Tentacle Surge


It’s happening:

… since the 1960s, cephalopods numbers have been increasing. […] There had been anecdotal murmurs about such an upward trend before, but [Zoe] Doubleday’s data threw it into stark relief. The rise was obvious when the team analyzed data from both fisheries and other sources. It was there in both northern and southern hemispheres. It applied to species that stick to the same patch of ocean ocean floor, those that swim in the water layer just above the bottom, and those that patrol large stretches of open ocean. And it applied to every major group of cephalopod: For the most part, cuttlefish are doing well, squid are on the up, and octopuses are ascendant. […] “You wouldn’t have expected to see the same trend across these different groups,” says [Bronwyn] Gillanders. “It does potentially suggest that a large-scale, global phenomenon is affecting all of them.”

Underlinings (#57)

Scientists are hard at work of course, trying to detect and understand these phenomena. And they may one day succeed. But their failure to understand the depth of their ignorance until very recently speaks to a problem with the scientific method itself. […] The long climb to scientific supremacy begun by Aristotle in his invention of symbolic logic has in the end taken us to the summit of what turns out to be a very small hill, as we crane our necks upward at a looming, unseeable, unending mountain range. […] Worse, the mountains we cannot see or understand will nevertheless affect us in ways we can’t imagine. It is positively Lovecraftian.

Underlinings (#56)

The peculiar John Murray Spear:

… In 1852, Spear broke all ties with the Universalist church, and instead turned to Spiritualism. He claimed that he was in contact with “The Association of Electrizers”, a group of spirits including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, and Benjamin Rush, as well as Spear’s namesake John Murray. Evidence indicates he occasionally faked signatures as a way to gain authority from a “guide from the past”; however, these signatures were dated beyond the lifetimes of the deceased. Spear believed that the purpose of this group was to bring new technology to mankind, so that greater levels of personal and spiritual freedom could be achieved. The following year, Spear and a handful of followers retreated to a wooden shed at the top of High Rock hill in Lynn, Massachusetts, where they set to work creating the “New Motive Power”, a mechanical Messiah which was intended to herald a new era of Utopia. The New Motive Power was constructed of copper, zinc and magnets, all carefully machined, as well as a dining room table. At the end of nine months, Spear and the “New Mary”, an unnamed woman, ritualistically birthed the contraption in an attempt to give it life. Unfortunately for Spear, this failed to have the desired effect, and the machine was later dismantled. …