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Blog posts : "General"

What can’t we see when we see what we see?

When I was a child, I wanted to learn how to play chess. I didn’t progress beyond the basic moves, but one day I was playing against another child and suddenly several people gathered around the table. I didn’t know why. They were smiling at me. A few minutes later, the mystery of the gathering was …

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Sadness, death emerge among the common thoughts of children and teens

A few days ago, I was exiting a local store when two elementary school students, clearly brother and sister, where walking right there and talking to each other. For a few seconds, I heard their conversation before they just walked away.

“I am sad”, said the boy, probably around 10.

“Is th…

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Whom are you going to believe if you keep lying to yourself?

With his well-known humor, Mark Twain once asked, “Whom are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” That question, with all its hilarity, is not as innocent as it looks because, after all, we see with our brains, not with our eyes.

Anais Nin expressed a similar thought when she said, “W…

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What would happen when robot teachers replace all human teachers?

Robot teachers are not new, but what is new is the growing number of robot teachers replacing human teachers in many countries. Even more interesting, children relate better to robot teachers than to human teachers.

Whatever that may be, experts say in the next 10 to 15 years robot teachers will …

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Should I teach Spanish or should I be a dishwasher at a restaurant?

Somebody recently sent me an ad from a local municipality in the area where I live looking for a Spanish instructor for adults. I do like to teach Spanish to adults, so I decided to take a closer to the ad.

Basically, they were looking for somebody with experience in adult education and specifica…

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Are we already beyond the point of no return of human stupidity?

Sometimes people ask me if I believe in intelligent life on other planets. I always answer by saying that my doubts are not about intelligent life on a distant planet, but about the possibility of intelligent life on this planet. After all, there are plenty of indications everywhere that, collective…

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Will “technological fusion” include or exclude humans?

I would like to ask a simple and direct question: Will we, humans, either now or in the near future, be included or excluded from the law of technological fusion?

I must confess I don’t know if such a law exists. Perhaps it does, but it is known by another name. Whatever the case, it should be ob…

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“Above all, you are human”, said the message. But, really?

“Remember that, above all, you are human”, said the last line of the message somebody sent me a few days ago. Yet, how and why should I remember my own humanness? And if I need to remember my humanness, it means obviously that I have already forgotten it.

The advice included in the message wa…

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If we lose our ability for amazement, we lose our ability to think

I was recently invited to do a presentation about a topic of my interest, the emerging future. After the initial formalities, I focused on Artificial Intelligence and on intelligent robots. The participants reacted with the deepest indifference and silence I have seen in a long time.

I shared wit…

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The world has changed. What are we being transformed into?

There are almost no doubts the world has changed, and we are living in a world different from the one we used to live, and we considered as “normal” and “familiar”. We entered a new epoch and, therefore, we have more questions than certainties. One of those questions is: What are we being transforme…

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Some lessons I wish I could have learned earlier in life

I recently learned a few lessons I wish I could have learned earlier in my life. However, I am grateful these lessons came to me now, so I decided to share them with you hoping you won’t have to wait to later in life, as it was in my case, to learn and implement these lessons.

First, I recently…

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Getting into the cave is easier than getting out

We are all watching the drama in Thailand where an international team of experts works to recue 12 boys and a coach from deep inside a cave. We wish, of course, for all of them to be rescued alive, healthy, and promptly, so they can return to their families and nobody else will get hurt or worst dur…

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The self-deception of living inside our own echo chamber

It has been said you can’t force people to see what they don’t want to see or to hear wat they don’t want to hear. In other words, a closed will also means closed minds and closed hearts. This truth is so old that two millennia ago a wandering preacher urged those with ears to hear.

Closer …

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Who cares if the goddess Cura went for a walk near a river and created humankind?

These are the days when we discuss messages printed in the back of jackets to decide how much we care or don’t care about certain issues. However, the debate about caring or not caring is as old as humankind, specially if we are talking about other people, as it is shown in the old example of a brot…

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The more you expand your past, the more you also expand your future

In the final chapter of his 1932 book about 18th century philosophers, American historian Carl Becker argues (and I agree with him) that the more you expand your consciousness of your own past (both personal and historical), the more you also expand your own future.

Specifically, according to Bec…

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“We are still slaves”, the woman said during the community meeting

I was recently invited to a gathering of community leaders representing different organizations and groups wanting to have a project in common. During the second hour of the meeting and with no warning, one of the participants stood up and said, “We are still slaves!”, surprising all the participant…

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Are you aware of the excuses you use to hide from the new future?

I recently had the privilege of making a presentation about the emerging future to a community group. The presentation was an opportunity to listen again to a long list of excuses we (I include myself in the “we”) use to hide from the new future and to remain hidden inside a past which exists only i…

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Don’t teach me how to spell “banana”, but let’s spell “future” together

I recently went to a well-known supermarket chain to but a certain fruit. Since that was the only thing I bought, I decided not to go to the human cashier (there was a long line) and I went to the automatic payment station. I put the fruit on the scale to weight it and, at that very moment, I was in…

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Should we deny the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial octopi living on earth?

Just a few days ago (May 13, 2018), an international group of more than 30 scientists from different universities published a paper together analyzing the cause of the “Cambrian explosion” an “explosion” of life that happened on earth around 500 million years ago. They conclude the “explosion” proba…

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Which word or idea makes you stumble?

Francisco Miraval

I recently had the good fortune of meeting an educator, now retired, who shared with me anecdotes about his long career. I asked him what “education” meant for him and he immediately said that education is the process of detecting the words that create obstacles for a student an…

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20 Blog Posts