the integratron: a rejuvenation machine

[I actually wrote this post for another blog, and they turned it down because it was too woo-woo, so I'm posting it here instead. even if it is woo-woo, just imagine the possibility that, electricity can be used to rejuvenate our cells - as if they were re-chargeable batteries. at the very least, it makes for some beautiful conceptual art.]

In the Mojave Desert in 1953, former aircraft mechanic and flight inspector George Van Tassel claimed to have been contacted telepathically and later visited by aliens from Venus, who taught him a technique for rejuvenating human cell tissues. (In other words, Venusians taught Van Tassel how to make cells travel backwards in time.) What resulted was the Integratron, a dome-shaped structure Van Tassel built out of plywood and fiberglass in Landers, California, which was intended to be a "rejuvenation machine." According to the Integratron's website, "during the 25-year period that Van Tassel developed the Integratron, (1954-1978), he called it "a time machine, a rejuvenation machine and an anti-gravity device." Today the Integratron stands mightily, a bright white dome in a dry desert landscape, its rejuvenating effects attracting visitors from scientists studying the electrostatic/electromagnetic design and spiritual groups practicing meditation and healing to corporate teams generating new ideas and authors looking to dissolve writer's block. (I'm actually sitting inside the Integratron as I write.)

According to Van Tassel, the Integratron's ability to rejuvenate cells is based on two principles. The first principle is a combination of the sacred geometry of domes and the fact that the structure is built above what is believed to be a natural "energy vortex," which enables the Integratron's dome shape to concentrate the energy of the vortex. The second principle, perhaps more relevant to Long Viewers, relates to Van Tassel’s studies of Antigravity, Human Cell Rejuvenation and Time Travel. It takes the notion that humans are electrical in nature, and theorizes the possibility of recharging human cells with a powerful negative ion field. In the words of Wikipedians, "it is believed that, though each individual has his unique personal 'wavelength,' the multiple wavelengths of energy put out by 'focusing and concentrating devices' such as the Integratron will find a 'resonance' with the individual's basic harmonic frequency and 're-charge' his cellular structure, as if he were a battery." I'm not aware of other developments in the use of electricity to rejuvenate human cells, but presumably the likes of Ray Kurzweil are aware of this possibility, if not actively advancing it.

If you visit the Integratron, you can take a guided tour, enjoy a Sound Bath (be "bathed" in sound produced by quartz crystal singing bowls), or even rent the place out for your own private purposes. There are also "special events," and it looks like there’s one coming up in June of 09 – send them an email to stay tuned. And of course, there's a Facebook group, fittingly called I went to the Integratron and good things happened.

PS. As you might have guessed, I'm not actually sitting inside the Integratron right now, but if you're ever interested making the trip, feel free to get in touch: misstephanie.gerson@gmail.com.


medium-function disaggregation

[apparently the only way to comment on Clay Shirky's blog is to backtrack. so here goes a comment on his post about Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable.]

"Society doesn't need newspapers. What we need is journalism."

So it goes with cars. (What we need isn't cars [*cough*, the auto industry], but transportation.) And with global government. (What we need isn't a global government, but global governance.)

For lack of a sexier term, I call this phenomenon medium-function disaggregation, and I consider it part of the ongoing trajectory that media and their functions go through. It's when a medium becomes less effective at satisfying the function it was originally intended for – in a relative sense (because more effective alternatives have emerged), and/or in an absolute one. The medium effectively goes through an identity crisis, as its raison d'etre is challenged, and the function becomes more liquid, able to inhabit other/new media. And our attention shifts to the meta-level, i.e. to a higher level of organization, from the level of the medium to the level of the function:

"When we shift our attention from 'save newspapers' to 'save society', the imperative changes from 'preserve the current institutions' to 'do whatever works.' And what works today isn't the same as what used to work."

Government, cars, and newspapers are undergoing a temporary disaggregation of medium and function. This is a season, i.e. the same seasons recur, albeit differently in different years. Medium-function disaggregation: 'tis the season for experimentation.


fair trade tele-coffee carrotmob

I wanna do a tele-coffee carrotmob around the world to demonstrate the demand for (and subsidize the supply of) Fair Trade coffee. This would be somewhat of a combination of my Valentine's Day experiment in social tele-intimacy, likemind, and carrotmob, and it would go down within the confines of an international coffeehouse chain with enough leverage to single-handedly increase the market share of Fair Trade. Considering that it's actively soliciting rescue plans and fancies itself as being socially responsible, this might be ideal for Starbucks. Essentially: on a given day, likeminds enjoy a cup of Fair Trade while videochatting from Starbucks to Starbucks around the world. We could even sing a song together and different peoples in different places could keep the song going all day long (sure it would drive the baristas nuts but it would make for a gorgeous screencast, thus gorgeous marketing collateral, and we're definitely overdue for another We-Are-The-World"/From-A-Distance inspirational song thingie). Anyways, seeing as Starbucks is heading into the territory of 'value meals,' it might even give participants a deal on their coffee + whatever else that day.

Random note: I gave this idea to a place-based advertising company named Danoo during a job interview with them last year. They Loved it and then never returned my emails, phone calls, nothing. Beware-y of them.