Sunday, December 28, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Active Waiting

[Based on Nihil Nimus] A first step in applying moderation is "active waiting". It means holding back, reflectively, instead of rushing. In contrast to passive waiting which is closely related to procrastination and perfectionism, active waiting is patient and productive. It means getting ready without an all-or-none decision to rush into work and finish it now or else put it off.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I found this, after a very quick look, interesting/useful. So I keep it for future reference. Also, the upper level link may have more resources that I will need to check .... sometime!!!

Networking on the Network:

Friday, December 19, 2008


His black paintings,  are not they amazing?

PS. I do not know what is in these ugly faces that so fascinates me, it is "almost" like the passion that one feels when looking at a beautiful, sexy, body!  

Saturn Devouring one of his Children

Two Old Men

Two Old People Eating

Random Links on Art and Painting

Ugliest Famous Artworks (discussion in a forum, good source of names! :)

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 :)

Andres Serrano:

Egon Schiele (Painter):
Two of his paintings:

Death and Girl (Self-portrait with Walli) :

2)Pregnant Woman and Death

A CD cover

I liked the painting/art-work on this CD cover, but I have no idea whose work it is (neither do I know how good the CD is :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Every once in a while I have to remind myself:

It does not matter what you read, what you know, and what you believe!

What you "do" is the only thing that counts.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Attachments and Uncertainty

Amazing quote from "Nihil Nimus", but first some preliminaries to clear the context:

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."

Now the main quote:

" 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

Why moderation in emotions?

Again, from "Nihil Nimus":

" [According to Baumeister, Heatherton, and Tice (1994)]:
  • 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."

My thoughts:
"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.


I thought Iranian traditional music has the saddest tunes, but I am listening to the following album which reminded me that Arabic music, especially if played with "NAY", can be ...

PS. I have grown up with traditional Iranian music, and to some extent with Arabic music, but I find them, after a couple of listening, boring ... This CD was -NOT- an exception

Friday, December 12, 2008

Beautiful Things

By Shiny Lapel Trio (Jazz):


  • 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:
  1. It is in both English and Persian, but mostly English!
  2. 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):
  1. Keep blood sugar from dropping too low!
  2. 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

Interesting Quote

A book I am reading, Nihil Nimus, has this quotation from another book!

"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

M & M

Today a colleague of mine (former mathematician) told me about "Maryam Mirzakhani". He thought she is on her way to get a "Fields Medal". She has full professorship at Stanford at the age of 31! Some links:


Popular Science

Former web page at Princeton (Assistant Professor)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Best DUI ever


  • 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:

IT'S NOT ...

.. ``It's not your spread, and it's not how strong you are, and it's not how fast you are, because you have all those thing...