Thanks to my dear elder Dr P.H.D.uran for moving my files to here. The name of the blog remoians the same. Thank you for good thoughts in these harrowing quake times
Archive for February, 2010
Over at WEIT blog, Dr Coyne posted a piece from the Faking News about Gods’ recall of species: http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/creationists-finally-explain-extinction/#comments
Im not so sure he realized what it was-a really funny prank- or he is playing games? Was he fished or is he being cute or doing an experiment-with us-? a la Sokal.
Mr Charles Darwin spent considerable time in Chile (1835) where he experienced a 8.5 earthqueake in Concepcion, a chain of formidable volcanic eruptions and crossed the Andes walking to Argentina, and back, at Santiago latitude (~35 S)!!. The only other person I know walked the Andes is Dr John Rombold, a professor at Northwest Indian College, my former employer (sic). He used to be, Mr Rombold, a good friend. I watched a decent docudrama narrating -Mr Darwins- adventures in Chile in the international Chilean TVN signal (dishnetwork) lead by Dr Purto, a respected mountaineer of Everest fame. Many events were reported by Mr Darwin while in Chile. He did 1/3 0r 1/4 of Chile by land. My favourite report is his narrative of the astonishing rate of growth of the chilean giant barnacle: austromegabalanus psittacus (in Coquimbo, which you can find, if I am not mistaken in his cirripedia compendium)
My dear friend Matthew Bronson is leading the next Society for Anthropology of Consciousness meeting at Berkeley faculty club March 17/21. I sent an abstract that expect to read march 19, saturday. Here it goes: From James to Jaynes, or The Mind Turned Itself On(line). After reading Darwin, William James suggested that human consciousness emerged from an evolutionary continuum: a “consciousness” ladder throughout the living.Thence, according to WJ, “there must be an infinite number of degrees of consciousness”, which presumably would apply to the human lineage, which poses a question about the “completeness” of the consciousness of our homo ancestors. A century later, without reading Darwin, Julian Jaynes suggested that consciousness emerged as recent as 3,000 years ago, preceded by a “bicameral” mind, rendering “ancient” people not subjectively conscious. We have proposed that the subjective self appeared as a quantum brain architectural jump, correlated with conscious experience leading to this subjective mind. From the very start, the self pondered about its own existence. Today, the mind confronts, once again, the void and existential immensity-angst of its own, striving to make meaning the attractor thatcoalesces the self. Being mentally ill kidnaps meaning and erases self-existence,throwing its bearer in a pathway with devastating consequences, sometimes.
Harrowing times? You betcha! To say the least: e.g.: a deranged & desperate-was he deranged, was he desperate?-Austin citizen loaded his Piper monengine with gas, and self droned himself unto the nearest IRS building: two dead. After torching his house, of course. The NYT reports: “I never saw Joe angry about anything,” said Billy Eli, a honkytonk bandleader who played with Mr. Stack for about three years. “He was just a middle-of-the-road kind of dude.” Talk about middle of the road dude. Harrowing. (But, there is evidence that a significant percentage of suicides-if not most- dont have any warning). I mean till the letters-emails- are discovered. Being a middle of the road kinda guy doesnt say anything about what happened. Until we read something after the event, and the middle of the road person becomes an avatar. As is argued in a rather well done essay by Dr Cytowic, in SEED magazine, about Virginia Woolfs’, bipolarism, writing and dying by stone loaded coat suiciding throwing(?) herself into the river, sinking and drowning. (It brings to mind, the death of Sylvia Plath, another suicidist-she and her work are harrowing and adorable). The point is VW left a letter to her loving husband. The Austin flying suicidist left a letter, kinda inescrutable.-though an argument can be rescued-seemingly to all of us. In the note to her husband, Virginia Woolf wrote; ‘Dearest, I feel certain I am going mad again. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.” Harrowing. In the standard phrase of the time, the veredict was ‘suicide while the balance of her mind was disturbed.’ Not so sure about this. I will leave it to you if want to read the Austin flying suicidist letter. I glanced at it: all about money, which is the spiritual capital of this society.
There is an instant when the “disturbed” mind, having made the decision of suiciding, has enough clarity and writes about it! How is this unstoppable? This moment is harrowing, freezes the blood and makes me wonder about the unity of consciousness or not at that moment. Could we call it a disturbed mind?
Would it mean anything to crave posting here when LENT starts? Today is Ash Wednesday-a good movie too- and having been raised a catholic it brings back endearing memories of school, friends, fear of condemnation and the joy of forgiveness. To be consistent I will fast, almsgive, practice penitence and exercise piety by forgiving the unforgiven, if possible. It takes cojones.