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Sexism: A Two-Way Street That Can Sometimes Be ‘Seen’ Acceptable

Okay, such is a topic I’d¬†hardly take up to discuss because of a couple reasons. One, I am not in the humanities and two, I just don’t have much time around people, in other words, I’m not a ‘people’ person. Tackling issues on such fronts usually present a challenge to me making me pretty evasive of them.

How does sexism present itself in society? Most people are used to vaguely generalizing that sexism is discrimination against women on their liberties/rights/equalities, but we must realize sexism can work either way i.e., it’s a two-way street. Let me try and define sexism with strict logic; Discrimination based on the grounds of sex. The keyword is ‘discrimination’, and it can mean anything. It doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, privileges are also a form of discrimination. Continue reading “Sexism: A Two-Way Street That Can Sometimes Be ‘Seen’ Acceptable”

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I’m Only Human

Happy new year everybody! I hope you had a wonderful start into twenty seventeen ūüôā I personally had a blast – in Chicago! I was at this fairly new event in the city center called Chi-town Rising, hosted this year by Corona Extra. They basically have a huge steel star with lights mounted onto it to draw attention, guided on 2 I-beams running through the face of the Hyatt building by Wacker drive.

I’m back again with more posts to post but in the meantime, I thought I could write this short post just giving myself in to my human side. On my other posts, I use big words and phrases and try to be logically consistent and grammatically sound but today I’m just going to write about things on the very top of my head hoping this would help build better blogger-reader relationships and moreover, to help make blogging on Chronic Overthoughts therapeutic to me, you know the relaxation and all writing brings. I will also not be proof-reading this post or even try to optimize it – like I said earlier, this is purely what’s firing in my head instantaneously as I hit keys.

This New Year’s was a particularly good realization for me. I’ve realized that being me while doing things the way others do to impress humans at the fundamental level often pays off. This is best reflected in college applications – when I first applied to my dream schools, I made the mistake of completely being honest and ‘me’ but as it turns out, you have to play by the game a little bit where it’s required to make some of the trivial stuff up to mark and invest your mental resources into where ‘being yourself’ is appreciated. Lately, I’ve been making an action plan to see what needs to be done to get me a step closer to my goal which lead me to a couple things – playing by the game to a certain extent cut down on much of the stress and burden such activities bring with it. It also ultimately made me feel satisfied when I felt that I wasn’t standing too far out, making my every move predominantly noticeable while simultaneously making sure to not be too blended with everybody else so as to lose your unique identity.

Also, I’ve come to realize that sometimes there’s only a certain extent to which you can control or take authority over things – how, when and the way they take place. There are well-established constraints on everyone – nationality, blah blah blah which can only take you to a certain point beyond which you must just surrender and stop wasting your resources telling yourself that you’d come this far and there’s room to go further – especially if others had already done it.

My advice to my younger self would be to not look at your path to your goal as one that is linear – even if you think you are taking radical paths that have never before been traversed upon you are in-fact, naturally following a linear path. Your hard work or distinct behavior should not account for evidence to confirm your bias. They are merely obstacles placed on the vertical which you just have to navigate or work through no matter what. The obstacle which I’ve encountered is one placed along the horizontal. One might ask what difference does it make – the obstacles placed on the vertical will NOT forbid you from moving ahead towards the goal. These are merely there to slow you down. Maybe you got a low score on a standardized test and wanted to retake it – you’re just being slowed down while still staying on that straight path. Keep in mind that not all have the same obstacles – everyone has a different goal and hence, an action plan which they set for themselves or mutually agreed upon with a third-party. The horizontal obstacle is a roadblock to keep you from progressing further on that path to your goal. While a horizontal obstacle might seem like something that forbids you completely from reaching your goal, it really isn’t.

To deal with an horizontal obstacle, you have to realize that this obstacle was designed to be overcome in the long term. If I was telling myself this a couple months if not, days ago, I would have welcomed it with nothing but skepticism. This should seem like complete gibberish because we are told our short-term actions determine our results in the long-term. While this notion is agreeable in most cases, a horizontal obstacle requires you to think out-of-the-box! You not just explore radical options, but also develop REALISTIC action plans to make them reality, with much emphasis on the word realistic. Someone like me, who suffers from schizophrenia is lead to believe an idealistic and logical plan will certainly work. When it doesn’t – we rebel, loathe our existence and get more aggressive with our pursuits. But that does NOT help because your resources are now invested in something that isn’t helping navigate around this obstacle.

Don’t seek (never!) validation from anyone, even your parents, siblings and close friends. You are your best person to judge. Sometimes, I’ve found myself doing things merely to get validated by others. While this yields fantastic results in the short-term, it doesn’t help challenging obstacles as the one discussed above, obstacle which most people give up to. These obstacles make an average person feel like they’ve hit a dead end, only an intellectual who’s self-invested his/her resources will realize the bigger picture and work on a realistic solution that is statistically bound to work.

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Why Girls Don’t Like Me

I’ve been doing some analysis into why they don’t and here I document what I think are likely explanations (or theories) for it.

Averages matter:

We have been hard-wired to find averages attractive/desirable. An average face, character or personality all contribute to the attractiveness factor. The less deviated you are from the parameters of the average population, the more likely people are to find you attractive and/or desirable.

Societal perception:

The way society (majority of the people in your environment) perceive you can largely affect your social standing. Popular kids in high school are likely to have more friends because people continually work to increase their standing in society and one way to do it is by associating themselves with people who stand higher than them. In popular culture, one way this could affect females is how they are viewed (respected) by their fellow peers. A female associating herself with a influential male is more likely to be invited to parties or in other words, have a higher standing in society.

Natural selection:

Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection has been widely accredited for a long time to explain how organisms evolve to procreate at optimal rates. To achieve this, an organism will seek to mate with the opposite sex that has desirable qualities – something which natural selection has iteratively narrowed down to. The organisms with these qualities of interest are statistically likely to be least deviated from average.

Overall game:

Attraction/seduction/courtship is an art. It isn’t merely logical and scientific – meaning there are inconsistencies among what it preaches and what goes behind making it reality. For example, attractiveness may be defined mathematically but who one might find attractive may come down to the individual’s stance on societal and demographical norms. The human race has evolved as one, with people inheriting and assimilating themselves with certain protocols as to how certain processes should be carried out through successive generations. It is what helps this race sustain on the planet.

That concludes my post. My next test is one on Psychology. It’s finals week. Should I ever run into something that hopefully relates to this post, I’ll always come back and update with whatever floats my boat.

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Quirks of Being Intelligent

Intelligent people are often very unique. Their uniqueness stems likely from their principles and motives which in turn stem from ¬†their past experiences – whether pleasant or unpleasant. Moreover, they become unique because they can’t naturally exhibit or emulate the typical behavior of the average person.

Good at humor or interpreting humor:

I just read somewhere that humor is an elementary cognitive function. Developing and interpreting humor requires a good level of cognitive ability. Someone with a high level of cognition may even laugh at something which apparently wouldn’t be funny just because that individual is capable of relating what he’s perceiving with something he knows. This relationship the individual builds in the mind results in humor. You may relate to a bottle of wine with an incident of your friend throwing up drunk.

Anxiety or some mental disorder:

Anxiety is a good indicator of intelligence. Yep! Thank your anxiety because this ‘fear of the future’ comes off your ability to process current events and come up with a plausible extrapolation of what could happen next. This could also be a by-product of overthinking which again involves developing possible explanations (hypothesizing) based on known information or assumptions. People with a low level of anxiety when tasked with something new likely lack intelligence but hey – I’m not throwing off theories! This is my opinion of how anxiety may be correlated with intelligence. Mania can also be another mental disorder associated with intelligence. This ability of a person to rapidly process stimulus and thoughts may backfire when not desired leading to this condition.

Annoyance/Irritability:

I personally get very irritated by petty things when I’m already frustrated. The trend from there is exponential – much like a runaway! I get annoyed by the wind and also believe me – cursed the weather for being ‘drunk AF’. I personally believe that the tendency to become easily irritated by some external stimuli or thought indicates the extent to which a person expects structure or order. The reason why one expects structure in the world around them would come down to how a person’s brain is wired – such as a brain wired for performing the scientific method (a systematic approach of doing science). This brain would crave logic and consistency with it’s thoughts (assumptions) and any anomaly in it’s word may be deemed as annoying. A gust of wind from an odd direction may be annoying as it wasn’t expected and ruined the brain’s expectation of how it (wind) should ideally behave.

Verbal intelligence:

This is purely my personal opinion. I believe verbal intelligence such as the ability to use appropriate vocabulary, synonyms interchangeably or appropriately, implementing parallelism in sentences may be correlated with intelligence. Furthermore, processing words (talking or writing) at a high rate could also sum all of our above ideas. I say this because processing words as a whole requires you to rapidly look up vocab from your memory, process simultaneous streams of information and retain them so you can go back and re-think them.

Spontaneity:

Lastly, I blame spontaneity for my inability to concentrate. I believe this to be a by-product of the ability of the individual to process information rapidly Рallowing them to come up with the most fascinating of ideas in the most random of situations. These situations sometimes may deem that idea or activity inappropriate making the individual crave for it. This leads to distractions as the mind actively anticipates when it possibly may get to perform it.

Laziness:

When the brain is capable of optimizing something it wants to do in the near future in a way it allows for it to be performed in a shorter time – the brain comfortably procrastinates. Also, laziness may be the result of one’s personality. Some traits may include appreciation of what’s around them (because they know so much about them) and a lack of urgency¬†about performing the anticipated activity (because they know how to optimize it and make it more rewarding when it’s performed i.e., find shortcuts).

There are lots of other personality traits and quirks in smart people but these are the best that would come to my mind.

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Getting Used to 120 VAC / 60 Hz

I just moved to the United States. Yay for me! Like any place on this planet, there were certain things that made me cringe. For starters, they still use the antiquated (and much dreaded) Imperial system. The Imperial system was devised to make measuring everyday objects easier by using easy benchmarks – say the length of your feet. While us science people find this system of measurement very juvenile, some would argue it just makes the whole idea of measuring objects a tad easier because it involves using an apparatus that is a part of you ūüėÄ Okay, enough talking about the Imperial system, lets talk about the domestic power supply because that’s what the intention of mine was when I enthusiastically jotted down the title for this post.

This is where things will get a bit technical. I’ll start off talking about the ramifications on linear power power supplies if you’re moving in from a country/region where the domestic power supply is rated at 220-240 VAC / 50 Hz. I’m not taking up switch mode supplies because their mode of operation allows them to work under a wide range of supply voltages. Linear supplies are typical of power amplifiers and other applications where an unregulated supply will do. Typical power supply circuits consist of a step down transformer, rectifier and ripple capacitors. Without much thinking, one would point out that the transformer would make the power supply incompatible. Yea, but not fully. A transformer is pretty versatile and can vary it’s coil currents to maintain a certain secondary voltage, hence calling for added current draw when used with a lower than designed primary voltage. Parts of the power supply that are tasked with rectifying AC will take a hit too because the higher frequency of AC equates to different diode conduction times.¬†This in turn has ramifications on the capacitor supply times. In other words, the higher the AC frequency, the lower the capacitor needs to be for an acceptable ripple.

Besides power supplies, transmission lines also behave differently when subjected to AC at a higher frequency. If you’re familiar with impedance, you probably know the reactive component of impedance changes as a function of frequency. Audio enthusiasts probably know it all too well that loudspeaker coils don’t maintain their rated impedance over the entire frequency range. What this means is that an 8 Ohm driver probably only subjects a load of 3 or something Ohms on the amplifier when driven at a certain frequency. In other words, transmission lines may become lossy with a decrease in voltage (added current to maintain power throughput) and frequency.

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Media and Science

Today I will talk about scientific studies and the way media interprets and conveys them to the public. The media here plays the crucial role of a mediator, and I’ve noticed sometimes this mediating layer through which scientific developments reach the public doesn’t do a good job at maintaining transparency and accuracy of information.

P-hacking??
P-hacking??

Okay, now that’s just plain funny. Vegetables cause cancer? Surprisingly – yes! Anything you eat that aids cell division i.e., lets your body grow and repair itself might possibly¬†cause cancer. Cancer cells come about as a result of bad genetic mutations during this repair or growth process. So theoretically, one might as well say vegetables cause cancer – but that’s the media’s perspective! Let’s bring the¬†scientific method into the equation and tackle this rather bold statement, shall we?

Let’s start off with the source i.e., where the media gets their information from. Typically, findings from studies are published as papers in journals. These papers then get interpreted by the media in a multitude of ways. Why? Because the person tasked with penning the report is usually not an expert in the field while the paper he is reading from is written by experts. Here arises our problem,

The person interpreting this information should be one who is familiar with the scientific method and/or have some background in the sciences.

His misinterpretation and the added corporate pressure to attract attention (audience) paves way for sensationalism and inaccurate information being published.

What are the implications one might ask, and I’d say many! For starters, like I’d previously mentioned media as a mediating layer for information to reach out to the public hence, their every statement is read time and again, modified and shared across multiple social media platforms where a bulk of the masses end up getting their information. Any minor lapse in the process of publishing information can have disastrous¬†implications on how that particular story/incident/finding gets distributed and interpreted among the public.

Data dredging:¬†This is something some media outlets use to get your attention on something that’s statistically so insignificant that it’s practically unworthy of consideration and yet they¬†make it convincing to the audience by sensationalizing a very insignificant find concluded as a result of the study.

End of the day, what really matters is where you get your news from – reputed sources like Reuters and AFP who hire specialists to gather news for them responsibly or sources like Geek.com who are hard players in the juvenile game of attention on social media.

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The Intelligence Quotient

In this post, I’ll be discussing the role of demographics and linguistics in the cognitive and intellectual development of an individual. I must warn you I haven’t really done any actual research in the area so all I’ll be doing is giving anecdotal evidence to support my argument. If this is not your kind of science, I advice you not read further.

Based on what I’ve read off the internet and actual conversations with people from varied backgrounds than mine, I find that people from certain geographical, economic, social and cultural backgrounds have in average a higher IQ. I highly doubt the consistency of this finding because we have mutations everywhere, there are prodigies from South Africa and really dumb people from North America making it hard to put out a solid generalization. However, given that the vast majority of people confirm to their physical and social surroundings quite flawlessly (because that’s how humans were meant to be), we could exploit this anthropological feature to make a vague generalization that might not apply to everyone that fall within a certain demography, but to the vast majority instead.

Now how do people from certain geographical/social backgrounds manage to pull off a higher IQ? I think it has to do with the way their brains develop from a very young age – say the food they eat, the quality of people they interact with, the quality of their surroundings, their physical possessions etc. A kid brought up in a third world country by average, would have a lower IQ than his first world counterpart. Why? Because this kid was possibly fed food with an inferior quality, hindering proper brain development in those tender years and the people he interacted with were also probably not intellectually competent enough (because they were in-turn brought up in a third world country) to stimulate the kid’s thinking and cognitive development. I believe these socio-economic and geographical factors contribute primly to the intellectual development of an individual.

Now for the linguistics and cultural influence. I’m pairing these factors together because they seem more apt to be discussed together. I’m basing this on my personal experiences – like the conversations and encounters I’ve had with people. Linguistics plays a role I believe, not to a large extent as the factors we discussed previously but somewhat to be considered. I find some languages to be more efficient and complete. They have more synonyms, more scientific literature written in them, and more words in general. Some languages also allow for better parallelism in sentences, allowing the speaker to convey a large amount of information effortlessly in a smaller period of time. These complex sentences also engages the mind of the reader to keep track of multiple ideas and words in a sentence simultaneously, allowing the brain to form new connections to process information effectively hence making them intelligent.

UPDATE (241951z): It struck me that I hadn’t discussed the role of culture and geography in each of the above paragraphs in much detail and hence will do it here. There are certain cultures that forbid people from doing some things and/or acts and this may in my opinion, negatively affect intellectual development. Also, with geography comes infrastructure. Someone in a third world country had to navigate poorly planned cities and road infrastructure. This might not stimulate a person intellectually.

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Are accidents and incidents Zipfian?

In this post, I shall discuss the possibility of modelling (or rather predicting) the occurrence of anomalies in a system using Zifp’s law. Also, I will bring up empirical evidence from time to time to tip the argument in my favor.

Allow me bring up the evidence first. The case of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy, Air Asia and Egypt Air were all likely succumbed to this probability model. How so? The first crash involving a Malaysian Airlines plane occurred one fateful day of March, 2014 and it was the first time an MAS plane was involved in a major hull loss incident. Soon after in July that same year, another MAS plane was downed by Ukrainian forces.

We see that when something which is unlikely of happening happens, a similar something is exponentially more likely to happen again.

The incidents involving Egypt Air and Air Asia were no different. An MSR plane is first hijacked and soon after, one of its planes crashes. Again, an AXM plane crashes and soon after a plane operated by the same airline is involved in a runway excursion incident. Now you might wonder why I have chosen to constrain my argument to those of aviation-related incidents and accidents – and I have a perfectly good reason why because they are very rare making them the apt candidate for our discussion.

Let’s open up our minds a little now, I propose we might be able to predict the state of the human race’s understanding of the universe several years from now based on instantaneous trends in research and data collection. Say we make a breakthrough in chemotherapy and assuming this event might obey Zipf’s law, wouldn’t it be safe to say that we are more likely to make another similar breakthrough with the trend in chemotherapy breakthroughs moving upward exponentially. This way, we could model how we might end up in looking several years into the future, pretty much like how smartphones took the consumer electronics’ industry by storm. It would have been near impossible to linearly extrapolate from the 1980’s or so up until now and say what technology might have looked like.

I believe it is possible to explain the progress of intelligent civilizations in a similar way as demonstrated above.

Zipf’s law is more than just modelling events linearly. One could say that Zipf’s law allows us to make decisions and/or predict what the state of a system overall ahead of time by taking into consideration what is happening and what is likely to happen within the system. To answer my original question if accidents and incidents are completely Zipfian is plain stupid without any hard evidence, however I’d be comfortable with exploiting this trend to keep myself safe and make careful decisions.

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Psychology and God

Over the course of time, humans have developed a multitude of faith systems. It helps introduce a sense of divinity – which I’d rather like to call a sense well-being or peacefulness into the devotee. In this post, I approach the subject with the scientific method – questioning, observing and inferring with what falls under my domain of perception. Now if you are someone who knows me in real-life (or perhaps social media), you’ll notice I don’t take on such subjects for discussion but let this be an exception ūüėČ

Peacefulness: Okay, before you go on telling me meditation has calming effects, let me reinstate we are strictly constricting our discussion to acts of the spiritual nature such as praying. From my observation, I find that praying or as the devotee would say surrendering oneself to a superior entity has a calming effect on the mind. How? Here is my theory. I say that praying or surrendering one’s problems to God allows the mind to satisfy the self that its problems are no longer “its” but rather now shared among with a superior entity who possibly (as the mind would say) has in its powers the ability to sort them out. Also, this might reduce anxiety as the burden is “virtually” shared.

Happiness: Any psychiatrist or scientist for that matter would quite arguably say happiness and peacefulness are all pretty much linked. You raise the levels of GABA, dopamine and serotonin in the brain and you can expect to see these psychological states triggered in the individual and these effects are observed in people who have just committed spiritual acts probably because of the reduced anxiety. I believe the notion that spiritual people (as claimed by them) lead happier lives is partly true basing on this scientific fact.

Tendency of wrong-doing: If you look up personal records of criminals, I’m sure you’ll find mental illness or some sort of mental agony that likely has coerced them into committing the crime. Again like I’d discussed previously, happiness stems from the brain’s chemistry and this chemistry is in-turn dictated by what the brain does to itself. Does the brain pop in an SSRI or two to make itself happy or perhaps drink coffee? In case of people who claim (and believe) to have spiritual connections in their lives are in my opinion, less likely to do wrong primarily because of the aforementioned reasoning. But again there are factors like fear that could come into the equation (as in certain faith systems) and prevent criminal activity of a person.

Confidence: I’m sure those who preach religion also claim they gain confidence to do something when they are involved or will participate in an event that can mathematically be said to have an unforeseen and probabilistic outcome, or as the preachers call it “luck”. Now how do we explain this apparent gain in confidence with science? We could say that the act of praying induces a sense of well-being in the individual as we previously justified scientifically and this brings about a change in brain chemistry that explains the gain in confidence.

A big question: Who is likely to live longer, happier lives?

As silly as it sounds, I think this is worthy of a debate before I conclude my post, crawl into my sheets and doze off to sleep. Do scientific people like me who stand by our understanding of our physical surrounding to explain our lives (what has happened, is happening and will happen) live happier and longer lives or do the God preachers do it better? The religious are a little likely to live happier lives with lower levels of anxiety as a result of their faith while the scientific people might really know what it takes to keep them happy and well and do it accordingly, hence equally living lives as fullest to their religious counterparts. It’s hard for me to put forth an answer to this question just like that without solid research and therefore will leave this post here, leaving you to ponder. Maybe you will question your whole belief system after this (if you do have one)!