Category Archives: Self Improvement

Interactional Expertise

More evidence of how crucial a choice our friends/seat mates/acquittance’s are to the decisions we can make. If this is true and my gut points me to the truth of this, we may be fast entering an age of great decision making. Why because usenet/googlegroups/yahoogroups or other conversational/ web 2.0 social interactivity interconnection technology is allowing us to be in the loop with the world’s foremost experts in the hard and social sciences. We (the early adopters) may be the first wave of people blessed with an Interactional Expertise spanning a large part of human knowledge.

the interview is from here:

How do you distinguish the people who can and can’t contribute to a specialized field?
The key to the whole thing is whether people have had access to the tacit knowledge of an esoteric area—tacit knowledge is know-how that you can’t express in words. The standard example is knowing how to ride a bike. My view as a sociologist is that expertise is located in more or less specialized social groups. If you want to know what counts as secure knowledge in a field like gravitational wave detection, you have to become part of the social group. Being immersed in the discourse of the specialists is the only way to keep up with what is at the cutting edge.

Is this where interactional expertise comes into play?
Interactional expertise is one of the things that broadens the scope of who can contribute. It’s a little bit wider than the old “people in the white coats” of the 1950s, but what it’s not is everybody. (Within science, lots of people have interactional expertise, because science wouldn’t run without it.)

You did experiments to test your theory of expertise. What did you find?
The original version we did was with color-blind people. What we were attempting to demonstrate is something we call the strong interactional hypothesis: If you have deeply immersed yourself in the talk of an esoteric group—but not immersed yourself in any way in the practices of that group—you will be indistinguishable from somebody who has immersed themself [
sic] in both the talk and the practice, in a test which just involves talk.

If that’s the case, then you’re going to speak as fluently as someone who has been engaged in the practices. And if you can speak as fluently, then you’re indistinguishable from an expert. It’s what I like to call “walking the talk”. You still can’t do the stuff, but you can make judgments, inferences and so on, which are on a par.

We picked color-blind people because they’ve spent their whole lives immersed in a community talking about color. So we thought color-blind people should be indistinguishable from color-perceivers when asked questions by a color-perceiver who knew what was going on. And we demonstrated that that was in fact the case. Now we’re planning to do another imitation test on the congenitally blind to see if they can perform as well as the color-blind.

Working Environment!

If you don’t have a great working environment quit, quit now!

from NYT:

In addition to being brilliant, Dr. Gray was an iconoclast. Speaker after speaker fondly told stories that reflected his disdain for bureaucracy and his independence. Shankar Sastry, dean of the college of engineering at UC Berkeley, noted that when organizers were planning the Saturday tribute, they felt the attire should be business casual; Dr. Gray, however, rarely wore anything but jeans and was once thrown out of the I.B.M. Scientific Center in Los Angeles for failing to meet the company’s dress code.

While working at I.B.M.’s Thomas J. Watson Jr. Research Laboratory in New York, Mr. Gray asked his boss if he could relocate to an I.B.M. laboratory in San Jose. When he was told that he couldn’t, he said, “All right, then, I quit.”

He then got in his Volkswagen, drove across the country and was rehired by an I.B.M. laboratory in California.

“We had a research group in San Francisco because Jim lived in San Francisco, and if he’d wanted to move to Monaco, we’d have a research center in Monaco,” said Rick Rashid, senior vice president for research at Microsoft.

I Dont Have The Time! part 1

I used to watch hours upon hour of television, back in college I used to record the shows I wouldn’t be able to catch using my now wrecked but still loved and remembered VCR that allowed me to watch the telenovelas shown during class hours and to watch ABS-CBN (Pangako Sa Iyo, etc) whilst I recorded the GMA7 shows(mostly Kung Mawawala Ka).  The VCR allowed me to compress 5 hours of television into roughly a little below 3 hours (damn those commercials).  I wasted a lot of time then. So the article below hits home hard. do read the whole article.

Excellent read on Cognitive Surplus.

by Clay Shirky from here:

If I had to pick the critical technology for the 20th century, the bit of social lubricant without which the wheels would’ve come off the whole enterprise, I’d say it was the sitcom. Starting with the Second World War a whole series of things happened–rising GDP per capita, rising educational attainment, rising life expectancy and, critically, a rising number of people who were working five-day work weeks. For the first time, society forced onto an enormous number of its citizens the requirement to manage something they had never had to manage before–free time.

And what did we do with that free time? Well, mostly we spent it watching TV.

We did that for decades. We watched I Love Lucy. We watched Gilligan’s Island. We watch Malcolm in the Middle. We watch Desperate Housewives. Desperate Housewives essentially functioned as a kind of cognitive heat sink, dissipating thinking that might otherwise have built up and caused society to overheat.

And it’s only now, as we’re waking up from that collective bender, that we’re starting to see the cognitive surplus as an asset rather than as a crisis. We’re seeing things being designed to take advantage of that surplus, to deploy it in ways more engaging than just having a TV in everybody’s basement.


So how big is that surplus? So if you take Wikipedia as a kind of unit, all of Wikipedia, the whole project–every page, every edit, every talk page, every line of code, in every language that Wikipedia exists in–that represents something like the cumulation of 100 million hours of human thought. I worked this out with Martin Wattenberg at IBM; it’s a back-of-the-envelope calculation, but it’s the right order of magnitude, about 100 million hours of thought.

And television watching? Two hundred billion hours, in the U.S. alone, every year. Put another way, now that we have a unit, that’s 2,000 Wikipedia projects a year spent watching television. Or put still another way, in the U.S., we spend 100 million hours every weekend, just watching the ads. This is a pretty big surplus. People asking, “Where do they find the time?” when they’re looking at things like Wikipedia don’t understand how tiny that entire project is, as a carve-out of this asset that’s finally being dragged into what Tim calls an architecture of participation.

Now, the interesting thing about a surplus like that is that society doesn’t know what to do with it at first–hence the gin, hence the sitcoms. Because if people knew what to do with a surplus with reference to the existing social institutions, then it wouldn’t be a surplus, would it? It’s precisely when no one has any idea how to deploy something that people have to start experimenting with it, in order for the surplus to get integrated, and the course of that integration can transform society.

People Want You To Care (Wise Words 2008 03 30)

from Seth Godin’s blog:

Do you know what most people want? They want you to care.

I’ve been wanting to rant lately with the the present

Lately this has been on my mind a lot. I’ve always been more aware than the next guy, add to this the fact that I am a self assessed half-assed know it all (KIA for short) that I engender the mockery of some of my friends on a majority of times. I have this trouble of thinking that the problems of most people are just easy problems to solve. My awareness allows me to see that a problem exists and my arrogance is making me believe that If it was me I’d have no problem at all.

The fact is that most of the time what people want is someone to fawn and adore them and a small percentage of the time they want someone to really care. It’s like (this is such an issue for me that I am having trouble composing my thoughts, to prevent a rambling post I think I’ll cut this up to smaller more focused posts.)

But that really isn’t the truth. The truth is that like love, people who really care for you are hard to find. In my life I could count probably less than the sum of the number of fingers and toes that I have, and I am 24 years old, meaning I spent a lot of my years (whole years maybe more) without finding people who truly care.  And I think that I maybe a little below average here but not by much (I Hope!), What am I intimating but not quite saying? People have spent boatloads of there time with people who mostly don’t care and when you spend so much time with people who dont care you tend to forget how much more satisfying it is to be truly cared for and we begin to believe the fake caring/fawning/adoration/fame that is given us is the same as the one we are searching for.

In terms of diets or food and nutrition we have been eating junk food for too long that we have forgotten how much more nourishing and sating real food is.

What does this mean fore us ? That we should not settle for anything less than what we really need. We must resist taking the easy path we must persevere for only that way may we reliably find what we are looking for.

The nourishment of the soul and hear that seeks to be loved / cared for so much.

(too be continued….)

Wise words indeed.

Best Sentence of the Day 20080320!

from here:

Relief, joy, happiness, it was a pure moment of happiness. No expectations about tomorrow, or grief about the past, purely in the moment. It’s one I will remember always. +Lance Allred D-Leaguer signed to a 10 day contract by the Cleveland Cavaliers

Wish I Could Feel Like This Every Moment Of Every Day!


I Would Try To Live My Life In A Manner That Would Increase My Chances Of Feeling This Way Every Second Of Everyday Of My Life!

Love Means Never Having To Say I’m Sorry part 2

continuation of part 1.

“What can you say about a twenty-five year old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. The Beatles. And me.”–Oliver Barrett IV, (Erich Segal Love Story)

Love Story is one of the few movies that I’ve seen at least 20 times, and that still makes me cry uncontrollably. I’ve all but given up on finding true love, so it especially hurtful for me that what is denied to me is so harshly stolen from oliver and jenny.

There’s this one scene where oliver and jenny fights because oliver gets mad at jenny for trying to thaw the ice between oliver and his dad. This is their first major fight. Oliver runs through the campus like a mad man trying to find jenny, the music sets the scene and the actor playing oliver delivers. The whole thing ends with oliver returning home, finding jenny by the steps of their apartment, as he is about to say sorry jenny lifts her and and stops him, saying “Love Means Never Having To Say I’m Sorry.”

That’s preety much how I feel about decisions in my life. I try to live consciously. I try to be self aware of the different things happening in my life. I try to make the best decisions possible in any situation that I am in the middle of. I weigh every variable and try to control for variables that affect my decisions such as, how does the effect on people I love affect my decision. I weigh everything and in the end pull the trigger on most decisions in my life with no regret. I have nothing to be sorry for, any decision I made I made knowingly and wholeheartedly. Somethings may have not entered my calculations. I may have overlooked or underestimated things and probably made a better decision with more time and introspections. But in life time is limited and your information is always imperfect. You will never make any decision if you let yourself be paralyzed by analysis, fear of the unknown, or the uncertainty of anything that can be considered trailblazing.

I have many quirks most of which are common enough not to engender any reaction outside of boredom. If I would fancy vanity, the expression of this would be how much I think about anything I do. The only times I am spontaneous would probably be in moments of anger, and those moment are seldom, but bunched up, yet occur in long intervals. I never allow myself to feel sorry for me and in turn any one. I believe that within the framework of God, we have free will and in that free will we have the power to shape our lives. I will never concede that we are powerless. I will never concede that our nation, that my/our lives are hopeless. I look around me and in those fleeting moments where a narcissist looks beyond himself I see only three kinds of people. One are those who are afraid, always blaming someone else, the government, his/her situation, his/her surroundings, Two the borderline, not knowing much of anything and yet their hope lies in the fact that they are still not within that negative self-feeding cycle of self pity, that most people of type One are, Three are the people who have No Apologies/Never Going To Say I’m Sorry Types.

They see the injustice in this world, the pain people go through and probably the narcissistic nihilism so prevalent in modern society and yells “UP YOURS”. The are the men and women who cannot be stopped. These are the people who may not eventually win but would never be losers. These are the people who say “Why can’t I dream?”,”What makes me different from people who looked up saw the moon and would not stop till man has finally touched its surface”,the person who do not doubt “That everyday is the real Time Of Your Life” .

I walk the streets and see a nation’s youth whose ambition is to go to greener pastures. To find a better life. I see them. Some of them are my friends. Some are most dear to me. But when I talk to them my hear cringes. I see the youth of our nations without heart, without courage, without resolve. I see people foreign to the simple truth that you can succeed anywhere, a nation whose greatest ambition is to not have to work hard.

(This is ironic for I am the one without work. I am an invalid telling working people they fear hard work. I would like to reply but this is not the post.)

For what is it that most people use as a reason for their flight, “For My Children To Have A Better Life.”

But what you are actually saying is that I am a shallow person beholden to the consumerist dictums of the modern senseless world. I want to raise my child in places where I am second class citizen, working 2-3 jobs just so that I could make LVMH or Mercedes, richer. I have no dreams whatsoever and my children would probably never be as successful as the son and daughters of Chinese,Japanese, and Korean immigrants. I just raised them to be cowards and slackers and If by some miracle of circumstance my child succeeds I would make it seems that he/she was a genius with boundless energy and charm, not the persistent and hardworking person that he or she probably is, Why because people from the Philippines never understand hardwork, they understand illicit trade, winning the lottery, marrying a rich husband/wife, but hard work, anyone who succeeds through hard work is suspect. (Why?This is for another longish ranting post)

This wasn’t supposed to be written like this, but I can either write following my mental outline or I can write the way that makes my blood pressure rise and Thank God I’m Alive!

Would you ever choose otherwise?

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
— Teddy Roosevelt