A new wind blows…

Well I promised I’d have my personal blog up soon and it has been longer than I intended but tonight I get a functional website up. Please let me be the first to welcome you to…

http://www.pro-graham.com (Okay, it might redirect here. Go go gadget DNS Server redirect!)

From here I plan to post snippets of code and programming related articles hoping to help people who have found comfort in the same field I currently occupy. My first post should be up this week detailing my advanced AI Battleship application you can play. The application was an extension of an old project I took up with a friend years ago. I recently updated the AI in it for one of my more recent classes as an example of heuristic analysis of grids allowing for advanced play.

Please bare with me as I get my documentation up to snuff and clean the code so I don’t embarass myself too much.

The Great Castruccio

Being invited by Taddeo Bernardi, a very rich and splendid citizen of Luca, to supper, he went to the house and was shown by Taddeo into a chamber hung with silk and paved with fine stones representing flowers and foliage of the most beautiful coloring. Castruccio gathered some saliva in his mouth and spat it out upon Taddeo, and seeing him much disturbed by this, said to him: “I knew not where to spit in order to offend thee less”.

Grinding the Present Moment

Just dropping some little bombs. I don’t have any bunker busters at the moment.

Mental noise: I keep noticing how much noise there is in my head. Whenever I notice it, it disappears. This is a type of meditation that anyone can practice throughout the day. It’s important to note that having silence in your head does not make you a zombie. It makes you relaxed but more alert. Carrying a head full of noise does the opposite: it makes you tense and distracted. Being tense and distracted puts limits on what you can accomplish.

Grinding the present: I find it useful to remind myself that the present moment is the only place where anything gets done.

Free will & spontaneity: Back in the day, I busted some philosophy speed-runs with Shuba and his kin. The conclusion was that free will does not exist. Our brain is a calculator that solves problems by choosing the best option according to what we value. For example, a person who values standing out in a crowd is more likely to dress in unusual clothes, but their decisions are still made according to an underlying process which they have no control over. If you ask them why they are wearing a sombrero in February, they might tell you they are a free spirit when it comes to fashion. If free will does not exist, then they are simply bound by differently-assigned variables, and the sombrero is the end result of these different values.

This might sound like a depressing perspective on life, one which paints humans as souls imprisoned within robotic shells. Each human pursues whatever comes naturally to them; what is natural for one person is different for the next. Committing crimes comes naturally to some people. After waking up in jail, their brain might re-assign certain values and a “new person” may emerge from a brain that previously valued drugs and money above all else.

This is what I really wanted to discuss: does a person actually emerge from their thoughts? Your thoughts are a reflection of your values, which are not consciously controlled, and so the self which emerges from our thoughts is also uncontrolled. This artificial self is sometimes called the ego. It exists as an interface between the brain and the outside world. It is a structure of repetitive thoughts. When a person’s values change, their thoughts change, and so the ego changes; a “new person” emerges with a new purpose in life.

“Free will doesn’t exist?! You can’t take my freedom!”
The point is that (1) not only does free will not exist, but (2) there was never a self to “possess” free will in the first place.

” … First you take my freedom, and now you’re saying I don’t even exist?!”
Your true identity is inseparable from you because it is you. It cannot be taken away. The ego, on the other hand, is just a thought which disappears every night when you go to bed. The ego’s structure appears rock solid because it is so repetitive. When we examine this repetitive structure, however, we see that it is just mental noise. How could mental noise ever hope to have free will?

When illusions like the ego and free will are washed away, what’s left is real freedom – the selfless and perfect way of the universe.

World-building 101: Yo, enough of this pansy-ass philosophical mumbo-jumbo. Let’s get back into the real world so we can start building fake worlds. This is a new branch of learning for me, so it’s not really World-building 101. It’s more like World-building for Pre-schoolers. I’ve already put this project on hold so I can finish some older stuff, but I thought it’d be fun to post some noobfoolery in action.

(1) First, I used everyone’s favorite artsy program to make a 400 x 400 pixel masterpiece. Within moments, my phone was ringing off the hook. Every major art institute in North America was trying to throw scholarships my way, and I hadn’t even uploaded the mother yet.

Actually, I didn’t have a phone while making this.

(2) Next, I used Torque 3D’s terrain builder to upload my image as a texture. I slapped that beast down on top of some sand.

When creating worlds, it is important to nod your head to sick beats.

(3) Torque 3D has a default player character that you can use to explore right away.

Dude, you said we were going on a magical adventure… and now this?

The grass is the only thing that I created in that screenshot. It was a fun first step, and I’m looking forward to more advanced stuff like programming in TorqueScript and rendering my own 3D models.

Back to the grindstone.

The Senseless Struggle To Fit In. In Life

This post started out as a telegram I received from Willie. I started ranting about some shit, and well. here it goes.

Willie kicks it off with a song.

I respond…

8 Mile Poster

I don’t know about rap much any more. That song is good. Truth. From the heart. But it’s the reason I took down the 8 mile / Eminem poster in my room. Even though 8 mile is an awesome story, the imagery of it is someone who is trapped, or a victim of their environment. They are in a constant state of trying to escape. The poster doesn’t change, so when I look at the poster. I identify or empathize with a person who is a victim trying to make it. indefinitely.

The only solution is to take down the poster and just see yourself as someone who is making progress. constantly building.

And so the same goes with the music you listen to. so when he raps about being in a trapped state, or always being surrounded by shitty things. I just sort of glance at it, but don’t identify with it. I may attach it to something in my past. cause that would be a shitty life to live currently.

Your present moment needs to be congruent with where you’re headed.

D12

I look at d12 now, and I just think its junk music. and dumb. But I know why I loved it back then. school was a complete waste of time, I was just looking for ways to kill time or empathize with something.

I actually used to judge a video games goodness by how much time it sank. Like Christ! That’s terrible, and that’s school for ya.

‘Cause you cant take control of your life in that environment. You know nothing matters for 3 years. Your not living your life, your a byproduct of someone elses, your just taking orders from people. It’s like self destructive behavior. A disconnection, a mental playground. School doesn’t let you do anything your own way. School takes our balls away.

Mental Traps

But as I say this, I can’t fall victim to that mindset either, that school somehow still affects my life. Gotta let it go like that painbody stuff Tolle talks about. The past doesn’t exist.

/rant (then i start to write more on the subject for blog)

And so even our friends can keep us in a place. Keeping up appearances, but not changing much. This hierarchy or whatever social construct we have is enforced or reinforced every time we meet up. So if someone changes in some way what happens? They no longer fit. and it is uncomfortable to not fit in. but it is necessary to growing as a person.

Conclusion

So I conclude that taking breaks from friends is healthy. As you get the freedom to move freely through life. And experience new things.

So my thought process is, are we really having a good time, or are we just reinforcing where we fit in, in this life.

What do we truly value more? Fitting in, or doing what we want.

Friday nights start to feel like an escape to me. Or an empathization of this ‘struggle’ of life. Because I want to explore new things. Behind the knee jerk reaction of clinging onto something… it’s truly what I want to do. Even though it is scary. It’s what we need to do. and everyone else should do the same.

And I am not dissing any friend by saying this stuff, like someone is bringing someone else down. All our friends have mad talent, smarts, and ability.

Mad Talent

In fact all people have mad talent. But most people will never realize this because they let school tell them what talent is, and what forms it comes in.

This ‘body’ that is the group. This collective being. What’s controlling it? Directing it? Where is it taking us? I don’t know. Are we letting the world feed us activities to do? Are we waiting for another person to tell us where to go?

Fitting In To The Grave

That’s how people fail in life. Always following / compromising and trying to fit into whatever situation they are put in. Basically begging for someone to put them in a place. Because fitting in is taught from families, early school, later school, and work. They taught you to put your wants aside and fit in. and the only person that loses is you. because you let them.

You Will Never Fit In

Until you pop your head out of the sand and realize this shit. You don’t need to fit in, and the truth is you never will fit in.

You are unique in ways no one can match. So how could anyone else know what you want out of your life? It’s your job to figure it out. and start living it.

Or am I losing my mind? … … …uh oh… do I desire a sense of togetherness again? Do ‘we’ follow eachother?

no

The desire is to simply be heard, and for everyone to understand in their separate way. What’s true for someone doesn’t have to be true for everyone.

I heard this Asha guy say that the more ‘together’ we try to be, the more alone we become.

I get it.

Lone Samurais Walking The Earth

2011 We Going Hard

The beauty of the internet is really starting to flourish. Seems like you can have any interest and have a full blown community around it. If it isn’t there you can create it. The good shit rises to the top and the bad stuff sinks. No bullshit sponsorships anymore. The people have the voice and are the true gatekeepers. The big companies will struggle to survive if they don’t evolve.

The niches grow smaller, more refined, and rich. the creativity is rewarded. feedback is instant. It’s different, and good. The communities that support. The music just sounds so fuckin’ good nowadays. It’s a direct result of smaller artists making new waves, getting direct feedback, and collaborations. It evolves so quickly.

Advertising is the name of the game, and all the eye balls are going online. They will see the value in it.

Pick your niche and go hard.

The Passion For Strategy

Something clicks when I think about starcraft strategies.

Thinking of different methods, builds, ideas actually takes a lot of energy. You don’t even notice how much energy it takes because thinking about it and figuring things out is something we enjoy. But we can apply the same energy in other methods…

It clicks when I’m so involved in thought, and I just think “dam, I shouldn’t be thinking this hard about a computer game… I should be spending this energy thinking about how to *blank*”.

Swap in *blank* for something that is real world applicable and constructive. I’m talkin’ BUSINESS, real world economy, and bank rolls. You spend endless amounts of energy to counter roaches in mutas, and when you do, you crush hard and feel good. but that’s it. Making money is 95 percent mental. So if you devise a business plan, strategy, and execute, you get money. So then I gotta ask myself what is a better game, starcraft or RL business? And I think it is RL business because of the changes you see, skills you develop, and people you affect.

But we weren’t raised or taught to think about solving problems in RL and profiting. So it’s not natural to us. I believe it is natural and we have unlearnt it. We are taught to be factory workers, take orders, and enjoy ourselves elsewhere.

Since the age of 8 we have had that passionate side of us that enjoys using our superior mental capabilities for rewards… wasted on video games that bring nothing on the side of enjoyment.

The idea that you could have enjoyment, mental engagement, and money from the same activity is absolutely possible. But we were systematically taught this was unattainable, not for us, or crazy.

Who is your hero? Part II

“Challenge something that is way beyond your abilities.”
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A quote from one of my favourite mangaka, Takehiko Inoue. He is probably known best for his basketball comics, but has also spent around the last twelve years drawing the hugely popular Vagabond series. It’s a fictionalized telling of the life of legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. The series is due to wrap up in about a year, but with big projects there are often delays.

To me, Takehiko represents someone who has dedicated his life to drawing. Despite being one of the world’s best, he still struggles with constant deadlines, all-nighters, and getting his characters to act the way they should when he puts them down on paper. According to him, the quality of his work depends on the “purity of his soul” when he sits down to draw; he is most successful when his mind is relaxed and able to express itself clearly. His art is both inspiring and entertaining.

Who is your hero?

It’s said that if you want to become great at something, you have to put your whole life into it.

When I find myself being lazy and wasting time, my heroes become a source of inspiration that helps me get back in gear.

Bruce Lee is one of my idols for representing what a person can achieve through a lifetime of practice. Not only did he strive for physical and technical perfection through continual training, but he sought to rid himself of any mental blocks that could weaken him as a martial artist.

*Crunch crunch* … who is this?

Willie is what I used to be called, so I’m going to go with that.

My to-do list is all about writing, drawing and meditating.

I think the highest forms of art put you in another world, and I want to attain that level in both my writing and drawing.

My meditation is directed toward self-discovery.

I’ll talk more about these things later. It is time to sleep well… or else.

Introductions, get em over with!

My name is Clayton Kashuba, nicknamed Shuba.

What you will hear from me is rants on philosophy and life, outlooks, rants on people. I mostly try to keep it positive, but I may explode.

My goals in life are simple. make a lot of money, maintain good relationships, maintain high spirits, maintain development of skills and learning. physical fitness!

The thing I noticed about life is that we literally choose what kind of world we live in. We can choose to be a victim and live in a harsh world, we can choose to be afraid and live in a dangerous world, we can choose to be happy and live in a fun world, we can choose to be responsible and live in a world we create everyday.

Our rewards in life will be directly related to our contributions.

That is the world to be lived in.