temporal being

Car Boys is a lot of things. It’s a comedy show about two guys riffing on how goofed up robust physics engines can get. It’s an existential horror show about eldritch forces and unknowable geometry. It’s a mythic tragedy about two heroes who nobly sacrifice their spatial and temporal being to seal away a world-eating monster. Sometimes it’s even a show about cars doing fairly pedestrian stunts and exploratory driving. But above all else, Car Boys is a show about two boys building a story about the weird, messed-up stuff they make in a video game. A couple of friends in a car dealing with the huge, terrifying, hilarious messes they make; and the sometimes joyful, sometimes melancholy, always affecting beauty they leave in their wake.
Fact 7

In episode 6, the following seen plays after the Boys and Killian jump into the safety of the well as Phandalin is destroyed by the Phoenix Fire Guantlet;

Taako: Well this is going good!

Merle: We really suck at this, so far.

Magnus: You know, in retrospect, I regret helping that Kurtze kid?

Taako: I wish we’d killed Kurtze, I was just thinking!

Magnus: I wish we’d killed Kurtze too!

Taako: I wish we’d killed Kurtze.

Magnus: But you know what? A lot of woulda-coulda-shoulda. You know what I mean?

[Clint & Justin laughing]

Taako: That’s true. Wish in one hand, spit in the other.

Magnus: Yeah, hindsight. 20/20 and all that.

Taako: Wish in a hand and spit on it, right? Classic.

Later on in episode 48, the Temporal Chalice, after being unable to persuade the Boys to change their greatest regrets, the cup, as June, makes one more offer;

Griffin: […] There’s a few bodies on the ground, and there are a couple of burned out wagons. There is one wagon that has fared a little bit better that has a cage in the back of it, and inside of that cage is Kurtze, the orc boy! And you realise you’re back at the very beginning of your adventure! Gundren Rockseeker has claimed the Phoenix Fire Gauntlet and is blazing a path towards Phandalin at this very moment. Killian is with you and you’ve just taken care of these slavers who took over this- who burned down this orc caravan and imprisoned Kurtze, the orc boy - who you freed - and ended up shooting Gundren and setting him off, destroying Phandalin; but you haven’t let Kurtze out yet! You’re standing in front of the cage and June says:

June: This is the last offer I-I have to make. It’s the last thing I can think of that the three of you could fix. You free Kurtze, and Kurtze, in an act of vengeance, sets off a series of events that destroys Phandalin. You can stop this from happening if you just don’t let him out of the cage. It’s my last offer, and, will any of you reconsider?

After a long debate, all three Boys say no.

Another fact, which is a comparatively lighter note, right after the above scene in episode 6, this exchange happens;

Taako: So….Can anybody levitate or anything?

[Griffin laughs loudly]

Magnus: I think we just live at the bottom of this well now.

Long after that, in the SDCC San Diego Live Show, this happens right after the Boys realize that getting out of a particular pit will be very hard to do;

Travis: But we don’t get hit!

Griffin: Yeah you don’t get hit by these spikes, it’s fuckin’ weird! Yeah!

Travis: Um… ok. [audience laughter] So… we live in the pit now.

The more things change, the more things stay the same, eh?


Standing on a cliff, a sense of disorientation and confusion cloud you. Not only are you afraid of falling, you also fear succumbing to the impulse of throwing yourself off. Nothing is holding you back. Dread, anxiety and anguish rise to the surface. Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard describes this as a case of “existential angst” because here, at the cliff face, you are experiencing your own freedom first-hand. You can do whatever you please – move forward into the yawning abyss or remain where you are. It’s up to you. The realisation that you have absolute freedom to decide the course of your life – jump or don’t jump – is as dizzying as vertigo, explains Kierkegaard, who suggests that we face the same anxiety in all of life’s choices. Every action we take is a choice, decided upon by us and no one else. Kierkegaard’s argument that life is a series of choices – and that these choices bring meaning (or not) to our life – is a cornerstone of existentialism. Rather than offloading the responsibility onto society or religion, each individual is solely responsible for making their life meaningful and living it authentically. The subject of authenticity was a favourite of German philosopher Martin Heidegger: why is it that when faced with death our daily projects seem meaningless? A friend or relative dies and this will propel us on a new course; we quit our job and in turn stop worrying about everyday concerns and start taking an interest in areas that we had previously ignored. In his book, Being and Time, Heidegger suggests that the meaning of our being must be tied up with time. We are temporal beings – born into a world that existed before us with its religion and culture, its history already written, and to make sense of this world we engage in various pastimes to get by. We might have a family, build a career or a house, and in doing so we place ourselves on a trajectory towards some sort of future. But there’s a limit to our projects, a point at which everything comes to an end, whether finished or unfinished, and that limit is our death. This is what Heidegger calls “beingtowards- death”. However we are so absorbed by our pastimes and distractions that we simply forget that there’s an outermost limit to our pursuits; and in so doing, says Heidegger, we live an inauthentic life. It’s not until we project our lives onto the horizon of our death that authentic life can be found Yours Sincerely Lazarus

/poses/ Here’s my miracusona?? I’ve had him for a long time but this is the first time I properly draw him ;;>w>

Since he has a “white dove miraculous” I thought to give him a magician-inspired look. His actual name is Henri and the only magic trick he knows is to be invisible to everyone /rip 

anonymous asked:

Once again, FitzSimmons' storyline is the same old crap... it's boring, it's not interesting. Inside drama in a relationship is useless and boring. 😕 I wonder what's the point of sending carefully written feedbacks during the season or the hiatus when obviously they just don't care. The lack of reaction in the fandom is also quite confusing.

Hi Anon,

This is something I can only speak for myself on.  While I’m not thrilled Jemma is the hands of Count Creepy or that they are separated at the moment, I am stoked to see where this is all going!  I think they very much listened to our feedback.  My take on lack of reaction is that I’m not the only one who is excited for this.

I mean we are in some SERIOUS EPIC OTP territory here in that Fitz is now going to cross TIME for her. Messages through time!  And if one of my not yet posted theories is correct Fitz has a care package hidden in the Lighthouse for the team. That she didn’t doubt for a second that Fitz was already there, working on a solution to get them home.  From the synopsis for 5 we know he’s not giving up either.

The writers have something big for Fitzsimmons this season, something they started setting up ages ago.  In Season 3 they endgame there was getting Fitzsimmons Canon, and then there were contrived roadblocks in the way of that.  This season we’ll have the same thing, there is something they just need to delay a bit for story reasons.  I still thing we get something big for FItzsimmons in 12, Chloe teased so many cute things for Fitzsimmons when I think she was filming 9, I still see Fitz getting to Space in the 4-6 Range and when he does its going to be a huge moment.   

Jemma and the entire team might be at a low moment now, they just all got kicked in the teeth, but Jemma will regroup and give Count Creepy a run for his money.  Meanwhile Fitz is going to be able to get a bit of a redemption arc for himself as he works to find them, get to them, and deal with the issues he has from the Framework.  I can not wait for Fitz to come crashing in to save everyone, but yes especially Jemma.

There was no drama between Fitzsimmons, they didn’t have a fight before they were taken, they hadn’t broken up.  Fitz knew Jemma was going to be there for him.   I honestly I think that was one of the big reasons for the physical and temporal separation.  Jemma being with Count Creepy also serves a story purpose both revealing and setting things up.   Sadly that means she’ll need to be there until the story is ready to move on and likely until Fitz shows up.   If Fitz were in the future with the others there would have been no stopping him and he is needed to set up story things on the past side for the second pod.

I have no been this excited for Fitzsimmons in a long time, and I’m really allowing myself to be excited again.  Sure, there are going to be some moments that kill me coming but its going to be worth it.  

And in the end if you really don’t like the story you really don’t like it.  Nothing I do or say will change that.  

BONUS Predication:  Kasius is taken out with FIRE!

crlmsonriot  asked:


  • How I feel about this character

will friedle killed kash dead at 3am behind an arby’s and i’ll never forgive him for it


kash always struck me as like… angry but also not really angry??? less anger and more like he’s… resigned to his fate, and maybe anger at being saddled with a wife that could kill him if she sneezed in his general direction. angry with having to be alone, perhaps, because he always struck me as someone desperate for a companion. a real companion. someone who’s with him not out of obligation or because they’re quite literally sealed beneath his skin but because they genuinely think he’s a good time and fun to be around.

he’s gruff and rough around the edges and doesn’t quite know how to talk to people without rubbing them the wrong way but that’s because he’s out of practice. maybe he’s been burned one or twice by people who thought he was weird, with his mismatched eyes and scars cascading up his arms like the world’s most painful shower of petals. maybe that’s why he’s so curt with everyone. be rude to people, push them away first so they can’t push you. but that doesn’t help at all.

so maybe that’s why when keyleth literally draped herself over him every chance she got regardless of how snappish and short-tempered he was with her he… softened a bit. keyleth is good at breaking through walls of any kind, and maybe that affected kash. keyleth was so open, doesn’t have a lying bone in her body, and maybe he recognized a kindred spirit. someone with enough power to reshape the world trapped in a mortal body, two awkward souls just trying to get by. (maybe also why he was so upset-not-upset because he always expected this but it still hurt??? when she chose another over him.)

and then zahra came in and he? suddenly had? a sister??? 


and not just any sister, he had zahra for a sister. zahra. strong, independent, assured, beautiful “zee”. and suddenly he wasn’t alone anymore because she wouldn’t let him be. he saved her life (of course he did. before he became what he is today, before the world turned upside down and his life was tied to a dark forgotten goddess he was always, always a healer first. you don’t forget that, no matter how many years pass.) and she fit herself into his life and that was that.

but even with all those insecurities, he’s also one of the most… self-assured people in critrole. he’s seen the dark side to the world (a healer’s hands are the bloodiest after all) he’s gazed into the abyss and though the abyss looked right back he just shrugged and said “whatever. we’re all going to die eventually so you don’t scare me, asshole” and decided that living for the sake of living would be enough for him.

life is precious, and all the more so for being so temporal, so fleeting. he doesn’t have forever, no one really does, and a life without end isn’t really a life. he’s not carefree by any means, but he knows when to care and when not to care, and he knows now that come hells or high water he’s not alone and never will be.

  • All the people I ship romantically with this character

k e y l e t h

you know how much i loved kashleth. you know.

  • My non-romantic OTP for this character

zahra + kash!!! im love them

  • My unpopular opinion about this character

um… idk not a lot of people in the fandom have opinions abt kash iirc the tag is… a barren wasteland;;

…. omfg

unpopular opinion: i have one fjhssgfds

  • One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon.

i wish they told us how kash and zahra became friends. would have liked to hear that story in depth but, alas…

anyways Sara needs help in 3.09 and instead of calling in Team Arrow or Team Flash or the Time Bureau, she is gonna call in the hot bi guy she only ever kinda sorta interacted with for thirty seconds several years ago, and then she’s gonna kick ass in front of him and whoo him, and then they’re gonna bang, and the biphobes are gonna lose their shit

anonymous asked:

I'm still a little confused about the whole who Savitar is thing and time remnants and flash point, could you try and explain it if you have time?

It’s complicated in part because it’s discussed in canon as a closed time loop, similar to Eobard’s sort of paradoxical existence / time loop, and our brains don’t do so good with loops (and the Flash canon doesn’t really involve loops, it just pretends that it does, but it makes more sense to conceive of speedster time-travel as more linear and branching).

A simple explanation that I drew from to answer this came from ScreenRant so do check it out. But here’s what I’ve got, to the best of my current understanding.

Originally posted by fyeahgrantgust

First things first: Savitar’s and Cisco’s explanations.

Savitar says that Barry will create time remnants to kill Savitar, and all but one of them will die. That time remnant will be shunned because he’s not the “real” Barry, and moreover, this is after Iris is dead (I assume? It’s implied) so no one is really in an emotional state to be there for a time remnant confused about his own existence. He’s literally Barry, a grieving Barry, one who has lost everything and isolated himself and is all the darkest parts of himself. That’s the Barry who makes the time remnants to fight Savitar, and doesn’t think about the consequences of having one of them survive.

So this time remnant, we’ll call him Barry-S, he’s lost and confused and hurting just as bad as Barry, just as angry, and even worse. He sees that Barry has everything but shuns it: the love and acceptance of the people who he still has left. isolated, Barry-S sort of says “fuck this” and leaves. Presumably, time travels, heads to other dimensions, begins to build his suit, and over time creates this reputation as “the first speedster” for himself. Maybe we can conjecture that at first, he’s training, trying to go up against other speedsters to improve, finding the fastest people across time and dimensions so that he can get fast enough to stop Savitar, to fix all this. He’s still Barry, after all.

But like the parable of the Black Night, this White Night runs through the forest searching for his enemies for so long that his suit of armor becomes muddied and his heart bleak, and becomes what he sought to end and avenge. He slowly realizes his suit is becoming that of Savitar’s, as he builds it, and that his speed is truly becoming unparalleled after all, and what his reputation is becoming as the “God of Motion”. He sees where it’s going, and it grips his (cold, still grieving, bleak and heavy) heart. And he continues. Pushes on. Continues to fight and kill, becoming what ruined him.

Because it’s all he has left. It’s all he ever had. Was this pain, that Barry bore him into the world with. Memories of a life and an Iris that were never his, because they belonged to Barry, and not to Barry-S, not to the mere remnant.

Originally posted by westallengifs

So after… who knows how long. Weeks, centuries, time is totally relative to someone like that, he returns. Returns to 2021. That’s right. Returns to the Barry who created him to wreak his vengeance. Except that doesn’t go exactly as planned.

That Barry is waiting with a trap, the one built by Tracy to deal with Savitar’s suit. So when Barry-S arrives decked out in the suit, and he is trapped in the speedforce. Note that up until he was created, he and Barry had the same memories, so Barry must’ve gone to Tracy after the fiasco with the time remnants “mostly” dying, and likely Savitar ditched shortly after that, only to seemingly return later (to challenge Barry) once the trap was complete. Except it’s Barry-S returning. 

I mean, it’s still “Savitar”, but he’s younger than the Savitar in 2017 who kills Iris. Barry-S hasn’t done that yet. He’s the younger version of Savitar except he’s run into the future, to 2021, to challenge Barry. And maybe it’s Barry-S and not the older Savitar because he kills his older self and takes his place. Maybe he has to, to be strong enough to face Barry, because maybe the older version of Savitar is too tired and weak and scarred after his own temporal loop, after being trapped in the speedforce for so long, and Barry-S needs to take his place and live out their destiny.

So Barry-S challenges Barry in 2021, and Barry-S gets trapped. He’s imprisoned and pissed. And going through hell in the speedforce, trapped inside that prison, likely reliving the moment Iris dies over and over.

Originally posted by calmandcalculating

And inside the speedforce trap, he realizes he has to escape. Maybe he’s eroding, or maybe that hasn’t happened yet. But it will. He has to close the loop in order to exist. It is a time loop, and unless he escapes and kills Iris, none of this ever happens, at least in this timeline. He has to escape, kill Iris, live to 2021… and then get killed by himself (his younger self), probably, unless he can change things.

So, somehow using the philosopher’s stone (I don’t have all the details on that front) and sheer force of will, he manages to appear to speedsters in the material world, to use his skills to gain acolytes, to see across the timelines Barry has created (like Flashpoint) and use them against him. Up until the point where he manages to finally escape from the speedforce.

At which point, it’s all going just like he remembers it did, back when he was Barry, when they were one and the same, before he was Barry-S, a remnant.

Originally posted by renesmeeharelds

(Except maybe he doesn’t remember this… Barry is changing things now, after having run to the future. 2024!Barry hadn’t done that, so now we’re in a new timeline).

But to Savitar, Iris was dead before he was created, and he’ll kill her in order to close the loop and ensure he will create himself, become himself. Only this time, he intends to stay free after he does. To not become trapped ever again, and to not die in 2021 when he meets Barry-S, his past self who hasn’t yet been trapped and eroded. 

(Or if he never did kill his older self, maybe he was always sort of free, after, given that it’s his past self that was trapped in the speedforce. But then, the rules of time travel don’t fully apply to him, and to be trapped in there might mean to be trapped at all points in time/existence - past, present, and future. Regardless of what it is, I would not be surprised.).

For the record, you can conceive of all these time jumps as creating slightly different unique timelines, and it’ll still sort of lead you to the same place, but that’s an added layer relative to what the show tried to give us. 

But, that also explains why Barry killing himself now (or failing to create a remnant in the future) won’t necessarily “undo” Savitar as we know him now. The Savitar we know now came from a different timeline, was created already in that timeline, the same way Eobard was a time remnant from another timeline. Eobard died when his ancestor died in the current timeline because his existence was no longer confluent with the current timeline and the speedforce didn’t like it, but Barry-S may have hopped timelines so many times that’s become somewhat irrelevant, especially since he was created from a loop to begin with.

Originally posted by fibu

Final note: how this fits with Flashpoint?

It sort of does and sort of doesn’t. The point is mostly that when Barry mucked up the timeline as much as he did, he created a new timeline in which a different set of events happened than it otherwise would have. Savitar wasn’t an issue before he messed up the timeline, but when he did, he created a timeline in which Savitar and this time loop existed and have always existed. I can’t say exactly why, except maybe as a repercussion from selfish timetravel handed down by the semi-sentient speedforce or else because the existence of Savitar was/is predicated on the existence of multiple timelines that are connected only through the speedforce (philosopher’s stone) so splitting the timeline too much creates problems like him as some mercurial inevitable outcome. 

Either way, way to go Barry. 

Originally posted by ravenclairee

anonymous asked:

(Temporal) amnesic Lance being teached about him and his role in the team. Coran, Hunk and even Pidge are helping him a lot, but Keith, Shiro and Allura are feeling guilty because they are not sure what they know about him and can't help him like they wanted.

holy shit. This could be so incredibly sad. 

I imagine Shiro being like “you’re our sharpshooter”

and Lance being like “…that doesn’t sound right.” and my hEART

and then everyone realizing shit like

  • they know Lance had a big family but how big?? how many sisters and brothers does he have? are they older or younger??
  • they know he’s mentioned taglines from his favorite movies but what were they?
  • etc.

And as they sort of build Lance’s memories again, they realize that the things they know about him are all so superficial and useless, because when he talked, they often tuned him out or told him to be quiet. And so now they only know this version of Lance that he presented to everyone, but the deep, secret things he kept hidden are gone, and the person that he is now, though he’s still Lance, he’s not enough of him, and they don’t know how to get the rest back.

To speak of temporal orientation suggests the ways that time can be regarded less as a container that holds events than as potentially divergent processes of becoming. Being temporally oriented suggests that one’s experiences, sensations, and possibilities for action are shaped by the existing inclinations, itineraries, and networks in which one is immersed, turning toward some things and away from others. More than a question of relations in space, orientation involves reiterated and nonconscious tendencies, suggesting ways of inhabiting time that shape how the past moves toward the present and future.
—  Mark Rifkin, Beyond Settler Time (2)
Watch on finefeatheredfish.tumblr.com

Alright, everyone is in the 55. I currently have six fish temporally being held until some of them go to their new home/ tank. I added another power head and that spong filter was plugged back in after the video was over. I’ll add their decor and plants back in when I mange to get Ponyo and Queen. 100% over septicemia.

Queen is going to live with her other mother @fourteen–steps and Wink is going to be moved into a 30 long disabled goldfish tank. I might move Wink back into a QT as they seem to be struggling with the hight of the 55.

Largest to smallest: Queen the red Ryukin/fantail cross, Ponyo the orange tomasaba (signal tail ryukin), Shachi the orange wen-less lionchu, Peppermint the red and white oranda, Moon the white and chocolate crowned pearl scale, and Wink the orange one eyed telescope.

@anabantoidstozooanthids look at the childs.

Okay, there’s a certain sort of irony about wanting someone from the team to punch Rip (y’know, someone unexpected, like Ray, or Jax, or Stein), for making a snide comment about Mick, when Rip is the only one of those four characters who was not involved in that disastrous confrontation with Mick that helped lead to Mick’s betrayal.  

Rip never indicated any distrust or suspicion of Mick Rory.  Heck, Rip wasn’t actually there.

Moreover, if Mick’s betrayal is justified by his treatment over the season…Rip wasn’t here for any of that either.

Rip made ONE nasty comment.  AFTER Mick betrayed the team.  AFTER Rip learned that his entire season of being temporally electrocuted, captured, tortured and violated was now moot, because Mick gave the Spear to the Legion.

It’s really kind of amazing though.  If we operate under the assumption that the team is partially or completely at fault for Mick’s turn to the dark side, then Rip Hunter is the ONLY character who could be considered completely innocent.

And yet, he ought to be punched by characters who are, by this assumption, far more at fault.

This fandom, I swear.

anonymous asked:

Since God exists outside of time, when people die and their spirits go to be with them, do they also exist outside of time?

No. Time isn’t a location that you can exist outside of. God is not outside of time dwelling in eternity… God is eternity. There is no context in which God dwells, nothing beyond him. He encapsulates all reality. So he has always existed and is not bound by time, but he exists in time… so in a way, he is both in time and not in time. He is not subject to time yet all of time is before him as an eternal present. 

One way to put it might be that, to God, everything is happening all at once. Everything is “now.” So while we have a beginning point, our existence has no ending point. This is what is referred to as being aeviternal. We experience time and change, and contingency, and yet we will never cease to exist. So when we die, we go to be with God as he has condescended himself to accommodate us in time. 

I know, it’s confusing… because it’s always impossible to wrap our minds around God. We are temporal beings trying to understand infinity.

There is a peculiar paradox in the Present: On the one hand, we willingly define it as being; what is present is—in contrast to the future which is not yet and to the past which is no longer. But on the other hand, a rigorous analysis which would attempt to rid the present of all which is not it—i.e., of the past and of the immediate future—would find that nothing remained but an infinitesimal instant.
—  Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness

Dipper kept a close eye on Kleeo after she was born. The Time Wars were still burning down to an end, and the world was tumultuous enough that a single innocent baby could be too easily lost. Luckily for anyone who might have done her any harm in numerous worst-case scenarios, she grew up whole and healthy and relatively untouched by the final stirrings of rebellion and the chaos of a newly-built government with an oversized immortal alien Time infant at its head. She did quite well for herself in fact, building a career and a family with the cheerful head-on determination so common to his Mizars.

She did, of course, have some help from her best friend and brother-in-all-but-blood, Tyrone Pines. Dipper knew Time Baby was watching, of course – Bill, however long past, and all his power and the threat he had once wielded had always made the temporally-gifted being rather nervous, and Alcor was technically the inheritor of much of that – but as far as he was concerned, the enormous entity could go suck a pacifier. As long as neither party made any overt moves against the other, both were content enough to leave the other be. Kleeo was under Alcor’s protection, and that was simply part of the unspoken understanding.

Then one of her daughters had a son, and the day he was introduced to the child Dipper heard his name, saw a flash of his future, and nearly laughed himself sick. He refused to tell anyone why, and instead appointed himself Chief Babysitter and Teller of Tall Tales. The boy grew up on stories of far-off times and places, and just enough hints of minor prophecy come true that he believed in his Great-Uncle’s self-proclaimed “Foresight,” despite the official refusal to acknowledge such a gift as truly existing at all.

The day he graduated Time Academy and was granted a basic rank in the Corps, Uncle Tyrone made sure to visit, extend his congratulations, and whisper another ‘prophecy’ to him.

“Time Travel brings interesting opportunities. One day you’ll meet your gam-gam from long ago. I’ve told you about her before. Don’t look for her; she’ll know you when she sees you.”

He left Llolph to accept further congratulations with big shiny eyes – he always did have an emotional streak a mile wide when it came to family, however he tried to mask it with military stoicism – and popped himself into the mindscape the moment he was out of sight.

There he proceeded to laugh himself sick again.

No wonder their bluff had worked.

Gam-Gam indeed.

Neuroscience's New Consciousness Theory Is Spiritual

by Bobby Azarian

It appears that we are approaching a unique time in the history of man and science where empirical measures and deductive reasoning can actually inform us spiritually. Integrated Information Theory (IIT)–put forth by neuroscientists Giulio Tononi and Christof Koch–is a new framework that describes a way to experimentally measure the extent to which a system is conscious.

As such, it has the potential to answer questions that once seemed impossible, like “which is more conscious, a bat or a beetle?” Furthermore, the theory posits that any system that processes and integrates information, be it organic or inorganic, experiences the world subjectively to some degree. Plants, smartphones, the Internet–even protons–are all examples of such systems. The result is a cosmos composed of a sentient fabric. But before getting into the bizarreness of all that, let’s talk a little about how we got to this point.

The decline and demise of the mystical

As more of the natural world is described objectively and empirically, belief in the existence of anything that defies current scientific explanation is fading at a faster rate than ever before. The majority of college-educated individuals no longer accept the supernatural and magical accounts of physical processes given by religious holy books. Nor do they believe in the actuality of mystical realms beyond life that offer eternal bliss or infinite punishment for the “souls” of righteous or evil men.

This is because modern science has achieved impeccable performance when it comes to explaining phenomena previously thought to be unexplainable. In this day and age, we have complete scientific descriptions of virtually everything. We understand what gives rise to vacuous black holes and their spacetime geometries. We know how new species of life can evolve and the statistical rules that govern such processes. We even have a pretty good understanding of the exact moment in which the universe, and thus of all reality, came into existence! But no serious and informed scientist will tell you that at present we fully understand the thing each of us knows best. That is, our own consciousness.

One of science’s last greatest mysteries

Although we’ve come along way since the time of Descartes, who postulated that consciousness was actually some immaterial spirit not subject to physical law, we still don’t have a complete and satisfactory account of the science underlying experience. We simply don’t know how to quantify it. And if we can’t do that, how do we know whether those non-human life forms that are unable to communicate with us are also conscious? Does it feel like anything to be a cat? Most will probably agree that it does, but how about a ladybug? If so, how can we know which life forms are more conscious than others? Do animals that show impressively intelligent behavior and elaborate memory, like dolphins or crows, experience the world in a unified conscious fashion as we do? These questions are almost impossible to answer without a way to measure consciousness. Fortunately, a neuroscientific theory that has been gaining popular acceptance aims to do just that.

Integrated Information Theory to the Rescue

Integrated Information Theory (IIT), which has become quite a hot topic in contemporary neuroscience, claims to provide a precise way to measure consciousness and express the phenomenon in purely mathematical terms. The theory was put forth by psychiatrist and neuroscientist Giulio Tononi, and has attracted some highly regarded names in the science community. One such name is Christof Koch, Chief Scientific Officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, who now champions the idea along with Tononi. Koch may be best-known for bringing consciousness research into the mainstream of neuroscience through his long-term collaboration with the late DNA co-discoverer Francis Crick. Now Tononi and Koch are actively researching the theory along with an increasing number of scientists, some from outside the field of neuroscience like esteemed physicist and popular author Max Tegmark, who is joining the ranks of those who believe they’ve figured out how to reduce one of science’s greatest secrets to numbers. Bits of information to be exact.

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Poetic Meditations: Writing Self Into Time, Into Home - Part I | by CFL Intern Kiana Murphy

Writing often feels like a self-mutilating act. A conscious opening of wounds. An open surrender.

I imagine Audre Lorde. Toni Morrison. Octavia Butler. Toni Cade Bambara. Alice Walker. Ntozake Shange. bell hooks.  All in small rooms, trying to write, trying to make the blood run like ink, hearing the moaning and wailing from their Ancestor’ s Pen.

I hear Gloria Anzuldua from a distant land, her envisioning of a Shadow Beast, one that takes over, consumes the insides out. A dim fire rising from her core, engulfing her spine with a spiral of smoke, like words.

And trying to narrate my experience in North Philly has sent me on a similar spiral, often back to the fragments of my childhood in Washington, DC.  North Philly has made me realize I had been running from home, never wanting to look back on the ruinous landscape from which I came, the same one that has cultivated three generations of my family.

Moving from DC for school, I often heard the voice of my mother warning me about the world “out there”: one that had the potential to be better than our neighborhood, but also one full of those same dangers and anxieties. I hear her echoed in Nana Peazant in Daughters of the Dust, where she warns her grandson Eli about moving North:

Eli, I’m trying to learn ya how to touch your own spirit. I’m fighting for my life. And I’m fighting for yore’n. Look in my face. I’m trying to give you something to take north with you. Along with all your great big dreams! Call on those old Africans Eli. They come to you when you least expect em. They hug ya up quick and soft. As the warm sweet wind. Let them old souls come into your heart Eli. Let em touch you with the hand of time. Let em feed your head with wisdom that ain’t from this day and time. Cause when you leave this island Eli Peazant. You ain’t goin to no land of milk and honey.

Growing up, I was Eli. And probably still am. My mother was (is) Nana Peazant, packing my head like a lunch box with psalms and songs to sing in the late night hours. Something always felt wrong about people’s fear about catching the Green Line too far past Gallery Place-Chinatown, closer to where I lived. Something felt wrong about my mother only letting us play in a small section of our backyard, and how anything too far from her eyesight was not safe. Something felt wrong about taking the train a couple stops North and seeing parks, playgrounds, and nice houses – and almost nobody that looked like me. Something felt wrong about a man from a development project knocking on a family’s door telling them they have to move the same week, giving them money that doesn’t even amount to a couple of months’ rent. Something felt wrong. Something was wrong. But I was too young to articulate what I felt as truth.

Biking to North Philly sent me back to those feelings. That cotton mouth feeling of having no words. Of somehow being sent back in time, or perhaps past time being sent to me. And what amazes me most about being at a nexus of temporalities is the birthing of a rich understanding of the world, a perspective situated at the intersection of time and place.

So I ran from time. From place. The feeling of a place drawing me back, forcing me to remember. The  half jar of vaseline my mother used for a head that “ate up everything”; The pools in the backyard space; the cookout food bellies; the strronnnggg smell of Fabuluso and lysol and bleach with closed windows; the roof my dad fell through and the belly ache laughter that followed; the new go-go song somebody was bumpin’ and somebody “beatin’ their feet” drenched in sweat, body caught on fire from the movement; running to the sound of the ice cream truck for pickled egg and seeds and an icee on a hot summer day; racing with the neighborhood kids on bikes down the parking lot and not stopping once you hit the finish line; catching fireflies in a bottle as the milky light of dawn peaks in, only to let them go cause Ma ain’t having no bugs in her house, let alone us smelling like outside.

And North Philly sets me back into a similar temporality and I wonder what this place draws people back to and how it propels them to elsewhere. What memories are trapped there, and which ones have escaped. And why it’s so hard to capture this spatial-temporal nexus of being and becoming into words.

Like love, writing can’t always save. But it has brought me closer to something, often unnamed and fleeting, yet in the moment whole, like healing…like home.


Daughters of the Dust. Dir. Julie Dash. Perf. Cora Leed Day, Barbara O, Alva Rogers, Trula Hoosier, Umar Abdurrahamn, Adisa Anderson, and Kaycee Moore. Kino International, 1991. Film.

Kiana Murphy is an English Ph.D student at the University of Pennsylvania. Both her creative work and research examine how Black women and girls use oral and written narratives to explore and critique what it means to come of age. She is interested in how writing and storytelling can be used as forms of protest and healing. Kiana is interning with @communityfutureslab this summer.