Tag Archives: social

“Piezas” – Artbook

3 Babel
In october 2015, I published a really innovative artbook called “Piezas”. It mixes the aesthetics of chess with social, literary and philosophical topics. I encourage you all to check out the free preview at: www.ajpiezas.com

P.S. I am planning to publish a unique, short novel online next week. It’s going to be free to read or download. I’ll post more info. regarding the novel later on.

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The Ego behind Facebook

First of all,  happy new year’s to everydody.  My readers, my family and friends. Vacations were awesome, thus no time for posts.

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To kick start the year I would like to examine 2010 Time Person of the Year, Mark Zuckelberg. Who’s the man behind Facebook, the second fastest growing company in the world? A question that is, economically at least, worth noting.

This image is property of TIME Magazine Corp.

How does the 2010 movie “Social Network” portray, the then 20 year-old, founder of Facebook?

In the movie Mark Zuckelberg is portrayed as an ambitious, fearless genius. He is also displayed as a bit of an asshole. Applying my three years of psychological studies here’s what we get as far as personality.

Using Eynseck’s famous three traits of personality: Zuckelberg is

  • introverted: self-centered
  • non-neurotic: low in emotions
  • and non-psychotic: low on the mind’s happy chemical – dopamine (sucks for you dude)

Using Heymans and Le Senne´s Characterology Theory:

Zuckerberg was born a sanguineous

  • low on emotions
  • compelled to action
  • not inhibited by the norms or expectations of society
  • likes to live on the present (weak on long-term friendships)
  • doesn´t relate well with sentimentalists.

But then again, it’s a movie. So chopping off the dramatic elements, lets look at the facts for a clearer picture.

  • His inspiration for ¨Facebook¨ came from a group of fellow classmates at Harvard. He wanted to work alone, and work by himself he did. Later, when his fellow classmates sued him for intellectual theft, Zuckerberg paid them $65 million.
  • Facebook´s co-founder, Eduardo Saverin was the one who initially financed the proyect ($19,000) and was promised a 24% share. In a sneaky maneuver, Zuckerberg later reduced Eduardo´s share to less than 10%. (by selling more shares). Eduardo Saverin sued Mark Zuckerberg and settled for a undisclosed amount of money (around $200 million – would be my guess)

Turns out, the Ego behind Facebook is a bit of an egoist himself.

Morale of the story:

  1. Teamwork is for suckers (unless that team is working for you)
  2. Stay close to those who are useful (cut off those who aren´t)
  3. Egoism and money (a winning combination)

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P.S. – Don´t forget to follow me on Facebook  = P

Also, you don’t want to miss next week’s post – Review of George Friedman’s  2009 book “The Next 100 years

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Utopia vs. Society and Catholic traditions

Utopia, a book written about that a perfect society. Sadly, 500 years into the future, we are still far from achieving such a thing. The world is still full of the same war, poverty, hatred and tiranny that Thomas More observed in 16th century England. Since More´s Utopia is based on the non-existence of money and the sharing of goods (socialist ideals) many of his proposal´s are irrelevant in the capitalist world of today. I will thus focus on: 

Those Utopian proposals that are applicable in a capitalistic society. (some will shock you… trust me)

1. Catholic clerical marriage: Thomas More, a deeply religious catholic himself, believed marriage should be a option available to priests. A priest´s wive is encouraged, not required, to lead a life of commuity help. That way, a motherly figure is made available to give advice about children/family values, should someone seek it. (such measure should also help solve the Catholic Church´s current pedophilia scandal)

2. Few laws and no lawyers: the more simple and clear the law is, the more just it is considered. The fewer the number of laws the better. In order to avoid lawyer´s attempt at circumventing laws and blurring the truth (a practice QUITE common in today´s legal system): everyone over the age 18 will have the obligation represent himself in court.

3. Pleasure as the only and principal source of human happiness: be this pleasure of a spiritual or mundane nature. This pleasure should never come at the expense of suffering (own/another´s), produce excesive fatigue or be followed withdrawal symptoms. Maintaining a healthly, physical and mental balance is considered the greatest of all pleasures.

4. Yes to Euthanasia: Eutasiania is acceptable as long as it´s voluntary and only when the patient is no longer able to carry out his vital functions. Not only is it viable alternative, but it´s considered an honorable death for those seeking to avoid living a life of torment for themselves and their loved ones.

5. Seven Supreme Rulers: elections are to be held anually and two of the ¨rulers¨ are local gobernors, who switch every week. (Instead of two changing rulers, I propose two ¨rulers¨ of a racial minority). This reduction of the political system would truly help reduce the burocratic/political bickering that dominates the politics of today. There are still of course regional elections and governors in charge of the need of their locality.

Thomas More (1478-1538)

6. Pre-Marriage ¨Peep Show¨ and Age Limit: Thomas More states that the age limit for marriage should be 18 for women and 21 for men. This might seem rash, but taking into account the actual high porcentage of divorces; establishing a 21 year uni-sex marriage limit might be good idea after all. Also, More proposes that before the wedding is pronounced, couples should be allowed to see  each other nude during a brief one minute ceremony. This is done in order to avoid traps or unpleasant after-marriage revelations. So sex or no sex, one should at least get a preview of your companion´s nude body before the wedding.

7. Forced Social Labor for Criminals: Thomas More proposes death for grave crimes (first-degree murder/rape…), and enslavement (forced social service) for the rest of crimes. Forced social service in which ¨slaves¨ that present good conduct and behavior are rewarded back with their freedom and those ¨slaves¨ that commit another crime or escape while serving time are killed. I propose replacing the ¨killing¨ part with perpetual arrest. Such measures will greatly discourage ANY kind of crime.

8. Religious tolerance: the belief that in the end we all worship or seek to obtain closer access to the same God. The religious beliefs of all others are to be respected. (atheists included, More said, even if he himself found their logic irrational/despicable). Those who incite violence through religion, and can´t be dissuaded, are arrested as criminals.

9. New Type of Confession: of all the catholic sacraments this is the one whose fundations on the Scriptures is the most shaky and dubious. Thomas More proposes that a real, pure confession should be made by kneeling in front of the person wronged and pleading for the forgiveness of the sin commited.

10. Future Buildings with a minimun three floor height: the future is in building up, not sideways. This way we help to better preserve our natural resources, drainage areas and ecosystems (forests, prairies…)

Human Fraternity Above all Else

Without a doubt, Thomas More was a visionary man with ideas way ahead of his time. He believed that nature invited all mortals to mutually help one another in the search of a happier life. Humans should be able to look at each other as brothers and be able to put aside all religious, political or social differences. (More himself didn´t believe money should exist)

I quote from his book: What shall I think of the rich men who exploit the poor daily? In reality they get away with it, not through their own squemes, but through the protection of our own laws. [… ] I see the sprouting republics of today – God forgive me – like a group of rich people who seek, in the shadows and in the name of the republic, only their own benefit. [ … ] When the rich manage set these social traps in the name of all, their own and that of the poor people, they pass on to become respectable laws.

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Special thanks to those loyal readers that´ have helped me reach the 1000 visit mark. You are the reason I write.

If you have ideas or topics for future posts, be sure to share them in the comment´s section.

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The Elder Paradox

“As I am now, you soon shall be.”

A timeless quote about our brief existence… If old people wandering through the streets like lost souls makes you sad, shouldn´t you be even sadder that one day that lost soul might be you?

That one day, you might stumble upon what used to be blessing… but is now a curse. That instead of being respected, admired, looked after, when you get old your mere existence becomes a burden. A burden to society. A burden to your family. A burden fewer, fewer people are willing to carry.

Vincent Van Gogh - 1890

Something that moves, but can barely see. Something that talks, but is barely heard. Something that feels, but barely feels living. Growing old is truly is a burden to the human spirit…  A burden that no man should have to carry alone.

Like expensive cellphones, elders used to be revered because they were scarce. And much like the Motorolla Razor, once elders started showing up everywhere, people lost interest in them. Are we that shallow?

Mankind made leap forward in the field of medicine this last century.  A huge leap. A leap that hasn´t yet landed.  A leap that doubles the average life of a human being and fills up ours streets with elders. Aren´t we going to take resposibility for the consequences of our actions?

Pointless... isn´t it?

An elder with no loved ones… is like a pilgrim trapped in a paradox staircase. He can walk all he want, but he won´t get anywhere. His soul is trapped in the building or street of yesterday. And so time passes and nothing happens… until one day the soul sits down. Sits down tired of roaming pointlessly about. Sits down to watch the river of time and no longer swim. And so time passes… and now all he wants to do is remain underwater.

Grim… yes. True as well. For millions of elders nowadays life is just that… an uphill routine that only finds rest over the edge. Ideally, the community should be the one taking care of them. Take care of them by incorporating elder care in their social work; promote everyday citizens to share a couple of hours a week with these lost souls.

But since we are not in ideal world, it´s really our duty… no, our obligation as family members to take care of them. If you are not big with helping strangers, then at least focus on your own elderly relatives. Make sure they feel loved, not lost…. Make sure they feel at home, even if they live in retirement.

All this came to my mind

As I watched that old man with sunglasses. Watched him cross the street and nearly get run over by a frenzied car. Saw him jerk in fright from the honks and screams of a maniac. Sat with him at the bus station. And after a full minute of trying, watched how he couldn´t even read his own watch.

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Hate School?? CLICK HERE

Us. And by us I mean us young people. Us young people and our eternal struggle to live a balanced life. Or at least that´s what were “supposed” to be after, right?

Good grades, good body, and good friends…

Better yet – OK grades, rock hard body, and millions of friends….

Now… The reason I am writing this is because I am outraged at the current education system´s incompetence and its unwillingness to help balance a student´s life.

The great majority of students usually excel at one or two of these aspects… but can almost never maintain all three.

If you get top notch grades It means you take time to study and probably love coffee. It also means you can’t afford going out that often and find it hard to maintain an exercise routine.

If you are all about the party It means you probably have below average grades and sleep little. Also, hangovers and late nights don’t usually mix well with exercise.

If you are all about sports It means every extra hour on the field is one less hour hitting the books. On the plus side, you can always enjoy the occasional party and show off that body.

So there exists a three directional pull on student’s activities and the result of that pull will determine his future personality and lifestyle. If trying to balance all three aspects is a hard and confusing task by itself…. add the NOISE that sorrounds us all and you get pure chaos. Chaos and noise… what the modern age is all about.

The hours spent procrastinating inside continents of Facebook, Youtube, Myspace, Twitter, and Wikipedia; that are all form part of that wonderful planet called the Internet.

The nights spent in front of the TV or computer watching countless programs, brainless reality shows and awesome network series.

The days spent traveling the World of Warcraft, scoring goals on FIFA or shooting terrorists in Call of Duty.

Yes… the noise is fun.  Yes… the noise requires very little effort. And yes… the noise is very addicting.

While the noise does serves as an escape to every day worries and problems, it more often serves as an excuse to avoid doing useful things with your time. Unlike the noise, useful things like studying, building relationships and exercise require real effort.

“Effort”, a word thats rapidly losing its value and gaining a negative connotation in the minds of new generations. New generations that constantly look for ways to cheat effort, because effort can be uncomfortable.

Cheat exercise – by taking diet pills, buying TV machines, or having an operation.                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cheat social life– by living in WOW , Facebook , or videogames.                                                                                                                                            Cheat studies – by copy/pasting, ADHD pills or plagiarism.

Now, I am not saying cheating from time to time is bad… we all do it occasionally. It´s just that every time you cheat, you are also unknowingly limiting your own potential for personal growth. Thus when cheating becomes ¨regular¨ habit, your human potential also becomes ¨regular¨.

My words probably sound a lot older than my current age… but i’d be dammed if there isn’t truth in each and everyone of them. Call me an idealist but

Why can’t more of us be like that lucky 15%? That lucky 15% of students that are intelligent, exercise and still find time to party.

Why does the education system revere intelligent students, when maybe they are just covering up their loneliness with studies?

Why do colleges revere talented athletes, when their IQ can sometimes be that of a kid?

Why does pop media revere party animals, when in reality their lives tend to be extremely bipolar?

If our education system truly promotes a balanced lifestyle, why does only 15% of their students ever achieve it?

I`ll tell you why… because it´s easier for educators to produce athletes, academics, and party animals than to produce well-rounded human beings. And looking at how fucked up the society and parenting of today is… I don´t blame them.

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10 Small Things made Big Impact… Finale

This is the final entry to a remarkable list of 10 innovations, laws and inventions that changed everyday living forever.

These are the two most important.

2nd place: The Fountain of Remedies

Eternally open all year long

21 bottles…

That is the number of medicine bottles I counted at my parent’s house last summer. And they prefer natural remedies over synthetic ones

Which led me to wonder, how many bottles of medicine does an average civilized family have?

Tylenol, Panadol, Bayer, Aleve, allergy medicines, prescription medicines… that just naming the basic ones. Now try to imagine how many medicine bottles a 19th century family had: none? two? if rich perhaps six?

Man… times do change. Now a days there is pill for every mental and physical distress.

Why recommend several days of rest, when a sleeping pill can do the job?

Why recommend eating salad, when a laxative can work just fine?

Why recommend vacations, when a stimulant can serve you right?

Chicken soup, no way, I need Robytusin

Take for example the surge in the number of school kids diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in the last decade.

Time magazine says:

Two studies suggest some symptoms may be due simply to immaturity… One of these studies found that young-for-their grade kids were twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD as those who were old for their grade. (pg. 16, 08/30/10)

Misunderstood case like the following are quite abundant… I’m not saying that medicine is bad. Heck no, medicine has improved our lifestyle in many, many ways.

But like everything else, abusing medical consumption is harmful.

Sure, taking a pill is the easy way

Just not always the right way

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1st place: The Mouth and Ears of your life


You guessed it… that thing in your pocket made it to the top of the list.

I mean, who doesn’t have a phone these days? Who doesn’t get a bit “jumpy” when the battery’s dead? What more reliable lifeline in times of awkward silence?

The telephone

Allows the transfer of thoughts anywhere, anytime.

Took down the barriers of time and space in human interactions.

Revolutionized the work space.

Changed human behavior.

Also, the telephone shows no sign of slowing down it’s technological progress. From the bulky phones of the past to the sleek, camera, GPS, Mp3, Internet, digital cellphones of the future. Now a days the possibilities are almost endless – from surfing the web, finding the nearest exit to your destination,  to identifying a song that´s playing on the radio – the modern cellphone does it all.

Just stop and think….

Is there phone close to you now? Does it accompany you wherever you go? Do you use it to avoid people? To get to know people? To stay in touch with people? Are all of the above true?

More useful tool in the social life of an average person: none.

Telephone

Portable phone

Cellphone

Iphone

Lunch break at Verizon

Thanks for all those that have followed the countdown till the end, hope you had as good time reading it as I had making it.

Till the next post… keep it real

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10 Small Things that made Big Impact… Part 3

This is the third entry to a remarkable list of 10 innovations, laws and inventions that changed everyday living forever.

They appear in order of importance, with 1 being the most influential.

4th Place: Obesity as a Luxury

Thee who cometh, shall multiplieth

Or so it used to be… if we remount back to biblical times we can observe how starvation was quite common in most Middle East and European cities. Back then only the most rich and powerful men could afford enough food to actually become obese. Obesity was the by-product of endless banquets and excessive gluttony partaken by the ruling classes. This meant that the great majority of the world population in that era was either lean or unhealthily underfed.

Then came the late Renaissance (1700’s), and with it the expansion of the middle class and an increment in the amount of food available in Europe. It was during this period that a particular bizarre trend started to gain popularity in the wealthy class. Being obese became fashionable for the rich women since it was a sign of economic prosperity and abundance. Thus… obesity became sexy, as demonstrated by the countless nude paintings drawn at the time.

Fast forward a couple hundred years into the new millennium and the panorama has taken a 180 degree turn. Obesity is no longer a luxury, it’s no longer sexy, it is a health care problem. And a growing one that is, especially in the United States and the rest of the Western civilization. What once was attractive, is now unappealing. What used to be respected by all, is now a shunned by most. Its seem like the overweight/obesity rate in the USA (35%) is matched only by the starvation rate in Africa (28.2%).

Two completely different worlds.

One where people die because of excessive calories.
The other where they die due to the of lack them.

One where people fight eating.
The other where people fight to eat.

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3rd Place: Pandora’s Web

Lets see which monster is the strongest...

In Greek mythology when the mistress Pandora peeked into the forbidden box all the evils spirits contained within escaped and spread across the whole earth. Thus disease, evil acts, and monsters were born.

In the modern age, when the World Wide Web was launched in 1991, all information contained inside became available to everyone and spread like a wild fire across the whole face of the Earth. And with it a new strain of viruses and monsters was born.

The World Wide Web, now more commonly referred to as the Internet, is quickly becoming the most powerful tool of communication humankind has ever known. It allows users to literally do everything they need with the simple click of a button. What started as a simple information service has evolved into a giant web of possibilities: messages, business transactions, online shopping,  movies, chatting, webcam, socializing… if you can dream it, its probably possible.

Besides being an all powerful service tool, the Internet is also an increasingly powerful social tool in today’s modern society. The Internet is without a doubt the most influential innovation social life has experienced in the last couple decades.

Want to date but don’t got time: go to EHarmony

Want stay keep in contact with friends all over the world: Skype is the tool for you

Want to buy something: place your bid in Ebay

Want to find anything: Google it

The list simply goes on and on and on and on… and so does the the amount of hours new generations spend fulfilling their every desire online. Unfortunately the Internet has also dark side to it… it can serves as a portal where one can get away with extremely undignified transactions and propaganda… and worst of all, an excuse for a girl to give you her Facebook account instead of her number.

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Don’t miss the countdown finale next week Friday, Semptember 3.

Till then… have a good night!!

Pame
pambaez11@gmail.com
70.45.12.10

It is sad how unbalanced the world we live in is. Where there are only extremes, no in-between. Isnt it crazy how people can fight hunger for two completly different reasons. looks and poverty.

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10 Small Things that made a Big Impact

The following is a list of 10 innovations, laws and inventions that changed everyday living forever.

They appear in order of importance, with 1 being the most influential.

10th Place: The Abundant Seas of Trash

The wastelands of the future

There was a time where the garbage man didn’t pass in front of your house, when it wasnt necessary to use plastics trash bags, where everything that was thrown to the earth would decompose and give way to new life. Sadly those times are quickly to coming to an end. With the beginning of the Industrial Revoulution in the 1800’s the amount of synthetic products sored to unpredecented heights. Then came the invention of tin cans, and more importantly the almost-indestructible “plastic”. Just take a look at your supermarket – nearly  70%  of the products there have some sort of plastic around or in them. If the 60,000,000 american families synthetic trash production is enormous, imagine the worldwide production.

Decomposition rates:

plastic bag: 20 years

plastic cup: 250 years.

plastic plate: 400 years.

thicker plastic products: 1000’s of years

9th Place: The Pocket-size Musician

Guess what God sent Jesus on his Birthday

Music has been the passion and profession of billions across history. A melody to a crying baby, a dedication to a loved one, a cure to our every day problems… the list goes on and on. Music has had as much impact in today’s society as it did back in ancient times. Platon states that his master Socrates repitedly had a dream that told him “Oh Socrates, work on composing music”. You see, Socrates believed that there was only two pure things in life: the soul and harmony – and accordingly he argued “that music was pure harmony”. Such harmony has been recorded over the last 123 years into millions of songs and melodies. Imagine the power to reproduce any music any where any time… that is the power of the MP3.

When was the last time you went for a run or travelled by air or walked through the city without an Ipod?

Might be while ago for a growing number of people in our society. Music relaxes you, makes you happy, inspires you. So it is no wonder that more and more people decide to spend their moments of solitude listening to their Mp3’s. Listening to music sparks sweet moments of tranquility where you leave all  worries behind and you are able to only focus on the present. Next time you walk through the city or university try pay attention to the percentage of people listening to their Mp3’s. The results might surprise you.

8th Place: The Unnatural Act of “holding it in”

Good Thing Big Daddy Wasn't rolled in Spain

Yep, cause the price for peeing in a public space or park is worth 250 euros in most European countries. Kind of crazy that a couple hundred years ago one could pee anywhere he wanted: from a bush in the side of the road all the way to the dark corridors of french palace of Versaille. Anywhere was a possiblity as long as one did it discreetly.

But in our society, evolution and social changes have marked certain places where the current human “should” liberate his urges. This being capable of driving a person insane at moments when one can’t find a marked zone. This rather “recent” social norm has impacted human behavior  to such a point that there are people who rather pee themselves than pee in public places.

Good thing “marked zones” exist though  because otherwise the magnitude of bad odor and bacteria would make living in giant metropolis impossible. The only problem is that… We all get emergencies people. I personally find that getting charged 250 euros (350 dollars) is a bit outrageous. Next time you pee in public space, try not to do a victory dance afterwards. = )

The rest of the countdown will be published weekly starting this next Friday 20th, August.

Till then… have a good day!!

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