When I write ‘riff’ it means that there are things that I want to communicate about, which I know going in are never going to be rational however I present them, but they are intuitive, at least in my terms, and hopefully in terms of my audience. And what gives me hope about this is that it has become abundantly clear that the great majority of those who read me anymore are Asian, and Asians are by nature intuitive processors. And it’s not just East Asians anymore, I’m being hit from all over SE and South Asia as well, and among the major perpetratiors are Mother India and the entire Indian cultural sphere of influence in SE Asia, including Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as the extended Chinese cultural spnere of influence including Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea, as well as Australia, and I seriously suspect Australia’s east Asian community in this. The Chinese mainland government itself also reads me, of course, albeit under slimy hegemonist protocols that screw up the blog host’s traffic-ware.
And what of that difficult, difficult group, the Americans, who used to be virtually my entire audience? Let’s face it, in general terms Americans are not up to Asians when it comes to intuitive processing. That means they are behind Asia in enacting the Avatar of God’s agenda for the planet. Meher Baba said “The Age of Reason is now over, this is now the Age of Intuition,” (by virtue of His Advent). The Americans are in the throes of learning to depend on intuitive processing. That is exactly what the current chaos in American government is about. Such chaos is inevitably the individual and collective result of people finally being forced to act on the presenting reality that reason is no longer a viable determinant of either perception or action.
So much for opening moves. One of my Guides, Meher Baba’s sister Manija, once gave me this guidance, “You can no longer write Truth. You must write little stories that people can take what they need from without feeling threatened that you’re convicting them.”
So bowing my head to Manija, who is utterly unable to be wrong, I’d like to share my stream of consciousness about the two things mentioned in the title, which the vast majority of Americans and many Asians as well, are familiar with.
My intial attitude about the Web was, “It not ready for me!” so I avoided it like the plague. What changed that was a paranoid psychotic resident of one of the Group Homes that I managed in one of my many employment adventures. I was able to see that what this guy actually needed was something the system refused to give him: simply to be left alone to pursue a whole repertoire of harmlessly dysfunctional behaviors to some state of internal fruition. So I gave him that, and he progressed from a psychosis to a personality disorder (meaning that the system was no longer able to simply drug him up and ignore him as an incurable case). One of the results of that was that I got fired, simply for getting positive results in a “hopeless case.” (It was “above my pay scale” don’t you know? It arrives that institutional flagellation by useless paper-pushing bufoons is excellent spiritual practice, although I didn’t know it at the time.) Another result was that this guy, knowing full well the price that I would pay for helping him, gave me one of his most treasured possessions, a thoroughly primitive little machine running Windows 3.x. I took that as being from God. There was no longer any way I could ignore the Web after that interaction.
Windows 3.x was a real piece of work. It was basically the DOS operating system rigged out to surf the Web. I loved it because it was transparent, and I ran it naked to the Web. I could do that because I could feel the onset of dirty code, and when that happened, I just pulled the plug on the modem, and then used the Winfile utility to go through the file system and find whatever malware had been installed. Then once more into the fray. No problem.
Life went on and I got bigger and bigger machines, while Bill Gates’ hegemonist sanskaras bloomed into a real nasty piece of work called XP. XP code was anything but transparent, and it locked me out of my own file system by encrypting it. I said, “I don’t think so,” and within 48 hours of that outrage was up and running with SuSe Linux.
That was over 15 years ago, in which I ran the gamut of Linux distributions, finally winding up with Debian, the grandaddy of most Linux distributions that actually work, from which I learned the basics of the fundamental basis of all operating systems without exception, the legendary and terrifying *Command Line*. Debian might be the only operating system left which allows you to be root on your own machine, meaning I could STILL inspect my own file system, thank you very much.
I’ve been very happy with Debian, which happens to be funded by the German government, as it turns out, until I was forced to take another look at Windows in real time by the sudden death of the 7-generations-obsolete machine on which I had been running it. The crash was so total and so omnidirectional that I couldn’t even blame it on hackers. This was clearly from God.
So I got a new state of the art machine, which of course shipped with Windows installed. And to make a long story short, when I booted it, what I found myself looking at was a more accurate rendition of the galactic wisdom and sanity of the original Gnome desktop than anything that exists anymore in the entire open source world, Debian included. Here’s what it looks like:
There are four critical things present here (besides the utter absence of ‘plasma’) which are universal desktop standards for the same reason that the standard English keyboard layout is universal: they’re transparent and anybody can use them intuitively at first glance: namely and to wit (1) a taskbar (along the bottom here) which you pack with all the gear that you normally use, (2) a vertical row of icons on the left which is about work in progress (basically empty nere), (3) a menu which gives you access literally to anything on the machine (accessed by the Windows icon on the Task Bar), and (4) a background/wallpaper image that you can personalize to your heart’s content. Everything you need is there at your fingertips, and when your’re through with your current task everything involved in it gets dismissed to its appointed icon; it’s all still there but out of your face.
And what should be in your face? Please take the recommendation of the veteran of many brutal Web-wars that is this imperishable old hard bone robeless monk: if you belong to any form of the Blissful Lord of All, or want to so belong, His image should be there on your desktop. The Web is a nightmare of distraction and poisonous intention anymore, and His image helps us keep our priorities straight. A well-maintained operating system can guard our backs, but it can’t protect us from the delusions of our own minds; only the Lord Himself can do that, so why be thoughtless about the first thing we see when we power up?
To sum up, it’s clear to me that Windows has grown up, and has transcended Bill Gates’ original hegemonism in the process. One of the things in that Menu is a shell that gives you the Command Line with administrative priveleges, and it executes standard Linux commands. Winfile has gone the way of the dodo, but the Command Line allows me to inspect the entire file system with admin priveleges, along with whatever else it will do when I familiarize myself with native Windows commands. Windows will never call me root, but 10 still lets me do most of what root does, and there’s also an accumulation of wisdom here that beats Debian simply because the mainstream always winds up being better tested than an alternative, even when the alternative is German, and even when the perpetrator of the mainstream was originally a thoroughly offensive American hegemonist. With Windows 10, Microsoft has finally managed to grow up into something human, and it did it in part by shamelessly ripping the competitions’s best work, and why not? Why not rip it when it’s both qualitatively better and legally free?
When in recent months and years I exhausted the library’s collection of Chinese-language videos (mostly Korean-produced TV series), I started feeling like I didn’t know any real-time story material about my birth culture either, and in casting around to fix that, what I lit on was the NCIS American detective TV series. I didn’t know at the time that this has been the most popular TV series in America when it was running, and in retrospect, there were these reasons why I also thoroughly enjoyed it:
The main protagonist Gibbs is an example of a bona fide American intuitive processor. He talks about “My Gut,” as do many, but what makes it real intuition in his case is that he insists on acting on that often totally irrational cognitive input. His gut is not always right, but it is right more often than not, and his gut intuitions always push the investigation forward by opening up alternative views, possibilities and strategies. His own personal process is sometimes chaotic, while that of his crew oscillates between chaotic and dead in the water, when left to their own devices. Gibbs has gotten over the hump of the chaotic stage in the transition between rational and intuitive processing, and he’s effectively leading others to make that same critical transition, by both example and direction which can be shockingly forceful. His crew is people whom he has personally chosen for both native investigative genius and their ability to tolerate his leadership style. The whole series is a brilliant discussion of how to effectively resolve most of the conflicts that characterize the American mass mind at this point. This augurs well for America in real time, but hey, Meher Baba loved America, so what else could we forsee?
This series shows how members of the highly-differentiated American generational cohorts can come to at least tolerate and work with one another, if not necessarily to always understand each other. Gibbs himself is a member of my cohort, the “Boomers,” but he’s head and shoulders above his cohort’s general developmental level in that he is not only an intuitive processor (as most of the cohort is, often because like me, they’re out of an Asian karmic background), but he can and does lead others, of all cohorts present (Boomers, GenX and Millennials) through this critical transition between rational and intuitive cognitive processing.
His second in command, DiNozzo, is an alternately hysterical and infuriating example of a typical dominant-A GenX male. Gibbs doesn’t even try to damp DiNozzo’s perpetual extremism in any direction at all, to the contrary, he pushes him further in all of that, and then refuses to give him any direction, or even bare attention at all, except ritual verbal and even physical abuse, until those rare moments when DiNozzo has a real glimse of self-understanding, and those he ALWAYS reinforces. Brilliant psychology. Gibbs can use all that indirection on DiNozzo because he was already a highly talented and experienced detective before he even came to NCIS.
And then there are those charming, highly civilized, often brilliant and always latently dependant Millennials, with their uninspected inability to take real initiative, and therefore their real capacity to freeze up in a crisis. His characteristic line to them is “Why are you still here?” i.e., “Why did you have to report to me, and then just stand there with your face hanging out, before you even thought of taking action on what you found out (even if that just happened in the last few moments)?” Frozen Millennials get the full merciless Marine Gunny chew-out, after which DiNozzo attempts, with consummate and typically infuriating humor, to patch them back into some semblance of self-esteem, while Gibbs studiously ignores the entire miserable state into which he has just plunged the perfectly sincere Millennial. Do such Millennials therefore wimp out? They try, but peer pressure finally prevails to keep them on task. Equally brilliant psychology.
The reason why Gibbs is hardest on the Millennials is that he understands them SO well. That cohort has so much in common with us Boomers. All the same strengths and liabilities, but in a more primitive state of develoment. The same high ethical standards. The same fundamental sincerity. And above all, the same crippling dependance on hierarchical relationships in a society where your welfare is not finally or primarily determined by them. And where did that wiring come from? It often comes from exactly the Asian karmic heritage of much of our two cohorts (Boomers and Millennials). In real time, it’s easier for me personally to deal with that anymore because I live in Hawaii which is literally more than half Asian, which is most definitely reflected in the local ethical values and administrative infrastructure, and I am grateful that God led me to this State in the middle of the Big Blue, where I can fit in better.
Besides all the interactive swiftitude of this series, there’s the Web-savviness of every single member of the cast. Even Gibbs, who is structurally incapable of a technical POV, and for whom the most simple cell phone (like unto my own) is a major ongoing challenge, knows intuitively how to use the Web to advantage to obtain any given desired result. 80% or more of the forensic work is done online, or using online databases. The majority of the high-level interactions occur on a totally souped-up version of Skype. At least half of the criminality in question occurs online, or involves online tools and resources. And every single machine involved in every single stroke of all of this runs Microsoft Windows, with the exception of a very small proportion of (particularly vicious) criminal perpetrators.
QED. BTW, I have another Windows machine. It’s an old slow laptop that I got in India, and in using it, the intuition I often got was, “It’s old, it’s clunky, it’s SO slow that it drives me nuts, and why do I know in my heart that if Manija S. Irani had ever gone online, this is exactly the operating system that she would have insisted on?” For that reason, however tempted I have been to soup it up with Debian, I have left it like it is, “for backup” don’t you know?
After viewing most of the NCIS archives, I suddenly understand why Mani would have insisted on this: it’s simply because it’s the mainstream, and anyone can wonk it. She always wanted that kind of universality. Windows is also the mainstream in both India and China, and so be it. Even I can also live with it anymore.
You read it first on Mehernagar. Why shouldn’t even I get ripped by the entire planet, when what I write is both qualitatively better and legally free?
Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai,