Facts

funFacts

 

Facts are stubborn things and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

-John Adams

Facts and evidence! Those little things that are generally true regardless of your personal beliefs or opinions or as social researches put it: Personal bias.

We all know that facts are facts don’t we? and yet research shows that more often that not we consistently chose to ignore them when making decisions. From what to have for lunch to which car to buy or more importantly how to raise our children and what to believe.

Apparently, voluntarily ignoring facts is what makes us humans. If we were a fact based culture, astrology, religion alongside with myths, legends and politics would not have a place among us and we would cultivate values around science, arts, and evidence based truths.

Moreover, it has been demonstrated that once you have made your mind on any thing, you will selectively choose bits of information that support your view regardless of how true those really are. To make things more interesting the probability of you changing your opinion in the face of new evidence is still very, very low. Funny eh?

If facts and evidence were the ruling element in our behavior maybe this would be a better world. But for sure,  many things that create so much grief, suffering and pain like ignorance, religion and superstition would not exist.

I hope that as we evolve to a more connected society, we also learn to develop critical thinking that allows us to seek for evidence based truths that shape how we decide and behave and thus make this world a better place for us and the generations to come.

-Stein

 

 

Elegance

eAs one ponders how the English language has evolved during the past few years, it is unavoidable to notice and wonder at how simplicity and shortness of the written word have utterly won the battle over elegance and style.

Perhaps we have much to say and very little time to do it? or is it a bad case of laziness and ignorance? I do not know, answering those questions will be the responsibility of the historians and scholars that look at our current state of affairs many years from now with the benefit of hindsight.

While that comes to pass, I must admit that I miss the old times when writing a message, a letter or a personal memorandum was considered an endeavor that would carry the voice of the author beyond his physical reach and thus demanded attention to craft it in such a way that it would be clear, complete but above all elegant.

Elegance when writing was paramount for the crafted message became the author’s ambassador representing not only the ideas and feelings that he intended to convey, but a lucid window into his character and personality for the recipient to see.

Words were chosen carefully, sentences examined, read and edited until the author was satisfied with the result. Then and only then was the missive submitted with the certainty that the message carried not only the concepts but also the proper meaning he wanted to transmit.

furthermore, those authors did not have access to the impressive array of media and tools we have at our disposal these days and yet true masterpieces in their own way were produced.

I do wish that the younger generations understand the importance of reviving this noble tradition of writing with elegance and devote time to improve their writing skills. Hopefully, In the future, when historians study the texts that have been produced look in awe at the beauty of the words.

-Stein

 

Dive Log

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I love diving! Some of the fondest memories of my adult life are from  moments in or around water.

Since my diving adventure began, I’ve been a total of 59 hours and 38 minutes underwater breeding compressed air from a bottle strapped to my back and did it in 10 different countries.

Also, out of all the dives, 18% were ship wreck exploring expeditions, 48% reef reconnaissance missions and 34% were either, training, archeology or cenote dives.

How do I know, because I keep a dive log!

The funny thing is that most divers see the log keeping activity as a burden. But in reality it is  part of the adventure! A well maintained diving log is not only about numbers, it is a memories scrapbook that narrates the story of fantastic dive buddies (Vlad, Denise, Romina, Tino and Assaf I am looking at you!) and great underwater species sightings (eels, turtles, dolphins, even the ocasional shark!).

It is also a storyteller about how one becomes a better diver. My log shows all the things done right during the dives but also recounts mistakes to be reviewed and corrected in future dives.

So, as you write your own diving adventure (you have not started yet? what are you waiting for?) make sure you keep an accurate and detailed diving log. Use the format or media that best suits you. In my case, I keep both paper (otherwise how will I brag about all the cool stamps from diving shops I’ve collected?) and electronic (www.diveboard.com is my choice because is cool and free) versions.

And be sure to share your log!!! after all, we all like to brag a little bit about our diving feats. Don’t we?

-Stein

 

Conversation… A lost art

Auguste_Renoir_ConversationAlas! Simple conversation has become a lost art! Do you remember the good ‘ol times? Yes! Those times when people would gather around a steamy cup of coffee to TALK and SHARE while actually LOOKING at each other.

It was nothing like these modern times when “acquaintances” meet and “spend time together” flickering and staring at small glowing screen while ignoring the person across the small table that might as well be an ocean because the emotional distance is about the same.

The vast majority of us carry those tiny devices with more computing power than the mission to the moon had and are supposed to become better individuals because we have all our information needs covered at our thumb-tips (is not finger tips! Come on, be honest and admit it, you only use your thumbs to operate your little magic box).

However, we took a wrong turn somewhere, because despite the sentimental mumbo jumbo about how technology is bringing us closer conveniently inserted into the slogan of every phone company we are really getting more isolated.

More than ever, we consume disposable content at a flabbergasting rate. Please note, is not information, because watching videos of cute cats can not be considered useful information. Don’t believe me, try this: Without looking at your phone, tell me what valuable information did you get out of the last 10 tweets you read.

Assuming you can actually remember the last 10 tweets you read (and that was probably just 5 minutes ago) you will be able to cite probably 1 maybe 2. The rest was content that your brain decided to discard because it had no practical value.

I am going on a limb here, but I would bet that the same ratio will apply for all the content you consume on the other popular social networks.

If I am partially correct, that means that let’s say 70% of the time you spend consuming all that useless content is a monumental waste of time. That time, could be invested in a meaningful conversation with your family, friends, significant other or a total stranger and that will really make you a more connected, informed and fulfilled person.

So, put down the phone, lift up your face and look at the person across the table and start talking! Let’s bring back the good old times when conversation was our preferred past time!

-Stein

Bagpipes

bagpipesBagpipe music is very interesting. Either you like it or you don’t, there is no middle ground. Some people find it too high pitched and annoying. For me, is an instrument that can elicit a myriad of emotions. From the deepest sadness  to the excitement of being ready for battle.

I can sit and listen to it for hours imagining the adventures, hardships and victories of the warriors of old as they roamed the plains with their rudimentary weapons longing to make their mark in the world with a heart full of passion and courage.

I don’t really know why, but for me, bagpipe music evokes values like honor, duty and courage that we admire and idealize in the form of epic adventures full of brave warriors, chevaliers and beautiful damsels.

Yes, I know is a bit childish but I really believe that if those values were an integral part of our lives, the world would be a much better and nicer place.

So, if this music transports me if only for a little while, to a world were men always tell the truth and consider their honor more valuable than money I see no harm in visiting it from time to time.

-Stein

All Aboard!!!

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All aboard! is much more than an expression… It is a call! A call that tells us that something interesting is about to happen, it is a call that invites to adventure… it signals the beginning (or perhaps the continuation) of our journey and once we hear it, we know that things are about to get interesting.

Soon, we will be in a different place where we might discover new things, meet new people and experience entirely new food. Or perhaps, we will be back to a familiar place, one that brings dear memories and gets us closer to the family and friends we love.

In any case, once we hear the all aboard calling, we know that an adventure is about to begin. For me, taking up the A to Z challenge is exactly that. An adventure that will take me to a new place, sharing experiences with new people and most importantly, learning new things from other fellow bloggers.

Join me and other adventurers as we go through this journey sharing a new blog every day following the sequence of the letters in the alphabet. Also, as we begin this journey I want to thank you, the reader for your time and company and the team that has put the effort and time to make this challenge a reality.

So, ALL ABOARD!!! we are going on an adventure!

-Stein