Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Benign Robot...

A soulful robot... by KMNDZ.

... versus the not-so-benign robot. And, the response:

"Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and hundreds of artificial intelligence researchers and experts have signed a letter calling for a worldwide ban on “autonomous weapons.” The signatories say this new era of robotic and AI-equipped killing machines could set off “the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms.”

(Hat tip to boingboing's Michael Borys & Xeni Jardin.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Karen "Kartott" Totten on Jeremy Vaeni's "The Experience"

Ceramic owl charms - 2014, Karen Totten - from Starry Road Studio

"Consciously or not, Kartott is describing a being strikingly similar to the woman supposedly encountered by abductee Antonio Villas Boas, whose experience is described here. Indeed, the pointed chin, exaggerated cheekbones and vestigial nose and mouth are commonly reported characteristics of ostensibly "alien" entities, and crop up with compelling frequency in the UFO literature. The visage has become synonymous with that of the "Gray," a commonly portrayed UFO occupant type with massive black eyes and fetal characteristics. (The Grays are often described as sexless or even robotic, stirring discussion that they're in fact biological robots or even genetically atrophied human time-travelers from our own ecologically impoverished future.)"

- Mac Tonnies via the May, 2009 Posthman Blues post: Do aliens smoke cigarettes?

"Of late, I have been exploring a number of alternate realties: ufos, ghosts, psychedelic phenomena. All seem to be pointing to some undercurrent of reality that we can barely tip our toe into. We mostly deny it, put it down to "imagination" or simple fantasy. We even deny our own directly experienced phenomena, shutting the door to a wider world. This seems driven by a larger culture intent on squashing all things mysterious, unknown or unknowable. We believe that because such experiences are beyond measure and simple human reasoning, they must therefore not be real. Yet they all seem to point to a more fully realized consciousness, a kind of multi-dimensional existence. Our everyday brain seems divorced from this, almost as if there is a wall in place between our everyday functioning mind and our visioning, dreaming consciousness."

- Karen "Kartott" Totten via her initial Postreason blogspot post, February 8. 2009.

"Jeremy and I touched on essentially the same point in our discussion: about how the framework of our culture and our day-to-day "real" (material, physical) life may have a good deal to do with how our paranormal experiences unfold. I think this may happen on several levels: global / cultural, where commonly shared motifs and archetypes of our larger culture are played out, and at the individual / personal level, where our own interior mythos is added to the "brew". This complex filtering may explain both the similarities on one level, and on another level, the individual idiosyncrasies and variability of high strangeness details."

- Karen Totten from her most recent (May, 2015) Postreason article: Myth Happens.


For some of us, "paranormality" - and/or the unknown "other" - has less to do with UFO sightings, alien abductions and ghost-hunting, and is more closely related to our inner journeys - our meta-conscious lives -  and our overall creative engagement with the world. In other words, there's two sides to the paranormal coin, if you will: the phenomenal side, and the esoteric side.... the vaguely empirical side, and the shamanistic, alchemical side. And, melding the two seemingly separate camps are the narratives.... those stories we've been weaving since the beginning of time to somehow describe what is, in fact, indescribable.

In the end we have no understanding of the world; just the inexplicable notion that there is a "solve" and, at some point in time, we will eventually apprehend it. Will we? Probably not. Whether the glittering "gold" is of the solid, mineral kind, or the amorphous, intellectual, emotional and spiritual kind, it is likely to always hang just outside our reach. In which case, the journey is everything; we may as well enjoy it while it lasts.

Mac Tonnies was kind of on the fence when it came to these two aspects of the paranormal. His book, "The Cryptoterrestrials..." was his attempt at a narrative, a way of weaving seemingly disparate "paranormal" aspects into a lump of something one could actually chew. But, even he was aware that his theory was merely one interpretation, and not the definitive "last word".

In the book, however, he sites several stories sourced from collaborators and cyber-friends, one of which - the story of the "Cigarette Lady" as related to him by "Kartott" - he made a point of posting on Posthuman Blues in March, 2009 (linked to above).*

So, I think he'd be just thrilled to know that his friend Karen Totten ("Kartott"), recently appeared on "The Experience" podcast - What are Experiencers Being Shown? - hosted by Jeremy Vaeni, discussing her Cigarette Lady experience, plus a number of other experiences which don't necessary fit seamlessly into the expected, paranormal box...