Robot Landscape

Ya know what? I'll write a blog post. Even if it's rubbish, I just need to push something. I've been super busy, and I think unless something radically changes I might be a little bit behind pace for my 100 days to offload.

In theory, college admissions are done. I have paid my deposit to the University of New Hampshire. Go Wildcats! (I guess.) Honestly, I'm not too enthralled with it, but due to several UNH-only scholarships that I got from my robotics team, picking UNH was the only financially sane decision. So that's that.

My AP test is in less than a week (as of a couple hours ago). I should be studying for it, but nah I'm good. Honestly with all of my practice tests I've taken so far I've been at a 50% or greater, which is all I need to get a 5.

ADHD meds suck. I have been focusing pretty well, then I decided to get on meds. I feel nauseous when I take them sometimes because I sometimes forget to eat a proper breakfast so they go down on a bare stomach.

There. Have a post.

Every day in my stereotypical American high school experience, the students all throughout the school stand up as instructed by the intercom and put their hand on their heart to look at the stars and stripes to pledge their allegiance to the flag.

They unconsciously pledge their loyalty to the flag and what it represents: the location of the country, its borders, its institutions, its government, its military, and the economic system which allows it to exist, free-market capitalism.

I say unconsciously because even though my peers are high school students who have supposedly been taught by the education system to critically think, this norm of putting one's hand on their heart has been enforced through decades of cultural and social enforcement. I, personally, was putting my hand on my heart as I gazed at the flag, often reciting the pledge itself.

Not anymore. Fuck that flag, the genocides committed in its name, the people who seize power in its name, and the power difference it represents.


This is something I've been thinking about for some time. Parents often push their children to go into a certain direction, to get good careers, to become the heir to the family business, or even to give them advice.

Parents should do none of these things. Well, they can, but those take second priority after providing comfort to their children.

See, children will naturally take risks. They may do something stupid, hurt themselves, and come back to the parent to find comfort.

This is the role of the parent. Simply to provide comfort.

In a healthy childhood, children will bounce around on this danger-comfort axis. In the middle, there's risk: doing a jump in a playground, making new friends, or going to school. If they get hurt, then they have a place to go to. Comfort, home, their parents. When they're ready to take another risk, they can leave the nest and keep going.

When kids don't have this, then that's when kids either become completely risk-averse or they take risks too much.

So while parents can push kids to do something, to follow a certain career, or even to give advice, their primary goal should just be to love and support their children.

Robot Landscape

By the way, don't take my word for any of this. This is just my take, and I have little to no qualifications apart from my own experiences. I'm not a parent, I only know the receiving end of a parent/child relationship. If you want a source, this concept is mentioned in this video: How the Alt-Right is Like an Abusive Relationship (live)

It's not really that much of a saga to be honest. I've made my decision, I'm going to be using todoist because I realized I don't actually have to sort every task into projects unless it's actually just like a side project, so that makes their paywall restriction there a lot easier. I have a project going for random ideas I have/reading list, and one for university applications, everything else goes in the main heap. Otherwise it's fast and helpful in getting motivated to do stuff.

Writing a blog post was the easiest thing to check off today, so here I am 🙃

I also discovered a Youtuber today, dream. That's been the opposite of me getting stuff done! In a way I know I can be productive and be unhappy in the short term but satisfied by the time the day's up, or I can fuck off and watch YouTube all day, have the hit of dopamine while I'm screwing around, and be embarrassed and angry with myself by the day's up. I wonder if people who don't have ADHD have similar struggles.

I've also realized that I hate looking at notifications on my phone, and so my new strategy with that is to always be at 0 notifications. Whenever one comes in I'll try to deal with it immediately. I'll see how it goes.

I'm also sort of reaching a new paradigm on how I'm going to work. When I'm on my own computer, it's really nice using these neat text editors and saving everything locally, never losing any files. But as soon as you're in a situation where you're caught without your own computer, your needs change. So, I'm going to generally opt for a more cloud-based workflow which I can access all my files from anywhere (assuming I can use my phone for 2fa).

Back to work,

Robot Landscape

Boy, I'm tired.

Given the winter storm of sorts we've had here in New Hampshire, I was home, not really working on anything in particular. One thing I have been working on is finding a good, reliable to-do list app.

I don't have a set of criterion for what exactly I want out of such an app except that I have to use it. One thing I've found with to-do list apps is that I always get really into it at first, making all these categories and labels, and then... nothing. I just get bored of it and stop using it. I reckon this is a common phenomena for anyone who's tried to get into the habit of using to-do lists.

The ones I've tried so far, and why I don't want to switch to it entirely: – Todoist: I've used it in the past, but I got out of using it for some reason. I don't remember. Tried it again and was annoyed at their paywalled list restriction. – Ticktick: Again, I've used it before, but the paywall was tighter. – Google Tasks: Too minimalist. I like the gmail integration though. – Emacs Org-Mode (orgzly for android): I can't install external programs on my school computer to the best of my knowledge. – Tasks (it's on f-droid, idk how else to describe it): Possibly my best bet, it can sync with google tasks and isn't too light on features. Open source and I can't find a paywall. – Workflowy: I really want to love it, but the android app is a bit unintuitive. – Google Calendar: I've used this long-term before without problems, in fact that's what I was using up to this search. Problem is, its “tasks” are separate enough to not really be useful for what I want it to be, it's not well-integrated into calendar enough. – Gmail: I was experimenting with using Gmail as a to-do list earlier today, and I could do that. It's similar to another idea I had where one could just pile on anything, be it ideas or links or anything, and use it like a do-it-later kinda thing.

I still don't have an answer. I suppose I'll try using gmail for a bit, since that's a bit promising and I know how to use it already.

Robot Landscape

  1. I will ask questions when I don't understand something. There is no such thing as a stupid question, as this mindset restricts people from asking questions they may have, even if they are good questions, restricting the free flow of knowledge.

  2. I will contribute to classroom discussions and the classroom community. I will pay attention in class, and do what I need to do to learn the material and help others to do so. Education isn't a competition, it's a collaborative process. Even teachers are still learning.

  3. I will be radically kind to everyone, even if they aren't the same as myself.

  4. I will be weird! Be yourself, and let everyone else be themselves (don't contradict rule #3).

  5. I will think outside the box!

  6. I'll come prepared for class to the best of my ability. If a peer needs a pencil, I will be the one to help them.

  7. I will get to know and become friends with my peers. I will push myself out of my comfort zone, meet people outside my circle, and befriend the person sitting by themself.

  8. I will help and respect my inferiors as much as my superiors. Leave a good legacy, lead by example for those younger than you (even freshman: you're in high school now. Show the middle school students how it's done.)

Happy 6th birthday,! It's good to have this place to record my thoughts and have a place to talk normally.

Writing is slowly becoming less of a project that I'm working on and becoming more a habit of sorts. I was at lunch today and I decided I wanted to write. I don't remember if I wanted to write about anything in particular or if it was just the urge to put thoughts to keyboard, but I did.

Thing is, maybe I've done a little too much writing. My backspace key on my school computer snapped in half. I'm waiting for my backup of my computer to upload to my google drive because I don't know if the school's IT department is gonna replace the computer or give me a temporary one or whatnot, but it's good to have that backup (and the school pays for “unlimited” drive space anyway, or at least I can't see the upper limit if there is one).

Maybe I should just stop making so many mistakes as I'm typing.

Robot Landscape

Privacy online is a tricky concept even before you introduce online advertising. I'm not talking about surveillance from governments, corporations, or other evil organizations of whatever flavor your imagination can come up with, but what comes up when people search your name or even username.

The reason I bring this up is because once upon a time (recently), I was at school and the person next to me, talking to me, decided to google my name.

Layer 1: Real Name

If one were to google my real name, they would find a facebook account my parents made for me (basically to reserve my name, I think they also tag my face in it though), they would find my old instagram profile, my old blog, my linkedin which I made a little big ago, and until recently a soundcloud account. I don't believe anyone could piece together Robot Landscape or any other alias I use, but you can reveal a lot about me from what you might find on each respective page.

That's rough. I was “friends” but not super close friends with this person, and all the sudden he knew more about me than some of my close friends. Creepiness aside, I probably wouldn't have minded he saw some of the stuff he did, and I would have told him if it came up in conversation. I didn't have control over it though, and if something bad did show up (or he found a way to layer 2) then I more likely would have tried to stop him more than I did.

Layer 2: Connected aliases

Layer 2 I'd consider to be Robot Landscape, and in a way I'd consider it a bit more dangerous since it's not out of reach for people irl a lot of the time, but it's still more brutally honest. The real you shows up, and unless done properly, it could be traced back to Layer 1.

Layer 3: Anonymity

For the sake of completeness, I'll have this one here. You make an account on a random site, and it's not tied to your identity.

Just some things to think about. Robot Landscape

I can't tell if I hate the internet or if I love it.

There's a lot wrong with the internet nowadays, but I don't think it's inherent. I think it can be fixed, maybe, if we want it to.

The internet of today is a reflection of the society we've had which allowed it to happen. It's “decentralized” in the sense that there isn't a single website, just like under capitalism, “the company” doesn't exist. Neither the internet nor capitalism are too open about people making new websites/businesses though, it's a lot of work to host a server and it's a lot of work to set up a business. This oligarchic nature is obviously not ideal.

The ability for someone to say whatever they want sounded good until we actually made the internet, and now we're having to deal with the shortcomings of such a model. Misinformation, fascism, doxxing, propaganda, advertising, all of which are easy to find online. (whether or not that's desirable or not is up to you, I know that there are definitely scenarios where advertising may be useful or necessary beyond simply a way to compensate creators).

Disregarding google as a company for the time being, its search engine is genuinely useful. But do things like google docs need to exist, do they fill an important niche or can it be done better with an offline application? Where does the fediverse fit?

I'll think about it a little more. Robot Landscape

Weird! I just had an odd bug, where I couldn't access the site on my school computer. Firefox and Chrome both decided to not load for a reason I don't remember. Pinging worked, though, so did loading on my phone. I hopped on a VPN and it worked fine.

Ah well. I'm here now I suppose. I don't understand how computers work but as long as I can troubleshoot problems I'm fine.

That being said, I've put a lot of thought into trying to learn Javascript properly. It's annoying visiting a website and looking at the source code, knowing exactly how the html and css works, and having no clue how the Javascript works. Yes, I know, it's a terrible language (for reasons I don't understand), but it would be worthwhile I'd imagine.

For the complete opposite reason I also want to learn Racket. It's a great language from what I can tell, a very mature dialect of Scheme with a lot of libraries built in. Yet, if I learn it, it would be for making things, not understanding them, because I can't think of a single thing that's actually written in Racket (besides their IDE, which I'm not even certain about). It would be entirely for the sake of learning it and being able to express myself better on a computer.

How are you? I always talk about my feelings and expect you to listen. How's it going with you?

Capacitors are assholes. I can't figure them out, and my Physics teacher (however great of a teacher he is) decided that he would make it a new-semester goal to assign more homework. I mean, sure, now I have to actually do stuff for the class, but (wow I'm lazy) I have to change my schedule a bit to work around actually having a workload.

Have you read Marx's Capital yet? If not, welcome to the club. I want to though, and if you also want to, I recently discovered that someone bought the domain and had it redirect to the marxist internet archive edition of it, where one can download it in a variety of formats or read it online. Capitalists can claim a lot about their democracy, but honestly free access to information in relation to true democracy is better than whatever representative democracy *cough* oligarchy *cough* can spew.

Wow I'm a propaganda engine. Look at me, I'm destroying America. Don't take anything I post here sincerely. All opinions are those of my employer.

Robot Landscape