Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Make The World a Better Place By Contributing More!

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I've worked in the I.T. consulting field for most of my career. When I first started, we had these internal seminars where we would discuss the qualities of a good consultant. Perhaps what I retained the most about these training sessions is that consultants are hired on projects to provide value - a contribution which often goes beyond the original hired responsibilities.

During this time, I was also part of a network marketing business that put a lot of emphasis on making the world a better place. I remember being told that if I ever went somewhere, I should look for ways to make the place a little bit better upon me leaving it.

This quality is very much ingrained in me today yet I'm surprised how few people do this. Whether it be fear, or perceived lack of experience, lack of energy... some people are but dead fishes floating down a river providing nothing beyond their core responsibilities at what they do at work or otherwise.
All this wasted potential is a shame as there's only a limited window where someone has a chance to make a difference in any given endeavor. When that window closes... it's over. 

Will you look back and be proud at what you've accomplished or wonder if you could of done more?

Even if your contribution/added value doesn't get noticed, or approved, you still feel a sense of accomplishment/engagement from it. Most of what you contribute won't go anywhere but some will lead to bigger things that wouldn't of been possible without you and that's a nice feeling to have.

In any endeavor, pay attention, share your ideas for improvement and try to make things better than "when you first arrived".

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Do we Really Not Know What Genders Are Anymore?"

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What I don't like about all these debates of "what is a man/woman" is that they're portrayed as being for intellectuals however, to me, they look the same as debates pertaining to whether or not the Earth is flat. What I mean by this is that we already have answers to these questions but we're trying to bend, or alternate, facts.

To some, these conversation are seen as "progress" but we're not progressing as a society when we allow men, that identifies as women, to compete in women's only sports. While there's nothing wrong with someone that makes the conscious decision to transition to another sex, it is wrong to compete at a sport, of a physical nature, of the sex you've transition to.

Recently, we've been seeing trans men breaking records at women's powerlifting competitions. Who, in their right minds, would acknowledge such records? What glory is there for a man that transition to womanhood in breaking women born records? Are we really going to dismiss the effort of all these women that have attempted to beat the records to someone that just transition into womanhood?

You want to transition or identify as something else? Fine!
You want to compete? Also Fine! How about we create another branch to these competitions for people that's been through similar transitions or gender identity changes? A fair space where you can show your true colors rather than try to invade someone else's space.

This issue also extend to our prison system where some men, that transition, are put into prisons with other women... raping and getting other inmates pregnant in the process.
It feels like we've pushed the acceptance enveloped too far in the wrong direction and stole things that rightfully belong to women in the process. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Blood, Sweat and Steroids

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Having spent a lot of my 20s and early 30s at gyms, I've been exposed to people boasting superhuman physics while denying the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Amateur bodybuilders will go through 4 great plateaus. Those are:
  • Posture/Muscle Physiology - The first plateau a bodybuilder will come across is related to muscle groups and how to work them out properly in order to make them grow.
  • Nutrition - The second plateau a bodybuilder will hit is related to food. This is when the bodybuilder starts to understand the relationship between nutrition and fitness in order to progress through limitations.
  • Supplement - Soon after the nutrition phase is figured out, the bodybuilder starts to understand the relationship between supplements and fitness. This is when protein powder, creatine, misc vitamins, pre/post workouts joins the diet.
  • Drugs - After a while, the bodybuilder understands the limitations of food/supplement and may start looking for substances that are ultimately detrimental to health in order to move past further plateaus.
While it's possible to move beyond the body's limits, through the use of drugs, it defeats the purpose of working out to be "healthy". What I don't like about the fitness industry is that it's filled with people claiming that their physique are natural when it really isn't. 
This false advertising is only understood by those who spent a lot of time at the gym. Only those that workout, follow the proper diet with supplement, understands what is ultimately possible via these means and what is likely possible through the use of drugs. 

It's not possible to have 36inch arms without drugs, it's not possible to curl 300lbs without drugs, it's not possible to have 60inch chest without drugs...
The fitness influences are quick to show what they eat, what they do at the gym and everything else in-between EXCEPT the type of performance enhancing drugs that they're using.

Why the deception?

If fitness influencers were upfront about their drug use it's a little bit like they've admitted to cheating on a test. We all know these drugs are ultimately bad for you but we also want to believe that it's possible to achieve superhuman physique without them. We follow these influencers because we believe they have secrets that nobody else has.

Fitness has no secrets...
  • You need to let your muscle rest on some days.
  • You can't outwork a bad diet.
  • It's about how you lift more so than how much you lift.
  • It's about discipline/consistency.
  • It's about paying attention to what you eat whether it be counting calories or grams of protein/vitamins.
  • ...

Just go and do it! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Work Experience is Better than Certifications

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My cousin, who works in the I.T. field, was asking me questions about which certifications she should be getting in order to advance her career. She was telling me that she wanted to build a mobile app and had no idea how to setup a database for it and how it could be a good opportunity for her to get a database related certification.

My advise to her was to just get the app done and not worry about the certifications.

While there's nothing wrong in working towards certifications, I would argue that building an app does a lot more for future potential work opportunities than the certifications alone. A certification is proof that you successfully completed a course but an app is proof that you were able to apply knowledge.

Certifications are useful for those looking to start a career. However, once you're years into these careers you should be able to use your past experiences to further your career. What employers are looking for are proof that you can do the work that will be given to you. That proof can certainly be a certification but it can also be based on previous work that you've done.

If you're looking to work for a company that builds mobile app then previous experience, like building your own mobile app, will definitely be valuable for it. The key is to figure out what you need to do, at the new position that you want, and get that experience (or certification).

All you need is to prove that you can do the job.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Debt Should be Illegal

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It's illegal in Canada to own slaves but it's not illegal for financial institutions to own someone else's finances. The difference between a slave and someone in debt is that the person in debt has a "choice". However what choice is there really for someone making 30k a year when a decent house cost 3-5 times more? What choice does someone have when the average car is also 30k? What choice does someone have when the average college/university degree is 100k?

Debt is no longer a choice...

Maybe at one point debt was a choice but we it can't really be considered as one anymore. We don't realize how bad the economy is because part of it is covered up by debt and makes it look better on the surface than it actually is. As long as we can maintain the illusion then all is good right?

No - all is not good... When my dad was in his 20s, he bought a brand new car for 3k and a bag of chips was 5cents. He built a family home for roughly 45k...
Folks there's a problem here and the solution isn't to "raise minimum wage". Every middle class employee in the world needs to make payments on their government's debt. Can the Canadian Government really offer "free" Ambulance service when each Canadian ow roughly 60k towards the Government's debt?

We need cutbacks, we need a government that says "no", we need debt to be restricted or downright illegal... we'll never see something like this because political parties want to buy votes and you can't "buy" votes by removing something. 
Debt will never be made illegal because some people are making money off of it. Nobody owns slaves but who ever owns someone's debt can still exercise a degree of control over them.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

War Will Never End

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You're part of a happy family. One day, soldiers drop at your door and kill everyone except for you.

War will never end...

War will never end because if we were in this situation we would go to great lengths to exercise our vengeance. How could anyone forgive something like this? 

Love can give birth to hatred...

For peace to be possible, enough people must move beyond hatred and sacrifice their desires for vengeance for the sake of peace. We put an end to wars when those impacted by them take it upon themselves to not spread the hatred that they've endured. 
For the cycle to end, we need more people that will push aside their pain for the greater good, for other people to enjoy peace, for war to end.

I want humanity to be at peace and focus on the issue that impacts us all. Disease, global warming, pollution, poverty... don't we have enough problems already? Do we really need to fight each other?

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

What Would Be the Point of Money?

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Governments are discussing ways to provide basic income. They understand that they’ll eventually be a need for this as all things productive will be handed over to various automated technologies.
When that day comes, what will even be the point of holding onto a monetary system? If money serves as a way to determine the value someone brings to society then what would be the purpose of it when the responsibility for production, or value, is handed over to automation?

We based our entire civilization on a system designed to encourage people to produce. If people are no longer required to produce then there’s no point to the system.

Intellectually speaking, we’re not ready for a system that would provide us with an excessive amount of leisure as we need goals in order to thrive. Money has provided us with a sense of purpose to the point that we can’t even imagine a world that wouldn’t require it to purchase something. How can we possibly “own” something without first exchanging dollars for it? 

We would need to learn how to live in this new world which isn’t something easy to do when you consider that we’re creatures of habits and we’ve carried this habit for millennias. Eventually, however, the new system would become the new normal.

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

The Hollywood Strike May Loose to A.I.

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With A.I., there’s no longer a need to have a room full of writers anymore. In-fact, there will be a day when we may no longer need actors or voice actors. The Hollywood strike, while necessary for those involved, may actually be speeding the transition towards those A.I. tools. The A.I. revolution we’re seeing here as a striking resemblance to the revolution that occurred in the early days of the car. Those responsible for horses and buggies were ultimately swallowed by progress.

The car revolution certainly wasn’t pleasant for those who were negatively impacted by it but the general public decided that cars were better than horses/buggies. A similar situation may be brewing with the Hollywood strike as well – does the general public really care that a script was written by a person rather than A.I.? Or acted using A.I. rather than a person?

I believe the general public wants more entertainment rather than less. We will see a day when entire movies will be created by a single person with the help of A.I. or made entirely by it.

Those artist may need to adapt to the changes in similar ways that those responsible for horses and buggies had to do. Some stayed in the industry until they no longer could and some were forced to join into the revolution or do something else.

Being a hobbyist writer myself, I do feel a sense of powerlessness with A.I. as it’s eating away one of the things I like to do and I know I will see the day when it will take over what I do for work as well. I don’t believe this is something we can fight as too many people will adopt it and we’ll effectively become the causalities of it.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Give No More than 100% at Work

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In my 16 years career, I was layoff 3 times. The first time was due to a project ending and not having any other projects I could work on for the company. I had done a good enough job, however, that the CEO got in contact with another local company to give me a reference. Ultimately, I ended up getting my second job of my career that way. I stayed with this new company until it eventually closed 2 years later. Then I join a consulting company, that I still work for, but was also let go sometime in 2015 due to a slow couple of months and was brought back within a month.

What I’ve learned through these ordeals is simply this:

  • Have some savings as you never know what could happen.
  • Whether or not you give more than your 100% doesn’t really increases your chances of staying with a company that much.

What does giving your 100% even means?

It means to work when you’re supposed to work and not work when you’re not supposed to work. Staying up late every night will usually reward you with more work and doesn’t necessarily guarantee you won’t be let go if the business is in a tough financial situation. If you show more value than your peers, then you may have a better chance of not being let go but then the question becomes how much of yourself are you willing to sacrifice to remain at this company? If there’s a constant demand on you to work additional hours, just to keep on working there, then how long can you do this without having a negative impact on your personal life?

The work/life balance is something for each one of us to define. There’s nothing wrong with doing more than 100% just as much as there’s nothing wrong with NOT doing more than you’ve been asked to do. The most important thing is to work when you’re supposed to be working and add as much value as you can during that time.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

A Relationship Not Based on Trust Isn't A Relationship

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I can't say I'm a fan of most types of relationships I see in the world today as most look immature. Contrary to, what appears to be, popular belief; jealousy isn't a sign of love but lack of trust. Trust is the foundation of a good relationship - not jealousy. Having a partner set "boundaries" in a relationship is in the same family as jealousy is. A relationship where a person isn't allowed to do what they want to do is a prison and prisoners often want to escape such things.

If you are in a committed relationship then you shouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize it but you should be setting your own boundaries more so than your partner setting them up for you. The sorts of boundaries you set on yourself should be similar to what you expect your partner's self imposed boundaries to be: The "Golder Rule" applies here.
If you like to sleep around, then either find a partner that is okay with that or stay single instead of getting in a relationship and hiding from your partner. 

"The grass is greener where you water it." 
-Neil Barringham 

Perhaps the most annoying thing about modern relationships is how easily it can be destroyed. There's barely any foundation to them - the slightest earthquake and the entire thing falls down. Dating apps have made it easy to simply "swipe left/right" and move on to the next pretty/new face. 
To be fulfilled in a relationship requires work as nothing worthwhile is never easy. I haven't met anybody that told me a relationship is easy or that the "honeymoon" phase lasted for them. While communication is important, perhaps self-improvement is the key for a successful relationship. It's about growing as individuals and together.

Keep on learning!

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Future Contribution for Something Today

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There’s a need for everyone to contribute to society. This isn’t a choice as much as a responsibility placed upon ourselves at birth. The concept of money is rooted in this ideology but we’ve pushed things too far with the introduction of debt – paying later for something now.

While some debt may be necessary, we’ve made it too accessible to the point that it’s a problem both from the perspective of the individual as well as a nation. 

This can only get worse with time as debt is a lucrative business for banks. They created “credit scores” to determined how “risky” someone is with debt as well as debt packages that can be bought to make money off of.

If there’s money to be made with someone else’ debt then why wouldn’t they want more of it?

The “There’s good and bad debt” is wrong – all debts are bad. However, some debts are less bad than others. If you put yourself in debt to start your own business then we could argue that this isn’t as bad of a debt as buying a four-wheeler. If you buy yourself a house, we could argue that its better than to finance a vacation.

Ironically, the worse people to get in debt are those that don’t have money to begin with because if they fail to pay off that debt they may be loosing more than they bargained for. While banks are also not as willing to lend money to these people, for fear of not being able to get the money back, I would argue that they’ve been lending them money regardless as I know some people that have gone through a few bankruptcies and still seems to be able to get into debt. Perhaps those are the people that banks want to do business with most as they have an excuse to charge excessive fees and interests rates on these debts.

Debt is a form of slavery – avoid it as much as you can.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

To Have Children or Not Have Children – That is the question

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All over the world, young adults forgo having children either because they can’t afford it, they don't want the responsibility or they simply can't. It’s easy to say that you don’t want children when the possibility to conceive is still there but it will become harder in the event that you change your mind and you want to have children and you’re no longer able to have any.

I recently saw an interview that said if an adult is to regret not having children he will start feeling that way at around 45 years old – way past their prime. If we think about it, where are we in life when we’re 45? Chances are high that one, or both, of our own parents are gone and we have a much more difficult time making friends than we did during our youth. The reality of loneliness may be dawning on us hence why we may start regretting not having children. After all, if you would of had your children when you were in your 20s they would be in their mid 20s when you’re in the verge of tackling the last part of your life and they could be people to help you through the lonely years.

Having children doesn’t necessarily guarantee a relationship in your later years, however, has there’s always a possibility that the relationship with the child goes sour as humans make mistakes some of which are more difficult to forgive than others.

My sister, who works at an assisted living home, said that old people that don’t have any family are generally happier once they end up in assisted living homes. She said the reason for this is because they know nobody is going to visit them. If you don’t expect any visit then you can’t be disappointed when you don’t have any. Chances are high that they’ve found peace with their situation earlier and they’ve been able to move past it.

If it’s true that happiness comes from within, and isn’t generated by external factors, then happiness doesn’t come from whether or not you have children – in either cases you need to find happiness internally. 

Your life can be miserable with children just as much as it can be filled with happiness without having any.

Whatever you decide to do with your life is up to you and it can be fulfilling with children just as much as without it. The only difference is the work to attain that fulfillment will differ with or without children.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Why Do We Still Need Pharmacists for Pills?

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Cars now have autopilot and pizzas can be made entirely out of a machine. Why isn't there a bigger push to have pills come out of a dispenser rather than having to go through a pharmacy? Couldn't we go to a machine, put in our prescription number, pay up, and have the machine give us the necessary medication?

When discussing this with a Pharmacist, she first got offended by the question and didn't really provide me with an answer other than "well Pharmacists are needed for customer support". While this is certainly true, do we still need Pharmacists to put prescription in bottles?

Perhaps a Pharmacists does a lot more with these prescriptions than we know about. It does feel, however, like every major industries are going through changes and Pharmacies are stuck in another era. Maybe Pharmacies are designed in such a way as to force people in so that they buy a bag of chips at the same time as getting their prescriptions?

There's a revolution going on out there - where is it for our Pharmacies?

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Exercising, Energy & Production

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The human body is like a battery that requires sleep, food/water and exercise to recharge but lately I've been feeling like going to the gym isn't the best place to go as you spend a lot of energy not really producing anything other than whatever benefits it gives to the body.

What's better? 

Spending an hour at the gym or spending an hour walking around town picking up litter? Spending an hour at the gym or building a patio or cutting wood for the winter season? On one side, you go to a place where you do nothing but spend energy and on the other you spend energy and you contribute something.

Having spent the better part of my 20s at gyms, I can tell you that it isn't bad at all. There's a mediation aspect to working out at gyms and it's a great place to connect socially with people of similar interests. Now that I'm older, however, and have a better grasp of how limited energy/life is I tend to want to do exercises that also produces something of value to me.
The obvious issue, if the goal is to exercise and be productive at the same time, is to find activities that satisfies both requirements. While it’s not always possible to do so, I would encourage you to put some thought into it as working out for the sake of working out is good but working towards something is best.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Not Where We Want to Be

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It's not possible to feel like we're exactly where we want to be in life. The reason for this is that it's in our nature to want more. Once we get what we want, we instantly are looking for the next best thing.

This is a feeling that we'll likely struggle with either until we die or until we find peace.

Peace is to live life in the moment which is something difficult to do in a world filled with distractions that removes us from the moment. To find peace, we need to limit our exposures to the things that removes us from the moment. While we don't necessarily need to turn our back to them, we do need to find times during the day where we can simply be.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Where we Get our Answers

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When we're young, we look for outside sources in order to understand ourselves. Whether it be music, or visual entertainment, art can be a way for people to connect with themselves but as we age, and come to understand ourselves better, we rely less on these things for answers. This isn't to say there comes a point where we no longer listen to music but our preferences changes and we don't go to music for the same reasons as we used to when we were younger.

Where do "old people" find answers for themselves?

It depends on the person; Some have stopped looking while others have found some of their answers through various sources such as therapy, meditation, friends... the path to answers are as diverse as the people looking for them.
Part of all answers, however, is to find peace with the question. While there are some things that we can understand and improve about ourselves, others will forever be out of reach and we must come to terms with it in order to find some degree of happiness. "It is what it is" is a phrase that ends up making a lot more sense the older you get.

One thing that we all need to keep in mind is that there's been billions of people on this planet many of which have had the same questions/insecurities as us. The most important thing is to educate ourselves - look for answers from those that have been known to have had the same problem to resolve and see if the solution works for you as well.

In conclusion, I want to move away from the subject a bit...

Being older, I now understand that it's easier for companies to introduce new products to children than it is to adults. It's easier to get a young person to start "vaping" than it is for an older person to do so. It's easier for products to get into the minds of young people that are still seeking their place in the universe than older people that have their lives rooted in habits - habits that, obviously, doesn't include said new product. Some of the things that are part of daily lives today weren't for the previous generation and we're the ones that popularized it. A product can consider itself stable once a generation has adopted it and the following generation has always lived with it. It would be difficult, for example, to remove Coca Cola from store shelves as its been around for decades.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Start Small

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Because we're creatures of habits it can be difficult for us to make any meaningful changes in our lives. The easiest way to steer our lives into a different direction is to start small. We shouldn't be looking at ways to save to 100K as much as we should be looking at where we spend our cents on a day to day basis. We shouldn't be looking at ways to loose 100lbs before we look at what we put into our mouths each meals.

We all know what the end result looks like and it can be a daunting task if we look at it from the perspective of everything that we need to change in order to get there. If we start small, however, it makes everything more approachable and, perhaps more importantly, more believable.

After you started small, the next thing that you need is the discipline necessary to follow-through as it generally takes more than a day to achieve any meaningful goals. Discipline is the most important characteristic for anyone desiring to achieve their goals.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Women - If it's Important Then Keep It Simple

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There's nothing a woman loves more than to connect with her entourage and she does so by communicating. It's not so much communicating as it is her talking about anything and everything. This can be a problem considering that most men don't speak as much as women do nor do they register everything that's being said.

When I was asked how my summer in another province was, all I could say about it is that it was "good" but I know some women that go on a 15 min walk and are able to speak for 2 hours about it. Every details of the walk is being discussed and men that care will listen politely even though they don't really care about all of these details. 

Women often say that men "don't listen" but there's often too much information being given and we loose the important details.
If something is important for your man to know then you need to keep it short/simple and to the point - and don't include it in-between a 15min monologue about how you enjoy coffee and what annoyed you with the dog recently.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Humanity Needs Freedom to Reach the Stars

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Dictators thrives in uneducated environments which means that, in this highly technological society, a government based on dictatorship is at a disadvantage. If the educational system of a country contains only materials designed to render someone loyal to the dictators, no great discovery can come out of it. How can their be discoveries when all everyone is ever learning about is how great the dictator is?

Whether it be Russia or North Korea, no great inventions can come out of dictatorship based countries as their intellectual abilities are hindered by an educational system (can it even be called that?) routed in loyalists ideals.

If we are ever to become a space age civilization, it will not be with a dictatorship based government. 

What annoys me most is that dictators can still buy their way into being a nuclear superpower. It's a lot of power for a king/dictator, hungry for power, to wield.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Would Alcohol Be Popular Without Advertising?

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My dad once said to me that he didn't like the taste of alcohol in the beginning - it's something that he needed to get used to it in order to enjoy. If it doesn't taste good then why consume it in the first place? Nobody ever needed to work their way into liking cake...

People start drinking because if the advertisement surround it. Every alcohol commercial shows people having a great time and that’s essentially what people are buying into. They don’t buy alcoholism, they don’t buy the bitter taste, they don’t buy “fun”, they certainly aren't buying the "health" benefits.

While I doubt we’ll ever see the day when alcohol will go away entirely, my hope is that we find ways to enjoy ourselves without it as it tends to bring out the worse in us. It's illegal for cigarettes companies to advertise their products... why isn't there similar restriction on alcohol?

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Why We Fear A.I.


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Programs are created by programmers to fulfill specific purposes that are predictable. A.I. may be feared today because it’s code that has a degree of unpredictability to it. 

When you use a search engine, the search functionality looks for the keywords you’ve inputted and returns results that most closely relates to them. Even if you may not know what it will return, you know how the information is gathered - it’s predictable.

When using an A.I., the results contains additional content that, while helpful, is unpredictable and may differ from one result to another for the same keywords. Getting results from the A.I. of today most closely resemble a discussion with a subject matter expert than a typical search engine.

Another reason why people fear A.I. is because of the jobs that it will, inevitably, replace. If you wonder which job are going to be replaced first just think about what information you're looking for with the A.I. that's available to day. Chances are high that who ever would of provided that information to you, in-lieu of A.I., is negatively impacted by it already. It's kind of difficult, for example, to justify going to a fitness professional to design a workout plan when the A.I. is perfectly capable of creating one. While it may not be perfect - it's something, that's free, and something is better than nothing.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

For A.I. Data is Everything

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At a high level, Artificial Intelligence is 3 things:
  • A Dataset: The information the A.I. looks through to answer its queries.
  • A.I. Framework: The code responsible to transform the input request into computer language, search through data and transform it into an answer that a user can understand.
  • Input Source: Anything that can be digitized can be used as an input for A.I. (Audio, Video, Text...etc.)
Many believe that the A.I. Framework is the most important part of A.I. but the data is just as important as the code that looks through it as without it the A.I. isn't able to create any output.
We need to think of this in similar ways as how humans create new data. We may think that we're original in our ideas but our memory is what inspires new ideas. The data, for A.I., is the same as memory is to humans.

As the rise of A.I. is in full swings, many companies are looking into ways to integrate A.I. into their services not realizing that they need a dataset in order for it to function.
I've also noticed many investors throwing their money out at any companies that mentions A.I. but I think we need to look at it from the perspective of the dataset. The most valuable companies today aren't necessarily the ones that work with A.I. but the ones that have the best datasets. Whether it be Meta, Tesla, Microsoft, Pharmaceutical... those are companies to be on the lookout for as their datasets will become increasingly useful as A.I. progresses. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Entertainment Isn't a Cure For Boredom

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It's relatively easy to entertain ourselves as we carry around devices with endless possibilities for it. Endless entertainment, however, isn't a cure for boredom and could be the cause of it. I recently had a chat with my dad who wondered how people could live 50-100 years ago without all the technologies that we have today. "They probably were bored to death" he said but were they really?

100 years ago, most families were farmers and their days were filled with tasks pertaining to caring for their families. They were busy doing things for their survival. If they had periods of boredoms it must of been relatively short compared to today. People back then got their entertainment from family gatherings or events and was in relatively short supply compared to today.

“Pleasure does not bring happiness; it only brings an increasing hunger for more pleasure.”
-Orrin Woodward

As soon as we get out of bed in the morning, we reach for our phones to get that little jolt of "dopamine". Throughout the day, we do other activities in an attempt to keep our level of dopamine high and as soon as it's not at the level we're used to we feel bored.

If you entertain yourself to the point where your life feels numb and you're bored of it you need to get rid of that entertainment. Many have said that by limiting their exposure to such things as video games have made them more appreciative of the media when they tried it again. Some have also said that removing entertainment from their lives have made them appreciate other things they didn't really pay attention to before.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

A.I. VS A.G.I.

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ChatGPT isn't technically a year old yet and there's already murmur of Artificial General Intelligence (A.G.I.) to replace A.I. as we know it today.

What is A.G.I.?

A.I. in it's current form acts more like a search engine than anything else. When you ask it for something, it searches through data and produces results in a way that humans can understand. A.G.I. is the next evolution of this. Not only will it be able to search through data but it will be able to move through obstacles on its own without requiring additional input from humans. It would be possible, for example, to ask an A.G.I. to work on a cure for cancer and let it work until it finds it. Current A.I. are able to assist scientists with the work but aren't actually able to go through the scientific process (trial and error) themselves nor do they necessarily understand what they're doing beyond their immediate query.
The training for A.G.I. would be a lot shorter than that of A.I. as it would be able to interpret previous data in similar ways as humans do.

A.G.I. is what would be required to make autonomous robots as you need it to be able to go through daily life and overcome obstacles on its own accord. Stairs could be climbed by a robot with A.I. as the terrain is consistent/predictable but a robot with A.G.I. could climb mountains on its own a lot quicker than A.I. could - adapting to the terrain, in similar ways than humans would, without relying on hours of training data to do so.

In short, A.G.I. is A.I. with the ability to think (or program) for itself making it more efficient.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Students Should Learn without A.I.

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It's been argued that A.I. will be able to replace various jobs but some fields still require humans. We still need, for example, human doctors and if these future doctors/students are using A.I. to get through their classes then they need to reevaluate why they're taking the course as it certainly isn't to acquire skills for their future career.

The issue here is, of course, that the future doctors that uses A.I. to get through their classes won't be as good as those that studied the material. In 2-5 years time, we could see a wave of doctors that doesn't actually know how to work without the help of A.I. - this is a field where A.I. should be used but not necessarily dependent upon entirely (at least yet). We have to remember that A.I. doesn't know if what it produces is accurate which means knowledgeable humans still need to double check it.

There's still value for humans to acquire skills if only to argue with the results A.I. might of produced.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Education As A Business

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College/Universities are treated more like a business, looking for profit, than a vehicle for students to learn new skills. Today, not only is it expensive, we need to ask ourselves if it's even worth it in a world of A.I. 

If a student is able to get through his classes with the help of A.I. then how long will it be until said A.I. will be able to do the job the student is training? If you're a student that used A.I. to get through your classes then how prepared are you for the workplace? 

The College/University business hasn't changed much since its first introduction into society. Even with the rise of the internet, students are still required to pay a fee, which is higher than ever before, to attend a class to listen to a professor who recites the same material he did a year earlier. 

Why does it cost so much and why aren't we using the full force of the Internet?

We need to stop treating education like a business and see it for what it is: A way for our specie to move forward.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

A.I. At Work - The Beginning

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I've recently seen the result of A.I. in the workplace. Someone provided information on something that wasn't part of their area of expertise and that was worded in a way that was out of character. I strongly believe the information came from A.I. because I got similar results when I asked the A.I. for that information.

While I don't believe we're at the point where ChatGTP is going to take a massive amount of our jobs, we're definitely at a point where existing jobs can be enhanced through the help of the tool. People with no qualifications  are able to provide a degree of expertise that wasn't possible before. The issue remains that the information provided by A.I. isn't always accurate and we should therefor only use the tool for our areas of expertise as to be able to correct it whenever we see problems. As soon as we do searches for things outside of our area of expertise, we may be spreading false, or outdated, information and we don't know enough about the subject to correct it.

In my particular case, the information provided sounded correct but wasn't appropriate for the situation. We were looking to customized an existing process and were told the "proper" way of doing it.

With A.I., we've blurred the lines of expertise - now everyone can sound like an expert on anything. It's definitely easier to sound like an expert than to actually be one. While it's not clear what the future of A.I. at the workplace will be, the slow inclusion of A.I. in the workplace is definitely interesting. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Why Aren't People Using RRSPs?

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RRSP is a type of saving accounts available to Canadians with the ability to gain tax break or money back, for each dollars put in it. The catch here, is you need to give that tax break money back depending on how much money you're making when you take it - the idea here is that you should only take that money out once you retire and have little other sources of income.
While few people save, a lot less seems to be putting money towards their RRSPs and that's a shame considering how much money you can get back from doing so. Why isn't there more people putting money towards their RRSPs?
  • They may not have enough money to put towards RRSPs.
  • Some are afraid that they may need the money prior to retirement and not have enough money to pay the tax break back.
  • There's a lack of understanding of what an RRSP is.
  • They file their own taxes and are afraid that RRSP would make things more complicated and they would make mistakes.
  • They may be putting their money towards other endeavors for their retirement.
Whatever the case may be, you should put forth some effort in understanding RRSP in order to take advantage of the benefits it may bring to you. The strategy a friend of mine like to use is take whatever tax break money he gets from RRSP and put it towards next year's RRSP contribution. 

The sooner you start the better it is.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

You Future Self Will Thank You

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While I don't believe it's possible to live a life of no regrets there are some good things that our future selves will thank our present self for doing. To me, those things are:
  • Saving Money - In the moment, saving money for the future is annoying as it usually means that you need to sacrifice something today. This sacrifice, at least in my case, has been worth it for me so far as there's a sense of peace that comes with not living paycheck to paycheck.
  • Books - I've been reading non-fiction since my early 20s with no regrets today other than perhaps I should of read more.
  • Health - I spent most of my 20s, and early 30s, at gyms and eating decently and it's not something that I regret doing as I came to understand the relationship between physical and mental health.
  • Writing - Writing is one of the few hobbies that I've committed to which allowed me to express myself more effectively.
  • Work - I've had my ups and downs as far as work is concerned but sticking to it has proven beneficial to me. I've been with the same company for roughly 15 years and I don't currently have a reason to leave.
  • Insurance - Buying Life/Critical/Disability insurance is something that most 25 years old would think is crazy but doing so early is cheaper in the long run.

When we're young, we don't picture ourselves being old which is why most of our decisions are for the current moment rather than our future but one day we will be old. Make decisions on where you think you'll be in 10/20 years - your future self will thank you.

"You can be young without money but you can't be old without it." 
-Tennesse Williams

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Will A.I. Monopolize Online Traffic?

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While A.I. chatbots are impressive, they're more like an extension of a search engine than a legitimate intellect with ideas that you can converse with (at least for now). In its current form, it can create an output from your requests as long as it can find some answers for it in its dataset - namely the Internet. Perhaps the biggest difference between a chatbot and a regular search is that the chatbot tends to provide a more complete answer making the user less likely to go to the sources.

When asked about creating python code, it did so using an online website currently popular amongst python developers. 

Did this count as legitimate traffic for the owner of that python website?

If website owners are no longer getting legitimate traffic, and selling ads, how long will it take for them to shut down? If they shut down, wouldn't that make the A.I. less effective? 

Most of the discussion surrounding A.I. currently is about the various job losses that it can potentially cause but have those A.I. companies thought about a strategy to insure that the dataset they use can remain online?

The data is as critical, to Artificial Intelligence, as is the code used to interpret it. No dataset means no quality output!

My prediction...

I suspect that, in order to maintain a healthy dataset, A.I. companies will need to pay a small fee wherever they access content as not doing so would eventually kill said dataset making the A.I. less effective. It's a spiral that must be avoided if A.I. is to be viable longer term.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

We Shouldn't Be Selling A.I. Generated Stories

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“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.”
-Dr. Johnson.

Question: Why would you buy a book that's been entirely created using A.I. when you can create your own using the same tools?

According to, there's been an influx of A.I. generated stories submitted to various platforms, such as blogs/Amazon/Magazines..., for money, ever since people found out about ChatGTP or similar A.I. tools. 

The A.I. revolution has just begun and suddenly everyone is an author. The problem with this is if everyone is an author then nobody is an author. If the tool creates the story then there's no need to buy the story - just ask the tool to create a version of it using the same formula.

How should we be using A.I. for our stories?

With A.I., writer's block is a thing of the past. If you're struggling with a chapter and need some inspiration then sure ask the A.I. but that's as far as it should go. If the A.I. creates the entire story then can you really consider yourself an author? How can you expect to live off of your craft if you're not even the master of your craft?

Because of A.I., legitimate authors will need to find new and ingenious ways to make their stories stand out since the old ways will be inundated by A.I. generated stories. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Relationships Aren't What they Used to Be

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 According to, the Greeks came up with the idea of soulmates stating "Aristophanes states that humans originally had four arms, four legs, and a single head made of two faces. He continues that there were three genders: man, woman and the “Androgynous”. Each with two sets of genitalia with the Androgynous having both male and female genitalia.” Zeus, apparently, separated the two halves and the term "Soulmates" is what you call the two halves that found each other.

Whether or not you believe in "Soulmates" doesn't change the fact that how we approach our relationships today isn't the same as it used to be. 
  • Humans used to have a lifespan of 30 years making it easier to commit to a marriage as it wouldn't typically last as long.
  • Marriage is a religious concept but today we marry without religion. Instead of making a marrital promise to God/Friends/Family we only make promises to Friends/Family and that promise inevitably carry less weight without God, or religious beliefs, attached to it.
  • The economy has changed which, in turn, changed the roles of each individuals in the relationship. We haven't adapted properly to this change.
  • The focus is no longer on each other. Too much work/entertainment/devices/dating apps/financial struggle that keeps the attention away from our spouse.
  • We're more pleasure seeking than we used to be. We date because we're bored more so that to find a suitable mate. We are more likely to leave a relationship if we become bored within it.
  • We expect the other person to make us happy but the responsibility is on us to find our own happiness. While the spouse should definitely want their partner's happiness, they can't be responsible for it in its entirety.
  • Family life isn't as big of a priority as it used to be. Whether it be economics, global catastrophe, or other, there's a sense of hopelessness making us rethink how we approach relationships and whether or not we even want to bring a child into this world.
  • Too much focus on how we look and not enough on how we think. Vanessa Quitero once said "Exterior beauty, without the depth of a kind soul is merely decoration."
  • For men, the risk of marriage outweighs the rewards as he's more likely to be on the loosing end of a divorce.
Is being single worse than being in a relationship? 

That's a question that we all need to ask ourselves and the answer to it largely depends on who's willing to jump into the relationship adventure with us. If it's someone that understand that relationships requires work,, from both sides, then maybe there's a chance that it'll be successful. We also need to keep in mind that being single does carry it's own set of risks as well. Sometimes the decision is about choosing the lesser of 2 evils.

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

New Technologies And Production Expectations in The Workplace

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With the A.I. revolution at our door, let us stop and ponder what implications the introduction of this new technology will have on our work life by looking at past technologies and the expectations it brought on the working individual.

The introduction of the car promised to make things easier by allowing us to reach further distances. With it, we were able to find work in areas that we couldn't go to before. Nowadays, regardless of the place that we work we\re expected to find our own way to get there and some workplaces even require a vehicle to perform the tasks.
When cellphones were introduced, it gave the workplace the opportunity to reach anyone at any given time.

What will happen when A.I. becomes mainstream?

When automation was first introduces, whether in factories or otherwise, it removed the need for many types of employees. It's not that difficult to predict that the A.I. revolution will have a similar impact in the workspace with the remaining employees expected to produce more with the help of A.I.

How can you take advantage of this change?
  • Learn everything that there's to know about A.I.
    • Deepmind, OpenAI, Anthropic seems to be the big names in A.I. technologies currently with more expected to become known in the coming months.
  • Learn how to to speak to A.I. 
  • Learn the computing language most used for A.I. programming.
    • Python seems to be the most popular computing language for A.I. currently.
  • Use what you've learned either to help in your current career or create your own business.
    • Example: Someone created a website that uses A.I. to create menu items for restaurants (See: Expect many more services like this to come out in the coming months.
We will need to adapt to A.I. the same way we've adapted to the automation in factories. Whether it means upgrading our skills, or changing our work situation entirely, remains to be seen.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Religion is Self-Improvement if you Leave Out The Non-Sense

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If you approach religious text the same way as you do with any other text, meaning that you take in what make sense and leave out the non-sense, what you're left with is a self-improvement philosophy. Religion is the predecessor of the self-improvement genre and if you leave out the non-sense you're usually left with something that can add value to your life if followed.

Lets talk about the Bible...

The Bible includes a lot of fluff because it's a combination of common beliefs that existed at the time the religious text was created. If Jesus and his followers were alive today the Bible would look very different.
It was common for Romans, for example, to sacrifices to their many Gods hence why it's not that surprising that the Bible includes stories of such sacrifices and talks about the benefits of it. 
The theory of creationism first originated in the 5th century B.C. and was a subject of discussion at the time of Christ.
The Bible has stories of incest because it wasn't considered a taboo at the time. It is said that Julius Caesar had relations with his mother.

A lot of fluff that has either been debunked or is no longer relevant yet I would argue that, if you remove it all, you're still left with something that's worth reading/understanding. The Golden Rule, The 10 Commandments, Book of Proverbs... there's still value here for those looking to better themselves.

If you're a student of life then don't turn your back on Religious text simply because you don't agree with parts of it. The people that created those documents put a lot of efforts into making something that stood the test of time and some of that foundation is not only still relevant today but also used in such genres as Self-Improvement.

"A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much."
-Proverb 20:19

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Homelessness May Just Be One Tragedy Away...

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Most of us are one tragedy away from being homeless. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is because we focus on the wrong, unimportant, things in our lives. We indulge in addiction, we buy things we can't afford to impress people we don't like, we don't take care of our bodies/minds, we don't work on our relationships...

Homelessness isn't that far away for most people. While we don't know what tomorrow will bring, we can do things today that will help make tomorrow, hopefully, better. First and foremost it's important to understand that homelessness can happen to anybody under any circumstances. You need that fire to burn inside of you to get you to move in the direction that's less likely (no guarantees) to get you off the streets.
  • Educate yourself: A wise man once told me that I was worth minimum wage from the neck down and that it was what I knew, and how I would apply what I knew, that would ultimately determine how successful I would be in life. Education can't be taken away from you.
  • Your Health is important: Do what is necessary for your physical and mental health as your body is the vehicle for your life. We often take it for granted until it's too late. It's easier to achieve with a good body/mindset than with a bad one.
  • Relationships are important: As we get older, we come to understand that true friends are rare and it's not about quantity as much as it is about quality. Associate with people that pushes you to be better.
  • Finance is important: Life isn't about getting the latest and greatest gadgets as much as it is to save for a rainy day or to use the extras to be a blessing to other people. As mentioned before, don't buy things just for the purpose of impressing other people.
  • Your time is important: Use your free time wisely. You'll never get back the time you spent watching Netflix or play video games. 
  • Discipline is important: Get organized, stick to your goals.
  • Broaden your horizon: Get outside of your comfort zone to learn things outside of what you already know or are comfortable with.
Be kind to those less fortunate as you don't know their stories and you could be in their situations one day.

Any homeless person will tell you that once you're on the streets it's much more difficult to get back on the job market. If you have anxieties about being homeless then use that to fuel better habits into your life in an attempt (again no guarantees) to minimize the risk.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

I Asked an A.I. How to Learn A.I.

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I've been spending a great deal of my time learning all I can about Artificial Intelligence which is the reason why I ask an A.I. to help with the process.

What I asked: Design steps on how to learn about A.I.

The Output:

1. Begin by researching the basics of A.I. and familiarizing yourself with the key concepts and terminology. Make sure to understand the different types of A.I. and the goals and objectives of each.

2. Take online courses or tutorials that teach the fundamentals of A.I. such as machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing and robotics.

3. Read books and articles from experts in the field of A.I. to gain a deeper understanding of the topic.

4. Follow blogs and forums about A.I. to stay up-to-date on the latest developments.

5. Participate in hackathons and coding competitions that involve A.I.

6. Experiment with A.I. by creating projects or building applications.

7. Network with other A.I. professionals and attend conferences to learn more.

Crazy uh?

Will the novelty of A.I. wear off?

A.I. is in its infancy and is already gathering a lot of attention but will it last?  I don't see A.I. as a novelty as much as the next step in our evolution. The future of such things as online searches is found in A.I. - some companies, behind those online searches, may already be using some form of A.I. 

The day will come where A.I. will be widely available via our phone or via a drone that would follow us around to help in our daily activities (For gamers: Think of "Ghost" in the "Destiny" video game).

The issue with A.I. currently is that we can't always trust the data that it produces. There's always a little something that we need to double check or fix. You can't currently, for example, use A.I. to build software without first knowing about software as the output that it produces needs to be refined in order to work properly. The key word here, however, is "Output" - the A.I. is producing "Something" which is better than "Nothing" and can be used with a little tweaking or help inspire new things.

A day will come, with enough data/time, where all of the issues will be fixed and every output will be as good as the experts.

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