Monthly Archives: April 2014

This is my definition of passion!

A performative definition executed by Glenn Gould!

Maybe you would ask yourself what does this post has to do with my research?
Well it has to do regarding my reflection on what means excellence and how it is related with passion and how can one come closer to it? I am an admirer of great intellects and good performances, performances that exhale passion (what ever the performance is).
But when it comes to what defines something as “good or excellent” and what could be features to look at, things get subjective and tricky. Subjective because it dependes on the subject who is stating the “goodness-excellence” of something and tricky because subjectivity has always been a muddy terrain.
It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Would it be also that truth is in the mind of the beholder? Well this is getting us into a muddy terrain I am afraid. Coming back to the starting point of excellence and good and its relation to passion, in my view, one of the ingredientes that makes me always awe is the extent to which a performer is connected to her/his piece of performance  -no matter if the piece is a piano concert or if it is a theater play, or a research-. There is something in the performer that I do admire and value very much and it is the passion that (s)he exhales while performing. The face of Glenn Gould is a poem, a poem of love to music and clarity.  His connection to the piano keys is absolutely marvellous. He talks to the piano, he whispers some words that connects him to each of the notes no matter if they are complete notes, semitones or octaves, he loves each and every note and harmony that comes out of his piano, even more, that is not jet out of the piano, the one he is willing to pull out the next second. His hands are connected to each key and at the same time to each note he plays and to the melody hi is creating while playing.
I am just a sneaky lover of classic music far from being an expert or a knowledgeable person but this performance embodies for me this connection amongst the original composer -Bach- and the executer; between each finger and the keys of the piano; between each note and his breath; between the movement of his mouth and the pace of his melody…
It is a vivid example of a profound love of what one does and of how passion and excellence walk hand in hand most of the times. It is an example that inspires me and in a sense guides my journey as a researcher. Bravo for Glenn Gould!

Nicolas Carr on ‘Social Physics’…The Darker Side of Reality Mining

Interesting reading!

Online Learning Insights

BigDataImageIt’s this article ‘The Limits of Social Engineering that piqued my interest this week, first because of the image featured in the article which I found appealing, then it was the reference made to Marshall McLuhan, a scholar and author I admire greatly, and finally because it was by Nicolas Carr, author of the book, “The Shallows” which I reviewed this week on my blog. But it’s the article’s unusual topic that grabbed hold of me by the collar and motivated me to share it with readers—something called ‘reality mining’.  Reality mining is an advanced branch of data mining and is central to the book “Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread—The Lessons from a New Science that Carr reviews and draws from in his article. Carr provides a good overview of not just the book, but of the science, and hints at the potential ills of reality mining, or as the…

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Educating far from Equilibrium: Chaos Philosophy and the Quest for Complexity in Education

Fixed Mindset vs. Growth Mindset: Which One Are You?

Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset

Michael Graham Richard

Here is an excerpt from an article about Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University:

Through more than three decades of systematic research, [Carol Dweck] has been figuring out answers to why some people achieve their potential while equally talented others don’t—why some become Muhammad Ali and others Mike Tyson. The key, she found, isn’t ability; it’s whether you look at ability as something inherent that needs to be demonstrated or as something that can be developed.

To anyone who is into personal growth and self-improvement, this seems obvious. But clearly, it is not obvious to everybody: look at this diagram by Nigel Holmes representing the two types of mindsets and I’ll sure you’ll recognize the attitudes of many people you know.

Fixed Mindset

Let’s have a look, starting with the Fixed Mindset side:


People who hold these beliefs think that “they are the way they are”…

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Complexity: A Guided Tour

Complexity read

How the ancient Greeks shaped modern mathematics – video animation

How the ancient Greeks shaped modern mathematics – video animation