Published on February 11th, 2013 | by msalt


Spiritual Database Cultivation

The Tao Bums is a wild and wooly discussion forum for Daoists of all stripes, from well versed philosophical types (like Marblehead) to well versed practitioners of Daoist ritual (Stigweard) to … um, trolls, shamans, people obsessed with conservation of semen (I wish I was kidding) and a self-described reincarnation of Laozi who is predicting the end of the world. Just a lot of good fun, but not for the faint of heart.

Recently someone posted a topic for people to ask spiritual questions, and specified that “ONLY teachers may answer.” Well, I taught a Microsoft Access Database class this morning, so I was inspired to answer thelerner’s question, “What are 3 simple things we can do to improve our cultivation?”


3 simple principles of database cultivation:

1) Honor each datum. Don’t repeat or duplicate it, but rather point to it relationally. If there is only one true datum in the real world, then you should have only one field for it in your database.

2) Separate your front end (the manifestations) from your back end data (the source.) Back each up diligently, but focus especially on the source.

3) Remember that your software and data are not machines. They are the distilled spirits of many people, so treat them as the living essences that they are, and do not cleanse them of personality. EG, don’t be afraid to be funny or sassy in your comments, dialogs and field names.

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About the Author

Mark Saltveit is a writer, standup comedian, skimboarder and dad based in Middlebury, Vermont. His improv show "Palindrome Fight!" will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Aug. 5-29th 2022 at the Kilderkin Pub, 67 Canongate, at 7:30pm each night except Tuesdays.

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