Saturday, June 23, 2007

Motive force

Everyone has a motivation to do what they do. After all, they wouldn't do it if there wasn't motivation behind what they were doing. Whether it is peer pressure, parental pressure or monetary pressure, each decision is carefully weighed by preception, emotion and thoughts.

However, one wonders how people can be so passionate about art. Or one can wonder how people can be passionate about anything but art.

Art is one of the great mysteries that we have in the world. It reflects something that simple language can't express. Music, poetry, prose, sculpture...the list goes on and on, all for the simple expression of a feeling, emotion, thought as light as a breeze. Just because language is so inept at doing so.

How about technical people? For the rest of us that aren't artists...the rest of us that are just making a living in the world... what is our motivation? Are we trying to express ourselves with our jobs, our money, our lives?

Sometimes I wonder if our lives are truly empty, as some people have stated, and that art is just a way of expressing our fleeting impressions of the world to the rest of us sheep. Then art fills us up for a while, before it becomes dull and mundane. I wonder...

Either way, music is good. Although I'm more of a fan for listening than writing it. Prose on the other hand, I might want to write. It's been said that everyone has a novel or two within him/her. All it takes is the motivation to do so.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New ideas are awesome

because innovation is the very stuff of life. We make do without a lot of things, and we keep going. But what exactly allows us to create ideas that would eventually be the wide reaching, paradigm shifting innovations is a sharp mind, and a lot of analysis.

List of books to read:

Tipping point.
Any book on human factors.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Soundtrack of your life.

Well, I hate to delete notes but then I realize linking tags to it makes it intrusive into other people's lives. So here is it, imported from facebook.

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes)/ MP3 player
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie

Title - Artist

Waking Up:
Time Management - EBison (Chrono Trigger Remix)
-Well...this is strange...I don't have time management...

First Day at High school:
Seperate Ways (Worlds Apart) - Journey

Falling In Love:
Only When You Leave - Spandau Ballet I fall in love only when she leaves? This is sad.

Fight Song:
The Waiting Room - Sixpence None the Richer
-Certainly suspense building, since this song is about waiting for God...

Breaking Up:
Heart to Heart - Kai
-fits perfectly I guess.

It Might Be You - Kai
-Egotistical much?

Face the Change (Album Remix) - Every Little Thing
-Yes, apparently I need to face changes in my life.

Mental Breakdown:
True Colors - Every Little Thing
-Now my music is telling me I'm crazy!

Three Small Words - Josie and the PussyCats

Shapes of Love - Every Little Thing

Getting Back Together:
When Darkness Falls - Secret Garden

Is this feeling love? - Tommy February6
-cold feet?

Birth of Child:
Wrong Impression - Natalie Imbruglia

Final Battle:
Halfway Around The World - Thievery Corporation
-So I travel halfway around the world? Cool! Just for a final battle!

Death Scene:
Over and Over - Every Little Thing
-Wow. I don't ever want to know how I died there.

Funeral Song:
Come on Home - Natalie Imbruglia
-So I get shipped home in a casket. Or is there a religious implication here?

End Credits:
Killer's Waltz - Thievery Corporation

Theory reeditted.

I hate the fact that people misunderstand me so much because of the tone of voice I use. The fact that they try to dig for things that aren't there.

Here's the reeditted version of the previous theory, without the undercurrents of whinniness that wasn't there to begin with.

Thanks to someone reminding me about people concentrating only the lists etc, I will have to stop the stream of consciousness writing.
Emosoc is a quantification of emotional and social bonds that one feels by spending time with another person. Maybe something along the lines of something like Watts, J/s. But more like emotional and social bonds/day or something like that.

Suppose a human has a certain emosoc level achieve in order to feel not lonely. Now, emosocs can be achieved by spending time with people that have emotional or social bonds with the person. The deeper the relationship, the more emosoc that one generates. Now, there are modifiers to the number of emosocs that would make the person worth more in terms of emosocs. Friends, family and lovers/significant others all generate some form of emosoc.

Now, there are modifiers, such as past history, that would make a person be worth more on the emosoc scale. The exact quantification won't be available until a full survey and weighting schemes has been processed. I do believe emosoc levels would tend to be exponential in nature though.

Baring exceptional cases such as major trauma, a person's emosoc level stays the same. As well, the theory also states that additional emosoc levels pass the person's own personal emosoc level gain no additional benefits.
Now, just on a system level, can we use this to explain certain events?

Ie. People, when getting close to a new group of friends, usually become distant to an older group of friends. As they become closer to a new group of friends, their emosoc quota has been met, and because additional emosoc do not net additional benefits, they become more distant with an older group of friends. Furthermore, there will be a certain period of time between that whereby the person would try to stay in contact with both group of friends. However, their emosoc levels will follow a bathtub curve. At the midpoint, will lean either towards the newer group or older group because they suffer a small emosoc penalty because they are with neither group.

Ie. People (displaced people from university or work) will more likely to attend social events such as gettogethers than certain people with families or older groups of friends. Even when both of them are free (no events) and are equidistant from the point of the gettogether (work involved).

Ie. People when involved in a relationship with a significant other, become more distant to friends because their emosoc levels have been met. Additional levels of emosoc net no additional return.

Ie. People when displaced, will be in a void of emosocs. In order to fulfill their emosoc threshold, they will need lots of new friends or deep relationships. Now, more often than not because of constraints on time, a herd of new friends will not be possible and will seek a single point of a deeper relationship (or several, just to have that possibility). Most people would, after being displaced, seek out a group of friends and a deeper relationship. *

Ie. People when travelling or displaced tend to put on a better face in order to not frighten new emosocs away. Emosocs are harder to come by when travelling. Therefore, it usually ends with a) meeting new friends or b) deepening relationship with travelling companions in order to fulfill that emosoc deprivation.

*With the Internet, the number of new friends might not be real at all but virtual representations such as players in a MMORPG. Chat rooms and the like allow for a slew of less emosoc worth relationships. However, the number generated might be high enough for certain people.
There probably is a theory like this somewhere in the psychology. If anyone does know of one, can they tell me the name so I can read up on it.

Comments about this theory would be appreciated, and not about my whinniness or desperateness or whatever. This was what I was trying to get across before. Ish, I know I have a problem with my tone of voice (metaphorically speaking, as this is print), but I didn't know people would misunderstand me this much.

On relationships after grad.

Well, here's my newest theory.

I feel that people tend to commit more to serious relationships and compromise more directly after graduation because of several reasons which I list below:

1) After graduation, you tend to meet less and less people just because of the lack of time you have juggling a job and a life.
2) Most of your friends are usually busy or in different cities or there is some sort of problem with getting together regularly.
3) One person's schedule is easier to handle than several people's schedules at once.
4) You become more lonely.

So basically what happens is that after grad, you meet less and less new people. You tend to hang around your own smaller group of friends from work or people you meet. University friends and high school friends are typically busy or far away. You usually lack history with your current 'new' group of friends and therefore feel that it is a 'shallower' friendship than the ones you experienced in university and high school, where you have much more time to be together.

At the same time, more and more of your friends are getting into serious relationships, you aren't getting any younger, and people (like parents or grandparents) suddenly treat every next person you date as the next potential candidate to help them get grandchildren (or great-grandchildren). Who said that peer pressure and support from family isn't important. All you need is love....ha!

Because of the lack of social and emotional connection you feel from your current group of friends (the new ones) and the detachment and missing emotional part from your old groups of friends (Uni and HS buddies), you want something to fill a void. Let's say there's a measure for emotional and social connection called a emosoc (trademarked. I want my name in a paper!). Like an equation, let's say your new group gives you only 1 emosoc per person. Your old group gives 2 emosoc per person (from past history and connection from experiences). Now, your new group tend to be smaller then the old crew because you're new.

So let's say 6 for the new group and 10 people for the old group. So now presently, you usually feel approximately 6*1 emosoc or 6 emosoc per day. In uni or HS, you usually feel 10*2 emosoc, or 20 emosoc. Because of how busy people are and stuff like that, in order to feel like you did in university and high school, you need either, 14 new friends, 7 old friends to hang around, or either enter a new very serious relationship that would provide the lack of 14 emosoc in your life. Usually 14 new friends or 7 old friends takes too much time to cultivate and they would rather dedicate time to a much deeper connection just because they don't have enough time. I think this is the drive that makes people compromise and settle. I don't think its because mainly people are scared that they're going be "crazy cat ladies" or "old farts". People aren't that long-sighted. They just feel lonely as they grow older and need a stronger and stronger relationship to fill that void.

This is all relative though. Because everyone has a different emosoc level that they're used to. And it is only usually after they move into a new place that they realize the relative difference. Usually though, I find that most people have a similar number of friends in their life. As soon as one friend usually come in to their life, another one becomes substantially less important. This also explains why some people, as soon as they are in a relationship, drop all their friends. Their emosoc levels have been met and usually can't support the extra links. Most people that I know usually don't change their emosoc levels much. It remains constant. What does seem to change is that as soon as you try to go into a bigger group of friends, you become more distant somehow. This is semi-understandable as you only have a certain number of hours you can dedicate to friends (You only have 24 hours/day after all).

Girls also don't seem to form shallow friendships as easily as guys, and therefore tend to feel lonelier. Hence, more clingy. Well, I guess that blows my 'requirements' out of the water. Oh well, here's to trying.

So anyways, that's my reasoning for why people seem to grow that much more serious after university. Apparently, that's the right age to get settled down and married. I think that's only because of this.

Quarterlife crises. Seriously, what's up with that?

Sometimes I wonder about mental health and how it disrupts us. We strive so hard to be special, and it always hurts a little inside when we find that we are merely interchangeable clogs in society. We lack confidence at that point and basically become hollow shells of ourselves.

Sometimes life doesn't go as we plan, and sometimes it does. We never seem to know when it does and when it doesn't. But at our age, it's so hard to see a sign about what we should do. Either way though, all we can hope for is that we don't do something we regret. Like missing out on life in certain ways.

Some people will turn to religions. Others turn to family or friends. Others turn to their special someone. All of those help, but in the end, the decision to make is still your own. To be content, or to be happy. To compromise or stick with integrity. It's a fine line to walk between, between contentment and stagnation, satisfaction and mediocrity and happiness with uncertainty. Sometimes I feel like we just don't appreciate things because we haven't suffered enough. Personally, I don't feel like I am strong. I bear no scars of the past. People talk about artists needing to suffer before they can create true art. I state that it is by scars of the past, emotional and mental, that allow people to be great.

I don't believe I can post that I condone suicide, but I do believe some people feel despair to the point where we probably wouldn't understand. Nobody ever lives the same life as another person. We all make choices that other people wouldn't understand.

It's that reason why people aren't truly logical and they remain the last bastion of true chaos. Sometimes I wonder if that's the reason I find psychology and this all so fascinating. That we can never truly understand the people we live with in this world. That all we can do is conjecture based on own experience. It's sad really. That sometimes I wonder if when we do find someone that we really connect with, even then you can't sure your perceptions with them. That I believe is why we have art. Because we try, incompletely and blindly, to express ourselves with bad tools. The problem is how do we create better ones. I guess all I'm waiting for is technology that allow us to interface directly with our brains and share our perceptions directly. Yet, it is times like these that I wonder if we really have a soul. Some kind of hidden spark then, that makes us special and unique. I'd like to believe that, I really would, but I can't. Just because from what most of us experience, life just doesn't really work that way. We live because we are just there. It's hard to feel special, and I suppose that special someone might be a surrogate for that inner spark.

We live our lives and wonder why some people did what they did. How do other people perceive the world? Each person has a different perspective on the world. How do we tap into it? If we ever figure that out, it would probably be the worst thing in the world, because the mystery of thinking would be gone and we would be able to control the thoughts of others, just like how we try to control the environment. After that, we'll be like sheep and the beauty of the last remaining bastion of chaos would be gone.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ambitions or ambitious

So, what exactly do we want out of life? Some people are content with what they have, while others are forced to be content with what they have. Others dream of lofty goals and never accomplish them, while others settle for anything because of the fear of disappointment.

I was of the latter school of thought. I achieved 'success' at an early age from academia and never thought of what I wanted to do with my life. Honestly, I don't know what I want to do with my life. While others dreamed of being an astronaut while others dream of becoming the fireman, police officer, doctor and lawyers, my dream was to be a navigator on a starship, or a mage from a foreign land. I wanted to be remarkable. Then my academic success dwindled, because I have never liked to get into specifics. I'm excellent at doing things the second time around, but I'm absolutely horrible the first time, and I don't improve after the second. For most of my high school life, I coasted by because most of the mathematics were taught to me before. High school was a giant review session that gave me enough knowledge to do well on contests.

In university, it was all new material, and thus I couldn't cope. At best, I could do approximately 80% of the material on exams. And that's a reason why I can't do well in university. I have had to have taken the courses before. And there aren't extra tutoring stuff in university for students that really want to excel unless you do it on your own. I never had the will power to do it. So I coasted by and never achieved anything. Sad if you think about it and now I feel regretful. It was in university that I started to read much more non-fiction. It also helped that wikipedia and other info websites sprung up at that time. It was then that I realized I really didn't have a clue at what I wanted to do. I like the pursuit of knowledge for itself. I cannot get in the specifics because my memory is just not that good. I love systems and learning how the world works. Of course, I'm quick to criticize any system that isn't operating on maximum efficiency. Right now, I don't know how that is useful in anyway besides being a good quality to have in a systems analyst.

That's the problem with me. I'm a jack of all trades. I get too easily distracted because the world is interesting and boring. It is interesting some of the days, and during the others, it is boring. I wonder what I want to do. I want to know enough so that I could actually have power. I feel powerless somehow. I can't read minds, which is pretty much the ability I would want. Humans to me pose the biggest challenge because free will is chaos in its purest form. While behavioral analysis reveals trends, it never reveals specific actions. Even in Foundation, by Isaac Asimov, while their social science is so advance they can predict general trends in population, it cannot predict individual motion of atoms (people). People to me represents the last frontier. Space is just too lonely for me to explore.

And yet, sometimes people are so simple. Some people have a very small mind. Their reactions are stereotypical. Stereotypes exist for a reason: because we want to live in an accepted norm. By living in a norm, they can function in a society. They are accepted because of their consistency. People that break stereotypes are no accepted because we don't fit into the routines of other people. And there are people that put on a facade stereotype to blend in. It is hard to separate the interesting people from the sheep.

Plus, another problem of the whole relationship thing is the insecurity of being vulnerable. Stereotypes gives us a way to standardize the whole process so that we don't runoff from the insecurity. The whole mating/courting ritual is almost like a sign that I'm scared of you, and that I think is not how a relationship to start: with fear and insecurity. I think the most success people are ones that break the whole mating/courting ritual.

Or its a numbers game. I don't know which yet.

There is nothing so common as the need to be remarkable. That's truer than anyone knows. Perhaps I was only searching for a relationship because to be special to oner person is already remarkable in itself. It is a surrogate for the ambition I feel within me. I want to be recognized. Instead of the time and risk involved in an ambitious venture like a startup, perhaps I thought it could be appeased with love. That's special, right?

So what are my goals? Not dreams, but goals. Achievable goals. Don't call me dreamless, because I have plenty of dreams, but goals are what people do in life. And damn if I want to let life get away too far this time. My goal right now is to get hired. Then to get an MBA. Then work for a startup or something. Another goal is to pen my novels from the ideas that I have written down. I want to be able to cook the things that I have always dreamed about. I want to be a gourmand as well =p.

From the goals I have listed, I want to never lose the passion I feel. Right now, I feel like a cold fish, without the spark of life that makes us human. Comedy, TV shows, manga, and information can only help so far. The drive and spark is inherent in all of us, and must be fanned by our own sense of worth and pride before we feel passionate about something. I think I lack passion, motive and commitment. Potential is there. All I need to do now is harness it. University was a big time waster of regrets. All I can do is hope not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Till next time we meet, my Muse and Valkyrie.