“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”

“Suzuki told an old Chinese folk tale about the difference between heaven and hell. In hell everyone has very short arms. They sit around tables full of sumptuous food, trying to eat with very long chopsticks, but they can’t get the food in their mouths because the chopsticks are too long and their arms too short. They try in agony to feed themselves, to no avail. In heaven everyone also has short arms, but everyone is feeding each other across the table and having a lovely time.”
— Excerpt from Crooked Cucumber
“The MOOC, by itself, doesn’t really change things, except for the very most motivated student. It’s just an element to be mixed in to get all the steps to get through an entire degree program. And, so, most of these systems will be hybrid systems. After all, a student who could deal with just the MOOC by itself, without any face-to-face contact and counseling, they’re the type of student who, when we had text books, were also capable of getting by and learning the material. The MOOC is not based on new educational knowledge. It’s simply presented in an easier to understand, more interactive way that can be fantastic. So, that’s an opportunity.”
— Bill Gates, speaking on the future of college
“In short, he has not dedicated his life to reaching a pre-defined goal, but he has rather chosen a way of life he KNOWS he will enjoy. The goal is absolutely secondary: it is the functioning toward the goal which is important. And it seems almost ridiculous to say that a man MUST function in a pattern of his own choosing; for to let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life — the definitive act of will which makes a man an individual.”
HST, 1958

Day 1 in Rio.

Funny mood in the air here – people are anticipating the World Cup and seem excited for the Brazilian squad, but are almost defiantly muted in their preparations for the tournament. Apart from scattered Brazilian flags and the occasional street decorated with yellow-and-green, you wouldn’t even know a major global event was about to take place (contrasted with S Africa, which had a downright festive atmosphere).

The consensus is that this will change as soon as the Cup begins and politics fall aside. Therein lies the most fascinating subplot of the month – the double-edged sword of Brazilian home-field advantage. Massive home crowd… but incredible pressure to win. Can’t wait to see how it unfolds.