Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Ok, coincidences are on occasion too much to be ignored. After reading a rant yesterday which used the word sheeple, this video surfaced in the chunk of cyberspace that attracted my attention.

It requires a certain amount of patience to get to the piece which is most significant in the final fifteen minutes. Well worth the lesson and well worth understanding.

A Nation of Sheeple

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Zeitgeist: A recursive concept?

zeitgeist |ˈtsītˌgīst; ˈzīt-|
noun [in sing. ]
the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time : the story captured the zeitgeist of the late 1960s.
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from German Zeitgeist, from Zeit ‘time’ + Geist ‘spirit.’

Poking around in cyberspace in an attempt to learn more about an individual who has some potential to be the next leader of this country turned up a few interesting things. Among them, Zeitgeist the movie. First time through this was pretty amazing. It actually created a shift in belief.

Then looking at the site, it made a lot of sense to do exactly what it says right there under the movie, which is also the message of Krishnamurti, dont' believe this. Find out for yourself.

A little research settled some questions and some sleep created the motivation to write to the guy who put it together and share some observations. Rather than rewrite that again, here it is, find a link to the site for the movie below the comments. Here they are:

Comment#1: Love the piece on religion. This is an amazing and perhaps the most compelling argument to ignore organized religion that i have ever seen. I spent a good deal of time over the past year talking with people of strong religious belief, just to find out exactly what their story is along with coming to some practically useful conclusions for myself and these are inherently nice people.

So, i would love to send them your movie. Unfortunately, it slips over the edge by, in some spots, using the same sort of tactic (in spite of your 'find out for yourself' monition on the site) that it attempts to debunk. So, perhaps it is too late now to go back to the drawing board and re-edit. Perhaps not. The core message and material is all there.

I do believe that you can potentially 'save' a large number of people from wasting significant chunks of their lives under the weight of these delusions with this formation. In my opinion, you reach a wider audience and have a much higher success rate when you stop making people feel like idiots for the beliefs that they currently hold. A practice that Dawkins has yet to come to understand.

Comment#2: I had a friend who was at work on the top floors of the WTC on Sept 11.
I used to work in those buildings myself. I had heard people talk about this conspiracy theory before and walked away from the conversation every time, not wanting to go there. Your invitation to find out for myself was taken up by me as a result of the compelling nature of the movie. Three or four hours of reading Google searches was sufficient to come to the conclusion that the you come very close in part II to doing just what you uncovered as farce in part I.

Comment#3: Are you familiar with fractals? The work of Stephen Wolfram? G.W. Bush can not simultaneously be an idiot and a genius at the same time. The sheer number of people who would have needed to be involved in that 'plot' is staggering to imagine. The whole idea that the sounds of breaking steel or concrete as the buildings were collapsing being construed as explosions rather than phenomenon which took on the 'appearance' of explosions to people who never experienced an explosion outside the context of a movie or television is totally believable in a much larger way to me than the possibility of an army of subversives having entered the core of those buildings to systematically cut beams and wire the skeleton with explosives.

For that three or four hours of reading, it became apparent to me that the conspiracy theories are based on three things: 1. people getting paid to do things that they could not actually do because all of their experience (up to the time of that occurrence) was theoretical, attempting to cover their own asses for fear of the extended implication i.e. that others would point fingers at them as bearing responsibility. 2. too much t.v. (as you clearly point out) 3. the desire on the part of the govt to keep information out of the hands of other idiots who might use it (as in the case of the tapes from buildings around the pentagon).

Please do not construe this as some rant in favor of GWB. I believe that he is a human no smarter and probably no dumber than the average American. So thanks for the invitation to look into this stuff, now i am satisfied that i understand it well enough.

Comment#3: Again, back to the fractal theory. The probability of this being part of some grand plan 60+ years in the making is, to me at least, very close to the absurdity of creationism given what current 'science' has to say about observable evidence. Is there some small group of individuals who own the so called 'International Banking Cartel'? Who are these people? The Bush/Rockefeller families?

Again, just too implausible and again probably with more research, probably dis-provable. The rest of Part III however is again beautiful work that was educational. Love the concept of not filing a return or paying taxes, unfortunately, if you have assets in the country, sooner or later, they will start taking money out of your account. Sadly this is the truth. Millions of people own the banks. In fact you probably do too.

Anyone with a dime in a pension invested in stock owns them and yes, the pigs at the top of each corporation take an enormously excessive chunk right off the top for themselves. And yes, education is the only thing that is going to change that. Evolution (you appear to embrace that theory with your Carl Sagan clips) according to the experts is much closer to the fractal theory end of the spectrum than the grand plan theory. i.e. small (not meant as value judgment but in the sense of the spectrum from atom to universe) things effecting others create the impression of something larger and planned where impression is the operative word and planned is the resulting illusion.

If you got this far, thanks again, the whole thing has been very enlightening. Fifteen minutes into the first viewing I was formulating a plan to get it shown here in my town but an hour into it, those plans had dissolved back into the ether from whence they arose. Again, i believe that you could(and should in my opinion) be making the same argument about parts II and III that you made about part I. Don't believe this conspiracy stuff any more than you might the religious mumbo jumbo. The truth lies in the middle. That coupled with your closing remarks is a message that I could, would and should go out and help to deliver every day of my life. Zeitgeist 2.0! You already have the attention of a couple of million people, a rethink/re-edit might get you up to 2 percent of the population of this country. And, as you state in closing in the same sense that the middle way has, possibilities of enormous proportion. (but don't believe me, find out for yourself).

Final point here, are you familiar with Scott Atran? He has a message about terrorism, Bin Laden and the misconception of the masses that you would undoubtedly find worth a 20 minute investment. Summary (teaser) these people are losers/drug dealers who have nothing better to do with their time (no jobs) and zero organization. Take a look at what he has to say here

Good luck with this and if you get to a point where you can debunk these two other conspiracy theories as well as you have debunked the first one get in touch. I have lots of time to spread the message of 'don't believe this, find out for yourself' that is all (i.e. including iteslf) inclusive.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Make up your own mind

This is a beautiful piece of 'mash up' work. The true meaning of the piece was not apparent despite having looked at it a few times. The book, 1984 written in 1949 by George Orwell tells an amazing story for a number of reasons, one among them, the ability of people to constantly overstate the potential horror of the immediate future, a very popular thing to do since the dawn of language as a means of communication. The story itself, is summarized like this:

1984 presents an imaginary future where a totalitarian state controls every aspect of life, even people's thoughts. The state is called Oceania and is ruled by a group known as the Party; its leader and dictator is Big Brother.

Here is a thought provoking quote:

"'Who controls the past', ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'" Part 1, Chapter 3, pg. 37

Here is a concept from the book that it would appear the Clintons have at least perfected on themselves:

Doublethink: The practice of thought control necessary to be a good Party disciple. No Party member can ever admit that the Party might be wrong. However, sometimes reality shows something to the contrary. Through using doublethink, the Party member can deal with any problems or inconsistencies with the Party. Party members simply block all awareness of the Party's falsities from their mind and then, as another act of doublethink, they forget that they have even used doublethink.

The people who put this together clearly remembered how adept the Clinton team is of re-fabricating reality to best suit their purposes. Undoubtedly, the news fodder of the past week has been no surprise to them. It would be nice to see this video resurface now that this extremely accurate prediction has come to fruition.

Here is the comment on the video right off Youtube:

Make up your own mind. Decide for yourself who should be our next president. NOTE: This is a mashup of the famous Apple 1984 Super Bowl ad. Search for the original on YouTube.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

On Truth, Honesty, Integrity, Values

The Fact that 'The Clintons' are even in the running for the leadership position in the United States says something about the decline of morality in this country. The excerpt below is from a Wikipedia piece on the history of the Clinton as president. Click on the title to go directly to the piece. The video in the most polite way, raises the same question that should be at the front of the list for every American every time they see either of the Clinton team on a television screen or news source using any of the words in the title of this post.

Denial and subsequent admission

News of the scandal first broke on January 17, 1998, on the Drudge Report website, which reported that Newsweek editors were sitting on a story by investigative reporter Michael Isikoff exposing the affair. The story broke in the mainstream press on January 21 when it hit the Washington Post. The story swirled for several days and despite swift denials from Clinton, the clamour for answers from the White House grew louder. On January 26, a visibly flustered President Clinton, standing with wife Hillary Rodham Clinton, spoke at a White House press conference, and issued a forceful denial while wagging his finger:

Now, I have to go back to work on my State of the Union speech. And I worked on it until pretty late last night. But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people. Thank you.

Pundits debated whether or not Clinton would address the allegations in his State of the Union Address. Ultimately, he chose not to, which may have helped his image with the American people through his strategy to appear more "presidential" and above the fray. First Lady Hillary Clinton publicly stood by her husband throughout the scandal. On January 27, in an appearance on NBC's The Today Show she famously said, "The great story here for anybody willing to find it, write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president."

For the next several months and through the summer, pundits and the media endlessly debated whether an affair had occurred and Clinton had lied or obstructed justice, but nothing could be definitively established beyond the taped recordings because Lewinsky was unwilling to discuss the affair or testify about it. On July 28, 1998, a substantial delay after the public break of the scandal, Lewinsky received transactional immunity in exchange for grand jury testimony concerning her relationship with Clinton. She also turned over a semen-stained blue dress (which Tripp had encouraged her to save without dry cleaning) to the Starr investigators, thereby providing a smoking gun based on DNA evidence that could prove the relationship despite Clinton's official denials.

Clinton admitted in taped grand jury testimony on August 17, 1998, that he had had an "improper physical relationship" with Lewinsky. That evening he gave a nationally televised statement admitting his relationship with Lewinsky which was "not appropriate".[1]

Who is actually running for 'president'? Who will make the decisions/tell the

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sedona Real Estate Stats Jan 2008 Report

For those of you who like statistics and numbers, here are some numbers as of Jan. 1, 2008.

Number of listed homes & condos in all of the Sedona market: 548 (was 635, 60 days ago)
Number of homes & condos listed below $400,000: 135 (was 159, 60 days ago)
Number of homes listed over $1 million: 110 (was 126, 60 days ago).
Median listed price: $594,750. (was $599,900 60 days ago).
Number of homes & condos sold year in 2007: 313
Median sales price of all homes and condos sold in 2007: $525,000.

Number of listed home-sites in all areas of the Sedona market 383 (was 437 – 60 days ago)
Number of lots listed below $300,000: 89 (was 95 - 60 days ago)
Number of lots listed above $1,000,000: 32 (was 38 – 60 days ago)
Median listed price: $475,000 (was $489,000 – 60 days ago)
Number of home-sites sold year in 2007: 68 (this pace has been steady at about 6 per month)
Median sales price in 2007: $353,500 (this trending up in the last 60 days)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

words worth listening to

The quote of the day from a Google Widget which dishes up a sentence of wisdom from Einstein on a daily basis. What if?

The only real valuable thing is intuition. The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery.

Given that this
guy is what many consider to be one of the greatest minds of the modern era,
does it make sense to give pause and actually listen to that message?

The word itself at a minimum merits looking into for the sake of clarity.

intuition |ˌint(y)oōˈi sh ən|
the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning : we shall allow our intuition to guide us.
• a thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning : your insights and intuitions as a native speaker are positively sought.
intuitional |-ˈi sh ənl| adjective
intuitionally |-ˈi sh ənl-ē| adverb
ORIGIN late Middle English (denoting spiritual insight or immediate spiritual communication): from late Latin intuitio(n-), from Latin intueri ‘consider’ (see intuit ).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

on Being One With All That Is

What if there was a way to look at this proposition which allowed for the shift in perspective through redefining one word?

Don’t you know what it means really to love somebody to love without hate, without jealousy, without anger, without wanting to interfere with what he is doing or thinking, without condemning, without comparing – don’t you know what it means? Where there is love is there comparison? When you love someone with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your body, with your entire being, is there comparison? When you totally abandon yourself to that love there is not the other.

Freedom from the Known - 82

interpretation for today:
does the word comparison imply the assignment of random qualitative labels to the entities involved in the process? is is possible to compare without first executing that step in the process? 
if so, does the question then become: is love the state in which there is no subjective qualitative (and is subjective ever not qualitative) labeling of the entities involved?

if that were to be possible would it imply the reduction of the situation to a quantitative observation of self and other in relationship?

and if self and other were to be experienced as they are in reality - as manifest energy

does that not simply lead to the dissolution of the separation of self/other and the existence of one?

the question that arises from this is: ok so how do we experience anything in the normal course of affairs? and the answer points right back to language. the random assignment of labels (primarily qualitative/subjective?)

see something fascinating about brain function and a process called 'pruning' which takes place in the brain during development effectively creating the different brain 'areas' which have been observed as the processors of certain inputs and therefore the creators of different perceptions.

 The meeting of science and humanities - From Molecules to Metaphor a talk given by V.S. Ramachandran

Monday, January 14, 2008

Someone convinced you that terrorism of the kind most recently experienced in this country is a threat that is being addressed in a fashion which will produce results? 

and what if they were wrong about both the threat and the way that it was being addressed?

 Find out about a guy who spends quite a lot of his time looking into that question

And find out what he has to say about it in this video from Beyond Belief 2.0

Too coincidental to let go by 

Love does not obey

Love is not the product of thought which is the past. Thought cannot possibly cultivate love. Love is not hedged about and caught in jealousy, for jealousy is of the past. Love is always active present. It is not ‘I will love’ or ‘I have loved’. If you know love you will not follow anybody. Love does not obey. When you love there is neither respect nor disrespect.

Freedom from the Known - 82

interpretation for today:
one basic law of the universe is the conservation of energy. energy is never lost, only converted into different forms. live in thought, let your energy be dissipated into heat returned to the universe from which it came, live in love, let it be recycled back to you for growth.

love is an expression of learning, the fuel for growth. when a real connection has been made between two entities, then there is love, growth is possible. is growth possible at other levels yes, of course, it is a continuum. that's where that thing called choice comes into play....subject for another day.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Remembering to Forget

The process of retraining the mind, just as the process of training it was, is one that requires active attention. Each of the many individuals who have devoted a significant part of their lives to figuring out whether or not this was actually possible gave the process a different name.

Remembering was one of those names. This word, on the surface could be taken simply and from a commonly accepted perspective. It could on another hand, be taken to mean forgetting.

Or in some sense, simply detaching from memory. Doing the thing that we all did from the moment of birth until that time around the age of five or six when the system of language as a vehicle for understanding/learning/knowing replaced the one which we all had/have, the vehicle with which, the system called language was learned. Does that make sense? Is it actually possible that the thing which produces a smile on the face of an infant is not some qualitative reaction to a stimulus but rather a quantitative display of knowledge gained?

Why is the concept of a seventh sense, perhaps the one which might be identified as the first sense, one which provides for knowing in the absence of language such a bizarre concept? How is it that at this very moment and at every single moment of time for the last 150,000 years at least, while this very process is/has been occurring all around everyone everywhere it escapes our collective attention? How did it come to be true that the first sound uttered by a child began to elicit some value judgment about it's content and not a remark like wow, how did that happen? How do you learn language without the pre existence of language in the learner?

Excuse me if that is a dumb question but it's become a favorite and not one that elicits a Duh! response followed by the simple observable example that some others do. Is part of the explanation that language-less communication has simply come to be viewed as an oxymoron?

Or is this simply another example of anthropomorphic narcissism? This may be entirely due to ignorance but that question takes on a similar taste to the one which asks: can the mind actually observe the mind? Is there some corner into which the inquiry can not reach as that place is occupied by the inquiry itself? Or is that line of thinking simply one constrained by a faulty western cultural world-view which has for a few hundred years ignored a big big chunk of reality? One which makes the expression 'the universal mind' not that difficult to imagine as a real possibility.

At about 60 minutes into the video you can find at the end of this link

you can find an amazing talk by Neil DeGrasse Tyson which can bring tears to your eyes where this scientist gives an incredibly understandable explanation for how you are one with everything that exists in the universe.

What does that have to do with language? Well, in the big picture, language is actually a pretty small part of what IS, not to mention the fact that it has been around for what amounts to a pretty short span of that good old thing we call time. The essential question that comes out of this inquiry for me is this: Is language the medium through which we actually ever know anything or is it simply one methodology that we have for expressing what amounts to a quantity that transcends language in the same way that the universe transcends our galaxy?

Put another way, if language is a vehicle for transporting knowledge in the way that jets and bicycles are vehicles for transporting matter, is it possible that as a species, we have allowed one vehicle for knowing to atrophy?

and is there a very simple method for reversing that process which we can practice every day? a practice that we all engaged in for four solid years and abandoned at the flip of some random culturally conditioned switch?

end of post