Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Khan Academy (dot com)

I'm ecstatic! And you should be too!

"The Khan Academy is a not-for-profit educational organization created by Salman Khan. With the stated mission of "providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere", the website supplies a free online collection of over 2,150 micro lectures via video tutorials stored on YouTube teaching mathematics, history, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and economics.[1]"

Now, if you don't know me personally, I hate the education system. I’m in my second year of university and it’s the third semester in a row that has made me cringe and want to shed tears. I loathe it and I’m thinking to perhaps become a yoga teacher, since I love hot yoga, and it would allow me to do my own studies on the side.

Although TED waited a year to present Khan Academy, it could not have arrived at a better time.

There are infinite possibilities with this.

I’ve been meaning to finish my advanced math’s so that I could get into calculus and whatnot, but now, I don’t have to pay a dime, nor do I have to travel anywhere or deal with a half assed teacher to learn what I want. I can do it all on Khan.

This makes me wonder. Because of Khan’s features: measuring how many videos you’ve watched, how many exercises you’ve done, as well as which you’ve accomplished and failed, will this be a new measure for job prerequisites? Because it should.


Rather than having to get a degree at school, on somebody else’s time, you do it on you’re OWN time, for FREE.

Job employers can then see what you know, see what you’ve learned, and pick you out from there.

My stats:

This is going to change everything, EVERYTHING.

Here is Salman Khan's TED talk.

[1] - Michels, Spencer (2010-02-22). "Khan Academy: How to Calculate the Unemployment Rate". PBS NewsHour. PBS. Retrieved 2011-01-05.

Monday, January 10, 2011

If you’re not getting laid, or simply blowing it at life.

Obviously I’m not the first to write about this, nor is it an unfamiliar concept (or perhaps for some it is), but constant masturbation (without regularly having sex) is like giving the horse its carrot before it arrives at its destination. This goes both for men and women.

That sexual energy, that innate drive for reproduction, is our motivation in life. When we “rub ourselves out” we lack the chemicals and energy produced by the contact of a partner which gives us that sense of accomplishment. We release that tension, but we didn’t work for it. That creates a habit of laziness.

Now let me state, personally, I have a huge sex drive, huge I tell you (I’m almost 22 years old). I could masturbate several times a day if I wanted to, sometimes I do (insert mental image for those who know me), but it doesn’t help me. And what doesn’t help me, doesn’t help you either.

What makes you win in life, what shows strength, is the ability to produce content (assuming its good, which is a whole other topic itself). How do you produce content? By delaying gratification: working hard to create something.

By masturbating, you become more focused on instant gratification. Because you gave in to you’re desires you weaken you’re will power to delay gratification. And it makes you focus directly on what you want in that moment: sex – thus being incompetent around the opposite sex.

What I would recommend is to masturbate at most once a week. If you can, go for longer.

Not only will this make you stronger around the opposite sex, but it will make you stronger as an individual, helping you out in all areas of you’re life.

If you agree, disagree or have any comments, let me know!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How not to practice writing

The guys at copyblogger say that to be a good writer you should always be writing, even when you have nothing to write about, write, write, write.

For several reasons I think this is bad advice.

This is because their concept is based off of a misnomer, a fallacy deriving from the 10,000 hour rule (popularized by Gladwell in his book Outliers). The rule says that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill. Though, as I guess wasn’t taken clearly, or perhaps simply forgotten by anxiousness and impulsivity: “practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect” – Gladwell.

Writing for the sake of writing does nothing, or little at least. Its like talking to nobody, with no message to deliver - how do you know how to say what you want to say?

Writing used as a cathartic medium on the other hand, has purpose; to release the tension of an idea. That practices how you manipulate and convey you’re thoughts. It’s passion, emotion and purpose that resonates with readers.

You need to practice writing when you have the need to express yourself. That’s where it starts.

First, ideas get jotted down in a few lines. Soon they turn into a page. Eventually (hopefully) with practice you’ll be writing pages worth of well-written ideas.

You become a better writer by practicing expressing yourself.

Without purpose you have nothing.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Rant: Assumptions by Association

Socrates, in other words said this, “I know that I know nothing”

Nassim Taleb calls it being a skeptic.

Neither are wrong.

At a party, acquaintances of mine were baffled by my analogy of their logical mistake: all apples are fruits, but not all fruits are apples. It was to illustrate the fallacy in a generalization that had been made. For a good couple of minutes they were mind struck. Literally. “Not all fruits are apples!” They couldn’t believe it – neither could I.

It’s like saying all mac owners are hipsters, or vice versa.
Because of an empirical association, you’ve created an assumption.
Or take for example there are some conspiracers who hold all Jews accountable for 911, simple due to the mere coincidince that the individuals they are accusing happen to be Jewish.
Or how all Americans are fat and lazy.
The list of stereotypes goes on. Though the issue is that I think people haven’t realized that stereotypes go far beyond typing people (perhaps many have realized this, but certainly don’t apply it to everyday scenarios, never mind their thought process).

The world we live in is far too dense and complex. There’s no room for generalizations. Nothing is entirely what it seems. Yes you might have an empirical reference to look back on, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same situation all over again. Most likely this time your dealing with new people or a completely new environment. I think this is where the problem occurs. People don’t know that they don’t know. They think they know. That’s why; when things go wrong, people get surprised, which triggers emotions, most often negative ones. And emotions usually lead to illogical action.

Thing is, as Socrates stated, we don’t know anything for sure. Though, what we do have is an idea of something. Notice the difference. The contrast between knowing and having an idea is that the latter acknowledges the possibility of the unknown. In fact, the latter knows that the unknown is a valid and an entirely possible outcome.

Why do you think some people can’t make sense of this world, thus going insane and live in some sort of hallucination/fictional world? It starts with an event, which they can’t understand or explain. They don’t know that they don’t know. So the minds tries to find an explanation (they think they know). This (lie) false explanation thrives in their mind and persists. They then try to make sense of it (the lie) but can’t, since it makes no sense, and thus, neither does (their) reality.

This is about confronting the truth from the start, or acknowledging to not knowing it. When you can’t explain something sometimes you just shouldn’t** because you literally don’t have the knowledge to. That is the difference between sanity and insanity.

Life is measured in percentages. 80% of the time X happens, the other 20% A, B, C and infinite more possibilities might happen.

** Note it is perfectly understandable to come to ideas of what did/can/could/happen. But the fallacy comes from believing in an absolute truth.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I invent words. Though apparently I’m retarded.

I’ve been doing a lot of writing over the last 6 months, most of it has been on my laptop in word documents. What’s peculiar is that I often come across words that, apparently, don’t exist. You know, that red underlining, letting you know you misspelled a word. Though these words aren’t misspelled, they just don’t exist already (according to the status quo).

For example:

This is out of my history notes:

    - Wants reform, but does not become a Protestant in the reformational sense

In my word document, reformational is underlined in red. Does that not make sense? I don’t see why it wouldn’t.

More examples of words that apparently don’t count in our English vocabulary:

Scientifical, academical, tosser (e.g. a coin tosser), catholized, protestantization, et cetera.

Who’s to say what words exist and which don’t?

Fuck the status quo.

ps: if you have invented words yourself, write them below, I'll add them to the list!