Friday, August 22, 2014

Do unto others as you would have them do to you

Do unto others as you would have them to do you is a maxim we have all heard. It is a model of good behavior. It predicated on the idea that everyone wants good for themselves.

Unfortunately, not everyone lives by this maxim. They simply don't not know how to put themselves in the other person's shoes.

Some time back, this saying struck me. It suddenly resonated with me and I resolved to live by it. For me, It means not laughing at the other guys poor english because my french probably sounds funny to a french man ( I still find Papilo and Ikpeba funny oo) . It means appreciating people because I want to be appreciated too. I means judging people by the same standards I use to judge myself. ( Errm.. I hear we aren't supposed to judge but don't we all?)

Following this rule has also revealed things about myself. I don't like people who promote themselves even when it is necessary or appropriate. I expect people to be rational. I can be naive, assume the best of other people and wait for glaring evidence before I change my mind ( thats actually good).

I wish everyone would follow this rule. Imagine a world where everyone did what they wouldn't like to the other person. Horrible, innit?

Friday, August 15, 2014


  1. 1.
    travel through (an unfamiliar area) in order to learn about it.
    "he explored the Fontainebleau forest"
    synonyms:travel over, tourtraverse, range over; More
  2. 2.
    inquire into or discuss (a subject) in detail.
    "he sets out to explore fundamental questions"

Exploring means to venture from the known to the unknown.

I have always been introverted and that has always meant being conservative. I am okay being alone. I would rather stay indoors playing some instrument or drawing than play football with my mates. I didn't see the need to venture out, to explore.

Of recent though, I hve been more open to new experiences, to meeting new people, to discovering the world out there. It has been eye-opening for me. I have discovered new things.

Looking back my lack of adventure had to do with irrational fear. A fear of embarrassing myself, a fear of failure. It had it roots in being too comfortable in my comfort zone.

But exploring is essential. If you want to grow, to mature you cant do without exploring. There is a lot to learn when you expose yourself to other ideas and cultures. Explore today!

Friday, August 8, 2014

How to Argue

At some point in our lives, we have had to argue. Be it "Cristiano Ronaldo is better than Messi", "Buhari is better than Jonathan "Red is better than Blue" or "Israel is right on Gaza" . Some arguments are subjective ; each person positing their opinions with the aim to convince the other party. Others take a more serious dimension; they are  more than just opinions they are 'provable' provided you can agree on some initial premises and the rest follows by applying logic. These types of argument require a more rigorous approach.
        When arguing your approach and your rules of logic matters.Your approach helps you remain friends with your 'adversary' and the rules of logic help you 'win' the argument.( by win, I mean convince the other person). Sometimes they just state your point. But how do you approach arguments?

How to approach arguments
You need to approach arguments with the mindset that your opponent is intelligent but misguided. Smart but needs to see it from your angle. That you just need to open his/her eyes and all else follows. That you can be wrong. That perhaps you aren't seeing his point of view.
You shouldn't approach arguments with a mentality that "I am smart, you are stupid let me prove you wrong" . Even  if you are right(or think you are), you need to understand what the other person is saying.That is critical. Consider this story: Blind Men and Elephant. Sometimes you aren't in disagreement you are just arguing about six and half a dozen.

Who do you see? An Old/Young Woman

Logical Fallacies
There is quite a list of logical fallacies. There are mainly divided into formal fallacies and informal fallacies.
Quoting Wikipedia ( yeah, I know some people's reservations about Wikipedia but it is a pretty good source)
"In philosophy, a formal fallacy is a pattern of reasoning that is always wrong. This is due to a flaw in the logical structure of the argument which renders the argument invalid. A formal fallacy is contrasted with an informal fallacy, which may have a valid logical form and yet be unsound because one or more premises are false."

Here is a list of some common ones.
Ad Hominem
Red Herring
Weak Analogy
Straw Man
False Dilemma

Arguments don't have to be a wasteful activity if approached in the right manner. You can discover errors in your reason or get exposed to a different perspective. You can learn if you are willing to. Being wrong doesn't make you stupid, refusing to concede when wrong, just might....

Check out Lynda's post on the blame game here

Got you interested in Arguments? Check the links below
Formal Fallacy
Informal Fallacy
Argumentation Theory
Robust link on fallacies: Logical Fallacies

Friday, August 1, 2014

We should all be Geeks

What comes to your mind when you hear geek? this...

Me, Geek?
As far as I can remember, I have always been a geek aka efiko. Someone even went as far as to coin the term. Omo la fe, Iwe labi. LOL! But it was simply me. but the perception of a geek isn't all about brain power. The term has negative stereotypes. Geeks are loners, socially awkward and notice something in this google search?

... the glasses. Is a geek complete without the glasses?
I guess I fit into some of these stereotypes

Geek? Not Bad
Not all geeks conform to this stereotype. There are geeks who are extroverted, have perfect sight and aren't technology specialist. There are History geeks, Sports geeks, Harry Potter Geeks and Maths geeks. There are so many types of geeks and it is good!

The thing all geeks have in common isn't the glasses as the Google search might make you believe, it is an intense Curiosity, a desire to know more, a quest for knowledge,  an obsession even.

We need more geeks, we need more people interested in knowledge because of a deep fascination with the subject. To be a geek is to read Einstein's biography and not just his physics. It is to read math history and not just maths, it is to ask questions like why zero? What do complex numbers mean? What date was Cristiano Ronaldo's son was born? It is to know sport trivia like who was the first person to score in Old trafford. Or in my case find out the meaning of geek. 

We should all have an area that is our domain, where we are king. Be a geek today

Did you know there is a geek code?
Geek Code

You might want to check this too on the subject.
Geek Test

Lynda's post is here

"Steve Wozniak" by Photo taken by Al Luckow - Homepage of Steve Wozniak. Via Wikimedia Commons -

Friday, July 25, 2014

Why Write?

For years, Essay writing was a (maybe still is) dreaded activity for me.
I remember it was the one activity where the teacher would tell you that you can't get more than half the score NO MATTER what you do. The focus was on "minus half-marks for every grammatical error"and not on the overall feel of your writing or the ideas you have. We would write about totally irrelevant and uninteresting topics like "A letter to your Uncle explaining why you won't come for Christmas" or some other inane topic like that. Sigh. Spoil-sports. They made me dread writing, it was something one failed even before one began. That's how my writing began...or didn't.

But it had to begin.

I have a lot of stuff going on in my head ( I have a compulsive sharing disorder, don't believe me? check my facebook :) ) There are ideas, thoughts and concepts that need to be put down. I need to write to express myself and it is no LONGER an option. It is a vital skill that I need to learn and is valuable in all FIELDs of life. I have to be able to express my thoughts.

For me, writing is an aid to thinking. ( I do that a lot :) ). It is a way to put in concrete terms what is in my head and see how the parts fit together , if they do at all. It is means of sharing what I have learnt and testing if I actually remember at all or understand, hours after reading it.

I am going to be writing again. I have a deal with Lynda,  we are to write something by Friday every week. I hope I can keep up :) and that you will too. Keep reading and don't forget to write

You all should check out these articles on writing that have inspired me and I absolutely recommend.
Fareed Zakaria Commencement Addres
Everyone should write a book
5 unconventional ways to be a better writer
and check out
Jeff Goins
and you need inspiration to write?
Writer Files Jeff Goins
Want to write a book?
Tips for writing a book

Monday, May 27, 2013


Is Zero a number?
Not many people realize that zero is not a trivial concept. It took a long time for people to accept it as a number, because it was hard to imagine. What are zero oranges? zero naira? Can you picture it? be continued.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Man vs. Machine

 I just checked for computer vision and I got to know that it is still an active area of research. It is still one of those areas where man exceeds machine in performance. It makes me think that I have been underestimating how powerful the human brain is. We understand speech, can recognize images, think creatively and control our muscles.These are really complex processes and still our brains perform quite adequately.