Journal

Last night, I accidentally dropped a glass of water on the kitchen floor.

I immediately knelt down to clear the large shards of glass that were on the floor, those were easy enough. I had some trouble with the smaller shards, and it was near impossible for just fingers to clear the “grains” of glass that were left behind. Picking up a wet cloth, I tried to wipe it away, or at least get it on the cloth so that I could wring it dry.

I was determined to clean this up right, because someone else might step on a shard and injure themselves.

And that’s when it hit me. That’s just like our hearts after they’ve been broken.

Broken Glass and Hearts

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Creativity, Leadership

Here’s How Henry Rollins Writes (Slightly NSFW)

In-depth interview with Henry Rollins, frontman of Black Flag, and one of the hardest working people on the planet. Love or hate his opinion on matters, I really respect his work ethic and approach to the craft of writing.

I am not all that interested in being more creative. I would like to be clearer.

Definitely. I wish this for myself, everyday.

More notes. Every date, record played, show gone to, what he said, she said, what songs they did at practice, etc. Hard information. You can never take enough notes.

Something I don’t do enough, or at all. Even if I do, I rarely have a filing system for this, and I’m powerless without a gadget to help me. But this is so important when writing, because it’s the anecdotes you collect and subsequently publish that imprint your work.

You know all those people you admire? They didn’t wait around for anyone to tell them it was okay to go. They just went.

Initiative, leadership and clarity. Consequences be damned. Act, don’t react. I’ve definitely been trying to better my own life and pursuits with this attitude.

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the-burden-of-hope
Journal

My Arms Let Loose The One I Loved

This then, is what it’s like to break up with someone.

After mutually agreeing to break up about a month back, my brain had pretty much intellectualised everything it needed to. There was a logical loop that kept playing in my scenario, that whilst she had broken up with me because she didn’t have feelings anymore, she still needed time to let go because feelings don’t just go away.

In my situation, I was stuck in limbo. I respected her decision to break up with me, and yet, was I expected to return those residual feelings? As I said, it was a logical loop by which there can be no answer, or there is a clear answer. Microsoft Excel calls this a circular reference, whereby you can either have it say ERROR; or you can program the spreadsheet to refer to this reference as a value of “0”.

Either way you lose.

My heart took awhile to catch up. Intellectualising a situation is my self-defense mechanism. It provides some sort of structure, or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to deal with disposable emotions. Things we don’t mean to say at the time. Some might call it being reasonable. While I hold that in high regard, it is also an incredible illusion of security. If you don’t address the heart in time, it will crumble under the house of cards built by your brain.

For me, one of the most arresting things that I had to deal with in my heart, was at how irrelevant I had become. Maybe this is self-imposed, but when I was in a relationship, I found meaning in the daily grind, because I was doing it to build a future with someone. When I met up with friends, it was as part of a healthy dichotomy between meaningful one-to-many and meaningful one-on-one relationships. When I indulged in my hobbies or personal pursuits, there was an added joy to share life’s victories with a loved one.

When you break up, there is no one to share that anguish with.

but lady epiphany
whispered a sweetness unto me
what i had always known
‘you’ll have to do this on your own’

So after a month of still having our Facebook statuses reflect our expired relationship, I pulled the plug. I told her my plan to do it, and then I did it. I didn’t wait for permission, and did it as an independent agent. Consequences be damned. I asked later, why she had left it there for so long, and at the end of the day, it’s sentimentality. While that’s understandable, it’s a terrible yoke to live under.

They call it the burden of hope.

So it scares me that I’ll be alone the rest of my life, or that I’ll never find a partner quite like her. But I’m not going to let fear issue me a rebound, or to keep me from ever loving again. It’ll take time, but I’d rather roll with the punches, take the hits, and learn along the way; than to say that I’d never been in the ring before.

When a colleague asked me how I felt today, since I was looking particularly stressed (It was work-related), I didn’t just smile stupidly and say everything was fine; but I told him exactly how I felt, with the point about being irrelevant. It was something to confront, and I’m glad I did.

I told him as well, that the analogy was like being in either the mid- or late-game of a Starcraft match (popular real-time strategy game), and it was that moment when you had just lost your base and most of your units, and you didn’t know if you should graciously bow out (gg) or try building another base for Round 2.

He understood exactly what I was saying, and he joked,

You’ve got too many SCVs (resource gathering unit) and not enough minerals (resources)

We laughed. True that. I have all my life to live, and the opportunity to schedule whatever I need in my life again. There are things I have to rebuild, and things I’ll need to readjust. Whatever. The important thing is to keep living. And if there’s a lesson, it’s this.

If you can be honest with yourself, you can be honest with someone else.

And perhaps vice versa.

I don’t know what the future holds, but whatever it is, I’ll go down swinging till my last breath. That’s the only reasonable and rebellious response to an uncaring world gone mad. I loosed one final salvo to her about how I was feeling at the time, and how it seemed like in this entire aftermath, it felt like she was the one who had everything she wanted for herself, and I was left with nothing. She apologised, and I understood.

In the end, I wished her well and hoped that she would find what she was looking for. And my last words were to her and to myself were,

I hope when you find what you’re looking for, and if I’m invited to your celebrations, my heart would have healed.

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Music

Cool memories from the Marry Me Tonight vinyl liner notes

I remember Sean dragging me out into the kitchen at Birdland and playing me on his unplugged Fender Jazz, the bassline to what became ‘Panties’, grinning impishly like he’d just written the most ridiculous, dumb, perverse thing ever.

HTRK is easily becoming one of my favourite bands from the 2000-era of music. It took quite awhile for them to grow on me, but I think that’s perfectly natural, as their music’s not meant to be rushed, and it does require a particular state of mind to let the music and atmosphere sink in.

If I had to explain it, I’d say it’s like “falling in love with an artificial construct.”

The re-release of HTRK’s ‘Marry Me Tonight’ is 28 April 2015 on Ghostly International. It will be released in LP format.

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Futurist, Technology

Moore’s Law Is Dead! (But Not In Mobile)

Readwrite reports on how Moore’s Law of doubling processing performance every year by shrinking transistors and packing more onto chips, is coming to an end for the desktop era.

More recently, however, the economics of shrinking transistors has become cost-prohibitive.

However, demands on mobile devices and mobile applications continue to fuel innovations in the mobile sector.

mobile, by contrast, the market is booming and the need for more on-device processing power is sprinting to keep pace with software (and cloud) innovation.

Finally, cloud-based software (eg. SaaS) is also getting more and more sophisticated, and also continues to drive demand for faster, and more power efficient mobile devices.

The price of software applications has plummeted, while the functionality and quality has grown exponentially.

In a nutshell, we’re walking toward the precipice of the next technological leap in the form of mobile internet innovation.

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General Knowledge

China ‘building runway in disputed South China Sea island’

“China’s work on the [Spratly] islands mostly serves civil purposes apart from meeting the needs of military defence. China is aiming to provide shelter, aid in navigation, weather forecasts and fishery assistance to ships of various countries passing through the sea,” a commentary carried prominently by Xinhua news agency on Thursday read.

Look, we don’t really need you to police the region, nor did we ask for your help.

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Starting Up

Bubble, My Ass: Some Unicorns Might Be Overvalued, But All Dinosaurs Gonna Die

Unless they innovate more rapidly (or acquire their internet peers), expect most S&P 500 Dinosaurs to be disrupted and destroyed by an endless march of VC-funded Unicorns that will bash their tiny little reptile brains in with software and internet marketing.

500 Startups’ Dave McClure makes the case that even though unicorn startups might be overvalued, Forture 500 companies that do not innovate are going to get superceded, and there’s definitely some truth in that.

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Design

First implementation of Material Design: Feedly

We wrote these principles on the board and started prototyping. The goal was not necessarily to implement each principle but rather to get inspired by them.

I’m a big fan of Feedly, though I don’t think too much about their design, simply because RSS readers are function over form for me. Still, it was really interesting to read about some of the new design considerations and implementations undertaken by the team, and based on the side-by-side comparisons, I can agree to some of the new UI/UX implementations.

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