How do I know that I love you?

It’s very simple. Let me be sentimental for a minute. When I think about death, here is what I think about.

If I had to die real soon, what would I want to do before dying? What would I want to do as my last thing before I am gone? Would I want to write a book? Who cares. Would I want to accomplish accomplishments at work? Fuck, no. Would I want to go jump with a parachute? Sounds good… but no. Grow a tree? Build a house? Say good-byes? No, not really. It all just stops making any sense. I am not interested.

So if I had to die real soon, I would simply want to spend that time hugging you. That’s how I know I love you.… -->

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Slow and painful death? Called “life”, no doubt…

Somehow this statement feels so unconvincing. This is like if I am supposed to choose between slow and painful death from old age versus the slow and painful death from smoking. Makes me feel trapped without any choice whatsoever. This made me wonder if the authors of the label found a way to die quickly and painlessly while young and used this label to laugh at us, the remaining behind to suffer in the world.

Still, I think I will try to make the life, which is the dying process, as slow as I can. Even if it is painful, which it is, really. I have been living with pain since I was around fourteen and I am used to that now. Advertisements for quick death are probably not going to cut it with me. I would certainly stay away if the label said “can cause quick and painless death”. Would you not?… -->

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Jed McKenna, “Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment”

The sequel to the “Spiritual Enlightenment: The Damnedest Thing” turned out to be quite entertaining but less well written. Frankly, at times it felt like one of those sequels written purely for the sake of money, knowing that the folks that bought the first one will likely buy the next one. There are some interesting stories but the book feels on one side very commercial while on the other rather undercooked. If the first book left no doubt that the person can be trusted, the second raises the question of whether we are in for some bullshit. That’s the feeling I get, anyway.

Still, towards the end the book things seem to clear up a lot and it gets interesting. Especially I liked the discussion of the essence of the fight for enlightenment:

Fear vs. Hate. Fear of No-Self vs. Hatred of False-Self.

That about sums it up for me. And the other quite interesting discussion was related to the attitude towards death:

That’s what death is, guaranteed absolution; freedom and forgiveness all in one. If you understand the fact of your own death, that it’s always here with you and that it’s a certainty, then you’re free. That’s liberation; knowing that nothing is yours or can be yours, knowing that you have nothing to lose.Other people push death away, deny it, but we don’t have that luxury. We have to pull death close, embrace it, carry it in our hearts and minds. I don’t mean like a college kid getting stoned and having a one-night stand with existentialism, I mean like something you carry in your pocket and always have one hand on.

This looks just like Castaneda’s definitions and discussions. Might be coming from there, might be just true. Anyhow, this state of taking in the death as your friend seems a pretty powerful weapon if you dare take it up.

Overall, less enjoyable than the first book, probably still worth a read.… -->

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Bulgaria’s population shrinks by 100+ people daily

The population of Bulgaria keeps shrinking. The process started after 1988 when the country had its max of 9 million people. Last year, the population is down to 7.2 million. The trend of birth over death rate has reversed around the same time – in 1990, and Bulgaria keeps running the so-called “natural loss” rate of around 40,000 people yearly for the last 20 years (source). The scientists call “natural loss” the difference between the number of people that die every year and the number of children that get born the same year. That is, the population of Bulgaria shrinks by more than 110 people daily. Bulgaria seems to hold the record being the only country in the world that sustained a negative population trend over a period of 25 years.

“According to the demographic transition theory, we have reached the fourth stage of low birth rate and high mortality. Experts expected that reproduction would recover, however something surprising has happened”, prof. Kaloyanov explained. The “surprising” thing just might have been Bulgaria leaving the Socialist Bloc and heading towards capitalism in 1989…


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Jack Barnaby … died? or made die?

Jack Barnaby was a hacker specializing in ATMs and medical equipment. He was working on the medical implant and hospital equipment security. He was scheduled to give a talk titled “Implantable medical devices: hacking humans” at the BlackHat USA 2013 tomorrow. The talk would focus on the security of wireless implantable medical devices, of which there are millions in the world. Jack planned to reveal software that uses a common transmitter to scan for and “interrogate” individual medical implants and discuss how they may be abused. And he is dead.

“The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office said Jack died in the city on Thursday. It gave no details. He was believed to be in his mid-30s.”

Interesting. We are 4 days after now and still there is no information whatsoever. Some reporters say he was 35, some – 36. Nobody has any details on why he has died, of what causes. Not even a statement like “from natural causes”. Simply no information. Weird accidents happen. But being in security we are entitled to an unhealthy bit of paranoia.

At the time when medical equipment is riddled with viruses and malware, disclosing more problems with the medical equipment, demonstrating how people could die from a remote network attack on their implants, all that is a serious crime against good business. I would not be surprised if his death was “nothing personal, just good business.”… -->

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Dennis Ritchie

I will quote this on the relative anonymity of Dennis Ritchie‘s death versus Steve Jobs‘ celebrity send off:

“If you do everything just right, it’ll look like you haven’t done anything at all.” ~ God, ‘Futurama‘

This guy, Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, did a lot of things right. Our task is to not screw it up too badly now.

Related articles:

  • Dennis Ritchie, Trailblazer in Digital Era, Dies at 70
  • Dennis Ritchie: the other man inside your iPhone
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