Monthly Archives: July 2013

My Pen Keeps Running Out of Ink

Over the past week, I have been reading “The Earth Has a Soul, C.G. Jung on Nature, Technology & Modern Life”, edited by Meredith Sabini.

It speaks to me, what can I say.

I’ll admit this is one of those books that I already knew I’d love before I started to read it. By the time I finish it, I’ll have underlined nearly every sentence. To some it is a waste of time to do that, to underline or highlight,  but it’s a technique I use to slow down my eyes and my brain. It’s the same reason I write long hand, at least once a day. While the ink is soaking in (I use a fountain pen), I spend time with each word, letting the sentence linger and soak in.

I buy books like this all the time. Affirmation books. I read the jacket cover, or a summary or review on-line, and the author is on my wavelength. I think to myself, “See there, someone else who thinks like I do. I’m not a complete imbecile. My ideas and opinions have merit. At least one other person, and an author no less, is touched by what touches me. I’m not alone.”

But, I am also leaning in to disagreement and discomfort. There are authors of several blogs I now follow whose minds work in ways that are mysterious to me. So I sit with their words, letting them soak in. In some cases, I need to backtrack and read from their archives, or from responses they make to comments in an attempt to understand the foundation from which they write. I am not always successful, nor will I be. I am experiencing the emptiness of understanding. I will feel and understand differently each time I read, whether it be a piece familiar to me or untried. I am different each moment.

I have the most difficulty with poetry. I have read ten times the poetry in the past 2 months than I have read in my life. It is a worthy struggle. I am learning to let go of expectations and a mind that wants to jump immediately to categorization or answers or patterns and interpretations that are familiar to me.

I am learning to open to diversity and change. I am talking back to judgement.

I am learning to feel.

I am building connections not barriers.

It’s hard.



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Privacy: One Book’s Exploration

I am all over the map of late in this blog.

Blog topics recapitulate the focus of my attention over the day which leap frogs from writing to trees to addiction and now to privacy and books.

Privacy is an important issue. It always has been.

The exploitation of information or intelligence gathering has been with us a very long time.

The tools of data exploitation continue to change as the technologies we “must” have to collect data (digital or otherwise) and communicate change. I am purposefully avoiding the word “improve” here. It is an easy intellectual trap to fall into to assume that everything novel is an improvement in all aspects.

Aside from the sensationalism and gossip aspects of data exploitation, which can direct lazy attentions like a hand on the bridle of a horse, there is something very profound here that deserves deeper thought. Were you really surprised by the Prism/Edward Snowden revelations?

There exist both producers and consumers, predator and prey in this information privacy dance. Each contributes. The social contracts being signed, all too often buried in the 10,000 word “End-user License Agreement” or “Software License Agreement”, are given little attention as we rush to install the latest and greatest App from Company X or sign-up for a service provided for free, when we know that nothing is free. But there are also grey areas or novel areas of data exploitation for which there is no precedent and which give savvy exploiters the keys to the kingdom. It’s a lot of change in a short time. The tools and capabilities are miraculous, life saving, equalizing and just plain fun. But there are downsides and there are costs.

A book that I read many years ago, suggested by a friend, took the privacy issue we wrestle with today to one possible extreme. The complete eradication of privacy in the present, as well as the past.

“The Light of Other Days”, coauthored by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter, explores the ramifications to the human condition given a technology that allows anyone to “see” anyone else no matter where or “when” they are. You did something 5 years ago that no one knows about? Think again. Anything and everything you’ve ever done is exploitable.

There are other interesting wrinkles that deepen the plot, but I won’t mention them here.

It was an interesting read and I happened to be thinking about it today.


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Antlion Larva and the Pit of Death

There are little Antlion pits all around the cabin. The soil is very sandy here and perfect for building pits. There are lots of ants too, so it’s a good ecosystem for predator and prey.

I took a short video (from my phone, hence the jitter) of me simulating an ant falling into the pit with the end of a pine needle. The Antlion larva then starts throwing up sand to knock the prey further down the pit towards its jaws. It’s such a wild thing to watch.

There’s a lot to see all around, if you slow down and take the time to look.

Check out Wikipedia for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antlion

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July 20, 2013 · 9:54 pm