In God and the World, his book of conversations with Cardinal Ratzinger who later became Pope, Peter Seewald asks:

Isn’t it remarkable, how in spite of our deep-rooted longing for love, we regard everything else as being more important: success, sex, status, money, power. We use almost all of our energy in learning how to reach these goals. And we devote hardly any effort at all to learning the art of loving.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger answers:

Many of the things you mentioned are short-cuts and substitutes. . . it is an essential part of man’s calling to develop his capabilities–and only thus can he fulfill his mission of loving.

Man is meant to develop and actualize the potential within him; he is meant to do something in this world. That’s because learning work skills and setting about a job in no way conflict with his basic task of loving, but give it concrete shape. I am only fulling my mission to love . . . when I become the person I am capable of being. When I am giving what I am able to give. When I open up those possibilities in creation and in the network of human relationships that help us to get through life together and together to shape the fertile capacity of the world and of life into a garden, in which we can find both security and freedom.

This basic impulse goes astray whenever this vocational education aims at no more than the acquisition of skills; whenever mastery over our environment, improving our earning capacity, and the pursuit of power become dissociated from the inner task of loving, from everyone’s being there for everyone else. Whenever power gets the better of giving. Whenever self-assertion, turning in on oneself, the collecting of things around oneself becomes more than the primary aim and, in this way, man’s capacity for loving is choked off. Man is then dominated by things and no longer knows how to value them properly.

It is important that we not see our abilities, our vocational training, as being in themselves merely secondary. Certainly, all our abilities and all the technological capacity of man should be kept in their proper place, in our minds, and ought not to become autonomous. Whenever power becomes autonomous and is the sole category of judgment for man, then it turns into slavery and is the opposite of love.

The above quote was taken from a section titled “How Do We Learn to Love?” in pages 190-191.

To find out how to develop and actualize your potential, and to become the person you are capable of being, go to Circles of Growth.


You didn’t need to wait long for the overall outcome of the federal elections. Polls closed in British Columbia at 7.00pm on October 19 Pacific time. I was at the pharmacy. When I got home and tuned in to CBC, these were the standings:

7.40pm LIB 184, CON 100, NDP 28, BQ 9, GRN 0 (undecided 17)

The final results posted on the morning of October 20:

Oct 20: LIB 184, CON 99, NDP 44, BQ 10, GRN 1.

The 17 ridings that were undecided at 7.40pm were likely in BC. Of these, 16 went to NDP and 1 was for Elizabeth May, the Green leader on Vancouver Island.

This proves that you don’t have to measure everything to get a high degree of accuracy (up to 90%) so long as the sample is truly random. So for instance, after counting a random sample of 10% of the ballots, the leading candidate will most likely be the winning candidate.

Based on the overall election results, this is what we knew a mere 40 minutes after the polls closed:

  1. The Liberals won a majority and they would form government.
  2. Stephen Harper lost; Justin Trudeau will be the new Prime Minister.
  3. The Conservatives replaced the NDP as the official opposition.

If you were going to have a busy next day, you could go to bed then! So once again, Douglas Hubbard is proven right. In his book, How to Measure Anything, he argues that instead of getting a large enough sample, focus on getting truly random sample. With a truly random sample, you can have a accurate results with a small sample–and save time and money!

In fact, as the night progressed, the results became less accurate before returning to greater accuracy towards the end. Here’s my listing of the results as broadcasted by CBC from 7.40pm to 9.05pm when the speeches started. Of the 338 seats in the House of Commons:

  • 7.40pm LIB 184, CON 100, NDP 28, BQ 9, GRN 0 (undecided 17)
  • 7.45pm LIB 180, CON 102, NDP 32, BQ 10, GRN 1 (undecided 13)
  • 7.50pm LIB 185, CON 103, NDP 33, BQ 10, GRN 1 (undecided 6)
  • 7.55pm LIB 185, CON 104, NDP 36, BQ 10, GRN 1 (undecided 2)
  • 8.00pm LIB 186, CON 104, NDP 36, BQ 10, GRN 1 (undecided 1)
  • 8.05pm LIB 185, CON 106, NDP 35, BQ 10, GRN 1 (undecided 1)
  • 8.10pm LIB 187, CON 107, NDP 33, BQ 10, GRN 1 (undecided 0)
  • 8.15pm LIB 189, CON 106, NDP 32,BQ 10, GRN 1
  • 8.20pm LIB 188, CON 105, NDP 34,BQ 10, GRN 1
  • 8.25pm LIB 191, CON 104, NDP 32, BQ 10, GRN 1
  • 8.30pm LIB 188, CON 103, NDP 36,BQ 10, GRN 1
  • 8.35pm LIB 189, CON 103, NDP 35, BQ 10, GRN 1
  • 8.40pm LIB 189, CON 103, NDP 35, BQ 10, GRN 1
  • 8.45pm LIB 187, CON 104, NDP 36, BQ 10, GRN 1
  • 8.50pm LIB 189, CON 103, NDP 35, BQ 10, GRN 1
  • 8.55pm LIB 190, CON 102, NDP 35, BQ 10, GRN 1
  • 9.00pm LIB 188, CON 103, NDP 36, BQ 10, GRN 1
  • 9.05pm LIB 188, CON 102, NDP 37, BQ 10, GRN 1
  • 9.10pm Concession and victory speeches started.

Colony Farm, Coquitlam, BC, Canada (25 May 2013)

  • Baltimore Oriole (First-time)
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • American Goldfinch
  • Rufous Hummingbird
  • Tree Swallow
  • Violet-green Swallow
  • Barn Swallow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow (First-time)
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Mallard
  • Spotted Towhee
  • Song Sparrow

Missed: Lazuli Bunting

Final results were known early in the night. Timeline is PDT Vancouver on May 15, 2013. Reports are from CBC.

8.00pm Polls closed.

8.17pm Richmond East was the first riding to report in with some numbers.

8.50pm LIB 47, NDP 28, GRN 2, IND 3

9.00pm LIB 49, NDP 34, GRN 1, IND 1

9.10pm LIB 51, NDP 32, GRN 1, IND 1

9.20pm LIB 50, NDP 33, GRN 1, IND 1

Does anyone know what percentage of votes were counted by 9.20pm? My guess is between 10-20% of votes were in by 9.20pm. In How to Measure Anything, Douglas Hubbard argues that you don’t need to measure everything to get a high degree of accuracy (say 90%) so long as your sample is truly random.

Based on the accuracy by percentage of final overall results:

8.50pm LIB 94%, NDP 85%, GRN 50%, IND 33%

9.00pm LIB 98%, NDP97%, GRN 100%, IND 100%

9.10pm LIB 98%, NDP 97%, GRN 100%, IND 100%

9.20pm LIB 100%, NDP 100%, GRN 100%, IND 100%

So one hour after polls closed, we already had 97% degree of accuracy of the overall election results. Does anyone know how many votes were counted as of 9.00pm?

How did the advance polls get it wrong? Was their sample truly random? Did the people they polled actually vote?

After a non-techie helped tech support solve her problem, she said:

Everything that I do that’s right is an accident.

God gave me my computer to show me that I am not in control.

–Jean Nordlund

Another first! Spotted at Colony Farm on 28 July 2012