The Nightshirt Sightings, Portents, Forebodings, Suspicions

Archive for 2013

Kafka and the UFO Gnosis

Sunday, 1 December, 2013

Rich Reynolds has a nice piece over on UFO Iconoclast comparing ufology to Samuel Beckett’s existentialist play Waiting for Godot. It’s a really apt comparison: The two main characters wait around for a person who is never going to come, and this waiting keeps them from becoming fully conscious and responsible for their lives. A […]

Psychic Astronauts: Remote Viewing, Space Exploration, and UFOs

Tuesday, 19 November, 2013

The emptiness of Fermi’s Paradox as an argument against ETs rests, I think, on the unlikelihood that advanced technological civilizations would ever explore or colonize their universe in the flesh. I’ve suggested here that the “reach” of ETs through space, and that of our own human or machine descendents, will be via Von Neumann probes […]

Mysterianism and the Question of Machine Sentience

Monday, 4 November, 2013

We are within perhaps a decade of creating computers that match and perhaps even dwarf the human brain in computing power, and that are capable of complex computations that may include something like reasoning and even a notion of self—what many would therefore consider to be autonomous, conscious machines. When we contemplate this, most of […]

Humans Everywhere (the REALLY Anthropic Cosmos)

Thursday, 24 October, 2013

There is the important, often-heard argument that in our attempts to think about extraterrestrials and extraterrestrial intelligence we should not be anthropocentric—that aliens will be alien, maybe so alien that we have already encountered them and cannot even recognize that fact. This is one of the arguments against the extraterrestrial hypothesis for UFO encounters—that our […]

UFOs and Animals

Monday, 21 October, 2013

Mac Tonnies, a UFO lover and a cat lover, saw a connection between how UFOs behave and how we behave around our animals. He noted that UFOs behave an awful lot like laser pointers, and their effect on us is similar to our toys’ effect on our pets. I couldn’t help thinking of this last […]

Does a Flying Saucer Have Buddha Nature?

Wednesday, 16 October, 2013

In The Invisible College, Jacques Vallee noted that situations reported by UFO witnesses and abductees “often have the deep poetic and paradoxical quality of Eastern religious tales.” In a 1978 interview with Fate magazine, he elaborated on the insight that UFO encounters are like koans: “If you’re trying to express something which is beyond the […]

The Noömass Hypothesis: Is Dark Matter Made of Knowledge?

Tuesday, 15 October, 2013

. . . In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire […]

Existential Futurology (A Few Thoughts on the Unlikelihood of Interstellar Colonization)

Monday, 14 October, 2013

According to various estimates, including a mathematical model published a couple years ago by Thomas W. Hair and Andrew D. Hedman, the galaxy (let’s limit ourselves to our galaxy for purposes of discussion) should already have long been colonized by a spacefaring civilization. That our solar system appears to be untouched can only mean (according […]

Anti-Anti-ETH: Big Data, Deep Anthropology, and Von Neumann Probes

Friday, 11 October, 2013

The recent NSA domestic spying scandal that shocked everyone is not really so shocking if you are the sort of person who likes to think about the possibilities (and pitfalls) of knowledge. We are now in the era of “big data,” which is changing the landscape not only of state surveillance but also science and […]

The Orbit of Being (Thoughts on ‘Gravity’)

Monday, 7 October, 2013

Back in the day, in English class, we all learned that stories can be broken down into a few basic conflicts: Man Versus Man, Man Versus Himself, etc. The one that always seemed the least interesting to me was Man Versus Nature. You don’t really see this conflict very often. It’s really the hardest kind […]