Saturday, October 01, 2005

where are the cool americans ?

walking from the ashram to the german bakery a few days ago
i fell into conversation with a few guys who had just got off
a bus. asked where i thought they were from i guessed Bagdad.
they were from Amman.

They wondered whether i had been to an Arab country.
i joked that with the usa's behavior in the arab world
i'd be afraid of getting shot.

they were totally offended.
said the perception of arabs as violent was unfounded
and that they understood that the behavior of the governments
didn't reflect the wishes of the people - it never does.

...

in a later conversation in the bakery
with two of very few north americans i've met since travelling
we discussed why there are so few americans travelling ?
'paranoia' was everyone's first guess, tho it seems alittle
too superficial. i don't really believe that all the cool people
in america - and i can attest to the fact that they are there -
are really afraid of terrorists in places like thailand or india.

i don't have any good theories to explain our abscence,
but it doesn't reflect well on us.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Internet Media Seminar in Mumbai

looks like im going to give a couple of talks at commet media
a non profit in mumbai working to set up a new media school. fun fun.

Internet Media Revolution Seminar

What is going on right now with the internet revolution? What technologies are currently changing the way we communicate with each other and represent our own identities to the world ?

Highlights
In this seminar we will spend some time viewing the ways in which people are using internet technologies to communicate with the world. There will be an emphasis on video such as video blogs but will go thru other new technologies useful to the Internet Media Revolutionary such as:
· Podcasting
· Wiki’s
· Social Networks
· Tagging
· Shared Bookmarks
· Slow Networking

We will also explore the social, philosophical, and practical reasons for publishing on the internet.

The particulars
· Thursday Sept 29^th, Oct 13th & Oct 27th at 4:00pm for
90-120 mins.
· A portion of each session will be dedicated to viewing internet video content downloaded from the web.
· Each session will
· Each of the 3 Thursday sessions will be from 4 pm till roughly 5:30 pm.
· Each session will include
o Screening video blogs downloaded from the internet
o Demonstration of several internet technologies
o Discussion of their importance and relevance
o Questions and Answers
· Room for 10, so sign on soon.

The result
By the end of the seminar people should be familiar with the tools available to them to represent themselves on the internet as well as effectively communicate with the rest of the world via the internet.

Resource person: Freeman Murray
Freeman Murray studied Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz which he left to join the Java group at Sun Microsystems in 1995 when the Internet was just starting to heat up. Over the following decade Freeman founded and sold his own Internet software business as well as helped other internet software businesses get going. For the past couple of years Freeman has been concentrated on internet video and how it can be used to democratize the global media.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

india recap

india is great
i totally feel im in the right spot for where im at
in my life right now.

i just spent 4 days in mumbai
and im sick again which is a bit of a bummer.

mumbai is new york style rockin
after spending some time in calcutta, delhi, and
pondicherry (auroville.org) i decided to get an
apartment in mumbai cause it seemed like the
most exciteing place and because im doing internet
video stuff, so it seemed potentially useful to be
close to bollywood.

after a few months tho i noticed i was sorta low
grade sick most of the time and decided i wasn't willing
to sacrifice my physical or mental health for some
abstract ambition. so i moved to pune which is more
laid back then bombay, but has a larger software
scene, a famous yoga institutre (bksiyengar.com), and
the osho(.com) ashram which has tai chi classes in
the morning, meditation classes thru out the day, and
healthy food.

since coming to pune i feel like ive got a cool healthy
lifestyle, im productive, and im not spending that much
money. - probably ~$500 / mo. which makes me feel
comphortable taking some time figureing stuff out.

i spend alot of time in the ashram - which is mostly
western - tho not american.

in the tech world
people are really friendly as everyone wants to get contracts
from america.

there's not much of a start-up scene here yet.
everyone wants outsourcing jobs. im really curious
about how to help get the start-up culture goig.

the outsourcing wave is just beginning
in every city ive been to, all the walls are plastered with
ads for classes promising to teach people java and C++ .
there's 500,000,000 people in india under 25 and some
decend percentage of them are looking at getting into software.

the software thing has also been going on long
enough that there are some very smart and senior
people here. they just get paid MUCH better.
someone fresh out of college may make $250 / mo
while an accomplished engineer with 7 years experience
may make ten times that.

on the tech / pro side ive been focusing around video
stuff for alittle while. with the low cost of video production
gear and internet distribution the major cost is labor - so
i see video production & post in india being pretty key to
the transition of the web to a more video format.

i also feel there's an opprotunity now to be kind of
systematic about produceing the media we feel is
necessary - like producing all the training programs
in the matrix. so, im talking with a couple groups
about helping get a low end video production studio
going over here.

there's alot of other areas i want to get into
on the software side as well, like figuring out
how to deliver high bandwidth high latency
internet content to remote areas
http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~rywang/postmanet_paper/
http://unitedvillages.com

and doing stuff with structured syndication
...

ideally i'd find some balance between
setting up teams for start-ups back home
and having some sort of labs which can
work on interesting new ideas with the
goal of either open sourcing the development
or starting up with it - or both :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

blessed are they that blog

for their thoughts are the lords

:)

tao just started a blog and reminded me
i hadn't posted in awhile.

its been almost all up since my last post

i moved to pune
im spending alot of time in the osho(.com) "meditation resort".
he's a controversial character, and people outside often feel
the place is too money oriented. from my experience tho the
lush and beautiful grounds and 7 free meditation sessions every
day justify the 330 rps cost of admission.

they have super healthy food too.
so for the first time since living on the beach in kauai
i feel i have a very healthy lifestyle.

there's some magic stuff that happens as i find myself in a situation
im willing to hang out in for awhile. minor parts of my routine have
the time to carve out some depth in my personality. i can take the time
to see who people are without having to make quick decisions. and i can
take the time to figure out where im going and how im going to get there.

good stuff.

6:30 - evening meeting starts in 10 minutes :)

Monday, June 13, 2005

im 10 days or so back in india
ive been belly sick for most of that

when i left india
i was belly sick
and realized
the very direct connection
between being physically sick
and mentally unhappy

that connection is pretty real for me again

and maybe its useful
being unhappy every once in awhile
useful if maybe a change of some kind
would be beneficial

ive lost alot of ambition since coming to india
i read in a book somewhere india was good for that
now at least some of what i have
are committments i made when i was more ambitious

right now lifestyle seems really important
if im not trying to get anywhere
than picking a good way to be
seems like a logical step

and begs the same questions
of whats important to me

and right now
im feeling community
and being closer to the land
i miss the campfires of larson's beach
where we'd cook meals together

and still looking
for how i fit in
in someway tho
im pretty convinced
that if i found a physical community
i'd figure that part out

...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

johanesburg, hong kong, istanbul, amsterdam, buenos aires

everyone travelling south east asia
stops by koh san road at some point

most people pass thru pretty quickly
on their way to the islands in the
south, the mountains in the north, or
laos, combodia, myanmar, or bali. i
haven't found it an especially easy
place to meet people.

but i've become friends with a fellow
traveller staying in my guest house
who's been travelling for the better
part of the past 10 years.

he told me there's five cities i need
to check out -
istanbul, johanesburg, amsterdam, buenos aires,
and hong kong where i should stay in the
chung king mansion for 20$ / night.

he says beijing is very cheap and alot more
arty than shanghai which is emerging as the
business center. apparently the transiberian
railroad connects into china. you can pick up
the train in beijing, take it all the way accross
russia and europe and get off in amsterdam. the
trip would take about 3 weeks.

he's been averaging about $15 / day. i think that
includes travel, as he generall travels over land
which tends to be very cheap.

at least while im playing traveller i've found
living very cheap as well. right now im paying
220 baht ($5) / night for a very nice room in a quiet
neighborhood close to kho san road. almost every
day i get a mixed fruit smoothie in the morning
and then a mango smoothie at lunch for 50 cents each.
there are fruit vendors everywhere selling half a pineapple,
cantelope, or papaya for 25 cents. a falafel sandwhich is
alittle expensive at 60 baht ($1.50). red curry tofu, vegetables,
and rice is less expensive than that most places.

transportation is cheap too
you have to haggle with the tuktuks so thats alittle
variable. with alittle patience tho you can get it
almost unconciably low for a long ride. public transportation
like the river boat and the skytrain are super cheap
11 baht will take you as far down the river as they go
and 40 baht will take you aruond the whole line that
skytrain does.

a funny thing i've notice is that outside the traveller
areas things get more expensive. i experienced this in
india as well. outside the traveller area in calcutta
all the hotels i checked out were at least 500 rupees
and generally closer to 1000 which was a far cry from
the 150 i was paying on sutter street.

even more than india tho, thailand starts feeling tokyo
upscale as you get closer to the downtown of the city.
im thinking specifically of this megamall in siam center
thats maybe 7 floors of chrome, escalators, and upscale
trendy shops.

since being in calcutta i've held the conviction that
for most people the future looks more like calcutta than
tokyo. its interesting to me that bangkok seems much more
in line with the tokyo path of development than the calcutta
one.

there's something i don't understand about why the cost of
living here is so low when it appears there is a very large
amound of discretionary spending going on.

mmm.

i haven't had pancakes since i left the states
but i saw them on the menu at the place i had lunch
yesterday, so i think im going to give them a try.

thailand

im leaving thailand soon
its worth a note

im going to miss the fresh fruit most
of bangkok anyway

Koh Pha Nagn
when i first flew in to thailand
gaia was here and we immediately
took a bus down to kohphanagn


was probably the most beautiful and
healthy i've been to since i've been
travelling on this trip. along with
that was a cool scene of body concious
travellers i'd like to hang out with at
some point.

half way thru my week there i got a
message from ken saying they were ready
to get the development project in india
going, so i left the sanctuary and headed
back to bangkok where i've been waiting
for the funding to come thru for the past
10 days.

today is supposed to be the day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

curiosity

so, i've been pushing this notion of creation
alot for awhile. trying to figure out what it
is that makes it happen. i've been on this kick
of 'holding space' maintaining intention. it
hasn't necessarily produced the kinds of results
i was anticipating, but 'holding space' and
'maintaining intention' are super powers that
operate in dimensions tangential to the reality
we're accustomed too.

i wrote the dvd magazine idea down again for the
wiki - incubator.xwiki.com . i've been going over
alot of these ideas for over 2 years now. the
flavor changes slightly, and there are new things
specific to this chapter in india, but one aspect
is disturbingly familiar. its this sensation of
having a bunch of things that i'd like to see people
doing, but my first inclination isn't to do them
myself.

ie. i've been holding space for the creation of video
for 2 years now, but this video editing class im
taking now is my first minimal excersize in actually
producing video.

several of the things i'd like to see happen
the online video chat interviews, the global blogger
contact game, ... there's no reason i can't do these
things myself, and at some level i sense that the only
way im going to play a role in this movement, is if i
get personally involved.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

rss-data

the idea is that a new breed of RSS aggregators would emerge around domain-specific application areas. I can imagine these aggregators running on servers and in rich clients. With the advent of clients like Macromedia Central, and in the future, .NET client applications, I think it will become more common for client applications to aggregate data across disparate feeds in the network. For example, one might create a "Classifieds Viewer" that subscribed to and aggregated multiple distributed RSS-Data enabled classifieds feeds into a single view. In such an example, RSS-Data could be added to that provided additional structured data, such as price, quantity, geography, payment details, and other things relevant to a product.

Jeremy Allaire

Sunday, April 17, 2005

vipassana

http://www.vri.dhamma.org/courses/schedule.html

apparently there's a meditation center pretty close to mumbai.

the video hotel

im starting to look for a larger space here in mumbai.
specificially in the region between bandra and anderi
which seems to be where most of the filmmakers live.
the closer to bandra the more they're 'making it'.

maybe i run the risk of being a one trick pony, but
im happy to know any tricks at all :)

assuming this comes together, it will be community media
space #3 for me. when i explain this to people here they ask me
what came out of the other two spaces. I happy to point to
lafco as a way cool production
/ post house made up of characters from those two spaces.

the excersize for me now is to reflect on those experiences
see what worked and what didn't and plan how this year will
go down.

in the past couple of years i've left the space extremely
unstructured. the first year leaving it almost completely
open as an 'anarchic collective' . the second year i
excersized more control holding 'work space intention' and
asking people to leave when i didn't feel they were inline
with the media / tech office space i was trying to manifest.
about half way thru the year it became clear that i'd pruned
the community down to the root, and if i didn't back off,
i'd preside over a year of emptiness which i considered
considerably worse than the chaotic life force i invited in
to fill that void.

but this is something new.
everything is about a factor of 4 cheaper.
which means there are elements im willing to introduce into
the system which i couldn't before. like a program coordinator.
but program coordination requires a program which necessitates
that i get clear on what i want. which is the most difficult
questions to answer that i grapple with.

fortunately, one sign im on the right path, is the question
gets fun again. i notice sometimes i travel down some mental
direction that seems right at some intellectual level, and
there's something in my spirit which loses interest. and i
wrestle alittle bit with whether im being lazy.

maybe i am, but sometimes, i hit on things right, and now im
excited about the prospects of puting together a program for
the space. its a framework to give life to some of the projects
ive been wanting to persue.

this stream of conciousness continues on my wiki
http://incubator.xwiki.com/xwiki/bin/view/Main/videohotel2005

Saturday, April 16, 2005

revolutionary

experpted from a mail to Soumyadeep ...


so thats it man
its that sensation of jiving
of riding the same wave
screaming and high fiving the whole way

i've noticed that on the wave
there's alot of tolerance for diversity
and superficial concepts of cool, get
lost quickly, people on the wave become
family - and there's alot of tolerance
in the family for the nerdy.

but its a funny thing
cause its a big ocean
and there's alot of people sitting on boards
and it takes awhile to know, who's standing

i often dont know myself
but there are things that im learning
like patience and waiting



its a big thing
spending money with awareness
there are enough cool people with reasonable
amounts of cash that are frustrated at having
to play regular games where they're getting
played like all the other people and don't get
much dividend for knowing the geek industry or
being able to see whats real.

i think our tribe gaining control of our capital
and learning how to use it effectively is going
to play a huge role in the revolution. when we
can reliably do just a point or two better than
wells fargo we will have a limitless
supply of $ to apply to whatever change we want
to make. we simply have to know that what ever
change we're making is sustainable. but man, we
got all the tools, so we should be able to figure
this out.

or at least approach the problem

architecting the revolution is alittle too big
to be tractable. its a swell, you can feel it,
from a long way off you can see it, but you can't
exactly ride it.

but still, if you know its there
you can paddle to it, cause most of the people
you meet there - saw the same thing - and came
on faith as well.

and there are aspects to it
like we know we have to learn how to deal with money
its stupid that we put all our money in banks where
they send it away to buy bombs or government debt or
a variety of other projects we would find morally
reprehensible and fiscally non-sensical if we had
any real awareness of what the $ are actually doing.

we also know that we need to take control of the
media we're consuming. we have the means of production
and consumption now, we simply have to open our eyes
to what really needs communicating , and we need to
get that flow going. this is the mechanism by which
'we' become self aware.

taking responsibility for our own education is
another fundamental aspect of regaining control
of our future. we can look at what is necessary
for interacting in the world and we can produce
'open course ware' to make this transmission easy.
its done with media and tech and it uses media
and tech to propogate itself.

we know we need to communicate
to eat, to shit, to breathe, to sleep
to make love,
to party


and again
its not charity
there's a million businesses that need to get
set up, distance learning, wireless internet,
real estate investment trusts,
...

Friday, April 15, 2005

my first vlog

should be coming up any minute now

my first movie

courtesy of the inthernet archive and
ourmedia.org

open course ware


open course ware project at MIT



I would really like to back the open course ware initiative. I can imagine a whole industry springing up around open course ware - essentially providing tutoring around open courses as a BPO style service - Teaching Assistants would use all the conferencing materials available to them to interact with the students. ie. IM , Skype, video conferencing. They would answer questions, follow up on assignments, review homework. The next step is creating open course ware competence certifications.

I'd like to build a large part of this institute ontop of this concept. Alot of video production work can be done producing video and other types of open courseware materials.

Basically, its the opensource model applied to learning. Provide the source material for free, make money off the service.


Potentially, we can use this as a guide for alot of open source development. Going thru the course work for different vertical industries, we can pull out what the core business logic components are and build xml taxonomies code to represent and modify them.

open source
http://sourceforge.net

video online updates

participatory culture Announcing a new platform for internet television and video. Anyone can broadcast full-screen video to thousands of people at virtually no cost, using BitTorrent technology.

rohit a new friend of mine here in mumbai, wrote a piece about video on the net.

google upload video program

Open Media Network

prodigemcommercial bittorrent video distribution company

blogtorrent simple interface for adding torrents to a site

brightcove end to end online video company just got funding

paidcontent online content mag

torrentocracy

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

wiki

I just set up a wiki for the new media institute idea.

India New Media Institute

Its interesting for me the different processes the blog and wiki are designed for.

Blogger being (at least for me) something of a stream of conciousness. Where ideas come and make something of a showing but slowly make their way down to the bottom of the page to make room for new insights, eventually dropping off altogether.

Wiki is something of a birthing. all the intention behind incubator.xwiki.com is to foster the development of the India New Media Nomadic Permaculture Institute of Yoga in the hinterlands somewhere between Mumbai & Pune for the 2006 - 2007 academic year. Im sure there will be many other ideas that form during the next year. But im happy to introduce an idea that will have its own flow. I may even set up a blog for it.

manifest destiny

New Media Institute

Containers, Pallet Racks

nomadic structures

alternative engergy
solar cells
biomass
wind

permaculture

wireless networking

video production

audio production

summer founder program

incubation

web design

composting toilet

gardening

fall 2006

between mumbai & pune

Thursday, April 07, 2005

container structures

The Nomadic Museum -
http://www.nyc-architecture.com/CHE/CHE-037.htm
wow this is cool

Habitainer -
http://www.habitainer.net/translations/English.htm


http://www.containerarchitecture.co.nz/portfolio/index.html


http://www.webpages.ttu.edu/lefergus/Page%203.htm
http://www.webpages.ttu.edu/lefergus/Page%208.jpg

i like the picture - tho i think pallet rack provide a better solution to the problem

my pallet rack loft spaces in la and burningman

links
http://www.fabprefab.com/fabfiles/containerbayhome.htm

Sunday, March 27, 2005

succesful video blogging

from a post by Andrew Baron of Rocketboom.com on
the yahoo videoblogging list about what makes a successful video blog.

The three most important things that we planed and discussed as being
the three most important things - the three things that are in fact
the most important to us in this area - are: (1) a regular schedule,
(2) we are purposefully trying to be entertaining to an identifiable
niche audience and (3) short and concise.


http://unmediated.org/

http://witness.org

http://www.cyberjournalist.net/news/002226.php

Friday, March 25, 2005

podcasting - video

video blogging -

http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,65925,00.html
With the success of podcasting -- a recent technology that lets anyone subscribe to and play back audio feeds on an iPod -- the natural next step is technology that can do the same with video.

video blogs -

http://www.rocketboom.com/vlog/
this is the future !!!

http://ourmedia.org/
The Global Home for Grassroots Media -
We provide free storage and free bandwidth for your videos, audio files, photos, text or software. Forever. No catches.


video blog clients -

http://mefeedia.com./
Mefeedia.com is an aggregator for videobloggers. It lets you subscribe to videobloggers and tag videos. It's free.

http://www.antnottv.org/
video blog client for macs

http://www.videora.com/en-us/About/
Videora is the first personal video downloading program. Utilizing BitTorrent and Really Simple Syndication, Videora automatically and intelligently finds and downloads video you want to watch. With easy to use features like Want Lists and Season Tickets you will be able to watch your favorite video, no matter where you are in the world.


discuss -
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/videoblogging/


special thanks to -
http://www.archive.org/

Thursday, March 24, 2005

paul graham essays

I thoughly enjoyed these
http://paulgraham.com/articles.html

He also has an interesting program
for incubating start-ups
http://paulgraham.com/summerfounder.html

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

flash india

http://www.uniqmove.com/about-uniq-move-freelance-webdesigner-mumbai.html

http://www.snsintldesign.com/
http://www.brajeshwar.com/contact/
http://www.ajaychhaya.com/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/flexcoders/
http://forum.indiammug.com/

http://indiammug.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=540#540

Monday, March 21, 2005

india opens up to wi-fi

my friend tarun(tarundua.com) found this government form
about making the 2.4gz range commonly used for wifi part
of the unliscensed spectrum here in india.

http://210.212.79.13/wpcweb/Static/Gazette%20(%202.4%20GHz)_Outdoor.doc

buying property in india

my dad found this link with some information about foreigners interested in buying real estate in india

http://www.namasthenri.com/excontrol/chapt14.htm

Friday, March 18, 2005

arriane madison arseneaux

my brother's baby pictures
http://www.pbase.com/fcmurray/caleb

pop's response

Freeman,

Your SDLC blog has a bad anchor tag originating in a repeated "http://"

href="http://http://www.birdseye.net/operations_archive/software_development
_lifecycle.htm">Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

Aside from that, I don't know if I agree with Bruce Bahlmann's template for
software development, particularly if it endorses anything approaching the
waterfall approach to software development. Typically both customers and
developers learn too much during the course of development for them to be
satisfied with their initially agreed upon plans. This is particularly true
with new products with more up front uncertainties, both respect to
requirements and development. Frequent updates to established products can
get around this problem by giving both customers and developers belief that
their new ideas can be incorporated in the near future.

I also worry that Bahlmann's template seems to call for software developers
to estimate time to completion for projects before they understand the
problems or solutions well enough to make accurate estimates. In my
experience, developers are always encountering subtasks where the estimated
times to completion are bimodal; either your original hunch works or you
have to find a whole new strategy. There is always enormous pressure to use
the optimistic estimate as both managers and project management tools (e.g.
Gantt charts) have difficulty integrating subtasks with bimodal distributions.

I personally favor development environments that encourage early development
of prototypes. I favor continuous refactoring, often a hard sell to management because the strategy seems like an invitation break a working system without adding new functionality. Conceptually I like the idea of test driven development, but have never developed a serious project under that philosophy.

Respectfully and with love,

--Pop

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

SDLC

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

looks like a pretty rational approach to the software development lifecycle process

Sunday, March 13, 2005

incubate.la

with eternal gratitude to nice for puting the pictures up
the incubator

Saturday, March 12, 2005

play your cards here

money
accounting
factoring
project management
video -
distribution
production
education
technology
open source migration, support, apphosting ...
asterisk
real estate development

for some reason there's a sense of peace i get
looking at this list. this sense that all the
pieces are there, nothing is going anywhere.

it brings me back to my reason for being here.
finding a place where i can hold space and let
the universe guide me into what i should be
doing.

the more 'out there' i get, the more i start
talking and thinking in mystical terms like
being in the flow, going thru the door thats
in front of you, and reading the signs.

the signs seem particularly relevant to me
right now. in this universe of utter freedom
i've been fortunate enough to find myself in,
i spend a fair amount of energy wondering what
i should be doing. the signs say things like
low cost development happens in india
in india video production happens in mumbai
try to play the low budget video production card
here.

Monday, March 07, 2005

disneyland

the collaba market internet cafe rocks !
its 12:30am and im still here and its like
50 cents an hour.

ive been here long enough to start to know
some of the kids hustling here. is interesting
getting to talk with them alittle bit.

last time i was in delhi i was blown away
by the intelligence of the street kids.
less than 8 year old kids standing toe to
toe with grown americans bartering hard in
english.

i came away from that thinking that at age 10
these kids are incredibly well developed but
because of descrimination, racism, and other
educational skills like reading and writing -
there is almost a complete lack of opprotunity
to break out.

language really is humanizing.
there's something deep about listening to
someone tell you about their life and how
they're struggling to pull in a dollar a
day.

its different than the un statistics that
tell you half the worlds population makes
less than $2 / day.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

free market

my preferred internet cafe is next to this street market here in colaba, mumbai. is a fairly crowded and well established market - i think its mentioned in the lonely planet. as i was milling about today waiting for the inspiration to go online i heard a shout and the market turned to instant chaos with people throwing all their goods together and trying to vacate. within 60 seconds the vast majority of the vendors had left and the ones remaining were frantically picking their carrots and papayas off the street. a large military cargo vehicle roled into the market followed by a smaller ambassador car with a siren. some older police guys with sticks got out and followed by laborers. they seized everything that was left in the market and and loaded it into the cargo van. large baskets of papaya's, carrots, banannas ... everything. this looting went on for about 10 minutes then they left and people started creeping back in. when i went back to the cafe several hours later everything was back to normal tho many of the street vendors had 1 awkward bunch of bananas in their baskets rather than their usual cornucopia.

Monday, February 28, 2005

ngo digital video

http://tv.oneworld.net/
http://tv.oneworld.net/tapestry?type=person

EsoDoc 2005 is a unique series of workshops aimed at filmmakers and NGO workers interested in film as a tool for social change. There are only a handful of places on this groundbreaking course so make sure you submit your application on time.

http://www.creativevisions.org/videovols.htm

In the 1990's, a World Bank survey asked thousands of the poorest of the poor to identify the biggest hurdle to their advancement. Above even food and shelter, the number one problem cited was access to a "voice". The Video Volunteers project is about giving a voice to the voiceless, and to the people who fight for them.

http://www.videosewa.org/

"Video is an authentic, powerful and honest mass communication media which should be in the hands of common people in a country like ours".



people
http://tv.oneworld.net/tapestry?person=81

Dan Thurley

I work at Amnesty International's (AI) audio visual production unit. Annually AI release around fifteen video and radio products covering news, education and campaigning. Most are produced in AI's core languages: English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

pay

http://www.theworkshops.com/catalog/courses/index.asp?CourseID=2682&SchoolID=21

$995 2 weeks - digital filmaking for ngos

Sunday, February 27, 2005

open source institute

institute for the progression of open
source development

travelling workshops - held at universities
teaching people how to work with open source
development tools.

incubator -
office & living space where open source
developers can be for awhile and just
practice their craft - food, lodging, and
a very small stipend is provided.

we're looking for projects that want
to be incubated

we're looking for people who want
to be incubated

we provide an intense social environment
where the best and most energetic minds
come together to create the future

we have regular seminars in which new
technologies are explored and discussed.

we take a special interest in nurturing
entrepreneurs looking to start businesses
based on open source and humanitarians
developing open source for the common good.

digital video - uncut

im very excited about the state of the new
media industry right now. the technology
has recently opened up to allow fresh ideas
to circulate freely.

its so new tho that nobody really knows
what the new models for video production
and distribution are going to be. opprotunities
are great for people willing to innovate.

i see digital video production potentially
following a similar path to software development
with a great deal of this kind of work moving
towards large talent pools and low costs of
living. mumbai seems like the obvious nexus for
this movement.

i see a great deal of video production that
would really benefit the world in the areas
of education, awareness of current events,
sharing culture and entertainment.

my inclination is to start this process by
producing and distributing video teaching people
how to produce and distribute video. a second
phase of the process i see as connecting these
new video artists with ngos and educators to
facilite the communication of those additional
messages and skills to the world.

there are several important aspects of this
that need to be pioneerd. since the distribution
of these videos will be by non-traditional means
like dvd's and the internet - the packageing and
funding of video projects will also need to be
pioneerd.

for a couple of years i have been pushing the
idea of producing dvd magazines - the idea being
to follow the same model as traditional print
magazines being very focused on a particular
niche with in depth articles on current events
for that area, educational tips for using new
techniques to work more effeciently, and promotions
of companies selling products or services into
that community.

my idea had been to begin with magazines for the
new media and technology industries.





see that we are in the very early stages
of this 'revolution' and since the models are
so new there is alot



ive been watching the digital video revolution
coming for a couple of years and have been
pushing this notion of 'video magazines' with
my friends in the industry. video magazines
being similar to tv shows but distributed via
dvd's or internet streaming.






feel at this stage the more i can communicate
ab


in the same way you are evaluating comet media
and what direction you want to take that, i am
evaluating my time in india (and life in general)

i realize not everyone enjoys this dreamy phase
of being, but its one of my favorite pastimes.

and like most dreamers, my constant quest is to
get better at manifesting these dreams in
"reality"


for a couple of years i've been trying to make
a





a strong interest of mine is to get


a personal cause of mine is to develop training
videos showing people how to use use new media
technology effectively, and also



im finding focus is an important aspect of
becomeing effective.





i came to india because i feel the low cost
of living makes it possible to


as i said in my origional mail i have a long
standing personal interest in opening up media
communications (and specifically video broadcasting)
to a much larger audience. my investment in dave.tv
stems from this, as does the year i spent working
with the los angeles filmmakers coop in la.

i see low budget video production growing in
india in the same way low cost software development
has.

what i want to see happen -



training videos educating people in how to
use new media technology effectively.





my personal goals for comet media -
begin production of a dv show


given the low cost of digital video production
and distribution i

as some new technologies (like dave & fcp & low
cost dv cams) make video production & promotion
available to a much wider audience - i see a great
deal of video production work moving to india.

mmph

waiting for inspiration for the blog
leads to a fairly stale journal. at
some point i think its probably valueable
to hold the volume somewhat constant
and let the quality vary according with
inspiration.

im writing from a more local net cafe
near colabra, mumbai. im sure its much
less expensive than the 80p / hr we
were paying at the spot on the main st.

when first got here there was only one
computer of 10 in a 150 sq. ft space
available, so i went for a walk. we're
in the back alleys which are very alive
with commerce and children. people seem
to be living their life.

the area is basically a shanti town that
extends out by the harbor. is a beautiful
piece of land, but completely devoid of
traditional services. i walked along the
water front until i got to a section that
looked like the general toilet for the
whole community.

walking back i stopped to chat with some
kids hanging out in a tented temple like
area. a picture of a yogi with long dread
locks rested in the center surrounded by
flowers. the kids said it was baba's birthday
and they were to have a festival for him
tonight. they were stoked on my dreads and
shiva t-shirt and encouraged me to come back
at 5 for the parade, bhajans, prasad, and chillum.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

return to prayer

thank you for your song momma

there is this returning to god
that i experience sometimes
this reminder of what im doing
or more importantly - why.

that reminder
that bringing back to god
is what i miss
not having some organized religion
or its regular rituals
of returning focus to god

the internet cafe im in now
is muslim run
and there's a prayer rug in a corner
where an old man performs his prayers
regularly.

its a lost part of the old world
this constant blaring
cathedral bells and mosque loud speakers
calling to prayer

An Exuberant Declaration of Faith

Psalms 27 - mixed with song by Virginia Atkin

A Psalm of David.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;Whom shall I fear?The LORD is the strength of my life;Of whom shall I be afraid? 2 When the wicked came against me To eat up my flesh,My enemies and foes,They stumbled and fell. 3 Though an army may encamp against me,My heart shall not fear;Though war may rise against me,In this I will be confident.

O Lord, You saw my darkness

You saw the chaos of my soul

You hovered over me with kindness

Waiting for the time to show

Your love

Your great power

Your great mercy

If I would but believe

You spoke the word of revelation

And light was shed abroad within me

The light of the knowledge of Your Son

Given on calvary

In love

In great power

In great mercy

For all who would believe

The enemies of my soul

Who tore at me night and day

Were hushed to stunned silence

By your glorious array

Your love

Your great power

Your great mercy

Shining upon my new belief

4 One thing I have desired of the LORD,That will I seek:That I may dwell in the house of the LORDAll the days of my life,To behold the beauty of the LORD,And to inquire in His temple. 5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion;In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me;He shall set me high upon a rock.

6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. 8 When You said, "Seek My face,"My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek." 9 Do not hide Your face from me;Do not turn Your servant away in anger;You have been my help;Do not leave me nor forsake me,O God of my salvation. 10 When my father and my mother forsake me,Then the LORD will take care of me.

To seek You Lord and find You

Is the secret treasure of my soul

To find the pleasure of Your Presence

Is better to me than gold

Better to me than wine

More precious to me than gold

More dear to me than my very self

I would give all to know

I would give all to know

I would give all to know

You more



To cry out to you in trouble

And find Your comfort flood my soul

To experience Your beauty

You’ve become my goal



You’ve released me from the bondage

Of a self-perfecting strife

You shed Your blood to cleanse me

And make something holy of my life



My searching for true righteousness

Was leading everywhere

But in the light of Your countenance

My pride of effort is laid bare

And I see

The gift You give

It is free

In You I live



So I relinquish all now that I’ve found you

And I turn my heart to faith

A know you are my Saviour

And it’s you that I embrace

Nothing to prove

God, You’ve done it all

In the face of Jesus Christ

You’ve restore us from the fall



Freed from the chaos of the search

My spirit soars so free

Safely covered by Your righteous hand

Jesus Christ is all to me

I am free

To know Thee

To seek Your face

And the eternal unfolding of Your Grace.



I am now in Your care

I can trust in You

To get me where

I inherit all you have for me





11 Teach me Your way, O LORD,And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. 12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;For false witnesses have risen against me,And such as breathe out violence. 13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the LORDIn the land of the living.

14 Wait on the LORD;Be of good courage,And He shall strengthen your heart;Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Many are the thoughts that assail me

Enticing me to run

In the ways of those around me

Who do not know or treasure Your dear Son



O anchor of my soul

Steadfast rock on which I stand

Let my thoughts be so established

That I make no god of man

Make me a light

Of the true knowledge of Christ

Let it shine so bright

That it frees others from the night

You’ve made a sanctuary for You in my heart

You undergird me so I may know Your love

You satisfy me with heavenly things

And set my affections on what is above

So I wait on You

As a servant, his master

As a beloved son, his father

As a weaned child at his mother’s breast

I wait on You

mumbai

Sunday, February 20, 2005

company

we finally found a cyber cafe open late
was about the 10th one we visited in this
mile strip walking away from our hotel by
nehru place.

ive noticed this flocking instinct within
me, the tendency to blend and move with
my environment and those immediately around
me.

after 6 weeks of super independence
im diggin the company.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

mumbai

im still in delhi
toby flew in yesterday
and i moved from tarun's apartment
to into a hotel with toby

im finding it difficult to engage in
any "productive" activity while im
bouncing around so much and dependant
on other people's schedules.

im definitely feeling the need to pick
a spot and root for awhile.

tuesday we're planning to head to mumbai.


i've lost all track of the $log
that and blogging regularly benefit
from having a routine.

the $s have escalated wildly.
im now sharing a 2700rp / night
hotel and eating room service
regularly. the meals ive been
having here in delhi generally
cost twice what i was paying in
calcutta.

im sure their are cheap places in
delhi too, but thats not how ive
been living.

will be interesting approaching mumbai
reputation holds it as one of the more
expensive cities in india. its the financial
and media center. part of me is attracted to
that kind of contcentrated energy, and it
feels like the place to be for getting
internet tv type things going.

we'll see ...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

outsourced respect

a year ago i worked with a couple very jr
programmers from calcutta on a project for
a company based in oregon managed by someone
in florida. i was in la.

the indian programmers were making between
$100 - $150 / mo. they were bright, humble &
eager. they also took so much direction that
i ended up deciding i wasn't ready to make that
investment and i completed the the project myself.

my take away was that there's this whole wave
of programmers here that saw the internet boom,
decided to study computers in school and are
graduating now.

i think the idea was right, tho my math was off.

this wave started hitting the work force
3 or 5 years ago. maybe tide is a better word :)

hanging out with tarun here in delhi, im getting
in touch with the more senior part of this scene.
people who've been working for start-ups and big
us companies for 5 years and at this point are on
par with senior programmers in the bay area.

the 'new economy' revolution was also a youth
revolution. a great deal of the code that makes
the internet interesting has been developed by
people well under 30. the meritocracy that let
the kids from the states in, is now expanding to
the world.

i like the age we're living in :)

heavenly heart

http://www.alchemylab.com/golden_flower.htm

via omar :)

Friday, February 11, 2005

a space for new media practices

cruising around india i've connected
with the people running a small new
media center in mumbai (bombay)
www.cometmedia.org

they're looking at getting a larger
space - possibly an old movie house
or some such thing and puting together
a new media institute with workshops
teach people to use new media tools
and a venue for their exposure.

im kind of excited cause it may represent
another opprotunity to do a lafco like thing
but with 2 years of experience, a partner
with organizational and administrative skills,
and an incredibly low cost of living.

one of the main projects im advocating
is to hire and train some people to produce
a line of educational videos. possibly
begining with instruction for 'new media'
skills - video, audio, web production
and then expanding into a wider range of
topics.

im hoping that given the prices of things
over here we can actually do some things
we wouldn't be able to in LA, ie.
demonstrate key points with motion graphics
annimation and such.

im also hoping to translate materials into
as many languages as practical.

i havne't been to bombay yet, so im getting
alittle ahead of myself

but its a fun thought anyway

linux asia (new delhi)

im meeting some interesting people in delhi
thru the good graces of tarun (tarundua.com)
and the linuxasia conference i attented the
day after i arrived in town.

after giving his keynote, the ceo of redhat
walked off the stage and seeing a scruffy
white kid in jeans amidst all the indians in
suits he stopped, shook my hand, and told me
i was in the right place.

it had that kind of feeling.
i told some people the feeling reminded me
of the energy in the silicon valley when the
net economy was booming and we all felt like
we were going to make it.

one fellow said he was there too, and its not
quite that big, the funding isn't there. seems
the lack of a vc scene is keeping everyone
working for international service centers.

recounting how the energy ebbed in the bay area
after the crash and recognizing it wax here,
there's this real sense of opprotunity popping
up in different places around the planet, and the
jet set possibility of following it.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

200 rupees

$log
2 / 2
16p - internet
40p - chocholate crepe + coffee crunch ice cream

2/5
120p - auto rickshaw auroville - pondicherry
55p - bus pondy - chennai
4p - bus chennai bus terminal to chennai train
for which they gave me a small purple piece of
paper which has never been asked for before
200p - officers when i got off the bus demanded
to see the purple piece of paper, which i had
lost somehow on the trip. when i couldn't produce
it they demanded $500p or they'd take me to the
station. i got them down to 200p. i could have
got them lower if i'd been prepared to show them
the contents of my wallet.

i sorta feel cheated, except that 200p comes to
about $5. in san jose one time i wasn't sure about
the electric tram fee and a lady cop stopped me
when i got off and demanded to see a similarly
obscure piece of paper. she gave me a $127 ticket
for my remiss which turned into a warrant which
got me pulled over and taken to jail in albany
while they sorted it out.

i prefer the indian system.



Saturday, February 05, 2005

american pavillion

from a letter to a fellow
i met at arcosanti several
years ago about some ideas
for a sub community in auroville.

--->


great running into you just now.

while its still hot in my mind
i'd like to run a couple of ideas
by you that i've had for a project
like this.

economics -
community needs to have some economic
industry which justifies, maintains,
and grows the community at some level.
Technology can provide this basis. if
we can create a healthy environment in
which tech workers can be productive
there is the possibility of generating
$ necessary to grow the project into
something substantial.

i see software development, web development,
video & audio production being core
industries.

primary clients would be american &
european so we'd be a definite profit center
for the overall community.

infrastructure -
to do this we just need reliable internet
connectivity, reliable power, and some air
conditioned rooms to work in.

education -
while providing a healthy environment for IT
workers to operate, i think it would be very
good to provide courses, workshops, internships
training people in these skills. again i see
focusing these courses on software development,
network operations, video & audio production.
the goal should be that we should be able to
find decently paid work for someone who completes
the courses.

culture -
im super into having a cafe with wireless
internet connectivity where people can hang
out, listen to good music, and work on their
laptops if they like. especially as we get
audio and video production going i'd like
this to be a venue where dj's & vj's can
show there stuff.

architecture -
im stoked on the arcosanti connection, because
i think this has the potential to grow into
a large thing, and i think we should increase
in altitude and density rather than creating
another suburb.

i think the pallet racks i mentioned are
extremely good for providing quick, dense,
inexpensive temporary shelter. because its
freestanding we can move it at any time as
we put more permanent structures in place.
we may even be able to use it to support
the formwork for building much larger concrete
structures.

me -
i went to uc santa cruz, studied computer
science, worked for the first internet music
start-up, sun microsystems, and then did my
own start-up with a partner from sun. we
raised venture capital built a
35 person company which we sold to excite @
home for alot of stock which became worthless
over the next year.

when the market crashed i took off to travel
and figure somethings out for myself. i went
to arcosanti. i lived on the beach in kauai,
hawaii for 6 months while going to massage
school. i connected with the 'los angeles
filmmakers coop' (lafco.tv) in los angeles
and with them created a community space for
helping independent filmmakers do their thing.
last year i got this very large warehouse in
downtown LA in which i tried to create a
'technology incubator' < space to support
people trying to start technology or media
companies. i feel this didn't succeed in part
because the cost of living in los angeles is
too high for people to really be able to do
innovative, artistic, or altruistic projects.
so im moving to india. there is some momentum
towards basing out of calcutta because it has
one of the largest, densest, educated populations
in india, as well as one of the lowest cost of
livings. i'll probably persue this path for
awhile, but im very interested in how to create
a environmentally / healthy sustainable corporate
culture and not just a profitable one.

Friday, February 04, 2005

rain

$ log 2/2
128p - internet
500p - 2 mantra cds krishna produced
60p - phone call to calcutta
500p - 30 min phone call to usa
960p - contribution to the farm fund

last night on the farm we had 'discussion'
where krishna read some spiritual philosophy
from 'i am that' and then we talked about it
briefly.

was nice, not a big deal, but cool to set
the intention and hold that space for a bit.

talking to krishna later about it, he says
he can notice a subtle shift in the community
when they do that regularly.


tomarro , we do a puja for krishna's mantra
chanting cd release. sunday i take the train
to delhi.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

$ log

1/31
32p internet
35p cake & ice cream

2/1
537p sleeper class train ticket chennai to delhi
14p rice lunch at train station
14p coke & peanut brittle cookies

soap over smtp

on his website unitedvillages.com
amir says that providing asynchronous
internet access to remote regions is
over 100 times cheaper than providing
full time wireless connectivity.

this rings true for me, with the cost
decreasing with the inverse of the
latency.

so it seems clear that the majority of
the next 2 billion people to come online
will use an asynchronous internet connection
to begin with.

this sentiment is the basis for amir's
company - unitedvillages.com - which is
an outgrowth of technology developed at
MIT - daknet

and the Technology & Infrastructure for
Emerging Regions (TIER) group at berkeley.
http://tier.cs.berkeley.edu/docs/projects/dtn.html
which is also where i found a link to the
Delay Tolerant Networking Research Group
http://www.dtnrg.org/

i wrote melissa ho
http://www.melissaho.com/research/digitaldivide.php
asking her about using soap over smtp as a framework
to develop applications to be used in this environment.
she says "SMTP fails to address issues in routing and
failure, and poses other problems. DTNRG has developed
an alternative".

my sense is still that applications need to be
written with the understanding that they may be
opperating in an asynchronous environment - for
usability reasons as much as anything else.

i guess this doesn't necessitate the use of soap
tho the high latency tends towards including much
more data in each request. so it makes sense to
structure the data in xml for readability and a
variety of other reasons, and we're rewriting the
apps anyway.

my high level point here
is that there's alot of work
porting applications to operate in this environment,
and porting applications to soap.

part of my excersize here in india, is looking
for problems which require a large amount of manpower.


here's some links i found on the web

postman net - i like it :)
http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~rywang/postmanet_paper/

pop - you'll like the picture if nothing else
http://www.pdos.lcs.mit.edu/rover/

firstmilesolutions.com

http://www.melissaho.com/research/digitaldivide.php

http://in3.org/articles/IIT.htm

http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/fg7/conclusions.html

http://tier.cs.berkeley.edu/

http://www.n-logue.com

http://www.bytesforall.org/

http://www.nethope.org/

http://www1.worldbank.org/publicsector/egov/gyandootcs.htm

not related, but clean water efforts
deserve all the attention they can get
http://www.blueplanetrun.org/

in the belly

yesterday i took care of the only errands
requiring me to leave auroville. i rode on
the back of damien's scooter as we navigated
our way into pondicherry to buy train tickets.

pondy feels like a bustling little city, alittle
bigger than santa cruz, but some similar sense
of waves crashing with some small industry.

there was a moment there on the back of the bike
where i completely let go of knowing anything
about what im doing. there really isn't a whole
lot of pressure for me to get the development
center going, or even to return to calcutta. maybe
im supposed to start my thing in pondicherry. maybe
i should hire a guide buy a motorbike and start
scouting the country - hyderabad, amritapuri, ...

is a fun feeling, this sense of complete unknowing,
realizing that the small guidelines that i've been
operating under (going to delhi for the linuxasia
conference 2/9, then going to calcutta to set up a
development center) are totally self imposed and
imaginary. if i just stayed in auroville no
one would be particularly suprised.

so there was a moment, and i've had lots of these
in the last few years, of wondering whether this
was it, whether i am here now. is this "home".

and the message came back, that it wasn't. that
this chapter is about getting inside the internet
mind, learning how to apply massive amounts of
educated talent - awareness - to the development
of the internet, and the healing and growth that
can come from it. this chapter is about going into
the belly of human density and seeing what can be
done there.

there will come another chapter surrounded by trees
instead of buildings, when my hands spend more
time in the dirt than on the keyboard. but it isn't
yet. there's still too much ambition in my head.

Monday, January 31, 2005

country roads

$ log - 1/30
32p - internet
100p - picnic items
200p - week bicycle rental
500p wedding gift for a friend
of the farm.

this morning i rode on the back of a
motorcycle 30 minutes out of town to
this super old temple on top of a hill
where the wedding was held.
(there aren't too many hills in this
part of india).

was sooo nice riding thru the country. it
really makes me want to learn the native
language so i can take off on my own like
that. also made me dreamy for some future
where im helping small villages come online
unitedvillages.com style.

on the tech side -
im excited about the asynchronous web
think there's a large role for porting
web applications to soap ontop of smtp.

and something too this notion of
queing up all the interactions you want
to have with the net. and then establishing
ad hoc networks with random devices passing
thru your region, and doing some negotiation
to get them to carry packets for you and vice
versa.

$ log 1/31
47p - egg salad sandwhich


Saturday, January 29, 2005

lost & found

$ log
1/28/05
40p internet (got credit cause no one can cash 500p note)
30p chocholate cake & black currant ice cream

1/29/05
40p - black currant ice cream & brown cake with white frosting
660p - 11 days auroville upkeep fee, krishna says this
should be waved for people working on the farm but im
not going to sweat it

hung out in the town hall for awhile waiting for the
financial center to open. they have architectural cutouts
of the plans for this place. its pretty incredible - both
where they're going and how far they've come. there's money
flowing thru this place. im not sure where it comes from or
how it works exactly but some things are definitely working.

last night i had some fantacies about doing my software
development center here instead of calcutta. im into the
community and the concept of trying to do my software center
someplace healthy.

my sense tho after a day and talking to a couple of people
is that its too quick to try to make those kinds of things
happen here. im too new. the only way it would work is if
i bought a piece of land adjacent to auroville and set up
shop there. but ive biked around those places and they dont
have the energy im looking for. so i think its still calcutta.

this morning a girl weeding with me mentioned another community
in maharastra? somewhere close to the middle of the country.
she said it had been built as an act of love by this one guy
was very healthy and had like 2500 people now - mostly indian.

at amachi's gatherings sometimes they mention in passing that
when amma holds darshan in india she gets like 200,000 people
showing up.

someone was describing india and saying that countries all have
their special thing. in china its the great wall of china in
india its the people. visiting some communities in the states
i get this impression that the biggest issue is simply figuring
out how to get people to come - work, live, play on the community.
i dont think the problem would be the same in india.

after paying my community fees i biked into "town" to visit
aurolec where i heard there might be a lost & found. i lost
my journal cum phone book and meditation handbook off the
back of my bike a couple of days ago. i asked a couple of
security guards if they had a lost & found. eventually someone
pointed me to the news room which was somewhere in a compound
of uninteresting offices with names like "turtle technologies"
eventually i found the news room where i explained the situation.
there were two indian guys working and eventually they understood
me well enough to ask me to write a description of the items
which they would publish in the newsletter which they were
responsible for. when i asked "do you have a lost & found box
where people return things they find" the more talkative guy
answered "yes, we will print in the next issue, will come out
next saturday"


oop
tonight is my night to cook rainbow stew for the farm

Friday, January 28, 2005

om shanti

meditation

one of the volunteers on the farm
practices psychiatry in england
when he's not harvesting rice in
pondicherry.

we were talking about treatments
for miscallaneous mental orders. i
found myself espousing meditation
for almost everything. he made the
point that meditation could be quite
difficult especially for the depressed.

he also made the point that without
faith almost all treatments were worthless.

having practiced several forms of meditation
under different traditions over the years i
have found that different forms seem to work
better for me depending on how agitated i am.

the zen ideal of absolute silence seems like
the ultimate ideal, but for me is a difficult
practice unless im in a very quiet place to
begin with, and even then it is very much an
excersize in mindfulness as i watch my mind
wander and i attempt to bring it back again.

even in the common buddhist practice of
concentrating on the breath, countnig each one
to 10 and then starting over has some subtle
variations that seem to affect the difficulty /
serenity i find with them. the easiest form ive
found is using the full exhale to make the count.
much harder for me is makeing a quick tick count
at the end or beginning of the breath, tho i find
when i can do this i enjoy an expansiveness with
my exhale that i dont notice when im saying a
number to myself with it.

this morning we harvested rice. afterwards i
wasn't sure what to do with myself. i took a nap
for a bit and then wakled down to the internet
cafe to avoid the strange anxious depressed mood
i felt was waiting for me on the farm if i didn't
manage to get off it.

walking i started using my beads again - chanting
hare krishna. i find i can chant even in fairly
foul moods, and it usually works well to bring me
out of a funk.

om shanti :)

$ log 1/27
104p - 3hrs internet

Thursday, January 27, 2005

buckets of cow piss

i moved to an organic farm yesterday morning
now im spending days watering trees and
harvesting beans. im trying to maintain
this notion that its possible to live this
very close to the earth lifestyle, while
persuing technology development.

i like the experiment. some of what im
learning is that physical labor in the
sun does drain some of the mental energy
that otherwise gets directed into the
machine. ..

$ log - i think its 1/27 today

1/25
65p - internet
435p - center guest house room

1/26
i moved to the farm and where there
are no fees, just hard work
62p - phone to sisir in calcutta
to check in on status of stuff

he's building a large house in salt lake
the emerging tech center, and he's interested
in having me set up my development center there.
i met him when i wandered into a large hindu
gathering at a temple in calcutta. they were
singing and i was standing in the back checking
things out. sisir came up to me and asked what
i got out of it since i couldnt understand whats
going on. he spend 12 or 20 years working in
new york and is now back in calcutta and wants
to do something for the community.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

auroville

im way diggin it here on kinds of levels.

last night there was a full moon meditation
and walk. was totally silent. a hundred people
gathered around this enormous banyan tree and
just sat for about 30 minutes. then all hundred
of us took an hour walk thru forest trails with
just the moon light.

later i talked with a girl about a couple of
projects going on. tomarro, i'll start working
on a small organic farm she told me about.

this morning i took a long bike ride around
town. there's no hard line between auroville
and the surrounding villages. was wonderful
riding my bike down these trails and then
finding myself in the middle of a very real
rural indian village. and people didn't trip
to see me cruise thru. people trip out on me
constantly when i walk the streets in calcutta.

$
yesterday filled out with
32 - 1 hour internet (calcutta is 15)
20 - chocholate cake
20 - vanilla ice cream
6 - chai

today started with
6 - chai
435 - another night in center guest house
20 - banana nut cake
20 - butterscotch ice cream
(im starting to have cravings :()

ieee

Monday, January 24, 2005

675p

i have a friend who keeps track
of every penny he spends. i've
always thought it was an interesting
excersize in $ awareness.

gonna give it a shot
all #s are in rupees
i think current exchange is about 43rp - 1$

1/24
5 - local bus from chennai railway station
to the bus terminalk
45 - 3 hour bus ride from chennai to pondicherry
11 - breakfast at a restaurant on the way
151 - auto rickshaw from main road up to center guest house
425 - one night center guest house
3 meals, bike rental, and laundry included
22 - pinapple papaya juice
25 - egg sandwhich (i slept thru lunch

this place is more or less what i was hoping for
there's giant banyan trees all around. its reasonably
close to the beach. the air feels clean. there's an
internet cafe ... there's lots of massage, and yoga
retreats - tho im not sure if there are regular yoga
classes. tonight there's a full moon walk and meditation.

things are looking good (:

Friday, January 21, 2005

jai shiva

im generally not too concerned with
the dogma surrounding different relions
or sects or whatever. when people here
ask me if im budhist or hindu or christian
i've taken to saying 'im everything' :)

lifestyle is something else.
my main issue with the american christian
church is lifestyle.

this morning i passed a gregarious sadhu
on the street and ended up spending the
day with him. he wore about 4 sheets and
blankets of various guages in various
configurations. These and a brass teapot
of some kind (which contained various
smaller items) were all he carried.

i dig this self containedness. i think
there's something very spiritual in being
available to follow any direction at any
time. my dreadlocks and beard
are some indication that i've spent time
in this flow. but my western clothes
speak to the time im spending in front of
a computer now, with a hotel room, and plans,
...

there's an integration here im looking for

the perfect lifestyle


Sunday, January 16, 2005

cream (a blogging introspective)

i faced some decisions
last night that forced me to evaluate some
of whats important to me, why im living the
way im living, ...

historically, ive done most of my processing
in emails to people in my world. last night
i imagined that as an entry here.

habits being what they are
when i sat down to the computer this morning
i opened up mail first and wrote some of
whats going on for me in an email.

as i was writing, and then after, i noticed
how reduced the emotional feeling and charge
associated with the experience had become.
the facts remain the same, but so quickly
they went from really challenging some of
my concepts of who i am and what im doing,
to a story of my saturday evening in calcutta.

i've noticed something like this before
the tendency for speaking or even writing
an idea or feeling to diminish its power.

given the nature of the relationship i'd like
to have with the internet, i may make an effort
to blog before doing email.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

ganga sagar

im not totally sure of
the terminology yet, but the massive religious
festivals india is famous for - i think they're
called mela's. last night at the blue skye cafe
i found out that the largest one of the year
for west bengal was just finishing up on an
island just south of here - ganga sagar.

i've got a persistant cough im about to take
antibiotics for, and i thought maybe some fresh
air would do me good. plus it seems that my
outsourcing plans are about a month away from
manifesting as we're coordinating both the
exact work i'll be doing with dave.tv and the
office space its looking like i'll use is still
under construction.

so sensing flow, i let go of my room this morning
and headed down to the baboo gat bus station to
catch a bus to ganga sabar.

it didn't work out.
there's some fairly large infrastructure thats
been set up to support the masses of sadhu's on
their pilgrimage. close to there a bunch of buses
are parked preparing to go their different directions.

but i couldn't make it happen
i never spoke to anyone who really understood english
and while i think i was able to make it clear that i
wanted to go to ganga sagar people would just talk to
me in bengali and point me somewhere else. after being
very scattered and walking back and forth between the
pilgrimage headquarters and the bus area i finally gave
up and took a taxi back to sudder street where i licked
my wounds in the Blue Skye cafe where an animated fellow
traveller was describing how some sadhu with balls the
size of fists had managed to put a stick in his penis
and balance on it for camera's and rupees.

now im back on sudder street, sitting at a computer,
wondering what im doing with myself.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

mass conversion

ive got the shits
and something of a chest cold
so im moving real slow
thru the streets of calcutta
these days.

im continually stoked on the
people i meet. right now its
mostly foreigners coming over
here to volunteer with mother
theresa's mission or another
group - calcutta rescue.

yesterday i went to meditation
class and heard the story of
how 50 years ago 3 million people
in the 'untouchable' caste
converted to buddism.

my next mission is to find some
place to make a skype phone call.

the internet rocks !!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

calcutta

its been a long time coming
but i've finally made my way
to india.

i've been staying in a decent
room on the roof of a small
hotel off of sudder street for
the past week.

room is ~$6 / night
meals run about $1

taxi's rickshaws everything is
cheap except high end night life.

reminds me of the darker visions
of the gibson and stephenson cyberpunk
future diaspora.

im here for a bit.
i keep telling people that it
depends on my finding some reasonably
healthy lifestyle in the middle of all
this. but the premise that brought me
here remains unchanged - that there is
a growing population of educated technical
professionals, and that the low cost of
living equates makes it possible to hire
large numbers of people inexpensively.

so the question becomes, what are the
tasks of technical creativity and benevolence
that can benefit from the application of
massive amounts of human brainpower.