In The Periphery

A Spiritual Journey Through Burma

Have you ever wanted to visit Burma and experience this different culture? How fascinating would it be to step foot into another realm that was previously hidden and controlled from communicating with the rest of the globe? Many people say Burma is like stepping into a time machine and going back in history. I recently travelled to this mysterious place, and left my comfortable Canmore ab condo rentals.

 More than 90 percent of Burmese people practice Buddhism— Theravada Buddhism to be exact. Actually, all the pervading countries surrounding Burma— such as Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Laos, all report high percentages of Buddhism. The charming element of Burma is they actively engage and embrace in Buddhist practices such as offerings, good deeds, charity work, and kindness to build their merit towards enlightenment. They take this task very seriously. Devotion, just like in India, pervades the country. On their temples and shrines they don’t only have Buddha present, but entities that pre-date Buddha such as mythical figures and half-animal creatures. You can find these deities guarding every temple and street shrine throughout the countryside. You’ll also find other offerings such a burning incense, bowls of fruit, and mini rice plates.

 Burma is infused with myth, history and religion, and is also an odd fusion of the spiritual Hindu-Balinese religious culture in Bali, Indonesia. There is a pilgrimage site for the Burmese called Mount Popa which is a must see to really witness the spirituality in Burma. Imagine Bagan’s crumbling ruins, massive golden stupas, and mountain side temples with spectacular views. There’s also a bright golden zedi you must visit on the hilltop temple. The faded green landscape and curious monkeys accented the experience beautifully.

 If you have the opportunity to carve some time out for yourself and pursue this world, I’d highly recommend you do it. If you’re looking to challenge the status quo, step out of your comfort zone, and learn more about Buddhism and spiritual practices, Burma is a must. There’s also opportunities to explore many meditation practices. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.


A comment on schedules: Ok, how long will it take? For each manager involved in initial meetings add one month. For each manager who says “data flow analysis” add another month. For each unique end-user type add one month. For each unknown software package to be employed add two months. For each unknown hardware device add two months. For each 100 miles between developer and installation add one month. For each type of communication channel add one month. If an IBM mainframe shop is involved and you are working on a non-IBM system add 6 months. If an IBM mainframe shop is involved and you are working on an IBM system add 9 months. Round up to the nearest half-year. —Brad Sherman By the way, ALL software projects are done by iterative prototyping. Some companies call their prototypes “releases”, that’s all. 

8) Use common sense in routing cable. Avoid wrapping coax around sources of strong electric or magnetic fields. Do not wrap the cable around flourescent light ballasts or cyclotrons, for example. — Ethernet Headstart Product, Information and Installation Guide, Bell Technologies, pg. 11 

"The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell." — Saint Augustine 

"An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of code." — an anonymous programmer 

It is a very humbling experience to make a multimillion-dollar mistake, but it is also very memorable. I vividly recall the night we decided how to organize the actual writing of external specifications for OS/360. The manager of architecture, the manager of control program implementation, and I were threshing out the plan, schedule, and division of responsibilities. The architecture manager had 10 good men. He asserted that they could write the specifications and do it right. It would take ten months, three more than the schedule allowed. The control program manager had 150 men. He asserted that they could prepare the specifications, with the architecture team coordinating; it would be well-done and practical, and he could do it on schedule. Futhermore, if the architecture team did it, his 150 men would sit twiddling their thumbs for ten months. To this the architecture manager responded that if I gave the control program team the responsibility, the result would not in fact be on time, but would also be three months late, and of much lower quality. I did, and it was. He was right on both counts. Moreover, the lack of conceptual integrity made the system far more costly to build and change, and I would estimate that it added a year to debugging time. - Frederick Brooks Jr., “The Mythical Man Month”