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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Temporary Inconvenience...

 They , are replacing the water pipes in my section of the building today, I don't know what the Buddha of Our Time would say, but I say, oh well...

My apartment door is wide open so there's a draft on my back as I write this, and I can hear the neighbor ladies grousing it about from their entry-ways. It's a day in the life, no different than sitting in a cafe or a Zendo. I just have to remember to breathe!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

KFC Comes to Bielefeld

The Colonel has arrived. Now we've got it all. BK, MC D, Pizza Hut, KFC. Maybe there's room for Windsor Hot Wings! It's not my fault, folks. I'm a big fan of German and Polish food and when I feel like a burger, my own are still the best.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sunday as a Metaphor for.... Something

 I love Sundays. Church bells, families going to Grandma's house, taking walks together; afternoon coffee and conversation. Oh, yeah, the Sunday comics. We don't have them here, but back in the USA, I never missed a Sunday. I did, however miss a Sunday Mass or two.

Back then, Sundays were for wandering around the countryside looking for fishing holes, or watering holes. When no one else had the desire or the time, I would just go as far upriver as I could and still find a trout or a small-mouth bass. Early Summer and Early Fall were the best. The Weather today reminds me of those days. l sometimes miss the trout (and the family) but 'life is good, and so are the Universe and Everything. Sunday is a metaphor for 42.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Is Enlightenment Nirvana?

 I suppose this is the sort of question that drives many people mad. If you're one of them, apologies before the ramble. The question occurred to me the other day when talking to an acquaintance about mental models that make people physically ill and how "magic moments" change the mental model causing the physical problems to evaporate.

I have always believed that heaven and hell are ma to physical locations, but psychological conditions that follow the consciousness from one plane of existence (alternative reality, dimension, etc.) to the next. Enlightenment is a state of no-suffering resulting from practice. A Buddha is a perfectly enlightened being no longer subject to the cycle of births and deaths (or quantum leaps'). In this stateI (perfect) Enlightenment is Nirvana. Satori, or the fleeting glimpses of Nirvana which occur during meditation or after getting whacked in the head by an Roshi's stick is an indication that you're on the right path. Noticing a bird in a bush, a whale in a cloud, joy in another human can all have the effect of turning on the sensors. Keeping them on is a topic for another day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The AI as a Bhoddisatva

However innumerable sentient beings are, I vow to save them.
However inexhaustible the defilements are, I vow to extinguish them.However immeasurable the dharmas are, I vow to master them.However incomparable enlightenment is, I vow to attain it.

If every processor in the system is programmed to start churning with this in mind and to compare its results with it, we won't be meeting the Terminator. 

As simple as it sounds, it's better than a kill switch.



sorry for the typo, folks.....


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hell in a Handbasket

 If you follow the news, it should be obvious (if you know anything about history) you may have noticed that we are experiencing our past. Holy wars. Empire building. Empires in decline. Nationalism. Fascism. The collapse of civilization.. .

... or maybe  just the  growing pains of an expanding universe.

It's a nice day. Somewhere else humans are killing each other because of their differences. In my here and now, I sit alone and try to re-imagine them, as any reasonable god should do. Not too long from now, intelligent machines may be doing the killing. It would be nice if they learn from their mistakes and use it to save all sentient beings.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

And Now, May

I  lied about the hiking boots in April. I stayed sick for about three weeks. Since May's been here, I've put some miles on. The weather's been great and I've started building for a couple of good, long treks. Fifteen to twenty k a day is the goal. No mountain climbing or fording rivers, just good old walking with a full pack. The maps are out and the winter fat is starting to burn off,