“… it is easier to overcome people’s judgments than to overcome our own self-judgment…”
Arianna Huffington

The Element

The Pied Pipers of Facebook?

n

Of all the recent Facebook related media turmoil, one article on TechCrunch shimmered to me. I don’t know if it’s true or valid but in reading it I wondered about the potential effect of technological early-adapters in society. The TechCrunch article suggests that many Google-Geek-Engineers are leaving facebook due to privacy concerns that have arisen with Facebooks latest anouncements.

Disclosure: I don’t use Facebook, I tried it twice and left it behind. Whenever I reach a Facebook login page I walk away. I consider Facebook to be a very low quality form of social interaction and I strongly urge people I care about to refrain from using it. I consider people who criticize Facebook while still using it to be hypocrites.

Early adopters are passionate about new technologies, they are willing to spend time and effort to puruse their sense of curiosity. I wonder if inadvertently they are also a doorway into wider social acceptance? Tech companies seek early adopters to test the waters with new products and services. Assuming of course, that when early adopters sign-off on a service they will become points of origin for a natural process of viral distribution. So in a way (and I assuming there are other factors involved in the process)  early adopters lead their social circles into technological environments.

With Facebook I believe that early adopters were Pied Pipers, playing a nice melody but leading their followers into a dangerous place. Now the dangers are more apparent – but not to everyone. Technologists can envision the implications of Facebook’s anouncements on privacy, but most of the 400 millions Facebook users are not technologists – and they have no idea what the issue is. So a few technologists may walk away form Facebook, but most of the people will stay in the hands of a company that will stop at nothing (including legal prosection if it is deemed worthwhile) to infringe on their privacy and freedom to make a profit.
Do early adapters inadvertently play such a role in society in our technologicaly dominated era? Do their inherent curiosities and talents represent a dynamic evolutionry force? Do they know this? Should they?

End note: as I was searching for a “Pied Piper” image I came across something inspiring – it is a symbolic finding considering the context that brought me to it :)

Posted in AltEco, outside, Tech Stuff | You are welcome to read 2 comments and to add yours

Reading Asana – Breath & Repetition

n

A post I hope to publish soon will include a sample practice. I just realized, as I am working on a repository of posture illustrations, that I have taken for granted that everybody knows how to relate to these illustrations. So I paused to write something about reading of yoga asana illustrations.

I feel it’s important to note that illustrations are not to be used to study asana. Asana have many variations and modifications that can be utilized for different people, needs and circumstances. These details and qualities are not adequately represented in illustrations. Study asans with a Yoga teacher. The illustrations are merely maps to remember practice sequences.

With that said, let’s have a look at a simple illustration for a very simple sequence:


This illustration says:

Posted in Asana, Getting Started, Yoga | You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-04-25

n
  • Dear Web2.0 user-centered bla bla startups: if I haven't been active for months, dont send me a weekly activity summary, it isn't endearing #
  • today's reading is a late… but here goes… #
  • "Where thy physical climate changes suddenly from high to low temperature … or … atmospheric pressure …the result is usually a storm. #
  • When the social climate changes from preposterous social restraint of all intellect to a relative abandonment fo all social patterns, #
  • the result is a hurricane of social forces. That hurricane is the history of the 20th century…November 11, 1918…the end of World War 1.. #
  • ..President Woodrow Wilson belonged in both worlds,Victorian society and the new intellectual world of the 20th century: #
  • the only university professor ever to be eclected president of the United States. Before Wilson'stime academicians has been peripheral #
  • within the Victorian power structure…. intellectuals were not expected to run society itself. They were valued servants of society… #
  • Leadership was for practical, businesslike 'men of affairs'. #
  • The Victorians social system and … morality that led to World War 1 had portrayed war as an adventorous conflict between noble individuals #
  • engaged in the idealistic service of their country: a kind of extended knighthood. World Wart 1 wasn't like that. #
  • … The Gatling gun removed the nobility and heroism. The Victorian painters had never shown a battlefield of mu and shell holes and … #
  • half a million rotting corpses… that many had been murdered in one battle alone. #
  • Those who survived… felt bitter toward the society that could do that to them. They joined the faith that intellect must find some way #
  • out of old Victorian 'nobility' & 'virtue' into a more sane and intelligent world. In an instant it seemed the snobish fashionable #
  • Victorian social world was gone. New technology fueled the change… shufting fromagriculture to manufacturing. #
  • Electrification was shifting night into day and eliminating hundreds of drudgeries. Cars and highways were changing the speed with which #
  • peopledid things. Mass journalism had emerged. The mastery of all these new changes was no longer dominated by social skills. #
  • ..A horse could be mastered if your resolve was firm,your disposition pleasant and fear absent.The skills required were biological & social. #
  • But handling the new technology was something different. Personal biological & social qualities didn't make any difference to machines. #
  • A whole population,cut loose physically by the new technology..was also cut adrift morally & psychologicallyfrom the static social patterns. #
  • …No one knew what to do about the lostness… people raced from one fad to another… a chaos of social patterns ONLY. #
  • The events that excited people in the 20's were events that dramatized the new dominance of intellect over society… #
  • abstract art, discordant music, Freudian psychoanalysis…contempt for alcohol prohibition…The test of what was good, of what had Quality, #
  • was no longer 'Does it meet society's approval?' but 'Does it meet the approval of out intellect?'. #
  • The hurricane of social forces…was most strongly felt in Europe, particularly Germany where the effects of WWI were the most devastating. #
  • Communism & socialism, programs for intellectual control over society, were confronted by..fascism a program of social control of intellect. #
  • Nowhere were the intellectualsmore intense in their determination to overthrow old order. #
  • Nowhere did the old order becomemore intent on finding ways to destory the excesses of the new intellectualism… #
  • a conflict of levels of evolution… explains that driving force behind Hitler not as aninsane search for power but as an all consuming #
  • glorification of social authority and hatred of intellectualism. His anti-Semitism…[and] communists …was fueled by anti-intellectualism. #
  • In the United States … Franklin Roosevelt & the New Deal… became the center of a lesser stormbetween social and intellectual forces… #
  • at the center of it all was the belief that intellectual planning by the government was necessary for society to regain its health… #
  • it was also a new deal for the intellectuals of America… for the 1st time they were at the center of the planning process…were in a #
  • position to give orders to AMerica's finest and oldest and wealthiest groups. #
  • …Suddenly, before the old Victorians' eyes, a whole new social caste…of intellectual Brahmins,was being created above their own military #
  • and economic castes…Social snobbery was being replaced with intellectual snobbery…academic foundations were taking over the… country. #
  • … It was like the replacement of Indiansby pioneers… too bad for the Indians but it was inevitable form of progress… #
  • …from the idea that society is man's highest achievement, the 20th century moved to the idea that intellect is man's highest achievement. #
  • …The Ph.D. was on its way to becoming the ultimate social status symbol…academic fields were expanding into new undreamed-of territories #
  • …among the most rapidly expanding was… anthropology… [and it's] unassailable 'objectivity' had some very partisan cultural roots… #
  • it had been a political tool with which to defeat the Victorian's and their system of social values. #
  • ..The Victorians…presumed all primitive societies were early forms of "Society" itself & were trying to grow into a complete #
  • 'civilization' like that of Victorian England. The relativists… stated that there is no empirical scientific evidence for a 'Society' #
  • toward which all primitive societies are heading…[they] virtually wiped out the credibility of the older Victorian evolutionsists and #
  • gave to anthropology a shape it has had ever since… presented as a victory of scientific objectivity over unscientific prejudice, but the #
  • Metaphysics ofQuality says deeper issues were involved…intellect could now pass judgment on all forms of social custom… #
  • When peopleasked, 'If no culture, including a Victorian culture, can say what is right and what is wron, then how can we ever know what is #
  • right and what is wrong?' the answer was, 'that's easy.Intellectuals will tell you… what they say is absolute… because intellectuals #
  • follow science,which is objective.An objective observer does not have relative opinions because he is nowhere within the world he observes'. #
  • … An American anthropologist could no more embrace nonobjectivity thatn a Stalinist bureaucrat could play the stock market. #
  • … the Metaphysics of Quality supports this dominance of intellect over society. It says intellect is a …more moral level than society. #
  • But having said this,the Metaphysics of Quality goes on to say that science, the intellectual pattern that has been appointed to take over #
  • society, has a defect in it… subject-object science has no provision for morals… is only concerned with facts. #
  • Morals have no objective reality. You can look through a microscope or telescope or oscilloscope for the rest of your life and you will #
  • never find a single moral. There aren't anythere. They are all in your head. They exist only in your imagination. #
  • From the perspective of subject-object science, the world is a completely purposeless,valueless place. There is no point in anything. #
  • Nothing is right and nothing is wrong. EVerything just functions like machinery. There is nothing morally wrong because there are no morals. #
  • Now that intellect was in command of society for the 1st time in history,was this the intellectual pattern it was going 2 run society with?" #
  • drinking tea from first of the season & fesh picked leaves: peppermint, spearmint, verbena & sage… heavenly! #
  • "The new intellectualism of the twenties argued that if there are principles for right social conduct they are to be discovered by social #
  • experiment to see what produces the greatest satisfaction … of the greatest number. For example,drink that causes car accidents or #
  • loss of work or family problems is irrational…a vice. On the other hand,drinking is not irrational when it produces social… relaxation. #
  • Of all the 'vices' none was more controversial than premarital and extramarital sex… It was expected that with the new application #
  • of reason, sex could be handled much like other commodities without the terrible tensions and frustrations of social repression… #
  • …throught this century we have seen over and over again, that intellectuals weren't blaming crimeonman's biological nature bu on the #
  • social patterns that had repressed this biological nature…[believing] that this would be the cure of man's criminal tendencies… #
  • intellectuals became excited about anthropology in the hope that the field would provide facts upon which to base new scientific rules… #
  • Here in this country, American Indians were suddenly revived as models of primitive communal virtue… 'anthros' … swarmed to huts and #
  • teepees and hogans of every tribe they could find,jockeying to be in on the great treasure hunt for new information about possible new moral #
  • indigenous American ways of life. This was illogical since, if subject-object science sees no morals anywhere, then no scientific study #
  • of any kind is going to fill the moral void left by the overthrow of Victorians society. #
  • Intellectual permisivenessand destruction of social authority are no more scientific than Victorian discipline. #
  • this lapse in logic magically fit the thesis… that the American personality has two components, European and Indian. #
  • The moral values that were replacing the old European Victorian ones were the moral values of American Indians: #
  • kindness to children,maximum freedom, openness of speech, love of simplicity,affinity for nature. #
  • Without any real awareness of where the newmorals were coming from, the whole country was moving in a direction that if felt was right. #
  • The western movie was another example of this change, showing Indian values which had become cowboy values which had become 20th century #
  • all-American values. Everyone knewthe cowboys of the silver screen had little to do with their actual counterparts, but it didn't matter. #
  • It was the values, not the historical accuracy,that counted." #
  • @nivertech please remove me from your 'Israel' list #
  • @gervis thank you for your attention. These are not my thoughts … I am quoting an inspiring book- I'll reveal it soon :) in reply to gervis #
  • @nivertech thank you very much. #
  • @nivertech I know :) & tags just say something about people …& good luck finding a photo of me on flickr :) in reply to nivertech #
  • some thoughts on making donating to WordPress plugin authors easy and effective: http://bit.ly/cBdnwd #
  • @adambn thank you for the heads up on Breaking Bad, didn't know is existed,enjoying it greatly! #
  • I feel so remote, that getting close hurts #
  • Economics is not science http://bit.ly/bPv5Eo [ via @raymondpirouz ] #
  • Firework http://bit.ly/aRM1S8 #
  • @buffdesign thank you for getting back to me. do you have space/interest now? iamronen[at]iamronen[dot]com in reply to buffdesign #
  • "The drift away from European social values worked all right at first, and the 1st generation of the Victorians, benefiting from ingrained #
  • Victorian social habits seem to have been enormously liberated intellectually by the new freedom. But with the 2nd generation … #
  • problems began to emerge. #
  • Indian values are all right for an Indian style of life, but they don't work so well in a complex technological society… #
  • An upbringing that allows the child to grow 'naturally' in the Indian fashion does not … guarantee the finest sort of urban adjustment. #
  • …The world was no doubt in better shape intellectually and technologically but … the 'quality' of it was not good. #
  • There was no way u could say why this quality was no good. U just felt it … He remembered seeing The Glass Menagerie http://bit.ly/d1laaw #
  • in which one edge of the stage had an arrow shaped neon sign flashing onand off… beneath the arrow was the word 'PARADISE', also flashing #
  • PARADISE> PARADISE> PARADISE>… But the Paradise was always somewhere pointed to, always somewhere else. .. #
  • Paradise was always at the end of some intellectual, technological ride, but u knew that when u got there paradise wouldn't be there either. #
  • … You had to be a rebel without a cause http://bit.ly/2k3Xba . The intellectuals had preempted all the causes. #
  • Causes were to the 20th century intellectuals as manners had been to Victorians… They had everything figured out… #
  • 'pursuit of happiness' seemed to have become like the pursuit of some scientifically created mechanical rabbit that moves ahead at whatever #
  • speed it is being pursued. If you ever did catch it for a few moments it had a peculiar synthetic,technological taste that made the pursuit #
  • seem senseless. #
  • Everyone seemed to be guided by an 'objective', 'scientific' view of life that told each person that his essential self is his evolved #
  • material body. Ideas and societies are a component of brains, not the other way around. #
  • No two brains can merge physically,and therefore notwo people can ever really communicate except … [for] sending messages back and forth. #
  • A scientific, intellectual culture had become a culture of millions of isolated people living and dying in … psychic solitary confinement, #
  • unable to talk to one another, really, and unable to judge one another because scientifically speaking it is impossible to do so. #
  • Each invididual in his cell of isolation was told that no matter how hard he tried…his whole life is that of an animal that lives & dies. #
  • ..He could invent moral goals for himself, but they are just artificial inventions. Scientifically speaking he has no goals. #
  • Sometime after the 20's a secret loneliness,so penetrating and so encompassing that we are only beginning to realize the extent of it, #
  • descended upon the land. This scientific, psychiatric isolation and futility had become a far worse prison … than…Victorian 'virtue'. #
  • They had lost some of their realness … living in some kind of movie saying … PARADISE> PARADISE> PARADISE>… " #
  • progressing in ripping my CD collection… now Pearl Jam followed immediately by Peter Paul & Mary :) #
  • @raymondpirouz re:HTML5 – maybe there is an element of vision and inspiration that is being overlooked by technical critics? in reply to raymondpirouz #
  • it's been my most difficult open-source transition: 1st time saving PSD file as GIMP XCF to continue work http://www.gimp.org/ #
  • Insights courtesy of the Dalai Lama, Barack Obama & Twitter: http://bit.ly/aLBjJW #
  • wading into new linux territories: using GParted to resize an existing Windows Vista partition on Dell laptop… making room for Ubuntu #
  • unless you have good reason for it, avoid Ubuntu 64bit, the 32bit install makes for an easier life #
  • @ennyman3 "art is not necessary" is a misapprehension I carried around 4 a long time … art gives life direction in reply to ennyman3 #
  • change & clinging #
  • had an emotionally painful day, now food, TV and ice-cream … and let this day come to a peaceful end #
  • when they are sent out to war they are called soldiers, when they die or go missing they become boys #
  • working on Yoga asana illsutrations with fresh coffee and Jeff Buckley #
  • listening to "Jeff Buckley Strange Fruit" ♫ http://blip.fm/~p8p1h #

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Posted in About, Twitter Updates | You are welcome to add your comment

Insights

n

Yesterday I stumbled upon the Dalai Lama on Twitter, today I stumbled upon Barack Obama. Following are two screenshots (taken within a few seconds of one another) of their twitter pages (you can click on the images to view them in full resolution). In find it inspiring, amusing, enlightening & educating to look at the two side by side. I’ve noted the first thing I noticed in the comments – you are welcome to leave your observations there too :)

Posted in AltEco, Enjoy, inside, outside, Tech Stuff | You are welcome to read 1 comment and to add yours

Fireworks

n

Last night marked the celebrations of Israel’s 62nd independence day. Andreea has an insatiable craving for fireworks and asked that we go see some. I was probably in a good mood and agreed to take her. Now I am in a bad unpleasant mood.

I can recall three memorable experiences from this visit to the city (Nahariya):

  1. One food stand where a man was placing a few pieces of meat on the fire. He looked like an average guy (not an average merchant), with a slightly longer then average grill, who had spent the day preparing the meats, embracing an opportunity to make some money on this day of celebration.
  2. A cat that was sitting next to another food stand, staying out of the way, but close enough to pick up small crumbs of meat that were falling on the ground.
  3. A girl, I would estimate about 12 years old, who had a peaceful and pleasant presence. She was truly enjoying the celebration, she was radiating, but without the diturbance, noise and sensationslism that dominated the crowds.

I don’t recall “suffering” while we were there. I didn’t feel I belonged there, I didn’t feel any celebration. I simply watched, rather peacefully, with some curiosity, even slightly amused at the social fabric passing before my eyes, waiting for the fireworks to come so we can go home.

The fireworks lasted longer then I expected. The part I most enjoyed was when I watched Andreea’s face watching the fireworks. She was immersed. Her eyes didn’t blink, and a couple of times her lips turned upwards slightly into a short-lasting smile. When they were over we headed out of the city center back toward the car and home.

As we were walking out we walked past a teen girl. She was overweight, dressed in a failed attempt to look sexy, one hand holding a cigarette to her mouth and the other a cellphone to her ear, her face wearing a look of contempt. As we passed each other I cursed under my breath something that translates like “you dumb, fat, fuck” – and experienced some immediate relief.

When we got home I was extremeley agitated. Sleep was beyond me. Andreea went to bed, and I stayed awake waiting for my agitation to settle. I thought I was heading towards a sleepless night, but sooner then I expected, tiredness took over and I went to bed. I awoke to find my breathing compromised – my nostrils were blocked and my chest felt itchy and irritated. I woke up feeling that the world I met last night is not a world I want to live in.

I have a feeling that if I try to describe or rationalize my experience of last night and the vibrations still resonating within me, that I will come off as either crazy or  judgemental. That I would feel like I felt about art until I met Shahar. I know better. On the bright side, the experience has been a reminder to me that there is still a part of me that wants to connect with others. That I haven’t lost that passion. It has also reminded me that I need to treat my passions with care, that misplacing them can hurt. I look forward to going home.

Posted in Expanding, inside | You are welcome to add your comment