Must I Be Honest Worker?

 

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This post is retrospective of two events.

One event is when, while meeting with a very sincere person, I had difficulty grasping for the compassion I most often wish I had (not my usual display of thoughtfulness and patience). I then had an unpleasant experience with a customer: She was angry that I off-handedly refused the title “computer expert.”

I suppose this gesture was translated as an insult because in a capitalist society, I should be an expert in fixing computers (if I were not, why else call me to fix a computer). But I am not an expert. I don’t know all the answers without Google, and I felt compelled to admit that.

If I am not an expert, am I being honest to my customers? Am I an honest worker?

Of course I’m not being honest. It’s a game.

Linked-In authors constantly write off: “Do what you need to do. Do not pursue your passion.” So here I am, fixing computers and coding in python — because I want to buy my own land, because I want to escape this bubble, because I believe this will get me somewhere out-of-here. But mostly it’s because I was told so

And I feel like this is enough. I don’t believe I should be an IT specialist though I often “go the distance.” It’s more-so my integrity that pushes me that mile, but when I’m rewarded with a dirty word such as “expert,” I feel cheated of myself and my compromise to do something I do not want to do for some immediate payment and self-sustainment.

This compromise is pragmatic. I want a certain lifestyle, so I adjust my current condition to reform myself for this future of deliberate lifestyle. But this isn’t sincerity, and whenever I say it is (knowingly that I lie), I feel as if my soul has become a tool for fixing computers, not a human soul at all.

If I were sincere, I would say, “I’m a person who hopes to have meaningful conversations with strangers. I hope to build things with people.” But if I were to say that, I would anticipate others to say, “What a jerk.” Or something like: “Get a job.” Someone might make a Portlandia joke.

Insincerity then is a blanket. But it’s as wise as pushing people off the street with a 30 foot pole. Though it would be an excellent way of getting from point A to point B without needing to confront anyone, in the long run, it damages my relationships and puts me in a situation of constant anxiety. What if I forget to bring my 30 foot pole? What if someone figures out how to push it out of my hands?

I’ve then found that I must be more sincere in my work if I am to improve my personal relationships and my spiritual well-fare. As informed by my lack of spiritual connection with non-professional interactions, I cannot live a divided life. I must either be a slave to my insincerity or be a slave to my sincerity

I pray the Holy Spirit continues to improve my life and encourage me to make better decisions in my life and gives me the patience to constantly and often challenge myself to love my neighbors and myself. Amen.

How Leading (but not playing with) an Online Video Game Club Taught Me Lessons about Leadership and Service and Happiness

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If you ask my wife what it means to learn and to be successful, she’ll say it is to have fun. Have fun and play like you mean it. I had always thought this was a silly motto until last week when I learned a lesson in leadership from a video game forum.

On a well-established video game forum, I began discussing a game called Guild Wars. The game requires cooperation to achieve certain goals. These goals were established in a series of “missions” that finished a “campaign.” Each mission was like a chapter to a book — or, in other words, the campaign.

This is fun because in order to accomplish anything you need people who know how to heal you and position themselves in a way to survive a powerful monster. Each mission is a tactical puzzle that has a high fail rate. One of the most popular sayings in the game was: “plz rez me.” This translates into: “Please revive me [I died].” The community is the core element to this game; however, the game was released in 2005. So the community had gone off to newer, flashier games (not necessarily “better” games though that is something left to philosophers to decide).

Thus there came a clear and present need for a revival of sorts (at least before the game goes offline). This was my first lesson in leadership. Without a clear and present need, there is no need to lead. In the past, I found it very difficult to get dedicated followers for newspapers, reading clubs, and math study groups. I had to learn a few things first such as, most people don’t like those things.

Though a person may say he can lead a certain group, a true leader doesn’t elect him or herself. A true leader is chosen, and if someone steps up and fails, then people choose not to follow that person. In this I have an example: There was another group that intended the same result as mine. They wanted more people to play the game. Within two months, they raised 13 members. I raised 40+ members within 3 days.

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This is all I did: I invited everyone who had posted in the forums to join my group. I set up a date when we’d start playing. I welcomed all critique and feedback and promoted a member who wanted to start “teams” of groups and set out to have them play right-away instead of waiting for everyone else.

Within days, we had a newly elected moderator and a few team leaders who were actively playing the game before I even opened up the game client. I was amazed and slightly embarrassed. I didn’t have time to play with anyone, yet the club flourished. I was actually one of the least active members in the club, yet I retained respect from all members (including those who led the group in-game), I updated the announcements, kept in touch with volunteer leaders, and I planned events all while moving and going out on many dates with my wife and generally enjoying my real life.

In the end, I wasn’t able to play Guild Wars. Yet I’m still the acting leader and am updating things. No one seems to miss me in-game, and the events seem successful enough to generate continued interest. People love playing something they played years ago. It makes me happy to facilitate that. It makes me happy to serve those who simply want a good time, and it’s easy to do that.

And I suppose that’s the most important lesson. I can lead things. But it might take some planning in advance. Next time I try to invite people to a philosophy reading club, I will focus on the group and not myself. I will listen to their feedback and try to accommodate without losing sight of the main goal: to have intelligent discussions that edify.

Are you living near me? IF YES GO TO MENTORING PROGRAM

void residingWisconsin() {
    if (isResiding){ 
        attendProgram;
    }
}

What is this mentoring program, you ask? It’s the mentoring program for budding programmers or those who simply want to do stuff in town. So if you live near me (and you know if you do), then please take a gander at this particular program. All meetings will be at my house. So I’ll make sure it’s all fun and fresh. And also, this is a chance to follow your dreams.

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Mentoring Program 2014-15

Proposed, March 2014

Goals:

  • Be a lasting resource to the Student Game Developers.

  • Understand the concepts of program design, development, and security.

  • Pick a language to excel with and share your knowledge.

  • Mentor a junior programmer, particularly in your language specialty.

  • Be a lead programmer in projects.

  • Create awareness of issues in Computer Science and game design.

  • Create open-source programs.

Requirements:

  • Attend summer meetings.

  • Uphold a position on the mentor assembly.

    • (President, Secretary, Robert Rules Expert, Email Admin, Book-holder)

    • (If more mentors are available, mentors may share responsibilities (via “Junior” or “Senior”))

  • Read open-source book: Think Python How to Think Like a Computer Scientist

  • Subscribe to emailing list or forum (determined at the beginning of the summer)

  • Either

    • Choose software in graphic design to master:

      • Blender

      • etc.

    • Pick a language to excel in. We are in need of:

      • Java

      • etc.

How to Specialize in Languages:

  • Read handbook(s) during summer meetings and report progress.

  • Provide source code of exercises done.

  • Provide tutorials and lectures for teams and general group.

  • Failure to meet these requirements may lead to expulsion.

Adopt a Sloth Project: Compiling Success, Amelia Joins the Team

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It’s week two, and Ben and I have worked on the building for Haxe. Soon to come will be a tutorial on how to get Haxe to run on your favorite Linux machine. As of now, Ben and I are working on compiling, talking about future plans, languages, and working with new builds. Right now we’re researching quite a bit. So don’t be surprised if you see some random tutorials. But besides that, Amelia joined the team last week and is working on a better background for the project. She has designed an alpha version of what she plans to do.

1966846_10153915536245294_2084640161_nWe know now that the resolution for the app is 480×320. This was considered “ideal” by our lead designer Ben (photo at top). The background of the main overworld (where your sloth will be selectable and interacting with other sloths) will be displayed here. In this area you will also be able to move your sloth, go to the sanctuary, and as other game modes are added, newer things will be available here too.

Adopt a Sloth Project: “TeamSloth”

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A good friend of mine Ben and I are developing a really neat game called “Adopt a Sloth.” Players will be able to take care of an adoptable sloth in a virtual sloth sanctuary. Every sloth is customized via a randomized algorithm that is inspired by real DNA theory. I’m not going to give away too many secrets, but every sloth should be remarkably different from each other, making each sloth you adopt totally different from anyone else’s. With adoption another main feature will be your sloth’s stats that indicates its hunger, thirst, sleep, “speed,” and beauty. You can increase these stats through breeding and mini-games, which will be implemented in later releases of the game. Your sloth will also grow as time passes. While it grows, more customization options should become available. In the first release, you should be able to adopt your sloth, name it, feed it, and watch it grow into an adult sloth. More features such as adopting your friends (as sloths), sloth boots, RPG elements, various income methods, and mini-games are also in the making but probably won’t be available until the next installment of the published game. More information about the games development will be posted here, so please check back with us later in the year for download information, screen shots, and other goodies.

Don’t Attend Shimer College

Read this at my new blog.
Go here.

If you’re thinking about Shimer College, then reconsider. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t attend Shimer College.

1. Shimer College provides a “liberal education” but isn’t in itself “liberal.”

Though we like to create boxes, Shimer doesn’t fit in one. And it is most likely for people to call it a “liberal” school without knowing much about it. Despite being a school that infamously calls itself “dangerously optimistic,” it is not making a political statement but rather an educational goal — creating a society of rational thinkers. Perhaps the politics lie on the hope that people who go through the Shimer curriculum will have the rationale not to misuse it or abuse their education at the expense of society.

2. Shimer College is a terrible place to get a technical degree.

Want to leave Shimer with some immediately employable skills? Perhaps you’re going to have to highlight “communication skills” and “Microsoft Office” on your resume. At Shimer students aren’t given expendable skills but improved facilities. Those who graduate Shimer should not fear needing to ever go back to school simply because Shimer gives students the skills to teach themselves how to do things. The world isn’t made intentionally difficult. New technology follows patterns, and Shimer will teach you how to sort out those patterns.

3. Shimer College is self-sufficient and self-governed, so you get a say in what happens to the school.

Talk about annoying. Who wants to have opinions when it comes to the administration of your school? Who wants to serve on committee boards, attend bi-semester meetings, and assemble with faculty and students and staff to discuss a common interest and goal? Pfh, not me. I’d rather sit back and let the donors figure out my education. Heck if I know anything. All I want to do is get my degree.

4. Shimer College makes you very, very excited to learn new things.

Imagine waking up and wanting to read 40 pages on logic. Who got time for that? Not me. I enjoy the pleasure of the passing moments and never quite understanding why they pass or how things work or why certain people think I’m a certain way due to their social constructions on my ultimate reality. Wait, what did I say? I think I need to recover from reading so much.

5. Shimer College will give you inspiration to reach out to your community, no matter where you are, to volunteer and to serve as a human being under your own convictions.

Some people like to accept others under the assumption that they don’t know everything, and so who are they to judge? These people are stupid because we all know there is a solid right and a solid left. Depending on what family you are born into, you’re either a Democrat or a Republican, and there’s no straying. You’re either a whatever or what. There’s no other path! There’s only right or left — wrong or right — black or white.

((And we all know how ridiculous that is.))

Rage Quit: What Is Data — Why Compute It?

Located here:

Located here: Brain Box

The function of a computer is to store input data and process it for an output, which we call information. Input data itself is usually unrecognizable to the user, and so the job of the computer is to process this data (creates understandable information such as graphs and charts — used mostly for the “end user” or yourself) or compile it into basic language (used to create unreadable files that can be stored or read by the machine itself — used mostly in programming).

Then what is “data“? There’s more than one type of data. You have data, and then you have raw data. Raw data can be understood as anything unprocessed — so the results of a computerized test that hasn’t been collected and sorted would be raw data. Field data would be data you can observe in the wild environment but need to record. Experimental data is probably the data you’re most used to from science class. It is testable and measurable because that is how it is designed. Data can then be broken into a few groups, but the two biggest groups seem to be entities and their values. In this article, I’m going to focus on entity-relationship models. In this particular model, an entity isn’t something an English major may identify as a concrete noun, though that’s something we’d love to do. An entity is something that is opposed to a value of an entity (which makes

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This is why we rage quit.

data structuring a pain sometimes). “Philosophy” is an entity, but if it is a “philosophical” “philosophy,” “philosophical” is the attribute of that which is “philosophy” like as to what Aristotle says: an entity is a thing that is in the state of being. Yet not in the literal sense. An entity can be many things, which is both in the abstract and concrete and even an event in time. The difference resides in the structural difference of the model. An entity is that which is not used to describe another entity.

In this model, we see that a Creep is an entity with the attributes: CreepName, HitPoints, Mana, and Attack. It holds two branching relationships: RanInto and IsType. RanInto is connected to Character. This identifies the event when a character runs into Creep. Character also has many attributes that are unique to itself. Character then is connected to Account, which has different attributes specific to an Account and not Character or Creep.

Further reading:
The Entity Relationship Model: Toward a Unified View of Data — Dr. Peter Pin-Shan Chen

Relational Algebra