Character

“Character is what you know you are,

not what others think you have.”

She knew what to do.

“Determination and perseverance move the world; thinking that others will do it for you is a sure way to fail.”

She did not fail, in the long run, despite all the obstacles.  Just ask her numerous, successful, students.

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A Honest Disagreement about the Future

She is mostly right, and he is dead wrong in this case. However, this case is only about the future of humanity.

Who would have thunk it!  He had been billions and billions right, before.

Warren-Buffett-with-Bill-and-Melinda-Gates

However, She is an inconvenient woman.  Damn Dambisa, what’s logic and data got to do with it?

dambisa_moyo_ted

They say they know better, it’s their belief — er — political assumption [Greek: hypothesis] — er — political ?religion?.

Dead Aid a book by Dambisa Moyo

‘… Bill Gates weighed in with his condemnation. “I think that the book actually did damage the generosity of rich world nations,” he said in a 2013 interview. “I have read it and I think she didn’t know much about aid and what aid is doing.” ‘ [My emphasis]

Sorry Billthink again, haven’t you got that the other way around?

“Don’t just read it; fight it! Ask your own questions, look for your own examples, discover your own proofs. Is the hypothesis necessary? Is the converse true? What happens in the classical special case? What about the degenerate cases? Where does the proof use the hypothesis?” – Paul Halmos

There is a schism…

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Mary’s Little Lambs

Suffer little children

No, Mary’s little lambs were not children.

Mary’s “little lambs” were medical researchers that she herded together: adults who were driven to find a cure for cancer, even as the children were suffering and dying: by the thousands.  It was a dilemma: how to cure childhood leukemia, where the medical doctors could do nothing — they didn’t understand what cancer was.  Experimenting on children with a cocktail of toxic chemicals was heart rendering, such that the original doctor who opened the door to that reasearch method, couldn’t do it.

I cannot make one child suffer and die, to save two others.
— Sidney Farber

Robert Moses said about Mary: that she had it all—intelligence, vision, generosity, charm, kindness.

Neen Hunt added this: “she also had courage, passion, and indefatigable energy, and the heart and will to apply her gifts and talents to reduce suffering from disease for people all over the world.”

“The strength of our nation depends on the health of our people. We must once again place the priority on research. It’s good for trade, good for jobs, and vital for all Americans. Medical research is our hope for our children and for the building of a healthy America.”

Mary was strategic…  For that vision was for the future…

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The Ghost of Khan

You can’t find where his corporeal body is buried. And it certainly isn’t buried in Russia.  He, personally, never stepped a foot in the Rus’ lands.

History is Baroque!
Will and Ariel Durant

But what about his Zeitgeist?

ghost_of_khan

Yesterday and Today?

If we curse the past, if we blank it out of our memory as my father did, nothing will get better.
Our history is both cursed and magnificent. Just like the history of any state or people.
It is fitting Russia, the tragedies;
these contradictory strands of history are woven so tightly together. 

Boris Yeltzin

Zeitgeist (Zeit –Time, geist –Ghost)

It’s a tale of Black Gold.

Ah, but what kind of Black Gold are we talking about?

The Black Gold of the Earth: that Good Earth: Land and Power of Mother Russia.


The Black Gold of the Earth: that Good Earth: Oil and Gold of Mother Russia.

On the Wealth of Nations.
Who owns the Rents — Economic and/or Political?

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Lean In Slowly

BUT SURELY.

“You don’t choose your passion, your passion chooses you.”
— Jeff Bezos

Passion requires Temperament
— David M Keirsey

He said to her: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”

When companies grow quickly, there are more things to do than there are people to do them. When companies grow more slowly or stop growing, there is less to do and too many people to be doing them. Politics and stagnation set in, and everyone falters. 

When debating her next career move, Sheryl Sandberg made a spreadsheet comparing the roles and responsibilities that would come with each position and company she was considering. Google was on her list (a relatively unknown company in 2001), and ranked lower than all of the other options in categories like security, salary and responsibilities, but when Sandberg presented her dilemma to Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO at the time, he managed to change her mind with this simple piece of advice:

“[Eric] covered my spreadsheet with his hand and told me not to be an idiot (also a great piece of advice). Then he explained that only one criterion mattered when picking a job—fast growth. When companies grow quickly, there are more things to do than there are people to do them. When companies grow more slowly or stop growing, there is less to do and too many people to be doing them. Politics and stagnation set in, and everyone falters. He told me, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat. You just get on.”

Sandberg made up her mind that instant and joined Google, which as we all know was one of the fastest flying rocket ships ever created, to date.

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Wings

Don’t ask me what I did.  Ask what I did not do.
I did not clip her wings.
— Ziauddin Yousafzai

Malala 1

Ziauddin Yousafzai, Teacher Idealist, is the father of Malala Yousafzai, a young woman who protested against the Taliban for the education rights of children, especially for Pakistani girls. Originally a headmaster of his school in Swat Valley, he is currently the United Nations Special Advisor on Global Education.

Malala Yousafzai, Fieldmarshal Rational, ( born 12 July 1997) is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She is known for her activism for rights to education and for women, especially in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. In early 2009, at the age of 11–12, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. The following summer, a New York Times documentary by journalist Adam B. Ellick was filmed about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region, culminating in the Second Battle of Swat. Malala rose in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by South African activist Desmond Tutu. [Wikipedia, revised]

“I will get my education – if it is in home, school, or anyplace.”
— Malala

As Malala became more recognized, the dangers facing her became more acute. Death threats against her were published in newspapers and slipped under her door. On Facebook, where she was an active user, she began to receive threats and fake profiles were created under her name. When none of this worked, a Taliban spokesman says they were “forced” to act. In a meeting held in the summer of 2012, Taliban leaders unanimously agreed to kill her.
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Start: Up

“Do not weep; do not wax indignant. Understand.”
–Baruch Spinoza

They started up.  In a new land. Starting up essentially with nothing.

She started up. Again, again, and again.

She is determined.

“The scientists at Emotiv have done the impossible: created a brain-wave-reading headset that lets you conjure entire worlds using nothing but your mind — a breakthrough that could be worth billions. Now comes the hard part.”

“It is a jigsaw puzzle still being put together.”

tan_le_determination

They had seemly started, down.

There were the chants: “Slit eye,” and graffiti of “Asian go home.”

Go home to where?

“Something inside me stiffened.  There was the gathering of resolve, and a small voice said, ‘I will bypass you’.”
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Boots First

These boots are made for walking… 
And that’s just what they’ll do.
One of these days these boots
are gonna walk all over you.

She was a Maverick — she had to be.

Those good old boys had the rules and the “code.”  Women need not to apply.  She was rejected nine times.  But this cat had ten lives.

And she wore boots.

She changed the rules.

muriel-siebert-book-cover

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Strategic Chemistry

He had a PhD in Chemistry.

But he hadn’t used that fact for decades.

Rather, he had used his natural talent in understanding and using Human Chemistry, not Physical Chemistry.

Jerry Buss

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We ought not to die, before we explain ourselves to each other

Adams-Jefferson

“…that we ought not to die before we have explained ourselves to each other…”

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams wrote these words in letters to each other, after both had retired from public life. Each was a founding father of the United States of America and each served as President. Jefferson, an Architect Rational, was a Virginian, tall and lanky, and a brilliant writer, but middling speaker. He relied partly on John Adams, an arrogant Fieldmarshal Rational from Massachusetts, pudgy and cantankerous, but a brilliant bulldog of a public speaker to persuade others.

This combination of the two was a very powerful dyad. The theoretical and Engineering brilliance of an Architect and the pragmatic determination of the Coordinating Rational has been seen in other pairs such as Lincoln and Grant,  Einstein and Bohr, and Ulam and Teller. In this combination, these two founders helped shape the United States from the beginning based on both their temperament and character, a unique combination of personality at a crucial time in political history.

In 1800, Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams’ reelection bid for President of United States. It was the most acrimonious election of the country’s young history, and is considered the starting point of political parties in American politics. This was an unexpected situation given that a few years earlier, Jefferson and Adams had worked well together in the framing of the Constitution and were two people tasked by Congress to write of the Declaration of Independence.

In Washington’s two terms of office was when Adams and Jefferson parted company, their visions for America differing.   They became political opponents.   Adams became very bitter when Jefferson defeated him in the 1800 election.  Adams retired to a Massachusetts, they didn’t communicate until Madison’s second term in 1812.  Their friend Benjamin Rush wrote a letter to Adams, hoping they would reconcile.  Time and retirement of both seemed to heal the wounds.  Adams sent the first letter and with that they proceeded to correspond for the rest of their lives: both dying on the Fourth of July, Independence Day, 1826.

So how was it they didn’t understand each other?

“On the question, ‘What is the best provision?’, you and I differ; but we differ as rational friends, using the free exercise of our own reason, and mutually indulging it’s errors.” [emphasis added]

They were Rationals, interested in theoretical solutions to practical problems. Once the United States was on a seemingly solid basis, the two began to differ in their vision of how the government of the United States should proceed. Adams was not trustful of the republican democracy and was a Federalist — more concerned with creation and protection of wealth and strengthening the central government, whereas Jefferson was not trustful with the aristocracy in the form of Federalists and preferred a more representative and more autonomous version of the electorate, Agrarian in nature. Jefferson had supported the French revolution. He even said to Abigail Adams, John Adams’ wife, in a letter: “I like a little revolution now and then.”

Jefferson explained “our difference of opinion may in some measure be produced by a difference of character in those among whom we live.” But I think that Jefferson, the Engineer, more a libertarian in nature, had a faith in the rough and tumble of local politics. He had more of a distributed notion of democracy in the form of States rights and individual freedom. But Adams, a Coordinator, viewed the educated man and the man of inheritance as equal combatants in the balance of power between different branches of government. Realizing the common man had little or no interest, or skill to be involved with government, Adam had worried about unchecked democracy.

As Jefferson surmised:

 “We acted in perfect harmony through a long and perilous contest for our liberty and independence. A constitution has been acquired which, though neither of us think perfect, yet both consider as competent to render our fellow-citizens the happiest and the securest on whom the sun has ever shone. If we do not think exactly alike as to it’s imperfections, it matters little to our country which, after devoting to it long lives of disinterested labor, we have delivered over to our successors in life, who will be able to take care of it, and of themselves.”

So both Adams and Jefferson had confidence in the American Temperament to prosper.