AImonger's Blog

January 17, 2015

Teaching children

Filed under: Life, On Education, Open Thinking — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:50 am
We are social animals and we are wired to share up to a certain extent our feelings, knowledge, fears, gossip etc.. I think a flat grey Darwinian explanation is that common views and knowledge and common grounds share in a community is a foundation for keepoing a community together (cohesion) and a mechanism for communities with common goals and aims to team up faster (adhesion).
There is something much more to it than that. Making a connection with someone new or maybe even not so new, has a deeper resonance than that. Some people would go in so far as to pulling in the spiritual. I would leave the concept hang somwhere in between the gray, dull Darwinian (or rather mechanistic) lab coat technician view and the fuzzy pink people, who chant crystals and walk barefoot in the fields wearing white cotton clothes ( not judging just saying stereotypes are often wrong but really useful :)  )
Spiritual or not there is nothing more rewarding than showing or explaining a kid something and being the one making that initial connection. When you see that eureka moment however ephemeral the feeling of acheivement is immense. It is not easy though. Sometimes the path to connecting is a long winded and painful.
It is a hard thing to define something you want to teach to a kid. I find the hardest thing to start with is common ground. The younger the kid the less common ground you have. It is obvious, on hindsight, but we do not realise that the frustration in teaching something to a kid is the difficulty in conveying messages and concepts.
An other issue in teaching children is their tendency to monkey off at any funny thing you say which in my case would happen every 10 seconds or so.. I am a funny guy .. or my kids think so at least. That is not really a problem though it looks as it is. A kid remembers a pun or a joke much longer than  a very boring sequnce of words. So use their distractions to enforce the last point and pull back to the train of thought.
Children have a volatile memory for ‘boring’ things and facts. That we all know, but if you close your eyes I am sure you can remember that funny drawing on the board at school from when you were a kid or some song lyrics from a song you heard when you were small.. decades back .. and the memory still there.
That’s the connection !! when something that a kid finds entertaining is not only stuck in their minds but in some ways defines them, a part of them kinks and curls and leaves an eddy that will shift the angle and perspective of hing from then forward. I think that’s amazing.
There is a flip side. It is hard to know when to stop teaching. Sometime we need to crave ssomething to build an appetite. That’s a fire we need to fuel, the desire for knowledge. Over teaching may have the opposite of the effect one would expect. Kids and I found out people in general tend to take easy information for granted and rely on the other person knowing, mostly on the mental thought of “yeah .. it’s easy to find and anyway daddy knows if i need to ask again.”
Often passing over too much of what we know might stifle or square up a fluid mind. Now here’s the pickle anyone who does gardening knows that wild flowers and trees grow often crooked and stray in weird shapes. Trees that are not banded and cared for usually kink and bend at odd directions into wierd shapes. Minds and opinions need caring for and nurturing.
Here the two options are :
Nature :
Who are we to say the natural way and self learning no restrictions is wrong, maybe trees are supposed to be growing with odd kinks and angles. Modenr man has a sence that control and beauty are thew same thing.
Nurture :
Maybe we want to force the kid in a direction we deem right, because our traditions come from the old and there a sense of these rules served my ancestors well the will serve me and the generations to come. So we indoctrinate the kids with our fears, hopes and dreams, probably our delusions as well.
This is a wierd place in time we find ourselves in. Traditions, pre-concepts, square views nowadays so near to the singulartity we are aproaching, are very much like intuition and common sense physics near a blackhole, they simply breakdown. Never in history did every kid on the planet ( or nearly ) be in a position to ask about close to anything to virtually all the university libraries in the world.. Or that any man (or woman) with virtually no technical abilities and just a phone or a laptop, can broadcast front the comfort of their home into the houses of millions if they care enough to view.
Our traditions do not cater for that. Teaching children is a patronizing term after all .. I think we should simply call it passing on to children. They are soon going to be teaching us…

A well balanced form and nature :

Thanks for Reading !!

October 2, 2013

Vampires .. around us

Filed under: Rant, Uncategorized — admin @ 2:42 am

When people mention vampires what comes to mind are teen pop movies or Braham stokers’ Dracula. Obviously movies have played such a part to convince us there is a real mythology based around these “creatures of the night”.

I wondered what would cause this interest and glamour in creatures that technically would be our predators.. and I think I get it ..

The greatness of this mythology lies in the large mixture of feelings that these creatures inspire and their powers:

1) Glamour and Enchantment

2) Immortality (within limits)

3) Power of flight

4) Regeneration

5) Wisdom

6) Power and strength

7) That air of superiority (who knows why ?? but really who wouldn’t ?)

8) And the well fabled and advertized amazing sex.

Once these “supermen” are described some kryptonite is added for fair play, otherwise we’re kind of screwed how could man survive if he cannot fight back? Only option would be fight back. Sleeping by day, a stake through the heart while they conveniently react to silver. In the olden days even fear of crosses and christian symbols reminiscent of excorscism.

(more…)

August 18, 2013

A glance at the future

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — admin @ 1:13 am

I often feel like there are two aspects to looking at the future. The first is expectations and the second is reality.

When we think what the future is like, we usually look at the social , political , technological, aspect. Having said that what do we expect from our future. I believe that the human race is at a crux in history. We are on the brink of machines getting as smart as we are (Technological singularity,Von Neumann, Ray Kurzweil)  , we are in the position to create a DNA and boot it up (Craig Ventner’s Synthetic genomics), we are on the brink of getting access to new energy sources, 3D printing anythng from food to machines and organs..

This ia all good but what do we expect from the future?

I ask myself, given that we are heading towards a future of massive technological advancement beyond our parents’ wildest dreams, a brave new world, how do we catch up. History does not give man a very clean track record with respect to ethics in the face of technology.

Since the invention of nitro-glycerin and dynamite, well even gunpowder at that, any technology was weaponized. Not withstanding the experience with the explosives of the first world war, that did nothing to stop project Manhattan when there was fear of the USA being kick in the nuts in WWII result: Hiroshima and Nagazaki. The scale of the A & H bombs power made Oppenheimer say “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds!”. Extrapolate to today, unless we become a bunch of scientists, vegetarian tree huggers and stop bickering over oil, fix global warming avoid methane leaking from the tundra and manage to get all our shit together, then we will be at peace…. well maybe not.

I cannot shake off the idea that the future will have more of the present in it. Although science popularizers like Micio Kaku and Ray Kurzweil always play up the role of technology and science deep in their heart they know their’s is a sales pitch.

We carry too much legacy, we have too much inertia, religion, xenophobia, racism, disease, militarystances, mega corporations to have a clear look at the future my vision is always clouded by these factors. Sounds negative ? Well I temper my expectations.

I do have a great deal of hope for the future, I know that humans have a wide spectrum, while we can sink amazingly low our past shows we can climb to soaring moral and technical heights. I believe a healthy and positive future revolves solely around  education of the next generation.

Training our kids to be smart and knowing how to face the problems left from the previous generations including ours might be the only hope for the human race. Avoiding fostering militant ideologies is going to be the real hard part. Everyone wants smart kids but if they push their faiths and obstinate ideologies down to them it won’t do any good.

Ideologies need to have checks and balances because they are both our biggest driving forces and possibly major players in our demise. Well fingers crossed, whatever, HEH! this would have been one hell of a ride :)

May 7, 2013

Amazingly inspiring …

Filed under: Metaphysics — admin @ 10:57 am

According to an adopted theory, every ponderable atom is differentiated from a tenuous fluid, filling all space merely by spinning motion, as a whirl of water in a calm lake. By being set in movement this fluid, the ether, becomes gross matter. Its movement arrested, the primary substance reverts to its normal state. It appears, then, possible for man through harnessed energy of the medium and suitable agencies for starting and stopping ether whirls to cause matter to form and disappear. At his command, almost without effort on his part, old worlds would vanish and new ones would spring into being. He could alter the size of this planet, control its seasons, adjust its distance from the sun, guide it on its eternal journey along any path he might choose, through the depths of the universe. He could make planets collide and produce his suns and stars, his heat and light; he could originate life in all its infinite forms. To cause at will the birth and death of matter would be man’s grandest deed, which would give him the mastery of physical creation, make him fulfill his ultimate destiny.

Nicola Tesla

April 1, 2013

Silence I need to think…

Filed under: Life, Open Thinking — Tags: , — admin @ 1:52 am

After many months of non blogging ( besides technical blogging which does not count) I sometimes wonder why i stopped.. I guess it’s because I had little formulated to say..

I did see really interesting things in this gap of time probably most inspiring of which was this TED talk. This regards Elon Musk who in my opinion is one of the pivotal people today man who might be elect into a higher level than people like Da Vinci, Einstein and others, but that ’s just me … why ?? Well he is driving the most transitional technologies that will possibly drive man into the future in my opinion:

He is driving / drove forward  :

Money ( taking a large bite out of  banks democratizing ebay and online trust and money exchanging )… Paypal

Space faring  …  SpaceX

Electric Cars …. Tesla

Solar energy … Solar City

Who knows what else..

Any way back to my silence. I have changed my life around these past months.. So this is what went on in a nutshell:

Had a a dismount with my previous employer. I was working for a high stress high short term gain and maniac company. My boss was a nice guy but despite a massive over-compensatory character  had no leadership skills.  So what happened was I got demotivated and overworked. Attempts to reinvent my approach just deteriorated my situation and I ended up crossing lines I was never even informed were there.

I waited to write about this to have the luxury of perspective. Now I have it. I left my job half-heartedly but that was for the better. Got on a plane left the coutry for some free-lance work in Wales.. Loved the place.. Did some odd online jobs still hating myself for loosing the job I had before..

Very hard not to beat one’s self down when you feel guilty of not fulfilling your duties and feel like you had let down your team. I went through some dark times but then I recovered my faith in my skills and worked my arse off to retrace my steps in my subject and become good at what I want to do …

This came thanks to the support of my loving family and especially my wife. That alone made me realize how lucky I am  to have such a loving and supporting wife.

I now have a new job which is great, while a bit chaotic it is very stimulating and the people are really great to work with. A breadth of fresh air… I stuck with the same career which for me is a strange thing since in the IT industry I was kind of all over the place.

Faith in ones self and keeping up your game is hard when you are isolated but it’s important to all the people going through transition keep up your pace. Even if you think it’s a waste of time DO NOT LET GO, take the free time as a blessing and use it to improve yourself.

The silence of the after shock gave me perspective and I am grateful to life for the changes i am presented with even if at first sight they look like disasters..

Now I have one new target … I need to get quiet inside..

I am still fighting a general internal state of Chaos which I think I am getting under control..

( Chaos came up with a capital C .. mmh i think it indicative that the monster is still in there.. )

I just need to think …

Will blog more It’s therapeutic.

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