lundi 1 janvier 2018


Historically speaking, the New Year's Eve has not been kind to me. I can think of only the disasters that had happened on that day in various countries: Melbourne, Guyaquil, Miami, La Habana, I can go on and on.
I wanted it to be, as it was when I was a junior doctor, like any other day, one day passing on to the next, without the pressure that one had to be joyous and make decisions or resolutions. All seemed artificial. In Baracoa, we used to sit up all night by the Malecon singing and watching the sun come up before going home and those days were pleasant.
As usual cards and messages and videos, some of them not very nice, began arriving. I appreciated the fact that people are thinking of you, at least fleetingly, for that moment while they are dispatching these missives to the coterie of their friends!

But this year it was different and I enjoyed it very much.
First of all I had arrived in the USA feeling very content and happy after my trip to Asia and Qatar. I had the luxury of spending the last two days of the year in complete privacy and tranquility at the empty home of my sister. I was invited to dinner to my best friend's house and there were just six of us.
we had enough food and wine and champagne to drink but the centre of attraction was the depth of our friendship and how much we were concerned about each other and genuine expressions of affection. 
This was not a liminal moment but a moment well lived and I felt very good.
It is good to have FRIENDS..
We humans are capable of maintaining intimate relationships with 10-15 people at any one time, but up to 150 social relationships at a time. this number is referred to as Dunbar Number.
Since I have CUBA where friendships have a deeper meaning (a social context, solidarity in that context ) and have a roving geographical realm, the number is slightly higher for me, still intimate relationships are within the 10-15 range..
Last night included some of those from 10-15 intimate range.
From Wikipedia:
Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships—relationships in which an individualknows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.[1][2] This number was first proposed in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who found a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size.[3] By using the average human brain size and extrapolating from the results of primates, he proposed that humans can comfortably maintain only 150 stable relationships.[4] Dunbar explained it informally as "the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar".[5]
Proponents assert that numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group. It has been proposed to lie between 100 and 250, with a commonly used value of 150.[6][7] Dunbar's number states the number of people one knows and keeps social contact with, and it does not include the number of people known personally with a ceased social relationship, nor people just generally known with a lack of persistent social relationship, a number which might be much higher and likely depends on long-term memory size.
Dunbar theorized that "this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex size, and that this in turn limits group size [...] the limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained". On the periphery, the number also includes past colleagues, such as high school friends, with whom a person would want to reacquaint himself or herself if they met again.[8]