Lao Tzu rocks.

Do you want to improve the world?
I don’t think it can be done.
The world is sacred.
It can’t be improved.
If you tamper with it, you’ll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you’ll lose it.

There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way
and resides at the center of the circle.

– Lao Tzu, “Tao Te Ching”, Chapter 29

Sometimes (or perhaps always?) the best thing to do is to just stop fiddling and dismantling things and just let them be.

Gifts of music

In the course of my life, it has generally been other people who have introduced me to music that I end up incorporating into my ‘musical taste’. When people say “do you like X” my general response is “I don’t know, can I listen to some?”

I love music, and I love encountering new music. All the music which has been introduced to me remains in some part connected to the person who first played it.

Anyway, Ruination sent me some random CDs – and I’ve just stuck on “Someday’s Dreamers” to listen to while I work on my project.

I just wanted to say its truly beautiful, and exactly the music I need right now. Thank you 🙂 It’s having a wonderful effect on my mood.

I am getting ideas for music I would like to send back to people. So many things to do once this work is done ;p

Last night I drew a picture of Ash lounging on some cushions with a cigarrete and glass of chartreuse (in one of her goth-moments). I messed her face up a bit when I inked it, but the point remains : I DREW A PICTURE!! Woo-hoo!

First time in for ever. And I feel so much more accomplished than when essays etc are done.

Will prob. doing some scanning in some point.

Edit: Picture of Ash now uploaded here

They eat and eat but never feel satisfied!

if you click here, you should be able to download a divx animation of my AI program working! (it is very minimal, version 1 state)

I used the DIVX codec to compress this file so I can put it up on the internet. (reduced it from 5MB to 150KB!) I’m not sure if will work on your media player unless you have a new version. (I have to physically download it before it runs)

If you do get it to run, you can see how the rats move about to food and water.

* when they move in big steps, it’s because they’re exploring (or because I missed a frame)

* the graphics are NOT crap, they are a subtle artistic statement on the minimalism inherent in our modern lives. or something.

* I accidently moved the water a couple of times when I was grabbing the pictures

* they all start with the same hunger and thirst levels

* some food/water are better than others

* the rats have no memory whatsoever in this version, so they can’t remember where old food/water items are

* there is a bug where once the hunger/thirst gets to a certain level it doesn’t drop again no matter how much the rats eat/drink. You can see it happening with R1 near the end when he gets ‘stuck’ on a water object. (and eventually dies from hunger, ironically enough) I almost feel cruel 🙂

I have no idea why this is happening, but I’m going to just get on with writing this up and maybe try and fix it if I have a few spare moments.

bleem! mental noise!

*warning, venting immanent*

okay, I admitt it. I have absolutely no idea where I’m going.

Once I whittle away all the things I -don’t- want to do (in an ideal world) then there’s not really much I’m left with.

I had a really disturbing talk with my parents where they went on about the need to find stability and get a pension, how you *can’t* have fun *yet* what are you thinking?! How I should only do more education IF and ONLYIF it’s cost effective ie I end up being able to get a better job where pay = more than it cost to do the course.

ARGH!

…deep breath…

okay. The biggest thing that scares me is the thought of being restricted.

However, this includes : being restricted by not having enough money. And being restricted by a job that eats away my mental capacity to do anything else. I promised myself that when my degree is over I will spend time on important things like drawing, exercising, reading more philosophy : none of this happens when a job (like IBM) saps away all my motivation and replaces it with apathy.

Pondering in the bath yesterday I thought : I either need to (1) marry a millionaire
(2) find a job I actually enjoy or at least feel is a worthy use of time. It would be even better if I could get a job that involved being outdoors.

(1) is unlikely because I’d need better physical credentials. So it will have to be (2). When I grow up, I want to be one of those people who are employed to do something crazy, like feed llamas or paint circles on trees.

I think I might just totally surrender my life to following the Tao and see where it ends up. I’m not entirely sure if that’s a joke.

“I’m no brain surgeon..”

If you had to choose, would you go for a Hemispherectomy, where one side of your brain is cut out, or simply have the two halves disconnected?

It’s hard to believe they call this treatment. It seems to me that hacking about bits of the brain is a fairly crude and dangerous way of fixing epilepsy. Don’t believe what they say, there are quite a few reprecussions from either surgery.

And if you don’t actually die within a couple of months, you’ll have psychologists playing with your brain for the rest of your life :p

Dreaming

I read somewhere that dreams are something to be valued, at least given more worth than we tend to credit. After all, when you dream, you experience. Okay, you might experience a bizzare world with no real physics nor lucid sense of time, but it’s still real. At least as real as the experience of your waking life.

(If you want to get into it deeper, both experiences are the creation of your mind. With most dreams you don’t ever realise it’s not ‘real’ till you wake up)

For the last few nights I’ve had truly vivid dreams. I’ve been to strange worlds, floated in immense landscapes of ice and stars where if you fall down you end up back at the top; no sense of boundry. I try to fly, and sometimes suceed – for me, it’s always a bit of effort, a bit of chance – I can never truly believe it will work, never quite let go. I’ve dreamed a beautiful stranger standing on a rocky windy coastline, asking me just for a kiss. I’ve mined for quartz by hand in strange underground tunnels. Vivid, full of passion and emotion. (Some might say I’m frustrated, and they’d probably be right)

One thing I’ve noted ; in dreams like these there is always a sense of deep plot, purpose and meaning. This contrasts with my life right now, in which everything seems to be waiting for something else, and where always always is coursework to be done. But I don’t think that’s whats constraining me – I can almost taste the boundries I’m erecting in my mind. I have so much drive, so much intention but yet it seems impossible and difficult. I’m not entirely sure where things are going but I feel that if I don’t make a decision, a solid one, and go -somewhere- I’ll just fall down the cracks.

Now is not the right time to think about this, because above all else I have things to get done in the next few weeks. But I hope to remember that, once I have finished, I will give myself time to consider, make a mental space. I can’t help escape the feeling there is something obvious that I continue to miss.

Scribbles on love

taking a minute from coding, a few scribbles made on a train journey replicated here for future use:

(NB: for some reason I loose even my minimal ability to spell correctly while coding)

I don’t want to try and explain love, but it occured to me there are at least two aspects..variants of ressonance.

1. you love them because they are like you Or at least, share similar attributes, skills, life-views, philosophies etc. In an extreme, this strikes me as almost a narcisstic-type : you fall in love with your own reflection, a walking breathing mirror.

2. you love them for what they can do that you can’t. More of a complementary situation? You love their differences, aspire to them perhaps, or just enjoy that between you there is more than one person’s skills? I’m having trouble expressing this one.

I think you can have either, both or maybe something different altogether. Genuinally appreciating people’s differences is something of a more recent development in my view, and I enjoy it. Finally a slightly different thought on love (not sure if I like this as much 😉 )

3. you love them simply because they share your preeffered view of who you really are? love is a mutual sharing of fantasies? (delusional?)

(if all life is delusion, then why not create a happy one?)

Other scribble:
“I think therefore I am” is just silly. Thinking /= being. To be is to live.

Notes from a small island

“If you think too much about something, then you never get to see it.”

I want to live what I have been reading/thinking.
Why do I always put this off until some future date?
There is no better other moment than the present.

Sometimes I feel like an old fashioned telephone switchboard. I wish there was a quick way to just disconnect all the plugs, then only put back in the few I actually need.

Another thought : I know that I am just one merged together thing of body/mind/other-factors, so why is it that I can only consider and talk about myself with reference to parts? My mind says X, body wants Y.. further subdivsions occur within mind and so on.

When I find out how to consider myself as a unity, I think I will acheived a breakthrough

In brief

back from Tenerife. England feels good and fresh.

Nothing like being immersed in a totally different culture [1] to just feel that the world is not as limited as you thought. Why is it so hard to grasp that other people are living in a way very unlike you, and the problems and foibles of your particular country are not as sickeningly widespread as it seem.

A week of strange food, good beer, cold showers and outdoor warmth. We went up the volcano (tenerife is actually quite rugged) in a land that looked just like something out of a car advert – rugged, bare, dramatic, raw. One road is all the civilization you get. Awe, and a tiny hint of fearful insignificance.

I looked down onto a sea of clouds. I have photos but nothing really captures the emotion.

I have also realised that it would be nice to go somewhere where it’s just myself to think about. I quite fancy a sort of hermitage, just me and the outdoors. Time to ponder with no noise.

A few weeks of intense work now begin… I look forward to the last few weeks of sun and calm.

[1] I spent all but one evening in the north of tenerife, ie where it’s actually spanish. Only one night in english-tourist-land south.