I have recently discovered the incredible MOOCs (massive online open courses) and although the first course I applied for has not even started, I believe I am already addicted to them. They are online courses, structured more less like college or university modules, made available for the general public for free (a small fee is sometimes required for courses carrying academic accreditation) offered by universities around the globe such as Stanford, Harvard, Mexico, Rome, Taiwan in the whole spectrum of subjects from History of Arts to Quantum Physics. You get to learn whatever it is that interests you with the best academic tutors you can dream of. For free. Continue reading
The languages we use are a darn pickle turning communication into a jar of sticky jam. Some words have been around for so long that few people still remember their meanings. And even if they do, words have an awkward ability to shift, change and extend their ambiguity depending on circumstances. Many tried to confine them in dictionaries, lexica and thesauri but they came spilling out. Bodies were created to standardize them, but words retaliated with irregularities. Now we stick them into machines which then spit out hashes, arobases and emoticons. Although we do find this madness of tongues entertaining and beneficial to literature, word games or puzzles, I am sure we can unanimously declare that we have all, at least once, found ourselves in a situation in which all attempts to pass information onto another person felt like describing a smartphone in Ancient Egyptian. It’s called an argument. Most of the time arguments do not originate in different opinions, but in misinterpretation. I shall portray this with an archetypal genre scene.
Person XX: “How do I look?”
Person XY: “Stunning, honey.”
Person XX: “Get out!”