Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The function of death

Much of modern science falls under the natural philosophy of systemics.
That is to say it is not actually science in the classical sense.
Science is a tool for categorizing things. For discovering how they work.
Systemics is an attempt to collect these ideas into working systems.
The study of ecosystems or evolutionary paths may be considered systemics, even if it is sold as classical science.

Life systems, which would include many modern biological studies, falls into this category. Each individual aspect of biology is studying and pieced together to map a whole, functional system.
Each functional aspect is studied in detail, and the relation and function in tandem with those systems (again) is mapped.
Through this kind of thinking we are able to see all the various, myriad interactions between biological systems such as reproduction, the digestive process, cellular development, the immune system, and so on and so forth.
One are given a great deal of attention is the reproductive system. The functions and interaction of this system with others is extremely well mapped. We know how it effects the entire biology. We know what it is for.
This interest only makes sense. We want to understand our personal genesis.
What does not make sense, on the surface, is how death is rejected as part of this system.
Obviously death is important. Obviously death has profound effect on the individual in question, and on those who know them. But death is seen only as the end of the system, and is not credited with any function. Why is that?
I don't think the materialists who crowd the halls of the academe mean to suggest this is an open system (life). That death is somehow a release from this system. Nor do I even need to 'go there', myself.
No. I get the impression there is something that makes those very materialists (ie naturalists) extremely nervous about assigning a natural function to death.
Why would that be?
The simplified answer is that if death has a natural function within the system beyond the immediate (ie providing food for a predator/scavenger or fertilizer for plants), it has some very uncomfortable implications for the wider world view of these folks.
How so?
Let's envision for a second that death is the mechanism by which genetics improve upon themselves. That a process known as 'natural selection' and 'mutation' results in real improvements in the organisms undergoing this process. We might call this process 'evolution'. In such a process/system we may consider ourselves 'more evolved' (ie superior in design/function) to a more primitive (much older) example of our species. This is, of course, the stance of modern 'science' (ie systemics).
So, in order for this system to work/function properly one generation must end and another begin. They will overlap, mix and spread the desirable traits. The mechanism to determine these traits being the environment itself. The algorithm of life simply adapts and thrives. A perfect piece of self improving, self propagation code.
Improving to what end?
Well, this is where the materialist wants the conversation to end. They will simply posit 'stuff happens'. They will accuse you of 'promiscuous teleology' or seeing a correlation as a connection. They will shrug away the concept that this self improving, self propagating code simply is (just so) and continues with no direction or function beyond those apparent.
But that's the problem isn't it? The 'self improvement' IS apparent.
Progress and improvement seems to be the result of evolution. Evolution is linear, or progressive - not circular and reductive.
That is to say the 'system' of inanimate matter is not linear, but recursive. Sand becomes rock, breaks into stone and becomes sand. The water cycle. Chemical bonding. So on and so forth.
Life is different. It improves.
To what end?
That is the forbidden question.
It is, of course, a 'why' question.
Comrade professor and the commissars of the academe do NOT like 'why'.
Presumably because it could be applied to their bloated tenures and ever continuing 'education'.
'Why death' is a naughty one indeed.
What does it show us? 
A very big 'boo boo' in the grand theory of 'shit happens' (ie the implicitly nihilistic materialist mindset of the academe and elites).
Apparently -if death is assigned a proper biological function - life has some sort of meaning, even on the physical level.
Apparently whatever the source of the information found in our genetic code, it has a goal that can be achieved by applying the genetic algorithm, itself full of CONTINGENCY, to the problem of conscious existence. By applying time and using nature itself as a mould or limiter.
Apparently this little code of proteins has the ability to transfer some essential, central functionality FORWARD in time to some end purpose.
Apparently, and so far, we can tell at least one of these functions is consciousness itself. The ability to ask 'why should this be'.
Well then!
Why should this be?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A New Year

For some reason this did not post yesterday, so here it is a day late!

January 1, AD 2014

On this 8th Day of Christmas 2014, New Years Day I find myself up before the crowd. Well, up before my adult son and his gal. Up before my little one and my wife wake from 'nap time' (she took the morning shift so I could welcome the New Year with the revellers, God bless her..).
The coffee is hissing in the pot. The bacon is ready for the pan. The eggs and herbs ready for the skillet.
Time to reflect and to look forward.
What do I see in 2014? Am I optimistic?
Well, on a personal level, yes. I do not have high expectations or ambitions for the year, so I expect to reach my goals and have some time left over for fun and rest.
On a larger scale, I am no so sure...
What I see is an increasing trend towards polarisation on every issue and at every level. There is only one historical pattern that matches this current trend.
That pattern is one of forced crisis. Divide and rule is the means. The methods increase by order each month. Devices, networks, and entire corporations are working hard at helping you isolate yourself in a nice, sterile little echo chamber. Into a neat little compartment and easy to sort. In Intel jargon, this is called a cell. In
In this brave new age and order, the citizens cells are increasingly self defined; self labeled. That is to say that we are filtering ourselves into compartments of ideology and neatly labeling them. We do it here on blogger, on facebook, by our consumer choice, with our vote. All leaving a wonderful trail of volunteered data in it, wake.
Our economic, political and cultural ideals self define and identify us like never before, and this provides an equally unprecedented opportunity for new control mechanisms.
In the simplest terms, we are becoming more alone, more disconnected, more hostile to differences in a connected, networked world! More easily controlled....
We are doing so at a greatly accelerated rate; and we are doing so by design..
The examples of this are so numerous to list. Consider the phone or tablet in your pocket or on our desk. We are sold a device that is supposed to connect us with those we love, but is in fact another wall of interference between us. Another excuse to be further away, even when physically close..
If this is so between families and friends, can we not extend this sur-reality into business and political matter? I am afraid we must.
Happy New Year, and may God bless and keep you all.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holy Night

People the world over move into the Christmas celebration, as Holy Night, or Christmas Eve, and Christmas tide, or Christmas Day approach.
This first, and western Feast Day of Christmas arrives with much splendour and exuberance in much of the world. There will be music, dancing, presents, food, drink, more food, and much celebration. It is the celebration of the coming of Christ. The Christian high feast of feasts. 
Indeed, most of the civilized and advanced world is precisely where you find this fun, wonderful and holy season celebrated. Is that a coincidence?
I think not, but that is the stuff of a more substantial and less festive post!
Sufficed to say that on this evening approaching us, known as Christmas Eve or Holy Night, there will be hundreds of millions submitting in humble worship. Many more signing traditional songs for all to hear; some in cathedrals, others on frosty street corners.
There will be cups of good cheer lifted to toast old friends and family present, and those that have gone before.
There will be many decent souls out braving the cold and away from their own people, just to make sure that the less fortunate among them can have a meal and spend some relaxing moments over Christmas.
There will be countless little children climbing into bed wondering what a little parental magic and general good behaviour may result in them finding under their trees or in a stocking. That is to say, they await old St Nicholas on his yearly trip to give them a gift simply for being a good kid.
Many wonderful, magical moments are coming upon us.

Then there will be the others.
Those not so fortunate, but no less deserving of a Christmas.
The lonely, the abject, the poor, the horribly oppressed, the very ill, the dying.
Those people who cannot or will not be reached on Holy Night.
We have all been there or near it. Many of us will be again.
We must not forget them. He will not. 
May they find happiness again, may their Christmases once again become bright.

For all of us, for today, and for this evening I submit a work of peace. An ode to serenity and meaningfulness.
An offering to God from his children by the way of art.
Incense for the saints in the form of song; to celebrate the coming of a King. 


For Holy Night, Schubert's Ave Maria. 
(Lieder Bonney Parsons)

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Mind reading devices: To know WHAT you're thinking, or to make sure you're NOT thinking...

The powers that be are funding research into devices that can use patterns in  (most peoples') brain activity and correlate from that data what people are thinking. We are being told, for the most part, that this is a good thing. That the purpose of this technology is to allow for a better human/machine interface. A technology that would allow disabled people to walk, the deaf to hear, the blind to see.
That it will allow us to compute with ease, guide aircraft and vehicles more efficiently, and operate surgical robots and exploratory drones in ways we could only imagine previously.
Wonders! Miracles! Progress!
A technological Eden is almost upon us!

Yeah... right.
I think we've heard this one before. Many times.
This, like so many other developments, is another game of 'watch the birdy'.
The technology itself, if developed along these lines, could have some of these benefits. But technology is a tool.
It is the end result of an engineered concept. A concept can be engineered in many ways. Both good and evil uses for any concept are obvious.
The same technology used to identify your face print and give you access to secure areas or data can be mounted on a pole and scan passers by for purposes of control. The same technology engineered to help you find a location or avoid heavy traffic can be used to track your every move. The same devices that we use to communicate with our loved ones or make business transactions are used to listen in on us. The same technology used to give you affordable electricity to run all your household appliances and gadgets can be used to incinerate the city, town, or country in which you live.
Not only can it all be used this way it has and will be used this way.
So how could a device that reads neural patterns to 'interface' with machines be used in a bad way?
Well, dear reader, let's get those neural patterns going, shall we?
Imagine the same machinery put to use to scan people unwittingly.
Imagine the potential to locate and isolate dissent from political ideas.
'You do not agree with Mr X's policy, and we want to know why?' The posing of this question would result in the answer.
The operators would know the moment you pondered it. You would not have to verbally respond. The machine would tell them why.
Well, for most people anyway.
How about those people who do not think the same way as the herd?
What about the ones that are difficult to read?
The people who have trained themselves not to think in a predictable pattern, or those who naturally are different.
Would they be perceived as 'dangerous' to the people behind the curtain?
They already are, but with the advent of this technology the operators would be able to instantly identify them. Would they be exiled, medicated, imprisoned, or worse?
This would be the ultimate step towards mental control and conformity. The enforcement of specific patterns of thought.
Or worse still....
What could be worse than the monitoring of your every thought?
The expulsion of them.
There is a theme in the methods of these madmen.
It is a reductionist theme. They want everything nice and simple. Easy to control. Machine like. They always have, and now the have come closer to realizing their nightmare scenarios than ever before.
Those of you familiar with George Orwell's classic 1984 will be familiar with the concept of 'newspeak'. This is an excellent example of the concept in fiction.
In order to reduce the ability of the oppressed populace of this dystopia from formulating any ideas of revolt or change, the language itself is dumbed down. Words and sentence forms are made illegal and flagged. People who break the language laws disappear, are broken, publicly confess to 'thought crime' and are executed one they are forgotten.
Some would argue this has already begun, and I see some validity in that argument. Words have been redefined for political ends. Entire ideologies made effectively illegal via policy. The language is being dumbed down; and it seems this is a deliberate process.
But, the comparison lies here: The reason for 'thought crime' was not to control creative thought in the masses. It was to eliminate it.
This concept, applied to the technology of mind sifting, could very easily be realized without the need to go through all the complex language and cultural restrictions - that could provoke a revolt - described by 20th century authors like Orwell.
Consider for a moment: What would Stalin, Hitler, or Mao have done with this power of mind over their people?
Just look what the got away with, without it!
With this technology engineered just so, the next ascendant tyrant can verify the elimination of thought. Force us to self sensor in the desired fashion. Make sure we are nice and stupid, on a cerebral level.
You could not play stupid, you would have to be stupid - or you would be detected and removed from the group. Intelligence would be a challenge to authority, and easily detected by the patterns in your head. 
The drones these people would want to control are the masses. 
The machine interface, in this view, would allow the machines to monitor and control the populace.
Those in control of the machines would be literal slave masters. Perhaps a high caste would be a better wording. Maybe they would allow some other, less powerful but loyal sycophantic classes lord over the slaves who would make up the vast majority of humanity. The humanity they deem worthy of breeding and continuing on, that is. 
And the 'well bred' slaves and their task masters themselves?
They better be useful. They better work hard, better keep their heads down, better owe all their loyalties to their masters or they themselves could be replaced by machines.
No room for quaint notions of things like constitutions or God in this brave new interfaced world. No such thing as 'rights'. Just patterns.
Correct patterns and defective patterns.

Dear reader, I hope I am wrong about all this. That these predictions are just that: A guess about what may happen if these ideas are abused. I pray that is so.
But, is this just paranoia?
Do we not already live in a world were we are monitored and controlled increasingly for 'security' reasons, and yet we are constantly reminded of increasing dangers? Do we not live in a world were all the forms of entertainment and mental stimulation are being increasingly dumbed down? A world where vulgarity has replaced subtlety? A world in which people believe freedom (for race, class etc) comes in the form of a government issued cheque? A world in which women parade about for their 'right' to kill their own offspring? A world were we are taught stupid is smart, and smart is stupid? A world in which we are constantly bombarded with the idea the good and evil are relative and to rely on some temporal ruling class to define what is good and what is evil for us? A world were we are judged by what we have, and not who we are?
How far of a stretch is it then to imagine these same forces at work in our halls of power would not abuse a technology that allows them to peer into the very interface of your mind with the physical world?
This has been a long game, dear reader.
We must not allow a check-mate.

"For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. "
Mark 13:22

May God bless and keep you all.

Friday, December 06, 2013

The Hammer and Sickle vs The Swastika

Any of you who know me on a personal level know that I am fond of war games.
You might think this would be something that actual warfare cured me of, but alas, the addiction remains.
It is probably due to growing up in a home where my father was an enthusiast. He and his university buddies enjoyed painting models and creating landscapes for tactical games based on real conflicts. They relived battles such as Waterloo and Normandy in our den and garage. I watched with wonder. Growing up, I had it a little easier. I could buy my games in boxes and eventually for computers and video game consoles. I still enjoy, when I have the time, the strategy and problem solving aspects of these virtual conflicts.
But, there has been something that has irked me for years. It has come to my attention again, since the release of a really neat WWII combat simulator known as War Thunder.
In fact it is always present in WWII games these days.
I first noticed it in the 90's when I bought a boxed set of 'Axis and Allies'.
The Third Reich’s forces are incorrectly marked, but the Soviet forces are not.
Most people who would even notice this would react with a big 'So What'?
After all the Nazi emblems are offensive to many, right?
Well, sure. But that's what was on the tanks, planes, and ships.
That's who ran the German Empire: The Nazis.
Further, the Hammer and Sickle is deeply offensive to millions as well. Most notably the people who lived under their oppression and the relatives of the tens, if not hundreds of millions the Soviet death machine murdered.
These people were starved to death, worked to death, summarily executed, raped, burned alive, and wiped out for no other reason than their ethnicity. The people who survived them hate Soviet symbolism.
Sound familiar?
The reality is that while the Nazis killed millions over the span of just under two decades, the Soviets killed TENS OF MILLIONS over the span of a century.
So why is it okay for the Soviets emblem to be on my gaming board, but the Nazis are banned?
This is a really strange imbalance.
I am not suggesting these images should be banned from gaming all together. Rather I am pointing out that only a SINGLE genocidal power is!
I have had it pointed out to me that by including the Swastika and various SS symbols in these games, it would prevent Germans from playing them - as these images and ideas are illegal there. This is a fallacious argument. A German version could be made. Besides, are we to believe that the Germans, of ALL people, don't know the truth?
It was their grandparents and great grandparents that fought on that side!
If we take the German argument for self-censorship at face value, why would we want modern Russians to glory in Soviet imagery? Why do we not self censor those images and ideas? Simply because they were our allies during the war?
They were, after all, the OTHER power that invaded Poland and STARTED the bloody conflict.
My point is simple, really.
History that is forgotten (or suppressed) is doomed to repeat. White-washing the German war machine is not in good taste. Pretending the Soviets were somehow morally superior to the Nazis is reprehensible.
'Aw come on, it's only a game', you say.
Really? Is it just the games?
Why is it acceptable for college kids to wear Che T-shirts? Lenin shirts? CCCP soccer and hockey jerseys? Would the same colleges, restaurants, and other public places allow the same kids to wear Waffen SS shirts? Hitler or Himmler shirts? Third Reich Olympic hockey jerseys?
I think not.
There is a very strange double standard when it comes to mass murder, war, and genocide.

Bertrand Russell's rejection of Scientism.

Once in a while I read a blog post on one of my friends/blog buddies pages that really gets the juices flowing. Really makes me think.

A post that opens doors of inquiry and starts a cycle of introspection.

Today I came across one of those on Dr Michael Egnor's 'Engorance'. It is a really interesting blog which I often haunt, and is full of fascinating topics and discussions. But, this one is a gem fully worthy of cross-posting.
The post is a fascinating analysis of Bertrand Russell's rejection of eliminative materialism, by a renowned professor and practitioner of Neurosurgery. Mike's take is well worth reading.

Russell was a self described atheist, and a brilliant thinker in many ways. But he, unlike his modern counterparts, did not limit his world view with the paradoxical notions of scientism. He transcended those limits by rejecting the idealist and materialist dichotomy.
Read the analysis on Dr Egnor's blog here:

Scientism and Bertrand Russell's neutral monism