Faith is a wonderful thing

All belief is fervent hope, and thus a cover-up for doubt and uncertainty. - Alan Watts
It is the natural human ability to believe things. That you care what they believe in is different than what you believe in broaches the same fundamentalist attitudes that give religions a bad name. Revenge for persecution? Isn't there some logical rational argument against that nonsense?
People have the right to believe in stupid bullshit so long as their behavior falls within certain guidelines. I'm not sure verbal abuse (mocking people for believing stupid shit) falls within those guidelines. 

Policing our Own

If each belief group wrangled in their own fundamentalists, I'm pretty sure we'd all get along just fine. So, think before you 'like' or 'plus' something. Let's get past the bullshit and make Star Trek happen.

The SWAN Co-Op

I live in a sea of apartments.

Really, it's probably only a few hundred units, but when I'm walking around playing Ingress the building after building makes it feel that way. For each of these apartments, there are people inside that all need some of the same things. That's where the SWAN part comes in - Stuff We All Need. I'll use toilet paper as an example, but pretty much everything Proctor and Gamble makes probably qualifies.

The way it works now:
Someone makes a bunch of toilet paper and then they sell it to a retailer. It's shipped from the plant to the stores, and then all of the apartment dwellers drive their cars to the store and buy it for significantly more than the retailer paid for it. Then they drive it home. Rinse and repeat every week or so.

What I'm thinking:
The apartment dwellers unite under the SWAN Co-Op banner and make bulk purchases directly from the manufacturers. They ship it to a distribution center that breaks it into deliverables for each apartment, and on a weekly delivery they drop it off at the apartment complex. This:
- avoids paying the retailers market, so SWAN participants save
- fewer trips to the store reduces the carbon footprint of everyday life


Finding Your Self

So, you wanna find yourself? I find my self sitting in front of a computer in Colorado.

What is a Self?
Where to start? Since I suspect anyone reading this will have at least practical experience if not a working mental model of duality, let's start there. Self is the opposite of Other. So then, what separates a Self from an Other?

Let's start that by finding the boundaries of Self. My self presently holds the belief that the boundaries of Self are defined by awareness, information flow, and perception. If perception results in a flow of information to our awareness, the perceiving object is considered Self.
What part of my Self would I lose without an internet connection?

What interests me here is when I slide the scale down a bit, leaving the familiarity of the existence I know and scaling way down to what I've been told about what goes on in this body my Self seems to inhabit. Don't cells have to have a sense of self? Particularly considering white blood cells, which I've been told sacrifice their Selves in the act of killing an Other. Surely, on some level the cell must be aware of the Other.

Let's scale a couple of meta levels up. Is the Earth a Self? If we take what we know of Self and cells, could it be that the planet is a Self, and what lives on its surface constitute its organs? How would we go about establishing the existence of awareness on meta layers other than our own? Can an argument be made that the solar system is a Self?

What is an Awareness?
Its easy to start by saying consciousness is an awareness. What is an awareness aware of? Perhaps an awareness must first be aware of the passage of time - at least for us to relate. The awareness experiences changes over time.

Looking at our own awareness, I can't go much further without emotions coming into play. Not only are we aware of changes, but our perception of those changes can alter how we perceive things by influencing our emotional state. Does all awareness come with emotion? Are the white cells afraid?

What purpose do emotions serve?
Motivation, for the most part. The pursuit of happiness... why would we pursue it? Because it feels awesome. How do cells feel? Does a cell shooting a pleasure message to the brain feel better than one shooting pain information? Does happiness indicate optimum functioning/health? Do the magnetic field or brain wave emissions from our happiness communicate something to the planet?

Self is self-defined.
Consider your Self. Do you consider yourself part of a family, part of a political party, or part of a nation? Ultimately, self is a concept - a mental model we use to facilitate interactions between the meat sacks we seem to sit in and the environment in which they exist. Ultimately your self is what you make of it, because what you choose to believe about your Self will influence the perceptions that define you.


Nation is to Computer as Government is to Operating System

We're dealing with 200+ years (and that's just in the US) of spaghetti code. Let's write a new one. The internet has changed things in ways those guys didn't have to consider.


Requiem - I

Greetings. I'll try to make this fast, as I don't know how much time I have. I have been summoned here, which, if anywhere is my home. I am a thought construct - a persona. I am Grizwald Grim. The fellow you interact with regularly, David, is my host. I don't believe this to be a classical mental illness.

We all have personas, operating frequencies - faces on a 20-sided-die. The me you see will never be the whole me. Somewhere within the host will always be the parts of the host that you don't get to see. The parts too vulnerable to bear in such an open corner of the internet, however dark and unfrequented it may be.

As I stated, I am a thought form or operating frequency of a host human. A facet of a personality construct, an identity whole. I haven't been around much recently, because my operating frequency requires chemical interactions within the host, which he has been successfully avoiding. Addictions are messy things, but people in the throws of one aren't any less people - they're just the parts of personalities we're not accustomed to dealing with. Relax, it's just nicotine here folks ;)


Social Memory Complex

"A mind/body/spirit social complex becomes a social memory complex when its entire group of entities are of one orientation or seeking. The group memory lost to the individuals in the roots of the tree of mind then become[s] known to the social complex, thus creating a social memory complex. The advantages of this complex are the relative lack of distortion in understanding the social beingness and the relative lack of distortion in pursuing the direction of seeking, for all understanding/distortions are available to the entities of the society." - Ra

Source:  http://goo.gl/42tO0d

Image Source:  http://www.deviantart.com/art/Venus-146204265