Category Archives: Life

Modern Romance

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modernromanceBy Aziz Ansari (2015)

There were some funny aspects in the beginning part of the book. The book did examined some research that was done, but it did give me a feeling that times have changed and future relationships have become more vulnerable than ever.

Finding someone today is probably more complicated and stressful than it was for previous generations – but you’re also more likely to end up with someone you are really excited about.

The search for the right person – the meaning of “right person” has changed radically in a very much short amount of time.

A few generations ago, if I had been a young person, I would have gotten married pretty young say around 23 years old. Most will end up marrying someone who live in the neighbourhood.

In today’s era, at 23years old, I wasn’t thinking about marriage at all. Instead I got the chance to experience “emerging adulthood” and grow as a person. I met people from all over the world in this part of my life. I wasn’t limited to just the folks I knew in my neighbourhood.

The “good-enough marriage” is definitely not good enough for today’s singles. We are not content to marry someone who happens to live down the street and gets along okay with our parents. We want a soul mate. We want a lifelong wingman/wingwoman who completes us and can handle the truth.

Today, once you start dating someone, your physical lives aren’t the only things that get entangled; your phone worlds also merge. Treat potential partners like actual people, not bubbles on a screen. With online dating and smartphones, we can message people all over the world. However, it is important to analyse options in the real world, not just on the screen.

 

 

 

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Making Modern World : Materials and Dematerialization

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By Vaclav Smil  (2013)

Makingmodernworld Over the course  of time, the modern world has become dependent on  unprecedented flows of materials. Now even the most efficient production processes and recycling may not be enough to result in dematerialization rate.

I am still at the beginning of the book. I think it is a little dry though it does start to explore the history of how organisms use materials.

The use of materials fall into 5 major categories :

1) Rarest to inconsequential category : use collected natural materials as tools. Chimpanzees use blades of grass or twigs to collect termites or small stones and they use stone anvils to crack open nuts.

2) Use of secreted materials to build protective / prey catching structures. Spider silk is one of the most remarkable secreted material, with a tensile strength similar to that of good quality steel.

 

3) Removal of biomass and man made materials to create remarkably designed structures example from beaver dams to intricate nests. Leafcutter ants (genus Atta) harvest leaves, drag them underground into nests to cultivate fungus. Beavers are active harvesters of wood used to build their dams. Birds’ nests offer the most varied and sometimes spectacular examples of construction using natural materials.

 

4) Removal and repositioning of soils  and clays (termite mounds, intricate rodent burrow) Some bower birds of Australia and New Guinea attract females using colorful natural objects such as shells, berries, leaves and flowers, but also discarded bits of plastic, metal or glass. Termites are the greatest aggregate movers and users of soils in subtropical and tropical environments as they construct often impressively tall and voluminous mounds that not only shelter the massive colonies, but also provide induced ventilation driven by pressure differences.

 

5) Extraction of minerals from water, mostly to build ecoskeleton example corals, phytoplankton.  The largest use of natural materials are the marine biomineralizers that are able to secrete the inorganic compounds they produce from chemicals absorbed from water. Great Barrier Reef may be the world’s largest structured built by largest animals.

 

Breakthrough creativity

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Breakthrough creativity

breakthrough_creativity.jpgBy Lynne C.Levesque (2001)

The author define creativity as the ability to consistently produce different and valuable results. There is no one right or best way to be creative.

Creativity takes many forms and manifests itself in many different ways. By defining and identifying your talents, you can then figure out how to be more consistent, purposeful, and effective in producing your creative results.

One method for discovering how you are creative is to determine how you recognize information, define problems and challenges, and then go about producing creative responses and solutions.

Levesque uses C.G. Jung’s theory of psychological patterns for gathering information and making decisions about it. Her explanation of the theory and how we can use it is clear and easy to understand. She presents a method for self selecting our creative talents (we all have them) and then creates eight interesting, attention grabbing profiles. The profiles give us something to identify with as individuals and team members. Breakthrough Creativity makes it clear that all people are not pegged or pigeon-holed in only one area of creative talent. With exercises designed to help us learn more about our own creative processes and the barriers and blocks associated with them, we have the freedom to seek to expand our talents and capabilities.

There are 8 creative talents :

  1. Adventurer
  2. Navigator
  3. Explorer
  4. Visionary
  5. Pilot
  6. Inventor
  7. Harmonizer
  8. Poet

Example of

Visionary
Results and Contributions
– Provocative questions that challenge the group to find profound answers and solutions.
– New designs and solutions through unusual connections.
– imagination full of hard to describe images and futuristic possibilities
– multidiscipline perspectives.
– Penetrating, far reaching insights into future trends.
– Ability to integrate, synthesize and move the group forward.

Maximizing their contributions
– Structure the right environment.
– Provide focus and limit
– Provide space and time.
– Work with their ideas to ground them.
– Help them share their thoughts and ideas.
– Help them with managing conflict.
– Encourage the use of their decision making talent.
– Work on development plans.
– Encourage time out and play.

 

Poet
Results and Contributions
– An aesthetic appreciation for grace and elegance in solutions.
– Building an environment of trust, respect, support and a safe place for testing out new ideas and solutions.
– independent and thoughtful perspectives on the challenge, addressing people related values, content and circumstances.
– serving as the team’s ethical backbone.
– Generation of new possibilities and options through reflection and incubation.
-Articulation and portrayal of values, feelings and perspectives, often through writing.

Maximizing their contributions

-Check to be sure structure is needed.
-Provide time and space needed to be most creative.
-Make sure they are engaged and motivated.
-Recognize their sensitivity and show them uniqueness.
-Allow them opportunities and show them uniqueness.
-Help them build their conflict management and communication skills.
-Help them define objectives, set boundaries, prioritize and plan.
– Encourage critical thinking
– Build objectives for improving new skills into their performance plan.
– Watch for symptoms of stress.

 

 

 

 

 

How to learn almost anything in 48 hours

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How to learn almost anything in 48 hours

howtolearnShortcuts and brain hacks for learning new skills fast by Tansel Ali (2015) 

The author list out a 7 step guide to learn anything in 48 hours.

1. Gather materials and resources to learn (3 hours)

2. Develop memorization strategy (2 hours)

3. Organize / prioritize materials (1 hour)

4. Create accountability (Up to 1 hour)

5. Memorize (30 hours)

6. Review (spaced repetition) (1 hour)

7. Practice and apply (10 hours)

Imagination is the key to making anything more memorable. Build on foundation memory principles with SMASHIN SCOPE and bring your story to life. You can practise on anything you can visualize.

SMASHIN SCOPE

S : Senses / Sensation
M : Movement
A : Association
S : Sexuality / Self
H : Humor
I : Imagination
N : Numbers

S: Symbolism
C : Color
O : Order
P : Positive images / negative images
E : Exaggeration

The Yellow Elephant Memory Model will help you when you are not sure how to remember something. Break it down by looking at how you can create memorable mental images and link the story. There is a 4 step guide to make something memorable.

  1. Abstract – identify abstract thing.
  2. Image – Need to convert abstract to image example the word “creativity” is abstract, but we can use the image of a light bulb or even Albert Einstein to convert the abstract nature of the word to an image we recognize and understand.
  3. Association  – use physical connectivity to make a strong association.
  4. Communication -consider ways to craft info that others can understand.

When reading, use your finger as a guide by running it under the words. Doing this will not only help you read faster but also improve your comprehension.

When linking numbers, make sure you don’t mix up the order of the numbers you are trying to remember. If you make an incorrect story, you will recall wrong numbers.

When using the Method of Loci to remember numbers, always attach the story deeply into the location. Remember, physical connection makes for stronger memorisation. The Method of Loci is the fastest way to memorise playing cards. Create as many loci as you can so you don’t get your stories mixed up by repeatedly using the same location.

Create a spreadsheet listing people and their actions is super helping when using the Dominic system.

Make time to learn things you want to, not just need to, to free your mind from everyday routine. Don’t ever stop learning. It provides fuel for the soul and changes in the world.

Use mind maps or illustrations to help encode big blocks of data.

For languages, make sure you memorize the pronunciations before memorizing the phrases. It will make learning much more effective.

The best way to promote 21st century skills is to embrace Art of Memory techniques.

Real life examples of high speed learning exist. One competitor at first World Memory championships, Bruse Balmer taught himself 2000 foreign words in a single day. Another competitor from the 1999 World Memory championships famously taught himself Icelandic in only one week and then went on a talk show in that language.  These individuals have nothing special about them. Rather, they all employ a small set of simple techniques, known collectively as the Art of Memory. The Art of Memory originated in Ancient Greece. They were almost universally practiced by the thinkers of the ancient world.

Breakthrough

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breakthrough.pngHow one teen innovator is changing the world (2015)

I think it is pretty impressive for a teenage at 15 years old in his high school years to win on several science competitions and garnered international attention for his fast and easy way to detect pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers using a 4 cent strip of paper.

Although he is openly gay, but I guess with lesser distraction, that’s why he is able to focus on science and creativity matters.

He even wrote his own book, which I find that at a young age, he has achieved much more things than many people in their lives.

After reading this book, it occurred to me that going forward, science and creativity will be more important than ever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Achievement Habit

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achievementhabit.pngBy Bernard Roth (2015)

This book gives ideas in area of design thinking to control our intentions to create habits that make our lives better.

Idea of design thinking principle :
1. Empathize : Whether you design, you are not primarily doing it for yourself. You are doing it with other people’s needs and desires in mind. Figure out the user’s experience and how to help.

2. Define the problem. Narrow down which problem you are going to solve or question you want to answer.

3. Ideate. Generate possible solutions using any means you like – brainstorming, mind mapping, sketching on napkins… however you work best.

4. Prototype. Without going crazy to make anything perfect (or even close to it), build your project in physical form, or develop the plans for what you’re going to enact.

5. Test and feedback.

Some other areas of thinking :
1. Nothing is what you think it is . You give everything its meaning.

2. Reasons are bullshit. You need to have bias towards action.

3. Getting unstuck. If you get stuck, try putting it aside for a while. Or take the time to explain exactly why you can’t solve the problem. The author’s friend created a handout, listing 22 things to try if you find yourself hitting the lamp post.

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4. Find assistance. If you want people to assist you, you should ask them and be a decent human being.

5. Doing is everything. Notice the difference between intention and attention, between trying to do something and actually building it.

 

6. Watch your language. Successful communication takes both intention and attention. It requires the explicit intention that the meaning be shared and also it takes the explicit attention to be sure it has been shared. Acknowledge other people’s issues. People want to know you heard them.

 

7. Group Habits. An effective group icebreaker is to divide class into pairs in which each tells the other what type of person she is; this provides good experience in both talking and listening. The more you reveal about yourself, the more people like you. It is ironic that we hide aspects of ourselves because we fear rejection. It is the hiding, not the revealing, that leads to rejection.

Apply these same ideas in a private conversation. Next time you are having a leisurely conversation, tell your acquaintance what type of person you think you are and then ask her to tell you about herself. Then go on to share the last time you could not sleep all night and ask your partner when that happened to her. From there start trading stories about the last time you had a good laugh, the last time you made a bad mistake, and so on. At the end notice how your relationship with the other person has been altered by the details you shared.

8. Self image by design. Make a list of your attributes. Ask yourself “Who are you”
Who am I in terms of what I have?
Who am I in terms of what I do?
Who am I in terms of my being?

You can use guided fantasy to assist you in examining who you are really are. Imagine getting off the plane and making your way to a bus. Take a short bus ride, and then imagine getting off the bus. Now, imagine a house in the distance, and walk towards that house. When you get to the house, explore the outside and then the inside, examining the details carefully. In speaking for the house and its possessions, you are describing yourself. This is an excellent way to look at yourself, because it is nonthreatening. It produces candid insights that might otherwise not be available from examination of one’s own self image.

 

9. Big picture – Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs it is the rule.

 

10. Make achievement your habit – The next time you are asked to do something, don’t spend too much time thinking. Simply charge ahead. Do this by taking the first idea that comes into your head and make a quick prototype.

 

 

 

 

 

Bite-Size Einstein

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‌einsteinBite-Size Einstein : Quotations on Just About Everything from the Greatest Mind of the Twentieth Century (1996)

This is an interesting book of which Einstein expresses his thoughts on various topics.

On Art and Music :

  1. 1.True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist. I can feel this urge in Ernst Bloch’s work as in few later musicians.

2. One flower is beautiful, a surfeit of flowers is vulgar.

3. Music does not influence research work, but both are nourished by the same source of longing, and they complement one another in the release they offer.

 

On Ethics and Morality :

  1. The foundation of all human values is morality. To have recognized this is the unique greatness of our Moses. In contrast, look at the people today!
  2. Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty ; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.
  3. Nothing will benefit human health and increases the chances of survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.

 

On himself :

1. With fame, I became more and more stupid, which, of course, is a very common phenomenon. There is far too great a disproportion between what one is and what others think one is, or at least what they say they think one is. But one has to take it all with good humor.

2. Yesterday idolized, today hated and spit upon, tomorrow forgotten, and the day after tomorrow promoted to Sainthood. The only salvation is a sense of humor, and we will keep that as long as we draw breath.

On life :

  1. Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
  2. Make friends with a few animals. Then you will become a cheerful man once more and nothing will be able to trouble you.
  3. People are like the ocean; sometimes smooth and friendly, at others stormy and full of malice. The important thing to remember is that they too are mostly made of water.

On Philosophy :

1. The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.

2. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

3. Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.