The blog.


This square is a circle.

‘This square is a circle.’

A representation of transition and thought. We box ourselves in to ultimately reach and achieve action and thought ‘flow‘. Sometimes it is a requirement to limit yourself, to ‘box’ yourself in. I like to call it ‘putting your blinders on’. Just as horses need to be able to focus on what is in front of them, we need to do the same at points in our lives, but must ultimately cater to our unique perception and vision as represented by the circle.

This graphic represents the necessity to create boxes, or ‘frameworks’ in which our vision is limited. The successful result of limiting distraction allows for the creation of something new…in this case represented by the circle. The circle demonstrates one’s ability to achieve a goal, to ‘hit the target’. With the right amount of focus, we are able to not only create the target, but achieve success as we define it.

The many linkages behind the circle demonstrate our ability to utilize our past and present successes to other potential successes that we realize. One success leads to another, and so on.

The more successes we create and achieve, the more infinite the opportunity to create, learn, and develop as an individual and visionary. A healthy ‘spider web of vision and success’ requires a certain degree of blindness, and a balance of focus. I imagine the iris of the eye expanding and shrinking on the beautiful canvas of the color of our eyes (our unique perspective).

The squares are the building blocks of our objectives, a paradox when considering if our eyes were square our vision would be limited. If Our Eyes Were Square

 

Two Acoustic Melodies

Over the past year I’ve been making quite a few songs. Here are two songs that I’ve decided to post online…more will make their way online.

‘My Impact’ – A song I made during my time in Australia. It explores the current fractures and lack of friendly interactions in our modern day cities. I just so happened to create it during my stay in Australia, it does NOT target Aussies specifically, but is an overview of our modern civilization and city life. It is titled ‘My Impact’ because I believe that every individual has the opportunity to change the social environment as a whole by being friendly on a daily basis.

‘Keep it Simple’ – Created in San Diego after traveling. This song is clearly about living simply. Living with fewer things. Fewer purchases. Etc, etc. It can be overwhelming coming back home to a culture where buying things is not only a catalyst for economic growth, but for personal satisfaction and societal acceptance. Although the song may be considered a bit idealistic, it is an attempt for people to think about what they buy, why they buy it, and what they actually need in life.

The Passion of Pursuit

The passion of pursuit is the desire to know something that you’ve never known before. It is the kernal of life, the true desire to create, manipulate, and destroy. We have thoughts in order to make order of the things we will never be able to put in order. Of course, this order I speak of is destiny; the almost infinite space that creates our reality, our course, and our lives.

It is a willingness to place oneself in situations that have never occurred, situations that theoretically, don’t exist. It is the desire to pursue the unknown, pursue something that does not yet have an atom or cell attached to it. It is the innate characteristic of all beings, whether human, or ‘animal’. Animals pursue life, so do we. We all are born, we all die. These are the two things that we can only determine as life. What happens in between is theoretical, it does not exist in the realm of reality and justifications. The passion of pursuit. You may as well pursue your passions, and make your passion the pursuit.

Maybe This Will Stick

Maybe This Will Stick is a look into how moments and memory interact to create who we are and what we do.

India mobile use

Arrived to Delhi and can’t help but notice how many people are on their phones everywhere. Noticed a lot of people with smartphones as well.

Check out some figures about India’s internet use here.

‘what i believe’ a spontaneous album

what i believe [ti_audio media=”182″]
flow like wine [ti_audio media=”183″]
positive interaction [ti_audio media=”184″]
workhorses die young [ti_audio media=”185″]

‘what i believe’ was recorded and created today (12/1/11) in the span of an hour at my room in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is an attempt at understanding the sub-councious or ‘unconscious’ mind. I believe that allowing our thoughts to spill out without any filter or desired outcome can bring about interesting things. The songs were recorded on my laptop and the guitar and singing were created as it went on… a flow. They are raw, unedited, unscripted songs.

The 4 song album was ultimately created because I decided it was unsafe for me to go outside. Last night while walking to get something to eat and guy came up to me, threatened me for my life, claiming to be a ‘street gangster’. He was pretty convincing..very convincing. I gave him what I had (equivalent of $5 usd) and was lucky enough to run away. Long story short, I was scared to go outside considering what had just happened. I stayed in all day until I could go to the airport and decided to do something productive.

The title ‘what i believe’ is a reflection to myself of what I was thinking in the moment of creating the songs. Apparently these topics were on my mind. The spontaneous songs are ultimately telling what I think and ‘what i believe’.

My time in Sri Lanka (past 3 months) has been characterized by several ‘experiences’ that I will remember forever (and feel fortunate to be able to remember).

Sri Lanka is a beautiful country. If you decide to come to Sri Lanka, be sure to keep your head on a swivel and always know where you are going…

Our Perfected World

This is what we all dreamed of, right?I spent a week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was hot. Very hot. I walked around the city and couldn’t help but to notice all of the AC units hung on the outside of the buildings throughout the city. My eyes were drawn to these vital cooling machines as I walked in the nearly unbearable heat of the midday sun in the city. I was longing for an opportunity to sit in an AC building, but also wondering why the city had been constructed in a place that is so hot.

It sparked some thoughts about what is needed to live in this ‘perfected modernity’ we have created for ourselves and this battle against nature we have so enthusiastically participated in.

The image came into being not just from my experience obsessing about the heat of the city, but also the trip I took to the Batu Caves a few minutes outside the city center. The Batu Caves are beautifully (and naturally) constructed caves filled with monkeys and tourists alike. I couldn’t help to think about how much cooler it was in these caves than any place I had experienced in the city. It was a naturally designed air conditioning system, and it was beautifully constructed and enabled nature to continue flourish to a much greater extent than the middle of the city.

Of course there aren’t enough natural caves to go around for every inhabitant of the world; however, there is much to learn from these natural structures that seem to provide a healthy combination of nature and human use.

I put these two images together of what I claimed to be a ‘natural’ city in the Hindu temple cave, and a ‘perfected’ city in the center of Kuala Lumpur. The monkey was sitting in the Hindu cave, and the AC units are from the KL city center. The monkeys’ expression looks concerned, just as we should be about our current growth and consumption patterns. I placed the monkey on top of the AC units to demonstrate how disconnected we’ve become from nature. It just doesn’t look right that a monkey is sitting on an AC system. It is an attempt at mocking this ‘perfected world’ we have created for ourselves. The monkey doesn’t need AC to survive, why do we?

The distortion of the colors of the monkey represent our digital and technological revolutions as being the potential catalyst for changing how we live with nature. Whether it be through movements that start online, or environmentally conscious design, we yield more power than ever to begin to change our focus of what is important in the future design of cities.

Why didn’t the city planners incorporate a design that used the features of nature to regulate temperature and natural well being?

There is much progress to be made in the design of the ‘modern city’, one of the pioneers is the architect William McDonough. Watch his TED speech here. View his website here.

 

The price we pay for theoretical education.

In today’s world, theoretical education is arguably the most highly regarded institution in the world, aside from religion of course. We take out loans large enough to buy homes to purchase theories on everything. This is not to say that all education should be valued equally. The progress of science/engineering through education is undoubtedly valuable; however, we need to evaluate what is going on with theoretical education and why we pay so much for it (in the US).

Educational institutions are very powerful. They have huge investments and tons of highly sought after patents which earn great amounts of money. They have thousands of students paying thousands of dollars to consume concepts, intangible assets that can now be easily shared online through the internet.

I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the graduation cap and gown and that of a priest in religion. I watched the famous Steve Jobs commencement speech again at Stanford, and couldn’t pull my eyes away from the ridiculous caps and gowns everyone was using. In Jobs’ speech, he undermines the university system as a whole by sharing his story of dropping out of an expensive education to pursue the things he actually wanted to pursue.

Many of the great thinkers of yesterday and today have similar stories. They don’t believe in paying for an education. They don’t want their parents or themselves to be indebted to an institution for the majority of their career. They don’t want a piece of paper telling them that they are capable of something. They want to do what they want to do and not have to pay for it.

Today education is changing. It is in the beginning stages, but education is becoming something that people can explore, rather than pay for. It is a huge development in the equality of knowledge and the development of genuine interest for everyone.

Many people hate the job that they were able to get by means of their education and their expensive diploma. Not only do they hate their job, but they are also in debt from the very thing that got them the job – their education.

As we all know, religion has caused many upsets/wars/conflict around the world. I’m not suggesting that paying for theoretical education is causing as many issues, but what I am suggesting is that you think about what you want to do rather than pay someone to tell you what you should do.

I always have admired my mom’s ability to maintain the value of practical and personal education in her first and second grade classes. She builds gardens with the kids, incorporates physical activity, and allows students to draw and sing to enable students to develop in healthy ways and to focus on things that they love to do.

We don’t go through each day selecting the ‘right’ answers from a selection of ‘A through E’ options. We choose to do things because we follow our intuition and passion. ‘A through E’ test questions limit our ability to create anything at all. It is very admirable that my mom is able to still allow her students to focus on intuition and passion in and ‘A through E’ education world.

I can’t recall one single multiple choice question I had to answer from my university education – and there were probably thousands.

UPDATE – view – NPR Article on Student Debt

Check out WeAreThe99Percent

If you want to read more in depth about the debt issue with education read this article.

Take a look at the Khan Academy to see how theoretical education is being spread for FREE today. Wikipedia.org is also a part of this change obviously. It is a start, there is still much change that is needed.

Thanks to my step dad that has always introduced forward-thinking websites like the Khan Academy and Ted.com.

Building Things, Breaking Things

It has been about 7 years since the tsunami devastated the Southern coast of Sri Lanka. Many people lost their homes, family members, and everything else they had. Several people have been able to build their businesses back up, with bright visions of the future. Others haven’t been so lucky. Overall, progress has been made, life has returned back to ‘normal’ (at least it seems).

A few days ago, the government came by to enforce a new 10 meter line for the beach. Any building/wall/structure 10 meters from the edge of the beach was destroyed. There were about 100 police officers here on hand in case anything erupted in violence. Those businesses that were able to re-build themselves were now being destroyed by the powers that be. A few locals expressed concerns and flashbacks to what the coastline looked like right after the tsunami hit. Buildings diminished to rubble. Walls destroyed. Tractors moving rubble.

There is controversy of this new law of course. Business owners fear the loss of their land entirely, and many people are saying that big hotels will be built for luxury tourism here in Arugam Bay.

Through all of the destruction of the structures that lined the beach, I saw something interesting. Maybe it was just a combination of thoughts and an action that played itself out at the perfect time. Whatever it was, it gave me hope. At least some hope.

There were plenty of locals enjoying themselves in the water; playing in the waves, swimming, and just having fun. As I looked over to watch another wall get smashed down by the tractor I noticed a group of Sri Lanka guys creating a human pyramid in the water.

About 10 guys got together in the water and were building a human pyramid. I looked on as the first level secured their footing. Then the second. Then the third. It looked promising. They were building something. Working together. Unfortunately their structure (made up of themselves) ended up toppling. It was an effort nonetheless. Behind them, another structure was being destroyed by the ‘powers that be’.

It all made me realize how easy it is to break things, and how hard it is to build things. Hopefully someday we will all be focused on building things that represent our desires as a whole. Building things as a collective group of people focused on the progress for all, rather than progress of a few.

If only our cities could be pyramids built of people.

Here is a site focused on people changing policy – http://www.avaaz.org/en

 

Fill My Cup With Love

Doing things just for money will leave you begging for a meaning; for a purpose in life.

When Moments Die

Humans are passionate. Humans are dynamic. When humans reach a point of monotony and self degradation that cannot be handled, we become hopeless. We lose energy. We loose focus. We loose passion. We loose what it is to be human.

There is no telling why this man has ended up begging on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. Regardless, one can assume that he does not feel passionate about his work. He does not feel proud of what he does.

His dynamic character is being diminished to black and white; money and survival. His vision of the future is diminished to each shake of his Big Gulp cup. He is focused on not focusing at all. The moments pass. The cup shakes. The coins drop. He is living paycheck to paycheck. Doing something that he doesn’t love. He is living in the vicious cycle of monotony, survival as the main goal.

There is no telling how he came to this point. Possibly out of tragedy. Possibly from drug abuse. Possibly from a difficult economy. Possibly from lack of motivation. Whatever the reason, the moments of his current life are moments he most likely does not want to remember.

Fill Your Cup With Love.