TIMES, TIME, AND HALF A TIME. A HISTORY OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM.

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 14, 2012

DCnU: Another Day, Another (Real?) Multiverse


All images in this post are from: Before It's News. Image from Another Earth (2011) © Fox Searchlight Pictures.

There have been a lot of loud complaints and a hell of a lot of kicking and screaming in the fanbase about DC Comics' September 2011 reboot, in which the famous pulp company tossed 75 years' worth of history out the window in an effort to catapult itself into the 21st century.  The open wound that is DC's handling of the Titans aside, I have written a post on how DC's shifts to new entertainment genres and new media (such as digital publishing) correspond with the transformation of the comic publisher's fictional universe.  I have asked whether those Fourth Wall and metafictional turns may lead to the discovery of new standards for heroic values in pop culture.  I've also talked about how comics stories, especially at DC, are the only forum in pop culture where quantum physicists' ideas of a multiverse have been consistently and constantly considered over several decades. 

"There may be inifinite Earths being infinitely created."

DC's characters, stories and tumultuous reboots actually contend with the problem of what it would mean to live in a mulitverse, assuming it existed. What would happen to reality?  Well, DC speculates, some of us would become superhuman, but at a terrifying price.  What would happen to people in that reality?  What would happen to values of right and wrong?  Good and evil?  No one else, not even the quantum physicists who are looking at the multiverse as a possible scientific fact, are pondering would it would mean for all of us if their wild theories aren't just theories.

"Reality may be more tenuous than imagined."

Now, some weird online stories about 'real' cases of people have surfaced (here) who claim they have shifted from one parallel universe to our world; these accounts are exactly mimicked in the storyline of an upcoming May 2012 DC title, World's Finest (with the great George Perez serving as co-artist): "Stranded on our world from a parallel reality, Huntress and Power Girl struggle to find their way back to Earth 2."  The oldest team of comic superheroes, the Justice Society of America, finds itself on the alternate Earth 2 in another new series, simply called Earth 2.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Superweather

Image Source: The Weather Network.

A monster snow storm has just blown in here, but it's nothing compared to a record-breaking system that hit eastern Russia today:
Russians are experiencing some harsh winter weather. It’s so cold even Canadians would shiver.

A Russian meteorologist says two months worth of snow has fallen on Eastern and Northern Russia in just 12 hours, calling this the worst snowstorm they have seen in 50 years.

Along with the mass amounts of snow, Russia faces extreme winds, racing up to 144 km per hour. Power lines have been knocked down due to the winds, leaving around 20 villages in the dark.

Temperatures in Russia have been as low as minus 49°C [minus 56°F].

Military vehicles have been dispatched to clear streets. The snow filled roads have affected 800,000 people, forcing them to stay inside or walk to work. ... Russians even experienced some thunder and lightening as the snow fell. “Thundersnow” is triggered when there is a strong convective system with a combination of cold and intensity in the atmosphere.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

File Sharing Becomes an Officially Recognized Religion


Radio Free Penzance just noted that in Sweden, file sharing was officially recognized as the new Missionary Church of Kopimism just before Christmas; in the new faith, information is holy and copying and sharing torrents are considered sacraments because these acts multiply the spiritual value of the data.  Control+C and Control+V are considered sacred symbols.  If you go to the new faith's main Website, here, you will notice that Kopimism has branches sprouting up all over the world.  The religion has been growing since 2010.  From RFP:
For many people, file sharing is a way of life. At any given time, they will be seeding handfuls of torrents, downloading several more, and searching The Pirate Bay for something new. The practice provides a cathartic experience that you could even say gives meaning to their lives. So why not take the next step and turn it into a religion? That’s exactly what one man tried to do. The crazy part? He succeeded.

Yes, file sharing has been officially recognized as a religion by the Swedish government. The Church of Kopimism is the fruit of philosophy student Isak Gerson’s efforts. After two unsuccessful attempts to convince authorities to recognize the religion (its methods of praying or meditiaton were deemed too informal), Kopimism was finally granted religious status.

It was only a matter of time before we started worshipping zeroes and ones.  This is also an interesting merger of the old institutional establishment and new technological concerns.  Could, for example, Kopimists eventually claim protection against religious persecution and discrimination under EU law when the authorities tracked them down over copyright infringements?  There are other spiritual, philosophical and political dimensions popping up around intellectual property rights.  Sweden, home to the people who run The Pirate Bay, already has a political party founded around the idea of file sharing, called the Pirate Party (est. 2006).  The party's official Website is here.  For other reports on Kopimism, go here, here, here, here, here, here and here.  Gerson is on Twitter here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wolf Moon

Image Source: Corbis via Kitchen Witch.

Today's Full Moon is known in North America as the Wolf Moon, which refers to Native Americans hearing wolves howling hungrily outside their villages at this time of year. It is also known as the Old Moon or the Moon After Yule. Astro Dispatch recently commented on what this Moon signifies astrologically; apparently, it urges introspection, contemplation, a need for reappraisal and better judgment about the balance between our inner and outer worlds, aims and desires:
On Monday 9th January 2012, the full moon in Cancer at 18 degrees 27 minutes is a Wolf Moon. ... Full Moons signal completion, endings or culmination points. It is a time when the moon is brilliantly reflecting the sun’s light. We are urged to gain a healthy balance between the inner (Cancer) and outer (Capricorn) world, our home (Cancer) life versus our career (Capricorn).

Full Moons also tend to reveal the shadow sides of the signs involved, in this case, Cancer and Capricorn. The intensity of the lunar radiance may expose the emotional drought in us, where our inner needs are sacrificed or simply not met (Cancer). It can also indicate the shirking of responsibilities or being power hungry (Capricorn).

Friday, January 6, 2012

Theophanic Hibernation

Grafton (1992) cover of P. K. Dick's Valis. Image Source: Esoteric Online.

Welcome to Epiphany. It is a celebration of a Theophany, a day when god appears to man. In the Christian tradition, Epiphany marks the Theophany of the Christ child as a god who appeared in human form and was baptised. Today follows yesterday's Twelfth Day of Christmas; it is also Orthodox Christmas Eve in the Julian Calendar.

Theophanies are mysterious, tricky events that have been recorded in religious texts and myths throughout human history. They pop up a lot in Greek myths. If you want to read a modern account of an 'actual' Theophany, consider reading (if you haven't already), Philip K. Dick's semi-autobiographical novel, Valis (1981), published just before he died.  In Valis, Dick claimed to depict his encounter with god on 3 February 1974. It can be pretty hard going, but it is fascinating: he describes a human grasp of the Gnostic divine mainly in temporal terms, a "loss of forgetfulness," a recovery of our hidden memory of life across the ages. To see god is to see time as it really is, the point at which time turns into space. Dick thought it meant living in 'orthagonal time,' and consciously existing in past and present lives simultaneously: "We are not 3D subjects trapped in linear time; we are 4D objects composed of hypertime." Where it goes from there, well, you have to read it to find out.  It presents an ancient subject, revealed in modern terms. Dick was absolutely fearless when it came to facing and conveying the mad twists and turns of the human mind grasping the ungraspable; there are some excerpts online here from the appendix.

Dick's famous, cryptic journal, Exegesis, which was a theophanic basis for Valis, is being published in two parts in 2011 and 2012, at well over 2,000 pages. Volume I, which was published on 7 November 2011, is available here.  Wiki: "Editor Jonathan Lethem described the ... [new Exegesis] publications as 'absolutely stultifying, brilliant, repetitive, and contradictory. It just might contain the secret of the universe.'"  Some sample Exegesis pages are online here.

On that note, the blog will be hibernating until Candlemas, aka Groundhog Day.