Five Lab – an application who knows you well

Recently, I stumbled upon something very interesting which seem to become very popular, especially among social media enthusiasts – a Five Labs Personality Test. It is a tool created by a San Francisco company Five that analyses the words you use in your facebook posts and determines which traits of personality you have. It is based on five characteristics – extraversion, openness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, and agreeableness.

The popularity of personality tests of various kinds – from the ones that you find in  magazines for teenagers to those of the “which character of your favorite TV series you are” is overwhelming. After answering few simple questions you have the result which you can share with your friends. Thus, it is no surprise that new Five Lab’s tool is spreading thought the internet like a wildfire, even if it works in a little different way. The algorithm does not enquire you about anything – it simply digs into all your facebook activity and counts the words that are ascribed to one particular character trait.

As simple as that, it already attracted giant number of users. People love statistics, especially if they touch them personally. And you can get more than that – seeing your friends’ profiles, comparing personalities with famous people like Barack Obama or Andy Warhol is among activities that you can do using this tool. . bez tytułu I

It shows you the chart and describes you in five words

The idea behind it is to show people how they create their image in social networking sites, such as facebook. Many try to be perceived in a different way than they are in real life, they create kind of avatar of themselves. But the data you receive after analysis is meant to be a kind of reflection of your profile – it extracts as many information as it can to determine who you are. The only problem with Five labs is that it only counts the words which are ascribed to one particular trait, not taking into consideration the context. It would be probably impossible to do this. But is it possible to truly label one’s personality? And even if, what for?

Five labs were designed mostly for fun of its users, like most of the tests of this kind. I suppose the huge part of the results doesn’t correspond to the real characters. But when we think of it – do we try to upload our everyday life on facebook? I think we want to share everything that is interesting to us and to certain extent try to appear better, richer and friendlier than they really are. But it’s nothing wrong with it – it is only our human nature, the want to be popular and respected. It is the form that is new.

One thing that worries me a little is the warning before you can get the results – you give access to your friend list, your posts, your email, your family, your relationship status, etc. We once again are asked to give so many information about our lives. The creators probably have now a lot of data about several millions of people. And they gave it voluntary. I cannot answer the question if an application can show in few moments how people are like. But one I can tell for sure, considering how fast the phenomenon of this application has spread throughout the Internet, is that the social media really carry enormous influence. It is only up to us how we will use it.  It is still a bit frightening when an engine shows you how sociable or reliable you are based on few hundred words you posted, in many cases without thinking much about it, on your facebook profile.

The site itself: http://labs.five.com

When American president visits Polish capital city

This week, the President of the United States visited Poland for the first time since 2011. He came on the 4th of  July not without a reason – this date is particularly important for the Polish history, as it is the anniversary of abolishing the communist system there. Twenty five years ago the first free elections took place. It is not surprising that such a huge amount of people came to see Mr President making a speech, then.

generally speaking, Poles view Americans positively. Although we cannot say that about all the population, the 2013 BBC World Service Poll showed that 55% of Poles view U.S. influence positively, the highest rating for any surveyed European country. A lot of Polish people have their families in United States and vice versa. Poland is perceived as one of the most pro-American nations, with deep political, economical and military bond between these two. But why do Poles and Americans seem to like each other so much?

Every post-1989 Polish government has been a strong supporter of America’s presence in the country. It is obvious  that no political body does favours and gives support for free. But this relationship is mutual – a lot of Polish soldiers sacrificed their lives in American Army and died for the ideology of the U.S. Besides, these two countries were allies during Second World War. We should also keep in mind that just when Poland lost its independence America became a free country.

The importance of immigration is also not to be underestimated. Today, in many countries America is the synonym for the better life and opportunities, a place where everything is perfect and it is easy to get rich. The myth of ‘rags to riches’ has always been very alluring. Although “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”, a lot of ordinary people have stayed there, having found the job that their mother country couldn’t offer and founded the family with an American spouse. And the connections are created.

The values of both countries are also very similar. Both American and Polish people deem freedom very precious and are very religious and rather conservative nation. It seems as though they are basically the same kind of people, additionally entangled in mutual historical alliances. That’s the reason why it is always such a big event when American president comes to Polish soil – no matter if we are in 1972, fighting with deep communism and greeting Richard Nixon or in 2014, still tackling many issues, but as an independent country, gathering to greet Barack Obama.

Let’s abolish all the final exams!

The May is coming to an end and the final exams are something that now occupies minds of most of young people. Some of them have already passed all of them, while others are still cramming for the remaining ones. But are these big tests really that important?

The answer for that question is not as simple as you may think. There’s been a lot of criticism of schools lately, because they are said to be getting more and more exam-oriented. They are simply focusing on the end of year examination and everything they do throughout the year has some connections with it.

On the other hand, it is very important for the students to get the best marks possible. Why? The most obvious reason is that the better your marks are now, the wider will be the range of universities wanting you and the more likely you are to get a well-paid job on today’s unstable job market. The next would probably be the parents’ expectations and personal ambitions. The A levels or the equivalents are treated as the most important moment in one’s education. Not everyone will go further to get a degree and there’s a lot of pressure on getting the highest marks possible.

Teachers are judged on grounds of their students’ achievement, so it is perfectly understandable why they put so much emphasis on doing all types of exercises that improve learners’ ability to do well on an exam rather than on learning more facts and information that are useful in the future studies or work. The tests themselves are getting more and more complicated as it comes to structure, and less reliable as an indicator of potential of a future attendant of university. The exams are bad, bad, bad – everybody complains about them, but let’s be realistic – what other possibility do the we have to select the best pupils? Talking with each student would take too much time as the candidates almost always outnumber the places available. Setting entrance exam is basically doing the same thing, but in other time. And using personal statement and teacher’s reference as the only requirement would be simply foolish.

But what’s so wrong with it? It’s long been that way – you are taught, you learn, and you are required to show how much you’ve learned. And it works just like that since our first years in school. And since we don’t have any choice, we should just lay it to rest.And if you want to rebel – you’ll end up failing a year. At least, it is how I see it.

Do the big world and normal people really go together?

People spend great deal of time scrolling down the BBC or PBS , reading newspapers or glued to the screen during evening news. The certainly want to know what’s going on – not only locally, but also globally. But I observe that we acknowledge the facts, complain about politicians – who they previously elected – and stop caring about it.  We do not even question the accuracy of all the information that filter through different parts of the world to us – and it is not uncommon to watch the same fact presented in different stations in a completely different way.  Where you stand depends on where you sit, as the saying goes.  We don’t want to meddle in political life – we may argue with our  fathers-in-law about who should win in the next elections, but let’s be honest – how many of us really do a research which politician did most for improving our lives or passed the bills that we deem right?

We’ve got to understand that our current situation is unstable – we’ve got military conflicts, high unemployment rate  and big corporations exploiting their workers. There is also an issue of safety – in 2011 in more than 30,000 people died from  gunfire, and recently more than two hundred schoolgirls were kidnapped from schools in Nigeria. Moreover, we are constantly being watched – we aren’t really anonymous while surfing the net.

But what an ordinary citizen of this planet can do? Our only duty to question everything that we are told and think about it. Too many people walk away from problems that don’t affect them directly. Let’s not let the infocalypse flood us and ensure that we will never live in year 1984.