Cultural Proficiency Quotes

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It is usually unbearably painful to read a book by an author who knows way less than you do, unless the book is a novel.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Skills of proficiency are about doing a task the same way, every single time.
Daniel Coyle (The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups)
We shouldn't let our envy of distinguished masters of the arts distract us from the wonder of how each of us gets new ideas. Perhaps we hold on to our superstitions about creativity in order to make our own deficiencies seem more excusable. For when we tell ourselves that masterful abilities are simply unexplainable, we're also comforting ourselves by saying that those superheroes come endowed with all the qualities we don't possess. Our failures are therefore no fault of our own, nor are those heroes' virtues to their credit, either. If it isn't learned, it isn't earned. When we actually meet the heroes whom our culture views as great, we don't find any singular propensities––only combinations of ingredients quite common in themselves. Most of these heroes are intensely motivated, but so are many other people. They're usually very proficient in some field--but in itself we simply call this craftmanship or expertise. They often have enough self-confidence to stand up to the scorn of peers--but in itself, we might just call that stubbornness. They surely think of things in some novel ways, but so does everyone from time to time. And as for what we call "intelligence", my view is that each person who can speak coherently already has the better part of what our heroes have. Then what makes genius appear to stand apart, if we each have most of what it takes? I suspect that genius needs one thing more: in order to accumulate outstanding qualities, one needs unusually effective ways to learn. It's not enough to learn a lot; one also has to manage what one learns. Those masters have, beneath the surface of their mastery, some special knacks of "higher-order" expertise, which help them organize and apply the things they learn. It is those hidden tricks of mental management that produce the systems that create those works of genius. Why do certain people learn so many more and better skills? These all-important differences could begin with early accidents. One child works out clever ways to arrange some blocks in rows and stacks; a second child plays at rearranging how it thinks. Everyone can praise the first child's castles and towers, but no one can see what the second child has done, and one may even get the false impression of a lack of industry. But if the second child persists in seeking better ways to learn, this can lead to silent growth in which some better ways to learn may lead to better ways to learn to learn. Then, later, we'll observe an awesome, qualitative change, with no apparent cause--and give to it some empty name like talent, aptitude, or gift.
Marvin Minsky (The Society of Mind)
Our cultural notion of smart often has to do with one’s proficiency with language. When we can confidently put forth a clear, logical argument about something, we’re much more likely to be viewed as smart. But as we saw with David Lynch, we can’t always say all that we know.
Kim Hermanson (Deep Knowing: Entering the Realm of Non-Ordinary Intelligence)
Our cultural notion of smart often has to do with one’s proficiency with language. When we can confidently put forth a clear, logical argument about something, we’re much more likely to be viewed as smart. But as we saw with David Lynch, we can’t always say all that we know.
Kim Hermanson (Deep Knowing: Entering the Realm of Non-Ordinary Intelligence)
A man who had mastered the art of manliness embodied many, if not all, of these manly characteristics: Looks out for and is loyal to his friends and family. Does the right thing, even when it’s not convenient. Is proficient in the manly arts. Treats women with respect and honor. Serves and gives back to his community. Sacrifices for the good of others. Works hard and seldom complains. Exhibits both great courage and tender compassion. Has a confident swagger but isn’t a pompous jerk. Is witty without succumbing to sarcasm. Embraces instead of shirks responsibility. You probably have grandfathers who exemplify this kind of honorable manliness. But something happened in the last fifty years to cause these positive manly virtues and skills to disappear from the current generations of men. Fathers have ceased passing on the art of manliness to their sons, and our culture, nervous to assign any single set of virtues to one sex, has stripped the meaning of manliness of anything laudatory.
Brett McKay (The Art Of Manliness: Classic Skills And Manners For The Modern Man)
A bare two years after Vasco da Gama’s voyage a Portuguese fleet led by Pedro Alvarez Cabral arrived on the Malabar coast. Cabral delivered a letter from the king of Portugal to the Samudri (Samudra-raja or Sea-king), the Hindu ruler of the city-state of Calicut, demanding that he expel all Muslims from his kingdom as they were enemies of the ‘Holy Faith’. He met with a blank refusal; then afterwards the Samudra steadfastly maintained that Calicut had always been open to everyone who wished to trade there… During those early years the people who had traditionally participated in the Indian Ocean trade were taken completely by surprise. In all the centuries in which it had flourished and grown, no state or kings or ruling power had ever before tried to gain control of the Indian Ocean trade by force of arms. The territorial and dynastic ambitions that were pursued with such determination on land were generally not allowed to spill over into the sea. Within the Western historiographical record the unarmed character of the Indian Ocean trade is often represented as a lack, or failure, one that invited the intervention of Europe, with its increasing proficiency in war. When a defeat is as complete as was that of the trading cultures of the Indian Ocean, it is hard to allow the vanquished the dignity of nuances of choice and preference. Yet it is worth allowing for the possibility that the peaceful traditions of the oceanic trade may have been, in a quiet and inarticulate way, the product of a rare cultural choice — one that may have owed a great deal to the pacifist customs and beliefs of the Gujarati Jains and Vanias who played such an important part in it. At the time, at least one European was moved to bewilderment by the unfamiliar mores of the region; a response more honest perhaps than the trust in historical inevitability that has supplanted it since. ‘The heathen [of Gujarat]’, wrote Tomé Pires, early in the sixteenth century, ‘held that they must never kill anyone, nor must they have armed men in their company. If they were captured and [their captors] wanted to kill them all, they did not resist. This is the Gujarat law among the heathen.’ It was because of those singular traditions, perhaps, that the rulers of the Indian Ocean ports were utterly confounded by the demands and actions of the Portuguese. Having long been accustomed to the tradesmen’s rules of bargaining and compromise they tried time and time again to reach an understanding with the Europeans — only to discover, as one historian has put it, that the choice was ‘between resistance and submission; co-operation was not offered.’ Unable to compete in the Indian Ocean trade by purely commercial means, the Europeans were bent on taking control of it by aggression, pure and distilled, by unleashing violence on a scale unprecedented on those shores.
Amitav Ghosh (In an Antique Land)
Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin, on the 15th October, 1856, so that he is now about twenty-six years of age, but brief as has been his career, it has been full of promise for the future. The son of highly intellectual parents, he has had an exceptional education, has travelled much in wild and remote, through classic lands, and in the course of these journeys has learnt to appreciate the beauties of the old authors, in whose works whilst at college he attained exceptional proficiency. But his naturally enthusiastic temperament teaches him to hope for better in the future than has been achieved in the past, and to see how vast will be the influence of Art and Literature on the coming democracy of Intellect, when education and culture shall have taught men to pride themselves on what they have done, and not alone on the deeds of their ancestors.
Walter Hamilton (The Aesthetic Movement In England)
Sinclair James - English Communication Language in Asia Is English Language a Hindrance to Communication for Foreigners in Asia? One of the hesitations of westerners in coming to Asia is the language barrier. True, Asia has been a melting pot of different aspects of life that in every country, there is a distinct characteristic and a culture which would seem odd to someone who grew up in an entirely different perspective. Language is one of the most flourishing uniqueness of Asian nations. Although their boundaries are emphasized by mere walls which can be broken down easily, the brand of each individual can still be determined on the language they use or most comfortable with. Communication may be a problem as it is an issue which neighboring countries also encounter on each other. Message relays or even simple gestures, if interpreted wrongly can cause conflicts. Indeed, the complaints are valid. However, on the present day number of American and European visitors and the boost in tourism economies, language barriers seem to have been surpassed. Perhaps, the problem may not even exist at all. According to English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Asian countries are not altogether illiterate in speaking and understanding the universal language. If so, there are countries which can even speak English as fluent as any native can. Take for example the Philippines. Once in Manila, the country’s capital, you will find thousands of individuals representing different nationalities. The center for business growth in the country, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has proven the literacy of the people in conversing using the international language. Clients from abroad prefer Filipinos in dealing with customers concern since they can easily comprehend grasp and explain things in English. ELPT and IELTS did not even include the Philippines in the list of the top English speaking nations in Asia since they are already considered one of the best and most fluent in this field. Other neighboring Asian countries also send their citizens to the Philippines to learn English. With a mixture of British and American English being used in everyday conversations, the Philippines has to be considered to be included in the top 5 most native English speakers. You may even be surprised to meet a young child in Manila who has not gone to school or mingled with foreigners but can speak and understand English. Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and most Asian countries, if indeed all, can also easily understand and speak English. It seems that the concern for miscommunication has completely no basis and remains a groundless issue. Maybe perhaps, those who say this just want to find a dumb excuse? Read more at:
James Sinclair
He has already mastered (or become quite proficient at) a number of skills and techniques such as braises, fricassees, roasting, searing, and sautéing. He was already well versed in pie and pastry making, so teaching him laminated pastry and more difficult cakes and confectionary has proceeded much faster than I anticipated. (I suspect Helena feels the same, though she always pretends to be nonplussed at his progress.) His knowledge and interest in the dishes of other cultures also continues to surprise me. His empanadas, it seems, were only the tip of the bavarois. He makes a delightful curry after the East Indian style, and his fried plantains (both the sweet maduros and the crispy double-fried green ones) have become my new favorite snack before our evening meal. You would love them, Nanay, I am certain. Nanay, I've also taught him most of the rice dishes in my repertoire (as Helena continues to find rice to be rather lowly---though she eats risotto and paella readily enough when they're on the table), and although he was surprised when I first showed him plain, unadulterated rice as you make it, he soon gobbled it up and has been experimenting with more Eastern-inspired rice dishes and desserts and puddings ever since.
Jennieke Cohen (My Fine Fellow)
The formal mechanisms of mass liberal democracy – regular elections, competing political parties, universal suffrage, and legal and political rights – do not significantly mitigate the monolithic and uniform concentration of managerial power. The “despotism” of the regime – its tendency toward the monopolization of political, economic, and cultural power by a single social and political force of managerial and technical skills and the expansive, uniform, and centralized nature of its power – is a direct consequence of the contracted composition of the lite and the restriction of its membership to element proficient in managerial and technical skills. The narrowness of the elite that results fro this restriction insulates it from the influence of non-managerial social and political forces and reduces their ability to gain positions within the elite fro which they can moderate, balance or restrain its commands. Their exclusion from the elite contributes to the frustration of their aspirations and interests and encourages their alienation from the conflict with the elite and the destabilization and weakening of the regime.
Samuel T. Francis (Leviathan and Its Enemies)
Successful people perform at the highest level of proficiency, are open-minded, and are able to converse with a range of other individuals from various populations, cultures, and lifestyles.
Germany Kent
Quoting page 85: The OCR [Office for Civil Rights] in the early 1970s in effect experienced an internal capture shift. The black agenda activists who had dominated the office between 1965 and 1970 were joined and to some extend displaced by a new cadre of Latino activists. Not content with the transitional model of bilingual education, which used native-language instruction as a bridge to English language proficiency, the Latino nationalists called for Spanish-based cultural maintenance programs of indefinite duration. La Raza Unida’s 1967 founding statement captured the Chicano spirit of cultural nationalism and linguistic ethnocentrism: “The time of subjugation, exploitation, and abuse of human rights of La Raza in the United States is hereby ended forever,” the manifesto proclaimed. “[We] affirm the magnificence of La Raza, the greatness of our heritage, our history, our language, our traditions, our contributions to humanity and culture.
Hugh Davis Graham (Collision Course: The Strange Convergence of Affirmative Action and Immigration Policy in America)
I read everything I could find about the Congo, which wasn’t much. Americans had no connection with that place. At the top of the African continent stood some pyramids that might be worth a tourist’s while, and down at the bottom, a headline-grabbing political drama of apartheid was playing out. But the middle was a great blur. If Africa came up in conversation, it was framed by power imbalance: the Christian mission to help the unenlightened; the charitable donation to feed the wretched children. This kind of talk, with the attendant photos of pleading waifs, didn’t square with the spirited Congolese kids I’d once known, so dazzlingly proficient at the skills their lives required, so very plainly not trying to be like me. Absent from the haves-and-have-nots conversation was any notion of fully formed African cultures with their own laws and scriptures and ways of making food and homes and families. Cultures that might have been on the way to making their own history, but somehow had gotten arrested instead. Now they seemed to be marching in place, shut off from the rest of the world.
Adam Hochschild (King Leopold's Ghost)
At the same time states across the country were rushing to adopt the Common Core, they were also adopting a new tool for evaluating teachers: the Danielson Framework. Like the Common Core, the framework is so laden with technocratic language that one might imagine its sole purpose is to confuse its readers. And as with the Common Core, if a teacher does not meet its demands, she may be out of a job. Taking its name from the education consultant Charlotte Danielson, the framework divides the teaching process into four “domains”: “planning and preparation,” “classroom environment,” “instruction,” and “professional responsibilities.” Each of these domains is then broken into four or five subcategories ranging from “using questioning and discussion techniques” to “showing professionalism.” Subcategories are then separated into a series of components. For example, the components of the subcategory “participating in the professional community” are: “relationships with colleagues,” “involvement in a culture of professional inquiry,” “service to the school,” and “participation in school and district projects.” Danielson describes “proficient” (tolerable) instruction in the “communicating with families” subcategory of the “professional responsibilities” domain as follows: “The teacher provides frequent and appropriate information to families about the instructional program and conveys information about individual student progress in a culturally sensitive manner.
On the other hand, in the world that we care about, endlessly preparing for social change work without actually doing it produces the exact same results as endless procrastination. As a matter of simple priority-setting and time management, the dilemma is that by the time I properly ready myself by (a) apprenticing myself in one or more field placements; (b) becoming proficient in a foreign language; (c) getting up to speed about my identity and my privilege; (d) studying the structural causes of social and economic injustice; (e) figuring out the complex drivers holding back a marginalized population; (f) mapping institutional racism and sexism; (g) upping my cultural competency; (h) fine-tuning my emotional IQ; and, (i) sorting through the hurdles of political correctness—I could be dead.
Jonathan C. Lewis (The Unfinished Social Entrepreneur)
The term pilots use to describe this type of short-burst communication is notifications. A notification is not an order or a command. It provides context, telling of something noticed, placing a spotlight on one discrete element of the world. Notifications are the humblest and most primitive form of communication, the equivalent of a child’s finger-point: I see this. Unlike commands, they carry unspoken questions: Do you agree? What else do you see? In a typical landing or takeoff, a proficient crew averages twenty notifications per minute.
Daniel Coyle (The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups)
High-proficiency environments help a group deliver a well-defined, reliable performance, while high-creativity environments help a group create something new.
Daniel Coyle (The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups)
All about Yoga Beauty Health.Yoga is a gathering of physical, mental, and otherworldly practices or teaches which started in antiquated India. There is a wide assortment of Yoga schools, practices, and objectives in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Among the most surely understood sorts of yoga are Hatha yoga and Rāja yoga. The birthplaces of yoga have been theorized to go back to pre-Vedic Indian conventions; it is said in the Rigveda however in all probability created around the 6th and fifth hundreds of years BCE,in antiquated India's parsimonious and śramaṇa developments. The order of most punctual writings depicting yoga-practices is indistinct, varyingly credited to Hindu Upanishads. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali date from the main portion of the first thousand years CE, however just picked up noticeable quality in the West in the twentieth century. Hatha yoga writings risen around the eleventh century with sources in tantra Yoga masters from India later acquainted yoga with the west after the accomplishment of Swami Vivekananda in the late nineteenth and mid twentieth century. In the 1980s, yoga wound up noticeably well known as an arrangement of physical exercise over the Western world.Yoga in Indian conventions, be that as it may, is more than physical exercise; it has a reflective and otherworldly center. One of the six noteworthy standard schools of Hinduism is likewise called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and transcendentalism, and is firmly identified with Hindu Samkhya reasoning. Beauty is a normal for a creature, thought, protest, individual or place that gives a perceptual ordeal of delight or fulfillment. Magnificence is examined as a major aspect of style, culture, social brain research, theory and human science. A "perfect delight" is an element which is respected, or has includes broadly ascribed to excellence in a specific culture, for flawlessness. Grotesqueness is thought to be the inverse of excellence. The experience of "magnificence" regularly includes a translation of some substance as being in adjust and amicability with nature, which may prompt sentiments of fascination and passionate prosperity. Since this can be a subjective ordeal, it is frequently said that "excellence is entirely subjective. Health is the level of practical and metabolic proficiency of a living being. In people it is the capacity of people or groups to adjust and self-oversee when confronting physical, mental, mental and social changes with condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) characterized wellbeing in its more extensive sense in its 1948 constitution as "a condition of finish physical, mental, and social prosperity and not simply the nonappearance of sickness or ailment. This definition has been liable to contention, specifically as lacking operational esteem, the uncertainty in creating durable wellbeing procedures, and on account of the issue made by utilization of "finish". Different definitions have been proposed, among which a current definition that associates wellbeing and individual fulfillment. Order frameworks, for example, the WHO Family of International Classifications, including the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), are usually used to characterize and measure the parts of wellbeing.
The complex mix of unique people rising from different identities, beliefs, education, gender, upbringing, point of views and ethnicity have unequal sense in their impact in other’s status, opportunities, resources, talents, skills and productivity. It is very good to live with cultural humility that complements competency and proficiency.” ~ an excerpt from If I Could Tell You
Angelica Hopes
Oh, but being American has less to do with one’s proficiency in English and more with the assumptions you hold dear and true—your inalienable rights, your pursuit of happiness. I, sad to say, don’t possess those assumptions. I cannot undertake the pursuit.” “Well, you understand us,” Bennie said. “So that makes you at least an honorary American.” “Why is it such an honor?” Wendy said peevishly. “Not everyone wants to be an American.” Although Bennie was annoyed, he laughed. Walter, ever the diplomat, said to Bennie, “Well, I’m flattered that you consider me to be one of your own.
Amy Tan (Saving Fish from Drowning)
Many leaders of high-proficiency groups focus on creating priorities, naming keystone behaviors, and flooding the environment with heuristics that link the two.
Daniel Coyle (The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups)