svētdiena, 2009. gada 29. novembris

Life = Poker

Forest Gump used to say that "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

I’m not actually kind of „sweets addict”, but I like playing cards.

Few days ago, when playing poker, my friends asked me to write something about this game. I was thinking about it and at the beginning had no idea what could be the subject. But then, starting to compare this game and the actual life I realized that poker is mostly the same as the life itself… LIFE = POKER!

My girlfriend says, she wouldn’t like this game, because there is too little you can influence and probably there is too little things which depend on you. Well, at the beginning it might seem so…

The poker, as well as our lives consist of just some main combinations (Simple truths) you can easily remember (Learn). Some of them are very simple and easy to get, some of them are so rare that you can only dream of them.

To achieve a better result, you can use different strategies – you can get strong cards, be absolutely sure of your strength and INCREASE STAKES (some others might have strong cards as well, like the competition as well so the stakes get even higher)… you can FOLD and get out dry from the water (even if later on you’ll have to bite your nails off!)… you can BLUFF to scare your opponent (or you can bluff and lose)…
You never know which card will be the next as well as in the real life – you never know what will come next… But with every next card the picture gets more and more clear and your position either gets stronger or not.

During our last poker session I realized that I’m too far from being a professional, because I sometimes just don’t count all the combinations and possibilities (Probably that’s the explanation of why I am where I am in my life?) Sometimes you just concentrate so much on the thing that you realy would like to get, that you either don’t see anything else or you miss it and somebody else uses this chance in his favour!

I guess I could compare more and more! But better no…
I’ll just mention one more thing - There is one main factor either in our lives and either in poker game.. That’s PEOPLE! People with different attitudes, different strategies, different moods, different thoughts! If you guess them right – YOU’LL WIN!

There is only one major difference between life and poker – there are billions of possibilities and situations in our lives, but the poker game is shaped just out of 52 cards…
However the poker game also lasts for a shorter period of time…:)

trešdiena, 2009. gada 25. novembris

My Country ≠ My State?

I guess I’m not the only one who recently have asked myself this question. And I’m absolutely not the only one who has repeated pretty often: I love this country, but I hate this state!

Even if Latvian political leadership, including our president, stresses that the meaning of these two words – State and Country - can’t be separated, I doubt about it more and more. Why? I’ll try to explain…

I just caught myself trying to find this magic connection between the state and the country. I tried to go deeper in some official definitions, however I discovered that the answer is in front of everybody’s eyes. This connections is very simple – it’s us, people around us.. our nation!
But what if the nation gets weaker? Does it mean that the state gets weak as well? Or are we really weak?
Nooo… we are not weak! Does the fact that lots and lots of people are leaving this country means weakness? Not necessarily. One can say that the cleverest people are leaving this country to prove themselves somewhere else, the other would say – the weakest are going away, because they are afraid and they are running away from the trouble. Is it a sign of weakness if mother or father tries to find a job somewhere else to feed his family?
Or should we remember the words of one of my favorite Latvian poets Eduards Veidenbaums „…Un vēders Dievs visaugstākais un katrs pats sev tuvākais”. (The stomach is the highest God and everyone is the closest to himself) Strong words for a person who died only at the age of 24…
I’d like to affirm, that this short phrase of 19th century poet refers not only to „those who have left”, but also to those who have stayed and even more – to those who govern this country! Yes, dear politicians, you may stress that you were elected to defend the interests of the people and the state. But sorry – it really, I mean, REALLY doesn’t seem so!
The latest peripeteia with Mr (or Miss?) Crisis has changed everything. It seems that sometimes mystical work of glorified „international partners” or simply strange uncles from IMF or EU has changed the understanding of what’s right or wrong. It’s more important for our political activists to save their own ass, their position and reputation, than to think constructively about solving the acute problems of the country, of people.
I won’t talk much about increasing the taxes, decreasing salaries and pensions (of course, not for political leaders themselves) and other idiotic decisions recently taken. But do you really think all this stuff is a good motivation to stay in this country? Could anyone be blamed for leaving his or her country in situation like this? And could it be called a betrayal of your state? Sorry – BULLSHIT!
Who has done anything to change the situation? Government, politicians? Sorry, stupid guess.. I haven’t seen anything! With all my respect to Mr Dombrovskis and the job he has done ( I don’t wish anyone to be in his position at this time!), but how does it come, that everything what is done goes somehow against all the rules proven by the great minds of the previous times? Why doesn’t anyone listen or read about the similar situations before and learn from the mistakes of the past? And does this make our state stronger?
I do think a lot of people will agree, that it is hard to trust the present political leaders. But will the situation change and next year’s parliamentary elections change anything?
I’m sorry to all my friends, professors or colleagues who have decided to be a part of some political party with a thought of becoming our „next leaders”. There is no, I mean, NO such party who could change the situation! (OK, probably only for now!) The next leaders will be pretty much the same… With all my respect to lots of clever people who have lots of great ideas and plans, but I think that loud and empty talks will dominate more and more… And, unfortunately, more and more people will start to believe them! And more and more people will lean towards those parties, who offer anything different! Even if they are Russian or Arabic speaking (nothing personal), bananas eating humanoids from hell out of where!
However, I’ve noticed one thing… As times get harder, as Nation gets stronger! Finally people are starting to THINK… and not only think, but also ACT! (Of course, I’m not talking about politicians here!) Some lawyer with a campaign about being a Latvian and not leaving your country has achieved more than a Latvian Institute, some ice-hockey team reunites the Nation at least a couple of times a week, private televisions ask people to join together and sing an anthem and people do that with great pride! And it seem to me that I hear the saying „Latvietis latvietim latvietis” (Latvian for Latvian- a Latvian; derived from Homo Humini Lupus ) less and less.
We might be called naive or even sometimes stupid, and I guess some people would like it to be so. But its not so! And I would like to think, that we all together will come out of this shit stronger and more united! And there will be no more My Country ≠ My State dilemmas!

But… it will take time…