If you inherently long

“If you inherently long for something, become it first. If you want gardens, become the gardener. If you want love, embody love. If you want mental stimulation, change the conversation. If you want peace, exude calmness. If you want to fill your world with artists, begin to paint. If you want to be valued, respect your own time. If you want to live ecstatically, find the ecstasy within yourself. This is how to draw it in, day by day, inch by inch.”

Victoria Erickson

Wages in Cuba and a quote from my former Professor of Latin American Politics

Cuba announces increase in wages as part of economic reform

by Associated Press Thursday, June 27th 2019

The beginning:

“Every Cuban has the right to a salary increase,” said Dariel Tejeda, a 28-year-old tour guide. “The country and all the state workers have needed this for a long time.”

and the end:

Ending the dual-currency system is expected to lead to the eventual removal of subsidies and bankruptcy of dozens, even hundreds of state enterprises and the loss of many thousands of public sector jobs. With lower or no subsidies, state companies would be forced to raise prices. For that reason, a state salary increase has long been seen as a key precursor to monetary unification in Cuba.


Frame control on why gun control is political in the U.S.A

Do you live in the city?

Or are you from a rural area?

One person’s perspective on how where you live informs how you feel about guns.

Gun control is a political issue because America is a nation whose population is very split between rural and urban areas. Most other nations don’t have this kind of heterogeneity in their population – they are either mostly rural, or mostly urban.

As it happens, life experiences and environment relating directly to gun usage heavily influences opinions on guns.

It turns out that it’s not political affiliation that determines gun opinions, it’s whether you live in a rural area.

Pro-gun-control liberals who move into rural areas often end up owning guns and significantly softening their stance on guns once they gain experience with them.

About a hundred years ago, guns were not a political issue in the US. Most everyone owned a gun, or had a close family member who owned guns. Most people lived in rural areas. It was just a necessary tool because there were no police nearby and sometimes you had problems with wild animals. You were on your own.

The lived-experience “facts” staring people in the face in each area vary wildly. In rural areas, of course you own guns. You need them. Of course they are dangerous – that’s the point: it’s a tool intended to make you dangerous against wild animals and occasional criminals.

None of that applies to the lived experience of living in the city.

In the city, the main thing you run into is other people. Some of them are occasionally annoying or have poor impulse control. You don’t need to shoot them, you just walk away. But if they have a gun, you might be in trouble.

I’ve decided on Tolstoy’s Decision Making Matrix

Here are some excerpts from this excellent article on The Art of Decision Making.

In “War and Peace,” Tolstoy writes that, while an armchair general may imagine himself “analyzing some campaign on a map” and then issuing orders, a real general never finds himself at “the beginning of some event”; instead, he is perpetually situated in the middle of a series of events, each a link in an endless chain of causation.

“Can it be that I allowed Napolean to get as far as Moscow?” Tolstoy’s General Kutuzov wonders.

“When was it decided? Was it yesterday, when I sent Platov the order to retreat, or was it the evening before, when I dozed off and told Bennigsen to give the orders? Or still earlier?”

For Tolstoy, the tendency of big decisions to make themselves was one of the great mysteries of existence. It suggested that the stories we tell about our lives are inadequate to their real complexity.

We first ask ourselves what we value, then seek to maximize that value.

We choose how we change.

The problem is that you don’t actually want to listen to classical music. You want to want to. Aspiring, Callard thinks, is a common human activity.

If we couldn’t aspire to changes that we struggle to describe, we’d be trapped within the ideas that we already.

To aspire, Callard writes, is to judge one’s present-day self by the standards of a future self who doesn’t yet exist.

I’m alright. Sometimes I’m wrong.

“A serious and good philosophical work could be entirely of jokes.”

— Ludwig Wittgenstein

The setup is that I think I know everything. The punchline is that I’m totally ignorant.

Seventy-five million deaths shocks my bones.

Why didn’t I learn this number, earlier? Why do I still know nothing about anything?

That one night in 1991 inflation rose prices of goods some 200%.

Economic collapse and inflation ensued.

But how would they afford to eat? Afford to pay rent?

People just like you and me lost their homes. Their life’s savings vanished into thin air as a byproduct of this man’s ambition.

Women and children begged for rubles or worked as prostitutes and a lucky man would be paid with 13 barrels of sunflower oil or with some another commodity.

Rampant

starvation and

death and

rented coffins

heroin from Afghanistan and East Asia

widespread alcoholism

I can only begin to comprehend the Russian people’s desire for stability. How could anybody forget that?

Expanding our limits by learning a language

The full transcript is here.

“how can you help a normal adult learn a new language quickly, easily and effectively?

Now this is a really, really important question in today’s world.

We have massive challenges with environment. We have massive challenges with social dislocation, with wars, all sorts of things going on and if we can’t communication we’re really going to have difficulty solving these problems. So we need to be able to speak each other’s languages, this is really really important.

The question is how you do that.

Well it’s actually really easy.

You look around for people who can already do it, you look for situations where it’s already working, and then you identify the principles and apply them.

It’s called modelling and I’ve been looking at language learning and modelling language learning for about fifteen to twenty years now.

And my conclusion, my observation from this is

is that any adult can learn a second language to fluency

inside six months.

Now when I say this, most people think I’m crazy, that this is not possible.

So let me remind everybody of the history of human progress, it’s all about expanding our limits.”

The future is the past projected

For time in both “directions” is an analogical projection of the moment just experienced. i.e. the future is the past projected and so is the present.

Of course, because we always begin at t=0=1, the moment just experienced is colored by all those not currently being experienced.

Everything is negative or positive, relative to where we have placed our origin.

We think we can see space, but according to the perception of our brains, we are composing the light relative to previous compositions and relative also anticipated compositions.

This is ignoring the fact that the light being composed is 8 million years old…

similar to Kierkegaard’s intuition that the present is the intersection of eternity and time.

Meaning comes at the cost of time.

More here.