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Friday, August 14, 2009

AUGUST 3 - Welcome to the Semantic Apocalypse


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http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2009/07/29/welcome-to-the-semantic-apocalypse/

Love and Light.

David

Welcome to the Semantic Apocalypse

by Robert Lamb

Look into the mirror. (D-BASE/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Look into the mirror. (D-BASE/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

We all live in bubbles of experience and knowledge. We craft a worldview out of our beliefs and values, and this becomes our own individual perceivable universe. Of course, it takes a great deal of stubbornness not to have that worldview changed by new experiences and new tidbits of knowledge.

With science, that’s generally a good thing. Carl Sagan referred to science as a candle shedding light into a demon-haunted world — extinguishing superstition with fact, while also improving our lives. But if you’re going to roll with that analogy, science can also illuminate troubling realities — kind of like when you check out your favorite nighttime hangout with all the lights on. You begin to see cracks in that carefully maintained worldview.

I find that much of what I read regarding neuroscience further stirs the unsettling notion that the human experience itself is little more than an absurd dream, a strange byproduct of evolution. Canadian author R. Scott Bakker ruminates on these topics in his science fiction and fantasy works, weaving imagined worlds with philosophic discourse and neurological research.

In his book “Neuropath,” he refers to something he calls “the semantic apocalypse.” This catastrophe occurs when science shines enough light on the human condition for reason to fail. Absurdism wins.

In a lecture at the University of Western Ontario’s Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism (transcribed here), Bakker presented the notion in depth . He attributes the semantic apocalypse to four key paths of reasoning:

  1. Humans are fundamentally bio-mechanical: You’re programmed at a genetic level to carry out certain functions, and everything you are furthers those ends.
  2. Science vs. phenomena: Science continues to provide functional explanations of phenomena, including human consciousness. What happens when human consciousness is effectively debunked on a large scale?
  3. Cognitive Closure: This is the philosophic idea that humans can only hope to understand certain things about the universe and simply lack the intelligence to strive beyond them. The exception to this, of course, is the steady accumulation and preservation of scientific data over the course of human history. In Bakker’s words, “We are theoretical half-wits outside of science.”
  4. Blind Brain Hypothesis: This resolves around the idea that, the more we learn about human consciousness, the closer we conceivably come to glimpsing the neurological equivalence of the man behind the curtain or dad dressed in a Santa costume. Essentially, consciousness is a coin trick the brain plays on itself. “The magic can only vanish as soon as the coin trick is explained,” Bakker says. “In this case, we are the magic.”

What if our memories, experience, thoughts and worldview are all just a side effect of our brain’s evolution? What if human consciousness as we know it is something we’ll eventually evolve out of? What if we are essentially just a strange dream cooked up by a piece of meat that drives our bodies on a genetic mission to reproduce?

The day that scientific knowledge blots out human meaning — that’s the semantic apocalypse.

I’ve probably gone on a bit long with this post, but suffice to say that while the illumination of science is greatly beneficial and should certainly continue, it casts an ever-brightening and ever-expanding circle on everything that we are. There’s much about ourselves we’re not going to like.

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How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:


Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:




Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.

MUFON.COM

ESOTERIC



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