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Die Cot O' Me [11 Apr 2007|04:37pm]
[ mood | contemplative ]

I've realized recently that I'm the most content when existing within equal amounts of control and disorder.  When I tend in one direction more than the other, it's clear that a sensitive equilibrium is disturbed.  All work and no play make me a dull boy, essentially...all play and no work can do the same.  Now, since writing about myself is boring (not to mention you reading it),  I'll do my best to tie this theme into (yep, you guessed it) Society as a Whole, by the end of the entry.   A lofty goal, but I'll do my best. 

Last night, I finished reading The Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan.  In the book, the auther presents four case studies of plants (the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato) that have been genetically (and thus evolutionarily) influenced by human hands.  In these case studies, Pollan attempts (successfully, in my opinion) to argue that such agricultural mainstays are co-evolutionary partners, rather than submissive slaves, to human wants and desires.  He urges that we look as ourselves not as masters, but as one would look at bees, carefully going about their daily routine of pollination for the benefit of both themselves and the flowers they patron.  When observing the parallels between a honey bee drunken on an orchid's perfume, and a human under the influence of THC, this comparison is not difficult to grasp. 

Throughout the book, Pollan routinely references two Greek gods, Dionysus and Apollo, as figureheads for the two apposing processes in co-evolution.   As summarized in the book (while not wholly accurate of Greek myth, metaphorically effective) Dionysus is the god of wine, and thus of reckless abandon, submission to nature, disorder and impulsivity.  His world is that of a forest seen through the eyes of psilocybin, thick with foliage, insects and wetness in the depth of summer.  Apollo, conversely, is the god of order, Calvinism, regimented structure, controlled society, and predictability.  His world is that of the office building, subdivided into perfect rectiliniar offices and cubicles, each human therein given a specific and understood task.  

Depending on your perspective, the worlds of either god can appear, well, a little undesirable.  Too much chaos, and things fall apart.  Too much order, and suddenly you wind up in a tight bundle of fascist control.  Find a balance between the two, and generally, things tend to harmonize nicely.  I'll do my best to give personal examples of both.

Last summer, I was unemployed for two months.  My life was completely without schedule.  I'd sleep in until noon regularly, go to bed whenever the whim came, and improvised that "consciousness" stuff in between.  Occasionally I'd make music.  Sometimes, I'd go on a long walk, find a good spot, and just sit there until I got too eaten by mosquitoes or just plain bored.  To pay my bills, I sold old toys on eBay.  Sounds perfect, right?  Well, not really.  I was depressed, anxious, lethargic, and generally not engaged.  Since I had no schedule, I was always worrying about what I'd do, and what my life's plan was.  Since I had no job, I was always worrying about money.  Despite going on many walks in the park during this time, in itself it certainly wasn't one. 

Nearly a year later, I have a full time job.  Schedule has become the norm.  On weekdays, I wake up precisely at 9, go to bed almost precisely at 1, and the conscious stuff in between is ordered nearly down to the minute.  I go to work Monday through Friday.  I spend Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights with my girlfriend.  Wednesdays I make music.  Fridays I go into Minneapolis to spend time with friends.  Weekends are freebies, which is good.  Because, when I find myself too ordered and too structured, the need to rebel against that structure causes frustration, anxiety, depression, and ultimately the same general imbalance I described while unemployed.   I don't worry about money, but it's sometimes offset by the need to say "fuck it" and tear of my clothes, screaming and running naked through my office until I get outdoors and roll around in some good, filthy mud.  

So, it's become clear that life is partially about finding the proper balance between the two Houses of Chaos and Calvinism.  Every once in a while, I'll bring my laptop to work and just mess around, or call in and pretend I'm sick when I really, really don't want to work.  Token amounts of disobedience.  As long as I still do my job, I figure it can't harm the system.  On weekends, it's generally been good to experience as much Dionysian disorder and freedom as possible, before returning to the Halls of Apollo the following Monday. 

How does this relate to the Whole of Society (or WoS)?  Well, politically, imbalance in one direction poisons that of the other.  Venture too far into the garden of Dionysus, and you're met with anarchy.   No one is in control.  Materials and resources are poorly, unevenly distributed.  People die needlessly, because the few, or elite, attempt to control maliciously and dysfunctionally.  Now, wander too deeply into the metropolis of Apollo, and you're met with the same harmful consequences.  A select few are rigorously in control of others.  Materials and resources are once again poorly allocated, inevitably weighing in favor of the same elite.  People die needlessly in sharp, poisonous outbursts of chaos, through genocide, war, famine, and others.  

The balance in between is what the Framers of the US Constitution truly meant by "Freedom".  It is the freedom to act as one desires, within a framework that enables you to live a life of relative safety, happiness and support.  Whether this is at all analogous to the current "Freedom" brand waved underneath the flag of the Neocon is severely debatable.  However, "Freedom", in the true sense, is something I believe should be the ultimate purpose of any organization, whether it be a political power or a desk planner.

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Vernal Subtleties [23 Mar 2007|04:37pm]
One

Last Sunday, I went for a hike on the basalt bluffs overlooking the St. Croix River. A light, curious sleet (that was both, at once, snow and rain) fell from the white sky and pattered the leaf-littered ground with a tentative stillness. The small flakes, cold and stark, mixed with the scent of ozone pouring from their companion drops of rain, creating a precipitation that was solely and tellingly Equinoxial. 
 
As I circumnavigated a small lake, on my way to the bluffs, I noted a strange formation in the thawing ice. Large ovals, perhaps one foot in length and 8 inches in width, protruded from the lake, like plateaued mushrooms. Curious, I walked onto a nearby dock to see these ovals more closely. They seemed to rise out of the ice in a pattern, though I initially could not discern its nature. Between the surface of the lake and the ovals themselves, there was perhaps a 2-3 inch vertical shift. It was as if the ovals had been cut out of a sheet of ice, like cookies, and deliberately, rhythmically placed upon the frozen landscape. Within a few minutes, however, I embarrassingly discovered their genesis.
 
They were footprints. Strangely inverted, the ovals’ rhythmic patterns were created by the legs and feet of fellow hikers during the depth and height winter, traversing the lake when it was safe to do so (and sometimes, I suspect, when not). The trudging compression of boots and snowshoes had imprinted the ice with a density greater than ambient. This dense ice, in turn, was more resistant to melting than the surrounding lake. Thus, there they stood, archaeological testaments of the not-so-distant past….like upside-down Cretaceous-era dinosaur tracks on the plains of Utah, emerging from a fading ice age.
 
Two
 
This Tuesday, I found myself walking the familiar trail that I often visit during my daily lunch break. The once-petrified surface underfoot had given way to copious mud over the past 15 days, and my footing was pleasantly uncertain at the onset. I rounded a small bend in the trail, winding past a large pond surrounded by mullen, milkweed and cattails. The sky was cerulean, echoing with the sound of a passing Cesna.
 
One week prior, it was here that the awakening pond had rendered this path an impromptu river. It flowed across the man-indoctrinated swath of soil and stone quite impassively, quickly eroding its perceived-permanence into the neighboring pond within a day. But sure enough, the trail had been thoroughly rebuilt two days later, with supra-beaver-like stubbornness of human hands (or, more likely, machines). Only the color and texture of fresh gravel bore retrospective testimony of the far greater tenacity of waking Spring.
 
As I rounded the bend, I noticed a slight rippling in the pond to my right. At first, I attributed this to the vacuum of nearby drainpipe. But, as I grew closer, it became apparent that something about the ripples was distinctly non-linear. Deciding to focus on this in more detail, my eyes moved throughout the reeds and cattails, and within seconds, I found what I was looking for. Peering back at me, from a mere 5 feet away in the pond ahead, were a seperate pair of tiny black eyes, surrounded by a small mat of oiled, brown fur. 
 
It was a muskrat, small and trim. I stared at him. He stared equally back at me. I got the impression that I had just interrupted something. He looked frozen in a state of surprise and relative confusion. It was as if he had previously fancied himself the first to wake from hibernation, with my mutual presence providing counterpoint. For days, perhaps, he had been going about his muskratty business throughout this pond, confident that he had an early grasp on the year. Suddenly, when confronted with my curious visage, his fantasy disintegrated. I, unlike him, had been awake and working all winter. The muskrat’s jealousy, though apparent, could not begin to parallel mine.  
 
Soft and sleeping in his winter home, he had not experienced the toil of digging one’s stranded Subaru from two feet of accumulated, drifted snow. The muskrat had no inkling of the frost my toes had endured, nor of the ice accumulated upon my beard during those long, difficult months. Comfortable and blissful, he had not once rued the absence of lost mittens.
 
Nonetheless, my being there seemed to offend him. After locking eyes for a few, crucial moments, he dove back into the water with a flourish of the tail that could only suggest profound irritation. I continued down the trail, my boots wonderfully slipping in the mud.
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Extra-Solar Intelligence [02 Mar 2007|12:27pm]

The existence of extra-solar planets is hardly debatable, nor is their statistical probability of harboring life.  The current estimate places the number of habitable systems within our galaxy between 200-400 BILLION.  This probability, to make matters more complex, is solely based on our current understanding of what elements are necessary to create life (and our knowledge is limited in that department).  Given the relative age of our solar system in comparison to others, there are undoubtedly planets (closer to the center of the galaxy, for example) that would be billions of years older than our Earth.  Now, let us assume that (a) whatever sentient life originating from such a planet would have a massive evolutionary head start and (b) would have benevolent intentions (quite an assumption, granted, but hopefully would be prerequisite to an interplanetary race). 

Many may ask the question, "If these organisms exist, why haven't we made contact with them?"  Well, if such life were to visit our planet for whatever reason*, making contact would be a dangerous gamble. Lets do a little bit of role-playing to find out why:

Your civilization is extremely advanced, highly organized, unimaginably wise, and has access to a wealth of scientific knowledge that's enabled you to spread your intelligence beyond your own solar system. Down below you is a planet that's full of little dirty creatures with scattered examples of potential (DaVinci, Einstein, Feynman, Fuller, Tesla, all of the women who didn't get recorded in the history books written by misogynists, etc), but otherwise they seem pretty intent on killing each other and making things relatively difficult for the rest of their environment in the process.

Now, given that position, you could give these little creatures (with scattered bits of potential) the technology necessary to dig them out of their little self-destructive niche.  But, what if they don't understand the technology, and the philosophy and intellect that gave rise to it? It would be like giving a set of blue-prints to a chimp and expecting them to build a house.  Essentially, this is equivalent to saying, "Here, you no longer need to be cold and wet...build this unimaginably complex structure!" Clearly, this is a dysfunctional method to tackle the problem. 

So, alternatively, you could build a house for the chimp. But, if you left it alone for five years, you'd come back and find the house a mess, if it was still standing at all. Again, you've not solved a single problem here, and the chimps haven't particularly understood what was going on because, well, they're chimps.  By this time, they've probably smeared your nice post-modern modular dwelling with their own feces, and made nests out of the stuffing torn from the nice Fendi furniture.

Your third option is to build a house for the chimps (again, speaking metaphorically here), and dispatch a team of builders and architects to take maintain it for them, and rebuild it if necessary.  This eventually boils down to having a totalitarian group of babysitters standing around, watching chimps eat each others' parasites. Now that the chimps aren't cold or wet, and don't have many other problems, they'll have little need for innovation.  You probably won't be seeing a Tesla chimp rise successfully from the group.  No problems remain for them to overcome solitarily, so chances are, they'll remain ignorant chimps indefinitely.

This leads you to the logical conclusion: Wait until the chimps understand how to build a house themselves, and can appreciate where you're coming from.  Then you'll have some new minds to discuss metaphysics with, and everyone wins...hoorah!  If they don't make it, well, there are probably lots of other similar organisms here and there to pay attention to.

And if you're an alien that comes from a billion-year-old civilization, time is definitely on your side.


*  Many argue that this has already happened countless times, and that we just haven't given it the attention it deserves.  Quick glances at The Disclosure Project and this article may clarify. 

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Tonal Curiosity [22 Feb 2007|05:54pm]
[ mood | contemplative ]

On Tuesday night, I performed at the University of Minnesota as part of their annual Spark Festival.  As I was playing short sets in between larger acts, I was much more focussed and receptive to the various bands and solo artists that performed than I would be normally (since I was responsible for bridging the acts together with a fitting mood).  Presentations ranged from a single twenty-something technical nerd, improvising Autechre-like glitchscapes on two synced Yamaha keyboard/sequencers, to a full chamber orchestra, who presented an abstract Dada-esque piece routed via microphone through a Max/Msp patch running on a backstage Powerbook.  Neat.  One performer controlled a range of effects and sequences with a pair of MIDI-enabled gloves, giving him the appearance of a cybernetic marionette, backlit by LEDs.  Though I didn't necessary enjoy or understand all of it, I felt fortunate to be present in an environment that truly melded the world of academic, dogmatic musical theory with freeform, passionate, and inventive sound.  

Afterwards, I visited with my older brother in the Uptown area of Minneapolis.  When I'm with him, I almost always feel engaged by a deep sense of meaning, curiosity, and enthusiasm.  He also shares a natural affinity for the ridiculous.  So, our conversation is something I value over clean underwear.  During one of our long walks that night, we rambled on in indoubtedly equal quantities of both innanity and purpose, but our final spin of dialogue penetrated most deeply into my memory.  Connor brought up the debate of nature vs. nurture (or biology vs. culture, or watching television vs. building forts, take your pick) as applied to our perception of music.  

His argument was (at least it seemed to me) in favor nurture as the dominant sculptor of musical perception.  Connor pointed out that multi-tonal Eastern scales, though vastly different from those in the West, communicate messages that are relative to their cultures and people, and ultimately perceived the same.  Under this reasoning, a culture could listen to something which, to the Western ear, would be complete noise, while indigenous individuals would think of it as, say, pop music.  Or vice versa (I often feel rather distraughtfully aboriginal when listening to most radio stations, for instance).  

However, I would argue that while culture greatly influences ones perception of music, nature ultimately dictates the fundamental universalities.   IE:  Analyzation of an owl's vocalizations will often reveal a distinctly minor tone, while a cardinal's song, in contrast, is predominately major.  Now consider that an owl's nocturnal habits lend themselves to a landscape of darkness, foreboding and uncertainty.  A cardinal, however, is diurnal, and is often more inclined to sing if the weather is sunny and pleasant.  Also keep in mind that this is nothing but conjecture on my part, based upon evidence that is decidedly non-scientific, and rather more instinctual.  I'm sure there are some happy owls out there, and maybe some depressed cardinals.   Though thinking of the latter makes me sad.  :(

Delving briefly into mathematics provides a greater (and nerdier!) universal framework for music.  Potentially needless reductionism leads me to think of melodies and harmonies as ratios of frequencies.  Percussion could be reduced to counting, division, multiplication, and in the case of Squarepusher's breakbeats, limits and absurdly complex calculus.  Thus, much of our musical preferences may be based upon our abilities to find, enjoy and understand these mathematical components (I'd say, "Just ask Gottfried Leibniz", but he's dead, and was probably relatively inaccessible in his time anyway).  In Connor's defense, cultural frameworks would, and probably do, alter and build upon these math-based predispositions.  

In the true OCD spirit of our species, we are obsessed with counting, quantification, qualification and overanalyzation (this little rant being a pretty good example of its consequences, if left unchecked).  Understanding and constructing sound is no exception.  However, much like birds, we are still subject to the natural balance of the world around us and everything it contains.   As long as we are of that world, there is no feasible means of removing ourselves from that contextual umbilicle cord of tactile reality.  So it is with music....unless you turn on MTV on any given day and suddenly feel compelled to irreperably "deactivate" your eardrums using a Dremel (assuming the 2% chance that there's any actual music playing). 

So, to half-heartedly tie this into the first paragraph, electronic music provides a decent enough case-study of what I spouted off in the nonsense above.  MIDI gloves and Max/Msp patches may be interesting, but unless the finished product respects and resonates with our inherant, natural understanding of the world around us, it will be cold and purposeless.  That is, until future generations replace their frontal cortexes with solid state flash memory, as a means of rebelling against their parents.

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New EP Available for Pre-Order [26 Jan 2007|11:39am]
[ mood | excited ]

Skytree:  Wilder Forest is now available for pre-order on Earstroke Records.  

    

The 3" CD-R is packaged in green mini-jewel cases with printed artwork, hand numbered.   Each order will ship with the very first ever Skytree stickers and as always, shipping is free. 

1.  Equinox (2:55)
2.  Saint Croix Boomsite (4:25)  *
3.  Pendulum Vision (2:23)
4.  Square, May's and Terrapin (3:41) **
5.  Inside the Black Oak (2:28) **
6.  Wilder Forest  (?)  

This EP is a concept piece, totalling 23:11 minutes.  It is a sonic chronicle of my experiences of isolation, growth, utter stillness, and occasional madness, while weathering the Winter of 2005-2006.  During that time, I found myself living on a 200 year old farm in Wilder Forest , a remote 5,600 acre expanse of old, thick woods and crystal, frozen lakes in Eastern Minnesota. I was, save the White Pine stands, old Black Oaks and the occasional appearance of a dog named "Buster", alone.
To drive the cold winter away, I was armed only with drums, guitars, synthesizers, and a consistantly inadequate laptop that refused to cooperate, giving rise to much of the disjointed, thick sound of this EP. 

* Full track available for free download.
** 1:00-1:30 min sample


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Dymaxion [24 Jan 2007|07:00pm]

I'm currently reading a book titled Buckminster Fuller's Universe, a biography of the well-known inventor of, among a myriad of accomplishments, the octet truss, geodesic dome, dymaxion map, and dymaxion car.  His design ethic was also instrumental in the discovery of fullerenes and carbon nano-tubes, fundamental components in the burgeoning field of nanotechnology.  Despite being a college dropout, he is one of the quintessential eccentric geniuses (genii?) of the past century.  Though the entirety of the biography has been fascinating so far, I'd like to write about the most recent chapter. 

A clearly brilliant man, Bucky believed in telepathy.  He initially solidified his standpoint through inexplicable interchange with his bed-ridden young daughter, Alexandra, who would often finish his sentences and provide solutions for problems which he had barely formulated in his mind, just moments before.   Through careful study, and a (contemporarily) exhaustive understanding of electromagnetic waves, Buckminster came to an interesting conclusion.  He believed that telepathy was based upon the same phenomenon as shortwave radio communications.  Years later, neuroscientists allegedly found that the human brain is physically capable of transmitting and receiving signals in the range Bucky theorized.  It was his position that everyone is capable of this interchange.  Over time and socialization, however, many lose their capacity for subconscious communication, in a world saturated with emphasis on verbal and written exchange (IE, just as a deaf man's sense of hearing improves to compensate for lack of sight, the reverse is also true: emphasis on one input diminishes the other).  As his daughter, Alexandra, was bedridden for much of her early life, Bucky believed her input tended towards the metaphysical, in absence of the physical.  Whether this is based in fact or not, I can't say.  But, I find his conclusion compelling and meaningful.  

I am a strong believer in the ability of human minds to connect beyond the range of what we currently view as scientifically acceptable.  I don't believe this is paranormal.  I believe it is simply underexplored, and downplayed by our current framework in industrial society.  Personally, I've experienced a large number of instances in which correlation between two people's thoughts could not be explained solely by coincidence or circumstance.  However, I do not believe shortwave EM communication could account for the extent of the phenomenon that I've observed, as shortwave radio communications are only able to travel limited distances, at line-of-sight.  Distance and line-of-sight seem to have no effect, for instance, on the ability two brothers, who live thousands of miles away, to inadvertently be aware of the other's emotional state.

Here is my perceived cause:  An induced state of quantum entanglement between the minds of individuals who have been significantly imprinted in each other's consciousnesses.  While I am far from a theoretical scientist, I have done my best to construct a framework to explain this in observable, known phenomena.  

In order to create a pair of quantum entangled particles, there is a well-known, relatively simple experiment.  When a photon is absorbed by an electron within an atom, that electron rises to a higher energy state.  When it returns to its previous energy state via decay, a photon is emitted.  Occasionally, two photons are emitted in this process, both half the frequency of the original.  These two resulting photons are entangled, meaning they spontaneously reflect the other's quantum state, regardless of proximity or other conditions.  The two entangled photons  would still retain this behavior, even if they were billions of lightyears apart.  

Now, this is where it gets hippy-dippy, and rather uncertain.  If two individuals are adept at entering similar brain wave states when proximate (IE, a couple that is close and communicative), the absorption and emission of photons within their respective neural pathways will (I say this so very definitively) inevitably result in the occasional entangled photon pair.  If one of these photons is absorbed by one neural network, and the second photon absorbed by the other, those entangled behaviors, though reabsorbed, may be retained.  Given this process is repeated often enough, could it be possible that those pathways themselves would, in some way, become partially entangled?

I have no idea whatsoever.  But it sure is neat to think about, isn't it.  

In conclusion:  Boyfriends and girlfriends everywhere, put your heads together, and rub vigorously!

Addendum:  My girlfriend (speaking of the above) replied by posting the following essay on the potential of telepathy via quantum entanglement:  http://cogprints.org/3065/01/qmt.pdf  I did not read this essay prior to writing the above entry.  Though it serves to further encourage my musing on the subject, there are clearly many more questions to be answered (IE: what portion of the human mind registers and retains quantum states of entangled particles, and how, after the collapse of those entangled behaviors, can some individuals retain contact for extended periods of time).  Thank you for posting this, Anjuli.

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[10 Jan 2007|04:38pm]

After several months of deliberations and diplomatic interventions, not to mention blackmailing and several large bills from ninja assassins, I've finally attained my very own cube-shaped office box at work.  With this comes a gamut of sensations, on both the negative and positive side of the scale.  It also comes with my own computer, ergonomic office chair, and eventually a curtain and hammock to effectively convert my cube into a little fort. 

On the negative (best for last), it's strange to consider that my daily life has been rendered down to sitting in a cubicle for half of my waking life.  This means that, if I sleep for 8 hours a day, a mere 33% of my current lifestyle is open for freely persuing the things I'm interested in, not counting chores or errands.  What a strange way to earn one's daily bread.  Even more strange, considering that whenever I check my cupboard or freezer, they seem to be chronically devoid of actual, grainy bread.  

However, on the positive, and this is thankfully in higher quantity, I finally have the opportunity to customize a personal space and truly make it my own.  I'm also in a good spot adjacent to a large atrium with lots of skylights, so half of my afternoon is glowingly bathed in the bathing glow of the sun.  During my hour long afternoon break, I'm free to gallivant through the 520 acres of wooded property around the facility.   This is something that a lot of similar cubicle-nauts may not be blessed with (though their coffee, in all probability, is likely much, much better, IE "real").  Also, while I may rue the afore-mentioned 33% statistic, I spend about a quarter the hours on my time card flitting about Ye Olde Interwebs and writing rambling emails to my girlfriend.  Much like at home, I'm likewise equipped with an ever-growing stack of books that never seem to be completed, but always whittled.  Sometimes, I just sit there and stare off into space for extended periods, especially in the morning.  No one seems to notice.

Tomorrow will by my 23rd birthday.  While I very much appreciate individual gifts (especially those I received last night from Ani), I would like to request that everyone just pool resources and buy me an fusion-propelled starship.  Your motivation?  I will carve all of your initials into the moon using the equipped high-power laser.  You will be remembered, and thanked, for eons.

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[05 Jan 2007|03:48pm]
Welcome to the WikiEvan Dictionary. Today's entry is brought to you by the letter "e".
--------------------------
eu·gen·ics (yoo-jen-iks)
n. (used with a sing. verb)
--------------------------
A morally proposterous and highly unorthodox branch of Social Darwinism, which suggests that all individuals not named "Eugene" should be exposed to fatal levels of nerve gas, in order to somehow improve the quality of the human gene pool.

The theory was primarily developed in 1867 when, following a summer afternoon repeatedly being called "Bluejean" by his peers, this slightly confused-looking fellow scribbled it down angrily on a napkin, at age 8.


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THC: The Bigfoot Serum [02 Jan 2007|06:39pm]
After recently stumbling upon several indexes of alleged audio recordings of Sasquatch (a Hominid Cryptid), I have been forced to reassess my previous disbelief of their existence. Thus, my mind has been aflutter with cryptozoological musings, theorizing, and profuse pondering. Many long days have now passed since I first heard these recordings (cited below). As of today, I believe I have come to a stunning, and potentially controversial conclusion on the origin of Bigfoot.

First, we must examine the nature of Sasquatch, as reported by countless eyewitness accounts, field evidence, and media. Immediately, three common characteristics are very clear:

  1. Physiology: The alleged creature is a bipedal primate, covered in hair, has a tendency to be rather odorous, and is roughly 7-9 ft in height on average.
  2. Psychology: The alleged creature is extremely elusive and hermetic, but reportedly likes music a great deal. Many accounts of bigfoot sightings were preceded by the eyewitnesses playing some sort of tune, which, likely out of curiosity, lured the creature from the forest.
  3. Territory: The alleged creature is primarily sighted in extremely remote, forested areas of the West Coast of the United States.

Now that I have outlined these characteristics, my conclusion becomes rather self-evident: Sasquatch is a huuuuuge pot head. Not only that, but all Sasquatch individuals were, at one time, perfectly normal human beings, like you and I. While many may potentially question this seemingly baseless theory, allow me to explain myself.

Consumption of Cannabis Sativa, often referred to as "reefer", "marijuana", or "Mary Jane", contains the active ingredient "Tetrahydrocannabinol", or "THC". When consumed extensively by a human specimen, THC often results in many of the characteristics listed above. For the reader's convenience, this will be broken down into a point-by-point comparison.

  1. Physiology: Many long-term marijuana enthusiasts, which we shall hithertofore refer to as "Stoners" grow profuse quantities of hair throughout their use. This can result in the common "hippie dreadlock" look, which otherwise appear to be large mats of untidy, greasy hair. If taken to the extreme, this would undoubtedly spread across the entire body of the Stoner, yielding something uncannily ape-like. Likewise, Stoners often refer to their TCH experience as a "high", which could explain the increased height of the specimens reported in Sasquatch sightings. The odorous, musky quality of these Stoner Sasquatch is hardly worth explaining in detail, as Stoners are also characterized by a decreased desire to bathe regularly.
  2. Psychology: Long-term Stoners also quite commonly describe an undesirable side effect of TCH consumption as "pot paranoia". Following a large dose of cannabis, the user is occasionally apt to feel illogically afraid of other human beings, especially those in places of authority. Isolation, seclusion, and involvement in strictly Stoner social groups are the most often-practiced coping mechanisms of the average user. Likewise, a Stoner often has an extreme enthusiasm for music, which they may describe as "3D" or "a magical experience" while under the influence of THC. Could this explain why the average Sasquatch can often be lured by a simple melody or drum circle? It is my suspicion that this is the case.
  3. Territory: At the upper limits of consumption, a Stoner's "pot paranoia" would likely drive him or her deep into the woods, and away from civilization. Hardly coincidental. Coupled with the short-term memory loss reportedly caused by TCH, an over-saturated Stoner would quickly forget their ties to society, and probably forget his or her clothes on a rock somewhere because they "just don't care that much about that oppressive dogma, really...it's all like, material bullshit, man". It is also worth noting that Cannabis is easily purchased on the West Coast states of California, Oregon, and Washington. In fact, availability of the illegal, controlled substance is uncommonly high in the area. Now, consider this: Sasquatch are also found in higher concentration on the West Coast than in the rest of the continental US.

A compelling argument, I'm sure you'll agree. After much deliberation, I believe this conclusion to be virtually irrefutable. So, remember kids: pot will turn you into a bigfoot. You have been warned. Make of it what you will.

Prepared by E.T. Snyder, Esquire on 01/02/07

Audio recordings:
Various sounds
Alarm/Mating Calls
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Honey Suckling [26 Dec 2006|05:10pm]
On my break today, I ventured out into the woods for my daily sunset absorption.

In my pocket, I carried a wee lime flavored honey stick, indicated as such by a band of green down its length, which I had purchased during lunch.

Wandering into the bracken and small evergreens, I found a suitably snowless patch of pine needles and sat down. I nibbled at the end of the plastic honey straw and cracked it open. The bit of the liquid squeezed out was rendered viscous by the brisk air before it hit my tongue. It was sweet, but modest. The sun set as I slowly ate the remaining minuscule morsel of honey, and I leaned my back against the cedar tree behind me while the calls of owls resonated through the woods, and the cracking of now-sunless ice echoed from the lake ahead.

As I often forget, like anyone, to appreciate that which is right in front of me, I find moments like this uncannily representative of the world's propensity for beauty.

Life's best tastes are sometimes subtle, and often come packaged simply, in tiny spoonfulls.
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The Modern Monomyth [25 Dec 2006|04:04pm]
This is the best Christmas I've had with family in years. Unlike past favorite Christmases, however, this one was relatively devoid of toys and games, though I did receive my own Boggle (the 3 minute word game) and a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle of Germany's Neuschwanstein castle for good measure. Worth noting that the new Boggle has been revised to include a muffling, streamlined dome to reduce sound pollution whilst playing, undoubtedly designed in a high-tech wind tunnel hidden deep within the catacombs of Parker Brothers' Corporation Central.

My little brother is back from Seattle, my big bother from Minneapolis. My parents are in the best spirits I've seen them since early I began this voyage into early adulthood (my dad even gave my mom a brand new diamond ring, almost as a physical token of their mood).

My favorite gift, by far, is a Tibettan singing bowl picked out by my mom. She gave each of us a different bowl, each personalized. We spent Christmas eve evening (eve^2?) crowded around the dinner table, experimenting with various ways of augmenting their sound. Dozens of bowl striking objects were strewn about the table by the time we were done, along with various volumes of liquids, granuals, and other materials that tested the resonance of the bowls. Then, my brothers finished off by playing various pop and folk songs on guitar and standup bass. Ah, musical family...bowls me over every time.

Strangely enough though, I found myself kind of down for the past few days. For the first time in almost 5 years, my role as positivity-bringer has been almost rendered unnecessary. Everyone else is so content and mellow. It took me a while to readjust my purpose. Being the middle child, I'm often drawn towards being the glue between people, like a medium.

Connor, Alan and I went for our annual Christmas walk this afternoon. It was the first time I felt like all three of us stood on our own as men...individual spirits capable of expressing themselves with confidence and respect. Again, the middle role was downplayed. I'm now just me, not the go-between or the glue. So, to create a completely useless and convoluted metaphor: I am like the peanut butter between two pieces of bread which have recently become turned into two pieces of contented, individualized toast, and it has become necessary to transmogrify myself from peanut butter to peanuts, as a standalone food item. Did that illustrate my point at all? No? Good.

We had excellent conversation during our walk, appropriate (but not intentially) focussing on spirituality. My younger brother, Alan, recently adopted a Christian faith, which I've come to respect, but did not fully understand until now. He is so open minded with his belief, it isn't abraisive nor evangelic...so much so, that I can't help but love him more for it. His open mindedness permeated into a debate combining Taoistic and Christian faiths, where we came to some extremely interesting conclusions, propelled by Connor's deep rooted knowledge of myth, civilization, and people in general.

At dinner we discussed which qualities of nations and communities empirically result in the highest per-capita happiness level. This eventually tied into a conversation on McCarthyism as a manifestation of Americans' fear that communism was, in fact, superior, then turned to Russia, then Russian dialect, and back again.

I very much love my family. They are ridiculous.

Just like me.
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[20 Dec 2006|06:16pm]
Shhh...
I had my first high-dosage psilocybin adventure this Sunday. For those that have stumbled across this losely hidden text, and disagree with the prospect, please read further. I do not regret the experience, nor do I feel it has negatively impacted me in any way. I have researched the chemical in great detail, and felt I was prepared. I will do my best to recount what I experienced.

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I sat on the couch in Coffee Talk, catching up on emails and purposefully whittling away the excess time that I found in my possession that day. My friend Ben, who was doing much the same, sat across from me. After a good hour of this, with bouts of smalltalk in between, Ben asked if I'd like to go for a hike with him in the park. This was a customary and frequent jaunt of ours, so I thought nothing of it, finished up my work, and packed up my things.

Ten minutes later, we were walking down a forested trail in Minnesota, following the banks of the Saint Croix River. Conversation went back and forth as usual. Girls. School. Ethnobiology. In the midst of talking, Ben paused to search his pockets for a cigarette. While exploring his coat, he heard a slight crinkle of a plastic bag, which he withdrew. Inside was 1/8th of an ounce of magic mushrooms. Ben's possession of them had completely escaped him, as the surprise on his face equalled mine. Apparently, he had entirely forgotten about the caps and stems...left over from a blurry party on an unremembered night two weeks prior.

I have been wary of mushrooms for a very long time. Their use is non-addictive and non-habit forming, nor is there any permanent damage done to the body or mind after ingesting them. I was, however, afraid of the dark side of myself; what might emerge during the "bad trip" phase that I'd heard described by many. Nevertheless, when Ben offered to give the entirety of his find to me, free of charge, I did not decline. That it was a complete accident and gesture of serendipity was enough for me comfortable with the decision. Or, more ominously: The time had come.

We sat on a park bench overlooking the river, I slowly chewed on the mushrooms while Ben smoked and talked. The taste was woody and dark, like some dish of faerie origin. Definitively fungal, but not objectionable, I couldn't help but notice how appropriate the taste was on retrospect. After I'd finished, we stood up and continued down the path. For 20 minutes, I felt no effect, until a lens (some describe it as a "haze" but I feel this is too obstructive) slowly began focussing itself over my consciousness. The first immediate difference that flung itself to my attention were the colors and dimensions of the grasses, moss, rocks, and leaves that surrounded me. The forest was green and gray in a way that neither "green" nor "gray" could describe. Everything was amplified and enlivened, though it was in no way representative of the guantlet through which my experience would thus run for the next 5 hours.

Ben notified me that he had homework to finish before the weekend was through, and we decided to part ways. Before we split, however, he left me with this advice: Should I feel trapped and should the trip turn bad, go outside. I thankfully noted this, as it proved very valuable later on.

Slightly altered at this point, I began my walk home. I had the intent that I should eat something and relax, as my stomach had been relatively empty that day. My calming and familiar apartment seemed like the logical option. I opened my door and walked inside 15 minutes later. Carefully, I prepared a sandwhich, during which nothing seemed amiss, and I began to wonder if the journey I had expected would not come. But it did. Slowly, I grew conscious of a crippling Nothing ebbing and flowing itself over my mood. By the time I had finished my sandwich, I was in a state of complete horror and unimaginable depression, and could do nothing but lay on the floor, immobile. I wanted very much to die. Thoughts of inadequacy and regret flooded through me. I became suddenly aware that I had hidden much from myself, and despite my outwardly positive personality, there were sides of myself that I truly hated. I saw my future as it would be if I continued idling by, and beside it, a future in which I accomplished what I was capable of. The rift between the two was so large that I could not bear it. But I decided I would be strong. Taking Ben's advice, I stood, spontaneously stuffed an orange into my pocket while heading out the door, and dove back into the woods.

I found myself on the Ice Age trail, not far from my parents' home. Here is where the most vivid portion of my mushroom experience occurred. I walked down the path which cut and twisted its way down a steep ravine, flanked on either side by curtains of still-emerald moss and tall, old trees. Within 10 minutes of this, the horror and hatred I had experienced in my apartment left me. It was replaced by a sensation of intense, omniscient oneness, and a deep understanding that all around me was as alive as I. My anthropocentristic superiority complex melted away into grass and thicket. I began seeing faces in the trees around me. Not human faces, but tree faces, wise and hagard (there is a difference here that I unfortunately cannot describe soberly). As I walked, I stiffened myself and stretched my neck upwards, almost in child immitation of their grace. It was at this point that I began talking with the trees.

Slowly, my ears heard a rushing and slow growling through the forest around me. It sounded as if a temple of giants had all congregated together to chant in low, guttural tones, at a tempo of fossilized slowness. I listened to it in fascination. I began to understand it...and decided to talk with them. For reasons that still elude me, this was the first question out of my mouth: "What is love?"

To my surprise, I received a reply, though it took five minutes: "You know nothing of love to us."

I followed, "What is different about your love?"

"All we need for love...is ourselves" said the Trees. We spoke a bit more, but after a while, I found myself unable to pay attention to their slow rasping...much too glaciaic for my instant senses.

I understand that this sounds outlandish; the result of an acute hallucination, but it felt as real to me now as it did then. I still cannot decide if I genuinely communicated, or if I imagined the whole experience. Frankly, it doesn't matter anymore.

After my experience with the trees, I walked to a nearby meadow which looked out over the river to the west. I found a bench and sat down. There, I watched the sun slowly sink into the hills as I ate my orange. Both visuals and taste were so remarkably vivid that they seem inextricably tied in hindsight. The clouds refracted beams of light with remarkable geometry while citric juices cascaded over my tongue. I became aware that I was seeing and experiencing that which was always there, but with a more fundamental understanding of its architecture. A simple wisp of a moving cloud was a torrential race of visual information. The sun, it became apparent, was a God.

Feeling much better at this point, I headed home again. Later that night, I joined my brother for a night of art in his apartment, with friends and neighbors. For hours, I felt nothing but unending love for everyone around me. It was like the curtains of anxiety, uncertainty and discomfort between myself and others had completely eroded. Love was the only thing that remained.

Now, three days later, I can't help but feel that my life has been fundamentally changed. I understand myself far more clearly than I did before. A halo of liquid, elusive depression that I've succumed to (often unknowingly) for years has been mortally wounded. I feel far more appreciative and immersed in the world around me, all at the cost of plummeting to its very bottom and ascending back up again, into the heaven of trees and orange pulp.

For those that read this, I hope you found it meaningful, though that is not important. Ultimately, this is an archieve to myself, as it is something that I never want to forget.
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[29 Nov 2006|02:22pm]
As I get older, it becomes more and more apparent that my emotional state is often closely connected to my physical state. 75% of any depression, anxiety or fatigue that I feel is often alleviated with a hearty bit of food and a good walk. If the flow of endorphines from exercise isn't enough, lone hikes through the countryside, river shore or forest also gives me time to free myself from cyclical thinking and attain a bit of clarity. Answers that would normally take hours of fretting just pop into my mind unabided, provided my legs are moving and the air is fresh.

I decided to take one such walk today during my break, after noticing that I felt needlessly irritable. Sun was beaming through the skylight above my desk and tantalizingly suggesting I go outdoors. So, I donned my light coat, walked downstairs and out the door. The moment I took my first step, I was met with a bitter cold (5° F with wind chill, say the authorities). I often feel excited by "moderate physical adversity", so despite being woefully underequipped with my thin fall jacket, I smiled and began striding down one of the campus trails.

Being in the cold on a sunny, winter day instantly recalled memories of my experiences last winter. A year ago at this time, I was living in the middle of Wilder Forest, nearly alone. Until now, I had largely forgotten how special that place was. The trails were quiet. No engines or hum of the highway. No dogs barking, no humans going about their daily noisy exercises...just pure silence save the birds, trees and wind. Walking in those woods and meadows was the most undiluted form of worship I've ever experienced. Sometimes the feeling became so tangible that I often flinched, for fear of smiting, if and when I stepped upon a crackling twig. If I whistled, I paid close attention to the appropriateness of the tune. Irish jigs took precendence.

After the reminder of that place today, I realized that I must seek out the same feeling more often. Being alone, completely alone, is my salve and serum of mind-body-spirit-trio salvation. Don't get me wrong. I very much love people and skyscrapers and their ilk. But, if possible, I feel the most content when social energy mimics the ebb and flow of the waves visible in praire grass. Sometimes the grass undulates with such ferocity that the rushing hum is audible from a mile away. But on other occasions, it is perfectly, utterly still.
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[20 Nov 2006|03:34pm]
At lunch break, I was sitting in the cafeteria atrium, eating a rather tasty (dare I say "zesty?) steak and pinto bean wrap. While I was ingesting my consumable, I evesdropped on a conversation between coworkers at the table behind me. I use the term "conversation" in more of the token sense, however, as there was one man in particular who seemed to dominate the lunchtime banter of the corporate clique in question.

His tone of voice was what I noticed first. Since I had my back turned to this group and could not see them, I assumed the man speaking was in his early twenties. The words he spoke were harsh around the edges, full of naivety, superiority and condescension. In fact, he sounded like I did at 18, before I learned to occasionally catch myself and re-drill a very necessary humility if it wasn't drilled for me. Not that I am excempt from that sort of thing now...it's just, thankfully, become less common.

As I listened, the man talked, without interruption, for nearly 30 minutes to his fellow diners. And, the entire time, not once did his topic waver from the movies he had seen this previous weekend. I sat wondering why he did not bore the others to tears, driving them off. The monologue continued with this insipid quality throughout. Was there truly nothing better to discuss between coworkers after two days of precious, albeit periodic, freedom?

After swallowing the last bite of my lunch, I stood up and performed the obligatory post-meal crumb dusting. When I turned around to push in my chair, I saw the man whose voice I'd be listening to for the duration of my break. He was not in his 20's. He wasn't even remotely young. The fellow sitting at the table, chattering out the perpendicular sort of words that don't allow for edgewise gaps, was in his mid 50's. He was wearing a very expensive suit.
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OMG [13 Nov 2006|01:29pm]
Me: so how did the date go?
Reed: It was fine, I think we were both like, "omg, first date"
Me: let's say "omg" as much as possible in this chat session. as in, "omg that's great reed".
Reed: omg, that would be so cook
omg, I ment to say cool, instead of cook
like, omg, cook can be the new cool
OMG
me: O
M
F
G
Reed: I'm a genious
Me: YOU'RE SO COOK REED.
...spatulas are the new sunglasses.
Reed: omg, that's so cook
Me: it's like "fetch" but far, far cooker.
Reed: "Fetch is never going to happen"
omg, I love that movie
Me: OMG me too, surprisingly.
now, you promise to call this "Tea Nah" today or in the near future?
because it sounds like she has the hot flashes for you.
Me: i mean "the hots".
Reed: omg. someone's calling right now. . .
Me: omg. is it her? OMG.
- Sent at 1:20 PM on Monday -
Reed: its dad
Me: ...
Me: DISAPPOINTING.
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Misanthropic Tropic Topic [09 Nov 2006|01:23pm]
I'm sitting at work at the moment, entering data into a messy Java applet. I've been trapped in this room for a majority of the day, and likely will be in here for 3 more hours until I'm free...

Everything felt sort of gray and dull, but then the Flaming Lips' "The Wand" popped on the radio. Goddamn if that isn't one of the most uplifting tracks I've ever heard.

Now I'm pumped for the rest of the day. Thank you Wayne Coyne. You're my pot-smoking inspirational, gray-haired hero. It's good to be reminded that not everyone is confined to a tiny room of death, and that I won't be here forever.

Out of Coyne-inspired rebellion, I just wrote "BACON HOUSE" in this corporate database entry, rather than "BEACON HOUSE". System, consider yourself FUCKED WITH. My company will never know. I relish at the thought of an employee of Beacon House receiving one of our mailings, looking at the label, and reading the word "bacon" where his business should be. Yep. FUCKED WITH. Next week, maybe I'll email the wrong attachment to my boss!! Whoa, you wanted a bar graph with the perecentages on the x-axis?!?! Oh shiiit! Pardon me!

OH WAIT, heh...please DON'T pardon me, on second thought! YOU JUST GOT A LITTLE THING I LIKE TO CALL FUCKED WITH.

In conclusion: EVERYONE'S INVITED OVER FOR A PARTY. WE'RE GOING TO BUILD LEGOS. BRING SNACKS. CAPSLOCK. MIXED NUTS. ITALICS.
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Edited for Angst Reduction. [07 Nov 2006|03:49pm]
My brother made a poignant point the other day. Imagine you are living in a constant state of destitution. Imagine again that there is no outside influence giving you the potential for change. Destitution becomes the norm, and you are trapped within it (unless you are the rare revolutionary, spontaneously generating social change). Now, look at suburbia. It's different, right? Not necessarily...in fact, not different at all. This applies just as much to our middle-class society as it does to those who live in anarchy, or those who are unable to break from socio-economic and racial stereo/archetypes.

We're all subject to the same blindness. It isn't just the boy in Cabrini Green who grows up to be a gang member. It isn't just the lost adolescent in Iran (a country chosen arbitrarily from our "Axis of Evil") turning to terrorism and violence because it's all she's ever seen. The good, honest, moral neighbors that you see as completely innocent, hell, even you and I, commit destructive acts of ignorance (or SHATS, Stupid Human Actions that Suck) on a daily basis. We even take pride in it. I know I do. Ah, there's nothing better than purchasing a product with more packaging than content. Haha...what's that, you could make a shelter out of this excess plastic? Too bad! I'll throw it "away". Fuck if I care where it goes. As long as it's away.

In the first world:

We build inefficient structures. The windows in my office do not open. But you know, it almost feels like a spaceship, especially with all of the flickering lighting and computer screens! Spaceships are cool, right? Besides, if everyone could open their windows, we'd have a breeze and humidity. Gross! I prefer the chronically malfunctioning environmental control ducts.

We perpetuate inefficient transportation systems. About 20% of the gasoline I dump into my engine actually propels my Subaru. I'm glad it's overengineered though, because it means I'm safe. Which reminds me...what happened to the electric car? I could have sworn they were cost effective and energy efficient. Oh well. Certainly there was no corporate intervention in the interest of fosil fuel profits. They probably just weren't safe. If it weighs under two tons, I'm not driving in it!

We drench ourselves with excess energy. Why not, we have plenty. Gas prices went down. Who cares what long-term trend analysis predicts, based on very solid evidence. Business as usual, guys. There's always nuclear power! We'll never run out of Plutonium. Unlike oil, it's infinite.

We wage wars on the poor for the sake of the rich and turn away with sedentary disinterest when confronted with it. I'm so goddamn sick of suicide bombing headlines. It's their own fault, really...they don't know any better. So, we have to show them the way. We are the model society, after all.

We increasingly neglect the intellectual, spiritual and emotional needs of others and even ourselves. I prefer to go to coffee shops and hop on my laptop...no more "conversation", thank you. Unless you want to talk about the weather, newest computer technology, or sports. I'm up for that. But if you want to be emotional, face to face conversation really is just a bit too demanding after an 8.5 hour work day. People are scary and unpredictable on the inside! Don't let it out, for god's sake.

We pour exorbitant sums of money and time into developing technology simply to outmode and outdate previous mechanical wonders; to profit and serve the board of trustees and share holders. Man, I want a new cell phone...mine doesn't even have a camera or Bluetooth. Frankly, fuck that. How am I supposed to update my iCal information wirelessly? Goddamn Stone Age piece of crap...

Sociopathic corporations eradicate countless species with our detached, unaware blessing, so we can save a few cents on a hamburger. I anxiously eye the "sale" tags at grocery stores. Last time I shopped, my receipt conveniently notified me that I'd saved 76 cents on my purchase! I can put it towards that Motorola PEBL cell phone, unless I find something else (preferably more instantly gratifying) to waste it on.

We scramble furiously to develop new gaming systems to keep our youth indoors; to increasingly isolate and blind them to the world that surrounds them. Which is good, because the world is an unsafe place. Guard your children. They are the future!

...

I can't see how any of the above is better than the Iranian teen picking up an RPG for the first time. Rocket propelled grenade, by the way...not role playing game.

...

Next Spring, I'm buying a hybrid. I've done my part for now, right? Right.

Goodnight.
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The Great Conjunction [24 Oct 2006|08:10pm]
[ mood | neck-achey ]

I recently read the following two works:

Ray Kurzweil's Age of Spiritual Machines
and
Ted Kaczynski's Unabomber Manifesto

Kurzweil advocates a future of near totalitarian control by machines over humanity, and the ascension of human intelligence into the digital universe. The author enthusiastically declares machines as the next evolutionary stage of life on this planet, destined to triumphantly replace the organic. Kaczynski, on the other hand, is noted for his distinctly anti-technological (and, granted, occasionally sociopathic) viewpoint, urging instead that all technology be destroyed and wiped from the planet as a deseperate plea for human survival. With both of these futuristic visions taken into account, it is very difficult to weigh the morality, and plausibility, of both. From the perspective of an early-twenties computer addicted nature enthusiast, I'm, well, conflicted.

I recognize and understand the frightening potential of Kaczynski's worse-case-scenario manifesting in reality. A world in which corporate control and systematic drain of resources for the industrial good is not so far away. On the contrary, it is a growing, observable trend. A recent study of the WWF (the Global Environmental Conservation Organization) showed that worldwide biodiversity has decreased by 30% since 1970. Likewise, mass manipulation of the populace to produce subserviance and placidity, again for the sake of the technophilic world economy, is not nearly as distant or absurd as they were when Orwell or Huxley first put pen to paper. Ritalin, Prozac, highly addictive benzodiazepines and other potentially dangerous substances are commonplace in daily pill coctails throughout the "developed" world, especially and most disturbingly in children. Almost all of these are meant to deal with some form of "disorder", which I would argue often stems from a human's natural incompatibility with the bizarre world we are forced into and confined within.

Now, this lends to a nice segue. The reknowned proponent of artificial intelligence, Ray Kurzweil, PhD., allegedly ingests a daily regemin of 300+ pills per day. His goal: To live as long as possible, and eventually reach a not-so-distant future in which he believes it will be possible to download himself into a bio-compatible, digital neural network. He wants immortality. This is the darling of the Digital World, the benevolent father of modern Net Culture. However, after reading his most recent book, it seems to me that he is every bit as delusional and insane as the Unabomber, only more dangerously so. Society is more likely to embrace new shiny objects rather than destroy the ones it has. The growth curve only moves in one direction. Up.

Ultimately, this comes to a very distinct, and conveniently black and white fork in the road. Which existance would you prefer? One of complete digital immersion into a global network of information, in which all is instantly gratified, or one of independence from mechanization, again at the mercy of nature? When I assess these two sides of myself, the computer composer and the day hiker, the conclusion is shockingly simple. I would prefer sitting on a hillside during sunset, feeling the breeze on my back and the insects in my hair, over any simulated, virtual equivalent. The biting of mosquitos is nothing in comparison to corporate control and mechanical rule.

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An Existentialist Detective Report [23 Oct 2006|09:10pm]
For the past two years, I've often had a sensation of unease or incompleteness, like there's some inescapable facet of myself that's missing. I often blame myself for being under-motivated to seek out this missing bit, even though I am almost constantly busy and engaging myself. No matter what I acheive, it doesn't seem like enough, or that I've lived up to my own expectations. This makes me feel anxious, stressed, and depressed when I otherwise shouldn't be.

A few days ago, I had a conversation with Roy (my older half-brother's dad) that gave me a different take on things. It went roughly like this (well, rather, this is how I remembered it):

Roy: So how's life these days?

Me: Good, I suppose. I feel a little asynchronous today, though.

Roy: What do you mean?

Me: I'm not sure...kind of incomplete, maybe? I've been off and on like that for a while.

Roy: Well, what might make you feel that way? ...how's your job?

Me: Really good. I mean it's an office job, but it pays well, and I care about what I'm doing.

Roy: Alright, so how about where you live? Connor says you just got a great, ritzy apartment.

Me: Yeah, it's probably the best place I'll ever live in.

Roy: You got a girlfriend, too?

Me: I do, actually. She's great...intelligent, funny and pretty. I'm really happy with her.

Roy: Then what is it that's on your mind?

Me: Education, I suppose, and a few other things. I feel like I'm standing still by not being in school.

Roy: But you plan on going back, and you seem to know what you're doing for now, so why not enjoy yourself? It sounds like your life is good right now.

Me: It is, but that's not the point.

Roy: Yes, it is. Your life sounds good, Evan. Sometimes we just make up things to keep us worried, because we get accustomed to feeling bad and almost crave that feeling, even when it doesn't need to be there.


Thanks, Roy.
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[18 Oct 2006|09:09pm]
Quote of the day (an overheard phone conversation snippet):

"...and don't think you're going to get that erotic with me. What? ... No, you're not going to a brothel. ... Yeah, it's been a long time for you. Hmm...maybe you can get one of those pills?"

Man, I love evesdropped bits of verbiage with no attached context. I've written this here as a reminder, as I've forgotten my little Quote of the Day book at home.
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