Friday, April 22

Engineering and Artistic Integrity

Whether you are Christian or Jewish or Zoroastrian

or Hindu or Muslim or Shinto or Neo-Pagan or what:

Arc-en-cielRire HAPPY EASTER! C'est la fêteCoeur rouge

For just this weekend, let’s all never mind the specific differences and look at the common grounds:

For Jews, the Passover is a celebration of the liberation from murderous bondage, liberated by God’s intervention through His Prophet Moses. For Christians, Easter is about the triumph of humanity’s bond with God through the Redeemer over the evil that seeks to enslave and destroy us (recall that it is not all Jews that condemned Christ, but the political coup of the Sanhedrin of that time and a band of revolutionary bandits). Muslims also proclaim that Jesus died on the Cross and that he resurrected and ascended into Heaven – Jesus never once spoke against the Jewish faith (which was His) and never allowed any one social group to disdain any other. Paganism celebrates Eostre as the revival of life after the dead seasons. Sheez, even hard-core atheists celebrate the return of comfortable weather… in the northern hemisphere anyway… those of the southern can still use another reason to have a party!

In my engineer’s point of view, do you see a pattern emerging here?
Triumph of Freedom over oppression; Life over death;
Happiness over depression; Truth over lies; Love over hate.

So I beseech everyone to be happy, celebrate Easter together and enjoy the weekend!

Integrity: true strength is in the soul

I firmly believe that bullying is proof positive of weakness, stealing is proof of inability and lying is proof of desperation. Any idiot can insult or hurt someone. It takes much more power to earn trust and keep friendship. Striking fear invites retribution while fostering love invites cooperation. The person who steals proves that s/he is incapable of obtaining through her/his own merit. The person who shows contentment is victorious over peer-pressure and thus rises above the crowds; people who patiently make their way and build a different livelihood and surroundings show their ability to navigate the currents of society and contribute rather than siphon. Those who help others show a self-evident strength where pirates and mockers only show themselves as parasites. People with positive attitudes find solutions or at least inspire others to do so; those who complain their problems are someone else’s fault and rely on condemning others only bring more hostility onto themselves.

As a graduate student in Computer Engineering, I did a lot of Teaching Assistance (average 115% work load). I was amazed at how students cheated because, when I was in their shoes, my thought was always: “At the exam, there will be only me… in the real world, I will have to do the job… so I’d better do the work and develop the skills now”. In fact, I did have the opportunity to submit a senior classmate’s assignments: he gave me all his solutions from the year before knowing that I would only use them to learn or as a last result. In fact, I sometimes handed-in very flawed work instead of copying, because I preferred an honourable failure: how else could I learn and improve? Obviously, not everyone agrees.

How can you cheat in music?

My background is music performance. On stage, there is no cheating: it’s me, my instrument and the audience. There’s no way to use someone else’s performance and pass it as my own in an audition…. I can’t get someone else to audition in my place: they want the job too! If I put some great soloist’s recording on this blog, passing it off as mine… well, someone will hear me eventually and blow my cover: I will be left to face my deceptions alone, impressing only the weak and idle.

Showing my playing faults now will highlight my evolution, my improvement over the months and years will demonstrate the strength of my commitment, the worth of my efforts. If I do not improve, if I make a fool of myself over and over again, then it will be done with honour and prove my confidence in letting people know the truth rather than giving an impression that will just come crashing down on me should ever I wish to meet someone in person. Rather than closing doors by presenting a false image of my performance, I prefer to open doors to people of all levels and of all descriptions. Even if I never improve, or get worse, my enjoyment of the process should inspire other hobbyists and beginners and might impress upon professionals to remember the passion that lead to their “daily grind” as performers!

My best and most sincere wishes of
true strength and honest power to you all!

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