astrophysics life principles in simple terms

so we established the meaningless point of life.
the next point is deciding how we want to live that life.
we can live it simply for pleasure but in the end we will always sink lower and lower.

there’s two things to remember.
nothing is ever about you. (pale blue dot)
don’t get caught in the moment.

the other thing is to live for yourself.
you can’t live for anyone else because it’s not going to be able to get you through the rough patches.
self confidence that you can change the world. (we are made of atoms of the universe)
do things because you want to do them.

and if you find yourself doing something you don’t want to,
don’t get caught in the moment.
remember it’s never about you.

life, how to live it.

(*NOTE purpose, reason, meaning – three words whose meaning i use quite interchangeably when it comes to talking about big, vague concepts like life. they will abbreviated here as p.r.m *)

i’m old enough to stop being naive about the world and choose my life. but first the question of what the p.r.m. of life is?

what does life really boil down to? why do we want to keep breathing to survive? what is the reason for human life? i don’t think there is any reason for life. maybe we’re just part of a larger system, part of a game. But there is really no fundamental reason for life, or for the universe in fact.
there is no reason for life, so (surviving) living becomes the reason. not only to live longer, but also to enhance the process of living. The quality of the human experience comes from exploring the full range of human emotions and going to the extremes of the universe with human knowledge. A profound statement, “the universe essentially only exists as you perceive it through what you know; therefore, if you change your perception of the universe with new knowledge, you have essentially changed the universe itself.”

And that is what life should be, one that will give us choices to explore being human.

what does it mean to live in this world?
the purpose of all living organisms is to survive, the same for humans. How do we survive? Surviving used to mean nutritious food, clean water, safe housing. But in modern society, survival also requires education, housing, healthcare. Because of technological advancement, all of that is now provided by society and we need to pay for those services. The higher the price, the better the quality of the service. That’s why our world has arranged itself economically and disproportionately rewards those who can create the most economic value. This is achieved by creating value through artificial products, explaining our evolution from primary to tertiary industries. This explains why stock traders are high valued because they make money off fictitious financial instruments, options, derivatives. The greatest wealth separator is capital gain, because it’s gain that you need to work for. Average workers end up spending all their earnings by the time they die. The only way to accumulate wealth is to invest into things that will appreciate: property, financial instruments such as stock, bonds. It’s how the world ending up being for good or for bad. This is to say that money itself is not bad because it is only a means to an end, survival; it’s bad only when it becomes the purpose. To explore being human in today’s world, that requires us to delay gratification to maximize choices in the future with money or with knowledge.

what should my life be?
i don’t want to resign to a life of creating noise. what do I mean by creating noise? It’s a frustration that many jobs I am aware of create economic value by navigating this artificial society: accountants, lawyers, bureaucrats. Sure, many of their services are integral for the functioning of our society but none of these are relatable to the human experience.

I want to give.

if you think about it, the p.r.m of science as they say is to describe systematically the natural world. But we ultimately want to apply it to our benefit which will allow the human species flourish and live longer. The same applies to knowledge; knowledge is what we exploit to allow ourselves to live longer. i think the meaningfulness of the work you’re doing ultimately derives from the size of the group whose survivability you’re trying to enhance. Scientists, doctors, aid workers, have careers of giving, don’t you think?

Research is an option I’ve never considered before. I want to help people in some capacity but research seems so far removed from the actual helping sometimes. The other problem is that giving consumes economic value instead of creating it. Ideologies don’t buy bread. It’s a fear because as I said before life is about having choices. And not having money to do certain things is a restriction.

If i end up living a life chasing ideologies, I apologize. I apologize to my unborn son and my unmet wife sine I will not be able to provide them a life as good as the one provided to me by my parents.

And who is to say just living a life is easy in today’s world ideologically or not? finding a job that makes enough money to support your family and your own life. Finding a job doing what you like and also feeds you. How many have that. Scientific discoveries is also exploited to create wealth and cause destruction in some cases, weapons. There is noise regardless of what you do, and you cannot be naive about that.

I grew up having a comfortable life with no dire need to make money to survive, and i guess that gave me the chance to be naively idealistic. it also comes from an internal idealistic compass that my elementary school principal said i had. But even if that were not the case, as a reasonably informed human of our era, how can you not do anything when you see the poor, the famished and the ones in pain?

It’s all about choice. I would like to have the choice to live many human experiences, feel all the human emotions, explore the universe with human knowledge and engage in a life of giving. I discuss the full philosophical, emotional ramifications of living now but all of us have done a fair share of living already. Living starts the moment we are born. Regardless of what our lives end up being, it’s still precious because it’s the only thing we have. Even kids know that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=armP8TfS9Is&feature=related

self-content

the message is the same. the idea is the same. i’ve talked about it in the past before but i just need to write it again to remind myself.

i always find myself in the same situation, forcing myself to do something i don’t desire doing. i just do it because i think i will like it later or that the benefits in the future will outweigh the pain. usually, the answer to that question is no. (but you should always give it a shot, only one though)

i made a promise to myself last year that i would do a bit less work, leave myself a bit more time, leave other people a bit more time. and i already see myself going back on that promise. it’s not that hard. it’s always an issue of pride. a image of myself i need to maintain, a feeling of self-worth, of confidence. i wanted to take a hard class this semester i thought i liked. and i realized upon going in that group problem session that the main reason to take it was to confirm that i was still one of the smart kids like i was in high school. it’s still the same issue of pride. i had to put it down.

for better or worse, we are stuck with what we have. intelligence and looks. you need to be comfortable of who you are, regardless of who you maybe. we are infinitesimally small but we can still have our own colors. put down your pride, then you will be much clearer of what you want to do.

pride (this doesn’t sound like me but i’m going to say it) principles should never be the reason.

i think i.s.p (independent study projects) are a good analogy. a grad student put it this way which inspired me. they count for the same credit, but you spend way much more time on it. but if you enjoy it and like it, then no matter what other people say or not recognize, you will still be ok.

because at the end of the day, when the lights dim, and you are in bed. your brain is the only one that you are listening to. in our self-aware lives, perspective is one of the hardest things to gain. to us, we will always be the kid who was affected. but when we get the privilege to step back, you will see the world is so much more.

midsummer night manifesto from a couch

You lose a lot of hope in the world when you read the paper each day. Millions dying in the Horn of Africa, more people dying from wars, the newest released figure of an increasing disparity between the rich and the poor.
Reading books though make me realize that we have not seen a period of more peace, more economic prosperity in the history of man.
And I also realize that this unprecedented movement of people and information has given us more information, more horror stories than we ever need or are responsible for.
But we can ask the same question from the opposite view. this unprecedented movement of people and information has given us more knowledge, but also perpetuated increasing unfairness in this world.

Lack of information allowed us ignorance. But wealth of information has now seen inaction. It is the same conversation Andreas had with his mom in the book about our duty to everyone else as the top 1% of the world. To me, it is an unanswerable question.
It’s a guilt that will live with me till the day I die. A guilt that will constantly ask me why I haven’t donated all my money to save more people. A guilt that will be forgotten by the relentless waves of life, and rekindled in the moments we see horror with our own eyes again.

I’ve been thinking about myself lately, not in the narcissistic sense, but in a critical sense.
Multiple examples, which include not caring whether I look presentable and leaving things to the last possible minute, have shown me that I am irresponsible when it comes to planning my own future. I am utterly irresponsible and I seem to have no problem with that. I expect the world to ask nothing of me but I ask everything of the world. I expect my life to be naturally successful and smooth. I am trying to live a carefree life right now.But I realize that living a carefree life requires an expectation that it doesn’t matter what happens. But I do expect something. So we have an imbalance of expectations, the world and me. You can’t not care. You need to give a fuck before someone else gives a fuck about you. I have been really ungrateful, basking in the glory made possible by those around me, including my parents but not thankful. Being grateful comes from realizing how much was needed to get me where I am now. Yes, I want a carefree life. who doesn’t? Who ever stops wishing for it? Who doesn’t want to wake up and have unlimited wealth and have eternal handsomeness and have everyone falls for him/her? The world is real. It is not a one-way street. It goes both ways. Favors are only reciprocated. Wealth is only earned. Success is only plowed. Mom’s right. You can be stupid but you can’t be naive.

Culture is a difficult question. I already discussed this briefly before. I will never be authentic, a product of only one culture. It was not going to be like that since I was born. It’s a statement I make when I realize the difficulties of making true friends sometimes. I’m not from the Bay Area or this town. I don’t know this person. I don’t know the school either. You watch what show? Whose that line by again? Sometimes, I can’t laugh, can’t relate. and it’s difficult. it’s frustrating. and it is true that humans need to relate. the same reason I appreciate talking to people who have been to China or who have stayed there so much. and realizing that I also have this need to be related to so I ain’t so high and mighty either. I admit that I feel like I’m being gobbled up by American culture. Assimilation is the wrong word, more like acquisition. It’s a two way street again. I need to move closer to the middle and I hope they come my way too.

at the gates.

Words to a co-worker as we were parting after a farewell dinner. It helped me consolidate all the thoughts that had been in my head for the past few days into one flowing, eloquent speech. I think this probably helped me more than her.

“My parting words will be this:
There’s that English saying that:
‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.’
Life is too short, to make the same mistake twice.
There is a lot in life you can’t control,
Lots you can.
It’s about making the most out of what you can control,
not making the same mistake again
and not fearing those choices. Continue reading