Thursday, June 30, 2011

Of Mindscapes

As a Taster, sensory feelings are everything for me. Smells and colors and sounds and flavors and textures are part of what my life is, especially because sometimes the combination of them creates a whole meaningful and memorable scenarios, despite of their usual fugacity.

Those are mindscapes, sensory feelings that combined stick to our memories. We all have lots of mindscapes in all our minds, ranging from all kind of experiences. That sunset hour plus her perfume. The foggy night plus a black metal song. That smell of coffee and plants in grandma's house.

I guess mindscapes are part of the whole personal element study. They can add so much to one's perception that I have this life goal that is to taste as many mindscapes as I can, be it through living my life or tasting other life stories (and clearly this has enormous story-telling potential).

It's weird to think there are people who have experienced mindscapes I could never dream of. It's quite interesting to try thinking of them, to broad my horizons. It's also helpful to realize some of my most influential mindscapes can be completely unknown or uninfluential to others.

I like living in this small city surrounded by nature. Mountains and valleys and forests. Now here's a cold and cloudy day. And I've got a hymn for this mindscape. I mean, there's quite a lot of them. There's so many of these heavy atmospheric, melancholic (sometimes with a hint of anguish)-sounding songs that I had to name them, Sunday Gray (i know, these names embarrass me, but a name is a name). So far the list includes: Alice in Chains' Bleed the Freak, Pearl Jam's Black, Acid Bath's Venus Blue, Metallica's My Friend of Misery, and, currently the most meaningful one, Pantera's Floods (especially that sweet outro, but that's quite because of another mindscape).
This whole mindscape actually reminds me of the city I grew in, which sometimes used to feel this beautifully sad and melancholic in days like this. Hey, umm, all these songs were released in 90s, the decade I lived there. Also, my brother did use to listen to a lot of grunge and thrash metal back then. Probably there's a Nirvana song that'll fit in this list (oh, it's quite frustrating to realize it's just a nostalgia-indulced feeling). So this whole Gray mindscape is indeed one of my strongest ones, and it has even influenced my musical taste. Quite deeply, I'd say, for this mindscape could pretty much even be the reason I love so much baritones vocalists and low-sounding instruments like bass and cello.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Of Hybridism (pragmatism and lyricism)

I think it's a sign of Art when words can be used so masterfully. And I want to achieve it, but there's a long way to go, as I still can't do much impressive tricks with my currents skills. I've even been trying to avoid poetry. Mermaid words, careful with them. They can be shiny and beautiful and deviate me from my purposes when my ideas are not clear and whole and formulated enough to bear with that temptation.
Look, I've just preyed myself, but it seems the last sentence was strong enough to get safe and accurate to the other side.

And there it goes, the texts can sound beautiful and pleasant even when my main purpose is to convey a message thoroughly. I've been thinking, this whole pragmatical approach I'm using to discipline my writing skills is somehow making my texts sound somewhat poetic in its own pragmatism. I've noticed how when I express ideas like tasting or seasoning I sometimes sound like a sensitive poet with a delicate word-playing, when I'm fact I'm only trying to be as practical and objective as possible just so my meaning can travel safely to the reader.

I like this kind of beauty, this meaningful beauty. Sounds like a good hybrid between the efficiency of methodic simplicity and the tasteful spices of poetry (see, only using names for concepts I've given lots of thoughts).
By the way, nice word, hybrid. I'll adopt it as a name for this long-sought balance between dualities.

Of Seasoning

I've been thinking about ways of improving my writing skills, and I think I've got something that can help me.

Now, the greatest problem I face when writing is missing some ideas when wording them, only to remember important things after the post is already online, then I grieve for having to edit the bloody posts. It seems I can't do much about achieving a fluent view of the subjects yet, so all I can do for now is to wait for the elements to come slowly.

So that's what Seasoning means. I will start writing an entry like I'm going to post it right away, but instead I'll leave it inboard so I can come now and then and add things I've missed. And then I'll come back and edit things and put them all in place and I'll be happy, because somehow the thought of organizing lots of things random actually sounds like fun.

It's actually been a while since I thought about letting an idea grow and wait until it was ready to be deployed into a text and keeping it in the inbox until then, but that's been mostly to see if the subject had any relevance and was worthy of being posted. This whole Seasoning thing sounds like the most obvious tactic, but that was quite flawed and I had to do something about it. And now the idea is seasoned enough to be put in use.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Of ringing frequencies

I like it when movies have phrases that stick to your head, not because they are deep or whatever, but because they sound catchy as hell. My favorite saying from the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy is when Pippin says "Sure I know a Baggins! He's over there. Frodo Baggins!". There's this amusing accent and the high-pitched delivery of the "sure" that got me and kept making me repeat the sentence throughout the day.

I remember I was petting the dogs a while ago when the sentence came back to my mind, and there I was imitating Pippin's high-pitched "suuure", when one of the dogs went crazy. I stopped for a moment and then I repeated it. He was now apeshit insane. And that's why this dog recently got called Sure, said with a high note.
I like it, because when you call one of them by their name they all come along. But when I call Sure, sure only Sure comes to me.

And then one of these days I was sitting near the door tasting the sun when I called Sure. He's better now, he only waves his tail, instead of feeling like being everywhere at once. It got me thinking, weird how you deliver this certain frequency and that makes Sure so happy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Of Peripherence

Comparing past, present and future is one of my richest sources of sparkles. There's always that moment of wonderment when I realize how something this essential to me back a few months or years ago was lying around so neglected, not to mention that very moment of realizing the peripheralized was deserving of a higher spot.

I like noticing how sometimes the things that last are the ones that doesn't strike us head on but slowly grow in.

When you're first introduced to this girl and you'd never think a few years later she'll be the most important person in your life. That friend which you never shared too much intimacy, but hey, he was the one who had always been there. That secondary character that easily outbadassed the protagonist. That song near the end of the album, outshined by catchier songs but now becoming one of your band's favorites.
Eh, you get the idea.

I like the possibility of using this concept in some stories. In a way, it's got a name already: Chekov's Gun. But the realization made the already-known name much more meaningful and interesting. I think of showing something that at first is hardly crucial to the story, but soon things will revolve around it. Transforming somebody from the secondary cast into the main leader, or a valuable item being tossed around unimportantly in the beginning, and ironically being the most prized item in the world towards the end.
Hey, it can be done otherwise as well...

(now that's a silly name, ah what the hell, at least it's better than all the dozen names I've went through)

Of tailgaters and shockwaves

If there's one thing that pisses me off when driving, it's impatient drivers. Somehow they seem to believe the interval in-between cars is equivalent to the their speed. That's so outrageously ridiculous, yet tailgaters seem to think you're going too slow if there's a distance greater than the length of one car between the cars.
Gee, if only they knew that leaving greater intervals would decrease accidents immensely. The idea of "longer time to react" is hardly too complex. That's the reason I rarely feel pitty for drivers involved in accidents, because, no, those totally unavoidable accidents aren't that frequent if you always let yourself have at least, I don't know, some 5 seconds to react and bring yourself to a safe place (alright, we'll still be likely to get involved accidents thanks entirely to these stupid assholes, despite of our safety measures).

There's one interesting concept regarding physics of gridlocks that scientists named shockwave. It's a mix of domino effect and chaos theory, because the slight pressing of the brake will make the driver behind brake instinctively and this will eventually result in a total stop of cars there behind. Now, this is a problem we can do something about. We can stop shockwaves from dominoing past us. It's a really simple thing we can do that will make a lot of difference.

If the car ahead brakes, you can stop the shockwave by simply not braking, and try reducing the speed simply by letting your feet off the gas pedal. Of course, for that it's vital to have some space between you and the car going slower than you. It's all about managing the intervals. When not braking the interval will shorten, so you just have to drive a little slowly only enough to "reload" this vital interval between the cars, then the next time the car in front of you brakes, you have a reloaded interval to cushion the continuous speed. Of course, the reloading speed will drive the other drivers crazy, but I usually hope that they are watching the whole process so they can understand it.
Also, a gentle braking to reduce speed (when the interval is going too short for the off-pedal to work) is preferable to coming to a full-stop, so sometimes this is an inevitable act (the car braking ahead may not be due to a stupid driver after all!). You'll unfortunately create a shockwave, so you have to count on the driver behind you to be acquainted with these rules.

Tailgaters seem to think that if the traffic is running too slow you have to drive much closer to other cars. I don't see what law, other than instinct, tells us to do that. Greater intervals are the best, for they even allow other drives to change lanes without shockwaving the lane they're getting into, so everything will flow much better.

I used to get all pissed off with impatient drivers, but you see, this gamification is really relaxing. I can distract myself from these annoying drivers yelling around by doing something both rewarding and helpful. It's really fun to count how many shockwaves I can stop during the average commute.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Of dead-ends

Frustration, here I meet you again...

Sometimes I feel like I've made all the worst choices possible and the future seems hopeless and unmendable. I hate the pressure of comparing age and accomplishments, as I always feel I'm running out of time. I can only feel I screwed everything up by making dreadful mistakes and now I'm being left behind as a punishment. Sounds like it's me being pushed to the infamous rat race.

But I'm learning there's no such a thing as "point of no return" in life. Sometimes I regret so many things I feel I'd be better starting everything all over again, but there's always acceptance. Maybe we don't need to undergo so much stress to achieve perfection and find happiness. Sure some suffering can toughen us up, but how much of it is truly necessary?

Of Occam's Razor

It'd be not a blockbuster of a realization to notice I like philosophical and scientific thoughts mostly for bringing them closer to everyday life. And that's why Occam's Razor was truly an amazing find.

I face serious difficulties when thinking of Possibilities, mainly when it comes to other people's reactions. I seriously make it more troublesome than it has to be, for I always fool myself into believing the most far-fetched scenarios. That's what you have for being insecure. So I'll try to bring in Occam's Razor when I'm thinking about what's the more plausible and earthly reaction to expect. I find it a useful tool to help me guide myself through the darkness of the Unknown. It's not the ultimate tool, it's just a palliative trick that supports slaved skills before they're fluent, being that the skill highlighted here is reasonability, threatened by paranoid insecurity.

Now, I don't know what palliative trick I could use support my drawing skills...

Of Fluency

In a previous entry talking about inaptness, I've brought the concept of Slaved Skills, and I wondered if there was a way those skills wouldn't demand such an overwhelming effort to maintain them. A possible solution has come, and it seems to be a concept that's been wandering around my mind for a while. Actually, for longer than the question.

The concept of Fluency has to do with Formulation, getting the basic principles so the skill flows. However, formulas can bring us vices. So fluency could be the state after Formulation, when Vices are Loosened. The state when a skill hasn't been mastered to the fullest, but is able to wander through obstacles at ease. It can also be thought of problems that haven't been completely solved, but don't pose as much of a threat anymore. Like a house that hasn't come to be fully finished, but perfectly inhabitable already.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Of Polarization

When we suffer from petty realizations we constantly get ourselves polarizing against things we just realized. And it's dangerous, for we do not get full view of the subject, but rather blind ourselves to a prejudicial view, which surfaces to arguments shown. I always see it in polemical debates. For example, if I defend religion, some lot will polarize against it like I meant to bring religion to full power again. So Fire Extinguishers are need more frequently, even though sometimes extinguishers will be ignored as well, as blind as polarizers can get. They won't budge.

But I find it interesting how we don't have to explain ourselves this accurate to things easily agreeable. It seems polarization works double way. We also polarize ourselves towards things. Or do we really question and doubt things we're already comfortable with? I think polarizations grow parallel to discomfort. The thicker the discomfort, the more stubborn the polarization will get. I think it quite has to do with this amazing comic:

Things will be easier if we just accept we''re nowhere below third phase.

Of Sparkles (update 1)

There's this rewarding feeling of getting things related and making sense, of categorizing them in a way thinking becomes much more organized and flowing.

Sparkles almost made it to the discovery of the month, it was only starting to rise, though. These random melodies and voices and images and stories coming to my mind and all the seeds of ideas and wonderings and inventions that come to my mind when I'm staring or thinking about something, I'll call them all Sparkles. Shouldn't have taken this long to realize it, though.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Of Unseen Element

I love tasting cities. They're like people, you haven't got two that are really the same. It's what they call Genius Loci (or spirit of place). It goes from obvious things like cultural elements to the the spice of local nature. There's also the set of streets and the arrangements of buildings and stores, which is one of the things that makes moving out to a different city being so exciting, at least for me. There's the learning the ways of the city, getting to know the shortcuts and all logistics that can't possibly be imitated, no matter how much you want to plan everything out before building up the city. It's something about nature throwing its random dices, I guess.

But the true spice that make them stand ultimately unique is something that cannot be seen. Say, geographical location, sense of place. It may be subtle and most of the time we don't even realize it, but we feel a city differently by knowing it's located far down south in the country or near the state's capital city. If there's a big city northwards, that'll interfere with the way you feel this city. It's pretty much a feeling of this being close to that. A city close to a river, close to the sea, close to the mountains. You have that feeling right now in a smaller scale. The room you are in, you unconsciously feel it in relation to the other places. Maybe you live in an apartment and across the street there's a public square with a fountain. The apartment room above yours, up to the whatever store, will be felt differently for it's goddamn higher in relation to the ground.

When thinking of geography, I always think of cardinal directions. They are clear examples of unseen elements. They affect me in subtle ways. It's something about spices, I think. I go east to go to the college in the capital, so if I'm going around sunset time the sun is going down behind me and subtleties like that. It doesn't seem to make much of a difference, but through contrasting we can realize it. When I was a kid, I remember I once kept watching the neighborhood reflected on the window. The mirrored world seemed to feel like a totally different place. The sunset was on the other side of the world, and that alone made it feel just weird, a whole new world to taste.

Anyways, this unseen feeling is sometimes visible. Not hard to find its hints. I really like paying attention to these signs showing the distance to nearby cities. Perhaps that's why I feel they give me some sense of reality. They make the unseen element tangible. It's like when you're gonna be traveling to London, the realization will strike you better when you've got physical proof you're going to England, like the sign in your bagage showing a LON code or something. When I see a palm tree, the feeling I'm near the coast has a reason to be. If I see portuguese language written all over the place, I'm constantly being told I'm in Brazil (eh, could be Portugal). The sun setting in west gives me orientation for the rest of the cardinal directions. I'll call those signs Hints.

This unseen element can be manipulated though, but you have to be free from Hints. If there's daylight pouring in your room, you can't pretend it's night, after all it's not unseen. But if the outside world lies out of your senses, you probably still knows what lies beyond the walls. Yet it's all in your mind, the memories telling you that (no, I won't philosophically question reality here). If you've got reality in your mind, you can twist it to change the perception of the room you're in.

I have several hobbies regarding that. When I have no proof there's the lawn just outside, so there's nothing preventing me from picturing, I don't know, a beach (we're on the internet, we're two clicks away from filling our ears with the sounds of the sea).

I also like twisting cardinal directions in my mind. As the sun is usually a hint of cardinal directions, this is a game that can only be played during midday. Or at night. Or in a room with no hint of the sun. As I said before, a recardinated world feels like a whole new place to taste.

And my favorite one is pretending to be in another place, but this time it's using Hints, not ignoring them. By looking at something in my reality that resembles elements I've seen from Tokyo (while avoiding things that hint me away from that, like pretty much everything), I can elaborate and focus on hints for the feeling of being in the japanese capital city, though that's tough. Hard to have visual hints with enough strength on their own, but they are strengthened with the help of, really, japanese food or japanese music (I'll call these Exportable Hints).
And then one asks the fundamental question "how the hell can you possibly feel places you don't know?". Yeah, I had to have experienced Tokyo to know what are key elements of feeling like being in the japanese capital city, so I'll have to try feeling it with what my perception of Tokyo is, which can really be frustratingly limitating. I have to work with something that end up being quite stereotypical perceptions, but that's what I have. It's not, by really far, a complete experience, but it's a goddamn interesting exercise.

(Part 2 is to follow, regarding time and nature)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Treasure Hunting (thought experiments)





Computer science




    Of Osmosing

    If I understand the process of osmosis learning correctly, it means, for example, learning a language through constant contact with such language. So osmosing can be seen as learning things by living with them day and night.

    I'm going to use it as a mindtrap, though. There are a fuckton of mindsets we are raised with, and we take them for granted. Osmosed thoughts are potentially harmful thoughts we don't bother questioning.

    Of Jumping

    Jumping is the temporary name I'm giving to the action of missing a step in the judgement.

    For instance, we see current mainstream material being of low quality, so we naturally see mainstream with bad eyes, as if the problem was inherent to mainstream.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Checkpoint #2

    It's weird that I seemed to be feeling more comfortable with writing, but when I started analysing my posts I got disappointed and frustrated all over again. I'm having a hard time accepting how much I suck :(

    There's still the problem of underdevelopment. Some texts are mostly one-lined concepts, awkward jumps and a fuckton of examples. I didn't approve a handful of entries because of that. Eh, I guess I spend too much time analogizing around, that seemed to get my mind viced. Also I can't help but always come back to edit those entries, those little details I can only seem to realize when the bloody post is already online (oh lord, I'm doing right now with this very sentence). So, for the underdevelopment, the remedy is more goddamn reflection and a also more exploring of the idea.

    Out of all things needing improvement, at least now I'm getting the hang of that Simpsons' Principle. The beginning of the texts seem to be formulated already, but as it goes deeper things get all too loose. It reminds me of these series that start all planned out but get loose along the way. I think the problem is all about Wholeness, Milestones and Formulations. I'll be focusing on these things.

    I think that those bloody deviations also decreased, or I feel so. Maybe getting a more pragmatic approach to texts seem to help me. And when I get to express my ideas proportionally, then I'll be able to give my texts some spices, some more poetry and rethorical experiments. Only after I get the basics of writing, though.

    Discovery of the month: Spices. Once again naming proves its importance. I can spot and handle spices much more easily just by giving the thing a bloody name. It's been really handy, anyway. It's pretty much what happened when the internet learned to name certain behaviors as trolling. Though we all got so excited with the potential of the name that now everything is being called trolling. Now I keep seeing spices everywhere.