An Autonomous Agent

exploring the noosphere

Category: anthropology (Page 1 of 7)

Paul Stamets Videos

Paul Stamets speaks about the power and importance of mushrooms:

Younger Stamets talking about Psilocybin Mushrooms:

Great Lecture about Fungi:

Mushrooms as medicine for humans (and bees!):

Steps to an Ecology of Mind – Gregory Bateson

The papers, essays, and lectures contained in Steps to an Ecology of Mind showcase Gregory Bateson’s incredibly unique perspective. Due to the wide range of discussion within this collection, it is very difficult to write a concise summary. There are a few points which made a lasting impact in my mind.

He explains the levels of learning and how the animal mind can “learn about learning” and “think about thinking”; concerning humans – they can reach a third and possibly fourth level in this learning recursion hierarchy. He discusses this in the context of various subjects: anthropology, psychology, evolution, information, ecology, cybernetics and epistomoglogy in general.

He emphasizes that western science should adjust the way it thinks about relationship and form and discusses how these are relavant to the study of matter and energy. He questions the western conception of mammalian emotions, aesthetics, and the ego-self. On several occasions I found myself with the desire to re-read Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. Both books I think contain some overlap in their treatment of information and the mind. Overall, Bateson was an incredible thinker and you will improve your intellect by reading this collection of work.

Millennium – David Maybury-Lewis

Millennium is a powerful and inspiring documentary series with David Maybury-Lewis.

Magicians of the Gods – Graham Hancock

In Magicians of the Gods, Graham Hancock presents the hypothesis that a civilization existed and prospered sometime either before or during the Younger Dryas. Whoever these people were, their society was wiped out due to the cataclysm of The Flood. The same flood mentioned by almost every historical culture on every continent. This comet struck the polar ice cap in the northern hemisphere; the resulting impact vaporized an enormous amount of water, leading to flooding and climate disruption. It was either this initial impact or perhaps related events which caused massive worldwide displacement in the ocean’s sea levels. The reason we have little archaeological evidence, as Hancock suggests, is due to the rise in sea level which totally submerged all structures. Additionally, there have been few thorough searches in likely locations due to the disbelief of modern institutions. Hancock proposes that a likely location would be the Indonesian subcontinent, which around the Younger Dryas time was vastly larger and contained numerous river basins and plains.

It is fascinating to learn that the debris stream of this comet could be the source of the Taurid meteor stream. There is even evidence that a bigger chunk of the comet lurks in this Earth crossing debris field.

The entire book is littered with footnotes and source references. Hancock did a lot of research and it shows. Like all human theories, I am sure some parts of it will be dis-proven while other parts shown to be entirely correct. As researchers continue to investigate underwater ruins and the mysterious underwater past of Indonesia becomes unraveled, we may indeed find evidence which requires a total renewal of our understanding of human history.

Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge – Jeremy Narby

I learned of Jeremy Narby’s book Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge while reading Graham Hancock’s book, Supernatural. The ideas present within both books are incredible. DNA may be an extra-terrestrial biotechnology. Of course, you don’t have to read these books to come to that conclusion. Narby further suggests that DNA actually has a mysterious way to communicate with the conscious awareness of all life, especially after the consumption of various consciousness altering molecules. It is through this alteration of the brain that life is able to receive a mysterious informational signal from DNA. Even if his hypothesis turns out to be false, the sheer intellectual creativity of Narby’s work deserves praise. As wild as that sounds, it really would not be surprising given the complexity and probability arguments presented by the panspermia supporters (Francis Crick for instance and also see: The “Wow! signal” of the terrestrial genetic code.

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