12 July 2006

‘Imagining the Tenth Dimension’

In string theory, physicists tell us that the subatomic particles that make up our universe are created within ten spatial dimensions (plus an eleventh dimension of "time") by the vibrations of exquisitely small "superstrings." The average person has barely gotten used to the idea of there being four dimensions: how can we possibly imagine the tenth?


Visit the site and click on "Imagining the Ten Dimensions" under the Navigation sidebar. This will lead you through an interesting Flash overview.

In other science news, I came across this article (via Mind Hacks à la 3Quarks) entitled "Science and the Theft of Humanity." This American Scientist article bemoans the division of research into schools and traditions in modern universities as counter productive, and argues that the cognitive and biological sciences are now at the forefront of combining science and art practice.

I would probably argue philosophy has always had a similarly broad outlook, but the author argues that science is where the new action is. What does this imply for occultism in general?
…but while humanistic scholars have been presuming core facts about human nature, human capacities and human being, scientists have been getting to work. One of the most striking features of contemporary intellectual life is the fact that questions formerly reserved for the humanities are today being approached by scientists in various disciplines such as cognitive science, cognitive neuroscience, robotics, artificial life, behavioral genetics and evolutionary biology.

Which reminds me of my post from April, A third scientific culture.


channel null said...

"The Method of Science, the Aim of Religion," right? And Peter Carroll is a math nerd who does this shit, right?

I want to agree, but as far as I can tell, I get a lot more practical benefit from banishing, mantra, evocation, and NLP than I do from "science," which tends to ignore these fields. Occasionally there's some overlap, e.g., this hype about "mirror neurons" and the rare study into meditative practice, but a lot of what "science" claims to explore objectively it just disregards out-of-hand, like the pseudoskepticism of the CSICOP etc... Much like any other structure, the ranks that control being admitted into the Halls of Science are a xenophobic, exclusionary culture.

I suggest looking into the first couple chapters of "A Brief History of Everything" by Mr. Ken Wilber... I hate that creepy zen egomaniac but he really did his homework.

While Thomas Kuhn gets a lot of credit for his "paradigm shift" and "Structure of Scientific Revolutions," it's often ignored that he pointed out a shifting paradigm eschews certain viewpoints. There was another character, I forget his name, who voiced that the only real way to ensure that ALL fields and damn near any project gets explored without restriction. Daniel Pinchbeck sort-of voices this with his concern about the need for "multiplicity of technique"...

That said, there's much to be gained from studying it. On the other hand, it's going to be at least five years before this transhuman shit hits the market in a form (and by that I mean "drugs") we can buy off high school kids.

Lastly, to end this with some good ole American pragmatism, I don't care whether I end up invoking Hermes, or using NLP tech, or just smoking Provigil freebase, I want the results, damnit. Magic or science, whatever works.

But yeah, guys invoking baphomet in their parents' basements were lame, but they always have been.

Fell said...

I think what the scientific paradigm has got going on for itself is the "bridge-building." It creates a body of knowledge which can be traced back to basics of understanding. Although evocations work, the difficulty lies in reproducing the effect through their processes. I acknowledge that science has been rabidly known for dismissing anything not yet rooted in scientific principle, it does have the benefit of tracings all of its practices so that they may be reproduced by others. It just takes a while longer to build those bridges up to what some magicians have accomplished.

channel null said...

Further more, the problem w/ science is the one RAW pointed out, that there's a divorce between discovery/theory, acceptance, and application. E.g., we still don't have DNA based computing even though it's been outlined theoretically--that's the problem w/ malkuth, shit is slow here.


Hmm, after looking at Klintron's link, I think it might be summed up by me saying that "magick" is a meta-approach--it makes every other approach easier, but when it becomes strictly and permanently (there's nothing wrong with monastacism so long as it ends) an ends in itself, it sort of turns into this involutionary nightmare of dumbass posturing (D-n-D nerds), reading too much, or total mysticism-dropping out. One of those can't do anything, another is caught up, and the last doesn't care what happens.

At the same time, there's nothing wrong with spending time honing one's self and opening pathways through various vehicles. Likewise, my gnostic paranoia/post-scientology tells me that a good deal of self-cleaning is necessary before one can even leverage anything effectively--it's necessary to devolop one's own intentional, subjective course or else get drawn into another one someone (your parents, your friends, your teachers) or something else (Ahriman, space aliens, other evil creator gods) invented.

Did I hijack the thread? Like I said, vehicles.

channel null said...

missed the last post. I'm not anti-science, I'm anti-Scientism... there's an excellent book on this, but it was only sold to universities, it's out of print, it costs like $200 on Amazon, and I lost my copy in Rio de Janiero on Pepe Beach... You're very right, part of the issue is that "magick" has to reinvent the wheel with everyone, like you said, though I think that might be from the total abscence of teachers as much as the individual nature of the art. It's kind of like teaching yourself kung-fu that way--now I've managed to agree with Daniel Pinchbeck somehow about the need for multiple technique, which bothers me. But like you said, Science Has Bridges (that's a good slugline).

The other issue I see w/ "science" is that it's very much out-to-lunch on getting us our transhumanism NOW; e.g., here in the States, the AMA is explictly opposed to preventative medicine, as well as self-treatment--how ass-backwards is that? "you could take one of these pills every day for a few years--or I could do open heart surgery and give you a fistful of the same pill every day for months afterwards, we'll do the latter"--I had a professor who pointed out just how caught up on masculine heroism this idea is, and I agree (not to diss the "Heroic Dose,").

I think that's really cultural conservatism--I had a co-worker who looked at me like I was a cokehead when I told her I took calcium capsules daily to reduce muscle cramping--and lack of imagination, though--imagine what would happen if they let some all-powerful magi with aspirations and actual real-world cabalities get a hold of some shit that makes sleep totally unnecessary? With Provigil you can get by on only four hours a night indefinitely, so why can't i get it OTC? It's almost like people want to be losers, grow old, and die. I've got important things to accomplish, damnit! I'm ranting. What we need is more Scientists on MDMA (part two of the slugline cycle)

Fell said...

Yeah you definitely make some good points. I'm thinking on them.

Also, I do happen to have that Wilber book. Just haven't gotten around to it yet.

We'll have to discuss this further, but right now I have an article to finish! ttyl!

Rev. Illuminatus Maximus said...

a lot of people are saying now that string theory has been a total dead end, leading nowhere, and physicists were better off looking at issues of symmetry for clues

gotta say, i've always instinctively disliked string theory (and its gotta be instinctive since the actual science is so way over my head) so that made me happy

Fell said...

via Kottke:

On the heels of two books critical of string theory, a look at the string theory backlash.