Another way to stay happy

I’ve come across many instances where friends or acquaintances try to challenge every statement you make based on what they learned from videos on facebook.

Depending on the severity of what was being challenged, which most of the time is menial, instead of arguing back, I think it’s better to just ignore it and carry on with our lives.

What shapes you?

It is the age of information.

We can easily find out details of almost anything we want to know about.

We are also easily bombarded with things we may not want to know about.

Huge tech companies gather information about us, almost enough for them to build a profile of our likes, dislikes, habits, political views.

After learning about Cambridge Analytica obtaining user data and using it to influence the USA’s presidential election, I wonder if the information shown to me on various social media platforms, news platforms, were tailored to influence me towards a certain path.

Even though I believe myself to be neutral, always maintaining a neutral position and try to examine things on both sides of the coin, I know for a fact that anyone and everyone, including myself, will always be biased against something no matter what.

And to get someone to be biased against something is very easy.

If I know a person is against a political party, I would subtly show him articles or stories that confirms his beliefs, further boosting his bias-ness.

Or show him a different set of articles and stories, that would contradict his beliefs till he questions them, under the holy guise of “you should examine things from both sides of the coin”.

It is the age of misinformation.

I came across a guy who would always talk about the things going on in a forum that he frequently visits. He is easily influenced by the majority of users in that forum. He’s being shaped by that forum.

I had a chat with a woman about Donald Trump winning the presidential election. I suggested that it was a “good thing” and was quickly told about a subreddit dedicated to the “bad things” that he has done. Other conversations with her often contain a reference to reddit. I believe she’s being shaped by that subreddit.

And all we need is a character with enough influence in either platforms to reshape their thoughts.

The internet has a strange way of changing a person’s views.

And I think the only way to protect myself is to question everything and take it with a pinch of salt.

Instead of relying on social media for entertainment, I would instead rely on video games, books, comics for it.

Video games, science fiction novels, comics, have really good stories and I would rather let these forms of entertainment shape me instead of social media.

Friendship

Sometimes, the people who you think are good friends, turn out to be the ones who are not worth your friendship.

And the people who you think are not worth your friendship, turn out to be great friends.

That, or I’m bad at judging people.

The rising prices of Apple products

I fell in love with the iPhone ever since I touched one that belonged to a friend. Back then, the iPhone was exclusive only to a certain carrier and I was on a different one.

Years later, that carrier no longer had the exclusivity and I was able to buy the 3GS model. My very first smartphone. Even queued through the night for it.

Since then, I would upgrade my iPhone almost every time when there was a new release. As of this time, I’m using an iPhone 8 Plus 256GB which costs SGD $1,030, after recontracting with my carrier for 2 years. My monthly phone bill is about $40.

With the recent announcement of the new iPhone models, an XS Max 256GB will cost $1,475 and the XS 256GB at $1,335. (2 year re-contract)

While it’s a more powerful phone than the previous generation, at the way the new phones are being priced, I have no doubt it will gradually become unaffordable to the average person.

Guess this 8 Plus will have to stick with me for one or more years.

On the bright side, there’s no “compelling” feature on the Xs that make me want to own one.

My iPad Mini 4 serves me very well since I only use it to read manga.

The only Apple product I want to upgrade is my MacBook Pro. It’s an early 2015 model with 16GB of ram, 128GB SSD.

I’m having disk space issues as I only have 5GB free most of the time. I run virtual machines so I need lots of ram. Responsiveness seems to have been a thing of the past because a lot of my work apps are CPU intensive.

I was glad when they announced 32GB ram MacBook Pros but disappointed to learn it was only for the 15″ model. I would prefer to stick with the 13″ model for it’s lighter weight.

If I ever get the MacBook Pro with the specs that I want, I don’t see myself upgrading my Apple products for years to come.

Unless….

Apple comes up with something so compelling I just have to get my hands on…

Which I doubt they will for at least the next 3 years.

Duplicate Questions

I use search engines a lot for work, for satisfying my curiosity, for finding the answer to the meaning of life (turns out it is 42).

The first thing I always check is the date of the result.

Why?

Because the answers to my questions may change over time.

The answer at that time may only apply to a software version that existed only at that time. A newer software version today may have a different answer.

Or maybe someone else has found a better way to solve the question using technology available today that didn’t exist back then when the question was asked.

So why blog about this?

Because often, among the answers, there is often that one guy that replies “This is a duplicate question” or “This has already been answered” and then points to a similar question or answer that is many years old.

Not forgetting the once amusing but now annoying lmgtfy.com,

I understand the frustration of having to see the same questions pop up over and over again. I don’t have a solution for it. My only advice is to have more patience or just ignore it if you can’t deal with it.

But sometimes, the same question has to be asked again because answers may change as time passes. (Of course not ask everyday but once in a few months?)