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Every day I think of dying [Aug. 19th, 2013|09:14 am]
[Current Mood |thoughtful]

One of the odder regrets of my life is having experienced, for about six months, a life completely free of anxiety. Not only was irrational anxiety taken away, but my more rational concerns as well. Before that time I was effectively unable to determine what was and was not a legitimate concern. I suspect that most people have this problem. And previous to this experience, I like most people was not aware that I had this problem. Now, I have the problem, awareness of the problem and a deep experiential knowledge that ultimately the problem is intractable. "anti-anxiety medication" in name and deed. I suppose the mild hum of latent terror has subsided significantly. But I still find myself trying to name what pains me, label the source of my incidental aches. Even after realizing it is more likely than not either low dopamine or dopamine insensitivity (or something else interfering with particular pathways that inhibit the negative labeling of sensation.) For whatever reason, this rationalization does not soothe me the way "clearly I am dying from an exotic infection" promises to before it bubbles its way into my awareness. Of couse, after such thoughts have announced their arrival, they do nothing to make me feel better.
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(no subject) [Apr. 17th, 2012|11:17 pm]
A great uncle of mine died recently. It reminded me of an idea that I have been playing around with for a while. We still do not have the technology to keep a human body alive indefinitely. There are two distinct problems that I see that do not seem to have simple solutions.
1. Genetic material erodes on its own.
2. A brain is required to maintain homeostasis.

Possible solutions:

1. One can imagine using some sort of classic gene therapy (knocking out some genes or adding new ones) that might increase the longevity of a genome in vivo.

One can also imagine creating some sort of extra genetic process that uses some baseline measure and adjusts the biology of the subject accordingly.

The former seems like tractable engineering problem. The latter seems like something categorically different that would require a profoundly deeper understanding of self-replicating systems than what we have today.

2. It does not appear that any new science would be required here. Although we currently know little about how the body maintains homeostasis, once we have a better idea of how neurons encode information, we should be able to create an artificial hypothalamus et al.
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(no subject) [May. 14th, 2011|03:36 am]
I woke up to the realization that I am not envious of others accomplishments, but their feelings of accomplishment.

Also, I spend most of my time neither asleep nor awake.
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(no subject) [Feb. 9th, 2011|06:32 am]
I went to a weekly all the way in NYC tonight, it over an hour's drive from my house. I went there a couple of weeks ago and it was pretty cool, so I thought I'd check it out again. It pretty much sucked. Not really a shock in hindsight. The external audio interface that I use to get sounds out of my various computers is dying. It frustrates me so much I can't think clearly about the problem. I am getting better at making music, it is to the point now where I think I am seeing the horizon of my ability.... or more clearly I am starting to see limits of my rate of learning and also the limits of my ability to engage in tedium to create interesting sounds. I have always acknowledge the difficulty in making effective pop music. I am now considering the possibility that it requires an unusual mix of observation and throughput. In other words, in order to make a popular song, one must be aware of popular trends and then generate enough music to 'luck up' on a hit. Ultimately, pop music is algorithmic, as evidenced by people like NE-YO, he claims to have written most of his pop songs in about 15 minutes. Although I question his measurement of the total time invested, his songs have a very distinctive sound and pattern, as do the songs of many successful pop artists. So far, I have not directed my music creation toward pop, but I think that in the long run, it makes the most sense. I think after the two/three projects I am working on now are done, I will make pop music of some kind.
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(no subject) [Feb. 9th, 2011|06:21 am]
if you read this you should most likely also listen to:

You most likely won't like every song, but I suspect you will like at least one.
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(no subject) [Jan. 11th, 2011|03:27 am]
I wish people didn't die.
I wish people didn't age.
I wish we could what seemed like forever,
wrapped up in a single day.


I don't feel doomed today, I feel lucky, I was in a car accident and I walked away from it. I got an email from a patent attorney, I need to revise my patent by the 7th, it only took them 2 years to get back to me. I feel like I am getting way better at making music. Still have a good 2 or 3 years before I could really do anything with it.


Today, I was able to realize a thought that has been bugging me for a long long time: When I was in school the rewards I got, good grades, accolades, etc, never mapped linearly to the effort I put forward. The reason I still dislike the concept of "hard work" is that for me it's a gamble. I often times get better results when I "work less". When I am putting forth an effort in something I am interested in, it is like I am not putting forth an effort at all. which often times seems more like curse than gift. My attention also seems to fluctuate more than most, making it difficult to complete longer term projects, like writing my video game for example. but when I am making music when I feel like I "should" be writing my game, it feels a lot more rewarding to complete the track.


Wouldn't it be great if we couldn't remember? If we were just clever fish in a bowl? Our conscious memories constrained to our last pleasure and the means of achieving it again.


I aspire to be free.
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(no subject) [Dec. 14th, 2010|08:28 am]
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Once or twice a year I go through these extremely involved interviews for jobs in finance. This most recent one has put me in a terrible mood. Not so much because of what it says about me as a person or my personal failings, but because it is indicative of my misalignment with reality as a whole.

I have never really felt like I belonged. I have rarely felt any sort of commonality with other people. Lately, I have been considering that many of my friends are extremely risk averse and one or two of my friends seem to be quite the opposite. Risk aversion is a an extremely complex set of behaviors so most of the time when someone is categorized using that term or similar ones it is an idiomatic statement relating to that someone's dislike of something.

Most of the salient events in my life have something to do with anxiety. Most often my anxiety, but sometimes others anxieties as they relate to me or something that I represent to those people. They say that anxiety is based in fear, and for the most part I agree. But, I would add that at some point anxiety can become truly divorced from anything remotely resembling a rational fear. From a clinical standpoint the anxiety that is dysfunctional is by definition the anxiety that is irrational. But sometimes that is merely a question of degree. Whereas other times the irrationality of the anxiety makes it completely immune from any sort of cognitive mediation (and in turn categorically distinct). I believe that this latter form of anxiety is the majority of what I have experienced in my life. (Although, there are many other plausible reasons for me being almost completely immune to cognitive interventions, this explanation is powerful enough and closed enough to be generally satisfying to me.) So for the better part of a decade, if not the better part of two, I have had no reliable way of deciding if something is 'risky' or not. I have no intuitive sense what other people consider an 'acceptable risk' or what causes people to avoid taking some risks over others. In 'over analyzing' the riskiness of situation I often times find myself coming to a rather dramatically different conclusion than those around me. For example, the cost of applying to graduate programs far outweighs any short term upside I can imagine and its enough to have me seriously question the value of any longer term benefits. Going back to school seems like a guarantee of future pain in exchange for a more apparent justification for my sense of alienation. It seems like a bum deal. Getting a tech support job for 35k seems like a bum deal too. getting a tech support job for 70k seems like both a worse and a better deal than the 35k job... really... More money for the same amount of time seems better than less money. But it also seems like that more money would actually be in line with the amount of discomfort I would experience. As much as I dislike my general sense of malaise I seem to dislike even more anything that would possibly lead to its elimination. It seems as though I am more content being less happy and that's just a weird idea to wrap ones head around.
Freeloading is never a problem for the Freeloader.
If ones priority in life is to not be a bum, then they are not one.
labels are all so complicated when fully evaluated.
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(no subject) [Nov. 28th, 2010|09:00 pm]

Biological imperative programming
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Truth [Oct. 10th, 2010|03:39 pm]
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Today, while reading a blog on Evolutionary Psychiatry, which is actually more about the Paleo Diet than anything else, I was struck, "What if they are actually right? What if every overly simplistic argument these people make is actually correct? What if more than simply ignoring, but outright rejecting, modernity is the solution to all health problems? What if rhetorical positions are actually True?" This idea. that The Truth is not merely embedded in rhetoric but rather is indistinguishable in any meaningful way from rhetoric, is the most terrifying ideas I have ever had. Only now am I really appreciating how I much I take the position "rhetoric is not Truth" as granted. My belief has always been that The Truth cannot be embedded in any statement, because the act of constructing the statement pollutes the truthfulness of the Truth being embedded. Thus, we are left with statements about truth, that point to some greater Truth. Exactly how the statement is indicative of some greater Truth is a question that I generally find unanswerable. Today I was working on some of my game code, which requires me to deal with the object model of my game, which I often times think might be overly-complex.... These two ideas, my model of rhetoric and having to face the complexity of my game model which is supposed to be simple, sort of collided in my head. My model of rhetoric is obviously more complex and anxiety provoking than if I simply accepted all statements as True. The terror comes from the considering what if I actually have a choice in how I refine rhetoric, what if the conclusion I hold now, and have held for some time, is in fact not a forgone conclusion? What if there is more truth to be gobbled up in all the inane shit people say than what I've thought in the past? Ultimately, none of this really matters, and while most of this was thought in an instant, it has taken significantly longer than that to write it down. I am no longer worried that rhetoric is truth, I am left with a bit of sadness in remembering that most people seem unaware of the difference or how much said difference affects their happiness.
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(no subject) [Jun. 7th, 2010|08:44 pm]
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I've always liked xxxchange and although this mix is a little rough around the edges I approve of anyone who thinks adding bass to Tangerine Dream is a good idea.
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