Erenlai - 按標籤顯示項目: network
週三, 26 十月 2011 16:11

From Porn to Prime: Internet Life

I grew up with a small boxy TV. A Christmas present for my sisters, my brother and me. We even had our own den to watch it in, so my parents could watch their own TV, in their own space. 8 years later there was a new screen in our house. Not our first computer, but our first with a dial up modem and an Internet connection. For me the TV ceased to exist. At the time you needed just that to surf the Internet, time. Pages took so long to load that it was not efficient to spend time there. As quickly as it took for dial up to turn to cable and from cable to broadband, the Internet was my new medium for all things TV used to be. In my late teens, I should be honest and say, it replaced Playboy.

As I’ve grown with the Internet, and as it has grown to an uncountable number of pages and more than a staggering one billion gigabytes of information, I’ve never really taken time to consider what it is to me. It’s easily the most important piece of globe-shrinking technology since the airplane. It brings people, ideas, information (good and bad) together all in one place. And as I reflect on it, its major difference from the TV I grew up with is this: when we sit in front of the TV, it is programmed for us. All of it, the news, the sitcoms, cartoons and of course the advertisements, are all programmed so we don’t have to think about it. Our biggest decision is what to watch, and then let it flood into our minds without thinking too much more about it. Of course you can make a case that there is some good TV out there that makes you think, but if you are going to be honest you have to admit it is of the smallest fraction. With the Internet, every click of the mouse on any given link is your choice. The Internet offers you the power to program yourself, to find things that matter to you and dive deep into them, allowing you to decipher what is good information or bad, to offer your thoughts on these matters and find like-minded people.

Certainly the social media aspect of the Internet has been the boon of the last few years with the mainstream acceptance of all things Facebook, with over 800 million one-time users and 400 million daily users. The Internet is also responsible for the race in hardware and software innovation. One reason technology becomes outdated so quickly is the manufacturing of poor products to encourage the cycle of consumerism. Another is that the Internet doesn’t suffer from that cycle. It allows its users the arena to improve it at every moment. The internet in not being rapidly expanded or funded by the governments, corporations or the military industrial complex which rule our daily lives outside of it. It is just this fact that makes this piece of technology so important to the natural world around us. You can’t argue that humanity is destroying its habitat at a rate never seen before. And here the Internet is helping humanity as well; with more intelligent people getting positive ideas of change to a wider audience each time a user connects to the web.

As I said before, the Internet allows individuals to program their own content. I feel more and more of its users are, after gaining more confidence in how to navigate it, making better, smarter choices in the programming they are choosing. These better informed decisions, and we can see this already with all of the democracy driven movements around the world, are speeding up our return to sustainable living exponentially. Had this marvelous piece of technology not been available to the people of the world, corporations and governments would have free reign to brainwash a public addicted to the boob tube, and continue it’s agenda of raping our planet of every last resource at all costs.

So in conclusion, I can say not only is the Internet good for a well-informed intelligent population, but also it is possibly the best thing to happen to mother earth since the dawn of the industrial revolution.

(Drawing by Bendu)


週四, 25 一月 2007 12:35

The Sun, the Moon and eRenlai

The sun radiates light, heat and energy. The moon receives light from the sun and radiates it on. As a living person like everyone else I am both a sun and a moon. As sun the light (or darkness) of my personality is visible to all. I radiate energy and purpose (or indifference and withdrawal). I create and share ideas and insights that are helpful or misleading. What I say and do (or what I hide and refuse to do) affects every situation in which I am a part.

Except when we are alone and completely out of contact with everyone else, we humans are inescapably men and women connected with others. We should also be men and women for others. As sun everything I say and do in the presence of others makes an impression for good or for bad, for better or for worse. I am not responsible for how others respond to my light, but I do have the responsibility to maintain the quality of my light.

The quality of my light depends in part on where the light comes from. I am not an isolated sun. I am moon as well. Much of what I reflect is passed on from what I receive from others. If I do not monitor and evaluate what I receive before I pass it on, then it is garbage in and garbage out.

Much also depends upon the quality of my reflecting surface. Even if I manage to filter out errors or emend them, but neglect to maintain the polish of the surface of my moon so it is pitted with imperfections, then no matter the quality of what I receive I am distorting it. What I radiate is colored by my temperament, modified by my beliefs, the information I have, my prejudices and judgments and my emotional state. Whenever the information upon which I act is erroneous or my beliefs or prejudices are off the mark or my judgments are clouded by emotions, then the light of my sun is corrupted and the moons who accept my messages receive flawed signals.

To maintain the quality of what I receive, I need reliable input. To maintain the accuracy of what I radiate I also need proper reflection, evaluation, self-control and guidance. If I align myself with the wrong guru or have no one to point out my mistakes then I remain a polluted and polluting transmitter.

This is where eRenlai Magazine comes in. As a source of meaningful, accurate, reliable information it purifies my input. Through its reflections, discussions and interchanges of ideas it rectifies my output. eRenlai will not tell me how to live or make any decisions for me, but it can increase my perception and understanding of reality and give me insights and options for making better judgments and taking more effective action.

Nets, Networks and eRenlai

A net is a contraption used by hunters to trap animals or fish. It is made of strands of rope intertwined and bound together at each junction. Laid flat it looks like a giant crossword puzzle waiting for the blanks to be filled in with letters. Set up where unsuspecting animals will run into it and get entangled in its meshes or dropped over hapless prey from above, nets are formidable weapons. Nets also have another function. When used as protection they keep what they cover from falling out or breaking apart.

Like chains, nets are only as strong as their weakest strands. If strands break down they create openings through which things may escape. The size of the mesh is also important.
The empty spaces must be smaller than what they must hold in.

Nets work because they are networks. They function as units. So long as every juncture stays firm and every strand holds strong, the network maintains its integrity and achieves its purpose.

Networks are models for human communication. Every one of us belongs to many networks, family networks, friendship networks, community networks, occupational networks, political networks, fields of interest networks, self-development networks, entertainment networks. Each individual is like the juncture in a net. As long as lines of contact are intact the network functions. Networks break down when would-be participants sever contact or the information passed is not reliable or deficient. Networks are tools that keep people together by being the conduits for the exchange of ideas. The value of a network can be measured in many ways: by the accuracy and significance of the information it passes and by the number of persons it reaches.

If someone wants to keep abreast of what is happening in the world or upgrade the quality of ideas exchanged or wishes to make substantial contributions to others or receive deeper insights and guidance for more effective interaction, then it is essential to have access to a high quality, well informed and reliable network.

eRenlai is such a network. Reliable experts, accurate information and analysis, meaningful reflections and opportunities for personal input make it a valuable tool for communication. Through eRenlai you too can make on impact.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Milloy





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