Saturday, July 23, 2005

variety is the spice of life

driving to work one day last week I was thinking about all of the different kinds of cars, their various features, costs, gas mileages, etc. if you stop and think about it, cars serve one real function...personal transportation from point A to point B. with that in mind, what we need is one brand of car that gets us from point A to point B as efficiently, comfortably and cost effectively as possible.

yes, i can hear the nay-sayers...but what about choice? what about variety? what you are suggesting is communist!

this is where we are misguided. we think that the beauty of variety lies in the differences between material objects. not so, yes? the beauty of variety lies in the diversity of us, the wonder of how we are so different, yet so similar, the wonder and variety of us as human beings.

by focusing on the diversity of things outside of ourselves, we are distracted from noticing the wonder of diversity (and unity) that is inherent in all of us.

we are the spice of life, not cars or clothes, or technological gadgets.

Monday, July 18, 2005

that's nice...

read today that the Prez would fire "the leaker" if a crime was committed.

it's reassuring to know that the President of the United States would fire one of his cabinet members if s/he committed a opposed to keeping said known law-breaker in the cabinet of the most powerful political position in the entire world.

that's nice; sounds like a sensible thing to do.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

big mind

this is a very, very cool guided facilitation of the kensho experience. Quite a surprise.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


these London attacks seem to have blown the "we're gonna fight them over there [in Iraq] so we don't have to fight them here" rationale right out of the water.
nice, but...

raising the terror alert for trains and buses in the US is a good thing, but the chances are that whomever set off the bombs in London aren't going to do it here, at least not now. if they had intended to set off bombs on subways and buses here, they would have done it in conjunction with the bombs in London. they go for spectacular, not conventional. setting off bombs in the US on trains or buses now would be conventional.

note that terror-ism is specifically that, terrifying. anticipated attacks are not terrifiying as they are predicted; unexpected, unanticipated attacks are terrifying because they are unexpected and unanticipated.

i think we can rest assured that there will be no bombs on trains or buses in the US attacked (at least not anytime soon); having bombs go off in London and somewhere in the US on the same day, within enough time of each other for someone to notice that they were related, would be the kind of spectacular terror that they go in for. that didn't happen, so it ain't gonna.

note also that they do these kinds of things (9-11, Madrid, now London) to demonstrate that the greatest powers in the world cannot stop them. once the populace figures this out, their attacks will be even more terrifying because it could mean anywhere, anytime. they have demonstrated that ability and they will continue to do so.

i'm not sure that the powers-that-be have figured this one out, yet. could be that their hubris prevents them from seeing this truth.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

when love came to town

this past sunday and monday, Amma was here. if you have never been hugged by an embodiment of the Divine, you need to, there is nothing like it...literally. check out the rest of Her tour to see if you still can.

being with Amma is very intense. if you practice spirituality, being in Her presence is like boot camp...relentless and rewarding, but very demanding. this is the first time i got a lot of things about how to live a spiritual life (not really happy with that choice of words because spirituality is so overused, but it will have to do for now) and i now realize why it is called a time is over.

pray for me.
walking and waving

i was driving to my in-laws house this afternoon and passed by a mailman delivering the mail. i drove past him and i noticed that he waved. he had his back to me when i drove past (we were both heading in the same direction) and i thought he was waving to an oncoming car, except there was no oncoming car. then i realized that he was waving to all cars coming by, regardless of whether or not the occupants could see him.

when i realized that he was waving to be friendly, i had that feeling of when someone is really glad to see you and you know that they are sincere. now, this guy didn't know me from Adam, but he seemed to have a friendly attitude toward the world and that had the same impact on me. it was nice.

the best part?

i waved back to him when he waved to me when i was on my way back home.

Friday, July 01, 2005

liberal VS neocon

I think I got it...these are two different world views that can never be reconciled; one can prevail over the other, but there is no synthesis (at least in their extremes). All of the things necessary for their survival, i.e., logic, reason, evidence, etc. are all contained in each of them and never the twain shall they meet.

kind of depressing
still stuck on "nature-nurture"

yet another post of mine to a simluation list...

I am familiar with Evo Psych and their central ideas. I find it interesting in a discipline that values the scientific method as highly as they presumably do that they do not attempt to use any kind of experimental method to isolate what they contend exists. They use comparative studies, inferential works, logic, etc., all good things; however they maintain that something called "human nature" exists without any direct proof. All I am attempting to do wtih netlogo is model something akin to their notion to see what could possibly develop.

RE: defintion of culture being vague...I would define culture for purposes of the simulation I am developing as the "knowledge" of food that is healthy or unhealthy (thanks to XXXX for that) and the subsequent ability to pass that "information" along to offspring. As noted originally, this particular simulation would not address the issue of "what is human nature" but would merely test if having knowledge is useful for survival.

RE: the story about the baby being left could very well be, that if true, said baby died due to lack of nurture; certainly, there are those studies from the 40's or 50's about children not being held, etc., resulting in decreased life spans, etc. Your story raises an interesting point, however...if it is not possible to survive without could one ever claim knowledge of what is inherent to humans, i.e., that which is separate and distinct from nurture and call it "human nature?" If nuture is required for survival, then how could we ever claim to have the ability to know what is inherent to humans?

If we cannot know, then why continue to talk about something called, "human nature?" I know that many people use the notion to explain much, but creating a notion and then attributing causality to it without ever really identifying what the notion is, is intellectually lazy, IMO. Also, if that is the case then "the devil made me do it" is on the same par with "people are violent because it is human nature;" no one has seen "the devil" nor has anyone seen "human nature," so how do we evaluate the veracity of one claim over the other?

RE: culture has too many does the physical world, yet the complexity of it has never stopped any serious scientist from taking the time to examine it and report on findings. There is no doubt that humans are complex; so far we know a lot about our physiology and little about much else.

This is why I question the notion that something called "human nature" exists -- it is a scientifically unproven concept; purely mythical at this point, yet there are many, many people who claim to know much about it. IMO, this is not very good science (again if we use the traditional methods of scientific inquiry -- isolation, testing, controlling, etc. as the criteria for establishing knowledge). Actually controlling for culture is quite simple -- no contact with another human being; people are cultural people, no culture. Practically absurd, but experimentally sound.