Sunday, July 27, 2014

Opportunity Costs, First Principles, State of my life

I wrote this in my journal a few days ago.
July 13, 2014
State of my life at this point.
I did really badly in hanabi game yesterday (card game that involves a lot of logic, memory, quick thinking). I made a lot of illogical moves where i didn't think every path through.
I'm worried that that's a sign that I am not very logical, and a further sign that I suck at programming, and maybe being an engineer.
This makes me go back to being worried that I'm not leveraging my forte/strong-points. (Where my current major goal in life is to become an entrepreneur, first through programming and making apps, and programming requires logic.)

After the game night, I then came home, browsed youtube, and saw this super sad romantic anime called 5cm per Second: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o6sZ8K3Vy0. All that got me thinking about life, failure, and what to do about it. I thought about the following.

Tombstone - Going to First Principles
I remember Elon Musk talking about first principles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV3sBlRgzTI . And I want to boil things down to fundamental truths of my life and life's desires.
What do I want it to say on my tombstone? What do I really want to do in life? My desires. Not necessarily having anything to do with my career.
Do I want it to say Entrepreneur? or more like Father, Husband, Son? But maybe even deeper than that, what is it that I really want? about being an entrepreneur, or father, husband, son?
Entrepreneur:
-Fame?
-Glory?
-Recognition
-the feeling of worth
-money  (money for what? -to experience more experiences)
-helping others? (does that lead to the feeling or worth?)

Father, husband, son, friend:
-Ultimately, I want to love and be loved and be cherished. I think that is what we all want. 
(Do i mainly just want to be loved? and I know that the best way to "get loved", is by loving others?)

So maybe I just want to feel valued, loved, cherished, and relevant. Is that my deepest desire? How do I know if something is my deepest desire? Is the the thing that's motivating everything I do?
Isn't that what all human beings want?
Ok maybe this is too first-principled, and we gotta go back up a level. Because even though all humans might be able to agree that they want to feel valuable, an engineer might define "valuable" as being able create a low-cost, low-energy water-desalination device that solves California's drought, while a father might define "valuable" as being able to take his kids to get ice cream. So maybe having it say "Valuable" on my tombstone is a little to vague and not sufficient. TBD on this trail of thought.


Opportunity costs
Also what i am doing today that i would be doing differently, had i not had ambitions of being an entrepreneur? and not spending a bunch of hours trying to make a website.
-partying more
-not being as stressed out about time
-spending more time with friends
-going to the beach
-getting a masters
-going to bars more
-spending more time on getting a girlfriend and having more sex?
-learning how to cook
-learning how to fix my car?
-investing money in stocks
-creating some e-commerce website?

Even if i don't become an entrepreneur, will i regret the current time spent doing what I'm doing? Not too much... maybe only second to getting a masters, because i still do spend a lot of time with people, and i still don't care as much about learning now to cook.

Love and Romance
This anime called 5cm a Second was amazing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1o6sZ8K3Vy0 
The guy kept looking and waiting, for something of the past, for something better than the present, and refusing other girls. Yet the girl moved on and lived her life.
What about me?
After watching this anime, it made me want a relationship, a family, and not those things typically found in bars and clubs. What I gathered from some of the comments I saw from youtube video was that I need to learn how to be happy in the present rather than in the past, or the future. Neither of those are real. Only the present is real.



More on first principles
"Meaning: rather than taking what already exists as the basis of our thinking, we break the problem down to its most fundamental truths and examine each piece. Even though a problem has already been solved, we start from the problem’s most basic elements to reexamine whether a better solution might be possible."

"Most major revolutions that have occurred build on this basic premise. Cars examined the fundamental principles of transportation instead of iterating horse-drawn carriages and smartphones looked at the principles of communication instead of improving dumbphones. "

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

happiness = reality - expectation

you either change reality by working harder,

or you change your expectation and mindset by:

1. 
control thoughts through meditation (push away negative thoughts)
2.
lower expectations. e.g. starcraft player said "most important thing is that you set your ego aside"



Funny that it's sometimes actually pride that causes us to give up and not try. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

More on failure, and overcoming it, maybe

I've been thinking a lot about failure recently. And so far it has boiled down to something like this:

Secular worldview:
What gives me worth:
My accomplishments.

How do i pick myself up when i fail?
-confidently say "they missed out because they didn't choose me for this position", "i was too good for that position anyways", or "it was not my fault"
-bank on my past accomplishments
-bank on the hope of my future accomplishments - i.e. look towards other successful people who have failed hard in the past yet are now successful and have that make me feel better because there's a chance that i can be like them and be successful


Christian worldview:
What gives me worth:
The inherent value God has given me by 1) creating me, 2) choosing to enter a relationship with me

How do i pick myself up when i fail?
-keep reminding myself that what I had set really high hopes on was an idol and not God's will for me at this time
-bank on the fact that in the past (in fact before the begining of time), God pre-elected me for salvation. So I need to keep reminding myself about the fact that I am christian
-bank on the hope of my ultimate future destination (heaven), and all this world and life will pass


Other views (still looking into this; maybe this is a magic pill):

What gives me joy:
iono

How do i pick myself up when i fail?
-remove the thoughts of the past from the present from the thoughts of the future. (Echkart Tolle stuff)


Misc. thoughts:
Humans do not give other humans time/care/respect based solely on that other human's "inherent value". Even the godliest Christian would not prefer to spend relaxation time with a thief/murderer/rapist/etc. All Humans value other humans not because of "who they are", but because of "what they do", and Christians, being human, are bound to these emotions.

This blog post on value and grace was terrific:
One quote from it is about a students thoughts on a professor taking him to coffee despite him doing poorly in the class:
"By taking me to coffee, he had shown me he valued me as a human being, independent of my academic record. And having my worthiness separated from my performance gave me great freedom! I could truly enjoy learning again. Whether I succeeded or failed would not affect my worthiness as a human being. Because even if I failed, I knew: I am still worth having coffee with!"
But that student was still valued by the professor because of what the student had done in the past (because he was after-all, accepted into the school, is a math major, obviously cares about the subject... etc). Even if the professor didn't value that student based on the student's academic record in his class, the professor still valued the student based on the students record of some kind.

"You must not only be sincere, you must also be right"

More Thoughts - TBD:
Where does confidence come into play? Athletes, performers, interviewees, everyone basically, does better when they are confident...

How do you cope with failure that is unrecoverable? I.e., you caused someone to pass away...?

For all my shit-talking, complaining, whining, fist-shaking...

I'm reminded of how weak and useless I am when I am sick.
Without energy, throat so sore can't even breath, every body part aches.

It really humbles me and shuts me up - in a good way.
Reminds me that I am nothing but dust.
Thankful for all that I have. Thankful for the days when I am not sick.

If only I can remember this daily, yet not be sick. But the memory is so fleeting.
I guess the past only hurts when you relive it and it affects the present.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

failure, failure failure failure

This week, has been a pretty big week of failure for me.

1. More or less bombed a grad school interview that i had a lot of hopes on. A friend did a mock interview with me and told me to know my resume really well. For some dumbass reason, i didn't study my resume but kept preparing examples (because most online forums said the interview was a going to be a "give an example of..." type of interview). Well, it turned out to be a "tell me about yourself..." type of interview, and i choked up a lot and gave stupid answers because i didn't know/study my resume. Bombing that interview and thinking of all the things i could have, should have, would have said, makes me want to throw up.

2. Took time off work, requested my dad's time and help, and replaced my leaking water heater last week, paying money out of my own pocket. Then i discovered that i had home warranty coverage that could have paid for it all. It was a really difficult job that mainly my dad did (I eventually left for work and had him do most of the job). I feel like i risked his health and lower back by asking him to do all that moving with me.

When i think about these failures. the only thing that keeps me hoping are those quotes from famous people about how failure after failure leads to success.

I don't think i ever really appreciated those quotes until now. When the failure feels so bad that the hope of future success is the only thing that makes me feel better.

The other good outcome is it made me love and respect my dad that much more. I often balk at him when he needs my help (translating documents, moving furniture, etc.), but he's always prompt to come help me.

I hope i can learn from this...
What are my lessons learned?
-love and respect my dad more
-before making big actions, examine options, even "out of the box options" like "my water heater is leaking water, oh no, but oh wait, i have a home warranty that i've never used that'll cover a water heater replacement!"
-study broadly before studying deeply when it comes to studying for interviews

Been sulking and pity partying this whole week. time to dust myself off and get back into the fight of life.

cool article i just read about failure: http://www.askmen.com/entertainment/austin/how-to-deal-with-failure-2.html

Saturday, January 18, 2014

PET vs CT vs MRI

How they work:

CT scans are like many many xrays. (Like a ring of xrays)

PET scan scans for glucose intake and causes areas/cells/parts of body that have high glucose intake to glow. (Cancerous cells have high glucose intake because they are dividing so much). PET scans can't position the results very well, they are normally done together with CT scans.

Magnetizes the water molecules in the body (or something like that) and measures their response. Body parts that don't have water (such as bones), don't show up at all.

This website is amazing:
http://www.diffen.com/difference/CT_Scan_vs_MRI

Monday, November 11, 2013

Patterns I'm noticing in japan

Subway makes me an idiot and results in change (three packs of people come and go through the ticket counters in the amount of time I try to buy one ticket)
Change weighs me down, and takes forever to discard.
The politeness and nodding is getting out of hand

and people don't speak english!!!