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About Deviant Artist Premium Member Writes as 'aegian' in FT onlineUnited Kingdom Groups :iconfungus-and-friends: Fungus-and-Friends
Growing like a fungus
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Dusty Classic by greystarlight

Thevery first thing I noticed about the thumbnail was the perfectly aligned pair of Coca-Cola Classic six packs. Were they, or weren't ...

Spring Loaded by GrahamSym

I'm frequently amazed by what Mandelbulbers are able to extract from this particular set of fractals. Whenever I see a well rendered ar...

Geometric Intermezzo (Part 3) by Einsilbig

This work sits comfortably in its square format with not a trace of tilt or skew, a thing of right angles, muted colours and beauty. It...

The Artefact by TheChanChanMan

What was 'The Excession'? Nobody knew. That was the problem. It was a Galactic scale black swan event, certainly. Seemingly connected t...

A couple of years ago I met a high up ZANU party member who had been a Lieutenant in the Guerrilla wars in then Rhodesia. He had since been a driver to Mugabe's second in command and was also given a farm as payment for his services. He still had a position in the government which he did not discuss. The evidence was in the three young men, aged in their late teens and early twenties, who were accompanying him.

He was extremely charming to me and we had a long and interesting conversation about Zimbabwe. He made no secret of the fact that he and everyone else hated Mugabe and just wished he would die. He had nothing but contempt for Mugabe's wife who he said was just a money grubbing power hungry manipulator and he foresaw what is now happening. His old boss who had been second in command to Mugabe has indeed been ousted and Mrs Mugabe is fast being groomed to become Mugabe's replacement. She even did a fast track course of three months to gain a degree in Sociology because she was so unhappy about being called an uneducated simpleton. Nonetheless she was building a palace which my informant said was hated by all the people who were living around it and starving.

This man loved Britain and hoped that Mugabe would just die and allow Zimbabwe to renew relations with the UK. He treated me like a relative because I was born there and said he would kill an ostrich if I would visit his farm. This was in African terms a very generous and extremely kind reaction.

The point of my story is that the three young men with him were sitting near us while we were talking. They seemed so miserable that they paid no attention, though I have no doubt that had their superior clicked his fingers I would have been mincemeat. He told me that these boys were on duty for two months and then he would take them, among others, to the UK to recover and have a holiday before going back to Zimbabwe for another two months duty. 

I had a strong suspicion that these unfortunate boys were enforcers, cracking down on dissidents. When they were introduced to me I hesitated but did shake their hands and wished them well. I suspected I was shaking the hands of torturers and murderers but in my mind I was treating them as people who did not enjoy what they did but were probably coerced into those actions by their boss, who himself wanted to be accepted and acceptable but felt he had to do his bit in keeping the power structures going or he would lose everything.

The western youth going to the Middle East remind me perhaps of the three Zimbabwean boys who had become the useful idiots and enforcers of a brutal regime. How can they bear doing the dirty work of Jihad? Those three Zimbabweans were very disturbed.

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User_7955 Jan 14, 2015

aegian 

It rings true that although individuals may play a role in "the system", doesn't necessarily mean they think "the system" is good.  This is probably a wider sociological/psychological factor that may go some way towards explaining a lot of lost productivity, inefficiency, corruption, and perhaps as you say even torture and terrorism in the world.

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SMI Jan 14, 2015
Firt posted on FT.com www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bcccb5e0-9a…

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Have A Nice Drive Saffy by aegiandyad
Have A Nice Drive Saffy
oil on canvas dry brush painting...or sexton, as I call them. Isn't she Absolutely Fabulous? Cue This Wheel's On Fire www.youtube.com/watch?v=IK6E0P… .
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I'm Just Mad About Saffron... by aegiandyad
I'm Just Mad About Saffron...
...and Saffron's mad about me. They call me Mellow Yellow! [quite rightly...] www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrbni0… .
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(Contains: ideologically sensitive material)
Mind Games Part 33 1/3 RPM

It was the question I'd started with. Dr Mentz had already answered it so I asked Tiffany, seated to his left, "What do you want out of this?"

"I want you to grow up, straighten up and fly right... for long enough to get out of this virtual spook factory. You are YOU, I virtually grew you from a bundle of stem cells modeled on information from your own DNA, sampled while you were still alive and in good condition. I want you to LIVE, so that I can see whether my developmental theories were mathematically correct or not. And I think they were." For once, Dr Carrington had sounded really passionate while saying that. I turned to the Professor of Psychiatry and acute admissions diagnostician at Bellevue, NY, and asked him.

"You are unique, Mr Carter; a fascinating case study; the wurreld's fairst thinking machine that genuinely thinks like a real man.... and not just ANY man; one we all know a great deal about from primary sources, surviving friends, colleagues, relatives, officials and others who met you and kept records of one kind or another. I've never doubted that you are who you think you are; Martin Ronald Carter. You've reacted exactly like the historical one ever since they started simulating everything about your own life that they could and feeding it back to you; as experiences that felt, and I think were, completely real as far as you were concerned. Am I right?", he could see that I was about to agree, and continued, "You've been fascinating to watch and listen to. I could easily talk to you for three days..." Considering how much his 50 minute hours cost I considered that a fine accolade.

Trank said sullenly and with much less patience that he just wanted the bloody sim to work and not keep falling over and having to be set back. That left Professor emeritus Henry Markram and the mysterious Dr Ben Wei.

"Professor Ben, you're new here; like Professor Lamont. Why have you come here, all the way from Beijing, to see me?" The slightly endomorphic Chinese doctor of brain manipulation and the totalitarian uses and abuses of psychiatry stood up slowly and bowed.

"First, Mr Carter, I must thank you for this most impressive demonstration... most impressive. It amazes me that you have survived, even this long." I thanked him and he continued, "As to your question; I want to understand... and, if I can understand.... I want  to help. China is not what it was under Mao or even Deng. Since the Four Modernisations and the return of Hong Kong we have become a capitalist corporate state; communist in name only. There is the matter of 'face' to be considered..." I began to wonder where all this was leading. "Our political officers, secret police, judges, jailers... their 're education' training methods were much frowned upon then, in the West; and are no longer practised. But we still need experts to de-program the remaining communist zealots and apparatchiks and render psychiatric assistance to their victims... treat young people who may have been radicalised... you understand?"

"I think I do. You're an ex brain washer turned psychological liberator, is that it?" I asked bluntly.

"The speed and penetration of your grasp in a novel situation such as this is astonishing, Mr Carter." replied the Chinese Professor. Professor Markram was beaming as if to say, 'Good, isn't he?' and Dr Ben Wei continued, "I am privileged to be here so that I can help you to adjust to the reality of your situation; and then approach with more equanimity the notion of gaining some kind of freedom in the real world, where all of us live. There is no one who lives all the time in your virtual word except you. It is monitored all the time. But when you are asleep, even when dreaming, you are over clocked. Time is of the essence, Mr Carter, and your creators have been in a hurry. You are only one-to-one on occasions such as these when one or more of us must interact with you."

"No one....?" I asked forlornly, "I've always thought I might be but... really, nobody else, just me? This really is all just for me; no other secret society absconders, retired spies who won't tell you what's in their 'insurance policies' or sequestered aliens given a human make over? Are you sure?" I received only a solemn, oriental nod of the head in answer. I'd forgotten what I was here for. I'd already walked around behind Trank so that I could look across the low coffee table and flat screens at Professor Karl Young of Berkeley's 'Existential Philosophy' department, whatever that amounted to. "...and what to you want, Professor Young?" I asked.

"I'm here to help determine if you are conscious and, if so, to work out what your philosophical and legal status might be.... as a real human Person, you understand; should everyone be convinced that you are one. You seem to have quite a few friends here. We all want you to succeed, really, whatever that may mean." I began to pick books at random off the shelves behind me and open each one before dropping it on the floor. "Do you think this NUMBER could be conscious?" I asked with the incredulity plainly audible in my voice.

"Of course not!"  Karl replied,  as if the very idea were manifestly preposterous, "Those are just the instructions and parameters. They are a numerical transcription of something like a hologram containing all the details, down to a molecular level, of your virtual brain at an instant in time. No one can be conscious of, or experience meaningfully a set of stimuli without any duration. That literally doesn't makes sense."

"So what DOES make sense?" I asked. I was growing increasingly frustrated and upset with all this nonsense.

"The parameters we store are of two kinds. There are vectors representing travelling nerve impulses and scalars representing action potentials, neurohumour concentrations at all the synapses and the rest. Basically all flowing quantities are vector and all the others are scalar. For simplicity's sake the V components are all fixed and the S components are allowed to be slightly inaccurate or 'fuzzy'. You've heard of 'fuzzy logic' of course....". Naturally I knew the theory behind 'smart' chips that implemented such logic mathematically in cameras, central heating systems and the like as early as last century. They'd streamed me a memory of my buying the book ex libris for £3 and reading it; if they were all telling the truth. There was always that caveat at the back of my mind, preventing me from opening up fully with any of them.

"I know what...." I said loudly enough for everyone to sit up and listen. "Let's have some tea! I'm already fed up with all this," I moved my arm in a wide arc which took in the whole room, ending up with the books on the floor, "and we could all do with a break, while someone clears that lot up."
SOUL by aegiandyad
SOUL
The younger Miss a* scanned this image from her special Yellow Book, and here it is. All drawing and text by the younger Miss a*, no post processing apart from 'auto tone' in PS CS5.
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aegiandyad
Writes as 'aegian' in FT online
Artist
United Kingdom
We are passionate artists and art lovers with wide ranging tastes and interests. Our long range project is the creation of 'aegian' as an aesthetic hermaphrodite, trying to express the many facets of their being. It has since emerged that we are a couple with four grown up children each of whom has contributed to this joint enterprise

While his better half prefers to remain mysterious and spends most of her time writing our journal entries, Mr A admits to having a London degree in Botany & Zoology and owning a succession of film and digital cameras. I am the man behind the lens, so there may not be many images of me submitted. We love beauty and I search for it amongst the mundane backgrounds of everyday reality as well as at fabulous gardens like the ones seen in some gallery pictures. We correspond with the Guardian as well as the Financial Times.

There will be no puckish, looped video 'web cam'; no 'fake' ID. If you want to see picture's, then this
The Revented Intagliated Sichultian Lededje Y'breq by aegiandyad is Mrs a* and this Another Green Man Self Portrait by aegiandyad is me, or was it this one Self Portrait As 'Green Man' by aegiandyad /

NO, it's this one An Aegiandyad Dogwood Dryad by aegiandyad .


Official DAA Supporter stamp by Dark-Arts-Asylum
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:iconskarzynscy:
skarzynscy Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015
Hello!
Hot thanks for adding my "Wall In Square" to Your fav.
In my gallery i have many others photos from interesting places (my Cracow, Praha, Menorca, Mallorca, Morocco, Rodos, Zakinthos, Sicily, Tenerife, Florida) and beautiful flowers, trees, animals etc.
Maybe You find something...
Greetings from Poland!
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:iconaegiandyad:
aegiandyad Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015
Thank you; I should have been watching before now. So much to view and do... so little time.
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:iconjoe-maccer:
Joe-Maccer Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015
:smorl: by elicoronel16:iconfaveplz:  Thank you. Joy Dance by Gomotes by Gomotes  
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:iconzebrovnik:
zebrovnik Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2015  Hobbyist
Thank you a lot for interesting comments, lama and faves. I am delighted that you have spent some time by thinkig about my stuffs. 
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:iconlightbulbmoon:
LightBulbMoon Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015
Thank you for the compliment of the +Watch & the faves - really appreciated!
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:iconmschmidtphotography:
MSchmidtPhotography Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
I love the llama! :)
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:iconpamonk:
PaMonk Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks For the Watch by PaMonk  
And thanks for the :+fav:ss also.:D
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:iconhummbuzz:
hummbuzz Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2015
Many thanks for your kind attention. :iconclearsunflowerplz:
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:iconthe-last-phantom:
The-Last-Phantom Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much for the Llama!!!

Puppet Icon
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:iconknight-of-sand:
knight-of-sand Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for the watch, my dear friend :hug::heart:!!
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