We've mentioned this in the news briefs, but just in case any of you skimmed over it and missed the story, this mind-blowing story is worth pulling out: researchers have found that bumblebees can learn to do a 'complex' new movement, such as pulling on a string, to gain a reward - just through watching other bees do it.
To test the bumblebees’ cognitive skills, Lars Chittka from Queen Mary University of London, UK, and colleagues poured sugar water onto artificial flowers, which were attached to strings and placed under Plexiglas. They then trained bees to tug on the string to access the sugar water — an “unusual” task that does not mimic any behavior the bees would normally perform in the wild.
...The ability of animals with relatively small brains to learn a complex task, and culturally spread that learned knowledge to others, makes Chittka question, "How much brainpower is actually required for any one task — how many neurons, how many sequential and parallel neural processing stages?"
Cool video of a bee pulling on a string below:
This is not the first fascinating discovery about the capability for seemingly complex thoughts and behaviour in bees. It has been known for some time that honey bees are capable of symbolic language use, as evidenced by the 'waggle dance' that bees returning to a hive engage in to communicate the location of food sources to others - both the distance and direction.
So the question is: just how much is complex and intelligent behaviour dependent on having a big brain?
- Aliens could be feeding on cosmic rays for survival.
- Ultrasound used to “jump-start” patient’s brain out of a coma.
- Ambitious mission to capture first picture of Earth-like planet launched.
- Stonehenge solstice sunset view 'will be ruined by tunnel’.
- Astronauts going to Mars ‘could be at risk of space brain dementia’.
- Is this "base reality"? Probably not, say some.
- Graham Hancock’s next big non-fiction book will explore the mysteries of ancient America.
- Alcester pensioner discovers his bird bath is a rare, 2,000 year old Roman relic.
- Analysis of wood inscription reveals Persians were in Japan 1,000 years ago.
- Unknown ancient shipwreck ‘graveyard’ found under Black Sea.
- 25 new 'Dead Sea Scrolls' revealed.
- Dinosaur camouflage revealed in living color.
- Podesta leaked emails: “The Vatican knows there are aliens and space warfare is imminent.”
- Treasure trove of ancient human footprints found near volcano.
- More than one thousand asteroids perilously close to Earth, says NASA.
Quote of the Day:
As the archaeology of our thought easily shows, man is an invention of recent date. And one perhaps nearing its end.
We are pleased to offer three sample articles from Darklore Volume 9, as examples of the quality writing and layout inside the book - simply click on each graphic to download the PDF file. The first is "The History and Practice of English Magic", in which John Reppion explores the real history and lore behind a fantasy fiction bestseller. The second sample article, "The Most Important Man on the Planet", offers Adam Gorightly's insights on the amazing life of Kerry Thornley, co-founder of Discordianism and one-time JFK assassination suspect. And lastly we have Greg Taylor's article "Rocks in Your Head", in which he surveys the strange phenomenon of 'electrophonic meteors' and suggests that they offer a lesson to us on the value of listening to eye-witness reports of UFOs.
The sample articles offer just a taste of what you'll find in the print issue of Darklore Volume 9, so pick yourself up a copy to see the rest (links below). It takes much time and money to create the Darklore series (and this website) - all our contributors are paid for their articles - so we appreciate those who take time to buy the books and/or support us on Patreon.
Hope you enjoy the articles!
Darklore Volume 9 Paperback
Darklore Volume 9 Limited Edition Hardcover
- Tech billionaires convinced we live in the Matrix are secretly funding scientists to help break us out of it.
- Apollo astronaut emailed Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman about 'space war' and 'extraterrestrial intelligences'.
- Proxima b: Newly discovered planet 'likely' to support life, say scientists
- The famous 'Pillars of Creation' photographed by Hubble were actually destroyed thousands of years ago.
- Mars likely to experience a global dust storm in the next few months.
- Boeing CEO vows to beat Elon Musk to Mars.
- Researchers uncover hints of tool use and culture in bumblebees.
- How quantum computing will change your life.
- Would it be ethical to immplant false memories in therapy?
- Rise of the robots: notes on the way forward from here.
- Maybe dark matter doesn't exist after all.
- Where did Satan come from?
- Ritual magic and superstitious rites in colonial Australia.
- Archaeologists hope to uncover the secrets of the Hellfire Club with tomb dig.
- Persians may have been teaching maths in Japan 1000 years ago.
- Ancient Polynesian DNA gives evidence of widespread population exchanges.
- Treasures of the Black Sea have become political hostages in a diplomatic row.
- Teenager in India has a 20cm tail removed from his back.
- Did a Michigan ‘eagle camera’ catch images of Bigfoot?
- How Bigfoot expert Loren Coleman found himself at the centre of a national clown frenzy.
- Creepy clown craze spreads to Britain and Australia.
- Creepy clowns beware: Australian police say they 'won't tolerate' that shit.
- Image of the Day: Creepy clown epidemic, mapped.
Quote of the Day:
People don't change their behaviour because they see the light, they change their behaviour because they feel the heat.
Michele Mosca ("As We Enter the New Quantum Era")
Apollo Astronaut Emailed Hillary Clinton's Campaign Chairman About 'Space War' and 'Extraterrestrial Intelligences'Posted by Greg at 04:38, 10 Oct 2016
In case you thought this US election couldn't get any more surreal: among the Wikileaks release of hacked Clinton campaign emails last week was one from an Apollo astronaut, warning of the coming 'space war' and the danger in angering certain extraterrestrial intelligences "from the contiguous universe".
The email was sent last year by Dr Edgar Mitchell, the 6th person to walk on the Moon, who kept a keen interest in fringe ideas from parapsychology to UFOs (he was the founder of IONS: the Institute for Noetic Sciences). Dr Mitchell passed away earlier this year.
The recipient (and overall target of the Wikileaks-released hack) was John Podesta, Chairman of Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. Podesta is an obvious person for Mitchell to be contacting, given their shared interest in the UFO phenomenon (I mentioned Podesta's interest back in 2008). But it's the content of the email that is of interest, as it seems to speak knowingly about ETIs (extraterrestrial intelligences) who are apparently bringing 'zero-point energy' to Earth.
Because the War in Space race is heating up, I felt you should be aware of several factors as you and I schedule our Skype talk. Remember, our nonviolent ETI from the contiguous universe are helping us bring zero point energy to Earth. They will not tolerate any forms of military violence on Earth or in space.
A separate email requests that Podesta meet with Mitchell and colleagues to discuss [UFO] 'Disclosure', zero point energy, and "the Vatican’s awareness of ETI".
For his part, Podesta has suggested that at least some of the hacked emails released by Wikileaks are 'bogus'.
The Daily Grail would not be able to continue without support from advertisers on the site, and the oh-so-cool readers who send voluntary subscriptions or purchase some of the books from Daily Grail Publishing. So here's a quick shout-out to New Dawn Magazine, who have been a supporter of this site for some time (see the current banner at the top right of the page) and provide some cool reading material to boot - the latest being New Dawn Special Issue Vol. 10, No. 4
If you're in Australia or New Zealand you can grab a copy of New Dawn from your local newsagency, or you can grab the digital edition regardless of your location direct from the New Dawn website:
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
- Stopping the light.
- Giant, burning plasma balls from space.
- Mind-reading monkeys.
- Is immortality limited to 125 years?
- When Spring springs too soon.
- To save life: add water.
- Evolution in reverse.
- Let the desert gardens grow.
- Nobel Prize winning bagels and pretzels.
- Questioning water intake?
- Steel wool firestorm.
- Mind-reading monkeys.
- This week’s evidence of the looming robot uprising… Molecular ‘bots.
Quote of the Day:
“Do I dare disturb the universe?”
- Bees can count to four, display emotions, and teach each other new skills.
- Can we open the black box of artificial intelligence?
- HBO's new series Westworld is far more than a science fiction story about artifical intelligence - it's also a Gnostic parable.
- Creepy Clown Crisis update: White House defers to FBI, author Stephen King calls for calm. That's right, the author of It wants us to cool it on the creepy clown hysteria...
- Researchers suggest a link between the solar cycle and the tidal effects of Venus, the Earth and Jupiter.
- Man says VA hospital’s LSD experiments on human subjects sped his brother’s fall into schizophrenia.
- Medical advances won't ever beat biology, which means humans won't ever live much past 115 years.
- Researcher has 300 human brains growing in her lab.
- Blue Origin spaceship unexpectedly survives emergency escape-capsule test.
- The 'Upside-Down' parallel universe from Stranger Things could be real, says the US Secretary of Energy.
- British man may be the first person cured of HIV.
- Medicinal herb or myth? Indian official proposes hunt for Sanjivani of lore.
- The real Lord of the Rings: Jewellery from 3,500-year-old warrior's tomb could give insights into the origins of Greek civilisation.
- The Twin Peaks tarot deck.
- The not-quite incorruptible St. Bernadette of Lourdes.
- Image of the Day: Lightning sprites spark above Hurricane Matthew.
Thanks Kat and @AnomalistNews.
Quote of the Day:
Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?
Ashley Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) in HBO's "Westworld"
Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?
Thematically, this question is - I think - perhaps the most important piece of dialogue in the brilliant pilot of HBO's new feature drama, Westworld. The question is posed by security chief Ashley Stubbs while interrogating the show's female protagonist Delores Abernathy, but it could possibly be seen as the show's writers querying their audience using Stubbs as a proxy.
Why do I think this piece of dialogue is so important? Because - as much as nearly all the analyses of the show so far have discussed the first episode through the lens of science fiction; ie. the advance towards artificial intelligence, as shown by the robotic 'Hosts' of Westworld - I think the real framework of the first episode, and perhaps ongoing, is the posing of that timeless philosophical and spiritual question:'how can we tell the difference between illusion and reality?'
Once upon a time, I, Chuang Chou, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Chou. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.
And this is to be expected, given a co-creator of the show is Jonathan Nolan, the script-writer behind movies including Memento, The Prestige and Inception. All three of those movies explore the fallibility of human consciousness and our ability to recognise what is real. What is perhaps more unexpected is the way in which the theme of the story (so far, at least) is very clearly Gnostic in flavour.
Gnosticism holds that, rather than Earth being the perfect creation of a supreme being, we are instead living in a prison of sorts, created by an impostor: 'the Demiurge', a lesser deity than the true God. Escape from this realm is through a process of awakening to this fact, or gnosis ('knowledge'). Or to put it simply: questioning the nature of your reality.
These ideas have appeared in part in many stories of the past half-century: from the works of Philip K. Dick through to movies such as The Matrix, Dark City, and The Truman Show (thus seeing Ed Harris taking an apparently antagonistic role in this series seems a nice touch). But Westworld in particular seems to be, at its heart, a Gnostic story.
Westworld (the theme park in the show) is, quite obviously, a false world created by an imperfect being. The residents of that world are kept in the dark to the larger reality by the Demiurge (and its 'archons', or helpers/servants). Only through a process of realisation - by gaining knowledge, or gnosis, of their situation - can they awaken from this 'dream' to the greater reality.
But is Dr. Robert Ford (wonderfully played by Anthony Hopkins) the Demiurge, or is it perhaps more the Delos corporation that runs the theme park (which, we learn from dialogue in this episode, has greater plans for robotic AI than just a theme park)? Ford at times comes across rather sympathetically in episode one (though other moments in the trailer perhaps not so much); he seems to feel some kin to his creations and perhaps, as he nears the end of his own life, he desires to put the spark of free will into the robots. Hence the 'Reveries' that are programmed into the new, problematic update - gestures and mannerisms that are based on deep memories that the Hosts' conscious mind cannot supposedly access. While their inclusion is, at face value, meant to make them look more human, are they actually the key to making them human (whether purposefully, or purely as an accident)?
Our sense of self is intimately tied to memory. If we were to awaken each day with no memory of the day before, the foundations of self would be pulled from beneath our feet. The Hosts of Westworld have memories, but they are not of what happened the day before - they are instead an inserted 'back story', because if they remembered what actually happened the day before their understanding of themselves, and their world, would be fundamentally changed. So by inserting these 'Reveries' - a back-door of sorts into their true memories - has Dr. Ford given them a self?
An interview with co-creators of the show Jonathan ('Jonah') Nolan and Lisa Joy suggests this is likely the case:
Joy: There are past incarnations of their characters that are stored but the hosts just don’t have access to them – or aren’t supposed to have access to them. The Reveries work on a kind of subliminal level. What I think of them as – because I’m not a coder, Jonah is more into that world – for me it was imagining that consciousness and history are a deep sea and Reveries are tiny fishhooks that you dip into it and get little gestures and subconscious ticks. The hosts don’t consciously know where they’re drawn from, but they’re just there to add some nuance to their expressions and gestures. But dipping that fishhook in might prove to be a little .. fraught.
When Dolores' "father", Peter Abernathy, malfunctions and begins dredging up parts of his previous characters - and seemingly, having some self-realisation of his plight - he chooses a quote from Shakespeare's King Lear which is explicitly Gnostic in tone: "When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools."
The realisation that he has been fooled, and is a prisoner within a false world, appears to fill Abernathy with rage against his Creator, as evidenced by his choice of Shakespearean quotes (an amazing scene, both actors absolutely smash it out of the park):
Dr. Ford: What is your itinerary?
Peter: To meet my maker.
Dr. Ford: Ah. Well. You're in luck. And what do you want to say to your maker?
Peter: A most mechanical and dirty hand [laughs]. I shall have such revenges on you both. The things I will do, what they are, yet I know not. But they will be the terrors of the earth.
Now, while memory seems to be a major part of the gnosis of the Hosts, there is one other contributing plot point that I'm sure readers of this site would have found enjoyable. Peter Abernathie's malfunction in episode one is triggered by an anachronistic photo of a woman in a city he finds in the dirt, likely left behind by one of the guests of the park: the 'out-of-place artifact' ('OOPArt') so well-known in Fortean studies, which prompt us to ask whether there is something more beyond consensus reality.
So it is important that we don't simply look on as an outsider on the artifiical world of Westworld. The parable of Westworld is that we should all ponder Stubbs' question to Delores: "Have you ever questioned your reality". It's a question that can be applied at various levels, from the philosophical/spiritual to science and history, through to the mundane modern worlds of politics and media. We are all living in illusions created and administered by various Demiurges and their Archons. We should do our best to search for knowledge in order that, bit by bit, we might wake to greater realities.
Grow some bolts!
- James Lovelock: Fracking is great, green movement is a religion, [my] dire predictions about climate change were nonsense – and robots don’t mind the heat, so what does it matter?
- Man claims to have found ’dead mermaid’ on Great Yarmouth beach.
- Spacetime as a superfluid.
- Autistics as undomesticated humans.
- Great Pyramid builders ‘better at measuring precise distances than they were at measuring precise right angles’.
- ‘Game-changing’ study suggests first Polynesians voyaged all the way from East Asia.
- SpaceX rocket sabotage mystery deepens.
- Why blind people are better at maths.
- Ancient cannabis 'burial shroud' discovered in desert oasis.
- How robots can acquire new skills from their shared experience.
- Skull appears in Hurricane Matthew satellite map.
- Sun goes blank again as scientists fear new Ice Age by 2019.
- 'Great Pacific garbage patch' far bigger than imagined, aerial survey shows.
- Abandoned fire station basement in Dudley rediscovered.
- Weird orange crocodiles found gorging on bats in Gabon’s caves.
- Ants get addicted to morphine.
Quote of the Day:
For a neuron to travel a foot takes a microsecond – which is fairly fast. But for electrons to go down a foot of wire takes a nanosecond. It’s a million times faster, as simple as that. So to a robot, once fully established in that new world, a second is a million seconds. Everything is happening so fast that they have on earth a million times longer to live, to grow up, to evolve, than we do.