TIMES, TIME, AND HALF A TIME. A HISTORY OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM.

Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Welcome the September Equinox



Today is the September Equinox (22 September 2016 14:21 UTC); the equinox arrives on 23 September in places at least 10 hours ahead of Greenwich. The day marks the start of autumn in northern countries and spring in southern ones.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Secrets, Scandals and Higher Truths: The Bahamas Papers



The quote of the day comes from a commenter at Data Lounge, where people are speculating wildly on the Brangelina divorce and the Hollywood pedophiles who abused 80s' Canadian actor, Corey Haim:
"I think if people really knew what went on in Hollywood, Politics, and Wall Street, they'd go crazy."
Rarely has the establishment, regardless of politics, appeared to be so compromised. WikiLeaks has released information which damages Clinton's presidential campaign - if you believe WikiLeaks.


Conspiracy theorists and whistle blowers make it look as though you cannot succeed in any quarter of society - anywhere in the world - without being ruthless, heartless, exploitative, and willing to do anything while hypocritically declaring yourself to be a defender of law, order, virtue, and the common good. The ugliest American election campaign in history concentrates on sex slave islands, million dollar pay-offs, and six-week body counts.

These 'higher truths' are dangerous, because they have huge online momentum and can change the outcome of elections, or destroy the lives of falsely accused individuals. At the same time, some revelations do confirm genuine exploitation, falsehoods, kleptocracies and plunder. We need higher truths, but on the Internet, any higher truth can be manufactured.


Today's online convulsions produced the Bahamas Papers (Twitter: #bahamasleaks), which you can read here; they concern 175,000 offshore companies registered in the Bahamas. From the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists:
"A cache of leaked documents provides names of politicians and others linked to more than 175,000 Bahamian companies registered between 1990 and 2016. ...

The new information reveals previously unknown or little-reported connections to companies owned or run by current or former politicians from the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. ...

The data released today involve the basic building blocks of offshore companies: a company’s name, its date of creation, the physical and mailing address in the Bahamas and, in some cases, the company’s directors. At a basic level, this information is crucial to day-to-day commerce. In other cases, police, detectives and fraud investigators use registries as starting points on the trail of wrongdoing.

'Corporate registries are incredibly important,' said Debra LaPrevotte, a former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent whose work included tracing billions of dollars in bribes and corruption proceeds hidden in tax havens for politicians from Ukraine, Nigeria and Bangladesh. 'Offshore companies are often used as intermediaries to facilitate money laundering and, frequently, the companies are only used to open bank accounts, thus the corporate registry documents, which might identify the beneficial owners, are part of the evidence.' ...

Unlike the Panama Papers, 11.5 million often-detailed emails, contracts, audio recordings and other documents from one law firm, the information listed in the new Bahamian documents is plainer — if still fundamental — in content. The new data does not make it clear, for example, whether directors named in connection with a Bahamian firm truly control the company or act as nominees, employees-for-hire who serve as the face of the company but have no involvement in its operations.

When paired with the Panama Papers, the Bahamas data provide fresh insights into the offshore dealings of politicians, criminals and executives as well as the bankers and lawyers who help move money."


Time Lapses: Antibiotic Resistance


"A time-lapsed video reveals how bacteria develop resistance to increasingly higher doses of antibiotics in a matter of days." Video Source: Youtube. (Hat tip: Hugo Reinert.)

This morning, the Guardian reported that the UN named antibiotic resistance, "the biggest threat to modern medicine." On 8 September 2016, Harvard Medical School issued a time lapse video in which bacteria evolve and become antibiotic resistant:
"In a creative stroke inspired by Hollywood wizardry, scientists from Harvard Medical School and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have designed a simple way to observe how bacteria move as they become impervious to drugs.

The experiments, described in the Sept. 9 issue of Science, are thought to provide the first large-scale glimpse of the maneuvers of bacteria as they encounter increasingly higher doses of antibiotics and adapt to survive—and thrive—in them."
The research team found that the strongest mutant bacteria hang back and let others die for them:
"'What we saw suggests that evolution is not always led by the most resistant mutants,' Baym said. 'Sometimes it favors the first to get there. The strongest mutants are, in fact, often moving behind more vulnerable strains. Who gets there first may be predicated on proximity rather than mutation strength.'"
Drug-resistant bacteria promise to take us back to the pre-antibiotic period in medicine, which for many people is hard to imagine. The post-antibiotic era has grabbed the attention of doom-sayers, who may have a point: first we had Peak Oil, then the Peak Middle Class, now Peak Antibiotics.


2014 talk from Robert Wallace on evolving pathogens and agroeconomics at the Institute for Global Studies, University of Minnesota. Video Source: University of Minnesota via Collapse of Industrial Civilization.

Related:
  • Joseph Gottfried, Harvard Law School (17 April 2005): History Repeating? Avoiding a Return to the Pre-Antibiotic Age
  • CDC (January 2011): Ceftriaxone-Resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Japan
  • Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (July 2011): Is Neisseria gonorrhoeae Initiating a Future Era of Untreatable Gonorrhea?: Detailed Characterization of the First Strain with High-Level Resistance to Ceftriaxone
  • WHO (2014): Antimicrobial Resistance: Global Report on Surveillance
  • Bloomberg (30 April 2014): Everyday Infections May Kill as Antibiotics Lose Potency
  • Bloomberg (2 May 2014): Remember Life Before Antibiotics? No? Wait, It'll Come to You
  • WHO (25 July 2014): Pre-Antibiotic era looming large - The world is almost out of time
  • Journal of Infectious Diseases and Preventative Medicine (July 2015): Infection in a Pre-Antibiotic Era
  • The Tribune (14 September 2015): Pre-antibiotic era may return, warns WHO
  • ESOF (26 July 2016): Regression to the pre-antibiotic era: time to panic?

"CDC staff show two plates growing bacteria in the presence of discs containing various antibiotics. The isolate on the left plate is susceptible to the antibiotics on the discs and is therefore unable to grow around the discs. The one on the right has a CRE that is resistant to all of the antibiotics tested and is able to grow near the disks." Click to enlarge. Image Source: CDC.

In the pre-antibiotic era, people who could afford it took to sanatoriums with chronic infections which never really healed. Image Source: Herd Effect.


Friday, September 16, 2016

The Brontë Effect


Image Source: Opheliac Madness.

At the great blog, Trans-D, Dia Sobin finds artistic connections between layers of time and dimensional existence. Recently, she dug through a trove of old books - with initial posts here and here - and settled on a 1943 edition of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (1847). She wrote an incredible post on how Catherine's and Heathcliff's love reveals the blurred boundaries of reality. I commented, because she described something one might call 'the Brontë Effect'; the italicized text cites Dia's post, with my comments in non-italics:
"'And, there is also the transdimensional aspect of the story: the odd way in which Emily presented her narratives, from several different points of view, intertwining numerous points in time, thereby, creating a weird, reverberating gestalt as opposed to a linear chronicle.' ... [I responded:] I felt that there was an indistinctness, especially because the characters give their kids the same names. Past, present and future are jumbled together. ...

I wonder if Emily Bronte was exposed via her father to Scottish freemasonry? Because when you look at the story in the sense of two souls in an alchemical marriage, the story becomes much more clear. Maybe she intuitively 'reached for' alchemical concepts without knowing them. I am sure someone has researched it. A lot of the primal gothic takes on the trans-dimensional or multi-dimensional aspects ... if you consider the alchemical. Across time, space, in new incarnations, like the two lovers embody a conflicting spirit of humans on the moors, but [also on] Jacob's Ladder ... ."
First, regarding Dia's observation that Wuthering Heights is trans-dimensional and multi-temporal, one senses this less in reading the novel, and more in the lingering impression after one reads it. The story leaves one with a feeling of time smashed together through characters' blurred and overlapping identities; their names and roles repeat, and generational tweaks are permitted over decades. The novel goes on forever, but Catherine is only about 18 years old when she dies at Thrushcross Grange. The 2009 dramatization had her die at age 25; either way, she remains eternally young and a persistent force.

ITV 2009 adaptation of Wuthering Heights, starring Tom Hardy as Heathcliff and Charlotte Riley as Catherine. Image Source: Elementary.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ex-NSA Hackers Form Start-Up


Area 1's Oren Falkowitz was among CEOs who pitched for Fortune Magazine's Brainstorm Tech Unicorn Idol 2015. The judges were Amy Banse, managing director at Comcast Ventures; Brad Feld, managing director at Foundry Group; and David Stern, former commissioner of the National Basketball Association (21 July 2015). The winner of this competition was the start-up Accion. Video Source: Youtube.

According to an NYT report from 11 June 2016, ex-NSA hackers formed a start-up in 2013 called Area 1, based in Redwood City, California, USA. They have hacked Chinese hackers attacking American targets; and they have hacked North Korea's missile launch systems. In this overlap between public and private interests, with a whiff of government contracts and outsourcing national security, Edward Snowden responded in social media. He wondered why classified information was shared in a mainstream press piece, which also promoted this new company in the area of 'threat intelligence.' NYT:
"Area 1 was founded by three former N.S.A. analysts, Mr. Darché, Oren Falkowitz and Phil Syme. The three sat side by side at Fort Meade, tracking and, in some cases, penetrating adversaries’ weapons systems for intelligence. A little over two years ago, they decided to start their own company and raised $25.5 million in funding from major venture capitalists and security entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, including Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and Cowboy Ventures, and security veterans like Ray Rothrock, the chief executive of RedSeal, and Derek Smith, the chief executive of Shape Security.

Area 1 is a new player in threat intelligence, a nascent subsector of the security business that includes companies like iSight Partners and Recorded Future that track attackers in underground web forums and on social media, gleaning intelligence about them.

Threat intelligence is still more art than science. The jury is still out on whether companies are equipped to use that intelligence to thwart hackers. Area 1 claims that it can head off attacks through the compromised servers it is tracking. It can also use its vantage point to see where attackers are setting up shop on the web and how they plan to target their intended victims."
Area 1 CEO and co-founder Oren Falkowitz. In 2015, Area 1 raised USD $15 million in support from Icon Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers. Image Source: Fortune.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A New Lament Configuration



It is odd that an architect, much less an American Gen X architect, commissioned to do a World Trade Center design, would not check the cultural message associated with his design at such a sensitive site. From Inhabitat, the new renderings of the Ronald O. Perelman World Trade Center Performing Arts Center released this week show a glowing, lantern-like cube:
"According to the architect, Joshua Prince-Ramus, the rooms and halls will all feature moveable walls that will create up to 11 configurations. ... Designed by REX, the building will be made out of translucent, veined marble and glass, which will give it dull sheen during the day."
I cannot believe that the REX lead architect does not know about Clive Barker's horror puzzle box, also known as the Lament Configuration, which opened gateways to hell in all the Hellraiser films. Youtubers recognized it immediately: "It's the cube from Hellraiser!" This is not the way to quell 9/11 conspiracy theories. The WTC Twin Towers appeared in Hellraiser 3 (1992); you can see the scene here. That flim ended with the box being hidden in the soft cement of a skyscraper foundation in Manhattan, which influenced its subsequent design. In Hellraiser 4 (1996), the skycraper and architect become the epicentre of another battle with demons.

Video Source: The Real Deal via Youtube.

The REX WTC Performing Arts Center design (September 2016). Image Source: yimby.

The conclusion of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992). Image Source: Edge of the Fringe.

The Hellraiser III promotional poster featured the Twin Towers. Image Source: Subscene.

See my previous post on Hellraiser 3, here.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Anniversaries: 11 September 2001


Image Source: TheoPol.

On 15 July 2016, newly declassified information appeared to confirm the Saudi government's larger role in 9/11 than previously publicly known. You can see footage of World Trade Center Building 7 burning, released in October 2011 here on Live Leak via the Freedom of Information Act, which disputed conspiracy theorists' claims about controlled demolitions.

I visited Ground Zero in spring 2002; the scorch marks in the surrounding area were still visible. In particular, one neighbouring skyscraper looked as though a gigantic piece of charcoal had drawn a line up one whole side. Just that scorch mark, six months after the event, looked like a physical manifestation of a scream in an unbelievable fire. I will never forget it.

Image Source: Creeping Sharia.

On 24 August 2015, Marcy Borders, a Bank of America worker who was captured in an iconic 'dust lady' photograph on 9/11, died after battling years of depression, post-traumatic stress, illness and finally stomach cancer. She was 28 years old on 9/11 and died at age 42, likely due to the toxic contaminants she inhaled that day.

Video Source: Youtube.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Predicting the Future: Women and the Anti-Terror Algorithm


On 9 September 2016, the Guardian reported: Cell of French women guided by Isis behind failed Notre Dame attack, indicating that ISIS-supporting female jihadis targeted one of the French cathedrals associated with the feminine heart of Christianity. Image Source: Guardian.

On 16 June 2016, the New York Times reported that a physicist at the University of Miami is developing an algorithm to analyze social media communications in order to predict terrorist attacks:
"After Orlando and San Bernardino and Paris, there is new urgency to understand the signs that can precede acts of terrorism. And with the Islamic State’s prolific use of social media, terrorism experts and government agencies continually search for clues in posts and Twitter messages that appear to promote the militants’ cause.

A physicist may not seem like an obvious person to study such activity. But for months, Neil Johnson, a physicist at the University of Miami, led a team that created a mathematical model to sift order from the chaotic pro-terrorism online universe.

In a study published Thursday in the journal Science, Dr. Johnson and Miami colleagues searched for pro-Islamic State posts each day from mid-2014 until August 2015, mining mentions of beheadings and blood baths in multiple languages on Vkontakte, a Russia-based social media service that is the largest European equivalent to Facebook. Ultimately, they devised an equation that tries to explain the activity of Islamic State sympathizers online and might, they say, eventually help predict attacks that are about to happen."
Johnson describes his research as follows:
"My research looks at the physics of collective behavior and emergent properties in real-world systems which are 'complex': from the physical, biological, medical domains through to social and even financial domains. A complex system is one in which unexpected phenomena emerge spontaneously at the macro-level, through the micro-level interactions of many objects over time. For example, traffic jams arise from the interactions of cars -- but understanding what a single car can do tells us little about the jams that emerge. The same holds true for applications in medicine (cancer tumors), molecular biology (macroscopic chromosone dynamics within E. Coli), neurology (brain function from individual neuron firings) through to economics and sociology (mass downloads of a given YouTube video, or crashes in financial markets). The fascinating feature of Complex Systems is that they all contain many interacting objects, with strong feedback from both inside and outside the system, and are typically far from equilibrium and exhibit extreme behavior."
Dr. Johnson's Website is here and another report on his studies of 200 ISIS online communities is here. He found that women users cemented ISIS online communal terror initiatives, potentially in part because of their strong communications and social abilities, combined with the fact that they are shut out of positions of communal authority in conventional systems of organization:
"We were surprised to find that 40% of followers declared themselves to be female. Women hold an unexpected position in the pro-ISIS networks — they tend to be centres of information-flow between followers, and to increase the lifespan of the communities. They typically do not have similarly prominent roles in comparable networks from the everyday world, such as innovation networks for patents in industry and academia."
See further reports on Johnson's work on chaos and predictability in war (here) and a formula for threats (here):
"Using the lens of complexity science, our research team based at the University of Miami have recently shown that the SAME statistical pattern lies hidden in these nightly casualty figures across a wide range of insurgent conflicts and terrorist campaigns -- from the deserts in Iraq, to the jungles in Colombia, and from the streets of Northern Ireland to the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The implication is that the WAY in which insurgents and terrorists carry out day-to-day violent attacks is statistically the same everywhere -- irrespective of where they are or why they are doing it. And just as medical diagnostics can help specialists treat new diseases as they arise, so our findings offer new insight into how insurgent and terrorist groups organize themselves and hence how best to disrupt them."
The article on the anti-terror algorithm was published in Science on 17 June 2016, New online ecology of adversarial aggregates: ISIS and beyond (Science 17 Jun 2016: Vol. 352, Issue 6292, pp. 1459-1463 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf0675).

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Jovian Poles and Auroras


Juno's infrared view of the auroras at the Jovian south pole, not visible from earth (27 August 2016). The  Image Source: NASA/JPL.

NASA has released more data from Juno's mission to Jupiter over the past week, including a heat vision photograph of the southern lights over the maw that is the planet's south pole. Photographs from 27 August 2016 revealed that the north pole features a sea of giant cyclones. NASA also published an audio recording of Jovian polar aurora activity.

Composite photograph of Jupiter's south pole from Cassini mission (11-12 December 2000). Image Source: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

Jovian north pole: "The JunoCam instrument obtained this view on August 27, about two hours before closest approach, when the spacecraft was 120,000 miles (195,000 kilometers) away from the giant planet (i.e., for Jupiter's center). Unlike the equatorial region's familiar structure of belts and zones, the poles are mottled with rotating storms of various sizes, similar to giant versions of terrestrial hurricanes. Jupiter's poles have not been seen from this perspective since the Pioneer 11 spacecraft flew by the planet in 1974." Image Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS.

Video Source: NASA via Youtube.

Caption for the above video: "Thirteen hours of radio emissions from Jupiter's intense auroras are presented here, both visually and in sound. The data was collected when the spacecraft made its first orbital pass of the gas giant on Aug 27, 2016, with all spacecraft instruments turned on. The frequency range of these signals is from 7 to 140 kilohertz. Radio astronomers call these 'kilometric emissions' because their wavelengths are about a kilometer long."