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Ambition drives us all

Good old reliable friend, the dictionary, is going to co-author this blog post. I would have posted its photo as well, but I was not too sure if it did not involve some copyright law infringement. Only half-joking. "Ambition drives us all' sounds very much like one of those insufferable sweeping statements, forgotten as soon as read or heard. I am not aiming for posterity here, just to make a point. A word's origin reveals its meaning better than long philosophical notes. Words, much more than people, are taken for granted because of their longer life span. Ambition is just an example. It comes from a Latin word, ambire, which means to go around. Going around is not a particularly interesting pastime, and that's being polite. It is frankly quite boring, a feature compounded by its obvious aimlessness. That's why no one goes around for any long period of time. Hidden or covert, there is an aim for being present one moment here and a bit later there.  In ancient Rome

Zoon Politikon is not political

 Did you know which are the top blogging topics?  I did not, until I looked them up, using the predictable search engines available to Internet tribes. The results were quite interesting. "How to.." and "Self-development" take the lion's share of the blogosphere, which is itself expanding at dizzying speed. Is everyone after some form of competence and also keen of becoming a better version of oneself? It seems so, but why? The ancients have the answer, nothing surprising here. Aristotle's view of man as "Zoon Politikon", for instance. Often quoted and rarely used correctly,  these two words do not refer to man as a 'political animal",  such as someone who is totally enamoured of politics as understood in today's parlance. Zoon is a living creature and "politikon" comes from polis, which means city, the complex social structure where people live and do things together.  Man is a social creature, who needs to be part of a grou

Dating in Covid Times

I have read Gabriel Garcia Marquez, including the novel "Love in the Time of Cholera".  I confess that I paraphrased his title for this blog post.

Forget after viewing

 Life’s too short for bad photos, true. Still, it’s not always possible to avoid mediocrity.            Take mobile phone cameras, for instance. Zooming does bad things to pixels and the end result is more of a failed attempt, bravely exhibited. The owl above is such a good example. There it was perching on a cold metal bar, minding its own business. I approached it, mobile at the ready. Took a pic and turned round, in search of other subjects. All of its glorious owlish looks survived on my retina and somewhere between two brain folds. Sorry. 

Venus should listen to Mars

What an opportunity these days to cure ourselves of the confirmation bias! Sharing the same views with someone else can be a source of comfort.  Too much of it leads to mummification. Naturally, it feels good to be part of a group, it's in our genes. No one would deny that. Apart from families, there is some strong solidarity manifesting itself among people belonging to the same generation or football club.  Does it matter they can have more men than women, or the other way round?  Same as families,  any socially formed  groups are not less of a club or association if one type of chromosome combination is represented in greater numbers.  Or not? On the internet, new types of communities spring up all the time. Gamers, baby boomers, entrepreneurs, real and fake gurus, you name it. Choice is enormous. Do men and women gravitate towards one genre or another? Podcast, video, blog? Lecture or dialogue?  It's hard to say, still early days, but there is one distinct advantage in the n

Virus vs Face ID

A latecomer to the Apple fan club, I was quite pleased when they introduced the Face ID feature. I admit enjoyment must have been born out laziness and some other kind of human flaw. Let’s say it is very convenient. Or rather it used to be. All good until the Virus decided  to come and stay. I was just getting used to instant access into my mobile’s world of wonders when face masks became the new norm(al) outside our homes. Fair enough, how about raising the device to my face and realising it now wants a passcode? Embarrassing as it may be, there’s always a chance of not remembering that magic formula straightaway. Disaster always lies in ambush behind a forgotten password. Fortunately, wiser people thought of possible solutions. I have not tried any of them, you can check them yourselves if you carry out a search on Google. I, for myself, have come to the conclusion that I can survive being out and about without a mobile soldered to my hand.  As no one is sure how long the Virus lives

The magic and curse of a new diary

 It's only mid-October, why are diaries and wall calendars already up for grabs?  There must be some inexhaustible demand for these memory aids and planning tools. Old style, of course, printed format. Sure, the present moment can be quite unbearable or just boring. The unknown titillates imagination. Despite later disappointments, a jump into the future fascinates, subjugates and throws open the gates of possibility. Possible is not equal to probable though. People who know the finer details of risk theories can explain the difference in marvellous ways. They also warn against mistaking one for the other. For quite a long time, I have been blind to the fact that what is possible in general can be quite improbable in particular. Day-dreamers will understand. Naive ladies and gentlemen will do too. We have been the ones buying a new diary each year and taking deep pleasure in filling in the first pages. Some of us, the adventurous-type ones, are going further. We write down reminder