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The Corroboree


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About Micromegas

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    Shaman's Apprentice

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  1. Micromegas

    Some psychedelic memes I made

    Classic sagi I like the third one best.
  2. Micromegas

    Visitation by birds

    This is a super thread, I've been enjoying reading the entries over the years and participated in, and great story lostinthebush to start your corroboree career, ripper! It just happens I wrote a story along these lines on an FB page I started for my garden. There's a bunch of photos that go with it, but I'll just paste the text here as importing the photos over is a huge job as each one would have to be resized. I'm not too keen to link to FB from here (it's good this site has kept independence from there), but you can easily find the page by googling "Micromegas' Secret Garden" if you're interested. But here is the story, on point I think, if you read though it you may find items that connect with your own personal experiences. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Auspicium Ex Avibus: 50 bird species in the Secret Garden *15 minute read, this will be of interest to not only the typical "twitcher" but anyone who ever received a "message", an omen, from a bird. * There was a time in my psychonautic heyday, now passed, that I was unusually interconnected with birds. I used to have well-developed relationships with a number of species and some key species in particular. At first it was all in the general sense. For several years my thoughts would strangely "synchronize" with external bird behaviour whenever I was outdoors. It started the morning after ayahuasca sessions in the Amazon around 2006: choruses of birds, caciques and orioles, in the forest down river from Iquitos seemed to sing of revelations and "healings". It was pretty incredible at the time and continued on when I came back to Australia. This one can be chalked down to wishful thinking. The birds would *probably* have been singing had I been there, or not. In this sense, one can project one's mind outside oneself, into the environment, and find all sorts of agreeances there, we do this all the time. A general interpretation can therefore be given via "psychologism", along the lines of, as mythologist Levi-Strauss has pointed out, that birds are the most obvious and accessible analogue for human societies. We can easily project onto them, and find in their avian actions, an inversion of our own human communities, fears, hopes, dreams, and behaviours: “Birds… can be permitted to resemble men for the very reason that they are so different. They are feathered, winged, oviparous, and they are also physically separated from human society by the element in which it is their privilege to move. As a result of this fact, they form a community which is independent of our own, but, precisely because of this independence, appears to us like another society, homologous to that in which we live: birds love freedom; they build themselves homes in which they live a family life and nurture their young; they often engage in social relations with other members of their species; and they communicate with them by acoustic means recalling articulated language. Consequently everything objective conspires to make us think of the bird world as a metaphorical human society: is it not after all literally parallel to it on another level?” (Levi-Strauss, The Savage Mind, 1962) So birds got worked into global mythology as a fundamental basic operation of thinking at the dawn of human consciousness, although there is more to the role of birds in mythology than this psychological reduction can explain. But that is tangent for another day! Instead, this entry is about "AUSPICIUM EX AVIBUS" - divining from birds. At a certain point, for me, the general awareness of bird activity turned into bird-correspondence that seemed, extremely, statistically unlikely. Via the operation of the Huachuma Mesada (san pedro ritual) that I had learned (from don Howard Lawler, see "an Ode to El Nino" entry in the gallery: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/...), I became able to "call" birds at certain times and days in ways that seemed statistically improbable. As this went on, I developed strong relationships with certain species. In a different phase of my life I used to roam through bushland in all sorts of out-of-the-way places, or in my own garden, carrying with me a wooden stake, with two lovers entwined in carving and with a depression on top, from which I would nasally imbibe liquid tobacco - a process known in Peru as the "singada". I would give singada "to the birds". I did this thousands of times, probably, the singada. I used to relate to places and birds in this way, walking around, doing singada, sympathetically "raising energy". In this process, and then over into my "normal" life, many small, and some huge, genuinely remarkable instances, of bird "synchronicity" occurred for me over about a decade. When I transitioned to land management as a career and calmed down a bit, the birds continued to "speak" to me. I would read their behaviour - especially of my key species - to know where I was at in my life, to assist in making decisions, and so on. I checked my mental state and made decisions - often major ones like buying a car or a house or changing jobs! - by watching birds. A bit crazy, right? It certainly seems so, in retrospect! Over time I settled down. The "path" became hard, the signals and the general information I was receiving via the shamanic learning process became steadily more abstruse and cognitively and emotionally restrictive. This is not an indictment on shamanism; it merely reflects my own personal process, personal life experiences, and perhaps something about the problematic intersection of western neuroses with native traditions. At a certain point, I switched to a journey of rationalisation or logical deduction. This page is evidence of that shift. I entered the world of theory. I started to ask objective, theoretical, historical questions about my introspective, subjective experiences: what does it mean to read omens from birds? Why are birds so important in mythology? Why and how did birds appear to read my innermost thoughts and feelings? WHAT IS IT ABOUT BIRDS! As my "shamanic" intensity declined and my "theory" developed (perhaps eventually to be fused into one, one day), my garden ascended, and new bird species popped up everywhere. That is where this story begins: fifty species in the Secret Garden. * I have neglected the birds of late. I haven't made a post about them, nor updated my species list - the first folder ever in the gallery - for some time. I have found six new species since August 1 and haven't bothered to post them up. That does not perhaps AUGUR well! But, in truth, I started the SG page to keep track of the birds: to AUGUR and take my AUSPICES from them, in a less intense way than I did so previously! No more tobacco juice up the nose! So one might say that my prior fascination with the divination and reading of signs from birds, their synchronicity with my thoughts, has been transferred into a preoccupation with gardening a home for them, and understanding the THEORY of bird-watching, not merely in the standard sense, “twitching”, but in the "auspicious" sense. And, in this respect, this week I reached a milestone: 50 bird species photographed in Micromegas’ Secret Garden, where the cardinal rule is that the photograph will be taken with both feet inside the property. In the entry prior to this, you can see the six new species, and I think there's about ten more I can get; and in this entry i've placed some bird activity over the last few months. Fifty species AUGURS well and even though the 50th species was, ironically, the common garden sparrow, the fact that the sparrow has been so hard to photograph when it was once the dominant bird means this is an AUSPICIOUS OCCASION. What does it mean, these words in relation to birds - AUGUR and AUSPICIOUS? The answer begins at the founding of Rome, c.750 BCE (BCE = Before Common Era. For the pedantic, BC/AD is going out of fashion). The twin brothers, Romulus and Remus, were wandering about near the place of their birth, Alba Longo, a city-state in the west central region of the Italian Peninsula (there are many primary sources of the Romulus and Remus myth – I have paraphrased from Wiki “Romulus and Remus”). The children of the vestal virgin (priestess of the goddess Vesta), Rhea Silvia – the pregnancy is variously explained – herself daughter of the former King Numitor, the two twins were a threat to the rule of King Amulius of Alba, their grand-uncle (that is, brother to Numitor and uncle to Rhea), who had earlier deposed his brother from the throne. As such, Romulus and Remus are exiled by Amulius from the kingdom, abandoned to die. They are saved by a river god, Tibernius, of the Tiber River, and later and most famously, suckled in a cave by a she-wolf to adolescence, an episode frequently depicted in Roman and Renaissance art (see, e.g., the Capitoline Wolf c.1100 CE). They become shepherds, ignorant of their kingly heritage, but as natural leaders garnered widespread community support in the ongoing strife between Numitor and Amulius over the kingdom of Alba. Remus is captured by King Amulius and Romulus organizes to set him free. In the process they learn their royal parentage, and join up with their grandfather to restore him to kingship. Having dispatched Amulius and restored Numitor as King of Alba, the twin brothers, on the back of their community support, set out to found a city of their own. This city is Rome. They wander about in the area of the “seven hills” and disagree over which hill to build on: Romulus preferred the Palatine Hill, above the Lupercal, the cave of the she-wolf; Remus preferred the Aventine Hill. Unable to settle the dispute they decide TO WATCH THE BIRDS to ascertain the approval of the gods. They have a CONTEST OF AUGURY VIA AUSPICIUM: Remus first saw six "auspicious birds" in favour of Aventine Hill but, soon thereafter, Romulus saw twelve, and claimed a victory for Palatine Hill, where the most ancient part of Rome now stands. These two brothers, as such, were both AUGURS – diviners - and they practiced AUSPICIUM – divining from birds (we’ll unpack this in a moment). Ennius, in his second century BCE poem “Annales”, describes the scene of the founding of Rome: "So now the people, fearful, looked for signs To know whose prize the mighty realm would be. Meantime the fading sun into the shades Of night withdrew and then the shining dawn Shot forth its rays. 'Twas then an augury, The best of all, appeared on high — a bird That on the left did fly. And, as the sun Its golden orb upraised, twelve sacred birds Flew down from heaven and betook themselves To stations set apart for goodly signs. Then Romulus perceived that he had gained A throne whose source and proper was augury." Subsequently, believing in his triumph in the debate and tired of arguing about it, Romulus dispatched (murdered) his brother with a flying spade (or one of his supporters did)! Yikes! After giving his brother full funerary rites with some regret over the murder, Romulus founded the city of Rome on Palatine Hill, reigned for a long time as its first king, and created many of its lasting institutions in government, the military, and religion. That's all because of the birds. * Now the story of Romulus and Remus is fascinating in its own right. Although the historical accuracy of the founding of Rome by Romulus c. 750 BCE is questionable – although some scholars believe it has a factual basis – what it does indicate is the transfer of cognition away from “myth”, proper, of the Greeks and earlier the Near East, toward “history” as we understand it today. The story of Romulus and Remus, while containing mythic aspects - including reminiscences of a proto-Indo-European pair of mythical twin gods that appears from the Balkans across to India (i.e. the "Divine Twin" theme) - is also a historical foundational narrative: the polytheistic pantheon is fading into the background of the "human age". So, Romulus and Remus are complicit, in the founding of Rome, of something approaching modern "historical" forms of understanding. Except, that is, for the birds! That’s what I want to talk about now. In the story of R & R, when the brothers settle their dispute with divination, the six and twelve birds they both see are vultures, and what the brothers are doing is “AUGURING VIA AUSPICIUM”: “Everyone knows that Rome was founded after an auspicium: Romulus, after having a vision of twelve vultures, was chosen by the gods as king and founder of the city. Thus, he was the first augur in Roman tradition” (Yves Bonnefoy ed. “Roman and European Mythologies”, 1992, p.115). This function of inaugurating places by watching birds was, indeed, a common undertaking in early Rome from Romulus onward - somewhat like me making decisions based on bird sightings in my psychonaut heyday - as is indicated, indeed, in the word inAUGURate! (One will note here the similarity with the foundation myth of the Aztecs, who were guided by Huitzilopochtli, the "Left-handed Hummingbird", to the central valley of Mexico. Here, at Lake Texcoco they saw an eagle holding a rattlesnake in its talons, perched on a nopal - opuntia - cactus. This fulfilled a prophecy for the Aztecs and they built the city Tenochtitlan on a manmade island, now the centre of Mexico City – because of the bird sitting on a cactus! So, although the words are from Latin and the story of R & R is eurocentric, clearly, reading of bird omens was a global phenomenon, explainable in part by the insight from Levi-Struass, above.) To explain more precisely, the first word of importance here, “augur”, is from the Latin root *augus, “full of mystic force”, and from this is derived the word “augurium”, a “sign of supernatural manifestation”, and the “augur” is the person who reads the signs – a religious official, or diviner, if you will. So today we say “it augurs well”, or it doesn’t. That’s all from this Roman period, from the Latin *augus. (If you were tempted, as I was, to make a link between "augur" and "auger", you know, that corkscrew type device used to bore holes for fenceposts etc. on account of being “full of force” we were both wrong. “Auger” the hole-driller is from Old English “nafogar”, something like “pointed piercer” – but a connection would have been cool!) Right, so “Augur” is a person who reads divine signs of the gods to plan activities, like I was once doing. R & R were augurs too, and Romulus the more successful; Remus got foisted with a spade for his paltry count of only six vultures! But this “Auspicium” is what’s really cool. We use this word today, “it’s auspicious”, we say – “conducive to success” – inauspicious, and so on. Well this word comes from WATCHING BIRDS! Romulus and Remus were AUGURS DOING AUSPICIUM: watching birds for divine signs. Here “auspicium” is a derivation from the Latin “auspex”, itself a compound from “specere” – “to look at” – and “avis” – “bird”. So auspex is, literally, “bird seer” and “auspice” denoted, originally, the practice of observing birds to discover omens, that is, to ascertain the approval or disapproval of the gods. So today we say “that’s auspicious” – but remember, when we say that, although we have forgotten the etymology, historically IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BIRDS! Now, the auspicium can be conducted “EX AVIBUS”, “from the birds”, in one of two ways. Through the “Oscines” which gave their auspices through song; and through the “Alites” which gave auspices by flight. In the first class the Romans placed ravens (corvus) and crows (cornix), owls (noctua) and hens (gallina); the second the higher flying birds: eagles (aquila), vultures (vultur) and so on (see https://contentcatnip.com/.../ancient-word-of-the-day.../ and Wiki ‘Augury’, and Cicero, below) (presumably there was a longer list for each category, lost to antiquity). I’m thick headed and don't listen well as a rule, so I took most of my auspices in my “heyday” from the Alites – I was always attracted to high-flying birds, but found differentiating bird sounds somewhat difficult. (Auspices could also be read Ex quadrupedibus, from “four-footed animals”, but these were usually private augurs and were not formalised in Rome as bird omens were.) So that is the general gist of “Augur” and “Auspice”, ex avibus, “from the birds”. Writing in 44 BCE, the Roman statesman and “academic sceptic” (Wiki) Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE) had words to say about this widespread and important divinatory practice in his “De Deivinatione” (from public source text: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/.../de_Divinatione/1*.html) (P = Paragraph). Around this time, the auspicium practice was in decline, and Cicero can be seen as recording factually an archaic tradition passing slowly out of style (being replaced, e.g. by sacrifice-divination through inspection of the sacrificial victim's [animal] liver, the "haruspices", from "hira", "artery", and "specere", "look at"), while at the same time pondering on its efficacy (P4 “I, too, am in doubt as to the proper judgement to be rendered in regard to divination”). He wrote the following passages on auspicium ex avibus: (P16) "In ancient times scarcely any matter out of the ordinary was undertaken, even in private life, without first consulting the auspices… For just as to day on important occasions we make use of entrails in divining… so in the past resort was usually had to divination by means of birds. And thus it is that by failing to seek out the unpropitious signs we run into awful disasters. For example, Publius Claudius, son of Appius Caecus, and his colleague Lucius Junius, lost very large fleets by going to sea when the auguries were adverse. The same fate befell Agamemnon”. Of the two forms of auspicium: "(P53) The Divine Will accomplishes like results in the case of birds, and causes those known as alites, which give omens by their flight, to fly hither and thither and disappear now here and now there, and causes those known as oscines, which give omens by their cries, to sing now on the left and now on the right. For if every animal moves its body forward, sideways, or backward at will, it bends, twists, extends, and contracts its members as it pleases, and performs these various motions almost mechanically; how much easier it is for such results to be accomplished by a god, whose divine will all things obey!” So that is the story of the “Auspicium Ex Avibus”, finding the divine signs by watching the birds, a technique of deep antiquity crystallized in the founding of Rome, and eventually falling out of favour. As for me, there was a time I learned many things and planned many activities on the basis of omens of birds, AUSPICIUM EX AVIBUS, and particularly “Alites”, birds in flight. This is not unusual in a historical sense. Says Cicero (P1): “I am aware of no people, however refined and learned or however savage and ignorant, which does not think that signs are given of future events… [and who do not] think that the future is declared by the songs and flights of birds, which they regard as most infallible signs”. But now I am more like the sceptic Cicero himself: “I, too, am in doubt as to the proper judgement to be rendered in regard to divination”. I'm on the fence and don’t trouble with a final answer over the possibility of "divination", or take it to heart, in the way I may once have done, although the “problem of synchronicity” maintains a particular philosophical hold on me. I don't pass judgment one way or another on reading omens ex avibus but I do, still, always watch the birds!
  3. Micromegas

    Pupping mid column

    Did you remove the bushes at the base of the plant? I hear you re: what I would have done 10 years ago. 5 years ago I had to get rid of so much cactus, 500m easy, maybe much more. I found in my conditions they all reach a limit of competition and really slow down growing (they slow down with age anyway I reckon, putting energy into flowers). Worse is that with them too close together their individual features disappear into a mass of cactus. These days except in special areas my rule is far enough apart the push mower, if not the ride on, can be got between them for the first 5-10 years of life, and I don't plant eucalyptus near them any more. That being said, too far apart and you lose the instant garden effect. I reckon the ideal is to thin out at five years, remove every second plant like they do in pine plantations.
  4. I'm pragmatic. I'd look into the emergence of Kali as part of the later developments of Hinduism and what historical function she serves, since she is not well attested in the earlier texts (Rig Veda) I believe and does not have an Indo-Iranian or Proto-Indo-European origin (i.e. she is specifically Indian when placed into a historical context). I think what you're describing has more to do with your own subjective feelings than any particular insight about Kali. This is not altogether to say generalizations about common human emotions are not apposite to a degree. No doubt Kali has a psychological function for Hindus. No doubt our subjective idiosyncrasies will find various gods to project onto in a globalized world. And no doubt those gods had a similar function in their historical context as well as a focus point for aspects of cognition. In the Hindu pantheon I would suggest there's a god for every emotion a person might encounter, with intricate relations between them as Glaucus indicates. So the question is, why Kali, and why now, for you? But understanding the historical context of Kali may help a great deal in working this out, is a "rationalistic" approach, but certainly takes a bit of work.
  5. Micromegas

    Acacia courtii giveaway

    holy cowabunga, nice acacias, yours look almost wild (in the superlative but also the wild-natural sense) niggles. Lovely weeping habit. @ notherner, I had a few out in the open like that, specimen trees. if you want to, you can cut off the lower branches and try to get it to grow up with single tall big trunk as a central feature. Maidenii and acuminata are good for this. But they look sweet as anyway.
  6. Micromegas

    How I got to where I am now

    Interesting story mate. I don't have much attention span for modern politics and can't digest videos, so I have probably missed some of your ideas. I am generally skeptical of conspiracy theories. I think your story of unions in Aus is important in a narrow window of time and in your personal life (harrowing story!), but for a political theory, your view of history is a bit too short. Horkheimer and Adorno's Dialectic of Enlightenment might give you a longer term idea of the trajectory and is integral to the Frankfurt school, but more generally indicates that we lost control through what was originally a turn toward individual liberty, and our needs were met by the proliferation of industrial mechanisms born out of the "myth of the enlightenment", to have control of all facets of life, of which both international organisations and fascism were outgrowths. As such, H & A problematise the rise of global organisations like the UN. So, I am not sure how your thoughts would be offensive to the Frankfurst school, this school seems pretty sympathetic to your views?: In light of the OHSW problems at your past work you might enjoy: "As they designate obsolete sections of the population for extermination, the administrations of totalitarian states are merely the executors of economic verdicts passed long ago. Members of other branches of the division of labor can look on with the indifference of people reading newspaper reports on clean-up operations at the scene of yesterday's catastrophe" p.171.
  7. Micromegas

    Lets talk metaphysics

    Northerner's post is very good (except for the part about no true shamans, which is completely false, culturally speaking). If you combine Northerner's quote, above, with sagis: "if reality is a concept, lets see people walking though a wall", you have essentially the foundation for Kant's "science of metaphysics" (Critique of Pure Reason, 1781), which is the key work of the Western metaphysical tradition, and basically concluded metaphysical knowledge is not possible and remains a matter of faith. If something cannot be given in sense experience ("if reality is a concept, lets see people walking though a wall"), it cannot be said to be objective. Metaphysical concepts represent incorrect use of physical concepts ("There's no definitive proof to show that any of the topics exist anywhere except in people's imaginations"). Indemonstrable metaphysical concepts are, e.g. god (theological), the beginning/end of the universe (cosmological), the soul (psychological), prelife/afterlife, even the idea that nature is systematic (since it is impossible to cognize the whole of this system). We need to think these things in some way (in Kant's term they are "regulative" of experience), but they remain outside of the possibility of objective cognition (where objective cognition is the "constitutive" use of concepts in sense experience). The eastern tradition is a bit different. Where the Western tradition says all you can know are objects of sense, the eastern tradition says all there really is are objects free of sense (empty of content), i.e. the sensory manifold is an illusion. I prefer the Western tradition for its internal deductive logic and positivist spin, but the eastern has some definite value.
  8. Micromegas

    Harvest Ethics

    I met bufo in arizona, quality stuff. The person I was with, his pool was full of them, naturally, like 50-60 toads in one backyard pool. It's a bit inconvenient to the toad, but you can get the poison from the glands without harming the toad to any great extent, so I am not sure why such a project would be necessary in this case (but maybe there's something I am unaware of). Better off directing energy toward the toad's actual threats, habitat destruction/land clearance, I was told of problems with recreational off-road driving that confuses them by mimicking thunderstorms (causing them to come out of the ground in a dry spell). Other drug extraction from nature, totally agree, may be having significant detrimental effects. The NAC prohibition on cultivated peyote is an interesting case. Ultimately the pressure is from elsewhere, large scale industrial mechanisms and so on (what i mean is, there should be heaps of peyote, right, if landscapes were intact), but in this modern context problems can arise with over-harvesting (aya tourism also an example as you say, also commercial products like cat's claw or the ridiculous international trade in endangered sedums from california), or with plants with a limited distribution (A. phlebophylla). Always good to mindful, think local, think global etc., several interrelated problems and each species has its own issues.
  9. Micromegas

    Lophophora Research List

    Hey Wile.E, I commend your efforts. I suspect this list is more or less endless, but two key authors I've come across are Weston La Barre and Barbara Myerhoff, a reference list would not be complete without them (e.g. Myerhoff: Peyote Hunt: The Sacred Journey of the Huichol Indians (1974); La Barre: The Peyote Cult, 1938 - one of the most important early works). Also, consider Schultes 'The Appeal of Peyote (Lophophora Williamsii) as a Medicine', 1938, to add to his others.
  10. Micromegas

    Dodonaea Viscosa Psycho-activity

    I did some research on this after I saw the same hop bushes I planted in my garden in Oz growing in the hills around Chavin: That link is broken I found this many years ago, 2013,14 maybe.
  11. Hey Sagi, it has been a good discussion. I'm definitely not "wrong" about quantum mechanics. That is a funny thing to say after this whole conversation about dogmatism. It's actually very hard to be "wrong" about QM, except in the mathematical sense. For example it is possible to carry out "wrong" Schrodinger equations to collapse the wave function, i.e. the maths can be wrong. But when it comes to interpretation on the consequences of QM, not even scientists agree. Einstein did not like it at all (“God does not play dice with the universe”). I think you probably need to read more before you dismiss the implications. Try out authors such as Dirac, Bohr, Heisenberg, Weinberg, who wrote good works on their development of aspects of quantum theory, and philosophers like Bitbol or Cassirer. There are three ways to interpret QM non-mathematically. I'm going to mash this up a bit because I am not an expert on QM and I haven't worked my way through the literature properly yet. (1) as a set of propositions and discoveries about nature than can be used in a literary way to construct metaphorical statements that build connections between microscopic and macroscopic behaviour. This is the usual approach and usually where things go "wrong" because microscopic behavior is applied the macrocosmos without a critical understanding of QM. Nevertheless, some of these metaphors do good work, e.g. because of the indeterminacy of the quantum state, QM reintroduces "free will" into nature where the classical system (Newtonian/Classical mechanics) articulates a completely deterministic universe. (2) as a demonstration of the structure and history of science and the limit (or advance) of its knowledge. Classical mechanics, which was "correct" until to about 1900, showed that, if you knew all the conditions of a state of an object, it is possible to determine all its past and future states (Newton's three laws). From this, science developed the concept of a fully deterministic universe ruled over by magnitude (measurement, quantity, force) and causality (cause and effect based on interacting magnitudes). Thus, classical mechanics can predict the past and future orbits of planets. But when QM entered the microcosmic realm, it didn't work this way. Classical mechanics suggested electrons would travel around nuclei in orbits, like planets around stars, that would be possible to predict, i.e. would be deterministic. Thus turned out not to be the case. In QM one can see either the position of a particle, or a wave of particles; or, one can find location/position or one can calculate momentum. One cannot have both! (which one could have in classical mechanics). To find the position of an electron travelling around a nucleus a photon (beam of light) is fired at the electron. As the light bounces back, the position of the orbiting electron is detected. If one bounces enough photons off enough electrons one gets a superposition of states where an electron might be in its path around the nucleus. This is the wave function, and it is solved by the "Schrodinger equation", whereby one calculates the probability of an electron being in a particular place. As the equation is executed, the wave function "collapses" into a single, known state, of position. This, of course, cancels out momentum. The double-slit experiment is probably the best for seeing this wave/particle duality problem. But there is more. When you shoot a photon at an electron, the mass of the photon relative to the electron is so high, that it moves the electron, so, even though you know the position of the electron, because the photon nudged it, by the time you have your results, you no longer know where the electron is! This the observer effect in QM where the measuring observer participates in the outcome of the experiment. This is not the case in classical mechanics (macroscopic world). But there is still more. As an electron orbits a nucleus it makes "transitions" between energy states, where it is either more or less closely bound to the nucleus (nearer or further from the nucleus). It jumps between orbits around the nucleus. Scientists are aware of this transition of the electrons because this is what causes radiation, of which the attempt to explains was the genesis of the quantum theory. As atoms decay, the loss of energy caused by electrons transitioning between states in their orbits causes radiation. Now, the jumps the electron makes in its transition is controlled by the "quantum of action", which is where "quantum mechanics" comes from. The quantum is Planck's constant: h = 6.62607015×10−34 Joules - very very small. This is the smallest amount of action that can be determined by scientific instrumentation, below the Planck length it is not possible to understand what is going on. The importance of this is that the transitions that the electrons make (or any other microscopic thing, photon etc.) cannot be strictly observed. Only their different states can be observed in integers of the planck length, never the transition between the states. That is, causality breaks down. We cannot see the path of the transition because is occurs in values smaller than planck's constant. It is a very bizarre thing not to be able to say if an object (electron) is going to transition, and how. This was the purpose of Schrodinger's cat... The cat is in a box with a atom and a hammer that will break a glass vial containing poison. If the atom decays, the emitting of radiation will trigger the hammer to release the gas to kill to the cat. The point is: science cannot say whether/when/where an atom will decay with certainty because the potential decay can only be confirmed on observation because the actual transition (from non-decay to decay) cannot be witnessed. So, until you open the box, you don't know if the cat is alive or dead, which means, until you work out if the atom has decayed, you can't say whether it will or won't decay, because the transition is hidden. There is absolutely nothing like this is classical mechanics. Thus Niels Bohr says "The quantum of action has become increasingly indispensable in the ordering of our experimental knowledge of the properties of atoms. At the same time, however, we have been forced step by step to forego a causal description of the behaviour of individual atoms in space and time, and to reckon with a free choice on the part of nature between various possibilities to which only probability considerations can be applied". So, the consequence to science is this: the deterministic classical universe that held since Newton shows not to be the fundamental property of nature, but rather there is an area of indeterminacy at the bottom of things, as well as a problematic interference of the observer with the results of experimentation. To overcome this, physicists use the principle of superposition and probability equations using the Schrondinger equation. This means you calculate all the probable locations where a particle might end up, using the quantum of action in the calculations, which makes the wave function. When you do the equation, the superpositions resolve into a single result, a position, which, as I have already said, is no longer where you know it was because your observation has distorted it. Now, you might still say this has no bearing on classical mechanics, but the general idea in science now is that classical mechanics (macroscopic world) is just a "special case" contained with the equations of QM. QM is used to do all sorts of practical things in the macroscopic world, like making atom bombs or working out the age of the universe and the earth. For example, the radioactive decay of uranium, calculated using quantum equations, is how we believe the earth to be four billion years old. Thus, Bohr again: The quantum theory is characterized by the acknowledgement of a fundamental limitation in the classical physical ideas when applied to atomic phenomena. The situation thus created is of a peculiar nature, since our interpretation of the experimental material rests essentially upon the classical concepts. Notwithstanding the difficulties which, hence, are involved in the formation of the quantum theory, it seems, as we shall see, that its essence may be expressed in the so-called quantum postulate, which attributes to any atomic process an essential discontinuity, or rather individuality, completely foreign to the classical theories and symbolized by Planck’s quantum of action [Heisenberg] remarks… that even in the case of macroscopic phenomena we may say, in a certain sense, that they are created by repeated observations [but]… in the[se] classical theories any succeeding observation permits a prediction of future events with ever-increasing accuracy, because it improves our knowledge of the initial state of the system. According to the quantum theory, just the impossibility of neglecting the interaction with the agency of measurement means that every observation introduces a new uncontrollable element. Indeed… the measurement of the positional co-ordinates of the particle [e.g. by shooting photons at an electron] is accompanied not only by a finite change in the dynamical variables [momentum, velocity], but also the fixation of its position means a complete rupture in the causal description of its dynamical behaviour [i.e. we can see where the particle is, but not how it got there], while the determination of its momentum always implies a gap in the knowledge of its spatial propagation [you cannot have position and momentum simultaneously]. Just this situation brings out most strikingly the complementary character of the description of atomic phenomena which appears as an inevitable consequence of the contrast between the quantum postulate and the distinction between object and agency of measurement, inherent in our very idea of observation. Now, point (3) is about what QM says about the structure of knowledge in general, and is an epistemic or philosophical problem. If you are in the Copenhagen group (Copenhagen Interpretation), like Niels Bohr, shit is weird. I am in this camp. If you are in the realist camp (and I suspect you are Sagi), like Steven Weinberg, then the results of QM still reflect a coordination between experimentation and the macroscopic world without too much problem (I am still following up on this point). Both of these might have valance, but I doubt either of them are "wrong". The philosophical aspect interests me most. In my post on January 3rd, I have already posted a comment on this and won't go into it any more. Interestingly, the Theory of Relativity is also incredible perplexing for philosophy. More so, I think, than QM. * To conclude, QM is relevant in a number of ways to our macroscopic world. (1) Because of its metaphorical import. (2) Because of its position in the history of science, of which classical mechanics is now the special case of quantum mechanics (i.e. elementary particle physics is based on QM); (3) both scientifically and philosophically the fact that the microscopic world does not behave like the macroscopic would is bizarre beyond belief. I find our inability to observe the transition of states at values smaller than the quantum of action to be fascinating; the quite obvious limit to our knowledge and what this says about cognition in general is also significant (no absolute knowledge). This limit to our knowledge continues to impose huge barriers to our understanding, e.g. the beginning of world is blocked to vision by the Planck epoch/era a period of time equivalent to the Planck constant, in which absolutely no one has the faintest idea what happened, suggesting all the major forces in the universe were combined (strong and weak electromagnetic force, gravity and ??) ruled over by some so far unspecified "quantum gravity". This point links to my earlier comments about the "antinomy" between the question of the beginning or infinity of the universe, and that however we answer this, it will be only a regulative statement. And finally there is the problem of observation (Schrodinger's cat), as well as the fact modern technology of great import is often based on quantum equations, such as atomic clocks which allow satellites to account for time dilation (given in the theory of relativity) so that the GPS system remains accurate (without the clocks keeping this precise time, GPS would be out by about 11km per day due to satellite time being fractionally slower than for an observer on earth); supercomputers and scientific instruments; radioactive decay dating and other chronometric dating applications. In actual fact Planck's constant allowed scientists to understand the composition of the the universe by allowing interpretation of spectroscopic data... this all bear fundamentally on macroscopic problems. Well, anyway, as Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynmann once said, "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics". And I don't, but I'm certain it has considerable implications, not only in the history of science but in understanding knowledge in general. If at the very bottom life is indeterminate and affected by our measurement of it, it is only a small step to argue that other "symbolic forms" can produce their own coherent concepts about phenomena and to see a structure of knowledge in which there is an inherent inability to obtain an absolute metaphysical cognition.
  12. Micromegas

    Trip sitting search terms

    Looks good Wile E, i'm over at ANU myself. I'm interested to see what you come up with here, and what sort of theoretical grounding you are using. I assume some sort of paper will result? Mostly I'm curious how "trip sitting" as represented on forums, which are largely individualistic and ad hoc, are defined and understood in comparison to closely sanctioned cultural techniques for mediating altered states that may have developed over centuries or much longer - there is a decidedly blurry line between them. Psychologically, this is a perplexing problem and the differential outcomes of participants, of interest, particularly when we start talking about intentional initiation of a "spiritual" states or use to resolve psychological issues. Good luck. Also, those tersheckiis are sweet!
  13. Micromegas

    Pupping mid column

    Hey HD. Maybe i'm confused. There were two plants from the same garden, roseii #1, roseii #2, that are not like the usual roseiis as far as I can tell. I'm going to say I was probably more correct in 2016 than I am now, and so it must be roseii #2. Same as one in the photo above, yes, that is the tip that broke off the auctioned one. Doesn't flower much, if at all, I can't remember it flowering, now you mention it. Halcyon Beast is awesome, super fat, and that is one of the more unusual cactus-modelling photos I've seen!
  14. Micromegas

    Trip sitting search terms

    good suggestions above. variations on "facilitate" are pretty popular. statements with the word "journey". sounds interesting. what type of organisation is the study connected with?
  15. Micromegas

    Pupping mid column

    Hey HD you're talking about the one I sent you a few years back, was it for a forum auction? That one the owner called Roseii #1. Maybe they are grown from Field's seed. Anyway that plant is a stunner, it's the better of the two roseiis from that SA garden, i've come to appreciate it more and more. It doesn't have the flower-bud-to-pup trait. Good to hear yours has some columns. Mine grows pretty slow so not much to prop. Here's the tip I planted after it fell down. Took a while to get going but now looks luminescent in the shade.