Embrace the conflicts

Today I attended KPMG’s Executive Conference here in Oslo. Among the speakers were Fareed Zakaria (CNN anchor), Anders Fogh Rasmussen (12th NATO Secretary General) and Børge Brende (our Foreign Minister). The title of the conference: “International conflicts – Business Impact“.

kpmg

The speakers gave interesting insights into the history and status on current world conflicts and how they influence world business. The angles were intelligent and wise, covering in particular the many conflicts in the Middle-East and the war in eastern Ukraine. The seriousness of the conflicts, their problems and negative impacts were in focus. The consequences to human lives, trade and business and to world economy were highlighted. Solutions were discussed.

The prosperity of the West with capitalism as the vehicle for success was covered in some detail. The element of competition was praised as the central driving force of capitalism. It was a package of excellent content wrapped in a sober and well prepared form. Short of a representative from Al-Qaeda, nothing seemed to be missing.

Except an embracing of conflicts. Not the most horrific conflicts where children are victims of violence. But the world needs risk. It needs danger.

While most people would want a world without conflicts, they get quite pensive when they stop to really contemplate a completely peaceful world robbed of any conflict, of any and all crimes, and of all but the most mundane challenges. While the Western world owes much of its recent success to the inherent conflict in capitalism, the speakers didn’t express the relevant point that mankind owes much also to its more violent conflicts.

ira

When Brendan and I recently met with the IRA, I realized that while the peace treaty of Northern Ireland saved the lives of so many people, it also came with a cost, a tangible downside. With less to fight for, with less to die and live for, life becomes less challenging and more dull. And with dullness comes boredom and ultimately even depression.

Perhaps what most people want is the wanting of a goal and not the goal itself.

What’s the point, if any?

We haven’t had an open discussion yet on this blog as to what the purpose is for life, the universe and everything.

There are lots of answers ranging from “the purpose is unknown” and various specific general or personal purposes to “no purpose”.

I’d like to invite an open discussion about the reason(s) for it all.

So; What’s the point, if any?

My deep respect for scientologists

I would like to extend my deep respect for scientologists, past and present – whether they are in the church or outside or no longer consider themselves scientologists.

Because the vast majority of them have harbored at least one of two basic drives; To help others or to attain something greater than themselves.

I believe both purposes deserve credit.

These purposes are often held so strong by a scientologist that he or she is willing to tolerate serious infringement to own personal integrity. Some even sign a contract for one Billion years of service to dedicate themselves to helping others. Such acts have serious implications to one’s own mental health – but the purpose therein is nevertheless highly commendable.

Repeated breaching of one’s own integrity will make the person lose himself and eventually void his ability to help others.

My deep respect for the intention to help and to forward spirituality is coupled with my wish for scientologists to keep their integrity – in order to fulfill their purposes.

Held a Talk. Found an App.

Two weeks ago I held a talk on Scientology in the southernmost city in Norway, Kristiansand. JessicaX, an original Anonymous Norway, took pictures and videos. Then I was told about Magisto – a creative video app. Downloaded… and a few days later… voilá:

Click the image to watch the video

Click the image to watch the video

The talk was in Norwegian, so I’ll leave you with this fancy trailer.

And when I thought I couldn’t get closer to Nerdvana

… doors started to open.

I have written about my technical setup before. But now, ladies and gentlemen, it is getting HOT. Like hard core porn hot.

The setup goes like this: Linux (Ubuntu 14.04) as the operating system (easy package management – it does the job well). No kludgey memory-hogging desktop environment, just a damn good Window Manager straight – the i3. Lean, mean, keyboard driven and very efficient. Check out my config here.

The i3 window manager in action

The i3 window manager in action

Adding a conky bar with essential info at the top of the screen. And the perfect e-mail setup for good measure.

The e-mail client, mutt

The e-mail client, mutt

I am a vi-guy to the core, and I prefer to use console tools as much as I can (urxvt is the terminal with zsh as the shell). With key bindings for everything and with minimal use of the mouse, I get the speed and efficiency I want.

I use VIM for almost all my text editing – from writing books and articles (with the added benefit of LaTeX) to writing hyperlists, all my e-mails… and this very blog post. I swear by mutt as the e-mail client. It spawns vim as the editor. Essential vim plugins are netdict, visincr and gundo.

Newsbeuter - the rss reader

Newsbeuter – the rss reader

I use newsbeuter for newsfeeds, irssi as the Internet Relay Chat client and mcabber for my facebook chat :-) Zathura is the pdf reader of choice.

Using irssi to chat

Using irssi to chat

Just the other day, as I was struggling with a bug in the latest release of the trust old vifm console file manager, I came across an alternative – ranger. An ultra-neat file manager capable of all sorts of acrobatics – like displaying images right in the console (via w3m)! Wanna dig in? My config file should get you grooved in.

The amazing ranger - file manager on steroids

The amazing ranger – file manager on steroids

Then it’s the browser. I have been very happy with uzbl – until the latest git updates. Stability issues started creeping in and I was forced to look for alternatives. I have tried plenty – and I gave luakit another go. The config files are written directly in the programming language of lua. A bit of steep curve for simple configuration tasks but as you get used to lua, it offers amazing extensibility to the browser. As I started to fell in love with luakit, another vi-like browser popped up on the radar – dwb. How could I have missed this gem in all my trails and tribulations trying to find the perfect keyboard driven browser? OMG what a browser! Don’t leave home without it. With such an easy configuration, you’ll be up and running and turning into a fan in no time.

Dwb - über-cool browser

Dwb – über-cool browser

I have spent 14 years choosing my tools, fine tuning their operations and polishing every detail. I owe much work efficiency to this passion.

When I thought I couldn’t get closer to Nerdvana, I stumbled right into its core. Sadly, I now have few ideas left of how to improve my tools set :-/

dwb

What will the future bring for Scientology?

The latest blog post by Marty, “Standard Scientology“, was quite a bombshell judging by the fallout – 700 comments in three days. I usually only skim through Scientology related blogs. This one I both read and left a few comments. And in doing so, I came across a comment by the nick, “NolongercareaboutScn” that I found succinct and quite true:

Scientology cannot deliver on the major promises of the states of Clear and OT. Instead it DELIVERS some temporal life improvements (which are not without value) while continuing to SELL advanced states of being that it cannot and never has delivered.

If the written promises of the tech were more aligned with the results, or if the results of the application of the tech were more aligned with the written promises, then the entire subject would be more worthy of serious consideration.

As it stands today, Scientology as a subject is a hoax. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are charged for promised results that are not and never have been delivered, specifically the states of being described as Clear and OT.

In the business world, that is called fraud. Elsewhere it is sometimes called religion. What it looks like from here is a fraudulent business pretending to be a religion, regardless of the branding of those doing the delivery.

When I say “quite true”, it is because many of the gains I have gotten in Scientology have lasted for decades and may last until I die or longer. While there are temporal gains for sure, gains like recovering my creativity, improved communication skills and freedom from shame, blame and regret are so far permanent.

But the description that Scientology is a fraud is correct – because it has never delivered the states of Clear or OT while it continues to sell these states as real, attainable and delivered. In the business world, that is a felony.

I should add that I agree fully with Marty’s blog post. And it makes one ponder what the future will bring for Scientology.

fading-away

If you have been tracking the Sciosphere – with the Church’s accelerating demise as passangers are vacating the Titanic, formerly Scientology friendly blogs turning critical and the independent field is marked by infights, fractioning and shrinkage – the future does look bleak.

In a year from now I doubt there will be many blogs or forums left promoting Scientology, except for perhaps the die-hard Milestone Two. The Church will be shrinking ever faster while battling mounting court cases.

But does it matter? Does it matter if Scientology fades further until it isn’t even a social joke?