Archive for the 'Life' Category

The Enigma of Hitler – Salvador Dali

Feb 19 2011 Published by under Art

As surreal art sells high on Google today, I’d like to share some some pipings about one.


The Enigma of Hitler by Salvador Dali

The wilted tree of life with branches cut off represents the material plane not being rooted in the life. This is emphasized by one end of the tree being cut off in the painting.
Hitler is represented as a torn photo. There are several peculiarities to note. Only this object has a recognizable face in the painting. It is an image within an image. Hitler is drawn in a style more real than the entire painting. The painting is in a surrealist style, while Hitler is drawn as in a photo.
The plate itself is surreal. It could represent an amphitheater, as a reference to where echoes make reality. Most people who have not seen Hitler have a common image conjured. He is in fact a dictator everyone has experienced in their personal life, whether in practicing self-control or in their desire for mastery.
Another way to look at this is as the metal plate behind a speaker. Either way, Hitler has a hypnotic influence on the crowd by the way he uses words.

The circular cycle

The bat aims at Hitler, which leads to the bean. The bean is reflected on the tree of life, representing moral decay. The bean is hung as a hat on the tree, from which a large drop of water, perhaps a tear, is about to drop onto the plate. The result is reflected outside the plate. We could say the result was already there before the plate appeared on the scene. If the plate is to represent Hitler’s ability to control minds, then the he speaks to something already within the surreal landscape of people’s minds.

The Figure and Umbrella

Who is the shadowy figure emerging out of the transparent umbrella? In the context of the painting, she would represent society. Around the time Hitler comes to power, unemployment skyrocketed. The primary purpose of society is to provide support, a way of life, for everyone. When this is not fulfilled, many plow deeper to look for black, furtive soil to plant seeds of hope. This comes in the form of a plate with Hitler on it.
Hitler had the answer to everyone’s problems, a typical answer. It’s commonly repeated in textbooks, “the Jews”. Just how did this insanity get out of hand? It’s a collective insanity, so common that if you did not agree with it, you could be killed. If everyone else believes in it, then it must be true.
This is the food backed with logic, brain food, which Germans at the time feed on. At this moment, the result has already happened in. Great Sorrow crystallizes as the raindrop. Seemingly out of nowhere.
The fact is that there is an umbrella and that the woman, representing society itself, could shield the drop of water from the plate. This reflects the fact that society is often able to shield the sorrow behind the collective illusion. A clear example can be seen in the case of communism. The idea behind communism is that a communal heaven emerges in the future by sacrificing the present. When an entire country believes in it, the country is under the rule of a dictator shielded by an umbrella.
they do not notice their own poverty.
They do not notice their own poverty. They lived in poverty, and did not know it.

. . . When you know yourselves, then you will . . . But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty.

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How Different Programs View Computers

Jan 24 2011 Published by under Courses,Life


Point of views:
Engineering – nothing special here. Engineers know enough of science and chemistry to build a computer if civilization was destroyed. A common pitfall is not being able to control their thoughts. They rely on drinking to get a good night’s sleep, maybe due to too much responsibility and stress. Many of them carry this behavior into work life. To illustrate, the Engineers at Google drink on the job.
Computer Science – these guys run into more trouble with their computers than anybody else. Hence, the hammer is well deserved. The cutting edge of technology is more often the bleeding edge. It hurts.
Scientific – acids are the way to recycle computers. The guy must be an evil genius to come up with this method.
Religious – Note: the screen is glowing red. Use some water to put out the fire?
Drama – watch some movies, eat, or sleep? Can’t decide which.
Philosophical – perhaps the most beautiful of all. Given a computer, philosopher might ask, what is real? Might I not be interacting with a computer program? Is my entire life a simulation? What parts of the mind is real? What am I? If the ego is all I am, is it not easily replicated?

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Finding a Feather Fallen from the Firebird (Part V)

Oct 24 2010 Published by under Life

Is initiation a significant event? The only one I could find from this period was a legendary hack. It was done with Linux. Anyways, I downloaded a whole bunch of Linux distributions at school and tried them out. In the end, I decided on Sabayon because it was a Gentoo distribution with a lot to play around with.  When it came to formatting, I read a forum post and decided on ReiserFS. At first, I saw some files with size 0 and thought I could delete them. Later, I found out ReiserFS had tail-packing, which put small files at the end of a block, if they fit. This makes file access faster, but can increase fragmentation. The amazing performance of ReiserFS made me read some articles about Reiser4, which has not been accepted into the kernel to date.

The point of a Gentoo distribution is to build optimized binaries, resulting in speed increases. The Gentoo wiki had many articles on how to increase the performance from internet browsing to the x windowing system. I remember getting Firefox to display pages as soon as I click on the links and getting the boot down to a few seconds.

Another initiation came from reading The Fountainhead. It was a really inspirational book, built on Nietzche’s philosophy, along with Kant’s. I definitely enjoyed reading it. It helped me make sense of where technology and I fit into the picture.

All this comes down to finding out what I wanted to do for a while. I decided I might as well go with the accelerating trends if I’m going to study anything useful. Just reading a book like that put everything into perspective.

Later, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance added a nice metaphysical touch when working with computers. It’s one of the books every programmer should read.

Boos Read:

  1. Beginner’s Guide to Reality
  2. The Catcher in the Rye
  3. The Fountainhead
  4. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  5. Meditation Classics of a Roman Emperor

Next episode: blastoff!

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Evolution Speeds Up (Part IV)

Oct 24 2010 Published by under Life

From a physical point of view, everything that has ever happened, and will happen in the universe, is a part of evolution. It begins long before life appears, with the formation of stars and galaxies. To keep it short, Mr. Kurzweil introduced me to his logarithmic plots. I quickly absorbed the ideas of his book. Accelerating returns of evolution. Technology is a craft and a survival tool for humans. Luddites are groups of people who don’t adapt. The implications of the ideas were more profound on a philosophical point of view. It seems that each step of evolution only fixes the mistakes of the previous step. This is well supported by the book. Biological machinery can only be controlled by nanorobots. Nanorobots can turn the entire planet into a gray goo within hours unless there is artificial intelligence. So each step seems to be a step back, not only in the sense of fixing things, but also a reunion with the intelligence of the universe.

This is the point where I decide that a new philosophy was needed. Gnosticism was good for accepting the world we live in, but it’s not deep enough for a foundation. A much better one came from Nietzche, whose philosophy is particularly relevant to the 20th century. He proposed that we live a nihilistic society where values were non-existent and had a philosophy for it. Human values change with technology, and they do so at an increasing rate. Nietzche, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, writes about enduring values for humanity, or rather for the superman. The superman is the ideal human, who is fully developed. He has complete free will, and the implications of that are outlined in the book. Of course, free will implies that there are no errors in perception. Thus, part of the subtitle of the book is “for none”. Delusions are the human way of seeing the world. Yet, if humans are to survive at all, or rather evolve, as that is an imperative, they must become supermen. The superman is at the end of the development stage of the mind. Although I’m not certain of the meaning of the eternal recurrence, I like to think of it as a reunion of ourselves with the universe. In this sense, none of us will be left. Thus, the book is “for all”.

On the other hand, even the author of GEB wrote a book on French poet’s poem. There is always the other side. It is perhaps best expressed in Ape and Essence, human race heading towards apes, or already apes?

The singularity book had practical implications, as all changes in perception do. I started using the fastest browser at the time. A funny incident happened many times when IE and Firefox were disabled by the teacher, and I was still able to use a browser. Global warming was a hot topic at the time due to the Gore film. I seemed to be the only one in the class to see the impossibility of such an event as the sea waters rising a few meters, due to the growth of technology. Yet another result was Gothic literature being perceived as backwards, Luddite phenomenon. The stories we read in class all seemed to involve someone going insane. The study of the literature seemed to be an obsession with the craziest illusions. It’s kind of hard to write a Gothic short story when I have trouble taking on the perspective. At some point along the road, I dropped the ape side of the story.

Books read:

  1. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  2. The Singularity is Near
  3. Intuition Book
  4. Second Book on Habits
  5. The Bible Code II
  6. Thus Spoke Zarathustra
  7. A Purposeful Book
  8. Ape and Essence
  9. Quantum Programming the Universe
  10. Accelerando

Next episode: initiation

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Three Produced the Ten Thousand Things (Part III)

Oct 24 2010 Published by under Life

Let us three hold hands and dance.

The Tao Te Ching states, “one produced two, two produced three, three produced all numbers”. Ten thousand is 104.

Three came to my life with Canada. The expansiveness, symbolized by the three dimensions of space, was evident in Canada. A diary entry reflects the rediscovery of the world, a renaissance:

There were noodles, sushi, salad, turkey, juice, and more. There were spicy, sour, and sweet foods. The food was delicious, and I made some friends and learned about them.

Yet another entry detailing new discoveries in the world of science:

He showed me a shape memorizing metal, an electric fan, and a racecar. He twisted the wire spelling “ICE”, standing for the Institute of Chemical Engineering, into hot water, it instantly returned to its original shape. He showed me a solar panel linked to a triangular water transistor linked to a propeller. He was trying to fix the racecar for the kids.

The world was not flat any more, and it was obviously bigger than I had imagined. The world as I knew it changed. I was forced to throw away the old myths. No need to make everything perfect to obtain Total Transformation. After all, it is left behind, I leave it behind, when I leave.

No such thing, actually. There is no escaping the demon.

Not long after I arrive in Canada, an echo is heard from the other side of the Grand Canyon. Karma. Human err. It catches up, and I find myself reading the book without looking for it. It somehow stood out among the other books on the shelf. Was I trying to find the source of the bug that stopped the world? Without a doubt, I was still running from it, to free myself from the imperfection which always troubled me.

Within the constructs of the book, the world operated as a system. If certain techniques were followed and patterns were observed, then the performance variables could be adjusted.

At this point, I decided all of the answers to all of the questions I had could be found in books. The first problem I solved was the human imperfection. Next, I tackled the paranormal, unexplained phenomenon. That lead to another question, “Had everything in the universe already happended?”. Of course, the code on the sapphire stone was the ultimate answer to that last question anyone should ask, Z.

But if I just asked that question, was able to ask that question, then why am I still here? That was the first question, A, the question of a purpose behind the universe, myself, that starts the search for meaning.

Books Read:

  1. The Godfather
  2. Canadian Indian Golf Resort Story
  3. The Logic of Failure
  4. Yes/No Guide
  5. Elements of the Extraordinary Series
  6. The Bible Code
  7. Edgar Cayce on the Millennium
  8. The Mammoth Book of Prophecy
  9. First Book on Habits
  10. From Atlantis to the Sphinx
  11. The Dragon Book (Map of Bones)
  12. 101 Zen Koans
  13. The Golden Book (Godel, Escher, Bach)

Next episode: accelerating returns

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An Attempt to Cut the Knot (Part II)

Oct 21 2010 Published by under Life

At that time, I had a friend named Frank. I talked with him often on the phone. We had many of the same classes. I liked to discuss other stars looming in my mind. We shared many constellations this way.

He watched everyone loves Raymond often and told me about the Matrix trilogy, “It makes you think”.

In my waking life, I remembered a note about swallowing a demon.

I worked my way back into normal life. Occasionally, I still set special days on which I would perform the work of Transformation to free myself from the Primary Error that caused the Crash. But they never arrived. The sun shined through the window, announcing a new day. I rose, but I could not shine. No light could penetrate the depths of the underworld, where the cartoon caricatures in the world of the day was given animation. I gave up. A toony world was better than facing failure confronting the demon.

I started typing out vocabulary lists for my English class on my computer. My Indian friend, Navin, printed them out for me. It was a win-win situation for both of us. I managed to score 100% on the  vocabulary analogy section. My English teacher thought I was a genius.

Another interesting case from the period was a study guide I made from a list of questions titled, “A free copy with each purchase”. That’s a paradoxical statement. On the one hand, it could mean it comes free. On the other hand, it could mean 2 copies for a certain price, intended for distribution. I favor the second interpretation. The purpose was to get more copies out so more people would want to buy it.

One day, I slept in a little hut in the playground. Then I heard a dog barking, and the police shined a light through the window. I got up, and the police hand-cuffed me. It was a really tight lock with my arms bent back. They led me across the street, shined the light in my eyes a few times and asked some questions. Afterwards, they put me in a police car and drove me home.

In light of that event, I decided there were no laws for me. I told the story at school. The guy who sat next to me was shocked.  Thus, the knot was cut. I was no longer bound to society.

At this time, Yu-Gi-Oh was being played on TV with the Three Musketeers of Doom. The character I identified with the most out of the three was Raphael. He provided an understanding of the negative and positive aspects of the higher plane. Two is about duality, and it is fitting to discover an identification with this character during this period.

Books read:

  1. Gone With the Wind
  2. Artemis Fowl
  3. A virtual reality fantasy
  4. Fermat’s Last Theorem
  5. A Series of Unfortunate Events: the Vile Village

Next episode: a surprising turn

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The Monkey's Paw – Keys from the Dungeon

Oct 11 2010 Published by under Life

A pair of keys hung, dripping with dew. A shaft of blue light shined against the stone walls.

I re-read a short story from English class in grade 8. My English teacher did not explain the meaning of the story. She simply saw it flat. The plot was a linear sequence of events, and the moral of the story was simply not to interfere with fate. That was the moral of Macbeth, as taught in the class room. But if this was the moral, then why would the author write the story at all, let alone perform it?

Like any story with multiple layers of meaning, the key to decoding it is given at the beginning.

“I’m listening,” said the latter, grimly surveying the board as he stretched out his hand. “Check.”

The son, in fact, is one with the paw, life. There are only two characters in the story, the old couple, who are two sides of one psyche. The sergeant represents the force of change. The son plays the same role as the paw, that of equilibrium. There is no gain without loss. Listening to the winds of change, holding out his hand, symbolizing the paw in control of the game, and the checkmate cannot be mere coincidences. The entire story is about the endgame, the checkmate.

In another instance, the son predicts the sequence of events before he leaves.

“Well, don’t break into the money before I come back,” said Herbert, as he rose from the table.

In a metaphorical sense, when the son came back at the end of the story, the old couple still made no use of the money.

The father holds his right hand to the paw each time he makes a wish. It is unsurprising that each wish and its consequence can be found in advance.

“I should hardly think that he’d come tonight,” said his father, with his hand poised over the board.

The father was unable to make a move. It was checkmate. The son did return, unexpectedly.

“Hark at the wind,” said Mr. White, who, having seen a fatal mistake after it was too late, was amiably desirous of preventing his son from seeing it.

This time, the father realizes the mistake towards the end of the story and wants to prevent his wife from seeing it.

The second key to the story lies in the plot. A wish for gold (represented in this story as two hundred pounds, to be free from the burdens of life), results in the death of the dynamic part of life. This is further confirmed by the result of the two other wishes, which made no effect. As a last nail on this issue, the paw itself became ineffective at the end of the story. So the winds of change brought by the sergeant died with the sudden appearance of gold. From that moment on, things were incapable of changing for the old couple. Life would wear on, day after day.

The second wish, for the dynamic part of life to return, calls for the negative side, or dark side of life. This is the path taken by Darth Vader. Prospero, in the Merchant of Venice (aka Her Majesty’s Magician in real life), contacts angels to find something he lost in life. He gives up on the quest for gold, represented by alchemy.

The third wish, the whisper, is a secret. Star Wars, it does not happen until the last moments, when the father takes off his helmet. The old couple waited for it to happen until they forgot about the wish. That’s how long it takes in real life. Prospero returns to England after his adventure and gives up on his pursuit. There is something extraordinary about this wish compared to the other ones. For one, it does not obey the natural laws (of money or walking speed). This one alone did not have any side effects.

At the end of the story, the road is shone.

The streetlamp flickering opposite shone on a quiet and deserted road.

It is the same road that was there at the start of the story.

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I created the Universe on my birthday (Part 0)

Oct 02 2010 Published by under Life

Friday the 9th. My birthday. A group of worshippers celebrated the holiday of a deity. It was the beginning and the end of a world. What had ended, and what had begun?

I frequently obtained perfect marks on those weekly math tests in grade 6. Except in grade 7, I got more attention for it. One guy rubbed my cheeks on Friday for good luck on the tests. On Monday, another guy always announced my grade. I kept answering all those questions and making comments in class that everyone thought I had the Divine Spark. “He knows everything.“ The essays I wrote at the time flowed like poetry. Gold was everywhere I touched, even in the higher realms.  I lived in the sunlit sphere among the leaves of the tree of life.

With gold, comes ritual. A methodical, disciplined approach to life flowed out of the gold and in turn revealed more gold hidden in rocks. The rituals are well preserved in my memory, however, there is not enough space here for it. Instead, a discussion of their contribution and effect on the later part of my life is well worth the effort. For the rituals, just pretend that they are a set of actions, if performed to perfection, brought the greatest of joy. Nevertheless, a less than perfect performance still brought much joy, since the fun was in everything I did. A set of mental repetitions accompanied some rituals to bring the mind to a highly focused state and to enhance performance.

There were some immediate results of a ritualized life: high scores on standardized tests, high score on standardized IQ test, an award for music performance. I outperformed my own expectations on nearly everything: the yearly TCAP, in the 85-95 percentile, IQ test for the gifted class,  99.5 percentile, test for knowledge master team. I was able to run faster than ever in the afternoons.

In light of the 7 years that followed, I must admit I was running. Fear behind me, joy before me. The man flying towards the sun cannot see his shadow. He is blinded by the light. He soars on his wings. What follows is that the wax on his wings melt, and he drops off into the sea.

Books read:

  • A biography of Einstein
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Til We Have Faces
  • Chinese Children’s Encyclopedia of Knowledge (A Hundred Thousand Why’s)
  • A Collection of Children’s Short Stories
  • Workbook of Mind Blowing Puzzles
  • Book of Fun, Games, and Puzzles
  • The Book of Three
  • Charlie and the Chocloate Factory

Next episode: gold turns into ashes, then gets blown away by the wind

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The Revelation (Part 1.5)

Sep 30 2010 Published by under Life

In the beginning there was darkness. It was the middle of the night. He’s deep asleep. Off in that other realm, where beliefs make things real. In the dream, I let things happen. The experience was seemingly concrete, yet I made no choice. Gradually, as if a movie was being played among the stars, the plot turned sour. I watched in shock as each event passed, helpless in my desire to help. An unnamed horror (which actually happened later in the day after I woke).

Then I had a hundred thoughts at once.

At that instant, I wake up in the dream. I realize what horrors had just happened. It all happened in a single moment. At that moment, the entire reality of the dream emerged. All of the factors came together, weaving a single thread. Time stopped, as if the dream happened in the blink of an eye and never was.

At once, I loved and dreaded the dream. The fate behind the dream was revealed as life itself, in my awakened reality.

The dream turns into a nightmare. Out of nowhere, an I emerges. At the same time I wake, I finally choose to abort the simulation. The I that emerged had no relation to a single event in the dream, and it was quickly forgotten.

When I wake up, I remember the horror and question whether it’s real. What was real about the dream? I created it, though it had a destructive nature.

The series of events have more turns before we arrive here, though this is where the horrors were most vivid.

In the spring of that year, I got distracted with life. Life itself, on the lowest level where happiness was abundant. Spring break came, and I got a clean break from my previous state of mind through a change of environment. I hanged a map of the local town behind my head, so I had more pleasant explorations in my dreams.

Meanwhile, in real life, where I just woke from the dream, I cannot sleep. The phone rings. I wonder why. Useless! Meaningless! Was I still in a dream? Nobody would even hear a phone ring while they were asleep. I return to pondering the dream.

Next episode: two lefts don’t make a right

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The World Ended and Time Stopped (Part I)

Sep 25 2010 Published by under Life

Evolution has been at work in the universe since the Big Bang. I save that for later. The premise here is that evolution is in fact the process of our reunion. It has been at work, behind the scenes, in my life.

One cloudy day, as I walked home from school, I ran into a software bug. Think of it this way: hardware dictates the necessities of power and the input and output signals of the machine. So I was not hungry nor was I faced with an immediate, physical danger. It can only be a software problem. If you are in the system, and the system is in trouble, then you’re in trouble, too. The only way to fix the problem is to escape the system first. Then, instead of being a chess piece, you play chess. But this is impossibility.

A dragon, realizing the unreal nature of its existence, tries to escape unreality.

Can a software bug destroy hardware? In certain circumstances, if a particular part of the chip is overly exercised, it can overheat. It melts, like a piece of glass. This corresponds to those particularly nasty bugs that produce many of the drones of our society. When infected with drug, alcohol, or sex addiction, escape is seldom possible.

Fortunately, we have a different software bug to consider, since it was my life.

A box built by the imagination, or a software program

It is interesting to note that a few months before this bug appeared, I read books about black holes and optical illusions.


Now I don’t know what the difference is

Suddenly, as I was walking home that day, I ran into an infinite loop. Time. It was time itself. I was trapped in the same infinite time loop as in the Groundhog Day. Doing the same thing over and over again, but never getting it right. The capacity for error built into humans, into evolution itself, always creeps in. When the DNA of an organism is altered, the copy of the DNA survives into the next generation .1% of the time. So evolution was at work here. This was when the delusion came full force. At that moment, all possibility of reunion was forgotten.

Goodbye, world

When I woke up in the morning, I said this is a new day. I can get it perfect. Then the bug creeps in, and the whole system crashes. Whatever I do after that, I’m not fully in it. I know the past is there, and I can never justify it with anything I do in the present. Failure caused by failure to be perfect, sits there. I wait again and again for the moment to break out of it, but it never comes. My mind is sharp. I finish homework twice as fast as before. But other times, the loneliness. I sit watching the clock, waiting for another chance . . .

Books read:

  1. Sailing and poetry book/diary
  2. The illusion book
  3. Eye witness books
  4. Cartoon history of the world
  5. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  6. Alice in Wonderland

(to be continued)

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