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, January 5, 2013

On Living in the Present

This bit of New Year's advice from Luc Ferry comes via Thom Buchanan's excellent blog, My Delineated Life.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Singularity Fashion

Image Source: Urban News.

Back in this post, I talked about proposed fashion concepts such as digital skins and skin lace. These are invasive technologies which will potentially be used as forms of dress or bodily adornments. They fit in readily with the already burgeoning body modification movement and the communications revolution which saw amateur porn become a lifestyle choice and not-so-underground fashion trend.

Futurists assure us that the integration of advanced technology into our lives will continue exponentially and eventually become seamless, invisible, and quasi-natural in a way that will be disturbing to our current sensibilities, but perhaps not to those of tomorrow. Case in point: Urban News reported in 2011 on a California doctor who is developing the technology to turn brown eyes blue; the technology will likely be available outside the United States in 2013 and inside the USA in 2014 for the cost of USD $5,000:
A California doctor is developing the technology for a laser procedure that will turn brown eyes blue.

Dr. Gregg Homer of Stroma Medical says a 20-second procedure will remove the melanin pigment that gives brown eyes their color, making them permanently blue without affecting a patient’s eyesight.

Homer goes on to say that the majority of the world’s population has brown eyes, and the number of blue-eyed people is decreasing in America. But brown-eyed people have blue pigment in their irises, and a treatment session under a specially-tuned laser can destroy the melanin in the eye, gradually changing the iris color from brown to blue over a two-week period. “However,” says Dr. Homer, “the procedure cannot change blue eyes to brown.”
Although this cosmetic procedure will be controversial and offensive to some, according to a report in the Daily Mail, Dr. Homer denies that the procedure is "ethnically insensitive." As technology pushes foward and expands our capabilities, we will repeatedly confront the question: should we do something just because we now can?


Laugh of the Day

Some Scenes from a Multiverse from 22 August, 17 October, 9 November and 23 November 2012. All comics are © Jonathan Rosenberg.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Look Skyward: The Quadrantids

Quadrantids viewing guide (click to enlarge). Image Source: Spacedex.

On the night of 3-4 January, one of the year's most prolific meteor showers, the Quadrantids, reaches peak intensity, but a few more falling stars can still be seen up until 12 January. The shower is "currently thought ... [to] originate from the same asteroid as the Geminids do –2003 EH1. The Quadrantids owe their name to the constellation known as Quadrans Muralis, though the constellation is no longer used by astronomers its name persists in the Quadrantids." On the peak night, we may see 40-80 meteors per hour at around 2 a.m. Eastern Time (GMT less five hours). A world viewing guide is available no matter where you live, if you scroll down on this site:
"This is great for those living in North America, much of Europe, and the majority of Asia. Unfortunately, those of you living in Australia and lower portions of South America and Africa will have a difficult time observing the Quadrantids. This year, the First Quarter Moon (50% full) will coincide with the peak of the Quadrantids meteor shower. While the light of the moon may reduce the quantity of meteors you’ll be able to see, you should still be able to observe all but the faintest meteors."
Generally, look east/northeast: the area of the night sky from which the meteors appear to originate is the constellation Boötes, which is right near the Big Dipper.

Below the jump, the Hubble telescope Website's Youtube channel outlines prospects for amateur astronomers in January, including the Quadrantids.

The constellation Boötes. Image Source: Till Credner via AlltheSky.com via Wiki.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cosmic Reproduction

Pan Spermia In The Veil of Her Moon (2005) © Roger Ferragallo.

The new Millennium loves the cross-pollination of ideas, mainly because of the computing revolution in communications. An episode ("Is The Universe Alive?" 13 June 2012) of Through the Wormhole covers a Millennial theory in physics that the universe, or even the multiverse, may be alive. This theory, put forward by Lee Smolin, applies Darwin's idea of natural selection to the propagation of universes (see my earlier post on how physicists are appropriating Darwin's theory to their ends). Smolin argues that universes reproduce themselves through black holes and form attached daughter universes. Thus our universe may be "just one member in a giant family tree of cosmoses." Smolin finds many parallels and analogies between biological life processes and cosmic reproduction.

Theoretical physicists then ask whether this tree of cosmoses is alive, or possibly even sentient. They wonder whether we could find the brain of this living cosmic tree.