Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Sunday, February 2, 2003day link 

 Natural Sight
picture A number of years ago, after being annoyed about having to wear thick glasses all day since my late teens, I sought out natural methods for improving my eyesight. In particular, I found a vision consultant who taught me principles, methods and exercises, loosely based on the Bates Method. It started working right away, and after a couple of months I could take off my glasses. For years I would only need glasses for driving at night. And I would faithfully do my exercises every day. But at some point I got lazy about it, and didn't keep up the exercises, and my sight has worsened. Not as bad as it was before, but I have to wear glasses if I drive of I'm out shopping.

Now, looking around on the net, I found it depressing that the first thing I ran into was a lot of sites where eye doctors were claiming that this kind stuff is complete quackery, that myopia is genetic, and the only answer is glasses or surgery. Hm, I think I have a different opinion about who are the quacks.

What I found most profound about the principles of regaining natural sight is that they apply to many things in life. Here are some of them.

- Sight is primarily mental. If you can imagine something clearly focused, you can usually also see it like that with your eyes. If your mental picture is fuzzy, so is your eyesight.

- Everything in the world is always moving. Natural sight sees that continously, and natural eyes will glide gradually over the scene, rather than jumping around between fixed points. Bad eyesight starts when one begins to see things just as fixed items at fixed distances.

- Instead of letting yourself be thrown around by an apparently solid and immobile world, try turning your perspective around, and assume that you're still, and the whole world is constantly moving around you.

- The periphery is important. Natural sight sees the periphery, the context, all the time, although not as clearly as the portion being focused on. Bad eyesight starts when we focus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else, and when we insist that everything has to be clearly in focus. The periphery is never in focus - duh - but it is nevertheless very important.

- Natural sight is relaxed. You see better by relaxing, not by straining.

Just going for glasses or surgery, without changing one's habits, is almost as silly as taking a pain killer because somebody's standing on your foot. I feel bad that I've allowed myself to be so busy and stressed that I've forgotten about some of the fine ways I have of being relaxed and seeing better.

Here are some more sites: brief overview, method in a nutshell
[ | 2003-02-02 14:41 | 10 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Nestle settles claim against Ethiopia
BBC says that Nestle has come to an agreement with Ethiopia, concerning their claim for $6 million. This looks like a victory for the Make Trade Fair campaign. I'm sure Nestle has lost a lot more than $6 million from the bad publicity they got from trying to extort money out of a famined country, and that's probably what made them change their minds.
[ | 2003-02-02 22:38 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Build Voting Machines - Win Elections
The respected Washington, DC publication The Hill has confirmed that former conservative radio talk-show host and now Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel was the head of, and continues to own part interest in, the company that owns the company that installed, programmed, and largely ran the voting machines that were used by most of the citizens of Nebraska. Used in elections where Hagel won very unexpected landslide victories.
[ | 2003-02-02 22:49 | 16 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 User Not Found
User Not Found is a weblog by Dana J. Robinson, devoted to dealing with the death of online friends. Here, from a piece called 'Not knowing is the hardest':
"Given the nature of communicating online, one person's failure to log on for days, weeks or months at a time can cause concern in the people who continue to log on regularly. It's especially worrisome when the person who isn't signing on was living with a known illness. While "killing" online personas happens all the time, the real tragedy occurs when a real life death happens and is chalked up to a person just not logging on anymore."
Hm, indeed. How do we know? I can think of online friends who've died where it was only very coincidental that their other online friends heard about it. For one it was only because a family member was so bright and knowledgable to go and send an e-mail to her whole contact list. For another, I didn't know before several years later that he died. It would be nice if we could engage in networks of trust tight enough so that we quite naturally would file next of kin information with others in the network, so that we'll never just disappear without an explanation. Or, maybe, a deadman's switch, which releases certain kinds of contact information if we haven't logged in for some length of time.
[ | 2003-02-02 23:26 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Augmented Moblogging
picture Ross Mayfield mentions some interesting thoughts and scenarios concerning augmented reality (e.g. heads up displays showing you information about what you're looking at) converging with moblogging (weblogging via mobile phone type devices).
AR TOMORROW: RECOGNIZING FACES
Ever forget a face? Augmented reality will help you recover seamlessly when you bump into some-one and can't remember whether she's a college acquaintance or your accountant's ex-wife. Your AR system will automati-cally search a personalized face-recognition database, then provide text that tells you not only the name of the person you're looking at, but some key personal details as well.
I could sure use one of those. But it is also a bit of a freaky thought.
[ | 2003-02-02 23:37 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

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