That iconic apple ad ..

worth having a look again ..

JK Rowling on failure – very inspirational ..

Very inspiring ..

Seven years after graduating from university, Rowling saw herself as “the biggest failure I knew.”[42] Her marriage had failed, she was jobless with a dependent child, but she described her failure as liberating:

Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter, and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. – J. K. Rowling, Harvard commencement address, 2008.[42]

source – wikipedia

Daniel Radcliffe sings “The Elements” by Tom Lehrer

I loved this video .. and always wanted to do a post about this

Tom Lehrer is genius and a polymath whose work I like .. He wrote a song called the ‘Element song’ about elements in the periodic table .. And this is Daniel Radcliffe singing the elements song ..

I was first introduced to Tom Lehrer songs by a friend in New Zealand through this song which is also a classic – (Lisa – if you are reading this, love to get back in touch!)

Poisoning pigeons in the park

RIP Peter Falk – Columbo

RIP Peter Falk – Columbo

A quote that had a profound impact on my life – Ayn Rand – fountainhead

I still remember reading this statement around age 19 in India. It had a profound impact on my life ..

“But you see,” said Roark quietly, “I have, let’s say, sixty years to live. Most of that time will be spent working. I’ve chosen the work I want to do. If I find no joy in it, then I’m only condemning myself to sixty years of torture. And I can find the joy only if I do my work in the best way possible to me. But the best is a matter of standards—and I set my own standards. I inherit nothing. I stand at the end of no tradition. I may, perhaps, stand at the beginning of one.”

Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)

Celebrating 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space

When I was a child in India, Yuri Gagarin was an inspiration.

So, very happy to be celebrating 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space

Post Transcendent Man event – Saturday 9th April 2011 London

Our friends at humanity plus UK are organizing another excellent event. I had the pleasure of speaking at the last humanity plus event in January

This should be another excellent event which is essentially a panel review and audience discussion on the afternoon of Saturday 9th April 2011. The subject of the discussion will be the groundbreaking but controversial ideas and projects of Ray Kurzweil, especially as featured in the film Transcendent Man which has its London premier earlier in the same week:

Registration and event details at the Post transcendent man event london a video preview of the film below

If you are coming, happy to meet up!

My forthcoming book – Meditation in the Age of Facebook and Twitter – meditation as a transhumanist technology

Meditation in the Age of Facebook and Twitter – meditation as a transhumanist technology

This is a book about meditation. More precisely, it is a book about the evolution of meditation. The title, Meditation in the Age of Facebook and Twitter, is limiting and perhaps even a little misleading, because I hope the ideas I discuss in this book will outlive websites like Facebook and Twitter.

Most people accept that Meditation can bring about a lasting change in your life. At the simplest level, it can help you relax. But meditation, as we describe in this book, could be a lot more. Meditation could be a ‘calling’, a technology which will cause an exponential uptake in human intelligence and evolution.

A friend who read an early draft of this book called it a ‘platypus of a meditation book’ in reference to the Duck Billed Platypus . The Duck Billed Platypus is an evolutionary ‘missing link’, an interim stage. Like the Platypus, this book is evolutionary bridge between meditation as it is understood today and the evolution of meditation as spirituality, technology and an understanding of our minds converge.

Meditation conjures up images of a monk-like existence divorced from everyday life. In contrast, I propose a different image, that of an air traffic controller, where your mind receives many inputs, the stakes are high and split second decisions and intuition are a part of the job.

While the stakes are less serious for us, we all relate to this situation and if meditation can help us solve the problem, it can have practical use in our increasingly complex lives

In this book, I propose that we are now entering the fourth age of meditation (following the previous ages of Shamanic meditation, Religious meditation and ‘Leaderful/Guru Led’ meditation). In the fourth age of meditation, meditation becomes a technology that will cause an exponential uptake in human intelligence and evolution. The starting point for this exponential uptake of human intelligence is our brain and our mind. More specifically, the exponential uptake of intelligence could be brought about by a connectivity and enhancement of minds through networks and technology. In that sense, meditation is a ‘transhumanist’ technology and networks are the underlying paradigm of the fourth age of meditation.

All networks, including neural networks and social networks, have a common theme. In the fourth age of meditation, we take a network based ‘two-sided view’ of meditation. On one hand, meditation is a disconnection from the emotional attachment to the flow of messages. This is the historical/ conventional understanding of meditation. But we also explore the other side of meditation i.e. the ‘connectivity’ aspect of meditation, with it’s fascinating possibilities.

The book shows you meditative techniques using brainwave technology.

It addresses questions like:

• How will our brain evolve through transhumanist meditation?

• How can we use technology to enhance our meditative state?

• What are the future implications for society, culture and spirituality?

• If we take the approach of ‘gedankenexperiment’(thought experiment), how would the world look like as we evolve?

• How would our Identity and relationship with the world change as we continue to change, evolve and enhance our minds through a fusion of meditation, networks and technology?

One of the images from the book (using the brain and neurofeedback to meditate better)

My favourite transhumanist star trek episode – errand of mercy

What is your favourite star trek episode?

There are many discussions on favourite star trek episodes but my favourite episode (even when I first saw it as a child), is Errand of Mercy, an episode which has particular resonance in times of conflict.

Errand of mercy is about a placid, docile race of people (called Organians) which captain kirk and Mr spock attempt to sway towards their side when at war with the Klingons. The Organians are frustratingly placid .. but it turns out that they are not humanoid but have evolved far beyond the body to be pure energy.

This transhumanist vision of ultimate human evolution as pure energy was appealing to me even as a child and remains an interest with meditation as a transhumanist technology

image source: trekmovie

Book – Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters by captain Chesley Sullenberger

I highly recommend this book  ..

Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters by captain Chesley Sullenberger

This is the biography of the pilot who landed the plane on the hudson river with no loss of life.

It is more about the man himself and his ethos rather than the incident which is also covered ..

Since watching that incident, I have been always interested in the mindset, upbringing and rationale of Captain Sullenberger.

I know someone who decommissioned nuclear reactors and also read about a submarine pilot. ie these jobs require a very specific temperatement which we could all learn from ..

Amazon has some amazing reviews about Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters by captain Chesley Sullenberger which give you a lot more about this book ..

but it is truly inspiring ..