Sunday, January 25, 2015

Waking, Being, Dreaming, chapter six continued

Continuing from this post:

Imagination is involved in both waking and dreaming. Recall earlier that the brain wave patterns of both waking and dreaming sleep are similar. Even more so with lucid dreaming, since one is conscious that they are dreaming. Conscious awareness thus seems to be the indicator of when one is 'awake' in both states. In the case of the waking state it is awareness of the normally unconscious stream of consciousness, as well at the meta-awareness that watches this. That's one reason meditative traditions further develop this awareness during sleep, to make one's self-perspective a conscious, observant participant. Hence this is why it is called 'awakening' in the enlightenment sense.

However imagination does not mean something devoid of realty but rather the way our embodiment interacts with objective reality. In dreaming, although we turn off our sensory connection with the outside world, we nonetheless maintain a dream ego that operates within a dream world outside that ego, such world based on our memory of the waking outside world. The image schema that connect us to the outside world through our sensori-motor apparatus are operative in our 'imagination' during dreaming sleep as well.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Psychopath patriot

See Maher's panel discussion of American Sniper. Part of the problem is this black or white worldview that see's either the great hero or the evil anti-hero. Btw, as one panelist noted, I did appreciate the film for its exploration of post traumatic stress disorder, and its portrayal of how war affects families back home.

Maher on the regressive Presidential candidates

Funny analysis of the "corporate ass-lickers" who are vying for rich benefactors "before the other guy blows him first."

Friday, January 23, 2015

Capitalistic spirituality

Mark has a FB post on the spiritual entrepreneur here. My comments to date follow:

The Rifkin article on healthcare Eric cited is just basic common sense on diet, exercise, personal development, environmental responsibility, etc., and indeed promotes LOHAS. LOHAS per se is not the problem; it's only a problem when it's contaminated with capitalist markers like ego inflation, greed and profit as the main motive. I.e., when LOHAS is coopted by capitalism. There are plenty in the Commons movement that approach LOHAS from a completely different consciousness, one of sharing and caring where yes, of course one needs to make a living and charge a fee, often sliding. And/or trade. And/or, as Rifkin discusses in his latest book, by belonging to networks that exchange services, some of which also take into consideration one's training and skill level so trades are not simple 1 to 1 exchanges.

Like Mark I can understand why some spirit-oriented practitioners become 'entrepreneurs,' since they are embedded in a capitalistic system that idolizes the individual's heroic achievements. This happens even to the best of spiritual teachers in this system, as well as it's reinforced by the traditions in which they studied, that of heroic and individual attainment that leads everyone to a new Jerusalem. It's time to move beyond the fixation on Heroes, but understandable that even those with the best intentions have yet to let it go.*

Thursday, January 22, 2015

It don't mean a thing

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett have been teaming up for a number of songs, including this old classic:

The possible dangers of artificial intelligence

See Sam Harris's recent blog on this. Harris admits to zero marginal cost with this:

"Once we built the perfect labor-saving device, the cost of manufacturing new devices would approach the cost of raw materials."

Like Rifkin he also realizes that tech may one day supplant the need for workers, so then what? Just increasing wealth inequality as he surmises? Possible if we stay in a capitalist mode. Maybe not if we evolve into Commons mode.

His main issue though, one not contemplated by Rifkin in this book, is that the IoT just might gain autonomy given its virtually near infinite connections with, well, everything.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Regressives can dish it out but they can't take it

One highlight of the President's state of the union address last night was when the regressives interupted his speech to derisively applaud when he announced has no more campaigns to run. But when the President turned the tables in response saying "I know, because I won both of them," the whining regressives couldn't handle it. See this article for their crybaby antics after their bully tactics fail. I say fuck 'em if they can't take a joke.

Deep play

Following up on this video from the Center for a New American Dream, the following is from chapter nine of  Rifkin's The Third Industrial Revolution:

"Deep play [...] is not frivolous entertainment but rather empathetic engagement with one's fellow human beings. Deep play is the way we experience the other, transcend ourselves and connect to broader, ever more inclusive communities of life in our common search for universality. [...] In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries being industrious was the mark of a man and becoming a productive worker the goal in life. Generations of human beings were transformed into machines in the relentless pursuit of material wealth: we lived to work. The Third Industrial Revolution and the collaborative era offer humanity the opportunity to liberate itself from the grip of mechanized life cocooned inside a utilitarian world and breathe in the exhilaration of being free: we live to play."

Senator Warren on infrastructure

She uses this topic to reiterate the value that we are all in this socioeconomic endeavor together. And part of that is the upkeep and upgrade of our infrastructure, from roads and bridges to the internet and shifting to a sustainable energy infrastructure. And all this creates jobs to boot. The below is from her email blast asking us to join her in petitioning Congress to create jobs by investing in our infrastructure:

"Nobody got rich on their own. Nobody. Sure, people who built great businesses worked hard. Most successful entrepreneurs worked their tails off. But those businesses need good soil to grow – and that meant they need roads and bridges to get their goods to market, dependable and affordable power grids, access to clean water and safe sewers, up-to-date communications – the kind of basic infrastructure that we build together.

Coming out of the Great Depression, we built those roads and bridges and power grids that helped businesses grow right here in America. We plowed money into our future, and as those businesses grew, they created great jobs here at home. But by the 1980s, our country sharply cut back on making those investments in our future, and now we’re getting left behind. Today China spends 9% of its GDP on infrastructure. Europe spends about 5% of its GDP on infrastructure. They are building a future for their businesses – and better jobs for their people. But the United States is investing only 2.4% and looking for more ways to make cuts. Today, the American Society of Civil Engineers says we have about $3.6 trillion worth of deferred maintenance, repairs and upgrading – and every day we’re falling behind.

That’s why my colleagues and I are calling on Congress to make improving our infrastructure a top priority this year. Will you join us?

Fricken wow

Can't say much more about these amazing and inspiring works of art.