Friday, August 30, 2019

Word of the Day: Hegemonic

ruling or dominant in a political or social context.
"the bourgeoisie constituted the hegemonic class"

Steve Bannon sat down last week for a much talked about interview concerning China:

Bannon believes China's goal is to become a hegemonic world power through such initiatives as:

 The One Belt One Road and China 2025 Policies.

Its mercantile policies in poorer areas of the world like Africa an Latin America.

Its economic war against the United States along with its military build up aimed at blocking the US from the South China Sea.

China has brought all forces of government to bear on this goal of becoming the dominant power in the world in the most ambitious manner yet seen. China is simultaneously working on three areas to accomplish their goal where, in the past, great powers have only been able to focus on a single one at a time:

MacKinder Theory of the Heartland

Mahan's Theory of Oceanic Chokepoints

Spykmans Theory of the Rimland

Bannon believes that the Chinese market is built on a house of sand being propped up by the same Wall Street, City of London and Frankfurt financiers that cause the last economic crisis only the next crisis caused by the collapse of the Chinese market will be much larger.

The party of Davos, the elites in the West, actively cooperated with China on the de-industrialization of the West in favor of China.   China exported its overcapacity accompanying deflation to the the West.  We financed the rise of China and China was able to raise its population from poverty. 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Essential Anatomy for the Artist

Anatomy for the Artist by Jenő Barcsay

Excellent resource from Jeno Barcsay who has served as the Professor of Applied Anatomy at the Budapest Academy of Fine Arts for Decades.

Professor Barcsay's book in turn draws from several well regarded historical works:


Plastische Anatomie by Siegfried Mollier (circa 1924)

Barcsay recomends this tome for its emphasis on movement.


Anatomie Artistique by Richer (Circa 1890)

The main source book for every other artistic anatomy work for over a century.


Anatomischer Atlas by Toldt-Hochsetter (Circa 1948)
atlas der descriptiven anatomie des menschen by Sobotta (Circa 1903-1907)
kollmann's Plastische Anatomie (1928)
textbook of human anatomy and histology by mihalkovich (Hungarian 1898)
descriptive human anatomy krause (1881 Hungarian)
kalman telyesnitsky
Bertalan Szekely
Atlas of Human Anatomy - Ferenc Kiss (1951)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

The Enchanted Forest

“like a note of music, you are about to become nothing”
Robert Bly, My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy: Poems

This post concerns an excellent Art of Manliness Podcast:

In it, AOM interviews William Ayot, author of a new book, Re-Enchanting the Forest. Here he is in an YouTube interview talking about problems men face:


William Ayot posits that modern life could be enriched by reacquainting ourselves with the mystical rituals that our ancestors used to nourish their souls. Ayot says that the Western mind has been hijacked over the last several hundred years by our slavish turn to reason, logic and detail at the expense of empathy, compassion and imagination. It is a shift that favors the logical left brain to the detriment of the artistic right brain. It is an appeal to the masculine ideals of lists, clarity and measurement. The problem is that this focus leads us lose contact with the wilder, sensual side of our nature. In turn, this leads to a hollowing out of the few rituals that we still retain that are used to keep us in touch with our more poetic side.

Apollonian vs Dionysian

Friedrich Nietzche first broached this idea of the need to keep in touch with our Dionysian side in his book, the Birth of Tragedy.

relating to the god Apollo.
relating to the rational, ordered, and self-disciplined aspects of human nature.
"the struggle between cold Apollonian categorization and Dionysiac lust and chaos"

relating to the god Dionysus.
relating to the sensual, spontaneous, and emotional aspects of human nature.

Here is a good summary of the subject:

On Descent

In 1905, the Russian symbolist poet, Vyacheslav Ivanov published an influential article entitled: "On Descent: The Sublime, the Beautiful and the Chaotic - The Triad of Aesthetic Principles. This article expanded on Nietzche's thoughts and speaks about art in terms of the ascent to Apollonian and descent to Dioneysian ideals. Apollonian ideals are a masculine search for truth and Dioneysian a feminine revalation of beauty and chaos.

the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.

perceptible by the senses or through immediate experience.
"the phenomenal world"

In this view, the actual metaphysical universe is chaotic but this is hidden to us by its phenomenal representation.

Spirit vs Soul

The soul or psyche needs to experience to go down.

Spirit needs order, cleanliness, an order, a view, to rise above.

The Soul

The right brain side of us is not cannot count or speak. It is not data oriented.

It's language is visual. It thinks in symbolic terms.


A different place and time.
A crossing of a threshold.
A symbolic action where the soul can receive a message.
e.g. A ring on your finger symbolizing a union of two people

Ritual use the rule of 3
A beginning, middle and end.

It requires an intention which give you a root map or anchor when entering into the chaotic side of nature.

Rites of Passage

In 1905, Arnold van Gennep published his influential work Rites of Passage. It most important point is that ritual are divided into three main phases:

  1. Preliminary - An exit form the Apollonian sphere into the Dionysian sphere.
  2. Liminaire - An ordeal,  a transition or transformation. A communication to your Dionysian side.
  3. Post-liminaire - A re-entering of the Apollonian from the Dionysian. A re-grounding in the here and now.

Van Gennep's ideas greatly influence Joseph Campbell's theories on mythology particularly his Hero's Journey scenario.

Iron John

Robert Bly sensed something amiss with young men in the 1980's. To him, they seemed to be naive, too eager to please and lacking a certain fierceness.

Robert Bly, who is best known for his book Iron John, started rekindling interest in developing manhood by reacquainting ourselves with the mythical side of our nature.

Deep Thinkers

Robert Bly interacted with many other similar deep thinkers in this arena:

James Hillman
Michael Meade
Robert Moore
Malidoma Patrice Some
Martin Prechtel
John Lee

Modern Self Initiations

Western societies have been stripped of the ritual rights of passage of our forefathers so we substitute these with hollow rituals and things like extreme sports.

Even worse, we have replace these rites of passages with markers such as graduating from school and getting a job.

We live in our heads and do not create a space to embody things, to embrace them with our right brain/psyche/soul.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Word of the Day: Epiphenomena

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards. -Soren Kierkegaard

ep·i·phe·nom·e·non /ˌepēfəˈnämənän,ˌepēfəˈnämənən/
A secondary effect or byproduct that arises from but does not causally influence a process.
A secondary symptom, occurring simultaneously with a disease or condition but not directly related to it.
A mental state regarded as a byproduct of brain activity.

Cause and Effect

In his book, AntiFragile, Nassim Taleb has a section on ephiphenoma.  Humans can be really bad about determining cause and effect.  It is something that Clive Granger won a nobel prize for clarifying how to mathematically determining whether something caused something else by studying sequencing of events.

Here is an excellent video on the subject:


Part of the problem we have with cause in effect is the fact that our brains work backwards to retrieve memories making it more difficult for us to determine chicken and egg arguments.

The human brain works backwards to retrieve memories. Summary: When we remember a past event, the human brain reconstructs that experience in reverse order, according to a new study. ...

Cherry Picking

cher·ry-pick·ing /ˈCHerēˌpikiNG/
The action or practice of choosing and taking only the most beneficial or profitable items, opportunities, etc., from what is available.
"It is an exaggeration based on the cherry-picking of facts"

Nassim Talib also mention that, while we tend to be skeptical about advertising, people are often suckered by scientific research due to its sophistication. Research should be treated more skeptically because it tends to cherry pick information to support its thesis. People should put more weight on negative information very little of it is often reported.


 "the ever accelerating progress of technology ... gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue." His definition of the Singularity was that the Singularity is the moment beyond which "technological progress will become incomprehensibly rapid and complicated." -John Von Neumann

Jordan Peterson recently interviewed Akira the Don:

Akira is a British musician currently living in the US who has put the ideas of several thinkers/philosophers to music including Jordan Peterson. Here is a sample of his work:

Akira works on a internet model where he tries to release a vast amount of high level work to support himself.  Part of this focus on volume is the need to get millions of hits to earn a modest income. Mainly, his work ethic has been influence by Alan Moore's Steam Theory of Culture:

These thoughts also relate to Kurtweil's ideas about Singularity: