Posts Tagged ‘Huffington Post’

Today’s topic is biocentrism … and, yes, I’m out of my fucking mind even beginning to go there on a Saturday morning in November, especially after an evening involving wine … and starts with its seven principles:

1. What we perceive as reality is a process that involves our consciousness. An “external” reality, if it existed, would by definition have to exist in space. But this is meaningless, because space and time are not absolute realities but rather tools of the human and animal mind.

2. Our external and internal perceptions are inextricably intertwined. They are different sides of the same coin and cannot be divorced from one another.

3. The behavior of subatomic particles, indeed all particles and objects, is inextricably linked to the presence of an observer. Without the presence of a conscious observer, they at best exist in an undetermined state of probability waves.

4. Without consciousness, “matter” dwells in an undetermined state of probability. Any universe that could have preceded consciousness only existed in a probability state.

5. The structure of the universe is explainable only through biocentrism. The universe is fine-tuned for life, which makes perfect sense as life creates the universe, not the other way around. The “universe” is simply the complete spatio-temporal logic of the self.

6. Time does not have a real existence outside of animal-sense perception. It is the process by which we perceive changes in the universe.

7. Space, like time, is not an object or a thing. Space is another form of our animal understanding and does not have an independent reality. We carry space and time around with us like turtles with shells. Thus, there is no absolute self-existing matrix in which physical events occur independent of life.

Got that? No … me neither.

I’ve been giving this thought since learning about that whole particles need observers to do much thing, chicken/egg/cart/horse thinking that shakes my brain like a rattle in the hand of Insane Demon Baby.

It’s this article in the Huff post that handed the noise toy to the toddler-from-hell-living-in-my-head this morning, luring me in by speaking directly to me in the opening sentence:

Why do you happen to be alive on this lush little planet with its warm sun and coconut trees?

Why, indeed.

Although the bit about the coconut trees is nothing but overkill, the Why are you here? question is one I ask often, although usually framed differently: What the fuck do you think you’re doing? … How the fuck did you end up here? … Now what?

Although those questions-posed-to-self are often self-focused, I do ponder the point of me in the greater sense … What is the point of me and him and her and them and those thingies over there? … and the article puts the little in little ole me:

How did inert, random bits of carbon ever morph into that Japanese guy who always wins the hot-dog-eating contest?

In short, attempts to explain the nature of the universe, its origins, and what’s really going on require an understanding of how the observer, our presence, plays a role. According to the current paradigm, the universe, and the laws of nature themselves, just popped out of nothingness. The story goes something like this: From the Big Bang until the present time, we’ve been incredibly lucky. This good fortune started from the moment of creation; if the Big Bang had been one-part-in-a-million more powerful, the cosmos would have rushed out too fast for the galaxies and stars to have developed. If the gravitational force were decreased by a hair, stars (including the Sun) wouldn’t have ignited. There are over 200 physical parameters like this that could have any value but happen to be exactly right for us to be here. Tweak any of them and you never existed.

Okay, so I’m a statistical probability as remote as my coconut tree sprouting legs and jogging on the beach … and so are you, neener neener neener.

Or not.

Indeed, according to biocentrism, it’s us, the observer, who create space and time (which is the reason you’re here now). Consider everything you see around you right now. Language and custom say it all lies outside us in the external world. Yet you can’t see anything through the vault of bone that surrounds your brain. Your eyes aren’t just portals to the world. In fact, everything you experience, including your body, is part of an active process occurring in your mind. Space and time are simply the mind’s tools for putting it all together.

So, we are all legends in our own mind?

Cogito ergo sum, folks.

In ethics, biocentrism puts us in our place:

Biocentrism states that nature does not exist simply to be used or consumed by humans, but that humans are simply one species amongst many, and that because we are part of an ecosystem, any actions which negatively affect the living systems of which we are a part, adversely affect us as well, whether or not we maintain a biocentric worldview. Biocentrists believe that all species have inherent value, and that humans are not “superior” in a moral or ethical sense.

There is no doubt my dog’s version of me varies greatly from mine, as does mine from hers, and since both she and I exist on the same plane … or veranda, as is the case at the moment … each reality is as valid as the other.

I find the notion of biocentrism in both cosmology and ethics more than interesting, but it falls short for me, lacking just a bit of the imagination it would take to move it just a smidgen beyond the biology that gives the theory its name.

It’s consciousness that seems the point, the indefinable, unmeasurable dimension of consciousness, and it’s biology that limits our capacity to fully grasp what must be accessible when the biojar that contains consciousness is eventually jettisoned.

As Einstein put it:

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Although there are plenty of peeps whose consciousness is suspect … yeah, they watch Fox News … it’s still the elephant in every room — the invisible, densely-packed-empty-vacuum, infinitely there-and-not-there-always-never powering the deus ex machina life inserts to cause all to lose the plot, yet save the day after day after day.

In the case of that ‘particles need observers’ deal, it’s not the fact that eyeballs are aimed in the general direction, it’s that consciousness is, and as Ray Charles proved beyond doubt, functioning eyes are no requirement for soul.

Much like a tortoise is not the shell, yet defined by it … since without a carapace it’s either dead or not a tortoise … we are not our biology. It does define us and, like the tortoise, it also CONfines us.

Einstein again:

“My feeling is religious insofar as I am imbued with the consciousness of the insufficiency of the human mind to understand more deeply the harmony of the Universe which we try to formulate as “laws of nature”.

It’s the limiting nature … biology … of the human mind that makes so illusive the far reaches of consciousness, not the other way round, and it’s the consciousness that makes everything else, including the biology. It follows, then, that we are more than our physical form. We’re like tequila … whether it be rotgut or nectar de dioses … most of our potential is wasted while in the bottle.

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When it comes to news sources, I use many. From the Huffington Post (a fabulous online publication with the good sense to employ my brilliant niece), to the Adoption Institute, from the the BBC to CNN and back again, there’s a world of info at our fingertips, and anything that must be known can … with a good salt shaker in hand, some common sense and a willingness to learn and listen carefully.

That said, I must admit that one of my daily “must reads” has little to do with learning, but everything to do with a shaker full and common sense.

Yes, that would be The Onion … the premier site for satire dressed in news clothing, and every bit as biting as such an animal should be.

Take, for example, this article, titled: Study: 38 Percent Of People Not Actually Entitled To Their Opinion.

Now if it’s not a sticky bit from my own brain extrapolated out into three paragraphs of undiluted poetic slap-upside-the-head-with-a-sackfull-of-nickels!

In a surprising refutation of the conventional wisdom on opinion entitlement, a study conducted by the University of Chicago’s School for Behavioral Science concluded that more than one-third of the U.S. population is neither entitled nor qualified to have opinions.

Well … yeah …

Living internationally, as I do, I personally wouldn’t limit the “study results” to Americans, but since The Onion is US based, I’ll leave them to it.

Read it and weep … and laugh … and question just about everything about the world making any sense at all.

And … when you’re done … eat a piece of my history with this vid of the Byrds, recalled with fondness — the moment I saw it can be placed in context — doing a TV version of bible verses with “Turn Turn Turn”.

Enjoy …

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Who is this guy?

I’m other-side-of-the-planet out of the loop, so may possibly be forgiven for never, until today, having heard of Steve Santagati, but I’ve just come across a blog post by him on the Huff Post.

He was apparently on a CNN program I’ve also never heard of, Showbiz Tonight, talking about a magazine I’ve never heard of, Maxim, and voicing opinions I have most certainly heard, but not for a while.

Divvying up what does or does not make the opposite sex desirable isn’t a conversation I’ve come across lately, so I was interested to learn what the buzz is in the real world late 2007.

Being some sort of expert on what makes women sexy in the eyes of men, he posts a Top Ten that addresses wardrobe (classy, but provocative), grooming (perfume should be present but not over-powering and it’s best if her hair is clean and of feminine length), temperament (can’t have a “sour puss” or get up on a soapbox and complain all the time), and humor (should be able to take a joke…even if it’s dirty), amongst other things.

Insisting that woman want “brutal honesty”, and admitting that 95% of us can “take it on”, he’s right tiffed by those who can’t … or possibly choose not to?

Because it’s his blog inspiring mine today, I’ll give him his Top Ten and a nod to the postulation that men find ‘sexy’ the quality most attractive, and since he’s never heard of me I’ll assume we’re square and turnabout being fair play I can join the game.

Not being a man, I would never assume to speak for my gender on anything, so my thoughts on what is hot on a man would be my own. Looks are part of the initial draw, but far too subjective, and a small part of the picture.

So, my Top Ten of what makes a man attractive looks like this:

1. He should look like he could care less about what he wears and not spend more than 30 seconds on his hair.

2. In reasonable physical shape, showing evidence of enjoying a good meal and the occasional ale is required.

3. He can be clumsy and goofy as long as he has a good laugh.

4. He must be good at listening AND hearing. (Eye contact is important, too.)

5. He shouldn’t smell like anything that can be purchased through Duty Free other than a good Single Malt.

6. He must be passionate about something.

7. He should not be whiny, ever have his mother do his ironing or freak out at the sight of bugs or snakes.

8. Loving kids and animals and being gentle goes a long way to making up for lost hair or other mere physical attributes that may be less than perfect.

9. An addiction to the written word is vital.

10. He must have honor, never lie, and be ready to protect those he cares for with his life.

Is this too much to ask? Not for me. And, by the way, this is not just the Top Ten for “What I looked for in a life partner.” This would also be the checklist for anyone looking to get laid.

Feel free to add your own thoughts …

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A question posed on this blog on the Huffington Post stopped my fingers mid-stroke this afternoon, and I’m still not at all sure how I’m feeling about it.

Titled “It’s ‘Only’ Words” and written by Carol Hoenig, the main gist is the upcoming writers strike, and she reminds us in the first sentence that:

Whether a writer is part of the Guild or not, it’s true we are an underpaid lot.

Well, AMEN, Sister. I’m right there with you on the solidarity front, rooting for Hollywood writers to finally get a piece of the action that is closer to proportional for their contributions. Why should Conan O’Brien get all the fame, glory AND money, when his witty asides are mostly scripted by some poor slob with a three-hour commute because she can’t afford to live any closer to work?

If there’s any way for me to help out, just let me know.

Oh. Wait a minute …

I wonder what would happen if all writers, from novelists to bloggers, decided to join in the strike. With that thought in mind, does my blogging without compensation make me part of the problem?

Whoa, Nelly!

But …

What WOULD happen if we all just stopped our write-for-free compulsion? Should NaBloPoMo be followed by NaNoBloPoMo?

Discuss …

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I like the Huff Post and go there a lot to check out the latest, almost never failing to find something that educates or amuses.

Because of where I live, however, I don’t get to take full advantage of the cool features today’s news providers offer like on-demand video. No, I just get the ‘quick read’ version and the headline.

On this occasion, that’s enough. Well, enough for blog fodder. I mean, really!, who can pass up as tempting a news canapé as Iran’s beady-eyed slip of a President announcing “We Don’t Have Homosexuals Like In Your Country”?

Okay, maybe one or three bloggers out of a zillion wouldn’t be tempted, but that wouldn’t be me on a Tuesday in paradise, especially when this pops up right after a read about the little git going on about the Holocaust being iffy and 9/11 deserved.

I will not, however, take issue with his pronouncement. Heck! I’ve never set foot in a Tehran Boy Bootie Bar, so what do I know for Persian Poofs?

He does invite speculation, though, doesn’t he? So, feel free to chime in any time with your own answers to the question Ahmadinejad begs: “What sort of homosexuals DO you have in Iran, then, Mr. President?”

I’m starting off with a guess that theirs are more likely to have facial hair, much like ours did in, say, the ’70’s when everyone wanted Freddy Mercury’s top lip hair. The style’s gone stale here, but they’re big on bristles in the Middle East.

Cross-dressing is probably not as big a turn-on for Iranian gay men, perhaps except for the chubby guys. After all, black IS more slimming than white.

I doubt that ‘outing’ is a big deal, either, since I understand that bum bumping with boys isn’t considered ‘homosexual activity’ — more a right of passage … so to speak. It’s not like repeated dips in the jeans pool is going to have anyone thinking you’re hiding something.

Could be that more Farsi Fags are married, and to more than one woman at a time even, and unlike American wives the gals aren’t likely to be tracking their hubbies down at dinner time and dragging their sorry asses home for their meat and two veg and quality family time with the kids. Hanging out with the boys day and night, night and day, is de rigueur, and what goes on between the buddies is no business of the biddies, so riding both the horse and the cow gets brownie points without the farm making the front page.

And that’s just a bit of speculation from me on the differences between American homosexuals and their counterparts in Iran. As I said, all additions are welcome, and anyone with first-hand information is encouraged to spill.

Hey! The president started this train wreck of thought, so we might as well go along with him.

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