Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Answers in the Chaos

Fox Mulder's office poster.

The exponential momentum of the technological revolution is radically transforming social values and behaviour in ways we can’t understand. An avalanche of data is now generating chaos through its speed, sheer quantity and wild variations of quality. So much for the idealistic Web anarchists who hoped that natural order would emerge on the Net spontaneously. This was the sort of breathless prediction made by Wired in the early 1990s! The darkest corners of the internet are now as barbaric as anything on a clichéed medieval battlefield. But what’s even more scary are the sites that propose to offer ‘answers’ in the chaos.

Friday, June 11, 2010

H. R. Giger, the Alien Prequel and Advice to Aspiring Artists

1H. R. Giger Room for VIPs in the now defunct Limelight Club in NYC. ©H. R. Giger. Source: H. R. Giger Official Website.

Will Ridley Scott's Alien prequel feature new alien designs by Swiss artist, H. R. Giger? Maybe, according to Scott. He will approach Giger to collaborate on new designs:
"Scott says that H.R. Giger’s original designs for the creatures are 'worn out' and he would like to collaborate with the artist on coming up with something 'completely different.' I think that’s a fantastic idea. For all the silliness of human-alien and predator-alien hybrids, I would like to see new creatures within the xenomorph world. We know our face-huggers, chest-bursters, full-grown creatures, and the queen, but what other horrors does this species hold?"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Space Colonization and its Historical Precedents 2

Martian Sunset. Captured by the Rover Spirit on May 19, 2005.  NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell.

Count James C. McLane III among the enthusiasts who want to colonize Mars - and do it quickly!  Over at The Space Review, the former NASA engineer has just written an article in which he strongly advocates one-way manned missions to Mars, just to ensure that the United States achieves the milestone of sending humans to the Red Planet first.  But to start, this will be a colony of one.  One cosmonaut, one-way.  Hmmm.  It is a debate that relies heavily on realities and clichés from colonial history.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

DC Comics that Made Me a Fan

Wonder Woman's Golden Age Invisible Plane came when she called it.

Over at the DC message boards, someone just asked: "What story made you a DC Comics fan?"  I've been reading comics since the 1970s, and have a collection that runs from the 1940s up to the present.  It's interesting to ask what stories really stand out in my mind through all that pulp and all that fiction.  There are lots of great stories of course - the New Teen Titans arcs The Hunt for the Killers of the Doom Patrol and The Judas Contract are part of one of my main comic reviews on this blog - so I won't mention them here.  This isn't a 'best stories' list.  The question involves stories that really left an initial, indelible, lasting impression, the very first ones that grabbed my imagination and that I still remember before all others after almost forty years.  I'll save my non-DC fan inspirations for another entry.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Russian Mars 500

Mars 500 Crew on June 3, 2010. ESA/IBMP - Oleg Voloshin.

On June 3, the third phase of the Russian Mars mission simulation, Mars 500, began.  The experiment involves a crew of six - three Russians, a Chinese astronaut, a French engineer and an Italian-Columbian engineer, who will live together in a sealed habitat for 520 days.  The habitat is located at the Institute for Biomedical Problems at Moscow State University.  Official sites are following the mission's progress here and here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Space Colonization and its Historical Precedents 1

Water Ice at North Pole of Mars © European Space Agency Mars Express 28 July 2005.

The colonization of Mars seems inevitable if we look to the precedents of human nature – if we can conceive of it, we will do it. Every void of ignorance and experience is an undiscovered country. But the uncertainty of such efforts inevitably provokes fear as much as it inspires. The embrace of the unknown renders it comprehensible and even mundane. It can take hundreds of years for society to successfully absorb that transition in thinking.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quantum Physics, Quantum Biology, Quantum Computers, Quantum Consciousness ... Are We There Yet?

Large Hadron Collider.

On June 5, Deepak Chopra tweeted about meeting Stuart Hameroff in Vancouver:
“Stuart Hameroff came to my talk in Vancouver. He says that quantum possibilities, cosmic consciousness, non locality, are the same phenomena. Planck scale geometry is what the universe is made of, 25 times of the order of magnitude smaller than the atom. Platonic values - truth, goodness, beauty, evolution, are embedded in Planck scale spin networks.”
What? Chopra’s Ayurveda medical traditions mingled with Buddhism somehow match Hameroff’s theories of consciousness, which depend upon non-algorithmic processes that can be understood through Quantum Physics, creating a field Hameroff calls ‘Quantum Consciousness.’ Some of Hameroff’s ideas are based on a controversial 1989 book by Sir Roger Penrose, The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds and The Laws of Physics. Penrose’s argument that Artificial Intelligence could therefore not be built with computers that depended upon algorithmic computations did not take into account the later development of – yes – Quantum Computers.