An Aphorism About Writing 2

The members of my small, yet greatly appreciated fan base will be familiar with my willingness to offer nuggets of wisdom, especially about that which I love.

When one sets out to explore the inner labyrinths of the mind, to find out one’s positive and negatively qualities, honesty is truly the best policy. Only then can meaningful insights be derived.

A 2 a.m. Gym Session

It is definitely worth asking: what motivates me?

I tend to shy away from the autobiographical when it comes to my blog. However, I am slowly learning that the two are inextricably linked. If I am to write successfully about acceptance then I must abandon the goal of writing objectively, as it were. In other words, I am my writing and my writing is I. 

I implore the reader the ask themselves the question I posed at the beginning of this post. Motivation often comes from unexpected places. Perhaps one is motivated by vanity, to acquire the body type or the excessive wealth one wishes and the means to flaunt it shamelessly. Fear is also a powerful motivator; disease, war, and death are but a few under this category. 

My profile pictures do little to inform the reader of my height or weight. I am not of a desirable weight, to put it mildly. Harshly put, I am contemptibly porcine and would do well to change that fact, at least some would say. Admittedly, I am not entirely convinced that overweight or obese individuals are unhealthier relative to their thinner counterparts; I have read both sides of the arguement extensively and it’s difficult to come to an absolute conclusion. But that’s not a conversation we shall have at this moment. I am more decided on the psychological effects of excess weight. I am sure the reader will be familiar with the opprobrium associated with overweight and obese individuals. To be overweight is to invite scathing criticism and ridicule by peers, friends, and family. Every morsel of food is over-examined and the overweight consumer can expect to see eyes roll, heads shake, or fingers wag when the viewer disagrees with a food choice. And this ought to be a scandal. It is such an unaccepting outlook against the heavy (fat-shaming as it is often referred to) that ought to be confronted and rejected. This leads me to the source of my motivation

I am motivated by hatred. 

I have not been able to accept my own physical appearance, perhaps a deficiency which renders me poorly qualified to comment on the acceptability of things. I began my weight loss journey because I was completely unhappy with my physical appearance. In fact, I began my “lifestyle” change because of the feelings of disgust elicited from mere glances in a mirror. The worse thing about being consciously aware of all of my feelings is that I realize how psychologically unhealthy such an outlook of myself truly is. Nevertheless, I still abstain from fast food, eat more vegetables, control my portions, and exercise as often as possible, even at 2 a.m.

So I end in a similar place where I began. Important questions must be asked and the answers must be honest, no matter how painful they may be; it often turns out that the questions are the most difficult to formulate and the most painful. Where does one’s motivation come from? And once the source is apprehended, is it healthy to be the basis of one’s motivation? 

8 Ill-advised Reasons for Getting Married, 1792

The History of Love

What would you say makes the most solid foundation for a marriage? Trust? Financial security? The sort of profound and death-defying passion that would make Jack & Rose weep with envy? [let’s face it, they are the modern-day Romeo & Juliet, and I’m only moderately ashamed to admit it.]

It was in the latter half of the eighteenth century that the concept of marrying for love began to gain currency in the English popular mindset, and the younger generation expected a bit more say in who their partner might be. Inevitably, centuries of parental tyranny in these matters meant that alliances negotiated in terms of acreage and titles continued to sweep many reluctant couples to the altar.

Here, however, we have a brilliant print suggesting that many people cannot be trusted with such a momentous decision, giving a range of slightly less conventional – but still remarkably unwise – reasons for marriage. Take…

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The Curse of Dimensionality, Part 2

Sublime Curiosity

A long time ago, I wrote a post about the “curse of dimensionality”, which is a big problem for statisticians and machine-learning scientists. The basic problem is this (see this page for a more detailed explanation by somebody who actually knows what they’re talking about): Say you’re analyzing a population of people, and you want to see if there are any correlations between their height, weight, and age. Those are three independent variables, so your data is three-dimensional. Let’s say you measure height to the nearest centimeter, weight to the nearest kilogram, and age to the nearest year. If you use reasonable ranges for the parameters (height between 10 cm and 200 cm, weight between 0 and 200 kg, and age between 0 and 120 years), there are a lot of possible values. 4,800,000, to be exact. But, even with the parameters varying wildly, it’s not too hard to sample…

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First, a crackle. It emerges from the center of a calm ocean. The impulse swims to the surface, pushing all the water from its path.

Then, a pop. From an ocean which now roils, the impulse springs into flight. The heavens reach down as the clouds behold the spectacle.

Finally, a boom. The heavens contract to halt the impulse, but the impulse soars through the miasma. Unhindered, unseen, unstoppable.

Imagine walking a mile in someone else’s headline: Monica Lewinsky speaks at TED2015

TED Blog

At TED2015, Monica Lewinsky calls herself "Patient Zero" for online harassment. Photo: James Duncan Davidson/TED. “Public humiliation as a blood sport has to stop,” says Monica Lewinsky onstage at TED2015. “We need to return to a long-held value of compassion and empathy.” Photo: James Duncan Davidson/TED.

Monica Lewinsky is one of very few people over the age of 40 who has no interest in being 22 again.

“At the age of 22, I fell in love with my boss,” she says bluntly as she begins her talk on the TED2015 stage, her hands clasped in front of her. “At the age of 24, I learned the devastating consequences. “

Lewinsky asks for a show of hands: “Who didn’t make a mistake at 22?”

“Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of my mistake, and I regret that mistake deeply,” she continues. “In 1998, after having been swept up in an improbable romance, I was then swept up into the eye of a political, legal…

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