Free Transcript Project : #4

Source Audio

Title :  The Byte Show
Episode : “Alchemy and the Modern World” with Joseph P. Farrell
Url : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ira5AkX8Mc

Organization

The Byte Show
Web site : http://www.thebyteshow.com/
Y
ouTube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6QjSDphC-bLRwWZsr9yx3g

Host : GeorgeAnn Hughes
Contact : thebyteshow@zianet.com

Joseph P. Farrell
Contact :  Vardas3@hotmail.com
Web Site : http://gizadeathstar.com/

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Transcript
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Announcer : “The Byte Show” is listener supported, at : thebyteshow.com

GeorgeAnn Hughes : This is our first recording concerning that book. For those who might be listening, but don’t understand what alchemy is. What is alchemy?

Joseph Farrell : Well, alchemy is one of the branches of what we can call the “esoteric arts” or, if you prefer, the “esoteric crafts”. It is a very, very old craft. It dates back to – depending on who you study and who you consult with – it dates back to ancient Egypt and/or ancient China. Oddly enough, both civilizations were deeply steeped in various alchemical traditions. It’s interesting that if you go back to Egypt, the ancient Egyptian name for Egypt is “Al Chem” – from which we get our word Alchemy. So, in other words, there is a clear, ancient provenance to this science. And I am going to call it a science rather than a pseudo-science, for reasons that will become clear as we proceed.

Alchemy has as its goal, as its principle motivation, to take the “materia prima” – the “prime matter” – out of, or down from, heaven – so to speak – and embody it in what’s called “The Philosopher’s Stone”, in a material, earthly form. The goal of that operation, then, is to be able in chemical parlance to transmute base metals, such as : tin, lead or nickel – or something like that – into gold. In other words, a literal transformation of one element into the other. Now that’s the meaning of the “Philosopher’s Stone” in its most basic, prosaic sense. That is the goal of alchemy in its most basic, prosaic sense.

When you study alchemical texts, the thing that you will immediately notice – and I’m sure you have, because I know that you’ve read a lot of them yourself – is that these texts are very, very carefully phrased so they can bear a multitude of meanings. We’ve discussed in the “Cosmic War” series my idea that many of these ancient texts are, in fact, deliberately constructed in this fashion so that several layers of meaning are all possible and plausible. And that these texts are deliberately meant to convey several meanings. So, if we go beyond the prosaic meaning of the Philosopher’s Stone let’s look at what they’re actually saying. I get into this in the “Philosopher’s Stone”, in the book by that name. The first two chapters are actually devoted to a discussion of the subject. If you look at the “Materia Prima” – the “prime matter” – the way that alchemy views it is, in fact, very contemporary. It is earily similar to certain models of the physical medium which you would find in modern physics, because the “Materia Prima” – the prime matter – in alchemy is a transmutating medium itself. This is why it’s able to effect the transmutation of base metals into gold, because in alchemical thinking all matter comes ultimately from this Materia Prima. In other words, it’s the Prime Matter itself which is the ultimate philosopher’s stone. It is the matter before matter – so to speak.

In the process of diversifying itself then all creation emerges. Of course, this is a very, ancient Egyptian way of looking at the whole process of creation itself. Now if we look at this Prime Matter from the point of view of a modern physicist, because it exists prior to any differentiation – that means it has absolutely no distinguishing features within it. It is a literal nothing. A literal, physical nothing. Because there cannot be any observation of anything in it, all right? It’s once distinction begins to emerge that you begin to have physical something. So, in other words, alchemy – in a certain sense – even is talking about a creation ex nihilo. But it’s not a nothing in terms of a void. It’s a nothing that is a something, but the something doesn’t have any distinguishing characteristics. [laughter]. That’s a tongue-twister.

Georganne : It’s kind of confusing.

Joseph : It’s kind of confusing, but if you stop and think about it it make sense. It’s a nothing that is a something, without any distinguishing characteristics. It’s not a zero. It’s not a mere void. It’s a different kind of nothingness. It’s the kind of nothingness that you would think of in connection to eastern religions – like Mahayana Buddhism and certain features of Hinduism – and so on and so forth. But anyway, it is a transmutating medium. In other words, the very idea of the Materia Prima in alchemy creates information in the field, and that is a very modern physics concept. In fact, the Russian physicists during the Soviet era were the first physicists to start thinking along these lines and writing openly about it. So it is a very modern idea. So alchemy in that sense is dealing with a science – as it were, a craft – to manipulate the fabric of space-time, which is what we’ve been talking about all along. [laughter] All of these different interviews that we’ve been having over the past three years. So in other words, this is another aspect of this whole story.

Now let’s look at a third layer of alchemy. There is a third meaning of the Philosopher’s Stone, and this idea of transmuting base metals into gold. Because in some alchemical texts, that idea of transmutation of base metals into gold is a metaphor for the transmutation – or the elevation – of the human being himself. The idea that the human consciousness is transmuted from a base condition – represented by the base metals – into an elevated, or illuminated, consciousness that is illuminated precisely by a deep connection to that material prime matter, all right?

GeorgeAnn : Mmmhmm.

Joseph : So in that sense, alchemy is a science, or craft, of social engineering. Now let’s look carefully – this is a very important point. Let’s look carefully at what we have – at what alchemy is actually saying – and has been saying for almost two to three millenia. If you look at what it’s saying, it’s telling you two very important things. Number one, it is the science of the deep manipulation of the physical medium directly. Because of that it is also a manipulation of the actual physical, material creation in which we live and move and have our being – to use the words of Paul.

But it is also telling you a second thing, that it is a deep, deep science of the manipulation of human consciousness – of social engineering of human society. The connection is it’s telling you that both of these things are coming out of a particular physics – a particular view of the physical medium itself. In other words, it’s telling you that the science of creation – or tinkering with the civilization – is coming out of one and the same science that is manipulating the physical medium itself. So, in other words, we’re back to that idea that I’ve been outlining in all of my books and in some of these discussions that you and I have had.

We’re back to that idea that idea that in very, very ancient times there was a tremendously unified science. We’ve discussed in “Babylon’s Banksters” how there is a deep, deep unification between physics and finance, and the two types of physics and financial systems. Well, all I’m saying now is, “Let’s go deeper.” and the idea of a financial system being either an open or closed system reflects itself in the financial policies of a particular given state – and how it organizes those policies. Does it create money debt-free, – as a direct instrument of the state?  Or does it turn to a financial monoopoly – a private monopoly – to issue monetized debt, which is a closed system. What I now proposing is that we are going deeper – that the financial system is but one aspect of a much deeper science of social engineering. If you will, a magical working that influences the way that societies are organized and how they think. In that respect then, alchemy is the key, because it’s telling you that there is a deep connection between a consciousness – a cultural consciousness, an ethos – of a given culture or civilization, and the type of physics that it adopts. It’s telling you that you can have an “open system physics”, where you have a transmutative medium that can literally create information – that you have a physics that is capable of the direct manipulation of that medium, on the one hand. It’s telling you, on the other, that the same techniques – the same science – can be used to transmute humanity itself – to transmute the consciousness, to engineer the human being. Now this is a crucially, vitally important point, because I believe it was sometimes around the middle of our “Cosmic War” series that there is a deep, deep connection between this type of physics of the medium and consciousness itself. That is precisely what alchemy is telling you. Because in text after text after text it will tell you that you cannot undertake the work – the philosophical work – which means to make the Philosopher’s Stone into actual material embodiment. You cannot undertake that work without the alchemist himself – without the operator himself – undergoing his own transmutation. In other words, his own consciousness has a role in the preparation of the Philosopher’s Stone.

Is this all making sense?

GeorgeAnn : Yes.

Joseph : Okay. [laughter]. I’m glad. You sprang that on me out of nowhere.

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Day 8 : The Computer-Human Hybridization Movement – Increasing Efficiency While Decreasing Unemployment

A quick Google search this morning produced the YouTube video of an excellent speech by TranscribeMe CEO Alex Dunayev at the Silicone Valley Open Doors Investment Conference in 2013.

Mr Dunayev delivers and well articulated and down-to-earth presentation which clearly details the important trends arising in the transcription industry. Some of the most important of these include : the rapid growth of the transcription market worldwide as a result of greater reach of the internet and mobile networks, how new business models (such as crowd-sourcing) are being made possible by advances in technology which are enabling the delivery of higher quality transcription services to a widening customer base. Mr. Dunayev also explains the integration of evolving speech recognition software and artificial intelligence into the transcription process, which is enabling transcription to be done in a more efficient and less costly manner, and thus provide transcription services to individuals and organizations who simply hadn’t had the budget to afford it in the past (ex. students, educational institutions, freelancers, small businesses. He also gives us a promising glimpse of the future potentials of the new transcription paradigm, including ways it will aid disadvantaged populations such as the disabled (ex. blind and deaf), researchers, creative people, etc. Judging from the response of the experts on the questioning panel, who seemed to be quite impressed, I believe that most people come away from viewing this presentation with an expanded understanding of the topic of transcription, as well as the various additional topics and organizations related to the transcription industry. In addition, it appears easy to gain a more optimistic sense that computer technology actually CAN be harnessed and utilized in a practical and humane manner to solve important real world problems (ex. human, business, academic, etc.) while at the same time being easy to implement and affordable to the general public.

In the past decade, this philosophically fragile issue of the “Rise of the Machines” has grown to apocalyptic proportions for many, as theories range from robots taking over human jobs and making us obsolete, to artificial intelligence being taken over by the computers themselves, who then turn on their human creators and initiate a global cyborg war – perhaps catalyzed by the computerized scanning and transcribing of uncensored human thoughts, leading naturally to World War III between the humans, and with supercomputer controlled neutron bomb attacks resulting in mass extinction of the human population of the planet, and allowing the robots to live in a highly organized and efficient utopia until the end of time.

Most informed and sensible people realize that any technology is merely a tool, and that it is the APPLICATION of that technology which determines its ethical value. Examples now abound of new applications of technology able to solve REAL problems for REAL people which have never been possible in the past. For instance, as supercomputing technology becomes faster and more powerful it is being used to analyze data in the field of medicine to gain better understanding of genetic factors in disease, the nature of epidemics, etc. Smartphone apps are being developed which facilitate a growing range of medical treatment processes, often conducted by the individual in the comfort of their own home. To give a few of examples, there are now operational apps which measure and remind diabetics to check their blood sugar level at scheduled times which are making it much easier to control this chronic disease *and various others). New apps which track disease epidemics are allowing public health officials to better protect human populations from outbreaks, and to eliminate outbreaks when they occur as a result of the ability to obtain data related to the epidemic faster. Stem cell technology is showing the promise of regenerating dysfunctional body parts and even restoring various important neurological functions in the body (ex. vision, movement, paralysis). From these few examples most people would probably agree that there are significant potential benefits to the development of these advanced technologies. The fundamental issue thus becomes ensuring that the applications of this higher technology are directed at solving REAL problems for REAL people, with the main goal of improving the lives of people throughout the world.

Along this line of reasoning, I believe that the transcription related technology, service and employment system which TranscribeMe is developing is an ideal example of the proper use of the emerging advanced technologies. It is also an excellent example of how it is completely feasible to integrate computer technology and human capital to ultimately increase OVERALL benefits for the humans who are served by these technologies. For instance, the TranscribeMe crowd sourcing production platform contributes two main benefits to the operation. It enables greater efficiency and faster turnover of the end product (transcription) to the customer, while at the same time fulfilling more of the needs of the transcribers to be able to work anytime, anywhere and more flexibly as they general work on quick (roughly one minute) segments of speech. In addition, since Mr. Dunayev explains that there are just certain limits to what computers can achieve in regard to processing human speech, we see that the computers have a very valuable role to play in the more logistical and technical aspects of the transcription process (ex. splicing audio files into ~ one minute micro-chunks, distributing the micro-chunks to the most suitable members of the transcriber crowd based on demographic data stored in the system, etc). In other words, the computer is acting in a similar way to the timer on a dishwasher or coffee machine. It COMPLEMENTS the human labor.  The computer performs the more menial tasks of scheduling and organization while the skills of the human are used for those elements of the workflow which are beyond the natural realm of the computers. It is the same case for digital music production. Sure, digital musical instruments can do many amazing things which human musicians generally can’t do on their own (ex. synthesizing sounds which don’t actually exist in nature, optimizing music and sounds after they have been recording via advanced digital audio editing software, etc.). Before these technologies were available to humans they had less creative options to work with sound and produce the amazing works that they can now. However, digitized music will NEVER be able to truly mimic the unique human quality which is brought forth through music.

There are certainly some rather ethically unsettling developments playing out in various pursuits which have a strong effect on humans, all other lifeforms on earth and the environment. Some more down-to-earth examples can include : the detrimental effect of information overload on the human brain, the often intrusive nature of Smartphone technology by which people become addicted and neglect more important issues in their lives, the sedentary lifestyle many people have descended into as a result of the technology making it less necessary to be physically active, etc. While each of the above examples can be partially alleviated through the application of proper behavioral (and other) psychology strategies, the bottom line is that humanity is facing a growing challenge of trying to strike a healthy balance of utilizing these helpful new technologies as opposed to allowing the technologies to exploit THEM.

This is why the kind of technology application which TranscribeMe has developed offers much hope in the sense of being evidence of the ability to design technology in keeping with the ultimate practical needs of the humans who actually use the product in their real lives. The computers are not the end consumers of a product like the TranscribeMe transcription. They are the TOOL which enables the end product to be produced in the best form and in the most efficient manner possible. Ultimately, it is the HUMANS who benefit from the fruits of the technology which TranscribeMe has developed. That is, BOTH the end consumer (who receives a very high quality (accurate) transcript in an increasingly short amount of time and at an increasingly affordable price) AND the worldwide crowd of transcribers who benefit from a decreased risk of under or unemployment, job flexibility, high quality training and career advancement opportunities. In the end, the TranscribeMe system is very people-friendly.

At the SAME time, the TranscribeMe system is also computer-friendly. That is, as explained in the presentation, the artificial intelligence of the transcription software actually learns how to better process a specific (repeat) customer’s projects based on all of the data collected from past projects. Therefore, the computers themselves are also evolving and benefiting through the performance of their intended actions (through the combination of big data processing and artificial intelligence).

In the end, a very positive feedback and production loop arises as the computers’ evolving artificial intelligence increases the productivity of the process and thus completes the transcription for repeat customers FASTER. This then frees up resources to be able to process more customers, which increases revenue, which then enables the company to invest more profits into growth and marketing, hire more transcribers (and other necessary workers) and thus stimulate employment and the general economy. Again, this line of reasoning shows clearly how this system delivers REAL benefit to the lives of REAL humans.

What is even more promising is that, as Mr. Dunayev details in the presentation, TranscribeMe has begun planning and implementing some very powerful collaborative projects with other companies and industries which can benefit from the integration of TranscribMe’s crowd sourced, computer-hybrid transcription technology with the their own applications. One example of this is the collaboration between TranscribeMe and NVivo, one of the leading research platforms for data analysis. A significant component of research of most kinds (ex. marketing research, qualitative social science studies, focus groups, etc.) involves collecting data in a form which is suitable for, and optimized by, quality transcription. Proper transcription of data enhances the ability to organize, manage and analyze data with the end result being better quality research, and maximum application of the output of that research.

This integration of TranscribeMe technology into a growing number of appropriate and related applications is positioning TranscribeMe technology to serve as a powerful tool whose function is to convert audio speech into the most potentially accurate text which can then be imported into other applications which use text data as one of the primary inputs. In line with the old saying, “Garbage in… garbage out.” the TranscribeMe technology is minimizing the amount of garbage going IN, and thus acting as a major force for improving the quality of all research which uses real speech data from any source (audio, video, etc.).

I realize that this post has grown extremely long. When I become interested in a subject the words just spewing out of me and it is better to just go with it. It is a natural tendency. A blessing and a curse of sorts. I’ll admit that I have a “writing problem”, in the sense that I often can’t write fast enough. This is, of course, is worsened by my “drinking problem”, where I can’t drink fast enough. Then again, that all depends on the type of drink (ex. beer, coffee, etc.). The reader is, of course, free to take what they want and leave the rest.

But I digress.

Having said all of this, I do TRULY believe that the issue of the proper integration of technology with human nature is one of the most important of our time. Plus, it only seems to be becoming MORE important, and at an ACCELERATING rate as the evolution of the technology itself is accelerating in a non-linear progression. I also think it is important for anyone who has an interest in, and/or wants to work in, the transcription field to learn about this issue, think about and consider the ways (both positive and negative) in which it effects their everyday lives. When I look at developments like TranscribeMe it makes me very hopeful that we are at CAPABLE of developing ethical collaborative integrated applications which utilize the power of advancing technology with the ultimate purpose of improving the human condition.

Getting back to the transcription training issue, in this post I haven’t yet specifically discussed much related to my progress. I have now passed the TranscribeMe application and started on the training phase before being cleared to work on projects. In a way, however, as I mentioned in the last post that one part of my research as I proceed through the transcription world is to watch videos related to the different topics, companies, industry people, etc. Therefore, this whole blog post essentially describes a valuable part of the research process. That is, the process of becoming more familiar with the transcription company I am now working for, getting to know more about how they operate their business, learning about what the company has planned for growth and development into the future, etc. In the same way that an investor does serious research on the “fundamentals” of a prospective company before making the decision to invest in it, it is similarly important to research a company you intend to WORK for to ensure that the philosophy and goals of the company are in line with yours to an adequate degree. After all, when you work for a company you are dedicating quite a bit of your energy and time into the endeavor. Thus it is essential to do your homework in order to make the most informed and prudent decision based on the specific nature of your situation. In addition, what is so great about living in the “information age” is that there is just so much information available if we know where and how to look. That is one of the functions of this blog, of course. One of the main goals here is to teach you (by example) a productive strategy of navigating through the transcription world (and the worlds connected to it) with the ultimate goal of helping you to make the best decisions possible which will help you achieve your goals and maintain a healthy level of continuous growth and prosperity – on the physical, mental and spiritual levels.

As for the TranscribeMe training, I have been working through the training modules while simultaneously reading through the style guide. I should be done with the training by tomorrow and then will attempt the final exam for the training. If/when I pass the exam the administrators will then contact me within a few days and provide me with my login information so that I can access the system, start becoming familiar with how things work, and spend some time browsing the internal social media network in order to begin networking and connecting with some of my new co-workers, etc. I also have plenty of research content to keep me busy both before and after I gain formal entrance into the system and start working on transcribing some of the one minute (or less) length audio files. My main focus, however, is to proceed slowly, steadily and methodically, in order to take it all in at a healthy pace while also enjoying the process of growth and discovery.

I hope you have gained something valuable from the information in this rather long post. In the next post I will further discuss some of my insights on the training and research processes, and do some more analysis of other interesting aspects of the TranscribeMe operation.

TranscriptJunky@gmail.com
https://twitter.com/TranscriptJunky