Friday, September 21, 2018

Tek-Gnostics Monograph Series

Volumes one & two of the new series

As we had originally announced back in May, Tek-Gnostics Media is pleased to report the publication of a series of monographs, dealing with various facets of High Weirdness. We debuted volume one of the series at AlienCon 2018, in Pasadena, California. The title of that monograph was: "Return of the Archons." Back in 2016, we did a series of posts on this most intriguing topic. As these posts were very popular amongst our discerning readers, we gathered the original post notes, expanded upon certain themes within the original material, and compiled the investigations into a concise exposé on the strange narrative of alien intrusion and the indigenous mind.

This week we published volume two of the series, titled: "Extra-Terrestrial Contact & Cultural Competency: A field guide for effective communication with off-world visitors." Again, we have expanded and re-worked earlier materials that had been popular with our readers. Here is a brief excerpt from the field guide:
This guide is intended to serve as a general briefing to enhance cultural competence while providing insight into the complexities of extra-terrestrial (ET) first contact. Within the context of this field guide, cultural competence is defined as: the ability to function effectively in the context of planetary cultural differences. 
Look for future installments of our monograph series, to cover such intriguing topics as: Blockchain, Crypto-currencies & Artificial Intelligence... Voodoo in the Digital Realm... The High Weirdness of Philip K Dick. Stay tuned, dear intrepid psychonauts... stay tuned!

Return of the Archons (vol. 1) -  Kindle  ~  Paperback 

Extra-Terrestrial Contact (vol. 2) -  Kindle  ~  Paperback

Saturday, September 8, 2018

The Four Waves of Artificial Intelligence

Kai-Fu Lee is a venture capitalist, technology executive, writer, and an artificial intelligence (AI) expert. He is currently based in Beijing, China. Lee’s résumé, pertaining to Artificial Intelligence, is impressive. He has held high ranking research and development and executive leadership positions at Microsoft, Apple, and Google. Lee is the founder of the AI/tech-oriented venture capital firm: Sinovation Ventures.

Recently, Lee authored a book, titled: AI Superpowers… wherein he lends his considerable expertise in examining the near-future technological, financial and marketing rollout and “power balance” between Chinese and US tech behemoths… each turbocharging new applications of deep learning and sweeping up global markets in the process.

Based upon the AI foundation that has already been implemented, Lee identified “Four Waves” of globally applied AI, that are in process as we speak. This is the “state of the art” in terms of how AI, not only affects our daily lives but indicates the likely trends of where and how AI executes (with the help of humans) what has been eschatologically described as: Technological Singularity.  

The First Wave: Internet AI
In this first stage of AI deployment, we’re dealing primarily with recommendation engines—algorithmic systems that learn from masses of user data to curate online content personalized to each one of us… ie: Amazon’s product recommendations, YouTube’s “Up Next” video, or Facebook ads that know what you’ll buy before you do. This tech is in place and affects each of our thought processes daily.

The Second Wave: Business AI
Internet AI takes advantage of the fact that we, through our on-line interactions, are constantly identifying, labeling and voluntarily contributing data via clicks and other engagement metrics. Big business AI jumps on the data that traditional companies have already labeled in the past, via on-line sales, etc… ie: banks issuing loans and recording repayment rates, hospitals archiving diagnoses, the proliferation of imaging data, and municipal, state and federal courts algorithmically noting conviction history, recidivism, and flight.

The Third Wave: Perception AI
In this wave, AI gets an upgrade with eyes, ears, and myriad other senses, merging the digital world with our physical environments. As sensors and smart devices proliferate through our homes and cities, we are on the verge of entering a trillion-sensor economy. The “internet of things” was just the beginning (Siri, can you keep a secret?). 

The go-to city for startups building robots, drones, wearable technology, and internet of things infrastructure, is Shenzhen, China. Turbocharging output of sensors and electronic parts via thousands of factories, Shenzhen’s skilled engineers can prototype and iterate new products at unprecedented scale and speed.

The Fourth Wave: Autonomous AI
Finally, the most monumental… and unpredictable… wave is the fourth and final: autonomous AI. Integrating all previous waves, autonomous AI gives machines the ability to sense and respond to the world around them, enabling AI to move and act productively. While today’s machines can outperform us on repetitive tasks in structured and even unstructured environments, machines with the power to see, hear, touch and optimize data will be a whole new paradigm.

Imagine if you will: swarms of drones that can selectively spray and harvest entire farms with computer vision and remarkable dexterity, heat-resistant drones that can put out forest fires 100X more efficiently, or Level 5 autonomous vehicles that navigate smart roads and traffic systems all on their own. The development of these intelligent machines will ultimately revamp entire industries from the ground up.

Artificial Intelligence is here and the above four waves are pretty good indicators of what is to come, based upon what’s already been implemented. This is where the eschatological angst of technological singularity enters our collective consciousness. 

The reality of these implications is this: Although it appears that we are at a crossroads… we are always at a crossroads. The situation is always desperate, as usual. The simple choices each of us make today, impact (perhaps dramatically) the outcomes of the future. The situation could turn out bad… or it could turn out good… the choice continues to be ours. It remains a question of vision.

We have long advocated the vision of an Intelligence Amplification (IA) path, where humanity intelligently (and compassionately) leverages an emerging technological singularity for the betterment of humanity.  In fact, IA is a likely singularity scenario, given our intimate relationship with our technologies. IA is something that is proceeding very naturally, as we create an interface with increasingly sophisticated computer systems. Every time our ability to access information and to communicate it to other humans is improved, we have achieved an increase over natural intelligence.

 These developments appear to be evolutionary in nature. The internet is arguably one of humanity's most ingenious and ambitious creations to date... being nothing less than a vast working model of global consciousness. Each human with the means to connect to the web becomes, in a sense, a single, autonomous neuron in the mind of our biosphere, or as she has been more eloquently titled: Gaia. Given the incredible potential that each individual earthling brings to this system, the creative possibilities for our global consciousness are seemingly infinite. As this global nerve-net becomes more complex and sophisticated... singularity approaches.

This is an optimistic assessment… but that’s the point. It is each of our responsibility to fashion a positive vision of the future. We choose the cup to be half full. And why not? The future is “gonna go down one way or another… let’s choose to make it go down for the betterment of all. As we have said, ad nauseam… we are all in this together.

- based on the work of Kai-Fu Lee (AI Superpowers) and his interview with Peter H. Diamandis, MD.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I Want to Believe

The X-files... American pop-cultural catalyst of High Weirdness.

"Building upon the paranormal milieu established by such classic television shows as Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Outer Limits, and Rod Serling's "other" foray into the macabre: Night Gallery... the X-files would, in many ways, surpass these earlier shows in it's impact. Due in part to timing and in part to the times... the X-files would become an influential component of the rapidly morphing zeitgeist at the closing of the 20th century. The show's subject matter would act as a lightning rod of "conspiracy thinking" that would, in part, trigger the "High Weirdness" that was to come, at the dawn of the new millennium."

- Excerpt from the Tek-Gnostics Archives

For those of us who grew up being intrigued by the supernatural, the unexplained and all things Fortean… little on American television has been more entertaining or influential than that beloved 90’s cult/sci fi/horror television series created by Chris Carter… the X-Files. Through its off-network syndication, millions of viewers continue to follow the exploits of FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder and his skeptical partner, Dana Scully as they investigate baffling, unsolved cases involving the paranormal, extra-terrestrial phenomena, and related conspiratorial monkeyshines. 

Crafted in the fine tradition of classic 1960’s shows such as the Twilight Zone… the X-files came along at a time when the paranormal was fast becoming the new normal. Looking back at the show’s impact on pop-culture, the X-files exerted a strangely disproportionate influence on the new paradigm. It could be argued that the X-files played a significant role in pop-culture’s metamorphosis from a previously ordinary reality... into a contemporary bizarro world of High Weirdness.

It is under the cover of this odd premise that Tek-Gnostics Media recently added to its archives, a new section entitled: I Want to Believe: the X-files... American pop-cultural catalyst of High Weirdness.” In presenting our annotated X-files Exegesis, Tek-Gnostics wishes to acknowledge the profound influence and inspiration that the writings of Chris Knowles has had on our understanding of the esoteric importance of the X-files franchise. We consider his work to be the definitive authority on this topic.

Follow the above link to check out the new addition on our Mother Ship, Tek-Gnostics dot com. In keeping with the chronicling of our strange times, we have also revamped our Pop Future page, to more accurately reflect the Brave Noö World we find ourselves living in. Enjoy. Also… did we mention the fact that the diabolical Dr. They makes a cameo appearance within our archive? Well he does...

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Lodge 49 – signs and portents

Tonight when I chase the dragon
The water will change to cherry wine
And the silver will turn to gold

- from “Time Out of Mind” by Steely Dan

As did this series from AMC, I would begin commentary on Lodge 49 with the gathering of crows (I prefer to think of them as Ravens). In a previous post concerning the ill-omened crow, I suggested that: “Throughout the ages, birds have been harbingers of fortuitousness... of consequence. Owls, Crows and especially the Crow’s big brother… the Raven… have foretold of ominous events. It is widely known that a gathering of crows is known as a "murder of crows." It may not be as well known that a gathering of Ravens is called a: Conspiracy of Ravens."

So too does Lodge 49 begin with signs and portents. An ominous beginning for Ernie Fontaine (played by Brent Jennings), the aspiring titular heir to the Long Beach chapter of the “Ancient and Benevolent Order of the Lynx.” "Signs and symbols, Ernie," says lodge member Blaise St. John (played by David Pasqesi), the house philosopher/bartender, when Ernie tells him about his concern over the gathering of crows over his house. “It’s the augury of birds, man!

And Earnie should be concerned… having entered his own Chapel Perilous of doubt, struggling to reconcile the “ways of the world” in trying to make a living in a declining Southern California, with his tarnished dream of becoming the next Sovereign Protector of Lodge 49. So it is that Earnie “plays” the young seeker of the mysteries,  Sean “Dud” Dudley (played by Wyatt Russell) for a fool, conning him out of $2K (which Dud can ill-afford), while at the same time, struggling with his own belief in the mystical manifestations of Lodge 49 prophecy and Dud’s ordained appearance.

Dud is the archetypical So Cal surfer bum/messiah. While on a surfing safari in Nicaragua, Dud is bitten by the bearer of ancient mysteries of the garden… the snake. Dud is transformed by the snakebite/wound that will not heal. Is he Arthur or is he Parsifal of the grail myth? What does Lodge 49’s current Sovereign Protector know, concerning Dud’s foretold appearance? Has Dud been sent to Lodge 49 by the “True Lodge?”

Lodge 49 is both a parody and an illumination of fraternal orders such as the Elks Lodge, the more mystical orders such as the Masons, and the esoteric, alchemical orders, such as the Rosicrucians. It is ripe with the symbolism of the Western esoteric tradition. In one scene, an ordinary painter’s ladder is transformed into a golden Jacob’s Ladder, in the eyes of Dud. When he ascends the ladder, he discovers hidden treasure from his past, providing Dud with the answer he is seeking to his worldly dilemma of the moment.

Lodge 49 is a leisurely paced comedic drama, dealing with the mundane as well as the mystery of everyday life. It is a strange brew of cheap beer and esoteric elixir… of routine existence and alchemical transformations. Although Lodge 49 presents a sharp commentary on an American commerce culture in decline, it sparkles with the beauty that resides deep within the commonplace.  It reminds us to look for the magick within the mundane.

Lodge 49 is a synchromystic smorgasbord. The sometimes generous, sometimes cruel hand of fate is central to program’s theme… the show’s mytharc, if you will. Synchronicities and meaningful coincidences abound. It is the synchronistic interconnectedness of the characters that not only give the show its charm, but is the engine that drives it. The loveable, yet damaged characters encourage us to seek the sublime within the everyday, in our own lives.

As a bonus, gratuitous violence is absent from this show. The viewer is not encouraged to seek a game of thrones or fear the walking dead. This is most refreshing in an entertainment industry that seems to only provide mind-numbing, soul-crushing gore to an increasingly desensitized public. Lodge 49 is a quirky program that dares to suggest that we chase the grail, rather than the all mighty dollar.

The Mythic "Twins" from Lodge 49

Check out Lodge 49. It is food for thought that also feeds the soul, in a world gone crazy. 

- J ♥

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

"Return of the Archons" on Kindle

Back in May of this year, Tek-Gnostics Media debuted volume one of our new Monograph series, titled: The Return of the Archons. We launched the paperback version of the series at the 2018 AlienCon extravaganza in Pasadena, California. The event was fun (chronicled here) and the monograph sold well! The "Archons" monograph investigates the curious and occult nature of extra-terrestrial (and more to our liking, extra-dimensional) hypotheses. Moving beyond the "mere fringe" topics of Ufology, "Archons" digs deep to explore the "fringe of the fringe" ...merging ET contact with archaic Gnostic codexes and contemporary Science Fiction.

We are pleased to announce that the Return of the Archons monograph is now available in digital format, through Amazon's Kindle E-reader. As an E-book launching special, we are offering the digital version for an introductory price of 99¢. Download one while supplies last!

As an added feature... if you buy the paperback version, you get the digital version free.

Also, be on the lookout for the publication of volume two of our monograph series... the new and greatly expanded: Extra-Terrestrial Contact & Cultural CompetencyA Field Guide for Effective Communication with Off-World Visitors. This expanded edition serves as a general briefing to enhance cultural competence while providing insight into the complexities of extra-terrestrial (ET) first contact.

What with all the Disclosure revelations, such as the Bigelow Aerospace Story, the discerning UFO enthusiast may want to pick up a copy while there's still time! Anyway... check out the Archons monograph. It is a fun read and all proceeds go to keeping the Tek-Gnostics electronic doors open!