Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 1: Quantum Mechanics and the Law of Attraction

E-book





Video Resources


Vital Resources

Basic Quantum Physics
Wave Structure of Matter
(Some links have been removed as they can be easily misunderstood)
I apologize for any confusion.


Music Playlist



Recommended Reading
(links are to Amazon.com)
Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe
Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos
Rhonda Byrne's The Secret

Recommended Documentaries
(links are to watch the documentaries)
The Elegant Universe
What the Bleep Do We Know
The Secret (click red button, x out of ad, then click green button)

Popular films about
The Law of Attraction and Quantum Physics:

(links are to watch the films)
The Matrix (click red button, x out of ad, click green button)
The Golden Compass (click red button, x out of ad, click green button)



Monday, December 27, 2010

Schedule for Next Week's Program



Each day we will explore a topic in relation to mental creation and projection.
As a reminder, the program begins on Sunday, the 2nd of January until Saturday, the 9th of January. Here is a list of the topics we will be discussing:

Day 1: Quantum Physics and the Law of Attraction
Day 2: Gratitude
Day 3: Confidence
Day 4: Creation
Day 5: Health
Day 6: Relationships
Day 7: Opening Doors

Each day I will be posting mini e-books that I have prepared on the topics, links to free resources including e-books, videos, and professional sites, music and meditation videos regarding each topic, and the link to that day's forum discussions.

We will meet on Seek2ruth's forum everyday for open discussions and questions you may have. I will also be holding discussions on Seek2ruth's live chat, which includes chat, voice, and video functionality directly from Seek2ruth page. I will be available on the chat at 10am and 6pm central time (GMT -5). Here is a world map of the time zones.

The chat room can be found on the wibiya navigation bar, which is located at the bottom of the screen. To join us in chat, click on "Join chat" then sign in with your Myspace, Twitter, or Facebook ID. If you do not wish to use your accounts, do not have one, or wish to remain anonymous, you can sign in by typing a user name of your choice and clicking "go". If you sign in with an account from the aforementioned accounts, you will be asked if you want to send the invite to your friends. You can choose to ignore it or send your friends a message inviting them to the chat session. When in the chat, click "Start Broadcasting" to show your image and utilize your microphone. Even if you are not broadcasting you will be able to hear and see others as they talk. If you do not have a mic, you can respond via chat.

If the chat times are inconvenient, we have forum discussions open all day for each topic. You can ask your question or make a suggestion there and it will be discussed by everyone. If you have a question you would like to ask me in private, I can be reached at seek2ruth@gmx.com. In order to post a topic or respond to someone's post, you must create a user name. Click the blinking word "register" underneath the giant Seek2ruth image to create a new identity. You can log in throughout the week on the left side of the screen. You can create a profile or leave yourself as anonymous. This user name can be used for discussions that will be held for future programs as well.

I have been working for a long time on this program. I hope this will be beneficial to you in your life goals and ambitions.

Namaste, Blessed be, and Greetings to you all,

Nicole

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Power of Mental Creation Program

video

I am beginning a new, free program called The Power of Mental Creation. This is my very first program and is thus a learning experience :). I am extremely excited and would like everyone to take part in this. The point behind this seven day program will be to bring out the inner-strength that will enable each of you to tackle the problems you are currently facing in your life. My focus will be to help you gain confidence in your ability to change your current situation and create a better reality for yourself. No information will be stored about you. This is not meant for statistical analysis. This program is to help you achieve the things you want in your life. Topics will include finding opportunities, love and relationships, wealth and career help, physical and mental health, and general happiness and inner peace. I will post on Seek2ruth a week prior to the start of the program the dates of each event. Conversations will be held in the Seek2ruth Forum. If you wish to have more information regarding this event, feel free to comment here and I will respond to you promptly.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

At Home Genetic Testing: Eugenics Warning



My dad had Fox News turned on the TV and I heard the words "at home genetic testing" and my ears went up and my tail began to wag... well, not literally. I immediately stopped what I was doing and turned the volume up. Walgreens is considering selling a genetic testing kit that is supposed to be as simple as a pregnancy test. The news anchors of course used NLP techniques such as saying things like "and yes, there are SOME concerns" then having the proponent of the device ease the audiences concerns by not addressing the concerns but by stating how safe it really is.
Well Fox News guys, I have some news for YOU. This device MAY in fact be safe, but that is NOT my concern. I know many people will jump at the opportunity of finding out what diseases they are more likely to get because of family traits. I want those of you who are considering using this product to at least know the potential dangers this will have on yourself, your family, and society at large.
Fox News said something quickly that made all the difference in the way I perceived this product. The news anchor stated that the device would be returned to Walgreens and sent to a lab to conduct the test. Well... if it is sent to a lab and all our doctors now have to be certified by the government... (I think you know where I'm going with this.)
In case you DON'T know what I'm referring to, let me tell you what my eye doctor told me a few months ago. Because of the recently passed health care bill all doctors must spend thousands of dollars registering as doctors with the government. They must reapply every few years and update their offices with computers for them to store your data. Everything you tell your doctor is stored on a government-accessible database, thus ending the confidentiality rule all doctors are supposed to abide by.
Now back to the test... When it is sent to a lab what do you think will happen to your data? If the researchers and doctors will be registered with the government, then they will be forced to upload your genetic information into their data banks. The genetic information does not sound as though it can affect you in a negative way though, right?
Well around the beginning of the 20th century many scientists in the medical and biological sciences began practicing what is known as eugenics. Here is the Wikipedia article on it. Slowly this false science began seeping into social sciences such as economics, anthropology, and even politics. Well known and respected economics leaders of the time were also eugenicists. Here is the link to many works done by an economics professor at Princeton regarding eugenics in economics and politics. Planned Parenthood was originally a eugenics program (link Here and Here). The Nazis actually got their plan for scientific experiments on Jews, homosexuals, Catholics, and gypsies from American eugenicists. Hitler praised the eugenics programs in America and sought to implement them in Germany. After WWII, eugenics went underground. Most organizations known for eugenics changed their names to mask their agendas. I fear that this information, once in the hands of the government, may one day be used for dictating what a person is allowed to do according to their genetic capabilities and who is allowed to live and mate.
It sounds ridiculous but history has a tendency to repeat itself. I have actually seen scholarships that were offered to students who would support sterilization programs abroad. I do fear that too much government control could easily lead to corruption of this information and the rebirth of American eugenics. If you doubt this, look at the articles I posted above and keep this quote in mind:
"Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." -Lord Acton

Friday, August 13, 2010

Super Fast, Fuel-Efficient Sports Cars


Who Knew Saving Money Could Be so Rewarding? For all you racers out there who love the speed of a mean machine, would it surprise you to know that there are truly fuel-efficient, really fast cars? I know, it sounds too good to be true. I took into account the speed from 0 to 60 MPH and the gas mileage when making this list. These cars are perfect if you are trying to convince your wife to purchase a sick ride. These cars are sure to catch people's eye, especially when in action. Who knew saving the environment could be so rewarding? Here are six bad boys you should really consider driving:

6. Smart Roadster

46.17 mpg combined
0-62 mph in 10.9 seconds

The speed does not seem impressive, but it certainly feels fast. I noticed when riding in a Smart Roadster in Ireland with my boyfriend, it accelerates fast in short distances. This car, in other words, is most exciting when driving in a city. You won't know until you try it. I highly recommend driving this car whenever you need a rental car :). Unfortunately, this car is not available in the United States.

5. Tesla Model S

Electric Motor
0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds
300 miles per charge
45 minute charge time

This car performs despite being electric and a saloon vehicle. I was very impressed with the miles per charge figure. The speed on this thing is also quite astounding. This car looks as good as it performs as well. If more vehicles were built like this, petrol vehicles would become a thing of the past. Make way for the electric wave!

4. Chevrolet Corvette

0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds!
20 hwy mpg

This car is significantly less efficient than the previously mentioned cars but trust me, this thing performs. I would love to ride around in this thing. It's look is fierce and it's speed is amazing. It is not engineered as well as my top three cars. This car proves that American engineering has come a long way.

3. Porsche 911 Carrera 4s

0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds
25 hwy mpg

Porsche is known for efficiency and speed. Porsche, unlike most other car companies, does not have to resort to just slapping on a giant engine. This car encompasses all that Porsche is about. This is a very well-made vehicle.

2. Porsche 911 Turbo

0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds with a manual gear box and 3.2 seconds with PDK!
40-60 in 1 second (2nd gear)!!
29 hwy mpg

There's a reason this car is my boyfriend's favorite. It is fast, efficient, and attractive. In Jeremy Clarkson's review of the Porsche 911, he said that when driving in some cities, the fumes coming out of its back are more toxic than the air going in the engine. This car performs similarly to the Chevy Corvette, but is much more efficient. This car is a beast!

1. Tesla Roadster

Electric vehicle
0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds
227 miles per charge
3.5 hours to charge

This car is the fastest fuel-efficient vehicle on the market! This is my favorite car. If I had the money, I would buy this in a jiffy. It is a beautiful piece of engineering!



Sources:
Tesla
Porsche UK
Porsche US
Chevrolet
Smart Roadster
Top Gear: Porsche 911 (video clip)

The Zeitgeist Trilogy

That is the link to possibly the most important movie trio ever made. Zeitgeist and Zeitgeist Addendum are two documentaries regarding ways to defeat the New World Order and the greed that breeds it. Although I disagree with some of what is said in these documentaries, on the whole they are great to share with your families. The Zeitgeist trio (the third one is in production) is less about doom and gloom and more about finding solutions to problems most people wouldn't dream of tackling. The films try to wake people into a state of awareness, concern, and hope for the future. They offer reasonable solutions and say that it is up to the people, not politicians or groups, to solve our problems. They promote true self-awareness, courage and motivation to succeed, and the realization that we are all one energy source and that it takes each of us to become aware of our true self and our true potential. This is a powerful and moving set of documentaries. Please watch at least the first documentary before criticizing these ideas. Open-mindedness through open-hearts are the paths to prosperity and overall well-being.

How To Attract A Healthier You



I know many people who are ill or unhealthy in one way or another. Know that it doesn't have to be like that. Every dis-ease within your body is as a result of stress or strain on the body. When put that way, it seems easy to fix it, right? Put less strain on your body by eating healthily.

Food
Avoid processed foods that can cause cancer, diabetes, headaches, neurological disorders, weight gain, and ulcers. Eat more vegetables and fruits and limit processed breads and meats to a minimum if it is difficult to locate fresh foods. I know, I know more fruits, veggies, and natural foods sounds disgusting, right? Well, think of it as an art project. You can mix foods, make your own sauces from fresh herbs, garlic, and tomatoes, search for recipes online, and experiment with foods. If you are on the go, make foods that can be heated at your place of work or food that doesn't require heating. If you make something that needs to be refrigerated, pack it with a tiny ice pack. This doesn't have to be your mundane sandwich your mom made for you for school. You can make pastas, fruit cocktails, whatever you want! If you enjoy restaurant foods from Chili's or Applebee's or the Olive Garden, look up their main ingredients and make your own version for you and your family. You'll save money and be more healthy.

Exercise
You should also exercise to increase energy, lose weight, get fit, and balance your bodily functions. If you dislike running, swim instead. If you don't like lifting weights, try yoga and pilates. If you dislike any type of exercise where you do the same thing everyday, mix it up. You can use this as an opportunity to have fun with your kids. Whether it's hiking, canoeing, basketball, football, soccer, skating, or tag, you are bonding with your family and ensuring their health and happiness.

Attraction
The most important step in any diet and exercise plan is to think healthily. I know this sounds so strange but it is true. Stress is also mental. If you stop stressing about losing weight or getting better and instead focus on the solutions, you will heal yourself more quickly and effortlessly. Granted, there is effort put into it but you won't feel sick. You will begin to notice that you are feeling hopeful and energetic before your body has even begun its healing process. Stressing about how ill you are will only make you feel more ill. Shifting your focus will also encourage motivation for exercising, eating well, and enjoying the things you didn't think you could still enjoy. It is never too late to start enjoying life again. I hope these health tips can get you on the road to recovery and a healthier you.

All That You Seek Is Within

I know many people who are unhappy with their situation: their jobs, their family, their relationship, their debt, their health, etc. Remember the last time you were unhappy with something? What was the first thing you did? Well, if you are like most people you probably told others about your difficulties. Seeking condolence, however, will not solve your problems. The truth is that the answer to all your problems lies within yourself. If you are having difficulties with others and their decisions, talk to them about it. In the end it is their decision, and you have to respect that. You can not control them and their lives. They have to be the solution for themselves just like you must be the solution for you. You can be there for them, just don't allow their problems to drag you down. You are in control of the way you feel... always. If you feel down it is an internal reaction to something external. In other words, you allow people and events to hurt you. In contrast, you are the source of your own happiness. You always have a choice of whether to feel happy about something, apathetic toward something, or upset about something. No one else has that power. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for, no matter how small, and you will notice how your mood changes and how many great things you have in your life. Although you do not have all that you want in your life, realizing and appreciating what you have now will open the doors to a better life. When you appreciate what you have, you get more of what is good in your life. For instance, if you are grateful for your child, parent, or partner... you will begin to smile more around them or act happy around them... as a result, he or she will respond with those positive actions that make you happy. When you are truly grateful for your life, you will radiate that joy and others will pick up on that and wonder what makes you so happy. The answer is always you. When you complain about what is bad, you are bringing more of that into your head and thus into your existence. You will never be happy if you seek your happiness from others and from outside circumstances. You will always have that void until you realize that you can not use crutches to get through life. Nor can you solve everyone's problems. You can not control everyone's lives. Let them have control of their own bliss while you find yours. Once you believe in yourself, begin solving your own problems, and allow others to live their own lives... you will finally be free from expectation, unnecessary worry, and you'll be free to live your own life in the way you want to experience it.

What is Prayer?

Prayer can take many forms: kneeling, face down on the floor, in lotus position, with a home alter, at a church, in the privacy of your own mind, and in your daily actions. All religions are variations of one another. Extremists in every religion struggle to understand that fact and will fight to keep their religion on top. Although some forms of prayer and worship are much different than others, all prayers are to worship, give thanks, and to ask for something. Sounds simple right? Well, let's compare...
Christians tend to pray in churches. Prayer is infrequent outside of church unless something is wanted, lol. When they do pray, it is typically vocally with their hands together and their heads bowed or silently within their minds and hearts. Church groupings can be large, small, formal and ritualistic, or like a rock concert. All Christians pray to the son of God, Jesus. Protestants tend to pray to angels for protection; Catholics tend to pray to saints or Jesus' mother Mary so that they may pray for them as well.
Muslims tend to pray often and on a daily basis. Devout Muslims pray 5 times a day, or more if needed. Muslims pray at home or in community Mosques. Muslims pray with their knees, heads, and hands on the floor, in a manner similar to bowing to a king. The position is similar to the yoga position called Downward Facing Dog. Although the stories of Jesus and his teachings can be found in the Qur'an, the Prophet Muhammad is the founder of Islam and is thus more significant to the Muslims. They pray directly to God, although they do ask for help from the Prophet Muhammad as well.
Jews are very similar to Muslims in that their messiah has not yet arrived on Earth. The Torah is the Jews' holy book. Jews are very diverse and have many ways in which they pray. Some orthodox Jews are very ritualistic, like Catholics. Other, less formal Jews use Numerology and Kabbalah to predict and understand their paths. The Jewish word for prayer is tefilah. Tefilahs are done in honor of God. The reasoning behind their prayers are exactly the same as the above mentioned faiths.
Buddhists are considered very different from the Judeo-Christian traditions in that Buddhists believe that God is everywhere and in everyone. The typical prayer position is called Lotus position. In Lotus position, one's body is grounded from the top of one's head, through the spine, and out through the floor. Prayer for a Buddhist is about achieving a higher self through enlightenment and self-improvement. Instead of asking some distant God for help, they seek it from within.
Hindus are very similar, although they tend to have more mythology and rituals behind their prayers. Hinduism is more polytheistic than Buddhism and is the foundation for Buddhism. Through meditation, self-reflection, and good deeds, Hindus hope to reach enlightenment and good karma so that they may be reborn as a better person or achieve ultimate enlightenment.
Satanism is a collective term. Some do not worship Satan while others are loyal followers. Satanists follow the teachings and rituals of Anton LaVey and Aleister Crowley. Satanic rituals are very complex and are generally not changed. Satanists are not pagans and use spellcrafting to conjure or invoke angels/guardians and demons. The enlightenment sought after in these rituals is power and knowledge.
Wiccan tradition of "an ye harm none, do as ye wilt" is derived from Crowley's "love is the whole of the law... do as ye wilt". Wiccans, like Hindus, believe in reincarnation and use meditation in their practices. Wiccans are polytheists, or pagans, and use the Earth as their place of worship and for tools for spellcrafting. Wiccan spellcrafting is typically in prayer for better things within their lives or the lives of those around them. Even Wiccan rituals are meant to call for something into their lives. Wiccan prayer is free-flowing and highly personal. Wiccan spellcrafting is simply prayer with the use of tools to better visualize the changes they want to see. Wiccans believe that through visualization, they can call what they want into existence.
All forms of prayer, regardless of the traditions behind them, have the power of intention. Intention is the key similarity in all these forms of prayer. Everyone is seeking something and by pleading to God/the Universe/insert name here with all his or her effort, they are hoping to attract what they want into their lives. There is a reason prayer persists in every religion for thousands of years... it works. Recent studies have shown that positive affirmations and prayer help in healing patients. The Cancer Society of America actually uses prayer and positive affirmations in their patients' cancer treatments. There are organizations dedicated to prayer that are praying for those affected by the oil spill that are made up of people from each of these religions and many others who have decided to coexist so that we can have a better, more blessed planet. I personally know Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Satanists, and Wiccans who are all trying to help others in their community through prayer lists/groups and community outreach. Good intention goes a long way. So put down the boxing gloves and see all of us as one. If you wish, hope/meditate on/affirm/pray for a better life for yourself, you will attract it to you. Understanding this fact can help you begin to hope for better things, and through that prayer, achieve better things for everyone.
Wishing you the best!

The Thought Provoking Art of Alex Grey


Alex Grey is a fantastic artist! His spiritual, scientific art is best known for its use in Tool's music videos and album covers. He is very active in the spiritual and artistic communities. I love analyzing his art.
Gaia:
There's a LOT going on this image. The tree of life symbolizes Gaia, Mother Earth, with a rooted man at her core. The earth in the center of the tree, projecting it's energy to the fabrics of space-time. Above that is an enlightened, protective figure like an angel or Gaia. One side is polluted, industrialized, and destructive. This pollution is cancelled by all the clean goodness the earth has to offer. Above all this is the greater universe.
Light Weaver:
Another complex image depicts the recharging of a person by another through Reiki healing. The energy is exiting the healer's hands and is entering the receiver's third eye. The forehead is being charged with light being crystallized in a geometrical form as it seeps into a tiny bead in his third eye. The energy then concentrates on certain pressure points. As the individual is being healed with this light energy, his body is filled with cleansing power, as is depicted by the bolts of electricity.

Painting:
I love this painting! The painter is seeking inspiration for his painting. He is raising his frequency in order to receive ideas from god or a higher being. Frida Kahlo and Van Gogh are among the painter's icons depicted as his maestros. The painter appears to be in a trans-like state where his heart is being poured onto the canvas. He and his art are protected by light energy from above, keeping those who wish him harm away.

The Seer:
Notice how ancient symbolism of the all-seeing eye and a sacred geometrical fractal image of the Star of David is used in this art piece to symbolize the opening of the third eye chakra. As he is meditating, he is radiating love light.
Dying:
This is the most beautiful depiction of death I have ever come across. A pair of eyes can be seen on each side of the corpse. The eyes follow his soul to the light. The all-seeing eye is of course God. The soul is depicted as a sandy substance floating upward through the air. The light emerges in a geometrical pattern between the cracks of the eyes .
Kissing:
This image shows a couple embracing. The light from their auras converge into oneness as they kiss. Their kiss is electric and powerful. Fires from their passion light the outer rims of their conjoined auras. This is a very sweet picture :).

Theologue:
Wow I love this so much. This picture depicts so much. I love the natural scenery in the meditation. The flames of passion surround the astral plane. The meditative man sits in lotus position with a protective bubble consuming his body. His chakras are charged and he is projecting his energy into the fabrics of space-time, which are depicted by the grid lines.

If you are interested in learning more about Alex Grey and his art, I encourage you to visit his website here.

Bill Hicks: It's Just A Ride



Bill Hicks was a comedian who used sarcasm to make a point about how people perceive reality and how society is manipulated by the media, religion, corporations, and the government. He wished to wake people up to the truth through entertainment. He was a successful stand-up comedian, musician, and tv show host. He even traveled with Tool. Sadly, he died before his British broadcast could take off. In the first episode, he discussed many controversial issues and spoke often about world peace and oneness. One did not have to witness this broadcast to understand how clever, intelligent, and witty Bill was; below is a video from one of his stand-ups in which he answers the age old question: What is life? The answer: It's just a ride! Although it sounds overly simplistic, listen to him before judging from my description. RIP Bill Hicks, I would have loved to have known you.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Six Steps to Ensure Your Online Privacy


You can use software, browsers, and the monitoring of your own activity to ensure your safety and privacy.

1. IP Address
One way you can ensure your online privacy is by hiding or changing your Internet Protocol, or IP address. Vidalia is a package of software that can help do just that. Within Vidalia is Tor, a piece of software that can allow you to hide your IP address. Tor also has an add-on for Firefox that you can turn off and on to change the IP address right from your browser. You can even use a new identity by changing your IP to one in your region or one from a country all the way across the globe. This makes you difficult to locate. Unfortunately, this can slow your browsing speed. As a result, I recommend using this only when visiting unsafe sites or sites that will store your data, like Google. Web researchers and advertisers store and use your data whenever you visit a website. Vidalia is also handy for giving misinformation to these companies. As a result, you might sometimes an advertisement for someone in Russia or Australia.

2. Cookies
In the options section of your browser, you can delete your cookies and online history. Cookies are temporary files that are downloaded into the temporary folder whenever you visit some websites. You can change your settings so that your browser accepts no cookies, however this is not recommended. Your internet activity will be very limited if you do not allow the download of cookies. Instead, I would recommend selecting the deletion of your cookies in an hour, day, week, or every time your browser closes.

3. History
Your online history is a databank of all your visited websites. You can delete this upon entry or exiting of your browser. On some browsers you can even choose to not save any history at all. This will not affect your bookmarked or favorite items. I would highly recommend this in case your computer is ever hacked. This is also handy if you have nosy family or friends. If you do have watchful eyes in your household, you might want to lock your screen whenever you are away from the computer by clicking on the Window's symbol and clicking L or by going to the Start menu.

4. File Deletion
You can hide your online activity and download activity by simply deleting permanent and temporary documents saved on your hardware. Your temporary folder can be found in various locations depending on both the operating system and browser of choice. When deleting folders and items from your computer, keep in mind that you and anyone else can still retrieve your data. The Recycling Bin is not enough to permanently delete your details. Even if you empty your Recycling Bin, your data can still be located. I use a program called File Shredder, which deletes all locations of the file in question. As a result, there is no trace of the document, file, or folder.

5. Online Activity
Securing your privacy and security online requires simple, common sense steps as well as the more technical ones. When visiting a strange site, do not give your social security number or bank account information. Make sure the business or website is a legitimate one by scanning the web for information about the site in question. When on social networking sites, keep in mind that your information will be scanned by the government, advertisers, and potential employers. If you do not want anyone to see it, do not post it. That simple rule can prevent many disasters to your reputation and safety. Also, never post information regarding your work, especially if you work for the government. Remember that when you add someone as your friend, they have more access to your information than the general public. This can be used against you. When blogging or beginning your own website, be careful what terminology you use. If it is a political or economic blog or site, realize that certain search terms will single you out in government scanning of internet data. Make sure that you do not post anything that can be used against you. Also, and unfortunately, you must now be careful of what you send via e-mail. Do not send anything that can cause you to lose your job or be suspected of illegal activity.

6. Search Engines
As mentioned earlier, Google has a tendency to save all your search terms and double clicks. If you do not want your activity to be monitored, there are alternative search engines. Firefox now has a new private browsing option. As this is fairly new, I am not sure how secure this option truly is. Firefox uses Google as its primary search engine. It even has Google as its customized homepage. I use a search engine called Scroogle. What I like about Scroogle is that it uses the same search results as Google. Scroogle does not save any of your data and it deletes your search terms within two hours. Scroogle even has entertaining pictures and articles underneath the search bar depicting Google's corrupt behavior. Another search engine worth considering is Startpage. Unlike Scroogle, Startpage includes image search. Although Startpage has less images and different search results than Google, it is the most secure search engine. It allows for Tor-like capabilities such as IP protection so that no one can track you when you click on a link from their search engine. This can be enacted without downloading any software. Another decent search engine to consider is Dogpile. Although it is not as secure as both Scroogle and Startpage, Dogpile displays results from Yahoo, Google, Ask, and Bing. There are many secure alternatives to Google out there if you look for them.

In conclusion, there are many ways to secure yourself and your online activity from hackers, researchers, and advertisers. Following these simple steps will protect you and your family in this new hi-tech era.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How to Gain Control of Your Life Using Basic NLP Techniques

Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, involves a sequence of body movements, terminology, and subtle suggestion to change the way a person reacts to a particular person, place, thing, or idea. Knowledge of NLP can be beneficial to landing that job, kicking that habit, or closing the deal on a big project. NLP is used by major media broadcasters, politicians, and businessmen. Historians can recognize NLP techniques that were used in old war propaganda and fear tactics. Psychologists use NLP to help break emotional and physical habits and addictions. Here I will reveal some basic techniques used in NLP. I hope this information is used wisely.

Most people can tell if a person is lying or is acting as though he or she is nervous. Simple signs to look for include tapping, fidgeting, biting their fingernails, biting the inside of their cheek, rocking their bodies, averted gaze, jumpy legs, heavy breathing, and sweating. Knowing how the body reacts in certain circumstances can be useful in situations in which you are deceiving. According to NLP Info, using body language to change a person’s perception of reality is called anchoring. One can pretend to be in distress, confident, or calm simply by checking their body language. This is, of course, much more difficult than it may sound. The Special Air Service, Britain's elite forces, train their recruits in hostage situations in which they must remain calm and not give away any information. As seen demonstrated in episode two of SAS Survival Secrets, simple tricks used against the recruits include offering food, a cigarette, or water; utilizing multiple interrogators for a good cop/bad cop, bad cop/bad cop, and good woman/bad man tactics; asking trick questions or questions that could help the interrogator more than the he or she will show; or various forms of torture. Despite all of these circumstances, SAS recruits are expected not just to endure these formidable circumstances, but also to keep quiet and not allow their body language to give themselves away.

Body language is so important that it has become a necessary skill to master in NLP. For instance, a sheriff discussing the influx of criminal activity in the neighborhood might want to stand up straight, use tense body language, use lots of hand gestures, and speak in a slightly more severe tone. A counselor or psychologist might have to sit in a comfortable position, use fluid hand and facial motions, smile, and speak softly in order to get his or her point across. A salesperson might stand tall in a relaxed position, gaze into the consumer’s eyes, use stiff hand gestures, lean forward, and talk in a way that would be empathetic to the customer in order to be persuasive.

This all sounds like common knowledge and yet most people do not use this knowledge in ways that can benefit them. If you are not a sales person or a psychologist, how can you use this information? NLP can be used to motivate yourself, break bad habits or addictions, and convince yourself of your ability to create your reality. The following are some simple tricks NLP counselors use on their customers.

One common way NLP counselors can change a person’s behavior is through word association. Here is an example of a technique similar to the one used in the Youtube video Like me, Hate Them Persuasion, Hypnosis, NLP, Sales by Tom Vizzini: The counselor asks what makes the customer happy; then he or she directs the customer to describe how those activities or circumstances make him or her feel. The counselor will then recite those words frequently in conversation when the customer is describing how he or she feels during a negative situation. For instance, the counselor might say something like, “Describe how that instance made you feel.” The customer responds, “I felt happy and at peace with myself and my surroundings”. As the customer is describing their recent negative experiences, the counselor might cut in at times saying something along the lines of, “…and I take it that that did not make you feel happy or at ease in your surroundings”. The counselor may want to bring up times when the customer did feel that way or may use body motions to bring their attention back to something pleasant or to alert them to what they are feeling so that they are not on auto-pilot. Simple body movements can reassert a person’s perception.

Body motions are used often in these sessions. For instance Tom Vizzini often demonstrates in his Youtube tutorials how to reassert a person’s perception using simple body movements. When a customer describes what he or she doesn’t want, the counselor can use body motions to bring his or her attention back to something positive. Just like in the above mentioned video, to do this, the NLP counselor will ask the patient to recall negative things and step in one direction, make an obvious gesture, or use the left or right arm. Then the counselor must ask the customer to recall something pleasant, in which case the counselor will step in the opposite direction, make a different gesture, or use the opposite arm. When the counselor asks the patient to narrate their latest ordeal in detail, the counselor can bring his or her attention back on toward the things he or she wants instead of the negative things by a simple gesture because of association.

One counselor used this tactic in a job interview in which he slowly moved three pieces of chocolate back and forward on the table as the interviewer was commenting on the things he wanted in an employee. He was amazed that the guy interviewing him did not notice these motions and took it a bit further. When reciting the things the interviewer wanted, he held the candy up to his face, “So you’re saying you want this, this, and this?” Of course the interviewer responded enthusiastically, “Yes, yes, yes.” As the counselor was leaving the interview, he put the candies back into his pocket when the interviewer had stopped him to give him a job offer. The counselor was so inspired by what happened that Tom Vizzini captured a retelling of his experience and posted it on Youtube. It is called “Getting a Job Without Even Mentioning Your Qualifications”. Needless to say, I am curious about trying that one day.

The tiniest things can affect our behavior. When watching a news channel watch the tone, wording, facial motions, and hand motions of the news anchors when reading off the teleprompter or interviewing someone with opposing views. Their false concern over an issue isn’t demonstrated by what they are reading, but in how they present the information. You may notice them speak over their guests, use hand motions to distract their viewers, ask trick questions, ignore what guess say and continue to lie despite being disproven, discredit by calling the guests names, cut them off, or even cut their microphone. Even the way sentences are structured can change the real meaning behind a story and mislead the audience. A video called “Interpreting Media NLP Neuro-Linguistic Programming” was posted on Youtube to best demonstrate how the media uses NLP. Most of this unfortunately goes unnoticed by the average viewer. The point of having such guests on a televised interview is not to hear their viewpoint, but to disprove it as ridiculous. Viewers do not leave with an unbiased, intelligent assessment of the issues but a predetermined idea that had been implanted using neuro-linguistic programming techniques.

Advertisers and politicians do this too through words, body motions, and images. Images are powerful tools to shaping opinions. Marketing analysts specialize in studying what images, sounds, and words impact a person’s emotional needs. Terms like “love”, “awesome”, and “extreme” are frequently seen or demonstrated via the images and scenes in a commercial. Although subliminal messages can be illegal, there are many ways marketers and politicians can fool us. Short, repetitive catch-phrases have been used for decades in political campaigns, advertisements, and even in war time propaganda.

In conclusion, learning more about neuro-linguistic programming, propaganda, and hypnosis can help individuals realize the simple every day manipulation. Neuro-linguistic programming can also help people regain their ability to control their own lives. Such a powerful tool can be used for both good and bad. Manipulating others is never a good idea. When using NLP, please use it with good intentions.


Sources:
NLP Times, NLP Anchoring Explained, Youtube
NLP Salad, NLP Reframing Technique, Youtube
Tom Vizzini, Like Me, Hate Them Persuasion, Hypnosis, NLP, Sales, Youtube
Tom Vizzini, Get a Job Without Even Mentioning Your Qualifications, Youtube
Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Wikipedia
NLP Info, NLPInfo.com
SSpecialAAirSService, SAS Survival Secrets Episode 2, Youtube
911 Investigator, Interpreting Media NLP Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Youtube

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How OSS is Helping to Develop Nicaragua

Introduction
Open source software can affordably aid in the development of Nicaragua by providing a variety of services for educational institutions, the government, and local businesses.
Before explaining how Nicaragua can benefit from this technology, the following definitions must be presented in order to clarify the difference between Open Source Software and an Operating System. An operating system, or OS, is a computer’s master control program that sets the standards for every running application (Operating System). Examples of an operating system include, but are not limited to the following: Apple’s OSX Leopard, Microsoft’s Windows 7, Ubuntu 9.10, OpenSUSE, and Debian are all examples of operating systems. Open Source Software, or OSS, can be defined as software that is distributed with its source code so that others may modify the software for their own use (Open Source). Examples of open source software include, but are not limited to the following: Linux operating system, Apache Web server, and Open Office are all examples of open source software. An open source operating system is an operating system that comes with the source code. Such a system would include any distribution of Linux including Ubuntu, Linux Mint, OpenSUSE, Fedora, Mandriva, Debian, and Frugalware.
Linux Tour, which promotes the use of the Linux operating system, has events throughout the year including a Mandriva install party, día Debian, OpenSUSE day, and Software Freedom Day (Eventos 2008). Software Freedom Day is a day in which those who are well acquainted with Linux advertise the benefits of open source software to local businesses and schools (Competition 2008). During this event, Linux users demonstrate how to solve common problems of home users, small businesses, and educational institutions using open source software (Competition 2008). Workshops entitled “Learning by Doing” teach people how to make their own Web sites using Wordpress and how to use the astronomy program Stellanarium (Competition 2008). People can also avail of a free installation of various Linux programs at Linux Tour events (Competition 2008). Software Freedom Day 2008 was streamed live via MarcaAcmeTV and was viewed by people in Nicaragua, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, as well as other regions in Latin America (Competition 2008). As a result of Software Freedom Day, 400 free software discs were distributed and 30 computers had free software installed at the event (Competition 2008).
Because of local groups such as Ubuntu Nicaragua and the Linux User Group and events like Linux Tour, use of open source software in Nicaragua has increased. The following are two graphs demonstrating the increase:

[Source: Grupo Usuario Linux de Nicaragua (Nicaragua’s Linux Group),
This graph reveals how many people in Nicaragua use a form of open source software as their operating system. Although Linux is slightly ahead of Mac, it trails behind Windows. All of the operating systems just below Mac in the list are other open source operating systems. So when one adds all of these together, the percentage is much higher but still way below Windows. The next graph reveals a pattern in open source operating system use in Nicaragua.
From 1994 until 2000, there were almost no Linux users in Nicaragua. From 2000 onward, the trend for Linux use was upward sloping. The amount of Linux users is only 128 according to Linux Counter; however, these are only the number of users who added his or her computer to the registry at Linux Counter. Most people do not register their software. The figure of only 128 Linux users makes little sense and conflicts with the over 21,000 Linux users listed in the first graph. The trend, therefore, is the most important factor of this graph.
[Source: Linux Counter]
The following is some background information regarding Nicaragua’s economy: Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America and is the second poorest in the Americas behind Haiti (Nicaragua). Around 79% of the population live on less than $2 per day; almost half the population live on less than $1 per day (Nicaragua). Although unemployment was not very high (5.6%) in 2008, underemployment was a staggering 46.5% (World Fact Book). The year 2009 has not been an economically successful one for Nicaragua (World Fact Book). Due to decreased export demand, GDP fell by almost 3% in 2009 (World Fact Book). Public debt was approximately 87% of the GDP in Nicaragua (World Fact Book). Although there are many industries in Nicaragua —including food processing, beverages, footwear, wood, textiles, clothing, petroleum refining, machinery, metal products, and chemicals— agricultural products and raw materials are Nicaragua’s main exports (World Fact Book). Exports from Nicaragua include coffee, sugar, tobacco, gold, beef, shrimp, lobster, and peanuts (World Fact Book). Imports to Nicaragua include consumer goods, machinery and equipment, raw materials, and petroleum products (World Fact Book). Nicaragua imported $1.624 billion more than they exported in 2009 (World Fact Book).
Investing in human capital can be difficult for an under-developed nation (World Fact Book). Of the 5.8 million people living in Nicaragua, only 185,000 of them have internet access (World Fact Book). The lack of internet access could hinder the learning of young children and the operations of a small business. Because many businesses and schools are unable to afford most popular software, they are beginning to experiment with OSS.
Education
Nicaragua is very limited in funds for education (Nicaragua). The Ministry of Education is allowed to use the budget level from 2000 for every year until 2010 due to IMF restrictions (Nicaragua). The salary of school teachers is low (Nicaragua). Schools cannot afford to spend on expensive software when their budgets are being cut.
The Ministry of Education, National Technological Institute, Ubuntu Nicaragua Team, and delegates from the main private and private universities have developed a plan to develop an Ubuntu-based educational system for both public and private schools throughout the country (Nicaraguan Schools Go Ubuntu). Guardabarranco, Nicaragua’s national bird, is now the official name of this education project (20,000 Ubuntu Laptops). In 2009, 20,000 laptops for teachers were distributed with Linux pre-installed (20,000 Ubuntu Laptops). Throughout Nicaragua, there are now 175 public schools with computer labs (Flying on the Wings of Freedom). Their choice of distribution was developed by the government of Extremadura, Spain (Flying on the Wings of Freedom).
Despite this progress, many schools are still limited in their ability to educate their students. Most computer labs only have seven computers for a class of 35 to 40 students to share (Flying on the Wings of Freedom). Some schools in Nicaragua do not have internet access and thus, cannot upgrade their systems (Flying on the Wings of Freedom). The local Linux User Group, or LUG, is supporting one school by upgrading all of their systems to GnuLinEx 2006 (Flying on the Wings of Freedom). The LUG group is also contacting local companies to ask if they are able to donate some hardware for the schools to use in the computer lab (Flying on the Wings of Freedom).
The chart below demonstrates the gradual improvements that can lead to a booming economy over time. For instance, Preschool enrollment has more than doubled (Nicaragua Country Brief). Rural road conditions have improved (Nicaragua Country Brief). The amount of time required to start a business has nearly been sliced in half (Nicaragua Country Brief). Perhaps the most drastic improvement is in regards to technology. The percentage of small, rural towns being connected to public telephones has nearly quadrupled in only five years (Nicaragua Country Brief). If internet usage were made available to follow these trends, a boost in technology and education –and thus output– would occur.
[Source: World Bank]
Kevin Brandes is a software engineering student at the Oregon Institute of Technology (Brandes Part II). Legal versions of Windows sell for little less than they do in the states (Brandes). According to Brandes, Nicaraguans, unlike Americans, do not hold a bias against open source software due to the products being free (Brandes). Nicaraguans are more concerned with what the software can do than what brand they come from (Brandes). Brandes went to Nicaragua to teach people how to use Linux, including how to configure thin clients (Brandes). The thin client aspect allowed Brandes and others to offer affordable systems to rural schools (Brandes). Linux allowed Brandes and his group to use any hardware, including those donated by businesses (Brandes). Keving believes that his most important project to date was running OpenSUSE 9.0 on their diskless clients, which give a clear advantage over Windows when marketing to local schools and businesses (Brandes Part II). According to Kevin, Microsoft inspectors visit internet cafés in Costa Rica to see verify authenticity (Brandes). If this happens to Nicaragua, many more businesses will have to turn to Linux and other free software.
Government
Agriculture is known as the base of Nicaragua’s economy (Wilm). Denis Cáceres of Debian Nicaragua had just begun working with the Mesoamerican Information Service about Sustainable Agriculture when he and a few others began a project to develop an information system for the Ministry of Agriculture, supported by Swedish and Spanish agencies (Wilm). The idea was to combine a Wiki text portion with a Javascript-based statistics portion and put it online so that anyone can access current and historic data (Wilm). The system, entitled ALBAstryde, would be entirely open source so that anyone can have access to the information and edit it as needed (Wilm). Cáceres explained the reason for an open source system was so that the system would grow to someday envelop the whole agricultural sector in a few years (Wilm). No one organization or company has control over the information; and thus, no one can hold Nicaragua hostage (Wilm). Cáceres believes that the next step for Nicaragua is to incorporate the system into every subdivision of the Ministry (Wilm). There has been an enormous surge in desiring free software after the ALBAstryde project (Wilm). Many times, however, there is not enough technical knowledge to use it (Wilm).
The internet is becoming more available in poorer parts of the country (Wilm). As a result, the government has a real opportunity to help their people through the use of open source systems. The person in charge of the informatics department later admitted to the SIMAS team, “You know that we did not really support you from the beginning because we did not trust free software, but now that will have to change. The Ministry and SIMAS need to work together and maybe soon we will migrate to Linux systems, because we see that this system really works (Wilm).” The government is now also using the Linux for its Migration Project (Nicaragua: Open Source).
Roughly 50 desktop computers are being migrated to Ubuntu in various departments (Nicaragua: Open Source). The government has teamed up with Linux User Groups (LUG) for their assistance with these systems (Nicaragua: Open Source). As a result, three team members of Nicaragua’s LUG group have now been employed full-time by the government to give Ubuntu support to users (Nicaragua: Open Source).
Businesses
Blogger LEOGG has been working with LUG and public institutions around Nicaragua to take advantage of the various uses of open source software (Nicaragua: Open Source). In his article “Nicaragua Libre” he explained how he helped the rural town of Jalapa develop and use Linux-based software (Nicaragua: Open Source). In Jalapa, there are two particularly intriguing projects in which LEOGG is involved. One of these is the digitalization of thousands of public records (Nicaragua: Open Source). Fifteen computers are devoted exclusively to using Ubuntu Hardy and XSane for this task (Nicaragua: Open Source). The second project is in relation to adding Ubuntu and a custom-made software for making and receiving payments to 12 cashier booths (Nicaragua: Open Source).
Most recently, Nicaragua’s LUG has been chosen to produce a new technology program on Canal 2, Nicaragua’s largest television network, broadcasted weekly (Nicaragua: Open Source). This new program is beneficial to business owners as it would demonstrate beneficial, new open source technologies. ALBAstryde, the open source program for the Ministry of Agriculture, can greatly benefit businesses as well as the government. Information cannot be held secretively by any organization under such a system (Wilm). If the velocity of knowledge sharing is raised, risk for small businesses will decrease, especially for those in agriculture. This knowledge sharing has the potential to encourage new industries and greater competition.
Policy Implications
Like with everything, there are pros and cons to everything. The following are some pros and cons of using open source software:
To clarify the chart above, the pros and cons must be explained in further detail. Open source software is important to developing nations because it is free. It is also relatively easy to install due to software centers. Software centers or packages come with open source operating systems. These packages have a wide variety of software for educational, business, programming, and science purposes. Open source software is versatile because the source code can be adapted for personal use. Graphical User Interface, or GUI, allows users to cut down terminal and code usage. All of these advantages allow open source software to be used with little trouble.
Unfortunately open source operating systems have frequent errors. To remedy these errors, one must use the terminal. Frequent errors can lead to inefficiency in a business because time is money. Compatibility is not that big of an issue anymore due to changes in updates in software and changes made by Linux. Many companies still consider investing in a Linux-compatible program a waste of time and resources. Until Linux gains more market share, many companies are likely to continue to support only Windows and Mac. Some users will not want to settle for an open source alternative to the software they love. Software attachment could be solved by either demonstrating the similarities between the popular software and the open source equivalent or by simply making the popular software available to those who use Linux.
Open source software is an option for under-developed and developing nations because it is free and relatively easy to use. If a business is hoping to compete globally, more sophisticated, and thus expensive, software is needed. For the majority of small businesses and government programs, however, open source software can lead to rapid progress.
Rapid growth is achieved by higher levels of output in the economy. Output is determined by its inputs. In economics the following formula can be used to summarize the relationship between output and inputs:
Y=f(K,L,T)
Output is represented by the letter Y. The equation reads that output is a function (f) of capital (K), labor (L), and technology (T). Due to the positive relationship between output and its inputs K, L, and T, an increase in any of the inputs causes an increase in the output. This reasoning can be used to determine the rate of output for a company, an industry, or the economy as a whole.
This equation can be used to analyze the effects open source software has on Nicaragua’s economy. An increase in the use of open source software leads to an improvement in technology and thus an increase in production; T increases. The use of open source software in schools has led to an increase in computer labs and thus, more hardware; K increases. Because businesses pay less for their software, they can focus on investing into the business in other ways; K increases. As students are educated to use open source software at an early age, these individuals will age into skilled adult workers; L increases. This increase in education will lead to improvements in technology and so K and T will increase even further.
A visual representation of this rapid growth can be seen in the chart below:

In most industrialized nations there is a trade-off between manufactured and agricultural goods. As an economy pumps more into one good, the amount available to pump into another type of good dissipates. The production possibilities curve is the maximum amount of output that can be reached from the amount of input available. If open source technology is used, Nicaragua can save money. That money can be used toward paying back their International Monetary Fund debt or toward paying for various government projects. Open source operating systems come with software packages that can be used to educate students in regards to biology, astronomy, computer programming, geography, and even learning a foreign language. Educated students will become highly skilled workers. These workers will be able to produce higher quality goods. Open source code can be used to design software for businesses so that they can produce more or save time. All of these factors can raise productivity.
Another way in which open source software benefits Nicaragua is by creating a collective mind of information. Open source software can be used, and has been used, in Nicaragua to share information and build upon that knowledge. Businesses and government officials can then make well-educated decisions. This collective mind hive would help Nicaragua develop rapidly simply because the information made available will lead to further revolutionary ideas in the fields of business, education, science, and policy-making. The sharing of ideas would better educate the masses and lead to higher productivity in a short amount of time.
In conclusion, utilizing free, open source software would give Nicaragua a competitive advantage if it were distributed throughout all areas of the government. Open source software is an option that can enable the government and educational sectors to deal with budget cuts without sacrificing quality. Students benefit from the knowledge obtained by using open source software. As a result, Nicaragua will have a highly skilled work force that is able to compete on a global scale. Open source systems also improve communication and data sharing, which is vital for a modernized government or business. Governments can better ensure that there are no monopolies, at least in regards to information, with open source systems. The government of Nicaragua should consider implementing open source software packages and personalized software in every department. This will significantly lower the cost to tax payers and improve their communication systems. Businesses can avail of the government systems online and use that information to aid in their decision-making. As a whole, open source software is a cost-effective way to increase knowledge, productivity, and output.
Works Cited
"20,000 Ubuntu Laptops for Teachers in Nicaragua." ComuNIdad. 24 Nov. 2009. 04 Mar. 2010. .
Avila, Renata. "Americas: Looking Forward to Central America Free Software Festival." Global Voices. 09 June 2009. 05 Mar. 2010. .
Brandes, Kevin. "How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Bringing Linux to Nicaragua." Linux Journal. 30 July 2004. 06 Mar. 2010. .
Brandes, Kevin. "How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Bringing Linux to Nicaragua, Part II." Linux Journal. 2 Aug. 2004. 06 Mar. 2010. .
"Competition 2008: Final Report." Software Freedom Day. 2008. 6 Mar. 2010. .
Crafts, Nicholas. "Productivity Growth In The Industrial Revolution: A New Growth Accounting Perspective." Jan. 2002. 7 Mar. 2009. .
"Eventos 2008." Linuxtour. 29 Nov. 2008. 07 Mar. 2010. .
"Flying on the Wings of Freedom." ComuNIdad. 4 Aug. 2008. 4 Mar. 2010. .
“Linux Users in Nicaragua.” The Linux Counter. 10 Mar. 2010. .
"Nicaragua." La Esperanza Housing & Development Casas De La Esperanza. Nov. 2009. 06 Mar. 2010. .
“Nicaragua Country Brief.” The World Bank. 17 Aug. 2009. 10 March 2010. .
"Nicaragua: Open Source Software in Public Institutions." Ground Report. 18 July 2008. 04 Mar. 2010. .
"Nicaraguan Schools Go Ubuntu." ComuNIdad. 13 Nov. 2009. 04 Mar. 2010. .
"Open Source." Encyclopedia. PC Magazine. 7 Mar. 2010. .
"Operating System." Encyclopedia. PC Magazine. 7 Mar. 2010. .
"Sistemas Operativos." Grupo Usuario Linux De Nicaragua Estadísticas De Acceso. Grupo Usuario Linux De Nicaragua. 7 Mar. 2010. .
"Ubuntu Nicaragua." Ubuntu Nicaragua. 06 Mar. 2010. .
Wilm, Johannes. "Nicaragua Builds An Innovative Agricultural Information System Using Open Source Software." Linux Journal. 12 Nov. 2009. 4 Mar. 2010. .
World Fact Book: Nicaragua. Central Intelligence Agency, 4 Mar. 2010. 4 Mar. 2010. .


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"An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous." -Henry Ford

"All that we are is a product of what we have thought." -Buddha
So make sure you are worthy of what you create with your thoughts!