Blindsight a Echopraxia

Dve knihy, ktoré napísal Peter Watts. Veľmi, veľmi zaujímavé. Nepíšem, že výborné (to mám rezervované na inú kvalitu), všeličo sa im dá vytknúť, ale sú veľmi podnetné na rozmýšľanie o vedomí, o slobodnej vôli, o tom, čo všetko je život.
V knihách totiž ide o kontakt s iným životom. Schválne nepíšem, že s mimozemšťanmi, lebo to už máme zaškatuľkované… možno nie úplne ako zelených mužíkov, ale vpodstate ako niečo ľuďom celkom podobné. Ale tu je ten iný život tak cudzí a tak iný, že naše kategórie jednoducho nie sú aplikovateľné.
Treba veľa čítať medzi riadkami. Predpokladám, že kopu vecí mi aj ušlo (a na rozdiel od niektorých iných kníh nemám chuť si tieto prečítať znovu), ale to je práve ten druhý dôvod, pre ktorý knižky odporúčam. 
nature of free will, which Wegner thumbnails as “our mind’s way of estimating what it thinks it did”
at least under routine conditions, consciousness does little beyond taking memos from the vastly richer subconcious environment, rubber-stamping them, and taking the credit for itself. In fact, the nonconscious mind usually works so well on its own that it actually employs a gatekeeper in the anterious cingulate cortex to do nothing but prevent the conscious self from interfering in daily operations
The game is never over; there’s no finish line this side of heat death. And so, neither can there be any winners. There are only those who haven’t yet lost.
It didn’t matter whether shackles were built of genes or iron, whether you installed them after birth or before conception. Chains were chains, no matter where you put them.
What do you think vision is?” she asked him. “You don’t see a fraction of the things that surround you, and at least half the things you do see are deceptive. Hell, color doesn’t even exist outside your own head. Vision’s just plain wrong; it only persists because it works. If you’re going to dismiss the idea of God, you better stop believing your own eyes in the bargain.
Truth had never been a priority. If believing a lie kept the genes proliferating, the system would believe that lie with all its heart.
Brains are survival engines, not truth detectors. If self-deception promotes fitness, the brain lies. Stops noticing— irrelevant things. Truth never matters. Only fitness.
We’re not thinking machines, we’re—we’re feeling machines that happen to think

Víkendové surfovanie

ako lepšie variť cestoviny

let’s talk rules of engagement. For every sauce, there’s a perfect shape, and there are some guidelines for the pairings: The chunkier the sauce, the stubbier the pasta (little ear-shaped orrechietti with sausage and broccoli). The thinner the sauce, the thinner the noodle (long and skinny capellini with garlic and butter). The thicker, the thicker (spaghetti carbonara).

The idea here is to cook the pasta for its final 2 minutes in the sauce, while adding more water, a few tablespoons at a time, to moisten the mixture as the noodles soak up the sauce. The starch from the pasta acts as an emulsifier, binding the water and fat together so the sauce coats the noodles properly. 

ako sme si blízki

Archive of 6,000 Historical Children’s Books, All Digitized and Free to Read Online (ht Katka)

porozprávajme sa s knižkami: talk to books

People Asked To Cover Up Their Scars And Birthmarks, And Tattoo Artists Nailed It

pri príležitosti 50teho výročia upálenia Jána Palacha HBO sprístupnilo prvý diel Horiaceho kra:

Science funding is a mess. Could grant lotteries make it better? (ht Ondro)

one Canadian peer review and approval process is more expensive than just fulfilling every single qualified grant

mravce stavajú most:

ešte z decembra: Nevážim si kolegov, ktorí nechávajú prejsť plagiáty, vysmievajú sa z mojej práce 

Nature’s 10

How to Deal with Difficult People on Software Projects (ht Andrej)

Here’s what scientists searched for in 2018: AI is up, stress is down

Jemisin: The Obelisk Gate a The Stone Sky

Sú to druhá a tretia kniha z trilógie The Broken Earth (prvá bola The Fifth Season). A sú parádne. Druhá je trochu slabšia, klasický osud druhorodených kníh, ale v tretej sa to výborné rozprávanie z prvej knihy vracia s ešte väčšou silou. Konvergujú v nej dávna minulosť a osud matky a dcéry.
Fantasy knihy presne ako majú vyzerať. Komplexný svet so zvláštnou mágiou a narážkami na ten náš, plastické postavy, ktoré sa menia počas príbehu, v ktorom nič nie je čierno-biele, netradičné metafory a krásne písanie.  Tie Hugo ceny boli zaslúžené.
A dúfam, že autorka už má rozpracované niečo ďalšie.
The Obelisk Gate:
They ask to touch her hair and she asks to touch theirs back. This makes them all realize how strange and silly a request that is, and they giggle and become instant friends without a head petted between them.
… speaking as if it, the planet, is real. Alive, I mean. Aware. All that stuff about Father Earth, it’s just stories to explain what’s wrong with the world. Like those weird cults that crop up from time to time. I heard of one that asks an old man in the sky to keep them alive every time they go to sleep. People need to believe there’s more to the world than there is.
And the world is just shit. You understand this now, after two dead children and the repeated destruction of your life. There’s no need to imagine the planet as some malevolent force seeking vengeance. It’s a rock. This is just how life is supposed to be: terrible and brief and ending in—if you’re lucky—oblivion
The Stone Sky:
They’re afraid because we exist, she says. There’s nothing we did to provoke their fear, other than exist. There’s nothing we can do to earn their approval, except stop existing – so we can either die like they want, or laugh at their cowardice and go on with our lives.
Would’ve been nice if we could’ve all had normal, of course, but not enough people wanted to share. So now we all burn.
Not so very different, really, from the people who run the Fulcrums, or raiders, or her father. So where they should have seen a living being, they saw only another thing to exploit. Where they should have asked, or left alone, they raped. For some crimes, there is no fitting justice – only reparation
She wants to be a person.
She wants the impossible, Dushwha will say. Gallat thinks it better to own her himself, rather than allow Syl Anagist to do the same. But for her to be a person, she must stop being… ownable. By anyone.
Hoa just looks at you. How the rust does he manage to convey such emotion with a stone face? Even if that emotion is dry skepticism of your self-abnegating bullshit. You laugh – once, and it’s rusty. Been a while.
“I think,” Hoa says slowly, “that if you love someone, you don’t get to choose how they love you back.”
So many layers in the strata of that statement.
He watches as you stand and stretch, and it’s a thing you’ll never fully understand or be comfortable with – the admiration in his gaze. He makes you feel like a better person than you are. And this is what makes you regret, again, endlessly, that you cannot stay to see his child born.

Keď sú problémy s Mesiacom… (prázdninové čítanie)

Neal Stephenson: Seveneves – Hneď na začiatku niečo rozbije Mesiac. A zistí sa, že úlomky začnú pomaly padať na Zem, pričom za dva roky ju urobia úplne neobývateľnou na niekoľko tisíc rokov. Ľudstvo má teda pomerne presne ohraničený čas na prípravu, a tá nejde ani zďaleka podľa plánov. Ako názov napovedá, Ev, ktoré prežijú, nebude veľa. Kopu zaujímavých podnetov na rozmýšľanie, ale kniha sama o sebe je taká nerovnomerná.  Miestami výborná, miestami otrasná a pôsobí trochu pozliepane. Tri hviezdičky z piatich. 

Doob, who had raised three children to adulthood, had figured out a long time ago that any event largely organized by elementary school teachers was likely to come off extremely well from a logistical and crowd-control standpoint.
[explains] why so many top athletes were African. It wasn’t because they were naturally better athletes but because the bell-shaped curve of random genetic variation was wider. For every African who was a great athlete there was presumably another who was miserably uncoordinated, but no one paid any notice to the latter.
Actions taken here today will cast long shadows into the future.

N. K. Jemisin: The Fifth Season – Pri tejto Zemi Mesiac nie je. A je to trochu problém. Táto kniha je výborná celá, krásne napísaná, chytľavo vybudovaný svet so zvláštnou mágiou, plastické postavy. Autorka je tmavej pleti a keď hovorí o predsudkoch, tak príslušné kúsky by sa dali vystrihnúť a bez akéhokoľvek editovania použiť aj v našom skutočnom svete. A donúti čitateľa uvedomiť si, ako sme prepletení s ostatnými ľuďmi, ako veľmi je to, kto sme, ovplyvnené vzťahmi, blízkymi aj ďalekými. Hviezdičiek? Päť a dobrá správa je, že toto je prvý diel trilógie.  

When we say “the world has ended,” it’s usually a lie, because the planet is just fine. But this is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. For the last time.

You will have to make do with the broken bits of herself that Jija has left behind. You’ll jigsaw them together however you can, caulk in the odd bits with willpower wherever they don’t quite fit, ignore the occasional sounds of grinding and cracking. As long as nothing important breaks, right? You’ll get by. You have no choice. Not as long as one of your children could be alive.

For all those that have to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question.

“We aren’t human.”
“Yes. We. Are.” His voice turns fierce. “I don’t give a shit what the something-somethingth council of big important farts decreed, or how the geomests classify things, or any of that. That we’re not human is just the lie they tell themselves so they don’t have to feel bad about how they treat us.”

There passes a time of happiness in your life, which I will not describe to you. It is unimportant. Perhaps you think it wrong that I dwell so much on the horrors, the pain, but pain is what shapes us, after all. We are creatures born of heat and pressure and grinding, ceaseless movement. To be still is to be… not alive. But what is important is that you know it was not all terrible. There was peace in long stretches, between each crisis. A chance to cool and solidify before the grind resumed.

You’ve read accounts of attempts by the Sixth University at Arcara to capture a stone eater for study, two Seasons back. The result was the Seventh University at Dibars, which got built only after they dug enough books out of the rubble of Sixth.

Who’s she kidding? It’s love. She loves her son. But that doesn’t mean she wants to spend every hour of every rusting day in his presence.

Na inšpiráciu v mesiaci knihy

S blížiacim sa deadlinom na dopísanie vlastnej knihy mám času ešte menej ako zvyčajne, ale na počudovanie, čítať sa mi darí kúsok viac ako inokedy. Dôvody sú dva. Mišo je preč. A na to, aby som mohla písať, pričom písať v tejto fáze už neznamená ani tak pridávať text, ale hlavne prepisovať, dopisovať, vysvetľovať a vylepšovať, potrebujem, aby sa mi mleli v hlave slová. A tak siaham aj po osvedčených autoroch a autorkách, kde je aká-taká záruka, že to bude dobré, ale aj po nových, kde ma možno čaká prekvapenie. Takže tu je zoznam za posledných pár týždňov: 

Change agent (Daniel Suarez) – cez vianoce som čítala jeho knihy Daemon a FreedomTM. Po ďalšej by som už nebola siahla, ale táto bola o CRISPR, editovaní DNA, a na to som bola zvedavá. A musím priznať, že pri písaní záveru našej knihy (zatiaľ pracovne nazvanom Dreaming up the future), som nad ňou rozmýšľala.

Yet political realities in America made it increasingly unfeasible for entrepreneurs there to tinker with the building blocks of life. Every cluster of human cells was viewed as a baby in America. A quarter of the population wasn’t vaccinated. A majority of Americans didn’t believe in evolution. Social-media-powered opinions carried more influence than peer-reviewed scientific research. In this virulently anti-science atmosphere, synbio research was hounded offshore before it had really begun. 
all genetics is warfare
steel painted as wood

Cit slečny Smilly pre sneh (Peter Høeg) – túto som čítala zabalená v deke. Studená, ľadová, pochopíte z nej, prečo majú eskimáci viac ako sto rôznych slov pre sneh. Prvá polovica je výborná, napísaná presne na hrane, kde si môžete čítať medzi riadkami… a potom sa to zvrhne na nie príliš dobrý thriler. (Mimochodom, v tejto knihe sa spomínajú Euklidove Základy, nekonečný hotel, je tam uprostred textu matematický vzorec, píše sa tam o vedeckých článkoch… curiouser and curiouser)

Vládne rozšírený názor, že deti sú otvorené, že ich najvnútornejšia podstata sa z nich priam rinie. Aký omyl! Nik nie je tajnostkárskejší ako deti a nik na to nemá ani väčší dôvod. Ako odpoveď na svet, čo ustavične prichádza k nim s otváračom na konzervy, aby preveril, čo majú vo svojom vnútri …

Čítanie snehu je ako počúvanie hudby. Popísať, čo ste prečítali, je ako vysvetliť hudbu.

Ale ja som v živote ukotvená k niečomu, čo je stabilné. Môžete to nazvať orientačný zmysel; môžete to nazvať ženská intuícia; môžete to nazvať, ako chcete. Stojím na samých základoch a nemám už kam spadnúť. Možno to znamená, že som si život nezorganizovala príliš dobre. Ale vždy sa držím — aspoň jedným prstom — Absolútneho Priestoru. Preto je tam tá hranica, ako veľmi sa môže svet vychýliť, ako veľmi sa veci môžu pokaziť predtým, než na to prídem. A teraz už viem, bez štipky pochybnosti, že niečo je zle. 

Fire sermon (Francesca Haig) – na tejto knihe je zaujímavá hlavná myšlienka. Roky po veľkej katastrofe sa na zemi rodia vždy dvojčatá, chlapec a dievča. Jeden z nich je zdravý/á, druhý/á je nejakým spôsobom postihnutý/á. A zomierajú vždy naraz. Toto sa dozvieme na prvých tridsiatich stranách. A potom namiesto toho, aby sa autorka vyhrala s touto myšlienkou, nasleduje pomerne klišé príbeh, ktorý ani nie je veľmi dobre napísaný (nebola tam ani veta, ktorá by mi stála za odloženie…). 

Z neznámych dôvodov (Zdena Frýbová) – tak som sa odhodlala. Túto knihu som už raz – približne pred dvadsiatimi rokmi – čítala. Už som si nepamätala príbeh, ale pamätala som si veľmi dobrý pocit, ktorý som z nej mala. A bála som sa po nej siahnuť znova, že čo ak sa ten pocit po tých rokoch pokazí. Pokazil sa. Postavy mi liezli na nervy, každá svojím špecifickým spôsobom, príbeh nezaujal, miestami dokonca rozčuľoval, veci príliš klapali a zapadali do seba. Tuším, čo sa mi tam vtedy páčilo, ale dnes by som už takúto knihu ani nedočítala do konca – keby nepísala o biochemickom akademickom prostredí v Československu v sedemdesiatych rokoch. Zaujímavé pozerať, v čom sa podobá a líši od toho dnešného a v čom sa podobalo a líšilo od zahraničného vtedy. Takže ak, tak len ako sondu do minulosti. 

Z neznámych dôvodov je proces tvojho metabolizmu trochu iný ako ten môj. 

Wild girls (Ursula K. Le Guin) – malinká, zvláštna knižka, taký mix. Je v nej príbeh, zopár básní, rozhovor a úvaha. Natrafila so na ňu, keď som hľadala niečo úplne iné. Ale štandardne dobrá.

The Next War
It will take place,
it will take time,
it will take life,
and waste them.

Stalker/Roadside picnic (Arkadij a Boris Strugatskí) – na jednom matematickom sústredení bola raz nočná hra. Z chaty sme ochádzali v malých skupinách do lesa večer po tme. Keď začínalo svitať, schádzali sme sa pri ohni pár kilometrov odtiaľ. Alebo možno to bolo inak. Možno to ani nebolo ďaleko alebo celú noc. Ale to ráno si pamätám. Mokré, chladné, hmla sa prevaľovala, občas sa z nej niečo vynorilo a zase to pohltila, zo stromov kvapkalo, nevedeli sme kam presne, ako, prečo, mala som všetkého plné zuby a topánky plné vody. A išlo o nejakú guľu obalenú v pozlátku. Knihu som prvýkrát čítala, až keď som odtiaľ prišla domov. Dodnes mám pocit, že som v Zóne bola a viem, aké to tam je. Stalker je klasika a u mňa je výborný aj po dvadsiatich rokoch.

Or how about this hypothetical definition. Reason is a complex type of instinct that has not yet formed completely. This implies that instinctual behavior is always purposeful and natural. A million years from now our instinct will have matured and we will stop making the mistakes that are probably integral to reason. An then, if something should change in the universe, we will all become extinct – precisely because we will have forgotten how to make mistakes, that is, to try various approaches not stipulated by an inflexible program of permitted alternatives.

In some sense, we’re all cavemen—we can’t imagine anything more frightening than a ghost or a vampire. But the violation of the principle of causality—that’s actually much scarier than a whole herd of ghosts…

Look into my soul, I know – everything you need is in there. It has to be. Because I’ve never sold my soul to anyone! It’s mine, it’s human! Figure out yourself what I want – because I know it can’t be bad!

On writing (Stephen King) – ešte nie som úplne na konci. A King nie je ani môj obľúbený autor, ale písať naozaj vie, tak som si povedala, že pozriem, čo hovorí o svojom remesle.

Books are a uniquely portable magic.

The road to hell is paved with adverbs.

Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.

Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.

Víkendové surfovanie

Ak ste nepozerali štart Falcon Heavy live, tak si ho môžete pozrieť aj spätne. Dvom z troch rakiet sa podarilo aj úspešne pristáť. Tretia sa zrúbala do vody, lebo jej neostalo dosť paliva na brzdiace manévre – asi príliš veľa minula na vystrelenie Muskovej Tesly.

Keď som to púšťala Kubovi, tak sa veľmi čudoval, že prečo tam vystrelili tú Teslu. Že tú by si on radšej nechal:

Ale dobrá reklama nie? Budú Starmana raz navštevovať vesmírni turisti? 

how fungi saved the world

nedávno bola jedna linka (Monday morning observation), ale ukazuje sa, že veci sa majú trochu inak 

seedship – jednoduchá textová počítačová hra

fotka atómu

This is why Uma Thurman is angry

The Favorite Literary Work of Every Country Visualized on a World Map

Ženy-Matky-Telá II

pracovná ponuka od kamarátky, ktorá pracuje pre WFP (hlavne pre ženy-developerky)

Dovolenkové čítanie

Artemis (Andy Weir) – Druhá kniha chlapíka, ktorý napísal Marťana. Tentokrát je hrdinkou mladá žena a dej sa odohráva na Mesiaci. Rýchle a ľahké čítanie, ale ani zďaleka nie také dobré ako Marťan. Príliš akčný film pripravený na sfilmovanie.

By the way, we also hate it when people . . . call Artemis “the city in space.” We’re not in space; we’re on the moon. I’m mean, technically, we’re in space, but so is London. 

On a scale from one to ‘invade Russia in winter,’ how stupid is this plan?

Black Swan (Nassim Nicholas Taleb) – o tom, aký vplyv majú veľmi nepravdepodobné veci. Človek odchovaný na klasickej štatistike (na to mám aj nejaké papiere) a gaussových krivkách povie, že malý. Ale Taleb hovorí, že treba dávať veľký pozor na takúto intuíciu. Dá sa na ňu spoľahnúť pri číslach týkajúcich sa výšky, váhy, v prírode merateľných vecí, ale zlyháva, keď sa bavíme o akciových trhoch, sociálnych sieťach, predajoch kníh a iných moderných vymoženostiach. Zaujímavé, pár dobrých odporúčaní, ako si dávať pozor na čierne labute a profitovať z nich, ale knihe by určite prospelo zoškrtanie na asi tretinu objemu (text a argumenty sa príliš opakujú) a keby autorovi niekto vysvetlil, čo je to sebareflexia (tak samoľúby a arogantný text, ako bol tento, treba hľadať).

Pasteur said, like all great discoverers, he knew something about accidental discoveries. The best way to get maximal exposure is to keep researching. Collect opportunities

Look into your own existence. Count the significant events, the technological changes, and the inventions that have taken place in our environment since you were born and compare them to what was expected before their advent. How many of them came on a schedule? Look into your own personal life, to your choice of profession, say, or meeting your mate, your exile from your country of origin, the betrayals you faced, your sudden enrichment or impoverishment. How often did these things occur according to plan?

Almost everything in social life is produced by rare but consequential shocks and jumps; all the while almost everything studied about social life focuses on the “normal,” particularly with “bell curve” methods of inference that tell you close to nothing. Why? Because the bell curve ignores large deviations, cannot handle them, yet makes us confident that we have tamed uncertainty.

One useful trick, I discovered, is to avoid listening to the question of the interviewer, and answer with whatever I have been thinking about recently. Remarkably, neither the interviewers nor the public notices the absence of correlation between question and answer.

Deamon a FreedomTM (Daniel Suarez) – takéto knihy väčšinou nečítam: príliš krvavé, zbytočne explicitne hnusne násilné. Ale tento dvojdielny thriller ma chytil na zaujímavý základ. Mŕtvy programátor začne sofistikovane vraždiť. Dokáže preniesť do skutočného sveta počítačovú hru. A v druhej časti to podať tak, že možno je práve toto je to, čo (my, ľudia) potrebujeme… Desivé, uveriteľné, na rozmýšľanie. Chystám sa prečítať si ešte Suarezovu knihu o CRISPR Change Agent.

Now combine an application like that—a widely distributed entity that never dies—with tens of millions of dollars and the ability to purchase goods and services. It’s answerable to no one and has no fear of punishment.

Humanity had always trafficked in oppression. Before the corporate marketing department got ahold of it, it was called conquest. Now it was regional development. Vikings and Mongols were big on revenue targets, too—but Leland had dispensed with all the tedious invading, and had taken a page out of the Roman playbook by hiring the locals to enslave each other as franchisees.

We basically used oil and aquifer water to temporarily boost the carrying capacity of the land, all for economic growth demanded by Wall Street investors. It’s a crazy system that only makes sense when you foist all the costs onto taxpayers in the form of crop subsidies that benefit agribusiness, and defense spending to secure fossil fuels. We’re basically paying for corporations to seize control of the food supply and dictate to us the terms under which we live.

Playful Parenting (Lawrence Cohen) – Často ma nebaví hrať sa s deťmi. Alebo som unavená a nechce sa mi. Táto kniha bez akéhokoľvek obviňovania alebo moralizovania hovorí, prečo a ako sa deti potrebujú hrať, dáva konkrétne príklady a ukazuje, ako hranie sa rodičov deťmi môže pomôcť prekonávať rôzne ťažkosti a konflikty. Inšpiratívne pre rodičov detí od škôlkárov po prvý stupeň základnej školy. (Toto bola jediná papierová, ktorú som mala v Thajsku so sebou.)

Children don’t say, “I had a hard day at school today; can I talk to you about it?” They say, “Will you play with me?

If they don’t think we will play, they may not even ask. They just go about their business, and we go about ours, and we all miss chance after chance to reconnect.

Using Playful Parenting, we can help children release all this emotion in ways that aren’t hurtful to others. We do this by just spending lots of time giggling together, but also with some specific techniques. To help children with fears, for example, it often helps to play as if you are the one who is scared, and really exaggerate it. Make sure they don’t feel mocked or humiliated. It helps if you don’t imitate them exactly, but just take the general idea and exaggerate it.

The Way of Kings (Brandon Sanderson) – Sanderson je môj obľúbený autor. A toto je prvý diel trojdielneho fantasy eposu. Nie je nejako úžasný, je celkom rozťahaný a je o svete so zvláštnou mágiou, dlhou históriou a komplikovanými postavami. Dobre sa číta a dobre sa pri ňom zaspáva (mala som ho rozčítaný už asi od septembra, lebo vždy dám len pár strán pred tým, ako zaspím).

Ignorance is the natural state of human mind.

Expectations are like fine pottery. The harder you hold them, the more likely they are to crack.

Words are not meant to be kept inside. They are free creatures and if locked away, they will cause trouble inside.

Robin (Zdena Frýbová) – Od Frýbovej som na strednej škole prečítala všetko, čo mali v mestskej knižnici. Najväčší dojem vtedy zanechala kniha Z neznámých důvodů. Taký, že sa síce chystám niekedy si ju prečítať ešte raz, ale trochu sa bojím do toho ísť, aby som nebola sklamaná. Robin vtedy v knižnici nebol. Kolegyňa mi ho pred vianocami požičala, po tom, čo som jej rozprávala, že náš Kubo nepije vpodstate nič okrem vody. Občas sa dá ukecať na džús a po celkom dlhom skúšaní sa mi podarilo nájsť konkrétny čaj (lipovo-šípkový), ktorý si dá. V knižke manželia, ktorých deti sa už odsťahovali z domu, dostanú foxteriéra Robina. A Robin má ku jedlu podobný prístup, ako náš Kubo ku pitiu. Plus ďalšie humorne zveličené príhody, ktoré zažívajú s tvrdohlavým psom.

Je s podivem, že jsme se nikdy nehádali ani kvůli dětem, ačkoli nám svým temperamentem dávaly pěkně zabrat. Já, jakožto psycholog hlásající, že duše dítěte je křehká a snadno zranitelná, proto se k němu musí přistupovat vždy s laskavým pochopením a vést klidný dialog, jsem na ně ječívala a mlátila je vším, co jsem právě měla v ruce. Honza mi dodnes připomíná, jak jsem ho jednou nakopla, čímž jsem prý doživotně narušila jeho zdravý vztah k ženám vůbec.
Rudolf, hňápajíci se v psychologii lidských vztahů jako slon v porcelánu a proklamující barbarský názor, že děti jsou sběř, kterou je nutno řezat a systematicky decimovat, na ně v životě hlas nezvýšil, natož aby na ně přiložil pravici. 
Normální děti by se v takové rodině před matkou třásly a otcem by zametaly. Naše zrůdičky se se mnou bouřlivě handrkovaly, mazlily, hádaly… a k Rudolfovi pociťovaly respekt. Vydal-li výjimečně nějaký příkaz, podrobily se mu, a když došlo na větší průšvih třeba ve škole, úpěly: „Maminko, prosím tě, jen ať se to nedozví táta.” Prostě naše manželství plynulo v pokojném souzvuku, který po odchodu dětí z domova nerušilo už vůbec nic.
To vše se rázem změnilo příchodem Robina. Začali jsme se s Rudolfem hádat.

Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis (Sandra Steingraber) – Túto som nečítala na dovolenke, ale ešte niekedy na jeseň, len som sa nedostala k tomu, aby som si z nej odložila aspoň zopár viet. V každej kapitole sa prelína osobná materská skúsenosť s nejakým problémom týkajúcim sa životného prostredia. Strašidelné, veľmi dobre napísané, len miestami trošku iritujúce (too much privilege). 

Here was an interesting truth about entering motherhood for the second time: I was just having a baby; I wasn’t taking on a new identity. Furthermore, I now carried with me a skill set.

Nevertheless, I was now starting to suspect that having two children was going to require of me something that having only one didn’t. Of course, it went without saying that another baby was going to eat whatever was left of my solitude. That was an easy prediction.
I’d been a mother for fewer years than three. Being a nonparent still felt like my normal state. It was still a surprise to wake up and find a child in my house. But I wasn’t nostalgic. In my experience, a happy single life was like an exotic orchid with particular moisture, light, and temperature requirements. It required a lot of tending. You had to make weekend plans, have a therapist or a pet, and keep track of how many days had passed since you had last dined with someone. Small disappointments had to be monitored lest they balloon into despair.
When you are by yourself, surreal things can happen: You could get lost in a rainforest while hiking to a study site and then step on a snake at the precise moment you realize that you had neglected to tell anyone where you were going. Or an infected salivary gland could send you to the ER on Thanksgiving morning. Five hours later, you might find yourself shivering with fever in a check-out line at a Walgreens, a scrip for antibiotics in one hand, a can of condensed mushroom soup in the other, and a homeless guy in front of you kindly offering to give you, the girl with the puffed-out face, his can of tuna fish. Which makes a nice story but you have no one to tell it to. (Until now.)

Entire regulatory systems are premised on the assumption that all members of the population basically act, biologically, like middle-aged men. The laws and rules so generated by those systems are thus blinded to the unique characteristics of children that should be obvious to everyone.
S Kubinom sme prečítali Zošidlo a s Kikou asi polovicu Anny zo Zeleného domu. S tou Annou to bolo výborné, lebo na Koh Libong sme sa zoznámili s troma Austrálčanmi (spoločne sme na ostrov docestovali loďkou) a keď potom jedného dňa videli Kiku s knižkou, tak sa jej pýtali, že čo číta. Stačilo ukázať obálku, niektoré knihy sú okamžite rozpoznateľné. (Spýtali sa aj Kuba, ale o Zošidlovi nikto z nich dovtedy nepočul.)

Stephen Wolfram: Idea Makers

Túto knihu som prečítala už dávno, ale potom som na ňu nejako zabudla a natrafila som na ňu až pri upratovaní v čítačke. 

Mohla by byť dobrá. Ale nie je. 

Ja som veľkou fanynkou pána Wolframa. wolframalpha používame so študentami veľmi často (dnes sme hľadali najväčšie známe prvočísla), páčilo sa mi, ako spolu so synom pomáhali pri tvorbe filmu Arrival, aj jeho prístup k dátam. Chystala som sa aj na jeho knihu A New Kind of Science (open access). Takže do Idea Makers som sa pustila s veľkou chuťou. 

Prečítala som si o niekoľkých zaujímavých ľuďoch z Wolframovho pohľadu. To by samo o sebe mohlo byť veľmi fajn, lebo kombinácia niečoho intímneho zasadená do širšieho kontextu dokáže byť veľmi silná (teraz mám napríklad v takomto duchu rozčítané Raising Elijah, kde sa prelína osobný, lyricky písaný, príbeh s verejným/náučným/aktivistickým textom). Ale tu sa to nepodarilo. Wolframove ego preráža skoro v každej biografii. Ešte aj u tých, s ktorými sa nestretol osobne, si neodpustil poznámky typu “keď dokázali to, čo dokázali bez wolframalpha, predstavte si, čo ešte by objavili, keby mali takýto nástroj k dispozícii”. 

Takže nie. Alebo ak predsa, tak len so silným filtrom. 

Wonder women

Wonder Women od Sam Maggs 

Táto kniha je skôr pre Kiku, keď raz začne poriadne čítať po anglicky, ale ja som si ju celkom s radosťou preletela. Sú to kid-friendly krátke životopisy 25 žien (plus spomína zhruba 25 ďalších), ktoré boli vedkyne, lekárky, špiónky, vynálezkyne a cestovateľky. Zaujímavé na tom je, že som z nich poznala len dve a Marie Skłodowska Curie, Rosalind Franklin alebo Jocelyn Bell Burnell sa na hlavný zoznam ani dostali. Výborné je aj to, že aj keď biele európanky alebo američanky prevažujú, slušné zastúpanie majú aj iné farby pleti a iné krajiny. 

Annie Smith Peck: A woman who has done good work in the scholastic world doesn’t like to be called a good woman scholar. Call her a good scholar and let it go at that… I have climbed 1,500 feet higher than any man in the United States. Don’t call me a woman mountain climber.

Jedna téma sa v knihe objavuje opakovane – ženy, ktorých objavy boli pripísané mužom:

But since Lise was exiled from Germany, Otto published their findings and Lise’s theory in the journal Nature – without giving Lise credit… Then in 1944, despite Lise having coined the term nuclear fission in her own Nature article in 1939, Otto won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for the discovery… Although his 1946 Nobel lecture did mention Lise five times, most people assumed she was merely Otto’s junior assistant, a misconception that he seems to have done nothing to correct.  

Je výborné, že aj takéto knihy vychádzajú. Representation matters. 

Víkendové surfovanie

A love story – úžasné

When we encounter a mother doing too many things perfectly, smiling as if it were all so easy, so natural, we should feel a civic responsibility to slap her hard across the face and scream the word “Stop!” so many times that the woman begins to chant or whimper the word along with us. Once she has been broken, we may take her in our arms until the trembling and self-hatred leave her body. It is our duty.

When I swim at the public pool, I wear sunglasses so I can admire the hairless chest of the nineteen-year-old lifeguard. I love it that he, a child, really, is guarding me, fiercest of warriors, a mother, strong as stinky cheese, with a ripe, moldy, melted rotten center of such intense complexity and flavor it would kill a boy of his tender age.

The answer is easy in daylight. But the night’s untethering almost always turns me into someone I’m not. I spend nights thinking about the different women I become in the dark. Where am I keeping these women when the sun is up?

The work of organizing everything – celé dobre a aj iné na jej stránke stoja za prozretie

koláčik navyše

I now live in Berkeley, California. A few years ago, just a few blocks from my home, a pair of researchers in the Cal psychology department staged an experiment. They began by grabbing students, as lab rats. Then they broke the students into teams, segregated by sex. Three men, or three women, per team. Then they put these teams of three into a room, and arbitrarily assigned one of the three to act as leader. Then they gave them some complicated moral problem to solve: say what should be done about academic cheating, or how to regulate drinking on campus.

Exactly 30 minutes into the problem-solving the researchers interrupted each group. They entered the room bearing a plate of cookies. Four cookies. The team consisted of three people, but there were these four cookies. Every team member obviously got one cookie, but that left a fourth cookie, just sitting there. It should have been awkward. But it wasn’t. With incredible consistency the person arbitrarily appointed leader of the group grabbed the fourth cookie, and ate it. Not only ate it, but ate it with gusto: lips smacking, mouth open, drool at the corners of their mouths. In the end all that was left of the extra cookie were crumbs on the leader’s shirt.

This leader had performed no special task. He had no special virtue. He’d been chosen at random, 30 minutes earlier. His status was nothing but luck. But it still left him with the sense that the cookie should be his.

This experiment helps to explain Wall Street bonuses and CEO pay, and I’m sure lots of other human behavior. But it also is relevant to new graduates of Princeton University. In a general sort of way you have been appointed the leader of the group. Your appointment may not be entirely arbitrary. But you must sense its arbitrary aspect: you are the lucky few. Lucky in your parents, lucky in your country, lucky that a place like Princeton exists that can take in lucky people, introduce them to other lucky people, and increase their chances of becoming even luckier. Lucky that you live in the richest society the world has ever seen, in a time when no one actually expects you to sacrifice your interests to anything.

All of you have been faced with the extra cookie. All of you will be faced with many more of them. In time you will find it easy to assume that you deserve the extra cookie. For all I know, you may. But you’ll be happier, and the world will be better off, if you at least pretend that you don’t.

tu je video:

Richard Hamming: You and your research

Now for the matter of drive. You observe that most great scientists have tremendous drive. I worked for ten years with John Tukey at Bell Labs. He had tremendous drive. One day about three or four years after I joined, I discovered that John Tukey was slightly younger than I was. John was a genius and I clearly was not. Well I went storming into Bode’s office and said, “How can anybody my age know as much as John Tukey does?” He leaned back in his chair, put his hands behind his head, grinned slightly, and said, “You would be surprised Hamming, how much you would know if you worked as hard as he did that many years.” I simply slunk out of the office!
What Bode was saying was this: “Knowledge and productivity are like compound interest.” Given two people of approximately the same ability and one person who works ten percent more than the other, the latter will more than twice outproduce the former. The more you know, the more you learn; the more you learn, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more the opportunity — it is very much like compound interest. I don’t want to give you a rate, but it is a very high rate. Given two people with exactly the same ability, the one person who manages day in and day out to get in one more hour of thinking will be tremendously more productive over a lifetime.

tento článok o Iráne ma doviedol k tejto podivnosti

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