alt.thinking.hertz •Sketches •

alt.thinking.hertz Sketches Pages

Sketched Topics

Holistic: Bio Hazard: Mind Twisters: Life History: Hubble Bubble: Myth Smith

The Images

• Creating Oases •

The photo on the left shows kids who have been playing at an adventure playground in London. 

If happiness is like water, then much of our society is like a desert.

In this topic I will be looking at how to find oases, and how to create them.  It is easy, but for it, it takes people to work together, and it takes valuing an oasis in the desert in the right way, being able to tell the difference between a real oasis and just a mirage....

• Equine Herbal Remedies •

The following from Leah Weimann.... 

"Our family has a lot to do with horses (we have six) and recently there has been a huge turn towards herbs for animals. People are always writing in magazines that these 'crackpot' medicines are working and it is because horses are 'natural.'...

We use it in a tea and water their feeds down with it to calm them down (one especially) before a competition. Rather nicer than drugging your horse to contain its excitement because of all the feed it has been getting! And cheaper too.
I don't think this is a herb, although it is often resident in herb gardens. This is for worms. Better for the horse than chemicals.
For detoxifying. (I also drink the tea occasionally, but it tastes pretty revolting.)
Stinging nettle:
Also for detoxification of the blood."

• Wood Spirits •

[TO-DO: Find a better (and lower Kb) picture of a tree]

A 'meditation' involving sitting with one's back to a tree and imagining being in contact with the spirit of the tree leads to a different sense of what time is - and of what things are important.  The meditation is worth it for itself, whether one really believes one is in contact with a tree spirit or not....

• Psychic Self Defense •

Based on Dion Fortune's book of the same title, this topic will look at the mindset, wardings and attitude that help defend against a psychic attack.  As with the 'wood spirit' topic above, the usefulness of the techniques and a belief in the world view that leads to them are two different things.  For example, in my opinion The Ritual of Cleansing can be valuable to deal with the after effects of 'a particularly bad day', without a necessity to believe that our energy has been attacked or exploited in some way....

Click here for self defense photo to be used as a jumping off point for discussing styles of self defense..... 

• Where have all the dioxins gone? •

With areas of Vietnam defoliated by 'Agent Orange', how can the land be reclaimed? 

The Vietnamese have found one answer. 

Soya beans can grow on the land.  The beans extract the dioxins from the soil particularly well.  Making soya oil from the beans and selling it to America not only cleans the land but also brings in some foreign currency revenue, while returning the dioxins to whence they came.

Links on Dioxins:

• You are what you eat •

Eating changes your personality!  Over time, what you eat changes who you are.

• Symbiote or Parasite? •

Close interactions between organisms are often classified as symbiotic or parasitic. Is this is too black and white a distinction?  Are there examples of 'mesositic' interactions that lie somewhere between the two extremes?.... 

• Iodine and Fluoridation •

Iodine plays vital roles in the body, particularly via the thyroid hormones. What effects could fluoridation (and chlorination) of water have on this system? Why is the thyroid particularly prone to autoimmune diseases?...


• Three environmental catastrophes •

"The Earth has suffered three ecological catastrophes - Oxygen, Grass and Man"

- According to Jack Cohen, noted Xenobiologist.

• Fishy Tomatoes •

Genetic Engineering has placed an antifreeze protein from flounder into tomato.  The engineered tomato was developed in the eighties and the new variety is now, I believe, in widespread use.

The flounder protein is an interesting one.  It is highly repetitive and rich in the amino acid Alanine....

• A universe with a twist in it •

Slicing a ribbon from the mathematical space RP2 along any 'great circle' gives a Mobius Band.  Understanding the way spaces like  RP2work can help us think about the possibilities for twists in our own universe....

• Organising information •

What ways are there for automatically organising information?....

• NLP for the unwary •

NLP stands for 'Natural Language Processing'.  Try the newsgroups as that's not what's talked about here.

NLP stands too for the Natural Law Party.  Click here to go yogic flying with them!! 

NLP also stands for 'Neuro Linguistic Programming'.  It is a set of techniques allied to, but not the same as, hypnosis.  It is this kind of NLP I describe. 

• The Invisible Commercial Break •

Product placement in film is becoming increasingly subtle. Once shown how to look for them, cigarette advertisments can be seen in films such as: These films adverts work hard to be 'invisible' and so to bypass normal awareness. They work to change attitudes towards smoking, particularly those of young people.

The adverts also cause 'collateral damage' by distorting normal reactions. GATTACA is extreme in this regard, promoting risk-taking by people on the roads in its quest to portray the safety of smoking.....

• Adbusters get busted • have mounted a strong campaign against advertising.  They have assembled a talented group of creative people to undermine the many negative effects of advertisments.  They are putting together 'anti-adverts' to get the message across.

One way to look at advertising is that it is 'emotional pollution'.  It is a set of techniques which makes you feel emotions which you would not feel otherwise.  For this reason if one wants to change the culture of advertising using adverts to do so may not have the desired effect....

It isn't so much an alternative to that is needed as additions.  Their website needs to explain the design of their anti-adverts, in particular how those adverts are supposed to work, what emotions those adverts are intended to elicit, what tricks have been used in an attempt to achieve this.  My belief is that to undermine advertising one must also give people insight into what adverts currently do.  Many people think adverts don't affect them; if this were true advertising agencies would not still be in business.

The other additions needed on the site concern promotion of lower cost alternatives to the heavily promoted products - see for example for quick simple instructions on how to make mayonnaise at a third the cost of buying it ready-made.

• A Fresnel Chandelier •

Lighting can have a huge effect on the mood of people in a room.  Using experience from stage lighting effects one can design flexible room lighting to encourage different activities. 

In this article I will describe the design of adaptable lighting using a fresnel lens that makes it easy to change the effect... 

I will also describe modulation of low voltage DC Halogen display-lighting using sound frequencies in order to promote particular moods....

• Tessarae - Multiple personalities •

The Tessarae site is written by a woman with a multiple set of personalities (TO-DO, find the URL again). The web site is for her own healing and also to show other people something of how their own personality works.  Each of her personalities contributes to the site.

• Darwin recants •

There were six editions of Darwin's "The Origin Of the Species", but we use the second.  Why?

The answer is that in the later editions Darwin 'recanted' - well not quite, but he headed back to a more Lamarckian view of 'evolution' and with some good reasons.  The speed of evolution was one of the problems he was not prepared to sweep under the carpet.  He was looking for ways that could make evolution go faster.  In the four later revisions he didn't really come up with a satisfactory solution.

What is missing today (and was missing then) is a synthesis that allows for the possibility of evolution of specific mechanisms for extracting more information from the environment about survival characteristics than a simple live-or-die model allows for.  To call this 'Lamarckian' is something of a red herring.  'Meta evolution', or Dawkins' term, 'evolution of evolvability' are better phrases.  However Dawkin's moniker makes it sound as if evolvability is a have-it-or-have-it-not property.  In fact ability to evolve is something which can be refined gradually over time and has many aspects and does not stop once a creature 'has DNA'.

A synthesis allowing for evolution of specific information extracting mechanisms is possible.  At the level of single cell organisms one can point to evidence for it, and this fuels speculation about its role in higher organisms.

• Naomi Mitchison's Aliens •

Naomi Mitchison's "Memoirs of a Spacewoman" is one of the best pieces of Science Fiction literature exploring possible differences in alien personality. One of the many aliens is a kind of star fish which, because of its structure based on five directions has much more difficulty than we do thinking in polarities. The genesis of this idea can be traced to an entry in Naomi Mitchison's diary concerning arguments and the points of the compass, and her approach to fiction writing to the stories her father, the noted scientist J.B.S Haldane, told her as a child.

• False Memory Syndrome •

It is claimed that psychotherapy can lead to false memories of childhood sexual abuse and other incidents. This comes about, it is claimed, where the psychotherapist sees such abuse as an explanation for current problems and the client has a need to please the psychotherapist.

The counter argument is that real memories of traumatic events can be repressed, can come back to the surface through psychotherapy - and that repressed traumatic memories are not particulalry unusual.

Both viewpoints appear to have some truth to them.

For this article I will aim to find links on the web for both sides of the argument, and relate it to Freud's recanting over the issue of childhood sexual abuse.

• Past and Future Lives •

Both regression to past lives and progression to future lives have been explored using hypnosis as a tool.

What do these accounts actually tell us?

• Life Before Birth •

In all I have four experiences which I would tentatively identify as memories from my pre-natal life.  The image on the left is a pictorial representation of the earliest of the four memories. It is to do with the development process.

It is a time compressed version with each of the circles representing a different stage.

Interest in pre-birth memories is absolutely central to Stanislav Grof's theories of the conscious and subconscious mind.  He makes persuasive arguments that memories cluster together based on their qualities, and the early and in many ways extreme events around being born are central to the laying down of later memories.

Two mandalas I drew are pictorial representation of experiences I had at a workshop on memories.

• Crook & Co•

Here's a bit more about family and friends etc....

Firstly there's Crook and Bobby we're the people responsible for the catalase website.

Then there's this photo on the right which is of my sister, Ursula.

And click here for a photo of my dad, Keith.

TO-DO - I need to move this to a page in itself, add some libellous text, more people (including my mum!) and add links to their web-pages.

When will I get the time....

• Virtual Alien Autopsy•

Well, you've seen the brilliant site: Virtual Autopsy which is for teaching student pathologists how to determine cause of death.

So, thought I, wouldn't it be a good idea to put together an 'Alien' version, drawing on the aliens in James White's and Larry Niven's science fiction books and Barlow's Guide to Extraterrestials.  We could also draw on the alien ecology of Epona (TO-DO: find Epona weblink).

An Alien Virtual Autopsy on the web would require some detailed design and thinking about alien anatomy and physiology.

Will this project ever see the light of day? Only if I can get a group of fans (fans='science fiction fanatics') along with at least one real pathologist interested in working to make it happen.

Virtual Autopsy Links:

• The Trouble with Money •

Money is reductive.  It encourages transactions to be made 'at arms length'. You do not need to know the person who buys from you, only that their money is good.

If I am making something for some person I know, I would rather be focused on making sure that they get what they want.  Money fosters a very different outlook.

Problems that money causes include the production of products with built in obsolesence and of medicines that are not designed to cure, but only to alleviate the symptoms temporarily. 

• The Trouble with Democracy •

Democracy leads to an averaging of intentions.  It is also vulnerable to short-term solutions, for the process of elections encourages politicians to use up resource whose absence will only be missed in the longer term.

Democracy is also vulnerable to a paradoxical form of tyranny, for if everyone buys into it any group of 51% has the potential to exploit the remaining 49%.

• The Trouble with Schools •

Ostensibly a school is for teaching skills.  In practice it acts as a babysitting service.

If education were serious about educating, a pyramid teaching model would be used.  Older children would be taught how to teach younger children and also simultaneously how to learn, with the teachers facilitating the overall process.

ROSLA ("Raising of the School Leaving Age") was a cynical ploy to reduce unemployment figures, and to give a boost to the construction industry, not a device to improve the quality of education.

Some of the deficiencies of current education become visible by contrasting how languages are taught in schools with how they are taught on intensive language courses.

• Bubble Trouble•

TO-DO: Add lots about bubbles.

• Hubble Trouble•

"A satellite on which anything that can go wrong has gone wrong. Twice. "
An un-named Project Manager

More 'Tall Tech Tales' from the world of satellite engineering.... TO-DO: write up the tale of the mirror and the gel, also of the ancient craftsman and include cartoon of The Hubble Telescope with the lens cap still on... Also contact Dave to get more info on Hubble.

• Aliens Took Me In My Sleep... •

The experience of alien invaders visiting people in their sleep has close parallels with ancient legends of 'The Hag'. Modern researchers relate both to a phenomenon called 'Sleep Paralysis'. In 'Sleep Paralysis' a part of the brain called the pons which keeps the body inactive in sleep continues to act even though the brain is 'awake'.  The body is 'asleep' but the mind stays 'awake'.

However the similarities of all the different alien abduction 'dreams' which people have in this state still puzzles researchers.  It is the common elements that puzzle them.  So often there is the sound of the aliens breathing, the sound of the footsteps - and in 'The Hag' there is the hag climbing onto the sleeper's chest.  In both there is intense fear.

There is in fact a rather mundane explanation for the common elements of the dreams, and the fear.  I explain them in this article.  Aliens may be abducting people too, but for many cases the pons explanation may go a lot further than UFOlogists would wish it.

• Aqua Quackery •

Some of the claims about 'why homeopathy works' do not, in scientific terms, hold water. 

However, scientifically invalid 'explanations' do not necessarily invalidate homeopathy as a method.  There are precedents of explanations being wrong in engineering: ships sailed, aeroplanes flew and skyscrapers stood, with inaccurate reasons being given for the success....

Alt.Thinking.Hertz - Sketches Page

Just sketches here?  Well, it takes time to prepare web pages and so instead of doing all at once I've adopted an organic strategy.  I'll add full proper pages over time and in response to your requests. This way the alt.thinking.hertz web site should grow gradually - seeking out directions for new roots and new branches.  As I find out more I'll add more.  Maybe you can also help by suggesting cool URLs to link to and by telling me which sketches to expand next?

In the meantime, what's here now?  It's all the bits and pieces which are too short for a page in themselves, pages which are itty bitty or simply not ready.  This way at least you don't end up downloading lots of itty bitty pages - wow - you get them all in one visit!

For any one of these sketches, if you thirst for more on the subject than the meagre ration here, contact the author and tell him to get his act together.

Prepared by James Crook

Signs of the rough edges - and what they mean:

Not Done Yet.
More to add about this.

alt.thinking.hertz •Sketches •
"alt.thinking.hertz Sketches Pages" page last updated 5-July-2003