Friday, July 22, 2011

The Disconnect

There appeared to be a disconnect between what I was told was possible, and how things actually were. This deeply disappointed me, making me wonder why I did not see the light for so long. But I know I must keep going, and to help others see what I did not. And more than that, help them do these impossible things. There is a future. It is coming I know.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Status Posting (cont.)

I'm filling up hard drives with material, and have hundreds (possibly thousands) of
sheets of scratch paper. It's kind of weird. This is nothing like undergrad. I might have had at least that much paper, but it was from all sorts of things.

Status Posting

I'm working so hard I'm kind of feeling ill. It could be that I didn't sleep, but months and months of untold hours per week. Wow!

Fourth Toastmasters Speech

The thing that I could work on is delivery (and perhaps lengthen it), but otherwise the speech went well.

Here it is:

What a Wonderful Adventure! Life is full of untold meaning, but we usually do not know what it is! We push ourselves to exhaustion, and later wonder why we did. Friends, relatives, acquaintances, and others we cannot give a label to enter and leave our lives leaving some sort of impact. We hoard things and give other things away. Sometimes we are more content with ignorance than knowledge. Other times we would rather be knowledgeable. We like to think we know everything, that it all makes sense. Sometimes we are bawling because it does not.

Should we be crippled by our past? What happened to the wonderment we had as children that we so dearly long for? Everything seemed possible then, and it was never wrong the believe that it could be. As we grew older we felt we understood and the saying Carpe Diem went out the window. When did we accept the word can't?

Why do we always want to be something, but usually end up settling for what seems to fit the context of current reality? Perhaps we would like our minds wiped so we can experience unbridled creativity again. We want to fly, and hope it is
possible. Our wings may not melt like Icarus when we fly too close to the sun. What is too close? We might just get there.

Let's try. Chocolate never tasted so good, nor flowers smelled so sweet. We may skin our knees and even get sand in them but we get up and keep going. We can take on everything because we believe life does have meaning, and we have meaning
as well.

We are loved. We feel the warmth of our mother's arms and see the smiles of our friends. Time comes together in harmony. We may see it as images. Images of today, yesterday, and the future yet to be. The world is mad yes, but we are madly in love with it. We appreciate even its imperfections. It is an experience to us. It is something for us to change and give back to. We may sit there an watch it pass by, utterly amazed by what is happening around us. We are always learning new things. Each day the sun hits things at a different angle, and every day we are surrounded by an infinite array of colors. The world itself is changing at a rapid place, and so are we. It is an adventure that keeps unfolding.

Do we know the meaning of life? Religion can give an answer. Thought has difficulty. Do we choose to believe something to make ourselves happy? Do we do it to make others happy? Maybe we don't choose religion, but what do we choose? Do we choose to forget the question? Can we? Maybe there is another way to answer.

So we all are here. We never chose the creation part, but we can make a lot of choices beyond that. What an adventure!

I look at you today and I quiver. I want to know what you are thinking. I really do! Sometimes I am afraid that you will judge me, but I hope you don't. I want to look at you with amazement, because you are amazing! I wish I could feel the fearful respect for you that I had when I first came to Toastmasters.

I was so afraid then. I know you've come so far, and accomplished unfathomable things. Sometimes I forget that. Carpe Diem! Life is a Wonderful Adventure.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Owh, thought overload!

Exhausted Computer

My computer is essentially on life support. Its keys are worn down, the hard drive is full, it runs slowly, and it is begging me to get done with my thesis.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Putting Things in File Folders

Why does David Allen in his book Getting Things Done - The Art of Stress Free Productivity speak about putting things in file folders? Is there a better way?

I really appreciate what he says though. He's definitely done a lot research. Some of them I might use.

Thoughts about Facebook and AOL

It seems like Facebook, and other social sites, have replaced America Online (AOL) as the primary place for social gathering. Facebook is similar to AOL in that it is closed, but different in that people go by their real names instead of cryptic (for lack of the better word) screen names.

It seems like people are a lot more open about their online identities than they used to be. People could have their own profile in AOL, but had the option to not (leaving themselves entirely anonymous). The major leap forward for Facebook seems the be the
news feed and advanced notifications. In addition, I do not recall that one could easily comment of specific items. The closest thing was a Guestbook in AOL Hometown ,if I can recall correctly. Perhaps the Guestbook was a part of Geocities or Angelfire.

Are there chatrooms built into Facebook? As far as I know, no. Maybe there is an app for it? Or perhaps because chatrooms got a bad wrap when people used them to exploit children they do not exist at all.

Comments on This Afternoon (and early evening)

I had a wonderful afternoon. Writing helps me clear my head. I'm happy that I did not post this to Facebook. Sometimes it is comforting to realize that you might just go
unnoticed, but still might. It's just me and the scary Internet (well actually web).

Time compression

Perhaps the illusion of time accelerating as one grows older is caused by a decrease in the number of hallmark experiences in one's lives. Friends go to high school, go to college, graduate, get jobs, have babies etc. Once you've been around the block a few times, things lose their uniqueness.

It seems time is recalled in terms of emotion filled events. Once the beginner's experience is gone, the encores are perhaps thought less about. Oh, another friend had a baby, Joe got another job, these people got married again, another person graduated from high school, Samantha got fired, my house burned down, (omitted for content) , Jasmine made the honor roll...

So, it seems that if one wants life to slow down, then a change of experiences and habits might work. Learning something new, spending a day at the beach, and changing your lifestyle may produce an overwhelming number of memories so that yesterday seems like forever.

I remember life in blocks of time. At this stage of life I was doing this, and then at this stage of life I was doing this, and so forth. A longer period of time may seem like a shorter period of time (and vice versa) due to the number of memorable experiences. In the short times I wasn't always more or less busy, I just had more things "new" going on.

Structured / Ordered Thinking and Coffee Shops

Apparently structured / ordered thinking is more difficult for me than free creative thinking. It is like jamming something through a hole. It takes a lot of effort.

I wonder if consciousness has anything to do with it? Right now, I am a little drowsy. I went to Starbucks to get a Venti Coffee and Blueberry Coffee Cake. The girl who rang me up was named Emily. Almost immediately my mind wondered to thinking about things related to that. I went to school with a girl by that name and I still remember her AOL screen name. Now, this sounds creepy almost.

For the record, the reason that I went to Starbucks was that they accept credit cards. I am really bad about remembering to bring cash with me, and I feel horrible about using one. It apparently costs the vendors 40 cents per transaction (or is it worse if you buy more?). Well anyways, this high transaction cost is also why I bought the Blueberry Coffee Cake. I was a bit worried about what it might have in it, but oh well. I helped them out I hope. On top of that, it was near $5.00 with the coffee. Yay for expensive coffee shops!

Oh, you know what? I had my laptop bag on my head and was carrying my coffee and a paper bag with my Blueberry Coffee cake in it. Just as I was passing by Which Which, a guy smiled and said something close to "good idea" (in meaning). And then as I was taking the crosswalk across Jenkins, a girl looked at me and smiled. It got me thinking... is this what it would be like to be well known?

It was odd. I am not used to this much attention. In terms of my blog, I can post anonymously almost. The likelihood that someone is actively reading it may be a little low. There could be one maybe. Others who have seen this blog have probably forgotten about it by now.

Spontaneous Thought

I believe that if you get your mind off something, you can become something else.

Some thoughts on what makes an innovative company

Perhaps the best way to create an innovative company is to hire a bunch of people from a number of diverse backgrounds, keep them comfortable, fund them unquestionably, allow them to market their creations, and give them complete freedom for their schedule.

As far as clerical work is concerned, keep it simple. If possible, eliminate it. If elimination is not possible, use computers with a programmed intelligence to manage work in such a way that it does not suffocate the workers.

The company should be optimized such a way that the workers have nearly unhindered time for creativity. After all, it is hard to focus creativity if you're trying to keep from falling.

Some thoughts on structured education

It is great when we as a society set up artificial barriers that create value. Principally ones that require us to navigate an obstacle course of delusional importance, and then leave us thinking that we are somehow better and more qualified than everybody else. Sure, acquiring skills is important, but why do we have to become the skills themselves? Would we perform better (and be happier) if we made our creative intelligence the center and let the skills be learned as needed?

Some of my thoughts on software

If we keep people ignorant than we can easily sell them things that they can get for free. After all, we love their money. Ignorant and emotionally driven people are the best.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Are Artists or Engineers More Valuable to Society?

Well if you did not have engineers you'd probably have living conditions like the Middle Ages. If you did not have artists you may loose the ability to appreciate beauty. So, with this in mind, if you have only engineers you may live a long but banal* life. If you have only artists you may live a short, but appreciable, life.
It may be better to have both.

*This follows the assumption that engineers do not appreciate beauty. There seem to be some exceptions. Or perhaps this phenomena does not really exist? I know some believe strongly that it does. Are there some that feel strongly the other way? Perhaps somewhere in between? Maybe I am missing something?

Musings --- July 3rd, 2011

Why do we feel we have to divorce ourselves from certain subject areas in order to fit in to the world as a whole? Why do we see certain subject areas as separate?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Brent thoughts -- July 1st, 2011

The servers, the people, and the data and/or expertise stored on them are really what is valuable in an free software (subset of open source) world. In the open sourced world as a whole, it is people, data, resources, and infrastructure. Ideas are shared, but not paid for (unless there is a particular reason to do so).
One group becomes dominant by possessing lots of data, resources, and infrastructure in addition to (at least initially) loyalty by a majority. People are more fluid, unless constrained by emotional or physical factors.

There may be one or more qualities that sets an individual apart. This would allow them to leverage themselves in such a world. In addition, such people tend to be numerous in industries where the initial capital investment is low. Also, people in (or influenced by) such industries tend to be pushed away from open source by artificial restriction, and/or by subconscious, conscious, or spiritual responses.