Monday, April 26, 2010

News, Volcanoes, Time and The Mayan Calendar

The first of the posts that have been pending for a while:

Now that the wedding preparations have got to a point where things are either progressing without my supervision or are waiting for me to continue organizing them when we've got the permission, I have more time for other things.

Job hunting is going well, relatively, though I guess I'm rather picky. But I really don't want to be doing something stupefying. So that's going to be alright as well.

I've started a new blog on Motivated Learning, where I'll be discussing issues related to language learning, from various aspects. Currently I'm designing content for learners, because a lot is available on the subject for teachers and researchers. More is to come soon.

Well, almost a week after all the craze started, flights are taking off again. It's really shocking what such a relatively small eruption can do. It was no catastrophe like the ones we're sadly used to, landslides and tsunamis or eruptions that demolish cities. It was just a smallish amount of ash, scattered over Europe by the winds. Funny we still depend on those...

It all got me started. I'm not the sentimental type that likes to think of trees and volcanoes as having their own will. Nor do I think that it's the Icelandic economy that decided to strike. But nonetheless it made me think and become a little philosophic about the times we live in. It wasn't until recently that I became familiar with the concept of the Mayan Calendar, and although I do believe that much of the information on it is still about free interpretation of the calendar, I am quite intrigued by the general idea.

I could put it down to many factors and causes but I doe have the feeling that time is somehow getting... faster. Of course one possible explanation is that, as with globalization and technical development the construct of place and distance has changed considerably, it has led to changes in our perception of time as well. For a long time in history, people's immediate environment, the distances they crossed regularly, could be considered quite limited, whereas the world, their concept of the universe, was totally infinite. Now it's the reverse. We have a relatively clear picture of the universe, it's not so mystical anymore. We can travel the world in a very short time, so our possibilities seem much more limited. So this opening up of space is actually a limitation as well, because it sets limits to our fantasies and possibilities. And thus, as getting from London to Chicago is only a matter of hours, not months or years any more, the same space can be traveled faster than ever. And thus more things can be and are done in a day. And we have the impression that while we spend an hour reading a book or cooking, or whatever, the world runs on and we can hardly keep track. So it is all getting faster and there's no denying it. And it raies the question how fast it can actually get.

I'm not really the philosophy-loving kind of person who believes the doom is near. I'm just merely curious, and like understanding things. So when I hear of a new idea that actually makes sense and explains things that cannot otherwise be explained, I like to get familiar with it, understand its reasoning. It broadens one's perspective. ;) Anyway, I guess there'll be more posts like this, as the world is getting more and more understood, while giving us more and more riddles in the process. Life's all about controversies.

Thank you for reading, have an awesome week! ;)

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