Saturday, May 23, 2015

Biography of the walking dead

There's no way around it,
to change you need to be cooked.

Pain is the heat, meditation is the water.

And during the cooking process you are the walking dead.
You can't move in the real world, or in the illusory world.
you are stuck in between.

The times you do nothing, your body and mind say,
this is the opportunity to do something important instead of urgent.

You are sick and with heat, and you are searching for a divine voice
to take you out of here.
And it tells you keep on cooking.

Your life flashed before your eyes,
and you wonder how could anyone stand so much pain and disappointment
and still survive.

You started this war. You don't remember why.
You vowed that this would be the last round.

You cut off all escape routes,
and now are regretting doing so.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

You feel it so strongly some days.
Your story has reached its final chapter,
and the end is bitter and disappointing.

But a moment later, the view of
the same experience changes completely.

All this `final chapter' was just a part
of a foot stepping on a thorn,
as part of one step,
in a journey that is 10,000
miles long.

Monday, April 06, 2015

We live in paradox, and isolation.
Alone at our computers, in front of our TVs
We browse, we listen, we see.
We get the message `dark emotions are a sign that something's wrong'
But we feel them. We think: what can I do to make them go away right now!?
And, in it's many forms, the answer is generally to consume something.
An experience, a coffee, a workshop, a trip, ..
And we play our part in the economy.

But the truth that we don't want to face is not that bad.
We are just at sea, not on land.
A sea of the mind, and the waves are emotions.
All they can do is pass through you like water.
The water passes, the peace underneath stays.
Face it, your home for the next million years is the sea..
Just be the ocean.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Avoiding the will-power trap

Real-life example before the theory:
I want to use the stairs more often going to my office instead of the elevator.
Right now, I don't feel like walking up from floor 1 to 7.
I don't want to force myself,
and ask myself `what part of that do I feel like doing?'
I realize it's walking just up to floor 2.
I do that, and take the elevator from there.

There is no isolated event,
and with every action we take,
we are reinforcing certain behaviors and habits.

How to reinforce a desired behavior?
Perform that behavior, or one similar to it,
while feeling a positive emotion.

What if you don't feel like doing it?
You have two options.
Not do it, or do it while using substantial will power..
well the second option is many times only hypothetical,
as you might not have the sufficient will power at that given moment for
that action.
The second option, in addition to not always (perhaps even usually) not existing,
 may not be good for reinforcement of a habit,
as performing an action using will power may evoke negative emotions
that will be associated with the behavior.

My suggestion:
Perform the largest part of the action that you are able
at that moment, without passing your `will power threshold'.
The threshold is the point beyond which negative emotions of stress are generated while doing the action.
Again, this threshold is not a constant, and changes from moment to moment.

This way you perform an action you wish to reinforce, while feeling positive emotions.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Stop checking your f***ing phone!!!

I hope I'm not the only one who checks his phone every 5 minutes and gets
disappointed every time there's not something extremely interesting on it.
I'm trying to treat this `tiny steps' style..
and taking into account `you can't improve what you don't measure'

Like when I sit with a piece of paper working on something, I'll write the times
when I checked my phone : 14:56, 15:01
If I see there was a 5 minute gap I say -let's try to make the next one at least 6 minutes.
say it came out
now again I say, let's make the next gap at least 10 minutes..
A simple way to bring awareness to what you are actually doing in your actual life.

Monday, February 23, 2015

They met briefly,
and a spark exploded.
He wished to share every moment with her.
But darkness fell, and he was alone.
He cried, laughed, learned new things,
had adventures, disappointments,
wasted time in front of his TV..
He said to himself .. `well this is life'
.. `this is as good as it gets'
One day the curtains were lifted,
and the sun shone in,
 he discovered her still there in the same room
he spent all his life in.
She cried when he cried, laughed when he laughed,
they in fact did share every moment.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wake up, your life has already started

Ohh.. you didn't hear the gun go off?
Well.. there's no option to restart, sorry.

Ohh.. you say you won't participate in the race
cause that's not fair and you don't have a chance to win?

Well.. that's your choice.. but just so you know, when
this life ends , another race starts and you will start at
at whatever position you finished this one.

If you start running now you could finish in place 1.5 billion out
of 7 billion.
If you keep sitting here or walking at the same pace you'll finish at place roughly
2.5 billion.

Ohh you're saying everybody should start at the same place each time?

Yeah.. well those are the rules. They call it Karma.

You don't like the rules? You demand to speak to whoever's in charge?

Well, you can only speak to him if you get first place in a race.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Across the distance of a thousand miles,
she whispered through the wind:
Let me experience love as magnificent as I know it can be.
Don't expect it to be safe and reassuring every moment,
or even once a year.
Trust that when you float in the middle of an ocean,
you will not drown.
Trust that if you do drown,
death will only take you to a place
where this love is stronger.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Tiny habits

I was having a day where I was zoning out infront of my computer,
watching various shows and movies.
During these days I typically think, well it doesn't seem realistic
that I would stop watching videos for an hour and do something productive,
so no sense in trying.
Inspired by how BJ Fogg talks about tiny habits,
I thought.. well what can I do that would be positive and fun?

I tried to follow Fogg's formula of trigger->desired-action->reward.

I decided, each time I come back to the couch after getting something to eat (trigger),
I'll pause the video for 5 seconds and do a mini-breath awareness meditation(desired action), and then say to myself `I'm awesome!' (reward)

Then I thought , well maybe each time I have the thought that I should stop watching this stuff
I'll do this 5 seconds pause and say `I'm awesome'.

I think I ended up doing 9-10 of these 5 seconds pauses during that evening.
I still wasted most of it.

I do think though that my mood the morning after was better than average after these zoning out days,
and I think it had to do with these 5 second mindfulness breaks

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

This company, that I saw as a sponsored link, is the wrong and terrible direction undergrad science and engineering education is going in.
It all sounds so nice - give the students a chance to get exactly the information they need so they won't be stuck on `nuances' and be able to get the core of the teaching.
But the CEO's story contradicts her message.
She was stuck on compiler nuances for hours as an undergrad cause she was shy and did not have a good platform to ask..
and where did that bring her?
Being homeless on the streets? hm..
not exactly.. she went on to do a Computer Science MsC, and work as an engineer at facebook and Oracle, and now she has her own software company.
Would the same have happened if she had not hacked her brain till 6am each day on silly compiler syntax bugs?
My conjecture is that any CS undergrad today, who will spend 10 hours a week trying to solve his problems with no facebook forums, or whatsapp groups will have a huge advantage over his/her peers

The human brain always chooses the least resistance\least effort path..
Like even saints download movies illegally these days,
practically noone is spending hours trying to solve math exercises by themselves
with a f***ng piece of paper.. and while shutting off their f***ng computer.
They are developing other skills, but fewer and fewer people are developing the depth of though that comes from spending 10 hours on trying to solve a math problem you don't have the first idea how to approach (and perhaps is even unsolvable cause your professor made a mistake in writing the question)

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

The shittiness of life

I'm kind of repeating myself,
but at moments I find this remarkable.
People use the claim that `Life is equally shitty no matter what you do'
as an excuse for their depression and laziness.
(These people include me once or twice a week)

But the remarkable thing is that it seems the shittiness of life, during a particular day,
is in direct almost linear correlation to what the positive and negative things you do
during that day  (well.. almost linear with a big multiplicative constant depending on previous karma from previous days and years and lives)

In a tangible sense,
if you spend 2 hours on facebook and youtube  before leaving the house.
You're day will be 10% more shitty,
than if you'd had spent 1 hour and 48 minutes doing that stuff,
6 minutes stretching and doing pushups, and 6 minutes writing a nice email to someone who
was waiting to hear from you.

The reduction in shittiness in the case you spent those whole two hours before leaving your house,
doing things like meditating, exercising, communicating with people (in a mindful way),
studying something new, installing your new shower head. (or at least wrecking your wall while trying)..
is almost enough to make someone optimistic about life..

of course, there are complications.. cause if you spent a whole 2 hours outside of the regular `hypnotized zombie' mode, in addition to the good feelings, uncomfortable repressed feelings from the past would start to arise.
In general this is also good, cause there's a chance there to process and dissolve them..
but yeah when going a little deeper it's no longer a smooth ride.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A fresh new morning it was.. supposedly..
but seeing an image of those red roof tops,
he knew that even after traveling around the world ,
his heart would always be in those old streets and gray skies
and squeaky wooden doors.

He thought of a television reporter coming to him,
after all these wars and problems were over,
when old loves were finally reunited, asking him:

`Was it worth waiting 20 years for?'

and he would answer

No. Waiting is like smoking or eating junk food . It's always bad.
I tried my best not to do any waiting.

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Hi! I am a computer science postdoc. For some reason google is not finding my new homepage so I added a link from this profile