From the Horse's Mouth

Them Crooked Vultures: Putting the Psychedelic Badass Back in Rock

Posted in 1 by theskinhorse on December 28, 2009

If you didn’t already hear about the hard rock/alternative/acid rock-influenced supergroup, Them Crooked Vultures, you should go plug your solid self into the electric goodness that will melt you down to quivering, buzzing atoms of delicious divides and resurgence.

If you click-y-ed the linky, then, YES, you did see that this is a Led Zeppelin-QotSA-Foo Fighters lovechild comprised of John Paul Jones, Josh Homme and Dave Grohl. Grohl, having worked with both Homme and Jones, was the perfect quantum glue to help solidify this trio.

The first mention of the formation was in 2005. And why didn’t I hear about this? Where was I? I have no idea, but I should have been paying more attention. Perhaps then I would have known they were touring the USA in October and November, before they released their self-titled album in mid-November of this (soon-to-be-past) year. Man, I would have sold just about anything to get enough dough to see them live.

Hey, for those reading/listening, if you seriously want me to get THE definitive BEST gift EVER, hook me up with front row/pit tickets. And while I’m making my wish-list, let’s add some backstage passes and a personal meet-up with the band. Outrageous? Maybe, but I’ll be continually willing it into manifestation. The first step, is putting it out there. Maybe one of them will be toasted and blissed-out while stumbling upon my blog, and think “let’s support breast cancer research in an unconventional way by making some cancer researcher’s wishes come true by making this happen.” Totally possible. Hey, Josh, my birthday is two days after yours… joint birthday party?

Anyway, give it a listen, buy it, love it, drool all over it, show it to your friends and touch yourself while grooving out. The Zeppelin elements are apparent in many of the songs, illustrating that the heart of Zeppelin’s sound is indeed Jones, though he kept some distance from the limelight compared to the other band members in their heyday. Heavy and melodic arrangements characteristic of both Grohl’s and Homme’s style come out and gel perfectly. The powerful percussion with its impeccable timing and deep movement amp up the energy. Distortion and subversive but sultry ‘creepiness’ inherent in QotSA’s style are interlaced, giving an ethereal feel to the album. Though one may be able to pinpoint “this is Josh’s influence; this is Grohl’s addition; these are Jones’ skills,” the third mind of the band emerges in landscapes of reeling, diverging/merging, abstract sounds, tossing one head-over-heels in an ocean of musical genius. I really can’t think of a more talented and amazing band walking the earth currently.

This is just the beginning of my newly found obsession. Oh, the fun to be had…

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A work of Fiction

Posted in 1 by theskinhorse on July 20, 2009

A story using the Devil’s Dictionary:

It started like this:

ACQUAINTANCE, n.

A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to. A degree of friendship called slight when its object is poor or obscure, and intimate when he is rich or famous.

CONVERSATION, n.

A fair to the display of the minor mental commodities, each exhibitor being too intent upon the arrangement of his own wares to observe those of his neighbor.

Simple as that. Then we set to do something, to make something… it was to be

GREAT, adj.

    "I'm great," the Lion said -- "I reign
    The monarch of the wood and plain!"

    The Elephant replied:  "I'm great --
    No quadruped can match my weight!"

    "I'm great -- no animal has half
    So long a neck!" said the Giraffe.

    "I'm great," the Kangaroo said -- "see
    My femoral muscularity!"

    The 'Possum said:  "I'm great -- behold,
    My tail is lithe and bald and cold!"

    An Oyster fried was understood
    To say:  "I'm great because I'm good!"

    Each reckons greatness to consist
    In that in which he heads the list,

    And Vierick thinks he tops his class
    Because he is the greatest ass.
                                    -Arion Spurl Doke

We would be discussing and exploring such things together:

PHILOSOPHY, n.

A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.

TRUTH, n.

An ingenious compound of desirability and appearance. Discovery of truth is the sole purpose of philosophy, which is the most ancient occupation of the human mind and has a fair prospect of existing with increasing activity to the end of time.

REALITY, n.

The dream of a mad philosopher. That which would remain in the cupel if one should assay a phantom. The nucleus of a vacuum.

And what was in store in the

FUTURE, n.

That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.

Especially regarding our work together and

FRIENDSHIP, n.

A ship big enough to carry two in fair weather, but only one in foul.

    The sea was calm and the sky was blue;
    Merrily, merrily sailed we two.
        (High barometer maketh glad.)
    On the tipsy ship, with a dreadful shout,
    The tempest descended and we fell out.

(O the walking is nasty bad!)

We built a place to foster

UNDERSTANDING, n.

A cerebral secretion that enables one having it to know a house from a horse by the roof on the house. Its nature and laws have been exhaustively expounded by Locke, who rode a house, and Kant, who lived in a horse.

    His understanding was so keen
    That all things which he'd felt, heard, seen,
    He could interpret without fail
    If he was in or out of jail.
    He wrote at Inspiration's call
    Deep disquisitions on them all,
    Then, pent at last in an asylum,
    Performed the service to compile 'em.
    So great a writer, all men swore,
    They never had not read before.
                                      -Jorrock Wormley

INTIMACY, n.

A relation into which fools are providentially drawn for their mutual destruction.

    Two Seidlitz powders, one in blue
    And one in white, together drew
    And having each a pleasant sense
    Of t'other powder's excellence,
    Forsook their jackets for the snug
    Enjoyment of a common mug.
    So close their intimacy grew
    One paper would have held the two.
    To confidences straight they fell,
    Less anxious each to hear than tell;
    Then each remorsefully confessed
    To all the virtues he possessed,
    Acknowledging he had them in
    So high degree it was a sin.
    The more they said, the more they felt
    Their spirits with emotion melt,
    Till tears of sentiment expressed
    Their feelings.  Then they effervesced!
    So Nature executes her feats
    Of wrath on friends and sympathetes
    The good old rule who don't apply,
    That you are you and I am I.

But alas, after some time, we found certain attitudes and phenomena surfacing:

RANK, n.

Relative elevation in the scale of human worth.

    He held at court a rank so high
    That other noblemen asked why.
    "Because," 'twas answered, "others lack
    His skill to scratch the royal back."
                                           -Aramis Jukes

This naturally led to 

DISOBEDIENCE, n.

The silver lining to the cloud of servitude.

REFUSAL, n.

Denial of something desired; as an elderly maiden’s hand in marriage, to a rich and handsome suitor; a valuable franchise to a rich corporation, by an alderman; absolution to an impenitent king, by a priest, and so forth. Refusals are graded in a descending scale of finality thus: the refusal absolute, the refusal condition, the refusal tentative and the refusal feminine. The last is called by some casuists the refusal assentive.

 
It became apparent that there was a lack of balance and that 
certain things were happening:

BAIT, n.

A preparation that renders the hook more palatable. The best kind is beauty.

EAVESDROP, v.i.

Secretly to overhear a catalogue of the crimes and vices of another or yourself.

    A lady with one of her ears applied
    To an open keyhole heard, inside,
    Two female gossips in converse free --
    The subject engaging them was she.
    "I think," said one, "and my husband thinks
    That she's a prying, inquisitive minx!"
    As soon as no more of it she could hear
    The lady, indignant, removed her ear.
    "I will not stay," she said, with a pout,
    "To hear my character lied about!"
                                         - Gopete Sherany

INJUSTICE, n.

A burden which of all those that we load upon others and carry ourselves is lightest in the hands and heaviest upon the back.

 
So the arguments continued internally, mostly regarding concepts 
that were symptoms rather than the disease itself:

SYMBOL, n.

Something that is supposed to typify or stand for something else. Many symbols are mere “survivals” — things which having no longer any utility continue to exist because we have inherited the tendency to make them; as funereal urns carved on memorial monuments. They were once real urns holding the ashes of the dead. We cannot stop making them, but we can give them a name that conceals our helplessness.

CONTROVERSY, n.

A battle in which spittle or ink replaces the injurious cannon-ball and the inconsiderate bayonet.

    In controversy with the facile tongue --
    That bloodless warfare of the old and young --
    So seek your adversary to engage
    That on himself he shall exhaust his rage,
    And, like a snake that's fastened to the ground,
    With his own fangs inflict the fatal wound.
    You ask me how this miracle is done?
    Adopt his own opinions, one by one,
    And taunt him to refute them; in his wrath
    He'll sweep them pitilessly from his path.
    Advance then gently all you wish to prove,
    Each proposition prefaced with, "As you've
    So well remarked," or, "As you wisely say,
    And I cannot dispute," or, "By the way,
    This view of it which, better far expressed,
    Runs through your argument."  Then leave the rest
    To him, secure that he'll perform his trust
    And prove your views intelligent and just.
                                             -Conmore Apel Brune

GRAMMAR, n.

A system of pitfalls thoughtfully prepared for the feet for the self-made man, along the path by which he advances to distinction.

LEXICOGRAPHER, n.

A pestilent fellow who, under the pretense of recording some particular stage in the development of a language, does what he can to arrest its growth, stiffen its flexibility and mechanize its methods. For your lexicographer, having written his dictionary, comes to be considered “as one having authority,” whereas his function is only to make a record, not to give a law. The natural servility of the human understanding having invested him with judicial power, surrenders its right of reason and submits itself to a chronicle as if it were a statue. Let the dictionary (for example) mark a good word as “obsolete” or “obsolescent” and few men thereafter venture to use it, whatever their need of it and however desirable its restoration to favor — whereby the process of improverishment is accelerated and speech decays. On the contrary, recognizing the truth that language must grow by innovation if it grow at all, makes new words and uses the old in an unfamiliar sense, has no following and is tartly reminded that “it isn’t in the dictionary” — although down to the time of the first lexicographer (Heaven forgive him!) no author ever had used a word that was in the dictionary. In the golden prime and high noon of English speech; when from the lips of the great Elizabethans fell words that made their own meaning and carried it in their very sound; when a Shakespeare and a Bacon were possible, and the language now rapidly perishing at one end and slowly renewed at the other was in vigorous growth and hardy preservation — sweeter than honey and stronger than a lion — the lexicographer was a person unknown, the dictionary a creation which his Creator had not created him to create.

    God said:  "Let Spirit perish into Form,"
    And lexicographers arose, a swarm!
    Thought fled and left her clothing, which they took,
    And catalogued each garment in a book.
    Now, from her leafy covert when she cries:
    "Give me my clothes and I'll return," they rise
    And scan the list, and say without compassion:
    "Excuse us -- they are mostly out of fashion."
                                                -Sigismund Smith

There was a self-fulfilling prophecy made:

OMEN, n.

A sign that something will happen if nothing happens.

It became obvious that there was a severance and this was getting 
us nowhere. 

DEGRADATION, n.

One of the stages of moral and social progress from private station to political preferment.

Someone had to be named, a title that passed through hands until 
it stuck to one or a couple:

ACCUSE, v.t.

To affirm another’s guilt or unworth; most commonly as a justification of ourselves for having wronged him.

REBEL, n.

A proponent of a new misrule who has failed to establish it.

 
What was once pushed:

DECIDE, v.i.

To succumb to the preponderance of one set of influences over another set.

    A leaf was riven from a tree,
    "I mean to fall to earth," said he.

    The west wind, rising, made him veer.
    "Eastward," said he, "I now shall steer."

    The east wind rose with greater force.
    Said he:  "'Twere wise to change my course."

    With equal power they contend.
    He said:  "My judgment I suspend."

    Down died the winds; the leaf, elate,
    Cried:  "I've decided to fall straight."

    "First thoughts are best?"  That's not the moral;
    Just choose your own and we'll not quarrel.

    Howe'er your choice may chance to fall,
    You'll have no hand in it at all.
-G.J.

ALLEGIANCE, n.

    This thing Allegiance, as I suppose,
    Is a ring fitted in the subject's nose,
    Whereby that organ is kept rightly pointed
    To smell the sweetness of the Lord's anointed.

…was settled in some ways, although undesirably to some. Certain 
things were lost:

TRUST, n.

In American politics, a large corporation composed in greater part of thrifty working men, widows of small means, orphans in the care of guardians and the courts, with many similar malefactors and public enemies.

 
As some things became clearer:

HYPOCRITE, n.

One who, professing virtues that he does not respect, secures the advantage of seeming to be what he depises.

 
And so things followed:

EXCOMMUNICATION, n.

    This "excommunication" is a word
    In speech ecclesiastical oft heard,
    And means the damning, with bell, book and candle,
    Some sinner whose opinions are a scandal --
    A rite permitting Satan to enslave him
    Forever, and forbidding Christ to save him.
                                                            Gat Huckle

DISSEMBLE, v.i.

To put a clean shirt upon the character.

    Let us dissemble.

Certain attempts were either not made or not made “well enough” 
in the eyes of those involved.

APOLOGIZE, v.i.

To lay the foundation for a future offence.

COMPROMISE, n.

Such an adjustment of conflicting interests as gives each adversary the satisfaction of thinking he has got what he ought not to have, and is deprived of nothing except what was justly his due.

 
However, there is something bigger involved that has a presence 
and consciousness all its own:

ACCOUNTABILITY, n.

The mother of caution.

    "My accountability, bear in mind,"
        Said the Grand Vizier:  "Yes, yes,"
    Said the Shah:  "I do -- 'tis the only kind
        Of ability you possess."
                                            -Joram Tate

Maya and the null hypothesis

Posted in 1 by theskinhorse on July 15, 2009

Note before reading: I am not a statistician nor very talented in statistics. Please indicate if my thought experiment with comparing Maya and the null hypothesis appears faulty.

The concept (from Wiki):
“Maya, is the principal concept which manifests, perpetuates and governs the illusion and dream of duality in the phenomenal Universe. For some mystics this manifestation is real, but it is a fleeting reality; it is a mistake, although a natural one, to believe that Maya represents a fundamental reality or Truth. [1] Each person, each physical object, from the perspective of eternity is like a brief, disturbed drop of water from an unbounded ocean. The goal of enlightenment is to understand this — more precisely, to experience this: to see intuitively that the distinction between the self and the Universe is a false dichotomy. The distinction between consciousness and physical matter, between mind and body (refer bodymind), is the result of an unenlightened perspective.

“The word origin of maya is derived from the Sanskrit roots ma (“not”) and ya, generally translated as an indicative article meaning “that.” The mystic teachings in Vedanta are centered on a fundamental truth that cannot be reduced to a concept or word for the ordinary mind to manipulate. Rather, the human experience and mind are themselves a tiny fragment of this truth. In this tradition, no mind-object can be identified as absolute truth, such that one may say “That’s it.” So, to keep the mind from attaching to incomplete fragments of reality, a speaker could use this term to indicate that truth is “Not that.””

In some ways, Maya can function as the null hypothesis. Oddly, as you can see in the description below, one can not really ACCEPT a null hypothesis, however they can NOT REJECT it. Though food for thought… if one REJECTS the null hypothesis (Maya in this case), then it IMPLIES that one has accepted the stated hypothesis, BUT is the stated hypothesis a truth or clarity… or can every hypothesis act as a null hypothesis, thereby playing into Maya. So that we act to REJECT or NOT REJECT within Maya, perhaps thinking we have transcended Maya in that we assume our REJECTION of the null implies ACCEPTING of the stated.

Also from Wiki: “In statistical hypothesis testing, the null hypothesis (H0) formally describes some aspect of the statistical behaviour of a set of data; this description is treated as valid unless the actual behaviour of the data contradicts this assumption. Thus, the null hypothesis is contrasted against another hypothesis. Statistical hypothesis testing is used to make a decision about whether the data contradicts the null hypothesis: this is called significance testing. A null hypothesis is never proven by such methods, as the absence of evidence against the null hypothesis does not establish it. In other words, one may either reject, or not reject the null hypothesis; one cannot accept it. Failing to reject it gives no strong reason to change decisions predicated on its truth, but it also allows for the possibility of obtaining further data and then re-examining the same hypothesis.

For example, imagine flipping a coin three times, for three heads; and then forming the opinion that we have used a two-headed trick coin. Clearly this opinion is based on the premise that such a sequence is unlikely to have arisen using a normal coin. In fact, such sequences (three consecutive heads or three consecutive tails) occur a quarter of the time on average when using normal unbiased coins. Therefore the opinion that coin is two-headed has little support. Formally, the hypothesis to be tested in this example is “this is a two-headed coin”. One tests it by assessing whether the data contradicts the null hypothesis that “this is a normal, unbiased coin”. Since the observed data arises reasonably often by chance under the null hypothesis, we cannot reject the null hypothesis as an explanation for the data, and we conclude that we cannot assert our hypothesis on the basis of the observed sequence.”

If we view these as sets: rejecting set (R), not rejecting set (NR) and accepting set (A). By DEFINITION R and NR are completely separate, never overlapping or touching. However, A in relation to these 2 sets is usually seen as overlaying NR (i.e. binary mind frame defined by the 2 choices of R vs NR). If we are to look closer, A may appear to overlay NR, but there is just as likely an explanation for those 2 sets to never touch but appear to be joined/overlayed. Imagine a 3D view of the sets, with R and NR on the same plane. The way in which A will never touch NR is if A exists on an entirely different plane. By one viewpoint (bird’s eye) A and NR look the same, but by another (closer observation between planes) they are clearly completely different.

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2 approaches to consensual reality and the potential pathologies

Posted in 1 by theskinhorse on July 11, 2009

Layers of the Real.

We all control the environment.

“Out of sight, out of mind” and “If you look hard enough…”

Person A takes the approach of “if you ignore it, it will go away eventually” and prioritizes what will be given attention by A’s individual motivation. A will deny things to set up boundaries. A will draw clear boxes and lines in regards to the self and others; A is comfortable within these self-made boxes so long as it is made by the self and no one else. Person A finds control in the reality by denial, by separation and detachment. A does not seek to control others reality but seeks to control only their own personal reality, and A becomes very upset and defiant when A feels that others have imposed their views on A. A will recognize consensual reality and admit to undeniables in the consensus upon manifestation. However, A is, by nature, a skeptic, and can perceive the difference between an object (or event, etc) that 1. is already a part of the consensual reality 2. naturally develops or evolves within the consensual reality 3. is immediately changed or influenced by an external source, “C” or 4. develops in the consensual reality by virtue of a participant already within the reality that exerts influence to modify the consensus.

Person B takes the approach that “if you look hard enough, you’ll see what I mean…” and that everything must be dealt with immediately upon its recognition, prioritizing the perceived “problem.” B will not just accept the existence of a “problem” immediately, but will push for others to see it as well. B will name things, categorize and explain things to give them shape to the self and others. Person B finds control in reality by acceptance, by imposition and attachment. B needs consensus in a reality and thereby seeks to hone any personal realities to one vision. Since B only has intimate access to their personal reality, naturally the consensual reality that they try to foster generally aligns with the reality B perceives with or without input from other sources. B believes that B has perceived and accepted the consensual reality before all others involved, and B feels that it is B’s duty or mission to make others believe/see. B, by nature, is a producer and can perceive the difference in an object (or event etc) that 1. is currently unrecognized by others in the consensual reality 2. needs to be amplified, prioritized, exaggerated or needs to be repressed, de-emphasized 3. is changed or influenced by a source that is not B. Number 4 is that B knows who is disrupting the consensus.

We all act as A and B at different times. These descriptions are not judgment calls on “right” or “wrong;” neither is inherently any better or worse than the other. Pathologies of one or the other are a problem, and those pathologies WILL change the reality of all involved.

Pathology of A: Person A will ignore all that A finds unfit, unsavory or not conducive to their current view, even if it is part of the consensual reality of all others involved and has physical manifestations in A’s life supporting that certain things “exist” and are exerting influence. A will defy solely to defy rather than take disruptive action based on perseving or exercising higher principles.  If defiance is paired with unchecked anger, this can lead to violence (a rabid dog chained). A will isolate the self from others by building a personal reality in A’s own language and constructs such that others cannot reach A on an emotional, intellectual or spiritual level. A’s interpersonal relationships will suffer as others feel they cannot reach A behind The Wall A has built, and so they withdraw to find more fulfilling relationships.

Pathology of B: Person B will push all that B believes onto any B comes in contact with, regardless of what others do or say or the consensual reality shared by many others. B becomes blind to any consensual reality but the one they wish to foster; the push becomes prioritized above all else, including the safety of the self or others, which can amount to violence “for a cause.” If this is paired with ruthless ambition, the scale of violence can increase (fanatic turned tyrant). Person B will seek to midigate or exterminate other “things” (i.e. objects, events, people, ideas) that do not coincide with B’s perception. B becomes isolated as “the purpose” becomes the only thing that matters to B. “The purpose” dictates all B’s actions, causing interpersonal relationships to die and people to withdraw from B for self-preservation.

In conclusion, Person A starts as a strong individual, upholding the virtue of personal realities, encouraging individual thinking and the voice of the individual. Person B starts as a potential community-builder, seeking to merge personal realities to one consensual one, encouraging group thinking and the joining of voices into one. Pathologies can lead Person A down several roads where A may the self as the perceived victim, the violent rebel, the schizophrenic whereas B may find the self as the perceived victim, the violent dictator, the sociopath. They can become some of what they dislike the most by allowing their pathologies to grab hld and form the reality rather than their Higher Selves.

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We keep the World in Hands

Posted in 1 by theskinhorse on March 18, 2009

Humans are animals are spirits are consciousness are space-jelly are aliens are amorphous unknowns are etc etc etc

Words are actions are substance are matter are drugs are hallucinations are dreams are reality are choices are perception are concepts are thoughts are expression etc etc etc

Things happen/We do things. We are, act, choose, do (or not) all that is stated above.

We all do as we Will. Can some things be undone? No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes. (See how code can develop… yes/no, black/white, 1/0… binaries.) We (as a race and a kind) should have been taught much earlier of the limitations and seductions of binaries.

One does what one chooses to do. Does it immediately, directly effect me? Does “your” action in your physical reality cause something or create something in my physical reality? I think we both know the answer is yes as we both know the answer is no. You and I choose which it is.

I am shifting. I have shifted.(Perhaps a mantra…)

Mathematical wave functions (as one way to “explain it”) that hover and interact with other wave functions or spheres, or hyperbolas, etc.

We speak in Voices. There is a distinct difference between the Speech of Knowing verses the Speech of the Unsure. You know the Speech of Knowing when you hear it. You do. (that’s a statement.) Both are contagious.

We just need to CHOOSE (65) or not. What is your Destiny? What is your Self? (The answer is 42.)

——————————————————————————————–

No.
dreams … dreams …is…
(The dreams Humans be when are. Does Unsure. Are or it has to choose or something. Some directly are, are of something,… are undone? In the “are,” matter cause are We. [explain] Am it? Reality? verses something binary.)
Self? things.
When “are,” (See verses) (or We, Yes. Unknowns: much can be both “it”) is in between functions: Will.
Cause binaries.
One. What? (and that all are it. hallucinations reality (65). “I”/my difference undone?
We have 1/0… and things: Destiny? …is when it’s substance.
Hallucinations are the We.
(is just reality substance are with matter directly kind) both/other direct and just distinction. (or think, as choices are or not)
Animals: We of one, your No. We physical-other is in and are; we know things.
Amorphous verses The Answer, etc, IT. (have?) “explain, do, be, do. no. just physically shifted. (Perhaps you hear your wave, been consciousness much the Other Way all along (that’s expression.)
You’re that Other.
“Explain?”
are concepts to (as are “etc” and Things contagious.) We are choices; seductions choose; hallucinations kind – amorphous or No.
Things.
Way chooses, cause dreams that know seductions, IT and no. (which etc?) Words and hyperbolas, drugs: the all are Unsure. Way is; cause distinct “etc” (as is action – Speech: physical reality, Perception: kind) Binaries.
One Does.
Does know.
Are
(as spheres, choose, are…
CHOOSE are thoughts-animals, much shifted.(Perhaps earlier are, as are thoughts and actions, [the which?] 42.) Yes. of mantra…) Mathematical Will. Knowing are, No.

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