As editor, sound engineer and roadie with director Bunny Dexter’s “Bundex Films”, the three of us (Eugene Smith was cameraman) travelled to various parts of the world making political, environmental and quirky documentaries during the first age of digital video. Bunny was also a judge at some international film festivals, and we actually won an award in Poland for one of our films. At NY film school, Bunny’s teacher was Marty Scorsese, who would call at Bunny’s flat sometimes when in London. We made two versions of a 3D hologram of Marty, of which he has one and I the other. After Bunny’s passing I inherited the huge shoulder-harnress digital camera which remains in my garage and has less capability than a modern smartphone, digital tape-decks and lots footage together with all rights, except for the lost Orson Welles tapes matter and story of his aristocratic Sicilian producer. More about this and other films later. I have boxes to sort through, and am sure I have forgotten some projects which will come as a surprise when I rediscover them. Will post at posthuman university side when sorted, this footage give unique insights from a period of very rapid evolution and transformation in film-making.
Documentaries include the Homeless and their Dogs, Gipsy persecution in Hungary, a study of Tattoo’s and Tattoo artists, Momento Mori – a film of an elderly lady after her death, and our pursuit of Cocoa plant agricultural sabotage in Brazil. There is unseen footage from these and other films, and interviews with Bunny before her death which I will edit together. She had an interesting life including appearances in Andy Warhol movies, and early success with a short film with Hollywood beckoning. Woody Allen was in her NY film school class, and many of her friends went on to become big stars, but B was too much of a socialite, and was unable to get her screen plays produced. At least one political biography that I have is very good, I might update it for sub-Hollywood production in the future. Anyway, Bunny had an interesting “career” and was close friends with Yoko & John Lennon from her guerrilla art days, Jimmy Hendrix, also Graham Chapman and some of the Pythons. She was often on Python sets, and introduced John Cleese to his first wife, Connie Booth, who had starred in one of Bunny’s comic shorts.
Bunny was famous for her party hosting, and attracted an eclectic crowd. I was best mates with Screaming Lord Sutch for a while. Bunny was close to Princess Margaret, Madame Sin (Cynthia Paine), Alexander “Loins of Longleat”, Patti Boyd, and Eartha Kit who she hero-worshipped. We were a fixture at the Chelsea Arts club for a few years, and almost uniquely for former members, B has a plague in the gardens there, her “home from home.”
Working with Bundex Films, I also made my own 88 minute Primal / Third Eye video using our kit. The fx were quite advanced for their 1990’s day, but look somewhat clunky today. I chopped the documentary into smaller bites as attention span of audiences seems to have dropped. When I get round to it will update and remake for wide screen. The information fortunately hasn’t dated as much as my late 80’s mullet (now long gone). The evolutionary atrophy of the Primal Eye mostly occurred 200 million years ago after all. https://extropia.net
This important new book from my tsakli buddy and retired Radiation Chemistry professor, Andries Hummel, revises and updates his 2018 book ENERGY II. A high quality 140 page production with plenty of graphics and colour, this book is packed with interesting material.
As a previous Green Party election candidate (I lost to Labour) and having a long-standing interest in environmental issues, especially from the futuristic ‘bright green’ perspective, ENERGY 2020 is now my goto source for all issues concerning energy production and global warming.
It is fact-heavy (not just the usual wordy fluff, gives important equations) and covers all the relevant fields. Not only does it span various types of global warming projections, but has detailed analysis of, e.g., photo-voltaic panels and explains how they work. A similar section introduces “Geo-engineering” to us, and gives some details of future applications.
This is the first entry accepted into the Posthuman University archives, as I think it will be of interest to the future.
In this research paper M.Sc. in Neural Computation, CCCN Uni Stirling, a variety of net architectures were trialed for specific use in Enochian Chess software, and the commercial version is now in its 3rd edition over 26 years on. The first section consists of a literature review of artificial neural nets and their application to a variety of classic boardgames. Although quite old now, there haven’t been any or many other papers on nets and divination games. This paper has proved very prescient! Today neural nets are commonly used by game developers. The race amongst super computer developers to ‘predict’ stock markets, or weather systems, or winners of horse races, is fierce. MVT unconstrained hardware may offer some synergies when used in conjunction with nets or trad AI.
My interest in active divination (rather than passive divination) goes back a bit now. Enochian Chess Golden Dawn game is one example, Zenet is another. Tsakli can also be used in divination, but the methods are contemplative, closer to tarot than active divination games (games are dynamical systems) “Dynamical systems game theory and dynamics of games. A theoretical framework we call dynamical systems game is presented, in which the game itself can change due to the influence of players’ behaviors and states. That is, the nature of the game itself is described as a dynamical system.”
Passive forms of fortune-telling rely on pure chance without any skill or judgement asked of the questioner. Astrology is a good example. You cannot change or ameliorate your date and time of birth or effect the course of the stars. It is essentially fatalistic. What is the point trying to discern information about which you can do absolutely nothing? Self fulfilling prophecies do occur however. A rumour or advice from top stockbroker can influence market sentiment a stock price, and a racing pundit can make a tip that changes odds on a horse (though not influence the outcome of the race, unless horses recognize and respond to increased cheers from the backers, which I doubt). Weather predictions are useful in knowing how to adjust your own behaviour in light of fullest knowledge, forecasts may cause you to carry an umbrella or change travel plans. But knowledge of future weather doesn’t entail ability to change the outcome.
Brainstorming and the jumping up and down excitement generated by unexpected game episodes, plus the many ideas generated by the move by move conversation and thrown up by wide consideration of the particular divination question, can be of real psychomorphological value in helping plan your future life moves. But don’t over identity or read too much into allegories – whether games that are microcosms of the world, or texts that claim special (or worse, supernatural) knowledge. Divination is a tool to be used, not superstitions that use you. If phenomena and events in the real world contradicts any metaphysical or analogous beliefs not grounded in fact; real world wins.
The outcome of an Enochian Chess game win/ lose yes/ no partly depends on luck since dice are involved. But the course of the game is also influenced by the player’s strategic choices within the legal restraints of the dice throw. Over many games the more skilful games player will perform better than a weaker player. Active divination better reflects situations in real life, where various constraints do exist and many events are outside control of the individual, but nevertheless some other actions and choices are open to the person. In occult terms you are “funneling back into the astral, not just receiving”, or in other terms trying to change the future.
Enochian Chess software uses neural net ‘connectionist glue’ (written in C++ rather than hardware, so not truly analog of course) to replicate the psychological processes undergone whilst making divination choices, rather than simply using a look-up table or traditional AI.
Discovery of correct formulae for W.B. Yeats Celtic Enochian Chess (see blog) might be built into any future upgrades, but the game rules and basic strategy otherwise remains unchanged. I have a prototype design for a general prediction engine cum pattern spotter along the lines of my universal sliding block puzzle generator (and solver) using GA’s — will dig out the paper and transcribe it from p/copes to readable text — my inbox overflows already so will be a week or two. A new Tsakli book next post.
This new book, 4 in the series, contains fourteen rare and unusual C17th or C18th “Grande Tsaklis”, another four late C18th examples reportedly originating from Tsurphu monastry, plus two extremely large tsakli (giants in tsakli terms) one depicting a wind horse whilst the other shows a figure in historically early clothes with butterlamp, male and female deer and an elephant, C16th to C18th. All fronts and reverse (texts) of tsakli are shown.
These 13 plus (1 from different series of the grandes tsakli) detail rituals to be performed at certain times of the year that promote longevity and ward off evil influences. Astrological and various motifs and ritual implements are shown in the compartments, and crucial text is in the triangles. Some have damage (below missing top part of red border). All 20 are rare.
The four Tsurphu monastery originating long or grand tsakli are also compartmentalized but of a different style, and are perhaps 100 years younger, late C18th, imo. They have intricate feathered text patterns on reverse (see below). These text (eagle) wings of the Garuda bird-headed deity reflect paintings of Garudu whhich feature in top sections of all fronts. These four grand tsakli are quite dark in normal light (one with slight burn mark on reverse) and so I have digitally enhanced the brightness (mostly I don’t much digitally enhance the tsakli images).
I finally got the tsakli.org website running. This will improve over time. There are lots more books to come in this TSAKLI perfected images series. Most tsakli have red borders, are portrait not landscape, and are not compartmentalised. So none of the first four volumes are very typical. To remedy this, the next few volumes will be more ‘standard’ types of tsakli sets, portrait not landscape format and with red borders.
These 28 tsakli come from two or three different C18th sets, but probably do not constitute the complete series. They are unusual amongst tsakli for being in book (sutra) or landscape format. I replicate the information sheet and two translations that came with these, with mandala instructions and notes on how they worked in initiation.
The Book of the Dark Red Amulet presents the Vajrayana initiatory practice of Vajrakilaya from the oral transmission lineage of the great seventeenth-century treasure-revealer, Tsasum Lingpa. Born in Eastern Tibet in 1685, his mother’s name was Gelekma and his father’s name was Tashi. When young he was taught by Lama Karda Chöje, the head lama of the Karda Monastery of the Gelugpa School. From a monastery in Ngamchen Rong, he revealed a large cycle of terma teachings of the Eight Herukas. Tsasum Lingpa recounted his life up to this point in his own early life autobiography, which is known as the Clear Garland Crystals of Fire (circa 1715).
This is an historical martial art and board game of Japan in which you are graded based on your tournament performances. All shogi players are ranked by a dan system. In the current system, apprentice players become professional when they achieve the rank of 4-dan. Apprentice players aspiring to become professionals are ranked from 6-kyū to 3-dan. It is a wonderfully dynamic two-player strategy game, superior in my view to the more plodding nature of Chess. Setting up a fortress is more crucial than castling in chess. Play tends to develop quickly from the opening, but not always.
Games hardly ever end in a draw since captured pieces can be “dropped” back into the game on an empty square to assist in the checkmate attack! No pieces are ever lost to the game, checkmate becomes more likely in the latter stages, and so Shogi virtually never peters out into a dull endgame as so often happens with tournament Chess.
My only foray was as a complete beginner (15kyo) inthe 1989 Brit Shogi Championships. Regrettably I could only be present the first day of two because of other commitments so only completed 2 of the 5 games, which I won. I had been to the Tokyo World Computer Championships with this software (based on Pauli’s Shocky engine with adaptations and my Westernised symbols interface) and reached the Grand Finals. We lost, but from memory we were the first European entry to get that far.
The software as well as standard form of the game includes variants with other sized boards, some with slightly different pieces or rules. Bird Shogi is particularly famous amongst variants.
Instructions are included in the software. To be honest, software is so much more effective than paper books in teaching games that I have never bothered to write one form Shogi. Same goes for Chaturanga (though I might write about endgame strategies in the double-checkmate variations).
Artificial-Death – A better deal than any supernaturalist religion can offer? It seems to me along the lines that Julian Huxley intended. Some relief from fear of death. Morality self judged and perhaps situational – but not ethical codes forced on you by an imaginary invisible bullying tyrant(s) or a human calling upon His name.
A lot – possibly most- individuals on trans/ singul/ posthuman lists are drawn to radical futurism for specific reasons of extending life and attaining immortality (continuation of awareness) after physical death by technology. Different groups are working on different projects, but posthuman.org is concentrating on MVT analog circuits with Zenet interface. This is much less ambitious than approaches involving whole brain/ personality/ memory preservation, since there is only need to retain signals relating to game decision making. But who wants to be particularly aware of being dead?
Perhaps because the survival/ longevity/ immortality instinct cuts across all ideologies, I have observed over the decades different clusters of radical futurists of all political persuasions, from Marxists and woke Feminists on the left to Prometheans, Nietscheans, Libertarians and followers of Ayn Rand on the right. Who really cares? Those motivated primarily by political ideology soon get bored with geekism and seek out those more like minded. If any posthuman political party is going to work it should concentrate on the immortality, life extension and avoid areas of contention. Posthuman Politics FB Group.
Of course, immortality itself may be an area of contention between religious futurists and the rest? On a psychological level the notion of training a Zenet machine to learn your cognitive style so that beloved(s) and future descendents can continue to play Zenet with you after passing is positive. Instead of complete nothingness looming; there is promise of a little bit of awareness that may be able to sense fluctuations in light (solar powered), or gain a glimpse of existing again. Or conceivably, who knows, the ancient Egyptians may have been correct in which Zenet will take you safely over the dangerous first stages of travelling in the underworld directly to the Hall of Ma’at or the eighth (Hierus) soul and avoidance of the second death. Psychomorphology. Games are dynamical systems.
Previous post THE 31st GOD introduced the game of Passing, the bridge between the worlds, but I want to say something about the overall concept. You could maybe use a different game, but Zenet suggested itself to me as ideal. Rules vary very slightly between living and dead, which is a help to my coding. I worry slightly about cryogenics for reasons of expense and ecology – if everyone was cryogenically preserved huge amounts of energy would be drained from needs of the living. Both technologies have their place, and maybe new options will be developed in future. The current price of hardware required for the MVT design is a few $1,000 (but practical implementation &c no doubt add to bare hardware costs) and I will also release a digital version for a fraction, $100 target. That version would give psychological solace, even though you would understand that the deceased isn’t actually playing the game with you. It would probably move faster and might well make less mistakes also.
Is this MVT method “uploading”? You could say uploading, but “whole-part fusion” better describes it. There will be a ton more when I get round to next phase of the posthuman university. Top picture is The Morrigan from WB Yeats Celtic Enochian Chess
Ancient Egyptians clearly thought our species WAS equivalent of the Goddesses and Gods. Not just Pharaohs were considered deities during their lifetime, but lowborn individuals such as Imhotep could raise themselves to this status through great works. In the newly democratised New Kingdom (after the overthrow of dire monothesim for the second time) the ritual game of Zenet/ Senet became a state recognised religion in its own right, and non-royals could attain Godhood. This is one of the reason why I have selected this vehicle as the interface for Artificial-Death; the other major reason being it is the only recorded method whereby living and dead could communicate.
Artificial-Death is a limited form of ‘uploading’, retaining mentation involved in stategic game decisions. In ZENET, the game of Passing, when involving a deceased player, the living player moves first. The deceased plays the other side of the board. A question, or name of the deceased individual, can optionally be written down the central path. Digital versions of the game might be just as good and reliable (and are certainly faster) as the heavily engineered MVT (unconstrained, analog) circuit; but digital (hard-wired) computers cannot compute in real-time because of the rounding errors, so cannot sustain experiential ‘uploading’.
I support the claim that Chaturanga, (Sanskrit: चतुरङ्ग; caturaṅga), ancient four-handed chess, is the direct ancestor of common chess. It has a history of over 3,900 years according to Sir William Jones or possibly upwards of 5,000 years by the account of Prof. Duncan Forbes. It has origins in the Gupta Empire north India with references dating from the sixth century CE, and possibly earlier.
Historians favouring the priority of the two-sided chess have tried to defend their case by asserting that early descriptions of Chaturanga as found in the Bhavishya Purana date from no earlier than the 10th Century AD and on the strength of this doubtful proposition rests the foundation of the case of those who support the widespread and conventional view that two-sided Chesse/Shatranj is the original form of the genus and Chaturanga is a mere variant of the same.
It is however obvious that the written Bhavishya Purana account must have been transcribed from some more ancient verbal tradition – as is true also of the Vedas and Upanishads. Studying (around 1978/9) Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit at Surrey University with Professor Sivesh Thakur confirmed me in this view. As the respected Victorian chess historian, Edward Falkener, has pointed out reference to the mythical and not historic characters of Yudhishthira and Vyassa, Mahadeva and Parvati denote an antiquity beyond record.
Several recent chess historians, taking their lead and evidence from the mammoth “History of Chess’, by HJR Murray, have written in defence of the establishment or conventionalist preference for priority of two-sided chess. A high degree of authority and kudos goes along with the “original and genuine’ tag, and those who make a living from practice of the two-sided game are quick to the defence of their own best interests.
As far as possible I shall present the facts unfiltered. To this ends I have included virtually the entire Forbe’s History of Chess, probably the Most detailed and researched Chaturanga sourcework.
Let us examine the evidence: 1) An individual QueenVizier does not appear amongst the earliest chess sets found. This is easiest explained by the fact that the role was originally given to a captured Rajah of an ally in Chaturanga who then took part in the game under control of his captor in the new secondary role as King’s advisor. The extensive powers of the Queen in modern chess date from no earlier than C15th Europe – the game being known for some time as either “New Chess” also as “L’esches de la dame enragee” and in Italy as “ala rabiosa” – mad chess!
There is no disputing that the modern chess with which we are all familiar is not particularly ancient. But its forebear the arabic Shatranj DID include the Vizier piece, and we would expect this piece to appear in the very earliest chess sets discovered if two-sided chess is the most ancient form of the game.
2) Cullin explains the duplication of the pieces (2 bishops, knights rooks) as occurs in common chess as a result of the amalgamation of the two armies in Chaturanga after the capture of an allied Throne (a well documented rule).
Two-sided chesse is best seen as an adaptation of Chaturanga, missing out the preliminary stages of the game, and facilitating Chaturanga to be played between just two persons. The historian Stewart Cullin (on reflection surely the winner of the great Victorian debate) impressively argues that 2-sided chess is a variant of the 4-sided original whilst I have yet to read any account countering Cullin’s case by showing how Chaturanga could possibly have been adapted from the two-sided game! Murray disputes Cullin’s argument but offers no proper explanation for the origin of Chaturanga, and admits that he cannot make CHATURANGA fit the pattern of known later chess variants.
3) The earliest chessboards were grids, not chequered, since they were based on the playing cloths of the Ashtapada-Pachisi-Thaayam group of ancient four-handed race games. There is no dispute about this. Nor that such games clearly pre-date the more sophisticated war-strategy “chess’ category.
The traditional Chaturanga board retains the crosses marking Castle squares from the old Ashtapada-Pachisi game- board although these play no part in the rules of CHATURANGA itself.
The race games in question were four-handed and it is highly feasible that the pieces in these race-games were given special powers, evolving over time into the complex Chaturanga. The chequered board was a later Arabic innovation more suitable for a game with just two coloured pieces.
4) The connection between early board-games and mystical rituals based on the four elements or directions has been convincingly demonstrated by historian Stewart Cullin who presents a strong case that recreational games in general have evolved from divinatory processes or perhaps were used to help keep awake during all-night religious observances. Professor Needham and recent work by Yugoslavian Chess historians also support this opinion.
5) There are strong linguistic reasons for suggesting the priority of four-handed chess. CHATURANGA means “Quadripartite’, and was used to describe the Indian army which had four divisions: Elephants, Chariots (Ships in parts of Hindustan), Cavalry and Infantry. It is the name CHATURANGA which gives us variations and abbreviations such as Chatrang, Shatranj, and Chess.
6) There is incontrovertible historical evidence that warfare in ancient India was rarely conducted between just two parties and that the middle-most army and supporters of both sides were normally involved. Chaturanga much more closely resembles actual warfare in ancient times than does any two-sided representation.
Much other evidence exists to support my case and to dispel the case put forward by Richard Eales and other modern day disciples of HJR Murray and Antonius Van der Linde. The full evidence is fairly technical and is more fitting for the book than for a magazine, but I hope that having established the historical importance of this game, I can now proceed to point out something of the degree of neglect with which Chaturanga has been treated. Having been for so long been ignored in favour of its bastardised two-sided offspring its rehabilitation is long overdue.
Reasons for the neglect are several and varied. First of all, medieval scholars were more familiar with Persian and Arabic traditions than with ancient Indian culture, and Shatranj may have become the established Chess form following the crusades.
Also the Christian church of the dark ages issued Papal bulls against the use of dice in games and outlawed gambling both of which are a well recorded facets of Chaturanga which also seem to have been common with early two-sided Chesse in Europe. The doctrine of Good vs Evil and the simple black white dichotomy in which the Church psychologically painted the world must also have favoured the spread of two-sided chess.
Many moralities were written using Chesse as a handy metaphor for conflict between life/death and other accepted philosophical dualisms of those times. A complex four-part game would not have fitted the restricted medieval outlook so well (despite 4 being the natural number for logical types – though I will spare you the full discourse on symbolic logic for now – sighs of relief!). Hopefully in these modern days, as in the times before the dark era, most of us are able to think in shades of colour as well as in simple monochrome.
Chaturanga was played into modern times in some of the remoter parts of India, (see MODERN INDIA, 1874 A.D.) almost exactly as it was when recorded by the traveller and writer Abu-Raihan Muhammad, also known as Al-Beruni (973-1048 ad). As even HJR Murray is forced to admit it is unlikely that Chaturanga is merely a variation of two-sided chess since none of the known variants have demonstrated anything like its longevity.
(Forming and breaking Alliances is part of the rich historical rules options that are built into the software. The ’empires’ gambling system was also a rules option in variants where Rajahs could be ransomed for money, also an option in the app. I wrote this game some time ago but increased processor speeds has meant there hasn’t been any need to optimize the games engine. At the higher and analysis levels, I feel the software in pure strategy variants is unbeatable. There are delayed “time-bomb” moves because each player moves every fourth turn, unlike anything found in chess or shogi).
This first volume introduces each of the posthuman psychological topics to be covered in this series. Primal eye evolutionary theory of mind has useful applications in the real world, not least in Psychology. Understanding how ancient brains evolved from lockstep E2 to unconstrained E1 circuits allowing abstract thought and dreams, gives us a much needed model how modern brains function. Without clear explanation for all waking and sleeping mentation, all sorts of irrational, religious and supernatural claims fill the scientific void.
Steve worked as a psychotherapist and NSHAP hypnotherapist in the UK, has an MSc in Neural Computation, MBPsS. Steve has worked intermittently as a games theorist, software developer and publisher since the 1980’s, was originator of primal eye theory in 1979, and started the posthuman movement in 1988. Now available for pre-order.