“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.”
Richard Feynman

Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman

Failure is a Stripping Away of the Inessential

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J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

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

WordPress Localization

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One of the (many) great things about WordPress is that it comes in many languages. WordPress itself and some plugins & themes use a standard method in programming to make this possible. All the terms you see in the WordPress user interface (boh in the Admin and the blog itself) are connected to a central repository – a kind of dictionary , to which additional languages can be added without any change to the code itself.

The actual words used in each language are stored in dedicated files (with a suffix of ‘.mo’ and ‘.po’). To add a new language all you have to do is create a new set of language files. There are applications for editing these language files, which then need to be placed in the WordPress installation (or in the plugin or them installation). It is a fairly simple process (compared to the efforts required in the past for translating a software), but it can be fairly tricky for people who are not technically oriented (though they may be great translators).

I just discovered a wonderful plugin that comes to the rescue and makes translation amazingly simple – meet Codestyling Localization. It gives you access to all of your translation files directly from within WordPress Administration. It’s very easy to use and there are easy to use instruction by the author.

You can use this plugin to quickly and easily make changes to existing translations and to create entire new translations into lanuages which may not be available when you need them. If you do create new translations, you may also want to take the time to submit them to the original authors to be included in future versions, so that others may benefit from your translation work. It’s a great way to give back to the WordPress community – and thanks to this plugin it’s really easy to do.

IMPORTANT: Any changes you make are applied only to your WordPress installation. When you instal new versions – you may lose your changes. Make backup copies of your translation files in case you need to restore them in the future.

NOTE: This only works with Plugins & Themes which are developed using the WordPress language standard.

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

System76

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I’ve been wanting to write about System76 but couldn’t find relevant reason to do so. System76 sells Ubuntu (a popular Linux distribution) compatible computers. I have not yet had the pleasure of using a System76 computer so I can’t really vouch for their hardware – I hope to change that in the near future. I can say that I’ve liked everything about them from the moment I first found them, their website, their hardware specifications, their shopping experience, their communication… everything. They seem to have a purpose and vision that go beyond selling computers.

So why did I finally choose to write about them? Their concise and infrequent newsletter (which I actually look forward to recieving once in a while) just came in and this is what I found in it:

System76 Partners with Kids On Computers

System76 and Kids On Computers have partnered to bring computers and open source software to disadvantaged children. Kids On Computers, a non-profit organization, deploys Ubuntu based computer labs in schools and communities around the world. The organization’s first school in Huajuapan de Leon, Mexico, was a resounding success. They now have a dedicated computer teacher and are expecting Internet access very soon. The school went from being one of the poorest schools in town to being the school where all parents want their kids to go!

System76 now offers a “Donate Your Old Computer” option on each product page. By choosing the “Donate Your Old Computer” option, System76 emails you a mailing label to ship your old computer to Kids On Computers. There is a $10 cost which covers a portion of the shipping. System76 covers the remaining shipping cost. Your old computer is tax deductible, and Kids on Computers will provide a donation receipt.

Learn more about the program at http://www.system76.com/recycle

So now you can good hardware, at competitive prices, with a better operating system, from a company that cares and efficiently and humbly takes action to do what it can, doing what it does best to making life better.

Posted in AltEco, outside, Tech Stuff | You are welcome to add your comment

Emptiness

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The past 6 months have been a revealing period…

It began when  Andreea wen to Romania (October). This presented me with unique and fresh circumstances. We were already living a intimate life in retreat. I was alone for the first time in a long time. I had a renewed daily practice (Yoga asana, Pranayama & Shakuhachi) and daily routine that felt good. There were days when I would not say a word except for greeting our cat and parakeet in the mornings. I felt at home in my body, I was eating well and sleeping well. The times in between my practices were unimportant and playful – filled with consistent writing and small interventions in a few projects I carry with me.

Then when I flew to join Andreea in Romania (supposedly a 2+ week vacation – around mid December) – the peaceful pattern was broken. It was a pleasant visit, but I did not manage to sustain my practices and energy. I was not surprised, traveling is rarely easy or comfortable for me. I made a conscious sacrifice going to Romania, knowing it would disrupt my peaceful state of being, knowing I would need to settle and recollect myself afterwards.

A week after we returned from Romania (early January), as I was practicing a few Asana I strained my lower back. It took me a few weeks of gentle work to bring peace to my lower back. It took almost a month for me to reach a full capacity practice and to enjoy a quality pranayama practice. There was also a matter of adjusting to new practice and life patterns that included Andreea’s presence again. I was begnning to feel present again… until March came.

March promised to be a hectic month and it is delivering on its promises. Before it is over we will have visited with my family 3 times. Each visit involves a 3+ hour (one way) journey (from our home in the North of Israel to the center area of Israel) and usually lasts 3 days. The visits are pleasant, my parents take us generously into their home. But my parents’ place leaves very little place & space for practice. It is an intense space, filled with lots of friction, well-intended aggressions and a constant background of distractions. Sometimes there are conversations in which I invest great energy (mostly with my father). It drains my already travel-dissipated energy and gives me vey few opportunities to replenish it.

Two visits are already past. We are now in a recess, and in a few days will be on our way to the third visit. I am trying to sprinkle my days with a few light practices – to create some regularity, focus, lightness & softness. Practice doesn’t come easy when my energy is dissipated. These very words are coming to me instead of a physical practice. I intended to practice, but something drew me to the window, maybe it was a promising warmth from the sun (the house feels cold these days, even though the sun is shining outside). As I stood there looking outside silently, I realized I feel empty – it is an unpleasant feeling.

For quite some time I haven’t been able to fool myself into taking my work too seriously. I consider myself fortunate to be free to pursue projects that are close to my heart. Almost all of these projects are driven by clear intents and purpose…. and yet none of them relate to my own sense of purpose. When I was alone and completely immersed in my practices I felt filled with purpose. Now, when I am away from my practices, I feel empty.

p.s.: when we are on the train heading out on our first visit it was around sunset time. there was lots of humidiy in the air. on the outskirts of Haifa I remember seeing some beautiful images. they were dominated by a creamy color, the ocean and the sky were a continous texture, there was no horizon… there were very few visible details… a boat floating in the midst of creamy emptiness, some gently waves in the foreground… it was mostly beautiful emptiness… it soothed me.

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

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-03-21

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  • first post in new series about the Doshas – purification by fire: http://bit.ly/bmB4sc #yoga #ayurveda #
  • open source wins again: Mozilla Weave vs. XMarks http://bit.ly/aNGrs2 #
  • Ken Robinson unrelenting in his journey to reshape education: http://bit.ly/ajH8nb #
  • "..static patterns of value are divided into 4 systems: inorganic patterns, biological patterns, social patterns and intellectual patterns. #
  • ..That's all there are..nothing is left out…Only Dynamic Quality, which cannot be described …is absent. #
  • ..the four systems..all operate at the same time and in ways that are almost independent of each other…they are not continuous.. #
  • Although each higher level is built on a lower one it is not an extension of that lower level. Quite the contrary.The higher level can often #
  • be seen to be in opposition to the lower level, dominating it, controlling it where possible for it's own purposes. #
  • ..An excellent analogy to the independence of the levels is the relation of hardware to software in a computer. #
  • ..It isn't necessary for a programmer to learn circuit design. Neither is it necessary for a hardware technician to learn programming. #
  • ..except for a memory map called the 'Machine Language Instruction Repertoire' – a list so small you could write it on a single page – #
  • the electronic circuits and the programs existing in the same computer at the same time have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. #
  • .. Machine Language instructions were …the end performance of a whole symphony of switching operations… Then ..[in] programming this #
  • symphony was considered to be a mere single note in a whole other symphony that had no resemblance to the first one… #
  • Machine Language Instruction Repertoire was now the lowest element of the lowest level programming language … #
  • ..On top of this low level programming language was a high-level programming language which had the same kind of independence… #
  • …and on top of the high-level language was still another level of patterns, the application, a novel perhaps in a word-processing program. #
  • …one could spend all eternity probing the electrical patterns of that computer.. and never find that novel. #
  • ..Certainly the novel cannot exist in the computer without a parallel pattern of voltages to support it. But that does not mean that the #
  • novel is an expression or property of those voltages….It can reside in a notebook but it is not composed of or possessed by the ink&paper. #
  • Trying to explain social moral patterns in terms of inorganic chemistry patterns is like trying to explain theplot of a word-processor novel #
  • in terms of a computer's electronics. You can't do it. You can see how the circuits make the novel possible, but they do not provide a plot. #
  • Similarly the biological patterns of life and the molecular patterns of organic chemistry have a "machine language" interface called DNA… #
  • but that does not mean that the carbon or hydrogen or oxygen atoms possess or guide life. #
  • The value that holds a glass of water together is an inorganic pattern of value. #
  • The value that holds a nation together is a social pattern of value. They are … at different evolutionary levels. #
  • These patterns have nothing in common except the historic evolutionary process that created all of them…a process of value evolution." #
  • open source wins again – KeepNote replaces Evernote: http://bit.ly/9f5XWn #
  • "If the world consists only of patterns of mind and patterns of matter, what is the relationship between the two? #
  • … A conventional subject-object metaphysics uses the same 4 static patterns as the Metaphysics of Quality dividing them into 2 groups of 2 #
  • : inorganic-biological patterns called 'matter', & social-intellectual patterns called 'mind'… this division is the source of the problem. #
  • ..It has to make this division because it gives top-position in its structure to subjects and objects..the primary division of the universe. #
  • Inorganic-biological patterns are composed of 'substance' and are therefore 'objective'. #
  • Social-biological patterns are not composed of 'substance' and are therefore called 'subjective'. #
  • Then, having made this arbitrary division..conventional metaphysics then asks: 'What is the relationship between mind and matter..?' #
  • ..In a value centered Metaphysics of Quality… matter is just a name for certain inorganic value patterns… #
  • ..biological..social..intellectual patterns are supported by this pattern of matter but are independent of it. #
  • They have rules and laws of their own that are not derivable from the rules and laws of substance. #
  • ..What, after all, is the likelihood that an atom possesses within it's own structure enough information to build the city of New York? #
  • ..Metaphysics of Quality concludes that… mind and matter are completely separate evolutionary levels of static patterns of value.. #
  • ..The mind matter paradoxes seem to exist because the connecting links between [them] have been disregarded. #
  • Two terms are missing: biology and society. Mental patterns…originate out of society, which originates out of biology, which originates #
  • out of inorganic nature… There is no direct scientific connection between mind and matter. #
  • As the atomic physicist,Niels Bohr,said, 'We r suspended in language'. Our intellectual description of nature is always culturally derived" #

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