Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Some catching up

For a variety of reasons, I have been doing some blogging - although only capturing a fraction of what has been happening. Actually, I am capturing much, nmuch more than I have been able to describe here - or even to digest - or at least a host of software applications I use are quietly capturing the information - consistently, accurately and in far greater detail than I am able to describe here - and in turn I capture that information from time to time and either import it into one of my database panels, or store it for future import

The major change in my life this year has been with La Perla Garden - an oais of life and peace at West 105th Street and Columbus Avenues in Mnahattan, a few block from where I live. Since arriving in in New York in 1993 I have only had two brief periods in a garden, I had moved here from Baltimore - where I had a third of an acre in which I was able to maintain wilderness while growing and harvesting plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Perhaps needless to say, I have started a blog for La Perla Garden - - with a web site soon to come.

I hqave also done a bit of catching up on some of my other blogs, and hope to find some more time to keep on blogging

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Earth Day,Caring for Creation and Information Ecology

My surprise discovery of the identification of this blog as "Best results for Earth Day" on the LookSnart Science site reminded me of my initial conception of this blog as a space for a 15-year retrospective of Information Habitat: Where Information Lives, from the Earth Day 1990 dedication of Oh Say, Can You See, by the One Light in All as the Fifth Verse of the U.S. National Anthem, at an interfaith sunrise ceremony at Fort McHenry in Baltimore through Earth Day 2005 with the dedication of Open Gates as a framework operating system for a whole earth community.

A reminder on the focus of Earth Day for the retrospective is timely for many reasons; a recent speech by Bill Moyers to the Societyof Environmental Journalists, Caring for Creation, makes a clear and cogent case for the critical need for truthful and accurate information on the state of the environment, and emphasizes the need to appeal to Christian conservatives to focus their attention on caring for creation.

The title - and theme - of Bill Moyers' speech was of particular interest to me as it was at a May 1990 conference titled Caring for Creation, organized by Father Don Conroy, when Information Habitat: Where Information Lives was conceived, and with it the seeds of the discipline of information ecology.

Indeed, a concern for inclusive faith-based leadership in healing of the Earth has been a core value in the evolution of Information Habitat, combined with a deep appreciation of the critically important role of information and communications technology with regard to the environment - as an immensely powerful medium for organizing and disseminating information relating to the environment, as a powerful tool for building participatory organizations and networks.

The roots of Information Habitat did not just grow out of a technical or utlitiarian appreciation of the power of information technology, for at its heart was a perspective that grew out my work with the Friends Committee on Unity with Nature, and expressed in the Queries on Unity with Nature in the phrase:
"Do I extend the Quaker practice of answering that of God in every person
to answering that of God in all creation?"
- a phrase that served for me as an affirmation that everything that exists is part of Divine creation - which now, as a dervish, I understand as an expression of "La ilaha Ilallah" - there is no God but God; there is nothing that is not of God.

Thus, the phrase "where information lives" is an appreciation of information and information systems as a life forms and incorpoates an appreciation of the phenomenal evolution that is taking place in these life forms, or information species. The radical concept of information and information systems as life forms, embodying a profound shift in perception of the nature of life has its roots for me in Alfred J. Lotke's Elements of Mathematical Biology, a remarkable book that provided one of the key foundations of information ecology.

I had come across Elements of Mathematical Biology about thirty-five years ago in the stacks of the library at The Johns Hopkins University while I was struggling with the scope and implications of of a Ph.D. thesis on a multi-dimensional mathematical framework of human behaviour - a thesis that I eventually abandoned as opening a Pandora's Box. For while I felt confident in the theoretical and empirical foundations, I was very aware that I only had a glimpse of the deeper implications.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Google Alert for: "grandpa ruh"

LookSmart Science - Best results for "Earth Day"

Reflections of Grandpa Ruh, a Sufi information ecologist - a fifteen-year retrospective - from Earth Day 1990 to Earth Day 2005 and the initial release of ...

 This once a day Google Alert is brought to you by Google.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Finding Freedom in Blogging

One of the aspects of blogging I am enjoying is giving myself permission ot write in a way that isn't constrained by too much of a concern for order and structure. Normally when I write, I spend an inordinate amount of time and energy seeking to maintain a highly structured format, for example, using an outline style in WordPerfect 5.1+.

This approach has led to some very successful documents that incorporated a clear and well structured outline table of contents - the first of which being Foundations for a Sustainable Common Future; others included Towards Earth Summit II and Financing for Development in a Knowledge-Based Economy.

However, in recent years, the net result of my seeking to impose an outline structure has been a slew of unfinished documents that staggered and came to a standstill under a burdensome outline that ususally grew so prolifically into levels of detail that most of the document would remain purely in an outline / sketch form.

I often recall the freedom in writing that I had discovered in the early days of electronic communictions - i.e. in the years before the 1992 Earth Summit, when I used to write many of my postings to the EcoNet conferences "live" while online - as there was nothing like the wonders of Eudora in those days. I remember feeling a similar freedom then as I let go of the ability to edit what I had written, just letting the words flow into the ether, as it were.

With blogging, however, I am finding that I am increasingly feeling comfortable with adding thoughts, comments observations and recollections whenever they come upforme -especially given that I see that it would be quite unrealistic to try to impose both a historical and logical sequence on what I write and when.

This way of writing - and letting myself hop / float around in my mind fits well with what is evolving as my modus operandi in general - a way that I have been inclined to for some time, and which the wonders of the Gates Exhibit in Central Park gave additional inspiration through what I perceived as a wonderful welcome invitation while in the exhibit to simply let myself be led by the wind and the light - so I allow myself to be led by the breezes in my mind, puffs of intuition - as I float and swim freely in and out the many gates, doors, rooms and windows of my digital home.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Getting into the swing - and challenges - of blogging

What with this blog, adding a few posts to blogs I had started, and setting up some new ones, I am getting more comfortable with this medium, especially now that I have begun to use as a base from which to organize and classify the various blogs.

As you can see from the growing list of related blogs - see the sidebar to the left - I am not yet sure how my approach of creating multiple blogs will fare compared to an alternative approach of consolidating all my blogging on a single space, however, at least for the time being, I will continue to use this approach.

Part of the challenge is the breadth and scope of issues and processes that fall under the overall aegis of information ecology - a challenge that I also face in managing and developing the broad range of domains that are part of the network of Information Habitat, Seasons of Peace, Gaia University, et al.

I also face the challenge of finding a balance between a modus operandi for blogging, and the very different type of focus that is called for in database development - where I face not only the need to focus on a reasonable degree of completion of the compilation of hyperlinked UN documents in preparation for the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations - but also of rebuilding some of the database-generated pages that had been built on - to which I don't currently have access.

There is also an urgency to the challenge given the critical condition of my finances, as I am unable to re-register domains that are expiring, and have received a past due notice from Earthlink ...

While I have no end of what appear to be promising ideas for support / partnerships that could provide the resources I need not just to keep going but to allow many of the projects to move into a much more substantial scale of operation, I have been reluctant to reach out to potential partners given both the incomplete state of many of the initiatives and the current inaccessiblity of key links, as well as the fact that = especially with compiling the body of UN documents - it has been easier for me to concentrate on the nuts and bolts gathering and organizing the documents and tinkering with the database than on developing home pages that could provide a suitable entry point for potential partners.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Fall Equinox - Seasonal Update

Happy Fall Equinox!

Yesterday - the International Day of Peace - was a day for which I had been preparing for some time. I had been planning some type of pre-release of a 60th Anniversary Gift for the United Nations Community - however that didn't reach fruition so it look as if I will be focusing on October 24 - the actual anniversary date

However, I thought I would see what I can do by way of writing a brief description here of the gift - although its form and shape is still very much evolving.

Part of the impetus for getting back to my blog was an excellent article in the 25th anniversary issue of Discover magazine, titled "Web 2.0 Arrives" by Steven Johnson, noting inter alia "Essentially, the Web is shifting from an international library of interlinked pages to an information ecosystem, where data circulate like nutrients in a rain forest."

When I visited Steven's blog - - I discovered that he was going to be speaking at the Strand bookstore that very evening in a conversation with Malcolm Gladwell - author of Blink and The Tipping Point - so needless to say, I decided I should go.

There was a good crowd, about eighty or more people, with standing room only, and it was an intersting conversation - among other things, Steven, whose latest book Everything Bad is Good For You, talked about his contention that playing video games can be a valuable learning experience as the games involve managing complex situations with many variables, calling for complex strategic thinking - as well as psychomotor coordination - that can provide valuable preparation in the skills of managing complex situations in where one is immersed in a digital environment - my choice of words, not his.

There was a good amount of time for questions form the floor, but I held back as no particular question came to mind, however, after the session ended, I went to the end of the line of people wanting Steven to sign a copy of his book, and introduced myself to him saying it was his article in Discover that had led me to the event, and that I was an information ecologist, and would love to talk more with him. He was very receptive and I said I would send him an email - still on my to do list

anyhow, that's enough for right now, however, I think I will write a separate piece about what is happening with the countdown to the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations - and perhaps start a separate blog for that.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Back on the Blogging Tral

As-salamu 'alaykum

It has been a while since I wrote anything here, but not because there was nothing to write about. To the contrary, I have been so busy exploring never-ending trails of information ecology that I have been faced with a dual challenge: not enough time to write, and too much to write about.

It seems as if it is time for a little catching up, especially since one part of what has been developing has been establishing the presence of grandpa ruh on the internet.

while writing this, I was diverted by a google search for grandpa ruh, and am now in the process of closing dowm my computer ...

More later

In peace


Saturday, April 16, 2005

the first step

as-salamu 'alaykum wa rahmetullah wa barakatu hu
may peace be upon you and the infinite mercy and blessings of allah.

"the time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things ..."
alice in wonderland, by lewis carroll

greetings dear friends,

where to begin? perhaps with a first step.

the first step
    to have no thought and put forth no effort
    is the first step towards understanding the tao

    to go nowhere and do nothing
    is the first step towards finding peace in the tao

    to start from no point and follow no road
    is the first step towards reaching the tao
yellow emperor's classic of internal medicine

it seems the time has come to begin keeping a blog - something that has been on my mind since christine discovered audio blogs a week or so ago and since being reminded that is has been more than a year since i last made an entry in my first blog / online diary.

i am thrilled with the possibility of using audo blogs as it requires so much less effort for me to talk than to write, and especially since i have - in recent weeks - been opening up new realms in my conversations and my speech - realms that have opened up to me as i have discovered the freedom of talking about god - beginning with my conversations with justin since his baptism on easter sunday.

a word or two about the name i am using. i was give the name ruh - ruh nabil - when i took hand with the nur ashki jerrahi sufi order last thanksgiving, and i became a grandpa just over a month ago - when tanya gave birth to isabella sophia on march 7 - and i adopted the name grandpa ruh in my first email to my grandchild that i shared with members of my extended family.

enough for now - time to try out an audio blog

in peace

grandpa ruh