Programming as Art

Programming is an art too. I got inspired to write this post after watching the video of the art making process of the artist below while writing or debugging a program.

When I write a piece of code, I am creating a software. It is the creative process of building something that can be used by others or sometimes just only by you (like that mini calculator or tic tac toe or that stupid looking game) for your own hobbyist utility.

An artist starts with an idea of what she wants to paint. A programmer also always has an idea of how the end product will look like. Then they both gradually work towards it, realizing limitations, bounds in time and space. Like an artist feels his or her limitation with canvas size, availability of color, complexity of shapes; a programmer realizes the bound in memory allocation in the finite RAM of the computer, speed of the operating system, disk space complexity etc. An artist needs to wipe out many parts of the canvas many times or improvise to ultimately produce what he or she really wants to project. A programmer needs to compile and debug many parts of his initially flawed program to fix each part, solve each mini problems to ultimately produce final working version.

But for some reason, most programmers don’t call themselves artists or feel like an artist. Is it a perception problem? Programming is perceived as a boring thing. May be the reason lies in the limited visualization power a programmer often has. What I mean is that, an artist can show his or her artwork to a lay-person and more often, people will get it with or without explanation. But it probably requires a lot of education, engineering, computational skills often to understand a program. In that sense, programming may be compared with craft too. But ultimately a program can be used, just like a hand craft can be put on your table to decorate or an art piece like a painting can be hanged on the wall.

For example, I am using my keyboard to write on this text editing program of Facebook to write this post on “Programming as art”. This small piece of editing program of the entire program that represents Facebook app or website is probably managed by a group of programmers/engineers at Facebook. They have written the program so that users like me can write their thoughts, ideas and post on their news feed as efficiently as possible; they can tag their friends, thay can put their location, they can add their feelings, they can add to their story, they can customize who can see their post. There are a lot of parts of this small piece of program (in fact it’s not that small !). Facebook user like me who have experienced the evolution of this post publishing editorial program since the early age of facebook (like from 2005), knows how this program has changed over time, how it has transitioned into a master, multi-tasking programmatic art-piece.

Now I have touched into another topic of creative process: Solo vs Collab effort. Instead of giving an example of a solo programmer writing his own little program (may be like when Zuckerberg was writing his first facebook code for liking/disliking photos back in the dormitory of Harvard), I have given an example of a collaborative effort towards creating a gigantic program (which is basically what programmers at software companies do). In that sense, it’s like a big piece of sculpture or a building that artists are constructing, architects are planning and builders are setting up. I guess, the dynamics and complexity of a collaborative project is just a matter of scale. A single programmer or a solo artist doing the entire program or art, versus working in a part of a collaborative big art, programmatic, software projects.

There is a book named “The art of computer programming” by Donald Knuth (https://www.amazon.com/Art-Computer-Programming-Fascicle-Millennium-ebook/dp/B00RN14FNC).

Now in the end, what I personally think that, any human endeavor can be turned into something artistic. Like cooking, dancing, writing.

Who is an artist? Are you an artist? Is science entirely separate from art? I don’t think so. The scientific process can be artistic. Math is also regarded as art.
What makes the distinction between art and non-art? I personally need to think and explore more into this question.

 

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On the go

I am in San Francisco right now, just sitting in a Starbucks storming my brain about the recent happenings in my life. It’s been about two weeks I moved to Bay area in California from Indiana. I waited for this for a long time and finally an internship at a tech company opened the opportunity to move from midwest to the west coast of America. And yes, the weather is different, warm as I  prefer. And a lot of things just simply changed. Or I should probably say that I have intentionally tried hard to make changes in the way I used to live before. I didn’t seek for comfort this time, I seeked for adventures and unknowns and I am having it constantly. I no longer live in a house or an apartment. It was a challenging step to take. I actively wanted to explore the digital nomad life, partly with the intention of reducing the cost of living and partly to have some adventure in the territories of life unseen. And I have been successfully doing it so far. It wasn’t easy, but as always, you learn on the way; by doing it, by failing, by getting hurt, but eventually succeeding, sometimes partially with some compromises. I required to buy a new car – a good car for camping. Sometimes I am staying in AirBnbs. Yesterday I stayed in a nice hotel, which was bit unexpected and had a funny story behind it. The inspiration to start a dynamic life came after watching few Youtubers and Redditers exploring the alternative way of living. It helps when you see others who have already done stuffs you have only been fantasizing to taste.  I got ideas from them about how to equip my car, how to roam around, how to take stops. Definitely the diversity and business of a city life help urban nomads to mesh their life with the days and nights of a diverse city and its various pockets. I have been exploring restaurants around, new bars, new latin dance events. I am trying to make new friends so that eventually if I stick to living here, I can have a fair amount of people I can give calls to hang out with. I am kind of rushing now, may be will go take a walk in the city. But hope to write more about different experiences.

Check my instagram for pictures: https://www.instagram.com/experience_and_embrace/

 

IPOs; Clean meat

Startups grow, they flourish; they are like flowers, they need nourishment, they need support. Some grow and make the world beautiful, but many die while still showing the glimpse of new ideas. The entrepreneurship culture has the power to change the world and the ones who have already been recognized offer their shares to the public with their IPOs so that you can take part too.
 
And as I am a Vegan trying to raise awareness about our environment, human and animal rights, I am so glad to see the success of “Beyond Meat” – they are a plant-based meat producing company. See their success (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/05/02/beyond-meat-plant-based-food-company-readies-ipo/). If you are not aware of the clean meat research and movement watch this video (How clean meat will change the food industry – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi5EfhPGHg4). The food industry tries to demonize clean/cultured meat by calling it “Fake”, “Artificial”, “Less masculine” etc. unfortunately, as if we live in an all natural world (Don’t get your heart transplant because it’s not natural right!!, don’t use spectacles!! because God has given you the eyes you should be using.. don’t have abortion even if it’s unwanted pregnancy in the earliest stage.. cause embryos are as formed as real human babies.. so much incoherent bulshits ! Tired of the nonsense really!!!)
 
Some IPO(Initial Public Offering)s to keep under your watch if you are into the stock market. For US residents, Robinhood(https://www.robinhood.com), the commission/feeless trading app, is great. In fact, Robinhood after acquiring 5 Million users, itself, is launching its IPO which is not listed in this link.
 

You and I – 5

I: I think I am full of superiority complex. I have this condescension and self-righteousness as I can see through. And why won’t I? I feel disgusted when I can see the stupid self-destructive actions people take. Why are people so stupid?

You: It’s an illusion. You come from what you have experienced. You may know certain things more. But you don’t know, can not know everything as you have not experienced everything. You only know your life and you see everything through your lens. You may be right in terms of what is to be done right, but you have no clue why they might not have been understanding what you understand.

I: I hate to fail.

You: It’s ok if you fail now. Accept the failure. It does not mean “You are THE FAILURE”.

I: I hate deadlines.

You: Deadlines are there so that you can enjoy the freedom afterward. Ultimately you are free and there is no rush. But don’t you want to accomplish things in life? If you do, then deadlines are your friends.

I: Is my physical experience that important?

You: Your physical appearance, experience are important. Because your mind lives inside your physical body.

I: Why am I so much bothered by the physical cravings – hunger for food, sex etc? They are killing me.

You: They are your physical needs which need to be dealt with for your mind to keep engaged and flourish. Neglecting them, you will starve yourself and feeling starved your mind will not let you who you can truly become.

I: Aren’t physical appearances just the way to attract other people?

You: Yes, but it depends on how you look. Our reality is that we already live in a society. You won’t be who you are if your parents wouldn’t raise you properly, if your closed ones wouldn’t love and take care of you. However, attracting other people may not be the final goal of life. Therefore, if you are in a place where your physical appearance is harming your mental peace- like if you are fat and feel shame, you are creating a problem for your own self. There are things you can try to reconcile with. You need to think about your priorities – what you really care about. But you need to believe that you can change. You should be able to hope. You are more than your body and your mind. So say when you feel vulnerable “I am not just my body. I am not just my mind either.”

I: What do you think about minimalistic life- making everything simple, possessing few things?

You: It might help you stay away from debt or pay off your debt. Letting redundant things go can save yourself from taking unnecessary burdens Depending on how you do it, it can be adventurous. You can be a digital nomad or an urban nomad. You can travel around, make more friends and have some exciting experiences. But you need to be brave and be ready to be surprised constantly and be prepared for dangerous experiences too.

Image courtesy: http://tiny.cc/rhyd6y

We will have to save our world

 

This kid is telling us, adults with brains, about climate change because we apparently forgot how to think and shut our eyes to see ! And then when I listen to those adults denying climate change, my jaw drops; specially those big fat ones in the parliaments of various countries, from even specifically including the self-proclaimed world police withdrawing from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Most parents are raising their kids; most adults are basically hating their jobs, in coming days probably won’t even find jobs; some adults are trying to invent every form of entertainment so that they can escape the reality – it seems like everybody already deluded each other believing that we are going to live in the same world that we were born somehow. We are living in the fourth but the biggest technological revolution- the internet, the social media, the money revolution, the artificial intelligence, mars exploration in one hand, on the other hand the decimation and destruction of our own planet and atmosphere by our own greed. Parents have no idea that the schools, colleges they send their kids probably won’t help their kids find any jobs as the way Google, Amazon are developing Artificial Intelligence and the automation is taking away jobs from human hands and our schools have no clue about future but to teach the same books they taught our grandparents, and then on our lands on which we build our homes, probably the most habitable lands, will no longer be available in most areas due to natural hazards resulted by climate change. Countries are still trying to steal oil from each other, fossil fuel industries are still lobbying so that they can make some extra dollars by going against green renewable alternatives, rainforests are being destroyed so that the overpopulated earth can eat more and more; but then when the cyclones and tsunamis will rise from the ocean, when the earthquakes will just decimate acres of lands, displace millions of people and force them to migrate and cause wars and battles as our vague nationalism and capitalistic self-cyclic greed are just making us more selfish and self-righteous and less compassionate day by day; when the melted ice and glaciers and the consequent sea level will just level everything within few decades; I don’t know where will all these entertainment politics and mudslinging and worrying about the smallest little things, fighting over the silliest topic on the outdated television channels will go. To be pessimistic, may be, the nature will just blow up the earth with all our interesting circus inside; just like a cruel boy uses his cruel lazy feet to destroy an ant colony that those small, little, hard working ants have built little by little, after sweating for days and nights. To be optimistic, I guess, we will have like some child genius activist like this school kid who will motivate all of us to do the right thing, to take the actions necessary, to start loving our planet, to enjoy living together peacefully with all the other species. I don’t want to live with horrors, rather I want to live in a world full of optimism and energy and with the sense that I am working towards making the world better than the world I was born. I was not aware before because I didn’t have the information, I didn’t know how our world is shaping into a nightmare because of climate change. This little kid talks about how she doesn’t want to be a climate scientist to discover another issues for the future that will not exist because of what we are doing now and now and now. We can change and we will have to change. She shows how we can change, how we can take actions to save our mother earth for our own selves. And it starts by understanding what we have done wrong, and how we can do right- like may be, we should reduce burning fossil fuels, may be we should not elect politicians who are ignorant about climate change, artificial intelligence, may we should start using electric cars to try to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, may be we should start using renewable energy sources, so that the new renewable energy companies can florish, may be we should be vocal against industrial farming so that the greenlands, forests, rainforests don’t get destroyed, may we should take care of our ecological niches, may be we should go vegetarian or vegan so that we consume less animal products, which will reduce industrial farming which is a significant cause behind greenhouse gas emission, may be we should rethink about other kind of jobs which can employ people who are dependent on the jobs that again are destructive towards our planet. We should live in the world of today and enjoy it in a way so that the world can florish. May be, we should learn to love our world. Please educate yourself about climate change.

You and I – 4

I: I am thinking about the cycle of life. Imagine a mammoth tree; it starts from a seed planted on earth; then it grows to be a small plant; it gets taller, bigger and wider; it branches out, takes more space, becomes the nest of some birds, provides the shadows to the passersby; but one day after many years it die; it can no longer maintain its life.

You: So is the life of most animals and the human too. Is it not?

I: Yeah. I just realized that a full cycle of life has its peak and its valley. Let’s say when you were born you were in a valley, then you walked, walked, walked all the way up to the peak of a mountain, then you must have to come back to the valley in the other side. What is striking me the most is that it’s not a choice to stay either on the peak or the valley of the landscape. Time is forcing you to move and there is no constancy.

You: We are just experiencers experiencing life.

I: Then why do we attach ourselves too much to anything at all? Like our parents, our house, our babies, our career, our achievements, our this, our that.

You: Because at many moment in life, you have things or relationships which are replaceable and things or relationships which are irreplaceable. You are right that we delude ourselves with many of our assumptions and false expectations. But at the same time we require a certain purpose for us to live and move on the path from the valley to the peak, to the valley again. Many actually never reach the peak, many die on the way to the valley. There is probably no one exact peak either.

I: Life is confusing to me often times. I drive myself to achieve things, to go to places, to desire. I do things to make myself happy. But there are many things that make me unhappy. There are many desires that will never be fulfilled. But if I don’t chase, I will never achieve, right? But the process of chasing is tiring and makes me unhappy. Every rejections, failures break my heart, but when I stand up again, I become stronger. But there is probably no end of this cycle. Just like the day ends with a night and a night ends with a day. Or, a night starts with the end of a day and a day starts with the end of a night. But ultimately I will die one day. So is it that ultimately I just want to remain as happy as possible most of the times. That’s the goal?

You: Well, not a bad goal. Is it?

I: There is so much imperfection in this world. Don’t you think? So much unfairness, so much dirt.

You: Yeah. I guess we are in this mess because everyone is confused. Everyone knows for a fact that he or she is alive, feels pain, doesn’t want to feel pain, wants to be happy, wants to have things, can’t have things because of others, then wants to hurt others. A whole dynamics of give and take in unfair ways. And it’s good that our society is still progressing.

I: Are we really progressing towards a better world? I was reading this book. She is a writer from the past century. But her imagination, her wording, her observation just mesmerized me. I probably have never talked with a woman in the world of today where I live who is as convincing, creative like the author I was reading. But you see.. I guess most people these days don’t read or even write. Even I waste most of my time watching rubbish movies and videos than to explore my mind through reading or writing. It seems to me that all the advent of science and technology are making ourselves duller and duller, less of a human of some sort. We are losing more than we are supposed to gain as a human being. We are experiencing way less than our mind can truly conceive.

You: May be you are right.

I: I was also thinking that the society that we live in today doesn’t really have an incentive system for doing good deeds. We have clear incentive to be successful, to be dominant, but do we really have incentive to be just good persons? I guess it’s hard to establish such. Even though I have bad relationship with religion, I guess religion tried to exactly that- forcing people to do good with the fear of hell and God- that apparently doesn’t work. But in a world of today, does anyone want to be a good person anymore? What does it even mean by goodness?

You: These are hard questions. I wish I had answers. May be nobody has.

 

You and I – 1 : https://experienceandembrace.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/you-and-i/

You and I – 2 : https://experienceandembrace.wordpress.com/2019/01/27/you-and-i-2/ 

You and I – 3: https://experienceandembrace.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/you-and-i-3/ 

You and I – 3

You and I – 1 : https://experienceandembrace.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/you-and-i/

You and I – 2 : https://experienceandembrace.wordpress.com/2019/01/27/you-and-i-2/ 

I: Have you ever lied to me?

You: I think so. But I think some lies might have been necessary.

I: Maybe. But when I know I was lied to, I feel differently towards those words I were told.

You: Well, feelings are weird creatures within. Aren’t they? How much do you think you understand how you feel. Rationale, on the other hand, gives you a way of reviewing them. If you see the utility of those lies, you might forgive me. Not that I care.

I: So, you are saying I needed to be in the delusion that very moment. Because you presupposed that I can’t handle the truth. That’s too much of an arrogance I would say.

You: You caught the asshole. But again I did it for what I felt right to do at that moment.

I: Well, acknowledge that you may have done a big mistake with your rational thoughts, your bag of ill-conceived ideas of me and my abilities.

You: I will have to think. Just calm down.

I: Okay. How do you stop craving something?

You: Depends on what you crave I guess. What do you crave?

I: I crave to recreate one memory. It’s this one time – I was with the girl I loved. It was in her apartment. She just came on top of me. I undressed her on the top and I kissed her breasts and she was holding my head. She was full of pleasure but she was calm like she was wanting it more and more. I have been with other girls after that, even probably tried to recreate with my feelings of guilt. But I no longer could, I never could feel the same way. I felt like I need her to recreate it, but I know it’s not possible. Maybe even with her. It’s probably will never be possible again. But I can’t stop craving. And every time I fail to recreate, I feel miserable.

You: It’s a memory you hold very dear to yourself. You know that you can’t recreate it so you will have to compartmentalize it. Somehow.. you will have to do it. Cravings are good. Just don’t let them kill you. You have seen the movie inception, right? Leonardo De Caprio’s wife Mal haunts him in his dreams. She is in his subconscious and he gets back to her through the elevator where she resides. Maybe because he can’t forgive himself. Nor is he willing to let the memories evaporate. He confines her, thus he gets himself confined even more ruthlessly. Do you think you might be doing the same?

I: Not intentionally as far as I can say. I started to realize that my desires are my enemies.

You: Because you can’t befriend them for some reasons. But that’s dreadful. You will have to be friends with them.

I: I see the futility in the harmony that you are asking me to have. Maybe I love chaos. Maybe that’s where I thrive.

You: It’s a choice ultimately. That’s just what I want you to know.

(to be continued ..)

You and I – 2

You and I – 1 : https://experienceandembrace.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/you-and-i/

I: It’s snowing outside.

You: Yeah, it’s beautiful how everything is covered.

I: What do you think about “Deja Vu”?

You: Like you feel that it happened before?

I: Yeah, it’s been happening to me quite a lot. And it makes me feel bored.

You: But, does that matter though? What’s wrong with experiencing it again? Is the desire to constantly be in a new situation the best for our psyche?

I: I don’t know. That’s what everybody is up to. Isn’t it? New is exciting- they say.

You: That’s the problem I think. If you can’t perceive every moment as new, rather always perceive it as a reincarnated old, then you are just living inside your mind too much, circling and ultimately destined to diminish into a point of meaninglessness.

I: You are right. Every moment is a new one. It’s a perception issue, but the issue is real. The boredom is inevitably there to drown.

You: Well, then you recognized it.

I: But it doesn’t help though.

You: Maybe it will. Hope is necessary.

I: You want to play with snow?

You: Sure. As you know, you will really be playing with yourself.

I: I have seen some beautiful pictures of places. I really want to go visit them when I can.

You: Nice. What kind?

I: Mostly beautiful natural places. Most of the time there are some beautiful people waving or walking or doing something. It’s just refreshing to see. I guess it will be great to be there for real breathing the air near the ocean, over the mountain, through the valley, highways.

You: Yeah, escaping creates the euphoria. Maybe for good.

I: I know.

You: You remember that you wanted to know about love?

I: Yes. What about it?

You: Do you think there’s an ocean of love or a sky of love?

I: I will choose air over water. Just a preference. I don’t know how to swim.

You: You don’t know how to fly either. At least you can learn to swim.

I: You see, you are too pragmatic. In my imagination, I want to fly. I don’t crave to dive into the water.

You: Right you are! You want things that you can not have. Just saying..

I: Good. Now I am pissed.

You: Haha. Like you always are.

(to be continued ..)

All you need is to just live

Every waking moment, we are experiencing. It is so obvious but it still takes a little stepping back to recognize. When I am conscious, my consciousness is filled with thoughts of various colors. We are all so colorful inside if we can assign a different color to each of the different emotion that we experience. We don’t feel the same way and that’s what makes the difference; because each of us had different experiences through our senses in a unique path in the environment. It’s like different colored, different sized bubbles in an open shared space. Each of us is like a bubble that expands, that pops. Bubbles collide with each other, merge, crash. It’s constantly changing. As long as the mind is active, it continues to interpret in its own way. In the physical world, we need a few requirements to survive. But on top of our physical reality, we created the emotional reality that we don’t really understand properly. All the accumulated genetic, environmental memories imprinted in our bodies and minds may be a little too much to grasp all at once. But ultimately all of it make who I am, who you are, who they are. It doesn’t require to understand every single thing to live, just like it doesn’t require to notice every single object on a road to navigate through the road. There are no ends of knowing. So, the quest of knowing ultimately becomes narrow based on what you are seeking for.

I just realize every day how integral love is to our existence. This intense emotion that we receive the moment we are born from our mother, we never stop seeking it. Of course in our own way, we have our own understanding of what love means to us. You probably have all heard about Freud. Basically, all he is saying is that the portion of our conscious mind that we are in control of or we think we control is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a huge hidden body under the surface of the water that is invisible. The unconscious mind is that huge hidden body that constructs the emotional network inside us, that in turn make us feel in a certain way in a certain moment and make us do actions. Because it is quite unfathomable, we remain a mystery to our own selves. And I guess we would probably not enjoy knowing everything either. But the seeking to dig deeper, get wetter with our emotional fuel should be welcomed.

Desire. The desire to be loved, desire to be seen, desire to be respected, desire to be visible, the constant changes in our desires. Where do all these desires come from? Sometimes I ask whether I can live without desires. Maybe I could if I didn’t have a physical body which wants food, sex, cravings to be touched, longings to be exhibited in a preferential way. Who am I talking to right now? Is there a listener within me that I am talking to, is there a reader within me I am writing to? I recognize all these entities need not be isolated. Maybe they are all one constructing the self that I can recognize and call “me”. Or maybe not as I can’t really explain all the unconscious processes inside me.

My problems are very simple to understand. I need food, I need sex, I need love. And that’s why I work. But I am uncomfortable when I don’t get them the way I want. But it’s so easy to see why I can never get them the way I want. And when I realize that my problems vanish. But sometimes I am just blind, and sometimes I am just stubborn and try not to see.

About 30 years. So many days I have lived. Why does it need to be so complex to live the next day? It’s not that different after all. It is just not complex at all. All you need is to just live.0001464_just-live

A bit of thinking in the crossing

So I was crossing the road. I was in this side. And the guy was in the other side. It wasn’t a crowdy crossing. At that very moment no car was passing by. But the “walk” sign was still not showing up. There were two, three more passers by just came to the other side of the crossing. I decided to cross the road and the other guy decided not to as he was waiting for the “walk” sign. I broke the traffic rule. But it’s trivial as most will deem to be done as you can’t see any car within hundreds of feets chasing towards the crossing. The passers by who just reached also followed me and we crossed. But the guy was still waiting for the “walk” sign to show up. I’m pretty sure the thought of crossing road has passed through his mind too. But he was adament to not break the rule. Even when the people behind him left him behind, he didn’t move. I wasn’t sure whether it was me or the people from his side made him more determined to not cross the road. If there weren’t people from his side crossing with me, would he attempt to cross after I finished crossing? Was it that he just couldn’t cross the road after me because he already has shown the others that he is following rules and now if he breaks the rule, it makes his prior abidance of the rule questioned. Is it the observer effect of some sort? Then I thought a lot of other social scenarios where you probably would break the rule if there weren’t any to observe you. Or is it that the guy was just lazy and cautious and that’s what we are expected to do and I have just plenty of time to think.. Rules are there for a reason. I feel grey.