“Arthur C Clarke – Fractals – The Colors Of Infinity”

Happened across this video last night:

Been amazed by fractals since my early teens. And that above was an old-school documentary on the subject.

My guyfriend requested today that I post up pretty pictures of fractals on here. Probably aiming to distract me from political discourse. Haha! That’s what friends are for. tongue_funny

fractal480

Mandelbrot_Set-12-DOUBLE_SPIRAL-large

Mandelbrot_Set-10-SATELLITE_VALLEY

mandelbrot_upclose

mandelbrot_set That particular design is known as the Mandelbrot set and is repeated throughout fractal formations.

“Climate Change is a Non Issue (We’re Doomed if It’s Man Made)”

I tend to agree with his perspective shared here. Hence why I refuse to get into discussions on the topic since it comes across as a bunch of useless hand-wringing by folks who do little more than talk about the issue. And what does talking about it get us? Doesn’t improve a thing.

Indeed, if this trend has been coming for over a century, then by now, after a population explosion made possible by technological advancement, we are screwed. Because we’re not going to be reducing the human population anytime soon (it continues growing worldwide), nor can we reduce the livestock we rely on to all survive. Much of this “war” against CO2 emissions strikes me as a way for select politicians and businessmen to profit from taxing strategies that won’t likely prove effective, especially when manufacturing and farming practices in other countries like China remain unhindered by our country’s legislation and regulation attempts. Just sayin’…

Nihilism, Luciferianism, Transhumanism (another modern life ramble)

“Nihilism Part 2: Luciferianism – MGTOW”:

Listened to this video this morning (after waking up at the crack of dawn yet again, still unable to sleep well, as is so common) after reading a bit yesterday on the concept of Luciferianism, something I’m not familiar with aside from hearing the term lobbed around occasionally. Nihilism, on the other hand, is a concept I am a bit more familiar with and have delved into trying to comprehend in recent years, including some of the works of Nietzsche. And I must admit that nihilism continues to perplex me.

Not interested in saying much on here today…that sort of thing just always gets me thinking, and worrying. I understand what the man there was saying toward the end about deep introspection being necessary to seek out justifiable meaning and values in one’s own life in order to basically resist this nihilistic slide (if we want to call it that), and I’ve been mired in that process for a couple years now at least. The “existential panic” I reference on here sometimes is a multi-headed beast springing out of revelations from life choices but also all that I read and and listen to and try to grasp, along with this general sense of growing apathy and despair that I never seem capable of shaking for more than a day or two anymore.

But the topic of Luciferianism came across the radar, so I went in search of more information and came up with several sources, that video included among them. He broke it down more clearly than most else I found on the subject. When he speaks of Transhumanism as being like a modern and advanced form of Luciferianism, that makes sense. Where I get troubled, perhaps because I am a stubborn Luddite, is with the notion that humans really think we can become equal to that which we call God (i.e., the “Godhead”). This continues to strike me as ludicrous, as not only foolish but so incredibly fatally so. No, whatever is produced by those driven toward “post-human” ambitions is not something my human mind, heart and soul wants any part in. Not simply out of fear of the unknown though…just extreme discomfort with the enormous and insatiable strivings of our egos.

While I reject adherence to any given religion and can very much appreciate the value of reasoning and skepticism, I try to always keep in mind just how fallible we can’t help but be, including what we’ve convinced ourselves is perfectly reasonable and rational. So much of this blows my mind with its inescapable paradoxes — everywhere you look.

So I keep asking myself when reaching these impasses, if not there then where? Where else might one turn for something that makes enough sense to be held on to, to become grounded in so far as that is possible? Yes, new information and ideas will float us on and on and I understand that one is probably better off remaining fairly flexible when it comes to examining this life. But we also seem to require some footing, lest we set adrift and get completely lost along the way. Which is kinda how I feel now most days. Never sure what to grab hold of, what with pretty much everything (if not absolutely everything) coming to appear illusory at its core. Social and moral constructs. But then again, who’s to say that some of our human-made constructs aren’t based on natural phenomena and rules that transcend our understanding of them — we’re just grasping in their general direction due to an intuitive comprehension of their significance, their realness within the patterns of life.

Then my mind gets full and I’m drawn down and back to tired. People like to tell me these issues are rather easy, or that it is me who complicates them, that it’s just a matter of selecting a worldview or moral code and sticking with it. Easy as that. I envy the relative ease they express. Isn’t proving easy for me for some reason, not when it comes to maintaining footing and feeling solid enough to not be troubled by what all is flowing around us. Sometimes I do worry that this rising stream of questions and claims and mind-fuckery will eventually blur and distort everything I ever thought I knew or cared about and that I will wind up permanently lost. Perhaps others worry about this at times too. And perhaps that too is an illusive concern to where maybe a person has to let go and get lost in order to find out what’s really real.

I don’t know. Won’t claim to know much. But I will turn my attention back to other philosophical teachings and Jungian analyses since those appear more fruitful than the nihilistic maze.

February and March 2016 Reading Material

Been sticking with audiobooks mostly recently since they’re easier to digest at this time.

Put on hold nearly three-quarters of the way through Sheldon S. Wolin’s Democracy Incorporated. Honestly, I’d heard so much about it in advance that the main takeaway was already familiar to me and, beyond that, much of the book was framed from a democrat’s perspective, which wasn’t what I was looking for (as a long-time independent with no allegiances to either popular political party). So I’ll finish it at my leisure when more interesting titles aren’t pressing for my attention.

Did finish listening to Erich Fromm’s Greatness and Limitations of Freud’s Thought and liked it at the time but haven’t found it terribly memorable or remarkable in the weeks since completing it. Just a bit more information on Freud from someone more closely familiar with him and his writings throughout the entire course of his career, not only those that remain popular today.

A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine proved thought-provoking and interesting and is one I intend to re-listen to in future months. It’s intended for shaping a philosophy for a modern audience rather than simply being a recount of historical texts.

Another I finished recently and loved was Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the Nature of Nature by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan. This collection of essays was amazing, particularly halfway through and onward. If you’re curious about cellular life and evolutionary changes, this one is a real eye-opener, along with their (print) book What Is Life?

The Medicalization of Everyday Life: Selected Essays by Thomas Szasz was terrific and I look forward to listening to it again and capturing excerpts from it to share with others. Very important thoughts expressed in that one, ranging from the concept of “mental illness” being taken too literally when it’s actually metaphorical in origin, to what’s labeled as a “mental disorder” in the first place and how that list has been expanding decade after decade to include all sorts of human behaviors that arguably have no reason to be added other than to pad more mental health workers’ pockets, to exploring one’s right to die with dignity and who gets to decide and dispense drugs used in such cases, to describing how insane asylums and “mad doctoring” came into being originally, etc. Having read one of Dr. Szasz’s books years back and watched several speeches by him since, I am a fan of this man’s work and found this book to be particularly engaging and most appropriate for those new to his writings and critical position in regards to the mental health field.

We Are What We Pretend To Be by Kurt Vonnegut is a collection of two stories written respectively at the very beginning and the very end of this author’s career. The first story, Basic Training, was rejected for publication back when he was first learning and honing his craft, though I enjoyed his character development there and was a bit astonished that it ended on a sweet note. The second story, If God Were Alive Today, was more along the lines of what we’ve come to expect from Vonnegut and is said to have been a sketch of sorts intended to be fleshed out into a longer novel which was cut short by his death. Enjoyed listening to his daughter discuss the background info of these two stories and tell us more on what it was like interacting with her father once she was grown.

Next, I’ve been listening to Friedrich Nietzsche’s Human, All Too Human: A Book For Free Spirits, which includes his Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions as well as The Wanderer and His Shadow. I continue to have mixed feelings on Nietzsche, hence why I purchased this audiobook and am taking up time with it, to gain more insight into where he’s coming from. There seem to be contradictions across his thoughts, not that this bothers me so much as it leads me to recognize just how much he was speculating and projecting. At the beginning of his Maxims portion he speaks of having done the work and gone through the transformation necessary to speak on such matters, but I am not completely convinced based on what information we know of him posthumously. He was a smart and deep thinker, no doubt about it, yet he seemed plagued by his own deficiencies and unable or unwilling to come to grips with them, resulting in him coming across as looking down on so many others, particularly those with religious predilections. And I get the impression, again and again through reading his works, that his attitude reflects back more on him and his state of mind than on those he’s pointing out scornfully. Probably didn’t help that his primary philosophical mentor was Schopenhauer. Either way, Nietzsche remains a bit of a mystery to me. He wanted so much to see himself as belonging among the “ubermensch” he so admired, and yet his health and personal disposition held him back, and this he seemed unable to come to terms with. I study him for this reason — Nietzsche appeared to be a walking paradox in his own right.

Yesterday I began listening to Jon Taffer’s book Raise the Bar in order to gain more insight into the bar and hospitality industry and general management. Just an intrigue for me at present.

Two audiobooks ordered today that I look forward to getting to in weeks to come are Tribes by Seth Godin and The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

As for print books, the main one I’ve been picking up recently out of my collection is Art and Artist by Otto Rank. Have a long way to go before completing that one though. Not an easy read by any stretch. But I’ve heard so much about it and feel compelled to take in his ideas, knowing how much of an impact they had on other authors whose work I respected, like Ernest Becker.

Alan Watts — “Out of Your Mind” lecture series continues further

Alan Watts – The Inevitable Ecstasy (Part 1):

The Inevitable Ecstasy (Part 2):

Alan Watts – “Out of Your Mind” lecture series

Alan Watts – The Nature of Consciousness (Pt. 1):

(Pt. 2):

“Alan Watts – Do YOU do it, or does IT do you?”

A 3+ hour audio recording of Alan Watts titled “Do You Do It, Or Does It Do You?”:

Next part on “The Art of Meditation”:

Listened to clips from these but am glad to have found the complete talks.

ALAN WATTS — “Conversation With Myself (video)”