Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Burning Man, Abundance and Utopia

Burning Man is a riotous, yet organized, annual celebration of music, art and excess held in the Nevada desert. It attracts about 50,000 visitors and becomes the third or fourth largest city in Nevada for one week each year. But while Burning Man celebrates certain types of excess, it also emphasizes stewardship of our planet’s limited resources through various means.

This is my third peregrination to Black Rock City, the artificial city that springs up each year to accommodate the revelers. This year’s art theme, chosen by the organizers, was Metropolis, which was intended to induce some thought about how communities develop and how people get along with each other and their environment. The city itself is laid out each year on the completely flat plane of a dry lakebed. It’s a horseshoe-shaped city three miles across — a lot of room for revelers but obviously not unlimited room. Kinda like our planet.

Read the rest at Noozhawk.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kicking the Psychophysical Laws Into Gear

This is a presentation I gave to the UC Santa Barbara Psychology Department, at the invitation of Professor Jonathan Schooler, a co-thinker of mine in many ways, as well as a partner in crime on many adventures. The presentation is a distillation of my unfortunately rather long paper that has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Consciousness Studies. The very quick summary: all matter is experiential and is thus better described as "menter"; the experiential units of menter are determined by a particular type of field coherence that leads to a "shared sampling rate with respect to reality." It's all about coherence and it may be the case that quantum coherence is at the heart of human consciousness and the arisal of experiential units more generally (my theory is meant to be a general theory, meaning it should apply equally well in all times, in all places and to all groupings of matter/menter).