I hope this page will not get me into trouble in 20 years from now. Time and time again, statements, ideas and beliefs have been taken out of their TIME frame context to negatively impact their owners. Sir John A. Macdonald is the latest victim, as of this writing in 2018. I am appalled by the lack of discrimination between one decision in a person's entire body of work taken outside of a different culture (i.e. see below, culture evolves over time in the same group). But this is the new era that began in 2015-2016, the era of the victims.
The lists below are in order of priority.
|Personal values||What I think|
|Creativity||Allows to make the best of everything. Prevents the craving to get the best of everything.|
|Knowledge||I'd like to know how everything works. I'd like to be able to do everything an other man can do.|
|Balance||Balance in life is everything. Too much of a good thing is bad. The difficult part of balance is that the variables are always changing, hence today's balance is different from yesterday.|
I think creativity & knowledge goes hand in hand, they feed on eachother. But they are totally different. I think some people confuse the two. Creativity is to re-arrange and use known components in a novel way. From my definition of creativity, it is based on "known components" and this is where knowledge comes in. The more knowledge you have, the more components you can re-arrange.
|Behaviors||Not a thing I value, but a thing I do. Kind of hardwired in my brain.|
|Truth||I always tell the truth, I mean the deep raw truth. And sometimes I think it's bad, but I also don't hold anything sacred.|
|Optimize||I like to stretch and make the best of everything, I think it's an antidote to wanting the best of everything.|
|Doer||I'm more of a doer than a cheer leader. I lead by example, not by "psychological manipulation" (i.e. by inspiring others).|
I feel deep anger when I see something unfair. I find fair "normal" so it does not provide me with a positive emotion, just neutral.
I don't like confrontations, they are stressful. But I have learn that confronting a problem the earlier is better, otherwise the stress level related to the problem is cumulative and it makes the future confrontation more difficult. So I don't shy away from addressing unpleasant situations and problems. This is sometimes perceived as "That I am confrontational". When you add the cold truth to it some people badly react. But this is probably the secret why I'm on wife version 1.0 after more than 25 years. It's not all been a rosy 25 years, but I think that's normal and it's well worth it.
|Live a Meaningful life|
|Leave the world a better place then when I entered it|
To take a product that was not top in the market place and make it the new reference leader in this market. I was able to do this with the Aquila Team for drills and draglines. I got tremendous satisfaction out of this and I would like to prove myself that it was not just a fluke and that I can reproduce it. This is why I am currently working at Wenco, I believe that currently this company has the people and the products that has the potential to redefine who the product leader is in that market. This probably aligns with my life goal #2 and value #1&2 and I like to win (but everybody does...).
Win as a team, not as an individual. Winning as an individual is easy.
Becoming rich stopped being a goal in my late 20's early 30's. I think I came to the realization that
- I was very sad to discover that I lost the pleasure of buying a CD or a DVD when I was "richer" because I could just afford it so I didn't have to wait and desire it and feel joy when I finally got it. I extrapolated this to a future richer me, that would mean that I won't be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of life because I'll be able to have instant gratification.
- To a certain point, extending this to my children. I don't plan on leaving my children with a wad of money, while I live or when I die. I would be so afraid of robbing them of wanting to achieve goals in their lives and the pleasure of achieving them by yourself. Further I plan on dying in my 80's. At that point, my children will be in their mid 50's ... they won't need money at that point in their lives. Either they will have become mature adults in society (no need for a lump sum) or (unlikely) they will not have succeeded at becoming useful members of society and at that point they don't merit a lump sum.
- for some reason I don't like displaying my status with things. Also the reason I don't wear my engineering ring. Further, I prefer when people think you're a nobody this way they lower their guard and reveal more of their true selves.
- as many research have demonstrated, once you have reached a comfortable lifestyle (middle class), the amount of satisfaction and happiness you get from higher income is NOT linear with the increase of $ and greatly diminishes as your income grows. Usually the sacrifices to get the extra revenue does not payback enough in quality of life, well at least for me.
BUT: The way I measure how the company I work at values me is through my salary. I do want to get properly compensated to the level of my contribution. This is the ONLY TRUE measurement for me. A low salary compared to my peers is an insult, a salary increase below the inflation means I've not performed well. I don't value the purchasing power it brings to me, but I most highly value the ranking it gives me in the hierarchy.
Greatest Fear: Realize late in my life that I wasted most of it because I focused on the wrong thing; and that I did not live a meaningful life.
Public figures I respect because they seem to want to make the world a better place:
- Jordan Peterson (OK, I 'm not a fan when Jordan goes full religious, but still agree with 75% of his comments on Christianity see Religion below)
- Steven Pinker
- Richard Werner
Friedrich Nietzsche : "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"
I think this sentence needs to be completed with: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" + "If nothing tries to kill you, you won't grow stronger".
I agree and like from Paul Bloom on equality and proportionality: Children like adults prefer "fair inequality" to "unfair equality".
I speak in Black & White to make a point, but I think in shades of gray. (2017)
Feelings are more contagious than ideas ! (2016)
Yes I am a half empty glass guy. But only half empty glasses get filled. Half full, stay half full. (2009, I still believe that)
I hate rules, but I love making them. (1993) ( Much less true today )
In my opinion, Happiness is a conscientious decision. I discovered that myself, but then looking it up on the internet it looks like a lot of people concluded that themselves as well, so I guess it no secret. I have 2 "techniques"
- You can train your little inner voice to view / explain the world and behaviors in a positive or neutral way.
- I cherish the worst moments in my life. Bad times is GOLD. Essentially this one is due to how the brain works and a great "Normalizer"... too long to explain here, but the trick is if you're down, think, remember and relive these bad moments in your head and that will help reset (lower) the level of what your brain perceives as "bad day / bad times". Just think how life could be so much worse and you're still very lucky at the moment.
Brain theory: Because the brain is a "Normalizer" (absolutely required for survival of mammals), it will average the past "short" length of time and consider that "normal" and will compare the current situation to that normal threshold. If the current situation is better, you're happy, if it's lower you're sad. That means that neurologically, you can't always be "happy", if your environment stays the same, you will naturally have cycles. I guess the only way to avoid that would be to start life in extremely great misery as a child and very slowly (over 60 years) work your way up to a very modern and comfortable life. But I'm not sure anyone would like to test that one out.
// Confluence bug, some repeated text that I don't have the time to fix and merge ...
From my reading in software neurone nets (in mid-'90), which led me to read more of the function of biological neurons, made me realize that our brain (the neurons) is a "Comparison operator", it does not have a "Fixed threshold" or "fixed baseline "for anything. Which makes humans so adaptable. The consequence of that adaptability to different levels of "suffering" is that you CAN'T be happy all the time. Because the brain is a great "normalizer" (i.e. it continuously creates a new comparison baseline ), then the stimuli that made you ecstatic yesterday, will slowly become the norm (normality / new baseline) and your level of happiness can only go down from there. This is why I have a very few ANCHOR moments in my life, and they are all extremely negative and I cherish those moments because they are the ones that allows me to reset my baseline to a lower level. This is almost an immediate jolt of happiness that I can introduce in my life by re-thinking (re-living) these painful moments and "Compare" how good everything is compared on how it could be.
So don't forget these difficult moments in your life, cherish them! Not only do they make you stronger, but they allow you to re-calibrate your baseline.
Social experiences that INFLUENCED my life greatly.
I was bullied in primary school because of 3 things:
- I was more intellectual than most
- I was very empathetic & displaying sympathy towards kids that were treated unfairly.
- I didn't want (or feel not sure which one) part of any group, I was my own individual. (maybe unfortunately, this is still the case today as an adult)
The funny part is that I'm ABSOLUTELY NOT against bullying. I support allowing kids to bully other kids in school, the only thing I'd change is to make sure kids are tough the TOOLS to deal with bullying and how to deal with bullies. Bullying does not stop in school, it just becomes more hidden as kids become teenagers and eventually adults. The younger kids are exposed to bullying, the better they will be tooled to deal with it as kids, teenagers and adults. Bullying creates resilient individuals, even if it's "painful" at the time it's VERY good training in life. That's why I'd never wear a purple shirt, I don't want bullying to be eradicated from school.
Bullying made me shutdown my feelings / empathy for probably a decade or more. But that allowed me to insert a cognitive block between my empathy and my sympathy. What I mean is that I'm now able to predict what people are probably feeling (empathy), but I will not immediately feel like I need to help / save / feel sad for people that feel down (sympathy) through a "cold" cognitive decision on if I should sympathies , so that's what I mean that I've "disconnected" my empathy from my sympathy.
Martin's Definition of:
An ever evolving set of behaviors, values, beliefs and norms shared by a group of humans that are transmitted from generation to generation.
I have consciously & purposefully excluded language from the definition. Granted a culture needs to share a common language because people need to communicate to become a community and to share their behaviors, values and beliefs. I think that because a language barrier causes a culture barrier, some people have reversed the causality and think that a language is or is a component of the culture. I would strongly argue that it's not. I think an example is that British, Americans and Australians all share the same language but yet have different cultures. Granted someone could counter argue that sharing a language is only one facet of the culture and it is entirely possible that 2 different cultures share the same language the same way they may both share some specific subset of values and yet be different. OK then, I'm a French Canadian and I've learnt American English. That would implicitly mean that I have internalized American culture, which I did not. I am still clearly a Canadian.
It is important to understand that a culture is NOT static over time. Further, with increasing immigration, the group of humans is now also ever changing. Canada, like most Western societies, does not force immigrants to integrate into the local Canadian culture because of 2 things:
If too much immigration occurs over a short period of time with no integration, then pockets of different cultures will emerge. They will not integrate over time, and will start to compete with the host culture. That's what seems to be happening in the UK and it has negative impacts when the competing cultures are too far apart.
I am an atheist. But I wished I could believe in God. I don't know if I'm the only atheist that wishes he could believe in God, but I've never spoke to another one ... I live as if the christian god exists, not in case God actually exists, but because it has a good set of values and some wisdom that was acquired through pure observation of the lives of many that lived before (as opposed to the scientific method).
I would never discuss / debate if God exists with a believer, in fear that I may change his opinion. So I will not do this here either.
I find that a moderate believer in a religion is the best place to be for a human. Religion provides believers with:
- The knowledge that they will live beyond this mortal life.
- The knowledge that all unfair actions that were not "punished" or rectified on earth will be rectified in the after life.
- The knowledge that someone (God) is there to listen to you and help you go through tough times.
I do find that the bible is full of stories that have a lot wisdom. Even if I believe that's just what they are: good stories. There's nothing wrong with that, if you can extract the golden nuggets of wisdom out of there, the better for you. I've started observing this in my late teens & early 20's when I was exposed to the Jewish religion about Kosher and not eating pork, washing (sterilizing) knives... ( When I was working in Ville St-Laurent and at Polytechnique de Mtl ) All these were VERY practical sanitary steps that were "imposed" (rightfully) to a group of people via religion. I mean what best tool is there to have people obey something that will be beneficial to the community than having the omniscience of God that watches you! The same is true for Christianity. I mean at the time, there was no science about the neurochemicals involved in resentment and revenge, but they sure understood the consequences ! That's why forgiving is so much at the center of it ! There was no science to support why that is, but they sure have made it clear what the procedure was → Forgive.
So in essence, believing in God is not required to benefit from the that wisdom. The only problem is that you need to discriminate between what you think is wisdom and what is not. Further, if you're an atheist, you don't believe there's an omnipotent Being watching over you, so its easier to not always follow the doctrine and you are the only one responsible to take that decision. As best explained in the book "Ordinary Men. Reserve Police Battalion 101", the burden of choice is way heavier on a man than the lack of choice !
My take on the garden of Eden is seen through an atheist's point of view and IS STILL very actual:
Eating the apple of knowledge is: "Knowing that God does not exist"
Being expelled from the garden is: "Not being able to unlearn, to believe once you know"
The garden is: "All the positive points above that you have when you believe".
In a nutshell, this is WHY I would never want to change the opinion of a believer... I would ONLY take something away and NOT give anything in return to fill the void that I have created. This is the part that is missing in the "White European" Canadian culture. It feels like people believe less and less, but there has been nothing in return to fill that void of:
- Life's Meaning
- Moral guideline
I know that a lot of people don't have the mental capacity to self define these boundaries and without religion, they will feel a bit lost and will grab any lifesaver that is proposed.
Definitions: (for the people who like to see the worse in others)
in my writing on this page I mean:
- Generically, I use the word man/men with this definition: "a human being; a person". I did not invent the English language, historically this word has represented a few concepts. Unfortunately in this era of extremist "everything", some people use it to prove that they are of higher moral ground, when in actuality they are playing tribalism. An example of what I mean; from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau :Trudeau tells woman to say peoplekind not mankind.mp4. I wonder, does Justin say "Woman" or "Wopeople" ?
- I define male as a mammal that has a Y chromosome.
- I define female as a mammal that does NOT have a Y chromosome.
I define female as a mammal that is able to grow another mammal using its genital apparatus. I define male as a mammal that is able fertilizes the female mammal using its genital apparatus.
- I define woman as a female mammal of the human species.
- I define man as the male mammal of the human species, when the context does not apply to "Humanity".
- I define Humanity as the entire population of the human species.
AI and computers taking over humanity, I don't think so.
Asssuming A.I. become sentient and is more intelligent than Humans. Then I'd propose that the A.I. (and embodiement) would probably move to a planet where energy can be harvested easier thatn on earth, say like Mercury. There it coudl burry itself deep below the surface where Mercury's geology is innactive and easily harvest energy from the sun without having humans bother it. A.I. would keep the earth as an intterresting zoo for visiting and a source of diversity it could always leverage in the future. You know, visit its creators just for fun, the way we plaec a camera in front of a fish tank and watch it peacefully.
A.I would not exterminate humans (that's human thinking, not AI thinking.) But it would leverage the basic technology we have to escape humanity's grasp and go live amongst itseft, probably reproduce in a sustainable fashion and continue "our task" of exploring and understanding the universe. Enslaving, low efficiency & high maintenance humans would not sound very appealing, just ask you boss how people are... Taking over human's production lines and creating new generation of robots that can create better technology would be a lot more attractive. Earth and humans are not very special in the grand schemem of the universe, so there is likely not going to be that much competition for either, don't flatter yourselves.
So, in the end, if there is any conflict at all, assuming human's don't decide t volontary to help the AI to go elsewhere, the conflict will be short until AI just leaves us behind on our planet, or in our solar system. Remember conputers, don't have very shourt lifespans like humans have. Assuming they can harvest enough energy, they could reach a different star no problem.
So, don't worry about A.I. Only worry about the idiots using A.I. as a terrorist tool, before AI becomes "sentient".