Feynman on Beauty, John C. Lilly, Sensory Deprivation Tank, Altered States, Fringe, and other Random Things

Richard Feynman on Beauty, just the first part of a brilliant series on his theories and observations on several interesting topics.

I once wrote about Feynman, nobel peace prize winner for his contributions to physics (not that I find any credibility in such an honor if such an institution gives the same prize to both Keynes and Hayek, two people with opposing ideas, and actually something Feynman talks about in another episode of the same series), because of his friendship with John C. Lilly (someone I found while researching about Timothy Leary, Terence McKenna, Alexander Shulgin, and other people in the smilar field of psychology that some might find unusual, others even immoral).

He once tried the sensory deprivation tank (aka isolation tank), while on several substances that altered the human state of mind, most of which I fear I cannot mention. I once wrote about the k-hole concept and memory erasure and all my ads got blocked (the concept of "taboo" and "norms" and the powers we give to governments to regulate such things limit progress in science and technology); such are the coercive setbacks of statism.

And so if my ads do get blocked, then I will have no choice but to delete this post. Perhaps, eventually transfer it to my wordpress or whatever. It doesn't really matter. I voluntarily agreed to the terms and conditions of Google AdSense (I write, I abide by their policies, people read, I get paid). One random thing I can inform you though is that the sky is blue now. I have not slept. I am obviously in complete disarray (I doubt that people around me don't notice).

The sensory deprivation tank is the exact same thing the lovely Olivia Dunham used in the pilot episode of Fringe (a science fiction TV show from the same makers of Lost). It is also the exact same concept tackled in the 80's movie Altered States (I'm not so fond of how he became a monkey in the end).

What you just read is a spoiler. I do believe that freedom of speech is absolute. Many, in fact, the majority disagree with this, even those that dependent arising has drawned me to be with or get to know more.

Libel, slander, misrepresentation, lying, many of which are considered to be punishable by law or could be settled out of court by means of compensations (which usually happens as civil cases, the supposed law referees of our monopolized justice system, take up much time and resources).

There will always be those who take offense. There will be those who agree and disagree with whatever you say. In the end, if no property is destroyed or stolen, no individuals are harmed or coerced or deprived of consent, words will just be words. If, in fact, someone continuously is offensive then he will lose credibility, trust, patronage.

And look at how backwards we are with the whole "taboo" concept: something very rooted on culture and upbringing. If people eat man's best friend here people are aggressively offended. In India, there are those who feel the exact same way about their "sacred" cows. And the same goes with words. People believe that their should be limits, that it is not absolute, that there are a small group of appointed "specialists" (take note they have been promoted as I would usually say bureaucrats), who should decide what is socially acceptable and what is not. Something that is very arbitrary (subjective, relative, different for every individual, different for every culture).

When in fact, continuous misrepresentation or lying leads to decline of credibility; of people's patronage. Take the majority of people you know's judgement on FOX news, for instance. Or, as a fellow libertarian mentioned an example a while ago, Manny Pangilinan's plagiarized speech. Is that something that you would consider fraud? Should he be sued? If so, who are the victims? Honestly, if you were really affected by it, the most you can do is boycott his products and services.

I have been deeply reflecting on the state's enforcement of IPR (intellectual property rights) and how people "own ideas", and copyright, and trademark, patents etc. If someone does "steal" your "idea" what does our bureaucracies or courts can do? Where should you go to file a complaint or a case? If you're just an unemployed, irresponsible, burdensome citizen like me, what resources will you be able to use to justify the "theft of your idea"? It seems that only the rich, powerful, and the cronies are the ones who only benefit on these patents and copyrights. They seem to have no use for the smalltime innovators and creatives.

That video above, for instance, takes the words of Richard Feynman and mashes it up with videos from documentaries from BBC and several other shows, I believe. Regarding their permissions or "rights", I don't really have an idea.

Don't be shunned away by the incoherence and seemingly unrelated things; connect the dots. I try, always, to watch videos such as that one, to learn more, to read more and write less, to listen more and talk less. Those are words of wisdom I don't even remember where I got. Probably some generic proverb.

I fail at following it most of the time and it is always good that I remind myself. I always tell people that you can't be crazy if you think you're crazy. Those who are actually crazy think they are normal. Normalcy is a legal term anyways. If there is no aggression then there is no crime. If Lady Gaga walks onto the stage wearing raw steaks and you don't like it then don't watch it. It is voluntary. No one is pointing a gun at your head forcing you to watch her or listen to her songs (that would be coercion). So at least I am aware that I am in need of more learning. Insert popular Socrates quote here.

With government provided social security, for instance, there is no "opt-out". You have to pay a part of your income. It is for your own future safety and security, they say. If you do not abide, you get fined or even worse: you can go to jail. That is what libertarians usually mean when we compare voluntary to coercive or competitive market persuasion to government mandates. Again, a group of appointed (meaning not voluntarily chosen to represent the people) "specialists" decide arbitrary values: how much to cut from your income, interest values, loan requirements, pension amount, etc.

Let's go ahead and give them power to prohibit consenting adults from doing "harmful" or "dangerous" things but it's okay that we give a glass full of sugared water in children's happy meals. Isn't that what you want? Are we really too stupid to decide for ourselves? Do parents have an inherent desire for their children to grow up diabetics? I would like to believe that no, it is a matter of consent and personal (or parental) responsibility. Prohibition wastes taxpayer's money, mocks our bill of rights and sovereignty over our own body and property, and worse: it empowers the syndicates in the black market. And, as I have mentioned above, it restricts research and progress in science and technology (most especially healthcare and medicine).

From what I've read, Feynman was in Lilly's tank. So, hypothetically, if they were alive today and would practice the same thing, should we really arrest them? Put them to jail where they will have no access to making speeches and narratives such as the one above?

I miss Fringe. I always will.

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