It was the sixth grade, and we were on the bus ride home from our class trip. I was sitting in the back with my best friend, Gary. The other kids were joking around, making fun of him in a cruel way. He was not taking it well. I felt bad, but as an extremely shy person, I was too afraid to speak up. The teasing got worse and worse, then, as the bus arrived at my apartment complex, Gary pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head. He died instantly.
Then I woke up. I was not in the sixth grade—I was 31 years old. Gary was alive and well. It was all a dream. Continue reading →
Over the past couple of years, I have become obsessed with artificial intelligence (AI). If you’re not also obsessed with AI then you probably don’t know enough about AI. To remedy that, read Tim Urban’s massive 2-part post about AI on his blog Wait But Why. Continue reading →
News is literally making people sick. The media mostly reports negative events because that’s what gets ratings. But constant negativity will lead to nothing but fear, hatred, anxiety, and depression in those who consume it. Continue reading →
Anxiety is a sign of intelligence because anxiety is essentially imagining the future. That’s how humans became so intelligent compared to other species. We developed an ability to imagine the future—to see different factors and anticipate something to happen before it does. As a result, we were able to set traps to kill prey. And realize if we plant a seed today, crops will grow weeks or months later. Or predict that we will fall if we step off a steep cliff. Imagination is possibly even the origin of consciousness itself. Continue reading →
Shadow puppets on cave walls were one of the earliest forms of visual storytelling, or in other words, the first movies. Visual stories are the simplest and most basic form of storytelling, which is why people love movies so much today. Continue reading →
I tend to consume most of my non-fiction content through podcasts, which I like because non-fiction authors are often guests, and they summarize their books in their own words in about an hour. That allows me to learn more in less time. Then when I hear an author or subject I am especially interested in, I can delve deeper by reading their full book. That was the case with many of the non-fiction books I read in 2017. Continue reading →
There are so many stories I want to write, books I want to read, movies, TV shows, and documentaries I want to watch, video games I want to play, music and podcasts I want to listen to, and places I want to go. I never seem to have enough time to do everything I want to. But when I look around, everybody else seems to be having no problem finding the time to do it all. Which drives me crazy. Why does everybody have so much more free time than me? Continue reading →
I love listening to podcasts, but for some reason I never got into audiobooks. I couldn’t quite connect with a novel by listening to it in the same way I did by reading it. Which I found odd. Oral storytelling is evolutionarily ingrained in humans, dating back to when our prehistoric ancestors told stories around the campfire. Therefore, audiobooks should be more natural than reading. Which explains why I prefer listening to podcasts over reading transcripts or articles. However, I still prefer reading books over audiobooks. Why the apparent discrepancy? Continue reading →
I wish I could be like J.D. Salinger or Thomas Pynchon, a famous author who stays completely out of the public eye. No interviews. No social media. No website. Retain an air of mystery about myself. Build a mystique. It’s an alluring idea, but I’m not sure if it’s possible anymore to be both a famous author and a recluse. Continue reading →
How do we know whether something we didn’t witness ourselves actually happened?
In the past, all knowledge and records were passed on orally, then later through books. Meaning facts could have been easily manipulated and fabricated as the storyteller saw fit. Therefore no history pre-photographs/audio/video can be taken at face value as empirically true unless there is archeological evidence or scientific proof. Otherwise, there is no way of knowing whether any account of history happened the way we were told. Continue reading →