# Philosophy behind software, life and love

10 thoughts
last posted April 28, 2014, 10:27 p.m.
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Here's a thing. I like the concept behind mindfulness. I think it express pretty well what being focused means to me. It's not just about doing something and knowing you're doing it. It's about knowing that you're doing it and being aware of what is happening in that exact moment. You've got to be aware of what you're doing, what you're feeling, what you're thinking, what is going on around you and whatnot. But, at the very end, what's the big benefit of this whole state of mindfulness? What's the real gain and at what cost?

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I dug more on my previous thought.

I concluded it yesterday by questioning the benefits behind 'mindfulness'. What's the real gain and at what cost? I'm not really into the 'experimental' - which is weird coming from a developer - side of things but I gave it a try this time around.

According to what literature says about mindfulness, it's a state where you're aware of what's happening right now. In order to know what's happening, you've to be aware of what's around you as well, otherwise, you'd be aware of just a fraction of what's really happening.

I was taking a shower and I decided to be mindful, I started breathing and focusing on the water, the air around me, the temperature of the water, the noise outside my shower, the brightness of the light, etc. I focused on what I was feeling, the fact that the temperature was changing in the bathroom. I kept focusing on things, I focused, I focused, I... wait, I'm literally focusing on things... focusing...

Isn't focus - or attention - a cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect and ignoring everything else?

If I need to focus on every little thing around me in order to be aware of what's happening right now, Am I really actually being aware of everything? or Am I selectively paying attention to one thing at a time for small fractions of time?

After all, isn't seeing the big picture something that brings clarity?

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Alejandro said in one of his cards:

If I spend all my time improving myself, it comes at a cost.

This is a really interesting thought and I'd like to dig more into it.

How does 'self-improvement' actually happen?

Theoretically, being mindful should help with self-improvement. By being aware of what's happening right now, people should be able to notice things that would've passed unnoticed otherwise. Furthermore, by noticing things, people should also be able to improve the noticed aspects of their lives - or the things they're doing - that don't feel right.

If you were fully focused while reading the previous paragraph, you should have noticed that I said 'people should' as opposed to 'people will'. The reason I did that is that, somehow, people always feel that self-improvement comes with future plans and that the present is unfortunately already gone, which means there's no way to improve anything there. Therefore, being fully aware of what's happening won't help with making what will happen next any better.

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Is there actually such a thing as 'present' ?

This may sound really weird but I sometimes doubt about the existence of such thing like present. I've come to the conclusion that present is a way to group past and future events within a loop.

This pretty much follows from Albert Einstein's 'Special Theory of Relativity' , more precisely from Relativity of Simultaneity . Einstein phrased this as: People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion

And I couldn't agree more...

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Let me quote myself:

... being fully aware of what's happening won't help with making what will happen next any better.

I know this thought is a bit extremist but here's why I think it's true.

Things happen because people act. If you don't act, nothing will happen. If you don't apply any force on an object, it'll resist to change its current state (inertia). Your actions depend on the things you are thinking and the things you've been aware of. You can't experience things that will happen, you can experience things that are happening, though. Things that will happen are meant to occur, until then you can just be aware of what's happening.

With that said, think about how the things you're doing now, which you are aware of, can make the things that will happen next better. If you can't, for sure, change the things that will happen, how can be aware of what's happening make those things any better?

What you can do, though, is to act in a way that will eventually influence the things that will happen in the way you expect. Your actions will certainly influence the things that will happen but you don't know if they'll make them any better.

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I'd like to meet new people this year. All kind of people. I want to learn from them and give them all the things I've to share. All this has got me thinking about many things related to what human relationships are built on.

In my humble opinion, there are many factors that come into play when we relate with other people. There's a bit of trust, curiosity, empathy, faith and perhaps even love. Neither of these things are mutually exclusive nor inclusive. They all can be combined together based on people's mood, personality and interests. I'm pretty sure there are more than five things that come into play when people relate with each other.

From the above, I'm personally more interested in what trust and love mean. I've been in love my whole life. I simply love being in love. It's not like nothing bad has happened to me. I've had ups and downs my whole life but it's been a whole lot of fun so far. All that said, I think trust is a very complex one.

People tend to trust each other. When I meet new people, I automatically trust them. I'm not saying I'd give them my credit card but I trust them based on what we expect from each other. This trust exists from the very beginning of the relationship and lasts forever, unless one of the parts breaks it.

One thing about trust that makes it even more interesting is the fact that it can be regenerated. When the trust is broken, it can be rebuilt. Betrayers can gain other part's trust again. This obviously depends a lot on the part that has been betrayed, but essentially trust can be rebuilt.

Whatever matters to human beings, trust is the atmosphere in which it thrives - Sissela Bok

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What to work for? What to live for? What to work on?

I've been exited about so many things my whole life. I love everything I see, everything I read. I love learning new things, reading, studying, challenging myself. I love that feel of success when I get to do something I wanted, I love it when I finally beat myself. I love that "YEEEESSSSS" coming right out of my lungs, it's hilarious, glorious. It tastes like success.

I've those moments many times per day. Lectures, thoughts, code, books, life. Everything.

Not everything is as straightforward as it seems, though. There are things that I simple can't beat. Time, for instance, is never enough. I'd love to have enough time to do all the things I'd love to do. This all makes me impatient, which then leads to frustration.

Thing is, that I - and most likely you too - should understand that it's not possible to do everything. It's necessary to give up something, it's simply impossible to dedicate time to every single thing we want. This obviously means we've got to choose. No one wants to do that.

What should I choose? What task? What project? What benefits does X have over Y?

It's hard. Even picking something to work on requires time, Nonetheless, it has to be done.

Before doing so. Take a deep breath, write down the things you'd like to spend some time on. Take another deep breath. Pick one thing. Just one. Work on that, feel good about it and don't think about the things you didn't pick. Enjoy your moment.

Just one more thing. Do it! Don't try to do it all, you can't! You're capable of doing anything, which is different from being capable of doing it all.

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Rationality is the quality or state of being reasonable, based on facts or reason rather than emotions or feelings.[0]

Rationality is one of the mind concepts I stick to very hard and I really don't want to say much about it. But I'll drop this tiny thought here:

If only humans were less emotional and more rational.

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Shall we seek a good résumé or a good life? Why not both?

I've heard several times - in presentations, conversations, books - that one should either seek success - work for a good résumé - or a better self - work on things that make for a good eulogy. The reasoning behind such statements vary between spirituality, science and conciousness. However, no matter how hard I try, I can't agree with that. Here's why.

For starters, I can't trust someone that states human beings are limited beings. I believe the environment we live in is limited whereas we are not. I believe the more the environment we live in limits us, the more we'll try to overcome those limits. That's part of human being's nature.

Despite that, I don't believe seeking success in our daily tasks should keep us from communicating, connecting, loving or simply being. I believe we're well capable of working an all those things that make for a good eulogy while still trying to excel in everything we do, while still trying to build that perfect résumé.

In my very humble opinion, there's no such thing as "the spiritual / scientific side of me", there's just one "I" and that's what we should care about. Splitting ourselves into several "selves" won't help with overcoming our limits, it'll just make it harder.

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To what extend should life be faced with emotions or rationality?

80% of the time, I'm a fully rational being. That is to say, that I try to face every aspect of my life from a rational stand point. I analyse things, try to gather as much explicit information as possible and then infer whatever is not clear to the best of my abilities. Although this is not bullet-proof nor always possible, it works fairly well most of the time.

The biggest gain here is that I'm able to abstract myself from most of those situations and be a passive actor. This brings some extra objectivity to the matter. The biggest loss is that I don't get to fully live every aspect of my life. In order to be rational, I need to constantly observe and analyse every single thing I'm involved in.

But what does "fully living a moment" actually means?

I believe each one of us has a different interpretation of what the best way to live each moments of their life is. Some may think that by being emotional they're able feel thousands of different things, emotions. Others, may think that by being rational they may be observers of what their living, hence they'll be able to gather more information from their experiences.

As of now, I believe that fully living a "moment" means finding the right balance between emotional and rational commitment for that specific moment.