Thursday, October 30

Utnapistim for President

So ... it seems there's a surprise move in the campaign for the president of the US.

Watch the news here.

Wednesday, October 29



I Got a License ...

... to kill.

Pedestrians that is.

Though, I heard that if you actually kill pedestrians, you go to jail and the license is revoked; or so the story goes anyway.

To put it in uninteresting terms, I got my driver's license today; It only took me between ten and fifteen lessons, almost an accident, and stressing the poor instructor out.

Today, it took from twelve PM to five PM, driving through the town, first with the instructor, then with the examiner.

Pedestrians BEWARE!
... of the utnapistim

Monday, October 27

US Democracy is ... Not a Democracy

Papa Stalin said it doesn't matter who votes, it matters who counts the votes (or something like that).

This guy gives court testimony under oath that the US voting machines are rigged.

How comes this is not front page news?

Friday, October 24

on Humanitary Calls ... Through Email

Today I got an email from a good friend of mine, asking to forward an email to three persons, the idea being that for each forward, AOL and ZDNET will pay .39$. The description of this email is here.

Since this happens from time to time - I still remember the outraged email I received about bonsai kittens asking to protest in order to stop the practice - I decided to write a short ... piece of advice(?) on how to forward emails like that.

The first thing to know about these emails is that most of them are hoaxes.

I'm not saying all of them are false, because I've also gotten a genuine one, from a friend (also about a little girl in need of a transplant).

Still, forwarding hoax emails does nothing good: it is lowering goodwill for genuine calls for help and getting your address into the wild (don't be surprised if you start getting spam shortly after forwarding).

When you want to forward an email like this, follow the following steps:
- first, take a phrase from the original email and search it on google. The phrase should be unique enough that you don't get results for something else (in my case I took Just for this morning, I am going to smile when I see your face).
- second, open the first few results: there are websites gathering chain-letters and certifying their truth value (like truthorfiction and breakthechain).

If the message proves to be a genuine call for help, when forwarding it, send the links you found relevant also, and explain why you think it's not a hoax.

If the message proves to be a hoax, send a reply to the sender with references and explain why you think it's a hoax.

This was my contribution to the bettering of the internet today.

Monday, October 20

Gutei's finger

Gutei raised his finger whenever he was asked a question about Zen. A boy attendant began to imitate him in this way. When anyone asked the boy what his master had preached about, the boy would raise his finger.

Gutei heard about the boy's mischief. He seized him and cut off his finger. The boy cried and ran away. Gutei called and stopped him. When the boy turned his head to Gutei, Gutei raised up his own finger. In that instant the boy was enlightened.

When Gutei was about to pass from this world he gathered his monks around him. `I attained my finger-Zen,' he said, `from my teacher Tenryu, and in my whole life I could not exhaust it.' Then he passed away.

Mumon's comment: Enlightenment, which Gutei and the boy attained, has nothing to do with a finger. If anyone clings to a finger, Tenyru will be so disappointed that he will annihilate Gutei, the boy and the clinger all together.

Gutei cheapens the teaching of Tenyru,
Emancipating the boy with a knife.
Compared to the Chinese god who pushed aside a mountain with one hand
Old Gutei is a poor imitator.

(Koan from The Gateless Gate, by Mumon)

My comment: What is pushing a mountain with one hand compared with Gutei's finger?

this morning ... on reddit

There are a few things I found on reddit today that I found cool ... or funny (or whatever), so I thought I'd share:
The most dangerous person on earth
Two logical fallacies to avoid
Rickrolled cake

I'd put some more, but my code just finished compiling :-\

Thursday, October 16

Paranoid Scenario (a.k.a. nineteeneightyfour)

It seems to me that in UK, it's enough to have an electronic storage device (like a cellphone, camera, USB flash-drive or computer) for the police to be able to arrest you and throw you in jail, for two to five years.

Let me explain that in detail:

First, the UK appeal court decided that if the police ask you for your encryption key, you have to provide it (That is, not having it is not an excuse).

Second, they could always ask for the key to decrypt your TrueCrypt partition. (TrueCrypt allows you to hide information in seemingly unoccupied data of the storage device, in such a way that no traces remain that data was ever there).

Third, good luck explaining that nothing is actually hidden there (that the seemingly random data in unoccupied space is actually random data in the unoccupied space); remember, not providing the (non-existent) key doesn't get you off the hook.

I hope I can ascribe this scenario to incompetence; the alternative (malice) makes me shiver.

Later edit: I can also ascribe this scenario to paranoia methinks ... :-\

Friday, October 10

new year in Romania

So, it seems we'll be staying in Romania until right after New Year. On the second day of the new year we'll take a boat(*) towards Western Europe, to go skying.

It feels like plans started to take shape finally.

I just finalized the holiday tickets today, and I get the feeling we'll have to start looking for shelter for the new year's night.

(*) - Well ... maybe not a boat

Tuesday, October 7

how to get the girl

Warning: Stick characters were harmed during the creation of this video.

Got her good!

(via FP)

Monday, October 6

I want to become a shaman

So ... I started with Shamanism. It's an interesting path, with interesting tools and a whole world to explore.

Last weekend we did a shamanic workshop in Tochni village, where we learned how to contact the ancestors and establish a link with them. It was a thrilling weekend, full of very interesting experiences, and I am left with a rich experience and some doubts (yes, they are still there).

This week we did a course in soul retrieval. Some things got healed, some were brought to the surface and we were left with lots of self-work to do, with homework.

As such, I wanted to get it into my head that I became a shaman. Then, I found out what a shaman actually does, and I'm far far away from that ...

I'd like to become one though ... someday ...

The Job



Sunday, October 5

Clinging to Pain

The mechanism that makes you pissed at the world is the following:

First, something happens - not necessarily bad, but enough to affect you somehow: stop you from enjoying yourself, keep you from what you want, annoying you, whatever. Either way, let us call the effect it produces in you, minor annoyance, or temporary pain.

Second, you (you unconscious mind mostly) creates a story around that. Something along the lines of "I never get to enjoy what I want!"

Third, when the same event happens again, the story kicks in and you cling to your temporary pain. You actually hold on to it, letting it block you, hold you back from the present moment.

So yeah, this is the mechanism ... and if you're upset remember that what you're looking at is actually You, holding on to pain!

It's an example of masochism.

I just wanted to write it somewhere so I'll remember my sudden ... understanding?

The internet seemed like a good place.