Daily Archives: September 9th, 2009

The Dreaming Dead, Open Letter To Augustine Commission and Prelude To Augustine Report

Metaphysical essayist Bruce Duensing puts forward a theory that is interesting and what some would conclude is impossible.

Do the dead dream that they are alive?

Do they dream at all?

Chickens as Eggs In Embryo
I am about to suggest to you, based on my own experiences, which one can either take or leave as either a psychic set of impressions of an afterlife or an imaginative construction that is the creation of myself as an observer of my own model of reality, that there may be a truism veiled in this account, that death as well as life is a combination of the imaginative realm toward itself, as well as having a parallel of weaving a spiders web in tandem in which we become exposed, naked to our own assumptions as to what or whom we may be.

Perhaps this is as much of a cautionary tale to you as it is to it’s author, but then in some sense, I am only a correspondent whose narrative portends a fever dream or a eyewitness of self fulfilling prophecies or then again, perhaps both.

More specifically, death is not a singular state… but the many, from those allegedly dead to our world who are imagining they are alive, imagining one is in a environment that is free standing and existential, imagining delimited self expression .. as I now recall in hindsight within my childhood as recalled as “my Father’s house has many mansions.” Indeed. A chilling thought is that we unawares may be encasing ourselves in amber.

Let me explain this strange perspective by way of an experiential account lacking any proof, any tangible artifact other than the hand that selects the letters that are arranged to express this chain of events, both in the prosaic and in the metaphysical sense.

Further,this wayward and seemingly random account has a pattern as apparent to me as a leaf thst begs the question; Is reality, in it’s highest intermediary sense formed in the eye of the beholder?

Is there not one heaven but an infinite variety of them, all of which are constructed by what we have sewn together from the material, the defining of what oneself may be as a purpose entirely invented, created by the observer and of course, no two observations in the subjective nature of him or her are similar, unlike a leaf or a automobile, sentience apparently not only borrows form, but mimics it’s objectively rote nature with the freedom only limited by our own trans-personal models of Self, and many.. as I experienced… have none whatsoever.

In these proverbial soap bubbles, each a universe onto themselves, these membranes of our own making once blown from the bubble pipe of the young lady or man on a summer day that is but a shadow of another yet to come, a faux escape, that are only to be carried by the wind, suspended in the atmosphere of a realm we can scarcely imagine. Or, then again, do we do so every day, imagine what we are? And thus make a body of work that is our world as we have experienced it? And so begins my account from the early hours of this day, “stuck inside a mobile with the memphis Blues again..” Am I the inadvertent chronicler of this parallel world or have I been played? Perhaps both.

Years ago I read a short story by Robert Charles Wilson titled ‘Divided By Infinity’ in which the protagonist experiences a kind of twisted immortality by continuously commiting serial suicide.

To him, there’s no relief by death, only universes where he’s only becoming more ‘unlikely’ to exist.

Which, I think, is a kind of Purgatorive Nightmare.

Duensing’s Dreaming Dead is kind of like that I think.

Do The Dead Dream?

My old friend James Essig has written an open letter to the Augustine Panel on America’s spaceflight future asking them to consider nuclear power for rockets:

Dear Folks at NASA;


You all live the dream of human space exploration and manned space flight. Many of you grew up in the era of the Star Trek and Star Wars movie series, as I have. If we are honest with our selves, we have to admit that we all love dream about the future possibility of mankind’s travel among the stars that might be  realized for our decedents. Some of you, as I do, have a dream that we might travel to other star systems this very century, but due to the rationality and the here and now approach that must necessarily be at least part of the institutionalized research and development programs of a very large Federal Government organization such as NASA which is ultimately funded by the American tax-payers, I understand that you must at times feel the need to subjectively repress the desire to express your interest in a bold initiative that would enable human civilization to launch manned space expeditions to our nearest stellar neighbors by some time this century if not by mid-century. I offer some plausible rationalized and mildly mathematical arguments why we should not dismiss such ideas and why known physics may enable us to reach very high relativistic gamma factors in terms of manned space craft, whereupon perhaps novel kinematical and/or unknown space time topology altering effects might be manifest due to any unspecified break down in the principles of special and/or general relativity for macroscopically spatial and rest-mass wise objects traveling at such high velocities such as perhaps future manned spacecraft.

I haven’t the heart to tell him they wrapped up shop August 12th and that they’re giving Mr. Obamanator the final report September 14th or 15th.

An Open Letter To The Leadership Of NASA And The Members Of The Augustine Commission Regarding A Personal Vision Of The Utilization Of Nuclear Energy For Manned Interstellar Space Flight.

And speaking of the Augustine Commission…

NASA Needs More Money to Meet Space Goals, Panel Finds, Washington Post“Don’t try to put astronauts on Mars yet — too hard, too costly. Go to the moon — maybe. Or build rockets that could zip around the inner solar system, visiting asteroids, maybe a Martian moon. Keep the International Space Station going until 2020 rather than crash it into the Pacific in 2016. Help underwrite commercial space flight the same way the United States gave the airline business a boost in the 1920s with air mail.”

Report on NASA’s Future Backs Use of Private Contractors, WS Journal

“A blue-ribbon study group is urging the Obama administration to rely on private enterprise to reduce costs and accelerate broad access to low Earth orbit, comparing budding entrepreneurial space efforts to the 1920s, when air-mail contracts sparked a boom in U.S. commercial aviation.”

Augustine panel tells White House NASA needs a new plan — and more money, Orlando Sentinel

“A presidential panel told the White House today that NASA is on an “unsustainable trajectory” and to preserve a “meaningful” human spaceflight program, NASA needs an additional $3 billion annually and a mandate to work closely with other countries and private companies.”

Obama space panel says moon return plan is a no-go, AP

“A White House panel of independent space experts says NASA’s return-to-the-moon plan just won’t fly. The problem is money. The expert panel estimates it would cost about $3 billion a year beyond NASA’s current $18 billion annual budget. “Under the budget that was proposed, exploration beyond Earth is not viable,” panel member Edward Crawley, a professor of aeronautics at MIT, told The Associated Press Tuesday.”

Augustine Commission member says NASA needs more money for any future mission, Huntsville Times

“It’s pretty clear NASA needs more money,” said Dr. Ed Crawley, panel member. “We basically said human exploration beyond low Earth orbit is not obtainable within the fiscal year 2010 budget. We did not find a credible plan that would fit within the budget.”

Panel: No moon or beyond for NASA without new funds, Houston Chronicle

“NASA has not been given resources matched to the tasks it has been asked to undertake,” said Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology. “That has to change.” That message was echoed by Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land, the ranking Republican on the House panel that has jurisdiction over NASA. “The benefits of human spaceflight to our nation are innumerable, and as such our financial commitment to NASA and to the aerospace industry should not waiver and in fact should be increased to meet these worthy objectives,” Olson said.”

Panel: Space goals need $3 billion more a year, USA Today

“I’m very curious about what the administration is going to do with a report like this,” said Marcia Smith, a former space expert for the Congressional Research Service and founder of spacepolicyonline.com. The “committee has made a stark case. … They’re saying it’s $3 billion if you want to do almost anything.”

Panel Calls Program of NASA Unfeasible, NY Times

“A blue-ribbon panel said Tuesday that a lack of financing has left NASA’s current space program on an “unsustainable trajectory” and that the Obama administration should consider using private companies to launch people into low-Earth orbit.”

The above is from NASA Watch.