Skip to main content

Top Post

It is never personal, you're not the protagonist

It's so easy to become offended. It actually comes pretty natural. Someone says something.  You feel it's directed at you Strong reaction follows No need to react, it's got nothing to do with you as a person Imagine some remarks about academic work versus manual one, a bit dismissive about the latter. You don't have a degree and never wanted one. You know very well it takes years of experience and training to do what you're doing. Talent is involved too, as some people do have "two left hands".  You still feel you should add something to the conversation, but not sure if it is going to be well-received. No need to enlighten the other party right now Most people think in terms of opposites. If it's not this, it's that and it can't be anything else. Certainty of one's convictions is also a form of self-reassurance that everything is stable in one's world. Other points of view cannot be allowed because they are disruptive. Cognitive disrup

Inside the spreadsheet - the real time travel




Version 1.1. of this blog post, rewritten at  the suggestion of someone who keeps pushing me to write and knows a thing or two about good prose.

Spreadsheets must have been around since Egyptian scribes started organising the pharaohs' worldly possessions. I somehow feel they inspired just as much awe to Upper Nile's neophytes as they do to today's untrained users of such tables.

They certainly throw me into a very deep hole of despair. The more I look, the faster all those numbers in their tiny cages are whirling before my eyes.

I never thought there was a name for it, but hey, there is one: dyscalculia. The weird thing is that mental arithmetic is piece of cake, but working with a spreadsheet just makes me nauseous.

It's not a joke. I was so thrilled to discover that there is no such thing as ruining a spreadsheet forever and ever. There is always a way of going back one or two or three steps and start all over again moving the little number monsters around.

I thought, would it not be wonderful to have this kind of time travel in real life too?  Then I wrote Version 1.0. That's all.



Version 1.0.

Would it not be great to live inside a spreadsheet 
and be able to go back several versions, after messing up the current one?
This is actual time travel, better than any Matrix or Black Mirror.
It is true that it's almost a Dada situation.
How to make a poem, by Tristan Tzara, one of the founding fathers of Dadaism, is a starting point.
Read the poem and more at Dada at the MOMA

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Montaigne's kidney stones

Philosophy underpinned by a kidney ailment?  Michel de Montaigne was quite a prolific essayist despite his kidney stones or was his painful condition the catalyst of his writings? When does being unwell stop being an impediment? Too many questions, admittedly, a sign of weakness in prose and poor rhetoric anywhere else. Seriously now, or "srsly" as some write nowadays, questions can be quite an effective way to jump start a monologue, and it rhymes with blog as well. Etymologists, beware, I know the two word' ending may sound similar, but they have different origins. A chat with a philosophically-inclined friend included at some point a reference to Montaigne and how debilitating a toothache can be. First the pain and then its crushing ability to obliterate any high-level thinking. Suppose that quite a few of us, bringing a vague cultural or literary reference to the table, feel a bit guilty afterwards and double-check they were not misquoting or worse, inventing. I have

It is never personal, you're not the protagonist

It's so easy to become offended. It actually comes pretty natural. Someone says something.  You feel it's directed at you Strong reaction follows No need to react, it's got nothing to do with you as a person Imagine some remarks about academic work versus manual one, a bit dismissive about the latter. You don't have a degree and never wanted one. You know very well it takes years of experience and training to do what you're doing. Talent is involved too, as some people do have "two left hands".  You still feel you should add something to the conversation, but not sure if it is going to be well-received. No need to enlighten the other party right now Most people think in terms of opposites. If it's not this, it's that and it can't be anything else. Certainty of one's convictions is also a form of self-reassurance that everything is stable in one's world. Other points of view cannot be allowed because they are disruptive. Cognitive disrup

Artificially emotional intelligence

       A blog post by Shelly Palmer,  I've Talked to the Future and it Talked back , set me thinking a couple of years ago, so I wrote a blog post. I am re-publishing it because nothing seems to have changed since.  His questions were not purely rhetorical. Indeed, how are we going to distinguish between human and machine? Will a new code of conduct be invented and become part of product instructions,  same as the ‘do not immerse in water’ one? Imagine how many future legal departments could be scratching their collective heads over a certain feature that may open the door to litigation. The anthropological aspect is a bit trickier, I agree, but has it ever been otherwise?  Children turn out well-behaved or not as a result of at least two factors: genetics and environment. From a certain age onward, peer pressure displaces parental influence. Add to this chance (yes, goddess Fortuna, that one) and the concoction is almost ready. I am not worried ab