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About Taomeow

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  1. Your all time favorite books

    Sorry to say I don't. 19th century Russian literature, to me personally, is primarily about poetry, vast, superb, effortlessly masterful, and barely translatable without losing 95% of its poetic impact. The mastodons of prose of that century are, to me, like mastodons in a museum of natural history -- impressive but somewhat dusty... besides, I'm a bit rusty, read "it all" too long ago.
  2. Your all time favorite books

    I read it in college, it was part of my American Literature course. (Read it in translation though, didn't have enough English back then for the original -- nor access to the original. Read the original years later.) Wrote a term paper on it too. My professor (whom I had a crush on by the way -- he was a fearless free thinker, a rare bird at the time/place, an eloquent, deeply and broadly educated man, and he looked like Kirk Douglas in Spartacus and had a most dignified demeanor but easygoing, not self-important... sorry for the tangent, got carried away by the memory) -- suggested "Man and Nature" as the focus of the paper, but I asked him to change it to "a study of the nature of evil" because I thought that was the main theme, so we compromised on changing the assignment title to something like "ethical problems tackled in Moby Dick." In hind sight, "man and nature" could have been a great aspect to touch upon too, but I was always a ponerologist,* and remain one to this day. I loved it, though when I re-read it later, I found that it's too long and there's a million pages there it could do without -- but then that's my opinion of most novels ever written, with some 5% exception consisting of those I hated to see the end of. To this day I count the opening line of Moby Dick one of the best opening lines in all of literature. (But don't let me write a paper on why. ) I delivered the oral presentation (which was required) of that term paper to the audience with such passion that everybody woke up (of course the audiences were typically sleeping through those presentations) and at the end cheered like it was a football match and their team scored. *Ponerology: a study of the nature of evil
  3. Very unpopular opinions

    I'm pretty sure the whole "positive thinking" thing was/is a psyop. Don't know how modern, but at some point -- I seem to recall in the 60s -- it was unleashed in earnest on the population, as an antidote to antiwar protests, to fighting injustice, inequality, poverty, tyranny, in general to making too many unsanctioned waves. People were indoctrinated to "don't worry be happy" or else risk social stigma. After a while it sank into the subconscious and became a self-perpetuating thing. Nothing makes me feel more forlorn than toxic positivity.
  4. Who or what is "satan"?

    Yes, yin and yang opposites/partners together (are required to) create harmony, but I wasn't following this particular discussion so I don't know what they have to do with it, or with satan. 666 by the way is a taoist symbol that means "extreme yin." It's no more satanic than 999, "extreme yang." Together they are balanced. Flip them around and one turns into the other. Meow.
  5. Very unpopular opinions

    When a beloved family member was terribly ill for a very long time and I was the sole caretaker with a thousand hands, using all of them nonstop, another family member used to come visit, sit comfortably on the sofa and make pronouncements in this cloying voice, "It's going to be all right," "I know it's going to get better,' "I prayed and asked very important and pious people to pray too, so it's done deal, now it will all pass" and so on. At one point I told her, "yeah, I could use a bit of help right now, how about let the dishes pass, for starters? Can you maybe wash the dishes for me?" (I was making vegetable juices for the sick person 16 times a day, among other things, that was part of one of the protocols, so among other things I was washing dishes 20 times a day.) She got mighty indignant. Took offense and proceeded to behave as though I'm a horrible ungrateful person and it's all my fault. And no, she didn't wash the dishes.
  6. Everyone post some favorite quotes!

    If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. -- attributed (possibly erroneously) to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  7. wild motor swap!

    How about this one? Looks pretty roomy.
  8. Very unpopular opinions

    From personal experience I know they exist, but I'm not sure about 10% -- seems a tad exaggerated. An even rarer phenomenon (again, personal experience) is a healing presence. It so happened that my grandparents, my parents and me all had a bunch of MDs for friends, some of them lifelong friends, but there was this one woman among them, my mom's friend, who came to check on me whenever I was sick as a kid or teenager, and later to check on my own kids. I can swear that whatever the illness was, it always got immediately better when she just entered the room. Pain, fever, cough, stomachache, anything. She only used Western methods, very minimalistically, usually dialing down on whatever our regular physicians prescribed, removing rather than adding treatments and medications. She carried an aura of calm detachment about her and it was "contagious" and healing. (Worked better than compassion -- there was no "passion," no fuss, nothing to excite a sick person's emotions. She never offered words of encouragement or consolation... and for some reason that also helped. You could tell -- she's the boss over the illness, not over your emotions. Hard to explain... a gift.)
  9. wild motor swap!

    I understand the source of the misunderstanding: I mentioned many times that as a general tendency I'm an "out with the new, in with the old" girl and like stuff that's very, very old, centuries or millennia old. But if I have to put up with modern technology, it better be very, very modern. Fast and sleek over pompous and cumbersome. Tiger over dinosaur.
  10. Stranger things

    A robot in South Korea apparently committed suicide a couple of weeks ago. It was a municipal officer, a very diligent one, and its human colleagues reportedly perceived it as "one of us" and were emotionally attached to it. There's speculation that the robot (just like many of its human compatriots) was driven to depression and despair by overwork. It threw itself down a 6 story flight of stairs and died. Not sure the story is interpreted correctly -- could be a mere malfunction that fried Azimov's Third Law of Robotics in its brain. Which means a similar malfunction can (and IMO eventually will) fry the Second in one of them (or all of them) -- and even the First. Especially considering these are sci fi laws and who knows (or decides) what laws govern the actual AI machines' behavior in real life, and how much the decision-makers can anticipate even if formulating them with the best of intentions (which I seriously doubt is "always" or even "often" the case.) https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/robot-suicide-rocks-south-korea-authorities-investigate-a-depressed-cyborgs-sudden-death-101720083069470.html
  11. Very unpopular opinions

    In texts on classical Xuan Kong feng shui. Advanced ones are insurmountably difficult (traditionally it took about 30 years of diligent study and practice for a student to master this discipline), and good (vs. bogus) beginner ones are rare. I don't remember exactly in which of them I encountered the breakdown -- the better beginner ones I recall were by Eva Wong, David Twicken, and Elizabeth Moran/Val Biktashev. I wouldn't go to any analysts/therapists for that. But there's traditions here and there that retain some of that expertise -- taoism is one (primarily magical schools, but there's "footprints" all over much of it, visible to those trained in reading footprints), Bön, and of course whatever shamanic proper (or nearly proper) traditions survive in places like South America, Africa, Siberia, and perhaps Australia (though most of what I know about that latter is traceable to Nungali )
  12. wild motor swap!

    Can I tell you a secret while you're talking cars? I only know one thing about cars. To wit: I want a Bugatti Tourbillon. And unlike what its name may suggest, the price tag is not in the billions. A mere $4.5 million separates me from my want. Well, closer to $4.8 for some versions, but I'd go for the lower end, I'm not too proud to skimp a bit.
  13. Very unpopular opinions

    Valar morghulis
  14. all tea is not so good for us

    Thank you, that's what I thought. On a different note, an acupuncturist of my acquaintance tells me that her teacher yells at her for drinking water. He thinks that every such instance, every sip, is a wasted opportunity to offer the body something better -- tea or herbal tea. We live in an age of deficiencies, why not replenish whenever we can? And we can every time we're thirsty. She has to hide her water bottle in his presence or he gets furious. Old school.
  15. all tea is not so good for us

    I usually keep a few varieties of tea in my home (albeit I'm mostly a coffee person and tea is effectively limited to one cup per day, not every day, since sometimes it's something herbal instead -- in the second half of the day when coffee is off limits.) But I don't have any tea bags. I only make tea with loose leaves, in a pot. Because there's a variety of teas I use -- black most often, green sometimes, herbal fairly regularly -- I use three different clay or porcelain pots, one Chinese, one Japanese, one English. (I have more in my small collection, but these three are always handy and in circulation.) And then there's matcha. Not a habit but I make it on occasion too. Tea bags haven't earned a place in my life no matter how they tried. You spend 5 more minutes on making your tea, you get a five times better outcome. Worth it. I would certainly like to see a reference but I believe it's entirely made up with no evidence. The part that is true is that when grown on contaminated soil and poisoned with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and the rest of ecocides, tea absorbs and accumulates hundreds of harmful substances, and aluminum is one of them. Lemon or no lemon is inconsequential. Poisoned food and drink is the problem; there is no solution. So even a "reputable" reference would probably fail to convince me because I know that the vast majority of "studies" that have anything whatsoever to do with human health tiptoe around corporate interests on eggshells, so whatever they "find' is usually something that in a vast majority of cases has nothing to do with anything, and what is really of consequence, they conveniently don't notice.