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02 February 2016 @ 11:21 am
It's true. It happened when I got handed the Technoccult.net site. Tinyletter.com/technoccult

I'm worried about today.Groundhogs everywhere are stockpiling anti-nausea meds and gold, sharpening knives, checking the maglocks on their bunkers. They scrupulously avoid being touched by humans, or the shadows of humans.

Confronted about this odd behaviour, all they'll say is, "In through the corners, out in the light; in through the corners, out in the light…"

They look at me with contempt, or perhaps just pity and disdain. They seem to be—they ARE—tasting the air—waiting.

(We may not have much time…)

Anyway, how are you?
Feeling: still cycilng up
Listening: Silence. House Noises. That stuff.
19 July 2015 @ 03:26 pm
I'll show you mine if you show me yours. This pull's for me, a specific set of concerns, but feel free to see if it maps for you, too. Done in the style of a tarot Celtic Cross. Repeatedly clicked Shuffle while thinking of a question, then listened to whatever 10 songs played. Listened to each song all the way through, before moving on.

1) Me As I See Myself: Michael Andrews - [The Artifact and Living]

2) Immediate Influence: Sirenia - Glades Of Summer

3) Goal: Mindless Self Indulgence - [1989]

4) Recent Past: The Dresden Dolls - [Colorblind (Cover)]

5) Further Past: Navicon Torture Technologies - [No Hands, No Teeth]

6) Near Future: Tom Waits - [Fish in the Jailhouse]

7) Me As Others See Me: Current 93 - [All the Stars Are Dead Now]

8) Further Future: Warren Zevon - [Backs Turned Looking Down the Path]

9) Emotional/Mental State: Jack Off Jill - [Angels Fuck]

10) Ultimate Outcome: Social Distortion - [Hour of Darkness]

Coda: Ego Likeness - [Burn Witch Burn]

That is… not at all the question I asked, and also not exactly a pleasant narrative. Hm.
Feeling: Hm
Listening: Ego Likeness - [Burn Witch Burn]
26 May 2015 @ 12:54 am
Part A: I'm applying to go to grad school in Ireland. Specifically to two masters programs—one in Consciousness & Embodiment and one in Philosophy & Public Policy Affairs—and a PhD in the same. They have international scholarships for all of these. I'm really interested in this, because 1) All Of That's My Jam, and 2) I've always wanted to go to Ireland. Always wanted to LIVE in Ireland.

Part B: I love Tool. They're one of my favourite bands. Ever. And four people have told me about an edited anthology called "Embracing the Random: Essays on the Music of Tool, Esotericism and Creative Expression". The editor of this anthology? Is from Ireland.

In addition to all that, as you can see, the deadline's been extended and now the NEW deadline is the birthday of one of my very favourite people in the whole world. Who also lives in Ireland.


Feeling: Mmmyep.
Listening: Mazzy Star - [All Your Sisters]
Dropz - A Snowflake Falling To The Ground--- I told a particular group of people to pick a number between 1 and 78. Once a number is chosen, it's chosen, so check the comments to see if it's been answered. I laid out my tarot deck in rows, no new shuffling, and I waited.

12: The Sun: New Beginnings. The start of something big. Auspicious.
42: 10 of Pentacles: The clear understanding of your dreams, your goals, your practical needs. The longing to fulfill these.
23: Knight of Wands: The Work that lights a fire, the passionate quest, again.
66: 9 of Wands: The building of a Scaffold, the completion of a frame. Move beyond it, expand around it.
32: 4 of Swords: A breath and the space to breathe. Rest and collect yourself, letting come what comes.
16: 5 of Wands: Conflicts and Clashes with the most fruitful results. Shiva dancing lively debates and passions showing themselves in the fray.
4: Queen of Wands: Wildfire and a feral intensity. The creativity of lightning strikes in the forest, or tiger slashes, red, across the belly of a deer.
76: 9 of Pentacles: And outpouring of support to the unappreciative as the sounds of your currency fall on deaf ears. Reciprocity may not be why you give, but your own reserves aren't yet limitless.
9: The Devil: Keep yourself for yourself, right now, and do what you want to be done. Your only limits are what you desire (What you desire only limits you).
22: Strength: Prying this thing apart with all you've got, like something was lost down its throat, something you have to get back. The teeth may cut into your palms, but the tongue still soothes.
15: 10 of Wands: The ideal of your passion, crystalised and clear,but a wrinkly, a crinkle in the corner. The bundle can become a burden, and the burden might need to be burned.
6: 7 of Swords: Illusions, facades, leaves, faces, strands of hair and teeth: All fall away. Reveal more and more of the truth, but leave less and less of the understanding, like crushing, mangling the blinds as you prise them apart to see through.
7: 4 of Cups: Too Much Good, Too Few Hands. Learn to juggle, or you're going to drop it all.
78: 4 of Pentacles: A foundation of something stable, something fundamental. The basis of the basis, clear, neat, packaged, presented, arranged.
29: 9 of Pentacles: You said you wanted to know, so don't you Dare look away. Keep Those Eyes Open.
18: Page of Pentacles: Stretching into new, uncertain positions like gentle curves with hard edges. The arc of a blade may appear gentle.
13: The Star: Bound to the bleedout, but solid standing. Knowing what you've given, what you hold. You're bound to.

The music was way too poignant to play with, while this was going on. Time, I think, to go to bed.

Good Night.
Listening: Mona Mur & En Esch - The Wound
30 April 2015 @ 03:18 pm
Too many people get lauded for being "groundbreaking," failing to realise that you need to keep digging, before anything useful can be done.

…Which is as true for concepts and society as it is for literal physical labour.
28 April 2015 @ 02:41 am
Calm, deep breaths.
Breathing clears the mind.
Clear minds plan more effectively.
Effective plans bring about resolute actions.
Resolute actors breathe calm, deep breaths.
07 April 2015 @ 04:20 pm
'Fine, I'll tell you. But I have to warn you, Richard, that your question falls under the umbrella of a pseudoscience called xenology. Xenology is an unnatural mixture of science fiction and formal logic. At its core is a flawed assumption--that an alien race would be psychologically human.'
'Why flawed?' asked Noonan.
'Because biologists have already been burned attempting to apply human psychology to animals. Earth animals, I note.'
'Just a second,' said Noonan. 'That's totally different. We're talking about the psychology of INTELLIGENT beings.'
'True. And that would be just fine, if we knew what intelligence was.'
'And we don't?' asked Noonan in surprise.
'Believe it or not, we don't. We usually proceed from a trivial definition: intelligence is the attribute of man that separates his activity from that of the animals. It's a kind of attempt to distinguish the master from his dog. who seems to understand everything, but can't speak. However this trivial definition does lead to wittier ones. They are based on depressing observations of the aforementioned human activity. For example: intelligence is the ability of a living creature to perform pointless or unnatural acts.'
'Yes, that's us,' agreed Noonan.
'Unfortunately. Or here's a definition-hypothesis. Intelligence is a complex instinct which hasn't yet fully matured. The idea is that instinctive activity is always natural and useful. A million years will pass, the instinct will mature, and we will cease making the mistakes which are probably and integral part of intelligence. And then, if anything in the universe changes, we will happily become extinct--again, precisely because we've lost the art of making mistakes, that is, trying various things not prescribed by a rigid code.'
'Somehow this all sounds so…demeaning.'
'All right, then here's another definition--a very lofty and noble one. Intelligence is the ability to harness the powers of the surrounding world without destroying said world.'
Noonan grimaced and shook his head. 'No,' he said. 'That's a bit much… That's not us. Well How about the idea that humans, unlike animals, have an overpowering need for knowledge? I've read that somewhere.'
'So have I,' said Valentine. 'But the issue is that [humans], at least the average [human], can easily overcome this need. In my opinion, the need doesn't exist at all. There's a need to understand, but that doesn't require knowledge. The God hypothesis, for example, allows you to have unparalleled understanding of absolutely everything while knowing absolutely nothing… Give a man a highly simplified model of the world and interpret every event on the basis of this simple model. This approach requires no knowledge. A few rote formulas, plus some so-called intuition, plus some so-called practical acumen, and some so-called common sense.'
'Wait,' said Noonan. He finished his beer and banged the empty stein down on the table. 'Don't get off track. Let's put it this way. A man meets an alien. How does each figure out that the other is intelligent?'
'No idea,' Valentine said merrily. 'All I've read on the subject reduces to a vicious circle. If they are capable of contact, then they are intelligent, and conversely, if they are intelligent, then they are capable of contact. And in general: if an alien creature has the honor of being psychologically Human, then it's intelligent. That's how it is, Richard. Read Vonnegut?'

--Roadside Picnic, by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, 1972, Chicago Review Press 2012 Translation

Right up until the hopeless cast to his circularity, I’m Valentine. All the way. The problem is that, even at the end, he acquiesces to anthropocentric models of the mind. We can do better than that we can recognise that our native metric is not the ONLY metric.
Listening: BtVS s5e16
07 April 2015 @ 02:39 am
I am not okay. That’s not a plea for attention, or me asking you to try to Make me okay. It is me saying to you that I Am Not Okay, and it is me Asking you to understand that i might not Be okay for quite some time.

Grief fucks you up, y’know?

Don’t expect me to be my “normal self,” don’t expect me to be as easily “on,” don’t expect anything, ever, but especially right now you’ll take this for what it is, and nothing more or less.

I am not okay.

I lost two of my family’s closest members in the past month, two weeks apart, one from long illness and the other in random, sudden horror.

I need time and space to process this, and those are what i do not have. But that doesn’t mean i want you gone. Just know, if you Are around, that I’m not doing great right now. Just understand that, and be okay with it.

And Sometimes making really dirty jokes to friends is the only thing that helps.

Life's funny that way.

Grief conversations are some of the weirdest social transactions in the Western world: People use the language of guilt to express sympathy & then we Thank them.

It's almost nonsensical, but we all know exactly what it is we're trying to convey AND why we're failing.

04 April 2015 @ 01:22 am
Just finished another rewatch of the prematurely canceled NBC show LIFE, and I think the thing i’m saddest about, this time around, is that we never got to see Crews and Reese and Tidwell and Ted and Olivia and Rachel manifest the full potential they had for being a Family.

Uncles Bobby and Special Agent Bodner would pass through, every now and again, even though they would almost CERTAINLY look at this weird amorphous Thing and simultaneously think it was both the weirdest conglomeration ever AND that it could never be any other way with these people.

That would’ve been nice.
Listening: Jarboe - Surrender [*]
02 April 2015 @ 02:36 am
1) Me As I See Myself: Tool - [10, 000 Days (Wings Pt 2)] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_2T43dy_Ew

2) Immediate Influence: Black Lung - 2.02 - [The Invisible College] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7Ru5is6yOU

3) Goal: High Speed Music Team Sharpnel - [ICQ Terror]

4) Recent Past: OhGr - [SunBurn] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh9tY6eBOKk

5) Further Past: The Adventures Of Jet - [Radio Noise] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eD49NtC4Psg

6) Near Future: Beastie Boys - [Hey Fuck You] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyF-YQRhNJo

7) Me As Others See Me: Cole Porter & Alanis Morissette - [Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEe61ciJvRs
CLARIFICATION: In Strict Confidence - [Wintermoon] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3psJjbZx_4 uhhh... o_o

8) Further Future: De La Soul - [Bitties In The BK Lounge] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jTL_Cgf8ts

9) Emotional/Mental State: Joe Boyd Vigil - [Ignition] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I46x24gJvNY

10) Ultimate Outcome: Electric Six - [There's Something Very Wrong with Us So Let's Go out Tonight] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3zPlvT6unM

Crystal Castles - Birds
Listening: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAld7S_tvIo
19 March 2015 @ 01:52 am
Driving to Flint, MI, tomorrow, for Friday's conference on The Work of Cognition and Neuroethics In Science Fiction (http://www.cognethic.org/conference_pro_2015c.html).

I'll be recording my talk, and that audio will be available to my Patreon subscribers, first, then everyone else, after that. Sometime after that, I'll have a transcription of the audio up. So keep your eyes and ears peeled.

Will let you know when we arrive in Flint.

Good night.
Feeling: tired, time for bed.
Listening: talking and thinking
16 March 2015 @ 01:50 am
TV On the Radio - Golden Age--- Last night I had a dream that a coyote that looked a great deal like this coywolf--and, in the dream, I couldn’t decided whether to call it a coyote or a wolf--bit my hand hard enough to leave bright red blood bruises, but not break my skin. This was after I had to sing and dance to it, to calm it and keep it from attacking me.

After it bit me anyway, I grabbed it by its scruff, and shook it and it released and wandered off. I walked on my way, cradling my hand and inspecting it to make sure I wouldn’t have to get tested for rabies. I didn’t want to have to kill the coyote.
Listening: Ani DiFranco - [Sunday Morning]
15 March 2015 @ 02:56 am
So I received three contributions to this “Ozymandias”/“Second Coming” idea I had, and this is what I did to them:

Stand in the centre. Turn in the lone and level.
those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on.

A vast image out of spiritus mundi troubles my sight:
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert.
Near them, on the sand, a shape with lion body and the head of a man,
half sunk, its shattered visage lies, whose frown, and wrinkled lip,
and sneer of cold command,
while all about it reel shadows of the indignant desert birds…
Only this inscription remains:
"I am the one who calls. The falcon cannot hear the call.
Look upon the widening gyre, ye mighty, and despair."

The hand that mocked the head of a man,
And what rough beast
Who said:
Who said: “Two vast and the heart that colossal wreck,
boundless drops again but now I know:
Things fall apart; and yet survive."

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving, is at hand.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed upon the desert sand.

Stretch far away: decay; and yet survive.


And I think that’ll work Just Fine as a spell about death and change and memory and time and patience and eternity and impermanence…
Feeling: tired now
15 March 2015 @ 02:11 am
Alexis Madrigal's following me on twitter, and I'm apparently one of the "Top 100 Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Influencers 2015" (taking THAT with a shaker of salt, for a variety of reasons).

So Ask Me Anything.
Feeling: strange is the only word
Listening: The Impossible Girl - [Hand to Mouth]
I can get through the next ten seconds. I can get through teaching the next class. I can get through the drive home. Then I can lay the pieces out where they need to be.
Feeling: breathing
Listening: Tool - [10, 000 Days (Wings Pt 2)]
06 March 2015 @ 10:57 pm
So I wrote "Fairytales Of Slavery: Societal Distinctions, Technoshamanism, and Nonhuman Personhood," and now it's available for everyone to read. Enjoy it and please tell your friends.
03 March 2015 @ 08:12 pm
So I'm working on a piece about race, gender, class, shamanism, and nonhuman/augmented personhood (if you're a subscriber to my Patreon, you'll see it tomorrow), and I'm very proud of this structure of this line:

"When we talk about robots, ethics, and care, we're most often in the practice of asking how we'll design robots that will care for Us, while foregoing the corresponding conversation about whether Caring-For is possible without an understanding of Being-Cared-For."

Like, it's definitely not the BEST line in the whole piece, but i like it a lot.
Feeling: working
Listening: Binary Star, "Masters of the Universe"
Elsewhere on the tubes, I said: "[As Always,] I need social-consciousness-minded hip-hop about magic, superscience, and the future. Suggestions now, please."

Here, so far, is the list of albums I need to buy:

Viktor Vaughn (MF DOOM), 'Vaudeville Villian' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgWBMa5v930
Elucid https://elucid.bandcamp.com/
Greydon Square https://greydonsquare.bandcamp.com/
Adam Warrock http://www.adamwarrock.com/?p=4513
Busdriver, 'Fear Of A Black Tangent'
Immortal Technique
Cannibal Ox 'The Cold Vein' www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBJghl_wmto
Binary Star 'Masters Of The Universe' www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_lryQvImwk
Lou Mackey https://louismackey.bandcamp.com/album/epyllions
Tomorrow Kings http://tomorrowkings.bandcamp.com/
Pegboard Nerds http://soundcloud.com/pegboardnerds
The Historian Himself, 'Earth Beasts Awaken' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF_BIGaLj3I
Big K.R.I.T, Kreation: http://youtu.be/LL-iBZrz0hI
Chester Watson, 'Tin Wooki' http://chesterwatson.bandcamp.com/album/tin-wooki
Angel Haze https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79fYjJhWip0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvvRNPOJPH0
Saul Williams http://livemusic.fm/news/reflections-interview-saul-williams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSz2ix4Fi7U https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA83BEDF13C4773E3
Flying Lotus http://flying-lotus.com/
Deltron 3030 www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7_jbluF0qo www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCAAFgYZSiI

Any and all suggestions can be added in the comments. I'll update the list periodically.
Feeling: trying to get in a mood
Listening: Adam Warrock, "The Captain"
After the events the papers dubbed "The Battle of New York" and the "Age of Ultron," the young people known as "Miracles" are common knowledge now. Whether by birth, design, or some species of accident, there are hundreds, if not THOUSANDS of people with amazing abilities roaming the streets of the world. This most recent calamity is over, and Captain America has won the day…but at what cost? The quick-eyed city residents will have caught glimpses of a pattern of red and blue, moving almost at random and at spectacular speed throughout the fight and now, tragically, scraps of fabric in the rubble are all that remain. Even without confirmation, they know what they've lost, and New York City mourns.

Weeks pass. A teenage boy with dark brown eyes, black curls, and a dark complexion walks home from school through a reasonably friendly neighborhood. Though his neighbors wave and say hello, his head is downcast, and his mind is wandering. The city's loss has been a particularly personal one for him because he knows, now, that he'll never look up at the buildings downtown and see someone like himself, there. Someone who looks like him. He walks in the front door, calls out to his parents, and, hearing no answer, walks to the refrigerator for a snack. As he turns to the table to sit, he sees it. Waiting there near the centre of the table, torn, stained, cracked… is the mask. HIS mask.

He doesn't drop his food, but he makes sure to set it down very, very carefully, and as he does, he sees the note. Typed and short, it reads simply, "I never found the time to try it, but if you reinforce the weave with a permanent variation on the webfluid polymer, it should be more resilient than mine was. But you're a smart kid; I'm sure you'll figure it out."

As his heart is pounding in his chest, his blood roaring in his ears, a voice cuts through, stopping them both, and says, "I don't know that I'd wear that, if I were you. Some people might think it was in bad taste. Lucky for you, the folks in the lab have been working on some designs, for just such an occasion."

The boy spins around saying, "Who--"

"That's not important, right now," says the man with the eyepatch. "What's important is that the man who used to wear that knew all about you, and obviously thought that you should be the one to carry on what it stands for."

"What do you mean, 'What it stands for?'"

"You know exactly what I mean. You've known it since the first time you looked up and saw him swinging from rooftop to rooftop. Since the first time you saw him save someone's life. You've known ever since you first knew what YOU were, and what that meant for you in this world. It stands for HOPE."

They both stand silent for a few seconds, and then the man says, "You know, I never could convince him to work with me. Always thought I was too secretive, too shadowy. But you're your own man. So I'll just ask it:

Miles Morales, have you ever heard of the Avengers Initiative?"

Outside the kitchen window, a spider weaves a web in a bush, which suddenly shakes coinciding with a noise that's only faintly heard; a noise that sounds almost like… *THWIP*
Feeling: i think about this a lot
Listening: computer noises
22 February 2015 @ 05:51 pm
Björk - [Hunter]---I don't know what my motivational aesthetic was, with this playlist, but i think we can go with "Something Something Kickass Women Something Driving Tempo Something Something."

And this isn't even everything that fits that bill…

Estimated playlist length: 55 hours 26 minutes 47 secondsCollapse )
Feeling: Working, a lot.
Listening: Hope for Agoldensummer - Malt Liquor