.4 Heinz Pagels

Heinz Pagels (1939 – 1988) was an American physicist. He was an adjunct professor of physics at Rockefeller University, the executive director of the New York Academy of Sciences and president of the International League for Human Rights. He obtained his PhD in elementary particle physics from Princeton University under the guidance of Sidney Drell. His technical work includes the Physics Reports review articles Quantum Chromodynamics (with W. Marciano) and Departures from Chiral Symmetry. A number of his published papers dealt with the source of the mass of elementary particles in quantum field theory, especially the Nambu-Goldstone realization of chiral symmetry breaking. The list of his graduate students incluces: Dan Caldi, Saul Stokar and Seth Lloyd.
Pagels was an outspoken critic of those who would misrepresent the discoveries and ideas of science to promote mysticism and pseudoscience.

In 1969, Pagels married theology professor, author, and MacArthur Fellow Elaine Pagels. They had a son Mark, who died in 1987, after 4 years of illness. Pagels died in 1988 in a mountain climbing accident–one disturbingly similar to the imagined fatal fall he described at the end of The Cosmic Code.

According to Michael Crichton, Pagels’s work in chaos theory inspired the character Ian Malcolm in his novel Jurassic Park However, the character’s pessimistic, anti-science philosophy bears little resemblance to Pagels own strongly held view.

The above mentioned ending of his book “the cosmic code” and its similarity to his death are of an uncanny likeness. This is the eerie passage on the last page of the book:

Science is not the enemy of humanity but one of the deepest expressions of the human desire to realize that vision of infinite knowledge. Science shows us that the visible world is neither matter nor spirit; the visible world is the invisible organization of energy. I do not know what the future sentences of the cosmic code will be. But it seems certain that the recent human contact with the invisible world of quanta and the vastness of the cosmos will shape the destiny of our species or whatever we may become.
I used to climb mountains in snow and ice, hanging onto the sides of great rocks. I was describing one of my adventures to an older friend once, and when I had finished he asked me, “Why do you want to kill yourself?” I protested. I told him that the rewards I wanted were of sight, of pleasure, of the thrill of pitting my body and my skills against nature. My friend replied, “When you are as old as I am you will see that you are trying to kill yourself.”

I often dream about falling. Such dreams are commonplace to the ambitious or those who climb mountains. I dreamed I was clutching at the face of a rock but it did not hold. Gravel gave way. I grasped for a shrub, but it pulled loose, and in cold terror I fell into the abyss. Suddenly I realized that my fall was relative; there was no bottom and no end. A feeling of pleasure overcame me. I realized that what I embody, the principle of life, cannot be destroyed. It is written into the cosmic code, the order of the universe. As I continued to fall in the dark void, embraced by the vault of the heavens, I sang to the beauty of the stars and made my peace with the darkness.

Main Content is Courtesy of Wikipedia

The Hangover Lounge

If there is one thing I am missing in Vienna then it’s a decent and comfy place to hang out on sunday afternoons. After heavy partying on weekends mankind needs a place to relax, chill and refill those empty cells. Be it the lack of extracellular fluids through hyperosmotic Vodka Martinis or be it the renewal of neurons through bloody mary’s – there is definitely great need for such a venue.
This circumstance came into my mind this weekend, when two guys I met at a party invited me to their gig at the so-called “Hangover House” on sunday, 3.30pm. Since this seemed the perfect time in between getting up and getting ready for a fresh monday morning I thought why let’s not hit this place. So we went there and got to see an amazingly good and uplifting show of a 3-man jazz-electro combo, redefining the backward classification of jazz, electronica and funk. They jammed for more than an hour and the place’s patio was filled with midtwenty contemporary metropolitans zipping on their martinis and daiquiries.

Hangover House

The Hangover House – Hollywood’s self-proclaimed “healing hot spot” is conveniently located on El Centro/Santa Monica Boulevard and opens at 2pm each and every Sunday afternooon. They have a variety of up and coming Bands ranging from the Bay Area to Southern California, presenting all kinds of music styles.

Vertically integrated Clothing

American Apparel

The clothing brand American Apparel (AA) successfully shows how to combine aesthetic garments with social production surroundings and cutting-edge marketing. AA is a Los Angeles based Label, concentrating on plain yet high-quality clothing. The idea is that the entire process of manufacturing and selling is bundled in one location. This anti-modern movement of not outsourcing their Infrastructure allows them to pay their workers one of the highes wages in the US, respond to market demand faster and act as one of the probably most social internationally acting clothing companies, by not makeing use of sweat-shop-productions.

Besides this more ore less economical part of the brand, their garment is simple, timeless, plain, yet unconventionally modern, aesthetical and of extraordinary high quality. Their T-shirt series (available in 30 colors) is probably its definition as closest coming T-shirt availabe on this planet. No logo and nothing but straight one-colored round-neck shirts.

Along this philosophy goes their marketing and promotional mentality. Minimalistic and close-up photography of unknown and unique faces, where it seems that the clothing is almost less important than the person being depicted. The whole appearence hugely reminds me of the art of David Hockney (on whose work the LACMA is currently having an exhibition), where the californian superficialty and beverly hills avantgarde residentials are painted in an edgy and clear color, mainly in blueish and yellow nuances following life in the so-called sunshine state.

American Apparel

American Apparel combines functional, minimal and high-quality clothing with a new and extravagant company structure. I totally admire their corporate identity, the fact that I can have beautiful long-lasting non-logo T-shirts, knowing where it actually comes from.

“American Apparel is a vertically integrated manufacturer and retailer of clothing for men, women, kids and dogs. Meaning, we’ve consolidated all stages of production under one roof at our downtown Los Angeles factory—from the cutting and sewing, right through to the photography and marketing.”

In an recent Interview, founder Dov Charney, talks about his goals and gives an insight in the company’s infrastructure. Charney, a 36 year old jewish Canadian dropped out of Tufts University in his senior year and moved to Columbia, S.C., to start a T-shirt company in 1989. As imported goods flooded the market, Charney saw the price of T-shirts plummet and waves of his suppliers shut down. In 1996, he put his own business into bankruptcy. Two years later he reemerged in Los Angeles, creating a new version of American Apparel with a partner, Sam Lim.

palm control

since a couple of years now I’ve been pursuing the website of german physics student and semi-professional magician Denis Behr. He is predominantely concentrating on hands down close up magic with cards and coins. His website is filled with up to perfection trained basic sleights of hand and magnificant card routines, which must be trained for months.

considering the fact that there are no additional gimmicks used, the decks are plain playing decks and it’s only palm control, I admire this as much as somebody playing the piano with virtuosity.

Here’s a selection of some of my favorite’s:

lips and corporations

Last Sunday three outstanding bands played at the hollywood bowl (LA), presented by KRCW

After a nice get together at the apartment of Carolina we headed towards north hollywood,where the glamorous and huge hollywood bowl is located at. crowds of people moved along the main entrance, bringing bottles of wine, lots of food and various other legal and illegal substances.

starting at 7pm, os mutante could be heard from the outside, while the majority of people was still enjoying a nice sunset, food and beverages. around 8pm my personal highlite of the sold-out show stepped on stage – thievery corporation.

thievery corp

the washington d.c. based formation might be recognized by some of you either due to their track “lebanese blonde”, featured on the garden soundtrack and in numerous lukas zinnagl dj sets 😉 or due to habits of some viennese partypeople wearing shirts saying “air thievery”.

they definitely knew how to treat an actual open air bowl of thousands of people. with synthesizers, drum sets, bongos, the infamous sitar and different singers they really made me stare for more than an hour.

finally the evenings headliners – the flaming lips – stepped on stage. “stepping on stage” is indeed a rather wrong formulation, since the leadsinger entered the audience being in a lifelarge bubble, dozens of people dressed as santa clauses or robots appearing from the back of the stage and millions of small paper pieces were blown into the audience.although i have never cared about this band before they had some good songs, although, they were nothing special compared to other nowadays musicians. It was one of those postmodern blends of synth-bass-classical-coldplay-peaches-pop-punk-rock…This was one of the most interesting and best evenings so far. The hollywood bowl is definitely up there in my top 2-3 locations I’ve been so far. The acoustic is simply unbelievable. Pictures are available at the Photo section.

more video material from the flaming lips is available @ youtube(there performance was fabulous so go see it!)

.3 Norbert Wiener

Born November 26, Died 1894 – March 18, 1964, was a US mathematician and applied mathematician, especially in the field of electronics engineering. He was a pioneer in the study of stochastic processes (random processes) and noise processes, especially in the field of electronic communication systems and control systems. He is known as the founder of cybernetics. He coined the term “cybernetics” in his book Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (MIT Press, 1948), widely recognized as one of the most important books of contemporary scientific thinking. He is also considered by some to be the first American-born-and-trained mathematician on an intellectual par with the traditional bastions of mathematical learning in Europe. (Others give this honor to George David Birkhoff, who came a decade earlier.) He thus represents a watershed period in American mathematics. Wiener did much valuable work in defense systems for the United States, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. During World War II, his work on communication theory, and formulate cybernetics. After the war, his prominence vouchsafed him enough clout to arrange for some of the brightest young researchers in artificial intelligence, computer science, and neuropsychology, including Warren Sturgis McCulloch and Walter Pitts, to join him at MIT. They came, but then, suddenly and inexplicably, he broke off all contact with the members of this painstakingly assembled research team. Speculation still flourishes as to the reasons why; whether they were professional or related to his hypersensitive personality. One theory is that the split was maliciously engineered by his wife Margaret Wiener. Whatever the reason, his departure led to the premature end of one of the most promising scientific collaborative research teams of the era. Courtesy of Wikipedia

nobu and mankind’s oldest dream

With the help of Anna, a former Model, originally from London, I got into nobu matsuhisa’s top notch restaurant in beverly hills, eating probably the best sushi I ever had. I didn’t think that there can be such a difference in tasting sushi, however last night did taste differently and outrageously good. The place is small and since the chef himself, nobu, was there the same night, the place was packed with celebs, posers and filthy loades ones. As a matter of fact one belonging to the last group of the just mentioned was sitting right next to me and we had a very refreshing small talk conversation about how he is involved in the beverly hills real estate business and how clinical trials work. he was in his mid 40s, yet very young, open minded and surprisingly not pretentious at all (in comparison to 2 female co-existants on this planet sitting fornent of me).
Luckily Anna paid for the entire meal, because apparently she had too much sake. If I’d tell you how much the bill for 3 of us was you wouldn’t believe me anyways…so I’ll just skip to the next “theme” that’s on my mind right now.

Through the link-sharing network del.icio.us I found about a photographer named jan von holleben. His recent project, called “dreams of flying“, instantly dragged my attention. I am easily attracted to magical and fairytale-like things such as this photostory. Programmatically he depicts mankind’s ancient believe and wish to be able to fly. Concentrating on the unspoiled state of children’s faces, blank as hindu cows, he shows them in rather archetypical situations of life. I like his way of lighting and the depth the photos created by destracting the 3-dimensional space we live in. In a series of meticoulosly arranged photographs it seems that one’s earliest experiences in life takes surrealistically place in nowadays world.

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Jan von hollenben, holds a BA in photography, was born in germany and is currently residing in London, working as an independent photographer and editor. He has won several international prizes and initated the non-profit project “photodebut“.

the whole series of “dreaming of flying” and other work is available @ janvonholleben.com

all photographs are courtesy of jan von holleben

DesignKlicks

A new plattform called DesignKlicks tries to find a new approach to aesthetic in a really outstanding user interface which allows you to virtually look trough hundreds of photographs, industrial design pieces, contemporary artworks and pictures of various installations.
Everything started out in 2005 during a german conference, whereas a new “cosmos of values” has been tried to establish. This referrs to a postmodern phenomenon which we all know well. Media sumbliminaly influences the public by the way they publish or not publish certain issues. Interessting yet not covered worldwide issues are being overseen by internationlly organzied mediacompanies and thus people start writing blogs, start independet websites to gather underground information and simply try to create their own environment for information. People start creating online encyclopedias, because they apparently have a lack of information sourcesc – of high quality information sources. Wikipedia, the success of Blogging and the worldwide rise of Boards and Communities shows that people are more and more organizing themselves, instead of being fed by outposts.


Copyright by Pedro Mayer

Regarding the above mentioned the people at Trendbüro first created the website in order to avoid a singularity-controlled system of ranking of art and it’s affiliations. The idea was to circumvent the current way of web publishing and biased and untrustworthy (does this word exist?) information processing by media companies.
After being published in 2005 it still remains as an extremely creative yet totally different portal, controlled by the people submitting and judging the content of the website, namely “the new approach to aesthetics in a cosmos of values”.

The website is semiotically structured and you can navigate through virtual clouds of terms and assosciations. It is really highly impressive to me and I love surfing diverse Works in a 3D environment. All Works are arranged around the central terms “Lust – Controll – Harmony – Conflict” and are organized within those 4 poles.
Through a percentage Scale based on the majority of clicks and photoprevalence on the website you can actually tell in which mood the people visiting the website are.

The entire service is free of charge and is sponosred and developed by “Trendbüro” and “Der Spiegel“.

http://designklicks.spiegel.de/

.2 Heinz von Foerster

Heinz von Foerster (No – October 2, 2002) was a scientist combining physics and philosophy. He worked in the field of cybernetics and was essential for the development of the radical constructivism theory and second-order cybernetics, for which he was an eloquent advocate. He is also known for his interest in (computer) music and magic.

He was born in Vienna and died in Pescadero, California. He was married to Mai von Foerster.

Von Foerster studied physics at the Technical University of Vienna and at the University of Breslau, influenced by the Vienna Circle and Ludwig Wittgenstein. He moved to the USA in 1949 and worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There he formed the Biological Computer Lab, studying similarities in cybernetic systems in biology and electronics. He knew well and was in conversation with John von Neumann, Norbert Wiener, Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead, among many others. He influenced generations of students as a teacher and inclusive, ethusiastic collaborator.

He was the youngest member of the core group of the Macy conferences and editor of the five volumes of Cybernetics (1949-1953), a series of conference transcripts that represent important foundational conversations in the field. It was von Foerster who suggested the Wiener’s coinage ‘Cybernetics‘ be applied to this conference series, that had previously been called “Circular Causal and Feedback Mechanisms in Biological and Social Systems”. He also authored more than 100 publications and was invited as a speaker to conferences all over the world until his death at age 92.

Together with Warren McCulloch, Norbert Wiener, John von Neumann, and others, Heinz von Foerster was the architect of cybernetics. In particular he developed a second-order cybernetics which focus on self-referential systems and the importance of eigenbehaviors for the explanation of complex phenomena. In von Foerster’s words, it is the “cybernetics of observing systemsâ€?. Von Foerster’s famous distinction between trivial and non-trivial machines is a starting point to recognize the complexity of cognitive behavior. A trivial machine is a machine whose operations are not influenced by previous operations. It is analytically determinable, independent from previous operations, and thus predictable. For non-trivial machines, however, this is no longer true as the problem of identification, i.e., deducing the structure of the machine from its behavior, becomes unsolvable.

Content is Courtesy of Wikipedia & the official HvF Website

so…

a bloody night out at the hyde

orlando bloom, shaquile o neil, kobe bryant, p.diddy, lynsay lohan, paris, olsen twins

-_-