1) A djinn appears and tells you that you must give up your rock-star life and technological prowess, but in exchange can grant you a small, local, successful business doing anything else you want. What do you pick?
I’ve got to work for a living? No caging out and cheating? I would open my holistic healing center. Healthy food, homemade beer, physical fitness, art, music, and self defense. Talk therapy available from the owner at any of these.
2) If you had the time and resource to produce one musical concert of your own that everyone you knew could come to see, what would you perform?
I would play all of Bach’s cello suites. I would love to have the time to work all of them up.
3) H. H. The Dalai Lama and a 2-year-old child you don’t know are dangling from a cliff. You’re certain you can only save one. What you do you do and why? (Sorry if that’s a little hardcore, but i had to balance the fate of humanity again raping and killing Sarah Palin, so i know you can handle it.)
Made me pause. There are merits to either, but I think that the odds are pretty good that even the 70+ year old Dalai Lama will help more people than a small child. Put it this way, change the question a little bit: I have to give my life to save one of theirs. I would save H.H.’s in an instant – but I would hesitate to throw myself under a bus for a random 2 year old.
4) You’re being sent on a mission to a remote place for 10 years. You will have adequate food, water, shelter, power, and a high-speed sat-link to the internet. Specify the computer system you want along with you.
Let’s get this out of the way first. You suck. No system that can play movies right now today is likely to function well for 10 years.
I want something that will be cast iron reliable and let me VNC into some system back in Boston. I’m gonna do as much as I can by remote. That probably means a nice linux server, underclocked, with three solid state disks in RAID 1, dual power supplies, all 16 RAM slots populated (so I can pop them out as they fail) and so on. I’m not chancing a laptop. I want a long display cable so I can leave the beast in a hermetically sealed vault and type from out in my lair.
Failing that, I want a DEC Alpha. Big blue pedestal. I know a few of those that have been running for 20+ years now.
5) In your feeling, what stands most prominently between you and Enlightenment?
Habituation. I feel like I’ve got the best luck / karma that money can buy. I’m healthy, bright, and have all sorts of opportunity. I know basically what I’m supposed to do. However I have these *habits*. I keep looking up and saying “yeah, that thing that I just did – I should do less of that.”
It’s just practice. Word is that it takes “numberless eons” to develop the stores of merit required from where I am now. I’ve got to let all the previous karma from previous numberless eons dissipate. That will take some time.
A wise man once said to me: Don’t worry about enlightenment. Enlightenment will come. Time is long. Worry about doing the best you can today. Today is nearly gone already.