Tag Archives: web media

To Speak With Solomon

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…didn’t want the women’s vote anyway

Well, the GOP didn’t want many women’s votes. This hurt the GOP in swing states several months ago. It will be interesting to see how the longstanding triumvirate of abstinence/anti-abortion/subservience to hubby, (obviously a mainly evangelical position,) is given new ideological life in the campaign.


Martha in the Middle

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Contemplation on Scale


Scale of the Universe Partition a half hour out of your striving and dig this…by far the most humbling experience the inter tubes have provided me.

14 billion years

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Close Encounter

Sperm Whale Encounter from Howard Hall on Vimeo.

h/t Howard Hall

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Up Up and Kersplash

I resisted adding a ‘weird world’ tag, so I used ‘dada.’

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Tiny Story

Tiny Story from Sebas & Clim on Vimeo.


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Two Things Generative

The Disruptive Power of the Generative Internet by FORAtv

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Mitt And the Muddle

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Mitt Romney

There’s so much I could blather on about the delicious presidential battle shaping up between old school neo-liberal plutocrats of the centerist left vs “personal responsibility” Ayn Randian tea party plutocrats. Once again, as I mostly rediscover every four years, I find myself leaning on Melanie Klein, and so I very much prefer the mature depressive as against the volatile dynamics of the paranoid schizoid.

Which is to say: Obama’s Quixotic aspiration to realize a bi-partisan governing muddle is far superior than Mitt’s hope to galvanize the hating shards of resentful anti-cosmopolitan aging boys, and, crony ‘paper economy’ capitalists.

I do grant that Mitt Romney is a fascinating political figure as a matter of his elevated, nubby peculiarities. He is the oddest major party nominee in my adult political experience of forty years. But, I’ll save arm chair amateur psychoanalysis for a later presentation. Nevertheless, that Republican have nominated an actual plutocrat four years after the speculators, rent seekers and Randian nihilistas brought down the economy is both impressive and precious–all at once.

I Am A Corporation

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art à l’état brut

Yippie, my nominee for the most consistently the most Batesonian tv show of all time returns Community March 15.

Now, if you look at our conventional communication with one another, what you find is that we weave these logical types with incredible complexity and quite surprising facility. We even make jokes, and these may be difficult for a foreigner to understand. Most jokes, both canned and spontaneous, and nearly anywhere, are weavings of multiple logical types. Kidding and hazing similarly depend upon the unresolved question whether the kid-ee can identify that this is kidding. In any culture, the individuals acquire quite extraordinary skill in handling not only the flat identification of what sort of a message a message is but in dealing in multiple identifications of what sort of a message a message is. When we meet these multiple identifications we laugh, and we make new psychological discoveries about what goes on inside ourselves, which is perhaps the reward of real humor. (p 148)

This seems to be a method of exploring the implicit themes in thought or in a relationship. The method of exploration involves the use of messages which are characterized by a condensation of Logical Types or communicational modes. A discovery, for example, occurs when it suddenly becomes plain that a message was not only metaphoric but also more literal, or vice versa. That is to say, the explosive moment in humor is the moment when the labeling of the mode undergoes a dissolution and re-synthesis. Commonly, the punch line compels a re-evaluation of earlier signals which ascribed to certain messages a particular mode (e.g., literalness or fantasy). This has the peculiar effect of attributing mode to those signals which had previously the status of that higher Logical Type which classifies the modes. (p154)\Steps to An Ecology of Mind; Gregory Bateson

Community (NBC) Wikipedia

* art à l’état brut. . .All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualification and thus adds his contribution to the creative act. This becomes even more obvious when posterity gives a final verdict and sometimes rehabilitates forgotten artists. (Marcel Duchamp, The Creative Act)

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It’s a Simple 1G Maneuver

I forget in what book or article I first read that flying and flight and airplanes often resonate with the sensibility of the archetypal puer aeternus.

To learn second hand about the puer aeternus is to find out lots about it’s, apparently, inevitable morbid, suicidal side. For example, from the linked essay:

The Puer’s main pursuit in life is ecstasy, many times at the expense of everything else.. This can be externalized in a highly symbolic fashion in fascination with flying or climbing mountains. Many Puers hang out on ski slopes and racetracks. Many are drawn to drinking, gambling, pornography and drugs to get that rush.

A big chunk of the literature of the problem of the puer brings to the front the several varieties of dark, two-dimensional prospects on offer for the indeterminate “many.” (But, not all, of course–although the Analytic Psychology doesn’t traffic in actual evidence aimed to make this distinction.) Still, what about the rest of the puer population? We muddle down the middle between ecstasy and obligation.

It occurred to me puers may well love to pilot commercial airliners. Presumably, this is where ecstasy is dependably experienced.

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It’s Not Like There Haven’t Been Warnings

There’s a confusion about ‘smarts.’ There’s nothing about the skill set required to pilot an aircraft which makes ignorance ‘elsewhere’ impossible. Similarly, that Michelle Backmann was a tax attorney doesn’t verify her advanced mental capabilities across the spectrum, especially including that of elementary mathematics. The string of appalling, jaw-dropping assertions, each flavored by intense stupidity, is–some would say–simply par for the course of the campaign year.

How is it that the Grand Old Party can align itself with what is termed ‘Conservatism’ and, at the same time, not understand that proudly showcasing abject stupidity is itself not a conservative value in any way, shape or form? The supposedly normative claim made by conservatives–at the higher end of the cognitive spectrum–is: that conservatism’s foundationalism enjoins wise observer and political actor to join sideways-looking pessimism and upward-looking faith in the most realistic, humbling, prudently liberal, and intelligent understanding, about human nature and human society. It is taken as gospel truth, then, that the conservative mentality and intellect is by definition superior to the alternative or opposing instances.

They Think You're Stupid

Irony is alive and well

But isn’t this claim obviously and riotously undermined by the current flag-bearing exemplars of what really cannot count as thoughtful fronting of conservative values/principles because each in different ways is so remarkably ignorant?


A friend of mine hadn’t seen Bad Lip Reading’s dadaesque work. Here are my three favorites.

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Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour

Light the first light of evening, as in a room
In which we rest and, for small reason, think
The world imagined is the ultimate good.

This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous.
It is in that thought that we collect ourselves,
Out of all the indifferences, into one thing:

Within a single thing, a single shawl
Wrapped tightly round us, since we are poor, a warmth,
A light, a power, the miraculous influence.

Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves.
We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole,
A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous.

Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
We say God and the imagination are one…
How high that highest candle lights the dark.

Out of this same light, out of the central mind,
We make a dwelling in the evening air,
In which being there together is enough.

Wallace Stevens

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Attar: What Is Not the Mystic

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One Reason

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Rumi: Flutes and Peas

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Viewing Time

A History of the World in 100 Seconds from Gareth Lloyd on Vimeo.


Two completely different approaches to making a concise videographic presentation of the sweep of “a” history. Gareth Lloyd explains his methodology, and, there is a bit of background for the second video by Nastio Mosquito at Africa Is a Country.

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The Hard Problem

Evolution Made Us All from Ben Hillman on Vimeo.

Actually, the proposition here over-generalizes, but it is apparently true for biological life.

I don’t track the follies of Intelligent Design anywhere near as closely as I used to, yet I do maintain a tag search and every now and then I am moved to go check out the ‘action,’ always with the hope what I encounter will be amusing, and, rich as a qualitative data set about how people approach talking with each other.

Uncommon Descent, ‘serving the intelligent design community,’ is a dependable source of circularity and a time waster over many years. I got a nice positive at the end of March. I’ve let it, the comment thread, percolate since then. It is: worthy.

The set-up is a article, On the Computation of CSI, by Mathgrrl. Here is the equivalent of its abstract.

In the abstract of Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence, William Demski asks “Can objects, even if nothing is known about how they arose, exhibit features that reliably signal the action of an intelligent cause?” Many ID proponents answer this question emphatically in the affirmative, claiming that Complex Specified Information is a metric that clearly indicates intelligent agency.

As someone with a strong interest in computational biology, evolutionary algorithms, and genetic programming, this strikes me as the most readily testable claim made by ID proponents. For some time I’ve been trying to learn enough about CSI to be able to measure it objectively and to determine whether or not known evolutionary mechanisms are capable of generating it. Unfortunately, what I’ve found is quite a bit of confusion about the details of CSI, even among its strongest advocates.

Setting aside the effort to configure a worthwhile computational platform for ID, the post and its continuing offshoot oneand offshoot two, interest me because Mathgrrl, (who is seemingly Lauren Taalman of James Madison univesity,) has made her effort without also grinding any axe. My further interest, then, is to see what happens as a matter of the responses to her generous and sincere effort. How soon will bad will arise by design (!) to meet her good will?

The answer, of course, is: instantly. 11:17am. However, overall the discussion proceeds without much aggression. (It’s not besides the point that Dembski’s CSI has been discredited, but, in another sense the dialogs are seeking to discover a corrective or more correct estimate.) Alas, it turns out a moderator is riding the posts too, so some of the action only saw the light of day briefly.

As a Batesonian, I was amused to read this (#367):

I am saying, per my previous post, and interminable posts prior to this on other threads, that is it impossible, IN PRINCIPLE, i.e. it is logically impossible, to explain information in terms of algorithms and/or physical laws. This so obviously true that it is scarcely worth repeating. So I won’t. You will sooner be able to create a square circle as to generate information with time and physics. Information is impossible without reason, language, free will, and intentionality. That is, a mind. Or Mind in the case of life.

Having now created the square circle, what say you? Why would information require logic to be represented in any possible explanation of information, and this given too in any possible ‘terms?’ Oh look, my square circle just rolled up my stairs!

In the main the discussants don’t reconcile Mathgrrl’s urge to define CSI with greater specificity with the ID company line, that Dembski’s conclusions have already completed the endeavor. All in all, not very amusing, except for the usual category mashing, and this–as always–in the context of the unspoken problematic implied by some kind of computationally clever designer found somewhere beyond nature and biology. And, maybe this designer was/is, like, undesigned?

Then: pay dirt. Mathgrrl Lives Down to Expectations on April 14. The post’s subject remains calm. She should get a medal. Between this and the action over at the unintentionally very amusing comment spew at intelligentreasoning blog, I am suddenly delivered to the social psychological nirvana I was hunting for.

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Spirograph and beyond in the 21st Century

Tony Orrico (Youtube channel)

also: Leslie Halliwell–>Portfolio–>Spirograph Drawings

DIY, or, Random: Dynamic Spirograph at Deviant Art (Flash interface and programming)

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Muso Survives Another Year, Well

The Chorus of PS22 (Fifth grade; Graniteville, Staten Island, NY) went viral last year. Fortunately, their charming cover of Ariel Pink’s Round and Round is a natural link through to my wrap of of my favored music from last year, now completed over at nogutsnoglory.

(Wikipedia reports “As of February, 2011 the chorus’s videos have been watched more than 29,000,000 times.”)

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The Fight for a Nation

civil war at national geographic
When I was a kid, say around nine years old, my favorite war was the Civil War. I would look at battlefield maps for the famous battles and try to get right into them from their bird’s eye views. My friend Stewart and me would replay battles using pencils and legal, drawing charges with scribbled arrows. I would spend hours building terrains with blankets on top of books and manage both sides. Boys have favorite wars and the carnage is abstract and obviously unreal.

A few years later, while on a drive with my family to South Carolina, we stopped at Gettysburg. From the ground the viewpoint was wholly first person, yet the nature of the long past battle had long been stripped from the Pennsylvania countryside.

The National Graphic has a web portal devoted to the preservation of Civil War battlefields. There is an interesting graphic presentation by Michael Melford about the status of the war’s historical sites.

The New York Times has an excellent topic page for the Civil War. However, I highly recommend jumping to the timeline where the underlying commentary tracks the events leading up to including the war itself and its resolution.

A few more finds:

Civil War Chronicles: America’s Oddest Election The Sure Win That Lincoln Nearly Lost
By Harold Holzer, American Heritage Magazine

The American Civil War – The History Channel

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