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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

Kids, adults and time do not go well together

What is not to hate in discovering something too late in life? It is not just resentment against poor timing. It is also a new burden on top of an already heavy load, a life lived, experience and mistakes in one bundle. Knowledge revealed which could have been so useful 30 or 40 years before, who needs it when almost down to the last mile? Would you like a new source of regret? Here is one, just for you, sing the sarcastic Eumenides.  The scene could not be more idyllic, waiting for a grandchild to get dressed, with the prospect of a whole new day of outdoor adventures. Gentle prompts are spoken suavely. Total fail. Maybe going away for a while, under a fake pretence, would work? No, it does not. If the Invisible Man would have left and then returned to the room containing the kid, there might have been some  reaction. Invisible does not mean non-existent. A small cry of impatience is trying to work its way up the vocal cords, but is suppressed. After all, it's the era of adults ma

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 numbe

Pour l'amour des arbres

Trees are the most underrated subject. Also the most difficult one, really. A human face changes all the time, visibly. A tree does not. All of its essence is running much deeper, inside each of the small netted veins of each and every leaf. They move with the wind, fooling everyone that they have no power whatsoever. They lie.

The Day

Must have read it somewhere, that no one wakes up and decides that they are going to ruin their day. Every day starts with the best intentions. Then it all goes pear-shaped. Most of the time. So never look at how many days have already gone since the time of birth, despite the fact that it's quite tempting to use online calculators that throw at you a horror-inspiring number. What, so may thousands of days already behind me? That cannot be true. Denial is the first symptom of the disease calling flight of fantasy.  As it has been carefully and abundantly nourished by various stories, first by fairy tales and then by novels and movies, the disease is like a severe eye condition. Wearing glasses can make it better only up to a point. Then an operation is needed. Then as luck would have it, some eyesight is regained, but never fully. Ideally, we should be exposed to reality from a very early age, and then never go too far from it, the same way most people don't walk a