Raphie Frank :: business artivist

All Alone is All We Will One Day Once Have Been: A Generation X Response to Thomas Friedman’s “Generation Q”

Jace Cavacini
The Lonely Puppet by Jace Cavacini (Highly Functioning Autistic: Asperger’s Syndrome)

At least one of the anthems of my generation is “All Apologies” by Kurt Cobain of Nirvana fame. The refrain which repeats over and over again in the collective mind of our generation is “All alone is all we are. All alone is all we are…”

My dream is that in the not so distant future, we will be able to update that riff by giving it a happier, more hopeful ending. To do that, however, is going to take a little work, and a little working together in a process I call “social cogeneration,” because only by working together will we be able to stand together and tell the world:

No, Kurt got it wrong. All alone is all we will one day once have been.

All Alone is All We Will One Day Once Have Been
A Generation X Response to Thomas Friedman’s “Generation Q”

As a leading edge member of Generation X, a generation I affectionately refer to as the generation trapped between idealism and despair, told by our parents we could do anything we dreamed of doing, then told “no” every time we tried, I feel uniquely qualified to comment on Thomas Friedman’s October 10, 2007 column, Generation Q, in which he termed the current crop of college students the “Quiet Generation.”

It’s not so much that Mr. Friedman got it “wrong,” but that he could have gotten it more right. The younger generation — also known to marketers and within popular culture as “Generation Y,” denoting those born between 1981 and 1995 — is indeed quiet now, but this does not mean they will be quiet later because they are also very much the “Quick” Generation, brought up in the age of Information Explosion, Internet learning by association and Social Software.

Fractal, “object oriented,” relational thinkers in the mold of noted technologist Ray Kurzweil, a self-described “patternist,” they “get” things, intuitively, in a Malcolm Gladwell “Blink” of an eye, even before they have language by which to frame those thoughts and, sadly, one of the lessons they have learned, perhaps a bit too fast, is that nobody is listening.

In my view, many members of Generation Q are not so much “quiet” as frustrated and, possibly, even a bit depressed.

I don’t know this in theory, but in practice, in anecdotal, but all too tangible, form, because for the better part of the past three years I have spent thousands of hours interviewing and talking to and corresponding with, not just members of Gen Q, but with people of all ages, across all economic and geographical and race divides.

I communicate with these people here in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and on the streets of Manhattan, and on social software sites such as Flickr and Friendster, real life “participatory action research” by an aspiring professional human being who has made more than his fair share of mistakes. I tell these people stories — mostly in private, but also sometimes in public — stories about being a bit too “different,” about being a right-handed, right-brained thinker trying to follow a path with heart in a left brained world and not wanting anyone to know because I know what happens to those who dare to dream with the heart of a ten year old child…

They get trampled.
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December 12, 2007 Posted by | Art, Non-Partisan Activism, Philosophy, Sociology | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toward an EXCEPTIONAL Simple Theory Of Everything :: Celestial Chiaroscuro

Ist Grade Day one
Sami Sheridan by Sean Sheridan

As such, in my view at least, the string theory community would do itself a service to embrace the possibility, not of the “miraculous” break through coming via the Standard Model alone, but via what Progressive Physicist David Bohm termed the implicate order (i.e. hidden or “enfolded”) that Lisi’s theory suggests.

In other words, it’s not this or that, but this and that because this is that. Not just the light and the dark — what artists might call the “positive and negative space” — but also the underlying order that threads them both together in celestial chiaroscuro.

Dear [Friend],

In relation to the issue of Intelligent Design, all the rage in the news these days, you mention that clinging to Aristotle is both Anti-Science and Anti-Evolution. I both agree and disagree. Certainly clinging to Aristotle is both Anti-Science and Anti-Evolution, in my view, anyway, but “Einstein on a Surfboard,” A. Garrett Lisi‘s recent Grand Unification theory “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything,” bringing the poor orphan of Physics, Gravity, out of the cold and into the Standard Model fold with the other three fundamental forces of nature via the E8 Lie Group — which at least some blogs are referring to as “Ptolemy’s Revenge” — would seem to suggest that a dialectical synthesis of old and new together, the precision of the technological Modern Age with the wisdom of the Ancients, may just be possible in a non-partisan, creed-blind manner.

Whatever your personal view of the theory, it has certainly generated a fair amount of interest from such notable Physicists as Lee Smolin, Peter Woit, and John Baez, while string theorists such as Karlovy-Vary, Czech Republic-based Lubos Motl are apoplectic, already proclaiming the fiery apocalypse, not just of planet Earth, but of the entire Universe! (from Motl’s blog post: Telegraph: Cosmologists are killing the Universe on Motl’s blog “Reference Frame“).

I would suggest that what has in large part created the “ruckus” of late in the Physics community is that many believe Lisi’s theory may lead to the New Dark Ages, a reversion to the blind mysticism and ignorance of the Pre-Galileans, with attendant political consequences that could severely threaten separation of church and state, one of the most sacrosanct bedrocks of any free and pluralistic society.
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November 24, 2007 Posted by | Censorship, Non-Partisan Activism, Physics, Science, Storytelling, Theater | | 1 Comment

Letter to a Friend re: Scientific Censorship at the Cornell ArXiv Archives

Shadow of Death
Shadow of Death by Brian Naughton

Dear [friend],

Thank you for sharing that information with me regarding your work on “Extended Relativistic Particle Physics.” You are not alone in your work in this area. I know of others doing similar work who are effectively “blacklisted” from the corridors of scientific progress [the Cornell Archives at ArXiv.org].

One way you can indirectly affect the debate is to send people to a thread on PhysOrg I have been posting to “Challenging Dominant Physics Paradigms.” I have made several posts you may find of interest since it was started. People need to get involved and have their voices heard, because silence is your worst enemy; because without the “shout out” to the world at large, no one else can hear the quietude I am positive rings all too clearly in your head. Here is a direct link to the second page of the thread…

Challenging Dominant Physics Paradigms

Information, after all, is power, kind of the point of the conversation in the first place.

My feeling is that the Scientific Community may not be capable of dealing with this on their own as Noam Chomsky suggested [they ought to do] in his letter to Carlos Castro Perelman — the power dynamics are too entrenched — and the 4th Estate needs to get involved. As a microcosm of the bigger picture, in terms of FEAR — and the fact that you “half-expect” yourself to be relegated to the margin yourself is quite indicative of this dynamic — please do also take a gander here…

Laissez Faire Libel?

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November 21, 2007 Posted by | Non-Partisan Activism, Physics | | 2 Comments

Imagination Into Action

Olga Blowing Bubbles by Brian Reisinger

I said please, she said Yes, I said Thank you.

Please    View it
Yes    Do it
Thank You    Glue it.

That’s a clue to how the artists knew it.

Or to put it another way, the Boojummy went to the circus and was told to call the moon, and that is where he found his heart.

November 15, 2007 Posted by | Art, Photography | 1 Comment

Introducing Social Cogeneration (& Cognitive Physics)

Originally posted on the Cognitive Physics Thread at Physorg.com Forums

Social Cogeneration
photo by Mattijn

We need to learn to “cogenerate” — meaning we need to start “creating together” (i.e. synergy) — with our teachers and they, in return, ought to think about how to co-generate back with us in a recriprocal manner because I’ve news for you, StevenA. The relational mind and the symbolically oriented mind is the wave of the future. Not only are we learning faster than ever before because we have more “data inputs” and the time between question and answer has decreased exponentially in my life time alone, but the way we are learning has changed also.

Dear Steven,

Let’s look at the exponents of that 2^(Fn) summation series I posted yesterday, because there’s an interesting connection between that and “convolution,” and I suspect it could be applied to signal processing, but first let’s look a little at…


… because contributing to, not polluting, the truth, is really what we are all about, or at least what I am all about, and we want to make sure that our critics understand that up front, because our goal is to work WITH and not against them and we believe the greatest form of “pollution” is to not ask the questions that need asking because we’re afraid to ask them.

When you get right down to it, StevenA, I suggest you conceive of the “Cognitive Physics” thread as an “exploratory lab.” What we are doing here, at least in part, is trying to prove the lie to this notion that you need a piece of paper to contribute to the broad spectrum of scientific knowledge and inquiry, or that you need a certain amount of “experience” in our expert-dominated culture, or that if you didn’t do it yesterday that means you can’t do it tomorrow.

What we are also doing here, at least in part, is that we are trying to open up the public mind to the value of innovation and experimention and learning through action and pattern recognition and constructed relationships, and allowing for error and failure, which is how many of the greatest thinkers of our time have thought, and also how at least Time magazine thinks we need to start thinking again in order to move our educational system out of the 20th Century.

How to Build A Student For the 21st Century” – Time Magazine, December 18, 2006

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October 27, 2007 Posted by | Non-Partisan Activism, Philanthropy | 1 Comment

Riven Hearts (aka “Why I Write and Why I Fight”)

photo courtesy of Ana Crisan, also used to illustrate the Lyrics to a song Alone in a Crowd

I’m in the film union
IATSE Local 52
As a film lighting technician
I’ve been told on many occasions
To work slower
I was making others look bad.
I have been taught the tricks of the trade
How you game the system
To cash in and slice away some of the fat.
Order equipment you sell back to the company.
Slow the lift-gate to get that 15 minutes of overtime.
Courts might call that stealing.
And they would be right.
Those are the rules of the game after all.
But I have also dealt with producers
Lambasting crew members for sitting down
On the job.
The client was watching.
It might look bad.
God help the electrician
Catching a half hour nap under the truck
On a 100 degree cloudless day
Because he came straight from the last job
With no sleep.
Because you don’t say ‘No”
You might not get hired again.
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October 25, 2007 Posted by | Storytelling | Leave a comment

Evolving Points of Reference – Cognitive Physics (Part III: Selected Papers & Essays)

Zeroes on Black
Zeroes on Black by Raphie Frank

A subjective, idiosyncratic and anything but complete Reading List for the socially-minded aspiring Cognitive Physicist, Conscious Capitalist; or for any who seek to understand them.


Also see…

Quantum Logic and Probability Theory (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) – Alexander Wilce

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences– Eugene Wigner

Power Laws, Weblogs & Inequality – Clay Shirky

Positivism & Post-Positivism – William K. Trochim

They Thought They Were Free (The German 1933-1945) – Milton Mayer [excerpt]

Emotion & Design: Why Attractive Things Work Better – Don Norman

For the Sake of Our Children – Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Performing Cultures: English Language Theatres in Post-Communist Prague – Gwen Orel

The Asylum Culture House & The Warholesquian Sensibility – Raphie Frank

Perfect Binary
Zeroes on White by Raphie Frank

October 24, 2007 Posted by | 1 | 3 Comments

Evolving Points of Reference – Cognitive Physics (Part II: Books)

A subjective, idiosyncratic and anything but complete Reading List for the socially-minded aspiring Cognitive Physicist, Conscious Capitalist; or for any who seek to understand them.

My Bookshelf

“the trend” = “the wave”

Also see…


The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth – Edward O. Wilson
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge – Edward O. Wilson
Synchronicity – The Bridge Between Matter & Mind – F. David Peat

Mathematics / Physics

Linked – Albert Laszlo Barabasi
The Singularity is Near – Ray Kurzweil
Hyperspace – Michio Kaku
Not Even Wrong – Peter Woit
The Elegant Universe – Brian Greene
The Holographic Universe – Michael Talbot
Zero – The Biography of a Dangerous Idea – Charles Seife
In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat – John Gribben
A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking
The Golden Ratio – Mario Livio
Mathematical Mysteries – Calvin C. Clawson
(play) Arcadia – Tom Stoppard

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October 24, 2007 Posted by | 1 | 2 Comments

Evolving Points of Reference – Cognitive Physics & Conscious Capitalism (Part I: Mainstream Press)

Time Magazine, December 18, 2006

Thinking outside the box. Jobs in the new economy–the ones that won’t get outsourced or automated–“put an enormous premium on creative and innovative skills, seeing patterns where other people see only chaos,” says Marc Tucker, an author of the skills-commission report and president of the National Center on Education and the Economy. Traditionally that’s been an American strength, but schools have become less daring in the back-to-basics climate of NCLB. Kids also must learn to think across disciplines, since that’s where most new breakthroughs are made. It’s interdisciplinary combinations–design and technology, mathematics and art–“that produce YouTube and Google,” says Thomas Friedman, the best-selling author of The World Is Flat.

“How to Build A Student For the 21st Century”Time Magazine, December 18, 2006

A subjective, idiosyncratic and anything but complete Reading List for the socially-minded aspiring Cognitive Physicist, Conscious Capitalist; or for any who seek to understand them.

“the trend” = “the wave”

Also see…

October 10, 2007
Generation Q – The New York Times (Op-Ed by Thomas Friedman)

August 16, 2007
Are We Failing Our Geniuses? – Time Magazine

June 26, 2007
From A Few Genes, Life’s Myriad Shapes – The New York Times

June 26, 2007
Science of the Soul ‘I Think Therefore I Am’ is Losing Force – The New York Times

May 22, 2007
This is Your Life (and How You Tell It) – The New York Times

May 10, 2007
Save the Darfur Puppy – The New York Times (Op-Ed by Nicholas D. Kristof)

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October 23, 2007 Posted by | 1 | 3 Comments

Evolving Points of Reference – Cognitive Physics (Part IV: Conceptual Influences)

Also see…

George Kingsley Zipf (Linguistics & Power Laws), Edward Witten (String Theory), Edward O. Wilson (Consilience, Social Complexity, Cognitive Blind Spots), Wikipedia (The Collective Wisdom of the Collective), Divakar Viswanath (Order in Chaos), Giambattista Vico (The First Principles Approach), Jan Vermeer (Diffusion of Light), Petr Tyc (Kinetics of Movement), Jan Tinbergen (A Gravity Model of Economics), Tom Stoppard (The “Implicate Order” in Life), Clay Shirky (Power Laws and Inequality), Sam Shepard (“Psycho-Geography” and “Lies of the Mind”), Matthew Salganik (Hidden Populations), William Shakespeare (Storytelling, Measure for Measure “Metrology” of the Psyche), Bernhard Riemann (The “Linear” Curve), Srinivasa Ramanujan (The “Implicate” Order in Mathematics), Pythagoras (Linear Equilibrium & Proportion), Claudius Ptolemaeus (Epicycles), Plato (Metonymy, Structure, Dialectic), Picasso (POV, Internal Fracture), Carlos Castro Perelman (Applied Number Theory), Leonardo da Pisa (Progression as Embedded Algorithm), Sir Roger Penrose (Penrose Tiling), Charles Peirce (Symbolic Logic), Ovid (Metamorphosis) H. Pierre Noyes (Bit String Physics), Don Norman (Emotion & Desgn), Friedrich Nietschze (The “Overman”), Jacob Nielsen (Usability), Fred Myers (Universal Time, Alternate Definitions of “Ownership”), Karl Marx (Systemic Clash and Dialectic), Benoit Mandelbrot (Complexity from Simplicity, Measure as Relative Construct), Anestis Logothetis (Visual Music), Mario Livio (The Golden Ratio), A. Garrett Lisi (Root Systems), Gottfried Wilhelm Liebniz (The Relative Zero), Bruno LaTour (Material/Semiotic Correspondences), R.D Laing (The Divided Self, Intelligent Interdependence), LIFE EXPERIENCE, Akira Kurosawa (Social Relativity and POV), Milan Kundera (Question as Action), Johannes Kepler (Elliptical Curves, Twin Loci), D.R. Kaprekar (Number System Cyclicality), Daniel Kahneman (Prospect Theory), Franz Kafka, Carl Jung (Syncretism, Archetypes, The “Quantum” Psyche), Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis), Vaclav Havel (Social Fusion by Diffusion), Gothamist.com Interviewees (The Zeitgeist), Malcolm Gladwell (Scale Free Networks, Intuition as Pre-Conscious Knowledge), Todd Gitlin (The “As if” Principle), Galileo Galilei (Relative Motion), Buckminster Fuller (Tensegrity), Sigmund Freud (Binary/Trinary Systems of the Psyche, Psychic Relativity, Free Association), Charles R. Frank, Jr. (The Indivisible Commodity, Cogeneration), Michel Foucault (Deconstructivism, Power as Dynamical System, Self-Censorship), Richard Feynman (Hieroglyphic Semiotic Deconstruction), Paul Erdos (Elegance in Simplicity), Albert Einstein (Relativity Theory, The Worldline), Ida Dupont (Participatory Action Research), Daniel Dennett (Dialectical Model of Consciousness through Time), Paul Dimaggio (Cultural Capital), Nicolaus Copernicus (The Copernican Principle), Auguste Comte (Sociology as the “Hardest” of all Sciences), Matthew Caws (Balancing the Human “Equation”), Joseph Campbell (Cross Cultural Mythological and Symbolic Syncretization and Synthesis), David Bohm (Material Interdependenc), Laszlo Barabasi (Mathematical Modeling of Social Networks), Aristotle (Categories), Archimedes (Heuristic Mathematical Approximation)

October 21, 2007 Posted by | Science, Sociology | 1 Comment

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