On the car ride up from a meeting on sand hill, Daniel Odio interviews me in “the hot seat” on how process plays a pivotal role in your startup’s business success.
Posts Tagged ‘ramblings’
June 19, 2012 by sshadmand
July 23, 2010 by sshadmand
I watched the original The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe (LWW) movie the other day and in the beginning of the movie, as the story starts to develop, the kids stumble into an old wardrobe locked way in an empty room covered in cob webs trying to escape their nanny looking to divvy out some punishment. All three squeeze into the wardrobe to hide, after pushing and shoving each other trying to find enough room within, they collapse out of the back and find themselves standing in a forest covered in snow. They are amazed and begin to apologize to the youngest of the three siblings for not believing her when she told them about this magical wardrobe weeks ago.
As they are marveling at what they have founds “inside” the wardrobe, a beaver walks up to them and begins to speak.
“The beaver is speaking?!” they say, shocked and amazed.
“How could this be?”
The beaver wastes no time, and asks the thoroughly confused young children to follow him further into the frosted woods before they say too much; he didn’t want the trees to hear them talk. If the wardrobe and the talking beaver weren’t enough to screw someone’s perspective of reality up, now they had to deal with guarding the secrecy of their conversations in a forest with eavesdropping trees?! The kids once again looked at each other in disbelief.
So, this troubled me…
The three children, are in a wardrobe one minute, stumble through it to the other side, of which is in fact a large snow covered forest, only to be welcomed by a talking beaver. When the beaver asks them to be careful of the eavesdropping trees they look at one another in disbelief that the trees can talk and that the talking beaver sounds crazy?! Are you really still doubting things even as they come out of an animals mouth in perfect English? How closed minded are you? If I were to see a beaver speak I would realize that I need to be on my guard and that anything must be possible. This is a new world that very well could have more then one thing I consider fact called into question. I would be open to whatever was thrown at me, and be eager to play with and learn about this strange new land with an open mind and blank canvas….wouldn’t I?
But that is the question isn’t it?! If a beaver talked to you tomorrow would your whole world change, or would just the part of the world in which you have characterized beavers as animals that quite obviously can’t talk need some rethinking? Do you begin to question whether or not this is a new species of beaver, or maybe beavers could talk all along we just haven’t listened? Does this help confirm that dolphins can talk? Why not? Does it mean a rock has feelings? Why not? I mean before that moment weren’t you absolutely sure beavers couldn’t talk too? It’s funny how quickly we arrange what is absurd and what isn’t. You are sure that the sun rises and sets every day — well go to Alaska and you will find that that isn’t necessarily true. And what happens in that instant is amazing, you instantly rearrange your belief system and facts to make it work, but immediately close your mind off from thinking much more beyond that. On one hand it is good to find your self grounded and not have to question everything every day, but on the other hand where is the line to always keep an open mind progressively? When those realizations are stretched over time is it easier to limit your openness? Sort of like the difference between easing into a hot bathtub or getting into a Jacuzzi before you turn it on.
It seems that every 100 years or so something large and unnerving shakes up our perception of the world, but just like the children in the Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe we are constantly only allowing a scoped segment of information to change with a new observation. These crumbling moments of facts and belief systems are quickly contained to stay within a single new undertdsaning of any given thing and is not allowed to seep too far into a new appreciation to try and understand everything all over-again; all the while open the mind for this new data. The world was the center of the universe “Fact!” And how could the planet be moving if we don’t feel like we are moving “Fact!” Atoms are the smallest particles “Fact!” The word is flat “Fact!” Blacks are not the same as whites “fact!” — are thoughts all within a few hundred years old. ( Galileo Galilee was sentenced for heresy in 1633 for geocentricity claims less then 400 years ago )
The question is, where is the line between realization and acceptance. When and why do we find a point to start disbelieving again after a new belief has formed? If I was convinced the earth was the center of the world after hundreds of years of heliocentricism would I feel enlightened enough and change my tune when it comes to following everything the Pope says – that God wants a crusade to convert Muslims and Jews to Christianity? Or, would I still follow those commands/beliefs and solely update the part about the Sun?
Okay, moving on….
Soon after I watched LWW my cousin passed on some movie suggestions to me, one of which was “Afghan Star”. It is the story of how American Idol made its way to the minds of television producers in Afganistan after the leadership changed laws in 2004 allowing singing, music and television back into the country. The movie was strewn with interviews of countless people describing how beautiful it was to have music back in their lives.
“The empty house is now filled” one man said.
It is symbolic and beautiful that a culture can express themselves. Every contestant and viewer expressed their excitement and joy of how amazing it was to finally feel free and express themselves; how important it was for morale and culture. A women being interviewed from the thousands of contestants explains that before 2004 she had to take voice lessons in her home town in secrecy because she could be beaten or arrested for such things. Her town is less progressive and to this date does not think Afghan Star is good for the country. Another young woman explains how overwhelmingly beautiful she believes art and music are and feels how it fills her life with joy. Watching the movie, I am amazed that these people did not have the right to express themselves, but moved that they are now able to do so and beginning to embrace it. There is forward progress.
But slow down campers, let’s not get too excited. In the second round of the Afghan Star finals the same woman I just described that is overcome with joy now that she can sing and has made it to the final four. As she is singing these feelings culminate into a single expression of happiness through dance, while giving her singing performance.
“What?!! What is she doing?!” fellow contestants yell.
“She is ruining the show for us all” her female competitor says of her performance.
Yup, after an hour of the movie showing the beauty of what freedom and music can do to the soul and after following these contestant to the top, finally living their dream to become a famous singer they all turn on her because dancing on TV is not okay — just singing. She was admonished for dancing on stage.
The people have embraced the ability to finally sing through tears of joy, yet when it comes to a woman dancing on stage we are back to square one!? The poor girl cried after she lost and was escorted to her van ride home. All she wanted was to express herself much like others had finally done through song. It was a very emotional moment for me, the sheer ignorance and hypocrisy of people. To embrace singing and in the same breath still admonish this young girl for expressing herself through dancing…….A young man said “she should be killed” –it was painfully frustrating to watch.
So, once again I find myself asking, how the hell do you only learn a little, only see as far as the light is allowing you to…how can you not even tell?! …..Am I doing that without even knowing?
When jews were considered equals we had learned the sadness of our ways except that blacks were still an unknown quantity, when our society finally was able to see past skin we had to start over with women and sexism, and even after that hard lesson was learned we must debate a person’s sexual preference, “gays”. …….Yes the lion the witch and the wardrobe is a silly fantasy about ones imagination and the oddities of reality but the sad part is that the reality we live in is as perhaps more absurd and our inability to believe in parallel concepts are as surreal and absurd as theirs.
Is life a process of building up foundational truths and refining them over time or is it more like the unraveling of untruths toward a final point at which everything is possible? Are we getting closer and closer to a reality that is bound or one that is realized to have none at all? I have yet to see a talking beaver but if I did tomorrow what then, and why is that different the geocentrism in the face of helio? Knowledge may very well get larger not because we will learn more about what is untrue but we will find out that all is true.
Are we working to refine what we know and create more conclusions, to get closer to ultimate thruths, or is that short sited. If all things throughout history are learned and unlearend and like an atom bomb we are unable to take an explosive chain reaction of ideas out for infinite distances, i.e., our minds are only able to learn one or two steps out from the point of impact (wardrobe is forest->beaver talking->but trees can’t talk OR singing is okay->dancing is not) then is it possible the there is not a point that we are moving towards and instead just including more possibilities of beliefs. We may know more every day as the cliche concept but we end up knowing more depth about one thing every day, knowing something about something compeletly different or opposite to what we knew is much harder to see. Is it forever expanding of the breadth of systems or is there a single direction?
I guess I feel like this is a massive hole in our world. It exists right in front of us every day at the same time it is so far from being used and weighed against in our every day lives…..Am I on crazy pills?
May 16, 2010 by sshadmand
I. Life has two very distinct points — birth and death. You cannot escape these points, and the path always runs in a single direction.
II. As you may know the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. You cannot increase the distance between these two points because they are static. Often times people focus on the fairly impossible task of changing the final point, death. It is far easier to increase the quantity of diversions/curvatures of the path itself. You cannot control the points, but you CAN control the path.
III. I think that’s why we all know instinctualy that increasing our experiences, taking chances, and traveling “off the beaten path” is so very important to living life. It is the only way you can “extend” your life.
Do not plan for death and do not take the next obvious step so quickly when given a path. Live the longest richest life possible by pulling yourself out of any path plainly laid out, for a a clear path is a short one with one very obvious conclusion.
January 14, 2010 by sshadmand
Music/Rhythm is the 4th dimension in life. Without it your are JUST moving in A direction in space and time. I love music, I need music! Fill your space and time with music!
August 31, 2009 by sshadmand
The reason to promote peace, even in the face of threatening obstacles, is important to a democracy as it aligns interests of the people’s want for peace with the politicians interest for re-election, popularity, success and credibility.
If a powerful person does not promote peace and does not make it their primary platform with domestic and international policy the politician is put in a precarious position. Not to say any other platform chosen was not created with the intent to do their best to preserve the way of life of their populous, but all other platforms do not align interests over time if and when more obstacles present themselves.
If a person’s platform finds itself on the side of promoting a form of proactive defense or waging war then that person is put in a position in which their credibility is at stake if it is ever proven that peace could have been a better option. The need to prove that peace was not an option or is not a clear path can easily become a new objective and from one compromise to another a person can invariably end up finding themselves trying to prove that there is a need for force which may take either require more force or the framing of negative events to gain puplic cohesion. One decision is made after another and then the allowance of desctive act to prove the need for defese may be the only way to show the validity of ones position.
one thing leads to another and now in order to protct someone you need them to get hurt to allow you to protect them,…seems crazy well look at glenn beck or rush limbagh who have already openly asked ofr destruction or failure to prive they are right. It is an example of misalignment..
Now if eeryone pushed diplomacy and peice the only way they go wrong is if something goes wrong, so in no way would they wantthat.to gain political postivity they must kee things safe. Safteyy and diplomacy align interst between community and leaders. it alwasy ends u p this way, is MLK or JFK remembered for violence who has been hitler, stalin, mcarthy. DOnt let hstory repreat itself and learn from past postivity, and diplomacy in teh face of negativity and violence has always been the corner stone of every philosphy, and histories ideal them all. nothing wirth while is easy.
August 5, 2009 by sshadmand
Nights are so offputting at times. The complete lack of sound and motion. You are left to you own thoughts and there ar not very many ways to allow your mind to decerne what is real from what is abstract and what is soley ones own conciousness. I’m not talking about holucinating or a type of day dreaming, although I could see how easy it would be to fall into a state of delusion, but im talking about basic thoughts of life, self, interests, problems etc. The mind begins to swirl and there is no rock or benchmark to bind your mind to as it begins to float away from its dock. When there is no comunity or bustle around you to remind you that the sun will indeed come up, peopel must obay the law of gravity and you are not alone, then your world all resides within your own mind and the mind has no bounds. Your empty and dark surrounding becomes the perfect home for you mind to extend into, the world becomes an extension of your conciousness and it becomes less and less clear as to what is in and what is outside your thoughts.
Are the problems of the day as major as they seem? Why after I fall asleep and awake to the morning sun does the intensity of my thoughts or thier urgency fade? Maybe the night provides the perfect backdrop for the mind to begin to set itself free and take ove rthe conciousness and drive it into the sureal. Its dark, quite, and no one is around to challange its attempst to break free. Right now time seems endless and my worries are loose ended and indefinite, however logically I know that tomorrow all will be back to normal and all i need is some sleep.
It is amazing how difficult it is for my day-self to completly understand the emotions of my night-self is experiencing and vice versa. A sacry movie in the woods at 2 am is not the same at 2 PM but it is the same woods and I am the same person. Who needs drugs to escape reality when reality is so volitale already between night and day. A man jumps off of the top of the building and commits suicide at night, if he only waited till day break would he be far from those thoughts only hours into the morning? More importantly how much of what we think is fact is nothing more then a delusion, our hatred for another country or race? Do we at times of fear and pain fall into our own versions of these dark and lonley nights, where our minds ever so subtly break away from our cast to reality? Only 2 years ago Iran was full of anti- democratic people, stocks had no celining, houses were an easy ticket to personal welth and so on. Did day just finnaly break? How often are our minds pulled from reality becuase of the darkness of rehtoric, and media. If I didnt remind myself of the day on a night like this I would surely be lost. Leason learned Descartes, leson learned.
July 22, 2009 by sshadmand
Religion doesn’t create morality ….our humanity is the foundation of morality. Give the power of being human the ability to love life. Do you love life? Do you want to kill right now? Even if God said not to love would you, could you love your wife, your dog or your son less? That feeling within, that conscience or that burning feeling in your chest is your humanity. That person on your shoulder telling you not to do wrong is within you, and that regret you feel and can’t get rid of far after a wrong has been done is part of what makes you human. Your morality, created by God or not, your natural state of being human is what guides you and 99% of those around you.
Religion doesn’t create morality and nor should religion usurp your innate feelings to care for your fellow man – humanity IS the foundation for morality. We should not lose sight of the fact that we are moral by nature, for the sake of prosperity and civilization we always have been. Under hundreds of religions there is a common thread, preservation of life, and the dignities and freedoms that come with such life. Give the credit of being moral back to the people and allow we the people to love life for life’s sake, not based on an order by God.
With or without a greater being watching over us the essence of this observation is that we are humans and we want the best for ourselves and our loved ones as humans, innately. If we assume that ‘without a higher power guiding us all is lost’ then we are invariably saying that we are all bad people innately and we are only acting good because we don’t want to receive judgment or punishment, which actually is just plain saying we are bad people. So why try to be good, we aren’t ‘fooling” god…do you think you can fool god? I mean we are living a lie if we are innately bad unless someone demands we are good. I guess my problem with that line of thinking is that I think I’m a good person that wants what’s best for my friends and loved ones, without being scared into that feeling. I mean did you get forced into loving your child?! I would hope not, you are probabl a good person whether or not someone told you to be. Yes you make mistakes and yes you need guidance but over time it seems like guidance stopped being guidance at all, it became more like mindless slavery and lack of credit to how great of a person you are innately, as a human
If the only thing keeping one man to the next civil is something outside of that man then what are we protecting when we “try” to be good? You can’t force good out of someone. It’s simple: Do you love life? Do you enjoy being alive, do you enjoy living? You should. Without any denomination or oath do you have the will within you to face another human and kill them without remorse or conscience? For those that have no remorse, which I firmly believe to be the infinitely small minority of people out there, I would bet that there is no thread of consistency among them by race or religion, most likely it is their environment that has left them without a ‘moral compass’ as it isnt a lack of doctorine but the over empahsis in adobting a more negatively focused doctorine that can be found any where a person is willing to take a message out of context. Even worst, their misguided beliefs could only be exacerbated, and often is, by their choice of interpretation on what God intends for them to do. Religion has not stopped atrocities on man. Some may argue that it has been the fuel for hate in most cases throughout history. I love the moral compass that is found within relgion. This compass can indeed help guide you in times of doubt or lack of pupose and hope, but it is not the compass but the legs of man that does the walking.
At this point those on the extreme right believe that the lack of religion is indeed the lack of morality, but that perseption lacks a faith in man kind and I beleive the more and more we disect man, humanity, and morality from one another and give all the credit of purpose or goodness to religon we will end up losing ourselves and what maks us beautiful and human. For the most part it is baseless as even the most devout person with mental problems could not repress those problems from within, strictly through their religion alone. The written word can help remind us, re-inspire or re-solidify our love of life but we must re-invigorate our understanding that we as a people are indeed good and no doctrine will keep the bad minority of the world out. It is paranoid, selfish, ascetic, and overall negative.
If religion did indeed “create” morality then let us rely on that creation now within us once again, and let us be moral for morals sake as we were born/created to do so. I was once told by a devout conservative that I scared him because I did not broadcast or adopt a specific doctoring or religion that I believed in, in his words “how can I be sure you wont decide to kill tomorrow if you chose to without knowing what set of rules it is you abide by, a written doctoring”. I responded with “How can I be sure that since you have fragmented your fundamental human morals from a written doctrine/faith one day you won’t hear/read what you believe is Gods word that instruct you to kill me. Won’t you act on that guide as a devout follower without question or rebuttal, in essance dyning your instinct not to kill. Ins’t it more interesting that many have killed against their better judgment or concious in the name of some higher power?” I don’t think this man was a bad person, but most of the worlds most heinous atrocities were constructed in this manner, from women to black, to Jews, to gays and beyond fanaticals only have power when man abandons their own personal beliefs in their innate perspectives on love, life, humanity and our resilience. It feels like we have lost faith in humanity far before anyone can truly argue that we have lost our faith in religion and good.
July 11, 2009 by sshadmand
Not caring IS easier…and then easier must be better, we believe the easier road is the less rewarding road and ultimately bad……but…if there is a but……doesnt that make easier only bad because harder has a bigger reward.isn’t going after a bigger reward directly or indirectly selfish. What if wanting to do the easier thing is the least selfish option to choose. Maybe ‘good’ and ‘earn’ are all the result of addiction to increasing the higher reward. In this case one can’t discount the easy route and immediate satisfaction that is gained from the easier solution as any worst then the hardr path as it is just a smaller reward proportionally to difficult routes but other than that it is the same relative product.