Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Will Donald Trump phase out white people from America?

Will Donald Trump phase out white people from America?

Yes this is real, and no, it is not a typo. I wish it were. I also wish I did not have to report and explain. Sadly, it is serious, and it seems I must (as I will explain more below if I get time).
The news on this subject will have a serious outcome.

Many people believe that Donald Trump could be the savior of the white race in America. Many other people believe that commitment to jihad is a path to paradise. Being relatively sane, I really don’t feel like exposing the thoughts which lurk in the noosphere on both illusions, but… there are times when the spirit of truth really demands that we face up to reality, even when we don’t want to. My next blog posts should be much more palatable to most people.

Donald Trump does not intend to phase out whites in America. But the noosphere of our planet cares about results, not intentions. Ignorance of reality is no excuse.

Reality: a decade or two, the Washington Post reported that illegitimate births outnumbered legitimate births in DC, but abortions were even larger. Without the abortions, illegitimate births would be outnumbering legitimate by something like three to one. That’s typical of many US citizens.

Many of us remember when political apparatchiks using the Catholic Church as a power base tried to outlaw not only abortion but birth control, homosexuality and the publication of books which disagree with their variety of sharia. Such people represented Jesus Christ as faithfully as the jihadis represent the higher spirit of Islam – i.e., not at all. Used car salesmen who came from Protestant backgrounds in areas of low education saw the market opportunity and joined the bandwagon, without any real idea where it came from or where it would take them (just like lone wolf terrorists, universal human weaknesses).

Back in the 1960s, before Roe v. Wade and welfare reform, it seemed very likely from the numbers that white people AND educated, intelligent people (very different groups, but both important) would go the way of Christians in Lebanon, based on demographic trends.  

The Clintons, coming from Arkansas, were more than slightly aware of the numbers and the trends, and were important in stabilizing what was an extremely risky situation, showing signs of really falling apart. The issues wre hard to talk about at the time. Many were horrified when some folks dared to report about women with 12 illegitimate children on welfare, strongly encouraged by existing incentives. There were powerful political forces trying to repress information on that subject, and shout down people trying to change.. yet at Harvard I got to see the primary research material, and it was clear that reality was not politically correct.

In truth, there were people in the Nation of Islam who were very much looking forward to the coming reckoning, who strongly opposed the balancing effect that Roe v. Wade, greater access to birth control and welfare reform would have. Some even called it genocide of the black race. But it was not genocide in any sense; it was an effort to maintain a reasonable balance. The core idea was to create a kind of grand bargain: sustainable, lower birth rates for all groups in the US, in return for higher education and job opportunities for all groups. A key consideration was the research showing that female education and empowerment had been a key factor in reducing birth rates for whites, and would be essential to doing the same for all groups in society.

So, bluntly: Trump’s recent promise to appoint the kind of judge who might overturn Roe v Wade (or the equivalent) creates a very serious opening to turning the US into a new Lebanon. It is understandable why he made the promise, but, as above, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Yes, we really need a “new Teddy Roosevelt,” but turning the US into a new Lebanon is not an acceptable price to pay. Of course, it is also important to consider what kind of justices would remember the rights of actual human beings, versus those of superPACs.

These issues about the Supreme Court are not new of course. Do citizens gave the right to live according to their own religion, even if it allows them to commit what would be considered sins under Sharia or under canon law? Is it safe to appoint justices committed to the proposition that canon law or shariacs in their present firm are higher laws and take precedence over the spirit of the us constitution? Like Yeshua, I gave thought very long and hard and analytically about the general subject of social contracts and covenants -- and believe that the US or German constitutions today are closer to the will of God than either of those earlier constructs from a certain level of legal apparatchiks. 

I also remember when a certain senator from South Carolina blocked George Washington and Thomas Jefferson from going as far as they wanted to prepare the us to phase out slavery. I remember when white people of the far south, thinking they were really macho in defending their own people, in Haiti, simply sealed their own doom. I really hope the US does not fall down that kind of rathole. And yes, this was a crucial issue for Gingrich, who should have known better.

No, I do not like posting this kind of thing. Quakers cannot take the blame, but last Sunday I did get to go to Quaker meeting for the first time since my operation this past Sunday, and it affects all this. I meditated very deeply on an issue which sounds different – what to publish and do about new brain data and neural network algorithms – but the picture which emerged spans both areas.

On the one hand, I do indeed have a strong personal duty NOT to prejudge any of the three remaining candidates. I need to work harder on that than I have. But I simply cannot avoid being part of the inner dialogue in the noosphere. We all have a responsibility to work through all this stuff, and more.

Of course, the Supreme Court issue, and the larger issue of social contracts in human life, is more than just a short-term pragmatic matter. The rights, autonomy and full potential of 51% of the human species are also a very big deal in the noosphere itself, and those who would strangle them have no idea what series of red lines await them and those who allow such things. Jesus never spoke about birth control, but he was clear about his feelings about pompous hypocrites who would stone women.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Happiness under pain, duty vs healing , and new brain data

Since the time of Aristotle, many people believe that the real purpose of life is just to find more happiness for themselves and others. But what IS happiness then, and how does it work? Having studied brains and minds, I would argue that this simple English word "happiness" is one of those very tricky words which should be handled with great caution, like a loaded gun, like another important word "consciousness." Since consciousness is as important as happiness, please forgive if I break off,and give an example of how people get confused when they take words good granted too much.

A cartoon in my mind: A famous wise guru sits under a tree, meditating on "what is consciousness?" He looks into the distance and thinks... "It is really about coherence...  about illumination... Eureka, I have it! It must be millions of little lasers in the brain, yes, coherence in illumination". In fact, one of the more famous theories of consciousness these days is exactly that. There are many, many examples of bad puns misleading the highest levels of policy thinking and science; I pick this one now only because it is clear and related.

Happiness.. a tricky word but one we still all use. Many people do very serious research into aspects of happiness, of what makes people happy, and also the economics of happiness.

This morning I woke with clear understanding that the past 4 weeks, recovering from major surgery, were basically more happy than the preceding year and a half (start of retirement February 2015), despite much higher levels of pain and constraint. Is that weird or what? What can be learned from that, and what does it say about the general human condition? But if I am careful.. I'd say that the periodic of greater happiness goes back two months, to early March, start of our Mediterranean cruise/tour, which I have also posted about.

Before the cruise (BC), .. I have found it overwhelming to try to really face up to two major challenges: (1) what can I do to reduce the overwhelming probability that the entire human species goods extinct within just a few thousand years (possibly much sooner if some folks have their way) and (2)  what can I do to maximize the inner spiritual growth which remains important to me regardless of whether extinction occurs? These two questions are the real bottom line, in my system of beliefs. All the economic  prosperity and military victory in the world are meaningless, dust in the wind, if everyone just dies after that. And yet, these are very difficult questions.  For simplicity, let me name these two issues "species survival" and "spiritual growth". (For the record, I still discuss spiritual growth with Yeshua, and remember " What profiteth a man if he takes ownership of the whole earth but suffers the loss of his own soul?". Some basic logic here.)

In retirement, with a (probably) adequate pension, I could afford to just ignore these core questions. Like many others, I could just relax, play golf, read amusing stuff.. whatever. But I still remember the rictus of a fake smile on the face of a Buddhist nun on chicken-dragon mountain in Korea, close to achieving her ghoial of total detachment and nonexistence, about to dissolve like dry paper dissolving into powder.. the smile of success and the dawning horror that this isn't what she really wanted. More analytically, I remember the logical foundations in my paper published in Russia and posted at . Even when I feel species survival may be a hopeless cause, my understanding of the spiritual side impels me to keep on anyway. Even as I am overwhelmed by the difficulty of trying to answer the two questions enough to judge "which way is up?," I am reminded that I am as well-qualified as anyone else on this little planet to try to answer them, and that simple willingness to ask an important question already conveys a special responsibility.

In a word: responsibility. I have been overwhelmed to the breaking point by this sense of responsibility or duty, , trying to keep on top of many many things. But: recovery from surgery was different. My sense of responsibility does not tell me to push my car or my body past the breaking point when the predictable outcome would be loss of the vehicle. So for just one month I told myself: "table the larger responsibility except for easy low-stress things. This month, the watchword is not responsibility but healing." So I have felt mandated just to heal. Mandatory listening to the body, which more and more implied a lot of simple relaxation ( in addition to medical problem solving, deciding when to take long walks and so on).

Relaxing -- three main activities, as I sit in the approved position in the big soft leather couch in the living room with legs propped up on the coffee table: (1) "the watch", cycling through CNN, France24, RT and now CNBC, listening on many levels but trying not to intrude in an inappropriate way; (2) lots of puzzles of the Sudoku family; (3) lately, more and more playing with brain data, just having fun with it.

Brain data: nice entertaining games have a finite scope and a finite span, a toy one can play with without the angst of worrying about inscrutable stuff. In my case, I had been invited to submit an extended abstract to a journal on systems neuroscience because of my chapter in a recent book edited by Freeman and Kozma; the abstract promised new analysis of actual time-series of data measured on the brain, to test a few predictions of my theory of how brains work (published in part in the journal Neural Networks). The abstract was accepted, so now I get to explore the actual data for a few months.

This game has been marvelously entertaining, but at times I still wonder: is it a bit irresponsible to just fall into the joy of discovery, and risk helping evil people misuse the resulting technology? Well, I have not written the actual paper yet, and the larger context is hard to sort out anyway, so for now I just explore and learn.
And it is amazing what basic things one can still learn. I certainly read many things about brain data and new technologies to study the brain before this year, at NSF, which gave me more access to that information than one can get anywhere else. But going to the front lines myself..  moved me up a quantum level in understanding the basics here.

Studying brain data reminds me a lot of the 1980s when I studied time series data on energy. I worked at EIA/DOE, which produced lots of energy data and analyses, including the Annual Energy Outlook (AEO), the oifficial energy forecasts sent to Congress and the public every year. These forecasts came out of big computer forecasting models. By the time i left EIA, I was lead analyst for long-term futures, and I had myself built the models responsible for more than half the energy serctoir, both supply and demand. Most of these were a type of model called "econometric."

The basic idea in econometric modeling is to come up with equations which predict future data  as a function of past data and bif "exogenous assumptions" like the choice of tax rates. The idea is to study the energy sector, come up with several possible theories of what equations to use, and then do lots of studies testing theories against real time-series data. I was especially proud when my model of energy use in industry had only 1% error in predictions years in advance, the best anyone ever achieved there. (See my papers in Energy: The international journal, 1990.)

I still remember a meeting where my bemused boss said: "Paul has this interesting odd idea that energy modeling can be done like science.. testing theories against actual data, connecting theory with reality.." In actuality, time series data was NOT the only primary information out there.. but connecting to the reality of time-series data was an essential part of the game. Many things I learned about energy data apply to brain data. (Also, the brain itself analyzes the time series data of its experience.)

A lot of very basic things need to be done, to connect theory with reality, in understanding intelligence and consciousness in the brain. (No I am not saying that intelligence and consciousness can only exist in wet brains; see Mind_in_Time for the basics. A certain level of intelligence exists even in the  mundane brain of the smallest mouse, and we can benefit from understanding even that "meager" level of intelligence, which can handle  IT tasks still beyond today's technology.)

The gap between theory and real empirical time-series data is a lot more serious in neuroscience than what I saw in energy modeling thirty years ago.  Which is the real science, following the real scientific method?
What do we need to do to create more true science here?

For example -- intelligence in brains emerges in large networks of neurons, Biological Neural Networks (BNN).  There is a large and important field of computational neuroscience which develops mathematical models of such large networks. (There are also bigger models of small numbers of neurons, beyond the scope of this blog post.) Those models mainly come in two families: (1) smooth models based on ordinary differential equations (ODE), in continuous time, without clocks (asynchronous); (2) spiking neuron models, which are also asynchronous, but which assume that the inputs and outputs of neurons are discrete pulses, "on" or "off." Many people think they can develop useful technology by simply implementing today's models in computer hardware, directly, without really understanding the engineering challenge of how to learn the IT tasks which real brains learn to perform. Billion dollar investments have been made in that direction, mobilizing political iron triangles and the usual misleading DC (and EU) PR, getting in the way of actually learning how to do what they promise.

But has anyone ever tried to compare the predictions of such mathematical models with actual time-series data of what neurons input and output? This question is incredibly basic, and I find it amazing how little attention it has received so far. But I need to be careful to summarize the story accurately.

There is another large and important part of neuroscience, systems neuroscience, which has worked hard to use real empirical evidence to understand how brains work and how intelligence emerges in brains, at a whole-systems level, in living awake animals (including humans).  Part of my message here is that we really need to build stronger connections between systems neuroscience and computational neuroscience, in order to develop useful mathematical models capable of more serious learning and intelligence. (One of my fears is that idioits might deploy this technology in a way which dumps us into Terminator or Winter Soldier outcomes. That is a deadly serious concern, entangled with very complex and irrational political movements all over the earth today.)
I am very grateful to have had a chance to work closely with Walter Freeman and Karl Pribram, two of the great giants of systems neuroscience (sadly both recently dead), and to have listened to a number of others. Yet I still remember in 1964, the first day of Harvard's only undergraduate course in neuroscience at the time, when the teacher Charlie Gross (a former Pribram student) said: "I would like you all to think hard about how much we would understand radios if we studied them the same way we now study brains. We pull out this capacitor, and the radio emits a whining sound, so we call that the whine center, and then just throw away the radio. We pull out this inductor from the next radio, and the radio sparks, so we call it the spark center, throw it out, and so on. Couldn't we do better?"

How can you find out how such a complex system really learns new and complex things, with such limited data to work from? For myself, I tried to absorb what systems neuroscience really learned from a lot of high level experiments, but focus more on the more fundamental mathematical challenge of trying to understand that very small class of neural network  designs actually capable of learning to predict their environment and achieve what they seek in that environment (similar to happiness). (See

But none of that really tracked the actual time series of what neurons input and output, down at the level where basic computations are performed.

Now -- I am not going to say that no one has ever tried to make this vital connection. To the contrary. I was really delighted this past week to read the super important paper by Fujisawa and Buzsaki (and ..) in Nature 2008, which looks like the very best effort ever made yet to bridge the worlds of time series theories of learning and actual time series recorded from biological neural networks (BNN). The paper is a real eye-opener. Also an eye opener is the underlying database information on pfc-2, a database available to the entire research community posted at  (This database includes what fujisawa and buzsaki used in their paper, and a lot more. The crcns website is one of the most important organizational achievements ever in this field.) It is the best of the best, an excellent starting point -- and a sober indicator of work still needed.

If you read the paper itself, three important points stand out. First, they were able to do useful "spike sorting," worthwhile estimation of exactly when the neurons close enough to their probe (>100 of them) emitted spikes. Second, through simple cross correlation, they could reconstruct a whole network of neurons, in which one neuron would excite or inhibit another with a time lag of about 2 milliseconds. (That's close to what Pribram told me to expect with standard synapses.) Third -- they tried to show how the learning in these experiments would CHANGE those synapse strengths, but could noit disentangle when correlations changed due to learning and when it was just due to changing conditions and nonlinearity (which were clearly present). 

Having spent years leading nsf review panels and observing policy in many areas, I have seen a lack of real strategic thinking in most areas. Here I can imagine what many would say: "Oh, this project was a failure. In real time-series data, it has yet to be proven that learning exists in the cerebral cortex at all. Since it is unproven, it would be wrong to do or perform any more research on this general topic." Likewise, it is speculative to assume humans will exist at all for living, so should we simply rule them out? If mice thought that way, they could never even cross a field to get food, food fear of foxes. Life is a game of probabilities, not only for mice but for us, and  rational strategic thinking reflects that. But also -- it is not really speculative to say that learning occurs in the cerebral cortex.

Also.. it is fascinating how the "spikes" in this database are so very different from those in the simple binary pulse models. Their attributes, in complex fet and spk files, look more like the "volleys" I have assumed in my own very different neutral network designs. But.. best I not say much until I do more work, and think about the larger context. Of course, after I read the 2008 paper, I followed up by reading more of the more recent buzsaki papers, which Walter Freeman recommended very highly before his death.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Trump talk and important news missed in the US media

Still on my back, I keep watching more CNN and France24, with a little RT -- and seeing what they missed.
CNN did mention one very crucial event: the meeting between Ryan and Trump. They said there was a general fuzzy agreement to support unity with help from common sacred symbols : but then Ryan took charge and asked for a really serious, deep and no-bullshit dialogue on the one issue which Trump's everything in his view: the deficit. Even with the draconian sequestration law still in effect, a ticking time bomb for everything from DOD to schools, the Congressional Budget Office predicts that the deficit is on track to go south and become a true killer within a few years.
I remember just a few years ago when a great staffer I knew in the Republican house talked about how depressed everyone was becoming. "We really can't do anything on the crucial technology and security issues we have discussed, because the impossible issue of the budget is now eating everything." Mickey mouse cutbacks in agency budgets, and even huge cuts, are simply not big enough. Is there any hope at all?
There is. Ironically Donald Trump has come closer to voicing our best hope of a real way out than any of the others this year. Three really strong gutsy changes are needed, led by a president in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt (Icahn's reason to push Trump) committed to being CEO first and lawmaker second: (1) overhaul of the medical system, whose projected growth even under Obama care is the number one cause of CBO's dire projections: (2) economically unproductive tax loopholes and outright crime: (3) restructuring of procurement to create more honorable competition and options -- not as a way to reduce defi cit but as a way to stop death by gangrene in agencies still funded like NASA, a really remarkable posted child showing that Kasich WS dead wrong in saying that waste fraud and abuse is an out of date issue.
Would Trump really move to channel the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt and get us to serious valid progress in all three areas, as he promised? Conversely, would Hillary have the CEO talents to do as well, or would shse continue the tradition of righteous legislation even as mafias suborn the executive branch itself? She has experienced enough personal pain from the Mafia stuff that I see real hope for her, as I do for trump. But we will be watching both, as both have questions as well. Both have free will, and even our father in heaven would support an honest competition -- to let them judge themselves in effect by choices they have yet to make.
For the tax item above -- France24 has done an excellent job of reporting an international summit in London, led actively by Cameron the PM of UK, which is one crucial element in deciding whether our budget policies will be empty BS or real. It's now not just waste fraud and abuse and market failure in the rules for outsdourcing; it is massive and growing outright criminality magnifying all that. At first, at that meeting, it seemed as if the US was a mindless absent iceberg, oblivious to what's going on in the world; they reported an Obama executive order well-intentioned but a useless fig leaf which he didn't even know as useless. Why wasn't Obama himself there, I wondered? Today was a bit better, with John Kerry working to bridge the gap, occupying a ni he halfway between the unreality TV of dc and reality. Just halfway. With the solvency of half the world at stake, would a Trump be less wimpy than Kerry, calling for a new treaty as tough on the Cayman islands as we were before on Iran, making sure that this kind of transparency and regularity in financial accounts is not just a pious wish? (Or could Clinton give Kerry more of a mandate to take a stronger stand?) Folks, this is life or death unfolding before our eyes.
That's the main serious message of the day, but there is a lot of entertaining graffiti out there, illuminating jokes not to be taken TOO seriously.
A wishful cameo image... Trump visits Al Sadr of Iraq and says,
"Hey, folks, don't get me wrong. I'm not a small petty person. It's my job now to make America great again, but I really do want to help as much as I can to make Islam great again. One of our problems is that a lot of people who pretend to be spiritual leaders are about as spiritual as iron bars in a jail, with no concept of spirit and feeling. You, sir, are different, and I can see the difference.
" To make Islam great enough, you are working hard to make spirit and life to get back in charge, and cut back on the corruption money and hypocrisy which caused the decay and collapse of the first caliphate. To support the Real struggle, itzjihad, over the murderous illusion of jihad. Obviously I cannot lead that myself, but I pledge my full support to your leadership in that."
Who else in power and the news offers THAT kind of leadership in the Middle East? The other obvious option (not to be seen as a competitor) is.. Gulen (SP?) of Turkey now living in Pennsylvania. What is the real story between Erdogam and Gulen, a massive story of huge impact reported at length in France24 and RT?
Is Gulen like Sadr the Real deal, and did Erdogan make an awful decision to sell his soul and his people, quietly but decisively to same sneaky billionnaires who created ISIS and manipulate hordes of trolls viua the drug captogan? He like Trump and Clinton has free will, but without some change.. it is a very serious part of trends endangering the mandate of humans to live on this planet. It is much more serious than people know.
Related to that is a nasty little story, where kinzinger (SP?) and others support a new spending bill (!!) to harass expression of Russian and Chinese viewpoints in the US, like R T. Apparently the censors want to protect me from watching that channel, even though its point of view is not a secret. Why such emphasis on that small overt and open dialogue, and fkagreant neglect of the really big sub rosa and deceptive propaganda from folks like the captogan masters and their tasil wagging clients in the US? They don't want to protect us from lies and propaganda; they want a stronger position and monopoly in that area.
But.. back to other areas, more s&t....

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What do you do if asked to cast out a demon?

Two times in my life I have gone to a group event and run across a woman who pleaded for help in casting out her demons. It was an incredible experience in both cases -- the look of very sincere horror, fear and despair in her eyes, the sense of tangible physical danger, and the need for immediate safety. One case was long ago and one quite recent.

Have YOU ever been challenged as I was by this? Have you even seen what was on her face and in her spirit? Actually, you probably have, if you watched the Republican presidential debates this year. When Carly Fiorina conveyed her impossible conclusions about the fraudulent video made about planned parenthood this year, she showed exactly that kind of face. She is an interesting example, and maybe I will say more about that.. but not now. For now, it is just an analogy, to try to help you begin to picture what I was facing -- except that the physical danger was more real in the cases I faced.

There are many cold and bureaucratic people who, in meeting such a woman, would say: "Please madam, stop saying things which are such meaningless gibberish and politically incorrect. You really need to learn to conform better to proper modern conservative social norms, and learn that these demons you are talking about simply do not exist. You should read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and the book by Churchland, and stop being distracted by things which do not exist, or which at best are just emergent products of your own imagination." (In fact maybe someone did say that in that first encounter long ago.) Meanwhile she is in urgent fear for her life, and hears louder suspicious rattling of the walls behind the guy as he speaks. Perhaps as she listens to him, she feels that he too is just another one of the impossible creatures who should not exist but nonetheless insists on impinging on her life and making it a living hell.

Slightly less cold and insensitive would be the idea of calling 911 and having her committed to a mental hospital. I never considered that in these cases - but if she had been a jihadi wielding a knife I would have. In the recent case, I was happy to hear that one of her close friends knew a Catholic priest who was also a psychiatrist, and that she had agreed to meet him within a day or two.

But even then I wondered. There is a lot of variation in what psychiatrists know how to do, and we were called to help if we could that very day. I thought immediately of a very different woman I once knew, who worked at Harvard Medical School and did a large scale study of the choices of therapy for manic-depressives. The study showed that the choice of therapy tends to reflect the needs of the doctor more than the needs of the patient. That horrible reality reflects the human tendency to seek THE WAY without paying enough attention to variations in circumstance.

I have read a lot of Freud and Jung, and one of my closest friends in K-12 aspired to become a psychiatrist. I remember how they emphasized "transference" as the first requirement for doing anything useful. That basically means an authentic kind of dialogue, giving and receiving some respect. So how did I respond in the recent case when she said: "They say I am just crazy, but I really have been hearing these voices..."? In truth, this woman had shown some validated "psychic" sensitivity in the past, so to be authentic I said: "Do you remember what Teilhard de Chardin said, that no man is an island, that we are all connected?  Yes we are all part of this earth, and we are connected to billions of other people, some good and some bad, some crazy and mean and some more helpful. Yes there are bad voices out there, but we need to connect more with more positive voices." To her friend I said: "Above all, as first aid, you have to cut out the Fox News somehow."

I didn't tell her just how totally sincere I was in saying that. For many years, my primary spiritual practice has been something I think of as "Cosmic Consciousness", a fully conscious quiet state I would enter in the middle of the night with full access to thoughts ranging from Einstein's continued interest in new nonconformal differential geometry, and the galaxy, to really nasty stuff on the other side of the world. A few years ago it was really annoying to center quietly, and then immediately be deluged by unwanted mental spam, as in " Kill them all...!" Regularly. Amidst one of the conflicts between Israel and Hamas, it was really sad to hear jihadis radiating powerful context-free rage of "kill them all," and then see some Israelis hearing and responding and doing just what was pleaded for (albeit a different manifestation of "them"). Immaturity in our noosphere really does amplify escalation at times.

That was a perpetual annoyance for me for years, and it reminds me of how Jesus would deal with demons, a bit like the way.. the good red-faced character disconnected Ultron from the internet in the comic book movie of that name. "Ultron" is still a danger, but it is nice to see less noosphere presence of the kind we saw a few years ago.

But.. back to the woman in need. The New Testament says that Jesus would have just injected his own energy, or channelled the energy of The Father, to clean her out immediately. Likewise, when he was with some hungry people, it is written that he just conjured up real fish out of thin air. I did not think of trying to attempt something like that in these cases (until much later when I started to write this.) That also brings up the old question: "Is it better to give someone a fish or teach him to catch them himself?" That's a matter of circumstance, if you have a choice of how to help.

In this recent case.. I instantly thought of three or four ways to try to help. To be practical, I thought of a simple mnemonic, WIE, standing for three treatment/protection approaches, grossly simplified as "ward, itzjihad, Eck", later expanded to WIBE, with B for breathing.

W -------------------------

W -- for millennia, people of all cultures have tried to create, strengthen and protect " sacred spaces" excluding SOME type of disruptive or negative thoughts. This can get tricky, as some folks try to exclude thoughts about real dangers they need to face up to, like war or depression or climate change or terminator type AI. Still, we need at least some islands of calm, to avoid nonproductive oscillation or thrashing or slow convergence in our thinking. Nietzsche talked about withdrawal and return. Right at this moment I am in a state of physical withdrawal, in hopes my body will heal enough to let me return to normal physical challenges. For millennia, several disciplines have been developed, fir challenges ranging from clearing the mind enough to really focus in an object of meditation like a calculus book, or clearing the focus of mind in selected times and places. Conscious shift of focus is one of the very fundamental disciplines of sanity or zhengqi, a scientific concept explained in . I was glad that a close friend of this woman had some experience with W and planned to help.

Nevertheless, a Freudian would say that W by itself is like repression. Repression can be a very bad and unstable way to cope with a lot of bad stuff. Still, facing problems head-on can be counterproductive when people are not yet READY. A main goal of therapy is to CREATE readiness. (There is a link here to the important work of George valliant of Harvard. He showed how denial, which is like simple repression, leads to bad results, while honest POSTPONEMENT, trying to create readiness, works better.)

I -------------------------------------

So beyond W, more serious and fundamental is what I call "itzjihad," for simplicity.
When I met that first haunted woman years ago, I did not even know the word "itzjihad," but as I looked at her I could see she needed it. She was upset by some real physical manifestations as well as full images and voices going with them. She had tried standard stuff like raising a cross and whatnot, none of which helped. I was reminded of a light but important and serious book I had read, calling up Philip, about a Canadian group which had gotten well-verified physical effects from a seance held for an imaginary ghost -- all based on some kind of projection from the minds of the participants.

It seemed clear she was struggling with real and physical projections of her own mind. To fight these projections, she could neither just ignore them or fight outwards: rather she would have to go INSIDE, where they really came from. The challenge is the struggle inside the self. (For her level of problem, it really was just a struggle within the "self" with a small "s," her individual soul and brain. But sometimes we encounter what the Upanishads call our "Self" with capital s - the entire noosphere in effect as we look deeply enough inside.)

This kind of struggle is the central theme in . What does it really require, at the high noosphere level? I am still groping with the specifics -- but I have posted here before about the spirit of love, the spirit of truth and impedance matching, which really refer to basic mathematical facts of life.
When I thought about the mechanics of how to apply these principles here, I remembered some basic exercises in psychokinesis, which I first tried in 1972 and shaped my later feelings. There is a KIND of serious deep breathing (with some W feeling I suppose), a kind of grasping at the same time of what is and of what should be, and a clear credit assignment (zheng qi) pushing from one to the other. The right kind of deep breathing is also central in the water exercises of yeshua's family, and yoiga and so on. Absolute deep truthfulness is really essential here for many reasons.

e etc -----------------------------------

And e? When the local noosphere seems too much of a mess, one can still try to reach beyond, to what is crudely called "a higher frequency." Really look at the stars of our galaxy. Still, reaching out to the galaxy reminds me of a chipmunk who tried to reach out to a more civilized and intelligent world and decided to live in our house - for about a day. Who knows?

Not Fiorina, who seems to enjoy being haunted by imaginary demons, just like the jihadis. If they could look inside with steely eyes to where their money comes from.. well, another day. If we live that long.


Two days later: that Catholic priest psychiatrist, also being a competent MD, did some blood work and other tests and learned that the strange state of mind was actually caused by... a urinary tract infection! Easy enough to take care of, albeit with a recovery period even a bit worse that what I went through.

In truth, I worried that I might have such an infection myself after RP... but none of those psycvhological symptoms.

Of course, mind and blood chemistry do interact in a number of ways. One year ago, when we were touring Udaipur in India, Luda had me read an article about NIH debates on protocols for experiments using psilocybin...
a really interesting issue, calling for a bit more depth than the usual stuff has. Probably I did post some of that in this blog..


Monday, May 2, 2016

Election 2016 versus human species survival

Election 2016 versus human species survival

For as long as I live, I will regularly ask myself the questions: (1) what hope still exists that the human species will mobilize its consciousness in order to avoid the clear likelihood of extinction within just a few thousand years? ; (2) what near-term opportunities and threats have impacts plus or minus on the probability of human extinction?; (3) what is going on in the noosphere here?

Election 2016 is certainly one of the things likely to have an impact. During recovery from surgery, when I couldn’t even handle my laptop until recently, I set my Verizon “favorites” to just three channels – CNN, France24 and RT, and spent hours watching. At times, I felt I was watching three distinct images in parallel – the actual transmission, the transmission as marked up by the graffiti of my .. subconscious mind, and an analytic image of what is really happening at an objective level few viewers are aware of.

For example, just today, just before Fiorina fell off the stage after a prediction of Cruz victory in Indiana, the graffiti image showed her talking about “dead Cruz.” Probably I should not say what else it has come up with lately, more amusing than things Trump has said. It is actually a sign of sanity that Trump is aware of the graffiti side of his mind… but does he have it under control? TBD.

More seriously, there was a key moment earlier when Kasich laughed about something Trump had said, and said: “I have news for you. There is no department of waste, fraud and abuse.” At that very instant, the higher analytic part said: “Finit. End of that.” Of course, Kasich, like many of us, is aware of the ancient history of politicians who promise to balance budgets the easy way, by fictional reductions in waste fraud and abuse which end up being tiny nasty token efforts at best. Kasich’s achievements in creating a bandaid for the US deficit were huge, and it is weird that the press has so totally ignored that this year, in preference to endless discussion of Trump’s body parts and such. However.. the real world of the US budget, economy and technology require much more than a bandaid, for us to survive at all long-term, and Kasich’s comment was a heavy signal that he doesn’t have the kind of awareness needed to get to stage two. Trump has not spoken on TV about the details of more competitive and demanding procurement, tax loopholes and efficiency in medical spending, but all three currently involve really gross inefficiencies and even legalized corruption, and he has been clear about wanting Teddy Roosevelt scale changes in all three. Trump is certainly a high risk candidate, but when the alternative is no hope.. it did not surprise me at that point that forces which seemed to be opening to a Kasich possibility evaporated.

Likewise, it did not surprise me when Boehner came out agreeing with Kasich that Cruz is the closest thing we have to a real prince of darkness in this race. He who knows Cruz the best of all the strong Republican spokesmen is clearest on this point. (Ok, the graffiti side says I should give away at least one of ITS images. My wife has played the Netflix series The Borgias lately, and the resonance between the face of Fiorina and the face of Catarina Sforza as she creates a fraudulent relic for pilgrims going to Rome… How can anyone fail to see that specific type of face, the kind which would stone innocent people to death, and make a big deal of an obvious fraudulent video about Planned Parenthood, making claims which are transparently absurd?)

Long ago, I was stunned when Cruz and Paul joint sponsored a bill to do something to the federal reserve which would substantially increase the probability of massive world economic depression even within my own limited life expectancy. That would also substantially reduce the probability of humanity doing what it needs to do to avoid extinction. (Our collective situation is “grow or die.”)

This is ever so important, but how to explain the many dimensions of it?

One way is our friend’s old method of using parables.

Ted Cruz is like unto a man whose laptop has been misbehaving (like me here now!), who gets so frustrated and angry that he smiles a pretend smile (to keep the laptop from worrying?), picks up a huge hammer, and simply smashes the thing to bits. That’s exactly what he intends to do to the banking system, and others. Some say Sanders is similar, but without the false smile. In fact, that “laptop” (the world financial system) has lots of very serious problems and limitations, but it would require something a whole lot smarter than a hammer to do more good than harm.

But then.. to understand what is really at stake and what is really going on… I may not have time today but will try some.

To really understand.. I draw heavily on what I learned from 1988 to 2015 as a Program Director at NSF, an institution which in my view had one of the two most powerful cultures of excellence in the US government, the other being the Federal Reserve. Luda tells me that the phrases “corporate culture” and “corporate anthropology” have gone out of favor lately, but, if so, that would be a huge and dangerous blind spot in people’s thinking, similar to the time when folks like Condoleeza Rice ignored the literature on the prerequisites for democracy and thus  created monsters and wars that could have been  avoided ever so easily. At a certain point, Congressman Lamar Smith (from a local political culture similar to Cruz’s?) implemented a new “accountability and transparency” program for NSF which in my view relates to real accountability and transparency as much as the “ministry of peace” in 1984 related to peace. For those with a certain kind of political or jihadi dedication, it is a common PR tactic to choose words as numbing as possible, to pave the way for their opposite. It is well known on the Hill how Smith’s folks got so far that they even had Congressional staffers come in and examine proposals and reviews before funding decisions were made. Transparent and accountable to the same PACmen who control other iron triangle sites of legalized corruption. That extreme abuse was stopped… but the Congressman who fought hardest against it was removed by the FBI, which is also following Smith’s guidance in their project for Hillary Clinton. It is also well known that Smith is fighting to end the rotation system, under which half the serious technical Program Director positions are held for just a few years by leading university researchers… that, after about half the long-term tenured program directors (like me) retired for undocumented reasons…. Who needs technical leadership?

And so, the same pattern is planned for the Fed… a new “accountability and transparency” push likely to show even less respect for excellence and truth. If Cruz is elected and picks Sarah Palin as new head of the Fed, maybe a few folks will then wake up a bit from their stupor. Or not.

But in actuality, the losses we have already experienced are quite worrisome, and relate to the fundamental realities of how corporate cultures work.

A much more positive story about corporate culture is Paulson’s recent book Dealing with China. To bridge the gap between economic theory and the realities of human life and human minds, Paulson’s book is a must read. (I have a review at easily found on another book on making money in China which is complementary.) A really crucial ingredient in China’s rapid economic growth so far has been a planned change in corporate culture, mobilizing he power of market design to get a level of effective collective intelligence far beyond old style religious or Maoist pieties.

What really worries me is this: the threats to human survival today clearly require a level of collective intelligence yet another level beyond that (and many levels beyond the dumb “Watson” level which IBM financiers are trying to foist on us). In many, many arenas it seems as if our future is summarized in Ben Franklin’s old (rewritten) poem: “For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost.” It’s that basic. If we can’t find and cultivate the key “nails,” we all become cockroach food.

Quick summary: we need a component of collective intelligence with orders of magnitude more resolution and vividness than today’s guangxi/DC/Smith system OR VC system, not to handle everything but to do justice to the  ‘nails.” Among the nails, in my informed view, are things like hot structures technology for re-entry vehicles, high efficiency Stirling engines for solar arrays and even vehicles, our best options for rechargeable metal-air batteries, early warning for H2S archaea buildup…. not to mention whole new branches of electronics and photonics now off the table.

I know a lot about those things because the old NSF culture, due to Vannevar Bush, ALLOWED those who care to really find out the true story, to the greatest extent that humans are capable of learning the true story, after a whole lot of very hard work and unceasing learning.

Of course, that culture was really just an extension of earlier insights by people like John Stuart Mill, George Washington, Jefferson, Francis Bacon, Emmanuel Kant, Von Neumann, Raiffa..
There are great accounts of what was really behind US S&T strength in the book edited by William Bainbridge (Sage) on that subject.

And it is such a tragedy to see it now lost due to neo-medievalists. The graffiti side says: “Oh, just old style evilists, fake grand poohbahs like ancient Sumerian priest kings, the revenge of the people of the vegetable. Mention the accountability ideas in the new Captain America movie..”

The NASA watchers are shocked this month to see how Smith is so actively ejecting the remains of advanced S&T at NASA…

I am skeptical of whether Clinton or Trump could now prevent the loss of this once great beacon of light and of economic progress… but one can hope and one can pray, and one can try to be graceful in shifting weight to the afterlife.

These being large and important topics, perhaps I should say a bit more.

Clinton certainly looks like a strong favorite right now for many reasons in the general election. 
(Trump's recent lines of attack on Clinton hurt him more deeply than he knows. She is no Jeb Bush, and people know that.)  But what about Lamar Smith's role as point man to use the FBI to get rid of her at the most embarrassing possible moment? And what about her overly personal responses to Putin and to Charles Koch, who has twice recently tried to extend a serious olive branch? These challenges would be very tough for anyone, but I have often felt her chances of coping with them would be better with a relatively strong guy at her side as VP, like Kerry. Kerry is not superman either, but who else could fill in her weak points as well as he could? Certainly not Elizabeth Warren, and I would doubt Elon Musk. Proper response to olive branches, not subservient but not dismissive, is really essential for any President. As is a kind of probing constructive skepticism, not like Musk's too-quick fixes or Gore's ego games. (Maybe the new CEO of HP?) 

Clinton has sometimes elicited laughs with her comments about vast right-wing conspiracy against her, but in many ways (as with the operation using the FBI) she may be underestimating and overly personalizing the threats. In recent years, it becomes ever more dangerous even to assume that the words "conservative" or "right wing" have some kind of objective meaning; there are vast clusters of mutually inconsistent ideologies and vested interests floating around in shifting though potent coalitions and networks out there. Even some key individual players harbor vast internal inconsistencies. Paulson's book about China does note a few parallels with their experiences... Hey, reality is not easy.

Clinton's people show great awareness of books like Brock's and like "Dark Money," but they would be a bit less blind-sided (and a bit more worried, properly so) if they were to read "A G-Man's Journal" through to the last chapter. Even Dark Money, which makes it sound almost as if Charles Koch is now the secret all-powerful emperor of America, contains strong indicators of a more complex story.

In fact, whenever I think of Charles Koch, I immediately think of many important connections needed for a more three-dimensional view. For example... I wonder how they would respond to really meet a guy I know in Michigan who embodies the core spirit of their dead father Fred much more than anyone else I have met on earth. If only they did! His core concerns were not with politics in the usual sense, but with the horrible barriers our society imposes on folks ready to do real serious technology innovation and not just inferior fuzzy schmoozing bullshit. If only... the best thing they could do would be all business, almost no link to political stuff at all. But would they really appreciate the spirit of their own father, now that they themselves have spent so many years interacting with the political class? Would an honest upside potential on the order of a trillion dollars per year mean as much to them now as it should?

Much more could be said... but this may be too long already.

A key point: Charles Koch is not the only player out there behind guys like Lamar Smith or even Jeb Bush. Those Saudis who give billions to ISIL, and the Halliburton network, for example.  Even IBM has found a way to join the empire game. Not to mention "simple" out of control iron triangles. If Trump were truly a new Teddy Roosevelt type of CEO, maybe he could sort out the worst of this; people still hope, but fewer and fewer really believe, and the general election period may be even less happy than the Republican debates have been.

Best of luck... we really need it..