Saturday, January 5, 2008

Not so sure

Here is a description how to be successful at Harvard. I'm not sure they are telling the whole truth and I'm pretty sure this is not unusual.

To be a pilot?

Wanna be a pilot? Try to hack into Boeing 787 while flying it as a passenger. Maybe you will get access to the operations of the plane and will be able to fly it. I can't recommend doing so, what if you encounter Blue Screen of Death? Hard reset in this case might be too hard...

Friday, January 4, 2008

Why Czech Blogs sucks?

I have been reading more than 20 blogs, approximately half of them in Czech and the rest in English. I have stop reading most of the Czech blogs, because they suck. It puzzles me - what so different? Why most of the Czech bloggers are offensive, aggressive and often wrong?
Maybe I know only those blogs in English who are very successful and thus passed the "test by audience" that Czech blogs do not have to pass to be known, simply because there is not that many Czech readers.
I don't think this is the whole story. I suspect that there is something about our culture and schooling that makes us unable to discuss (I'm not that much different, probably - it's a matter of culture, not a language).
The list of blogs I have been reading but stopped: clones at,
Ivo Lukacovic Blog
Jiri Pallas

and many other I do not remember anymore...
The "best" blog I have never read (Radek Hulan's Ego, aka the one who shall not be named), because you have to be brain dead to do so.

Publish your book

At high costs, you probably could always publish your own book. But it was probably never as easy as it is with It's not only easy, it is also cheap. You can publish a 300 page paperback for about $10. To put this in perspective - this is cheaper than most paperbacks in Czech Republic.
I should get started on that story I'm thinking about for sometime...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Czech Story

I believe Czechs are a very special, unique nation. Not necessarily in a good way. We have been conquered several times and had our share of collaborators. Only very few people have survived without a peck of dust on their soul (or reputation).
One movie says it all. In "Musime si pomahat", there is no positive (good) Czech character. The story goes like this:
Czech family (Marie and Josef Cizkovi) agrees to hide a Jew during second world war. Josef is pretty nasty towards him (jealous and mean). Their "friend" Horst is a collaborator with Germans and convinces Josef to work with him for Germans. Local "good guy", a member of the revolutionary guard who after the war decides who was a collaborator (to shoot them, not to give them a trial), won't help the Jew and is willing to scarify his life in exchange for an illusion of safety for his family. The Capitan of Czech legion is willing to shoot an innocent men based on a single witness, without any evidence or trial.
There are only two positive characters - Marie (she is Slovak) and possibly the Jew (German). Everyone else collaborates in one way or the other. All of them can be viewed as "good" people - they want to help others, but not at a too great risk for themselves. The good nature usually wins at the end, but the fight is difficult and the behavior is often morally suspicious to an external observant.
I can imagine that other nations like Americans (or any other nation who was never occupied for a significant period of time) can hardly understand the problem. Since we had to deal with it many times throughout our history (last, but not least during 40 years of Russia's influence during communism ), it defines us and our behavior. It makes us unique, aware of the parts of soul other nations never saw.
I hope it will help us in the future. We are not any worse (or better) than nations. We just know what we are.

P.S. This post is dedicated to my grand-mother, who was born in the year when the Czechoslovakia was established (1918), witnessed the First World War as a very little baby, survived the Second as a 20+ year old, and 40 years of occupation by Soviets. She had 4 children, 7 grandchildren and 3 grand-grandchildren. She died today.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Drugs for happiness

People say that half of the people in the US is using some kind of mental health drugs. I'm quite sure it is not that many, but it certainly is a lot. Especially people who are middle-aged and older, divorced,...
Often, one considers these people inferior, "puppets" without free will because of the influence of drugs on the mind of the user. I used to agree - my mind is the most (the only?) useful thing I have and I do not want to damage it or alter it any way (yeah, I don't do drugs).
However, I don't agree anymore. Many drugs are designed to minimize negative consequences and many are not addictive. And they make their users happy. Why not to use them? If somebody had a difficult life, uncountable tragic experiences and memories, doesn't it make sense to suppress them a little? What's wrong with being simply happy? Who cares that it is not "natural" happiness? The drug user cannot tell and why should people around him care?
I won't start taking them myself, not now anyway. But I think it is an option one should consider. There is just one happiness. And it feels great.