Monday, October 09, 2006

The Shining Earth

[updated]
Since the late eighties, something has been happening to Earth, and it's accelerating.

Since then:
The sun's magnetic vibration started speeding up.
Crop circles started getting complex instead of just circles.
The World Wide Web was invented, sparking a true revolution in cheap and fast global communication and awareness.
Spiritual movements and studies are popping up everywhere.
Complex art is in a renaissance, for instance TV show are no longer a sub cultural artistic form.
The subtle energy fields of the body and the spirit have been discovered and are being studied, with important results in healing and personal development.
A small war like Iraq drew the biggest peace demonstrations ever seen on the planet, in many countries.
There is a rapidly expanding unwillingness to be put and stay put in small boxes.

I don't know where it's all leading, but it's going fast and it's going to be big.
Oh, and it's going to be good. It might not be painless getting there, but it'll be really, really good.

Update: Holy friggin' cow! Just reading the comments that this blog now generates is almost a full time job! :)
Not a chore though, I am extremely pleased with the interest, and with the quality of the writings.

Funny, the last line of the post above was an afterthought, after I remembered that my viewpoint on that is not universal... I didn't, but maybe should have, predict that it would be so contended.

Well... I believe that inside individuals right now is the same thing happening as is happening inside humanity as an entity: a war between awakening and sleep. A war between joy and fear. A war between creation and destruction.
This war is heating up. And whatever side you lean towards feels stronger than ever.

But there can't be destruction without creation. There can be creation without destruction. So I can only see one winner, creation.
Once there was nothing, now there's something.
And one day there will be Everything.

Reality will act like you feel. The more fear you feel, the more you will see to be afraid of. If you coach yourself to feel joy and peace, you will increasingly experience peace and joy. Partly what you perceive, which is prize enough. But even more so, it will affect what is actually happening around you, and to you.

This is not an instant journey by any means. But giving up is not an option, for everything is at stake, literally.

2nd update:
For a pleasant introduction for those curious about crop circles, I recommend the DVD "Crop Circles - Quest for Truth". In an easy and entertaining way, it introduces those factors which make me and others believe that crop circles is an interesting phenomenon.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, October 09, 2006   66 comments links to this post

66 Comments:

At 9 Oct 2006, 15:48:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

Apropos complex crop circles:
cropfox

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 16:02:00, Anonymous David Gallaher said...

The time has come to talk of cabbages and kings, and to grab our ankles so as to be in a better position to kiss our asses goodbye.

Seriously, I'm with you, Eolake. I'm an optimist.

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 16:31:00, Blogger Hannah said...

You really sure it's going to be good? I also see a lot of things going down hill, though I try really hard to ignore them..

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 19:24:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

Look at it in the long term, Hannah. This age may well see some of the worst times in the history of man. Both energies, negative and positive, have reached critical mass. There's a lot that has been set into motion and, while much of it can and will be stopped (in regards to the bad), that doesn't mean it's going to be an easy transition by any definition of the word. (On a large scale. The individual can find peace and harmony within even as the fires of hell rage around him. When he masters himself nothing is difficult, nor is it easy. He focuses only on what must be done and does it without dividing everything into categories. Defining things to that extent is considered needless complication by him.)

Our illusions are melting away. We're seeing more and more that the physical isn't as solid as it appears, that we are not truly seperate individuals, but all is one and all is energy. What we know as tangible is merely an energy field slowed to a rate where it takes on the appearance and attributes of physicality.

The cause of this is thought and will. They are the foundation and building blocks of the universe. Thoughts are an energy pattern just like anything else. When they're focused upon they grow in strength and if one continues to pour himself into what he's thinking, using emotion as fuel and will to direct that fuel, then whatever's focused upon will reach a point where it must break the bonds of imagination and impose itself on waking reality.

We're "waking up" so to speak. The bad things going on around us are the by-product of the slumber groans of those not yet ready to awaken from their dreams. There's nothing wrong with that or with them; they have every right to live as they wish. They'll find their way in time. As for the rest of us, though we may not understand what's happening or where it's leading us, it's best for us to stay calm and keep our eyes on the road ahead. We don't need to see the end of our journey to justify taking that next step. We've gotta trust our gut instincts and listen to those subtle enegies within that guide and guard us. If we do that then I am confident we'll see a far brighter future forming in the distance than we ever imagined possible.

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 19:27:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

Come to think of it, I believe this explains very concisely what's happening now:

"Someday, after mastering winds, waves, tides and gravity, we shall harness the energy of love; and for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."

-- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 20:32:00, Blogger Gen said...

Crop circles, you mean those circles in a corn field visible from an airplane? I read somewhere they are caused by some deer chasing each other.
The same applies to a person which gets lost in the desert or in the woods, they usually walk in a circle.

Greetings,
Gen.

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 20:33:00, Blogger signalroom said...

I love hearing from different perspectives concerning THAT which has no perspective, and never will because it's complete in Itself.
Eolake, I'm fascinated by your intial post, and Lucid, I hear you.

If I was being vague in an earlier post it's because my mind is frankly blown away by what I experience happening within me and among me. Literally, "blown away." Words aren't the optimal medium. Lucid touches on this. I'm feeling like a new artform is coming that includes every art form combined, music, voice, the word, art, invention, dance, science. I want to be a part of that! But ultimately, I think we all know what we're talking about. I feel a change happening on a huge scale, personal as well social. I've had a major collapse of ego in myself, and for many years walked around a zombie, having no self at all. Lately there's been an emergence, and if I can put an image to it, it would be the purest smile I have ever felt within, and it is me, yet somehow not me, and it doesn't go away at night while I sleep, and it's there in the morning, and it's causing me to connect with all of life with love. No, words are really hard to put to it, but I love to try. I am excited to discover others are going through this change consciously too. Nothing interests me quite as much.

Laurie

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 21:17:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know where it's all leading, but it's going fast and it's going to be big.
Oh, and it's going to be good. It might not be painless getting there, but it'll be really, really good.

The Book of Revelations reveal much about the end times. It's all in black and white and it's not good.

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 21:28:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

The book of Revelations is an apocalypse. It's a literary genre (yes, the Bible is subject to literary rules and definitions just like every other book.) which uses symbolism to convey an important message to it's intended audience, meaning that it's basically written in code. The many beasts and gods and devils present in Revelation represent the political figures of the time it was written and the people who were meant to read it knew exactly how to interpret the message. How it's been twisted into an end times doomsday prophecy I'll never know.

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 21:31:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

-Laurie

Yes! That's it! We're most definitely on the same wave length. Then again, I knew this. It may not be possible to put it all into words, but I've found that amongst people of like mind words are hardly necessary.

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 22:35:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

"I'm feeling like a new artform is coming that includes every art form combined, music, voice, the word, art, invention, dance, science. I want to be a part of that!"

Ah, I do believe there is a fitting phrase in our language that encapsulates all those elements. It's "the art of creation" or perhaps "the dance of infinity."



"But ultimately, I think we all know what we're talking about. I feel a change happening on a huge scale, personal as well social. I've had a major collapse of ego in myself, and for many years walked around a zombie, having no self at all. Lately there's been an emergence, and if I can put an image to it, it would be the purest smile I have ever felt within, and it is me, yet somehow not me, and it doesn't go away at night while I sleep, and it's there in the morning, and it's causing me to connect with all of life with love."

I knew there was something about your eyes in those pictures Eolake shared, I just couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was. Haha! Fitting, considering that we're talking so much about what can be felt and understood but not easily expressed. It's clear to see that you're a bit more alive than most and I believe it's in living that true beauty is discovered and shown to the world.

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 22:56:00, Anonymous David Gallaher said...

Vibrations, energy fields, metaphysics...
My daughter and I have long had a word that sums up the mental state underlying all this: gingstery.
Go ahead and pencil it in the margin of your Funk and Wagnals.

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 23:53:00, Anonymous Kenneth said...

How anyone could possibly have the naivete to believe that what's happening is GOOD is beyond me! We have more ways to end the world today than the author of Revelation ever dreamed of. Didn't any of you hear that North Korea just tested a NUCLEAR BOMB?

Check out www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/opinion/15714059.htm for one SMALL example of what's wrong with the world today. (And one I can personally identify with.)

I will concede that MAYBE the few survivors of the coming catyclasm will wise up and create this better world you dream of. But that won't mean anything to most of humanity because we will be DEAD, DEAD, DEAD. Out, brief candle.

 
At 9 Oct 2006, 23:56:00, Anonymous Kenneth said...

That should be: /15714059.htm

And this stupid "Word Verification" bullshit is yet another example of all that is wrong. Why isn't anything simple anymore?

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 00:19:00, Blogger signalroom said...

Thanks Lucid, once again I hear you. I think we could communicate sitting in our chairs in silence :) in fact we do.Think of me as your cheerleader in the spirit. Not just you.

David and Kenneth, I'm used to being thought of as a fool. I am pretty ridiculous, I imagine, to most of the world. But once you experience the change I've been talking about, you'd leap at being a fool.

If the world as we know it is so black, why are we clinging to it with every ounce of our being?
We say the words, "Out out brief candle" but who will dare experience that? for the sake of something bigger than their selves?
I can learn from those fools.

laurie

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 00:34:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

Chill out, dude. Freaking out isn't going to help anything. Besides, there's a good chance nothing will come of this nuclear testing. And if it does, so be it. There is no such thing as an end unto darkness. Even if this world does pass away it doesn't mean we'll be taken along with it. And if there is nothing that awaits us upon dying, what's there to fret about? It's over then. Not existing isn't going to bother you seeing as, y'know, you won't be around to experience it. Or if you're a Christian shouldn't you be looking forward to dying? That's one of common oddities amongst Christians: they're so sure that they'll spend eternity in paradise yet they fear and fight death just as hard, if not moreso, than everybody else.

I don't think you're seeing the forest from the trees. In fact, I'd say you're focusing a bit too closely on a small piece of bark lying on the ground. Even if you are right and we are moving towards oblivion, that future isn't set in stone. We can change it. But if we give up while there's still a chance then it's already over. If we are to advance individually we cannot see the whole as rushing to its doom, and if positive change is to be made we must first make allowance for it by believing it's possible.

There've always been end time prophecies, there've always been people that've said we stand upon the threshold of annihilation. There was always more going on than they took into account, and when they were right it was only in the sense that the world they knew ended while life itself went on.

"Let not your heart be troubled." I believe I'm paraphrasing, but I heard that a lot in my days as a Christian. Those are, IMHO, the wisest words I ever heard while sitting in church.

Try looking at what's right about the world every now and then. There's plenty of positive; give your energy to that instead of focusing on the problems. That tends only to make them worse while a total focus on the solution, or the opposite, sometimes causes them to vanish on their own.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 00:34:00, Anonymous Jes said...

I've always felt lucky to be alive in these times, because I feel right now is a very interesting time in human history. Along with the fact that technology is developing at an insane rate, I feel that my generation is more interested in politics and other issues than any other generation since the sixties. Except, ya know, we don't have the drugs to distract us this time. I'm hoping that a lot of the problems plaguing us today will be ancient history by the time I'm an old man. I have a lot of faith in my generation, just as long as we don't turn into idiots when we start having kids.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 00:50:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

"David and Kenneth, I'm used to being thought of as a fool. I am pretty ridiculous, I imagine, to most of the world. But once you experience the change I've been talking about, you'd leap at being a fool."

Indeed. It's interesting to note that those we view as wise were often thought fools in their days.

Personally, I'd rather be a fool and love life than be wise and live in misery. But I don't need to make that choice; I can have both. True wisdom yields peace, clarity and foresight. I know I am the master of my emotions and I know that reacting negatively to the goings on in the world doesn't help a damn thing.

If there wasn't such a thing as beauty in our universe we would not exist. If conflict and bloodshed were true to our core nature, we would have completely destroyed ourselves long ago. We would not know happiness or laughter, and the company of a beautiful woman would be a poison instead of a joy.

We want to rise above all this, and by god we are. Growing up hurts quite a bit, but once it's all said and done we'll never want to go back to the way things were.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 00:55:00, Blogger Adam Czarnowski said...

Which all goes to prove that what you are looking AT is what you are looking WITH.

Incidentally, and not wishing to disillusion anyone unneccessarily, crop circles are man-made - for free and for fun.

A

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 01:15:00, Blogger eolake said...

"crop circles are man-made"

I highly doubt it. Have you seen the Milk Hill Swirl? Hundreds of feet across. Perfect and complex geometrical placement. And NINE HUNDRED perfect circles. All done in the dark in one 4-hour summer night...
No foot prints, and the stems, like usual, bent soft and continuing to grow horizontally, we can't replicate that.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 01:32:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

Wow, now there's one thread!

Personally, I agree that a lot is changing right now, and that it's basically up to us where it leads - there's no guarantee for a positive result.

Of course one can decide that ultimately "positive" and "negative" are just arbitrary labels, results of judgement and polar thinking - to a certain degree I would agree with that but to follow it through 100% would mean that it is utterly irrelevant what we do or don't do, and it could be used to justify about everything, so I prefer to have some sort of value system to guide me.

BTW, I don't remember where I read this but if I remember correctly it was about a prophecy that once the door to the inner sanctum of a certain temple in Tibet was breached, it would herald in a new age where humanities spiritual capacities would be increased far beyond anything that was before. Sure enough the Chinese army did breach that door in the 1980s - maybe we'll be grateful one day for them invading Tibet...

Well I don't know about that - and no, it wasn't a film script or fiction book - but who knows, and for me personally things definitely are shifting.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 01:35:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

"crop circles are man-made"
I highly doubt it.


I just meant to say: some certainly are (like the one I linked to in the first comment) but how do you know they all are? You don't need to believe they aren't if you don't want to, but looking at the evidence wouldn't hurt, nor would allowing for reasonable doubt because unless you track down and prove who did every last one you just cannot know.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 02:05:00, Blogger Adam Czarnowski said...

Eolake & Ronald,

It was seeing a group of dedicated crop circlists setting off with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in a River Cottage episode that disabused me of the belief that they were created by men from Mars or by freak wind patterns.

The one they did was pretty complex and all done in an hour - the art being, I gather, to not get caught and to leave no trace or how they were made.

A

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 02:07:00, Anonymous Kenneth said...

If crop circles are actually made by "higher beings" or whatever, why are they so localized instead of spread out over the earth? Are they ANYWHERE outside of England?

Lucid Twilight, in regard to your question: Non-existance will not bother anybody after we're gone, but while we're still here to think about it, it does. And no, I'm not a Christian.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 02:16:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

"The cause of this is thought and will. They are the foundation and building blocks of the universe."
Though I'm not a great believer in those telekinesis stories. It's all about focus and quality. Nowadays, the most favored theory in Quantum Physics happens to be the Information Theory. (We cannot know what is, only what it does and how it shows.)
The energy that powers a computer is just a few volts, but it may command the functioning of a nuclear plant. The energy physically used up by our thinking process is that of a few grams of glucose. But it eventually affects the whole planet.
Just pointing out that one shouldn't understand that energy affair the wrong way. As far as we know, we affect others not by simply thinking, but by communicating our thoughts and acting upon them.
Naturally, since "a force" is defined as what causes movement or action or affects them, in a way, our thoughts and emotions are energy, and a very powerful one at that. Just don't expect to measure it with a lab instrument any time soon.
It's an information energy, and all about quality. Mainly, as Lucid points out, the energy of our thoughts can act directly when it is focused on shattering mental and psychological barriers. No doubt about that.

"The bad things going on around us are the by-product of the slumber groans of those not yet ready to awaken from their dreams."
Well I'll say, that people like Bin Laden aren't ready yet to awaken and see the light of the day! They'd like to drag us all back into an age of darkness. But see that light over the horizon? Well, not too far ahead, there's a forest fire starting, and by the time it reaches us, it'll be too late to stop it by spitting on it! The light is coming this way, and it is a force of nature.
Ignorance, once shattered, can never be put together again.

I'll admit, I'm neither happy nor optimistic to learn that Kim-Jong-Il has the Bomb. But he can't destroy the world by himself. At worst, he can do some great but relatively limited immediate harm. The Asian Tsunami was far more powerful.
Same with the sorry puppets dancing their heads off in Iran. They want "the Power", but they're really fantasizing that Allah is going to put it right in their hands. I predict their demise will come at the hands of their overly repressed people and youths. Because you can't fight a nuclear civil war. (And because change can only come from within.)

I hope, and want to believe, that the formidable power of sense surpasses any other in a world that today is understanding more and more.

"Words aren't the optimal medium."
And still, Laurie, they aren't half bad when well used! We're sharing a lot here, and are all benefiting from it. :-)

"the Bible is [...] basically written in code."
And how smart does one appear, if he tries to take a code to the letter?...

"The many beasts and gods and devils present in Revelation represent the political figures of the time it was written"
Well, d'uh! The first half of the Apocalypse is direct messages to the budding Christian Churches around the world. Unless St John was under LSD, I can't imagine him time-shifting mid-journey.
I heard that the Beast 666 was actually Roman emperor Nero. Makes sense.
Although... in that time, "666" was written DCLXVI. Practically all the roman numerals in order (except for M=1000). It really DOES seem like a code! Dan Brown, where are you? Yoo-hoo?...

"the art of creation" or perhaps "the dance of infinity."
Weird. I haven't actually experienced that yet, but I "invented" it in fiction, years ago. There's definitely something universal to be identified there.

David,
Let me guess, you're NOT the person who coined the word "Enigmorance", right?
;-)

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 02:20:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

"Lucid Twilight, in regard to your question: Non-existance will not bother anybody after we're gone, but while we're still here to think about it, it does. And no, I'm not a Christian."

I do believe you missed the point.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 02:34:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

"'the Bible is [...] basically written in code.'
And how smart does one appear, if he tries to take a code to the letter?..."

I doubt it was your intention to misquote me pascal, but I want to make it clear that it wasn't my intent to say the entire Bible was written in code. It's not all one literary genre. There's poetry and prose mixed in there, along with a hell of a lot else that I can't recall. (It's been a long while since I studied the subject.) If someone wants to gain a proper understanding of it they need to read each part of it as it was meant to be read according to the literary devices each author put to work. Even then the original meaning cannot be found in its entirety as the intended audience no longer lives and there's no telling how the text has been altered through the years.

I do still hold some respect for the Bible because there is good to be found in it and if nothing else the bad serves as a clear example of how we don't want to live in the modern day. When viewed from the proper perspective it's still an amazing book, but its study is not an undertaking for the half-hearted. You're not going to discover any eternal truths just from skimming through it.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 02:39:00, Blogger eolake said...

Wow, this is the fastest growing comments collection ever!

I've updated the original post with more on the Positive issue.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 02:45:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

gen:
Have you ever seen pictures of crop circles?
I believe that there are quite a few man-made crop circles out there, but someone, or deer, running in circles surely doesn't cut it for an explanation.

Have a look at
http://www.cropcircles.net/

(and http://www.circlemakers.org/
for a critical view)

kenneth:
I think the main point is that things are not just happening to us, but that we have an influence.

What we choose to give our attention to, how we react to what happens to ourselves, which attitude we choose to adopt towards others, and how we act in our everyday dealings all have a formative influence on our environment and that ripples out from there.
As Gandhi said "be the change you want to see" - focus on what you'd like to see, work towards it and appreciate the signs of success - you'll be surprised how many you will see once you focus on them (human perception is incredibly selective).

That doesn't mean the other stuff doesn't exist anymore but it will help to flush it out - not just out of view but out of power.

To paraphrase from the I Ging: "fight evil through energetic progress in the good" - attention is energy and what you focus on, grows (in energy, just to preempt intentional misunderstanding by some creative forces around here!).

As for the article, I agree that the current fear-mongering instigated by most governments is annoying, but it's not really something new. It's been said by Nazi-Bigwigs in the Nuremberg process that if a government manages to keep people in fear of some enemy they will give them any powers they might want and agree to almost everything. (Isn't that the basic theme in "1984", too?)

I don't know what I would have done in the author's shoes but I guess I wouldn't even have tried to talk myself out of the situation rather than laugh it off (also it's no crime to take photos of people, including children, in public spaces so even if he had done that she'd have no point). If they insisted bothering me I'd insist that she lodge a formal complaint with police and prove her claims, and at the same time tell her that I'd complain of her for slander right then and there. (Now that's win-win-thinking, right? She can lodge her complaint and you yours, you fully cooperate and the police need only come once. Well, win-win or no deal, according to Covey...).

My bet is she'd stop dead, then back off.

But that's just me - I surely like to confront people who are aggressive towards me - if done calmly and in a friendly/matter-of-factly fashion it does often calm people down (by getting them thinking). As said before, the intent is not to put them in but to resolve the situation. Other approaches might work just as well but purely defensive behaviour often doesn't because hysterical people often take it as an admission of (at least partial) guilt.

Ah, slightly (?) off topic, I guess, and it's unfortunate that we have to deal with this at all in this age but I believe it can be countered if enough people care to do so, and keep a positive frame of mind.

By the way, I just recently watched "The Day the Earth stood still" - although it clearly shows its age in about every respect it is still spot-on in its depiction of the general hysteria and media frenzy the speculation about what people don't know anything about leads to.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 02:49:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

Kenneth,

Very interesting link, man.
Has it occurred to you that maybe GeeBee and Bin Lulu are objective allies? Maybe it is just and plainly theiur common interest to maintain us in fear by being at war with each other, so that the power of both of them is maintained?
Just a wild idea...

As for the (admittedly very annoying) word verification, it is a precaution against spamming robots. Have you ever tried having a private conversation on Yahoo Chat with those stupid interfering porn ads?

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 03:10:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

As for the crop circles, I didn't mean to claim that they are not all man-made. But nor can you claim that they are, without proving it. For every single one.

If only one is not, what would that mean?
And what's the best way to hide anything that's right in your face?

Well just bury the genuine article in heaps and heaps of fakes - people will get used to them, habitually classify them as fakes and disregard any information pointing to the genuine article. The fact that any controversial topic will stimulate the creative energies of further people just helps to make the whole thing self-perpetuating.

(Ever wondered about the proliferation of conspiracy theories? I bet you there are some real conspiracies out there, and some of the theories are at least partially accurate, but you try spotting them!)

So I have no hard evidence to prove that any of the crop circles is not man-made. There's quite some interesting stuff circulating on the net which, if true, would suggest so (either that or some man-made but unknown-to-the-masses technology as others suggest) but I don't know the people presenting it and have not evaluated any of it so I stick with that I don't know.

And I maintain that neither do you (Adam), because even if you know who made some of them and how they did it doesn't prove that they were all made in that or a similar way.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 03:11:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

ronald- yep, you hit the nail right on the head.

I prefer to let people reason through things on their own, but I suppose I will elaborate. My point was that if you won't worry about not existing after you're gone, what's the point in worrying now? You don't HAVE to worry. It doesn't have to bug you. Why should it? By that model your life is finite no matter what you do. Who cares if you die now or 50 years in the future? The result is exactly the same. So instead of freaking out about all this, why not calm yourself, enjoy life to its fullest while you can and focus on doing something about the stuff that rubs you the wrong way instead of pouring all your energy into the problem itself.

Regardless of which model you adhere to, I don't see the point in living a miserable life here. If I and those of my ilk are correct, joy is our natural state of being and in achieving a happiness unaffected by circumstance we consistently evolve in better and better ways until we're ready to move on to whatever lies ahead. If nothing awaits us, then this is the only life we have. Whether or not it has meaning becomes a non-issue, what matters is living a fulfilling life each and every single day so when you are erased within the void you have no regrets preceding it. And when it comes to all the other possibilities I still can't imagine that misery and suffering are the best choices for us in this life.

We are not the victims of our emotions and thoughts. Only we can enable our lower faculties to run the show and only we can re-assert authority and make something grander of this life.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 04:22:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

Hannah:
I think ignoring what we don't like doesn't really help much, and "trying to ignore" basically means that they frighten you and thus have an impact.
Personally, I think we need to see and acknowledge what's going on, and focus our own efforts on what we want to succeed, or arrive at.
Like when you're walking through a large crowd towards someone or something - you don't focus on every single person you encounter more than necessary to find you way around them, and if there's some place you definitely want to avoid you don't focus at that even though you are aware that it's there, you focus on where you want to go.

Lucid Twilight:
On a large scale. The individual can find peace and harmony within even as the fires of hell rage around him. When he masters himself nothing is difficult, nor is it easy. He focuses only on what must be done and does it without dividing everything into categories. Defining things to that extent is considered needless complication by him.

Although I do agree with you in principle, I submit that it's much easier to look at it this way if you're not the one living in physically and/or social hell, like a large number of people in what we call the third world.
And that this sometimes leads to a distant and complacent (some might say arrogant) view of those who do in those who don't.

One example might be the cast system in India, where many believe that the highest cast not only doesn't need to help those in the lower ones, but must not do so because it would rob them of their opportunity to learn what they came here to learn. (Well if you want to really be compassionate you can make their life a bit harder, even!)

To me that seems like a self-serving belief but maybe I just lack the spiritual insight, who knows.

We've gotta trust our gut instincts and listen to those subtle enegies within that guide and guard us. If we do that then I am confident we'll see a far brighter future forming in the distance than we ever imagined possible.

Fully agree with that.

My daughter and I have long had a word that sums up the mental state underlying all this: gingstery.

:-)
I know what you mean. I've got an engineering degree and consider myself a highly rational person. It took me a while to come around to the point of view that if science can't prove something that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't exist.

Which is not enough for me to believe that it does, see my post about crop circles - I'm still highly sceptical of everything I encounter (including science), but in a constructive way: if I don't know something I'll have to be open to all possible explanations which I cannot disprove, even if they seem lunatic. Isn't that how science is supposed to work?

And I'm also trying different hypotheses and see where I get if (for a while) considering them true. Sometimes they can be useful, even if I don't have any final evidence for them being true or not. This is how hypotheses work - those that explain more of what happens around you replace those which explain less (but still often were generally accepted).

Also if you don't have a hypothesis about how something works that doesn't necessarily mean that the effect isn't there, right? If you only look at phenomena science already knows about then you get stuck, and Galileo would never have found out that the planets do indeed circle around the Sun, not Earth.

I've talked to people who did scientific studies on so-called "paranormal" phenomenons, and it was very interesting. These were down-to-earth, scientifically minded people doing double-blind tests on all sorts of things like telepathy, for an example. If you don't examine it, you'll never know if there's something to it. And if you don't accept that it's possible you'll never find out how it works. At least it makes it less probable.

I am for my personal life using a certain set of hypotheses, not all of which are strongly based on foundations our current science accepts, purely because they serve me well and what happens in my world seems to support them. D'uh, you might say, everyone does that. Yes, but rather than being told by some self-assigned authorities what is possible and what is true, and what isn't, I prefer to evaluate the merits myself. I have no reason to doubt the Galilean model, or Darwin's theory of evolution, but I do doubt anyone who tells me that thoughts are not energy, for example. Prove it, I'd say.

Even contemporary science is finally coming around to the view that energy might actually be all there is, so how could anything not be energy? (And energy travels in waves, and waves are vibration, so what's the problem?)
And I don't follow the argument of contemporary science that it defines what science is.

There has always been science, and there have always been competing systems, so who are we to claim that we know it all and everyone else is wrong? Even though thre are enough things that system doesn't have any explanation for and just requires its disciples to believe?
In my books that's what constitutes superstition.

By the way, I had an engineering colleague of mine asking me to end a Tarot session (one of the things I played around with, just to see if there's anything to it) because it was hitting too close to home and he couldn't handle that. And no, he didn't tell me the question, and neither was it talking in the oft-quoted "general terms" - that wouldn't have spooked him.

Eolake:
Wow, this is the fastest growing comments collection ever!

Indeed, and I find this fact alone highly encouraging - it shows how much thought so many people spend with the state of humanity and the planet, which can only be a good thing.

Lucid Twilight:
Your last post might refer to something I say in this one but as I just came to see it when was about to post this one I'm not going back to double-check, I hope that's ok.

Some people might actually care if they die now or in 50 years (and if the path is the goal and only one go, I can relate to that even if it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things). Besides that I agree 100% with what you say, including that worrying about when we die, or anything else for that matter, doesn't help anyone.
Thanks for elaborating!
(Hm, should I still post, should I not, should I, ...)

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 04:38:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

Eolake:
A war between joy and fear. A war between creation and destruction.

I disagree. Fear makes war, as does destruction. Joy is. Creation creates. You can't make war for joy (and succeed) or creation.

But there can't be destruction without creation. There can be creation without destruction. So I can only see one winner, creation.

Kind of. Doesn't need to involve us, though. Insects are pretty tough. :-)

Once there was nothing, now there's something.
And one day there will be Everything.


Wake up, it's already there! I don't think this world is ever in a state of "something", it's always complete - i.e. "everything". Even if there's "nothing".

everything is at stake

Yes, everything. Or nothing, whichever way you see it. :-)

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 04:43:00, Blogger eolake said...

"You can't make war for joy"

Dude, I was using the word "war" in the broader, metaphorical sense.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 05:00:00, Blogger Lucid Twilight said...

ronald- I understand what you mean about how that kind of thinking could lead to an aristocratic, holier-than thou-outlook in some people. But the belief is not to blame for this, it is the individual. A certain belief in the hands of one person is a blessing that will shower light and love upon all who come into contact with him or her. That same belief in the hands of someone else may produce something directly opposed to that. The belief itself is unchanging, but how it is perceived and practiced determines whether it helps or harms.

In this case, the people who lose their compassion and view themselves as being somehow higher than the rest are too ego driven for their own good. The concept is a solid one and I would daresay it's helpful to anyone that can put it into practice, IF they are not so blinded by their own inferority/superiority complexes that they use it to justify unsavory actions towards their fellow man.

An overdeveloped ego will take spiritual principles and warp them til they're nearly unrecognizable. The language remains unchanged but the use to which it is put is entirely different. The man who is detached might appear cold, but compassion is expressed in many forms and he is most likely to surprise and amaze those who're willing to understand and accept a rarer form of love. The man who is attached but likes to think himself more advanced than he is will become cruel and domineering, demanding that all submit themselves to his way of life lest they'd rather live inferior lives, lives no doubt claimed by the devil, while he walks the path of righteousness. The latter are what I'd call overinflated gasbags, and while there may appear to be no differences between the two kinds of understanding and practice on the outside it is clear to the observant one who is whom. Veils worn to project a certain image meant to decieve both the populace and the wearer must eventually be torn or fall away. Just as you cannot step deep into a puddle on the sidewalk before you hit ground you cannot test the character of a faker without him revealing his true nature.

Now, to elaborate on the principle of detachment. It's a very hard concept to grasp at first, but detachment is actually a very healthy thing when understood and applied. The way I understand is that it's not an uncaring coldness towards the world, it's not about becoming an outsider amongst fools, it's about standing back and seeing the world and all the people in it as they really are without judgement or condemnation. It doesn't mean you never laugh or cry, or that you should push away the affections of others and live a quiet life as a hermit in a secluded cave. All it means is that you can act unhindered by fear and anxiety. You can accept anything without being fazed by it, and upon acceptance you can change your focus and thus change the circumstance.

When our emotions run wild we find ourselves in a state of utter powerlessness. We beat against the obstacles in our path as a small child would beat against the chest of a strong bodied man who's hurting someone she loves. Our energy is unfocused and the result is a form of controlled chaos. Healthy detachment translates to not being a reactionary, to retaining full control of your faculties and your emotions no matter what storms may rage above. Emotion is still felt, and it should be spontaneous to some degree (otherwise you're artificially forcing a sensation and rather than putting your faculties to good use you're numbing your senses) but it is not a controlling force but rather a force you control and focus towards the greater good. Emotion is guidance and it is fuel. When properly in tune with it it gives us all the data we need to understand and act in any situation while also giving us the means to play our roles in the unfolding story.

Attachment can never allow for that, because to be attached is to be at the mercy of the shifts that occur within based on what other people say, think and do. It is the opposite of self mastery.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 06:16:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

"You can't make war for joy"
Dude, I was using the word "war" in the broader, metaphorical sense.


I assumed that... ;-)
Still, fighting, in any sense, for joy is futile. Joy happens when you cease fighting. It's the polar opposite of war of any sort, they cannot coexist unless you enjoy war (which would mean that you don't fight against war).

Lucid Twilight:
I do not only agree with all you said, I am also smitten with your consistent and coherent presentation - a great read, thanks.

And I think this can hardly be repeated often enough because personally - and I might very well not be detached enough - I would find it particularly unfortunate if just the people who had the best means of moving things in this world - those who have it all - fell for the fallacy you pointed out.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 07:49:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

Pascal:
Although... in that time, "666" was written DCLXVI. Practically all the roman numerals in order (except for M=1000).

That would be a good point - if the bible had originally been written in Latin.

Has it occurred to you that maybe GeeBee and Bin Lulu are objective allies? Maybe it is just and plainly theiur common interest to maintain us in fear by being at war with each other, so that the power of both of them is maintained?
Just a wild idea...


Wild! What could they possibly gain from that? I mean who would ever do such a thing? I mean don't spin ridiculous conspiracy theories, right! We know what happened, the President told us! Um, I mean it's proven, it was a conspiracy! No, it's *not* a theory, it's the one and only truth - aaaah, I could go on and on... (sorry!)

Anyway, the enemy is out there, don't you doubt it or he'll come and EAT you!

As for the (admittedly very annoying) word verification, it is a precaution against spamming robots.

Yes, and I guess that's also a sign of the times.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 12:40:00, Anonymous Kenneth said...

"I submit that it's much easier to look at it this way if you're not the one living in physically and/or social hell, like a large number of people in what we call the third world."

Ronald, I agree with you there, since in my personal life, I'm in the pit now and cannot see a way out. The only positive thought that comes to me is: I'm positive this won't work.

On conspiracy theories: I once read an article by someone who said that conspiracy theories give people someone else to blame instead of themselves, and I think there's a lot of truth to that, but I've noticed another thread running through most (if not all) conspiracy theories-- You Can't Trust The Government.

Thus, the more untrustworthy the government, the more conspiracy theories will proliferate. With "King George" in power, no wonder we have so many.

 
At 10 Oct 2006, 16:04:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

Kenneth:
Ronald, I agree with you there, since in my personal life, I'm in the pit now and cannot see a way out. The only positive thought that comes to me is: I'm positive this won't work.

I fully understand how you are feeling - I'm not just talking things up but have been in some quite bad pits myself, and more than once. Focusing on what won't work is what keeps you there.

Find something - anything - that inspires you, focus on that and experience the world changing around you.

What helped me a lot was reading all sorts of motivational and self-development books (I like Wayne Dyer & Richard Bach, but there's heaps of stuff out there, plus on the 'net - I can bombard you with URLs if you want), audio programs (and podcasts, e.g. from stevepavlina.com), and doing something for myself (I started meditating, took up Reiki and consciously invested some time into my old but neglected hobby of photography).

Sports is good, particularly team sports and/or everything that requires your full concentration.
And anything that results in meeting people you share an interest with but who are in a different mindset regarding the whole pit-stuff. Anything that gets you off that track helps.

It's not just about distraction, although that's necessary to detach in the first place, but about gaining the mental freedom to direct your own focus rather than being glued to something you know doesn't get you anywhere. So even though in the first instance about anything would do, I would recommend making it something constructive.
Taking some time out and spending it somewhere nice, for example in nature, can also help a great deal. Or even learning a new skill.

Well I hope you don't mind my "lecture" - it's not meant that way but I'd just like to help you out because I know exactly how it feels.

I came across this page today - I'm not sure if that hits the spot but I find it inspiring in any case:
http://www.vicjohnson.com/?p=98

On conspiracy theories: I once read an article by someone who said that conspiracy theories give people someone else to blame instead of themselves, and I think there's a lot of truth to that...

I like that, and I agree that there's certainly some truth to it.

Of course, anything unwholesome which is plotted and/or committed by two or more people makes a conspiracy, and as soon as anyone (e.g. the police) start guessing and/or researching what might be going on, there's a theory about it. So conspiracy theories can actually be useful, even necessary, just like any other theory.

And just like with any other theory, there are those that are closer to the facts and those that are better supported by evidence, those less so, and others that have no factual or logical basis at all.

It seems that the last category is what's now generally being associated with the term "conspiracy theory" and if you look at some of the stuff being peddled on the Internet (or by official government sources - sorry, had to say that) it's quite clear why that is the case.

In the end I think the same applies to conspiracy theories as to any other beliefs, and which Lucid pointed out to profoundly in an earlier post: it all depends on how they are being applied.

You can surely use them to explain why the world is bad and whose fault it is, or you can use them as a mental model of what you think is actually happening in order to better understand what it is that's going on and how to adapt to that situation. In the former case it just becomes a dogma, an excuse for inaction and finger-pointing; in the latter case it's a working hypothesis, a tool to determine one's own role and potential courses of action.

Thus, the more untrustworthy the government, the more conspiracy theories will proliferate. With "King George" in power, no wonder we have so many.

Mind you, his regentship rests on one to a large degree.

Part of the problem in my opinion is that with an illogical and inconsistent model (theory) of the world, or say the relevant (for oneself) machinations in it, the world, and life, just doesn't seem to make any sense at all. Which can be a really, really big turn-off.
That's why people like to have some sort of explanation about what's going on in their world.

Some prefer simple explanations, even if they don't really add up to the dot. If you discuss their theory with them you'll find that they either become insecure (thinking) or aggressive (dogmatic).
Of course there are heaps of people out there who don't like the inconsistencies of a simple explanation so they start trying to figure out other explanations to match the facts.

So you end up with lots of theories, and since there's no doubt that we're talking about some conspiracy here (even if it's not exactly clear who the players are), they're all conspiracy theories. Perfectly logical, or not?

This is how conspiracy theories start to proliferate, particularly in the absence of known facts ("sorry, the evidence is secret to protect national security") and with a starting point (the official version) that has as many holes as a swiss cheese. Which doesn't help to instil trust in the people selling this particular theory, i.e. the government.


Personally, I'm a pretty analytical type so the official theory doesn't really cut it at all for me, and the fact that the government is still clinging to it even though they don't have much to support it and there's not only heaps of evidence against it but actual evidence for them destroying evidence, distorting facts and thwarting fact-finding, leads me to not trust the government, either. Does that mean that I know what happened? Of course not. Not for me, anyway, because I can live with doubt and ambiguity - many people are so desperate to have a definite all-encompassing explanation/theory that they pick one, or come up with one, and stick with it no matter what. I believe the government (I'm always referring to the US government here) utilises this by withholding facts and evidence which basically leads to the theories proliferating because of the many ways for people can fill in the blanks using their own creativity.

They don't stop at saying "hang on, that doesn't make sense - how can we find out more?" but rather go ahead and come up with whatever seems most likely to them, even in the total absence of any evidence at all, or conflicting information.

King George can be happy about this because the more different theories abound, the easier it is for him to pick some ludicrous stuff and use it to summarily dismiss/discredit them all. And because most of these theories try to be totally comprehensive and all-encompassing, he can selectively release evidence which contradicts parts of them and take the whole thing down in the process.

Sorry, this got a bit long and I think I disgress - I think my main message is that I believe there's only one person you can trust, and that's yourself. And even with that you need to be careful, meaning you need to know your weaknesses and how to address them.

On the other hand that's good news because you may make mistakes but you will never betray yourself, so that's a great companion to have.

And the solution to any problem you will ever encounter in life is also within yourself - it's all there and nobody can take it from you. Ever.

This may sound a bit abstract but in fact it's not. It's not an intellectual thing, either, more like an awareness.

You are the alpha and the omega, the beginning and end, everything you perceive or encounter in this world is solely your creation and you can change it at will.

Ha, have I lost you?

Well there's no way to prove what I said, but try it on as a working hypothesis - play a game and pretend to yourself that you believe it, as if life and this planet were just a dream of yours, just a manifestation of your own ideas, that everything on the outside just represents some belief, thought or idea within - and see what it does for you.

It's not necessarily easy to do - ideas, thought patterns and beliefs are sometimes a real challenge to change, but even if that's all it does it will help yourself and what do you have to lose in trying it?

I guess I now also sound like a fool, just like laurie and Lucid said earlier, but just as they say that's fine with me because my life has never gone as well as it does now.

Anyway, you know that you are free to pick and choose whatever seems useful, if anything, and discard the rest. And I'm happy to keep this discussion going in any case - be it related to anything I've raised or not.

 
At 11 Oct 2006, 00:51:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

"It's interesting to note that those we view as wise were often thought fools in their days."
Hey, you're a former student of Professor Albus Dumledore too? :-))

"I know that reacting negatively to the goings on in the world doesn't help a damn thing."
My main bother today in Lebanon is convincing my mother of that. Lots of crappy stuff going on, perhaps more than ever. But I KNOW there are reasons to hope. And even if there aren't, beating yourself over it will only spoil what little time you have left to enjoy life. :-)
Besides, we also know what would be the sure signs that this country is beyond salvation. In less than a year, we'll know for sure (according to my calculations and intuition). And then, should the worse start happening, well, we're not chained to the ground. The Lebanese have always been good at rebuilding their lives abroad. Carlos Ghosn? Darrell Issa? Ring a bell? Fellow countrymen! (Or children of those.) It's never over until it actually is over.

Regarding crop circles,
We are getting sidetracked here. It has been proven by live demonstration that a trained team of people could easily make some of those. Just ask yourselves : what the heck would space ships leaving such marks LOOK like? Notre-Dame in the sky, invisible and undetected by radars, but trampling the ground like a mob of stampeding dinosaurs? And, how come a craft that can propel itself silently, without fire-spewing reactors leaving marks on the ground, would be unable to use that same magnetism/antigravitation technology (which even WE are beginning to master in submarines!) to remain above ground, or at least leave minimal marks, instead of some ultra-sophisticated snow angels? It's simply artistic prestidigitation. Which is quite nice in itself, and I like it a lot!
One thing's for sure, frolicking animals wouldn't cause such perfect shapes. And mini-tornadoes have a very different signature (very rough cones). These are done with stakes, ropes and a lawn roller, BTW.
And Eolake, for the "no foot prints" part, you'll notice that these creations are so big, they overlap many (at least one) of the already existing paths used by the farmers. These parallel twin lines are very visible on all the photos you posted. These are the magician's strings hidden in plain sight right there, my friend.
One other thing : if these ARE extra-terrestrials being deliberately unstealthy (even Bush's soldiers can be less obvious when landing in a field!), why would they be playing hide-and-seek for years now? Doesn't make any sense. Even from a non-human mind's point of view : an animal (mammal, bird, insect) would act with far more logic. Either you show up, or you cover your tracks.
Not to mention that nowadays, a simple antenna set on the moon and recording our billions of electronic signals could learn almost everything about our planet with optimal discretion.

"how do you know they all are?"
Well, this is the kind of trick question that all believers just LOVE.
"How do you know I was just lucky, and it wasn't my guardian angel that made me look just at the right moment to see the danger?"
"Just because you haven't FOUND the Loch Ness monster (or the Great Sea Serpent), does this prove it doesn't exist?"
And so on. The thing is, unless you have made the choice to believe for the sake of it, rational thinking states that anything that can be validly explained, or reproduced in a similar fashion, has no claims to being super-natural. Unless we want to run in circles chasing logical fallacies for all eternity. For instance, all the thunderstorms in the world won't prove there ISN'T a god named Zeus/Jove who can hurl lightning bolts at those who disrespect him in the middle of a deserted moor. I've seen guys catch a bullet between their teeth, but they'll never go working for their government as invincible soldiers...
If you choose to believe, that's okay. As long as you don't use your belief as an excuse to run MY life. I believe in some things which I know can never be proven. And atheists? Well, they BELIEVE that God DOESN'T exist, but apart from logical arguments, they can never prove this any more than the opposite can be proven. (Their taking apart of the clergies' innumerable contradictions is an other matter entirely.)
Our cleaning lady is from Sri Lanka. When she hears an unexplained sound in the house (like, in the level above, which is still unfinished), she trembles because she's positive it's a "looloo", a spirit. Well, sometimes there's no wind, and the cat's right there sleeping on a couch, so the sound IS unexplained. But we don't worry about that, and in the end no evil ghost has ever seized the occasion to get the jump on us unsuspecting skeptics...

In any case, whether you believe in the "special" origin of (some?) crop circles or not, I recommend we leave that precise topic for another discussion. It's just distracting us from very serious and interesting issues right now.

"(Ever wondered about the proliferation of conspiracy theories? I bet you there are some real conspiracies out there, and some of the theories are at least partially accurate, but you try spotting them!)"
Ronald,
Well spotted! :-)
Remember, people: you're only paranoid if they aren't actually after you. ;-)

"Ronald- yep, you hit the nail right on the head."
Poor nail...

"Regardless of which model you adhere to, I don't see the point in living a miserable life here."
All bow before the voice of reason.
If you believe you'll be severely punished for every little sidestep you made here, why be in a hurry to flog yourself, right?
:-)

"If nothing awaits us, then this is the only life we have."
My arbitrary (and pitiful) egotistic human narcissism just cannot accept such a thought. I am too important (to whom? well to ME, of course!) to not be eternal in some way. I HAVE to. (fingers crossed)

"We are not the victims of our emotions and thoughts."
The Spokesperson for the Unified Masochist Church wishes to file an official complaint against that statement:
"We are free to be the victims of our emotions and thoughts, and to thoroughly enjoy it! Leave us be, you hedonist heretic!"

"maybe we'll be grateful one day for them invading Tibet..."
Wishful thinking, my friend. There's no sudden divine "green light" involved in the world's evolution.
Which means, it's all by our own merit if we're moving forward! :-)

"I doubt it was your intention to misquote me Pascal"
What??? Did you feel misquoted? I was just seizing the occasion to mock the fundamentalists one more time. Forgive me (dear Lord), but I just can't resist the temptation at any given chance! ;-)
Of course the Bible isn't ALL coded. Some of it is just symbols and images, frequently pretty obvious at that.
Still, I meant that many "preachers" hijack the obscure parts to justify their nuttiest personal ideas. (See "God hates Sweden" post for a powerful example.)
If you have a look at the Quran (Koran on Wikisource, I think), you'll soon see the changing structure of most of its text is most specially convenient for varying interpretations. Just consider that many prescriptions in there can be either considered as historically punctual, or timelessly universal, (which is never specified) and you'll get the idea...

"If someone wants to gain a proper understanding of it they need to read each part of it as it was meant to be read"
Well, being from a country whose location AND language are quite close to the source, there are many phrasings that are much more obvious to me than to a westerner. For example, there is no way you can tell from the word "brother" that Jesus actually had siblings from his mother. Over here, a cousin, a good friend, a fellow tribesman, or even a stranger you want to feel welcome will be called "brother". Ya read me, homie? 'Nuff said, yo!
In fact, I was stunned at the beginning of Mel Gibson's movie, to realize I could understand around half the aramaic words. I think (just my theory) that the word "Arab" derives from "Aram", the root of Aramaic. But we're back to capillotomy (hair-splitting) regarding the original subject!

"I do still hold some respect for the Bible"
Well, if I had any belief in the religious truthfulness of the Quran, I'd be a muslim today, right? But still the mere fact that it it the source and focus of some people's sincere beliefs (I mean, not just some ragtag cult crack-heads), means that I have to respect these people believing just like I want them to respect me. [This includes the belief of atheists.] Therefore, I'm bound to show consideration to everything that's not utterly primitive in their beliefs. Ergo, I'll criticize without restraint the "holy" murder of total strangers, but I wouldn't desecrate someone else's holy Book. It's a simple matter of universal principles.
And I think if we all upheld such principles, culture clash might soon become an old folk's tale.
One can dream...

"I think the main point is that things are not just happening to us, but that we have an influence."
Well, if we hadn't, why would even the dictatorship regimes bother to hold mock elections?
They don't in Turkmenistan, incidentally. The megalomaniac nut-in-chief there got bored, and had himself "elected" President For Life, some 10 years ago...

As Gandhi said "be the change you want to see"
I wouldn't have been surprised to hear Bruce Lee say that. ;-)

"attention is energy and what you focus on, grows (in energy, just to preempt intentional misunderstanding by some creative forces around here!)."
Gee, I wonder who he means by that? ;o)
Still, you acknowledge that even misunderstanding creativity can be a powerful force.
:-D
BTW, I can make something definitely energetic grow, just by focusing hard enough on it. Just ask the ladies...

"My bet is she'd stop dead, then back off."
Are you insinuating that the good concerned mother was acting just like bullies, who back off the instant you don't fear them? Bad, bad, Ronald! "Honi soit qui mal y pense."
:o)

"I surely like to confront people who are aggressive towards me"
Please forgive me now for droning and telling stories of my life like some old geezer two or three times my age. This feels relevant about attitude and its effect on us and the world. (I'll try and cut to the essential.)

Some years ago, after graduating, I applied for a residentship in a hospital. I was asked to start with a temporary internship first, for some rather complicated reasons. Contrarily to my not yet gratuated comrades, it was just a bonus to me, I had nothing vital relying on it, just gaining more knowledge and self-esteem. (It sure wasn't for the pay!) So, I was very confident and motivated, something Final Identity can certainly relate with. This impressed my mates from day one, although I thought nothing of our age or experience differences, I just helped them out and shared my know-how at every occasion. (Which is why I soon had nothing but friends among the interns.)
Soon after, it appeared there was some clear foul play intended at some level. Wierdish tales came up, of imaginary patients I had not examined, or me sleeping on the job! Totally crazy stuff. I analyzed it very carefully, and saw it could only be deliberate and come from above. There was no room left for doubt. So I took a decision to act, and grabbed the bull by the horns.

I'll never forget how good it felt the day I went to the Chief Resident, and gave him a heated scolding. No kidding! Left him livid and paralyzed with stupor. He weakly tried to plead that there was no direct proof of him being behind it. When I pointed out that this didn't speak in his favor, ASSUMING he was just letting such grave things go on in the team he was directly leading, he had nothing to reply. And we both knew what was really going on, I made him understand that. Most of the tales had come directly from him or his "lieutenants"... Didn't need to have him red-handed to promise him that, should any more such low lies target me from behind my back, I'd stir some real trouble and get to the bottom of this. And that was the end of it.

Of course, that's not something you can do when you're a slave to your current job. I wasn't. Plus, I was doing my job perfectly. Golly, I didn't think about it initially, but it's quite clear that having a different perception (and also a different position), was incredibly precious that day. Made me very popular among the colleagues for the five more months the internship lasted. It also earned me the respect, and sometimes friendship, of many Residents as well. I never acted like I was superior to anyone for some immanent reason, only working together in mutual respect, and the results were unavoidable. Your attitude DOES shape the world, at the very least the human world you are in.

Just so you won't panic, Ron, with people who simply have a negative attitude toward me, WITHOUT being criminally dishonest (that matter was undoubtedly grave), I also act like you describe : friendly, and positive. Always.
"not to put them in but to resolve the situation"
Precisely the attitude when we were on duty together, with the Residents that became friends. "There's a job to be done, sick people relying on us, and we're a team with a common goal." Most anybody will prefer cooperation and friendship over confrontation given half a fair chance.

You may wonder how it eventually concluded. Well, it would seem the Senior Resident was only the "field commander" (I had always wondered what HIS motivations could have been). Someone higher above in the administration had it in for me, for some obscure political/confessional motives, the same ones that are gangrening most of this country's functioning to the core. They made up some absolutely incredible B-plan taken straight out of a latin soap-opera, claiming I was giving my patients too much time and attention (I swear!), and even tried to make it appear like I was clinically paranoiac. Or hopelessly naive, at the very least. I wouldn't have believed such a bad scenario in a local TV series! Almost made me doubt this masquerade could really be happening.

Except that, if they were hoping to throw me into some rabid fit that would've justified their allegations, they had it in the baba. All my legitimate anger (and there was lots of it, after months of being overworked to exhaustion 100 hours a week, once I understood what the not-so-subtle psychiatrist was aiming at) remained under perfect control, I just told them very calmly to "shove it where the sun don't shine", packed my things, and informed my comrades of what had happened before leaving. Nobody in the staff could believe that my daily dedication could possibly meet such a treatment.

A few months later, I heard that the Supervisor who had pulled all the strings of that tripe had been replaced by this hierarchy with no explanation. Unsurprisingly, even then nobody contacted me to give me that Residentship. Who cares? Their loss!

As a matter of fact, as I mentioned in the "To Be Number One" post, several constantly-pressuring family members cared. To quote them, "they wanted me to become a very prestigious Doctor/Specialist that would make them proud". (The same shpiel I have heard all my life, "to make THEM proud". Prestige, money, fame, to them it's all about social looks.) But I'm not responsible for THEIR many -and severe- ego issues. So I unplugged the phone, and now I'm planning my own life, like I want it to be, or just avoiding what I don't want it to be.

It's not easy at all, but it's worth every bit of the effort. My life might be just a small fishing row-boat, but I'm sole captain aboard. In sun or storm, nobody takes the helm but me. At long last! (Rummages in rucksack.) Now, where'd I put that dang compass and map? Gotta set a course...

 
At 11 Oct 2006, 00:52:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

ADVICE

When you're fed up with your job, bordering depression, everything's going wrong at work... do this.
On your way home, stop in a Pharmacy, and buy a Johnson & Johnson rectal thermometer. [Be careful, it musn't be another brand!] Open the bok, and read the instructions.
Somewhere, you'll notice this sentence : "Each and every Johnson & Johnson rectal thermometer has been personally tested in our factory."
Now, close your eyes, and say this 5 times out loud : "I'm glad I don't work at quality control for Johnson & Johnson."
And remember, there are always crappier jobs than yours.

EmoTrance works. ;-)

 
At 11 Oct 2006, 03:25:00, Blogger eolake said...

Pascal,
I never said crop circles were space craft landing tracks. I am saying I have no clue what they are, but that it seems impossible that they are made by humans with the means we are familiar with. (They may be spiritual, they may be alien, they may be human-made with unfamiliar technology, whatever.)

If you read up on them a bit, then so many things are evident. Strange magnetic fields. Perfect and intricate patterns in the lay of the crop in the flattened parts that nobody has been able to replicate. The speed with which they appear. Etc etc.

http://www.cropcircleresearch.com

 
At 11 Oct 2006, 05:09:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

what the heck would space ships leaving such marks LOOK like?

There are very many different theories about how and why they are produced, them being traces left by a landing space ship is just one of them - and not a very popular one at that.
Most, but not all, imply an attempt to communicate with us.
I'm not saying that I'm with those theories but considering the funny incomprehensible codes and pictures human space probes have been carrying for a long time in case "somebody" finds them, I wouldn't be surprised if any communication instigated by those would be quite incomprehensible to us. But I disgress.

These parallel twin lines are very visible on all the photos you posted. These are the magician's strings hidden in plain sight right there, my friend.

Good point.

"how do you know they all are?"
Well, this is the kind of trick question that all believers just LOVE.


Of course they love it, as do scientists. For very different reasons - it's one of those instruments where it makes a big difference how you wield it.
For a believer, it goes to show that they are right. For a scientist, it allows for the possibility that things may not all be what they seem, potentially warranting further investigation. Big difference, no?
"Trick question" vs. academic honesty taken seriously...

"Just because you haven't FOUND the Loch Ness monster (or the Great Sea Serpent), does this prove it doesn't exist?"

Well does it?
It came as quite a shock to many scientists when the first giant calmar (or its traces, in the skin of a whale, IIRC) was found, because science had "known" that they are but the creation of overflowing mental creativity. Ask a scientist today and they will tell you that of course to they exist, will come up with heaps of explanations why they haven't been seen before and might even concede that the old stories were probably inspired by them. Only that it all not only wasn't proven before - no, it wasn't true. Yeah, right.
So much for my "trick question".

The thing is, unless you have made the choice to believe for the sake of it, rational thinking states that anything that can be validly explained, or reproduced in a similar fashion, has no claims to being super-natural.

Occam's Razor. Absolutely right - show me where I claimed anything to the contrary. (And no, giant calmars are not super-natural. At least not anymore.)

If you choose to believe, that's okay. As long as you don't use your belief as an excuse to run MY life.

Well you're ignoring my point. I don't have a particular belief about how crop circles are made. I know that some (probably most) are man-made, but if they all are is an open question because I can't know. I neither have the evidence to prove they are all man-made, nor that that's not the case.

What makes that so hard to understand, or accept? That it doesn't explain everything? Well I'm sorry but there's no one model of the world that explains everything - if there were then any more research wouldn't be necessary.

I think it's a problem that so many scientists find it hard, or sometimes are not able at all, to accept that unless something is proven 100% there's this very slight off-chance that there's more to anything than what their own theory explains. When they should be glad that this is so because it is what keeps science going, this is how progress is being made.

As for me running to run your life - I'm not interested and just hope you didn't mean to suggest that I was trying to do that. I've got enough to do with my own life. As I see it we're having a discussion, which means you are making your argument and I'm making mine (and everyone else makes theirs), all of us being in full control of our own lives at all times (or is there a new device science doesn't know about which would allow me to take over your life?).
I hope we can agree on this one, and indeed I implied this to be the basis on which we communicate here. If that isn't the case then please let me know.

Our cleaning lady is from Sri Lanka. When she hears an unexplained sound in the house (like, in the level above, which is still unfinished), she trembles because she's positive it's a "looloo", a spirit.

Which goes to show that the fewer facts people have, the more likely it is that they come up with "creative" explanations. I hope I'm not being "un-pc" (or is that "puc"?) when I say that probably your cleaning lady does not have the privilege of having received much scientific education.
If you asked me what made that noise I'd say "I don't know". Was it a looloo? In my opinion most probably not. But who am I to say that I know it wasn't one? Fact is that I don't know why would I claim to know what I don't? That doesn't mean that I believe that it was a looloo, or that they even exist - in fact I'm pretty much convinced that this noise had a very simple, normal and straight-forward explanation - but I'm not going to fall for that fallacy that in the absence of any evidence at all, any particular belief (mine) overrides any other one (hers), or even claim that I know when in fact it would take super-natural powers for me to do so (or dogma, to rise my own belief to the state of knowledge).
BTW, I think as a scientist I'd be much more credible to say in this case to say "I don't think so" than "that's impossible, because they don't exist".

It's just distracting us from very serious and interesting issues right now.

Not sure - after all they are even mentioned in the original blog post and they give us a splendid opportunity to discuss scientific methodology, beliefs and all sorts of things - but if you don't like them I won't object... ;-)

Poor nail...

Good point - we behave just as if these poor things were made for suffering at our hands! Talk about compassion...

The Spokesperson for the Unified Masochist Church wishes to file an official complaint against that statement:
"We are free to be the victims of our emotions and thoughts, and to thoroughly enjoy it! Leave us be, you hedonist heretic!"


To which the Sadist Association replied by saying "No!", followed by sardonic laughter...
(Oh well...)

"maybe we'll be grateful one day for them invading Tibet..."
Wishful thinking, my friend.


No, taken out of context, which continued: "Well I don't know about that" (and I probably should've flagged it more clearly as irony/sarcasm)
However my main point (if there was one) might have been that even really sad and bad developments and actions may sometimes have unexpected consequences which are good.
("Faust", anyone?
Mephisto: "I am a part of that power,
that constantly wants to do harm
and constantly creates the good."
- Goethe, Faust 1)

There's no sudden divine "green light" involved in the world's evolution.

Again, there's this absolute authority of the scientist! Yes, I am teasing you (muahahaha!), but how do you know? No, I haven't seen one, either, and I don't think we should wait for, or rely on, one, but our knowledge of the cosmos is not sufficient to state with absolute certainty if such a thing might be possible or not. You yourself said earlier something along the lines of "we don't know what things are, only what they do". So if you don't know how things work, how can you tell what they are capable of? In the end only empirically.

Which means, it's all by our own merit if we're moving forward! :-)

Maybe, maybe not, but I agree that this working hypothesis is the one I use, too, because it doesn't rely on any forces outside myself which I don't know anything about.
A hypothesis, still.

For example, there is no way you can tell from the word "brother" that Jesus actually had siblings from his mother.

I was always a bit sceptical about the English translations I encountered. Well I already said that I'm not very bible-proof, but even if I only compare the 10 commandments or the first page of the old testament in the English version with that in the German one (which is what I grew up with) then I wonder how big the differences of either to the original would be. One could doubt if people in different languages actually talk about the same book.
(One example might be "you shall love your neighbour like yourself", where "neighbour" seems much more specific, as in the person next door, than what Luther used, which would be closer to "the next person").

And I think if we all upheld such principles, culture clash might soon become an old folk's tale.
One can dream...


Yes, and it's a nice dream, too!

"I think the main point is that things are not just happening to us, but that we have an influence."
Well, if we hadn't, why would even the dictatorship regimes bother to hold mock elections?


Point taken, but I meant to mean that in a somewhat (significantly) broader sense...

They don't in Turkmenistan, incidentally. The megalomaniac nut-in-chief there got bored, and had himself "elected" President For Life, some 10 years ago...

Let's hope that this is not a new (or new old) trend!

"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
:o)


That is the crux of the matter - couldn't have sait it better myself!
:-D

Your attitude DOES shape the world, at the very least the human world you are in.

Good story, I can relate to that. Self-confidence instilled by the knowledge that you are doing the right thing can go a long way in such situations.

On a few occasions I've also seen people go who were a couple of steps above me in the pecking order and tried to use their positional power to bully me. I didn't do anything to them, just stood my ground. (And no, I can't prove that they went because of me but there's strong circumstantial evidence to support that assumption. ;-) In one case, though, the guy nearly managed to put me in for a hard time which was only averted by a friend I unknowingly had in a very strategic position, but somehow that seems to support your point.)

Just so you won't panic, Ron, with people who simply have a negative attitude toward me, WITHOUT being criminally dishonest (that matter was undoubtedly grave), I also act like you describe : friendly, and positive.

Thanks, Pascal, that's very accommodating to me. :-)
In fact I've noticed that quite clearly in the discussions around here. I hope you don't interpret my attitude towards you as negative - I definitely don't feel that way but I know that people sometimes get the impression - I'm not exactly suitable for the diplomatic service...

...I just told them very calmly to "shove it where the sun don't shine", packed my things,...

Sorry to have interrupted - I didn't realise that the story wasn't finished - well that does sound like some political cabal indeed...

Kind of sad that they got what they were after, but I can surely understand you not wanting to work there any longer.

A few months later, I heard that the Supervisor who had pulled all the strings of that tripe had been replaced by this hierarchy with no explanation.

Exactly what I experienced - if you don't let these characters play their games with you they apply their energies in other ways, which often gets them into trouble.
In fact I have come to rely on such issues resolving themselves eventually, one way or the other, which they generally seem to do.

Meaning I would think twice about leaving a job I really like doing because of such things rather than just doing my best and not caring much about them. If it's a job I don't care too much about, of course, it seems like a good opportunity to leave.

Unsurprisingly, even then nobody contacted me to give me that Residentship.

Yes it's funny - even if you've the best of reasons to go, people still take your decision to mean that you just don't want to work there anymore. Or (/and?) they don't want to lose their faces. Or whatever.

Who cares?

Well your colleagues might, but if you don't then it doesn't really matter. If you did then subtly letting the right person know that you might accept an offer could make sense.

Their loss!

Exactly!

So I unplugged the phone, and now I'm planning my own life, like I want it to be, or just avoiding what I don't want it to be.

So I take it that this all happened rather recently? Well good luck to you, and all the best for your plans! I'm sure you'll find some occupation that you like and that also pays the bills.

My life might be just a small fishing row-boat, but I'm sole captain aboard. In sun or storm, nobody takes the helm but me. At long last! (Rummages in rucksack.) Now, where'd I put that dang compass and map? Gotta set a course...

Nicely said - in this regard I'm pretty much in the same situation...
Should be interesting to see where we both are in a year or two.

 
At 11 Oct 2006, 05:34:00, Blogger eolake said...

"It came as quite a shock to many scientists when the first giant calmar (or its traces, in the skin of a whale, IIRC) was found"

My dictionaries don't have a "calmar"... ?

 
At 11 Oct 2006, 05:40:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

Eolake:
If you read up on them a bit, then so many things are evident. Strange magnetic fields. Perfect and intricate patterns in the lay of the crop in the flattened parts that nobody has been able to replicate. The speed with which they appear. Etc etc.

Yes exactly.
(to steal an expression from you)

The only problem I personally have with all these phenomena is that I don't know a thing about the credibility of those describing them, and seeing how information spreads on the Internet it might even be that there's only one source, or a few, everyone else gets their information from.

(Yes, I *need* to always spoil every argument, I mean play advocatus diavoli! Not to annoy people, though, but because that's how I see academic discourse - find the weakness in every argument until you find one that holds up to scrutiny - somehow I still think that this is how scientific progress is made - naive, I know...)

The only way to find out if there's something to it would be independent verification, or otherwise, as the case may be. Now how does one get a fair dinkum scientist to even look at some such site, or even do some systematic research on them, if the scientific wisdom says that "we know that they are all man-made"?

It would have to be someone who allows for that little doubt that one or more may not be, even if many are.

Who allows for the possibility that just because his theory caters for the cases that have been published doesn't mean it's universally true.

So the first step would be to get someone with scientific credibility (or just enough people from all walks of life) to confirm that yes, these observations are in fact correct. Or prove that the claims are not true, if that's the case.
And if the claims are true, I'd be the first to accept a scientifically sound explanation as to what brings them about - I don't necessarily want extraterrestrials or the such, I'd just like to know if these phenomena are in fact present on at least one of these sites, and if so, what it is that causes them. If there's no coherent explanation forthcoming then more (or some, to start with) "official" research should be conducted.

It's that this seems to be asking too much, and this dogmatic belief that there's nothing of interest there (dogmatic because it ignores the evidence you mention, which all concerns things that cannot be brought about with a lawn-roller and some string), which baffles me.

In my mind a scientist deserving that label would either (scientifically) disprove it, find an explanation for it, or admit that he/she doesn't know enough to make a call. But all this "we know how it's done, we've seen them" ("and we ignore everything that doesn't fit the picture") business I just find pathetic.

Not that I really want to take over this discussion, it just seems that I have strong feelings about the underlying issues (not the crop circles themselves really). If you'd rather like me to shut up just say so...
:-)

 
At 11 Oct 2006, 05:42:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

My dictionaries don't have a "calmar"... ?

Um, sorry - make that "squid"...

 
At 11 Oct 2006, 05:50:00, Blogger eolake said...

"The only problem I personally have with all these phenomena is that I don't know a thing about the credibility of those describing them"

Shucks, how do we know about the credibility of anybody? And even the most accredited scientists in the world disagree wildly about the most basic things.

I've read a couple of books etc, and the evidence made sense to me, and I did not see any reason why the people should be lying about their observations. (There is certainly not a lot of money in it.)

For a pleasant introduction for the curious, I recommend the DVD "Crop Circles - Quest for Truth"

 
At 11 Oct 2006, 07:10:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

Shucks, how do we know about the credibility of anybody? And even the most accredited scientists in the world disagree wildly about the most basic things.

You're absolutely right, and maybe I shouldn't have said that I have a "problem" with it, because in fact I don't. It's just that it's all I've read about it so far and it's not enough for me to buy into it. That's all.

Of course I *could* go off and do more research and read books and watch videos, and at some point come to some conclusion one way or another, for myself.
I just haven't felt the need to do so yet. (Or because I just don't feel up to the task because if I would become convinced that these phenomena do indeed exist and cannot be explained by simple means, then what? I'm not scared of the idea but suspect that I would spend far too much time on what follows from there...)

At this point it's good enough for me to say "maybe, maybe not". I just find it amazing every time just how important it seems to be for so many people to claim that they have the one and only answer and disregard everything that doesn't support it.
Even, and in particular, scientists (I don't mean just here but quite generally all over the place - Science is a religion for some).

 
At 11 Oct 2006, 08:18:00, Anonymous terry said...

eolake, i just don't believe in that crop circle thing. i think they are just a hoax. people or aliens on other planets?
i don't think so. (except for heaven which i consider a planet beyond the physical realm.)

 
At 11 Oct 2006, 08:21:00, Blogger eolake said...

"It's just that it's all I've read about it so far and it's not enough for me to buy into it. That's all."

That is very fair.
I am interested mainly because they are beautiful. I have posters on my walls.
Also I have a strong feeling in general of "more between heaven and Earth", and I get interested in things seeming to support this.
Though all these things so far are irritatingly inconclusive.

"for so many people to claim that they have the one and only answer and disregard everything that doesn't support it."

Yes, that does seem to be the human condition.
And it is hard to unlearn.

 
At 11 Oct 2006, 23:25:00, Blogger signalroom said...

Eolake, where can I order posters of crop circles? I also think they're beautiful, some really exquisite. The "perfect" ones stop my mind. I don't believe they're man-made. I feel there are many sentient life forms at work, other than human, along with us creating beauty.

 
At 12 Oct 2006, 02:22:00, Blogger eolake said...

I got mine from Temporarytemples.co.uk

 
At 12 Oct 2006, 02:24:00, Blogger eolake said...

It seems they only have the drawings in poster-size, not photos.

 
At 12 Oct 2006, 02:49:00, Anonymous Jes said...

I believe crop circles are created by evil leprechauns. The evidence is all there if you think about it.

 
At 12 Oct 2006, 12:04:00, Anonymous Ronald said...

I believe crop circles are created by evil leprechauns. The evidence is all there if you think about it.

There you go - that's a theory I haven't heard about yet...
Isn't it good that I haven't yet made up my mind? :-)

 
At 13 Oct 2006, 23:41:00, Blogger Adam Czarnowski said...

Let's hope this subject doesn't crop up anymore or we will just be going round in circles.

A

 
At 14 Oct 2006, 16:19:00, Blogger Final Identity said...

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Stephen Hawking's "Brief History of Time" in this thread. He felt he had proven that time would always (appear, to humans, to) move "forward" in the direction that it goes, because of entropy.

Basically, is proof goes like this. The act of thinking is, in itself, a breaking down of resources. Biochemical actions use fuel (which we originally ingested as food), through which process the potential energy of certain chemical combinations becomes kinetic energy in the form of neural impulses. Changing from potential to kinetic energy reduces the chemicals to less complex forms. Reduction from more to less complex forms is in the direction of entropy.

Hence, humans will always perceive that entropy is progressing, things are falling apart rather than building up. At least, on a universal scale. And we'll perceive that to be the case, no matter what the nature of "real" time outside our ken actually is, since we're stuck going in that direction along the timeline.

This means that Eolake's comment about creativity being able to produce without destroying is, in itself, a false comment. According to Mister Hawking. We are always destroying, merely by eating and by standing around thinking.

 
At 14 Oct 2006, 17:02:00, Blogger Final Identity said...

Oh, and I'm reading "That Hideous Strength" by C. S. Lewis right now. Sums up a lot of the discussions going on in this thread, more's the serendipity. But it doesn't mention crop circles.

We've been sidetracked from "the big change" a bit. Eolake originally commented that (allow me to paraphrase) things were growing and changing in a positive direction. Several of us have chimed in that they, too, felt a sense of growing to a point, or coming to a head, in the world at large. Whether you express it positively or negatively is merely subjective, and based probably more on your own outlook as optimist or pessimist than on the evidence as a whole.

And it's interesting to note, nobody has questioned that a change is coming. "The air is hummin', and somethin' great is comin'. Could it be? Yes it could. Somethin's comin', somethin' good, maybe tonight." Also sprach Sondheim (lyricist for "West Side Story" by Bernstein et al.). Nobody has chimed in, with, "nah, we're in the doldrums, things are boring, and it's just the same old same old, day after day, and I can't see anything on the horizon but the flat waveless horizon itself."

 
At 14 Oct 2006, 17:07:00, Blogger eolake said...

F.I., good point, thanks.

I like Bowie's line: "Something good is happening/I don't know what it is."

Interestingly, it's from 1986, the year where it all started for me.

 
At 14 Oct 2006, 17:12:00, Blogger eolake said...

Stephen Hawking probably has the Newtonian viewpoint of a universe as a mechanical thing with an existence outside of consciousness.

 
At 15 Oct 2006, 16:42:00, Blogger Final Identity said...

I often find myself intrinsically assuming that human potential is unlimited. In that sense, I regularly agree that creativity can be perpetually expansive. And so, I guess, if you take that to a logical extreme, I therefore disagree with Mister Hawking about entropy and even about the Newtonian view of the Universe's existence outside of human thought. But when you put it that way it sounds all too self-centered, to somehow claim that we are the only point and that without our perceptive faculties we'd have no Universe anyway. How egotistical can you get!? :)

It reminds me of comments that the college Economics professors used to make. I don't agree with people who are in Economics most of the time. They seem to have some kind of assumption I don't "get." For example, there are hundreds of rules in Economics that simply never apply to reality. "This is the rule, and it applies all the time except for the 99.99% of the time that the exceptions apply." THEN WHY CALL IT A RULE?

So, I basically don't follow Economics. And one thing that Economists seem to be trying to say, is that productivity and profit can be perpetually expansive. Everyone can have income and material goods, more and more, all the time. We can feed all humans and save the planet and make more Beanie Babies and everyone can be a millionaire all at once. They seem to think the earth's base supply of stuff -- money, food, Frisbees -- is perpetual.

I'd have to disagree with them. Someone or someTHING is going to suffer for my benefit. If i eat bread, grain dies. If we grow more grain for bread, eventually the soil dies. If we chemically manufacture living soil, eventually the chemical plant runs out of resources and dies. Etc. etc. And likewise with money. If Bill Gates gets more money, I get less. If I get more, then a peasant in Mexico or the Philippines somehow gets less. If my nation gets more, and our citizens get more, someone else is getting less.

Profit is not perpetual and entirely renewable. There may be some locations and situations and times when, in a limited sense, certain actions are "better for all involved," but there HAVE TO be consequences to those actions elsewhere. We are all connected. And I find it remarkably jejune that a man with a Ph.D. (albeit in Economics) can pooh-pooh the very notion of consequences so that his theories can claim pie-in-the-sky rosy-colored-glasses lies instead.

In that sense, the Economists seem to agree with the optimists. But somehow I view them as pessimists. They're always stamping out creativity, calling it a commodity or a product, applying market forces.

 
At 18 Oct 2006, 02:46:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

Probable good news regarding the North-Korean nuke test. At worst, it failed, considering the explosion detected was far too weak. And at best, they faked it, with conventional explosives (and maybe sone radioactive waste), to show off. In both cases, I wouldn't be afraid of playing poker with Kim-Jong-Il. Better known as "Great King Jong the Second".
On neutral ground, goes without saying!
I think the End of the World (à la disaster movies) isn't yet at hand.

Another very uplifting news. I've been following what Al Gore is doing right now. I'm still sorry he conceded the 2000 election (because clearly he would have done an infinitely better job than Heebee-G.B.), but I'm very happy with what he's accomplishing right now. And he's focusing it on the people in power, those who have the position and the duty to take quick and big decisions, and they seem to be listening.
When I was in school we were shown the movie "The Day After". Well, it sure as hell convinced ME that atomic war was a lose-lose madness, no matter what the military issue was!
All's not wrong with the world today, my brothers. I'm even considering the likely possibility that Gore's movie will have such an effect on the public opinion, that whoever campaigns after GeeBee will be forced to take it seriously into account if they don't want to fall flat on their noses. This is so big, that the BinLulu threat is a girlie slap on the back of the hand of Hulk Hogan (or Hulk-Banner!) in comparison. Just compare the WTC with New Orleans, ain't no question about the biggest of both problems. And who in the Western world WANTS to see the frightening tropical diseases settle in THEIR countries? Things like Kala-Azar, for instance... (Warning : don't look it up on Wikipedia is you're the squeamish type. Cutaneo-mucous Leishmaniosis is the ugliest thing I've ever seen, worse than a real-life zombie movie.)

I've also regained esteem for Arnold Schwarzenegger. It would seem he's not just a testosterone-inflated opportunistic bigot air-head. Or at least, he cares about his electors' public opinion, which is already good.

We don't each have our individual atomic helicopters, and we don't take the bus to go work on the moon or watch telepathic 3-D movies. But this World of Tommorrow we're livng in TODAY is not only riveting, it's full of so many possibilities that we'd have to be real stupid not to get things moving in the right direction. Take just the internet and satellite TV. Even with all their faults, they've made the planet a big village, where pretty much everybody knows all that's going on. (Except in some county-wide ghettoes : North Korea, Birmania, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Rwanda...) Even in China, Russia, Cuba, Syria, Iran, etc. people can get informed if they wish. And those seeking something other that official propaganda can usually access it easily. So much potential! What I'm typing could be read at this very moment not only in Canberra, London, Washington, Capetown or Santiago, but also in Beijing, Mumbai, Havana, Moscow, Riyad... simply because a blog is a form of diary that can be accessed from everywhere on the planet. IDEAS are out of the ghetto, and there's no putting THIS cat back in the bag, ever. (Threatening growl.) The war against ignorance is going well, simply because the boundaries of information have been shattered like a fake Ming vase in a Hong-Kong museum. There's no stopping progress, at least its good sides. While many bad sides, like coal energy, asbestos, atmospheric nuclear testings, are a thing of the past or well on their way.

You want good news? Then don't fear the bad, because good often comes FROM the bad. I'm still hoping for Lebanon taking the right turn, and last Sunday I went to a demonstration that might just contribute to that. And therefore to the shifting of one of the keys to one of this age's most problematic conflicts. But this wouldn't be good news if you've chosen to stay oblivious to what's going on in the Middle-East, right?

How about the great progress that's been accomplished in the treatment of Leukemia? I've been told that the Greatest News was the resurrection of an innocent man that was crucified 1973 years ago. You see the Yang better when it's at the side of the Yin. No, my friends, I'm not yet determined to end my life in a world that has no more good to give. I have a lovely baby sleeping in the room next to me right now, and when she wakes up, she'll give me the happiest and most loving smile in the world. I want to live in this world, and to see where it goes. Oh, yes!!!

"Non-existance will not bother anybody after we're gone"
Blaise Pascal summed this up centuries ago with his Principle of the Bet : "If God does not exist, one will lose nothing by believing in him, while if he does exist, one will lose everything by not believing."
The best thing is, you're not forced to listen to the Church simply because you believe in God. It all comes down to your own choices, in the end. There will always be somebody to assure you that you're doing it all wrong, that Islam is the way, or his own version of the Gospel, or Satan's Bible, or the Light of the Pneumatic Chamber, or the Holy Electrons of the Vorsters, or whatever. Step over the thorn bushes and walk confidently forward.

"it's much easier to look at it this way if you're not the one living in physically and/or social hell, like a large number of people in what we call the third world"
I've given this a lot of thought since long ago. Part of their hell, and not a small one, comes from within, from their ignorance. One short but very relevant example : thousands and thousands of people pay the mafias huge sums of money to be clandestinely introduced into countries that don't want them, and will very often expell them right where they came from... if they don't die in the journey. Should they be expelled, they have but one goal, to find the money and try again. As illegal immigrants, most of them can never get a better life than the one they left. Their families get themselves in debt for years, maybe decades, to finance this utopic foolishness. While if they had invested half that money in a sound business in their own country, they might have beaten poverty. It has been proven by experience : France finances the return of some African immigrants in coordination with the local governments, and loans these people the money to start there. Very often, it's quite successful! All it takes is the price of a second-hand truck, or boat, or a few cows, stuff like that. They become their own bosses, and 98% of people taking micro-credits pay back their loans within the agreed period. Think of it : at each clandestine immigration attempt, the mafias pocket up to $15.000 or more!
I'm positive that merely EDUCATING these populations would cause a revolution in the world. And a good one. Schools and dispensatories for all would be an excellent start, and not at all unreasonable I believe. Look at Mother Teresa: a little effort with limited means is already enough to make a big difference.

Regarding the cast system in India : it has been abolished by law (and by the Constitution, I believe) years ago. The problem now is, it's still very present in the mentalities. This requires work. Mandatory anti-segregation schools, like in the USA, would be a good start...

"It took me a while to come around to the point of view that if science can't prove something that doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't exist."
I wasn't that unlucky. :-)
It only took me time to understand that people stupidly supporting a belief do not necessarily invalidate that belief. I found things in the Bible and the Gospel that today's "fundamentalist" clergies seem to have "mysteriously" forgotten all about. Make that CONVENIENTLY. I've read part of the Quran. Same there. You'll find much debatable stuff in there, which terrorists "merrily" use and abuse, but also some undoubtedly great stuff, which too often remains unheard of, simply because it's incovenient to those wanting/needing to spread Hate. And which the peaceful and civilized blokes in muslim countries dare not remind, because today even quoting the Prophet can be hazardous to your health. I'm hoping this will change, and it can. Now that the rabid beards have begun killing innocents even in "Allah-abiding countries", everybody who's pious but not a fool can clearly see their "holy" hypocrisy. Holy, indeed. As in, full of holes!
"Holy rusted metal, Batman! This island is fake!" (Batman and Robin, the movie.)
There IS hope. At worst, it'll take time and effort. Nothing worthy comes cheap. (Except what comes from within, like Laurie's attitude. Some treasures ARE free!)

"I'm still highly sceptical of everything I encounter (including science)"
And right you are. The principles of science are sound. But sometimes the researchers will cheat. Try to "prove" that smoking is good for your health, or that they have managed to make healthy human clones. Give everything a thought, but never your blind trust.

"if I don't know something I'll have to be open to all possible explanations which I cannot disprove, even if they seem lunatic. Isn't that how science is supposed to work?"
Supposed, yes. And still Einstein had a very hard time convincing the scientists that the very strange Relativist and Quantic worlds that he described were undisputable facts...
But today, we have microscopes that use electron waves in place of light.

"This is how hypotheses work - those that explain more of what happens around you replace those which explain less"
This is known as Ockham's Razor. For instance, everything that can be entirely explained without resorting to the clearly arbitrary notion of God should. Miracles that can be explained are NOT miracles. Which, amusingly, only gives more interest to those that cannot be explained, like the few certified cases witnessed in Lourdes (no more than 26 in total, if my information is correct).
Reason well used isn't the enemy of religion, it is its best ally. The more I learn, the better I make out the specific domain of religion, but I know there's no need for me to become an atheist just because some idiot fanatics fear science, Galileo's cosmology, Darwin's evolution, etc.

Regarding scientific studies on "paranormal" phenomenons.
I've read some very interesting documents of some famous affairs. Basically, a scientist alone isn't entirely competent for this. Unless he employs a professional magician as an advisor. Because many crooks have, for millenia, perfected the art of illusion, mystification, and cheating, and an honest scientist is about as qualified as a statistician faced with a professional card cheater who can draw aces whenever he wants. Famous spoon-bending "psychic" Uri Geller, for instance, was found out to be just a clever manipulator. If a colleague of David Coperfield can do it, then you shouldn't "believe" it, there's a trick. Proof is given by the professional magicians' chart of secrecy, that forbids them from revealing their trade secrets.
I haste to point that the great talent of Copperfield and the likes to come up with impressive and convincing tricks is all to their honour, and I love and respect what they do. On condition they don't pose as prophets and ask for my 11 year-old daughter as a bride!

I'd like to mention here that this scientific cartesian mind has some family history. My late grandfather had a genuine and tried gift for finding water springs. My mother sometimes uses the pendulum too, and I've tried it myself on occasions. It seems to work, and very interestingly, it will refuse to give you answers in money-related matters (like the winning lottery numbers, and such). But reliable experience seems to show there is something there. Including repeatedly indentical "yes or no" answers to questions in unmarked blank envelopes. (To such a point that it's no problem whatsoever if you've forgotten to write the answer on the envelope, or mistakenly test it again because it's turned on the other side.)
One very interesting detail to note is that during all his life, my grandfather refused to do it for money. Not a dime, never. He always did it as a gratuitous favor, considering that a mysterious gift from God shouldn't be commercialised.
I think this is an interesting criterium. If you have a "psychic" who is always careful to help anonymously and for free, with no personal benefit whatsoever, there are little chances that you're facing a prestidigitator crook. UNLIKE "miracle-spewing" TV preachers that will always, at some point, ask you for some "spontaneous" donations or at least that you publicize their name...
The only thing my grandfather gained from using his presumed gift, was the reputation of a decent man. He wouldn't have had it any other way. This is not to tell you all about the noble feats of my ancestors or something, only to make a point. I'm certainly not the only one to get tired of people who are always after some fool's money. There's no doubt about it, if the phenomenon is submerged with time-wasting fakes, anything genuine that might eventually be there is likely to be lost forever. It reminds me of this recent "Brothers Grimm" movie...

"Even contemporary science is finally coming around to the view that energy might actually be all there is"
Say it in brief, my friend : "E = mc²" :-)
Any existing material element is liable to be entirely converted into pure enrgy if placed in contact with its anti-matter equivalent. All it takes is the equal number of positrons, antiprotons and antineutrons.
And if our thoughts, feelings, drives, are not information in the form of energy, I don't know what they are, but it definitely isn't peanut butter under a lamp-post.
One thing you might have to keep in mind : energy isn't ALL there is, for the good reason that the organised form of energy which is information is paramount. Life is all about energy organised as information. Starting with the very dietetically rich substance known as DNA...

"There has always been science, and there have always been competing systems"
My only true problem is with trends which claim that Truth can and should be explained by Belief. The one in their Book, as interpreted by them, naturally. When you start relying on unproven belief because you see "God" written on the label, you can kiss reason and sense bye-bye. "Intelligent Design" is just the pathetic mark of narcissic people who genuinely think their overbloated egotistic kind is the priceless blessing made by Creation to the Universe. There's just as much intelligent design in trash-eliminating animals such as dung-beetles, vultures, jackals, and maggots. Ants have been around since before the dinosaurs, and termites for twice longer. What good has Man brought to the Universe, I ask you? The only response I'm likely to get is, "to praise God". Well, for roughly 8.5 billion years, including the 4.5 of our planet's existence, God was quite okay with having nobody to praise Him, and no clergy to exploit His name for personal profit and social advantages. Hello? God doesn't need US, WE need Him. And not all of us, only those who feel good praying, and who need the fear of Judgement Day to behave decently. Well, people who only behave decently because they fear the Headmaster's whip disgust me. They're the same who will inform against jews when their country is occupied by the nazis, while being very careful not to miss the Sunday prayer. "Fine, respectable, law-abiding citizens." Bah!

"Some people might actually care if they die now or in 50 years"
I certainly hope to enjoy a long and happy life, but I already know that when my time comes (preferably when I'm very old and very tired) I'll mostly be excited by the discovery ahead. As far as I know, only the superstitious and the self-aware abominable criminals (are there any who are honest with themselves?) truly fear death, no matter what, no matter when. It is part of life, and if it comes as such, it's perfectly okay. It's when it comes from accidents, neglect or murder that it bothers me.

"And one day there will be Everything.
Wake up, it's already there!"

Ron, I find you very pessimistic! "Everything" is still just beginning to show up. There's still a whole world of improvement awaiting. Granted, most of the ideas already exist, and this is hugely important and significant in itself. This isn't the turn of the Millenium, it it the captivating turn of human History, slowly finding its right course since the Renaissance. Slowly, but picking up speed. Let'er sail, captain! Open sea right ahead, only a few reefs left to pass by! Anchors ahoy! Aarrrh!

"You can't make war for joy"
Reminds me of this comment in an anti-Bush demonstration:
"Making war for peace
is like fucking for virginity!"
;-)
Not that I see anything in common between Eolake and GeeBee, except that they are both english-speaking Homo sapiens caucasian males...

"the people who lose their compassion and view themselves as being somehow higher than the rest are too ego driven for their own good."
Not to mention the good of their fellow man in distress! :-P

"An overdeveloped ego will take spiritual principles and warp them til they're nearly unrecognizable."
You're just reinventing the definition of Paranoia (overdeveloped ego per excellence). Formally valid argumentation based on a false premise. Their reasoning will seem to make a lot of sense, it's just that is has no connection to reality.
Which differenciates them from paranoid schizophrenia, in which the thought process is clearly impaired, and the patients hardly convincing because they can't even seem to make sense.
Okay, enough with the medical conference already!

"The man who is detached might appear cold, but compassion is expressed in many forms"
This brings up the image of the impassible Eastern monk, who appears forever unmoved by anything, but will act with spontaneous compassion whenever needed.

"Veils worn to project a certain image meant to decieve both the populace and the wearer must eventually be torn or fall away."
Let me guess : you're not a resident in an islamic theocracy, right?
(For your sake, I hope not!) :-)

"detachment is actually a very healthy thing when understood and applied."
Lucid Twilight, oh great prophet, tell me, where is the temple where one can worship your wisdom?
Okay, otherwise said, "dude, you speak my language, you're cool!" (Silently sending positive vives to the cool dude.)
Inability to stand detached is what creates mindless mobs, be they lynching or patriotic. I know I need to get involved in the world, but always while remaining a thinking individual. Not a social drone.
Emotions are a part of us. They're neither ALL we are, nor an added accessory.
Just like I'll enjoy giving my penis satisfaction, but I won't let it replace my brain.
(And no, even though I speak like that I'm not gay.) :-)

"We beat against the obstacles in our path as a small child would beat against the chest of a strong bodied man who's hurting someone she loves."
I love that image.
"So stop hurting it, you big bully!" ;-)

"Still, fighting, in any sense, for joy is futile."
Ronald, do you know what the basic meaning for Jihad is?
The Small Jihad, or holy war, means fighting to defend the Religion when it is threatened by an attacking enemy. A good example would be anti-religious Soviet Union invading muslim Afghanistan to impose Communism.
The Great Jihad is the inner struggle within oneself to become a better person before Allah. Jihad litterally means "effort", not war. But both can translate as "struggle".
Guess which Jihad is deemed -by neutral scholars- the most significant in principle?
Just my 2 piasters. :-)

"That would be a good point - if the bible had originally been written in Latin."
Revelation, at the end of the Gospel and like much of it as far as I understand, was written in Greek. The fours Gospels of the Apostles were written both in Aramaic (the language spoken by Jesus) and in Greek at about the same time. In that period, under the Roman empire, many Jews lived in Greece, and were pejoratively refered to as "Greeks" by those still living in their traditional holy land. (Hence the word "geek"? Um, maybe not!) I do think the Greek and the Romans used the same counting system in 50 AD. Am I wrong there?
Modern digits, known as Indian Numerals, and sometimes Arab Numerals (they arrived to us via the Arab caravans) were unknown in Europe until the end of the Middle Ages, which is why there is no Year Zero, AD. They didn't have the Indian zero when they established the official Christian calendar.
I do believe DCLXVI is relevant, especially since the Beast being Nero isn't my own idea, but a widely accepted theory.

"Has it occurred to you that maybe GeeBee and Bin Lulu are objective allies?
- Wild! What could they possibly gain from that?"

As I said, just a stupid wild idea. Don't mind me. ;-)
"Anyway, the enemy is out there, don't you doubt it or he'll come and EAT you!"
I don't doubt. I lock my closets and look under my bed every evening before going to bed. And I keep a nightlight on. Monsters don't like light. Or garlic-flavored holy water-filled cross-shaped super-soakers!!!
):-/

"a precaution against spamming robots.
Yes, and I guess that's also a sign of the times."

Sign of the Times, yes!!! The End is near! Repent! REPENT! REPENT!!!

"conspiracy theories give people someone else to blame instead of themselves"
Which is why they are so hugely popular in the Middle East. Did you know that 9/11 was actually a Mossad plot, with the approval and/or complicity of the US administration?
You don't believe me? Well, I swear, this is precisely how I heard it on the TV news of Al-Manar, media of the Hezbollah, the evening of September 11th, 2001. (Or was it September 12th?...) They didn't present it as a hypothesis, but like a confirmed fact. I saw it myself. And some people still wonder today how this "so-called" rumor originated!...
The same people who believe in this wild tale don't mind, nevertheless, supporting Bin Laden the America-smashing hero. Even though "it wasn't him that planned 9/11". (Or Nairobi, or the USS-Cole, maybe?) Poor, innocent, peaceful, misunderstood, pious loving man!

"You Can't Trust The Government."
Well, d'uh! Except for Honest George, the greatest, most pious President we've ever had since Abe Lincoln. And Lincoln was weird-looking! Any government the Bushster leads has to be the absolute guarantee the we'll soon be living Heaven on Earth. (As for New Orleans, well... that was just a minor, purely fortuitous setback.)

"I can bombard you with URLs if you want"
Ronald,
You should be informed that under the Geneva convention, only democratic western governments fighting against a world-threatening Axis of Evil are permitted such bombardments. Oh, and Israel too.

"Of course, anything unwholesome which is plotted and/or committed by two or more people makes a conspiracy, and as soon as anyone (e.g. the police) start guessing and/or researching what might be going on, there's a theory about it."
Yeah, I too am a big Columbo fan. :-)

"If you discuss their theory with them you'll find that they either become insecure (thinking) or aggressive (dogmatic)."
Well, you're not revealing anything new to this Lebanon-dwelling guy. (Sigh!)

"and with a starting point (the official version) that has as many holes as a swiss cheese."
WHAT??? Are you saying the US case presented to the UN against Saddam was shaky?
Who would'a thunk?!? <:-o

"the official theory doesn't really cut it at all for me, and [...] the government is still clinging to it even though they don't have much to support it"
I loved how Will Smith improvises a pretty simple and normal story to the memory-wiped farmer's wife in "Men In Black". By itself, doing this was hilariously unusual!

"there's only one person you can trust, and that's yourself."
Only partly relevant, but this makes you realize how much courage it takes for a person having psychosis to admit they can't trust themselves and to entrust their whole fate unto others. This partially applies to depression too. You have to admit that your perception is biased by an illness both psychological and organic (brain chemistry is provenly disturbed), and find somebody you can rely on for help and insight.

"play a game and pretend to yourself that you believe it, as if life and this planet were just a dream of yours"
Properly used, this is great advice. A most adequate tool when you know you need to modify your perception and attitude in order to regain your motivation. Plus, it sure can be fun!
Bitter "realism" is at least as much a dangerous illusion as rosy optimism. And it's very counter-productive.

"I never said crop circles were space craft landing tracks."
Well, no. YOU never said such a thing. Some others did, and I hope their web searches will lead them to this blog. (How very modest of me, hunh?)
Basically, many (probably most) crop circles HAVE been made by humans, this appears pretty evident when you read objective articles. What worries me is, have they been used to cover something?
But enough with THIS conspiracy theory! As I've said, crop circles are beautiful, artistic, and I like them as such.
One more issue is, what about the farmers whose crops have been "vandalized" (for lack of a better term), which will markedly affect their harvest? Well, I do hope the touristic popularity of a crop circle will make it up for them. Because I don't see an insurance company covering a "crop circle damage"! (They could very easily stick it in the "acts of God" category...)

"it seems impossible that they are made by humans with the means we are familiar with"
I saw an article documenting a live demonstration that shows otherwise. As I've said, it takes only some know-how, stakes, rope, and a lawn-roller. Maybe you're just being influenced by people who "want to believe", I know how easy it can be.

"Most, but not all [theories], imply an attempt to communicate with us."
I think beings that are sufficiently evolved to do such artefacts from likely a great distance should definitely be capable of understanding our language and communications technology, and communicate in more explicit and less mysterious ways. And why don't they make this in other places, like wild nature, asian rice fields, snow-covered plains... or leave some truly gigantic and convincing pattern in the Sahara? With all the satellites we have scrutinizung the planet from above, no Nazca-like phenomenon would be at risk to go undetected.
I always ask myself, "What's the POINT" of another Intelligence doing such a thing, and stopping there?
I saw the movie "Contact". While slightly anti-climactic, THAT was a story that was designed to make sense.

"I wouldn't be surprised if any communication instigated by those would be quite incomprehensible to us."
Some Higher Intelligence, hunh? While WE manage to communicate with lesser consciences (lesser in abstraction capacities) like dogs, horses, parrots, dolphins... Seems the Vulcans still haven't gotten over abstruse bureaucracy either.

"Just because you haven't FOUND the Loch Ness monster (or the Great Sea Serpent), does this prove it doesn't exist?
- Well does it?"

This was a textbook example of fallacious trick-question. You can never prove that something doesn't exist just because you've never found it. Unless we're talking about an elephant in an empty room. (Quite a rare occurrence in Nature!) The point was, claiming that such or such thing exists simply because it cannot be disproven is meaningless. There are always discoveries to be made, like the coelacanth, the Komodo "Dragon", the Tasmanian "Devil", the absurd-looking platypus... But these were discovered. Not made up and sought after until proven existing. There's a recent theory about the Himalayan Snowman which I found very interesting. There actually exists a very rare species of bear in this area. Cook it up with easily impressed superstitious locals, and you'll easily obtain an instant legend.
I don't mind believing in what is discovered AFTERWARDS. But I won't be convinced that something actually exists merely because someone takes folklore as Gospel word. Do you know what the ever-elusive Nessie might very well have been? The swimming elephants of a circus, which was present nearby at the time of the first "sightings". Search for what a swimming elephant appears like from above murky waters (a back and a long trunk), and get back to me after that.
I accept there are things I'll never know for sure. But I'm pretty weary of belief-happy people. Dozens of those "prophecized" a happy end to the Lebanon war after receiving visits from the Holy Virgin, Saint Charbel, Saint Rita or the Angel Gabriel. I'm not a bitter bonehead, but I've learned that sensible skepticism will never leave you feeling like a complete dope. Just like I criticize the atheists, I never say that I BELIEVE in the non-existence of things unproven, just that I refuse to belive in one way or the other until there is reason.
BTW, Eolake, the phrase "impossible to have been made by humans" is a tired cliché, and typically a dead giveaway of somebody manipulating you into believing "there is something mysterious there".

I recall a much hyped affair in France a few years ago, nicknamed "the haunted house". A couple wanted some work done in front of their garage, but the worker drilling the concrete slab got an intense electric shock. After research, it was declared that there "was no explanation known to man", because clearly an electric tension was present, along with abnormal heat, but no source could be found. Cue the utterly wild hype, psychics and assorted crowd for weeks. There WAS something, but unexplained. Until it was found -and proven- it was a geochemical phenomenon, that caused the earth in that place to act as a natural battery, the concrete slap turning it into a capacitor. Like sticking nickel and copper in a potato, if you like. Only its size made the phenomenon much more intense and impressive, even moreso when unexpected.

In the village where I've lived for more than 25 years, a crypt was found during consolidation works on one of the churches. Inside, several skeletons, and one corpse that was "miraculously preserved". Mummified, with its skin, flesh, hair and clothes practically intact. After archive research, it was "found" that this was a known holy man from (mumblemumblemumble) years ago, who reportedly made some miracles during his lifetime, such as hanging his coat on a sun ray in the Bishop's office.
Soon, stories appeared among the pilgrims crowding the place. Like a lady with a pain and stiffness in her elbow from some accident (with variable intensity), that was "healed" by the Saint. Or a "mute boy" who started speaking again. I heard about that one the moment it was announced on the speaker for the whole village, and after investigation found this : the "mute" child had a heavy stuttering problem which almost prevented him from speaking, most of the time. Two cases where mental attitude can work miracles without any help from Allah, Buddha or Hanuman the Monkey God...
One other case was presented as the most spectacular, but it was as eagerly announced as it was impossible to confirm. "A baby with oesophagal malformation (makes him regurgitate and risk secondary lung infections), instantly healed in presence of the Saint, and the Holy Cross appeared on his body". Except, no way to prove anything, since the "fortunate" mother "didn't want another useless doctor to come near [her] child" (might have undone the miracle, perhaps?). How did he know the baby was healed without even waiting for the next meal? "No comment." I only saw the "cross" on some bad polaroid. A very faint pale line joining the nipples, and another middle vertical one. Apparently. Go figure what THAT was, if anything at all. Maybe no more than the imprint of a bedsheet's folds. But people love to believe in the wonderful. Me? I feel a strong urge to defend Saint Thomas for just refusing to be a complacent sucker!

"The only problem I personally have with all these phenomena is that I don't know a thing about the credibility of those describing them, and seeing how information spreads on the Internet it might even be that there's only one source, or a few, everyone else gets their information from."
Not only on the internet, as I've just shown. The credibility of the "believing" sources on crop circles is at best very dubious. I've seen this style and phrasing for years, and become very familiar with it. Did you know that serious statistics show no unusual proportion of air/sea incidents in the "Bermuda Triangle" than in many other arbitrarily chosen naturally hazardous or unexplored locations? A French science magazine once made a similar April Fool's hoax by simply presenting REAL data in an identically biased fashion, and many bought it (the hoax, not the mag). The frightening ease with which a total fabrication can be pulled together definitely converted me to cartesianism!

"It came as quite a shock to many scientists when the first giant squid was found"
Size variations in animals, mainly sea animals whose weight is carried by water, are not incredible at all. In fact, 25 years ago, I already knew they had to exist, and only excessive skeptics doubted it. ("Know-it-all" pompous scientists included.) Some whales dive very deep in the ocean and eat big squids. Frequently, the squid fights bach fiercely, and the whale's meal is paid for with some impressive scars. Some succion cup marks left no doubt about the size of the "reluctant meal". This was already common knowledge in 1980. Bits of huge tentacles were also found in the stomachs of whales, or cast off on a beach.

Cryptozoology is a very serious matter. Normally. Alas, many cryptozoology "documentaries" are little more that the presentation of a "mystery" which proves nothing, but persuades you the beast is very likely to exist. "Ooh! The truth is out there!" Appallingly un-scientific on every aspect. Including cheap over-dramatization.
A good part of my growing up comprized getting over my over-gullibility without falling in the opposite excess. I'm not too dissatisfied with the result. Now, I give thought to everything and its opposite.

Have you heard about the UFO wave over Belgium, several years ago? Seemed not to leave the shadow of a doubt. Except that the FO's have probably been identified, albeit there will never be certainties. At that time, it is very likely that the USA were testing their secret military F-117 stealth prototypes over Europe. You probably know that a plane cannot remain stealthy if it uses its radar, that'd be like a ninja turning a flashlight on! Now, consider this : Belguim was the only country in Europe where the all highways were lit up at night, effectively visualizing the country's road map to any discrete non-hostile aircraft.

Some people have confessed making the first wave of crop circles, and have displayed just how they did it. They're unusually talented from their experience and training, but a man CAN do it. And a man can swallow swords, or balance a two feet-high pile of crystal glasses, or wrestle an alligator bare-handed, or walk a tight rope high across the Niagara Falls. Not easy, but feasible. Of course, these guys' "baby" soon got out of hand, and the trend spread... like a prairie fire! It's all official.

"Only that it all not only wasn't proven before - no, it wasn't true."
I've already denounced "scientism", that foolish tendancy to believe that Science doesn't just know a lot, but knows everything. The opposite excess... There are pompous foolish windbags everywhere.

"Occam's Razor. Absolutely right - show me where I claimed anything to the contrary"
Well, "just because I can't show it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist"! ;o)

"Well I'm sorry but there's no one model of the world that explains everything"
Don't be sorry, Ron old buddy. I know just how you feel. It's okay. Guess what : you are not alone!
:-D

"As for me running to run your life - I'm not interested and just hope you didn't mean to suggest that I was trying to do that."
I was being rhetorical. Not meaning actually YOU, but the many who try to use their religion as a cultural and legal bulldozer. If you were one of those, we certainly wouldn't be talking in mutual respect now, would we? You would just coax me into approval, "or else!" :-)
Sorry if I can't resist the impulse to rant off-topic sometimes. That's me.

"(or is there a new device science doesn't know about which would allow me to take over your life?)"
It's called political tyranny. Ever heard of it, by chance? :-/

"Which goes to show that the fewer facts people have, the more likely it is that they come up with "creative" explanations."
"Creative", I like the way you put it.
Well spotted: our cleaning lady is near-illiterate. Otherwise, she probably wouldn't have left her homeland to earn a slightly better living in MY crummy country.

"If you asked me what made that noise I'd say "I don't know". Was it a looloo? In my opinion most probably not. But who am I to say that I know it wasn't one?"
Well, I'm currently reading "The Shining" from Stephen King, so I'm not in an optimally rational state of mind either at the moment. ;-)
But as Socrates put it, "I don't know" is already half of all knowledge. Because it prevents you from missing the other half.

"I'm not going to [...] claim that I know when in fact it would take super-natural powers for me to do so"
It would take super-natural powers for you to know whether the super-natural exists? Isn't that a catch-22?
:-D

BTW, I think as a scientist I'd be much more credible to say in this case to say "I don't think so"
Yup. This is why I said that not fearing looloos still hasn't cost us our uncautious lives. So the bottom line is : why fear looloos if in any case they really don't seem to be any threat? They're free to exist, I'd be happy if all troublemakers were as well-behaved! :-)

"It's just distracting us from very serious and interesting issues right now.
Not sure - after all they are even mentioned in the original blog post"

Touché. Apart from taking the discussion in several interesting directions at once, they're just like looloos: entertaining, and doing no harm. I do find them very visually pleasing. If I saw a poster of a crop circle in your house, that'd only tell me that you have taste for aesthetic landscapes.

"To which the Sadist Association replied by saying"...
Oh no! We're not getting drawn back into THIS discussion! Mainly after we've "scientifically" demonstrated that the existence of Sadism is essential for there to be Masochism. Even though these unbelieving heathens won't cooperate without a Holy War. Which naturally we will be very careful to painfully lose.
):-)

"maybe we'll be grateful one day for them invading Tibet...
(I probably should've flagged it more clearly as irony/sarcasm)"

Yeah. Same here. ;-)

"There's no sudden divine "green light" involved in the world's evolution.
Yes, I am teasing you (muahahaha!), but how do you know?"

Simply because I've observed a great enough number of "signs" (including the 1984 interpretations of Nostradamus) to establish that the great majority of those fall short. I know a person who's closely followed every prophecy revealed by sightings of the Holy Virgin since 30 years ago (at least). The Good Lady must be getting a bit confused after 2000 years, apparently.
It's hard to believe in something when careful experience very strongly points in the opposite direction, that's all I'm saying. And today I just can't feel any submissive reflex when faced with another of those. As I've said, "we don't know what things are, only what they do". If they don't do it, then maybe there's nothing to think we "know" there. Empirically...

"this working hypothesis is the one I use, too, because it doesn't rely on any forces outside myself which I don't know anything about."
"If you want a job done, the most reliable is to do it yourself." :-)

About the "brothers of Jesus", I should have pointed out that the word "brother" is not ambiguous in itself, only its customary uses. When Jesus on the cross says to (John?): "This is your mother", he's not weirdishly stating the obvious at such an odd moment. To a person living over here, it clearly means he's telling his "brother" that since he's about to die, his mother needs a new son to support her. The whole concept of family in and around the Holy Land is just much wider than the nuclear western concept. We don't say "you are like a son to me", we simply say "you are my son".
Although I fully agree that translations, especially when affected by the more or less well-intentioned bias of some people, can be quite unreliable. Most everybody these days have their own private version of the Bible...

What you say about "neighbour" is very relevant. The arabic version that I know (and which has a language much closer to the original) uses a word that means "the person near you". It means that you're not ordered to fly to Ethiopia to fight starvation there, but if you meet a needy person in the street this person is right here and now, and you are concerned by what happens because you're in a position to do something.

"Self-confidence instilled by the knowledge that you are doing the right thing can go a long way in such situations."
Even if you're risking your life, eventually. There's one other story which modesty forbids me from telling, but where I know I just couldn't have accepted doing anything BUT the right thing. (I'll just say it wasn't at all about me this time, and it wasn't easy to do.)

"who were a couple of steps above me in the pecking order"
Let me guess : they tried fowl play, right? ;-)

"I hope you don't interpret my attitude towards you as negative"
I only will if you ask me to. :-)
Hey, that's me, always ready to oblige!

"Kind of sad that they got what they were after"
I'm not at all sure about that. If they didn't want me, they could simply "not take me" from the start. I think what they were after was probably something as low as simply breaking me. In that case, they got the opposite.

"Meaning I would think twice about leaving a job I really like doing because of such things"
Two small things.
First, it was the sort of "you can't fire me, because I quit" situation. (Although I was officially fired.)
Second, I realized that I liked an illusion that wasn't the reality of that job. I was doing well, but there wasn't any "company spirit", and therefore I was definitely wasting my efforts in the wrong place.
Besides, following that, I did some introspection, which may just be the best thing that ever happened to me in my life. I'm all BUT bitter. (Maybe a bit sarcastic though, 'cause it's healthy.)

"Or (/and?) they don't want to lose their faces."
"Madam, if I were two-faced, would I be wearing that one?" -- (Abraham Lincoln)

"So I take it that this all happened rather recently?"
It's been a few years now. Considering it was all pretty clear in my head, I was the first one surprised when I went into depression after that (and over time). I realized that mere chronic exhaustion with lack of sleep (100 hours work a week for 6 months, plus transports) could be quite enough. So, apparently I wasn't in need of psycho-therapy, but a pharmaceutical helping hand was in order. Today I feel better than I've felt in more than a decade.
And helping others occasionally doesn't do any harm! Right, Hannah? :-)

"Should be interesting to see where we both are in a year or two."
WHAT? Don't tell me YOU're the one who's got my map and compass. Hey, no fair, give'em back and get your own ones!
Seriously, the horizon still seems empty for the timebeing, but I know there's a continent a bit further West, and the last mutiny has been controlled. ;-)

"Yes, I *need* to always spoil every argument, I mean play advocatus diavoli!"
Even the Devil has the right to an attorney. This is one of the principles that set us apart from dictatorships we can then legitimately criticize. Pointing at someone's faults with a clean finger, or not at all. Right, King George Bush?

"Now how does one get a fair dinkum scientist to even look at some such site, or even do some systematic research on them, if the scientific wisdom says that "we know that they are all man-made"?"
Excuse me, Ronald, but that is a bit simplistic. No scientist has the required talents to study the clever feats of David Copperfield, either. The art of illusion needs trickery specialists to work in collaboration with scientists. In fact, you'll find out that most "psychics" and other paranormal "talents" are viscerally allergic to the presence of professional magicians as advisors of scientists. It's well documented if you look in the right places.
Many scientists have just had enough of crooks abusing their good faith with tricks and slips of the hand or whatever. After all the documentation I have read on serious/trusting experimentations on the "paranormal", I can easily understand them. Would YOU waste money and effort in checking that each and every manifestation similar to a known trick isn't in fact something else? Only if there's some very good reason. Nobody inquires on every presumed lie they hear in daily life!
Ockham's razor again : let those who claim that something "could not possibly be man-made" prove their allegations with serious and undisputable argumentation, instead of constantly staying just vague enough. Would an intelligent extra-terrestrial immediately deduce from snow angels that creatures of such a shape have to exist on our planet?
"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." -- Groucho Marx

"So the first step would be to get someone with scientific credibility to confirm that yes, these observations are in fact correct.
- how do we know about the credibility of anybody?"

Background checking is usually a dead giveaway. Practically none of the "eminent professors" playing specialists in "paranormal" cases ever have authentic and verified credentials from a reputed place like CalTech, Berkeley, etc. At best, they're untraceable. At worst, they claim false credentials or were kicked out. I'm quite used to SERIOUS scientific articles. Every person consulted has reliable and clear credentials accompanying the article, you know where they studied, what they've researched, where they teach, what they graduated in... Why do you think Columbo was so good? He just checked. Everything, everytime. And then he drew conclusions from facts, not from received assertions.
I'm all for keeping an open mind. But I advise everybody to carefully select which open-mindedness is more than a clear waste of time. Like the unverifiable "miracles" I witnessed first hand. If official miracles are so dubious, what about the occasional folkloric stuff? You believe what you like. Me, I have an article to read about life on Mars. To be precise, about the very adaptable Earth germs that arrived there thanks to our unsterilized space probes, and might very well relieve us of a few steps in the terraforming of our close space suburb. Trust me, there's LOADS of confirmable stuff that'll keep you too occupied to listen to Looloos.
I've very recently learned the physical explanation behind the "song of the dunes". Did you know that sand dunes in the desert can hum? They do. Ask the natives. But there are no ghosts involved, just grain physics and acoustics. It's still damn poetic and mysterious-sounding. "The hills are alive..."
You know, one evening (in 1989) I was at a very respectable pious lady's house when the power went out (a common occurrence in Lebanon). She fell in admiration, and then prayer, in front of the crucifix hung above her front door. It was "GLOWING, look! Oh, blessed be Jesus." Glowing, exactly the same way as many toys I have myself. It was designed to glow.
I later discretely verified with my flashlight. Yup, it charged under light allright... Here's a tip : if you use UV light, it appears to have little to no brightness, but it charges glowing gadgets in an instant. UV photons are very energetic.
I haven't found time to check your links abour circles in the fields yet, but I promise to do soon. Just to see if the form of that "research" looks serious.

"If you'd rather like me to shut up just say so..."
Well, I would, but I like too much hearing you talk. :-)
Besides, there's always stuff one can learn from a sensible person, and I've already learned some from you. So don't mind me. :-)

"And even the most accredited scientists in the world disagree wildly about the most basic things."
Well, the most basic of things, namely elementary particle physics, are still widely terra incognita. A soon to be built particle accelerator is intended to reveal the Higgs boson, a most fundamental particle, but it would appear that perhaps this particle doesn't exist, and we'll know in about two years' time. Alternative theories have proven that if the Universe has a microscopic fourth dimention, then the Higgs boson needn't exist. But nobody will deny that E=mc², because it has been verified. In the worst case scenario, we may find out there are parameters to be added to the equation. Not to disprove it, to confirm it.
I admit that often scientists will display very surprising disagreements. Many of these simply originate from the fact that they aren't versed enough in epistemology, and sometimes mistake knowledge and belief. Or proved and yet unproved theories. Two of my favorite scientific expressions are "we know today" and "we believe today". I need both to speak honestly.

"I've read a couple of books etc, and the evidence made sense to me, and I did not see any reason why the people should be lying about their observations. (There is certainly not a lot of money in it.)"
Hey, don't underestimate the benefits of a best-selling book on a trendy subject! Who knew there WAS good money to be made in non-erotic nudes? ;-)

"I just find it amazing every time just how important it seems to be for so many people to claim that they have the one and only answer and disregard everything that doesn't support it."
You've just defined some of the most ignorant and obtuse people I know. The less they know, the more they pretend to be expert in. Including Medicine! Sometimes these "bright minds" are even illiterate...

"(Science is a religion for some)"
And like all religions, it has its fanatics. And its impostors.
I like the freedom to say "I don't know, and I probably never will" about something. But this is precisely what gives me the right to criticize the idiots who claim that smoking is good for the health, and that doctor's medications are all poison. They don't know, but they want to believe, and therefore will never think again. I grew up surrounded by such "idiots savants".

"(except for heaven which i consider a planet beyond the physical realm.)"
Well, according to famous french novelist Bernard Werber (in The Thanatonauts), Heaven would be located beyond the event horizon of the black hole known to lie at the center of our galaxy. And the souls of the dead would travel there in instants instead of centuries because being purely spiritual, they are not limited by the speed of light. Or because their plane of existence is some sort of hyperspace, I'm not sure. In any case, why would Heaven be a planet? And not, say, a group of planets? Or a star? Or a four-dimensional geometry?
Well, at least we know it's not just over the clouds. I've looked there. :-)

I should point again that there ARE some unexplained phenomenons in which I do believe, very firmly. Simply because these cannot be tricks. Like the many testimonies of dogs (or cats) that knew about their distant master's death the minute it happened, as was LATER verified by humans. Animals may be very perceptive of our unconscious body language (and it's been proven that a trained dog can actually detect cancer in its early stages), but when they know what we couldn't ourselves, there definitely is some explanation that eludes us so far. Just an example.
But I am extremely skeptic about anything related to mass fervor, as a principle. Because it is ALWAYS shaky ground.
Usually, the naked truth is shy.

"Though all these things so far are irritatingly inconclusive."
Well, Eolake, in the end we're speaking the same language. I can't bear accepting a "fact" that ISN'T a fact but only a supposition. And if you too had seen many cases of people putting their trust in vain into "miracle doers" promising to cure their ill ones, you'd likely be a bit touchy too.

"I feel there are many sentient life forms at work, other than human, along with us creating beauty."
Signalroom, don't you think you're belittling the creative abilities of humans? I watch a monthly talent show that regularly displays amazing physical and/or artistic feats (along with magic acts). Like a person who can make 3 feet-wide multi-color face portraits in two or three minutes, just finger-painting with a music. Or another who draws live in sand. Some feats are much less inhuman that we'd initially think. I suggest you just believe in the beauty of these field artworks. I do, because that beauty is real and cannot be a hoax.

"I feel there are many sentient life forms at work, other than human, along with us creating beauty."
Well, although my cat is only good at shredding cardboard boxes (and catching rodents), I've seen what some "painter cats" do, and clearly enjoy doing. So although I'm not fond of gratuitous mysteries, I'll have to say you're right. We do NOT have the exclusivity of creating beauty.
One has to wonder, still, how a cat perceives beauty! :-)

"Jes said...
I believe crop circles are created by evil leprechauns."

Well, sorry to contradict you Jes, but I happen to KNOW that leprechauns are not evil. Just very mischievous. And terribly misunderstood!
Perhaps this is why they express themselves through silent and nocturnal agricultural art?...

"Adam Czarnowski said...
Let's hope this subject doesn't crop up anymore or we will just be going round in circles."

Well, I happen to know about an alleged "exorcism" session that ended up, you might say, in a "crap circle". Officially, it was the manifestation of the evil spirit being... "expelled".
I'm not making this up!

"I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Stephen Hawking's "Brief History of Time""
Whoa, Final, nice display of culture! Plus, you've perfectly understood the Great Man's theories, which isn't as easy as it seems. Indeed, we can only perceive the direction of time in the heading of increased entropy. I just want to point out one thing : as living creatures, by essence and definition we travel upstream in entropy our whole life. True, we only decrease our entropy (by increasing the biological organization of our bodies) by consuming a greater amount of energy that globally creates entropy. But we're like a sailship that can navigate upwind by using its sails. What I mean is, although the Universe's entropy is constantly increasing in our perception, we ourselves are not increasing entropy. And in more than one way, the world around us is not simply undoing itself. Similarly, it doesn't have to "all go downhill" simply because it's the global motion. It is the global motion of what has no thought or consciousness. We are different. We are thinking, feeling, freely acting beings. And we can make a difference.
In fact, I know we are.
And tell me, when we conceive a child, or create art, are we necessarily destroying love or beauty to do so? No. We are using up non-intelligent energy, and creating something new where previously there was nothing of its kind. 1+1=3

"Whether you express it positively or negatively is merely subjective"
That's true, Final, but given a choice that doesn't threaten your survival (like ignoring or minimizing a danger), which would you choose? Your attitude is part of the world, just like the optimism, grumpiness, selfishness or friendliness of each of us in Society. And if you adopt a positive attitude, then "people" globally will be less grympy and pessimistic. Not to mention you can be as contagious as Laurie's juvenile shining joy! :-)
Besides, there ARE things undoubtedly progressing in the world. Like Medicine, or simple awareness about human rights. It's not always obvious, but it's heading in the right direction. Not long ago, you couldn't defend human rights because the mere notion itself didn't exist. The shades of grey are getting lighter.
Hey, just think that the Cold War will probably never degenerate into global destruction of all life now. Ain't that uplifting?
The world might LOOK the same, same injustice, same wars, etc. but it's not. At worst, it's new stuff of the same style. Time is not a loop, or it is an infinite one that will never (at our scale) restart identical to what it was. Because we simply cannot run in perfect circles when we don't know where we're going. We're going somewhere, wherever this somewhere may be! Electricity, Penicillin, microchips, will never be un-invented. It IS changing. Somehow. But definitely.
Not tthat I'm making any assumptions about your personal life. ;-)

"I often find myself intrinsically assuming that human potential is unlimited."
Let's be practical about it, following Hawking's example. It doesn't matter whether it is unlimited, or simply so vast you'll never be able to see or reach its limits in your lifetime. Just tell yourself that the Earth round circumference is "only" 40.000 kms, and then go look at the ocean. It's vast enough allright. At least for your sight. A physically limited mass gives you an unlimited view. And a very apeasing one at that!

"Profit is not perpetual and entirely renewable."
That's relative. If you fish to eat, new fish will be born. Life is basically sustained by the Sun, and its boundaries are far beyond our reach (do you picture yourself still being there in 50 million years?). It simply comes down to sustainable development : if you use up less than what Nature's unused potential can regenerate, all can and will be fine.
Of course, a recent news article I read said that we've gone beyond the point of renewable yearly Earth resources around October the 13th, so we ARE in trouble. You know what? I'm eagerly looking forward to the day when we'll finally run out of oil. Preferably before we run out of polar ice caps!
"Naturally" (pun intended), growth cannot be constant and unlimited. We can clearly see some of its boundaries today. What COULD be done, is limit the incredible amount of wasting that happens today. For example, Lebanon received lots of international aids after the last Israeli "fiesta". Well, it's public knowledge that 60% of these aids vanished along the way, and more precisely while passing between the hands of the local government. Now, if your Economics teacher has a miracle solution against corruption, we definitely could develop WAY more, better and longer with the current resources.
Weeeeelllll? Does he? :-P

Sorry about the super-long post (took me days to complete). If somebody resents it, please flame me. It'll be a good warm-up training : I'm considering sending an impertinent e-mail to the "God hates Sweden" site, using self-sufficient arguments from the Books, and I know what kind of reaction I'll probably get. :-P

 
At 18 Oct 2006, 02:51:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

BTW, Eolake, did we beat the Euthanasia record?
(~_^)

 
At 18 Oct 2006, 08:06:00, Anonymous ttl said...

Eolake wrote: I highly doubt it. Have you seen the Milk Hill Swirl? Hundreds of feet across. Perfect and complex geometrical placement. And NINE HUNDRED perfect circles. All done in the dark in one 4-hour summer night...
No foot prints, and the stems, like usual, bent soft and continuing to grow horizontally, we can't replicate that.


Crop circles are trivially easy to do. On Photoshop. And I suspect many of the more complex ones were done this way.

I am not saying no real crop circles has existed. It's just that usually all we have of the complex ones are the reproduced photos.

Eolake, living in the isles were these things tend to manifest, have you had the opportunity to personally see one yet?

 
At 18 Oct 2006, 23:21:00, Anonymous Pascal said...

"Crop circles are trivially easy to do. On Photoshop."
Oh, yes. I'd completely forgotten about one I saw in an advertisement, which couldn't be "genuine" in shape. Some publicity logo, I think. Clearly some crafty Photoshop stuff.

"Eolake, [...] have you had the opportunity to personally see one yet? "
This is one very smart question I should have asked myself since the start! (Too busy talking? Maybe.) The testimonial of a known and reliable person is priceless in cases of such "mysteries" where frauds are frequent. Which is why I investigated the "miracles" in my village myself.

 

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