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Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Bottled and unbranded

No one cares about your personal brand. It’s not your responsibility to dedicate thumbs to impression management.

The screen begs for cracks.

Authenticity thrives in abundance — people want to appear real (re flawed) as they are in life. That’s why filters are dead, and lenses are all the rage.

You exist to shock, stand out, to make people laugh and cry with the silliest and rank of faces. Every day is Halloween, drowning in masks dead and gone.

It’s hard enough to cultivate authenticity in a world that rewards conformity. Don’t dumb it down.

Refuse to be a punchline for sameness. We’re all weird. The unique shall inherit the earth.

Caption this to your next selfie: “Don’t take it all so seriously.”

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy

Thinker types: Contrarian versus the individual

Shall one play the contrarian or the individual thinker?

It’s not that interesting to be the rejectionist of the status quo just for the sake of it.

What’s more interesting is forming one’s unique style or opinion and projecting that with confidence — minus the bombast, of course.

What individuates individuals is their desire to make a difference because they believe in something.

‘Think different’ is a call for variation and abstraction. We need more of these poets, those who stray to the side to peruse the neglected fragments.

We need less antagonists, those who say the opposite of what everyone else is saying. Thinking outside the box is not a vocation, nor some deliberate existential thrill.

The self-appointed individual pokes at the mainstream without pretentiousness and criticism. She strives to make blind spots visible.

Once we get over the societal pressures of what we like and dislike, we get to focus on the heart work: what matters instead.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Pear is ripe

“When the pear is ripe, it will fall from the tree,” they say. 

What they don’t tell you is to catch and eat the pear right then and there. 

Success is a consequence of timing. Yet, maximizing the perfect moment seems to be a game of luck. All you can hope for is being in the right place at the right time. 

While the odds of stumbling upon the perfect pair are slim, you can boost your chances if you visit the pear tree daily.

Consistency is the only guarantor of what’s to come. All one has to do is show up.

PS: There is no such thing as a eureka moment, for effort meets the mind of preparation.

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy Tech

Warm among ice

A typical day invokes more pessimism than positivity.

Surrounded by a vortex of bad news reshapes our experience into a tiny nothingness. The elements of a meaningful future disappear into the mist.

But there’s been a revolution in consciousness. The sound of serenity and decency has regained their purchase on our imaginations.

“Do thou, too, remain warm among ice.”

Moby Dick

We all have subconscious influences. But curiosity always outruns the discipline of fools. No one goes into the arena thinking they’ll lose.

The emancipatory power of optimism and doing good creates a haven of durability. Don’t fall for darkness. Learn to work in graduations of failure.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry

Assume everything and nothing

We suffer from a surfeit of choice.

An excess of options breeds indecision, the cruelest of frustrations. The result? We end up doing nothing at all.

Perhaps inertia is the best solution in these dizzying times. Instead of forcing the issue, we let nature take its course.

Yet, life doesn’t move unless we do. It begs for action and a subsequent reaction. Doing opens the floodgates to the invisible, exposing us to an infinity of blind spots.

Passivity and dynamism coexist

Surrounded by a morass of distraction machines, it’s no wonder we permit the frustration of ‘what’s next’ chip away at our patience. The bottomless scrolling newsfeed sucks dry the rudiments of attention and stokes impatience. 

Staring into the forest’s green space allows us to unlatch the eyelids from closeupness. The external world makes us think expansively, beyond the myopia of screen addiction.

We can assume that the best answer lies beyond us or deeper within. Hubris intact, we continue searching with the impossible hope of conquering ourselves.

Patience is the key to self-discovery. The wait never lasts forever if one never gets tired of waiting it out.

In the search of knowledge, we persist in converting inferences into future actions.

Categories
Life & Philosophy

Into the vortex of interestingness

We try to put things in the right order so we can find and solve even more problems.

The lighthouse in our mind is always moving faster than any dimension of reality. First, we act, and then we deduce. Lessons emerge from all the scars.

The impulse to learn more keeps the story of life flowing into a vortex of interestingness. The end goal is to avoid the maw of cynicism, as it works like a magnet in dire times.

Stimulation-seeking people look for a way of life. They feed off chasing ideals and improvising off risks. They are the sole judge of themselves, well-informed amateurs, fighting for simple awareness and the right to exercise real choice.

Thinkers keep digging deeper into the hole, seeking out the next set of burning questions.

Categories
Life & Philosophy

Numb to continual uncertainty

Uncertainty begs for attention. Anxiety thrives off inaction.

Born naked, we get sucked into the vortex of other people’s expectations.

Instead, we must learn how to follow our intuition and embrace the unknown.

“Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.”

Tim Ferriss

There’s nothing wrong with abstraction. The goal should be to resolve the tension by amplifying it.

Once we numb the fear, we ultimately let go and tread where we need to. There is a strong correlation between leading an active life and finding happiness.

Use uncertainty as life’s compass. The days grow stale when we’re afraid of failure.

Categories
Culture Tech

Nothing is random

Discoverability will forever be twisted in the maw of internet algorithms.

Nothing is ever truly random. We are data’s significant other with a bullseye on our back.

Facebook has been triangulating our data for years, matching our likes with the highest bidder. Designers, copy-writers, and marketers work together to create internet ads that strangle our attention into a click-hole.

So here we are, next up surrounded by the internet of things to feed the system of ads. We invite zero ambiguity — we tell the system what we want, and it reports back.

Look around — we’re well-trained click monkeys forever melting into a spiderweb of Times Square.

Categories
Science Tech

Dancing with the algorithms

We dance with the algorithms, yielding time-saving results. How else are we to discover all these gems in a sea of content? How are we to land on the right words in a swamp of choice?

From Spotify to Gmail’s suggestive text, we accept the computer’s recommendations to curate and speak for us. We allow the recipes to crunch down our tastes and our speaking patterns, essentially doing all the homework for us.

Playlists generate themselves; emails answers themselves. 

Yet, just as humans are poor decision-makers, the symphony of algorithms is also flawed. 

“An algorithm is an opinion embedded in math,” writes Cathy O’Neil in her book Weapons of Math Destruction (Amazon).

The computers and their code are often in over their heads, impractical, and sometimes stupid. Just ask Facebook — it takes a human to quell the dangerous idea virus that is fake news. 

The algorithm, written by humans, also requires human moderation. 

The ultimate balance of power is the intermixing of human neurons with the speed of computer nodes. Connecting humans to computers will supercharge decision-making in a fast-paced world. 

Thoughtless algorithms seem to know us better than ourselves, for now.

Categories
Life & Philosophy

Awareness makes all the difference

With the right instructions, the unfamiliar becomes manageable.

We follow the recipe with the hope that the convoluted reality seeps away into the froth. Directions become one less drain on our cognitive load.

Yet, had we followed our instincts we may not have gotten lost in the first place.

Adhering to Google Maps may lead us off the bridge, submerged into water. Writing with predictive text or auto-correct makes us prisoners of the information universe.

Knowledge is visceral, reality is learned. Shut our eyes on the open road, and we carve our own self-destruction.

Artificial intelligence is there to guide, not to provide all the solutions. One follows the prescribed path of his or her second-brain gadget, all the while gut-checking programmatic veracity. There are consequences for bequeathing all thought to the outer robot.

Awareness makes all the difference in inferring the future. Aliveness never goes full-on auto-pilot.

Keep the eyes on both the donut and the donut hole.