Gabriel García Márquez

In honor of Gabriel García Márquez, who passed away this week, I’d like to share a passage from One Hundred Years of Solitude, brilliantly translated into English by Gregory Rabassa:

… Úrsula wondered if it was not preferable to lie down once and for all in her grave and let them throw the earth over her, and she asked God, without fear, if he really believed that people were made of iron in order to bear so many troubles and mortifications; and asking over and over she was stirring up her own confusion and she felt irrepressible desires to let herself go and scamper about like a foreigner and allow herself at last an instant of rebellion, that instant yearned for so many times and so many times postponed, putting her resignation aside and shitting on everything once and for all and drawing out of her heart the infinite stacks of bad words that she had been forced to swallow over a century of conformity.

     “Shit!” she shouted.

     Amaranta, who was starting to put the clothes into the trunk, thought that she had been bitten by a scorpion.

     “Where is it?” she asked in alarm.

     “What?”

     “The bug!” Amaranta said.

     Úrsula put a finger on her heart.

     “Here,” she said.

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Using Data

The ability to take data – to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it’s going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades, not only at the professional level but even at the educational level for elementary school kids, for high school kids, for college kids. Because now we really do have essentially free and ubiquitous data. So the complimentary scarce factor is the ability to understand that data and extract value from it.

Hal Varian, The McKinsey Quarterly, January 2009