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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Traveling Ghost

Posted by Raul on December 14, 2010

 

Today I have the pleasure to announce that Alien Ghost has made a trip to Madrid, Spain. This weird alien has a Guest Post at the awesome blog Zerebria.

Zerebria is where Nacho Jordi talks about the human brain; as he describes in his blog:

“The human brain, the mysterious machine, and everything that has to do with it, from the point of view of a fascinated user”

So please take a quick trip there to check the post “Loop Mode”, where I talk about the similarities between computers controlled new cars and some people you might have encounter in your daily life.

And while you’re there, don’t let pass the opportunity to dig Zerebria’s Archives, to find: “Profitable gems that allow you to live a more active, focused and productive life”

Have fun!  :)

Raul

Overflow

Posted by Raul on December 10, 2010

 

    Choosing a CD to play sometimes can be just overwhelming!

    After so many years collecting the music we like and love, we may end up with a huge collection of albums. And when the time to choose comes around, we might not decide so easily what we want to listen.

    It does happen not only about music, but almost about everything in life related to the accumulation of material stuff. Pictures, books, movies, even pens collected in a jar for any time use.

    Sometimes I think of myself of a little, furred creature, that takes anything and everything around that can carry, to hide it in a hole in the ground, not even knowing for what reason!

    Then I look around the house and wonder how all this stuff got here? (chip-chip-chip…I’m that furred creature, remember?).

    We do tend to accumulate “just in case” as an element of security and self assurance; then we have to deal with the accumulated stuff as a chain that prevent us from going around to explore new grounds (we have to protect our treasures!).

    A human being, born naked, but with a powerful brain capable of learning and adapting; and a amazing body that allows him to interact in a physical medium; becomes a furry creature dedicated to the accumulation of physical elements, to be surrounded in a hole by the treasures that takes the amazing capabilities of its brain to just the feelings of something going wrong. How curious creatures we are!

    (Chip…chip…chip)

Raul

Insurance of Fear

Posted by Raul on December 7, 2010

 

    One thing that surprised me from living in the US is the huge number of insurance policies there are available to purchase. Insurance for the house, the mortgage, the stuff inside the house, the back yard, the front yard, in case someone falls and hurts in front of the house, for vehicles, for purchases, for lemon situations, medical, jobs, income, credit, etc, etc.

    At one hand it is nice to protect the investments made so far, so we can keep going forward in material life, ensuring with it peace of mind, so to create the base for a more relaxed and enjoyable time to spend with our loved ones.

    The problem I see is that, overtime, we tend to develop fear. The concept of “making sure”, although giving us stability, also creates a sense of “never loosing no matter what the situation”, so when something bad happens, we are not prepared for the consequences. 

    The feeling of “loosing” and becoming “lost” takes priority, over the feeling of “starting again” with a sense of “re-doing the traveled road” (which is not what we want, but at least we know we can do it; we already did it once), but if we are “lost”, what do we do then!

    At the other hand, having insurance for everything, and knowing a company will reimburse us for our loss, we tend to forget to take proper care of what we have. If you pay attention to a minor traffic crash in another country, usually people will have a heated argument about the situation, while here people go to a quiet spot and call their insurance company on their cell phones. No heated arguments.

    It is nice and probably more civilized, but the main reason I see is that in other countries insurance companies don’t pay for everything, so each person is responsible for taking good care of his/her property, so a sense of protectionism develops, while here it is consider a situation of just a change in property item. If everybody knew that their insurance company will not pay, and the minor accident implies a complete loss, there would be heated arguments by the side of the wrecked cars.

    We give control to external forces instead of retaining it as a capability of our own; and in such situation, we loose control over our world and become easily scared by the future; thus needing more and more insurance…just to be sure.

    So the consequence I see is that, we become careless of what we have because “we have insurance”, thus becoming dependant on an external savior, instead of learning to live and accept that in life we have to loose from time to time, sometimes just to simply valorize and take better care of what we still have. Life isn’t granted…so it isn’t material property and relationships.

    With “excessive” external protection we become easily scared by the possibility of loosing everything by reducing our capabilities of starting all over again with a smile after a deep breath, knowing we can re-create an already traveled path since we are the creators of our own situation.

Raul

Money Versus Ingenuity

Posted by Raul on December 2, 2010

 

 

    Having money to pay for all the stuff we need seems to be the perfect solution for a simplified and easy life, yet money can become a problem, even if is in small amounts.

    What I see (and it has happened to me) is the lost of ingenuity to solve even simple, everyday problems. We tend to just use money for everything (plastic…kicking the purchase to the future) and forget how to use our creativity. I know because when in my country in South America, due to a lack of money, I used to take apart every mechanical device that supposed to be disposable, and fix it with ingenuity and lots of work.

    For some time, while in the States, I used the normal procedure of throwing away and buying a new one. Soon I discovered I was loosing my capability of thinking, analyzing, and even the fun of fixing something that suppose to be “not fixable” (breaking the system :) ), and instead having the stress of requiring more and more money.

    Let me give you an example:

    Some time ago I had a problem with the alternator in my van. It stopped charging, and for a vehicle with everything electric, and using it for night delivery, it just couldn’t be driven without it. So I checked the cost in an auto part store and got shocked: More than 300 dollars for a rebuilt one! I just couldn’t afford it at that moment.

    So decided to go back to the “ingenuity solution system” and took the alternator apart to find out what the exact problem was. It happened to be the carbon brushes that wore out beyond the minimum size. So searched in my tool box and found a couple of old, used carbon brushes from another vehicle, which were bigger in size. I sand them down to the approximate size required, then installed them in the alternator and returned it to the vehicle.

    It worked like a charm! It’s been more than 25,000 miles since then and it is still working without a problem. Total cost: Zero!  Time: Approximately twice that it’ll take just exchanging the old alternator for a new one (four hours).

    There are many things we can do, not only to save money, but to keep “oiled” our creativity, and avoid becoming more and more dependant on money to solve everyday problems.

    It is really nice to just buy and replace, especially when there’s new, with more features to enjoy, but the problem is we are giving up our thinking capabilities in the process, and after a while, we might find ourselves unable to find solutions to bigger, life-size problems, becoming people highly trained in using the latest device, yet desperate for more money to sustain our way of life, and having at the same time a sense of loss that we cannot explain (so many in search of minimalism, self awareness, inner balance, and so on).

    “Sometimes having money can destroy a good, working brain”

    Ahh…the pleasures of not being rich!  :)

Raul

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