Saturday, December 18, 2010

Things I Find Disturbing

Earthenware, Hong Kong, 2010

People who try too hard to impress
People who try too hard to entertain
People who try too hard to be liked
People who try too hard to get laughs
People who play to the crowd
Affected words
Using the paramitas as punctuation
Using names of foreign gestures as punctuation
Bragging about your practice
Showing off your tattoos
Using your Dharma name as a handle unless you're a monk or a teacher
Constantly praising your teacher
Bringing up chopping wood
Bringing up carrying water
Bringing up washing your bowl
Bringing up the laundry
When you want to meditate, just meditate
Not saying what you think
Too many disclaimers
Apologizing for your opinions
Belittling yourself
Conspiracy theories
Always banging on the same drum
Gratuitous appeals to freedom of speech
Gratuitous appeals to lineage
Too much tweeting

Things I Find Delightful

Truthful people
People who go straight to the point
People who go where their thread of thought takes them
Saying what you think
Saying how you feel even if you feel bad
Saying many things in few words
Many layers of meaning
Short sentences
Skillful use of profanity
Informed opinions
Considered opinions
Original thoughts
Showing things in a new light
Connecting things in new ways
Good questions
It's okay to change your mind

With thanks to Ryōkan, and some bloggers from the "Delightful" column: NellaLou, Algernon, Nathan, Gniz, Jerry Haber, the Dalai Grandma, Michael Austin, and, of course, Hedgewitch.


  1. Perhaps the first column could be expressed more concisely as "ego"? ;)

  2. I presume I was included for snark? I know it wasn't for short sentences...(And please tell me that's not a chocolate Buddha in the front of the picture...)

    Something else delightful: doing things for others without anyone else knowing about it.

  3. There seems to be a building frustration/disturbance in the force these days. Going to be interesting to see how that plays out.

  4. I was thinking it might be just me, but perhaps it isn't. Maybe there is something to this 2012 business after all... :mystery:

  5. 2012!?!?! I'm scared now.

    A thing that disturbs me-competition in the form of taking credit for someone else's work. Not only is it lazy and dishonest it's like using a person's own stuff to "beat" them in some kind of ego fueled race. It's amazing the number of people who can do this with a clear conscience. Anyone who has had an original idea has likely been frustrated by this.

    The thing is it generally comes back to bite people in the ass since they are likely to be asked to perform similar creative feats (like at their job) and without access to other's works and without having developed their creativity through some practice they draw a blank. It's interesting to watch that happen-OK it's strictly shadenfreude but I admit I enjoyed it when it happened to a certain co-worker once.

    [I just had to vent that since it's niggling at me again]

  6. I wonder if it really is happening more nowadays, or if it's just become more visible? On the Net, you have lots more eyeballs on stuff. Crib an idea for something that only gets circulated offline, and it's quite likely nobody'll notice. I don't know. I'm inclined to think that yeah, it is happening more, but it's hard to say for certain.

  7. There are a lot more available sources to crib information from as well now though. Off line if one is going to go to the effort of finding something to steal one is really has to make an effort and might as well just do the research and work themselves. 5 or 6 hours in a library or interviewing co-workers for information is a lot harder than 15 minutes on the Internet.

    And, in academia for example, in the past, any significant borrowing I think would have been easier to detect because everyone in the field had access to the same relatively limited amount of material and was familiar with it.

    At present I don't think there is anyone who can keep up with *all* the literature in their field never mind those fields that might be tangentially related.

    With increasing time constraints, more pressure to produce and easy opportunities the temptation to just snip bits here and there to pad things out is almost an imperative.

    And in some ways it's become more socially acceptable in that music for instance has such a high rate of sampling and using software to disguise data like photos that have been taken from elsewhere.

    Then there's those folks like the cooking website that stated something like "if it's on the internet it's public domain"

    (Here's the link Cooks Source infringement controversy )

    I think that's a common belief.

    And in fields like publishing editors and legal departments, due to fiscal restraints, don't have the resources to thoroughly go through everything they publish and try to find out if it is original or not.

    If it is this lax in these professional areas I wonder how much more so for the average person who's never even heard of intellectual property.

    It may sound odd but I'm a big fan of open source stuff. The collaborative nature of it is why it works. On the other hand if a few people are doing the actual work individually and others are taking the credit for it that's a different matter. In open source efforts participation is acknowledged and work is done with the shared aspect in mind. It's not deceptive or exploitative.

    OK I'm going on about this too long. Maybe I've got to do a blog post about it or something.

  8. It's an interesting topic. Here are some questions I've been mulling that are related to it:

    Where did the idea of intellectual property come from?
    How old is this idea?
    How did things work before we had it?
    How would things be different if we decided to drop it now?