Tues Jan 31 Discussion Transcript


Topic: The State of the Universe and Cosmogony
Over the years there have been many hypothesis as to the state of the universe. Did it start as a big bang or a steady state? Is it describable be information and therefore computable, as in digital physics?
The study of this is described by the word “cosmology”. Cosmology, as defined by NASA, is “the scientific study of the large scale properties of the universe as a whole.” Cosmogony also comes into play, as it has to do with “any scientific theory concerning the coming into existence or origin of the cosmos or universe, or about how reality came to be.” –Wikipedia
The Big Bang theory “postulates that 12 to 14 billion years ago, the portion of the universe we can see today was only a few millimetres across. It has since expanded from this hot dense state into the vast and much cooler cosmos we currently inhabit. We can see remnants of this hot dense matter as the now very cold cosmic microwave background radiation which still pervades the universe and is visible to microwave detectors as a uniform glow across the entire sky.” The problem with this, is how the original matter came to exist.
Wikipedia states that “digital physics is grounded in one or more of the following hypotheses; the hypothesis are listed in order of increasing strength. The universe, or reality, is:
-essentially informational (although not every informational ontology needs to be digital);
-essentially computable;
-can be described digitally;
-in essence digital;
-itself a computer;
-the output of a simulated reality exercise.”
The Steady State theory, although largely disproved by science, states that new matter must be continuously created (mostly as hydrogen) to keep the average density of matter equal over time. Or, in other words, the universe is infinite and continuous – it didn’t emerge, it was just always there.
“The Ekpyrotic model came out of work by Neil Turok and Paul Steinhardt and maintains that the universe did not start in a singularity, but came about from the collision of two branes. This collision avoids the primordial singularity and superluminal expansion while preserving nearly scale-free density fluctuations and other features of the observed universe.”
Wikipedia: “String theory posits that the electrons and quarks within an atom are not 0-dimensional objects, but rather 1-dimensional oscillating lines (“strings”). The earliest string model, the bosonic string, incorporated only bosons, although this view developed to the superstring theory, which posits that a connection (a “supersymmetry”) exists between bosons and fermions. String theories also require the existence of several extra, unobservable dimensions to the universe, in addition to the four known spacetime dimensions.
The theory has its origins in an effort to understand the strong force, the dual resonance model (1969). Subsequent to this, five different superstring theories were developed that incorporated fermions and possessed other properties necessary for a theory of everything. Since the mid-1990s, in particular due to insights from dualities shown to relate the five theories, an eleven-dimensional theory called M-theory is believed to encompass all of the previously-distinct superstring theories.”
“The Big Bounce is a theoretical scientific model of the formation of the known universe. It is implied by the cyclic model or oscillatory universe interpretation of the Big Bang where the first cosmological event was the result of the collapse of a previous universe.”
Some of these ideas work together, whereas others are complete opposites. The question I pose is where do you think the universe came from (if it came from anywhere at all)? Did it always exist? Will it end?
I open the floor.
[10:30] Rhiannon of the Birds: Well, I recently attended cosmology discussion
[10:31] Rhiannon of the Birds: How if we see the curvature of space now, and then extrapolate backwards, the universe had to be in a close proximity that allowed acceleration–the cosmic egg of big bang theory.
[10:31] Violet: I’m totally unqualified to comment on actual physical theories, but I think cosmogony will always basically amount to a mystery; there’s no totally satisfying answer, because even if something seems right, you’ll end up wondering, “…and before that?”
[10:32] Rhiannon of the Birds: But in order to maintain density ratios, so the cosmological constant would remain, well, constant, you have to have continuous creation, and that would make for a tipping point eventually and that would mean the universe would accelerate it’s expansion; and sure enough, it has, which confirms this hypothesis
[10:32] Chraeloos: I agree Violet, there’s always the “what happened first?” question.
[10:32] Rhiannon of the Birds: Yeah, well, Stephen Hawking maintains as, since you’re talking about “before space-time,” hence “before Time,” it is a meaningless question
[10:32] Rhiannon of the Birds: “Before” only applies once there is time
[10:33] Chraeloos: Ah good point Rhia
[10:33] Rhiannon of the Birds: Yes, but covered by Aquines centuries before
[10:33] Chraeloos: That’s interesting about the acceleration. I hadn’t heard that part of it before.
[10:33] Rhiannon of the Birds: There is still a need for an explanation
[10:34] Rhiannon of the Birds: Yeah, so, they now think they have a handle on the big bang, when it happened and what made it happen
[10:34] Chraeloos: Huh, interesting. So it’s basically a proven theory? As far as one can prove something like that?
[10:34] Rhiannon of the Birds: Of course, where the matter came from is still a mystery; and to talk of branes colliding doesn’t help–as where did the branes come from
[10:34] Rhiannon of the Birds: Confirm, or corroborated; would hesitate to say “proven.” lol
[10:35] Rhiannon of the Birds: It needs continuous creation of one hydrogen particle per a zillions kilometres over centuries to work.
[10:35] Chraeloos: Um, wow. lol not sure that would be easy to do
[10:35] Rhiannon of the Birds: Well, no problem if you’re omnipotent and omniscient
[10:36] Chraeloos: True haha
[10:36] Rhiannon of the Birds: Or if it popped inn from another universe
[10:36] Elizabeth Spieler: I actually made a video of creation called the ATOM
[10:36] Chraeloos: Oh yeah?
[10:36] Chraeloos: haha I like that term Rhia, so relaxed. “It just popped in for tea.”
[10:36] Elizabeth Spieler: let me get the link and folks can watch it later, of course my opinion of it
[10:36] Chraeloos: Sure 🙂
[10:36] Rhiannon of the Birds: yeah, and once here, you just can’t get rid of it
[10:37] Rhiannon of the Birds: Some atoms are like that, you know.
[10:37] Chraeloos: Well, there’s the vacuum too, they exist everywhere simultaneously
[10:37] Josiane Llewellyn: I’ve been trying to understand string theory, as that might tie things together lol
[10:37] Josiane Llewellyn: I do feel partial to it actually
[10:37] Chraeloos: lol english is so funny. “tie things together”
[10:37] Chraeloos: Why’s that Josiane?
[10:37] Rhiannon of the Birds: oh, good luck Jos. Most string theorists don’t understand it
[10:38] Chraeloos: “The Little Book of String Theory” is a good place to start, if you ask me haha
[10:38] Elizabeth Spieler: I did take some ideas visually from the mayans
[10:38] Chraeloos: Thanks Eli 🙂
[10:38] Rhiannon of the Birds: Well, the alternative is dark matter; to make the universe hold together, and to explain the big bang, and the rate of acceleration and the cosmological constant, there has to be a 3 to 1 ration of dark energy to known energy
[10:38] Elizabeth Spieler: : )
[10:38] Chraeloos: there’s more than that isn’t there?
[10:38] Rhiannon of the Birds: And what is dark energy? Energy we can’t see; which has an unknown source
[10:38] Elizabeth Spieler: remember the sabbath . . don’t forget that!
[10:39] Rhiannon of the Birds: Chrae, more than what we observe
[10:39] Elizabeth Spieler: giggles
[10:39] Chraeloos: Right
[10:39] Chraeloos: lol
[10:39] Rhiannon of the Birds: 4 times as much as we can observe
[10:39] Chraeloos: I wrote a paper on dark matter last year actually
[10:39] Violet: I have to be heading out…take care, everyone 🙂
[10:39] Chraeloos: Oh take care Violet!
[10:39] Chraeloos: see you around 🙂
[10:39] Elizabeth Spieler: the omnipotent God only works 6 days = 6000 years then he takes a break!
[10:39] Rhiannon of the Birds: But otherwise, nothing makes sense; the curvature of space, the galaxies holding together, the push needed for the expansion of the universe, it’s sudden acceleration, etc.
[10:40] Elizabeth Spieler: the universe is likened to a woman’s womb
[10:40] Rhiannon of the Birds: Well, creating a universe is hard work; you try it sometime
[10:40] Chraeloos: How so Eli?
[10:40] Rhiannon of the Birds: Well, labor pains wipe you out, too
[10:40] Chraeloos: lol
[10:40] Elizabeth Spieler: were all a xerox of the original
[10:40] Chraeloos: Ah
[10:40] Rhiannon of the Birds: I prefer to think I’m scanned, personally
[10:40] Chraeloos: neat way of putting that
[10:41] Elizabeth Spieler: everything operates like a compass, huge clue
[10:41] Chraeloos: I still don’t see how we can say for sure one theory is more right than the next. It comes down to our limited understanding and language
[10:42] Rhiannon of the Birds: Chrae, well, there’s observation corroborating some.
[10:42] Chraeloos: true
[10:42] Elizabeth Spieler: the problem is trying to reconcile inner and outer worlds, they don’t match
[10:42] Rhiannon of the Birds: The universe is seen to be expanding and accelerating, just like the theory of dark matter/cosmological constant predicts
[10:43] Elizabeth Spieler: like we apply the label rock to a rock, then our mind thinks it knows what it is, but no one really knows what a rock is or how it came to be
[10:43] Chraeloos: exactly
[10:43] Rhiannon of the Birds: Cosmogony, on the other hand–only two theories on the table–that it’s a meaningless question or that the universe was created somehow
[10:43] Elizabeth Spieler: we ponder creation because were born, which is a creation
[10:44] Elizabeth Spieler: in a delivery room when your born, no one came through a door
[10:44] Rhiannon of the Birds: Or in other words, “Shut up!” or nihilo ex nihilo fit, so there is a God
[10:44] Elizabeth Spieler: your actually already all knowing, it’s your neurons that don’t seek to understand
[10:44] Elizabeth Spieler: oops do seek to understand
[10:45] Elizabeth Spieler: this is due to the law of reflection
[10:45] Chraeloos: law of reflection?
[10:45] Elizabeth Spieler: much like a lake saying why are you reflecting on me?
[10:45] Elizabeth Spieler: get your image off me!
[10:45] Chraeloos: ah
[10:45] Josiane Llewellyn: well, there is the theory too about the multiverse
[10:45] Elizabeth Spieler: but of course no lake says that lol
[10:45] Josiane Llewellyn: many universes
[10:45] Elizabeth Spieler: but humans do
[10:45] Chraeloos: Well, that we know of Eli haha
[10:45] Rhiannon of the Birds: yah, I was using ‘universe’ in the original sense; but multiverse would be the modern phrase. Thanks, Jos
[10:46] Rhiannon of the Birds: I meant “the whole shebang”
[10:46] Rhiannon of the Birds: Some things imply a multiverse
[10:46] Chraeloos: what’s the difference?
[10:46] Rhiannon of the Birds: Continuous creation, if it isn’t to violate the law of conservation implies some place else
[10:46] Rhiannon of the Birds: Well, the universe is our space-time continuum
[10:46] Rhiannon of the Birds: The multiverse allows for parallel worlds, and so forth
[10:47] Chraeloos: ah ok
[10:47] Rhiannon of the Birds: Alternative time tracks
[10:47] Chraeloos: but how does that work into continuous creation?
[10:47] Rhiannon of the Birds: Well, where do the hydrogen atoms come from?
[10:47] Chraeloos: right
[10:47] Chraeloos: Oh ok
[10:47] Rhiannon of the Birds: If we believe in the first law of thermodynamics, their “creation” means a leakage from outside the system
[10:47] Rhiannon of the Birds: The system being the universe
[10:47] Chraeloos: I get it haha sorry slow this morning
[10:48] Josiane Llewellyn: Do you think the multiverse could include brane theory?
[10:48] Chraeloos: Ok, but you still get the question of how did it get to that universe
[10:48] Rhiannon of the Birds: Yeah, you’re but a shadow of your former self, Chrae; I’ve noticed that the last two times I’ve seen you
[10:48] Rhiannon of the Birds: Jos, other way around, brane theory implies the multiverse
[10:49] Chraeloos: hahaha Rhia, I am protesting censorship!
[10:49] Rhiannon of the Birds: And string theory says that gravity is really symmetrical with EM, so it leaches into other universes
[10:49] Josiane Llewellyn: oh, I wondered 🙂
[10:49] Rhiannon of the Birds: So one thing the Hadron Collider is being used for is to see if they can see gravitons leaching into other universes–apparently just vanishing
[10:49] Chraeloos: Indeed. We don’t all want to look like this!
[10:49] Rhiannon of the Birds: All well and good, but no one has ever seen a graviton
[10:50] Chraeloos: I was going to say haha
[10:50] Chraeloos: They have seen things disappear though, haven’t they?
[10:50] Rhiannon of the Birds: And maybe the simplest explanation for gravity being 1/10th the strength of EM is that it, indeed, is one tenth the strength of EM and the difference is made up by dark energy–which seems implied by everything else we know about astrophysics, anyway
[10:51] Josiane Llewellyn: so gravitons are not proven to exist?
[10:51] lloubras Eyre: interesting but must leave, bye all!**)*
[10:51] Rhiannon of the Birds: No, they are simply the best explanation of gravity
[10:51] Rhiannon of the Birds: bye, illoubras!
[10:51] Chraeloos: THanks for coming Iloubras
[10:51] Rhiannon of the Birds: But if we believe that space is warped by mass, then we really don’t need them to explain gravity
[10:52] Rhiannon of the Birds: gravity =space warps or “gravity wells.”
[10:52] Chraeloos: That makes sense, then. I see why this theory prevails haha
[10:52] Chraeloos: everything else relies on belief and trust in that belief
[10:52] Rhiannon of the Birds: yeah.
[10:52] Rhiannon of the Birds: “Turtles all the way down.”
[10:52] Rhiannon of the Birds: lol
[10:52] Chraeloos: What is that from?
[10:52] Rhiannon of the Birds: Bertrand Russell
[10:52] Chraeloos: Ah ok
[10:53] Rhiannon of the Birds: One of his first acts as a philosopher was to give a lecture
[10:53] Rhiannon of the Birds: He explained the state of astrophysics at the time.
[10:53] Chraeloos: Cool, I didn’t know that.
[10:53] Rhiannon of the Birds: A little old lady came up to him and said, “All well and good, young man, but the Earth rests on a turtle, you know. And I know what you’re going to say. But it’s turtles all the way down.”
[10:53] Rhiannon of the Birds: lol
[10:53] Chraeloos: lol!
[10:53] Elizabeth Spieler: giggles
[10:54] Rhiannon of the Birds: He was still chuckling over it 70 years later when he wrote his autobiography
[10:54] Chraeloos: I believe it haha
[10:54] Chraeloos: So, how certain do you think we can be about this?
[10:54] Rhiannon of the Birds: Not very, but enough, I suppose
[10:55] Rhiannon of the Birds: We have some evidence, it makes everything hook together and it motivates further exploration and that’s enough
[10:55] Josiane Llewellyn: I still don’t see how string theory fits with big bang and space curvature though.
[10:55] Chraeloos: I’m very skeptical about any theory that claims to be correct. I’m always stuck on the fact of langauge and understanding limiting the way we see the truth.
[10:55] Josiane Llewellyn: but string theory and the multiverse should work okay together.
[10:55] Chraeloos: er, “truth”
[10:56] Rhiannon of the Birds: Oh, it may not; that’s why most atrophysicists reject string theory
[10:56] Josiane Llewellyn: oh! didn’t realize that
[10:56] Rhiannon of the Birds: I went to a lecture here in SL on dark energy and asked the question–well, doesn’t string theory provide an alternative to dark matter
[10:56] Rhiannon of the Birds: He said, “Oh, don’t get me started on string theory…” lol
[10:57] Rhiannon of the Birds: yeah, I’m a Popperian
[10:57] Chraeloos: lol Rhia, always asking the tough questions. It’s a good way to be!
[10:57] Rhiannon of the Birds: The dark energy model is corroborated–it explains the curvature of space and what must be the case for the expansion and predicted the acceleration
[10:57] Rhiannon of the Birds: But that doesn’t make it true, just not falsified yet
[10:58] Rhiannon of the Birds: ty, Chrae!
[10:58] Rhiannon of the Birds: I mean dark energy is a lot like phlogiston–the missing element that makes for fire
[10:58] Rhiannon of the Birds: It didn’t exist; we discovered oxygen was the missing element
[10:59] Chraeloos: ah ok
[10:59] Rhiannon of the Birds: But well, something is doing it and it is mysteries and it is a form of enfergy, so it’s not quite like that, it’s true there must be such an energy source and we have *no idea* what it is
[10:59] Chraeloos: rhia, is there any topic you don’t know at least something about?
[10:59] Rhiannon of the Birds: (God, god, god, god…)
[10:59] Josiane Llewellyn: lol
[10:59] Rhiannon of the Birds: Chrae, well, I’m not to good on, um, no…
[10:59] Chraeloos: lol that’s a whole different discussion. Come to the sunday lectures to get into that lol
[11:00] Chraeloos: XD
[11:00] Rhiannon of the Birds: Well, I can look at a car engine and get totally confused. There, there’s one
[11:00] Josiane Llewellyn: we have that in common then
[11:00] Rhiannon of the Birds: “Is that the battery?” “No, ma’am, that’s where the coolent is.”
[11:00] Chraeloos: haha me too, but my partner is trying to teach me. it’s not as confusing as you’d think!
[11:00] Rhiannon of the Birds: lol Not quite that bad
[11:01] Elizabeth Spieler: when adam and eve sewed fig leaves it’s because they didn’t have SKIN
[11:01] Elizabeth Spieler: so they appeared much like a car engine
[11:01] Josiane Llewellyn: then they should have come to SL, lots of skins here
[11:01] Elizabeth Spieler: so our skin covers the real workings of us
[11:01] Rhiannon of the Birds: Oh, good, liz. Since I have skin, I don’t need fig leaves
[11:01] Chraeloos: Alright everyone thats the hour! If you are interested in keeping up to date feel free to check out our blog, new topics will be posted before the events: http://www.epithetandsynonym.info/
Our website is also a great way to stay up to date: http://www.epithetandsynonym.biz/
Thanks for coming!
[11:01] Elizabeth Spieler: what I mean is remove your skin and you would openly see all your organs etc
[11:02] Chraeloos: Unfortunately I have to take off, but feel free to stick around and enjoy yourselves.
[11:02] Elizabeth Spieler: blood flow heart beating
[11:02] Josiane Llewellyn: I need to go too
[11:02] Elizabeth Spieler: this is why they felt shame
[11:02] Josiane Llewellyn: thanks everyone
[11:02] Josiane Llewellyn: good discussion
[11:02] Elizabeth Spieler: thank you
[11:02] Chraeloos: Great discussion! See you around 🙂
[11:02] Rhiannon of the Birds: yeah, time for me to go too
[11:02] Rhiannon of the Birds: ty Chrae!
[11:02] Chraeloos: Take care
[11:02] Rhiannon of the Birds: Great job as usual
[11:02] Elizabeth Spieler: I need to build myself have a great day!
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Corona Anatine Lecture Jan 29 Transcript


The topic was the emergence, invention, and evolution of religion and magic. A controversial topic, one that was held over in the discussion afterwards. About a dozen people came. This lecture is part one of an ongoing series, as the topic is quite broad. Come join us next week for part two! Transcript below:

[12:05] Corona Anatine: right a brief bit of background
[12:05] Corona Anatine: those late will miss
[12:06] Corona Anatine: this is from a long essay i did at Univ
[12:06] Corona Anatine: for my BSc- that was in 1994 – so some of this may be out of date
[12:06] Corona Anatine: but it was the result of about 15 weeks compilation of notes
[12:07] Chraeloos: wow Corona, that’s intense
[12:07] Corona Anatine: i will also be including references – however they wont be in the chat – but i can supply any on request
[12:07] Tara Li: Notecard?
[12:08] Tara LiTara Li wants to learn Bene Geserit Religious Engineering.
[12:08] Corona Anatine: can but it has many and would take about an hour to type them all
[12:08] Tara Li: Ahh – ok – never mind.
[12:08] Corona Anatine: so requests for specifics would be easier all round
[12:08] Corona Anatine: but yes i can make a notecard
[12:08] Tara LiTara Li just has this urge to try to know everything.
[12:09] Corona Anatine: thirdly this is part one – the topic is vast and easier if split over two or more weeks
[12:10] Of Oz: Careful, Tara. Thats the same as nothing…
[12:10] Tara Li: Well – yeah, Of!
[12:10] Corona Anatine: ok -some notes on the invention and evolution of religion and magic
[12:10] Chraeloos: Alright, so we’ll get started. Just so everyone is aware, comments and questions should be held until after the lecture when the discussion is open. Transcript will be posted at the blog:http://www.epithetandsynonym.info/ Thanks for coming and enjoy!
[12:10] Chraeloos: Hi Adam
[12:10] Tara LiTara Li knows too much already – the only way to solve the problem is to wrap around.
[12:11] Of Oz: or get reborn,Tara
[12:11] Corona Anatine: one sec
[12:11] Corona Anatine: In the historic period a myriad of religions have arisen and faded, with a similar fleetingness to empires.,
[12:11] Tara Li: That’s kinda risky – I might get reborn as someone who knows as much as I do.
[12:11] Corona Anatine: As all religions ultimately stem from the human imaginations concerning the supernatural; it is of interest to require how, when and why such beliefs were invented.
[12:11] Of Oz: usual rebirth system involves lots of lovely forgetting, T
[12:12] Corona Anatine: No system of belief is likely to have existed in the social groups of australopithecines, or probably even of Homo Erectus, [although there is a reference to chimpanzees shouting at the sky when their was a storm. But that would not be proof of religion, only that storm’s annoy chimpanzees]
[12:12] Corona Anatine: It follows therefore that sometime in-between then and now, the fictions behind ritual and religion were formulated.
[12:12] Corona Anatine: G.E. Swanson [1966 pg1] suggests that all such ideas arise in human perceptions and experiences of the surrounding natural environment.
[12:13] Corona Anatine: Knowledge of beliefs shows they do not persist in isolation. As a result the forces which produce and support belief will be present, along with the derived belief system.
What is uncertain and unclear is whether the beliefs are now engineered by the same experiences as those which produced them in the past. [G.E. Swanson 1966 pg5]
[12:13] Corona Anatine: Information concerning belief systems of modern populations is obtainable from direct questioning or from documentary sources. Written texts also being available for earlier belief systems and their development. Even if not always possessing clarity of details. For prehistoric periods such sources are entirely absent. The only way to obtain knowledge is from physical traces of rituals and ceremonies.
[12:13] Corona Anatine: How would such rituals be recognizable? This requires that ritual is first defined. It is probably accurate to state that beliefs and magic were formerly integral to everyday life, as they are derived from everyday experiences.
Clear definitions are given by R. Merrifield [1987 pg 6]
[12:14] Corona Anatine: Religion: Belief in supernatural or spiritual concepts or entities. Religion also incorporates explanations of the place and origin of all things; people, animals and the material world, as well as supernatural. Religion also holds the body of mythology and legends in its function of recording information. Religion itself tends to be a passive force followed by the majority of the population, among whom it serves as a force for social order and cohesion [ and later coercion]
[12:15] Corona Anatine: Magic: Practices intended to control the supernatural forces and entities with the aim of influencing events. Magic is therefore an active task.
Control of the forces requiring magic power and ability.
[12:15] Corona Anatine: This has four consequences.
[12:15] Corona Anatine: I] Only a select few tend to perform magic, from shaman and vola to prophet. Their historical importance depending on the amount of support they gather and/or desire
[12:16] Corona Anatine: II] Some form of selection process occurs, either self selection, or selection by supernatural, which means in effective reality the previous generation of magic practitioners.
[12:16] Corona Anatine: III] Those with power tend to be separated from mainstream society and activities to a greater or lesser degree; possibly even living physically remote.
[12:16] Corona Anatine: IV] The practitioners tend to be those in the population who have greater wisdom, from greater than average intellect and/or age.
Such people tending to be the main driving force behind all religions.
[12:16] Corona Anatine: Ritual: “prescribed or customary behaviour that may be religious, magical or social in function, ….something of all three functions possibly being discernible in a single ritual activity” Merrifield [1987 pg 6].
[12:17] Corona Anatine: For archaeological purposes ritual would be recognizable as an assemblage or context of material items or traces of activity which is not purely utilitarian or economic in purpose. This immediately raises the problem that, as only the material traces of ritual are left, any ritual recognized, however outlandish it seems, might be purely social in origin, with no magico-religious elements involved.
[12:17] Corona Anatine: Even then the ritual elements in an assemblage must actually be recognized as such. This is not aided by our ignorance concerning the context and function of many artefacts, particularly of the Palaeolithic. G Richards [1987 p114
[12:17] Corona Anatine: Moreover it is likely that the earliest types of ritual involved only non material or non preserving elements. The non material elements of ritual often being the most important.
It is even possible that Palaeolithic humans had no magico-religious beliefs whatsoever, even after even after rituals become recognizable. However although this is possible, it is unlikely for several reasons.
[12:18] Corona Anatine: I] All human groups, of whatever technological level; whether historical or modern have some form of magico-religious dimension to their world view. This must have originated at some point in time. Such universality suggests that magic beliefs are basic to human mental processes
[12:18] Corona Anatine: [this has been shown to be the case since 94]
[12:19] Corona Anatine: II ] Development of belief systems probably originated at around the same time as the radiation and expansion of other aspects of culture such as art technology and language. In fact, while mastery of technology required full understanding of the problems involved, which meant development was necessarily relatively slow, belief systems have no such problem.
[12:19] Corona Anatine: Beliefs need only be thought up and can progress to conceptual maturity in a single lifetime. Nor do beliefs have to be correct. If believed and explaining the focus of explanation adequately, magic and religion could arise rapidly, progressing and evolving without any need for valid proof.
[12:19] Corona Anatine: The first concepts probably derived from observations of connections and similarities, ultimately leading to the ideas behind Frazers two principles of magic. These often appear to be nonsensical for three reasons.
[12:20] Corona Anatine: i) Because the society holding such a belief has evolved since the idea or concept was first formulated or invented.
[12:20] Corona Anatine: II) The connection might not be obvious, or it might assume knowledge of the intermediate chain of connection.
[12:21] Corona Anatine: iii) The connection might have been seen in a supernatural reality, in a trance, dream, hallucinogenic state or other other condition which alters perception, such as illness or fever.
[12:21] Corona Anatine: for example in the case of Muhammad who experienced various medical symptoms according to the Hadith
[12:22] Corona Anatine: The existence of altered states of perception and hallucinations would also require explanation and be perceived as actually happening at some level of reality. This would result in development of ideas of a ‘spirit world’ related to but separate from, the physical world.
[12:22] Corona Anatine: If beliefs existed as seems likely, what form of systems would they have been present within. In order to construct a plausible picture of what Palaeolithic religion and magic might have been like, several things must be attempted.
[12:22] Corona Anatine: 1) Evaluation of the world which was experienced in the period, when people were first likely to have been sufficiently self aware to theorize concerning their world. In particular looking for worldwide universals of belief, which reflect extreme antiquity, stemming from fundamentals of the environment or the human mind, or from a common geographic origin following migrational diffusion.
[12:22] Corona Anatine: 2) Estimation of what their conclusions and explanations for the forces in the physical world might have been.
[12:23] Corona Anatine: 3) Examination of the archaeological material record to see what evidence of ritual is discernible.
[12:23] Corona Anatine: 4) Assessment of ethnographic material to see what belief systems are present among modern-day low technology human groups, and what natural and/or supernatural explanations for the physical world they have theorized. In particular looking for parallels between their material remains and those from the Palaeolithic.
[12:23] Corona Anatine: 5) Analysis and synthesis to reach a plausible theory of the nature of Palaeolithic belief systems and hence the origins of the invention of religion in general.
[12:24] Corona Anatine: 1 & 2 Evaluation of their world, and estimation of their beliefs.
[12:24] Corona Anatine: Most of the things, which are definable about the world known to Palaeolithic humans, are fairly basic and obvious; many of the points however make details in the Palaeolithic record more explainable. At least in relation to hunter-gatherer groups
[12:24] Corona Anatine: And these have to have been the sole state of existence for all groups, because even if you allow an advanced human civilization in the pleistocene, there has to have been a period before that in which they were not advanced.
[12:24] Corona Anatine: The population was probably of low density, with small bands of around 30 hunter-gatherers in a local area.
[12:25] Corona Anatine: They would have had a detailed knowledge of the characteristics of the biosphere around them. Possibly “incorporating animals into a vision of the world in which the boundaries between the natural and supernatural were not clearly defined” [A Levi-Gourhan 1972 pg 7]
[12:25] Corona Anatine: Most lived brief lives. The majority were dead by the age of 35, while only a minority of children would likely have survived beyond seven or so years, and hardly 1% survived past past 40 years A Burl 1989 pg13 [ these estimates have been revised upwards since I first quoted this but not greatly so ]
[12:26] Corona Anatine: The old man of Aix-la Chapelle being only in his thirties, yet his skeletal pathology suggested a male over 50.
[12:26] Corona Anatine: The high mortality had two consequences:
[12:26] Corona Anatine: a) Death was common and of unknown cause or destiny.
[12:26] Corona Anatine: b) As the old had long term memories and wisdom of experience before dying, it would seem like the dead had more knowledge.
[12:27] Corona Anatine: The recently dead would also be present in dreams, possibly suggesting that the dead returned. Dreams also perhaps suggesting that “ a dreamers spirit was able to leave the body and journey independently” [PJ Ucko and Grosenfield 1967 p120]
[12:27] Corona Anatine: Dreams are also subject to a variety of influences:
[12:27] Corona Anatine: the presence of THC receptors in the brain, which only seem to have this function, and they would have been present throughout our evolution.
T McKenna [1992] also suggests a role for psilocybins in human evolution.
[12:28] Corona Anatine: Lucid dreaming, enabling telepathy during sleep. This might well account for the trans-island conceptual transfer by food washing monkeys. If so it suggests the mechanism is very ancient in evolutionary terms.
Telepathy of some sort would also possibly explain how a dog could know the moment of of death of an elderly patient from several miles away.
[12:28] Corona Anatine: which a recent case has shown occurred
[12:28] Cosmic Carousel: food washing monkeys?
[12:29] Corona Anatine: the significance of dreams is also shown in the bible – where ALL the times YHVH manifests it is in dreams
[12:29] Corona Anatine: yeah i will find the article in a bit
[12:29] Corona Anatine: goes back to about 1990
[12:29] Corona Anatine: Dreams and thoughts are also affected by emotion and mood changes. P Shuttle and P Redgrove [1978] show that menstruation is known for this. Moreover “It has been shown that …external senses decline at menstruation, while interior bodily sensations apparently increase correspondingly” P Shuttle and P Redgrove [1978 p166]
[12:30] Corona Anatine: Some contemporary societies see this as making women “fraught with a strange power… a kind of shamanic or magic holiness, leading to ….prophetic fits and trances” P Shuttle and P Redgrove [1978 p65]
[12:30] Corona Anatine: This seems to have led to a worldwide custom/initiation of segregating women at menarche. M Eliade (1958a p42) which also seems to be a custom found only in matriarchal societies, M Eliade (1958a p44) male based ones tending to seclude women at every cycle, and not just the first.
[12:30] Corona Anatine: Hallucinations in general would bring out phosphenes; subconscious geometric images, apparently basic to the human neural system and visual cortex. These images are seen as dots, zig-zags and squiggles etc.
[12:30] Corona Anatine: Entoptic phenomena
[12:31] Corona Anatine: Where present in Palaeolithic decoration they may illustrate use of trance states and/or drug induced consciousness.
[12:31] Corona Anatine: The women themselves would be the source of all new population, and because the statistical population mean of menstrual cycles is 29 days a connection with the lunar cycle and the cycles of the tides would likely have suggested to them a link between water the moon and women.
[12:31] Corona Anatine: Moreover there would have been no obvious link between menstruation and sexual activity. As unlike with animals, menstruation and peak fertility do not coincide, nor are all humans fertile.
[12:32] Corona Anatine: This would have resulted in pregnancy being random and of mysterious origin. Many children are born blood covered. This, together with the occurrence of spontaneous loss of various fetal development stages may have suggested that children develop from nothing in female blood.
[12:32] Corona Anatine: This would have made it a magical substance in addition to the likely known fact that blood loss would weaken or kill.
[12:32] Corona Anatine: Furthermore there would be a further connection women=magic= blood, and it would also have been observed that any form of blood spilt would assist plant growth, especially by the women themselves. [men lacking a regular non-injurious supply. This would likely have helped in the task allocation by gender division, if women were seen as better at plant care than men.
[12:32] Corona Anatine: Additionally however menstruation after menarche or even before would be relatively rare except in in-fertile women, which may have supplied the imagined link – most menstruous women are infertile = pregnancy has been supernaturally withheld, = because the ‘spirits’ have been offended = menstruating women have offended the supernatural = women in that state are evil/bad.
[12:33] Corona Anatine: The development of awareness of such things is likely to have occurred around the period of expansion in other spheres of social activity at around 100,000 years bp.
[12:33] Corona Anatine: the ideas slowly growing into conscious thought rather than an abrupt invention
[12:33] Corona Anatine: 3 Examination of the Palaeolithic archaeological material evidence.
[12:34] Corona Anatine: Examination shows that the earliest signs of expressive, possibly ritual activity occurs at circa 200,000 to 300,000 bp, with the use of ochre pigment at Terra Amata, and the engraved ox rib from Peche de L’Aze.
[12:34] Corona Anatine: The main expansion however, occurs at the beginning of the Aurignacian period, simultaneously across large parts of Europe. This seems to have been a cultural phenomena however, rather than a biological or neurological one. [R White 1992 pg 74]
[12:34] Corona Anatine: [although that has been disputed since 94]
[12:34] Corona Anatine: The surviving material suggests a number of elements possibly reflecting traces of Palaeolithic ritual activities:
[12:35] Corona Anatine: [for these evening i am only going to cover the first of these
[12:35] Corona Anatine: and then only partially
[12:35] Corona Anatine: the continuation will be in part 2 next sunday
[12:36] Corona Anatine: a) Burial and treatment of human remains
[12:36] Corona Anatine: b) Use and repositioning of non human skeletal elements.
[12:36] Corona Anatine: c) Pigmentation of materials with red ochre.
[possibly of related significance to the fact that ‘Adam’ in hebrew means ‘red earth or clay’]
[12:37] Corona Anatine: d) Pictorial representation both parietal and mobiliarly, of several classes
i) Possible notational decoration.
ii) Geometric shapes and designs
iii) Dominance of horse and bison in cave art.
iv) ‘Venus’ images of female shape
v) Athropomorths. – ‘Shamen’ figures
Plus one or two other things in passing.
[12:37] Corona Anatine: Each section will both examine the evidence and compare it with ethnographic parallels and possible continuity, in order to collect the materials adjacently.
[12:37] Corona Anatine: a) Burial and treatment of remains.
[12:37] Corona Anatine: A few other species of higher mammals “show grief and some degree of concern for their recently dead, but ritual burials seem unique to humanity” [G Richards 1987 p285]
[12:38] Corona Anatine: Presumably the earliest hominids had a similar grief and concern. However the earliest known definitely intentional burials are of Mousterian Neanderthals.
[12:38] Corona Anatine: However the earliest burials were not necessarily by Neanderthals as the oldest known is the group burial of La Ferrasie [100 ka bp ] This burial lies at the very start of the period when early modern humans appear. But it does seem probable both because of the latitude, and the apparent lack of mixed race burials.
[12:38] Corona Anatine: There are not that many extant burials however and humans of either group might have avoided mixing their dead with those of another group, whether of the same race or not.
[12:39] Corona Anatine: Examination of the list of known burials shows that the main features of upper Palaeolithic burial are
[12:39] Corona Anatine: i) Frequent coverage of the body with red ochre. In some cases directly onto bone, indicating burial of fleshless or deliberately de-fleshed bone. Red ochre coverage becomes even more frequent as the Palaeolithic advances, suggesting the slow establishment of a ritual tradition
[12:39] Corona Anatine: However 100% coverage of burials is never reached, some burials never warranting red ochre coverage for some reason. Perhaps as simple as lack of the material or variation in micro-local traditions.
[12:40] Corona Anatine: ii) Orientation of the body. In the earlier Mousterian there is no preference for body orientation towards any compass direction. By the upper paleolithic in contrast there is an immediate and definite orientation of bodies with their head to the north or along a north-south axis. This is certainly deliberate and very probably ritual. There being no sanitary reason required beyond mere burial.
[12:40] Corona Anatine: North = 41
NE = 2
East = 0
SE = 0
South = 5
SW = 1
West = 1
NW = 5
[12:41] Corona Anatine: This shows a remarkably consistent practice through time, and across a broad geographic range
[12:41] Corona Anatine: the association of the south with younger ages and the north with older people also stands out
[12:42] Corona Anatine: [ a table shows this ]
[12:43] Corona Anatine: Al children also being on a N-S line with one older exception who could have been an adult of small stature or malnourished
[12:43] Corona Anatine: and there i will leave it for this week
[12:43] Corona Anatine: questions
[12:43] Violet: Thanks, Corona 🙂
[12:44] Chraeloos: Great Job Corona, thanks!
[12:44] Corona Anatine: yw
[12:44] Corona Anatine: ty
[12:44] Adam: Nice presentation Corona ^^
[12:44] Corona Anatine: there were not that many refs so i can write a notecard of them
[12:44] Rhiannon of the Birds: Yes, thank you, Corona.
[12:44] Of Oz: thankyou
[12:44] Cosmic Carousel: ty 🙂
[12:44] Rhiannon of the Birds: Can I ask a question?
[12:45] Chraeloos: I think the idea is grand, it shows a good perspective. Some interesting points, too
[12:45] Chraeloos: Yes Rhi, go ahead
[12:45] Violet: Hi Paulo 🙂
[12:45] Paolo RousselotPaolo Rousselot smiles
[12:45] Chraeloos: Hi Paolo
[12:45] Corona Anatine: sure
[12:46] Rhiannon of the Birds: It was a little ambiguous at part, esp. when you were talking of the spirit world, but I thought you might be making a metaphysical assumption that the tribes had got it wrong. That their metaphysics was wrong. Although you did make it seem like dreams and hallucinogens did reveal a reality to them
[12:46] Rhiannon of the Birds: So my question is what do you think of the metaphysics involved
[12:46] Paolo Rousselot: (they do)
[12:46] Corona Anatine: it would have done as far as they were concerned
[12:46] Rhiannon of the Birds: hi Paolo!
[12:46] Paolo RousselotPaolo Rousselot waves at Rhi
[12:46] Paolo Rousselot: sorry I’m so late…
[12:47] Corona Anatine: whether this is an objective or subjective reality is a moot point and perhaps not really relevant – if they thought it was real then to them it was
[12:47] AdamAdam loves Rhi’s line of thought 🙂
[12:47] Chraeloos: No problem, you just missed the lecture. You can find the transcript later on the blog http://www.epithetandsynonym.info/
[12:47] Paolo Rousselot: it was/is real
[12:47] Paolo Rousselot: been there
[12:47] Of Oz: I would like to take issue with something right at the start
[12:47] Rhiannon of the Birds: ok, well, not a moot point, but I thought that it should be at least bracketed off for objectivity
[12:47] Corona Anatine: ok
[12:47] Rhiannon of the Birds: Thank you
[12:48] Corona Anatine: it was taken form a university essay i did in my final year back in 94
[12:48] Of Oz: ” G.E. Swanson [1966 pg1] suggests that all such ideas arise in human perceptions and experiences of the surrounding natural environment.”
I don’t like the emphasis here. I think that it is above all “interior” experiences that shape our religious and mystical beliefs, and those of “religion founders” who stand proxy for those with none of their own. To be direct, down the ages countless individuals have had “personal meetings with God”, which have a profound effect on their subsequent viewpoints. A few founded religions. Probably ones who understood (remembered) less well than average lol.
[12:48] Corona Anatine: and has not been updated since then
[12:48] Corona Anatine: but it had to make a lot of coverage with few words
[12:49] Paolo Rousselot: similarities between experiences not including cultural differences in viewpoint?
[12:49] Corona Anatine: but it would still be part of the natural environment
[12:49] Corona Anatine: whether in dreams /visions or otherwise
[12:49] Violet: I have to be going…thank you, Corona. Take care, everyone 🙂
[12:50] Chraeloos: Thanks Violet, Take care!
[12:50] Rhiannon of the Birds: oh, ty Corona an Chrae; I have to go; I’m visiting virtual ability to help my partner, who’s a stroke victim
[12:50] Cosmic Carousel: bye Violet
[12:50] Corona Anatine: even if you assume the existence of the supernatural or ‘god’ then it would still manifest via the natural environment
[12:50] Tara Li: Later, Violet!
[12:50] Of Oz: that stretches the concept of “natural environment” beyond usefulness ?
[12:50] Chraeloos: Thanks Rhia, take care!
[12:50] Rhiannon of the Birds: u 2
[12:50] Rhiannon of the BirdsRhiannon of the Birds waves at everyone
[12:50] Corona Anatine: the cultural differences exist yes
[12:50] Paolo Rousselot: have to take into account the “lens” of personal psychology through which the experience is viewed
[12:51] sofa cushion: Hi Chraeloos Resident! Touch me for Menu. Say /1a to Adjust.
[12:51] Paolo Rousselot: culture is a part of that
[12:51] Corona Anatine: but the original purpose of the essay was to examine the evidence for ritual in the Palaeolithic
[12:51] Of Oz: YES, Paolo, very true …It is a characteristic of the “meeting with God” that the heart of the experience cannot be verbalized or fully remembered (there is nothing to remember) and so the feelings of infinite significance are transferred by memory to incidentals, ancillary and peripheral aspects. Hence the establishment of belief systems, religions and cults with superficialities mistakenly taken as central.
[12:51] Corona Anatine: and for that cultural inferences have to be minimized
[12:51] Tara LiTara Li kinda wonders where the God Helmet plays into this – maybe gets mentioned in Pt 2?
[12:52] Paolo Rousselot: the personal experiences can be – and often are, remembered and experienced quite well
[12:52] Corona Anatine: god helmet?
[12:52] Corona Anatine: oh the god element
[12:52] Tara Li: *nods* Helmet with magnetic inductance probes on it.
[12:52] Paolo RousselotPaolo Rousselot chuckles
[12:53] Tara Li: Induces a feeling of “immanence” in about 70% of the population, last I heard.
[12:53] Corona Anatine: its not – I’m looking at the material remains- the evidence for dreams and rituals ect – the actual gods and supernatural content were ignored
[12:53] Adam: 🙂 gtg, bye all
[12:53] Chraeloos: Thanks Adam, Take Care!
[12:53] Of Oz: “QUITE well” – exactly, well enough to misunderstand in the case of most religion founders lol
[12:53] Tara Li: Later, Adam!
[12:54] Tara Li: Not sure what you mean by God element.
[12:54] Paolo Rousselot: sufficient proximity to the unconscious produces imagery i.e. symbolism in the personal experience that is directly related to ancient myth
[12:54] Corona Anatine: the element of the religions and magic that incorporates ‘god’
[12:55] Tara Li: Ahhh… Ok.
[12:55] Corona Anatine: which is only a small fraction of religion and ritual
[12:55] Tara Li: *nods*
[12:55] Corona Anatine: look at the modern ones
[12:55] Tara Li: But the God Helmet suggests that there are electro-magnetic factors that can cause a belief in gods – creating a religion.
[12:55] Corona Anatine: they tend to be about human ancestors – prophets saints seers etc
[12:56] Corona Anatine: and or where they lived or did important things
[12:56] Of Oz: the point in this context is – to what extent do the religious beliefs adopted by a group originate in personal mystical experiences, either single or communal?
[12:56] Corona Anatine: not ‘god’
[12:56] Tara Li: Hum…
[12:56] Tara LiTara Li will re-read the transcript.
[12:56] Corona Anatine: i would say all
[12:56] Corona Anatine: in the earliest period of modern human culture
[12:56] Paolo Rousselot: Oz – I think the difficulty comes in when “religion” is entered into the “equation”
[12:57] Of Oz: I think they are a great influence, though later of course the possible original purity of the vision is diluted, perverted and abused almost out of existence
[12:57] Corona Anatine: to separate o religion form secular likely had no meaning
[12:57] Corona Anatine: again the bible highlights this – being told as it is by people of the time
[12:57] Of Oz: I think it has huge meaning, Corona
[12:57] Corona Anatine: it reflects their beliefs
[12:58] Paolo Rousselot: toss out the bible – it really has little relevance as it’s been so distorted over the ages
[12:58] Corona Anatine: and the majority of yhvh manifesting is in dreams
[12:58] Of Oz: these old books are almost all disgusting
[12:58] Corona Anatine: someone has a dream and calls a seer to interpret it
[12:59] Corona Anatine: if you read the bible carefully
[12:59] Corona Anatine: the only time YHVH appears is in dreams
[12:59] Corona Anatine: the rest is prophets talking ABOUT YHvh
[13:00] Corona Anatine: it is very shamanic in that regard
[13:00] Katarina Waco: I must go, time for RL. Bye all, thanks for the presentation, Corona.
[13:00] Corona Anatine: yw
[13:00] Chraeloos: Thanks Kat, take care
[13:00] Corona Anatine: thanks for listening
[13:01] Corona Anatine: ok i will send a note card of the ref used here to Chraeloos to post in groups
[13:01] Paolo Rousselot: Corona – just reading your profile statements – well said!
[13:01] Chraeloos: Alright everyone that’s the hour. If you are interested in keeping up to date feel free to check out our blog, new topics will be posted before the events: http://www.epithetandsynonym.info/
Our website is also a great way to stay up to date: http://www.epithetandsynonym.biz/
Thanks for coming!
[13:01] Corona Anatine: ty Paolo
[13:01] Corona Anatine: next week i will start where i ended this week
[13:02] Chraeloos: Yeah if anyone wants the notecard let me know and I’ll send it your way

Jan 31 Intro notes


Topic: The State of the Universe and Cosmogony
Over the years there have been many hypothesis as to the state of the universe. Did it start as a big bang or a steady state? Is it describable be information and therefore computable, as in digital physics?
The study of this is described by the word “cosmology”. Cosmology, as defined by NASA, is “the scientific study of the large scale properties of the universe as a whole.” Cosmogony also comes into play, as it has to do with “any scientific theory concerning the coming into existence or origin of the cosmos or universe, or about how reality came to be.” –Wikipedia
The Big Bang theory “postulates that 12 to 14 billion years ago, the portion of the universe we can see today was only a few millimetres across. It has since expanded from this hot dense state into the vast and much cooler cosmos we currently inhabit. We can see remnants of this hot dense matter as the now very cold cosmic microwave background radiation which still pervades the universe and is visible to microwave detectors as a uniform glow across the entire sky.” The problem with this, is how the original matter came to exist.
Wikipedia states that “digital physics is grounded in one or more of the following hypotheses; the hypothesis are listed in order of increasing strength. The universe, or reality, is:
-essentially informational (although not every informational ontology needs to be digital);
-essentially computable;
-can be described digitally;
-in essence digital;
-itself a computer;
-the output of a simulated reality exercise.”
The Steady State theory, although largely disproved by science, states that new matter must be continuously created (mostly as hydrogen) to keep the average density of matter equal over time. Or, in other words, the universe is infinite and continuous – it didn’t emerge, it was just always there.
“The Ekpyrotic model came out of work by Neil Turok and Paul Steinhardt and maintains that the universe did not start in a singularity, but came about from the collision of two branes. This collision avoids the primordial singularity and superluminal expansion while preserving nearly scale-free density fluctuations and other features of the observed universe.”
Wikipedia: “String theory posits that the electrons and quarks within an atom are not 0-dimensional objects, but rather 1-dimensional oscillating lines (“strings”). The earliest string model, the bosonic string, incorporated only bosons, although this view developed to the superstring theory, which posits that a connection (a “supersymmetry”) exists between bosons and fermions. String theories also require the existence of several extra, unobservable dimensions to the universe, in addition to the four known spacetime dimensions.
The theory has its origins in an effort to understand the strong force, the dual resonance model (1969). Subsequent to this, five different superstring theories were developed that incorporated fermions and possessed other properties necessary for a theory of everything. Since the mid-1990s, in particular due to insights from dualities shown to relate the five theories, an eleven-dimensional theory called M-theory is believed to encompass all of the previously-distinct superstring theories.”
“The Big Bounce is a theoretical scientific model of the formation of the known universe. It is implied by the cyclic model or oscillatory universe interpretation of the Big Bang where the first cosmological event was the result of the collapse of a previous universe.”
Some of these ideas work together, whereas others are complete opposites. The question I pose is where do you think the universe came from (if it came from anywhere at all)? Did it always exist? Will it end?
I open the floor.

A Shift in Gender Stereotypes


I had a thought today. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Today, it did. Anyway, this thought occurred to me as I was watching Sanctuary. I’ve been watching SG1 (am on season three), and had very much found myself enthralled with Daniel Jackson. Upon watching Sanctuary for the first time, I saw this character who is very, very similar to Daniel Jackson, so much so that I’m not sure I could tell them apart if someone gave me two short biographies. Even their glasses are the same. I noticed that there was this commonality between them that is rare amongst men in pop-culture – the sense of intelligence and solidarity. Generally men are seen as protective, strong, rowdy, obnoxious, sexual, and silly. They are shown in popular culture as the goofs that sit on the couch watching football and drinking beer – not people who get things done or are overall intelligent. Now, I’m going to state that this isn’t necessarily what I believe men are like. I’m big against stereotypes. So, I’m speaking very generally. But, ’tis the season for football and hockey, and all the commercials are coming out, and they all say the same thing. If you aren’t an active, nature loving man than you are a lazy couch slum who does nothing but drink beer and be waited on by your wife. Daniel Jackson and Will Zimmerman are two characters that have a fairly feminine sense about them (speaking stereotypically). I find it interesting that I like their characters more than the strong, brutish others. They are people I would want to have coffee with, or become friends with.

The point I’m trying to make is this kind of male character is new. Women have always been viewed as the quiet, meek, solitary types. Men haven’t. In reading Lisa Appignanesi’s, “Sad, Mad and Bad” I learned a lot about the suppression of women that wasn’t really clear before. In school we’re taught that women got the majority of their rights in the past 50 years. Before that, women were succumbed to asylums, torture, force-feeding, etc. for reasons that were not thought about. ‘Psychiatrists’ (I use that term loosely) in the late 19th century and early 20th century were only just realizing that there was more to hysteria than a uterus and ovaries. It occurred in men as well. After that realization, brought about slowly by Otto Weininger, Otto Gross, C.G. Jung, Sigmund Freud, Ivan Bloch, among others, the tables started to turn in favour of women and rehabilitation. But, right up through my childhood women were seen as house-wives who could work and learn, but were expected to stay at home, cook, clean, and look after the kids. “Men now account for 12 per cent of stay-at-home parents, compared with only 4 per cent in 1986.” –Globe and Mail (2011)

According to media-awareness.ca, there are six common pop-culture stereotypes for men: the Joker, the Jock, the Strong Silent Type, the Big Shot and the Action Hero. None of these are educated, and all are built muscularly. Coles Notes recognizes the two stereotypes as: “[t]raditionally, the female stereotypic role is to marry and have children. She is also to put her family’s welfare before her own; be loving, compassionate, caring, nurturing, and sympathetic; and find time to be sexy and feel beautiful. The male stereotypic role is to be the financial provider. He is also to be assertive, competitive, independent, courageous, and career-focused; hold his emotions in check; and always initiate sex.”

What we can see through these examples is that, in reality, this has sort of flipped. Nowadays, as seen in SG1 and Sanctuary, the women are educated, money-makers, assertive, independent, and courageous, whereas the men are becoming more compassionate, emotional, caring, and sympathetic (they haven’t lost the built bods, though). What I wonder is why this change is happening. Is it because we are realizing that women and men aren’t actually so different? That we both feel emotions, we both want sturdy careers, we both want to learn? That, juxtaposed by the fact that we both want to be lazy, snore, drink beer, relax, and be independent? I think so. I think I grew up in a good time to see the paradigm shift. I was a child through the ’90s, and I remember watching Full House, where the mothers worked, but on the schedules of their children, whereas the father’s took off early in the morning and got home to supper being made. That was also the first show I remember that had men staying at home to look after the children. I think that was a major turning point in our understanding of ourselves, and humanity in general.

It seems as though the world is viewing men as more lazy and meek, still dependent on women, but in all ways, not just basic care. Women are making money, preparing meals, cleaning, raising kids, and the more I look around, men aren’t. Don’t fight this natural shift, men. You still have the same status you did before. We aren’t trying to take that from you. If you don’t want to be the main income bringer, let the women do it. If you enjoy cooking and cleaning, do so. If you want to take a long weekend off work to spend with the kids, don’t be afraid to ask your boss. To accept that we aren’t all that different from each other, and to abolish these stereotypes that are more often wrong than right, we need to step back and look at each other. Nothing can be expected of each other, in relationships of any kind or between complete strangers. The world is changing in many ways, not the least of which between sexes. Women are capable, sometimes more so than men. We’ve accepted your superiority in the past, so now it’s your turn, men, to step up and accept that women aren’t meek and dumb. Let us fully become all our potential has to offer. Let us be equals, all the way.

So, who wants to run for president?

A New Level Of Human…Evolution? Bah.


I wanted to post something today, but couldn’t decide what. I finally decided I would leave it and try again tomorrow, but then something really sad happened. I thought I’d indulge in the spirit of the internet and share.

So, some random guy texted me today. “Hey bro it’s lucas”

I go, “wrong number”

He replies, “really?”

I’m like LOL if you don’t trust your friends why the hell do you have them? So I reply, “first off, I’m not a dude, secondly, I don’t know anyone by your name lol sorry”

He goes, “O cool sorry do you know baileys number”

I’m like DUDE WTF I DONT KNOW YOU HOW THE HELL WOULD I KNOW SOME CHICKS NUMBER…and BAILEY WHO?!

So I say, “no idea who that is”

He says, “Oh sorry ill delet this contact”

I’m like, NO SHIT. So I say, “k thanks”

I didn’t get a reply. But, really dude get the point I DONT FRACKIN KNOW YOU STOP SPAMMING ME. I have to admit this is probably the best example of how stupid people are. If I’m not who you think I am then why should I know the people you know? And if you don’t know who I am, why would you even bother asking (especially without a last name)? Like, come on people turn on the room upstairs and see what happens! It’ll be a whole new world!

Okay, but seriously, have people really gotten that stupid? I mean, I’m telling you it’s not the right number, I AM NOT the person you’re looking for. Why would you ask “really?” No, I’m just trying to be funny. I thought I’d play with you a bit. Okay, fine, so you’re testing the waters. But when I reconfirm that what I said was true, let it go! Stop wracking up my cellphone bill. You may have unlimited texts but some people work for a living and cannot afford that. So, stop wasting my time, money, and energy and get on with your life. Someone obviously either changed their number a long time ago and didn’t tell you (maybe that’s your hint that you need better friends), or they gave you the wrong number ON PURPOSE. Either way, you obviously need to surround yourself with better people.

The state of the human mind is so unfortunate. Punctuation, grammar, spelling, and real communication has become obsolete. For someone such as myself, I find it difficult to bring my thoughts down to 140 characters, but it certainly doesn’t help that I use full-length, proper words and sentences. If I could feel comfortable using “hey bro cu @ b’s 2nite 4 prty” it would likely be easier to fit my words into short sentences. But you know what, it took a lot of focus and thought just to write that example, much longer then it takes to write a full sentence. Is it worth it? I don’t think so.

Here’s to hoping that the stupidity will stop, and quick. My phone bill doesn’t like it, and neither does my brain. We are better than this, people!

Want Your Article In A Magazine?


Okay, I just wanted to let everyone know that Epithet and Synonym Literary Co. will be releasing a monthly magazine starting at the end of February. I am editing this magazine, so if you have an article you’d like published or art you’d like featured feel free to email it to me at [laurajones@epithetandsynonm.biz]. The topics we’re looking for are art, culture, and literature. We are willing to accept non-fiction, fiction, and poetry (if you have something else let me know and I’ll look into it). There’s no strict word limit, but I’m sure you’ve all read a magazine at some point. So, keep it magazine length – a few pages, give or take.

If you would like a copy of this magazine, join our website to receive email notices (with the magazine attached).

Also, I’d like some help choosing a name for the magazine. Does anyone have any ideas? Comments!