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Mar 17, 2017

Comradeship

"We were brothers in the war. It was necessary then."

I've found my best and long-lasting friends within the realm of mortal danger. Sometimes, hardship brings out the most noble behavior in some people. Hardship makes us compassionate and tolerant. What's really interesting about this to me is how comradeship born out of necessity, makes us love each other in an unquestioning way. To question is being critical and disloyal.

However, an enlightened person might understand that being critical of one another in a time of survival hardship is not equivalent to a lack of love. But it can seem this way to most people. We all need to be loved so much.

Ironically, in a group where I need to be accepted, I fail many times to be as aware as I can about what it means to really love each other.


Dec 23, 2016

My View of Software Development

The software world is developing at an exponential rate. This comes with an exponential increase in complexity. I've never had any formal training in computer software except my self-study in Lisp. I started by working on operating system software way back in the days when the DEC macro-11 was popular. This was before the C language was invented in the mid 1970's. So when I started using the C language in 1979, I found I was able to write software within a few hours of reading the "white" K&R (Kernighan and Ritchie) C-book. C is in essence a simple language.

Now, I think it's really changed. I can't imagine writing useful programs in Rust on the first day of learning it. And I've written some Ruby programs before. I think it would take me a year to learn Rust to a sufficient level to write useful programs. I think that's because Rust does so much optimizations.

Lisp, unlike C, is a high-level language, and hence can take a while to learn well too.

What's really interesting about my journey through using software languages is how different people adapt to learning the language. For me, I use software that I intuitively like. That's really subjective. And every programmer has his or her views on a language which affects his efficiency in using the language. How the syntax and structure of the computer language sinks into the inner psyche of a programmer is essential in how the programmer produces his software, or expresses his ideas through the software language.

In a large programming effort requiring a team, the individual, expressive programmer must conform to a standard set of production requirements which includes his choice of a language. Most of the time this comes down to how you can socialize with other programmers. However. if you don't like the language, you're not going to do your best work ... your best work meaning you spent every waking minute which is directed to your work thinking about the problems in the software language. And this is why large programming teams are so inefficient. They don't have the freedom to express themselves. This is sort of analogous to all disciplines in general.


Nov 9, 2016

A New Day

I'm really proud of our country for the selection of our new president. And we should also be grateful to the rebel, Julian Assange, who made this selection possible. Julian Assange has been isolated in the Equadorian Embassey in London for 4 years now. I hope he can be free soon for he is a genuine patriot in the Thomas Jeffersonian sense who wrote years ago, "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."


Oct 23, 2016

A Clear and Present Danger

"But I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country's peril."

"In time of 'clear and present danger,' the courts have held that even the priviledged rights of the First Amendment must yeild to the public's need for national security. Today no war has been declared; and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe. The survival of our friends is in danger. And yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired. If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our secuity."

"If you are awaiting a finding of 'clear and present danger,' then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent."

--- excerpt from John F. Kennedy's "Secret Societies" speech


Oct 23, 2016


Trust and Freedom

Politics in America has distorted the current moral reality of its citizens. Misdirected use of finanical power has greatly weaken the economic and political state of our country. We are currently headed for war with Russia because of the unstable state or condition in our economy, and the immoral character of our top leaders in the Whitehouse.

FBI directory Comey failed to uphold justice in prosecuting Hillary Clinton's security violations. The consequence may lead to a moral collapse of our intelligence agencies. I'm sure we're very proud of the CIA. But I'm beginning to the see the day when we could possibly equate the work of the CIA with what the KGB did in the 1950's.

Overt secrecy in government is weakness. As politically powerful as the KGB was made to be in the 1950's, the Soviet Union collapsed 30 years later. If we continue to fail in upholding justice, our government will collapse within the next generation.

Our strength in any endeavor depends on trust. Now, it's critical that all parts of our US state and federal agencies uphold justice to the highest degree possible. This is done by all the individuals in these agencies being as open and honest as they can be ... everyday, every minute. The price of Freedom is not free.


Oct 14, 2016

Our Country is in Serious Trouble

It's hard to believe this news item appeared today.

Vice President Joe Biden told "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd on Friday that "we're sending a message" to Putin and that "it will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact." When asked if the American public will know a message was sent, the vice president replied, "Hope not."
The statement above is in relation to a possible CIA cyber strike against Russia in retaliation for "alleged" Russian interference in the American presidential election.

It's heartbreaking to see how insane the politicians (and gravelling underlings surrounding them) in the Whitehouse have become. What's happening to the CIA! They should know better as the CIA have some of the best firewall technology and experts in the universe. They should defend justice in a way they are most able ... by, in this case, helping to protect US computer systems. Not in an insanely offensive way against a sovereign foreign country. It really saddens me to think the CIA with its many good people would be called upon to do so much evil. Is our country that weak? Wake up!

I've always turned away from commenting on politics, but now face this haunting quote: "... first they came for my friends and I did not speak ..."



Sep 12, 2016

Dial M for Lisp

David Betz's Xlisp-3, on www.xlisp.org, is a real work of art, but it's complex. I have a really hard time following the source code. Xscheme-0.28, published in 1991, is written in a relatively straight forward way, and for me feels more naturally written.

A couple of years ago I removed my edition for the Xscheme source code, but I've still been studying lisp source code development. Now, I'm changing direction again as I'm going to use the old Xscheme source code instead of Xlisp-3 for most of my lisp development.

You can download the older Xscheme source code: mlisp-0.2b.tar.gz  (495 kb).



July 2, 2016

tsemtulku.com
The Unknown

... (the spiritual teachers of the Upanishads) showed to their pupils that the light of Knowledge was meant only to make "darkness visible". With the awareness of "darkness made visible", through the processes of knowledge, these pupils were inspired to undertake the adventurous journey into the land of the Unknown where alone Wisdom can be discovered. This journey has to be unaided, for no teacher can lead a pupil into the realms of the Unknown. The journey to the Unknown is a flight of the alone to the Alone.

by Rohit Mehta,    Call of the Upanishads
Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, Delhi, 1970

I had a vivid dream recently where I was visiting a Tibetan monastary in Nepal. These kinds of dreams for me have a really profound mystical feeling. It usually involves viewing the landscape I'm visiting from the sky where I'm flying. In this dream I felt extreme fear of the forest surrounding the monastary. I had a real sense of my own pending death. Then a white cloud embraced me, and gently dropped me back on my own bed.

I know the fear I felt in this dream is from my past experiences travelling in strange places. When I travel alone I go to the extreme in embracing the unknown. I don't plan anything. I just try to let things happen on their own. But this kind of travelling invokes a lot of fear in me. It's taken years for me to start thinking about another journey.

In my next journey, I'd like to keep asking the question, "What kind of consciousness or awareness is there outside of the brain?" This question takes on different aspects depending on what kind of living life forms on earth I include which have a functioning nervous system. I know I have to try to find answers by including all life forms, but getting interpretations from human beings. I know this sounds really strange, but that's the best way I know how to put it. I'm at the edge of my limitations ... on a journey in which I meet myself at the end.

But for now, like the past few months, I spend lots of my time doing landscape gardening. The sunrise is my favorite time of day.



Jan 16, 2016

The Song of Our Lord

I spent much of last year trying to resolve a paradox. It is sort of amusing how what I think is paradoxical traps me. Maybe some alien being would strug, thinking what mis-directed energy I'm expending.

Actually, I guess this would not be paradoxical to a machine. Okay, maybe now I can explain it.

Years ago, I would never have dreamt of encountering the struggle with the concept of "non-dualism" I'm undergoing now. Spinoza smile on me. I would have neatly compartmented away my uneasy sense of the separateness of mechanistic forces and human psychic forces. I think most "modern western thinkers" separate the physical and spiritual. For some reason, it's not in my nature to do so.

Maybe it's my previous experience with eastern mysticism. Some really intensive study on Hindu and Buddhist mysticism years ago has deeply shaped my psyche. I still read the stuff of Hindu sages, especially Swami Sivananda.

In the Hindu epic, the Bhagavad Gita (the Song of Our Lord), the embodiment of love, Lord Krishna extolls the classical Vedic teachings on the value of self-realization through love. The Gita is not a "western" text reflecting linear thinking. The Gita are poems or songs about living a practical life which is allegorical with much symbolism and metaphors necessarily consistent only with respect to the human psyche. Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita is the god of love. Like the Upanishads, the Gita usually places me in wonderment. On these two texts each day I meditate.

I've always sense an enormous pull ... a mystical attraction to a kind of spiritual reality prominant in far eastern lands, especially in the Hindu kind of psyche.

The genius of human psyche, Karl Jung, wrote about the synchronous relationship between causal events in dreams. Dreams are more allegorical where the mind works overtime on symbolism. The psyche is not the prisoner of logic and strict causality. As in love, the psyche gets directly down to the business of really defining the self. Karl Jung describes a case of "exaggerated rationalism" or logic with respect to one of his patients who couldn't continue treatment until she could get pass her deductive thoughts. Jung basis his ideas about the fundamentals of dreams on synchronicity, and writes about this in his encounter with the golden scarab.

Swami Sivananda in the classical Vedic tradition says "Mind precedes Matter, ...". I wonder if I'll ever get to that place Swami Sivananda felt and knew as that is really a similar side of mechanistic non-duality.

A long time ago, a Shingon buddhist monk and I sat alone. He talked about a universal love that does not differentiate human separateness. I thought how is it possible for me to know this love. At that time, I had no clue how this was possible. It was not something inside of me. But nowadays, I think I sometimes sense it. You see, you cannot understand this love with your mind. You can only feel it in your heart. It might have come to me through years of simple experience. The scriptures say you're more likely to find this blessing if you try to purify yourself daily.

Following strict non-duality is too limiting ... too mechanical. It constricts your growth. I know or understand, that on one level, the world is purely mechanistic. But that's not the limit of my universe.

"I am the Self, dwelling in the heart of all beings." -- Lord Krishna, The Bhagavad Gita