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March 26, 2008

Rejuvenating Swims in Concrete Pools

I’m sure by now, you’ve all seen the lunacy of New Age Woo brought to the computers, and just when you thought that would be all there was to write, like some dark madness at the bottom of the Abyss, there is more. And this has gotten so out of hand that I’m forced to move because of it (more on that below and later).

 

The title itself lays the foundation, “Increased Subtle Energy Damage from WIFI,” and then the article jumps right into the concrete swimming pool of New Age mysticism gone bad. Put on your protective head gear of choice, we’re jumping in head first.

 

Right off the bat they make the claim that:

 

Every physical body (this applies to both humans an animals) has an energy field underlying and surrounding it, called the “etheric body,” “aura”, or “subtle body.” A good clairvoyant or “medical intuitive” can look at a person’s etheric body and see where problems are forming energetically, and let you know about it before those problems become physical.

 

What, plants aren’t good enough for an aura? And what is meant by underlying a physical body…is it under the skin, in the bones, where does it reside or emanate from? But more importantly what do they mean by “energy”? A good clairvoyant (no bad ones mind you), can “look” and “see” this energy, but surely they aren’t talking about the energy that is electromagnetism, such as the basic visible wavelength that allows the majority of humanity to “look” and “see”?

 

They go on to explain that energy starts in our consciousness, namely thoughts and feelings. So, electro-chemical reactions in the brain?

 

That energy then takes on a physical expression in our third dimensional world. This is how “our thoughts create our reality”

 

 

Um, shouldn’t they say “three dimensional world”, but that would be nitpicking. Really though, don’t they know about that wonderful dimension time, time which lies at the root of energy, how much work is done over a given period of time. Of course, maybe they’re talking about time, but forgetting about left and right? And “thoughts create our reality,” if that were true there’d be a lot more barbarians running around slaying the physically-manifested-from-their-thoughts dragons while saving the hot princesses than gamers at dining room tables with dice and pizza-stained character sheets. Really though, on a serious note, making a statement like “our thoughts create our reality” is about as self-centered world-ignorant as you can get. Obviously all the people around the world experiencing genocide, starvation, warfare and other such atrocities just aren’t thinking good thoughts. Right. Because life is so easily boiled down to a spoiled brats mantra.

 

What ever is going on in our energy field eventually manifests in our physical body. This is universal law. If our energy field gets damaged, our physical body will experience problems. There is not getting around it.

 

What?! Another universal law!?

 

Oh how I love the universal laws. The universe seems to have so many universal laws that searching for them reads like Hammurabi’s Law Code. Only they make less sense than throwing your wife in the river because others are pointing the adultery finger at her. In order to make my crap sound really important I’ll call it a universal law, which means you can’t argue with it and I won’t let you argue with it because it’s universal…and a law…and I’ll tell my dad on you.

 

…everyone’s energy field is taking an incredible pounding-from all the “invisible” frequencies that bombard us daily, via TV, radio, computer, microwave, cell phone and satellite transmissions. These frequencies damage our energy field on an ongoing basis and weaken us over time.

 

So wait, it is light, my energy field is light, and it’s being damaged by the 300 KHz to 300 MHz TV and Radio frequencies (1 kilometer to 1m wavelengths), and the 300 MHz to 30 GHz mobile phone and wireless networking frequencies (100 cm to 1 cm wavelengths). So those clairvoyants are seeing light, and they’re seeing it in wavelengths other than the “normal” visible range of the spectrum. And they go on to say that these frequencies, and the devices that are emanating them are what have caused everything from allergies to auto-immune system disorders “that are fairly widespread in our world today.”

 

I guess people are really getting HIV from their TVs. Makes total sense. And lucky for them they have access to the modern medical data (blood tests, CAT scans, genetics, etc.) of the world population for the past 500 years to back up the idea that today the fit is hitting the shan while in the good old days it was all a pleasant breeze. Well, maybe that’s to broad a stroke, at least they have that kind medical data for a portion of the population of Cleveland for the past 200 years.

 

Then they specifically tackle WIFI which transmits in the 5 GHz to 2.5 GHz range (12 cm to 6 cm wavelength). Now if they were to cut out their strange etheric introduction and focus on the fact that microwave ovens transmit at 2.45 GHz (12.24 cm), then maybe, just maybe, the could begin to formulate a rational argument…but, alas, we are swimming backstroke in the concrete pool of New Age Mysticism after diving in head first (and some of us may have forgotten that protective head gear).

 

When you sit in front of your computer and surf the internet, you are actually exposing yourself to hundreds of thousands of frequencies from the computers of everyone else who is simultaneously surfing the internet.

 

Wait, what? So now I’m exposed to José in Cabo San Lucas’s frequencies as he’s searching for Wisconsin vacation spots? How is his wireless reaching me here, halfway up the California coast…and where can I get one of those. Anyone with wireless in their house can test it and you’ll see that you’ll loose connection at well under 400 feet range.

 

As a result, the normal fatigue that comes from exposure to the EMFs [electromagnetic fields? So they’re still talking about light here] that computers radiate is multiplied hundreds of times.

 

So what is my computer radiating when it’s not connected with WIFI? Well, it’s radiating heat, and the screen is radiating visible light. Well, our third eye (read: skin), is great at detecting infrared radiation and when it’s getting harmful. And the visible light, well, there might be some emission in the ultraviolet, but many flowers reflect in the ultraviolet, and them rave-kids and hippies like the ultraviolet…must be the ultraviolet light causing the damage.

 

After spending significant time surfing the web, a more sensitive person would probably notice increased eye pain, headaches, or fatigue-even to the point of feeling “brain dead.”

 

Haha! Yeah, the “more sensitive person” will “probably notice”, ha! That describes just about everyone that has spent time in front of a computer (surfing the web or writing for a blog). There are many detrimental effects on their health but there’s a real good rational reason for this: Humanity has not evolved to sit in front of a 17” box, staring at the various wavelengths of light that it emits (the colors) while keeping our fingers close together tap-tap-tapping on a board smaller than the box we are staring at. It’s not natural to our biology. Humanity has only had 50 years to adapt to the idea of computers, and really only about 20 years for the vast majority of America (not saying anything about underdeveloped countries) to get access to them. Think about that next time you get angry at someone for doing something stupid like opening an email from 2hot4u@yahoo.com promising some large cash transaction if you only help him get out of Nigeria. There’s been no time to really adapt. So lay off Grandpa and try helping him understand next time.

 

Finally they get to the real point…the “Rejuvenizer®,” in all its forms; Personal, Indor/Circuit, Travel and Pet Rejuvenizers® all will “enhance the quality of your life and the lives of your loved ones on all levels.” Great, as a 2nd level Paladin and as a 16th level Paladin/2nd Level Divine Disciple I’ll gain a +2 to all my Saving Throws.

 

The author goes on to describe how he was in a WIFI spot and he “tuned into [his] Rejuvenizer® and found that it was protecting [him] only 75%, so [he] immediately added a number of new healing and protective functions to ensure that I was protected 100%.” I’ve looked and looked, but I can’t see where to “tune into” these trinkets, let alone how to tell in such accurate percentages how much it is protecting you. And even worse…aren’t they just supposed to protect you…period. Am I going to have to come up with a whole bunch of “healing and protecting functions” on the fly every time there is an EMF fluctuation? He goes on to say that exposure to EMFs have been linked to “weakened endocrine and immune systems which, in turn, lead to more allergies, asthma, cnacer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrom, headaches, fibromyalgia, sleep disorders, ADHD, autism, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Environmental Illness, and a speeded-up aging process” and he sites his source! Becker, 1990, which is book called Cross Currents: The Perils of Electropollution, the Promise of Electromedicine. Of course, the book was written in 1990, well before WIFI made its appearance. One site that reviews the book describes new plagues (apparently found within the book) and lists “Aids – perhaps a mutation of a pre-existing virus as a result of abnormal EM fields.”

 

Of course, the site links to a products page where you can get your very own Rejuvenizer®, for $159.00 and, well, they’re pretty stone necklaces and class rings. But, if anything, you should learn more about them, as the before and after images are, well, priceless.

 

But you may ask, ‘who reads this lunacy? No one really believes in this, do they?’ Well, gentile readers, yes, yes they do, and so it’s now officially why I’m moving out of Sebastopol (never mind that the family and I have been in escrow for a few weeks, that has nothing to do with it, no, of course not).

December 13, 2007

Quantum Theory and New Age Mysticism

So I was talking with my friend Leif the other day, on a break during our regular session of Dungeons & Dragons, when we hit upon an idea, a hypothesis really, not yet a theory as it hasn’t undergone any form of rigorous testing.

 

The whole thing revolves around the issue of new age mysticism using words and phrases from quantum theory to validate the religious beliefs (and often claiming to invalidate rational thought, scientific method, etc) of said new age mysticism. I can’t tell you how often I cringed when taking Tai Chi and the instructor would say, “now push against your quantum energy field.” More specifically, it’s the idea that the observer will, at some level, affect the outcome of an experiment and how ‘popular’ culture has run with it. This idea is taken up as an example of how existence is a subjective experience and that consciousness affects reality. In general this is only present in certain aspects of the new age movement. It does not include standard Wicca or Gia/Goddess religions, though often astrology and other forms of divinations can implement the use of quantum talk into their methods. Specifically, new age movements such as The Secret and its “law of attraction”, various UFO conspiracy theories (often to explain the propulsion systems of ships and other advanced technology), also forms of Tai Chi, Yoga, and other Eastern and “alternative” medicine movements.

 

This idea led us to the Hippy Uncertainty Principle, which is much like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. But before I go into the HiUP, I should gloss over the HUP and the nutshell basics of Quantum Theory.

 

Quantum Theory, essentially says that electromagnetic energy is absorbed and emitted in discrete “quanta,” or bits that can’t be divided into smaller pieces. A particle that re-emits energy can only do so at specific, quantized, values. As a loose analogy, let’s say that you, the particle, are playing dodge ball and you’ve managed to collect four balls (the electromagnetic energy). So there you are, holding four balls and another player throws a ball at you. Now, you’re holding a lot of balls and when that ball hits you, you’re going to probably end up dropping some of the balls you’re holding. But you can only drop a whole number of balls. You can’t drop half a ball, or two and a quarter balls. You can only drop 0 through 4 whole balls. And if you are able to catch the ball thrown at you, you must catch all of it (for a total of 5 balls) or none of it.

 

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP) basically says that for a given particle the more closely you measure where it is, the less you know about the particle’s momentum, its mass times its velocity (or speed in a given direction). So here’s the core of the “observer affecting the outcome of an experiment.” The better you measure where the particle is, the less you know about it’s momentum, so much so, that if you were able to measure exactly where that particle is (and you can’t), then it’s momentum could be anything, you would have no way of knowing. The reverse is true, the more you know about a particle’s speed and direction then less you know about where it is.

 

But the HUP only really applies at the subatomic level. Sure, you and I are more massive than a proton, but look at our velocity. I’m just sitting here after all. Even if you were to take into account the fact that I’m spinning around on the surface of the Earth as the Earth hurtles itself around the Sun, that means I’m only moving at 465 m/s + 29,800 m/s = 30,265 m/s. That may sound fast, but in Quantum Theory, we’re dealing with particles moving at nearly 300,000,000 m/s, roughly ten thousand times as fast. And look at our positions, in one direction I take up nearly two meters (6 feet). The diameter of a proton is roughly 10^-15 meters, which means that I’m 2,000,000,000,000,000 (or 2 quadrillion times) taller than a proton. That’s about how much more difficult it is to pin-point a proton than it is to pin-point me (and by pin-point, we mean “know the probability of the object being at a given location”). Even still, the scale at which the HUP takes effect is around 5 x 10^-34 meters-squared * kilograms divided by seconds. That’s a five with thirty-three zeros in front of it before the one’s place, or 0.0000000000000000000000000000000005!

 

So that’s the basics to Quantum Theory and the HUP. Now what about HiUP? The Hippy Uncertainty Principle states that the more a new ager defines his or her religious position the less clear the arguments that they use to support that position become and the more clear they make their arguments the harder it becomes to determine their religious position. In layman’s terms, it’s the “what the fuck are you talking about” hypothesis.

 

Take for example The Secret and its “law of attraction.” The basic premise is that you and your thoughts bring either good or bad things, specifically material things, to you. Okay great, we know the spiritual position they take. But then they try to explain it by stating that there is a law of attraction. Take, for example, this quote from http://law-of-attraction-info.com/: “Universal Laws govern the Universe.  They are basic principles of life and have been around since Creation. They are laws of the Divine Universe. Universal Laws apply to everyone, everywhere. They cannot be changed. They cannot be broken.” Okay, so what’s a “Universal Law”? The site explains, “1. What are universal laws? (Hint: They are like glue.)” it then goes on after a while; “Once you have the answer, you will begin to see how dramatically your life can be empowered by your new insight. To begin to understand it all, one must consider, briefly, why the universe exists in the first place.” So now, to understand a Universal Law, we have to “consider” an age old question that humanity has argued over and discussed since the recording of our thoughts. The site goes on to state, “The reason behind the creation of creation can be summarized as follows: In the absence of that which is not, That Which Is is not. In other words, the Original Source that some people refer to as God was all that there was; there was nothing else. Now that presented a problem.” So to clarify, in the absence of nothing (that which is not), something (that which is) is nothing. So, if there is something, then that something is nothing. Okay. Then it goes on (of course), “This Infinite Being knew itself to be all powerful and infinite, but without something to compare itself against, so to speak, there was no way of experiencing that infinity and power.” So something is all powerful but it doesn’t have the power to comprehend that it is powerful, let alone all powerful. Right. Wait…so what is a universal law, let alone the Law of Attraction?

 

Okay, about half way down the page, we get the following, “a universal law is a bond that connects all experience so as to achieve total knowing.” Well, to quote a bit of the definition of experience from wordnet.princeton.edu, experience is “the accumulation of knowledge that results from direct participation in events or activities.” So a universal law is a bond that connects all the accumulated knowledge so as to achieve total knowing. But what do they mean by “bond”? Or “total knowing.” And really, who believes that “total knowing” is possible? Well, maybe for an all powerful creator…but their all powerful creator could not, on its own without performing some other action, achieve the total knowledge that included knowing it was all powerful.

 

It goes on (of course), to give an example of a “law” other than the law of attraction, the “law of gratitude”, which states, “You have heard it many times that an attitude of gratitude has the power to get you realizing your dreams at record speed. Why? Because gratitude completes the cycle of knowing.” Well there is always the possibility that I have lived in a bubble, but I’ve never heard that. In addition…there’s cycles of knowing? WTF’s a cycle of knowing? Yesterday I didn’t know anything about it, today I’ve achieved total knowing of it, and tomorrow I won’t know it? But when not knowing something is absent from me then knowing anything is absent from me as well?

 

Well, at least after that law we get to the law of attraction, but by this point we’ve had to go over so much inane double-speak that I don’t really care to hear about it. But we got here so, “[The law of attraction] states that you attract whatever you put your attention to.” And of course, since we are living in this world where an “Original Source” is to powerful to realize on its own that it’s all powerful, that if I’m not thinking about things that I’m not aware of then what I’ve put my attention to is also not.

 

Yeah, HiUP at its finest.

 

I’ve always heard, maybe you have too, that if you work hard towards your goals, keep them “in sight,” then you will achieve them. That’s what it appears “The Secret” and its “Law of Attraction” is trying to say, but they’ve dressed it up in a Tolkien-esq pseudo-world of hyperbole and nonsense that name drops historical figures that have nothing to do with it, other than being smart and well known humans, in order to try and gain an authoritative voice.

 

Once again, this is only a hypothesis and not a hard tested theory (and if you don’t know the definition for a scientific theory then by all the gods, go here: http://www.ncsu.edu/labwrite/res/res-glossary.html and scroll to “scientific theory”). It’s based on my experiments in talking with new agers and online research.

 

The HiUP does not apply to fundamentalist religious thinking as they have the intelligence to remove themselves from the scientific sphere of knowledge and present the world with their definitive source(s) such as the Torah, Bible, or Koran. They, at least, use their source as their basis and do not attempt to interpret scientific discoveries as new foundations for their belief system (of course some try to reinterpret scientific discoveries to fit their belief system, which is a wholly unintelligent way to design a system of belief, but it doesn’t apply to the HiUP as it currently stands). They are Newtonian in their approach, position and momentum placed squarely within the pages of their sacred texts, and as with Newton, belonging firmly in the 1600’s (or earlier).

 

I find it interesting that the old religions (in the fundamentalist manifestations) tend to reject scientific findings in order to continue to support their belief systems (creationism and intelligent design) while the new religions tend to warp and twist scientific findings to their own ends.

 

In the end, the best new age is one of the oldest, good old Crowley and his Thelema. “0 = 2”, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will” Magick is the expression and implementation of the will. I will these words here, now, therefore I perform magick in its purest form. I will my hand to pick my nose, therefore I have invoked comedic-magick. But that’s just my mundane but magickal interpretive dance with the subject of new age thinking.

 

Blessed be, but don’t be an idiot.

 

(thanks to the Bad Astronomer, http://www.badastronomy.com/,  for some science fact checking).