I am a computer programmer by day and philosopher by night. I post once or twice a week. I aim to prevent blogging from taking to much time, while allowing time to develop each idea before posting it. Each has some reference to human, universal, or societal truths, while presented in an organized, understandable & consise way -- this is the plan anyway. Results may very as what rings true for one may seem false to another. Also becuase sometimes I get things wrong.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Dealing with Spam comments & who owns your Internet?

In the last month or two I've noticed an increase in spam comments on my blog. I've continued to delete them, but today I thought maybe I should do something to stop them. I looked at my options in blogger and decided the easiest thing to do would be to turn on word verification.

I clicked the box to turn it on and hit save... and then I had another thought. Why don't I just leave the spam comments there? Would you rather have to enter word verification to enter a comment or skip over a few comments that are obvious spam. I'd rather deal with spam then the word verification. I often seem to have trouble reading the letters myself. So I turned the word verification back off.

I've in the mindset of "I won't let the spammers win." the whole time. My irritation kept me trying to win. I am thinking the battle wasn't really worth fighting to begin with.

Any thoughts?

My other thought for the day is that Google and Yahoo are becoming the Microsoft & Apple of the Internet. Most of the services I use on the internet are owned by one of these two:

Owned by Google
Google (the search engine)
Google groups
Google news
Google reader
Google maps
Google video

It is pretty obvious for most of these that they are owned by Google they generally say so up front if not in the name.

Owned by Yahoo
yahoo messenger
yahoo groups
del.icio.us (aka delicious)

Not owned by either
Skype - owned by Ebay
AOL Instant Messenger - owned by Time Warner (via AOL)
Technorati (not sure who owns it, independent?)
planet.ubuntu.com (owned by Canonical or perhaps the Ubuntu Foundation)

From this list it appears that about half of the web services I use belong to google, one quarter belong to Yahoo and another quarter belong to other companies. Of course other people will use other services from folks like Apple/AOL/Microsoft etc; so this list isn't really representative of what is out there. But a small number of companies own most of the services we use (maybe a dozen or so?) and that is the point. A little scary, don't you think?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Happiness Part 2 - Letting Yourself Be

Think Feel for a moment the feelings that you are carrying with you. What are you feeling right now? Take a moment to pay attention to this...

What types of emotions come to you on a given day. For most of you I suspect that some of them are unpleasant. These unpleasant emotions are the product of your thinking. Accept these emotions without resistance. Later on you may be able to change your thinking in order to have different emotions, but once the emotion begins it will be around for some period of time. Just accept this, let it be.

Next have a look at your feelings about yourself; self-image if you will. We all have a number of opinions and feelings about ourselves, both positive and negative. Let this be as well. You may not like some parts of yourself, but you won't be able to change these overnight. This is why acceptance of these perceived flaws is important.

Now that I've covered your feelings about yourself what's left? Oh yeah, the rest of the universe i.e. everything else. We have much less control over the "everything else" then we have over our own self. This means that are thoughts about 'other stuff' can be incredibly frustrating. For the vast majority of people our ability to change each other is extremely limited, and even when we have the rare opportunity to be a catalyst, we can not direct the change. We can provide only a nudge. The acceptance of the world is important, perhaps essential to lasting happiness no matter how ugly it is.

Accepting ourselves, our feelings and everything else is not mutually exclusive to working for change. This reminds me of the Serenity Prayer, which I'll include here. (Thanks to Gary for reminding me that the prayer is more then the first 4 lines, which are generally the only ones I hear.)

As with anything the standard disclaimer applies. I am tempted to try and less authoritative tone to my writing, but I feel that this tone is most effective and succinct. I just hope I am making the right choice in publishing this post at 1:40 am...


The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Response to Layla's "Top Ten Qualities in a Mate"

Layla shared with us the things she was looking for in a man.

The more formal process is this: create a list of 10 things that you want in a mate and 10 things that you could not tolerate. The idea is that given this list of well thought out traits you will be less likely to settle for someone who you won't be happy with, and more effective at seeking out someone you will be happy with. It can really be hard narrowing down to just 10!

Here are my current lists. Subject to change without notice! (I still need to do some narrowing down as I have 11 items in the 'must haves.')

Must have:

Accepting of self and others
Considerate/Open minded - Tolerant
Interested in solutions not victories - Conflict Revolver
Strong Character - Honest
Verbal Intimacy (sharing of thoughts and feelings)

Can't stand:

Cheating (manipulative or taking advantage of other people)
Holds grudges (resentment, revenge)

BTW, I've done some work on the second in a series of happiness posts, but it has required more thought then I originally believed.

BTW, I love Firefox's new built in spell checking!

Friday, October 20, 2006

"Inspirational art"

(Hint: the title is a link.)

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Secret to Happiness

It is a bit ironic that the secret to happiness given to me as a child in the lyrics of a song, which don't sound particularly profound until I realized how true they are.

Happiness runs in a circular motion
Love is like a little boat on the sea
Everybody is a part of everything anyway
You can be happy if you let yourself be

There you have it. "You can be happy if you let yourself be". Now you know it. Thats it. Class dismissed. Report back for the final exam on Monday. :)

Seriously though, I'll expand on this in upcoming post(s) and feel free to ask me questions in the comments, which I'll try to anwser either right away or in an additional post.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Another Quote

"Forgiveness is giving up all hope for a better past." - Unknown

I've left this as unknown scanning the web I found this quote attributed to three different people including Gil Fronsdal, who is the person I heard say it. I still don't know where it came from. I think it is a great one though!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Quote from Tom Fox

We reject violence to punish anyone who harms us. We ask the equal justice in the arrest and trial of anyone, soldier or civilian, who commits an act of violence, and we ask that there be no retaliation on their relatives or property. We forgive those who consider us their enemies. Therefore, any penalty should be in the spirit of restorative justice, rather than in the form of violent retribution.

Tom Fox,
Christian Peacemakers Team
October 2004 before departing for Iraq.

In Tribute to Activist, a Call to Forgive
Who killed Tom Fox and why?

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