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Tuesday, 19 March 2013 13:48

Habemus Papem

Habemus Papem, We have another Pope, Francis the 1st. We send our not entirely cordial greetings from Our Pestilence, Pete the 1st, Pontiff of Chaos.

Well they do say young cardinals elect old popes, watch your step mate, take on the Vatican Curia and you may go the way of John-Paul the 1st.

The stygian Vatican stables may prove un-cleanable after the efforts of your predecessor Herr Rottweiller to keep the lid on the filth that accumulated under the nose of his intellectually challenged predecessor, JP2.

A bunch of old men crazed by decades of struggle to maintain celibacy, contra-rational beliefs, and power can still be dangerous you know.

They say you’re a conservative on birth control but that you have a social conscience. A peculiar paradox lurks there. Proliferating population plainly promotes pernicious poverty, but on the other hand poverty does wonders for religion, hence the centre of gravity of Catholicism moves steadily to the poorer global south, whilst it atrophies in the richer industrialised parts of the world.

As the balance of voting power has swung away from the Italian cardinals, we may well interpret the results of the conclave as something of a slap in the face to them, and all the scandals, intrigues, and extravagances they have presided over; from the cardinals in the third world.

They say you took the name Francis in honour of St Francis, patron of Italy, poverty, charity and being nice to animals. (One might never have guessed this by looking at his fabulously opulent basilica in Assisi with its corpulent friars in their expensively tailored habits, free of birdshit.)  

Yet you’re a Jesuit not a Franciscan, one of ‘God’s Marines’ as they say in the trade, so we guess not to expect much theological reform or ecumenical effort, but perhaps an attempt to instil some discipline and austerity and some evangelical fighting spirit in the Clergy.

Concerning the credibility of your doctrines you may as well acknowledge that practically none of your congregation in the developed world takes any notice of your doctrines on birth control and sooner or later they will start ignoring it en-masse elsewhere too, although much suffering may ensue in the interim, so you may as well pre-empt this with a bold humanitarian reform now.

We trust that a number of spells placed in and around your new premises by KoC agents last October will prove helpful. Interesting art collection you have there by the way, some of the classical material looked great, but you could flog the ghastly medieval stuff for charity perhaps.

Monday, 11 March 2013 13:48

Semester 4 etc

Semester 4 of our 7th glorious year begins TODAY on Arcanorium College. www.arcanoriumcollege.com  You can join up for it anytime this week.

Semester 4, 11th March to 19th April

Dave - Chaos in the World: the magic of place.

(A series of exercises and workings to bring out the magic of wherever you are living. Beyond psychogeography, this course culminates in a magical map of your area, and the concomitant increase in magical power and luck. )

Tadhq - Performance Arts,  Ritual Magic.

(Join an initiate of both fields to explore and discover the shared story and development of these arts. In this course, we will explore, together, some of the currents and techniques that can inform our praxis. Looking at three masters of Performance Art; Brecht, Lorca and Stanislavski, we will investigate their motivations and process' and how they  pursued techniques that conspired to affect and manifest realities - and how we might do the same. Join us on this experimental journey into Art and Arte.)

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I'm still wondering why my winter solstice 'Seasonal Greetings' post has attracted fifteen thousand reads and counting. Forces have already moved to protect the power point in Mali, a certain artistic license disguises the precise coordinates of R'yleh. KoC score a hit against arctic drilling for the time being.

Wednesday, 06 March 2013 13:47

Review, and some thoughts for an experiment

Review, and some thoughts for an experiment.

The Science Delusion by Rupert Sheldrake.

I found this book rather disappointing, it seems to contain little that he hasn’t mentioned in his previous books and it has the feel of a career summation by a man disappointed himself that the scientific community has not taken him more seriously. In places the writing seems trite and clichéd and weary.

Sheldrake returns to the theme of crystallography and again makes the point that once a crystal of a novel compound has crystalised, further samples can sometimes seem to crystalise more readily. If this suggests the action of some sort of morphic field at work then it suffers from a falsifiability problem because Sheldrake asserts that morphic fields persist forever once created, so it becomes impossible to ever repeat the experiment with the same, no longer novel, compound.

I’ve always had a problem with the idea of the indefinite persistence of morphic fields. I rather suspect that Sheldrake harbours the belief that they provide some sort of mechanism for life after death.

Sheldrake then goes on to regurgitate familiar material about experiments that show that people seem to have some psychic ability to know when other people stare at them from behind and to guess correctly which of their friends has just rung them on the telephone before they pick it up to answer. Such experiments tend to give results above statistical chance, but not startlingly so.

Sheldrake has written an entire book called The Persistence of the Past.

However such parapsychological results do not seem to find an obvious explanation in terms of morphic fields that persist forever. If thinking about someone creates a morphic field that persists forever then why don’t people who can detect this remain irritated by the gaze or impending phone calls of others for the rest of their lives?

Sheldrake’s assertion that the sequencing of the human genome has so far failed to provide the medical breakthroughs promised remains true, however his further assertion that the genetic code of organisms cannot possibly completely specify their entire physical structure and that they will need additional morphic fields to develop properly seems highly questionable. The human genome has a huge size, we haven’t really decoded it yet, we haven’t the faintest clue what most of it does yet, and we know that chromosomes need the vastly complex environment of the cellular cytoplasm in which to do anything useful, and we haven’t really decoded that yet either.

I propose a fairly cheap and simple experiment to test the persistence of morphic fields.

Set up two chemical laboratories as identically as possible. Have a chemist prepare a warm solution of a completely novel compound; organic chemical compounds would probably prove the easiest option here.

Divide the solution into 2 equal portions and place each under reflux in the separate laboratories. Allow one to cool and record the time to crystalisation. Then allow the other to cool and record the time to crystalisation also.

Keep repeating this experiment until you find a compound that crystalises significantly faster the second time.

Then, and here comes the important bit, when you have a compound that appears to have demonstrated the morphic field effect, boil both samples to re-dissolve the crystals so that none exists and then re-time the crystalisation to see if it depends on actual crystals remaining in existence somewhere.

If this works then you have not only a repeatable experiment, but also, astonishingly, a method of non-local signalling that would have the quantum physicists and cryptographers leaping up and down in ecstasy.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013 13:47

What I did on my holiday

What I did on my holiday.

Belize, maybe you never heard of it, it’s a place the size of Wales tucked in under the Yucatan peninsula in Central America, it used to be called British Honduras.

 A bunch of British pirates and privateers who later turned to mahogany logging kept the Spanish empire out and the poor chalky soils don’t farm easily. The Americans didn’t manage to interfere and turn it into a puppet banana republic so since independence from Britain it’s been a proper democracy and English speaking, and a pretty cool place with few social problems despite being rather poor in places. Not a single soldier or policeman in sight round the ramshackle parliament building – always a good sign. It has a mixed population of Spanish/Mayans and people from Africa, plus quite a few Europeans including Memonites, an obscure German protestant sect rather like the Amish, but they do use modern tractors to farm.

We went mainly to see the wildlife and the Mayan ruins, and had a fabulous treat of each. At Lamanai we climbed a gut churningly vertiginous pyramid which protruded above the jungle canopy and a 7 foot wingspan King Vulture obligingly performed a fly past. Giant Jabiru Storks fished in the lake, one pair had made a nest the size of a small car in a tree. Peculiar boat billed Herons like fat multicoloured penguins with big eyes nested in the jungle margins waiting for the night fishing. A big old crocodile basked on the banks of the swamp, he opened one eye and then closed it again as we passed, hey, I’m ancient, its baking hot, this mud is lovely, I think I’ll just wait for something to die of its own accord.

Then to the upland regions where we clambered and swam 600 yards into a mountain cave to see some stuff left by the Mayans about 850AD. Halfway in, we saw 2 obelisks on a rock ledge, one representing an obsidian blade and the other a stingray spine, both used for bloodletting in the Mayan religion. Then to the final chamber, a cathedral of stalactites containing 14 human sacrifices, the bones all encrusted with sparking calcite deposits – probably the most eerie sight ever in the gloom of the helmet lamps.

Then over the border into Guatemala (not such a happy place, soldiers and poverty everywhere) to see the ruins at Tikal. These consist of a whole city, largely unexcavated, with a number of soaring 250 foot pyramids in the central area. The Mayans had a vast civilisation of warring city states of perhaps 10m people and built all this without metals, wheels, or draft animals. It all went tits up around 900AD, well before the conquistadores arrived, probably through drought followed by social collapse; maybe they actually caused the drought themselves by massive deforestation. We saw the cute Coati, a sort of cross between a fox and a squirrel that likes to eat tarantulas.

The Mayans had a system of Hieroglyphic notation which anthropologists have since deciphered. It speaks mainly of dates and battles and regal lineages, unfortunately it doesn’t seem to record much in the way of myths and stories; but it all seems very calendrical. Just because some of the calendars seem to stop around now means nothing. I have a desk ornament in brass which tells me the day of the week for every day to 2045. If I aged it to verdigris in acid and then buried it I could maybe start a new end of the world movement.

Then back to the more laid back atmosphere of Belize, they have some interesting social innovations, no bicycles have brakes so everyone cycles slowly, it’s probably too hot to do otherwise anyway. If a road has insufficient potholes they put in lots of speed bumps so everyone drives slowly too, the whole country boasts only 4 sets of traffic lights. Even the poorest shacks are brightly painted and everyone seems cheerful and relaxed about everything.

We recovered from our jungle travels at Ambergris Quay where the giant Murricans come to wallow in the shallow waters inside the reef. They have to leave their guns in their northern nests to fly here so they are quite amiable and non-dangerous, but they have in many cases lost the power of locomotion on land and have to use golf carts to move anywhere.

We swam with turtles and sharks and a multitude of multicoloured fish on the reef, the stingrays were particularly inquisitive and glide past very close as you snorkel, they are okay so long as you don’t step on one whilst it’s resting on the bottom. The sharks seemed quite content with the sardines thrown in by the boatman.

Despite the fire ants (I stood on their nest whilst watching howler monkeys), the chiggers, the sandflies and the mosquitoes, it was the trip of a lifetime.

Whilst away I read Sheldrake’s The Science Delusion (not so good, review and suggested experiment to follow), and The Hydrogen Sonata by Ian Banks which is bloody brilliant, as usual.

Friday, 08 February 2013 13:47

More on 3D time

Electromagnetic and Strong Nuclear ‘unification’ in 3D time?

In particle physics we observe ‘Charge Quantisation’. If particles have electric charges they always exhibit a charge of 1.602 x 10-19 coulombs, or occasionally a multiple thereof, the basic charge on the electron or proton.

Now the quarks which seemingly compose baryons (such as the proton) and mesons apparently must carry fractional charges of one third or two thirds of this to account for the various types of observable baryons or mesons, although the quarks themselves remain unobservable individually.

If quarks carry 1/3 or 2/3 fractional electric charges we can still perhaps explain how they hold together as ‘whole’ electric charges using conventional strong nuclear chromodynamic forces based on gluons. However if fractional electric charges underlie the basic quantum of charge then conventional models cannot account for how fractional charges can stick together to form the charge on an electron.

HD8 models electric charge as arising from the spins of quantised units of spacetime along all three axes of time. Thus a quantum of basic electric charge has three more or less inseparable components. Quarks also apparently have a single colour charge but all observable particles manifest as ‘colour neutral’ by having either 3 or +1&-1 configurations. Now in HD8, colour charges also arise from spins of spacetime about the three axes of time, and this seems to allow quarks some kind of quasi-stability as 1 colour / 1 anticharge or one colour / two charge configurations, where colour partially stands in for charge.

However if this model can explain charge quantisation and the existence of colour charge then it throws into question the existence of a ‘colour force’.

Conventional strong nuclear ‘forces’ come in two types, the forces which holds quarks together in baryons and mesons, and the forces which hold the baryon particles the proton and neutron together in atomic nuclei. Unobservable gluons supposedly act as the force carriers for the former whilst the observable mesons such as pions supposedly act as the force carriers for the latter.

Yet in HD8 the geometry of spacetime itself accounts for the charge quantisation, ‘quark confinement’ and the colour neutrality of observable particles. Thus no inter-quark forces need to exist and colour charge merely adds mass to a particle, in a similar way to ‘generational charge’ which merely adds mass without creating an additional force.

However this model still needs to explain the forces between nucleons such as protons and neutrons. This so called ‘residual’ nuclear force actually accounts for the vast energies liberated in nuclear fission and fusion reactions which appear far greater than the energies liberated from the electromagnetic forces underlying chemical reactions.

The electric charges in chemical reactions operate at the distance scales of entire atoms, but if similar charges operate at nuclear distances the forces become immensely stronger as the following calculations show: -

Charge on electron/proton = 1.602 x 10-19 coulombs.

Force between charges, F = kq1q2/r2

Where k = 9 x 109 Nm2/C2

Nucleon radius 1.5 x 10-15m

Hydrogen atom radius 2.5 x 10-10m

Force in hydrogen = 9 x 109 x (1.6 x 10-19)2 /  (2.5 x 10-10)2 =   3.68 x 10-9 N

Force at nuclear distances = 9 x 109 x (1.6 x 10-19)2 /  (1.5 x 10-15)2 = 102 N

Thus we see that at nuclear distances, electric charges can create the sort of macroscopic forces per particlecharacteristic of nuclear reactions.

Now consider that stable atomic nuclei can only exist with neutrons to somehow moderate the electric repulsions between protons. Consider the electric charges on the constituent quarks of the proton and neutron (here multiplied by 3 to eliminate fractions for convenience, but to preserve ratios.).

Electric charge in proton quarks, uud,  2 2 -1. Electric charge in neutron quarks, udd,  2 -1 -1

Proton    +2  +2  -1

Neutron  -1   -1  +2

Now we know that protons and neutrons have a finite radius, they do not appear to consist of point particles like leptons as they have internal components which we call quarks. If these quarks have some mobility within the nucleons then the nucleons can exhibit a dipole moment resulting from a degree of charge separation. The majority of the possible configurations of dipole moments between various arrangements of the above charges give a markedly attractive effect which can easily explain the so called ‘residual’ strong nuclear forces.

In conclusion, whilst nucleon electric dipole moments can perhaps explain the strength of nuclear energy, the explanation of charge quantisation, quark confinement and colour neutrality purely in terms of the structure of a spacetime metric with 3 dimensions of time seems the most interesting result.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 13:46

Quarks again

Hi, Yog-Sothoth here again...

With a bit more on those pesky quarks...

Consider the flowing data in support of the idea that within baryons, u quarks may consist of superpositions of various amounts of u, c, and t quarks, and particularly that d quarks may consist of superpositions of various amounts of d, s, and b quarks. This idea offers an alternative to the conventional idea of attributing virtually all of the mass of the proton and neutron, and hence of virtually all matter, to gluons.

Free Quark Masses, in MeV.

u = 1.7 – 3.1    c = 1290    t = 173,000

d = 4.1 – 5.7     s = 100       b = 4,190

Baryon Masses, in MeV.

Proton = (uud) 938   Neutron = (ddu) 939

One Strange.                       uds = 1115 uds = 1192   dds = 1197 uus = 1189

Two Strange.                       uss = 1314 dss = 1321

One Charm.                         udc = 2286 udc = 2452  uuc = 2454 ddc = 2453

One Strange, One Charm.   usc = 2467 usc = 2575  dsc = 2470

Two Strange, One Charm.   ssc 2695

Two Charm.                        dcc 3581

One Bottom.                        udb = 5620 uub = 5807 ddb = 5815* (*bottom sigma)

One Strange, One Bottom.   dsb = 5790*  (*bottom xi)

Two Strange, One Bottom.  ssb = 6165

Baryons apparently non-existing. usb, ucb, anything containing a t.

Observations.

1) The replacement of a d quark by a HEAVIER s quark changes a Bottom Sigma into a LIGHTER Bottom Xi, whereas one might have expected a considerably heavier one.

2) We should perhaps not expect baryons to contain t quarks because of their exceptional energy, nevertheless only the dsb Bottom Xi carries a quark of each generation.

3) We observe the ssb but not the usb or the ucb.

4) The dsb Bottom Xi thus appears to exhibit an unusual stability in the form of a lower energy.

Friday, 25 January 2013 13:46

EU and Snow

Firstly, Hail Dave!

Prime Minister UK, David Cameron, who has always seemed like a decent sort of chap and done nothing stupid so far, displays both statesmanship and tactical genius with his EU referendum proposals.

Vote for me and I’ll try and negotiate a more sensible deal with the EU and then we’ll have a referendum on the results.

He says he will campaign to keep us in, but of course he has left himself room and reason to change his mind if we don’t get a sensible deal.

He has wrong-footed the continental euro-federalists, for other nations will plainly join us in demands for reform.

So Britain can now either put the EU right or leave it. Splendid.

Cameron has also taken the wind out of UKIP’s sails for the time being. They have done a fair job of forcing this matter into the open, but they will probably always remain essentially a pressure group. Nevertheless I hope they stay in the game to prevent any backsliding on the renegotiation and the referendum.

The leaders of the illiberal dimocrats and the dreary spendthrift labour party don’t seem to have anything of substance to respond with. They effortlessly confirm their caricatures as a pair of whingeing twerps perhaps better employed as sociology lecturers at some obscure polytechnic.

We could end up with an EU that reverts to its original writ, as a free trade zone, in which case we should stay in it; or we could end up with an EU that develops into a full blown Non-Democratic Synarchist Totalitarianism, in which case we should not only leave it but also strive to destroy it.

In the meantime we need to prevent the vast influx of Bulgarians and Romanians into the UK that EU rules will allow next year. I’m sure they are all delightful people, but our housing stock, our benefits system, and our labour market cannot accommodate them. Neither can those countries afford to loose a whole generation of their younger, more mobile and ambitious people.  

 

 

 

Secondly, a Poem. Two years into Bardic studies and rhyme and rhythm still elude me, but here goes anyway……….

 

Snow

I awoke a bit early, it seemed strangely bright

And quiet, so quiet, an odd muted hush

Its happened its happened

I can hardly believe it

The ground seemed too warm the previous evening

But my gardens become a fantasy scene

And I feel like a child again

Sparkeling whiteness and patches of gloom

Brightness vies with the shadows of doom

It looks so fragile in its parts

Yet so awesome in its extent

Blanketing the lawns, the sheds, the car

All up the trees, over the hills and far away

Its eight miles to work and I don’t have to go

What the heck, any excuse to go and see this

On Henbury Hill I begin to have doubts

Its cold with a full facial blizzard

Vehicles aslew and abandoned

Driver’s curses and screaming engines

Made soft whispers by the whiteness

Falcondale oh Falcondale

Thy slopes make mockery of transport

Shadenfreude, I have good boots

But they have lousy tyres

They slip and they skid

And they bash their panels and lights

Residents set up tripods and cameras

To immortalise the folly forever

Then up on the Downs its so very pretty

When its all black and white

You notice the things you didn’t before

And the pavements are full for once

With chatty people and their children

Saying hello and helping each other

Its Blitz Spirit time

And we’re all having fun

Then down by the uni

Post modernist snowmen

Traditional snowball fights

Then down Christmas steps

We cling to the shopfronts

‘Gainst treacherous slush and the ice

It feels like holiday at work

We few, we happy few, that made it in

Getting home was a bastard

Uphill in now greying mush

But the weekend awaits

A walk in the woods on Saturday morn

My dog seems perplexed

Maybe stuff looses its smell under snow

But the woods look pure magic now

Stark trees hold impossible burdens

With patient sombre dignity

In the cold still air

Even the birdsong goes strangely quiet

White silence pervades like holiness.

Thursday, 17 January 2013 13:45

Pactionis 2

Liber Pactionis, my original founding document of the Pact lies in the public domain as does its sucessor document 'The Book'. Thus I place this document in the public domain also, even though by doing so I effectively Excommunicate myself from my old order, so don't bother trying to discuss it with me, discuss it amongst yourselves, for reform seems long overdue. Choyofaque, Stokastikos.

 

Pact Structural Reform, some ideas for a ‘Liber Pactionis 2’.

Rationale.  ‘Liber Pactionis’, the founding document of The Magical Pact of the Illuminates of Thanateros contained some necessary compromises to allow an order to spring half formed across several continents from little more than a small temple in Britain and a couple of seminar meetings in Germany. The minor adjustments to structure introduced in ‘The Book’ do not seem sufficient to support a mature, vibrant, and expanding international order. See this paper: 

http://www.specularium.org/index.php?option=com_blog&view=comments&pid=78&Itemid=137

In my view the Pact now needs to clearly define what its Magical Grades mean so that members can progress thought them and value them (I offer some suggestions below on how we could define them.)  To do this the Pact would need to separate the Magical Grades from the Administrative Grades which should be open to election. This would give all members a chance to work towards all of the Magical Grades.

The Proposed Grade and Membership Reforms fit on a single page and consist of a proposals for the separation of Administrative Grades (mandated by Election) and Magical Grades (recognised by Peer approval).

 

Provisional draft of revisions for a new ‘Liber Pactionis 2’ document.

Administrative Gradesall remain subject to Election by electoral colleges of active members (of initiate or higher grade) at appropriate local or national or international level. Members may hold more than one position.

1) Grandmaster. International coordination and administration. Chairperson of Council of International Section Heads.

2) General Secretaries to the Grandmaster. International communications and publications and administration.

(2b) Past Grandmaster(s). Offer consultancy and continue to promote the order in their works.

3) National Section Heads. Supervise national sections.

4) Magister Templi of local temples. Run local temples.

5) Insubordinates to Magister Templi. Secretary and critic to MT.

Magical Grades.All subject to admission by Peer Review by committees of those holding that grade or higher grade.

Establish the principle that a Magical Grade means Personal Work in Progress.

(Novice), cancel this grade as a superfluous obstruction.

4.Neophyte. MMM under a Mentor. Admission to temples and meetings lies at the discretion of Mentor and Magister Templi.

3.Initiate. Participation at Temple. Learn some set rituals, including The Mass of Chaos B, and lead them. Work through Liber KKK, or similar.

2.Adept. Further temple work. Work with all 8 planetary Magics, either privately or in temple and show records of it. Work on an agreed project which could include Priest/Priestess of Chaos or similar. Write up an original ritual and a piece on some aspect of magic and publish it somewhere, if only to colleagues. Mentor a Neophyte.

1.Magus. Work on Projects and Quests and activities which the Magus should periodically discuss with other Magi. The Order expects its Magi to Teach, to do Research, and to promote the Great Work of Magic.

(0.Ipsissimus. Normally left vacant as an aspiration, possibly awarded posthumously.)

(Elder), cancel this grade as superfluous. If people want to partially retire they can do. If organisers of events want to invite them to events they can do.

Notes.

I would welcome comments on exactly what work should constitute the work of the Magical Grades, if anything a toughening of the specifications seems desirable.

I shall continue to argue against the idea that the work of the grades should remain very loosely defined, or largely defined by administrative responsibilities, for I consider this the main structural weakness of the IOT. 

Nevertheless it obviously remains desirable that higher administrative positions go to members with higher magical grades.

I would recommend that members holding grades that do not come up to the requirements that may become agreed, hold on to that grade for a period of one year to give them time to rectify the deficiency, or else consider dropping a degree.

I see my own role as that of Past Grandmaster, offering consultancy and continuing to promote the order in my works. I would like to offer myself for election to this post. I may even consider taking up invitations to attend Pact events if, and only if, suitable reforms become implemented.

Monday, 14 January 2013 13:45

BB or Not BB

Oops the universe appears to contain something too big, in apparent violation of the Cosmological Principle that it should appear homogenous at this scale.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130111092539.htm

I don't think standard cosmology has got the size far wrong but it has got the time wrong, in  Vorticitating Hypersphere Cosmology time appears 'Finite and Unbounded', and thus effectively unlimited, despite the temporal horizon, thus allowing such structures as the above to form.

The Pontifical Sexagesimal Nativity Address 2013.

From His Pestilence Stokastikos the First; upon the eve of his 60th birthday.

Fellow earthlings, firstly let me say to the majority of you who haven’t got there yet that 60 seems far more agreeable than I had anticipated. Perhaps as a result of self-employment, walking everywhere (acute Apophenia suggests I don’t drive), occasional punishing exercise, and a couple of books a week, I still have my own hair and teeth, a 32 inch waist, and still enough IQ to understand the limitations of IQ. I will perhaps live till 84, for a Uranus return. So the brief time remaining leaves me a hell of a lot to do, what with the global situation looking pretty shite, the Big Bang delusion still infecting cosmology, particle physics still in a state of confusion, a coherent theory of magic still in its infancy, my country still ensnared in the corrupt and undemocratic EU synarchy, EPOCH, the Esotericon and Portals of Chaos to complete, starships not yet invented, Svalbard and New Zealand amongst many places as yet unvisited, and grandchildren perhaps on the horizon in maybe 3 years time and maybe 10 years time.

You may have noticed that the world failed to end on the recent winter solstice. As a precaution I sent someone down into the vaults of Arcanorium College to dust off the old Achroniser and give the faintly glowing ruby reset button a good whack, this sent the entire universe exactly 63,081,429 years backwards in time, yes, the entire universe, lock stock and barrel, normal service of course resumes instantly, we usually only do this when the Jehovah’s Witnesses start playing silly buggers, but seriously..........

The survival of human civilisation, as we know it, for the next 24 years seems far from certain though. During my lifetime the world’s human population has almost trebled, a critical dependency on fossil fuels has developed, westernised economies have become addicted to growth, developing nations with huge populations now embark on the same course, and the climate has begun to go awry with the strong possibility that it will go much more seriously awry sooner rather than later.

The older westernised economies now seem likely to have few growth prospects for the next decade at least, and little appetite to invest wealth in remedying the medium term ills of the global situation. Everywhere the pressure to maintain if not increase fossil fuel and resource consumption remains paramount.

All in all, the situation looks very fragile. A modern city may look very solid and grand but its continued existence depends on inputs of resources from singular or highly interdependent sources.  Any interruption to its supplies of power, or fuel, or food, or information, would now reduce it to smoking rubble in a week.

Unless economic consequences force policy changes first, mega-deaths may have to occur before the socio-political will to address the problems of overpopulation, overconsumption, and climate change arises. A few billion untimely deaths would not in themselves matter much to the survival of our species, but a substantial loss of knowledge and technology could set the human adventure back several centuries or millennia into a new dark age. This planet lies littered with failed human civilisations and abandoned cities, but in the past failure tended to remain local, recovery from global failure would prove far more challenging. Save some real books, don’t commit everything to electronic media. Consider joining The Knights of Chaos, First Earth Battalion, we conjure actively against global catastrophe.

On a brighter note, two new courses begin on Arcanorium College in the 3rd semester of out glorious seventh year. www.arcanoriumcollege.com

Semester 3.  16t January – 27th February 2013

Dave: The Dragon-Eagle Working: Northern Magic models of energy and ecstasy.

Kite: Oracular Magic: Divination, Enchantment, Evocation

My own course, ‘Physics for Mystics and Magicians’ draws to a close after an intensive look at the questions implied by such established and speculative phenomena as holographic universe ideas, quantum-neuroscience, panpsychism, and the Drake equation.

Amongst the many books I received during the festive season I can recommend:

The Starry Rubric – Seventeenth Century English Astrology and Magic. By Alexander Cummins (Head of the Department of historical Magic at Arcanorium College) and Doctoral researcher at Bristol University.

This book really gives the reader an insight into how people actually used astrological and magical ideas practically in the 17th century, and how much such ideas and practices affected people’s personal lives and even the destiny of the nation during the turbulent period including the English civil war. Deeply researched and brilliantly narrated.

Hadean Press. ISBN 978 907881 21 3.

By some strange coincidence I also received a 1783 copy of a Cornelius Agrippa and Peter de Abano book of 1555, in English, resuming the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy, Geomancy, and The Arbatel of Magic, still in readable condition; this has proved a fascinating accompaniment to Al Cummings book above.

Also I must recommend ‘Antifragile’ by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, published by Random House (USA), Penguin-Allen Lane (UK) ISBN 978 1 846 14156 0

The Sunday Times called him ‘The hottest thinker in the world’; they may well have a point.

In English, ‘Intellectual’ has strong connotations of ‘effete arts based leftie with head in clouds or up own arse, probably French, and best ignored by sensible pragmatic thinkers’. Taleb does not fall into this category. Rather he comes across as a muscular renaissance style polymath who has seen a lot and done a lot, and put his money where his mouth is, making a personal fortune in the process. Readers may remember his Black Swans and Fooled by Randomness books. He writes of living in a world of fundamental unpredictability, but a world in which we can at least respond, not by attempting to predict events, but by creating structures at all levels that improve rather than break under stress. He provides an illuminating swathe of examples of fragility and anti-fragility in everything from biology and evolution to personal and societal health, through engineering to economics and politics, with enlightening asides from classical philosophers to modern ones, and from a couple of characters that may well represent poles of his own extensive personality. He extols the virtues of chaotic inputs to various systems and pours vituperative scorn upon the ’fragillistas’ who end up wrecking things by trying to create false stability. All in all he has produced some thoughts of great practical value; some of them might just get the world beyond a number of its current crises.

Despite my attempts to remain animageous in the public domain, (I do not wish for disturbance whilst reading on public transport, or neighbors with brands and pitchforks, so I decline to confirm or deny that any of the confusing array of images purporting to portray me actually do so.), yet someone found a copy of a video interview I gave in the nineties in LA. Well it’s about 20 years old now and I’ve since redesigned my facial topiary, so I’ve let it pass. Perchance that the video interview contains any errors due to the jet lag under which we conducted it, I gave the publisher of it a long e-mail interview for edition 5 of his Chaosphere magazine, see magazine and video at:

http://www.chaosphere.org/

May I wish you a survivable Pandaemonaeon, as we move into the ‘interesting times’ of globalization and hyperscience, and towards perhaps some largely unpredictable mixture of enlightenments and catastrophes.

Pete, 7/1/13.

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