From pre-school to elementary school, from elementary to middle school, middle school to high school, high school to college, college to work, "work to death". When we find gaps to retract from these systematic environments the time is spent doing activities which allow us to completely take our minds away from that which we have spent so much time doing (school & work). So we jump into anything that will entertain us… TV, Sports, Dancing, The social web, Movies, drugs and alcohol, etc. Rarely ever, do you see someone sit still, and dive into who they are and contemplate their being. We go from one spectrum to the other, activities of necessity to activities of leisure. "Doing" has become the essence of our existence, while thoughts of "being" have slipped away into alien concepts that monks experience and are talked about in eastern philosophies. We are coerced by our situations and circumstances. We are taught obligation, and not too much more. Family, friends, colleagues and co-workers are the walls preventing a free life.
If we live in the world of "doing" a duality is created, where our personal life is pitted against our work life. We become frustrated people because the two compete for our focus and attention. So we end up in suboptimal situations. And suboptimal situations create suboptimal people, unless they have the ability to transcend the situation through decision.
Let us find out who we are so that we can create a strong foundation, built from our own feelings, thoughts, and emotions, and not from a series of beliefs or ideals that have been handed to us from a religion, society, culture or civilization. Having created a foundation, we can then confirm our outlook on life and start to create a path through this life. A path with sincere conviction, with the understanding and acceptance reinforced by our foundation. It would be an independence which would grant the peace of mind that comes with conviction of a pure and peaceful decision. We would then know that we are always in the right place at the right time... living this life which is the ultimate expression of self.
"Maybe ill just use water." I thought to myself. No not really, milk can be found for an average of about 5 bucks a gallon so... Im not quite sure what this grocer had to do to get this milk for it to be priced at 10 bucks, but I think ill go elsewhere.
As an observer of this world, I can't help but call attention to interesting connections that I feel are being overlooked. Forgive me if you have heard this one before, but I have not, which is why I am creating this post. If you dont like to read, or just dont have the time, Figure 1 below pretty much explains it all.
Please note the correlation between the unemployment rate (yellow) and facebooks monthly traffic (blue)
Black hole economics comes to me as a concept which has a severe negative impact on the growth of an economy and the people that are a part of it. I use the term black hole because this seems to be how these micro industries operate. Here's a brief description of a black hole from wikipedia.
"A black hole is a region of space from which nothing, including light, can escape."
Lets start by looking at some industries that are NOT black holes. The auto makers not only provide transportation for workers to get to and from jobs, they also provide jobs within the industry itself. They, in a sense, provide a useful product that people can use productively, which in turn "stimulates" the economy. Agriculture, now this should be a no-brainer, as every animal on this planet consumes some sort of food. Therefore, it has a positive effect, people can't do much if they don't eat. On the other hand there is one industry that does not have the stimulating effect that most industries have. Ill call it "The Worthless Web". This industry takes in the majority of the most valuable resource (time) and returns far less in economic positivity. Call it a rant or call it interesting, but the following content will give my perspective of this industry.
When looking at the most recent economic down turn (depression), I begin to notice the vast amount of emphasis on the fact that so many people are losing jobs, and/or cant find jobs. Then I noticed the enormous growth in social networking, social bookmarking, and entertainment sites. (facebook, myspace, digg, youtube, etc.)
"Whats the connection?" you might ask. Well, it's not hard to notice that the majority of videos, posts and comments are about frivolous matters which deal with anything but self improvement or the improvement of others. This is the reason why I included the jobs sites traffic and w3schools. They are a part of the web industry, yet have an orientation to give back to those who visit (but look at how low their traffic is when compared).
If there were as many people visiting websites to find a job, there may not be as many people without one. And if these people don't have the skills to find a job, then they should be spending more hours acquiring those skills from sites like w3schools (which is basically a flat-line when compared to the others). Now, there has however been a decent amount of traffic at www.ehow.com, which is basically a site for learning. This is great! But my disappointment starts when I look at the "Top 10 eHows". Here are the top 5 from that list.
1. How to Give Your Boyfriend a Valentine's Day Present
2. How to Install the ActiveX Control on Facebook Photos
3. How to Find Your Computer IP Address (Windows)
4. How to Make Guacamole
5. How to Upload Photos on Facebook
Two of them deal with facebook! Not a single one appears to be progress towards a career foundation.
Moving on, I would also like to mention, the secondary effect (or primary depending on how you look at it). The time spent on these sites, which take away from the productivity of those who do have jobs. Now, Ill leave it up to the individual as to what is a reasonable work to browse ratio, but I just find it hard to believe that we are being as efficient as we can when the top youtube video has 136,788,775 views. That's almost 1 view for every 2 people in the US. And that's not the kicker, the real joke is the actual content of the video (do a search for "Evolution of Dance", and you'll see what I'm talking about). I wouldn't mind if the video was a tutorial on how to create drinking water from salt water, or how to do CPR, or a motivational passage from one of our world religions, or even geometry 101, but its not, its just not.
And yes yes, I understand that this post and all my others are in some way a contribution to all the crap on the web. I just hope that one can recognize my attempts to disseminate useful knowledge.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying this is fact, hence the word "theory". I will continue to look for more connections, and consult with some of the good minds that I know to find out if there is any other evidence to support this theory. If you have links or any other useful info, please contact me
During the writing of this I was able to think of one other industry which may create similar effects in our economy and culture, Sports. Though it may not be as severe as the black holes found on the Internet, its concentration of intake, is far greater than its positive economic output.
Here is a little status update on how the first of my android applications are doing.
Ive recently found time to give Coordy 0.9.9 a hour or two of my time to get more familiar with it. It's a project a friend of mine has been working on for a while now. "coordy is a Flash layout toolkit that allows you to easily organize items in various layout patterns."
I had the idea of making it react to some audio, so I used one of my random instrumentals to see what I could do in a short amount of time. I have been wanting to see what kind of navigation structures I could create with Coordy, so I thought I would start simple and maybe next time try for a more interactive approach.
This little test can bee seen here (Warning: Has Sound!)
In our attempts to really get the most of our time here in Hawaii, we have been trying all sorts of new fruits... Attempting a new food item each week. Here are a few items that have been check off the list.
As many may know, I have begun the process of designing a house that I would like to eventually build in New Mexico or California. My aim is to find some cheap land in the middle of nowhere, and "de-evolve" by way of the "Simple Life".
This version of the house is 32ft by 24ft. There are no exterior images, because im not to concerned about what the house "looks" like. The primary concern at this point is to get an idea of space, lighting, and the location of rooms.
A trip up to the mountains
Back in May of this year (2009) I decided that I was going to do a so called "century ride" Which is a 100 mile bike ride. I thought that one, im not getting in younger, and two Im here in Hawaii I might as well do it. The total ride took 10hrs and 45mins. This is a fairly slow pace by many standards, but the only training I had was some 10-20 mile rides on the weekends that I would do around Waikiki. The ride was easy until I reached the 70 mile mark, at which point I thought I would have to find a ride home on a bus or with my thumb out. When I pushed through 80 miles it was all down hill. This was going through the middle part of the island.
Google Map Here
(I rode counter-clockwise)
After years in the making, my mom (and a friend of hers) have finally seen their product hit the shelves (here). They are both midwives currently stationed in Las Cruces New Mexico. The Accu-Sound is a uterine sound with a unique sliding ring that provides nurses and doctors more accurate measurements. I provided some initial 3D models and dimensional drawings that were used to convey the design of the tool to the manufacturer.
I have rarely seen anyone who cares about the work they do as much as my mom. She is constantly expressing her concerns about the patients she sees and the practices that take place in here clinics and hospitals. So in here quest to be the best nurse she can, she has found a way to make an attempt of improving the profession that she has enjoyed so much.
What is a uterine sound you may ask... Turns out there are many uses for it both medical and non, but in the medical field they are often used to take measurements of internal female parts.
So I would like to declare a new holiday which will take place each Wednesday. Windex Wednesday allows us all to get a clean start for the remainder of the week. To participate, simply give yourself one generous blast of Windex (or a generic brand blue liquid substitute) instead of your usual cologne, perfume or smelly goods. If you are a bigger guy or girl you might want to think about taking advantage of a second squirt, it may give everyone the extra pop that the holiday is after. Mix it up world, do something different. Stop being so serious. Please join us every Windex Wednesday.
As I begin the process towards a short stay back on the continent, I start thinking about that which I will miss. I have to say that the thing that I'll miss the most is the surf.
When I first tried it 5 months ago, I didn't have the patience, the balance, the awareness, the judgment, the strength, the endurance, or the understanding that it takes to see why so many people talk about it as this "Amazing" thing.
I eventually found an "in" by discovering the stand-up paddle board. (not shown here) It eliminated a few of the shortcomings listed above and afforded me the insight to the others. I eventually bought this long board. Its 10'2" long, 23 1/4" wide, and 3/4" thick and it really gets the job done. I have been riding this my last three days here and have really turned the page on my ability to ride waves.
Not so comfortable
It all started with a rip in my backpack. I had been planning on fixing it for a while with the small sewing kit I purchased months ago when I used one of the needles to dig sea urchin spins out of my foot.
Anyway, the next thing I knew I was stitching up my backpack, my old shorts, and watching youtube videos on hand sewing. In my quest for more, I started thinking of how to add a bit more flavor to my hat. I thought of some patterns that I could make, but realized that the 2* was the best way to go.
I guess the idea was "forced community". The plan of the house has the up-stairs of each residence located above the down-stairs of the other. The four stairways located in a small gap between the main portions of the building run parallel to each other. The large porches and balconies which extend to the roof are accessible by their respective staircase toward the side of the building. Im not sure what the room plan would look like because I was only concerned with the massing... It was just fun to think about the interactions that would take place by the occupants.
Two of my high school running buddies from Jackson, TN (now a couple) came to visit at the end of July and did as much as humanly possible in a weeks time (see sharks, jump from a plane, surf, snorkel, hike, and relax). They were visiting from Nashville TN, a couple of hours from the smaller town where we all grew up.
Lei is a Hawaiian word for a garland or wreath. More loosely defined, a lei is any series of objects strung together with the intent to be worn. The most popular concept of a lei in Hawaiian culture is a wreath of flowers draped around the neck presented upon arriving or leaving as a symbol of affection. This concept was popularized through tourism between the Hawaiian Islands and the continental United States in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Children and sweethearts are poetically referred to as "lei" and many ancient and modern songs and chants refer to this imagery.
Malaekahana State Park, Oahu.
The pictures were taken by my beautiful Ashley. Im pretty sure it was her first day using a DSLR so she was snapping like crazy, which made me want to try some crazy stuff. The lens was my 50mm fixed.
Just because such amazing things happen outside my window, i feel obligated to share.
This morning was the first morning that I put gas in my car, so I thought I would post an image... 256 miles and 40 days after I bought it.
These are some random things that I had on a bookshelf in San Francisco which I threw away before I moved. I would usually just take pictures of the random items I found fascinating, but sometimes those items would make their way back to my apartment bookshelf.
Ever wonder why the post office doesn't have a system to filter out all the junk mail we receive, which would hopefully in turn make those who send it stop sending it, saving us the time (and trees) of having to sort through it and figure out what is "important" mail and what is junk, which has become even harder these days because they put the word "Important" on everything, from the kraft cheese coupons to the change confirmations from your online bank. Well they don't filter it, because they are in on it.
If you have recently done a change of address "on-line" then you would have notice pages that looked like these. After they get the $1 from you, they already have access to your money, and would love to tack on another purchase or send you straight to someone else who is obviously adamant about selling you something.
All I'm saying is that when I want to change my address... I want to change my address. When I want to buy magazines, lumber, or a car... I go to their respective vendors or craigslist.
Now, I didn't graduate from Harvard and i don't know the first thing about running a business. But Im willing to guess that this is part of the reason that AIG has been experiencing financial troubles. It might not be the biggest factor contributing to their problems, but it may have been the straw that broke the camels back.
San Francisco to Hawaii
“Mixed company”. A term my pops has used several times. Usually in regard to when it is and is not appropriate to pass gas or start up certain conversations. Well, over the years the people I have met and hung out with would give the term a new facet, so here goes.
As I start to settle in here in Hawaii I start to look at the transition and how good it is to my soul. As most of you know, im a bit of a mess and all over the place with my ideas and directions in life. So to keep you up to date I thought I would write this and introduce you to my new site.
I’ve never been too good with words so I figured I would simply show some pictures and lay out some facts and new knowledge that I have gained in the past few weeks.
1: When you don’t have a car, you have to take a taxi to the post office to mail large boxes.
2: One in every two thousand people that enter the post office in San Francisco’s china town branch are under the age of… say…. 65
3: It costs $240 to send a 23lb bike from San Francisco to Honolulu via UPS (2 days).
4: It cost $179.40 to send A guitar, a computer, 2x19” monitors, and box of random items, and a regular size duffel bag via USPS (15 days. They said 7-10 days. Image below).
5: Surfing is hard work… (the paddling)
6: If you don’t where a shirt while surfing, chances are you will end up with strawberries on your stomach and nipples.
7: Sea urchin stings hurt a lot longer than I would have hoped
8: Snorkeling is somewhere between sleep, a roller coaster ride, meditation, a horror movie, and heaven.
9: People take pictures of you if you paddle a kayak down the Ala Wai canal.
10: The Hilton across from me does a fireworks show 1-2 times a week.
11: Most of the street names here only have four letters… K, L, A, and U and range from 3 to 20 letters long.
To close things out, I want to tell everyone that I really appreciate the connections we have made. Thank you for being you, because it allows me to be me. Life is short but the journey is long. Ill end with a quote from the movie troy (not sure of its origin).
“The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be more lovely than you are now. We will never be here again.”
If you haven’t seen it, see it.
May thy path bring thee peace
Why does life want to continue?
To learn about itself.
Why does life want to learn about itself?
To discover/sense itself.
Why does life want to discover/sense itself?
To gain the ability to answer that question.
Work molds us. The result is that we value what is returned by that sacrifice of time and of life. We become our jobs. We begin to hate those who cause us work and start to asses everyday life from that angle even when we are not working.