Everyday there are new problems, ugly problems, trivial problems and fun problems. I like to spend as much time and attention working with the fun problems and try to quickly pass by the trivial problems and not get too stuck in the ugly problems.

So what makes a problem fun for me? In my case whenever I have a problem that can be viewed with big picture thinking I go to Google Earth. Somehow just looking at the whole Earth gives me an instant general perspective on humanity’s place on this planet and what my place is in particular. Anyone can go to whatever place they choose instantly on Street View. If I want to go to a coffee shop I can go to the Caffe Mediterraneum in Berkeley, CA (37.8655, -122.2585) or pop over the Caffe Roma in Christchurch NZ (-43.5302, 172.6341) overlooking the punters on the River Avon, or off to The Conan Doyle in Edinburg, Scotland (55.9566, -03.1878) across the street from the author’s birthplace, or off to Shakespeare’s Bookstore and coffee shops in Paris (48.8526, 2.3472) near the Seine River and the Notre Dame cathedral. There are several great places in San Miguel de Allende, (20.9141, -100.7438) so hanging out in the plaza is pleasant and hanging out on a summer day at Sprouts in South Lake Tahoe (38.9422, -119.9776) is wonderful but a bit too close to the street noise and not very intellectual but fun. My first real coffee shop experience was at the Co-existence Bagel shop at Grant and Green in San Francisco (37.7997, -122.4074), now a Thai restaurant but in the summer of 1957 it was the center of the world for me.

It has always seemed strange to me that I should be exactly where so many extremists of every sort hung out when they were going crazy doing their particular form of social improvement while I was more radical and at the same time more conservative than any of them. I always had a tendency to look to the consequences of the actions and weigh them against the silly behavior. It seems I care about the world in the abstract and am willing to tolerate impossible behavior in my companions and still love them even though I call them crazy to their face. I do it realizing we are all crazy and are operating in our world with a very limited set of habits we learned long before we even considered what consciousness might be or become. Before we even knew we were human.