mav·er·ick [ mávvərik ] – independent person: an independent thinker who refuses to conform to the accepted views on a subject. Synonyms: eccentric, individualist, rebel, one of a kind, odd one out, dissident, nonconformist
There are people that are just not like the rest of us; they absorb their environment differently and make decisions based on a value system that the majority would find a bit clinical, to say the least. While we might be experiencing daily life in an atmosphere thick with the cultural proprieties and politically correct qualifiers of our times (because they ‘work’, don’t they?), there are mavericks -with a capitial ‘M’! – out there creating reality on another wavelength. And these weird and unbridled realities are going to vibrate and bounce right into our own spectrum more and more often. Some of us are going to enjoy it, some of us are going to hate it and all of us are going to be stretched beyond our comfort zone.
I came across a journalist – Carole Cadwalladr – who has a talent for bringing you into this ‘other’ world, of helping you step into their view point. She is candidly struggling to bridge ‘us’ to ‘them’ and I think she does a great job. Below are excerpts from two of her articles on people who fit the label, Maverick.
Now here’s a thought: if we scale down from these over-the-top examples to our own personal journey, it would be fair to say that many of us have had a season in our lives where we became like mavericks, or rebels, vanished from a scene, flipped a belief on it’s head. Those around us thought we were acting strangely – rudely, perhaps; that we weren’t ourselves; ‘something’ must be wrong with us. With hindsight, we know that we were simply doing what had to be done, even if there could have been a bit more grace about it. ‘At the time, I acted the only way I could see to do.’ ‘For me, it was the only way to go.’ And from that point onward, the season became the reboot of a more genuine everyday living.
You may be having a season like that now. Perhaps you can sense that something’s coming – or that it ought to be. In any case, you’ll want to check out my third offering. Its an extremely helpful layout of the energies ahead, along with questions you can ask yourself about where your unique creative energy should turn for focus – be it maverick or not. For those of you taking the Aries New Moon Workshop, I would say that this is required prep reading.
Highlighting recent BIG goings on in Big Data, Cadwalladr writes about the blissful marriage of Google and the AI community. And who leads this eccentric band? Ray Kurzweil, of course. We can reasonably predict that GoogleAI offspring will not always feel so blissful to us over the coming years. Some excerpts:
When Kurzweil first started talking about the “singularity”, a conceit he borrowed from the science-fiction writer Vernor Vinge, he was dismissed as a fantasist. He has been saying for years that he believes that the Turing test – the moment at which a computer will exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human – will be passed in 2029. The difference is that when he began saying it, the fax machine hadn’t been invented. But now, well… it’s another story…
“And today, I’m pretty much at the median of what AI experts think and the public is kind of with them. Because the public has seen things like Siri [the iPhone's voice-recognition technology] where you talk to a computer, they’ve seen the Google self-driving cars. My views are not radical any more. I’ve actually stayed consistent. It’s the rest of the world that’s changing its view.”
Kurzweil says: “Computers are on the threshold of reading and understanding the semantic content of a language, but not quite at human levels. But since they can read a million times more material than humans they can make up for that with quantity. So IBM’s Watson is a pretty weak reader on each page, but it read the 200m pages of Wikipedia. And basically what I’m doing at Google is to try to go beyond what Watson could do. To do it at Google scale. Which is to say to have the computer read tens of billions of pages. Watson doesn’t understand the implications of what it’s reading. It’s doing a sort of pattern matching. It doesn’t understand that if John sold his red Volvo to Mary that involves a transaction or possession and ownership being transferred. It doesn’t understand that kind of information and so we are going to actually encode that, really try to teach it to understand the meaning of what these documents are saying.”
Moving from software to hardware – with a stunning example of modern day accessibility – Cadwalladr brings us into the mind of The 14th Most Dangerous Person in the World. The creator of The Liberator, a bullet-firing 3D printable gun schematic, reflects:
“OK, so sometimes it’s called post politics. It’s just (t)his idea that there’s this western consensus about what is democracy, what is liberal capitalism. And increasingly all questions that might have been traditionally political questions, that we could fight about, have been relegated to an administrative sphere … so I could spend my entire career becoming one member of some segment of the government yelling as hard as I could for many years making a career. Or I could write software that totally explodes the paradigm, right? We’re so dissatisfied in participating in traditional politics, that we’re looking for other kinds of projects that are still innately political and contest what can be done in political terms.”
And Wilson believes the Liberator will undermine the power of government and radically democratise everything and transform the relationships between individuals and the state. Wilson believes this just as he believes that bitcoin, the crypto currency, will disrupt governments’ economic functions, including their ability to raise taxes, which is why he is developing something called Dark Wallet, a secure means of storing and sending the currency.
For the Maverick in All of Us
From where we all stand, the coming months bring a LOT of very rare to-ing and fro-ing in the skies and you know what we always say around here, ‘as above, so below’. There is personal magic and mischief afoot.
Sure, you will continue to see new variations on the now achingly weary archetypes of the Haves and Have Nots in your newsfeed. By all means, continue to use them to expand your own thinking and feeling boundaries.
But expect that the echo must also ripple through your microsphere: if there are tracks and then backtracks and then retracks in some of your life departments, you can know that this is why… and you will want to look for a theme, a continuum and subsequently, Opportunity presenting itself.
And just how do we do that?, you ask. I cant think of a better place to start than with Lorna Bevan’s Spring 2014 article. Sit down with your dayplanner, your wheel and this chronologically organised guide to plot your course over this next stretch of life journey. Make adjustments and edits where necessary. Have a Plan B ready. Commit to regular grounding time so that you stay true to your Self when you have to re-act in a hasty moment’s notice.
Take the initiative: Be the bell and the bowl. And ask for help if you need it: firstname.lastname@example.org