Monthly Archives: September 2007

The Iranian president comes to town

I might be wrong on this (I do recognize a sense of truth in their protests). If so, I will correct myself later. But for now this is what I want to say.

When you live in America, you criticize the American president. When you live in Iran, you criticize the Iranian president. If you want to criticize the Iranian president, you should go live in Iran, then you have the right to criticize the Iranian president. When I was in China, people who protest whenever an American president comes to China are always the kind of people who I wish know more about our own country. Here for people who like to protest governments in other countries, I cannot help wondering what kind of people they are. Every country has its history and circumstance, without living there and knowing where it came from, it is too easy to criticize just from your own moral standard.

Of course, every culture has its craziness or even perversion. What started as just a slight emphasis on one side of view might get magnified through thousands of years of history. Thus without learning from a totally different culture, the change will be very different. It is just like each individual’s growth. Each of us is attached to certain things or one-sided views. As we grow older, such attachments get magnified. A person who is good at learning, however, will discover about his/her attachment through his/her contacts with many different people. If s/he is lucky, s/he will meet someone that will totally change her/his life.

So in this sense, I welcome the communication between cultures. That will bring out the real change. People tend to pay too much attention to things on the surface and ignore things that are deeply rooted. So if Americans want to change Iran through cultural communication, such as moving over to live in Iran or at least getting more involved in the Iranians’ life, that will be very helpful. But trying to make change via violence, via state power, you then need to be fully aware of the consequence of your action. Probably it is not in your control at all.


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Filed under Cross Culture Communication, Grassroots, Random Thoughts

Language, mind, software learning, and liberal arts

5 years of fighting in China, I experienced true love and felt free. 7 years of fighting in US, I am stilling struggling with many basic things. This fight has been so long.

In order to form memory, the mind is trying to reach some more solid ground, some kinds of conclusion. In doing so, it has the tendency of shifting away from the real original experience, jumping into conclusion, or out of habit, interpret the new experience according to old long stuck views and reinforce the old view (either plus or minus). So to avoid this, it is important to at the time of significant experience, acknowledge what is truly experienced or the more reliable evidence as is, don’t jump into any conclusion, just keep what you can reach as is. This, of course, is the function of the notebook.

The same as our bodies subject to various forces, our minds also subject to various forces. For example, past, present, future. When we see or hear things, they are all forces. Forces are applied to create memory, to recall memory… How do you tame your mind?

As I can envision, since software is my art of life, by achieving greatness in this art, I will have a lot more grounds to play other things. Indeed, everything will be natural after that. But to achieve the greatness in my art, I need the same level in other arts as I had in China. At least, I need more space, more familiarity with various kinds of space. That is where the great flexibility of software learning comes from. (For example, project choosing. Choosing which tech to learn and being very brave with it. Use the bottom layer knowledge with great flexibility and accuracy. More aware of the context. Be brave and intuitive to use direct approach, short cut…) It is very much needed. It will greatly accelerate the speed. Indeed, your learning of software programming will be at least 1000 times faster if you have a very strong liberal arts and business background. In Chinese, we say Ru Yu De Sui (like fish getting into water), Zuo You Feng Yuan (the source is everywhere).
2 years ago, I felt the acceleration. Then gradually used it up because I have to work. I need to go back to that. Get my other arts to a whole new level. Then apply great force to my major art. (It seems I am a little trying to jump to conclusion here. 🙂 )

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Filed under Business, Chan/Zen, Culture, Programming, What is Learning

Work on the context to provide meaning to the work

If you don’t feel your work is very meaningful, you’d better work more on the context. In the software programming world, it means to merely coding might make you feel boring or tiring. But if you work more on the context (the art of programming, for example, or more general, liberal arts) and be aware of the context, then within that space, you gain the meaning of your work.

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Filed under Programming, Social Software

About human languages

Language, however full of false/shallow concepts, serves as a very rich construct of human experience, which provides an immediate framework for mind to fly within. Losing the language makes the mind lose this framework to fly within. So the mind has to land and crawl.

However, if we cannot perceive the true human experience behind the language, then the mind will be trapped in the spider web of human concepts and often get stuck.

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Filed under Foreign Experience

Meditation just for peaceful feelings?

For many people, their purpose of doing meditation is for the peaceful feeling. I will be a little nasty here. If your sole purpose of doing meditation is to get the peaceful feeling, you’d better just kill yourself. I can guarantee you that you will have the complete peace that way.

I will leave the rest to yourself to contemplate although by stopping here it does make me appear arrogant and nasty. Your existence is truth. Your non-existence is also truth. How do you live these truths? Here I want you to practice more of your existence. Without fully understanding your existence, you cannot understand your non-existence. Why? Because they are actually the same thing. They are also very different. 🙂

You shouldn’t be afraid of suffering.

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Filed under Chan/Zen

Looking at the stars

Looking at the stars, the only things that can connect me back to China, and shouting: Ni men hao ma? Wo zai zhe li.

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Filed under Random Thoughts

Walking in Greenwich Village

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking in Greenwich Village, wandering around aimlessly. Looking at people and stores, suddenly I felt free. A feeling of a long time ago came back to me. When I was in high school or college, I like to go to a new city, or go to the mountains, just by myself, alone, one person. Just walk around, explore the space, feeling I am walking freely in my life, in this society. This is what I have. What have I enjoyed in my life? What I hold precious? I am not going to subscribe to any particular kind of philosophy or ideology, no matter how good or right it is. I am not going to be bound by rules, although I am very cautious with the consequence of every action I take. A long time ago, I was decided that everyone needs to have his/her own philosophy. This philosophy arises from one individual walking freely in the society, reflecting on his/her own life.

In every culture, moral standard is a big part (probably always the dominate part) of the culture. People are afraid of free-thinking people. They want to put rules on people. Quite often, those rules were made by people who never lived freely, or by people who had their own hidden agendas.  I don’t have moral standards. I discarded all of them a long time ago. I only have a bottom line principle: don’t hurt other people. If I can do that well, I will be very satisfied with myself. But even that is very hard. I am still trying my best.

When I was in China, I wanted to walk around China very much, just to explore various cultures and people, to explore the space and to understand the space. That is actually pretty much all my learning in my undergraduate is about: just to explore and understand the space I live in. I read a lot of books, newspapers, almost everything that I didn’t know and felt important to know. I did a lot of social activities, sold stuff on the street, promoted Internet in its early stage in China. What is the feeling? It feels like holding the whole world in my hand (quote).

I still want to walk around US. I am still working very hard to explore the space in the west.

Unfortunately, the very purpose of compulsory schooling is to strip you away the time you need to walk freely in society. By taking away people’s control of their own time, you can turn them into slaves. It is done by people in power, by people who feel superior because they are in power, by people who are themselves slaves of enslaving ideology. However, we are fighting.

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Filed under Business, Chan/Zen, unschooling, What is Learning