Tag Archives: random thoughts

Alegato sobre la sorpresa

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Hoy he visto saltar a un pato. Ayer vi a otro encaramado a un pilono de madera hundido en un canal, elevado sobre el agua y totalmente aislado. La gente que vive aquí ve patos casi cada día sin saber que vuelan y saltan. Se sonríen cuando se lo dices, asegurándote que debes estar equivocado. Pero ahí están las pruebas, ante todos. Para verlas hace falta fijarse un poquito, sentir una pequeña sorpresa. Ellos, ¿han perdido la capacidad de sorprenderse?

Sorprenderse no es solamente un acto inconsciente, también tiene su parte de habilidad y, como tal, debe ejercitarse. Lo distinto sorprende, y el modo de entrenarse para ver lo distinto no es otro que estudiar lo similar y comparar. Creo que entrenar esa manera de sorprenderse casi consciente, casi racional, merece la pena.

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Cuando lo distinto sucede siempre la sorpresa desaparece. Cuando la crisis de la arquitectura el mercado inmobiliario se alarga la sorpresa desaparece. Cuando te enfrentas al paro, al sueldo mísero y a la inactividad profesional, la sorpresa por no desear nada más, por no creer merecer nada más, por saber que puede existir algo diferente, también desaparece.

Esa sorpresa también puede entrenarse. La ambición bien entendida es un antídoto contra lo mundano y la espolea. Algunos lo llaman esperanza, pero la esperanza se me antoja una condición externa que no podemos controlar. El raciocinio de la sorpresa es una cura contra el conformismo gregario. Pero no basta desear sorprenderse, hay que sorprenderse. Sorprendámonos pues.

Commons (Public Domain)

Commons (Public Domain)

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Would-be languages

Roughly half of world’s tongues are endangered by the time being and a great deal of them has recently disappeared. It is said a few languages will remain by next century. Most of people think that either one single language will be universally spoken or the main ones will mess up altogether into a global tongue. They are probably right, but what they say is just one among lots of possibilities. I think that in the future every person will speak a unique language.

OK crackerjack, but why?

Because although the first aim of a language is communication, the second and inalienable one is expression. When we utter words and sentences we always sacrifice the complexity in order to convey the main ideas. Literature is alike. Long –good– novels skirt round the plot time after time as long as tiny details unveil layers and insights about it. Similarly, poetry is as difficult to make as beautiful because it must convey as many things as necessary with as less words as possible. If we could develop our own language, we would not suffer to explain others what we exactly mean by means of inaccuracies. Of course we ought to solve the communication issue first.

Well_ How?

Informatics is drastically changing every professional field and lifestyle in spite of its novelty. It is based on programming and that means languages. Concealed numbers’ series encode the natural languages in simplified ones and translate almost any language into another. At the same time that the accuracy of translations rises, humans rely more and more on them as well as spend longer time in front of the computer while it turns into a vital tool to keep our relationships updated. Someday this situation will be seized to encode our feelings and complex thoughts instead of just mere hackneyed words. Meanwhile, the distance among people the computer offers will serve as a boost to develop our own language.

I can’t wait. When?

It is hard to say. European languages dominate as studied languages and means of communication among peoples. Languages such as Russian and Chinese, nevertheless, enjoy healthier economies nowadays. Had they attempted to spread, both their difficulty and the extension of the European ones would make such endeavour terribly difficult and slow. I think informatics will have reached high benchmarks by then, so that would be an excellent moment for people’s minds to be lit.

Nice. Where would it happen?

That is the easiest answer though the most difficult to happen. People shall realise one language is not better than another. Then this idea could blossom inside them.

What do you really think it’s going to happen?

Who knows? As I do not know I can imagine many possibilities instead of being stuck in a would-be false one. Don’t you think so?

Los tiempos de cocción

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Lentejas (Fuente: Commons, dominio público)

Como cocinero novato, suelo cocer la comida demasiado o demasiado poco. Me pasa especialmente con las legumbres -¿cómo demonios se controla eso?-, y mira que voy tanteando el fuego y probándolas cada poco. Pongamos, por ejemplo, que cocino lentejas. Me esmero con todo el acompañamiento, me aseguro de si son o no de ésas que deben dejarse en remojo la noche anterior, vigilo la cazuela…; pero nada, que o quedan ligeramente duras o se me forma una capa de pasta. Es raro que algo así le pase a mi madre, si bien la receta es la misma. Probablemente mi fallo esté en el fuego o en el cálculo del tiempo; cosas tan tontas que no se pueden explicar con exactitud.

Algo parecido sucede en las cocinas de los estudios de arquitectura. ½ kilo de ideas, 200 gramos de dibujos y un chorrito de paciencia no garantizan un buen proyecto. Sucede que la receta no especifica la cantidad de agua –puede llover hasta aguarnos el humor-, ni la fuerza del fuego –porque por más fuerza de gas tengamos no se cocina mejor-, ni sobre todo, y esto es lo más importante, el tiempo de cocción. Pasa como con las lentejas; si no controlas la cocción, quedan aguadas y duras, o pastosas y densas.

Porque hay ideas que necesitan muchos años y otras deben servirse en pocos días, jamás, jamás equivoques los tiempos de cocción.

Airs of grandeur

Madrid (Source: Commons)

Madrid (Source: Commons)

Airs of grandeur is an expression that people associate with arrogance and pageantry. Napoleon lost his throne due to his airs of grandeur, and so did many others. Airs is something tautly construed by the Western society.

My bias truth is that having airs of grandeur is nothing more than one of the many edges of the personality. Airs, greed and a like for violence may turn people into assassins. Otherwise, airs, a sense of rightness and money could sketch a philanthropic awareness.

There are too many people who give themselves airs when things go well and the way is paved. However, there are a lack of people with airs when the economy is bad, the government takes hard measures and people is full of desperation in their struggle with surviving. The airs of the construction workers were bad just a few years ago because they were mixed in bad concrete mixers, and countries such as Ireland, USA and Spain have suffered because of them. Now that Ireland and Spain are in crisis, we need airs, and a lot of airs. But we need a different kind of them. By means of them, we need to retrieve the happiness of creating things and achieving new good goals. We need the willingness to do things otherwise.