Friday, December 28, 2007

Buddhism and Science

Here is an interesting bit from Chapter 1 in the book Train Your Mind Change Your Brain by Sharon Begley.

Buddhism and science share the goal of seeking the truth, with a lowercase t. For science, truth is always tentative, always subject to refutation by the next experiment; for Buddhism--at least, as the Dalai Lama sees it--even core teachings can and must be overturned if science proves them wrong. Perhaps most important, Buddhist training emphasizes the value of investigating reality and finding the truth of the outside world as well as the contents of one's mind. "Four themes are common to Buddhism at its best: rationality, empiricism, skepticism, and pragmatism," says Alan Wallace, who spent years as a Buddhist monk in Dharamsala and elsewhere before turning in his robes to become a Buddhist scholar and who is a longtime participant in the dialogues between scientists and the Dalai Lama. "His Holiness embodies these. He often says with delight that if there is empirical evidence that contradicts something in Buddhism, 'Into the garbage!' He is quite adamant that Buddhism has to yield to rational argument and empiricism."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Life & Times of a Pumpkin

Wet Pumpkin Flower

Peter Pumpkin Eater


Pumpkin Pie

The Web Is About People

A while back I talked about an essay I was writing for a course I am taking. I received the materials for the course about a month ahead of time, so I started working on it, but easily got distracted. Since the start date for the course is Dec 1, maybe I should get serious.

Here is the essay I mentioned in my first blog entry:

The Web Is About People

The web is bringing people together locally and globally. In computing when a radically new type of application comes along it is referred to as a killer application. In a recent talk about modes of communication, Tim Bray mentioned that the latest killer app is people. In the last few years many websites have appeared which have changed the way the web is used. Originally the web consisted of static web pages, created by the originator of the website. Now many websites have content created by the user and have a social networking aspect. The collection of this new style of websites is often referred to as Web 2.0. Three examples, of the new style of website are Flickr, Facebook, and Blogger. Flickr, a popular photo sharing site brings amateur and professional photographers from around the world together, to discuss photography and the subject matter of their photos. Facebook is an online application for organizing your contacts and planning events. Blogging on sites like Blogger, lets you easily publish your thoughts or creative works. Blogging software typically has a feedback and discussion mechanism following each post. These websites often lead to offline socializing. In the past your friends and contacts, consisted of the people you worked with, did business with or met through local organizations. Using the web, you friends and contacts, can be anywhere in the world, and you find each other because of your common interests.

I typed my essay in Word then copied it to the clipboard in Word and pasted it into Blogger. It looks, like Word is messing with the format. I just wanted the text, I didn't want all the extra formatting from Word to tag along. Next time I will try Open Office to see how it works.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Originally uploaded by one42chrisp
A lovely photo posted by one of my flickr friends.

Click the photo to see larger versions, and the discussion.


Originally uploaded by wburris
Lately I have been playing around with various sites, to see if they are useful for anything. Earlier I was playing with LibraryThing and did a screen short. Now I am playing with adding photos from flickr to my Blog.

Hello World

My First ever Blog entry. I have been making web pages for over ten years, but not really in a blog format. My website, hasn't been updated much lately.

I am taking Philosophy 152, Basic Critical Thinking from Athabasca University. The beginning of this course covers stuff I should have learned in high school, but that was 31 years ago, and I hated English. High school would have been a lot more interesting if it was all Physics and Math. Now I am trying to see if I can teach my old brain some new tricks.

I am nearing the end of the first unit, and need to write a 200 word paragraph. First I need to give the topic, my intended purpose, and my main idea statement. I know what I want to write about, but not sure how to state the topic and main idea statement. My topic is - The Web. I should be a little more specific, but I am not sure how to do that, without saying the same thing as my main idea statement. My purpose is - To convince the reader that the web is about people. My main idea statement is - The web is bringing people together locally and globally.

This topic in part was inspired by a talk given by Tim Bray, where he talked about modes of communication. At the end of this segment of his talk, he mentioned that the killer app is People.

Instead of getting my writing done I am playing with flickr and Facebook. Now I just signed up on Twitter, and Blogger.

My latest photo on flickr.

Cranberry Leaves