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Journal – 2009-01-23

Participated, as usual, in the first half of the Thich Nhat Hanh sangha Day of Mindfulness, which takes place here once every six weeks.  Sat in for the meditation, introductions, silent walk, and went home before lunch.  Today was a special celebration, since one of the members, Sheila, had just returned from Plum Village after receiving the lamp – which means that she is a “dharma teacher”.  She’s the first Israeli to receive this.  Sheila was born in Ireland, and has retained her lovely accent.

Back home, I spent some time cleaning the house, since I hadn’t managed that yesterday, and read a little more from John Grisham’s “A Painted House”.  It turned out to be a very good book, though I’ve been plodding through it slowly.

And I spent awhile reading up on various subjects on the web.  I have been pondering the concepts of open source distributed social networks, as an alternative to the commercial ones like Facebook and Twitter. A number of people are working on the subject, though no one seems to have gone very far with it., which is run by – seems to be the most serious.  Its operations resemble WordPress (run by Automattic), in that it offers an downloadable open source version, while running a more public version (although Automattic seem to have a more viable business model and saleable product).   I also looked again at Opera Unite.  I’m troubled by the commercial and centralized nature of social networks and would prefer to something more chaotic.   I manage to achieve a little of the chaos I desire by distributing the same information across various commercial networks, but it would be nicer to have something a little more subversive and not be reliant on these large companies who are guided by commercial interests.