Tag Archives | Altered States

Will Artificial Intelligence Get High?

SHODAN

Gabriella Garcia writes at Hopes&Fears:

With the speculative possibility of a sentient machine, can we assume that Artificial Superintelligence would “take drugs” or “get high”? Hopes&Fears looked toward researchers at Rensselaer AI & Reasoning Laboratory, as well as Dr. David Brin, a fellow at Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, for the answer.

In the techno-dystopian future of Warren Ellis’ Transmetropolitan, gonzo protagonist Spider Jerusalem has a maker machine that can create everything from food to weapons to booze. Just one catch; the maker is constantly tripping on machine drugs—hence, Jerusalem’s sorely mismatched photographic “live-lenses,” which he requested from the maker while it was high on a hallucinogen simulator. Whether out of boredom of performing menial tasks, or perhaps rebelling against servitude, Jerusalem’s maker continues to manufacture and abuse machine drugs to the point of total uselessness.

If AI is being modeled by and after human behavior, why wouldn’t computers experiment with mind-altering substances or fall victim to addiction?

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Weird things start to happen when you stare into someone’s eyes for 10 minutes

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The British Psychological Society, an august institution, reports at its Research Digest that you can enter an altered state of consciousness by staring into someone’s eyes for ten minutes:

A psychologist based in Italy says he has found a simple way to induce in healthy people an altered state of consciousness – simply get two individuals to look into each other’s eyes for 10 minutes while they are sitting in a dimly lit room. The sensations that ensue resemble mild “dissociation” – a rather vague psychological term for when people lose their normal connection with reality. It can include feeling like the world is unreal, memory loss and odd perceptual experiences, such as seeing the world in black and white.

Giovanni Caputo recruited 20 young adults (15 women) to form pairs. Each pair sat in chairs opposite each other, one metre apart, in a large, dimly lit room. Specifically, the lighting level was 0.8 lx, which Caputo says “allowed detailed perception of the fine face traits but attenuated colour perception.” The participants’ task was simply to stare into each other’s eyes for 10 minutes, all the while maintaining a neutral facial expression.

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You Have to Be Conscious to Deny Consciousness, and Other Conundrums

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via Evolution News:

Would you have a rational discussion with a zombie? Materialists are forced into the position of discussing philosophy and science with the walking dead, since under their terms we are all that. Unless rationality is a mindful concept — unless we are more than atoms in motion — that’s the logical result of denying mind and intelligence.

To deny that we are mindful creatures, the materialist also has to deny the existence of any realm of abstract concepts that a mind can access. Yet materialism itself is an abstract concept.

This seems intuitively obvious, but it’s amazing how often materialists ignore the self-refuting nature of their assumptions. Nancy Pearcey wrote about this a few months ago, noting ways in which materialist claims commit the self-referential absurdity: “Applied to itself, the theory commits suicide.”

A recent example is a new theory of consciousness from Ezequiel Morsella, a psychology professor at San Franciso State University.

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ATTMind Radio EP. 4 – Entheodelic Storytelling With Benton Rooks

Benton Rooks ATTMind Radio ep 4This interview is with Benton Rooks, author of the TRETA-YUGA graphic novel trilogy, writer for Reality Sandwich and Disinfo, and a generally awesome guy. In 2014 he co-coined the term “entheodelic storytelling” with Graham Hancock, shamanic filmmaker/author Rak Razam, and Jeremy D. Johnson, editor of the psychedelic culture section of RS.

We speak about the often-marginalized power of the storytelling narrative in fiction and literature, the role of mythology in contemporary culture, altered states for creativity, and generally what it's like to be a fringe-writer in the modern world.

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Everything is Sound and Light, Plus Sigil Generation Technology

universalconstantsSome might recall that last year I wrote a piece about 3rd, 4th, and 5th dimensional timespace perception based on various visionary experiences I’ve had throughout the years. All consciousness is part of a continuum and I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have had these sorts of experiences without the writings of people like Robert Monroe, Terrence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson, and Grant Morrison forever stretching the parameters of my linguistic operating system. And that’s the main reason I put this sort of fringe weirdness on the internets – to directly influence the psychic hive mind grid of humanity and potentially create exotic experience in the reader. Anyway, apparently it works because I got a message on Facebook (friend me) from a dude named Andrew Cary linking me to this rather brilliant piece he wrote, partially inspired by my theories on dimensional perception. What I love about this is whereas what I do is essentially translating mystical concepts for a generation of kids raised on crap like VICE and stoner comedy, he takes a vastly more scientific approach.… Read the rest

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Growing Up with John E. Mack

JOHNMACKShould be noted that the day after I posted my critique of Carl Sagan’s The Demon Haunted World, in which I defended the work of the late Harvard psychiatrist John E. Mack, Aeon magazine posted an interesting article by Alexa Clay about growing up with him as her surrogate step dad:

“But as a kid largely ignorant of grander sociological forces, aliens were only one thing: scary. They had large black eyes and androgynous forms. And they were real — like ghosts and witches and monsters. In daylight, I was sceptical (the good little rationalist), but night-time brought with it a tide of magical thinking. I used to lie in bed and worry that maybe I would be abducted. I would even make supplicating promises of better behaviour in the hope of bartering with these outsiders — ‘I’ll be good, just leave me alone.’ In my secular progressive household, aliens offered a moral disciplining authority, an invisible spectator to police my actions.… Read the rest

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Whatever Happened to Parapsychology?

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A scene from Altered States

Parapsychology: Did it ever leave?

via Discovery

It seems that stories of the paranormal sprout up every day, and everywhere, in pop culture and the media. Weird news websites number in the hundreds, and there are entire television series dedicated to psychic abilities, hauntings and paranormal investigation.

But that’s all showbiz, really. The actual academic study of parapsychology — the established term for phenomena such as clairvoyance, psychokinesis, telepathy and precognition — has seemingly disappeared since its heyday in the mid-20th century. So what happened to parapsychology?

It hasn’t gone anywhere, said John Kruth, executive director of the Rhine Research Center in Durham, N.C. It’s just become disorganized, underfunded and — in the realm of traditional science — largely ignored. The Rhine is one of a handful of privately funded groups in the United States still doing active research into parapsychology, sometimes called “psi phenomena.”

“People have never stopped doing research in these areas,” Kruth said.

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