Knowledge

Dialectical Way to Truth

by admin Feb 21, 2006 10 Comments

Socrates way to the truth was to engage in dialectical conversations, where you ran after the truth, with no destination in mind. To do this successfully, you have to be like Socrates, assume you know nothing, and be skeptical. The goal is not to provide alternatives, but rather to expose the truth in current ideas, thoughts, and beliefs.

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Mind’s Eye

by admin Feb 5, 2006 3 Comments

If I were to ask a person with normal vision, the question, “What is seeing?�� I probably would hear something like, “The ability to perceive through the eyes.�

Enter Esref Armagan, a blind painter form Turkey, and one look at his paintings of houses, fruits, mountains, butterflies, and faces — would make you wonder, “How does he see?â€Â? His painting of things, he has never seen, is both puzzling and intriguing. These paintings raise questions like how the mind actually sees things, constructs them, and remembers them as images? How does the Mind’s Eye really work?

New Scientist article–art of seeing without sight–provides an insight into seeing and the Mind’s Eye, as they dredge deep into the intriguing mind of Esref Armagan.

4 Things

by admin Jan 27, 2006 Add comment

Four jobs that I’ve had

  • tutor
  • computer lab assistant
  • software engineer
  • graphics & web designer

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Did you know

by admin Jan 26, 2006 Add comment

That the word sugar comes from the Sanskrit word sarkara pebble.

The process for creating sugar by pressing out the sugarcane juice, and then boiling it to crystals, was developed in India around 500 BC. It was knows as, “the reed which gave honey without bees�. This crude form of sugar was called “gur� (sweet tasting)

While most of Europe was still using honey as the sweetener, it was the Arabs who introduced sugar to Europe in the middle ages, and later Columbus introduced it to the New World. It was in the 1700’s that a German scientist developed the alternative to use sugar beets, instead of sugar cane.

Here are a couple of resources for more information about sugar: Canadian sugar institute, Sugar coated truth.

Did you Know

by admin Jan 14, 2006 3 Comments

That the word malaria comes from the words mal and aria, which is Italian for bad air. This derives from the ancient belief that all diseases are caused by bad, or dirty air.

Desktop Widget

by admin Jan 13, 2006 Add comment

For those who use Yahoo! Widgets, I have created a KarmaDude widget, which you can download and use on your desktop. The widget will display links to the recent 6 posts on this blog, and includes the ability to search posts on this blog.

Give it a try and post your comments and suggestions.

Did you Know

by admin Jan 4, 2006 Add comment

If your are wondering what’s up with the Google logo–no, it’s not being hacked–if a blind man could feel his way around your screen, he would tell you it’s braille for Google! Looks like they are celebrating the birthday of Louis Braille, the creator of braille. Let us celebrate too, by learning a little about the creation of braille.

It was a French army captain, Charles Barbier de la Serre, who actually invented the basic technique of using raised dots for tactile writing and reading. His original objective was to allow soldiers to compose and read messages at night without illumination.

Barbier later adapted the system and presented it to the Institution for Blind Youth, hoping that it would be officially adopted there. He called the system Sonography, because it represented words according to sound rather than spelling. While the Institution accepted Sonography only tentatively, Louis set about using and studying it with his customary intensity. Soon he had discovered both the potential of the basic idea and the shortcomings in some of Barbier’s specific provisions, such as a clumsy 12-dot cell and the phonetic basis.

Within three years, by age 15, Louis had developed the system that we know today as braille, employing a 6-dot cell and based upon normal spelling. He also went on to lay the foundations of the braille representation of music, and in 1829 published the Method of Writing Words, Music and Plain Song by Means of Dots, for Use by the Blind and Arranged by Them.

Source

Geography of Heaven: Vrindavan

by admin Dec 28, 2005 Add comment

Looks like there is suddenly an interest in the media to investigate different beliefs of heaven around the word. NPR in collabration with National Geographic is running a radio expedition exploring the geography of heaven, starting with Vrindavan.

There is beauty, because Vrindavan is heaven — not a metaphor for heaven, or a way to heaven. This is heaven.

The multimedia slideshow is pretty good, and there are three articles ( the streets of holy hindu city :: pilgrims on the path of Krishna:: the embodiment of earthly divinity ) worth a read. There is also the actual radio broadcast, for those who want to listen.

As for my thoughts on all this–I will just let Richard Dawkins letter, “Good and Bad Reasons for Believing“, which he wrote to his ten year old daugher, explain it.

Remembering Tsunami Disaster 2004

by admin Dec 23, 2005 Add comment

It’s been a year since the biggest natural disaster of our life time which took the lives of more than 200,000 people. Head over to bbc for an in depth on the Tsunami Disaster. Take a moment to reflect on what happend a year back, find out more on the state of the Indian Ocean tsunami warning system, how aid money has been put to use, and how have people who have been affected by the disaster coped with it.

Here are some pictures I had collected last year, as I was glued to the TV and internet, like most of you, as the might of nature unfolded.

For me, a disaster like this puts things in perspective. In our busy day to day lives, we often ignore the fact that we are–after all–tiny beings on a rock flying around in space, almost like being in a plane on a tsunamiclear day and no turbulence. You have this feeling of being still, even though you are jetting across the sky at over 500mph. Disasters of colossal proportions are inevitable; the chances of being blind sided are high; if it happened over there a year back, then it could happen here–in your backyard–next; maybe even everywhere.

In the moment of the emotional aspects of such a tragedy, and the number of human lives lost, we rather not think we are like bugs on a windshield when it comes to something bigger and more powerful. If it’s a giant wave today, it could be a 100 mile wide asteroid tomorrow. Am I trying to say ignore what happened, no, absolutely not, but rather reflect on it, what we can learn from this from a bigger picture point of view? It’s not a question of end of the world either; it’s a question of how we can assure our survival, and by that I don’t mean you or me, but humanity.

Do we keep getting shocked by disasters and the number of lives lost, and move on with our lives once it is no longer in the news, leaving it to the scientists, priests, environmentalists, and the politicians we elect to figure it out, or do we start putting our heads together, and move in the direction of taking steps to not only protect and preserve the rock we live on, but think in terms of how we can survive in the face of colossal disasters that could affect us as a species. Do we have it in us, or will the future generations have it in them, the qualities our ancestors had, to survive, as they watched the dinosaurs perish?

Did you Know

by admin Dec 23, 2005 Add comment

SandwichI have had many sandwiches, but never has it sparked my curiosity, until today, as I drove home with my wife, thinking sandwich for dinner. I wondered if someone lazy made the first sandwich, I had to find out, and here is the facinating story of sandwiches:

According to wikipedia, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich is credited with creating a sandwich, and the name was derived from his title. It was long said that he invented the food to sustain himself while gambling without having to eat a full meal; he would never leave his seat at his gambling table and when compelled to eat, asked his servants to bring him a piece of cold meat between two slices of bread. And that is the story behind a sandwich, and now you know it too.

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