in post

9 February, 2021

From my journal

I was thinking recently that it is in the nature of those who aspire to truth to fall prey to folly... in the years to come I want to avoid all movements and places that stink of fakery and phoniness. Places with pretensions to spirituality, in particular, are pretty ghastly. On the basis of my experience with them, it isn't surprising that I feel disenchanted. And, of course, I'm well aware of my own failings. I don't need to make these worse by placing myself in the path of further possibilities for failure. It is best to keep to modesty, the water-course way of the Tao.

In terms of the future of humanity, our best hope is in the increasing confirmation given by science of the veracity of the mystical vision of unity and interbeing. Science gives no indication of whether an integral vision, based on this truth, is attainable on a personal level, as claimed by the mystics. That is less important, in so far as it concerns the future of the human race. What is important is that the scientific truth of underlying unity and inter-connectedness becomes a modus operandi for our future development. It offers a hope for our species, as we go forward. Much more so than the quasi-religious writings of all the mystics. The best way of looking at these is as pre-scientific glimpses of truth.

For us personally, what is important is to bring our lives into line with this truth, part of which means minimizing our needs, avoiding consumption for ego-gratification, trying to accord with ecological principles, and of course living in peace with one-another.

Beyond all this utilitarian stuff, there is still the question of whether it is possible to obtain a more inclusive vision, so that it does not become a matter of the intellect struggling with the mind, emotions and psychological needs.

Currently, I find the most appropriate guide appears to be Lao Tzu. I will be looking for solutions there.

Links blog

"We are a year into the pandemic, and video conferencing tools still don't support 1) queues of who talks next, 2) presenting a consistent view of participants so everyone can say a thing and then take turns."

"I think the main way to uncrumble the fedi is just to give admins and users good enough tools to manage their experience. Adopt a principle of consent, so that people aren't just having random junk dumped upon them. If that happens often enough, then it becomes no longer worth it.

Yes you can try to lower the bar and improve interoperability, but this lifts all boats. So it also lowers the bar to adversaries. Lowering of the bar has to happen in conjunction with improved moderation tools so that communities can effectively practice self-governance."

✭Paul Frazee - YouTube
"Decentralization and decency speaker" , fossdem - his youtube channel. Speaks on his CTZN project.

✭The Decentralized Web of Hate – Rebellious Data
This report looks at how hate movements are decentralizing using emerging technologies in ways that make them harder to combat.

✭facial recognition tech by the Govt. of India
Under Project Panoptic, we have been tracking all ongoing use of facial recognition technology in the country. In a letter to the Parliamentary Standing Committee, we relay our concerns to them and ask them to call relevant stakeholders such as ministry officials and privacy experts to depose before them.
#india #privacy

"StreamYard is a live streaming studio in your browser. Interview guests, share your screen, and much more. Stream directly to Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other platforms."

✭'Lazy,' 'Money-Oriented,' 'Single Mother': How Union-Busting Firms Compile Dossiers on Employees
According to a 2019 report by the Economic Policy Institute, employers in the United States spend roughly $340 million on union avoidance consultants each year, who often report being paid in the neighborhood of $350 hourly rates or $2,500 a day for their work fending off unions.
#US #capitalism

✭A new lens technology is primed to jumpstart phone cameras
A new company called Metalenz, which emerges from stealth mode today, is looking to disrupt smartphone cameras with a single, flat lens system that utilizes a technology called optical metasurfaces. A camera built around this new lens tech can produce an image of the same if not better quality as traditional lenses, collect more light for brighter photos, and can even enable new forms of sensing in phones, all while taking up less space.
#phones #cameras