Archive for the Philosophy Category

‘Magic Rock’ song spell

Posted in Hikes, Pagan, Sculpture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2020 by Drogo

It was a case of unsolved mystery
jamie and trevor makin history
johnson family makin good
magic creek rock in the wood
signs in a stone to summon luck
magic rock helped them to make a buck
nature walk, magic rock, magic rock, magic rock

– Lyrics by Drogo

‘Magic Rock’ Punk Rock Karaoke version on Audiomack

inspired by a true story, told by ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ the show:

“On Saturday, May 14, 1988, thirteen-year-old Jamie Parks and his friend, Trevor Johnson, went into the woods in Washington State near the Canadian border and found a bizarre rock with strange, cryptic, alien-like drawings on it. Trevor told his parents, Steve and Pattie, about their discovery. At the time, the Johnsons were struggling to pay the bills and risking everything on a small dress shop that was opening in a new mall. Pattie took a second job as a receptionist to help pay for their rent, while Steve worked as a prison corrections officer. She later quit her job to open the store; however, this backfired when construction on it fell behind. After learning of the rock, Steve hiked to the spot with Trevor and was also interested in it. Just two days later, the Johnsons’ luck began to change for the better.”

Architecture in ‘The Name of the Rose’

Posted in Film Reviews, Historic Architecture, Recommendations & Tributes with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2020 by Drogo

RWU History of Architecture II – Irene Fatsea 1995

Architecture in ‘The Name of the Rose’ Film

In the movie adaptation of Umberto Eco’s novel ‘The Name of the Rose’, architecture plays an important role for the medieval tone and setting. The film director, Annaud, made every scene intense with “visual overkill”. Five scenes show the importance of architecture in relation to the plot and characters.

In the opening scene two monks are riding towards the monastery. The monastery is positioned atop a steep hill, amid deep valleys and snow capped mountains. The impressive medieval stone fortress architecture is foreboding, as the dark mass over-looks the two small travelers on the narrow path leading into the complex. The hulking gate portcullis is drawn up, and the two Franciscan monks are greeted by disturbed and grotesque Benedictine monastic residents. The resident host monks exaggerate physical and mental characteristics which are considered social defects. The two visitors are now held within the cold imposing ‘sanctuary’ enclosure of massive walls and imposing battlements. Although they should feel secure, the unsettling harsh structure creates an angst-filled atmosphere of fear.

Unity is present in the choir scene. There is an orderly placement of seats in long rows, and the acoustics allow for blissful escape from more mundane routines and problems. When the monks are not gathered in this space for spiritual singing, the harshness of real life returns. The choir seats are narrow wooden benches with ornate carvings, and the back rows are raised along both walls of the holy hall. Ribbed vaulting creates echoing acoustics. 

The scriptorium of the library is ordered like a modern office, with a system of desks like pews, all facing one direction. The desk orientation prevents conversation and directs attention to a leader. The scriptorium is filled with a multitude of books and manuscripts, and they work on them on the desks. The arrangement of desks is dictated also by rows of short, round pillars with gothic capitals. 

The catacombs are a dark reminder of the Christianity’s past. Human skulls are stacked in rows. The halls are dark and damp, with dreary decor. The heroes must make their way with torches, for no natural light enters these halls of the dead. The architecture is simple, crude, and random; with small coves in the walls to house remains of bodies.

The locked library is a labyrinth in the tower, and it is where the climax occurs. Piranesi and Escher designed scenes of similar mysterious and chaotic stairs, with seemingly impossible connections. Hexagonal rooms filled with books lead off in four directions, while the action bombards our senses. Staircases drape from the shafts of the tower, and each of them branches off into countless rooms; all of which are almost identical. There are puzzles to be solved with logic and education. The labyrinth represents the workings of the confused, twisted, and guarded medieval mind. When the library is burned, it shows how fragile and fleeting history can be, despite our attempts to preserve the past and learn from it in the present.

SCOD Urban Architecture Notes

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Historic Architecture, Languages, Politics, Pub Library, Recommendations & Tributes, SCOD Online School, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2020 by Drogo

American architecture has ‘plurality and duality’. We have a variety of expression with scales of space and attitude, for the rich and poor. We have a modern design duality of rectilinear and organic architecture. Rectilinear modernists have been influenced by: Gropius, Loos, Corbu, Mies, Meier, Kahn, and Johnson. Organic modernist heroes are fewer, and there are fewer of us: Wright, Moss, Gehry, Solari, and Predock.

New Urbanist sprawl still faces the problems of commercialism vs community. Their planning principles have helped us to have more mixed-use zoning, but we still have the problems of Capitalism in decline, with an expanding lower class, destroyed middle class, and imperial upper class. New developments in Maryland and West Virginia seem to ignore the problems of population debt infrastructure, ecological devastation, agricultural decline, and transportation congestion all for the sake of profit.

Moynihan said our cities were ‘soulless’, like Diogenes he was holding a lamp for architectural self-examination. Cities are not as safe as we would like, and we should always remember their epitaphs are too often ‘military target’. Violence and migration are the main problems of our ‘urbane’ urban design. We have so often been wrong in our problem solving, it is clear we need to learn more from our past patterns of tradition. The corruption in politics that creates bad planning, can only be countered by an aware and active population willing to conspire and protest more than the elites can bribe, to bring attention to values which cannot be bought. 

‘A Pattern Language’ by Chris Alexander explains how architecture is about relationships. There are many cultural associations and historical traditions that can be better than soulless sterile machines for living. Architecture is sculpture for living, and we should not ignore sociology and heritage for the sake of industrial convenience to serve a consumer society that is destroying our global environment for profit. Yes we should have standards for structures that are able to shelter us without collapsing, but sustainability must also include the arts and nature.

 

References:

American House Now‘ by Doubilet & Boles

Better Places‘ Chapter in ‘Geography of NoWhere’

‘Pattern Language’ Relationships by Chris Alexander

New Urbanism, Second Generation‘ by Beth Dunlap

The Soulless City‘ by Moynihan

 

 

 

 

Art Color Theory

Posted in Crafts, Education / Schools, paintings, SCOD Online School, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2020 by Drogo

Paint Color Names

Art Talk – by Drogo Empedocles  [Audio Recording]

art supplies 2

This is an essay on color theory for artistic paintings, and not a scientific theory of light colors. Both art and science can view colors according to spectrums. However, there are some paradoxes between science and art color theories; which I do not explore here (but I do in other places). The main paradox is evident in the ‘Key Theory Types’, which shows that light and pigments have opposite blending keys on the greytone spectrum. The other color paradoxes are mainly association vs property issues (blue-red frequencies, color seen is what is reflected, greytones are not colors of light, etc).

 

The best way to depict color theory is usually by Color Wheels, with pallets of various colors in relation to each-other. Colors have 3 aspects: the name of the color itself (hue), the value tint-shade, and the tone saturation (closeness to true mid-value relative to other hues). Increasing tonal contrast in an art composition maximizes tints, shades, and saturations to accentuate distinctions. Decreasing tonal contrast dulls everything to greytone neutrality. 

ryb color wheel

Color Controls (Hues): color names have ‘Tint and Tone’ (ie – light tint, vibrant tone)

Tint-Shade (Value) – true value, white adds brightness (tint), black adds darkness (shade) 

Tone (Chroma) – saturation of true value and contrast between values (intense vs. dull)

 

Types of Paint Colors: Greytone (black & white) and True Colors (first, second, third types)

12 True Colors: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Brown (Rust), Amber, Lime, Teal, Violet, Crimson

 

Key Theory Types:

Brown is the key mix of paints (RYB)

White is the key mix of light (RGB)

Black is the key mix of print ink or dye (CMY)

Grey is key mix of complementary (opposite tones and tints)

 

  1. Primary Colors (3): 

Paint (RYB) – Red, Yellow, Blue 

Light (RGB) – Red, Green, Blue 

(CMY is the subtractive paint inverse of RGB)

 

  1. Secondary Colors (3):

RYB – Orange, Purple, Green

RGB – Yellow, Magenta (light purple), Cyan (light blue-green)

 

  1. Tertiary Colors (6):

Red-orange (rust), yellow-orange (amber), yellow-green (lime), blue-green (teal), blue-purple (violet), red-purple (crimson)

 

Color Associations: cultural (neon as a bright tint, chinese red, pruscian blue), social, personal, complementary, and warm vs cool

Color families (names listed as light to dark values, mid being ‘true’):

Greens – lime, grass, clover, olive, true, forest

Reds – rose, tuscan, true, cardinal, scarlet, crimson

Blues – cyan (aqua-marine), teal (cerulean-sky), true, cobalt, indigo (ultra-marine)

Yellows – lemon, true, gold, mustard, tan-beige, ochre (orange)

Purples – pink, mulberry, lavender, violet, true, royal, carmine

Browns – oak (tan), ochre-oxide, wheat-grain, dirt, true, chocolate, caramel, indian carmine (redwood), Vandyke

Greys – light (white), mid, dark (black)

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Drogo’s personal paint supply of small containers for paintings: 8 Greens (for plants & trees), 6 Reds, 5 Blues, 5 Yellows (+orange), 4 Purples (+pink), 3 Browns, 2 Greys, and White & Black in larger containers. 

 

 

 

 

CIA Crest Archive FOIA

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Futurist, History, Military, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2020 by Drogo

In 2017 about 13 million pages of declassified documents from the US ‘Central Intelligence Agency’ (CIA) were released online. The move came after lengthy efforts from freedom of information advocates and a lawsuit against the CIA. These ‘freedom of information act’ (FOIA) documents had previously only been accessible at the National Archives in Maryland. The trove includes the papers of Henry Kissinger, who served as secretary of state under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, as well as several hundred thousand pages of intelligence analysis and science research and development.

The records were only available on four physical computers located in the back of a library at the National Archives in Maryland, between 09:00 and 16:30 each day. A non-profit freedom of information group, MuckRock, sued the CIA to force it to upload the collection, in a process which took years. At the same time, journalist Mike Best crowd-funded more than $15,000 to visit the archives, to print out and then publicly upload the records, one by one, to apply pressure to the CIA.

CREST: 25-Year Program Archive [link]

 

 

 

 

The Problem of Popular Culture

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Cooperative collaboration, Critical Commentary of Civilization, History, Politics, Song Lyrics & Analysis, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2020 by Drogo

The Line Between Revolution and Conformity in Popular Culture

Artistic Commentary & Independent Value vs Commercial Success & Selling Out

When something becomes popular, it will have counter-cultural opposition which will challenge its status in culture. This ‘problem’ is a dichotomy inherent in culture as part of social dynamics. This paradox is how we can form authoritative conventions based on resisting authority, and base governments on violent revolution against government.

I made a musical remix of a pop song by a very progressive band, as a fan-fiction open-letter response to the singer basically. My version is worth nothing financially, but enough people were in on the jokes inherent in the theme that it got 5,000 plays within a year. The design was intentional on my part to evoke levels of post-modern humor, to play with fans and the band rather than try to compete for popularity or money. Some of the issues in the music include 1. selling-out means growing up, yet it feels soulless. and 2. placing all our value in money is a problem, rather than using memory to embrace positive aspects of nurturing compassion over individual profit at the expense of others. Without listing more, i mean there is alot going on there that is subconsciously infused in the music and lyrics; only accessible through the lullaby meditation of the chorus, which is hard to explain.

Green Day did that weave between pop culture and rebellion too… Pink Floyd (Mr Waters) is still doing that i hear. We want to walk the line, or at least be able to cross it. Most of us weave on one side and then the other, of all kinds of mixed issues regarding cultural conformity. I remember when i first heard green day it was live in person at a DC club. The Green Day sound i heard was the epitome of british punk, clearly made to sell as pop. I was disgusted when i compared it to bad religion, who they opened for, because to me Bad Religion had deeper content and a more unique sound (west-coast punk harmonies); but obviously Green Day was designed to sell out and it did. From the enthusiasm in the crowd, it was clear that they would soon be more popular than Bad Religion, and so it came to be with aggressive commercial marketing.

Again the irony is that our best examples of success walk the line between rebellion and conformity, or new originality and original oldies, or anarchy and establishment. When we are on one side of obvious rebellion, and then it becomes popular we soon find ourselves on the side of ultimate conformity. Metaphorically maybe that would be better described as massive swerves across the line, but our cultural perceptions are really interesting. It is not just music either, we see this dichotomy played out in political campaigns, and in literature, and in every field of study or practice. America is built on revolution. Revolution is part of our establishment.

US Security Commission Plans

Posted in Commercial Corporations, Ethics & Morals, Military, news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2020 by Drogo

Corporate Intelligence Agency Plans to Increase US Automation in 2020

Original SCOD awareness of this information was from a Jimmy Dore video with Whitney Webb about government plans for technological control (tyranny) from National Security Committee on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) 2019 documents released by FOIA. 

NSCAI Home Website: “The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence was formally established in August 2018 by the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. The Commission’s members were appointed in October and November 2018. In March 2019, the Commissioners first assembled to receive orientation information and briefings from the White House, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, and various agencies in the U.S. Intelligence Community. The Commission began its substantive work of reviewing artificial intelligence advances and associated technologies after the initial meeting. There are fifteen Commissioners appointed to the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. Of the fifteen Commissioners, twelve were appointed by members of Congress, two were appointed by the Secretary of Defense, and one was appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. ” 

 

Summary of Agency information: 

According to the official documents of the NSCAI, they believe the US Government needs to be more competitive with China by implementing AI more. In order to meet their goals, events like the ‘Covid Crisis Pandemic’ are useful to force implementations using emergency powers. Replacing workers with AI would be much harder, without substantial public support.

National Defense Magazine helped explain that the NSCAI “was tasked by Congress to research ways to advance the development of AI for national security and defense purposes”. “We really worked on what we consider to be the most urgent challenges … and what we thought might be the most transformative opportunities presented by AI for national security,” – said chairman Work. “Adopting AI-enabled systems responsibly, rapidly and at scale will allow national security organizations to understand and execute their missions faster,” the study said. “It will change the way we defend America; how we deter adversaries; how intelligence agencies make sense of the world; and how we fight.” 

AI technology also poses two main threats: what an adversary could do by hacking us, and accidents without safeguards, the report said. Other threats include: the erosion of U.S. military advantage; risks to strategic stability; the diffusion of AI capabilities; disinformation and the undermining of the nation’s democratic system; erosion of individual privacy and civil liberties; accelerated cyber attacks; new techniques that could open up vulnerabilities; and accidents, the report said. Our government must work to avoid a future where “AI contributes to a world of greater centralized control; empowers authoritarianism; is utilized as an instrument to repress dissent and impose conformity; destroys truth and trust within societies and between states; and is employed in reckless, irresponsible and unethical ways,” the study added.

The commission is considering 7 basic principles as recommendations, including: 1. global leadership in AI; 2. adopting artificial intelligence for defense and security purposes; 3. building a shared sense of responsibility for the welfare and security of the American people between the private sector and government; 4. the importance of people; 5. the preservation of free inquiry; 6. the compatibility of ethics and strategic necessity; and 7. the importance of maintaining the United States’ values and rules of law in its employment of AI, according to the report.

Despite the transformative potential of artificial intelligence, the U.S. government is not making enough investments in the technology, the report said. “Federal R&D funding for AI has not kept pace with the revolutionary potential it holds or with aggressive investments by competitors. Investments that are multiple times greater than current levels are needed,” the study said.

Some of the related tactics proposed include AI transportation control to replace private vehicles, citizen tracking and monitoring, drones in every neighborhood, industrial automation to increase reduction of workers, AI medicine delivery to replace private doctors, and other civil rights issues.

If you would like to make an inquiry to the Commission, please email: inquiry@nscai.gov.

The NSCAI includes big corporate members from Google and CIA affiliate companies. AI controls many aspects of computers, robotics, social media, and surveillance systems. 

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Related documents and links:

FB Video reading

Military Industrial Complex  – Fascism

US Intelligence Agencies

Rockefeller Foundation GBN Report: ‘Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development’