Think Forward.


Third Paradoxist Manifesto by Florentin Smarandache

Therefore, don't enforce any literary rules on me! Or, if you do, I'll certainly encroach upon them. I'm not a poet, that's why I write poetry. I'm an anti-poet or non-poet. I thus came to America to re-build the Statue of Liberty of the Verse, delivered from the tyranny of the classic and its dogma. I allowed any boldness: - anti-literature and its literature; - flexible forms fixed, or the alive face of the death! - style of the non-style; - poems without verse (because poems don't mean words)- dumb poems with loud voice; - poems without poems (because the notion of "poem" doesn't match any definition found in dictionaries or encyclopedias) - poems which exist by their absence; - after-war literature: pages and pages bombed by filthiness, triteness, and non-poeticality; - paralinguistic verse (only!): graphics, lyrical portraits, drawings, drafts... - non-words and non-sentence poems; - very upset free verse and trivial hermetic verse; - intelligible unintelligible language; - unsolved and open problems of mathematics like very nice poems of the spirit - we must scientificize the art in this technical century; - impersonal texts personalized; - electrical shock; - translation from the impossible into the possible, or transformation of the abnormal to the normal; - pro Non-Art Art; - make literature from everything, make literature from nothing! The poet is not a prince of ducks! The notion of "poetry" and its derivatives have become old-fashioned in this century, and people laugh at them in disregard. I'm ashamed to affirm that I create lyrical texts, I hide them. People neither read nor listen to lyrical texts anymore, but they will read this volume because it's nothing to read! However, the Paradoxist Movement is neither nihilism, nor disparity. The book of the non-poems is a protest against art's marketing. Do you writers sell your feelings? Do you create only for money?? Only books about crimes, sex, horror are published. Where is the true Art? In begging... . You may find in this book of uncollected poems everything you don't need and don't like: poems not to be read, not to be heard, not to be written at all! Enjoy them. Only after nuisance you really know what pleasure means. They provide a mirror of everybody's infinite soul. Art, generally speaking, is pushed up to its last possible frontiers toward non-art, and even more... Better a book of blanc pages, than one which says nothing. A very abstract and symbolic language is further used, but very concrete at the same time: non-restrictive verse from any form or content. It takes advantage of cliche against itself. EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE, THEREFORE: THE IMPOSSIBLE TOO! Hence don't wonder about this anti-book! If you don't understand it, that means you understand all. That is the goal of the manifesto. Because Art is not for the mind, but for feelings. Because Art is also for the mind. Try to interpret the un-interpretable! Your imagination may flourish as a cactus in a desert. But, The American Manifesto of the PARADOXISM is especially a revolt of the emigrant to the United States who doesn't speak English, against the language - an anti-language book written in more than a broken English (the American speech of Tomorrow?)... [From the book: NonPoems, by Florentin Smarandache, Xiquan Publishing House, Phoenix, Chicago, 1991, 1992, 1993; the volume contains very experimental so called , such as: - poems without verse; - poems without poems; - poem-drafts; - drawn-poems; - poems in Pirissanorench (language spoken in the South-West of the United States by a single person); - super-poems; - graphic poems; - upset-poems.]

AI Is Eroding The Art Of Writing

From a young age, I've been captivated by writers who express complex ideas through books, articles, and blogs. This inspired my dream of becoming a writer myself. Initially, I used writing as therapy; whenever I felt overwhelmed or distressed, I would write, knowing the paper wouldn't judge my feelings like humans might. As I advanced in my education, enrolling in a PhD program, I honed my academic writing skills. However, the advent of generative AI models like ChatGPT marked a turning point. These tools could replicate much of what I considered unique in my writing, leading me to wonder if we are losing the art of writing. With the rise of platforms like Medium and LinkedIn, blogging has become accessible to everyone, which is wonderful. However, it raises questions about authenticity. Can we truly know if the content was crafted by the person, or was it generated by AI? It's a distressing reality. Previously, securing freelance writing or blogging jobs was straightforward, but it has become challenging to discern whether someone is genuinely a writer or merely claiming to be one. This ambiguity has narrowed opportunities for passionate young writers like myself, who wish to pursue their passion and earn a living. I believe that the ancient wisdom of writing is being eroded by AI. However, this won't deter us from reading or writing. Human writing resonates with emotions, which AI-generated text often lacks, typically relying on repetitive phrases like "embark," "journey," "unleash," and "dive into." While everyone is free to use tools as they see fit, if AI constitutes more than 50% of your writing, then those aren't truly your words or expressions; they belong to the machine. I personally use AI for my research, correcting grammatical mistakes, and sometimes for checking paraphrasing suggestions. However, once I began generating AI text, I started feeling that it wasn't truly mine. It felt more robotic than human, lacking any real emotion.  I truly believe that generative AI will never be able to reach the beauty and complexity of the human mind. How one can convey emotions through text is truly something distinctive of the human nature and will never be reproduced.

The greatest error I made as a creator was assuming I already had an audience.

The biggest mistake I have made as a creator is letting my ego, my ambition, and the shallowness of social media convince me that I had an “Audience” instead of a network. It’s easy to become obsessed with the shallow popularity contest, with notions of influence and attention. And over the past few years, my work has become divorced from reality and drifted long way away from authenticity. Social media platforms, with their algorithms and echo chambers, made it easy to believe that the numbers represented people eagerly awaiting my next post, my next big idea. It’s a mirage, a superficial layer that didn’t capture the depth of real human connections. But I can’t blame the platforms alone. My self-importance is equally responsible. The term ‘Audience’ implies a one-way street — it suggests a group of passive listeners, viewers, or readers who are there to consume what I create. This perspective is not just limiting; it’s fundamentally flawed. It overlooks what it means to be a creator in the digital age: being part of a vibrant, interactive network. A network, unlike an audience, is dynamic. It’s not broadcasting to a group of faceless spectators. It’s about engagement, exchange, and mutual growth. It involves listening as much as speaking and learning as much as teaching. In a network, every node and individual is a potential collaborator, source of inspiration, or a critical voice that can offer valuable feedback. There are people on the other side of the screen. They don’t exist just to fill out our quota of 1,000 true fans. They don’t exist as data points on an analytics dashboard. And they have so much more to give than their attention and the time spent viewing a video or reading an article. I cannot and will not keep treating the people who find my work and engage with it as NPCs in a roleplaying game. Realizing this has been a game-changer. It’s shifted my focus from seeking applause to fostering conversations. Instead of obsessing over the number of followers, I’m more interested in the quality of interactions I have with them. This approach has opened up new avenues for creativity and growth that I had previously overlooked, blinded by the glitter of superficial metrics. I spend more time talking to people than ever before. I spend more time listening, too. And I spend a lot of time learning. My ideas shift, change and grow with every interaction. There’s a deep richness that can’t be found in delusions of grandeur. The shift has brought with it a sense of humility. You can get caught up in the numbers and believe your hype when your follower count is rising. But recognizing that each follower is a person with their own thoughts, experiences, and contributions is a reminder that I am part of something larger than myself and that my success is not just measured in likes or shares but in the impact I have on others, and the effect they have on me in return. I am not — and do not wish to be — some kind of bulls**t internet celebrity. The path of the influencer seems frightfully lonely. I’m a writer. I write. When I find people who want to read my work, it’s not something to take for granted. It’s a gift, and it’s an honour, and it’s something that I cherish every day.

Is daily posting on LinkedIn a waste of time? What should you do instead?

Focusing on quality over quantity is crucial when posting on LinkedIn. Rather than adhering to a daily posting regimen, aim to create high-quality content that resonates with your audience, providing them value and fostering engagement. Understanding your audience is essential; tailor your posts to their interests and needs. Diversifying your content types, such as articles, videos, and infographics, keeps your profile dynamic and engaging. Engaging with others by commenting on, sharing, and reacting to their content, as well as including calls to action in your own posts, can significantly enhance visibility and build relationships within your network. Use a content calendar for planning and consistency, and optimize your posting times based on when your audience is most active. Networking strategically on LinkedIn, beyond just posting content, can open up numerous opportunities. Connect with individuals in your industry, potential mentors, and companies of interest. Showcasing your expertise through insightful posts positions you as a thought leader. Pay attention to analytics to understand what content performs best and adjust your strategy accordingly. Remember, success on LinkedIn is about making an impact and providing value, not just the frequency of your posts.

Abdou Cherif left, carried by his voice towards the heavens.

I was driving back from Fez, when the radio channel which kept me company announced the sudden, dramatic, incomprehensible, unexpected, rapid, devastating and sad disappearance of Abdou Cherif. I adored, I adore and will adore until the end of my days this virtuoso whom I never had the chance to meet but whom television and YouTube subsequently made me discover and love. I, who adore Abdelhalim Hafed or Hafez and the beautiful Egyptian songs, find in him a certain continuity of the "belle époque"; that of the sublime musical drop; the one where lyricists like composers, conductors and performers surpassed themselves to offer the Arab public and not only the best of music. Inspired sometimes by deeply rooted popular arts, sometimes by musical tunes from elsewhere, even going so far as to explore Argentina Tango, they have bequeathed us a unique musical heritage whose richness we do not yet fully appreciate. Listening to Abdou Cherif performing Gabar or habibaha, we are caught in a whirlwind of magic by his captivating voice, strong, soft, expressive. The sound is crystal and the diction clear. Abdou sublimates this kind of song to make you forget the original… And then big surprise, one evening, at the Olympia in Cairo, he doubtfully gently announced that he was going to venture into singing "La Boheme". Charles Aznavour would have loved this moment so much. It was a triumph. And it's not over, Abdou will try the impossible and no one is bound to do the impossible, one evening in Casablanca he will amaze, surprise, by revisiting one of the standards of Moroccan Malhoum: Ghita. Who would have thought that one day this inveterate faithful of Abdelhalim would knock on the door of Lhaj Driss Benali Al malki and make him stand up in his two centuries old tomb. I am convinced that where he is, Driss Benali is smiling with satisfaction. No one has ever interpreted Ghita like Abdou Cherif, not even the great master Driss Toulali. This is the man who leaves us today forever, leaving us his voice, his smile, his elegance, his sensitivity and his audacity to stand up in large concert halls and take his fans on a journey beyond time. . When I arrived home, I stood in a corner, took my phone and started listening to endless extracts of his interpretations, spending more time on some where he had been at the height of his art, such as Rahila, composed by another of Moroccan music: Abdesalam Amer and performed by another beautiful voice that of the crooner Mohamed ElHayani. He also left early. A way of the deceased Abdou Cherif from a distance and to pray for the peace of his soul. I hesitated before offering you any of his interpretations: all of them are as perfect and beautiful as each other. Finally I said to myself why not Bohemia. You have a link down here. We belong to God and to him we return. Rest in peace Abdou.

Part 5/5: PhD - The Eternal Optimist: Next Time Will Be Different (But Not Really)

PhD Students: Where Schedules are Fiction and Coffee is King! "Colorful Calendars, Doomed to Fail": PhD students craft rainbow schedules, thinking this time it'll stick. Spoiler: It doesn't. "Surprise! More Work": Just when they think they've got it sorted, in swoops an email with a 'fun' new task. So long, free time! "Becoming a Night Creature": Who needs sunlight? The real magic happens at 2 AM, fueled by the glow of a laptop screen. "Coffee: The New Water": PhD students don't just drink coffee; they breathe it. It's not a choice; it's survival. "Procrastination Olympics": Watch as they masterfully avoid work by reorganizing sock drawers. Followed by panic-induced hyper-productivity. "Time, What's That?": One minute it's Monday; next, it's deadline day. Time flies when you're... panicking. "Free Time? Sounds Fake": When they do get a break, they're too puzzled to enjoy it. Ends up napping with books as pillows. "Deadline Superhero Mode": Everything gets done in a last-minute frenzy. How? Magic (and maybe a bit of crying). "Post-Deadline Amnesia": Once it's over, they forget the chaos and swear to never repeat it. Narrator: "They will." "Next Time Will Be Different": The eternal PhD mantra. Hope springs eternal, but so does the chaos. Basically, PhD students are like superheroes who fight the villains of procrastination and deadlines with the power of caffeine and last-minute panic. "Running on coffee and a questionable understanding of time management!"

Part 4/5: Research, Rants, & Ridiculousness: The Lighter Side of PhD Madness

PhD: the art of turning coffee, chaos, and code into a degree, one panic attack at a time. - My machine learning model predicted I'd finish my PhD on time. Spoiler: Even AI has a sense of humor. - Neurotoxicity research: figuring out if it's the toxins affecting the brain, or just the endless hours in the lab. - Snake venom for drug discovery? Sure, because handling deadly snakes is less frightening than asking my advisor for a deadline extension. - I told my computer to find a cure for snake bites. It opened a travel site to Antarctica. No snakes, no bites, problem solved!