Monday, March 22, 2010
I had rejected Buddhism along with every other religion under the sun back in high school. Moving to Utah forced me to figure out what I believed in (and didn't believe in) very quickly upon arrival. Having grown up in a city in Montana that had one of every church and parents who didn't push us to be religious left me with a default agnosticism. Upon arriving in Utah, my friends wanted to know what religion I was and would I consider becoming Mormon. I came to realize I was an atheist, and a pretty devout one (which cost me a few friendships early on).
I went through a dogmatic phase where my biggest concerns were getting "In God We Trust" off of U.S. money and "Under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance. As I became more interested in social and political issues and began going to college, the rabid atheism took a backseat to a less confrontational atheism and a general interest in religion as a sociological phenomena.
Kayla proposed that we both read the book and compare notes and thoughts. She mentioned that she had begun meditating and was finding it quite interesting, if a little boring. I mentioned that I wasn't one for meditation (my bias against anything "spiritual" still firmly entrenched), but that I would be interested in reading the book and talking about it.
The book gave just enough about Buddhism to make me realize just how little I had known about it. I had been vaguely aware of the story of the Buddha and was aware of the Dalai Lama and his struggle for the freedom of Tibetans. Being a sociologist interested in religion gave me an idea of the social significance it plays in many countries around the world, but its canon and doctrines were not something I had ever examined.
I plan for this to be the first of many posts on Buddhism, a topic I have been interested in recently. In the next post I plan to highlight some of the points I found interesting from that first book and where it led me to turn next.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
My first GAO report was recently released to a surprising amount of media coverage. The report can be downloaded here:
The Wall Street Journal and Associated Press both had original stories about the report. Both authors contacted the Director on the report with questions.
Associate Press story
Wall Street Journal story
The AP story was also picked up by various other news outlets including:
In addition, some smaller regional and local papers have also picked it up.
Finally, the report has also sparked interest among some industry blogs and websites: