Hi humans. The Daily Post at WordPress.com Topic #174: Google recently released Google+, a new social network. Do you think you need another social network? Do you prefer real social networks (people you actually see regularly), or are you happy with the digital social networks you use? Or do you avoid them all on principle? Even though I use (and like to use) the Internet frequently and take advantage of it to reach out to many people at once, I’m not a huge fan of interactive social networking. I used to be a heavy user of Facebook about four years ago, but I eventually got tired and annoyed of it; sure, you can use it to keep in touch with all your friends, but you also inevitably have to deal with the idiots that are on that website as well. Then, a few years later, I switched over to Twitter and stopped using Facebook completely. Twitter allowed me to social network without worrying about other people annoying me. Sure, people could send me @replies, but none of those showed up in my timeline. When someone visited my profile page, they would only see stuff posted by me, not by anyone else (unlike my Facebook wall, which was filled with random stuff posted by my “friends”). This helped a lot with my obsessive-compulsive tendencies to keep everything formatted and organized perfectly. A lot of people say that Facebook is a great way to share stuff you write and make (like blogs, photos, and videos), but I think it’s pointless to put them on Facebook when I have a website. My website is much easier to navigate than Facebook (at least I think so), the URLs are much simpler (they consist of words and numbers that make sense rather than randomly generated ID numbers), and it’s not shrouded in tons of other people’s content. Best of all, I get ad revenue for stuff I put on my website while I don’t get a single penny for anything I put on Facebook. So now that we have the fact that I don’t like interactive social networking out of the way, am I excited for Google+? I’m definitely going to try it out like I did with Google Buzz and Google Wave, but I’m not sure if it’s going to catch on. It’s helpful that it’s made by Google and will most likely be integrated with the stuff I use everyday – if it’s right there, there’s a higher chance that I’ll use it than if I have to go to a different website. Another huge factor is how many people will end up using it – if not enough of my friends and followers get on it within the first handful of months that it’s open to the public, I’ll most likely get bored of it. So back to the question – do we need another social network? No, I don’t think so, but if it’s able to bring something completely new and revolutionary into social networking (which I’m pretty sure Google will eventually be able to do), then yes, I think it’s worth creating. Similar to how MySpace is dying off, if Google manages to make a social network as revolutionary as Facebook was compared to MySpace, it’s very possible that Facebook could face the fate MySpace is facing now. I’m fine with both real and digital social networks, but interacting via digital social networks tends to save more time and require less effort. I email and instant message a lot, and the number of people I’m able to communicate with is much greater than what is realistically possible in real life.
Hi humans. Quote of the Day Ed Lam wanted to know where bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad-cow disease) came from, so he asked: “Where did mad disease cow from?” The Daily Post at WordPress.com Topic #173: Do you prefer the aisle or window when traveling? Why? When I’m on an airplane, I prefer sitting next to the aisle rather than the window. I’m not really a fan of sunlight, so if I were to sit next to the window, I would have the cover closed anyway. I also tend to get airsick quickly and frequently, so sitting in the aisle would help me reach the bathroom in time to vomit in the toilet and not make a mess all over the airplane. Yes, I realize that there are disposable vomit bags available to use, but I don’t really like the idea of throwing up in one and holding onto a bag containing my vomit until I get an opportunity to dispose of it. It also lets me go to the bathroom for non-vomiting purposes, both to use the toilet and to give myself something to do to pass the time. Yes, I randomly walk up and down the aisle when I’m bored on an airplane.
Hi humans. The popular complaint these days (among the like 1% of you who actually send me emails about my website) has been that I haven’t really been blogging too much about stuff I’ve actually been doing. I already put a section up on the home page that describes what I have been and will be keeping myself busy with this summer, but I decided to go into a bit more detail today. Yesterday, I took my first exam at my community college for my psychology class. It was probably one of the easiest psychology exams I’ve ever taken. I’m used to taking impossibly hard psychology exams at my regular university, then getting satisfactory scores only after all the scores are put on a curve. The exam I took yesterday was easy enough that I’m pretty confident I got a decent score without any curves or score adjustments (but then again, I don’t think there are going to be any curves anyway). Martial arts hasn’t been too eventful since the last promotion ceremony that I already blogged about. Most classes are basically composed of me exercising and kicking until exhaustion, then repeating the next day. I’m able to kick high enough to reach everyone’s head, but that’s giving me the false illusion that I’m flexible, which I’m not – I’m only able to do that because I’m tall. I’m trying to get back to reality and work on improving my flexibility. I still go to the family business every night (which is a laundromat, for those who don’t know already). My trips are usually composed of sitting in the office and tapping away at my laptop, getting random work done and sometimes doing my homework if I have any. Then I walk around for a bit, clean for a little while, then come home. I haven’t been keeping up with my reading lately, but hopefully I’ll finish another book within a few days and have another “What I’m Reading” section up. I haven’t had a paralleling “What I’m Watching” section for a while now, but I generally don’t have time to sit and watch a movie for an hour or two at a time. And finally, no, I will not reveal which standardized exam I’m studying for. If I were to reveal it, you would find out what I’m planning to do in the near future, which I don’t want because I like being shrouded in a mist of mystery.
Hi humans. Tip of the Day If you’re writing something and you feel something prickly in your ear, put down your pen immediately and find out what’s wrong. If you don’t and you instead choose to finish your sentence, you will soon notice that the prick was actually a mosquito, and that you now have a mosquito bite in your ear. The Daily Post at WordPress.com Topic #171: Do you believe in free-will? Can you prove what you believe? I believe in free will because I believe that everything that I choose to do is based off of my choice. But I think it’s impossible to prove that what I believe is true. Someone who believes in fate more than free will could just as easily argue that we made our choices not because we chose to, but because fate made it happen. I think this is a pointless topic to argue about because there’s no strong evidence supporting either side of the argument.
Hi humans. The Daily Post at WordPress.com Topic #169: If given the choice, are you the kind of person who takes the red pill, or the blue pill? Why? When do you willfully do the opposite? I looked up the red pill and blue pill conflict on Wikipedia and found two very different definitions for what each pill does. In the introduction and core summary section of the article, it states that the blue pill represents the “blissful ignorance of illusion” and the red pill represents the “sometimes painful truth of reality.” If that was the case, I would always take the red pill; regardless of how hard or painful something might be, I always like to get a realistic overview of what I’m facing so I have an opportunity to better adjust myself to the potential threats. However, in the image caption, it shows Morpheus’ quotation: “You take the blue pill â the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill â you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” This implies that if I take the red pill, I will not be facing reality, but instead be taking deeper into an illusion or hallucination. In that case, I would probably take the blue pill so I can return back to normal. My misunderstanding of this concept might be because I watched the Matrix movies a very long time ago and barely have any recollection of what they were about. But based on the information I am provided, my choice depends on the situational effect of each pill. I think the only reason I would ever voluntarily choose the blue pill over the red pill is if I was already in extreme duress, and my body and soul became too weak to be able to properly face reality. In that case, when I’m at the point where all or almost all hope is lost and I have nothing to gain by knowing the truth, I would go with the blue pill to find relaxation and comfort.
Hi humans. So one of my buddies, Benjamin Chow, told me today that he was freshly involved in a new organization called Proventus Entrepreneurship Group. Their mission is to apparently help poor people in India live a better life. Benjamin wanted me to write about Proventus in my blog, and I thought it would result in an interesting blog post, so I decided to take his suggestion. The founder of this group (not Ben) is an individual who, in the past, has asked me for personal help but had different underlying intentions and deceived me. However, regardless of who the founder is and how moral or immoral he may really be, I think Proventus is a joke, and was most likely made as a résumé filler. Their revolutionary concept for the website is that the more money they raise, the more they can help poor Indians. Because that’s not common sense at all. The website is ranked as one of the worst websites I’ve seen. Not only is it poorly formatted and laid out, the content looks like it was written by a high school freshman who is trying to impress his English teacher by combining multiple (and not directly related) thoughts into massive sentences. And of course, the advertisements. In today’s era, free web hosting with no forced advertisements is so abundant that companies are starting to give you free gifts to use their free hosting. But no, Proventus is too good for free web hosting with no ads. They have to use some random website hosting company called Biz.ly that forces you to have advertisements all over your pages. The best part? It’s Biz.ly that’s getting all the revenue from those ads, not the person who owns the website. Good luck convincing people that you’re a charity website if your website subdomain has .biz in it (which is representative of “business”) and you have advertisements all over the place. Want to see how horrible this website is for yourself? You can find it at Proventus.biz.ly. I don’t even want to turn that into a link because I’m afraid that someone might think I’m endorsing it (which, I guarantee you, I’m not). If you’re too late and that website doesn’t exist anymore, it’s most likely because it failed and they gave up on it. Which, I’m sure, will happen very soon.
Hi humans. Tip of the Day If you feel the urge to nibble on your seat belt while stopped at a red light, you might want to make sure that you’re not happened to be stopped right behind me. Or else I will stare at you in confusion through the rear view mirror, and if you’re unlucky enough, I’ll have enough time to pull out a camera and snap a picture. Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough today. But there’s always next time. The Daily Post at WordPress.com Topic #168: How long do you stay angry at someone or something? Whatâs the longest grudge youâve ever held? Why do you think we hold grudges? The length of time I stay angry at someone is highly dependent on what made me angry. If it was just a simple act, then I would most likely not get angry at all or get angry for a very short period. However, if the act shows that the actual person is a foul-moraled person, I would most likely stay angry until I feel the person has changed to become more moral and ethical. I generally don’t show my anger explicitly by yelling or fighting with the person with whom I’m angry, but I will act in a way that is clearly abnormal. My anger is generally shown through a complete lack of support for and extreme putting down of the victim. I feel like this is more effective because, for most people, having the feeling of incompetence is much more traumatizing than just quarreling with someone. I’m pretty sure the longest grudge I’ve held against someone is starting from whenever it started to right now. I don’t recall ever resolving any grudges. I think the point of a grudge is to stay away from people you don’t like based off their character. I don’t remember ever seeing someone who I originally saw as annoying and undesirable change into someone of great respectability, so I’m assuming that none of my grudges have ended.
Hi humans. If you didn’t already know, car dealerships open extremely early. I had to go to the service center of the manufacturer of my dad’s car to get a repair and some maintenance done this morning, and when I called to make an appointment, they said that they’re open from 6:30 AM. When I asked if I could schedule the appointment for around 10:00 AM, they said “I’m not sure if we’ll have enough time to finish everything by that time. What about 8:00 AM?” Which more or less implies that they open super early when not many people are awake, and close super early during the time people are actually awake and active. #SettingYourBusinessHoursProperlyFail The Daily Post at WordPress.com Topic #167: One health story making the rounds is how sitting too much all day will kill you. Since you are likely seated as you read this, donât panic. We want to help. (I actually cut off the topic right there, because the remainder of the topic tells you to do some push-ups, and my arms are too sore from martial arts training earlier today and I probably couldn’t do more than 3.) That infographic seems to be more directed at the stereotypic fat American than it is at me. It claims that the problem is that people keep sitting more than 8 hours a day outside of their job and it’s causing people to become obese and more vulnerable to health problems. Fortunately, I’m not at all obese – I’m actually on the lower end of having a normal body weight. This is even after I don’t really watch what I eat; as long as something doesn’t have a blatant amount of fat on it, I eat it without thinking twice. I never watch television, so that completely rules me out from deteriorating my health while sitting on the couch in front of the TV. While I’m at university, I walk a few miles a day just from walking from my apartment to lecture halls, from lecture hall to lecture hall, and from lecture halls back to my apartment. Overall this information is most likely not going to change how I act (and even if I were to change, it would be difficult to find something that I could change because I’m a student and I spend a lot of time sitting as a part of what students do), but it’ll be useful to keep in the back of my head to make sure that my sitting doesn’t become too extreme.
Hi humans. Tip of the Day If you’re in your Shakespeare class and you’re not prepared to take an exam on Macbeth, confidently ask, “Wait, this is a take-home exam, right?” The instructor will get so confused that he’ll say “Umm… uhh… why yes, it is. … I think.” The Daily Post at WordPress.com Topic #166: Do you think youâd make a good president? Or Prime-minister? Or King? If so, what would be the first thing youâd do in office? I don’t think that I would make a very good president, seeing as I’m only 19 years old. In order to be a good president, I would have to spend a lot more time living and gathering knowledge from my experiences. Even then, my interests don’t lie in politics, so I will most likely not get as much political knowledge out of my experiences as someone who is interested in politics would. If I somehow magically became president right now, the first thing I would do is resign and let a more capable person take over, beacuse I don’t want to make random decisions as a president and steer the United States in the wrong direction.
Hi humans. What I’m Reading Because it was recommended to me for the past few years as the world’s best economics book, I read and finished Freakonomics yesterday. Freakonomics takes an unconventional approach at economics and is heavily focused on the fact that one of (if not the) most important components of economics is incentive. You need to have an incentive to do something, and that essentially drives anything related to our economy. Levitt and Dubner answer some interesting questions by bringing in information from original research. For example, how can a computer find out which teachers are cheating when submitting their students’ national standardized exams? How did a bunch of kids humiliate and damage the Ku Klux Klan? Why do drug dealers still live with their mothers if drug selling yields such great profits? How did the legalization of abortion lower the crime rate? Which is safer for your child, sending him to a house with a concealed gun or a house with a swimming pool? And will naming your child “Winner” really make him a winner? Although portions of this book went into extremely specific detail that progressed relatively slowly, I was interested in all of the general topics and learned a lot of things that most people would not have expected to be true. Although there is no obvious way the content of this book can be applied to everyday life, I would still recommend this book just for the knowledge it provides. Click here to purchase Freakonomics on Amazon.com. The Daily Post at WordPress.com Topic #164: What war is worth fighting? The answer to this seems like common sense, but I think a war over a valued belief or possession in which we have a proportionately high chance of victory is worth fighting. More specifically, the amount we value this belief or possession has to be far greater than the lives of the equipment and individuals we will lose during the process of the war. As for the chances of victory, if we know that we are going to lose (or we know that the chances of losing are drastically greater than the chances of winning), then it’s probably better not to attempt to fight, lose equipment and soldiers, and end up losing the war overall as well. This seems like a blatantly obvious answer that shouldn’t even be a prompt to a blog post. I can’t even begin to imagine what these blog prompts are going to look like in December after they’ve done this for 11 months.