Recalling the First Analog Computer

In the summer of 1900 some sponge divers came across an ancient wreck offPoint Glyphadia on the Greek island Antikythera. The salvaged a number of artifacts most of which were packed up and sent to the National Museum of Archeology in Athens.Two years later, on this day, the 17th of May, 1902, Valerios Stais, the museum's director noticed a particularly unusual artifact among the collection. It has come to be called the Antikythera mechanism among the more technical crowd and the first … [Read more...]

A Couple of Random Thoughts on Zen and the Science of Consciousness

A few random thoughts from the monkey mind...Neurologist Norman Farb at the University of Toronto has devoted most of his research to consciousness and what happens during mindfulness meditation. . He identifies two ways we normally perceive things within our human minds.He calls one narrative—the process by which we take the discrete events of our lives and weave them into a story. This mode is essential to our sense of identity. The other is the experience of the moment, free of any p … [Read more...]

In the Neighborhood: A Meditation on the Golden Rule, Cheaters, and Prophets

Jan and I were walking into the parking lot after a quick run to one of our local grocery stores, when we noticed a bumper sticker. At first glance it seemed one of those “co-exist” stickers with the letters twisted out of symbols from the world religions. However, as we looked more closely we could see it was a parody of that sticker and instead, while using world religions letters it read “contradict.”I’m certainly okay with that. I mean, after all. But, then in smaller print was a citation … [Read more...]

Ah… And, a Blessed Darwin Day to You!

One of my favorite koans, those Zen presentations of reality and invitations into the fullness of our hearts and minds is gathered as case twenty in the twelfth century Chinese anthology the Book of Serenity.The monk Fayan visited Master Dizang who asked the young student of the way, “Where have you come from?” Fayen replied, “I wander from here to there on my pilgrimage.” The master asked, “What is the point of your pilgrimage?” Fayan answered, “I don’t know.” Master Dizang replied, “Not kno … [Read more...]