You hung out in a hostel, had conversations with other travelers (instead of thumbing through Instagram), and let the randomness of other people and life, not apps, dictate your itinerary. You walk down a street, "oh hey that looks interesting", and wander down a quiet alley that leads to cute cafe, or jump in the back of a tuk-tuk headed to a waterfall that may or may not really exist, but who cares? You're riding the wave. One of the main reasons for travel/holidays is to break from routine, and the single most significant one can do, bear with me Silicon Valley, is to put away that smartphone. Try exercising your intuition instead of apps.
Many folks nowadays have optimised their lives so much that they've needed to create a noise-generator to bring back some humanity.
His problem was the monotony of life and a feeling of being basically too secure and too happy.
With all the homeless shelters, soup kitchens and other places where people have tremendous need within a short Uber ride, it just strikes me as odd to devote so much time to building first world toy to take you far away.
Want to live and feel like your life has a purpose? Volunteer or pick a random needy person to send on the trip Europe. Give them a camera and hope they bring you back some pictures.
I know this is an unpopular perspective, but when your job and life isolate you from the suffering and need (and risk and danger) around the corner, then the answer shouldn't "build me an app so the world can dance for me. Dance, world, dance! I'm boooorrredd."
Hell, build an app that actually helps more than one person. The irony of ironies was acknowledging his white privilege while being clueless to the larger Western-world-privilege and too-much-disposable-income-privilege.
Bahh. By all means travel. By all means make apps to entertain yourself. But do we need an national news agency covering the guy who got bored with life so found a way to make it work harder to please him? And what the hell, NPR, really? The guy who burns tons of CO2 cause he got bored -- no environmental impact assessment?
And don't get me wrong, the guy sounds like a good guy. I'm sure he's friendly, sociable and all the good things.
Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens,
But always pity brought me back to earth;
Cries of pain reverberated in my heart
Of children in famine, of victims tortured
And of old people left helpless.
I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot,
And I too suffer.
This has been my life; I found it worth living.
Who also said this:
> Although both love and knowledge are necessary, love is in a sense more fundamental, since it will lead intelligent people to seek knowledge, in order to find out how to benefit those whom they love. But if people are not intelligent, they will be content to believe what they have been told, and may do harm in spite of the most genuine benevolence.
Life is a big word, and I find a collection of unrelated experiences without connecting any dots to be more a hysterical undertaking born of lack and leading to more want. Others can disagree, but they cannot tell me what fulfills me in my life. Life is too short to be a coward about it, life is to short to not face the music, life is too short to not own up. Ultimately, I care more about saving myself than anyone else: I need to not be crooked, I can't help everybody but if I help nobody who would I be?
And frankly, I don't know a single selfish person who seems happy, they all seem scared, like feeding some monster in their basement that is never full and just keeps growing. Life is too short to have pity on them, or to accept what they offer.
> Say honestly, "I love arm-chairs better than free men, and pursue them because I choose; not because circumstances make me. I love hats, large, large hats, with many feathers and great bows; and I would rather have those hats than trouble myself about social dreams that will never be accomplished in my day. The world worships hats, and I wish to worship with them."
> But if you choose the liberty and pride and strength of the single soul, and the free fraternization of men, as the purpose which your life is to make manifest then do not sell it for tinsel. Think that your soul is strong and will hold its way; and slowly, through bitter struggle perhaps the strength will grow. And the foregoing of possessions for which others barter the last possibility of freedom will become easy.
-- Voltairine de Cleyre, "The Dominant Idea"
Your comment comes off as far more vitriolic than his.
He raises a good point; that this "problem" of not being happy with a life that already has safety, security, and many things guaranteed that others might die never having, is not exactly the pinnacle of "being in-touch" the article makes it out to be - on reading that the guy is making apps/etc to let others do this I'm already anyicipating the fad coming and going, and people like you spitting contempt once it reaches the passé phase without really thinking about how it came about - whereas your comment raises none and is more outwardly hateful -
> I just want you to cut the bullshit attitude
- than his much more reasonably presented one.
'moneytalks might genuinely be interested in convincing people that it's more worth finding ways to step out of their comfort zone and help others, than it's worth using some kind of "randomize my life" app. If he is so interested, then he goes about it in the worst way possible - what he ostensibly advocates is difficult enough for many folks to contemplate, without adding the apparent likelihood of doing so only in order to have to put up with the kind of pretentious, contemptuous priggery we see on display here. But 'moneytalks spends so much more effort on being a pretentious, contemptuous prig, rather than suggesting it might be worthwhile to do somebody a good turn, that it's very hard to credit his interest being in the latter, rather than the former.
That's what merits my ire and my vitriol. I don't care if some random Google or Amazon or whatever decides to shake up his routine in the most stereotypically Silicon Valley way possible. I agree there are lower-effort, higher-impact ways to go about that, but I'm not going to get all judgey over it. I am going to get all judgey over somebody using "we should help other people" as an excuse to spit contempt that makes no one want to actually do that, and if anything puts people off.
If you want to get all precious and self-gratifying and put yourself on a pedestal over other people, read Pitchfork and be a music hipster, or Petapixel and be a camera hipster, or pick some other ancillary realm of human endeavor, where the distaste your behavior elicits will do no harm. Being a helping-people hipster goes from useless but harmless to actively toxic, and I don't see why anyone should expect to get a pass on that.
Even when it comes to something as "simple" as music, I've never found a "favorite" band through something like Spotify. Good music, sure, but the "bar raisers" alway comes from randomness - radio, odd bar show, personal recommendation, cabbie's CD player, etc.
It updates with 30 random songs every day.
Why take a tuk-tuk to a waterfall that might not be there (that sounds like what you'd call a scam, to me) when you can take a tuk-tuk to a waterfall that definitely is there?
Some people travel for sightseeing, others for personal growth.
Because if it is there, it will be pristine and untouched save for the few local people that know about it. And meeting the locals might be more interesting than meeting the other tourists at the crowded waterfall on Trip Advisor.
In my opinion, it's the only way to travel.
I have never understood planning in advance your entire holiday down to the hour. I guess it's more important if you're American and only get 2 weeks of holiday a year.
Not to mention, people who frantically try to optimise their time on holiday do so because it's the only week off they can afford this year, and they don't want it to be wasted.
These days, the common areas of hostels are full of people staring at glowing screens, while hostel managers try to figure out how to get the guests to interact...
I did 3 backpacking trips (total around 27 months) back when smartphones weren't prevalent and it was (and has always been) mostly about trying out weird shit (such as fruit picking) going to places and meeting (loads) of people.
Sadly even that is probably changed now and I bet that the modern hostels are places were people stay in isolation and stare at their phones instead of socializing with each other ;-(
Here are some pictures from that day https://goo.gl/photos/gyCNRz2rs7zLJrt79
"Garmin Knows Best", where you input a location and follow the GPS exactly. Driver beware.
Wouldn't this be the onus of the daycare? To allow/disallow strangers?
If the app points them to a high-security military installation, they're not going to get in.
Other strangers not using the app can still show up at the daycare...
It is sad that in today's society men are immediately perceived as a potential threat to a child.
The fear mongering is getting ridiculous.
Sure you did. Emphasis mine.
You can send us a message to receive a randomly selected event near you. People from all over are attending the events and posting about their experiences in the group.
That's part of it. Another part is that, even if everything you see is novel everyday, if you are 1 year old, a year, e.g. getting to 2 years old is 100% increase in your life experiences. Getting from 31 to 32, not so much. It gets exponentially less, to the point of going from 40 to 50 a mere 25% extra lifetime for a whole decade. Whereas a decade when you're 1 is 10x more lifetime.
I am on the "routine makes every day the same and days just pass unnoticed" camp.
Well, the math doesn't change if we make other assumptions. The relative amount of time that passes us by is less in our 30s and 50s than in our 1s and 10s.
Routine by itself ain't the answer as kids also have routines (school is whole big routine, as is living day-in/out with your parents, going to lessons, playing with friends, etc.), but their days don't "pass unnoticed", and a year of e.g. middle school seems to last forever when you are young.
>It would make sense if we remembered the same amount of stuff every year, but reality is, you have fewer memories of the past.
The concept I described is not related to memories per se, but to new experiences -- which is subtly different (and not totally unlike your explanation).
You know what a party is, and it's not that exciting the nth time you go to one, because you've seen 50 other parties in your lifetime, whereas the first times you went to parties (or had your first drink, or visited another country etc) were more impressive. That's regardless of if you actually remember all or any particular of those 50 other parties in any great detail -- it's enough that you remember the experience of having been to parties many times already.
Now, the problem with merely saying "routine makes every day the same and days just pass unnoticed" is that it's a limited version of the above. What it lacks is seeing that even if you added random stuff to your days, you'd still have seen and done most important stuff in the past. You can't re-drink your first drink, learn about pop music and films for the first time, re-give your first kiss, go to your first party etc. You'll have to get even more random (and add stuff that is either too crazy or has less impact and importance) to beat those experiences later on.
"Johnny, stop having a blast in the beach with the new friends you just made, or their parents might invite us for dinner or something! We need to drag you to the Museum of Boring Things right now so we can maximize the value-add of this vacation!"
I think I naturally do a bit of that myself: whenever I have some empty time, I fill it with something "random", only instead of choosing randomly I often choose the cheapest option. For example, I once booked a flight to Iran departing hours after I bought the ticket, simply because it was the cheapest option for an interesting place to fly (under $180 round-trip.)
I think the design choices really impact the end result, though. One minor design flaw might result in completely eliminating a whole lot of interesting places or things, which is what I'd be scared of. For example, that cheap fare to Iran was only on one travel search site, which didn't have an API. By selecting one booking website as an API, and letting the algorithm decide for me, I wouldn't have gone to Iran.
Similarly, there are a lot of things that wouldn't seem like an "option" to a computer but are an option to me. I've wanted to see Greenland from the air, so I've been taking a lot of flights that pass over Greenland on the way to places I needed to go anyway. But if the algorithm decided for me, it would probably have booked air tours over Greenland - substantially more expensive in terms of both time and money. It wouldn't be able to say "hey, you know that trip across the Atlantic you have in a few weeks? Why not pay $25 more to have it fly over Greenland?"
I'm trying to decide which part of this sentence is the least surprising part. It's definitely not the part where you could fly to Iran and back for a grand total of $180? I don't think it's the part where you figured out that this was a thing you could do, and then decided to do it with only hours notice.
There has to be a follow-up question, but I'm still too baffled by this sentence to think of it. Bravo? I would not have the fortitude to try this, as a white American of European descent. Even knowing some Arabic (if you know any Farsi, that would obviously take some of the surprise out for me...)
I am also a white American of European descent, although I'm a dual Dutch-American citizen, so my Dutch passport was what I used to enter the country.
As a bonus for those with a soft spot for 90's pop punk, it was also the inspiration for the Millencollin song 'Random I Am'.
Modern Life has gone to some rather weird places that were simply inconceivable until incredibly recently.
You'd be surprised.
Humans are not animals. They can have such worries and desires regardless of their material status.
Even people in eras that were horribly materially constrained, had to fight wards, work their ass off, people in anything that we can define as "First World Problems" had similar (and even more extended) concerns.
The movement of existentialism in Europe, for example, was created and popularized by people who had participated in major wars and struggles, and then were left to make a living in the ruins of post war Paris and Berlin and such (Sartre himself was drafted, caught, and spend a year as a prisoner of war in Nazi camps).
And there have been people with wanderlust (desire to travel to "random countries") for as long as there have been people -- including tons of people in dire economic situation, from third world countries, and what have you, sailing etc.
I've spent a lot of energy making apps to automate my life and management my schedule. Now I'm tempted to also have it throw in something random now and again. I couldn't go to these extremes (I couldn't pick up and move to another country for instance) but it would be cool to say do things less extreme... like pick a random place for dinner or watch this random Netflix movie.
Still, there's that nagging little voice in the back of my head: part of me can't help wondering what will happen, and how people will come to view it, if/when his apps catch on (as I suspect they will).
That was my thought too - once a critical mass of people are going to 'random' events it'll be Portlandia Over.
I created a simple app that picks random items from a Chinese ecommerce site within a set budget. My long term goal was to use ML to learn what each user liked and send them random items on a schedule, selecting from multiple sites.
I never finished it because other things took precedence but the random selection part works.
Anyone interested in this as a service?
(it's in the highly entertaining Ficciones collection)
On top of that I've written a script which prompts me to choose a category (i.e. one of the folders delineated above). It then randomly opens a file from the respective directory. When I am done using a file the script asks me whether I'd like to archive it, keep it (in case I am not done with it yet) or delete it.
The main character, who is an Indian engineer living in Silicon Valley, says to his friends : "What if you could randomize your life?". That's all I'll say. It's a good movie. I'm not going to spoil it for you guys.
Score 5.2 in IMDb disagrees.
"Geohashing is an outdoor recreational activity inspired by the webcomic xkcd, in which participants have to reach a random location (chosen by a computer algorithm), prove their achievement by taking a picture of a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or another mobile device and then tell the story of their trip online."
I didn't choose to take History and Religion of Ancient Israel, but it was the class I got the most out of.
Tried a similar idea with a diet-specific set of goals. Aiming for 100% comprehensive tracking of your calories seems a bit crazy to me.
Though sometimes the parties I help organise are listed on the Facebook by third parties. So there's that slim chance...
They just don't publish the data because they have little to gain from it and there's no reason to needlessly antagonize people. They sell it without telling anybody.
Unfortunately Yelp is pretty restrictive about working with their review data. (They only give you 3 reviews per business on the APIs, also they're hostile against scrapers)
Hasn't anyone seen projects that do similar things with Facebook/Foursquare/Yelp data?
you don't need an app to do that though. a spreadsheet is perfect for that purpose (and telling Google Assistant to 'flip a coin' or 'give me a random number between 1 and 20') and gives unlimited flexibility and less reliance on developer to implement features you want. not a lot of people appreciate this, but sometimes trying to accomplish a task with the general-purpose tools you have at hand can lead you to discover solutions so good it is in fact superior to any dedicated tool.
multiple times this procedure led me to dine at fine-dining establishments that i would never consider going into with the clothes i have on (the experience almost always ended up better than i imagined). a nice thing about randomizing is that you become psychologically dissociated from your actions. when things go bad you don't blame yourself and take that to reflect on yourself ("well, i was just following orders"). when things go well you just feel thankful.
This makes me like them significantly less.
Being out of place and being unwelcome aren't the same thing.
As a fellow white guy, I know it's a lot easier for me to walk up to stranger and have them trust me than many minorities would experience.
A phrase only ever used by people who wish to send their own special kind of virtue signal.
> At first, he was nervous: What if people wouldn't let him in? But, as a kind of unassuming white guy, he actually didn't have this problem. (And Max acknowledges this privilege.)
Have you seen the videos of two people, one white, and one black, who are all those things being treated radically different by various different groups?
For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf5TEoo-EY0
It may not only because he is white, but it is a significant part of the equation. Let alone the socioeconomic things that cause educated and well off to be things that white people have greater access to.
I mean, sure it can't be other factors (such as social conditioning, how much does he pose a threat, that the party people were actually pretty open). /s
The whole bringing up race is silly. If it is about race and they mention it, they should also be aware that one of the places this took him was in Iowa. His skin color would pose issues in particular neighborhoods in Chicago. They would be less willing to inviting him in or treat him with hospitality.