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Facebook as a spiritual tool

Tue, 27 Jan 2009 11:50:54 GMT2009-01-27T11:50:54Z

One of the leit motif in spirituality is to reach an integration among the various parts of oneself. There are many important reasons for this, which I am not going to enter right now. Becoming One is not seen in Taoism as a spiritual goal, but as a spiritual prerequisite. It is not school, it is preschool. Until you are one you cannot really get involved with spirituality. It is like if in your family you decide to build a house, but not everybody agrees on that. Then one part of you builds it in the morning, and someone else of the family will destroy it in the evening. Maybe using the bricks for something else.The idea that we are many, that each of us is many, is quite common. In psychology is common, Junghian Psychology, if I recall well. Again, in Taoism it even reaches the point of believing that this is true in a litteral point of view. Each of us, is seen as a patchwork of different spirits (shen). And when you die each spirit will then go its way. As such in Taoism until you have reached a real integration between your parts of yourselves (your spirits), you cannot even have reincarnation unless you have developed a unit which is integrated enough to go through the trauma of death without shattering in a 1000 little pieces.And another idea that is very common (you have it in Taoism, but also in Christianity, for example), is the idea that one day, one time, at some point we will all get together. Christian say "sit by the father". In Taoism the idea is that any person who have showed a spark of interest for spiritual work will eventually join together in some place beyong space and time, a sort of heaven. And the joke then is if people are following the 1 lifetime program, the 10 lifetime program, the 100 or 1000 lifetime program, to reach it. And the faster it is, the rougher it is.I have to say I am amazed by how well is Facebook helping in this integration work, for me. I have many friends, on facebook. But more importantòy I have friends from different groups. Each friend knew a different Pietro. Some were from my spiritual life (taoism, tai chi, meditation, ...), some from my academic world (artificial life, mathematics), some are Go-brothers, others people I knew from childhood, or from high school, or middle school. And with each of them I was a different person. And now they are all together. All in the same place. And the internet does indeed feel a little bit like this place beyond space and time. And I read of many of them. But what is more important, is that, as I write about my life, I am forced to write in a way that is acceptable for both my academic side and my spiritual side. I can only write in an integrated way, because I know that friends from both worlds will read me. In this sense facebook is catalysing an integration in me. Is helping me to become one.I know many people are having problems with facebook. I think a lot of the problem is that they are not ready or willing to have this integration. For me Fb is pretty easy: to become my friend you need to know me. With very few exceptions I do not add anyone who is not someone I personally know. But if I have met you, and you want to befriend me, then you are in. I don't keep people that I know out of the door. Because that would be equivalent to keeping some part of myself out of the door, the part of me that interacted with them. You are all invited to the party. I sometime even go back in time, and look for people I once knew. People that were important in my life. Or people I wished I had the time to know better. Maybe now we have another occasion. But then on my status, in my notes, in the caption of my photo, I try not to speak thinking about one in particular (I might have done it, but mostly I try to avoid it). I speak to all my friends at the same time. And if anyone comments, I answer that person, personally. The answer is personal, but anybody can see it, and thus the integration goes deeper. I write in English and in Italian, because those are the languages with which I live, work, chat, play and love. My inner dialogue is somet[...]



Back to lj?Armstrong

Sun, 25 Jan 2009 09:26:54 GMT2009-01-25T09:26:54Z

I bought an iPhone. So I might start moblogging again




So true!

Thu, 17 Nov 2005 12:38:02 GMT2005-11-17T12:38:02Z

Class Clown You are 14% Rational, 57% Extroverted, 57% Brutal, and 85% Arrogant. You are the Class Clown. This means you walk down the center of the classroom with books on your head, while the teacher stares on in... Shit, I really need to stop looking at these pictures while I'm typing. Anyway, I MEANT to say that you are the Class Clown, and this means that you are extroverted, mean, and arrogant. You are not very rational, so you gravitate towards things that produce feelings or emotions over thoughts (like fart jokes or spitballs, for instance). You are also an extrovert and rather full of yourself, so of course you want constant attention for yourself and think you are somehow better than others. You can also be a bit mean-spirited, and like a class clown you wouldn't hesitate to make a joke at someone else's expense, no matter how terrible it would make them feel. So your personality defects are that you have to be the center of attention, that you don't care about others, and that you are rather irrational and motivated by intuitions. Now stop walking around with those books on your head and sit down this instant! To put it less negatively: 1. You are more INTUITIVE than rational. 2. You are more EXTROVERTED than introverted. 3. You are more BRUTAL than gentle. 4. You are more ARROGANT than humble. Compatibility: Your exact opposite is the Robot. Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Schoolyard Bully, the Smartass, and the Brute. * * If you scored near fifty percent for a certain trait (42%-58%), you could very well go either way. For example, someone with 42% Extroversion is slightly leaning towards being an introvert, but is close enough to being an extrovert to be classified that way as well. Below is a list of the other personality types so that you can determine which other possible categories you may fill if you scored near fifty percent for certain traits. The other personality types: The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble. The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant. The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble. The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant. The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble. The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant. The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble. The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant. The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble. The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant. The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble. The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant. The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble. The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant. The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble. The Smartass: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant. My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:You scored higher than 2% on RationalityYou scored higher than 60% on ExtroversionYou scored higher than 68% on BrutalityYou scored higher than 95% on Arrogance Link: The Personality Defect Test written by saint_gasoline on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test[...]



Oh Capitanen, mein Capitanen!

Sat, 29 Oct 2005 08:57:26 GMT2005-10-29T08:57:26Z

Jena is full of police. I don't know why. Yesterday evening, Yesterday night, this morning as I was strolling through the park to go to my house on wheels I was stoped by a car with two captains inside (***=captain, this I remember). They asked me for the documents. I resisted answering "Jawohl Mein Capitanen!", but it was hard.



Something has to change

Mon, 17 Oct 2005 14:23:26 GMT2005-10-17T14:23:26Z

It is now obvious that I am not updating this blog anymore. The problem is essentially a technical one. I use to update this blog from my mobile. This worked particularly well since it meant that I could a) update it in any moment b) update it from everywhere c) add automatically a picture. Now this is not true anymore. As most of you know, I am now in Germany to finish my PhD. Jena to be precise. In Germany the costs for a contract for a mobile which is able to go over the internet are much higher. So I am left with taking the picture and then updating in a later moment. Somehow this is not that pleasant. It might come to a surprise to most of you, but I don't actually enjoy very much staying in front of a computer. It tires me a lot, and I only do it because the level of the information I can get is so much higher than anything else I can find printed. Add to this that I already have plenty of things that I need to do when I am in the office. Doing a PhD is only part of it. So I don't think I can keep on having a moblog. In particular I cannot keep on having a photo-web-log. Still by now there is a certain number of people who check this site to see if I am still alive (who are them? look near the rivers, some might be waiting to see me passing). So to reassure some and to frustrate some others I should keep on some sort of basic diary. Something very spartane, with no picture or anything fancy, but just some basic news about me. It should also help people who want to contact (or ambush) me coordinate. The positive news is that since I shall be updating from the web I shall start also to add tags; and the negative is that the style needs to be changed to make it able to use tags, and I have no time for that!

But this is not all. Up to now I have tried to write an entry for each picture that I would update on my flickr website (possible that there is no alternative to a yahoo (bleah!) based service! Damn!). Now I shall also free myself from those shackle and just add every picture as I take it. Or so. Not waiting until I have time to write something nice or funny or interesting.



Happy Birthday to me

Sun, 16 Oct 2005 11:30:43 GMT2005-10-16T11:30:43Z

(image)
Happy Birthday to me
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
Today I am 35.
Happy birthday to me.

Pietro



Croatian test

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:34:35 GMT2005-09-03T18:34:35Z

(image)
Croatian test
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
How do you know you are in Croatia? Where else do you find Pi written on the wall of a random street?



A night with the pimp

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:34:01 GMT2005-09-03T18:34:01Z

A night with the pimp Originally uploaded by Pietro. The girls were going as me to Zagreb. That evening we chatted until late, and made some interesting discussion which also brough me to meet this other guy who was going back to switzerland.Then we compared our night ticket. It seemed that my sleeping bad was in the room next to them. So I greeted them and joined my room. Here we need to make a small precisation. When I was buying the ticket (obviously in a way that was totally unrelated to the fact that my father was paying for the ticket, instead of me) I decided that for one night I would have took not the absolutely most economic bed, but the next choise: Instead of the 6 couchette vagon, I paid 10 euro more and got the 4 couchette vagon. In this room (?) I found an old man, who would stink of sigarette and with a can of beer in his hand. We soon started talking. He asked me:-so what are you doing?-I am going back to Jena to finish my PhD.-Good, good, take it easy, you have time.- What do you mean- You are 34 and you are still not working, still studying.- I actually worked until last month, and as for my PhD, I will also do a project at the same time so I will get payed. But what are you doing?- I have a house for people to relax in Dusseldorf.- what you mean for people to relax?- We have 2 swimming pools, one sauna, 20 rooms, and there are some girls. And if the guys want he can take the room and relax with one (or more) of the girl.It took a bit to descend.-Is prostitution legal in Germany?-Of course!So the end of all this was that for 10 extra euro I passed the night with a Croatian Pimp who works in Dusseldorf, while I could have passed it with a bunch of teenagers from Sweden. Then in the middle of the night the police wanted to throw the girls out of the train, as their ticket did not cover the whole length of the voiage. I lended them some money, and they gave it back to me in Zagreb.But something had changed. As soon as the morning arrived the girls had changed. I was no longer a buddy, nut just someone they met on the train. They gave me back the money and said quite coldly farewell. If they had found a pornographic collection in my bag (And how stupid would that be, with mobile phones carrying so much information!) they would not have treated me more coldly.This pattern, of girls being first very warm, and then extra cold is something that we saw very often with other friends in Prague too.Eventually different theories started to emerge. The first was that girls that age did not know fuseki (Japanese name for opening patterns in Go). They would open, then not realise what they did, act in a way totally unrelated.The second was that girls that age are just not integrated, have many different parts of themselves that are still not one. The morning after is at all practical purpose a different woman you are speaking with.The third (related) was that girls that age would feel bad for how much they opened in the evening, and so in the morning they would swing to the opposite extreme.Then my favorite is that girls that age are waiting for 'somethingwonderfulthatisabouttohappen'.In the evening, if you are lucky, and you move right, you are the wonderful event. But in the morning you are not news anymore. So they discard you. They are still looking for something wonderfulthat is about to happen. Not for something wonderful that happened the day before. So you are off.All the theories make sense, and I think in the end girls that age should be enjoied as they are, with no attachments and no expectations. Simple, spontanous, and pleasent.[...]



Girls spontaneity

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:33:21 GMT2005-09-03T18:33:21Z

(image)
Girls spontaneity
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
One of the thing I find particularly attractive in girls this age is their spontanity. Social norms, who needs them! Here they are explaining to one of them (who I only remember as the hippy, or from her family name) what her social position was supposed to be in the group. She strangely resists!



Lisa

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:32:54 GMT2005-09-03T18:32:54Z

(image)
Lisa
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
Here Lisa practices the famous position: you can't spank me, I'm underage.

Argh!



4 seventeen girls

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:32:28 GMT2005-09-03T18:32:28Z

(image)
4 seventeen girls
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
As if all the girls in the EGC weren't enough, as soon as I left Prague I found myself surrounded again. I was going to Croatia, where my fatehr had invited (and offered to pay for the trip) me for a week sailing. How could I refuse. On the train I sat near a girl I seemed particularly nice. When the other person left she called her friends and soon I was surrounded, and friended by 4 smart, wit, seventeen years old girls from Sweden in their interrail. Crazy experience was that.



Korean style

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:31:59 GMT2005-09-03T18:31:59Z

(image)
Korean style
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
Every morning some people would meet on the very early morning to play Go. The winner at the end would say what currency would he prefer, and the other would unroll some cash and give it to him. It is the korean style, they play for money.



Champion Francesco

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:31:13 GMT2005-09-03T18:31:13Z

(image)
Champion Francesco
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
Francesco made it big, and won every game on the 9 by 9 board. Thus becoming the first European Champion of the 9 * 9.



3 mothers and a half.

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:30:31 GMT2005-09-03T18:30:31Z

(image)
3 mothers and a half.
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
The place where the congress was was at 5 minutes walk from the place where people were generally sleeping. Going there I could take this cute picture.



Marta

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:30:01 GMT2005-09-03T18:30:01Z

(image)
Marta
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
You already saw her. She is Marta, from Poland. Beautiful. If there were 6 man for each woman at the conference, she had at least 36 guys interested in her. We had a game of go one time, at the pub. She is so popular that as soon as we started playing a whole bunch of guys came looking for attentions, suggesting her, suggesting me and generally being very annoying. One guy suggested me the next move to make.
"Why didn't you play there"
"Because you suggested it to me, so it was not fare for me to play there anymore"
"But how could I help you then?"
"By shutting up, and letting me play".
I did lose (which was not strange since she is 4kyu and I 11), but won her respect. After that we would speak more seldom,and on the last day I found her and her friend at the pub. They were leaving a day later. In that occasion she gave me her internet name to play together on the net... which I lost. I will probably see her at the next conference or similar.

A last reflection on the fact that this girl (as many others, were young) Maybe too young, she was 17 in fact. This mean that she is, right now, exactly half my age. I could have been her father. Incestuous thought!



The top

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:29:34 GMT2005-09-03T18:29:34Z

(image)
The top
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
And here is the top. This guy is 9 dan professionist. The maximum that can be reached. Somethign that only few human beings in the history of humanity ever reached. There were two 9 pro at the conference. Impressive



Svetlana

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:29:01 GMT2005-09-03T18:29:01Z

(image)
Svetlana
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
And here she is, the most beautiful. First dan professionist, from Russia, and living in Korea. When she plays you can see a light behind her. It's a mystical experience to see her. And yes here she is playing against 5 polayers at the same time. I also saw some pro playing against 30 players at the same time. But I always preferred go to lesson than play simultaneous.



Guo Juan

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:28:15 GMT2005-09-03T18:28:15Z

(image)
Guo Juan
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
And here come another living myth: Guo Juan. Fifth Dan professionist. Her lessons were attended by many fans. She would suggest to KILL your opponent. KILL KILL KILL. Great quotes from her lesson:
"well here white killed himself, which of course was not necessary" (meaning it was easily killable in any case).

On the second week, an evening there was the couples tournament. Teams formed by a man and a woman would play together against another team, in a rango game (one move for each member of the couple). Guo Juan played with a strong second kyu. The eveningbefore she was playing at the pub, drunk. And training her partner. Than, she started playing, fast, then faster. Then she started playing so fast that she started playing before her opponent (she practically twisted time). She would make the move that was the obvious answer to the obvious move that her opponent (and partner to be) was supposed to do. And her opponent had to find out what was the move he was supposed to do. It was weird. It took me some time to understand it, than I cracked up. and when she asked me: WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING. I explained, and she got even more angry: I AM NOT SO DRUNK NOT TO KNOW WHEN MY TURN IS. I AM DRUNK BUT NOT THAT DRUNK.

Then she resumed playing, but only normally.



Main Tournament last game

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:27:36 GMT2005-09-03T18:27:36Z

(image)
Main Tournament last game
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
A picture from my last game at EGC. I lost of few points. During the game the girl asked me, why do we fight so much while we play. At the time I couldn't answer. Lately I showed the game to a friend. He said, no you should have won that fight, she was being to abusive, and you were right in standing (or trying to stand) your ground.

Story of my life.



Super Boing

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:25:59 GMT2005-09-03T18:25:59Z

(image)
Super Boing
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
I generally feel like this the day after I felt very much in love. This is the after-reality test feeling. And yes, this is another statue from Prague



The Ice Melting

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:25:16 GMT2005-09-03T18:25:16Z

(image)
The Ice Melting
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
Then on Monday of the second week I woke up in the morning and went to the hotel where everybody was sleeping. And here they were. Klara with her friend and their newfound boyfriend. They had passed the whole evening chatting. And the whole night. And the whole dawn. The news came as a bomb to quite many people, as those two girls were having quite a number of guys lining up for them. Somehow the event also came as we all started to relax. People were not lookig at each other from one group to the other, not daring to speak. We were now able to recognise most of us, and felt more confortable with each other.



Maurizio playing at the Ladies tournament

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:24:40 GMT2005-09-03T18:24:40Z

But at least a person over two at the ladies tournament was a woman. Here is Maurizio playing with another girl. Speaking about girls I said how there were few girls than guys. But the situation was worse than that. DUe to the presence of all the Lithuanian Girls many many girls were really underage, so we would meet at launch time, chatting among guys, and often the question was: I feel desire for that girl over there: am I totally pedo or she is old enough. Hmm seems like 17 to me. If she is from Holand it's ok. But we are in Prague. Damn, than is not ok. Forget her immediatly.



I would do anything, just let me play

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:23:56 GMT2005-09-03T18:23:56Z

On the second week we had the ladies tournament. The rules specified that guys were allowed toplay provided they dressed in a more feminine way. And here they are our heroes. Who shows that a man is always a man even with a skirt on. And Mascara, and lipstick, and a nice pair of fake boobs.



My opponent was too sexy

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:23:14 GMT2005-09-03T18:23:14Z

(image)
My opponent was too sexy
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
Everybody ended up having his favorites, and somehow if by luck or bad luck we were to play with them in the main tournament the result was often good for the woman. Here Maurizio declared after the game: of course I lost, my opponent was too sexy.



Sex feels like a nail through the head

Sat, 03 Sep 2005 18:22:32 GMT2005-09-03T18:22:32Z

The ratio of men to women at the congress was 6 to 1. One woman for six man. Quite obviously this gave more than a headache to some of us. A. here in the picture shows some self inflicted wounds. Done precisely with the aim of pleading compassion from the chicks. He partially got what he aimed: a 15 years old girl asked him (there are witness): would you feel more secure if this night (after coming back from the hospital) you were to sleep in my room. He answered: "you are too young". clarifying immedialtly what he was thinking of.