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Dream log - The Ideal Flatshare

I had an interesting dream today:

[Dream Begins]

I woke up as a flatmate of mine knocked on the door, he wanted something. As I get out of bed I noticed something was different in my room, it had changed size a bit and the contents were different. Me and my flatmate both go out of my room, and we notice the whole flat has changed, it had been redecorated. Not just redecorated, even the layout and floor plan was new [in a way that was not physically possible by the way], completely different, and the decoration was incredibly beautiful. There were tones of grey, white, and red throughout, with a lot of these coming from grey and red marble. The whole decoration was kind like a chinese dragon inspired style [just the colors, there were no actual dragon shapes or pictures], but still very modern, slick and practical - not excessively ornamental. It was amazing and inspiring. We walk some more in the middle of the flat (it was now bigger, especially the kitchen) to learn more about the new layout inside. I came across a spiral staircase, also in themes of red, grey, and a bit of black. I see two girls slowly walking down the stairs and coming into our floor. They are also looking around in amazement, and we realize they are in the same situation as us, they lived in a flat in the same building (but in a floor above) and have also come to see how everything has been "redecorated" and changed.
I am getting pretty happy and excited with this, but now I head back for the kitchen to check that it has not become close or right next to my room, which would ruin the layout for me [this has always been a longstanding fear of mine in flat-shares, that flat-mates in kitchens would cause too much noise into my bedroom when I was sleeping] While I'm inside I check all the new appliances inside, see if they match the decor.
Eventually I came across a big living room. I see other people in there already, some also looking around, some sitting already for a while (like if I they have explored the new layout for some time now). I realize the whole building had become interconnect through common areas (kinda like a student residence). I looked at the people again, this time trying to get a sense of what kind of people they were, and they all seemed alright, young people in 20s-30s, no one too out of the ordinary [that is, no one that might become a bad flat-mate]. I become pretty excited of the prospect of this shared accommodation, and I deduce and expect that the masters behind this renovation must have implemented some social rules as well, to keep this utopian, oneiric, uber flat-share/building-share running well for all residents.

[Dream Ends]
I awake soon after with some real noise from the outside. I was a bit annoyed as I wondered how this dream would continue. I wish I could describe better how the new flat looked, in the dream I could only kinda feel (or remember after I awake) the general decor, theme, and colors of it, but nothing in detail... Therefore it is hard to impress on other people how amazing and inspiring it looked.

Goals for 2012 - Revised

An update on my plans for the next year or so ( https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150374614287495 )

First, a look back on the last 3 months. They have been quite awesome, and I've done a lot of awesome stuff and met cool new people! I also had a few notable personal "achievements" (most notably first time making out a stranger, hehe :3 :3 ). But I also spent a lot of time in wasteful ways, and I didn't advance other long terms goals much. Particular harsh were binges of various sorts that had an awful knock-on effect on my general productivity the next days. Working freelancer, one needs to be careful about these things.

  • First resolution, Poker: I've decided to stop playing poker, until "further notice". I like poker and played a lot in the last months, but it took way too much time and emotional energy, and although I was getting better, I wasn't getting good enough. To really apply myself to poker in the way that I want, I would need to devote even more time and effort. It would be like a second job, so I'm not willing to do that any time soon, so I will shelve it indefinetely: only when my main programming work goals are complete will I consider going back to poker. There is going to be a minor exception to this, I may play a little bit under specific circumstances, an exception I shall name the "Leicester rule" (I won't bother explaining it, but it has to do with girls :P ).
  • Main work goal - work on DDT (http://www.eclipselabs.org/p/ddt), reach milestone 1.0, and maybe work on other IDEs. I also wanted to work on an LOLCode IDE project before April 1st, but I don't think I will have the time for that.
  • Weekly habits - On Sundays, do less work and chores, play *games* more, watch a movie or so, relax, have enough geeky fun and rest to start the week in full. Maybe even bring back the ocasional Yogic relaxation session. It may seem strange that I make a resolution to actually have *more* fun and less work (it's usually the other way around), but, for various reasons, it has been happening that sometimes in Sundays I let the day pass, I get distracted, I don't enjoy myself that much, or in the best wa... and then I go to bed late, and often feeling a bit "restless" because of not having enjoyed the day, and start Mondays on a half-pace (and sometimes not at all).
  • Speaking of games - finish Final Fantasy VII ... it's about damn time... ~_~;
  • Dance wise - I would still love to go back to Body Jam classes, but there are still none nearby. :( I will have to rethink my plans for this after Jan, as then there might be new classes in central Virgin Active gyms opening. I will definitely join them if they do, otherwise I will have to think of something else. Maybe I will join the Street Dance class in the Notting Hill gym.
  • Gym - make sure I do weight training at least 3 times a week. I should think/read more about nutrition and technique after I get this regimen stabilized (I lost a lot of workout days in the last months due to the binges and winter colds). My ultimate desire here would be to get a six-pack, but this can be quite hard and I can't yet say I am *commited* to this. (don't want to give up my sugar addiction :P) I do want to try get closer to this goal, as much as I can. In concrete terms I will need to do more cardio exercize, but I'm not sure what plans to make for this, as cardio is usually quite boring. Getting back to those dance classes would be great, but otherwise I would need something else. Let's just start with the regular 3 times a week training for now, and getting plent of rest.
  • Tattoos - Not much I can do to further this goal at this point...Want to have more Laser Hair Removal done.
  • Cosplay - Want to cosplay Max Payne this year, aiming to get it done for the next MCM Expo (May). At most for the second MCM Expo (September). Also want to do the costume for a Nick (Left 4 Dead 2) cosplay. I might not use it at at convention/expo, but with so many possible zombie events (Zombie walk, 2.8 Hours Later), it's cool costume to have for these other events! I have few other cool ideas for zombie events, but I will only commit to Nick costume for now.
  • Additional goal - Try a psychedelic drug in 2012. Yes, really, I've been curious about entheogens for quite a long time. I'll probably start with Salvia divinorum - which apparently is legal in the UK, fortunately.
Rise mighty Antibodies, rise!
Take up your arms and fight!,
fight against this evil Cold
who invades the noble kingdom of Bruno's body.

No more shall the head be woozy
No more will the throat be ravaged in vicious soreness
Freedom shall return to the nasal cavities,
Were the air shall gush through unobstructed,
like magical wooden fairies.

Fight in the name of holy Health!
Destroy the evil germs that soil our sacred body
...And let all colds in the streets of London
Tremble in *fear* of Bruno's glorious Immune System!
FOR VICTORY!!

*cue Rapshody of Fire soundtrack*

AKA, I really want to get better tomorrow!!

Goals for the next year or so...

Summer is over, and also it wasn't too long ago that I turned 28, so I
have been a bit pensive lately about things. I've been feeling a bit
rudderless in the last few months and I want to get back on track, make
some personal improvements. So I decided to set some tasks and goals for
the near future.

Goals for the next year or so...  (dated Sept 2011)

  • Improve and maintain sleep and food discipline. (eating healthy, going to bed at proper times and with appropriate mood)
  • Resume medical investigation about my spine and other musculoskeletal issues. See if there is room for improvement.
  • Get a tattoo. Need to think about this a lot: search possible designs, consider tattoo locations on the body, etc..
  • Resume dance classes to a regular level, keep doing at least one per week. Preferably Body Jam.
  • Improve
    my fitness regimen, make it a bit more structured. Learn about fitness
    nutrition. Work towards a six-pack (that one is really damn hard).
  • Improve my poker game. Improve gameplay and strategies, but more importantly: handle tilt better.
  • Resume Japanese lessons. Finish either Rosetta Stone's level I, or Let's Learn Japanese Basic I video lessons. Preferably both.
  • Do
    cosplay again. Maybe reprise Neo (need to redo that costume), but do at
    least another character (such as Max Payne, or Nick from Left 4 Dead
    2).
  • Release version 1.0 of DDT, a version with major issues and
    functionality implemented and fleshed out. DDT (D Development Tools) is
    an open-source project I've been working on - www.eclipselabs.org/p/ddt,
    a continuation of my MSc. Thesis and main career path.
  • Learn about Android development. See if it is worthwhile to pursue as a CV and complementary career option.
  •  Learn
    how to drive, get a driver's license. Drive at least once on both the
    UK and continental Europe (that is, try driving on both lanes).

Tall order... better get started! o_o'

I could not become anything...

"I could not become anything; neither good nor bad; neither a scoundrel nor an honest man; neither a hero nor an insect. And now I am eking out my days in my corner, taunting myself with the bitter and entirely useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything, that only a fool can become something." - Fyodor Dostoevsky
(seen by me in the book "The Game")

The Girl on the Bus - (analysis)

Time to analyze this replay:
Scenario: today, it's 1 AM Friday night(technically Saturday), I am returning home on the bus. Girl sits next to me, starts making conversation with me out of the blue. She is Indian, not bad looking, seems ok in my scale. Also looks a bit tipsy (but not too much). Interesting situation. Potential to try a pick-up? But now when I eventually ask what she did for the night, she says she went out for a pub and dancing with her older brother and an older friend of his. Now that's not very comfortable, makes me uneasy and nervous (the way she said it I think implied they were on the bus as well... but I wasn't totally sure). Plus the time is ticking, I can't stay on the bus forever... I talk some more, but eventually I leave, without making any move (even though I'm leaving some bus stops later than mine).

So, guys, comments, analysis? Should I have tried to pursue it further, or was it really a bad place and situation to try anything? There have been other girl situations I know I've utterly failed, LOL (naivety, inexperience, and a fair amount of geekness are a terrible concoction), but on this one I'm not so sure it was like that...

"...it's not available, cause if you try it once you will die, your head will explode..."

I'm not one to follow celebrity news, in fact I barely even hear about it at all. Well, unless it gets mentioned in the Daily Show, or, even better, gets a Youtube song made about it by the Gregory Brothers, the crew behind Auto Tune The News :) . This was recently the case with Charlie Sheen, they did a parody based on his ABC interview. It was quite funny of course, but I was amazed by the source material - Charlie Sheen's outlandish comments - and that made me curious enough to check out more of the whole interview.
And out-of-the world, erratic, outrageous the whole thing was indeed... but, to my surprise, I did find myself resonating with, even supporting a lot of the things he said! Read on.

"Did you borrow my brain for like 5 seconds and be just like, dude, can't handle it, unplug this bastard!"
Charlie Sheen is not completely out of his mind, he actually has an interesting point masked underneath all the rambling: a message about living life to the max, to do crazy stuff, wild stuff. To going beyond the "drudgery of normal life", and not be bound by the convention and conformism of society. I very much agree with that in essence... life is too short, too precious, to let yourself be ruled by such imposed preconceptions. Though, go against them only if its worthwhile, not just for the sake of it. Otherwise you'll end up just an emo, hipster, or some other sort of eternal non-conformist, and not one step closer to happiness.

"All those words just sound cool together, it comes from my grand-wizard master..."
Of course, a lot of people will look at Charlie Sheen and see a deluded, bipolar individual, veering on and off a path to self destruction. And that may be mostly true, but still I admire what he's trying to do, or at least, that he's trying to do it. Not the ways and the circumstances he is doing it, which seem more likely than not to make things end up bad for him. But if that's what comes in the end, at least he had lots of fun on the way. (Unlike, say, Tom Cruise, which just seems to be going purely batshit crazy). So all in all, even with a downfall, I still wonder if it's not best to try and fail, than to never try at all. "What is best in life?" as a wise man once asked elsewhere...

I mean, how many people let go of their fears, their prejudices, their misconceptions? How many people embrace their dreams, their deep and innermost desires and fantasies, and not just stare them at a distance? And do something outrageous, outstanding? How many even just stop to, at the very least, consider these things?
When I see people that can only do something wild and crazy under the heavy influence of alcohol, I see a repression, a heart closed to the full possibilities of life. Does one really think all that will be that much fun, when all the wild things you do, you can barely remember the next day?
When I see people so excited about their sports team in some match or whatnot, I see an incomprehensible act of wasted effort and energy. When they could be cheering for themselves, being the players, the achievers, the winners. Or even the losers. Since even that, in my opinion, is *much better* than being a spectator, a fan of the benches, a person claiming the victories of others as your own!

Interviewer: "You love to party?"
Sheen: "What's not to love?"


Indeed, a particularly interesting aspect where one can apply this mindset is sexuality and relationships. I'm not going to go into detail on this (as I have on another blog post elsewhere), suffice to say that I think the way one approaches sex says a lot about how intense, wild and free-spirited one is, for lack of better words (forgive my wordsmith-manship failure).


"The run I was on was epic!"


It may be that for Charlie Sheen things end up bad, really bad. And if that happens, it's a shame, and for sure the conformists and traditionalists will be on TV, saying they knew this was coming, that they warned people, etc., etc.. And whilst that may be true, in many of them if you look them into their eyes you will see a glee, an unconscious pleasure and relief that things turned out this way, /their/ way. Because Sheen's lifestyle and comments were a threat, or at least a spit on the face of conventional thinking, and that's something a lot of people don't want to see. Even if they are not fully aware of it, they don't want such extreme lifestyle to be vindicated any more, deep inside they would revel in seeing it crash and burn to the ground as soon as possible, and let only they "normal", conventional mindsets remain.
And for the rest of us, who perhaps think differently, we will be left hoping for another opportunity for more public figures who could pull it off, to live a life to the max, raw and unabashed, without "dying to the max" in the process. To show other people what it can be, that it /can be/. And even better, to hope that in our personal circle, in our own lives we and our friends can be that person: to rock on, to party on, to work hard and play harder. To win. It most cases, in terms of mindset alone, it's really not that hard. Like Sheen said:
"I blinked and I cured my brain. That's how. Everybody has the power."

Wise words from a mad man, so take a moment to consider that. To open your eyes, free your mind... and whenever you have the opportunity, never pass the chance do something *awesome*!

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"Nós, desempregados, “quinhentoseuristas” e outros mal remunerados, escravos disfarçados, subcontratados, contratados a prazo, falsos trabalhadores independentes, trabalhadores intermitentes, estagiários, bolseiros, trabalhadores-estudantes, estudantes, mães, pais e filhos de Portugal. Protestamos:
- Pelo direito ao emprego! Pelo direito à educação!
- Pela... melhoria das condições de trabalho e o fim da precariedade!
- Pelo reconhecimento das qualificações, competência e experiência, espelhado em salários e contratos dignos!
"

citação do manifesto do Protesto à Geração Rasca: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=180447445325625

Incrível... mas em que mundo de fantasia é que vocês vivem? Têm noção de quão injustos, desonestos e irrealistas são este ideais? Têm noção de que a educação e o emprego (em particular os salários) não crescem nas árvores?
Mais do que uma vez vi comparada esta manifestação, em particular estes "direitos", a outros direitos cívicos, como o direito à liberdade de expressão, de religião, de auto-determinação, à igualdade entre sexos, raças, orientações sexuais, etc.. Mas é uma comparação inválida. Estes direitos cívicos fazem parte do estado natural de cada individuo. Não há associado nenhum custo ou esforço adicional para habilitar estes direitos (antes pelo contrário, suprimir estes direitos é que quase sempre requer um custo adicional).
O mesmo não acontece com o direito ao emprego e o direito à educação (que invariavelmente neste contexto é mencionado num sentido que inclui o ensino superior). A educação e o emprego requerem custos. Os salários têm de vir de algum lado. O estado português, e não só o estado mas também muito do povo português, como se vê neste movimento, vive num mundo de fantasia que pensa que o dinheiro cai do céu e que não é preciso trabalhar justamente para o obter, assim como gastá-lo de maneira inteligente e eficiente. E seria de esperar que a crise económica, em particular em Portugal, alertasse o povo para esta realidade... mas pelos vistos não é o caso. Depois não se admirem que Portugal continue na mesma triste situação por muito anos em diante. Portugal não irá evoluir enquanto houver pessoas que acham que só por terem um curso superior têm direito a um emprego com remuneração, independentemente do curso que tiraram, do nível e habilidade que obtiveram nesse curso, e (mais importante) do valor que esse curso tem para o mercado de trabalho. Sim, porque ainda há muitos cursos com boa saída e com bom valor de mercado em Portugal. Mas o que muitas pessoas como vocês querem é vida fácil, curso e trabalho fácil e sempre com uma remuneração razoável... e depois chamam isto de justiça...  :S
O socialismo não é mais que ladroagem disfarçado como um ideal.

PS: não estou a dizer as coisas estão bem como estão. Portugal tem sérios problemas, e há várias coisas que precisam de mudar. Mas com soluções e mentalidades erradas não vão lá, só vão tornar as coisas piores.

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The hand of "God" in biomathematics...

Take a look on this amazing TED talk about efficient structure and emergent design in nature:
 
The hand of "God" in biomathematics... hehe :p And further showing that Science is indeed the primal way to learn about the world and the universe!
Take a look at this article:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/humanoids/meet-affetto

"[...] of Osaka University in Japan have developed a new child robot platform called Affetto. Affetto can make realistic facial expressions so that humans can interact with it in a more natural way."

And see for yourself the video:



... *whoa*... Japan, there really is no place like you... -_-'

It's like Ghost In The Sell: Innocence or something... Man, I had thought the societal aspects of such a world (where humans where barely distinguishable from dolls, and almost everyone cared little about it) were far-fetched, but it actually seems people are actively seeking to create such a similar world, at least in some regards.
I mean, if it was just the realistic sex dolls, I could understand, even in the case of the guys who dress them and talk to them and pretend they are real people. Understand in the sense that it is not surprising: it's a sexual and psychological perversion, but those have always existed, probably will always exist, and more importantly, always have been confined to the fringes of society.
But, like, babies?? Simulating human interaction with babies? It's a whole new level of crazy, but Japanese people don't seem to see it that way. Note that this isn't some crazy guy doing some weird shit on his free time in his basement. That very much looks like a complicated project, requiring resources and funding, a therefore, likely a commercial or scientific motivation behind it as well. Disturbing...


...

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