28 September 2020

The US, Nations

It's funny that Trump is being criticized for not being a very successful capitalist. But it's wholly depressing what the US has become. I am so glad I decided not to remain in that country like my poor brother. My gladness is only exceeded by my embarrassment about living where I do. But when I begin to think along these lines, I remember how difficult it is to like any nation state at all. They are all hideous, corrupt and rotten to the core. Small communities (of one kind or another) are something that I can relate to. None are perfect, and they do not scale. The greater their size, the more corrupt. Size seems to magnify the defects of any conglomeration of humans. Nations take the taxes gleaned from their hard working citizens and squander these on munitions, colonialist projects, or simply to support the extravagant lifestyles of useless elites.

I've never had the right to vote in any of the countries where I've lived and, as an alien, I'm not much of an activist. I believe in creating alternatives more than in protest. I think it's better to live in the way that we would like the larger society to be. It's not much, but it's something.


In the morning I interviewed Roi, the new director of the School for Peace, via Zoom. He and his wife and daughter will be coming to live in the village, in the next stage of the expansion. In the meantime, their plans are being held up a bit because the plot has an ancient wine press on it, requiring an archeological dig. That can be expensive, but the antiquities authority has agreed to arrange a community dig, which will apparently be quicker and cheaper. The hillside is dotted with such features, from various historical eras.


In the late afternoon we had a meditation session, in the olive grove on the ancient terrace below the spiritual center. A surprising number of people showed up for that, though all of them Jews - on this Yom Kippur. I was seeing many of them for the first time - the village is growing, and there are lots of people renting now. NM led a sitting meditation. D. read a text about the "Beginning Anew" practice of Plum Village. There was also a walking meditation and another based on the idea of forgiveness. However, as usual in meditation sessions, I didn't pay much attention to what was being said. I haven't been attending such activities at all lately, and I attended this one only because it was held outdoors.

Meditation and other spiritual practices are much more main stream nowadays than they were a generation ago. This morning, one online mindfulness session arranged by Maty Lieblich and her mother Amia, to which 400 people registered; though they had to limit participation to 300. D. had planned to participate, but it was already full.

Hubzilla photo rendering

For some reason, when I view jpegs in the photo software of my computer (nomacs) they are superior to the same photos uploaded to hubzilla and viewed in my browser. The file sizes are the same. Must be something about the way they are rendered. Here is a screenshot of the jpeg in hubzilla (left) side by side with the same photo viewed in nomacs. But I have saved the screenshot in a png. The colors are more natural in the photo on the right, and perhaps the image is clearer. (Perhaps I should prefer .png to .jpg for hubzilla, or maybe its a deficiency in my server setup?)