Archive for July, 2015


July 31, 2015

Nothing is ever abrupt. Everything has its history, a backstory, a build up, an evolution. You may not see the development but it happened nonetheless. Nothing is abrupt. Things are small for 1,000 years then you can feel them, see them, then they kill you. Take cholera for instance.

Sometimes things appear abrupt because the intermediate stages have been lost, removed, stolen, ignored, simply not seen. How many times have we heard the following from an artist “My overnight success took thirty years.” or twenty years or ten years i.e. this person’s success only appeared to be abrupt. Ask anything that seems to happen all at once. Nothing happens all at once. Nothing is abrupt.

Some things seem abrupt due to a change of background. You didn’t see the green apple on the green grass but when it is seen against a red picnic cloth it is in your face. Shift the background and things “abruptly” appear. Relocate the object to a new background and it looks different all of a sudden. If you want to see the unseen, change the background noise. Killing big game for sport was a sign of masculinity in the 1920s. In the 2015 it is pathological cruelty, senseless, egomaniacal destruction.

While you were busy looking elsewhere this phenomenon became present. Some things gestate, hibernate remain out of sight and in stasis; other things are always growing, getting bigger, gaining definition, clarity, power and then you see them and then they explode.

  1. Bacteria invented the animal ( human)  gut just as humans invented agriculture and writing.
  2. Ethanol ( whiskey, vodka, gin etc.) dissolves gut biofilm making one more susceptible to viral, bacterial infection, cancer, ulcers, etc.
  3. Ethanol dissolves myelin sheaths at axons-neurons making one more quick tempered, depressed, angry, violent i.e. less sociable.

Things only appear to be created when they are merely stuff being re-arranged or noticed for the first time. People who are identified as “creative”  re-arrange more stuff than others. They break more rules and dig deeper into processes. Mozart’s melodies were always sitting there among the seven tones. He was the one to notice them. Picasso and Braque looked closer at the late work of Cezanne to discover the reason for all the fuss.

There is no creation and there is no abruption. there is unfolding at various rates or uncovering or finally seeing. A snail evolves from one species to another over the course of ten million years and Stephen Jay Gould calls this “punctuation” a singular event across geologic scale time i.e. hundreds of millions of years claiming this abrupt speciation an argument against Darwin’s gradualism.

Being born is an abruption. Sure it’s just another chemical event on a 4.5 billion year continuum but to another human it is an abruption. If it is your child, it is a big abruption. Humans have their unique realm of what is abrupt and what is continuous. Avocado dip turns brown after an hour sitting on a picnic table but if one makes a sport out of watching it. It seems to take forever. The mayfly lives for a day as a flying insect.

Abruption-abrupt punctuation as dramatic climax in dramatic text paving way for third act. Shift characters into a new context, a new background to reveal something hidden


5:34  7/31/15



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Bend It Like Nature


January 21, 2015

Art-making is like evolution.  The artist experiments, searches consciousness, habit, skill, experience, history. Hold on to the good stuff, throw out the bad.  An artist tries 1,000 different ideas during years of work, shares 100 of these ideas with other people, two of the works are selected for exhibit and critical scrutiny, one of these ideas dominates,  giving rise to:

  1. ”BLAM !”-Roy Lichtenstein
  2. ”Crazy” – Willie Nelson
  3. “Woman One” – deKooning
  4. “Hey Baby” – Bruce Channel
  5. ”Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash
  6. “American Flag Painting” – Jasper Johns
  7. “Watch Your Step” – Bobby Parker
  8. “Love Potion #9” – Leiber & Stoller
  9. “String Quartet in F” – Hayden
  10. “School of Athens” – Raphael

All deliver bold, simple, rhythmic, colorful, spicy, and as of 1963-70: camp.

Emotion-laden expressions rarely endure critical stress.  They may be “true” and ‘heartfelt”  They may be “honest” and many are technically obsessive but they do not generate impact, traction or staying power.  Save the sap for the memoir where people might be interested in ephemera, juvenalia, sincerity.

Most picture makers are locked into mediocrity from a strong dose of early approval.  Aunt Mildred says ‘Oh ! –  It is just wonderful dear” upon viewing “Waikiki Sunset with palms” painted when you were fifteen.  Art fairs across the land are stuffed to the gills with Thomas Kinkade wannabees. The following are the rules for traction in capital “A” art world – 2015.

  1. Obsession
  2. Duchamp-Benjamin-Warhol genuflection
  3. Machine-slick displaces touch
  4. Scale – make it too big for the living room
  5. Content – too sexy, too violent for living room
  6. Theme: gender and race still rule the roost – use wit and irony

Bend it like nature -read the working genetic code – insect or mammal; Duchamp or Picasso.  Make a move any move but respect the genetic history – the genome, as you share your mutations, subject your creation to your own harsh gauntlet of  natural selection, make additional moves by addressing your success as your new work progresses – what does the genome suggest?  What does your latest layer or splash of paint suggest?  If loss ensues, make another bold move bolder than the first – shift, swerve, juke as required.  If this fails, let extinction run its course and begin again and again and again.  there is no blueprint suggesting the final result.  Nature had no idea that humans would evolve when it relocated the skeleton to the interior of its animal du jour.  there was no human-vector intention 100 million years ago – just the intention of the second law of thermodynamics – restore entropy and use animals to do it.  One thing led to another under the bold, playful and demanding eye of a broader natural selection.  The dog hunts or it don’t.  If it hunts,  keep it, store its information on a DNA molecule – don’t mess with the good things.

Artists who imagine an end result and direct effort to a preconceived notion work against the grain of evolution and their own nature, their inborn gift  for exploration, adventure, something new, effective and powerful.  In nature the good stuff is built upon not ignored or discarded.  As much as nature loves to experiment, it does not like to start from scratch.  Nature keeps the good stuff and builds upon it.  Nature has been adventurous in overall process but conservative in protecting moves that bear fruit.  Nature locks success into chromosomes.

“I asked the brick what it wanted to be.  It said: I want to be an arch.”  Louis Kahn


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Meaning Golden Mean

July 17, 2015

“Rhythms apparent to the eye are at the root of artistic creation. They resound in man by an organic inevitability which causes the tracing out of the Golden Section by children, old men, savages and the learned.”


  • Le Corbusier

“Desirable middle between two extremes” – Aristotle

“Doctrine of the mean” – Confucius

“The Middle Way” – Buddhism

“Nothing in Excess” – Delphic temple carving- Ancient Greece

“Proportion is related to beauty and goodness” – Plato

“The pure crystals that harness, guide, enable and valorize cosmic forces:  salt” – JHB

There is part of the human brain that just sits back and laughs / cries at the hodge-podge “self” you have constructed ( ended up with). It sends you dreams to mock you. It wakes you up to piss.

In my dream I toss a rock against a steel door and the noise wakes me up to micturate.

I dream of a colossal wave and the fear wakes me up to piss

I dream of wading in a flooding river and wake up to urinate

I have a jolting mini-nightmare to wake me up to take a leak

RE: A Thousand Plateaus-capitalism and schizophrenia by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

The purulent oscillation between brilliance and logorrheic garbage is dizzying. Two thirds garbage and one third brilliant insight. It is worth the crappy, sophomoronic, quasi-scientific, marxist, homophilic outsider clap-trap to get the rhizomatic refrain such as it is – refried Straussian structuralist dualism, Saussurian synchronic-diachronic reframing, Chomsky-nods, the usual suspects of Western philosophy Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, et al.

I have an inborn sense of the golden proportion. I can create a golden rectangle at will time after time without using a ruler, by “eyeballing” only – .618:1.00 every time.  I can sense when a graphic design, a painting or a work of architecture is “IN” proportion. This is a blessing and somewhat of a curse as so much of the built environment is out of proportion thus always a little jarring. This visual acuity may be related to perfect pitch in the audio realm – who knows? This sense allows me to create building designs and artworks that please most viewers – those with an esthetic sense. I know “where to put the lines” when designing buildings. I also have a sense of color harmony. I can tell when colors are harmonious or not. I know how to mix colors in 10,000 hues to achieve color balance in a painting, if balance is desired – sometimes it is not. Knowing color allows a painter to orchestrate harmony and dissonance for emotional effect. I am developing the ability to do this in music. I am a beginner in music but can make some small delights by manipulating keynotes, fourths, fifths, thirds – minor and major simple progressions.

My question is this. How are the senses linked in the brain to make esthetic judgements? It seems as if the visual and audio senses share the same fundamental proportional rules i.e. a piece is either in harmony or not independent of good or bad criticism which is always a matter of fads, movements, fashion, style. During the Mannerist era  artwork was elongated i.e. out of proportion. Out of proportion was in style. Nowadays art is independent of much visual criteria – it meets a political-racial-gender program or it doesn’t.

If the brain has an “esthetic control center” when and why did it evolve? Does the ability to sense proportion help one to choose a healthy mate thus enhancing the quality of the species genome? Did it help during the hunt? A fat or skinny animal was more vulnerable to being tracked down and killed than an animal that is in proportion. An animal that is in proportion, signaling good health, will be stronger and better able to hunt the hunter. The brain developed the capacity to make fine proportional distinctions that send life or death information. Is the control center in the neocortex or in the brainstem-basal ganglia?

Do other mammals have esthetic sensibility? Do birds, fishes and insects and arachnids have it? A spider web is one of the world’s most sublimely beautiful structures. Could a spider web be woven without an esthetic sense?  If so, what genes are involved? Is there a set of broadly and deeply conserved genes such as the HOX group that enable animal brains to make esthetic-survival judgements? Have humans taken a survival skill and exapted it into our neocortical artistic realm with accompanying social agenda? Hey! this esthetic sensitivity works for hunting but look at this -I can paint a beautifully proportioned  herd of bison on the wall of our cave for the amusement of all and to enhance my status in the clan as an artist, a shaman who can re-create important real things in paint for use in animal abundance rituals. Prehistoric bird-like animals evolved feathers for insulation and discovered that they could be used for flight. did humans discover a new use for their esthetic survival package?

What does the golden mean mean? It is a baseline for all sensory judgement?  Is there a golden mean for smell and taste?  How about touch? or vomeronasal sense? The ideally proportioned pheromone that signals great interpersonal chemistry and true love-lust. Is there a universal donor pheromone as in blood type? A person who is magnetic to all? Is this what charisma is all about? Are Bill Clinton and Barack Obama chemically charismatic? What percentage of their personal power comes from their esthetics, their “lookin’ good” factor. What makes people of both sexes want to give charismatics whatever they want? Is there a lock on to one’s golden mean sensitivity?

Is there a deep knot of neurons that govern all senses that serves as a thalamic-type clearinghouse for afferent neuronal connection-distribution from sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, vomeronasal sense? Is there a rhizomatic network that interconnects all senses so that they work together to make judgments for further action. A pre- neocortical assembler that gives a “go-no go” opinion to the higher neocortical reason at prefrontal lobe? The brain gives the person or the matter at hand the “smell” test. My foamcore architectural model has helped me make judgements about the proportions of my building. I can sniff around the relationships of the various formal elements. What looks better four arches or five? Should this tower be an additional fifteen feet tall?

Late 19th Century American architect H.H.Richadrson stood in front of his masterpiece Boston’s Trinity Church as the tower was being constructed and quite independent of his office construction drawings, instructed the contractor to remove built stonework and make the church tower fifteen feet taller  because it “felt’ different in real life at full scale than it “felt” as building elevations on the working drawings.

A good architect makes 1,000 esthetic judgements most of which are beyond the threshold of normal sensitivity that all contribute to a house feeling just right to clients.

Have you seen a photograph of someone that made them look attractive only to be disappointed in your real life encounter? They looked as good as in the photo but something wasn’t clicking.

Charles Darwin colleague T.H. Huxley on human consciousness:

“As the steam whistle which accompanies the work of a locomotive engine is without influence upon its machinery.”  JB corollary: …..unless three toots on the whistle signal anarchists to blow up the whole train.

JB Theory: The human mind ( the animal mind – perhaps the plant mind) makes aesthetic-type judgements using every sense at many levels of review for countless judgements guiding action, belief, opinion and executive function in humans. There is a golden mean at work, our structuralist waffle iron,  in the fastnesses of the thalamus,  the batter of the exterior world is cooked cross-checking, filtering and coordinating this sensory input and in so doing,  enacting consciousness. The Golden Mean is the key to human consciousness, the fountainhead of perception.

  • 1:38 pm – 7/17/15

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July 6, 2015

American culture is designed from top to bottom to make 50% of American men believe they are living TOTALLY independent lives.  These men all have the following traits:

  1. They are employed
  2. They own property
  3. They are college educated
  4. They pay all of their bills every month
  5. They own stocks and bonds
  6. Their children are raised and doing well
  7. They paid for their children’s college education
  8. They have paid for daughter’s weddings
  9. They host regular family get-togethers in a generous loving manner
  10. They don’t “lean” on the Federal Government for anything
  11. They own two or three cars and a few other devices with motors
  12. They go on road trips to Branson and Las Vegas, often driving  Winnebagoes towing $60,000  tricycle Harleys
  13. They are all still married to their first wives who they try hard to please
  14. Eighty percent of these men are overweight with cholesterol and heart problems
  15. They are amused by bolder men but envy no one.

American culture allows this myth of independence to thrive. These men are independent of little. They are piglets on the teat of our myth.  calves on an ideological udder, well-behaved puppies rollicking in a litter. They are mama’s boys and more than a few are motherfuckers. In the words of Sir Paul McCartney “…..and his mother said: “Ted be good’…..he would”  If you follow all of the rules all of the time and behave yourself 100% of the time – remaining under the juridical radar with your nose to your corporate grindstone ( or is it a hamster wheel?) within which you have risen into the executive ranks,  you can tell yourself you are an independent “self-made” man. If you stumble once you are dead. You cease to exist. You float in limbo, an untethered astronaut.  You are a non-person. You are pitied and ignored. If you dare to respond to a single urge emanating from your mid-brain, your basal ganglia, your nature center – you’re a fuck-up. 100% of your marching orders must derive from your female cultivated, mama-groomed prefrontal lobe, your culture center, Our myth center. The center of the big lie, the consensus trance. The lie that if you behave yourself rigorously, control yourself religiously, deny any and all animal urges howling at you from 4.5 billion years of evolution – you will be saved. You will win the game. You will have achieved the right to claim that you are an “independent” man. You fucking loser. You coward. You drip-squirt-smear. I’ll take Henry Miller and Picasso while you risk your life diving for metaphorical vaginas – the coy abalone hidden beneath the turbulent surf of mother-ocean.

How does experience become form? How does the life experience of a sea snail cause the development of its lethal, retractable proboscis-syringe? or the dancing fleshette-fishing lure built into the snapping turtle tongue? or the mega neocortex of the human? What is the interstitial process? Is it mutation-natural selection over 20 million years? This theory does not cut deep enough either for those features listed ot any of ten million others in plants and animals


Most animals and plants have reached the end point of their evolution. they dominate their respective niches with their sophisticated array of terminally evolved tricks of their respective trades. They now have little competition for sexual access and have no problem projecting their genome into the future i.e. they are done, finished, no place else to go in terms of any further adaptation. They are now perfectly adapted and they most likely have been for the past 10 to 20 million years. Is there a single shred of evidence that anything has evolved in the past one million years other than the human neocortex?

It is obvious that many species haven’t evolved for 50 or 100 million years: sharks, dragonflies, hagfish, clams. So what now? We are surrounded by perfection, by immaculate biochemical metabolic process. It works ! DNA gets scrubbed each generation, ATP gets metabolized, HOX and FOX genes unfold. Why would any of these organisms or their marvelously packaged processes change? They could change. New mutations could find favor but with what? A destroyed global environment, an inferior environment? Now that would be de-volution


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Growing Season

I was bombarded by country music hits from 1954:  Webb Pierce, Jim reeves and Hank three nights before my psychotherapist  of twenty years Anne Hemming  declared me cured of bipolar disorder. My high school therapist diagnosed schizophrenia and there it stood through graduate school. When I began therapy with Anne she called it manic-depressive disorder and ten years ago it became schizoaffective disorder and a few years ago,  bipolar. Same brain spectacle. Mental health professionals waffle. This “disorder” gives me creative energy and a slant on reality I have leveraged to my benefit. My ‘cure’, in the eyes of Anne, coincided with my announced retirement from a quasi-lucrative career as a high-end residential architect. Life had become frenetic. I don’t do frenetic. I have newer, fresher fish to fry. The waiting list at BlountSpace has grown to outsize proportions in the past five years, must be thinning gray hair and snappy Calvin Klein blazer Anne suggested.  Anne screwed up her face in disdain upon hearing my retirement news.  She sighed slumping in her Morris-chintz Edwardian armchair crossing her size 4 Jacques Levine black suede slippers on the matching footstool.

“Am I going to have to choke a bitch?” She said

I described my dual vocation with fervor:  songwriting-neuroscience.  I  would henceforth be living on Social security payments until……whenever, studying and writing my songs and bioscience essays.

“Chase two tigers and they both get away Frank. You know this.”

“It’s a passion reborn from high school, I scored the top grade on the biology final senior year and my dad enjoyed country music when I was growing up. He always had a radio on, stuff’s in my blood.”

“Passion closes out of town Frank. You’ve got to make a living for God’s sake!. We’ve got connections now. You don’t even know how to play guitar. Survival as an adult requires mature social relationships not a mind on fire, grow up!. We worked  hard to get your business out of the Bush Dump and you casually discard it. We didn’t go to 150 dinner parties in this city for goddamned nothing!

You’ve got a case of the dick-arounds Frank and you must get over them. For Christ’s sake Frank  GET REAL !  You were so….so…. coming into focus.

“Don’t forget the Chateau Montelena tomorrow night” she softly intoned as she closed her office door.

We had been flirting mildly at our sessions for the past several  years. I had aired the darkest of my memories during our first seven years during which we de-fanged many demons. There were six or seven more years of OK Stupid Dot-Bomb romance frustrations and workplace  trivialities that I could afford to discuss. We attended social events together. Her husband begged off. Her friends thought I was gay.


I dug up many bones in Anne’s office, from shallow graves, more like scraping out encysted worms writhing under my skin, hidden between my toes and curled up in their fastnesses inside my caudate nucleus, stories  from my life up to and including 365 weird days of my sixteenth year after which things calmed around the house, our eighth address in seven years. Daisuke, my mother’s  ghost, called it quits,  leaving us to our own dysfunctional devices. This ghost, Daisuke, we never got a last name,  entered mom’s sub-subconscious in 1961,  a gift from  my father during their last violent shouting match before the divorce. I was there. I saw the scuzm-plasm exit dad and enter mom as she held the butcher knife to dad’s right eyeball – scared the hell out of me – the plasm transfer,  not the knife.  I had seen the butcher knife wielded in anger many times. Mom liked to wave it around in her jealous rages. Daisuke had followed dad around for seventeen years after a fiery and immensely loud  kamikaze crash onto dad’s destroyer, 225 miles per hour to full stop – a shock to a young Japanese soul  and to the sailors standing nearby on The USS Gwin, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Daisuke infected dad’s moods like a Melanesian fungus. His buddies thought it battle fatigue. Dad was highly respected by his shipmates as fleet champion heavyweight boxer and chief mineman making heroic, eardrum crushing, free dives to set mines forty feet below the surface of the South Pacific. Daisuke’s head was shattered like a coconut, as leader of the fire crew, dad was the first sailor to pull parts of the broken, charred body from the wreckage. Most of it had merged into the aluminum airframe. Daisuke “walked in” to dad immediately after the fiery, immensely loud crash. My grandmother, dad’s mother, said he was never the same after the war. Who is?  Dad was first of the Gwinn crew on the scene.  I unloaded a lot of Daisuke induced family baggage in Anne’s office on Amsterdam Avenue,  enough to fill the cargo hold of an airliner.


I was on my thrice weekly  Long Island  midnight swim  ensuring my manic and  depressive remain under control.  Do what it takes, burn calories, stay calm when serving, the ultra-rich, our leaders. They desire elegant homes. Homes for these rich people are a competition and BlountSpace delivers victory. I was one hundred yards from turnaround time, slowly powering through a medium chop, blowing stinging water out of my nose at every other deep breath. I swam hard for one nautical mile straight out into the moonlit ocean from Jones Beach. I was a mile out when I sensed another consciousness. I thought for a moment it might be a squid brushing across my back. Things had slithered across my skin  before. This was different, this was  similar to being fish-slimed but this contact  was across my entire upper back and neck, driving  a fear-flight electrochemical  jolt from amygdala to every muscle, reversing course with no conscious input. The intense neurochemical charge fuelled a churning Aussie crawl back to shore. I staggered  through the soft sand up the moonless beach,  breathing hard and fast,  lungs hot, sitting on the edge of the concrete walk under the steel rail, I lean forward and retch saltwater,  heart thumping. The fright will not subside.  I had not been this fearful since my solo encounter with Daisuke at age twelve 1964, sleeping in the basement of our third “new” house in a year. Some entity, some unfriendly consciousness down there in the dark hovering near.  I kneeled, silently howling into my pillow. I gathered my wits to force it away, back into the darkness and hurried upstairs dragging my bedding to spend the rest of the night on the sofa. I refused to sleep in the basement. My two older sisters thought I was a chicken, my younger sister knew what I was talking about. She was awakened in the middle of the night the previous year by an acrid  sulfuric waft through her summer bedroom window and she ran to a neighbor’s house in unexplained terror at three in the morning in her flannel nightgown – two blocks away.

My breathing returned to normal. Another oppressive force was hitching a ride on my mind. I could now hear Kitty Wells singing “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” Very quiet at first then the music in my head got louder then it was  Jim Reeves singing “Bimbo” over and over. This old-time country music is different and deeper, more strange than a Daisuke prank. It swirls around my  brain stem. It is not ordinary ghostly pineal-hippocampal  ping-pong, like a normal spirit dicking around in the fourth layer neurons of my temporal lobe.  Ghosts enter by merging the ghostly spirit-essence ( a cloud of pi-mesons – stuff a million times smaller than atoms) of their undispersed soul,  with their subject’s quantum architecture in the “junk” base pairs in claustrum neurons, quark charges rearranged by the billions, enough to maintain the spirit identity while altering the behavior of the violated as a misguided effort is made to serve their misaligned spiritual purpose. It’s all very sloppy and ineffective quantum chemistry for the ghosts. Not many are friendly, most are pernicious pests. The lost souls of evermore forever lost forever.


The boundary between doctor and patient with  Anne blurred seven years ago,  soon after her husband Peter’s law firm became involved in a colossal product liability case against a  Fortune 5 corporation. “The People of Argentina vs Texxxan Oil” Smart money was on “The People” and a $200 million payout. Anne’s cut would be $12 million. Peter, a principal in the firm,  was the lead attorney. She was already spending like a sailor.  Her marriage had been disintegrating for years.  We violated her professional oath  when turning up the heat on our growing friendship. She joined me on Freud-Sofa three sessions prior to my final visit as her psychiatric patient,   her displeasure at my career pivot still a week away.

I thought I was doing her a favor when our higher society explorations began,  escorting her to events her husband had no interest in. The benefits to my architecture practice began to accrue. I was moving up in the world. Anne’s visions of her share of her husband’s share of the Texxxan payout  imbued her with an adventurous free-spending confidence. Her financial worries were about over. She could smell the money and it made her happy.  One U.S. Supreme Court ruling and  years of legal drama and her upper, upper middle class financial straits would be over.


In 1964 Daisuke was in a playful mood. He materialized in a black trenchcoat pretending to steal  mom’s taxi on a foggy night in seattle. She was returning from a weekend stay at King County Hospital mental ward after a four day drinking binge at the end of a haywire affair with her married boss. The romance ended when her boss’s daughter, a highschool classmate of Maureen my elder sister, accosted Mo in the hallway at school angrily demanding that sis put a stop to mom’s home-wrecking behavior. The same taxi mom thought had a fare, stopped to pick her up. It was empty. Another Daisuke stunt was to materialize on mom’s  chest in the middle of the night. There were  blood curdling howling screams waking me from my sleep upstairs. When I arrived in her bedroom ( this happened four times in a single year)  Mom, shaking and sweating and breathing hard, complained of her chest being crushed by an incubus. Daisuke played this game when mom was drunk. It drove her deeper into alcohol. She went from a sixpack a night to eight beers and a half pint of scotch. Daisuke often jumped ship into  Maureen and caused her to drive mom’s old Chevy into Green lake or crash into parked cars and smartmouth cops, so unlike her. Daisuke loved car mayhem. Maybe it allowed him to relive his plane crash while messing with outcome. He walked into me in the spring of 1966 and things got rough.


Daisuke grew up in the pottery making village of Onta in a narrow gorge high in the evergreen forested hills of Eastern Kyushu. In early 1942 Daisuke kissed his lover Sukio goodbye and travelled by rattletrap bus down the treacherous mountain road and out across many vegetable farms to the prefecture Army induction center. After his basic training he volunteered for the Kamikaze corps. After three months of training he reported to Japanese carrier group gathered near the South Pacific island of Kwajalein.They sailed to the Leyte gulf into the most intense naval action in the War in the South Pacific. Daisuke was lounging on deck  thinking about winter days back home in the mountains, of a secret place miles from the village where Sukio and he would hike deep through the dark forest with wind whistling through the high branches up to a steam pool in the snow. They were sitting in the warm water stroking one another’s arms in the moonlight when something cool and soft and wet  brushed against the back of Sukio’s neck. She screamed  springing high out of the water when they saw It was a deer trying to nudge its way to the warm water they laughed and hugged.  Daisuke and Sukio were deeply in love when he left the happy, industrious village for the Navy. He volunteered for the kamikaze corps out of a deep sense of honor for his country and for his true love.  He knew they would meet again in the afterworld. He was so wrong.


At the instant of impact Daisuke knew he wasn’t going to heaven and that his only chance to reunite with Sukio was to hitch a ride on the living. Frank Blount Sr. was nearby looking and acting capable. He mogrified into Frank and tried to make himself inconspicuous. He failed. The weight of his loneliness for Sukio infused Blount’s soul doubling the mineman’s tendency toward the blues. Frank Blount Sr. served with honor and distinction as the final months of the war played out. HIs work as an underwater guy was put to a task of Homeric proportions for which he won a bronze star. He was to perform a sequence of forty free dives, hard, black rubber swim fins only-no air other than holding breath into cold, silty Tokyo Bay where the U.S. fleet was convening to sign the peace agreement two weeks hence. Frank volunteered to inspect a network of Jap[anese mine cables radiating from two power stations at opposite ends of the shore, one in Kawasaki  and one at Kisarazu  extending out many thousands of yards out into the bay. His cardiovascular prowess from boxing training was taxed to the max.

The Japanese had mined the Bay for the immanent arrival during wartime of the U.S. forces. Frank Sr’s job was to dive into the cold murky water and lift every foot of these two inch diameter heavy black cables up out of the mud at every inch from shore to one thousand yards out ensuring that the mine detonating signal cables had been severed properly. Some of these cables were more than fifty feet under the surface in the benthic slime. Blount had to spend up to four minutes thirty seconds per dive,  feeling around in the cold dark water with his ears bursting in order to do his duty. If he failed, the battleship carrying Douglas MacArthur could be lifted from the water by expanding column of explosive-driven water, fractured from port to starboard, keel to gunwale and sunk by a Japanese mine, a possible fate for any one of twenty U.S. Navy ships due in Tokyo Bay to observe the signing of the Japanese surrender document on the aft deck of the U.S.S. Missouri. Daisuke was down in that cold dark water with Blount every inch of the way and Blount was ecstatic down there. Daisuke was waterproof and trying to help.

The day following the treaty signing ceremony,  Blount and a small cadre of U.S.sailors went ashore to meet three friendly , now defeated Japanese soldiers who showed them to the mine control structures in order for the U.S. team  to dismantle the mine control stations. This would be Daisuke’s chance to jump “ship” from Frank and enter a Japanese person and hopefully piggyback his way closer to his home in the distant mountains on a different island and to Sukio. He needed a weakened spirit to make this transfer and the few times he tried with the Japanese soldiers escorting Blount and Company he was rebuked, repelled and resisted,  cast back into the soul of Blount where he dwelled in loneliness for the next eighteen years until he switched over to Lorraine, my mother,  Frank’s now soulshot wife. Frank had gained enough spiritual strength from a rejection / individuation scene with his clutching, clawing, possessive mother, my grandmother, after her 18 years of meddling in her son’s marriage. One she never approved.  He now had the spiritual independence and strength  to cast off his ghost. I was there.  I saw it. Dad was free, mom was not. Daisuke was patient, mischievous and nimble. Who knows why he thought his chances of reuniting with Sukio were better with mom. She wore silk kimonos every night for five years  that she won at auction along with the classic Wurlitzer bubbling arch juke box in which she was buried, face-out,  lips and fingertips pressed tight against the glass between columns of bubbling colored alcohol. It was unplugged following the first silver-plated shovelful of dirt.




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Interorgan Signals

June 4, 2015

For simplicity focusing on big six: Lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, stomach and  intestines ( large and small). Given that the brain sends and receives chemical and electrical signals from all organs, sensory and others.

Do the lungs communicate with the kidneys in any way? Does the heart communicate with the liver? The stomach with the lungs?

Rather than hierarchical communication centered on the brain, a rhizomatic system between all organs in constant, precise communication.

How does stomach tissue signal the heart-lungs that it is dying from lack of oxygen?

Does lung disease cause oxygen deprivation problems in all organ systems? what happens when the blood cannot carry enough oxygen for ATP production and all cells become energy-starved?

Does oxygen deprivation accelerate cancer onset and growth?

Miscellaneous Questions:

  1. RNA codes for some proteins that return to act upon the genome itself – the originating DNA molecules. Does this mean that a protein re-enters the cell nucleus from its point of production on a ribosome at nucleus-encircling rough endoplasmic reticulum. Is this protein assembled within the cell nucleus from ribosomes that did not migrate from their zone of origin at nucleolus out to the rough endoplasmic reticulum or is there rough endoplasmic reticulum within the nucleus?
  2. Are all 20 amino acids present in every cell type? One would think that only those amino acids required for a particular cell type’s proteinic product.
  3. Are amino acids imported into cells or created from scratch within each cell?
  4. Oneiric question: How many different brain areas must our dream machine tap into in order to create those scenes in places we have never been, populated by people we have never seen, with buildings of a type never imagined, living through social roles never experienced? Is this dream-stuff located in a long-term memory zone of the hippocampus,  mixing and matching from previous experience to create a unique movie? Must some dream nucleus reach out with its dendritic rhizomatic web into various sensory regions of the neocortex for every sight, smell, sound, color, face, weather condition, assembling these into a coherent though still mysterious story.
  5. Might prehistoric DNA have cannibalized itself to create an origin event for a new kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus or species? Say an ancient organism one billion years ago  had only one chromosome with 100 million base pairs. 80,000 base pairs of these 100 million split down their center i.e. unzip,  break off from main strand and end up ejected from this cell as two strands of RNA and then excreted by  the organism itself. Extracellular environment is such that this nuclear material can float freely, remaining intact and multiplying.

Hapleate, hapleated, hapleation, haplioid: A JB neologism that means to remove 23 of 46 chromosomes of any somatic cell from any organ in order to create a new haploid cell that is not a germ cell.

  1. Experiment One: Insert 23 chromosomes from a colon cell into a hapleated kidney cell nucleus. adjust each of these haplioids prior to insertion through post translational modifications so that they are pluripotent
  2. Insert hapleated kidney cell chromosomes into hapleated stomach cell nucleus. Has a viable zygote has been created?
  3. Experiment Two: Variation on #6 Knock out various combinations of regulatory accessory DNA in hippocampal neuron, hapleate, merge with hapleated liver cell nucleus to create Neo-germ cells
  4. Experiment Three: Relocate half of mouse neocortex to a zone just below the cerebellum of target mouse – see if new neuronal connections are made thus increasing brain power of target mouse. Is target mouse smarter after six months of synaptic growth?
  5. Experiment Four: Relocate neocortical mouse-one neurons into thalamic ventricle of same mouse – see if these neocortical neurons add value to hippocampal function.  Mix and match various brain cell types into different brain areas to see if brain cells can be re-purposed.
  6. Experiment Five:  Plant a slab of neocortex of healthy, young recently deceased ape,Party One, across the lower back of a healthy living ape, Party Two- – initiate axonal links from relocated ape neocortex into spinal cord of of Party Two – see if this transplanted neocortex has added consciousness to Party Two. Try neocortical transplant at various regions closer to the head, say at back of neck. try this on rats, mice, other primates, dogs, cats etc. Has any memory from Ape One been transmitted to Ape Two? A maze pattern or Pavlovian response unique to Ape One into Ape Two?
  7. Experiment Six: Replace cerebrospinal fluid at lateral ventricle(s) with new neuron population. Check for increased caudate nucleus or hippocampus function. Perform this neuron relocation to 3d, 4th ventricles with specific neuron types involved in specific signalling or hormonal process.
  8. Experiment Seven: Transplant brain cells from the pons or medulla to the lateral ventricles. Attach axons to any deficient brain area injured in battle or accident or genetic mishap. Whichever brain area is deficient could receive 200,000 additional neurons / brain cells to assist in restoration of brain function.
  9. Experiment Seven-A: Switch on or off specific DNA regions at these relocated    ( new) brain cells in order to customize function for specific tasks.
  10. Must any or all interorgan signaling travel through the brainstem like afferent-efferent signal from sensory organ to and from brain?
  11. Is interorgan signaling reflexive bypassing brain and even perhaps the spinal cord – direct organ to organ signal.

The following is a letter to Cal Tech Professor Elliot Meyerowitz re: interorgan signaling in a tree:

Dear Professor Meyerowitz,

I encountered a brief description of your work on structural forces effects upon patterns of plant growth while reading an article about Professor Jennifer Zallen and mechanical forces on Drosophila embryo growth.

I have wondered lately about the large scale growth of primary branches of an 60 foot tall oak tree in my rear yard (6 acre farmette in Lebanon, TN). I was trained as an architect at the Harvard GSD where I was introduced to D’Arcy Thompson so was primed to think about such things.  My questions are as follows:

  1. How does a big tree signal the amount of new growth in order to maintain its structural equilibrium? The compressive and tensile forces can be very large in a big tree under equilibrium ( compression) and tension resulting from regular lateral forces of wind and traumatic force induced after losing a major branch during lightning strike or pruning.
  1. Say a big branch on the left side of this big oak got blasted off by lightning one night;  the tree would have a lot of new compressive force in the cells on the side opposite the loss and lots of new tensile force in the cells on the side that lost the big branch.
  1.  My question: Is it the strain ( deformation measurable via strain gauge – a common structural engineering tool) of the compression force or the strain of the tensile force that initiates compensating new growth thus ensuring the balance of the entire tree in its new configuration? new growth that may be initiated by pathways you describe for Arabidopsis growth patterns i.e. PIN1 – Auxin or Ms Zallen’s myosin-actin(cell adhesion under tension) biochemical process.
  1. Whatever these forces are at work on the large deformed tree, they must be similar for a plant sensing tensile or compressive forces in its hierarchy of stems as it grows from seed to maturity.
  1. I wonder if different chemical pathways are involved in compressive strain as opposed to those at work under tension forces. Each side of a plant having its own chemistry depending on tension or compression stress OR one side of a big tree ( or small plant) sending signals from one side to the other.

I’m using basic statics- architectural-structural engineering definitions for stress ( pounds per square inch, or whatever units force divided by area) and strain  (deformation in inches, fractions thereof)  in relation to tensile force.

  1. It would be interesting to measure relative amounts of PIN1 and auxin before and after an amputation of a large tree limb to investigate chemical changes.

Good luck in your researches

Warm Regards,

Jim Blake -Harvard GSD ’79

Dear Mr. Blake,

All very good questions.  To the degree that we have answers, you can read them in the Wikipedia article on reaction wood (  We don’t know the signaling mechanism that leads to this adaptation to stress (or strain) – initially something must strain (a protein molecule, a membrane, who knows) and it is thought that auxin is involved, so PIN proteins probably are part of the mechanism.  The response depends on the type of tree – tension wood at the top of the branch in angiosperms, compression wood at the bottom in gymnosperms – but as far as I know, no one has the least idea why.

Just one more area open for research!

It is surprising sometime how little we know about plants, given their importance to us, but as you know our federal science agencies are very much slanted toward animal research in service of medicine, and in applied, not basic, plant studies.  The good part of this is that plenty of interesting phenomena are barely studied, so are open for new investigation.  The bad part is that there aren’t a lot of resources for such investigations, or many available answers to even simple questions about plants.

One area my lab studies (and not mentioned in the article), in a similar vein, is grafting in plants – no one knows why it works (or fails when it doesn’t work), despite large parts of agriculture relying in it.  I enclose a recent review and a research paper, in case you are interested.

Elliot Meyerowitz

Elliot M. Meyerowitz

George W. Beadle Professor of Biology

HHMI-GBMF Investigator

Division of Biology and Biological Engineering

Mail Code 156-29

California Institute of Technology

1200 East California Boulevard

Pasadena, California 91125, USA

  • 6/4/15

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Extremes Proliferate

May 28, 2015

“Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest of Los Angeles is real. It is a deterrence machine set up to rejuvenate the fiction of the real.”              –  Jean Baudrillard

“It is the market not nature that generates poverty.” – M. Sahlins

Darwinian Natural Selection asserts:  normal members of a species thrive in an existing  environment while the abnormal are denied membership,  forced into the periphery into a strange and challenging environment. The nature of this remote environment is such that the mutant thrives,  becoming the new norm.  In some instances the old comfortable environment changes catastrophically in a direction that favors an outlier, an extreme variant. This relationship holds in all human endeavor. It is those who do not “fit in” who become pioneers. They are the avant garde, the pathfinders in science, art, technology and land development as they make the best of a new niche. The niche becomes the norm and its population proliferates to create a new generation of freaks, mutants and oddballs in a new left field.

When the going gets weird – the weird get going.

Pioneers at Jamestown between 1607 and 1630 lived a brutal existence – few survived.

Many real estate developers have a bold, brash and fearless personality type. They are the first to establish a foothold in new territory and they almost always go down in flames, leaving further development to more sober personalities.

There was single prisoner in a jail cut deep into the rock at the base of Mt. Pele, a volcano forming the island of Martinique in the Caribbean. In 1902 Mt. Pele erupted burying the capital city of Saint Pierre, killing 30,000 people. The prisoner who was deep in his dungeon survived and walked away from the carnage.

Humans, bacteria and cancer are extreme proliferates. Maggots proliferate to extremes in rotted meat. Nuclear arms proliferate and decay as cobwebs are woven around ICBMs rotting in missile silos across the U.S.A. Cancer is proliferation squared. The nature of the stuff is extreme proliferation. We poison the human environment and this proliferation proliferates. Too much of a bad thing creates a synergy of dissolution, a vortex, a black hole, an accelerator of negative force. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing – ask a celebrity with drug issues. The word celebrity implies drug issue as fame itself is a drug and one that typically initiates a cascade of other, less potent drugs; nicotine, heroin, cocaine, etc.

A guitar wizard shreds too many notes limiting the possibility of musical meaning. Peter Max and Paul McCartney overuse sweet colors and hyperglycemia follows, reputations are diluted. The mutants on the freak frontier take to the vile swamp like ducks, gaining a foothold, they begin to proliferate. Back home, the well has gone dry and the crops die. Back home where millions, who once swarmed are now dying. The center shifts. A new species emerges from the chaos along the interface of old and new.

“Every dog has his day.” – anon

“The times, they are a-changin’” – Bob Dylan

Please tell me something I don’t know from instinct or experience. Extreme locales are rich in unexplored places revealing opportunity. Pioneers beware, the second mouse gets the cheese.

What’s so funny? Cruelty and mishap are good for a laugh. People falling on their asses and faces and stumbling into pools. An alligator eating its neighbor gator’s hatchlings is not funny, nor is a lion ripping apart the pre-existing cubs of its new mate.

Two  different ideas here in the words “extremes proliferate”

  1. The Darwinian notion that speciation occurs among the outliers.
  2. The Malthusian notion that populations proliferate until resources are exhausted.

We are propelled by myth. There is no passion or greed without a context providing fuel for the accumulation of wealth, honor and perhaps fame. I have two options, one with a high resonance context and one with low resonance:

  1. I can work myself to death behind a team of mules trekking across a Nevada desert to no one’s notice.
  2. I can work equally hard training to throw the discus at the Olympics where my gold medal earns international honor and product endorsement income. Mule skinners get no medals and little pay.

Looking closely at many phenomena causes them to evaporate. It is easy enough to debunk the founding beliefs of any religion, so what? By the time of your debunking, a great web has been woven around this lie-myth-void and the web now has strength and resonance. It can start or stop a conversation, send men to die in war, make men wealthy or strip them of dignity and property.

Once you accept basic tenets of the Freudian or Darwinian myths you can discuss the relative merits of  Jung and Reich,  Mendel and Crick and entertain yourself debunking them ( Jeffrey Masson and Stephen Jay Gould respectively) Good luck ! It’s like trying to debunk the English language. Its screwy, goofy, illogical, always changing, saturated with unscientific tradition, habit and prejudice but it’s all we have and it gets the job done – see: Shakespeare and Thomas McGuane.

Once a web of myth has formed and people are traipsing back and forth building careers and reputations along filaments, it is too late to debunk the founder. She may have been vulnerable when first proposing her wild, paradigm-shifting theory due to its error and misconception but once the web has been woven, there is substance afoot. It is not necessarily scientific. Scientific evidence may be a single component of this web of myth, maybe not. Myth trumps science.

In the 154 years since the publication of Darwin’s “On The Evolution of Species” there has not been one single shred of evidence that a new vertebrate species has emerged or the tiniest shred of evidence that one has evolved in any way, changed for sure but evolved?  Domestic animal  breeds change but this is not evolution. The standard response ( hardline Neo-Darwinism) is that evolution works very slowly and very gradually – one wouldn’t notice it in a human lifetime. It has been proven that mutations ( the stuff of evolution) occur thousands of times per second in a vertebrate body and that new species, when they evolve at all, emerge in a flash ( a “flash” in evolutionary time may be ten million years), in a single moment, a punctuation followed by eons of stasis – no discernable change,  nothing gradual here. This has been proven. Yet we cling.  Darwin’s still the man, disparage his theory, even today with reams of evidence contradicting many of his fundamental notions,  and suffer snickering ignominy. the myth lives on. Darwin was right that organisms have evolved but many other aspects of his theory wobble.

Capitalism, private property, The Magna Carta, Democracy and Rule of Law are all myth but they served to launch the Hubble telescope by which much wonderful science has been explored. Operative myth trumps science always. Scientists have difficulty understanding that all science is a subset of myth. All myth contains a black hole at its center. Don’t go there. There is little to be gained. People don’t care if it isn’t “true”. People want to believe and shall believe.

It’s myth all the way down, just like guru turtles, a cascade of belief from Christianity, through our language, our anthrocentrism. Darwinism and quantum mechanics are webs of myth. the scientific enterprise is all myth but such a fine one, so much excruciating, obsessive detail and those charts,  graphs and formulas! – all so seductive and it works half of the time to cure illness, almost all of the time to fly a plane.  Learn to excruciate minutiae and earn a PhD. Most things can be proven up to a point and anything under the sun can be hypothesized, boldly asserted and vigorously defended.

The Myth Engine:

  1. The hippocampus is a key brain area in mammals used for long-term memory storage. the neurons of the hippocampus have 46 chromosomes as do all 50 trillion of our cells except for sperm and egg with their 23. These non-germ cell  chromosomes comprise six billion base pairs. The operative genome has three billion base pairs. 2 billion nine hundred forty million of these base pairs exist within what is called “junk” DNA. There are 18 base pairs for each histone giving us 160,000,000 “junk” histones along with the “junk” DNA –  AT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF 40 million hippocampal  neurons !  Current memory theory assigns NO role for these DNA, histone targets. As current theory stands,  memory is a product of the strength of synaptic connections between dendrites – HA ! Look to the “junk” lads, there are a trillion places to store a memory in each neuron at DNA and histones in the hippocampus and in every one of 200 brain areas.
  2. Do hippocampal neuron nuclear membranes dissolve to allow tighter memory formation i.e. more room to move, maneuver, more neuronal geography to inhabit in order to create sensory distinctions i.e. memory.
  3. Do humans ( mammals, vertebrates) have neuron super cells? i.e. large neurons with many nuclei thus more opportunity for rhizomatic interaction between post translationally modified histones and RNA-DNA? There could be 10,000 memory-making interconnections within a single cell membrane!
  4. Long, non-coding RNA regulates gene expression. How much long-coding RNA at hippocampal neurons?

Oppositions- moving parts of the reciprocating American Myth Engine:

  1. Boomer – Very Oldster
  2. Boomer-gen X,Y,Z
  3. Obese – normal
  4. Diabetic – healthy
  5. Ill – healthy ( note: typography failure as cap I (eye) and l ( ell) are identical)
  6. Environmentally concerned – not concerned
  7. Liberal – conservative, Conservative-fundamentalist
  8. Prisoner – Not a prisoner
  9. Employed – unemployed
  10. White – non-white
  11. Straight – Gay
  12. Veteran – Not Veteran
  13. Speak english – Do not speak English
  14. College education – no college education
  15. Rational – Intuitive, Left Brain-Right Brain
  16. Normal – insane
  17. Gun owner/enthusiast – No guns
  18. Urban – rural
  19. middle class – upper class
  20. middle class – lower class
  21. upper class – lower class

All are created equal here in America but we go to ferocious, relentless length to differentiate ourselves in every conceivable way.


May 27, 2015

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Quantum Datum

May 19, 2015

RE: Memory storage at brain ( hippocampus)

Jim Blake Theory –  A BFRT – Big Fat Russell’s Teapot:

If a bird brain can locate itself across a hemisphere of the Earth via its sensitivity to magnetic information why couldn’t the geography within a single brain area function using such a mechanism?

Jim Blake speculative neologisms as of this text:

Quantum Datum ( QD)

Hemylation:  an epigenetic post translational modification that adds an iron ion tag thus creating a memory bit, a sign part, a grammatical unit,  a sub-component of a single memory like a phoneme is part of a single word.

Subatomic electromagnetic signaling ( SES)

Quantum Electro Links ( QEL)

Quantum Datum Pulse ( QDP)

There is a point of orientation ( think: USGS brass benchmark) at the middle commissure of the thalamus called the Quantum Datum (QD)  that works in conjunction with iron-rich epigenetic tags at unspooled DNA in chromatin in memory neurons in the hippocampus  that differentiates molecules by their orientation in space on XYZ axes; think: aircraft: pitch-yaw-roll establishing a point definable by its place on this XYZ grid. Each memory bit can precisely locate / measure its distance  to all other memory bits at  other hippocampal neurons, as well as measure its distance from,  and orientation to,  the central thalamic benchmark, the Quantum Datum. This iron-rich marking of neuron histones associated with memory genes is called Hemylation similar to other post translational modifications:  methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, citrullination, etc). The iron-tagged histone molecule, now a memory bit,  is the airplane that has become frozen in space.

One reason neurons are not typically replaced during one’s lifetime is that they have locked hemylations at nano-specific locations,  each location defining a sub-unit of memory in relation to the quantum datum. The histone molecule has tumbled into and become locked into a very specific orientation with its iron tag now a very definite point in space in relation to QDatum and all other memory neurons at hippocampus. There is a stochastic quality to this positioning of the hemylations in relation to one another as well as to the QD.

New memory is stored by new hemylations at neuron DNA and these new tags are immediately linked in space to 100,000 existing tags. These tagged neurons read one another’s quantum signature via Subatomic Electromagnetic Signalling SES  forming Quantum Electro Links ( QEL). Each memory bit ( hundreds at a single neuron)  has two different capabilities both related to its location: #1. Its relations in the QD network #2. Its dendritic relation to all related neurons involved in this memory.

QD addendum #1

The Quantum Datum at thalamus radiates a microwave pulse (QDP) ( 24/7/365 birth to death)  in all directions like a motion detector. This pulse is detected and reflected  by the memory bits ( hemylated histones)  allowing the Quantum Datum  to “understand” where each hemylation is located in relation to all other memory bits using iron atoms enabling rapid neuronal intercommunication.

QD addendum #2

Cerebral spinal fluid not only cushions the brain but acts as an efficient fluid medium for thalamic sonar pulses triangulating via neuronal histone hemylations that have accrued in the process of storing  memory. These pulses are re-radiated from the interior surface of the lateral ventricles.

QD addendum #3

dreams are the result of QDP activity while sleeping as undirected, unfocused random connections are assembled between voxels at hippocampus and processed through neocortex storytelling-myth making neural architecture. when awake, the cerebral cortex directs this activity in relation to “reality”

QD addendum #4

The Quantum Datum emits a QD Pulse day and night  linking new experience with memory. Quasi random Connections continue to be made at hippocampus between stored memory day and night as the neocortex processes the stuff of daily life. Thus our subconscious mind works on a problem while we tend to routine activity.

QD addendum #5

Check the relative viscosity of new and old neurons. As histones in chromatin are locked up as memory bits they are re-secured into the DNA. Twenty years of this would create a less viscous chromatin at neurons.


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Stealing Ideas

May 19, 2015

Forty Rules of Art:

  1. Don’t stand at your desk at the Harvard Graduate School of Design with an open copy of the latest “Glossy Architecture Periodical” cribbing from the hippest published work. School is too expensive and life is too brief for short circuits.
  2. Do not steal ideas from your classmates or your peers unless you are a declared “Appropriation Artist” such as Richard Prince or Sherrie Levine. When you break this rule do it with intensity, brilliance, synthesis as you make this stolen idea your own. Give back more than you take. Fetishizing thievery is passe’
  3. When early in career as you search for inspiration from precursors try to skip a generation or two. Stealing  becomes a more astute reference or a wittier pastiche the further back one reaches.
  4. All creative people who can read must read and understand ( this means re-read) Harold Bloom’s masterpiece The Anxiety of Influence. Every painter, sculptor, poet, architect must understand and internalize the ideas of knowing history and swerving into originality.
  5. If, as a youth, you did not spend hundreds of hours at the foot of mother nature drawing rocks, trees, bees, birds, landscapes, do not despair – lean on those who did: Raphael, Leonardo,  John Ruskin, William Morris,  Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier, – read their words and study their work closely. Steal all of their great ideas. If you haven’t done your 1,000 nature hours, you are crippled,  admit it and drive on, doing the best with what you’ve got. It is never too late to profit from a sketchbook.
  6. Picasso was notorious for stealing ideas from his own cohort and from anything painted or sculpted he ever set eyes on. Picasso replied, when accused of thievery “I steal from everyone – I try not to steal from myself.” A great creative mind is a desperate idea vacuum.
  7. Synthesize as you steal. Take five great works from a few generations ago and and disassemble them to explore their generating ideas. Recombine for original effect. Great artists are magpies: Raphael, Chardin, Cezanne, Frank Lloyd Wright, Picasso, Andy Warhol, Paul McCartney.
  8. If stealing, steal those portraits and manufactured objects and household products that have been the beneficiary of thousands of man-years of research, millions of advertising dollars and star-making machinery. Jump on a bandwagon already at full speed like Duchamp, Warhol and Koons.
  9. Nature is a shameless thief, parasite, copycat, predator, devious, malicious, invasive beast who knows that nice guys go extinct. Humans evolved a neocortex to tame this beast, make it work for you. Be relentlessly polite with impeccable manners on the outside and seek the fullness of nature on the inside.
  10. If you are intuitive steal logic and rationality. If you are rational, steal intuition, i.e. if you are a scientist-steal art; if an artist, steal science.
  11. Nature doesn’t give a hoot if you steal from her as she is a vast storehouse of undiscovered ideas.
  12. If you are a painter, don’t steal the look of things but the very being of things. Before you know it you are a biologist, then a chemist then a physicist and a cosmologist-astrophysicist – all artists.
  13. If using oil base paint – ventilate.
  14. “Trumbull’s Rule” Start with a mop – finish with a number 2 filbert.
  15. Be like nature, make a lot of big mistakes early ( see: dinosaurs) conserve all that works ( see: DNA)
  16. After you start a painting, let the painting take over, it knows what it needs – be a good listener to your art.
  17. Don’t be afraid to play God/Cosmo – painting is creation, architecture is creation, poetry is creation
  18. Charles Darwin noted that it is the outliers, mutants and misfits that launch a new species. At least one of them will a perfect fit for a strange new world. Today’s perfectly fit are tomorrow’s forgotten.
  19. Make your art convincing. It is not about the impeccable beauty of the subject it is about intensity and care in the making.
  20. Obsession obscures truth and discovery, it is the crutch of the uninspired, fearful and believe- it -or- not, the lazy.
  21. Vulgarity and overt sex in art is ordinary. We know it sells – so what.
  22. Touch the essence of something – anything
  23. Much of the man-made world is ordinary – seek extraordinary
  24. Make a second version of your excellent idea t prove it isn’t a fluke
  25. Swerve from your own work – evolve – follow your outliers and mutants.
  26. Save money on psychotherapy – allow your art to analyze you.
  27. Art is an athletic pursuit – treat your body well with nutrition and exercise
  28. When afraid move forward.
  29. It is hard to ruin an artwork – make a bold new gesture with a lot of white paint – see what new doors open.
  30. Savor your obscurity – to work uninterrupted is a treasure. It is hard to concentrate when strobes are flashing and microphones are pushed into your face.
  31. Bore yourself – bore your audience.
  32. Every artist has an original vision – swim beyond the shore.
  33. If you have run out of ideas and are at a dead end and still under 23 years of age, join the military. It will provide much new material. Take a sketchbook.
  34. Before taking an art professor ( anyone professing to know more than you) seriously enough to hurt your feelings or redirect your instincts, get to know their operative paradigm. Study what they studied for a minute. Most teachers wish to transmit the outcome of their pain and embarrassment to you.  Don’t be a lump of clay – do some research on their sources and push back.
  35. Don’t mimic nature, be nature. Be the volcano, earthquake, thunderstorm, the forest, flower or buffalo, the field of grass, the electricity. Nature will play levels of the game against one another atoms against tectonic plates.
  36. Make the myths that constitute human culture work for you. Myths are tools.
  37. Don’t mistake being “one with nature” with being one with human nature – they are very different.
  38. Honor small things – they get bigger and many that don’t get bigger will multiply and kill you ( see: microorganisms) Ideas usually start small – give them a chance to grow.
  39. Any fool can start a painting, it takes a master to know when to stop.
  40. Be open to serendipity – sometimes art is easy.



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May 17, 2015

JBT – Jim Blake thought or theory

JBQ – JB question

JBE – JB experiment

JBN – JB neologism, new acronym

JBN – I am hereby retiring the term “Junk DNA” there is no such thing, henceforth Junk DNA will be called Accessory DNA or simply ADNA. Note that the “A” is capitalized, ADNA is  not “junk” at all. It is very important. This DNA was named “Junk” in the genomic dark ages 20 years ago. The age of the genome is no longer dark thus ADNA rather than “junkDNA”.

JBN – Genes carry the fundamental instructions, secondary cell function is carried out by post translational modification to both genes and the histone proteins they wrap and unwrap around. These modifications have many names: methylation, acetylation, ubiquitination, ADP ribosylation, citrullination etc. Henceforth these will be called PTMs. They will be referred to often throughout this essay. They are vital to life. they are now the key mechanism of Natural Selection as of 150 million years ago genes are finished evolving now evolution is left to  PTM. Epigenetics is carried out by PTM. Epigenetics is the active key to all living things. Think of DNA as our founding fathers and epigenetics / PTM  as elected leaders doing the daily work of government.

There are many plant species, worms, birds and reptiles that have larger genomes ( more genes that code for specific proteins)  than humans but the proportion of an organism’s ADNA is in direct proportion to species complexity and of course humans have the most ADNA in our genomic trunk with 98% of our DNA non-coding for protein. We play a few genetic notes at each cell type but we do so with great feeling, like B.B. King, famous for playing in a  small box or two of notes the guitar neck but to tremendous effect. How did he do it? He added bends and trills and exquisite timing eliciting deep expression from every note, maximizing the potential of each without wasting energy zipping up and down the neck like a shred-wizard. Zipping up and down creates opportunity for error, activating a lot of genes to do the work of life creates room for mutation and most likely –  error. Our genetic machinery has developed a system of modifications to DNA and genetic material that leave the genome relatively uninterrupted.

JBT – Nature loves stochastics. The crap shoot. The tossing of genetic spaghetti against the wall. Some will stick and become 3-D wallpaper with mold growing on it and crud collecting in the groove where round spaghetti sticks tangent to the flat wall. This groove will be difficult to clean and elbow grease expended in cleaning may cause spaghetti to drop to the floor. Every target has its bullseye. We shoot our 20 arrows and none hits the bullseye but the target is full of holes. We have achieved our intention.

We are what our grandparents and parents ate as well as what we eat. See: “Dutch Hunger Winter”

We have our genome, a hardworking epigenome and a proteome. Think of the genome as a library with 20,000  1-2 billion year old books ( treasures for certain) Each organ system cell group carries the entire library within its membrane. Each cell type checks out its book during a life and reads its own story. The check out and reading portion of this story is called epigenetics. Each of our cells can activate its small region of this vast library and keep all other “books” locked up tighter than a drum head – inaccessible, not in play, every book in every cell. At the liver there are  111 genes for liver function switched on in 175 billion liver cells and few others – most others remain inaccessible no need for neurons or heart muscle, bone or epithelial cells at the liver. Think of a war game: Each of the four branches of the military gets the entire battle plan notebook. The Air force version has a  tight band around the Army Navy and Marines pages.


  1. Kodalith: A photographic film that turns a photographic image into black or white –  no shades of gray.  Zero subtlety, the world is either black or white with Kodalith. The tone-scale of a human face or a landscape has a thousand shades of gray,  from just above black to just below white. Kodalith film will turn every tone less than 50% gray into white and every tone more than 50% gray into black,  creating an image that is boldly black and white. Think of this as a switch: on / black and off / white.
  2. Epigenetics: Inheritance that cannot be explained by genetics.
  3. Epigenetics ( more recent) Molecular change but not to base pair sequence.
  4. Epigenetic processes dominate cell function. If a human/mammal body is the Roman empire, the genome gives a general his marching orders from Rome and all other actions of the army all the way up into northern Britain are defined, described and carried out via the epigenome using PTM.These are modifications to DNA, RNA and histones that are exposed for further action by the loosening of the tightly wound chromosome. This now active, unwound stretch of DNA is a very small percentage of the total DNA present in a given cell.
  5. Epigenetics: The greek prefix “epi” means “upon” upon genetics. An epigenetic event changes the expression of a gene WITHOUT changing the DNA i.e. without changing the sequence of nucleotides. Using Nessa Carey’s analogy, imagine checking out a library book for three days. This book is a part of our total DNA, the library. The book is a gene. While we use this book we place post-it notes on several pages to clarify the meaning of certain passages, to add the detail of our thought. When we return the book we have removed the post-it notes and the gene and the total genome remain unchanged. No DNA has been changed, no base pairs have been added, subtracted, edited or changed in any way. My epigenetic work was upon the gene but did not change the gene. If the gene is changed it is NOT epigenetics, it is a gene mutation.

Epigenetics, though becoming a popular field of research in bioscience only 20 years ago is  known to be THE process that differentiates one cell from another during pregnancy. A zygote, the fertilized egg,  has 46 chromosomes with their 6 billion base pairs the moment the sperm penetrates the egg. A fertilized egg is a single cell and before the cell divides for the first time,  this cell can become Any cell in the body among hundreds of basic types. All cell differentiation that follows is epigenetic.

This set of library books begins to get post-it notes assigning organ function and metabolic tasks soon after fertilization, as the cells in a fetus begin to differentiate. As cells in the fetus differentiate the entire library carrying the code for the entire body and everything in it,  is present in every one of what will become 37 trillion cells. The tasks characteristic of each cell type: heart, lung, brain, skin, blood will be activated by PTM.

A cell becomes unique as soon as it checks its book from its cell library that contains 20,000 books. To check out a book i.e. to begin the process of cell differentiation is itself an epigenetic action. Think of checking out a book as placing a post it note on the cover of the book thus acknowledging that it is a brain book and not a liver or heart book The liver cells check out the liver book and leave the other books undisturbed. The brain cells check out the brain book and leave all other books on the shelf alone. Remaining on the shelf means that the DNA remains tightly wound up and thus inaccessible to the specialized tasks surrounding it and that have been activated by the checked out / activated / enabled / switched on kidney book. During pregnancy the books begin to get read and collect the notes that further describe their function. Many post-it notes are applied as organs begin to do their specific jobs in the growing fetus.

The cells of the  fetus check out their unique book depending on assigned organ system during fetal development at a specific moment. The body plan book is checked out early so the baby’s head is at one end and the budding feet at the other end and then arms and legs appear as buds in the proper geometric alignment i.e. bilaterally symmetrical not radially symmetrical. There is a head librarian book  checked out early that orchestrates the development of the entire organ system. Though the brain book gets checked out early in fetal development, all  primary post-it notes are in place at birth but Post-its continue to be stuck to brain cell pages until death as sensations are sensed and memories are formed and retrieved. Many neocortical functions may undergo structural differentiation through childhood.

All cells have many structures and metabolic functions that are identical. All cells, no matter what organ,  must process energy and expel waste and, unless a neuron, reproduce itself. The genes that control these foundation functions are active in every cell with minor exceptions. For this library analogy it is assumed that the books ( genes) carrying out common cell functions are in play from the beginning and are not epigenetic simply normal gene-protein synthesis cycles.

  1. Transgenerational Inheritance: Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics.

JBT – Our brains can take a field of black and white dots and transform them into 1,000 shades of gray. The tiny dots that make up the fully-toned black and white halftone images in a newspaper are either black tiny dots or white newsprint – no gray involved in this printing process but we perceive many of the rich tones of the real world present in a normal black and white photo. The sensory effect of kodalithing is transformed as the scale of the field of action changes.

JBT – Kodalithic – black or white, present or absent, on or off. The core idea for the computer age, digital technology is binary, biology is also binary. binary-ness is at the core of all living things. The halftone newsprint image comprising black dot or not to obtain the elaborate gradation of a black and white newspaper photograph is analogous to cellular biological process. PTM adds the entire gray scale to the foundational information delivered by the expressed gene. This gene, as it is switched on or off, launches a cascade of action that lasts until the cell dies; 13 days for white blood cells, 30 days for top layer of skin cells, 120 days for red blood cells, 18 months for liver cells and a lifetime for neurons.

The gene that differentiates a pluripotent cell into two types of cochlear nerve cell is switched into its cochlear-ness  at ten weeks during pregnancy. In a 2-step process of cellular events there is the primary epigenetic event that commands activation of cochlear cells and silence from  other sensory cell types ( we don’t smell with our ears or taste with our eyes). Once the cochlear nerve cells have become black dots in our halftone image, we no longer have a cell blank slate with pluri-potential. These cells are now dedicated to the audio club for as long as they live.

You have seen the big photo collages that take 10,000 pre-existing photographs and arrange them all as if each were a tiny splash of color. There are two levels of picture-making at work here, one for the first, smaller image and the second where the small pic is put to use as only a patch in the large image. Think of an organ’s cells like one of these larger images. Step one is to make a picture – a cell differentiated for a specific organ step two is to assemble an array of these each with its own special character into a big picture – the audio picture or the liver, kidney, lung, brain picture. The big picture is that we can listen to Beethoven and look out across the Grand Canyon and taste a fine meal as we cough, sneeze and sweat at the right time.

JBT – Effective communicators simplify ideas for better comprehension losing detail in the process. This abstraction for communication is Kodalithing. If Kodalithing is at a small scale it is barely seen as such, George Washington has a memo drafted by his aide Alexander Hamilton and sends it to Congress as his own. The historian says this memo was from George Washington to Congress, Alexander Hamilton is lost in the Kodalith. If all events involved in a history of the American Revolutionary War were told at the level of the Washington-Hamilton memo source, the history book would be 15,000 pages instead of 500. To omit  mention of French participation in the American victory over the British would be excessive Kodalithing, too much meaning is lost but we don’t say the American-French forces defeated the British. We say the Americans defeated the British.

JBQ – Did methylation replace mutation as the key driver of a finer-tuned Natural Selection in the Darwinian model? Say about 150 million years ago? Genetic mutation was key when the fundamental chemical-structural operating system was being born from 4.5 BYA to 150 MYA then PTM took over as a finer,  more flexible system of evolving. Errors were not so irreversible with methylation. John Trumbull begins his large painting with a mop ( DNA sequence) and finishes it with a fine brush:  methylation, acetylation etc. Perhaps there is a hierarchy of finality beginning with the nucleotide sequence itself then to the methylation etc of the nucleotides at the gene site, then down the ladder to histone modifications, all of which can be heritable as cells replicate during one’s life and across generations. may look junky but all of this ADNA is storing the actors in the histone story in order to survive meiosis-mitosis. A gene mutation is a VERY big deal and at this juncture in evolution almost always a bad idea but gene methylations and histone mods are just fine and more easily corrected or erased. Cosmos to organisms “Don’t mess with a good thing, we’ve made it this far, do not screw this up. Leave DNA alone. Use PTM to secure change.

JBT – Once a Kodalithed image is encoded into our neurons it is difficult to change. For example let’s look at “Waddington’s Hill”, an heuristic developed in the 1970s by Professor C.L.Waddington to describe epigenetic cell development. The geography of this hill is such that as a ball rolls down there is a dividing hillock where the ball will roll either left or right. Once it has rolled to the left or right at the first juncture, a major causal path is established, as the ball rolls further down there is another outcropping that presents another left or right option and so forth until the ball is at the bottom of the hill in stasis. The ball will want to remain in stasis. It will require energy to move the ball, either back to the top of the hill or to an adjacent valley.  Think of the descent from the top as the transition to greater complexity in a cochlear hair cell. An empty brick warehouse will make a fine office space. As we begin, there is one vast empty volume. All space is undifferentiated. We are at the top of Waddington’s hill. As this undifferentiated space becomes offices, conference rooms, kitchenette, toilets we approach the bottom of the hill. Walls have been built, lights installed, plumbing is in place. Here at the bottom of W-Hill it is costly to change the interior architecture.

JBT & N – The opposite of Kodalithing is TMG ( Too Much Gray). To be TMGd is to be buried in detail, in so many shades of gray that the truth that may reside at either pole of an argument becomes fogged. As Stephen Jay Gould knocks Charles Darwin from his pedestal, a Kodalith moment, he disguises the paradigmatic violence in 1,000 shades of meaning with his jargon,history lessons, apologies, false encomiums, goofy science, impenetrably sloppy diagrams, straw-man attacks, squid rasslin and much else. Its all good, a great stimulant for thought.

JBT – There is much Kodalithing at work when credit for a great discovery is assigned. Newton-Leibniz, Picasso-Braque, Ellington Strayhorn, Jones-Jagger, Lennon-Parker. The individual with the best historical PR team wins the credit sweepstakes. “Satin Doll” everyone knows it as a Duke Ellington not as a Billy Strayhorn song even though Billy wrote it. History loves Kodalith as do historians. Shades of gray nowadays mean shades of dividing up profits.

JBT – The human brain Kodaliths for many reasons. It is the only way to store a memory. The histones surrounding the DNA in a neuron are either methylated ( black) or not (white). these neurons can accrue into patches containing many  thousands for a single vivid memory that includes sight, sound, vome, taste and touch i.e. the dotscreen at a newspaper image ( each momentary sensation is its own dot and they arrive in groups from different senses)  but it is still kodalithing. As the total number of memories cascade into larger realms kodalithing must occur in order to make room i.e. those 100,000 sensations from a great first date get kodalithed as all ON-Black and filed as a single great memory in a bank of 100 date memories. It may be parsed out-remembered in detail,  later at will.

JBT – Kodalithing concentrates meaning into essence ( see: Kara Walker cutouts:

Sometimes essential meaning  is lost during this process. It would be difficult to contain the meaning of a watercolor painting with kodalith film as it is the fluid-induced shades of tone that are the essence of this medium.

JBT – Structuralism asserts that our brains arrive on Earth containing a waffle iron,  a neural appliance with six structural grammars enabling more than screams, grunts, chirps, scowls, howls and arm-waving though all of these are still very much in use. Imagine that our built-in, ADNA coded waffle iron contains six different grammars, one each for spoken-written language, music, smell, touch, taste, graphics and architectural space and that our neocortex gives us the brain volume to add coded cultural specifics to each of these structural capabilities for communication. Sensation is processed by each of six different brain areas of sequential evolutionary age from oldest to newest: brainstem, amygdala, hypothalamus, thalamus  hippocampus,  neocortex.

Each of these six brain areas has its unique method of judging sensory information, its own version of a waffle iron. We have the viscero-emotional grammar of our limbic system expressed along the Papez circuit, emotional grammar, logical ( written/spoken) grammar. We have a grammar of pleasure and one of pain, one of smell and taste. We are born knowing the decayed-dangerous-don’t eat from the sweet-fruity or fatty-bloody edible.

JBT – That lines are ever points is a fluke of human perception. That continua may be parsed into singular events is a myth, a misperception always leading to error. We make this error as a matter of course. There are no points. Points are kodalithic phenomena, the mind’s effort to create meaning via abstraction. Beware of all that is lost when time or space are stopped. Nothing ever stops. Nothing is ever still. There are no points in time or space. Our mind creates points in time and space for convenience, to get a handle on living. We call these points memories, each memory has a unique combination of sensory information.

JBT – Our idea of a house, what a house is, the very nature of any house is a point in our memory, a fixed idea locked into our brain at an early age. All memories are fixed and revisited only when necessary – as Eldredge and Gould pointed out, stasis reigns until evolution is required. Our ideas about the nature of art and science are as fixed as those of houseness. “Science is rational requiring experiment and proof” “Art happens on a canvas and is displayed in a museum or gallery.” After we buy these notions close to the symbolic foundation, we can add detail. Human consciousness is a collection of paradigms for 1,000 things; art language, dance, all systems for processing sensation and storing memory.

JBT – A memory is a dot screen, a patch of tissue with 1,200 available loci each of which has been turned on or left off i.e. kodalithed. 200 dots each register sight, sound, smell, vome, taste, touch and each sensation has an intensity tag. Imagine a six section waffle with each section formed in its own area of the brain followed by stacking into a single more abstract, more compact package for storage. When you remember Paris now and then you won’t remember 200,000 sensations you will remember “nice”

JBT &N – DeAcetylating seven histones at a gene in 1,000 neurons storing a hurtful memory is DA Therapy(DAT) . DAT is 50% couch analysis and 50% lab work-chemical adjustment, detaching PTM that codes for intensity as we change the memory of a violent beating from father into a love tap, freeing the mind to accrue self esteem. The PTM we removed is evacuated from the neuron as cell waste where this dark memory maker will be flushed by the kidneys and pissed into oblivion.

JBQ – Is there a structural difference between a heritable acquired characteristic TTT (Transgenerational Transmission Trauma) and a run- of- the- mill very bad memory during a life? if the TTT is locked via PTM then there must be a location in a neuron for this and that is visible at least in theory. Some tangible molecular thing must lock into the genetic material in the germ cell in order for inheritance to occur. Is there a threshold where a very bad memory gets transported to the germ cells by some increased voltage from the brain through the spinal cord to the uterus or testes?

JBQ – Are not all epigenetic post translational modifications at germ cells heritable?

JBT – All bees are born identical and differentiation into queen or worker happens as a result of diet. All begin their lives eating royal jelly, the workers are weaned from it to a diet of sucrose after a short while. The queen continues to eat royal jelly her entire life thus remaining a queen throughout. Perhaps human military leaders are selected in a similar manner with normal men separated in every physical way from their mothers by age 18 whereas a future military leader’s mother will follow him to West Point and iron his shirts and succor him during stressful periods -see:Supreme Commander Southwest Pacific  Douglas MacArthur.  A disproportionate number of  corporate,  military and political  leaders had close physical attachments to their mothers.

JBT – Perhaps trauma such as that experienced by concentration camp survivors during World War II  interferes with PTM scrubbing as the zygote becomes daughter cells resulting in trauma that has been stored in ova at brain genes( perhaps as ubiquitinated histone #3)  to remain at this chromosomal location during fertilization and fetal development in the nervous system and growing brain as this memory is transmitted to children.

JBT – Sustained neuronal voltage spiking during the formation of long-term trauma causes DNA to unwind from a nucleosome at several neurons creating  neuronal chromatin available for modification that would otherwise be tightly wound around histones and thus inaccessible.  Perhaps the voltage spike allows histone modification to occur in a tightly wound gene through brute force with no unwinding required or the DNA itself simply gets coated with the modifications with no histones involved.

JBT -Epigenetic activity is spread from its initial neuronal site via very small RNA delivering epigenetic response from one location to distant parts of the organism, to the germ cells perhaps, where epigenetic change is inherited. “Plants use epigenetic modification to regulate 1,000s of genes helping to maintain appropriate but “short term” response to the environment” N. Carey

What is “short term” one single moment in time, say a single season or a single organism lifetime or short term as in the life of the species rather than the life of the entire clade, say 5 million years instead of 250 million years. Epigenetic activity as a way to cycle gene expression during a single lifetime on-off i.e. one cycle per lifetime.

JBT – RE: effects of protein folding on phenotypic expression. To do: get 200 copies of “Mad” magazine with the folding back cover that, when folded, creates two distinct pictures. See what percent  of pictorial space became shallower and percentage of deeper pictorial space i.e. does it become a close-up or a further away image?

JBT – All new brass keys of a certain brand produce blanks of a general configuration. Each of 100,000 blanks has exactly the same relative percentages of copper, zinc, mercury etc. They are all the same shape and weight and chemical composition but minor variations in shape at only one edge create 100,000 different key identities for 100,000 different locks. If this holds at such a gross level then surely it works at the cellular-molecular level with DNA, histones,RNA of all sorts and  proteins.

JBE –  Examine experiment results noting the presence of a molecule and its time of arrival or departure tells us something but not nearly the whole story. It is the actual 3-D shape of each molecular variation that begins to tell the story. Look to histone shape for info re: memory not simply the fact of PTM. OK, histone H2B is citrullinated and a neuronal gene involved in memory  is suppressed. This is like picking up Moby Dick and noticing that it is about a whale. Look to molecular shape for additional story. SHAPE AND MEMORY. A traumatic memory has a unique shape as does a blissful memory. These shapes combine and affect one another creating an overall color to the memory is it bright springtime pastels or is it mud and gravy with 90 years of grime.

JBT – Perhaps we have a system that reads electromagnetic radiation from a specific shape of molecule giving added information – another, deeper level of on-off switches, another level of dot pattern, another layer of Kodalith and after shape is detected and categorized we move to the next adjacent deeper level, orientation to magnetic north or body north or some reference point say at the center of the thalamus there is a ground zero a GPS marker, a USGS benchmark, a reference point. Our own Greenwich Observatory – home base for all global ( brain-case ) neuronal navigation. every molecule involved in neuronal memory storage sits in a specific 3-D relation to this quantum point in the center of our brain and position becomes information. Thus a single cut key ( ubiquitinated histone 2A) can have its own 1,000 positions – variations storing much memory. So a bash to the head erases memory, jiggles a brain full of specifically oriented molecules. Some jiggle back into place and others do not, amnesia ensues.

“Waddington’s Hill”  A sloping conceptual landscape with an array of channels one nearest the top splitting the field into two follwed downhill by two splitting into three possible options, decision points in time for a growing thing. These channels guide a ball rolled from the top into either one of two, this happens twice resulting in four possible end locations at the bottom of the hill.

“Blake’s River” begins as a beautiful mountain stream near its source where one can easily step across,  it gradually becomes a mile wide muddy river filled with crocodiles that is difficult and dangerous to cross. This could be one’s river of education think how simple it is to go to college along with 90% of the college population and how difficult  to matriculate as a mid-career working person. Evolution of an organism follows Waddington’s HiIl ( he called it a “landscape” hill is not only a shorter word it has the grade change built in) as complexity increases options narrow and it becomes difficult to roll back uphill. As in Blake’s river it also becomes dangerous. the deep history of an organism has a lot of genetic mutation as it evolved from simple to terminally complex but at present 99% of genetic mutation spells  malformation and disease.  Due to the imperative that genes are to be conserved,  our DNA has evolved epigenetic process allowing  phenotypic difference in cell expression without changing the DNA. Blake’s River, like the Mississippi, Amazon, Danube or NIle has eddies, swamps, backwaters, hidden sandbars and snags i.e. it will often fool you, it is not always what it seems, it has force and power and inevitability and risks obscured by its easy nature.

JBT – What if one’s neuron PTM pattern got re-distributed along the brain DNA and neurons began to pulse like heart muscle cells, your brain now pumping out great ideas?

JBT&N – If a memory is locked in at a neuron group as methylated neuronal DNA or neuronal histone mod at hippocampus, it then has 60 years (plus or minus) to sit there and do any number of things such as sending information via methylated miRNA down to an egg via axon microtubules at spinal cord and out to ovaries thus locking this memory into a germ cell neuron nucleosome as a DGM ( Deep Genetic Memory-jb neolog)

JBT&N – 99% of conscious experiential memory is epigenetic and stored in brain neurons. The memory required of cells to distinguish their purpose at specific organ or tissue or hormone is epigenetic ocurring just after conception and removed from the genome with each generation to begin again as totipotent zygote. The species uses DNA as memory storage system. It is rarely interrupted and usually by detrimental mutation. Traumatic memory appears to have a pathway to permanent storage as heritable. To do: check for N. Kellerman’s TTT in mouse population. Specifically, check DNA / histone PTM patterns at mouse hippocampus-ovary-germ cell axis, the HOA axis, a JB neologism.

JBT – If we have neurons outboard of the brain at heart, lungs, gut perhaps these neurons are relay stations for memory shipping from hippocampus to testes and ovaries.

JBT – We may inherit the fears of the past few generations as a matter of course, no need to wait for browbeating from parents, siblings,  teachers and media. We don’t need a slap in the head to be afraid of being the “tall poppy” or a follower rather than a leader due to pre-wiring so when on the analyst’s couch we shouldn’t restrict blame to parents but must include gramps and granny though deceased, still bearing the psychic burden that has interrupted our rise to social significance and spiritual enlightenment.

Fun Fact-1:  Two highly specialized cells, egg and sperm merge to create a totally un-specialized cell capable of becoming any one of 200 different primary cell types in the human body and each of these 200 has many subtypes. there are more than 70 types of neurons. Most epigenetic memory gets wiped from the genome just after fertilization. A quick wipe for sperm, a slower wipe for the egg.

Fun Fact- 2:  42% of human genome comprises transposons probably viral residue. 1AP retrotransposons do not get erased during meiosis-mitosis-zygote-fetal development.  Perhaps retrotransposons are the site of Transgenerational Transmission of Traumatic memory.

JBQ – What if 30-40% of human DNA is virus, bacteria, fungi or mold and is currently shut down by PTM? Humans as seed banks for microorganisms.

JBT – Cezanne had great admiration for Chardin and tried to capture Chardin’s magic in his later work. It was Cezanne’s failure at Chardin that created his great victory for a new painting – Cubism

JBT – Investigate the reading of color of a molecule by a second molecule  for operational cues, its electromagnetic signature, the electromagnetic wavelengths it reflects or absorbs as signals for further metabolic or structural activity.

JBT- At neurons involved in memory storage look for lots of unspooled DNA at chromatin as it prepares to receive and encode memory.

JBQ – What is the viscosity of mature chromatin at a 55 year old neuron? Does mature adult chromatin at hippocampal neurons get less viscous as memories fill up space at histones and ADNA as memories lock into place? We know that we die with the neurons we are born with i.e. neurons are not replaced as are skin or liver cells. does this mean that the chromatin in neurons never gets replaced, renewed, recycled or in some way refreshed? Does a 70 year old person have 70 year old chromatin? might this old substance be getting sour or debased / infected in some way as it is invaded by bacteria, virus, archaea,  fungi or mold even if not subject to Alzheimer’s effects i.e. there may be a spectrum of ways to interfere with normal youthful neuron function.

JBE – Does neuron chromatin get more firm with age as memories lock up chromatin? Is viscosity of neuronal chromatin affected by a rat’s accrued experience running mazes and learning tricks? Does a highly trained rat with a brain full of maze memories have more firm neuronal chromatin than a tyro rat?

JBQ – What is the correlation between ADNA and the Structuralist phenomena asserted by Saussure( signmaking) Levi-Strauss(classifying plants and animals) Barthes(myth making), Chomsky ( grammar) i.e. the stuff of our humanness?

JBQ&N – How is an emotion memorized? How many steps in the cascade of on-off switches at work while storing sadness or happiness? Must there be visuals? If five senses are involved,  are five brain areas alerted when this memory is recalled or have the sensations been packaged as gestalt and stored as a unit – a MU – memory unit. A memory unit is a single retrievable thought comprising ten thousand separate inputs from all sensory systems as well as neocortical judgement / analysis tags that have decreed this experience rich, full, complex, worth remembering.  Are songs or paintings symbolic storage devices relieving our brains of having to store all aspects of a certain sadness by giving an appropriate song that perfectly captures the zeit. Edith Piaf packaged a lot of emotion in her day.

JBQ – Does a cluster of neurons storing a particular memory get an intensity tag scaled from one to one hundred? Has our brain ranked every person we know in a hierarchy of importance so that there are two tags with every emotion one for intensity and one for importance of person involved?  Is there a primordial circuit in the brainstem that combines importance of person ( who, in this example,  is a nobody) with the overall intensity of an incident? I experience  a huge beer-spilling intentional bump in a crowded bar causing a pulse straight to my amygdala-motor axis  signaling:  “Mama said knock you out”?

JBT&N – Quantum Memory Transfer (QMT) – A memory comprising 100,000 sensations over a hard year resides in the brain as a neuronal bundle of ADNA stored at a small part of a specific voxel ( one cubic millimeter) in the hippocampus as a long-term memory. This potent bundle can be sensed-read-felt-known by another person in some detail. Perhaps a child is not born with a holocaust induced traumatic memory from parent but the child is  hardwired by its inherited ADNA to receive this traumatic memory. This child is born with a PTM histone that does not contain this entire evil memory but only half of the abstraction of it,  like half of a DNA molecule. A child  of traumatized parent, grandparent or great grandparent will add the complimentary half of this ADNA-Histone thus recreating the whole memory just as the ribosome constructs a protein from a stretch of mRNA. The child, after reconstituting this traumatic memory has been Kodalithed. An experience that played out over two years in a concentration camp with billions of sensations stored by the experiencer as a million PTM neurons and inherited as a single bundle of PTM histone in a germ cell ( ovum) where it became a incipient brain cell in the fetus and grew into a mature neuron cluster ready for activation.

JBN – A memory bundle ( MB) – The kodalithic abstraction, the sign, the stored experience, the switch is on, the myth emerges from stored experience generated by six senses and many neocortical judgments. The sixth sense being vome, short for vomeral-nasal our pheromone response:  “chemistry” as opposed to “The Smell Test”.

JBT – Epigenetics is to genetics as post-Hubble astronomy is to looking at the moon through binoculars. Our genetic code with its 3 billion base pairs is only the starting point. This fact, like the universe itself, is overwhelming. Humans continue to underestimate the complexity of life. Imagine the human brain as big as Rhode Island, now let’s take a drive to the hippocampus and watch a memory unfold.

JBT – “A Taxonomy of Culture” All human cultures have created a tissue of myth in order to defuse a gnawing insignificance. The micro-totemic quality of many of our current mythical referents has become flexible. Studying The Beatles or Bob Dylan at a university, not to mention our obsession with entry level celebrities. there is a taxonomy of cultural concern but in the big picture it is all the same stuff whether Beyonce’ or Catherine The Great, Winston Churchill or Chubby Checker, Goethe or Seinfeld. One gets more credit for name-checking an Ancient Greek than a 1950s rock and roll star but they are not essentially different. The former is swathed in time. One day Beyonce’ and her retinue will be studied in universities and revered as if Cleopatra.

JBQ – Phosphenes are the brilliant, psychedelic color patterns you see when you press on your eyeballs while lying in bed at night. How are humans able to see the explosive array of brilliant light and color of phosphenes in total darkness, no light whatsoever, no electromagnetic sensation, no photons striking the retina?. Are phosphenes a chemical light only? Pressure on the eyeball releases calcium or potassium ions  activating neurons?  Do these sensations find their way back to the occipital lobe for neocortical processing or does this sensation stop at the brainstem? We don’t really need a neocortical opinion about the meaning of it all. Do phosphenes involve memories of color stored in the brain?

JBT – Every atom in our universe is connected to an alternate universe via a nano black hole in its innermost center at the sub boson-quark level. This subatomic connection to our next adjacent but unseen universe is the source of gravity.

JBT – Human culture vaccinates us from the affliction of our insignificance, giving us a scale of being, a starting point with which to face the universe. Our neocortex  is a mechanism enabling us to play off against one another in an invented, wholly arbitrary and myth-riddled social engine, a coded system of symbol whose turbulent convection creates intra and inter-tribal  social stratification. Conflict of one sort or another is the lubricant for all cultural motion from relationships between nations and lovers.


May 17, 2015    6:35pm

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