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Ludwik Kowalski

Member
  • Content Count

    40
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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Fort Lee, NJ, USA
  • Interests
    research, reading, writing

Previous Fields

  • Political Party:
    Democrat

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  • Website URL
    http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html
  1. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: REFLECTIONS http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/spiritual.htm
  2. Ludwik Kowalski

    Antisemitism

    Some of you might be inserted in my short essay, at: http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/food_for_thought.htm Feel free to share it with all who might be interested, especially students. Ludwik Kowalski
  3. A message from a colleague: If you allow me to carry my cynicism a bit further, I would describe the Paris agreement about climate change as a fig leaf. It allows everyone to continue doing what they want while being able to say they tried to stop the seas from rising. They can say to the people being drowned, "we did our best, so stop complaining". Meanwhile, fossil fuels will be phased out only as fast as is convenient and economically beneficial, as would have been the case without the agreement. Meanwhile, everyone can be happy for a little longer. Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)
  4. Ludwik Kowalski

    Digital Hearing Aids

    Some of you might benefit from reading my free online "Hearing Aids For Dummies" essay. The link is: http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/hearaids5.htm
  5. Questions to Bernie Sanders I like Charlie Rose's program very much; I watch it and learn from it, nearly every weekday. On October 26, during an interview with Charlie Rose, Bernie Sanders agitated for tuition-free public universities, for raising minimum wage, etc. How can a moral person disagree with such proposals? But his agitation for social justice via a progressive socialist revolution against the top one percent of American private property owners scared me. It reminded me of Lenin's agitation agains injustice in Russia, and of a Polish revolutionary song "Burzhujow do pracy zagnamy." My father, a Polish communist, also believed that the only way to eliminate social injustice was to destroy capitalism. But he was arrested in Moscow, and sent to a Gulag camp, where he died, two years later, at the age of 36. My questions to Sanders, if I had a chance of interviewing him, would be different from those asked by Charlie. I want to know what Sanders thinks about proletarian dictatorship, and and how he plans to avoid Gulag-like camps in America. Ludwik Kowalski, Ph.D, See "Diary of a Former Communist," at: http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html and at: http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/father/introduction.html =========================================================
  6. Ludwik Kowalski

    Preacher about faith

    Those who have read my essay "What is God," at: http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/god.htm might be interesed in God-related conceptual difficulties of some preachers, quoted at: http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/god2.htm Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia). Please share these links with those who might be interested.
  7. Thank you for the interesting post. Many people would be willing to die to avoid painfull suffering.
  8. I feel the same way, Ludwik
  9. Ludwik Kowalski

    US electoral votes

    The ongoing debates (August 2015) among potential Republican presidential candidates reminded me of a note I posted several years ago. Below is a link to an updated (and hopefully better) version of this note: http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/presidentEN.htm How can a retired teacher miss an opportunity for sharing what he thinks he understands better? Feel free to share the above link with all who might be interested, especially students. Comments will be appreciated, as usual. Ludwik Kowalski, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Montclair State University =============================================
  10. Personal Sound Amplifiers (PSA) Hearing aids are very expensive, typically from $3000 to $6000 a pair. But some people might postpone wearing them, for many year. I describe this alternative at my university website: http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/aps.htm Feel free to share this short essay with others. Comments will be appreciated. Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)
  11. A New Kind of a Russian Nuclear Reactor Link to my article: http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/cf/reactor419.html Feel free to share it with all who might be interested, especially with students. Ludwik Kowalski, P.D.
  12. Contemporary Russian Situation (10/17/2014) as described by BSN, an unnamed Russian author Translated by Ludwik Kowalski, Ph.D. http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html 1) My translation of BSN's article is available online at: http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/bsn.html 2) Why did I translate this article? Because I know that the present political situation in Russia is far from clear, and that many people will be interested in how it is described by an intelligent Russian patriot. Feel free to share the link with those who might be interested. 3) Point 4 below is only for those who want to know how I became involved. Best regards, Ludwik P.S. Comments will be appreciated. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4)On October 12, 2014 I subscribed to a Russian website: < http://mirbudushego.ru/forum >. My first post contaied the link to my autobiography (as above). The forum administrator BSN, responding to me, wrote: "Stalinist repressions, which you describe, belong to the distant past. Don't you think that emphasis on repression, and comparing Stalinism with Nazism, were, and still are, used by American imperialists to demonize the Soviet Union, and then Russia? At the same time they cynically implement criminal policies. They try to dominate the world and to impose the new totalitarian World Order. Why should one particular policy of Stalin, or other errors of Soviet leaders, discredit the idea of building a just society? Why should it justify support of capitalism, controlled by the worldwide lust-and-power-hungry oligarchy?" To which I responded: "Yes, America, too, is far from an ideal. Yes, politicians of all countries use deplorable events to promote their interests. Stalinism was based on Marx's theory, according to which the dictatorship of the proletariat is the only way to build a just society. My parents believed in this ideology. But it was not justified by the Soviet reality. That reality should be studied, to avoid repeating similar catastrophes. BSN replied: "The main reason for the collapse of the Soviet Union was the betrayal by the elite, which, at the behest of the United States, and under the demagogic arguments about freedom and democracy, decided to discontinue building a just society, and to live comfortably in the unjust society, at the expense of common people. Marx's mistake was obvious; he believed that a change in the economic system would automatically change the consciousness of people. Reality is different; an economic system cannot be changed without first changing the consciousness of people. The primary desire of most people (in the socialist countries, like that of people living in the West), is material comfort, fun and entertainment. Therefore, to build a just society, it is necessary to rely on changing attitudes of people, not just a change of the socio-economic model, or transfer of the steering wheel from one social class, to another. What you think about it? Do you agree that today we should fight for a just society on the basis of an ideology similar to Marxism but modified, to account of mistakes made in the USSR?" My immediate reply was short; I wrote: "Yes I agree. But I am not a sociologist. Who is developing such a theory in the Russian Federation today?" BSN's reply was also short; he wrote: " see, for example, ====> " What is this link for? It allows one to read 23 articles (all in Russian), on BSN's open forum. The first 22 articles address psychology, sociology and history topics; the last one is a very interesting, (and probably unique?) description of the contemporary Russian situation. Unfortunately, BSN did not reply to my suggestion to discuss the last article privately, via email. After waiting several days I translated his article into English, and posted the translation on our university forum. The link is: http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/bsn.html Why did I do this? Because I know that present political situation in Russia is not clear, and that many people will be interested in how it is described by BSN.
  13. What is God? According to our ancestors, who recorded their beliefs in the Bible, God is an all-powerful and all-knowing entity, living somewhere outside of our world, who created the world and controls what happens in it. My definition of God is slightly different; I tend to think that God is not an entity outside nature, but nature itself, as postulated by a 17th century Jewish theologian, Baruch Spinoza, in Holland. Our very distant ancestors were polytheists; they invented the idea of multiple gods. Our less distant ancestors replaced this idea with the mental image of a personal--omnipotent and omniscient--ruler. Most people on earth still believe in a personal God, but some try to develop a more recent mental image of the ruler, formulated by Spinoza. All three descriptions refer to the same everlasting entity, no matter how it is called. It is not a sin to think that laws of Nature are equivalent to God's laws, while praying. Do you agree? An interesting article about Spinoza appeared in The New York Times, written by a professor of philosophy, Steven Nadler: http://opinionator blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/25/judging-spinoza/ It generated many interesting online comments. A reader, RMC, wrote: "I know many Christians and Jews who practice their religious traditions although their own beliefs are secular. They make no secret of their sentiments. Spinoza was excommunicated during a time of religious orthodoxy and in that respect his experience is much like Galileo's. When the Catholic Church repudiated its treatment of Galileo, it was not merely saying that the earth revolves around the sun. It was saying that punishing the members of its congregation for thinking for themselves, including about church dogma, was parochial and destructive." With regard to independent thinking, several readers emphasized that traditional religious ceremonies, and respect for legends, do help to keep social groups together, even when people know that biblical legends do not represent historical truth. Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)
  14. Ludwik Kowalski

    AUDIO BOOKS

    Dear friends, 1) As we all know, books are still produced traditionally. But eBooks (to be read on screens, large or small) and audio books (aBooks, to be listened to on various devices) become more and more common. 2) Last week I discovered that publishing an audio book via ACX is said to be very easy, provided the author already has an eBook (or a traditional book) at Amazon. I am starting this thread to share what I know (not a lot at this stage) about the ACX. I hope I am not the only one (on this list) who is trying to publish an aBook via ACX. Perhaps we can learn from each other. 3) Here is what I did so far. I went to < http://www.acx.com > , pressed the GO, and created a password for my account. Then I created the profile for my book, following their instructions. People who create ACX accounts are either authors or producers. The terms "narrator" and "producer" are used (in short tutorials) as if they were synonyms. The ACX is the online market place, created by Amazon, for authors and producers. A producer wants to find an author and an author wants to find a producer. They accept each other's offer and sign a contract. The author has nothing else to do, because Amazon already has the text to be narrated and recorded. The producer narrates the text and delivers it to the ACX. They create multiple copies of aBooks, and deliver them to their three stores. 4) In some contracts an author pays the producer a flat fee, or they may agree to split royalties. My book consists of 35,720 words, and some illustrations. This translates into approximately 3.8 hours of narration. The flat fee is typically between $200 and $400 per each hour of narration, depending on the producer. Illustrations would be ignored, when the aBook is produced. Why am I prefer the split-royalties agreement? Because it implies zero expenses. 5) How to find a producer? The first step is to go to < http://www.acx.com >, as before. The page that opens has the "search" menu, at the upper right corner. One of the options in this menu is "Producers for Hire." I chose this option and saw the beginning of the list of nearly 27,000 producers, in the ACX database. By clicking the displayed name of a producer I can read his or her background, and what they offer. Fortunately, there is a way to automatically eliminate producers, which do not satisfy my expectation, by using buttons on the left side of the list. Each button brought a set of options; I was able to eliminate female voices, foreign languages, unwanted accents, etc. At the end the list was reduced to about ten names. I selected one after listening to samples of voices. For each producer I had two choices, either to send a personal email, or to make a formal offer. 6) Undecided what to do I simply wrote down the producer's name. Next time I will be able to do what I decide, after typing that name into the dedicated box (that appears after the "Producers for Hire" button is pressed. Producers search for authors in a similar way. Instead of clicking the "Producers for Hire" they press the "Titles accepting auditions," from the "search" menu. Ludwik
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