnostic MRIs, as Andre Agassi says in a camera commercial: "Image is everything."

A postmodern theologian of culture, Mark C. Taylor (who not incidentally was honored by the Carnegie Foundation as the 1995 Teacher of the Year) has helped in his writings to bring to differentiated articulation the implications of a culture of simulacrae for teaching. In a book (Imagologies) that reports on values in teaching where classrooms in Finland and in Massachusetts are electronically linked, Taylor points out that cultural "imagology insists that the word is never simply a word but is always also an image" (styles). "The return of the figure disfigures the disfiguration of concepts by reinscribing the imago in the midst of the logos" (simcult) The audio-visual trace of the word involves an inescapable materiality that can be thought only if it is figured. The abiding question for conceptual reflection, according to Taylor, is: "How to (dis)figure the wor(l)d?"--a statement written in a manner so as to enable at least four possible readings (styles).

Others besides Taylor, and not only those in the study of religions, have mapped the contemporary hermeneutical task similarly. I have alluded already to the essay in which Derrida writes that "every abstrtact concept hides a sensible figure" (1982: 210). And I have mentioned, also, Wittgenstein and Bachelard. But there is also the important cultural and intellectual work of George Lakoff and J. A. T. Mitchell, both of whom have offered strategies of thinking and working in a world of semiotic simcult, a world in which, as Taylor has observed there is a fundamental irony. "A paradox of the imaginary." writes Taylor, is that "the proliferation of images is iconoclastic" (communicative practices). This is because of the infinite deferral of final definitive signification. Since closure is not possible, neither is idolatry or dogmatism or ideologism or colonialism. When these emerge, as indeed they do and will, they are defenses against the situation in which we find ourselves.

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Joseph Campbell


Joseph Campbell Foundation Website

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Saturday, August 10, 2002

It is 3 weeks before we go to the USA.

It is 3 weeks before we go to the USA for the wedding. Bex, Kate & I will be going to LA, renting a car. Going up th coast to SF. Josh & Amy's wedding is on the 7th. We will be staying at the Golden gate hostel. This weblog might be a travelog. We have the digital camera. I'll take this laptop. It will be a great trip.

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golden wavey pods

I have been side-tracked from my writing again, making computer images using ''paint''. This is one of three that I quite like.

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Friday, August 09, 2002

Jacques Ellul


This weblog needs a reference to this guy, and this looks like a good summary:
Jacques Ellul (1912-1994)
One of the most thoughtful philosophers to approach technology from a deterministic, and some have even argued fatalistic [23], position is Jacques Ellul. Professor at the University of Bordeaux, Ellul authored some 40 books and hundreds of articles over his lifetime [24], the dominant theme of which has been, according to Fasching (1981), "the threat to human freedom and Christian faith created by modern technology" (p. 1). Ellul's constant theme has been one of technological tyranny over humanity. As a philosopher and theologian [25], Ellul explored the religiosity of the technological society.

Ellul became a Marxist at age 19, and a Christian at 22 (Fasching, p. 2). His religious faith evolved out of the Death of God movement and the response of the neo-orthodox theologians Bultmann, Barth, Niebuhr and Tillich. According to Fasching, the Barthian dialectic, in which the gospel both judges and renews the world, helped to shape Ellul's theological perspective (p. 7). For Ellul, "that which desacralizes a given reality, itself in turn becomes the new sacred reality" (p. 35).
The sacred is then, as classically defined, the object of both hope and fear, both fascination and dread. Once nature was the all-encompassing environment and power upon which human beings were dependent in life and death and so was experienced as sacred. (Fasching, p. 34).

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Origins of Techne

Some light in an essay by Michael Shumate ©1996
In earlier cultures, before writing had been "taken in and become a habit of mind" (Bolter 1991, 36), considering it a technology was not so difficult. The Greek root techne included not only crafts we would immediately see as technological--masonry, carpentry, pottery--but also art, epic poetry, sports and other fields requiring specialized, developed skills (cf. Bolter 1991, 35-7, and Mitcham and Casey, 36-7). It should come as no surprise, then, that tracing techne back to its Indo-European root, tekth--variously defined as to put in hand, to weave, to build (of wood)--reveals that technology springs from the same source as words for not only such tangible things as textile and texture, but also such seeming abstractions as text and technique (Cf. both Barnhart and Partridge). Both halves of the vague, airy "creative writing" have settled back to earth so that some actual work can begin. As I said above, to write is not to create ex nihilo, but to form and shape materials at hand, to make texts with technology and technique. Mark L. Greenberg and Lance Schachterle, in a discussion of the etymology of technology as developed by Eric Partridge, state it thus:
"Literature conveys not concepts existing in a void, but concepts worked over to present a richness of felt experience. As Partridge's Origins suggest, 'texts' in literature 'put' ideas 'in hand,' as it were, to frame knowledge within the dramatic fabric of experience, even as the technology of books and book production literally brings ideas 'to hand'" (Greenberg and Schachterle, 16).
From Heidegger: introductory notes for the class
techne "The word stems from the Greek. Technikon means that which belongs to techne. We must observe two things with respect to the meaning of this word. One is that techne is the name not only for the activities and skills of the craftsman, but also for the arts of the mind and the fine arts. techne belongs to bringing-forth, to poesis; it is something created.
Brian Lake discusses the origins of the term thoroughly in Defining Technology Thesis available here Defining Technology (note, I saved the Word version). As it happens he also has a review of Castells there.

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Free Online Barcode Generator

psybernet barcode

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Thursday, August 08, 2002

The Rise of the Network Society

book cover

Review on Amazon
Before closing the review, I should warn you that if you expect the firm theoretical founding, you should read first Castells?¯ ?®Information City?¯, as I mentioned in the review of the author?¯s another book, ?®The Internet Galaxy?¯. For example, Castells coined the term of ?®the mode of development?¯ to periodize the informational age. It?¯s not a new mode of production like the capitalism, but a new mode of development which is different from industrialism or Fordism. But anywhere is the trilogy, you can?¯t find such a theorizing. Without that kind of founding, the trilogy can?¯t avoid being read as interesting but bulky sketching out the current affairs.
I find the notions here about "periodising" interesting. (The strange formatting is present in the review.)

Note earlier link I made to Interview

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The Virtual Community by Howard Rheingold

Table of Contents the online version of Howard Rheingold's The Virtual Community, now in its second edition.

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Digital Guide: Spaces & Places

This page is one of several on the site that offer a good reference to aspects of the digital environmnet. This page looks at questions of time, space and place in the digital era.

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Wednesday, August 07, 2002 - Google Demos

Good Stuff

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Terence McKenna-- Lectures on Alchemy

The intro to this site is here in full:
In a talk that Terence gave at Wetlands Preserve in 1998, he said:

"The other night I searched (the Web) for 'self-transforming elf machines.' There were 36 hits! It surprised me. I sort of use the search engine like an oracle. I've used the phrase for DMT, 'Arabian hyperspace.' So I thought of this, and then I searched it, 'Arabian hyperspace,' in quotes. And it took me right to a transcript of the talk in which I'd said the thing! You can find your own mind on the Internet. I'm very grateful to the people who type up my talks and then post them at their websites."

In the spirit of that last sentence, I decided to post here the transcriptions, given to me by a friend, of a lecture series that Terence presented on alchemy. I do not know where or when the lectures were given. Note: I have not edited the transcriptions at all-- they are exactly as I received them.

As you read these lectures, please send prayers for Terence's safe passage to the other shore. For some of Terence's thoughts on death, click here and here.
Links to lectures follow.

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Best Pix MLHT

We have been making a CD of all the best pix from the horse treks. Thinking about making a calendar etc. I am also wanting to be more fluid in my blogging. I am loving the images. Want to make more. Flow them in here...

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Donna Haraway

You Are Cyborg - Wired
Meet Donna Haraway and you get a sense of disconnection. She certainly doesn't look like a cyborg. Soft-spoken, fiftyish, with an infectious laugh and a house full of cats and dogs, she's more like a favorite aunt than a billion-dollar product of the US military-industrial complex. Beneath the surface she says she has the same internal organs as everyone else - though it's not exactly the sort of thing you can ask her to prove in an interview. Yet Donna Haraway has proclaimed herself a cyborg, a quintessential technological body. (See "The Cyborg Ancestry.")

The picture was taken from the Women in Philosophy Gallery by Karla Tonella.

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Waiau Basin - wl

My palm images in a Gallery

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Reverse Transcript

Reverse Transcript - Hyperlink to Donna Haraway Now there is an interesting idea... links to people who cite... daypop does that of course, but here it is to Donna Haraway. I might make one to walter :)

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Tuesday, August 06, 2002

The Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan

I have only linked to this in passing before, but I refer to this essay frequently at the moment and recommend it wholeheartedly. So here it is again. And some quotes:
McLUHAN: Because all media, from the phonetic alphabet to the computer, are extensions of man that cause deep and lasting changes in him and transform his environment. Such an extension is an intensification, an amplification of an organ, sense or function, and whenever it takes place, the central nervous system appears to institute a self- protective numbing of the affected area, insulating and anesthetizing it from conscious awareness of what's happening to it. It's a process rather like that which occurs to the body under shock or stress conditions, or to the mind in line with the Freudian concept of repression. I call this peculiar form of self-hypnosis Narcissus narcosis, a syndrome whereby man remains as unaware of the psychic and social effects of his new technology as a fish of the water it swims in. As a result, precisely at the point where a new media- induced environment becomes all pervasive and transmogrifies our sensory balance, it also becomes invisible.

This problem is doubly acute today because man must, as a simple survival strategy, become aware of what is happening to him, despite the attendant pain of such comprehension. The fact that he has not done so in this age of electronics is what has made this also the age of anxiety, which in turn has been transformed into its Doppelgänger -- the therapeutically reactive age of anomie and apathy. But despite our self-protective escape mechanisms, the total-field awareness engendered by electronic media is enabling us -- indeed, compelling us -- to grope toward a consciousness of the unconscious, toward a realization that technology is an extension of our own bodies. We live in the first age when change occurs sufficiently rapidly to make such pattern recognition possible for society at large. Until the present era, this awareness has always been reflected first by the artist, who has had the power -- and courage -- of the seer to read the language of the outer world and relate it to the inner world.

But most people, from truck drivers to the literary Brahmins, are still blissfully ignorant of what the media do to them; unaware that because of their pervasive effects on man, it is the medium itself that is the message, not the content, and unaware that the medium is also the massage -- that, all puns aside, it literally works over and saturates and molds and transforms every sense ratio. The content or message of any particular medium has about as much importance as the stenciling on the casing of an atomic bomb. But the ability to perceive media-induced extensions of man, once the province of the artist, is now being expanded as the new environment of electric information makes possible a new degree of perception and critical awareness by nonartists.

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Monday, August 05, 2002

National Panasonic R - 237J

On a totally different note. I like to listen to Radio NZ. AM seems to be hard to get. I got this little antique today, it does the trick! I can record off it too onto the PC, sounds OK. Amazing how older stuff works far better for this than new. Got the picture off ebay where it was far cheaper than in the antique radio shop, but I needed the service!

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Look at this!


Google Search: Jung Mandala

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An Interview with David Sibbet

Thanks Stephen, for the tips to the links I have been making. Mandala, is what we are returning to, as David Sibbet mentions here:
I knew from the start that there was a format beyond drawing, a pattern of ultimate complexity and inclusiveness. This would be the ''mandala'' or circular drawing. For the brain to figure out how everything relates to everything in a central way requires the most amount of insight. In a macro kind of way, it takes us back to the point of it all—to see the world in a whole way.

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Medicine Wheel

sketch of circle in 4 quadrants made from stones

This image is from here
A Medicine Wheel is made of stones. There were about 20,000 medicine wheels in North America, before the Europeans came. Medicine wheels are places for energy and healing, teaching and understanding. They are used for times of reflecting on life, and for joyous celebrations.

The Medicine Wheel represents all of creation. all races of people, animals, birds, fish, insects, trees,and stones, the sun, moon and earth are in the circle of the medicine wheel. Each stone tells part of the story. The circle is all of the cycles of nature, day and night, seasons, moons, life cycles, and orbits of the moon and planets.
Another site: What is a Medicine Wheel?

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Noosphere and Erich Jantsch

In discussions recently the name Erich Jantsch came up. I am on the trail: Critqiue of Economic Reason monograf:
This is why the problem of the transitional period--the period of formation of the Noosphere, the period of transition of the Biosphere into a qualitatively new state, when the character of its evolution will be determined by the systems reason of coevolution, of man and the Biosphere--is the most important problem of our time.

We shall yet have to formulate a strategy for the development of mankind. It will cover a very wide range of questions which concern practically all areas of human activity. This circumstance is stimulating intellectual life, the establishment of an array of alternative paths of human development and a new view of the world. [ Moiseev 1989:596.] It calls for a new synthetic life-affirming discipline for the theory of noo"genesis must merge natural and social forms of knowledge. [ Erich Jantsch, Design for Evolution , (New York: Brazilier Books, 1975):296.]

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Arthur M. Young

Young when young!

I had never heard of the man until recently, and now he is everywhere. Seems he has a lot to say relevant to the psyche and cyberspace, and specifically to the questions raised in the Talbott / Kelly discussion. Here is a bio.
In 1976 The Reflexive Universe and The Geometry of Meaning were published. These books attempt to identify valid universal first principals and correlate them with modern science. As well, they provide a holistic system for organizing the data of science and generating first order hypotheses for scientific research.

"The theory of process," says Stanislav Grof, "is a serious candidate for a scientific metaparadigm of the future. His metaparadigm is not only consistent with the best of science, but also capable of dealing with non-objective and non-definable aspects of reality far beyond accepted limits of science."

Arthur Young believed that the real function of science is the exploration of the human spirit. A bold, humorous, patient and original pioneer, he continues to inspire scientists and philosophers alike towards a truly interdisciplinary vocabulary by opening doorways to the universe of the spirit.

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GBN: Finally in the Realm of the All

Interview with Kevin Kelly
No One is as smart as everybody

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More from Dolores Brien

"we project onto technology what in earlier eras we would have projected onto the supernatural" - Jung
The Star in Man by Dolores Brien. Alchemy, gnosticism, Jung and technology. Towards a Jungian Psychology of Technology
According to Jung, we project onto technology what in earlier eras we would have projected onto the supernatural. For many, indeed, technology is experienced as numinous. Under the influence of science along with technology, we are less willing to attribute events to divine intervention. But unconsciously, we still cling to the hope of a revelation of that archetype of "order, deliverance, salvation and wholeness." We express this hope, however, in symbols derived from technology rather than from traditional religious beliefs or from mythology.
It is characteristic of our time that the archetype, in contrast to its previous manifestations, should now take the form of an object, a technological construction, in order to avoid the odiousness of mythological personification. Anything that looks technological goes down without difficulty with modern man. The possibility of space travel has made the unpopular idea of metaphysical intervention much more acceptable. (CW,10, para. 623. )
Update, 7 August 2002: I have completed reading this essay and I find it good, and pertinent to my current project. There are plenty of themes here that I am contemplating at this time.

One idea that is important in probing cyberspace is the question of perception and or creation? Do we discover it or create it. Here is Brien quoting Jung:
... the self is more than passive receptor mirroring, or imaging what it has received. ...The self it seems is not only a receptor, but an agent as well, or in alchemical terms, the artifex. It is the "self" who achieves the transformation of the energy into gold.
But later on in the essay Jung is quoted again:
Science and technology have indeed conquered the world, but whether the psyche has gained anything is another matter.(CW 13, para 163).
So has the psyche gained anything? This made me think that it had gained these "made not born" things to allow the self to transform. There is a loop here that adds "gold" at each iteration, because we make, create and then we also make it anew in our perception.

Another quote, Brien quoting Jung:
The alchemists made a distinction between God who became Man in Christ, the light of the world and the filius philosophorum, "the light of nature,"who was "extracted from matter by human art and, by means of the opus, made into a new light-bringer."( CW 13, para. 163.) In the case of the former man's situation is "I under God." With the other, it is "God under me." Jung excuses the alchemists as being naive and not aware of what they were doing. Nevertheless the splitting off of divine from human power had been irrevocably accomplished. From now on, human beings will think and act if they were God. Nature is subordinated too, becoming primarily a tool to fulfill our needs and desires.
This is interesting when juxtaposed to This from Stuart Brand: "We are as gods and might as well get good at it." Which by only one degree leads to the conversation about all this with Steve Talbott and Kevin Kelly.

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Universal Currency Converter

Useful to have. Click here to convert.

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On Spaces and Navigation In and Out of the Computer

Academic article on the navigation metaphor. Useful in my writing about the steering inherent in Cyberspace, etymologically.

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Archetypes of the Internet

The C.G. Jung Page: Archetypes of the Internet by Dolores Brien. adapted from a review of Mark Stefik's book Internet Dreams: Archetypes, Myths and Metaphors
One last word-if the Internet acknowledges a god, that god has to be Hermes: mediator, communicator, messenger, trickster, patron of merchants, always on the move. His attributes seem as inexhaustible as does the Internet, of which he seems to be the soul.

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Do machines have life?

I have updated an earlier post about Steve Talbott in conversation with Kevin Kelly.

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Sunday, August 04, 2002

wine-license mailing list:

RE: Should Wine follow Sleepycat's Deven T. Corzine ( on Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 11:45:13 EST wrote:
Sleepycat's approach is to let anyone use the code freely with open-source applications, since they're giving something back by increasing the amount of open source code in the world. For those companies that aren't willing to contribute to the common good in that fashion, they sell them a fairly traditional software license instead.
This mailinglist is a way of discovering the meaning of the distinctions, in a series of well worded collaborative posts. From the paragraphs above it is possible to glean how the purists might object. Is theres something tainted in allowing closed software for a price? We will let you dump the oranges in the sea, as long as you pay some money to a charity? Or must these pragmatic arrangments be permitted until they become part of a more primary contradition, when Linux has world domination, and the battle is for the software that runs on it? I somehow prefer a clearer dividing line, but then what do I know, here in Windows XP!!

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Berkeley DB
Sleepycat Software distributes Berkeley DB under a license agreement that draws on both the UC Berkeley copyright and the GPL. The license guarantees that Berkeley DB will remain an Open Source product and provides Sleepycat with opportunities to make money to fund continued development on the software.
I am intrigued by licences, not because of the legal complexity, rather because of the way in which some make the world worse, and others make it better. Not just the world, but the noosphere, that is the offence. It is a sin to hoard knowledge, just as it is a sin to dump oranges in the sea to keep prices high when people are starving. The logic of a system that makes that viable for a few is a flawed logic. It might take a lawyer to explain why the Sleepycat licence is used instead of the GPL... but it does seem to accomplish the same end, of keeping modifications open for our future.

I just noticed my use of the word "sin" here. That may be how this item relates to the seemingly diverse string of items in my weblog. Sin ties in with soul. Crime is wrong, but crimes against soul are sins?

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AlterNet -- Bomb Saddam, Save the G.O.P.

I'm glad this item by William Rivers Pitt makes it into the top of the links in daypop. It puts clearly the view of Scott Ritter, former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, who is opposed to the war. He has more info than anyone to refute the Bush lies. This war must not happen!
This is not about the security of the United States," said this card-carrying Republican while pounding the lectern. "This is about domestic American politics. The national security of the United States of America has been hijacked by a handful of neo-conservatives who are using their position of authority to pursue their own ideologically-driven political ambitions. The day we go to war for that reason is the day we have failed collectively as a nation.

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