Author Archives: Zimmerman

Fractals: Happiness Within the Infinite

Coastline fractal image

For many people life represents a pilgrimage: a rat race to financial success, a scramble to stake a claim on our own little place in the sun, a yearning to engrave a happy ending on our tombstones. The great “pursuit of happiness.” This yearning to “make something of ourselves” requires us to form an order out of the chaos that surrounds us—chaos that seems ... Read More »

Chaos: the Heartbeat of the Cosmos

Mandelbrot Set Image

According to mathematics our world is steeped in unpredictability, popularly referred to as chaos. The very course of our lives from the crib to the grave meanders through a wilderness of unpredictability, passing through random events and circumstances, and sometimes spontaneously changing course on an unexpected dime. Weather patterns, geological formations, and stock market fluctuations are all examples of chaotic systems, impossible ... Read More »

Balloons, and Satellites, and Drones, Oh My! The Internet’s New Horizons

project loon balloon

The internet of today will not be the internet of tomorrow. As the future of a free-flowing internet is up for debate in Congress, the verdict from private industry is clear: more internet for more people equals more opportunity. Three titans of industry are hoping to expand the boundaries of the internet, making it available to more than 4 billion people ... Read More »

Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer

biocomputer cartoon

“In the province of the mind…there are no limits.” -John C. Lilly That was the conclusion of the late neuroscientist and psychoanalyst John C Lilly more than a half a century ago. In a small summary report written for the National Institute of Mental Health, entitled Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer (1966-1967), Lilly lends his unique insight after five years of ... Read More »

The Changing Climate of Philanthropy

Hurricane Isael image

The climate of environmental philanthropy is changing. While some tech moguls are spending their millions adapting a class system to Burning Man, others are fueling major global initiatives to prepare for the inevitable consequences of climate change. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its first report in seven years—a whopping 2,500 page analysis released over several months beginning last September ... Read More »

ALTERED STATES: Sensory Deprivation and the Mind

Eye image

Imagine a state of mind in total sensory deprivation: floating in a void abandoned by sound, absent of all light, and devoid of gravity. In this void there is no sense of up and down, left or right; the perceivable contrast between the you-internal and the world-external has faded away. In this void you are simply a plane of being—the “I” who thinks, ... Read More »

ALTERED STATES: The Parallels Between Physics and the Mind

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All human knowledge is derived from human experience…and there can be no essential difference between the raw materials of physics and the raw materials of psychology. -E. B. Titchener (1867-1927) How does one see the unseeable? By altering the state of observation. In other words: change the rules of the game, change how we “see.” Altered states of observation are ... Read More »

WEALTH DISPARITY: What If The One Percent Was You?

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In the post-recession, 21st-century America, many of us see ourselves on one side of an economic fence with the 1% on the other. We know that for nearly forty years the gap between the top and bottom wage earners has widened exponentially. Since 1979, real annual wages for the top 90-95th percent of earners have grown 35.7%, wages for the next 95-99th percent have ... Read More »

WEALTH DISPARITY: Inequality and a Wealth of Dithering

wealth inequality in U.S.

Perhaps no debate in the American political atmosphere has been as persistent or as divisive as the question of what—if anything—to do about national wealth disparity. This debate has served as a fulcrum for our socioeconomic identity as well as government policy—foreign and domestic—for more than a century. Political careers have been forged and broken over it, communism was embraced ... Read More »