Archive for the 'networking' Category

Computers sharing

May 25, 2012

Tony came by yesterday with my new* computer, which is really my old computer (it includes a clone of its hard drive) with greater capacity, plus another computer that runs Windows 7.  He then put the hard drive from my very old computer on the third floor into my less old computer that was replaced by the new computer, and he installed the less old computer up there (and took away the very old computer and an ancient monitor).

He arranged a way for me to import files from one system on my new computer to the other — from the Windows XP side to the Windows 7 side, and vice versa.  He networked the computers on the different floors and he set up things up so the printers can be shared (all this for $265, and we had a lengthy conversation about politics, competition over resources, exploiting fears over such competition, and the pursuit and maintenance of power).

Of course, I see a metaphor in all this networking and sharing between machines that are in some ways separate and in some ways merged.  In fact, my favorite part was when Tony showed me how, when there are different versions of what started out as the same file on multiple machines, the file can be replaced by another version, or the files can be merged into one.  This merger idea I find helpful.  It seems to me related to the concept of a corporation, only less hollow at the center.  Both seem to me ways that express what happens when seemingly independent parts form a whole and a new entity.  I think there’s a spiritual analog, I think Plato mentions it in his discussion of a female aspect that is a vessel in which things can mix and combine — I’ll have to go look it up.  But for now I’m enjoying the concept of computer file merging, in which there are contributions from multiple sources towards a whole shared by all.  It feels less exploitative than other ways I’ve had of understanding something similar, where one contributor contributes content, another format, another distribution, etc.  It allows me to let go of something like resentment, which I think will free me up for some kind of progress.  It also seems less cold and impersonal and hollow than the analog of a corporation, and easier to understand in detail than the concept of soul groups.  The shared printers help me let go of a sense that some forms of expressing the shared file are inferior or less bona fide than others.  And if every contributor has access to the work product, that is, to the shared file, as well as to a means of disseminating it in some form, there seems to me an improved sense of fairness to the system through using this computer networking situation as a metaphor.

Regardless, in the meantime, I have improved computing capability.

*I should probably note again, as I have in previous posts, that this “new” computer is actually a used computer — it’s new to me, but second-hand.


Equipment and technique

April 4, 2012

Gita says that my mind is constantly in motion, and implies that this is difficult for some other people to deal with.  I think of it as being something like a car battery in an engine that wouldn’t turn over and has been jump-started, and you keep the engine running because you’re not sure whether the battery can or will hold the charge.

If a person “hooks up” with higher ways of understanding the world, that hook-up is like a one-shot connection, I think, and I think we try to maintain that connection by keeping our mental engine running.  I think that hook-up may be the same thing people mean when they talk about spiritual union with God, I’m not sure.  But I am pretty sure that we don’t engage in that hook-up through our willing it, that it comes through a combination of willingness to serve, to do what serves, and to accept and learn from a whole lot of experiences in life other people might try to escape or control.  I don’t think it’s compatible with a lot of what most people want to have in their lives.

That hook-up is, I think, what develops the equipment we have in a nascent form; I think it’s kind of like a leaf unfurling, a flower opening, a balloon inflating, a Mars land-rover deploying after landing.  So, I think we lack the equipment in a useful state if we lack the hook-up, and that many people do lack it.  (I think some people have experienced the jump-start for its instant but have not been able to maintain the connection it allows, perhaps because they had not first readied themselves.)

My sense is that a person has to develop mental equipment and then technique, in order to engage in some kinds of understanding.  That’s what I was getting at in my comment to Ross Douthat’s blog post.  I think plenty of smart, well-educated people learn technique, but I think that without the “hook-up,” the technique applied produces a flattened view of a multidimensional scene.  And most people don’t want to do what it takes to experience the hook-up, in part because that sort of a life is antithetical to many of the things they wish to do with the ability to understand profoundly — the ambition undermines the very things they need for the experience and maintaining its aftermath.

I used to think that people who have developed the gift of understanding through such a hook-up could themselves connect with other people, people who don’t have it but have something else, like a means of communicating the understanding to a wider audience.  Kind of like components to old-fashioned stereo equipment, I think, with its amplifiers and subwoofers and such (I may have the technology misunderstood, but my point is different units networked together to produce the sound for the audience).  I even think the stereo analogy may not be unrelated in content, because I sometimes think I have developed the equivalent of depth perception in part through my connection with another “viewer,” whoever that may be, as if we were two eyes seeing together, and hence in three dimensions instead of two.

So, I used to think, I think, that one of these people/eyes got the vision, the other provided the translation and publication, in some kind of partnership.  And maybe it’s so.  I don’t know.  I used to have a sense of how it might work, but in trying to move closer to it, I feel less sure of it.  Maybe that’s just an artifact of getting up close to the object, no longer seeing its totality, like seeing less of the earth as the airplane gets closer to landing.

But I’m not sure.  Part of me thinks my collaboration model was wrong, and that in the past it produced unhelpful and damaging results that needed to be walked back.  And so I wait to get some clarity, trying to remain open and loving to everyone involved, and intending no harm.


March 18, 2012

I wrote a lovely post on the possible relationship of erotomania to the story of Cinderella and to the perception of being the beloved child of God.  And when I tried to save the draft, it disappeared, except for the categories and tags.

[The “networking” got into the essay because I mentioned how encountering those goats at the res had reminded me of the saying that sometimes the circus really is in town and the hoof beats are those of zebra and not a horse, which then spawned an observation that there were 17 swans on the res today and a musing on how they do their social networking.  I was trying to figure out how to discern between delusion and low-probability events.]

Unfinished business

February 27, 2012

I don’t pretend to understand Facebook.  My son helped me establish a rudimentary presence there so I could accept the NYTimes offer to post comments on their website “without moderation.”  (It’s somewhat unclear to me what that actually means.)  I finally felt moved to do even that (establish a rudimentary presence) when I fell for some spam comments here — that experience gave me more understanding of why the NYTimes requires some sort of third-party verification.

But now that I am on Facebook, I have a small sense of how it can be used.  It strikes me as an interesting mechanism for resolving unfinished business.  People can offer amends, and that feels like receiving a gift.  Or people can reveal nothing has changed, and that’s helpful, too, because the same old, same old can look different, and that provides release, too.

I suspect that that’s not really what it’s for, though.  But what I’m wondering, since I don’t really find it my métier, whether I am not particularly likely to find other people like myself through Facebook, since for them, too, it wouldn’t be their métier, either.

I’ve thought about this phenomenon before, in the context of support groups.  Support groups consist of the people with the targeted issue who are able to get to a support group, it is a self-selected population.  My impression is that this is being addressed now through things like on-line meetings and email groups and other forms of networking, but again, it puts together people who use those media comfortably and have characteristics correlated with that.

As someone who seems to have brokered a resolution between people who were so similar to each other in certain respects that they couldn’t reconcile as a dyad (they needed an intermediary), I can see some limitations of like attracting only like.  As an “intermediary,” though, it’s not that I long to belong to more of a network of intermediaries than I already do; it’s more that I feel a need to find the equivalent of a context for people who have completed that kind of work and are looking for a “second career” that suits the strengths and weakness of someone who adapted themselves, and was impacted by, the spiritual work of finding resolution for two people who each insisted that they were the needy victim and “owed” by the other.  I sometimes feel like the equivalent of one of those racing dogs who needs a new context after their racing days are over.  Not every new context will work.  But I’m pretty open to anything that does.