Archive for January, 2012

Be independent – think differently

Monday, January 9th, 2012

The hard thing is to think differently when needs be – so make sure you know what is really at the heart of the matter – and then think the thoughts that need to be thought. Think differently! Assuming you are able to do what you have thought – you will be well rewarded.

Finding what is at the heart of the matter is often hard. We overlook the truth, we do not recognise truth, we even hide truth to avoid facing the consequences. But the heart of the matter is what counts.

At some point you will understand the need for a new way, a change, of making a difference. You will often be told, so listen up, and you may also understand things as they are by yourself. You need to heed what you understand or are told.

Alway carry a hard thing with you – your ability to do perform what thinking differently has laid out for you. Be determined always, never let it go.

We overlook truth due to biased thinking, faulty reasoning, fear of consequences, social justification, laziness. This is a great hindrance, so be determined, fight it. Always find the heart of the matter, then do what you must do.

You must take your chances too, there are often short moments of decision, chances pass all the time. Your thinking is right, you know what to do, then take your chances.

Do you believe in what you do? Faith must be built, you must develop a process that brings you forward, stick to it. When you have thought right, the consequence is that you should do right, use the hard thing.

What is the point of it all? Why are you really here? There is a reason, you must find it, even work hard to find it. Basically you must achieve something, you must mean something to yourself, to others, to society. You will want to mean something. Think right and differently, take your chances, use the hard process, and you are there and you mean something.

Often you are faced with a fundamental decision: There is a need to reinvent yourself, to become a new person, to think different things, and you may need to use a hard way to achieve it.

So be conscious, observe yourself and what happens around you and what you do – then build an open-ended philosophy and stick to it. Belive in it and all the time you should think differently.

And always take your chances – when you are thinking differently the odds will be with you. Things become what they should become when you are conscious and act accordingly.

So think differently and a good future will come your way.

Be curious forever, question everything, be hard……..

Wolfram: Developing science by computation

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Stephen Wolfram is working on establishing a new kind of science based on the hypothesis that all of nature, all scientific processes are working from a set of computational rules. The basic building blocks are cellular automata and they can be described by computer programs.

He thinks we need these computer programs to describe the processes in nature, mathematics is not enough. Nature works from computational rules that are already there, and our task is to find these programs that often are very complex.

So he implies that we need to look at science in a new way.

Stephen Wolfram has made an Apple App Wolfram Alpha that can compute or give answers to your questions. This is based on data we have already, data that has been collected, controlled, made coherent, useful – and the mass of data is not to big to do that. The ambition is to collect the world’s data into a well functioning set that has practical use. Search engines help you find data, Wolfram Alpha is working on making it computable. This is a work in progress: Finding more data, checking and coding it, allowing more and more questions to be answered.

He has also made Mathematica which is a popular program for engineers, scientists for calculation, presentation of their work.

He runs a company of about 500 people.

His main challenge now is developing a new kind of science. His thesis is that nature can best be explained using computer programs – he wants to build a new kind of science NKS.

The basic building blocks are cellular automata. They are hugely varied, but can show great complexity, and the universe and the processes taking place there are the results of structures of simple computations. There are a set of simple rules at the bottom of it all, and nature is a sampler of what is already there.

If this is right it will change the sciences, even make a new science: a proper life science.

The practical use has already been shown through Wolfram Alpha and Mathematica.

So searching the computational universe you find the answers via algorithms that are already there. Algoritms and programs are the mainstay of our future, and the job is to find out how to put this together in a new way never seen before.

Schools will be about this too – finding, creating, putting together programs and algorithms that can be put to use.

So what do you want to do, what do you want to know? Go find the data, the programs, the algorithms that will help you. Science will change, business will change.

A new Pythagoras, a new Newton? Maybe – but the thinking is hugely interesting.

So it will be programs also instead of just mathematics. Simple programs often show complex behaviour. This implies a radical rethinking of how processes in nature and elsewhere work: Nature can produce seemingly complex creations effortlessly based on simple programs.

So if Stephen Wolfram is right: Computation is our future – the basis for all developments.

See Wikipedia about cellullar automata

Rituals, seasons, meaning: Is time running out for Christmas?

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

The Christmas season is ending, and we have a new year 2012. Celebrations have been taking place, many people went to their Christian church, we saw great fireworks – Sydney gave a fantastic display!

Christmas is about companionship, love, sharing and it is a Christian ceremony focusing on the birth of Christ – giving it great importance for Christians all over the world.

New years eve and day is about cheering the old and new years – preparing for the new activity that is coming.

Christmas is also about gifts that we give to each other, and it is about having a quiet time. Especially for children Christmas has always been a great time – expectations of gifts giving rise to great expectations and even causing grave nervousness for some.

But there is a change coming as we increasingly lose touch with the real meaning of this ancient ritual. The market and business have taken Christmas and made it a pretence for shopping, for consumption. They are pressuring us hard to make  it a good Christmas. The ritual has turned into a mockup, a setting for buying things, a perfect mishmash of everything.

The Christmas ceremony seems to have been instituted by the Romans, some say it was constructed or chosen by the Romans, it was made as a forceful combination of the birth of Jesus and the birth of the new year. Green decorations has been used for a long time, say 500 years. And now the mass production economy has taken over – the occasion is focused on buying. Even Asia is catching on, although the colour of Christmas is often blue there – blue trees, light, and even a bit of Disney and Grimm thrown in.

Asia already have many ceremonies tied in to the seasons of the year, so Christmas is not really needed.

The central part of Christmas is now the gift – as it once was. But there has been a profound change. Community is difficult in a society where there is lots of money. You just pay people to do what you want – you do not really need the people themselves. Community is based on relationships, dependencies, gifts, exchange of services – all interwoven. Poor people often have strong communities.

Many writers have said that a gift should represent yourself – tell the recipient who you are, what you do, what you think. It could be from your occupation, handicraft, gardening, a written piece perhaps.

These days most people make nothing, they have nothing representaive to give. Mass production and increased material wellbeing has solved this – we buy and give in abundance. But gifts are now often what you need anyway, so the symbolic effect, the picture of the giver, her personality is now totally absent. There is not enough depth in this kind of giving. Often money is given because people need that.

Christmas cards also play a part. We have moved far from each other, from country to city which has made gifts very unpractical, we send a greeting instead – a fine card. Many people are putting a lot of effort into these greetings, they become both rich and personal and are a turn back to the roots of Christmas.

Father Christmas is another invention of uncertain origin, and he is also a confidence man as he does not sell, he merely makes you buy, a role that is not so easy. His logistics of reindeers is also rather impractical, but builds the myth well.

The food that once was so essential is still there, but the situation and the circumstances have changed – maybe we should not eat so much? And cut the drinking?

Gifts are symbols of love, we send gifts in the hope of receiving love, and this works both ways. In the old days a bearer of gifts was expected to have a reward, a gift had spiritual content, it meant something, it was a message also.

It may be that what is now happening in the course of a Christmas and new years celebration is empty of real meaning, it does not satisfy us mentally any longer. In many countries the support for the Church is waning. We are left with a celebration that is a mix of basically unconnected elements and we see commercial pressure piling up.

We are left wanting – the emperor wore no clothes – we know how much it all costs, we can add it up, and it is now done as part of a commercially wild behaviour. Empty myths that are commercialism in disguise are not sustainable.

Seasonal celebrations and religious celebrations are a strong combination, but now we have been left confused, because it has become a shopping gala – the taste of it all is not so good.

So where do we go now: Start thinking, man, think and then make changes – amazingly we need to go back to our roots of personalized gifts, common ceremoy, joy and reflection, even without religion. And buy less – even nothing – give your self first, then build community – then we have the foundation for a good celebration.

Common rituals for all is what we want – ceremonies that offers meaning, depth and that we can find reason to take part in.

The good life and the need for understanding ourselves

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Many people now have reasonably good lives. Medical and material life is good, and life spans are increasing too. This may be due to the benefits of medical science, healthy food, the organization of society with welfare etc. – physical wellbeing is great and improving.

There are problems and crises, but the long term development seems set on a good course.

But life is not fully satisfactory – many people do not see a purposeful end to all the buzz, it is becoming a case of just more of the same, we are not connected to a larger vision, we are just milling about, we are consumers foremost, we enjoy, we are entertained. The purpose and deeply felt contentment is not there.

We feel some sort of unease – there is so much information, so much to know, so little we can do, we are controlled by others far away, information is piling up, and you can not do a thing about it.

The world has opened up through travel – geography is not a hindrance as you can go all over the world, and time and seasons do not matter much. We are no longer connected to a base where we live, work, grow or find food. We are being up-rooted.

And the world is ours, we get everything from other places or unknown spaces, our jobs are enourmously specialized, we have been many places, we move about. Other people are doing the same, goods are flowing in all directions in large quantities. Media are going full blast, we see the whole world, all problems are our problems, there is a global thinking emerging, and it seems to be full of unsolved problems, things going bad.

The result is that we think too much, we are constantly worried by all that is happening, all that we know. The world has become one global place, our world and what is happening to it is a problem. The politics of (now) terrorism is also scary, adding more thinking and practicalities. The environmental questions are building up too, and the combined result is that we live in a mental mess.

We are becoming part of a system that we do not fully understand or know what to do with. It is complex, and we are part of it – in all its intricate workings.

And outer space is not yet fully explored – but we are fully aware that more knowledge is coming. New dimensions are introduced. We are even beginning to have new views of how we ourselves function, mentally, spiritually and physically, how we are built and how we function.

So it is safe to say that our lives have profoundly changed. A new era is coming, we have not fully measured up to it yet. We have not seen enough yet – and our attention is not put into it, we are slightly afraid of that, and we hide it by busying ourselves with work, consumption, entertainment.

But a new world view is dawning – the huge interdependencies we see, the interconnectedness of it all, the need for a new understanding of it all. And going global is not the solution – we need fixed activities in our life, a base, a home, but at the same time we should be able to benefit from other places, other people.

Local is the solution, and what you must first do is inner work so that you understand how you function, how you relate to others, how to find livelihood and that that is your responsibility, and then start the work about  what we do to the world and its systems, building support and evading destruction.

The art of inner work is not new, but must be spread to far more people so that it can have an impact. We must find our preoccupations, see our egobuilding, control our consumption, understand the use of stimulants, building new relations in our local communities, cooperate with others, relate consciously to the wider world, not merely travelling around as tourists.

The large questions of being born, living and dying must also be seen into so that we can develop new understanding in these areas too – essentially finding more about what life is. These questions are important too – giving perspective, understanding the span we have, thinking about what can be done while we are here. The old question of what life really is has not been approached in a wide sense, and we still do not fully understand what life is.

So the work ahead must start – a lot of new areas are opening up, they have been seen, it is about ourselves and our relations to others and the wider world, we must be conscious about what we do – more consumption and entertainment just will not do.

So there is a task out there – it is individual and it is collective and related to the greater cosmos. It could be interesting, even fun to engage in deep work here.

Challenge yourself! A new understanding must be developed – a different world is coming.