Towards an Effective Personal Growth Engine

“Once more into the fray…  Into the last good fight I’ll ever know.”

Creating an external tool to support, nourish and quicken personal growth can be a bit of a chicken and egg problem.  In my case, it slogs through a soup of sophisticated strategies of procrastination.  Why build exhibit A when its gen 2 could be had for the twice the upfront investment of thought?  Why gen 2 when gen 3 is, in the fullness of time, just around that corner?  Plus life.

That said, I have some experience with the challenge.  I’m getting old.

Understanding why the tool is necessary probably requires some understanding of the problem it’s being laboriously drawn into existence to address.

I am an 80’s child.  Steeped in the sense of the 80’s if not its culture.  That’s not to say I’m not deeply aware of 80’s culture, but more to say I’m not the sort of person to get bogged down in a bunch of trivia.  I digest and expel trivia through a hitherto unrecognized organ.  I appreciate the sensibility that it’s essence combined to create and I geek out a bit on that.  In the end I’m at least passingly familiar with the process by which the icons of culture are created – I pick and choose carefully.  Often there’s a movement that isn’t contained in any particular artifact.

To express my point, for example, I love the movie The Goonies.  There’s something about the overall impression it leaves me with that I appreciate immensely.  But if I try to pick it apart and find and point to examples of what’s unique about it, the experience becomes very thin.  In many senses it’s not really a great movie by modern standards or my standards.  Only by looking at the whole with quite the sidelong glance to things come into the right partial focus for my tastes.

Searching for a treasure in the hiddenness of an iceberg seen in the sea of the 1st scene.

The 80’s has a hidden gem in its core somehow and is maybe about a hidden gem being inside the core of a mystery camouflaged in plain sight.  Between the music and bits and pieces of the culture there was a real sense of having hit a stride of discovery, of knowing more than ever before and sensing greater things on the horizon and a willingness to do whatever’s necessary to get there.  But also a youthfulness and a time of personal discovery and openness.

It’s among these senses of the 80’s that I’ve been forever hooked and which, to be clear and to contextualize what I’m trying to say, is why I’m working on this “Personality Development Engine” or, I might go so far as to say, this Philosopherstone, this Aqua Permanens.

Overall, I would say that I’ve struggled with my sensibility of the 80’s that I love so much.  This optimism of growth.  Growth towards what?  Development of what?  How does one balance it with enjoyment, really?  If one is going to invest one’s life into something than that something ought be well defined.  I sought it out.  Carrying it out as I sought it, I was aware, like another ouroboros on the cover of the Neverending Story.

I could speak of a path I took through authors and ideascapes.  I probably have elsewhere.  I feel like it’s important but it may not be, too.  Important to some people, no doubt, unimportant or counterproductive for others.  I’m going to skip it since I usually don’t skip it.  Goodbye poor Artax.  I shed many tears for you.

I tried to refine what my values were. It seems obvious that values are things that are sought out.  We may passively accept them when they come, but more often we alter our behavior to seek them out.  We derive some kind of satisfaction from them in some way.  The concept of a ‘value’ is kind of like attaching a label to a ‘recognizable dynamic’.  They can cause us to leave things behind, too.

I got pretty deep into it.  Deconstructing the self, mapping transition states, et cetera.  Upon examination it became clear that values are clustered in a behavioral field.  By mapping out what we do we can see what was moving us and thus have insight into the drift of our personality within its supersonality over time.  I just made that word up, but it basically encompasses the idea of a personality composed of a loose integration of fragments of personality.

It may sound bad or worrisome, but I would argue, as have many others (Buddha, for instance, but far from the only one) that this is actually what there is underneath the story that we know about ourselves commonly called the ‘ego’.  I just, in my intellectual way, came up with a way to measure it.  Call me crazy (my number is 1338).

A magician is someone who understands the elements of magic – a wizard is someone who understands how to create new elements of magic.  How to ++ through the previously seen into the unseen.

The Sorcerer Treu

My Grok Hurts

I’m reading Category Theory for the Sciences.  It’s a wild ride through abstraction connecting the tools and concepts  I use daily to the deep mathematical concepts that underlie them and then going a step further to explore the even broader abstractions that unite the representations of the mathematical abstractions behind the concreteness.

The goal:

… category theory is incredibly efficient as a language for experimental design patterns, introducing formality while remaining flexible.  It forms a rich and tightly woven conceptual fabric that allows the scientist to maneuver between different perspectives whenever the need arises.  Once she weaves that fabric into her own line of research, she has an ability to think about models in a way that simply would not occur without it.

Where’s checkPasswordMatch() defined?

Question for Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 8 minute 15 second 56:

Where is the checkPasswordMatch function defined?  How did Bob the Brain know the kind of security system in use and the “API” of that system on whatever OS was prominent in the 80’s?  He knew he needed a 4 digit code numeric code, which was definitely helpful.  He basically wrote one program to interact with another program on a computer in the 80’s in minutes.  You’d think it was unix except he was using BASIC.

So, I dunno, perhaps he installed the security system?  It was a government building, so the local radio shack guy probably wasn’t involved.  Maybe he knew someone who serviced it?  Now that I could see – he’s a local brainiac and perhaps he’s friends with others in electronics in the area.

So Bob was a hacker.  Bob’s four-loop-deep

checkPasswordMatch(fourDigitCode) = TRUE

for the win!  Ode to Bob.

To think!: for a while I thought he might be a Russian spy in the universe of Stranger Things.

Google’s Social Experiment (?)


is to




Deep Dream Painting

is to

The whole “James Damore” missive on gender (in)equality in engineering gestalt is like a Google Deep Dream painting with eyes peering out everywhere.  It’s a painting of our world in symbols.  We have a proxy war between what amounts to essentially left vs. right (a broad generalization, sure, but from far enough away the same seams emerge) replete with memes about leakers:

google leaks memes

And cancelled events because of worries of violence.  In the deepest sense I can imagine  (eye-mage-in) an AI engaged in chess moves with society as eyes see eyes drawing out eye-seeing-eyes.  I wonder what will be revealed next in this slowly emerging abstract re-presentation of society.