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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

wikipedia knows nothing plus -else-more than Socrates

When ignorance is a bliss, or is it not? 
Have we ever heard of a witty, childish paradox?

Have you ever browsed randomise on the wikipedia?
We did. We reached a nice entry by serendipity: 

"I know that I know nothing" or "I know one thing: that I know nothing", sometimes called the Socratic paradox, 

Related to  a question we read in two sources “spoken words in two characters from Xenophon's or Plato's works:

 Socrates (Xenophon) or  Chaerephon (Plato)
is said to have posed to thePythia, the oracle of Delphi, in which the Oracle stated something like Socrates is the wisest  = "No-one is wiser than him"

The phrase, originally from Latin:
"ipse se nihil scire id unum sciat",[2])
is a possible paraphrase from a Greek text.
It is also quoted as "scio me nihil scire" / "scio me nescire".[3]
 It was laterback-translated to Katharevousa Greek as
 "[ἓν οἶδα ὅτι] οὐδὲν οἶδα", [èn oîda óti] oudèn oîda)
 ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα, hèn oîda hóti oudèn oîda;

Somebody was interested in seeing the Socrates famous quote in various versions or various languages. We know the quote is “I know one thing, that I know nothing”. It is simplified as “I know that I know nothing”.
However, there are various translations of the original ancient Greek Word

 ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα hèn oîda hóti oudèn oîda.
        browsing the internet .... these various translations were found.
  • “As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.”
  • “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”
  • “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
  • “I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.”
  • “To know, is to know that you know nothing.”
  • “I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.”
  • “One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.”
  • “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.” 

 The more quotes we read, the greatest the wonder and his influence in Beauty, philosophy and virtue: Socrates KANT be as WILDE as LAO-TSE! Judge by yourself.... with JOBS:

However, in Apology, Plato relates that Socrates accounts for his seeming wiser than
any other person because he does not imagine that he knows what he does not know.
[…] ἔοικα γοῦν τούτου γε σμικρῷ τινι αὐτῷ τούτῳ σοφώτερος εἶναι, ὅτι ἃ μὴ οἶδα οὐδὲ οἴομαι εἰδέναι.

[Then I have seemed at least than this [person] at any rate with this little something itself to be wiser: because that which I may not have known-through-seeing in no way I imagine myself to have known-through-seeing.]

The impreciseness of the paraphrase of this as I know that I know nothing stems from the fact that Plato's Socrates is not saying that he does not know anything but means instead that he cannot know anything with the absolute certainty of seeing. 

Socrates also deals with this phrase in Plato's dialogue Meno when he says:[10]
καὶ νῦν περὶ ἀρετῆς ὃ ἔστιν ἐγὼ μὲν οὐκ οἶδα, σὺ μέντοι ἴσως πρότερον μὲν ᾔδησθα πρὶν ἐμοῦ ἅψασθαι, νῦν μέντοι ὅμοιος εἶ οὐκ εἰδότι.

[So now I do not know what virtue is; perhaps you knew before you contacted me, but now you are certainly like one who does not know.]
(trans. G.M.A. Grube)

    == 000 =====  0 =====  000   =====

PS: In other words.... 

TIANWEI shows some of his skills at calligraphy in Catalonia, 

"Writing Beauty", a forgotten art.

To know more about the text, see link below:

2-VID 1-socrates:  ________________

2-VID-201master said: _____________

4-in progress-WA0008   _______

4-compared panels- WA0009 ___

I know nothing about calligraphy -TIAN at gilded work

Once upon a time, ... 
I met a young learner, an artist inside,

who came form the eastern shores of the northern China sea,

Tianwei 李天伟.

He kindly accepted my humble proposal to paint a panel for me.

It become a harder work than expected.
I learned on the way about practical aspects of Chinese calligraphy, as if it had been an open book! The flow of the tool, the space around the character, the order of strokes, etc.
How pleasant it was for me ... as it was action for him!

Now the process itself. We went through all the stages, in harmony, five of them, of course:

STAGE 1. Inscription:
Message. Which one?
select something meaningful
a bit eastern, a bit western.

I said "Em sona a chino" (in Catalan : "it sounds Chinese to me")
He said: 'it is Greek to me.'

The final selection was evenly decided: Master Socrates came to help us.
Wǒ zhī wǒ bù zhī suǒ zhī

Meǐ rén bǐ tā gèng zhì huì 
    "I know i know nothing". - Socrates (470-399 a. C) 
    The Master (= Confucius -551–479 BC) said:
                "No-one is wiser than him"


Suport.  He wrote the characters stylistically on 2 long pieces,
one for each sentence.

It was necessary to add the comments:
1- The first piece was said by Socrates (="so+ga+re+tu)To write his name he needed 4 extra characters!

2- he started the second sentence with the typical Confucius start:"The Master said:", as in the Analectas  论语, pinyin: Lún Yǔ

He said: Now I know I have to paint 
11 (7 +4) characters on first lineand 9 (2+ 7) on the second line
This is the part I really enjoyed as I tried to repeat and disciplined myself to draw the characters in the RIGHT order!  And my attempts were poorly done. It only meant I needed more practice ... till one day  woill arrive that I would be able to write in the right order of strokes, the the ink and flow of tool, and so on!  In this regard I like G. K. Chesterton's quote: 
  • “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” 


He said:  Distributing space, the best answer was:
  1- different size for text and place it in the centre,

  2- Socrates on the upper right part and 
3  The Master on the lower left part,
to keep the harmony on the panel.

Now go on next stage...

Working on the correct size, but with a thicker brush
we calibrated the width of the brushpaint on the surface:

1 -We worked on a larger size first and 

2- adapted to the second sentence.


Many thanks for this personal workshop we shared, Tian and me, during a weekend of June in Manresa.
Last words from Tianwei:
To say it with a Chinese motto:


  • One minute's brilliant performance on the stage
  •  is attributed to ten years' practice under the stage.

To reach Tianwei... click here 

PS: In other words.... 

TIANWEI shows some of his skills at calligraphy in Catalonia, "Writing Beauty", a forgotten art. 

If you had troubles with video viewing, try VIMEO links below:

2-VID 1-socrates:  ________________

2-VID-201master said: _____________

4-in progress-WA0008   _______

4-compared panels- WA0009 ___

Monday, June 22, 2015

FIRST IMPRESSIONS towards Sarajevo - 13 IDEAS

0:01 - Hey guys! If you are watching this video it means that you are probably interested in my country … and are likely to visit it one day.
0:02 -  So, Today I would like to talk to you what to expect when you first come to this land.
0:03  - First time I came to Bosnia was pretty long time
ago, so my memories are a bit blurry now, however, you can never forget some things.
0:04  - So first of all, when you come to this capital city be prepared to get lost.
0:05  - Even though it is not difficult to get around the airport after you come out, if you can not  speak our local language
0:06 - all signs are going to be written in some mysterious strange characters that you have to guess what they mean.
0:07  - Before in other trips, for example Anna, when she travelled in Europe I was at least able to recognize letters
0:08  - and even figure out some words even if she does not speak the language,
0:09  - On the contrary, here for example Steve, he must probably feel just lost when he first arrives.
0:10  - While people are friendly not many can speak English, so foreigners might have a hard time asking for directions.

 TWO21:  - You are going to be rich!  4 thousand, 5 hundred. A thousand local money is equivalent to 50 euros,
22:  -  which means you can be a millionaire in Bosnia fairly easy. YES, Very easily, INDEED.
23: - Then something we can’t live without, food. Balcanic food is spicy! I mean really hot,
24:  - I remember some people I first met were not able to handle their meals at all.
25:  - For me, on the one hand, this is heaven as I love spicy food and basically have none of these delicious dishes back home.
26:  - On the other hand though, everything is super sweet in the bakery!
27:  Does Steve want to buy some white bread? Then he must be prepared to taste super candy sweetness.
28:  - Does Anna want to eat crisps with while having a beer?
29:  - Again, be Reddy toe at sweetness, sweet things. You’ll have to either go to a western bar or change your eating habits.
30:    - Oh, and you don’t relieve Bosnians really use salt either. 

THREE31:   -  Everything is lovely, overly cute. Bosnia is the land of cuteness. Boy clothes, girl accessories, modern shops, new restaurants, yes, basically everything in town must be cute.
32: - Crazy melodic songs, nostalgic short poems, bad drama, sentimental fever. Honestly, I didn’t even hear about such things as soul staff  before I came to this montainous country,
33:  - but believe me, either you want it or you do not, if a man  comes here, he will come across it! There’s a long good list of old music playing everywhere.
34:  - And all friends will ask Steve what’s his favorite artist or his best band, and he will have no idea what they are talking about
35:  - and also to Anna, she will get really lost and then at the end the wife will end up at the same circle  as everyone.
36:  - One of the main features of the old town is it is crowded, which you will notice right away after you leave the bus station.
37:  - You may and be really mislead because the airport is really quite empty and very quiet.
38:  - However, just wait until you get to the main square and near streets.
39:  - It’s so packed, it’s basically impossible to find yourself being alone, any longer than for a couple of minutes.
40:  - At some extent, I love this friendly street life, but at the same time I hate this at some hours.

FOUR - 4- FOUR  -4
41:  -When the night comes there are NOT going to be a lot of lights! You will NOT see many neon lights all over the place as in Barcelona.
42:  - But you can find the night life. Especially if you go to a more alive areas.
43:  - There,  you will realize that  many of  all lower floors have neon signs on their walls, the lights just trying to blind you.
 44:  - Shopping. The insane, unhealthy obsession that young Bosnian citizens have with shopping. You won’t need to go to shopping districts or actually even exist subway station,
45:  -as you’ll have shopping right there underground subway station.
 46:  - Also, coffee shops obsession. For a long time there was no Italian coffee in town, so when it arrive at this country, young adults went a bit nuts. Yes, crazy.
47:  - Consequently, it is still very difficult to buy the best coffee in a small supermarket.
48: - Although there are more than necessary coffee shops in the capital.
49:  - Sarajevo is actually a capital with the highest number of Starbucks coffee shops in the nation.
50. I like a strong white coffe, I love tasty coffee with milk.

FIVE  -Oh, FIVE - 0551:  - A thing that I did not really expect was that local old people consume a lot of alcohol.
52:  - Any tourist is going to see drunken young people all over the place. Steve thinks too many.
53:  - And differently from back home, nobody, no-one cares about you being drunk here.
 54:   - One of my main memories I can still remember is this: when I came to Korea there was the most uncommon smell, a strange mixture of strong smells.
55:  -There is a restaurant next to a bar, next to a pizzeria, which makes all of the different smells mix together.
56:  -. And Anna is not really used to Balcanic food, the smell can be a bit funny.
 57:  - The technology. Honestly, I expected Bosnia to be more technologically advanced, however,
58: - there are going to be many things that you will come across will be just astonished.
59: - Also, it’s a country of old phones, so on the subway you will see at least  twelve phone boxes.
60: -the young girls being on their phone, the young boys plauing with their cameras. 

SIX   - 6 -6 -66 -6
61: - The traffic is going to be hectic. Sorry, but Anna thinks young drivers do not know how to drive.
62:  - Be very careful not to get hit when you just come and want to drive your hired car.
63: - There are food delivery motorcycles riding on pedestrian paths all the time.
 64: - Last but not the least, keep in mind that weather is super humid. Depending where you are coming from, it may be really a shocker for you.
65:  - From me if it’s 25 degrees Celsius in my dry homeland it is little hot but still great weather where you don’t sweat much.
66:  - However, if it’s 25 degrees in Bosnia Anna is going to sweat a lot. Humidity really makes the weather much more dificult, more radical.
67:  - So, the summers are going to be much hotter and obviously,  the Bosnian winters are going to  be much colder.
68: - There are so many more things I could talk about, expensive fruits, old Bosnian grannies, the hard war and so on.
68:  - Why not cleanness,  cinema in the park, kind politeness ?
69: - However, I want to keep this story short so I will finish now.  I hope you think now you have a good idea of what you can expect.             

Saturday, June 20, 2015

an idle social class -1434 -“Paso Honroso” de Suero de Quiñones

Cavalry and the ideal of honor-
an idle social class

  • Suero de Quiñones fasted in honour of the Virgin Mary every Tuesday, wore an iron necklet every Thursday as a sign of devotion to his lady, and heard Mass daily.

  • From 10 July to 9 August 1434 at the Órbigo bridge in Castile, Suero and ten of his companions encamped in a field beside the bridge and challenged each knight who wished to cross it to ajoust. This road was used by pilgrims all over Europe on the way to shrine at Santiago de Compostela, and at this time of the summer, many thousands would cross the bridge. Suero and his men swore to "break 300 lances" before moving on.

  • The men fought for over a month, an account of which is left to us in great detail by town notary Don Luis Alonso Luengo who kept a detailed first-hand chronicle (latter published as Libro del Passo honroso[1]). After 166 battles Suero and his men were so injured they could not continue and declared the mission complete. 
  • Suero de Quiñones became legendary in Spanish history and was mentioned in Don Quixote, the 1605 satire on the sort of romantic chivalry out of touch with reality.
 source wikipedia


  • Hechos narrados en su Libro del Passo Honroso defendido por el excelente caballero Suero de Quiñones 
  • El monje franciscano Juan de Pineda compendió y remozó la obra para publicarla en Salamanca en 1588; se reimprimió esta versión enMadrid, 1783, 

1434 -Historiografia
Se celebra en tierras leonesas (junto al puente de San Martín de Órbigo, donde el Camino de Santiago cruza el Órbigo; munic. Hospital de Órbigo) el “Paso Honroso” de Suero de Quiñones (hijo segundón de Diego Quiñones de Aller, jefe de la casa de Quiñones, muy poderosa en Asturias-León, herido de amor por Leonor de Tovar, con quien se casará), famoso torneo medieval al estilo de los libros de caballerías (10 julio – 19 agosto): muerte del caballero aragonés Asbert de Claramunt.

celebrar la gesta de las Justas Medievales.
.....Estas fiestas rememoran las hazañas de Don Suero de Quiñones que quiso deshacer una promesa que había realizado hacia su amada Leonor y que consistía en ayunar los jueves y llevar una argolla de hierro en el cuello.

.....Para acabar con su compromiso, se propuso romper 300 lanzas de los caballeros extranjeros que pasaran por este puente. Su meta no se cumplió, aunque habiendo roto sólo 166 lanzas, los jueces encargados de levantar su pena accedieron a ello.

2015 -Turismo  -San Martín de Órbigo

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Reading Korean words... easy-piecy !?

  You can READ some Korean  BUT you never tried.
(and you will  ... wait till you reach the end of the post!). 

My favourite sport is ...
a 3-syllable,
 7-Korean letter one:
 태 권 도

I can convince some of you  English is a useful tool IF YOU DARE play the 3 games.

Korean is written into “blocks” that make up one syllable. 
Italian ---> MICHELANGELO /mikel.langel.lo/ 
미 켈 란 젤 로 
Spanish ---> MIGUEL ANGEL /migel anxel/
미 겔   앙 헬

GAME 1. Yes-you-can RIDDLE (1): 

If I tell you that Korean is an alphabetic LANGUAGE 

and  the word   바 나 나,  

corresponds to and sounds /banána/.

Can you answer these questions (the average score has been 3/4):

1) What is the symbol for the consonant ?

2) for the vowel ?

3) for the consonant ?

Canine epilogue: 

If you see a dog with a collar around its neck 

with this written inscription:  


4) What's the name of the dog?  answer: ............


Korean is written into “blocks” that make up one syllable. One block always has exactly one syllable.

Being an Asian language, it looks Asian!

Syllables or characters could look Chinese or Japanese...

but do not get fooled!

It is an alphabetic language... Easy-piecy. 

For my Cultural Introduction (in Catalan),  click here. 

To learn about Korean language (in Catalan), click here

Ready for a sort-of-tetris Challenge?

Some time I said to someone that I could make up the equivalence of the Korean letters in my name. Today is the day. 
Tools:  google translator and the sound it provides!

GAME 2.   Renaissance RIDDLE (2): 

 In 6 minutes you can read MIQUEL ANGEL!

I gave you two spelled words with their approx. phonetic transcript:
Italiano ---> MICHELANGELO /mikel.langel.lo/ 
Spanish ---> MIGUEL ANGEL /migel anxel/

INPUT 1. Remember “blocks” that make up one syllable.

 One block always has exactly one syllable. 

Using the 9 guided questions in the Socrates way...

READING only the Italian word in two font types!:

Italiano ---> MICHELANGELO /mikel.langel.lo/ 
미  켈 란 젤  로 
                    미 켈 란 젤 로

a) can you discover the five syllables in Italian?


INPUT 2. Sometimes a syllable has two or three elements:
b) can you discover the two elements in syllable 1  (mi )  ?
INPUT 3. Sometimes a syllable has  elements BELOW:
f) can you discover the two elements in syllable 5:  lo


d) can you remember 

    the three Korean VOWELS so far in  mi ,  lo and lan?

                i =    .........

               o =   .........

               a =   .........

if  you got more than two correct answers ...
                          you are BRAVE!

Using only the Spanish word:

INPUT 4. Korean interpret as sound /ñ/
Spanish ---> MIGUEL ANGEL /migelañel/
미 겔   앙 헬

e) can you discover the FOUR syllables in it?

f) Watch the two elements BELOW in syllables 2 and 4 
can you discover  it they are vowels or consonants?

              겔    헬

g) can you discover the three elements in syllable 2:  gel

if  you got more than five correct answers ...
                          you are more than BRAVE!

NOW; using both words:
Italian ---> MICHELANGELO 
미 켈 란 젤 로 
Spanish ---> MIGUEL ANGEL 
미 겔   앙 헬
h) can you discover the three elements in syllable 3:  lan


i) can you remember 

    the two Korean CONSONANTS that are written  
    BELOW in syllables 3 and 2 ( lan and gel ) ?

                n =    .........

                l =   .........

Sorry, we said ONLY 9 questions.

if  you got more than seven correct answers ...
                          you are the Bestest!

Extra Bonus track:

j) is Catalan  ---> MIGUEL ANGEL   (  
미 켈 란 젤 로 )
 pronounced as in Italian or in Spanish?

GAME 3. Can you DO this sports  RIDDLE (3): 

My favourite sport is 태 권 도.

My favourite sport is ...
a 3-syllable,
 7-Korean letter one:
 태 권 도
Yes, indeed : __ __ +  __ __ n + __ o

Next are the basic vowels you will need to know. (Not the double 
Again, do whatever you can to memorize the English representations to help you learn them.
  • ㅣ = i

  • ㅏ = a

  • ㅓ = eo (Romanized as “eo” -Barbarian the lingüists!)
  •                   but it sounds closer to /eh/ in Spanish or  /uh/ in English)
  • ㅡ = eu
  • ㅜ = u
  • ㅗ = o

Catalan  ---> MIGUEL ANGEL

미 켈 란 젤 로

===== =    KEY to Riddle (1):    ======

  바 나 나,   corresponds to and sounds /banána/.

Can you answer these questions (the average score has been 3/4):

1) What is the symbol for the consonant ?   

                  2) for the vowel ?                        

                          3) for the consonant ?         

If you see a dog with a collar around its neck 

with this written inscription ...   바

4) What's the name of the dog?  ... NANA

===== =    KEY to Renaissance RIDDLE (2): 

is Catalan  ---> MIGUEL ANGEL   (  
미 켈 란 젤 로 )
 pronounced like _italian 

===== =    KEY to sport RIDDLE (3): 

My favourite sport is a 3-syllable,  7-Korean letter one:

         태            권           도
       __ __   +    __ __ n  +     __ o

       T  AE    +   K  wO  n  +     D O