A Conversation with Ramesh Srinivasan, UCLA’s Distinguished Representative

Ramesh Srinivasan: Exploring Technology and the Human Spirit

Ramesh Srinivasan, the founder of the Digital Cultures Lab at UCLA, has been actively examining the meaning of technology for years. In a recent interview, he discussed his inspirations, his Buddhist practices, and his thoughts on the future of technology.

Finding Inspiration in Music and Futurism

Srinivasan finds inspiration in music that pushes boundaries and challenges traditional norms. He believes that exploring different forms of trauma and critique can lead to new possibilities and visions for the future. By integrating the heart and the spirit into technology, he believes we can create a more authentic and interconnected world.

The Power of Buddhist Practices

As a practicing Buddhist, Srinivasan incorporates daily meditation into his life. He particularly focuses on the brahmaviharas, which are four divine abodes discussed by Buddha. These abodes include metta (friendliness), karuna (compassion), mudita (empathic joy), and upekkha (letting go). By embracing these practices, Srinivasan finds joy, peace, and balance in his life.

Technology as an Expression of Mind and Spirit

Srinivasan argues that technology is not solely a product of the rational mind but also the poetic and aesthetic mind. He draws inspiration from Heidegger’s belief that techne, the root of technology, encompasses more than just logic. Srinivasan believes that progressive spirituality can be seen as a form of technology, influenced by Buddhist philosophies.

The Intersection of Art, Philosophy, and Engineering

While studying industrial engineering at Stanford, Srinivasan pursued a wide range of disciplines that extended beyond the traditional engineering curriculum. He explored art, philosophy, religious studies, and music. One of his favorite classes focused on Dadaism, an avant-garde movement that challenged societal norms. Srinivasan also developed an interest in Chinese religious studies and found enjoyment in a multivariate calculus class.

Editor Notes: Exploring the Intersection of Technology and Humanity

Ramesh Srinivasan’s insights on technology and spirituality shed light on the deeper connections we can forge in our increasingly digitized world. By infusing our creations with the values of compassion, joy, and mindfulness, we can create a future that embraces the human spirit. Srinivasan’s work reminds us to consider the impact of technology on our lives and strive for a technological landscape that aligns with our collective well-being.

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