Monday, October 31, 2011

A guru's Guru

To a certain degree, I’ve been filtering in various articles, TV and radio episodes covering the life and legacy of Steve Jobs. And by far, this article - “What Kind of Buddhist was Steve Jobs, Really?” -  has been the most interesting.

 How do you define a person? I agree that in life and death, look at what a person does, what they create and produce, first and foremost, rather than just what they say. But what lies behind that is a person’s belief system, and it is amazing how in most of the coverage of Steve Jobs, the fact that he was a devout Buddhist rarely takes center stage. It’s telling, but not surprising, that the message is filtered through Western media and comes out significantly watered down. Even Job’s official biographer demonstrates these biases, as this article points out. It’s too bad, because I want to know more about this – what does a man who’s critical of EVERYTHING and scrutinizes every last detail – what is it about Buddhism that passed the test?

“Why would a former phone phreak who perseverated over the design of motherboards be interested in doing that? Using the mind to watch the mind, and ultimately to change how the mind works, is known in cognitive psychology as metacognition. Beneath the poetic cultural trappings of Buddhism, what intensive meditation offers to long-term practitioners is a kind of metacognitive hack of the human operating system (a metaphor that probably crossed Jobs’ mind at some point.) Sitting zazen offered Jobs a practical technique for upgrading the motherboard in his head.”

 I love that. It’s a great metaphor, and a bridge for the 21st century person to contextualize ancient wisdom and apply it to their own life. 

For me personally, I find when I read about great people, it’s always in the back of my head to see how we stack up. How are we alike, how are we different, and most importantly, how can I learn from this person and be better? I’m going to buy the two books referenced in this article, and start there.

Simplicity. Love. Focus. And no shortcuts! I’m taking those mantras as well.

(update! I made this gif to illustrate my point.)

(update again! wth? why don't most photo hosts want to play nice with gifs? I thought there is a gif renaissance. {lol - andy always yells at me when I say stuff like that})

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rule of Male Succession to British Monarchy Is Abolished

"The 16 countries that recognize the British monarch as head of state struck a historic blow for women's rights on Friday, abolishing male precedence in the order of succession to the throne."

In honor, Iron & Wine's song - "Woman King"

World Wild West

Here are two interesting opinions on some of the true perils of social networks like Facebook. It’s not just the commonly toted problem that your feed might get bombarded with crazy over-sharers from people you haven't seen in a decade. It's pulling us all into the web, and we need to be mindful of what this new space is, and what are the hidden or unforeseen dangers and disadvantages.

It's not just that we volunteer too much information, but that someone gets to profit off of that. Not that what you say lives on forever, and employers can find it. But that you're being funneled into only being allowed to be one person, when that's not ever true.

We need to fight for the Wild West internet. We need Anonymous but we also need the EFF. We can be both cowboys and indians, we just need to make sure that nobody takes our guns away. Nobody takes that freedom and power away. And we all have to be vigilant, because I don't think it's necessarily a malevolent, profit hungry corporation that will do it. I think that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and sometimes (often times) the people in charge just don't get it. And don't or won't listen to those who do.

And in my opinion, these guys do:

You Are Not Facebook's Customer by Douglas Rushkoff.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Isn't it Weird

How Gaddafi was in love with Condoleeza Rice? Ha. It's the funniest thing to me. He had someone write her a love song even - "Black Rose in the White House." Just goes to show, no matter how important or powerful a person gets, we're all still just kids running around the playground.

Made this image in homage.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Analyze This.

Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world

"AS PROTESTS against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters' worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.

The study's assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable.

The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York's Occupy Wall Street movement and protesters elsewhere (see photo). But the study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. It combines the mathematics long used to model natural systems with comprehensive corporate data to map ownership among the world's transnational corporations (TNCs).

"Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it's conspiracy theories or free-market," says James Glattfelder. "Our analysis is reality-based."

Previous studies have found that a few TNCs own large chunks of the world's economy, but they included only a limited number of companies and omitted indirect ownerships, so could not say how this affected the global economy - whether it made it more or less stable, for instance.

The Zurich team can. From Orbis 2007, a database listing 37 million companies and investors worldwide, they pulled out all 43,060 TNCs and the share ownerships linking them. Then they constructed a model of which companies controlled others through shareholding networks, coupled with each company's operating revenues, to map the structure of economic power."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

PSA: Huffington Post is Completely Worthless

I really hate Huffington Post. They suck so badly.

Case in point: Naomi Wolf, arrested outside of their stupid "Game Changer" event (where they have the balls to put her in a room with Kim Kardashian. Unreal.)

Looking for articles on the arrest, and reading quite a few, from the NY Post to the Guardian, they all explained to some degree of why she was arrested: she was defending the protesters rights, calling bullshit on the police who said the event holders (huffpost) had a permit to control the sidewalks (which they didn't and I guess cannot legally). 

Does HuffPost explain this? NO. They have 4 weak paragraphs on it. And not on the main page, but under the business section.

UGH! I'm boycotting HuffPost indefinitely. Piece of trash. I'm really outraged and indignant that they have the audacity to censor and bury this story.,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1165&bih=751&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ncl=dHv8lxFjzU8IwCMiuuwLGDKL0B1TM&ei=kjKfTrebLOWIsAKbjJWNCg&sa=X&oi=news_result&ct=more-results&resnum=1&ved=0CC0QqgIwAA