Hello. It’s me again. Yeah it’s been a long, long while. I’ve been busy…

Busy trying to survive what life’s been throwing at me especially since Feb 2010, when this blog came to an abrupt halt. Busy trying to keep my head above water. Busy coming to terms with the choices I’ve made in my life and their consequences, at times having to dodge suicidal thoughts, and busy looking to define a new purpose in life.

I think that’s going to be a long ongoing process. I am by no means done with finding myself. CuriouslyInspired is still a lost soul, lost but searching hard.

I’ve been reading about core values recently, here is one link that I can share: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_85.htm for example. Life can be much easier when you acknowledge your values – and when you make plans and decisions that support these; then you are not trying to swim against the current all the time… it says, in a nutshell.  Whether this is the full story about happiness and fulfilment, I don’t really know, probably not. But I do have a feeling I have had a disconnect between my own internal values and my life’s decisions for many years, and when I think about it hard and honestly enough I know that I’ve not been truly happy and fulfilled in all aspects of my life for such a long time –  maybe as far back as since finishing my degree in 1995.

Not to say these are wasted years, no, far from it. But life has been a struggle in so many ways, and so often I have felt I have been fighting myself more than anything.

So I am going to try and resurrect this blog and use it as a space for my own thoughts.

I am not going to delete the old posts from here, but just accept the shift towards the more personal.

Finally, a closing thought for today. In the past I shared the fact that I have this blog with a couple of very dear friends of mine. Whilst we had some very interesting discussions on here in the past, I did in the end feel that I could not carry on blogging as I felt that I lost my anonymity and thus my freedom of expression. We spoke about sensitive things like religion and in real life I hate risking offending people or having misunderstandings on subjects like that, so gradually I withdrew from the debate myself. I hope any friends of mine who might still have this feed on RSS will understand this but I can only resurrect this blog anonymously and I will therefore assume that they are unaware that it’s back in action again and that they are not reading it anymore. And maybe it’s best that they just forgot about it and deleted it from their RSS feed and did not mention the whole sordid business to me in future. Please? I thought about changing my user name and the blog name to keep going in secret now I’ve decided to restart – but I dearly love my username and the title of this blog – so there! My deep apologies to anyone who knows me personally, but I hope – really hope – that you will understand and respect my request thus expressed x

Copyright 2012 CuriouslyInspired

It was very interesting to watch the most recent episode of  Horizon  where David Attenborough spoke about the grim projections for the world population and its potential impact on our planet.

How recently it was that the number of people topped 5 billion people in the late Eighties – now we are already almost 7 billion. The fact that the resources to sustain this quantity of people are finite means that there are only that many more people who can be accommodated before we run into serious trouble and start fighting for food. Arguably in some parts of the world this process has already started.

In fact, as some scientists think, we have already over-stretched the Earth’s renewable resources beyond the point where they can regenerate (severely depleted Atlantic fish stocks spring to mind straight away) and hence are already living beyond our means. In other words, there are already too many of us about.

There is a maximum limit of people that can be sustained, which can be calculated with reference to their average demand for consumables and the total “productive capacity” of planet Earth. The methodology of calculating these figures obviously is extremely important and I am sure there is no total consensus on the figures – and also hot debate around how these are derived. David Attenborough argues that the “lifestyle” of existing humans is all-important. If everyone wanted to live like US consumers, our planet can only sustain 1.5bn people. If we lived like Rwandans, then it is 18bn.

It’s a scary thought, and one that personally has been on my mind for a while. Whilst we all carry on living our reasonably easy lives in a consumerist society we don’t worry about the impact this is having on our world on a daily basis. So what is one to do? Surely we won’t all give up our cars, nice holidays, stop buying clothes, or quit our jobs so that we can tend our plots and grow our own vegetables.

This brings me to another thought which has already been debated on this blog. The biggest impact humans have on the environment – in terms of our carbon footprint or our demand for scarce resources – is by having more children. After all, by bringing another one kid into this world we create another human being which will end up consuming comparable amounts of “stuff” and creating comparable amounts of “waste” which will have an overall impact when taken en masse.

So whilst after watching Horizon I did indeed started feeling a renewed sense of guilt that I don’t ride a bike everywhere, or have recently indulged myself by buying a few new items of clothing, I guess should I console myself with the fact that since we don’t – and probably can’t – have children, we are sort of doing our bit for this planet, or at least not creating extra future consumers.

Hmmm.

Maybe the planet has found a way to self-regulate its population, and that is infertility of its creatures at the top of the food chain. Wise move, Mother Nature!

CuriouslyInspired

What a difference a year makes!

14 months ago, I had a secure corporate job (or so we tend to think working for large firms!), a nice paypacket, worked long hours (or so I thought back then), had no free time to do anything but work, and felt like my life was going nowhere fast. And I chose to leave – on my own accord. No-one pushed me, in fact everyone was pretty surprised.

Now – I work for our own company. I earn hardly anything, work 14 hour days and sometimes the whole weekend through which make last year’s long hours seem like a dream, I therefore have even less free time… hmmm…. oh yes, did I mention that I now feel that I’m having fun and feel really alive?

It’s a rollercoaster. It really is. One day you are in the pits of despair and don’t know how this month is going to turn out as there is not enough work. The next day you are inundated by client inquiries and can hardly cope. That’s what happens when you are a very small firm – it is a precarious and vulnerable state of affairs. You want to speed things up and work through this pain quicker – yet are scared of making the wrong move that will destroy the business. So anxiety changes into elation and back again. It’s pretty mad.

We are trialling a new business stream – developing our own software products. It’s very exciting and also very pressurised. There is a real sense of responsibility – a customer who tries the product and thinks it’s rubbish will not come back to you. It’s very different to working for my old firm where internal customers were captive ones – they had nowhere else to go, so sometimes they got substandard software but could not really do much about it (a crap project management and awful stakeholder engagement were to blame for this, of course – not that I am making an excuse for such unacceptable attitude).

We will see if our offerings are going to succeed in the next 4 months. If not, and if revenues do not take off by the end of the year, then I think we’ve not managed to achieve our goal. There is only that long you can go on for on nominal pay, working more than half your waking time. But if we crack it this year, then things will get easier. Wish us luck.

And whatever happens, I will always look back on 2009 as the year when we really had fun. Here’s to working for yourself and for your future!

CuriouslyInspired

As a half-involved, half-detached observer I have been watching the continuous rise of religious feeling in Russia over the past two decades.

I have reason to be half-involved – my own cousin has gone deeply religious. So much that she, after having earned a degree in chemistry and biology, has now done a batchelors degree in theology swiftly followed by a masters degree in the same (the atheist in me would much prefer to call these degrees the “so-called” degrees). And over the last years, I have been witnessing her deepening mistrust towards all things associated with, in her eyes, a lack of christian and godly morality. It’s put quite a strain on our relationship, and of course some areas of conversation have become a zone where both of us feel like we tread on eggshells. But this subject continues to fascinate me. Especially since her faith is a heady mix with a parallel belief in astrology, which surely is a “pagan” area – and in any case, not a science after all?

The search for god in Russia is hardly surprising – in its days, communism acted as a form of belief system, faithfully adopted by some and forced onto many other unwilling ones. The collapse of communism, the appallingly shameful and horrible information about the bloody wrongdoings of the past leaders that was finally disclosed in the wake of that collapse, and the extreme economic hardships of the nineties left a vast emptiness in the lives of many and caused them to look for alternatives to run to. Anything went in those days – all things occult flourished, astrology enjoyed (and continues to enjoy) a huge following, whole families crowded before TV screens watching some charlatans waving their hands about on prime time telly promising to “charge up”  water bottles dutifully held by viewers – waiting for all their illnesses being cured overnight.

Then, by the mid-nineties, and after decades of communist suppression, religious community leaders came out of the shadows and all churches started enjoying a revival. And it feels like it’s really taking hold of Russians by now. How much of it is a fashion thing and how much of it a true faith? It is probably a mixture – and this raises some interesting questions. Those people who only two decades ago professed to be atheists could not have been so, and certainly fear of being in trouble for being religious had a big part to play. But are they truly religious now? What makes them so sure of their faith? What makes a person look for god? How many of these people truly think and examine their position, and how many are ready to run for any sort of “shelter” as soon as things are tough?

I am also fascinated by some faith-related problems that my cousin seems to be not seeing at all. For instance, I asked her about the position of orthodox christians on catholics and protestants. Are the latter two supposed to be “deviant faiths” in the eyes of her church? Are they wrong in how they worship and will they go to hell for that? – Don’t laugh, as this is what catholics have surely been taught in the past about protestants, I have heard many references to that. Anyway, my cousin opined that the orthodox church has no agreed position on this. No agreed position!! And no view! How can a church not have a view on this major split between its key branches – apart from calling it “wrong”?

Certainly the current intention of educating younger people in the christian faith is to go out and seek like-minded faithful ones. These groups go on pilgrimages all over Russia, seeking out other people belonging to their sect and establishing contact (my cousin does not belong to mainstream russian orthodox church – they actually disapprove of one another and the followers are not welcome in each other’s places of worship). And perhaps that’s a good thing – it’s their own business how they spend their own free time provided this keeps them out of trouble? But of course they also want to convert young minds to their belief system. The view is that the current levels of morality have sunk so low – the lowest ever in the history of humankind – that there is nowhere left to go but to god. It’s interesting that most generations (since the Romans, I believe) also think that the next generation will bring about the end of the human race due to their total moral decline – so far we are still standing.

I want to finish this essay by briefly turning to the question of “why people might turn to god”. It is really difficult to comprehend why people believe – there are no facts to base one’s faith on, is one problem of many that atheists would point out. But this summer I came across a fanstastic science-fiction novel called “The Roadside Picnic” writted by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky in 1971. I was re-reading it again, and one passage struck me as so very relevant to the question that has been puzzling me for so long. Here it is:

“…Man, as opposed to animals, is a creature with an undefinable need for knowledge. But the whole problem with that is that the average man … very easily manages to overcome this need for knowledge. I don’t believe that need even exists. There is a need to understand, and you don’t need knowledge for that. The hypothesis of God, for instance, gives an incomparably absolute opportunity to understand everything and know absolutely nothing. Give man an extremely simplified system of the world and explain every phenomenon away on the basis of that system. An approach like that doesn’t require any knowledge. Just a few memorized formulas pins so-called intuition and so-called common sense.”

 

Copyright 2009 by CuriouslyInspired

 

I had this one sad little scammy-spammy message sent to my blog the other day. Clearly the example of Nigerian scammers is being followed by scammers all over the world – apparently in India in this instance.

One only wonders how people still get taken in by this cr*p?! Probably enough to make it worthwhile for the authors?

Dear sir,
Greets from Tamil Nadu,India and this is my humble request that as granted me newyork first city bank as per instruction I have to pay 2210USD then I have wire transfer the huge amount here sir,but we are inability at this moment and if you help me so as to pay to the bank on my behalf it is assure that while getting wire transfer here at that moment immediately to send to you without any delay the amount you have paid for me and never forget your help as this is for our live and my sons higher education sir,please kindly consider and help me sir as this is my golden offer and by god!s grace sir.Please help me sir one to help other in the world sir.I keep my words for ever sir,please believe cent percent sir.
Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
S.Thirumurugan.

Quite a pathetic little message, really.

We’ve decided to set up business blogs for each one of our key employees and link a feed from those to our website’s pages.

This seemed like a grand idea – I had a fair amount of experience of WordPress and was looking forward to writing a new blog. However we needed to create sub-domains (as in myname.mycompanywebsitename.com) for each one of us, and WordPress does not support this easily. So after a little bit of searching around we found Blogger that does seem to support sub-domains, and set up our new business blogs’ home there.

Arggghhhhh!

Honestly, 2 days into Blogger, I am so regretting we cannot use WordPress! For the life of me I cannot understand how even to find other people’s posts on Blogger. It seems you need to fill out your Google profile, specify your interests in a list or series of lists, and then click on those keywords entered to find people who write about the same stuff. This seems like a daft idea to me – what if I write something incredibly interesting today but that is outside my declared remit of interests as per my profile? No-one will ever get to read that!

I might be mistaken, but Blogger seems to not have the concept of a community approach imbedded in it. And that’s why I am not sure that us putting our business blogs there was a smart move for us – and maybe we will end up trying elsewhere later.

Anyone has had any experience of blogging on Blogger and do you think I am right in my understanding of how it works?

It’s pretty frightening to think that 2 months have whizzed past just like that. And to anyone who might have been aware of the existence of this blog, it will justifiably seem like CuriouslyInspired has vanished for ever.

Well, it is not quite the case. Only I have been so busy with our business stuff that I literally don’t know where the time goes, and blogging has unfortunately not been a priority.

I have recently been working on dragging our company into the 21st century communications-and marketing-wise. Hopefully that is all that we have been lacking, as since we are independent software vendors, we are in the 21st century already! So, a few weeks ago, we appeared on Twitter – and we are now setting up new blogs on Blogger. Those latter blogs will be far more personal in the future – I see no reason to hide behind a pseudonym anymore for myself. I will run my own blog focusing on project management. Still, CuriouslyInspired is not dead – I enjoyed the experience and the whole experiment, as this is how it started for me – it’s just that I never truly defined my own niche to make my own and to write about. Well, having had a break from writing, and having missed it, I would like to try again. 

So if any of my old readers are still out there, so am I….

Best,

CuriouslyInspired

It’s been quite a month work-wise but I am now back. The end product of this work for me is a new website for our business. Here it is.

Well, I should say the fun – and the occasional sheer frustration – I’ve had with organising the build of this site is nothing compared to the fun British politicians and the general public have been having in the past week with the expenses outrage… I am looking forward to reading my fellow bloggers’ commentary on this recent shocker.

Dear reader,

We have been very busy with our start-up business – exciting and scary times indeed given the ongoing recession!

For this reason, and also since I have recently become even more involved in our venture, I have not been able to do any regular posts to my blog as the business has been taking all my attention. I really hope to return with more posts in a few weeks’ time when our new website goes live and we can start marketing our products. Meantime it’s a race against time to deliver the site, so please accept my apologies for my silence, and I hope we can start discussing things again in future.

Best regards

CI

Watch this great video taken from the site of ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). It’s a very relevant and scary take on what we might be trending towards if we don’t stop the Big Brother-esque gathering of personal information NOW.

http://www.aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

 

 

Campaign to put a stop to this! Don’t let this happen in your country.

RESIST!

Pages

June 2017
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  
Bookmark and Share