Sunday, December 11, 2005

One, Your’s or My…

Reality.… That’s the question I’ve been pondering today.

There have been recent advances in Quantum Physics that suggest, that what we perceive as reality, is, in fact just a collective perception that may bear no resemblance to what is in fact reality.

That the reality we see, the world, universe and so on is nothing more than the way our minds have processed the information our senses have relayed to it. That our brains, in giving us back our reality only use about 2,000 out of 20,000,000,000 bits of information. That leaves an awful lot of information unaccounted for. Actually not unaccounted for, as these same scientists say we’re storing it all, we’re just not using it all.

While all that is interesting, the most interesting thing to me is how our perceptions actually affect our lives, our bodies physiologically. One scientist has photographed water molecules after taping labels to the containers. Purportedly, the molecules changed shape due to the messages. I found that a bit of a stretch in that some of the other tests used what I’d consider subjective measures. Like classical vs. heavy metal music that were said to produce similar results.

I think it’s this (the water crystal experiment) type of pseudo science that can prevent us from seeing the possibilities that knowing our perceptions shape our realties presents.

Think for just a moment, about your life as it is, right now, today.

Then think for more than a moment on the types of thoughts that dominate your day.

Is your life, in line with those thoughts, or radically different than them? I’m guessing your life, like mine, is very much in line with the thoughts you have.

If your thoughts are in line with what you’re experiencing in life, are the thoughts a result of your life, or, is your life a result of your thoughts?

I say, it doesn’t matter.

If you agree, that having a bad day finds you thinking bad (or negative) thoughts, why then couldn’t it also be true that thinking good (or positive) thoughts couldn’t find you having a great day?

It’s a process, though, it doesn’t change over night. But it does change. You didn’t always have negative thoughts, or bad days. When we’re young, the world is an amazing place, full of wonder, new and exciting experiences. We were learning then, touching, smelling, tasting… almost everything that came close to us. We’d climb trees because we’d not yet taken a fall that stopped us yet. We were blissfully unaware of danger, and lived in a world without fear.

Over time though, we experience setbacks, injuries, broken hearts, fractured careers and on and on. We also experience many very good things, but, for some reason, for most of us, it’s those negative experiences that serve to shape our thinking.

I suppose it’s a good thing in many respects. Learning not to place our hands on a hot stove for example, is a good thing. Not living our dreams however, because we’re stuck on a less than stellar result 10 years, 5 weeks or 5 minutes ago, is not a good thing.

I’ve talked before about control, and how it’s an illusion at best. I’m here to tell you today, that for most of us, ‘positive thinking’ can be just as big an illusion as well. Often, we believe we’re thinking ‘positive’, when what’s really going on is that we’re thinking positively on the surface. Underneath, we’ve got all sorts of doubts, second thoughts and what I call “saboteurs” going on.

I’ve had a real ‘roller coaster’ of events over the past few weeks. There have been some real wonderful ‘ups’, and some very, very low, ‘downs’.

So I’ve been pondering… Pondering where some of this stuff is coming from, what’s brought this stuff my way. First, I have to take my Mom’s health out of the equation. That’s really happening to her, not me. My role is to show her love, and support, as she and Andy work through this.

Once I take that out, there have been an amazing series of events. Most I’ve told you about, some I can’t tell you about yet as they’re still in the discussion stages. One I will mention happened Friday night.

I got a call Friday night from a guy in Singapore. He’s gotten my name from a fellow I’d gotten an inquiry from on one of my websites (on Friday morning!). It turns out he’s looking for a few ‘mentors’. Seventeen people nationwide to be exact, each with the background and skills to teach young promising developers how to develop systems in Visual FoxPro.

The group he’s interested in me mentoring will be centered at Duke University, which is about 30 minutes from here, and in between my home and the project I’m working on.

That call was significant to me on two fronts. First, it was extremely flattering to be recommended for consideration. More importantly though, it’s what this guy is trying to do that really impressed me. He’s looking to build his own recruiting candidates, versed in Visual FoxPro, mentored (in his words) by some of the best in the country to fill his company’s need for qualified developers.

Visual FoxPro (or more specifically FoxPro) was once the predominant database development environment for PC’s. It’s been sliding from the perch since Microsoft bought the company in the early 90’s. The developer community, for the most part, will tell you its all Microsoft’s fault. I’ve been saying for years, to anyone who would listen, that it’s up to us, the developers, to be the evangelists the product needs.

So here, on the phone, Friday night, from halfway around the world is a guy who’s trying to do just that. Sure, he’s got a personal, profit based, motive, but so does anyone who considers themselves a FoxPro developer.

So, the question I’m pondering is, “what are the odds this guy would find me?” I’m a relatively obscure developer; he’d never read this blog or been to my websites before talking to the fellow who referred me. Sure, there was a time when I was ‘fab’, but as I’ve chronicled here before, that was over a decade ago.

Was it my unfailing belief that Visual FoxPro (or VFP as many call it) remains the single most flexible development environment? My perception that nothing I’ve seen or worked with is better? The reality I envision where VFP makes a stellar comeback in spite of Microsoft’s reluctance to give it the same kind of push it gives .Net?

I don’t really have an answer to all of that. I choose to believe though, that it’s this kind of thinking that brings many things to my plate that I would otherwise normally never see. So, once again I’m going to warn you, be careful what you wish for, you might just get it!

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Greg said...

Sorry to hear 'bout your Mom...hope all goes well!

And good luck with the mentoring,,,that would be right up your alley.

And why do you keep holding on to this weird notion of your "obscurity". This is part of your own reality not the rest of the world. Like you could scrunch up real small and no one would notice except of course those who should notice and should of all along.

Good luck in NY.

Bill said...

Greg - Thanks bro...

As for hanging on... well... maybe I 'like' that notion. Sort of a David/Goliath kind of thing?

You know me, I love being underestimated and proving folks wrong!

Chloe said...

Congrats on being found, that's awesome! Maybe karma had something to do with it...

Jada's Gigi said...

Congrats on "being found" :) I'm getting the feeling you're better than you let on in that business world you're in. LOL Duke is down the street from my old neighborhood...
and personally I think everything happens for a reason...good and bad. I believe in that higher power who is ultimatley pulling the strings....He's working on all of us I think.
I'll be thinking of you and your mom over the next few days. Keep us updated when you can.

Firehawk said...


It's a small world, isn't it. Someone as far away as geographical constraints will allow can still reach out and "touch" you in a couple of milliseconds. Scary, almost. Hard for our ape brains to adapt to, sometimes.

In regards to reality being universal or individual...I think that we're all presented with the same "bitstream", and our own internal circuitry parses it down to a level of detail and inquiry we can handle. If we noticed everything, we'd be overwhelmed. Our "front side bus" in the old cortex can't take that much data. The differences in perception center on the things we chose to identify consciously, and what we "throw away" (to where? is it in there somewhere, taking up the unused 90 percent of our brains? are dreams just us "defragging" all this secondary data?). I've heard it said that autistic people often exhibit the problems they do because their brains don't sort through important and unimportant information.

I think it is true that our limited perspective could lead to huge holes in our philosophy, science, and so forth. It's what we are, though, so we have to either like it or lump it.

Well, let's put the question aside for the moment. I hope your mom pulls through her procedure well. Keep us in the loop.

I hope you can do your part to propagate VFP. You'll be famous! We can say we knew you "when".

Bill said...

Chloe - Thanks... karma probably had everything to do with it.

Gigi - I'm always surprised when I'm 'found' in that I really am pretty happy just doing what I do.

Firehawk - If that's all true, then wouldn't it also be true that if we change our focus... we then also change our perceived reality? This is the kinda stuff that keeps me awake nights!!

Mom's doing well... full report shortly!

Spirit Of Owl said...

Curioser and curioser. It's a real live case of the universe consipiring to help you! :)