William Blake FTW

First, there was Schiller and their track Lost (collaboration with Odette Di Maio). Not fully understanding the lyrics (my English being not perfect, etc.), I googled for them. And so I listen. And read. And listen. And there I am thinking omg those are surely some beautiful lyrics!

Lost again
Lyca’s parents go away
Over the valleys deep

They are lost again
Arm in arm for seven days
They traced the desert ways

They are lost again
Seven nights they sleep and dream
They see their child
Captured in the desert wild

Lost again
Till before their way
a couching lion lay

Follow me, he said
Please weep not for the maid
In my palace deep
Your Lyca lies deep asleep

They looked in his eyes
His eyes filled with deep surprise
And wondering behold
A spirit armed in gold
(…)

And another google away and it’s all clear. It’s William Blake and his poem The Little Girl Found. Really beautiful. And it has a prequel too, The Little Girl Lost. Marvellous.

2009 achievements

In no particular order:

  • finally learned how to type properly with all of my 10 fingers (instead of just 5-6 begore). I’m at 25 wpm right now and that kind of blows, still, it was well worth it, although the learning curve was quite steep. And I’m still not pressing all the right keys with all the right fingers.
  • learned vim. The learning curve was even steeper than the typing one. Literally hundreds of shortcuts to remember… Vim is the best editor out there, no doubt about it and I’m very grateful to have finally found out about it.
  • first trip in my life to the west (west of Eastern Europe or Poland, my home country). Italy. Snowboard.
  • built my own custom stereo speakers system. Top class monitors based on the Peerless drivers. 5.1 system coming in 2010/2011…
  • finally moved out of my parent’s house. Still both happy and sad about it.
  • quit an uninspiring and not too much intellectually and professionally developing day job.
  • took out a mortgage to buy a new flat. A wonderful flat.
  • got significant financial help from the government to start my own company. Almost started it in 2009. I’m starting in the first days of 2010.
  • planted a seed. A significant seed.

The best goals list for 2010 is to have no goals. Come what may. Embrace the chaos.

Debunking the stupidity myth

From Why can’t we concentrate? by Laura Miller:

IQ tests have to be regularly updated to make them harder; otherwise the average score would have climbed 3 percent per decade since the early 1930s. (The average score is supposed to remain at a constant 100 points.) And IQ measures problem-solving ability, rather than sheer data retained, which has grown even faster over the same interval.

And here I was thinking all these years that we, as a global population, are in fact getting more and more stupid. People getting lower and lower grades, coming out of the Universities knowing less and less – it was all just an illusion. Average IQ is climbing. Steadily. Decade after decade we are getting smarter. It’s only that there are too few measures noticing it. Are IQ tests the only ones measuring it?

(via Brutto)

Top 25 music of 2008

Continuing the tradition from 2007, 2006 and 2005 here is the list of 25 songs that completely blew my mind in 2008:

  1. Lil Wayne – Lollipop
  2. Jay Sean – Ride It
  3. Zeus – W dół
  4. Darin ft. Kat Deluna – Breathing Your Love
  5. Armin Van Buuren ft. Sharon Den Adel – In And Out Of Love
  6. Dash Berlin – Till The Sky Falls Down
  7. Britney Spears – Unusual You
  8. Danny ft. Therese – If Only You
  9. The Potbelleez – Don’t Hold Back
  10. Marek Roman – Piosenka o Kwiatach
  11. Justin Timberlake – Lovestoned/I Think She Knows (Tiesto Remix)
  12. Bangbros – I Engineer
  13. Simian Mobile Disco – I Believe
  14. Markoolio vs Tilde Froling – Emma Emma (Kobojsarna Remix)
  15. Arash ft. Shaggy – Donya
  16. Finger Eleven – Paralyzer
  17. Ernesto vs Bastian – Thrill
  18. Alex C. ft. Y-Ass – Du hast Den Schönsten Arsch der Welt
  19. 2 Pistols ft. Ray J – You Know Me
  20. Fabri Fibra ft. Gianna Nannini – In Italia
  21. Definition Part 2 ft. L’enfant – Hunterville
  22. Andrew Donalds – Simple Obsession
  23. Kid Cudi – Day ‘n’ Nite
  24. Nexx – Syncronize Lips
  25. Hollywood Undead – Undead

The way I look at it, it’s hip-hop (r’n’b) vs disco (house/pop/electronic) plus occasionally something else.

Strong Opinions, Weakly Held

A couple years ago, I was talking the Institute’s Bob Johansen about wisdom, and he explained that – to deal with an uncertain future and still move forward – they advise people to have “strong opinions, which are weakly held.” They’ve been giving this advice for years, and I understand that it was first developed by Instituite Director Paul Saffo. Bob explained that weak opinions are problematic because people aren’t inspired to develop the best arguments possible for them, or to put forth the energy required to test them. Bob explained that it was just as important, however, to not be too attached to what you believe because, otherwise, it undermines your ability to “see” and “hear” evidence that clashes with your opinions. This is what psychologists sometimes call the problem of “confirmation bias.”

Good life mantra? Who knows…

(via Bob Sutton)