Blog of Sara Jakša

My Dream About Afterlife

This was one of my dreams, that I just seems to remember for months, usually for years. I have dreams like that sometimes, and I realized, that they usually happen, when my subconsciousness realized something and it needed to tell me.

The dream started with my being death. In this dream world, when people die, they are able to stay temporary with the living, to be able to bring closure to everyone. After that, all dead people or ghosts or whatever we were, are to make their way to the cave.

I didn't have a lot to take care of. But as I came closer to the cave, as I came in the patch of land in front of it, I become scared. I wanted some more time.

But the more time that I spent there, the less scared I was and the more I wanted to go to that cave.

But my mother wanted to keep me there. She found all different reasons for keeping me there. But then, when my sister realized, that I am ready to go, she tried to convince my mother that it was fine. My dad was there, silent and serious, giving the support to all of us.

As I came to the cave, and said goodbyes, I walked into the cave and saw other people disintegrating into the air. There was a dust like feeling, but with more sparkle and bigger parts. Also reminded me of the stars and the balloons, that the children play with (the one to use the water and soup and by blowing into them, they become balloons). They were multiple colours, but not really vivid ones.

I entered the centre of the cave and I could feel becoming one with something bigger, reconnecting with the lost part of me, or was I the lost part? I was at peace.

Safety or Privacy?

That is what it usually comes down to. We can have a privacy intrusions and a greater safety, like the ability to outset the terrorist attack. Or we can have our privacy and give the government harder time, to stop attacks like that.

I value the privacy more than my safety, but I can never tell if my opinion is a minority or the majority. I would prefer to have my privacy and not have some government official look over all my life with a couple of keystrokes.

Even if that means, that someday I am going to find my death in some violent attack.

Let's look at the statistic. The most common killer in the western world is not even human. They are illnesses like heart disease, obesity, and similar side effects of what is considered the normal life style in the western world.

Only in USA, the number of people dying from texting while driving is twice the amount than the number of people dying in 9/11. And that is still considered one of the biggest terrorist attacks. Hell, hippos kill almost as many people in Africa each year, than the number of people dying in 9/11.

So even if the government stops every single terrorist attack that can happen, that still won't lower the amount of total deaths in the world. No matter how good the computers get in predicting and how much information they gather, we are still far away from preventing every death.

There are going to be at least decades, before we are that good, to be able to predict accidents. And I doubt that there is a way of preventing people stupidity, without brainwashing them.

So no matter how much information does the government gather, they will not make our life really that much safer. But it can increase the feeling of being safer, and some people might value that. I just do not know, if pulling the wool over the eyes of the people is really such a good idea.

The Governments can Spy on Foreign People but Not on Their Own Citizens – My System

Maybe I have just read about it too many times, but a few times I came across an opinion, that it is all right, for the government to spy on the people in the foreign countries but not on the people in their own country.

So if that is the biggest problem they have with government listening on them, then I have a preposition for them.

My system will enable governments to be able to get all the information they need, with no spying on the citizens of their own country.

In the first step, every country on the world stops spying on their own citizens and discontinue any program relevant to that.

In order for the governments and their secret services to make sure, they still have a relevant information, there is going to be an information market put in place. Since the governments can not spy on their own people, but foreign governments can, they are able to trade relevant information.

China can sell the North Korea the information about Koreans in exchange for information about the Chinese. The North Korea can sell the USA the information about Americans in exchange for USA agreeing to their space exploration mission.

That will make the governments a lot less likely to have the information on their own citizens, because the information would need to be paid for. But at least they will not be able to spy on you, right?

Why School Are Not A Good Place To Teach Cultural Awareness?

There seems to be a trend recently. More and more am I hearing about the "cultural awareness" and how are we to try to understand people different from us and be friends with them.

While the concept is plausible in theory, the ways how schools decided to tackle this particular topic is a problem.

There was an article about some school in Finland, in a neighbourhood, where a lot of immigrants with their families. The native Finish people were afraid to walk alone, because they could be attacked. And if the attack happened in school, the principal told them, to not hit back. They are immigrants in the country, so we should be considerate with them.

I do not know about you, but I can not see myself be considerate to somebody that attacked me. I would make sure, that he or she would remember for next time, why this was not such a good idea.

But this article reminded me of my school. We would get in trouble for doing something, while the people not from our country would get a pass. They are immigrants so we have to be considerate. I was not a person, that would be intimidated easily, so I was involved in a lot of fights, when they would verbally of physically attacked me. But I was always the one, to get the lecture.

They could get away with stealing, attacking and peeing on the walls. But only if our parents didn't come from our country. We, the 'natives', are supposed to be the normal ones, and we can't do things like that.

When my sister was is school, one of them brought the real gun to school. The principal asked the students, if there is a possibility, that it would not get reported to the police. They did not want to be known as school, where they discriminate against the different people.

Well, the Slovenian language teacher was more sensible, and she did call the police.

Or when there was a person in the invalid chair, that demanded the friendship or more like servitude of everybody around her. One day before the test, on of her schoolmates, she never talked to before, did not want to lent her notes, because she wanted to learn from them. She offered, that she would scanned them and sent her the scans. The offer was refused.

The next week, they had a lecture, that they should not bully her and just do what she wants.

I am aware, that most of the different people are not like that. What I am worried about is, that by acting like that, we are sending them a message, that they will be forgiven, no matter what they do. That is the thing, that worries me the most.

How Easy Do You Find Social Conventions?

I always had problems with social conventions. The rules, that everybody seems to know instinctively and did not need much of instructions. Others always knew, how to react in most situations, when I was usually lost.

I was lucky to have parents, that would explain most of the social rules, as they realized, that I am going against them. They never assumed that I would know them by myself, and I am grateful for that.

But they were not be able to be there every single time.

I remember the time in the fourth grade, when somebody from the nearby school started to spread rumours about me. Not only did I not know, how to react, but I was surprised that my whole class practically turned against me, and believed the rumours.

I asked years later, why was that. They told me, that the students were not supposed to get that well with the teachers and so I was singled out. It was the first time somebody told me, that there is a difference between students and teachers. Apparently the people just know, to treat the two groups separately.

I continued to high school, and after a couple of months I was told, that apparently I have to learn the names of every classmates, even if I do not speak with some of them at all. I am not allowed to cry in the middle of the lesson (really, nobody gave a good explanation for that one). I have to stop with presentation, if the blood starts falling from my nose (like I can't speak with the handkerchief on my nose) and apparently not making small talk every break makes me a scary person.

No, I did not know how to make small talk back then, and I do not now. I mean, there are so many subject, that are not allowed in small talk, and the discouragement from debates, not to mention, apparently a person is not allowed to say he or she is bored. They are supposed to politely redirect the conversation or excuse themselves. Does anybody every mention, how to do that? No.

I think that was mostly the reason, why I had social anxiety for years. People are just so unpredictable and illogical, and they expect you to know their rules without saying them.

Through some trial and error, making hypothesis and doing experiments, I managed to get the basics down. I can not successfully play the 'normal' human. But they are not a lot more understandable to me, than they were back there.

Book Review – Pardu Ponnapalli: Just a Bunch of Crazy Ideas

The title says it all. Just a bunch of crazy ideas. From space elevator, to the new ways of playing chess, to making sure, that the apartment does not smell of cat's shit or experiment in trying low-calorie diet.

He tries to give evidence of the possibility for each idea. Not every time did he convince me, but I do not think that the point of the book was in specific idea.

Not, what I took from the book was the new wind in coming up with the crazy ideas. The whole presentation of the ideas in various field make me feel, like maybe I can come up with something smart as well.

It is a good book, and a light reading. The ideas are short, and they are not connected, so the reader can just read the ones, he or she is interested in. good for the summer light reading.

Book Review – Amber Elmore: Betsy Beansprout Adventure Guide

The book inside was just like the title told me. It was the guide, meant for children. Do keep to the roads. Do not play with bears. And many similar warning, meant for the kids.

There was nothing really wrong with the book, it is just not something, that the adult can enjoy.

Not that the writing style was not cute and well written. And no complains about the art. That was one of the parts that I really liked.

But there was no content. No story, that I expected. I read to the last page, hoping it will get better. It didn't.

That is really a book for the children, and they would probably enjoyed it. But I would recommend the adults to stay away from it. It is not enjoyable reading at all.

Bizarre Deaths – The Culprit is the Vending Machine

Apparently, around 10-15 people per year die, from having the vending machines topple over them. They die by being squished with all the mass of the vending machine. They are heavy enough to do it.

But I can not imagine, how can that happen. The vending machines tend to be so heavy, that moving them in any way is hard. So why would they spontaneously decide, that they want to kill the person standing in front of them?

I mean, they must be bored, standing on the same place day after day and wait, so that when any human decides to want something from it, it can serve them. Be it food, drink, magazine, videos, cigarettes or tangerine.

I always thought, that in the companies that make vending machines make sure, that the machines are made, so they are as safe and trouble-free as possible. But considering how many times people complain about the missing order...

It could be, that it was assassination. Or a planed murder. After all, who would have thought to murder somebody with a vending machine. It is unpractical. But with the AI advances, maybe one day, the vending machines really will start to kill us.

Are We Important?

If we look at the Earth from the outer space, such as the nearest star, that is not our sun, we can really have the feeling, that we are that important. Even looking down the earth from the moon probably makes people realize, that they are just the tiniest peace in the universe.

But each person is a main character in their own book of like. Some of us are heroes, some of us are anti-heroes. There are some villains and some drama queens, that while all the time.

Some books are tiny, making every world written in it count. Some of the book are full of suspense, making them for the real page turner. Some of them only apply to the certain type of person. Some make us know better ourselves. Some make us feel. Some are ahead of their time. Some are lagging behind.

And every life story is worth telling. Not everybody will like it. Most of the people will probably find it boring. But there are people in this world, that need you words, your voice. The ideas in the books exactly what they need at that moment.

So yes, to the people around you, who got to know the story inside of you and to the people waiting for your story to came to them, you are important.

Because just helping to improve one life, you help improve the life of every person, that original person helped, but would not otherwise. And all the people, that were helped by them and so on.

So, live your story, so it might help somebody else. After all, every hero needs people, that he or she can safe.

Why Do We Still Have Timetables in School?

Schools were created to pass the knowledge to a selective few, that did not need to work for a living all day.

Then the school system expended, as to include everybody and teach everybody the basic arithmetic and reading. So they would be able to use the written knowledge, like the magazines, and improve their work.

The industrial revolution came, and the people started to work in a factories, instead of a small shops. Based on the unemployment, the schooling time got longer and longer.

But none of these reasons really apply to the situation these days. Sure, we still need to teach the people to read and write and basic arithmetic. We can archive that in two years, even for the slow students.

After they learn these basic skills, why do we still insist for them to be trained for the factory work? Because, let be honest here, the timetables teaches order and obedience, and the number of years of required studying is the reflection of the unemployment rates in the past.

What if instead, we give the students, our kids, the ability to learn whatever they want. To improve the skills, that they find interesting. To do projects, that they have curiosity for. Because the children do not need passion, only curiosity and they will start and learn a lot.

While logistically a harder project, I think that in this case the pros outweighs the cons. People will end up more willing to learn new things, they will know how to learn new skills and they will have better organizational skills.

Or am I missing something?