• Lessons Learned from Olive Oil classification

    Right now I’m really interested in fine-tuning image classification models for whatever i can get my hands on. After the locating images assignment, I want to run a well known example of using image classification images to classify a timeseries data, as shown in the fastai book chapter one.
    I found the notebook, and tried to rerun it to find out whether newer models can perform better.

    Notes of the original notebook

    • I have downloaded the dataset from the mentioned source, but after rerunning the same cells from the notebook, I did not find the same pattern from the data. I presume that the data in the notebook has some errors, as in bitflips or improper decompression. This also makes it clear that the data from the source is already normalized in some way, so most of the data preprocessing is not needed.
    original graph with clear outlier data rerun data with much less variance
    original graph with clear outlier data rerun data with much less variance
    • The image saved from the notebook still contains the background and axis marks and ticks, instead of just the plot. This still preserves the 570x570 raw pixels though.
    original input data, with axes in the file rerun input data, plot only
    original input data, with axes in the file rerun input data, plot only
    • The total training images produced are unclear. I assume the 30 original images are augmented with 30 noise add images.

      Modifications in my run

    • As the fastai module has progressed a lot since the time the notebook was published, I opt to fine tune the model using the .fine_tune convenience function, instead of running the functions manually.
    • I’m only using the GADF plot as it is the best performing in the original notebook. I’m saving only the plot, without ticks and axis.

      Original rerun

      Rerun training logs

    • I found that the mentioned performance is achievable, but through several runs and longer epochs. It’s probable that the data artifact in the original notebook is what causing the difference. But this rerun shows that the performance of fine-tuning image classifier models, on transformed timeseries dataset, is still very good.

      Experimenting with Transformer Model

    • There’s a newer architecture called Vision Transformer that possibly can perform better, so I tried it with the original 30/30 training-test split.
    • A hurdle in this is the timm sourced ViT model cannot accept larger images as the input. The ViT Model only accepts 384*384 input. This should be possible as described in the DEiT and SWIN papers (fine-tuning transformers using larger inputs results in better performance), but I have not found a way. So the images are resized using RandomResizedCropGPU to 384 pixels.
    • I assume this would perform much worse as there will be data lost in the resize, as each pixel represents one time unit.
      ViT training logs
    • Interestingly, after an unexpected training graph, the ViT model still can work fine, reaching similar performance levels of ResNet with the proper image.

      Experimenting with rendering colormap

    • The original notebook uses the viridis colormap for GADF plots, but it only uses G and B pixels to render the map. I decided to try comparing the ‘rainbow’ cmap to the ‘viridis’ CMAP to find out if there is any difference.
    • There is a slight difference and expected, as the viridis plots only uses 2 channels of information ,while the rainbow plot uses all three RGB channels. This might be an important point in using image classification techniques for timeseries data.
    rainbow cmap viridis cmap
    rainbow cmap viridis cmap


    • For the topic of classifying time series data through image classification, there are several things I want to investigate, such as:
      • Inputting the 1:1 representation to a transformer model
      • Using the transformer architecture to infer arbitrary length timeseries data
      • Cross Validation of the techniques using a different split of training/test data (40:20 or 45:15 or 50:10)
  • Locating Urban Scenes through Fine Tuning of Pre-trained Deep Learning Models

    This is a summary of my group project done for the DATA7703 course for my Masters of Data Science study at the University of Queensland.

    Geoguessr is a game where players are given a picture of a Google Street View imagery and try to guess where the image comes from. Players usually rely on man made features, like road markings or traffic signs to determine the location. Sometimes billboards come into play and show the language to narrow down possible locations. Although high level players like RAINBOLT have insane intuitions of colors and other features.. but I digress. But then, is it possible to create a bot that identifies the location of images by looking at the images?

    There have been various efforts in identifying locations of pictures through machine learning, through location compression like GeoEstimation. The approach used in GeoEstimation is the classification of images to S2 cells which represent specific geographic boundaries on the surface of the earth. While this approach theoretically can be very accurate, it does raise some questions in regards to class relatedness (close areas should be more likely to be predicted) and the amount of labeled data we need. We want to reduce the scope to what would be useful in playing GeoGuessr, and also limit our training/input to dashcam-like images where images are captured onboard a vehicle, with mostly a view of the road ahead. Although Geoguessr does take geographic coordinates as an input for score, sampling down to the specific country is an easier output to do, and shifts the problem from classifying a photo to S2 cells, to photo -> country label.
    When talking about image classification, most people would be thinking about classifying general objects, which is a problem that is quite popular and has been tackled by big teams with big resources. The first breakout Image Classification model using Neural Networks was the AlexNet, which needed to use the full ImageNet dataset which consists of 1.2 million images. The more recent improvements still also need at least that amount of training data, or even in the case of Vision Transformer, it uses 303 million images to train the model. Even if we have access to all of the images that Google Street View has, we probably don’t have the resources and time to train it.
    Fortunately, there’s a technique that can exploit the pre-trained general classification models for our own use, called Transfer Learning or Fine Tuning a model. Some prominent examples of this are the Stanford Dogs dataset, the Oxford Flowers-102 dataset, and the Stanford Cars dataset. For image classification tasks, the Fine Tuning process exploits the fact that the general classifiers have learned basic features of the images (as seen here), and we only need to change some parameters to use it for our specific problem, in this case classifying location based on features in the image. We feel that the problem we are solving here is different to the usual fine-tuning problem as we are not trying to identify the same objects and classify them, and the objects of interest are not the main object of the image. Usual fine-tuning tasks have the main interest/class as the main object of the image, while classifying locations means having to identify unique, small features of the image to classify a single class, with varying amount of features and visibility for each class. We want to see how fine-tuning models fare in this regard. As much as we’d love to use the Google Street View dataset, the access to it is paid, and that makes it not feasible to use. We instead found the Mapillary Traffic Sign dataset suitable for our use. It is a dataset that is compiled to train and evaluate object detection models for traffic signs. It is suitable for our use case as it consists mainly of forward-facing onboard images, and likely has man made features seen in the images. The Mapillary dataset needed some work to get the geographic data of lat, lon (scraping + API access). Once done, we can reverse geocode and list the available images by country. Due to the limited data available, we are classifying the top-5 available countries, which are AU, JP, US, BR, and DE. After data cleanup, we have max 300 training images and 40 test images per label, totalling 1500 training images and 200 test images.

    Country Code Image Count Country Code Image Count Country Code Image Count Country Code Image Count
    US 1824 IT 192 CN 119 RO 58
    AU 851 CO 188 CL 101 AE 56
    BR 554 IN 180 ID 88 MA 56
    JP 480 MX 174 SE 87 DK 54
    DE 479 NL 168 BE 80 NO 49
    TH 303 GB 162 UA 76 TW 47
    FR 275 ES 136 AT 74 EC 46
    CA 257 AR 130 HU 73 CH 45
    RU 255 PL 127 MY 64 VN 43
    ZA 222 NZ 124 PE 62 PY 42

    We are also interested in seeing how much data is needed to fine-tune to a specific problem, so we are fine-tuning the models with 100, 200, and 300 training images per label to see the difference. To save time, we pre-resized the data to 800x800 pixels and squished it to a 1:1 aspect ratio. For the batch transformation, we used RandomResizedCropGPU to 224 pixels, brightness, and contrast augmentations. We do admit that this process is not optimum, and will touch on this later. For the model selection, Jeremy Howard has an evaluation of the Best vision models for fine tuning, and we’ll be using that as a basis. We feel that our specific problem has more similarity to the Kaggle Planet dataset in the evaluation. From this reference, we decided to evaluate ResNet, ResNet-d, ConvNExT, Vision Transformer (ViT), DEiT, and SWINv2. ResNet and ResNet d are chosen as the baseline models which are widely used for fine tuning use cases. ViT, ConvNext, DEiT and SWINv2 are chosen due to their good performance in the evaluation. ResNet, ResNet-d, and ConvNExT are image classification models that uses convolutional architecture based on AlexNet and added Residual skip layers to enable deeper models. ResNet was the best performer when it was published and has been the default base of fine-tuned models. ResNet-D is an improved version of ResNet with some tricks. ConvNeXt applies lessons learned from Visual Transformers to convolutional neural networks to achieve similar performance. Visual Transformer (ViT) is an image classification model based on the Transformer architecture that is predominantly used in Natural Language Processing tasks. Although it needs a lot of training data, it shows SOTA performance when it was published. DeiT is a Data Efficient variant of ViT that manages similar performance through modifications of architecture, training procedure and distillation. SWIN is a modified ViT by using hierarchical shifted windows to parse the image instead of just dividing the models to tokens.

    Base Architecture Model Architecture Tiny Variant Small Variant Base Variant
    ResNet ResNet resnet18 (6M) resnet50 (25M) resnet101 (45M)
      ResNet-d resnet18d (6M) resnet50d (25M) resnet101d (45M)
      ConvNext   convnext-t (29M) convnext-s (50M)
    Visual Transformer (ViT) ViT vit-tiny (6M) vit-small (22M) vit-base (87M)
      DEiT deit-tiny (6M) deit-small (22M) deit-base (87M)
      SWINv2   swinv2-tiny (28M) swinv2-small (50M)

    All models will be fine tuned to 100 epochs with 1 epoch of last layer training. Ideal learning rate will be evaluated before the training. We’ll be evaluating the models through the accuracy_multi and f1_score metrics.



    From the groph, it is clear that more data certainly helps any model to perform better. Using newer architectures such as ConvNext and ViT based architecture, the lack of data can be compensated by increasing the complexity of the model. Using 100 training images and tiny model variants limits the performance while using the same amount of training data and more complex models achieves similar performance to tiny models using more training data. This need for tiny models to train on a lot of data also shows the inverse. The newer tiny models can perform surprisingly well when trained with more data. The most flexible and resilient model seems to be ViT-Small and ViT-Base. It has a lower variance between 100-300 trained images and still achieves top 10 results in each case.

    When a good amount of training data is available, the next consideration will be the size of the model and best performance available. Vit-base shows the best absolute performance here. Bigger sized model does not guarantee better performance, shown in the case of DeiT small vs base. Even though there is a significant improvement in each model variant, it has to be kept in mind that the unneeded complexity will impact in inference latency due to the size of the model. TRAINING THROUGHPUT

    Bigger models need more time to fit, as shown in this graph. The impact from going to a vit-small model to Vit-Base model is roughly a 30% slower training period. It needs to be kept in mind that with 100 epochs, even the Vit-Base model only took around 35-40 minutes. The worst case model is the ConvNeXt models that takes around 1 hour to train for 100 epochs. This matters more in iterating the approach to the final model instead of having to wait for hours or days for the next model to evaluate.


    We took measurements of inference time from inference our test set. From the results we can see that the bigger models do have a latency penalty in inferencing. There is also a clear tradeoff between inference throughput and model performance, with 5% worse throughput and 5% better F1 Score by moving from Tiny models to Small models, and a further 10% worse throughput with 5% better F1 Score moving from Small models to Base models. ViT, SWINv2, and ConvNext models scale as expected while DEiT-Base achieves worse F1 Score compared to DEiT Small.


    We believe that we have demonstrated that medium-complexity classification models can be created through fine-tuning/transfer learning techniques, with resources that are easily attainable by small teams or individuals. The results we get, with the best performing models having >0.9 F1 score on Base models and >0.85 F1 score on Small models, is clearly satisfactory. We have managed to do this with a reasonable amount of training dataset, with a maximum of 340 images per label, 300 training images and 40 test images per label. All of our training can be done with easily attainable resources, being done on 16GB GPU Paperspace machines (Free-RTX5000) that cost us USD 8 per month to access. If we are not evaluating many models, we can see more performant models through iterating on the training hyperparameters and data augmentation.

    We also have proven that although various architectures are available and perform well, each specific classification task would need to evaluate several models to fit their needs. In general, newer models perform better through their architecture improvements. Small, newer models perform really well beyond expectations, so choosing them to start creating models is a good default. Although our best performing models are quite big on parameter size (ViT-Small 22M, Swinv2-Small 50M, ViT-Base 80M), there’s possible improvements coming through model compression such as MiniViT and TinyVit.

    We have demonstrated that more images has a direct impact on the performance of the models, but the amount of data is not prohibitive. Although we have not exhaustively tested this, the amount of images that we tested reflects a possible range for other similarly difficult tasks. We also found that cleaning the data from irrelevant/low-quality images brings better performance, which matters more than the raw amount of data available.

    An interesting point that we discover is that the ungeneralizable performance rankings of general image classification tasks such as ImageNet for specific classification tasks. From the published papers, ConvNext, DEiT, and SWINv2 have better performance than ViT of similar size in image classification tasks, but it is not the case here. It is possible that the larger size or inefficiency of the base ViT model has the extra space for the embedded knowledge needed for our specific classification tasks.


    Unfortunately we did not have time to dig deeper into the model and evaluate specifically how these models accomplish the classification. Some methods are available to evaluate these, like creating maximum activation images, attention maps or Transformer-specific interpretability techniques. We tried creating maximum activation images for some earlier ResNet models that we trained, but did not get satisfactory results.

    Relatedly, there are improvements in the models that we use as the base models. There are improvements from the size constraints like MiniViT variants of DEiT and SWIN, also TinyViT. For performance and more robust learning, there’s also the modified RobustViT and RobustDeiT models that have been trained to learn from the object itself instead of background features, which we assume would perform better.

    For the problem side, we wish to be able to evaluate the ultimate performance of classifier models, by training with more data and labels.

  • Digital garden inspirations

    Joel Hook’s digital garden is definitely a model. I don’t think a blog is bad for me, but readers don’t want to wade through the mix of personal writings and more interesting stuff. (Do they? Honestly I enjoy it, but I don’t know about others.)

    Paul Graham’s site is a collection of essays. I really admire it. Having a clear and long arguments about something while being relatable without being judgy is really something else. He doesn’t really have.. references? Maybe because he’s already experienced what he’s saying. Sometimes his posts are short too. And interestingly he set a pretty short linebreak, so his paragraphs are actually not that long each, but looks proportional. I really love how he starts with a central idea (If you wanted to get rich, how would you do it? I think your best bet would be to start or join a startup.) and delves down on the idea, scale, opposing views, and takes you on a tour. is a really personal blog. I still feel a bit too.. vulnerable to write like that. But I like the fact that it’s not about being authoritative or even guiding, but just telling her experience. is also a very personal and mixed site. Kinda like tumblr (is it tumblr? it is). I really, really like Vacuuming. On another note, giving up hosting/other stuff to tumblr is a good idea. But I’ll stick with jekyll for now. is a really experimental UI. Well at the end of the day it’s for me to look at how to take notes more properly instead of a blog. The really interesting idea for me right now seems to be Close open loops. I like the sentence-as-title system he got there too. How to succinctly express an idea and have it as a relationship. Have to start taking more notes, honestly.

    I also want a /now page like describes. Or make that my main page (his front page is pretty cool too). Listing all the things I’m into right now (tech stack, FE learnings, hobby (simracing), ideas floating in my head.) and last updated is pretty important too.

    Simon Willison’s site is also freaking great. I love the fact that he has both a blog standard (‘entries’) and other random stuff curated (‘til’, ‘links’ and ‘quotes’). I don’t know whether I post often enough to do that, but it is cool to see that separation. Monthly entry archive vs a daily view that includes quotes and links. Turns out the tag (example: datasette tag) also displayes all links and quotes related to that. I wonder what’s the difference between these in-the-moment short content and longer ‘entries’. It’s a weird mix between a publishing platform and a personal knowledge management thing for him.

    The biggest thing from Simon’s site is that I want to use that format to curate what I come across on twitter/other daily or even from my library. Setting things up to be curated piecemeal but merged into tags. I already have several pieces related to a topic, but not organized into tags. Example: With enough sacrafices.., Fate/Destiny/Life, Our Life is Not Ours.

    Some more inspiration that’s stuck on my curation: Khanism’s Fate and Destiny (I think there’s a specific post that really resonates with me but can’t find the link) and Melting Asphalt’s A Natural History of Beauty.

    Honestly, all this stuff is useless if I don’t write. This is why I posted this up on the blog. Let’s keep this going. ✌️

  • Endless Starts

    I just seem to have a lot of false starts and holes in my writing. But reading back through these pieces reminds me that a lot of things are the same. I’m still scared to be vulnerable as my career goes on, as I felt over 2 years ago. I’m splitting up this website to separate my blog posts and other more “safe” writing. But is this right? Should I step forward with all my faults or should I craft my image?

    I’m still not sure, as ever. I want to write publicly again. I don’t have any constant readers, as far as I know. I don’t have any or a lot of projects that’s documented well enough to be published. But I guess this blog should be more of a.. personal yet public page to share my thoughts and feelings. Instead of a platform to broadcast who I want to be seen by people I don’t know about.

    What I do have is a.. possibility. To curate. I don’t know how stuff will link, or how I can package them. Instead of remixing content, I’m leaning towards just finding really good gems in the dirt, or even extracting what I think is the central piece of an idea. Or a piece that resonated a lot and can be applied more generally.

    We’ll see. I don’t want to be preachy. I don’t want to be seen as an expert in topics that I’m not well versed in. I want to be more of a tour guide. A journey through what I think would be interesting for my friends.

    On the topic of personal posts. I’ll put up some of my other writings here from my journal or other places where I wrote. Just to make it more complete. And I’ll also date them at the time I wrote them. Should be interesting..

  • Restarting, Again

    So. After a few months of silence I’m finally back on here. I wrote a lot less, and, as always, I don’t like it.

    I don’t really have anything to blame but myself. I’ve been pretty stringent with my media intake (no instagram, no reddit until this Friday, 3 days ago), yet I still have a lot of things that I spend too much time on (read: Hacker News).

    I’ve concocted a plan to get away from it, making the HN Wisdom summary from my favorite comments and making an Action Plan from it, which I intended to straighten me up in my recent, and current, slump. Yet I still got back.

    I’m busy, yes, but it has always been since I got back in December. I’m tired, yes, but it’s always like that.

    I’m not sure what’s happening, as ever.

    I needed something easy to work on, so I decided to move my blogging (again) to Jekyll. I just don’t feel like paying DigitalOcean $10 every month anymore (sorry, DO).

    I decided to build on Jekyll because I’m currently in the progress of rebuilding an e-commerce-ish site for my mom’s business, which was built with Wordpress for the customer-facing site. It’s abhorrently slow, and almost impossible to transfer to a VPS. (Which needs another hosting fee every month.) I’ve dug into JAMstacks and serverless hype, and got back to Jekyll to do it, and decided to try it on my blog first.

    My intention from the start has always been to deploy it on Netlify, but when pushing this to GitLab I realized they also have GitLab Pages available as a service. Yet when I tried it, the GitLab Pages didn’t run, and netlify ran really smoothly.

    One thing I decided was to port some of my old posts back to this blog. I envy people who has years of posts archived instead of months, yet I always avoid it due to feeling vulnerable (first) and the posts are on another platform (second). But I decided it would be worth it and ported my posts from my 2016 blog. I decided to not move posts from my 2017 blog yet because it’s mainly just a blog for my DECO2200 class, with only 1 post on an app design feedback.

    I guess vulnerability is the name of the game. We live solitary lives inside our mind, and sometimes the thoughts are not pretty, or flat-out wrong. Yet being humans, perfection is unattainable and to learn is only through failures.

    I hope this site will live for longer than what was my previous blogs.

    (btw, I need to backup all my pictures/images from my old blogs to.. somewhere. I love/hate WP automated caching.)

    See you around.

  • Good Enough

    Happiness = Reality – Expectation

    Seems like a simple enough formula. One thing that’s fickle is the human that’s running the equation. The parameter that keeps on changing is the expectation part. To expect, in our mind, is to hold on to a fantasy.

    The only thing that keeps this away is to make your expectations real. Write it down, talk about it. Or your expectations will just float like a kite without a string.

    To actually remember what was good enough yesterday is to not make today’s good enough expectations a way to chase an unattainable perfection, throwing away what you already have for an imagined nirvana.

  • Our Life is Not Ours

    Maybe I’m late to realise this. But our life is not truly ours. Whether it’s the deities we choose to believe in, the family we’re born to, the nation we live in, or even the friends we choose to make.

    Each of them (and many more) is about expectation. We expect something out of them, and we, in turn, are expected something out of ourselves.

    Our choices then must also take them into account. And their choices affects us too.

    To be free is to choose which ones do we want to keep and sometimes how much hurt you cause that you can forgive yourself for.

    To be free is to sacrifice: the bonds, the expectations, and the uncertainty of what’s ahead.

  • Fate/Destiny/Life

    This is a rambling after reading Freakonomics. Yes I just finished that book now.

    “The two biggest lotteries in life are the country you were born in and the parents you were born to.”

    A quote from somebody that I most definitely butchered

    Our lives, like it or not, are not totally in our control. What shapes us today, were decided years, decades, or even centuries ago by the unintended action of those who before us. And this also happens for what shapes us tomorrow.

    Power is what all humans desire. Maybe you (and me) does not desire to be in power of a nation, but to have power is still in our desire. For me, the definition of power is the capability to bend others to our will. Not just other humans, but all other things in this world. It’s carpentry to bend wood to furniture. It’s code to bend data to something useful. It’s our hands to bend the direction of the car. It’s ad to bend our wills to buy stuff. To alter the course of others is power.

    So if a lot of our parts of our life has been decided, it’s a logical consequence that we do not have power over it.

    And decided does not mean predictable. What seems good in the past may be trash tomorrow.

    This conundrum is what being human is: to keep living and keep pushing through, knowing whatever we do, we are not in control. That we are partial gods, trying to wrestle our own lives under control and be happy when we know it’s impossible.

  • Engulfing

    Life takes you around.
    From feeling excited to feeling lethargic.
    From feeling like you can take over the world to feeling like you can’t even get over yourself.

    And sometimes you get this feeling taking over you,
    the thoughts consuming,
    the idea poking you through your waking hours,

    in the midst of all the uncertainty of what it will be.

    But one thing it definitely feels like;
    far more lively than what I’ve got going right now.

  • With enough sacrafices, you can be anything you want to be.

  • Hurting

    I don’t want to hurt others. People, at least.

    But what could be considered as hurt?

    Is it just physical violence?

    When I know unseen wounds hurt more?

    But how could I stop others from hurting, when the pain comes from their unfulfilled expectations of me? Is it my fault to not do or be what they expect?

    Should I tell others to not expect anything from me? When I clearly expect something from them to not expect anything from me?

  • Nothing

    I have nothing to write today. Just want to let this out.

  • Space

    I feel the space closing in.

    Not physical space, but the mental space. My mental space to experiment and make mistakes.

    I was suffering back then, but yet I was free. I created a space to explore my thoughts and share it, to do what I please with my eyes and hands, and to own it.

    Now I am okay, yet I feel trapped. It feels like anything I put out can be my downfall. To reveal a bit too far, to be vulnerable. It feels like now, there’s too much on the line.

    “The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.”

    Neil Gaiman

    I hate this feeling. To be vulnerable is being open to be wrong, and to be really right in the ways that is not possible by being safe.

    Yet now it seems like there is so much to lose.

    Is it worth it?

  • Where Does One Come In?

    If anything moves anything else, where does one come in?

    Our background is not ours, our environment is not fully ours.

    Even the our inner force to change what we do and what is around us is a chain reaction from the outside ourselves.

    So where does one come in?

    When we do the right thing because we’ve thought about it for long and hard or when we do something regrettable because we acted on a whim, we deem ourselves responsible.

    When we influence people to do things, good or bad, we believe they have the power over themselves and choose what’s right for them.

    Is it true though? How much power do we have over ourselves? How much power do we have over others?

    Where does one come in? Over anything else that is not themselves?

  • You Never Know What You Got 'Till It's Gone (And You Get It Back Again)

  • One Step

    Our vision is limited, we can only see what’s here and now.
    Our prediction sucks, we can only hope for the best.
    Our evaluation is imperfect, we can only assume the worst.

    And when all seems bleak, we can only hold on for
    one second
    one minute
    one hour
    one day
    one week
    one month
    one year
    one decade
    one life
    at a time.

  • Stories, Social Media, and Being Human

    Humans really like stories and sharing them. We, to each other, are just a bundle of stories. The stories we went through together, the stories that make our history, the stories that we share.

    It is not too far to say that the fabric of humanity is stories.

    Through stories, we’ll get compassion and understanding. But, it needs thinking. Not just hearing the stories. Our conscience to others is to reflect on their stories. To ingest their stories, to deliberately understand the stories and the storytellers. To give compassion to both of them.

    The stories can be real, or it might not be. In defining what is and what is not real, I often come to the conclusion that this all is fiction.

    But what good is to declare everything is fiction when it’s pretty much all we mean?

    Social media has ushered us to another age of stories. We can become a global storyteller with a few strokes of our fingers. And we do. Through our writings, through our pictures, through anything that we post.

    The stories became something else. What would be a sincere story of a moment in your life can become so much more. And we make them more. And sometimes we just realise that not everyone (especially ourselves) has that interesting of a story to share. We need to do things, define and determine what is interesting, and craft the delivery to make our story go.

    We perceive ourselves, and others, from what we share on social media. It’s one step further, but also one step closer to what stories and sharing really means to us.

    Thoughts are not stories. Thoughts are not real. Until it becomes a story. What is real is only what can be shared.

    And humans can only hold on to what’s real to them.

  • Meaning

    “..I think it’s absurd: the idea of seeking “meaning” in the set of circumstances that happens to exist ofter 13.8 billion years worth of unguided events. Leave it to humans to think the universe has a purpose for them.”

    Tim Minchin, from his UWA Commencement Address

    Life’s meaning is as you want it to be. It could be anything. Is it your faith? Is it your craft? Is it your family, or your friends?

    As small this life might seem, one thing you can always make is what are you grateful for. Is it your friends? Is it your home? Is it the way the wind blows on your face?

    The value of life can be measured by how many times your soul has been deeply stirred.

    Soichiro Honda (?)

    The length of your life does not represent the value own life or whether it is enough. Yes, people will see you based on how long have you gotten through life, and it is not a wrong gauge to see who you are. By the virtue of length of life itself, you have more experience in it. But to yourself, it does not matter.

    The meaning of your life, depends on you, and how you want to define it. You might have your own belief on what you want to achieve in life, or what you enjoy. And it is nobody’s business to tell you what is worth it, or how long do you have to be here.

    It’s your life.

    “It is not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts.”

    Adlai Stevenson
  • Reads

    I read a bit too much, and sometimes I read books, sometimes I read articles on the internet, or discussion threads on reddit or hacker news.

    If you’re interested in the things that I’ve read please find the links below.

    Hacker News Favorites:
    Pocket Recommendation:

    If you would like me to write about some of those things, please bother me through any channel you can find me. I will also write about some of them in the future.

  • Forgotten Dreams

    A piece of my journal, written 2 years ago.

  • New Beginnings

    This is the book I filled up the fastest. And the one I filled with a ton of thoughts and stories through one of the most life changing periods of my life. Time to move on.

    Thank you to all the people whose thoughts inspired mine, whose stories intertwined with mine, whose hands also graced this book.

    Can’t wait to fill up another.

  • Weekends

    Weekends now worth a lot to me. The space to rest and let go of all the things that tires me through the week.

    I want to meet all my friends, I want to have fun and go around all weekend. Especially that I rarely go out on weekdays anyway.

    But, honestly, I just want to feel refreshed on Monday morning, and going out every day and night on the weekend is certainly not the recipe for that.

    I guess this is part of trying to be a responsible adult.

    Written on a Saturday night, with me feeling tired as fuck on my bed and not looking forward to being sick on Monday

  • Survival

    I do believe in the phenomenon that is climate change.

    But I hate the narrative of  ‘saving the Earth’.
    Or the planet.
    Or the environment.

    Because it’s just not true. The purpose to care is for ourselves; the survival of the human race.

    Earth has gone through much, much worse. And she doesn’t care. What happens, happens.

    Species die out everyday, the landscape changes every 10 thousand years or so.

    But humans, humans only know this life.

    Where earth is green
    and food is plenty
    and air is cool.

    Alas, people need to care. Or it’s too big and we need to leave.


    It’s about us.

  • A Duty To Pay It Forward

    “Look, if I were born in a slightly different situation than I was born in, a few miles from where I was born, to different parents, with different color skin — I have no delusions, I wouldn’t be in the place that I’m in,”

    Sam Altman, taken from The Political Awakening of Silicon Valley

    I realize that I am really lucky. Born to a parent that can take care of me when I’m young, send me to great schools for me to open my mind and learn, and able to indulge on my wishes when I’m older. All of that, or even any of that, is something that not everyone has in their childhood, if ever.

    I try to be grateful of it. To realize that not everyone has that kind of privilege to live as comfortable as I am. I should not waste what I have.

    Sometimes I beat myself up over this; to see someone else that are doing better with less. Then I ask myself:

    “What the hell is wrong with me?”

    I do envy them. Their drive, their grit, their motivation. To break through their challenges that, honestly, unthinkable for me to go through. Thinking how much greater would they be if they started from my position. 

    But beating myself up over things that I’ve done is always unproductive. Dwelling on the things that I can’t change.

    Trying to change myself is always a constant struggle, too. Peppered with the above question at every step of the way. Thinking how I don’t deserve this.

    And my way to stay sane is to always work on things that helps other people. A bit here, a bit more there.

    “If you are successful because of things that aren’t in your control, you have a duty to pay it forward, which is what I’m trying to do here.”

    Sam Altman, taken from The Political Awakening of Silicon Valley
  • Success

    I stumbled upon an article about young founders in Silicon Valley. The article chronicles and profiles teens, most who dropped out of high school, who are living in Silicon Valley working on their startups and pitching them to investors. 

    In a way, that is my dream. Getting out of a normal life, doing what others are not able to do. Especially to do it at such a young age. Faced with stories like this, I feel like I am incompetent.

    The fantasy to be one of those people. The genius, the prodigy. The one who figured out something that is valuable.

    I do tie my self-worth to other people’s perceived value of my work. I don’t know if I can change that. It’s certainly unhealthy. I don’t have a work that I keep for myself (like Tim Ferris’s podcast with his parents). Is that a sign of not enjoying my own work?

    I don’t even know what is my own definition of success. Is it actually living free, doing whatever the fuck I want because I have all the money in the world? Or is it living free by living in complete honesty, baring all my faults, and not caring (or not having to care) what other people think about me? Or is it getting recognized by a ton of people and getting praised for my work? Is it changing life for the masses? Is it freeing people from their burden?

    I don’t know. And honestly, to think about it sucks.

    To have a definition of success means to have to stick to it. To not fulfill it means I failed.

    And I have way too much hurt from expecting from anyone.
    Even from myself.

    My ideal situation would be to just hunker down and do whatever I have on my plate. Knowing that whatever the future holds, all that matters is that I do what I can. 
    And be happy whatever that may come to.

    Because whatever it is, 
    it’s what I deserve anyway.

    And to expect anything else is to kill myself.

    (You know what? Maybe I just defined success for myself. fml.)

  • Inadvertently on The Cutting Room Floor

  • Scale of Life

  • Memories

    I think I was spoiled.


    I know what it meant to be utterly loved.

    Why do you think it’s getting spoiled?

    Maybe because it would be hard to fill in those shoes, and really, I don’t expect anybody to fill those shoes.

    Spoiled might be the right word. But spoiled means you do expect someone. How do you feel about it?

    Sad. To be utterly selfish, I want to be loved like that again.

    Do you think it’s gonna happen again?

    I’m not sure.

    Well, it’s better to have felt it than never, no?


    You prefer to have never experienced it?


    The yearning hurts more than the memories?

    Of course. Memories make the loss feel sharper.

    It’s hard to appreciate anything as they are. Sometimes we find our self worth tied up to memories of the past. Not being able to relive it makes us feel that we are less.

    That’s true..

    How do you deal with that is up to you. I personally feel.. life goes on. Our best point may have passed and we’ll never know it. But what use is to dwell on things we can’t change?

    That’s true. I don’t know. Maybe it’s better to just let it be as it is right now.

  • Scale of Time

    2017-09-10 Blogging About the past Week


    identity crisis, feeling like needing some space. went outside got sushi and wandered around. killed off ig.










    I realized i just forgot them all. feels like a very long time ago yet it’s just a week. this all passes so fast

    I feel more of it lately now that I’m working. Days just blur past, weekends go by too fast. Like right now, I have been yearning for a break for the past week but without realizing it I’m here again on my computer on a Saturday night. Tomorrow’s a Sunday, and the day after that, I’ll be doing this all over again.

    I don’t really know how to make time last. Maybe I should get off my computer. Maybe I should get outside and see a museum or an art gallery, or go for a walk around the city. Those days do get by slower. Means a bit more. Meeting with people, talking about things. Not that I hate playing games with my friend, but time do get so fast, with such a small payoff.

    Every weekend I realize this and I still do the same thing.

    Time becomes a precious resource. Time to do work. Time to sleep. Time to rest. Time to play. Time to meet friends. Time to connect. And wasting it has been my default mode since forever.

    I am weak on that. I know that for now, everything will still be alright. I can cram my work in short amounts of time.

    Time wasted is life wasted, though. I need to use time better.

    Actually resting instead of scrolling through feeds.

    Create something coherent instead just having ideas of things to do.

    Learn a tangible skill instead of collecting tips on every single tangential topic I’m interested in.

    ..but tonight, let’s sleep early and see how tomorrow goes.

  • Here We Go Again

    Spent pretty much the last week trying to archive, reset, and tune this blog to my liking. I think this is a much better look for the blog rather than last year (which is pretty much just a blog for my coursework). And yes this is pretty much like the one before that. This blog is something to force me to create something every day, kinda like Austin Kleon’s blog (although not as good, probably). See you around.

  • It's not about how many times you fall..

    It’s about how many times you don’t give a fuck and keep going.

  • True Self

    You can say whatever you are and what you are not.

    But the truth always comes out when you feel like everything goes wrong.

    That’s who you actually are.

  • Endless

    Life is endless until it’s not.

    Things that you need to do will not wait on whatever you are trying to do right now.

    And the only way to keep yourself sane is to only say yes on your own terms.

    You’ll never make it end.

    But at least you’ll make it a bit more manageable.

  • Feelings

    You don’t deserve to feel in any certain way.

    What you feel is what you are meant to feel.

    Accept it.

  • Walk

    Sometimes I just feel my energy just going down the drain. Nothing to be excited about, they just become things that I need to do.

    It’s hard to say what I want to do anyway, other than doing nothing.

    But that is not an option.

    I need to keep walking.

    Just keep walking.

  • Dormant

    There’s so much interesting things to read out there. Either I found it through my share of favourite blogs (Lifehacker is one), or through reddit/hacker news.

    My habit is to see the comments first. If it’s quite interesting, I’ll open the link.

    But then, the link usually goes to Pocket, and the discussion page goes to saved/favorites.

    Repeat this for a few dozen of weeks, and what’s left is tons of articles and their accompanying discussion pages.

    Which goes unread.

    And I’m keep adding things on top of it.

    So I’m changing it now. No more adding stuff to pocket. No more saving things on reddit and hn. I’ll get through the queue and try to get something out of everyone of them.

    Another kind of media diet, I guess.

  • Authentic

    It’s hard for me to find what is my true thoughts.

    For I always process everything that I read and listen.

    So what is my true thought? How to differ what is truly mine and what is not?

    If one’s authentic thoughts can’t come up, then freedom is moot.

  • Choices

    Life is a string of choices. No more than that.

    What we have done dictates the options that we have right now. Sometimes there are no better thing to do than to accept that we have made a mistake in the past.

    And there lies the true pain in life:

    What to choose then?
    What to choose to not make another mistake?
    What to choose to not cause further hurt?

  • Essentials

    It’s not what you can live with, but what you can’t live without.

    We don’t need most things that is available. Or most things that we have. Or most things that we think about.

    We buy things thinking that we might need them in the future. Or because it’s pretty.

    We then ignore them in storage for years, even forgetting having them when we need to use them, ending up buying the same thing again.

    We read all about the things that are happening with the world. Good or bad. About something that actually matters to you, or doesn’t matter to anyone.

    We then have thoughts about someone else’s life. How good they have it. How we want tolive like them, or thoughts that horrible things that are happening halfway across the globe is also happening right here while they are not.

    We fear that we won’t have the things we need in urgent times.

    Or we won’t be good looking if you don’t have the newest clothes.

    We fear that we’ll miss out on the newest stories.

    Or we’ll be behind everyone else if we don’t know everything.

    We are peddled with this narrative through advertising and the general media. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they always have something that you “need” to know, or a “must have”.

    It is more important now than ever, to think about your possessions and thoughts, and to pare them to the only things you can’t live without, or things that bring you joy.

    Anything more than that is noise and crap.

  • Forward

    I said I wanted answers about the reasons things that happened to me. I don’t anymore.

    I’ve made the decision 6 weeks ago. I would leave the past. Leave the answers to my questions. Leave the memories of a bitter time.

    So I looked at the present and the future. And things has indeed become better.

    I don’t have those weird thougts again. The thought that this is not worth it. The thought that I would rather end it all rather to feel that pain again.

    And that pain never came back.

    I hope it won’t ever come back again forever.

    Now I’m free, now I can see clearly.

    I don’t regret what I’ve done, and I’m not angry for what I’ve went through.

    The only sane thing to do is to accept things as the way they were, and the way they are right now.

    Time to move forward.

  • Figuring Things Out

    Figuring things out is really fun. You start with something that you can’t do or doesn’t exist.

    You try to find out how other people have done it or things like it. After a while, you know all the things you need to do, and you do them.

    Sometimes you fail. Or you hit a brick wall. Or you think you just don’t have the patience or the diligence for it.

    But actually, all you need to do is to take a break and try to figure out something else. Like dirty water, it will become clear when you let it sit still for a while.

    Then what after you figure it out? Feel relieved for a minute before you find something else you want to figure out. Then repeat again for the rest of your life.

    Something I want to share after finally building my first keyboard. Now figuring out how to make another one..

  • (Smartphone) Camera, Revolutionized

    Snapchat’s latest update just revolutionized cameras and publishing.

    They know a lot of users (not most) already have snapchat as their primary camera app. These users are not the majority in total numbers of users, but they are among the most active.

    And now Snapchat just made itself the main gallery app and longer form publication platform in one go.

    Their Memories updates enables users to group their snaps in a snap (sorry). And they can rename them. And add more photos / videos from other sources than snapchat. And you can name the collections. And most importantly, you can search the collections basedon the name or location.

    Awesome so far.

    The game changer though, is in the publishing. You can edit the collections, and theindividual image/videos as you can edit them on the usual snapchat. That’s your editing platform.

    Then you can send it. In one go. That’s just insane.

    I, for one, welcome our Snapchat overlords.

  • Answers

    Labels are powerful. Be careful about about how people label you and how you label yourself.

    It’s hard to be diagnosed something anyone can’t be sure about. Unlike cancer or broken bones which can be confirmed through MRI and x-ray, mental illness does not have a confirmation of the illness. Sure, you can discern the symptoms and try to group them, and try treatments that have worked for other people with similar symptoms, but nobody isreally sure about what is happening.

    I have thrown myself around trying to get something that I know is impossible. A concrete answer for what is happening to me. What I’ve come to conclude right now is that I have gained more knowledge, but not much more wisdom since I’ve started the journey. All I know, is that something is wrong with me.

    I’ve tried medication (which have made things much worse) and therapy. Some that I have consulted to say I’m depressed. Others say to not believe the label. Some thought something a bit beyond this world is affecting me. Others say it’s only in my thoughts.

    I can’t pull something concrete out of them. Sometimes I feel better, other days it feels like one more day is too much. And I can’t really point out why. All I got is questions.

    I only want an answer.

  • Not Useful

    Sometimes I think about myself. About what I have done and about what I am doing, and about what I want to do.

    Often, I will end up thinking about how I have done nothing useful or have not done things the way that they should be done. Then I would think I would never do the right things or doing hem in the right way.

    What I need to remember in those times is that those thoughts are not useful. Those thoughts distract you from what I’m actually doing well and what I need to do next.

    I need to flip the lightswitch to see what I’m doing, and be back in the present.

  • Holding On

    It’s been 2 months since the last period that I have written regularly here. Things change. I’ve returned to my old habit of media consumption, and sometimes my mood gets the worst of me. Re-reading my own writing, I feel like the past me has figured out all of it. But what’s failing is me. I didn’t keep doing what i know makes it better, I justdo what I like. Then I forgot what am I supposed to do, then I’ll feel like shit.

  • Rebooting

    Currently rebooting through life. Trying to adapt to newly realised reality. Trying to sort out matters of past that keeps spilling into the present. Trying to sort out matters that will interfere with things that I actually want to do in the future. Trying to sort out myself.

  • Update on Media Diet

    It has been a little over two weeks since I have started my media diet. This diet is certainly much less extreme than the one I did in early 2015, but I have sustained it for a longer period. I am not planning to cease the diet now, or in the near future. I may have to use those tools again in the near future but until I can’t avoid it, I probably won’t use them.

    One thing that I do notice is that I go less on my phone on occasions. At first I would reach my phone but then just open the gallery full of old pictures. After a while then I would just not open my phone to seek distractions anymore.

    My thoughts are certainly less scattered. I would seek to peruse resources that I knowwould be more substantial than the ones I used to consume, and I have certainly gottengreat value out of them. I will be writing about these valuable in the future.

    One interesting thing now is keeping up the news is overwhelming. I can really sense the way my body reacts to what seemingly close by and constant threat, though the reality is not that way. It scares me a lot and I really do not like that crawling feeling again. I have found that keeping up with the general news is not essential.

    One expected hiccup that I did not expect is that I missed writing for this blog at all. Somehow it just missed my mind for days then there’s too much of a queue of days to catch up. I have decided that I would just chalk that mistake up rather than trying to wring up more substandard writing to fill them up.

    It’s been a great experiment, and I look forward to continue it.

  • Media Diet

    Most things I see in my feed is noise. It’s either something bad that I can’t change about, updates that does not matter to me in any way, or something about someone else’s agenda.

    These things, whether frequent in consumption or not, consumes time in your thoughts. I would like to reduce it.

    From now I have deleted almost all feed-based social media applications from my phone (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and try to reduce things in my Line feed. I still keep Snapchat because there’s not too much noise there.

    I also will try to refrain myself from opening Reddit. I will seek better sources for information. I have some. Maybe I should write about them in the meantime.

  • To Mom

    Happy 47th birthday mom. Thank you for everything that you’ve done for me and my sister. I know that it has not been easy for you, doing it all alone. You’ll always be the number one example of working hard, smart, and diligently.

  • Clarity

    I adore people who can dissect what they feel and think. About themselves. About a piece of work. About what’s happening in the world.

    Those who can point out what exactly from an event that they think could have been changed, and how it can be changed.

    Those who can slice a piece of work in mere minutes pointing out it’s strength and weaknesses, and how for them it could be improved.

    They know they are not the best, and they might be wrong. But they tried and they are confident in what they say, because they have a scary clarity to their own thoughts andfeelings. Those people are the best people to discuss with and work for.

  • Tough Days

    Some days are hard. Really hard. Not on the body but on the mind. You manage to get up and go, but your mind is fucked up. You try to sing and dance in the car but you end up with tears in your eyes. You just try to pay attention to the lecture but you beat yourself up because you can’t. The words just fly through your ears, but your mind is thinking the worst about other things. You feel defeated. But it’s still 9am.

  • Be There For Others

    Sometimes the best way to help yourself is to help others. Being there for others and showing that you care for them. It’s not about you for a moment in your life. It’s about them. What they experience. What they feel. What they think.

    You don’t judge them for what they did. You don’t judge them for what they feel. You don’t judge them for that they think they should do.

    Simply be there and listen. Presence is the best gift of all.

  • Decent Person

    Being a decent person on the surface is not hard. You are not supposed to be the best person in the world. You just need to be decent. Make a few mistakes here and there, and learn. Try not to hurt anybody else. Listen to the other person and try to understand them.

    In reality, most of us have a person in our lives that we seem not even decent. Brings the question, how hard is it actually to be a decent person? Is it that much of an effort to not break somebody else’s trust or heart? Is it that hard not to be so selfish to hurt somebody else for your own gains?

    I’m scared that I won’t be enough of a decent person. I really am.

  • Fulfillment

    There are a lot of things that you can do to entertain yourself. Play games. Watch videos. Browse through epic dank memes. Read discussions. A lot of activities.

    Most of them are truly entertaining, but only some (and not the majority) are valuable. True, most of them should not be, but if it were the only thing you’re doing in a day, it becomes a concern. Even less offer fulfillment.

    Fulfillment for me comes from an accomplishment. Passing a goal is a thing. Or just doing great in something. Understanding something new is amazing. And also doing great in a CS game.

    Not much to do it. But I do need constant reminder to do it.

  • One More

    Sometimes you feel like you’ve had enough of yourself. Your past mistakes and failures surface up again in your thoughts. You feel worthless. You think that there is nothing more that you can do anyway, it feels better to dwell in the sorrow once again. Or end it, even.

    But try one more. Always try one more. Do one more task. Help one more person. Write one more thing. Converse one more time with your closest. Go out once more.

    Believe me. One more is all you need.

  • Who are you?

    There’s a lot in common between a lot of us now. A lot of us reads and reacts to the same things. We watch and adore the same stories. We share a lot of what we feel and do with each other.

    So who are you? If what we see and feel is the same? If what we think is the same? Where does the commonality end and the individual begins?

  • Present

    Nothing is better than the present.

    For the future is unknown.

    And the past is gone.

    Nothing is better than the present.

    For everything never happens in any other way,

    than how it is happening right now.

    Nothing is better than the present.

    For accepting things as the way they are,

    than trying to make as we want them to be.

    Nothing is better than the present.

  • Passion

    I remember a friend asked me a question that she thought was easy for me to answer. 

    “What is passion?”

    I thought that was easy too, until I actually have to answer it.

    For me, passion is an interest that you always hold dear to heart. Something that you enjoy doing and have been doing for a long time. Maybe you’re good at it.

    One thing that really stands out for your passion is your curiosity about it. You want to grow and develop your skills in it. Not because you are pushed to by expectations, but by your sheer personal enjoyment of doing it.

    Another way to find out if it’s always something that is in your mind. No matter what you do, it always has a time in the day for it to pop up and lead you into deeper thoughts. Probably something else to do, or observing something related to it.

    These might be very vague, but it is important.

    For me, finding a passion and making a living out of it is a personal goal of mine. If it makes me happy and feeds me, it doesn’t take much else for me to be happy.

    Now it seems really far. But at least I have something to look forward to.

  • Noise

    Noise is everywhere.

    I don’t mean the noise outside the house, but more of cognitive noise.

    There’s simply too much unimportant things that we are served everyday, whether through the press and the media, or through our own “curated” feeds on social media.

    I don’t blame people to push their agenda to everyone else, such is the purpose of life. It is hard, to be honest, to keep control and not get distracted by their agenda (which is other’s agenda).

    I intend to keep my mind less cluttered. Which means less noise on social media. Sometimes it gets through, but a little spring cleaning goes a long way to prevent that.

    One of the best weeks of my life in recent years was the week I went offline. Not that it was a great point of my life in any way, but the feeling that my mind was free and that I was not mad or bothered by what anybody said about something in the world.

    Keeping a lifestyle like that is unsustainable in the long run but I did see the benefits. I’m trying to reduce the noise again right now.

  • Bye twitter

    Twitter is dead to me now. 

    Twitter was the place I found a “voice” in my early teenage years. Not that I have any large following on there, but the fact that I wrote (even miniscule amounts) on there is something I didn’t do before twitter. It was fun when your stupid quotes and opinions was retweeted and responded to (by your friends). It seemed that all of us has a voice and could discuss anything only limited by our imagination.

    After a few years of hiatus, coming back to twitter was largely based on curiosity instead of memories. I still have my favorite people on twitter (comprised of @hansdavidian and @hotradero) tweeting away, but even in their feed it’s evident: twitter is dead.

    Tweeting found quotes isn’t as fun when it seems like everybody’s already left. The ones that stayed also knows that everybody’s gone. Tweeting like there’s someone will only instantiate a fight over.. anything. Not to mention anyone could argue with you with anything they have, and 140 characters is a large place for misunderstanding.

    While I’ll still be checking out some twitter accounts from time to time, it won’t be through my feed anymore.

    Bye twitter.

  • Grateful

    There’s a lot to look up in life. The successes of founders of big companies. The wealth of the top 1%. The body of top athletes and supermodels. It’s endless. To want them is normal these days. To want them is encouraged these days.

    Today I want to be grateful instead. To look at what I have and enjoy right now.

    I am grateful of all the people that are close to me. My family, my friends. All that has been there through my tough times, although they might not now. I appreciate the support that they have given me endlessly. 

    I am grateful for my health that I can do the things I want to do everyday, and I accept that now I am not as fit that I can be. I accept that I should take more care of my knees and spine.

    I am grateful for all the things that I’ve been through. For some that I have leaned the lessons of, and others that I haven’t found the meaning of. For life is only strings of experiences, and we can’t choose them.

    I am grateful to be me right now.

  • Doing

    Life is a bunch of doing. You must initiate action. Do things. Create things. Find the connection. Try. See what it does. Don’t just sit around and look at the world. Not because you’ll get left behind, but because it’s fun.

  • Perfectionism doesn't change the world

    If you’re a true perfectionist, you’ll never do anything because it’s impossible to reach perfection. The last detail you’ve worked hard for the last hours will bug you forever, but being done with it now is much better than not finishing it because it’s not perfect.

    Perfectionists doesn’t do anything. People who strives to be the best of themselves change themselves, and the world.

    Ramblings after spending 6 hours changing blog platforms and trying to modify it to the way I like it. I consider it done, for now..

  • Self-Control

    Self-control and discipline is something that I have struggled with for a long time. I never really knew what the effects were until very recently I realized that most of my problems have their root in my lack of self control. I give in far too easy to useless distractions such as reddit, instagram, and other forms of social media.

    The book The Marshmallow Test is a great book on understanding the underpinnings of self-control and how it effects our life, from our daily life to life-building habits and decision making. The explanations are very in depth and interesting, and it challenges conventional thinking about self-control and anxiety.

    I would like to list the actions that can be taken to improve my own self-control skills, relating to my own tendency to give in to temptation and distractions and my own anxiety.

    1. Be more future biased. Self-control, in it’s core, will benefit greatly in the future for the minuscule trade off in the present. As long as I cannot cool the present wants and heat up the future needs, I will value today’s effort much less than tomorrow’s gain. Be more future minded by focusing myself that if I don’t eat healthily now, I risk my health in the future. If I don’t exercise today, I might be less active in the near future. Do not focus on the present feeling of laziness or feeling good.

    2. Create If-Then plans. If-Then plans are short actions to take my mind off temptations and distractions. The If part should be the hot spots that trigger these reactions. For example, my trigger for opening reddit in class would be boredom. The If-Then plan would be “If I feel bored in class, then I close my laptop and pull out my pen and notebook”. These triggers can be identified by reflecting and also by keeping track of the impulses throughout the day.

    3. Rehearse the If-Then action. Just like a program, decision making must be defined by a condition. By preparing the If-Then action beforehand, I will reduce my decision making effort a lot and help me through distractions and temptations.

    4. Imagine the effects as it hits you right now instead of the future. Take example of people who are allergic to something. They instantly avoid that thing immediately, because they will feel the effect instantly they get in contact with it. Imagine you’ll instantly becoming sick when you keep eating unhealthily.

    5. Self-distance myself out of terrible experiences. Most of the time I am reminded of something terrible that I experienced, I always place myself in the place of me, feeling overwhelmed with my own emotions and assumptions, thereby increasing stress and anxiety. By distancing myself from the experience (e.g: reexperiencing it as ‘a fly on the wall’), I could reappraise the moment itself with my cooler rational system instead of my reactive system.

    These are the basic outlines on which I would like to readjust my life currently. I would like to be healthier, more productive, and happier this year. I hope I can be better by using these guidelines. I now have books written by Leo Babauta of zen-habits in my kindle queue, and I hope to also implement things from it alongside these guidelines.

  • Starting

    Starting is hard. I always get distracted by the finer, unimportant details. The things that, in the end, does not really matter.

    Starting is a nice fantasy. In reality, starting is a journey. A means to a goal. The first step to something.

    This is a start of yet another blog by me. The goal is just to write everyday. Just show up. Rain or shine. Write. Just write and publish everyday.

    I’m really trying not to get hung up on the finer details (like how to change the page title in the front page) and trying more to write. I still really don’t know what to write about. Mostly commentary or ideas, or something I notice in the day. Maybe a bit about my thoughts and emotions. I usually ramble around topics and that reflects my way of thinking. I hope by writing everyday I could improve on that.But starting to write is an improvement over doing nothing.

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