Return of the engineer

I have always found it difficult learning a language. It all started 25 years ago. A tiny space capsule had to find its way to Jupiter. When I asked how it works, I was told a story about the bees and the flowers, a story of unconditional love. That story, in one form or another, he had heard from his parents. That story I will take with me.

I was delighted to hear that he had read my blog. He is currently drawing the big lines at the shipyard.
“Who’s that guy?”
“I don’t know, man. He just stares at his 2,750 cubic metres of pitch. He’s been here for a couple of months, I guess.”
“If he was any thinner, he wouldn’t exist”
“And if the radius approaches infinity, he can’t see the vortex.”
His belt I remember wearing ten years ago, still posh. He seemed ten years older after five years. Soon he would have more time than ever, and we should discuss the inheritance. Engineer to engineer he was talking about fair 1:1. Taxation was a subject of discussion too.

The big questions in life often have simple answers. I just had to ask someone wiser than me, someone with experience, on all strings of life. Now that I have the answers and have grown mentally, I shall take back what I have stated in my previous posts. 25 years ago I suffered from asphyxia, which might be the cause of my brain damage. Being taught to read before school was just a precaution so that I would be at the same level with the others. Sweet dive into blackness.

Sometimes when I had nothing else to do I stood by my window to conduct a statistical study of mine. It took approximately 45 minutes before someone entered the shop. Some of them walked right past, then turned around, and walked in. On my way home I stop to see if they have a new girl in the window. Usually I am so hungry that I simply have to keep going.

Five years ago, around midnight, someone was buzzing my buzzer. It was not the first time I had been woken up, so I went downstairs to see who it was. A stereotypical Finnish engineer was struggling to stand there. He was staring at the speaker, like he was hoping my face would appear on it, but we were not used to fixing things this side of the city. His face had a red glow of the lights on the opposite side of the street. That poetic moment is one frame in the comic strip in my mind. The elevator ride was eclectic. A bag of words fall like snow, free verse fall.

The opening pan from the son’s view at the end of the corridor is slowly zoomed into the glowing face of his father’s, a face that the merciless arctic winds have lashed while he has stood on the deck of his own creation. A tear flows on his cheek, freezing on its way down, but it is not a tear of passion. His heart is colder than the winter in the Arctic, or at least, it should be. He has a polar bear’s heart.

A swart chord in piano lingers on for a moment when the camera is focused on the neon sign on the opposite side of the street. The pedal is cleared gently like a feather: the pianist’s career highlight. This shot introduces the cold neon shade that is the only alive color on the washed out palette. A square root of a natural number is not a trick, but right now he suffers from painter’s colic.

Melancholic strings allow the viewer to swan into the engineer’s son’s direction to the other end of the corridor. No words are needed to depict this archetypal débâcle of a Finnish father-son relationship. Many readers of mine know exactly what the narrative is about, but I break the patterns.

The next few days were somehow empty. I used to pretend that it does not affect me. I do not do that anymore. The most honest people I have ever met were the ones I used to queue for my bread with, people with a natural smell. He had two jobs at the same time, and he slept only four hours a night. After that summer he bought his first car. I used to throw away bread. I used to fire a gun. One shot stops the movement, three eliminate the target. The four sexy rings make me colder.

Once upon a time, he belonged to a movie club. A humble plastic bag being blown in circles by the wind would crystallise the viewer’s ideals. It is a long time since I watched it last time, but this scene is still somehow stuck in the back of my mind. For some it is the bottom, for some the climax. It would show me the way when I need to make a wise decision.

When I was younger, he used to ask if I wanted dessert. He would have coffee anyway. The older you get the less plastic your mind gets. When the experience expires, you will be replaced. I want to have a place. I want to be his boss’s near genius son who had deprivation of nothing, and who looks at his watch and then looks at me. I want to be Harittu 2.0 who has higher tolerance for every irritation, and who is thinner, more muscular, and more efficient. I do not want to be an icy crystal, limited to the spectrum from red to violet.

Why would I bother carrying a thing with me that does nothing but ticks? It does not make me any faster, but it might cause me to miss a flight. They are wizards what comes to time, but they cannot bend the laws—the big questions of life. He can change his car to a wider one, he can fly business class, and he served in the army as well, but for me he is worth zero. I told him this was the last time we would meet. It was the last time I would see his expressionless face. I was superior to him. The camera pans out.

In the morning he has a microsleep at the traffic light. In the evening his inner voice is angry. In a consulting room the garden has no tree. In some other room, white walls and whiter coats around him. A loving family that once had white teeth surrounds him. I have to make my father proud! I have to… Would you pick a minor or a major is just a choice. The last frame is bright.

I feel like a dessert. Without him I would not be me, and that is the point. Everything in this reality we call life is defined through a price tag, and that fact will never change. How we perceive this reality, instead, can change. I like to study alternative ideologies, but they only give me perspective, not a solution. There is a time when you collect, and there will be time when you are just left holding the bag. I feel I have something in the bottom of my bag already. I feel…

Discrete findings







Smooth criminal

Hidden in numbers, they will never see
Roll the dice with Rivest, Shamir, Adleman and me
On the top of the Gauss hill he will see it right
A secretive group in his sight
Good luck to you agent, children’s play
Struck by crescendo, what a beautiful day

His eyes like dimmed bulbs, no sparks, empty inside
New moon in the sky, those eyes suck the rest of the light
He has a jacket and a gun; haunted by the shadow of his own
He has nightmares; I can see it in his eyes, he has mares
Every night he drowns, wakes up and tastes his own blood
Every night I fall, with the balloons, and the holes in the night sky

Alone at a bar, here at this time, about tomorrow I don’t know
Milk for my muscle and something else for the mind
The bartender is kind, she has seen it before, she doesn’t mind
The peanuts in my hand have a story to tell
And have one for yourself, the salt of life in my hands
I hope it never ends, but it has to end, everything ends

I am their dearest guest in Camden Town
Finally my purpose has found my soul

Terminal light

One with fedora
Full of idée
Bulletproof glasses
Yet high esteem;

Karelia, O
For old people, thou
Drum ‘n’ Bass beat
Heat, heat;

Get yourself lean
Feel the glow
Build something
And go;

You only fly once
Blow, blow
Business class
From HEL to SFO;

Change the world?
Money talk
Ended up figuring
The state of the art;

What’s achieved?
Your inner dream world
Endless rainbow
Never-ending peace;

Consume your days
Playing Hearts
Know every combination
By heart;

Wise man, old
Line short, gold
But after all
Does it matter at all?

Unreachable vision
Over again
From birth of the Sun
Until we freeze again;

Finnish engineer

Brand makes no difference,
Age-old i-something in his pocket,
Finnish engineer wears sandals and jeans.

He is good at his job,
But he swallows his pride,
His clients come from around the world,
His nation’s flag symbolises water and snow.

Winter wind, polar darkness,
Ice breaker slipped,
The Prime Minister, engineer,
A depressing speech.

Employer has a private doctor,
Finnish engineer never goes to doctor,
The doctor, free lunch, with Pill Company,
Finished engineer swallows the pills.

Burning hot coffee,
World’s Best Dad mug,
Hasn’t time to wait it cool.

2.75 deciliters,
Exact amount of caffeine,
When it halves he takes more.

He doesn’t wash the mug,
Flushes it like the past 20 years,
The pill makes him small,
Finds himself under wife’s toe.

Soon spring still grey,
Finnish engineer lives his life,
Earns his five grand,
And lives his life.

You are my mirror

Narcissus by Caravaggio

I can see that some people think I am strange. Some of those who knew me before, and met me later, look like they wonder something dramatic happened to me. Questions, of course, would not arise to everyone. Most people do not have time to process them. My blog is for those that have. Only someone like me, an explorer, would end up here.

Being strange only means others do not know you. When they know, you stop being strange. Then you are just different or not so different at all. My mirrors have always been right about me. Something did happen.

In childhood I had to deal with high expectations. My mother taught me to read before I went to school, so I could later on focus on more important things. Unfortunately, it turned out I was not the next Ludwig van she so badly wanted me to be, so her narcissistic world shattered.

To prevent my mind from shattering as well I had to develop a mechanism to deal with my feelings. I tried to explain every feeling and vibration I had to myself, so I could work on them. I saw my mother was acting well, so I had no one to talk about her. None of my relatives would take it seriously. I had to be my own shrink.

My mother had phone conversations with my school friend’s mom. My friend’s mom started joking about my mother. I guess she found it ridiculous how my mother was so proud of her behavior psychology knowledge she used to apply on me. The jokes had earned their place for sure, but for me they were not really jokes. I was an experiment.

My parents did their duty, and took care of me until I was 18 years old. We were fine as long as I remembered to show a happy face during birthdays and Christmases. After that I was free to go. Luckily, they had another child that would have the crown in case the other fails. Today there is no space for me in their idyllic family album.

At some point I belonged to a wolfpack. It had all elements of it: a burly alpha, beta, omega, and so on. When I left home, I had no one else. I was afraid, that without my pack, I would become a lonely wolf. The wolfpack offered me security, but in exchange I had to be in line with it. That was not what I really am, but I did not recognise it back then.

Everything I did was to satisfy my need to strictly follow the social norms. I did so called normal things, like drinking heavily on weekends, to avoid disapproval. That need originated during my childhood. I was a clockwork version of me.

One evening when I was out with the wolfpack, I met a very clever fox. With that fox I felt I could deeply connect and I had my first platonic conversation. The discussions later on led me to what I am today. As I changed, I did not have many things in common with the wolfpack anymore, and I was sorry to leave. The members of the wolfpack were my mirrors in my small world, and I am thankful for each one of them.

When I managed to turn off the survival mode, I found out that there was a small human inside of me. I could feed him with nutritious thoughts, and let him grow mentally. Today that human is about the size of me. It can approach the whole fraction, but there will always be something on its way. Our circumstances can never be free of some infinitesimal uncertainty.

I know that many families have their problems. It is common that stoic Finnish fathers move their traumas to their children, usually with alcohol. Each individual has their own scale for their experiences, so I cannot compare whether my situation was better or worse than what someone else had to deal with.

It is also important to note that a typical defense mechanism is to question: who would not have problems, others’ problems must be worse than mine. In other words, we have to knowledge that whatever the problem was, it is never too small for you to have the right to make noise of it.

My father would find me weak after hearing soft talk like that. Focusing on emotions leads to feminine characteristics, or worst case, homosexuality. It is a father’s duty to guide his son into the right direction during the strategic moments of identity formation. He used to accept my mother’s methods simply saying “you will thank us when you are a little older”. Back then I knew I would never thank them.

Thankfully, my personality is far from my mother’s. I and my father instead were made of same ingredients, but stirred different ways. He is forced to ignore his monsters. They have grown eating joy from him. I can see that those monsters will continue until there is nothing else left than bitterness, and it has gone far already. My mother gets great satisfaction from the power she gains in the situation.

By writing this blog I am fulfilling the purpose of my human. I hope someone who is in a similar situation I used to be in, finds courage to leave toxic people behind and a key to open his or her locks. Opening our locks is a difficult thing to do as our subconscious is trying to protect us from finding them in the first place. They are there to help us cope with our current situation. Once opened, it is surprising to see how much they actually affected our relationships, cognitive capability, and everything in daily life.

I have now planted an idea in your mind. It will grow if it has a purpose for you. Or perhaps that was just my subconscious attempt to give me value. I will never know.

I guess that’s enough of stream of consciousness for some time. Thank you for being my mirror, and please come again!

Three colors

We are born free to explore every corner of our world.

We are all the same; we belong to the same nature.

We live by deep water. We did not know what lied underneath.

Love lacking entity found a way to interfere with us.

It was not meant to exist in our reality. It could not last.

The experience brought us far from the boundaries of humanity.

It was to show the amount of energy people with love can achieve.

It washed our eyes. We can see clearer now.

It showed us what is important. We are one family.

We have just found our philosophy. We will stand united.

The strength we gained, will take us through centuries.

Welcome to the machine

2001: A Space Odyssey

Every so often, when I am playing with my computer, a why goes through my being. The why arises from the fundamental difference between me and my friend: it has an ability to generate random numbers.

I remember when I was a cashier at a grocery store. There I was able to predict more than 90 % of the events. He is going to drink the takeaway coffee while still at store, and pay for it afterwards. She is going to greet me saying “hejssan”, even though she otherwise speaks Finnish and not Swedish. But the black swan always appears when I least expect—when it’s five minutes to closing and I have already counted the money and closed the desk, or when I believe I have earned a break—always surprising. Our every thought and action is inherited from one primal seed and only altered by our experiences. When we are exposed to this weird radiation, we feel confused, as we cannot generate truly random numbers.

Similarly, when I turn on an old analog television, I see and hear noise. It is caused by events at the beginning of our universe that the receiver is now capturing as microwaves. As it is something we cannot produce, it looks and sounds interesting, or even calming, being something that human needs.

Also societies need it to work flawlessly. There is an example from as far as ancient times: the Athenian democracy, where a lottery was used to select officeholders. From this we have evolved to employing Turing machine implementations that we can today assign our deepest secrets to, up to the governmental level, and they will be safe, unless someone who already has the information, leaks it.

It reforms our economies. Due to widespread automation and other factors, increase in unemployment does not anymore correspond to the decrease of gross national product, as stated in 1962 by the Okun’s law, which is still used as the basis for economic models. Realizing this will make people change their opinions about having no job. The younger generation has already adapted to it. The generation of sixties might think it is insurgency, but instead, it is simply a new way of thinking.

In the long term, this permanent change leads to a situation where only a fraction of population is needed to work, to maintain the systems, and artificial intelligence will take a greater responsibility. Our devices are already forming networks, chips are implanted to human and a DNA computer is entertaining us playing tic-tack-toe, coming close to intuition. The discussion of AI surpassing human has transformed from a science fiction to an educated debate. Inevitably we will give the control to algorithms only, but there is no reason to worry about it: so far, machine has freed us from physically hard or self-repeating work. It has given us a possibility to use our time for something more constructive, to improve our own capabilities, physical or mental.

The problem resides on one basic characteristic of human. We are prone to resist change, especially when it comes to playing God. A classic example from our revolutionizing world is the genetic engineering. A while ago, I was listening how a dear friend of mine was anxious about genetically modified products entering the market. I told him how we have managed to get rid of pesticides, make rice produce beta-carotene to prevent anemia, enable an industrial production of insulin and eliminate familial diseases, all as an achievement of genetic engineering. With the help of these good examples, humanity is slowly starting to accept the change. On AI we do not yet have similar experiences, and therefore, to many, it sounds scary.

Chaos, God or whatever created us did not make us perfect. Instead, it gave us the power to create. Thanks to this, we now have blogs, encyclopedias and all kind of archives full of papers and more than we can read appearing every day. While you are reading this, some bot is scanning through that everything, learning all the time. Data mining produces lots of data, but without human it has no meaning. As intuitive beings our task is to create ideas based on this data and our experience, giving humankind a value. And that’s what this blog is about, so welcome to the machine.