Friday, August 19, 2005

Banished by Beethoven

The small town of Worthing in the UK is employing classical music fully soon, to deter gatherings of kids with nothing better to do than get drunk. The BBC covered this back in January.

In an age of iPods and fragmented, individualistic music habits, this is interesting on two fronts. Firstly, the obvious counter-culture attack as intended. Secondly though, music isn't broadcast publically very much at all these days. Could this be swung to encourage other people to gather together and listen to the same thing? A kind of "community broadcast"?

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Self as Metaprogrammer

Just found Chris Arkenberg's article "The Self as Metaprogrammer" which delves a little into what the brain is, what its relation to the self and the mind is, and different ways in which people attempt to break through the natural "setting" of our neural connections.

(via Technoccult)

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Video: Gilmore on Politics of Psychedelia

From this Reality Hackers tribe thread...

Hacker con 'What the Hack' is over, but they have full video downloads for all the talks (a bit faster than HAL 2001 got theirs up :)

Most of them are techie, obviously, but this one might be relevant here. John Gilmore on drugs and the mind in science and politics.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Scientists vs Dalai Lama

There's apparently some controversy over the fact that the Dalai Lama will be lecturing at a neuroscientist conference. The religious aspects that the Dalai Lama subscribes to are supposed to be "unscientific" - yet the effects of these beliefs - meditation, et al - clearly overlap with the field studied by neuroscience. There is, in effect, a clash between what the scientists see, and the methods they choose to adopt.

Is this a rational move on behalf of the opposed scientists? Half of the point of science is to explain the things we don't understand. Yet we can achieve things, even if we don't understand the mechanisms behind it, through a variety of other techniques.

Personally, I think a healthy mix of belief and rationale is essential - the latter to provide the explanation and answers to our innate curiosity, and the former to prevent ourselves from going crazy and to settle the very same curiosity. My 2 bits, anyway.