Archive for February, 2016

It’s not the Love Boat. It’s the Conspira Sea…

A floating gathering of conspiracy theorists!


Just imagine being a fly on the wall for this one. It would certainly make for a great author’s people-watching tour…




From Jezebel,

Sail (Far) Away: At Sea with America’s Largest Floating Gathering of Conspiracy Theorists


“Once we’re in international waters, every woman on the ship gets to make love to whoever she wants,” Sean David Morton said, with a wink.


It was not entirely clear why we couldn’t have done that already, where we were, sitting immobile on the Ruby Princess, a “grand class” yacht moored in San Pedro, California, an oil refinery and port town just south of L.A. But we were making ready to sail away from our conventional ideas about laws, up to and including the laws of cause and effect.


Morton is a radio host, among other things. Here he was one of the lead organizers of Conspira Sea, the first annual sea cruise for conspiracy theorists. While the ship looped from San Pedro to Cabo San Lucas and back, some 100 of its passengers and I would be focused on uncharted waters, where nothing is as it seems. Before we docked again, two of them would end up following me around the ship, convinced I was a CIA plant.
Elsewhere aboard, people’s vacations were already exuberantly underway, the cigarette-browned casino bustling. Those of us in the conspiracy group were crammed into a dim, red-carpeted conference room in the bowels of Deck 6 to hear Morton, a Humpty Dumpty-shaped man with a chinstrap beard and an enormous, winking green ring, explain our mission.


“Conspiracy theorists are always right,” Morton told the room. He spoke with the jokey cadence and booming delivery of his profession; he’s basically Rush Limbaugh, if Rush Limbaugh claimed to have psychic powers (Morton practices a form of ESP known as “remote viewing,” which he says he learned from Nepalese monks). It was a bit of a pander, since the room was filled with conspiracy theorists….


For the rest, click here.




“The Clock in the Mountain”

Long term thinking. It seems to be a rarity these days, but these industrious people are all about it…


They’re asking the question: Are we being good ancestors?



The Inventor of the Long Now 10,000 Year Clock Tells the Story of How the Idea Originated
by Lori Dorn


In “The Clock of the Long Now” by Public Record, inventor Danny Hillis of The Long Now Foundation explains how the idea originated for a 10,000 Year Clock and what the clock is meant to symbolize.


I wanted a symbol of the future, in the same way that the pyramids are the symbol of the past. I wanted to to build something that gave us a sense of that connection and that’s how I started thinking about the clock. …I’m building a clock that will last for 10,000 years.
The clock is currently being built into a Texas mountain. Long Now board member Kevin Kelly wrote about “The Clock in the Mountain” in 2011.


The Clock is now being machined and assembled in California and Seattle. Meantime the mountain in Texas is being readied. Why would anyone build a Clock inside a mountain with the hope that it will ring for 10,000 years? Part of the answer: just so people will ask this question, and having asked it, prompt themselves to conjure with notions of generations and millennia. If you have a Clock ticking for 10,000 years what kinds of generational-scale questions and projects will it suggest? If a Clock can keep going for ten millennia, shouldn’t we make sure our civilization does as well? If the Clock keeps going after we are personally long dead, why not attempt other projects that require future generations to finish? The larger question is, as virologist Jonas Salk once asked, “Are we being good ancestors?”…



What is ‘Sleep’ in One Sentence Or Less

A worthy challenge isn’t it? What IS sleep? And can you describe it in one sentence?…


From Van Winkles,
23 Experts Try to Explain ‘Sleep’ in One Sentence Or Less
By Theresa Fisher


“Sleep is a mystery.


Scientists acknowledge certain objective features of sleep, but, beyond that, differ in what they see as its essential elements. In defining it, would they emphasize the biological nature of the activity, its purpose or its benefits? Would “sleep” encompass those squishy states of semi-consciousness between sleeping and wakefulness? What about alcohol black-outs and comas, or when you zone out during slide 51 of a coworker’s scintillating presentation on growth tactics? And we haven’t even broached the philosophical side of things.


So we asked a variety of experts to answer the question “What is sleep?” in one sentence or less. Some definitions are specific to certain functions; others are wonderfully vague. All of them offer perspective on the universal act of rest.


1. “Sleep is the nightlife of the brain that functions to sustain and nourish our waking lives.”

— John Peever, Professor Professor of Cell and Systems Biology, University of Toronto


2. “Sleep is a fascinating scientific mystery — and a great personal blessing.”

— Hank Greely, Professor of Law and Genetics, Stanford University


3. “The promise that never stops promising.”

—RM Vaughan, Essayist


4. “Having your brain almost completely disconnected from the outside world but still living an internal life singular to you, while your body rests, lying down.”

— Célyne Bastien, Psychologist, Laval University, Québec, Canada…”


For the rest, click here.





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