Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Fact:  We perpetually try to balance everything.  Make the ups and the downs meet somewhere in the middle, eat enough but not too much, work out but not overdo it or injure yourself – every single thing is balance.  I am not religious, but my god is equilibrium.  You can always, always count on it – for every action, there is (and always will be) an equal and opposite reaction.  This is quite obvious.  So following this logic, we are in the middle of stuff.  We’re not up in the sky, we’re not under the sea, we generally exist somewhere between the two, and everything is dualistic in nature.  There cannot possibly be only one side of anything.

So…

On my insatiable quest for bliss and harmony, I like to interact and talk.  I enjoy mind-wrestling conversations over beer.  I love what happens when brains converge.  I love company, but I don’t love it too much.   Because we need balance.  We need companionship with music and revelry, but we need solitude and silence in equal measure.  This is something I need to work on, in my bid to be a better human.  I probably need to shut up a bit more, because when I get an idea, or a thought – which we all get, all the time – I have to tell somebody.  And I wonder though if this happens too much?  There are days when I get sick of hearing my own voice.  Even my internal dialogue bugs me, and I tell myself to SHUT UP.  I meditate.   I clamp my gob.  I make myself quiet, and then my internal dialogue eventually follows suit and shuts up too.  Balance is attained.

But out in public I despair, and plead and beg with the universe to make some other people shut up too.  All I hear is noise and opinion, which sometimes is OK, but these days there is no limit on the noise and blah blah blah everywhere we go.  Facebook is the worst for it.  I didn’t sign up to read every bigmouthed wanker yelling about something Obama did, or how they feel about abortion or gun control.  If that was what I wanted, I would enter the world of politics.  But I don’t, and so I didn’t.  And neither did the ones yelling about shit.  So be QUIET!!!!  Even when they are physically quiet, they infect the Internet with their noise.  Words are noise.  Thoughts are noise.  Bumper-stickers are noise, and the more inflammatory the subject matter is, the louder and more traumatizing the noise becomes.  Stop, please!  I beg you – the noise is killing my brain.

In a harmonious world, the only sound I want is the sound of people enjoying themselves.  We are an interactive species, and so our moods and sounds affect and infect others.  Laughter and anger are contagious in equal measure – I know this because my god tells me this is the case.  And unless something is really, really important and we are in imminent danger, then I could not justify walking into a room full of calm people and making them all angry because I had an opinion about something.  This would be very inconsiderate of me.  I wouldn’t insult someone for no reason (other than fun), so why would I consider it OK to cause a fight by bringing up unnecessary incendiary topics, merely because they entered my head?  All we really want in life is to be safe, be fed, stay warm, to love and to laugh, and yet all we seem to do is fight, yell, hate and kill or injure each other, mostly with words, but sometimes with rocks, birch branches and porcupines.  (Or is ‘Porcupine’ plural as well as singular?)

I believe everything will take care of itself, no matter what – my god tells me this.  Every up will eventually come down etc.   But right now, at this present moment, with communication tools and a captive audience literally at our fingertips, the balance is slipping.  We are being noisier than we are being quiet, and this is causing my bollocks to retract.

So please, for the love of God, for the love of equilibrium, for the love of love, for the love of Star Trek, for the love of whatever it takes to motivate you – SHUT UP, just for a bit.  And when you want to talk again, only talk calmly, about happy stuff, and make jokes, pay a compliment to someone, but stop infecting the world with more anger.  It has enough already.   If you do, I promise I will too, and to further that, I promise your life will be a little bit better for it.  You will be happier if you just shut the holy fuck up.

(See that?  Wasn’t my opinion awesome?  Aren’t I clever?  Don’t you agree?  And while we’re on the topic of my opinion, do you want to hear about how angry I feel about guns and sexism and racism?  Thought not.)

Something I’ve been pondering lately is how our species love puzzles of all kinds, (from crosswords to Sudoku, Connect 4, jigsaws, chess, cryptograms, you name it.) But so many of the general populous of puzzle solvers are terrified or oblivious to the fact that learning to write computer programs comes from the exact same place & passion. If you hunger for mental challenges, putting pieces together, figuring your way through a maze or connecting dots for fun, then you could apply this pastime & hunger to something that will have so much leverage in your life, it’s phenomenal. Learning how computers work, and then how to expand this understanding to make them do more, was by far the most powerful thing I ever directed my hunger towards. I went from being terrified of touching Excel (because it did things I didn’t understand) to learning how to get under the hood, break down the walls and limits and make that one program do virtually whatever I wanted it to do. But getting there was just another puzzle and series of basic steps, to which I applied my crossword-brain.

I took some classes and have a ton of books about everything and anything; I learned several languages from C to php to VB to VBA to whatever. But to this day, the most important 2 things in my entire learning arsenal were:

1. A basic class on how computers work, which essentially said: “they are dumb”. They follow steps, and only when told to do so. They don’t make assumptions, and they need explicit instructions, or they can’t do anything.

2. A language-independent class on the fundamentals of programming. It taught me how to drop my assumptions, think in smaller and smaller terms about how things come to be, how to forget what I thought I knew, and then how to reconstruct my knowledge whilst paying attention to the things we tend to overlook, due to their simplicity. “Otto the Robot” was the most important puzzle I ever solved, and this was before I allowed myself to even consider what a development environment was.

When you make a program which automates and simplifies someone’s life, they look at you like you’re an alchemist. You just turned lead into gold, you just wove magic out of thin air. The inevitable next question is: “How can I learn to do THAT?”

The unfortunate answer is, “by becoming obsessed, dedicated, single-minded and applying hundreds and thousands of hours into wanting to do it, never accepting no for an answer, never accepting that something is beyond you, and by so much patience and self-forgiveness that nothing will beat you into submission, no matter how hard it tries.” (We make it look easy so folks often assume it is.)

For the first time in my life, my twisted obsessive personality worked in my favor, because I HATE not knowing things, I hate when something won’t work when it should, and I especially can’t accept this when I know that every single thing is made of a system of steps and checks.

Bottom line: If you like puzzles, then learn how computers work, and apply that passion towards making the world a better and more efficient place. Contrary to popular belief, there is no magic involved.

CC

I am a word geek. Etymology is up there among my favorite subjects in life.
I love words, language, where stuff can from, how it came to be known, how the words were formed and what cultural influences were involved – the more word-geekery I can find, the better. One of my favorite constructions is “plumbing”.

A plumber didn’t always just fix your toilet. “Plumber” was a collective term for anyone who worked with Lead, including roofers working with lead tiles, cannery workers canning food (prior to us learning that lead was toxic – incidentally, this is what killed English explorer John Franklin, on his expedition through the Northwest passage through the Arctic ocean), and of course, our traditionally known plumbers, who worked with lead pipes. The periodic table symbol for lead is Pb, from the Latin name of the material ‘Plumbum’.

So to “plumb the depths” of something came from when we would hang a lead weight on string, to measure the depths of a hole or body of water, which we still do today, all the time, when we go fishing. Although lead has been replaced by less toxic materials in most cases, as nobody but the most twisted of our species likes to cause Swans & Mallards to die horribly.

Plumbers’ Arse, however, is taken from the more modern phenomena of today’s plumbers failing to wear belts, and then bending over and revealing their butt-cleavage while they stop your sink from leaking. Hopefully, they do not leak themselves.

Chris

Just a quick question for anyone reading:

Yesterday I noticed my blog had 43 people who had subscribed to it. I had no idea this was even being read by anyone other than me, so I’m all aflutter with girlish delight. Thank you and welcome! I promise now to try harder, knowing this.

But I am also crap at WordPress, and would like to know – how and where was this post visible, and where do I go to see or promote more just like it? Where did you see this post or learn about my blog?
(And how do I get it to update my Facebook feed automagically?)

I have this set up so I just post by email, so I don’t see anything outside of an email window. The only blog platform I’m familiar with is LJ – is this WordPress a similar thing, or does it show up in lists according to what you tag in the post? Would anyone be willing to spend 10 minutes to educate me on WordPress and promotion? Because if 43 people read my blog completely by accident, then I would like to know how to do this deliberately.

Thanks!

Chris

OK, the maiden test-flight of uber-connection seems to have been a raging success. Twitbook, Cracker, WordPress and all that other happy HS is finally coming together into a single-typed-update of wild rice gumbo and hot sauce. Maybe there is a future in (metaphorical) public nakedness after all.

This next test is seeing whether this will still spread the love even when I update using my email. And then… the final cornflake will be in learning how to (dung dung DUUUUNG) use TAGS and PUBLICIZE when I update via email. In fact, this post will be all tests of all things I can think of right now. But I will wrack my brains to think of more ways to use this stuff to remain motivated and quit distracting myself from playing around on the web while I should be building…

Aight, there may be more inane posts about nothing, but I swear, all my content from there on in will be pure goodness and value. It’s kind of like the public transparency Julian Assange is gently encouraging – if I’m going to be a trillionaire this time next year, I’d better get used to it. That, and learning how to use computers to do useful stuff.

Peace out!