Archive for March, 2012

Lifehacking as Testing the Limits

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Hackers often break systems just to see where they break. This might be for fun, or for devious ends, to help, or for some other reason like an activist cause.

For instance, a security person in an IT department might get hired specifically to try and break through their web security to get a password they shouldn’t be able to get. A different kind of hacker might break in to the same system just to see if he or she can. A third might hack the security to steal a bank account number to then transfer money out of. And a fourth hacker might take down a website in protest, as in the many protests the group Anonymous has engaged in.

Lifehacking is a buzzword that has attempted to rub off the cool mystique of hacking culture to the rest of life (online and off), but frequently refers to lame nonsense like backing up your computer hard drive, or boring lists of tips on facing your fears–neither of which involve breaking systems or testing the limits. (more…)

What I Observed about “Circling” from an Authentic Man Program Facilitator

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

“Circling” is the name of a technique performed by facilitators part of a group called Authentic World (also Authentic Man Program/AMP and Authentic Women’s Experience/AWE, and now Integral Center).

Recently Authentic World has become associated with a local community center in Boulder, Colorado called Integral Center (formerly Boulder Integral/Boulder Center for Integral Living). This community center is loosely associated with Ken Wilber’s Integral philosophy and Integral Life company. The new community center is emphasizing “a renewed focus on Integral Community and Relationship” which in practice means doing a lot of this circling technique in evening meetings and weekend workshops.

I observed this circling process just one time several years ago, as facilitated by a leader of the Authentic Man Program, so some of my recollections may be inaccurate. Since I’ve written previously about not singling out individuals on this blog anymore, and since my purpose in this article is to give my observations and interpretations of the technique itself for general analysis of it’s structure, I will leave names anonymous.

The reason I’m writing this is because many people I know and like are still involved with Integral, and I’ve not yet been able to express my observations and objections to this method in any context in which they would be heard. This is particularly ironic given the purpose of the circling technique is sometimes expressed as “seeing and being seen,” but in any case, writing is a method of expressing myself that I feel it is easier for me regardless of whether I’m “seen” or not.

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How Do You Know Whether Your Personal Development Efforts are Working?

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

I recently achieved a goal with regards to a dietary habit, but then suddenly realized I didn’t know why I was doing it and therefore had no clue whether it was working. Many of us do this–wasting time, money, and energy because we don’t have a clear outcome and ways to measure progress.

Per the Body Ecology diet, I’ve begun consuming coconut water kefir before meals and cultured vegetables after meals–both sources of probiotics. This was difficult for me to remember to do, and also the cultured veggies don’t taste all that great so that aspect was also difficult. Also both cost money, especially since I buy them at the store instead of making my own.

I have a history of digestive health issues and probiotics apparently help with that, but how much should I take and how frequently? What am I even going for here and how can I measure whether my efforts are working or not? (more…)