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Although life always has its funny way of testing assumptions about anything, I am an enormously fortunate human being, living in a time and place where I have an opportunity to explore varied possibilities of life and to freely express my thoughts without serious risk of inquisition or persecution.

This blog is intended to consolidate my observations, the only real conclusion being that experience has somehow shown me what I already knew but did not understand, as written by many people before.

Throughout history we have behaved like members of ant colonies attacking, destroying and enslaving each other; with the added horrors of sadism and sexual violence, often led by one murderous sociopath after another. History is predominately one of brutalized, traumatized, confused people living in pain and subjugation – we in turn build statues to the monstrous and watch entertainments of the butchery.

Yet young children are joyous, loving, curious, imaginative, creative, alive – everything we as adults should be. Adults generally (despite the facades) are often lost in a mix of anxiety, depression, frustration, regret, vengeance, anger, fear and self-loathing; in varying stages of struggle and confusion.

Something happens along the way that drains the joy and implants the madness. If we are aware of what that is, can we become better adults?


Blog updates:

Journal 2021-01-17

Job: employed at a Financial Markets Brokerage firm.

Side-project: writing an Algorithmic Trading Terminal. This may sound like a huge project but I have actually already written all the back-end code; it’s just a case of placing a GUI on top. I will gradually iterate to a stand-alone FinTech App for people to optimise and automate their finances.

Music: recording a cappella versions of powerful old songs. Also putting lyrics to classical music then singing a cappella.

Filming: have added some poems to the list of scenes I am shooting.

First To 8

First To 8 is played on the same 8 by 8 standard board used for Chess or Checkers.

The aim of the game is to be the first player to get 8 pieces to the other side of the board.

It is arguably at a level of strategy difficulty between Checkers (the easiest) and Chess (the hardest).

Both players have 24 regular pieces, one player has one colour and the other player another colour.

Each player places their pieces on all the squares of the first three rows nearest to them.

The players decide who has the first move of the game. Each player then takes turns to move one of their pieces.

Any piece can move to 1 of 3 different squares if available: Forwards Diagonal Left, Forwards Vertically, or Forwards Diagonal Right.

“Forwards” is moving towards the opponent’s side of the board.

A movement is completed when the player removes their hand from the piece.

Only one piece can occupy any square of the board.

If before moving, a player’s piece is Diagonally Forwards adjacent to an opponent’s piece and there is an empty square in the same direction behind the opponent’s piece, the player’s piece must move to the empty square and remove the opponent’s piece from the board.

If after taking, there is a new opportunity to “take”, then the player must take again in the same move until no longer applicable – this is known as a “multi-take” and can take up to 3 of the opponent’s pieces.

A player can not take Vertically Forwards.

The player must take if the taking opportunity is noticed by the opponent.

If there is more than one opportunity to take then the player has the option to choose which piece to use for the taking move.

The other side of the board is the first row of squares nearest to the opponent.

A piece can not move when it has reached the other side of the board.

The end of the game is when one player has a piece on all 8 squares of the other side of the board – they are the First to 8 – or the end of the game is when one player can no longer move.

The winner is the player at the end of the game with the most pieces on the other side of the board.

The differences with Checkers are:

  • The aim is to move quickly to the the other side of the board – not like in Checkers which is to take all the opponent’s pieces.
  • Pieces can move vertically forwards as well as diagonally forwards.
  • Pieces can move on both square colours.
  • There are 24 pieces per player instead of 12.
  • A piece can not move when it has reached the other side of the board – there are no Kings like in Checkers.

All these differences require the players to adopt different tactics from Checkers.

Have a go and find out.

New Year

The medium that best encapsulates my creative passions is filmmaking – I can write and perform the music and songs; write the screenplays; perform as an actor; and design the visual art and cinematography. I have my own green screen studio with which I intend to make some interesting videos and films next year. Technology is continuously providing new amazing tools to play with, so the future seems very exciting creatively!

Causality

Science fiction presents some baffling themes around causality; for example, the future is the past because events are synchronous in all places at the same time. The current everyday understanding of causality is equally bizarre, however, since a causal chain of events cannot lead back forever without having a prime initiating point, that is outside these rules.

Dawn

Dead shadows dance in the night yearning for the dawn; pale echoes of a haunted heart caressing the dark. Cold and forgotten walking scars, drained by decay, wasted by time, stretch out, hungered and blurred, to a spark ignited, climbing, rising from the ground. From the dark depths, rays of hope entwine in the sky, kissing the hills, breathing new life with wonders layered in light. Naked with joy, a new day, a new world is born.

Perspective

The first stage of learning is being unconsciously incompetent: you don’t know what you’re not good at because you don’t know what you don’t know. Well-being skills can be learnt. One typical motif is that how you look at anything changes your experience; for example: anxiety can feel like pleasurable excitement, as the body in both mental modes vibrates in a similar state of high energy; or a difficult situation is your challenge to evolve and an opportunity for personal discovery; or peace of mind is your inner state of being, not the possession of external conditions. And so on, all empirically true but under-practiced.

Social Status

If you behave outside of current norms, people will often interpret this as either the high status of trendsetting and being above what is usually expected, or low status not fitting in.

Status sensitivity is social madness because every single person is in fact unusual.

Capital

A satisfying aspect of being a monarch would have been to have resources instantly directed to your ideas whenever you want. Unfortunately it seems in all societies all around the world, these ideas were focused on who they were going to invade next.

Anger

Anger. What a silly thing.

Is it of any use? Nope, it unbalances you.

The orcs in the Lord of the Rings are driven by fury and are utterly useless at combat.

Energy from anger is polluted, destructive, counter-productive.

It can be used to instil fear, to incite others and to self-aggrandise, which is why it has been the emotion of choice by demagogues and sociopaths.

It is often learned as the default response to any frustration.

There is often anger at other people for not behaving as it is believed they should.

The reality however is that you have no real idea what has and is happening in the other person’s life you are judging.

The fact is you only ever see a tiny aspect of all the moving parts.