Friday, March 31, 2006

Civil Disobedience

Attu sees all:
"Speeding, what's your excuse?"

Thomas Pynchon, "Proverbs for Paranoids"

”...if they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers."

Liberal Confusion: WalMart - Bad, Organics - Good. What to do?

Wal-Mart's Organics Could Shake Up Retail - Yahoo! News:
"Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is throwing its weight behind organic products, a move that experts say could have the same lasting effect on environmental practices that Wal-Mart has had on prices by forcing suppliers and competitors to keep up."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What a Shock.

AlterNet: Pardoning the Pentagon:
"The Pentagon has once again investigated itself! And -- have a seat, get the smelling salts, hold all hats -- the Pentagon has once again concluded the Pentagon did absolutely nothing wrong and will continue to do so.

In this particularly fascinating case, the Pentagon investigated its own habit of paying people to make up lies about how well the war in Iraq is going, and then paying other people to put those lies in the Iraqi media, thus fooling the Iraqis into thinking everything in their country is tickety-boo. Well, if we can't fool them, whom can we fool?"

Loose Change - 9/11

"Loose Change is a terrifying, masterful, well paced 9/11 conspiracy documentary that puts Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 to absolute shame."
-R.L. Shaffer, DVDFuture

Remember 9/11

Long Live The 9/11 Conspiracy! / Anyone still care about the heap of disturbing, unsolved questions surrounding Our Great Tragedy?:
"Here it is: an absolutely exceptional inside scoop on the white-hot world of Sept. 11 conspiracy theories, writ large and smart by Mark Jacobson over at New York magazine, and it's mandatory reading for anyone and everyone who's ever entertained the nagging thought that something -- or rather, far more than one something -- is deeply wrong with the official line on what actually happened on Sept. 11.

See, it is very likely that you already know that Sept. 11 will go down in the conspiracy history books as a far more sinister affair than, say, the murky swirl of the Kennedy assassination. You probably already know that much of what exactly happened on Sept. 11 remains deeply unsettling and largely unsolved -- or to put another way, if you don't know all of this and if you fully and blithely accept the official Sept. 11 story, well, you haven't been paying close enough attention.

...Now, it's very true that some of the more specious conspiracy claims have been largely discredited and proved false. Some of the more radical "evidence" gathered by theorists is quite suspect and easily placed in the category of no-way-in-hell. This is valid. This is as it should be. You have to chew through a lot of skin and gristle to get to the real meat.

But oh the meat. The overwhelming quantity, the bloody, deadly stench of it. Fact is, it is quite impossible to watch the entire "Loose Change" documentary and not come away just a little shaken, a little awed by the sheer number of perversely interrelated facts and aberrant coincidences-that-aren't-coincidences, shaking your head at how it all seems to irrefutably prove there is far, far more to the Sept. 11 tragedy than just crazy Osama and his band of zealots, as you begin to sink into a sighing morass of rage and frustration and suspicion and mistrust. You almost can't help it.

Of course, there is another option. There is another way out. You may, as is the standard cultural default, simply ignore it all, scoff and roll your eyes and shrug it all off because it's just too bleak and distasteful to entertain the idea that the dark Sept. 11 thread winds all the way through the NSA and the FBI and the White House and the Project for the New American Century and Dick Cheney's mangled soul and God only knows where else."


'My grandfather used to meditate. (He is dead, and I don't want to say anything bad about him.) He used to meditate for one or two hours in a separate meditation room. One day a little baby, one and a half or two years old, started crying for some reason. That chap came down and started beating the child, and the child almost turned blue -- and this man, you see, meditating two hours every day. 'Look! What is this he has done?' That posed a sort of (I don't want to use the psychological term, but there is no escape from it) a traumatic experience -- 'There must be something funny about the whole business of meditation. Their lives are shallow, empty. They talk marvelously, express things in a very beautiful way, but what about their lives? There is this neurotic fear in their lives: they say something, but it doesn't operate in their lives. What is wrong with them?' -- not that I sat in judgement over those people.'

— (Krishnamurti, U.G.; Arms, Rodney, Ed. (Third Edition, 2001). Mystique of Enlightenment. Part One. Retrieved April 18, 2005 from [1])"

J. Krishnamurti

"I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organised; nor should any organisation be formed to lead or coerce people along any particular path. If you first understand that, then you will see how impossible it is to organise a belief. A belief is purely an individual matter, and you cannot and must not organise it. If you do, it becomes dead, crystallised; it becomes a creed, a sect, a religion, to be imposed on others."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The changing meaning of freedom

Freedom as a Ticket for Power by James Bovard:
"President Bush exploits the word “freedom” more than any other president. Unfortunately, Americans are sufficiently ignorant that almost any reference to freedom garners applause. “Freedom” has become simply another word to lull listeners to whatever politicians are pushing.

“The Restraint of Government Is the True Liberty and Freedom of the People” was a popular saying in the 1770s. But “freedom” is apparently no longer any constraint on government power.

Bush has cited freedom to justify his education policy (regardless of the quantum leap of federal meddling with local schools), his new Medicare drug-prescription benefit (regardless of how its red tape torments elderly Americans or how much more financial burden is placed on taxpayers), his free down payments for non-creditworthy homebuyers (the American Dream Downpayment Act), and the Millennium Challenge Account (lavishing U.S. tax dollars on obedient foreign governments).

U.S. military power is now routinely equated with liberty. Bush recently informed the American Legion that “we have the greatest force for freedom in the history of the world on our side, the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.” His assertion would have mortified the Founding Fathers, who saw a standing army as the greatest threat to liberty."

The Flu Apocalypse of 2051

Tried a pre-sleep autosuggestion before drifting off last night... to remember what I dream about. Hadn't had any vivid or memorable dreams in a while, so I figured it'd be worth a try. Lucid dreaming books typically suggest autosuggesting cues as you fall asleep, and though this wasn't an attempt to lucid dream, figured I'd give it a go for something simpler.

Worked fairly well... twelve hours after waking up, I can still recall last nights more vivid dream - wandering around the old neighborhood in Regalwood with a friend I knew from grade and high school - Bill Smith. Pedaling around on bicycles, looking a bit haggard having survived the "flu apocalypse of 2051"... odd, that. More details that, had I written earlier instead of getting distracted by the glorious internet, I'd remember...

Anyways, one dream apocalypse per day, that's my motto.

"You choose the meaning and purpose..."

You scored as Existentialism.

Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism: You choose the meaning and purpose of your life.

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.
--Jean-Paul Sartre

It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth.
--Blaise Pascal









Strong Egoism


Justice (Fairness)






Divine Command


What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with

Gotta try this...

How to discover your life purpose in about 20 minutes:
"So how to discover your purpose in life? While there are many ways to do this, some of them fairly involved, here is one of the simplest that anyone can do. The more open you are to this process, and the more you expect it to work, the faster it will work for you. But not being open to it or having doubts about it or thinking it’s an entirely idiotic and meaningless waste of time won’t prevent it from working as long as you stick with it — again, it will just take longer to converge.

Here’s what to do:

1. Take out a blank sheet of paper or open up a word processor where you can type (I prefer the latter because it’s faster).
2. Write at the top, “What is my true purpose in life?”
3. Write an answer (any answer) that pops into your head. It doesn’t have to be a complete sentence. A short phrase is fine.
4. Repeat step 3 until you write the answer that makes you cry. This is your purpose.

That’s it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a counselor or an engineer or a bodybuilder. To some people this exercise will make perfect sense. To others it will seem utterly stupid. Usually it takes 15-20 minutes to clear your head of all the clutter and the social conditioning about what you think your purpose in life is. The false answers will come from your mind and your memories. But when the true answer finally arrives, it will feel like it’s coming to you from a different source entirely."

Finite Time

Living Your Values, Part I by Steve Pavlina:
"If we all had infinite time, then values and priorities would be irrelevant. But at least here on earth, we appear to be mortal with limited life spans, and if we value our mortal lives, then it's logical to invest them as best we can.

You're free to decide what 'best' means to you. "

Personal Futurism

Cultivating Burning Desire by Steve Pavlina:
" can see your future just by looking at the six people with whom you spend the most time. If you don't like what you see, then change those people. There's no honor in remaining loyal to people who expect you to fail."


How to Go From Introvert to Extrovert:
"People around my age (34) tend to be very career- and family-oriented, but often in a somewhat mindless, socially conditioned way"

Enjoying the Journey

Enjoying the Journey:
"If you work really hard to achieve your goals but don’t enjoy the journey, you’re delaying the essence of life. Committing to your goals doesn’t mean you slave away at work you dislike, celebrating only the destination. A real abiding commitment means that you love what you do each day. You are at least as passionate about the path as you are about the results. If you love the path you’re on, your passion motivates you to keep taking the next step."


Cause-Effect vs. Intention-Manifestation:
"One of the key models for goal achievement is that of cause and effect. This model says that your goal is an effect to be achieved, and your task is to identify and then create the cause that will produce the desired effect, thereby achieving your goal.

Sounds simple enough, right?

However, the main problem with this model is that nearly everyone seriously misunderstands it. And that misunderstanding comes from not knowing what a “cause” really is.

You might assume that the cause of an effect would be a series of physical and mental actions leading up to that effect. Action-reaction. If your goal is to make dinner, then you might think the cause would be the series of preparation steps.

To an outside observer, that certainly appears to be the case. The scientific method would suggest that this is how things work, based on a purely objective observation.

However, within your own consciousness, you know that the series of action steps is not the real cause. The actions are themselves an effect, aren’t they?

What’s the real cause? The real cause is the decision you made to create that effect in the first place.

...If you want to achieve a goal you’ve set, the most crucial part is to DECIDE to manifest it. It doesn’t matter if you feel it’s outside your control to do so. It doesn’t matter if you can’t yet see how you’ll get from A to B. Most of those resources will come online AFTER you’ve made the decision, not before.

If you don’t understand this simple step, then you will waste a lot of time. Step 1 is to decide. Not to ruminate or to ponder or to ask around and see whether or not you can do it. If you want to start your own business, then decide to make it so. If you want to be married and have a family, then decide to attract a mate. If you want to change careers, then decide to do so.

It blows my mind that people think that something else has to come before the decision. People waste months trying to figure out, “Is this goal possible?” And this makes a lot of sense to do so if you’re at a certain level of consciousness. But all you’re really doing is creating delay, and you’ll simply manifest evidence to suggest that the goal is both possible and not possible. You think doubt in your head, you find doubt in the world.

...So often I see people sabotage their own goals because they do not understand the power of intention. Realize that EVERY thought is truly an intention. Every thought. So most people manifest a cluttered mish-mash of conflict in their lives because their thoughts are in conflict. They simultaneously set a goal and then unset it. “I want to start my own business.” “I wonder if it will work.” “I wonder if I’ll succeed.” “Maybe this won’t work.” “Maybe John is right, and this is a mistake.” “No, I’m pretty sure it will work just fine.”"

Caffeine Society

How to Give Up Coffee:
"I can’t ignore the energy boost and mental acceleration that comes from caffeine. But I do notice negative side effects when I drink coffee. Caffeine seems to make part of my brain overactive and another part underactive. I become really good at doing things, but very bad at prioritizing what needs to be done. If I drink a lot of coffee, I’ll often spend hours doing a bunch of low priority tasks, and I find that other unproductive habits are more likely to be done excessively. I become like a rat in a treadmill, doing more and more but not accomplishing what really matters. I find it very hard to focus on the big picture from a holistic whole-brain standpoint if I’ve consumed caffeine.

I also feel that caffeine blocks too much of my intuition and creativity. I miss subtle sensory input, and my thinking becomes too linear. Sometimes linear thinking is OK though. If I have a lot of menial tasks to complete, and I already have a clear to-do list to follow, drinking a cup of coffee can get me through them quickly. But if I have to sit down and do high-level work like developing my next quarterly plan, caffeine will make a mess of my thought process and dramatically reduce my ability to concentrate. My mind races too much on caffeine; it’s hard to stay focused on just one thing.

Additionally, caffeine definitely disrupts my sleep habits. Even if I have a cup of coffee in the morning and none for the rest of the day, I don’t sleep as well. I wake up in the middle of the night, or it’s hard for me to get out of bed in the morning. When I consume no caffeine, I sleep more restfully and wake up easily. I also don’t experience so much midday sleepiness."

The Strangest Secret

The Strangest Secret:
"The “secret” is simply six words: We become what we think about.

...A key concept to understand here is that shifting your thoughts is a conscious and deliberate activity. You don’t just say to yourself, “Ok, I’ll think about starting my own business. Sounds good. Next….” You have to be a lot more proactive than that. You have to set aside an hour or so to be totally alone, sit down with pen and paper, figure out the correct thoughts/seeds you need to be thinking, and then consciously ram those new thoughts into your head, over and over again until they become dominant over the old thoughts. And if you’re trying to make a big shift in your results, then this is something you’ll need to do every single day."

Monday, March 27, 2006

Take the Red Pill

Take the Red Pill:
"Set aside your skepticism for just a moment, and consider the possibility that you’re right now living inside a thought bubble created by your own beliefs and expectations about reality. Now if that were true, then if you believe in an objective external world separate from your thoughts, then that will become your reality. So if you don’t believe there’s any direct linkage between thought and reality, then you’re not going to experience that linkage in your life. You won’t be able to see it. It won’t exist for you. Your thought that it’s impossible will form a reality for you in which such things are impossible. You’ll interpret my words in such a way that they’ll be congruent with your reality — most likely you’ll just conclude I’m mistaken (although you may choose a less kind word for it).

And this is exactly how I reacted to anyone who suggested there was no objective reality when I was in a similar thought bubble.

...this is nothing new for people who have such beliefs; it’s just a normal part of their lives. If you’re in such a belief system right now, you’re probably just nodding along as if I’m describing a piece of lint. If you’re in a belief system where such things are impossible, then you’re obligated to conclude I’m nuts or that I’m misinterpreting reality because your thoughts prevent you from ever having such experiences yourself (either that or you’ve already stopped reading). But these experiences are just a belief away.

...Eventually I came to understand that whether you’re an atheist or a Christian or a Buddhist, you’re right. But instead of your beliefs being based on reality, they’re creating your reality. If you don’t believe in stuff like ESP, you’ll find none of it anywhere in your life. But if you do believe in it, incontrovertible evidence of it will be everywhere.

I can’t prove to you that you’re in a thought bubble right now. But you can prove it to yourself if you have enough curiosity to make the attempt. You have to decide to swallow the red pill. The only way to prove you’re in a thought bubble is to consciously change your thoughts in such a way that you contradict at least one of the foundational beliefs that form the bubble. This begins with opening your mind to the possibility that your thoughts are shaping your reality. You think your thoughts are actually based on some reality “out there,” but they’re really creating your reality. If you believe in an objective external reality, then that will be true for you. But are you aware that you don’t have to subscribe to this belief? And that doing so unnecessarily limits your experience of life?

...In my current thought bubble, I experience a reality where my thoughts combine with those of others to create a shared reality, yet we each experience that reality through a different lens. Every time I shift my beliefs consciously, I can see my reality changing faster and faster to reflect the new beliefs. So I think my increasing comfort with this process allows the changes to manifest faster. One of my current thoughts is that we cannot adopt beliefs that would contradict the realities of others. So if everyone thinks it’s impossible for me to fly, then I can’t do it because it would conflict with their reality. But whenever there’s the possibility for a personal experience which people can easily explain within the terms of their own thought bubbles, there’s no conflict. That means personal experiences like ESP and astral stuff can be had abundantly without any contradiction — if there’s no physical proof, then other people with different thought bubbles can just dismiss them. It’s the same way that non-Christians can easily dismiss Jesus’ rising from the dead; for Christians it’s reality, but for non-Christians it’s just a story. Of course, what I really wonder is whether my beliefs about these limitations on our shared reality are themselves part of a thought bubble which can be escaped by conscious choice, and if I go that way, then what? I’m not quite ready to try that just yet, since I’m still getting a lot of mileage experimenting within these limitations, but someday…."

What is Your World View?

You scored as Postmodernist. Postmodernism is the belief in complete open interpretation. You see the universe as a collection of information with varying ways of putting it together. There is no absolute truth for you; even the most hardened facts are open to interpretation. Meaning relies on context and even the language you use to describe things should be subject to analysis.



Cultural Creative














What is Your World View? (updated)
created with

Decline the gift...

Dealing with Difficult People:
"On to dealing with difficult or irrational people…

There was a story about the Buddha where a verbally abusive man came to see him and starting hurling insults. But the Buddha just sat there calmly. Finally the man asked the Buddha why he failed to respond to the insults and abuse. The Buddha replied, “If someone offers you a gift, and you decline to accept it, to whom does the gift belong?” If someone is irrational, abusive, etc., you can mentally decline to accept “the gift.” Let that person keep their anger and insanity, and don’t let it affect you."

The fuckedupedness of compartmentalization

Living Congruently:
"Do you tend to compartmentalize all the different areas of your life? Career goes there, relationship goes here, spirituality fits there, and health … well, that’s neither here nor there.

Or maybe your compartmentalizing is temporal instead of spatial in your thinking. During the workday you do what you must, this evening you’ll do what you love and have some fun, and on Sunday you’ll think about what it means.

Or perhaps you experience a feeling of compartmentalizing thought vs. action: “I’m spending X% of my time thinking and Y% of my time acting.”

When you view your life as a series of different compartments, each with different rules, then life gets pretty complicated. Trying to achieve balance is very difficult because you constantly feel the need to task switch. My relationship needs attention. Oh no, I’ve been neglecting my health. I need to work harder. I’ve got to stop thinking so much and take more action.

...But I think it’s a broken paradigm. Let’s consider a different way of thinking….

...What if your life had only one bin, one ball to juggle, one plate to spin. Just one. No need to deal with 10 different areas of your life and keep them all balanced. Just one.

How is this possible? It’s possible if all of those different areas of your life are congruent, if they all follow the same rules. Then thought and action are one, both pointing in the same direction. They’re on the same path. Your work is congruent with your most deeply held spiritual beliefs — you don’t have to take your spirituality offline when you go to work. Improving your health improves your relationship. Increasing your income increases your service.

This means moving from a paradigm of the different parts of your life being in conflict to a new paradigm where they all cooperate. Instead of seeing each part of your life as independent, you begin to see them as interdependent. And isn’t this a more accurate model anyway? Can you truly isolate each part of your life as something separate? Can you abuse your health and think it won’t affect your career or your relationships? Do you think your feelings about your relationship won’t affect your financial situation? Can you ignore your spiritual beliefs when making business decisions and expect no negative consequences?

It seems obvious that all the different parts of your life are deeply interconnected. But a common way to treat problems is to try to isolate them. If there’s a problem with your health, you need to diet and exercise. If there’s a problem in your career, it’s time to work harder. But this isolation protocol doesn’t work well because there’s too much overlap between all the different parts of your life, no matter how much you try to isolate the problem areas and go to work on them."

How to Win an Argument

How to Win an Argument:
"In a typical argument, each person tries to prove themselves right and the other person wrong. Of course, we all know what happens in the end — each person only ends up more entrenched in their views, regardless of who seems to deliver the most dominant argument.

An argument cannot be won with resistance. You will only strengthen the other person’s resolve. At best you will both leave in a state of stubbornness, but little communication will have actually occurred.

The way to “win” an argument is to aim for a goal other than being right. The other person will be prepared to defend against someone who is trying to prove themselves right. Trying to prove yourself right and the other person wrong is like making a frontal assault on an entrenched enemy position. You’ll need overwhelming force to win, and your victory will come at great cost, if you can even pull it off. Plus you’ll leave your relationship wounded in the end.

So instead of trying to be right, I’ve found that the best way to win an argument is to go for an entirely different goal. This has worked for me every time I’ve applied it, and I’ve used it dozens of times.

If you aren’t trying to win the argument, then what is your goal? I suggest you set the goal of attempting to raise the other person’s awareness while maintaining your own sense of inner peace. By this I mean that you focus on helping the other person become more aware of the full extent of their behavior and how it affects you and others, but without taking ownership of anything the other person says."

The Meaning of Life: Conscious Evolution

The Meaning of Life: Conscious Evolution:
"Investing in your own growth is the best investment you can make. Don’t think for a minute that it’s a selfish pursuit. Quite the contrary — it is in fact the best thing you can do to help others. If you feel you are not contributing much with your life right now, don’t beat yourself up about it or deny what you could become if you were only strong enough. Instead, turn inward and work on yourself until you become the kind of person on the inside who automatically expresses good as a manifestation of who you are.

Conquer your fear, and the rest is easy."

Social Resistance

The Meaning of Life: Transitioning:
"...Aside from the things in your environment, you also have to deal with the people. Many readers have told me that social resistance is a big problem for them. They make a plan to change their lives, and then their friends or family talk them out of it.

You need to trust your own judgment more than the opinions of others. Even if you turn out to be wrong, you’ll learn more about yourself in the process and will be able to make better decisions in the future.

Many people fear change, and your attempt to change your life for the better is perceived as a threat. Ask yourself which of your friends will be able to handle the new you once you’ve completed the transition? Will you still be able to be friends after the change? Close, genuine friendships can handle such a transition. But many casual friendships and associations cannot.

The same goes for other relationships. Many relationships do not survive such a change. But what kind of relationship did you have anyway if making a change to better your life results in a breakup? It just means the relationship was based on something impermanent. You’re better off making the change and seeing if your relationship is strong enough to handle it than using the relationship as an excuse for staying put. A good relationship should help you grow, not hold you back, and there’s nothing wrong with temporary relationships. A breakup is not the end of the world. People do it every day and live to talk about it.

...When you make a big change in your life, you can expect social resistance regardless of the nature of the change. Social resistance is ubiquitous– don’t take it as a sign that you’re doing anything wrong. Use your own intelligence to figure out if you’re on the right path. Now matter how right your decision is, there will be people to tell you you’re wrong and that you’re making a big mistake. Just allow those people to be upset, and be on your merry way. Don’t take it personally. Most of all, don’t argue with them — you’re just wasting your breath. Focus on taking action, and let them adjust if they can."

The Meaning of Life: How Shall We Live?

The Meaning of Life: How Shall We Live?:
" is important to make a global choice about how to live our lives, since this decision sets the context for everything else we do. If you don’t choose your context, you get the default/average context, which means you’re essentially letting others dictate your context. To make a gross generalization, in the USA this is a largely commercial/materialist context. It says to get a job, have a family, save some money, and retire. Be a good citizen and don’t get into too much trouble. But don’t really matter either. Be a good cog. Other cultures have their own default contexts. Most people simply subscribe to the default context of their culture with minor individual variations.

Sticking to your culture’s default context is among the worst of your options...

Ultimately if you want to get closer to the “best possible life” for you, you have to pick your own context. You can’t merely inherit the default context of your society and live up to what others expect of you. If you try to conform, you’re going to waste your life compared to what you might have done with it if you chose a better context."

Angel was such a great show.

All That Matters - the epiphany fanlisting:
"Kate: I feel like such an idiot.

Angel: A lot of that going around.

Kate: I just couldn't... my whole life has been about being a cop. If I'm not part of the force it's like nothing I do means anything.

Angel: It doesn't.

Kate: Doesn't what?

Angel: Mean anything. In the greater scheme or the big picture, nothing we do matters. There's no grand plan, no big win.

Kate: You seem kind of chipper about that.

Angel: Well, I guess I kinda - worked it out. If there is no great glorious end to all this, if - nothing we do matters, - then all that matters is what we do. 'cause that's all there is. What we do, now, today. - I fought for so long. For redemption, for a reward - finally just to beat the other guy, but... I never got it.

Kate: And now you do?

Angel: Not all of it. All I wanna do is help. I wanna help because - I don't think people should suffer, as they do. Because, if there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness - is the greatest thing in the world.

Kate: Yikes. It sounds like you had an epiphany.

Angel: I keep saying that. But nobody's listening.

Kate: Well, I'm pretty much convinced, since I'm alive to be convinced.

Angel: You know you don't have to be a cop to be...

Kate: I'm okay. - Anyway, I am not headed towards another pillathon. - I'm very grateful. - I never thought you'd come for me, but... I got cut a huge break and I believe... - I don't know what I believe, but I - have - faith. - I think maybe we're not alone in this.

Angel: Why?

Kate: Because I never invited you in."


The Meaning of Life: Intro:
"I have not experienced any organized belief system that is not disempowering in some way. The problem is that they all have a fixed perspective. If you look at reality from any single perspective, you are only perceiving the projection of reality onto your belief system, not reality itself. The more rigid your perspective, the more detail you miss (detail which doesn’t fall upon your projection but does fall upon others), and the less of your true potential you’re able to tap."

Magick [with the pretentious "k"]

How to Ask Great Questions, Part 1 KEVIN HOGAN:
"...magick is in the religion category. It's neither good nor bad. It's about beliefs and rituals. People believe that combined with intention, performing a ritual or incantation will get them a result. Period. As you picture whatever you have in mind, your grandmother using the rosary is doing the same thing.

From the outside, rituals are pretty similar from religion to religion. From the inside there are nuances that people literally kill for.

Religion doesn't want to verify, test, or confirm. It's religion. It's about beliefs and being right.

And persuasion and marketing is not about religion, although persuasion sure has a big role in filling churches, covens, synagogues, mosques and temples...

People put up Christmas trees, drink bread and wine, light candles, walk to Mecca, go to church and pray. All of those things are rituals. For the most part they add 'structure' to our life. And there is meaning in those things for the people who have beliefs about them. Of course rituals are belief imbued. They have no value if you don't explain the meaning first.... You don't see a lot of Muslims with Menorahs lit during Hanukkah and you don't see a lot Scientologists on the walk to Mecca. You don't see a lot of Christians reaching OT levels and you ...well you get the idea.

There's no meaning for what another group does, because there is no belief or even thought of a belief...but for the person WITH the belief, the rituals are MEANINGFUL... And I argue that a meaningful life is generally better than one without meaning.

So back to magick."

Sunday, March 26, 2006


PostSecret: "See a Secret...Share a Secret"

Calvin or Hobbes? [Surprisingly, kind of accurate, I think]

A Bit Of Both

You are 50% Calvin and 50% Hobbes
Calvin & Hobbes, like a scruffy yin and yang, are in perfect balance within you. Like Calvin, you're weird, a bit insecure, and can be a trouble-maker. But like Hobbes, you're down to earth and sensitive. It's a risk to say it here, after just a ten question test, but I'll bet you're smarter than most. Both Calvin and Hobbes are crafty, clever characters, and any one made from equal parts of each is a force to be reckoned with.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 48% on calvin
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You scored higher than 34% on hobbes
Link: The Calvin Or Hobbes Test written by gwendolynbooks on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

True 'dat.

The Dilbert Blog: My Opinions Part II:
"Q. Why do most people end up living mediocre, 'regular' lives?

A. It’s easier.

The Dilbert Blog: My Opinions Part II [Or, Scott Adams talk Wise]

The Dilbert Blog: My Opinions Part II:
"Q. What do you see as the greatest problem facing the world today?

A. Religious nuts (assuming global warming gets fixed)...

Q. What is your opinion on the nature, constancy, and relevancy of time?

A. Ask me again yesterday...

Q. What's your opinion on abortion?
A. It’s bad for the fetus. It’s convenient for the adult who wants one. Arguing about when “life begins” is an attempt to offload a tough question on the dictionary or the courts or a superstition. I support the majority opinion in favor of keeping abortion legal. I value the quality of life for adults higher than the unrealized life of a fetus. And I trust the majority (the mob) to figure out the most realistic place to draw that line.

Q. What about men's rights on abortion.
A. The woman’s rights have to be a higher priority...

Q. Can you give an easy solution for all the Middle East problems, including but not limited to ethnic issues, religious issues, corruption issues, oil issues, nuclear issues, and last but not least, the poor history of this region in the soccer world cup?

A. There is no solution. But I often wonder what would happen if we surrendered, apologized for interfering in the region, and withdrew all financial and military support for everyone including Israel. I think Israel would survive just fine, countries would still sell us plenty of oil, and our enemies would get busy killing each other. We learned from the Cold War that enemies really do need a reason to want to kill you. It’s not for entertainment"

Frightening Truth

The Dilbert Blog: My Opinions:
"I think it’s entirely appropriate to have no opinion when you don’t have enough information on the topic. As far as I can tell, few people agree with that position. And that's frightening."

Marvel and DC become SuperVillians [TM, CC, Patent Pending]

Set our Super Heroes(trademark symbol) free - Los Angeles Times:
"The lesson is in the giant sign looming over the center's entrance archway: 'Marvel ® Super Heroes(TM) Science Exhibition.' The 'TM' stands for trademark, signifying that Marvel is claiming exclusive rights to use the term 'super hero' as a marketing term for, well, superheroes. The company and its largest competitor, DC Comics, jointly obtained the trademark from the federal Patent and Trademark Office in 1981.

The government's action means that any company wishing to market a comic book, graphic novel or related item with any variation of 'super hero' in the name or title must get permission from Marvel and DC. Dan Taylor, the Costa Mesa-based creator of the 'Super Hero Happy Hour' comic, learned about this absurdity two years ago when he was contacted by lawyers for Marvel and DC, prompting him to rename his series to the more pedestrian 'Hero Happy Hour.'

The notion of superheroes goes back at least to 1938, when Superman made his debut in Action Comics. The term's first commercial use, the trademark holders say, was in 1966. Still, it's hard to think of 'super hero' as anything more than a description of the entire category of characters, not a particular brand. As a familiar DC series so aptly puts it, there is an entire legion of superheroes, and their ranks extend far beyond the rosters created by those two companies.

...In trademark law, the more unusual a term, the more it qualifies for protection. We would have no quarrel with Marvel and DC had they called their superheroes "actosapiens," then trademarked that. But purely generic terms aren't entitled to protection, at least in theory. The reason is simple: Trademarks restrict speech, and to put widely used terms under private control is an assault on our language.

...Videogame developer Sega recently sought a trademark for its "Gunstar Super Heroes" software; lawyers for DC and Marvel responded by asserting their trademark, starting a new round of negotiations over the term. With any luck, the two sides will face off in Washington and "super hero" will be liberated from DC and Marvel's clutches. After all, the great power of a trademark comes with great responsibility."