Feedback and levels of description, or: What MPEG2 compression can teach you about cybernetics and epistemology

A fellow student pointed out recently to me that compression algorithms are an excellent way to see feedback at work, and used the example of mpeg2 video compression.  Here we have a system that utilizes multiple levels of abstraction and feedback in order to efficiently compress video data. I will give you a picture or...

Continue reading →

Looking into an X-Ray mirror

If I had X-Ray vision I might see this were I to look into a mirror... You can make out quite a few interesting features. Apparently my first cervical vertebrae never fully closed... so part of my spine is 'open' (okay you can't tell that from this image, but you CAN from my...

Continue reading →

Cybernetics of problems and solutions – an exercise in thinking complexly

First-order Solution: The problem and the solution share an epistemological context, each helping drive the other. Second 'phase' (to the right): In this context 'more of the solution' creates 'more of the problem' through a symmetrical relationship. The SAME problem is produced by the SAME solution. No real transformation is forthcoming from within the system, because...

Continue reading →

Inside My Head 3 – Sagittal CT Scan

Here is the final view inside my head, showing a number of suspiciously empty spaces... hmmmmm. [hana-flv-player video="http://www.spiritalchemy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Sagittal-CT-Scan.f4v" width="500" height="375" player="3" more_3="showplayer=autohide" autoplay="true" loop="true" autorewind="true" splashimage="http://www.spiritalchemy.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Logo.jpg"/]

Continue reading →

Inside My Head 2 – Axial CT Scan

Well, things wouldn't be complete unless I included the other two missing dimensions. Unfortunately, these three dimensions will only reveal an extremely minimal amount of information about the marbles rattling around in my noggin. To get a sense for the many more dimensions that I inhabit, you'd have to read through this...

Continue reading →

Thinking about thinking about feedback

Ok I've been thinking about feedback. One thing that struck me as interesting was that feedback, as a concept, seems to assume two things (and probably more): 1) step-wise time (and thus some kind of "state" in which a system can be identified, and thus 2) some kind of 'levels' within and between systems, in...

Continue reading →

Inside my head 1 – Coronal CT Scan

Have you ever wondered what goes on in your head? I have. Recently an opportunity arose to gather some visual data on the inside of a space that I already know better than anyone else from an experiential perspective, but not really at all from a structural one. Through secret underground...

Continue reading →

alchemical shirts… because I can

There's something amazing about alchemical imagery. Deep spiritual symbolism, specific practical advice about transformation, archetypal aspects, meditative visualizations, and esoteric mysteries can exist together all in ONE image. For how many other works of art can the same be said? In my opinion there is not enough alchemical imagery out in public on...

Continue reading →

Cybernetics of Cybernetics Button

I made this button for all those people out there who want to keep complexity complex, who understand that feedback is the name of the game, and that the main rule of the game is that the rules must continually be modified.  If you know about Calvinball, you know what I'm talking about: a...

Continue reading →

Coros Institute meditative retreat: The Great Passage

I had the good fortune to attend a Coros Institute meditative retreat: The Great Passage with Dennis Klocek on Whidbey Island a few years ago with my mother.  It was an amazing event, full of profound wisdom, practical exercises, and excellent company.  I would highly recommend it, not just for those who are thinking...

Continue reading →

seek the roots

Continue reading →