The Fraud That I Never Knew — My Entry into Crypto

Crypto Storm

The economics of Bitcoin have always been the driving force of this industry, or at least so I thought. It’s been a very long year and a half, and as somebody that questions everything for the sake of knowledge, it’s been hard to understand exactly what I should be doing and where I should be.

In December of 2017 I had some free time as I was visiting my mom. I took it as an opportunity to improve my ability to manage my personal funds and enter back into the stock market after life had distracted me from it. My life has always followed a flow like this, where I will learn, grow and fail.

I met somebody who had a unique, but relatable perspective on the movements of the market. I learned a lot from what they had experienced and were so kind as to have near-daily conversations with me as I learned and we bounced ideas off each other.

By the end of that month, I had refined my ability to tolerate risk while minimizing losses and taking gains. Just as I’d done in the past, however, January came and I took a step away from the market as my grandpa passed and my life become chaotic. I told myself that the diligence I had done on my positions was enough to rely on and I was able to take solace in that.

I was wrong, and just like in the past, I watched my positions dry-up in my absence, wiping away any feeling of success I might have had and leaving my experience a failure. This cycle has been prevalent in my life, and I’ve grown to expect it. When things seem to be going well, the moment I start to get happy with my position in life, the worst is right around the corner — you can never expect the unexpected.

At the same time, Bitcoin had started to pop onto my radar as something worth looking more into. The economics of Bitcoin and implications of blockchain were attractive to me and I immediately wanted to use the benefits of the technology as the backbone of my pet project I was just getting started on (game/app).

Bitcoin Long Road

As December progressed, I realized that my trading strategy was going to leave me with taxable gains for the year that didn’t represent the actual profit/loss I was holding (sold gains versus held losses). It was for this reason, that I invested in mining hardware. I had a plan to minimize my risk while offsetting my taxable gains, but ultimately this was me just moving directly into my next failure.

While learning more about crypto, I would look and look and look for anything tangible in the industry. This is what I had always been waiting for, something real that would create value out of this technology. As a novice programmer / developer, I also always came at it from the position of what I could use and utilize.

In the end, the best projects I could find were ones that had a solid, reputable team of developers following a Whitepaper that promised to have utility — utility that I could understand and see myself using. This, however, ended up being the crux of my issue.

As a novice, I don’t consider GitHub as being a great place for learning how a project functions or how the files work together. I would dig through source code, but it’s quick and easy to drown out core functionality with loads of copy-pasta code and functions. The best I could do from my perspective, is try and evaluate the quality of the commits and approximate what sort of work has been done and the time it took to do it.

I have to admit, that to this day I’ve still never read the Bitcoin Whitepaper. My first step in learning about this industry was understanding how people perceive it. It’s because of this reason, that the only reason I ever even held Bitcoin was to hedge against my investments into alts, which seemed like the only things with promise.

From the beginning, I understood that what worked was utilizing computers to do work for the system (network). For Bitcoin, this work for the last 10 years has solely been to secure the network and permeate transactions — not something super exciting. I wanted to be invested into something that was progressing towards bringing work onto the blockchain. With so many scam coins, there’s no surprise that this was a fruitless effort.

Due to the change in narrative of BTC from its original vision and Whitepaper (which I was oblivious to), I didn’t yet fully understand the economics of Bitcoin, just the vague idea of the potential as I saw it. It’s because of this reason that my investment into mining ended up being a failure.

Part of my plan to minimize risk was to focus on GPU mining. I could buy computer hardware on deep discount and focus on pieces like PSUs, motherboards, storage and the likes that would minimize depreciation. Then, rotating GPUs and selling old ones in computer builds would offset the depreciation further. All of this to minimize the taxes I would pay on my gains, which eventually disappeared.

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Ultimately, I could never get this off the ground anyway, because I had put myself in a couple other situations that limited how much of our electricity I could use, and I didn’t have the willpower to push this whole thing forward. From the electrical permit, setting the pole and building the structure to the logistics of everything, it was more than I could handle entirely alone, at least for now.

Meanwhile, the market continued its bearish trends since the ATH and I was eventually able to invest directly into this market, which ended up being imperative since I am now holding these trailing losses on mining hardware. My favorite alt was always the one that ran best on my GPUs, but it also seemed to be the most promising as I was hoping it would become a platform I could utilize. This was my next failure.

In late 2018, it became apparent that this project had turned into a zombie. There was a major pivot behind the scenes and a couple major team members departed. Since then, the development I had been keeping track of turned into a bunch of barebones commits and nonsense. Part of this could be chocked-up to the private repository for the new platform, but since recently it is now clear that development has been slow and rough and all of us hodlers have been deceived.

I was already skeptical when the pivot happened, if they were masking the reality of the situation with promises that things were continuing on like normal. Despite this, the damn thing was still one of the most attractive projects on the market. If it was dead, then with my newer perspective, it meant that the BTC story was dead too.

On November 15, 2018, Bitcoin was reborn. At the time I knew very little of it (BSV), or of the original vision for Bitcoin, but I had already started getting an idea of what it should be. It would be months before I truly knew the implications of this question, but I asked a trader I follow, “Do you think BSV threatens the current direction of the market?”

I’m usually a private person, and I won’t comment if I don’t think anybody reading the comment will get value from it. I’m not going to berate people for being wrong, but if I feel I can relate and offer a new perspective, I might chime in. Despite this, I recommended once or twice that if you hold BTC, you should be hedging at the very least 20% into BSV, knowing that people wouldn’t agree.

Since that time, my perspective has changed wildly and I can’t even humor any of the beliefs I held prior — and that’s a problem. I’ve never considered myself a trader, I just like to maximize the swings on companies I wanted to be involved in. It’s because of this massive realignment in my understanding of the market, that I’m now in a very risky position — over 80% of my position is now in BSV.

I had starting buying BTC at $6k and averaged down as it finally dipped below that resistance, with my largest purchase < $4k. The main reason I was getting in was so that I could start distributing my position into the most promising alts as I learned about the market. This was always a double-edged sword because there are loads of attractive alts, or at least it seemed so at the time. No matter which coin is your favorite, there are a dozen others doing the same thing that look equally tantalizing. On the chance there aren’t already a dozen, there will be tomorrow.

I already made sure to stay out of ICOs, but had the restrictions for U.S. customers not been so tight, there were one or two I had contemplated. Despite the problems with this country, this is actually a case where I am [somewhat] grateful. It doesn’t matter how promising, how big or how reputable a project is, it has been proven to me now that anything can and will happen in an unregulated market.

Crypto Zombies Rancher

I’ve already talked about how a legitimate project can get gutted behind the scenes and turn into a zombie. This kind of deception to investors isn’t allowed in a regulated market, and regardless of the consideration of this token, to me it was a piece of this company to be involved in bringing their products to market, even if it’s all I could do.

An even better example, however, is another small coin that I put a very small (1%) position into after I found a random blog post and did some diligence. They had a platform they were building that processed and held data on the blockchain to be used by business partners for a variety of products/services. It didn’t take long, however, until the company had pivoted away from the currency and started focusing on selling the technology, not the tokens.

There are lots and lots of these projects — promising projects that are backed by a company with a goal and an idea. When we’re talking about unregulated assets, however, there’s no reason to be reasonable with investors or make it clear what position the project is in (dead or not).

It’s hard to ever see the market in the same light that my naive eyes used to. It went from an industry full of developers and aspirations to an industry that is lost and confused, if not outright defrauded. I can’t even imagine the scale and man-hours that have been invested into what now seems like a complete farce. There are countless developers that have been spinning their wheels for years now, trying to create and build this technology for the global market when they could have been creating them on Bitcoin from the beginning, which was designed to not have these imposing flaws.

This is the exact reason that I wasn’t quicker on my move to BSV. It’s impossible to imagine the scale of this fraud, should that be the story and the reality. There’s so much work, so much time and an unbelievable amount of, “value,” tied up in this market and I’m supposed to believe that it was all worthless — that it was all for nothing!? Dr. Wright talks about what he would like the outcome to be, but he’s also said that he doesn’t want to destroy the wealth of others. So, I ask you — every one of you — what the hell can the outcome be?

I’ve held true to my recommendations, but they’ve evolved as I’ve learned. I originally held ~25% of my Bitcoin balance in BSV. Then when we went back to ~$60, I held 25% of my total portfolio value in BSV. Finally, as BTC went on the rise and Dr. Wright was granted copyright for the Bitcoin Whitepaper, I unloaded my position chunk by chunk until I ran out of BTC.

Holding zero BTC is not something that I ever wanted to do, and as it keeps going up in price, it shows how I injected cracks into my investment strategy. Because of my view, I found truth in some of the things traders were saying, and ended up with a smaller position in BTC that I would have liked — to hedge against my other investments. And because of my unwillingness to sell >10% of my BSV, even for trading, I wasn’t able to convert fiat quick enough and I’ve now missed out on some reasonable gains that would’ve helped me keep building towards a better future.

At this point in time, it’s hard for me to say I’d want to hold BTC or any other alt. When I look at how much BSV I could have instead, it makes me want to close out my last two positions. The problem is, that I already have too much BSV. I may have gained confidence with my successful trades since December 2017, but a speculative asset like Bitcoin — BSV at that — is now ~25% of my total wealth. The rest has been cash since I stopped trading.

The best case scenario, if I gave into my desires, is that I could have 4X life-changing money in a decade. I desperately want enough wealth so that I can start and fund my own businesses to help build the future on Bitcoin. With the position I’m in currently, I can’t afford to pay for the help I need to overcome many of the hurdles I struggle with. Despite that, the BSV community is great and they have been helping me grow my knowledge and ideas, free of charge.

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I already hold more money in a single currency than I had only originally dreamed of. I pulled out all (but ~2) of my alt positions for gains as BTC was starting on its uptrend, and after converting the gains in BTC then into more gains in BSV, in this exact moment, I’m exactly where I want to be.. almost.

I’m overexposed to one asset, which isn’t a major concern as I’m a small-portfolio value/swing trader at heart. I generally hold cash until I’m ready to take a swing, but what if I miss? My biggest concern is not that BSV will crash, but that it may drop to a point where I could have doubled my position.

With my current exposure, doubling that position would be the very beginning of life-changing money. Because I’ve been so blessed to have this position, I’ve already done some cheap-and-easy, “work,” around Bitcoin, but with twice as much, I could actually start building something real — or rather, I’d have the confidence and safety net to do so without restriction.

I’m only one person in an already small group of BSV developers and investors. I’ve tried being a miner and will likely return after I’ve settled my current holdings (I look forward to Squire’s hardware offering). I’ve also tried to build and develop on the blockchain. In the end, the only thing I can do right now is plant seeds until I’ve built enough to bring my life to the next stage.

I don’t know which of these things are within my grasp, but I’m going to continue learning and growing until others have already built the things I want to see and use. I sleep easy with my truckload of BSV, but the overexposed nature has me worried that things may still be rough before they get better, as they always have been before.

I’ve had plenty ideas of what to do with this technology, but even with this small group, I’m never going to be the only person with that idea. Project after project gets released and I continue to try and learn how I can implement and release my own version. Despite that, I have at least one project that I will almost certainly be working on for the next decade.

I started the concept for my game in January 2018 and my plan was always to make the networking aspect of the game directly peer-to-peer and then to eventually integrate blockchain. This seemed like a herculean task on top of already creating my game engine from scratch, but not impossible. Just like Dr. Wright, I have ideas that will persist for a lifetime and I’m not going to stop growing them, refining them and rebuilding them until my vision is complete.

Long before I had Dr. Wright explaining the nature of Bitcoin, my vision for blockchain in my game was already what Bitcoin offered — or at least, should have offered. Since I’ve come to understand the technology, it has fundamentally changed the approach to my game. The vision I have for my game has never been so clear, and I’ve still got a lot of time ahead of me to keep building and refining.

There’s always two sides to each story. In this case, these two sides are at complete odds with one another. My vision has become clear enough on one side that it has completely obscured the other side of the story. At this point, it’s hard to see alts as anything but the symptom of a problem — a problem imposed onto Bitcoin.

That leaves me with only one option; investment be damned, it’s time to get back to building.

rpg-js

Thank you for reading,

-Jordan

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Elon Musk’s Boring Grand Tapestry

I’ve consistently looked at the Boring Company as basically a joke. The type of thing that’s so outlandish that it’s clear I’m missing something. I’ve thought for a long time that Elon’s goal is just to reduce the cost of drilling technology and allowing the market to go with it. In fact, that most likely is his plan, but after over-analyzing it, it became far more interesting than I would have ever gave it credit for.

Here’s my theory:

You could use Tesla self-driving tech to set up an autonomous HIVE of Tesla’s (rented out by their owners) that could seamlessly connect to those underground networks and would address the needs of those needing mass transit the best.

Say you’re a working Tesla owner, willing to rent out your Tesla for the day to this mass transit system. You will work an average of 8 hours a day, and sleep for usually at least 6 so lets be conservative and say you can give your car half the day to work, every single working day. Now let’s say you can complete each job in less than 15 minutes (easy if the estimated travel time in the underground network is ~5 mins). Your car can complete 48 jobs in a day.

Now what fee is appropriate? The cars electricity cost is likely nil, but the electricity cost of the underground network may be large. Using Hyperloop technology, however, it may be VERY efficient. You can even beef up the internals for future Tesla models to support the computing power of the autonomous network, similar to block-chain technology. If the network got large enough that enough compatible vehicles are already communicating on the roads, this creates a massive network of access points to sell internet.. and say.. fund a trip to Mars.

That’s all besides the point, I could go on-and-on about other synergistic powers Elon may have at his fingertips (as well as other major tech giants). If I remember correctly EVs currently run around the range of ~$2 per gallon equivalent. The underground network would likely be more efficient. The cars will also likely be more efficient, with less time spent accelerating and decelerating, but I feel safe to say that it would cost maybe $1 max for a car on a fully fleshed out network to go 100 miles in a very short period of time. That’s not even including any government assistance, due to the, “public,” nature of the project.

So essentially, it seems to me, that you could safely say that a trip to and from work, essentially anywhere in the city could be kept around a penny a mile. Most trips around the city would be less than $1. This is, however, ignoring maintenance, construction costs etc. The way I see it though, the ideal scenario is to be hired on indefinitely as a third-party contractor for building and maintaining this network (or the government could maintain and run it.. hahaha..) and the city would likely cover much of that, I’d hope. It would be much more interesting to posit the outright profitability of a private transportation network, including start-up cost, but that requires more knowledge than I currently have available to me, but it seems far from the realm of impossibility.

Subway trains seem to average around $0.01 per mile per passenger as well, but doesn’t have near the flexibility of the autonomous HIVE. Plus, consumers will be profiting through car rentals which would massively subsidize the upfront and on-going costs (vehicle maintenance). Even if the government offered subsidies to people renting their cars to the public, it’s still cheaper than a train, and allows cheaper, quicker and easier expansion as urban districts grow. This is also assuming only a single person being carted around by a normal, full-size Tesla.

The last thing to focus on is also the expected return on a newly acquired, and rented out, Tesla. The Model S is ~$35,000. Uber won’t let employees drive a car older than 10 years, and I feel that would be a fair lifetime for a Tesla on the network as well. At 12 hours a day, 5 days a week and 52 weeks a year for 10 years, that’s 31,200 hours of time that you car has been working on the road. All your car would have to do is earn $1 an hour to pay off the value of itself — that’s only a quarter ($0.25) or less per trip.

Fuel for the car (electricity) would be provided from the grid and paid for by either the government or the Hyperloop maintenance division. The maintenance on an EV being ran 12 hours a day shouldn’t be substantially more where-as a combustion engine vehicle would be more concerning (IMO), and being topped off by the grid regularly may extend the lifespan of the battery, depending on what battery tech the car uses. And any expenses incurred would likely be tax-deductible anyway, if not outright subsidized.

This just says to me that it’s a very viable theory, but still a little bit ahead of our time for multiple reasons. This is all tech that should be coming together around the same time, but the world is never run near as efficiently as a theory. Blockchain is continuing to get more useful but is seriously lacking in real-world implementations like the one I’ve outlined here. Cheaper grid energy and solar expansion plus new solid-state or lithium-air batteries will continue to supplant fossil fuels in favor of EVs. Autonomous cars will be here by the turn of the decade, and HIVE networks are already being developed.

I have a lot of respect for Elon, but this is like Mars to me — why not Venus? I’ve scratched my head at Elon’s boring company, and unless he just wants to innovate on, “3D drilling tech,” to make underground expansions much more affordable, he has to have all this other stuff in mind. I think the Boring Company is a worth-while venture for the entrepreneur, but having an outside perspective has me constantly scratching my head. There is only really ONE scenario for the viability of a network like this, and it’s a massive weave of tapestries involving many different techs and even the government, which all currently have very little real-world application. I can’t imagine many people are thinking along these lines, and I’ve definitely never heard the Boring Company’s plans being presented as so.

But it’s like I said, today’s tech giants have tremendous power at their fingertips to cause massive change, and even control the world around us (Google isn’t the only one). We have a serious problem developing of socially monopolistic companies, but I don’t know what to do because I love what they’re all doing. Verizon is about to enter the arena as well, and they’re a little scarier.

Disclaimer: This is my response to the video I posted which got me thinking about this idea. I merely ran with the idea and am curious what others have to say about the viability of the boring network. As such, I haven’t done as deep of a due diligence since I’m posting a theory more than trying to present anything as fact or anything of the sort.

Posted in Boring, Entertainment, Technology, Theory, Transportation | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Integrating Islamic Culture — ToY #3

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Today I have the pleasure to bring you a heavy topic, and hopefully open up a few people’s eyes to the reality of an unexpected two-sided argument. Dave Rubin invited Brigitte Gabriel onto his show for an interview, who has had very powerful life experiences from having lived in the middle-east. This is the first bit of information that I’ve come across that put me down the path of finally forming an opinion on the Islam and the refugee crisis.

It’s a lengthy interview, so I’ll do a brief summary to provide anybody context who might only be interested in my article (for some reason). She is the survivor of the Christian genocide that has been happening in Lebanon since Islam starting rising into power. She shared the powerful experiences she had growing up in a country shifting into a Islamic regime that attempted to eradicate every last Christian in Lebanon before foreign intervention saved the remaining refugees.

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By contrast, I’m also going to share with you the common sentiment I’ve seen regarding refugees, which is actually where today’s comment comes from. I just finished watching an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver that was on my backlog. The topic is — you guessed it — migrants and refugees.

This is a bit off topic, but bear with me for a couple 4 paragraphs (sorry)! I’m not trying to politicize things that don’t need to be politicized. You’re absolutely welcome to think whatever you desire and I’m not going to stop you — you certainly don’t need me to tell you that. I just can’t spare an opportunity to remind people to remain observant when presented with facts and arguments. Never buy anything at face value, no matter how many times you’ve heard it or from however many people, always make sure to look for tangible facts before taking a firm stance on anything.

I actually quite like Last Week Tonight. It’s unique in a way that offers unexpected bits of humor while often offering you important information about something you’ve likely never heard of, or heard presented in a certain way. I’ve bounced back and forth between hating and loving the show and John Oliver’s persona and his inability to appropriate inform people and present both sides of an argument.

The clip I’ve included is almost a spot-on perfect example of one of the biggest problems that currently faces our society. The tone of John Oliver’s show often crosses the line into attacking other people for the sake of the show’s opinion/agenda. This is just one example of Last Week Tonight presenting an entirely opinion-based argument as if it were factual while insulting many, “defectors,” that don’t share the same opinion (and cherry-picked people/statements to paint the other side in a very poor light for the duration of the episode).

John Oliver, as the host of an informational news show, has a duty to present things appropriately and not just massively sway the opinion of large swathes of people by presenting these problems as if they’re one-sided, obvious cut-and-dry discussions. It’s disingenuous to his viewers and to our society as a whole. It’s also another poor example of how the media so many of us rely on for information is being completely controlled and left unchecked and uncontrolled by the, “left,” side of politics that has been created in the era we’re currently living in.

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Even in the last clip I’ll include, he specifically talks about, “winning dinner.” It’s this type of attitude — trying to, “win,” and sway people because of your own entitlement and naiveté, in-lieu of facts — that ruins family Thanksgiving dinners. Seriously, don’t be that guy. This is a very obvious example of Oliver pandering to his audience (IMO).

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But without further ado, here is my next entry into the Today on Youtube series. Here, I share an interesting opinion I posted as a comment which I’d like to catalogue and reflect upon as I move forward in life.

“This is just another Last Week Tonight episode I’ll have to write off. If you don’t agree with John Oliver’s opinion on the topic, he offers little value in his content. It seems so weird that people are championing acceptance and integration of refugees but choose to completely ignore the fact that the culture we’re claiming to want to accept in our country is one on the level of a fascist dictatorship.

In [some] Islamic governments, Christians, Gays, Jews and so many more have been murdered in cold blood for the sake of their beliefs. Integrating these cultures into the society is creating legitimate and warranted fear in anybody aware of these facts — who are evil in the eye of the Quran. That’s not even talking about women. When it’s illegal in most places to treat people as your property (own slaves), how, then, are we supposed to be integrating people who not only want to strip people of their rights, should they gain any sort of power in our society, but eradicate them entirely?

I understand the sentiment, but people on the left are making one of the worst decisions they’ll likely ever make (politically) because they’re rallying behind a cause that is exactly the opposite of their political ideology. Then, ironically, the, “right,” gets treated poorly because this just happens to cross one of the ideologies at default. And the left continues to try and silence anybody who may actually recognize the situation at face value — a violation of human rights.

While telling large groups of innocent people that they’re not welcome away from their terrorized countries where they may be in legitimate danger may be a difficult side to take, it’s a serious detriment to many societies across the globe that this is even a discussion. Acceptance of these refugees and the certain cultures they may come from and choose to retain in their new land are legitimate violation of human rights. But, it’s not a surprise that the, “left,” is championing something that on the face seems to harm the white, “privileged,” when in reality it will more aggressively and tangibly hurt everyone else first.”

And if you want to see a scholar offer a more broad view of homosexuality in Islam, check this video out:

Source: https://usefulstooges.com/category/homosexuality/

~~ But don’t forget this image. ~~

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~~~ Also lots of, “human rights,” signs pop up while searching images for refugees. ~~~

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~~~ Again, just don’t forget these images ~~~

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~~~ And stories like this ~~~

“Nazanin, 17, was sentenced to death by hanging for defending herself against three rapists.

A young girl who defended herself and her chastity against three male assailants who intended to kidnap and rape her causing injury to one of them who later died in hospital was condemned to death by hanging in an Islamic court in Iran. Nazanin who has seen no more than 17 Springs, all of which under the tyrannical rule of the Mullahs is now facing execution for trying to defend herself and her honor…”

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Microsoft’s Xbox One and the Future — TOY #2

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I’ve been following the video game industry quite closely for several years now. Today, after hearing Microsoft’s future prospects, I’ve been considering investing in the company. I have a lot of faith in current management and think they are targeting a very strong, unique position in consumer electronics. It’s actually the direct mention of investing in augmented reality education that highlights the massive potential and how MSFT is trying to position themselves to capitalize on it.

Now, to the point. This is just another entry into my Today on Youtube series, where I repost a comment I’ve made on a Youtube video onto my.. diary/blog. I hope that this comment offers a unique insight into past and future expectations of MSFT. I’d also love to discuss or elaborate on any or all of this in the comments section, should anybody be interested enough to do so.

For anybody interested in the article, I recommend starting with these two videos:

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This video, along with the more recent one regarding Microsoft’s future/E3 plans really has me confident in MSFT — despite the 40% gain already in the last year, the further upside is still very strong as their investments start to pay off.

Since the launch of the Xbone, I’ve been somewhat disappointed. I had hoped that MSFT would hold strong with their vision of the new console — which is likely inevitable, regardless. And don’t paint the picture as if the original Xbone’s business model was a pros and cons proposition. The only time I ever heard somebody mention the family sharing was at the MSFT E3 press conference. The family sharing alone was enough the warrant the always-online DRM, but MSFT was actually attempting to pioneer the digital space.

After having a bit more insight into the fact that their management was actually attempting to do exactly what I thought they may have been, it really has me remorseful over the death of the original Xbone. I’ve been waiting for somebody to attempt to give actual ownership over our digital products — including the ability to resell them — without just biding my time waiting for something to get kicked up to the Supreme Court regarding the issue. Now that, as well as the awesome family sharing and many other potential benefits, are dead for the foreseeable future.

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Ayguitt

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There are a couple mistakes that MSFT did make, however. Obviously most importantly is the fact that they skimmed over the benefits of the DRM. As I mentioned, family sharing was completely forgotten about and I’d never even heard of any of the other benefits they already had in their road map. I assume that they tried to get people to forget about the DRM (foolishly) instead of pushing it as a huge benefit for gamers.

Secondly, I see no reason what-so-ever why the Kinect was integral to the original Xbone (though, I may just be forgetting as that was quite a while ago) and they sacrificed massive good-will by raising the price to accommodate that while further removing consumer agency with the DRM alongside it.

Thirdly, they didn’t do enough to make the Xbone appeal to everybody. They could have had an offline mode, just like Steam, and then I literally see no reason why anyone would have been upset — but console manufacturers have historically been pretty short-sighted when it comes to accommodating their platforms for offline use. They may have already had this, but again it’s not something I ever heard about. And I want to note, I was paying very close attention to the games industry during this period of time — and for the most part, ever since.

And lastly, physical media. Blu-ray discs are a total joke as a storage medium when we have multitudes of faster solid-state storage at a nearly-equal insignificant cost. The cost of going all-digital, in theory, should have offset any minute changes in the cost of production of physical media from a potential storage upgrade.

So let’s recap. MSFT grossly mishandled the marketing and roll-out of the Xbone. On top of that, they may have missed further changes that would have changed the proposition from a DRM-laden inconvenience to a much easier, smoother, faster experience with plenty of things you couldn’t have done on a non-DRM console. And one of the changes which would have been integral to this transition, would be a massive overhaul of the current physical standards — giving plenty of benefits to people who don’t want to be beholden to the DRM.

There is no doubt that MSFT messed up. It wasn’t anywhere near what Sony did with the PS3, but at first glance they are actually similar. In reality, their plan was solid and everything was quite good for such a big pivot into a completely new direction (for the entire industry, not just MSFT), and you can plainly see how long it has taken Sony to pivot from their many mistakes with the PS3 — so IMHO MSFT has been doing a phenomenal job — _especially_ under the reign of Phil Spencer.

Their current investments into AR and many other forward-looking plans or technologies that will continue to be rolled out in the next <5 years will really show how strong MSFT is under current management (and likely has been for a while now).

I actually really like MSFT right now, from an emotional standpoint. I can just never get past how terrible and inconvenient their software always is — especially Windows. It’s always enough to steer me away from _anything_ MSFT, but I was actually seriously contemplating jumping on-board before they pivoted their plans for the original XBONE.

For now, anything MSFT still remains secondary — especially as they are figuring out how they want to approach this PC-console hybrid market they’ve started targeting. I hope they continue forward with it, as it’s another future inevitability, but I hope they can continue to succeed where Steam consistently fails. Note: I’m talking about Steam Boxes and the fact that the, “leader,” in digital distribution has shown no desire what-so-ever to give consumers more ownership over their property. We have refunds now, however, so that’s good, I guess? MSFT is a bit behind on that one.. odd considering they were looking past that into resale.

Also, the negative sentiment around publishers charging you to sell games is absolutely silly. If I can sell my game at or near retail price for a 20% transaction fee, I’d still get paid about 10X than had I sold it to a GameStop. I also imagine this would be comparable, if not beneficial to publishers (and their bottom-line) in the long-term, although I’m not going to get into that.

I look forward to anybody who might have some reasonable rebuttals to my points as I’ve never heard anybody having this discussion.

~~~~ A Contrast of Perspectives ~~~~

drm4yjrw

~~~~

Posted in Entertainment, Games, Gaming, Investing, Lifestyle, Microsoft, News, Video Games | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Our Destiny in the Skies – ToY #1

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~This post originated from a  comment on a YouTube video about the colonizability of Mars and Venus. I reply to YouTube comments fairly often and to-date this is the 17th one I’ve saved, but will be the first one that I’ve felt confident enough in that I’m willing to post it here. The post currently contains my comment verbatim because I decided it would be better than rewriting it as a stand-alone. I’ve also included a screen cap of the original comments from which I’m replying at the bottom of the page, so start there if you want more context. Let me know if you have any thoughts about the topic or if you have any suggestions for improving the format of the article!~

+Martin I know your comments are over a month old, but as no resolution was reached I figured I’d add my two cents – despite your seemingly overactive response to a single line and continued rant about your adversity to other people’s existential reasoning.

I should also add that I’m not trying to convince you of anything or tell you what you should think. You’ve asked for an explanation as to why the continued existence of the human species matters, and I’m going to answer that to the best of my abilities, but the only thing that matters to you is whether or not you think it matters. I’m merely going to try and make a point as to why our continued existence is in line with the trends of human society as a whole – trends as a populace and not the reason for you as an individual.

Humans by nature have always had dreams, aspirations or desires. Even ages ago we sought to expand outwards as a species despite reason, and this is possibly an important distinction between us and our long-extinct cousins, the neanderthals. We’ve ventured across seas and even into space because of our desires to expand and explore the unexplored – in all forms of science (including philosophy) — for little to no reason.

It’s also common among most people (thought possibly not as much in the current generation/era) to desire the preservation of your name or legacy and to leave and impact on society and the world around us. And yet again, this is another reasoning that doesn’t really have any quantifiable logic to back it up (as far as I know).

These reasons might also have contributed significantly to why we even still exist as a species to this day. If we didn’t have this illogical desire to advance society, our role in it and the sciences there-in then we certainly wouldn’t exist in the form we do today (with the technologies and knowledge) and may have even gone extinct just like the neanderthals.

Because of this, I feel “destined” is actually a fairly appropriate word despite it being a bit misleading. It is destined in the way that it is inevitable and likely unstoppable (since we as a whole desire it) but not because destined by anybody’s will or decision other than our own. We as a species will continue to do as we have always done before and pursue the knowledge we lack in the unknown. We likely only exist today because of this illogical desire and I personally think it’s illogical to think that now is the time we should pull a 180 and stay as we are.

I also personally consider myself an empathetic person and hope for many (many) more generations of other humans being able to live their lives the way they want, just like I have. I may believe that I am the center of my own universe and to an extent the only things that matter are the things that concern me or that I care about. The only reason I care about other people’s happiness is because of my own selfish desire that they be able to experience the same happiness and joy that I can. That doesn’t mean, however, that just because my universe has come to an end (in death) that I suddenly no longer care and that their existence may as well come to an end too.

The likelihood of their continued existence is also likely increased by our expansion into our solar system as well as deeper space. While mere expansion in our solar system likely doesn’t increase it much, occupying other star-systems with self-contained societies would. Plus, the most important effects of this push to colonize space would be the advances in sciences that would affect our society as a whole.

You’ve asked for a reason why our expansion into space matters, and I’ve provided one, but I also haven’t. I don’t think it matters at all – at least not to you (unless you think it does). In reality though, it’s simply not so black-and-white. The advances in technologies gained from NASA and other people who desired to expand further into the universe aren’t exactly insignificant, even on the scale of a single person, but they may not have any affect on you specifically. The easiest example to make is memory foam: it’s a technology directly developed by NASA, driving by the expansion into space, and affects very many people’s lives daily.

It’s our desires to expand as a species, as well as individuals, that continues to push us forward into this brave new world. Venturing into space is simply one of many avenues we’ve pursued in our desire to gain more knowledge about the world around us. While this avenue may not have the most obvious impact on our lives as individuals, it’s existence and pursuit is nothing more than one part of a whole – a whole that has led us to where we are today. Our desire to understand the unknown may be without reason or illogical, but for us humans it may be the most logical thing of all – our “destiny in the skies.”

ToY 17-1

ToY 17-2

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Why “Feminism” Makes Me Cringe, Part 3 — Be a Feminist Not a Feminazi! (Comment)

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~You can find Part 1 here or Part 2 here~

I love this post (Be a Feminist Not a Feminazi) by Nikita, it really helped me put into words and sum up my opinions on most main stream feminism. If you’re reading this, you should check it out since that’s where I left this comment :),

“I love this post and agree completely.

I think your example of opening doors or carrying things for somebody is perfect. It doesn’t matter if the person is a man or a woman, I will usually do all of those. I always open doors for strangers and there’s always the little part of me that fears being berated by someone (when doing things other than opening doors, as well).

In the past I’ve been called racist and it is awful to be put down for something you aren’t. If someone were hurt (not simply insulted) by my words or actions I would feel remorseful for making that mistake, but it’s unfair to thrust your expectations upon others. I would be more than willing to apologize if I’ve made them feel put down or anything of the sort, but a large portion of people in society today feel entitled to.. far too many things.

It usually just ends up with a bunch of people fighting over who has the “worse” life in a group of *mostly* privileged individuals. Even gross, disrespectful misogynists should be treated with a level of respect because, frankly, nobody at all wins in a shouting match. People who feel righteous in the fact that they treat others equally should never feel justified in attempting to abuse another person and this is why “rad-fem” disgusts me so.

Everybody should be accepting of others, but don’t hesitate to alert the world to atrocities (of discrimination against anyone, regardless of race, sex or class), but the propensity to attack people in this day and age is quite pathetic and equally disgusting.

Twitter is an unbelievably powerful cataclysm for abuse and it really sucks that anybody with any sort of infamy is at risk for this uncontrolled maliciousness. Nobody is “entitled” to their opinions at the expense of others and as a society with so much power at our fingertips, we should be significantly more mindful of our actions before contributing to this international hate-machine.

I simply cannot understand why so many people bathe themselves in this hate they hold against other people or the world around them. My philosophy for life is to just enjoy myself. I’ve had many things keep me down in life, but despite being in what might be a slightly depressing position, I enjoy every bit of it. The last thing I will ever do is blame other people for my problems. I’m not going to blame “the man” (literally) for keeping me down, for I have the power to overcome anything in my path. And, in the end it doesn’t even matter because I enjoy every minute of it regardless of where the path takes me, unless that takes me to a rad-fem blog — then I get pretty depressed.

We create equality by spreading equality, not by pushing people into roles or positions that they don’t belong in, or in some cases resenting those people entirely.”

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Why “Feminism” Makes Me Cringe, Part 2

A Montgomery (Ala.) Sheriff's Department booking photo of Rosa Parks taken Feb 22, 1956, after she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus for a white passenger on Dec. 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Ala. (AP Photo/Montgomery County Sheriff's office)

I wrote Part 1 (Why “Feminism” Makes Me Cringe, Part 1) after seeing an article about someone who replied to a question about something called, “White Feminism.” It astounds me that a term like that even exists, “let’s fight for our rights, but **** everyone else.”

Every single time women of colour talk about “white feminism” or “white feminists” within the context of discussions about the way that the mainstream feminist movement privileges whiteness, we deal with an onslaught of defensive white women insisting that they personally are not like that, and would you please say “some white women” and not make generalizations?” — This Is What I Mean When I Say “White Feminism”. 

The term “White Feminism” is quite similar to the aforementioned mob mentality. I wouldn’t hesitate to argue that almost all “White Feminists” don’t actually believe such a thing. It’s fair to try and enlighten people to how they are blighting certain types of people, but it’s completely unrealistic to expect people to defend experiences they know nothing about. Everybody is merely lead by the “feminist” groups that they’ve resigned themselves to, but still wants to be treated and recognized as an individual.

Personally, I just simply don’t understand any of this. I’m not going to go out and shout from the roof tops about how everyone needs to get their **** together and fix this. I don’t understand why we should be separating people, in the name of equality. If people think that the whole world isn’t yet aware of the blights that the less privileged suffer, then you must be out of your mind. Everybody is aware of the problem, so why can’t we just live our lives, happily, and call people on their **** when they discriminate.

I should elaborate that I have no problem with what people do, you just do you. I’m just fed up with separation in the name of equality. I love the idea of living for your beliefs and spreading them every chance you get. Enlighten everyone and spread the message of atrocities. The problem is that I can’t emotionally take the idea of being arbitrarily dismissed or holding more respect for a person I’m having a discussion with than they hold for me. Most people who campaign for “equality” accomplish hardly more than separation, which couldn’t be any better explained than by the fact that I’m afraid to participate, and certainly not debate, from fear of judgement or discrimination.

There is no better picture of what I’m trying to paint than anything in the name of radical feminism. I stumbled across some sections of the internet that touted radical feminism and I would love to be able to be a part of that discussion. As any sane person should, despite disagreeing with almost every single thing written, I felt great respect from the passion behind those words.

That is even after the fact that I found myself disgusted and (literally) depressed at the idea that merely because of my gender, everything about myself is false, should be dismissed and might as well not exist. Even though I found myself caught up in the emotion and interested in cutting down through the generalizing BS to get to the heart of the matter, it didn’t matter because I’m not better than a spec of dirt and am not allowed to even be in the same place as them.

Just as how I sit here now, questioning the motivation and reasoning behind the words I’m writing, wondering if I should just delete it all and move forward, blindly, I pondered where it all fit into my future, and whether the words coming from a mere dog – a maggot – even means anything anyway.

~Find Part 3 here~

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Why “Feminism” Makes Me Cringe, Part 1

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It often seems to me that it’s little counter-productive for someone to label themselves as a “feminist”. That term has garnered a very negative connotation for some, if not many, and I even find myself cringing every time I see or hear the word, regardless of whom is speaking it or for what reason. The term “feminism” is extremely divisive and only succeeds in dividing most people into one of two groups, regardless of what they might actually think or believe.

Labeling yourself in general can often have the opposite effect as intended, but this is especially true when it comes to feminism. You immediately attach yourself to a group of similarly-minded, but diverse, people, and as such can easily have your individuality or true opinions lost in the pack. When resigning yourself to a group, especially a passionate group such as feminists (and rightfully so), it’s equally easy to fall into a mob mentality. You subconsciously tell yourself that everything you say or do “in the name of” such a group is validated, despite the fact, since people are diverse and not defined by singular ideals, that many people for whom you hold the torch may not actually be on your side.

Furthermore, by adding yourself to such a mob, as things escalate you leave your true self – opinions and ideals – farther and farther behind. You fall into a vicious cycle of self-validation and steadfastness. You continue to restrict yourself, and your group, while shutting out everyone else, unless they are also a “feminist”. It is quite reminiscent of the Standford Prison Experiment.

For anyone who might not know, it was an experiment in which 24 students (split into two groups of 12) played the parts of prisoners and guards. It was originally expected to last for two weeks, but was forced to end after only 6 days because of how extreme an environment that it was becoming. Simply by behind reduced to a group, their mentality changed entirely. To quote Wikipedia, “the guards enforced authoritarian measures and ultimately subjected some of the prisoners to psychological torture.”

While being unable to adapt to changing conditions or ideas you simultaneously force people into the role of “anti-feminist”, which they will eventually begin to align themselves with, regardless of whether or not they want to, and that is precisely why the term “feminism” being divisive is counter-productive. In a similar way to how derogatory terms invoke emotion in people whom have suffered from such, the common self-righteousness aligned with “feminism” has caused that term to invoke emotion in me as well. I immediately cringe when seeing or hearing the term because I anticipate how some people may be treated, based purely on such arbitrary things such as gender or race.

It seems a bit silly to whine for the equal treatment of white men, but it just seems so counter-productive to push people into an undeserved role, forcing their hand into the role of an antagonist, slowing down the progression and proliferation of equality, just because you feel self-righteous and justified to lash-out in the name of making things “equal”. It’s not a coincidence that this road to equality thus far has been paved almost entirely by passivists; there is more than a single form that violence can take.

~Find the second part of my post here: Why “Feminism” Makes Me Cringe, Part 2 ~

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My Confession, the Pain of My Dearest High School Friend

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Not long after I dropped out of school, I started to feel guilty because I had completely abandoned the person that I considered my best friend and hadn’t even talked to him since. I wanted to give him a call at home and try to see how we stood and to apologize if I had caused him any hardship, but I was afraid of what he might say, what his mom might say, and felt that by now he would simply do better without me in his life. Even though I wanted to know how he was doing, the fear of the fact that I had abandoned him crippled me.

He and I planned our classes together so that we would have each other during each period. Both of us were extremely socially awkward and unable to talk to almost anybody besides each other. I truly considered him my dearest friend and even this day think of him as so, but I simultaneously felt, or even knew, that I hadn’t been a very good friend towards him. At the time I had tried to push him to open up to me; to come over to my house and to spend more time with me, but he always pushed back. I guess in retrospect, the fact that he didn’t want to spend time with me should have been enough, but considering him my dearest friend I was happy merely spending the time we had at school together, and dreading the two classes that we didn’t have together.

I also feared the fact that I had been so pushy towards him and wished that I had been a much better friend to him. I just wanted him to open up to me and to spend time with my friend, but I ended up deflecting and abusing him to try and get what I wanted.

I had tried to look him up on Facebook several times, but never expected anything because I knew he probably wouldn’t have an account. However, today I decided to look up his brother and see if I could find him amongst his friends. I managed to find his account and sent him a friend request immediately, and was surprised to see his immediate acceptance to my request. I was scared of what to say, nearly shaking because of my nerves and consumed by the guilt I felt and how I wanted to apologize. I opened with a shocked emoticon (:o), and soon after added, “Uhm.. How’ve you been?”.

He told me that he had been good and that he had fallen in love. I told him how happy I was to hear that, because I was, and how I had wanted to call him for a long time, but hadn’t gotten up the courage to do so. He told me that he probably would have just hung up on me, and this is when the conversation turned in the direction that I feared most. “Oh,” I said. “I always thought that I was fearing something ridiculous, but that probably would have torn me apart. So I guess I’m glad I didn’t call, does that means that you hate me?”

He told me that he did, asking if I had any idea how much pain I caused him and that he can’t forgive me. “I’ve wanted to apologize for a long time now,” I replied. “But I knew that it wouldn’t be of any worth. I have no right to ask, but please let me know how badly I hurt you, I’d imagine it would do you good to tell me off. So please do, if you would like.”

He told me of how he sank into depression, with only his family and a few teachers to keep him sane, and that he couldn’t even look people in the eye when speaking to them. That he was alone for the rest of high school except for one friend he made, who in the two years he knew him managed to show him more kindness than I ever did in his entire life. And, that with the help of his girlfriend managed to overcome his problems and struggles and become the man he is today; his own man, that can socialize and have fun.

“Another good reason I didn’t contact you then,” I told him. “You were definitely far better off without me, but I feel so much guilt over the fact that I couldn’t be a better friend, the friend that I’m sure you wanted me to be, and that in the end I just ended up leaving you alone. I always wanted to be closer to you, but you felt so distant and I tried to force you to open up to me which was beyond pathetic of me. I hope that you can at least take solace in the fact that I’m still a useless pile, I struggle daily with my lack of ambition, with the fears of socializing and trying to start my life, or be my own man like you’ve become. Since I’ve left school all I’ve done is play video games and watch TV; I have accomplished nothing while I sulk amongst the fact that I know I can never be a better person than I am, and even now am only a slightly better person than I use to be. I can’t take back anything I’ve done, anything I do, so it’s definitely better that I’m not part of society.”

I’m reluctant to post this conversation as it’s personal and I have no right to, so I’ve been trying to work without quoting him. I only have to right to present my words, but if I’m going to talk about our conversation then I can’t misrepresent his side of it. So, I feel that this next bit can only be properly represented through his own words.

“I’m not going to feel sorry for you,” he said. “You always try and be the victim. The best thing you could have done for me is just leave my life completely – which you did and I thank you for that. But you lost your chance to have my trust, my respect, and my friendship.”

“I’m not asking for any of that, and I’m absolutely not trying to play the victim,” I told him. “I’m serious when I say this: I want you to take pride in how much better than me you are. I’m completely serious. When we inevitably never talk again, remember that I am absolutely not worth a second thought. I’m not worthy of your memories, of your thoughts, of anything. As soon as you will to never speak to me again, I will wish you the best and I am truly happy that you have become a better person without me.”

“I take pride in that I’ve faced my fears for somebody who loves me and who I can love back,” he replied. “I became a better person for not only myself, but for the person I love. And that fact alone is all I need.”

I explained to him, “Someone like me, who has never experienced pain like you have, and even more-so has delivered such pain to someone else, has no right to even ask your forgiveness, to even talk about the pain that you’ve gone through, and has no right to even talk to you.”

“If you want my advice,” he replied. “Become a better person for yourself and no one else. And if you meet someone, then fantastic – it helps speed up the process a thousand times over.” Even with the hatred he holds for me, he offered me advice. I’m truly pitiful.

“I can’t become a better person for myself,” I told him. “When I despise myself as much as I do, and I’m right in doing so for how much pain I end up causing, but I try as hard as I possibly can to only cause others happiness, but someone like me is consistently unable to. I’ve tried to change a lot since I left school, and I am really sorry that I wasn’t just a completely different person to begin with because I’m still nowhere near good or kind enough. Of everybody I know in my life, maybe it’s just out of a sense of regret, but you still are and will always be the person I hope is the happiest in life, even though I have no right to gain happiness through you in any way. I really am sorry. When you get sick of talking to me, please block me. And then if one day you feel that you need to tell me off again, I will be happy to hear what you have to say.”

He told me that he was glad that I at least realized and understood what I had done to him, but that he can’t forgive me and hopes that I do something with my life. “Oh, and in the words of my girlfriend, ‘Sucks to fucking suck’,” and those were his final words to me.

I wanted to reply before our conversation ended with something that could convey how truly sorry I am and how I wish him the best of luck in life. I also wanted to wish his girlfriend this best and tell him how lucky he is to have her, but I thought it would be disrespectful for me to even recognize her existence. I have no right to wish him the best after what I have done and certainly no right to talk about the person he holds so dear. So, I simply ended with, “I will never ask for your forgiveness as I don’t deserve it, but I’m happy that I received enough of your kindness to at least be able to speak with you for this amount of time. Good luck in your relationship, and in life.”

After everything had ended, and I had already teared up a bit, I moved to the floor and laid there in a depression. “How could I so unwittingly be so cruel?” I asked myself. “Why can I live so carelessly while I cause pain and suffering to those around me?”

I still can’t decide how I want to handle something like this as I don’t deserve forgiveness from anyone and have no right to go on living carelessly when I know that I so easily can.

After a while I finally got up and sat back down at my computer, still in a depression over what happened. I took my dull pocket knife and ran it up and down my wrist, considering how much something like that should be done. I both selflessly wanted to take the easy way out of my life and to purge myself from this world I corrupt, but deep down I knew that there is no way I posses enough strength to attempt something like suicide.

I pondered it a while longer and then asked my mother if she had ever confessed. As I don’t consider myself religious and have no knowledge of how to go about it, I wondered if I should go in and confess. Figuring that I’ve never come to the crossroads in my life where I’ve decided what to or not to believe, I don’t feel as though I have any right to talk directly to God or Jesus through prayer. I only desire to speak through a medium that can express to him my thoughts and emotions, so that he can deserve what kind of punishment I deserve for my sins, and if I’m lucky help me on my journey to purge myself from them.

In the end, however, all I probably want is someone to consul me and tell me to simply move on. As a part of my own beliefs, I can not simply forgive myself or ask for forgiveness, so I guess I just want to hear that it’s okay to move past this; that I’m deserving of moving on like nothing ever happened, even though I feel as though I should atone by at least experiencing as much pain as I have caused.

My parents tried to tell me that they always thought he was “weird”. How he only came over to my house a handful of times the entire time I knew him, and only after a lot of prodding, and then shortly after called home wanting to leave. How he was the bad friend whom always blocked himself off and never acted as a friend towards me. I told them that regardless of that, he suffered a great deal of pain and believes that I am the cause. If he believes that his pain was caused by me, then I caused it. Even if I hold only partial blame, there is no reason why I should treat it as though I hold anything less than full blame.

If nobody else holds the blame, then why can’t I hold all of the blame myself? At the very least, I failed to relieve him of his suffering, which means that I was far from an ideal, or even good, friend. At the worst, over my years of trying to push him on me, spending all my time with him, and then deflecting when he wouldn’t open up, I managed to seal off his emotions and seal him away from anybody besides myself. Whether or not that is true doesn’t matter, I should hold the full burden of his pain, just for being a co-conspirator in causing it.

I didn’t tell my parents anything in that kind of depth, but they told me that I shouldn’t hold that burden on myself. I see nothing wrong with holding a burden like that on myself because if I wish it, I can completely forget about it and move on, enjoying my life every day after. However, by my ideals, I struggle to realize how I should atone for it right now. By my beliefs, simply becoming a better person and learning from my mistakes should be enough, but I’m never one to let myself off with my own lofty punishments. If I expect people to live by my beliefs, then I should live by theirs, so I want to know how I should atone for this and that is where I reach my wall.

What I truly wish more than anything is to never get irritated or angry with anybody, to never hate anybody, and to never ever cause anybody pain or make them suffer. More than that, ideally I want to make everybody I know happy every second I’m with them, but there is no way that I can accomplish that. I can’t even manage the first, and struggle to make anybody happy for even a second. I don’t understand how I can so desperately desire these things, but always fail so spectacularly.

I know that my ideals are beyond what is capable of a human (or at the least capable of me). I just don’t understand how I can know exactly what I want to do, and how I can set the rules I want to live by, but constantly fail when it comes time to live up to my own ideals.

One last thing I fear after all of this is that my old friend, whom has recovered so spectacularly, will for a short time be sucked in by the thoughts of what he used to be and what I’ve done to him. I hope that our conversation can ease his emotions in the future when thinking of his past, and not just bring back emotions and thoughts that he had finally put behind himself.

As for the reason of writing this.. I suppose that this is just the way that I’ve decided to confess, even though this is truly closer to speaking to nobody (forgive me if there are actually any readers who have made it this far!) than if I seek forgiveness from somebody I would have never recognized until now. Forgive me lord for I have sinned, will continue to sin, will hold onto these sins and will wait a while longer before I open up to you. 

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My Problem With Coffee

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I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker. I like the taste of homemade cup of coffee with a little Nestle Coffee Mate Creamer, but have never really liked the taste of any kind of coffee from a coffee shop. I was into the frozen blended coffees for a while, but got tired of those pretty quickly, not to mention the price, even during happy hour. I even like instant coffee (with creamer), but have just never been on a firm enough schedule (going to sleep / getting up whenever I like) to drink coffee in the mornings. Although, since I’ve been trying to get my life on track, I’ve been drinking a cup or two of instant coffee every morning.

I’ve heard all the endless benefits of coffee, but I have also heard people say that once you become “addicted” to coffee, drinking it only restores you to what you would have been like had you never had a cup of coffee. Meaning, if you’re in a hurry one morning and miss out on your normal cup of coffee, you will be impaired for the rest of the day. Now, I don’t know whether or not that is true, but often times when I have a bad morning I wonder if it has something to do with coffee’s grip on my brain. Drinking a cup of coffee doesn’t fix me up for the rest of the day, so it’s probably just my problem :). Whether or not coffee inhibits my ability to think sometimes, always or never, that just highlights my problem with coffee.

I don’t like the idea of relying on something to help you get going in the morning or throughout the day. Anything that causes a reaction in your brain is going to affect your brain chemistry over time, whether it be any kind of drugs, alcohol or simply coffee. Drugs overtime cause a severe change in your brain chemistry where your brain is both less efficient with them and less effective without them. When you stop using them your brain has a hard time readjusting to operating without them, i.e. detox. Coffee’s effect is less severe, only a minor or major headache, but it still exists.

The only problem with that comparison is that Drugs are an inhibitor on brain activity and Coffee is a stimulant. Drug’s effect on your brain is clearly negative, and Coffee’s effect is, as far as I know, still a bit cloudy, including a lot of different effects based on how often you take it and in what amounts. That said, the problem I have is whether your brain’s eventual reliance on coffee helps increase your brain activity with no effect on your ability to think without it, or if it slowly creates a more harmful effect where your brain slowly functions worse without that caffeine, only allowing you to function normally if you continue to drink coffee.

My ability to think is very important to me, and this is a serious problem that I have with coffee. I don’t know where I stand on all of this because there seems to be far from a consensus on coffee’s long term effect. I think that I’ll just continue to drink it for now, maybe taking a break here or there if I don’t feel like drinking it. However, if I feel that I’m developing any kind of reliance on coffee, I will likely stop drinking it then and there and never look back.., maybe.

~For more information about Coffee’s benefits, check out C.G.P. Grey’s Youtube Video, Coffee: The Greatest Addiction Ever.~

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