MonthApril 2006

Viking Youth Power Hour

One of the pieces of writing I’ve got sitting in the back of my mind is a call for TAZ participants to treat the experience as a shamanic experience and bring something of value back to the real world. I may never attend Burning Man again. What I really want to do is bring the lessons learned from Black Rock City and apply them to the environment around me. Here are a group of Burners who are doing just that:

This week the Viking Youth Power Hour is joined by water department spokesman, and Burning Man Information Radio’s volunteer, Tom LaPorte.

Tom recently made a trip down to Pearlington, Mississippi where he spent a week with the victims of Hurricane Katrina and a group of Burning Man participants who, after the burn this year, picked up and moved their playa-based operation to Pearlington in order to help provide food, fire, demolition services and the unique burner sense of community service and dedication to work. Calling themselves Burners Without Borders, this group has dedicated the better part of the last 8 months to sharing the skills they have honed on the playa with the people of first Biloxi – rebuilding a Buddhist Temple – and now Pearlington.

We discuss the heartbreaking loss Tom witnessed while he was down there, but also the inspiring perspectives of people who were forced to rebuild their lives from amongst the rubble of what was once their beloved town.

We are offered a rare opportunity as Tom gives us the first chance to hear some of the interviews he collected while in Pearlington and that he will be using as part of his hour long radio documentary which will be published later this month.

It’s incredible to see the ethos and the elbow grease so many of us experience on the playa validating itself and coalescing in a kind of service that may become increasingly necessary in the coming years. Of all our work to date, this is perhaps the Viking Youth episode that has made me most proud. Our hearts and our hope go out to all the victim’s of Hurricane Katrina and all the wonderful people helping these people to put their lives together again stronger than it was before.

Mp3 on Viking Youth Power Hour.

Mind Performance Hacks author on NeoFiles

Ron Hale, author of Mind Performance Hacks: Tips and Tools for Overclocking Your Brain, on NeoFiles.

MP3 on NeoFiles.

R.U. Sirius Show: Kate Braverman

Kate Braverman, the author of Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles, interviewed on the R.U. Sirius show.

MP3 on R.U. Sirius Show.

DeLanda’s Markets and Anti-Markets series

For those unfamiliar with him, this interview serves as a good introduction.

Markets, Antimarkets and Network Economics.

Markets and Antimarkets pt. 1.
Markets and Antimarkets pt. 2.
Markets and Antimarkets pt. 3.
Markets and Antimarkets pt. 4.

Markets and Anti-markets in the World Economy.

Markets, Antimarkets and the Fate of the Nutrient Cycles.

Via the Manuel DeLanda Annotated Bibliography.

DJ Spooky Interviews Manuel DeLanda

Today I see art students trained by guilt-driven semioticians or post-modern theorists, afraid of the materiality of their medium, whether painting, music, poetry or virtual reality (since, given the framework dogma, every culture creates its own reality). The key to break away from this is to cut language down to size, to give it the importance it deserves as a communications medium, but to stop worshipping it as the ultimate reality. Equally important is to adopt a hacker attitude towards all forms of knowledge: not only to learn UNIX or Windows NT to hack this or that computer system, but to learn economics, sociology, physics, biology to hack reality itself. It is precisely the “can do” mentality of the hacker, naive as it may sometimes be, that we need to nurture everywhere.

Full Story: Front Wheel Drive.

Randomly-generated ‘scientific paper’ accepted

Sick of receiving spam emails requesting submissions to the 2005 World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics – which charges $390 for each attendee – students Jeremy Stribling, Daniel Aguayo and Maxwell Krohn of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wrote a program to generate a nonsense paper.

Starting with skeleton sentences, pools of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and a random assortment of computer science jargon, the program produced a grammatically correct yet utterly nonsensical paper titled: “Rooter: a methodology for the typical unification of access points and redundancy”. “This isn’t artificial intelligence, it’s the dirt-simplest way we could think to do this,” Stribling says.

Full Story: New Scientist.

Angry/negative people can be bad for your brain

An A-List blogger’s recent decission to avoid “people who were deeply unhappy” and spend more time with people who are happy earned him a lot of scorn. But another blogger says that the decision might be scientifically sound.

A few things I’ll try to explain in this post:

1) One of the most important recent neuroscience discoveries–“mirror neurons”, and the role they play in a decision like Robert’s

2) The heavily-researched social science phenomenon known as “emotional contagion”

3) Ignorance and misperceptions around the idea of “happy people”

Full Story: Creating Passionate Users.

Frequency 23 podcast: Wes Unruh

Kenchi talks with Electronic composer, sonic magician and contributor Wes Unruh about how to design an information contagion, noise as a magical weapon to corrode corporate egregoires, the magick of Richard Nixon, the unfinished Philip K. Dick novel in which we live, and the future of auditory entrainment. Music by Psychic Sexual Command, Jahbaalon, LVMM0X, Verbalizer, SubQtaneous, and DJ Mo’ffective.

MP3 on Frequency 23.

Watching the brain ‘switch off’ self-awareness

Everybody has experienced a sense of ?losing oneself? in an activity ? being totally absorbed in a task, a movie or sex. Now researchers have caught the brain in the act.

Self-awareness, regarded as a key element of being human, is switched off when the brain needs to concentrate hard on a tricky task, found the neurobiologists from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.

The team conducted a series of experiments to pinpoint the brain activity associated with introspection and that linked to sensory function. They found that the brain assumes a robotic functionality when it has to concentrate all its efforts on a difficult, timed task ? only becoming “human” again when it has the luxury of time.

Full Story: New Scientist

(via Occult Design).

Viking Youth interview Flaming Lips biographer Jim DeRogatis

You’ll hear mind blowingly articulate conversation and well reasonsed questions about… the new Lips album At War With the Mystics, how their live show has changed since the Yoshimi tours(s(s(s))), and the startingly low amounts of drugs front man Wayne Coyne has actually ingested in his lifetime.

MP3 on The Viking Youth Power Hour.

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