Accident on the road

A road in Palestine 5/11/2014.
(Situation: everyone in the bus on our way to Jerusalem and we star slowing down because there is a problem ahead. t turns out it was a car upside down with people inside in the middle of the highway we see everything as we approached it passing slowly on its side. One of the israelis goes outside to help people start calling ambulance)

My thoughts…

How can you help someone from the audience? What can you do?
people ask: who is a paramedic? who is a paramedic?
but it translates into… “who has the skills needed to deal with this situation properly? to change back the course of events…back to where things are suppose to be??

Everyone watches and claims reality. “THis is terrible” ” Oh my God” with surprised/concerned looks.

What else is there to do if you do not posses the required certificationto contribute to the active development of reality? certifictaion I say because we need to know the standard knowledge you have in order to let you lead the quest for restoring the future with present smart and precise actions….
I look at myself and I say… there are to many people affirming the situatiion and giving each other comfort by stating the negative nature of the event.
This time I choose to write.
But I confirm the notion that I have never liked much the role of the commentator/expectator.
I rather number 1. Live it number 2. Analize it, and way off in number 5. comment it. In that order.

Hola, Te gustaria cambiar a Chile?

Metro Los Leones, Santiago de Chile.
me pregunto un caballero alto en medio de la multitud.

Yo le respondi que no casi instantaneamente, mas por el hecho de que un hombre se estaba acercando a mi directamente, que en realidad respondiendo a la pregunta.

No? / Insistio.

No. Le dije ahora mas decidida pero aun intentando entender la pregunta…

Quiero cambiar a Chile?…

mmm…. no, no quiero.

He estado mucho tiempo intentando conocer a Chile. Desde su identidad Cultural folklorica, su historia, cachai? …la punta del iceberg. Tambien he pasado bastante mas tiempo intentando comprender lo que esta bajo la superficie y creeme que todavia falta bastante.

Que pasa si quiero cambiar “algo” con los ojos cerrados? yo tengo una idea en mi cabeza de lo que quiero hacer por ejemplo un sandwish de carne, tomate y lechuga. Pero que pasa si lo que tengo es unas flores, una bombita de agua y cuero en tela? Probablemente me intoxique intentando comer o me hiera a mi misma intentando usar los materiales que no conozco con una venda en los ojos.

Es necesario conocer a algo primero para cambiarlo y para eso hay que tener paciencia porque no somos un objeto inanimado. Somos un pais construido de todo el territorio todas las personas dentro de el.

Y creo que ya estoy haciendo un esfuerzo en cambiar a Chile al cambiarme a mi. Conocerme y mejorarme como practica continua. Le parece que cambiemos Chile asi caballero?

Quizas asi va a tener mas tino en acercarse tan rapidamente a preguntar a gente en la calle o al menos sera mas respetuoso y me hablara sin comida en la boca, porque caballero ud no se saco la papa de la boca en todos los segundos que interactuamos.

Conozcamos a Chile. Le propongo. Y despues decidimos que, porque y como deberiamos cambiarlo.

Te puedo hacer una encuesta?

…me dijo una simpática encuestadora.
Primera vez que digo que si aquí en Santiago. Que emoción. Me encanta que me hagan preguntas jaja

La encuesta era de Adimark “la empresa líder en Chile en Investigación de Mercado y Opinión Pública” como dice su pagina. Hmm….ok. Su identificación parece legitima. Hm…”Maycina”, me dije, “te están dando un chocolate por menos de 10 min de tu tiempo. Te parece bien?!” … sip 🙂
Cuantos años tienes? -me preguntó
“30! :D”- le dije yo con voz de 12
– ahhh espera …( revisando una plantilla con números) si , si me faltan de esa edad. Te ves mucho mas chica. Ven, pasa.
Me estaba invitando a entrar a un fulgon estacionado en la calle ( mi cabeza ya estaba pensando que cosas tenia cerca que podrían ser utilizadas como armas si cerraban la puerta y me secuestraban. A cual de las dos encuestadoras y iba a pegarle primero… pero por ahora todo se veía inofensivo)
La encuesta era acerca de que clase de snacks la gente consumia. Ok.
– Que productos de estos consumes? , me preguntó (habían varios sobre la mesa)
– …Ninguno 🙂
– “Pucha no tengo esa opcion” dijo ella “elige alguno”.
-“…en serio??! No tienes la opcion Ninguno? ” insisti.
– No.
– “…Y que pasa si no como ninguno? Tengo que mentir??!! :O ” le pregunte muerta de la risa”
– “De verdad no comes ninguno?”
– No pu… 😦 … aunque compraba de esos en la U hace mas de 5 años.
– “Ah ok le puedo poner esos entonces?”
-…”mm bueeeno”. Conteste reticente.
Avanzamos.
Muchas preguntas de precios y donde prefería abastecerme de productos. Le complicaba que dijera almacenes de barrio. “Pero que supermercado?”
Llegamos a una pregunta que decía: Cual de estos productos no comprarías nunca? Yo dije Todos. Pero elige uno me dijo con una sonrisa (era muy simpática 🙂 ) ” Hmmm… Papas Lays”
– “Ah es que no puedes elegir ese porque esa empresa nos encargo el estudio.
-“Aaahhh” dije sonriendo pero con cara de parece que voy a tener que revisar la definición de “encuesta” porque no la entiendo
Mire de reojo el formulario y le dije “pero si ahi tienes la opción porque no la pones no mas?” me respondió: “Es que estas ultimas 2 opciones están marcadas como que no las puedo elegir, ves?”
Yo vi el formulario y de hecho tenia dos columnas impresas mas oscuras porque no podía elegir ciertas respuestas en varias preguntas!
Wow.
Yo a estas alturas le iba a decir, sabes no quiero hacer la encuesta porque no estoy considerada en la muestra que buscan, pero decidí quedarme. Igual, no mentí en la entrevista, igual he comido esos snacks alguna vez en mi vida pero claramente estaba diseñado para beneficiar a la empresa en particular.
Las encuestas en este caso están siendo usadas para eventualmente manipular el comportamiento de consumo en vez de medir que clases de snacks come la población.
Debería haberme preguntado al principio si comía esos snacks o no y si la respuesta era negativa que lo anotara y que me dejara ir con mi chocolate jaja. Respuestas parecidas a la mía se pueden fácilmente medir como valor atípico y ningún drama. La idea es que el instrumento de evaluación considere todo tipo de población.

Cuando salgan los resultados de la empresa se dirá que en Chile todos comen snacks de esta empresa. La gente lo cree y comprara mas snacks de esa empresa. Y el ciclo de addicciones continua. Lo peor es que es un ciclo de addicciones del cual la gente no disfruta los resultados. Disfrutan las hormonas secretadas en los primeros minutos pero las enfermedades, la somnoliencia, la falta de energía, etc. No la disfrutan.

En fin, este post solo era para recordar lo molesto que es cuando se tergiversa la realidad con objetivos egoístas. Esto es en todo ámbito de cosas. La gente busca ganar por ganar en la vida y no mejorarla. Es una actitud tan profundamente ignorante que es necesario seguir tomando notas de estas situaciones y tomar tiempo para meditar en ellas cada vez que sean divisadas.

Una historia casi navideña

Les cuento una pequeña historia casi navideña?
Ayer 25 en la mañana mientras caminábamos a la casa de mi abuelita, veíamos con mi father a niñitos jugando con sus juguetes nuevos. Una familia viene caminando hacia nosotros y el hijito de unos 5 años trae una metralleta de juguete en la mano. Mis ojos inevitablemente se detienen en esto porque me recuerda de inmediato la inseguridad que sentí en Jerusalem viajando en trenes, caminando por calles viendo adolescentes con metralletas en todas partes (el servicio militar es obligatorio para todos hombres y mujeres al salir del liceo) y se me revolvió un poco la guata por la fuerte cultura de guerra que hay en esas tierras. Es una mezcla perfecta de miedo profundo,admiración, ira, honor y patriotismo. A los niñitos les regalaban tours a los garages militares en el kibbutz donde vivía y les enseñaban a reverenciar a la gente de uniforme; a aspirar a ser así de valientes… y eso me revuelve la guata.
Otra persona murio ayer mismo sin razón alguna (hay hope? http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidadesnik/2014/07/24/there-is-no-hope-for-peace-in-gaza/#b2beee5cf923) y siendo oprimidos múltiples veces cada día gracias a la religión. Al culto a la guerra y al patriotismo. El culto a las armas, a la avaricia. A la grosera ignorancia y abierta malicia. (Es interesante verlo a diario cómodamente tomando un tecito de bergamota desde mi casa…)

Paso el niñito caminando con su familia y yo me di vuelta a mirarlo… No creo que la solución sea no regalarle armas de juguete a los niños pero…quizas ser mas abiertos en los diferentes usos de una cierta arma, utensilio, instrumento, herramienta? explicar con paciencia? responder con consciencia y atención cuando se pregunta los origenes o las consecuencias?…
por ahi entremedio debe andar la solución…
quizás demande saber un poco mas, quizas requiera decir “no se…busquemos la respuesta!”, quizás sea una perdida de tiempo…
o quizas es exactamente lo que un niñito necesita. Un regalo navideño de calidad; en experiencia, en transformación de entendimiento y de sus consecuentes acciones.

Igniting fire

(This is a little post for me to remember how igniting fire feels like)

I am in a Social Training School of the Chilean government, which was organized by a christhian NGO in Chile for leaders and volunteers of social organizations. This is the first time this event happens. There are more than a 150 people from different cities of Chile from different denominations of churches. They work directly with communities of drogadicts, sexually abused kids, in slums, jails and with the families surrounding them, etc.

I’m a speaker here.
Only because I have been exposed to information that is “innovative” “disruptive” and “validated” by important institutions. These institutions are usually respected by other organizations with finantial resources. To share this information can be relevant.
I am also sharing because I have used these methods many times in projects so I have gained confidence in knowing what I tend to do wrong and right. This confidence made me be active in showing my interest in sharing too.

So I am here, sharing.

The workshop I am giving is in Human centered design and Crowdfunding and it has 2 objectives: 1. To describe and exemplify these concepts and 2. To explain why it is relevant for them to know.

I made a parallel between John 13:3 (Jesus washing his disciples feet) and the mindset of a designer. I personally love this verse of the Bible. It says: “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God,…” (took everything he needed to wash his disciples’ feet…paraphrasis by May) It shows Jesus as someone who knew who he was and where he was going. That awareness enriched his actions even when those actions were common, simple, rutinary and even disgusting. This particular simple action was enriched by the knowledge he had about his identity. (At this point my mind conveniently brings up other leaders in history that have had this “awareness” which in change made them do all sorts of atrocities. -Thank you mind- Yes, I’m talking about this awareness but directed towards a common good, which is also tricky to define…I will leave this topic for another post and continue with what I originally had in mind for this post.(y) )
Jesus, in this situation, assessed the past and acted in the present by considering the future and his objectives. Just as a designer. They actively construct in the future. For that, they need to know what they have in their hands so that they can do what it is needed, according to their plan.

People related. After the workshop, a women who works with deaf people hugged me saying: “Thank you so much for your talk, I feel my eyes have been oppened like this..” (opening her hands slowly).
Wow. Right there. That feeling. That is how igniting fire feels like.
20151107_155953
You don’t know what it’s going on people’s heads, what is going to make sense but sometimes you say or do something that just starts a kind of fire that you hope continues. That makes them feel motivated, passionated. I love that. However you should know which kind of fires you want to incite and which ones you want to douse at what time. Because not all fires are good at all times.
I personally like the constructive kind of fires, the people and organizations that act like “anabolic agents” in this organism of society, but you know… for metabolism to happen it needs “catabolic agents” as well. You need to break down some things to release enough energy to build up the things that make up your body.
Microsoft Word - Soranzo_text_with_comments.docx

So some questions running through my mind at this point are: how can we improve our perception of destructive forces? how can we modify what is modifiable in us to create a balance that we are content with in a personal and group level? is it possible?
I believe in my case, I have chosen to “destroy myself” in some ways in order to give energy to others by catabolizing my wishes, I mean, curating the ways I feel pleasure for example. This, in change, also gives me pleasure at the end, which I find funny. 🙂

The more stories of resilience and renewed motivation in people I know, the more I’m in love with discovering and igniting these fires that exist in people to do good. To genuinely serve others. Not everyone is like this, but those are my favorite kind of people 🙂
It is wonderful to connect these fires, these people who are more interested in the practical application of their altruistic beliefs than actually being perceived as being “right”. More than words, actions.
I love how altruism has ways to cause us such pleasure that can become a source of addiction. If I have to have an addiction in my life, I definitely want to keep choosing this addiction for myself.
To altruistically ignite fire in me and others to maintain balance, but more that that, to improve the organism in its entirety.

Making dead art & my Love/Hate relationship with libraries

I get anxious when I go to a library to read without a book in mind.
There are so many brains that can be discovered in the loneliness of another. So many thought processes that can be deciphered in the silence and attention of another’s thoughts.
It is such an intimate thing to read. To take time to be seduced by the perception of another human. “Ok, tell me your story”- you say- “I will give you my time now…” You listen but also collaborate with the author to broadcast his visions in your head, with the resources that you have inside your mind, so when she or he says:”…the dog barked repeatedly at the sound of the siren so Alex had to get up and hug him tightly to calm him down and prevent the zombies to find them”. You pick in your imagination one dog you have seen before or you construct a new one with bits and parts of different dogs but probably it is not the dog that the author was imagining. It was a dog. Which kind of dog?… A brand new one that you created. The author tricked you into sculpting this awesome thing in your head and so you are left there energized and grateful for the time spent together, dreaming these incredible landscapes and situations and emotions together. Then you wake up…and… wait, was this real?
You fell in love with someone who was so gentle in showing you his world in your mind but who is dead in this reality. What? …this person was perfect for me in an imaginary land! Oh well, You missed each other just for a hundred years or just a thousand miles. We almost met! Almost! Sigh… what a pity…
I have felt the urge to write a book, I am writing two actually, but I don’t want to publish them. (Should I?…I don’t know yet) I don’t want to put my energy into secretly pouring my thoughts into a book. No. Many have done this already and I already know it is a magical thing. There are millions of genius brains waiting to be carefully dissected. Should my brain be another one?
What about all the people who use other languages besides the written word? or who cannot read? or that the written word is not as engaging in their realities? Their lives matter too. They are valid. Usually they are the ones being left behind, usually the ones being oppressed by other “more educated” humans. I dislike this.
1174812_10153073811545478_48291477_nTherefore, I have decided to express my art in other ways. Look for other forms. Be versatile Maycita. As long as a piece of art has mistery it is alive, so I want my art dead. I want it to be as transparent and as vulnerable as I can. As understandable as I can make it, to die my art in my lifetime, not live it. This way no one will ever fall in love with me in a thousand years. I want to fall in love with me now. With my motives now.

I’m fascinated about discovering me in the world and the world in me. I want to love deeply in the moments that people need strength to go on. Make art now. Be present and ready now. The most important thing I have learnt in my travels and interactions with people is how insignificant I am and yet how much I can mean in a moment.
The attention of people is a spotlight where you have to perform and you better have your stuff together to give a good show. A beneficial one. An educational one. An energizing one. I hope.
I can’t imagine to invest in anything greater than the moments of life. To deconstruct myself to feed the fire of others.
Let’s keep trying to do this. Let’s be an open and loud diary. Let’s make dead art today.

Fighting intellectual obesity

(Thoughts while on the PIA summit in Kumasi, Ghana https://impact-alliance.mit.edu/activities/co-design-summits)

“This program was born out of my frustration with academia” says Amy Smith the founder of D-lab and senior lecturer at MIT.
It is surely a frustration to have great people with great knowledge, remarkable gatherings of genius minds, without practical application of their insights or ideas in relevant situations. This is a common situation that many, I dare to say, in higher education settings, can relate to.
“We want to create more prototypes instead of more papers”. Amy continues and I’m hooked. Yes, the D-lab program at MIT promotes this “urgency of doing” that Leonardo Da Vinci so famously spoke of and lived.

❤ “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do”. Leonardo Da Vinci. ❤

As members of the Practical Impact Alliance, organizations participate in unique activities designed to foster practical innovation, collaborative action, and shared learning. Basically…this network wants to enable us “to do”. “Being willing is not enough” Leo says.

PIA’s activities are conceived to be hands-on and action-focused to discover – or build – solutions to real-world challenges both inside and outside their organizations. These activities and methods are a remedy to the concept I often use to refer to this complex phenomenon (or disease): “intellectual obesity”.
This is how I personally understand the energy cycle in human beings that occur when you learn information but don’t use it properly. You get a disease that is similar to physical obesity. It limits or prevents you to move.
*** I understand that there are different causes for obesity but I am talking specifically about the excess of input (food equated to information) and lack of efficient output, and even though eating is also information processing, we will differentiate it just because eating is more visible than learning***

Ok so, How could intellectual obesity look like?…

Well, perhaps intellectual obesity looks like earning many degrees and having great ideas and vision, without looking for relevant ways for applying these ideas in the present or where and when it is most needed. It could be someone who knows a lot but doesn’t bother sharing its perspectives and experiences with others. Our basic aim should be optimum energy efficiency in these biological systems, right? Ideas are born to inspire you to build your reality not necessarily to give you a better reputation… But it is only our choice to be a vessel of the energy (food or information) we consume, or merely a container for storing it. (But is it really our choice? what’s the role of free-will and/or addiction in all of this?…That’s another post May! 😡 )

How do we link our day to day activities to the vast knowledge that we have? How can we align our learnings to the challenges we face? it is not an easy task because life, being the epic search for knowledge that it is, will naturally feast on the great information available in this day and age. However we must look for this interaction, the healthy cycle between our knowledge and our actions.

Nowadays, in this world we share, information and technology grow in such an exponential rate that starves the people at the end distribution. We have the data but when we internalize or digest this information it makes us do nothing. What’s up with that?! …it should make us do something right?!. It should make us move like kids after lunch running outside to climb a tree, just because they naturally feel they need to. Unless their diet is inducing fatigue, of course, which is something to take care of. A healthy mammal would react moving with the energy they put inside their bodies, and until transcendence is possible, we are still contained in these mammal bodies. 😛 We need to pay closer attention to this.

This is why I’m impressed with this summit. The degree of awareness of reality it had. Of the energy cycle our ideas usually have. How we tend to interact in teams.

It is all energy.

For example, we got together in groups with a clear objective. The activities were fast enough to notice my bad attitudes emerge and yet insightful enough to say sorry and move ahead. There was no time to lose. We had larger immediate objectives. We were investigating problems and adapting to them in order to solve them. Now. We could not afford to be anywhere else but in the present. We were in uncomfortable situations with unknown people that had similar missions so we could rely in that, in those intentions.

D-lab embraces the concept of engineering primarily as a service to people and that is really interesting. IDDS (International Development Design Summits) develop technologists as well as technologies because people in underprivileged situations are the experts in their contexts and are capable of developing innovation. They can be efficient with their knowledge and create solutions to problems they see. Everyone can, we are born to.
This pilot Summit was a gathering of representatives from NGOs, Corporations, social enterprises in Ghana and local community experts with similar missions. They were critical thinkers that chose to let go of some of the privileges and step out of their own comfort zones for the sake of social justice. They didn’t need to, they chose to and that is powerful.
1924399_10153836980840478_638761177_nI was blown away by the confidence, humility and passion that these individuals showed, and the incredibly attractive stories and choices they have made in their lives. I could listen to them for hours and work with them to. Because I keep finding out that the best way to fight intellectual obesity is practising what you know. Feeling the urgency of your energy now demanding you to act on what you already know. That tells you that you are more than ready to do something Today and if it is with similar minded people, the better.