Hard Competition

This morning I was in the garden/terrace of the house where I’m staying with some friends. It has a great view of the village down in the valley, and I like to spend a few minutes after waking up watching it wake up, watching the villagers start their early days and go about their business.

At 7 AM, I heard a bell ring and found myself trying to figure out what time it was (although I already knew). I was drawn to that line of thought because the unusual cadence caught my attention. It was difficult to tell one chime from another. In reality, what happened was this: the church bell was ringing into a little tune, and only after it was done, did it ring the time.

Another, closer church followed. It made a much shorter and less elaborate tune before it rang seven.

I imagine the priest (are the priests doing this or do they enlist a skilled person, a bell player?!) waking up startled with the bells from the other church, and running in haste to the bell tower, slightly ashamed for failing to ring the time before the competition. Yet, even so, he manages to make time for his own little tune.

I don’t know if any of this actually works like this. I don’t know if there is some sort of intra-parish competition. I don’t know if ringing the bell on time is a thing that matters to priests. And it probably wouldn’t be hard to figure out – but there are dozens of other things I don’t know that wouldn’t be hard to figure out.

And I like to know things. But there is not enough cognitive bandwidth to learn everything. We have to know how to choose. And there’s no harm in not knowing things, as long as we don’t try to pretend we know about them.

Stories are stories; some are true, others are meant to entertain. And some are both, but rarely by intention.

It’s Been a While

(Welcome back.)

I haven’t been writing here for some time. No major reason; just a confluence of personal situations that, while not at all fatal or even unpleasant, left me somewhat disorganized for a time.

Some things that have happened/are happening in my life, in no particular order:

— I am taking an online marketing course designed by the popular marketer Seth Godin. You may read a little bit about the experience throughout the month, in forthcoming posts. (I’m way behind on the course.)

— This year I did everything there was to do in Destiny 2. Much of this was done over the past month because I wanted to win the newly revealed medal, which is only available until the end of August. It’s an interesting way for producers to encourage players to dive deep into a game, and I don’t understand why more teams don’t do it.

— While I was walking with my family one night, we saved a baby cat. I adopted her temporarily and I’m looking for a home for her. (The photo accompanying this post is hers.)

— I am currently spending some time with friends in a small retreat in the center-north of Portugal, in a small village equidistant to Porto, Viseu, and Aveiro. I usually avoid such situations, but I shouldn’t, because the reset they apply to daily life is valuable. Another thing to write about.

— Speaking of which, I hope to travel later this month. Does that mean there won’t be frequent posts again? I don’t want to promise anything, but I’m thinking of leaving something written in advance…

A Tool for the Modern World

Sometimes I fall into the trap of thinking that working with a computer is the same as knowing how to read and write.

My life is a life of video conferences, keyboard shortcuts, navigating in three-dimensional worlds, email processing, and a dozen more tasks that require mastery of a handful of programs and applications.

It’s easy to think this is “baseline”. But it is not. At school we spend years learning to read and write, multiplication and division. But computer classes last two years at most, and teach little beyond the word processor.

The truth is that almost everyone knows how to search on Google, but not everyone knows how to do it efficiently. Not everyone knows how to use a browser for more than just reading a website.

And yet, these things are as important to the life of an adult in the modern world as being able to read and write.

Reading is a tool. Writing is a tool. Mathematics is a tool. And computer literacy is a tool. And it is as powerful as the other three.

Reading is a tool. Writing is a tool. Mathematics is a tool. And computer literacy is a tool. And it is as powerful as the other three.

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk Flickr via Compfight cc

Writer. Podcaster. Marketer. Dental Surgeon. Gamer.