Internet Explorer 9

I downloaded “Internet Explorer 9 Beta” a couple of weeks ago. I have been consistently using it since then. I must say that the experience so far has been awesome! Browsing is smoother – Windows 7 Integration is nice! – It is much much much much faster than IE8 – It renders most of the websites that I visit quite well.

But programming the browser (using JS) is not quite the same as Chrome or Firefox. But there are easy workarounds, so I dont have too many complaints there. All in all; its very inspiring to see a super-rock-solid browser coming out of Microsoft. I strongly recommend folks to try it out. Its worth it!

Werner Erhard : The man behind The Forum

Werner Erhard is the creator of transformational models and applications for individual, organizational and social transformation. His innovative ideas have stimulated academic conversations at many Universities, most recently in the areas of integrity, leadership, and performance.

A brief history: Content derived from Wikipedia entries on ‘Werner Erhard’ and ‘Erhard Seminars Training’

Werner Erhard was known more for EST (or Erhard Seminars Training) in the past. EST was a unique training program that delivered the promise of lasting transformation to its participants. Listen to the man himself in this video


Courtesy: Werner Erhard Seminars Training, Personal Transformation & Leadership Development, Est Training Programs

The purpose of est was to allow participants to achieve, in a very brief time, a sense of personal transformation and enhanced power. The est course was offered from late 1971 to late 1984. The last est Training was held in December 1984 in San Francisco; and in its place a newly developed course called ‘The Forum’ came into existence (since Jan 1985). Below is a brief video that comprises of Werner Erhard Interviews shot in different parts of USA.

‘est, Inc.’ evolved into ‘est, an Educational Corporation’, and eventually into ‘Werner Erhard & Associates’. WE&A purchased the assets of est in 1981. Later, WE&A’s name was changed to Landmark Education, and est was changed to The Landmark Forum. The business was then sold to former employees, with Erhard’s brother Harry Rosenberg becoming the CEO.

Present: The Landmark Education, incorporated in 1991, has taken on the game of taking transformation to millions of people all over the world. Its curriculum for living has been truly giving new life to people.

Since his retirement in 1991, Werner Erhard has been working away from the public eye and devoted time to to academic investigation, and presentations in writing and lectures of his ideas. After reading all the material about Werner Erhard and est on Wikipedia, you can help but wonder – how was it like? Well, I finish off with this video here:

[Quick Update: Visit http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=433651 to download Werner Erhard’s Scholarly Papers.]

[Another Update: A batchmate of mine from the Landmark Advanced Course and SELP expressed her concern that I am violating copyrights by posting the above link and/or videos.

Firstly, the PDF files downloadable from the above links clearly state in their opening page – “FAIR USE: You may redistribute this document freely, but please do not post the electronic file on the web. We welcome web links to the document(s). We revise our papers regularly, and providing a link to the original at the above URL ensures that readers will receive the most recent version. Thank you, Werner Erhard, Michael Jensen, S. Zaffron, K. Granger.

Secondly, the videos are linked to their original source (which is allowed legally by Youtube, unless the owner of the video explicitly disables video embedding). I have also explicitly stated in this post that I have derived most of the material from Wikipedia (which is also an open and free source).

So, there is no copyright violation of any sort.]

Integrity. Without it nothing works!

For most of us Integrity is about being sincere and honest. And “honesty is the best policy”. And sincerity is about being good and true to oneself. We keep going down that road and eventually land up discussing about morality and ethics in the name of Integrity.

Following are relavent excerpts from an Interview with Michael Jensen. Download the complete interview: here.

  • Integrity: A state or condition of being whole, complete, unbroken, unimpaired, sound, in perfect condition.
  • Morality: In a given society, in a given era of that society, morality is the generally-accepted standards of what is desirable and undesirable; of right and wrong conduct, and what is considered by that society as good or bad behaviour of a person, group or entity.
  • Ethics: In a given group, ethics is the agreed upon standards of what is desirable and undesirable; of right and wrong conduct; of what is considered by that group as good and bad behaviour of a person, group or entity that is a member of the group, and may include defined bases for discipline, including exclusion

Integrity is a purely positive proposition. It has nothing to do with good vs. bad. Think for a moment about the Law of Gravity: there is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ gravity; like integrity, it just ‘is’. Morality and ethics, on the other hand, are normative concepts in that they deal with matters of good or bad, right vs. wrong. Morality refers to a society’s standards of right and wrong behaviour for individuals and groups within that society, while ethics refers to the normative set of values that apply to all members of a group or organization. Thus, both morality and ethics relate to desirable vs. undesirable behavior.

Integrity is important to individuals, groups, organizations and society because it creates workability. Without integrity, the workability of any object, system, person, group or organization declines; and as workability declines, the opportunity for performance declines. Therefore, integrity is a necessary condition for maximum performance.

An individual is whole and complete when their word is whole and complete, and their word is whole and complete when they honour their word. We can honour our word in one of two ways: first, by keeping our word, and on time as promised; or second, as soon as we know that we won’t keep our word, we inform all parties involved and clean up any mess that we’ve caused in their lives – by making a new promise or by creating with them the necessary structures for dealing with one not having kept the word. When we do this, we are honouring our word despite having not kept it, and we have maintained our integrity.

A group/organization/system is whole and complete only if the the people involved are in complete Integrity, along with the design of the system, its implementation and use.

The origin of negation

When we go about the world, we have expectations which are often not fulfilled. For example, I go to meet an old friend. I imagine that he will be happy to see me after all these years and that we chat for hours sharing about our lives. I go there and I find that he doesn’t recognize me at all. At that moment my friend begins to appear to me as ‘not-him’. All of a sudden the ‘being’ of my friend has become the ‘non-being of the friend from my expectation’. Everything about him will be reflecting that non-being.

So as Sartre claims in his book on ‘Being and Nothingness‘ – “It is evident that non-being always appears within the limits of a human expectation.”

Non-being is an illusion because it occurs only in the consciousness of an individual. The world always consists of beings. Our conversations about the world creates non-beings and bring them about as realities in our lives. Non-beings create a weak relationship with reality for us – by that I mean reality consists of beings, but my expectations create non-beings. Hence I land up dealing with the unreal non-beings in addition to the beings. Overtime I would have created sufficient non-beings to occupy my time and energy; that I would be disconnected from the beings in the world. I am living inside of an illusion, so to speak!

I am thinking of all the conversations I have in my mind about – ‘this should not have happened’, ‘he/she should not have said this/that’, ‘I should not have done that’, ‘I should have waited a bit more before committing to this/that project’, etc… All of these conversations (though valid) create non-beings. And I can notice how much energy and time I am spending on those. “It is evident that non-being always appears within the limits of a human expectation.” – this is giving me yet another view of life.