Popular Science

I remember watching Juan Enriquez’s Ted (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talk a couple years ago. Even in 2007, this Ted talk is years ahead of everyone else:


 In the most current issue of Popular Science, Juan Enriquez’s article, The Glory of BIG DATA, discusses the ‘leap’ experienced within the realm of data. “In 2010 we played, swam, wallowed, and drowned in 1.2 zettabytes of the stuff, and in 2011 the volume is predicted to continue along its exponential growth curve to 1.8 zettabytes. (A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes; that’s a 1 with 21 zeros trailing behind it.)” 

I remember reading Carl Sagan’s book, Billions and Billions. I was astonished by the vast proportions of perspectives available. Now “billions and billions” surrenders to “zettabytes”? Awesome? Google is booming: “The company has already gathered enough data–some 500 billion words from more than five million books–to plausibly claim the emergence of a new science, culturomics. Eventually the coinage, evolution and decline of every word and phrase could be traced across centuries… (Google’s) effort is to create as complete a census as possible of the published word since 1500.”  

Enriquez is clear and insistent: The massive amounts of digital data is being integrated with biology, “All digital data can be coded into life-forms, and all life-forms can be coded as digital data.” To think and act ecologically, the industrial practice of using brute force to extract concentrated sun-light from coal and oil must yield to processes of bio-power and biomimicry. In the present ecolution, energy is grown from synthetic life-forms and data is stored, “in the gene code of a few bacteria.” 

God Bless the Integral Age!  


Experiencing Occupy Oakland

It is Oct. 25th 2011. I am leaving a coffee shop mildly frustrated they close at 6:00pm. I arrive at Lake Merritt to view the sunset. The beauty is breathtaking and silhouettes a city bound in unrest. 6 helicopters hover over the city, a plane circles and I realize the Occupy protestors have met the force of eviction. On my bike I seek them. I pass 20+ police motorcycles as I meet a multitude occupying the intersection of 14th and Broadway. I found fellow CIISer’s present. I was greeted with alliance and encouragement. The adrenaline exuding from bodies was palpable.

People wear masks that look threatening and concealing. I later learned this action has everything to do with the protection from tear gas. I witness a woman poring vinegar into protestors bandanas. Vinegar is an acid and neutralizes the extreme base chemical composition of the tear gas.

The crowd is anti-authoritarian. The protestors move in waves of confrontation against the line police have built. The police are the only bodies present to confront. The police loud speaker the warning to disperse. We are illigal. “You have 5 mins to vacate the area!” The voice of the sergeant is direct, clear, and distinct… “We will use force.” The subtleties in his voice speak his silent hope: he prays that his job not be done. He prays for our compliance. Shame is shared and he has the armed power at his command. So… we march again. And then we return. I have a slice of pizza.

So many cameras. The lights from a helicopter beams down with a foreign presence – the surveillance is all encompassing. I witness the marching crowd return to the police line. The spirits of confrontation mount and everyone can feel the surge of intensity. Huge, loud booms erupt…  the release of smoke… Screams, terror, concern, fleeing. A sea of people move hastily toward me. It was truly amazing to witness the shout of “WALK!! WALK!!” over and over. Wisdom and care know no boundaries…

I experiencing tear gas for the first time in my life. I bore witness to citizens in peaceful protest flee from a line of police in full riot gear. I learned how effective tear gas is. The paradox of ‘tear’ gas is not lost. Our bodies are in pain and the power of tears will heal, but for all our humaness we have not the tools to cry together – so we fight. I write and my head throbs from the poisonous air I consumed. Everything in your head burns… burning, not tears.

On my bike I felt safe. I am mobil and fast. Everything was a spectacle. I prayed for all present. This is my United States. We are divided.

I bare witness to working class officers experiencing the shame of tear gassing their neighbors. I bare witness to privileged and under-privileged youth channeling an unnamed rage against non-corporeal entities. It is both protest and nihilism, social auto-immunity and the loss of the “American Dream” becoming consciousness.

I was on the opposite side of fence with the officers a mere hour ago. Now I sit in a coffee shop. In a dance with key strokes… and there… to my right are two Oakland police officers. We are together consuming caffeine. Praise the Lord.

For about 30 minutes during the protest I ate a slice of pizza. I had already experienced the tear gassing. I sat in front of a glass window, watching protestors, the police in riot gear holding their ground and the whole event pass before my consuming gesture like a live reality tv show. This is America. “How was the protest?” “Good! I had a slice of pizza.”

God Bless America.

Vision A Far

The visionary digital art of Gary Tonge:


HAVONA urantiaMASTERUNI urantia


Tonge’s art is extraordinary.  In HAVONA Urantia (upper left – only a portion is viewable here), we bare witness to a billion heavenly perfected spheres. I love thinking about the possibilities and implications of this vision. Where the unification of spirit and matter meld into a singular event, we encounter a vision that captures the evolution of spherical potential. If our Earth is a sphere, and if we are participating in an evolutionary tide of development, and if we sense an ever-perfecting evidence of psychic and material integration then perhaps we might imagine the Earth itself as a living being – a Gaia – that seeks its own perfection. Along with an infinite multitude of other solar-body configurations, our solar system stood to birth yet another Sphere – “Another Earth” – whose radial advancement meets its spherical companions on a psychophysical journey.


Earth is not alone. In Tonge’s Vision, we witness a billion other spheres. The concrescence of time and space yields an unfathomable family of spherical symmetry – a perfection; a symbiotic co-constituted “migration of intelligences.” We discover the sense of latent potential bound in our Earth’s youth, its unique evolution, and its relationship to an intimate cosmos.

Touge’s vision reminds us of the gift of imagination, where our mind’s eye might hold the truth of Rumi’s 13th century prose: “We are on an evolving course, through this migration of intelligence’s, and though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream.”

All beings are beings.

You receive exactly what you give.