Sunday Surfing: Jupiter in Scorpio

For some time, Jupiter has been increasing its broadcasting frequency range in Scorpio (nowadays, its booming forth from underneath Everywhere!) and there is the obvious overlap with Pluto in Capricorn (one of our baseline chords). Collection here is based on key word-imagery employed. While some of these ‘waves’ are indeed illuminating the sabotage of the sheeple, its not all doom and gloom. The most personally applicable examples here offer universal pointers for evolution along the true Power Path.

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On The Myth of Economic Growth…  ‘Perhaps because the movement found its voice through people’s dissatisfaction following economic crisis, many confuse degrowth with the idea of ‘unsustainable degrowth’, which is often synonymous with economic recession and social instability. On the contrary, the core of ‘sustainable degrowth’ is the concept of ‘progress’, but a progress not related to an increase of the GDP, large-scale production, or over-consumption. As Tim Jackson puts it, ‘Every society clings to a myth by which it lives. Ours is the myth of economic growth’. And exactly this is the myth that the degrowth movement seeks to demystify. (source)

 

“Illinois is like Venezuela now, a fiscally broken state that has lost its will to live, although for the moment, we still have enough toilet paper.
But before we run out of the essentials, let’s finally admit that after decade upon decade of taxing and spending and borrowing, Illinois has finally run out of other people’s money.” John Kass (source)

 

Vehicles of Profound Transformation –  Fear, grief and despair are uncomfortable and are seen as signs of personal failure. In our culture we call them “negative” and think of them as “bad.” I prefer to call these emotions “dark,” because I like the image of a rich, fertile soil from which something unexpected can bloom. Also we keep them “in the dark” and tend not to speak about them. We privatize them and don’t see the ways in which they are connected to the world. But the dark emotions are inevitable. They are part of the universal human experience and are certainly worthy of our attention. They bring us important information about ourselves and the world and can be vehicles of profound transformation. – Miriam Greenspan (source)

 

Replacement Wheels for the Bicycle of our Mind
Here’s the story we’ve been telling ourselves about AI for decades: it’s man versus machine, creators versus their creation, a ball of wrinkly meat versus a smooth block of silicon. Whether it’s our immediate worries about AI (machines stealing your job, self-driving cars making deadly mistakes, autonomous killer drones) or the more far-fetched concerns about AI (taking over the world and turning us all into pets and/or paperclips), it all comes from the same root fear: the fear that AI will not share our human goals and values. And what’s worse, we’ve told ourselves that our relationship between ourselves and our AI is like a chess game: Zero-sum – one player’s win is another player’s loss…
For the last few decades, the story of AI has been one of a rising hero – or is it of a rising villain? In 1997, an AI beat Garry Kasparov at chess, and in 2011 and 2016, AIs beat the world’s top humans at Jeopardy! and Go. And now, many fear that AI will take over our jobs, or even take over humanity itself.
Meanwhile, the story of IA (Intelligence Augmentation) has been one of a tragic fall. Starting out strong with Doug Engelbartο’s Mother of All Demos, the idea of IA has slowly been forgotten, as technology shifted from tools for creation and more towards tools for consumption. Someone stole the wheels off the bicycle for our mind.
But now, these two story threads may be starting to wrap together, forming a new braid in history: AIA – Artificial Intelligence Augmentation. IA can give AI the human partnership it needs in order to remain aligned with our deepest goals and values. And in return, AI can give IA some new replacement wheels for the bicycle of our mind. – Nicky Case (source)

 

How to Understand Your Gender – another great book by Dr. Meg-John Barker,
writer, therapist, and activist-academic specialising in sex, gender and relationships. See the launch discussion here.

 

‘What will you and I do about the 21 trillion dollars missing from US government accounts? What’s going on? Where is the money? How could this happen? How much has really gone missing? What would happen if a corporation failed to pass an audit like this? Or a taxpayer?
This means the Fed and their member banks are transacting government money outside the law. So are the corporate contractors that run the payment systems. So are the Wall Street firms who are selling government securities without full disclosure.
Would your bank continue to handle your bank account if you behaved like this? Would your investors continue to buy your securities if you behaved like this? Would your accountant be silent? … we must know US financial law and know about previous struggles to enforce US laws about finance.’ – C.A. Fitts (source)

 

On Getting Both Sides of an Issue since 1987: You’re on Your Own
The Fairness Doctrine [repealed in 1987] required that TV and radio stations holding FCC-issued broadcast licenses to (a) devote some of their programmings to controversial issues of public importance, and (b) allow the airing of opposing views on those issues. This meant that programs on politics were required to include opposing opinions on the topic under discussion. Broadcasters had an active duty to determine the spectrum of views on a given issue and include those people best suited to represent those views in their programming. That meant you had to relay both sides of an issue. (source)

 

The Square and the Tower; Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power: an interview with Niall Ferguson spanning history and its implications in the present that I found fascinating. (youtube link)

 

My Greatest Freedom   As we meet life as it presents itself and rest in the unknown, then the magic of knowing or receptivity can bubble forth. The Earth is the essence of being receptive. It carries and preserves all things that live and move upon it, without expectation. Maybe like the Earth, we too can learn that we no longer need to use force to make life as we wish it but, can meet it on its own terms, being receptive to its ever-changing ebbs and flows. To live in this way does not necessarily mean one is always passive. When it becomes necessary to act, one does so, but without ego and without any attachment to the results. The ‘Receptive’ can be very active in its ‘form-building’ aspect. This includes bringing much needed reforms into the world.
If I am blocked from moving forward and I accept this, I comfortably adapt and cease fighting. I simply wait and see if the situation changes and act accordingly. I can even feel ego and fear melt away, so that my experience of internal conflict drops away, even if my situation has conflict in it in my external world. Most of all, I begin to see that my greatest freedom is to not let external events control my internal state of consciousness. Perhaps, this is the greatest freedom of all.– Jim Sher   (source)

 

This is about our System’s Imbalances…
‘…what we need to be talking about is the crisis in masculinity, the crisis of extreme masculinity which is this sort of behaviour and the fact that it is not only ok but it is represented by a man…there are many, maybe not to that degree, but does it have to be to that degree? …This is a gender disfunction. and the other thing it is, is a public health issue. This isn’t about one man’s crimes against women. This is about our system’s imbalances, our system’s gender crisis. And we have to act on this. We have to turn this on its head. We can’t allow this to continue because what it means is that vulnerable people will continue be preyed upon…’  Emma Thompson ( youtube link)

 

Math & Science versus Feeling:
In mathematics and physical sciences, a nonlinear system is a system in which the change of the output is not proportional to the change of the input. Therefore, nonlinear problems are of great interest to engineers, physicists, and mathematicians because most systems are inherently nonlinear in nature such as weather, climate, disease, and life itself. Nonlinear systems often appear to be chaotic, unpredictable or counterintuitive. This is beyond the imagination or understanding of the average individual. Hence, this stands in opposition to the much simpler linear system which the average individual understands. This is why most theories are based upon whatever trend is in motion will stay in motion.
The fundamental analysis fails every time because it is trying to reduce the market behavior to a linear theory of simplistic logic. If people fear banks and government, some will buy stocks, others property, and still others gold. Each will buy whatever they “feel” most comfortable with. The trend is to sell public assets and move to private, yet all will benefit.
Fundamental analysis is therefore worthless because what moves a market is “belief” not logic. That is why real traders coined the phrase: Buy the rumor but sell the news! It does not matter what the fundamentals are if the people believe something, the markets will move accordingly even when that rumor turns out to be false. (source)

 

I think if you just pick a day of the week, you’ll have like a different faction of people who are either mad at you or super happy that you said something about somebody they hate online. You know, because it all coalesces around hate. They have this victim fantasy, that everybody is coming for conservative white people, and of course the truth is it’s exactly the opposite… – Jesse Farrar (source)

 

An explosive slap on the face for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. LOVED this BLATANT example!

A listing of U.S. anti-Russia ‘think tanks’ (aka lobby groups) (link) funded by:
Latvia’s Defense Ministry, George Soros, Airbus, Google, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics and DynCorp, L3, Vencore, CACI, Mantech, NATO, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Company,The UK Foreign Office, Ukrainian World Congress, the US Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine Corps, Northrop Grumman, FireEye, Bell Helicopters, BAE , USAID, the US State Department and the Department of Defence, National Endowment for Democracy, US Mission to NATO, NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division

 

Empire is coloured neither blue nor red, it is silent until it isn’t, and it is always deadly.   – Gordon White

 

The Moment
by Margaret Atwood
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

 

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Warning: 21st Century Mythology Employs Retrograde Vocabulary

There is a new presentation up over at edge.com featuring Jaron Lanier, a genius in computer science, that I want to recommend. It is super helpful in putting into context the concept of the Singularity. Because I think this information is so important to be aware of, I have quoted him below on what I think are his key points for reflection but you can (should!) listen to the soundcloud interview or read the unedited transcript by clicking here:The Myth Of AI

Do you feel incompetent when it comes to comprehending and navigating the digital database economy in which we now live? I wonder how much of that is down to a reasonable hesitancy in dealing with the new and unfamiliar that has morphed into ‘the Great and Terrible Unknowable’. Lanier’s statements offer a reset button of sorts for our attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence. We can use the frictional energy of the times to our everyday advantage in positive ways and that starts with re-imagining, re-visualizing current trends and trajectories and our rightful place in them.

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JARON LANIER:
The idea that computers are people has a long and storied history. It goes back to the very origins of computers, and even from before. There’s always been a question about whether a program is something alive or not since it intrinsically has some kind of man vs machineautonomy at the very least, or it wouldn’t be a program. There has been a domineering subculture—that’s been the most wealthy, prolific, and influential subculture in the technical world—that for a long time has not only promoted the idea that there’s an equivalence between algorithms and life, and certain algorithms and people, but a historical determinism that we’re inevitably making computers that will be smarter and better than us and will take over from us. Some like the idea of the computers taking over, and some of them don’t. What I’d like to do here today is propose that the whole basis of the conversation is itself askew, and confuses us, and does real harm to society and to our skills as engineers and scientists…

Let’s go to another layer of how it’s dysfunctional. And this has to do with just clarity of user interface, and then that turns into an economic effect. People are social creatures. We want to be pleasant, we want to get along. We’ve all spent many years as children learning how to adjust ourselves so that we can get along in the world. If a program tells you, well, this is how things are, this is who you are, this is what you like, or this is what you should do, we have a tendency to accept that. I’ll give you a few examples of what I mean by that. Maybe I’ll start with Netflix. The thing about Netflix is that there isn’t much on it. There’s a paucity of content on it. If you think of any particular movie you might blog_thezeitgeistmovement_comwant to see, the chances are it’s not available for streaming, that is; that’s what I’m talking about. And yet there’s this recommendation engine, and the recommendation engine has the effect of serving as a cover to distract you from the fact that there’s very little available from it. And yet people accept it as being intelligent, because a lot of what’s available is perfectly fine. Dating always has an element of manipulation; shopping always has an element of manipulation; in a sense, a lot of the things that people use these things for have always been a little manipulative. There’s always been a little bit of nonsense. And that’s not necessarily a terrible thing, or the end of the world. But it’s important to understand it if this is becoming the basis of the whole economy and the whole civilization. If people are deciding what books to read based on a momentum within the recommendation engine that isn’t going back to a virgin population, that hasn’t been manipulated, then the whole thing is spun out of control and doesn’t mean anything anymore. It’s not so much a rise of evil as a rise of nonsense. It’s a mass incompetence, as opposed to Skynet from the Terminator movies. That’s what this type of AI turns into…

If you talk about AI as a set of techniques, as a field of study in mathematics or engineering, it brings benefits. If we talk about AI as a mythology of creating a post-human species, it creates a series of problems that I’ve just gone over, which include acceptance of bad user interfaces, where you can’t tell if you’re being manipulated or not, and everything is ambiguous. It creates incompetence, because you don’t know whether recommendations are coming from anything real or just self-fulfilling prophecies from a manipulative system that spun off on its own, and economic negativity, because you’re gradually pulling formal economic benefits away from the people who supply the data that makes the scheme work….the mythology is the problem, not the algorithms. To back up again, I’ve given two reasons why the mythology of AI is stupid, even if the actual stuff is great. The first one is that it results in periodic disappointments that cause damage to careers and startups, and it’s a ridiculous, seasonal disappointment and devastation that we shouldn’t be randomly imposing on people according to when they happen to hit the cycle. That’s the AI winter problem. The second one is that it causes unnecessary negative benefits to society for technologies that are useful and good. The mythology brings the problems, not the technology…

This idea that some lab somewhere is making these autonomous algorithms that can take over the world is a way of avoiding the profoundly uncomfortable political problem, which is that if there’s some actuator that can do harm, we have to figure out some way that people don’t do harm with it. There are about to be a whole bunch of those. And that’ll involve some kind of new societal structure that isn’t perfect anarchy. Nobody in the tech world wants to face that, so we lose ourselves in these fantasies of AI. But if you could somehow prevent AI from ever happening, it would have nothing to do with the actual problem that we fear, and that’s the sad thing, the difficult thing we have to face…

To my mind, the mythology around AI is a re-creation of some of the traditional ideas about religion, but applied to the technical world…There’s an anticipation of a threshold,th00GTZ9CK_flickerdotcom an end of days. This thing we call artificial intelligence, or a new kind of personhood… If it were to come into existence it would soon gain all power, supreme power, and exceed people.The notion of this particular threshold—which is sometimes called the singularity, or super-intelligence, or all sorts of different terms in different periods—is similar to divinity. Not all ideas about divinity, but a certain kind of superstitious idea about divinity, that there’s this entity that will run the world, that maybe you can pray to, maybe you can influence, but it runs the world, and you should be in terrified awe of it. That particular idea has been dysfunctional in human history. It’s dysfunctional now, in distorting our relationship to our technology. It’s been dysfunctional in the past in exactly the same way. Only the words have changed…

If AI means this mythology of this new creature we’re creating, then it’s just a stupid mess that’s confusing everybody, and harming the future of the economy. If what we’re blacklistednewsdotcomtalking about is a set of algorithms and actuators that we can improve and apply in useful ways, then I’m very interested, and I’m very much a participant in the community that’s improving those things. Unfortunately, the standard vocabulary that people use doesn’t give us a great way to distinguish those two entirely different items that one might reference. …this vocabulary problem is entirely retrograde and entirely characteristic of traditional religions…In the history of organized religion, it’s often been the case that people have been disempowered precisely to serve what were perceived to be the needs of some deity or another, where in fact what they were doing was supporting an elite class that was the priesthood for that deity…That looks an awful lot like the new digital economy to me, where you have (natural language) translators and everybody else who contributes to the corpora that allow the data schemes to operate, contributing mostly to the fortunes of whoever runs the top computers. The new elite might say, “Well, but they’re helping the AI, it’s not us, they’re helping the AI.” It reminds me of somebody saying, “Oh, build these pyramids, it’s in the service of this deity,” but, on the ground, it’s in the service of an elite. It’s an economic effect of the new idea. The effect of the new religious idea of AI is a lot like the economic effect of the old idea, religion.’

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Interesting side note: Jaron Lanier has no social media accounts at all and all purported ones are fake.

Comment here or reach me at elemental.living@yahoo.com