Plunder or preservation? How Asian art came to U.S.

‘America’s involvement with China goes back to the late 18th century, when Yankee ships began to trade fur pelts and wheat (and later opium) for tea, silks and dishware. As early as 1845-1847, Boston presented the “Great Chinese Museum.”

Harvard University trained and underwrote many early explorers of China’s cultural and archaeological heritage. The 19th century scholar Ernest Fenollosa traveled to the East, converted to Buddhism, oversaw the Oriental section at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and wrote an essay on the Chinese written character which inspired Ezra Pound’s translations.–

Bruce Sterling Closing Remarks at SXSW 2014

This drummer first met Bruce at the Presidio in San Francisco at the PLANETWORKERS Conference, 2000 A.D. On that occasion he freestyled a presentation which featured the recent breaking news of the fire at Los Alamos.

I find Bruce to be a top (2015) contender for communicating the tale of the tribe, the complexities of all-around-the-world humanity, the technological and the cognitive revolutionary potentials, the pitfalls. And lots of razor sharp wit, brave new insights and killa’ satire. And that’s not touching upon his worlds and worlds of fictional writings. Like Robert Anton Wilson, Bruce Sterling keep a healthy balance ‘a new synthesis’ between so called ‘fiction’ and ‘non-fiction. Where the lower lights dance.

–Steve Fly (Agaric 23)

Bruce Sterling Closing Remarks (Full Session) | Interactive 2014 | SXSW

Robert Anton Wilson’s Pulp Illuminations by Erik Davis

Robert Anton Wilson’s Pulp Illuminations

A talk at the Esoteric Book Conference, September 2014

 By Erik Davis


Here is a talk I gave at last year’s wonderful Esoteric Book Conference about Illuminatus!, the occult, and the tension between high and low magic in the 1970s.

I highly recommend the EBC: the perfect (for me) Venn Diagram between esoteric scholarship and practicing occultism, the overlap being book nerdship, friendly enthusiasm, and good gender representation (key for occult conferences). 

Sili-dodecahedrane (Silly-Bucky-Fuller-Cone)

FRANKFURT. The discovery of the soccer ball-shaped C60 molecule in 1985 was a milestone for the development of nanotechnology. In parallel with the fast-blooming field of research into carbon fullerenes, researchers have spent a long time trying in vain to create structurally similar silicon cages. Goethe University chemists have now managed to synthesise a compound featuring an Si20 dodecahedron. The Platonic solid, which was published in the “Angewandte Chemie” journal, is not just aesthetically pleasing, it also opens up new perspectives for the semiconductor industry.
The Si20 dodecahedron is roughly as large as the C60 molecule. However, there are some crucial differences between the types of bonding: All of the carbon atoms in C60 have a coordination number of three and form double bonds. In the silicon dodecahedron, in contrast, all atoms have a coordination number of four and are connected through single bonds, so that the molecule is also related to dodecahedrane (C20H20). “In its day, dodecahedrane was viewed as the ‘Mount Everest’ of organic chemistry, because it initially could only be synthesized through a 23- step sequence. In contrast, our Si20 cage can be created in one step starting from Si2 building blocks,” explains Prof. Matthias Wagner of the Goethe University Institute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry.
The Si20 hollow bodies, which have been isolated by his PhD student, Jan Tillmann, are always filled with a chloride ion. The Frankfurt chemists therefore suppose that the cage forms itself around the anion, which thus has a structure-determining effect. On its surface, the cluster carries eight chlorine atoms and twelve Cl3Si groups. These have highly symmetric arrangements in space, which is why the molecule is particularly beautiful. Quantum chemical calculations carried out by Professor Max C. Holthausen’s research group at Goethe University show that the substitution pattern that was observed experimentally indeed produces a pronounced stabilisation of the Si20 structure.
In future, Tillmann and Wagner are planning to use the surface-bound Cl3Si anchor groups to produce three dimensional nanonetworks out of Si20 units. The researchers are particularly interested in the application potential of this new compound: “Spatially strictly limited silicon nanoparticles display fundamentally different properties to conventional silicon wafers,” explains Matthias Wagner. The long strived-for access to siladodecahedrane thus opens up the possibility of studying the fundamental electronic properties of cage-like Si nanoparticles compared to crystalline semiconductor silicon.


Mark Pesce edges into the future, while keeping humanitas and civility as a main focus point. The horrors of Genocide and perceived differences that lead to racism, fascism, gene-pool-chauvanism and the worst elements of our human species are explored and summed up by Mark. He gives hints at a possible solution-processes, and examples of such real-world solutions such as article 54 of the Rawadan’ constitution. Once again mark forces you to think outside of the box and takes the stakes to another level.

“Article 54 states that “political organizations are prohibited from basing themselves on race, ethnic group, tribe, clan, region, sex, religion or any other division which may give rise to discrimination”.–

–Steve Fly