Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Links for Later 5-15-17


  1. Statistician David Aldous critiques Nassim Taleb. “My own overall reaction is that Taleb is sensible (going on prescient) in his discussion of financial markets and in some of his general philosophical thought, but tends toward irrelevance or ridiculous exaggeration otherwise.”
  2. Profile of publisher and printer Gerhard Steidl.
  3. "Radicalism begins with the body" Junot Diaz interviews Samuel R Delany.
  4. Hypnogogia and lucid dreaming with the help of oneirogens.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Leopoldo Lopez

#freeleopoldo
MEDIA RELEASE May 4, 2017
LEOPOLDO LÓPEZ WIFE DEMANDS EVIDENCE OF HIS SAFETY
Reports he was rushed to hospital in critical condition; has not been seen in nearly a month
Lilian: “We will not calm down until I can verify with my own eyes that he is safe and healthy.”
Caracas – Lilian Tintori, wife of political prisoner Leopoldo López, held vigil throughout the night outside the gates of Ramo Verde Military prison, demanding access to her husband to verify his safety.
Last night, Leopoldo Castillo, a prominent Venezuelan journalist with over 2.17 million followers, had posted on his twitter account, @elcitizen, “Information. Leopoldo Lopez transferred from Ramo Verde to a Military Hospital with no vital signs. Government maintains hypothesis of poisoning.” Tintori and López’s mother, Antonieta López, immediately went to the hospital where Captain Rodriguez eventually informed her that López was not there.
López has not been seen or heard from for nearly a month; his family and his lawyers have been refused access and he has been held in isolation. Ruling party representative Diosdado Cabello last night published a video of López, allegedly as proof of life. In the video, López states that “I do not understand the reason why they want a proof of life at this moment,” which alone raises serious questions about its authenticity as it should be unsurprising to a person that has been detained incommunicado for almost a month that there was pressure for a video providing proof of life.
With no means to confirm the authenticity of the video, Tintori has refused to accept this as proof of life saying “Enough of this isolation and torture. The Venezuelan Government, especially those at the top of the regime’s chain of command, including Minister of Defense General Vladimir Padrino López, Vice Minister General Pedro Castro Rodriguez, the General Director of the Military Penitentiary Services General Rodolfo Joaquín Silva Díaz, and the Director of Ramo Verde Military Prison Captain José Ramón Boston Silva, are directly responsible for what happens to Leopoldo and we will not calm down until I can verify with my own eyes that he is safe and healthy. After Leopoldo has been isolated for almost 30 days, it is their responsibility to inform his family of his wellbeing.”
These reports are incredibly disconcerting as López has now been incommunicado for almost a month. López was last seen on April 7th by a family member. Since that day no family member or lawyer has been able to see or speak to him. López’s lawyers formally denounced this cruel and inhumane treatment before the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture last week, but the Government has refused to respect López’s human rights and grant access to his family and lawyers.
We are currently calling for the international community to take urgent action and publicly demand the Venezuelan Government to allow López access to his family and lawyers. Earlier today, Secretary General of the OAS Luis Almagro tweeted the following, "I demand to visit @leopoldolopez based on the commitments that #Venezuela has with the Inter-American System of Human Rights @OAS_official."

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

EP 031 Sid Kemp on Love, Creativity and Success

Sid Kemp is a coach, consultant and the author of ten books on business success published by McGraw-Hill and Entrepreneur Press. Until a decade ago, Sid worked with top Fortune 500 companies, government agencies like the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and think tanks such as McKinsey Consulting and Deloitte Touche. Then he took their best practices and wrote the best seller, Entpreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Project Management for Small Business.




Today, we talk about the ins and outs of the consulting business, working with the inner and outer goals of the client, and planning for the equally challenging crises of wild success and disaster.


Show Notes and Links

His twitter
Sid on Quora

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

EP 030 Ben Joffe

Ben Joffe is a scholar of Vajrayana Buddhism, currently finishing his PhD at the University of Colorado, Boulder. On this episode, we talk about his first career as a teenaged tarot reader, the question of how Vajrayana and tantra have been impacted by the Tibetan diaspora and encounter with the global monoculture, the role of the ngakpa (non-celibate yogi), and Ben's translation of Dr. Nida Chenagtsang's books on traditional Tibetan medicine.

We experienced some technical difficulties during the recording of this episode. While the quality of the sound may be poor in some places, it is more than compensated for by the high quality of the guest.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

EP 029 B Alan Wallace

Today, I talk with B. Alan Wallace about his multiple careers as Buddhist contemplative and teacher, physicist and cognitive scientist, writer and translator. We discuss his road to becoming a monk and returning to laity, the meditative practices of Dzogchen, how to tell a good teacher (by the quality of their students), the remarkable career of Dudjom Lingpa, and how Buddhist contemplatives and neuroscientists can collaborate to effect a revolution in our understanding of the mind.




Bio

Dynamic lecturer, progressive scholar, and one of the most prolific writers and translators of Tibetan Buddhism in the West, B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D., continually seeks innovative ways to integrate Buddhist contemplative practices with Western science to advance the study of the mind.

Dr. Wallace, a scholar and practitioner of Buddhism since 1970, has taught Buddhist theory and meditation worldwide since 1976. Having devoted fourteen years to training as a Tibetan Buddhist monk, ordained by H. H. the Dalai Lama, he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in physics and the philosophy of science at Amherst College and a doctorate in religious studies at Stanford.

With his unique background, Alan brings deep experience and applied skills to the challenge of integrating traditional Indo-Tibetan Buddhism with the modern world.

Follow-up Q&A

After the interview went live, I received some additional questions from listeners that Dr. Wallace was kind enough to respond to:



  1. When talking about Dudjom Lingpa you mentioned that a teacher’s level of realization is hard to determine and that you had to judge by the realization of the students. Wouldn’t that be equally hard to determine?You can tell a lot from the conduct of the students, and of course this applies to teachers as well.
  2. What is the best daily practice for a beginner at meditation or someone who can only do a little each day? Shamatha is a good start, then branch out to the four immeasurables and the four applications of mindfulness.
Show Notes

Alan Wallace's website



Thursday, March 02, 2017

La Fabrica

Architect Rocardo Bofill has been transforming an old cement factory, La Fabrica into a residence and workspace for the past 45 years. Spoiler: It's gorgeous.






(via Carl Wykaert)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

EP 028 Max Gladstone

Today, I talk with Max Gladstone, author of The Craft Sequence, in which a magical post-Apocalyptic society turns out to be not a terribly bad place to live, thank you very much. He describes his novels differently depending on who he's talking to. For businesspeople, lawyers, and consultants, he says, "It's just like your job, only with wizards." Like many writers, he's held a number of interesting and out-of-the-way jobs, as you can see from his bio below:
Max Gladstone is a two-time finalist for the John W Campbell Best New Writer Award, and a one-time finalist for the XYZZY Award. In July 2016 Tor Books published his most recent novel, FOUR ROADS CROSS. Other novels in the CRAFT SEQUENCE include, LAST FIRST SNOW, a tale of zoning politics, human sacrifice, and parenthood.  LAST FIRST SNOW is the fourth Craft Sequence novel, preceded by THREE PARTS DEAD, TWO SERPENTS RISE, and FULL FATHOM FIVE.

Max studied Chan poetry and late Ming dynasty fantasy at Yale; he lived and taught for two years in rural Anhui province, and has traveled throughout Asia and Europe. He speaks Chinese, can embarrass himself reading Latin, and is a martial artist, fencer, and fiddler. He’s also worked as a researcher for the Berkman Center for Internet and Policy Law, a tour guide for the Swiss Embassy, a go-between for a suspicious Chinese auto magazine, a translator for visiting Chinese schoolteachers, a Chinese philosophy TA, a tech industry analyst, and an editor. He has wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat, sung at Carnegie Hall, and been thrown from a horse in Mongolia.
We recorded this conversation at pretty much the exact moment the Trump/Russia dossier hit the Internet. Before the conversation began, I asked Max if he'd like to discuss politics or current events. We ended up not talking politics until after we'd ended the interview. Missed opportunities.




He's also written a volume in the Bookburners project, currently available for free here:

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