20 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2022
  2. Dec 2021
  3. Jan 2021
    1. 14Like all other ideas and movements, transhumanism is a product of its time. Transhumanist ambitions of radical life extension, brain uploading, intelligence augmentation, and space colonisation, could not be taken seriously as realisticprojectsbefore the invention of modern computers and rockets, the discovery of DNA, or the rapid increases in computing power and the declining cost of computation—all of which took place in the twentieth century

      On the one hand there's definitely a lot of truth to this, on the other hand interest in this kind of project has waxed and waned since at least the middle ages. Roger Bacon believed that alchemy would allow humans to prolong life using the same mechanism as the Christian resurrection.


      I explore the prehistory of transhumanism in some detail here:


  4. Jun 2020
  5. Dec 2019
    1. Cornelius Agrippa

      Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535) was author of *De Occulta Philosophia**, known to practice magic, and considered nonsensical by modern natural philosophy.

    2. Albertus Magnus

      Albertus Magnus (1193-1280) was also the teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas. He is often praised for his rejection of dogmatic philosophy and his stress on experimentation. Many books, including the Little Book on Alchemy, were falsely attributed to Magnus but likely written by Paracelsus.

    3. elixir of life

      The philosophers stone was also called the elixir of life, or thought to create it, and to be useful for rejuvenation and for achieving immortality; for many centuries, the stone and the elixir were the most sought goal in alchemy.

    4. the principles of Agrippa

      In his book De Occulta Philosophia Agrippa suggested that God placed magic in the world to make man capable of transcending the natural sphere and able to influence the superior realms.

    5. philosopher’s stone

      The philosopher's stone, or "stone of the philosophers" (Latin: lapis philosophorum) was a legendary alchemical substance capable of turning base metals such as mercury into gold (chrysopoeia, from the Greek χρυσός khrusos, "gold," and ποιεῖν poiēin, "to make") or silver.

    6. Paracelsus and Albertus Magnus

      Paracelsus (1200-1280) was a medieval Swiss theologian and physician interested in alchemy and astrology, and a pioneer in the medical revolution of the German Renaissance. Albertus Magnus (1193-1280) was a German Catholic Dominican friar and bishop. Known as Albert the Great or later Saint Albert, Magnus also wrote on alchemy and was the first to comment on the writings of Aristotle and the teachings of Muslim academics, notably Avicenna and Averroes.

    7. this day natural philosophy, and particularly chemistry, in the most comprehensive sense of the term, became nearly my sole occupation

      The special role of chemistry in Victor's apprenticeship to medicine links premodern sciences like alchemy to modern empirical science. Humphry Davy (1778-1829)was the contemporary British chemist who argued the chemistry was the key to all other sciences and useful arts of the time.

    8. should probably have applied myself to the more rational theory of chemistry

      Although the word comes from Arabic, "alchemy" has its roots in the ancient world, which seemed preoccupied with the transformation of materials, especially with turning base metals such as lead and tin into gold and silver. Both Victor's father and Professor Krempe sharply distinguish between the modern, rational science of chemistry and irrational, premodern alchemy.

  6. Jan 2019
    1. but is ever present in the world of educational technology

      I've tried in vain to find an article I read in the recent past about how only a small percentage of educational technology products are effective in improving student achievement. I also enjoyed this article/chart, which illustrates how technology is a TOOL, not the method: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-students

    1. modern

      I dunno about actual practices but I know that there are references to alchemy all over the place in modern entertainment and media. I went into some of the references I was familiar with in my first post from the first time I took NetNarr. Take a peek if you like: https://owlsarepeopletoo.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/that-stalker-alchemy/

    2. ideas

      Watching this reminded me of a horror game I used to watch playthroughs of back in the day. Aqua Regia was used as a component to create acid at one point in the game. Thinking about it now, there were a lot of alchemy elements to that game... Go google Amnesia: The Dark Descent for a good time (and jumpscares lol)

  7. Oct 2018
    1. A breach, but an expansion,    Like gold to airy thinness beat.

      Allusion to alchemy; a typical Donne convention. Alchemy is the process of mixing imperfect metals to attempt to create a perfect metal, gold. This was a typical medieval practice that had no real results.

    2. Our two souls therefore, which are one,
  8. Mar 2018
    1. alembics
      1. Chem. An early apparatus used for distilling, consisting of two connected vessels, a typically gourd-shaped cucurbit (cucurbit n.1 1) containing the substance to be distilled, and a receiver or flask in which the condensed product is collected. Occasionally also: spec. the lid or head (head n.1 19f) of the cucurbit together with its tube or beak which connects the two vessels. Now hist. (from Oxford English Dictionary)
  9. May 2017
  10. Sep 2015
    1. ITM is based on the theory of temperament. Temperament is a quality resulting from the interaction of opposite properties present in elements consisting of minute particles. Thus, a uniform quality occurs which is present in all of them. Hotness, coldness, moistness, and dryness are four temperaments that naturally occur in every existingsubstance including living creatures (2)

      These temperments match up with the four-fold alchemical division that uses the same four qualities of heat, cold, moisture and dryness.