Reengineering the Sacred: Five Ways to Hack God

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Gary Z. McGee via Fractal Enlightenment:

“Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.” ~ George Orwell

The above quote is powerful because if you are not the one who is tearing your own mind to pieces and putting it back together again in the shape of your own choosing, then someone else probably is. It’s fine if you’re okay with who is doing the tearing to pieces – like if it’s Buddha, Jesus, Nietzsche, Gandhi, Thoreau, or even Orwell – as long as you’re the one who is putting it back together again. Stand on the shoulders of giants, but don’t become attached to their shoulder.

Use their shoulders as tools to see further than they did, and then reshape your mind according to the newfound perceptions. Just remember to continue taking the leap into the unknown in order to discover more and more giant’s shoulders to stand on.

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Why the World Does Not Exist

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Kazimir Malevich, Black Square [1915]

Does the world itself exist? Do unicorns exist? German philosopher Markus Gabriel talks to four by three about his latest book Why the World Does Not Exist, tackling the big questions of ontology, why we should abandon metaphysics and why his theory of fields of sense can help us overcome the failures of post-modernism.


Even though you have argued that society has materially and spiritually benefited from attempting to grasp the world in its entirety, you deny that the world exists in your latest book Why the World Does Not Exist [Polity Press, 2015]. What motivated you to reject the concept of the world and why should we repudiate this profoundly familiar conviction? And how does your account differ from that of other philosophers, such as Heidegger or Wittgenstein?

Markus Gabriel: The idea that there is such a thing as the world in its entirety, in particular, very early on in Greek philosophy, comes to be understood as the view that there are overall principles/laws governing everything there is.… Read the rest

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Being Weird Makes You More Likely To Find Love

Let’s face it disinfonauts, collectively we’re a weird bunch. But that’s not a bad thing – a new study reported by Metro says we’re more likely to find love:

Your mum was right. The best thing is to be yourself, in all your weird, unconventional glory.

Lolitas habillées par " My oppa".

Being weird – or ‘noncomformist’, in fancier terms – makes you more attractive to the opposite sex, a study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin reports.

Researchers studied people who identified as heterosexual or bisexual, asking them to select people from online dating websites, describe their ideal partners and picture dates with people they had just met.

They found that both men and women showed a preference for partners who didn’t conform, through clothing, life decisions or opinions.

Essentially, this shows that being a rule-breaker or a bit weird can seriously work in your advantage, dating-wise.

The researchers say this goes to show that the old stereotype of what men like – the submissive, girl-next-door type – just isn’t true…

[continues at Metro]

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Amnia

A stop-motion animated dream allegory.

This was submitted to us by a reader. It’s an interesting short, if albeit a little clunky. Some of the stop-motion isn’t as clean as it could be, but it’s interesting nonetheless. I caught what I suspect are references to Un Chien Andalou, Lynch’s Rabbits, and possibly The Metamorphosis.

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What Paul Newman did for Tomato Sauce, what Francis Coppola did for Cabernet, Willie Nelson is hoping to do for Weed

As marijuana becomes increasingly mainstream, it would be unAmerican not to have a pop culture icon become its commercial face. GQ looks into Willie Nelson’s bid to make “Willie’s Reserve” the biggest brand in legal weed:

“I’ve bought a lot of pot in my life,” Willie Nelson tells me, “and now I’m selling it back.”

Willie Nelson performing at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ. Photo: joshbg2k (CC)

Willie Nelson performing at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ. Photo: joshbg2k (CC)

 

Willie Nelson has this kind of answer—stock, pithy—for all kinds of questions, and he’s been using them for decades. Bring up his brief abortive stint at college studying business administration? Invariably he’ll soon say, “I majored in dominoes.” Mention the massive sum he owed the IRS in the early ’90s—somewhere between $17 million and $32 million—and you’ll get the one about how it isn’t so much “if you say it real fast.”

As time passes, the world offers up new questions, and so sometimes new answers are required.

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The disturbing consequences of seeing your doppelganger

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What happens when you meet your doppelganger face-to-face? For one young man, it meant jumping out of a four story window to reconcile his place in reality. It happened when he stopped taking his anticonvulsant medication and got out of bed one morning only to see himself still lying there.

Anil Ananthaswamy via BBC:

The incident seemed to have been started when the young man had stopped taking some of his anticonvulsant medication. One morning, instead of going to work, he drank copious amounts of beer and stayed in bed. But it turned out to be a harrowing lie-in.

He felt dizzy, stood up, turned around, and saw himself still lying in bed. He was aware that the person in bed was him, and was not willing to get up and would thus make himself late for work. Furious at the prone self, the man shouted at it, shook it, and even jumped on it, all to no avail.

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Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War

Military Police Practice Medical Evacuations [Image 2 of 3]
Lawrence Wittner writes at CounterPunch:

In 1915, a mother’s protest against funneling children into war became the theme of a new American song, “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier.” Although the ballad attained great popularity, not everyone liked it. Theodore Roosevelt, a leading militarist of the era, retorted that the proper place for women who criticized war was “in a harem―and not in the United States.”

Roosevelt would be happy to learn that, a century later, preparing children for war continues unabated.

That’s certainly the case in today’s Russia, where thousands of government-funded clubs are producing what is called “military-patriotic education” for children. Accepting both boys and girls, these clubs teach them military exercises, some of which employ heavy military equipment. In a small town outside St. Petersburg, for example, children ranging from five to 17 years of age spend evenings learning how to fight and use military weapons.

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When CO2 Saved Life on Earth

Peter Sinclair writes at Climate Denial Crock of the Week:

 

The story of “snowball earth” has been distorted and used as confusion fodder by climate denial luminaries like His Celestial Magnanimity, the looney “Lord” Monckton, – see above.(starts about 1:50)

In contrast to today, when warming from our industrial injection of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere threatens life on the planet, in the deep past, CO2 pulled planet earth from a permanent, deathly world-wide deep freeze, maybe more than once.  In both cases, it’s those same heat-trapping properties that made the difference.

It’s all more evidence of how co2 has acted as the planet’s “biggest control knob” for temperature over 4 billion years.

Ian Fairchild, PhD, in The Conversation:

The idea of a deep-frozen world, “snowball Earth”, has captured the imagination since first proposed in the 1990s. On several occasions in history, long before animals evolved, apparently synchronous ice sheets existed on all the continents.

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Sexbots, Immortality, and Robot Polar Bears with Patrick Quinlan

Sexbots #nerdlesquefest #burlesque

I rapped with Patrick Quinlan, author of Sexbot, about Sex Robots, immortality and robot polar bears.

Patrick, thanks for talking to me. 

It’s really my pleasure.

Your book is wild. Do you think there ever might come a time when Sexbots are totally normal? That you go over to your buddy’s house to watch the game and have a beer and just see a Sex Robot sitting in the corner? How far away is that?

Normalcy is an insidious thing. The word insidious sounds bad, but I don’t really mean it that way. All I mean is that normalcy has this funny habit of changing ever so gradually, until it’s completely different from what it once was, but no one really notices.

Take porn as an obvious example. When I was a 12-year-old kid, porn was hard to come by. You tended to find porn magazines in garbage dumpsters, or under the bed when you broke into some guy’s apartment while he was out at work.Read the rest

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Feminism for Men

Happy Monday
Floyd Dell writing in 1914, via the Baffler:

Feminism is going to make it possible for the first time for men to be free.

At present the ordinary man has the choice between being a slave and a scoundrel. That’s about the way it stands.

For the ordinary man is prone to fall in love and marry and have children. Also the ordinary man frequently has a mother. He wants to see them all taken care of, since they are unable to take care of themselves. Only if he has them to think about, he is not free.

A free man is a man who is ready to throw up his job whenever he feels like it. Whether he is a bricklayer who wants to go out on a sympathetic strike, or a poet who wants to quit writing drivel for the magazines, if he doesn’t do what he wants to do, he is not free.

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