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

Monday, December 16, 2002day link 

picture "Metalogue (1996, 3 min., play video) by Peter Rose has been described as a cross between a speech and a fireworks display. Digital editing techniques have been used to reflect and refract a complex monologue about memory, time, and language. By embedding the corresponding gestures in a spectacular diachronic array, Rose creates a new form of poetry. Metalogue won a Bronze Award at the New York Short Film and Video Festival." I'm not entirely sure what it means, but it is kind of deep and cool.
[ | 2002-12-16 22:08 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]

Sunday, December 15, 2002day link 

 Should Exist
picture ShouldExist is site about stuff that stuff that really should exist. It is an Idea Exchange. Like Global Ideas Bank, but more focused on technical things.
[ | 2002-12-15 23:59 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]

Thursday, December 12, 2002day link 

 The Sky's the Limit
picture The guy was obviously crazy, but he had vision and he had guts, and he followed his dream and did something nobody else had done. That makes him a hero in my book.
When Larry Walters was 13 years old, he went to a local Army-Navy surplus store and saw the weather balloons hanging from the ceiling. It was then he knew that some day he would be carried aloft by such balloons. This obsession would be with him for the next 20 years. On July 2nd, 1982, Larry tied 42 helium-filled balloons to a Sears lawn chair in the backyard of his girlfriend's house in San Pedro, California. With the help of his ground crew, Larry then secured himself into the lawn chair which was anchored to the bumper of a friend's car by two nylon tethers. He took with him many supplies, including a BB gun to shoot out the balloons when he was ready to descend. His goal was to sail across the desert and hopefully make it to the Rocky Mountains in a few days. But things didn't quite work out for Larry. After his crew purposely cut the first tether, the second one also snapped which shot Larry into the LA sky at over 1,000 feet per minute. So fast was his ascent that he lost his glasses. He then climbed to over 16,000 feet. For several hours he drifted in the cold air near the LA and Long Beach airports. A TWA pilot first spotted Larry and radioed the tower that he was passing a guy in a lawn chair at 16,000! Larry started shooting out a few balloons to start his descent but had accidentally dropped it. He eventually landed in a Long Beach neighborhood. Although he was entangled in some power lines, he was uninjured.
From Mark Berry who has made it his hobby to be obsessed with the story.
[ | 2002-12-12 23:59 | 15 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 eBay Scam Artist caught by network of Mac enthusiasts
Jason Eric Smith, a future high school history teacher, was scammed out of his $3000 Apple Powerbook on eBay. But Jason didn't just take it lying down, even though the police pretty much told him to forget about it. Read the great tale about how he involved the whole Mac community, went to great lengths to track down the guy, got good help from a number of people, and with much trouble found a law enforcement person who was willing to act on it, and the guy was arrested, and charged with a whole series of crimes. A story about the power of a network of good people, and a good read at that.
[ | 2002-12-12 18:40 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 Technical Difficulties
picture A very appropriate message on behalf of the United States of America, to explain and apologize about what has been going on. Great animation. Must see.
[ | 2002-12-12 18:06 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Wednesday, December 11, 2002day link 

 You're it
picture "Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there." -- Henry Miller
[ | 2002-12-11 05:30 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]

Tuesday, December 10, 2002day link 

 Wallpaper Cars
picture I'm going to exercise my creative muscles by some lateral thinking every day. A good source of inspiration is the sometimes strange things that people search for in search engines that takes them to my page here. Somebody searched for "wallpaper concept cars". OK, if I try to be rational, they were probably just looking for a picture with concept cars to put on their computer's desktop. But wallpaper cars sounds much more intriguing as a new concept.

So, eh, you get these rolls. Dip them in replication glue. Wrap them around a shape you like, like a Ferrari you see standing on the street, while nobody's looking. The strip shrinkwraps and hardens, and you zip it off, and put wheels on it. Hm, maybe that's not such a great idea. So, then, how about cars made in strips, that slightly overlay each other. Or road lanes, that you roll out strip by strip, and flatten with a roller. Hm, I'll keep trying.
[ | 2002-12-10 19:52 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Monday, December 9, 2002day link 

This company makes posters that are take-offs on those inspiring, motivational posters, with beautiful empowering pictures that one would see around the offices of big corporations, or that employees would be handed as achievement awards. So, these guys turn it around, and pretend that they do the opposite - give you pessimistic demotivators that sort of cut you down to size, or a little lower. But, aside from the fact that they're very funny, the brilliant and ingenious thing about them is that they're actually not mean and pessimistic at all, if you look a little deeper. On the contrary, they all seem to deliver some clever wisdom when you look at things a little deeper. Like that one there: "Hard work often pays off after time. But laziness always pays off now." Sure, why work hard when you can work smarter. Life is lived right now, not next week, so no big need to suffer. Or that one here on Indifference: "It takes 43 muscles to frown and 17 to smile. But it doesn't take any to just sit there with a dumb look on your face." And it has this picture of a majestic leopard who just lies there without moving a muscle. There's something zen about it all.
[ | 2002-12-09 15:05 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Thursday, November 28, 2002day link 

 A different view
picture Mikela Tarlow talks in "Digital Aboriginal" about a traveler who had spent many years in the Australian outback with an aboriginal tribe. He explained that the aboriginal elders counseled their people to avoid the seduction of agriculture.
"Suddenly, instead of following the weather, you want the weather to be different. And it is now easier to put things in straight lines. And because you have planted, you need fences. And since you have planted, you can accumulate possessions. And once your tribe is bound to a fixed address, forms of hierarchy emerge that were not possible when it had to stay on the move. Because you have put down roots, for the first time you must consider defending your territory. Thus, convenient as it is, planting is the beginning of control. Merely because you put a small seed in the ground, you are now invested in a whole system of maintenance that requires you to stay put. You are no longer free to follow what calls. So, the aboriginal elders wisely teach their people to avoid agriculture. The aboriginal spirit requires the freedom to follow the wind."
Hm, that is certainly different from the way westeners normally think. For us it is often a powerful metaphor that we're putting seeds in the ground and staying around to nuture and defend them. But this makes sense on several levels. Maybe a hint of another way of being, where we don't trap ourselves in our own net of obligations and expectations.
"His profound sensitivity is possible only because he does not have to wait for seeds he has planted. His perceptions can be long and deep, since he has no territory that he must defend. His mind is quiet, since he is not attached to outcomes. Because he does not have to plan, his spirit is free."

[ | 2002-11-28 15:06 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Tuesday, November 26, 2002day link 

 What I know for certain
picture There is very little I know for certain. I know that I am conscious of my own existence, and I'm aware of many changing perceptions of the world I appear to be in, and I have abstract thoughts and feelings related to my experience. That's about it. Anything that my perceptions or my thoughts or my feelings are telling me is something I'm guessing. An abstract over-simplification of something that possibly is real. I have formed a certain extensive mental model of what the world is like, based on what I have perceived and thought, and then tested and verified, but I know it is only my best guess, even when it works well. The only thing I know for sure is that I am conscious right now, and conscious of my own consciousness. One of the first things I notice is that my consciousness returns after times when I haven't been conscious, so one of my first logical guesses is that my own existence is more fundamental than my consciousness, and I keep existing even when I forget to notice it. All that it takes to bring me back is that I notice.
[ | 2002-11-26 03:53 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Sunday, November 24, 2002day link 

 The eyes of a child
picture "Something animated and vital looks out from our childrenÂ’s eyes. Whatever it is, we recognize it and know it is precious. Yet except in rare cases today, that spirit is broken early and irreparably. The light goes out all too soon. We know, because at some inarticulate and dimly conscious level, we are those children. We feel the wind of spirit move us at odd moments, but put it down to nostalgia or temporary possession by some impractical flight of fancy. We shake it off and get back to work. Robbed of a voice to speak of these things, something animated and vital looks out from our own eyes, but only in rare, unguarded moments -- and even then, wary, circumspect, suspicious. We let no one see what we fear no one will understand." --Chris Locke
[ | 2002-11-24 23:18 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Monday, November 18, 2002day link 

 Strip for Peace
A group of 50 women from the Bay area are serious enough about peace to spell it out with their bodies, wearing nothing but afternoon rain. They're speaking out against war with Iraq, calling attention to the vulnerability of innocent civilians.
[ | 2002-11-18 17:17 | 5 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Sunday, November 17, 2002day link 

 Pieces of the Puzzle
picture One of my strong beliefs is that we each hold an important piece of a bigger puzzle, or we ARE that piece. The Earth needs all of us to do what we're here to do. We each need to find out where we fit, and what we need to do there. The world will not completely work without you doing your particular thing, in your particular way.

That is not just an inspiring thing to say to people to motivate them. It is more than a metaphor. More like a principle of self-organization, albeit an intuitively derived one.

The puzzle would be how we all work together as a global brain, I suppose. Which relates to how we develop a planetary organizational system that works for everyone. I postulate that, since we each posses individual consciousness and will, it can only be done in a self-organizing way. I.e. by honoring all of our diverse perspectives, and letting them negotiate the details amongst themselves. And, since we all share the same space and the same components that sustain life, we're inherently inseparable, so our solution has to form a unified non-exclusive fabric.

Chances are that you know something, or you see something, or you feel something that nobody else is feeling or seeing or knowing. If you don't think so, you might have to dig deeper into who you really are. If you don't sharpen up your unique awareness and act on it, nobody else will. And there will be a blank spot or a blind spot in our shared fabric, and your piece will not be connected.
[ | 2002-11-17 19:03 | 16 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

Thursday, November 14, 2002day link 

 Military Industrial Complex
picturePresident Eisenhower's farewell address to the citizens of the United States, January 1961: "In the counsels of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."
[ | 2002-11-14 23:59 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

 Weavers of Freeorder
pictureLeif Smith:
"Weavers of freeorder are pattern seers, connection makers, thinkers, artists, entrepreneurs who work for all who discover that their home is Open Network.

Open Network names a freeorder comprised of and arising from all aspects of the world in which an explorer of sovereign spirit may rejoice.

It is very old.
No one invented it.

Freeorder is a balance among designed and spontaneous orders conducive to quest. ..."
continued ..
[ | 2002-11-14 23:59 | 1 comment | PermaLink ]  More >

Wednesday, November 13, 2002day link 

 The Intelligent Universe
picture Ray Kurzweil: "The universe has been set up in an exquisitely specific way so that evolution could produce the people that are sitting here today and we could use our intelligence to talk about the universe. We see a formidable power in the ability to use our minds and the tools we've created to gather evidence, to use our inferential abilities to develop theories, to test the theories, and to understand the universe at increasingly precise levels"...
[ | 2002-11-13 23:36 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Kate Lutz from Johannesburg
Day six of the Summit. The leaders from around the world cannot agree on how to move forward on global environmental policy, which IÂ’m sure, is apparent in the news. Yet if you spend any time with the non governmental organizations (NGOs) it is clear there are 100,000s of global environmental citizens represented here, and their projects are the blueprints for the environmental clean up needs of today. The Summit only confirms by sense that there is new renaissance is a foot on this planet. ItÂ’s just a matter of time before the world leaders catch on to how much is being accomplished at the ground level in their own countries.
[ | 2002-08-31 09:34 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 From Johannesburg
pictureFrom my friend Kate Lutz in Johannesburg for the (alternative) Summit today:

"Jo-burg is strong with the power of the vision
the vision of sustainablity
the vision of the one power of the earth tribe
my spirit is lifted each time I meet another
traveler on the environmental path
[ | 2002-08-29 13:11 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Peace Walks
Below are some stories and excerpts about people walking for peace gathered by Tom Atlee. Inspiring stuff. As one of them say:

In times of war Buddhist monks would leave their monasteries and walk the land, bringing their peacefulness to the people.
[ | 2002-08-24 13:22 | 0 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Modest Needs
Take a look at this rather new site: modestneeds.org. It is a one-man operation of a fellow who lets people submit requests for small amounts of money that would help them through something in life. A new pair of dentures, an electricity bill, clothes for a new baby, the train fare to get to a funeral, etc. And then others submit small amounts of funds. And the webmaster distributes them where they seem to do the most good. Rather remarkable. And it actually seems to be working out, and more than $15,000 were distributed this month already. And the project has gotten a LOT of good press.
[ | 2002-06-28 01:20 | 8 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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