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Why I enjoy going for walks.

Why I enjoy going for walks.

My typical day involves waking up inappropriately late and heading off to my day job. I still don't know why I wake up so late for work, but if there's any silver lining, it will have to be the luxuriously traffic-free commute. Trust me, if you've ever experienced the 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. "gold rush," you know exactly what am talking about. Once I get to work, I spend about 4 hours in meetings and 2 hours getting any actual work done. Once that ordeal is over, if I don't stop by the gym for an hour, I'll head home to collapse on my couch and surf the web until I fall asleep. Multiply this routine by five days, and you have a routine that makes it hard for my brain to unwind. Between the mind-numbing day job and the brain-clogging social media escapades, I rarely have the time for independent thought or a chance to reflect on how the day has gone.

It was only by chance that I found out how awesome walking is for my mind. About six months ago, I started making an effort to walk at least 3 miles on the weekends or late evenings on certain weekdays. What I quickly noticed was how refreshing it was. I could feel my mind breathing a sigh of relief as it took this rare opportunity to reflect and wander into the territory of random ideas. I very rarely get to indulge in independent thought because I am addicted to my smartphone, like everyone else. Peering at my phone all day makes it hard for me to come up with original ideas. But whenever I go for a walk, I find that my mind becomes clear of distractions, and I find that I can reflect on the day and just let myself think. A lot of my best ideas for how to push our Boomslank brand forward are products of long walks around my neighborhoods.

I don't know if I am unique in this situation. Maybe I am, maybe I am not. You'd be surprised by how similar we all are.

December 03, 2016 by Justin A
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