It has been a good while since we’ve had anything big to report from the World of Woo-Woo – that place past Rod Serling’s “sign post up ahead.”
It may be that WoWW is a consequence of natural forces we don’t understand. Like right now, for example. We’re in a “Michael K. Lee window” awaiting major earthquakes from the recent eclipse. As we noted last week, the Hawaiian Kahunas were reportedly credited by Lee with noticing that quakes seemed to follow the Moon’s passage between Earth and Sun.
The other item I’d propose is something I’d call the thermopoint. No, I don’t think it is in any science books (yet) as it’s an idea which has only recently evolved. Like in the last three minutes, to be exact.
The idea is that Earth has semi-regular expansions and contractions. the Northern Hemisphere ought to shrink its land masses ever so slightly when the Sun is providing the Southern Hemisphere with its Summer. Down below the equator, the land would expand slightly.
When the Sun is at it’s northern-most spot over the northern hemisphere, conditions would reverse.
In between would lay this thermopoint where the semi-polar expansion and contraction rates would be highest.
We would therefore expect (based on this whacky thought) that there would be less volcanism around the equator and more in the middle latitudes because these would be where maximal ground movement might occur due to having real summers and real winters, the result of which would be land mass expansion and contraction.
See how easy it is to come up with “nutter theories” like this one?
But there’s more to it than that. It is entirely possible that other, larger, and perhaps unseen events drive Life as we know it.
One philosophical outlook, for example, holds that there are multiple Universes and that consciousness travels between them in ways not quite documented.
Experientially, the Death process seems like dying, but it is simply a transit (through a door) and off to another reality which will be as complete as this one, yet dimensioned differently. As some turn-of-the-last-century fellows called this: another Universe orthogonal to this one.
There’s a fair bit to support the hypothesis…but it’s not our track this morning.
It’s the “coming and goings” of the breadcrumbs. The little events of the “My, ain’t that strange?” variety. The kind of thing which, after reading, you find yourself saying “Well, I’ll be damned…”
Sometimes they are small…other times big. Sometimes explainable, sometimes not.
Reader Tom has a small one…small but interesting…
I don’t know if this has relevance, but was wondering if you had received any other messages like this.
Last night, about 11:45 P.m. I had just gone to bed. The lights were off for about five minutes. All of a sudden there was an instantaneous flash that couldn’t have lasted more than 1/1000 of a second I thought, out of the corner of my left eye. It was so brief I thought I was imagining it. The only thing is that my partner saw it also. She asked me “did I see that flash?” I told her I did, and had never seen anything like it.
I got up, looked around the house, looked outside to see if any of my security lights were on, they weren’t and went back to bed.
Has any of your other clients reported something like this. This still bothers me and makes me wonder whether we were seeing a change of some time or another.
Nope, haven’t seen anything in the data from the overnight run. Although a search of Google (search term simple: fireball, which works well, as does “flash”) didn’t produce anything new worthy of mention unless you care about the Alabama fireball of last week, or the pictures of a star going fireball.
Tom’s in Illinois, but outside the loom of Chicago, down south and west from there.
Then – larger breadcrumb – there’s this report from reader Wayne up in Hamilton, MT…
Two items, both revolving around my wife, Elizabeth (also a ham radio op).
First, while driving to Missoula two days ago, she was at the wheel, and we noted the miles seemed to be going by quickly with a feeling of gaps. I felt the same. She also noted a feeling as if ‘she’ was larger than her body. We got to our destination about 15 min. ahead of the expected time a normal 50 to 60 min. drive. Timeslips?
Item 2: a week ago she read about a Libertarian candidate in the tight Iowa race for U.S. Senate and had the feeling that the Libertarian candidate might die soon. Two days ago he perished in an airplane crash, second attempt at landing in the rain. One wonders if the “Arkansas flu” as mutated and migrated. (given the state of politics in the country, perhaps it would be best if our details were redacted if you publish this)
And another item, about a month ago I noticed a new gray house, set well back from the road a mile from home. We’ve been driving the same road since 2003, I cannot recall seeing that building before. My wife says it’s always been there. Memory drop? Dimension shift? An acquaintance described a similar occurrence two decades ago in New York upstate, a neighbor’s house was red when leaving in the morning and white when returning the evening, others in the family said no, it was always white. End of October, Samhain, and thinning veils.
Life sure is interesting, isn’t it?
Wayne up in Hamilton, Montana
Curious stuff – all of it. Yet whether there is actual meaning to be derived from it all involves the massive collection of data at a personal level and then drawing appropriate sets of conclusions from “the pile” of personal experience.
Elaine and I got into a pretty interesting discussion this weekend about this Bigger Stuff That Really Matters. She was watching a documentary on a mass gathering of atheists and logician/logical people in Washington DC a couple of years back. Among those on hand was “The God Delusion” author Richard Dawkins.
All of which is perfectly sound and logical – at least until it isn’t. I proposed she watch one of the short videos on YouTube featuring Dr. Raymond Moody who has interviewed thousands of people who have been clinically dead and yet have come back to life and talk about the experience. Many come back from death “changed.”
Yet even this might be rather neatly explained by the body’s release of certain chemicals near death like DMT – the “spirit molecule.”
“References to pseudohallucinations about intelligent beings can be found in many cultures ranging from shamanic traditions of native Americans to indigenous Australians and African tribes, as well as among western users of this substance. Terence McKenna used the term “machine elves” to describe pseudohallucinations he experienced while taking dimethyltryptamine…”
“Ah, Ure, you see? All drug-induced!” these logical reductionists would argue.
Well, except no, it doesn’t really follow. There are just too damn many person events in my own life of a precognitive type, as well as knowing-at-a-distance where drug explanations fail. Knowing of a life-threatening event to a child in a dream, or seeing an oil rig fire 18-hours before the Gulf Horizon Offshore case. Or seeing that “tunnel of light” when very young and turning blue from asthma. Or…
Wait! Those are all on my personal data pile. You get to have your own.
But that’s the method to it…how to nail down a bit better how this WoWW stuff works.
1. Look at the data from as many sources as you can. This involves taking the great books of religion and “de-religifying” them down to non-partisan basics.
2. Inspecting all possible known situation that could explain the events in the religious books even when stripped of what I warmly call “the sales materials.”
3. Then collect in life your own pile of experiences that cover everything from “strong hunches” to “knowing at a distance” to “knowing in advance.”
Not everyone will have the “knowing via the nonlocal channel” stuff. It is truly AWESOME when it occurs. But it doesn’t “summon up on command” well, yet there are people in a laboratory setting who can blow the socks off researchers who go looking for evidence of Psi.
Which is yet another subsection of the research. The short Wikipedia part:
The term parapsychology was coined in or around 1889 by the philosopher Max Dessoir. It was adopted by J.B. Rhine in the 1930s as a replacement for the term psychical research in order to indicate a significant shift toward experimental methodology and academic discipline. The term originates from the Greek: ???? para meaning “alongside”, and psychology.
In parapsychology, psi is the unknown factor in extrasensory perception and psychokinesis experiences that is not explained by known physical or biological mechanisms. The term is derived from the Greek ? psi, 23rd letter of the Greek alphabet and the initial letter of the Greek ???? psyche, “mind, soul”. The term was coined by biologist Berthold P. Wiesner, and first used by psychologist Robert Thouless in a 1942 article published in the British Journal of Psychology.
The Parapsychological Association divides psi into two main categories: psi-gamma for extrasensory perception and psi-kappa for psychokinesis. In popular culture, “psi” has become more and more synonymous with special psychic, mental, and “psionic” abilities and powers
There is far more to read at that Wikipedia reference. Yet it seems to gather little attention among the partisans.
The Partisans are those who hold strongly to either a very hard religious belief system, but lack personal experiential data (like a near-death experience or NDE or other such event with reportable phenomena that form an experientially “known.”
Likewise, the atheists many times fall into the trap of becoming quite partisan in their views but unable to proven that just because they haven’t touched something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist for everyone.
What are left are people like me who have seen enough (experientially) to “know” at a deep, personal level that there is SOMETHING more going on. Which really leaves experiencers with a dee p-seated…gosh,. what to call it? Hunger I guess is what it’s like – a deep-seated hunger to Know the Greater Stuff.
The Partisans, I’m sure, aren’t happy on either side of this. But all of their material is treated with reverence and the greatest of respect. Somewhere in every belief system, there are traces to be found…at least so far/
The good news, may be that we don’t have more WoWW data to think about. Maybe if we did, we would become much more focused on the important matter of assimilating ourselves back into the Greater Whole of it all.
And that wouldn’t leave many workdays like Monday to go build stuff and be rules by lesser men and women than ourselves, would it?
Ah, our business school friend the time management problem. Do we choose today to do the important or the urgent?
Sorry, but that’s always what ever moment life seems to come down to, isn’t it?
Is Apple Losing It’s War?
Got us a reader named Doug…very bright attorney-type fellow. And every so often he sends me a real gem of an email. This one is particularly interesting because it gets us to one of the the “Paradoxes of Complexity” – namely that complexity has within it, the seeds of its own demise…
Since 1970 I have used computers most days. My jr. high got a grant and we had teletype connections to big mainframes, through high school. I owned an Osborne, and perhaps 20 variants of PCs. Eventually, the clunkiness and endless unreliability of Windows drove me to Linux, after my hard drive and its backup self deleted in the same week. Linux wasn’t ready for prime time 8 years ago, so I finally went to Apple. My blood pressure dropped a bunch, because I have highly critical, legally confidential data to process all day, every day, and the security was superior.
But something bigger happened. After a break-in period, Apple’s intuitive interface really sank in on me. I think Apple’s old philosophy was summed up as “why do in three steps what you could do in two? Sadly, after Jobs split, this has been backsliding badly, in the name of ever more “cool” choices.
Example: The new ios version of Safari hides the toolbars when you look at a site. Cleaner view, but then you have to touch the screen just to see the various bars, such as tabs. Then you have to touch the bit you select. And when you look at bookmarks, they consume 1/3 of the screen, and can only be removed by repeating the process of pulling up the toolbars, clicking on a duplicate icon to the bookmark one, etc. So they reintroduced multiple steps they had removed in earlier versions. First, look where the toolbar used to be. Then click to bring it back. THEN click on what you wanted. Change for change’s sake, one suspects.
But let’s look at the champs of human time and energy wasting, Microsoft. I believe their philosophy is “Why do in 2 steps what you could do in 12?” Look at the interface in Word sometime. Over 100 distinct choices in your face, all day. Six or seven different styles of graphical interface. Sometimes words, sometimes obscure symbology. Sometimes hierarchical, sometimes not. Sometimes duplicated in different sub-tabs, sometimes not. But Always, user adapts to interface, rather than the opposite. And the whole BS security ongoing nightmare.
Please. As a lifelong computer geek, reformed, I get it. The programmers think like the code they get paid to wallow in all day. And as a senior IBM software fellow once told me, one in a hundred programmers is not a code hog. Such people are worth literally 500 other programmers to large enterprises. But their work product is rarely seen. Worse, the victims gradually develop a preference for their dehumanized state. Stockholm syndrome.
So the genius of Apple was building products for people who prefer to think and act as humans, rather than adapting their behavior and thinking to machine designs.
My brother the wrench headed off-road aficionado kind of gets it when I make the analogy that, most of the time, I prefer my computer to work like a simple sedan. Get in, start, put in Drive, and go. NOT pull the choke handle out 3/4 of the way, rotate fuel to air handle, engage carb heater, push starter button, warm engine, gradually opening choke, and adjust fuel air mixture for perfect output, while keeping head temperature down, etc., then choose 4wd, 2wd, or 4wd low, depress clutch, release handbrake, release footbrake, shift to 1st, release clutch, repeat through 6 gears.
i prefer German manual transmission cars with outrageous handling and braking, but i get why most people, in most situations, like Accords. Or Lexuses. And driving across Texas, I long for a self driving vehicle with superb wifi, a kitchen, and bath, in which I could sleep in the back bedroom, while driving.
So the more your site automatically does what the majority of users want, without adjustment, extra steps, mental effort unrelated to content, quizzes about choices made by 1% of users, or even 10%, the more they will engage, subconsciously, with it. This is also why sites that rock frequently have most of their choices of actions under “More”. Or, these days, three horizontal bars. And the graphics are like simple Zen art. It can be taken too far. I have seen sites recently where one had to really search to find one’s shopping cart. Or, WORSE, one had to search for the “checkout” button.
I love how your site works with mobile devices – another geek achilles’ heel. Many sites are unviewable on mobiles, which are the predominant interface today……..
That’s where I was going with the idea..but thanks for sharing the larger (and very useful) perspective with us “click monkeys.”
Around the Ranch: IQ Testing
I took a break from video editing yesterday for a new website I’ll be launching one of these days to get a little R&R at the house. So I plunked down in my favorite lounger, two pieces of Honey Crisp apple in hand and someone found an online IQ test in my click-wandering.
“Hell, I’ll just click through these 20 questions in 6 minutes and get back to real work…” and it was Game on!
No paper or pencil, just 12-hours into a work day and the results (tired, remember): 123. Not my best, but then again, tired and not terribly focused. And it was as much a read and instant click exercise than anything.
So along comes Elaine and I invite her to take the test, too. “Come on, you might enjoy this…” As she sits down in her lounger, I’m back to editing over on the Big Box in my office.
Half an hour to 45 minutes later, I return, my editing project done.. There is a notepad, a pencil and she’s on question 19 of 20 and standing up looking at a collection of figures on the tube. She was counting this and that’s of the figures trying to determine which one didn’t belong..
Carefully selecting her answer, she then went on to the next (and final) question,. And spent a good six minutes, or so before settling in on her answer.
Her final score? 135.
There’s a fine lesson in here somewhere. Though I’m not sure what it is. Politely, we didn’t speak any more about the results all evening. But the lesson for me is clear: In the future, take the time to read the instructions and don’t run everything by the clock…especially when there’s no clock running on the test.
The other lesson? Don’t ask questions you really don’t want the answer to….sometime it’s better just to suspect something and call it good.
Write when you break-even