Friday, January 11, 2008

'the essence of the crisis of our time'

by Albert Einstein
 
" ...  I have now reached the point where I may indicate briefly what to me constitutes the essence of the crisis of our time. It concerns the relationship of the individual to society. The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, as an organic tie, as a protective force, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence. Moreover, his position in society is such that the egotistical drives of his make-up are constantly being accentuated, while his social drives, which are by nature weaker, progressively deteriorate. All human beings, whatever their position in society, are suffering from this process of deterioration. Unknowingly prisoners of their own egotism, they feel insecure, lonely, and deprived of the naive, simple, and unsophisticated enjoyment of life. Man can find meaning in life, short and perilous as it is, only through devoting himself to society.

The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. In this respect, it is important to realize that the means of production—that is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods—may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals. ... "

'289 as ... ugly, 333 as ... attractive, and pi as beautiful'

 
#2 Tertiary neurosyphilis, is the most interesting form of syphilis from a cultural point of view. Just before the onset of paralysis, the sufferer is beset with delusions of grandeur, a sense of understanding everything, a sense that he is on the verge of some monumental discovery which will forever change the course of history, as well as a sense that some divine electricity is coursing through his veins. Since in this preliminary stage of tertiary syphilis, powers of expression are not impaired, a syphilitic who is also an artist may well produce a work of art that reflects this state of mind or, rather, this state of brain. Bob Summers felt that “King of Tetch” was just this kind of work. Wilhelm Reich felt that he had unlocked the secrets of the universe with the discovery of orgone energy, something that could now be accumulated in his orgone boxes, which would make power stations unnecessary. Hayden feels that Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was composed under these circumstances, after syphilis had destroyed Beethoven’s hearing and was in the process of destroying his brain as well. “Seid umschlungen Millionen!” The grandiosity of Schiller’s poem is matched by the grandiosity of Beethoven’s musical score, which, at least in terms of the Ode to Joy chorus, is based on a moronic melody (melody was never Beethoven’s strong suit anyway), as the film Dearly Beloved makes clear. The brain of the syphilitic approaching general paralysis of the insane is like the light bulb that grows brighter just before it burns out completely. The syphilitic experiences, in Hayden’s words,

"episodes of creative euphoria, electrified, joyous energy when grandiosity led to a new vision. The heightened perception, dazzling insights, and almost mystical knowledge experienced during this time were expressed while precision of form of expression was still possible. At the end of the 19th century, it was believed that, in rare instances, syphilis could produce genius."
 
[ ... ]
 
#4 Savantism without major autistic impairments.
 
Daniel Paul Tammet is a British autistic savant gifted with a facility for mathematics problems, sequence memory, and natural language learning. He was born with congenital childhood epilepsy.
 
Experiencing numbers as colors or sensations is a well-documented form of synesthesia, but Tammet is unique in how specific and detailed his mental imagery of numbers is. He claims that in his mind each number, up to 10,000, has its own unique shape and feel, and he can "sense" whether a number is prime or composite and "see" results of calculations as landscapes in his mind. He has described his visual image of 289 as particularly ugly, 333 as particularly attractive, and pi as beautiful.
 
Tammet holds the European record for memorizing and recounting pi to 22,514 digits in just over five hours. This sponsored charity challenge was held in aid of the National Society for Epilepsy (NSE) on “Pi Day,” 14 March 2004 at the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, UK. The NSE was chosen to benefit from this event because of Daniel's experience with epilepsy as a young child. Professor Allan Snyder at the Australian National University said of Tammet: “Savants can't usually tell us how they do what they do. It just comes to them. Daniel can. He describes what he sees in his head. That's why he's exciting. He could be the ‘Rosetta Stone.’”
 
[ ... ]
 
#8 Hypergraphia is an overwhelming urge to write. It is not itself a disorder, but can be associated with temporal lobe changes in epilepsy and mania. Several different regions of the brain govern the act of writing. The physical movement of the hand is controlled by the cerebral cortex which comprises part of the outer layer of the brain. The drive to write, on the other hand, is controlled by the limbic system, a ring-shaped cluster of cells deeply buried in the cortex which governs emotion, affiliated instincts and inspiration and is said to regulate the human being's need for communication. Words and ideas are cognized and understood by the temporal lobes behind the ears, and these temporal lobes are connected to the limbic system. Ideas are organized and edited in the frontal lobe of the brain. Temporal lobe lesions cause temporal lobe epilepsy, however it is also known to run in families. Hypergraphia is not a frequent manifestation of temporal lobe epilepsy.

As of current, hypergraphia is understood to be triggered by changes in brainwave activity in the temporal lobe.

 

There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads (part 1 of 6)



THE CENTURY OF THE SELF (EPISODE 3): In the 1960s, a radical group of psychotherapists challenged the influence of Freudian ideas in America. They were inspired by the ideas of Wilhelm Reich, a pupil of Freud's, who had turned against him and was hated by the Freud family. He believed that the inner self did not need to be repressed and controlled. It should be encouraged to express itself.

Out of this came a political movement that sought to create new beings free of the psychological conformity that had been implanted in people's minds by business and politics.

This programme shows how this rapidly developed in America through self-help movements like Werber Erhard's Erhard Seminar Training - into the irresistible rise of the expressive self: the Me Generation.

But the American corporations soon realised that this new self was not a threat but their greatest opportunity. It was in their interest to encourage people to feel they were unique individuals and then sell them ways to express that individuality. To do this they turned to techniques developed by Freudian psychoanalysts to read the inner desires of the new self.

"He said, I am the master of all of these, for I eat the essence of all of these: WHEAT" visit http://www.soulcravings.net FEED YOUR SOUL!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcXQK8oNOeE

The Century of the Self (part 1)



Adam Curtis' acclaimed series examines the rise of the all-consuming self against the backdrop of the Freud dynasty.

To many in both politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?

The Freud dynasty is at the heart of this compelling social history. Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis; Edward Bernays, who invented public relations; Anna Freud, Sigmund's devoted daughter; and present-day PR guru and Sigmund's great grandson, Matthew Freud.

Sigmund Freud's work into the bubbling and murky world of the subconscious changed the world. By introducing a technique to probe the unconscious mind, Freud provided useful tools for understanding the secret desires of the masses. Unwittingly, his work served as the precursor to a world full of political spin doctors, marketing moguls, and society's belief that the pursuit of satisfaction and happiness is man's ultimate goal.

More on the series on YOUTUBE, search for:

Episode One: Happiness Machines
Episode Two: The Engineering of Consent
Episode Three: There is a Policeman Inside All Our Head: He Must Be Destroyed
Episode Four: Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26Ir2xhL_po

Happiness Machines (part 1 of 6)

Bush Begins Preparations For Nation's Final Year (satire)

" ... WASHINGTON—As his last term in office winds to a close, President Bush has directed White House aids and Cabinet staff to begin preparing for 2008, the nation's 232nd and final year in existence.

"My fellow Americans, it has been an honor to be your last president," said Bush during a televised address Tuesday, assuring citizens he would do everything possible over the next few months to promote a smooth transition into utter oblivion. "I want you all to know that I do not intend to let what precious little time we have left go to waste. That's why I ask all citizens to pull together and follow me, so we can accomplish everything we've ever wanted to before it all crumbles around us in a terrible belch of smoke and ash."

Added Bush, "It's now or never, people. No regrets."

As part of his ambitious 11-and-a-half-month plan, Bush has prioritized winning the War on Terror in order to secure Iraq's stability in a world where the U.S. is nothing more than a fleeting memory. Additionally, he has urged Congress to block upcoming stem-cell legislation "just in case," and has set aside the months of April and May to get in touch with all countries the U.S. has wronged in the past and apologize, and default on America's $9.16 trillion dollar international debt with a wild spending spree, respectively.

A special executive committee has also been formed to draft the country's final words. ... "

~ Read on... -

 

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