“Do not waste time idling or thinking after you have set your goals.”
Miyamoto Musashi translated by Stephen F. Kaufman

The Martial Artist’s Book of Five Rings

What if Google did nothing wrong?


Dave Winer pitched in to the recent wave of negative buzz on Google’s recently launched “Buzz”. I have stopped visiting most tech-blogs, but I have great respect for Dave so I do occasionally visit & read his blog. This time I also participated in the comment thread – and I was quickly asked, in a surprisingly unpleasant manner, to go away because I was writing off-topic. I found myself facing a choice – either to insist on pursuing my point and demonstrating it’s relevancy or to respect Dave’s wishes and walk-away. I  chose to respect Dave’s wishes and that choice continued to resonate within me into this post. Choosing respect. Respect Google

  • What if Google has some really smart people working on Buzz?
  • What if some of those people realized there would be consequences for their choices (including privacy infringement)?
  • What if Google’s team came to the conclusion that the overall benefits of Buzz outweighed it’s potential less-popular consequences?
  • What if Google’s team believes that privacy is not a strategic issue – that the future of the Web is about divulging personal information in return for a personalized experience?
  • What if Google’s team is actively pursuing that strategy and laying down an infrastructure to realize it?
  • What if Google’s team is exceedingly tech-centric, powerful and driven?
  • What if Google’s team isn’t naturally geared to respecting people ,their freedom’s and their privacy?
  • What if Google’s moral charter “Do no evil” leaves to much wriggle room to highlight & force them into tight moral corners?
  • What if Google is simply doing what it does best?
  • What if Google did nothing wrong?

Respect People

  • What if every one of us know what’s best?
  • What if we are gradually becoming more driven, caring about and in pursuit of personal freedom – for ourselves and others?
  • What if we actually developed some really advanced ideas such as capitalism and democracy in an attempt to achieve personal freedom?
  • What if we are beginning to realize that some of those very ideas compromise personal freedom?
  • What if we are beginning to realize that some core ideas (like capitalism & democracy) that shape our lives are actually outdated and that they may need to evolve or be replaced by newer and better ideas?
  • What if we don’t know how to move forward?
  • What if many of our current efforts are an exploration into unknown territories?
  • What if we do recognize that some, if not most, of our explorations will fail and only a rare few will be sustained for longer and carry us forward?
  • What if, in this process of discovery, we encounter false-truths that take time to unveil and set aside?
  • What if those false-truths are there to temper our progress?
  • What if some of those false-truths have caused us to lose touch with a notion of personal freedom – to a point that we give it away in exchange for small comforts?
  • What if realizing this is  away for us to reclaim appreciation of personal freedoms?
  • What if we were able to appreciate that resistance & enmity is an indication that we have changed and are aspiring to share that with others?
  • What if we were able to transform enmity into respect?
  • What if we were to recognize that personal freedom is a heavier burden when others don’t carry it for you and you are required to carry it on your own?

Respect Journalism

  • Sorry journalists and journalism – I did not find motivation or energy to explore your place in my life…

In reading Dave’s article I encountered:

  • Dave’s personal views – which I consider to be evolved, aware & passionate.
  • Resentment (which I share) towards Google
  • Resentment (which I don’t share) towards journalism (which hasn’t been a part of my life for years)
  • Misplaced blame (in my life – I find that if I follow blame far enough I will arrive back at myself… and I tend to point that out to others when they place blame)
  • An unpleasant dismissal
  • A rich reading and contemplating experience
Posted in Expanding, inside, outside, Tech Stuff | You are welcome to add your comment



I have become a student again, in two very diverse disciplines – playing Shakuhachi and knitting. In both cases I have a recurring opportunity to experience failure.

In Shakuhachi playing I am getting comfortable playing the in the first register – sounds that are first experienced when blowing the instrument. I am still only an occasional visitor in the second register – which requires changing the flow of air into a more condensed stream which is key to reaching higher notes. I am usually a welcome visitor in the higher register when I arrive softly, and I am greeted by nice and steady sounds – which catch me by surprise. When I try too hard I can make the sounds, but they are not sounds I would wish to listen to or play.

In knitting I am not actually making anything – I am simply knitting to practice getting a flowing technique and consistent quality of work (like any new experience, you need to actually be there to meet subtle qualities which are difficult to describe). I find myself straining too much, I am definitely not consistent and I miss a stitch now and again. But I am getting a sense of flow and ease of movement as I practice.

In both cases I have thought, experienced and felt “failing”. I have failed to play a steady high-register note. I have failed to create consistent stitches in knitting.

Luckily I can draw a deeper perspective on “failing” from two different and persistent areas in my life – Yoga & fatherhood.

Yoga first – it’s easier. No matter how much I practice, I can never achieve a sense of completion with any of my practices. There is always room for refinement and introduction of additional subtle elements. My theoretical knowledge exceeds my physical knowledge – which means I know that I haven’t arrived and I know I never will. I have been given enough teachings to realize this and to continue to developer my practice indefinitely. In the first years of my practice I can recall a sense of conquering some intermediate challenges,only to find myself facing new and distant challenges (at best) or, more likely, a length period of repeated, uneventful practice. My teacher would remind us that practice is about “succeeding in trying rather then trying to succeed”.

I recall a story (I have no idea of it’s true) that flowed around the internet about Picasso – that as he was sitting in a park a woman came up to him and asked him to draw her portrait. He agreed, and with one continuous motion that lasted only a few seconds drew a portrait she loved. She asked him how much it would cost for her to purchase the drawing and he names a ridiculous sum, to which she replies “but it only took you a few seconds”. To which he replies “yes, but I’ve been practicing for it my whole life”.

Though we are expecting, we are not yet parents and Andreea is not yet biologically pregnant. Andreea teaches women (Romanian, Hebrew) about femininity-related issues including fertility, pregnancy & birth. Once in a while she encounters skeptics who claim that she can’t possibly be serious about teaching these things because she herself has not given birth. Even amongst family and friends there is a notion that we have “failed’ to get pregnant. We understand this and have experienced our own doubts and confusions. Yet our experience is that we are and have been pregnant for a long time, it has not yet manifested in body. We have been making and continue to make changes to our lifestyle, to our perception and to our relationship with the world around us. We feel that we are in many ways preparing for a time when a spirit will choose to manifest in our lives through pregnancy. Yoga teachings suggest that pregnancy is first experienced in heart and mind of two people – usually a mother and father – and only later becomes a physical reality.

In the end…

My teacher once told us about studying chanting in India. Chanting is usually taught by listening and repetition. A teacher chants (a sound, a word, a phrase… depending on the practice) and students repeat… over and over again – until eventually you get it. There are no mistakes, the very idea of a mistake is not a conscious part of the practice – you simply move on. In this way there is no marker in memory of it, and therefor also no expectation for it to happen again – “here comes that difficult word again, I hope I don’t mess it up again”. You stay in your practice, remain attentive, repeat … over and over again.

I can honestly recognize only one failure in my practices and in my life – forgetting that I am in endless process of practice & exploration.

Posted in Expanding, inside, Shakuhachi, Yoga, Yoga & I, Yoga & Life | You are welcome to add your comment

I Shakuhachi – February 13, 2010


Choice to Trap
Trap to Struggle
Struggle to Awareness
Awareness to Patience
Patience to Playfulness
Playfulness to Freedom

click to play Shakuhachi recording

Posted in inside, My Shakuhachi Recordings, Shakuhachi | You are welcome to read 3 comments and to add yours

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-02-14


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I Shakuhachi – February 11, 2010


… a theme I have visited in the past, it came to me again… so I let it play out

click to play Shakuhachi recording

Posted in inside, My Shakuhachi Recordings, Shakuhachi | You are welcome to add your comment