Archive for July, 2006

No regrets

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006

This is from an excellent blog named Life 2.0:

I think there are two principles that govern the course of our lives.

The first principle, and for most of us the default one, is one where we continuously   recreate our past. We recreate the past in the present by recalling it…. and the consequence of this is that our future becomes a reflection of our past.  When we harbour regrets we are simply reinforcing those aspects of our lives that we don’t like.

Everything that gets created gets created in the present moment…. the past and the future are just mental constructs – figments of our memory and imagination. But when we allow our present to be clouded by past memories this is the juice that is fueling our life.  When we allow ourselves to become hostage to our past thought patterns we might think we are OK and having fun, but we are about as free as lab. rats spinning in their wheels.

The second principle is  transcendence  – we can transcend the consequences we have put into motion. Cause and effect are suspended. Past actions do not become manifested in future outcomes. The past, no matter what it has been, is no longer a dynamic that must play itself out. Not only do we recognize the past is over, it is no longer at issue. We are able to re-create our lives anew.


India begins blocking some web sites

Monday, July 17th, 2006

First China and now India. Here in the U.S., we talk about fundamental rights to Life, Liberty and Happiness. I’ve thought for a long time that there should also be a fundamental right to truth in the form of accurate information. People use information to control and disadvantage others and to benefit themselves all the time. Essentially, when governments try to control information like this, they are attempting to exert their power over an information monopoly and to control the perceptions of their people – and that should never be the function or purpose of government.

Bloggers in India are getting together to protest against the sudden blocking of popular Google-owned blog-hosting site Blogger by some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Spectranet, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), Reliance Powersurfer, Airtel Broadband and Sify.

On July 15, Mridula Dwivedi, a teacher of management studies in Gurgaon first discovered that visiting any blogspot blog — such as, say Mumbai Help — returned the message, ‘Site Blocked!’ Her ISP, Spectranet, confirmed they had blocked some sites based on government directives.

J Grewal, Spectranet’s Delhi representative at the National Internet exchange of India, told this reporter that, on July 15, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had sent ISPs a list of sites to be blocked. R H Sharma, senior engineer with MTNL, said the list ran into some 22 pages.

More… :Arrow:

US ‘could be going bankrupt’

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

One of the elements in the ‘Perfect Storm’ of problems converging on our future is the ever growing U.S. budget deficit.

The problem is that the United State’s debt load is getting too large. Yes, we’re still paying our bills as regular as clockwork and yes we are still politically stable and have a strong economy. But that’s like saying, “Yes, Bob’s paying his bills every month and he’s got a good steady job and a stable personality, but….” The fact is Bob can’t just keep taking on more and more loans. The fact is that at some point, folks will stop loaning Bob more money because it’s obvious that sooner of later he’ll be in over his head. If Bob pushes the situation too far, he’ll begin to get a bad credit rating even though he’s paying everything on time. And once his credit rating’s suspect, folks will be a lot less inclined to give him new loans and those who already have loans out to him will be feeling nervous and wondering how they can recover them.

This scenario has been unrolling for a long time and many of us are just waiting for the other shoe to drop and hoping it won’t.


The United States is heading for bankruptcy, according to an extraordinary paper published by one of the key members of the country’s central bank.

A ballooning budget deficit and a pensions and welfare timebomb could send the economic superpower into insolvency, according to research by Professor Laurence Kotlikoff for the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis, a leading constituent of the US Federal Reserve.


Neuroscientists Probe Psychedelic Psilocybin

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

Scientists haven’t been able to study the amazing abilities of these drugs since the 60’s due to the wide-spread fear factor that their consciousness expanding abilities produced. Society was willing to risk the serious dangers of mind-dulling and addiction associated with alcohol and tabacco but it wasn’t willing to risk the dangers of looking openly into their own psyches.

From Science News – July 12, 2006

In the 1950s scientists studied the effects of so-called psychedelics: psilocybin from mushrooms, mescaline from cacti and the synthetic lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. British psychiatrist Humphry Osmond coined the name for this class of drugs based on their mind-altering properties, such as changes in the sense of self. The drugs showed some initial promise in treating chronic pain and depression in terminally ill patients but a wave of recreational abuse in the late 1960s led to outlawing and a halt in research. Now a new, rigorous, double-blind study has reopened the doors of scientific investigation, reporting spiritual effects and long-term impacts from the use of psilocybin.


A scary quote

Friday, July 14th, 2006

‘We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force. Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: “Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.” I consider it all hopeless at this point. We shall have to try to prevent things from coming to that, if at all possible. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.’

Martin van Creveld – professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem

Seen on the Cryptogon

Personal Philosophy

Friday, July 14th, 2006

Personal philosophy

I consider myself a spiritualist but my views have been simplifying over the years. I believe (not know) that there is a reason and purpose to existence but having said that, I doubt that entities such as we can understand it anymore than a dog can work out what a pile of encyclopedias are for. Reading scriptures and wondering which religion has a better handle on understanding spiritual matters has become passé for me. The nearest thing I can see to purpose is that matter spontaneously organizes itself via complexity into ever more intricate assemblages as it turns energy into organization. Eventually, these complex forms reach sentience and know that they exist and can see some of how they came to be though not for what purpose (which is where we are now as a species – somewhere mid-way along a continuum that we can only guess where it might go).

I consider this ability of matter to work itself into ever more complex forms in areas of excess energy (and thus against the general flow of entropy) to be part of what Spirit is up to as it raises matter to self awareness. So, in my personal life, anything I do that furthers this trend and preserves complexity (life) on earth from being torn down, I consider this to be ‘aligning myself with Spirit’ and thus right activity, right livelihood in the Buddhist sense.

I have another belief (and again, not a knowing) and that that this existence is configured in such a way that whatsoever we believe about it, that is how it will appear to work for us, subjectively. Thus the atheist sees a world where everything just is, because he believes it is so. And another man, if his beliefs so incline him, will see the hand of God behind every leave that falls.

Personally, I believe my life will be best lived if I align my purpose with my best understanding of what Spirit’s purpose is (I.e. evolution, growing complexity, increasing intelligence and awareness). And, to me, subjectively, my life does seem blessed and I believe this feeling of being blessed runs far deeper than the logic of self-fulfilling prophecies can explain.

So, as time passes, my belief that I can explain things rationally fades and comes down to a simple a-priori belief that existence has purpose and meaning and that life and complexity have something to do with it. On the other hand, my subjective feeling of being ‘connected’ to this purpose grows even as my ability to explain or understand it fades.

Everyday, when I roll out of bed and stand up, I stand in the darkness for a few moments and thank The Blessed One (my name for Spirit), for this body, this health, this intelligence, this wife, this life and these opportunities to experience and grow and participate. And each evening when we meditate, I remind myself what I think is deeply and perennially important as opposed to all of the trivia that fills us and distracts us from moment to moment, day to day.

I can’t explain it or defend it, but for me it gets stronger year by year and it doesn’t matter if is just my own little subjective world. I don’t believe in the function of priests – I think each of us is free to work out what their life is by what we conscious choose to believe about Spirit, life, purpose and meaning. And, if we are judged, then it can only be by how near or far from our beliefs our actions lie.

US detainees to get Geneva rights

Tuesday, July 11th, 2006

All US military detainees, including those at Guantanamo Bay, are to be treated in line with the minimum standards of the Geneva Conventions.

The White House announced the shift in policy on Tuesday, almost two weeks after the US Supreme Court ruled that the conventions applied to detainees.

President Bush had long fought the idea that US detainees were prisoners of war entitled to Geneva Convention rights.


Rogue Giants at Sea

Monday, July 10th, 2006

Published: July 11, 2006

The storm was nothing special. Its waves rocked the Norwegian Dawn just enough so that bartenders on the cruise ship turned to the usual palliative — free drinks.

Then, off the coast of Georgia, early on Saturday, April 16, 2005, a giant, seven-story wave appeared out of nowhere. It crashed into the bow, sent deck chairs flying, smashed windows, raced as high as the 10th deck, flooded 62 cabins, injured 4 passengers and sowed widespread fear and panic.

“The ship was like a cork in a bathtub,” recalled Celestine Mcelhatton, a passenger who, along with 2,000 others, eventually made it back to Pier 88 on the Hudson River in Manhattan. Some vowed never to sail again.


Grrrrr … all browsers are not created equal

Monday, July 10th, 2006

A few minutes ago, I asked my wife to take a look at my blog so she could see my new beautiful automatically updating weather icon (at the bottom right of this page).

Well, when she pulled my blog up on her screen, it didn’t look anything like the one on my screen. The difference was that she was looking at it using Internet Explorer (IE) and I was using FireFox.

For a few minutes, I was convinced that the change I’d made to display the weather icon was the problem and that it was confusing IE but not FireFox. But, after I removed the change, the problem was still there on IE and I began to realize that the problem was actually a post I’d put up three days ago about the Falun Gong. Apparently, within he HTML code I’d copied then to build the post, there was some ‘extra stuff‘ that was confusing IE but not FireFox.

The bummer was that because I always use FireFox for my blogging updates, I hadn’t looked at the site using IE for many days and therefore the site has been hosed for anyone looking at it using IE since the 7th of July. Grrrrr.

Dear readers, if you notice this site looking distinctly weird, don’t assume it is you. Assume it is me (probably is) and drop me a E-mail at dennis at samadhisoft dot com saying, ‘Hey, wake up there! Your site is a mess.’

Team says China harvests Falun Gong organs

Friday, July 7th, 2006

Former Liberal Cabinet Minister David Kilgour speaks during a news conference on the release of a report looking into organ harvesting from prisoners in China on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, July 6, 2006. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

OTTAWA (Reuters) – A respected Canadian human rights lawyer and a former Canadian cabinet member lent their weight on Thursday to charges that China has been killing Falun Gong dissidents so it can use their organs.The two men — lawyer David Matas, and David Kilgour, former secretary of state for Asia and the Pacific — spent two months investigating the accusations, which China has regularly denied.

“It is simply inescapable that this is going on,” Kilgour told reporters as he and Matas released their findings.

They provided transcripts of phone calls placed in Chinese to detention centers and organ transplant clinics in which officials said organs from Falun Gong practitioners could be made available for speedy use.