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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Anger and Fishing

My back was turned for about 1min. I was already untangling someone else’s line. Kids eh. Untangling fishing line is not that fun.

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It may not look bad but it was bullshit to untangle.

As soon as I would get one fishing pole line untangled I had to do another. I could feel the emotion starting to bubble up: Anger.

I’m not sure how they did it but two others got their fishing pole stuck in a tree. I got the poles down, and this was the result:

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How?

“How did you do this buddy?” I said to the little guy.
“Not sure. Was just trying to cast. I’ve never done this before.” he replied.

I then took a deep breath. And started to become mindful of a few things:

  • How my body was feeling – hydrated, not hungry
  • How hot it was – 43 degrees
  • Where we were – fishing at the side of a river
  • Who I was with – friends and kids

What happend as a result of me becoming mindful of my anger? I relaized I shouldn’t be complaining about fishing outside in the sun during the summer. I’m lucky to be doing this.

I could of made some terrible life choices and given a shitty life deal and not been able to go fishing. I could of been getting in a shootout with cops (#Strathroy).

This mindfulness process was about 20 seconds long. Anyone can do this. Of course I didn’t invent this. I’m here telling you that it works. Try it yourself the next time your’re feeling that anger bubble up.

Ultimately these are some thoughts about graditude and controlling your anger in the moment.

Has anyone else been fishing this summer?


(I missed 1 day out of Lucky’s 7 Day Challenge. That’s okay. I’m going to write 2 tonight. Any of you bloggers out there are more than welcome to join us in our writing challenge!)

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.


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(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!)