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heart
  • 308354.2134

     Masterwork pop-up, printed and bound in Cali, Columbia, 1984. Out-of-print.

  • 309145.1111

    Lee Smolin's great, all over the place pursuit of current theoretical implications in physics (particle, wave, and of course quantum). Smolin edges us towards the possibility "space" is an illusion and that "time" is an evolving word that may house the eventual meaningful measuring of 'now.' Right now though, it seems illusory. His book is more than a clearinghouse of recent research into a pivotal tangent inside physics. It's also a warning that as we destroy mathematics in our physical world, we deform it psychically in parallel realms like academia and worse, media. That by distorting equilibrium to make a buck, we may be proving equilibrium wrong in other fields. From the epilogue:

    "Neo-classical economics conceptualizes economics as path-independent. An efficient market is path-independent, as is a market with a single, stable equilibrium.  In a path-independent system, it should be impossible to make money purely by trading, without producing anything of value. That sort of activity is called arbitrage, and basic financial theory holds that in an efficient market arbitrage is impossible, because everything is already priced in such a way that there are no inconsistencies. You cannot trade dollars for yen, trade those for euros, back for dollars and make a profit. Nonetheless hedge funds and investment banks have made fortunes trading in currency markets. Their success should be impossible in an efficient market, but this does not have seem to have bothered economic theorists."

    - pg. 260

    What Smolin suggests, without stating, is that our markets are eccentric, they thrive and die on minute eccentricities that traders pounce upon, like tears in reality.

    Here's James Gleick's review in NYRB.

     

  • 31074.0843

    Dean Falk, rebel paleontologist, discovered a discrete difference between extinct gracile and robust hominids that lived 2.5 million years ago. The robust lived in trees, with arms and legs of equal mass and ate mostly plant-life. The gracile lived on the savannah, where they faced dangerous predators, and adapted by running faster on powerful legs bi-pedally, and this allowed their arms to become the focus of their motor cortex. What she found may be the best evidence of where humans evolved from. Orchestrating hundreds of sources, Falk weaves the discoveries as a series of detective's eurekas. The shift from knuckle-walking to bipedalism involved transitions from forest to savanna, vegetarian diet to carnivorous, and a shift in how the body and brain cools itself (standing on two legs decreases exposure to the sun by a major percentage). Along the way, cranial blood-flow both shifts to certain key areas (speech) and adapts itself for a type of emergency cooling system that defaults when body heat reaches dangrous levels. The book is essentially a diagrammatic exploration of the chimp-hominid-human evolutionary "braindance", a pre-history for all neurologists, the book is a masterpiece of paleoneurology. Issues like balance and movement alert readers to the potentially limitless abilities of the bipedal mind. Her final chapters involve chimp and human agression (we get this from chimps who exhibit a gleeful rage fighting over food), calling us to become aware of the rationale for anger, murder and potetial for eventual self-destruction. Falk takes on the established, slumbering academics that ruled over the human missing link and the results involve amending their error-filled zoological family tree.

  • 311276.1641

    An Anthro-Bio-Chemist, Ott has botanically observed hundreds, perhaps thousands of plants that yield varying amounts of altered states, from a library and research lab in Mexico, recently damaged by arson. For proof of his studies, check out Pharmacotheon. He analyzes many chemical forms, shows inferior paths, and discusses policy and history. Footnotes tell the real story, and are half the size of each chapter. Continuing Gordon Wasson's unusual and maybe ground-breaking constructions of ancient ceremonies utilizing medicinal tools that altered users, Ott writes the only ethnopharmacogosy of entheogenic drugs. A chemical zoom lens into the brain. Volume 2 is delayed, but Volume 1 is a must have.

  • 311257.1435

    Zenon Pylyshyn, Cognitive Scientist, who's discovered rotational aspects of the cortex's way of 'seeing' perhaps even how memories are anchored.

    Why is this important? It may be a key to building the first conscious language, which may in-turn unlock the brain's full capabilities.

    See: Seeing and Visualizing, It's Not What You Think. Winner, Best ABA Scholarly Book, 2003

    Below: Gobors have dual rotational lines, column a are snapshots every 250ms. They illustrate human 'objectification' in motion and space.

    Some think 300ms is the human 'shutter' rate.

     

  • 31141.1555

    "It is our despair at the textural inadequacies of

    language that drives us to heighten the structural ones toward"

    From the back cover:

    "THE SUN HAS GROWN DEADLY...

    THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD, SOCIETY HAS

    PERISHED, SAVAGERY RULES

    OVER ALL. ALL THAT WAS KNOWN 

    IS OVER, ALL THAT WAS FAMILIAR IS

    STRANGE AND TERRIBLE. TODAY

    AND YESTERDAY COLLIDE WITH TOMORROW.

    IN THESE DYING DAYS OF EARTH, 
    A YOUNG DRIFTER ENTERS THE CITY"

     

    The book William Gibson wrote an introduction for and admitted he didn't understand. If Cormac McCarthyism has a counterpart in science-fiction, it is Dhalgren, the most absurdly accurate 'apocalypse' set in some form of earth, in a time-frame no one is exactly sure about. And hallucinations occur sometimes in words that no longer exist (you'll have to read it to see what I mean). It might be a work that outlives us and tells future generations what we really knew about the decay of knowledge and the oral histories that will travel along our children's, children's children. Memories barely of the beginings of the end: "the riot began with a murder, some say it was a plane that crashed. No one really knows. That was the time of fear." The hero is an amnesiac who is labelled "The Kid" and enters the soon to be mythic city of Bellona, only now its inhabitants live mostly in memories, and whatever fragments of life can be scraped by on - temporarily, since cities have no purpose except to store mass memories and here, there are few being made. Just living from cans, having sex, and fighting and sometimes group socialization. Oh, wait, it sounds like our present day cities, only without electricity, cars, running water... Maybe the memories will have meaning. The following chapter-heading paragraphs transition to third-person immediately afterwards.

    "2  It is not that I have no past. Rather, it continually fragments on the terrible and vivid ephemera of now. In the long country, cut with rain, somehow there is nowhere to begin. Loping and limping in the ruts, it would be easier not to think about what she did (was done to her, done to her, done), trying instead to reconstruct what it is at a distance. Oh, but it would not be so terrible had one calf not borne (if I'd look close, it would have been a chain of tiny wounds with moments of flesh between; I've done that myself with a swipe in a garden past a rose) that scratch.

    II   Here I am and am no I. The circle in all, this change changing in winteress, a dawn circle with an image of, the autumn change with a change of mist. Mistake two pictures, one and another. No. Only in seasons of shortlight, only on dead afternoons. I will not be sick again. I will not. You are here.

    ..How can I say that that is my prize possession? (They do not fade, neither those buildings or these.) Rather what we know as real is burned away at invisible heat. What we are concerned with is more insubstantial. I do not know. It is as simple as that. For the hundreth time, I do not know and cannot remember. I do not want to be sick again. I do not want to be sick."

     

  • 312170.0649

    Canon vs. Rulebook. If you lurk in the caches of player boards and other online councils, you'll see there are some carefully crafted divides. RPG players see choices as the future of their media, they create ever escalating asymmetrical choices to continue the media's true unspoken goal: problem solving, and MMORPG's like World of Warcraft try to simulate the near infinity of outcome. The story can have no end. No one character remains so central their death ends all connections (deaths that ends all connections in film: Neo's, Emperor Palpatine's). The idea of canon is opposite, novels, comics and film celebrate canon, which employ fewer characters that have limited range in behavior. Subtle shifts mutate story and characteristics but not the meaning (Burton versus Nolan's Batman). The difference between playing an elf versus playing Luke Sywalker seems pretty obvious, the elf has no inherent narrative, Luke IS the narrative. The confusion of watching a linear Prince of Persia to an audience of gamers seems lost on a studio executive but to even the casual gamer that plays POP it must be an extreme disconnect. What they used to inhabit and control now is under the control of a predetermined outcome, completely antithetical to the medium he emerged from. A devolution in storytelling. Watch out Hollywood.

     

  • 312163.1533

  • 312117.0638

  • 312102.2007