logo Ming the Mechanic - Category: Diary
An old rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open, free and exciting is waking up.

 Flemming's Heart
pictureI've been concerned about my own health recently. Which is in part why I'm going and taking different kinds of tests. Maybe I'm just going through an emotional experience, maybe I'm a hypochondriac, but it is probably a good idea to get a checkup once in a while. So, today I went and got a full body CT scan. That's where pictures are taken of 1 mm slices through the body, and a computer then puts it all back together into a set of 3D pictures. Rather fascinating. For example, on the picture to the right you see my heart, in the middle, with all the arteries going out from it. It is sort of seen from above and behind. In the lower part of the picture you see my back. The yellowish part is fat, and the reddish part is muscle. They could rotate that picture around in 3D space. And there was another, animated one, showing the heart beating, with the two major aorta valves opening and closing. Don't mean to gross you out. I found it very interesting. Particularly since they couldn't see anything wrong.
[ | 2002-06-07 01:19 | 7 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Renaissance Faire
pictureYesterday, as we do every year, my family and I went to the Renaissance Faire. If you don't have something like that in your area, it is a big faire in the style of Elizabethan England, the beginning of the Renaissance, in the 16th century. Everybody who works there is in authentic costumes and speaking old Elizabethan English. And the same goes for a large percentage of the visitors.
[ | 2002-06-02 14:25 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Brain Waves
picture A friend of mine, Ron Fitch, who's trained in such things, did a brain mapping test on me today. That is where you test, with EEG equipment connected to a computer, the ratios of different types of brainwaves in different parts of the brain. The functioning of the brain is something that currently interests me, so I thought that would be fun and educational. Which it was.
[ | 2002-05-31 19:40 | 28 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Utne Reader
pictureThe Utne Reader magazine has a feature this month about social inventors. Big thing about Global Ideas Bank and also pieces about Bagelhole and some mentions of NCN pages. And since I've had a hand in all of them, and they're the work of fellow NCN members, I think that's all good news. I didn't actually see a copy of it yet, but they just wrote and said they're going to send one, and it is on their site as well.
[ | 2002-03-19 11:39 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Today, News Logs
pictureIt is interesting how different environments inspire different kinds of things to go on in them. Now, I'm particularly thinking about that in terms of online programs. Like, this News Log program is structured so that when one posts something it is a bit of an event. That is, one has an article or a poem or something, or at least a link to it somewhere else. And one posts it and everybody notices it, and a bunch of people comment on it, etc.

You know, that is contrasted to an environment where it makes more sense to post many little items. I'm comparing with some of the other programs in the class that the News Log program is in: Web Log programs. Logs made with tools by Userland or Blogger are more suited to mentioning many little tidbits that one might be interested in during the day, without any of them having to be any very big item.
[ | 2002-03-19 01:13 | 12 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 USM / Doing your Work
pictureYesterday I went with my daugther to an Open House evening at University of Santa Monica, which she's thinking about going to. USM is a rather unusual university, as universities go. It is at the forefront of "soul-centered education" and gives master's degrees in spiritual psychology. Now, what is unique is that the program is a lot more like an ongoing personal development seminar than it is about full auditoriums with a teacher who lectures to you from the book and then you go to exams. This is essentially education in being a human, how to live from one's authentic self, how to access what one is really about, and how to deal with others in a similar fashion. This used to be just sort of a weird Southern California thing, but it is no longer as weird, as the world is increasingly recognizing the need for that kind of thing.
[ | 2002-03-04 13:10 | 16 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Surf Reports
pictureBelow is a message from Soleira Green of SOULutions. Which sort of strangely resonates with me. Not as a general new age philosophical thing. But as a reading on where we're at right now. And it reminds me of the wonderful surf reports from Solara, who's a different person, despite the similar name. Its good with people around who have their fingers on the energetic puluse.
[ | 2002-02-12 03:35 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 L.A. Futurists / Singularity
pictureFriday I went to a monthly meeting of an L.A. Futurists group, lead by John Smart of Singularity Watch. Very enjoyable and interesting people. It didn't quite dawn on me before afterwards what the talk about Singularity is about. It is sort of a concept of technological ascension, where a bunch of rapidly moving trends come together into a quantum evolutionary leap for humanity. It makes sense to extropians, of which I'm sure there are a bunch in NCN as well. Extropians are a bit hard to describe, but it is a sub-culture of technologically oriented people who stereotypically believe in a peculiar mix of things such as cryogenic life extension, artificial intelligence, genetic augmentation of the human body, optimistic materialism, etc. I used to hang out in extropian discussion groups for a while, but I can't entirely connect with the mindset.
[ | 2002-02-11 04:06 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Action without Borders
pictureThis evening I went with Jane Jeffries to one of the many meetings that Action without Borders called into happening today. 136 different meetings in lots of different countries, including many in Africa. In a weird way, part of what attracted me was that the premise seemed even more vague than what NCN came together around. But also that their site at idealist.org is great for networking people and resources, and it all seems very like-minded to NCN in many ways. Like, this is their mission statement:

"Action Without Borders is a global network of individuals and organizations working to build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives.
[ | 2002-02-06 02:27 | 7 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

pictureI always come back to *dialogue* as a central ingredient in creating a new civilization. That is, a space of mutual exploration where we can talk about what we're experiencing, without any need to judge each other. I particularly support dialogue as David Bohm described it. Several people have compiled excellent resources on dialogue. See Tony Judge's page at UIA and Heiner Benking's Open Forum page. And the people who introduced me to dialogue: Linda and Glenna at The Dialogue Group. Also, check out Deep Dialogue.
[ | 2002-01-14 02:10 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Winter Wonderland
pictureI'm having a good time on vacation in Denmark with my family. Although most of us are born here we're not quite used to the cold, though. But it is very nice to see the snow again, and my kids have been busy making snowmen and throwing snowballs.
[ | 2001-12-22 01:14 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Bioneers Conference
pictureThis past weekend I was at the Bioneers conference in San Rafael. Quite a remarkable event. Around 3000 attendees and many great speakers. A stimulating mix of inspiration, activism and ecological solutions. People I particularly enjoyed: Lynn Margulis (co-creator of the Gaia hypothesis) talking about the wild lives of bacteria; Hunter and Amory Lovins (co-authors of "Natural Capitalism") on rethinking business; Janine Benyus (author of "Biomimicry") on how to get our next technological breakthroughs from the superior technologies of nature; Caroline Casey (mythological astrologer and radio host) on Visionary Activism; John and Nancy Todd on creating ecological industrial parks and eco-enterprises. And many more.
[ | 2001-10-24 04:38 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Awakened World
pictureNow I'm at the Awakened World 2001 conference in Palm Springs, arranged by Association for Global New Thought. [link] Very impressive list of speakers, like Jean Houston, Hazel Henderson, Barbara Marx Hubbard. And so far shaping up to be a very inspiring and unifying event. About 1000 people here. The signups grew tremendously after 9/11. One thought from Barbara Marx Hubbard: 9/11 was the awakening of the world. A rude awakening, granted, and we woke up crying, but it was an emotional jolt that a large portion of humanity were part of, and that provides a great opportunity for becoming conscious of where we go next.
[ | 2001-09-26 23:48 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Cosmic Education for a Cosmic Age
This weekend I'm at University of Science and Philosophy's yearly symposium, mostly focusing on education. Like the last conference I went to, it is excellent. Great information that all ties together, and great dialogues. Some of the speakers here are Elisabet Sahtouris, Ashok Gangadean, Gregg Braden, Paul von Ward, Cleve Baxter and others. Themes are how to travel across multiple world-views, dialogue, how to teach unified, cosmic, living systems knowledge, rather than just cutting everything into little pieces.
[ | 2001-09-22 23:38 | 25 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 See you around, Aley
pictureMy friend "Aley", Diane Dornbusch, long time NCN member, was killed in a car accident last Tuesday, the 28th.

It is always strange when somebody dies. Sometimes a big blow, sometimes it seems a natural progression. In Aley's case, it feels like she's happy where she is, and I didn't feel like there is anything to be depressed about. She had a full life and was an inspiring and creative person.

You can see her art gallery here: [link]

Bye for now, Aley, and see you somewhere, sometime in a magical mushroom forest somewhere!
[ | 2001-09-03 00:56 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 Computer advances
Damn, my computer's motherboard crashed yesterday, literally going up in smoke, and I unexpectedly had to get a new computer. But it is remarkable how little difference the advances in computers seem to make, subjectively. This computer is 3 times as fast, has 3 times as much memory, and 5 times as much disk space as the old one, which was from last year. But it doesn't really feel any different than the old one, other than that I have trouble getting a few things to work. It has more than 1000 times as much of everything as my first IBM PC computer had, which seemed lightning fast at the time, and which, in 1983, allowed me to do word processing, programming, and go online, all the same things I do today. Just not as graphically rich looking as today. And, yes, it all cost a lot more money at that time. Like $40/hour to connect with The Source to check my e-mail and browse bulletin boards.
[ | 2001-08-24 15:20 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

I spent the day at the Siggraph show in L.A. Convention Center. Siggraph is the showcase for the leading edge in computer graphics and animation. Nothing really revolutionary I saw, but lots of stuff that's getting better, and lots of impressive computer generated stuff. To me the most cool stuff was 3D Printers (that create an object on the spot in plastic, based on the blueprints in the computer), body motion input (digitizing somebody's movements and transferring them to animated characters in real-time), and wrap-around displays with multiple flat screen monitors. There were some, supposedly, real 3D displays, but they are still rather disappointing.
[ | 2001-08-15 23:55 | 4 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

pictureYou can upload your own pictures to go with an individual posting. This is me and my kids at my oldest daughter's highschool graduation a couple of months ago.

You can also change the pictures that show for the different categories, and you can add or delete categories.
[ | 2001-08-15 03:07 | 7 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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