Vincent Cheung

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

I'm feeling philosophical


If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original

-- Sir Ken Robinson

There's this conference, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), where people (such as Al Gore) give varying talks covering a wide array of areas. Many are fascinating and present some intriguing ideas. Some of the videos of the TED talks can now be found on Google video.

The quote above is from a talk about the importance of creativity in education. I'm kinda sad that I stopped doing art. I enjoyed it, I was decent at it, and it provided balance to my life. I've considered starting to sketch again, but haven't been able to get myself to do it.

I've also been thinking about something along these lines for a while now. The idea that people have the potential for many things, but never succeed at these because they don't put their full effort into it or stop entirely because of a fear of failure. I see how that applies to myself in several areas, esp. wrt language. I think it's also relevant to one of my previous posts about regret.

Another interesting talk I watched was one by the father of the life-coaching industry. I first heard about life-coaching when a life coach came to give a talk at U of T earlier this year. I thought both talks were fascinating. The story is basically that you need to decide what you're good at, decide what you want, how to satisfy your needs, and then how to do it. Not just professionally, but emotionally, physically, and spiritually. You need emotion. Passion.

My last little bit of recent philosophical trend has been with Aesop's Fables (link to Google book search, where you can now download books out of copyright for free! I printed it out 4 pages to a side, double-sided and it's only like 30-something pages)

Aesop wrote hundreds of fables, many of which you have undoubtedly heard in one form of another, with morals such as:
  • Look before you leap

  • Slow and steady wins the race

  • Don't cry wolf

There are some really good quotes in these fables and are generally good words to live by:
  • There are many silly people who despise what is precious only because they cannot understand it

  • Skill and patience will succeed where force fails. Necessity is the mother of invention.

  • Every truth has two sides; it is well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either

  • Persuasion is better than force


I've done a lot of reflection this summer and I hope to continue that personal growth through this year.

4 Comments:

Princess Sarah said...

weren't the ted talks always available on the ted site?

i've watched a few...and i realized it's been a long time since i've actually been to a good talk. i went to like no talks since i started grad school (academic or otherwise). dud.

Princess Sarah said...

i have a feeling that an aesop parody is forthcoming (A)

nusraat said...

i think i was most balanced in junior high school. ever since i've never been able to include arts education into my semesters due to lack of slots and i think that's too bad. i completely regret dropping classes like french, home ec and art in high school. but what to do? stay another year? i'm trying to be more artsy nowadays. it usually comes out in home decoration projects.

Vince said...

Ya, same here. Junior high is when you have to take everything. And like you, after Grade 9, there just wasn't much space left after math, sciences, and english, esp. with the AP stuff.

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