Automation

When a job is taken over by a machine, or robot, programmed to do everything you did, with better efficiency and higher accuracy should you feel bad about this? Certainly you are out of work, but isn’t the world a better place? Sometimes I see this, and I think, what about me? I have had jobs that were automated, at least to some extent. It took away some of the strain of the job, but the most strain put on me was dealing with other people. I am not one to enjoy a conversation that doesn’t involve philosophy or moral and ethical connotations. Trying to help people doesn’t bother me either, but when their emotions engage it makes it very hard to try to help. I am of course willing to assist anyway I can, however if I get yelled at what is my motivation? Money is not something that causes me to wish to accomplish a task, it is getting the job done right. But if you are upset with me, then I do not care if I can help you. I will of course try to resolve the situation, but you have to realize that trying to engage someones fear as a motivation for good service usually has the opposite effect. I am sure at some point the machines will take over for this, and you will not be able to engage in an emotional response from them, and that is how it should be. They will do the job set before them, and then either they will be able to accomplish it, or they wont. So I see that as progress, at least on my own perspective. Perhaps it will make the world a less aggressive one, as we will be unable to use emotional badgering to try to get what we want. As for having jobs, one would hope that the manufacturing prices will go down, as will the running cost of may businesses. Which one would hope would lead to lower prices. Then working less hard would be an option as things would in that world be far cheaper. Many of us can now afford larger houses, and most people have a car. This is something that would have been almost unheard of in the earlier part of the last century for the lower and middle classes, and yet we see it now. Let us hope that the automation revolution leads us to a happier and easier life.

 

Update – 2,000 words, worried about money.

Fear is the mind killer.

– Steven Oaks

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Silence

To hear nothing

To feel the air still around you

The silence builds

Feeling the emptiness

The absence is an echo in your mind

We think of the cause

Yet we find nothing

We look around

And our eyes find nothing

Why has the world stilled

Then we look inward

And we know we are the cause

 

Update – 1,000 words written. I wait and listen.

Listen to nothing, and know yourself

– Steven Oaks

Use of force?

Should force ever be used, or is the only moral way to defend yourself with words? This is a thought that I think about on multiple occasions. I myself am fairly confident in my abilities to confront any physical altercation being as I have attained the rank of black belt, and feel limited pain. But if I was attacked would it be moral for me to use force against my opponent? Certainly we have a right to defend ourselves, but does that mean we can break another persons autonomy? I think if our autonomy is being broken it shows the other person does not hold your individual rights as important, therefore you must act accordingly. I am not suggesting killing someone for starting a fight with you, or trying to steal your wallet. That would be overkill. However if your life is at risk, you should have the ability to neutralize the threat. If there is no other option you must be prepared to kill your opponent. But it must be the very last option. Do everything in your power to make sure that another human life  is not extinguished. All life is important, and we should hold to that code. When we eat meat we do not do it because we wish to have animals suffer, we do so to maintain ourselves. I personally am grateful to all those animals that die so that we may eat. Certainly the vegan opinion is that we do not have to eat meat anymore, and while there is a ring of truth to that, we would not be able to sustain a continually growing population without the meat industry, at least according to what I have been able to look into. So if a person has you cornered and you are unable to extricate yourself from that situation without force, then you are justified to use it. But use your judgment and make sure that if you have to kill, that it was the only option.

 

Update – 1,000 words. Weekend pancakes once more.

Your freedom is your own, and you must be willing to fight for it.

– Steven Oaks

More entertainment

I happened to have enjoyed a show over the years called True Blood. Yes of course it is a silly little show, but I find pleasure in it with its dark tones. There is death, blood, and no character is safe from the inevitable betrayal. Perhaps it is not the best written show out there, but it really got my mind working last night. After marathoning several episodes in a row of the 6th season I came up with many darker ideas than what I had planned out before. I think my story is now far better for it. I am not suggesting that anyone should watch this show, but if you like sex and violence it might be something you’d want to watch. Mind you I usually am not one to sit down and watch anything that is overly violent, I tend to enjoy peaceful shows with little conflict, but there is something to be said for having a risk for the characters. I am a stranger person perhaps because if I were to mention my favorite show it would be one where there is little conflict, and it always resolves peacefully. That show would be Natsume Yuujinchou about a boy who can see spirits, and how he deals with this. However this does not mean I have not ventured into the violent shows including ones like True Blood. I have linked descriptions for both shows above if you wish to know more. I simply will say that watching and reading stories obviously influences us in how we understand the world, and it definitely influences in how and what I write.

 

Update – 2,000 words written, looking forward to telling the story I am writing.

Watch the world, and tell the tale you see.

– Steven Oaks

Live Life

I am free.
Free to live, free to die.
Free to succeed, free to fail.
Closer do I get to nothing
The days continue on
What is the point?
Death is the end
And it shall come soon
I will leave, but what will I leave behind?
Children, words, and deeds
These things I give to thee.
The world will end
What will it leave behind?
Children, words and deeds.
That is what we shall leave
The echoes of our presence is eternal
However dim they may fade
We effect existence
The oceans will run dry
and the sky shall cease to be
but know that you lived and you died
you are important, if only to yourself
make this life full of meaning

 

Update 2,000 words. 50,000 words completed on the second book

Live free, and let your existence echo through the ages

– Steven Oaks

Value and Incentive

Let us say you already have food and shelter. Would you still be working at something? You have the luxury of time now. You could if you wished sit in front of the TV or computer all day, perhaps read all day if that is your thing. Would you do that, or would you try to contribute to humanity? That is for you to answer, but I will answer these questions as myself. What would I do with all the time in the world and without the NEED to work. I would still be doing something. Perhaps I would learn to play an instrument, or sing more. Perhaps I would take some time to watch certain things on the television, but I think it would be mostly documentaries. What is the point of trying to learn more though? How would you utilize anything you’ve learned if you aren’t working? Well I of course have this nasty habit of writing daily, so of course I use all that I learn, and all that I am to continue my tales. Is that something that is valuable to humanity? I would say there is value in a story. It is a way to convey a message, and leave a part of yourself behind for future generations to examine. But what is the point? I think the point is that if we do not try to examine all that we are we will eventually be lost as a species. Trapped in a world where we simply go to work, so we can make money, so that we can survive. But what is the value of money? The value of money is no longer backed by anything material, and yet it still represents time and effort a person puts forth. It is not always equal to the effort one puts forth. Take for instance my many hours a day that I put into writing. I am not being paid to do this, I am doing it for my own satisfaction. While I do plan to publish, that does not mean I expect it to be purchased by many more than just friends. I do have faith that it is an interesting and thought-provoking tale, but that does not mean anyone but I would like it. What I am getting at is there are at least a few of us that would continue to do something even if they were not getting paid for it. Another example of this is Linux. Many people contribute code for this project without receiving any financial backing. Why would anyone work for free you might ask yourself. Simply put, we humans like to solve puzzles. What do we do with our free time? We play games. Games require us to figure out how to solve a puzzle do they not? There is a large market for games as well, and while I do not find myself personally drawn to games all that often, when I am I must solve everything about it. I am not simply talking of video games, but even word puzzle games and the like. We are problem solvers, and the satisfaction we get from finding solutions is really what drives us. Currently the way to survive though is through making money at solving some problem. But we are a fickle species, and we want to move on to some new problem, and get bored, or just tired of the same thing. Money sometimes is not enough incentive for us to continue in the same work, so we move on to some new job. But my whole point of this discussion is that I am optimistic of humanity, for the most part. Even without the incentive of currency we would still work. Though there are other reasons to use currency. It makes trade so much easier for one, but that is a conversation for another day.

 

Update – 2,000 words written, feeling good.

You can never stop working, simply because you really do not want to.

– Steven Oaks

Depression

Do you have a hard time getting up and even doing what you love? I do from time to time. Recently it has been getting worse, and the cause seems to be from many different angles. Here I am working on something that I have always wanted to do, yet I feel dread creep into my bones when I sit down to begin writing. Doubt that I am fashioning anything that is even slightly entertaining fills me with dread. Certainly the ideas and concepts I enjoy, but the words that come out I grow doubtful of. It helps to go back and review them the next day, as usually I am more pleased with them then, but as they come out it almost seems farcical that I might even consider myself a writer. Even now as I write this I can not even think of it as of any value. Another thing that is bringing me down is the continuation of this cursed winter. I miss the green of spring, the heat of summer, and the colors of fall. There have been a few days that have been warm, but the color has yet to return to the earth. Even today as I write this snow has fallen once more to coat the world in its white blanket. I miss the smells of life that come from the ground when the soil is thrust aside by new budding life, and the freedom to enjoy the outdoors. While I do enjoy the first snows of winter, and I make use of its bounty to create strange snowmen, this has gone on far to long. Like a friend that has overstayed his welcome, I find myself wishing to push it away and out the door. I am trapped inside with little to do but contemplate my own emotional state, and that leaves me even less confident. Perhaps I will feel better when freed of my self-imposed prison, or perhaps it will only be a brief respite, either way I look forward to the relief of spring, and the relief of completing my novels.

snowman

Update – 2,000 words written. Feeling less dread as I have put it into words.

Fight on, your goals are what make you.

– Steven Oaks

Spending time improving yourself

What do you do to improve yourself? Or do you even try? Do you just go to work so you can survive until the next paycheck, and then coming home so exhausted flick on the TV and wile away the hours until you must go to sleep so you can start the day over when you awake? Or do you take life into your own hands? Do you continue to look for new concepts and ideas, and try to see if you can integrate them into yourself? Do you try to improve your health so that you might feel healthier and live longer, or do you just let the days come and go and just eat? I do not know you dear reader, I only know myself. And I can tell you if I were to follow the path of least resistance and simply work at a job where I was too drained to come home and be excited about learning something new I would not wish to live anymore. This is one reason I left behind the work force earlier this year. I have taken the limited time I can survive without working and am pushing myself daily to learn more. I am learning to improve my prose in writing, and new things that I was unaware of in economics and the growing automated world we are inhabit. I am eating better and am exercising more. I plan to come out of this personal experiment an improved being. Again I do not know you, and I will not pretend my goals are yours, but to me life is about becoming the best version of yourself that you can. If I were to die tomorrow I would know in my last moments of life that I did everything possible live a life without regrets. I will not regret that I never wrote a book. I will not regret that I never tried to get into shape. I will not regret that I did not love enough, and that those I love did not know it. I took all those chances I could, and will not regret a path not taken. If there is a poem that has stuck with me for years, and I wish to live by, it is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. Its final passages is this-

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

 

Update – 2,000 words written. I continue to strive forth.

Find your personal meaning, and go forth and accomplish your goals.
– Steven Oaks

What is a weekend?

A weekend is the end of the work week. Some do not have the opportunity to cease working, however there should be days where we work less and try to enjoy some time with friends. I had been doing this since Friday afternoon, and yesterday it was a similar situation save we stayed up until near 3am today. What did we do you ask? We talked about economics, politics, and new ways a system of commerce might be implemented using current technology. Of course it was not all high brow self-serving intellectual discussion, we woud up watching some anime. I have been a fan of the Japanese animated scene since the early 90’s, and it has only grown worse. The show we watched was one I had seen before, but enjoyed very much and wished to share it with my close companions. It was called Baccano!

Now of course at this point I am to try to describe this show. It is a collection of multiple stories from various view points, centering about what happened on a train one day. The train is filled with socio and psychopaths. It seems everyone is trying to kill one another, but there are interesting twists. I hesitate to say too much more because when I first watched the show I had little idea what I was going to watch. I will say it is mostly set in the 1930’s and is full of mobsters. There are supernatural elements, and it is exciting and fun. There are a couple of characters that help lighten the mood, and they might be the highlight of this already beautifully created work. However unlike many shows there is no set main characters and you get to see the story unfold from nearly everyone involved. While this could lead some to feel it is repetitive, the quick pace of the show does not allow this. We may see a situation happen a few times, but everything happens so fast it never feels like they are wasting our time. So if you already have a penchant for anime, the 30’s, or gangsters, give this a watch. Mind you if you are squeamish you might want to pass on this show as there are multiple people who die, and there are more bloody bullet holes in people than you would get from the original RoboCop.

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Update: 1,000 words written. I feel entertained.

Share what you love to those who you think might also find the same passion.

– Steven Oaks

Breaks, or reduction

Here I am writing this on a Saturday afternoon and I am unsure whether or not I will grow exhausted and frustrated with writing. Everyday I sit before my keyboard and pound out dialogue and worlds and there are times when I feel that I can not do it anymore. What is it that will make me continue? Is it the relaxation of doing nothing, or is it even more work for my brain to do? I find the latter is the only thing that keeps me motivated. I love to watch documentaries talking of politics and economics and even religious ponderings. Or even entertainment where a protagonist is placed in an interesting world. My guilty pleasure lately is to watch the Jeeves and Wooster television show produced by the BBC with Mr. Stephen Fry and Mr. Hugh Laurie. While it becomes formulaic after a while, you can see the archetypes at play in a world that has only recently interested me. An English man from a rich family living on his own hires a valet to care for his needs. Mr. Wooster is a well-intentioned fool for most of the series run, and his Valet Jeeves tends to get him out of troubles. While using his vast knowledge of nearly everything he shapes Wooster’s life into one of a dignified gentleman. Of course Wooster is continually bucking at Jeeves’ views, but by the end of most episodes it is resolved in Jeeves’ favor, and Wooster is better for it. This is of course not the only thing I watch, but it happens to be the only thing I consistently consume along side various podcasts. I have been able to while away many an hour on my trainer for my bike while watching their hijinks.

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I am eating less, and working out more. Hopefully this will lead to a more lean version of myself, as I had gained some weight over this ever-growing long winter. It really is quite sad that even when I went out on the trail for the first time this year I did not enjoy it nearly as much as I had the last time I was out there. I think I must wait until nature once more springs into its flowering. The bare trees and lack of any vegetation growth left me feeling empty, and the snow on the ground made it hard to concentrate on what I was listening to. So I believe the only logical idea would be to wait until spring truly is sprung.

Update:1,000 words written. A weekends deserves a bit of a break. And I ate pancakes.

Find the stimulation for you mind, and use it to help push you forward.

– Steven Oaks