When we can’t fit a square peg into a round hole, we’ll usually blame the peg - when sometimes its the rigidity of our thinking that accounts for our failure to accommodate it.

— Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don’t 

Kicking out the Ladder - No More English

Over the past couple of months my Japanese vocabulary has grown considerably, and it has started to become a problem. Although I was able to express myself with new words that I would find utilizing Google Translator, I would often forget how to read or write their respective characters.

To better explain, let’s use one of the most famous Japanese words that you most likely know: Sushi

Sushi, which has the Japanese Hiragana sounding characters of す(Su) & し(shi), is written with the Japanese Characters of 寿司.

                      Sushi - す(su)し(shi)= 寿司

Sushi is rather easy to learn and write, but the characters for other words can become more complex and hard to remember, such as the one for Japanese word Cell Phone - Keitai Denwa - 携帯電話

                 けいた い(keitai)でんわ(denwa)   


As you can see the Sound and Character representation is not one in the same; this is in most cases, not all. In order to remember more Japanese words, I decided to create my own dictionary, with one small caveat. No More English. Instead the dictionary is comprised of the character (word) and matched with the Hiragana sound (I know the entire Hiragana Alphabet). In the future, It will be up to me to build up my memory. This is after all what they call kicking out the ladder.

To seek to explain the history of a country - let alone its future - on the basis of supposedly fixed national characteristics is to succumb to a determinist view of the world. We should challenge some of the assumptions that give rise to such opinions.

— David Pilling, Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival

ミスパイロット(平成25年・2013年)ドラマそれは私の日本人テレビ番組です。今見ます。この番組は1年前です。私は多いの日本人ドラマを見ます、なぜなら、今私は日本語勉強 (一日中毎日)、でも、さらに、日本人ドラマそれは本当に短いです。例えば比較、日本のドラマはアメリカより短いです。これはいいです、これは好きです。これはなぜ私は多い日本ドラマを見ます。ミスパイロット主題の:パイロツト訓練、強いチーム・分隊、と飛行機です。ミスパイロットそれは面白いです、本当に楽しいですと本当に鼓舞ですね。このドラマ大好きです!

(Source: fujitv.co.jp)

I wanted to keep within the realm of data and analytical thinking for my next read, following the completion of Jordan Ellenberg’s How Not To Be Wrong. So I decided to pick up Nate Silver’s critically acclaimed The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don’t. So far, so good, great insight.

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

— Samuel Beckett



Genius is a thing that happens, not a kind of person.

— Jordan Ellenberg, How Not To Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking


(Source: tbs.co.jp)

One of the most painful parts of teaching mathematics is seeing students damaged by the cult of the genius. The genius cult tells students it’s not worth doing mathematics unless you’re the best at mathematics, because those special few are the only ones whose contributions matter. We don’t treat any other subject that way! I’ve never heard a student say, ‘I like Hamlet, but I don’t really belong in AP English - that kid who sits in the front row knows all the plays, and he started reading Shakespeare when he was nine’! Athletes don’t quite their sport just because one of their teammates outshines them. And yet I see promising young mathematicians quit every year, even though they love mathematics, because someone in their range of vision was ‘ahead’ of them.

— Jordan Ellenberg, How Not To Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

Fixed. theme by Andrew McCarthy