All of the information in this site (and a fair amount more) is available on the internet. I do get some amazing information from a special program at NASA. I'll tell you more about that in a bit. As you can see from the changing "tag cloud" of images on the Home page, I am very excited about new technologies that are becoming available that allow very cool new ways to gather and share information.
I'm not going anywhere near "astrology" and neither will I go anywhere near religion or witchcraft. One good thing I have to say about "Organized Religion" is that it seems to offer companionship to some. That being said, I have a few more comments:
1. I know some groups who are members of religious groups, who really try hard to do good work, and I give them great credit.
2. I believe that the philosophy of the Universe is a very personal, subjective place in your mind. I have my own sense of it and I keep it to myself.
3. I think that the origin of religion comes about from our innate fear of death and for some, a need for order in what appears to be a chaotic world. Some have capitalized on that to imply that if we behave ourselves, we will have all eternity. Well behave yourselves anyway -- not because of promises -- but because it is simply the right thing to do. Others have capitalized on it to sell us stuff, as if that would salve our inner pain.
4. It may be that the origin of Astrology was based on a primitive agrarian calendar. The positions of the stars and planets told our ancestors when to plant, how to navigate, and what weather to expect. Similarly to #3, people use it to salve a private psychic pain, and try to create an order -- I hope they find it useful.
I believe that we each must find our own spiritual path as well as our own material way in the world. I will not argue nor debate my own beliefs. They are mine and I own them. And one of my favorite expressions is: "Never argue With a fool -- An onlooker might not know who is whom".
We live in "interesting times". As I write this, hard times are being felt everywhere, from unemployed people, to crime victims, to people with debilitating illness, people who must leave their families and friends to find work in far away places. Even the planet itself is suffering under its burden of supporting a burgeoning human population. At the same time, we have more artists, scientists and technologists (like me) than ever before. We have a lot of people with good brains, I believe that (almost) everyone has a good brain.
Whether you go to a fancy school in New York City, or work at night on your own under battery power in a hut in New York City -- you thought I'd say Africa didn't you -- but I didn't. I don't want to be patronizing. There are a lot of people in NY and Washington DC, as people elsewhere, who have to scramble to carve out an education and a life.
We'll get through this hopefully without another war. It is a crisis that offers us an opportunity to create a new way of living. New industries are probably being germinated in garages as you read this. (Apple, HP, were among businesses started in a garage).
The goal of my work, with this site to back it up, is to get connected with -- as Apple says -- the rest of us.
Everyone needs -- and should fight for opportunity. But it is not an entitlement. No one can give you knowledge, You will need to find that for yourself. And I will tell you secret. It takes your whole life. So get used to it.
The new opportunities I just mentioned require us to grow up from being a dumbed-down, consumer society into a curious, educated, intelligent "new humanity". This leads to the objective of my site and my story -- to give you ideas for careers, and career changes.
Young people, call your parents in. Don't turn on the TV. If your kids are young, let them go outside and play with a stick and dig holes. Help them build model rockets or whatever seems to appeal to their curiosity. And definitely read to them -- not only books, but newspapers and good magazine articles. Discuss the affairs of the day with them, but allay their fears. Help them build them confidence and nurture their esteem. Listen to their fears and doubts and hold them tightly. Kids -- understand that your parents are only human, and generally are doing the best they can. If they are not, promise yourself that when you have children, that you will bring them up the way you would have wished for. Tell each other jokes.
I’ve been told more than once that I have a problem focusing as I have many passions. I also have trouble with grammar, driving directions, spelling, etc. etc. But I have a love of life, of my family and friends, and I am a humanist - I just wish I could see the future.
As I said, this site is intended to share what I’m learning in my long and eventful life. I hope it becomes a repository of knowledge, of references — and questions — to which I invite discussion and advice on the forums when they go online.
A lot of the site is intended for students and parents, but in a big way, we are all students, because when we stop learning, we might as well roll over. Times are often hard, but I had a Chinese manager once, who told me “In every crisis, there is an opportunity”. I always try to remember those words. Another asian person, a Buddhist, told me, “Never have a negative thought”. Hard to do, but correct.
Before we get into content, let me introduce myself personally (Please wait a bit for the movie to load!). Also, please excuse my appearance. Cause : Too much Retsina and Web Designing.
OK. On to business. Like a lot of people growing up just after WW2, I had a difficult childhood and not an easy time as a young adult. I used to think, why me? But as I grew older, I realized that a lot of people have had, or are going through tough times. So now when I walk down the street, I realize that every one has a story - including you.
However, being lucky enough to travel and see a lot of the world, I realize how lucky we are in the West - all of us! Even in depressed neighborhoods. Even in depressed times. Approximately two-thirds of the people on Earth live in terrible poverty and in danger of their lives - men, women and children. I have dedicated my life to the areas you see on this web site. The only part missing is my family, who I love more than life itself. But they are private.
The site began in early 2008, but because of the nature of the subject, it will be under constant construction and change. There are no advertising pages yet. I hate adverts on TV, so why would I Iike them any better here? If there are any, they are there to suggest reference books or materials for you. And I will suggest products and services where appropriate. Just consider them reference points. There is a donation page somewhere inside, where I suggest you make donations to groups that I think do good work. If you feel like supporting my efforts too, that would be much appreciated.
Primarily, I urge you to contribute to the Central Asia Institute, headed by Greg Mortenson. If you haven't read it, buy "Three Cups of Tea". More about this inside...
The premise of this site (and Mr. Mortenson's single minded passion), is that education, discussion, and negotiation, are the only ways to solve the world’s divides and peacefully resolve it's conflicts. My premise is that we will not progress as a specie while many of us live in abject poverty and in great and mortal fear. So this site tries to educate (I’m learning as I teach) as much as I can, while having FUN.
Parents may have to sit with their kids to go through some of the material. Or conversely, some kids may have to explain various things to their parents!
I love Space-related activities as you'll see, but I know that we cannot really make progress if many of the people on the planet live in poverty and without even rudimentary health care nor basic education. That being said, a colleague just sent me this correspondence from 1970. Close the new window when you're done reading. You'll be back here.
I see Science, Art and Technology going hand in hand. Together, they give us imagination, dreams and inspiration to lead full lives, to help others, and to quote the great George Carlin in one of my favorite films: “Be Excellent with Each Other”.