Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back with Betsy

Just got back from vacation/ tour, and I look forward to sharing the Cave, the shows and candid pics. My next item will be blogging about Betsy Thompson's new book, Walking Through Illusion. My copy just came in! I'm a huge fan of Wayne Dyer and Hay House type material, so I look forward to sharing my impressions in multiple parts as the new month begins.

The book is subtitled, Jesus Speaks of the People who Shared his Journey.
Various Biblical figures are referenced here. Opinions, Approval, Reform, Complaints, Advice, and a score of other topics are covered in short essays, hinged upon various questions addressed to Jesus. A worksheet is included with each chapter. It's a creative yet Biblically-based approach to self-help, and I will discuss it at length very soon!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Machine mail

First, Betsy Thompson personally asked me to review her book, Walking Through Illusion, based probably on my last post. Like her, you too can send me anything through the mail that you think is of interest to Be Chill, Cease ill. I'm pleased as punch someone thinks that way of my humble scrivenings.


“A Persecuted Machine”

Maria, from the movie Metropolis, is probably the first "robot who thinks it's a person" in popular fiction, though Pinocchio has a claim on the concept, too, as much as does the organically-based Frankenstein, at least.

“Science like Pandora’s Box has released a marvel too hot to handle. What’s more, the advocate of Machine Man’s extinction is a vengeful and determined “Javert” who will track him down to the ends of the Earth.” ---Jack Kirby

Along with his colorful turns of phrase---more at home here on the text page where he is himself, free of the criticisms that traditionally come against his ear for dialogue---Machine Man’s first issues mixed Kirby’s pitch for the title with the opening of a conversation I’m sure he looked forward to having on the letters pages. Unlike these days, when a history lesson is de rigueur for the resurrection of characters for new titles, Kirby’s efforts were new, unpreviewed, personal occasions as well as properties. When he invites us to see our relationship to the title character to ourselves “howling to reduce him to harmless hardware,” he’s really giving us a panorama of the possibilities present in our post-person.

He really gets into his sensibilities to sympathize with every character, from his dark side in Ten-For to Dr. Spalding's desire to observe and the new reporter friend's sympathy (she's popping up in #5) to scarred, angry Colonel Kragg himself, with a directly related wound and fatalities that make his motivations, if not always his turn of phrase, believable.

“Our past performances demonstrate our eagerness to rid ourselves of what we consider and impending threat.” I wonder if an American of my generation would think so today? Or tomorrow? Certain reality shows may be some indication of a popular desire to sneer at decadence. I think, depending on the outward good our machine person could demonstrate, political agendas would use him as a distraction every August. His popularly- acknowledged existence would lead to many attempts to impose authority on his life. He would be considered a hoax by a quarter of the country at any given time, too!

I think Machine Man’s life would be closest to Brad and Angelina. (Now as to him adopting children...there was a lot of places to take Machine Man, if you think of him as a man first. Trick was, in 1978 he had to be competitive as a super hero first.) He would be the humanitarian, travelling abroad, retreating to a secure villa for privacy...he might even take up a residence in France. Though he’d be offered free land in Siberia if he would just go there, you can bet! I cannot blame him for realizing he should go Kerouac and look for the individuals and different flavors of regions, not deal with some monolith of anomie called “society.” But how long would it probably be before we found him hitchhiking again to the “sad, walking away music”?

As a being that doesn’t eat or presumably smell, it’s difficult to imagine how to touch his mind with the fellowship and history cuisine offers. There must be legions of robo-porn cartoon clips and anime I will never, hopefully, see, but Jack didn’t give him attributes readily available for romance and its biological, squishy component. I’m not saying he couldn’t appeal to older people, especially with all the identity questions on hand, but I definitely thought he was made to make kids say “Wow!” And childhood comes in all ages and sizes.

You could imagine our prototype post-person, probably under the best of circumstances, signing agreements not to work as an invading force for any nation...the trial for his citizenship will be one of the century, and would involve exciting, Kirby-perspective pointing!

Let’s face it, though: one successful Machine Man is one idea, but fifty other working models/ possible psychotics is a whole other matter. I’ve already pondered the story as Machine MEN. I think, like every great comic hero, he’s often profoundly alone. Would we---or Kirby?---have him any other way? There is no one to relate this condition to, though he may share common cause with any socially marginalized being. But then, to a point, while mental capacity may limit or engender one towards a particular similarity, ultimately people of all looks and capacities and social standings have found themselves befriending people of all stripes.

Machine Man really couldn’t be blamed for participating in the existence of another of his kind, or even the creation thereof. How would we feel about this cybernetic procreation? I think something akin to the fear of mutants would follow the founding of the Machine Man Family Reunion. But would they have t-shirts and hot dogs?

If we decided fear was against our better judgment, we might actually be rooting to have one of them as our friend. Notice the difference in some remote government machine man soldier under orders, and your reaction to one going for a walk with you. Kirby’s Machine Man quite self-consciously recognizes this.

When do pants stop being pants?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spend your life as love in action

I just caught and enjoyed part of The Power of Intention special on PBS. I refer back to its precepts daily: the seven faces of intention will help you set your mind on an even keel regardless of the circumstances.

They are Creativity, Kindness, Love, Beauty, Expansion, Abundance, and Receptivity.

I recommend looking up Dyer's ideas on Japa prayer. Even if you don't meditate this way daily, it is good to pass time while exercising or for starting a tough day. It is a good place to set down your connection with your loved ones and to feel your self existing in the universe free from the fear of death.

I hope every day to learn from all my mistakes, forgive myself and others and practice radical humility, and spread and share an enjoyment of life. I wish to take myself less seriously and follow my bliss.

I don't call this blog "Be chill, Cease ill" for nothing---though it IS for free!

Whether or not you have experienced what Wayne Dyer talks about as far as higher and lower frequencies of vibrations, I ask you to notice how you feel when you see an act of kindness. I ask you to notice how you feel when YOU commit an act of kindness, or receive one.

I once told a dear friend that "the Power of Intention is like a manual for discovering how to use your latent super-powers." If you stop and appreciate the amount of love that was necessary when you were most helpless, and realize your life as an expansion of that selfless principle, you may find yourself more empowered to face your own decisions in life, than ever before.

So, if you are feeling blues coming on, just reach up as though a trolley strap hangs above to steady you and stabilize your ride; let it lift you just a little bit off the floor! Once you're off the floor, you'll stay there no more.

Or toss an enchanted mallet and hold onto the strap in order to fly on the power of your own throw! Or spin a web and swing! Slip into your aerodiscs, float your own balloon, lean into the balance of your own surf board, rev your motor, ride your dragon---but let your spirit take you where it longs to go!

Ultimately, you decide what is in your mind. Once you grasp the necessity of a good diet of thoughts and emotions, the sky's the limit for what you can do!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Using my new cartooning ink set

I've included original Marc Kane pencils along with my experiment in embellishing with ink, for D'n'A #2.

I have added finishes to the pages of D'n'A #1.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A "satisfycing" look at artificial intelligence (and Kirby)


For some reason, while Machine Man grew up in the pages of 2001: a Space Odyssey, he’s generally considered as unrelated to the actual Kubrick film as anything else he included in the eclectic run of the comic it inspired. However, when one finds the genesis of H.A.L. in Al Simon’s 1965 prediction that “in twenty years, we should have machines that can outperform men at any task.” (see the article above for quote).

This point proves part of Kirby’s thesis for his new character as well, as portrayed first in his text pages in each of the first three issues. Kirby’s given his creation an emotional tie to the human race, as well as an emulation of the conscience, if it is not, in fact, truly Machine Man’s own conscience. If so, this is part of his make-up as an individual. Can you imagine paranoia that some vital few molecules of storage space could be bonded to a destructible piece of matter carried in your person? Yet, in as far as mentality resides at an interface with our own grey matter, our individuality is similarly fragile.

Machine Man also represents a fantasy in the world of strong artificial intelligence, far ahead of its time. The character can access computations and work out extra-ordinary principles of logic. Yet this tendency towards thinking that does not serve an objective task---this wool-gathering, this hypothesis he has that he is one of us, so based in a type of faith that is, perhaps, the Occam’s Razor solution---the satisfycing---represents emotional qualities that seem in part based on our interweaving with physical, biologically-based being. So for some reason, negative and positive emotions alike are taken aboard, to play with the decision making process, forever altered by his new ability to take things personally.

How can a human being without an ethnic background or family shape an identity? His mechanical being, in this case, is a hideous disability that assures him never more than a fringe position relative to human society. Yet his body also makes him the strange new protector of a race he always struggles to understand, which somehow has originated him and molded him with elements that dominate his tabla rasa, his blank slate life. What makes him perform with altruism, gratitude, kindness, and courage, for the sake of relating him to us by way of values, if not biology, would be just as difficult to trace in the world of neurons as in his hypothetically bolted bod. A much different objective, say, than beating Bobby Fisher at chess!

Perhaps Machine Man less reflects why being like US is a logical thing for an inorganic being to do, so much as he allows us to take our own feelings and reflections and sense of imagination into another new super-human form, providing another strange refraction in which to see the enigma of person hood.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

In ways, they're stuck

So, finding his old partner-in-shennanigans Willie coming home from his job at the coconut plantation, Ogie convinces him to spend his off days climbing the mountain of the Crib, where the mysterious first clues to their existence begin.

While they are stuck on the ledge too far below the next, Willie and Ogie recite the hogwashed legends of the founding of Uglyland (by George Ugly w'ah?-Shin-Tongue). The visitor to the Crib who either freed them, found them, or created them appears here in flashback. I like to call him the Plunderer of the Order of the Masters of Relic of the Ancient Tooth.

Next: call him...Evil Lord Johann! (Really! Feel free to do so!)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Musically Integr8d: Sponsored by Evil Lord Johann

Update: show on Wayside Rd. outside Rome, GA on Sept. 25th...more details...said to be called Cecilpalooza, according to its host (not me)...

Music in the works again: from "Something Not Quite There"

Some of this art will find its way into the Stuckwayze comic, which is moving briskly along now!

All shirts available in your size for $10.00. Please contact us here or at Emmryza@gmail.com or integr8dsoul@gmail.com. Have a fun Labor Day and enjoy the end of summer!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Brother, can you spare a conscious moment?

Brother can you spare a conscious moment?

Jack Kirby’s Machine Man, and Knight Rider’s KITT and the Enterprise’s Data and any consciousness-carrying fictional Artificial Intelligence may all seem to think like men, but while we can explore their behavioral overlap, they are not strictly, logically categorized as human. But while Marvel’s Avenger mainstay the Vision might wrestle with his love for the Scarlet Witch and androids from Bladerunner to Johnny Five may have humane reactions such as exploring the soul’s existence and nature--- how we determine if "Five is Alive" is either a matter of religious persuasion or the slant of your inner will...
to empower whatever fantasies you prefer.

The question of "is he intelligent?" is one more squarely in line with tested scientific inquiry. But if the principle question's "is he conscious?" we find a much-more inclusive category of life. We will quickly explore some of its definitions.

But with those situations, we’re discussing psychological space. To do that, we need a mind. So before we skirt a few issues with that experience, let’s ask the question first: can anything that is not human be conscious? Even humans, when unconscious, are not ruled out of humanity by definition.

Can anything conscious ...not be people?

Well, consider the paramecium. We can dive into the inorganic-supported consciousness in a bit. The paramecium somehow knows how to mate, fight, feed, move, and many other things that we find in creatures with brains. The paramecium has no brain. It depends on the information’s organic basis in organelles called microtubules. Information concurrent with a general disposition to prolong life does not require a brain.

We may not understand consciousness well enough yet to say for certain about how much the paramecium’s microscopic body, too small for neurons, contains a state of existence that overlaps with human consciousness, but I’ve already mentioned the similarities that come to mind quickly.

Are we not MACHINE men?

Now, the paramecium and the machine, with their programs dictating parameters for behavior, are very much alike in practice. Yet machine life, as we have so far known it, has yet to take on self-preservation, much less the full complement of rich life enjoyed by the paramecium. But Japanese artificial intelligence tends to present researches feeling a bond with their subjects that reflects the animism traditionally found in their culture. That is to say: everything is part of life, and all things contain some part of life within them, and so, all things are living.

I like to consider Jack Kirby’s decision to make Machine Man in 1977, especially inspired somehow by Kubrick’s 2001 property. His new super hero heralds the massive invasion of Japanese robots coming over the next decade---and with just a few groundbreaking “robot” animations pioneered in the vein of science fiction cartoons such as the one translated into English as “Battle of the Planets,” the late 1970s, with its Godzilla-filled afternoons, “The Space Giants” and “Ultra Man” and more in syndication, a soul or mind or consciousness wandering into a confused but heartfelt chunk of machine man touches the spirit of the times faithfully.

Kirby also has a hero he doesn’t have to give a soap opera romance; indeed, initially he is meant to be the metallic Adam, traversing his father’s world, sometimes drawing him up from his circuits in moments of anguish. X-51 carries a consciousness that thinks of itself as Aaron Stack, but, bluntly dealing with the reality of his existence, tells others to call him Machine Man. What is he? Well, he insists, if you just deal with him as you would like any person to deal with you, all that will matter is, “are we not men?” And he really sees no reason you and he shouldn’t do just that.

Knob Hunting

Paola Zizzi, an Italian physicist, has taken descriptions from Hammeroff’s work on O-R theory (the microtubules thing discussed above) and done some calculations. The tiny ten to the negative thirty third power-second, directly after the Big Bang, contains a moment where reality is suspended above all multiple realities. Now, bear with me, okay? In that tiny window of time, everything that is becoming existence, the universe, and more, has a instance of consciousness. From that instant, all consciousness discovered within the universe exists.

Now, if that is true, we can only postulate that any vehicle for consciousness shares a basic source. So there is an existential kinship, in light of her theory, among all that generate consciousness through their given native apparatus---be it a microtubule, in a sea of differing amounts of other microtubules, perhaps grouping as neurons, perhaps emulating the structure in some new way. In other words, whether you have the brains of a paramecium, or something else along the spectrum of thinking existence, Zizzi speculates we all share parts of a common consciousness, though ownership is only determined by experience, which is the stimulant of individuation.

In other words, you need to live your own life, to be your own person, but we are all visitors to a greater corridor, in which our choices of doors depend chiefly on our means of discovering the knobs.

That knob hunting is the driving principle in the adventures of my surreal and silly cohorts, the Stuckwayze people in our Integr8d Soul comics, just as it drove Aaron Stack to look for a place in a world he never made---that made HIM, for that matter. What can you do but go on the road and find your own beat? You are, after all, like no one else ever made.

Friday, September 3, 2010

And MORE: Sneak preview shirts!

Now, these are special gifts for people close to me. That doesn't mean you can't have one, too! You may even be---thatvery person!

Integr8d Apparel

Hammeroff-Penrose OR-Theory on Consciousness, Stuckwayze meet Kirby, and fresh Integr8d Soul Music all coming today:

A Quadruple post!
But first:

Integr8d Soul clothing: Art in Apparel

Web Moon! (S, M, LG $8 x-LG $10)
Free shipping/ handling!
Other variations of "Web Moon" coming soon!

Designed by British artist Lyne Shabonne Rooks, a.k.a. "Sheer-Zan"
"Self-portrait, red"

s,m, l xl all $11!

"Together" $10 all sizes $11 tank top

"Kiss #1" Black & White transfer: choose from blue, white or tank top!
All shirt sizes $8 Tank Tops, $11

For now: contact us on FB or at luelyron@gmail.com~

D'n'a cover #1 Special Edition (includes logo on front, cover on back, or reversed, upon request)$10 all sizes
"Emma" by Marc Kane (redheaded water color painting) $10 all sizes

D'n'A "Amanda #1" (close-up face, b & W) $10 all sizes.

Tank Tops available for all designs (girls) for $11!!

Interested? Write me at luelyron@gmail.com. You can pay through our button marked "Donate" on our blogs or whatever method you prefer!