Surchin for Urchin

I wanted to write a post about search. It’s really important. As humans we have dopamine, we have goals, we’re just constantly moving from thing to thing. If we lose all goals, if we have no purpose or direction, we flounder, we’re depressed, we feel like there is no purpose, there couldn’t be a purpose. Daughter just woke up, that’s my purpose (young kids are great at grabbing your attention :P).

Artificial Intelligence

I’ve been dabbling because a lot of the AI stuff I’ve seen on the web/YouTube sucks, it’s all hype and no substance, or its a data scientist talking about how you can ask GPT to do basic stats on a CSV. Really?! How about THINKING BIGGER people. I got it to make a website in 5 “chats” where it cloned a repository of code, created like 5 or 6 different resources on Amazon (using Typescript), all by working with the tools it had (mostly Python). I call it Python Amazon Typescript (PAT) gpt. Check out the website below. I’m still not sure how to use tags, so Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff Patrick Ruff (I had to buy the domain)

I asked it to write a poem with some things in my life:

In the land of the rising sun, (I said Chinese, I guess it took that to mean Japan…that’s a NO NO, AI probably doesn’t know of Japan/China’s complicated history)
Where ancient traditions are still spun,
A new path has been paved,
By scientists, fearless and brave.

In labs where beakers bubble and steam,
A new kind of magic is being deemed,
Where DNA can be spliced and spurned,
And computer science can be learned.

The Chinese, with their passion for love,
Embrace this science, soaring above,
For they believe that love is the key,
To unlocking the mysteries of our biology.

They seek to engineer our very code,
To create new life, or lighten our load,
To cure disease and extend our days,
And bring about a better, brighter phase.

With each new discovery and breakthrough,
They push the boundaries, break through,
And bring us closer to the future,
Where science and love become a nurturer.

For in their hearts, they know it’s true,
That love is what drives us anew,
And in the quest for knowledge and science,
They find a way to blend it with defiance.

So let us applaud these pioneers,
For their courage and their cheers,
And let us embrace this future bright,
For it is one that we will unite.

Jack of all trades


jack of hearts - Wikidata

Master of none. This is often how I feel. I’ve climbed some small hills, but never any mountains. I’m above the ground (average) in a lot of ways, but never flying. I often think if I had the time and could dedicate the attention I could enter the high ranks of a community, but there’s too much going on. Similar to other posts of mine this is a duality or a dialectic, I have on the one hand the view that there’s too much going on, then I take time to post something like this. In reality, there is a lot going on and maybe I shouldn’t be taking time to do this, however, for my own mental clarity I feel like I NEED to get some ideas down and hopefully return to them (or exceed them) in the future. The dual nature of this problem is that while I am no master in any field, I am protected in my diversity of “trades.” By not investing everything into one particular area of my life I can always take solace in that “at least I didn’t try to be a rapper” or “at least I didn’t go into professional sports” or “at least I didn’t drop out of school to start a failed business.” There are many roads not traveled that I’m very happy about (I express a similar thought in a different post), but even the person who is statistically really lucky in the game of life still wishes they were even MORE lucky. What if I did pick the exact correct field? What if I had gotten into X at time Y? Can you imagine? I think life is a lot of gambling and of course you always wonder about what if you had bet more and won bigger (even if by most standards you’ve been really really lucky). That’s where I’m at. On paper I have everything, I realize that. I still have problems, but they are minor, I can look at them objectively and say “this is a minor problem, I owe this organization some money, pay in the next 30 days?” “Okay” I say, I’m not broke. The problems I have could be crippling to someone in a different situation, but I’m not that person.


But back to the prompt, being of all trades I am not in them equally. I’m not a master of anything, but I’m not equally distributed amongst all trades. I’m actually an intermediate of several trades, not a master, but maybe a journeyman (I ain’t no NOOB). I have money, I have my health, (6 figures, 6 pack abs, 6 inches…is half the size of a ruler) and a beautiful family. It’s like, I maybe want to make an app that will give people a score saying, you are THIS unique. Like, how many people have six pack abs? 2% okay. How many people make X amount a year? 10% okay multiply that by 2%, and so forth. Eventually you’ll say something like “the number of people that can code, have two beautiful kids (boy AND girl), have been married for over X years, etc. etc.” and you see, “WOW, I’m SOOOOOOO lucky.” But that’s only when you objectively get it all written out like that. You don’t FEEL lucky, you have to KNOW that you’re lucky. Your brain is only capable of wanting more, if you were lacking dopamine you’d just sit there and not even bother.


I know my time is limited and I’ve already taken too long. Much like this post (and MOST of my posts to be honest), I’m never fully developing things. I’m half baking life, it’s not tasty to you the consumer, but at least you won’t starve I hope. Anyway, enjoy your floopy, disgusting half-dough half-bread hybrid of ideas.

American Psycho semi-review

American Psycho: A Vital Satire of Fragile Masculinity | Den of Geek

I saw this movie when I was in my teens. My Uncle Rick (rest in peace you great man) showed my Dad and I his new movie system in the basement. It was great but a little awkward when it was just me, my Dad, and my uncle and the scene with the sex workers was there “Don’t just stare at it, eat it.” I wanted to comment on the ending scene, basically Patrick Bateman is a tortured soul, however that’s all internal. One of the characters, Bryce (the most stand-out character who in the book just sort of disappears), is commenting on Reagan. “He presents himself as this harmless codger, but inside…inside” and then Bateman thinks to himself “but inside doesn’t matter.”

In regards to Reagan it actually did matter because he was lying to America and knew it (the Iran Contra scandal) and there was a lot of internal stuff that affected millions of lives. But I agree with the overall point in that “Inside doesn’t matter” because a lot of our lives are dictated not by what we think, but how we ACT. If you internally believe you are a devoted husband or father or humanitarian that’s fine, but you need to actually live that. Most of the time I think people spend time THINKING about things and not doing them. There are way too many reasons to do or not to do something but beyond that I think people often value the flexibility. When time runs out you can then at least say “there wasn’t time” but there definitely was, you just didn’t prioritize properly. On that note, I’m cutting this short (goes with the picture I guess), I’m tired and need sleep.

American Psycho is great though, that, the Matrix, anything discussing reality V. simulation is great.

Whiplash Movie Ending Explained

Whiplash” Gets Jazz All Wrong | The New Yorker

This will be a short one but I remember discussing this at Ben’s housewarming party. It’s a movie that was recently free on YouTube and I watched it again. The first time I saw this movie I thought the ending was left ambiguous (or rather maybe I remembered it that way?). The way the lead character and his music teacher are constantly struggling it’s almost like you’re never truly believing if the main character is a GREAT drummer or not (like he wants to be). Certainly the main character is good, but is he great? The true test according to the movie is that a GREAT drummer would be able to undergo anything and still be great. Like, if you put a piece of metal in fire, the fire might burn away some other stuff but the metal will remain. That’s the point of the movie and that’s what the main character wants. At the end it seems like they are still messing with each other but watching it again it’s pretty obvious that’s not the case.

Close to the very end the lead character is humiliated and is going to give up drumming (again) but then before walking away to be comforted by his dad he goes back on stage. The lead character starts taking over, giving others in the band orders, and basically screws up the program. The music teacher at first is antagonistic and seems shocked “what are you doing? you’re done, you’ll never work again” type of comments but being a showman he doesn’t stop things because the audience still is watching. The lead character continues stealing the show but then toward the very very end you can tell that the music teacher is recognizing (maybe for the first time in the movie) that the lead character is going above and beyond all expectations. He’s a master of his craft. It might be that there’s a further scene in the movie where the teacher is like “no, you blew it” but I doubt it. At the very end the lead character is rocking out an amazing solo and the teacher is guiding him, not in a forceful/commanding way, but more as a friend or just an advisor, bringing out the obvious talent. The lead character again exceeds all expectations and in the very end the teacher smiles.

That’s the ending, it’s happy. The student and the teacher both recognize (and the teacher smiles genuinely) that the lead character is, after all this hard work and dedication, a true genius talent of drums.

Brothers Karamazov Summary: Crime WITHOUT PUNISHMENT

Fyodor Dostoevsky's 'The Brothers Karamazov': A short summary - Russia Beyond

So this is supposed to be one of the greatest novels (if not the greatest novel) ever. I listened to the audio for free on Youtube (all 38 hours of it). I definitely get where Dostoevsky’s existentialism shines through. There’s a great message in terms of surviving and living for values/honor throughout. I would say it was a GOOD book, but certainly slow/meandering at times and definitely a product of its time (1879). If you think about it, this was before mass electricity or most modern technology.

I will sort of spoil the book, it involves a hedonistic man who gets rich and just completely indulges in sensual pleasures. He has 3 (possibly 4, but 3 legitimized) sons but doesn’t raise or really care for any of them until they come back into his life as adults. The boys’ mothers are well connected or have money so in a lot of ways it is a story about the Russian nobility. Sometimes peasants are mentioned or there are allusions to revolution or freeing the lower classes, but it’s usually at most a “Well we are rich and have a lot of servants, but maybe sometimes you can serve them tea, but only sometimes, you know, because we’re so nice.” Still it’s a really progressive book considering when it was written and there are allusions to nihilism, communism, the fall of religion, lack of meaning, all things that were well ahead of their time.

So I liked the book but I think where it falls short would be in its over-emphasis on THE SOUL or THE DEVIL or just religion in general. It doesn’t beat you over the head with it, in fact it often takes the side of “Well what if there is no God?” and develops a lot of atheist ideas. I think at its core though, the characters are all very much aware or at least adherent to the dominant Christian religion. Like, you can tell it’s hard for people to come to grasp with “What if there’s no religion?” because it’s sort of unthinkable at the time it was written.

I would also say I liked that the book takes you through the murder of the father in a fairly in-depth manner. The only problem I have is that the end sort of falls flat for me. The suspected murderer, one of the brothers, is an interesting character and it was cool to see the trial and everything leading up to his arrest. However, after his arrest there’s a lot of emphasis on side characters and the youngest brother not really related to the main plotline. The ending as I mentioned is also flat/stale because major drama, like the 2nd brother dealing with his father’s true murderer, the eldest brother (the suspected murderer) just likely getting out of his sentence due to bribery, and just not much happening at the end. Like, why go through the whole idea of punishment and consequences when in the end you just use money to get out of the consequences. I think a better ending would have been similar to Crime and Punishment where there are actually consequences. Maybe this wouldn’t be satisfying considering the eldest son is wrongly accused (OR IS HE?). The eldest son DID commit a lot of crimes and it’s only luck that he didn’t accidentally murder his caregiver when he was a child. It’s like, I get it that he’s supposed to have a “good heart” and he’s very contrite AFTER the fact, but he still almost murdered an old man and DID assault his father and almost kill him in an earlier scene. The consequences beyond him being in prison for a bit just aren’t there. It’s sort of indicative of humanity that even back 150 years ago we still had a two-tiered justice system, we still had elites, we still talked about “the decline of society” (from when? when was society so great? 1779?). A good book, the BEST BOOK EVER….no. See Dune. See Joe Ambercrombie’s The Blade Itself. See Nine Princes In Amber. Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse 5. Thank me later when you read books like those and not some interesting but ultimately dated “classic” like this book.


Son’s waking, gotta go.


UPDATE: I forgot this in the review but one interesting thing, in the book they mention (toward the end at the trial) you have power absolute but with great power comes great responsibility (or something to that effect). Spiderman was a rip-off!

First Week On Upwork

Hire Freelancers and Professionals | Upwork

So I tried to do some freelance coding work in an attempt to see how marketable my skills (if any) are. I took on a job for $50 that wanted 2 computer systems to talk to each other (it was initially described as a chat so I thought it was a chat the client controlled, apparently not). I didn’t know that system A was this new hot thing called OpenAI chat

But whatever I told myself. I connected the systems, wrote detailed instructions on using the code, then the client said he didn’t want to just connect to OpenAI, he wanted me to essentially hack into it in order to reverse engineer the model trained on the entire internet since 2021, and to deliver them the fully trained model.
For $50…

I made an app

Nerd alert : r/HighQualityGifs


2 actually, 3 if you double count Android. Basically I made a soundboard app with a ton of MP3 files from movies/games that my brothers/family know/cherish. I made it for Joe for his bachelor party before I realized he didn’t have Android. Then I remade the app with React Native so it would be cross-platform (iOS and Android). I think in the future it would be cool to automate the processing/clipping of the audio and upload them to the cloud where they can be used in the app. I think a lot of people have quotes they use but don’t have them always handy, that’s what the app does. Not amazing but still cool to learn the process (summary: Android is better, iOS development forces you to use a newer Mac and also you need to pay $100 to be a “developer” whereas Android just charges $25 to publish to their app store).


Half Full

Quarter moon or a half moon? | Moon Phases | EarthSky

As I was walking to the car just now I noticed the moon. It’s half full. I saw it and thought about how I view a half full glass as half full. A-glass-half-full kind of guy, that’s me. I’ve always been open, extraverted, dopaminergic (i.e. what’s next? let’s goooooo), but just thinking about it calling a glass half full just makes sense. You never say something is 3/4 empty, or rather, it doesn’t make sense to focus on what isn’t there. On a deeper level, humans have foresight and can foresee things that MIGHT happen, but most (almost all) of those things won’t happen. It’s better to recognize that, not worry, and be more animalistic in terms of simple stimulus/response. Like, if you want something, work for it, sure, but recognize that not getting what you think you want is actually the most likely outcome. Maybe you get more (optimism)!


To take the inverse, when we look backward, we’re often more upset over things that might have been. Again, this is stupid, there are an infinite number of things that could have happened, rarely do people look back and see the “empty” aspect of things (in this inverse, the empty would be the horrible things that you don’t regret, but don’t even know that you dodged). Your kids stress you? Were they born with Down syndrome? Were they born blind? It’s possible they were, but do you stop and think about how lucky you are (not unlucky that you missed the positive 1% chance)?


Stoics, Epicureans, Taoists, many others all preach on the “natural” way, and maybe to simplify things, think of “natural” as average. It’s usually looked down upon, but being a part of it isn’t bad, it’s normal. You get what I MEAN.

Vegeta Day

It's Over 9000! | Know Your Meme

So just a quick math problem:

Current price of the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index: 3789

Historical Average % Annual Increase: 11.88%


After plugging those 2 into a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) calculator, we see that in year 7 we have 8508 and that in year 8 it’s 9519 so basically, at some point just before the turn of the decade we’ll hit Vegeta Day…

The day that the S&P 500 tops $9000 a share. It’s all based on earnings going up though, so who knows with populations in decline and the world slowing down (theoretically). I guess the counter to that would be maybe profits still increase because things get more efficient but I don’t know about that.


Let’s see. One interesting thing before signing off was to cite Warren Buffet’s S&P 500 bet against a hedge fun. Basically the index beat the hedge fund.


“His victory didn’t always seem so certain. Not long after the wager started on January 1, 2008, the market tanked, and the hedge funds were able to show off their strong suit: hedging. Buffett’s index fund lost 37.0% of its value, compared to the hedge funds’ 23.9%. Buffett then beat Protégé in every year from 2009 through 2014, but it took four years to pull ahead of the hedge funds in terms of cumulative return. (See also, Hedge Fund Fees: Exotic Expenses.)

In 2015, Buffett lagged his hedge fund rival for the first time since 2008, gaining 1.4% versus Protégé’s 1.7%. But 2016 saw Buffett gain 11.9% to Protégé’s 0.9%. Another downturn could conceivably have handed the advantage back to Protégé, but that didn’t happen. At the end of 2016, Buffett’s index fund bet had gained 7.1% per year, or $854,000 in total, compared to 2.2% per year for Protégé’s picks – just $220,000 in total.”


So in essence put all of your money in the S&P 500 (use a fund with a low expense fee) and profit.