Positive Book Review – His Master’s Voice by Stanislaw Lem

His Master’s Voice (science fiction) was one of the three books (other two were non-fiction and highly recommended – Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss and Drive by Daniel Pink) I had selected for bedtime reading as the clock winds down to the new year and must confess, Stanislaw Lem is the name I missed out coming of age, as a fan of hard science fiction! This story easily o’er-leaps the credibility meter (as is wont of any good science fiction writer) but surprisingly, turns into critical non-fiction and although the story isn’t big, it isn’t what one can read in a go (see Amazon reviews).

I was drawn to it by this post on good holiday books for tech pros (second in the list) and indeed what starts as an attempt to decode a neutrino signal by a cross-section of scientists becomes an impossible Rorschach test not only for mankind but possibly for conscious life that may arise in the universe.

The irony is the very act of trying to understand that message can itself lead a civilization towards new technology and scientific discovery if not sweeping socioeconomic and cultural changes yet one can never ascertain the fact or say exactly, who sent the message, why or what it is about. More importantly, a non benevolent race is unlikely to even get that far…

I found last couple of chapters the most compelling (feel free to skip right to it) as not only it brings out the cherished world views of scientists involved and their final arguments front and center but reminds us philosophy is to be studied not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true but for the questions themselves because they enlarge our perception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and minimizes the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation, whenever we find beliefs challenged.

From the opening chapter of His Master’s Voice: “We stood at the feet of a gigantic find, as unprepared but also as sure of ourselves, as we could be. We clambered on it from every side, quickly, hungrily and cleverly with our time-honored skills like ants. I was one (sic). This is the story of an ant.”

Astral Travel to Real Alien Worlds with David McCready

You are not who you think you are… and you are not even ‘on earth’!

Did you know that you are channeling various spirit energies all the time to make up your ‘adopted personalities’? Have you realized that the illusion you experience as your life on ‘earth’ is held together by thoughts that are sent by lower spirit energies, including your ‘special effects team’?

You have the power to break free from this illusion by raising your consciousness to higher dimensions and higher spirit beings including advanced aliens that are part of your higher soul family, and they have been visiting you unawares to ‘say hello!’

In this detailed video documentary David McCready, author of The Great Simulator and Real Alien Worlds – A Brief Encyclopedia talks to The Positive Media about how he discovered Astral Projection, the secrets of ‘How To’, The Science behind it, and his experiences of Higher Dimensions that you can explore through Astral Travel yourself including ‘angelic’ higher beings or Guiding Spirits, advanced Alien Worlds and the Creator’s World.

Get ready to take a joint flight in this incredible adventure to real alien worlds through science and art of Astral Projection…..5..4..3..2..1…Blast off!


Everything I know about ESP – Russell Targ

‘You don’t have to eat porridge at your guru’s feet or pay anyone thousands of dollars. Remote Viewing is a natural ability like vision or hearing. If you work with a friend you can quickly become psychic…’ confides Russell Targ (straight-up physicist, psychic and the go-to-guy for US intelligence agencies for two decades) in this brilliant and witty talk where he concludes, ‘Remote Viewing is not about finding stuff but finding yourself…if you look into the mirror in the morning and think who you see in that mirror is who you really are, you are in for a lot of suffering. Who you really are, is non-local awareness independent of space and time and if you can quiet your mind and move your awareness besides the conditioned awareness of what it says on your business card, into naked awareness, you can start to experience the universe as it is.’

P.S. I got to know about Russell and his work from ‘The Mind Race’. Russell, an avid biker is legally blind, was senior scientist at Lockheed. This TED talk was cancelled.

A Curious And Curiouser Tale Of Tabby’s Star, Cosmic Clocks And Ghostly Galactic Blobs!

Astronomers are upto their eyeballs this month with stuff, we have never seen before, reminding us as we fill out our tax returns, that this universe is not only stranger than we imagine, its stranger than we can imagine. Aye, Sir Eddington!

For starters, Tabby’s Star already caused a bit of argy bargy among boffins worldwide and although the satisficing explanation so far, points to a ‘broken comet turned dust cloud’ swirling about the star; which recently dimmed to a record low and if anything, left a pesky shadow of doubt in its wake. That is, unless you like the electric sun model to explain away its fluctuating incandescence as a faute de mieux to the Dyson swarm.

Imagine going to your local amusement park next, only to realize this time that every single ferris wheel you jump on, no matter what shape, size, style…somehow completes a rotation, uncannily every one minute. Enter, your local neighbourhood cosmic clock! Stargazers are now finding, regardless how big or small, or what direction you look at, every galaxy out there completes a rotation every 1 billion years or 1 Giga year. Is the universe a great time machine as Descartes saw it, a watch created and wound up by the great watchmaker? Indeed, the very history of science likens it to a clockwork universe ticking along as a perfect machine with gears governed by laws of physics, making every part of the machine predictable…

The case of missing dark matter. Last week, astrophysicists found a wraithlike galaxy similar to ours, but with little or no dark matter, refreshing the whole debate for Popper Falsifiability of dark matter, which is widely assumed as the building block of galaxies. Interestingly, the same team earlier found a class of galaxies with nothing but dark matter so either, there is more than one way of making up a galaxy without dark matter or dark matter is something else, an exotic quantum state of superfluid  coupled with modified newtonian dynamics at play. Funny enough, thinking of dark matter as something else (not weakly interacting massive particles) to solve a strong binding and/or lensing phenomenon only kicks the trouble of proving it doesn’t exist into the long grass, as it actually shows some stuff is there, whether tied to galaxies or not.

I’m reminded of Asimov’s favorite story here, ‘The Gods Themselves’, where different physical laws of two parallel universes allow transfer of matter, giving life in both, an endless source of source. This begets the question; can dark matter naturally ‘decay’ into baryonic matter (i.e matter of every day life) under special conditions or, could a Type III civilization nudge the transformation to meet its energy needs? Not too sure? Pause. Listen to Neil Gaimon and suspend disbelief.

“I like the stars. It’s the illusion of permanence, I think. I mean, they’re always flaring up and caving in and going out. But from here, I can pretend…I can  pretend that things last. I can pretend that lives last longer  than moments. Gods come, and gods go. Mortals flicker and flash and fade. Worlds don’t last; and stars and galaxies are transient, fleeting things that twinkle like fireflies and vanish into cold and dust. But I can pretend…”

Rather a Fool Who Predicts Wrong Than a Wise Man Who Predicts None?

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

― Alice in Wonderland

Peter Diamandis (author of BOLD) recently blogged a weltanschauung on tech predictions for the next 20 years. He does makes a point in a similar post few years back that it is not so much as the predictions themselves but what they represent, that intrigues him, namely an exponential growth curve said technology follows based on the apodictic principle that the computing power enabling them doubles every two years insomuch it goes from being deceptive through disruptive to finally, democratizing the service (think of the many bundled apps on your smartphone that had a physical equivalent a decade ago). This is what technopreneurs quote as the ‘6Ds of exponential technology’.

It is no secret humans are wired to think linearly so this sort of growth curve is often difficult to grok (reason why the first phase is deceptive). It is naturally, harder to believe that way before your horse and buggy days, human consciousness may have actually peaked even well before the Golden Age of Egypt as evidenced by archeoastronomy in cue with the ancients and latter day saints and seers who averred that human consciousness mutates in cycles (imagine a trade-off between a straight line and hyperbola), with tendency to rise and fall over a period of 24,000 years often cited as The Great Year.

That said, how about a wager on scientific discoveries/advances for the next 20 years? My top 10!

2019In the beginning, black holes seeded the baby universe: This upends the current belief that black holes are simply the aftermath of large stars (or, that it appeared a lot later in the timeline of our universe after the same stars had formed and collapsed) proving black holes existed before the first stars were born; similar to swirling black coffee becoming visible after milk is added as physicist Nassim Haramein describes it but also accounts for much of the newly found primordial dark matter.

2021 – Wormholes: ER = EPR is now taught in high-school where entangled black holes are akin to a network of wormholes explaining the ‘fundamental interconnectedness of all things’ as popularized by Dick Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and what any fan of Douglas Adams would have told you!

2023 – Okay, there isn’t a 9th planet. It is in all probability, another star (possibly a brown dwarf) and Sol/Sun seemingly has a binary twin: After chasing tails and trails for nearly a decade, leading astronomers finally confirmed what was suspected all along – binary systems are common and our star is no exception. ‘Dogon’ it!

2025 Cure for cancer is found: Yes, a cure for cancer is out (for real), not just consistent in human trials but also affordable. This isn’t exactly a surprise as several breakthroughs (here, here and here) were already news and really took a little longer to process and perfect before it was available to all.

2027 – Cure for HIV found: Always a foregone conclusion once cell manipulation coupled with gene editing got cookie-cutter easy…

2029 – Contact: Physicist Michio Kaku wasn’t kidding when he said, we will find ET in this century. If anything, he overestimated. After much hand-wringing, SETI in a public statement acknowledged the ‘signal’ smacks of extra-terrestrial intelligence. Funny enough, all it elicited was a smirk from the CE9 leader (Close Encounters of the Ninth Kind) who was present in the audience and asked to comment.

2031- Modest Continuous Big Bang: Now, eastern eschatology has always maintained that creation is cyclic. Ever since it was mathematically surmised, black holes allow information transfer to white holes, it was only a matter of time (pun intended) that westerners were able to verify the universe is expanding only to contract back into a singularity. Credit to Itzhak Bentov who first coined this term.

2033 – Meditation: Monk Dalai Lama had said ‘If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation’ so he’d be thrilled to bits to learn, not only its now taught in most primary schools with correctional facilities busy following suit.

2035 – Global Warming Reversed: This project was long overdue and debates were more political than scientific, until common sense prevailed when a hebetudinous leadership realized there is no arguing with melting glaciers and started au grand sérieux after Paris Accord 2015 before it hit tipping point.

2037 – Time Travel Prototype: Dr. Jack Sarfatti, was the real life inspiration behind the Doc in ‘Back to the Future’ and avid proponent of how a future invisible universe reaches back in time to create the visible universe we see with telescopes what Russian Physicist Igor Novikov described as a self-consistent time loop of retrocausality. After Vatican conceded to make Chronovisor public, it was a race against time for physicists to overhaul the device and send out particles back and forward in time!

In closing, I envisage the far-out future where we pop in and out of hyper space at will without some device (hint: Peter’s 5th/6th D) in a vein similar to how ascended masters can blue shift the ether.

He (a monk) recounted: “It emanated from one corner of the room, a deep blue light; then the whole room became filled with light. The blue light in the corner started revolving. A face appeared; then the whole bust, and finally the entire form. The face was so serene, so sweet! I thought, ‘Who could it be? Buddha? Shiva?’ No, this divine personage did not have the long pierced ears of Buddha, nor his short curly hair. Neither did he have the necklace of snakes and the long matted hair of Shiva. The face was beautiful and serene like theirs, but the hair was pulled straight back. He spoke to me and gave me a mantra…”

An Economic Vision for Saving the World

There is enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed and this TED talk is a stark reminder of that! It isn’t blue sky thinking to be able to ‘save the planet’ but inevitable if every city and country roots for this economic vision.

Five years ago Naoko Ishii, an Economist was appointed CEO of Global Environment Facility and discovered how economists so far including herself and her colleagues were totally ignorant about protecting and managing ‘Global Commons‘ i.e. our shared earth resources such as wildlife, air, water and land. In recent years a group of scientists defined 9 Planetary Boundaries the crossing of which could lead to catastrophic change in our survival on earth, and we had already crossed 4 of them and beginningto invade others.  planetary_boundaries

To change this alarming situation we must manage our Global Commons by acting like our ancestors who managed our local commons, such as fishing waters and pastures by preventing each other from polluting and depleting all our resources.

Her suggestions focus upon 1) Clean Green Cities 2) Green Energy Systems 3) Less Wasteful Production Systems and 4) Change our Food System to reduce Deforestation and Greenhouse Emissions.

Let cynics play that lone-voice-in-the-wilderness for a change while you and I spread her word to ‘think global, act local’ and take a step or two to make it a better place.



I was skimming an ezine where this editor was remarking at how futuristic gizmos and gadgetry of the original Star Trek (1966-1969) is taken for granted today from wireless communication to smart computers but what is still to come of age is that sense of racial harmony and well meaning spirit of exploration (and I’ll add, emphatic leadership) that so memorialized the series.

If scientific progress outgrows the emotional maturity of a race on one hand and on the other, mental evolution comes full cycle while science plays catch up, what you may ask, is the stumbling block in each case and why is it so important that both go hand-in-glove?

The most obvious answer is religious dogma. Now, religion can offer a moral compass to what is right and wrong but history is witness that opposing science or waging wars in the name of religion suggest scriptures or transcribed words of a founder (regardless of how sincere he or she was) are wide open to literal misinterpretation, especially when passages are likely to be lost in translation or re-interpretation by a less realized soul can leave one happily confused at best or fearful at worst! Is it wise to accept every single belief (and label anyone who question as heretics) when it only encourages grasping and narrow faith rather than generosity and kindness? Unfortunately, the tainted buck does not stop with religion and sorry to say, in this day and age with all the surplus cognitive feedback, atavistic dogma still seeps through country, culture, color among a ‘gentrified populace’.

This leads to cases of ‘ethical mirage’ – men and women with authority or power in every walk of life who by their experience, worldly or supernatural, viewed with awe or god like deference and therefore considered infallible and beyond reproach even when they go against the grain of plain decency, basic humanity or understanding. Is it not the job of true leaders to create more leaders who can think independently and act for themselves or to create a circle of die-hard followers? Loyalty is a blessing when it flings open your perception and a burden when it confines it! This is where a scientific attitude works as it helps you stay curious, explore alternate arguments and moreover, maintain objectivity specially when your own ‘unconscious bias’, even if you mean well, can polarize thinking.

Finally, hard-boiled skepticism. Recently, I shared a report analyzing socioeconomic trends of the last 100 years that surmised despite what some may opine, the world is actually changing for the better and surprised when a history professor of some repute decided to troll and slam-dunk the research, first in passive aggressive tones only to go verklempt when I offered to lighten up. Notwithstanding the fact he really needed to pull his chair into the sun, it taught me that some people don’t even want to look at data that conflicts with core beliefs and no matter what you tell them, they will conveniently flip it around and toss it right back at you. Although a healthy amount of skepticism is necessary to think through a balanced argument, being negative is not how we make progress. True, we all have cognitive biases that can make us think in a local and linear way but if we get past that, we may notice an opportunity where others see a problem. This isn’t all pollyannish thinking as a dyed-in-the-wool realist might like to say, cause nothing worthwhile can ever be achieved if every little objection must first be overcome!

Bill Gates famously said, most people overestimate what they can do in one year but underestimate what they can do in ten years. Given the pace of exponential technology, it is a foregone conclusion that many of our jobs will be automated more or less in the near future or done by robots who can do it faster, cheaper and work longer and even if you think, that’s unlikely to happen to you in this lifetime given your particular skills, mind you it wasn’t raining when Noah built his Ark, so why not just start by cracking open your most limiting belief this year or challenge yourself to be more kind by the end of week? You could be somebody’s hero, you know and I promise, your future self will thank you…

The Prophecy of Goldilocks

“The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of ’em has ever tried to contact us.” –   Bill Watterson, creator of ‘Calvin and Hobbes’

Aliens. ET. Species. Predator. UFO. Area 51. Vampires. Whoa! That one nearly crashed the party but if you are laboring under the misapprehension, green men abducting white men or giant bugs laying cities to waste is creative taradiddle, you may wish to reassess.

Goldilocks, as you know, is about a little girl who lost in a forest wanders into a house of three bears while they are away and starts trying out what she fancies is right for her but almost caught when the bears return. This is where fact meets fiction as Goldilocks Zone in astrobiology is the right spot for a planet, not too hot or cold from a parent star, therefore habitable with a possibility of intelligent life and chances for potential contact.

Today no scientist worth his salt questions the existence of other civilizations. Drake’s equation surmising the probability of extraterrestrial life is simply too high to ignore so the only thing, scientists may disagree upon is their actual number. What, everyone does agree on is they are not too sure what to do, if one of them does bother to respond to us.

David Brin in ‘The Great Silence’, warns us, Active SETI or aggressive efforts to signal to anyone out there, is asking for trouble as maybe the reason, civilizations similar to us (in shared sense of bonhomie) have chosen to stay quiet is because they have wised up to a fact, that we have not…that there seems to be hostile life in the cold depths of space that unknowingly or not has zero tolerance or compatibility with any other forms of life.

Astronomer Robert Jastrow, musing on consequences of possible contact with alien life, asserts he sees no reason for optimism. Astronomer Ronald Bracewell further warns that other species will place a premium on caution and weaponry; an alien ship headed our way is likely to be armed. Astronomer Eric Chaisson argues that physical contact could lead to a neo-Darwinian dominance of our race by theirs. Astronomer Zdenek Kopal was specific: ‘Should we ever hear the space-phone ringing, for God’s sake let us not answer but make ourselves as inconspicuous as possible to avoid attracting attention!’

Other scientists have also warned of potential dangers. Biologist Michael Archer states any creature we contact would have had to claw its way up the evolutionary ladder and will be every bit as nasty as we are. It is more likely than not to be extremely adaptable, incredibly aggressive; a super predator! Physicist George Baldwin predicts any effort to communicate with extraterrestrials is fraught with grave danger as they may not hesitate to show contempt for humans. Astronomer Bob Rood likens the civilization that blurts out its existence on interstellar beacons at first chance, to an early hominid descending from trees, calling ‘here, kitty’ to a saber-toothed tiger.

Consider the wary views of SETIs’ own astronomers. Seth Shostak wrote that we can no better guess the motivations of alien intelligence than goldfish can guess ours. Jill Tarter asked rhetorically: who knows what values might drive an alien culture? Aliens may not have the same motives that we do. Douglas Vakoch wrote that we should not assume that the ethics of extraterrestrials will be like our own…

That said, are we not being too paranoid, for if you look at other creatures on the planet, we actually witness the opposite? The lion and gazelle, predator and prey, shift naturally from stress of the chase back into a peaceful state. There is no carryover of resentment, embarrassment or concern for future. Everything is allowed to pass. Why is a dolphin so content in the sea? The deer at home in the forest or an eagle, the master of skies? Why is tranquility a rule than exception in nature?

The answer is one of the great wonders of life and strategic to the laws of nature: Most creatures are all made for what happens to them so civilizations that ‘make it’ realize a state of peaceful coexistence is key to lasting life. There is seemingly more harmony in heavens than in our relationships and it explains why we can’t help but assume they are going to be just as bad!

Let’s explore a perspective unchallenged by anyone, living or dead. I refer to the oldest scriptures, as a point to resolve this paradox. Still, if it challenges your most cherished assumptions, indulge me in ‘good faith’.

All creation, states the Bhagvad Gita, is a mixture of three basic abilities. The lowest is the darkening ability followed by the stimulating ability and finally, spiritually uplifting ability insomuch that creation everywhere manifests one ability or another. Enlightened sages across ages have hinted that entire galaxies manifest primarily one or another of this ability. There are galaxies, for example where the lowest ability rules. Inhabitants of planets of those galaxies are the most part brutish and incapable of aspiring to spiritual heights. Fierce animals roam there with cannibalism abound with inhabitants in constant war and conflict. Lust, animal pleasure is considered all life can offer.

Then there are galaxies where the next ability is pronounced, planets where self-aware beings live and whose primary concern is one of aggrandizement and self-importance. Milky Way is such a galaxy. Finally, galaxies that veritably resemble ‘Gardens of Eden’ where the populace can telepathically communicate with transdimensional beings and harmony and beauty abound everywhere. Earth, as it is on the outskirts of Milky Way, receives less ‘spiritual power’ than at center (yet man seems to be moving to a plane of higher understanding and sensitivity though mental evolution is more cyclic than linear than hitherto believed) that brave, new age physicists like Nassim Haramein explain as a continuous expulsion of exotic energy from black holes at galactic cores that ripples out and washes over planetary bodies with a magnitude in inverse proportion from distance to the center so we receive either more or less, based on our sun’s own relative motion!

From a technological standpoint, it is thought we are, at present, a 0.7 Type civilization, where Type 1 can harness the entire resources of the planet, Type 2, of the solar system and Type 3, of a galaxy. Type 4, can make baby universes and Type 5 – your guess is as good as mine – although technological progress is not necessarily a sign of an advanced race who may have overcome material goals and embarked on a subtler, spiritual quest.

This brings us back to the whole debate on ‘official contact’ despite enough reports that this happens informally all the time (well, you weren’t exactly hoping aliens to land on the White House lawn, waving limbs at shutterbugs, were you?) Skeptics will say, given our laughable prowess we are sitting ducks for a cunning predator but no cultural revolution ever took place by hiding inside the cupboard either. Surely, we did not step out of the primordial soup as there was nothing to eat us alive but to greet our own destiny. Ask, is it the strongest of species that survive or the more intelligent or the one most responsive to change? If we don’t reach out to the stars in fear of being found out, are we not already dead men waving from ports of a sunken ship when danger comes to greet us? Besides, how can we even hope to contact a benevolent race if we are scared to ask? History proves that mankind was born to survive and thrive, be it the timely demise of the dinos or evolutionary kick in our pants. Sure there may be setbacks but with time, we would be greater than we ever imagined possible and ‘when the risk it takes to remain tight in a bud is more painful than the risk it takes to blossom’, we shall break the bonds of earth and touch the sky and go out into the night at the speed of light.

Per aspera ad astra

AI ‘Robolution’ Rivals Human Evolution

This futuristic take on Types of AI got me thinking on its uncanny parallel with man’s own evolution. Surely, if man was made in image of God, it is no surprise that he chose to make AI in his own image!

Alternatively, as man predicts the ‘robolution’ of AI, he may so reflect on his evolution, acknowledge his past and appreciate the stages to follow…

Stage 1: Instinctive – Reactive


Type 1 AI – Purely Reactive

AI with no memory but programmed to excel at a singular task such as game playing programs, e.g. IBM Deep Blue that defeated a champion at chess by reacting to moves.

Type 1 Man – Instinctive (Kali Yuga)

Driven primarily by instinct, man was mostly interested in personal gratification leading to constant wars or conflicts. While some are struggling with this instinct, many are evolving to more positive states.


Stage 2: Intellectual – Memory based


Type 2 AI – Limited Memory

Present day AI that commits information to memory to learn and reacts better each time, e.g. self-driving cars that can memorize complex routes, store maps as well as driving rules or instructions to navigate traffic and gets you safely to a destination.

Type 2 Man – Intellectual (Dwapara Yuga)

Drawing upon logical and rational thinking, man makes more sense of the world and and harnesses energy, takes exponential leaps in science and communication leading to agricultural, industrial, technological revolutions.


Stage 3: Imaginative – Mindful


Type 3 AI – Theory of Mind

Next level AI that can think on their own, sense and comprehend what is around including how humans are feeling in order to respond and act rather than react. Examples are sci-fi robots such as Star Wars style droids that are capable of being quite human-like.

Type 3 Man – Imaginative (Treta Yuga)

At this point, humans are more creative and accepting of alternate realities. While expressing imagination joyfully through art and culture, many develop spiritually based on personal experiences or super-sensory perceptions and seek out the truth.


Stage 4: Intuitive – Self Aware


Type 4 AI – Self Aware

As AI becomes increasingly sensitive and aware of internal states, they may behave more like super humans, being more conscious of who they are and what they need to do without much human intervention. They can perhaps live out their own lives and  create their own communities and relationships while maintaining peace and order.

Type 4 Man – Intuitive (Satya Yuga)

Relying on intuition and balanced in head and heart, man is wholly guided by divine purpose as he turns compassionate, ethical and lives in harmony with each other and nature, manifesting a peaceful, loving and positive society.

Of course, this is not to say, Type 4 individuals are not around in Kali Yuga or any combination thereof (history proves it otherwise) but a deep-rooted transformation of man’s consciousness from that of self-aggrandizement to being altruistic in general with individual differences in evolution possible, regardless of our collective evolution.

On a side note, AI robolution is seemingly shorter (decades) with respect to ours (hundreds of centuries) although I’ll leave you wonder if it is cyclic (collapse of AI followed by a reboot) as it is inextricably linked to man’s own evolution or once AI spawns more AI, it may go linear and branch out as species, independent of man?


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