Monday, February 28, 2005

Beautiful Poems by Rumi

I love this poem. I've been thinking about it all day:

Seek ye not water,
Seek ye thirst,
and waters from the very ground shall burst!
A similar verse:

Seek ye not water,
for water is everywhere,
seek thirst!
What it means to me: if you are looking for knowledge, first seek curiosity. If you are looking to excel in your work, find work that's fun. And if want to find knowledge of God, first find that thirst.

Interestingly, I'm fairly certain Baha'u'llah quotes the first verse.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Poster for "What might computers tell us about God?"

This is an interesting talk I gave last year at MIT, that I'll also be giving this tuesday at MIT. More details including the slides are available here (sorry the old link didn't work).

Ayyami-Ha Parties

This is the time of year when Baha'i's give gifts to one another. And with these gifts, come a flurry of parties and visits to relatives. So last night, I went to the first, in what will certainly be a string of many get-togethers.

Do'in it Persian Style, means visiting at least 3 relatives on a given day, possibly as many as five. You do this mostly on weekends, but you could potentially do this sort of thing on a smaller scale on weekdays. The way it works is that you "declare" a day where you will stay home and the world comes to you. Conversely, you have to find out, when other people are staying home, so you can plan a route that lets you visit as many as possible! Every person serves you tea in tiny tea cups (you may visit 5 people after all) and some dessert.

Thing is, you have 12 days to visit every relative in your city. Bah, that's trivial you might say, but persian families can get quite big!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Science & Religion Forum @ Harvard

We worked Dr. Hatcher hard. Less than one hour after giving an introduction to the Baha'i Faith at MIT, we shuttled him over to Harvard where he gave what I thought was a more polished version of the Science & Religion talk. Guess we helped debug his talk. Posted by Hello

Song by Ulrich Schnauss Downloadable for Free

For the last couple of days, I've been waking up to the sounds of Ulrich Schnauss. Fortunately, one of my favorite songs, "On My Own" by him is available FREE courtesy of Domino Records.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Thought of the Day

I find self-reflective statements like "I can't live with myself" fascinating. I think they are evidence for the existence of a soul.

I find it fascinating that there is within us the voice of an observer. This is the I in quotes like "I can't live with myself."

This observer examines our current state and express satisfaction or regret. It is distinct from our current state (the "myself").

The observer in my opinion, is the ear that hears our thoughts. In other words, the observer is distinct from the mind! One of my favorite poems by Rumi goes like this:
"But what is that ear inside me that hears my thoughts?
Who sees with my eyes?
What is the soul?
I can't stop asking"
This brings me to my latest thought, that I realized a few days ago:
"Seek to be that person that you yourself would like to be around with."
Do you frequently complain to yourself? When you look at something do you often see the ways it can be improved (i.e. the bad), rather than its positive qualities? Perhaps you believe that the internal critic helps you improve by highlighting areas for improvement. That may be true. But ask yourself, if your thoughts were personified, would you like to hang around such a person?

We tend to enjoy the company of postitive people -- who are upbeat, pleasant to be around with and happy. So why not apply this to our own selves?

Try this out for a while: tell the critic to pack it's bags. It's time for it to take a vacation for all the overtime it's been putting in. And in the meantime, let your thoughts exemplify the company of someone you'd enjoy spending time with.

3 Million Hits in 3 Days!

We managed to get our Science & Religion event featured on the MIT main homepage ( Needless to say this drove traffic to to our web site. David Gray and Adam Ludwin are figuring out how we could leverage this to get us featured on other high-profile sites.  

Fascinating Web Site

They asked a number of leading scientists, "what do you think is true even though you can't prove it?" Here's what they said (a fascinating read).
Ah life in the fast lane! Well actually, this is the kind of photo you take when you are stuck in traffic and have nothing better to do! [notice the spedometer is at zero :)] Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Nothing like a height adjustable desk :) Posted by Hello

Thought of the Day: On Excellence

"Excellece then is not a act but a habit."

"... Those who strive for excellence are those who have accustomed themselves to going beyond the bounds of what is normally considered within the realms of human endurance."

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Anna's Tacoria: a new restaurant opened up at MIT. More than 2000 people came to this restaurant on its opening day. Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The Sidney-Pacific Bike auction Posted by Hello

Baha'i Association Meeting

David and Ravi making the important decisions. Posted by Hello

Dori & David concentrating profusely at a Baha'i Club meeting Posted by Hello

50k Competition Team

My team for the 50k business plan competition. What are we working on ? Well, that's a SECRET. Posted by Hello

The deepening crew again Posted by Hello

I went to the Vader's tonight for a deepening -- a deepening is the Baha'i analogue to a "Bible Study" except we literally have more than 100 books from which we can study from. We decided to study and read random quotes from one of my favorite compilations called "Fire and Gold."  Posted by Hello

I stole Linda's bike shortly after she won the bike auction. After she let me hop on her bike "to take a look at it," I rode off with it into the halls. She wrote this note outside of my room! Posted by Hello

Met with Ulrich today before he leaves for Germany. He suggested this nice restaurant called 'The Elephant Walk" that serves Cambodian French cuisine. I got a Tuna steak at the recommendation of the waiter. YUM! Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Thought of the day: on Leadership

"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" - Thomas Keller

So if neither resources, nor confidence, or even chances of success were an issue, what would do? for yourself? for others? for those you love?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Site of the MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab where I work. Posted by Hello