The world seem to be filled with people who fall under either one of these characteristics: 

  1. Those that are outstandingly smart; e.g. researchers and scientists
  2. Those that are very very hostile; e.g. dictators and terrorists
  3. Those that are plain weird; e.g. fanatics and hobbyists


Insulating and airing attention

It has appeared to me that attention works quite similarly to heat in the way that (1) it leaks and (2) if it's too concentrated it became a self-imploding equivalent of a greenhouse gas.

Maintaining our attention without proper mental insulation cause the energy bills to be very expensive while not airing out those attention to something else when we were too absorbed also poses danger.


Attack vector

One of the most interesting thing that have happened to me since I got covid is how fast my perspective change, or have to change.

This is because for the past 2 years I felt surrounded by the invisible virus, then suddenly I am the virus' host unwillingly.

It also occurs to me why cells are equipped with self-destruct capability given the lack of ability to self isolate or contain itself.

And as part of the potential attack vector, threats mattered slightly less now given I was one and the same.


Gacha Dilemma

I've been playing this game called genshin impact since its launch and recently they have version update 2.0

Together with this, I was also playing another tower defense puzzle game called Arknights.

Both games have a story on how I got to them, but what's rather interesting is that in late July 2021, 1-2 weeks ago from now there was actually some huge updates dropping for both games.

Genshin finally releases its 2.0 version, meaning that it unlocked a new part of the map. 

For those who are familiar with how games like Monster Hunter World or FFXIV in releasing new chapters like Iceborne or Shadowbringers, this is kinda like it

The difference is that Genshin is a gacha game. Meaning that a core part of the game revolves around mystery loot boxes where players can gamble on the rarity of items they will receive.

This sets it apart from Iceborne and Shadowbringers that have to be bought, per June 2021 there are reportedly X number of players in MHW and FFXIV, if all these players convert to the latest game version, it means that they're grossing for at least XY amount in total.

But Genshin, being a free to play game on phones is far more accessible than the other two. FFXIV is only playable via Windows, MHW through PC and PS. While Genshin has footprint on mobiles, PC and PS. All of them together.

In the whole year it has been released, it has earned over $1B in sales. This is astounding because it eclipses the other games by a factor of Z.

Arknights itself has ABC amount of sales so far, and if you were to ever check how this game compares to other, they're so far apart because they're fundamentally a different game. And yet through this alone they have been able to earn even more.

And one can argue that Square Enix or MHW developers come from studio with expensive staff that are working on multiple AAA projects at once. While Hypergryph is a relatively new studio.

All these come from the gacha or loot boxes element devised by studios and players' tendency to like playing it too.

I'm not an exception.

I have been playing for a long time. Since 2014 in fact and that my total purchase in gacha has probably went up for more than $100. It was not much, at all, compared to people who place tens of thousands of bucks here.

But it's still something, and the part of it that makes you really think about it is when you look back on the previous years you've played it and all that collection just feel going down the drain.

But this is another time.

New map, new heroes, new item, new gameplay.

It's hard to ignore this when the game itself has really good quality and incites you to play.

And given how accessible it is you can always opt to play on any devices that you currently have with you.

I started genshin on my phone, and eventually I got myself a secondhand iPad and used that instead sometime. Then finally I built (or rebuild) a PC and used that instead given the way better graphics and control.

But this time of the year, I'm conflicted on the characters and started getting into this min maxing optimizing mindset where I consider what sort of improvement or things I need to do for my characters and improve my playing.

They all come down to me having to use the stamina to level up few things, and gacha to get new characters


Absolving oneself from debt

It is payday today and I did something different while managing my financials: I paid my credit card debt in full.

I got my first card in 2017 from BCA when I started my job in Indonesia. A coworker mentioned that he has about 10 cards from multiple banks to try out their package (and earn signing bonuses) which encouraged me to try applying for one. It was not something I fully comprehend at the time. As far as I know, credit card was:

  1. Something my parents didn't like and only obtain as late as 2015+
  2. Something my past colleague used extensively to collect air miles in his consultancy job
  3. Something my friend use to get discounts while we were dining at his favorite place

Credit was a concept that was foreign to me, which is hilarious because I went back to the country to work at an online P2P lending business. Fast forward 4 years later and I've finally understood the extent of how proving oneself to be capable in managing credit is a major benchmark of how an individual is rated financially via their national credit score.

It also taught me the limitation in how one's credit limit is highly restricted for good reason to secure the risks lenders are exposed to. Given this backdrop, plenty of our customers at the time repaid their working capital loan earlier to gain the ability to borrow at a much higher ceiling. Apart from this benefit, with increased trust and visible cashflow records one's limit might be reviewed to also include lower interest rate.


Speedrunning is amazing

Just watched hollow knight speed run for 33 mins by fireb0rn and it’s just amazing

The precision, speed and persistence of it is unmatched that it’s just insane.


Do something new sometime

A few weeks ago I rode my bike from South Jakarta to West Tangerang. It was a 36km winding route that avoids large traffic and highways that ended up brought me to BSD area around 7pm at night. I never rode that long with a bike so it was really painful, but achieving it brought a great sense of accomplishment. It served as a reminder that we all have that potential of accomplishing these foolish yet bold goals even with seemingly improper preparation. It wasn’t the best bike. I wasn’t at my best condition. It was definitely not the most efficient route.

But I did it anyway. It ended up being a memorable, unplanned adventure. 

I need to treasure and seek experience like these more.


A missing link

What does it take to bring an idea to reality?

The bottom line is it requires building to some degree, thus execution

How idea manifest to concrete form, maybe the reason why I like design back then

Will your ideas to live, those that you can see

Maybe now I'm a lot more capable to will the abstract to come out

There's a difference between the level of imagination I was capable of before and now

But the capability to dream more does not go hand in hand with what's able to be produced by a single person anymore

Many times it requires more people, a team even.

The idea person who can execute

Was natural before, but increasingly this role

No longer feels like creator, or perhaps maybe not even one in the first place?

Roles I've undertaken as I'm aware of them

  • Observer; 
  • Influencer; 
  • Doer;

But I'm missing the creator roles and others that might have been more prominent back in the past.

Will update the post with more thoughts.


Torrent as dynamic knowledge retention model

It probably resembles how information get passed to each other in earlier days.

And even as of right now.

The more peers and people who make themselves available to transfer information.

The faster the transfer speed goes.

Unless you can automate the part and make a central repo where the information is always readily available even without people.

Then discord or other immediate chat platform serve as the more transient just-in-time knowledge exchange.

This probably raise the question how many percent of the world are chronologer? As in, people who expend efforts to record things. Harder things especially. Because when you think about it, an experimentation means nothing if they’re not diligently recorded down or published so that other people can access them.

And in that way, any action of writing carries as much weight as writing research paper. Good note taking is that important.

Probably transferable to PRDs too.


Guidebook and walkthrough

I’ve been reading guidebooks for games as far as I remember it. They are normally featured in the sections of a game magazine or a standalone book with in-depth guides. This later translates to my fascination with gamefaqs and wikia sites of games or shows I’m following, as they are packed with information contributed by people who are very passionate about them too, e.g.

  • Bulbapedia has amazing detailed records of all pokemon-related entries
  • Gamepress is a hub of guides for recent mobile games
  • Reddit's /r/anime subreddit have extensive discussion threads for each episode of an anime

But this sort of fascination are coupled with the dependency of relying too much on it. In the time when the guide is not available or it's protected behind privatized groups (like some discord channels), it was very easy to feel helpless or confused instead. So when I picked up ragnarok tactics recently, I tried playing it purely without a guide. It was a constant trial and error process but it definitely restored the fun.