“The reason you keep on coming back to see me is very simple; every time you have seen me your body has learned certain things, even against your desire. And finally your body now needs to come back to me to learn more. Let’s say that your body knows that it is going to die, even though you never think about it. So I’ve been telling your body that I too am going to die and before I do I would like to show our body certain things, things which you cannot give to your body yourself… So let’s say then that your body returns to me because I am its friend.”
Carlos Castaneda

Journey to Ixtlan

The War on Consciousness- Graham Hancock

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This is the 2nd talk that I mentioned was censured from TED a while back. It amuses me that I am rarely anymore drawn to TED talks and even more rarely interested or touched by those I view. But when it came to these two censured talks I was 2 for 2.

In this talk Graham Hancock offers a valuable question about consciousness altering drugs. He suggests that such drugs are responsible for our becoming symbolic creatures (a precious claim that deserves much more elaboration). He suggests that by removing them from our lives and culture we have introduced a spiritual detachment which is the source of so much self inflicted destruction and suffering.

It it a very passionate talk, at times to passionate … which earned even more of my respect. It makes a less fluent talk that it could be and required more effort from me … an effort I was happy to put in.

As I watched it a 3rd time in preparation for this post – another train of thought appeared in my consciousness. I have not had access to consciousness enhancing drugs. I have spent a good portion of my life living in detachment and consciously unaware of it. I have spent another good portion being aware of the sense of detachment  – a period which has brought me to this point in time where I am making an effort to see beyond detachment. It may be true that by using consciousness enhancing drugs this transition I am currently in may have been different, maybe more fluent, maybe more joyful, maybe easier.

However I do believe (not a firm belief because I have no way to compliment it with experience) that maybe as a species, we have, by removing such drugs from our life-menu, created circumstances which require us to find alternative paths of enhancing our consciousness. Maybe in another 40,000 years another creature of consciousness will look back at us, as Graham Hancock has at our ancestors, and point out this crazy and disruptive time as when new paths of consciousness were discovered that led to further evolution beyond the symbolic-story-tellers that we currently are?

The War on Consciousness- Graham Hancock at TEDxWhitechapel from Ben S on Vimeo.

 

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Nordic Everyman Rights

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A good example of commons in practice taken from How Nordic Europe Is Guarding the Commons”:

“Nordic Everyman Rights, as they are called, means that everyone in most Scandinavian and Baltic countries is guaranteed access to nature’s bounty. Even on privately owned land, a person may legally set up camp for one night, pick wild foods, gather dry twigs for fire, fish with bait, then walk, ski or cycle across the land – as long as s/he does not encroach on a person’s yard or privacy.

… In stark contrast, most other countries enforce strict property laws that exclude others from the freedom to roam or gather on private land that they do not own.

Land ownership exists, of course, in the Nordic countries but it does not come with exclusive usage rights, and this is the crucial difference. The alternative “Nordic way” engenders a sense of collective responsibility toward the land based on communal attitudes about the Earth, relying on notions of stewardship as opposed to control of nature. In places where everyone has a right to travel freely, it also means that owners can’t hide their destructive practices behind locked barriers.”

 

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The Blue Economy

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I came across this great introduction to the Blue Economy via Michel Bauwens and the P2P Foundation. I hadn’t heard of this before.

Reading it felt like someone took pemraculture thinking and applied it with great relevance and detail to industry/business/economy. In some ways it feels even more mature then other permaculture domains which I have found to be abstract and out of touch. Here I am finding specifity, simplicity, relevancy and applicability.

It is a mouth-watering colllection of applicable, sustainably abundant ideas that can be used to shape and inspire future businesses. I still experience the financing entry barrier … though it is on a much more accessible scale.

Much more information at BlueEconomy.eu

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Visiting Bucharest to See Sting

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I started writing this post shortly after am arriving back home from spending a weekend in Bucharest with Andreea to see Sting in concert. This was at the end of July … a delay caused by a combination of lack of motivation to write, business and internet connectivity issues.

Travelling

We travelled there and back by bus – it’s an 8.5-9 hour journey (with a 15 minute and 30 minute break). The other options are by a night train (with sleeping carriages) – and it’s twice as expensive as a bus and approximately the same journey time (sometimes longer). And then there are flights which cost more then twice the price of a train but are super comfortable – an hour and we could be there.

On the journey there we sat behind the driver – Andreea’s preferred place where she can see the road which makes the drive easier for her (prevents slight sickness). It also meant we had a spectacular view to the driver’s horrific driving. I am convinced that if the bus had a pointed metal triangle sticking out the front … the driver would have gone full Mad Max on many other cars. There were quite a few near accidents … but it is a “normal” thing in Romania. Even if the driver is OK (which was the case on the way back) the oncoming traffic always includes people willing to overtake traffic in crazy places … inviting plenty of almost accidents.

The horrific driving on the way there was “nicely” complemented by the horrific pop-music the driver chose for entertainment. The music was accompanied by video-clips (small TV above the driver). It seemed that as we progressed in the journey the girls clothing got skimpier and indeed just before we stopped about half-way in Velcea there was video clip with two naked girls in bed playing lesbian. There was something extremely primitve – biological in the music and images – pure sex (biological reproduction) peppered with bullshit social ideas (many of which seem to take place on luxurious yachts). However I could also see in it feminine power and control. Who knows.

Our Dogs

Liviu arrived at Bhudeva shortly after we set out on the road to Bucharest. He calles us on the phone with the most hillarious question, he gave the dogs food (as in put in their plates in front of them) but they wouldn’t touch it. Since our dogs roam free all day the only consistent practice of discipline we adhere to is feeding. They are not allowed and will not touch their food until they are given permission. You can place it before them and walk away and they won’t touch it. They need to be given explicit permission to eat. I was amused to learn that the discipline holds firm even in the presence of a stranger who does not know about our habits and agreements 🙂

Corn

This is the time of year where corn has peaked and is now maturing. Romania is covered in corn (at least those parts we met on the road). I would guess 95% percent of fields are corn.

As I watched these I thought of a theme that I believe has been presented in numerous sci-fi films (including one I recently saw: Oblivion). It is the theme of a race (either ourselves or aliens) sucking life energy out of the planet. I thought of this as I gazed upon the fields of corn … it isn’t science as fiction … it is exactly what is happening with the fields of corn. Corn is a crop that consumes a lot of energy and soil fertility (I was surprised to learn that each giant corn plant produces 2 or maybe 3 ears of corn at most!). It’s a staple crop for both animals and people … and it sucks life out of soil … especially as a vast monoculture that is grown year after year.

Religion & Intellect

I’m allergic to religion. Romania is a very religious country (mostly flavors of Christianity). One common expression of Religion in Romania is people making the cross gesture when passing churches or “on the road crosses”. You can see this in the city when people are walking and on buses. It is an instinct and is repeated everytime a religious person is awake and aware of a passion religious location. It creeps me out most when I see it in young adults or kids.

When I saw this on the way I thought about indoctrination – a more generic term for faith-based-education (that I believe encompasses religion). I asked myself what was my indoctrination as I was brought up in life and maybe still has a grip on me. The answer came quickly: mind/thought/intellect. I am definitely still working on balancing this one out in my life.

Oltea & Andrei

We were warmly welcomed to the home of Oltea & Andrei. They live in a central place close to one of the main squares in Bucharest in a spacious apartment in a cozy small building (compared to the typical mamoth blocks that dominate Bucharest and many other Romanian cities).

Oltea visited Bhudeva during our first winter here. There was an immediate connection that continued between her and Andreea. I felt immediately embraced and protected when we entered their apartment. Oltea had cooked up a warm vegetable dish which was nourishing and grounding and much appreciated.

Oltea was a changed person since I first (and briefly) saw her. I had plenty of pleasant conversations with Andrei discovering many shared visions and values. He is definitely on my short but growing list of good men. Unfortunately we did not get to meet their children who were away with their grandparents (which is also why they had space for us).

Electric Induction Cooking

In their apartment I experienced for the first time an electric-induction cooking surface (I am used to gas cookers). I was really impressed. I don’t know how energy efficient in terms of electricity consumption – but in terms of output it seems to be very efficient … things are heated very fast on it  and there is much less dissipated heat than I am used to with gas cooking. Using it was a great pleasure – it heats things very fast, there is a high resolution of control over heat levels (each cooker can be set on a level from 1 to 9), it has a keep-warm mode, it shuts off automatically, it is super easy to clean and it is very esthetic.

If it is efficient I would love to have something like it in our future home. I can generate electricity … I can’t generate cooking gas (well I probably can but it would be complicated) … and I would be happy not to have gas flowing into the house.

Modern Life

Being in the apartment reminded me of the potential comforts of modern city life. I was even slightly tempted … but not really. It is a life that is highly dependent on a constant flow of money, and a relatively expensive one at that … and I am not in the least bit tempted to become dependent on money again. I am happy to forgo many of the comforts for the safety I experience living away from money.

Bucharest

Bucharest was horrible for me. It is very dense, very crowded, very noisy, very busy … there isn’t a moment of silence in it. The contrast between it and Bhudeva is too much for me. I felt attacked and oppressed. I was sheltered in Oltea & Andrei’s home (which is much more than its walls). I was somehat sheltered in a tea-house I spent a few hours at. But otherwise I only wanted to hide from the city. The climate was also unpleasant … hot and humid indoors and out … that is compared to Bhudeva climate where it can be hot but dry outside but pleasantly cool indoors.

There is tons of information coming from infinite directions. I suppose you could get used to it … by practicing being it and learning to filter and ignore a lot of the information which bombarded me. But I am not sure I would want to go through that kind of training … it feels like a process of desensitization … a skill of ignoring rather than connecting.

When we came to Romania I thought it would be great … that I would be able to enjoy more rock concerts living in Europe. But having done it … I don’t expect I’ll be doing it again soon.

Sting

The venue was dull … a large parking lot at what I believe is some kind of convention center kind of place. We got there just when the first opening act ended and Mike and the Mechanics came on … and were really surprising. A tight and good energy band that gave a nice set of their own songs and a few Genesis hits. Really got the place into a good atmosphere.

Sting came on 20 minutes earlier then planned. It was the last concert of this leg of the tour … so maybe they wanted to get it done and go home. He and his band were fantastic. This was the same core musicians I had seen playing with him when I first saw him in Israel almost 20 years ago. It was a great concert. It made up for the 2nd time I saw him (also in Israel) in a lifeless performance. Though it didn’t live up to the my impression of the first performance … though I don’t know if that is possible. The first performance was an album tour so it had more specifity and wholeness to it while this concert was more like a greatest hits. There were one or two times where I felt moved … the rest of the time I was enjoying the music.

5 minutes after the concert ended a drenching rain came pouring down. We were able to find shelter and wait it out. Then there was a mess with taxis getting home (apparently there are taxis in Bucharest that charge almost 3 times then typical rate that most taxis in Bucharest charge … so beware!).

 

 

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Colombian Farmers Prosecuted for Saving Seeds

n

This movie came to me shortly after my contemplation on engineered death.

The results of a Free Trade agreement between the USA and Colombia: 2,000,000 tons of rice stolen from peasants – half of which was buried in landfills … in just one year … and that is just the opening act. Witness the debt machine systemically progressing

What strikes me most about this is that the attack is not just against farmers and rice. It is undermining the foundations of society itself – everything from the notion of legality through to relationships between local governance and people is being attacked. Maybe that’s a good thing Maybe it will give birth to new and better societies?

In my mind the problem probably goes even deeper. What about soil health and fertility? It is easy to blame chemicals for destruction of the soil – but what about the monocultural/industrialized farming methods? Is this really farming? I’m convinced that the big-ag companies agendas could care less about these subjects, yet maybe their misguided actions are part of a larger evolutionary process we are witnessing? Maybe we can’t have as much rice as we are used to having? In a roundabout way advanced non-sustainable agriculture is attacking primitive non-sustainable agriculture.

If nothing else then head to 38:10 for this important observation from Rafael Correa president of Ecuador:

“Not a single developed country exercised Free Trade during their development process. This is a common error when dealing with development … trying to do what those developed countries are doing now that they are the competitiveness champions … and not doing what they did when they had our relative level of development.”

 

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Michel Bauwens: Collaborative Economy

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I liked this:

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Satellite Images of Industrial Farms

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During my last flight over Romania I remember looking down at the vast fields – endless straightlined patches interrupted by regular on/off ramps of a highway under construction. My first thought was the sheer amount of work and energy that goes into all those fields – incomprehensible. My second thought was about how appealing I found these esthetics of destruction. I stayed with that for quite a while … not so much about the landscape but more about what this said about esthetics and appeal.

I was reminded of this when I saw these satellite images of industrial farms:

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Five Dead Ducks

n

I’ve been ejoying lazy mornings. Though I can wake up early I spend the first few hours in bed – resting, reflecting, reading, writing … whatever I feel like doing. I wait for the day to make up its mind – most recent days have started cold and or windy and or wet … and if/when it clears up I head outside for work. If the day doesn’t lean my way my body will eventually ask to change position and my stomach for breakfast … so one way or another I get the day started.

The first thing I do, regardless of the day, as at least a quick round outside to feed/water the flock of ducks and chickens and to feed the dogs. Today I was greeted by an unpleasant image. Five dead ducks and one dead chicken. Two of the ducks were completely headless – which ultimately indicated that they were attacked by some kind of weasel/ferret-like creature which Andreea claims has signature killing – removing the heads and drinking their blood (and eating nothing else!). Vampire-like creatures. It was a depressing sight. One of the four remaining ducks was also visible injured (bloody neck) but moving around quite well. The chickens were happily pecking at the corpses.

This was probably a second attack. A few days earlier I found one dead duck … now knowing what happened. Now I know.

So my day started with moving the corpses to compost pile and then an unscheduled moving of the mobile coop and electric fence to a new location. I was just thinking about moving them to another location where they could enjoy some of the late green grass and moist soils but due to the shock those plans have changed. After consulting with Andreea we decided that I will move them to their final destination for the duration of winter – adjacent to their winter shelter in the barn.

This wasn’t my plan for the day but I settled into it quite nicely … quite surprisingly to. I started it with a sense of heaviness and so I quickly realized that I need to change vibe. I decided to start the task without any urgency or pretending to finish it in one go. It as a nice and sunny day with good visibility (making hard for predators to sneak up) and so I first let the flock range free. The chickens had a great time. The ducks stayed bunched together and next to their bucket of water.

I started by clearing the area with a scythe and then with a hoe in some of the places where the electric fence perimeter would go. I then hauled the mobile coop to its new location. With that done I went to herd the ducks (ducks can be herded, chickens not) and they quickly found the ramp into the barn and went inside. I think they were pretty terrified from the night. They did not come back outside today.

I then completed clearing space for and installing the perimeter fence, brought over the energizer, hooked everything up, tested the fence and … it wasn’t working. Shit, Fuck … were the first words to go through my mind. I quickly figured out that I had messed up the wiring. The are two green wires (dumb design) – one that leads the charge into the fence wires after passing through a lightning-catcher, the other leads to the ground … they were inverted. The energizer was feeding directly into the ground and the fence was useless (electrically speaking). This also explaing the slight but noticeable increase in our electricity bill in recent motths. Fuck, shit … again.

The dogs are well trained with the electric fence. They only touched it once (each) in their lives. I am convinced that they witnessed what was happening inside the fence but couldn’t do a thing about it – even though no current was passing through the fence. Fuck, shit.

Evening set in. I finished working. Had a couple of bowls of soup. Sorted the large bowl of cherry-tomatoes I picked (headed for pickling tomorrow). Did my yoga practice. Then spent a few minutes with the Shakuhachi. That’s when the emotional waves surfaced. I felt the fear and panic the animals must have experienced and aggression came through my playing. Then the energy settled. The last six breaths of my playing were dedicated to each one of the animals. One breath for each soul. I did not intend them to be the last six breaths of my playing but as each breath passed through the flute emotion built up in my throat. By the time the six breaths has passed nothing more could pass through my throat, so I stopped.

The next electricity bill should be back to normal.

Check the fence every time I move it. Harsh lesson.

 

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Engineered Death

n

I started thinking about this when staring at my empty breakfast plate – tomato seeds all over it … all from one tomato. These thoughts continued to flow as I got busy with winter preserves, processing lots of vegetables, seeing lots of seeds. Most of those seeds got thrown away but had life potential inside them. If I were to save them (some I did) and plant them at the right time (which next spring I will do) and nurture them then they will grow into new plants which may gift me with even more food.

That is true for me because I live in rural Romania and get my food either from my own garden or from neighbor’s gardens – and we both plant traditional living seeds. But this is not obviously true for most people in the world.

For most of my life food was obvious. I didn’t participate in growing it and didn’t give much thought to how it was grown where it came from. I’d never seen a tomato plant grow until I came to Romania. The only “food-growing” experience I can recall from my childhood was placing an avocado pit braced over a cup of water with its end inside the water – and the pit would grow to become a small plant (though I never recall planting one in the earth). I tried that a few times in my adult life (in Israel, before moving to Romania) and it didn’t work anymore. Avocado trees in Israel were (by then) mostly genetically modified – they were probably more resistant and gave better yields, but they did not give new life.

This is not news. Nor is it news that much of the food in the western world has and is changing in this direction. Genetically modified plants are taking over (have taken over?). Now that food is a much more conscious part of my life I know more about this. Genetic engineering has been used to suppress and encourage many things (taste, appearance, disease resistance, climate resistance, shelf time, etc.) but the one thing that called out to me as I was staring at my plate of tomato seeds was that they were engineered to die. This isn’t a side-effect nor a quantative change to an existing natural quality. Genetic engineering has managed to create a self-destruct mechanism that prevents seeds from growing into new plants.

We (man kind) have engineered death into our own food. It isn’t a modification of a quality that was alread there – it is a completely new behavior that goes against what nature has provided for us. We engineered death. And this is what many people eat as nourishment. This goes beyond arguable flavor and nutrition … we added death into our own food. I immediately thought of cancer and felt an eerie sense of connection – is it possible that a death we introduced into our food is somehow related to a death we introduced into ourselves?

This self-inflicted violence is dwarfed by the fact that the people who have “achieved” this are not content with their devastating invention. In Romania (where corruption offers fertile conditions for such efforts) they are lobbying government to promote legislation that will outlaw traditional living seeds. It is not enough that they’ve engineered death, they now want to make sure that it is illegal to grow, sell and eat food that is naturally endowed with life. This forces upon me deep reflection.

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Is there a future for Profit?

n

Originally this post was titled “the future is non-profit” … but then I realized I had stepped into a trap. The more I think about it the more I realize that the current vocabulary used to express business/money is a biased and limiting. A debate around profit/non-profit assumes that profit is a quantifiable indicator expressed in monetary terms. But that is not an assumption I subscribe to or care to proliferate. With that in mind …

For a a few years now I’ve been living with a belief that the only kind of sustainable business in the future is one where is there are no financial profits. There can be large profits … just not financially accumulative ones. I believe financial profits are at best an illusion (that is destroyed by a wider scope of valuation … for example ecological impact), but more importantly a sign of dysfuction (indicating that the scope of valuation is too narrow and is mising out key factors that are at least, if not more important then the factors that have been valued – that there may be negative value involved indicating destructive impacts that are not being considered).

Therefore I enjoyed the article The Sharing Economy Just Got Real which touches on thish subject in (1) in concrete examples that are (2) from the emerging technology industry and (3) uses existing legal/financial constructs to outline alternative business configurations and (4) a path of transformation for existing business.

“You can’t truly remedy today’s economic problems by using the same business structures that created the economic problems. Because of their current ownership structure, Airbnb, Lyft, Über, and TaskRabbit could be bought out by ever larger and more centralized companies that won’t necessarily care about the well-being of people using the services, or about the overall abundance of jobs in our economy.

There is only one way to ensure that a company will make decisions in the interests of the people it serves: Put those people in control of the company. So let me introduce the T corporation … have been around for a long time, and they have a major benefit of not paying tax if 1) they are governed democratically by the shareholders (i.e., everyone gets one vote in the election of the board, regardless of share value) and 2) the earnings of the company are distributed to the shareholders on the basis of how much they patronize (i.e. do business with) the company.

… it’s basically a way of saying “cooperative” without the cultural baggage that comes with the word “cooperative.” …

But, at the core of cooperatives is a very simple legal concept that turns the conventional business structure on its head. In a cooperative, money doesn’t buy votes in board elections and money doesn’t buy future profits. Rather, each member of the cooperative gets a vote and earns money based on the efforts they contribute. There is no single individual or group driving the company for their own profit. Many of the incentives for exploitation are simply absent in cooperatives.

To convert the sharing economy companies into cooperatives, each company and its shareholders could voluntarily enter into a legally binding agreement to begin the process of selling the company to its customers as a cooperative, even if it takes 10 years or more to complete the buy-out.”

 

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Secret World of Microorganisms

n

There seems to be an escalation of old (though fairly recent) truths crumbling and being replaced by softer and more hollistic truths. A thread they all seem to share is that of connectivity and community – ideas of machinstic separation are dissipating and being replaced by a realization of inevitable and welcome codependency. I take great pleasure in witnessing these changes.

I look forward to the release of this movie:

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Blessed

n

Yesterday’s frustration had for the most part passed by the time I finished eating dinner. Today, as I came back from the village market its raw energy seemed to have transformed into something very different. I feel blessed.

  • Blessed by the amazing and abundant food which nourishes me.
  • Blessed by living in nature.
  • Blessed by the air that I breath.
  • Blessed by the sounds that I hear.
  • Blessed by the soil.
  • Blessed by the rains.
  • Blessed by a partnership with Andreea that goes beyond anything I was ever told or thought two people could be.
  • Blessed by a growing awareness of what family can be … also beyond anything I was ever told or thought it could be.
  • Blessed by kindred spirits who continue to gentaly guide me across vast distances … some in physical forms others less so.
  • Blessed by the people who have taught me to navigate in that which is known.
  • Blessed by the people who have taught me to be lost in that which is unknown.
  • Blessed by the people who keep me sharp by taking an interest in what I have to say.
  • Blessed by learning and growth.
  • Blessed by listening.
  • Blessed by intuition.
  • Blessed by clarity.
  • Blessed by surrender.
  • Blessed by acceptance.
  • Blessed by a friction of change.
  • Blessed by blessings that are natural occurences that arise from being in tune inside and out … like apples from that fall from a tree for those who stand by a apple tree.
  • Blessed by a balancing act of doing and not doing.
  • Blessed by patience and waiting.
  • Blessed by direct honesty.
  • Blessed by the edge.

I hope that by recognizing my blessings they may resonate outwards from my consciousness to others.

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I looked at the phone

n

There is heaviness in the air today. I spend most of the day indoors. Lit the rocket stove for the first time.

Its afternoon … cook dinner or get on the mat? I don’t know.

I look at the phone. Walk outside to pee. Come back inside the phone rings.

It’s Andreea, away attending births.

A couple have canceled last minute. Not OK. Other births were refused, loss of income. It isn’t the first time.

We have come this far carried by my financial beliefs. Now we are being carried by hers.

She believes in soft. She is opening to abundance.

She thinks I am angry. I’m not. I’m frustrated. Is this how people value soft? Pretty expensive.

It isn’t easy letting go, stepping back, letting her step forward. I’m getting better … but need to get even better.

Anyways, I am left with a dose of frustration. Heaviness & frustration are not a good recipe to carry on to the mat. I am not ready for a practice.

So cooking dinner it is.

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Bitcoin Robot: A Bitcoin Pyramid Scheme

n

The Bitcoin Robot confirms my feelings about bitcoin. To me the Bitcoin Robot seems like another fear-based (the world is in crisis) pyramid scheme (buy your way out of the crisis): join, buy some bitcoing and let the robot generate profitable transactions for you. That didn’t take long!

A(nother) potentially great technology detached from life and purpose.

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The Ballmer Business Metric

n

I have been silently lamenting Nokia since I heard the news that their mobile phone division is being acquired by Microsoft. My one recurring though on this matter is that two wrongs don’t make a right. I’ve been living a happily Microsoft free life for 5 or 6 years and was disappointed when they squirmed back into my life by acquiring Skype. I used to believe that Nokia was the only trustworthy company when it comes to mobile phones – I am wary of anything from Apple (iPhones) or Google (Android).

So I am now left in a theoretical void. Theoretical because I don’t use smartphones – I have a simple mobile phone as a backup communication device (we have no landlines at Bhudeva) and use it very little. Void because now there is no one to turn to: no to Apple, no to Android and now no to Nokia. I look forward to the void being filled by an open-source technology such as Firefox OS or Ubuntu.

Anyways … this article talks about Steve Ballmer confessing to missing out on the phone market. And though an uninteresting article to me, the last part is cause for celebration:

“As a final note, here’s the Ballmer Business Metric: ‘The ultimate measure has to be what happens with profits. It’s got to be the ultimate measure of any company.'”

My celebration is in recognition of an inevitable departure of Steve Ballmer, his kind and their beliefs from shaping the world we live in. Thank you for your contributions to the world we live in and good riddance to your outdated and destructive beliefs – sincerely on both accounts.

I wish Ballmer a long enough life to change his mind about his biggest regret from something as petty as a temporary technology to something more substantial like his beliefs about the purpose of business.

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Rupert Sheldrake and Bruce Lipton

n

As I was collecting links and videos for the Rupert Sheldrake post I came across an additional video of Rupert Sheldrake and Bruce Lipton (I’ve been carrying Bruce Lipton’s inspiration with me for a few years) together. At first I thought to add it to the post on Rupert Sheldrake but something held me back. Shortly after that I discovered what it was that was holding me back.

This is a nice talk because of the light vibe of the two of them together but you would probably get more out of watching each of the separately and in depth. What I liked most about it was the Q&A session at the end (starting at around 1:05). Many of the questions, in my opinion, came from a newage-ish vibe (which raises red flags in my consciousness) so I really enjoyed how these two prominent scientists took the questions on and related (something that goes beyond answering) to them without any dismissal and without compromising their unique scientific integrity … and I dedicate that part of the talk to Alberto.

The higher quality video version of this  talk is available in parts and this is the first of 10 (Q&A starts half way into the 7th part):

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Rupert Sheldrake – The Science Delusion

n

I’ve been fairly quiet in terms of blogging for many months. At first it was for lack of energy, then is was for lack of motivation, then, most recently, it was for lack of Internet connectivity – which we have but has been very unstable and frustrating to use (never know when hitting that publish button will actually work or return an error). All three seem to be getting better now (though the connectivity is completely out of my hands).

There is backlog of stuff I want to make time to write about me (at least for my own journaling) and this delay creates an interesting opportunity. More time has passed and my view on some things has evolved. Some things have lost whatever importance or relevance they may have had at the time. Others have developed into fascinating new directions I could not have seen when they first came to me. Some cross links have formed between seemingly separate things.

So I’m starting this update process by first working to clean up my browser tab situation. There are way too many tabs open with things I wanted to relate to.

One thing which is going to lead to many others is a drama that unfolded around TED censoring two talks from its website. I first learned about it when Charles Eisenstein mentioned it. Though the drama itself was a bit interesting it didn’t really move me because I believe that TED has for quite some time departed from original, edgy content towards quasi-intellectual mainstream populism. However this drama did bring to my attention two interesting people. The first of which is Rupert Sheldrake.

In his TED talk he exposes and challenges some very basic assumptions that are taken for granted in science (which dominates most of the modern world) as what they are really are beliefs … and beliefs that have lost some of their validity. I think his observations can be divided into three groups:

  1. Those which can and have been challenged using scientific method. For example: that laws of nature and fundamental constants are fixed.
  2. Those that challenge scientific method itself. For example: nature is purposeless (this resonated quite a bit with a lot of what Robert Pirsig talks about in Lila).
  3. Those that are built upon the rubbles of existing scientific dogma. For example: memory is inside the head.

The more intellectually entrenched you are the harder it will probably be for you to progress through his ideas.

His talk resonated with me in two ways. On an intellectual level it reinforcd my feeling that intellect itself has run amok – I’ve been collecting examples of this. On a more personal level I’ve been experiencing (I’m talking about a period of ~10 years) a shift in my relationship with memory. I used to have “good memory” (I had a very busy schedule and could manage it all in my mind) and now I can barely remember what I had for breakfast (today I can note something in three places and forget to even reference my own notes).

I have been having a hard time experiencing memory … and I’ve gotten around to questioning the idea of memory itself. I don’t really trust my “memory” nor do I trust it in others. When people tell me that I told them something or they told me something I don’t accept it mater of factly (unless it has been clearly documented) … nor do I argue it … I simply shrug it off as an assumption rather then a truth. Then, along comes Rupert Sheldrake with his suggestion that memory is not at all the construct that we thought it was … and I experienced great relief … a kind of relief I experienced being with Shahar.

The TED talk is a short version of a longer and better talk. So first the long version:

and then the TED talk that was censored:

… and stay tuned there is more of Rupert Sheldrake coming.

Posted in Enjoy, inside, Intake, Intellect Run Amok, outside | Tagged , | You are welcome to read 8 comments and to add yours

Skyscraper melts car

n

this is almost too funny/sad to be real:

“The skyscraper’s developers said they were seeking to rectify the problem which they blamed on the position of the sun at certain times of day.”

I can imagine the architects coming up with a design concept – the gentle curve symbolizing flow, a gentle meeting with the world … some hyper-conceptual bla bla bla bullshit … NO YOU IDIOTS it’s called a lens … and the sun is to blame … obviously!

 

Posted in Intake, Intellect Run Amok, outside | You are welcome to add your comment

So you want to invent your own money

n

A nice article on money. If I’ve recommended to you Sacred Economics and you haven’t picked it up yet … then you may want to read this article.

The subject of alternative currencies has come up in my life here in Romania and I am not yet convinced that it is justified or even called for. The only sustainable justification I have found for such an effort is as experimentation.

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

Kevin Spacey on Storytelling, Artistic Excellence and … Business

n

An excellent talk:

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