Failures and breakthroughs – exposed, reflected, considered

Archive for the ‘history’ Category

why california is called california

leave a comment »

Dictionary.com had hot word “California” and its origins. Have a read.

Early mapmakers began labeling the “island” as California, the name of a mythical island in a book called Las Sergas de Esplandián, “The Adventures of Esplandián,” written by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The book was part of a popular series of Spanish romance stories.

In the book, the mythical California is ruled by Queen Califa and populated only with female warriors who brandish gold weapons. They even harness their animals in gold because it is the only mineral on the island.

Advertisements

Written by Hayk

November 11, 2011 at 11:23 am

Posted in history, politics

Tagged with ,

awake or asleep

leave a comment »

Heraclitus wrote:

Men are as forgetful and heedless
in their waking moments
of what is going on around them
as they are during their sleep.
Fools, although they hear,
are like deaf;
to them the adage applies
that whenever they are present
they are absent.
One should not act or speak
as if he were asleep.
The waking have one world in common;
sleepers have each a private world of his own.
Whatever we see when awake is death,
when asleep, dreams.
 

Written by Hayk

October 21, 2011 at 6:37 am

10 reasons why socrates is still relevant today

leave a comment »

Leaders in Europe and America have to take out dusty books of philosophy and check why Socrates and his ideas are still valid today:

  1. They’ve Never Been Rendered Obsolete
  2. He Taught Us to Question Everything
  3. He Taught Us That Life is Worthless Without Happiness
  4. He Taught Us to Ask if There’s Such a Thing as a Just War
  5. He Advocated True Freedom of Speech
  6. He Invented Philosophical Ethics
  7. He Was a Champion of Human Virtue
  8. He Warned Us of the Follies of Materialism
  9. He Taught Us the Value of Civil Disobedience
  10. He Taught Us to Stand Up For What We Believe

Written by Hayk

October 12, 2011 at 7:02 am

freedom according to camus, adler, gandhi, buddhism and modernity

leave a comment »

Since Protagoras’ famous “man is the measure of all things,” declaring human freedom as an unlimited absolute, philosophers have been fascinated with the idea of freedom.

Philosopher/scholar Adler categorized freedom as:

  1. self-realization
  2. acquired state of mind
  3. self-determination: to determine — not necessarily carry-out — wishes/actions in life

Gandhi thought, “freedom isn’t worth having if it doesn’t connote freedom to err.”

Hindu/Buddhist freedom is embedded in moksha; to Chuang Tzu freedom meant “free yourself from the world.”

In modern China/world, freedom is “fusion of personal, national, social, civic, and moral freedoms” or “liberation, self-development, independent personality/responsibility, democracy/human-rights, spiritual-cultural necessity, privacy, autonomy/self-mastery.

Written by Hayk

October 5, 2011 at 6:51 am

hip-hop, creativity and brain functionality

leave a comment »

Hip-hop, an artistic expression/culture formed during 70s in Bronx, is a combination of terms — “hip” was used in African-American vernacular English starting in 1898, meaning current or in the know, and “hop” from “to hop.”

Hip-hop was the creative coalescence of the then popular funk music, self-appointed disk-scratching DJs, break-dancing MCs, improv lyricist-rappers and complementary street art (graffiti) which visualized a culture tinged with social bias, racism and ethnic rebellion. It went mainstream in 1979 by “Rapper’s Delight.”

Creativity in street (hip-hop) and classic (jazz) musical traditions is now being employed by neuroscience in exploring brain performance during creative processes.

Written by Hayk

October 4, 2011 at 6:59 am

future of human life and biomimicry

with one comment

4.5 billion years of evolution taught nature what works and what lasts.

We’ve been increasingly distancing ourselves from nature: agricultural revolution – grow stock and abandon hunting/gathering; scientific revolution – “torture nature for her secrets;” industrial revolution – machines replace muscles.

Biomimicry is the study of nature for solutions to our problems. Having 96% of our bodies built upon carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, nature can teach us how to:

  • use only the energy needed
  • fit form to function
  • recycle everything
  • curb excesses from within
  • tap the power of limits
  • devise systems that can face unknown situations
  • update ourselves by feedback loops

Written by Hayk

October 3, 2011 at 8:04 am

stats about our universe

leave a comment »

Stats about our universe (in 199 words – didn’t make sense to split):

Written by Hayk

September 27, 2011 at 9:38 am