Monday, September 22, 2008

I-doser - Lucid Dream

Sometimes, you get up in the morning with the feeling you had a nice dream the night before. And sometimes, you might just remember it.

Now I don't always remember my dreams, maybe twice a week minorly, but last night I remember having 3 different dreams. No, unfortunately they weren't lucid though I do remember at least slightly what happened.

The first one we were in maths and it had something about spoons, that's about all I remember of that one but I do remember it.

The second one I was blogging about leather working in World of Warcraft except walking around in the Dryad place from Dungeon Siege 2. I remember the numbers 3 and 4 for some reason. What a randomly weird dream but it happened.

Then I walked into a cave in a different dream, there was some people and they told me I had to kill the dragon or some such creature. That was pretty strange but it didn't happen then I woke up.

So I think this lucid dream dose works to an extent. I might try it again sometime as I believe it only increases the chances of a lucid dream -- not guarantees it.

I-doser - Orgasm Quickhit

If I've worked out one thing it's that I have to press my headphones up to my ears to hear all the beats properly. It must be intended for bud headphones. My headphones slip off my hears and especially if I tried to lie down they would just fall off.

This dose didn't work for me though it has before only slightly. All it did this time was increase breathing slightly. Although it doesn't really produce a real orgasm, so I'm not sure how much it is supposed to work. I couldn't resist trying it anyway.

I would be tempted to try a more strong dose but the stronger ones make me paranoid and take longer. They must work though if they make me paranoid.

I don't really want to take ones that give hallucinations as it is 12:25am and I am scared they might do something to me. I-doser is scary enough as it is :P

Just now I am going to work out what dose to take next and that's enough for one night.

I-doser - French Roast

If you don't know what i-doser is view one of my previous posts.

Nothing like a nice warm cup of coffee, I just finished my French Roast dose.

It goes for 5 minutes and is rated moderate a stimulant of course. I don't think the effects will last long due to the short time it takes for this dose (most are 30 minutes). I haven't really done i-doser much before, i tried it a bit but never properly. Mild effects here and there but now I feel surprisingly awake. I'm sure I'll feel normal again in a few minutes, we'll see ;)

Hm, what to try next.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My views on homework

In my own experience, I haven't always been bothered by homework.

During grade 1, we wouldn't get homework, unless we really wanted to do it. At the school I went to, grade 1/2 were together, same as 3/4 and 5/6, though there were several classes of each. So grade 2's would get homework, but were not expected to always complete it, and it was easy stuff. Then came grade 3/4, same as grade 2, but they expected us to complete it and it was slightly more involved.

Grade 5 got interesting, we actually were given proper homework to do but the only punishment would not be getting a sticker on the wall for our homework completed. I found that funny, so I quickly learnt I didn't need to complete it. I was fine without it.

I didn't go to grade 6 -- I moved states and here grade 7 is still in primary school so I was moved into that instead. However at this new school, grade 7 was far more challenging.

We would have our weekly homework which involved an english sheet which often didnt teach us that much and required a bit of time to complete. Why did they try to teach us latin roots? Then we would have 2 pages of homework to do. We had to write a few brief overviews of news stories, complete the repeated from class maths, write out our spelling words then fill in how much we have read of books that week.

That was every week

Oh - and we also had to complete any Japanese homework we were given, and some other.

Every second week, we would have to complete a few paragraphs on the topic (whatever they chose) and occasionally do a speech on it. It started adding up to a lot and there was always that fear of "Oh no, I think something is due today".

I think that specific school was too strict. They expected too much of us and pushed us hard. We weren't even allowed to write with pens, and we had to use cursive. I didn't like that school. Slip up once and your guaranteed 30 minutes off your lunch. Infact I was kept back in for a lunch and a half because my homework wasn't set out correctly... and that was in the second week of school.

They wouldn't realise it, I didn't back then, but a lot of the work they give is busywork. I didn't think there was a point at writing out all of my homework again just because I set it out incorrectly. But, right now I could probably give good reasons and get out of writing out an hours worth of homework. An 11 year old has great difficulty being able to make well thought reasons so of course I had to do it back then.

Finally, after that year I was out of primary school. Then came grade 8. If you thought grade 7 was bad, you should have seen grade 8.

It was very easy.

We could use pen, we didn't have to worry much with setting out, the teacher wouldn't go psycho because we didn't write completely perfect and our homework was atleast halved. Although we still had weekly homework, it was much easier and didn't require as much effort. I still count much of it as busywork but I still hadn't realised that back then. Now if you thought grade 8 was easier.... grade 9.

Homework slowed down completely in grade 9. I don't remember having it(or more than 10 minutes for the week) for atleast half the year. Our maths was no longer checked and we stopped having to complete it all. I wasn't forced to study japanese, so that cut out a nice deal of homework.

English still has weeklies, like it does now(infact, same class as back then) but they weren't always given or checked, and nothing really happened if you didn't do it. There was only one term where we were given an english textbook to complete for assessment. About 95% of it was busywork, irrelevant, or an ineffective method of teaching, and 100% of it was a pain.

Grade 10, I have already talked about it. It is similiar to grade 9 but often even less homework.

So, I have learnt that the best option is to have barely any homework. I don't count assignments as homework even if they have to be completed at home, only extra work given by teachers. Not work you didn't do in class that you feel important to catch up on either, but just work set by teachers specifically to do at home.

I think that smart students are capable of completing whatever they need to at home as their own study. Not be given work by teachers which are designed for the majority. Infact homework isn't even designed for the majority, they are just what teachers think students may benefit from. The best way to go is to choose what you need to do.

Even if homework is continued to be set, I believe that there should be no consequences for not completing it.

I've said some of this before I know, but I hope I explained what I actually think better now without just ranting about how I don't want to write out spelling words.

I've also said this before, work does not equal learning. Even if it appears to be a task which requires thinking (such as reading comprehensions, wordsearches, crosswords, filling in the blanks on text, etc).

Why are we humans?

What was the chance that we were actually born as humans, and that we individually control ourselves?

Let's think about it, you are a human. Why aren't you an animal? or an insect? There are so many more of those, you were very lucky to be born as a human.

There were billions of years of animals, insects, other life forms on Earth before us, what was the chance that we were born in this time frame? I wouldn't say it was very high.

So far, I think that recently would have been the best time to be born in. Before that, millions of years where living conditions weren't always that great. It all seems a little too much of a coincedence that we just happen to be living at the opportune time, when we are greatly at an advantage over people born several hundred years ago to millions of years before that.

Why? Do you see that it was a really REALLY low chance that we were born as a human, in this time which seems much greater than past times? Instead of being born as any other living creature we just happen to be born as a human in the best of times. (which seems like the choice we would have wanted to make anyway)

I am not complaining, I just thought it was an interesting observation and I have been beginning to think that there is something far greater than this universe and all that, unless we just happen to have been very lucky...

I am not religious, so I don't believe in going to heaven or hell once you die, but what I believe *COULD* happen is that something actually occurs after you die.

I wish I knew what happens after dying.

Friday, September 12, 2008

5 reasons why you shouldn't rely on school to teach you

1. The school's curriculum does not always provide sufficient material

Many times before, I've realised that a lot has been left missing by a few different subjects, and only a basic understanding has been given.

This year, in the computer class that I take, for 2 terms (that's half a year) we were working on this program called Gamemaker. That makes Games of course, and is a great, free, downloadable tool to assist beginners in creating games. The teacher we had at the time took us through the basic functions, and had us create a few of the example games. After some weeks, we had learnt the basic functions of the program and eventually given a piece of assessment.

If I remember correctly, the first piece of assessment was to create a game with a minimum of 4 different rooms. Now I wanted to get more technical so I decided I wanted to create a platform game. Using what we had learnt, the game turned out flawed, had dodgy controls, and I was just about the only person who could beat it. I still got a B.

The computers were down for a few weeks at the next term, but they decided instead of giving us a new topic they would give us another assessment for Gamemaker. This time, we had to create a game with a minimum of 7 rooms based on a movie. Since we had not covered any new material, and this game was a lot more restricted, I ended up creating an even worse game than I had in the first term. I still got a B, probably because we weren't expected to be able to do much better.

One day on the holidays, I got bored so I tried to create a game with Gamemaker. In not much time and a bit of Google searching, I ended up producing a far better game then we had ever created at school. It involved a rolling lemon with enemies to jump on, 45degree inclines, and a properly working system which allows the jumping and gravity to work(rather than being able to jump in mid air, like in previous games). The controls weren't dodgy and it functioned properly. They never bothered to teach us how to do more advanced things with the program.

This term, we have been studying HTML. After learning all the basic functions, we have been given our assessment. Now we must create an online magazine based on whatever we like as long as it contains the few pages that were requested, such as a profile and feature article. At first I thought that would be horrible, we had only learnt basic HTML. I tried to create the layout of the site, and it ended up very dodgy and looking like a complete beginner had made it.

From past experience, I know that instead of relying on what the school has taught us, why not just look it up on Google? I now have used CSS also in the website, for the basic layout. Now I didn't just go and copy a bunch of code and paste it into the notepad file for the layout, I actually wrote it myself. I can tell you now that the layout I created in about a lesson and a half is far better than what I would have struggled with using just the HTML we had learnt.

This all proves, that in this class, the best option is not to rely on the material they give and proves that it is much more effective if you look it up yourself.

2. Not enough sources

The way the school teaches you is not the only way. Unlike in reason 1, they can provide sufficient information, but only in one view. For example, if you read the history textbook given to you for the subject, it will provide you with the information you need... but it is only one source. Generally with history you have research assignments, but you may often be learning by the book, the one source you are given to learn from.

The same goes for maths, you don't need as many sources because it does not have many different views on it, and they are generally all correct. But it can greatly help you understand if you can find it on the Internet explained simply.

So, if you can find more, often more relevant sources it can prove useful. Because they weren't given to you by the school, you aren't relying on the school's resources to teach you.

Sick of reading the science textbook? I find it often best explained on wikipedia.

3. Much of the time in class is wasted

I know I wrote a bit about it before, but it is here again. When you go to a class, a lot of the time you won't learn anything relevant or useful, or you just won't learn anything at all. Often pointless worksheets are given, or the methods used just aren't efficient.

In my health and physical education(HPE) class, for several lessons we watched movies. Sure that's okay, a nice easy lesson, but I didn't really learn anything. Other than that, we copy notes off the projector about illegal drugs and how to avoid drugs(including the basics about confidence and self esteem -- I barely bothered to copy most of it).

This goes back to what I said in a previous blog entry Here where I explained about a non existent program where some students who thought they were too good to attend school normally can just be given the material, study it, complete the assessment then sit the exams and be done for the term in less than 2 weeks. That's 1 year of school in 2 months. That is how inefficiently class time is spent.

4. You don't learn it all at school

This reason isn't just school, it goes on to university.

I am looking at computer game programming. When I leave school after senior, I definitely will not have what I need, I won't have the qualifications, or the skills.

So then I would go to university for that, study Maths and IT. That will get me the qualifications, but from who I've talked to, and from what I know, it won't always get the skills. I don't see a university course teaching all the major programming languages to students. I see that as more of a thing they would expect students to do in their own time. I most likely will learn programming before I go to university anyway, and I am definitely not going to rely on university to teach me the skills I need.

As I've read before, the degree gets you in the door and your skills and experience do the job.

However in saying that, some courses may give you all you need for the job, but like I said from what I know, not this one.

5. School is designed for the majority

The system is not best fit for you, it is best fit for everyone. Top of the class, you are doing well but you can't rely on school to take you much further because the slower people have to catch up. Just like how I wrote about our spelling, a few people in the class struggle with some of those words, and, because it is designed for the majority, I was stuck with them. Actually it was decided that we don't HAVE to do them anymore, but it still stands as a good example of what they tried to give us.

Same in math, you might have worked out the stuff last year and don't want to repeat it with slight more difficulty added to it this year. However again the slower people in the class won't have done it as well and will need it again. I am only getting a B in math, but that is because I don't need to spend the time to get an A until next year.

I personally don't rely on school to teach me. I don't come home with 4 hours and 40 minutes worth of learning(time spent in class). I don't even get 2 hours worth of learning, maybe 1 hour on a one off occasion.

It will be nice when I am finally out of it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What do you see yourself as in the future?

Like I said an a past post, subject selections have happened for senior. People are starting to think seriously about what they see themselves as in the future. What they want to do when they leave school.

I personally don't think, to maximise your life, you need to look that far in the future.

No, that's not good enough, you need to look much further.

After I have read blog posts by other more successful bloggers, I have seen that it is clearly possible to develop a talent in blogging so far, that you don't need to go for a 9 to 5 job.

The school has been stressing that our primary concern should be that of choosing a pathway to follow with a (usually) 9 to 5 job, and studying for that. That's what I am doing, I think I will do some sort of IT work. But, that's only so I am not broke while developing this talent(particularly in blogging, but not necessarily) as to replace the need to devote over a third of my day to work.

Now, in the future I want to be an energetic, healthy person. Similiar to what I've also said in a past post about optimism, that is one of my plans for maximising life. I want to make money in a smart way, not by running a busy business which requires me to work a lot, or by being employed for 8 hours a day.

OK, that may eventually start working some years into adulthood, I couldn't be certain of the future, but that's what I see myself doing.

Now, while the school is encouraging the general system, I am encouraging myself to make my life better than that. To the majority, you get educated from school, college, courses and whatever else. Then you get to work, yay.

Your average work day would be something like this;
First you wake yourself up at about 7am. You eat some breakfast, shower, and get ready for work. You then drive to work to start at about 9am. At 5pm, a third of a day later, you head home. It could take you a bit of time to get home, depending on how far you live, but you get home early evening.

6 hours, 6 hours of your day you have left before you should sleep again. Sure you had the bit of time in the morning but that was mostly devoted to getting ready for work, or reading the news paper or some such quick activity.

So that is a quarter of your day when you can relax, watch tv or do something to keep you entertained or busy.

Now don't you think it would be much better if you could wake up in the morning, having your finances under control while you are barely working, to enjoy and make the most of your day? I certainly know which lifestyle I will be aiming for.

So most likely you will end up on the 9 to 5 job, unfortunately. Then for atleast another 40 years you save for your retirement. Then you retire, grow older and die. That is the system. Fairly simple when you think about it, education > work > retire > die. I still like the idea of forced education > retire(at 25, not 75) > die. See how it is missing the work? well, it might contain a small amount, maybe 5 years, I believe I said previously.

Sure, there's absolutely nothing wrong with having a job. It will just be something you are bound to.

By the way, I don't see blogging as a job, more of a hobby, and I don't think it is much work, in comparison with having a regular job anyway.

Looking even further into the future, this should just continue up until it is obsolete (say in the future if people get less bothered about blogs and there are new things). I don't know, I am not psychic but the general idea still continues.

Monday, September 8, 2008

More Romeo and Juliet and school

Well just in the last week or so, we were given our assessment for English. Two tasks; one is to write an essay on whether or not we think Romeo and Juliet is suitable for Grade 10 and write a scene from Romeo and Juliet but in a different time setting, I believe I mentioned that one in a previous entry.

So I find that funny, half the assessment on Romeo and Juliet is writing whether we think it is a good idea for grade 10 students or not. I'm sure you know what I'll be writing about.

Also, last lesson in science we had a substitute teacher. Instead of doing completely boring and obvious tests which may amuse (or completely bore) a grade 3 student he showed us a bit of basic chemistry with some household products. That's what we have been supposed to be doing this term, but turns out so far we really have failed to be taught much. Sure a half hour to work out Australian bar codes start with "93" but you just learnt that by reading it(much easier).

Well, I had this idea, an idea the school will never accept. Both from legal issues and their views on school which are obviously different to mine.

How about a special program.

One which certain students could do instead of attending school. I know this sounds silly, and most will think its a bad idea, but I think I could complete each 10 week term in less than 2 weeks, if I was given the material and assessment. Once finished, return to school for a day or two, complete the exams and move on. Possibly visit the school for a short period once a week for any school updates, class updates and changes.

Trouble is some subjects cannot do this, such as HPE. Well one solution would be to have a blank timetable except for that class, or just not do HPE, I'm not.

It would be more like a TAFE course. (not sure if it is called TAFE in other countries such as America, Google it)

It is just that SO much time is wasted during school, and I agree with the opinion that one side of it is to keep young people busy while their parents are at work.

But that's why this option would only be for a small number of people, those who can actually accommodate it, and It should only be for seniors.

Now you might think that it just sounds like home school or actually leaving school and attending TAFE, those are options but they cost money. I don't necessarily think that the school is incapable of teaching that I would have to go for another option, I just think that the system doesn't work for me, and I'm not liking it. So this would just be a school based program, nice and simple, saves time.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I-doser, simulation drugs and feelings

Wouldn't it be cool to try different drugs, without actually having them? It has quite a fair few drugs, like cocaine, heroin, alcohol or you can even take a french roast. It also has different feelings like it can make you happy. And it is all just a simulation -- you don't actually have illegal drugs. Infact, all it does is simulates some of the positive effects of the drugs, cocaine is basically just a stimulant, alcohol makes you walk funny and trip(i think they are magic mushrooms) just makes you hallucinate a bit. Best of all it is safe, fun, and isn't bad for you.

Don't worry, you aren't actually taking drugs. It's called I-doser, you can download it and it comes with a few free doses. It sends binaural beats which adjust the frequency of the brain to simulate the effect of the drug or the feeling. You just have to listen to the sounds, most of which go for about 30 minutes.

I have taken quite a few, you have to be in a dark distractionless quiet room, with stereo headphones. It does actually work. It is harder to do correctly than they say, but with a bit of practice at clearing the mind and focusing on the sounds, you can get it working quite well.

Just a bit of fun.

I may use the sleep dose to put me to sleep when i try polyphasic again, and I may use a stimulant to keep me awake. It is not actually drugs so it shouldn't negatively effect changing from monophasic to polyphasic but I guess I'll find out one day.