Analects of Confucius Book 7: Confucius on self-cultivation

Confucius on self-cultivation

If there’s one central theme of Book 7 of the Analects, it’s the importance Confucius places on the power of self-cultivation. He is so focused on what he saw as his heaven-given mission of restoring the former greatness of Zhou dynasty that he doesn’t have the time or inclination to pursue the power, wealth, fame, honors, and other trappings of success craved by his contemporaries.

Confucius doesn’t claim to have any particular talent for undertaking this mission. In 7.19, he candidly admits “I wasn’t born with innate knowledge. I simply love the past and am assiduous in seeking it there.” Continue reading Analects of Confucius Book 7: Confucius on self-cultivation

notes from the field: The Clans of the Alphane Moon

Clans of the Alphane Moon

I finished The Clans of the Alphane Moon by Philip K. Dick on the flight over to Las Vegas. Dick sets up an intriguing scenario for the novel, involving a society made up of former patients of a mental asylum on the eponymous moon whose peaceful if fractious existence is threatened by the plans of the authorities of the planet Terra to restore their claims to the territory.

A bitter struggle between Chuck Rittersdorf, a CIA agent husband who hits on a plan to carry out the perfect murder of Mary, his marriage counselor ex-wife, while she is serving as the Terra representative on the moon provides the central narrative thrust of the fast-paced and thought-provoking plot. It’s just a pity that the conflict between them ends like a schmaltzy love story. Or does it? Continue reading notes from the field: The Clans of the Alphane Moon

notes from the field: gearing up for Conexpo Con/Agg 2020

work truck show 2020

The end of a great week at Work Truck Show 2020! This was the first time VIA has attended the event, and I was very impressed with the organization and the enthusiastic response we received from attendees who visited our booth. There is a huge pent-up demand in the market for AI systems like ours that boost vehicle safety and utilization. I’m already looking forward to returning to Indianapolis for the show next year!

The next stop on my itinerary is Las Vegas for Conexpo Con/Agg 2020, which starts next Tuesday, March 10. In addition to the product line-up we had at the Work Truck Show, we’ll be showing our new VIA Mobile360 Sense Obstacle Detection solution at our booth. Continue reading notes from the field: gearing up for Conexpo Con/Agg 2020

Analects of Confucius Book 7: the relationship between Zilu and Confucius

relationship between Zilu and Confucius

Book 7 includes yet more episodes in the fractious but close relationship between Zilu and Confucius. How, and perhaps more importantly why, this most loyal of followers continued to put up with the harsh critiques of his master is a great mystery to me. There’s a fine line between a light-hearted joke and a mean-spirited barb.

When Zilu asks Confucius who he would appoint to help him if he were given command of the Three Armies in 7.10, he is of course hoping that the sage will put his name at the top of the list. Instead, Confucius takes this opportunity to give him a sharp (though colorful) rebuke for his recklessness: “I wouldn’t choose someone who wrestles tigers barehanded or swims across rivers without fearing death. But I would choose someone who approaches difficulties with due caution and achieves victories through careful planning.” Continue reading Analects of Confucius Book 7: the relationship between Zilu and Confucius

Analects of Confucius Book 7: a vivid portrait of Confucius

portrait of Confucius

Book 7 of the Analects paints a vivid portrait of Confucius striving to put the lofty principles and values he teaches his followers and students into practice in his daily life. This is a never-ending quest that causes him to constantly reflect on his inability to live up to the standards he has set for himself.

“Although my commitment is as strong as anyone’s when it comes to cultural knowledge and refinement,” he laments in 7.32, “I haven’t yet hit the target of becoming a true leader in how I conduct myself.” “How could I possibly dare to claim that I’m a man of great wisdom and goodness?” he adds in the next chapter. “All that can be said of me is that I never grow weary of learning and never get tired of teaching others.” Continue reading Analects of Confucius Book 7: a vivid portrait of Confucius

notes from the field: Work Truck Show 2020 first day

work truck show 2020 day 1

A busy first day at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. It was very encouraging to see so much interest in our VIA Mobile360 M800 Series in-vehicle safety systems and D700 AI dash cam for fleet management applications.

It was fun, too, to walk around the show floor and take a look at the other exhibits. As naïve as it may sound, I had never realized how big some of these trucks can be before I saw them before my very eyes. Most of them are far too large for the bustling streets of Taipei. Continue reading notes from the field: Work Truck Show 2020 first day

notes from the field: setting up for Work Truck Show 2020

Work Truck Show 2020

Greetings from a grey but very friendly Indianapolis. The night receptionist at my hotel gave me such an irrepressible smile when I went down to the lobby at four o’clock this morning that I had no idea how to reciprocate it.

Today, we’ll be setting up the VIA booth for Work Truck Show 2020. Although the event kicks off today with a series of keynotes and workshops, the exhibition itself doesn’t begin until tomorrow. Our booth is located at Level 1, #5507, if you would like to stop by. Continue reading notes from the field: setting up for Work Truck Show 2020

Analects of Confucius Book 7: hopes and dreams of Confucius

hopes and dreams of Confucius

What were the hopes and dreams of Confucius? What kept him plugging away despite the many setbacks he suffered during his career as a government official in his home state of Lu and his subsequent fourteen years of exile?

The first chapter of Book 7 of the Analects gives us a hint when he famously declares: “I transmit but I don’t create. I am faithful to and love the past.” On the surface, Confucius may appear to be speaking modestly about his own abilities and ambitions, but in reality he’s revealing that his ultimate dream is to restore the lost glories of the early Zhou dynasty when it was ruled by his great hero, the Duke of Zhou. Continue reading Analects of Confucius Book 7: hopes and dreams of Confucius

notes from the field: VIA at Embedded World 2020

embedded world 2020

No big surprise that there was a subdued atmosphere at the opening of Embedded World 2020 given the number of cancellations by key vendors. Fortunately, the mood lightened during the day as more and more visitors arrived.

While the show wasn’t as busy as in previous years, we had a steady stream of customers come to the VIA booth. For all the benefits of online communication, it still doesn’t fully replace old-fashioned face-face interactions. There’s no better way of understanding customer needs and building long-term relationships. Continue reading notes from the field: VIA at Embedded World 2020

Analects of Confucius Book 7: Confucius’s love of music

Confucius's love of music

The greatest love that Confucius preferred to pursue rather than wealth was music (see 7.11). He is said to have been a fairly decent musician himself, and in 7.13 is described as being so enraptured by a performance of Shao music that he saw during a visit to the state of Qi that he “didn’t know the taste of meat” for three months.

Confucius didn’t just love music for its aesthetic beauty. He also saw it as the ultimate embodiment of cultural sophistication and civilization with its power to elevate people’s senses and thoughts to ever greater levels of harmony with each other and their surrounding environment. When combined with ritual, it exemplified the values that everyone could achieve if they followed the way he laid out for them. Continue reading Analects of Confucius Book 7: Confucius’s love of music