Lately, I’ve been struggling with Writer’s Block. But, just trust me, I have no shortage of ideas. Recently, I’ve been writing a lot and, to great chagrin, I’ve been enjoying myself quite a bit. So, I’m going to detail a few ideas for blog posts. I hope that you’ll provide me with feedback in the comments.
It’s a bit ironic that I might enjoy writing, since I plotted to avoid ever taking English in College. Ever. It was like a goal of mine, one that I strived for at a time in my life when I had few. In high school, I couldn’t stand writing. But now, I find that writing allows me to express concepts that require extensive details and to discuss topics without regard for my audience’s [sometimes] limited understanding.
No offense, of course. But 90% of the time that I try to talk about topics like GPU-assisted bioinformatics algorithms, the hottest new web development framework, functional programming, linguistics, philosophy or the orthogonally strategic elements of Google’s new-yet-unexpectedly-free technology – I get cut off. When I try to be myself, everyone wants to act like I’m nerdy or boring or arrogant or bragging or whatever. I don’t quite understand, but it’s not positive. It’s certainly not leading me to self-actualization.
However, when I write, no one tries to cut me off. No one interjects with points I’ve already considered. No one tries to change the subject. This happens so often in my life that I barely ever speak. I’ve never actually been able to express myself orally. This is what would make me happy: the chance to work with people passionate about the same topics I am – to find someone who thought of my passion not as a flaw, but as a strength.
So How Did You Skip College English?
During the summer before my senior year at Salem, I decided to take the freshman english courses at Virginia Western. By talking with school administrators, I discovered that I could use the community college credit as high school credit. Doing so meant that I opened up more space for classes during my last year at Salem, while simultaneously avoiding English at Virginia Tech, ever!
I was done! I won! I had won my senior year of high school =]
In fact, before the end of my first year at Virginia Tech, I had so much Dual Enrollment that I was technically a Junior! One thing was missing though: the desire to embrace college. I certainly had the ability, but I was more interested in traveling for Jamskating. I failed in college because I was never there – I certainly regret this now. I can’t believe I gave up being part of such a wonderful community, where intelligence is embraced. Ironic, right? That I sacrificed my education for jamskating. And yet, a decade later, that academic community is what I desperately need to be happy.
David Conner’s Life Goals as a Salem High School Junior:
(1) Find all the green items in Diablo 2.
#### (2) Become the best Jamskater in the country. #### (3) Learn to make video games. This is everything I thought I wanted my life to be at 17. #### (4) Get laid before I graduate. (oh, come on, I was 17, gimme a break) #### (5) And never, ever, under any circumstances, take an English class at Virginia Tech.
By the way, that’s me, on the Legend’s team in Skate Wars 2014. So, while I could have dreamt a little bigger and meditated on my life’s direction earlier on, I did actually achieve some of what I set out to do. That I might become a moderate success with Jamskating still surprises me, considering I didn’t exactly receive Life’s blessing with my talent and creativity. Instead, I found that, because of my support for drug legalization, most people – if they believed I had potential at all – worked diligently to redirect and counter my energy. They stifled my efforts and propped up my enemies. I lost many opportunities because of this – I was never truly sponsored and I was certainly not permitted to be a role model for children.
But it turns out that I am intelligent and creative enough that nothing could hold me back. I’m sure that sounds both self-aggrandizing and paranoid, but if you had my life and memories, you’d be a bit cynical too. I’m tired of being defined by other people. My reputation precedes me, always. And I get the feeling that it’s not a fair depiction of who I am. I have been robbed of the chance to make a first impression, when I actually pride myself on my ethics. It ain’t easy, bein’ famous – LOL
So, If I’m Tired of Being Defined By Other People, then Who Am I?
A quick warning: I’m about to get philosophical. I hope I don’t come off as being grandiose and unrealistic. I know I have a lot to learn, but this is what I use to drive myself to learn.
I’m an artist without a medium. A philosopher. In my spare time, I enjoy thinking critically. I like turning off the TV. Meditating. Reading. I believe the meaning of life is that there is no meaning. And therefore, the meaning of life is in our search to provide meaning, as meaningless as such a search would be. And to search for meaning, we must learn as much about the world as we possibly can.
And so, I love Coursera and Duolingo and all these apps that make learning easier. Because by learning as much about our world as I can, maybe I’ll come a bit closer to answering that question – what is the meaning of life? Over the next year or so, I hope to learn enough French and Japanese that I become conversational. Linguistics is fascinating in itself. I love mathematics and wish I knew as much as I would have learned at Virginia Tech.
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, find another room.”
I just wish that I could connect with more people like me. Because it’s a bit depressing to invest so much effort in learning, just to be shut down whenever you try to connect with someone. Shouldn’t our culture reward knowledge and the virtues that lead to it? What’s going to motivate me to keep going? It’s easy to be lazy.
Where is this Hyperdimensional Space Graffiti?
So, I was at a friend’s and felt the sudden inspiration to draw, but all we had were dry erase markers. I found myself struggling to draw the same thing over and over again, only to have the medium get in the way. As I started to fill in the space, I found the dry erase markers erasing pieces I had completed. I was incredibly frustrated, until I thought to use the medium’s inadequacies to my advantage.
And I know – this is terrible artwork =] That’s why I included the Japanese message in it: くそとですな！ But I actually did encode some mathematics in the artwork. Instead of simply having the 3D edges I envisioned at first, I applied hyperdimensional concepts to the edges. A bit hard to explain that, but now that I’ve pointed it out, I hope you see it. Or at least, I hope that you can see past the terrible dry erase medium lol.
By the way, I don’t actually like to frame art – even though I don’t think of this dry erase piece as a work of art. By framing, I mean setting what art means in the mind of someone else. Doing this limits the possibilities of what art could mean in this person’s mind and could possibly ruin a piece’s potential altogether. Art is so much more than what is on the canvas! The best art is universal, indescribable, ineffable, timeless. By attempting to define what it is, we often miss the mark and instead unintentionally limit what it could ever be.
Have you found Pacman yet?
I am one of the most creative people I know. One aspect of creativity that many people don’t understand is that limitations enhance creativity, so you should embrace them. Say you’re trying to create dance moves on rollerskates. You’re somewhat limited by the fact that you have to deal with rolling and the wheels on your feet. There are a lot of dance moves that just won’t work because of these limitations.
But having to work within these limitations actually facilitates creativity. Some of the limitations force you to narrow your focus onto what actually makes that form of art different. Other limitations don’t actually hold you back at all. Instead, they are opportunities for being more creative. For example, using the edge of the wheels in jamskating opens up possibilities for thousands of new moves. So, instead of just dancing on rollerskates, it is something different altogether.
Topics I’d Love to Write About.
I wish I had time to write about all these ideas. I would have written a lot more in the past two months, but I’ve been off adderal and, for whatever reason, my brain just can’t seem to figure out that it needs a lot more dopamine to get anything done. I’ve been on the drug for 10 years – I’d rather not be on it – but it’s really hard for me to focus for long periods of time without it.
It’s hard to stay focused on blogging. It’s challenging to produce high-quality articles on topics like this – if I had to grade my own blogs on this site, nothing would get over a 5 out of 10. Additionally, many of these topics could earn people a PHD – so if I wrote about them, who would listen? This isn’t everything, by the way. I’m holding a lot back.
It’s really hard for me to stay motivated to write on these topics, but I believe they are all worth exploring. Some of these are the titles of articles, so it’s difficult to understand what they mean.
- Intro to Category Theory for the layman.
- Automated construction of literature using tropes, scenarios, themes and other tools, permuted and functionally combined with category theory.
- Transformations of information to/from various languages. What information is preserved between all languages?
- Modeling social behavior using category theory (part 2)
- Mathematic definition of creativity.
- Teaching category theory and math using graffiti! “That’s a dope natural transformation, yo! I really like how you did them functors.”
- Bytecode inspection for vulnerabilities. (I’m pretty sure this is basically antivirus software)
- Bytecode inspection for performance enhancement. Identifying algorithms which could instead be GPU accelerated.
- How to Visualize a Hyperdimensional Grid
- Markup language to transform webapps to xml, renderable to a native app, preserving all functionality. Probably not very effective or practical, but interesting to see if it’s possible.
- Why purely computer-generated cel-shaded animation is inferior.
- My opinions on US voice acting.
- Learning Japanese. How to learn languages faster.
- Why the Chinese writing system is superior. Why & how it can be applied to other languages.
- Phonetics of various alphabets: latin, sanskrit, hiragana, etc.
- Sneaking backstage at a Pretty Lights concert
- That time I cornered the market on a currency supply in high school
- Climate change, drought and famine.
- New theory of gravity and dark matter. One that is completely uneducated, by the way lol.
- The “other” problem of evil
- The finite nature of the metaphysical
- Why astrology and numerology aren’t complete BS
- How to fall in love
- Quantum Fate
- Centralizing and utilizing educational resources to accelerate K12 education, while maintaining the ability to experiment
- Removing math as a separate subject and teaching math through application
- How students learn math through the arts (applied category theory) and why the arts make our children much smarter and happier – AND better at STEM!
- DNA is a probability based program.
- The paradigm shift of epigenetics: why your genes are not your fate.
- How your body sets it’s patterns of gene expressions during youth.
- How bad diet and certain chemicals disrupt your body’s patterns of gene expression.
- User Interface ideas for Augmented Reality
- Why AI is going to come a lot faster than we realize (~2020)
- Application of ideas from Machine Learning & AI to psychology, learning, etc.
- Why the Chemical Imbalance theory is [mostly] bullshit. And how it can be scientifically shown using epigenetics that prescription medications exacerbate most chemical imbalances and create new ones.
- Novel forms of therapy for people who have problems in social settings.
- Why technology is going to cause more and more cultural/social problems. Why & how we should be prepared to adapt to these changes.
- How it might feel to be terminally ill
- The sexual side effects of prescription medications and their downstream effects on sexuality in society.
- Tactics for avoiding surveillance
- Why surveillance is worse in virtual reality
- What people don’t understand about machine learning
- Censorship on facebook
- Why communism is it’s own antithesis
- How & why I boycotted oil for over two years
- Why the Norwegian crusade was a badass medieval road trip
Still Wondering If I’m Creative Enough?
Over the years, there have been many people who have “framed” me, just as someone might frame a piece of art. Over and over, I have found myself limited by the beliefs of others – beliefs that were intentionally spread via gossip/misunderstanding/etc. For example – there seem to be a lot of people who think I’m just schizophrenic or something.
My life is definitely improving. There’s a lot of people who are helping me out. And there is much I could’ve done to improve the situation earlier. However, it’s a bit harder to stay motivated when I struggle with depression and have no money. If I can just keep my internal feelings separated and protected from the world around me, I’ll be fine. I just have to work hard, with no immediate reward. To love what I’d prefer to do without. To appreciate positive criticism, while ignoring that which will only keep me down.
Here’s A Piano Improv Session
Because I wish I could verbally express myself as effortlessly as I can on piano.