Writing with pen is the first skill you learn in school. It is also one of the most important skills you learn in life, because writing enables you to record your thoughts and send them to another human. Your thought may effect a person that is thousands of kilometres away, and even hundreds years in the future. Recording thoughts is the most powerful technology our civilization ever created. And without writing, well, there wouldn’t be any human civilization. Writing is here to stay, so we might look at how we can improve it.
Let’s look at one specific mode of writing that people often do. You have a problem that can be expressed as an algebraic expression. For example you are a carpenter and you want to know volume of piece of wood that is 13cm by 13cm by 1m. Or you want to know price of 3kg of bananas if 1kg is for 2.44€. Or you want to know how much money you’ll have in 10 years when you start with 1000€ and 3.5% annual growth. This is basic math that you can do with pen and paper without even using a calculator. However, calculator is equally useful tool as pen and paper because you can think faster by automating the boring parts. Okay, so let’s look at some concrete example of this workflow:
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A Belgian weightlifter says dealing with transgender issues in sport is “impossible” but the presence of Laurel Hubbard in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games is “like a bad joke” to women athletes.
When the qualifying process for Tokyo ends tomorrow Hubbard will be guaranteed a place.
She is the first openly transgender athlete to qualify for the Olympic Games in any sport.
Until now, none of Hubbard’s rivals has spoken on the controversial rules that appear to give the New Zealander a huge and, to many, unfair advantage.
Athletes from the United States and Britain are potentially adversely affected but, understandably, they and their National Federations have shown no desire to comment on the controversy.
Anna Vanbellinghen of Belgium has broken the athletes’ silence with a considered statement on Hubbard’s achievement.
Vanbellinghen has a chance of qualifying in the same weight category, the over-87-kilogram super-heavyweights, and is therefore directly affected by the presence of Hubbard, who transitioned to female at the age of 35.
Others have voiced outrage at Hubbard’s presence in women’s sport, most often on social media, but Vanbellinghen is not making a personal criticism.
On May 1, 1903, an African-American man named Will West entered the United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth. Like any other new prisoner, West was subjected to the standard admission procedure: prison clerks took photographs, a physical description, and eleven anthropometric measurements.
At the height of the events in Poland, just at the time when the trade union Solidarnosc was being outlawed, I received a letter stamped NIE CENZUROWANO. What exactly did these words mean? They were probably supposed to indicate that the country from which it came was free of censorship. But it could also mean that letters not bearing this stamp were censored, a token of the selective nature of this office, which apparently mistrusts certain citizens while trusting others. It could naturally also mean that all letters bearing this stamp actually did pass through the censor’s hand. At any rate, this symbolic and ambiguous stamp gives a profound insight into the nature of censorship, which on the one hand wants to establish its rightfulness, while at the same time attempting to camouflage its very existence. For, while censorship considers itself a historical necessity and an institution destined to defend public order and the ruling political party, it does not like to admit that it is there. It sees itself as a temporary evil, to be applied during a state of war. Censorship, then, is only a transitory measure which will be scrapped as soon as all those people who write letters, books, etc are politically mature and responsible, thus exonerating the State and its representatives from having to act as guardians of their citizens.