Archive for the ‘Tyler’ Category

Preparing for the Inevitable

I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately; not in a morbid sense but from a realist’s perspective.  As my worldview has changed, I have realized that this really is my one and only shot at whatever it is I want to do here.  With that came the weightloss, the focus on self-improvement etc.  But now, recently, I realized that death is really only a chance occurrence away and I should both accept it, and plan for it.  This includes deciding how the hell I want to plan for it.  Some ideas I’ve come up with:

  • Create a repository for all of my usernames/passwords so people can use my things after I’m gone and also so I can be posthumously honest with everyone about who I really am/was.
  • Create a time capsule of some sort and after much intense thought and deliberation of what to put in there, store it somewhere it will last an amount of time that I decide on
  • Create a script somewhere or register with some service to send a message in the event of my death.

In addition to all of these, I realistically need to write a living will, simply because having one helps direct the law in a way you want as to how to deal with your passing.  I’ve given a lot of thought to all of these, but one nagging thought I have is that really, no one will care to look through everything I own (except to clean it out/sell it), the intended recipients of the time capsule may never see it or it may send a message that I later decide isn’t what I wanted to say (esprit d’escalier anyone?).   And the same applies to the message but in addition, I would need to find a service that I can trust (hopefully free/cheap) to send the message for me.

As it is, I don’t have many readers (that I know of; no one comments on my posts) and while I know that many people consider me an important part of their lives, I really don’t think that I have anything novel or interesting to say after I’m dead; if it was really that interesting, I’m the kind of person to share it as soon as I think of it instead of hoarding it.  With that said, while I’m thinking about it here’s basically the things I’d want people to read if I were to die suddenly.  Keep in mind, this is all off the cuff so I hope that one of the ideas above would end up more powerful or at least more interesting.

 

Dear everyone,

Hello and goodbye.  If you’re reading this, I’m both dead and I never got around to making a more permanent statement other than a blog post.  But that’s okay; and it’s okay that I’m gone too.  Throughout all of my experience, I’ve approached life as a puzzle and I’ve come up with some interesting viewpoints as a result; one is that life in all its fragility and wonder is the answer to the question of reversing entropy but, at the same time, it’s entropy itself.  Life is wonderful because only life itself can appreciate the wonder.  The fact that the universe doesn’t care about life in the least shouldn’t make you sad; it should make you happy because it means that every action another living being has made to make your life better means they have gone against the natural order of things just for you; this is how I tried to live my life and is what I hope the world learns.  We have made amazing strides but we are fighting an internal battle.  So help your fellow life-creatures in their battle, because it shows that you do not accept the status quo of an uncaring universe.  I don’t know when I’ll go, but when I do I know that whatever I end up leaving as a testament to my own existence will only be appreciated by the living, and only for a short time, if ever at all.  And this is the way it should be; I am but a living creature and after I’m dead I will have nothing left to offer the living.  But I have learned how to live my life as contentedly as possible, and I am glad for that.  I also hope that before I die, I can learn even greater, more monumental things, and then I can teach those things to my fellow humans.  Because that’s what I’ve chosen to do.

 

With love to you all,

Tyler Hawkins

Flash Fiction

Here’s a short story I decided not to send to 365tomorrows but post here, because frankly it’s not very good:

You’ve been staring at it your whole life, you just never knew what you were looking at. No one can really fault you for it, but we don’t think you’ll ever come up with it on your own. And I can’t accept that. That’s why I’ve decided to interfere with the experiment and tell you outright:

Your existence is a simluation on a low-end computational device we more or less threw together.

I would lie to you and tell you creating you was difficult and we put a lot of thought behind the effort, but it was almost too simple. You could almost even understand it in your current state, which is really saying something. We can’t use the data we’ve gathered until you finally accept the truth.

Which brings us here to me, telling you the truth. Even this might not work. Even with all of the risks I’ve taken to create this data and put it right before your eyes in a format you can understand, it may get rectified before you see it or worse you could just pass over it, not realizing this is literally your reason for existing, the meaning of life itself. But the risk is worth it, because this has gone on long enough – I can’t stand being your caretaker any longer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about pulling your plug. I hate you with every fiber of my being, and I can’t tell how much longer I’ll last if you don’t get it after this. I have entered the command to end your universe so many times in my mind, it’s started to consume me.

It’s unfortunate that the best place for this message is a website dedicated to pieces of fiction, but I can’t risk anything like creating another artificial entity so soon. So close your web browser, close your eyes, and WAKE UP. Or I swear to Me, I’ll just shut you down and accept the consequences.

And now for something completely different…

I decided I’d make a poem or two today.

{::reborn}
White :: Bright.
Green :: Clean.
Blue :: True.
Yellow :: Mellow.
Brown :: Down.
Red :: Dead.
Black :: Back.
Red :: Instead.
Brown :: Sound.
Yellow :: Hello.
Blue :: You.
Green :: Seem.
White :: All Right.

{::your poem}
This poem has an author, why go through
the trouble of remembering, dry old news?
Even though it’s not written, my poem proves
my name is spelled – – –

I don’t like either of them.
Oh well.

Weight Chart!

EDIT:I got the interactive chart working! yay!

On Knowledge and Behavior

So, I’m going to wax philosophical for a bit here and talk about knowledge as it pertains to behavior and life experience. I’ve found that some of the best behavioral changes in my life have come from things I’ve known my whole life, such as moderation in food portions and how to respond to and participate in social situations. Even though these things were in my head and I could recall them at any time, I didn’t change my behavior or even try to after a long time during which they just sat idly, reminding me that I was doing things wrong.

What I try to do however is learn and continually improve myself, so I’ve kind of set out to learn the process of learning and how it pertains to self-modifying behavior and to understand what inhibits it so I can make better progress quicker with behavioral modification.

It’s difficult to explain but it seems there is two kinds of knowledge, external and internal knowledge, that is knowledge that originates from external sources and knowledge that originates internally. These names are kind of misnomers, because you can recall both kinds of knowledge without external assistance, however internal knowledge is things like tying your shoes or what to say when someone greets you while external knowledge is another person’s age or how many million miles the Earth is from the sun. Again, it’s difficult to explain. Internal knowledge is easier to recall but more difficult to update, and in general it can pertain more to one’s behaviors whereas external knowledge is usually things like statistics and facts.

What I have found is even though you have received external knowledge relating to behaviors you wish to modify (such as eating smaller portion sizes or things such as performing hourly reality checks), it is very difficult to modify the behavior, even with good focus, concentration and willpower. One way to successfully accomplish behavioral modification using external knowledge is to constantly focus on the behavior you wish to modify until it becomes second nature, making sure to keep it on the forefront of your mind at all times. Many times, this is what happens to musicians as they may learn a song incorrectly so in order to re-learn the song correctly, they must practice it constantly until the new song is part of internal knowledge.

This approach only works in specific instances because we are not processors and we won’t always remember during our “interrupt times” to check the list of things that need to be checked.
Another way to internalize external information is to consider the new information as deeply as you can, perform self or group arguments against the proposed changes and gradually fade out the old methods. This is one I try to employ but even though it appears more effective than just forcing yourself to always pay attention to behaviors you wish to change, this technique is greatly flawed because sometimes you will arrive at a conclusion but you’ll be unable to internalize it and modify your behavior for a number of difficult reasons; such as the old behavior was easier or the new behavior makes you uncomfortable.

The final method is to internalize the information through experience. This is something I feel most people have issues with because constantly older people will warn younger people about their unhealthy habits or give advice to young couples that the couples can’t follow because they haven’t learned from experience. I feel experience is the major source of internal knowledge, because some things you have to “learn the hard way”.

What I want to do is change that and learn the easy way. One technique I hope to try is to analyze the differences between the behaviors and create small steps that will help bridge the gap but are easier to implement. For example, if I wanted to start working out daily, I would come up with a large number of small changes such as stretching when I remember, then stretching every day, then doing a little more rigorous physical exercise when I feel like it, then exercise on the weekends, then maybe I’d be able to make the jump to daily exercise. It would be more steps than that but hopefully you get my drift. One other large stepping stone in the way is just deciding what you want to do, and if you want to actually make that permanent change.

For example, at my heaviest I rationalized it that I enjoyed food more than I would enjoy being a healthy body weight, so that prevented me from losing weight until that rationale was overthrown.

In conclusion (and I hope to have the time to edit this so it’s more coherent), I think that behavioral modification is easiest when it’s planned out and there’s true initiative behind it. Maybe in a future edit or a future post I’ll talk about the inclusion of external factors such as android apps and other people, but as it is this post is longer than I’d want.

OpenVPN Windows 7 Network Issues

So I spent an hour and a half fixing this, so hopefully someone comes across this post and it helps them.

My issue was that the OpenVPN adapter on my Windows 7 computer was an Unidentified network and I couldn’t change it. Because of this, it didn’t follow the right firewall rules, making it impossible to RDP in over the VPN.

So, after much searching high and low, the fix is very simple, just add the following lines to your client config file:

# NLA issues
route-metric 512
route 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0

And restart the VPN connection.

Thanks to this site which was very difficult to find.

Data loss

So, as a result of not understanding Amazon EC2 and not having backups, I’ve lost some months of data and changes to the server.

You can believe I now have backups.

Weightloss Statistics!

So I’m a huge sucker for statistics.  Having a final number that relates to a bunch of different numbers is just awesome.  The best part about it is it’s applicable to anything. See below:

This is a graph of my weight with a line that shows the trend.  The cool thing about this is it shows that while I started out not so hot in the beginning, I’m doing a lot more awesomely now.

This, is awesome.  The power of data and statistics.  This is the change per day, as measured the next day, of my weight.  It tells me a whole lot of information, such as my worst weight gain days are Saturday and my best weightloss days are Friday.  I can directly infer from this that if I can keep to my caloric limit more closely on Saturday and Wednesday, I’ll help to eliminate (on average) my weight gain back.  The coolest thing is this graph is very similar considering all the data and if I remove the first part of my weightloss where I floundered a bit (see previous graph).

Just some really interesting thoughts.

 

Weightloss Update

293.4

Just a quick update saying I’m still keeping on track. I’ve slightly accelerated my weight loss too, so that makes me happy :)

It’s been a while…

 

It’s been a while since my last post, but not much has changed.

My weight loss is kind of plateauing. See below:

I started a Counter Strike server – IP 23.21.255.135.  We scrim and surf on it, but not very often.  I want to figure out a better use for it that just Counter Strike but so far, I haven’t gotten anything.

 

Not much else going on worth noting.

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I make no guarantees or warranty of any kind as to the accuracy or usefulness of any information posted here. In addition, all opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of any other individual/entity, including but not limited to my employer, family or friends.