Bohemian Aphorism #5

Il y a longtemps que l’inné (ou les caractères innés) ne justifie plus aucun acte : la culture évolue et l'acquis (ou l'éducation) est venu en surimpression s'accuser des responsabilités réelles de l'acte. Il est évident que le bagage de chacun motive ses mots et gestes, sa sensibilité et son comportement. Comme il est évident, d'un point de vue strictement humaniste, que l'humanité gagne à développer l'information et le savoir de chacun. Le mot sagesse (sapiens, dites-vous ?) est amusant, il signifie à la fois Raison et Connaissance.
Le droit de chacun devrait être d'apprendre, le devoir : de comprendre. On ne peut tout de même pas tenir l'enseignement reçu (serait-il autodidacte) pour responsable de toutes nos conneries ! À quoi rimerait l'individu ?
Mais n'en profitez pas pour condamner votre prochain de sa bêtise crasse, ou alors apprenez-lui à comprendre.

It’s been a long time since the innate (inborn characters) no longer justifies any act: the culture is changing and learning (or education) came as an overlay to accuse itself for the real responsibilities of the act. It is obvious that the background of everyone motivates his words and gestures, his sensitivity and his behavior. As it is obvious, in a strictly humanist perspective, that humanity deserves to develop information and knowledge of each. The word wisdom (Sapiens, you say?) is fun, it means both reason and knowledge.

Everyone’s right should be to learn, their duty to understand. Still, we can not blame the teaching received (would it self) for all our crap! What would the individual mean then?
But do not take advantage of it to condemn your neighbor for his crass stupidity, or else, teach him to understand.

Extrait de / Extract of : La Bohême et l'Ivraie de AYERDAL chez Au Diable Vauvert ISBN 978-2-84626-134-0. English translation: Me & Google Translate :)


Bohemian Aphorism #4

Certaines choses ne peuvent pas simplement être dites. Ce sont généralement des choses qui ont beaucoup d'importance et aucune prise sur la vie parce que indubitablement hors de propos et de contexte. Pourtant, elles doivent être sues - c'est une certitude - et il ne faut pas que, de leur connaissance, découle le rejet.
« Toute la subtilité », vous dira le politique, « consiste à leur donner une existence sans choquer, à en atténuer les conséquences et les implications. » « Choquez, au contraire ! » dira le publiciste. « Mettez-en d’emblée la conséquence majeure en évidence. »
L'un s’appuie sur la stupidité de son auditoire, l'autre abuse de son intelligence. L'un déforme l’image, l’autre la synthétise, mais, au fond, tous deux atteignent leur but : créer une image qui supplante la nature des choses.
À votre avis, pourquoi l’un passe-t-il son temps à corriger le tir et l'autre à lancer de nouvelles campagnes ? Ou, en termes d'efficacité et de durée, que vaut l’image ?

Some things simply can not be said. These are usually things that are very important and have no grip on life because undoubtedly out of place and context. Yet they must be known - it is certain - and, from this knowledge, it shall not result rejection.
“All the subtlety”, will say the politician, “is to give them a life without shocking, to mitigate the consequences and implications.” “Shock, on the contrary!” will say the publicist. “Put the major consequence straight in the front.”
One relies on the stupidity of his audience, the other misuses his intelligence. One deforms the picture, the other synthesizes it, but in reality, both reach their goal: create an image that overrides the nature of things.
In your opinion, why one is always making adjustments and the other always launching new campaigns? Or, in terms of efficiency and time, what is the image worth?

Extrait de / Extract of : La Bohême et l'Ivraie de AYERDAL chez Au Diable Vauvert ISBN 978-2-84626-134-0. English translation: Me & Google Translate :)


New Gods and Myths

Between fear and respect
In my last post “Know to get the Power”, I talked about how to fight the power by fighting fears with a movement towards the unknown. But there are several situations where no knowledge will compete the power in front.
First come the natural and ultimate powers of Time & Death. On Time, I would say that nature invented it not to have to do everything at once; from a human point of view, Time is everything but an objective concept. From the scientific point of view, Time is a headache; it change with the speed of the reference and we don’t know if it has ever started. On Death, many answers have been provided by all the human civilizations since man is civilized, because we need answers, even if we know they are “not completely true”. But when you think that all the atoms and many molecules of your body were produced in a star, and particularly with water and carbon, you are, maybe, a little more willing to give it all back.
Then come the social mechanisms where a group (small or large) agree to give some powers to someone for the benefit of all. Of course, we can think about the Lord of the village, but the mechanism works for every job: from soldiers to the farmers, from journalist / artists / elites to the spiritual and body doctors, may you call it the shaman, the witchdoctor or the priest. All those interactions require to be ruled to go smoothly, and I guess that laws come from here, oral and usual at first, then written. In that process, we know we let go a piece of liberty and power, but it is also the choice (conscientious or not) of the comfort of a ruled and civilized community.
So, when the power in front is too “powerful”, our knowledge of it turns our fears into Respect. This word has been overused, so following my thoughts, I will only say that The First To Respect Is Oneself.

When a mean turns into an unfair God
Religions are so right to fear and fight the adoration of the Golden Calf, the “false god”, the money. But humanity is only 7 millions years old, and this is too young not to fall into the trap.
I don’t have to tell all a man can do for money, nor how our “modern world” kneels before financials, nor that it is easier to think it’s normal that the more you have the more you need, rather than to let go. It is going to be very tough for some to think conversely as “less efforts equals more comfort”.
And now we are almost all done, because we all rely on money to have a roof, to eat and for many other basic life actions. In the same time, this money, that was once the property of the people through the nation, is now like any good traded by greedy private merchants. And if the nations, individually or together, don’t take back the sovereignty of their own money, it’s going to be hard for us people.
Talking about property, some may not understand me, but I don’t believe in that notion. First, I keep in mind that everything, including me, is made of atoms that were produced by a star. Then, I use of “the house story”: I live in a house, if I die, the house is alright, but on the contrary, if the house collapse, I am terribly bad; and so, I wonder how I can tell I own this house rather than the house owns me.
Sadly, I am much more cynical (or realistic maybe), and I also see Money as a selection factor for a humanity that is growing too fast. I can’t help to think of the difference of value a life is given, or spent, whether you are born here or there, and depending of the social class you are from. Some can spend millions on premature babies when million of children are left without drinking water. The only one that will survive when this civilization will collapse, and it will, like all others before, will be the groups of people poor and isolated enough to be self sufficient.

So are your Myths, so is your life
Of course it was easier, in the ancient Greek time, to settle one’s thought upon a strong basis of mythology where Gods were known to live among the living. I don’t think ancient Greeks were as stupid as to deeply believe those myths, because they were built piece by piece by the artists like Aeschylus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeschylus). But the population were not that large and science not so advanced, so an abstract system of social laws could be shared and modified by the majority.
Today, it is much more difficult to find a similar system in our “modern civilizations”. Of course, History still provides us with perfect Good and Bad Heroes, such as Hitler, Stalin or Gandhi and Mandela. But you would be amazed to learn that the person who’s name and face are the most known all over the world is Michael Jackson. The similarities of his life and his image with the Christ may be obvious to some, this is not what makes him so famous, as he was able to reach people over colors and religions.
But sadly, the Heroes don’t make the Myths. Heroes are just symbolic focus points. Myths are fictional stories that everybody believe in. On a conscious level, they are tales full of wisdom, but on the subconscious level, it is a set of rule for social interaction. At this point, I know that the myths around “Harry Potter” or around “Star Wars” will never become a standards. So we are left with the false myths, as ease, comfort and money. And so, we let them set the rules for our social interactions, which are not good.

Who is going to build the Myth, the tale or the story that will gather humanity for an wiser cause?


Bohemian Aphorism #3

" L'émulation est un outil pédagogique de piètre qualité car, si elle peut pousser un individu ou un groupe à se dépasser pour égaler ou surpasser un autre individu ou un autre groupe, elle fixe d'emblée les limites de son progrès juste au-delà de celles de la concurrence. Il faudra donc attendre une autre rivalité pour reprendre l'évolution.
Comme ce raisonnement ne suffirait pas à faire taire un partisan de la compétitivité éducative, il convient d'ajouter que l’émulation est génitrice d’une dualité de motivation égoïste. Il s’agit pour l'émule de créer une situation (qui consiste souvent en la recherche d'un truc) qui permettra le surpassement de la cible (le rival) de façon à satisfaire conjointement son ego et la galerie (de glaces, ou psyché). Et alors ? direz-vous.
Alors: si, pour dépasser vos concurrents, il vous arrivait de trouver un truc fiable et efficace, vous vous empresseriez de le crier sur les toits pour le partager avec vos rivaux, n'est-ce pas ? "

" Emulation is an educational tool of poor quality because, if it can push an individual or a group to excel to meet or surpass another individual or another group, it immediately sets the limits of its progress just beyond those of the competition. He will have to wait another rivalry to resume development.
As this reasoning would not be enough to silence a proponent of educational competitiveness, we should add that emulation is the progenitor of a duality of selfish motivation. The opponent shall create a situation (which is often the search of a trick) that will allow the override of the target (the rival) to jointly satisfy his ego and the gallery (looking-glass, or psyche). So what? you say.
So: if, to outperform your competition, you happened to find a reliable and efficient trick, you will run and shout on the rooftops to share it with your rivals, won’t you? "

Extrait de / Extract of : La Bohême et l'Ivraie de AYERDAL chez Au Diable Vauvert ISBN 978-2-84626-134-0. English translation: Me & Google Translate :)


Bohemian Aphorism #2

" Attendre un événement est un facteur de déception, un facteur qui croît avec la durée et l'intensité de l'attente. une fois annoncé, l'événement s'insinue dans le jardin secret du spectateur. Doucement, celui-ci va s'en faire une idée de plus en plus précisément nébuleuse, jusqu'à ce que cette idée devienne un idéal. Alors, l'attente va prendre des allures d'utopie, impatiente et surexcitée.
L'événement va se retrouver tellement imaginé, et avec tant de ferveur, qu'il court au bide le plus total.
L'innocence, la naïveté, la candeur, l'ingénuité sont d'excellents remèdes à cette déception aussi fatale que pernicieuse. Mais franchement, pourquoi se priver du plaisir incomparable de l'imagination et de l'excitation que procurent l'attente et le désir ? Parce que l'artiste risque d'être mauvais ?
Attendez tranquille, le spectateur ne fait pas la qualité du spectacle; participant ou non, dans l'événement, il est passif. Ah ! Mais si vous êtes l'artiste, méritez qu'on vous attende. "

" To wait for an event is a disappointment factor, a factor which increases with the duration and intensity of expectation. Once announced, the event sneaks into the secret garden of the spectator. Slowly, he's going to get an idea more and more precisely nebulous, until this idea becomes an ideal. So, the wait will take on the appearance of utopia, impatient and excited.
The event will end up so conceived and so fervently, that it runs the most total flop.
The innocence, naivete, candor, ingenuity are excellent remedies for this disappointment as lethal as pernicious. But frankly, why deprive ourselves of the incomparable pleasure of imagination and excitement that provide the expectation and desire? Because the artist may be bad?
Expect quietly, the spectator does not make the quality of the show, participating or not in the event, he is passive. Oh! But if you're the artist, deserve to be waited. "

Extrait de / Extract of : La Bohême et l'Ivraie de AYERDAL chez Au Diable Vauvert ISBN 978-2-84626-134-0. English translation: Me & Google Translate :)


Know to get the Power

Fear is not just a feeling, it’s a universal law.
From the projective fear to lack to the fear to be caught by mum, from the alpha male ruling the pack to the acidity of a tree repulsing others plants away, from the electron who fear the proton to the star who fear the black hole aside. Fear is the way not to be killed, eaten or destroy. It’s the first sign of the Logos, the intelligence that tell us right from wrong, not the one that solves equations. Fear is why we are here nowadays, surviving.

When others fear you, you gain power.
As the black hole impress the star, the alpha male impress the youngest, as soon as human kind has arised, the strongest knew how to impress the mob and the benefits of this situation. Civilizations, religions, arts and sciences did only try to organize a state of fact. Civilizations produce usages and laws to stabilize the powers in time by balancing the fears with rights and duties. Religions give us the “ultimate answer” to all fears, but that answer isn’t clear enough so we need and fear the clerk precisions, giving it power. Arts will always be our link between our inner imagined world and reality, and backward, telling in fictions more reality the real could tell. And Sciences are just another way to shut our fears up by providing some “reasonable” answers.

You can fight fear, by the knowledge. 
So, it is clear that every time mankind fights the unknown, it fights its fears too. But there are two paradox within. The first is the status of the unknown in our psychology: it is the greatest source of fear but it also fascinate us to the point that it is the only thing we do really love. We all know that, in a couple, once each knows the other’s secrets the passionate love feeling turns into something else, like a habit love, the security of the well-known home contrasting with fascination of the first times discovery. The second paradox is the more we know, the more we learn how little we know, (re)discovering our huge ignorance on each major breakthrough, and this at every step or level of knowledge. From this, we can figure out that the actual weapon against fear is not the knowledge itself but the will to get to it, the curiosity, a special interest … for the unknown.

Fight the power with education.
The will to know doesn’t come by itself, it’s much easier to lay back and let the TV tell us what to think. And the older we get the harder it is. Yet, knowledge is like a drug, once one taste it, he will come back to it. So, sharpen your critical, welcome the doubt, use it to check, search, gather information to make your mind up by yourself. Knowledge is so vast that everyone can always find his/her little favorite niche, something to get really interested into, at the hedge of the passion, just because he/she likes the subject. There are so many sciences, pick one. And if you don’t like science, you can study something more cultural: human relations, arts or craft. Everyone can become a specialist, each in its very own domains. And you are a specialist, about any topic, you gain respect and consideration. On the other hand, in the violent modern world we are living in, a lot of people try to gain power over the others by taking advantage of their ignorance. The more you are educated, the best you are protected against that.

One only learn with others, not by oneself.
So, what are the best places to get Education and Knowledge? First best place is Home, from parents to children. Not only by providing them means and encouragements, but mostly by giving them the example. In a family where parents read books, listen to music or go to the theater, rather to watch TV every evening, you can bet that the children have a much stronger will to learn and will be more successful. I, personally, could never thank my parents enough for they made (let) me listen countless times Peter and the Wolf  and Peer Gynt. The second best place to learn is School, it is made for that, every thing is there: documentation, teachers, study rooms and organization. It funny how adults apprehend to go back to school. When I do so, I love the feeling of my brain working again. Last, but never to be forgotten, the third best place to learn is Life, every day, every minute, with every one. First, always remember that, however high educated you are, you can not know everything about everything, and you can easily find a “specialist” of a domain you don’t know about. Then, one gain much more experience doing things with others rather than alone. Facing a problem together is easier, every point of view adds precisions and corrections to the master plan, some, more experienced, will give tricks to youngest and the solution/result is better, so everyone involved wins again.
But this only works if we pay attention, to the people, to what they do, and to the reasons they do so.


Bohemian Aphorism #1

" On peut posséder tous les éléments, tous, et échouer parce qu'on ne sait pas les assembler, ou parce qu'on a soulevé la convoitise ou la jalousie, ou parce qu'on ne veut pas, ou tout bêtement parce que l'une ou l'autre des milliards de raisons qui conduisent à l'échec s'est amalgamée à votre recette du succès. Finalement, on peut justifier chaque échec, ou tout du moins l'expliquer. On doit même pouvoir expliquer la réussite, quelle que soit sa dimension, dans quelque domaine que se soit. Tout s'explique, à coup d'analyses, de synthèses, d'équations : tout. Parmi les inconnues, la plus coriace est celle qu'on qualifie de but, finalité ou objectif. Avez-vous remarqué en effet comme il est ardu de cerner et de définir la notion d'objectif, surtout à l'échelle d'une vie ?
Essayez donc de fouiller ce concept, jusqu'au bout, à votre niveau (par exemple). Puis quand vous en aurez fait le tour, demandez-vous ce que peuvent bien signifier les idées d'échec et d'aboutissement. 
Ah! Juste une question : et à l'échelle de l'univers, qu'est-ce que cet objectif ? "

" We can have all the elements, all, and fail because we don't know how to put them together, or because we have raised envy or jealousy, or because we don't want, or quite simply because one or the other of the billions of reasons that lead to failure has amalgamated with your recipe for success. Finally, we can justify every failure, or at least explain it. It should even be able to explain the success, whatever its size, in any field whatsoever. Everything can be explained, out of analysis, synthesis, equations: everything. Among the unknowns, the tougher is the one we describes as the goal, purpose or objective. Did you notice how hard it is to identify and define the notion of purpose, especially at the scale of life?
Try to dig the concept, to the end, at your level (for example). Then when you've been around, ask yourself what may well mean the ideas of failure and outcome.
Oh! Just a question: and at the scale of the universe, what is this goal? "

Extrait de / Extract of : La Bohême et l'Ivraie de AYERDAL chez Au Diable Vauvert ISBN 978-2-84626-134-0. English translation: Me & Google Translate :)

Illustration credit: Gary "ANTIFAN-REAL" Tonge from deviantart (http://antifan-real.deviantart.com/)


1984 Here we are!

If you take Science Fiction novels literally, George Orwell’s masterpiece can still instill fear and have a weird echo in today’s news. Will the “Big Brother” of the month be Google or Facebook? Last year it was Microsoft or IBM, I don’t remember. But if, like me who have read a lot of that style of literature, you know that Science Fiction, just like tales, myths and even religions, must NOT be taken literally. All those stories only show us simplified symbols in a unreal environment, that try to mimic our own inner adventures, feelings, relationships and so on, but in no way something real. Always remember they can be truth in fiction as well as a real person can lie.

I wanted today to look back over the three technological decades I have lived and to check which of my geek dreams went true. I must tell I am very sad that all the innovations predicted about transportation were not achieved: I really miss the flying cars and teleportation. On the other hand, I gave up to dream about space travel since I read Return from the stars by Stanislav Lem. As long as the speed of light is the ultimate bound, everything, everyone who will be send out of our solar system is lost. And there can never be a single “galactic civilization”, may be multiple but it’s going to be hard and it is not for tomorrow. But this is not my subject today.

So, what are “my dreams came true” in the technological world? First, I have to tell you my age, I’m born in 1966, and so my dreams are the ones I made around the early 80’s.
Forgive me in advance to be raw, but then, I really dreamt to have a computer I could use at the toilets. And I’m not ashamed to tell that now that I can do it, I do. I experience for more than half a year the couple ChromeOS Chromebook and Android Nexus S phone (both by Samsung), and I brought either one or the other everywhere: in the bed, in the bath tube, at my parent’s, in the train, on holidays or at the supermarket. As far as I was disappointed a few years ago by the mobile experience, I can tell today that the mobile technologies went over my personal dreams, even if I was able to foresee the web using the IBM network 25 years ago. If we can’t have the teleportation beam feature of “Cosmos 1999” control handsets, we have the connectivity feature, with each other and with the network. This is a great step, sadly the network is not as smart as it was imagined.


Then, my second technological dream was about data storage. Here you have to understand that since I started coding on my TI57, I have experienced multiple types and shapes of data storage ways: from punch-cards to the professional washing-machine sized hard drive, from the audio tapes to the floppy discs, from custom magnetic cards to CD burning at x1 speed. On those days, the failures were numerous. The analysis of the issue was easy, the first buggy part was always the moving parts, the mechanics not the computers side, so I dreamt of a data storage support as simple as some memory into a little plastic stick one can plug in any processing device. Today, with the SD cards, this available to everyone, seamlessly. Even if now, with more and more wireless technologies, data storage tends to go up to the network (the cloud), every time I use a SD card I think with compassion how (a P.I.T.A.) it was before and how, once again, technology went further than my own dreams.

Here, I would like to talk about the dreams, not necessary mine, on which I gave up, that today are a reality. Those technology capabilities seams normal for most of you, but when I think about them knowing the past failures, it is a shock. Most of those breakthrough are done by Google and the most notable are Speech Recognition and Language Translations. Those technologies are not new, but the breakthrough is that they are available to everyone, for free and that they are reliable. They are not perfect (what is?), but the “every day people” can tell: it’s working. Not far are some services like Google Maps that provides us position and directions “for free” where we had to buy paper maps and read them! Well, I read maps with ease but not everyone does, and what a time saver. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t believe that some one in the computer market could be able to provide us all those working features for that cost. That’s may be where Sergey and Larry are genius when they wanted to “organize the web with a search engine”. The idea was in the same time insane and the only reasonable one, and facts have shown us that aiming at a greater users benefits comes back in return with the advertisement market. In my point of view, this is all fair.

Last, I need to tell you the dream of my youth that has not become true despite of multiple individual wills and its persistence in the web mood: the building of a new Civilisation. While our old Business-Market-Growth civilisation tries not to collapse, we still wait for a connected world wise democracy to emerge. Okay, I may look impatient but I am sorry but the old models have shown for long that they are not working: a market without regulation leads to disaster, men run after money and growth that both kill them, politicians don’t weight anymore in front of some lobbies. But, as I often say, the system is only made of its elements, no one can really be out of it, and in the same time, there is no victims of it who didn’t choose in a way to be so. In other words, we all know that if we all push in the same direction, things can change drastically. But it’s so hard to have everyone to push in the same direction in the same time, and it is not the aim. The aim is that the average direction is not wrong and everyone of us counts in that calculation, every of our decisions or actions at any time goes in the balance.

Because what would be worth any technological breakthrough if they is no social, philosophical, political or human progress to balance it?

Nota: I’m switching this blog to English for my numerous followers on GooglePlus. Use http://translate.google.fr if you are not familiar with that language ;)
“ Music and Politics “ will still speak about music and politics, as well as philosophy, sociology and spiritual things.