The problem with the world is peoplePosted: June 26, 2009 | Author: Doug | Filed under: Bsd, Buddhism, General, Hosso, Japanese, Taoism, Technology | 10 Comments »
My writing in this blog has dropped off again lately, but I haven’t really felt like explaining why, until I read today’s comic by Xkcd:
I’d say this sums up my thoughts on certain things. For some reason, after some bad incidents this week, I just felt very tired of being around people. It seems that aside from my beloved wife and daughter, I feel like I am constantly contending with people, as if the world is too crowded, and people constantly jabbing and nudging each other. This is both on the Internets and in real life. I guess this is a problem that boils down to too many people in too little space, contending for too few resources, and too many self-centered, biased ideas about how things ought to be.
So, like the fellow in the cartoon, I’ve been spending a lot of time alone in study. Math is not my forté, so I prefer studying Japanese-language and UNIX. For example, I am quite happy with the latest version of OpenBSD (4.5) for example, which runs much better on the latest version of VirtualBox (2.x). Compared to before, I get X to work much more reliably, and recent improvements to OpenBSD package make things work a lot better. Also, enjoying the classic UNIX book, UNIX System Administration Handbook, which dovetails nicely with the recent OpenBSD fun above. As for Japanese, that continues to be a favorite subject of mine, which I continue to update here. More on that in an upcoming post.
I would study Buddhism, but I have had enough of that, and other Buddhists, for a while.1 On the flip-side, I have been doing a lot more meditation than I had done in a long time, and trying out various ideas I learned from re-reading Master Yin-Shun’s book, The Way to Buddhahood,2 plus just some other stuff. This is not meditation as a practice. I gave up on that flawed-approach a while back. When ever you take something in Buddhism and make it a “practice”, you kind of take the fun and joy out of it and turn it into a chore. My wife’s sagely advice on the subject seems salient here.
Also, going back and appreciating the Tao Te Ching, whose advice I think often overlaps with Buddhism, though obviously not always. Also, enjoyed reading God Emperor of Dune again, which is a difficult read, but speaks a lot to collective and recurring patterns we call “human behavior”.
So that’s it for this week. Have a good weekend!
P.S. The picture above illustrates why I never liked attending parties in college, much less so now. Too much inane conversation. Even now I almost never bother to go with friends to the pub here in Ireland. Just too much of the same pointless conversations, when I could be peacefully by myself studying something I like, or writing this blog.
1 Ironically as I write this, my recently ordered book on Yogacara/Hosso philosophy was just delivered to my desk at work. Ok, maybe I’ll read one more book. As for other Buddhists, well, just tired of the whining and sniping I hear online. Experiences on the ground have always been different for me, but I can never translate these to people I meet online well enough. By the way, this is not addressed to readers, but is targeted to the mainstream Buddhist groups online (including certain periodicals).
2 Still one of my top 3 favorite books. Lately something else I heard reminded me almost verbatim of advice that Master Yin-Shun had written. I never realized how true much of his advice was, and it makes me realize how under-appreciated his contributions to modern Buddhism are.