Sunday, August 31, 2008

Luck

People, mostly men but also some women, develop strange ideas of their ideal selves, and sometimes do pretty stupid things to achieve these imaginary goals. Among them are those lucky enough to meet their imaginary selves in reality, and smart enough to recognize it and realize how stupid their imagination was ...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Irony?

A couple of weeks ago, I was playing tennis on a Saturday morning, when I started sweating like Niagara falls, to the extent that ... whatever, and in the course of the second hour of playing it got worse and I also had very strange pain in my back! Finally, on my way home I stopped at a public library to return/check out some DVDs, when I felt nausea and at some points was convinced that I was dying. Of course, I did not die and as soon as I got home I ate lots of carb thinking that it was some sort of weakness ... and got better. Since then, this happened with a lesser intensity a couple of times again.
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 :)

Went to cardiologist today, and he thought my heart is working like a clock ... 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Simplicity Beauty

I was at a physical therapist for back and knee pain a couple of weeks ago. He, among other things, performed a set of stretches that put a lot of pressure on my core (tanden). Immediately, I sense a flow of sensations emanating from my core (physically a point below navel). I asked him about it, and he said for the lack of a better word it is some form of energy released by the stretches.

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

A (famous?) Quote

I do not know why this quote bothers me:

Great minds discuss ideas
Average minds discuss events
Small minds discuss people

Seems too pretentious, presumptive, and superficial to me ...

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

Cliche

"Cliche"s are amazing, as I find them deeply related to my language impossibility/irrelevance theorem. Even though life, in the very practical sense, is essentially repetition, but it seems that we find the repetition in language, in words, quite negative ... Why?

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

Two stories:

Just to keep them somewhere:

1) the magnitude of the injustice:

http://www.iran-emrooz.net/index.php?/politic2/more/16469/


2) And from the positive side:

http://dayyertashbad.blogfa.com/

Musical Offering

My new discovery of JSBach music. I first listened to it a few months ago and did not really catch my ears, but now it is growing more and more on me. As usual with JSB very simple, and sometimes repetitive, on the surface but as you listen more it offers more and unravel itself.

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" !

From Wiki:

"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

Interpreting a Dream

I woke up this morning with a clear memory of a dream, and surprisingly a clear interpretation of the dream!


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

Two Observations

Last night on PBS:
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:

After Quake, Entrepreneurs Do Business In Tents

Why interesting: Compare it to the attitude we commonly see in Iran after such accidents ...


Monday, August 04, 2008

Fun - How old is your brain?

Figure this out:

http://flashfabrica.com/f_learning/brain/brain.html

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!

Small Men

I do not have the time and the sense of writing. However, while looking at the headlines related to the current crisis between Iran and US (and Israel) I suddenly remembered NPR's review (a couple of weeks ago) of a new book on Cuban missile crisis in 60's that brought the world closest to an atomic disaster than ever before. A main point raised by the author of the new book was the importance of small men's decisions and random effects during a crisis. Apparently, leaders of US and soviet both wanted to avoid a disaster, but they also had the vision that small, and maybe random, events can have a catastrophic effect in a crisis situation, and the book gives an example of such events. The point here is that many of the current leaders, especially in Iran, do not recognize or underestimate the the potential effects of such small random events and small men decisions in this situation ...

Friday, August 01, 2008

Another Kind of Photography ...

Thanks to this weblog [http://oadp.blogspot.com/]
I found this one [http://wvs.topleftpixel.com/]

Very beautiful pictures, some of them are full of feeling ...

Words ...

Reading novels have been among my most favorite things to do, I can completely forget myself when reading a good novel, lose track of time and surrounding. So, for me coming to the conclusion that words are of very little value is ironic.

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 :)

Body Intelligence

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...