MonthMarch 2007

Mixed Feelings – sensory-hacking in wired

See with your tongue. Navigate with your skin. Fly by the seat of your pants (literally). How researchers can tap the plasticity of the brain to hack our 5 senses – and build a few new ones.

For six weird weeks in the fall of 2004, Udo W?chter had an unerring sense of direction. Every morning after he got out of the shower, W?chter, a sysadmin at the University of Osnabr?ck in Germany, put on a wide beige belt lined with 13 vibrating pads – the same weight-and-gear modules that make a cell phone judder. On the outside of the belt were a power supply and a sensor that detected Earth’s magnetic field. Whichever buzzer was pointing north would go off. Constantly.

Full Story: Wired.

(Thanks Danny!)

Jonathan Lethem + Janna Levin video

Brooklyn’s literary mashup artist enters the Seed Salon to discuss truth and beauty with the Columbia physicist/novelist.

Highlights video clip here.

Full hour conversation here.

The March 2007 issue of Seed is a great issue dealing with the concept of Truth and its elusiveness. The closest any science magazine will ever get to really embracing the occult and esoteric in the mainstream. Worth picking up.

New Grey Lodge Occult Review (finally)

The first Grey Lodge Occult Review in 2 years is out! Deleuze! Burroughs! Banksy! Ultraculture! And more.

Grey Lodge Occult Review 18.

Car-free in Portland, part 1

Part 1 of a new series I’m doing at WorldChanging’s Portland blog is up.

Wealth magic anthology looking for contributions

Taylor Ellwood is editing a new Immanium Press anthology on wealth magic, and is looking for contributors.

Guidelines:

It should be an article on finances…it can be personal finances, business finances, something along those lines. You can feel free to email me with questions. The article should also contain a focus on magic and incorporating into how you deal with wealth. The magic can range from metamorphic (internal transformation) to practical magic used in everyday situations. Also articles can deal with situations where wealth magic didn’t work out, with a thorough explanation of why it didn’t work out. Don’t hesitate to bounce ideas off of me or ask questions.

length: 3,000 to 7,000 words.

Deadline: Rough draft is due June 30th, no exceptions!!! This gives you three months to come up with an article.

Citation Style. We will be using APA style citation for this anthology. For more information on that please go To this site

You’ll note the hanging indentations for the bibliography. Please DO NOT indent your citations. I will make sure that the layout person does this.

What contributors get: Contributors will receive a one time fee of $25.00 for their work, payable when the first royalties for the book come in (More details about this are provided in the contract). Contributors also get one free copy of the anthology and 40% off the cover price of other copies they choose to order.

To contact me with questions or articles please email me at this address: taylor@spiralnature.com

Women and tech conferences

A while ago Adam Greenfield posted something about the absence of women at tech conferences.

Today he linked to this. Maybe it’s shit like this that keeps women away from tech conferences, and the tech industry in general.

John McCain’s MySpace Page “Enhanced”

Today I announce that I have reversed my position and come out in full support of gay marriage, particularly marriage between two passionate females

Read all about it at TechCrunch.

New Mexico voters weigh building world’s first spaceport

New Mexico hopes to break ground soon on the world’s first commercial spaceport, which state elders envision as a 21st-century departure point for thousands of paying space tourists.

New Mexico’s governor Bill Richardson worked with the southwest desert state’s legislature to secure 33 million dollars for the final design of “Spaceport America,” the worlds first commercial spaceport.

Now the voters in the Dona Ana County municipality where the project is to be located will weigh in, in a referendum scheduled for April 3 on a new sales tax to fund the project.

If Spaceport America meets with voter approval, a maiden space voyage is expected in two to three years. If passed, the new tax would add 25 cents to a 100-dollar purchase, bringing in about 6.5 million dollars per year.

Full Story: Breitbart.

Creating Belief – how to make your own banishing ritual

There exists, even among long term practitioners, gross misunderstandings of magical principles. Even after the lessons of chaos magic theory (CMT) regarding belief as tool rather than operating system, some magicians still cling to the delusion that (for example) tracing five lines into a shape human minds recognize as the pentagram is by itself magically efficacious. Long-time practicing magicians (those who should most know better) are not immune to this phenomenon. Indeed, a tendency exists to imprint one’s own tradition as the operating system of reality, lending their system an objective belief Robert Anton Wilson described as “the death of thought.” Most modern magicians show at least a passing intellectual understanding of a principle outlined succinctly by Uncle Al several decades before CMT made it creed:

“In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth, and the Paths, of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether they exist or not. By doing certain things certain results follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.” (Liber 0 I:2).

Full Story: Future Hi.

How do you prove photography to a blind man?

That was the question I was asked: how would you prove to a blind man, that photography exists?

I knew what he was getting at. We had been discussing psychics. He was a firm believer in psychic powers, had had psychic experiences, and regularly visited a psychic. His point was, since I had not experienced psychic powers, I would never be able to believe in what he ‘knew’ to be true. You could never prove to a blind man that photography exists, and likewise no one would ever be able to demonstrate to me that psychic powers were real.

It took me about ten seconds to think of a way to show he was wrong.

Full Story: Skeptico.

(Thanks Trevor!)

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