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Devraj Kori
Works at Federal Communications Commission
Attended Washington and Lee University
Lives in Fairfax, VA
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Devraj Kori

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http://devrajkori.com/in-defense-of-jill-ellis-and-abby-wambach/

My response to the criticism that the #USWNT has been facing for its performances in the 2015 Women's World Cup
2015-06-25 by dkori | Soccer, Sports, Uncategorized · In defense of Jill Ellis (and Abby Wambach). On Monday night, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team registered it's 3rd successive clean sheet en route to defeating Colombia 2-0 in the first knock-out round of the 2015 Women's World Cup.
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Devraj Kori

Mindfulness  - 
 
Despite being out of college for a few years now, I still frequently read articles and literature that I feel readily relate to the themes of this course.  However, I've found that day to day, learning about mindfulness is much easier to do than actually engaging in mindfulness; I often use those articles as another source of cheap stimulation. 

I came across this link, and it made me take a step back.  When I get out of the habit, it's difficult for me to return to meditative practices. This helped me take the first step

http://www.pixelthoughts.co/#
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Morgan Harris's profile photoSarah Helms's profile photo
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at first i tried to click the pixels and move them into the star haha. this is really cool and that is so true about reading versus engaging. good reminder. we talked about myth of sisyphus in my french class today (we're reading waiting for godot) and i thought of you and your absurd soccer man essay. hope all is well!
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Devraj Kori
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So I started writing what was going to be a blog post comparing Albert Camus's The Myth of Sisyphus to Roberto Martinez, the manager of the english soccer team Everton FC (Tim Howard's team for those of you that watched the World Cup).  It ended up turning into a pretty long essay since I found it tough to summarize Camus's writing. 

This is a rough draft of that essay, I'm sorry that it's so long but if any of you have spare time to read I would love to get any feedback on it.  I wasn't really sure of the audience I'm writing for, I had hoped it would be understandable to people who are only casually familiar with soccer and casually familiar with philosophy, but there's a good chance I failed on both counts.  

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mjfw-9hPjJDlhXr4twARR2a15H4IKk7rBmwcyBaz9tg/edit?usp=sharing
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No problem Dev! I'm glad you wrote it
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Devraj Kori

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I'm very sorry to hear this, but I respect Professor Velasquez's decision. To cling to A Course About Nothing beyond its time would seem to run contrary to the lessons I learned in that very course.  It is fruitless to hold on to "nothing", to wish in vain that Washington and Lee university would make an effort to practice the values of a true liberal arts education, the values it has no trouble touting to prospective students. 

For now, I will just try to be grateful that I was able to experience the challenges, rigors, and personal revelations of a Velasquez course. I also feel for future generations of W&L students who will be deprived of such an experience.  

Non Incautus Futuri - Not Unmindful of the Future.  I don't know any latin so I'm sure there's a reason for the double negative, but I get the sense that it takes "Incautus" - unmindfulness - as the status quo.  "Non Incautus" is then something other than what is presumed, something we ought to strive for. Education is a never-ending journey, and if W&L's motto is something to work towards, rather than something immediately realized, perhaps the school is simply not yet ready for classes with a stated focus on Mindfulness. The irony and hypocrisy is not lost on me. 

What is won't always be, and I think few students who read Plato today have much sympathy for Socrates' sentencers.  *The time will come where the philistines who punish impiety to the gods of college rankings and wall-street job placements are looked upon with similar ridicule.  *

Thanks for everything Professor, what has transpired here is unfair and the loss to the W&L community is far more bitter than the taste of hemlock.  I hope I can play some part in whatever project you take on next. 
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General Discussion / links  - 
 
Animated philosophical dialogue about whether the social progress over the last few centuries of human history was made possible by Reason or Empathy.

http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_and_rebecca_newberger_goldstein_the_long_reach_of_reason
Here's a TED first: an animated Socratic dialog! In a time when irrationality seems to rule both politics and culture, has reasoned thinking finally lost its power? Watch as psychologist Steven Pinker is gradually, brilliantly persuaded by philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein that reason is actually the key driver of human moral progress, even if its effect sometimes takes generations to unfold. The dialog was recorded live at TED, and animate...
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The website coinkite.com is accepting donations to the Red Cross Philippines relief effort in #Bitcoin.  Coinkite is a popular website and are staking their reputation on this, plus the Canadian government has agreed to match the donations!  

Bitcoin has been good to me, and it's nice to have a platform to share that fortune with those in need.  And as far as I know, this is the best way to make sure almost all of your donation goes to the relief effort *without lining Visa or Verizon's pockets in the process. * 

Donation Link:  https://coinkite.com/rxkt7z

My Transaction:  https://blockchain.info/tx/00cb931d977b931a28c2b84c12f16fb450ad0a4c59fd4786031d032b8ef2a843
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Have him in circles
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Devraj Kori
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Blog posts  - 
 
I was inspired by an awesome piece in the new W&L student publication, the Stone, to write a short response.  Hope you like it.

http://devrajkori.com/the-art-of-kissing/
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Devraj Kori
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sent a photo of this to +Eduardo Velasquez this morning. Saw it in the Express. then I meditated on the escalator.
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Devraj Kori

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http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dave_Brat&action=history

David Brat's wikipedia page has been edited over 500 times today alone, as of 1:45 pm on June 11th.  Brat defeated sitting house majority leader Erick Cantor in the Virginia 7th congressional district GOP primary. 

I think the history page provides an interesting glimpse at an ongoing battle of rhetoric.  Click on some older versions, and compare them to both the version prior to that revision, and to the current version.  

For instance, the current version phrases the primary result as Brat's "upset victory," rather than Cantor's "upset defeat."  There is also a push to emphasize that he was a professor of "economics."  

Further, in the 24-hour journalism cycle, time is of the essence and many journalists unfamiliar with Brat will turn to wikipedia as a source.  It'll be interesting to see how the victories won in the rhetorical battle over Brat's wiki permeate into the mainstream media's coverage. 
For any version listed below, click on its date to view it. For more help, see Help:Page history and Help:Edit summary. External tools: Revision history statistics · Revision history search · Contributors · Edits by user · Number of watchers · Page view statistics ...
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I saw him speak a year ago in Richmond at a rotary club. He seemed pretty reasonable at the time, before he entered politics and all that.

I was honestly surprised to read his platform on his website, he seems to have internalized the tea party platform in totality. 
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Devraj Kori

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I will try to keep this brief, for a little context W&L Professor Velasquez has been asked to "take contemplation out" of his political philosophy courses by the university administration.  Those of you who experienced a Velasquez course know that his methods may seem unusual or unorthodox.  His upper-level courses would incorporate meditation, yoga, and spin classes along with rigorous course readings and writing assignments to create a unique and fully engaging educational experience.  

In this letter, Professor Velasquez asks to be seen before the Executive Committee.  In their request to "take contemplation out", the faculty administration has implied that his courses/methods have caused harm to the W&L community, so to me it is appropriate for the body charged with overseeing the trust of the W&L community to investigate these allegations.  

To me, Washington and Lee University is not a vocational school.  I may not share motives with the typical student, but I did not choose to attend W&L solely to increase my future salary potential.  I was drawn in by the promise of a well-rounded liberal arts education, one that permeates all aspects of college life well beyond the classroom.

I believe Professor Velasquez's courses exemplify the notion of a liberal arts education.  A Course About Nothing was a transformative experience for me, it allowed me to internalize the academic lessons I experienced in politics, economics, and philosophy courses throughout my academic career in a unique way that fundamentally changed the way I approach the world around me.

 I also think it's disquietingly fitting that the man who introduced me to Socrates now faces pressure for practicing a pedagogy which the powers that be view as strange and dangerous.  
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We are asked to attend to our craft with delicacy and care, and that is as it should be.  When asked to take contemplation out, I asked what that could be, I asked how I ought to remove pedagogical practices that are the heart and soul of political philosophy out.  Some part of the event on 02.27.14 was a response to ignorance, misunderstanding, concern, the sensibilities and knowledge vary.  The characterization of those who asked for the "take out," that seemed hasty, confused, the imperative so far removed from any sense of what contemplation could be.  Here is a curious fact, no one asked.  What may have looked strange seven years ago is well not so strange anymore, and I am not afraid of or deterred by difficulties and opposition.  My CV is in the development of a modest contemplative program.  We were holding silences many years before we named that "a pedagogy."  

We ought to discuss contemplation, mindfulness, enter into a dialogue, and for good measure I should not be present and thus alleviate fears about disciplines issuing from contemplative sciences.  At the "take out," I explained contemplation as one of many modes of mind, how it might be present in philosophy, art, and every discipline that attends to mind.  The response was a causal link starting at my courses and ending in "mental disturbances."  

My response was not, this is preposterous, I said as I do now contemplation isn't anything and everything.  Philosophical introspection isn't anything and everything, could philosophy reach a student at the wrong time and in the wrong way?  What of some Shakespeare, that isn't exactly happy and nice.  Reading Hamlet can turn a reader inside out if there is care, thought, and some critical thinking involved.  When I heard the "take out" I said, contemplative associations do have standards, among them three years of consistent practice.  For many reasons the word meditation is used sparingly, even those who may know that there is an unique place for silent meditation.  Of meditation there are many kinds.  Look for some abstract "mindfulness" in the "East," good luck.  You won't find it.  And when you do it is likely to be "right mindfulness," or words to that effect.  I almost said we should be cavalier about contemplation, then thought of our colleagues at UVA and they are an inspiration.  

We should note too that there is no "institution," or "the study body," an "administration" outside the persons that compose it.  An event "here" and "there" do not a university make.  Maybe this sounds pedantic or excessively refined, I have said as much about some of what we do.  The step I took wasn't a singular decision, in a moment; words hear matured over many years, and they don't establish an outcome, nor do they ask for anything but the one rule we abide by.  I am here, outside the gates, and as I wrote, having taken all the mental steps out of the university.  Do I want to go?  No.  Am I insisting on going?  No.  From where I sit and stand, I don't see why I should fail to say so, wonder what brings us to teh few events I crystalized, for they are poignant.  That they are also not one or two concerns us.  But we aren't simply adding up grievances and then deciding who has the most.  To the contrary, I said let us not do that.  My experience is of a work environment that sure does feel hostile, about matters that are the heart and soul of education in a free society.  Understandably, the many breaches of trust, common decency, procedures and process prompts me to say that we do have long standing adjudicative body, and with regard to the EC I am as always.  Bound to Robert E. Lee's one rule and will accept the single sanction.  Whatever the jurisdiction are, we are all abound by this rule.  The proliferation of an administrative class (and persons in it), the reams of policies unfurled in the last year, speak to the absence of the rule.  Not each and every one, we shall generalize the circumstances as we do the rule.  


In the course of events that lead to "take contemplation out" my sense is that we are at some considerable distance form what we purport to be, what many fine men and women are and should be, and to be sure aren't and have not been.  I began with myself.  I have heard "the case history," was myself part of "the case history," resigned from a committee in protest of our failure to call a spade a spade, I am among the grown ups who do know.  Sometimes the grown ups don't do what they are supposed to do.  No student has heard a faculty member say so publicly and openly that there are events on campus that feel as parts of my own body, and yes the testimonies I hear bleed.   I am ashamed of one too many meetings reviewing statistics that show our "progress on assault issues," to decide whether forced detention and torture is suspension or temporary relocation for a year.  And, yes, I am persuaded that contemplation brings us to a renewed perspective on who we are and what we do, and whatever may be the concerns about it, I have put it out in the open, should not have hear my work misrepresented and denigrated, university counsel watching my yoga class, end up as "other" in the latest Commerce School report for accreditation, worry that students are in proximity of perplexing, silly, yes, some of the events of the last year are silly, and also harmful.  I explained the troubles with mold, fungi, and how to test for them in buildings.  I explained why there  isn't an "agent" to get out, even said, look I am not claiming a basement office is bad period.  I am saying here are the ingredients to a perfect storm, for which there are first calls to my physician without my consent, and in failing to secure medical information by those means, a letter asking me to open the doors to all of my medical history and in perpetuity, and also to list how I am disabled and thus not able to "perform."  Through that entire "process" I sat quietly in the Commons and without speaking a word about these peculiar circumstances.  

Dev, I haven't responded to the spirit of your letter.  I feel it, and we know what is in and among those who study and learn with us.  We also know that news travels in odd ways, not by design.  And we also of  the insufficiency of words.  From our time together, we know that instance of less than clear and precise rhetoric are (1) inevitable, such is the nature of speech, and (2) necessary to say enough and not have to say more.  As to my sentiment, some might say he sounds animated.  Yes, I care.  As for anger, consider for how long I resisted saying anything, for how long I have done the procedure and only the procedure, spoken with those who are in charge, restrained friends and students from saying anything that would bring their alma mater into disrepute.  I say what I say from a place, time, and circumstances,and I risk everything, you can imagine how this reads at home, I say so strongly, and my words do have a bite.  No one does this without caring deeply for the education we are entrusted with.  I see my thirteen year old daughter and fifteen year old son sitting in the class, right there you, Bassani, Mu, Peter, would I not want a teacher to do say I am concerned?  Why are we doing as we do?  What are we called to do? What example do we leave for young men and women when we cannot and do not express indignation, in a university, where earnest inquiry is what we do?  I do not see faculty as servile men and women.  What could possible justify tenure, job security for life?  When words are about life and death, when they rise to protect the space without words, when there is a human destiny and a world we are obliged to care for, given, there, a river, sunset, and your face, son, man, the custodian of this astonishing place and community of souls.
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Devraj Kori

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New post on my #Bitcoin blog about how I forgot the password to an encrypted wallet and relied on a stranger on the internet to get it back:

http://devsbitcoinblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/my-stupidity-is-another-mans.html

feel free to reshare with anyone with an interest in Bitcoin

+Kevin McErlean  +Chris Letson +Morgan Harris +Richard Knack +neal norman +Robert Warneford-Thomson +Robert Warneford-Thomson +Jenks Wilson +Greg Ussery +Mathew O'Sullivan +Snoop Dogg
I wanted to share an experience I had a few months back.  In a move that hardly defies my normal pattern of behavior, I did something very stupid thinking I was doing something sort of smart, and faced some expensive conseque...
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Devraj Kori

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Frank Culbertson was the only American in space on September 11, 2001. This is what he saw.

"It's horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point," he wrote. "The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche."

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/09/the-story-of-the-only-american-not-on-earth-on-september-11th/262216/
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Have him in circles
121 people
Eduardo Velasquez's profile photo
lore elizondo's profile photo
John Daniels Riveros's profile photo
Matthew Coburn's profile photo
Contemplative Political Philosophy's profile photo
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Vijay khar's profile photo
Charles Zhao's profile photo
Rushil Patel's profile photo
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    Dismal Scientist, 2012 - present
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It was the tension between these two poles- a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other- that kept me going.
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    Economics, Politics, Philosophy, 2008 - 2012
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