It seems that every single one of us humans live on with the knowledge that we all will someday be disappointed. Some times the periods of disappointment are few and far between, and other they’re more frequent but we all know it’s coming. Whether it’s from our fellow kin, environmental circumstances, or even ourselves, we cannot avoid it. Yet we still move on hopeful. They say optimism is key to living your best life, but what happiness can optimism bring when we’re all predestined for disappointment? Sure an optimistic view of wanting to win a lottery will fill you with excitement until lottery day, but won’t the optimism about your improbable situation hit harder when it fails compared to if you just kept a pessimistic view from the offset? A quote I’ve often cited is “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.” Ever since I first heard that quote it’s resonated with me. Such a striking way to view reality; In the appreciative way of one’s history rather than the lost quality of one’s life in the future. It indicates the prioritization of one’s maximal current happiness as the goal rather than the future gain with the logic that the memories of a valuable experience is worth more than the future moments of less glory.
How many times have you said something that was utterly incorrect and immediately regretted making the assertion? For me it happens quite a lot. It happens so much that I once read a book bearing the title ‘how to not be wrong’.
In the book, mathematical thinking is the proposed solution suggesting that the path to never being wrong was one paved with the foundations of strict logic. The book gave advice on how to avoid flawed logic through the explanation of a process identifying incorrect personal assumptions. It focused more on how not to be wrong in general rather than how not to be wrong in public, but that is what I want to focus on for the rest of this blog post — how not to be wrong in public.
The thing about ‘not being wrong’ in public is that we all have the ability to accomplish this goal. There’s a famous joke describing how to never write incorrect code: Never write code at all. In the same vain, the secret to never making an incorrect statement is to never speak at all!
This might seem like a ridiculous way to live one’s life, and I concur, but I believe this line of thinking is on to something. Although never speaking may be an extreme, I do believe there is a happy medium between wanting to not be wrong and achieving it through mutism.
For example, speaking only when something seems 100% sure in your mind will prevent you from being wrong. So will keeping your mouth shut when it seems *less* than 100%, but that’s probably the hardest challenge to overcome for most people.
Humans typically prefer to play the odds when they’re not 100% sure about something, to seem more credible in a conversation. It’s here, when the odds are played, that bad things start to happen. People will start to make statements on things they’re 40% sure of just to get credit for offering up the conversational jargon first. Even when people offer up wrong information, those people know that social conventions will probably stop others in the group from fact checking. The thing is, there’s always someone who might do it anyways.
Some people also take chances of being wrong when denying someone else’s credibility. Even if the denial of credibility is valid, the person giving the denial might feel obligated to offer to give the ‘correct’ answer to substantiate their rejection.
The thing about confusion is that it’s something I can’t quite make sense of. It’s an unavoidable ailment that always manages to strike time and time again. I imagine most people encounter confusion to the capacity of maybe just a perception-based misunderstanding where a Starbucks barista unexplainably gives a consumer a green tea latte when they asked for a vanilla bean frappuccino. Clearly the barista was confused during the moment at which she acted on the information, but the interesting thing to note is HOW the confusion sprouted in the first place. The 2 phrases ‘green tea latte’ and ‘vanilla bean frappuchino’ clearly sound different so why is it that she got the order confused?
This is the nature of confusion, you don’t really know what caused it, you don’t know how to discern the confusion at the time of occurrence (as is the fundamental nature of confusion), and you have no way of stopping it in the future. In some scenarios it’s harmless, but in other scenarios it can be deadly. I would never want the pilot of my airplane to undergo a bout of confusion when hearing an error signal. Perhaps this is life’s premonition, an indicator of the slow corruption of our minds into chaos. A taste for those of us that await the age of Alzheimer’s for those of us unlucky enough to not die before then.
The nature of mathematics lends itself to showing the hardest complexities of life itself so I’m sure I’m not the only one who has experienced confusion in this area. Today specifically, I noted a bout of confusion when trying to derive a formula for something called a ‘projection’ in the field of linear algebra. A projection is, in layman’s terms, what happens when you would like to see where a line segment will lie on another line segment on a graph. It’s okay if you don’t understand my explanation, it’s somewhat irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make. Anyway, to derive the formula you must make some logical deductions which can be made both geometrically and algebraicly. The source of my confusion was being able to understand the geometric interpretation of the deduction but somehow miscalculating the algebraic formula even while having the geometric image clear in my head. It makes me wonder: What was the cause of this and how do I prevent it??
It would be great to be able to have such granular control over one’s intentional mind, but if it were possible I’d probably be a different man today.If I would probably get rid of all sexual thoughts — a source of fun experiences at best and an addictive annoyance at worst (one that makes me make bad decisions and befriend women who I have no interest in befriending over normal terms). But confusion would be the close second.
When anything is true, nothing is true. Where the validity of contradiction reins, there is no logic, or arguments, or debates. Nothing is right and nothing is wrong. I latch onto ‘a’ belief because of my cognitive imperative to strive for happiness through success consistent with my reality. In this reality I understand nothing may be true, but operate in this reality on an assumption for which I treat as truth.
To explain my thought process through the logic to which I believe to be a shared for most of mankind, I would say my view of reality can take concepts from Schrödinger’s cat experiment. It’s an experiment of uncertainty where you put some kind of poison in a sealed box with a cat, but never look inside it. The state of the cat from your perspective is neither alive nor dead, but in a state in between — an indeterminate state. That’s where I believe all our minds lay, in this indeterminate state where we act on assumptions that best reduce the state of uncertainty in our brain. I may still believe the cat alive or dead based on my need to reduce this uncertainty in my mind even though I can never truly, wholly, and logically ‘believe’ either one.
The discussion of belief leads us to use the term ‘belief’ that was itself defined within our reality, to explain reality. I once read a section of a book on the nature of information that discussed whether this was possible. Whether our ontology ever really allowed us to describe itself with precision. I ask if perhaps our language and concepts within this reality restricts us from fathoming other realities, or if the current nature of our reality is flexible enough to adopt any concepts. If our reality was flexible enough to describe all and any concepts then we can deduce that the concept in question already existed, undiscovered within our reality. Then there’s the question whether this talk of reality is all paradoxical. If the fact that I can talk about a different reality within this reality lends itself in support of the argument that this is the only reality. More paradoxes to think through, more cognitive corruption, more…confusion.
Confusion is so elusive that it may just be a way to suppress our thoughts. It may be exactly what tethers us to each of our operating subsets of our reality.
To bring us back to ideas that don’t reduce to complete drivel when discussed, I recently read an article of a philosopher who was able to give insight as to why I feel so shitty when I noticed I’ve been duped by my own mind. It’s the buildup of something labeled ‘free energy’ within the brain. The more the demand for release, the closer we get to a state of panic where we are able to realize our actions don’t line up .It’s the one ‘bug’ in my ‘code’ that constantly reminds me of my short cognitive shelf life, and I fucking hate it.
Recently I was with a friend who found out something about me to which she was shocked to hear — the fact that I have once traveled outside the country. It wasn’t anything secret, but it made me realize that there are some things I prefer not to share (not that this was one of those things). Upon further analysis I’ve determined that I just don’t like to share too many of my emotions with others.
The thing about giving away my life experiences (and accompanying emotional perspective) to people is that it grants them the power of manipulation over my feelings. I specifically observe this with my female friends. To prove a point or win an argument, most girls I know will distort one of your life experiences as a way to show your flaws and subsequently invalidate your arguments.
An example of this is a girl saying to me “You don’t know what commitment is! How could you possibly know? You’re a virgin so you’ve barely even come close to haivng a relationship.” In this example, a female friend is attempting to utilize one of my supposed embarassments to try and keep my voice of reason quiet. Of course being a virgin has little to do with the general argument of committment, but the goal was to win the argument by shaming/hurting you into submission.
In fact, Na’im Lynn, a comedian and one of Kevin Hart’s entourage, reiterates this point perfectly. In one of his standup routines he talks about how women use personal attacks to win arguments. They break you down mentally until you no longer feel good about yourself, leaving you with not even the will to fight the original argument you were participating in. I don’t want to make a sweeping generalization of the whole gender but I will say that I’ve experienced this in a lot of my own interactions with those of the opposite sex.
Anyway, back to the question of “Who am I.” Let’s use a collection of words to help in my self description:
…I think any more elaboration of who I am can be inferred from my blog posts, but maybe one day I’ll give an actual perspective of who I am from the perspective of me.
I hate time. From the times where time never seemed to move in middle school to the times where time seemed to fly by too fast in college, time had never been on my side. It’s the ever pressing silent force that’s always pushing you forward towards moments you’re unprepared for. This is the curse of time.
I love time. The way the atoms move to change somehow lead to the changing of color in trees during the fall to the way it acts as a loyal friend always staying to assuage any trauma. Time is the third wheel who will ultimately help a relationship stay together, and will be the first excited to hitch you when you’re ready. This is the gift of time.
After these past 4 years, I have to ask myself: “How much did I really change?”
It has just become the new year of 2018 and like every other year, an evaluation has to be made about the current status of my life. I have to evaluate who it is I am, and how far I am to who I want to be. As I’ve probably said before, I believe change is one of the scariest things that can happen to man, but it’s also one of the things that helps us grow.
Recently I’ve been seeing a trend in a lot of shows who have characters that go through drastic self-initiated changes, in a desperate attempt to aim for the person they want to be. In all of these shows a common theme is emphasized: What traits did they have to lose to get what they wanted in the end?
These stories are usually about characters chasing power that will allow them to protect themselves and their friends from harm. Every time these characters chase for more out of life, there always seems to be an unexpected consequence to their actions. Although most shows don’t explicitly show this as a bad thing all the time, I see it as somewhat melancholic. The saddest part of it all being that the character sometimes doesn’t even realize that they lost something they thought was important.
Perhaps it’s for the best the characters focus on what they’ve gained, as the realization of what was lost can be catastrophic. Let’s take a show like Breaking Bad. We have a somewhat weak character like Walter White who was constantly taken for granted by his friends and family, and turned into a cold-hearted , take no prisoners drug lord by the end of the series.
Mr.White, who was commonly the butt of all jokes, was seen as the predictable Chemistry teacher with a lot of missed opportunities for greatness. He was seemingly a man who was content with who he was. What was surprising was that those around him regarded him highly for these traits.
With his predictable behavior he was seen as a responsible husband and father, and with his contention for life he was seen as a man focused on his family. For these reasons he was seen as a stable foundation for the family and loved dearly by everyone around him (although not obviously shown at first).
When diagnosed with cancer, reality hit him in the face, and he was forced to confront his reality — that he would die not quite living the life he wanted. So he set out to do exciting things in Chemistry, finding a lab partner to help him ride out the new rapid tides of life.
From this, he ended up having to give up his family, friends, and ultimately his life to becoming something bigger than he could’ve ever dreamed — a drug lord. But after getting there, he looked at the trail he left in his wake, and began to reflect on all that he could’ve been had he not chosen this route.
I want to make a lot of changes this year but I’m still thinking, “How much am I willing to lose to get there?”
My proudest accomplishment has been learning to program independent from school. In high school, I wasn’t the best student and was constantly discouraged from pursuing work in STEM fields because of my sub-par grades in math. It began with a failing math grade I first received in sophomore year, but my confidence in my learning ability at that time was never able to make a full recovery. Me learning programming was in response to a particular classmate who said I wouldn’t be able to pursue the career because of my non-technical background. It was a response to the frustration I had at not being able to find a suitable learning environment in school. It was my way of showing myself that I could learn without school as a crutch and take my education into my own hands. I picked up ‘C for Dummies’ shortly after and everyday like clockwork, I would read a chapter from the book. This would also lead to me watching videos of Harvard’s CS50 course, along with my progression into elementary data structures by means of the follow-up book I acquired, ‘C All in One Desk Reference for Dummies’. It was a time where I was able to focus all my attention to achieve something previously thought impossible, in order to fight back against those who doubted me. It is my proudest accomplishment because it ended up becoming so much more than a statement. Learning how to program also brought the realization that nothing should ever be able to impede my learning, and that I do not need to rely on school to take my education into my own hands.
Throughout the day today, my mom was sporadically watching this movie about a couple who met on a blind date. It was clear that the couple in this movie had chemistry during the first date, but what proved even more interesting was their main point of relatability — the fact that they both couldn’t get over their exes. During this one particular part of the movie, the girl, after seeing the guy for a couple weeks, decides to visit him unexpectedly and catches him at the house with his ex-wife. Shirtless.
Crushed, the girl tries to flee the scene in embarassment. The guy, trying to salvage their budding relationship, tells her his ex-wife just came to drop something off. The girl sees through his lie and calls his bluff. He finally admits to it. He then starts to defend himself by asking her if she can really blame him. He says that the love someone has for a long time partner never completely disappears and asks her if he’s supposed to put a halt on those feelings for someone he’s just started to see. This rubbed me the wrong way which led me to writing this blog post. The way that it had me feeling was anger. In fact, it was the type of anger that had me wanting to engorge my fist right through this guy’s fucking eye.
Granted, I am biased when it comes to this issue. I myself was also involved with a girl who…drumroll… had an ex. To be fair, the girl in question IS less scummy than this fuck-wad, but it evoked the same kind of anger and emotional displeasure I imagine the girl in the movie might’ve felt.
First I’ll start by elaborating on my relationship to said girl in my story. Our relationship was one that was never been officiated as really anything. It was just me and her hanging out a lot. “That’s ridiculous and stupid then,” you might say, given that I had such an adverse reaction to her reconnecting with her ex. The thing is, although I never really said anything, I firmly believe this girl did know I had an interest in her and it felt like she may have had an interest in me too.
Because of particular circumstances, formally asking her out at the time would be inconvenient for the both of us and so our relationship was what it was. Now let me tell you about the extent of her relationship to her ex and how that affected me.
As I said before I’m 90% sure this girl knew I liked her, and for that, whenever she was busy on any given weekend she would spare me the specifics of any plans that prevented us from meeting. If it weren’t for me pressing on, I probably wouldn’t have come to find out that those weekends were spent resolving issues with her ex-boyfriend. It was only when I pushed a while into our relationship did she reluctantly tell me where she would go. Where this reluctance came from? I’m not sure.
The reluctance could’ve came from the fear of losing a friend who could act as a stand-in boyfriend, it could have stemmed from the fact that she liked me, or it could’ve been because there was an omnipotent presence following her around everywhere threatening to shorten her life by a day every time she mentioned her ex-boyfriend. My guess is the first option because it’s the most pessimistically probable answer I can think of, and in terms of potential contingencies, I usually like to imagine the worst-case scenario.
After more pushing, I learned my ‘friend’ was staying over certain weekends at his house, and I was not ecstatic to know the truth which I long suspected. After that I kept my distance, although we still somehow talk to this day. Either I’m very bad at letting things go, or she is…a musing for another blog post. Anyway, this whole story has been built up to go through my emotions and why I might’ve felt them, not her emotions. With no due respect, fuck her emotions(or at least that’s the ideology I wish I could adopt).
The question now becomes, why was I frustrated and angry at the situation? Why do I think the girl in the movie had a right to be angry? Why do I think she has a bigger right to be angry than I was (although I’m a fairly angry person in general). I think it’s partly because when you form a dating relationship with someone else, end up liking them, and start assuming that they like you too, you start to feel special. Like “this amazing person I met, also thinks I’m amazing,” or some shit. Now when said person goes back to their ex, a new thought arises: “Shit, I was so unexceptional that they felt they needed to go back to a relationship that was so bad they broke it off? How horrible must I have been to make her reassess her previously discarded options?”
There were also other thoughts that went through my head like “I like her so much that I just want to see her happy even if it means some heartbreak for me,” but that’s some pussy ass shit, so I try and get those thoughts out of my mind. Plus those thoughts are too focused on her own well-being. Fuck her well-being. This post is about ME.
Anyway, as lame as you may think my reasons may be, I felt for the girl in the movie. The guy got her hooked on to his dick early on just so he can say he feels like they’re moving too fast when she starts to reciprocate his affection. That’s a power move if I’ve ever seen one. Through the beginning of the movie, he was the one really trying to make things work which makes it suck even more when he cops out after she reciprocates that sincerity. Like I said, it did hit close to home which is why I thought it necessary to project my thoughts onto this blog post.
I’ve hit an impasse in my music theory studies and have spent these last few weeks focusing on just trying to make a piece of music everyday. A big part of it was not yet being able to find a simple all-in-one resource for it all. Everything is scattered, and even the topics themselves have to be discovered as prerequisites to other, more relevant topics. For this post, I decided to try and rein the interest in music theory back in, and try to define some of the concepts used in my first ‘Rapper’s Journey’ post along with some other helpful material. Thoughts and improvements on my own music-making process will be noted near the end.
One thing I’ve learned about is what an “envelope” is. In its most basic definition, it consists of 3 parts — attack, sustain, and decay. These components are usually expressed as a knob along with a graphical user interface to show you how the sound wave looks like.
The attack is a value that indicates how long a sound should take to fade into its max volume. The sustain show’s how long the sound should remain at its max volume. The decay is how long it should take to fade into silence from the sound’s peak volume. These intervals can be extended or shortened making the any subsequent phase also start later or earlier by consequence.
Another definition I’ve learned is the function of a ‘high-pass and low-pass filter’. A high pass filter reduces the amplitude of frequencies in a sound below a specified frequency. As you can imagine, a low-pass filter does the opposite (reduces the amplitude of frequencies higher than the specified frequency. This definition might not be the greatest since they reference other technical terms such as ‘frequency’ and ‘amplitude’ — which from my very limited background of physics/and chemistry are terms related to ‘waves’. For me to explain all these terms relative to music might take more time, as I don’t completely understand all the underlying theory and bridge to the sciences.
Luckily, two other terms on my list ‘cutoff’ and ‘res or resonance’ both directly relate to the concepts of ‘high-pass and low-pass filters’. The ‘cutoff’ is the aforementioned ‘specified frequency’, and the ‘res(onance)’ is the process of amplifying a certain range of frequencies around the cutoff. Apparently older mechanical filters used to do this (possibly unintentionally), and new digital filter software has kept the anomaly in as a feature to make more interesting sounds. These definitions came straight from the image-line (the people who make FL Studio) website, and had pretty straightforward, awesome definitions. Check it out to see what else you can learn from there: https://www.image-line.com/support/FLHelp/html/glossary_cutres.htm
A ‘walk’ is when you play all notes in a scale. Something I’ve been using a lot lately is an arpeggio, or as defined by Google, “the notes of a chord played in succession, either ascending or descending.” As I’ve said in my previous post, it’s a trap beat fundamental. The drums usually come naturally to me, or I can simply copy a drum line from a song I want to take inspiration from. If you listen closely to any of the drumlines heard on the radio, you’ll notice that many are the same. This kind of comes in the vain of the quote “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Not every drumline has to be invented, or hand-crafted. Chances are, any handcrafted drumline you make has been used before, so why not focus on the piece in it’s entirety?
Last but not least, I’ve decided to attach a song per the request of my number one fan, and only reader. Check it out!
I’ve made a cool new discovery when putting together trap melodies! Apparently, trap melodies like to move in ‘white key’ step ups. What that means is that if you start with a white key and play 3 consecutive white keys up from it, it builds suspension, and looping with those 4 keys can assist in making a generic trap beat. Honestly this video was very helpful in a lot of realizations, not just trap melodies, so I recommend checking it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4MuPlCGjtM.
I realized that I’m learning a lot more from copying people than from all the music theory stuff (at least at this point in time). For example, I still don’t completely understand chord families and progressions after binging videos about them (I guess this is mostly due to the youtuber I was watching), but I learned how to make a trap melody in the span of a couple minutes. It’s actually pretty easy, just loop a 4 key sequence, rising in note every key. So if we looped ‘c’, ‘d’, ‘e’, and ‘f’ played one after the other, that would make something of a trap melody.
Another example are jazz chords. If you know what chords to use, you can pretty much make a jazzy song by playing some permutation of them. Here’s the youtube video I used to learn jazz chords: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMvEg-7AEYk.
There’s still a lot more to say, but I’m extremely busy this week so I thought I’d cut this post short. Know that I have been making at least one beat everyday, and that progress is still being made.