Why do we invest (emotionally)?

This is an exact repost from an old blog, originally posted in May 10, 2008. Today’s #ThrowbackThursday . Enjoy reading.


Invest (v)
– To spend or devote for future advantage or benefit
– To devote morally or psychologically, as to a purpose; commit
– To endow with authority or power.
– To endow with an enveloping or pervasive quality


As with financial investments, there is always a risk to spending or putting something of value into anything. We typically invest in something, decide to devote time and energy on something hoping that it would turn out good and productive in the end.

Why then do we choose to invest emotionally? Perhaps it’s like other types of investments. When we see the possibility of something good coming out of something, we choose to take the gamble and put a little of our self into it. We put a stake on something when we start to build an affinity to it.

Why do we invest in romantic relationships? We enter romantic relationships to find out the possibility of being together until the far future. You don’t go into it expecting it to fail or end, although we should admit that it is still always a possibility.

So, the investment is a little of ourselves, our emotions, and our commitment. The payback we are wishing for is a wonderful future. But let’s admit it, we don’t always get what we are wishing for. More than anything else, emotional investments are most uncertain.

The real question is, why do we even attempt to invest emotionally, even on things that has relatively no future? Why do we keep on loving people and hoping that these people who would perhaps not disappoint? Why do we give someone else that power over our happiness?

In the end, life turns out to be one big gamble, especially on the matter of love and romantic relationships. You will never have the chance to win unless you bet on something. Oftentimes you don’t win, cause it’s a million-to-one chance. But if you do win, it would really change your life. It’s just up to you, are you brave enough to bet with your heart?

Remembering the long lost poetry

Lately I have been rediscovering the inner poet that is in me. Was able to “naturally” write four decent (or perhaps good or great?) poems in the past few months, the first of which was written back in May while I was aboard a plane. It has been slowly coming back, maybe?

Then, there are the poems I wrote from long ago. I had setup a blog with some of my poetry so many years back, and I almost already forgot about it. I rediscovered it too, read through it, copied and archived everything. I deleted the blog from the virtual world in the meantime, while I’m trying to figure out what to do with those poems. They mostly dated from late 2005 to 2007, with two more posted in 2009 and 2010. Even before 2005, I remember having a lot of poems written in scratch papers and spring notebooks from way back in high school. Those are probably still hidden in my chest, just lying around somewhere there, gathering dust, being almost forgotten. I might post a few of the old poems when I feel like it, in the next few months.

I’ve noticed that my poems across time revolve around very similar topics – love, longing, or grief. Perhaps those are the most powerful emotions that I encounter that really squeeze the poetry out of me.

I wonder what good these poems will be, beyond their lonely existence on paper, in my files, or online. I wonder if anyone really appreciates them, or will ever remember them. I highly doubt that I will be remembered or recognized because of my poetry. I am also playing with the idea of finding a way to publish them, but I wonder who still buys poetry books aside from myself (and yes, I have a few books of poetry by some writers and some collections).

Nonetheless, I shall continue writing those rhymes and non-rhymes as long as the pen calls and the heart desires.

Cloudy

It’s been quite cloudy lately, and I don’t mean the weather. Rather, I’m pointing at that giant virtual cloud that is slowly engulfing all of us. Has anyone imagined things to be the way they are lately, in terms of online sharing, storage, and information processing?

Have you ever read the short story of Isaac Asimov entitled “The Last Question”? It was written in 1956, and I was first able to read it when I was still in high school, in the late 90’s. Interesting enough, Asimov in the 50’s seemed to have a foreshadowing of the future, part of which we are in right now. The “computer” that Asimov repeatedly described in his short story across time seem to describe the actual development of our computing and intelligence systems, from the initial massive independent computer comprised of vacuum tubes, to what has become the Internet right now – a massive, interconnected cloud of data and information gathered from the different parts of the world. Try reading through the story and you can see the parallelisms with the development of technology.

I am of the generation that has experienced the beginning of personal computing – big personal computers that featured black screens with green characters. The operating system was MSDOS that ran from a 5 1/4″ floppy disk. You needed two floppy disk drives so that the second one can run your software. Files were saved and shared via diskettes. Eventually, storage improved, and things such as hard drives, compact disks, external hard drives, USB thumb drives, and compact memory cards emerged. Parallel with these was the emergence of the Internet. I can still remember how I used it then, connecting via dial-up, going online to use my email, instant messenger (ICQ), and chat rooms (MIRC). There weren’t too much information online yet, no blogs or social networks. As Internet connection started improving and the access became easier, a wealth of information started collecting online almost at lightning speed. Now, almost everything can be found and done online – music, movies, booking of airline and hotels, shopping, and even online courses. It really changed the way we live our lives. Then, there was the advent of mobile computing, and now almost anyone can access the Internet wherever they are.

I have realized how much of my daily life now involves cloud computing and cloud storage:

  • I am writing the draft of this blog on my Evernote. It’s a virtual notebook, with everything stored in the cloud. Of course, it’s secure and private, and only I can access what I write. My Evernote notebook is also accessible across my different devices (iPad, iPhone, laptop, desktop), and can be accessed using a browser on any computer (as long as I login with my username and password). I use it for almost anything – notes, blog drafts, shopping lists, task lists, etc.
  • There are four online storages that my laptop and mobile devices are all connected to – Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, and SkyDrive. Almost all of my files are safely stored online. The reason why I did this is because I have already encountered several occurrences when my external hard drive or laptop or desktop crashed, and there was no way to recover the data anymore. At least in the cloud, I am sure that my data is safe from instant unintended annihilation.
  • I am pretty happy with Google’s online services – Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, among others. They are so amazingly efficient in the things that need getting done every day. Google Drive even allows you to create, edit, and upload documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, albeit still with limited features. Nonetheless, it’s a perfect way to collaboratively work on documents with other people, online, and in real time.
  • There are still a number of other cloud-based applications I periodically use, most of which I can’t remember or enumerate at the moment.

Interesting to note how cloudy my life has been, in terms of my activities connected to the cloud. I am somehow an advocate to exploring the possible uses for it for our personal and professional lives, to be able to seize the opportunities that they present to us.

We could only imagine how much more our technologies will change our lives in the near and far future in terms of the way we do things, we access and share information, we store and transcribe history.

Digital Security

It’s really nice to know and realise that most established digital and online companies and services are seriously considering and putting good security measures in place.

Lately I’ve heard a lot of stories about several separate instances when iPhones or iPads were recovered because of their “Find my iPhone” feature. I have the same installed on my iPhone and iPad, and I’ve explored its capabilities, but luckily I have not personally needed to use it. But stories I’ve heard of stolen iPhones recovered because of this were really great to hear. There was even one story that the gadget was recovered a month after, and it was found with someone who already purchased the stolen phone.

Seeing a lot of online security in place is really great too. I know of a lot of yahoo mail accounts hacked all the time, and I’ve noticed how poorly they have their security and spam filters in place. Several friends and colleagues have had problems with their yahoo accounts, sometimes even to the point of not being able to access their account again.

I am very happy with my gmail, which I’ve been using perhaps for almost a decade. They really have good spam filters and security in place. Just today, it asked me to verify my mobile account, supposedly so that it can prompt me just in case there are suspicious activities on my account. Also, did you know that you can check the details of all your login activity for the account? They are able to track and report which gadgets and browsers you have used, which area (country) the access was done, and when.

Facebook security is good too. They have security measures in place that send alerts to your email when your account is accessed through a new device, or if your password has been entered incorrectly several times. Alerts are a good way of providing security. I’ve seen this on several online services I’ve tried, and it is really useful because you are made aware immediately if there is a possible security breach in your account, and it may be possible to do something about it at once.

Have you noticed that a lot of online services are now requiring stronger passwords with a combination of numbers, and letters in both uppercase and lowercase? This is important because this proposed combination makes it more difficult for (ro)bots to try and decode your passwords, because this increases the number of possible combinations perhaps a hundred thousand times (not sure about the actual number right now, so don’t quote me on this). It’s challenging though to have several different passwords for our so many different accounts online. It’s also a little bit insecure to have a list of these passwords somewhere (because of the risk that someone might find it). My personal solution to this challenge is to have a “family” or “families” of passwords, which are interrelated. They are usually sentences or phrases, sometimes revolving around some themes. This is helpful because even if you forget your actual password, you only have a small personal collection of possible combinations based on these. Don’t make your themes too obvious though for people who know you.

One more thing on passwords. Make sure that your computer password/s are far different from all your other passwords online. This is just my personal take, and the reason behind this is because there may be instances when you will need to have someone else (a friend, family member, or relative) access your device and you have to give the password. At least you will have the confidence to give your password without revealing all other passwords in your digital life. Actually for me, my sister knows my personal laptop and desktop login passwords, I trust her and she can access it anytime. My password for my work laptop is different, and I am ready to share this to colleagues if needed (e.g. if I am on leave and they need to get important files from my device).

It is good to know, be aware of, and be familiar with these different online and digital security measures so that we can protect our valuable accounts, information, and property.

Quarterlife.ph – 2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Writing from the heart

I must admit. I’ve been getting a little bit too obsessed about being able to produce and post an article on this blog three times a week. There has been good feedback and a good number of visits for my posts these last few weeks, and I was so pressured to come up with equally good topics and have them out in time.

But many thanks to my sister who pointed out that I should stop getting fixated at it. Yes indeed, its good to finally be able to build a good audience for my blog, but I shouldn’t sacrifice the quality and heart of my posts just because I’m running after numbers and stats. I am reminded once again why I write and why I blog.

To write is to express myself and my thoughts about so many different things around. I write because in expressing myself, I am able to understand myself more. To be understood by others, and further, to be appreciated, is just a good by-product of being able to write what I write.

So now I will not promise to post three times a week. I will write when thoughts and ideas come around, but will try to post at least once a week, unless otherwise announced.

Thank you to everyone for the inspiration. It becomes more worthwhile to know that someone out there reads what I write. 🙂

Saying goodbye to Multiply

They have already announced it. Starting December 1, 2012, Multiply.com will be reformatting their entire site to focus on servicing online stores, and will be discontinuing the old media blog format they were originally known for. I hear certain alarms going off now.

I have practically 5 years worth of photos and personal blogs there. After Xanga and Frienster, I’ve very well established my online base in Multiply, before I went on-board Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. That’s a lot of my stuff there, a lot of which I’ve almost forgotten about.

I decided to backup my stuff as early as possible. They didn’t have any good backup or migration support, except for an option to download all media (photos and videos) in bulk, and completely unorganized. I also had to copy and paste each and every blogpost to my file (on Evernote, actually). It was a little bit messy. But better to have saved the information already than lose it to the digital blackhole that Multiply will be creating, once they finally delete all the users stuff to make space for their current and future endeavors.

Last time something like this happened was when Friendster announced a reformat, as they shifted from being a social community to an online gaming platform. At the very least they were able to provide a good way to back up our info. Also, our Friendster accounts did not contain as much photos and blogs as its successors, Multiply and Facebook, so there were less data to backup.

On hindsight, it was pretty interesting to go back to the posts and photos from way back 2006. It captured a certain period of my life by the last part of my college life up to the first part of my working life. It was a certain stage of growing up and discovering more about the world and about one’s self. I have already changed a lot from who I was then, and I will continue evolving and changing. The old blog posts are a nice way of looking back and appreciating how much I’ve grown.

As for all the old photos, I might go about posting some of them on my Facebook account, and the rest just storing them in my local drive. But I’ll probably upload all my files and photos eventually on my online drive once I am able to weed and sort them.

Well, goodbye Multiply. Thanks for the time you’ve been there as an online refuge. We all move forward now.

http://pulanglangit.multiply.com/

Beautiful Insanity