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.

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?)

Japan 2017 – Day 10

Today is my last day in Japan.

Did some more treasure hunting at Book Off, a place that buys and sells second hand books and some other electronic devices and games.

Relaxed at a cozy coffee place where you can see the main road in Akihabara.

Got an alert that my flight was delayed by an hour. So I continued spending time at the coffee place until noon where traffic police begin sealing off the roads to cars for “Pedestrian Heaven”, where everyone can just walk on the roads.

Then it’s just taking my own sweet time heading to the airport for my flight back.

The loot for this trip:

I watched a Haruka Ayase movie (Honnouji Hotel) during my flight here and now I’m a fan.

Held back on buying manga as they are heavy and I’m running out of space at home.

The best item was the music box from FFXIV which I had my friend B, help me buy.

Japan 2017 – Day 9

The plan for today was to meet with another couple from the FFXI days. This time, there was a new addition to their family, a baby girl.

But unfortunately their baby was down with fever and couldn’t meet up.

So I went on with the lunch plan at a supposedly famous place.

 

Japanese curry rice!

There was a queue of about 10 right outside the shop as I got there. It was about 1 hour before their closing time.

A lady from the shop asked how many there are in my group and I said only 1. And then she proceeded to put a “We’re closed” sign behind me.

I was lucky to be the last customer for the day.

It was a long 40 minute wait before my turn came.

Inside, it was just a small space with 2 tables for 4 persons each, and the counter seats another 4.

I sat at the counter right next to a tall and huge Japanese guy. We both ordered the special curry except he asked for extra and I asked for less rice.

The special comes with a variety of toppings.

The owner even offered to give more meat and rice to the huge Japanese guy after he was close to finishing, while I was struggling to finish my “smaller” portion.

I never went hungry for the rest of the day after this meal. It was also delicious, making it worth the long queue time.

I went to Ikebukuro next. I wanted to see the sun set next to Mount Fuji again like I did in my first trip, 10 years ago.

Headed to Sunshine City, went up to the observation deck and was mildly displeased at how much it has changed.

Before entering the observation area, you had to be in a small room where they put on a CG simulation of some planes flying around the building and “shattering” the glass windows.

A section in the observation area now has a few VR booths.

While waiting for sunset, throughout my time at the observation area, you can keep hearing screams from the women at the VR booths.

At first, Mount Fuji can’t be seen but I got to see this breath taking view of the sun shining through the clouds.

Then when the time came, I got to see the shadow of Mount Fuji with the sun setting next to it.