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Terms

• Pear
• Failure
• Unconventional Wisdom
• Smart
• Punctuation
• Dukkha

Pear

• Pear is a fruit.
• Pear’s Soap was one of the soaps we had in our younger days. Others include Lux and Palmolive.
• Pear’s Cyclopedia is not as thick as the other encyclopedias. It was published by the company that produced Pear’s soap.

Failure

• Most people are afraid of failing. They do not try to move outside their comfort zone.
• Thomas Edison succeeded in developing the incandescent bulb after 1000+ tries and failures. He said that he learned something new from the failed experiments.
• Around Christmas of 1968, three astronauts (Frank Borman, James Lovell and Bill Anders) circled the moon and sent back lovely pictures. I wrote a poem on “Apollo 8”. It was not published. My mentor Reverend F. Ludvig (aka Ashin Ananda) said, “Your poem is long. Most people do not have the time and leisure to read poems, especially long ones.” I could have lost heart and confidence.
• In July 1969, Apollo 11 landed in Tranquility Bay on the moon. I wrote a poem “Men on the Moon“. Ashin Ananda was pleased to have me as a mentee. He gave a copy of my poem to Mr. Hall, Information Officer at USIS. He forwarded a copy to NASA. Mr. Hall put me on the subscription list of USIS. I received “Alin Yaung Magazine”, Newsletters and Translations. My poem was also published in the Guardian Newspaper.

Unconventional Wisdom

• We are familiar with Conventional Wisdom.
Sometimes, it pays to try something unconventional.
• Euclid proposed five Postulates, which form the foundation of Euclidean Geometry. Some mathematicians questioned whether the Fifth Postulate (aka Parallel Postulate) was needed. It gave birth to Non-Euclidean Geometry (used in Navigation).
• Sir Isaac Newton formulated the Laws of Motion. High school texts describe three Laws of Motion. Some questioned if two laws are sufficient.
A reasoning follows.
Force = Mass x Acceleration
If there is no Force, there can be no Acceleration.
It implies that the Velocity remains constant.
If the initial state is stationary, the object continues to be in that state. If the object is in motion, the object continues to move with that velocity.
One law can be deduced (using First Principles) by another law.
• The size and the speed of the object effect the “Laws of Motion”. Classical Physics, which was Conventional Wisdom for its time, gave way to Modern Physics (including Quantum Mechanics).
• Rear Admiral (One Star General) Grace Murray Hopper is a Pioneer & Prime Mover in Computers and Computing. She won the prestigious ACM Turing Award. ACM also have the Grace Murray Hopper Award for outstanding young computer scientists who had a significant contribution before the age of 30.
She is credited with coining the term “Bug” for a computer (hardware or software) failure.
She does not like the word, “It’s always been done that way.” She has a clock which runs in the reverse direction of conventional clocks.

Smart

• Thomas Edison said, “Success is due to 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration”.
We now hear, “Work smarter. Not harder.”
• For a while, I worked for a Defense Contractor. I was assigned to DMDC (Defense Manpower Data Center). Every employee and contractor is given a Smart Card, which has a processor and memory to hold Biometrics (e.g. fingerprint), Photo ID, and Cryptographic Keys. One has to use a Smart Card to (a) enter specified areas of the building (b) logging on to a computer system. It was not cheap at that time, and there were limitations in the resources.
• Smart devices are ubiquitous.
• SMART is an acronym for setting Objectives.
S => Specific
M => Measurable
A => Achievable
R => Realistic
T => Time-bounded
• SMARTER is a lesser used acronym. It extends SMART.

Punctuation

• Punctuation helps a reader or a listener.
• One Lu Shwin Daw (Comedian) gained fame by adding a Period (Full Stop). He was admonished by the higher authorities for making fun of their leader “Number One”.
No One is above the law.
No. One is above the law.
• A messenger came with a message
HANG HIM NOT KILL HIM
What message is being conveyed?
HANG HIM. NOT KILL HIM.
or
HANG HIM NOT. KILL HIM.

Dukkha

• Dukkha is a Pali word.
• There are several forms of Dukkha.
(a) Dukkha Dukkha
(b) Sukha Dukkha
(c) Uppekha Dukkha
They express “unsatisfactoriness” associated with
(a) Suffering or Misery
(b) [Seemingly] Pleasant feelings
(c) Equanimity
• Most people understand Dukkha to mean Suffering.
This led many to believe that Buddhism teaches pessimism.
• Note that the term “Sin Ye Dhukkha” does not cover the three forms.
• Some Sayadaws and Dhamma teachers equate Dukkha with unsatisfactoriness.
They also point out that Buddha was not an Optimist or a Pessimist, but that he was a Realist.
In the Four Noble Truths, Buddha described not only “Suffering” (or Unsatisfactorines), but its Cause and Remedy.
Practicing the Eight-fold Path can lead to Liberation from Samsara (Rounds of Rebirth).
• There is an on-line course which covers two sermons — Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta and Anatta Lekhana Sutta — and analyzes them from several aspects (including Modern Psychology)

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