Saturday, March 26, 2011

Of Machines and Men

Between all the talk of IBM's Jeopardy-winning supercomputer Watson and my speed viewing of the current run of Doctor Who, I've had robots on the brain.  The sudden prevalence of robotics, or just the awareness of them, prompted the obvious thought: what if I could have a robot do that instead?

Think about it, as a communications person, I'm sure you've day dreamt about never having to build another contact database or pleasantly smile through a series of media brush offs. It would be nice if for all the times we're expected to be inhuman machines, there could simply be a machine to take on that task.

And what of the demands of modern communication? Scheduled deliverables like blog posts, newsletters, event reminders? Surely a machine would be better at that too, right? They are remarkably punctual.

Machines do remember perfectly.  So let's just let them do that for us too.  In case we forget how to tell, the computers can remind us when to plant and harvest food.  They can tell us when to sleep and wake up, procreate and eat.  Why bother committing any sort of trivia to memory? Just Google it. The computer has the answer.

Robots don't get hurt feelings. Robots don't forget. Robots are the future!

Trouble is linear thought and very large databases can only carry you so far. Creation, innovation, inspiration: these are humanity's real gifts.  Sure, life is fragile, but so is a commercial power supply. You know what I'm saying?

Part of why the Cybermen are so amusing and frightening as an ongoing Doctor Who enemy is that viewers are forced to review their (our) relationship to the machines we rely on for daily life now. Another reason this consistent foe always gets me is the way they view emotions as a weakness, a human flaw.

Human Flaws
We humans are imperfectly outstanding.  Loving and compassionate. Brilliant in our flaws.  Sinister and clever.  And increasingly, we are reliant on technology.  In time, it could be a curse; or it could be our salvation. For this exact moment in time, however, one of our greatest flaws is this notion that we ought to be more like machines.  Feel everything. That's our greatest distinction.

At least that's what I'd like to believe.  What's the alternative?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Studying and the Future of Sandying

All's quiet on Sandying these days. You see, I've been off studying a lot, and plotting a super secret thing.

The super secret thing I've been working on is my future digital home. is most definitely a work in progress (just like the rest of me).  But if you have thoughts or resources on a blogger to wordpress migration, I'd be grateful!  Eventually, I'll be moving the blog over to the new site.

For my physical mind and body, I've been doing a lot of studying.  My 500 hour teacher training with Daniel Orlansky at the Arlington Center continues; the most recent module was yoga therapeutics with Doug Keller, and before that Daniel taught two modules on Meridian Yoga (you can read more about that system here).  In between Meridian and therapeutics, I've been rocking out with Ana Forrest and soaking in the encyclopedia of anatomy knowledge from Ms. Ellen Heed.

A Few Take-Aways 
To summarize all these trainings would take me a while, so I'm going to share the top-of-mind goodies. Some these are just amusing, some are terribly practical, some of these might just make you scratch your head.  You be the judge.

"Don't be a sacrificial whore." - Ana Forrest

"We're very conditioned by the masculine norm; different does not mean inferior." - Ellen Heed

Scars may heal on the surface skin, but the fascial layers may still be affected.  - via Ellen Heed (for more on this watch Gil Hedley on The Fuzz)

"If your body were meant to be sitting all day, we'd be made out of blocks." - Doug Keller

"Feet connect to core." - Doug Keller

"Your roll just might be your closest friend. Who else is going to get that close to your sh*t and stay?" - Ana Forrest (on taking cobra and bow over a rolled up mat)

Somehow Ellen Heed managed to engage a room of adults in conversations about anal massage, gut flora and fisting in a totally clinical and practical way--all of which I would have been incredibly resistant to hearing about or discussing in most any other context.  I'm told there's more to it all in her Women's Sacred Anatomy Training.  We'll have to see if I can keep a straight face though.

Do you find that training and learning only makes you hungry for more?  Right now I'm looking into more Ellen Heed trainings, an Acroyoga immersion in September and a yin yoga teacher training.  What are you studying these days?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

By Request, Another R&R Playlist Post

I've been recycling all of my favorite R&R playlists.  This playlist, which I played most recently on Sunday, was originally created for back in November.  I really appreciate the

You'll see that the majority is comprised of songs by artists ANAHATA and Anugama, but the song that I was asked about was the odd duck. deep sky meditation, by deep sky diver, is an extract that they make publicly available online.

Here's the full list: (song title, artist, album information when available)
Shumayela, ANAHATA
Silent Moment, ANAHATA
Healing Earth (Earth Frequency Meditation), Anugama, Healing (Relaxation Environment)
Flying to Earth, ANAHATA
deep sky meditation (extract), deep sky divers
Sweetness of the Earth, Anugama, Shamanic Dream II
MysticalTrance, Anugama, Shamanic Dream I 

Visit for links to download ANAHATA's songs. For Anugama, follow the link for the full album (above). For deep sky diver's music, visit that artist's download page here.

What I love about the songs on this particular list is the mix of nature sounds (water, birds, etc.) and soothing tones.  Enjoy.