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in praise of mediocrity

But there’s a deeper reason, I’ve come to think, that so many people don’t have hobbies: We’re afraid of being bad at them. Or rather, we are intimidated by the expectation — itself a hallmark of our intensely public, performative age — that we must actually be skilled at what we do in our free time. Our “hobbies,” if that’s even the word for them anymore, have become too serious, too demanding, too much an occasion to become anxious about whether you are really the person you claim to be.

If you’re a jogger, it is no longer enough to cruise around the block; you’re training for the next marathon. If you’re a painter, you are no longer passing a pleasant afternoon, just you, your watercolors and your water lilies; you are trying to land a gallery show or at least garner a respectable social media following. When your identity is linked to your hobby — you’re a yogi, a surfer, a rock climber — you’d better be good at it, or else who are you?

pendulum and marble

platiť sa dá aj osobnými údajmi

Zajtra ráno prednášam informatikom o konečných stavových automatoch a Turingových strojich. Pri tej príležitosti

It’s rare for a CS major to graduate without getting a healthy dose of NP-completeness and Turing machines, two beautiful areas of theory that would be enjoyable if they didn’t end up creating bad instincts. One biologist asked me to solve a problem in DNA sequence matching and I came back to him with the claim that it was NP-complete, a class of problems that can take a very long time to solve. He didn’t care. He needed to solve it anyway. And it turns out that most NP-complete problems are pretty easy to solve most of the time. There are just a few pathological instances that gum up our algorithms. But theoreticians are obsessed with the thin set that confound the simple algorithms, despite being rarely observed in everyday life.

The same problem happens with Turing machines. Dutiful CS students learn nihilistic results like Rice’s Theorem, which shows that we really can’t analyze computer algorithms at all. But Turing machines are a pretty bad model for how our regular machines operate and it’s often very easy to create software that does smart things with our code. Any CS major who doesn’t take these theoretical results with a healthy dose of salt risks giving up when a perfectly usable answer is close at hand.

Visualizing street orientations on an interactive map … tu sú niektoré svetové mestá a tu je Žilina:

 

 

 

improve in foreign languages by reading books in parallel

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Carve the mark – nová kniha od Veroniky Roth, ktorá napísala trilógiu Divergent; sci-fi s no-nonsense hlavnou hrdinkou (tie sa ťažko hľadajú)… zaujímavé čítanie, aj keď miestami trochu problematické

keď už odkazujem na Amazon, tak ešte jedna útla knižočka, ktorá sa týka akcie, ktorú spoluorganizujem

literárne mapy nášho detstva

If I ruled the world, or at least a publishing company, all books would contain as much supplementary information as possible. Nonfiction, fiction — doesn’t matter. Every work would have an appendix filled with diagrams, background information, digressions and anecdata. And of course, maps. Lots and lots of maps.

xkcd: ako písať dobrý kód?

Víkendové surfovanie

nedávno som hľadala príklad na nenewtonovskú tekutinu a našla som oobleck (dá sa po ňom aj behať):

aj toto je poézia

And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

čo o vás hovoria mapy 🙂

o mužoch, ktorým nerastú fúzy a o ženách, ktoré odkladajú materstvo (vďaka Ajke B. za linku)

Podle ní jsou zájmy těch skupin, které nemají své reprezentanty na rozhodujících místech, tedy staří lidé, novorozenci a těhotné matky, upozaděny… „Porodnictví zase zůstalo doménou mužů, porodníků, což jsou v podstatě chirurgové. Jejich přístup je odlišný od toho, jakou péči potřebuje zdravá rodička. V chirurgii musí být vše rychle, efektivně, aby to pěkně odsýpalo. A aby to bylo jasné a jednoznačné. Jenže rodící žena je všechno, jen ne tohle!“

a ešte pozvánka pre Žilinčanov:
premietanie filmu Sloboda pre pôrod, ktoré organizujú Žilinské duly v spolupráci s o.z. Ženské kruhy
Kedy: Sobota, 11. maja 2013 o 19:00
Kde: Labyrint – centrum pohybu a tanca, Kuzmányho 6, 011 37 Žilina
vstup je voľný

a pre Bratislavčanov:
seminár s pôrodnými asistentkami a premietanie toho istého filmu, ktoré organizujú Slovenské duly v spolupráci s o.z. Ženské kruhy
Kedy: Sobota, 18. mája 2013 od 9:00 – 17:00
Kde: Evanjelická bohoslovecká fakulta UK, Bratislava
tento vstup voľný nie je 🙁

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she who dies with the most ‘likes’ wins?

When Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gave a TED talk in 2010, one of the issues she talked about – and later expounded on in her 2011 commencement speech at Barnard—was likability. “Success and likability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women,” she said. This isn’t news to feminists, so what I can’t figure out is why – despite deep knowledge of this pervasive double standard – so many women still insist on being likable, often to their own detriment.

how do you raise a prodigy? – škoda, že píšu hlavne o hudbe; ešte zaujímavejšie by to bolo, keby sa viac venovali aj iným druhom nadania

Musicians often talked to me about whether you achieve brilliance on the violin by practicing for hours every day or by reading Shakespeare, learning physics and falling in love. “Maturity, in music and in life, has to be earned by living,”

Studying their families, I gradually recognized that all parenting is guesswork, and that difference of any kind, positive or negative, makes the guessing harder. That insight has largely shaped me as a father. I don’t think I would love my children more if they could play Rachmaninoff’s Third, and I hope I wouldn’t love them less for having that consuming skill, any more than I would if they were affected with a chronic illness. But I am frankly relieved that so far, they show no such uncanny aptitude.

krásne drevené mapy

Vyrezávaná mapa

darček k prvej menštruácii?

súvis veľkosti zreničiek a mentálnej aktivity

akciové letenky

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