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Communication

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Science fiction tends to turn real scientific theories into stories about what is possible.

  • The stories use facts of sciences to suggest a real possible future.
  • It explores what could happen if specific events came to pass.
  • It suggests possible consequences of scientific advancements.
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Communication

Science fiction is a mixture of hard and soft science fiction.

  • Hard science fiction strictly follows natural scientific facts and principles like physics, astronomy, chemistry, etc. For example, Gravity, the story of an astronaut whose spacecraft is damaged while she repairs a satellite, was known for its scientific accuracy.
  • Soft science fiction is focused on social sciences, like anthropology, sociology, psychology, etc. For example, the film Wall-E is science fiction about the end of life on Earth due to man's disregard for nature.
Science fiction in pop culture

The Star Wars films are probably the most well-known example of science fiction in popular culture.

The Matrix is another sci-fi film that tells the story of a world where humans are completely controlled, and life on Earth is a simulation occurring in the mind. Neo, the protagonist, is shown that his life is an illusion and he is tasked with saving humanity.

Science fiction (sci-fi)

Sci-fi is a genre of fiction literature that is based on scientific facts, theories, and principles. While the storylines and some parts are imaginary, they are plausible according to science.

Science fiction became popular for both writers and audiences with technological developments over the past 150 years, such as electricity, space exploration, medical advances, etc.

H.G. Wells' 1898 novel The War of the Worlds tells the story of an alien invasion in the United Kingdom that threatens the existence of mankind. The novel started with, "No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own."

George Orwell's 1984 shows the future of mankind in a dystopian state. It shows society under a tyrannical government, where "Big Brother" is watching your every move.

Fantasy is a genre of fiction that focuses on imaginary elements such as superheroes, alternate worlds, aliens, etc. Science fiction may include elements of fantasy but always have a basis in science, whereas fantasy is only imaginative.

Space opera is a form of science fiction where the story takes place in outer space. Space operas are action or adventure-themed and include space travel, interstellar wars or heroes trying to save the world.

Taking Work Feedback Personally

Many of us allow our identity to be tied to our work. We let our jobs define our self-worth. If we receive critical feedback for our work, we feel like our life is failing too.

When performance reviews are around the corner, it is worth knowing how to take critical feedback without letting it affect our emotional wellbeing.

Once you don't feel so down, ask people you trust to help identify your blind spots and talk about improving these areas. Then look at the feedback you've received and compare it to what your boss said.

  • Are there overlaps between the feedback of your friends and your boss?
  • Have these weaknesses shown up elsewhere, such as at school or while doing volunteer work?
  • Do you have another point of view and the evidence to support your argument?

Set up some time with your boss to discuss the feedback and how you plan to improve.

As your boss talks, actually listen and don't just think of a rebuttal. Ask open-ended questions to show you are engaged in the conversation.

  • Your questions are a paraphrase of what your boss says. "I hear you say X, which to me sounds like Y. Is that correct?"
  • Avoid "why" questions as it tends to put the speaker on the defensive. "Why would you say I am not a team player?"
  • Watch your tone. Try to keep it warm and your pitch low.

While you can't control what you're boss will say to you, you can control how you respond.

A strategy for dealing with criticism is the Stop-Acknowledge-Feel-Engage (SAFE) technique. It can remind you of your worth and help you manage your mental and emotional health.

When you come away from the conversation, you might need some place to vent. Find a safe space outside of the office, if possible.

  • To remind yourself that you are more than your job, ask trusted friends to hear you out. They may remind you of your accomplishments. During the talks, try to understand what about the feedback is upsetting you.
  • Using your friends' feedback, make a list of the great things you've done to help increase your confidence.

When our work performance is criticised, it can make us question our sense of self and make us perceive it as a threat. We are likely to have an emotional reaction that can lead to irrational outbursts.

How to manage your response: Stop. Don't defend yourself or argue your position. Instead, try to become aware of your physical and emotional reaction. Is your heart racing, your breathing shallow? Silently count to 10, focus on your breath, and lightly rub your fingers as you listen.

When you give out good interview questions you:

  • Allow yourself to delve into the position's more demanding aspects and whether you're qualified to meet their demands; and
  • It displays your vision within the role, basicaly thinking about how you'll perform in the position being offered, which is a really encouraging aspect to see from a candidate.
Five Questions That Impress Hiring Managers
  1. Do you see any major changes in the position or workplace in the coming year?
  2. What can I do to really "win" at this job?
  3. If you were to leave this company, what would be the reason?
  4. What growth opportunities does the organization offer?
  5. Is there anything else I can share to put me at the top of your list?

Hiring managers appreciate it when you ask questions that makes them think and be able to deliver insightful answers. It shows your drive, ambitions, and willingness to invest in the company.

Benefits of learning a new language

Research shows that it's important to "exercise" your brain. Learning a language is one of the most effective ways to do this.
Benefits of speaking or learning a second language:

  • It improves overall cognitive abilities.
  • It decreases cognitive decline in older age. People learning a second language has lowered risks of Alzheimer's.
  • Multilingual people are skilful at switching between different systems of speech, writing, and structure, making them better multi-taskers.
  • Exercising your brain with learning a language improves your overall memory.
  • While learning a second language, you focus more on grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure, making you a more effective communicator.
  • Speaking another language means you have access to new words and cultures.
  • Culture is a way of perspective and identity, and people speaking the same language immediately bond and form a connection.
  • If an English speaking person learns Spanish, the underlying culture that emphasises ‘passion’ or ‘enjoying the experience’ is a more important cultural value in the countries who are natively Spanish.
  • The culture of a certain place may include cuisine, history, music and notable personalities, but language becomes the salt without which the culture is tasteless.

The local language is the preferred route to understand the culture due to 2 reasons:

  1. Most people don’t speak English very well, due to their learning it as a second or third language. These people do not represent the real sampling of the country's population, just being the better-educated cosmopolitans who speak a global language.
  2. Most translations are poor substitutes for the real cultural essence, and a person needs to learn the original language to fully understand the context and culture.
Language And The Way We Think

Language is a literal and linguistic tool that many believe is a fundamental basis of the way we think. Some have hypothesized (like the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) that many languages do not have room for certain thought patterns, and are able to alter our thoughts.

The underlying logic is just because there is no word in a certain language to express something, people who speak the language will not be able to think it, and if they learn a different language, new words and phrases are learned, leading to new ways of thinking.

Learning a new language provides access to people who have different thoughts than our own, helping us understand ourselves and the world with a new insightful mindset that didn’t exist before.

Learning a new language, therefore is not just culture, but a way into the minds of people who are not like us.

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