"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Tuesday 31 August 2010

Author claims to identify UFO on 3,000 year old Egyptian Papyrus

Author claims to identify UFO on 3,000 year old Egyptian Papyrus

The God Ra of the ancient Egyptians is said to have sailed down from the stars and landed in Egypt, founding a powerful civilization. This is all very well but was it some misconstrued myth or could there be some grain of truth to this obsession.
 A 3,000 year-old vignette from the Djed khons uief ankh funerary papyrus on display in the Cairo Museum shows exactly how Ra's ship appeared to the earliest scribes who created the papyrus. It looks nothing like the traditional boat seen in other later depictions and it looks exactly like something important the ancient 
Egyptians passionately describe in their texts.

 A disc that flies and radiates bright light!

Wayne Herschel, South African author of a book titled The Hidden Records which offers a completely new hypothesis explaining the star god veneration of ancient civilizations insists this depiction is the secret behind the iconic winged disc of Egypt. He supports many other controversial authors who have suggested that the strange winged disc of Egypt really is an ancient UFO. But he believes this is the missing piece of the puzzle that proves it. He says the anomaly on the papyrus is clearly celebrating exactly what it is, a flying disc that shines like the sun and comes from the stars.

(online papyrus ref: archive.gr/publications/culture/nut.pdf).
 Wayne Herschel suggests there is a lot more evidence. It is not only a flying disc arriving from the stars, but the papyrus also shows the constellation that is closest to the specific star of Ra [in the leg of Taurus near the Pleiades]with other forgotten symbols. He says another very important issue in the scenario portrayed in the vignette is where the disc landed.

 It is shown positioned on what can only be the Sphinx of Egypt with what he insists is its full undeniable pictographic title. It also suggests the place of the legendary Hall of Records!

 It shines convincingly in the context of everything else here that it’s a real ship from the heavens in a typical UFO-style landing on the famous Sphinx monument, and it’s recorded on an ancient Egyptian papyrus.


"It is a disc with a dome radiating coloured bright light... and it is poised on three legs like a tripod. No wonder the back of the Sphinx was flat . Wayne Herschel claims there is also a tomb that clearly depicts the Sphinx with a lion's head, something completely missed by historians and authors alike. There are remnants of what appears to be the remains of an arched door that is now filled in from many repairs over thousands of years and its visible at the back of the Sphinx's head!"

 Deciphering the true meaning of this papyrus has been the subject of debate among scholars for years. It is still explained away as a strange cult-like belief system and is still a mystery. Firstly, ancient Egypt has at least five different interpretations of the genesis pictoglyphs to start with, so even the ancients had forgotten most of its meaning. Wayne Herschel proposes a collection of supporting evidence and carefully presents this in a two-part video (at the end of the article).

 With such a controversial claim, every minute detail needs to be seen for its merit.
 Wayne Herschel's book The Hidden Records, which challenges the fundamental of archaeoastronomy as never before, previously identified a stellar pattern that is reproduced in the founding monuments of just about every ancient megalithic civilization. The star of the "gods" is identified in a precise position near a cluster of stars called the Pleiades, and he sets out to prove another 16 or so civilizations across the globe showed exactly the same detail.

 "Virtually all ancient civilizations were obsessed in star gods with their beginnings. Many went on to build massive monuments to mark the stars’ positions on the ground, virtually all choosing the same 'x' that marks the spot as their ultimate monument within the specific star pattern."

 Astronomers have desisted from commenting after realising the patterns speak for themselves. But what is even more daunting for scholars is whether these patterns so meticulously laid out by the ancients on the ground are indeed venerating a very specific area in the night sky. In his conclusion Wayne believes it presents a very powerful case for our human ancestors having originating from the stars.

"The 3,000 year old papyrus has everything I was looking for... the cosmic address of the ultimate Sun God "Ra", what his celestial ship looked like, and where it landed... all this in a well known Genesis portrayal of the beginnings of ancient Egypt."

 "The papyrus has the typical Egyptian portrayal of the sacred feminine (already popularised by Dan Brown) and the seeding of the Sky Goddess Nut by Geb. I have produced animations and detailed artefacts and murals that tell the story in a simple way. But be warned, the ancient Egyptians were very sexually explicit in their portrayal of the human genesis. But history is history and the meaning of this papyrus challenges everything in Egyptology from ground zero.”
 These gods appear to be very real, not just to the Egyptians but all ancient civilizations. It explains why so many venerated the cosmic bull; it was Taurus. Infinitely more important, Wayne Herschel challenges Egyptologists; the ancient Egyptians worshipped a SUN...

BUT it was not OUR sun at all!

Author Wayne Herschel
contact +27823295277

Part one (8:17) Introduction:


Genesis Egypt part one - Video presenting proof by author Wayne Herschel - The Hidden Records - That Ra came down in a celestial ship and the shocking evidence as to what it really looked like. It was a disc with a dome that shone like the Sun, a disc that had three legs like a tripod. New evidence backed up with a lot more other evidence of the Disc landing on the Sphinx of Egypt!

Part two reveals the papyrus - evidence of UFOs as ancient history... ancient Aliens…

Via http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-477668

Images - http://defendingcontending.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/sun-god-ra-winged-disk.jpg?w=500&h=188

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Monday 30 August 2010

Warriors of the Rainbow: Indigenous American Prophecies

Warriors of the Rainbow
Indigenous American Prophecies
The Rainbow held special significance among the people of the land. Prophesies and stories of many nations, from the Hopi and Zuni in the Southwest to the Cherokee in the Southeast, from the Cree in the far north, the great Sioux nations of the plains, to the Mayan people of the far south, the Rainbow was a focal point of spiritual belief.

The rainbow was a sign of the omnipotent grace of the Great Mystery.  It was by grace, freely given, unmerited favor and love of the Creator that allowed our people to walk this earth in respect for thousands of years barely leaving a footprint.  It was also a focal point and great sign of the Place of Peace, Manataka. For the Creator chose Manataka to display this beautiful phenomena of nature in a spectacular and unique way.  Read  "The Story of Manataka"
The rainbows of Manataka were tended by the Rainbow Woman who kept a watchful eye on the peace of the valley.  She kept the secrets of the Crystal Cave and presided over the Great Peace Council for thousands of years.

The Rainbow Woman and the beautiful rainbows of Manataka disappeared to live deep within the sacred mountain when our Circle was broken by invasion and destruction by a people who did not understand the beauty and grace of our sacred places.  
We are not angry about the extreme ill-treatment of our people and the land at the hands of these greedy and fearful people - because we understand the fulfillment of the rainbow prophesies is coming to light and "..all things that were, will be again…"   Read "Standing Bear Speaks" 

The following prophesies and stories will help you to understand the importance of the Rainbows of Manataka and the meaning of the term, Rainbow Warrior. 

Warriors of the Rainbow
Last century an old wise woman of the Cree Indian nation, named "Eyes of Fire", had a vision of the future.  She prophesied that one day, because of the white mans' or Yo-ne-gis' greed, there would come a time, when the earth being  ravaged and polluted, the forests being destroyed, the birds would fall from the air, the waters would be blackened, the fish being poisoned in the streams, and the trees would no longer be, mankind as we would know it would all but cease to exist.  There would come a time when the "keepers of the legend, stories, culture rituals, and myths, and all the Ancient Tribal Customs" would be needed to restore us to health, making the earth green again. They would be mankind's key to survival, they were the "Warriors of the Rainbow". There would come a day of awakening when all the peoples of all the tribes would form a New World of Justice, Peace, Freedom and recognition of the Great Spirit.

The "Warriors of the Rainbow" would spread these messages and teach all peoples of the Earth or "Elohi". They would teach them how to live the "Way of the Great Spirit". They would tell them of how the world today has turned away from the Great Spirit and that is why our Earth is "Sick". 

The "Warriors of the Rainbow" would show the peoples that this "Ancient Being" (the Great Spirit), is full of love and understanding, and teach them how to make the "Earth or Elohi" beautiful again. These Warriors would give the people principles or rules to follow to make their path  light with the world. These principles would be those of the Ancient Tribes. The Warriors of the Rainbow would teach the people of the ancient practices of Unity, Love and Understanding. They would teach of Harmony among people in all four corners of the Earth.

Like the Ancient Tribes, they would teach the peoples how to pray to the Great Spirit with love that flows like the beautiful mountain stream, and flows along the path to the ocean of life. Once again, they would be able to feel joy in solitude and in councils. They would be free of petty jealousies and love all mankind as their brothers, regardless of color, race or religion. They would feel happiness enter their hearts, and become as one with the entire human race. Their hearts would be pure and radiate warmth, understanding and respect for all mankind, Nature and the Great Spirit.

They would once again fill their minds, hearts, souls, and deeds with the purest of thoughts. They would seek the beauty of the Master of Life - the Great Spirit! They would find strength and beauty in prayer and the solitude of life.

Their children would once again be able to run free and enjoy the treasures of Nature and Mother Earth. Free from the fears of toxins and destruction, wrought by the Yo-ne-gi and his practices of greed. The rivers would again run clear, the forests be abundant and beautiful, the animals and birds would be replenished. The powers of the plants and animals would again be respected and conservation of all that is beautiful would become a way of life.

The poor, sick and needy would be cared for by their brothers and sisters of the Earth. These practices would again become a part of their daily lives. 

The leaders of the people would be chosen in the old way - not by their political party, or who could speak the loudest, boast the most, or by name calling or mud slinging, but by those whose actions spoke the loudest. Those who demonstrated their love, wisdom and courage and those who showed that they could and did work for the good of all, would be chosen as the leaders or Chiefs. They would be chosen by their "quality" and not the amount of money they had obtained. Like the thoughtful and devoted "Ancient Chiefs", they would understand the people with love, and see that their young were educated with the love and wisdom of their surroundings. They would show them that miracles can be accomplished to heal this world of its ills, and restore  it to health and beauty.

The tasks of these "Warriors of the Rainbow" are many and great. There will be terrifying mountains of ignorance to conquer and they shall find prejudice and hatred. They must be dedicated, unwavering in their strength, and strong of heart.  They will find willing hearts and minds that will follow them on this road of returning "Mother Earth" to beauty and plenty - once more.

The day will come, it is not far away.

The day that we shall see how we owe our very existence to the people of all tribes that have maintained their culture and heritage. Those that have kept the rituals, stories, legends and myths alive. It will be with this knowledge, the knowledge that they have preserved, that we shall once again return to "harmony" with Nature, Mother Earth and mankind. It will be with this knowledge that we shall find our "Key to our Survival".

 Cherokee Story
Lelanie Fuller Stone "The Cherokee Lady", relates the story that her grandmother told her when she was a young girl:
Do you know what a rainbow is ??
Yes, a beautiful bow of colors in the sky.
Do you know what a warrior is??
A warrior is a brave person.
One who has courage instead of being afraid.
Now let me ask you a question.
Do you love animals or hate animals?
Do you love trees or hate trees?
Do you love people or hate people?
Do you love the rainbow or hate the rainbow?

Well, if you love animals and trees, people and
rainbows, then maybe you are a
"Warrior of the Rainbow"

"When the earth is dying there shall arise a new tribe of all colours and all creeds.  This tribe shall be called The Warriors of the Rainbow and it will put its faith in actions not words."

- Prophecy of the Native American Hopi people -

Sioux Prophecy
"There will come a time when the earth is sick and the animals and plants begin to die. Then the Indians will regain their spirit and gather people of all nations, colors and beliefs to join together in the fight to save the Earth:
The Rainbow Warriors."

- Ancient Native American prophecy -

 Rainbow Tribe

The sun rose on a magical new day...
Over the whole earth they came,
The people of every colour,
Sister, Brother, Father, Mother
Traveling over many a land
People of the Rainbow
Children of the Way,
with a fresh glow
Finding their way
Star within...
More and more joined,
a song for the soul...
A new way to live,
A new way to see,
It happened this way...
And a new song,
It came from within
If you can find the Star,
Within then you will find...
What is... What was...
And what will be... you see,
It happened this way...
from within,
The people of the Way
The Rainbow Tribe...

- Author Unknown


A gift of Nyako Nakar, Spain

The Indalo is a prehistoric symbol found in the "Cave of the Signboard" (La Cueva de Los Letreros) located in the northern province of Almeria, Spain.   The Cave of the Signboards is located in area known as Maimón, in the town of Vélez Blanco known for it's picturesque cliffs and rock shelters.  The province of Almeria is known as the paradise of La Paz (Peace) and beauty. 
The Indalo pictograph shows a human with arms stretched above his head holding the arc of a rainbow.  Other pictures show men, women, goats, deer and  symbols covering the walls of this ancient cave.  The pictures show activities of the ancient people who occupied this area of southeastern coastal area of Spain around 4,500 B.C.
(source: University of Leuven, Belgium) 

The Cave of the Signboard was designated a National Historical Monument in 1924 and more recently nominated as Patrimonio de la Humanidad (Patrimonium of Humanity). 

Though the Indalo was first 'officially' discovered in Spain sometime before 1868 by Antonio Góngora y Martinez, the people of Mojácar have used the ancient Indalo symbol for hundreds of years.   Travelers through the area called the symbol  "Mojaquero Man", because it was painted in white lime on houses of the town.  The people thought the Indalo symbol is a sign of good luck.

Some archaeologists say the Indalo symbol is a representation of a prehistoric God.   Others say the pictograph that holds the rainbow between open arms is representative of God's promise to humans that the world would not be destroyed by water (Génesis 9-13).  We favor a third more plausible interpretation which says the symbol is a message of the star people and represents the Creator's grace.   

The pictograph was named in memory San Indalecio, and means Indal eccius (Messenger of the Gods) in the Ibero language.   

In the present village of Mojácar, people paint the symbol with red ocher on houses and over doorways to protect them from storms, lightening and the 'evil eye', while spiritual workers, Los Taumaturgos (miracle-workers),  tell people the symbol has a good energy field surrounding the symbol and it will extend life.  

Other indigenous civilizations, such as Hawaiian Islanders and American Indians, assigned similar meanings to the same type of symbols as the Indalgo drawing. 


The "Anuenue Wahine" (Rainbow Woman) is found in several locations and many styles. The open torso suggests the womb and birth canal.  The arch over her head represents a rainbow which means she is an honored and respected woman. She is also known as the wise woman or the woman who sees all.  Even though the kapu system rigidly divided the roles of men and women, many women held active positions in the ali'i and many were highly respected kahuna.  

Rock carvings found throughout the Hawaiian Islands represent the lifestyles and belief systems of its ancient island occupants.    

The "Anuenue Kane" (Rainbow Man) is one of the best known among the all the Hawaiian petroglyphs. The rainbow man has a closed waistline denoting a male figure. The rainbow has the same significance of honored status.  Most modern interpretations see him as a warrior.

Found at Nuuanu, Oahu, the "Rainbow Man" depicts a man with rainbow resting on his shoulders.   The symbol represents each person's responsibility to 'shoulder' the task of protecting Mother Earth, the land "Ania."
The arc of the rainbow also means the person is honorable and respected.
Today, Hawaiian craft people frequently use the symbol of the Rainbow Woman and Rainbow Man in their work found in market places throughout the Hawaiian Islands.
A day will come when the animals, winged ones and those who swim will begin to disappear.  The eagle, bear, wolf and buffalo will be scarce because people will become greedy and will not love each other.  The sky will become black and the trees and plants will die.  The beautiful rainbow will disappear because people will not remember to keep the Mother Earth sacred and will destroy its beauty. 

Children of the Rainbow Warriors will come before all destroyed and they will love the trees and the animals.  They will love and respect each other and they will help people to live in peace with all creation. The rainbow in the sky will return as a sign of the Creator's grace. 

This is a symbol known to the Zuni Indians as Rainbow Man.  It was found on a Zuni war shield, a symbol of protection.

This are many similarities in this version of the Rainbow Man.  The outstretched arms, stance of the legs, and the "Bow of Sky Rainbow above.

Some information and pictures from Circle of Light/Eternal Moment Manual, ©2003 Jean Vanhove.

For further enlightenment see –

The Her(m)etic Hermit - http://hermetic.blog.com

This material is published under Creative Commons Copyright – reproduction for non-profit use is permitted & encouraged, if you give attribution to the work & author - and please include a (preferably active) link to the original along with this notice. Feel free to make non-commercial hard (printed) or software copies or mirror sites - you never know how long something will stay glued to the web – but remember attribution! If you like what you see, please send a tiny donation or leave a comment – and thanks for reading this far…

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Sunday 29 August 2010

Intelligent Universe: The Singularity

Intelligent Universe: The Singularity

 by Abou Farman
The next stage in evolution—a machine consciousness able to manipulate time and space—is just around the corner. The catch: humans will no longer be in charge.

ASSUME, FOR A MOMENT, the point of view of Intelligence. Not an intelligent point of view, but the perspective of Intelligence itself, gazing out on the cold and gaseous 13.5-billion-year-old universe.

It would seem, would it not, that you ought to give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve done a damn good job of progressing from a few dumb rocks, flung out of the Big Bang, into monocellular creatures that learned how to make copies of themselves. Next, you grew into a complex, hyperaware species called Homo sapiens that extended its brain power through machines. Finally you took up residence inside buzzing electronic circuits whose intellectual abilities increased so quickly they unified everything in one gigantic supersmart info-sphere.

And you’re not done yet! In fact, you would be forgiven for thinking the universe was arranged to accommodate your flourishing. Especially now that, thanks to silicon-based computation, you’ve transcended the narrow conditions of your previous biological platform: the human body. Restless for even greater complexity you will soon spread across the void, saturating atoms, energy, space, and waking all of creation from its long slumber.


THIS SCENARIO frames the worldview of a loose movement assembled under a tent called the Singularity. If the term is familiar, you’ve likely heard it in tandem with the name Ray Kurzweil. A short, dapper techie with a thinning tuft of silver hair, Kurzweil is an accomplished inventor who, among other things, created the first text-to-speech device and built the first acoustic synthesizer, the Kurzweil 250, which came out in 1983 and revolutionized music. Currently, Kurzweil has links to NASA and Google, and acts as an advisor to DARPA, the US Department of Defense’s advanced research arm, which, since its launch in 1958, has been responsible for everything from the internet to biodefense to unmanned bombing aircraft such as the Predator.

Kurzweil is also the unofficial leader of the Singularity—its Chief Executive Oracle. He assumed this mantle with the publication of The Singularity is Near (2005), a book that analyzes the curve of technological development from humble flint-knapping to the zippy microchip. The curve he draws rises exponentially, and we are sitting right on the elbow, which means very suddenly this trend toward smaller and smarter technologies will yield greater-than-human machine intelligence. That sort of superintelligence will proliferate not by self-replication, but by building other agents with even greater intelligence than itself, which will in turn build more superior agents. The result will be an “intelligence explosion” so fast and so vast that the laws and certainties with which we are familiar will no longer apply. That event-horizon is called the Singularity.

Since our brains are wet, messy, relatively inefficient products of evolution and, as one Singularitarian put it, were “not designed to be end-user modifiable,” we humans may simply be uploaded into this intelligence expansion. But if we don’t survive at all, well, at least the universe itself will be flooded with something of independent value, all its “dumb matter”—to quote Kurzweil’s book—transformed into “exquisitely sublime forms of intelligence.”

The prospect of such a destiny makes some people ecstatic. It terrifies others. Singularitarians tend to harbour both reactions simultaneously, which is just how Edmund Burke first defined the effect of “the sublime.” While Kurzweil may not intend it in its original sense, the word seems apt: insofar as it elicits terror and awe at once, the Singularity is sublime.

THE SINGULARITY did not originate with Kurzweil. In 1993, a computer scientist, mathematician and science fiction writer named Vernor Vinge delivered a lecture at a NASA-sponsored symposium that laid out a serious scenario in a half-troubled, half-exuberant tone. “Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence,” he declared. “Shortly after, the human era will be ended.” Borrowing a term from mathematics and physics that describes a point past which known laws do not hold, Vinge called his threshold the Singularity.

Dropped like a gauntlet, the Singularity meme was picked up by a young artificial intelligence (AI) researcher by the name of Eliezer Yudkowsky, who, along with a programmer called Tyler Emerson, set up the Singularity Institute For Artificial Intelligence (SIAI) in 2000. A bearded, convivial prodigy who speaks in highly formal sentences and is proud to not have a PhD, “Eli,” as he’s known, was excited by the prospect of superintelligent artificial agents, but the humanist in him worried that such an agent might end up, willfully or accidentally, destroying all the things we care about—like human lives.

For a crude illustration of an accidental case of destruction, picture a superintelligence optimized to produce paperclips. It would have the ability to rearrange the atomic structure of all matter in its vicinity—including, quite possibly, you—to obtain a lot of high quality paperclips. It may not despise you in particular, but your atomic arrangement is simply not to its liking. Unless you have an office-supply fetish, you’d consider that Unfriendly AI. Yudkowsky, taking both the prospect and his fears seriously, urged research toward the development of Friendly AI. His worrier ethos, or at least its rhetoric, has been passed down; whenever someone throws up an alarming new Singularity scenario, a Singularity fellow will say something like, “Oh, now I’m really beginning to worry.”

Early on, the Singularity Institute was essentially an email list called SL4, or Shock Level 4, with a small subscription base of futurists from groups such as Transhumanists and Extropians, and a few researchers tracking the holy grail of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). The early discussions sound exploratory now, but they already contained the quasi-schizophrenic sublime element that characterizes Singularity conversations today: intense anxiety mixed with excited anticipation for the “most critical event in human history.” We will be apes watching the rise of superior beings—beings we ourselves will have created.

Kurzweil was well-known back then, already consulting with the US government and appearing on TV shows. His book The Age of Spiritual Machines (2000) laid out the first exponential curves of an accelerating technology trend, presenting a utopian future of unlimited energy and great sex enabled by conscious machines. But it did not mention the Singularity.

It was only after the turn of the millennium—when else?—that the Singularity increasingly moved to the centre of Kurzweil’s platform. He started out by debating Vinge and then spoke about the Singularity at various futurist symposia, where Yudkowsky would politely lambaste him from the audience. Yudkowsky asked Kurzweil whether the Singularity was good or bad, and what people could do about it. Kurzweil had no answer. On his SL4 list, Yudkowsky would later write, “What Kurzweil is selling, under the brand name of the ‘Singularity,’ is the idea that technological progress will continue to go on exactly as it has done over the last century.”

Kurzweil’s “pseudo-Singularity” depended on the inevitability of his predictions and was leading to nothing more than “luxuries” such as superintelligent servants. Yudkowsky’s true Singularity, by contrast, was potentially frightening and demanded intervention. It could lead to a land of post-human bliss, but only if handled properly. It would need a vanguard of rationalists and scientists to attend to it. In short, Yudkowsky was calling for a movement.

His beef with Kurzweil was about engaged activism versus passive predictivism, but it was also a bid for attention. He upped it by issuing a paper about Friendly AI timed to coincide with the release of the film adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot. Kurzweil, who was about to release his book on the Singularity, joined the Institute as advisor and then board member. It benefited both. Kurzweil couldn’t have assumed a mantle of authority without a strong link to the activists at the Institute, while the Institute needed his clout and his connections.

The non-profit Institute soon found firm financial grounding, thanks in part to Kurzweil’s friend and libertarian financial guru Peter Thiel, who made his money by co-founding PayPal and investing early in Facebook. Thiel also co-authored a nativist book called The Diversity Myth (1998), reportedly donated $1 million to the anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA, and funded James O’Keefe, the not-so-independent guerrilla videomaker responsible for undermining Planned Parenthood and ACORN.

Today the Singularity Institute is based in Silicon Valley, the Singularity University is campused at NASA, and an annual Singularity Summit, with nine hundred-plus in attendance last year, takes place around the country. There are Singularity activists, Singularity blogs, Singularity t-shirts, and even Singularity bashers, all of which confirms the status of the Singularity as a social movement, though Singularitarians themselves sometimes call it a revolution. “The problem with choosing or not choosing to be a part of our ‘revolution’,” Michael Anissimov, an organizer of the Singularity Summit, wrote on his blog, “is that, for better or for worse, there probably is no choice. When superintelligence is created, it will impact everyone on Earth, whether we like it or not.”

While Kurzweil’s draw has helped galvanize the movement, Yudkowsky’s concerns have guided its practical and ideological agendas, linking the development of Friendly AI to “the common concern of humanity.” So far, the consensus on how one might safeguard humanity goes like this: if we manage to code proper “values” in any superintelligent agent at the beginning—that is, more or less right now—then that agent will not have the desire later to do things that we think are not good, because it too will think them undesirable.

The proffered example is Gandhi. The Mahatma, it is suggested, would never have willingly taken a pill that would turn him into a killer. Ditto with superintelligence. If initial settings are steeped with pacifist values, superintelligence won’t rewrite itself into a destroyer of humans. This, you might say, is AGI as Artificial Gandhi Intelligence.

It sounds odd, then, to hear Singularitarians say that the biggest mistake anyone can make on the way to Friendly AI is to try and predict superintelligence using human standards. When I laid out some political scenarios involving some destructive human-machine alliances, current SIAI President Michael Vassar chided me for the great sin of anthropomorphism and dismissed all my predictions. But it’s hard to think of anything more anthropomorphic than giving AI such profoundly human attributes as “our values,” especially if they are Gandhian. And if the Gandhi analogy seems simplistic, that’s because it is. It asks that we imagine Gandhi as some sort of DNA-driven pacifist source code without acknowledging the social process of the man’s own life, or minor inconveniences in the historical narrative, such as the million people killed at the birth of Indian independence. Politics is anthropomorphic.

The trouble, at any rate, is that it isn’t Gandhi setting the initial conditions. It is an advisor to the US Department of Defense (which uses artificially intelligent agents to bomb Afghan villages) and a free market xenophobe. As they say: now I’m really beginning to worry.  

OUTSIDE the fourth Singularity Summit, held last fall in New York, Giulio Prisco taps a half-smoked cigarette stub out of his pack of Marlboro Lights and gently puts it to a flame. “There is a lot of demonization,” he says, puffing out smoke through Italian-inflected syllables. “People are bashing the Singularity.”

An active Transhumanist trained as a theoretical physicist, Prisco decided to fly over from Italy to attend the Summit as a gesture of support—to make, in his own words, “a political statement.” Before leaving, he wrote a blog entry titled “I am a Singularitarian who does not believe in the Singularity.” As headlines go, it’s a little unwieldy, and the distinction is awkward—like saying, “I’m a Christian who does not believe in Christ”—but it led to a firestorm of online debate.

Not all Transhumanists, futurists, immortalists or analytic philosophers are won over by the Singularity. Criticisms come in two shades. One is content-driven, based on the distance between the claims and the scientific evidence supporting them. For example, some contest the inevitability of Kurzweil’s trends, while others point out that there is no proper definition of intelligence, that neuroscience is not even close to fully understanding the mind. Reviewing Kurzweil’s earlier work in the New York Review of Books, the philosopher John Searle argued that “increased computational power” is a different order of thing from “consciousness in computers.”

Though such questions about the nature of mind and consciousness are ancient and unsettled, the Singularity calls them up with enough verve and credibility to involve high-powered scientists and philosophers. Speakers at the 2009 Summit included philosopher David Chalmers, NYU cognitive psychologist Gary Marcus, Wired editor Gary Wolf and famed mathematician, physicist and inventor Stephen Wolfram; in attendance to see and interact with the techie A-list were neuroscientists, physicists and programmers, researchers from Lockheed Martin, a Canadian immortality activist and lots of grad student groupies, some with “Homo Sapiens Siliconis” t-shirts, waiting for photo ops with their favourite neuroscientist.

Because the Singularity is a movement as well as a philosophy, a second shade of criticism faults Singularitarians for ignoring political and cultural context. How, detractors ask, can you chart technological development without accounting for the conditions that gave rise to it, from class conflict in the industrial revolution to the interests of the military-industrial complex?  The United States Department of Defense, for example, appears frequently in Kurzweil’s book, bathed in the glowing light of an enlightened research institute, a bit like the great lab run by James Bond’s Q. It is celebrated for making cool gadgets that benefit humanity, not lethal ones that kill it off. Yet, of all the charges—messianic, absolutist, reductionist, deterministic, anti-human, flesh-hating, undemocratic, individualistic—it’s the one about politics that really makes people like Giulio bristle.

“I was brought up with Marxism,” he fumes. “That was the context, in Italy. So yes, we know, politics is money and power. Technology is political. You can tell me the Singularity is impossible, you can tell me it is not desirable, and we can disagree. But what I can’t stand is if you tell me I’m a naïve science fiction geek who doesn’t understand the complicated social and political context. I am tired of the demonization.”

Seventy blocks further downtown, in the packed back room of a bar on 23rd street, the NYC Future Salon has counter-programmed a session with one such “demonizer.” Jamais Cascio, a research fellow at the Institute for the Future, as well as a senior fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, spoke at the 2007 Singularity Summit but is generally disillusioned with what he calls the “Singularity mythology.”

A self-avowed user of the neuropharmaceutical modafinil, thought to help with alertness and enhance cognitive abilities, Cascio himself is deeply involved in the high-stakes poker of tech prediction. He believes that non-biological intelligent systems will come to pass soon and that an acceleration of “intelligence density” will transform society. He just doesn’t like the transcendent tropes of the Singularity, “this creation of a greater mind that we will become part of.” He doesn’t like the detachment from the human and the social.

“Brilliance around technology does not translate into an understanding of how humans operate,” he says. “One thing I’ve observed from a lot of the Singularity proponents is that they dislike being human, they dislike the body, the messiness of human relations, of human politics. It’s one of the big flaws in the story. They have left out such a big chunk of what it means to be an intelligent social being.”

Cascio suggests that we will necessarily be involved in how intelligent systems build our world. After all, humans are the ones doing the coding. We might increasingly merge with non-biological systems through enhancement devices like cochlear implants or brain-computer interfaces, but there will be no great rupture between humans and machines, nothing like what the Singularitarians project.

“Software is political,” he asserts. “So AGI will also have politics.”

Clearly, it already does. If the last few decades of science are any indication, a human-machine future is well on its way. What’s at stake is who will guide its arrival. 

CONTEMPORARY SCIENCE and technology came to a head in the nineties. The internet became ubiquitous. The dot-com boom (and bust) pushed high-tech into private lives and created a new financial industry, as well as a new class of workers; ditto for biotech, as its successes created new financial, cultural and scientific sectors, starting with the human genome project in 1990 before moving on to Dolly in 2001. Next came the genetic modification of everything we ate and, potentially, of ourselves, with labs synthesizing tissue, organs and hybrid animals, and information sciences doing biology by code rather than by pipette.
Brain mapping took off as neuroscience became one of the great fields. The Human Brain Project was established while Deep Blue beat chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, giving a boost to flagging AI enthusiasm. These sciences were converging into what is now called NBIC: Nano, Bio, Info, Cogno.

NBIC and its hybrid products (machines that think, cells that are machines) shook the few remaining ontological certainties on which we stood, teetering, since mid-century. Suddenly a library of books by biologists, physicists, computer engineers and social scientists rolled off the presses asking again the fundamental questions: What is matter, what is object, what is human? What is the point of it all, anyway?

Not surprisingly, this environment of doubt spawned an immense industry of prediction. Wrapped in Spiritus Divinatio, legions of alarmists and techtopians slouched at different angles toward an unrealized Bethlehem. One side, like bearded men of the temple, warned us that technological hubris would rob us of our humanity (ignoring the fact that we had co-evolved with technology). The other heralded the advent of a New Age in which NBIC would leave no problem, human or super-human, unsolved.

The predictable alignments of left and right collapsed. Left-of-centre figures like Jürgen Habermas and journalist Bill McKibben were found in bed with conservatives like Francis Fukuyama. Famously, Sun Microsystems founder Bill Joy warned against future technologies, as did the virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier. The ceremony of innocence was drowned. Everywhere a different revelation seemed at hand.

Images of transhuman and posthuman figures, hybrids and chimeras, robots and nanobots became uncannily real, blurring further the distinction between science and science fiction. Now, no one says a given innovation can’t happen; the naysayers simply argue that it shouldn’t. But if the proliferating future scenarios no longer seem like science fiction, they are not exactly fact either—not yet. They are still stories about the future and they are stories about science, though they can no longer be banished to the bantustans of unlikely sci-fi. In a promise-oriented world of fast-paced technological change, prediction is the new basis of authority.

That is why futurist groups, operating thus far on the margins of cultural conversation, were thrust into the most significant discussions of the twenty-first century: What is biological, what artificial? Who owns life when it’s bred in the lab? Should there be cut off-lines to technological interventions into life itself, into our DNA, our neurological structures, or those of our foodstuffs? What will happen to human rights when the contours of what is human become blurred through technology?

The futurist movement, in a sense, went viral. Bill McKibben’s Enough (2004) faced off against biophysicist Gregory Stock’s Redesigning Humans (2002) on television and around the web. New groups and think tanks formed every day, among them the Foresight Institute and the Extropy Institute. Their general membership started to overlap, as did their boards of directors, with figures like Ray Kurzweil ubiquitous. Heavyweight participants include Eric Drexler—the father of nanotechnology—and MIT giant Marvin Minsky. One organization, the World Transhumanist Association, which broke off from the Extropy in 1998, counts six thousand members, with chapters across the globe.

If the emergence of NBIC and the new culture of prediction galvanized futurists, the members were also united by an obligatory and almost imperial  sense of optimism, eschewing the dystopian visions of the eighties and nineties. They also learned the dangers of too much enthusiasm. For example, the Singularity Institute, wary of sounding too religious or rapturous, presents its official version of the future in a deliberately understated tone: “The transformation of civilisation into a genuinely nice place to live could occur, not in a distant million-year future, but within our own lifetimes.”

“A genuinely nice place to live” sounds like a promo for a new housing development across the river. But make no mistake—the Singularity is utopian. Kurzweil describes the future as an age of “greater beauty, greater creativity, and greater levels of subtle attributes such as love.”  The Singularity’s brand of utopianism is unique, however, because it is premised not on the improvement of human beings but on their obsolescence (even though many have learned not to be forthright about this). In a Forbes article, Singularity Institute researcher Ben Goertzel wrote, “Just as there’s intrinsic value in helping other humans, there’s intrinsic value in helping higher intelligence come into existence. These future minds will experience growth and joy beyond human capability.”

Obsolescence does not automatically require annihilation. “Are ants obsolete or pigs obsolete?” Goertzel asks rhetorically, leaning back on an old wood bench in the hallway of the Singularity Summit. “They exist and continue to do what they do, but they are not the most complex or most interesting creatures on the planet. That’s what I’m assuming is the fate in store for humans. I hope that some humans continue to exist in their current form, but there’s going to be other minds.”

Our purpose, as humans, is to bring them about. We will be surpassed. Not in the narrow sense of old research being trumped by new findings, but surpassed as a species by superior manifestations of evolution. The son of West Coast hippies, Goertzel is nevertheless not opposed to annihilation. “If it really came down to it,” he says, “I wouldn’t hesitate to annihilate myself in favour of some amazing superbeing.” 

WHO WOULDN'T want to see the rise of some incredible superintelligent agent? Who wouldn’t want to merge into a great universe-wide mind in which Peter Thiel’s consciousness would be indistinguishable from a Guatemalan migrant’s, and Kurzweil’s from the son of an Afghan villager killed by a Predator drone? That would be one version of the good life, and not such a bad one given what’s been on offer.
Human progress wasn’t supposed to have Auschwitz and Hiroshima at its heart. Guantanamo and Afghanistan, devastating oil spills and wild economic meltdowns weren’t meant to be part of the twenty-first century. We are betrayed children of secular utopias, flapping around under a collapsed canopy trying to find a post to drape the future on. There’s little faith left in the state or in social arrangements to return to us that lost promise, restore some blush on the future’s pretty face.

Even science scaled back its promises. “We claim, and we shall wrest from theology, the entire domain of cosmological theory,” the naturalist John Tyndall prophesied in a famous address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1874. No scientist today would make such a claim. Science has long since abandoned the project of revealing a greater purpose to our existence. Instead, human significance has receded to a vanishing point, a passing shadow in a lonely outpost of the empty universe, itself destined to disappear through heat death or cold death, depending on which theory you accept.

The Singularity’s emerging popularity, however, lies partly in its unabashed solutions to dilemmas of purpose that science abandoned a long time ago. Tyndall-esque cosmological ambition is at the very heart of Kurzweil’s futurology. “I have begun to reflect on the future of our civilization and its relationship to our place in the universe,” he declares at the beginning of his book. And six hundred pages later, he concludes: “the purpose of the universe reflects the same purpose as our lives: to move toward greater intelligence and knowledge.”

In an odd way, the Singularity puts humans back at the centre of things, at one with the intelligent universe itself. There’s a good chance more and more people will be attracted by this sort of metaphysical gumption, combined as it is with supercharged technological optimism that taps into a new sort of hope: if we can’t improve the world by rearranging its social structures, then maybe we can enhance it through rearranging its atomic structure. We can make it rosy and smart atom by atom, spreading intelligence bit by bit, infusing the whole universe with our ones and naughts. That does sound sublime, doesn’t it?

See the rest of Issue 36 (Summer 2010). Related on maisonneuve.org:

Xtra images - http://ncwatch.typepad.com/media/2010/04/a-window-on-tomorrow-and-beyond-the-singularity.html

For further enlightenment see –

The Her(m)etic Hermit - http://hermetic.blog.com

This material is published under Creative Commons Copyright – reproduction for non-profit use is permitted & encouraged, if you give attribution to the work & author - and please include a (preferably active) link to the original along with this notice. Feel free to make non-commercial hard (printed) or software copies or mirror sites - you never know how long something will stay glued to the web – but remember attribution! If you like what you see, please send a tiny donation or leave a comment – and thanks for reading this far…

From the New Illuminati – http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com

Saturday 28 August 2010

How to block or kill RFID chips

How to block or kill RFID chips
How to block/kill RFID chips

In this Instructable I will describe different ways to block or kill RFID tags. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. If you do not know about this technology yet, you should definitely start familiarizing yourself with it, because the number of different devices that utilize these types of tags is growing exponentially.

RFID chips are very similar to barcodes in the sense that a certain amount of data is contained within them, and then transmitted to a reading device which then processes and utilizes the information. The major difference is that barcodes have to be physically visible to the reading device, which is usually only able to scan them at a distance of a 12 inches or less. RFID tags, on the other hand, do not have to be visible to the reading device.

They can be scanned through clothes, wallets, and even cars. The distance from which they can be read is also much greater than that of a barcode. At DEFCON an RFID tag was scanned at a distance of 69 feet, and that was back in 2005, the possible reading distance now is probably much greater than that.

There are a few different categories of RFID tags, but the most common ones, and the ones we will be dealing with in this instructable, are the "passive" type. Passive RFID chips contain no internal power supply. They contain an antenna which is able to have a current induced in it when within range of the RFID reader. The tag then uses that electricity to power the internal chip, which bounces its data back out through the antenna, where it will be picked up by the reader.

For more information on RFID tags check out the wikipedia entry.
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Reasons for blocking / destroying RFID chips

The main reason someone would want to block or destroy RFID chips would be to maintain privacy. In the last step I explained that RFID tags can be read from very long distances. The potential for abuse of this technology grows as more and more products and devices are being created with these tags built in.

Companies are getting consumers to blindly accept many RFID tagged products with the promise of convenience; however, most of the devices that contain RFID tags don't really need them. The tags may save a few seconds, but sacrifice an enormous amount of privacy and security. It is now possible for someone, with relatively simple equipment, to walk down a busy sidewalk and pickup the personal information of people carrying RFID tagged devices, without them even knowing.

Being able to block or destroy these chips allows people to decide what type of information they are willing to sacrifice for convenience.
Reasons for blocking / destroying RFID chips

Where can RFID chips be found?

As RFID chips become cheaper, the number of devices that include them grows.

Currently there are RFID tags in:
- US passports: The RFID tag contains all the information that is written in the passport, along with a digital picture
- Transportation payments: Things like New York's EZ Pass, Florida's Sun Pass, and California's Fast Trak are all RFID based toll payment systems.
- Access control: Many buildings and schools require RFID tagged cards to be used for entry.
- Credit cards: Chase, and a few other banks, now issue credit cards embedded with RFID chips, called "blink". They are able to convince people it is an added convenience, but in reality it is a huge security risk.

There are many other devices which contain RFID tags; however, the ones listed are the most common and offer the greatest security risk.
Where can RFID chips be found

How to block a RFID tag

Luckily RFID tag signals can easily be blocked. This means that you will have the option to use the tag whenever you want, and prevent others from being able to read it.

The signal sent out by a RFID tag is easily blocked by metal. This means that placing the RFID tag inside of a Faraday cage will prevent the information from being read.

There are already two Instructables on how to build RFID blocking containers:
RFID Secure Wallet
Make a RFID Shielding Pouch Out of Trash

Or if you would rather spend money on something you could build, head over to Think Geek for their RFID blocking wallet and RFID blocking Passport Holder .

How to block a RFID tag
How to kill your RFID chip
In this step I will describe a few ways to permanently disable or kill an RFID chip. Most products that you own that contain RFID tags belong to you, so you have the right to destroy them; however, tampering with a US passport is a federal offense. Luckily there are ways to kill an RFID tag without leaving any evidence, so as long as you are careful, it would be pretty hard to prove that you did anything illegal.

-The easiest way to kill an RFID, and be sure that it is dead, is to throw it in the microwave for 5 seconds. Doing this will literally melt the chip and antenna, making it impossible for the chip to ever be read again. Unfortunately this method has a certain fire risk associated with it. Killing an RFID chip this way will also leave visible evidence that it has been tampered with, making it an unsuitable method for killing the RFID tag in passports. Doing this to a credit card will probably also screw with the magnetic strip on the back making it un-swipeable.

-The second, slightly more covert and less damaging. way to kill an RFID tag is by piercing the chip with a knife or other sharp object. This can only be done if you know exactly where the chip is located within the tag. This method also leaves visible evidence of intentional damage done to the chip, so it is unsuitable for passports.

-The third method is cutting the antenna very close to the chip. By doing this the chip will have no way of receiving electricity, or transmitting its signal back to the reader. This technique also leaves minimal signs of damage, so it would probably not be a good idea to use this on a passport.

-The last (and most covert) method for destroying a RFID tag is to hit it with a hammer. Just pick up any ordinary hammer and give the chip a few swift hard whacks. This will destroy the chip, and leave no evidence that the tag has been tampered with. This method is suitable for destroying the tags in passports, because there will be no proof that you intentionally destroyed the chip.
How to kill your RFID chip

[CLAIMER: The New Illuminati do not advocate following this or any other advice. Think for thine self}

For further enlightenment see –

The Her(m)etic Hermit - http://hermetic.blog.com

This material is published under Creative Commons Copyright (unless an individual item is declared otherwise by copyright holder) – reproduction for non-profit use is permitted & encouraged, if you give attribution to the work & author - and please include a (preferably active) link to the original along with this notice. Feel free to make non-commercial hard (printed) or software copies or mirror sites - you never know how long something will stay glued to the web – but remember attribution! If you like what you see, please send a tiny donation or leave a comment – and thanks for reading this far…

From the New Illuminati – http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com