Rhetorical Composing MOOC: a 10 Week Long Carnival of Writing

1st MOOC Experience as a Contributing Writer

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. I registered to many of them through www.coursera.org out of curiosity and for cultural enrichment. Don’t be fooled by the generosity (courses are ‘mostly’ free) and  the ‘benevolence’ and support of the educational teams: they are quite demanding in terms of reading and activity completion; i.e. time consuming . Continue reading

Peter Schlemiel and Icarus

What’s in a Shadow, Dear Michal?

“ Sell me Thy shadow” entreated the obsequious man
in the gray coat. No treachery in asking
‘What’s in a shadow that lures you so, my man’
‘Shlemiel, for thy lovely, lovely shadow
I give you Fortunatus magic purse’ Continue reading

Blogging and Gamification

‘Something Fishy’ :Wordpress Theme of my Life

I like the theme I chose for my blog . It is really spot-on. I don’t know if it was my inanity with technology (accident) or providence but the first one I chose and thankfully quickly discarded, I remember, was quite ascetic. It’s as if something in me knew what was good for me and nudged me to the “something fishy” theme, as if to tell me, you think yourself so serious, not so. I only realized that this was exactly the liberating theme for me, when Nancy Shapiro at http://commonthreadcoaching.wordpress.com/expressed to me its potential in the following terms: “Michal! I love the theme you use…it is playful, light, and also an apt metaphor for coaching itself…fishing into the deep for what truly matters for each person.” My “daemon” and Nancy knew better. Continue reading

Mistakology/failurology: the Icarus Paradox

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.

Eleanor Roosevelt

The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.

Francis Bacon.

Icarus paradoxIt is a truism of self-development that you learn more from your mistakes/failures than from your successes. It’s even better still to learn from other people’s, organization’s mistakes/failures, especially if they follow unprecedented successes. To that effect, Dan Miller, coined the expression “The Icarus Paradox”, for the arrogance of outstanding companies leading to their downfall. The paradox is that your greatest assets, talents, victories, strengths may turn into a liability. In his book by the same name, Miller shows through 4 distinct trajectories how these exceptional companies become their own worst enemy. Continue reading

Nietzsche: The Ultimate Anarch’ Icarus

The Anarchist is a Dancer

I would believe only in a god who could
dance.
And when I saw my devil I found him
serious, thorough, profound and solemn;
it was the spirit of gravity — through him
all things fall.

Not by wrath does one kill but by
laughter.
Come let us kill the spirit of
gravity.
I have learned to walk:
ever since, I let myself run.

I have learned to fly.
Now I am light,
now I fly,
now I see myself beneath
myself,
now a god dances
through me.

(Zarathustra, “On Reading and Writing”) Continue reading

shrinks arent cheap

I think we have had enough of ourselves

dashing about and posing in sweet entropy.

You were the Ace of Cups

sitting there at the end like a period,

or a new sentence,

or a death sentence.

I have exhausted my organs

in vitriolic distinctions and

ancient markings.

My body is writ with your pictures

like the valleys of Nazca,

you have carved me

with your hummingbird,

your albatross,

your spaceman,

and I am staring at the blood

running down my hands

and arms

and legs

in wonder

at our gasps and entreaties and

war.

Just war with me, won’t you?

I beg you to plot against me.

Position your pieces and topple me,

because once you rid yourself of the

Queen

you will be victorious.

Don’t deny me.

Just give me this one favor;

attack, and rip, and chew, and kill.

Otherwise all my fancies

fly away like Icarus

to…

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If Only Icarus…

If only Icarus were amongst us still
At the circus of the earth, he’d tell us
What it’s like at the circus
of the air. Above

At the circus below
Down there, I’d tell him: Icarus!
Earthbound, I clown with other
Wingless clowns
We pretend we can fly, we teach it
Even
We pretend we take leaps of
Faith. The fact is, bird:
We’re afraid of flyin’

If only Icarus could tell us, clowns,
The winged existence he promised,
No point of no return deliverance,
We’d surely prepare our nest escape

Icarus,
Only in my dreams do I break free
from the tyranny of Gravity
in perfect celestial timin’
I’d catch the cosmic flyin’
Trapeze

Kairos: The Entry Point

But I wake up clownishly asleep
Icarus did not his promise keep

Mystificarusion…turning point

Wingless still, I’ll have to wing it

If only ‘carus were truly a bird,
Curse of curses I ceaselessly curse,
Aloft, he’d come back swiftly to
Earth
For a bird of the air shall carry
The voice
And that which hath wings shall tell
The matter

Happpy Heuristics

Icarus versus Goldilocks

Simplicity versus dumbing down

Goldilocks_IcarusEveryone in the Western world knows the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, with the 3 memorable porridge bowls: not too hot, not too cold but at the just right temperature. These last few years, in the world of self-development and business/marketing, you may have encountered her tale as a metaphor for making the just right choice, finding the just right solution, client, career, level of productivity, preferences, even life-purpose and whatnot. Continue reading

A Plea to Wingmakers and Wingbreakers Too

bugzapper

Icarus, you fool

Didn’t your father, the wingmaker

The Da Vinci of his day, tell you:

Not too high, not too low,

But in the middle go

 

And you, Daedalus, Perdrix wingbreaker

Dynamite, enlighten me,

What knowest thou of the golden mean?

Thy mighty path was not the right direction

Didn’t you know your son’s fatal attraction

To light

 

Daedalus, did you know

The new invention you heralded:

The bug zapper?

For no Daedaluses of brainchild ever tire

Icaruses, in rapturous atonement now retire

The prankster

 

Leave my father alone, you know-it-all

I am no partridge

My extra-ordinary flight was never fall

I seek the sun behind the sun

I am no moth to a flame

The hidden light is my delight

My compass is the Absolute

Not the sun, not even moonlight

I never drowned

I coalesced

 

Fathers of greatness and mothers too

This I beseech of you,

Give your sons and daughters

You illuminated lunatics

A break

 
Happy Heuristics