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hypna:

Night #7 by Michael Wolf, 2005.

hypna:

Night #7 by Michael Wolf, 2005.

(Source: amslu)

But he thinks it’s just one more sunset
And after all, it’s all her fault
If she hasn’t caught on yet
And she sings as the record on the stereo
Plays her favorite song for two whole days
And the track stretched out for miles and miles
And what’d she give for one more smile
And how she hoped he missed her
Cause, God, she missed how he would kiss her

Try as I might, I just can’t handle this
I lost myself inside a drunken kiss
And I, all that I wanted was to walk you home
Save the sad song, for the sing-a-long

So why’d you have to go?
Was there something I could’ve said to make you turn around?
‘Cause nights like these, I wish I said don’t go
You’re walking down a road that I can’t go.

– Mayday Parade
I Promisee

I Promisee

(Source: blessedtobeablessing)

I hear you found somebody new
And that I never meant that much to you
To hear that tears me up inside
And to see you cuts me like a knife

Didn’t I give it all?
I tried my best
Gave you everything I had
Everything and no less

Didn’t I do it right?
Did I let you down?
Maybe you got too used to having me around

Maybe I should leave
To help you see
Nothing is better than this
And this is everything we need

So is it over?
Is this really it?
You’re giving up so easily,
I thought you loved me more than this

I’ll change if I must
Slow it down and bring it home, I’ll adjust
If only you knew,
Everything I do is for you

But go on, go on and take it
Take it all with you
Don’t look back at this crumbling fool

– Adele

To perceive and not judge

I think in every experience I have, I discover something new about myself or about how I look at how the universe works, or at least how I think it works. I also have a song that I think sums up my experience. Memories become more and more faulty as time goes on, but the song never changes and the new thing I discover won’t either. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g8v45du-ZA

I think the most prominent thing I will remember from this time here is how important something can feel to you, but no one on the outside will know unless you tell tell them. What I’ve begun to think was that since this is so important to me, other people will notice since it’s so important. I won’t have to tell anyone, people will know by just looking at me that what I’m thinking is extremely important to me. But nobody knows anything about each other, unless you tell them. Everyone has their own experiences, and everyone has something that’s important to them, and everyone loves something. Before I came here, I could look at someone, judge, look away, forget. Now, if I look at someone, I think about how important each being is, not necessarily to the world, but to themselves. I think, this person has something that is important to them, and this person has their own goals, and this person probably loves someone. I suppose I’ve begun to think about these things because I want people to see something more when they see me, I don’t want them to look at me, judge, look away, forget. I want them to see someone who’s had experiences, who has goals, and someone who loves another person. 

Which leads me into what I’ve also discovered, my life at home is fake as hell. I block out so much emotion to fulfill my goals, which is what leads me to look at someone, judge, look away, forget because that’s how I look at myself. I don’t put any emotion into my daily life, and I don’t want to live like that. Everyone has their story, their experiences, and their memories that they won’t forget, and I’m starting to realize it because I’ve realized that I have a story, I have had experiences, and I have memories I won’t forget, and I want other people to recognize it. Everyone has a story, and so do you.

peacecorps:

Have Rainbow, Will Travel: The LGBT Experience in the Peace Corps 

Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, June 27 to get a glimpse at what it’s like for Peace Corps Volunteers as they adapt to overseas cultures that can be less than tolerant of their sexual identities.

(HT to the Washington Blade for the awesome photos of RPCVs marching in the DC Pride Parade!)

BRILLIANT YOUNG SIR

neuroticthought:

by Tom Stafford

Evolution made us the ultimate learning machines, and the ultimate learning machines need to be oiled by curiosity.

We humans have a deeply curious nature, and more often than not it is about the minor tittle-tattle in our lives. Our curiosity has us doing utterly unproductive things like reading news about people we will never meet, learning topics we will never have use for, or exploring places we will never come back to. We just love to know the answers to things, even if there’s no obvious benefit.

From the perspective of evolution this appears to be something of a mystery. We associate evolution with ‘survival-of-the-fittest’ traits that support the essentials of day-to-day survival and reproduction. So why did we evolve to waste so much time? Shouldn’t evolution have selected for a species which was – you know – a bit more focussed?

Child’s play

The roots of our peculiar curiosity can be linked to a trait of the human species call neoteny. This is a term from evolutionary theory that means the “retention of juvenile characteristics”. It means that as a species we are more child-like than other mammals. Being relatively hairless is one physical example. A large brain relative to body size is another. Our lifelong curiosity and playfulness is a behavioural characteristic of neoteny.

Neoteny is a short-cut taken by evolution– a route that brings about a whole bundle of changes in one go, rather than selecting for them one by one. Evolution, by making us a more juvenile species, has made us weaker than our primate cousins, but it has also given us our child’s curiosity, our capacity to learn and our deep sense of attachment to each other.

And of course the lifelong capacity to learn is the reason why neoteny has worked so well for our species. Our extended childhood means we can absorb so much more from our environment, including our shared culture. Even in adulthood we can pick up new ways of doing things and new ways of thinking, allowing us to adapt to new circumstances.

Exploration bonus
In the world of artificial intelligence, computer scientists have explored how behaviour evolves when guided by different learning algorithms. An important result is that even the best learning algorithms fall down if they are not encouraged to explore a little. Without a little something to distract them from what they should be doing, these algorithms get stuck in a rut, relying on the same responses time and time again.

Computer scientists have learnt to adjust how these algorithms rate different possible actions with an ‘exploration bonus’ – that is, a reward just for trying something new. Weighted like this, the algorithms then occasionally leave the beaten track to explore. These exploratory actions cost them some opportunities, but leave them better off in the long run because they’ve gain knowledge about what they might do, even if it didn’t benefit them immediately.

The implication for the evolution of our own brain is clear. Curiosity is nature’s built-in exploration bonus. We’re evolved to leave the beaten track, to try things out, to get distracted and generally look like we’re wasting time. Maybe we are wasting time today, but the learning algorithms in our brain know that something we learnt by chance today will come in useful tomorrow.

Obviously it would be best if we knew what we needed to know, and just concentrated on that. Fortunately, in a complex world it is impossible to know what might be useful in the future. And thank goodness – otherwise we would have evolved to be a deadly-boring species which never wanted to get lost, never tried things to just see what happened or did things for the hell of it.

Evolution made us the ultimate learning machines, and the ultimate learning machines need a healthy dash of curiosity to help us take full advantage of this learning capacity.

Or, as Kurt Vonnegut said, “We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.”

Give me wings, give me peace - these are the things that I need. I’m tormented, broken, and shamed. And give me shelter from the storm, I know it’s a lot to ask for considering the dirt I’ve piled on your name. Are you listening? I took you for granted again, I pulled you aside and pretended that I had control of my life and the direction it seemed to be in. I was wrong again. Are you listening?
I will wait for you to come again. I can’t pretend like I’m confident, and I can’t pretend that it makes much sense when it doesn’t. I’m melted and left all alone on the side of the road.
– The Classic Crime

(Source: weheartit.com, via anc-h-ors)

hypna:

Night #7 by Michael Wolf, 2005.

hypna:

Night #7 by Michael Wolf, 2005.

(Source: amslu)

But he thinks it’s just one more sunset
And after all, it’s all her fault
If she hasn’t caught on yet
And she sings as the record on the stereo
Plays her favorite song for two whole days
And the track stretched out for miles and miles
And what’d she give for one more smile
And how she hoped he missed her
Cause, God, she missed how he would kiss her

Try as I might, I just can’t handle this
I lost myself inside a drunken kiss
And I, all that I wanted was to walk you home
Save the sad song, for the sing-a-long

So why’d you have to go?
Was there something I could’ve said to make you turn around?
‘Cause nights like these, I wish I said don’t go
You’re walking down a road that I can’t go.

– Mayday Parade
I Promisee

I Promisee

(Source: blessedtobeablessing)

I hear you found somebody new
And that I never meant that much to you
To hear that tears me up inside
And to see you cuts me like a knife

Didn’t I give it all?
I tried my best
Gave you everything I had
Everything and no less

Didn’t I do it right?
Did I let you down?
Maybe you got too used to having me around

Maybe I should leave
To help you see
Nothing is better than this
And this is everything we need

So is it over?
Is this really it?
You’re giving up so easily,
I thought you loved me more than this

I’ll change if I must
Slow it down and bring it home, I’ll adjust
If only you knew,
Everything I do is for you

But go on, go on and take it
Take it all with you
Don’t look back at this crumbling fool

– Adele

To perceive and not judge

I think in every experience I have, I discover something new about myself or about how I look at how the universe works, or at least how I think it works. I also have a song that I think sums up my experience. Memories become more and more faulty as time goes on, but the song never changes and the new thing I discover won’t either. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3g8v45du-ZA

I think the most prominent thing I will remember from this time here is how important something can feel to you, but no one on the outside will know unless you tell tell them. What I’ve begun to think was that since this is so important to me, other people will notice since it’s so important. I won’t have to tell anyone, people will know by just looking at me that what I’m thinking is extremely important to me. But nobody knows anything about each other, unless you tell them. Everyone has their own experiences, and everyone has something that’s important to them, and everyone loves something. Before I came here, I could look at someone, judge, look away, forget. Now, if I look at someone, I think about how important each being is, not necessarily to the world, but to themselves. I think, this person has something that is important to them, and this person has their own goals, and this person probably loves someone. I suppose I’ve begun to think about these things because I want people to see something more when they see me, I don’t want them to look at me, judge, look away, forget. I want them to see someone who’s had experiences, who has goals, and someone who loves another person. 

Which leads me into what I’ve also discovered, my life at home is fake as hell. I block out so much emotion to fulfill my goals, which is what leads me to look at someone, judge, look away, forget because that’s how I look at myself. I don’t put any emotion into my daily life, and I don’t want to live like that. Everyone has their story, their experiences, and their memories that they won’t forget, and I’m starting to realize it because I’ve realized that I have a story, I have had experiences, and I have memories I won’t forget, and I want other people to recognize it. Everyone has a story, and so do you.

peacecorps:

Have Rainbow, Will Travel: The LGBT Experience in the Peace Corps 

Join us for a webinar on Wednesday, June 27 to get a glimpse at what it’s like for Peace Corps Volunteers as they adapt to overseas cultures that can be less than tolerant of their sexual identities.

(HT to the Washington Blade for the awesome photos of RPCVs marching in the DC Pride Parade!)

BRILLIANT YOUNG SIR

neuroticthought:

by Tom Stafford

Evolution made us the ultimate learning machines, and the ultimate learning machines need to be oiled by curiosity.

We humans have a deeply curious nature, and more often than not it is about the minor tittle-tattle in our lives. Our curiosity has us doing utterly unproductive things like reading news about people we will never meet, learning topics we will never have use for, or exploring places we will never come back to. We just love to know the answers to things, even if there’s no obvious benefit.

From the perspective of evolution this appears to be something of a mystery. We associate evolution with ‘survival-of-the-fittest’ traits that support the essentials of day-to-day survival and reproduction. So why did we evolve to waste so much time? Shouldn’t evolution have selected for a species which was – you know – a bit more focussed?

Child’s play

The roots of our peculiar curiosity can be linked to a trait of the human species call neoteny. This is a term from evolutionary theory that means the “retention of juvenile characteristics”. It means that as a species we are more child-like than other mammals. Being relatively hairless is one physical example. A large brain relative to body size is another. Our lifelong curiosity and playfulness is a behavioural characteristic of neoteny.

Neoteny is a short-cut taken by evolution– a route that brings about a whole bundle of changes in one go, rather than selecting for them one by one. Evolution, by making us a more juvenile species, has made us weaker than our primate cousins, but it has also given us our child’s curiosity, our capacity to learn and our deep sense of attachment to each other.

And of course the lifelong capacity to learn is the reason why neoteny has worked so well for our species. Our extended childhood means we can absorb so much more from our environment, including our shared culture. Even in adulthood we can pick up new ways of doing things and new ways of thinking, allowing us to adapt to new circumstances.

Exploration bonus
In the world of artificial intelligence, computer scientists have explored how behaviour evolves when guided by different learning algorithms. An important result is that even the best learning algorithms fall down if they are not encouraged to explore a little. Without a little something to distract them from what they should be doing, these algorithms get stuck in a rut, relying on the same responses time and time again.

Computer scientists have learnt to adjust how these algorithms rate different possible actions with an ‘exploration bonus’ – that is, a reward just for trying something new. Weighted like this, the algorithms then occasionally leave the beaten track to explore. These exploratory actions cost them some opportunities, but leave them better off in the long run because they’ve gain knowledge about what they might do, even if it didn’t benefit them immediately.

The implication for the evolution of our own brain is clear. Curiosity is nature’s built-in exploration bonus. We’re evolved to leave the beaten track, to try things out, to get distracted and generally look like we’re wasting time. Maybe we are wasting time today, but the learning algorithms in our brain know that something we learnt by chance today will come in useful tomorrow.

Obviously it would be best if we knew what we needed to know, and just concentrated on that. Fortunately, in a complex world it is impossible to know what might be useful in the future. And thank goodness – otherwise we would have evolved to be a deadly-boring species which never wanted to get lost, never tried things to just see what happened or did things for the hell of it.

Evolution made us the ultimate learning machines, and the ultimate learning machines need a healthy dash of curiosity to help us take full advantage of this learning capacity.

Or, as Kurt Vonnegut said, “We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.”

Give me wings, give me peace - these are the things that I need. I’m tormented, broken, and shamed. And give me shelter from the storm, I know it’s a lot to ask for considering the dirt I’ve piled on your name. Are you listening? I took you for granted again, I pulled you aside and pretended that I had control of my life and the direction it seemed to be in. I was wrong again. Are you listening?
I will wait for you to come again. I can’t pretend like I’m confident, and I can’t pretend that it makes much sense when it doesn’t. I’m melted and left all alone on the side of the road.
– The Classic Crime
"

But he thinks it’s just one more sunset
And after all, it’s all her fault
If she hasn’t caught on yet
And she sings as the record on the stereo
Plays her favorite song for two whole days
And the track stretched out for miles and miles
And what’d she give for one more smile
And how she hoped he missed her
Cause, God, she missed how he would kiss her

Try as I might, I just can’t handle this
I lost myself inside a drunken kiss
And I, all that I wanted was to walk you home
Save the sad song, for the sing-a-long

So why’d you have to go?
Was there something I could’ve said to make you turn around?
‘Cause nights like these, I wish I said don’t go
You’re walking down a road that I can’t go.

"
"I hear you found somebody new
And that I never meant that much to you
To hear that tears me up inside
And to see you cuts me like a knife"
"

Didn’t I give it all?
I tried my best
Gave you everything I had
Everything and no less

Didn’t I do it right?
Did I let you down?
Maybe you got too used to having me around

Maybe I should leave
To help you see
Nothing is better than this
And this is everything we need

So is it over?
Is this really it?
You’re giving up so easily,
I thought you loved me more than this

I’ll change if I must
Slow it down and bring it home, I’ll adjust
If only you knew,
Everything I do is for you

But go on, go on and take it
Take it all with you
Don’t look back at this crumbling fool

"
To perceive and not judge
"Give me wings, give me peace - these are the things that I need. I’m tormented, broken, and shamed. And give me shelter from the storm, I know it’s a lot to ask for considering the dirt I’ve piled on your name. Are you listening? I took you for granted again, I pulled you aside and pretended that I had control of my life and the direction it seemed to be in. I was wrong again. Are you listening?
I will wait for you to come again. I can’t pretend like I’m confident, and I can’t pretend that it makes much sense when it doesn’t. I’m melted and left all alone on the side of the road."

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