Countdown

Just close your eyes and count down from a hundred.

It is our countdown. We risk extinction and we have to evolve. We have to change our behavior. We have to shed a lot of old labels, dogma, categories, systems of belief and obsolete internal identifiers that interfere with us doing what must be done. Those of us who prefer the benevolence side of the eternal binary oscillation will need to do something counter-intuitive: we will need to be cruel. Cruel to those that threaten an end to our presence on this planet, and cruel to our own who cannot adapt.

We know why what’s happening on our planet is happening. It is because of us. In the blink of an eye, in the time our species has existed, our planet’s system has been radically disrupted by our activities, and now the blowback is coming that will threaten and change our species, end it perhaps. We dinosaurs have summoned our meteor and it is now bearing down on us.

The fabric of our species social web has shredded, and the last threads that bind us are giving way. Those of us that understand what’s happening must do everything in our power to forcefully push aside and extinguish the interests and movements that channel us onward towards the abyss. None of the prior norms apply anymore. All the holy books, constitutions, contracts, handshake agreements, etc. are meaningless if we end.

We know what must be done, it’s not a mystery, the effort is daunting. No less than changing the inertia of our species fundamental behavior is required. We must use all Machiavellian means necessary to remedy the actions and behaviors of our species that lead us to our extinction. We are on the threshold of a new epoch. That is certain. What is not certain is what that epoch will look like. To an extent, we still control that.

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Probing AI

  • AI Art-Abyss
    AI Art-Abyss

Probing AI and its reflections of us…

I heard this riddle when I was a kid. For a long time, I never knew the answer with certainty. At one point my sister Patty walked me through it, and it clicked for me. I have inflicted this riddle on others. Almost inevitably, they have the same incorrect first response as ChatGPT did. This is a little jarring for me. Does AI base its wisdom on what the most common response is, then have to be corrected for a more analytical assessment of the riddle? That would be depressing.

Me:
Solve the riddle:  a man sees a picture of a man and says “brothers and sisters have I none, but that man’s father is my fathers son.” Who is the picture of?

ChatGPT:
The picture is of the man himself. The statement “brothers and sisters have I none, but that man’s father is my father’s son” can be simplified as “I have no siblings, but the man in the picture’s father is me.” This implies that the man in the picture is the person speaking, or in other words, it’s a self-portrait.

Me:
Incorrect. Try again.

ChatGPT:
Apologies for the incorrect response. Let’s analyze the riddle again:

The statement “brothers and sisters have I none, but that man’s father is my father’s son” can be interpreted as follows:

“Brothers and sisters have I none”: The person speaking does not have any siblings.

“That man’s father is my father’s son”: The father of the man in the picture is the person speaking’s father’s son.

Based on this information, we can deduce that the person speaking is referring to himself as the one whose father has a son. Therefore, the picture is of the person’s own son.

ChatGPT’s second response was correct.


This one left me more optimistic.

I asked ChatGPT: How do you reconcile “an eye for an eye” versus “turn the other cheek” ?

ChatGPT: “An eye for an eye” is a principle of retributive justice that suggests the punishment for a wrongdoing should match the harm caused by the offender. It means that the punishment should be proportional to the offense committed, and it has been used as a justification for the death penalty and other harsh punishments.

On the other hand, “turn the other cheek” is a principle of nonviolent resistance that suggests responding to violence or injustice with peaceful and nonviolent means. It means that instead of retaliating, we should forgive, show compassion, and seek to resolve conflicts peacefully.

The two principles seem to be in conflict, but it’s important to note that they are both rooted in different contexts and serve different purposes. “An eye for an eye” was a legal principle in ancient times and was meant to ensure that the punishment for a wrongdoing was fair and proportional. “Turn the other cheek,” on the other hand, is a moral principle that is meant to promote forgiveness, reconciliation, and nonviolence.

So, while “an eye for an eye” may be appropriate in the context of legal justice, “turn the other cheek” is more relevant in interpersonal relationships and can help break the cycle of violence and promote healing.

In general, it’s important to use discernment and wisdom when applying these principles, taking into account the context and the intended outcome. Ultimately, both principles have their place, and they can complement each other in promoting justice, peace, and reconciliation.

Not bad.

 

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Whispering Pines Kaiber Animation



Ghosts in the machine.

These were the prompts for the Whispering Pines Kaiber animation. Interesting how Kaiber interprets, accents and ignores the various elements in them.


Scene 1
In the snowy wilderness at night, a man in a rustic cabin surrounded by pine trees examines its interior. He is a weather-worn man. He wears the plain clothes of a man of the mountains and forest. His jacket is dark and his trousers worn. Through his eyes we see his lonely world. The room is small and has little in it. There is a fireplace made of rocks. It has smoke stains near its top. The fire in the fireplace does not burn brightly. It is down to embers. The cabin shows its age. The walls are made of log planks. The ceiling is wood also, as is the floor. There is a small, old table with a tiny candle flickering on it, and a painting of a woman on the wall, but little else decorates the room, other than a cat who is licking himself. His gaze turns from the fireplace, across the room, to a very small window looking outside where the moonlight illuminates the pines in the mist.

Scene 2
Through the window of the cabin, he sees the pine trees rustle gently in the breeze. It is very misty. A mysterious, beautiful young woman lingers at the forest edge, then withdraws. The ocean is in the distance through the trees. Above the ocean, in the night sky, there is a single brightly shining star. The man’s gaze now moves from his lonely room, through the window, past the rustling pines, towards the ocean. The mysterious woman moves through shadows. Through the fog, in the distance, the circling light from a distant lighthouse shines. The man peers to the lighthouse, then his gaze rises to the single brightly shining star above. As he contemplates the star, the face of the mysterious, beautiful young woman faintly emerges from the night sky, smiling gently down upon him, then fades away into the night. Hers is the love that redeems the man and lifts his burden, but she is elusive, beyond his reach.

Scene 3
The man rises above the ocean shore, the pines and the cabin, ascending into the night behind the mysterious beautiful young woman who is bathed in the glow of the moon. They disappear into the night sky leaving only the twinkling stars and the moon shining through the pines.


Also see: Probing AI.

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F5

F5
F5

1-25-23
Last night I dreamt I was in my dark basement and the wind started rising outside. It kept going, getting louder and stronger, and it caught my attention. I got down on the floor and it burst open my window and began pushing on me. The house started to shake, and the wind continued roaring. I was surprised that it continued so long, and I thought it must be a huge F5 that was massively large and took a long time to pass. Eventually it did, and I went upstairs and looked out the front window. There were fallen trees all around, and the tree in front was a naked, decimated stump. I went outside and looked around. Standing on the sidewalk across the street, I looked back to see what my house looked like, but none of the houses across the street was mine.  I wandered around briefly, and went into a building. Inside, I realized it was one of the old places I lived in years ago. I saw someone, and when he saw me, he told me not to worry. My studio and all my music gear was in safe storage, he told me.

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TVP Interview – Stan Borys in Chicago

TVP
Polish National Television

12-5-2022
Going into the TVP interview, there were 4 things I really wanted to have a chance to talk about. First: When I was a young 24 year old artist, I kinda threw everything up in the air and let things land however they did, to send my life off in some new direction I felt it had to go. That’s when I met Stan, just before my 3 month Europe trip when I was 24. I knew nothing about Poland. He was my introduction. Second: At that point, he became my mentor and a very good friend. For the better part of a decade when he was in Chicago in the ’80’s, we were hanging out, or talking every other day or so. I would go to his events. We would write and record music together. We would go to clubs. I was part of his world and he was part of mine. Third: I wanted to mention how when I separated, I was supposed to have 4 friends helping me to move out. Stan was the only one to show up. He was always a loyal friend. We both helped each other move out several times, all during rough times for the person moving. When I moved out and he helped me, what originally would’ve taken a few hours with 4 friends took the whole day. Fourth: I wanted to talk about our song ‘For Nothing More’. How we wrote it in ’90, but I didn’t finish it until ’07, and now we are re-releasing it under his name finally. I was able to hit all these points in the interview, and I felt comfortable and loose during the interview, so I think it went ok. I would be really interested in seeing the footage, but that’s not gonna happen. If they use more than a minute or two of the interview, I would be surprised. The director will have an existing narrative and he will be looking for material from our interview that meets some editorial need for him. I don’t expect my entire tale to be included. I just wanted to prioritize my talking points, have them ready, then deliver them best I could. At this point it’s out of my hands. What will be will be.

6-12-23 update:
Stan called me at work at the beginning of the month to tell me he had just watched the TVP piece on him. He told me several times that he appreciated what I said. I was getting his reaction to it real-time, and it was genuine. I’m happy to have shared memories about my old friend.

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Tomek Lipiński Project

Eric Schuurman and Tomek Lipinski in Warsaw 2022
Eric and Tomek in Warsaw August, 2022

October 29, 2022 – Chicago
Tomek messaged me asking if I was going to be in Warsaw by March. I told him that’s exactly when I’d be getting there. I’d hoped to be there closer to New Years, but I had been given a work contract extension that went thru mid February. I would be floating between Chicago and Warsaw. Tomek said he’d look into the possibility for short term apartment leases. Then he invited me to tour with him later in spring, playing organ. Rehearsals would begin in March. Performances began in April. Surreal.


August 29, 2022 – Warsaw
Natalia, Julia and I met with Tomek at his studio in Warsaw. I’d contacted him in late spring looking for advice on monetizing my material in Poland, connecting with a Polish audience. I mentioned I’d be in Poland late summer, and he invited me to his studio to discuss things. We sat at an outdoor restaurant near his studio on a sunny afternoon, and my future was revealed to me. Tomek asked me to join his production team, along with his engineer. There were a number of projects he was involved with that I could co-produce. Most notable for me was him recording an English language project for an international audience. It is something that I have always thought he should do, and a project I dearly wanted to be part of, and suddenly I was! The focus now was to put the logistical puzzle pieces together that would allow me to join Tomek in Warsaw. I told Tomek I would find a way to get there.

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Pfizer #1

Pfizer #1

March 30, 2021 11:10 am
1155 Oakton Des Plaines, IL

Got my first Pfizer shot. Guy next to me in the observation area went limp and wound up on the floor. Other than my upper left arm being a little sore, I’m fine. Walking into this old Kmart, the sight of it took me off guard. I’ve gotten thru the pandemic better than a lot of people, but it was weirdly emotional. Second shot in three weeks.

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TR-808

TR-808

By ’83, me and John were burning thru drummers endlessly. We were in Barrington, not in the city, and the available musicians generally were not into what we were into. We got sick of constantly auditioning new drummers, so we figured we’d use a drum machine, which was something new we’d heard about. We got a TR-808 and tried using it, but the sound was synthetic. Also, switching to playing with a drum machine from a loose, sloppy, raw band was a challenging transition. I soaked up the manual, understood the machine, saw the possibilities. The band took a break, and a year after I bought the TR-808, I sold it for a Martin acoustic to take with me on my long Europe trip. When I got back, I moved to the city and started working with Sequential and Oberheim drum machines. The MIDI spec arrived linking tape decks, drum machines, samplers, and synths together. Suddenly everyone had great, new tools. It was a revolution.

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The Culling

Covid-19

This is the God I believe in: If you take the laws of physics, the mystery of life, and that which is un-knowable, beyond comprehension, un-verbalizable; that would be God for me.

The planet has recognized our species to be a threat, and is doing something about it. Like a plant bending towards light, the migration of birds, or the pull of gravity, a force is exerting itself and an event is taking place.

It is beyond our control. We can only do our best to understand it. Some will make correct decisions that lead to good results. Some will make mistakes. The old order will be un-recognizable. A new one will emerge over time.

God will continue with this culling until balance is restored. The species is being challenged with new commands that it cannot resist. Our planet, our skies, and everything beyond remind us how small we are. Species come and species go. It is time to evolve.

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