To the Letter of the Law

I’ve approached many challenges and opportunities in life trying to overcome them the “right way” or according to a formula. 

Go to school, behave in class, and try to get a decent HSC grade. Go to university and keep studying to get a job. Get that job and progress to a higher level. And so on and so forth. 

I’ve spent so long thinking that I am following some sort of formula, living life against this metaphorical yardstick. The strangest realisation in this time has been realising that there is no formula, no right way, and that all these expectations were bullshit which I accepted in my life. 

Now I’ve heard the perfect way to appreciate this matter. That is that 

sometimes you have to go the wrong way in a carpark in order to get a spot. 

Celebrate your uniqueness, enjoy making irrational and emotional decisions, find comfort in the constant challenges that we create for ourselves, and trust that we have no control over how any decision we makes pans out in this existence. 

Guise. 

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Down Time

As I lay and rest my mind, 

Expressing on these pages lined, 

A book, this may rest in bind, 

A dream fulfilled I hope to find. 

But time is less a friend than foe, 

My motivation, moving slow, 

Success will one day let me crow, 

About the days which I did grow. 

For the moment, I do rest, 

And ride this life and pass the test, 

Focused to sit upon the crest, 

Of all of life’s great stories. 

Youthful Exuberance 

There was a time in which I was, 

Young and dumb, in arrogance,

Believing that I did know more, 

Than what I had begun to earn. 

Ignorance did feed my ego, 

Enough to elevate myself, 

Above those whom I thought moronic, 

Not understanding of perspective. 

Regret, I have none of this time, 

For I am reminded of the journey, 

To this present state of mind, 

In which I do see I was wrong. 

Not wrong in matter of the fact, 

But in my selfish imposition, 

To discount all because of bias, 

Youthful exuberance tried and tested. 

And as the years, nay days go by, 

I learn and grow and change my mind, 

Trying to steer from my opinion, 

Towards an open, flexible cognition. 

So some day as I count my blessings, 

I hope that I can sit and say, 

That I was wise enough to listen, 

Not just to stand and speak my way. 

The First Wall

I think I’ve hit the first wall. 

On the 1st January 2017, I set a resolution. In an effort to train the writing muscle, I decided that I would be posting on a weekly basis. I wanted to achieve something I have never done before, and that was to transition from being an aspiring writer to simply the latter. 

71 days in, the reality of this challenge is starting to set in. 

Maybe it is simply poor preparation this week, or even an inkling of complacency. This week is the first of the year that I’ve felt blank. So what better to write about this week. 

Whilst the challenge feels as though it grows, I believe I can compare it to training cardio. That feeling of hopelessness as the weight of the challenge sets in. Hitting the first wall. 

Feeling like your body is not capable of getting past it. The panic that the feeling will not pass. Fear of suffocation or asphyxiation. 

But then you learn that if you just push past this sensation, this panic and fear, your body finds its second wind. 

So today I’m choosing not to panic. I’ll acknowledge that I’ll hit my second wind, and after that I’ll hit a second wall. But knowing that I just need to push through makes all the difference. 

Guise. 

Why Guise? 

Since putting myself a bit more out there in the last few months, I’ve been asked the same question a lot. Why Guise? (Which has been pronounced “Goy-se” “Gwe-se” amongst others, innocently). 

I guess it’s a good question. A questions which sparks many others. Why hide behind a pseudonym? Why do I feel the need to disassociate myself from my work? 

To be honest, it started off just as a gimmick, a character that I could bring to life and bring meaning to later. It evolved from that, though, because I soon developed a great insecurity about the quality of my writing, and the topics that hit close to loved ones. So it soon stopped being a character, and started being my shield. Guise had become a representation of objectivity, free from prejudice with which people may associate with my true being. 

Now, Guise doesn’t hold such a grim definition for me. This moniker of an “appearance other than me” is no longer a shackle to my work, but for me, it is becoming that character that I hoped it could be. The question is, how much longer do I need it. Time will tell, and I will grow, and needs will change. Until then, you can call me Guise. 

For the record, it’s pronounced “Guys”. 

Conquering the Uncomfortable 

There’s growing up, and then there’s growing. As we approach adulthood, and then well into this state of responsibility and obligations, we become so consumed in all the changes that are forced upon us, that some of us forget to change on our own terms. 

We don’t celebrate this enough. We don’t appreciate the times that make those little wins enough. It’s either that we find ourselves comparing to others, becoming drowned the magnitude of the greater goal we want, or are riddled with doubt that we are capable of doing good things. 

And then, we are taken by surprise, because someone tells us they are proud of us. For something simple. For stepping outside the comfort zone. 

I’ve seen this ALOT in the past week, with myself and with others. I don’t feel like I have grown for my experience, but that recognition reinforces what I haven’t appreciated in myself. And that is what will set me up to grow in the near future. 

In the cases with others, I’ve watched that growth and sense of self-belief radiate from their smile. 

I guess the lesson is to appreciate our actions, and the actions of others, for what they are. Not being disappointed because it didn’t change the world, but enjoying that you decided that the regular, and the comfortable, was not enough. And you survived it. 

Guise. 

The Death of Opinion

With Google’s DeepMind and IBM’s Watson only a couple of the major Artificial Intelligence systems currently growing and changing, we need to recognise that it is only a matter of time before these systems learn and absorb facts and data at such an exponential rate that humanity is launched into a renaissance of knowledge. 

While the reality of the machine uprising and termination of human life is a possible consequence of this development, I’m interested in another great loss. When these systems absorb all of the world’s truth, all that we will deal with is fact. Speculation and opinion will cease to be relevant. 

So then, what does a human existence without opinion look like? For starter, we can do away with politicians, because when interpretation of best interests is trumped by pure output of facts by AI, we will not need elected representatives spinning words for meaning. Each meaning will be but simple truth. 

Working life will change also, in that, there would likely be little purpose for human workers, as the AI will have the capacity to think,  solve complex problems and adapt to the most efficient and effective form of conduct possible. 

Where does that leave currency? Without a workforce, the purpose of currency will be rendered useless, effectively wiping the class systems in the majority of countries in the world. 

It will be the end of civil and religious wars. The end of true privacy. The end of human life as we know it, but maybe not altogether. 

A world where science fiction meets reality. 

I welcome it. At the end of the day, we just as likely to head towards our own destruction at the will of man anyway. If we’re going to do it, we might aswell do it right. 

Guise.