Jump to content
The Corroboree

Machine Elf

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Machine Elf

  • Rank

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ
  1. Machine Elf

    Heavy Metal

    Yeah, I have to say that Mastodon's "Crack the Skye" is my favourite album of the year so far. Taking their metal, and adding a bit more classic/psychedelic rock influence - kicks butt. Guitarists will love the riffing and solos too. For sample audio and some psychedelic visuals, see the Crack the Skye website: http://cracktheskye.com/ It's the goodness, currently the only thing that can challenge my Tool fetish.
  2. Machine Elf

    Australia: Calmly stockpile food

    Actually, I don't sneeze out of my arse. I thought that was normal.
  3. Machine Elf

    New PM restrictions and member group

    Mmmm, I feel all activated now...
  4. Machine Elf

    1,000,000 dollars

    Randi is probably the most famous 'skeptic' alive (I use the quotes because I don't believe he fits the true definition of a skeptic). He's done some great work over the years in exposing frauds, but also some pretty shoddy work in ignoring good evidence for paranormal abilities just because it doesn't fit his worldview. He is most definitely not 'hated by magicians' for giving away secrets - perhaps the most well known and respected magical pairing, Penn and Teller, worship him. He's actually quite careful not to reveal tricks, to the point of making it difficult to properly debunk some frauds (e.g. using mentalism tricks to pretend they are psychics). The million dollars was bequested upon his non-profit organisation (the James Randi Educational Foundation). The challenge is being ended next year, and it seems they are going to use the funds for running expenses. James Randi earns $US160,000 a year as his wage from the JREF (and probably more from separate pursuits, such as television appearances etc). In my opinion, the million dollar challenge is all about publicity. And Randi does love the publicity. I wrote about the Million Dollar Challenge a while back, talking to parapsychology researchers about its relevance to them - it also earned me a response from Randi: The Myth of the Million Dollar Challenge
  5. Machine Elf

    alien sound healing teknologies

    Angelic choirs and the like seem to be something that have been heard throughout history during 'border' experiences. I wrote about this topic for Darklore Volume 1, the entire article is available as a free download from the Darklore website: "Her Sweet Murmur: Exploring the Aural Phenomenology of Border Experiences" (PDF). Elf
  6. Machine Elf

    What happens when you die?

    No, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't investigate them scientifically (ignoring your implicatory inclusion of drop bears and ewoks and the like). There are 'recurrent regularities' in much of the data in a number of fields - including UFOs, NDEs and OBEs. There may be a very prosaic explanation behind them, or there may be some new discovery behind them. But when pseudoskeptics continually dismiss the topics by saying 'anecdotes do not equal evidence', how is any actual evidential data going to be collected? In discussing this, I'm coming from the point of view that there is something that links (many) UFO sightings, NDEs and OBEs, and entheogenic experiences (and a number of other 'border experiences'). It may well be a simple matter of brain chemistry. But dismissing say, UFOs, out of hand so that someone can stroke their intellectual ego is rather...unscientific I think. The problem with that view is the historical record of NDEs and the like. NDEs have been noted for centuries, long before they were known of 'publicly', and they still retain a number of archetypal elements - not just the tunnel/moving towards a light. Things like cities/cathedrals of crystal, gateways/bridges/point-of-no-return imagery, and silver cords connecting their 'astral' and physical bodies. Further, there are other discrepancies such as the Peak in Darien NDEs, where the person having an NDE sees a vision of a dead person, who they did not know previously was dead. I do agree though that there is a lot of subjectivity in aspects of experiences. But that would agree with the general occult lore of 'astral planes' and the like - it has long been said that the astral mixes parts of the physical world with that of the imagination. That's pretty funny to me, because one of the spookiest moments I've had with my wife (she does spooky things all the time, whereas I have no paranormal inclinations at all) was when she woke up in the middle of the night screaming to me to get the redback spiders off the curtains. I told her she was having a dream, then when I woke up in the morning I found there was a big web of redbacks hidden in the backfold of the curtain. Certainly, Schrodinger. Pauli was interested in links between the mind and quantum physics. Heisenberg also had a penchant for mystical thinking. And then you have other notables of the time, like Eddington and Oppenheimer. Well that's not surprising considering I listed the range, including as I said those closer to the 'New Age'. I don't think John Wheeler was part of What the Bleep? Neither was Stapp. I think you're using loaded language when you say a "typical Consciousness theorist" - what do you mean by this? Have you read Stapp's work? Does it conform to a "typical consciousness theorist"? And are Wheeler and Penrose "typical consciousness theorists"? On Wheeler's (and Penrose's) interest in the consciousness question, I read an interesting passage by British 'Astronomer Royal' Martin Rees in a book the other day (obviously, written prior to Wheeler's death): "The paradoxes of quantum mechanics, and the nature of consciousness, are manifestly two of the deepest mysteries of all. It is striking that John Wheeler and Roger Penrose, the most original and influential living theorists about space and time, have both, in their later years, advocated the dissident view that these mysteries are linked." I didn't say it was convincing. I just like following speculative epistemological threads, I find them fascinating. Especially those that aren't mainstream...I guess I just like to start trouble. In fact, that's a fact - I hate certainty. Following those theories may or may not result in a 'soul' or an 'afterlife'. When I spoke to Stu Hameroff, who has worked with Roger Penrose on the 'quantum consciousness' theory, he said of NDEs: "Under normal circumstances consciousness occurs in the fundamental level of spacetime geometry confined in the brain. But when the metabolism driving quantum coherence (in microtubules) is lost, the quantum information leaks out to the spacetime geometry in the universe at large. Being holographic and entangled it doesnt dissipate. Hence consciousness (or dream-like subconsciousness) can persist." What is interesting to me about the (possible) link between consciousness and QM is that it may change the game in terms of what our consciousness is regarded as. Thanks for the intelligent discussion, sorry I haven't had more time to engage it properly! Elf
  7. Machine Elf

    What happens when you die?

    Depends who you mean by the "very few people", and what you mean by the "consciousness interpretation" of QM. By the latter, do you mean the extrapolation from 'observer' to 'consciousness', or that Everett's Many Worlds hypothesis is now more favoured (although I personally think that still involves consciousness, in terms of 'navigating' the many worlds. My materialist self would agree with you. Going against that feeling though is the 'why' question (many of the elements of the 'hallucination' are strange - why do people not see themselves as they think they look, but as they are, why does this hallucination have so many common elements, and contain such strange religious overtones, why are there accounts of veridical hallucinations, why do some people share the same hallucination etc). Also, as I previously mentioned, the crossover in descriptions of 'the other side' from both NDErs and mediums. Lastly, the expectation part seems only a hypothesis, considering atheists have had NDEs, and that archetypal NDEs have been happening for much longer than the elements have been 'common knowledge'. Do you mind describing some of your own OBEs to us? A number of the founders of quantum theory all verged quite clearly to a more mystical view. In the modern day, you can range from 'New Age' physicists like Amit Goswami and Fred Alan Wolf, to the more grounded and pragmatic physicists such as Henry Stapp and (the late) John Wheeler. The latter two certainly don't head off into mystical territory, but their theories do suggest something beyond a reductionist physical world in which consciousness plays no part. Elf
  8. Machine Elf

    What happens when you die?

    Not necessarily. The whole 'insignificant ants in a massive Universe' argument is really based on physicalist philosophy, where the size of physical objects impacts upon importance/influence. If you turn to some of the consciousness-related theories of quantum physics, the observing consciousness becomes of great importance - literally, 'size doesn't matter'. There is a lot of information about psychic mediums and Near Death Experiences which is suggestive that there is something beyond death - there is even some interesting crossover in the information given by both (see 'The Supreme Adventure' by Robert Crookall). Two of the best mediums ever - Leonora Piper and Gladys Osbourne Leonard - were of a quality that is close to convincing me that there is either an afterlife, or that our consciousness is at least separate from our body somehow, and leaves an 'imprint' that can be read from, or returns to some sort of cosmic 'one consciousness' as just one facet of the whole. It's an interesting thing to note that most atheist/physicalist scientists are biologists (influenced by Darwin etc), while most scientists who are metaphysical in nature are physicists (influenced by quantum physics). Elf
  9. Machine Elf

    Albert Hofmann

    MAPS has confirmed the good doctor's passing: http://www.maps.org/ "Albert Hofmann, the father of LSD, passed away at 9AM CEST on Tuesday April 29, 2008 at his home in Basel, Switzerland. Cause of death was a heart attack; two caretakers were there with him at the time. MAPS President Rick Doblin said, "[Albert and I] spoke on the phone the day after the Basel conference and he was happy and fulfilled. He'd seen the renewal of LSD psychotherapy research with his own eyes, as had [his wife] Anita. I said that I looked forward to discussing the results of the study with him in about a year and a half and he laughed and said he'd try to help the research however he could, either from this side or "the other side"." What a long and fascinating life he lived, I shall celebrate it. Kind regards, Greg
  10. Sounds like a great doco, can't wait till it turns up in our neck of the woods: "Peyote to LSD: A Psychedelic Odyssey": Plant Explorer Richard Evans Schultes was a real life Indiana Jones whose discoveries of hallucinogenic plants laid the foundation for the psychedelic sixties. Now in this two hour History Channel TV Special, his former student Wade Davis follows in his footsteps to experience the discoveries that Schultes brought to the western world. Shot around the planet, from Canada to the Amazon, we experience rarely seen native hallucinogenic ceremonies and find out the true events leading up to the Psychedelic Sixties. Featuring author/adventurer Wade Davis ("Serpent and the Rainbow"), Dr. Andrew Weil, the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and many others, this program tells the story of the discovery of peyote, magic mushrooms and beyond: one man's little known quest to classify the Plants of the Gods. Elf
  11. Machine Elf

    Bible written while high?

    You can read Shanon's full paper as a PDF by going here. It's in the first issue of a new journal, Time and Mind, and they have made the whole first issue available for download via that link. Elf
  12. Two quick bits of news worth checking out (as I once again do a fly-by of the SAB forum!): * Karl Jansen's classic book on Ketamine is now available as a free PDF at MAPS. * Crackdown coming for Salvia divinorum? At least they talked to Siebert to give it some balance. Elf
  13. Machine Elf

    Shulgin Lab Book Online

    Not sure if this has been posted (sorry, have been busy and haven't checked in much lately): First of Shulgin's Lab Books Posted Online as PDF Elf
  14. Machine Elf


    Sorry Fenris, got caught up and having dropped in here for a few weeks. The book is only available online, skipping the whole shitty old-style publishing game of giving away 70% of the retail price to others, and then reimbursing them if the book doesn't sell. This way the contributors actually earn some money. Amazon's the place, although the limited edition hardcover is all sold out unfortunately. Elf
  15. Machine Elf


    Hey Apoth, Did you read my essay? Would be interested in people's thoughts on it - I showed it to Eli a long while back, but have kept it quiet for a while since then. Which is why I've found it interesting when posts like this one from CS mention this music/sounds. Elf