The influence of gaslight or electric light on the growth of paraheliotropic trees

bonebrushing the edges of the res interna (upper transcend)

Month: July, 2013

Siren, by Louise Gluck

I became a criminal when I fell in love.
Before that I was a waitress.

I didn’t want to go to Chicago with you.
I wanted to marry you, I wanted
Your wife to suffer.

I wanted her life to be like a play
In which all the parts are sad parts.

Does a good person
Think this way? I deserve

Credit for my courage–

I sat in the dark on your front porch.
Everything was clear to me:
If your wife wouldn’t let you go
That proved she didn’t love you.
If she loved you
Wouldn’t she want you to be happy?

I think now
If I felt less I would be
A better person. I was
A good waitress.
I could carry eight drinks.

I used to tell you my dreams.
Last night I saw a woman sitting in a dark bus–
In the dream, she’s weeping, the bus she’s on
Is moving away. With one hand
She’s waving; the other strokes
An egg carton full of babies.

The dream doesn’t rescue the maiden.




A world without memory. People respond to stimuli and follow instructions and are fed in return. People kiss and make love and fight and rape – people quiet and feed crying babies, or not and move on, unmoved. People feel joy and pain and fear and hunger and satiety, but do they love?

Are they people? They have thought but not memory. It is always now, and what happens, happens,

Memory comes like a disease, like a long forgotten flaw, a throwback, and the Cassandra’s who speak of it, are scorned, avoided, outcast. They can always return, because no one remembers their shame, and they are outcast again.

When someone dies, it is death for the first time, and the loss is inexplicable, and is pain felt or not? The body is buried. No stone is put there, until one of the Cassandras, who recognized the face of the one who is no longer, places a stone – and inexplicably amongst the people a graveyard is built

One Cassandra seeks to master and exploit, another to love and protect

Difference does not imply Independence

Seems like Nagel (if represented correctly by Brody) misses the point — the fact that consciousness or mentality is different than common physical processes such as electric signalling does not mean that it is independent or that the universe possesses some teleological aim towards consciousness & reason, any more than the phase shift between chemistry and biology means that the universe possesses some teleological aim towards life. 

(If Nagel’s only point is that the universe has to contain the possibility of consciousness for consciousness to exist, fine, but so what?)

There is absolutely no evidence that physics cannot account for mental processes, and that Darwinian evolution cannot account for mental processes. The idea that there is some break between these disciplines is merely the fact that we’ve been able to explore this area of physics with the tools of science for less than 50 years with only the bluntest of instruments. 

We build physical sensors all of the time, and we program our machines to react to such sensors. That process, multiplied 10 billion times, and created and refined by natural selection across the 3.5 billion year history of life on Earth, appears to us as consciousness. 

Just as biology is a special subset of chemistry & physics, ultimately, consciousness will also almost certainly be found to be a special subset of biology, chemistry, & physics. It is something that simply starts to happen when the underlying physics are in place, no different than stellar fusion. 

While that rightfully elevates consciousness to a phenomenon equal in dignity to the shining of the stars, what it does not do is imply a trans-physical independence of consciousness as non-materialist, with the hopes for non-materialist post-life survival of consciousness that such independence might imply.