2009-10-13

Re: Vipassana Courses

I did my first 10-day Vipassana meditation course back in 5/2001, and have done a number of them since. Friends and family inevitably ask me about them each time they see me heading off to spend another ten days on the cushion, and over the years I've compiled a list of links I email people when they inquire. Rather than repeatedly sending that email, I can now send 'em a URL:
Here's some related reading, not Vipassana-specific but great for context:
  • What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula, one of the simplest, easiest to read distillations of what the whole thing is about
  • Old Path White Clouds by Thich Nhat Hanh, a chronological compilation of stories from the Tipitaka, told in narrative form and utterly delightful to read. I finished it in a single sitting during a 30-hour bus ride from Yangon to Mandalay, and could hardly put it down.
And lastly, some random photos from my Vipassana travels:

www.flickr.com
...and a few other folks' accounts of their first courses:

2009-10-06

Money quotes from Social History of the mp3

This is a damn fine piece, here are a few nuggets that leapt out at me:
"Music is a social process driven by passion, not market logic or copyright."
...
"The mp3 may have atomized music into millions of little pieces, but each piece, it seems, found a publicist. The average music fan now has the built-in capacity to double as promoter and distributor in an ever-expanding arena that's making and eliminating rules every minute."
...
"In the same way that technology is a social force created by humans, with the power to expand or restrict what we're able to do, so goes the law."
...
"What DRM taught us during its short life, is that for the law to work, people have to believe in it. This doesn't necessitate Pirate Bay-level countercultural deviance, but the simple idea that the rules laid down are based in common sense, not the frigid logic of corporate balance sheets."
[via Nick via Noah]