Posted thoughts, news, views,reviews & opinions. Speculative & experimental physics, presented for consideration.
Can explain the existence & properties of all quanta, plus entanglement and superposition.
Vorticitating hypersphere cosmology can replace big-bang, dark matter, dark energy, and inflationary cosmologies. consideration.
Magick, occult and esoteric papers.
My Years of Magical Thinking by Lionel Snell.
If you look up ‘Magical Thinking’ on the internet, the first several dozen entries take a uniformly negative view of it. Scientists, psychologists, and anthropologists tend to regard Magical Thinking as something foolish, childish, or primitive, whilst religious commentators tend to regard it rather negatively as some misguided precursor to proper religion.
However Lionel makes a very strong case for Magical Thinking as a very necessary way of understanding the world and of interacting with it. He also demonstrates that we all use the magical style of thinking, and use it effectively, far more often than we realise, although we do tend to call it by other names, and shy away from fully exploiting it.
Until the advent of this book nobody had managed to properly and inclusively define Magical Thinking. ‘Magical Thinking’ seemed like something you sort of hopefully acquired by osmosis through studying and practicing magic. Unlike ‘Scientific Methods & Principles’ which we can state and teach explicitly, the magical style of thinking remained ill-defined until this seminal book.
So many magical books seem unsatisfactory and this book shows us why. So many of the older and newer magical books failed to encompass real magical thinking and ended up as confusing and confused tomes of either bad science or poor religion or dodgy art, or mixtures thereof.
Perhaps only a thinker such as Lionel, fluent in science, art, magic and religion, and with the keen analytical mind of a mathematician, could have precisely identified what ‘Magical Method & Principles’ actually consist of, precisely how they differ from the methods and principles of science, art, and religion, and how they provide a distinctive and powerful way of interacting with reality.
I had gradually come to assimilate and appreciate some of the methods and principles of magic over the course of a career but to see the whole lot and more, the entire philosophy of it, all in one place, came as a revelation.
I refuse to try and summarise the book here, you must read it yourself, preferably at least twice. Lionel’s exposition of the relationships between art, religion, science, and magic has tremendous depth and subtlety and explanatory power. Most fascinatingly he argues that magical thinking naturally follows on from scientific thinking in a cyclic fashion, rather than acting as some distant precursor for it.
Nobody should attempt to write another book of magic or about magic, until they have thoroughly studied and understood this one.
This book looks like a game-changer.
Herewith a list of games that have particularly intrigued me over the years, some remain in print, some you can find easily on the net, others remain personal creations or in development. Games have made a considerable contribution to my thinking since an early age, not perhaps as much as books, yet interesting games function a bit like a books, and not only do they have a stories to tell in their structures but you can evolve stories as you play them or adapt them.
Careers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Careers_(board_game) I came across this at about age 12. I knew little about the world in those unsophisticated times and attended a grammar school where the English Master (a wily and provocative old cove) would occasionally announce ‘You are here to be educated as clerks, like your fathers’. Fortunately the school also had a science department, although nobody had a clue what you could do with a science education except become a science teacher. The school gave no career advice, it assumed you would either take one of the plentiful clerical jobs available at the time, or go to university and think of something whilst there. The game of Careers thus seemed an astonishing eye opener. Choose Wealth, Happiness, or Fame, join a whole series of professions, buy a yacht, in short; choose an Identity! All this seemed to sit in my subconscious till the mid-1970s, an era of plenty when career-anxiety seemed to give way to the search for personal identity in my peer group. I guess that I have always looked at life as a sort of board game. A lot of the assumptions built into the Careers game now seem simplistic but eventually it would perhaps have some influence over what I wrote in EPOCH, but more of that in a following article.
The Game of Nations. This came out in the 1970’s to model the then current oil crisis. Players control abstract Middle –Eastern oil producing territories and vie to get wealth that they can spend on oil extraction, tankers, and pipelines, or on taking over adjoining territories. The game system does not involve dice but it does have uncertainties built in with event cards. Players can buy Politicians, Secret Agents, Monarchs, Dictators, and Guerrillas in an attempt to subvert or conquer additional territories. Today we should perhaps consider adding Theocrats as well, and making the map less abstract and updating the events cards.
The Russians currently seem to play a strong hand in Syria. The West has perhaps made a mistake in supporting the ‘moderate’ rebels. Both sides need Iranian cooperation and support but if the Iranians come out of this on top then all hell may break loose if they go head to head with the Saudis.
Diplomacy. This classic game of early 20th Century European alliances represents one of the few games which model WW1 in an interesting way. Apart from the naval battle of Jutland the battles of WW1 mainly got settled by terrible attrition rather than by interesting tactics and manoeuvres. In Diplomacy we see the bigger picture as nations make secret alliances and agreements off board and then simultaneously reveal their strategies to see what results. Historians argue constantly about the causes of WW1, but in this model scenario, war seems virtually inevitable if the game represents the actual diplomatic system of the time. The game however does really need 5 or more players, but you can play it over many days with perhaps a move a day, and with secret diplomatic notes passed around at tea and lunch breaks.
Axis & Allies. The basic Axis & Allies game models WW2 from after it has started and Japan has attacked Hawaii and the Germans have attacked Russia. It can accommodate five players but it works well with just two. Basically it works a bit like the simple strategy game of ‘Risk!’ where you get extra forces for conquering more territory, however the forces consist of various types of land, sea, and air units which makes it far more detailed and engaging. Subsequent versions have striven for yet more detail and realism. The initial game suffered from the structural quirk that Japanese commanders with any sense should disengage quickly from the pacific and attack Russia in the east, thus virtually ensuring an Axis economic victory. However for historical reasons, notably the Nomonhan Incident, the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact and an Oil Embargo, they adopted a Pacific strategy. The critical role of oil supply in WW2 does not seem well reflected in the basic rules.
Buck Rogers – Battle for the 25th Century. This quirky game never became very popular but you can get second-hand versions quite easily. It has an Axis and Allies type strategic structure but set in the inner solar system with spaceships and spacefaring troops disputing the control of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the Asteroids and various orbital facilities. It has the extraordinary feature of a variable geometry board. The Planets move around the Sun and you need to plan spacecraft trips accordingly. The basic game has some complications that I don’t find worthwhile; I have preferred to adapt the rules to make it more like Axis & Allies and also to use the Risk 2210 sci-fi pieces to provide more choices of troop type.
Discworld. Ankh-Morepork. Something extraordinary happened here and then a tragedy occurred. Perhaps by some happy chance a really good game got cobbled together in Ankh-Morepork, (two attempts to make sequels to it fell badly flat) but then after the death of Sir Terry Pratchett something went wrong with the rights and the publishers had to stop making it. Sets can now fetch several hundred pounds. The game has a bit of everything, it seems a bit like turbo-monopoly with assassination and magic, although amassing property may not necessarily win you the game because you don’t know which characters your opponents play. It works best with four players and it contains enough randomness and pageantry from the books to make it surprising and enjoyable for aficionados and beginners.
Space Raid. Interstellar board game design presents two major problems, firstly how to represent 3D space on a 2D board, and secondly how to allow for the vast distances and speeds involved. The designer needs to invoke or invent some reasonably credible but as yet undiscovered physics.
In designing Space Raid, I opted for sheets of black board with numbered or named stars on them joined by pale green lines representing possible jump routes between them of lengths of up to a few parsecs, to produce a sort of spider web or network of jump routes with the stars at the nodes and with most stars connected to between 2 and 4 others by jump routes. On the board the jump routes have different apparent lengths to represent the reality of the stars not all lying in exactly the same plane, but perhaps lying in the thickness of the plane of a spiral galaxy.
The starships move using (hypothetical) gravity focussing devices. By focussing the gravity drive exclusively on a nearby star, a ship accelerates towards it and achieve an immense velocity fairly quickly. It then performs a slingshot manoeuvre around the star and as it hurtles away it uses the gravity focussing drive to brake against the star to eventually bring itself more or less to rest around another nearby star. Thus each time a ship makes a jump it leaves one star system, hurtles through another without stopping, and ends up in a third. Two further quirks of relativistically dubious speculative physics also occur in this scenario, initiating a jump sends out a non-local gravitational hyperwake through the system so all ships know when another has jumped, but not to where, plus all jumps take a very similar amount of time, irrespective of differing distances.
Rather conveniently this leads to the situation where all ships on both sides can jump simultaneously but commanders don’t know the destinations of their opponent’s ships. So both sides secretly write down the next destinations of their ships and then both reveal them and move their ships and see if any have arrived at the same star systems, in which case combat begins. Plus ships passing through a star system in the middle part of their two star jump have such an enormous velocity that interception and combat remain impossible, however they can deploy kinetic energy weapons in passing, basically dropping rocks on very large targets like planets to create massive devastation. No defence exists against this except to intercept them well before they get within jump range of a star system with a base or colony on one of its planets. This does not seem unreasonable, the capacity for flight soon brought with it the capacity to wreck entire cities; the capacity of interstellar travel would probably bring with it the capacity to wreck entire planets. Players may agree to a treaty forbidding such tactics, or a severe loss of victory points if they break it.
When opposing starships end up in the same system they can attempt to engage or evade each other using a variety of sensors, cloaking devices, and evasive tactics, force shields, particle beam weapons, and missiles. Each ship has a variety of factors for these and duelling proceeds through the use of asymmetric combat polygons. Ships can also exchange fire with orbital bases or with planetary bases.
Review. Imaginal Reality, Voidcraft, volumes 1 and 2. Aaron B. Daniels. Aeon Books.
Over 400 pages of tight print, plus illustrations by Laura M. Daniels.
Two groups have always understood the principle that you can only have one government per currency.
The Synarchist faction of the european political class have
Animageos - the visual equivalent of anonymous, pronounced An-imar-gus , and meaning not having your image in the public domain, rather like Banksy.
In these times of
Semester 4 of our 7th glorious year begins TODAY on Arcanorium College. www.arcanoriumcollege.com You can join up for it anytime this week.
Semester 4, 11th
Please say NO to AV in the UK on May 5th.
It will result in the Libdems getting more seats as everyone understands. The UK
Herewith the Necronomicom Wand and Pentachoron instruments used to earth the forthcoming Chaos Necronomicon section of EPOCH, the Esotericon and Portals of Chaos.
Ah, first 3 surfs of the year down in the Gower over easter, some nice big ones up to 6 foot on Monday, water still rather
Went to a community meeting this evening, largely to oppose the off-license sale of alcohol to the local teenage yobbery till 11pm. The local yobbery has a
Ahem, yes well I did predict that some time ago and wrote it up in The Apophenion and The Octavo.
Half-crazed wizards can take
Just a few odds and ends that have caught my attention this last week or so: -
The mandrakes I unearthed about 2 months ago, these
Following some email exchanges I present some further thoughts on the Hyperspin Eight Dimensional hypothesis of fundamental particles. Fundamental particle physics strikes me as important
With the completion of the latest Knights of Chaos campaign all qualifying survivors have started to place their armorial crests in the Knight's Hall at Arcanorium
St George’s Day again and hardly anyone notices, we gave the world Newton, Darwin, and Democracy, plus nearly all of its games and sports, but
I don’t think the government has thought far enough outside the box on the issue of marriage.
We need to take the sex
Thanks for your messages.
Herewith some further and rather more metaphysical thoughts on the previous paper.
Firstly, Hail Dave!
Prime Minister UK, David Cameron, who has always seemed like a decent sort of chap and done nothing stupid so far, displays
I've been asked for a few more words about the Apophenia course just beginning on www.arcanoriumcollege.com which you can join anytime this week, so here
For some years I served as Treasurer to the Bristol Branch of UKIP, my first ever membership of a political party. I joined for several
The Perfect Cosmological Principle.
Copernicus overturned the Ptolemaic astronomical assumption that the earth lay at the centre of the universe, and did, like the other
I note with satisfaction that the UK courts have just ruled that the Diocese of Plymouth cannot claim that its priests acted as self-employed consultants and
The hunt for the origin of U, the ubiquity constant of about 6 x 10 60 , which relates the Planck mass, length, and time to
Halloween, rather like Christmas, seems an essentially modern and rather American innovation. Trick or Treat seems to follow the Sicilian-American business model of extortion with
So at vast expense we now have a rather higher resolution map of the CMBR, the cosmic microwave background radiation, than that already provided by the COBE
With the Esotericon now moving at a fair pace towards its final shape, and the accompanying Portals of Chaos Deck half done, we have finally accepted the
Oops the universe appears to contain something too big, in apparent violation of the Cosmological Principle that it should appear homogenous at this scale.
Happy nine hundred and fiftieth birthday Dr Who. I cannot remember where I was when I heard of the assassination of JFK, but I do
Apophenia’s Official Birthday.
On this little rock circling a nondescript star in an unfashionable spiral arm of our galaxy Apophenia’s Official Birthday happens tomorrow, Thursday
I’ve had a hailstorm of enquiries about this latest bit of apparent strangeness from Cern,
See original paper here
I remain unconvinced by the possible sniff of the Higgs at Cern. If they have found that they can make something fleeting which decays into a
Saturday and off to Glastonbury for the Book of Baphomet book launch. Decided to go a bit early and inspect glasto itself, it has rather
Firstly a number of interesting items from some of my friends and colleagues: -
Dave Lee’s new novel, The Road to Thule. A rollicking tale of
With our 6th year now well under way, I'll post advance notice here of next Semester's courses at Arcanorium College, www.arcanoriumcollege.com In addition to all
Herewith a clutch of Mandrakes grown in the greenhouses of Chateaux Chaos. A colleague from Greece, the wizard Xarisal, sent some seeds, two of which