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One of the more unique qualities you and I share as humans, is the extent to which we can shape our environment. We don’t have to wait for a cave to vacate, we can gather enough materials to make our own home, or pay someone to do it for us. We don’t have to have wings, we can build an airplane. You get the idea.

In this way, it presents a bit of a struggle for me to know when to fight against what is the current reality and dream some of how I wish things to be rather than just accepting things the way they are. For example, the very device, network and other “magic” that allows you to be reading these very words right now didn’t just happen – many people struggled valiantly to make it all possible and work seamlessly together. But to the person 50 years ago to dream of such a day, it would have appeared as folly. Yet we wouldn’t be here with these tools and newfound abilities if they hadn’t started dreaming.

So, I’ll accept that there are things that we cannot change right now but I shall always struggle with what is not worth investing in changing. For while we all share the same current reality, we need not share the same future one.
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While they could be more proactive, one of the things I appreciate most about Buddhists is their constant focus on reality, dealing with things they way they truly are, right now…not the way we want them to be, they way we hope they will be, the way they were, or the way they might be. It requires mental discipline to do so; hence all the meditating, perhaps too much so at times and not enough emphasis on what one should do or the benefit of acting in a timely fashion. But enough on that, let’s get back to realism.

One might see that this single-minded focus on realism as a consequence of Siddhartha’s postulating that all suffering is caused by craving & ignorance. I like to think that he wasn’t advocating an end to wanting as much as he was emphasizing that we bridge the gap between impossible desires and things that one can learn & do today to live a little closer to our dreams, finding meaningful happiness in all the tiny moments of wonder that make up a well-lived life.

The most convincing argument goes like this:

Suppose you happen upon a pocket watch in the middle of the desert. You can be assured that wind, rain, and other natural forces didn’t act together to somehow fashion the beauty & intricate complexity of that watch. You know just by looking at it that something with intelligence designed and built it.

It’s a small leap to apply the same to life forms. They are amazingly intricate and complex. Even the poorly designed pieces (the Panda’s thumb, the human lower back) show *some* process at work. Where Intelligent Design & Evolution differ is simply a matter of where the design lay. Let’s resolve that here:

EVOLUTION IS THE INTELLIGENT DESIGN

The fact that evolution happens is irrefutable, arguing against it is a waste of valuable resources. While we don’t yet have proof that life itself was designed, if one were to setup a system that ran itself, one would be quite intelligent indeed to establish one ruled by the laws that govern natural selection.

Contrary to some religious zealots, I propose that many evolutionists are MORE respectful of a higher power THROUGH their belief of a theory of evolution through natural selection. For if god designed the evolutionary system itself, and using the same logic that shows a pocket watch in the desert shows intelligent design, so does the existence of a system as beautiful and intricate as Evolution, demonstrates the design of an intelligent being, it’s disrespectful to not believe in it.

That’s all I have to say about this for now…

As much as software is a complete pain in the ass to write, it truly is an amazing medium in which to work. To date, it is the most direct way we have to get our thoughts into executable form. As with any creative endeavor, there is the interdependence of idea & execution. For example, a movie with great special effects + a crappy script == crap. Same goes for software, every piece of which someone thought enough of to struggle through developing, but along the way the crappy ones lose their way (a battle with which I’m struggling with in this very post) and become useless.

One of software’s charms is the shortened cycle between idea -> implementation is such that you can quickly confirm or deny the utility of an idea. Some would add that it’s the only true validation of the idea itself.

Because so much of software requires purifying one’s thoughts, developers spend a lot of time thinking, in particular thinking about how their intended users will be thinking as they use the software. That’s a lot of thinking and meta thinking. When developers work together, arguing about whose thoughts are most accurate, egos can come into play and when they do, logic breaks down. You see the results in unclear, non-cohesive software. That’s a shame when it happens. Being able to win an argument doesn’t always make you right. Reality, which I’ll define here as repeatability over time, makes you right.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say about this for now…

I won’t post much, but when I do, I hope it to be inspiring…entertaining…enlightening, and as much as possible, humorously factual.