I currently live outside the U.S. in a place commonly described as “less developed.” When I moved here, the first differences to become apparent were the cultural ones. They don’t have any theatrical stuff aside from a movie theater. There are not drug stores and gas stations on every corner (actually, there are few street corners–mostly traffic circles). And they lack the core social services at the heart of modern civilization. For example, I don’t know of any public libraries here.
I really miss having a library nearby, not only for accessing books and other reference material that I’d prefer not to buy, but also to have a place to work with Internet access without going to a coffee shop (they do have coffee shops here, but not so many of them). The Internet makes a lot of information easily accessible at the click of the button, but most books are still unavailable online without some kind of purchase, and that content almost always comes with DRM protection. Continue reading →
When I was a kid I thought virtual reality was among the most exciting possibilities that technology had to offer the human race. I remember there was a game show on Nickelodeon in the early ’90s where contestants got to enter a video game, and I would have done anything to try it out. I didn’t realize that it was probably only a green screen–that the person didn’t actually have the sensation of being in a virtual world.
Then the Internet created the potential for networked video games like the Sims and online worlds like Second Life. Some people spent more time (and even money) in those virtual realms than they did in “real life.” Obviously there’s an aspect of escapism at work in these cases–but in Second Life people were still sitting in front of a computer, not actually participating in a 3-dimensional simulation of the physical universe. Continue reading →
The third entry in my mini-series about mind-expanding music is the band Teengirl Fantasy, another new group from Ohio (go figure). Their indie electronica is a unique amalgam of various styles, including ambient, chill wave, and even some turn-of-the-’90s R&B.
The song below is called “Cheaters,” from their debut full-length album 7 AM. The record runs short at 37 minutes, but the replay value is enormous. They take a simplistic approach on this video—a psychedelic visualizer to fit the uplifting song. Everybody needs some day-glo action once in a while! Continue reading →
Welcome to the second edition of my short series about mind-expanding music released in 2010. This entry is about the band Emeralds, a spacey electronic group from Cleveland, Ohio. The video below is for the song “Now You See Me,” one of the last tracks on their album Does It Look Like I’m Here?
I had originally intended to feature Oneohtrix Point Never in this post, a similar electronics-in-outer-space outfit. That one-man act has released at least five albums in the last couple of years. Both Emeralds and Oneohtrix remind me of the music they play in the Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot Center, which of course is a huge geodesic dome—a “bucky ball,” nicknamed after R. Buckminster Fuller, that under-appreciated visionary. Continue reading →
This is the first time in 5 years that I haven’t created a “top ten” list of my favorite music from the previous year to post on my blog. One reason I stopped is that music is a very subjective experience. I hated feeling like I was contributing to the music hipster plague that has become rampant on the Internet over the last few years.
I started writing about music in 2005 because it’s always inspired me. But for the past 9 months I’ve been widening my topic coverage quite a bit. I’m still a voracious music listener, and lately I’m even more excited about audio/visual experimentation. Music videos have always been great for that! Plus, I figured everyone can thrive on some positive energy. Continue reading →
Kaliptus sent this to me on Facebook. I also posted it on my Evolver blog.
Why are we alive? The answers are many and none. It is up to us to define our own purpose, our own reasons, our own aims, goals, and responsibilities. Can you name 10 Reasons of Purpose for the Human Existence? If so please copy this, and type 10 reasons as a Note of your own. Life is important, don’t miss it Continue reading →
If you haven’t visited my personal site recently, you don’t know that I converted it to WordPress and started a thread called “Fun Stuff” where I post videos and other treats. Since I’m currently “on hiatus” here and generally devoting my time to larger writing projects, I thought I might as well cross-post when the content is relevant to the Refractor blog topics. So here’s Robert Anton Wilson speaking about quantum mechanics and what it means to our understanding of consciousness. This video is an excerpt from the documentary Maybe Logic, which you can watch in full on Google Video.
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Oneirisms is a “collective journal of metaphysical experience,” a place to post your dreams and visions and read what other people have experienced outside the physical dimensions of space and time. An oneirism is “dream-like experience,” and in posting dreams for all to see we provide the means for others to share in the ride.
By telling and reading the stories here, we are re-creating them; they “happen” in our minds, thus building consciousness loops of increased complexity. With any luck, we will become aware of how much of “real life” is actually metaphysical — that is, it happens or is co-created in our minds.
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