“you’re the most self-disciplined person I know”

said Lunariia on the phone the other day, and something inside me lit up.
“yes: I AM self-disciplined..why have I been pissing about all this time?!”

With my quantum physics/theology essay out the way by last thursday (if it’s any good I’ll stick it online) I’ve managed to pull things together a bit.

Yesterday I spent much time in various libraries, enjoying being able to get on with understanding animal fear and getting some stuff written down. I also took a wonderful break wandering round campus – the weather yesterday was gorgeous.

Just to finish they day off (by 6pm I felt wonderfully mentally satiated and exhausted) I went down to a bar with Marc and listened to “funky jazz” (I adore live music). Then we went on a dark late-night walk all down by the river and looked at the stars.

*happy sigh*

on linux and poplog

Thanks to John I’ve now got linux set up on my computer. I’ve been very nerdy this morning going through a strange and cryptic process of extracting files and trying to get the ‘sim-agent/poplog’ stuff set up so I can start learning how to program my AI.

(despite being an idiot newbie-girl I still get some sort of perverse pleasure from this kind of thing)

Rather soon into it all I realised I couldn’t remember what John had set my root password as. And: I managed to figure out how to change it all by myself . Glee!! 😀

Also got as far as running a demonstration of ‘sim-agent’ and had more fun than is probably healhty ‘surprising’ the simple agents and also making them ‘glum’ by moving the goal away at the last minute. oh dear.

But enough of staring at the computer screen, I want to go outside again now… Marc and I have been eating soup all week, so we might actually have enough money left in the ‘joint food box’ to actually buy some REAL FOOD.

I honestly love being a student.

Dodgy Inkblot test

I’ve always wanted to try one of these. And yes, you can choose to see dodgy innuedo, satanic creatures and BLOOD (oh my) or happy clouds and bunnies if you so desire. yay.

“my unconscious mind is driven by IMAGINATION”

This means you have a deep desire to use innovative ideas to enhance your life and influence the world around you.

This drive influences you far more than you may realize on a conscious level.

Your need to be innovative drives how you look at new opportunities and the kinds of experiences in life you choose to have. On an unconscious level, the reason you may be so driven by imagination is your fear of destruction, the opposite of creation. When you are unable to create due to restrictions imposed by your environment or even ones you unwittingly impose on yourself, do you feel trapped or confined? You may find these feelings of unease only get better when you find another outlet for your imagination.

With such a strong creative orientation, you are willing to entertain a broad spectrum of ideas at any given time. The world is a fuller, richer place because you can contribute new ideas to any experience. Your natural curiosity inspires those around you and encourages them to come up with ideas they wouldn’t have thought of without your help.

It’s all a little freudian, but fairly intriguing all the same.
Now, just to finish that damn essay…. ^>_<^ try the inkblot test


What do I believe? Depends what time of the day you ask me. Depends on the phases of the moon. Depends which denture gel four out of the five recommend. Perhaps I never opened the eyes of my soul before I was pulled blind and terrified into this world so many years ago, but everything I’ve ever felt or known or loved or feared tears at me otherwise. If there is no other side, if the universe was a fluke and life is only a short, meaningless interlude to unconsciousness, then what’s left for us? Our spirits evaporate as slate’s wiped clean? The earth cracks to greet the end of time? Was there not even hope left us in Pandora’s box?

I don’t expect I shall ever be able to answer any of this, but as they say – it’s only human to ask. I suppose I can take some comfort in knowing that at least to this, we’ll all eventually find the answer. Some day.

credit to Nix-7c0


…And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I’m dying
Are the best I’ve ever had…

Dreams are resonating at the moment.

Last night I had a dream where I spent a fair bit of time with Stray. I can’t remember exactly but I knew he was dead..or something similar (It was all very reminiscent of ‘Donnie Darko’). He wasn’t unhappy with this fact, and I didn’t seem that perturbed which is strange because normally when people I know die in my dreams it distresses me.

My dad turned up, he just didn’t get whatever it was that was going on. Stray ended up shaving a word into his hair at the back of his head to explicitly state what (who) he was.

I never heard this word before but it made sense of everything. I also read it several times (weird because normally you’re not supposed to be able to read in dreams).

I can’t remember what it was and it was so important.

If I hand’t woken up in my often-usual panic about ‘what do I need to get on with NOW NOW NOW’ then I think I would of held onto it.

Hmm.. I hoped trying to write this down might trigger off a memory…never mind. Some things are so elusive.

Pictures hanging in a hallway
Or the fragment of a song
Half-remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong?
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair?

“I’m a grumpy bastard….

…and I don’t believe in anything. Convince me and I’ll give you money” – Marc’s summary of the situation.

Essentially, this sceptic of homeopathic medicine etc will give $1million dollars to anyone who can prove it actually works.

Again, this feeling that I’m 3 years behind myself… I plan to do some proper research into the whole area of homeopathy and various related things; if only I were doing it NOW I might have a chance at winning loads of money.

Ah well. 🙂

We’re all scared…

“We’re all scared. We’re all angry. We’re all sad. That’s a given.
The question is, what are we going to do about it?”
– Gabrielle Roth


  • It’s fully occured to me to what depth every adult (who’s had a reasonable degree of social interaction) has problems and emotional baggage of some kind. My particular eccentricities and foibles are NOT SPECIAL. I do not deserve more leniency than other people. Goodbye self-centered teenage angst(!)
  • In a busy life, it’s even more important to set aside ‘you-time’ but also limit to friends that actually matter. I know too many people that just aren’t worth the effort…it’s taken me a while to realise that the amount of effort I’ve been putting in to a person is just not reciprocated.
  • I’ve been looking into I-Ching (partly the fault of reading ‘Tao of Physics’ and partly because of reading the ‘Northern Lights’ series). It’s pretty fascinating, and probably the most helpful ‘dodgy divination thingy’ I’ve looked into.
  • I’m getting increasingly interested in Chi and all things similar… the buddhism, the Taoist stuff, the cognitive science, the neuroscience and my own crazy thoughts are beginning to crystallise ever so slowly. I’m not rushing it because then the whole thing will collapse
  • I’m trying -oh so hard- to get my head round the concept of a space-time dimension (or even anything more than 3d) and have come to the conclusion that anyone that says they can are blatantly lying, disguising the fact in a series of mathematical formula. bastards. 🙂
  • I’ve dreamed of : being angry (physically *violent*) at past mistake, I’ve swam as a dolphin, I encountered ‘angry zombies’ (angry purely because they couldn’t -taste- anything..) watched the world become flooded, fed a wolf yoghurt drops, got yelled at by a white stag for ‘not following the plot'(he said it in better words than that, but I knew that’s what he meant..). And then I rescued some unicorns. All in one night. I don’t know what the current zombie obsession is but they just keep turning up at the moment.

I’ve been wondering…

  • Why women’s menstrual cycles synchronise at all. (re: sarah’s comment that the 2 girls in a 6-girl house who are -not- on the pill are having up to 3 cycles a month as they try and synchronise with the others)
  • Why so few young people find wandering round a huge, ancient cathedral (or similar) rather awe-inspiring and deeply fascinating.
  • Why for some reason I keep waking up between 3:30 am and 4:30 am.
  • What they were smoking when they came up with quantum mechanics and relativity

My life as a weather report

at least, that’s how it sounds. (yes, ben messing about on www.tarot.com) Again, found something that sounds weirdly (and quite specifically) accurate.

I still don’t get why I find this sort of stuff fascinating.

Chapter 1. How Catherine Relates to Other People

Cancer on 7th house cusp:

Your natural reserve, strong ambition and rather traditional sense of propriety may keep you from revealing the emotionally needy or vulnerable side of your nature. People who know you only through your work, would probably be surprised if they saw you at home.

You require a sensitive, sympathetic partner who is extremely expressive emotionally and, at the same time, perceptive enough to understand that you can love deeply and be unflinchingly loyal without being overly demonstrative. You need a lot of parenting.

When you don’t have a partner (or an audience), it may sometimes seem to you that your deepest feelings become inaccessible. The nurturing, sensitive qualities of your partner almost serve as a mirror to your emotions, making them easier to express openly.

Moon in 7th:

Your self-image (particularly as a young person) is so closely tied up with your perception of the way others view you, you can be quite chameleon-like in adapting to that perception, allowing others to relate to their own projections and not your needs.

As you mature and become less self-protective emotionally, you expose your needs and feelings with less anxiety and enjoy close, nurturing relationships with those who encourage you to express your feelings, not mask them. You could succeed in public life.

Moon, Ruler of 7th house, is in 7th:

In order to accomplish everything you want to accomplish professionally, you need nurturing and unconditional support. When you form emotional ties with people you work with, they become like family. Sometimes more than family. More casual colleagues would be surprised if they were privy to your private relationships. While they might experience your dignity and reserve and loyalty, they don’t see the sentimentality and sensitivity you reveal to intimates. You seem to keep that side of your life quite separate. One of your tendencies less obvious to others is your rather chameleon-like quality. Your relationships are so symbiotic, you are often absorbed into the life-style and emotional milieu of the other person. You may sometimes be teased about the extent to which your tastes and values change with your relationships. They don’t really. But your emotional identification with those you care about is so strong, you need to establish as much common ground as possible.

Mercury Square Jupiter with an orb between 1/2 and 1 degree:

Details are not your cup of tea. You are fascinated by philosophy and the world of ideas. You are a great talker and reader and your best companions will be those who share your concepts and ideals. You prefer professional people with a certain flair.

Venus Square Jupiter with an orb between 1/2 and 1 degree:

You may be overly self-indulgent and inclined toward excesses of eating, drinking, sex or anything which gives you pleasure. You would not be comfortable with someone who was too reserved. You can be quite extravagant both emotionally and financially.

Sun Conjunct Ascendant with an orb between 1 and 3 degrees:

You have a strong, confident, expressive personality which inspires confidence in others. You often find yourself in a position of leadership as do your partners who are also dynamic and successful. Your relationships are marked by mutual respect.

Mercury Conjunct Venus with an orb between 1 and 3 degrees:

Intelligence is sexy to you. If a person you find physically attractive isn’t also bright, verbal and someone you can talk to, you’re not interested. You have a highly developed aesthetic sense and are drawn to people of taste, wit and charm.

Moon Opposition Mercury with an orb between 1 and 3 degrees:

You are sensitive to the point of being rather thin-skinned and too easily hurt. You’re often being emotional when you think you’re being rational and detached when you are expressing how you feel. It’s never wise to argue with you until you’ve calmed down.

Sun Square Saturn with an orb between 1 and 3 degrees:

Your self-esteem is based less upon what you are in your own or others’ eyes than on what you do. You may become so compulsive about achievement that you cannot relax into a warm, enduring relationship until you have achieved some success in your career.

Saturn Square Ascendant with an orb between 1 and 3 degrees:

You were not encouraged to be overly expressive when you were a child and as an adult still tend to be somewhat reserved. You often give the impression of being serious or even stern when, in truth, you are simply feeling shy or self-protective.

Mercury Trine Mars with an orb between 1 and 3 degrees:

Your sense of humor is one of your outstanding qualities. It usually manifests as a rather wry wit. Anyone you’re close to must share this sense of irony. You probably have a special talent or an absorbing interest. Your closest ties are likewise involved.

Moon Sextile Mars with an orb of less than 1 degree:

You are passionate, competitive and high-spirited and enjoy relationships with assertive, independent people. You’re restless and active and, when you are close to someone, like to do things together. You enjoy a good fight and don’t carry a grudge.

Moon Sesquiquadrate Neptune with an orb of less than 1 degree:

Your mother was either over-idealized or rejected as a feminine role model. You did not get a clear sense of who you were as a child and, as a result, may set impossibly high standards for yourself. You tend to be a loner.

Moon Opposition Venus with an orb between 3 and 5 degrees:

Your emotional life is turbulent. Those who love you aren’t always very nurturing and those who nurture you often don’t truly understand you. You are always involved in a close relationship, but it rarely has the emotional intimacy you privately long for.

Moon Square Jupiter with an orb between 3 and 5 degrees:

You tend to dramatize your emotional state. When things are going pretty well, you’re in ecstasy-and when things are not all they might be, it’s the worst despair that ever struck mankind. People may find you a bit self-absorbed or inflated at times.

Venus Trine Mars with an orb between 3 and 5 degrees:

Your love nature and your sexual nature are happily in harmony. You’re comfortable with your sexual role as you perceive it and rarely go for any period of time without an intimate relationship. You need love, go after it and always manage to find it.

Venus Sextile Uranus with an orb between 1 and 5 degrees:

There is nothing humdrum about the way that you love. You have a flair for the unusual and the creative and are drawn to those who shun the conventional. You shy away from those who tend to be over-possessive. Your love affairs are also wonderful friendships.

Sun Square Pluto with an orb between 5 and 8 degrees:

Power struggles plague your relationships. Either you become the dominant partner out of a fear of being controlled or you become very passive, controlling indirectly through guilt or manipulation. Your father may have been emotionally abusive to you.

Pluto Square Ascendant with an orb between 5 and 8 degrees:

You are not always aware of your own magnetism. Others find you intense and, sometimes, controlling. You have such strong fears of losing relationships that sometimes you imagine that people are turning against you when the opposite is more often true.

Sun does not aspect Moon:

Your parents’ interests and emotional natures, while not in violent conflict, were so different it was hard to understand how they ever came together. You associate close relationships with both longing and loneliness and may be unclear about roles.

“It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking the most fruitful developments frequently take place at thsoe points where two different lines of thought meet. These lines may have their roots in quite different parts of human culture, in different times or different cultural environments or different religious traditions : hence if they actually meet, that is, if they are at least so much related to each other that a real interaction can take place, then one may hope that new and interesting developments may follow”
– Werner Heisenberg (from “The Tao of Physics”)

Dream. Consciousness. Shift.

Zak came back for a couple of nights.. I didn’t really want him around but he had stuff to sort out.

Last night I was in the mood for romance (and also yelling at people, and crying..moodswings GO! 🙂 ) But what ended up happening was candles, ‘meditative/calm/higher-consciousness music’ and lying together being warm. Letting everything go, I drifted, feeling safe with my head and back being gently stroked..mm..

The interesting thing was that I didn’t so much fall asleep but just melted into some sort of dream.. (like you do when you fall asleep in a lecture..reality goes really odd and for some reason it doesn’t strike you as weird that the lecturer is talking about monkeys and rollercoasters..) In this ‘dream’ I felt sooo relaxed.. I was somewhere really, unbelievably pleasant.

It was outdoors, I remember. I also remember willow trees, water, a soft haze of sun. Everything was okay.. no, -really- okay. Like when you’re still a child playing in the garden with no cares.. but in this case it was more that all my cares had been sorted.

And then, my treacherous mind dredged up the point that you really don’t want to go to sleep with candles burning.. I woke up to find Zak also asleep and two hours had gone. The music was still playing and the candles were okay.. and all of reality came flooding back and I cried.

It made me realise : that I am worrying, thinking, planning, allowing, waiting for something ALL THE TIME. I think most people do, somewhere. I only noticed because, for a bit, it was all taken away.

Once more I begin to see the purpose of meditation and tai chi. I like tai chi because it gives me something else to focus on, and takes a lot of concentration. But even then, there’s always some background -noise- (what will i have for dinner, I wonder how Sarah is, my leg is really starting to ache, is that guy looking at me)

Maybe, with practice and a bit of luck I can find that place again. It felt like Eden.

Intelligence Amplification /Cognitive Enhancement

I’m fishing for ideas now! Basically trying to cohere something together for my dissertation..going to talk to someone about it tomorrow.

But what I’m interested in looking at is “Is there a short-cut way to making ourselves smarter?”. OR – “passive methods of cognitive enhancement”.

At the moment I’m trying to think of as many things as possible to research into that might improve our cognitive functioning with very little effort on our part.

The following is a messy brain-storm ish list. Please let me know if you can think of anything to add! I’m especially interested in any language ideas because I know very little of research done in this area… are ‘naturally’ bilingual kids more intelligent..?

  • cognition enhancing drugs (nootropics)
    • “At present there does exist some positive results with cognition enhancing drugs in healthy animal and human subjects, but how useful the drugs really are remains uncertain. The most well understood paradigm is the cholinergic systems, which seem to be involved in memory encoding and attention”
  • nutrients for the brain?
    • (find Roberta and Brian Morgan (Nutrition Science News June 1995). About how what we eat affect our brains)
  • augmented memory
    • MIT media lab ‘remembrance agents; wearable devices that basically act as memory aids..also suggest stuff you might not have thought about alone)
  • Neurofeedback / EEG Biofeedback
    • (not passive technique, but not actively doing it yourself..sort of ‘training your brain waves’ in the same way you might train a pigeon)
  • Music/ rhythmns
    • I’m still more interested in trance effects on the brain, but I don’t think it’s enough for a whole dissertation.. but I still reckon there’s room to look into the whole “listening to classical music while doing maths makes you better” thing … unless “getting into an alertered state of consciousness makes you more focused?”