Archive for Technology

Carl Sagan and the Demon(s) of Pseudo-science

Posted in Doom and Evil, Future World, Religion, society, Technology with tags , , , , , on May 22, 2008 by wizardsmoke

Science is a pretty big thing for folks these days. It’s the new religion, right? I guess between educated empiricists and uneducated creationists, I know who I’m going to side with — although any kind of fundamentalist/evangelism is just spiritually filthy. The problem is just that, most people aren’t smart. And most people aren’t predisposed to study science. And science doesn’t necessarily solve people’s varying emotional or existential problems. People need something to attach to, a fantasy. That’s how they keep it together. Give us a fantasy, scientists!

People with an ethnocentric or “racial” agenda often claim logical means to stage their arguments, much like satanists/black magicians, businessmen or politicians: They pitch their argument as being the result of an empirical investigation of reason or logic when of course, the real underlying message is their emotional disposition and unbalanced attachment to negative views. It’s what Carl Sagan would call, “pseudo-science”. In other words, presenting only certain facts under a pretext of science in order to obscure the bigger picture from casual observers.

From the man hisself, in The Demon-Haunted World (via Wiki):

“We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces… I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges nearer, pseudoscience and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around us – then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls. The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.”

Carl Sagan was cool, but his technological idealism reflects the liberal urban attitude of his generation. The belief that science is this great illuminating torch that will save us savages from our ignorant beliefs. Whatevas. More like, divine providence will save us, Carl! Presuming we get saved or even need saving…

I presume what Carl Sagan is predicting here is not necessarily (or not only?) a ethnicially driven war or terrorism, but maybe the technological lockdown of the lower classes by the uber-elite. You know, the stasis of society and freedoms of a civilization dependent upon technology which only an elite number of operatives have the experience to control.

Very Hot Yoga

Posted in Fighting, Future World, martial arts, Reality Bites, sex, sex and violence, Technology with tags , , , , , on March 26, 2008 by wizardsmoke

I really wonder about Yoga marketing. A while back I saw a blog post (I think I found the link on Formosa Neijia, but I don’t remember) that posited a very relevant question, asking why Yoga, instead of Taiji, was more popular as a marketable, new-age, meditation, health and fitness practice. The gist of the article was: Taiji is not sexy.

Yoga is sexy. You can do it in skimpy outfits, it requires sweaty endurance training, it creates obscene flexibility, it tones and shapes the body (or the booty? Haha! No seriously, there are nutty fake Yoga videos about developing the buttocks). On a purely empirical and physical level, it’s such an obvious cash crop for an adult female demographic! And of course I can see why more dudes are more attracted to martial arts or whatever here. Same supposed/promised results (inner peace, toned body, flexibility, athleticism, and of course booty) but it’s tough! Grrr!

Thing is, whenever I go to Yoga sites, they’re chock full of instructors in totally scanty outfits, sometimes in the most extreme asanas/poses! Yowza! Just who is their intended audience? I mentioned this to a friend, saying that some of those poses would be uncomfortable to witness a woman performing up close! That is, either a really attractive or unattractive woman… hahaha! Anyway, my friend is really politically correct so he didn’t think that was funny. He seemed to insinuate that I was a blasphemer for even conceiving of the idea (even though I didn’t – it floated by my psyche and I decided to attach to it, but I digress) Unfortunately, I was pseudo-serious: what male is going to a Yoga shala and isn’t completely blasted, completely awed by the sheer massive amount of female energy around them? In fact, maybe it’s dangerous, now that I think about it. Although going to one of these places could make a male less nervous around females in a social context, if a male consciously has that in mind when thinking of these places, they’re a slimeball. So, in other words, don’t let me near any shalas, haha!

But honestly, the real reason I don’t get involved in Yoga is because I’m naturally flexible. In a way that’s actually almost unhealthy. Over-flexibility is not that great if it hasn’t come from gradual strengthening. So, I don’t think yoga would be of huge benefit to me. And I’m pretty set into my own MA practices, which incidentally, take a lot of time out of the week.

Still, I’ve noticed a number of martial arts hombres who have taken up Yoga alongside their longtime martial arts practice. There have been a number of blog posts about it over on big Taiji-related blogs like Formosa Neijia and Weakness With A Twist. It seems like most of these guys do the martial arts first, though. I don’t really get it, since to my knowledge, it isn’t necessarily helpful or good from a fighting/combat perspective to be yoga flexible. Of course, some Shaolin-type training will do similar stretching, but whatever. We’re talking entirely different fundamentals for that kind of training. And I feel like that’s mostly athleticism (which is still awesome and useful). But straightforward martial technique generally calls for opened hips and good fluid dynamics (springing from the root, moving from the waist, moving and rooting, yielding and neutralizing, etc.), not limbs stretched beyond the socket or torso. (Remember, I don’t do Yoga or Shaolin, so don’t rage at my posts)

But! I’m very interested to see how yoga classes are set up. I just would not have any long-term commitment right from the get-go. So… I must stick to my guns and not check it out. And yet I do think if many more girls did martial arts it would be interesting. I wonder how the male demographic would react to that one?

Martial arts often lose out to Yoga in ethical reasoning these days. Why learn how to maim someone? Although martial arts might seem dangerous or unhealthy from a mental perspective, one should remember that like all technological progress, the techniques and teachings are only available because they’re no longer new or even openly useful. Whenever something is open to the public like that, it means it’s such old news it practically belongs in a museum. Nowadays, the only real culture is technology, and that’s obsolete as soon as it comes out. It’s like what that lesbian hitchhiker in Five Easy Pieces kept frothing at the mouth about, that everything is just a bunch of crap. Crap, crap and more crap. These days you can’t escape all the crap. She was nuts, but somehow also right!

Tales from Outer Space

Posted in Doom and Evil, Future World, society, Technology, The Media with tags , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2008 by wizardsmoke

It’s funny, in science fiction there are always so many tales of aliens coming to Earth to destroy or invade. Realistically though, it seems more likely that Earthlings or humans would do that to some other race, doesn’t it? Mars rovers, Saturn probes, all of that junk — they’re just scouting out territories for more resources, really.

Tell me honestly, what good would come of finding some other physical race of beings? Sure, it would be a nice novelty for a month, but then people would start fighting or getting racist/xenophobic or would try to take over the foreign planet(s). Legal issues would be a nightmare, so a state of war would be declared. It’s quite predictable and I am so sure there is tons of sci-fi literature on the idea. Fact: people only go to other planets looking for resources to steal.

Looking and hoping for intelligent life elsewhere is a perfect example of lazy, distracted motivations. And can you imagine the preachy, romantic, nonsense newspaper op-ed pieces we’d have to read about those expeditions when they turn into greedy wars on oil? Ugh…

On a related note, as we all well know by now, our planet isn’t going to be worth a damn in a few minutes. Some day soon, aliens won’t even take a second glance at our planet (if they ever wanted to). People are destroying the Earth, humanity is like a disease on the planet, cats and dogs are living together — it’s absolute madness. We’ve become like a malignant growth that is threatening to topple the whole biosphere by thriving in an ignorant fashion.

If we don’t destroy the planet through pollution in the next 40 years, we’ll definitely have other problems as the generation growing up now raises kids of their own. That’s going to be the penultimate generation of slackers whose machines do everything for them. Does humanity even want to escape The Matrix they create?