Monday, November 7, 2011

Genealogía de los átomos en tu cuerpo

Erase una vez un átomo de carbono* que nació en una estrella, está en tu cuerpo y existirá por siempre...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Exploration vs exploitation: natural, human and artificial

Desmond Morris in his famous book "The naked ape", that studies the Human Animal as a zoologist would study the species, has a chapter on "exploration", a word related to the Latin term Neophilia: love of the new. He mentions that neophilia and Neophobia -fear of the new- must be balanced on humans for proper functioning. Neophilia and the exploratory urge is a distinguishing capacity of our species, and it has enabled our zoologically unprecedented adaptability to changing environmental circumstances, whereas other species perished because they were unable to adapt. However, neophilia must be balanced by some neophobia, the conservative instinct that enables us to take advantage of all that neophilia has discovered. We would have long perished if as a species we would only have developed neophilia or neophobia.

Particular individuals -or cultures, or sects- may exhibit excess of either neophilia or neophobia, but on average on Planet Earth over the ages there has been a healthy balance between both.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Las palmeras en la página del blog

Mi madre y sus tres hermanas heredaron de mi abuelo un Cocal y cuatro plantíos de henequén en Yucatán. Ibamos todos los años a revisar el estado de nuestras propiedades, cada hermana en una diferente época del año. El henequén luego desapareció como el principal negocio del estado, y el Cocal lo vendimos. Me gustaba especialmente ir al Cocal, a orillas del mar de Campeche; las palmeras llenas de cocos frescos que comíamos y bebíamos en la playa y por supuesto el delicioso pescado fresco, frito a las brasas.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Why global problems don't get solved

Poverty, hunger, inequality, injustice... these are ooold international, very complex problems and there are myriad governments, institutions and organizations interested in their solution... and others interested in keeping the status-quo. And these are only the problems so well known that they have a short label attached to them. There are at least other 50,000 global problems, according to the Union of International Associations, although naturally the count depends on what you define as a problem and how you classify problems.

The Belgian-based UIA has produced over the years a monumental database of "world problems and human potential" (see also the Wikipedia entry) that includes a problems database, international associations dealing with problems, strategies for solution and several other sections.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Contact! Meeting an extra-terrestial civilization in Stanislaw Lem's Fiasco novel.

Contact! Meeting another civilization in Stanislaw Lem's Fiasco novel.

Stanislaw Lem has been for a long time my favorite science fiction author. Besides being a great writer, he is also a philosopher, sociologist , physicist and moralist so one always comes away from his books having learned something interesting.

"Fiasco" is one of his best novels. It is about the challenges of establishing contact with unknown civilizations elsewhere in the galaxy. The book has lessons for us in case beings from other planets ever visit Earth. ...

Monday, August 8, 2011

The greatest gift from my father

I like blogs that have a personal touch but are not dedicated exclusively to personal stuff. So this is one of these personal posts...

I had kind of a troublesome (for me) relationship with my father, but on balance, the positive things have exceeded the negative, now that I look back several years after he died. (...)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Online course exemplars

Architects have it easy. They can just look at outstanding buildings or cities to get ideas of how to design new ones. Also, architects frequently expound in conferences and publications the rationales of their designs.
It is not so easy for online course designers, because we lack a catalog of outstanding open course designs in several areas; and even if we can find one such course, the "why's" of the decisions taken by the designers are not usually included as part of the course.  (...)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

[eduMOOC] reflections

eduWhat? [MOOC], or Masive Open Online Course - the edu because this MOOC is about online education - a somewhat recursive affair, an online course about online education. So naturally there have been much discussion about what is and isn't a mooc, mooc design, mooc platforms and so on. And of course about online learning in general.  [eduMOOC] has about 2,600 participants - that's the masive part. The entrance is free, and it uses primarly [OER]s or Open Educational Resources. We are now in the fourth week of eight...

Hello world!

I'd been thinking of setting up a blog but did not want to start it if I wouldn't dedicate the time to keep posting. Now that I have "retired but not quite" perhaps the time has come to have the time...

This will be a personal reflection blog, as are the most interesting blogs. I'll mainly write for my own person 20 years from now -sort of to keep a record of my evolving interests and ideas. But at the same time I hope some day somebody will find these reflections interesting and will leave a comment...


He estado pensando en iniciar un blog pero no quería empezarlo si no dedicaría el tiempo neecesario para seguir escribiendo. Ahora que me he "retirado, pero no mucho", tal vez ha llegado la hora de tener mas tiempo...

Este será un blog de reflexiones personales, tal como son los blogs más interesantes. Escribiré principalmente para mi propia persona dentro de 20 años -como para tener un registro de mis intereses e ideas y su evolución. Pero al mismo tiempo espero que algún día alguien más encontrará estas reflexiones interesantes y deje un comentario...