Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Life Is Shorter Than We Think

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Life is a lot shorter than we think for the simple reason that we're not actively living for more than half of it. When we think about our lifespan we don't think about the time where we passively live only the time where we're actively living. When we think about our retirement, at the age of 65 years, we don't think about half of the time we'll be asleep, we don't think about the times we'll need to recover, the times where our minds will simply wonder on unproductive things, the time we'll need to cook, the time you'll need to take care for those close to you...

If we factor in the degradation of our bodies then we even have less time to do what we actually want to do. If you're in your early 20s, for example, it's no longer time for you to be starting the process to join a professional sport team - if you haven't started in your early childhood then you've already missed that boat and it only gets worse from there.
Your mental faculties also degrades over time and you'll notice that you may not be as creative in your later years as you were years prior.

Yes, life is short and it's even shorter than we actually think it is as we often don't consider the time where we passively live whenever we think about the duration of our lives. Work on your goals with a sense of urgency as tomorrow is not guaranteed and even if you are going to be here tomorrow... tomorrow will come sooner than you think and you may not have the ability to work on your goals anymore.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas - 2023


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For some, Christmas is a period of time with lots of family gatherings and maybe you wished those would stop. To you, I say be careful what you wish for as one day that wish will come true and you will regret ever wishing it. Sure, attending 15 different suppers may be exhausting but those are blessing in disguised. When those supper stops, it's either going to be because someone died or they've lost interest in doing them. 

Have those suppers and enjoy them while they last.

This year, I realized that not everyone has been as blessed as I have with life up to this point. Many will be alone for Christmas and this post, my friends, is for you. May you have a wonderful Christmas and may next year bring you the joys of close relationships.

Merry Christmas 2023!

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

The Secret to Mental Heath

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My sister recently pointed out to me that she found it strange that I didn't require medication for stress or depression at my age considering the work I was doing and how other people seem to require it. While my mental health isn't the greatest all the time I know that there's some things that I can do to help it and thankfully it never got bad enough that I felt the need for medication - at least not yet.

The secret to mental health is to not let it deteriorate - prevention is much better than medication. 

How do you even work on your mental health though? While there's no one answer that will work for everyone there are some rules that we should consider to help keep our mental health where it should be.

Some things to consider:
  • Physical Health - The relationship between body and the mind can't be understated. If you're body has problems, your mental state will have problems. Eat/sleep/exercise to help you body cope with the stress of life and give it a better chance at fighting the inner daemons.
  • Meditation - Read good books, calm your mind, don't dwell on the negativity of your life.
  • Shut off negativity - I know people that watch 8 hours a day of negative news and wonder why they don't feel the greatest? Limit your exposure to negativity; Sometimes this means to remove friends from your life or negative news.
  • Financial stability - Financial stress is quite difficult to cope with. Learn to say no to the things that will bring you in unnecessary debt and ultimately clutter your life.
  • Relationships - Having good friends does wonders to your mental health.
  • Get out of the comfort zone - Comfort zone is comfortable but not really exciting. Doing something new will add "life" to your life.
  • Therapy - If you struggle, seek professional help! Don't let those problems grow within your mind as they're easier to deal with when they're small than when they're fully ingrained.

While I'm convinced the above can help, sometimes life just keeps throwing things at you which makes it difficult to see the positive side of things. If you're going through one of those times, the only thing you can do is keep moving forward keeping in mind that nothing last forever whether it be the good or the bad times.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Leaders Take Blame

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"Leaders take blame" is something I first heard roughly 15 years ago when I attended my first MLM Leadership seminar. While I've applied the principle for myself, it's not until recently that I've had to extend its reach to someone else's mistake and understood the reasoning behind it.

"In youth we learn; in age we understand."
-Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

I'm at a point in my career where I have more work than I can reasonably do on any given day. Lately, this has become a problem due to competing priorities; when I work on one thing, the other thing doesn't get done until I have time to do it. 
To remedy this situation, I've started delegating some of these important task unto other people and this is how I learned the importance of taking the blame from someone else's mistakes. If I discourage people when they make mistakes, then I'm going to be stuck doing these tasks on my own - forever. If I want other people to step up and take up things off of my plate then I must create an environment to allow them to grow.

By taking the blame, I've allowed people to be more courageous than they normally would of been which translate to them taking ownership of the tasks.

If you're fighting for a goal bigger than you then you need a team to support you. Leaders take the blame indeed...

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

They're Everywhere!

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A friend of mine has told me recently that she quit her job because she was tired of working with people that didn't want to work.

Different company-same problems...

Some people are mediocre regardless of the amount of training they go through. Whether it be intentional or not they simply don't produce at a level that is satisfactory for the role they're supposedly hired to fill.
Companies must have plans in place to identify/work/remove these individuals as not doing so will negatively impact morale as well as drive out those that are producing. It's a real shame to loose a good employee at the hands of a mediocre one.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Is Cryptocurrency the Information Age's Ponzi Scheme?

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There's been people trying to get money off of other people for as long as money exist. In the industrial age, "Ponzi Scheme" came about to do just that and today it seems to have taken a new form namely: Cryptocurrency.

Is Cryptocurrency the information age's version of a Ponzi Scheme?

It's important note that not all door to door salesman are part of a Ponzi Scheme. It's very likely that not all cryptocurrencies are frauds however it does look like it's easy for it to be a fraud as people don't understand them enough. 
With FTX, one of the biggest cryptocurrencies exchange platform, going bankrupt after being found to be a fraud ... it's difficult to trust any of them. If one of the biggest one turned out to be a fraud then how likely are we to find other ones to be frauds?

The idea behind cryptocurrency is relatively simple: scarcity creates value. The value of these coins comes from them being limited. The key here, however, is that people must buy into it - if there's no trust there's no value. For Cryptocurrency NOT to be a fraud, it must exist for the right reason and not for the purpose of defrauding someone.

Is Cryptocurrency the information age's version of a Ponzi Scheme?

Ponzi Scheme was created in the industrial age for the purpose of defrauding people. Cryptocurrency was created in the information age but the purpose depends on the creator. Some turn out to be FTX while others are Bitcoins... some salesmen represent Ponzi Schemes while others don't.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

The Inspiration Dilima

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Many so call artists will wait until inspiration strikes prior to creating anything. The problem with this approach is that inspiration doesn't come easy - it's sporadic. 

I love writing stories on my free time and one of them I've only really worked on when I had the inspiration for it. In a year, I may of gotten 2 pages in... If my goal was to be a published author then I, obviously, cannot use this approach as it would take me decades to complete it. 
For some other stories, I've forced myself to write a little bit in it every second day. I've not only gotten more content in but I would argue that it's actually better than the story I only been writing when inspiration struck.

The lesson here is that if we want to create anything then we need to create it regardless if we're inspired or not. Inspiration often comes when you force it a little bit.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Death of the Experts?

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We've designed the internet to spread misinformation as we've prioritized "views" over "facts". The lifeblood of an influencer is in "views" which means that they may not necessarily fact-check everything they promote. They are likely to make decisions based on views more so than anything else.

Experts are people that have acquired expertise via credible sources while influencers are people that exert an expertise they may not have. Influencers builds trust with their audiences which allows them to be more believable in their message than an unknown expert.

"Why would I believe you, an expert that I don't know, when mamajojo on youtube, whom I've watched for years, is saying something different?"

We need to fix this problem on multiple fronts:
  • We need a change in the internet algorithm to minimize the spread of misinformation.
    • While free speech doesn't allow us to censor misinformation, do we really need to put it on the front page?
  • We need influencers to fact-check their messages.
  • We need viewers to understand that what they see online isn't necessarily true and may just exist for the sake of generating views.
  • We need everyone to prioritize facts over sensationalism. 
Misinformation isn't an easy problem to fix as facts tend to be boring. When a journalist writes something, he'll put things in his work to shock the audience as this is what generates money. We need to find a balance and right now it feels like the scale is too much on the side of misinformation.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

How Dating Change With Age

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Dating changes as we get older. The biggest of these changes is perhaps the willingness to present our real self from the start rather than who we think the other person will like. We do this because we come to realize that life is finite and our window of opportunity in finding a suitable mate is closing - finding a quality, rather than quantity, partner becomes increasingly important the older that we get.

While being physically attracted to a partner remains important, especially for men, we do come to realize that physical appearance is fleeting and will degrade with age. We know this because we see the degradation in ourselves. Life is slowly eating away at our youthfulness leaving behind gray hair and dry skin.
Some qualities we may come to value more, in our partner, as we age are:
  • Kindness - Being kind is more difficult than being mean. Kindness shows that the person wishes to make good in the world and will likely add value to your life.
  • Financial Stability/Discipline - Having a stable financial situation is better for relationships than not having a stable financial situation. The relationship is more likely to be peaceful if there's no needless debts.
  • Sensitive to One's Own Health - Physical/mental health is an important part of the human experience. If you're dating someone that fail to see its importance then chances are high that you will need to deal with some form of negativity caused by it.
  • Eternal Student - Nobody has all the answers. The student of life is someone that understands that learning doesn't end when high school ends - it ends when the student is dead. The person that is willing to learn will be more opened to learning/fixing relationship issues rather than push the blame.
In case you haven't noticed, the common theme of these qualities is peace. Whether it be intentional or not, peace is what we ultimately want as its the birthplace of happiness.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

No Energy for Enemies

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My mother has told me "not to befriend anyone from family X" multiple times, over the past 30 years, because they've stolen things from her in the past. While I can certainly understand the frustration, it seems like a lot of energy was spent reminiscing about the pain this person inflicted over all this time.

Don't hold grudges for that long...

What I mean is don't carry the pain someone did to you over an extended period of time. There's other, more important, things that you need to be focusing on. While you don't necessarily need to befriend your enemies, don't spend time thinking about the pain they've inflicted to you. Learn to live with it and move on.

Nobody's perfect, people make mistakes and people can change. If you got hurt by someone 30 years ago, they're not necessarily the same person anymore. Again, you don't need to befriend them but you do need to get them out of your head - they certainly don't deserve all the attention you've continuously allowed them to have.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

This is a Reminder: Christmas is Coming!

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Another year, another Christmas and another year where you wait last minute to buy Christmas presents. If you have the intention of giving gifts this year, and you haven't started, you're somewhat late- you should of started 2 months ago!

The biggest secrets for good gifts giving is to plan ahead of time. You need to start thinking about it months before you actually need it. When your mind is seeking for good gifts, long before you actually need them, you're more likely to pick up things from those around you that would make good gifts. If you're buying gifts for your spouse, for example, and you learn that she's thinking about starting a new hobby... that could be a good gift for the next holiday.

Gift giving is supposed to be a fun activity but it's often a cause of stress and the main reason for that is that most people don't plan ahead enough for them. If you're only a few days, before the holiday, you're rushing to get gifts that may not even be available anymore.

Plan ahead and your chances of finding something your entourage will enjoy is increased. For more tips, look at my previous post here

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Keep the Relationship Problems Private

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In the age of Social Media, it's fairly easy to share whatever may be going on with the rest of your entourage but not everything needs to be shared - relationship problems being one of them. Issues between you and your partner should remain private as exposing them may have a negative impact on the dynamics of the relationship.

Spending a lot of time with a person is bound to expose the failing of their characters. If your partner truly is one of the most important person in your life then what use is there for you to be speaking ill of them? The only thing this would do is bring them down through the eyes of others and reinforcing the negatives within your own mind.

According to the Bible, the sixth Commandment is "Thou shalt not kill". If you're speaking ill of your partner, you are "killing" his reputation to the eyes of others. The Golden Rule is ""Do unto others as you would have them do unto you..." I doubt you would like it if your partner spoke ill of you.

When sharing things about your partner, share only the good - keep the negative private as these problems are only for the both of you to work on.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

How Addictions Kills Relationships...

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The biggest problem with addictions is that we don't see them as addictions. After all, if we feel love, or happiness, towards something then how can that thing be bad?

Since we all have 24 hours in a day, it means that we have a limited amount of time that we can dedicate to everything that matters to us with some of that time already allocated to other things such as:
  • 8 hours of sleep.
  • 8 hours of work.
  • 1-3 hours food.
  • ...
Which leaves about 5-6 hours of "personal" time left. If there's an addiction then that's additional time that will be taken away from you. 
The 24 hour period is important to note here as it means that we're limited in what we can do, or think, in a given day. Since most of that time is guaranteed to be allocated to other things then there really isn't much "personal" time left. 

If the time remaining is dedicated to an addiction, rather than relationships, then how can a relationship be nurtured if there's no time/effort dedicated to it?
Addictions kills relationships by taking over the mind. It's a poison that takes over the limited amount of thoughts, available in a given day, that would of otherwise went towards the relationships. 

If there's something in your life that takes precedents, daily, over your relationships then you may need to work on forcing it out in order to prioritize the relationships... otherwise you're going to end up alone.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Constant Overtime isn't Worth the Sacrifice

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It's not uncommon to see a person spending a lot of time at work in order to provide for his family. Sometime, however, it can be to such extreme that they eventually loose the family they were working so hard for.

Why is that?

What you focus on will grow whether it be work or the family. If you focus too much on the family, you may loose your job and if you focus too much on your job then you may loose your family. In the grand scheme of things, loosing a family is a lot more painful than loosing a job as you can always work for someone else but starting a new family is not always possible.

Remember that it takes about 2 weeks for an employer to replace an employee and the only people that will remember you doing overtime are your loved ones.

Find the proper balance that will insure the long term stability of your family. Don't be afraid to deny a promotion at work if it means you would require to spend more time at work at the expanse of your family.

Family comes first.

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.

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