Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Facebook FBML in HAML and RUBY

Thought i'd jot this down for others who may come across the same situation.
Here's how to get the Facebook FBML to render correctly in a Ruby on Rails application using HAML markup. Note this syntax is for Ruby 1.9.2 where the hash syntax uses {width: '178px'} in lieu of {:width => '178px'}. Both work, pick what works best for your situation.

Normal facebook FBML code:

<fb:login-button perms="<%= FB_PERMS %>" show-faces="true" width="178px"></fb:login-button>

Correct HAML / Ruby 1.9.2 code:

%fb:login-button(show-faces=true){perms: FB_PERMS, width:'178px'}

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2010 initiation of intentions

So the past 6 months have shown some great challenges and ordeals - getting laid off due to budget cuts, several moves, slow-moving freelance digital media buisness, and general life and spiritual challenges to round it out.

I've noticed most of the challenges I face day to day are my own lack of motivation to harness the ultimate potential I have available to me. I finally took care of the last of the lingering piles of mail and put-off-until-tomorrow papers (including taxes), and am once again shown the depth and truth behind the statement "The external circumstance is a reflection of the internal state." Spring cleaning, as it were, of the internal psychological state, resolving not to put off all this shit any longer.

In the name of efficiency, I'm honestly taking a look at where I am and where i'm investing my energy - and this past week has revealed some rather deep insights into how I'm viewing life. I realized that my meditation practice has been sapping due to the fact that I'm so worried about material plane junk that when i go to sit I'm just trying to escape the hectic day instead of launch into a psychonautical adventure across space and time. I also realized that I've been way to stressin' on the whole "get a job to buy a car and get a house and retire" paradigm - even tho I pronounce myself to be against that entire lifestyle. Instead of investing my energy into stressing about a long-dead paradigm, invest it into cultivating deeper spiritual experience of my Self and the community and friends I already have!

The things I'm seeking in life - spiritual practice, community, and friendship, are all assets of wealth that I already have. It's a total waste of energy to be stressing about anything else. Why strive for a false wealth when I'm very close to sustainably fulfilling the true wealth that I'm yearning for?

Defining wealth:
It's obvious that the old systems of currency and value exchange are dead and dying, of an age of empires and industrialization, and no longer relevant to a world with a terrible job market, failing economy, enormous technological potential, and a digital revolution bubbling out game-changing droplets every 2 months. The internet has more or less rendered copyrights and traditional means to horde ownership, and there-after wealth, obsolete. Open- and crowd-sourcing is the workforce of the future, and the new wealth is the interconnected and in-the-know community that participates in the new scene that we are all mutually co-manifesting.

Today one of my closest friends and fellow urban-ninja brothers Jay and I got together and shared what we've been working to manifest lately. Jay is super into alternate forms of currency where instead of working for debt we work to better ourselves and the communities we live in, community-based shared work-living-social environments, and generally raising our level of human experience from slavery to a system of debt and obligation to actively participating in a world of self created joy and exuberance to be alive and mutually experiencing this incredible universe we happen to find ourselves in.

Always refreshing and inspiring, and as I'm initiating a new outlet for my professional creative flow, the timing couldn't be more ideal. The spring time is when we move out of the introspection and internalization process of the winter, and begin to manifest our new growth and budding yearnings for the new year. My perscription: regular, daily meditations, artistic (music, digital, traditional) expressions, and more social interaction with the amazing friends and community we have!!

Aum be strength!

Monday, September 15, 2008

cultivation of individuality

Education, family history, social networks, material possessions, learned philosophies, learned habits and/or skills, all appropriated and adopted through the physical body with the physical senses. There is observed sense of "individualization" based on a person's ongoing establishment of personality(ies). The sense of the "individual" stems from the premise - and apparent observation - of a mechanical universe. Most commonly we find ourselves working to define our character, our place, and our role in the world, refining or modifying aspects of the personality and physique to suit our perceived image of our ideal self.

This mode of individualization is hollow at its core, devoid of life and resulting in a mere sum of influences adapted and adopted from the perspective of all other received influences. This topic comes up amongst artists - is there any truly original art? Music? The colors we use are based on colors we observe in nature. The shapes we draw are shapes based on forms we see in the world. Similar analogies apply to music. How can we truly claim originality, individuality, when all we are working with is an amalgam of influences?

The claim of "individuality" derived from such methods of influence can only be seen as a confluence of forces, no room for free will or a true individuality. This claim of individuality is a direct result of placing identity in our thoughts, feelings, and actions, which is only the surface of what it means to exist. Said model is a natural conclusion if we are to be taken as machines, analogous to a vehicle. We can add parts, change parts out, remove parts, change the paint to suit our fancy. Before the vehicle was built it existed as various pieces to be assembled based on blueprints drawn up by a team of engineers. And they borrowed and modified, perhaps even refined, the principles of prior engineers. The result is a machine that does exactly what it was built to do: function mechanically.

The fallacy of this model becomes apparent if we take moment to reflect, as we can see that we can stop thinking, and still be - we can stop feeling, and still be - and also stop "acting" and still be. There is a consciousness behind all of this that ties the experiences together, that remains an observer to all the changes of the body as it grows, all the changes of thoughts (and there are many!) from minute to minute, all of the emotions that rise and fall like the tides of the ocean. The model breaks down completely with respect to the mechanical vehicle - there is not an individualized consciousness through the process of construction through to operation of a vehicle, despite modifications or embellishments.

Truly individuality can only be developed in an abstract sense - abstract in relation to mechanicity. We can clearly see that two people can obtain a near identical education, train for sports in a nearly identical fashion, etc, and yet still have great variation in their vision of existence. Granted many factors are at play - genetic inheritance, familial and social inheritance, etc, a variation that plays out over the millions of years we have been reproducing ourselves. However the true cultivation of a personality cannot result from any amount of addition or modification to the personality, given the factor of consciousness.

A true cultivation of individuality can only result of a much deeper reflection - a break from mechanical adoption and adaptation. We must peer inside, behind our thoughts, feelings and action. Find the mechanical forces that bind us to repeat, like parrots, what we have mechanically absorbed through routine mental, physical, and emotional programming. No amount of academics can change a person's reaction to anger, lust, tragedy. Only when we can understand, in a deep and intuitive sense, the fundamental workings of the persons we find ourselves occupying, can we truly begin to individualize them.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Beloved Festival

Wow, what can I say other than this was the most amazing gathering I've ever experienced at one time! So many beautiful people, so many good friends, so many good musicians!

We arrived on Thursday around noon to help set up, after a ridiculously hot day moving about all over the place, we spent a nice evening around the campfire doing improv singing, drumming, and mantralizing. What an amazing way to start things off!

Friday, Bagavan Das, what can I say - absolutely knockout performance (though I'm not entirely convinced the sitar wasn't being played off a CD). Awesome kirtan, good vibes, great presentation - even tho he did look at his Rolex half-way thru, slyly and subtly tho it may have been done. Friday night had some absolutely amazing DJ's and music, tho I was far too exhausted and went to bed at midnight, then proceeded to oversleep until 10:30 am Sat. morning.

I experienced reiki for my first time from my buddy, hung out with friends, ate some delicious curry prepared by Matt and Kiki, and then listened to the most amazing music. Chebbi Saba's set, although amazing music, was to me a bit dissapointing. I'm sure he's an amazing DJ, world famous in fact, and I know for a fact that the drum player is amazing (i watched her play next to Bagavan Das), but the DJ'ing was not so hot, and the drummer couldn't keep up. I dont know if the drummer was what was throwing him off or what, but I heard at least 3 terrible mixes and one absolute trainwreck, not what I'd expect from a name that big. The songs themselves were absolutely amazing, but blech - they should have just muted the mic of the drum player.

Gaudi rocked my world. Best DJ i've heard in QUITE some time. True showmanship, great crowd reading, amazing track selection, absolutely amazing mixing! Phutureprimitive - amazing music, amazing vibe, great set. Everything I had hoped he would be.

I got to hang out with some amazing friends, make some new ones, and meet some way dope dancers and share some moves. hanging with Pop'n'Tod was totally cool - amazing dancer and totally chill guy!

Sunday was filled with all sorts of chilling. Tho i only got 2 hours of sleep, i still managed to do some dancing, tear down our campsite, and then drive home 6+ hours. I still don't think my body has really woken up yet.

My only real complaint about the entire festival was the joker who decided to get up on stage and ask people to "cheer when they wanted to go home on sunday" (so they could get a feel of when the shuttles should go). Excuse me? Cheer to go home? The day before the festival is over? Uh, no. That totally killed the vibe, sucked the energy away, and in fact it started raining off and on for the rest of the festival after that. You dont say those sorts of things right in the thick of the most intense energy in the middle of the best musicians on the main night. No. That was totally un called for. There are other ways of dealing with that issue.

This festival was pretty much the sum total of everything thats good about music, festivals, art, and community, all rolled into one event lasting 3 days and 2 nights. To all who attended, and to all those who helped make this possible, I love you, and you are all amazing people! Thank you so much!

...And I totally should have talked to that cute girl.... sigh oh well...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Why Microsoft fails: 32 bit OS'

Windows XP is an awesome OS. After all the patchwork and upgrades they've done to it over the last 7 years, its a very stable and efficient operating system.

And then Vista came along, and it's supposedly going to be this new great thing.... Except for it isn't, because its exactly the same as XP, with a few new features, and all the same limitations, read it's 32 bit. So now the OS takes 1.5 gigs of ram to run acceptably smoothly, but still has the 3.x gb memory limit, page file limitations, etc, of a 32 bit OS.

And now they're working on Windows 7, which (to my understanding at least) will not be backwards compatible with previous windows software..... and they're still going to release a 32 bit version!?

With the gaining feasability of massive terabyte-sized SSD's, RAM prices dropping like a brick, and 64 bit quad-core processors, modern technology is leaving Microsoft in the dust.

This is not to say that Microsoft doesn't have any 64 bit OS, I'm using windows XP x64 edition, and am absolutely loving it, however they seem to have this philosophy that they NEED 32 bit OS'. Why? Why are they distributing en-masse the newest and most powerful computers seen on home desktops... with already out-of date software? And don't say compatibility, as x64 editions can run 95% of all 32 bit software.... and yet they have an opportunity for a fresh start with Windows 7 and STILL not making the switch?

Either they know something the rest of us don't, or there must be something in the Water over there in Redmond.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Evolutionism versus Creationism - a diametrically opposed farce

Reposted from a blog discussion, please view the original video here.

It is frustrating to me to see the argument presented as diametrically opposed; you're either a materialistic atheist and we evolved from primordial soup through the ape to current, or that the world is 6k years old and made by a dude named Jesus.

Both are scientifically unsound, and ignore significant amount data and evidence. At best our current lineage model of evolution (as its pushed by the majority of scientists, it seems), is a 3% fit. Now, this is a better fit than any other model presented, and it does seem to be a logical option. However we are indeed making a leap of faith in trusting our entire scientific paradigm on a 3% fit.

An unsettling trend that seems to be popular now is that "creationism" is necessarily tied with the fantasy of the 5-6,000 year old Earth. There is absolutely no evidence of this (the 3% fit of the "oppositional" model seems like divine light in comparison to this belief), either in material science or in the Bible. This seems to be not even a leap of faith, just plain blind laziness.

Evolution itself is an absolute fact, it has been proven, and even demonstrated several times, as has devolution and atrophy. But the idea we've evolved via mutation/adaption from primordial soup and into apes and then humans is a rather large assumption to be pushing as "fact." In fact, most, if not all of what we deem mutation that we experience in the natural world is completely deleterious to the organism if not the entire species. Evolution is fact - but there are more models than just the 3% fit.

What science in general seems to forget is that it is the pursuit of "facts", spirituality is the search for "truth." I'd ask you to really think about that one for a bit; what is fact versus truth. It is a fact that you have a father - that is a necessary requisite to explain yourself. This is provable by empirical data. The spiritual steps in with the question: "did you love him?" And if you did, "Prove it." (A great metaphorical application of this intersection of truth/fact from the film/story "Contact")

I would very much like to see a paradigmatic shift in the direction of cooperation. Science can take care of the physically observable universe, and spirituality can take care of our personal relationship to it. Both can feed into each other, and keep the other in check.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Technovolution - Why such a hurry?

As a custom-build PC enthusiast, I've always been one to keep an eye on the developments of new hardware and software. As a younger lad, enthusiastic about PC games such as Tribes, Rune, Starcraft, and Diablo 2, I was always keen to have the latest, greatest, fastest, and biggest available. Upon realizing there was a bit more to life than having the highest kill count or a perfect victory record, my uses for computers have changed - but my enthusiasm remains.

Today, as a digital musician, digital media producer and web developer my goals are much more oriented towards stability and reliability than peak numbers and having the absolute newest rig out there. Because of this, I buy generation old computer parts - significantly cheaper, broader driver base, and everyone's already figured out the kinks to get it running "just right." As a result, I can build a system that is more stable than any purchasable branded PC available.

But its still not perfect. Inevitably, Photoshop will still crash on the occasional rendering of a 1.5 gigabyte file. Something may still throw an error when shutting down the system. And there will always be that niggling sense that the system isn't as fast as it could be, or perhaps even should be, given all the touted features that my hardware supposedly has.

So whats the deal? With such amazing technology that we have today - quad core processors, solid state PCI-x drives, wireless broadband, and touch-screen cell phone PDA's that will put your grandma's desktop to shame, why can't my iPod and Windows Media Player get along? Why does it take my system 40 seconds between turning it on and being in a usable state (as compared to a TV which is instantaneous)? And before listing off excuses - of course there are excuses, what I'm talking about is where we should be, not where we are currently.

Manufacturers are bent on releasing a new product every 3 months, with higher numbers, more features, and fancier packaging. This is the (apparently) successfully business model of planned obsolescence. The result? More potential hardware configurations than any software developer could be realistically expected to be able to support.

Rather than flooding the market with 6 lines of graphics cards, and 6 trim levels of each, every 6 months, manufacturers should be focusing all their development on realeasing fewer, more functional and stable products.

Video game consoles are the perfect example of this. There is only ONE system configuration, and it works very well within its set bounds. It will have its limitations, and even flaws, but if they're broadly known then they can be avoided or even used to the developer's benefit. The result? Watch the releases of games from product launch through to the end - the first games look on-par with the previous console release, and by the end its as if they're using twice the power as the console is capable of. And on hardware that is at time 1/10th the power of a decent desktop gaming rig.

The reason is optimization. I would even use the term "mastery," given the context of discussion: language (in this instance, coded language). With the computer world, new hardware, and new languages to use the new hardware, are thrown at us from all directions on a monthly basis. Before we have a chance to fully realize the capabilities of the current technology, it becomes incompatible with the new and must be thrown out or greatly modified. Its potential is never fully realized.

I don't mean to come across as saying that growth and expansion of a language or technology is bad, that to sterilize its organic nature into stagnation is the solution. My proposition is that we stop pumping it with steroids and growth hormones and try to let it evolve naturally. Chip manufacturers: release one chip a year, make sure everyone has drivers for it well in advance of public launch, make it solid, stable, optimized, and streamlined. Make products that will still hold their own 5 or 6 years down the road. Video card manufacturers - have only one model and one size, maybe with the option of how much memory or something. Again, release products that will still be useable when the newest games are released. And developers: optimize the code! Don't be lazy and count on the hardware manufacturers to come up with something by the time you launch that will barely be able to run your game. Level the playing field - go for stability. Video games will then be able to actually utilize the capabilities of the hardware. Keep in mind that programs take years to develop - they are developed based on the technology available at the time. So how is it that by the time they're launched the most powerful systems can barely manage them?? With the technology we have at our disposal, this should not be an issue.

What I'm saying is, don't abandon something before giving it time to grow into its own. Master the technology we have before making decisions on where to go next.

Technology - why such a hurry? Faster processors mean nothing if the software can't even use it.