“One day I found out that personal history was no longer necessary for me and, like drinking, I dropped it… Little by little you must create a fog around yourself; you must erase everything around you until nothing can be taken for granted, until nothing is any longer for sure, or real. Your problem now is that you’re too real. Your endeavors are too real, your moods are too real. Don’t take things so for granted. You must begin to erase yourself.”
Carlos Castaneda

Journey to Ixtlan

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

Please Let Me Tip WorPress Plugin Developers

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As I was working on the mockup screens shown below, this post by Frank Chimero appeared and inspired me.

I am grateful for WordPress – it has been a friend to me in times of change. One of the things that make WordPress so great is the prolific Plugin repository. At the present there are 18 active plugins in my (this) WordPress website. I’d like to show my gratitude to all these plugin developers by giving something back – the most obvious way to do this is by making a donation. Once, when I was getting started with WordPress I made one donation to a plugin that greatly empowered me. I don’t make donations anymore, and from what I’ve read about the dynamics of the community, not  many people do.

I asked myself why and I thought that (1) Money isn’t one of my current assets – I have very little of it; (2) If I were to make one donation, which to which plugin should I make it? I wouldn’t know how to choose;(3) My symbolic donation doesn’t feel like much (and I have a feeling that even when they are summed up small donations don’t amount to much).

But… I would gladly give a small sum periodically,something like $10 a year to the developer community if it was easy to do and if there was a good chance that others did too. Assuming there are 10 million WordPress.org blogs, and that only 2% of them made a similar donation, that would amount to $2,000,000 of donations distributed among plugin developers. Now that feels like something that could give a tremendous boost to WordPress and it’s community.

With that in mind I began thinking of a plugin. Before I present the plugin I would like to emphasize that the plugin itself is not enough. After the introduction of the plugin I will touch on the complementary challenges that may be required for this plugin to work… on to the show (click on the images to zoom in).

In it’s simple form the plugin should enable me to make a donation that is distributed to the plugins that I use on my WordPress installation. By default the sum would be distributed equally between all the plugins.

But if I wanted to get more involved I could choose to prioritize the plugins – indicating those that are more valuable to me and in doing that allocate more funds to them.

The plugin would enable me to review the accumulated effect I’ve had – by reviewing my past donations.

Finally, the plugin would enable me to experience the overall effect my small donation is a part-of. It would show me how the entire ecosystem is functioning – hopefully enabling me to feel proud to be a part of this.

It may be useful to have a reminder feature that appears once a year on the dashboard, inviting me to make another donation.

I believe that this plugin needs to be backed by a service that:

  1. Can accept the donations.
  2. Can aggregate the donations and information and calculate total donations to Plugin developers.
  3. Can distribute aggregated payments to the plugin developers
  4. Can provide a secure registration serice for Plugin developers (maybe this can be coupled with the registration process in the Plugin repository?)

Maybe the recently formed WordPress Foundation can support this activity?

Posted in outside, Wordpress | You are welcome to add your comment

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-04-18

n
  • physical realities are limited, spiritual realities are limited … actions are limited, intentions are limitless #
  • "The first intelligence out there in the cabin disliked him and still did. It was this second intelligence that had come in and made love… #
  • These cellular patterns have been lovers for millions of years and they aren't about to be put off by these recent little intellectual #
  • patterns that know almost nothing about what is going on. The cells want immortality … which is why they make such a commotion. #
  • They are so old. They began to distinguish [these bodies]…more than a billion years ago…of course they pay no attention 2 mind patterns. #
  • The mind sitting detached, aloof and discerning is suddenly rudely shoved aside by this other intelligence which is stronger than its own. #
  • Then strange things happen that the mind sees as vulgar and shunnable. #
  • The language of mental intelligence has nothing to say to the cells directly. They don't understand it. #
  • The language of thecells has nothing 2say 2the mind directly. It doesn't speak that language either. They are completely separate patterns. #
  • The language we've inherited confuses this… 'my' body and 'your' body … it isn't that way. #
  • That's like a FORTRAN [computer programming language] program saying, 'this is my computer'. #
  • This … 'Me' … who sits behind our eyeballs looking out … to pass judgment on the affairs of the world, is just completely ridiculous. #
  • This… 'Me' is a software reality not a hardware reality. This body on the left and this body on the right are runnign variations of the #
  • same program, the same 'Me' which doesn't belong to either of them… This program based on 'Me's' and 'We's' is the alien. #
  • 'We' has only been here for a few thousand years or so. But these bodies that 'We' has taken over were around for ten times that… #
  • and the cells – my God, the cells have been around for thousands of times that long. #
  • These… bodies that 'We' has invaded… every once in a while they overthrow the program and go about their ways leaving 'We' mystified… #
  • Mystified, and somewhat horrified too at the things bodies do without its permission. #
  • These cells make sweat and snot ant phlegm. They belch and bleed and fuck and far and piss and shit and vomit and squeeze out more bodies #
  • just like themselves all covered with blood and placental slime that grow and squeeze out more bodies, on and on. #
  • 'We',the software reality,find these hardware facts so distressing that it covers them with euphemisms &clothes &toilets &medical secrecy. #
  • The cells have gotten to their advanced state of evolution through all this fucking and farting and pissing and shitting. That's quality! #
  • Particulary the sexual functions. From the cell's point of view sex is pure Dynamic Quality, the highest Good of all. #
  • … Talk about ingratitude. These bodies would still be a bunch of dumb bacteria if it hadn't been for sexual quality. #
  • That's who lay here beside him tonight:a judge of hundreds of millions of years…& in the eyes of this judge he was nobody very important. #
  • … His own cells were sick of all this intellectualizing…They'd had way too much … and were starting to switch him off. #
  • Tomorrow they'd need him when they got hungry, and they would turm him on again to find some food, but for now they were rubbing him out." #
  • my default breakfast: red pepper, cucumber, olives, tehini http://bit.ly/4ioy6y and bread…today is a default breakfast day :) tudulu #
  • Design is an opportunity for assigning (DESIGNating!) purpose http://bit.ly/aBoA9T #
  • our cat comes around the house to the same place on the balcony every evening to watch the sunset! amazing! #
  • thoughts from the past about spaces & places, male & female http://bit.ly/cpA0Mj #
  • "The metaphysics of substance makes it difficult to see the Giant.It makes it customary to think of a city like New York as a 'work of man', #
  • but what man invented it? What group of men invented it? Who sat around and thought up how it should all go together? #
  • If 'man' invented societies and cities, why are all societies and cities so repressive of 'man'? #
  • A metaphysics of substance makes us think that all evolution stops with the highest evolved substance, the physical body of man. #
  • It makes us think that cities and societies and though structures are all subordinate creations of this physical body of man. #
  • Bit it's as foolish to think of a city or a society as created by human bodies as it is to think of human bodies as a creation of the cells, #
  • or to hink of cells as created by protein and DNA molecules, or to think of DNA as created by carbon and other inorganic atoms. #
  • If you follow that fallacy long enough you come out with the conclusion that individual electrons contain the intelligence #
  • needed to build New York City all by themselves. Absurd. #
  • If it's possible to imagine two red blood cells sitting side by side asking, 'will there ever be a higher form of evolution than us?" and #
  • looking around and seeing nothing there, deciding there isn't, then you can imagine the ridiculousness of two people walking down a street #
  • of Manhattan asking if there will be any form of evoluion higher than 'man', meaning biological man. #
  • Biological man doesn't invent cities of societies any more than pigs and chickens invent the farmer that feeds them. #
  • The force of evolutionary creation isn't contained by substance. Substance is just 1 kind of static pattern left behind the creative force. #
  • This city is a higher pattern than either a substance or a biological pattern called man. #
  • Just as a farmer raises cows 4the sole purpose of devouring them,this pattern grows living human bodies 4the sole purpose of devouring them. #
  • That is what the Giant really does. It converts accumulated biological energy into forms that serve itself. #
  • When societies and cultures and cities are seen [this way] the phenomena of war & genocide & all the other forms of human exploitation #
  • become more intelligble. 'Mankind' has never been interested in getting itself killed. But the superorganism, the Giant, who is #
  • a pattern of values superimposed on top of biological human bodies, doesn't mind losing a few bodies to protect his greater interests. #
  • Once you understand something well enough, you don't need to run from it. #
  • From a Metaphysics of Quality point of view this devouring of human bodies is a moral activity because it's more moral for a social pattern #
  • to devour a biological pattern than for a biological pattern to devour a social pattern. A social pattern is a higher form of evolution. #
  • This city, in it's endless devouring of human bodies, was creating something better than any biological organism could achieve by itself. #
  • Sure: dirty, noisy, rude, dangerous, expensive. Always has been and probably always will be … #
  • if you're looking for stability and serenity, go to a cemetery, don't come here! This is the most Dynamic place on earth!" #
  • wait a minute … do you mean that any website that uses Flash (like my photography site: http://bit.ly/9Gnqbg) won't work on an iPad? #
  • It's ironic that although the philosophy of science leaves no room for any undefined Dynamic activity, it's sciences unique organization #
  • for the handling of the Dynamic that gives it is superiority. Science superseded old religious forms, not because what it says is more true #
  • in any absolute sense… but because what it says is more Dynamic. If scientists had simply said Copernicus was right and Ptolemy was wrong #
  • without any willingness to further investigate the subject, then science would have simply become another minor religious creed. #
  • Science always contains an eraser,a mechanism whereby new Dynamic insight could wipe out old static patterns w/out destroying science itself #
  • That's the whole thing: to obtain static and Dynamic Quality simultaneously. #
  • If you don't have the static patterns of scientific knowledge to build upon you're back with the cave man. #
  • But if you don't have the freedom to change those patterns you're blocked from any further growth. #
  • … political insitutions have improved throughout the centirues [due to] … a static-Dynamic combination: a king or constitution to #
  • preserve the static, and a parliament or jury that can act as a Dynamic eraser…a commentary on Robert's Rules of Order http://bit.ly/SYWky #
  • No minority has a right to block a majority from conducting the legal business of the organization. #
  • No majority has a right to prevent a minority from peacefully attempting to become a majority. #
  • It seems as though any static mechanism that is open 2 Dynamic Quality must also be open to degeneracy..falling back 2lower forms of quality #
  • … how do you tell the saviors from the degenerates? Particularly when they look alike, talk alike and break all the rules alike? #
  • When something new and Dynamic wants to come into the world it often looks lke hell, but it can get born in New York. It can happen. #
  • This is one of the few places in the world where people don't ask whether something's been approved somewhere else. #
  • What you see u c in New York depends on your static patterns. What makes the city Dynamic is the way it always busts up … those patterns." #
  • "Sex&celebrity..there's something obscene about the whole celebrity feeling.It's that same feeling you get from sex magazines on newsstands. #
  • …One part of you wants to get rid of the magazines; one part wants to take a look at them. #
  • There's a conflict of two patterns of quality, social patterns and biological patterns. #
  • In celebrity it's the same – except that the conflict is between social and intellectual patterns! #
  • Celebrity is to social patterns as sex is to biological patterns…It looks and feels like pure Dynamic Quality for a while, but it isn't. #
  • …Celebrity is the Dynamic Quality that primitive social patterns once used to organize themselves… #
  • … an organizing force of the whole social level of evolution. Without this … advanced complex human societies might be impossible. #
  • … When you look back into the very first writing in the history of the western world… Babylon… they're about celebrity: I, Hammurabi #
  • am the big wheel here. I have this many horses… concubines… slaves…oxen.. I am one of the greatest … kings there ever was… #
  • The Pyramids were celebrity devices. All the statues…palaces…robes… jewels of social authority: those are just celebrity devices. #
  • The feathers of the Indian headdress. Children being told they would be struck blind if they ever accidentally looked at the emperor. #
  • All the Sirs & Lords & Reverends & Doctors of European address…badges & trophies…promotions up the business ladder… #
  • election to 'high office'… feuding and battling for prestire among academics and scientists… Celebrity. #
  • Even a policeman's uniform is a kind of celebrity… without celebrity nobody would take orders from anybody and there would be no way #
  • you could get the society to work… High school was really the place for celebrity… jocks out playing football… pom pom girls. #
  • … You can measure the quality of a university by comparing the relative strengths of the celebrity patterns and the intellectual patterns. #
  • U never got rid of the celebrities,even at the best universities,but there the intellectuals could ignore them &be in a class by themselves. #
  • … the Metaphysics of Quality says that movement upward from the social mirros of celebrity is a moral movement from a lower form of #
  • evolution to a higher one. People should go that way if they can." #
  • getting away from it all http://nyti.ms/c8q00I #
  • Eric Shiffman talks about studying with Desikachar "wait for the student to ask": http://bit.ly/cE6YEj #
  • "Intellect has its own patterns and goals that are as independent of society as society is independent of biology. #
  • Biology beat death billions of years ago. Society beat biology thousands of years ago. But intellect and society are still fighting it out, #
  • and that is they key to understanding of both the Victorians and the 20th century. What distinguishes the pattern of values called Victorian #
  • from the post-World War 1 period that followed it is,according to the Metaphysics of Quality, a cataclysmic shift in levels of static value; #
  • an earthquake in values… of such enormous consequence that we … haven't yet figured out what has happened to us. #
  • … The 20th century collapse of morals is a consequence of it. Further consequences are on their way… #
  • Victorians were the last people to believe that patterns of intellect are subordinate to patterns of society. What held the Victorian #
  • pattern together was a social code. They called it morals, butb really it was just a social code. #
  • As a code it was just like their ornamental cast-iron furniture: expensive looking, cheaply made, brittle, cold,and uncomfortable. #
  • The new culture that has emerged is the first in history to believe that patterns of society must be subordinate to patterns of intellect. #
  • … The reason the Victorians sound so superficial and hypocritical to us today is because of this gulf in values… #
  • What we today call Victorian hypocrisy … was a virtuous effort to keep one's thoughts within the limits of social propriety… #
  • The test of anything in the Victorian mindwa,'Does society approve?"..society was God…[they] feared scandal more than they feared disease. #
  • .. It explains why Victorians so despised the frontier part of the American personality and went to ridiculous extremes to conceal it. #
  • …..It explains why the Victorians were so vehement in their loathing of Indians… 'The only good Indian is a dead Indian'… #
  • The idea of extermination ofall Indians was not commonbefore the 19th century. Victorians wanted to destroy 'inferior' [evil] societies… #
  • Colonialism, which before that timewas an economic opportunity, became with Victorians a moral course, a 'white man's burden'… #
  • But…once intellect has been let out of the bottle of social restraint,it is almost impossible to put it back in..and it is immoral to try. #
  • A society that tries to restrain the truth for it's own purpose is a lower form of evolution than a truth that restrains society for it's #
  • own purpose. #
  • Victorians repressed the truth whenever it seemed socially unacceptable, just as they repressed thoughts about the powdery horse manure dust #
  • that floated about them as they drove their carriages … They knew it was there… but didn't consider it social proper to talk about it. #
  • Because it was evil to speak the truth openly, their appartus for social self-correction became atrophied and paralyzed. #
  • … Ultimately their minds became the same way… all avenues to any quality other than social quality were closed. #
  • And so this social base… helplessly drifted toward its own stupid self destruction… #
  • toward the senseless murder of millions of its own children on the battlefields of World War 1." #
  • @raymondpirouz then that obliterates any excuses for lack of empathy amongst humans :) except of course for those missing the cells :) in reply to raymondpirouz #
  • @raymondpirouz empathy enhancement implants (the rich can get stuff harvested from buddhists), empathy increasing viagra…there is hope :) in reply to raymondpirouz #
  • beautiful Shakuhachi playing: http://bit.ly/aMdGcu #

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Wait for the Student to Ask

n

Erich Schiffmann talking about his experience with Desikachar:

Posted in Yoga | You are welcome to add your comment