Friday, December 08, 2006

December 8th, A Day of Forgiveness
Friday, December 8th, 2006 Lennon, Ono asks suffering souls to forgive
Sat Nov 25, 9:27 PM ET
Yoko Ono, widow of slain Beatle John Lennon, issued a plea for forgiveness to the world’s suffering people in a full page notice in Sunday’s New York Times entitled “Forgive us.”
Noting that the December 8 anniversary of her husband’s murder at the hands of an assassin was approaching, Ono thanked the people from whom she hears each year, but said she wanted to send a message this year as well.
Directing her words to “people who have lost loved ones without cause,” to “the soldiers of all countries and of all centuries,” to civilians who were injured or killed and to “people who have been abused or tortured,” Ono wrote “Know that your loss is our loss … Know that the burden is ours,” and asked “Forgive us.”
She also stated that she didn’t know if she could yet forgive Lennon’s killer, but added “healing is what is urgently needed now in the world. Let’s heal the wounds together.”
Ono concluded by asking that December 8 become “the day to ask for forgiveness from those who suffered the insufferable,” and for “healing ourselves” and thus the world.
She signed the note, which appeared on the back page of the paper’s “Week in Review” section, “With deepest love, Yoko Ono Lennon, New York City 2006,” and added a sketch of Lennon and herself with son Sean holding a balloon.
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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

Links and things
from dr1dr: — current issue is browseable without registering… rubber band drawings
Psychology and Economics...

Psychology has accepted for half a century that any science of human behavior must recognize how people feel, and not just what they do. Economics seems to ignore the latter (except to treat it as random and unpredictable, even irrational).
One approach to re-incorporate how people feel into economics is taken by Hirschman in his book “Exit, Voice, and Loyalty” (thanks, Moe !).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Revealed: U.S. Soldier Killed Herself After Objecting to Interrogation Techniques The true stories of how American troops, killed in Iraq, actually died keep spilling out this week. Now we learn, thanks to a reporter’s FOIA request, that one of the first women to die in Iraq shot and killed herself after objecting to harsh “interrogation techniques.” By Greg Mitchell

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The War on Terror
Every time I hear about how the war of terror must be won by attacking the terrorist enemy overseas, so that “we” will remain safe “at home”, I wonder to myself, who will stand up and say the obvious. The root causes of terrorism include poverty, illiteracy, hopelessness, violence, bigotry, hatred, lack of mutual respect, and lack of a stable future for one’s own life and family. At least as much time, effort, and funding needs to be made to counter these causes of terrorism, than what is committed and being spent on bombing and killing people around the world hoping to destroy Al Qaida. Yet bombing and killing the enemy as described by the current administration, is causing soldiers from these very same neighborhoods ”at home” to be shot at, and bombed, and killed every day. The same plan in Iraq that is supposed to keep us safe, are putting bullets and shrapnel in the bodies of our men and women sent “over there”. Let us work to end poverty, illiteracy, hopelessness, violence, bigotry, and hatred. Let us rebuild mutual respect, and create the foundation of a stable future for each person’s own life and family. It is shortsighted to just go killing people, no matter how evil they may be, without building the rest of the tools and methods to eliminate terrorism. People in not only war-torn countries, but in places all over the world, have allegiances to their tribe, their local warlord, their imam or other local religious leader, but they still retain a fundamental loyalty and obligation to their family. If an educated mother prohibits her son to go off and kill themselves or others, how many suicide bombers will be redirected to a more constructive end ?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Nothing is more telling than a story. (or is it especially the truth, or a true story?)

“His voice had the unmistakable lightness of someone telling something extremely important. A story so cherished it had to be dressed in casualness to disguise its significance in case the listener turned out to be unsympathetic.”

page 220, “The Thirteenth Tale” Diane Setterfield
ISBN-13: 978-0-7432-9802-5ISBN-10: 0-7432-9802-5

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Planning for Failure.
There are two distinct philosophies employed by technologists of all types: one believes that it is possible to create a highly reliable, consistent, working system. The other understands that no matter how hard you try, something will break sooner and later, so yes, do try to create the highly reliable, working system, but equally important is the planning for what to do when it fails. Sure your nonvolatile storage is reliable, but do you have a backup in case it fails (actually not if, but when it fails)? A failure could come as a mechanical event, loss through theft or accident (oops), intentional or accidental — but failure and loss nonetheless. Unless you are really really close to perfect, planning for failure is the prudent path often ignored.
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.

“skymall” inspirational poster. ok it is commercialized schlock, but even that has a point, as in “even a blind hog will find an acorn now and then”… Growth — how important is that in the overall idea of “performance evaluation” such as what an employer would require, in the context of determining what reward will be allocated for your contribution ? ha ha.
Where are these topics going ?

Although this series of topics seem to be all over the place, hopefully the overall flavor is to seek insight and understanding of people’s behavior, and reveal our unspoken assumptions and prejudices. Anything that helps us understand or explain some part of our complex universe, is a “win” — there are already too many unexplained parts of our world.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 is one of many no-cost data wipers - google “disk file wipe”
Presentism (pre-zen’-tizm)
The tendency for current experience to influence one’s views of the past and the future.
Note: before you sell a car, its value to you (as owner) and potential “loser” of possession of that car, is high (as is often the case, loss is weighed more than gain) — then after you sell it, “why, I would never pay $__ for THAT car !” When the roles are changed, the outlook and evaluation (assessment of value/ worth) changes entirely.
seeing, hearing, feeling

it seems we have little difficulty distinguishing between an actual seeing and hearing event, and an imaginary one — “think about a penguin” vs “look at that penguin (real)”, or listening to a song, vs recalling the song (”hearing in the mind”). Little or no trouble separating the actual event from the memory of it.
However, when it comes to emotions — feeling seems to be much more difficult to separate the actual emotion from a recollection of that emotion, an imagined situation evoking that emotion, and the anticipation of what that emotion would be like in a future event or circumstance. Emotions are more immediate and harder to distinguish what is real (and current, right now) vs a memory or anticipated, or even what one might feel in an entirely imaginary / hypthetical situation… The adrenaline pumps, the heart rate goes up, anger, fear, love, whatever, all come into play, and affect the present like no other.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

blind spots anticipating the future

“stumbling” author describes a common behavior of people, who agree to do something in the future because they agree to the “why” (personal or family obligation), before they fully visualize the details of “what” they agree to do. Filling out a description of both sides of a decision may tend to reduce the “surprise!” of an unpleasant accompanying outcome.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Laughter Club
To beat someone over the head with a club made of laughter, now that is a cure for almost anything that ails you. We will begin to hold meetings of the Laughter Club at the Starbucks off Jake Horn Square (which is not square, really). There are no prerequisites or membership fees at this time, or hopefully ever. Show up in the morning and laugh with us.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

“It is impossible to pray for the dead if you do not know their names.”

“The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million” Daniel Mendelsohn
If you want to make the world a better place through your actions, you must know the person or people with whom you are making a change. Relationships that matter, are individual and personal. (even: “know your enemy” — or you may never understand how to protect yourself from them)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Stumbling on Happiness
by Dan Gilbert (Knopf 2006)
frontal lobes = anticipation and planning for the future
subjectivity. each person’s subjective experience is uniquely their own.
happiness (emotional, moral, and judgemental)
Zappa: writing about music is like dancing about architecture …
happiness — an experience, not the events leading to it — differentiate between cause and event
remembering differences is very difficult: candid camera — switching people in the middle of a conversation can generally be undetected …
card tricks - remembering color swatchs - memory of description of event, rather than the specific details of events

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

is tragedy embedded in Greek culture ?
okay we understand tragedy was formalized in plays from Aeschylus and others, as .. individuals whose behavior suggested they thought they were better than their unwashed human peers (more like the gods) … and their ?pride? would inevitably bring on their own downfall.
but is tragedy accepted any better, by one people rather than another ? do some populations become inured ?

a magazine: “Poets & Writers” Sept/Oct 2006