On the meaning and use of “words”

Words can have a lot of implications.  We can read into them, misinterpret them, take them for granted, misunderstand them.  That whole sentence might just be many ways of saying the same thing: that unless you are actively listening and engaged with the person or people you are trying to talk to, there is no dialogue; no discussion by which to learn.  It’s like going to church and listening to the homily and the readings.  We are supposed to take meaning away from these, however what meaning needs to be explained sometimes.

This isn’t about religion though.  It’s about everyday ordinary communication; well, almost.

Words are like swords, or perhaps lightsabers.  The best example of this comes from a debate with someone who knows how to detach themselves from their argument (and their own opinions and values, morals and ethics).  I don’t think I would ever want to debate with a humanities professor, because the vague impression I get is that every humanities professor thinks they are right, and they have the “logic” to back up their claims.  This is the “comparable to religion” ideology in that you are to abide by a set of codes in return for God’s kindness and hopefully a good judgement when that time comes.  Enter “free will” stage left.  On the other side is science, which at least, the Catholic church respects.  However, if you look strong and hard, you start to find people like Robert Sapolsky (look him up on YouTube) who believe that we are subject to fate as dictated by our biology.  There’s two sides to a coin.  This is a tangent.

Getting back on the subject of words, I mentioned detachment.  This is a trait that supposedly “INTPs” show a lot of.  I myself am INTP, according not only to various online tests, but also an official Myers-Briggs test before starting college.  It’s also not ironic that most of my online friends who are also INTP/INTJ have become mentally ill in some fashion as these types usually develop some form of mental illness.  Let’s not get into that.

The point I am trying to make, is that in an argument/debate with a detached person (who is perfectly rational and capable of reason, in case I need to point that out), can craft words mindfully to make arguments that don’t necessarily reflect upon the views of the individual (or group) you/they are arguing with.

Jumping backwards to the biology tangent I was making.  There are a few very interesting things to point out about our evolutionary ancestors and especially about human beings.  The first being that, female apes can “spoof” being in heat to attract males; but why?  Humans take it one step further, actually having non-reproductive sex, usually aided with birth control pills or other contraceptives, purely for the satisfaction of having sex.  So what does this have to do with arguments?  Here’s the analogy: Human beings are capable of lying.

Now you get some really interesting twisted mashups.  Just watch the news about the upcoming presidential race.  Unethical, biased statistics or just plain incomplete data sets when reporting those “statistics”.  It really is fake news!  All crafted, carefully, to woo you over.

So, the next time someone pushes your buttons, realize just how easy it is to craft an argument that has nothing to do with yourself and what you really believe.  Just be a contrarian.  Don’t do this to your boss though, bad idea.

RX Vega 64, Ryzen 9 3900x, Geodon oh my.

Well, I can’t help myself. I bought a 3rd RX Vega 64 and I also bought a 1200watt Corsair PSU. I might’ve mentioned this in another post. The 850 watt PSU was fine even for two 64’s in Crossfire mode. I’m not really a gamer though, although I just might play some games during winter break.

I’ve decided to buy another mobo with 3 x16 slots so I can take the 3rd RX Vega out of my old system and put all 3 in one system. Now, you can’t crossfire 3 GPUs, only 2, but I run Folding@Home for COVID19. Crossfire doesn’t help you when doing computational tasks on the GPU. Maybe it’s different for nVidia cards, but for these cards, nope. These cards have a max power rating of 295 watts each according to the AMD website, which makes sense because a) they have 2 PCIe power connectors per card, and b) they’re fucking space heaters. I’ve been letting F@H run all day, but the AC is on high mode and hasn’t shut off, and it wasn’t even that hot here today. So, I run F@H sporadically because it uses a lot of power. These are blower style, reference cards so there’s nothing special about them. They either run HOT and quiet or you can tweak the fan settings and they run (a few degrees) cooler and LOUD. This 3rd card that I have is a bit odd; it runs hotter than the other two. Doesn’t seem to affect anything, but it’s noticeable. At first, I thought it was just because the card was the top card, and it was pulling warm air in from the second card under it, but that wasn’t the case after I swapped cards around. Checked the fans and heatsink for dust and everything was fine and clean. Thinking maybe I’ll redo the thermal paste when I have a chance. Of course, it might be that F@H is not the best stability/heat test because the workload varies from task to task. Prime95 would give more control.

For the last piece of this never-ending puzzle, I saw my psychiatrist about two weeks ago. My meds are now on uber-mega-wtf status. I went from taking 40 mg of Geodon in the morning to taking 160mg. At night I went from 80 mg to 120 mg. That’s 280mg of Geodon a day. Doc also upped my Prozac to 60mg in the morning. I don’t understand why the sudden increase in meds, so I actually called my psychiatrist’s office to verify and confirmed my dose. I even checked with the pharmacist and they contacted my psychiatrist as well. I don’t know what game this is, but hopefully I won’t turn into a zombie. I can literally fall asleep standing up on this stuff.

Classes next semester will continue to be remote, including the lab (yay).

What it’s like to have schizoaffective disorder

Smartcat, the company that designed the theme “Athena Pro” seems to have died, yet they left everything up so it’s a cash cow. It’s a cash cow at this point. Maybe when they’re motivated they’ll respond to my ticket to fix the image loading problem, but in the meantime I’m just going to switch themes. The last ticket hadn’t been responded to after a month, so go figure.

Anyway, what was the point of this post… Stigma, I suppose. When I explain schizoaffective disorder to people, they’re usually confused, but if you say it’s “basically schizophrenia AND bipolar” (or depression), they usually get it, or at least, they think they get it. If you do a google search for any mental illness, you’ll come up with a lot of things, and there is truth to it. However, for every person the experience of mental illness is different. However, more to the point is that there are symptoms which are not included on the sites that describe what these illnesses are about. This is a very strong reason for an argument against self-diagnosis. You simply cannot diagnose yourself; seek the help of trusted psychiatrist. Just as illnesses are different, every psychiatrist is different and likely has an interest or a specialty in a certain area. You should make note of this, because it can make the difference between having your life back or living in misery.

I’ve often heard that mental healthcare in the state of Florida is some of the worst in the US. However, I’m not sure I agree with this. The concept of the Baker Act is great. However, it is abused, there is no doubt. Essentially when you are Baker Acted, you are stripped of your rights as a citizen with the exception of a few new rights: among the most important right is probably the right to deny treatment. That said, if you do deny treatment, there are likely going to be consequences. At a minimum, a Baker Act lasts 3 days, however your psychiatrist can renew the Baker Act if he or she should so choose. It’s similar to dealing with the police: keep your mouth shut, and cooperate.

Schizoaffective disorder can be described as schizophrenia and bipolar (or depression), however it is actually not the same. While it is possible to have both schizophrenia and bipolar, this is not the same as schizoaffective disorder. In essence, it boils down the pattern of psychosis and how it correlates to the mood disorder.

In my case, schizoaffective disorder means hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, mania/depression. I have auditory, visual, and olfactory hallucinations (olfactory hallucinations are basically smelling things that aren’t there). Yes, I have caught myself talking to hallucinations before, but that is rare.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned meds before, but I am extremely sensitive to my meds. If I miss a dose, I feel it. If I miss more than 1 dose, it’s a spiral down the rabbit hole. The week before last I went off my meds for about 4 days or so. Eventually I just forced myself to take them. At that point, I was honestly concerned I needed to go to the hospital to be titrated, but I just did it myself and now I’m fine. The medicines operate best when they are maintained steady state over a long period of time, which has never been the case for me. I do like the Geodon though. I take Prozac for depression. Like I said, long term equilibrium is key, and if you’re going on a med for the first time, it can take a while for the medication to start functioning. Took about 3 weeks for me, and I was in the hospital when it kicked in and I just went haywire bouncing off the walls.

My sister was bragging she takes 15 pills a day. Well, currently my meds are 8 pills in the morning and 9 pills at night, so 17 pills a day. HAH!

I also have epilepsy, so when I go off my meds, it really gets me. Just lying in bed having seizure after seizure is enough to want to finish yourself, THEN you have a mental illness.

I’m hoping I will be a candidate for a deep brain stimulator (DBS). It’ll kill two birds with one stone.

Well anyway. This post barely gets into any real detail about anything, so look for future posts that do. There’s just way too much to discuss and I’m running low on motivation right now to write anymore.

“I didn’t know…

…the sponge was supposed to be wet” -Percy, The Green Mile.

Ignorance doesn’t excuse you from the law, so why should it justify stupidity and immature behavior? It doesn’t, BTW.

I’m only about half-way through the movie and I hope Percy gets fired. I’ve seen this movie before, but it’s been a long time, so I don’t remember how it ends. Some movies are just disgusting.

Gmail

Well, I finally bit the bullet. I’m no longer running a mail server of my own. I am paying for a business class Google Suite account which includes Gmail. I love Google Calendar and the associated Tasks widget, so it’s worth it. The spam fighting abilities of Gmail are tremendous and it’s worth paying for that alone, especially when I just don’t have the time to turn a mail server into a science experiment to see what is and what is not working.

Postfix I just might shutdown permanently and use Gmail for outbound mail. Dovecot, on the other hand, I might leave up, because I have 13 years of email stored on that server. If there’s a way to port it to Gmail, I guess that could work, but then the question becomes: how do I get my mail back off of Gmail when I decide to do something else.

Blah

Well, I broke my blog again. No big deal to fix, but not right now. I accidentally deleted the backup I made, but the backup I made was not of the wordpress folder but rather mediawiki, so I’m rather retarded. Also, there’s no daily (or even weekly) backup of the HTML folder, so that should get fixed. Also, yes, I paid for the “Pro” version of the theme, well, it seems the developer has gone for a very long hike and fallen off the edge of planet Earth, so…

But anyway… I’ve become addicted to Alexa. I bought an Echo dot, an Echo Show (which I gave to Mike), and an Echo Studio. The Echo Studio actually has a mini TOSLINK in, so I can get a coaxial to optical converter and plug it into my TV. Get this: Amazon even makes an Echo Sub, haha. What would be great, is a surround sound version of this. Mount two echo dots on the wall behind me, two echo studios in front, and an echo plus for the center speaker. The surround processor would be either of the echo studios. Nifty.

Movie Quotes

This, I think, will be a “living document” with which I will just add quotes to as I randomly think of them.

“And what about you, young man? Who are you supposed to be?” “I’m Harvey Pekar!” All the other kids: “Pecker” -American Splendor

“Why does everyone have to be so stupid!?” -Harvey Pekar, American Splendor

“What’s your vector, Victor?” -Airplane

“If we don’t ever make time, how can we ever take time?” – The Merovingian, The Matrix Reloaded

“Oh, it’s alright, I laugh myself sometimes.” -Sheriff Ed Tom Bell

Things getting a bit out of hand lately.

I’ve done a fairly good job of relaying my experiences lately, even if I’ve left out context and other things. Better to avoid that lest anyone gets into trouble.

Today though started as a normal day. I woke up at 5am. Sat in front of the computer messing around with cpu related overclocking stuff. Then I reviewed some chemistry stuff and added to notes. Later, I went to breakfast/lunch at Townhouse.

It was a normal lunch for the most part, until around the end. Then I started hearing what sounded like a young girl saying “Your hurting me! Stop!” over and over again. Then I heard “Either stop or get kicked out” from a manager or a waitress or someone.

I’ve been called “brave” more than once by therapists and just in general. Perhaps naively so. I remember a bar fight in Auburn, NY. One guy tried to body slam another dude through a window. They had already been kicked out, but that doesn’t mean the fight stopped. It was later on that I was told these dudes were MMA fighters or something. lol

Seriously though, my hallucinations are getting exponentially worse.

Professionalism

Okay, honestly, I never thought I would have to argue this point, let alone with a professor, but, academics are oft lost on what the “real world” is like. It’s not necessarily their fault, either. Whose fault is it? Well, that’s a kicker right there. At National Instruments, it didn’t matter whose “fault” it was, when something happens it just does and you react accordingly to rectify the situation as needed.

That’s not really what I’m getting at though. A relevant example to my current situation is being “too negative”. Yes, I am quite critical, and even more so critical about myself. You wouldn’t notice if you weren’t looking, and I get the impression I don’t pull it off too well (people either like me or hate me).

The other day I got into a bit of an argument/debate with said “important person” who was trying to figure out what I was doing. It was obvious the monitor has a bad power supply and needs a new capacitor somewhere, which is probably why it got surplussed. I was told everything was setup and ready for me to use when I got to the lab. I can only do so much. Y’know, I have an engineering degree though. Why are you micromanaging this whole operation?

To top it off, I was having hallucinations of what sounded like another professor and a TA listening in on this dialogue. There was one particularly interesting comment which sounded like a loud whispher: “Control Freak!”

Getting off point here.

Professionalism. What does it mean? When I worked at National Instruments, my version of professionalism was similar to the attitudes of those who I had worked with at the university. Generally, taken from the UCF Creed:

Integrity, scholarship, community, creativity, and excellence are the core values that guide our conduct, performance, and decisions. These values comprise the guiding principles that direct the actions of the University, its students and its employees.

Those 5 adjectives sound good, and indeed are critical to a functional system. However, recent events show that even the university doesn’t follow its own rules. What does that mean?

I think the most relevant of the UCF Creed is “community”, if you want to compare the creed to professionalism. At least, that’s how I think about it right now. I speak from an engineering context where I worked independently most of the time, requiring interacting with other hardware engineers, V&V engineers, manufacturing, not all of whom were located in a cubicle 20 feet away but sometimes halfway around the globe.

Sometimes you have to make a point, and human beings are not robots: We have emotions (I feel like I sound like a broken record now). At some companies, people literally ARE robots. (Information In + Coffee + Time) = Processed Information Out). Next.

I’m going to go on another tangent now. One of the problems in engineering is that the boomers are starting to retire. That’s great for us young ones just out of college looking for jobs. It also means that the talents and mentor-ship that was provided by these individuals will be lost. One of my previous jobs I kinda had a mentor; he was so passionate about the work he did, he left the office everyday and went home and kept on working. This reminds me of the story from a friend at the UCF Radio Club telling stories from HP about people passing away at their desks in the middle of a project. Seriously. They just… passed away at their desk.

So, what IS professionalism? For one thing, professionalism is telling your boss “FUCK YOU” when he/she requests you work unpaid overtime. Who are you impressing? If you work at Subway… I just want you to make my sandwich. There’s a few givens: Part of professionalism is being: 1) Being happy where you are so you can settle down which will help you emotionally and mentally, but also give your employer trust in you as a person, 2) Properly educated in your field and willing to learn to progress in your career chain, 3) Knowing what your supervisor and manager expect out of you so you can focus on improvement as an individual. There’s other examples too. This is quite a subjective topic, so I can only come up with ideas that are valid for me.

Notice how, in my previous paragraph, I started off my very first example of professionalism by setting a boundary. There’s a lot that leads me to this point, that I’ve learned over the past several years. The bean counters will count every last bit, every last atom, molecule, DNA sample, whatever to find a way to… I don’t even know, they just want you to evaporate.

So, yes, a good, heated, civil (mainly meaning, no curse words and no personal attacks) debate can be a healthy way to vent stress at work AND communicate with colleagues who are willing to participate in this style of communication.

Or in other words, if you jump back to a previous post from a few days ago, being rude, whether it’s intentional or otherwise, will happen. Most companies have a diverse and very broad set of cultures within them, and inevitably people will bump heads. Intentionally being rude also happens, when and wherever you are. Example: A car pulls out of Alafaya Square from the Publix Parking lot. We’re going straight, in the left lane, so we have nowhere to go. So the idiot behind us starts honking and speeds past us in the right lane. So if the car pulling out didn’t stop… it would’ve probably been a 3 car collision, at least. Needless to say that guy was given a very special finger job, reserved only for Darwin’s finest, and his wife, sitting next to him, was like “You’re an idiot”.

So yeah, professionalism. To a young, naive college student, you would think it means everyone gets along, there’s no drama, everything is exactly as it should be (right out of Heaven). NOT.

People are people first and foremost. Nobody teaches you what professionalism means. We get lots of information about ethics, safety training, yadda yadda yadda, buuuut not professionalism. That’s largely up to you.

Final words: I go to a church in Winter Springs. It is in a very large, very populated area, so it is a very big church. I was confirmed as a Catholic in this church, and my sister got married there, among other things. I try not to bother the clergy, but at the same time I like to keep tabs on how things go, which would mean I’d call a particular other person, but he’s busy now. So, I call the pastor. He deals with more people every day than I probably have brain cells. Since he deals with this large quantity of people, he comes off in a certain way (not a bad one), but, in this case, that would be an example of professionalism. Being blunt is a necessary evil.

x versus y

I took my meds, thankuverymuch, I’m fine. If you suspect I haven’t then Baker Act me, that’s what it’s for. Now is cutting it close to your last window of opportunity because if you don’t do it now, you’ll fuck up my schedule, I have a bunch of homework due on Wednesday and a test on Friday. <insert comment about rude here>

Where was I going with this?

Mr. Clean versus Mr. Pibb showdown, followed by:
Mr. Clean versus Arm & Hammer.

Predictions on who would win? Forecasts?

What about…

Mr. Clean versus Mentos? Would that work?

Mr. Pibb versus Mentos is just cliche, and it doesn’t really fit here, but, if making bottle rockets out of Mr. Pibb/Mentos mints is your thing then fire away.

I’m really tired and it’s now 5am, so hmm. Better to fall asleep in bed than my computer chair. L8r.