Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Psychedelia Update – LSD shown to raise level of consciousness...


Scientists claim to have found the first evidence that psychedelic drugs create a “higher level of consciousness.” LSD-25, the drug ketamine and psilocybin (the active ingredient of magic mushrooms) were all found to increase the tiny magnetic fields produced by the brain.

Professor Anil Seth, co-director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at Sussex University, said: “This finding shows that the brain-on-psychedelics behaves very differently from normal. During the psychedelic state, the electrical activity of the brain is less predictable and less ‘integrated’ than during normal conscious wakefulness – as measured by global signal diversity.” 

In this regard, less predictability may equate to increased creativity... ie: higher functioning.

“Since this measure has already shown its value as a measure of ‘conscious level’, we can say that the psychedelic state appears as a higher ‘level’ of consciousness than normal... but only with respect to this specific mathematical measure.” This is used to create a mathematical measure of the complexity of brain activity... as with people who are asleep having a lower level than people who are awake.

Dr Robin Cahart-Harris, of Imperial College London, said: “Rigorous research into psychedelics is gaining increasing attention, not least because of the therapeutic potential that these drugs may have when used sensibly and under medical supervision. The present study's findings help us understand what happens in people’s brains when they experience an expansion of their consciousness under psychedelics.”

The findings of the study were reported in the journal Scientific Reports.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

17 Techniques for Truth Suppression


“Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.”
- Edmund Burke


Contemporary global politics are so intrusive, that they/it cannot be ignored, especially by weblogs dealing with such esoteric concepts as synchro-mysticism. Our esteemed colleagues over at the Secret Sun and Visup have recently posted important contributions on this topic. Clearly, there is more to the picture than meets the eye.

We have previously commented that: you can't make this stuff up. If you were to read a spy/thriller novel that featured a boy/supreme leader, a crass capitalist/president with no emotional intelligence, a Leninist/Ba'ath president/dictator, and a cunning ex-KGB president/oligarch... you wouldn't believe it. However, such a scenario is exactly what appears to be going down... as we speak... here in crazy town.

In these turbulent times, it is important to have a political memory. As crazy and dangerous as the situation is, there are observations from the past that can be useful in disentangling the cloak and dagger schemes and maneuverings of current affairs.

With that said, the prime directive of Tek-Gnostics, is to provide the requisite tools (Tek) needed to facilitate the direct experience (Gnosis) of the shadowy netherworld of High Weirdness that has become our Brave Noö World. In the spirit of political memory and providing such tools and resources to help navigate the strange days we live in, we have dusted off the following article. This little gem was written in 1999 by David Martin. Even though it was originally written over 18 years ago, it serves as a valuable field guide for understanding the insane political quagmire we find ourselves living through...

 Constant vigilance!!!      - J ♥

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression

Strong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based defense, other techniques must be employed. The success of these techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, compliant press and a mere token opposition party.

1) Dummy up. If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't happen.

2) Wax indignant. This is also known as the "How dare you?" gambit.

3) Characterize the charges as "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors." If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors." (If they tend to believe the "rumors" it must be because they are simply "paranoid" or "hysterical.")

4) Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspects of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors (or plant false stories) and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.

5) Call the skeptics names like "conspiracy theorist," "nutcase," "ranter," "kook," "crackpot," and, of course, "rumor monger." Be sure, too, to use heavily loaded verbs and adjectives when characterizing their charges and defending the "more reasonable" government and its defenders. You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned. For insurance, set up your own "skeptics" to shoot down.

6) Impugn motives. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money (compared to over-compensated adherents to the government line who, presumably, are not).

7) Invoke authority. Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can be very useful.

8) Dismiss the charges as "old news."

9) Come half-clean. This is also known as "confession and avoidance" or "taking the limited hangout route." This way, you create the impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal "mistakes." This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken. With effective damage control, the fall-back position need only be peddled by stooge skeptics to carefully limited markets.

10) Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.

11) Reason backward, using the deductive method with a vengeance. With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. E.g. We have a completely free press. If evidence exists that the Vince Foster "suicide" note was forged, they would have reported it. They haven't reported it so there is no such evidence. Another variation on this theme involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press who would report the leak.

12) Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely. E.g. If Foster was murdered, who did it and why?

13) Change the subject. This technique includes creating and/or publicizing distractions.

14) Lightly report incriminating facts, and then make nothing of them. This is sometimes referred to as "bump and run" reporting.

15) Baldly and brazenly lie. A favorite way of doing this is to attribute the "facts" furnished the public to a plausible-sounding, but anonymous, source.

16) Expanding further on numbers 4 and 5, have your own stooges "expose" scandals and champion popular causes. Their job is to pre-empt real opponents and to play 99-yard football. A variation is to pay rich people for the job who will pretend to spend their own money.

17) Flood the Internet with agents. This is the answer to the question, "What could possibly motivate a person to spend hour upon hour on Internet news groups defending the government and/or the press and harassing genuine critics?" Don t the authorities have defenders enough in all the newspapers, magazines, radio, and television? One would think refusing to print critical letters and screening out serious callers or dumping them from radio talk shows would be control enough, but, obviously, it is not.

- written by David Martin December 28, 1999

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Tek-Gnostics @ Contact in the Desert 2017


DATELINE: 5-19-2017 Joshua Tree, CA
It looks like the intrepid Tek-Gnostics Team will be making the pilgrimage to California's Mojave desert, for the 2017 "Contact in the Desert" conference, being held in Joshua Tree, California on May 19th through the 22nd, 2017. The conference is being held at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. The JTRC is the oldest and largest retreat center in the Western United States; a unique architectural landmark on a sacred site. Their mission is to support the education and nourishment of the infinite human potential.

Situated near Palm Springs, CA ...the retreat center is just north of Joshua Tree National Park. Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. 

Billed as an EPIC weekend of exploration into extraterrestrial life, ancient aliens, human origins, secret space programs, crop circles, UFO sightings, contact experiences, interstellar living, and the “need to know” ...some are calling this event the Woodstock of UFOs. This year's lineup includes Erich von Däniken, Graham Hancock, George Noory and the ever-popular Giorgio Tsoukalos.


Team Tek-Gnostics is gearing up to attend Contact in the Desert 2017. Drop by our booth or visit our campsite, as we intend to bivouac for the entire event! Jack Heart and the enigmatic Agent 87 will be on hand to present Jack’s first book in the Tek-Gnostics Trilogy to conference attendees. We hope to see you at Contact!


More information to follow... stay tuned!



Saturday, April 1, 2017

Trump Meets With Illegal Aliens.


In a stunning reversal on the Executive Branch’s foreign policy, US President Donald J Trump met today with Illegal Aliens to discuss legal immigration and refugee status. All we can say is… God Bless Donald Trump!


…quickly!


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Alien Con Travelogue – Synchronicity & the “Papa Legba” Incident


Synchronicities...

In our first entry of the Alien-Con Travelogue entitled: “A Spy in the House of Ancient Aliens” I outlined the “setting” of Team Tek-Gnostics’ participation in the History Channel’s inaugural fan convention celebrating their hit Cable TV show: Ancient Aliens. The event took place in the savage heart of Silicon Valley… Santa Clara, California. In the second installment in this series, I fleshed out Team Tek-Gnostics’ “set” wherein my attorney… Agent 87 & I undertook the development of a cultural Ethnography of Alien Con, via a psychedelic emersion experiment known as micro-dosing.

This was the set and setting, of what would prove to be a very synchro-mystically charged week-end.

Previously we had decided to keep a Synchronicity Log to keep track of the significant, synchronous events during the fan convention. This proved to be a “triple whammy” within our synchro-sphere. I’ll explain... The methodology of micro-dosing is that by repeated daily psycholytic doses of a psychedelic compound (in our case, that rascally chemical trickster… Lucy), one is subjected to a cumulative, albeit sub-perceptual effect of the hallucinogen. The intention of micro-dosing is to spark creativity, performance enhancement, etc. Our experience was that, as the weekend rolled on, the effect of the micro-dose seemed to snowball. This cumulative effect worked synergistically with the act of keeping a sync-log.

As many readers of this blog well know… the act of paying attention to synchronicity increases and intensifies the experience of synchronicity. The very action of recognizing synchronistic events brings about… or more accurately… draws, or attracts more instances of synchronicity to one’s sphere of consciousness… Like moths to a flame. As is the intent of micro-dosing, the experience of synchronicity is cumulative. Or, in the words of my attorney, the enigmatic 87: “The more you see, the more you will see.” 

So during the course of the weekend, the snowball of the micro-dose, picking up speed and size as it careened downhill (from atop the figurative “Mount Alien Con”), merged with the intention of our sync-log… also picking up speed. As the effect of the micro-dose accumulated... so did our experience of synchronicity. Now, these two cumulative events were co-occurring… complementing one another. 

The third principle of the “triple whammy” mentioned above, was the synergistic and cumulative effect… of the two cumulative effects! …If you follow my pretzel logic. As the weekend wore on, the sustained effect of the micro-dose, appeared to amplify the continued attention that we placed upon the expanding synchronicities (or vice versa!). These two compatible experiences amplified each other, to form a psychedelic synchronicity that was somehow more profound than the sum total of its parts.

It was before this backdrop that the third element... the third principle... began to kick in.



Papa Legba...

During the course of Alien Con, 87 and I dutifully recorded synchronistic events. One such culminating event began when we made the acquaintance of two mysterious Sisters. I am not saying that these two women were witches, but had they been around during the Spanish Inquisition (Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!) they would have been burned at the stake! It was clear from our conversations that the Sisters were well versed in many esoteric and arcane arts. Their knowledge was clearly deep... these were powerful women.

So it was that on Saturday night, the two Bene Gisserit had found their way back to our booth. We discoursed on a variety of occult topics… often following multiple threads of conversation simultaneously. This was all intellectually stimulating, intuitively inspiring and a little confusing. So I am not at all certain how the topic of African Vodun, New Orleans Voodoo, and Caribbean Santería came up (the curious reader will find more information on this topic, from an earlier post, here).

Thinking back now, it’s all a little fuzzy, but I remember talking about the African Diaspora of not only spiritual & magical iconography and practice, but also the cultural and musical exodus from Africa, the Caribbean, and the American Bayou. These are all, of course, interrelated phenomena and are what inform and infuse American Soul. Invocation and chant became jazz, became R & B, became Rock n Roll! All Hail!

A cultural evolutionary element of the above Diaspora (and in keeping with the etymological power of synchronicity), is the concept of Syncretism. This is when different beliefs and practices of various schools of thought merge or blend over time… especially in the theology and mythology of religious practice. Consequently, the spirits or "Loa" of Haitian Vodou and Louisiana Voodoo, morphed into the Saints of the Christian dominator culture. This was a brilliant cultural protectionist strategy. However, unlike saints or angels, Loa are not simply prayed to, they are served. Also, contrary to pop belief, the Loa are not deities in and of themselves… they are… intermediaries. 


During that conversation, I had brought up my favorite Loa… the gatekeeper… opener of doors… the keeper of the keys… lord of the crossroads… Papa Legba. Legba, or “Eleggua” as the Sisters knew him… is the Loa who serves as the intermediary between the pantheon of Loa and humanity. He stands at a spiritual crossroads and gives… or denies… permission to speak with the host of spirits. Accordingly, he speaks all human languages. Per the syncretic cultural overlay, Legba was hidden within or associated with the image of St. Peter, the Christian Guardian of the Gate and Keeper of the Keys.

Over the weekend, the “Loas of Synchronicity” were winking with increased intensity and regularity. So while we were lost in a very animated conversation about Legba… no one noticed the man with his back to us… standing across the aisle from our booth. He was a large man, examining the wares of the vendors opposite us. I was the first to notice him… I remember the back of his black t-shirt was festooned with Mardi Gras iconography. And in the middle of the design, framed by beads and bones… was the top-hated and grinning face of none other than… Papa Legba.

First I nudged 87… “check out that guy’s shirt” I half-whispered… “It’s Legba!” Not sure if he heard me, I said a second time, a little louder… “Look... on the back of that guy’s t-shirt… It’s Papa Legba!” Agent 87 looked… he looked again… and immediately grasping the synchronistic situation, he leaned back toward me… “Man… I got goosebumps” he said, showing me his arm.

As the immediacy of the sync was so glaringly obvious, we nudged the Sisters, laughing… “Check out Legba, grinning at us from across the aisle!” Upon seeing the guy’s shirt, one of the Sisters, smiling a knowing smile, simply said… “Ah… that’s Eleggua!”  The moment that all four of us had gotten a good look at the mysterious man in black’s “Legba” shirt, he began to meander away, down the aisle of vendors. But as he receded, blending into the crowd, just before he left my field of vision… I swore I saw the image of Legba wink…


The ways of synchronicity are mysterious indeed. The manner in which it/they reveal themselves can be subtle… or they can hit you over the HEAD. Regardless… and by definition… syncs must be infused with meaning, for the observer. Meaningful coincidence is what separates syncs from mere coincidence. For me, and under the circumstances, Legba was the epitome of synchronicity as I have written on Voodoo in general and Legba in particular, many times on this blog. It was as if Legba himself was peering through the veil that divides the mundane and spirit realms, to verify the sync in such a way that was simultaneously subtle and meaningfully conspicuous. Such is the way of synchronicity.

And what, might the curious reader ask, does Papa Legba have to do with Alien Con? Well for one thing… who or what are the Loa anyway? Also known as "mystères" and "the invisibles" they act, within their mythology, as intermediaries between the Supreme Creator, who is distant from the world… and humanity. In this regard, they seem to function similarly to the infamous Archons of Biblical era Gnosticism and subsequent Ancient Astronaut Theory fame. Like the fairie folk, the Loa suspiciously resemble, serve a similar function as the Little Green Men of Alien Con mythology… from a different cultural perspective.

And when dealing with UFO phenomena, just as in synchronicity, perspective is everything...


By the time 87 and I reached the end of Alien Con… we agreed that our sync log/micro-dose experiment was a resounding success. We agreed that having Papa Legba make his dramatic appearance, the portal of which turned out to be the back of some guy’s t-shirt, was a satisfying finale. For us, it fulfilled all the criteria that make up a profound synchronistic experience: brilliantly obvious, yet plausibly deniable.

Further reading from earlier posts, on this most intriguing topic, can be found below...    

More from Alien Con Travelogue:  Part One  ~  Part Two

More on Voodoo:  Voodoo in the Digital Realm   ~  Mardi Gras & Voodoo



Who knows where the next Tek-Gnostics Field Expedition will be? Stay tuned...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

John Oliver interviews the Dalai Lama

Daily show Alum, John Oliver is a comedian, writer, actor, television personality and most importantly a Liverpool FC fan. He is currently the star of HBO's satirical newscast, LastWeek Tonight with John Oliver. Recently, Oliver interviewed his Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet… 





The Dalai Lama is a monk of the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism founded by Je Tsongkhapa. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso. In addition to being the successor in a line of tulkus who are believed to be incarnations of Avalokiteśvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion... The Dalai Lama has quite a sense of humor... Enjoy…

Thursday, March 9, 2017

What Would Hunter Do?


“We can't stop here... this is bat country!”
- Hunter S. Thompson - from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Are you still thinking like its 2016? Such thinking will avail you naught. This is 2017 and we must come to grips with the fact that we are all living in Bat Country. The world has gone bat-shit crazy. Really weird drugs have kicked in on a National level... mass hallucinations… dogs living with cats! The worst type of alt-right conspiracy theorists are running amok in the White House. The President appears unhinged. I can’t shake the vision of the President locked in the West Wing bathroom, trousers around his ankles, furiously tweeting, while aids are banging on the door shouting: “Mr. President! Unlock the door this instant!”

Meanwhile… honest-to-god, hard working journalists are characterized as “the enemy of the people” …peddlers of “fake news.” Not that the national press doesn’t bear responsibility for their share of alt-reality. The 24/7 news cycle continues to propagate sensationalism. Headline grabbing, network one-upmanship… pursued over responsible, fact-checking journalism... breeds shallow, simplistic, Entertainment Tonight styled programming. Little wonder the public’s reaction is confusion, mistrust and resentment. 

Bear in mind that this sensationalism is more a product of corporate & network level commercialism, than it is a reflection of individual journalist’s integrity. Just because the networks have sold out, doesn’t mean that journalists have… or that journalism is dead. There are still many hard-hitting reporters out there, digging deep while upholding the highest professional and ethical standards. The 4th Estate isn’t dead… it’s just morphing. After all… this is 2017. This is Bat Country!

Speaking of hard-hitting journalists… those of you, who have occupied our planet for a half-century or so, may well remember an exceptionally deranged-yet-brilliant journalist by the name of Hunter S Thompson. Thompson was not only a talented journalist and author… he was the creator and chief proponent of what has euphemistically been called: Gonzo Journalism. He was also a raving lunatic and creator, curator and principal resident of Bat Country.  The following is a short bio from Wikipedia…

Hunter S Thompson (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005) was an American journalist and author, and the founder of the gonzo journalism movement. Thompson became internationally known with the publication of Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (1967). For his research on the book he had spent a year living and riding with the Angels, experiencing their lives and hearing their stories first-hand. 

Previously a relatively conventional journalist, with the publication in 1970 of The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved he became a counter-cultural figure, with his own brand of New Journalism which he termed "Gonzo", an experimental style of journalism where reporters involve themselves in the action to such a degree that they become central figures of their stories. The work he remains best known for: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (1971), constitutes a rumination on the failures (and triumphs!) of the 1960s counterculture movement.

Beginning in late 1971 Thompson wrote extensively for Rolling Stone on election campaigns of President Richard Nixon and his unsuccessful opponent, Senator George McGovern. The articles were soon combined and published as: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72. As the title suggests, Thompson spent nearly all of his time traveling the "campaign trail", focusing largely on the Democratic Party's primaries - Nixon, as the Republican incumbent, performed little campaign work - in which McGovern competed with rival candidates Edmund Muskie and Hubert Humphrey. Thompson was an early supporter of McGovern and wrote unflattering coverage of the rival campaigns in the increasingly widely read Rolling Stone.

Recently, the press has gone to great lengths to draw a correlation between the 37th President of these United States: Richard M Nixon… and the 45th President: Donald J Trump. In his time, especially during his fall, “Tricky Dick” was broadly considered to be exceedingly underhanded and dishonest. He was notorious for using his Black OpsPlumbers” for nefarious activities, most famously the Watergate break-in. He also had a legendary disdain for the press. These and other similarities beg for comparison to Trump.


Like Tricky Dick, Trump enjoys an unsavory reputation for dishonesty… if not being a serial, pathological liar. Like Nixon, this appears to stem from an extreme inferiority complex and excessive overcompensation. Trump’s opinion of the press exceeds that of Nixon. His intent is to dismantle the 4th Estate, which he views as obstructive to his complete control. Trump’s actions and demeanor are strong indicators that he is either crazy… or crazy like a fox.

Consequently… here in Bat Country… we are all left scratching our heads, and not a little concerned for our safety in an increasingly uncertain future. At this most unsettling juncture, the question becomes…

What would Hunter Do?

How would our dearly departed gonzo journalist view the Trump Presidency? We know how Hunter reacted to Nixon’s reign. Would Hunter denounce Trump as a fascist? Would Hunter deride him as a buffoon? …A narcissistic child with a twitter account? How would Hunter chronicle these bizarrely weird times we live in? What would Hunter do?

#WWHD?

I suspect that Hunter would be out there on the front lines... living by one of his most famous quotes…

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro”



Sunday, March 5, 2017

Psychedelia Update - Orange Sunshine Documentary



In early January 2017 Passion Pictures released a documentary film titled: The Sunshine Makers. Written by Cosmo Feilding-Mellen & Connie Littlefield, directed by Cosmo Feilding-Mellen & Allison Brownmoore, The Sunshine Makers chronicles the fascinating, untold story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, the unlikely duo at the heart of 1960s American drug counter-culture. United in a utopian mission to save the planet through the consciousness-raising power of LSD, these underground chemists manufactured a massive amount of acid, including the gold standard for quality LSD, "Orange Sunshine," all while staying one step ahead of the Feds.



The documentary has thrilled audiences with its stranger-than-fiction look into the lives of two "LSD evangelists." In fine Synchromystic fashion, we have included a second film, with the same name. The Sunshine Makers is a 1935 animated short film directed by Ted Eshbaugh. It was the 3rd Cartoon in the Rainbow Parade Series by Van Beuren. As you will see… the rascally elves are manufacturing their own sunshine…


We invite each of you to leave your own synchronistic observations in our comments section. Shine on, dear intrepid psychonauts! Shine on!


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Phat Tuesday 2017 - Tekgnostic High Holy Day!

It's Good to be Pope! - persona from the Skeleton Krewe of New Orleans

One of the Eight High Holy Days on the Tek-Gnostics Calendar...
Happy Fat Tuesday to One and All!
Laissez les bons temps Rouler!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Alien Con Travelogue – the Micro-dose Experiment.


In the previous entry of the Alien-Con Travelogue entitled: “A Spy in the House of Ancient Aliens” I outlined Team Tek-Gnostics’ participation in the History Channel’s inaugural fan convention celebrating their hit Cable TV show: Ancient Aliens. Situated in the savage heart of Silicon Valley… at the Santa Clara Convention Center, California… my esteemed colleague & personal lawyer, Agent 87 & I, set up our tekgnostic outpost in the convention’s “Artist’s Alley” sector… determined to witness the unfolding of the phenomena. 

We were not disappointed. As indicated in the last installment, we met a wide and wild array of participants… vendors of the fringe. In fine anthropological fashion, we immersed ourselves in the local population to develop a cultural Ethnography. As part of a larger community that we at Tek-Gnostics have identified as “Conspiracy Culture International” …the sub-culture attracted to this convention, appeared to consist of fans of Ancient Aliens (and Sci Fi in general), cosplayers, the curious & seekers of oddity, and “true believers.”

Of special interest to us, were those we identified as true believers. These subjects especially align with the larger Conspiracy Culture, in that many believe that not only do extra-terrestrials exist, but there has been an elaborate cover-up… perpetrated by our government… since at least the 1940s. This belief ties into a much more pervasive mistrust of government, which has recently dominated political sentiment, globally. Hence the “International” moniker in: “Conspiracy Culture International.”

Variations on the extra-terrestrial conspiracy include technologies reverse-engineered from the Rosewell saucer crash, clandestine ET meetings with President Dwight D Eisenhower, cow mutilations, men in black, NASA black-ops and the Babylon Working …just to name a few. Consideration of such intriguing topics requires a certain mind-set. To more fully immerse ourselves in the sub-culture, 87 & I considered the use of “research enhancements.” 

During transport, we had agreed and arranged to act as our own subjects in a secondary field study of the effects of relatively new phenomena in psychedelia… micro-dosing. Our premise being that there is a deep-rooted correspondence between the psychedelic and extra-terrestrial realms. Our primary method of research would entail self-administering an approximate micro-dose (10 to 15 mics) of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds… daily, during the course of the convention. 

A recent article in HighExistence describes micro-dosing as: taking sub-perceptual doses (6-25 microgram LSD, 0.2-0.5 gram dried mushrooms, 50-75 microgram mescaline HCL) while keeping up with ones daily activities, engaging in extreme sports, appreciating nature or enhancing one’s spiritual practice.

This manner of integrating psychedelics, also known as a psycholytic dose, doesn’t inhibit ego-functioning in the same intense manner as the ‘heroic’ Terence McKenna dose does. It is much easier integrated into non-psychedelic activities.

With that said, the sub-perceptual dosage adds another important perceptional element to the experiment… “is it live or is it memorex?” During the course of the Halloween weekend, I would continually return to the question… are my thoughts and observations indigenous, or are they influenced by the LSD? At pre-psychedelic doses, this quandary became a subtle pivot of perception. Like the Schrödinger's Cat paradox, the question moved beyond maybe… to a simultaneous no and yes proposition. 

This logic twilight zone acted as a synchronicity trigger, in that it would repeatedly and abruptly pull me back into the present moment. The Chapel Perilous-esque nature of the experience served to sharpen perceptions… as I was constantly slightly out of kilter, cognitively. The subtle perceptual uncertainty actually sharpened my mental and emotional faculties. My perceptions became meta-perceptions as I would inevitably return to thinking about thinking. 


Per the McKenna “True Hallucinations” model, the psychedelic experience IS an alien encounter. In this regard, the micro-dose experience mirrors the ET experience… was it real or imagined? This question moves beyond whether or not phenomena actually happen, to the very fabric of perceptions, consciousness and the nature of reality. Is contact psychical, metaphorical, or extra-dimensional?

The micro-dose played into the concept of being a dweller of two realms… psychedelic and normal… terrestrial and extra-terrestrial… amateur anthropologist or true believer?

In looking back, what struck me most was the sincerity of, not only the presenters and vendors… but of the fans. Granted, our booth entitled: Tek-Gnostics Media, in situ within the artist’s alley, would draw a certain segment of the overall population… however those who we encountered were sincere, honest-to-god seekers of the eternal question: are we alone?

It is for this reason that the UFO sub-population of Conspiracy Culture International is so intriguing and endearing. Government conspiracy aside here is a population asking the big question… Is there intelligent life on other worlds, out there in the vastness of universe? Do they seek us? Should we seek them? Asking the existential question…What is the nature of reality? What is our relationship to “the other” and is the other us?

Ultimately, the UFO sub-culture serves us all by reminding us to ask the big, philosophic questions of existence and our place in universe.


In upcoming travelogue installments, we will explore the high level of synchronistic events during the convention. As the weekend wore on, the strange synchronicities, not only increased, they became more intense… culminating in the now-infamous “Papa Legba Incident.” Stay tuned, dear travelers of the digital realm… stay tuned!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Singularity Attacks!


The AI Threat Isn’t Skynet. It’s the End of the Middle Class.

- by Cade Metz

IN FEBRUARY 1975, a group of geneticists gathered in a tiny town on the central coast of California to decide if their work would bring about the end of the world. These researchers were just beginning to explore the science of genetic engineering, manipulating DNA to create organisms that didn’t exist in nature, and they were unsure how these techniques would affect the health of the planet and its people. So, they descended on a coastal retreat called Asilomar, a name that became synonymous with the guidelines they laid down at this meeting—a strict ethical framework meant to ensure that biotechnology didn’t unleash the apocalypse.

Forty-two years on, another group of scientists gathered at Asilomar to consider a similar problem. But this time, the threat wasn’t biological. It was digital. In January, the world’s top artificial intelligence researchers walked down the same beachside paths as they discussed their rapidly accelerating field and the role it will play in the fate of humanity. It was a private conference... the enormity of the subject deserves some privacy... but in recent days, organizers released several videos from the conference talks, and some participants have been willing to discuss their experience, shedding some light on the way AI researchers view the threat of their own field.

The rise of driverless cars and trucks is just a start. It’s not just blue-collar jobs that AI endangers.
Yes, they discussed the possibility of a superintelligence that could somehow escape human control, and at the end of the month, the conference organizers unveiled a set of guidelines, signed by attendees and other AI luminaries, that aim to prevent this possible dystopia. But the researchers at Asilomar were also concerned with more immediate matters: the effect of AI on the economy.

“One of the reasons I don’t like the discussions about superintelligence is that they’re a distraction from what’s real,” says Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, who attended the conference. “As the poet said, have fewer imaginary problems and more real ones.”

At a time when the Trump administration is promising to make America great again by restoring old-school manufacturing jobs, AI researchers aren’t taking him too seriously. They know that these jobs are never coming back, thanks in no small part to their own research, which will eliminate so many other kinds of jobs in the years to come, as well. At Asilomar, they looked at the real US economy, the real reasons for the “hollowing out” of the middle class. The problem isn’t immigration... far from it. The problem isn’t offshoring or taxes or regulation. It’s technology.

Rage Against the Machines

In the US, the number of manufacturing jobs peaked in 1979 and has steadily decreased ever since. At the same time, manufacturing has steadily increased, with the US now producing more goods than any other country but China. Machines aren’t just taking the place of humans on the assembly line. They’re doing a better job. And all this before the coming wave of AI upends so many other sectors of the economy. “I am less concerned with Terminator scenarios,” MIT economist Andrew McAfee said on the first day at Asilomar. “If current trends continue, people are going to rise up well before the machines do.”



McAfee pointed to newly collected data that shows a sharp decline in middle-class job creation since the 1980s. Now, most new jobs are either at the very low end of the pay scale or the very high end. He also argued that these trends are reversible, that improved education and a greater emphasis on entrepreneurship and research can help feed new engines of growth, that economies have overcome the rise of new technologies before. But after his talk, in the hallways at Asilomar, so many of the researchers warned him that the coming revolution in AI would eliminate far more jobs far more quickly than he expected.

Indeed, the rise of driverless cars and trucks is just a start. New AI techniques are poised to reinvent everything from manufacturing to healthcare to Wall Street. In other words, it’s not just blue-collar jobs that AI endangers. “Several of the rock stars in this field came up to me and said: ‘I think you’re low-balling this one. I think you are underestimating the rate of change,'” McAfee says.


- Found this article on Wired. You can read the complete article Here.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

It's Not 1984... It's Brave New World.



Neil Postman (March 8, 1931 – October 5, 2003) was an American author, educator, media theorist and cultural critic, who is best known for his 1985 book: "Amusing Ourselves to Death" ...a historical narrative which warns of a decline in the ability of our mass communications media to share serious ideas. Since television images replace the written word, Postman argues that television confounds serious issues by demeaning and undermining political discourse and by turning real, complex issues into superficial images, less about ideas and thoughts and more about entertainment.

On February 2, 2017, Neil's Son, Andrew Postman published the following article in the Guardian...


My dad predicted Trump in 1985 – it's not Orwell, he warned, it's Brave New World

Over the last year, as the presidential campaign grew increasingly bizarre and Donald Trump took us places we had never been before, I saw a spike in media references to Amusing Ourselves to Death, a book written by my late father, Neil Postman, which anticipated back in 1985 so much about what has become of our current public discourse.

At Forbes, one contributor wrote that the book “may help explain the otherwise inexplicable”. CNN noted that Trump’s allegedly shocking “ascent would not have surprised Postman”. At ChristianPost.com, Richard D Land reflected on reading the book three decades ago and feeling “dumbfounded … by Postman’s prophetic insights into what was then America’s future and is now too often a painful description of America’s present”. Last month, a headline at Paste Magazine asked: “Did Neil Postman Predict the Rise of Trump and Fake News?”

Colleagues and former students of my father, who taught at New York University for more than 40 years and who died in 2003, would now and then email or Facebook message me, after the latest Trumpian theatrics, wondering, “What would Neil think?” or noting glumly, “Your dad nailed it.”

The central argument of Amusing Ourselves is simple: there were two landmark dystopian novels written by brilliant British cultural critics – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell – and we Americans had mistakenly feared and obsessed over the vision portrayed in the latter book (an information-censoring, movement-restricting, individuality-emaciating state) rather than the former (a technology-sedating, consumption-engorging, instant-gratifying bubble).


The misplaced focus on Orwell was understandable: after all, for decades the cold war had made communism – as embodied by Nineteen Eighty-Four’s Big Brother – the prime existential threat to America and to the greatest of American virtues, freedom. And, to put a bow on it, the actual year, 1984, was fast approaching when my father was writing his book, so we had Orwell’s powerful vision on the brain.

Whoops. Within a half-decade, the Berlin Wall came down. Two years later, the Soviet Union collapsed.

“We were keeping our eye on 1984,” my father wrote. “When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.”

Unfortunately, there remained a vision we Americans did need to guard against, one that was percolating right then, in the 1980s. The president was a former actor and polished communicator. Our political discourse (if you could call it that) was day by day diminished to soundbites (“Where’s the beef?” and “I’m paying for this microphone” became two “gotcha” moments, apparently testifying to the speaker’s political formidableness).

The nation increasingly got its “serious” information not from newspapers, which demand a level of deliberation and active engagement, but from television: Americans watched an average of 20 hours of TV a week. (My father noted that USA Today, which launched in 1982 and featured colorized images, quick-glance lists and charts, and much shorter stories, was really a newspaper mimicking the look and feel of TV news.)

But it wasn’t simply the magnitude of TV exposure that was troubling. It was that the audience was being conditioned to get its information faster, in a way that was less nuanced and, of course, image-based. As my father pointed out, a written sentence has a level of verifiability to it: it is true or not true – or, at the very least, we can have a meaningful discussion over its truth. (This was pre-truthiness, pre-“alternative facts”.)

But an image? One never says a picture is true or false. It either captures your attention or it doesn’t. The more TV we watched, the more we expected – and with our finger on the remote, the more we demanded – that not just our sitcoms and cop procedurals and other “junk TV” be entertaining but also our news and other issues of import. Digestible. Visually engaging. Provocative. In short, amusing. All the time. Sorry, C-Span.

This was, in spirit, the vision that Huxley predicted way back in 1931, the dystopia my father believed we should have been watching out for. He wrote:

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture.

1984 – the year, not the novel – looks positively quaint now. One-third of a century later, we all carry our own personalized screens on us, at all times, and rather than seven broadcast channels plus a smattering of cable, we have a virtual infinity of options.

Today, the average weekly screen time for an American adult – brace yourself; this is not a typo – is 74 hours (and still going up). We watch when we want, not when anyone tells us, and usually alone, and often while doing several other things. The soundbite has been replaced by virality, meme, hot take, tweet. Can serious national issues really be explored in any coherent, meaningful way in such a fragmented, attention-challenged environment?

Sure, times change. Technology and innovation wait for no man. Get with the program. But how engaged can any populace be when the most we’re asked to do is to like or not like a particular post, or “sign” an online petition? How seriously should anyone take us, or should we take ourselves, when the “optics” of an address or campaign speech – raucousness, maybe actual violence, childishly attention-craving gestures or facial expressions – rather than the content of the speech determines how much “airtime” it gets, and how often people watch, share and favorite it?

My father’s book warned of what was coming, but others have seen and feared aspects of it, too (Norbert Wiener, Sinclair Lewis, Marshall McLuhan, Jacques Ellul, David Foster Wallace, Sherry Turkle, Douglas Rushkoff, Naomi Klein, Edward Snowden, to name a few).

Our public discourse has become so trivialized, it’s astounding that we still cling to the word “debates” for what our presidential candidates do onstage when facing each other. Really? Who can be shocked by the rise of a reality TV star, a man given to loud, inflammatory statements, many of which are spectacularly untrue but virtually all of which make for what used to be called “good television”?

Who can be appalled when the coin of the realm in public discourse is not experience, thoughtfulness or diplomacy but the ability to amuse – no matter how maddening or revolting the amusement?

So, yes, my dad nailed it. Did he also predict that the leader we would pick for such an age, when we had become perhaps terminally enamored of our technologies and amusements, would almost certainly possess fascistic tendencies? I believe he called this, too.

For all the ways one can define fascism (and there are many), one essential trait is its allegiance to no idea of right but its own: it is, in short, ideological narcissism. It creates a myth that is irrefutable (much in the way that an image’s “truth” cannot be disproved), in perpetuity, because of its authoritarian, unrestrained nature.

“Television is a speed-of-light medium, a present-centered medium,” my father wrote. “Its grammar, so to say, permits no access to the past … history can play no significant role in image politics. For history is of value only to someone who takes seriously the notion that there are patterns in the past which may provide the present with nourishing traditions.”

Later in that passage, Czesław Miłosz, winner of the Nobel prize for literature, is cited for remarking in his 1980 acceptance speech that that era was notable for “a refusal to remember”; my father notes Miłosz referencing “the shattering fact that there are now more than one hundred books in print that deny that the Holocaust ever took place”.

Again: how quaint.

While fake news has been with us as long as there have been agendas, and from both sides of the political aisle, we’re now witnessing – thanks to Breitbart News, Infowars and perpetuation of myths like the one questioning Barack Obama’s origins – a sort of distillation, a fine-tuning.

“An Orwellian world is much easier to recognize, and to oppose, than a Huxleyan,” my father wrote. “Everything in our background has prepared us to know and resist a prison when the gates begin to close around us … [but] who is prepared to take arms against a sea of amusements?”

I wish I could tell you that, for all his prescience, my father also supplied a solution. He did not. He saw his job as identifying a serious, under-addressed problem, then asking a set of important questions about the problem. He knew it would be hard to find an easy answer to the damages wrought by “technopoly”. It was a systemic problem, one baked as much into our individual psyches as into our culture.

But we need more than just hope for a way out. We need a strategy, or at least some tactics.

First: treat false allegations as an opportunity. Seek information as close to the source as possible. The internet represents a great chance for citizens to do their own hunting – there’s ample primary source material, credible eyewitnesses, etc, out there – though it can also be manipulated to obfuscate that. No one’s reality, least of all our collective one, should be a grotesque game of telephone.

Second: don’t expect “the media” to do this job for you. Some of its practitioners do, brilliantly and at times heroically. But most of the media exists to sell you things. Its allegiance is to boosting circulation, online traffic, ad revenue. Don’t begrudge it that. But then don’t be suckered about the reasons why Story X got play and Story Y did not.

Third: for journalists, Jay Rosen, a former student of my father’s and a leading voice in the movement known as “public journalism”, offers several useful, practical suggestions.

Finally, and most importantly, it should be the responsibility of schools to make children aware of our information environments, which in many instances have become our entertainment environments, but there is little evidence that schools are equipped or care to do this. So someone has to.

We must teach our children, from a very young age, to be skeptics, to listen carefully, to assume everyone is lying about everything. (Well, maybe not everyone.) Check sources. Consider what wasn’t said. Ask questions. Understand that every storyteller has a bias – and so does every platform.

We all laughed – some of us, anyway – at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s version of the news, to some extent because everything had become a joke. If we wish not to be “soma”-tized (Huxley’s word) by technology, to be something less than smiling idiots and complicit in the junking of our own culture, then “what is required of us now is a new era of responsibility … giving our all to a difficult task. This is the price and the promise of citizenship.”

My father didn’t write those last words – our recently retired president said them in his final inaugural address. He’s right. It will be difficult. It’s not so amusing any more.

- Andrew Postman

Andrew Postman has written more than a dozen books, including the novel Now I Know Everything.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CalExit + State of Jefferson = Ecotopia!


As the election results came in on the evening of November 8th, 2016… frustrated Westerners grew increasingly outraged. Their dissatisfaction was triggered as their votes were seemingly rendered non-impactful by the 3 hour time difference from the closing polls on the East Coast. By the time Washington State, Oregon and California’s (let alone the temporal laggard: Hawaii) Electoral College votes overwhelmingly went to Hillary… it was already too late. No one out West (but a select few) expected the apparent outcome that would elevate “the Donald” to President-elect status.


In the days that followed, massive protests erupted up and down the West Coast. Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LA… all mobilized a robust counter-strike against the Empire. Signage proclaiming: “Dump Trump” “Not my President” “Love trumps Hate” festooned the angry (yet, as always, somewhat festive) uprising. Although mostly peaceful… there was some violence. “Fuck Trump” and “Kill Trump” graffiti was marked on a block in Oakland before being set on fire, where more than 6,000 were part of what allegedly was one of the most violent protests. In Los Angeles, protesters blocked a freeway, started fires and waved Trump heads on sticks outside City Hall. 

Amid the rebellion, a group calling for California to secede from these United States was rekindled. Calls for “CalExit” began to circulate amongst the protesters. Yes California, a nonviolent campaign to establish the country of California using any and all legal and constitutional means to do so, had submitted a new petition asking voters to start the process. The Yes California Independence Campaign hopes to put a question on the November 2018 ballot authorizing an independence vote in spring 2019.


The group proposed the idea more than two years ago… but now that the Donald has won the presidential election, the CalExit movement is gaining serious traction. Yes California’s Vice President, Marcus Ruiz Evans says if a majority of Californians approved the measure proponents hope to make their case to the United Nations. One minor catch… the only way for California to legally secede would be to change the Constitution… which requires the approval of Congress and 38 states.

None the less… increasingly alienated Californians have had enough. This is not, however, the first such popular uprising out West…

State of Jefferson


Up in the “Frontier Counties” of Northern California (& Southern Oregon), there has for decades been an interstate secessionist movement brewing, intended to create the 51st State of Jefferson. The following is a description and brief history of the movement… 


After attempts in the mid 19th century at forming the State of Jefferson prior to becoming Oregon… and then again in the 1930s, citizens attempted the best known of such movements in the region. During 1940 and 1941, organizers attracted media attention by arming themselves and blockading Highway 99 (well before Ike Eisenhower’s militarized interstate highway system) to the south of Yreka, California, where they collected tolls from motorists and passed out proclamations of independence. When a California Highway Patrolman turned up on the scene, he was told to "get down the road back to California." 

The movement was created to draw attention to the area by proposing that Southern Oregon and Northern California secede from their respective State governments to form a separate State within the United States. A perceived lack of attention and resources from their state governments led to the adoption of a flag design bearing a gold pan and two X's, a "double cross." The movement quickly ended however after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. - Wikipedia


In recent years, the lack of adequate representation of California’s frontier counties in the state capitol: Sacramento, has resurrected the movement. Although Southern Oregon shares Northern California’s sentiment, the State of Jefferson is most visibly militant between Redding, CA and the CA/OR border. If the CalExit movement in Southern California is perceived as progressive in political slant, the State of Jefferson is equally conservative. The liberals in So Cal find their balancing counterpart in No Cal’s Tea-party ranching communities. Hey, it takes all kinds.

The entire West Coast’s alienation from the rest of the US of A... has been politically evident for decades. For the last 25 years, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii have consistently been a democratic stronghold… always showing a resounding Blue (indigo in CA) on the political map. Within the same timeframe, the West Coast’s international trading economy with Pacific Rim Countries grew larger than domestic trade with our own East Coast. The US West’s economic interests are literally more aligned with other Pacific Rim countries, such as Japan & S Korea, than they are with the US east coast.


Mount Hood, Oregon’s majestic 11,249 ft strato-volcano, is the second most photographed mountain in Japan (Mt Fuji is first). This fact illustrates the geo-political reality that the US west coast rightly belongs in the Pacific “ring of fire” economy, vs. the US east coast’s more EU aligned trans-Atlantic economy. 

The times being what they are… the idea of a 51st State of Jefferson may not go far enough for what is called for on the West Coast. The vision of an independent west coast did not begin with CalExit, however…  

Ecotopia


Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston is a seminal utopian novel by Ernest Callenbach, published in 1975. The society described in the book is one of the first ecological utopias and was influential on the counterculture and the green movement in the 1970s and thereafter. The citizens of Ecotopia share a common aim: they seek a balance between themselves and nature.

Scientific discoveries in the fields of ecology and conservation biology, the urban-ecology movement, new approaches to urban planning, the renewable energy movement, were primary influences on Callenbach’s vision. Callenbach’s concept did not reject high technology (or any technology) as long as it did not interfere with the Ecotopian social order and serves the overall objectives. Members of his fictional society prefer to demonstrate a conscious selectivity toward technology, so that not only human health and sanity might be preserved, but also social and ecological wellbeing. - wikipedia

Cascadia


Cascadia is a bioregion and possible proposed country located within the western region of North America. Potential boundaries differ, with some drawn along existing political state and provincial lines, and others drawn along larger ecological, cultural, and economic boundaries.


The country is envisioned to consist of Washington, Oregon, portions of other U.S. states and British Columbia, Canada. At its maximum extent, Cascadia would stretch from coastal Southeast Alaska in the north into Northern California in the south, and inland to include parts of Idaho, Western Montana, Wyoming, and Yukon. More conservative proposed borders include the land west of the crest of Cascade Range, and the western side of British Columbia.

As measured only by the combination of present Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia statistics, Cascadia would be home to slightly more than 15 million people (15,105,870), and would have an economy generating more than US$675 billion worth of goods and services annually. This number would increase if portions of Northern California, Idaho, and Southern Alaska were also included. By land area, Cascadia would be the 20th largest country in the world, with a land area of 534,572 sq miles. - Wikipedia

Under some definitions, Cascadia is energy sufficient, due to the high propensity for renewable energy resources (mostly hydroelectric and geothermal) and supplies many other western states such as California and parts east with electricity.

The area from Vancouver B.C. down to Portland has been termed an emerging mega-region by the National Committee for America 2050, a coalition of regional planners, scholars, and policy-makers. This group defines a mega-region as an area where "boundaries  (between metropolitan regions) begin to blur, creating a new scale of geography." This megacity begins to mirror William Gibson’s “Sprawl” concept, albeit a West Coast version. 

Given the changing politico-economic environment, the 21st Century vision of Ecotopia/Cascadia would not only encompass the Pacific Northwest, it would include California and Hawaii. BC is considered... but might prove too entangling with our great ally and trading partner to the north: Canada. Adding California to the Ecotopia concept would add over 2 trillion dollars annually, creating a national economy that would arguably weigh in as one of the Planet’s top economic powerhouses. This would combine the natural resources, tourism and renewable energy economy of the Pacific Northwest, the Hawaiian Islands strategic location (and tourist economy) …to California’s mighty agricultural, entertainment and technology base. The combined economy would total well over 3 trillion dollars, annually.

  
In an era of Brexit, the Trump Presidency and the increasing Popularist, Nationalist tendencies, both domestic and abroad… it becomes increasingly evident that new alliances, new sovereignties, new loyalties are rapidly morphing.  What were once common interests are looking increasingly foreign. More and more, the American Midwest considers the West Coasters as elitist and... quite frankly... suspect.

Meanwhile… out West, Marijuana is not only legal for medicinal purposes… it is fast being legalized for recreational activity, as well. Western growers within the Humbolt growing region in N California, in Southern Oregon, not to mention Hawaii’s legendary “Maui Wowi” growers… have applied good-old yanky ingenuity to create the West Coast’s newest Multi-Billion Dollar Industry. Even as the mid-west and the Rust Belt brought Trump and his brand of “Newspeak” to power, the situation couldn’t be mellower… in Ecotopia.

The above scenario is more of a West Coast pipe dream, than a reality. As mentioned above… the only way for California to legally secede would be to change the Constitution… which requires the approval of Congress and 38 states. Based upon recent presidential election results and the anecdotal opinion of America’s heartland populations toward those crazy West Coasters (especially Californians)… it does not appear that the rest of the US would miss the West Coast at all.

One thing I know… the New Ecotopia wouldn’t need a wall to separate themselves from the rest of the States… Immigrants will be welcome! The new Ecotopian's border will be drawn by a mindset that marks the High Frontier. The new Ecotopians will identify their latitude with attitude!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inauguration


Inauguration - in·au·gu·ra·tion  (ĭn-ô′gyə-rā′shən) noun.
1.  A formal beginning or introduction.

What? don't frown… it just… went down! 
– from “It's fun being weird” 

Will wonders never cease! On January 20th & 21st… the American public has been given the gift of new beginnings. One vision of such was presented to us by our new president on Friday, in his inauguration speech (Another vision was characterized by the more massively attended Woman's March on Washington on Saturday). Sure, Trump's vision was a dark, dystopic one, with fascist undertones… but this is the vision that the Donald advertised during his hit reality show presidential campaign. Corporatocacy, here we come.

For those of us who voted for Trump… it’s time to own his vision of Amerika. Remember, he promised not to touch Medicare and Social Security… America’s desperately needed social safety nets. In this day and age of massive population migration caused by war and climate change… of massive unemployment due to globalization and automation… we will need these safety nets more than ever. Now is the time to increase such programs, during such a profound cultural transition, not eliminate them. Reality check: the jobs are not coming back.

For those of us who didn’t vote for the Donald, a couple of things… first: buck it up! Now is not the time to whine… it is the time to rise as part of the loyal opposition… as activists in the American resistance movement. If we don’t like the Donald’s vision… we must come up with an alternative… bring something better, more creative, to the table. Elements of such include: compassion, tolerance, peace, unity and love. In the tradition of the trickster, Operation MindFuck is a good place to start.

(besides... it's fun being weird, you should try it some time!)

Second: it’s always darkest right before the dawn. We need to move together to bring about a future we can all live with. Don’t despair! We must be brave and keep the faith that darkness will give way to light. Together we can build a compassionate future… but we will have to work for it! Nothing good comes easy… It’s roll-up-sleeves time.

Lastly, a reminder to us all… We are all in this together. Regardless of our good intentions, we are here now. As the French philosopher, Joseph de Maistre said: “Every nation gets the government it deserves.” So again… in these dark times, the American public has been given the precious gift of new beginnings… let us embrace the opportunity for change… for change is the only true constant in Universe! Let us all inaugurate the power of love… right where we are standing now. Let us seize this inaugural opportunity to move together into a shared brave new future where all peoples, regardless of creed, ethnicity or gender... enjoy the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

After all... isn't that what America is all about?