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Why Pokemon Go made me realize a future like the Matrix might be cool.

Why Pokemon Go made me realize a future like the Matrix might be cool.

Before Pokemon Go, I'd always considered myself immune to the appeals of mobile gaming. Personally, I found them very pointless and a massive waste of time. But all that changed once Pokemon Go hit the scene. The irony is that I am not crazy about Pokemon. My brothers and I are more of a Digimon clan (we especially enjoyed the first two seasons). I started off as a casual player, but the next thing I knew, I found myself wandering around my neighborhood at 1 a.m. looking for a Haunter.

Playing this game got me thinking about what the future holds for humanity. Before Pokemon Go and VR, I wasn't sure what the future (100 years from now) would look like. I've seen way too many 90s and early 2000s sci-fi movies consistently get it wrong. But after thinking about it, I've concluded that the future might be like it is depicted in The Matrix.

In The Matrix, people have somehow managed to screw things up so badly that machines have taken over, put us in a nursery, and used our sleep-induced bodies to generate energy to power themselves. As grim as that vision of the future seems, the actual future might be very close to it (minus the machine overlords).

Consider the current trend of VR/AR; we are slowly finding ways to subsidize our reality with fantasies or visuals that we typically wouldn't find in our present reality. But if we take this trend 100 years into the future, we might see the first theoretical digitization of a brain. Basically, in about 100 years, we might have theoretical grounds for turning our minds into digital signals. What does that mean? It means that eventually, we'll all be able to exist in a virtual world. We may decide that our universe is not nearly as exciting as the one we digitally create or that a world in which we depend less on chance is more appealing to us.

If you think about it, this is essentially the premise of The Matrix, without the grim caveat. But consider a possible future in which humanity goes digital. We would unanimously decide to digitize our minds and employ AI to watch over us and maintain the massive systems that power our virtual worlds.

Anyway, this is just what I think might happen. Then again, I could be wrong like all the sci-fi movies out there.

August 29, 2016 by Justin A
The only good thing about being lazy.

The only good thing about being lazy.

Let me just start off by saying if you're a generally lazy person, chances are you're in a situation where you're quite unmotivated. So first find something you're passionate about.
That said, nobody likes a lazy person. Especially a lazy person who's working for them.
Working with a lazy person is like pulling a giant wooden log up a hill. It is frustrating and exhausting.

But ever once is a while you find a lazy person who actually inspires innovation, all because they're too lazy to do things the current way. Laziness tends to encourage one to find a more efficient way to do things. 

For instance, I had a co-worker at my software job (Day job I hope to quit) who was intensely lazy. But this guy was responsible for some of the best automation tools our department has ever worked with. All this was as a result of the fact that he didn't like the grind of doing things the old way. Actually, as a result, he was given a new position where he was allowed to work on new tools for the company. I also think there was an uptick in his motivation as a result. :-)

June 23, 2016 by Justin A
Don't envy success, envy willpower

Don't envy success, envy willpower

These days, most of us are obsessed with case studies of very successful people. It can be the next billion-dollar startup and its very proud team of founders or a YouTuber with over two million subscribers. Inevitably, we might find ourselves admiring and envying their success. However, it is understandable; the glitter of achievement is hard to ignore. But here's the thing: success is simply the result of hard work and patience, and we tend not to remember that.

As I mentioned earlier, I was that guy who always sorted out the success stories. I would spend hours on YouTube watching videos of successful people and consuming their stories. I didn't know when it happened, but I suddenly found myself appreciating overcoming challenging situations. Take, for instance, our little venture Boomslank; not many outsiders are aware of what we do to get that one extra fan.

My brothers and I are always wracking our brains, trying to figure out how we can grow our brand awareness. We are always coming up with random ideas. Someone them work very well; some of them fail badly. We are always trying to figure out how to make our conventions cheaper to operate and more profitable. Take it from me, conventions are a lot of work. You have to pack your goods, figure out how to ship them, set up your booth, make sure you are friendly to customers. Conventions can be quite daunting. And sometimes you start to wonder if you're on the right track. On the day we incorporated our company, I had to go to court to obtain a business license, which quite honestly was just bureaucracy at its worst. The experience was just horrible, and it showed me how inefficient government bureaucracy can be. Needless to say, I managed to overcome that mind-numbing obstacle. And my brothers and I are still coming up with ideas to help the brand grow.

I am saying all this to try to point out what matters: willpower. If success is a finished artwork/product, willpower is the skill that created it. By comparison, willpower is far more dynamic than success. Success is static; it is simply the end of the road. Willpower is more of an intrinsic attribute that goes with you wherever you go. No matter what your next venture is, your willpower will see you through. Your willpower is what determines whether you outlast, outperform, or defeat your opponents. Success is simply what comes after you've done those things. Success is the veil; the cover people admire instead of what's underneath it, which is willpower.

Heavy Bag
This is especially why I love one of our latest shirts - Heavy Bag. Most of you would look at the shirt and admire the ridiculous definition and dense muscles of the boxer. However, what I see is the willpower that allowed him to push himself almost past human limitations to achieve his current strength and physique. What I admire is what I assume was his incredible willpower.

June 03, 2016 by Justin A