Friday, June 15, 2007

The Pigeons of Paraguay (Further Dreams of a Ridiculous Man)

In the spirit of my prior dream-description Colors, I have written down another dream ... one I had last night ... it's in the PDF file linked to from

Copy Girl and the Pigeons of Paraguay

I'm not sure why I felt inspired to, but as soon as I woke up from the dream I had the urge to type it in (along with some prefatory and interspersed rambling!) It really wasn't a terribly important dream for me ... but it was interesting as an example of a dream containing a highly realistic psychedelic drug trip inside it. There is also a clear reference to the "Colors" dream within this one, which is not surprising -- my dreams all tend to link into each other, as if they form their own connected universe, separate from and parallel to this one.

I have always enjoyed writing "dreamlike" fiction, such as my freaky semi-anti-novel Echoes of the Great Farewell ... but lately I've become interested in going straight to the source, and naturalistically recording dreams themselves ... real dreams being distinctly and clearly different from dreamlike fiction. Real dreams have more ordinariness about them, more embarrassing boringness and cliche'-ness; and also more herky-jerky discoordination.... They are not as aesthetic, which of course gives them their own special aesthetic value (on a meta-aesthetic level, blah blah blah...). Their plain-ness and lack of pretension gives them, in some ways, a deeper feel of truth than their more poetized fictional cousins....

The dream I present here has no particular scientific or philosophical value, it's just a dream that amused me. It reminded me toward the end a bit of Dostoevsky's Dream of a Ridiculous Man -- not in any details, but because of (how to put it???) the weird combination of irony and sincerity with which the psychic theme of sympathy and the oneness of humankind is addressed. Yeah yeah yeah. Paraguayan pigeons!! A billion blue blistering barnacles in a thundering typhoon!!!

I'll give you some mathematics in my next blog entry ;-)

-- Ben


Anonymous said...

Okay, I know enough linear algebra to realize that it must be indispensable for computer science, and that’s why I’m interested in it, practical application, but why all the bullshit? For instance, elementary matrices are really straight forward and there’s a theorem in the textbook I’m using that states (with the proof an exercise) that, for any elementary matrix E and any arbitrary matrix A, EA operates on the rows of A while AE operates on the columns of A – all good. But then underneath that theorem is a silly little table and the statement, “Hence for each elementary matrix E, the transpose E^t performs on the columns of A the same elementary column operations as E performs on the corresponding rows of A,” and this is bullshit. I can prove in the general case that it’s bullshit and it’s a trivial proof!

Both the scalar multiple and permutation elementary matrices are symmetrical so they are their own transpose and transposing the replace elementary matrix simply alters the row which is replaced (instead of row I being replaced by i+cj, row j is replaced by j+ci) with no effect on the columns. I’m just befuddled by this because obviously you’re going to have a hard (surreal) time applying this “knowledge” in a practical way. And I feel it’s all somehow related to the bullshit definition of a linear algebra. I mean, if I’m writing software for a CAD 3D suite and I utilize quaternions for manipulating the 3D object under the assumption that the quaternions are associative, how the hell would the software ever work? Why not just lay it out like it is?

I mean, what really baffles me is that after all the bullshit, the final exercise in the practice exercises is:

“Show that P(i j) can be expressed as a product of elementary matrices of the form R(r, r + cs) and M(t(c)).”

Okay, so the straight-forward obvious solution is:

1. Replace row i with row i minus row j: i, i - j

2. Replace row j with row j plus row i: j, j + (i – j) = i

3. Replace row i with row i minus row j: (i – j) – i = - j

4. Multiply row i by -1: i, j
M(i(-1))R(i, i – j)(R(i, i + j))^tR(i, i – j)A = P(i j)

And if you work through that problem, to say nothing of a couple of those before it, it becomes obvious that E^t does NOT operate on the columns; to operate on columns one must flip the order of successive operation! So why all the bullshit? Anyway . . .

If you’re in the mood to disrupt Hugo’s sleep patterns, off-handedly suggest that he read the little book, “Apocalypse 2012” (, by Lawrence Joseph:

“Carlos (Barrios, a Mayan), who is fond of Calleman, patiently explained that the Fourth Sun (Age) will end 12/21/2012 (1+2+2+1+2+0+1+2 = 11), on the winter solstice, which, as it happens, is expected to occur at 11:11 UTC ( and

Anonymous said...

The First Sun, according to Carlos, began approximately 20,000 years ago, was dominated by female energy, and related to the fire element. The Second Sun was characterized by male energy and related to the earth element. The Third Sun was characterized by female energy and related to the air element. The Fourth Sun that we are just now completing has been dominated by male energy and related to the water element. On 12/21/12 we will enter the Fifth Sun, in which the energy is balanced between female and male. Related to the ether element, the Fifth Sun brings with it a subtler wisdom.”

Okay, so after the Fifth Sun what happens? The cycle starts over with the First Sun characterized by female energy. Each sun lasts 5,125 solar years and, according to Lord Krishna’s KaliYuga prophecy, by some accounts anyway, a Golden Era 10,000 years in duration is to commence roughly 5,000 lunar years after the start of the KaliYuga, which is now: 5125 + 5125 + 10250!

“Evangelical Christians are the group most eager to precipitate Armageddon, looking forward to the Rapture, the exalted moment when, before the battle begins, true and faithful Christians are literally lifted up into the air, into the heavens, to join God. No doubt this would be exhilarating. From the safety and comfort of Heaven, one would have the opportunity to look down upon the Earth and watch the battle between two warring groups: Christians who, due to imperfections in their faith, or because of special warrior destiny, were not subsumed in the Rapture; and followers of the Antichrist, a charismatic false Messiah, whose followers include secular humanists, pagans, Hindus, and Buddhists, as well as Muslims, Jews, and insufficiently committed Christians. A large portion of Jews are expected, in Evangelical theology, to convert to Christianity and thus fight on the righteous side of the Armageddon battle. Those who decline Jesus will, along with all other naysayers, explode.”

These Evangelical Christians are nutty in the dangerous way; they built a $50 million theme park next to Tel Meggido and they even have a magazine dedicated to Armageddon called “Endtimes” ( and and they’re influential in American politics ( If that’s not pathological, what the hell is?

Read William Tiller’s white paper about the Kosyrev torsion experiments ( and then read David Hestenes short FQXi essay (; the age of aether indeed . . .

Anonymous said...

George W. Bush, a psychotic Evangelical if ever there was one, was recently criticized by the liberal media for appearing at a fundraiser raising funds for an organization trying to convert Jews to Evangelical Christianity; he said he was doing "God's" will . . . isn't that the same thing he said about invading Iraq? And how did that little piece of "God's" will turn out? Evangelical Christians make Al Queda look like a bunch of amateurs . . .

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