McStuff and the triumph of democratic mediacratization

The Peak Experience.

In a recent post, I reflected on the strange compulsion to record every iota of our individual and collective experience and then share it with everyone else, each of whom is trying to do the same. How can anyone enjoy an unmediated experience of night-time Hong Kong from Victoria Peak, for example? (“Colonialized: The Peak Experience”)

There I stood at the rail on the viewing platform, getting a many-elbowed massage from others who had mounted … Read more

Realities and stories: Realities *are* stories

The big news du jour — after the colorful and convoluted transgressions of celebrity athletes — is the imminent Academy Awards. The three top  contenders for Best Picture are Argo, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty. These three have at least one thing in common: They all stand accused of playing fast and loose with the historical truth of matters.

But what is “objective” about history or, for that matter, about reporting? History is always written by the … Read more

Genius, madness upon madness, soap digests


In I Am a Strange Loop, an attempt to show how consciousness arises, Douglas Hofstadter at one point is explaining how Kurt Gödel deflates the grand ambition of Bertrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica.

I’m reading this explanation, and not following it at all—I’m that mathematically adept I still have problems with fractions—when I come across the following passage, which teases me with the notion I might finally be getting a glimmer.

“This may sound a … Read more

Never mind: Still plenty to worry about in 2013

Scratch the Mayan Apocalypse. One less thing to worry about, eh?

Of course we still have all the political issues du jour—left vs right, conservatives/conservatives1/conservatives2 vs liberals/liberals1/liberals2, pro-gay marriage vs anti-gays, legalize ganja vs leave the trade to the mobsters, red vs yellow, orange vs chartreuse, etc., etc.

 

 

 

Beneath these lurk more fundamental issues, among them these:

 

 

 

  • irresponsible and insufficiently restrained corporate éminences grises everywhere you look,
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They’re everywhere! More on neural parasites

Soon there’ll be nowhere left in the world to run to, no place to hide.

In response to something I posted on neural parasites some time ago —  “Fable with parasites I: Bravery lies in the brain of the beholder” — Steve Hyde said this: “Reminds me of those tourists that have been taken over by their backpacks … [Like the chickens in your post], they’re … known to fearlessly approach dangerous beasts.” I believe he was referring to … Read more

Immortality for secularists, wherein Joe Atheist cannot die

There’s been much news, of late, concerning the planarian worm, which is effectively immortal. Unfortunately, this version of life everlasting offers little hope to us humans.

But there’s a fix, one that doesn’t mean we have to begin reproducing asexually if we want to persist to the planarian extent. Of necessity, I’ll argue, we’re already, always and forever, living in our “afterlife.”

Having our sex and living forever too

Here’s my theory, for whatever it’s worth, and in … Read more

Mayan malarkey, reasons to relax in 2012

So what’s new?

Whoop, whoop. The end is nigh, the end is nigh!  I’m told the ancient Mayans predicted that massive quantities of bad shit will hit the global fan this year.

Whatever, eh? It looks as though the Horsemen of the Apocalypse got a way early start on things, because it they’ve been galloping through our gardens for quite some time already.

I’ve experienced a wee taste of this myself. In fact it started around 7am on New … Read more

Chronicle of an urban drowning foretold

 

Almost exactly a year ago I posted “Submarine garrets for starving writers” (4 November 2010), which foresaw the entire city of Bangkok serving as a recreational dive site. And that piece itself contained a link to an article (“One Born Every Minute“) I wrote 25 years ago wherein I interviewed a visiting extraterrestrial who foresaw the submersion of Bangkok within another three decades. The TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand), I suggested, would hail his proposals … Read more

Inverse relations and natural law (The Gospel According to Ellie)


Bangkok cinemas, some of them, have taken to offering movies in “4D.” Now the moving images are complemented with smells—certain colorful old cinemas, sadly gone now, were way ahead of them on that front. And you might get rumblings in your seat, though these are often now more in sync with events on the screen that the tremblors from street traffic outside used to be. Other effects include fog and drizzle and stuff they originally built cinemas to shield you … Read more

Writerly occupational hazards: Emotional opportunism & spiritual callousing

Two years after his death, Michael Jackson is back in the news, with his former doctor defending himself against charges of involuntary manslaughter. I’m not sure what emotions this case is arousing in the general public, but it has caused me to revisit my first reaction to the so-called King of Pop’s untimely passing.

“A long time after painting [his first wife] Camille on her deathbed, Monet confessed to his friend Georges Clemenceau about the pain or shock he felt

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