Availability for talks

From 2012 I will be available for talks.  If you organise regular talks, or are planning an event where you need speakers, feel free to send me an invite.

My recent talk on Serpent Symbolism proved to have quite a lot of material to get through so would best suit a 1 1/2 to 2 hour time frame.

For a 1 hour timeslot I can do more focused talks on a subset of the topics discussed, such as:

1.  The World Tree

2.  Symbols of enlightenment

3. Awareness meditation

4. Stairway to heaven and the road to hell

Chemical Serpents latest

First off I would like to thank all those who purchased a preview copy of my incomplete latest book ‘Chemycal Serpents: Part 1 Symbols of Illumination’.  I hope you have found the material so far presented useful, informative and inspirational.  I’ve put a lot of research into this particular work and have found it a very inspirational and illuminating journey writing it.  This isn’t the book I set out to write.  My research changed all that.  It made it better.  As a result I feel like this book wrote itself through me.

I am currently drawing to a close on writing the final chapter.  I’ve made some slight changes to the title of the book.  I’ve opted that the final title will be ‘Chemical Serpents: The symbols of illumination’.  Notice ‘Chemical’ and not ‘Chemycal’.  I’ve opted for the more modern spelling as I feel its less pretentious.  Notice also I have dropped the ‘Part 1’.  This was to signify that the contents were but the first part of a larger project, giving background on symbolism and history in preparation for a more practical treatise on sexual mysteries and use of entheogenic sacraments.   It still is the first part of such a series, its just that I’ve decided the next part will have its own title.

So those of you who have purchased a copy so far have a rather exclusive version of the book.  The final version won’t even have that image on the cover, its just a place holder.  But if you want a copy of this limited preview with the wrong title, you still have a chance to obtain one.  It will be available on lulu until I get around to finishing the last chapter and designing the new cover.  This might be sooner that you think.

Looking for my articles?

Well they’ve moved.  I’ve decided to give this site a long overdue clean up and reorganisation.  The first step has been to migrate most of the articles over to kiamagic.com along with my other articles that already have a home there.  From now on I plan to reserve this site for news of my books, talks and events I’m attending.

Chemycal Serpents – Part 1: Symbols of Illumination

I just released a special preview edition of my latest book, Chemycal Serpents. It contains the first draft of Part 1: Symbols of Illumination. This covers a basic outline of the main symbols used in alchemical, mystical and magical traditions, their similarities and relationships and my interpretation of the overall message they convey, that of illumination.

The actual finished book may be a few years away, so those that want to see my latest work now can buy a preview of the booklet from lulu: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/antonchanning. I will in time add one more chapter to the booklet though, so if you want the full version I advise you to wait. This preview edition is for collectors and the curious only.

Bath Spa Pagan Society Conference 2010-11-20

I will be giving my first talk in a while at the Bath Spa Pagan Society Conference. Its less than a couple of weeks away so I realise its a bit short notice nut if you can turn up great…

The following is copy of the advert as sent by BSPS…

Bath Spa Pagan Society Conference 2010
Saturday 20th November 2010 10am – 6pm

Join us for a day of talks and workshops at Newton Park Campus, Bath Spa University, BA2 9BN.
Raising money for Bath Cats and Dogs Home.

Talks

Nick Hanks—Stanton Drew
Jolane—Amazonian Shamanism
Anton Channing—Serpent Symbolism
Steve Wilson—Quimbanda
Karl le Marcs—21st Century Esoteric Philosophy

Workshops

Graham Butcher—Runes
Natascha Imlay—How to make a Labyrinth
Nick Hanks—The Subtle Qualities of Ritual Space

There will also be a number of stalls sells a range of pagan or hand-crafted items.

Food and a fully licensed bar will also be available.

FREE parking on site

Tickets

Advance
Adult £12.50
Student/Concession £10.00

On the Door
Adult £15.00
Student/Concession £12.50

Children under 16 years are free when accompanied by a paying ticket holder.

Please email su-pagan@bathspa.ac.uk to request a booking form or phone Natascha on 07546596975.

How to beat Google at search using Emergence

How hard can it be?
Well for a corporation very hard. But fortunately my solution to this problem that seems to be vexing everyone lately doesn’t rely on a corporate sponsor, and places the future of web search in OUR hands.

My vision of search is that each website takes a small share of responsibility, indexing sites that website finds relevant and/or useful and sharing its results with other search engines that request the info via a standard API, much like blogs share feeds using standards such as RSS and ATOM. Each webmaster can control how much weight to give to each set of imported results in comparison to sites it indexes itself and how the results are merged. I have the following basic vision, but as different developers get involved in ironing out the final details of the standard things may change. None the less the basic principles of my idea are as follows:

API:
Each search engine should accept requests in either/both http and/or https, probably with search parameters passed in the query string. The results then get sent back in an standard XML format, which may look something like:

<results source="http://example-search-engine.com">
	<site weight="200" url="http://example-result.org" title="Example Results">
		<favicon url="http://example-result.org/favicon.ico" />
		<page weight="150" url="http://example-result.org/page1.php" title="">
			<match><title>This title contains the search terms</title></match>
			<match><p>This paragraph contains one of the search terms</p></match>
			<match><img src="someimage.jpg" alt="This image description contains one of the search terms" /></match>
		</page>
		<page weight="150" url="http://example-result.org/page2.php">
			<match><p>This paragraph contains one of the search terms</p></match>
		</page>
	</site>
	<site ...>
		...
	</site>
</results>

CMS:
With the API open, different CMS systems can be developed that both index selected sites and process results from other search engines that implement the API. Each CMS can process the results in their own way, and allow the webmaster to configure various options in their own way also. For example, they can either integrate imported results, show them separately in a side panel or some mixture of the two depending on source. They can determine whether to show multiple results for one site or whether to group them. They may be configured to show country of the webserver of each result, or warnings if they appear on a malware list, or any other number of options. They may have options for doing image search, or map results etc, linking to whatever service they choose for these specialist searches.

A basic CMS may involve no login at all, with configuration handled via a file, whilst others may implement the API as a plugin to existing CMS systems such as WordPress, Elgg, MediaWiki or whatever. Some may allow each logged in user to configure their own preferences and weightings, suggest relevant sites to index, report sites as spam, etc.

Plugins:
More complex dedicated search systems may themselves allow plugins or feature advanced options. This may include scraping results from existing search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, in the manner that <a href=”https://scroogle”>Scroogle</a> currently does with Google results. Again these results may have weightings applied to them by the webmasters.

Conclusion:
A distributed solution to search means we don’t have to have massive datacenters under our control in order to compete with Google, each of us can take responsibility for indexing portions of the web important to ourselves, and share that data with each other freely for the benefit of all. To make a distributed system work we don’t need to abandon the huge stores of data provided by google until we are ready, we can in the mean time scrape from them, but ultimately a distributed system, based on qualified trust, should prove better at promoting sites that are useful over sites with good SEO but useless content.

Google is becoming less and less useful as each search tends to produce 100 sites all with the same article scraped from wikipedia, interspersed with adfarms, and I can’t help think such sites wouldn’t make it to prominence in the distributed model, as it won’t be in any webmasters interest to index useless sites. Unlike google who actually profit from many of the adfarms that host google advertisements. But yet despite this I fail to see why Microsoft or Yahoo would prove better, as both also suffer from corrupt corporate agendas. Rather than looking for another closed top-down corporate ‘saviour’ to rescue us from the latest tyrant, I believe a bottom up emergent approach can prove not only successful, but also something that will become the dominant means of doing search.

Doesn’t this exist already?
Often when I come up with a good idea, I’m not surprised to find that something like it already exists.  However I can’t find anything quite like this idea at present, although some similar Peer-to-Peer based systems exist, such as FAROO and YaCy.  However I don’t see P2P as quite the solution, as this involves each user installing software on their own computer.  My proposed web based model lacks this requirement and thus has quite a few advantages, without precluding the idea of programs users can install that integrate searches from various sites.  Also, the above proposed model precludes the ability for malicious links to be injected, as webmasters who index such sites will unlikely be trusted by others, and users will likely not use engines that fail to exclude such links.

Happy 999 Balloons and Engagement

After a wonderful first year living together, Lolita Perdurabo and I decided to get engaged for alchemycal wedding. We first announced this engagement to our families whilst visiting Krakow around the Summer Solstice. Here Lolita found my engagement ring, and we held a party with her family. Later I bought her ring in Plymouth when where we held a party with my family. Hopefully we can arrange for both families to meet for the actual wedding.

Also in Krakow we rode on the Balloon they have there. Later here in Bristol we enjoyed watching the balloon fest with a sky full of Balloons, so in our party in Plymouth we included a helium heart balloon as part of the decoration. A couple of weeks later and it still floats and we decided to release it today, at 9 minutes past 9pm BST on the date of 09/09/09. It floated off into the night and became a star!

Birth Canal Surf Anniversary

(With thanks to Ju-Ju Hound for the words in the title, which I have cheekily stolen without permission…)

Yeah, now 35 and enjoying a birthday Saturday morning listening to my vinyl collection.  I still find it more satisfying to play records than CDs or computer files (whether they be ogg vorbis, or mp3 or whatever).  Have a full bank holiday weekend stretched out ahead of me and various creative projects I am working on (although nothing I’m ready to reveal publicly just yet).