Just checked out SB Hackerspace
It was fucking awesome they have two 3D printers and a robot arm and all kinds of cool shit and I’m gonna live there now
Day 1 in NYC
It’s been a blast. Woke up and wandered the area around my cousin’s place (shoutout to Bethany for letting me crash on her couch; she’s the best!). Interestingly enough, there’s pretty much not a single sit-down coffee shop — I guess New Yorkers don’t really sit down for their coffee; they’re much more of a grab-and-go bunch. I found a Starbucks today and mistakenly ordered the medium roast even though they had to grind it fresh — what a line that formed behind me, lord; and the looks! This city is fast-moving boy, but the energy is great. Everyone is so quick; I found myself in Borough Park (the very hasidic Jew area) and even the 9 year old girls were mobbing down the street faster than me!
Anyways. A lot of getting lost on the subway, and a lot of walking around. It’s all just so different, and so big, I’ll probably be fairly entertained doing just that for the next couple days. I mean I do have to get myself to the top of the Empire State Building and hop on the Staten Island ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, and check out Wall Street and Ground Zero and the New York Stock Exchange…okay so there’s a lot to do. Like too much. Plus I fucked it up with Codecademy by asking them if I could come visit; I should’ve just showed up! I won’t make that mistake with Tumblr though — I’m gonna find their location and just drop in! Cuz honestly, if I could pull off any kind of sustainable paying job/internship with Tumblr in New York, I would move here straightaway. No question. So why not cast the rod; plant the seed?
Well this is quite a little ramble. It is fun to just type typity type type type without really worrying about editing or saying anything coherent. This is mostly a brain dump of the day anyways; and a horribly incomplete one at that. But I’d best get back to coding — I’ve finally got Internet access, and I really need to get the coursebuilder tool for dailyXP working before I leave. Priorities, you know.
aka THE CALIFORNIA RIGHT TO KNOW GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD ACT
It starts off defining a bunch of terms, some of which are good to note:
“‘Processed food’ means any food other than a raw agricultural commodity, and includes any food produced from a raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing such as canning, smoking, pressing, cooking, freezing, dehydration, fermentation, or milling.”
And then it goes on to say “In the case of any processed food, in clear and conspicuous language on the front or back of the package of such food, with the words ‘Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering’ or ‘May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering.’”
Seems like a lot of hubbub over nothing in this case.
In section 110809.1 it also says “[Genetically engineered or processed foods] may not in California, on its label, accompanying signage in a retail establishment, or in any advertising or promotional materials, state or imply that the food is ‘natural,’ ‘naturally made,’ ‘naturally grown,’ ‘all natural,’ or any words of similar import that would have any tendency to mislead any consumer.”
Section 110809.2 lays out exemptions to this rule, and it is here where we see special interests at work. Some examples include:
“Any processed food that would be subject to section 110809 solely because it includes one or more genetically engineered processing aids or enzymes.”
“Any alcoholic beverage that is subject to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act…”
“Any processed food that would be subject to Section 110809 solely because it includes one or more genetically engineered ingredients, provided that: (1) no single such ingredient accounts for more than one-half of one percent of the total weight of such processed food; and (2) the processed food does not contain more than 10 such ingredients.”
“Food that is not packaged for retail sale…”
These exceptions don’t give me very much confidence in this proposition. They seem contrived. Lobbied for and bought, even. It’s almost like our legislators don’t even really have my best interests in mind, in terms of biological or financial health…
Oh, and then under “Enforcement”: “The consumer bringing the action need not establish any specific damage from, or prove any reliance on, the alleged violation. The failure to make any disclosure required by Section 110809, or the making of a statement prohibited by section 110809.1, shall each be deemed to cause damage in at least the amount of the actual or offered retail price of each package or product alleged to be in violation.”
So Proposition 37 opens the door to litigation over any retailer that does not adhere to these convoluted and inconsistent labeling regulations, and there doesn’t even have to be proof of damage!
It’s a half-baked freedom of information act of the Greenpeace persuasion that’s lost its purpose catering to special interests like healthcare providers, fast food chains and restaurants, and alcohol suppliers (to name a few).
The cost of this labeling will be passed on to consumers and taxpayers. This proposition makes it so easy to bring a case to court that our courtrooms are going to flood with violations, causing California’s legal costs to skyrocket. Affected businesses will experience hikes in legal fees as well as labeling fees, which consumers will pay for at the checkout line. And at the end of the day, GMOs are still being slipped into our collective biochemistry without labels, in the form of: liquor, foods with GMO ingredients whose weights add up to less than 10% of the total weight of the food, medical foods, and made-to-eat foods from restaurants and fast food joints.
No on Prop 37, it’s wasteful, misguided, and corrupt.
Oh boy, election season!
Maybe it’s because I feel so helpless in national elections, but I’ve decided to get informed about California’s propositions this year and actually read them for myself instead of listening to all the bullshit rhetoric! It’s amazing how much you can learn when you go straight to the source.
So number 1: Proposition 30, aka THE SCHOOLS AND LOCAL PUBLIC SAFETY PROTECTION ACT OF 2012
Looks to me like Prop30 is raising taxes on incomes higher than $250k and increasing sales and use taxes by 0.25%, and appropriating these revenues towards public safety and schools. Mostly public safety it seems, which means that a lot of this tax revenue is going to criminal proceedings, jails, mental health recovery services, and whatnot, but the rest is going to education — again, mostly K-12, then community colleges, then UCs and state schools.
Sounds good to me; vote yes!
My opinions this election, in a rebloggable nutshell format
My personal opinion is that Romney and Obama are almost equally terrible; the problem is that we actually have a track record for Obama and we can only predict what Romney will do.
That being said, Romney’s social stances are all-around worse than Obama’s. Both of them have pretty poor economic policies, but Romney’s include cutting marginal tax rates by 20%, which would kill $5 trillion in tax revenue. He has no plan other than vaguely “closing loopholes” for offsetting this. Romney also wants to give the Pentagon $2 trillion it isn’t asking for, and I never think that’s a good idea.
Other than that though, he seems like he might reduce federal spending and delegate some responsibility to the states, which is a practice I’m fond of. Romney flip-flops so much though, I can’t really get a read on him.
Obama, on the other hand, has a history of shitty policies, so he will undoubtedly have more stacked against him (even if he’s the better candidate).
Obama’s a warhawk. His drone campaign has extended far and wide throughout Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Libya. His redefinition of “militant” to mean “any military-aged male killed in a drone strike” indicates that the casualties our drone strikes have caused are overwhelmingly innocent civilians. He ordered the illegal assassination of not only Osama bin Laden but two American citizens: Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, without evidence and without trial. Obama signed the NDAA into law, declaring America a battlefield and permitting American citizens to be indefinitely detained without charge or trial, and he opened the legal doors for non-lethally weaponized drones to be used domestically by local police departments.
Obama silently cracked down on Occupy instead of supporting it. He bailed out AIG and the rest of the financial sector with our tax money (for years to come) instead of letting them fail. Deportations of illegal immigrants and medical marijuana seizures and arrests are higher now than they were under Bush, and that makes me fucking irate.
But I don’t know. If social issues are your deciding factor, you’ll probably wanna go for Obama (despite his history with illegal immigrants, medical marijuana, and gay marriage). But honestly, I don’t think it’ll be that different either way.
Since Fall quarter started last year, I’ve read 33 books!
Not quite a book a week, but a valiant first effort I think:
- SPIN Selling
- The Art of the Start
- John Dies at the End
- Making Ideas Happen
- The Fountainhead
- Inside Steve’s Brain
- The E-Myth Revisited
- Negotiating Rationally
- Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future
- Disciplined Dreaming
- Persuasion: The Art of Influencing People
- What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism
- The Prince
- Thinking, Fast and Slow
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
- Thinking Strategically
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad
- Merchants of Immortality
- Program Design with Pseudocode
- On the Road
- Tao Te Ching
- Steve Jobs
- The Entrepreneurial Investor
- The Power of Habit
- Brave New World
- Speed Reading Monster Course
- Never Let Me Go
Now that I’ve got my Kindle at my side though, nothing will stop me from hitting 52 this year — nothing!! Mwahahahaha
I’ve been thinking about belief a little bit. Not in a religious sense (obviously), but in an interpersonal sense. Belief in others: others’ abilities, choices, and potential.
“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.” —Mark Twain
I think this relates back to exponential versus linear thinking too. People look at somebody with a dream and think that they could never achieve it, that in their current state they simply don’t have what it takes to manifest what’s in their head. But people grow, learn, and change. People do not stay the same, you can count on that, and when you look at people through that lens you start seeing in the fourth dimension. You start to see not all the possible directions they could go in, but the possible directions they could grow in; and then the whole world opens up.
Because your brain is an information technology, the most sophisticated biological information technology on the planet, and its capabilities grow exponentially, not linearly.
The possibilities are endless, if only you believe.
I need to focus. Make one thing.
If you try to do everything, you end up with nothing.
I’m gonna hit one project at a time, and not move on till it’s completed or trashed.
And then I’ll think about what’s next. Freelance web design/development? A 3D print shop? A Twitter competitor (investors are just hurling money at those these days)?
Not gonna think too long or hard about ‘em. They’re not actionable yet. All the next ideas are fighting and fucking in the batter’s box, and when the time comes the best one can take a swing.
Fasting & Programming
I’m not sure how many of you know but for the past 10 days I have been fasting. Fasting you say? No, I am not protesting the demolition of a national park (not that I wouldn’t I love parks).
For those of you not familiar with Ramadan it’s a holy for the month for muslims where they fast from sunrise to sunset. That’s not entirely true, its technically between the prayers that occur very close to those times. This fast includes food and drink!
I also thought it might be interesting to share my perspective as software developer practicing this fast.
Lunar vs. Solar Calendars.
That being said I won’t go too deep into the religious details but it is something that I practice every year.
It occurs at different times in the solar calendar due to the fact that Ramadan is a month in a lunar calendar which consists of 354.37 days compared to the solar calendar’s 365 days. Therefore the times in which a fast occurs shifts throughout the solar year.
For example this year it landed in probably the highest number of daylight hours possible, and by next year it will only shift backwards ~two weeks relative to where it was this year on the solar calendar. So fasting is going to get harder before it gets easier.
Winter is coming.
So you know you going to be fasting tomorrow, literally the entire day of no food and drink. What would you eat to make that day go by easier?
Okay so I can eat right up until sunrise? So that means wake up just before sunrise and eat like a boss.
When is sunrise? 4:09 am EST for where I live.
To say the least thats a annoyance; especially when you have to be up in 4 hours to go to work.
Usually for me I find it really hard to eat anything after waking up from sleep, so I drink as much water possible. Hunger usually abides( by abides I mean you get used to it) after the first couple days. The real struggle is thirst. You end up getting really parched.
Drink lots of water. Food too if you can stomach it.
Let’s just say fasting isn’t one of them. All of my co-workers; I have worked with past and present have been extremely understanding and respectful of the fast.
Also as a by-product of this kindness they have coined the term: Ramadan code.
But all joking aside; I have to say it is incredible how worse off you are when you aren’t able to eat(or drink) and trying to do work that is involved. For example today I was in some code that I wrote literally a little over a month ago without difficultly and for the life of me I was unable to write something very similar without doing it over 6 times.
Your ability to focus and keep things in context is severely diminished; that bundled with the shadow of the man you used to be can be quite the 1, 2 punch to your ego and more than your daily recommended source of frustration.
In conclusion, this has taught me a few things:
- Eat well.
- My yearly dose of humility is only months away.
- Don’t skip meals to save time. 5 good hours are better than 10 bad ones.
Hopefully this was insightful; if you have any questions please hit me up.
Also another little thing. This entire blog post was written using the dictation feature in Mountain Lion.
This entire blog post was written using the dictation feature in Mountain Lion.
Finally finished this Skin Template project I’ve been doing at work for the past two weeks — wooooooo!
I mean, it’s not DONE done, there’s still QAing (Quality Assurance), but the functionality and aesthetics are pretty finished. Feels good.
Most of the time I feel so scared at work, like I got there by accident or something. Every day I’m slammed into a wall of things I don’t know, and then told to do things I don’t know how to do. And then I get off work, go home, and feel depressed about how small I am.
But days like this help me remember that everyone is small at first. But I’m growing. I know I am, cuz I’ve got the pains that go along with it. Muscles need to tear before they can regrow, and the brain is no exception!
A pinch of progress is still progress. But pinches only amount to something significant if you’ve racked up a shitload.
Tryna get my 10,000 hours; it’s a full-time job.
Thinking about starting a food blog
Writing off meals out as business expenses, writing full reviews for each one; I could start by hitting every spot in IV and then moving to Santa Barbara.
Any thoughts on food blogs, tax laws, incorporating as a freelancer/small business?
Sometimes I just wanna write, you know? Not necessarily about anything in particular or anyone in particular, or for any reason in particular even.
Sometimes I just wanna see my thoughts turn physical, you know? And although a blogpost isn’t an engineering marvel or a web application or work of art, it is most certainly a creation — and even better than that, it’s a creation that gets to be shared.
“If you’re wondering what I believe our purpose on this planet is, I’ll give you a hint … it has to do with creating and sharing.” —Bill Hicks
I think he was onto something with that one.