Mark vs Cancer

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thirty Four Best Sting (and Police) Songs Ever

Listed in order of greatness . . . done with complete arbitrariness and with reverence for one of the great songwriters, poets, musicians, and artists of all time.

  1. Every Breath You Take
  2. Fields of Gold
  3. All This Time
  4. The End of the Game
  5. Fragile
  6. Desert Rose
  7. Ghost Story
  8. Wrapped Around Your Finger
  9. Epilogue
  10. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
  11. Sacred Love
  12. Stolen Car
  13. Never Coming Home
  14. This Cowboy Song
  15. If I Ever Lose My Faith In You
  16. I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying
  17. King of Pain
  18. Fortress Around Your Heart
  19. There Is No Deeper Wave
  20. Seven Days
  21. Shape Of My Heart
  22. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
  23. Don't Stand So Close To Me
  24. If You Love Somebody Set Them Free
  25. Love Is Strong Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)
  26. Why Should I Cry For You?
  27. Message In A Bottle
  28. Inside
  29. How Insensitive
  30. The Hounds of Winter
  31. They Dance Alone
  32. Can't Stand Losing You
  33. Heavy Cloud, No Rain
  34. I Hung My Head

Monday, January 09, 2012

Mark vs Cancer

I had kidney cancer.  Past tense.  It is gone, thanks to robotic intervention.

Here's a  link to my blog where I discuss the experience in agonizing

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Promoting Movement Up the Spiral

"I am not saying in this conception of adult behavior that one style of being, one form of human existence, is inevitably and in all circumstances superior to or better than another form of human existence, another style of being.
What I am saying is that when one form of being is more congruent with the realities of existence, then it is the better form of being for those realities.
And what I am saying is that when one form of existence ceases to be functional for the realities of existence then some other form, either higher or lower in the hierarchy, is the better style of living.
I do suggest, however, and this I deeply believe is so, that for the overall welfare of total man's existence in this world, over the long run of time, higher levels are better than lower levels and that the prime good of a society's governing figures should be to promote human movement up the levels of human existence."
--Professor Clare Graves,
 as quoted in Spiral Dynamics
by Don Beck and Chris Cowan

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Until one is committed there is always hesitancy; the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.  There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves, too.  All sorts of things occur to help that would never otherwise have occurred.  A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising to one's favor all manner of unforeseen accidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.  Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Love and Justice

"The arc of the moral universe is long, 
but it bends toward justice."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Love You Tonight

Remembering 9/11 and the tangled knot of anger and fear we all felt as we came face to face with our fragility.
I wrote this lullaby for my infant daughter that evening. She's now ten. Thanks to my genius brother Jeff Foster for producing it, and to my genius friend Amy Smith for sketching the artwork.
If you like it, please forward it. Go to to download more songs for free. 
My album, Ghost/Machine, comes out this fall!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Zero-Point Energy and the Nature of Consciousness

Zero-point energy:  the energy that remains when all other energy is removed from a system.   

Zero-point energy exists, and this discovery by quantum physicists, originating from the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, reveals that there is still energy in a system, even in a complete vacuum, when it would otherwise appear that all matter and energy had been removed.  Everything is gone, and yet something remains.  The existence of zero-point energy suggests that there is "an intrinsic quantum fuzziness in the very nature of both energy and matter," a vast sea of pulsating energy, and that this fuzzy sea of probabilities manifests as an all-present, all-pervasive energy field throughout the Universe, its very fabric.  Or rather, it is the Universe:  the Zero-point Field.

Whoa.  This has serious implications for science, philosophy, spirituality, and theories of consciousness.  Three inescapable conclusions are that 1) there is no such thing as empty space, 2) we are all as eternal as the Universe in an ever present Now/Here, and 3) we are connected, quite literally, to everyone and everything else in the Universe.  

Pretty cool, eh?

We now turn to author Lynne McTaggart to elucidate more of these implications, from her excellent book, ambitiously and appropriately entitled, The Field:  The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe.

(We join our narrator as she is describing the award-winning work of an international collaborative team of physicists, neuroscientists, physicians, biologists, and psychologists that described how human cells, both brain and other, are receptive to light wave interference patterns emanating fundamentally from the Zero-point Field, thus providing a possible mechanism for perception, memory, imagination, and consciousness.  Shhh.  Listen.)

"All of this led to a heretical thought . . . Consciousness was a global phenomenon that occurred everywhere in the body, and not simply in our brains.  Consciousness, at its most basic, was coherent light . . . Their work presented itself as a unified theory of mind and matter, evidence of . . . a world of 'unbroken wholeness.'  The universe was a vast dynamic cobweb of energy exchange, with a basic substructure containing all possible versions of all possible forms of matter.  Nature was not blind and mechanistic, but open-ended, intelligent, purposeful, making use of a cohesive learning feedback process of information being fed back and forth between organisms and their environment.  Its unifying mechanism was not a fortunate mistake but information which had been encoded and transmitted everywhere at once.

Biology was a quantum process.  All the processes of the body, including cell communication, were triggered by quantum fluctuations, and all higher brain functions and consciousness also appeared to function at the quantum level.  (This) set off the most outrageous idea of all: . . . memory doesn't reside in our brain at all, but instead is stored in the Zero Point Field.

Our brain is not a storage mechanism but a receiving mechanism in every sense, and memory is simply a distant cousin of ordinary perception.  (Perhaps) all of our cognitive processes result from an interaction with the Zero Point Field.  This kind of constant interaction might account for intuition or creativity--and how ideas come to us in bursts of insight, sometimes as fragments but often as a miraculous whole.  An intuitive leap might simply be a sudden coalescence of coherence in The Field.

The fact that the human body was exchanging information with a mutable field of quantum fluctuation suggested something profound about the world.  It hinted at human capabilities for knowledge and communication far deeper and more extended than we presently understand.  It also blurred the boundary lines of our individuality--our very sense of separateness.  If living things boil down to charged particles interacting with a field and sending out and receiving quantum information, where did we end and the rest of the world begin?  Where was consciousness--encased inside our bodies or out there in The Field?  Indeed, there was no more 'out there' if we and the rest of the world were so intrinsically interconnected.

The implications of this were too huge to ignore.  The idea of a system of exchanged and patterned energy and its memory and recall in the Zero Point Field hinted at all manner of possibility for human beings and their relation to the world.   (Undiscerning) physicists had set mankind back for many decades.  In ignoring the effect of the Zero Point Field, they'd eliminated the possibility of interconnectedness and obscured a scientific explanation for many kinds of miracles.  What they'd been doing, in renormalizing their equations, was a little like subtracting out God."

Dude. May the Force be with you.