Under An Open Sky

When I was in Korea I used to wait until it was raining out to go hiking. Because most people abhor this kind of weather I would have the whole mountainside to myself. Sometimes I would pause and watch the mist roll in over the town, or use the opportunity to venture well off the […]

Does Biology Drive ‘Pebble Formation’ in Ideologies?

In ‘pebble form ideologies‘ I advanced the idea that over time information topologies degrade into much smaller ‘pebble forms’ which are are recognizably religious in nature, and I stipulated that part of what drives this process are ‘religion-shaped grooves’ worn deep into mammalian nervous systems. Elsewhere a commenter challenged this notion, questioning why I invoked biology as an […]

Pebble Form Ideologies

(Epistemic Status: Riffing on an interesting thought in a Facebook comments thread, mostly just speculation without any citations to actual research) My friend Jeffrey Biles — who is an indefatigable fountainhead of interesting stuff to think about — recently posited that the modern world’s aversion to traditional religion has exerted a selection pressure on meme vectors which has […]

Literary Criticism as Applied Apophenia

Growing up I had far more books than friends, and have been writing regularly since I was about seventeen. In high school I was a voracious reader of “the classics”; with the lamp on late into the night I’d turn the pages of Hemingway and Dickens, not caring to wait for the English class in which they’d be taught. Owing […]

Using a Mantra Stack

For a couple of months now I have been experimenting with different protocols for designing mantras and visualization exercises, combining them into ‘stacks’ like one might do with nootropics, and nestling them into ritual structures which make them more likely to become habits. As I have now had the opportunity to explore this territory under a […]

My Epistemic Status as of the end of 2015

The following is a list of things I learned or became more convinced of in 2015: * The Christian god is real, and so are all the others, just not outside anyone’s head. Almost everyone I’ve ever come across, theist or atheist, misinterprets the implications of this. Religions furnish both a ritual apparatus and introspective scaffolding, […]