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 goes: -
Apophenia means seeing connections between things that most people don't. Thus it can lead to genius or lunacy or both, for the hidden connections may prove true, (for a given value of truth), and/or useful in art, or science, or magic, or if they prove too outlandish they may just create conspiracy theories and religions and other nonsensical merchandise.
Magicians have used apophenia inducing techniques such as sortilege or kabala or the ars cobinatoria of Ramon Lull for many centuries on a rather ad-hoc basis, however in 2005 the attempt by some magicians to directly evoke the phenomenon of apophenia resulted in the surprising Phenomenisation of Apophenia Herself as an Actual Goddess, a sister to the recently revived Eris apparently.
Magicians have the technology and they can call up servitors, daemons, and gods if they want to, and sometimes by accident.
Since then, The Muse of Peculiar Connections has given us more hints on how to invoke Her and to portray Her, and a multitude of strange and unexpected inspirations and ideas. We celebrate her eighth birthday on May 26th and in the run up to that we shall attempt to expand upon her Invocation by practical magic and see what She evokes in us.
And another thing, have you noticed a certain amount of excitement on the physics pages about The 'Causal Entropic Principle'? This somewhat speculative idea suggests (I think) that a system will tend to try and maximise the entropy it can produce in the future over its entire possible path rather than just go for maximising entropy as quickly as possible. In some simple models and experiments this seems to happen. Speculation runs rife that this mechanism could possibly account for the existence of err, life, intelligence, the universe and everything. Calling it 'causal' thus seems a bit odd for it implies that a system can 'know' something about its own future possibilities, or at least get some sort of retro-causal feedback from them.
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 now British Identity seems to mean little more than A Glorious Past and No Future. The EU State Religion of Political Correctness becomes increasingly enshrined in law and hence as morality, because most people sheepishly believe as commanded. Thus any discussion of why British Identity has no future becomes both futile and illegal. Nevertheless even some economists begin to wonder now if this pocket handkerchief of an island can accomodate any more people on it.
Despite a posh education, neither of my kids seems to know the first thing about the history of this sceptered isle. Well I suppose even if we have lost pre-eminence in just about everything else, Britain still punches well above its weight in Hollywood, dodgy financial services, arms manufacture, and of course Wizardry, Magic and Esoterics, although having said that I’m delighted to invite an American colleague to lecture in our next Semester on Arcanorium: -
Semester 5 Arcanorium College. http://www.arcanoriumcollege.com/
Semester 5. 29th April - 7th June
Fra. Alloy. Into the Dreamlands: Lovecraftian Sleep & Dream Work
Pete. Apophenia 2: Theory and Practise.
Alloy’s Summary: A course on how to explore the Lovecraftian Dreamlands and Mythos Dream Magic. Class will include a variety of techniques for controlling and using the Dreamlands symbol set for dream/sleep and dream-related magic. A familiarity (ideally, fluency) in Lovecraft's Dream Cycle is STRONGLY recommended (links to free versions of all of the reading are available under the College of Mythos Studies sub-forum).
Week One: Dream Journals Week
Two & Three: The Map & The Journey
Week Four: Enemies & Allies – Obtaining Servitors, Wards, and Guides
Week Five: The Work of the Silver Key – Rituals in Dreamspace
Week Six: Great Cthulhu -The Sleeping God
My Summary: As Apophenia's Eighth Birthday falls within this Semester on May 26th I intend to provide an opportunity for participants to do an Apophenia working for inspiration and genius in chosen personal projects, an opportunity to debate the text of the Apophenion book, and also to hold a birthday celebration for the muse Herself.
Plus my Liber Null & Psychonaut and Liber Kaos have now come out as e-books in Italian thanks to the magnificent translation work of a certain bilingual Arcanorian, so it has received expert translation. Unfortunately I cannot read this beautiful language but I may well try singing a few of my rituals in err, sort of ‘Opera Mode’. (In Private!)
Judgement Day, a review, but first its Frogmass!
Spring officially began this last weekend by Chaoist reckoning, for that’s when the pond at Chateaux Chaos filled with frogs. We have about 50 this year for the start of a 24/7 two week non-stop party and shagfest. The ‘music’ gets rather loud in the evenings. They have come in a variety of colours from whitish-yellow through greens and browns to a few that look a bit burgundy.
Let us hope we don’t get a late freeze, the climate seems oddly disturbed; we have just had the coldest Easter in a very long while.
The Science of Discworld 4, Judgement Day, has just appeared, I love this book although I suspect many liberal arts based Pratchett fans may find the extended science sections from Prof Ian Stewart (Maths and Physics) and Dr Jack Cohen (Biology) a bit of a challenge. Pratchett himself weaves an amusingly quirky tale that basically allows the two scientists to let rip with some of the more extraordinary recent developments in our understanding of reality, and an exploration of their strange philosophical implications.
I note with pleasure that the Big Bang hypothesis and the Higgs Boson get treated with a robust scepticism, as do many topics in cosmology and quantum physics. I began to wonder if the morphic fields of The Apophenion and The Octavo have found some resonance in the memesphere.
Margaret Thatcher 1925 – 2013. Our fearless leader passeth…….
I stood to attention and sang Land of Hope and Glory on hearing the news on the radio.
She rescued this country from its slide into a penurious socialist dystopia under the dictatorship of the union barons.
She took back the Falklands and toppled a vile murderous dictatorship, for which the people of Argentina should remain eternally grateful.
She faced down the Soviet Empire and helped to free the peoples of Eastern Europe.
She restored a spirit of enterprise to Britain, I remain forever grateful for the opportunity to participate in that.
Okay, so She did make a few mistakes, the poll tax proved a mean and fatal miscalculation, but Her intuitions about Europe proved correct, what a ghastly shambles that now looks.
Appropriately Her funeral will take place at St Paul’s Cathedral, Britain’s temple to its heroes; Nelson, Wellington, Jellico, Montgomery, they all lie there.
Perhaps I’ll go and line the route in case some protesting Marxists require my attentions.
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 and W-MAP observations, but still no new real surprises. The false colour map shown vastly exaggerates the minute temperature differences in the CMBR comming in from all parts of the sky, basically it all has a temperature around 2.7 degrees K, give or take a smidgin.
The assertion that this new data further 'confirms' the Big Bang hypothesis rings a bit hollow, (cosmologists seem rarely right but seldom in doubt), it has led to further tweaking of their creaky model with adjustments to the dark matter, dark energy, and inflation parameters. These three fudge factors have become essential to maintain the BB hypothesis, however all three have rather arbitary properties designed to fit the BB interpretations of the observations, and we can find no other evidence for their existence and their supposed properties remain suggestive of Phlogiston, a mysterious invisible substance which temporarily stabilises wrong ideas.
On the other hand if the CMBR consists of trans-antipodal radiation from stars that has become redshifted by the small positive curvature of spacetime and reached thermodynamic quilibrium with the intergalactic medium in a universe that consists of a vorticitating hypersphere, finite and unbounded in space and time, and not expanding; then all the Phlogiston dissapears.
PS, I just found another review of The Octavo, http://runesoup.com/2011/01/the-octavo-a-definitive-review/ wherein lies my book length exigesis of the above paragraph, replete with the maths. Thankyou Gordon.
Habemus Papem, We have another Pope, Francis the 1st. We send our not entirely cordial greetings from Our Pestilence, Pete the 1st, Pontiff of Chaos.
Well they do say young cardinals elect old popes, watch your step mate, take on the Vatican Curia and you may go the way of John-Paul the 1st.
The stygian Vatican stables may prove un-cleanable after the efforts of your predecessor Herr Rottweiller to keep the lid on the filth that accumulated under the nose of his intellectually challenged predecessor, JP2.
A bunch of old men crazed by decades of struggle to maintain celibacy, contra-rational beliefs, and power can still be dangerous you know.
They say you’re a conservative on birth control but that you have a social conscience. A peculiar paradox lurks there. Proliferating population plainly promotes pernicious poverty, but on the other hand poverty does wonders for religion, hence the centre of gravity of Catholicism moves steadily to the poorer global south, whilst it atrophies in the richer industrialised parts of the world.
As the balance of voting power has swung away from the Italian cardinals, we may well interpret the results of the conclave as something of a slap in the face to them, and all the scandals, intrigues, and extravagances they have presided over; from the cardinals in the third world.
They say you took the name Francis in honour of St Francis, patron of Italy, poverty, charity and being nice to animals. (One might never have guessed this by looking at his fabulously opulent basilica in Assisi with its corpulent friars in their expensively tailored habits, free of birdshit.)
Yet you’re a Jesuit not a Franciscan, one of ‘God’s Marines’ as they say in the trade, so we guess not to expect much theological reform or ecumenical effort, but perhaps an attempt to instil some discipline and austerity and some evangelical fighting spirit in the Clergy.
Concerning the credibility of your doctrines you may as well acknowledge that practically none of your congregation in the developed world takes any notice of your doctrines on birth control and sooner or later they will start ignoring it en-masse elsewhere too, although much suffering may ensue in the interim, so you may as well pre-empt this with a bold humanitarian reform now.
We trust that a number of spells placed in and around your new premises by KoC agents last October will prove helpful. Interesting art collection you have there by the way, some of the classical material looked great, but you could flog the ghastly medieval stuff for charity perhaps.
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 March to 19th April
Dave - Chaos in the World: the magic of place.
(A series of exercises and workings to bring out the magic of wherever you are living. Beyond psychogeography, this course culminates in a magical map of your area, and the concomitant increase in magical power and luck. )
Tadhq - Performance Arts, Ritual Magic.
(Join an initiate of both fields to explore and discover the shared story and development of these arts. In this course, we will explore, together, some of the currents and techniques that can inform our praxis. Looking at three masters of Performance Art; Brecht, Lorca and Stanislavski, we will investigate their motivations and process' and how they pursued techniques that conspired to affect and manifest realities - and how we might do the same. Join us on this experimental journey into Art and Arte.)
I'm still wondering why my winter solstice 'Seasonal Greetings' post has attracted fifteen thousand reads and counting. Forces have already moved to protect the power point in Mali, a certain artistic license disguises the precise coordinates of R'yleh. KoC score a hit against arctic drilling for the time being.
Review, and some thoughts for an experiment.
The Science Delusion by Rupert Sheldrake.
I found this book rather disappointing, it seems to contain little that he hasn’t mentioned in his previous books and it has the feel of a career summation by a man disappointed himself that the scientific community has not taken him more seriously. In places the writing seems trite and clichéd and weary.
Sheldrake returns to the theme of crystallography and again makes the point that once a crystal of a novel compound has crystalised, further samples can sometimes seem to crystalise more readily. If this suggests the action of some sort of morphic field at work then it suffers from a falsifiability problem because Sheldrake asserts that morphic fields persist forever once created, so it becomes impossible to ever repeat the experiment with the same, no longer novel, compound.
I’ve always had a problem with the idea of the indefinite persistence of morphic fields. I rather suspect that Sheldrake harbours the belief that they provide some sort of mechanism for life after death.
Sheldrake then goes on to regurgitate familiar material about experiments that show that people seem to have some psychic ability to know when other people stare at them from behind and to guess correctly which of their friends has just rung them on the telephone before they pick it up to answer. Such experiments tend to give results above statistical chance, but not startlingly so.
Sheldrake has written an entire book called The Persistence of the Past.
However such parapsychological results do not seem to find an obvious explanation in terms of morphic fields that persist forever. If thinking about someone creates a morphic field that persists forever then why don’t people who can detect this remain irritated by the gaze or impending phone calls of others for the rest of their lives?
Sheldrake’s assertion that the sequencing of the human genome has so far failed to provide the medical breakthroughs promised remains true, however his further assertion that the genetic code of organisms cannot possibly completely specify their entire physical structure and that they will need additional morphic fields to develop properly seems highly questionable. The human genome has a huge size, we haven’t really decoded it yet, we haven’t the faintest clue what most of it does yet, and we know that chromosomes need the vastly complex environment of the cellular cytoplasm in which to do anything useful, and we haven’t really decoded that yet either.
I propose a fairly cheap and simple experiment to test the persistence of morphic fields.
Set up two chemical laboratories as identically as possible. Have a chemist prepare a warm solution of a completely novel compound; organic chemical compounds would probably prove the easiest option here.
Divide the solution into 2 equal portions and place each under reflux in the separate laboratories. Allow one to cool and record the time to crystalisation. Then allow the other to cool and record the time to crystalisation also.
Keep repeating this experiment until you find a compound that crystalises significantly faster the second time.
Then, and here comes the important bit, when you have a compound that appears to have demonstrated the morphic field effect, boil both samples to re-dissolve the crystals so that none exists and then re-time the crystalisation to see if it depends on actual crystals remaining in existence somewhere.
If this works then you have not only a repeatable experiment, but also, astonishingly, a method of non-local signalling that would have the quantum physicists and cryptographers leaping up and down in ecstasy.
What I did on my holiday.
Belize, maybe you never heard of it, it’s a place the size of Wales tucked in under the Yucatan peninsula in Central America, it used to be called British Honduras.
A bunch of British pirates and privateers who later turned to mahogany logging kept the Spanish empire out and the poor chalky soils don’t farm easily. The Americans didn’t manage to interfere and turn it into a puppet banana republic so since independence from Britain it’s been a proper democracy and English speaking, and a pretty cool place with few social problems despite being rather poor in places. Not a single soldier or policeman in sight round the ramshackle parliament building – always a good sign. It has a mixed population of Spanish/Mayans and people from Africa, plus quite a few Europeans including Memonites, an obscure German protestant sect rather like the Amish, but they do use modern tractors to farm.
We went mainly to see the wildlife and the Mayan ruins, and had a fabulous treat of each. At Lamanai we climbed a gut churningly vertiginous pyramid which protruded above the jungle canopy and a 7 foot wingspan King Vulture obligingly performed a fly past. Giant Jabiru Storks fished in the lake, one pair had made a nest the size of a small car in a tree. Peculiar boat billed Herons like fat multicoloured penguins with big eyes nested in the jungle margins waiting for the night fishing. A big old crocodile basked on the banks of the swamp, he opened one eye and then closed it again as we passed, hey, I’m ancient, its baking hot, this mud is lovely, I think I’ll just wait for something to die of its own accord.
Then to the upland regions where we clambered and swam 600 yards into a mountain cave to see some stuff left by the Mayans about 850AD. Halfway in, we saw 2 obelisks on a rock ledge, one representing an obsidian blade and the other a stingray spine, both used for bloodletting in the Mayan religion. Then to the final chamber, a cathedral of stalactites containing 14 human sacrifices, the bones all encrusted with sparking calcite deposits – probably the most eerie sight ever in the gloom of the helmet lamps.
Then over the border into Guatemala (not such a happy place, soldiers and poverty everywhere) to see the ruins at Tikal. These consist of a whole city, largely unexcavated, with a number of soaring 250 foot pyramids in the central area. The Mayans had a vast civilisation of warring city states of perhaps 10m people and built all this without metals, wheels, or draft animals. It all went tits up around 900AD, well before the conquistadores arrived, probably through drought followed by social collapse; maybe they actually caused the drought themselves by massive deforestation. We saw the cute Coati, a sort of cross between a fox and a squirrel that likes to eat tarantulas.
The Mayans had a system of Hieroglyphic notation which anthropologists have since deciphered. It speaks mainly of dates and battles and regal lineages, unfortunately it doesn’t seem to record much in the way of myths and stories; but it all seems very calendrical. Just because some of the calendars seem to stop around now means nothing. I have a desk ornament in brass which tells me the day of the week for every day to 2045. If I aged it to verdigris in acid and then buried it I could maybe start a new end of the world movement.
Then back to the more laid back atmosphere of Belize, they have some interesting social innovations, no bicycles have brakes so everyone cycles slowly, it’s probably too hot to do otherwise anyway. If a road has insufficient potholes they put in lots of speed bumps so everyone drives slowly too, the whole country boasts only 4 sets of traffic lights. Even the poorest shacks are brightly painted and everyone seems cheerful and relaxed about everything.
We recovered from our jungle travels at Ambergris Quay where the giant Murricans come to wallow in the shallow waters inside the reef. They have to leave their guns in their northern nests to fly here so they are quite amiable and non-dangerous, but they have in many cases lost the power of locomotion on land and have to use golf carts to move anywhere.
We swam with turtles and sharks and a multitude of multicoloured fish on the reef, the stingrays were particularly inquisitive and glide past very close as you snorkel, they are okay so long as you don’t step on one whilst it’s resting on the bottom. The sharks seemed quite content with the sardines thrown in by the boatman.
Despite the fire ants (I stood on their nest whilst watching howler monkeys), the chiggers, the sandflies and the mosquitoes, it was the trip of a lifetime.
Whilst away I read Sheldrake’s The Science Delusion (not so good, review and suggested experiment to follow), and The Hydrogen Sonata by Ian Banks which is bloody brilliant, as usual.
Electromagnetic and Strong Nuclear ‘unification’ in 3D time?
In particle physics we observe ‘Charge Quantisation’. If particles have electric charges they always exhibit a charge of 1.602 x 10-19 coulombs, or occasionally a multiple thereof, the basic charge on the electron or proton.
Now the quarks which seemingly compose baryons (such as the proton) and mesons apparently must carry fractional charges of one third or two thirds of this to account for the various types of observable baryons or mesons, although the quarks themselves remain unobservable individually.
If quarks carry 1/3 or 2/3 fractional electric charges we can still perhaps explain how they hold together as ‘whole’ electric charges using conventional strong nuclear chromodynamic forces based on gluons. However if fractional electric charges underlie the basic quantum of charge then conventional models cannot account for how fractional charges can stick together to form the charge on an electron.
HD8 models electric charge as arising from the spins of quantised units of spacetime along all three axes of time. Thus a quantum of basic electric charge has three more or less inseparable components. Quarks also apparently have a single colour charge but all observable particles manifest as ‘colour neutral’ by having either 3 or +1&-1 configurations. Now in HD8, colour charges also arise from spins of spacetime about the three axes of time, and this seems to allow quarks some kind of quasi-stability as 1 colour / 1 anticharge or one colour / two charge configurations, where colour partially stands in for charge.
However if this model can explain charge quantisation and the existence of colour charge then it throws into question the existence of a ‘colour force’.
Conventional strong nuclear ‘forces’ come in two types, the forces which holds quarks together in baryons and mesons, and the forces which hold the baryon particles the proton and neutron together in atomic nuclei. Unobservable gluons supposedly act as the force carriers for the former whilst the observable mesons such as pions supposedly act as the force carriers for the latter.
Yet in HD8 the geometry of spacetime itself accounts for the charge quantisation, ‘quark confinement’ and the colour neutrality of observable particles. Thus no inter-quark forces need to exist and colour charge merely adds mass to a particle, in a similar way to ‘generational charge’ which merely adds mass without creating an additional force.
However this model still needs to explain the forces between nucleons such as protons and neutrons. This so called ‘residual’ nuclear force actually accounts for the vast energies liberated in nuclear fission and fusion reactions which appear far greater than the energies liberated from the electromagnetic forces underlying chemical reactions.
The electric charges in chemical reactions operate at the distance scales of entire atoms, but if similar charges operate at nuclear distances the forces become immensely stronger as the following calculations show: -
Charge on electron/proton = 1.602 x 10-19 coulombs.
Force between charges, F = kq1q2/r2
Where k = 9 x 109 Nm2/C2
Nucleon radius 1.5 x 10-15m
Hydrogen atom radius 2.5 x 10-10m
Force in hydrogen = 9 x 109 x (1.6 x 10-19)2 / (2.5 x 10-10)2 = 3.68 x 10-9 N
Force at nuclear distances = 9 x 109 x (1.6 x 10-19)2 / (1.5 x 10-15)2 = 102 N
Thus we see that at nuclear distances, electric charges can create the sort of macroscopic forces per particlecharacteristic of nuclear reactions.
Now consider that stable atomic nuclei can only exist with neutrons to somehow moderate the electric repulsions between protons. Consider the electric charges on the constituent quarks of the proton and neutron (here multiplied by 3 to eliminate fractions for convenience, but to preserve ratios.).
Electric charge in proton quarks, uud, 2 2 -1. Electric charge in neutron quarks, udd, 2 -1 -1
Proton +2 +2 -1
Neutron -1 -1 +2
Now we know that protons and neutrons have a finite radius, they do not appear to consist of point particles like leptons as they have internal components which we call quarks. If these quarks have some mobility within the nucleons then the nucleons can exhibit a dipole moment resulting from a degree of charge separation. The majority of the possible configurations of dipole moments between various arrangements of the above charges give a markedly attractive effect which can easily explain the so called ‘residual’ strong nuclear forces.
In conclusion, whilst nucleon electric dipole moments can perhaps explain the strength of nuclear energy, the explanation of charge quantisation, quark confinement and colour neutrality purely in terms of the structure of a spacetime metric with 3 dimensions of time seems the most interesting result.