The Year That Was

2014 has been a good year for me.
Better than 2013. Though nothing went as planned.
But it was not all chaos either.
There were some conscious decisions. Some difficult decisions which might be watershed for me.

I will remember this year because many of my mental myths were broken.
I now believe in abundance, trust in the process and know money is not real wealth.
I am wiser than before but I am still foolish.

“Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them.”

I realized this part of holstee’s manifesto to a large extent in 2014.

I broke my only resolution that I can remember “Not using Windows or Java”
Well using Windows was kind of forced.
As for Java, it is ugly, I hate it but you have to do what you have to do.

However I did not create many of my conceived products.
2015 is dedicated to that.
In fact that is how I spent the night of 31st Dec 14 and the day of 1st Jan 15 : Crafting something that I have always wanted to.
A good beginning but momentum has to be maintained.

Some of the greatest influence in 2014 were
Daniel Kahneman, Eric Ries, Steve Blank, Rujuta Diwekar, James Clear, Paul Graham, DeMacro.
Their work has made me rethink and do things in better way.
A big thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Some great events from 2014 would be
Pizzahackers Showcase, Ojass’14 digireg and aftermath, CampusHash events, Shifting to Bangalore.

Some of the craziest things that I did were
Cleared a traffic jam on a highway, Interviewed people posing as a journalist, Left the group for exploring waterfalls alone.

Some of new things this year were
Climbing up the Shimla point, Getting an Android phone, Lodging an FIR, becoming health conscious, Whatsapp usage, Going to a pub, Trying espresso, watching plays, taking lots of photographs and making GIFs, Death of people I knew.

Some low points of this year would be
Not asking for the phone number or name, Ojass Tshirt and the mess, Final year project submission, Listening to Ravinder Singh, Watching gulab gang (However Queen overcame that), Shifting, Empty pockets and life on loan, Deciding where to stay sitting in 60 ft road.

Some memorable moments from this year would be
The debut workshop and banarsi thugs, “Why I am not getting high”, Seeing off people at Tatanagar Railway Station, When the makefile worked, Finding TOLET board.

Technologies that I used this year
PHP, Python, JS, C, HTML5, CSS3, git, Redis, Django, Flask, Java and Node.

2015 is here, but I am not taking resolutions or wishing for things.

Events happen due to process.
Process happens due to habits.
Wishes don’t change habits.
Will does.

I read this few days back

Sin is not how long you are an average or  a beginner. Sin is when you know what you have to do for becoming master and do not do it.

*Hope that I wont sin anymore this year!

I will end this post with lines taken from my new manifesto from this song in the beautiful voice of GLaDoS:

We do what we must
Because we can
For the good of all of us
Except the ones who are dead.
….
Still Alive
….
Look at me still talking
When there is science to do
When I look out there
It makes me glad I am not you
I have experiments to run
There’s research to be done
On the people who are
Still alive!
And believe me I am
Still alive!

*This is not a wish.It is hope. How’s that different?
Hope is when you have confidence and maybe control. Wish is when you don’t have either.

 

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12 thoughts on “The Year That Was

  1. I have never heard the term “sin” used in this way before. Usually it gets used as a heuristic for “thinking or acting in a way that goes against the will of God”. I haven’t found it to be a useful term for quite some time, and I rarely think about it unless someone else I am paying attention to uses it… like now. What do you think about the concept of sin? And it would be really awesome if you would tell me in your own words (to the extent that such a thing is possible).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank You for reading this post with attention.
      A trait missing among many even while reading, including me at times.
      I think religion was created out of the necessity to control people. Sinning and penance being important part of the controlling gears.

      My guess is since you were brought up in Christian house/neighborhood, sin and God are related that way to you.
      I have read about the rituals of confession performed weekly in churches in many novels and seen in movies. Since I do not believe in God as a man who judges us on every deed of ours, I find it ridiculous but I don’t have problem with anyone doing that.

      I was born Hindu. Hinduism is a very accommodating religion, we do not have many strict rules at least in the form it is followed today.
      There is the concept of karma : good and bad. But I find it very subjective. What is good for me might be bad for you say killing a deer for me might be bad karma but for a hunter in the forest it is the only way to survive.
      However there are always those people who find a way to monetize culture. Here too, as things evolved some pundits/gurus classified some of these “deeds” as sin and ask the “sinners” to take a dip in some “holy” river plus give them some money/resource as penance.
      It again is ridiculous.
      But that is how society is.

      For me sin is something that is not good for my personal growth.

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      • Sin and God might have been related that way to me when I was a child, but I abandoned Christianity a long time ago. I have recently started practicing Zen Buddhism, after studying Buddhism off and on for about 18 years. I am sure you are well aware of the historical connections between Buddhism and Christianity.

        What I am curious about is why you use the term “sin”, which I have never heard before in a context other than religion, to describe something that is not good for your personal growth. Language is personal but it also serves to connect between people and it would seem to me that using a religious term for a secular concept might foster confusion.

        “A voice that is wholly individual runs the risk of being incomprehensible.” – I believe her last name is Cameron? It was a quote that jumped out at me while I was studying critical discourse analysis for my thesis.

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      • This is interesting. I know people who have left their religion for atheism but not for another religion.
        I would love to read about what made you make the choice.

        I know of connections between Buddhism and Hinduism, but not that between Buddhism and Christianity.

        To be frank I never gave it much thought.It was a quote from a piece I read a few days back on how to improve as a programmer, but found it apt for personal growth too.

        Said that, words do change meaning over time and it is largely decided on how people use it.
        There is this word epiphany that is commonly used to describe a moment of understanding, but its original use was to describe divine manifestation.
        And coincidentally, today is the day of epiphany I believe 12 days from December 25th.

        “A voice that is wholly individual runs the risk of being incomprehensible.”
        This is true, but risks have to be taken.Not that I am taking any here but new thoughts and voices have to be born and brought up. It might get severe opposition due to incomprehension initially, but it is necessary for perspective expansion.

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      • So I just read the post you linked to about the 40 hour work week. Have you ever seen the movie Cube? The author’s proposition that the 40 hour work week was “designed” reminded me of the interrogation of the character named David Worth in Cube. Here’s a link to the monologue in question in case you haven’t seen it:

        Nobody “designed” the 40 hour work week. As much as I hate capitalism, the ruling class is not a monolithic entity. That’s just not how this beautiful/ugly, messy/clean, system/chaos of a universe/society works. And as long as people continue to try to package “Big Business” as the enemy, instead of just people equally trapped in greed, hatred, and delusion as the packager, we will continue to suffer as sentient beings.

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      • I will watch this movie soon.
        I do not hate capitalism. I see myself as a capitalist.
        However, more than Big Brother, what I got from that article was effect of consumerism and how it is affecting the lifestyles of the majority.
        Of course a little bit of conspiracy theory always spices things up.

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      • I don’t see how it is possible to identify as a capitalist and have a problem with consumerism. Capitalism (or as I personally refer to it in my head, “accumulation”) would crumble into bits without the glue of consumerism to hold it together.

        It’s probably good that we encountered this fundamental difference in perspective fairly early in our online interactions. There aren’t very many things that I am willing to say I am “anti”, because on principle I think it is just more healthy to focus on what one is for, rather than what one is against… but I am anticapitalist. I wish I were enough of an economic visionary to offer society a functioning alternative. Unfortunately, I am not. That’s not where my gifts lie. The closest thing I have to proffer is anarchosyndaclism, but my grounding in that has more to do with worldview and philosophy than practical details and a road map.

        I think you would really enjoy Cube. The reason I linked you to that scene was that even though “Big Brother” as found in 1984 and referenced in Cube is a political construct, it makes sense to generalize the warning to any secretive, evil, corrupted, powerful mastermind force behind society, which is in my opinion how the author of the post you linked to was casting Big Business/Corporations/”industry”.

        In 2014, I wrote a novella about an inhumane and unscientific experiment being conducted by a fictional secret society. One of the points that I worked hard to get across in that novella was that in the 21st century, such a society would have to exist in the cracks and crevices and margins of the world, and that most of its power would be derived from capitalizing on irrational fear via Sturm und Drang, as opposed to access to material resources. Its power would all lie in illusion and perception. And I firmly believe that to the extent any secret society actually exists in our contemporary world, they do it by capitalizing on illusion and perception. They have very little power that the rest of the world does not give to them and could not stop giving them if we would just open our eyes and realize the significance of our own choices.

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      • Capitalism is the reason for the rapid advancement you see around be it in technology, healthcare or lifestyle in general. It gives people the drive and purpose to create things and make progress.
        When you say consumerism and capitalism are tightly coupled, I get it. I see the world as producers and consumers. Some produce but everyone consumes. These people who produce they need some incentive for doing it and capitalism/ free market gives it to them. They are doing a great job. Creating things that did not existed before for the benefit of people in general. It is the job of the producers to push their product. But consumers have a choice always. Which they seem to forget and then I start to have problem with consumerism.
        I am against mindless consumerism. Products out there are to make our life easier,comfortable,safe… Its not to make our life about them.
        Consumption is necessary for a moderately comfortable life but not to the extent that it is the only thing on the todo list.

        I started watching Cube but it was not available in english then. I will search it out again.
        Though,I do not get everything you have written but power of choices.Yes absolutely.

        I am sorry for the latency in the responses. I saw your comments earlier this week on the phone but could not type from there.
        In reply to your comment on the other post, yes I am from Banagalore.

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      • It’s really exciting for me to be having personal correspondence through WordPress with someone from Bangalore. I literally have never had direct personal contact with anyone while they were living outside of the Americas, Europe, or Australia let alone someone born and raised in any of the other vast reaches of the Earth. The Internet is capitalism’s greatest gift to me, and for that I give it grudging respect.

        But while you tout the advancements provided by capitalism, what I end up thinking about is the price that those advancements have cost. Billions of people have experienced oppression and forms of exploitation that would not have been possible without capitalism, and the system’s unchecked adoration for growth has resulted in a complete lack of sustainability. If wealth keeps accumulating at the top of the pyramid without getting redistributed back toward the base, eventually the structure will collapse. And while there are social institutions like governments and charity that exist to perform some of that redistribution, the name of the game remains Accumulation and the wealth of the richest of the rich in the 21st century FAR outstrips the wealth of the richest of the rich when the game started for keeps in the 1800s.

        And don’t tell me that the structure can sustain the constant upward draw of wealth because it can be created ex nihilo. The wealth comes from the natural resources of the physical universe and those have a finite limit. To paraphrase the indigenous First Nations people of my continent, “Only when the last fish has been fished, the last tree has been cut down, and the last drop of fresh water drunk, will you people realize that you cannot eat money.”

        I don’t expect either one of us to actually change each other’s minds over this fundamental difference in philosophy, not in any lasting way. That basic of a change in outlook only happens as a result of independent observation, learning, and critical thinking. So I suggest we enjoy reading each other’s material, replete with the knowledge of the differences in our perspective. Rather than arguing or debating, let us simply encounter each other through each other’s words. Our world will be the richer for it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree with your concern over inequality. It is bad.Neither for the society nor the capitalists, Heres an article from a zillionaire over the concerns of growing inequality due to inefficiency of the trickle down approach which government around the world seem to adore and folllow. He makes an argument that raising minimum wages is necessary to create more consumers for the product as well as decreasing the divide.

        “Dear 1%ers, many of our fellow citizens are starting to believe that capitalism itself is the problem. I disagree, and I’m sure you do too. Capitalism, when well managed, is the greatest social technology ever invented to create prosperity in human societies. But capitalism left unchecked tends toward concentration and collapse. It can be managed either to benefit the few in the near term or the many in the long term. The work of democracies is to bend it to the latter.” http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014_full.html

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      • First off, I need to apologize for something I said wrong earlier in this exchange. I was looking back over what we have been writing and I realized that I typed “the historical connections between Buddhism and Christianity” when I meant to type “the historical connections between Buddhism and Hinduism”. I must have had Christianity on the brain at that particular moment. Sounds like some kind of nasty disease…

        In response to what you just said: any system that has such drastically negative consequences when left “unchecked” is fundamentally flawed. Whenever a system must be “bent” to be functional in the long run, it means the system is unsustainable and should be discarded in favor of something that has an internal balance and acknowledges reality, which capitalism does not. Moreover, once the system has been “bent”, it is no longer the same system. What the zillionaire is describing as managed capitalism isn’t really capitalism any more. It’s definitely a step in the right direction but it’s a different model and should have its own name.

        As I said at the start of this exchange, I’m not an economic visionary. My gifts are primarily creative and artistic, flavored by my compassion and my sense of social justice. So I do not have an answer to the quandary other than to say anarchosyndaclism feels right to me. But I do know that the “answer” that much of contemporary society is currently turning to will eventually lead Western civilization over a cliff if we continue to let it lead us by the nose.

        And regarding the question of prosperity – in my late twenties I was a single professional. My monthly income was more than three times what it is now. I was living on my own in Chicago, which is by any standard a world-class city. I had all of the comforts and all of the opportunities “prosperity” in the early 20th century had to offer, despite never being mega-rich. I was also miserable. I had moderate to severe clinical depression for years. I am much less prosperous now, but as a result of living in tune with my values and getting in touch with my spirituality, I am more content with, more at peace with, and more in love with life, the world and “myself” (whatever that means). I would never have found the overall happy life that I have now if I had chased prosperity any further.

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      • Maybe Capitalism with all its flaws is the best we can have now. Maybe not. I am not sure either.
        Or someone needs to build a better system.
        You do have a gift that I am assured of after reading your blog. I am looking forward to reading your novellas and other works. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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