Анекдот От Тестя: Правильно Ли Живём?

Поп заходит в купе, где сидит новый русский весь в делах: телефон, компьютер…
–А что сын мой, не откушать ли нам?
—-Извини батюшка, некогда мне.
Поп развернул свою снедь и вкусно покушал.
–А что сын мой, не выпить ли нам?
—-Извини батюшка, я работаю. Ты без меня.
Поп налил себе чарочку и смачно выпил.
–А что сын мой, не выкурить ли нам по сигаретке, а?
—-Извини батюшка, я занят сейчас.
Поп вышел в тамбур, покурил, возвращается.
–А что сын мой, не навестить ли нам девах в соседнем купе?
—-Извини батюшка, я женат. Ты без меня.
Поп пошёл. Возвращается сально улыбаясь.
Новый русский на миг отложил работу.
—-Батюшка! Вот я не пью, не курю, верен жене, работаю 24/7, что покушать некогда. Я что, неправильно живу?!!
–Ну почему, правильно… Но зря…

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Ivan, Remember No Relations

In old-times Russian Empire, when a thief or a run-away slave was caught and interrogated, they were asked their name and origin. The answer was the same: “Ivan, Remember No Relations”. From those times a person who lost his roots is called “Ivan, who remembers no relation”. I was told this story by my chess coach, my Teacher, Ivan Alekseevich Sidorov. He was one of the most important people in my childhood. And not only mine. There are people who are regarded for turning bad kids good. He did better than that. He kept good kids good and made them better. . I have never heard anyone referring to him, even behind his back, without using his patronymics. That, in my opinion, is the greatest measure of respect.

It has been 12 years since I have seen him or heard from him. How did I become that “Ivan, who remembers no relation”? It is always easy to find an excuse: too busy, too far away, too many Mondays. How did I lose touch with a man who shaped me so much? We grow up, we move on, but loosing sight of people like Ivan Alekseevich is irreparable. I hope he is still alive and well. I hope I could find him to say: “My name is Albert, I remember what you did for us. Thank you.”

Computer Security As A Social Model

About a month ago my computer security system started to detect a malware. On every scan despite deleting it before. What a man to do? So I restored the entire system. A few good files did not survive on the way. But what are a few when we are talking about entire system? To my surprise and disappointment, my security center started to detect the same malware immediately after system restoration. Their number grew immensely. The scanning became routine and took at least half of the computer work time. Several times I would get scared and order a system lockdown to prevent intrusion. Finally my computer stopped performing and crushed. I managed to backup my files and restored the system yet again. This time I decided to use another protection system. The new system (quite reputable) did not identify any threat yet. So far computer works fine. Maybe, this calm will be short lived but I am enjoying it. And I wonder which security system was (or is) right?

How fast are you driving?

July 30, 2008

According to National Survey of Speeding and Unsafe Driving Attitudes and Behavior: 2002, about 78% of respondents had admitted exceeding speed limit in the past month. I don’t think any of them lied. I am not so sure about other 22%. So it would be pretty safe to say that majority of Americans break the law. This becomes an unhealthy wink-wink morale situation when most of us, normally law abiding citizens, tend to ignore a particular law, which if applied consistently could create massive line to the traffic courts. The constant cat and mouse game with police creates only additional hazard on the highways. What is your first reaction when you see a car standing on the shoulder? Now think of police car standing on the shoulder? And now think about a car that goes behind you, and may not necessarily see the police car as fast as you do. So, does the police speed-trap fight unsafe driving or rather creates a dangerous situation? As per my personal observation, I do not see as many drivers going significantly or at all over the speed limit where the limit is 65 mph or higher. May be Montana had it right and all we need is driving reasonably and prudent?

Is Weak Synonymous To Kind?

July 28, 2008

My nanny came today and told me how my son behaved on the playground. “When other children take his toys he never cries. He gets upset but never cries. And he so kind! He is willing to share his toys with everybody. After five minutes he stands there with nothing. I taught him that he couldn’t let other kids to simply take staff from him. Otherwise, when he goes to daycare, other children will eat him alive!” My boy is 17-months-old.

I said nothing. What could I say? She is right. A man should not let other walk over himself. And a boy will grow to be a man. But something rubbed me the wrong way. The kindness was equated to weakness. Is it true? Well, often a kind man does appear weak. A giving (I mean truly giving) person is seen as weak or even foolish. “People are taking advantage of you!”-We would scream at our mother. I know, she would say calmly. And we perceived it as weakness. But it was sheer believe in doing what is right. At least, it was right for her. Right for the world she wanted to live in and leave it to us.

I said nothing. I did not think that my son’s ability to stand up for himself would make him less kind. He will learn to give to those who need not beg and shoulder things that need to be fixed not demolished. He will learn. But today I was wondering how we trade-in our kindness for something more suitable.