Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


1 Comment

Buddha World: The Mission To Build A Buddhist Amusement Park

As bizarre as it sounds, there really are some folks building a Buddhist-themed amusement park in Thailand.  And, even more bizarre, when you read about what’s being done it makes perfect sense.  I put it on my list of things I’ll regret not having done when I’m facing the bardo.

But I can do the next best thing, and so can you.  A couple of young filmmakers are attempting to raise enough money to fly to Thailand and make a documentary about the park.  (No, I don’t know if they have deer in the park, so don’t ask.)  Folks have underwritten their travel and living expenses, and they’re trying to raise $4K by August 26th for equipment and other expenses.

Subscribing with a reasonable donation (minimum is $1.00) will get you various bennies like a DVD of the finished film, etc.  This is a great chance to be a part of a worthwhile effort to spread Dharma awareness.  Give the website a look, and if you think it’s worth a few bucks, cough some up.  It may be the closest you’ll ever get to a trip to Thailand.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/buddhaworld/buddha-world?ref=live


4 Comments

Top Fifty Buddhist Blog Award

We are pleased to report (we think) that we have been awarded a position in the Top Fifty Buddhist Blogs, as determined by a vote of our fans — or something like that. We’re not sure just how much of an honor this might be, but we get a cool medallion to put in the sidebar (down below the flag thingy) and we are included with some of the people that we consider to be top Buddhist bloggers, so we’re not knocking it.

On the other hand, it hasn’t exactly gone to our head, either. I mean, how many Buddhist blogs with any traffic to speak of are there, anyway?


Leave a comment

On Making Friends With A Different Keyboard

I’m an addict — a creature of habit — and I don’t like change.  Little things are bad enough, but when it comes to something that’s such a big part of my life as the keyboard on my computer, I have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the midst of the new experience.  So I’m writing this to get used to a different one.

I took a good look at those “netbooks” one time, and it only took a few seconds of typing on that 90% full-sized workspace to convince me that it wasn’t going to be a go.  For a man my size I don’t have especially big hands, but given the problems I had, I find it difficult to understand how anyone but a child or a small woman could possibly navigate around one of those things.  I stopped hunting-and-pecking more than 50 years ago, and I’m too old to relearn the process.  Having to do it on my Droid is bad enough — that’s why I love the voice recognition feature.  I’m willing to put up with the downside: improper punctuation and capitalization, and the occasional unrecognizable word that has to be entered from scratch, in order not to have to put up with either the onscreen or physical keyboard.

I learned to type on a 1938 model Remington Noiseless typewriter.  You know.  The kind where you had to push the keys down and actually make those things fly forward to strike the ribbon and imprint the letters onto the paper.  No spell checker, no copy/paste/delete.  No instant corrections.  What you got was pretty much what got sent out.  If you needed a copy, you used carbon paper — nasty, flimsy sheets with black stuff on one side that went between two sheets and transferred the key-strikes onto the second sheet for a (none-too-satisfactory) copy of the original.

At that, it beat writing by hand, especially the way I wrote back then.  When I got to college I discovered that many times I couldn’t read my own handwritten notes, so I finally taught myself to write neatly.  Took a lot of work, but it was worth the trouble.  So did learning to type, but my god!  When I think of the millions of words I’ve put on paper and screens since those days when I was made to sit and practice typing the way other kids practiced the piano, I thank my lucky stars that I was made to learn it.  I’ve since become mushy in the same sort of way about the people who forced me to learn good English, spelling, grammar and punctuation.  I know those skills have pretty-much fallen into disrepute with the younger crowd, and that’s not OK.  As you move up the ladder of life, kiddies, folks will judge you more and more on your ability to communicate according to the rules.  That’s what separates the men and women of business from the adolescents.

Well, so much for that.  I got a blog entry out of this, when all I intended to do was type “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” a few times.  You just never know.


Leave a comment

A 50-Watt Cellular Network

Technology Review: A 50-Watt Cellular Network

An Indian telecom company is deploying simple cell phone base stations that need as little as 50 watts of solar-provided power. It will soon announce plans to sell the equipment in Africa, expanding cell phone access to new ranks of rural villagers who live far from electricity supplies.


1 Comment

Richross2Disney has long been the most gay friendly studio in Hollywood, having had a couple of gay production chiefs over the years, most recently Nina Jacobson, now an independent producer after being forced out in a studio purge several years ago. The studio’s theme parks have allowed unofficial Gay Day celebrations for years, prompting a host of venomous attacks from various Christian right anti-gay zealots. But Disney now has a really big first — Rich Ross, Hollywood’s first openly gay studio chief….


1 Comment

The Sound of One Trickster Clapping

On the unwillingness — and failure — of the media to report basic truths

Focusing on the incident—the man on wire or the lone gunman killing a child—the mass media ignores a system of corporate peonage which imprisons and executes a million childhoods. The barker on the boulevard of ordinary life is shouting out, “Extra! Extra!”—pointing to the Extra!ordinary and ignoring the ordinary. The media gives a false proximity to the incidental, but a false distance to systemic wrongs. Dangerously, it implies that the system needs little remark: witness the lethal length of time it took for the issue of climate change to finally make it big in the press.

The Sound of One Trickster Clapping | Jay Griffiths | Orion Magazine


Leave a comment

Faux New York Post Environment Issue — good job and a good read

New York Post

According to a high tech study commissioned by a concerned Mayor Bloomberg and generously funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, climate change caused by human-created greenhouse gases is threatening the health, livelihood, and security of New Yorkers—especially those who take the subway to work….

Be sure to drill down.


1 Comment

Help Stop Glenn Beck’s Unskillful and Divisive Remarks

Namasté,

As you may know, right-wing talk show hosts have been bringing race-based fear mongering into the mainstream, but FOX’s Glenn Beck just took it to another level. On Tuesday, Beck said:

This president has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seated hatred for white people… this guy is, I believe, a racist.

It’s part of a larger argument Beck has been making: that President Obama wants to serve the needs of Black communities at White people’s expense. This kind of talk stirs up fear, hate, and it can lead to violence.

I’ve joined ColorOfChange.org’s effort to stop Glenn Beck. ColorOfChange is already putting calls into Beck’s advertisers, asking them if they want to be associated with this kind of racist hate and fear-mongering. When the advertisers see that tens of thousands of us are behind that question, I believe they’ll move their advertising dollars elsewhere, and his show and platform will be history.

Will you take a stand and be counted, and invite your friends and family to do the same? It takes just a moment:

http://www.colorofchange.org/beck/?id=2008-1033479

Glenn Beck is appealing to the worst in America. Of course, some Americans refuse to accept the fact that our president is Black or the idea that he could truly serve all Americans. But the only way these views fade away is if they’re not reinforced by mainstream society. Instead, folks like Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, and Rush Limbaugh are exploiting racism and race-based fear to bump their ratings, stirring up racial discord in the process.

The dangers of these tactics are real. We saw the same dynamic during the presidential race: By the end, the McCain/Palin campaign was unable to control the violent energy whipped up by their race-baiting. It resulted in an unprecedented number of threats on Obama’s life, a rise in the number of hate groups, and an increase in the number of threats and crimes against immigrants and Black people.

FOX has a horrible track record on pushing racist propaganda, but Glenn Beck appears to be taking the network to an even lower standard. He’s trying to divide and distract America when we should be coming together and talking about issues that really matter–like health care and the economy.

The good news is that we have the power to stop this. All major media is funded by advertising. And advertisers care more than anything what consumers think. If we want to change what’s happening and put an end to folks like Glenn Beck having a platform, we can do it.

It’s up to us, and it can start now. Please join me:

http://www.colorofchange.org/beck/?id=2008-1033479

Thanks.

Here are some links to more info:

“Beck: Obama has ‘exposed himself as a guy’ with ‘a deep seated hatred for white people'”
http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200907280008

“Glenn Beck: Obama agenda driven by ‘reparations’ and desire to ‘settle old racial scores'”
http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200907230040

“MSNBC’s Deutsch encourages viewers to demand advertisers on Beck’s show spend money elsewhere”
http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200907290037

“On Television and Radio, Talk of Obama’s Citizenship”
mediadecoder.blogs.nyt…


Leave a comment

#iranelection cyberwar guide for beginners

The purpose of this guide is to help you participate constructively in the Iranian election protests through twitter.

1. Do NOT publicise proxy IP’s over twitter, and especially not using the #iranelection hashtag. Security forces are monitoring this hashtag, and the moment they identify a proxy IP they will block it in Iran. If you are creating new proxies for the Iranian bloggers, DM them to @stopAhmadi or @iran09 and they will distributed them discretely to bloggers in Iran…. Much more….#iranelection cyberwar guide for beginners


Leave a comment

Right-wing talk show host gets waterboarded (sort of) on the air, lasts 6 seconds

Remember: he wasn’t tied up and helpless, under the total control of people who he was convinced hated him.  Nonetheless, now he agrees — it’s torture.

Only trouble with this is, now that they’ve seen how to do it, a bunch of kids will be trying it. Look for it to appear in frat houses, too.


Leave a comment

U.S. to End Ban on Media Coverage of Returning Military Coffins – washingtonpost.com

Pictures of casualties have long played into the politics of a war — most notably in Vietnam, dubbed the “living-room war” for its extensive television coverage, including footage of coffins rolling off planes at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii as if off a conveyor belt. Indeed, starting in the 1990s, politicians and generals used the term “the Dover test” to describe the public’s tolerance for troop casualties.

via U.S. to End Ban on Media Coverage of Returning Military Coffins – washingtonpost.com.


Leave a comment

David Brooks reveals the mentality of the Beltway journalist

Glenn Greenwald writes in Salon that the “Liberal” media r-e-a-l-l-y aren’t. In fact, according to him, they’re pretty reactionary.  (Links to some other good stuff, too.  Check out the Bill Moyers interview.)

The New York Times’ David Brooks and Gail Collins had an online “conversation” with one another this week, and Brooks did an excellent job of explicitly demonstrating most everything that is relevant — and destructive — about the mentality of the standard Beltway journalist (h/t reader jm). In fact, much of what Brooks wrote about what he believes tracks almost completely the discussion I had with Jay Rosen on Bill Moyers’ show last week regarding the rot of the American political press. First, there’s this from Brooks:

What I’m really annoyed by, though, is the withdrawal of Tom Daschle. What are we, a nation of virgins? . . .

Of course, Obama asked for all this with his cynical promise to ban lobbyists from his administration. There’s a word for lobbyists: experts. Some are sleazy and many are quite admirable, but the idea of trying to run Washington without them is absurd. …  David Brooks reveals the mentality of the Beltway journalist – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com