College Again

Three semesters down. One more to go.

Has it really been almost a year and a half since I started this quest of going back to school?

Damn. Time flies when you’re studying and drinking.

Only this time around, I’m a bit older and a bit wiser, so I’m not drinking AS MUCH as I did when I first went to college about seven years ago. I had way too much fun back then. That’s actually one of the reasons why I went back.

Other then the student debt, I’m glad I went back. The field of study I’m in has a high hiring rate after graduation, one of the highest in the school.

There is also a lot of opportunities for self-employment in this field as well. Something I’m considering doing once I graduate, to help pay the loan bills.

I have to admit, it feels sort of strange to have, dare is say a, “Vision” of what I want to do after graduation. I usually just kind of go with the flow and see what happens. But having an idea of what I want to do in nine months is another good change.

Pass or Fail

So, how exactly did I do? What where my grades like? How about I show you:

grades.jpg

Not bad, eh? Considering I never got any certificates or diplomas from college all those years ago. I barely went to class. And when I did, I was usually a few beers deep or stoned out of my mind, or both.

Oh well, you live and learn. And this year I certainly learned, a lot.

Here’s to the beginning of a fun and productive summer!

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The Nervous Braindown: Episode 5 – How To Time Travel Using Your Nose

We all have our favourite smells that take us back to a time that we cannot help but remember. In this latest episode of The Nervous Braindown I show you guys How To Time Travel Using Your Nose.

In this episode I share with you:

1. How Smells Trigger Memory
2. My Favorite Smells
3. The Future of Smelling

Have a listen and don’t forget to like and subscribe to my youtube channel!

References
1. http://newatlas.com/ohroma-vr-smell-adult/47454/
2. https://www.thoughtco.com/cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey-recap-106-1224462
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olfaction
4. https://digest.bps.org.uk/2008/01/21/introducing-the-brains-memory-bouncer/

The Nervous Braindown Podcast – Episode 4 – Should We Be Worried About Artificial Intelligence

After almost a year long hiatus, The Nervous Braindown Podcast is back!

The buzz on my Twitter feed is all about podcasts. I couldn’t help but get the itch to record another episode. It was fun. Between the technical difficulties and the cursing I was finally able to put together this episode in a few days.

The length of the original cut was just over 20 minutes. The first 6 and a half minutes I did a bit of a “catch up” – shared a bit about me and what I’ve been up to. HOWEVER, I decided to cut that part out. Mostly for the sake of length (nobody is going to listen for 20 minutes).

I think you’ll enjoy the final cut.

Episode 4 – Should We Be Worried About Artificial Intelligence?

I talk about:

  • Types of Artificial Intelligence
  • Who thinks we should be worried?
  • How long do we have?
  • (Length: 13mins12sec)

Have a listen and let me know what you think!

 


Show References:

  1. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-artificial-intelligence-technology.htm
  2. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-artificial-intelligence-technology.htm
  3. http://time.com/4569585/ai-robots-fears/
  4. http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/academic/The_Future_of_Employment.pdf
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/12/daniel-dennett-politics-bacteria-bach-back-dawkins-trump-interview
  6. http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/24/americans-think-robots-will-take-everyone-elses-jobs-but-not-theirs.html

A Fathers Voice Inside Your Head

(The first part of this post is a comment of mine that I left over at FreedomandFulfilment.com. The second part is a reflection.)


The Comment

These days I’ve got the self-talk and negative thoughts pretty much under control. I only talk negatively to myself if it’s constructive. For example, if I actually did something stupid, I’ll say something like, “D you’re such an ass (then as if to look up to the score-judges and say), I’ll allow it.”

I only allow positive negative-talk. Kind of like harsh constructive criticism.

*switching gears*

“But sometimes my mind impersonates that person and their voice says something that I think they would say.”

“(If you experience this as well, I would watch out for it, because you can start attributing things to people they never said or never would say, just because you imagine it so convincingly.)”

As soon as I read those I thought about the way I sometimes think about my father (EDIT: I’ve written about this before). I love the guy. He was actually at my place yesterday. He was here in town for a funeral. He stayed the night at my new place. It was great to see him. He’s very supportive.

For some reason I ponder about things I think he would say to me. If I did something I think he would be displeased with I would, “start attributing things to…” him that he, “…never said or never would say.”

Perhaps that comes from my personal history growing up with him. Nothing terribly bad happened. But I do remember in the past the anger I had towards him. I’m sure that’s normal for any guy that grew up with a hard ass for a father.

One of the things that I am learning about myself (through recognising my inner dialogue, and trying to understand it) is that the anger left over from the past, towards my old man, must be forgiven. I’m 31 years old now. I’m constantly reminding myself that my parents did the best they could. And they did a hell of a job.

Being aware of all this has certainly helped me ‘grow up’ a bit. And it all started with recognising, accepting, then dissecting the thoughts in my head.

Cool post Aaron.


The Reflection

There comes a time in a young man’s life where he has to let go and forgive his old man. Barring any actual abuse, you cannot blame your parents for who you are.

Even though almost everything you are has come from them – chromosomes, genetics, environment, language, beliefs, values, habits (good and bad), etc. – you should no longer hold resentment or rage towards them.

Their voices may be echoed in the internal dialogue you have in your head, but that doesn’t mean it’s them.

Your parents were susceptible to the same forces – prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal – that you were exposed to. They didn’t choose their parents and you and I didn’t either.

My mom probably wouldn’t have chosen an alcoholic for a father. And my dad probably wouldn’t have picked a father that ended up hanging himself.

We don’t have a choice of parents. But we do have a choice of controlling our emotions and thoughts about them. The good and bad.

Get a hold of the negative thoughts you have towards your parents. They’re yours and yours alone. Accept them. Learn how to understand them. Live with them. Get rid of them.

Speaking of thoughts, do you have any to share?

A Ride Through Suburbia

I went on a bike ride through suburbia. 28 degrees (83), clear, and sunny.

dcllive weather.jpg

While on my ride I had my iPod in listening to some jams. Enjoying the tunes, soaking in the nice weather, on Sunday of a long weekend.

Then, a thought rushed in from the ether:

There’s nothing here. The paved driveways, nicely cut grass, properly kept gardens, and not a lot of people, but a lot of cars – there’s nothing to them. They’re empty.

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I don’t remember feeling any negativity while having this quick thought (or message, not to sound to hokey pokey). There didn’t seem to be any judgment attached to the thought at all.

I didn’t dislike any of the people I saw out and about tending to their homes. It was like I was looking at it all as objectivley as I could.

Another thought hit me soon after:

I don’t want any of this.

dcllive no trespassing.jpg

I tried picturing myself doing all of that: cutting the grass, paving driveways, washing cars, planting gardens, etc. It has nothing to do with the hard work itself, but the reasons behind them.

Currently, in my gut, I felt like this isn’t something I want anytime soon – the home, the kids, the lawn, dog – none of it.

I’m going with my gut.

IMG_20160905_144916.jpg

Go outside. Go for a bike ride. A walk. Or just sit down somewhere on the grass.

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Maybe a powerful thought, or message, will come out of the ether and reveal something to you about yourself. At least something about you, in that moment. It might mean something to you.

IMG_20160905_144229.jpg

It meant enough to me to write this post and share it with you.

I’m glad some things are a bit clearer to me now.

28 degrees (83), clear, and sunny.

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_______________

PS – Maybe some influence might help with your revelation heh.

 

Human Peripheral Devices

How do humans plug-n-play with the world around them?

With our 5 senses. Those senses are of course:

  • Hearing – Ears
  • Seeing – Eyes
  • Tasting – Mouth
  • Touching – Hand (body)
  • Smelling – Nose

Why were we given these 5 senses?

Or to put it another way:

How come we don’t have pits on our faces that detect infrared light like many snakes do (called pit organs)?

How come we don’t have tails that can detect “electric fields generated by muscular contractions” in the water like the platypus does?

It has to do with evolution. The genes, the enviroment, the organism, and the tools used to interact with the world, are all bound by the laws of physics.

Within the framework of the laws of physics comes natural selection. A couple of things about evolution/natural selection:

  1. It’s not perfect
  2. It’s not always the strongest that survives

When genes (how heredity is passed along) are copied they’re not always a perfect copy.

Things being the way they are out there (or way down in there), these copies are not perfect. In the same way, you can tell the difference between an original document and a copy of the document made with a copy machine, it’s very difficult in nature to make a perfect copy. – Bill Nye “The Science Guy” – Undeniable

That’s okay that the genes aren’t perfect. When it comes to evolution and natural selection, you just have to be good enough.

…there is another remarkable and vital point to be made about evolution and the survival of the “good-enough.” It is an unfortunate linguistic happenstance that “survival of the fittest” sounds so good, because random natural variation does not produce perfectly fit individuals, nor does it need to. Evolution is driven by the idea of “fits in the best,” or “fits in well enough.” – Bill Nye “The Science Guy” – Undeniable

Genes aren’t perfect and organisms just have to be good-enough to suvive and procreate. It’s hard to survive when resources are limited in the environment.

… individuals compete for resources in their respective ecosystems, and the individuals that are born or sprout with favorable variations have a better shot at survival than their siblings. – Bill Nye “The Science Guy” – Undeniable

Within each ecosystem species fighting over limited recources is a matter of life or death. Which brings us to our questions from earlier:

How come we don’t have pits on our faces that detect infrared light like many snakes do? and, how come we don’t have tails that can detect electromagnitism in the water like the platypus does?

The reason is – the genes that we ended up with created the smartest brain on the planet. Our peripheral devices are an extention of our brain.

Since us humans, snakes, and platypus share the same ecosystem (which is inbetween the micro and macro) we dominated the fuck out of them because we ‘fit in the best.’

It turns out we didn’t need to see our prey in infrared or need to detect them with electroreception. We needed to out smart them. And we certainly did. Using our brains’ 5 “good-enough” senses – our human peripheral devices.


___

(I’m doing Lucky’s 7 Day Challenge. Try to write a post everyday for 7 days. Any of you bloggers out there are more than welcome to join us!)

The Nervous Braindown! Podcast: Episode 1 – An Introduction

#TheNervousBraindown

The Nervous Braindown – Episode 1 – Intro

“The Nervous Braindown is here to help you (and me) better understand this immensely complex organ.”

If you have been following my blog/twitter you know that I love the brain. I like it so much that I decided to dedicate some of my time to learning more about it.

Introducing a new podcast project of mine called, “The Nervous Braindown!”

“The Nervous Braindown is all about the Brain
We’ll cover topics related to the Brain such as: Psychedelics, The Universe, Technology, Gender, and many more.”

This is my first attempt at podcasting, and boy, have there been some mishaps, like:

  • talking for 5mins and then realizing Audacity was not recording
  • forgetting what I am talking about mid sentence
  • having the computer freeze and then cursing loud enough my roommate in the other room can hear me
  • not knowing how to upload to youtube

Those are minor missteps and the more I podcast the better I will get at it. And when it comes down to it, it is for education and fun, so I should not sweat it.

For this post, and future podcast-posts, I will share the podcast description and the script I use as well (unedited).

Without further ado, welcome to The Nervous Braindown!


  • Hello and Welcome To The Nervous Braindown!

  • I’m your host, “D” AKA The Dirty Dendrite

  • This is the first podcast (of many I hope)

  • The Nervous Braindown is all about the Brain

  • We’ll cover topics related to the Brain such as: Psychedelics, The Universe, Technology, Gender, and many more

  • Your Brain is…

  • the place where your dreams and goals are conjured up

  • the place where your nightmares and fears marinate

  • the place where your fantasies come to life

  • Your Brain is the most powerful tool in the universe! (as far as we know)

  • But here we are, us humans; stealing, kidnapping, assaulting, killing, and all that other fun stuff.

  • Despite our current knowledge of the Brain (which is a lot, but still not enough) we still fall victim to those bad behaviours.

  • How Did I Get So Interested in the Brain?

  • Well, like most people, I get bombarded with thoughts almost every waking moment (although I’m getting better at controlling the amount of thoughts using mindfulness strategies – which we’ll get into another time)

  • I don’t know about you but, in the morning when I’m in the shower and right when I’m falling asleep at night, are the times when I get hit with a lot of thoughts

  • Thoughts about the previous day (“did I get that thing done?”)

  • Thoughts about my to do list (“I gotta finish that task before I move to the next one.”

  • Thoughts about relationships (“what did my girlfriend mean when she said…”)

  • Or thoughts about my long-term future (“did I make the right decision to pursue this career?”

  • You name it, the thought has been there

  • You see, the Brain is a “Thinking Machine”

  • Its job is to think, non-stop

  • That’s why it can seem hopeless to manage the flow of thoughts

  • But it’s not hopeless

  • The Nervous Braindown is here to help you (and me) better understand this immensely complex organ

  • Together we’ll learn to manage our thoughts and get this sack of grey matter under control

  • Now I’ll share a bit about myself
    • I’m Canadian, currently living in Ontario
    • I’m 30 years old
    • Caucasian
    • I have a girlfriend
    • I live with a roommate
    • And I’m currently enrolled in college
    • (that should be good for now)
  • Before I end this short intro-episode, I’d like to give 2 shout-outs.
  • First, a writer and blogger by the name of Flurian Ulrich (#_____) aka “The Idea Machine, from life-science-mentor.com
  • The other day on Twitter I posted a voting poll, asking people to vote for their favourite podcast name (for this podcast)
  • I also asked if anyone could think of any other cool name
  • Flurian, being “The Idea Machine” came up with 20 different names I could use for a podcast about the Brain.
  • I picked the one I liked the most – The Nervous Braindown
  • So thanks you to Flurian for coming up with a kick ass name for this podcast
  • Finally, I would also like to give shout-out to another writer/blogger by the name of Beppo Venerdi (#____) from beppovenerdi.wordpress.com
  • Cool podcast, for some reason I really enjoy just listening to him talk (no homo)
  • he could talking about his day and I would listen, he speaks very cleary and very well
  • Before I really got this podcast underway I wasn’t sure what topics it would be on.
  • I went on Twitter again and asked people to give any advice they had for a new podcaster, like myself
  • I initially was going to do a manosphere/RP focused podcast, but Beppo pointed out that I would be pigeon-holed if I did that. He’s right
  • So thank you to Beppo for the great advice
  • Next week I’ll talk about something called the “BRAIN Initiative” which is (definition taken from Wikipedia …”is a collaborative, public-private research initiative announced by the Obama administration on April 2, 2013, with the goal of supporting the development and application of innovative technologies that can create a dynamic understanding of brain function”
  • Sounds like fun
  • That’s all for now guys, thanks for listening
  • Have a great week, and “Stay Out of Trouble You Dirty Dendrites!”


Show Notes

Writers/Bloggers mentioned:
Florian Ulrich – https://twitter.com/flulrichlifesciencementor.com
Beppo Venerdi – https://twitter.com/Beppo_Venerdibeppovenerdi.wordpress.com

Websites mentioned:
BRAIN Initiative – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BRAIN_Initiative


It was my first time so the “ums” and “uhs” and dry mouth are quite evident, but like I said, the more I do it the better I’ll get.

Let me know what you guys think. If you have any topics related to the BRAIN that you want discussed let me know.

Thanks for listening.

“Stay Out of Trouble You Dirty Dendrites!”