Quickies

* Spent 6 hours in ER yesterday. Gastritis. God, having an IV is so uncomfortable.

* Layoffs at Openwave today. Thankfully my husband is safe.

* We upgraded our Netflix and Gamefly subscriptions. I spent some time on Saturday putting together a list of 50 movies that we haven’t seen. I added “Fight Club” in the list, but I won’t be watching that, too gory for me.

* Charles Stross says that we will never colonize another planet or travel to another solar system. While I agree that with the current technology we can’t, it would be too short-sighted and lack of vision to say that rockets are the only way to go from point A to point B. More over, he states that humans can only survive in very specific gravity conditions and that it’s extremely unlikely that a habitable planet will have the same gravity as earth does. Well, it seems that Charlie doesn’t watch Science Channel, because NASA is already working on the problem with genetic engineers: the humans that will be selected to colonize a planet, will be biologically altered so they can survive.

* “Scans of Monks’ Brains Show Meditation Alters Structure, Functioning” says WSJ. I like that. It’s like body building of the mind, just like studying hard is. I could easily join a budhist group and do meditation, just don’t ask me to believe on all the supernatural crap. The “faith” part is lacking on me — regardless of religion.

* I blogged about it many months ago, Nokia will have to go touchscreen for Symbian S60 4.0. Not because they want to, but because that’s what the competition demands. Now, there are rumors about it on some forums and also a news article on Engadget.

5 Comments »

mikesum32 wrote on June 18th, 2007 at 10:41 AM PST:

Fight Club is really good, and not as stupid as he title makes it sound. I hope after all this time you don’t know the twist ending.


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Eugenia wrote on June 18th, 2007 at 10:45 AM PST:

No, I don’t know the ending. It’s just that I won’t be watching it because I can’t stand violent movies. They make me sick (literally, I am not just saying this). I acknowledge that the movie is great though. I think that JBQ will enjoy it. :)


moleskine wrote on June 19th, 2007 at 1:05 AM PST:

You don’t have to join a Buddhist group to do meditation – plenty of places offer “secular” meditation classes. However, as you get more into meditation, certain moral issues do start to crop up and the Buddhist way does offer a path to a richer experience of meditation, imho of course. When asked about god (and the supernatural, one presumes) the Buddha himself said that he had nothing to say about all of that, but what he could offer was a path to freedom from suffering which he had tested and found to work. In other words, Buddhism is supremely practical and down to earth; how much if any supernatural stuff someone wants to bring is up to them. If you want to give it a try, then Shambhala could be quite a good place to start. There’s probably a Shambhala center somewhere near you. Or there will be some Zen centers for sure, though Zen can be pretty darn austere.


Andrew wrote on June 19th, 2007 at 2:25 AM PST:

“Buddha himself said that he had nothing to say about all of that”

He may have not had much to say about god, but he talked plenty of rebirth (similar to reincarnation) and karma though.

One good thing I can say about Christians is at least they’re honest about the role of faith in their beliefs. Something which Buddhists are not until people are suckered further in.

Not that you’re guilty of that though.


moleskine wrote on June 19th, 2007 at 5:46 AM PST:

“One good thing I can say about Christians is at least they’re honest about the role of faith in their beliefs. Something which Buddhists are not until people are suckered further in.”

That’s not been my experience at all, but I’m sure there are various cults where is does happen and they’d be well worth avoiding. As with anything else in life, you have to be a bit prudent. I don’t see a belief in rebirth/reincarnation as a requirement of Buddhism at all, and if some choose to believe in it, that is up to them. As for karma, that’s a fairly straightforward matter of cause and effect, imho. Hold your hand over a flame and you get a burn, etc. It only starts to become a belief when karma is held to be transmitted across lifetimes and all that goes with that.

I suspect that Zen has become a popular form of Buddhism in the West because it comes with the simplest and least tentacular baggage of all and concentrates on “be here now”. I’d thoroughly recommend “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” by Shunryu Suzuki as a way into some very interesting ideas.


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