Saturday, December 31, 2005

Reform of Islam

Iranian_Engineer: hello Sitaram
Iranian_Engineer: I read a bit of your childhood it was quite interesting

Iranian_Engineer: special kid you were

Sitaram: oh, hi... I am watching educational television.... a Dr. who studies Tibetan monks brains while they meditate

Iranian_Engineer: its really interesting!

Sitaram: it just ended the show... and now... Religion and Ethics in World News is coming on

Sitaram: the doctor was Jon Kabat-Zin

Iranian_Engineer: what were the conclusions?

Sitaram: Jon Kabat-Zinn

Sitaram: MIT Massachusetts


Iranian_Engineer: how do they study the brains of meditators

Sitaram: electrodes... brain waves

Sitaram: now the show with Fareed Zakaria is on (he is an Indian intellectual)

Iranian_Engineer: what happened to brain waves while meditating?
Iranian_Engineer: they were slow?

Sitaram: yes... very 20 yr practitioners...
Sitaram: patterns not thought possible

Iranian_Engineer: what were the patterns like?


Sitaram: I am doing Google search now


Sitaram: He was dismayed that the world’s most brilliant scientists, many of whom were on his own campus, could be so sophisticated about science, yet so unsophisticated about the nature of the mind that produced the science. “We use all these fancy instruments, which are extensions of the senses—electron microscopes, radio telescopes, spectrophotometers—to study the world, but we haven’t paid much attention to who’s doing all this studying. Who’s doing all this knowing? What’s the mind of the scientist? We were, and are, smart in a lot of ways, but idiotic in a lot of other ways,” he says.

Iranian_Engineer: interesting



Iranian_Engineer: do you meditate?


Sitaram: I did for years , now... only time to write now

Iranian_Engineer: how did you do it?


Sitaram: here is the show I just watched... from the station that broadcast

Iranian_Engineer: you mean you read this and started meditating?

Iranian_Engineer: ah ok thank you

Sitaram: here.... Washington post... brain waves and meditation

Sitaram: over the past few years, researchers at the University of Wisconsin working with Tibetan monks have been able to translate those mental experiences into the scientific language of high-frequency gamma waves and brain synchrony, or coordination.

Sitaram: they have pinpointed the left prefrontal cortex, an area just behind the left forehead, as the place where brain activity associated with meditation is especially intense.

Sitaram: the longtime practitioners showed brain activation on a scale we have never seen before," said Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the university's new $10 million W.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior

Sitaram: Their mental practice is having an effect on the brain in the same way golf or tennis practice will enhance performance." It demonstrates, he said, that the brain is capable of being trained and physically modified in ways few people can imagine.

Sitaram: Scientists used to believe the opposite -- that connections among brain nerve cells were fixed early in life and did not change in adulthood. But that assumption was disproved over the past decade with the help of advances in brain imaging and other techniques, and in its place, scientists have embraced the concept of ongoing brain development and "neuroplasticity."

Iranian_Engineer: you know the disease ADHD?

Sitaram: yes
Sitaram: all children have it, joking
Iranian_Engineer: not all haha, some

Iranian_Engineer: in that disease which you they cant keep their attention etc

Sitaram: The Dalai Lama ultimately dispatched eight of his most accomplished practitioners to Davidson's lab to have them hooked up for electroencephalograph (EEG) testing and brain scanning. The Buddhist practitioners in the experiment had undergone training in the Tibetan Nyingmapa and Kagyupa traditions of meditation for an estimated 10,000 to 50,000 hours, over time periods of 15 to 40 years. As a control, 10 student volunteers with no previous meditation experience were also tested after one week of training.

Iranian_Engineer: and concentrate

Sitaram: The monks and volunteers were fitted with a net of 256 electrical sensors and asked to meditate for short periods. Thinking and other mental activity are known to produce slight, but detectable, bursts of electrical activity as large groupings of neurons send messages to each other, and that's what the sensors picked up. Davidson was especially interested in measuring gamma waves, some of the highest-frequency and most important electrical brain impulses.

Iranian_Engineer: and guess which part of their brain has problem?
Iranian_Engineer: the prefrontal lobe!

Sitaram: Both groups were asked to meditate, specifically on unconditional compassion. Buddhist teaching describes that state, which is at the heart of the Dalai Lama's teaching, as the "unrestricted readiness and availability to help living beings." T

Sitaram: Davidson said that the results unambiguously showed that meditation activated the trained minds of the monks in significantly different ways from those of the volunteers. Most important, the electrodes picked up much greater activation of fast-moving and unusually powerful gamma waves in the monks, and found that the movement of the waves through the brain was far better organized and coordinated than in the students.

Iranian_Engineer: yes I opened that page

Sitaram: so, the mullahs did not block it

Iranian_Engineer: its interesting
Iranian_Engineer: tell me about your experiences of meditation you learned etc

Sitaram: I would need to compose an essay... to gather my thoughts...
Sitaram: which I am happy to do

Iranian_Engineer: compose essay about?

Sitaram: duh... about the complex question you just posed

Iranian_Engineer: ah ok

Sitaram: regarding my experiences with meditation

Iranian_Engineer: yes !!!I am really eager to read that essay!

Sitaram: look at this page I found JOY DETECTIVES

Sitaram: I have been writing things about it over the past 8 years
Sitaram: I suppose visions are the most interesting aspect of it
Sitaram: I will give you one link

Iranian_Engineer: what kind of visions?


Sitaram: there is good example
Sitaram: you can see music and pictures if this link is not blocked but I think they block this


Iranian_Engineer: its not blocked

Sitaram: noooooo!!!!! this one
Sitaram: is that block.... I think yes
Sitaram: here is copy at non blocked site... I think
Sitaram: that is perhaps not blocked
Sitaram: otherwise, first link is minus pictures/music

Iranian_Engineer: I meant your first link doesn’t have pictures

Sitaram: duh... that’s what I told you... not blocked... but no pictures/no music
Sitaram: you can download my entire site, as zipped files ... and unzip it on your hard drive... with music and pictures on several pages


Iranian_Engineer: ah there was problem the page disappeared!

Sitaram: but... perhaps, if the authorities discovered it on your hard drive... you might be in big trouble

Iranian_Engineer: come on

Iranian_Engineer: haha

Sitaram: if you download only the first 100 pages... plus wav plus gif

Sitaram: I am serious... after page 100, there are some pages which would get you executed or imprisoned in Saudi

Sitaram: but, if you only download 1st 100 pages, wav, gif, jpg... you can see music and pictures

Iranian_Engineer: well how can they know what I download?

Sitaram: well, if police come to your home.....

Iranian_Engineer: why police should come to my home?
Iranian_Engineer: its not that much anarchy
Sitaram: for example... let us say that I am charged here with some crime.... and police get search warrant (this is hypothetical example).... but this has happened.... and they seize my computer... and find child pornography on hard drive... then I could go to prison

Iranian_Engineer: and what are those which they can execute me for?
Iranian_Engineer: but here there are no such rules

Sitaram: ok... TODAY you do not have such a government... but how do you know that there will not be SOME OTHER REVOLUTION... another ayatollah, or perhaps.... some Wahabi group will gain power

Iranian_Engineer: I dont think so?

Sitaram: oh... nonsense... you have had morality police... and women are lashed for improper dress, makeup.. or acid in uncovered face (or is that just Afghanistan)

Iranian_Engineer: why should I fear of something which doesn’t exist?

Sitaram: well... in 1920... if I talked concentration camps to a German, and lamps made of human skin, that German would say "oh I don’t think so"

Iranian_Engineer: when there many fearful things already?

Sitaram: in northern Nigeria, they now have Sharia law, and are cutting off the hands of adolescents..... and stoning women... who would have foreseen that

Iranian_Engineer: you know

Iranian_Engineer: if they find out what I talk here etc ..they might put me in prison

Sitaram: in 1930s who would have foreseen in USA the Senator McCarthy witch hunts for communists,.... and the blackball lists which ruined careers of entertainers and others

Sitaram: OK, so... excellent example

Iranian_Engineer: but I don’t care
Iranian_Engineer: I don’t limit myself!!

Sitaram: martyrs rarely do

Sitaram: Nabokov said, in "Pale Fire", "Curiosity is the highest form of insubordination"

Iranian_Engineer: interesting

Iranian_Engineer: here many people are fearful

Iranian_Engineer: you know there are enough outer authorities without creating for yourself an inner authority to haunt you and stalk you.

Iranian_Engineer: but the main problem comes when you make yourself a prison

Sitaram: I was quoting something today to my wife, said I think by Asar Nafisi, or some Iranian... cant remember

Iranian_Engineer: yes?

Sitaram: they said that "the ultimate degree of religious fanaticism is when you do not feel comfortable even in your own home"
Iranian_Engineer: yes

Sitaram: my wife said... "what does that mean"...

Iranian_Engineer: well she wasn’t living here so she might not understand

Sitaram: I said "well, you are alone at home, and you worry that you are properly covered up, ... or look at the clock for time of prayer.... or you must release gas, and you worry...
Sitaram: a paranoia that you are always being watched, judged
Sitaram: even when alone

Iranian_Engineer: I know what it means

Sitaram: hadith give account of one city where the toilets faced Mecca,.... so the muslims would turn their face away, as they moved their bowels
Sitaram: this is not a joke, but a true account

Iranian_Engineer: haha

Iranian_Engineer: how stupid
Sitaram: so.... they do not feel at ease even to take a dump in the toilet... or fart

Iranian_Engineer: haha

Sitaram: oh.... Islam teaches in Hadith, that if you wash wudu, and enter masjid, and then fart, you must hold your nose, walk out of masjid, wash again, and then return to prayer

Sitaram: that is not a joke... that is an actual hadith

Iranian_Engineer: these are nonsense !! and people are stupid see how dangerous religion could be for blind followers!

Sitaram: I cite these to give dramatic illustration of how one might feel ill at ease even alone in home or in bathroom

Sitaram: you know.... I got to be intimately familiar with Sikh scriptures , the Adhi Granth, and Nanak, the founder... and it is truly ISLAM reformed.... and quite appealing and compelling....

Sitaram: Sikhism developed around 16th century, in an area in Punjab India, where Muslims and Hindus lived side by side

Iranian_Engineer: you are starting a religious talk again

Sitaram: so, we shall change the subject... I thought you might find the Sikh example fascinating

Sitaram: we shall change subject

Iranian_Engineer: you know that I agree those things are stupid and they exist in every religon and stupid people follow such silly rules and.......

Iranian_Engineer: so don’t try to persuade me how terrible things are
Iranian_Engineer: I am more interested to know about meditation
Iranian_Engineer: or how can we change the situation?
Iranian_Engineer: you know its negative critic ...and its not productive
Iranian_Engineer: negative

Sitaram: well, I told you about engineer in Tehran, who went to yoga classes,.... and when I asked what mullahs thought, he said it is billed as exercise, not religion

Iranian_Engineer: imagine a poor girl in a country like Iran
Iranian_Engineer: yes true

Sitaram: but the notion was that it was a secret way to go some place, and be spiritual in a hidden fashion

Iranian_Engineer: I am so worried about the future of my country I love to know what am I able to do!!!

Sitaram: you know... I felt the concern of my African friends for their troubled societies

Sitaram: which is why I created

Sitaram: so... I am not deaf and blind to the problems and sufferings of other nations and cultures...

Iranian_Engineer: I know

Sitaram: you are right.... what is to be done in countries such as yours
Sitaram: is there not a way to have Islam and also Democracy, human rights, freedom of speech, tolerance for other religious beliefs

Iranian_Engineer: you feel everything is in its wrong place and you cant do anything..upper system is corrupted!

Iranian_Engineer: I think not

Sitaram: you have mentioned a key word... corruption

Iranian_Engineer: I don’t think one can rule a country with religious absolutism?

Sitaram: in so many nations
Sitaram: the Philippines... such corruption.... when it could be a shining star...
Sitaram: in so many African nations..... those who seize power, and steal resources from their starving people
Sitaram: north Korea has now suddenly refused food from NGO foreign groups
Sitaram: Non Government Organizations

Iranian_Engineer: yes like us. we have such oil !! the price of oil increases each day and we become poorer each day

Sitaram: they will only accept help for power plants.... and no one wants to give that, because of their agenda for nuclear weapons
Sitaram: I will tell you a saying from American farmers...
Sitaram: the farmer is the only one who BUYS retail, and sells wholesale
Sitaram: if farmer needs hammer, he goes to hardware store, and pays retail price...

Iranian_Engineer: what does it mean?

Sitaram: but he sells his milk wholesale for such little price... but the milk factory (i forget correct term)... becomes wealthier, and grocery store becomes wealthier, than farmer who makes the milk

Iranian_Engineer: true!

Sitaram: wholesales is cheap price
Sitaram: retail is highest price to consumer...

Iranian_Engineer: yes
Iranian_Engineer: that’s a sad truth

Sitaram: the diamonds miners do not make the same profit as the jewelers

Iranian_Engineer: I know

Iranian_Engineer: that’s what happens to our poor people

Friday, December 30, 2005

Ethical Problems

SITARAM: visit the sites I am creating for my internet friends in Africa to learn to run and use
SITARAM: and my first new blog

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: how are things going? I tapped into your old blog and the material was very interesting.

SITARAM: my photo is at
SITARAM: i was talking about your landing at Normandy at age 19 3 weeks after the invasion,....with someone, as i described what my father told me of the landing,... and my friend could not understand how anyone survived...
SITARAM: but i explained that many survived, obviously, since they went on to liberate Paris

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: I just printed our correspondence out. I didn't know I could do that. I saved a lot of writing and I can access them at my leisure.

SITARAM: i explained that my dad was in the fifth wave of the landing, and at the one that was less fierce... cant remember if it is Utah beach,.... or the other beach...
SITARAM: Omaha beach...
SITARAM: i keep forgetting little words that i should know, and terms

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: There must have been great heroism and Normandy and a great deal of inventive combat, because they lost communication with the men fighting on the beachhead and theoretically they were pinned down so mercilessly and so hopelessly that they should have been slaughtered and forced back into the sea. But somehow they improvised and got the upper hand. I watched a number of episodes on the history channel and that is what they said. Somehow during the lull in communications they improvised and won out. Most
GEOMETRY_TEACHER: Most of them must have died who won the battle and there is no record of how they overcame such a tragic situation.

SITARAM: they claim that what characterizes the American fighter, is a kind of John Wayne, the hero private or sergeant... who in a pinch, improvises.... American space craft are like planes... the pilot has much control, is active.... whereas communist space craft are controlled by ground and astronaut is more or less passive, along for the ride...
SITARAM: what i heard was... if an army is conditioned to follow one authoritarian figure... and that leader disappears... then they cannot improvise... but... I’ve every one is a John Wayne when leadership disappears... then this is more of the independent democratic spirit...
SITARAM: perhaps that is an over implication

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: Omaha beach was the real tragic battle. I remember walking up the beach and a sand trail when they were fighting farther inland. I didn't know your father was in the fifth wave at Utah beach.

SITARAM: i must get more details from him...

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: What outfit was your father in? What was his role in the army?

SITARAM: he was with that grandson of Teddy Roosevelt...
SITARAM: the one who walked up and down the beach with his little dog and no helmet
SITARAM: under fire...
SITARAM: he died shortly afterwards i think of heart failure...
SITARAM: well... some days after the battle... some men were ordered to build an outdoor shower, and my dad saw that Roosevelt fellow in their... and some private walked up to him and asked if he would scrub his back (not knowing his rank)... and Roosevelt did it
SITARAM: my dad said there was nothing stuck up about the man
SITARAM: or aloof

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: I never heard about that. Then again, I never heard about a lot of things that went on. I really didn’t know too much about Eisenhower until I got back to the States and everyone was so impressed with him.

SITARAM: my dad sent me a book, paperback, that the 4th division published, with war stories from everyone they could find... my dad wrote one chapter...
SITARAM: he went in one barn, and found all these glass grenades
GEOMETRY_TEACHER: His story must be very interesting. I would like to read it sometime. Or a synopsis of it.

SITARAM: on the troop ship, they passed out a pamphlet about "finding god in a fox hole"... my dad read it.... the first night he spent in a fox hole... he thought about the pamphlet, and waited... but nothing every happened...
SITARAM: i have the book right here on my shelf....
SITARAM: my dad saw Hemingway every day..... Hemingway would come into the tent where my dad worked as supply sergeant
SITARAM: i got to sit for an hour, in 1992, and talk with one of Hemmingway’s jeep drivers (who has since passed away)...
SITARAM: my dad said Hemingway’s OTHER jeep driver was Izzy Goldstein, who had a business for years in the Empire State bldg
SITARAM: Hemingway always carried a canteen filled with gin or scotch, or whatever he could find

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: Maybe something did happen. He is still alive and in one piece, so I don't think he can quarrel about the lack of communication. To survive the whole war as a combat infantry man is a remarkable feat. it takes, I believe, more than just dumb luck.

SITARAM: "Moveable Feast" Hemingway’s account of the years in Paris, in the 1920s-30s speaks a lot about alcohol problems of writers
SITARAM: F. Scott Fitzgerald had quite a problem... Hemingway speaks of it

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: His communication with God was just a one way street but probably effective. Still he had the peace of mind to get through it all.

SITARAM: yes... my dad is unique.... actually, he is quite moral and ethical, in spite of being rather agnostic
SITARAM: he had a close friend who was professor of microbiology in Baltimore.... and on a business trip, he stayed with him, and his friends wife.... now... i met them at a convention, when i was 21

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: Alcohol was a great soother. Just about every combat soldier drank the French wine when we could get our hands on it. Fortunately there was a great supply and the French were generous with it.

SITARAM: the woman was something of a nymphomaniac.... 10 minutes after her husband drove off... she ran in my fathers room, and jumped on him, and he had to wrestle her off, and he said "i cant do this to my friend"
SITARAM: well, when i was 21, i sat next to the same woman at a dinner table... and under the table, she put her hand on my leg.... now i was thinking about entering the monastery at that point...
SITARAM: i was so shocked, i spoke aloud, and said WHY ARE YOU TOUCHING ME.... and the whole table was embarrassed...
SITARAM: but.. my goodness... how some people behave...

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: That's quite a story. Glad to hear that your father was noble in that situation.
Strange that her husband didn't get wise to her antics.

SITARAM: well.... perhaps the husband knew and looked the other way
SITARAM: who knows....

SITARAM: but... my dad was close friends with one of the vice presidents of Cheesborough Ponds, who was devout catholic man with wife and 6 kids...
SITARAM: so... at a convention, a young sales woman came by his room to get something....

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: Maybe. Maybe he saw like Hemingway's character in The Sun also Rises. A war tragedy that left all of them unhappy .

SITARAM: she asked to use the bathroom,... and a few minutes later, jumped out naked... well this man was so upstanding, that he said.... "Well, why don’t you put on some clothes and we shall go out and have some dinner
SITARAM: the young woman said "gee, this is the first time i had to put some clothes ON to get a dinner
SITARAM: my dad has quite a prankish sense of humor....

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: Sounds like an interesting anecdote. I wonder how true it is?

SITARAM: oh... i knew the man myself... and i totally believe it
SITARAM: he was simply not the sort who would fabricate such a thing

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: I mean the other man. Not your father.
SITARAM: that is who i mean too... the VP
SITARAM: i knew him.... and he was just very proper and straight laced and conservative and serious

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: Why don't you write a short story, with a plot about the effect this had on the man and how it change his point of view?

SITARAM: good idea..
SITARAM: they say that literature is philosophy in motion

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: Or rather how he got deeper and deeper into trouble and then got out of it by something set up earlier in the story. Or a combination of both things.

SITARAM: sometimes, i think of that Sophie's Choice, which is supposed based on a true story

SITARAM: in one book store there is a big philosophy section, with an entire shelf JUST on ethics

SITARAM: books like "Ethics for Dummies" (you know that series)
SITARAM: and "Ethics 101"....

One ethic book describes an hypothetical scenario where you are a school teacher, with a class of 30 children, and terrorists seize you, and tell you that IF you choose one child and kill that child then all the other children will be let go, free, BUT if you refuse to choose and kill, then all children will be killed. The book argues that it is unethical to comply with the terrorist’s request. The “right” of saving 29 children does not outweigh the wrong of killing the one. And you have no guarantee that the terrorist will keep his word.

GEOMETRY_TEACHER: Well, I have written all that I can at this time. I will look at your latest blog and your picture and write again. Goodbye for now.

Monday, December 26, 2005

But, how shall this benefit me personally?
A Chat in ICQ

Voices of Africa (11:33 AM) :
I also created an e-group yahoo email listserve for Voices of Africa United..

If you join, you shall be my first member.... I started this project on Friday

My other message board, which is almost 6 months old is but I am doing the African Voices board to help my internet friends in Nigeria in the internet cafes
DOTMABRIXS (11:53 AM) :Thats interesting, I will join as soon as possible

Voices of Africa (11:53 AM) :I shall create a forum for you at and make you moderator which simply gives you maximum powers to edit and delete everyones posts but, it is not a burden of duty or responsibility. It is simply a power, should you require it
Here is the yahoo egroup for my site
If you join, you will be first member...
You can configure it for individual email, or for daily summary of emails.... or no email, simply to browse posts
That is the convenience of egroups
There is the blogspot for the message board
and my email is of course

Voices of Africa (12:02 PM) :Please, if you can, mention the message board to others at every opportunity, so it may grow and benefit many
I meet most of my new contacts on Yahoo. I find so far that ICQ is far less useful for meeting people. But please share my ICQ number with anyone in ICQ that might have an interest in Voices of Africa United message board

DOTMABRIXS (12:05 PM) :You see I've got all it takes to publicize this message board but I need to know what I stand to gain personally, because right now am on my own no sibling or relatives to look up to. am currently a student of Ladoke University of Technology Ogbomoso studing civil engineering.and also the president of Junior Chamber international Nigeria-Lautech chapter

Voices of Africa (12:07 PM) :

What you shall gain is the satisfaction of helping the peoples of Africa. If everyone looks only to immediate personal tangible benefit for each action, then Africa will not benefit and progress as rapidly in the long run.And, if everyone who is a citizen of in a troubled nation seeks only to emigrate to a prosperous nation, then that troubled nation shall perhaps remain forever troubled.

If you plant a tree today, which takes seventy years to yield fruit..... you will perhaps not live to taste the fruit.

But... still, you shall benefit from the satisfaction that you have benefited the unborn generations to come after you and shall taste the fruit and harvest.

I am elderly, with a wife on dialysis, and very little money,... yet I undertake this project to help a continent that I shall never see, and peoples who have no connection to me beyond my concern for my fellow man. And in this, I take great satisfactiion, if it should be that the world is a better place, after I am gone, because I have passed this way and said and done these things.

Monday, December 19, 2005

I WS FTP. I have had the same install download for several years now. It is free. It does what I want. AOL provides its own ftp to my space there. I have verizon dsl, and there is free space there, but I have not tried the ftp. I purchase my website from and they provide an ftp (web-based) for that. I did a google search on : hosting "years in business" to find someone who had been around for a long time. was around for 8 or 10 years, which is a long time on the Internet. I wanted stability. I deal with the same person, and I know his name (kind of like Admin on this site). That is worth a lot. I should also mention that I had an inexpensive site at with supported mysql and php. The down side was you had to purchase/register a domain name, and when you did that, on line, with your credit card, it automatically made your home address and telephone available in WHOIS domain search was willing to register a domain name for me in their company name, anonymously, to protect my privacy.
I have had a free site for 6 or more years at which provides ftp even to free sites. Today, I gave the sales department at a call, and they stated that if I purchase my free 0catch site, my privacy/identity will be protected, and there is no need for a domain name. Plus, as we all know, a domain name's registration must be renewed every year. Did I mention that 0catch is in Orem Utah? And they have been around for 6 years which seems pretty stable. And the did not shut down my site as an act of censorship.

I did use cute ftp when it was free, and then i purchased it, and then my hard drive crashed, and somehow, i would have had to repurchase it, but wsftp did what i needed by that time. I also used the cute program for html editing (cute-edit or something like that). Now I find that PS Pad, which is freeware, does everything I could ever want an html editor to do.
Periodically, at work (meaning one or twice a year) we receive an email from the programmer who wrote cuteFTP, looking for a job or contract work. That sticks in my mind, since cuteFTP was the first one I used about 7 or 8 years ago.

Since I made this post, I decided to try out my Verizon DSL 10 meg web space. And what do you know!? They instruct you to download WS FTP to access your webspace. Well, I have my old version which works fine. So, I just uploaded my revised website there in one fell swoop. The AOL built in ftp is kind of a pain, because you can only upload/download one file at a time.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Very Helpful Shareware Text Editor

One that really helped me this weekend is

the PS Pad shareware editor.
For the past 9 years, I had a 457 browser page free website on Geocities (Yahoo).
They finally closed it down last week, I presume, on the grounds that I made some criticisms of two different religions there.
I cannot fault them for their decision. I am aware that a few people lodged complaints over the years. It is hard to draw the line between what is abusive or a hate site, and what constitutes free speech, and a valid criticism.
After all, there are several well known scriptures of major religions that state in effect that other religions are false and demonic, which would make those writings come under the category of what we call "hate sites". Those religions plainly state that non believers are doomed to eternal punishment. On the other hand, anyone who takes an atheist position is basically saying that any religion is make-believe and that followers of such a religion are gullible, which could be construed as insulting, and constituting a "hate site".
But then, Marxist criticisms of capitalism and private property are threatening and insulting to capitalists. Proudhon wrote an essay entitled "Property is Theft". And the arguments of capitalism and democracy against communism or theocracy can be seen as equally thrreatening, hostile, and insulting.
When does innuendo become outright insult?
I must say, that, in retrospect, I am surprised that the site lasted for 9 years. Much less than 10 percent of the writings were controversial or offensive to anyone in any way. The rest was philosophy, theology, and things that no one would object to.
Anyway. My same website (with certain controversial pages omitted) has been at my AOL space for the same length of time.
So, I brushed up on my lost skills of AOL FTP to download everything to my hard drive, and then I used PS Pad to edit the html, to add a link to my message board, and to remove extraneous code left over from old guestbooks and page counters, and some code which used to be required at geocities in 1998.
The PS Pad works GREAT. It is exactly what I need, and it is free.
I feel much better doing something to keep my writings and ideas alive on the Internet in some form.
I realized one great error in my HTML design, which I am now addressing.
I copied the same email contact in each and every one of the 450 browser pages. It makes more sense to have a link in each page to a contact.htm page (thats what I called it). Then, if you want to change an email address, or add other contact information like ICQ, AIM, Yahoo ID, or MSN, you need only change that one page. You do not have to change hundreds of pages.

Years ago, I made the embarrassing mistake of spelling Gandhi as Ghandi. I just discovered PS Pad's ability to GLOBALLY change all occurances of a string in all files in a project directory. So I could make the correction of 70 errors in one fell swoop.

Helping a young poet in Nigeria

I have an internet friend in Lagos, Nigeria. I told him to write his
poems in a letter and mail them to the USA, and I would type them
and post them on the internet, since he does not have a computer
and the internet cafe is expensive. How much will it cost him to send
an ordinary letter to me in the USA. He seemed confused, and said he
spent $100 to send something via DHL to Netherlands. I am certain
that sending an ordinary letter at a local post office is not going to
cost more than the price of a lunch. I can send a big envelope from
USA to Israel for $5.00 USD. Please advise me. I searched in google,
and found all sorts of info about Nipost, the Nigerian postal system,
but nothing about the cost of sending a letter.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Random blog surfing

I find it relaxing to click on the random blogs that scroll by, visit, and leave a comment to say hello.

It is sort of like being the Mind of God. I mean, you see all these minds passing by, and you can enter any one of them and see what's going on.

Hate sites

I am trying to determine what constitutes a "hate site".

I visited that for the first time, thinking that surely that must constitute a hate site, which indeed it does.

I just started using to store my bookmarks. The funny thing is, when I entered that link in the firefox browser, it was redirected to! I dont know whether that is the doing of the mozilla folks or the chipmarkfolks.

I am also discussing the issue of capital punishment with folks in Nigeria, just to get a feeling for people opinions around the world.

Mainly, I am also testing out this new BLOG business, to get a feel for what it can do for me, and whether I shall use it a lot.

This is a test

This is my first experience with "blogging"

Please visit my message board at

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