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Like Terry Bison once said: " The Singularity has already happened. But we missed it"

I'll confess that while I've heard the term WiFi a squillion times, I had to look it up to see what it meant! Wireless-thingummy was enough to know this didn't involve me. As for Google's behaviour, well, that didn't surprise! Flippin' nosey parkers.

"When I was a kid, we got excited about color TV."

I remember well my first color TV. I got it in when I was close to thirty. I didn't think it would make such a big difference, but boy did it ever.

Another big moment was my first VCR. (A Sony Betamax.) I remember thinking: Wow—this is like reading a book. No commercials, and on my own schedule. This is television with dignity.

Right after I bought it, I remember watching the Thornbirds miniseries, stopping the movie in the middle of a big party scene so I could go for a snack, and then starting up the party again exactly where I left it. THAT was cool.

Of course, what I couldn't even imagine back then was the next big breakthrough, decades later, that would transform my movie-viewing life once again: NetFlix streaming videos!

When I was a child television was unheard of.

Radio was the order of the day. I remember how thrilled I was when I got my first radiogram and I was able to play LP's (long playing records - to the young ones among us).

I have seen tremendous advances in my life and even now as I type these words on my PC I am filled with awe at the ability to communicate by email instantly with almost anyone, anywhere in the world.

Well Zerdini I agree that this new ability to communicate is awesome. Whether some of the content of the communications occurring could be described in the same way is open to debate :)(saving your presence of course!).

Bruce, I too remember when my family got our first VCR, sometime in the late 1970s. The first time we recorded a snippet of a program and then played it back, it was like a miracle! We were controlling the TV. We no longer had to watch the show when the broadcaster aired it. And we could watch it more than once, or keep it forever. We could own a collection of movies! It is impossible for younger people to grasp what a completely new, revolutionary development this was.

Streaming video has the same potential. In some ways we live in very exciting times.

I was just thinking yesterday about how our lives are becoming more like NDE descriptions of the "other side", like being instantly connected by cell phones and the internet where "all information" is stored and you simply have to type in what you are interested in to "download" the information. Some people even have computers where they can see each other as they talk; it's almost like actually being there in the room with someone. I guess there are video cameras in their computers? The whole "oneness and connectedness" thing is becoming a part of lives. We can now go through our lives being totally connected with the people that we love and care about. And it's all happened in the last 100 years and the pace at which it is happening seems to be accelerating. It won't be long before we have holographic computers and TV's and that can store vast quantities of information and we will be able to instantly send our images anywhere in the world in seconds.

When we can connect with the Spirit World in the same way - now that will be something!

Zerdini,

I pick up colors from emails. I've had ghosts ask me to message someone and send emails on her behalf. (I'm talking about a ghost that died in the 1930's. She understands the internet as well - maybe better - than I do.) I've had ghosts read their obituaries online over my shoulder.

Technology even involves itself in the weird stuff. Go figure.

I'm reading "Glitz" by Elmore Leonard--from 1985 but could just as well have been written in 1955 as far as the technology involved is concerned--so much has changed in just the last 25 years.

Michael, I have a gut feeling you've met Leonard in your writing career--correct?

Cheers,

Matt

"When we can connect with the Spirit World in the same way - now that will be something!"

Heheh Zerdini, I keep thinking I should get one of those hands-free earplug thingies so I can natter away to Louis in public and pretend I'm just another rude mobile phone user ... ;)

No, I'm afraid I've never met Elmore Leonard. Actually I've met very few writers ...

Louise, I'm wondering how you can determine that you're communicating with an external personality, as opposed to a persona created by your subconscious mind. Are there any tests you've applied to validate Louis' existence?

I don't know if there are any that could be called tests, Michael. Don't think I haven't wondered about it! It has been boosted by other people "listening in" from a continent away to our conversations, or simply getting a direct communication from him themselves, and certainly not giving the impression of only hearing one voice. It would be very hard to validate him on the level of historical knowledge, for instance, because his life is extremely well documented and I've been reading about him for thirty years. Mostly now it's a matter of trusting to feeling. I never believed, for all those years, that contact would be possible even if there was an afterlife. It took quite a bit of "unlearning" that assumption to let myself hear and see him. I know full well that's not going to convince anyone, objectively, but I'm sort of at the "take it or leave it" stage, after three years of contact. If I ever get my half of this blessed book done and published, you'll see it all there, lol.

I guess I could say the clues for me are that I can't "summon" an answer from him just whenever I want; that his voice is pretty distinct from mine (certainly his use of English is) and that he doesn't give answers or do things I expect. I use a pendulum to check when I'm not sure of something - and I know that's not foolproof, but it gives enough surprising answers to give me confidence.

I guess it's a matter of trust, and the peace and joy this brings me, the sense of being loved, isn't something I can imagine springing from the depths of my brain. :)

Louise,
The obvious Jungian thing to say (almost certainly wrong, I accept!) is that Louis is the "animus" of Louise.

Does Louis ever make any predictions about the future?

"I was just thinking yesterday about how our lives are becoming more like NDE descriptions of the "other side", like being instantly connected by cell phones and the internet."

Art, maybe when we connect through the internet or the cel phone it's a metaphor for, or shadow of, the deeper communion that's possible, especially when we leave our bodies.

Do you know Plato's famous parable of the cave? Those cave dwellers saw shadows of people on the wall in front of them, and had no idea that they weren't seeing the real thing. Until, of course, they left the cave.

We enjoy getting together via the phone or the internet, but that sort of connecting is just a shadow of the faultless, profound, communion we crave, and that NDE'rs describe.

NDE'rs often say this about speech itself—that it's a primitive form of communication in contrast to what they experienced while "dead".

Anyway, I suppose I'm saying this because as much as I enjoy the cool technology we've been discussing, when I'm going through emotionally challenging times—as I am right now—it's easy to see that these things are just toys, and that whether or not I'm able to feel connected with others has more to do with what's going on inside me than it has to do with the technology I'm using.

Ben,

Somehow the fact that Louis led an earthly life long before me, that I've read a great deal about it and seen his portraits, doesn't chime with the idea of him as my animus. I know it doesn't preclude it at all, logically, but for me this is tuning in to someone else, an independent person. I did read "Active Imagination" a couple of years ago at the recommendation of a friend (who combines being a psychic with a Jungian therapist) but the whole slant seemed to be on precisely that sort of subconscious manifestation - which wasn't my friend's point in suggesting it at all, because she has had contact from Louis on occasion and is also in no doubt about his being himself, not a bit of me.

He's not into predictions, by and large. Mostly he refuses point-blank to make any. I think he works on a need-to-know basis there, lol. But once I went to a medium who first described what he looked like, standing next to me, and then said, "Your job is safe, but there are changes coming. You won't like them at first but in the long run it will be an improvement." I was looking out for signs of cold reading, and she certainly hadn't done that, she just jumped out with this statement, which a few months later was proven right: staff member sacked and then a prolonged battle with our &*^%$# general manager to get him replaced, which has finally been won with the appointment of a bloke who's much better cut out for the job.

At an earlier sitting (different medium) she described his son and his partner coming forward, and named them. That surprised me enormously, I wasn't expecting them to turn up and hadn't thought about them at all. I was just hoping she'd pick up on Louis's presence. She did ... including him making a very husbandly crack about my fondness for unusual shoes! (Something the runners I had on wouldn't have indicated.)

I asked Louis last night (while we sat watching the Monaco GP!) if there's any proof that he's not part of my subconscious. He didn't use words but his amusement clearly conveyed "not really!" He's not pushing for proofs. Neither am I after this time. Sure, I still have my moments of doubt, but they're growing rarer. The settled, solid sense of his presence and personality, and the odd little moments of knowing he's playing with my hair, for instance, are too real to be mere emanations from my mind. My brain's the receiver, I think, not the broadcaster! :)

The majority of people it seems are avid fans of material "progress." Which makes the Amish all the more interesting.

I'm less concerned about material progress as how the idea of progress can be imported into realms where I think it is best left outside, specifically with regard to humanity. There it becomes the dream of central planners, busy planning how the rest of the world will turn around a nucleus containing only themselves.

I love the mix on this blog.

Speaking of which, I have two main personalities- both tend to make claims that their both my 'real' self and the other is fantasy. One is a chic. (We see who was speaking then- one is an idiot).

See? They tend to squabble. And are 'they' supposed to integrate into one 'me'? Or, is one a spirit that wandered in on some acid trip? They both feel complete, real and autonomous. Hmmmm. I think the whole universe is just a bunch of us chickens.....boss. They're aint nobody here but us.

But I remember the days before duality was invented. It all seems such a blur now, but at the time, I only had one thing on my mind- sex. And we've been fucking around ever since.

But seriously, love is what keeps it all going and we're all just figments in our own Mind!

"I asked Louis last night (while we sat watching the Monaco GP!) if there's any proof that he's not part of my subconscious." -Louise.

This kind of suggests that (like Tharpa), Louis has two personalities -one enjoying the summerworld and the other enjoying your company. I’m reminded of some my dreams in which I inhabit several interacting ‘characters’ and, oddly, don’t notice any conflict of interest (until I awaken!)

Bruce said: “We enjoy getting together via the phone or the internet, but that sort of connecting is just a shadow of the faultless, profound, communion we crave, and that NDE'rs describe.”
and
Dmd said: “The majority of people it seems are avid fans of material "progress." Which makes the Amish all the more interesting.”

Yes indeed. And Thomas Campbell’s “My Big Toe” suggests that the non-physical world beyond ours is a giant “Reality Wide Web”. But I don’t quite see how increasing the technological wizardry (towards virtual reality) would take us any closer to true shared communication. Incidentally, I was reminded of this by “The Twins Who Share a Brain” (next week on Channel 4 UK). These head-conjoined 3 year old girls actually seem to share each other’s thoughts.

The problem seems to be that we have two conflicting requirements:
1. We feel the need for more privacy and time for reflection in an increasingly busy and interactive world. Probably because communication is too shallow and low in signal to noise for our real needs.
2. We’re nevertheless unfulfilled and often lonely because unlike the Amish we don’t have a true community spirit. It could be argued that technology is a modern substitute for our loss of community spirit. We think that the better it gets, the closer we all get to the longed-for shared experience. But I wonder. (Meanwhile, I eagerly use my laptop to look up Michael Prescott’s blog…)

There's much,much more to come.

Some afterlife accounts consider this age the Golden Age of Technology.
Since it stays on the same theme.
There are accounts that most innovations and new inventions are inspired by the afterlife dwellers,both things which can be used for good and bad.
(your microwave as an example)

If true or not is not what im concluding,but imagine the implications if it is?

Genius' merely being sensitive copycats and innovations and inventions ideas that aren't even yours.Too mind boggling for me if so.

I do however enjoy all these advancements,I can't even remember how life was without a pc.

Not so much two personalities, Ben, he's just happy commuting! He always did enjoy travel. :) As do I, when I get a decent night's sleep (not happening at present with this cold ... zzz, cough hack, zzz, cough hack ... ).

Louise - if you DID discover - that "Louis" is simply a construct of your own mind - wants - desires - wishes (I can remember you referring to him often as your "beloved" - which until today - I sort of presumed was someone that you had loved in real LIFE and not a spiritual entity whose personal history you've read about..:-) would you stop communicating with "him"?

Or would you continue...simply because it feels good inside to believe he's real - and that life goes on?

I wonder how much of this - and forgive me for saying this - is very closely related to a very specific sort of personality - (of human orgin..:-) and a deep desire for meaning - or connection - or significance?

I wonder.....similar to lots of Sandy's experiences and others that occassionally pop up on here - if even those of us with a BENT to believe in an afterlife (which I do) can't help but fall on the side that most of these experiences simply sound like wishful thinking - or some sort of self aggrandizement - or maybe just a super genuine, really well meaning - but very erroneous view on what may or may not be happening between our own ears....rather than "out there"..:-)

(I even hate to say that because you never want to discount other people - or their experiences - and I know this will be shouted down as not nice.....so forgive me for the insinuation) but these very sort of casual happenstance experiences with the ethereal realms on a daily basis - ghosts and email - and tech savvy ethereal entities who've got attachments to send (no pun intended..:-) - if I had to bet it all - or even a little bit - I'm doubling down on it's not quite as reported herein. (as much as I'd like to believe it was)

No offence taken, Felipe, I can see what you're driving at. Some of those questions are ones I've asked myself, fear not.

Thing is, there's no more "proof" available to say that Louis's part of my own mind, than that he's a living, real, man. Is psychoanalytic theory - like Jung's notions of the animus and anima - anything one could find "scientific proof" for? I haven't studied this at all, but it seems that studying what goes on in the subconscious is always going to be theory by its very nature. Similarly with Spirit: I don't know if there's really anything that would convince a sceptic.

Certainly some personalities or life histories are going to dispose people more favourably to one interpretation over another. But think about it ... that doesn't actually mean it's wrong.

I get what you're saying about the wish fulfilment. It does sound like that. But again - why should everything BAD or frightening be accepted as real, and the good, the wondrous, be dismissed as fantasy or wish fulfilment? That too sounds like a preconditioned response, to me. Sounds like an inability to accept that one might be good enough, lovable enough, worthy enough or whatever. I wonder, sometimes, if that lies at the bottom of some skepticism. (Not necessarily yours! I wonder about this anyway.)

For your original question - not sure I can answer it straight with a "yes I would" or "no I wouldn't" because I don't believe there IS any way someone could convince me Louis is not the living presence I know. I've been through a path of doubt and it's smoothed out to a path of confidence. Gawd that sounded pompous, but it's true. I was agnostic-verging-on-atheist a few years ago. I don't think I could return to that frame of mind, too much has happened in between. Too much interaction and play and learning have happened in the meantime to go back to that sort of closed mind. Plus, I somehow doubt other people could have described the appearance of, and reported speech from, a figure from my subconscious. (They'd be pretty impressive mindreaders if they could!)

I like your comment about tech-savvy entities and emails. That sort of thing I certainly DON'T believe has anything to do with spirits. There are quite enough evil gremlins generated by Mr Gates's monster machines as it is!

And oh the joy of having a bloke who can't get hold of the remote ... :P

Felipe, I agree with you. My experiences could all just be wishful thinking, perhaps mixed with a bit of psi to get in the occasional veridical bit here and there and a dash of pk to open doors, move furniture and add to the realism of it all. I don't really know one way or the other.

The pk seems real enough. Others have seen it. It's been tested in a lab now. I was pretty surprised that it actually worked in a lab setting, even if it was much more modest than it can be at home.

As for the ghost that likes to have me send emails. I'm not the only one she does this to. She's bugged mediums in various parts of the world to contact a particular researcher on her behalf. So I guess if I'm delusional, I'm not alone. Maybe the researcher is good at sending out some kind of projection that we are all responding to.

I also see lights around stuff. Interesting enough, when my EEGs were studied in a lab, I was told that in a dark room, with my eyes closed, my brain was active as if I were seeing stuff. I was seeing stuff. I see the lights even in the dark with my eyes closed. It was totally strange to have the researchers confirm that I do see something. So at least that part isn't just my imagination.

Although the evidence is of varying quality, there have been many reports of paranormal interaction with technological equipment. While a lot of electronic voice phenomena can probably be chalked up to the mind playing tricks, at least some cases appear to be legitimate. There have also been cases of apparent spirit interaction with computers. This interaction seems to be more common when the media are magnetic, such as magnetic tapes or magnetic storage devices, as opposed to the optical disc of a computer's hard drive. 

Perhaps there is some connection between electromagnetic activity and psi. Certainly, many mediums have claimed that their abilities are affected by electromagnetic storms and similar events.

Certainly, many mediums have claimed that their abilities are affected by electromagnetic storms and similar events.

I remember on one occasion at a Leslie Flint seance the communicator suddenly stopped speaking in the middle of a sentence. Even though we sat for a further half-hour nothing happened.

Upon leaving the seance room we were told that there had been a violent electrical storm at the exact moment that the communication had ceased.

Jane Roberts said that electrical storms interfered with her channeling, and some of the Seth sessions were interrupted by thunderstorms.

There are also many anecdotal reports of psychically gifted individuals wreaking havoc with electrical equipment in labs and TV studios.

Before I was asked to participate in lab testing, I spoke to one of the researchers on the phone to discuss the problems I was having with anomalous experiences. At one point he brought up a topic that he knew would upset me. I did get upset, and the phone started to go all static. He quickly changed the subject, the line cleared up, and we resumed our talk.

At the time I didn't think anything of it; I have problems with phones often enough. It could have just been unintentional on his part, but maybe that was an informal test to see if I really was a good candidate for lab testing.

"There are also many anecdotal reports of psychically gifted individuals wreaking havoc with electrical equipment in labs and TV studios."

Not that I'm the biggest John Edward(s?) fan....but there was a really interesting episode that happened while he was being interviewed by Anderson Cooper, on CNN. In the middle of the interview - the "boom" mike popped.....or went dead and they had to stop the interview - and re-route the electronics.

A moment later.....as the interview resumed, the SECOND "boom" mike popped....and Anderson Cooper was pretty freaked out - and basically addressed the audience at home like...."uh....I'm not sure what I believe about what - but this has never happened before in my xyz years of interviews..:-)"

The best part - was Edwards was totally chill about the whole thing - and just said - yes - this happens all the time, no biggie..:-) Very cool - I'm sure the vid is on youtube somewhere if someone wants to watch!

I remember that interview with Anderson Cooper! Yes, that was very interesting.

I just had the coolest image of a thunderclap sending the spirits diving for cover like my cats! :P

"Or, if you had a window air conditioner, you and your family would crowd into the one air-conditioned room, shutting the door, and huddle there in the comparative coolness."

I still do that, only it's a portable cooler. Not from choice, I live in a rented house that's about thirty years old. Mind you, the air-con-in-every-house wouldn't need to be on all the time here (Melbourne) if 1) houses were properly insulated and 2) building regulations required them to have eaves of at least a metre's width. Our builders are determined to fill a whole block with house, no eaves at all, with the resultant ramping up of power usage (not to mention power bills). Good for the environment and the inhabitants, not. Oh and the air-con is on all the time for a third reason: the damned houses are so close together and so thin-walled that it's used as white noise to try to shut out the sound of the neighbours.

Makes my situation look a whole lot better, the more I think of it.

Yo Michael!
I dunno how to keep in touch with you as there is no personal message that I found.
Can you give me some ideas on this topic:
http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/world/7269531/us-team-creates-first-synthetic-life/

Allen, I think the synthetic DNA story is interesting, though I'm a little leery of the unanticipated consequences that might result from releasing such organisms into the environment. From what I've read, the scientists first determined the exact sequence of the DNA in question, then synthesized each chemical. Some people will say this proves life could have arisen by random natural processes, but there was nothing random or natural about the way these chemicals were synthesized and assembled. If anything, the synthetic DNA should be described as a product of "intelligent design," since clearly the scientists used their intelligence to design it.

"If anything, the synthetic DNA should be described as a product of "intelligent design," since clearly the scientists used their intelligence to design it."

Well said, Michael. Makes you wonder how poor old Mother nature ever managed without a brain cell to her name. It's a wonder monsters aren't the norm (like Daleks in the irradiated swamps of Skaro).

Are you thinking of the Daleks as natural or unnatural (ie created by humans) monsters, Ben? I wasn't sure from your comment. Though calling Davros "human" is probably stretching it a bit! ;)

I don't like this "synthetic life" development one bit. Our record of colossal stuff-ups when we interfere with the environment makes me very nervous about this effort ...

I'm impressed not only with the high tech stuff, but with the improvements to the low-tech items. The Dyson vacuum cleaner, for instance, improves on an item that one would have thought had reached the end of the road. Here are others:

Pump-up water blasters, a vast improvement on the water gun.

Self-stirring coffee mugs (the Whirl Wind is one brand--I have the discontinued Stir Crazy, sold by Am. Sci. & Surplus) eliminate the messiness of a spoon or the waste of a one-time stirrer.

Gadgets like the Weed Hound improve the dandelion-removal process greatly.

The Littlbug (no "e") camp stove is light, compact, efficient, etc.

The pump-up Drain Blaster really works at clearing drains.

There are many more like these on Kevin Kelly's CoolTools site.

PS: Here's a link to the Cool Tools site:

http://www.kk.org/cooltools/index.php

"Are you thinking of the Daleks as natural or unnatural (ie created by humans) monsters, Ben?" -Louise

I was just being daft, Louise - but they were supposed to have evolved as slimy swamp creatures (or rather, devolved to slimy, mutated swamp creatures after a nuclear war). It's kind of how I would see Mother Nature going if she lacked intelligence and direction.

Davros was indeed a brilliant creation -my favourite baddie; if Peter Mandelson falls into an irradiated swamp, he might devolve into him one day ;-)

LOL! I knew you were mucking about, Ben. I didn't see the earliest Dr Who series, so only knew of 'em as Davros's creations. He is quite a baddie, isn't he? Did you see the David Tennant story where he was all set to destroy everything by kidnapping a few planets? Nothing if not ambitious, that bloke.

I had to do a quick search to see who Peter Mandelson is. Me bein' from Downunder, I'm afraid the reference went straight through to the keeper! :D

Whoo... too late to put this on "the iPad and I" thread but this is a bit of a nasty from Channel 7 news today. Probably only affects folk here but nevertheless ...

"The iPad could be a loaded gun of credit so the Australian Communication Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is warning users to buy pre-paid plans to avoid iShock.

Apple is due to release the iPad on May 28 and those using the 3G models could be hit with excess data charges, commonly known as bill shock.

Smartphone users have been hit with bill shock - the latest high profile case was South Australian MP Russell Wortley who was hit with a $10,000 phone bill after his son downloaded games.

Telstra and Optus will offer pre-paid plans, while Vodafone and 3 are expected to make an announcement shortly regarding their 3G iPad plans, including a post-paid option.

But ACCAN says consumers should steer clear of the post-paid plans to begin with.

Post-paid plans, even those with names like unlimited and cap, usually have a data usage limit and consumers charged at a much higher rate for data if they exceed it.

"To avoid getting an iShock, we're strongly advising consumers opt for a pre-paid plan for at least the first three months until they get a feel for how much data they're using," ACCAN director of policy Elissa Freeman said in a statement.

"But anyone using a 3G iPad on a post-paid plan essentially has access to a loaded gun of credit.

"While you're absorbed in checking out what your iPad can do, you're in danger of going over your data usage limit and facing a huge bill."

Telecommunications companies say post-paid customers can monitor their bills online to track how much data they're using, but ACCAN says the online monitors can lag.
In the US AT&T is the only provider of 3G iPad plans and offer an unlimited data plan for $US29.99 ($A36.08) per month."

Makes me very glad I don't want (or worse, need) one o' them gadgets! :O

Thanks for the info, Louise. Though I have a 3G-capable iPad, I haven't signed up for 3G service. If I do, I'll be sure to read the fine print!

My pleasure, Michael! I don't even have a post-paid phone, I've heard too many nasties about those. Good ol' prepaid for me ... it does calls, it takes photos, it spends most of its life turned off, lol.

I was working as an overnight security guard at an IBM office building in 1973, stationed in a brightly-lit basement full of roaring reel-to-reel computers, when I stumbled into a little anteroom where they had a keyboard and a smaller computer, attached to a green cathode-ray screen, and whatever characters you typed on the keyboard were instantly displayed on the screen! I had never seen anything like it, it was one of the coolest things I had ever seen, and I stayed there quite a while typing things like FIRE PHOTON TORPEDOES.

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