I’m still alive…

Just checking in to say I haven’t given up on blogging. I’ve been doing a bit of traveling lately: three weeks in Hawaii, a weekend in Willits (3 hours north of San Francisco) for an ayahuasca ceremony, and soon a 10-day excursion to Black Rock City for the Burning Man festival.

Lava Tube
Becca and me inside a lava tube on the Big Island of Hawaii.

I’ll be back in action making regular posts in September. For now I have to double down on my dissertation research, on top of recording the remaining lectures for my online undergraduate course “Mind and Nature in German Idealism” (contracted with the University of Philosophical Research), and continuing to shape my track at the 2015 International Whitehead Conference.

In other news, a version of my paper on psychedelics, religious studies, and participatory theory should be published next month in The Journal of Transpersonal Research. My contribution on Ralph Waldo Emerson to Param Media’s anthology The Beacon of Mind is in its final editing stages with the publisher. Finally, a poem of mine, written in tribute to Walt Whitman, was recently published by the magazine Sufism: An Inquiry.

The Colorado Shooting: Why it’s Time for Critics of “The Newsroom” To Lay Down Their Guns

Reel Change

NOTE: This post has been updated from its original content.

Critics of HBO’s “The Newsroom” – and there have been many of them – have chided the show’s writer-creator Aaron Sorkin for being too preachy. These criticisms have come from both the right and the left. The Wall Street Journal wrote that “preening virtue…weighs on this Aaron Sorkin series like a great damp cloud.” At the other end of the political spectrum, The New Yorker found that it “treats the audience as though we were extremely stupid.” The prevailing opinion of critics is that the show is too didactic and self-righteous.

The aim of the show is to shine a light on the failures of our journalists and elected officials over the last two years. When these criticisms come from an author or journalist, it’s fine. We give Pulitzer prizes for that sort of thing. When a television writer weighs…

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A Long-Expected Journey

For those wondering why I haven’t posted in a while, Becca and I are on a cross country road trip. She is blogging along the way…

Becca S. Tarnas

So it begins…

This is the first day of a long-awaited journey, one that is two years in planning, and will at last be embarked upon. Two people, a Ford Focus, 18 days, and 6,000 miles (at least!) This morning Matt and I depart upon our cross-country road trip from San Francisco, California to Bennington, Vermont and back. The purpose? To retrieve my belongings that have been languishing peacefully in my dear uncle and aunt’s basement. The true purpose? To have an adventure, a real one, by driving deep into the heart of the American continent, and emerging on the other side to inhale the breeze on the Atlantic coast.

The first leg of the journey may indeed be the longest, as we leave the Bay Area and head east, aiming to arrive in Wendover, Utah by late evening. We will be camping out for our first two nights, before…

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Heading to Pyramid Lake for Symbiosis Gathering

I’m off tomorrow to Pyramid Lake, NV to attend the 3rd Symbiosis Gathering. I attended the last gathering in 2009 just outside Yosemite. Here are some images from that event:

It’s a dazzling mix of art, music, and culture all put together by two graduates of CIIS, Karen and Kevin KoChen. This year we’ll have the added thrill of a solar eclipse. Also, the event is on native territory this year beloning to the Paiute people. A discussion surrounding the issue is ongoing over on Reality Sandwich. This will be the first public festival held on the Paiute people’s grounds for a quarter century, and it seems that the tribe’s decision making process has left some members a bit frustrated. A newly formed board created to handle the tribe’s economics has apparently been making most of the decisions, and the $130,000 the tribe stands to make on the gathering isn’t being funneled to the right places, according to some tribe members.

Symbiosis has decided to allow alcohol at the event, despite the protests of some members of the tribe. Other concessions were made, however: for instance, no public nudity is permitted (something that is rather the norm at most neo-hippie festivals).

I’ll have plenty of video and photos to share when I return, including some shots of the eclipse. It will occur close to sunset, so I should be able to get some interesting shots.

“black bloc” anarchists strike again…

Last fall, I expressed my frustrations with the “black bloc” tactics of some anarchists after attending the otherwise successful General Strike in Oakland (HERE and HERE). Now they are at it again, only this time in San Francisco’s Mission district.

Across the country in NYC, there have been reports of white powder being sent to the mayor’s office, corporate banks, and various media outlets.

All of this is further hampering the Occupy Movement’s attempts to gain respect and draw mainstream attention to the social, ecological, and economic injustices that have become the norm in America. Instead, it is becoming easier for the media to dismiss the whole thing as a juvenile temper tantrum and for the US government to begin using anti-terrorism tactics against it.

Is there anyone out there who might be able to explain the motivations behind these kinds of actions to me? I’m having trouble understanding the logic…

Question for my readers…

WordPress has offered to allow me to place ads on my page in order to bring in a little revenue for my traffic. It’s tough to say how much I’d actually make until I try it, but as a graduate student, every little bit helps. The thing is, I’m at bit uneasy about mixing marketing and philosophy. I’d be thankful if you, my readers, would be so kind as to give me your opinion on the matter… Would it bug you if there were ads here?