Almost half a century ago the US Military offered a unique view on the definition of soft skills

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Sometimes I am excited to realize that some of my previously held knowledge has been flawed. After-all, learning is not a mere amalgamation of information, it is also that uncomfortable feeling (referred to as cognitive dissonance) of questioning and restructuring our deeply-rooted cognitive schema of knowledge, assumptions, and beliefs.

When having come across the notion of “soft skills,” I first turned to Wikipedia to get a cheat sheet understanding on the history of the term “soft skills.” Why are they referred to as “soft”? What is the meaning of “soft” in the context of skills and competencies? …


Their tool was a binary system, but it wasn’t a computer

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Peter and Paul Fortress, Saint Petersburg, Russia. A renowned fortress for political prisoners from the first quarter of 18th century until the early 1920’s. Writers, philosophers, literary critics, poets, military officers and general — the list certainly doesn’t end here. What defined them wasn’t even their titles or political views; many of them were true Intelligentsia.

Intelligentsia is a complex notion. It should not be viewed merely in terms of intelligence, or the state of “knowing.” It’s a drive for learning. A drive characterized by endurance, tenacity, grit, and stamina.

Imagine that we could time travel to the Peter and…


They will traverse disciplines to find solutions

Let’s Play!

Before we have a brief review of what problems are qualified as “Wicked Problems” and what people can be referred to as polymaths, here is a problem for you:

What letter of the Roman alphabet represents a number of years it took Scheherazade to tell her stories?

It has to be a single letter — not a combination of Roman letters (as in III or IV).

Let me give you a clue. But this clue will be in the form of another question.

What does a dot in the Morse Code, Euler’s number, and the number of years it took…


With ILITIES come contradictions

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It is

If an oxymoron is defined as a phrase that appears to sound self-contradictory, then yes, “constant change” is an oxymoron. How can something be changing and be constant (or remaining unchanged) at the same time?

It’s not

Constant change is not an oxymoron. It’s actually one of the most mundane notions across all levels of existence: from molecular, to an individual organism, to cultural, and all the way to the Universe itself. Some of these changes are predictable, while others come unannounced and disrupt what we may perceive as a status quo. …


Have I failed my own bravado advice

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I haven’t written in almost a month now; while during the previous month, 11 articles tap-danced through my keyboard with ease and gaiety.

The irony of my current condition of (writer’s block) is that the first article I opened for curation was “Writer’s Block? Just Show Up and Misbehave.” It was picked up for distribution and has had a good flow of readership since then (especially for a newbie content writer). Have I failed my own bravado advice that I professed in my article? …


An (un)Intended Neglect

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For almost three decades, online learning has been a topic of recurring interest and persistent skepticism. Regardless of our attitudes on its role and contribution (or compromising ramifications) to formal education,

a Black Swan in the form of COVID-19 has jolted the practice of distance learning to the forefront of education practices — globally and across all tiers of education systems.

Have you noticed that I used the terms distance learning and online learning interchangeably? Are they indeed synonymous? Another term that has been resurfacing in discussions fueled by COVID (and occasionally used as a substitute for “online” and “distance”…


Our time perceptions are affected by languages we speak

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When learning English as a foreign language, I was fascinated with such grammatical tenses as “Past Continuous,” or “Present Indefinite,” or how about “Future Perfect Continuous”! “What a beautiful country this land of English speaking people must be,” I thought as a second grader, “where Future is not only Perfect but everlasting!”

Grammatical Tenses are Language-Based Time Dimensions

When we refer to objects or events, we describe their actions relative to their positioning in time: past, present, or future. We do so by using grammatical tenses. For example, “I am reading” describes an action of reading that is taking place at the time the message is…


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A fight-or-flight response is too binary and too limiting for our complex environments. There are at least three more F-word concepts that can assist us during times of danger — be it an explicit physical threat to one’s life or a psycho-social foreshadowing to one’s ego, reputation, or career.

Fight or Flight

Most of us are familiar with a concept of a fight-or-flight response. When confronted with a threat (or a perceived threat), animals respond either by engaging in a fight or they avoid a dangerous situation by fleeing. Whereas in the animal kingdom threats primarily exhibit themselves as physical harm to the…


No extra time required, only a possible side effect of extra laughs

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Really? Learn a new language?

Numerous articles have been written to encourage our brain exercising activities. Suggestions are plentiful and range from learning to play a musical instrument to mastering a foreign language. Ballroom dancing is also an option that appears to waltz into a lot of articles. All these activities are indeed of great value to strengthening our brain capacity by means of generating new neural connections.

The problem with such endeavors is not even their arduousness. We are smart cookies, we can do it! The issue here is it’s simply not realistic for many of us to allot extra time for such cognitive…


Let’s Co-Create Alliterations

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Alliteration is a powerful tool that has been used in writing and public speaking to bring an even stronger emphasis to a message.

In one of the seminal speeches, Martin Luther King, Jr. skillfully used a letter-C alliteration at the conclusion of the sentence: “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of the character.”

Alliteration is a repetition of the same letter (for example, “content creators”) or the same sound (for example, “quiet character” — both…

Viktoria Popova

I like to stare at the intersection of complexity and chaos. My writing ranges across topics on Problem Solving, Complexity, EdTech, Folklore, and Etymology.

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