Fierce OS

October 22, 2010 / 0 comments

The interpretation of symbolic structures is forced into an infinity of symbolic contextual meanings. M. M. Bakhtin Historically, Lions have been symbols of power from the Persian to the British Empires, from Hinduism (Narasimha) to Judaism, Islam and Christianity (see Kings, Judges, Proverbs, Samuel, Isaiah, Daniel, Numbers, Revelations, etc. and of course The Lion, the Witch and…

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Google’s Autocomplete Algorithm

October 21, 2010 / 0 comments

A friend shared this series of Google autocomplete search results on a social network, it contains screen captures of Google’s autocomplete feature along with a venn diagram produced from the resulting terms: I was curious if I would get the same terms, so I tried it. As soon as I found that my results for…

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Mutiny and Modernism

October 20, 2010 / 0 comments

The morning watch was come; the vessel lay Her course, and gently made her liquid way; The cloven billow flashed from off her prow In furrows formed by that majestic plough; The waters with their world were all before; Behind, the South Sea’s many an islet shore. The quiet night, now dappling, ‘gan to wane,…

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Exoanthropology

October 13, 2010 / 0 comments

The recent discovery of a possibly Earth-like planet, Gliese 581g, had me thinking about exo-/xeno-/astro-anthropology again and about the possibility of studying cultures on other planets.  Since the early 90s when I started my undergraduate education in biology and philosophy, I’ve been interested in the relatively easy acceptance of the “hard sciences” approach to studying theoretical…

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Robot Acceptance

September 14, 2010 / 0 comments

A post in the NYT photo blog asks if Japanese acceptance of robotics has origins in Shinto belief. (via Elizabeth Housley)  Surprisingly they don’t mention Masahiro Mori. Will we see humanoid robots taking more active roles in hospitals, constructions sites and other work places outside Japan?  And will robots like the Paro therapy seal showing…

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Cyberactivism, iPhone 4 and The Courage to Be

August 25, 2010 / 0 comments

(Note: This post was originally published on an blog about Apple technology, based on a few requests I’m making it available here. -MOR) Apple has been hard at work the last few years building their reputation as a ‘socially responsible’ company.  Like other greenwashing corporations (Whole Foods for example), this reputation is 9/10ths marketing and…

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Fatwa Against Body Scans

February 20, 2010 / 0 comments

Fiqh Council of North America issues fatwa against airport body scans: “It is a violation of clear Islamic teachings that men or women be seen naked by other men and women. Islam highly emphasizes haya (modesty) and considers it part of faith. The Quran has commanded the believers, both men and women, to cover their…

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Church of England calls for Technology Fast

February 20, 2010 / 0 comments

The Tearfund carbon fast asks that we give up technology and re-allocate to the poor.    The Telegraph reports that Bishops in the Church of England are calling for a technology fast during Lent: “[The technology fast] is a statement [of solidarity] with a world that does not have that ability to communicate the way…

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Institute for the Study of Religion in Virtual Worlds

January 28, 2010 / 0 comments

While exploring in Second Life, I came across the ISRVW apparently set up by Dr. John Traphagan.  You can visit the ISRVW here.  It’s set up as a meeting space, no resources and not very large, but interesting that it exists.  Also explored the LDS welcome center for a while, interesting to note that all…

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Fictional Religions

November 23, 2009 / 0 comments

Markus Davidsen at Aarhus University is writing a fascinating dissertation on “Fictional Religions: The Morphology and Reception of Invented Religions embedded in Works of Fiction.” He describes his project as: “about two types of religions, fictional religions and fiction based religions. By ‘fictional religions’ I understand religions, spiritualities and magic systems which are embedded in…

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Consumer Temples

November 16, 2009 / 0 comments

Gizmodo reports on Apple’s newest retail store on the upper west side of Manhattan.  The article is called “Inside Apple’s Newest Temple” and in it the author writes: I call it a temple because the architecture conveys a nearly religious aesthetic, a place to worship Apple, beyond any other Apple store you’ve ever been to….

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Quantum Activism

November 11, 2009 / 0 comments

Dr. Amit Goswami, professor emeritus of physics at University of Oregon, has a media rich web site where he discusses a “science of consciousness.” He calls himself a “quantum activist.” Just as modernist empirical science constructed a vision of reality as material, could the quantumn revolution construct reality as spiritual/religious?

Laughlin & Throop (on experience and reality)

October 10, 2009 / 0 comments

“The forms of knowledge that technologies mediate is integral to both a society’s cultural information pool, and to the extramental reality in which they live. Technology itself constitutes an alteration of that relationship — especially as it intervenes in the experiential aspects of that relationship . . . Technologies are in a sense ‘artifacts of…

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Andy Letcher at Horizons 2009

October 9, 2009 / 0 comments

I looked forward to hearing Andy Letcher speak at Horizons.  I hadn’t heard of his work or his book “Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom,” but the synopsis for his presentation sounded interesting: For those who have encountered the sacred mushroom, the psilocybin experience is like an ancient codex whose glyphs are at…

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Horizons

October 1, 2009 / 0 comments

The 3rd Horizons conference in New York City was September 25th, 26th and 27th.  Although I wasn’t able to attend all the sessions, I was able to attend the performances at the opening reception, see William Richards and Franz Wollenweider on Saturday and Andy Letcher and Bob Jesse on Sunday. Horizons is a “forum for…

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