Minimum Wage

I have so many questions about Minimum wage it makes my mind spin every time I discuss it with anyone. It’s a challenging question. Why is going up? Why does it need to go up? WHen is it going to go up again? It would be great if we could consider it an important scientific endeavor and important to our development as a species not just a country.

We need a way to trade the value of what we do, but how much do we pay for people to do things that are easy to do? Or don’t require the training of other professions? Let’s just consider the doctor and the bus boy, two jobs that require different training levels and education.

Who deserves to be payed more? The doctor gets a good job where he helps people everyday, and the opportunity for education his entire life. The bus boy has to work weird hours, pick up garbage, and clean dishes. In some sense he has the tougher job, the doctor would never do a bus boys work. You’d have to pay him more than the bus boy is willing to be payed. Of course that doctor had to go to school for many more years and spend time in residency. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t as difficult as it might seem. They were surrounded by friends and family most of the time, and were assisted by colleagues, teachers, and financial assistance/loans. It definitely takes a special person to be a doctor, it also takes a special amount of environmental conditions. Such as all the support groups.

I’m not saying that doctors or anyone who worked hard for their careers deserve to be payed less money, I’m saying that we need to consider how financial security reflects the supposed ‘value’ of someone’s life. Considering that we are all human beings and we are equals to our peers than we should consider the amount we pay someone in accordance with the way we value their existence and participation in the human race. Giving everyone financial security is a clear way of expressing equality among citizens. But how do you determine financial security? (Good topic for later discussion: What does financial security entail?)

In Washington, more specifically Seattle, $15 dollars an hour is being considered for the new minimum wage. That seems a bit high to me, but I really don’t know… If it doesn’t become $15 on this ballot its just a matter of time before it becomes $15 dollars on the next ballot, and that the minimum wage will continue to increase because of factors such as inflation and the creation of objects of value (Manufacturing, mining,etc). If this is the case why do we wait so long to adjust the number, it originally started at $1 an hour and now we’re considering $15… According to the trend it will shortly after be $20 than $40 than whatever inflation + value creation deems reasonable.

So why not increase the minimum wage on a linear path, so that we don’t let people suffer, but still provide business opportunities to intelligently invest an employees without worrying about going under?

There are so many variables and issues to be considered, I wish I could run clear experiments to determine the best result… I love arguing with my grandfather about it, but it would be awesome if we were on the same page according to evidence instead of speculative reasoning about the willingness of people to self motivate/educate and work to make our world better for everyone. Ahhhh it’s crazy, I would love to spend more time learning about wage control.

Construction Site in Seattle: So many linear lines!
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Data Storage and Meatspace 2

For a recent class assignment we were asked to research different SaaS, Paas, and cloud services. I was assigned Amazon Redshift, and we learned about how scalable and rather awesome their data warehousing services are. Not just from a user standpoint or a potential customer, but just the impact that scale of data storage has on technical networking and software advancements.

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Mars is in Utah

Data Storage is so integral to how digital devices work, and for me it’s hard to conceive of a world before GBs of storage. For as long as I can remember there were CDs, and CDs stored a relatively large amount of data when they were introduced. Anyways. That number is increasing so quickly! Just a couple days ago a 128GB micro sd card was put on Amazon… 128GBs in the size of a fingernail… That’s incredible!

Its even crazier that I can log in through my browser to manage a database of petabytes of information!? How much longer before everyone in America has access to that kind of information and data crunching? Every human could essentially have access to a supercomputer. That’s amazing! If everyone had a supercomputer supporting them our world would be different. Getting answers would be intuitive and unobtrusive. You could simply talk, think, gesture, or reference something in the physical world and be provided answers immediately. Describing anything to anyone would be provided with not only your description put extended resources, videos, images, and references. The amount of information you could convey with one conversation would be amazing. It would be like adding another language on top of english. Communication would become more powerful. And we need these giant server farms and data-warehouses to make that possible.

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Tahoe is so beautifully blue

Data Storage and Computer Networking are two of the reasons I love computers. The idea that a computer system could help solve problems at a common and global scale makes me excited. If in any way I made someone more capable of helping someone else, I’m happy with what I’m doing.

Its going from that principle or philosophy and applying it to finding an influential way to have a meaningful positive impact is what becomes difficult. I’m thankful that this is the thing I stress out about, I’m glad its not something like keeping Velociraptors from eating my children!

I really wish I knew if computers were, at the end of the human race, more of a positive impact for our species or not? Are there ways a digital age could put us in danger?

That’s one way to look at technology. But sometimes you must take risks to find rewards. Humans are not the only species to take risks. Even though the evolution of the human brain is fascinating, it can be seen as a lot of little things adding up to our success. Other species experience too, but probably in the same way. One of the evolutionary checkpoints for our species was the development of the scientific method. At one time, no one understood how the universe worked or how to store pictures of your meal in a building 200 miles away.

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This was about three weeks ago, mid February

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And this photo from a few days ago March 10 or 11. Spring is amazing
(Also, focusing with my Nexus 5 on these plants was impossible)

No one knew than and not many people know now. It all abstraction, we have an understanding, but even are astronomers or astrophysicists may never know. There is still another wall for our arrow to hit (As you might have guessed, I’ve been watching the new Cosmos). Once we find why the big bang theory happened, we’ll just want to understand how that happened. Either way it doesn’t really matter. All we have is right now, and getting the best out of what were capable of right now is using computers and the technical capabilities of modern data storage and knowledge sharing to improve the life’s of humans everywhere. Wooooo! Let’s do it!

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Seattle!

Needs Editing

Ultimate Frisbee

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I read in article recently about playing Ultimate, and if anyone finds it let me know, because I can’t find it anywhere… I think it was in somebodies blog…

The one line from the article I can’t stop thinking about goes something like this: “Just come out and watch a frisbee fly through the air.” It’s so true. If you can get a potential ultimate player to see how awesome a frisbee flying through the air is, chances are they’re going to come out again. I don’t know how true this is for everyone, and I’m learning how to encourage people to see this amazing feat of aerodynamics and human control.

The reason this idea reverberates so well with me is because I sincerely enjoy watching a frisbee travel through the air. It’s amazing, and so unique to this sport. There’s something about how it slows down everything around it, and allows you to watch and track so fluidly, its engrossing! I love frisbee.

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5 Reasons to play Ultimate:

1. Watching a frisbee fly is amazing.
I feel like a hippy saying this but it’s too true. It’s beautiful.

2. If you find a good group of players, they will become like family.
Anytime I see someone I played frisbee with I get a warm fuzzy feeling in my chest. These friends became your teammates, and teammates hold a special place in your heart.

3. Anyone can play. Anyone, always.
This is my favorite reason, anyone can potentially play, as long as you have the right attitude. It’s simple to learn and requires little more than a disc!

4. It is a great workout.
You can run as much as you want on offense, but on defense you have to run!

5. It gives you a way to get in the zone.
Being in the zone is essential for happiness, playing a sport provides zoney experiences.

I love frisbee. I can’t say it enough.

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Ruby on Rails

I’ve been learning Ruby on Rails for a class project, and it’s awesome. The feeling of actually creating something is awesome! I’ve spent so much time just learning how to print output, it feels awesome to create something that you can actually interact with.

First of all the tutorial I’ve been learning from is awesome: . A great teacher makes all the difference. ruby.railstutorial.org by Michael Hartl is awesome. It’s patient and helps explain everything very clearly. Its an amazing tutorial. I can’t do it justice with compliments.

Software as a service is great. I love it, it’s hard to express all the neat things it can do and the potential it has for creation. The abstraction of the model to programmer, and not really having to think in terms of SQL, but still being able to control a model. The word model even makes more sense to me than Database. Model seems like something you can build using states and shapes. Database sounds like a complicated warehouse. I can interact with a model, I’m simply overwhelmed by a database!

The ability for Rails to control the model, view, and controller is so relieving. It makes it seem web app programming doable! The learning is very dense though. Sometimes reading a sentence a couple times isn’t enough. And even when I understand it it’s difficult to know if I’ll be able to remember how to implement that test or configuration page.

Learning this makes me feel like a nerd, and I love it. I want to keep learning!
I’d love to have a conversation with an expert about how ruby was created, and how it works, just to geek out for a bit!

In other news…
This was a photo I took of a mountain. I’m excited to begin using color to create a rich experience in applications I design. Snort!
Airplane's and Mountains

Who what when why and how. All the questions of a product.

To be considered for marketing and sales products, good questions to ask to design, pitch, and sell any type of idea or product, from ethical dilemmas to new flavors of yogurt. Think of it as different branches of the tree to sales. All the light and ideas come from different angles to different sized branches, and you need to design the best tree for the customer using these basic elements, while intertwining them with the finesse and organic delicacy of a tree growing into the air. Man this is already sounding ridiculous, but its a lot of fun to think about, and helps me when I want to understand something and/or its importance.

Who
Who needs the products.
Who it’s for specifically.
Why they specifically should by it.
Consider their situation, and recognize the challenges they specifically face, and connect it your you product.

What
What is it.
It’s name
It’s design
The features and attributes
(Possibly what it costs, depends on how strong the why is)
What it’s like, why its different.
The customer needs to clearly see what their getting into in order to trust it, and have full understanding before they make a purchase.

Glazed Donut Vodka- What?

Where
Where you get it.
Where’s it made.
How to physically purchase it
Where you’ll use it
Where it’ll come in handy, and make a difference.
Where to buy replacement parts
Where to find more information
You need to give them the spacial understanding of every aspect that surrounds this product. From local products and product families, to how to pick it off the shelf.

When
When it lines up in the timeline
When you use it
When you’re mother used it, or someone else you care about.
When it’ll come in handy, when you’ll be glad you have it.
When it stacks up to creation of other products and ideas.
New product is new, it comes as a logical progression from what has come before.
When you know when the products is important, you can fully grasp what it does, and understands its path to getting into use.

Mustang- When

Why
Why it’ll be better.
Why it works the way it works.
Why that’s better
Why you should waste your time buying or even looking at it.
Why your friend bought.
Why anyone bought it.
Why your making it
Why is the justification for everything, so when someone asks why you don’t look like a fool. I care about this category probably the most, right alongside how. It’s important for you to rationalize it in your own head. Be able to say the why back to yourself in your own head, to convince yourself that everything is okay. Without a good why, things might not be okay.

Coffee -Why

How
How this product is going to deliver.
How your making it.
How this product is going to make your life better.
Change the way things are done, make you reconsider the way things are done.
Show to cause and affect of it using it.
They need the logic of it success. If its as successful as you say it is show it, show me and show me why/how it pulls of these feats of incredible value to the customer.

Vanago- How

Logic
It has to be logical, people don’t like buying magic.
They want something they can wrap their heads around at least to some degree.
Cell phones are interesting example of this. People should easily be able to easily configure their devices. It teaches them about how it works, and gives them a logical mapping of the interface. Smartphones without configuration need to be really simple because you’ll never understand what going to a new page means or entitles. The balance between the way we use something and interact with and even configure it can be limit are ability to comprehend the logic. Wordy as this may seem. The logic of any product must be able to be comprehended easily or with simple training, or at least in some way addressed, whether in marketing or just being recognized as too complicated to be worth trying to understand. In cases of abstraction it may not mattered. Like logic of circuitry doesn’t matter to me dragging icons around the homescreen.

Sentiment
Products take on relationships with customers. Their part of memories, experiences, stories, people and places. It natural, sometimes we might do it too much, but we can’t deny it from happening and with sales or marketing that important to consider. The people want to know what a relationship with this product looks like. How it will fit into your stories.

Sushi Fiesta- Why

Tradition
We like to keep doing things we know how to do. Doing something we don’t know how to do can feel like a waste of time. So if this matches with your traditional way of getting things done to some degree it going to be easier to pick it up and use it, as if it was your old trusty tool, and when you get the same feeling along with something that works well. It’s hard to say no.

Krusteaz -Tradition

Morality
It the product is connected to any type of goodness it should be highlighted. If its good for the earth good for the employees, good for the world, you need to consider that and relate it to your product or keep it away from your product. If you really have to hide the ethical or moral repercussions of your product you probably shouldn’t be selling it though.

Emotions
We are emotional creatures. Well at least I know I am. And that’s a good thing, but pulling on the heartstrings can sometimes seem like a bit of a low blow. Like associating puppies with your product. That’s cool and or how it will save the pandas. That’s cool and all, but if you layer to thick, you run the risk of making the client thing their bad if they don’t and that probably doesn’t do well for repeat sales. Unless you keep layering, and their your kind of being mean by emotionally manipulating someone. Anyways… But emotions are still important to consider. You should highlight the positive emotions with the product within reason, and maintain authenticity as much as possible.

Meatspace

These things were found in meatspace.
 

The Locomotive

I found this while browsing through Everyday Music’s bargain bin collection. I had a book with the same art on the cover as this album, and I will never forget about that book and that’s amazing because the last time I looked at the actual book I was 5 years old. That’s a fifteen year long memory of something. Why? How? The brain is an amazing thing. Everything you see is amazing, and the fact this is true is amazing.

Never underestimate a hike

Never Underestimate a Hike. I don’t think I could say that too much. Every hike I go on is memorable or beautiful in some way. I always learn a lesson, and always feel better afterwards. Going on a hike is tough. Who has time for a hike. Not I. But I would really like to encorporate that experience into working with people and getting to understand them. Hikes are great. This hike was great because these roots were breaking from the soil and were wrapping around each other down this waterfall. Like some sort of hydroponic soil based hybrid. It was amazing! I wonder if something like mollusks or filter feeders would ever succeed in an environment like that. It was a beautiful waterfall. Not to be underestimated.

Waking up, keyboard installations, hair dryers, and spotify for film

I would pay $100 to watch whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. All the movies ever all the time, just like spotify… for movies and shows. It would be better than xfinity+netflix+hulu+prime+dvds+bluerays+itunes+googleplay+everything else > Filmify.

Hair dryers are barbaric. There has to be a better way to dry off my hair, or I’m not suppose to be showering. Drying my hair before bed is essential for me to sleep well. But I can’t dry my hair quick enough with just a towel. And than shaving. I can’t figure out a way to do it that doesn’t suck, and every time my face feels raw, and I have to put on moistureser… what the heck is moisturizer and why do I need it? Shouldn’t my body take care of this? I think I’m using to much soap. But I don’t know any better… maybe the warm weather will help.

Installing a bluetooth keyboard on a PC is ridiculously still difficult. I couldn’t pair my logitech properly. And it kept saying to type the numbers in the keyboard and press enter, but everytime I pressed enter it just showed another set of numbers. And keyboard just sits there flashing. How am I suppose to know whats going on at all? I want to be able to easily switch to 3 devices like you promised, but that apparently isn’t possible, because I can’t get it to work! Logitech rant! I sincerely like several other things about this keyboard, and overall I’ve really enjoyed using it, but this one little issues has come up and I have to blow it out of proportion to find a solution. That is… It should report the state of the device clearer. Green flashing doesn’t mean much to me. If it was red or color coordinated. Or there were clear instructions on the back. I would be able to use their device properly. and learn the system instead of having to guess and check, or go find that random tiny piece of paper you gave me with the instructions that I’m suppose to ‘file away’ only to be thrown away next time I move. Anyways. Tell me what’s going on.

Sleep. Everynight we sleep. Every morning we wake up… And every night I have to spend time checking and double checking whether or not my phone has got its alarm set. And at the same time consider what morning is going to be like. How do I know what time to wake up. Will I be warm, will I have slept well. Will it be easy to get out of bed, will I hear my alarm. I hope everythings going to be okay??? I wish I could let my mind at ease about the sleeping process, and have faith that as I lie down everything is ready for me to wake up in the morning comfortably and well rested, but right now that’s not possible. I imagine a world where my alarm device would keep track of my sleeping schedule, understand when I sleep/wakeup the best, what pattern succeeds in me coming too peacefully and hopping right out of bed. When to set the alarm based on my habits/appointments. And guide me into the morning without me having to lurch through it. That would be a fine world.

A Fine World Indeed

 

 

Sound and Perception of Senses

This post was inspired by this article found in Gizmodo: Why You Should Never Listen to Ride of the Valkyries While Driving.

Ride of the Valkyries

How amazing that our brains work on a different level than time. When I watch a pot boil, it seems like time is crawling along, dragging me with it just barely creating enough time to get the kettle hot enough to whistle. Then on the other end of the spectrum is spending time with friends or playing a great game of Frisbee that takes hours and squishes it into minutes. I’ve been challenged by this thought a lot. How could this be? Why would the brain allow this to happen?

So my curiosity is in the brains ability to perceive and understand time, and with that goes a whole slew of sense perception questions.

In regards to time and feeling fully alive: I believe the more you are challenged in thought and decision the more time accelerates. For example, when I’m playing Frisbee I make a ton of decisions, and this decision making process is quick and low on technical consideration. I pretty much do exactly what comes naturally to me. The more I think about playing Frisbee the worse it becomes. This is the same for spending time with friends. When I’m having the most fun I forget about everything else and allow auto pilot to take over. The more I decide without reevaluation the faster time goes. I like to call those heighten decision making process times “being in the zone”.

The Gizmodo article states that I should not drive while listening to Flight of the Valkyries because it will make you drive faster, which makes sense because that song has a fast pace. Yet, why does our brain decide to drive faster when we hear a fast song? Is it that our heart rate increases, so going faster provides a counter balancing affect to the increased blood flow? Than why does our heart rate increase? Nothing about that music is physically pushing blood faster? It’s just sound. Does it come from the constant thud of our heart beat? What would music sound like if we didn’t have a heart beat?

Back on another tangent. When travelling I experience periods of confusion (where to go/how to read the ticket), frustration (waiting in line/going through security), being in the zone (following signs/being excited about your destination), and boredom (waiting at the gate, and lots of other waiting) all this contributes so much to my exhaustion. This variation in experiences especially the large bought of boredom, which makes time drag forever, leaves an impression of lots of time passing. Meaning it makes sense that people would be exhausted at the end of day of travel. How do we help people make travel a less exhaustive experience? (Clearer tickets, quicker lines, faster boarding, less delays, easy baggage, easy to and from airport, more red carpet clubs)

Very tangential: What if we had a red carpet club wholly automated. You checked into the room. Vending machine distributed snacks and drinks. Hal provided clear instructions and updates about your flight/how to get to the gate. Nice room, simple chairs plenty of outlets. It wouldn’t cost very much if you implemented good systems to keep everything clean. But I digress.

Food provides such an awesome sensory experience, and is so valuable to what I consider significant and worthwhile in my life. I am very thankful that I was included in so many different family eating rituals. If I eat a meal with any family in any context. I consider a deeper understanding into how they function as a group. Food is something everyone enjoys, so if you do it with your family your going to begin associating your family with this really good thing. At least to a very small degree, and small degrees add up! Food is something I’ll continue to address throughout these posts. Yay food!

IN CLOSING! Senses are essential to our interaction with the world and our sense of time is dependent on what we’re doing. When I want to understand what is happening, or how to improve my life or the lives of those around me. I will remember to consider the depth our senses have to our understanding of the world and its impact on the formation of our personalities.

Here’s a photo of my hand print in some ice crystals!
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The Internet and Socket Programming

 

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I’m in my second week of my second to last quarter of college. It amazing how time flies. I’m looking forward to making the most of these last 20 weeks, and part of that means learning as much as I can.

I’m in two Computer Science Electives at the moment, Software as a Service & Computer Networks. Computer networks is amazing. It’s made me think about computers and the way they are connected in some fascinating ways. The first paper weread is system design, and it makes so much sense!

We’ve also learned that the strength of the internet comes from the mesh-like ‘core’ with lots of connections that individual computers tap into. The internet is a huge network of networks, comprised of heterogeneous devices that allows the sharing of information at incredible rates! The real power of such a complex system is when we can harness this power and create things in ways never imagined. Just the idea of sharing a document, picture, or project across the sea in a split second has incredible implications for the future of the working world. I don’t think people grasp how quickly we’ve changed the realities of our world. I should probably save my ramblings for another post.

Back to Socket Programming! Our teacher explained sockets as a pseudo-file or port that allows a client server schema to share information. This is much easier said than done, and I’m struggling on a programming assignment that’s due in a week because its hard to use the c++ syntax to clearly and intuitively pass information.

The idea of a port or file system makes a lot of sense in my mind though. In Meat Space we use harbors and ports to share things with a linking system (the sea). This just confirms elevates my previous excitement. The real harbors require millions of dollars of infrastructure and resources, but in my room I can establish a connection to anywhere in the world to pass anywhere for essentially pennies on the millions of dollars!

A port, what a beautiful way to think about building a network connection, as if the internet connection was just a beautiful ocean, or even space! That led to me imagining the different parts of a network connection as if it was a Star Wars Space Port! As if Darth Vader could step out of a packet I could send to someone.

This leads to what an ideal programming world could be. If I was able to visualize this building process instead of using convoluted syntax that’s difficult to remember and use. Either way I have to do this programming assignment, and the more I think of it like a Star Wars Space port the better it is!

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Image Internet Visualization Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet
Image Space Port Source: http://www.screened.com/imperial-star-destroyer/30-45/all-images/132-1590295/shuttle1080i/131-327236/
 

Placing 8 Queens

I figure the second post I make ought to be a bit nerdy.

This is an algorithm we were working on in class yesterday, and I thought was pretty cool. It’s called the Eight Queens Puzzle. The challenge is to place eight queens on a chess board without them being able to attack each other. The solution we were taught uses Backtracking, which is slowly exploding my mind.
This little bit of code uses a helper recursive function and an isValid to check if a queen can be placed. The queens’ locations are stored in a vector of strings where “Q…….” is a queen on the first column, and the vector index is the row.

This is the recursive helper function:

Neato!