To practice what you preach.

Kind of annoying phrase. I associate it with a hypocritical person and would say I struggle with that to some degree. Although I think my mental reference for that just got an interesting spin because I went to Google to search for more ways to think about the phrase and I found the Barry White song Practice What You Preach and wow, what a voice.

Either way, this is more of me doing that. I talk a lot irl but mostly lurk online. Trying to change that to force myself into things I like. I know I like them because I stare and dream about them but I always feel nervous/intimidated to begin. I do technical work of a similar nature which I often feel saps my energy/desire to continue work on personal projects/goals/growth. I may overwork myself in that job based on feedback from partners and friends but it's hard for me to see that. I don't feel like I do much and still spend a lot of time in between working browsing the internet. I would say I'm lazy or distracted myself but I receive internal recognition and my manager appears to trust me so I suppose I must be doing a good job. It's not like I was much of one for a work/life balance ever I would say but I was raised by workaholics who were raised by even tougher individuals. I can't tell if I'm tryharding or the world is experiencing the generational decline that serves a theme in The Good Earth. People say the internet is hostile nowadays but I think it's always been toxic. I've only ever grown up in a world with it and I never felt any site was without it's hate or problems. It's really just a human problem. We want to assume all are good functional and contributing but we keep tripping ourselves on problems that shouldn't exist. Shitposting won't go away but the degree to which it is hateful or received as such is only affected by global cultural shift, which is only possible through the internet in this current time. It's truly incredible watching the movie Zodiac and seeing a character use library books checked out as evidence someone is the Zodiac and has the knowledge to write the cyphers. Think of how many Youtube videos that don't have a million views that explain cyphers, one day they might litter the internet. The algebra/geometry/trig that I learned as a kid that once existed as the pinnacle of human thought achievement.

But we don't collectively achieve unless we collectively grow.

I think about this because of a recent conversation with my mom. A student (AgentA) from my high school was starting a project and emailing around to hear if any of us had experienced racism during our time there. My mother is very into being a parental figure and guiding light for kids and I respect that very much; it's something I hope to grow into in the future I think. The contribution back to younger generations is an important information sharing loop but getting back to the story, she continued working at the school after I left and enjoyed fostering other students for a number of years before becoming fed up with the working environment and leaving. I think any school has a range of teachers that people love and hate, mine is no different but the administrative staff has always been largely ineffective or harmful to the student environment in my experience there. My mother is half Japanese and grew up in Nebraska so she's had plenty of experience being marginalized but she's never recounted those stories to me beyond showing incredible distaste for the "Jap" word. Her knowledge of Japanese is very small as well, I believe her mother and the environment she grew up in enforced a cultural assimilation that washed out a lot of that history. I have little knowledge of my grandmother's life, that she was born in Japanese occupied Seoul and that her father was a teacher. I know her name and memories of her singing Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes in Japanese and my mom can still do this but she passed when I was young.

I mention all this because the majority of students she would mentor were minorities in a rather privileged school (Not every student but there was a Porsche in the parking lot for 4 years...) Two of these students she mentored experienced what my mother described as racism in strange rule changes and arbitrary decisions of a new admin. She was very passionate and descriptive in recounting these events to me but at the end of it she wasn't going to tell AgentA. She was excitedly vindictive in her knowledge of this racist event but she wouldn't share it with AgentA, because she said it was those two student's story to tell. I pushed her on this, that how could those students tell their story when they didn't have they insight at the administrative level. She said she had raised it with the principle when she left and I asked her if that meant only her and the principle knew. She mentioned that she had learned of AgentA's project from a message from one of the students involved and when she told the same story to him and that she wouldn't share the story with AgentA, the student himself responded very diplomatically. He suggested that AgentA was only trying to help and that my mother should share her story with him as it sounded very valid.

Now I would understand my mother's apprehension at sharing with AgentA as we both have known AgentA over the past years and I honestly don't think highly of that individual or their ability to succeed or if they fully understand the intent or end goals of their project but everything about that conversation pissed me off. I have preached to my family/friend for years to stand firm and share their thoughts because I know them and they often let things go unchallenged that should be. And here was a perfect example. I don't know if she'll change her mind but that's largely not the goal of challenging someone. We can't reveal in our secret knowledge of problems, we must share or we don't improve. Feedback loops stay unstable unless we change parameters, humans are trying their best and don't want to be wrong or fail, I get it, I fear it every day. Still we must talk, still we must share and so I hope to reinforce in myself this same goal.

I always want to post more, to work more on my own projects. That I'm still with this account name is a miracle, I'm more the type to change usernames periodically. I posted a year ago and attended my first Defcon that same year. I've been an admirer/watcher of the talks since college and am working my way into this stuff. I worry a lot about the voting process; my first/only post last year was looking into the Galois machine. I would like to continue thinking/exploring that space. I find that post a little cringy but that's something I hope to work past by posting more and making the posts more grounded. It's hard to not have your imagination run away on things that interest you and I really like so much about that project. In general, any open source hardware project is exciting. FPGAs and RISC-V are some of the greatest tools available to the average joe based on the information you can get and the long-term return you're likely to get. I hope to do more with both on this account in the future :)


Anderson .Paak - Lockdown