Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
An article on "inhumane" art -- I just read the article, I do not agree with the authors too conservative stance on modern art, but some times it makes sense, and good source of names too :) http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/2002/Art_Inhuman/inhuman1.asp
Andres Serrano: http://www.artnet.com/usernet/awc/awc_thumbnail.asp?aid=424202827&gid=424202827&works_of_art=1&cid=74183
Egon Schiele (Painter): http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/schiele/
Two of his paintings:
Death and Girl (Self-portrait with Walli) :
2)Pregnant Woman and Death
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Moderating overattachments "means easing off blind needs for perfectionism and its overidentification with our work. It mean keeping some emotional and intellectual distance from [our work] , particularly in its formative stages. It mean working patiently and tolerantly, with a sense of playfulness and humor. It means letting go to allow more openness to alternatives, even to criticism."
" Overattachment builds when we grasp for short-term relief from doubt; it moderates as we let go of needs for certainty. This means more than nonattachment from blind hopes for comfortable experience at every moment. It also means giving up the false expectations that insecurity and pain can be eliminated. And it demands relaxing amid the unpredictability and uncontrollability of real life. Specifically, it requires clearly seeing that panic and embarrassment are of little help when things don't work out. Other mindful acts that help overcome this mindless attachment are insight and compassion---insight about the costs of indulging addictions to immediate relief; compassion in replacing those frenzied hopes with direct, honest relationships, even with our own selves."
Monday, December 15, 2008
- When people rush mindlessly, they respond so exclusively to their emotional needs that they are unlikely to solve more important problems.
- High emotions elicits high arousal, which consumes the very energy needed for self-stopping; states of high emotions are therefore self-sustaining beyond the point of diminishing returns.
- High emotions invite thoughts with broadly meaningful understandings (e.g., concerns about the worth of one's writing and of oneself) and these, in turn, risk the inhibitions, such as blocking, that exist at similarly high level."
"Romanticism", the opposite of moderation in emotion, is deeply rooted in what I call Mideastern religion triplet (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and related cultures, and is an important separation point between these religions/cultures view of the world and the far-east practices like Zen and Taoism. The roots are so deep that when we (in the first culture) approach the these practices, we do it in a romantic way. Our lives are more defined by "being good or bad" than simple "being". We take pride in going to excess, in emotions, in achievements, etc. but we are not aware of it most of the times.
Friday, December 12, 2008
- I have a title for a short story: "The story of a woman whose breasts envied each other". I do not know what's in it except for the image of a woman growing like a tree from earth. Pretty lame, huh?
- Two observations regarding my internal conversations:
- It is in both English and Persian, but mostly English!
- At late night, it is very discontinuous: Few complete sentences, mostly short phrases and images!!!
- In a program on public television: things to improve "willpower" (among other items):
- Keep blood sugar from dropping too low!
- Get enough sleep
- I do not enjoy classical music with voice (opera, etc.) with the exception of Mozart's "Requiem". It is an amazing piece of music.
- If you have listened and enjoyed J.S.Bach's "Orchestral Suites", here they are performed by a "guitar quartet". (I cannot imagine someone dies without hearing "Requiem" and "Orchestral Suites", but I am a spoiled, snobbish, SOB, anyway :)
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
"If aspects of the person remain undigested---cut off, denied, projected, rejected, indulged, otherwise unassimilated---they become the points around which the core forces of greed, hatred, and delusion attach themselves ... As Wilhelm Reich demonstrated in his groundbreaking work on the formation of character, the personality is built on these points of self-estrangement ; the paradox is that what we take to be so real, our selves, is constructed out of a reaction against just what we do not wish to acknowledge. We tense up around that which we are denying, and we experience ourselves through our tensions." Mark Epstein
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Former web page at Princeton (Assistant Professor)
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
- Arash and family visited us for the Thanksgiving holidays, it was a very pleasant visit and on top of that I learned a lot!
- Someone broke into Sima's car a few days ago and stole her purse. She lost a few cards, some of them important. This, plus a couple of other events, made the past couple of days very stressful, and I plunged into deep depression a couple of times!!!! But I am very upset with some of my own reactions. In some instances (not always :) I was quite unfair to her: instead of fully supporting her I became critical and judgmental. Even though at those moments I could feel that I was not doing the right thing.
- I finally spotted the downtown hawk from a close distance (5-10 meters) while she was eating a pigeon, on a very cold morning. Anyway, I believe she is a juvenile, female, cooper hawk. Unfortunately I did not have my camera so the following picture is from web but is very close to what I observed:
Sunday, November 23, 2008
"Ed sensei" is in fact an artist, a superb photographer, and a well-known expert in the Japanese art of "Netsuke". (Relatively rare characteristics for a martial art sensei! Also check this out: http://www.bitokukyudo.org/stonepath.html.) Anyway, he has been interested in knowing what the name of the bird is, so I emailed him the following link (has very nice photos of common birds in Atlanta),
suggesting that the bird may be a "Ruby-crowned Kinglet".
Here is his reply:
Hi Reza, What a great web source to find. I agree with your pick. Glad that you had a little private time with the little guy yesterday. How cool is that!!!! Yours in Kyudo, Ed
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
OK, I guess respect can also come out of habit, a large part of what we call social manners are what we have learned to do and we do not change a habit unless there is a very compelling reason to do so.
Friday, November 14, 2008
WASHINGTON (Nov. 11) - A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship.
"It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he's the one who proposed this national security force," Rep. Paul Broun said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. "I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may — may not, I hope not — but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism."
Sunday, November 09, 2008
On the left is "Aaron Blackwell (Renshi Rokudan)", highest rank American in Kyudo. He visits Atlanta and the dojo run by "Ed Symmes, Renshi Godan" (next picture) often. Last time, in September, he told an interesting story when He was asked about the "testing" and "rankings" in Kyudo and how/if it is consistent with Zen Buddhism, etc. Here is the story (as he told it):
Saturday, November 08, 2008
<--- Hawk waiting to catch a pigeon
<--- A pigeon gets close (from up and left), hawk tries
<-- Moment of truth: see how close the pigeon (right) is to the hawk (left), but they don't see each other (two sides of the corner) ... one more feet and the pigeon would be killed!
Friday, November 07, 2008
I have the habit of looking out of my window at the beautiful downtown scene while working. So a couple of years after I started my new job, in 2006, I came to notice some crazy flight patterns among pigeons flying in a large group. Finally, I discovered the source, a couple of hawks in the area.
So I started watching the interaction between hawks and pigeons. (I have written a few times about them, and I even have an unfinished story with photos regarding hawks hunting pigeons.) Amazingly, this bird watching became the source of some changes in my view of the world. It not only amplified my understanding of "living in now" (the randomness basic), but it revealed the necessity behind it: If a pigeon does not live in now, it will be soon killed! This points at the superficiality of other three basics if you drop the competition. But more importantly, it is instructive to watch a hawk try to hunt pigeons many times during one hour, unsuccessfully, something I cannot explain is in the continuous effort to live and survive ...
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
In high school I found out about Taoism, again very simplistically, as a doctrine with emphasis on harmony and indifference, or death in the four basics.
Later (undergraduate years in Sharif) I learned about Zen, which focuses on living in now, or essentially the randomness basics.
All in all, these sounded very natural and complementary and all pointed at a direction against competitiveness, the desire to be better than others, as the source of stress and a detriment to spirituality, etc.
Lately, I grew more suspicious of this structure, or point of view. A critical point was when I started "Kyudo", ironically, as a Zen practice. Ultimately, a few weeks ago I confronted with something (I will tell the story in the next post) that revealed to me the importance of competition as "THE" main source of purity and focus. It may sound contradictory: how can competition be critical in (spiritual) development? But think of simple evidence in life, most importantly the whole "evolution" principle. Without competition, things stagnate and die within ...
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Even in classical music, many composers in my experience have short half life, e.g. Schubert, in the range of less than 100. On the other hand, some continue to grow on you as you listen more and more, especially if you allow some time between a group of listening sessions. I have listened to J.S. Bach's Goldberg variations many times before, and in the past I did not like it. Until a couple of weeks ago I heard a performance of it by a string trio, and since then I am enjoying (different performances of) it more and more. For me the half life of some J.S.Bach's work is very very long ...
There is a scene in the movie "seven" when Morgan Freeman goes into a library in the middle of night and the background music, as I remember, is one of Bach's orchestral suites ... it is an amazing scene, the purity and beauty of the music is in sharp contrast to all the surrounding gore and filth ...
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
"Hello, could you give me condom. My girlfriend has invited me for dinner and I think she is expecting something from me!"
The pharmacist gives him the condom; and as the young man is going out, he returns and tells him:
"Give me another condom because my girlfriend's sister is very cute too. She always crosses her legs in a provocative manner when she sees me and I think she expects something from me too."
The pharmacist gives him a second condom; and as the boy is leaving he turns back and says: "After all, give me one more condom because my girlfriend's mom is still pretty cute and when she sees me she always makes allusions...and since she invited me for dinner, I think she is expecting something from me!!"
During dinner, the young man is sitting with his girlfriend on his left, the sister on his right and the mom facing him. When the dad gets there, the boy lowers his head and starts praying:
"Dear Lord,bless this dinner...thank you for all you give us...!!!"
A minute later the boy is still praying:
"Thank you Lord for your kindness..."
Ten minutes go on and the boy is still praying, keeping his head down.The others look at each other surprised and his girlfriend even more than the others. She gets close to the boy and tells him in his ear:
"I didn't know you were so religious!!!"
The boy replies:
"I didn't know your dad was a PHARMACIST!!!"
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Their friends, , a young couple from their home country, were also on their way back home for a short visit.Initially, they were going to change their flights in the airport. Their next flight was delayed, however, and now they had to spend the night in the city. Their friends had decided to stay in the city a couple of days and attend a wedding. He knew that his wife wanted to go to the wedding too, but they were not invited.
Friday, October 24, 2008
The downside is that I am writing incoherently, kind of like free association :) Is this bad after all? I am not sure, but any time I start writing about topics like the previous post, I feel the need to stop and make sure that I know what I am doing. Not that I will stop writing (sorry :) I just pause for a few minutes ...... and then I write this post ?!?!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
For one thing, there is no way of proving identities, intents, circumstances, so at the end anyone sees whatever s/he wants in this clip depending on his/her political beliefs and attitude toward the government in Iran. Yet, the whole issue makes a nice connection to my previous post, somehow ...
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
"A country's governing body reflects the average characteristics of people in that country."
Then, consider the recent history of a country you like, or have connection to, say Iran. What do we learn about the characteristics of an average Iranian (conditional on the validity of the assumption)?
Next, try to understand the behavior of the average Iranian (as we deduced above, conditional on our assumption!) without involving your emotions. It may help if you imagine that the average Iranian is yourself ... or, for that matter, see if you can find those characteristics in yourself and your friends and family. Again, the important point here is detaching from emotions (positive or negative) and trying to understand ...
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
چند وقت قبل، یه بنده خدایی برای یه بنده خدای دیگه ای تعریف کرد و اونم به ما گفت که تو
همین راهنمای همشهری آگهی فروش گوسفند زنده رو پیدا کردیم، می گفت یکی از دوستان بهم گفت این گوسفند زنده که نوشته منظورش یه چیز دیگه ست، ولی من باورم نمیشد، طرف گفت کاری نداره، زنگ بزن خودت ببین، می گفت زنگ زدیم، چند دقیقه بعد یه پراید مشکی اومد به آدرسی که داده بودم، صندلی عقب سه نفر نشسته بودند، هر سه از جنس مونث در رده های سنی مختلف، بعد راننده که خودش هم زن بود گفت یکی رو انتخاب کن! … می گفت منم بهت زده چشمام چهار تا شده بود.. گفتم ممنون، اشتباه شده، احتمالا شماره رو اشتباهی گرفتم، شرمنده…. خلاصه بهش ثابت شد، گوسفند زنده یعنی زن یا دختری که یه شب بهت اجاره می دن (از شبی 10 تومن داره تا 100 هزار تومن…
بعد از افطار یه سریال پخش میشه که رضا عطاران توش بازی کرده(بزنگاه)… یه سکانس جالب داشت اون قسمت… حمید لولایی با خانوادش که داشتن می رفتن سر خاک، بنزین تموم کردن، چیزی نداشتن روش بنویسن " بنزین" که با دست نگه داره و به ماشین هایی که رد میشن نشون بده… بالاخره هر جوری بود یه تیکه کارتن پیدا کردن و روش نوشتن بنزین… نگو پشت کارتنه نوشته بوده گوسفند زنده… حمید لولایی هم حواسش نبود و برعکس گرفتش … یه موتوریه نگه داشت تا قیمت گوسفند زنده رو بپرسه… حمید لولایی هم فهمید چه سوتی داده طرف رو دک کرد رفت.. موتوری یکم جلوتر رفت وایساد جلو ماشین حمید لولایی که مثلا دختراش توش بودن بشون گفت : "خانوما خسته نباشن!" بعدم اونا جیغ کشیدن و فحش دادن و حمید لولایی دوید طرفش و فحش داد و فلان و بهمان… شاید بگی هیچ ربطی نداره ولی با اون هوش و ذکاوت و موذی گری که من در عطاران سراغ دارم بعید می دونم این سکانس رو همینجوری توی سریال گنجونده باشه.. عطاران و مهران مدیری استاد مخفی کردن بعضی حرف های ممنوعه زیر طنز خودشون هستند… مخصوصا اینکه موتوریه می گه : خسته نباشید ! این یعنی طرف دختره رو فاحشه فرض کرده که هر شب با یکی می خوابه و مسلمه سرش شلوغه پس می طلبه بهش بگی "خسته نباشی" … اگه غیر ازین بود لزومی نداشت حمید لولایی و خونوادش انقدر برآشفته بشن، حتی پاستوریزه ترین ها هم یه خسته نباشید رو یه متلک سنگین حساب نمیاره.
ببینید چقدر این مسئله گوسفند زنده جدی جدی باب شده که بعضی از بازیگران و کاگردانان با هوش هم زیر زیرکی بش اشاره می کنند …. فعلا که توی آگهی ها گوسفند زنده مد شده، شاید اگه این لو رفت آگهی جذب بازیگر مد بشه، بعدش یه چیز دیگه، بعد ازون هم یه چیز دیگه… به هر حال نکته جالب اینه که تو مملکتی که کتاب های ماركز رو به بهانه اروتيك بودن یا جمع می کنن یا توقیف، میشه با یه تلفن شب رو با یه روسپی خوابید … به همین راحتی و به همین خوشمزگی !
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The last two paragraphs were quite interesting:
The shah's government, shaken by the loss of oil revenue, imposed a harsh austerity budget that threw thousands out of work, collapsed investor confidence and panicked middle-class Iranians. Economic chaos and unemployment quickly spread.
Within a year of the Doha summit, the first mass demonstrations that grew into revolution broke out on the streets of the Iranian capital.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The second part (movement) in the Pulcinella is fantastic, dramatic, and nostalgic: "Suite de Pulcinella: II. Serenata", both with and without voice ...
Sunday, October 12, 2008
- Perfume: The Story of a Murderer: Strange, dark film, I liked it despite low reviews, even reminded me of "No country for old men" ... a story of amorality of perfection
- Noise: There are many films with this title. This one is from an Australian director, and on the surface is a detective film. However, its pace is not of an American detective movie, and is more contemplative. I liked some elements of the film very much.
- I want someone to eat cheese with: Kind of a small love affair with Chicago, a quirky offbeat romantic comedy!
Sunday, October 05, 2008
What if all these "how to live better" stuff we see in different formats, lectures, books, TV programs, etc. are stupid the same, worthless the same, or useful the same ...
What if we have an "inconsequential" choice (given our constraints) between different life styles, athletic, aggressive, passive, reflective, meditative, religious, nonreligious, anti-religious, ...., and due to huge randomness in life, it does -NOT- really matter what life style we choose?
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
A piece on the relation between being self-critical and perfectionism: Well, this is close to my situation, at least :) This is more about perfectionism, but it is actually a nice simple read.
A piece on creativity (in art) and being self-critical: This seems to be the result of an study, more rigorous but less related?
This is an academic piece which is somehow related. I actually found the paper very interesting, but it is a more difficult read.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Inspired by this [post], I started thinking about why we perceive children, or more generally, baby animals "innocent", "peaceful", etc. I think the answer is in our evolution: an animal with favorable feeling toward its babies has a better chance of living in larger groups and ultimately become a "social" animal. So we are wired to see youngsters as less of a threat, and this is ultimately translated in our culture into a "peaceful" and innocent vision of babies and kids.
I read "Lord of the Flies", a novel by Golding, when I was 12-13. It is a dark, depressing, classic, for a collection of nice reviews and links see http://www.rbhs.w-cook.k12.il.us/Mancoff/lofcrtwq.htm. Since then, I am less impressed by expressions about children innocence, etc. I like small children, and I typically form a bond with them, at least some of them, but I do not buy that their are any better than adults in a moral sense, more innocent, etc. Children can be as cruel, and more selfish, than grownups ...
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Hooman Majd, Considering The Iranian 'Paradox' (You can also listen to the interview there, also there is an excerpt from his book, "The Ayatollah Begs To Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran")
I caught only the last 15-20 minutes, but I liked his description of the Iran's society and politics.
گاهی به نگاهت نگاه کن !
انیشتین میگفت : « آنچه در مغزتان میگذرد، جهانتان را میآفریند. »
استفان کاوی (از سرشناسترین چهرههای علم موفقیت) احتمالاً با الهام از همین حرف انیشتین است که میگوید:« اگر میخواهید در زندگی و روابط شخصیتان تغییرات جزیی به وجود آورید به گرایشها و رفتارتان توجه کنید؛ اما اگر دلتان میخواهد قدمهای کوانتومی بردارید و تغییرات اساسی در زندگیتان ایجاد کنید باید نگرشها و برداشتهایتان را عوض کنید .»
او حرفهایش را با یک مثال خوب و واقعی، ملموستر میکند:« صبح یک روز تعطیل در نیویورک سوار اتوبوس شدم. تقریباً یک سوم اتوبوس پر شده بود. بیشتر مردم آرام نشسته بودند و یا سرشان به چیزی گرم بود و درمجموع فضایی سرشار از آرامش و سکوتی دلپذیر برقرار بود تا اینکه مرد میانسالی با بچههایش سوار اتوبوس شد و بلافاصله فضای اتوبوس تغییر کرد. بچههایش داد و بیداد راه انداختند و مدام به طرف همدیگر چیز پرتاب میکردند. یکی از بچهها با صدای بلند گریه میکرد و یکی دیگر روزنامه را از دست این و آن میکشید و خلاصه اعصاب همهمان توی اتوبوس خرد شده بود. اما پدر آن بچهها که دقیقاً در صندلی جلویی من نشسته بود، اصلاً به روی خودش نمیآورد و غرق در افکار خودش بود. بالاخره صبرم لبریز شد و زبان به اعتراض بازکردم که: «آقای محترم! بچههایتان واقعاً دارند همه را آزار میدهند. شما نمیخواهید جلویشان را بگیرید؟» مرد که انگار تازه متوجه شده بود چه اتفاقی دارد میافتد، کمی خودش را روی صندلی جابجا کرد و گفت: بله، حق با شماست. واقعاً متاسفم. راستش ما داریم از بیمارستانی برمیگردیم که همسرم، مادر همین بچهها٬ نیم ساعت پیش در آنجا مرده است. من واقعاً گیجم و نمیدانم باید به این بچهها چه بگویم. نمیدانم که خودم باید چه کار کنم و ... و بغضش ترکید و اشکش سرازیر شد.»
استفان کاوی بلافاصله پس از نقل این خاطره میپرسد:« صادقانه بگویید آیا اکنون این وضعیت را به طور متفاوتی نمیبینید؟ چرا این طور است؟ آیا دلیلی به جز این دارد که نگرش شما نسبت به آن مرد عوض شده است؟ » و خودش ادامه میدهد که:« راستش من خودم هم بلافاصله نگرشم عوض شد و دلسوزانه به آن مرد گفتم: واقعاً مرا ببخشید. نمیدانستم. آیا کمکی از دست من ساخته است؟ و....
اگر چه تا همین چند لحظه پیش ناراحت بودم که این مرد چطور میتواند تا این اندازه بیملاحظه باشد٬ اما ناگهان با تغییر نگرشم همه چیز عوض شد و من از صمیم قلب میخواستم که هر کمکی از دستم ساخته است انجام بدهم .»
« حقیقت این است که به محض تغییر برداشت٬ همه چیز ناگهان عوض میشود. کلید یا راه حل هر مسئلهای این است که به شیشههای عینکی که به چشم داریم بنگریم؛ شاید هرازگاه لازم باشد که رنگ آنها را عوض کنیم و در واقع برداشت یا نقش خودمان را تغییر بدهیم تا بتوانیم هر وضعیتی را از دیدگاه تازهای ببینیم و تفسیر کنیم . آنچه اهمیت دارد خود واقعه نیست بلکه تعبیر و تفسیر ما از آن است .
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Last Saturday, we went to an excellent cafe-bakery (Alon's) to enjoy the beautiful, mild weather. I was looking at the weekend events in a local paper (Creative Loafing) to find something that Sima would like when I saw that "Deadalus Quarter" would have a performance of "HAYDN String Quartet in G minor, Op. 20 No. 3; JANACEK String Quartet No. 2, "Intimate Letters"; SCHUBERT "Trout" Quintet in A major, D 667" that evening in Spivey Hall! Even though I felt guilty, but ultimately I convinced Sima to come to the concert with me, and so did we.
I was already familiar with Hayden's quartet's and specially Schubert Trout quintet. The performance was good, but more importantly I found out that Spivey Hall has a series of impressive performances lining up in Fall and Spring: "Bach Festival" , "Guitar Performances","Small Orchestra", just look at the list, it is beyond description, amazing!!!!
Well, if you are planning to be in Atlanta, and interested in such performances, make sure to check them out, hopefully I will be there for some of them :)
LAGQ performs this Friday, September 26 at 8 p.m. in Schwartz Center, Emerson Concert Hall (at Emory) They are very good!
Next Friday, the first part of Complete performance of Beethoven's cello sonata's, Friday Oct 3 at 8 pm in Schwartz Center. These pieces (for cello-piano) are excellent!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Steven D. Levitt
As an economist, I am supposed to have something intelligent to say about the current financial crisis. To be honest, however, I haven't got the foggiest idea what this all means. So I did what I always do when something related to banking arises: I knocked on the doors of my colleagues Doug Diamond and [...]
- Another serious paper:
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
I hate stories whose good and bad characters are animals. I can go so far to say that any story that makes some animals good and some bad indicate something fundamentally wrong about its writer view of the world ... :)
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Even more depressing is the concept of "will" power ...
When we feel conflicted over repeating a "bad" habit, a lot of times, the conflict is between our short-term and long-term desires and benefits.
I cannot think coherently!
A common theme seems to be (self-imposed) "boundaries".
There are useful habits, in the sense that they help us in dealing with difficult situations and decisions in life. Harmful habits, on the other hand, typically help us deal with some problems but potentially cause more serious problems. Labeling harmful behaviors as "sin" adds a layer of complexity to the issue. It motivates us to avoid them. In this sense "moral" values add a rigidity to the boundaries, that may be useful.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
I can repeat a simple thought, an observation, over and over and it ultimately becomes a "cliche" (which I referred to as a mystery earlier). Story telling is a genius way of getting around this problem. In extreme, story telling is one of the most novel human creations, and among the most effective ways of communication!
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
The funny (?!) thing was that the first time I could swear that I was about to die, and being always fascinated by the idea, I even decided to write about the experience here but later I thought I had simply been delusional and paranoid.
Today, I read somewhere that these are signs of heart attack. Given that my trig. is 2-3 times higher than max. I guess I should consider the whole situation more seriously?
Anyway, to me there is a thin line between being oversensitive/paranoid and being careful and I am typically wandering in the paranoia side of the line, at least I used to think so ... ;)
Something tells me this is a very irresponsible post, and sadly immature, but at least it's honest :)
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The core or tanden has an important role in many eastern practices (like Kyudo, Yoga, Tai-Chi), and their philosophy (Buddism, Taoism). A Kyudo advanced student (5-6 years of practice) once told me that in occasions when he has a "good" arrow shoot, he can feel the energy coming out of tanden and flowing into his body.
Even more generally, you can see the trait in many practices based on meditation. So, if you search the word you will find all sorts of different interpretations, explanations, etc.
But the "truth" can be very simple, some form of energy is stored in the muscles of that area that one can release and control via different practices. Of course, control is achieved only through long practice, life long, but the underlying truth can still be amazingly simple. You do not need God, spirituality, philosophy, mind, love, hope, concepts, intellect ... All you need is routine practice if you want to control "it" and a good physical therapist if you want to enjoy it once in a while
Sunday, August 17, 2008
More thinking revealed part of the problem, which is basically mis-use of language. "Ideas", "Events", "People" are very different "things" and applying the verb "discuss" hides this aspects. We "love/hate" people, "learn from/experience" events, and "evaluate/examine" ideas. The same act of "discussing" has different dimension when applied to each of the three.
I dislike the quote because my life is consistent with it, in the sense that I have kept busy most dealing with ideas, then events, then people ... Feels like an imbalance
Friday, August 15, 2008
I do not have an answer, this is all very intuitive. It may even be related to my slogan that "addiction is ultimate abstraction", or maybe not !!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
1) the magnitude of the injustice:
2) And from the positive side:
There is at least one book on this piece:
J. S. BACH'S MUSICAL OFFERING. By Hans Theodore David. (G. Schirmer, Inc., New York, I945. Pp. xi, 190.)
And some people believe that this works is "one of his greatest, and perhaps least understood, works" !
"In 1747, Bach went to the court of Frederick II of Prussia in Potsdam, where the king played a theme for Bach and challenged him to improvise a fugue based on his theme. Bach improvised a three-part fugue on Frederick's pianoforte, then a novelty, and later presented the king with a Musical Offering which consists of fugues, canons and a trio based on the "royal theme", nominated by the monarch. Its six-part fugue includes a slightly altered subject more suitable for extensive elaboration.
Orchestral and chamber music
Bach wrote music for single instruments, duets and small ensembles. Bach's works for solo instruments—the six sonatas and partitas for violin (BWV 1001–1006), the six cello suites (BWV 1007–1012) and the Partita for solo flute (BWV 1013)—may be listed among the most profound works in the repertoire. Bach also composed a suite and several other works for solo lute. He wrote trio sonatas; solo sonatas (accompanied by continuo) for the flute and for the viola da gamba; and a large number of canons and ricercare, mostly for unspecified instrumentation. The most significant examples of the latter are contained in The Art of Fugue and The Musical Offering.
Bach's best-known orchestral works are the Brandenburg concertos, so named because he submitted them in the hope of gaining employment from Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt in 1721; his application was unsuccessful. These works are examples of the concerto grosso genre. Other surviving works in the concerto form include two violin concertos (BWV 1041 and BWV 1042); a Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor (BWV 1043), often referred to as Bach's "double" concerto; and concertos for one, two, three and even four harpsichords. It is widely accepted that many of the harpsichord concertos were not original works, but arrangements of his concertos for other instruments now lost. A number of violin, oboe and flute concertos have been reconstructed from these. In addition to concertos, Bach also wrote four orchestral suites, a series of stylised dances for orchestra, each preceded by a French overture. The work now known as the Air on the G String is an arrangement for the violin made in the nineteenth century from the second movement of the Orchestral Suite No. 3."
Friday, August 08, 2008
DREAM: A standoff between government and some organizations (young people, universities?) in different locations. Government announced that it would crack down the resistance violently by the end of the day. I am leaving a building in the afternoon and soldiers line up in front of the building. I am not sure to stay or not, but finally decide to go home and avoid the hazard. But I notice that my car is parked in the lot in the back of the building. It is getting darker and I finally decide to sneak through soldiers line around the building and get my car. Once I am in the back lot, everything gets calmer and we go in the building, nobody's around, everyone is outside in front partying and the soldiers have left.
INTERPRETATION: Since a week ago, there has been tremendous work pressure that forced me to cancel some activities, and I decided to also stop Kyudo. The sensei, however, urged me to keep some continuity in my practice. I also missed some peacefulness aspects of the practice. So I went to practice last evening and was amazed by how natural it was.
Government ~ projects and work pressure
organization ~ Kyudo
Stand-off ~ Stopping Kyudo
Violence-soldiers ~ How I dramatized+complicated the decision
First decision ~ Work has priority
Car ~ Small but valuable aspects of the Kyudo practice
Cool down ~ Once I went back, the situation seemed calmer than I developed in my mind
I cannot describe how in many different levels this is interesting to me, partly because it is really personal and roots in my experiences ...
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Nature- “Silent Roar: Searching for the Snow Leopard”
Why Interesting: The team spent four years in Himalaya, under extremely hard conditions, to make this one hour film ... can you imagine how much inspiration and determination is involved?
Today, "morning edition" on NPR:
Why interesting: Compare it to the attitude we commonly see in Iran after such accidents ...
Monday, August 04, 2008
First day, figuring out the game: 39
Second day, getting some expertise: 28
Yesterday record: 25
Today [8/8/8] record - so far: 20
Up to six numbers is easy, after that I am at the mercy of my luck :)
I find it a good brain exercise in working with patterns, and not a logical linear thought process, and also helps me release some pressure!
Friday, August 01, 2008
I sincerely believe that words cannot change life in any meaningful way. There is no "truth" to be revealed by a collection of words. If there are basic facts in life, they are so simple in words that expressing them becomes embarrassing. And even if you can express them nicely, that is if you are a good artist, their revelation cannot change anything in real world. Everyone has to come to his/her own truth true practices of life. There are no short-cuts, there are no bright ideas, there are no moments of revelation (even if they are, again, they are close to worthless)
This may be a dilemma, or may actually be the result of the great enjoyment I receive from words. We are typically harsher to those we love more :)
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
There is something amazing in Bach's orchestral suites, I cannot describe it, or maybe it has something to do with my occasionally more depressed mood than the music itself :)
It is so simple and so elegant, and so deeply influence me ...
I am thinking about justice and fairness in the big scheme of things, kind of related to religious beliefs and a fair God, etc. and I came to the conclusion that it is inconsistent with evolution and natural selection. That is, someone who accepts evolution and natural selection as forces who shaped life on earth, cannot believe that there is justice in the big picture
Here is the freaky part ... I feel a relation between the two paragraphs !?!!!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
The first thing to do with life is to live it the best we can, and then, to benefit others whom we care about. As simple as this sounds, it had very wide implications. Finding the place that we can be "effective" in helping others is an "art". Defining such "small" goals in ordinary life is very difficult and needs re-evaluation of our priorities.
For me a good example is the "Afshin Jafari Prize". It is an area that lots of us can be very effective. We have a rare opportunity to develop an "institution" and have long-run goals. Yet, most if not all of us (including myself) prefer to spend time on useless political, sport, etc. news and arguments, but when it comes to contributing to the "prize" we feel short in resources.
To me (with a bit of exaggeration), this is a simple example of the sad story of our nation's choices and priorities! and its gradual death!!
PS. Any comments and thoughts on this subject are more than welcome!
Nabavi to Batebi Letter (Persian):
Afshin Jafari Prize:
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
My views on sport activities have changed dramatically in the past couple of years, but there is something very unique about learning a physical activity (of any kind, but typically sport/dance in our days) from "someone who is really good at it". I would prefer such an experience to a religious experience, at this moment, even though I am not sure what is going to be a child's perspective?!! :)
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
On a completely irrelevant note, found the following clip ... I am still evaluating it to decide whether it is good or ordinary ??!!! :)
2013-2-23: (1) Here is the movie link from "metacritics":
(2) I watched the clip again, after several years, and I still like it. They are harmonious :)
(3) My last night dream was about "infidelity in marriage". Today when I looked at the "stats" for my blogs, my way of randomly choosing some old posts on the blog to look at and remember old days, two posts came up, both titles of movies about "infidelity in marriage": Little children (this post) and We don't live here anymore [link]. Strange :)
Friday, June 13, 2008
burn them in middle
dance around ashes
to the cracking sound of a dying fire
dancing like crazies
like those in love
2013-01-03: I had to read this post very carefully to remember what I had in mind when I wrote it :) This post is about a conversation between Sima and me, in which, she told me that she can quiet her mind while doing yoga. For most of my life, the idea/notion if "quieting mind=stopping the endless conversation" was a very big deal, and I would think of it as a life-changing experience. Now, however, I look at it (the conversation) as something normal and do not see much value in quieting it, lol
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
- This is a short piece, mainly observations from Tehran, nice read:
- I am listening to this CD on "Naxos music library" (many north american libraries give online access to this free to their students/faculties). It is fun to listen at least once, especially if you have heard the originals many many times before :)
VIVALDI: Four Seasons: Gaohu Concerto (adaptation) / BACH: Violin Concerto : Erhu Concerto (adaptation)
Changfu Liu, gaohu
Feng Tang, erhu
Beijing Central Philharmonic Orchestra
Huichang Yan, Conductor
[From CD's information]
"While the violin may have been used in Chinese music to imitate the techniques of the er-hu, the Chinese two-string fiddle, the latter has rarely been used in classical western violin repertoire. The er-hu has a small hexagonal body of wood, the belly covered with snakeskin. There is a tubular neck and two strings are looped to the two large pegs at the top of the neck. The instrument has no finger board and the bow passes between the two strings. The player sits and holds the instrument on the knee, holding the bow under hand, as with the Western viola da gamba."
- Have you every felt you are decomposing? Strange, but sometimes (when I am enough depressed!) I feel as if my muscles are all falling off my body ... I guess most people call this "DARD'E BI DARDI" as my mom used to say ...
- Have not seen any hawks around my office or around house for a while, maybe 2-3 months, I wonder where they are ...
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
The type of depressing thoughts are different when below thirties and when approaching forties: The former has a sense of looking forward, wondering what else life brings. The latter has a sense of looking backwards, and wondering what is life about
The dominance of melodies in Persian music makes it sentimental and romantic, sometimes too much so, and lessens the sense of reflection and universality that you may find in, for example, music of J S Bach
Listening to most BWV's above 1000, especially the four orchestral suites of J S Bach, brings up a sense of transcendence, closest thing to a "religious" feeling I have experienced
I am listening to Radio-Darvish [http://www.radiodarvish.com/] today! I started the day quite depressed, to be honest, and listening to the music only feeds back into it, but it is amazing to me that each song literally tears me apart, it is as though each note is a sharp blade cutting through, I am amazed by how powerful is the feeling
The sadness in some DASTGAAH's, like NAVAA, is so deep that when are played by someone like EBADI they vibe very close to the universal feeling I just mentioned ...
Well, this last point (at least) is totally B.S. I do not have the intelligence to make such statements anyway ...
Read some (all!) of my 2005 posts again, boy, I love myself :)
I found out "opening up" is much much more difficult than I imagined: I cannot even open up to myself !!!!
Monday, June 02, 2008
Principles of Shooting by Master Junsei Yoshimi
The way is not with the bow, but with the bone, which is of the greatest importance in shooting.
Placing Spirit (Kokoro) in the center of the whole body, with two-thirds of the Yunde (left arm) push the string, and with one-third of the Mete (right arm) pull the bow. Spirit settled, this becomes harmonious unity.
From the center line of the chest, divide the left and right equally into release.
It is written, that the collision of iron and stone will release sudden sparks; and thus there is the golden body, shining white, and the half moon positioned in the west.
Sha Soku Seikatsu ... Kyudo is Living
As Lucy reflected on her outrageous behavior of the night before, the memory only served to draw her upward, like a flower toward the sun...
What is ``real''? Anything, any entity, that is repeatable. Something that takes place only once, cannot be real, or at least, we c...
This quote comes after a particularly disturbing and depressing description of life in the Soviet Union in early 20th century: ``Not all ...