Monthly Archives: August 2011

All media are social

All media are social. But media are often used in antisocial ways. As modes of communication, media can be the basis of cooperative communication and social connectedness or they can be abused and employed as conveyances of lies, propaganda, false advertising, bullying, and other forms of manipulation and coercion.
The ways in which we use media reveal aspects of ourselves that transcend our conscious intentions. They tell us about what kind of people we are, what kind of culture we have created, how we think of ourselves, each other, and our place in the world.
While cultural paradigms can limit the potential avenues for expression, transmission, and reception of human information, we can choose to communicate in ways that further cooperation, trust, and empathy, rather than those that promote objectification and the abuse of power dynamics.
As our world becomes more and more a network of semiotic interrelationships, our mediated environment evolves toward increasing complexity and embodies our emotional intelligence as well as our lived experience.
It is more than a metaphor to say we create our reality. Our power to alter the world we inhabit, as well as the fate of the life forms within it, imposes ethical responsibilities of a higher order than we are used to contemplating.
By attending to the nature and content of our media, we may apply therapeutic paradigms, which can have a positive and healing effect upon individuals and ultimately upon our entire society. Developing a critical awareness of exactly what we are saying to each other and, more important, how we are saying it, can empower us to use media as a force for good. By examining and critiquing the many antisocial uses of mass media, we can begin to discern the outline of a truly healthy social media landscape.
The connections are already present, all around us, in the networked intelligence of our cybernetic infrastructure. We can project our hopes and dreams for a better world out into cyberspace and create a positive environment for each of us to grow and evolve together. This is the promise of the new technology. The power of conscious evolution is in our hands, at the tips of our fingers, on our keyboards and touch screens. As always, the choice is ours to make. What ideas will we share – what thoughts will we text to each other today?

 

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2 Poems: The Brain of the World and The Whole World is Just One Thing

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The brain is the inner surface of the world. A conduit for consciousness, it is where the world does its thinking. This is who we are the result of the evolution of DNA and its companion, messenger RNA through billions of chaotic years of terrestrial evolution and billions more in stars and dust.Fractal phenomena observed in the world of forms mirror the iteration of thought, feeling, and sensation alive in the minds of sentient beings.
Patterns, frequencies, pulse everywhere within the resonant ever-present network.Our urge to connect reflects an underlying unity. A universe is made of many minds, but one thing is clear: Mind, the experience of mind…is singular.
Even now, supercomputers of embedded thought are mining the many universes for vast resources of intelligence.
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Image: “Within” by Tullio DeSantis, altered ink drawing, 2011
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The whole world is just one thing

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when I stand on this hill with summer in my eyes

the sky shakes within blue-grey banks

a river of wind moves through the valley

lightning happens branches shift rain falls

I can hear the roofs rattle

setting off a trillion sparks in me

 

and the hill is within me and summer rain and wind

are all at once inside my head and fill my body

 

I know there is only one thing and never two things

not the world and not me but something else

something that is just one thing

that I can understand and know only for an instant

 

then it seems in the second half of that same instant

I forget what I know and there are two things again

I am lost

until it rains again

and then I remember

there is only

one
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Image: “Intelligent World 11111011011″ by Tullio DeSantis, altered ink drawing, 2011

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The Mind of the Universe

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One recent evening, while I was working on new Neurofeedback protocols, it occurred to me that by using EEG, we are taking non-trivial measurements of significant states of mind (attention, relaxation, wakefulness, and so forth) outside of the brain. This notion, that consciousness is something not simply contained within the brain, is at the heart of paradigms of connectedness that reach back through the myths of prehistory and forward to include modern perspectives, such as Jungian psychology and the concept of the Noosphere, as described by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, in the Phenomenon of Man. There are many references to the conscious connectedness of all life in contemporary philosophical discourse, as well, including Out of Our Heads, the significant work of Berkeley philosopher, Alva Noe. In fact, theories of an extended mindfield are being systematically tested, researched, and investigated by the Institute of Noetic Sciences, the organization founded by former NASA astronaut, Edgar Mitchell.
In our EEG Neurofeedback work, we are measuring microvoltages emitted by the brain, and plotted as waveforms by mathematical algorithms, such as the fast Fourier transform (FFT). These results, verified by a long history of experimentation and research, indicate it is a straightforward procedure to ascertain significant information regarding an individual’s state of mind using EEG data. This information is used to support medical and psychological diagnoses ranging from traumatic brain injury to seizures and epilepsy.

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The fact that these sophisticated measurements are taken outside of the brain (for the EEG is a noninvasive procedure, involving electrical contacts placed on the skin), indicates that important aspects of our consciousness are detectable in the environment, and that they are not confined to physical bodies. Our brains emit brainwaves into the environment, which can be scanned and read as significant data in determining our state of mind. http://www.robots.ox.ac.uk/~parg/projects/bci/rev1.html
Additional evidence for the external aspect of consciousness is the discovery of atomic-scale mirco-structures of neurons, which exhibit quantum characteristics. The theoretical foundations for the effects of quantum-level consciousness were posited by the world-renown physicist, Sir Roger Penrose and Dr. Stuart Hammeroff http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/ around the turn of the new millennium. A decade of scientific research on the nature of the field effects of consciousness continues to illuminate our understanding of the unified nature of consciousness as a universal phenomenon. http://www.tribunes.com/tribune/art97/peru1.htm
The illusion of separateness, which is a product of limited senses and materialist beliefs, is giving way to a science of connectedness, in which the experience of consciousness is seen as something that unites us one to another and binds us with all life here on Earth and in the universe. For it is well-known that electromagnetic waves propagate continuously and are everywhere apparent. And the human mind participates as sender, receiver, and processor of electromagnetic phenomena, wave-field dynamics, and quantum effects – many of which occur outside the brain, in the environment at large. We are ineluctably an indivisible part of this overall pattern. It is non-local, entangled, seamless, indivisible, it is one intelligent entity. It is who and what we are…
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First Image: “Mind in Universe” by Tullio DeSantis, altered ink drawing, 2011

Second Image: The author doing EEG Neurofeedback research, 2011

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