We’ve heard this story before.
When the US military tried to reduce aircraft shot down by enemy fire during World War II, they examined the planes returning from their mission. After inspecting the bullet holes on the aircraft armors, their recommendation was to reinforce the damaged areas.
But statistician Abraham Wald noted that they were only considering the planes that survived; those that took damage and still flew back home safely.
This is known as survivorship bias.
Once they reframed the problem, the solution was clear: to reinforce the intact areas that showed the least damage, as this is where…
There’s this one scene I love above any other in the brilliant Coen Brothers film, Burn After Reading.
The final scene shows us CIA officer Palmer reporting back to his superior about the series of unpredictable, unfortunate events that have unfolded.
If you don’t remember it, here it is:
- What did we learn, Palmer?
- I don’t know, sir.
- I don’t fucking know either. I guess we learned not to do it again.
- Yes, sir.
- I’m fucked if I know what we did.
- It’s hard to say.
- Jesus fucking Christ.
2020 was a…
Power and communication are tightly intertwined. It’s impossible to hold power without communicating it somehow. Yet in our hyperconnected world, the intentional sabotage of communication has become a normalised tactic from the elites to divert responsibility over the speech act in the exercise of power and control.
We often forget about the complexity of the communication process. If its objective is to convey a message as clearly and unambiguously as possible, communication falls short most of the time — and though it hardly ever succeeds completely, we still just take it for granted.
What we think we say and what…
Naked and crying, we’re born. Weak and vulnerable. Exposed. Thrown into a cold threatening reality, we need to be welcomed, nourished and protected. Turbulent winds of conflict surround us from birth. Others must feed us and give us warmth. Without their shelter, we perish.
Outside forces pull from every direction. Step after step we go through life: stumbling around at first, running forward later. Precarious, always on the brink of collapse. Every passing…
“Every word is a prejudice.” Nietzsche
“(…) contrary to what our desire cannot fail to be tempted into believing, the thing itself always escapes.” Derrida
Language divides, separates, and isolates. It causes a chasm, a difference, and a distance. It first sets a limit and a boundary between us and the-rest — what isn’t us.
We’re born into a name and surname(s). Labels are enforced upon us. They identify us against everything else, and establish a space between ourselves and the-other. They set us apart.
Language then separates and imposes borders between everything and everything-else. It draws and defines the…
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
After a few minutes browsing souvenirs in the gift shop, I find myself standing square in front of a picture window. Amazed, I stare at the view: the upper half of the window is a clear bright blue sky, the bottom half a vibrant freshly-cut green grass. A spiralling mound rises from the ground. A pond surrounds it.
After hours of looking at artwork, I feel like staring at another painting. It’s easy to forget how aesthetic windows can be, I say to myself. I’m reminded of Magritte, or Dalí.
“To define is to limit”, Oscar Wilde
The Doctor is an almost thousand-year-old alien with a policebox-shaped time-space ship and a Deus-ex-machina device in the form of a sonic screwdriver. He* travels through time and space solving conflicts, fixing problems and saving people. Most of the times.
He’s also got two hearts and an uncertain number of “lives”: when he’s lethally injured, he regenerates into a different personification (in a quite spectacular way). Every regeneration is different and has specific personality traits, likes and dislikes, and even fashion style — though he keeps his memories and a fundamental core remains.