Update: New short story “Woman’s Body”

Woman absorbed in her traumatic thoughts

I just added a new short story titled “Woman’s Body.” It is a rough story with solid psychological overtones and centers on the trauma a girl experiences while waiting in an emergency room. Painful and introspective but also dramatically realistic.

Woman’s body

Discover the touching story of a girl in crisis as she relives her nightmare in an emergency room. It is a verist tale that combines psychology and stark reality.


Brief contextual note

The tragedy of violence experienced by women reveals a disturbing reality of the prevalence of rape and violence against women globally. Beyond the physical scars, the psychological impact of such traumatic experiences is profound and lasting. Victims often struggle with feelings of fear, shame, guilt, and helplessness, leading to conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression.

The psychological aspects of these crimes delve into the motivations of the perpetrators and the social factors that contribute to such acts. Perpetrators often use violence as a means to exert power and control over women, reflecting deeply rooted problems of misogyny and patriarchy. The normalization of violence in some cultures further perpetuates this cycle, making it difficult for survivors to seek help and break free from trauma.

Addressing the psychological impact of rape and violence against women requires a comprehensive approach that includes trauma-informed care, mental health support services, and efforts to challenge entrenched beliefs and behaviors that perpetuate gender-based violence. We can only fight for a society where women are safe, respected, and empowered through collective action and support.


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Risk and freedom

Board game based on strategy and risk management

That risk and freedom had some degree of kinship is consciously or unconsciously known to most people. Risk and freedom were two sides of the same coin; however, it seems to result from contradictory and paradoxical reasoning.

Yet, observation of reality is relatively minor. Whenever an attempt is made to mitigate risk, the “price” (monetary or virtual) to be paid is always expressed in terms of a consequent reduction in freedom. More risk, more freedom. Less risk, less freedom.

However, the concrete problem does not arise in the finding of such an explicit factual equivalence but rather in noting that the essential nature of “risk” is quite different from that of “freedom.” That is, “risk” always comes in the guise of potentiality and is, therefore, inherently non-essential but probably-essential-in-the-future. At the same time, freedom lives in a here-and-now that makes it always present.

Thus, What is exchanged is always a potential risk for actual freedom; without excessive reasoning, it is well understood that the transaction is perpetually at a loss.

The tendency to choose greater risk to retain proportionately greater freedom should not be surprising because what is being done is the reduction of the impact of concern (which I will address in a forthcoming paper to supplement my essay (in Italian), “Il dispiegarsi del tempo psicologico” (ed. “The unfolding of psychological time”) on everyday life that, from the past, turns to the future.

To concern oneself with, that is, to“deal with first,” is to value the potential in the same way as the actual and thereby make it symbolically convertible with it: without this “stratagem,” every possibility of justifying action becomes null, or rather, it nihilates itself to relate to an ineffectual and inauthentic ineffability.

In more immediate words, risk transfer is possible only by considering the latter in actuality. Still, such a condition is impossible because the risk is always and only potential, so, to avoid no small problem, man “worries” and by worrying unites, through a symbolic mechanism, the potential with the actual.

Then again, who would pay for“nothing current“? Such an exchange would automatically go into pure divestment, which, as written in a previous post, is at least as impossible as the hypothesis previously stated.

Thus, to limit the penalizing and deteriorating action of worry, the only means man possesses is to give up part of his freedom (understood as a concrete possibility in the moment of a transaction) to let someone else (or something else) take on the burden of worry.

In doing so, however, the subject does not “balance the budget” because, as is evident, once again, worrying is always oriented toward an (at this point even weakened) potential, while freedom is currently lost.

Thus, the conclusion can be drawn from this is that risk is necessary for any design activity, and the effort to mitigate or eliminate it can only be paid for at an ever-increasing price compared to its acceptance. I promise, however, to return to this topic more thoroughly, linking back to what I wrote in the above essay.


Philosophical considerations on Heidegger’s non-entity (nothingness)

In his philosophical works, particularly in his masterpiece “Being and Time,” Heidegger (1889 – 1976) contemplates the concept of“non-being” or“nothingness” in a profound way. Heidegger’s understanding of nothingness (non-entity) goes beyond traditional notions of absence or emptiness. According to Heidegger, nothingness is not a mere negation or lack but an essential aspect of human existence and the world.

Heidegger argues that nothingness is not a mere void or nothingness to be feared or avoided but rather a fundamental element that reveals the true nature of being. By embracing nothingness, individuals can better understand their own existence and the interconnectedness of all things.

The essence of nothingness is a fundamental concept for Heidegger. Only the conception of true nothingness can enable man to achieve a more authentic life, where freedom of choice surrenders some of its inexorability to the natural desire for care devoid of all purpose.
Nothingness (non-entity) has, for Heidegger (1889 – 1976), a dignity equal to those of any other entity, and only by being able to conceive of it positively is it possible to overcome the existential crisis that sees being concerning its lack and “trapped” in an inauthentic freedom.

For Heidegger, nothingness is closely related to the concept of “being-in-the-world.” It suggests that it is through nothingness that we can truly experience the world and interact with the beings and phenomena that inhabit it. Nothingness allows us to transcend the superficialities of everyday life and perceive the underlying truths and meanings that shape our existence.

From Heidegger’s perspective, nothingness cannot be grasped or understood through traditional rational thought. Instead, it requires a profound change in perception and an openness to the mysteries of existence. By embracing nonbeing, individuals can cultivate a sense of wonder and awe, enabling them to interact with the world more authentically and meaningfully.

In conclusion, Heidegger’s conception of nothingness challenges traditional notions of nothingness and invites individuals to dig deeper into the mysteries of existence. By embracing nothingness, individuals can gain a deep understanding of their being and the interconnectedness of all things, leading to a more authentic and fulfilling existence.


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My dog loves Picasso’s rose period

If you could make your pet understand one thing, what would it be?

brown short coated dog beside woman in white dressI would try to make my pet understand the concept of art. I know what you’re thinking: “He’s crazy over! How can he manage the complexity of an abstract idea?’

You’re right; it’s very tough but also the only thing worth trying. Dogs understand many commands: they can sit down, run, take something, bring it to you, etc.

Material actions are easy. Maybe you try teaching your pet how to push a button daily, and you keep failing. It’s frustrating, but in the end, you think it’s just an animal, and this effort is useless.

That’s why I would like to see if my imaginary pet (I don’t have one) can do something based on an abstract mental process.

Wait a moment! Am I talking about mind? Hence, I’m assuming my dog has a mind just like me. Is this absurd? Perhaps it’s complete nonsense.

But reductionists think the mind is just the “manifestation” of our brains’ activities. Therefore, if my beloved pet understands a few commands, perceives my emotions, and shows genuine empathy, it may have a very embryonic mind.

Ok, this seems like a drunk’s claptrap, but I don’t believe I’m to blame. Ultimately, I found this question and am free to speak my mind!

So, if a fluffy dog can think with some fundamental abstractions (it should have a minimal model of the world), it can also imagine non-existent things.

In the worst case, its “mental” object might be a bone or an entire turkey to eat. If it’s satiated, it can be driven by its sexual instinct and imagine a partner.

There are many options. But they are damn usual. What about a blue turkey because its favorite toy is indeed blue? Isn’t this a straightforward artistic expression?

At the end of the day, he’s trying to satisfy its hunger together with some pleasure that doesn’t belong to the intrinsic object itself. It’s hard to state, but the dog uses its brain to “create” something to evoke an emotion.

I do not know if this is reasonable, but obtaining some evidence is the most challenging problem. Monkeys have often shown this ability, and in some tasks, they proved far superior to human beings.

But again, I don’t want my pet to solve puzzles. It’s too dull. I want to observe it by arranging the pieces in a particular way and then looking at the composition in an ecstatic stasis.

In logic, a Latin expression says: “Ex falso sequitur quodlibet,” which means that if you start from a false statement, you can say whatever you want. So, please be kind and allow me to bluff. I don’t have any pets, so my fantastic lucubration can fearlessly unravel itself!


 

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In Praise of Doubt

a statue of a man sitting in front of a building, symbolizing the doubtEach day, I cross out a calendar box. Not to mark a day gone by or to be lulled by the melancholy of the past. I tick a box for each certainty that has gradually failed or, if you want to put it positively, for a new doubt that has entered my life.

I like Rodin, I admit. Its Gates of Hell are far more heavenly than several ecclesiastical gates, but more than anything else, I let myself be exalted by the little figurine of doubt placed on top of it.

Dubito ergo sum? Why not! Among thought forms, doubt is undoubtedly one of the noblest. Charming as a woman who wears no frills and does not even conceive of the idea of scandal. Although, of course, the scandal it is!

Rodin's Gates of HellThink of a certainty, built like an immense bastion and knocked down by a charge of TNT. “What a waste!” you might think. And yes, it certainly would be if inner evolution resulted from an algebraic sum, but fortunately, the situation is quite different. Dramatically different, outrageously different!

How many steps forward have I taken only to realize that they were only the hint of a stasis, if not a regression? And how many leaps into the void, dives into the most impervious and inhospitable abysses, and how much pain I sought with almost maniacal dedication!

Masochism? Who knows… But honestly, for the moment, I’m not interested in ascertaining that. I prefer that Newton saw further than one imagines and that if an action corresponds to a reaction, even death must be the beginning of something.

But the road is long, and if I clung to any certainty, I would certainly make a gross mistake and contradict myself. So, let there be doubt, bright and blinding! And if the Gates of Hell also have to be crossed, I may be ready. If not, the flames can wait, too!


 

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So familiar to be holy!

Write about your first name: its meaning, significance, etymology, etc.

grayscale photo of clear drinking glass on tableMy first name is “Giuseppe” (in English, it’s “Joseph”). It’s a relatively common name in Italy, particularly in the southern regions.

It derives from the Hebrew יוֹסֵף, which means “May God help increase…” the wealth, number of children, richness, etc. If a Jew reads this post, they can kindly add their more expert comments. I only know that the root (from right to left) starting with the letter “Yod” is a way to indicate God in a pronounceable way.

This was the name of Jesus’s putative father; therefore, it’s common in Christian countries (e.g., “José” in Spain or “Josef” in Germany), but I also met people coming from Muslim countries with this name.

One thing is sure: it’s an ancient name, and it was “exported” almost everywhere during the centuries. There are plenty of Joes in the US, and one of them is trying to rule the world right in this period.

The other second sure thing concerns only myself (but I suppose it might have happened to other people, too): as it’s the name of Jesus’s father, an old priest, during my early childhood, used to repeat me “Giuseppe, il nome santo!”, which means “Giuseppe, the holy name!”

Sincerely, I don’t perceive any holiness (at that moment, I probably thought it was just my grandpa’s name) but rather a sense of frustration thinking about my “poor ancestor.” I still debate about the injustice of the Gospels in his regard.

Think about this young man who’s engaged with a lady (Mary) and discovers he won’t ever be able to be a birth father. On the other hand, he must take care of Jesus, who was often disrespectful.

A famous episode is told in the Gospels when his parents lost him in Jerusalem and, after three days, when they found him, Jesus answered that he had to mind his Father’s (God’s) business! Like saying: “You’re only an intern; the company can replace you in the blink of an eye!”

However, until now, even considering some bizarre episodes, the situation could appear strange but is always verisimilar. He works hard and receives the “holy order” (through an angel) to move quickly in Egypt because Jesus’s life is in danger.

He always obeys with patience. But now there’s a problem: these are the only available information the Gospels provide. Then, the four books continue telling the story of Jesus’s public life, and only Mary is mentioned again. Not a word for this poor man! We can deduce he died, but how come the very Jesus didn’t say anything?

He could remember his putative father, bless him, and thank him for what I did. Instead, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John don’t care. They also could have investigated a little more. It’s also a matter of curiosity!

Nowadays, a journalist reporting the vicissitudes of a story wouldn’t make this silly mistake. At least he can integrate later, for example, when someone asks. But the evangelists certainly do not have that option and could have thought twice before leaving out this detail.

But what can we do with the Gospels? Nothing. And the ones who attend the Mass have to listen year after year to a (boring) sermon where the priest explains why Mary didn’t betray Joseph.

Ok, she didn’t. Ok, on March 19th, the Christian world celebrates St. Joseph. But this isn’t enough for me! He deserved much more attention!

Wrapping everything up, in Italy, my name is familiar, so familiar, and shared to be holy, or maybe it’s the opposite. However, I have doubts that the great composer Verdi or the less significant (in my humble opinion) Garibaldi were called “Giuseppe” because of presumed holiness.

Holiness will likely be an add-on reserved for me, and after 45 years, I still have no interest in exploiting it! I’m open to advice or rental proposals!


 

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Important but damn dull

What’s your dream job?

person standing on rock formation near mountains under white clouds during daytimeIf you think I should write a short list like “dentist,” “taxi driver,” or “director of a panda nursery,” I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I have no alternatives.

I used to have several affine job positions for about twenty years (from consultant to vice-president), and they were exactly like every generic professional would expect.

What was precisely their nature? Every experience seemed acceptable initially but soon became tedious and often frustrating. Like a mathematical theorem, it seems there was no way out. I was a victim of the curse of “important but damn dull.”

To be completely honest, I remember some positive experiences, but, as I explained, they were isolated situations that lasted for a pretty short time.

On the other hand, my last job experiences were suffocating. The script was always the same: big expectations and a slow but continuous discovery of the truth. Boredom. Every single shade of kaleidoscopic boredom.

No, my dear friends, my dream job isn’t a dream at all. It’s my current reality that I reconquered after a long, painful preparation.

Now, I work harder than ever. I don’t want to sleep too much, and when I go to bed, I hope the night will pass by quickly because I want to continue my work.

Am I mad? I don’t believe so. I worked in a “standard” way to obtain a green card to access the freedom to be my boss.

No more useless meetings. No more cheap-talking. No more detestable presentations. No more projects where 99% of the time should be spent chatting and circling like hamsters.

This life isn’t for me. I needed time to realize it, but eventually, the process was completed. I became aware of what I already knew and determined to make a radical change.

OK, you’re probably wondering what my job is. I don’t want to make you still wait. My job is to be an utterly freelance musician and author.

In the past, I published four poetry books and several short stories, and I wrote a couple of long novels that I abandoned for unknown reasons (I refuse to think they bored me, too!)

Then, my hangover ended, and I published seven technical books. Two became best-sellers (in a niche, so please, don’t think I see myself like Stephen King), and I still receive royalties. I don’t hide that it makes me a bit happy because it confirms my innate eclecticism.

The truth is that I love creativity (any expression of it), and creativity loves to see its children. I’m not against, for example, a software project, but if I need to spend more time using the hated PowerPoint to repeat the same things a hundred times, I throw in the towel.

Again, this is not for me. I want to keep studying hard, working harder, and cradling the results like newborns.

I’m composing music (while studying new classical guitar pieces – my beloved instrument), writing poetry that I consider the best way to express what I have inside, and focusing on some philosophical questions I want to investigate more and more.

If you are so kind to follow me, you will receive almost daily updates on my work. This is the best way to know me and, hopefully, for me to know you!

I publish most of my works on my website both in Italian and translated into English. As I’m not a native speaker, I would be glad if you could add your (constructive) comments to my poems, short stories, essays, and posts!

At the end of the day, a consistent part of my job is indeed to reengage with the largest possible audience. And I’m stubborn enough to succeed sooner or later! You can bet your entire salary, which I hope to be considerable!


Photo by Julian Hanslmaier


 

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A conductor in the C-suite

What makes a good leader?

people sitting on chairs inside buildingI can make the example of a conductor. Is he a leader? Of course! He is a sort of “borrowed head” for an orchestra. All the musicians are professionals with long experience and don’t need another “head.”

However, they are not playing as soloists but together with dozens of other musicians. Everyone has a score, but it’s limited to the parts an instrument must play. The entire composition’s score is too vast and impractical to be shared.

Therefore, the musicians ask for a coordinator who controls the interaction between different instruments, checks tempo, speed, and volume, and keeps listening to the entire composition. Of course, a good conductor makes specific decisions regarding timbre, the dominance of a set of instruments in a particular part, or, for example, inserting a “rubato” in a phrase while keeping the original tempo in another. He’s an artist himself, not just a mechanical coordinator!

However, all decisions concern the entire orchestra, even when they only affect a few musicians. Remember that the conductor has been designated the leader, and his horizon is always the largest. He has to “take” the entire Symphony and gently bring it to the public.

In the past, this role was usually assigned to the first violin, a poor man who had to play while trying to send messages using his hands. Quite complex, isn’t it? I sincerely can’t imagine the result, and I suppose that good performances were the product of each musician’s hard work more than firm leadership.

Another common problem is that some instruments, e.g., oboes, don’t always play. In each score, there are indications about the number of pause bars before they need to restart playing. Remember, they are alone, and the orchestra expects them to start playing precisely after the end of the last pause bar.

If you have played a Symphony a hundred times, you can probably get rid of some indications: your ears and memory are probably more precise than a metronome. But at the beginning, you need a lot of information! And above all, you must pay the maximum attention to avoid delays or early entrances.

Everything is much easier if the conductor can look in a particular direction (i.e., where the musicians sit) when it’s time to start playing. Maybe he can also use gestures to indicate how the entrance is expected to be (soft, violent, “a tempo,” etc.) In other words, he can simplify the task and maximize the artistic result.

Now, think again about the concept of “head.” Is a musician a mechanical tool? No, he has his head and can make autonomous decisions whenever he wants, but sometimes delegating this task is preferable.

It’s not a pure matter of granting power or donating prestige (the latter is generally a consequence of successful hard work) to an external actor, but rather a rational necessity.

I finish by saying that a good leader is precisely like a good conductor. The greater his musicians are, the greater he can be. His responsibility is to maximize the sum of these values. Otherwise, the first criticism will arise from the orchestra itself.

That’s precisely what happened to Placido Domingo at the Verbier festival. He wasn’t prepared to “borrow his head” to the orchestra, which caused confusion and an abysmal performance.

All the musicians had a working head with solid expertise in their field. They didn’t need someone who screamed or decided to act without caring about the score. Nor did they need a conductor who took for granted that his orchestra would have played well anyway!

They needed a leader to give birth to a unique musical experience. This is a very accurate (if you think about it) example of good leadership that summarizes all the features usually listed in management books.


Photo by Andrea Zanenga


 

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Escher knew the name of the game

If you could un-invent something, what would it be?

 

Unfortunately (or maybe luckily), un-inventing is impossible and wholly nonsensical. I could have written examples like atom bombs, rap music, or soap operas. However, there’s a subtle problem to solve.

Whatever you think is part of a reality where, sooner or later, it will be discovered. Hence, in-inventing implies transforming humanity into a group of partially numb people who cannot explore a particular knowledge area.

This philosophical issue arises because “inventing” is a non-invertible action. It’s just like the second law of thermodynamics, which states that the entropy of the Universe can only grow. The time arrow cannot turn back in any way.

When you know something, your condition is based on increased entropy during learning and discovering. This implies that the simple fact that you know something makes this “object” somehow indestroyable.

Maybe you can forget about it. The entire population of the world can do the same. But, unless there won’t be other newborns – i.e., a complete extinction of mankind, somebody else will be able to discover, learn, and invent just like you did.

I want a world without many things, but how can I formulate this concept? I take all my knowledge and write down a sentence where these things are negated. But if I say, “I don’t want rap music,” I first need to define “rap music.” If I don’t (I suppose not to be insane enough), how can I avoid that someone with tattoos inside his nostrils doesn’t conceive this idea?

Is it enough? Of course, it isn’t. I want to un-invent this question. That is to say that I want to invent the possibility of un-inventing. Moreover, I want to use this possibility to limit the ontological power of inventing!

I see my dog spinning day and night, trying to eat its tail. Oh my God! Can I un-invent it? I want to sleep! My little puppy is breathing neg-entropy to continue running forever! It’s not hungry or tired anymore! I’m becoming mad. If it’s alright for you, may I un-invent the entire Universe?

Silence.


 

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A solitary man

Can you share a positive example of where you’ve felt loved?

man walking on road at daytimeI feel I’m in trouble trying to answer this question. The reason is simple: I’m not ashamed to say that, except for my mother, I’ve never felt loved by anyone. Do you think it’s sad? Well, maybe. But it’s not a problem for me. Like Neil Diamond’s song, I’m a solitary man who can spend long periods alone. During the Covid lockdown, like many other people, I stayed alone in a small flat in Berlin. It was sometimes tedious, but I’ve never felt depressed because, for example, I couldn’t meet my friends.

Moreover, my relationships with women were always problematic. I love my freedom more than anything else, and, at the same time, I would like to have a woman with my own mindset. Therefore, I tend to project myself onto my partner, resulting in a complete mismatch. This makes me angrier, feeling nostalgic for my lost freedom. That’s why I keep saying I was born a solitary man. A different life might have changed my behaviors, but this is a nonsensical discussion as it’s a hypothesis impossible to test.

However, there was a moment and a place where I felt loved. The place was again Berlin, but I prefer not to disclose too many details. There’s nothing secret or strange. It’s simply a short part of my life when I could understand that nobody else could do the same things to help me. Thanks to the help I received, I could quickly leave Berlin after six years that I consider partially and inexorably wasted. I rediscovered myself immediately after returning to my hometown and soon started building a new life. After a long period of darkness, I saw the light again, thanks only to a pure act of love.

If I think about it, I begin feeling anxious about my last four years in Berlin. Even if I reached a climax in my career, I was paid to give back my health. I can’t forget the days I spent in meetings whose only purpose was cheap-talking. Something that I hate and stress me tremendously.

I’m very pragmatic, and anything based only on meaningless discussions in environments where everyone has to speak only to exhale air without any tangible (and practical) value drives me crazy. I can’t resist. It’s too much for me. I soon reached the top of the hill, feeling constantly low and close to burnout. I needed a helping hand to make me stand again and realize I was trashing my potential only to grow plantations of genuine frustration.

I can sincerely say that in Berlin, I felt loved. Maybe it was the first time I realized it. However, I appreciated it so much, and I’ll be forever grateful for what I received.

Considering all other aspects of my life, I’m convinced I’ll remain a solitary man, happy to be able to walk on his legs. I will quote what Andrés Segovia once said to express what I think about my future: “…the rest is in the mysterious stars of my firmament.”

Niel Diamond’s song is now mandatory!

YouTube player

Photo by Jordan McQueen


 

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Einstein rules! He doesn’t clean up!

Where can you reduce clutter in your life?

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk a sign?”

(A. Einstein)

 

audio mixer setThis is not a common question. It’s an existential problem for me! If you read the “About me” page or the section I called “Parallel Universes,” you will immediately understand that my entire life is perpetually cluttered!

The issue is hidden in the meaning. I don’t consider my clutter as something to get rid of. In other words, my “mess” is like raw material that will, sooner or later, collide in a big bang. That moment is generally a triumph for my creativity because something new will arise from old material I can’t use anymore.

To be precise, I remove clutter to create a further one and fill my life with several activities to improve each. It seems weird, but I need clutter to focus on something. I need other mental hooks to hang my will on.

Therefore, my answer is straightforward: I won’t ever remove any clutter; if I need it, I will create a new one immediately!


Photo by Martijn Baudoin


 

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