Good understanding and Optimism and Trust vs. Poor understanding and Pessimism and Mistrust

Shawn Harquail - Happy Holidays!

How about Optimism and Trust vs. Pessimism and Mistrust?

First, some quotes:

 

Progress happens when people learn something new. And they learn the most, as a group, when stuff breaks and gets painful.

So the reasonable optimist expects the world to break all the time. But they know – as a matter of faith – that if they can survive the day-to-day fractures they’ll capture the up-and-to-the-right arc over time.

(via The Reasonable Optimist · Collaborative Fund)

 

Seeing a situation from all angles is always preferable, adds Laslett, saying: “Any strength overplayed becomes a weakness: that is to say, blind optimism is never good.”

But a little optimism does go a long way.

(via How ‘optimism bias’ shapes our decisions and futures – BBC Worklife)

 

All good investing comes down to surviving an inevitable chain of short-term setbacks and disappointments in order to enjoy long-term progress and compounding.

Save like a pessimist, investing like an optimist.

(via Save Like A Pessimist, Invest Like An Optimist · Collaborative Fund)

 

But introverts have unique personality traits that can empower them to be exceptional leaders if properly leveraged.

(via Why introverts can be better leaders than extroverts)

There’s a quote by Gala Galaction (a writer/priest) I like a lot (from “Lângă apa Vodislavei”):

Turcul se învoi ușor cu toți, până la Iordache, crezu fiecăruia și primi și mai jos decât ceruse.

(Adapted translation – The Turk easily agreed with everyone, up to Iordache, believed everyone’s story and accepted to receive even smaller amounts of money than he asked.)

(This last quote shows pity, in my opinion.)

A quote by Nicolae Steinhardt:

Se cuvine să înțelegem că orice am face și oricât ne-am strădui, tot supărăm. Singura soluție e resemnarea. Ce putem face? Să tăcem, să tăcem. Să nu facem răul, și nici binele cu sila. Dar și trecând, tăcând, tot nemulțumim. Odată pentru totdeauna se cade să ne băgăm bine în minte: deranjăm doar pentru că suntem prezenți. Și să nu ne oprim aici: mai trebuie să recunoaștem că și ei ne deranjează pe noi! Gând înfiorător: Căci nu suntem mai buni ca ceilalți, tot în aceeași oală ne aflăm și fierbem înăbușit.

(Adapted translation – We should understand that no matter what we do and no matter how hard we try, we are still upsetting others. The only solution is resignation. What can we do? Let’s shut up, let’s shut up. Let us not do evil, nor do good by force. But even by our passing, silent, we are still upsetting others. Once and for all, it is important to keep in mind: we bother even because we are present. And let’s not stop here: we must also admit that others bother us too! Creepy thought: Because we are not better than the others, we are in the same boiling pot and we are also boiling and suffocating.)

Now, let’s get down to business.

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The Mac that never happened

iMac

I like the Macs running Apple M1 system on a chip (SoC).

“The M1 was welcomed with very positive reviews and recorded industry-leading performance and efficiency in popular benchmarks (GeekBench 5, Cinebench R23).” (Apple M1 – Wikipedia)

I like the fact that it’s considered to be a fast and good value for the price.

I thought of waiting for a new generation of Apple M1, and buying either a Mac Mini or iMac 24″/27″.

After reading some reviews, viewing some videos (rational: M1 iMac Review: Ultra Thin Design Choice! – YouTube or emotional: New Apple iMac 2021 Unboxing & First Look! (Green) – YouTube), and thinking more about it, I decided I will stick to PC + Windows 10, and postpone switching to a Mac indefinitely.

Below, my thought process.

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The real news is you!

Sharon Lee - Most Versatile 'Hobbies'

These days, there’s a lot of buzz in the media about a politician in Romania, which used to be prime minister, now offered a “warm job” – a well-paid position for which, the media says, that person might not be the most suited candidate. I won’t link to any news on that, I would do the Internet a bad service.

The news is mostly that:

  • “If I were the person naming X in that position, I would have chosen a better candidate”.
  • “I’m a much better person than X, I deserve even better than X in life”.
  • “Political party Y, now in power in Romania, is not that trustworthy”.
  • “In Romania, things go wrong”.

While I would understand most people’s reactions for feeling disappointed by a political party, now governing, I think most of the reactions in the media (in various forms) were due to two main reasons:

  • “I’m better than the person naming X, why am I not in that person’s shoes?”.
  • “I’m better than X, why don’t I get a good position?”.

To me, the things above are not the real news. To me, the real news is that society (in which you, the reader are included) is so preoccupied with this issue that this is even news.

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Google Maps free embed code vs. paid Google Maps API

Google Maps

Google Maps has two large options for use on a website:

  • If you must use an API, if you have no other option than that, you must pay to use the API for anything larger than 200$ / month. Details »
  • If an API is not mandatory, you could just embed a Google Maps, by going to https://www.google.com/maps, and embedding a map (hamburger menu -» share or embed a map -» embed a map).

More details on the second option, here »

Can I get Google Maps for Free?

In short, yes.

Google Maps provide a free embed code that you can copy/paste onto your website totally free of charge – or for now at least!

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Will this be on the test?

Kyller - Test day

Will This Be on the Test? is a book by Dana T. Johnson and Jennifer E. Price.

The question is valid – what matters for the students? And how could you pass the test with good results?

I think these are two different questions:

  • What do you need from school to succeed in life? In these, there are multiple skills that are currently not taught in most Romanian schools, like entrepreneurship, leadership, managing finances, career decisions, how to manage your emotions, how to handle fake news, how to help someone in trouble. You don’t even learn the meta on learning – how to learn. The paradox you spend a lot of your life in school, but you’re never taught how to learn, read, take notes, memorize, improvise, be creative, write an essay.
  • Also, for the current curriculum, lots of things can be improved. You could improve a lot in the way subjects are taught and on the current information provided in school manuals.
  • On another hand, on the things that you do learn, you’re not given enough chances, in my opinion, to succeed. You have to learn a lot of things, but you’re not prepared for taking standardized tests. How about each student in Romania give a Math test three times a year? Or Physics, Literature, or Sports? The same subjects, the same criteria, applied to all students in Romania. If you could take the tests online, there will be even more standardization. For things like “informatics lab” or “physical education” or even “religion”, I would consider giving just a “passed/not passed” criteria. You could also be given lots of preparation tests. Do you want to know what will be on the test for Informatics? While you won’t be given an exact answer, you could be given 20 similar tests. By doing them all, in my opinion, you could be much better prepared for taking the “actual” test. I faced this in a lot of schools I’ve been part of, on all levels, from primary school to Secondary or Tertiary education. I would be provided with a learning phase and a testing phase. But I wouldn’t be 100% sure about “Will this be on the test?”. Oh, and do use cameras on students. More importantly, I wouldn’t have the occasion to test myself multiple times, as to be certain that even if I wouldn’t get the top mark, I would be in the 10th or 20th percentile. Also, what I’m most upset about is the lack of standardization between various schools. School can be a totally different experience and can have a totally different unit of measure, depending on the school, teacher, level of your colleagues, your level. So, if you’re the first in a poor class you will likely be treated differently from when you’re average in a top class. That’s just not fair. Also, some teachers are too relaxed with giving top grades, while others too strict in giving grades (so, they give poor grades, mostly). Moreover, while I agree that one teacher can teach differently from another teacher, I don’t agree that two teachers should give a different test, and grade this on a personal level. Not when, like it’s the case in Romania, grades in high school determine your future College.

Having a unified system for grading things makes two things possible:

  • A student will know that an 8 in a poor school is equal to an 8 in a great school. An 8 is an 8. Students will know their value.
  • A teacher and a school will know if they are able to improve a student’s performance or not. If a pupil from 5th to 8th grade is rated at 7.5/10, and then, in high school it reaches 9, if the system is the same anyone can tell that the student facilitated the growth of the student. But it will also show that a school with only students with poor grades doesn’t bring performance, so something must by wrong in there.

To conclude, some key points from this article:

  • You need some other subjects to be taught in the curriculum.
  • For the current subjects, you need better information.
  • Do use cameras when taking tests.
  • I vote for standardized tests, on a national level.
  • For things like “informatics lab” or “physical education” or even “religion”, I would consider giving just a “passed/not passed” criteria.
  • I vote for being able, before a test, to test yourself with at least 20 other similar tests. Not identical, but similar. And to see what you did wrong and how can you improve.

Looking back at my education, if these things would be fixed perhaps we would have a much better educational system.

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You have already won!

Iberian Proteus - Victory

My family once received an envelope with a message: “You have already won one of these prizes!”. Three things were there.

You were supposed to pay some money, and receive another message: “Again, another one of these prizes is yours!”.

After another member of my family received the same thing, and one person from the Postal office told us that a lot of people receive the same envelope, it was clear – it was a marketing scam, and the prizes which we won we actually paid for by entering a scheme.

But coming back to the message – “You have already won!”. Now, that’s one powerful message.

How would you go to school, considering that no matter what you do, learn hard or less-than, you will graduate? What would you do – learn more or less? Focus on some subjects, or become a jack of all trades?

How will you measure success, considering that you could live your life without fear of survival? Will you work more or less?

This thing – “Winning without a possibility of losing” is one powerful thing.

Going to a football game knowing that your team will win.

This changes the perception.

I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not, but it’s something to think about.

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Momente magice în Curmătură

Mergeam uneori cu bunica mea din Curmătură la biserica din sat, făceam vreo jumătate de oră pe drum, și nu știam cât pot fi de fericit.

Mergeam cu oile, veneam seara în casă la televizorul cu nuanțe alb-negru (și gri) pentru desenele animate de la 19, și nu apreciam atât de mult televizorul, pe cât îl apreciam pe cel care îl așteptam, la finalul vacanței, la Năvodari, color.

Făceam niște treburi în jurul casei, simple, care, atunci, mi se păreau niște treburi serioase, un efort solemn, și nu aveam bucuria momentului.

Uneori mergeam cu bunica și în alte părți, la mănăstiri, și nu numai, și nu vedeam nimic deosebit la asta.

Când venea cineva în vizită la bunici, diferite rude, pentru a ne lua de la Curmătură și merge la oraș, ni se părea o veste grozavă.

Mâncam uneori niște lucruri despre care habar n-aveam că ulterior le voi zice “foarte sănătoase”. Atunci nu știam asta.

Respiram un aer despre care nu știam că, ulterior, voi tânji.

Și mă uit acum la acele timpuri, cu satul plin de lume, cu biserica plină, cu lucruri de făcut în jurul casei, cu oi și vacă, cu găini și porc, cu pomi fructiferi și căpițe de fân, cu mers prin iarbă, cu sarcini repetitive, zi după zi, cu o stare neapăsătoare, și majoritatea lucrurilor acelora sunt schimbate definitiv, contextul Curmăturii din 2021 nu mai seamănă cu cel din copilăria mea.

Și îmi e greu să înțeleg cum puteam să petrec uneori vacanțe întregi fără să îmi dau seama ce comoară stă în Curmătură. Acum văd asta, și mă bucur de acele clipe, pe care la momentul respectiv, într-o oarecare măsură, le-am ignorat.

Am trăit clipele respective ca firești, nu mă deranjau, nici nu mă entuziasmau. Acum le văd ca grozave, acum arunc alți ochi asupra lor.

Ce au rămas, după ani, dinspre copilăria și adolescența mea, sunt mult mai puțin lucruri care s-au întâmplat la oraș (Năvodari), și mult mai mult lucruri care s-au întâmplat la țară (Curmătură, Pîrjol).

De văzut și:

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