Why is truth worthwhile?

February 13, 2014

Why is truth worthwhile?

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

The Edwin Hawkins Singers, Oh Happy Day

In the midst of snowfall, I pondered truth this morning and why I desire it. And why we should desire truth.

I would like to characterize my hunger for the truth – as a pleasure I enjoy in discovering reality as it can be apprehended or received by rational and other means. I find myself most enthusiastic about truth when I act in wisdom – when I apply my knowledge usefully and successfully for my or others benefit.

Sometimes, those benefits can be as ridiculous as vanity – my own petty self satisfaction that I know better than another. I regret and struggle to renounce this sin of pride as much as possible.

But my greater pleasure, I believe, derives from an uplifting experience when I discover that reality is more beautiful and larger than I (or others) had previously understood.

For example, that our dignity as human persons exceeds the apparently arbitrary values we find assigned to a person within human culture. Specifically in the instance of a victim of human trafficking, slavery, abuse, exploitive labor, murder, or rape. Or in the existential experience of rejection – hate, discrimination, disability, disease, alienation, flight, immigration, diaspora, etc.

I rejoice to know that we are more than our failure, sorrows, pain and shame. And I anticipate with great hope and faith when we will arrive at that uncompromised and joyful experience of ourselves (and each another) as more.

Much more.

Stan Faryna
13 February 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

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A user-centric and humanistic paradigm for privacy and #dignity

March 30, 2012

A user-centric and humanistic paradigm for privacy and dignity

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Fred Wilson, a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures, pokes the hornet’s nest with Some Thoughts on Online Privacy. In fact, the FTC has recently proposed the need for urgent legislation on the matter. Seth Godin, however, has suggested that our expectations for confidentiality of our online activity, transactions, and activities is a quixiotic quest.

Aretha Franklin, Respect

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Do you love strongly? And other social media DOHs. #whole-hearted

August 17, 2011

Do you love strongly? And Other Social Media DOHs.
by Stan Faryna

Play the soundcloud player to hear the podcast. Or download it here. The podcast sounds awesome with earphones or played on hi-fi speakers. Try it and tell me what you think.

Mobile users: you should be able to hear the podcast here.

Are you getting all the love you want? Are you connecting with people? Deeply? Often?

Am I? Am I getting all the love I want? Am I connecting with the people that lift me up?

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How to Write a Blog Post That Sucks

July 3, 2011

I finally got to watch The Adjustment Bureau – directed by George Nolfi. Starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, this romantic thriller is based on Philip K. Dick’s short story, The Adjustment Team. I liked this movie. And me liking a movie that isn’t carried by special effects and explosions is saying something. It means there’s something more than just a story.

Leonard Cohen, Dance Me to the End of Love

Free Will Is Sublime

I’ve been wanting to see The Adjustment Bureau ever since reading Lori Gosselin’s May blog post on fate and free will. Read it here.

Inspired by the movie, Lori asks if we have free will? And if we do, how do we describe it. The hundred or more comments that follow her post suggest the subject and questions are relevant to us – despite the blogosphere’s apparent and constant preoccupation with how to write a better mouse trap- headlines, seo, etc.

Free will is as real as it is sublime. Furthermore, we underestimate free will as much as we fail to appreciate and exercise it.

Independence Day

But if we reflect briefly on America’s Independence – we can begin to understand how awesome is free will when men, women, and children direct their free will to the common good and course of Freedom.

Even History cannot ignore free will. Because History appears to align itself with human hope when free will moves like a tide in the hearts of those who yearn to recognize the dignity of the human person.

Therefore, as much as it is a celebration of the sacrifice, triumph, and spirit of a nation, the Fourth of July is also a celebration of the effectiveness and efficiency of free will. No other holiday stirs hearts and bold passion like Independence Day – if you haven’t noticed.

Captains and Masters

One comment to Lori’s blog post summons bold words from the poem, Ivictus, by William Ernest Henley:

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul

You can even put on a captain’s hat – if that makes you feel better. <grin>

Captains and masters, however, have no need for self-affirmation. Still, I can appreciate the longings of authors (of the poem and comment) – the longing for such command. And, I do believe, such command is intimately bound to the perfection of our individual will. As much as it is about Love.

Why This Blog Post Sucks

I had hoped to illuminate something awesome and exciting about free will for you. How it is intimately connected to our courage (or lack thereof) to be, who we are, and who we shall become. How free will is fueled by Love. In less than 200 words. Just like this.

Because I believe that such illuminations may help you unlock your potential and destiny.

But I also felt that I had to give you glimpses of free will in its greatness and defeat. For the illusion that we are captains of our souls (in this moment) is as much an illusion of the command of a car accelerating from 0-60 in under 7 seconds.

Such illusions, generally speaking, appeal to me as much as they may appeal to you. But they confuse us. Too often, they lead us astray from our destiny, ourselves, and, yes, even love.

More importantly, I fear that I have thrown these glimpses on the page as recklessly as an artist in pursuit of abstract confusion.

Will you help me save this blog post from sucking hard?

Redeem This Blog Post

Philip K. Dick may also have had some insight. He was an unusual man. That insight may have even translated into the screenplay.

What insights did you get out of the movie?

What insights do you bring from your life?

Stan Faryna
3 July, 2011
Bucharest, Romania


Twitter, Facebook, and other web apps as instruments of political and social change

March 14, 2011

The debate over the usefulness of Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube (and many other internet services) is being argued in regard to steering and consummating political and social change at ground zero. The sweeping change in hearts and minds across the Arab world have fueled these debates – especially the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, but also the events in Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen, and beyond.

No well informed opinion can deny that humanity’s struggle for freedom and dignity has received more attention now than ever before. The unfolding drama and embrace of change have never captured the imagination and hearts of so many of the world’s population as the recent unprecedented changes in the Arab world.

Never before have so many experienced true revolution directly by picture, video, text message and blog post. Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube (among other social media) made this possible. And let us not forget that it was the English language which was instrumental to the sharing of information, inspiration, insight, sympathy, anguish, hope, and, yes, outrage. Read the rest of this entry »


The Scourge of Inexorable Corruption 1.0

March 11, 2011

The following commentary was first published in Servant Hearts.

The struggle for a better world

For those who share in the hope for a better world, there is a keen awareness that our pluralistic hope includes the expectation that good government (or state) is key. A more perfect union, in other words. A more perfect union is one where the political union of the will and aspirations of the many is dedicated to the common good founded upon the dignity, virtue and destiny of the human person.

When the Egyptians succeeded in ousting President Hosni Mubarak, people across the globe were inspired. This collective inspiration is a testament to everyone’s shared hope for a better world. The protests spreading across the Pan-Arabic world in concert with each other also suggests that such hope is basic to all.

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Bukowski and I have very little in common

October 22, 2006

Five cent tour for Patsaks:

Mostly, I write for myself. I write as if my writing is written for my own consumption and benefit. Hence, I rarely put effort in polishing it up for public consumption even when I put it out there. To understand, to analyze things, and to discover myself in the pinging of the examined object: person, place or thing. If there is echo, I have found myself and somehow I find more of myself in the world than in contemplation.

Romanian Critics

There is a moment in public writing when critics will question why you write- especially so when speaking about Romanians who tend to believe that writing and art is only used for propaganda and marketing. It’s not that they don’t accept the proposition that writing and art can be separate from politics and business and pursue a freedom of expression, but unless the writing or art is crap and nonsense, they will mistrust you. They will imagine sinister motives and methodologies.

……………………………………………………….

……………………………………………………….

Some imagine me to be a CIA operative. Unfortunately, the CIA cannot afford my hourly rate.

Critics may imagine you (the writer) to be a megalomaniac because, in fact, they envy you for what they perceive as an apparent command of words, laguage, ideas, and authority. They envy something that is not there.

A megalomaniac, by definition, is controlled by their own delusional fantasies of immeasurable wealth, power, or omnipotence. I, myself (for example) would be satisfied with an effective measure of these things. And if I was so lucky, I would trade it all for true and lasting love, a few good books, forty cases of great wine, a great education for my son, to always be there to break bread with my son, and a Ferarri. He’ll like the last one too. Someday.

Of course, the Romanian critic doesn’t really care to know the truth of the matter. He only wants to know what he wants to know. In the case of the Romanian critic, the unkind critic is just bored with them self and, somehow, all the critic really needs is a little cheap entertainment, some juice and a good laugh at your expense.

Most of the time, I can afford them this much without too much complaint.

When you are criticized for what you write because of what it changes for them and the world… without returns, then the critic should really worry. Fortunately, I am not deserving of that kind of scrutiny- not in Romania or anywhere else. Nor can I imagine that my writing shall ever merit such unpleasant attention.
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