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Facebook as a spiritual tool

One of the leit motif in spirituality is to reach an integration among the various parts of oneself. There are many important reasons for this, which I am not going to enter right now. Becoming One is not seen in Taoism as a spiritual goal, but as a spiritual prerequisite. It is not school, it is preschool. Until you are one you cannot really get involved with spirituality. It is like if in your family you decide to build a house, but not everybody agrees on that. Then one part of you builds it in the morning, and someone else of the family will destroy it in the evening. Maybe using the bricks for something else.

The idea that we are many, that each of us is many, is quite common. In psychology is common, Junghian Psychology, if I recall well. Again, in Taoism it even reaches the point of believing that this is true in a litteral point of view. Each of us, is seen as a patchwork of different spirits (shen). And when you die each spirit will then go its way. As such in Taoism until you have reached a real integration between your parts of yourselves (your spirits), you cannot even have reincarnation unless you have developed a unit which is integrated enough to go through the trauma of death without shattering in a 1000 little pieces.

And another idea that is very common (you have it in Taoism, but also in Christianity, for example), is the idea that one day, one time, at some point we will all get together. Christian say "sit by the father". In Taoism the idea is that any person who have showed a spark of interest for spiritual work will eventually join together in some place beyong space and time, a sort of heaven. And the joke then is if people are following the 1 lifetime program, the 10 lifetime program, the 100 or 1000 lifetime program, to reach it. And the faster it is, the rougher it is.

I have to say I am amazed by how well is Facebook helping in this integration work, for me. I have many friends, on facebook. But more importantòy I have friends from different groups. Each friend knew a different Pietro. Some were from my spiritual life (taoism, tai chi, meditation, ...), some from my academic world (artificial life, mathematics), some are Go-brothers, others people I knew from childhood, or from high school, or middle school. And with each of them I was a different person. And now they are all together. All in the same place. And the internet does indeed feel a little bit like this place beyond space and time. And I read of many of them. But what is more important, is that, as I write about my life, I am forced to write in a way that is acceptable for both my academic side and my spiritual side. I can only write in an integrated way, because I know that friends from both worlds will read me. In this sense facebook is catalysing an integration in me. Is helping me to become one.

I know many people are having problems with facebook. I think a lot of the problem is that they are not ready or willing to have this integration. For me Fb is pretty easy: to become my friend you need to know me. With very few exceptions I do not add anyone who is not someone I personally know. But if I have met you, and you want to befriend me, then you are in. I don't keep people that I know out of the door. Because that would be equivalent to keeping some part of myself out of the door, the part of me that interacted with them. You are all invited to the party. I sometime even go back in time, and look for people I once knew. People that were important in my life. Or people I wished I had the time to know better. Maybe now we have another occasion. But then on my status, in my notes, in the caption of my photo, I try not to speak thinking about one in particular (I might have done it, but mostly I try to avoid it). I speak to all my friends at the same time. And if anyone comments, I answer that person, personally. The answer is personal, but anybody can see it, and thus the integration goes deeper. I write in English and in Italian, because those are the languages with which I live, work, chat, play and love. My inner dialogue is sometimes in Italian and sometimes in English, depending where I am, what I am thinking of doing. And my facebook reflects that.

Most of you know that I use facebook pretty frequently. I update the status often, sometimes more than once a day. But what some of you have not realised is that I do not do much less on facebook. I avoid facebook applications. I only use the ones that are truly useful, that add functionalities that were not there, and are truly helpful. If I want to wish to my friend Happy Chinese New Year, I will do it in person, or through the status. Not through an application. In this way the integration proceeds. I very rarely invite people to use applications. I only do so when I think an application is very very good. (The "skip this" button is my friend). I invited my friends for the geo tagging application. I would do it for the "cause" application. Maybe the iRead could be another one, and the application to play Go online. Here you go, this makes it 4. And when I invite people I only invite people I think will appreciate it (or should, they know it or not ;-) ). I consider the other applications to be equivalent to spam. I try not to spam my friends. When a new application arrives (elves, and pirates, etc...) , I usually just block it. If an application is requiring me to send invitation to let you proceed, I report it (because it is breaking the TOS, and ruining the party for everybody), delete it and block it. With absolutely no pity, whatsoever.

I see often people who get tired of facebook. But very often those are people who are not using facebook as a tool to interact with friends that are far away (in space or time), but as a game. Those are the friends that use more of those facebook useless applications. They get tired, but what they are really getting tired are those useless applications. They are right in getting tired. They just need to use facebook, instead of be used by it. And then fb will stop being a toy, and become an instrument. You will forget about facebook, and think about your friend.

Keeping the application to the minimum necessary.
Speaking to everybody. Inviting all your (real life) friends.
It is fairly easy to let facebook help you in the integration process.

Current Mood: integrated integrated
Back to lj?

I bought an iPhone. So I might start moblogging again


Current Mood: Relaxed
Current Music: Armstrong
So true!

Class Clown
You are 14% Rational, 57% Extroverted, 57% Brutal, and 85% Arrogant.
You are the Class Clown. This means you walk down the center of the classroom with books on your head, while the teacher stares on in...

Shit, I really need to stop looking at these pictures while I'm typing.

Anyway, I MEANT to say that you are the Class Clown, and this means that you are extroverted, mean, and arrogant. You are not very rational, so you gravitate towards things that produce feelings or emotions over thoughts (like fart jokes or spitballs, for instance). You are also an extrovert and rather full of yourself, so of course you want constant attention for yourself and think you are somehow better than others. You can also be a bit mean-spirited, and like a class clown you wouldn't hesitate to make a joke at someone else's expense, no matter how terrible it would make them feel. So your personality defects are that you have to be the center of attention, that you don't care about others, and that you are rather irrational and motivated by intuitions. Now stop walking around with those books on your head and sit down this instant!

To put it less negatively:

1. You are more INTUITIVE than rational.

2. You are more EXTROVERTED than introverted.

3. You are more BRUTAL than gentle.

4. You are more ARROGANT than humble.


Your exact opposite is the Robot.

Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Schoolyard Bully, the Smartass, and the Brute.



If you scored near fifty percent for a certain trait (42%-58%), you could very well go either way. For example, someone with 42% Extroversion is slightly leaning towards being an introvert, but is close enough to being an extrovert to be classified that way as well. Below is a list of the other personality types so that you can determine which other possible categories you may fill if you scored near fifty percent for certain traits.

The other personality types:

The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Smartass: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 2% on Rationality
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You scored higher than 60% on Extroversion
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 68% on Brutality
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You scored higher than 95% on Arrogance
Link: The Personality Defect Test written by saint_gasoline on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test
Tags: ,

Oh Capitanen, mein Capitanen!

Jena is full of police. I don't know why. Yesterday evening, Yesterday night, this morning as I was strolling through the park to go to my house on wheels I was stoped by a car with two captains inside (***=captain, this I remember). They asked me for the documents. I resisted answering "Jawohl Mein Capitanen!", but it was hard.

Something has to change

It is now obvious that I am not updating this blog anymore. The problem is essentially a technical one. I use to update this blog from my mobile. This worked particularly well since it meant that I could a) update it in any moment b) update it from everywhere c) add automatically a picture. Now this is not true anymore. As most of you know, I am now in Germany to finish my PhD. Jena to be precise. In Germany the costs for a contract for a mobile which is able to go over the internet are much higher. So I am left with taking the picture and then updating in a later moment. Somehow this is not that pleasant. It might come to a surprise to most of you, but I don't actually enjoy very much staying in front of a computer. It tires me a lot, and I only do it because the level of the information I can get is so much higher than anything else I can find printed. Add to this that I already have plenty of things that I need to do when I am in the office. Doing a PhD is only part of it. So I don't think I can keep on having a moblog. In particular I cannot keep on having a photo-web-log. Still by now there is a certain number of people who check this site to see if I am still alive (who are them? look near the rivers, some might be waiting to see me passing). So to reassure some and to frustrate some others I should keep on some sort of basic diary. Something very spartane, with no picture or anything fancy, but just some basic news about me. It should also help people who want to contact (or ambush) me coordinate. The positive news is that since I shall be updating from the web I shall start also to add tags; and the negative is that the style needs to be changed to make it able to use tags, and I have no time for that!

But this is not all. Up to now I have tried to write an entry for each picture that I would update on my flickr website (possible that there is no alternative to a yahoo (bleah!) based service! Damn!). Now I shall also free myself from those shackle and just add every picture as I take it. Or so. Not waiting until I have time to write something nice or funny or interesting.

Happy Birthday to me

Happy Birthday to me
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
Today I am 35.
Happy birthday to me.


Croatian test

Croatian test
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
How do you know you are in Croatia? Where else do you find Pi written on the wall of a random street?

A night with the pimp

A night with the pimp
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
The girls were going as me to Zagreb. That evening we chatted until late, and made some interesting discussion which also brough me to meet this other guy who was going back to switzerland.

Then we compared our night ticket. It seemed that my sleeping bad was in the room next to them. So I greeted them and joined my room. Here we need to make a small precisation. When I was buying the ticket (obviously in a way that was totally unrelated to the fact that my father was paying for the ticket, instead of me) I decided that for one night I would have took not the absolutely most economic bed, but the next choise: Instead of the 6 couchette vagon, I paid 10 euro more and got the 4 couchette vagon. In this room (?) I found an old man, who would stink of sigarette and with a can of beer in his hand. We soon started talking. He asked me:
-so what are you doing?
-I am going back to Jena to finish my PhD.
-Good, good, take it easy, you have time.
- What do you mean
- You are 34 and you are still not working, still studying.
- I actually worked until last month, and as for my PhD, I will also do a project at the same time so I will get payed. But what are you doing?
- I have a house for people to relax in Dusseldorf.
- what you mean for people to relax?
- We have 2 swimming pools, one sauna, 20 rooms, and there are some girls. And if the guys want he can take the room and relax with one (or more) of the girl.
It took a bit to descend.
-Is prostitution legal in Germany?
-Of course!

So the end of all this was that for 10 extra euro I passed the night with a Croatian Pimp who works in Dusseldorf, while I could have passed it with a bunch of teenagers from Sweden.

Then in the middle of the night the police wanted to throw the girls out of the train, as their ticket did not cover the whole length of the voiage. I lended them some money, and they gave it back to me in Zagreb.

But something had changed. As soon as the morning arrived the girls had changed. I was no longer a buddy, nut just someone they met on the train. They gave me back the money and said quite coldly farewell. If they had found a pornographic collection in my bag (And how stupid would that be, with mobile phones carrying so much information!) they would not have treated me more coldly.

This pattern, of girls being first very warm, and then extra cold is something that we saw very often with other friends in Prague too.

Eventually different theories started to emerge. The first was that girls that age did not know fuseki (Japanese name for opening patterns in Go). They would open, then not realise what they did, act in a way totally unrelated.

The second was that girls that age are just not integrated, have many different parts of themselves that are still not one. The morning after is at all practical purpose a different woman you are speaking with.

The third (related) was that girls that age would feel bad for how much they opened in the evening, and so in the morning they would swing to the opposite extreme.

Then my favorite is that girls that age are waiting for 'somethingwonderfulthatisabouttohappen'.
In the evening, if you are lucky, and you move right, you are the wonderful event. But in the morning you are not news anymore. So they discard you. They are still looking for something wonderfulthat is about to happen. Not for something wonderful that happened the day before. So you are off.

All the theories make sense, and I think in the end girls that age should be enjoied as they are, with no attachments and no expectations. Simple, spontanous, and pleasent.

Girls spontaneity

Girls spontaneity
Originally uploaded by Pietro.
One of the thing I find particularly attractive in girls this age is their spontanity. Social norms, who needs them! Here they are explaining to one of them (who I only remember as the hippy, or from her family name) what her social position was supposed to be in the group. She strangely resists!


Originally uploaded by Pietro.
Here Lisa practices the famous position: you can't spank me, I'm underage.


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