In Search of Lost Time

As the year 2021 draws to an end, it is a good time to write about In Search of Lost Time. I found a graphic novel adaptation of it and bought it for my fortieth birthday. The title seemed quite apt.

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Throwback Thursday: Daylight hours across time and location

Back in 2006, I wrote a script (in Perl!) to plot daylight hours over the year, given a location. From what I remember, I was curious about how it changed with the seasons: was it a straight line or a curve, and how did it look in the polar regions? (If any image below looks blurry, open it in a separate tab or save it to disk to see it in actual size. [Read More]

Religion as a Salve for Existential Truths

Today is Christmas, an apt time to write a little about religion. I’m not a Christian, I cannot even call myself religious, but more on it in a bit. The Four Existential Truths I have long wondered about the purpose of religion, but a couple of years ago, I found an answer in a book by Irvin Yalom.1 He’s certainly not writing about religion; he’s not a priest or a preacher, but a psychotherapist. [Read More]

A meditation on time and change

About a year ago, I read this in a book on psychotherapy1: There cannot be change without loss. It struck me as a profound statement, because it carries many implications with it. I want to expand on what change means, looking behind and ahead in time, especially in our times. In retrospective, change is loss We often talk of “big life changes”: graduation, marriage, childbirth, and so on. But it’s wiser to think of them in terms of loss: what did I lose with this change? [Read More]

Throwback Thursday: Linux in the 2000s

In the years between 2000 and 2005, I spent a lot of time trying out many different operating systems. Linux was a big one: Red Hat, Debian, SuSE. So also the BSD Unices: FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD. There was Solaris from Sun Microsystems. I also checked out MINIX (educational, from a CS prof), BeOS (good media support) and QNX (real-time OS). I tried dual- and multi-boot installations, also tried installing within VMWare. [Read More]

Underrepresented Senses in the Electronic Age

There’s a disparity in how our smartphones and computers cater to our senses. They rely heavily on the eyes and the ears. What’s left out is touch, smell and taste. Not strictly a sense, but scale of size is another I would add to this list – it’s the difference between looking at a T. rex in a museum vs a TV documentary. These can be a differentiator for brick-and-mortar stores.

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The Father and The Bishop

I recently saw the movie The Father (2020) by Florian Zeller. It’s a poignant movie on the themes of aging and senility. Anthony Hopkins acts as the father who is losing memory, and along with it, a sense of what’s happening around him. To his family and us, it is abundantly clear, but the old man lives in a world of denial. What results is continuously escalating conflict, culminating in a moving climax. In this heartbreaking scene, the old father cries like a baby, and starts wailing “Mother! O Mother!” to the nurse who is caring for him. The nurse, instinctively, comforts him like a child.

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Notes from bird-feeding

Homebound in the pandemic, I purchased a bird-feeder last December. I’ve had a lot to observe since then. What follows are notes, photographs, and video clips. I conclude with tips and advice if you’d like to try it as well.

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A systems approach to mental well-being

I am an engineer by profession but I like to read about psychology and psychotherapy out of interest. As I have become familiar with it, I’ve found it to be highly logical.

I will specify the system first, and then use it to make some suggestions for our improvement.

I originally started writing this in July 2021 but it took several revisions before I felt it was polished enough to post.

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