Transcribed Sauce

Transcribed Sauce

(I believe the unscarred refer to these as "blog posts")

You'll find these in reverse chronological order because I'm not insane

Some Especially Fizzy Definitions

By: Danny Geisz | January 21, 2021

Project: #Life

If you have either read any of XFA or have spoken with me in the last 6 months, you probably know that I have a series of terms which I frequently use in discussing the nature of reality. While some of my favorite terms like “non-trivial,” “compelling,” and “indicative,” have definitions taken right out of (insert you favorite dictionary), I do use several terms in a more…idiosyncratic manner, and I find myself frequently re-defining them as I write XFA posts. As a firm subscriber of the DRY programming philosophy, I think it’s high time I bite the bullet and just write down some definitions that I know I’ll use again.

You know what? We can actually make this into a fun little system. Whenever I capitalize a word that otherwise has no business being capitalized, please understand that I mean it in a fizzy way. When I write “Entity,” instead of “entity,” understand that I mean entity according to the fizzy definition provided here and not according to the connotation you’ve been cultivating for that particular word your entire life. Aight fam, here we go!

One final note. I very well may find myself needing to add to this list over time. If/when I do, I’ll include a small note indicating the date on which I made the edition.

Entity – Darn right baby. This word is #1 in my heart and XFA. An Entity is anything within a time-constrained context that exhibits any degree of Stability (see definition below). In an effort to further analyze an Entity’s stability, we can say that an Entity has stable Characteristics and stable Behaviors (again see definitions below).

Stability – When I use Stability, I’m referring to something’s ability to retain its form or features for a non-trivial duration of time. For example, a dog exhibits a certain degree of stability because it maintains its dog-like characteristics for several years. The earth is more stable than a dog because it’s been around for several billion more years than a dog will live.

Characteristic – A Characteristic is one aspect of an Entity that remains constant as time progresses. If I saw a blue fence and noticed that the fence didn’t change color with the progression of time, I would refer to “blue” as a Characteristic of a fence. You’ll notice that this is in slight conflict with the dictionary definition of “characteristic,” which is typically used outside of any time-based context.

Behavior – A Behavior is an aspect of an Entity that evolves as time progresses, but in a well-defined stable manner. If my aetheric girlfriend Arya laughed every single time I told one particular joke, then Arya laughing at my joke would be a Behavior of the Entity that is Arya.

The Orchid Manifesto

By: Danny Geisz | January 12, 2021

Project: Orchid

The Orchid Project aims to replace a wide swath of modern mathematics with a set of digital structures that can be understood and manipulated by humans and computers alike. To understand how Orchid will fulfil this goal, it is fruitful to first consider the nature of mathematics. Mathematics is the study of abstract entities with stable characteristics and behaviors. Over the past millennia, human beings have developed a set of written symbols used to describe the characteristics and behaviors of these abstract entities. These written symbols allow humans to reference properties of the abstract entities being studied and perform symbolic manipulations on these entities in accordance with well-defined rules.

Modern mathematics is a symbiosis between the human mind and the aforementioned symbol set. Without the human mind, the symbols are essentially worthless and only interact with reality in accordance with physics of their constituent physical materials. Without the symbols, humans would have to reason about abstract entities without any outside assistance, and therefore would suffer from the limitations of human memory and intelligence. Together, however, there is a beautiful symbiosis. The abstract structures live within the human mind, but they can be compressed and stored compactly within the symbol set of mathematics.

However, this brings us to an interesting philosophical question: why is mathematics useful? Mathematics is useful simply because there is stable structure in reality as perceived by humans. The term "stable" is defined here to simply mean "existing for a non-trivial duration of time". While there are, of course, no guarantees about the stability of the different entities perceived within reality, there nonetheless seem to exist a very large number of entities that exhibit some degree of stability.

One particularly fundamental reason contributing to humanity's evolutionary fitness is the human mind's ability to create a model of the stable structures in the human’s environment, and act according to this model. If, for instance, a human learns there is a meteor directly overhead, the human will use their internal model of the world to reason that they must run away in order to survive.

While the importance of the brain's ability to harbor an internal representation of reality cannot be understated, humanity has progressed even further by creating spoken language. Spoken languages allow groups of humans to translate the representations stored within their brains into a set of stable auditory signals. These auditory signals are then decoded by other humans and translated into neural representations of the world.

Forming and reasoning about internal neural representations of the world takes time and effort, and frequently humans form the same sorts of representations. For example, even without communicating, multiple humans could easily learn that a meteor overhead probably means grave danger. Spoken language is an incredibly tool because it decentralizes the effort required to formulate internal representations of reality. As a simple example, a person entering India for the first time several millennia ago might never have interacted with a tiger before. The person could either learn about the dangers of tigers by experiencing one for himself/herself, or he/she could communicate with the locals and learn that the big striped orange and white cats ought to be avoided. The latter option obviously better lends itself to human survival.

Spoken language is a miraculously useful tool, but it suffers from the fact that audio signals decay rapidly, thus requiring two humans to be in immediate contact while communicating. This limitation is addressed by written language, which is next in the chain of incalculably useful human developments. The written word can last for centuries or even millennia, and therefore allows humans beings to share neural representations of reality across wide swaths of time.

So where does mathematics fit into all of this? Languages like English or Mandarin allow humans to describe a large portion of either their perceived reality or even hypothetical situations, and typically rely on some context for understanding. “How fast did Blake run?” I might ask. “Fast,” or “slow,” or “faster than Usain Bolt,” you might answer. Given my current context, I’ll probably form an internal representation of the events you witnessed that isn’t too far off from what you actually perceived. However, the words “fast,” “slow,” and even “faster than Usain Bolt” are all very imprecise, and effectively lose all meaning without the ill-defined context I described.

Mathematics attempts to address this lack of precision by describing both the structures and context in terms of abstract imagined entities with infinitely precise characteristics and infinite stability. To my question of how fast Blake ran, you could instead answer “44.83 ± 0.9 km/h.” You could also provide me with a mathematical model of Blake’s trajectory using polynomials and describe the Blake’s physics using Newtonian mechanics. Given the definition of kilometers, hours, and real numbers, someone 300 years from now would still be able to form a highly accurate internal representation of Blake’s speed, were they to desire that knowledge.

Mathematics therefore gives humans the ability to describe reality with far greater detail, precision, and accuracy than languages like English or Mandarin. The toolset of mathematics has also informed the development of some (if not all) of humanity’s most impressive modern technologies.

Why, then, has mathematics not replaced the languages of the world? If mathematics can provide such superior descriptions of reality, why don’t we entirely replace “the old technologies,” like English? The reason we haven’t done this is because mathematics comes with a high cost. It’s really, really hard. The reason why “Einstein” has become synonymous with “genius” is because Einstein formulated a mathematical description of the world that was more consistent with reality than previous attempts. Mathematics isn’t nearly as forgiving as world languages. While humans can rely on mutual context to convey information with language that would otherwise be imprecise or inaccurate (think metaphors or sarcasm), well-defined mathematics doesn’t allow for any of that behavior.

Before I continue, I’d like to once again emphasize how critical both language and mathematics have been to the improvement of the human condition. Even though I will talk about how Orchid aims to achieve a superior technology, the importance of both mathematics and language should never be taken for granted.

So where does all this leave us? Spoken/written languages can describe a broad swath of reality, but they are imprecise and typically rely on ill-defined and brittle context to actually convey meaning. Mathematics can describe some aspects of reality in incredible detail, but it is difficult to use and struggles at generalizing to complicated systems.

The Orchid Project aims to move beyond language and mathematics for formulating representations of reality by utilizing advances in computers to significantly lower the costs associated with mathematical descriptions of reality. As previously described, right now mathematics is a symbiosis between the human mind and a symbol set, wherein the actual mathematical structures live in neural representations within the human mind but can be represented compactly within a set of written symbols.

Put in high level terms, Orchid transforms neural representations of mathematical entities into computer data structures, which can be created and manipulated by computers. While this is easily said, the ramifications of this statement are enormous. By making this translation from the brain to the computer, Orchid allows computers to “think” about mathematics like humans do.

While you could probably see the importance of this concept after a moment or two of thought, let me perhaps provide some motivation for why this could be revolutionary. Modern computer architectures are capable of roughly a billion operations per second. The spiking rate of a neuron in the human brain is about 200 spikes/second. If we equate a single spike as being approximately equal to a single clock cycle, then a computer processes information more than 5 orders of magnitude faster than the human brain.
What this means, in more accessible terms, is that a task that would take the human mind 1,000 years could be completed by a modern computer in under 4 days. This example obviously makes some irresponsible assumptions about the similarities between the human brain and computers, but the point being made remains valid.

With that said, by drastically reducing the cost associated with mathematical descriptions of reality, Orchid aims to give human beings a tool that robustly addresses the limitations of both languages and mathematics in formulating representations of reality. In accordance with the historical trend outlined throughout this text, one can hope that the tools provided by Orchid can aid in both a drastic improvement of the human condition and the progression of organized complexity within reality as a whole.

The Light and the Chaos

By: Danny Geisz | December 15, 2020

Project: #Life

Sup Schmeags. Insofar as my perception of reality can be taken to be a non-local standard, it appears as though reality can be understood as a compositional and hierarchical collection of entities. For sake of precision, I’m defining and entity to be any stable system with well-defined characteristics and behaviors.

That’s somewhat redundant, because a “behavior” is simply a characteristic with a temporal element, but we’re time-bound creatures, so I find it to be a useful categorization.

You know what? I’m going to capitalize Entity because I’m the lord of this blog, and nothing can stop me.

Now it’s quite important to me that you understand the generality of an Entity. While the term “entity” typically brings to mind some connotation of either a physical object or some abstract localized notion, please understand that an Entity, as I’ve defined it, is far more general.

There’s nothing inherent that constrains an Entity to be spatially localized in any capacity. Additionally, there’s nothing that constrains an Entity to behave in a smooth, locally linear fashion throughout the expanse of time. It just so happens that within our three space dimensions and time dimension, there happen to be a higher degree of correlations that occur between Entities which are closer in time and space. And I most certainly mean closer in the typical sense.

So then, why talk about Entities? Well, friend, they’re kinda the only thing that matters. And you know the most important aspect of them? Stability. To add a slight caveat, they’re important insofar as knowledge that is useful to human survival is important.

Why is stability important? Well, the only reason you can comprehend, articulate, or imagine anything is because the objects of your interest have some degree of stability.

Good heavens, I suppose I should define stability so that the importance of this topic is clear. By stability, I mean the extent to which an Entity is able to maintain its characteristics and behaviors as time progresses.

This definition is intrinsically bounded in time, but it is generalizable to any situation in which there’s even the slightest notion of evolution in the state of a system.

That’s kinda a side note. Anyway, back to the importance of stability. Why are homo sapiens a big deal? Because they’re a highly adaptable Entity that are able to contend with their environment in a manner that allows them to promote their personal and group stability in a highly robust fashion. Why do you care about Netflix? Because it’s an Entity which has proved to be highly stable throughout the last decade and has behaviors and characteristics which bring humans utility. Why are sub-atomic particles important? Because they’re so incredibly stable and have such a robust set of behaviors that they’re able to constitute an unreasonably large number of higher-order Entities.

I do hope that this has somewhat convinced you about the importance of Entities and stability. If you’re not convinced, respectfully go shuck a duck.

Now then, let’s talk a bit about what makes Entities stable. A very good first step is for the Entity to be internally stable. And by “good first step,” I mean “unavoidable, crucially important first step.” By internally stable, I mean that the sub-Entities which constitute this particular Entity are in and of themselves stable.

So, to give examples, a molecule is only stable because the atoms that constitute the molecule are stable. A cell (as in Eukaryote) is stable only because its organelles are stable. Here’s one you might like. Why is Netflix stable? There are literally to many sub-factors to even name. In order to Netflix to be even possible, let alone stable, you need a large population of people with computers and Televisions, you need a stable power-grid that typically behaves in a well-defined fashion, you need a stable population of producers who are willing to make shows, you need a stable population of actors and actresses who want to be in shows in the first place. You need a stable frikin internet, which allows for the highest bandwidth of information transfer even conceived.

I could certainly go on, but I think you get the idea. Basically, stable things (Entities) can only exist if their constituent parts (sub-Entities) are stable.

I really should emphasize that by “stable,” I do not mean “static.” Static means “fixed in some capacity.” Anyone who remembers the God-awful early days of Netflix can attest to the fact that many times, an Entity needs to adapt and improve if it is to survive.

Now then, I didn’t actually want to spend the entirety of this post reiterating my theory of Entities, so let’s talk about the aspect of Entities that’s important for this particular post.

In order for an Entity to be stable, not only does it have to be internally stable, but it also must be externally stable as well. This presupposes that an Entity is necessarily embedded in some environment, but that seems to be a safe assumption because it applies to literally every Entity ever witnessed and recorded by a human being.

Whether you’re an atom, a molecule, a coronavirus, a human being, a literal planet, or a nebula, in order to be stable, you need to be able to contend with your environment. And your environment typically presents a myriad of threats to your stability.

Imagine I’m an amoeba. I’m boolin around, absorbing organic matter, doing my thing, and them all of a sudden, BOOM I run into a eukaryotic cell! Oh frikin no!

Now, lets put the dirty biology aside for a second and talk about what could happen in this here Mexican showdown between different forms of organic matter.

  1. The Entities could both just go their own separate ways, and nothing more happens.
  2. The amoeba could potentially destroy the eukaryotic cell.
  3. The cell could potentially destroy the amoeba.

And when I say destroy, I’m not necessarily talking about some evil, premeditated attack. It could be as simple as the amoeba running into the cell, which ruptures the cell, causing it to no longer exist as a Eukaryotic cell.

Basically, what I’m getting at is that both organisms potentially pose a threat to one another.

Ok, whatever. It’s possible one or both of the organisms won’t survive the interaction. And who cares? They aren’t conscious, they don’t have souls, they don’t have feelings. If they die, literally no one knows or cares.

Be that as it may, if the eukaryotic cell possessed the capability to contend with the amoeba, then it would have a higher chance of survival.

How would it do this? Well, both of these organisms live in our 4-dimensional world, so perhaps the eukaryotic cell has a chemical detector that is able to detect the presence of an amoeba or other external threat. Let’s say this chemical detector, once activated, triggers a mechanism that propels it away from the threat.

Alternatively, let’s say the cell has a mechanism which releases a powerful acid if it’s threatened. Then, when the amoeba approaches, BOOM chemical blast. The amoeba dies!

As a third potentially rarer option, let’s say that when the amoeba approaches the eukaryotic cell, the amoeba realizes that the eukaryotic cell is excreting a chemical that is necessary for the amoeba’s survival. Likewise, the eukaryotic cell realizes that the amoeba destroys other harmful organisms that approach, so it’s the in cell’s best interest to keep the amoeba around. Thus, the two organisms live symbiotically, and potentially merge into a higher-order Entity.

So there you have it! When faced with an external threat, a stable Entity probably should flee, fight, or “learn” to cooperate with the threat. You’ll notice that I have in no way presupposed the existence of emotions, goals, motivations, consciousness, or anything of that sort. All I’ve asserted is that if Entities possess these particular traits, they’ll likely be more stable.

Ok. Now then, let’s talk the Light and the Chaos. I’m about to get all Daoist on all y’all, so prepare yourselves. The Light represents order, structure, and the “known.” The Chaos is an abstraction for everything not in the light, the “Great Unknown” in the most expansive meaning of the phrase.

As stable Entities, human beings exist at the boundary of the Light and the Chaos. As the most stable inheritor of a truly staggering array of lower-level stable Entities, not only do we impulsively live at the edge of the Light and the Chaos, but we’re also conscious of our position.

Now I should say that the boundary between the Light and Chaos is in no way clear cut. The Light and Chaos rather bleed into one another. The Chaos permeates every facet of the Light, but to differing degrees. However, regardless of the Chaos, there are always still areas where the Light promises of its own existence.

Now then, let’s discuss what we might do about our present reality of Light and Chaos. Where ought we strive to live?

Should we walk into the depths of the Chaos? I certainly think not! That would be akin to nearing the gaping mouth of an inky black cave, hearing the sounds of terrible beasts rustling around within, and nevertheless strolling inward.

Should we call that bravery? Perhaps. But also likely suicide. Much like the cave, not only do you have no knowledge of the dangers which lurk within, but you also are in no way prepared to contend with the dangers when they attack. And thus, to plunge into the Chaos is external defeat, and is therefore evident of internal defeat.

But what else can we do? Should we wallow in the Light? In an area entirely permeated by the Light, with not a shred of Chaos in sight, adventure goes to die. There is nothing meaningful whatsoever about living entirely within the confines of the Light. It spells certain survival, but survival at what cost? There’s nothing more soul crushing than a guarantee of nothing new, nothing fresh, a staggering lack of adventure. You will live, but you will live in a state more despicable than death.

So what is left? What leads to a meaningful existence? An existence that perhaps has some degree of important within the context of reality?

It is along the murky Border of the Light and the Chaos that we must walk. Only at the Border of this duality is meaning to be found. Only at the Border does Light no longer represent despicable stagnation. Only at the Border does Chaos no longer spell certain failure and defeat.

At the border, Light becomes the structure we use to remain afloat, the tools we use to build, and the weapons we use to fight. At the Border, Chaos becomes nothing short of the giver of life, continually presenting us with the newness and adventure as crucial to our souls as water or food is to out bodies.

It is at the Border where Heroes are formed. It is at the Border where the most glorious humanity has to offer take up the sword and the hammer, and truly contend with the chaos. It is at the Border where Jacob wrestles God. It is at the Border where Atlas holds up the sky. It is where Light is spoken into Chaos.

It is where meaning lies.

Apps are dumb

By: Danny Geisz | November 16, 2020

Project: Super Secret App Project

I don’t mean that, of course. I actually love app dev. It’s super fun to make cool stuff show up on phones. Two months ago I finished building an entirely different app. Great stuff. Highly recommend. So let me tell you want the “Super secret app project” is, and why it’s dumb.

Basically, the idea was to build a form of social media that allowed people to leave real-time reviews for clubs and restaurants to gauge the mood of a particular location. To put it in simple terms, its biggest audience would probably be bar crawlers.

Now I have no desire to facilitate bar crawling, but I liked the idea because I thought if it worked it could be used for a bunch of stuff besides partying. Basically, real-time Yelp. That’d be pretty cool right?

I still think the idea would be pretty cool, but as I went further along in the process, it because clear that I basically built a partying app, and that’s all it was really going to do. That’s not great.

Also, the person I was working with simply did not pull her weight. And she fed me wrong information (actually, she basically straight-up lied). And she basically got nothing done. Kinda bitter, not gonna lie. Bet you couldn’t tell. But whatever, lesson learned.

Anyway, I don’t actually like thinking a lot about this project because it makes me angry but let me outline the main takeaways from this experience.

First of all, the internet is so frikin cool. And I’m not talking about the websites you know and love, I’m talking about the actual infrastructure of the internet. All the servers and communications protocols and information transfer are literally so cool. And honestly, web dev is super fun. I love all the careful aesthetics. And I never would have known about it had I never started this project.

Not only did this project teach me about how to leverage the internet to do my bidding, but it also showed me what not to do. Let me tell you, I’m never going to touch Javascript again if I can avoid it. TypeScript, all day, every day. It’s the only way. And you better believe I’m never using a REST Api for big projects. GraphQL, all day, every day. It’s the only way. Heavens above I love TypeScript and GraphQL.

Also, as a fun little tidbit, I used Express.js as my server framework, but in the past months, I’ve learned Rust, and you can build lightning fast servers with Rust. Gosh I love Rust. Tokio is simply the best.

Anyway, back to my lessons learned. Aside from technologies, the other lesson I learned from this project was that you need to be super careful about picking the people with whom you work on projects. I chose wrong. I could go on a long, bitter rant about this, but I’ll try to be civil. Communication is frikin key.

Anyway, I’m going to finish this post here. Like I said, thinking about this project and my old “business partner” makes me angry.

Death to Hot Bois

By: Danny Geisz | November 16, 2020

Project: Quark Gluon Plasma or whatever

Sup Fam, it’s Dan (a lil slant rhyme for those of you keeping score). Whilst perusing mine blog, I couldn’t help but notice I have a bunch of hanging projects. It just so happens that most of them flopped, so I thought I’d take some time and take out the garbage, if you will. Do some bloggular pruning, if you won’t. And to that end, let me tell you why I no longer study hot bois.

First of all, by hot bois, I of course mean quarks and gluons (duh). This particular post probably should have been written several months ago because I stopped doing “research” at LBNL around April, and you’ll notice it’s currently… let me check… oh yes! November. Whatever, you don’t care, and neither do I.

What you do care about is why I say “no” to hot bois. The simple answer is that almost every single moment I spent “studying” quark gluon plasma felt like a raging waste of time. That’s your ol’ tl;dr in case you don’t want to read the next 37.3 pages I’m probably going to write.

Now, before I go on a religious rant about why my research experience was dumb and stupid, I should say a couple things. First of all, the Professor in charge of my old research group is simply fantastic. Her name is Barbara Jacak, and she’s simply one of the best faculty members with which I interacted at Berkeley. Barbara was incredibly kind, generous, and made every effort to help me find meaningful research. And it’s not like she wasn’t already incredibly busy. Last I checked, she was working two full-time positions. Not only was she a full-time professor, but she’s also the director of the Nuclear research department at lbnl. So yeah, she’s fantastic. Basically, if for some reason someone reads this who’s looking to study hot bois at Berkeley, try to be friends with Barbara, and while you’re at it, congratulate her on being a genius and incredibly kind. Actually maybe don’t. That’d make her uncomfortable.

I also liked most people in the research group. I didn’t really get to know anyone super well, but a couple of the grad students were really nice to me, and super helpful.

Unfortunately, the research kinda sucked. Let me tell you why.

My first “project” with the group was to try to learn how to use this particular software that reconstructed particle trajectories from collision data. To use more approachable language, I was using some nerd code to find where and when hot bois be. I’ll spare you the physics lesson on how the hot bois came to be in the first place, mostly because you don’t care and it’d be boring.

On paper, this is a fine project. Readers of the ol’ bloggerino know I’m a sucker for learning new software tools that do cool things. Unfortunately, there were a couple inherent issues. The first is that physicists write some of the most disgusting, unintelligible, bug ridden garbage on the face of the planet. And to make matters worse, everyone working on CERN typically insists on using the insidious language of C++.

As a brief side note, I should mention that C++ has absolutely changed the world. A huge portion of your digital life is probably powered by C++ code. It has a lot of great things going for it. It’s super-fast, it has classes, a great standard library, all that jazz. And, it’s not C, which means it’s a gift from the heavenly dieties. So why do I hate it? The stupid, stupid physicists who abuse C++ magic to write disgusting code that manages to still run pretty well.

Also, C++ isn’t memory safe, and I don’t think it’s strongly typed. Gross. Nothing worse in the world than a piece of code crashing because “Segmentation fault. Core dumped.” I’m filled with a deep rage even writing those words.

Anyway, the piece of software I was supposed to be learning was gross, and it wasn’t built to run on Windows. That’s an issue because my lil beasty of a computer happens to be an XPS 15, and you best believe I’m rocking Windows 10. I’ve toyed with fully switching to Linux, but I really just don’t want to. That’s all. You happy??

So anyway, at the end of the day, the software I was learning really just didn’t want to download on my computer. And that’s not fun.

But that’s not what was really painful. It’s not unusual for experimental software to require a 1-2 hour battle to properly download and run smoothly on a non-linux computer. (I’m fairly certain that last sentence was a grammatical catastrophe. Keep your eye out for those, cause I’m sure as frack not going to change them). However, blessed, blessed reader, this particular physics software took a bit longer to download than 1-2 hours. How long did it take, you ask? …well… THREE WEEKS. I SPENT THREE WEEKS DOWNLOADING A PIECE OF $&^#%*@ SOFTWARE.

Lads and lasses, I didn’t enjoy that. But you know what the worst part was? After those three weeks, after I finally got it to compile on my WSL, after I finally wrassled the CMAKE file to submission, after I re-configured ROOT (different physics software) for the fourth time, it crashed. You want to know what the error was? “SEGMENTATION FAULT, CORE DUMPED.”

If you’ve worked with C++ or C at all, you understand that in that moment, I was barely a man. My soul was so crushed and weak I barely had the will to live. And typically when you get a memory bug, you’ve written all the code and you at least know where to look. I hadn’t written a single line of the probably 10,000+ line codebase.

Anyway, suffice it to say that I waltzed on over to Barbara’s office not too long afterwards, and I got a new project.

While I was writing this, I realized I think I already told this story in my last post about this research. Eh, whatever.

Anyway, that all probably happened in February or March. I thought I was home free after I got my new project. I was not.

I’m not even going to attempt to describe what my next research project was supposed to be. Instead let me tell you the gist of why I quit.

First, I could never really tell what anyone was trying to accomplish. Sure Barbara had explained what the group’s short term goals were, but I’m talking big picture goals. Basically I kept on reading academia propaganda about how this research could help us understand more about the Big Bang, and the early universe. BUT HOW? HOW?? I’ve heard researchers talk amongst themselves about or write in papers this sort of sentence over and over again. You know, the sort of “My research is important because it helps us understand X topic better.”

Every time I see something like that, I want to scream, “HOW does it help us understand X better? And why the @#$% does that even matter at all??” (My irritating resolve against the use of expletives when blogging is really starting to bite me in the butt. You’re welcome, mom).

Anyway, I never really found answers to those two questions with regards to research about quark gluon plasmas. To get uber utilitarian with it, I guess you could say that researching these physical systems could potentially allow us to find new, efficient, and stable processes that could power new technological movements, but aside from that, it seems kinda pointless. If you wanted to get super trattagarian with it, you could say the knowledge is intrinsically valuable and beautiful and worth pursuing in and of itself, but I kinda hate that argument, and it seems incredibly emotionally driven and kinda dumb. Take that. I might write a post dissecting this sentiment a bit more because I think it’s actually super important.

To put it in the simplest terms possible, deep down, I don’t care about hot bois. I really don’t. And I don’t want to pour my time into something that seems kinda meaningless. I imagine you understand. Some of you more STEM-inclined readers might take issue with my saying studying hot bois is meaningless, and I don’t actually mean it, but I don’t want to take the time to clarify my position, so you can go shuck a duck.

However, not only did it seem like my research was kinda pointless, but I couldn’t figure out why anyone else was studying it either. People didn’t seem passionate about hot bois at all (except for Barbara and a couple grad students, bless their souls). After talking with the group members, it kinda seemed like they were doing it just because the Berkeley culture makes it seems like the thing to do. That statement is obviously a major oversimplification of the complexity that is someone else’s lifestyle and life choices, but that was my main impression.

Anyway, I’m out of that life now. Wow a lot has happened since then. Back in April, I wanted to start businesses and build apps. Man, stuff has changed.

To put a bit of a bow on this post, when I quit Barbara’s group back in April, I thought I was done with research. It seemed stupid and dumb. Ironic that’s basically what I’m doing now. Except no physics and no hot bois. I’m done with those. The end.