▼Sanctity of Accuracy, Experience, Story & Time▼
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First you guess. Don't laugh, this is the most important step. Then you compute the consequences.
Compare the consequences to experience. If it disagrees with experience, the guess is
wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn't matter how
beautiful your guess is or how smart you are or what your name is.
If it disagrees with experience, it's wrong.
That's all there is to it...He who hates
correction is stupid.
(Feynman on looking for a new law of physics)
RICHARD FEYNMAN | PROVERBS 12:1
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The indomitable spirit never ceases to smile, and hence Quentin Crisp's truism: "it takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile" à la Sting's "Be yourself no matter what they say".
I love stories!
I love stories because real, unadulterated ones are worn like a girdle by indomitable spirits who know that nobody can change the circumstances, facts and integrity of true experience.
No. Not a single soul.
You can allow people to hijack your story perhaps out of weakness or as part of a socio-psychological experiment. And personally, I enjoy not so much the process of the latter, but the data gleaned once social engineering is in full effect unbeknownst to those masquerading speculation as facts and concrete truth, content with their shallowness.
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For years, President Obama allowed detractors to make noise about his birthplace and birth certificate. Then, at a time of his own choosing, he released the original copy, making them all look silly, effectively silencing them.
I talk about this in Assumptions of Degradation, Vilification & Illegality.
Back in Northern China, I was once stunned by a very drunken Chinese colleague's long-held suspicions.
We're sitting in a restaurant with his assistant and one of many girlfriends and out of nowhere he blabs then winks, "Come on Mr. [TT], all those things on your CV, not true, heh? Come on! You seeeeee...I knew it! I knew it! Heh? Ahh...I like you! Many foreigners do that, eh?"
He was actually drunk before we met at the restaurant that late afternoon. Sadly, he was known for that. And we'd been hi-fiving up until that moment. Suddenly, I found myself holding back. Involuntarily.
Yes. I was offended. At least until later, I found one of my mentors had advised: "Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
Stories. People. Unimaginative people who want you to change your background to suit their assumptions of degradation, vilification and illegality. The selfsame tribe George MacDonald warns: "To give truth to him who loves it not is to only give him more multiplied reasons for misinterpretation."
People. "People, man...people".
'Remember that scene in 'Crash' where Larenz Tate's character (Peter) laughs, only to be shot dead minutes later by mistake and misunderstanding — due to his killer's emotionally loaded stereotypes and prejudices?
They won't deny the fact that you're alive and not just a figment of *their* imagination. They won't deny the fact that I can assume all I want, but can never alter the integrity of *their* experiences; that I couldn't for example change what time *they* had lunch on a given day, had their baby, had sex, had diarrhea or food poisoning, used the bathroom, had surgery, started or quit a certain job, or when and where they first met their significant others — because logic says: I wasn't there. And yet, they want to tell *you* who you are.
That makes me grin.
People...Catch the movie right here (below) if you need a break. Well worth it.
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Social Psychology doesn't have all the answers but sure helps at times.
Once you understand circular reasoning, you sit back and start smiling at its manifestations. Or even, socially engineer it, so you can really get to isolate the fabric from the core. The authentic from the disingenuous.
Still better, is the pledge and wisdom in never letting others fact-check for you in jugular matters where another's reputation or your long term view of them could be adversely altered.
What's the most common regret relating to the Iraq WMD claim?
The intelligence was...
One of my great crucibles involved having to leave my hall of residence back in college.
It was 2AM when Rob, my bestfriend and AT&T colleague pulled up in his black Mazda and we meekly packed and stuffed everything inside only to unpack three blocks away. It was humiliating.
Rob patted me on the back. Maybe we hugged. I don't remember. And I walked back upstairs to a bare new room. No chair. No bed. Just my stuff. "Yep. That's what you call an eviction", I quietly poked fun at myself, for I'd been evicted from the Halls.
I somehow settled down knowing I had to wake up in a few hours, take a train, then connect to a bus that took me to my new job at AT&T.
I loved the Halls, meeting girls (sometimes three or four friends) on the first floor as we all entered and having their telephone numbers before the elevator door opened on the third and they exited; discombobulated male friends looking at each other unsure what just happened.
So, I always took it for granted I'd graduate living there perhaps even as an RA (Resident Assistant), just like one of my affluent upperclassmen friends. But I just couldn't afford it. I was always late for payment. And when that happened you're "dropped for non-payment", which in the University's system means: you're not a registered student, don't exist, and therefore can't register for classes, have your grades recorded, or even use the University's databases to find jobs, and an endless list of other inconveniences including the inability to buy food cheap (using a university card) at the university's Cafeteria.
This new residence three blocks away was a townhouse (officially called "off-campus") with three floors and we shared bathrooms and two kitchens. My housemates were all full-time students who were well-off. A Cambodian and Caucasian couple who lived on the first floor and could be heard having sex two blocks away and a PhD student from Ghana (attended a different university) lived on the first floor.
On the second floor, separated by a bathroom and storage space I was sandwiched between a half-Russian/half-Indian couple who were into drugs, and a very beautiful African girl whose country of origin I cannot recollect. And on the top floor, a Senegalese who became my barber, —the first person in fact to notice my hair was thinning. And a Jamaican and Caucasian dude who couldn't get along. Except for tensions between the latter, the atmosphere in the house was more than cordial. It was lively, and it got even livelier once I settled down and music started booming out of my second floor room.
I'd worked in the Entertainment Industry prior to AT&T so great music and compilation tapes I exchanged with much more knowledgeable (gay, vegetarian, Caucasian and very handsome) John, an ex-colleague, were constantly in heavy rotation. And everybody loved it.
But there was a problem.
Before long, we couldn't understand each other. At least I felt I understood them but they, my housemates had a hard time understanding the changes they were witnessing. Although my good folks at AT&T eventually persuaded me to get a car and I drove some of these friends to clubs, I didn't actually hang out with them.
As full-time students with more time on their hands, they liked to hang out in the first floor kitchen or outside, or go out and do stuff. I on the other hand, often had other things to do. Weekend classes, language and culture exchange appointments/functions with other foreigners were just a few. So, twenty-four hours was never enough.
I was doing strategic cross-functional/cross-departmental work with IT (Information Management Applications, of which Rob was a part), Human Assets & Learning (HR) — my original role, and Global Markets/sales. And to complicate matters, when during late weekend mornings, a green Mazda sports coupe pulled up front and I drove away (to work or AT&T Community Development events) with my hot 30-year-old sunglass-loving blond boss as they looked on, jaw-dropped, saying "No" or returning home and heading straight for my bed only drew criticism.
Smilingly again, the popular and incessantly familiar refrain was: "[TT] just thinks he's better than us". And that chorus (excepting the PhD student on the first floor) grew louder until it even became vitriolic. Jay-Z talks about this. I lived in that house for only a year or so before deciding I could afford my own place.
Approximately 5 years later after some of them had dropped out of college, graduated or simply moved on and away, the cheerleader of the group who was a Biology major approached me. She wanted me to help her launch a career in Information Technology. Two years after graduating she hadn't found a job she liked nor had she managed to gain traction in the career path she chose. Now she was always two years my senior, mind you.
Well, apologizing or forgiving wasn't a big deal. I loved her as a sister before all that misunderstanding and importantly, she was now mature enough to listen intently and understand — which she did — just how hard my life was back when we lived in that house.
We got straight to work, starting with skills and personal assessments, then to her CV/resumé. I overhauled and re-designed it (something I still do with people I help), gave her lots of career and self-improvement material courtesy of the AT&T library which I managed; taught her essentials of IT and the Industry, Interviewing and Influencing Skills. Moreover, at this point, I still hadn't graduated. So, coordinating everything with my busy school/work schedule was the main challenge but within a month we were ready to market her as a viable IT prospect.
I was, at this juncture in history, with a different, less flexible organization. Fortunately, permission from my superiors at work allowed me to drive more than one hour back into the city during my lunch breaks and take her to a regular Job Fair she previously didn't know existed. Maybe I drove her to two of those. Maybe one. I cannot recollect that part. But what I remember is she landed an interview or two with Accenture which we had to prepare her assiduously for. Subsequently, she landed a job in Chicago as an Accenture Consultant.
But here is the real kicker, and we laughed about this: up until that point, I had tried several times and failed to land a job with Accenture! And although I subsequently did two separate stints for Accenture as a third party Consultant, the real victory, belonged to her!
Erroneous postulates à la President Obama and the rest of the foregoing, dripping speculations masquerading as facts, rumors, gossips and deliberate misrepresentation of facts written, —all are water on ducks back. Because when you know what you've done, who you are, what you've proven, where you're going, and importantly, where you've been (endless blood, sweat, tears and all), all it takes is a smile.
但 要 凡 事 察 验 ， 善 美 的 要 持 守 the Chinese Bible says, translated as: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (I Thessalonians 5:21). Who needs semantics, pretense, fickle and popularity-obsessed companionship. And what did George Washington say on the latter anyway?
Let's leave that to the curious mind. But "eventually everything connects - people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se", says Charles Eames. And for that reason, even in conversations with strangers on trains and public transport, conversations with people whose stories and identities others have attempted hijacking or slandering, I've been driving home the theme: the phrase Identify High Quality People and Shun Small-mindedness alone is self-explanatory. And as Maya Angelou instructs: when you know better, you do better.
So Lilian, wherever you are, smile with me. And God Bless!
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Current Top 20 Most Influential in my Development
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The 'Modus Vivendi' Series
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