Monday 13th December update

13th December 2010

The last weeks has been quite hot. Had 31 degrees C on Saturday.
A few support issues have occupied most of my time, and I have not been productive on the new project who’s deadline has come and gone.

Fewer posts this week.
The heat and a variety of interruptions have meant no decent sleeps, which doesn’t help productivity either.

I have managed to mow most of the lawns, and cut up a couple of felled trees, but it’s too hot to work during the heat of the day.

Question of the Day 7th December 2010

What would you like more of in your life?

What would you like to see grow and develop in your life? What, if anything, do you feel is missing? What would you like to nurture?

I have had an amazingly abundant life to date, and I am happy as I am, and there are many things I would like to see more abundant in life:

more awareness of the relationships in life, of our ecological connection to all other life, and the damage that our current reliance on economics is causing;

more security for individuals by bringing greater awareness to the directions that technology is developed and used, to address close in problems like hunger, sanitation, water supply, basic housing and to address mitigation measures for larger low probability high impact events like comet and meteor strike, large volcanic events, and global pandemics;

more tolerance of difference at all levels;

more respect for the rights and freedoms of individuals.

What is missing is a real effort to be completely open and honest on a global political level, and taking actions that really are for the benefit of all individuals on the planet, and the planetary ecosystem that supports them (most of what is done presently seems to me {from my 30 years in the political system} to be essentially short term self interest of vested financial interests dressed up by PR people to look like it is more than it is).

I would like to nurture the willingness to trust, and the willingness to forgive when that trust is broken, as it will be from time to time. I am not proposing naive trust, I am nurturing an eyes wide open, fully aware of all the probabilities and improbabilities involved, kind of trust.

Which was followed with:

Thank you – Great post – wasn’t familiar with Cyrus.

I am vary familiar with the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Charter. If governments and individuals were to give them more than lip services, events like Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib and any of thousands of other examples would not have been allowed to occur.

There remains the battle between power and choice – two contexts that each view the other as illusory, yet each has real existence, though perhaps not quite what either thinks.
To quote from the “The Matrix Reloaded” “Merovingian: Choice is an illusion, created between those with power, and those without.”

There is an old saying, knowledge is power, which has a high degree of truth.
Unfortunately, most people are far more interested in satisfying bodily urges than in pursuing knowledge where-ever the trail leads. Add in the misinformation promoted by many, some out of simple ignorance, some as the legacies of cultural ignorance, and others out of some motive of personal gain at some low level.

Thus we find ourselves in a reality in which most people have direct access to information like the UN DHR above, yet few have read it, and fewer still apply it with any consistency in their dealings with their fellows on a day to day basis – this applies particularly to those at the highest levels of government and industry (those to whom the olde concept of Noblesse oblige most applies).

R is for Relaxation

Great post – thanks Laurie

Reading a book would be my most recent relaxation technique. It seems to be an effective way of getting my brain off the problems it has been dealing with, and creating a bit of space. I’m about half way through Jared Diamond’s “The Third chimpanzee” and just into the second chapter of Roger Penrose’s “The emperor’s new mind” – both of which are excellent. My brain is busy critiquing both, but at least it gives it a break from day to day stuff 😉

S is for Simplicity

We are each of us such complex and multi-layered entities that any idea of simplicity or order is very much context dependent.

Ailsa and I have very different default contexts, which can be a source of friction and tension.

For me, something is ordered if it stays where I put it.
If it is where I put it, I can go straight back to it.
If anyone else moves it, or puts something else on top of it, then life becomes more complex and difficult (I need to bring my full conscious awareness to the task of finding whatever it is I am looking for, rather than leaving it to my subconscious “monkey”).

Ailsa operates differently. For her something is tidy if it is out of sight.
She is happy to stuff things anywhere at all, provided they are out of sight. Very rarely is anything ever in exactly the same place twice.
That works for her, but my “monkey” hates it, because it means he can’t do his job, and I have to leave whatever I am contemplating, and take over the monkey’s job.

I’m with Len, I collect stuff. Before moving here to Kaikoura, I had lived at Waitakaruru for 34 years, and had 3 large sheds. We had a garage sale that sold over 5,000 items, gave away anything friends and family wanted, and then took 9 2ton truck loads to the dump (other than the 45 cubic yards of stuff we bought with us).
So much of that stuff I miss – gear boxes, engine parts, boat parts, plumbing bits, all sorts of engineering stuff, wood working stuff. I could either find the right thing, or something close enough that I could make it fit, to fix almost anything – but not any longer.

Still – different role in this community.

Now I collect cyber stuff, and nobody changes anything that I put on my hard drives (they are free to copy anything they find, but not to change the order of relationship (my monkey is much happier there)). The 2 Terrabyte drive is about 70% full, so I need to buy a couple more.

T is for Time

I love the many aspects of time, both Kronos and Kairos.

It seems to me that both share many aspects.

Looking at Kronos

We seem to have this persistent illusion that there is such a thing as universal time. It is almost impossible for us to conceive that there might not be any such thing. Yet when we look very closely, at the very very small (much smaller than a single atom), then what seems to work is to abandon the notion of universal time, and to accept that time is local to each and every particle, and that we get to have this illusion of universal time because all of our particles are in much the same place going much the same speed. So it provides a good “first order” approximation.

When you start dealing with things that are going at great speeds in relation to each other, the rules that work well for big things going relatively slowly (like people and planets) don’t work.

What seems to work most elegantly, is to abandon the notion of universal time, and accept that every particle experiences it’s own time; and that photons are timeless (they transmit information about the nature of their emitting particle at the instant they were created).

That does leave some deeper questions about the nature of space that insists that photons travel at the same speed (actually – it poses very deep questions about the deep nature of time and speed).

Kairos seems to have similar depths to it.

I find I can get completely lost in a conversation, or a programming task, or some activity, such that the processes I normally rely on in my brain to keep track of “time” get no processing time at all, so my internal measures of time are that none has passed.

At other times, my awareness can be operating at such a heightened speed (full holographic mode), that I can do in a few seconds what would normally take me many hours.

In the realm of Kairos, words often seem to have many of the attributes of photons – in that they transmit information about the state of the emitting entity at the time they were emitted, and are then essentially timeless (frozen in time) until received by another entity, and processed.

There does seem to be a distinct difference between words and photons, in that words may be duplicated, and spread very quickly, without changing their meaning, whereas amplification of photons almost always alters them in some way.

There is also the fact that the “meaning” in the mind of the emitter, may be very different from the “meaning” interpreted in the mind of the receiver.

And it is a fascinating process – being an entity of “software” and words, intimately connected to this world of time, space and matter.


Question of the Day 12th December 2010

What are the qualities of graciousness & honor?
Who or what comes to mind when you think of graciousness & honor? What have they taught you?

Grace seems to have two very different sorts of meanings.

One seems to relate to “The quality of producing favourable impressions; attractiveness, charm”, which I can relate to in many people; and the other seems to have a quality of “The condition or fact of being favoured” usually used in relation to “god” or “fate” or “the universe”, which is something I have a lot of difficulty relating to. To me, all notions of god or gods seem to be substitutes for being prepared to look very closely at what is going on. There does not appear to be any limit to the depth of such explorations, nor does there seems to be any sort of ultimate answer that anyone can hold up as “The Truth”. It seems that every level of awareness has it’s limits, and when one explores those limits closely one abstracts oneself to a new level of awareness. It seems logical to me to conclude that this process could conceivably be potentially infinite. Thus there is no “The Truth” only ever more accurate approximations of our models of reality to the infinitely open “possibility space” that “reality” provides to us.

As to honor (honour in our version of English) – it seems mostly to relate to “High respect, esteem, or reverence”. In that aspect it seems most appropriate to apply it equally to self first, then to all others.
In so far as it refers to “nobleness of mind, scorn of meanness, magnanimity” it is something to aspire to.
In so far as it is in the verb form to “pay worthy respect to”, it seems most appropriate to direct it first to one’s self, then equally to all others.

It seems to me, that until we can love, honour and respect and accept ourselves, as we are and as we are not, then there is little chance of really observing and accepting others as they are, and are not, or truly doing them honor.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see
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1 Response to Monday 13th December update

  1. holessence says:

    Ted – I love being able to find all of the cookies in one jar (so to speak) – this summary is great!


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