Sunday, December 21, 2008

Meaning

So many things are happening inside me. So many thoughts and ideas I want to write about. Once upon I feel I have an image of things and then it dissapears. Lately I managed to keep some of these ideas, it doesn't feel anymore like the past where all my thoughts were scattered. There is a ground to base upon. All these posts are just pieces of the puzzle.

I am just confused and I want to write. There are some recent ideas I am more familiar with, which I would like to analyze. It feels they make perfect sense although I spend too many words when I try to describe them. But they make a simple perfect sense. I only don't know how some of these can help me right now in some aspects of my life. But they have released the anxiety and blame upon myself on other domains.

Today I will write about meaning. I am not sure what people mean when speaking of nihilism but I think I am approaching it more recently. Which is not necessary bad. Nihilism for me is not about thinking your life has no meaning. It's not that black. It's an understanding of a possibility. The possibility that maybe there is no meaning. Or at least it might be not a good idea to waste your time and nerves searching for what isn't there. Which is not what I am doing in my blog, since I am used to desperately analyze thoughts and ideas trying to find an end. And never finding it..

Nihilism can also mean to feel things flat. Like you were a non-human entity observing human societies and shed no tears about what's happening in there. You observe and accept that each person acts in it's own way. Some people try to be loyal because they want to, learned to or are oblidged to, some people steal and murder because they have to or they like to. Some people are sad, some don't care about certain things but show interest for other stuff. You can't change that. Everyone has a different idea about what is right and what is wrong but there is a common social consensus which dominates the other views.

Things happen. I was born, grew up and here I am. The age and place I was born defines the way the society is and what most people tend to believe. Maybe the way I am is incompatible with what most people would like to see. Most people dislike or are afraid of those who differ for some reasons I don't know. I am still searching of these reasons. It happens that right at the moment I am who I am. Both biological and enviromental reasons play their role to what I am right now. My knowledge of these reasons might play a role to what I will become in the future. I need to know. I am trying to give a meaning to all these, to explain why am I what I am and in which ways is that incompatible with the society I am living in. I don't see any proof of an external meaning but I see cause and effect. Everything just happens. I only accept the fact that humans seek for a meaning or need something to believe on. I do that too sometimes. But a naked view of the blurry truth is here. Who am I, why am I, what is the society and why? And I need to know!

In order to know I have to start from ground zero. Things happen. This is what I am now. This is the society. People have motives. People like to feel good. Things are not always what they seem to be or what we like them to be. How can we look straight at the naked truth?

Good luck.

Rage

I had those dreams. Dreams of rage. Rage about the things as they are, rage about the past, rage as a relief or a means to shout at people or an excuse to accept things as they are, including me. An emotion that helps me to deny the things as they want it to be and understand me. Not even that. I don't even care if they understand. As if they ever tried to make a sense out of this..

Rage out of desperation. I get criticized. I believe them. And suddenly I realise that nobody really cares. They think they have the rights to make me feel miserable. And they think they are doing it for my good.

Rage about my past. About those young people who thought they had the right to treat me badly. How could they know? Do they know now? They thought they had the right. They still do..

In my dream, I was screaming. "I don't understand it! I don't understand it!". Maybe I don't want to understand it. I deny understanding it. I don't accept it. I had enought with it so I decided oneday to stop listening to it. Rage out of desperation and a hope of change. Will things ever change? Or am I bound to feel the same way?

I wish I went back to the past right now that I know, to react differently. To be straight and strict towards anyone who would like to tease me or harm me. To speak straight towards anyone who tries to criticize me. Because right now I do know better who I and which is my position in a society like this. But I am too hurt. I am wondering if this is the reason why I have lost all my energy.

They can't understand. They don't want to understand. At social situations you don't speak the truth but what people want to hear. There is no attempt to really look deep into the problem rather than present opinions as a show off that you and me are really into the same social circle. It creates a feeling of belonging. You exchange predictable opinions that puts you into a place of social acceptance. I cannot describe. I may be doing it too at times. Except when the truth matters to me. Others may be doing it and not being aware of. Maybe I will be or not be doing it in the future while being aware of the facade. An ironic or pesimistic feeling of how things are. Nobody ever cared about the truth..

I took everything seriously. There are the facts and there is cognitive dissonance. It's when you take every fact in account and you try to solve a puzzle. Things must make a sense. Both the facts about the world around you and the facts about yourself. The problem is that it is unsolvable. Maybe it's an evolutionary advantage to not trying to be one hundred percent perfect about your thoughts, your feelings and the world. Everything contradicts with each other and itself. Although I haven't chosen to think like this. I think it is in my brain. I can't but notice things that doesn't seem right. My mind or emotions can't easilly let discrepancies go.

When they criticized me they seemed serious to me. I was wrong. There are several other reasons to criticize people. Caring about what is really true and right is a rare one. The problem is that I took their criticism seriously. As if they showed a piece of the truth that made me feel awfully. And that truth was predictable, it was "common sense", it was one that everyone kept repeating again and again. It was my compulsive thoughts that lowered my self-esteem. But if it was true and if it was obvious then why are there people like me who are not like most people? Are they too stupid to understand what is right and what is wrong? Or are they stubborn?

For a long time I was lost in these questions. If people move on, if they are sucesful as students and workers, if they are social and not shy like me, have it easy with girls, are always looking cool and are not slow thinkers like me and they do not have the same cognitive problems as me then what am I doing wrong? Am I lazy? Am I stubborn? Am I stupid? Can I accept that? Do I have to feel that bad to change? Why haven't I still changed? If there is really a problem with me that justifies my unsucess then what can I say about people who claim that they were just like me and they tried and changed? Does this mean that I have no excuse? That I am just stupid, stubborn and every negative label the people who criticize me can give me? Why do they keep doing this when all they achieve is to kill more of my missing self-esteem and put me deeper in the ground? Do they believe that I will break and suddenly decide it's time to change my life? It never really happened..

So many years have past. After the initial point when the idea was first implanted in my brain. So many years during which I have evolved into ruminating thoughts concerning what I am and what other people think about me. In fact I kept being tortured by my very own thoughts. My thoughts which were their thoughts. Why? I don't understand it!!!

Out of rage I decided it's time to play the game my way.

I have made a split in three. About the truth and my connection to it.


  • The true facts

  • The facts that you tell to yourself

  • The lies you tell to others



In the past I had a great need of all three making perfect sense together. Which is quite naive. But I really needed for things to make sense. The truth (total objectivity), my feelings (facts compatible with my personality) and the ideas of the world (the social consensus). I always felt dissatisfied as expected. Most people even made me feel they already knew the truth (the obvious, the predictable memes of what is socially accepted and what is not) and that I was the naive and still puzzled. But the third factor is usually motivated by socialization and not the seek for what is really there. I learned that later. I thought people were based on the truth. Even if they thought they did, there were other motives. Not truth itself. Nobody really cared even if they made me think so.

It doesn't make a sense. Out of rage I decided to not care anymore. Seeking for the truth is going on, I can't stop it. It's interesting. It will go on. But I will stop caring about the rest. I managed after all these years to persuade myself to take another root concerning the personal feeling and social way (two and three). I can tell myself the facts I wish to make him feel better. It's not easy, while in slot one I will keep the possibility of the hard truth, but since I will never be sure about that I can speak of something else that myself prefers to think about. If (for example) I lost my job because I felt I was not competent one but nobody told me so, I only assumed they didn't tell me, then I can keep it as a possibility but say to myself that I did my job well and there were other acceptable reasons of why I had to be fired. And number three. Number three, what do I tell to others about that needs a whole paragraph itself. It's the game that we play and I never thought it was so until now.

Number three, the lies I'll tell to the others. Since I wrongly thought people were serious and they care about the truth, since it never occured to me to think that some people might criticize me because it makes them feel better by degrading me or thinking they try to help me just to feel nicer, since I never thought that even people seemingly criticizing me just wanted to say their opinions because that's the way someone socializes and they will of course refer to predictable and socially accepted facts instead of their own opinion, since this is a game where things are going bad for me because I am different and the common sense is incompatible to that, I decided that in number three is where I am gonna care the less. This can mean various things. It means that if someone criticizes me or asks for my opinion on something, I can play games and I can move towards any path. If I am in the mood I can speak of the truth as it is, as I feel it, as I prefer to feel it or I can also agree in a way without believing it in order to avoid the discussion or not become aggresive when I am not in the mood. I can make tricky questions, confuse them, give them examples that show the contradictions of what they tell me. Depends on the person, the mood, the situation, the fun. Since it's meaningless at number three then why not play the game people always did and never told me?

But rage remains. I want to get out and criticize those who criticized me. When people degrade those in need of self-esteem and they claim to be helping them, when they think they have the right as young persons to bully you at school and as grown up persons to criticize you for your incompetent life and when they feel they are doing right then it is the time when I want to get out and shout! There comes the time when I feel the urge to continue searching for the truth, because at the stake of it is where the game is played. The truth, the belief of what is right and what is wrong, and which of these "truths" are more common to the public, thus actions based on them are blindly accepted.

One thing remains. Why am I searching for the truth? Is it the truth itself or some motives? A thing of the past? Rage out of the fact that I don't know. I don't know what to believe. I don't know why am I here and why I am doing all these. I don't even know how to improve things in my life that may indirectly affect this urge. Millions of things in my mind and a blatant search for perfection.

Would just shouting do anything for me? What for? To ask for more later???

Monday, December 01, 2008

A whole image that gives me a better perspective of the whole image

Starting idea: We have neural networks. They work in parallel. When you see a picture millions of them are fired, thousands of ideas on a simple object, both the details but mainly the whole image. When you see a picture you instantly recognise a house, the trees, the people, the cars, whatever is in the image and is familiar. A computer would see that as a series of pixels, colored areas, shapes and not even that. We had to train it. But what would you tell the computer when it asked you: "How the hell did you managed to perceive in nanoseconds that it's a house surrounded by trees, windows, cars, people, etc and even receive ideas about how beatiful or peaceful or nice it seems plus millions afterthoughts?". Would you say that it just occured to you? That it's obvious? Or would you recollect and find some reasons: "It's a house because it has windows, roof, door". And how did you recognised instantly that something is a door or a window? Is it the texture? The bricks? The wood? And what are all these?

When you give a mathematical problem to someone and instantly he can feel which is the right and easy way to solve it and where are the traps, when he has already decided in few seconds or a minute which method to follow and you wonder how the fuck did he thought about it, it is like the same thing. I am a mathematician. I have a good picture of mathematical notions, symbolism, a visual perception of maths but I am missing one thing. In university exams it's very possible I will fail, especially when the subjects are tricky. I will read a problem and maybe follow an obvious path that leads to too much calculations or prooves to be hardly solvable this way. To solve the problem, someone might have to add and substract a new variable, draw a non obvious straight line on a geometrical problem, generally do something non so obvious making you wonder "How the fuck did he know it?". Either he has already solved the exercise somewhere else or,.. he has a talent! Talent? Btw, I have that talent in programming but never asked myself how the hell did I thought a crazy optimization idea or a non standard solution to an algorithm. People that study programming and come to me for help are wondering about specific notions of programming they can't understand or how the hell are they supposed to create anything. And their questions seems preety much obvious to me. I am the human intelligence and they are the computers. In analog, the math genious is the human intelligence and I look at him with awe as I am a stupid computer. We don't know why we know what we know. It's obvious to us human intelligences. It's unreachable, it's a talent to the corresponding stupid computers.

Roots of intelligence



There is no single definition of intelligence. It can be everything. Someone might be very good at solving Sudoku even if it's unpractical. I am very good at programming but suck at math. No, even math intelligence can be separated in subsections of intelligence. I am good at understanding the concepts especially visually. I am good at making a practical use of them. But I always sucked at solving mathematical problems just to pass the exams. I also suck at studying (The alternative path for exam success would be to solve one thousand exercises per month and have a very good memory too). Yet I am better at programming than maths. I can find in a very short time alternative solutions or optimizations to algorithms, a kind of coding intuition, people staring at me and wondering where the hell do they sell inspiration and I bought some?

Humans are intelligent at interpreting imagery. We instantly see houses, faces, cars, dogs, cats, plants and even smaller details in a blink of an eye. Computers need to be prepared with sophisticated image recognition software to achieve that. If I ask you to add all numbers from 1 to 100 you may either take a long time to make all the additions one by one (each of you may either be preferably more fast according to the means: paper and pencil, calculator or abacus) or use your intelligence to invent an equation to do it fast (like Pascal did iirc) but a computer would still do that from zero to one million in nanoseconds. That's why they are called computers :)

They say that great pianists had in such way evolved neural networks in their brains that justified their unique talent. Say that because of my long lasting occupation as a computer programmer I have evolved in such way my neural networks that I can instantly have a whole image of programming and algorithmical problem solving and is quite easier for me to read a programming exercise in university exams and know what to do. The same way it's easy for a math genious which leaves me wondering how it's possible. I am not even aware that it's a talent. Evolution is slow. It seems obvious to me, I even don't remember when there was a time that I wasn't able to grasp the primary notions. Imagine that each of us has some overdeveloped networks of neural nets that help them perform specific functions faster and better than others while we have weak or badly developed networks on other aspects. I am good at programming and optimization, bad at planning, lazy in studying, not a good socializer. Others are better or worse on various other aspects. Viewing it like this it gave me a lot of possible answers to what is intelligence, talent, intuition, habits, personality and the main questions raised are what are the reasons we have evolved our brain this way and how easilly can some things change.

I mean, I am good at programming because I was into programming for years and my brain has learned to deal with these kinds of problems before my eyes. But there must be a time I wasn't good at programming. There must be an initial moment when my skills on programming, maths, socialization or even things like my resistance and attitude to laziness, ability to plan, reaction to emotions or habits, where all set at zero. There was a time that when I should start learning how to approach girls or drink beer, I was lost into binary logic. Why maths and no girls? Why girls and no maths? Why computers and no maths? Why not everything? Why avoiding or not being interested in some? What dragged me into others?

I am thinking of two or three primary reasons. And you can add more. Questionable is how biology plays a role. Then it is our choices in the past. And then it is emotions. Someone would add social or school or family environment, inspirations from the outside world, etc. These are secondary but I believe that the whole of them can fit into one bigger image.

Brain biology: I was always a fan of this notion. I have the feeling that I am better or worse at some things no matter how I try because of this. Of course there is a possibility that this could be a delusion. Maybe, if after the years I overdeveloped the neural networks for programming and underdeveloped those having to do with socialization then it all seems to hard to change. So hard that it feels like I was born with that. But even the sole idea that everything is tabula rasa doesn't wipe out the influence that brain biology can bring to the game. Some people are too emotional and others are psychopaths. Some have more analytical way of thinking and others are more capable socialy. Even if I can't answer to the question whether this brain differences where initial or evolved. Actually what could be initial would be the biological inclination to evolve to each different path. If for example analytical thought favours certain brain parts that happened to be in better communication with each others at birth, then there is a higher posibility for certain choices or habits. It doesn't predict if he will evolve his neural networks towards being good at math or a good socializer though. But it affects. It affects the path that will bring us to now and make us think why we are what we are. Put an asterisk to that though, it's great for studying further (and I am not a neuroscientist to know).

Choices. I often wonder. What would happen if I had not taken the path to become a great computer programmer? Would I have not evolved my neural networks into that. Would I now be staring at algorithm solutions and optimizations uncapable of thinking how is this possible? Would I have instead found a purpose in my studies and become a genious at math? Would I met some other people, another hobby, another purpose and be something completely different? That initial moment when I was 16 and was teased by my classmates and thought I would proove them smarter or gain my lost self-esteem by becoming great at something nobody understands. That initial moment could have happened by chance? Chance is how I am currently thinking it. They say that evolution is not exactly chance. There is a purpose but no creator. It's more like natural selection. Of course chance exists, my attention could have been drawn by something else and snap a different choice. But in the big picture when you see all the pieces together you can see a patern. They ask me what would happen if there were no computers in the world. Would I be just like the rest? Would I just engage in regular boring activities? Most probably I would have found another geeky hobby. If I was a neandertal I would invent fire or something. I know it :). But things could slightly change, I would be good at maths instead of programming, with different friends or parents I could have evolved slightly different habbits, different ways of reacting to my negative emotions, family and society could surely play a role in the way my neural networks evolved. But the primary motive would still be here. My brain wanted to learn, to be creative, I couldn't stop analyzing things (Remember the number one reason here).

Emotions. They can make you love or hate things. Maybe it's the reasons I am not motivated to solve maths or study. And remember, some old habits, some old evolved neural networks are hardly changed if not modified. In order to be really good at maths as I am in programming I'd have to be motivated to solve thousands of exercises just to pass the exams. What if I studied computers science and had maths as a hobby? Still something missing. Motivation. I am motivated to solve problems with a practical use unlike math problems at school which are useful just to pass the exams. I use maths but for algorithms. They are not the same. Maths at exams are like sudoku puzzles, at least some of them. And the rest are boring. I could put motivation into the equation among with emotions and a sense of purpose for what we do. Emotions, there can be negative. You can hate things. They form your habbits. Maybe I always liked the idea of great scientists that dragged me into wishing to become a great computer programmer or something. Maybe that was the initial tension at 16 to follow that path which after a lot of practice evolved my neural brains in such a way to be easilly for me to fiddle with algorithms and stuff. I am wondering now if negative emotions among other people led me into avoiding socialization. Currently I believe that being too emotional makes me being extremely overwhelmed when into social situations. Emotions complicate matters too much. They form our personality, our habits, our tensions to follow or avoid any path. And when we follow our habits, that piece of neural networks which is connected with that is preserved more and more as much as it used and should be abandoned for a very long to be wiped out and/or replaced with a parallel path. That's why it's too hard to change. When you have learned to hate social situations or the people who criticise you for being weird and not having a life then how easy is to change? And why change the habit of thinking too much or programming when they are such valuable talents to most? And when they keep telling you that you are not normal and you keep reacting to the negative emotions with the same boring way then imagine what happens in your brain and how badly you enstregthen the chronic situation. A big turn has to be done there.


Inclinations



You have a path that split in two. At the initial point where you have to make a choice, not speaking about the different realities at stake, it seems that at the initial point you didn't have a preference. Let's say that you didn't. From that point and later, what follows forms a tendency. Say that initialy I decided to become a great programmer. I started coding slowly slowly, then I learned a little, then a little more, then I liked what I was doing because I became better at it. Then my neural networks had already evolved a little into that direction. When you walk a road you can't just go back and take another one. As long as a tendency to work on programming problems was slowly slowly formed into my brain, as long as new neural cells were infected by my engagement in programming, the more my neural nets were fired towards that direction. I could even stare at an image or hear a word having nothing to do with computers and somehow relate it to my hobby because there were more cells infected with programming specific things. I am not really into neuroscience (even if I'd like to learn more) to know how neural cells or networks work (I am even feeling I am using the wrong terms) and how they evolve, if they grow, even if it's an empty hard disk or new trees are born, I just speak out of how I feel the whole picture of what I am talking about. Anyways, the more you are engaged with something, the more your brain is filled with that stuff and the more it's filled, the more you are inclined to be more engaged with that. Kinda like a vicious circle. But there was that initial point where the skill was near zero and there was no inclination towards it just pure chance. Or wasn't it?

It wasn't. Computer programming was not a thing I was aware of once I was born. But there were other notions related to it. Somewhere I have heard that programmers are scientists. Somewhere else I have heard that scientists are smart or cool. I have also heard that computer is the future. I liked their colors and shapes. Did I always have that visual mathematician way to view things? Or did it evolve too? If scientists were cool and computers were fancy and I also needed an injection of self-esteem that would make a good match but how did I have the notions of good and cool and sexy and smart? There was an initial point where everything was at zero. I knew nothing. Pure chance? Or also brain biology?

You can say that I was an analytical brain. But what if this was a tension too? What if I decided to think too much? What if at a very early stage a primary tension/tendency/inclination towards thinking and analyzing was build up, some of the first evolved neural networks were build upon this scheme? And this scheme made me seek for knowledge and understanding? It could be with others too. I am not the only who thinks in here. But why do I think so much? Why do I think much more than others? Could we say it's just psychological? I think it's a biological difference in brain. But this part is still in debate.

Still thinking about tendecies is important. I found one that one primary reason at the time that I initialy have chosen to become a good programmer was that it snapped me that I would heal my bad self-esteem during that moment. Which didn't happened. But left me with the ability to do really spectacular things with a compiler. I am recently healing my self-esteem following a different path. Which is also snapped me. After I have seen results I have said "Wowa! How did I do this?". In the same way that I get that inspiration and I don't know why. The same way someone solves a problem and things it's obvious. Before several months it wasn't that obvious. Parenthesis here. I found that at my 16 but I later forgot I wasn't programming because programming is good but because it snapped me at my 16. This doesn't make sense but wtf.

All I mean is there are influences from my birth that evolved my neural networks one after the other and brought me into this time. Some talents, some bad habits, both can't easily change. There could be a reason, not chance but natural selection, like I was inclined to be geeky as I was meaned to be lazy. Some can change. Lack of self-esteem was not something I tried to avoid. I really wanted it. I recently feel like having it but started being build since the first time I asked for it. It took time. Or maybe? Self-esteem took time while programming much less time? Was my brain inclined towards one and against the other? One can achieve something if he really wants it but does the biology play such a big role? How can specific children at 6 or 8 years old play the piano, write assembly or solve higher maths? It all points to the brain. Chance maybe but that is changed to natural selection. Different paths are being followed but the initial inclination to chose one in favor of others are primary the brain and then aditionally social/family growth, evolved emotion (things we learn to love or hate) and habits formed. But the primary paths, the tendencies/inclinations, the roots. I'd like to know more..

Still a confused big picture?



Nah. I am used to it. I was thinking that in the same way that you instantly see the whole picture out of smaller parts and meanings while the computer needs sophisticated image recognition software to do just that, in the same way I am truly struggling to disclose the bigger image of thoughts and ideas about everything (the reason for my big texts) in order to let myself out of the cognitive dissonance I had been through all these years. And neural networks are evolving towards that direction too. Even those that let me decide a nicer way to react to the negative emotions produced by incompatibility of ideas. They are build and most of the time without a conscious plan but out of my primary motives. I was lost into thoughts of not being normal and one day I was fed up. The change didn't immediately came, just the timid decision to stop caring. Other things, ideas, happenings led me to a similar decision. All these together slowly slowly evolved into acceptance of myself and the world around me, while also killing softly my old habit of self-pitty. But it came so slowly that I wasn't conscious of it until one day that I woke up and thought I was getting better at something I thought I was lost. I felt know that what I believe is obvious. I was the stupid computer. I am the human intelligence. I evolved.

It's nice thinking of everything this way. A different point of view that I recently found important. Some of it's primary aspects are things I have been thinking in the past and someone would say that it's not something new. But here comes the part where they see doors and windows and a brick wall but they can't see the whole bigger image, they can't see the house. Here is the part where I have that greater feeling of a whole that explains a lot but it might sound trivial to many of us. It's not an entirely new view, it always combines previously written ideas because that's how evolution works. The big image inherits older ideas combined together, which each of them inherits much older ideas and when I feel so great about writting a blog post like this is when suddenly this cloud of thoughts, this confusing puzzle suddenly seems to be forming the bigger whole.

Those are very randomly written thoughts. Not exactly the whole picture. I also wished to write a new post and put the last article down (enough bashing "hackers" :P). From those scattered writtings I might privately make some notes hopefully into a good scheme of things (I never did that no matter how many times I wanted to really organize my thoughts :PP)
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