specularium

Rebel Physics

Peter J. Carroll

Latest Blog Post

  • Approaching Solstice

    Advertisement. THE EPOCH

    For the Sorcerer in your life only one gift can possibly suffice this festive season of Winter Solstice, Christmas, Mithrasmas, Saturnalia, or whatever you celebrate.

    The Esotericon and Portals of Chaos, or the EPOCH as those in the know call it.

    This book may well cast a strange and unusual perspective on most conventional views of magic, science, and religion.

    It comes as a magnificent outsize 216-page hardcover Triple Grimoire with over 60 full colour illustrations accompanied by a deck of 54 large cards suitable for Divination or for use as Altar Icons in Enchantment, Evocation, Invocation, and Illumination.

    The three Grimoires inside resume Elemental, Planetary, and Stellar Magic.

    The Elemental and Planetary Grimoires present traditional forms of magic updated in the light of the innovative chaos magic metaphysics developed in the last several decades that now form the cutting edge of 21st century magical thought.

    However, the Stellar Magic Grimoire provides something else entirely – the first coherent incarnation of The Necronomicon that a sorcerer can use effectively to access the knowledge and power of the Elder Gods.

    So, no need for any further desperate searching in ancient libraries or in the dread tales recounted by the half mad, at last we have a functioning Necronomicon.

    This awesome book could easily keep a magician busy for many years; it contains a great deal to explore and to work with. It represents the final Magnum Opus of a Grandmaster of the magical arts and sciences, assisted by staff and members of his esoteric Arcanorium College.

    In 1978, the author as a young magician published the paradigm shattering Liber Null (Book Zero) which revolutionised magical theory and practise. Copies of the first edition of that book now sell for several hundred pounds each, and subsequent commercial editions in many languages have sold about 100,000 copies.

    Only one edition of The Epoch exists. The author, who does not rely on writing for his fortune, decided to self-publish at cost for posterity, a single sumptuous edition that restructures the mould of magic in the light of a lifetime’s discovery.

    He intends to spend the rest of his current incarnation delving more deeply into the religious, biological, psychological, cosmological and quantum insights and equations that the Necronomicon entities have begun to provide.

    A limited number of copies remain; the author would like to see them in use.

    http://www.specularium.org/peter-j-carroll/the-epoch

     

    Thought Provocation & Entertainment. Cyber Eugenics.

    A number of commentators have expressed concern at the tendency of people to end up in information echo chambers by using only internet news and opinion making media that reflect back to them their own proclivities and preconceptions, thus simply amplifying and reinforcing them. The internet, which many hoped would function to bring people together, seems to have had the effect of driving them towards self-referential cliques.

    However, the internet may have started to have an even more insidious effect: -

    If humans exhibited the same genetic diversity as domestic dogs then we would have people ranging in height from one foot (30cm) high to thirty feet (9 metres) high.

    Wolves, the genetic ancestors of domestic dogs, (and who can still interbreed with them), show much less genetic diversity because they remain under intense selection pressure. Only wild wolves that remain within a limited genetic envelope of size, colour and behaviour tend to survive, outliers tend not to survive to breed. The uniformity of individuals within a species gives a good indication of how much selection pressure that species faces. All emperor penguins look virtually identical; they face terrible survival challenges in Antarctica.

    Struggling desperate politicians and businessmen all tend to look the same. Don’t trust anyone in a suit. The successful ones tend to dress as they please.

    Domestic dogs on the other hand have become relieved of many selection pressures by us. We have bred them for characteristics that would have compromised their survival and reproduction in the wild. We have bred some for excessive fierceness, some for excessive docility and friendliness, some for excessive hairiness or even baldness, some for huge size, some for miniature size, and some for specialised abilities of more use to us than them. Most breeds would die out if we returned them to the wild.

    Humans have done this to dogs just by selective breeding. We have selected dogs with slightly more of certain characteristics that we wanted and then just kept breeding them together until the offspring exhibited those characteristics to a great degree.

    Selective breeding of dogs (and of various other domesticated animals such as sheep, pigs, and cows) has accomplished extraordinary things, far more than genetic engineers usually fantasise about when contemplating directly interfering with DNA.

    We bred cows down from Aurochs, ferocious beasts that looked like bison on steroids.

    What about selectively breeding humans, do we stand poised to do it, or have we already started?

    British aristocrats famously bred for beauty rather than brains for several recent centuries and now so frequently have the good looks and the dim wits to prove it.

    The internet seems poised to have a profound impact on human eugenics because an ever-increasing proportion of young people now use the internet as a matchmaking service.

    Whereas previously people had to compromise with whoever they could find in their town or village as a reasonably suitable mate, today’s young can, and 60% frequently do, use a computer to match themselves with someone of near identical social status, attitudes, abilities and characteristics from within a wide geographical radius. The dating algorithms in particular tend to match like to like.

    The increasing incidence of full-blown autism may well arise simply because marginally autistic people now have a far greater chance of hooking up with each other in a more mobile and connected world.

    Human ingenuity has increasingly relieved humanity of most of its traditional selection pressures. In many parts of the world, war, disease and want now eliminate very few people from the gene pool and the stupid and the feckless survive easily and reproduce in most fully domesticated nations.

    Of course, selective breeding always remains subject to a certain amount of ‘recession towards the mean’. Two geniuses will not necessarily birth a third, but will more probably birth someone with well above average intelligence. Yet any characteristic will, if selected for over several generations, become much more pronounced.

    So, in the absence of selection pressures and in the presence of computer assisted mate selection can we look forward to the human species becoming as diversely specialised as the canine species?

    Can we look forward to a self-sorting Genetic Caste and Class System in which cliques of specialised people breed only within their own groups? Alternatively, will humans still find a strange frisson in ‘unsuitable’ partners? Perhaps we should consider writing a bit of that into the dating algorithms that seem to have acquired such an astonishing power over our species.

    People keep on at me to write a science fiction novel, unfortunately, I haven’t the time to elaborate a ‘what if’ into a fully characterised folk opera, but help yourself.

     

    Alternative Science. Hyperspherical Lensing Revisited.

    Having received a number of requests for clarification I present the following.

    The Hypersphere Cosmology papers on this site overturn the popular misinterpretations of the astronomical data that suggest that the universe has expanded and now undergoes an accelerating expansion due to a mysterious dark energy. The observed redshifts of type 1A Quasars and their apparent magnitudes provide two different measurements of their distances from us, and a mismatch exists between these measurements.

    This mismatch finds an alternative explanation in terms of the hypothesis of Hyperspherical Lensing.

    In this, the small positive spacetime curvature of the hypersphere of the universe slightly magnifies objects at less than half the antipode distance from an observer and progressively diminishes objects further away than this.

    (Cosmological Redshift continues to provide an accurate measure of distance.)

    The yellow line on the graph shows the curvature of the universe from the observer at the origin, to the antipode at about 14 bn light yr. The blue line shows the observers theoretical straight sightline.

    (d means the distance as a fraction of the antipode distance.)

    The pale green lensing line Lh = 1/(1 + sqrt(d - d^2) - d), represents the difference between the theoretical sightline and the actual hyperspherical geodesic that light follows to the observer, expressed as the amount of the visual field of the observer that an object will appear spread out over. Only objects at the half antipode distance will appear at their correct size. Closer objects will appear compressed; further away objects will appear progressively more distended. Note that in theory the antipode point itself would appear spread out around the entire sphere of the limits of the observer’s observation.

    The darker green lensing line Lh = 1 + sqrt(d - d^2) – d, represents the resulting distortions to apparent magnitude, with objects closer than 7bn light yr appearing slightly brighter than they should and objects beyond that distance becoming progressively dimmer.

    Astrophysicists can make use of either form of the lensing equation, depending on context.  

    Written on Sunday, 03 December 2017 15:49 in Blog Read 173 times

Latest Games Post

  • The Necronomicon Mythos Simulation

    The second expedition to the Necronomicon Mythos by Psychonauts of Arcanorium College continues to produce strange and unanticipated results.

    From Hastur I received the following inspiration to complete a task that has bugged me all my life, to make some sort of simulation or boardgame that models the magical quest itself.

    I have made many games in the course of a lifetime that model various real and imaginary scenarios, with the underlying thought that if you can identify the mechanisms underlying any system then you can perhaps understand the dynamics of it, and perhaps do it better in the game of ‘real’ life. Strategy Games certainly seem to sharpen the mind, and may bring us some focus on the Human Condition.

    Yet most of the games involving magic that I have collected or read the rules of seem unsatisfactory. Magic typically appears only as a combat modifier in battle games, rarely as the focus of an activity or a quest in itself.

    In this Hasturian inspired simulation the Elder Gods and their Knowledge and Power stand as metaphors for the abilities we humans seek in the quest for personal and species survival. They represent abilities we need to survive the future, not ghastly eldritch cosmic adversaries bent on our destruction, although with careless use they could have that effect.

    Hastur may appear as an empty yellow robed void, countless aeons old, a well of cosmic indifferentism, yet it seems to take an occasional whimsical interest in promising species, perhaps to allay its existential angst awhile.

    The concepts of the simulation may seem cruel and cynical; individual questors inevitably die although they may achieve much before senescence and mortality take hold. The numbers used to represent various factors all come from my calculations in an attempt to render the simulation realistic.

    Oddly, the whole thing begins to look strangely autobiographical although several treasures still elude me. My own mistakes and that of others have become obvious during the course of many runs of the simulation. The virtues of maintaining a high Sanity, particularly in the early stages of a quest, become all too apparent.

    Build it, try it, and send feedback and questions. 

    Written on Saturday, 15 July 2017 18:12 in Games Read 1877 times

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