Posted: April 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

In primul rand recunosc ca n-am postat aici de foarte mult timp! Am si gasit destul de mult “spam” postat aici, nu stiu daca mi-au luat parola dar am sters tot spam-ul.
In al doilea, evident ca acum postez in limba romana. Am dobandit aceasta abilitate prin munca multa si indelungata. Am decis sa folosesc acest blog din cand in cand, fie in limba romana, fie in limba engleza, asa cum am pofta la momentul respectiv.
In al treilea rand, as vrea sa scriu mai mult despre psihologie, despre psihologi, si tot ce apartine acestui subiect. Un motiv bun pentru care vreau sa fac asta e pentru ca am mers si eu la psiholog si am beneficiat foarte mult!
Nu cred ca prea am vizitatori, dar poate ca asta se va schimba cu timp. Oricum, daca citesc asta acum, va multumesc pentru timpul acordat!



Posted: August 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

I return to the blog with the intent of posting more often. I’m trying to break through a certain threshold that would restrict my posting to moments when I’ve already formulated some specific, whole idea. The original intention was to get in the habit of posting whatever came to my mind, as I click new post, just to see what happens. So here we go. lol.

Something that has always fascinated me is the concept of how we experience reality. Or, at the very least, the concept that I’ve formed over time – it’s certainly not steeped in science, although I think that it’s at least instructed by science and further guided by reason. I hope.

I really enjoy thinking about how information is collected about reality in the first place, to later be processed in all sorts of ways. Our body is comprised by sensory devices, take the eyes, for instance, and this sensory information is produced by the way in which these sensory devices interact with reality.  For example, photons bouncing off of eye cells. And the brain is receiving a vast amount of information from these sensory devices, and all kinds of information from within the body as well, every second. Only a very small fraction of this information reaches consciousness.

Of course, in between the collection of this information and our conscious experience of it, there’s all sorts of processing happening to determine what we’re conscious of. Different kinds of filtering takes place, on a variety of levels… and, on a side note, it’s known that motivational factors play a role in what gets selected…

Ultimately, we experience. Or, in other words, we have an experience. Or, in yet another set of words, we are experience. The curious thing for me is how experience happens. I get the part about how information is collected and processed. But I don’t really grasp how it manifests from that information and from this construct of information processing. We can look around the room we’re sitting in and really, truly visualize the spatial dimensions we are inhabiting… But where within us is this sensation, where are the images we’re seeing?

It strikes me as an immaterial aspect of existence, although it’s just as likely that’s it’s simply some physical property that I don’t understand (not that I would understand it any more if it was immaterial). I feel like I have more to say on this, but perhaps another day. 😉

I arrive at this type of topic because of a combination of matters in my personal life that have been provoking a lot of concentration on this idea. I think the idea first really formulated in my head back in the day when I was a manager in a large retail chain. While I personally didn’t have my hands very much in any kind of budgeting, it was certainly something I heard a lot about, and it impacted my work a lot. We’d get a lot of unsold merchandise that simply didn’t move because it was priced too high. It’d clog up everything in the back, taking away storage space that could be used to order up on things that actually would sell, not to mention creating all kinds of extra work that becomes necessary when the stock rooms get full (which takes away from accomplishing tasks that lead to sales, like filling empty shelves).
We’re talking about holding onto this merchandise literally clogging things up and making things spin backwards.

Yet, the reasonable solution, which would be to simply acknowledge that this merchandise isn’t going to be sold at such a price, that it’s creating all kinds of waste to keep holding onto it, and subsequently mark it down to a better price to get rid of it, was usually prevented by budgetary decisions further up, which would freeze taking losses (taking any action, like reducing a price of an item, which would result in a loss on the budget sheets) for certain periods of time, because of an interest to alter the accounting reports, to make things appear better than they actually were by not showing the loss until a more “convenient” time.

Before I get into musing on the rationale for why they would make such a decision,  I’d rather respect that this was simply backdrop for the actual idea. lol.

Sometimes taking a decision to follow through with something unpleasant right now can offer multitudes of gratification down the road, through enabling you to have better footing for making your life more in tune with your preferences and wishes. Sometimes breaking through our own limitations, which can often be uncomfortable and force us to experience fear and bad feelings, can leave us feeling more confident and make us more who we really would wish to be. Sometimes living a period of time in more austere conditions can open the path towards a life of plenitude and riches. We might have a lot of resistance to taking a loss right now, considering that, by definition, it’s not something that appeals to us, but carrying around those losses with us and trying harder and harder to juggle them as they accumulate is something that, if we stop and think about it, is much less appealing anyway.

I read a really interesting story awhile ago. It seems there is this Congressmen from Illinois, Tim Johnson, who, in the effort of being a true representative of his constituents, calls them up, on his phone, every day. In his own words, he feels guilty if he hasn’t called at least one hundred in a day. He’s probably called most households in his Congressional district twice across the many years, a district with over 600,000 residents.  His personal record of calls in one day, over 1000, was achieved while vacationing in Hawaii. And he calls these people, day in and day out, just to open up a line of communication with them, gather opinions, make his presence known.

There were two other really amazing things to the story. On the one hand, if the current redistricting law is passed there and he’s once again reelected (never lost an election), the landscape of his district dramatically changes and maybe only 30% of the constituents he represents now will be in his area then. So he’ll have 500,000 new people to call.

The other interesting aspect was that he fasts for forty-eight hours a week.

It’s definitely amazing how different people can be from one another and how differently their lives can evolve over time. This guy really stands out as compared to the rest of his colleagues, and then compared to the rest of the people out there?

I certainly don’t idealize the guy in any kind of way, but it’s definitely novel and interesting, especially to contemplate what orientated him in this kind of direction.

I make my return to the blog after a bit of an absence with a tribute to a really cool fish. For some time now, our fish tank was blessed with the presence of a lively, blue, female beta fish who really struck at the boundaries of what to expect from a small fish in a tank, provided of course that this could simply be a faulty presumption in the first place.

One of the most endearing traits she exhibited was not only her radiant state of calmness when one would have one’s hands in the tank, vacuuming the gravel or scraping away the algae on the sides of the glass, but the degree to which she seemed to specifically seek out interaction with one. My girlfriend would delight in sticking her fingers in the tank while feeding the fish, with the beta swimming around her fingers playfully and not being bothered at all with being touched.

I suspect that this is common fair when it comes to betas, as I have a more faint memory of the nature of the history of their caretaking by humans, but yet it doesn’t subtract in any sort of way from the experience of growing to appreciate such subtle and more personable qualities of such a little fish.

Alas, we came to work one day and she couldn’t be found. No trace. Searched the floor around the tank, everywhere inside the tank. Vanished.

That night, I had a dream that we were looking at the tank (a very vivid, almost lucid dream, something which doesn’t happen all too frequently), and I think I was vacuuming the gravel. I nudged an area of rocks and, lo and behold, out sprang the beta. The most vibrant and permeating, psychedelic blue started spreading through the tank, and she was swimming back and forth vigorously, transformed into a greater form. Simply stunning!

The next day, we found her, at a very far distance from the fish tank. For some reason, she had jumped out. There’s a spot on the back of the tank that is uncovered. There was a kind of cover that has spots that were to be punched out for things like the filter to fit through, but the areas to be removed were completely impossible to cut out, and the only way we could put the filter in was to remove it entirely. It was an awful feeling to find her like that and to feel like she really needed us in the moment she jumped out and we weren’t there. Awful awful bummer.

Good bye, cool little blue fish!

As the cherry season here starts to wind down, with the time fast approaching in which we will no longer be able to find them in the fruit and vegetable market nearby, I thought I’d commemorate what was a wonderful spring/summer of cherries. I never managed to keep a count,  but we consumed kilograms and kilograms of what can only be deemed one of the most wonderful aspects of existence. Fortunately there are still cherries yet to be eaten, a load of them in the fridge as I type and the prospect that we might still find more, but it’s clear that the time has come and that the remaining cherries that might still be available probably won’t be of enough quality to make another purchase worth it.

I never grew up with cherries, but my girlfriend did, and she’s a complete freak for them, the more sour, the better. She would climb cherry trees and merrily gorge herself on them, an experience that I myself had as well, albeit with mulberries. No comparison there. Cherries are miraculously great.

I could, of course, go and find all kinds of health info from wiki or what-have-you, in order to provide some kind of substance to this post, but I don’t really see why it’d be worth it, considering that the only service I’m looking to provide here is whatever string of personal thoughts I contemplate in the moment I’m typing. No doubt, however, that cherries are some of the healthiest things to eat, and delighting ourselves with as many of them as possible all this time is definitely going to send our bodies off with a great boost into the rest of the year.

So, as the impression of cherries grows a bit more dim as the days go by (although that might not happen as we’ve considered establishing a cherry fund in which to make regular deposits for next year lol), I’d like to leave a sort of thanks to all of those awesome trees, growing somewhere, for providing us with their bounty, and to also keep in mind that there’s always walnut season. 🙂

Debt and Budgets

Posted: July 2, 2011 in Musings
Tags: , ,

I’ve been following the matter of the U.S. federal debt for awhile now, keeping informed thanks to the Washington Post online, as we’re running up to the deadline for Congress to reach a deal on raising the legal debt limit, and the matter of debt and budgets is actually something that has caught my attention ever since the 2008 Presidential elections. This happened as Ron Paul made his case for fiscal stability, with the resounding words of his “Those who continue to live beyond their means will forever be destined to live beneath them.” having stuck with me ever since, their logic and pertinency apparent.

Now, I can see a multitude of various reasons why taking on debt can be a beneficial thing, depending on the specifics of a given circumstance, since it can enable one to utilize those otherwise inexistent resources towards accomplishments which would otherwise be unobtainable. This relies on one’s sense of footing in the world and one’s capabilities to act on that debt, to reap the gains and to never expose oneself to too much of a risk of being capsized by the debt.

If such large governments were corporations, I would be far less worried about them being authorized to take on debt in the name of their constituents. The level of accountability, the motivation to succeed, and the leeway in effecting administrative decisions embodied by free-market corporations is a vital list that an entity like the federal government of the United States certainly doesn’t exhibit.

Strip the federal government’s budget and let the elements comprising it be subjected to much more competition for the revenues that remain!