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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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A limited perception creates a limited reality and its consequences

Paraphrasing Ortega y Gasset, we could say “I am I and my consequences,” that is, those consequences, frequently unknown and unrecognized, of living in a limited reality created by our own limiting thoughts. Even worse, we assume that’s the whole reality and then we want everything and everybody to …

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Machines can read our minds, but we can’t read their minds

In 1928, Carl Jung, quoting Heraclitus, wrote that we, humans, are running into the opposite direction we should or could go. My small mind prevents me to understand the ideas of those two great thinkers, but that doesn’t mean I can feel the truth in what they are saying. I can’t express it, but I f…

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“You shouldn’t generalize and everybody in the world knows that”

Years ago, my uncle told me, “I told you a million times not to exaggerate.” It was, of course, a joke based in the obvious self-contradiction of the thought expressed in that statement. But it is not a joke the increasing number of people using similar expressions and fully unaware of the self-cont…

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The undeniable problem of our anxious, distracted, and empty minds

There should be no doubts that we live at a time when our prehistorical brain can hardly handle the multiple and unexpected challenges we now face and that we were not designed to face. We were designed to light a fire inside a cave, not to save a techno-globalized, overpopulated planet from self-de…

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What does it mean to live in a post-planet era?

I have a limited understanding of what it means to live in a post-truth era, that is, at a time when we only pay attention to our own ideas and never analyze them. And I also have some understanding of what it means to live in a post-democracy world (many examples around us.) But, what does it mean …

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Sometimes, the universe hears our thoughts

A few days ago, a good friend of mine invited me to have lunch with him because he wanted to share information about the important progress he was making in a community-oriented project he began decades ago. I immediately accepted the invitation, but I didn’t like the restaurant he selected, because…

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In this life, we are all just beginners

I recently enrolled in an online course because I liked the key question of the course: If you are so intelligent, why aren’t you happy? I decided to jump right away into the first video, but there was a problem: no audio. The professor was clearly speaking, but I couldn’t hear a word. I was frustra…

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What should we do when our own leaders become our worst enemies?

I recently met by chance with a local community leader recognized for his many years of working supposedly “for the benefit” of the local community. I said “supposedly” because, according to this person, we (our community) deserves to live in poverty and ignorance. Hence, the question of the title: …

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It’s not me: it’s the old virus infecting my brain (and yours)

Francisco Miraval

Some time ago, when I was given the opportunity of teaching philosophy, I asked my students to tell me what the did the day before the class, and then two days before, and we kept going until we found a day where nobody in the room remembered what we did on that day. We have rea…

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What should we talk about when we are told “not to talk about that”?

I was recently invited to talk to a group of community leaders and I decided to talk about one of the topics that I have been studying for many years: the emerging future. The presentation and the dialogue went well, even when of the participants said, “We shouldn’t be talking about that”.

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There is no room for experts in a narcissistic society (and that’s dangerous)

Francisco Miraval

Several years ago, when my son was still in high school, one day he returned home with a very low grade in his Spanish test, a language that represents no problems for him and that it is also my native tongue. Intrigued and upset, I asked him to show me the test. I saw it and I wa…

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El narcisismo colectivo acabó con los expertos (y eso es peligroso)

Francisco Miraval

Hace ya varios años, cuando mi hijo aún estaba en la escuela secundaria, un día él regresó a la casa con una calificación muy baja en su examen de español, un idioma que, además de ser mi idioma natal, él domina sin problemas. Intrigado y algo enojado, le pedí revisar el examen y …

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Individual and collective immaturity prevent us from solving our problems

Francisco Miraval

I have been observing people and myself for many years and I honestly believe there are to main reasons why we, humans, face the problems and challenges we face: either we are not living the life we have been called to live according to our talents and passion, or we never assume o…

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La inmadurez individual y colectiva acrecienta las dificultades para resolver problemas

Francisco Miraval

Tras años de observación y autoobservación, honestamente creo que en muchas ocasiones los seres humanos enfrentamos problemas por una de dos razones básicas: o vivimos una vida que no se basa en nuestros sueños, talentos y llamado, o no asumimos la responsabilidad que nos correspon…

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20 Blog Posts