Saturday, January 28, 2012

Georgia Guidestones reinterpreted

Somewhere in America, in the state of Georgia, a unique monument was erected on March 22, 1980. Unlike other stone monuments this one is more like a guide, hence the name guidestones. There are in total a number of six granite slabs, four of them bearing the message in eight different languages. One slab is situated in the center, with the four around it and a smaller one as a capstone. The structure has a hight of 5.87 meters and it feature some astronomic elements, like being aligned with the celestial pole, a horizontal slot indicating the annual travel of the sun, etc.

The languages on the four main slabs are English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese and Russian. The first thing I observed but no other commentator seemed to point out was the presence of Swahili. This language has around 800 000 native speakers with around 40 million learning it as a second language. It is the national/official language of five African countries, Kenya, Uganda, Comoros, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. On the other hand, languages like French, Japanese, Korean, German, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish or Persian are not present. The reason for this decision may have something to do with the desire of those who created the monument to represent, in large, the main language families with their best/most numerous representatives. This theory still doesn't feel right because Japanese, for example, is in a language family of her own. Nonetheless we can clearly see English and Spanish written on the same slab, and this also goes for Arabic and Hebrew while Russian and Chinese on the same slab is as logical as Hindi and Swahili. Around the edges of the capstone there presented the languages: Classical Greek, Babylonian (cuneiform), Ancient Egyptian (hieroglyphs) and Sanskrit. Strange, no Latin.

Now let's take every one of the ten "recommendations".

1. "Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature." - Out of all the possibilities, they had to start with this one. Notice the word "maintain", the people who created this monument and aligned it with the heavens would not write one word without thinking first. The number should be under 500 million, so we could even have 100 million, never 500 million and one (just exaggerating) but in a "perpetual" balance with nature. The idea that we must be in balance with nature is crucial. what could this balance mean? And why such a low number of humans? We could be 2 billion and still have room for more. I suspect it has something to do with control, not necessarily in a bad way... although control never has a "good way",

2. "Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity." - This is strongly linked with the first and adds a little bit of eugenism, just the amount you would need to make Galton, Davenport and Hitler proud.

3. "Unite humanity with a living new language." - First of all, humanity must be united, and secondly, under a "living" and new language. Esperanto does not make I guess. It would be interesting to find out how this language could be accepted by everyone, and eventually unite them. Language is a very important part of one's personality, the first generation to adopt this new language would need to put some effort into learning it and rejecting their old one.

4. "Rule passion - faith - tradition - and all things with tempered reason." - Passion, faith and tradition must be controlled through the use of "tempered" reason. I like this part, I personally am in favor of this. In this context I feel it gives a hint to the previous phrase, language being part of someone's tradition. Reason is the key, as we are told and faith will lose it's power. This could be the part that motivated some to describe them as the "ten commandments of the Antichrist"... but if you think about the crimes done in the name of faith, of God... you will arrive at the conclusion that promoting faith would be the dangerous decision. So yes, reason must be in the minds of the people and even it should be tempered.

5. "Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts." Justice, it would be great if this will be achieved. It also makes me think about the situation when you will have a united humanity with one language but different nations, the explanation would come from the limitation in population that will lead to communities scattered around the earth and nations being mostly administrative in nature although politics will inevitably make some room for herself. What would happen if competition will start between the nations? The same old story. 

6. "Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court." - Strongly linked with number five, the same comments apply.

7. "Avoid petty laws and useless officials." - Small government, clean and clear laws. No need for a law legalizing breathing.

8. "Balance personal rights with social duties." - If you are given, then you must also give... but wait... it's about personal rights, wikipedia says that personal rights "are the rights that a person has over their own body". Could it be just an error in the definition, and these personal rights could be merely unemployment benefits? I don't believe so. Apparently militating for justice, this phrase could be an introduction to a "how to build your totalitarian state".

9. "Prize truth - beauty - love - seeking harmony with the infinite." - Truth... yes, beauty... hell yeah, love... sure, harmony with the infinite... definitely.

10."Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature. " - Cancer.. a cell that is constantly multiplying and that ends by destroying the body. "Leave room for nature" is repeated twice, making it a very important statement, maybe fundamental (or at least among the main ideas) to the group that erected the monument.

There is also an explanatory tablet, a real gold mine for archaeologists from 5000 A.D. I imagine. From there we find out that the name of the monument is "The Georgia Guidestones" and that the "center cluster [was] erected [in] March 22, 1980" continuing with "let these be the guidestones to the Age of Reason". The author, we are told, is R. C. Christian and the sponsors are "a small group of Americans who seek the Age of Reason", remember the "small" before the "group". The time capsule under the explanatory tablet mentioned remains a mystery, if it exists and there is no date when it should be opened although "to be opened on" is written.

More than six billion people need to either die or move to another planet or to the Moon and those who will remain/survive here will live in a cleaner, more balance world, but will have fewer liberties I suspect. Something that is created on genocide is nothing good, if we get there slowly and not through man-made viruses and wars I will be impressed. The Age of Reason must be reached through compassion, with God.

Who is R. C. Christian? We will leave this one for another article.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A separation / Losers' Club

Image from the movie Losers' Club
Recently i had the possibility to see two great movies: "A Separation", Iran, 2011, directed by Asghar Farhadi, starring Peyman Moadi and Leila Hatami ; and "Losers' Club", Turkey, 2011, directed by Tolga Ornek and starring Nejat Isler, Yigit Ozsener and Ahu Turkpence. The two movies are quite different from one another, although there are some important elements that unite them, the ideas of loneliness, separation and their opposites. Even thou both countries are mostly Islamic the fact that Turkey is secular can easily be seen. Losers' Club nonetheless puts into discussion culture and censorship. In "A Separation" we are immersed into a truly theocratic society with a strict (although incomparably softer than in many Middle Eastern countries) sharia law.

What stuck with me after seeing the Iranian film was that family is important, very important... when you add children into the equation things take a drastic turn... into the better in my opinion. The starting point with the two wanting to get a divorce, in fact she wanting to get divorced slowly makes room for other issues, only to be remembered in the end of the movie when, in fact, I even hoped the two will not separate. I will not explain the entire movie, but the decisions Nader will make along the way from Simin wanting to get a divorce but being denied to Simin being granted the divorce will show that he, Nader, while not having the power to let go, will, inevitably let go.

Loser's Club is a totally different ballpark, in fact it's not even the same sport, here we have the story of two typical rock n' roll free spirits discussing things, with no form of censorship on their nighttime radio show. Both of them have their own businesses, Kaan has an unsuccessful publishing company while Mete runs a pub and ultimately a shop. The two will go through a series of very interesting events and the overall comical nature of the movie will surely give you something to smile at while not neglecting the pop-philosophy foundation. I admire Tolga Ornek for this masterpiece of Turkish cinema.




Song title: Yalnizlik Omur Boyu, form the soundtrack of Losers' Club.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Licia Verde, an introduction to cosmology

I'm saying this with no exaggeration, it's a tragedy that not more people look at the sky, because those who look at the sky end up by being hypnotized by its beauty. Licia Verde (astrophysicist) presents a great and captivating introduction to cosmology.

Licia Verde was born in Italy in 1971, currently she is a professor at ICREA in Spain. Each and every page of her CV (14 in total, although it's really summarized)  stands as evidence of her beautiful mind. The following quote is from her website:

I am an astrophysicist with interest in cosmology. My research topics include theoretical cosmology, cosmic microwave background, large scale structure, galaxy clusters, statistical applications and data analysis. I am interested in the study of the large-scale structure of the Universe and in the analysis of galaxy surveys.
I am involved with several projects: I am part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III, the EUCLID science working group, the BPOL (COrE) science working group and the LSST large scale structure study group. Also check out my research group at ICC ICC-Phys.Cosm and the extended group cosmole. 

Click the image bellow to be redirected to the video


I will also give you something extra, a video from the CERN website in which Licia is the speaker, enjoy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Golden Verses of Pythagoras II - Contemplative Virtues

This is the second and final segment of my presentation of the Golden Verses of Pythagoras. These are the contemplative virtues. I strongly recommend reading the first part before continuing [in case you haven't read it]. Pythagoras developed into a mythical figure as time passed, he began to be perceived as more than human, with a universal learning, it is said that he studied geometry and astronomy with Anoximander, hieroglyphic symbolism with the priests of Egypt, the science of dreams with Hebrew masters and he also studied with Arabs, the Chaldean of Babylon and even with Zoroaster, for studying his life/philosophy I suggest you read Diogenes Laertius, Porphyry and Iamblichus among others. Now, his mythical persona greatly diminished, being exchanged for the more easily believable verions.

Philosophy is useless if you don't use it, live a life according to the high principles that permeated through our world from the higher realms of human and divine knowledge.If you believe in God, in whatever form he may be, try to follow the light of the mind, try to do good and think good thoughts, if you don't believe in God try to view these texts as possibilities to get to know a world enriched with the beauty of knowledge and love and "nothing in this world shall be hidden from you".

48. But never start any work, before praying to the gods to accomplish what you are going to begin.
49. When all these will be well known to you,
50. You will understand the constitution of the Immortal Gods and of men,
51. and how far the different beings extend, and what contains and binds them together.
52. You will likewise know that according to Law, the nature of this universe is in all things alike,
53. So that you shall not hope what thou ought not to hope; and nothing in this world shall be hidden from you.
54. You will likewise know, that men draw upon themselves their own misfortunes voluntarily, and of their own free choice.
55. The unfortunate, they neither see nor understand that their good is near them.
56. Few learned how to deliver themselves out of their misfortunes.
57. Such is the fate that blinds mankind, and takes away their senses.
58. Like huge cylinders they roll to and fro, and always oppressed with ills innumerable.
59. For fatal strife (hatred), innate, pursues them everywhere, tossing them up and down without them perceiving it;
60. instead of provoking and stirring it up, they ought to banish it.
61. Oh! Jupiter (Zeus), our Father! if you would deliver men from all the evils that oppress them,
62. and show them all, the Daemon they make use of.
63. But you, take courage; and know that the human race is divine.
64. Sacred nature reveals to men all her mysteries.
65. If she imparts to you her secrets, you will easily perform all the things which I have ordained you.
66. And by healing your soul, you will deliver it from all evils, from all afflictions.
67. But abstain from the food, which we have forbidden in the purifications and in the deliverance of the soul; [this element is seen in many religions and spiritual movements, it surely wasn't created by Pythagoras; healthy eating is also obviously recommended by non-spiritual people]
68. Make a just distinction of them, and examine all things well.
69. Letting yourself always to be guided by the understanding that comes from above
70. And when, after leaving your mortal body, you will arrive at the most pure Aether,
71. You shall be like a God, immortal, incorruptible, and Death shall have no more dominion over you.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Where to get your news from

We live in dangerous times my friends, across the world people are faced with artificial threats, are given misleading information and believe they are free while in fact they are the slaves of ignorance. Here is a list of trusted news sites. As you will see, I tried to limit myself only to the most professional and objective sources.

Press TV - Iranian English news station, strongly recommended and to be trusted. It features shows done by Max Kaiser (On the Edge with Max), George Galloway (The Real Deal), Russell Michaels (Cinepolitics), but also a series of documentaries dealing with hot topics around the world, culture and arts. Of great interest are also the two programs dedicated to Iranian culture and life (Iran and Iran Today).

RT TV - Russian news station broadcasting in English. From my observations it tends to be the first to show breaking news. It's commentators will always give you that fresh perspective you have been searching for in terms of geopolitics. Some of the shows are: Kaiser Report (with Max Kaiser, who also does a show on Press TV), CrossTalk (with Peter Lavelle), Interview with Sophie Shevardnadze and Technology Update. The site is one of the best news sites I have ever seen, I definitely like the Russian encyclopedia, the "Learn Russian" section with the famous "Hot for words" and a series of on-line exclusives.

CCTV English - Chinese news station that also has an informative website. I especially like their documentaries and their "learn Chinese" section. Some of their programs are: Asia Today, China 24, Journeys in Time, China Insight and World Insight. A lovely source for information and education.


Xinhua - It's important to keep an eye on the country that seems to be destined to take the role of superpower in decades to come, the Xinhua News Agency is a great place to start.

IRNA - The Islamic Republic's News Agency offers a more detailed point of view coming from this great culture, from here most of the official photos come from (military drills, diplomatic meetings, and so on)

RIA Novosti - Another excellent Russian news site, great articles. One of my favorite columnists is Marc Bennetts who writes "Deeper than Oil", I still remember his thoughts about his trip to North Korea in 2011, an impressive insight into the secretive country. The multimedia section is a must see, the "INFOgraphics" are very well made.

SANA - Syrian Arab News Agency, that's right, the best source of info from that country (at least the best source I found). The website isn't exceptional but you should visit it from time to time.

AVN (Venezuela) - The English version of Venezuela's news agency, offers a limited selection of articles, will search for more sources from Venezuela.

Tehran Times - This is an Iranian English language daily newspaper, I already started to make my digital collection and I try to read it every day although most often I'll just read the titles. The cultural page interests me the most, but also the politics section. The website has been redesigned recently and it look much much better.

This is all for now, I will do updates with other news sources in future posts (hopefully something from Europe and the US also). Don't forget, in addition to being well informed, try to digest the news on your own and don't rely only on what others comment about events, also, read, read books about history, philosophy, these will greatly help you in your every day lives and this is not a joke.

Take care, all the best to you all.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Kittie Grave (visual) and Elis (audio)

This "duo" is different from what I have been posting here because, prior to this, music came in support of the visual arts... now is the other way around. This may not mean much to you because I imagine you receive the music and the pictures in the same package but for me it's an important detail. Elis is a great band, underrated like most good music projects nowadays. I can't keep an objective mind when talking about this band because the music fells like it's under my skin, entering my blood like some kind of drug. Something totally different from the other bands and artists I like. They are filed under gothic metal and are from Liechtenstein.

The singer is Sabine Dunser who sadly died in 2007, she had a great, powerful and expressive voice. The song "Heaven and Hell" is, as you probably already know, a cover from the 1980 Black Sabbath album with the same name that featured Dio as vocalist.

As for Kitty Grave I don't really have much to say except that she is from Ukraine and is a Libra. Her deviantArt page is here, apart from that, enjoy the pictures.

Drinking of Silence
Feel the tree
Rest from war
Vision
My time is yet to come
The world is full of Kings and Queens
who blind your eyes and steal your dreams
It's Heaven and Hell, oh well
And they'll tell you black is really white
The moon is just the sun at night
And when you walk in golden halls
you get to keep the gold that falls
It's Heaven and Hell


See you all next week