Caught.

Artist, Caught at work.

I guess sometimes we run out of paper.

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I was raised in a Jewish family, so I grew up most familiar with Judaism.  As I grew older, I started to see many “flaws” in my religion.  At one point I called myself an atheist, but that was just a ploy to be cool.  I was always very lucky in all of my endeavors, I would find things that I wished for, snow would fall when I happened to need to miss school, things seemed to always work for me.  I was not always aware of this, but at some point I started asking myself why was I so much more lucky than my friends.  After some thought over many years I came to the conclusion that I was doing something “right” ( I was always kind of the odd one in the class or group that I was in, I was always doing things a little differently) and perhaps there was someone rewarding me.  At that time I thought it was God, but later I started to come to the idea that perhaps there were some invisible laws governing everything and not a being that watches over the world to carefully reward and punish.

I am willing to accept that there is a perfect being in the world (or outside of it) called God.  I am willing to accept that God is all powerful, omniscient, omnipotent, etc. and the creator of all.  However, the God that is described in classic monotheism,  the three Abrahamic religions, is not this God.  The God that they describe is childish, growing, imperfect.  In the holy books he is portrayed making mistakes and even being taunted by the devil.  There are many instances in the texts when he is portrayed as such.

Classic monotheism ceased to make sense to me when I was 14 years old.  It was then that I had first heard the story of the book of Job.  I was in a theatre/Russian literature/art/creativity camp, and we were doing short skits of historical and mythological people.  I was to do a monologue as Job.  Job was a very pious man who believed in God, and followed all of his rules.  One day the devil taunts God by saying that Job is only pious because God provides him with everything good, and God agrees to test Job by killing his children and wife, making him sick and destroying his business.  Of course (though with some anger) Job continues to be a pious man and is returned to his former glory; well not quite, he gets a new wife and new kids, not his old ones back.  It had never occurred to me that God could be so cruel.  Upon further examination, the idea a supposedly perfect God could be manipulated by the devil is quite absurd.  If God is a perfect being, then God should not be affected by outside forces.  Though perhaps the God of the bible is real, God is then not perfect, but flawed and human-like.

Another very famous instance when God “makes a mistake” is in the story of Noah’s Arc.  After the whole incident takes and so much of the world is drowned beneath the great flood, God seems to almost apologize, promising to never do such a thing again “And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart [is] evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.”  (Gen 22)

Asian philosophies and religions have always appealed to me more than the classical western religions.  I always had an interest in Buddhism, and Tao.  From Buddhism, the idea that all is one, the idea that we are all connected had a lot of appeal.  The Taoist ideas of balance and “natural living” also seemed to make sense.  These combined with my Jewish upbringing brought to my current views on “the Sacred”.

Most certainly the the universe is governed according to certain laws, much greater than ourselves, that we may, or may not understand.  Some of these laws have been discovered by scientists and thinkers through the ages; however I believe that there are many that have not.  Sometimes things that we do have very clear effects, the kicking of a can makes it move forward, but at other times though our actions do impact the flow of the world, we do not see them.  Every action has consequences and all beings and actions are connected in one way or another.  Lets call it energy flow, that connection.  In my belief, perhaps there is a God, but it is not the God that intervenes with the flow of things, not a punisher or a rewarder, my God is simply the initial pusher, or rule maker.  God created the universe and let it be, or initiated it into action.  In many ways my understanding of what God is, is similar to Richard Swinburne’s idea of why God must exist.  Since God does not punish or reward, then the laws that govern the world in some sense do.  Actions have consequences both positive and negative.  Whether we see something as a reward is just relative to our mindset; one might see finding some money on the floor as a reward for something that they did earlier, another might view it as a coincidence.

Another  important aspect of my views is that there is no supernatural or “sacred”, rather everything is sacred.  That is not to say that there are no miracles, if we define miracles as things that we cannot explain that astound and bewilder us, just they are not “supernatural”, they are governed by laws that we don’t understand.  In the same way an airplane would seem supernatural to someone who does not know how it works, things like ghosts, if they exist, are not supernatural, they unexplainable to us.  The world of the sacred is the world that we live in.

Try to answer some of the following questions. First, describe briefly the kind of science or technology depicted in your show, movie, book, etc. Are these ‘texts’ scientifically accurate? (For example, a movie with time travel may not show real science, but it is inspiredby scientific possibility—that’s what science fiction normally does.) Is the science ‘dumbed down’ (do you think) to be more attractive or acceptable to the audience?

Lets talk about a show called Fringe.  I warn you there will be spoilers.  Fringe is a very interesting show by the director/writer J.J. Abrams.  It is the epitome of the science experiments gone wrong.  The mad scientist, Doctor Bishop, is literarilly a mad scientist.  He is fully equiped with unkept white hair, a lab coat and a certificate of graduation from an insane asylum.

In an attempt to save his son Peter from dying of some sickness, he breaks many of natures laws and crosses into an alternate universe.  I won’t give away the really big spoiler, but his actions lead to both universes begining to break apart at their foundations.  The episodes are often “experiment of the week” in formula however they are always interesting.  Though the science in the show is beyond what we can do right now, it does not seem impossible.  The explanations are not really dumbed down, however whenever Dr. Bishop goes into in depth explanations of what he is doing, one of the characters often cuts him off.

The science in the show does not get in the way of the humanism.  Though it is definetly a sci-fi show, it is the human aspect, the thin borders between right and wrong, good and evil.

The science that is portrayed in Fringe is very fantastical, yet the realism with which it is portrayed makes one worried that it might be actualized.  Though most of the things, flight, telepathy etc. are very exciting to think about, the negative consequences that are portrayed in the show make them scary as well.  Almost every episode something goes wrong.  The general moral one can take from the show is don’t fuck with the natural laws of the universe, or you will explode in one way or another.

I am urging the Go community of New York (and the surrounding areas) to join me at The Tsunami Relief Tournament on April 23rd 2011.

All proceeds from the event will be going towards relief efforts to help the victims of the recent quake/tsunami that devastated Japan.

Though all the details have not yet been worked out, I am announcing the tournament now.  Reserve the date.

So far what is known

Location:

Meetup Headquarters
632 Broadway 3rd Floor, Suite 301
New York, NY 10012

Date: April 23rd 2011

Time: round 1 at 10 am

Entry fee: $15+ students $20+ adults. (minimum price, up to you if you want to donate more.)

There will be 3 rounds, games will be AGA rated.

Prizes: We will have book prizes, however there will not be any cash prizes.  More info as I know more.

  • One month membership to breakfast’s Insei League
  • Private online teaching game with Goh Juyeon 8P (Teaches as Mandy on KGS)
  • More soon…

Sponsors: We currently have a few sponsors who agreed to donate food/prizes etc. to the event

  • Hummus Kitchen is donating hummus and pita bread as refreshments.
  • Alex Dinerschtien is donating a month of membership to his insei league as a prize.

If you would like to help, or if you have any questions/suggestions or if you want to register then please email me at Badukboris@gmail.com.

I am accepting pre-registrations NOW.  So please pre-register. Only 4 spots left!

Part of the reason that I restarted this blog was because of a class that I am taking called Lib 200.  Essentially the class is about anything that the teacher wants it to be, our teacher Prof. Dragan (not Dragon) constructed the class as a seminar about what Technology promises, and the actual result of said tech.  So far the class has been very interesting, we have discussed the rise of the suburbs, and the optimism that was had by people in the 1930’s about the future.

So…Hello my name is Boris.  I am go player/teacher, a student at laguardia community college, a photo-taker, a traveler and most recently a burgeoning ukulele sensation.  That last part is a bit of an exaggeration.  I should be finishing up at LaGuardia soon enough and my plan is to go to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine to get a masters degree in acupuncture and Oriental medicine.  At the moment I hold two jobs, one of them is being a waiter, the other is teaching Go. If you are interested to see what go is in general I will refer you to the, powerful, all knowing…wikipedia.

As for the question of whether I lean more towards the Humanities or towards science, I would have to say I am somewhere in the middle.  However, I have never really pursued any science as much as i did the humanities.  I think the main reason for this is that I would have to choose a field and study and memorize etc. while it is much easier to “dabble” in the humanities:  An art class here, some philosophy there.  As you can see I finally decided to study a science, acupuncture, though some may argue it is not a science, I would disagree.  Acupuncture has been tried and tested for hundreds (thousands?) of years and has been shown to work.

I look forward to this class, and please feel free to comment on any of my posts.  Also if you are interested, check out my other blog.  whycantwe.wordpress.com

-B

March 16. 2011 Nikon P7000

Sometime last June, around the time that my apartment was being initially staked out by my friends, I was introduced to Bunn the hat maker.  Around this time I quite fancied me some interesting hats, I still do but not as much, so I commisioned an order.  Since then I have always been stopping in to talk to Bunn.

Now Bunn, he is an interesting guy; he is at least as cool as the hats he creates.  Probably cooler considering that the hats can’t make themselves.

Thirty years ago Bunn and a friend were working in a clothing store, and decided that they should try something else.  “He suggested we make hats, and we started hustling” Bunn says.  I guess that 30 years later he is still crafting hats (so is his friend) means that it was a good choice.  Bunn’s business always seems to be in demand, he tells me that he never advertised; he got popular through word of mouth.  He told me that he couldn’t really imagine how he could fail considering that he used the best materials, his workmanship is impeccable, and he makes the hats affordable.  His hats are worn by all sorts of people, from celebrities like LLCoolJ to white guys living in Harlem like me.  I think Bunn is quite a lucky man to “be able to eat by doing what [he] loves doing.”

As sort of a message from Bunn, I want to urge everyone to figure out what they like to do, and do it.  Broaden your horizons, learn be curious there is more to the world than just the neighborhood you live in or even the city or even the country.  Go and seek, and don’t worry about petty things.  I guess lastly do what you do as well as you can.  Though it seems a bit preachy writing it like this, when Bunn says these kinds of things, he says them with such an earnestness that you can’t help but agree and see them.

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Address:

2283 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (at 134th St.)

Manhattan, NY 10030

Phone: 212-694-3590

When the New York Go Center closed, I had the feeling that for me, a lot of good things would happen.  As a board of directors, we were not efficient enough to use the inertia of the Go Center “exploding” and have not done much on a big scale.  Though I suppose the meetings that we have in members houses are a lot of fun.  I on the other hand got quite lucky.  In the fallout, I managed to secure 3 groups of students.  Two private groups/lessons and a program in Lycee Francais De New York (LFNY).

This mainly started because two kids that used to frequent the go center when I was manager happened to go to the same school.  I offered to start a club in their school, and surprisingly I was almost instantly approved.  The only condition is that I maintain a club of at least 10 children, which with the help of the original two I was able to do.  Currently I am working on setting up a club ranking system.  So far I am very pleased with the enthusiasm that the kids show for go.  Anyone with an iphone has downloaded Smartgo, and the other kids are begging me to do 2 hour sessions instead of 1.5 hours.  Anyway, as they say on some terrible parts of the net, pics or it didn’t happen!

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