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“When people are rude to you, they reveal who they are, not who you are. Don’t take it personally.”- Anonymous People can be very nasty at times, the French Prime Minister even once said “The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” It was no surprise then, that many ancient philosophers preferred retreating into nature than surrounding themselves with the company of men. They preferred to preserve their tranquility than face the various human drama of the real world. However, living in an era of connectivity, it’s very hard to be a lone hermit. We relied on others to get our needs and wants. We relied on others for our safety. How then can we maintain our tranquility (remaining cool as cucumber) while living in this hyper-connected world? Well the Ancient Stoics have few suggestions on the subject. One Stoic (I think it was…

“Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we’ll augment our intelligence.” —Ginni Rometty In my previous post, I have briefly described the various advancement in AI technologies that have been happening the past few years and its potential implications on our future. Those advancement showed that AI technologies can potentially be so much better at pattern recognition, data collection and decision making than humans. However, don’t despair just yet. Many technology experts still believe that there are three areas that AIs still having trouble mastering: idea creation, large frame pattern recognition and complex communication. Let’s dissect those three skills further. Idea creation: In their book the Second Machine Age, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson said, “Ideation in its many forms is an area today where humans have a comparative advantage over machines. Scientists come up…

People are spending way too much time thinking about climate change, way too little thinking about AI.- Peter Thiel In my previous post, I described the problem with humanism and posed some questions that many technology experts around the world have been asking: What will happen once super machines became smarter than (faulty) human beings? What will the future looks like for human beings? Is there any hope for humans? This might sound new to many Indonesian; for we live in a developing country where technological developments are barely happening. However, just because technological advancements are not happening in our country, doesn’t mean it’s not important to us. Technological developments as I will explain later, will have global repercussions and will hit developing countries the hardest. Thus, let’s start by noting three significant AI breakthroughs that will have tremendous impacts on humanity.’s future AI defeating the best GO Player- GO…

“Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks.”- Stephen Hawking Three years ago, when I started this blog, I would never imagine that I would be writing an article about AIs and technological trends of the future. This was because I’m starting a blog about happiness and I don’t see how technology will significantly affect human happiness or fulfillment. Technology definitely made us more efficient and effective race; but it has little or no correlation to our happiness… until today. The rapid technological development that has been happening the past few years have changed my position on the subject and compelled me to write this post. I no longer see technology as a mere tool that will make our tasks easier, but a potential threat to human happiness and well-being, if…

“Information is not knowledge.”- Albert Einstein The information revolution that the Internet has ushered into our lives has brought so much good to the world. Information is no longer hoarded by few powerful individuals and people have now the means to educate themselves, gain insights into what’s happening in the world and change their lives in the process. However, this democratization of information have also brought various problems: hoax, piracy, responsibility, racial disharmony, riots and the biggest one: differentiating good information and necessary information. Let me break down the problem for you: Human have very limited attention span. There is so much information out there, and all of it sounded urgent, important and personal.  We try to consume those information faster, and as a result, we forgot why we consume those information in the first place: To gain new insights, or as Albert Einstein like to put it, to gain…

“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.”- Christina Baldwin Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group has a very fascinating habit. After making important business decision, he would open up his journal and write the reason behind the decision he just made. According to his biography, this exercise will help him reflect the ‘whys’ behind his every decision. It turns out that he was not alone in this. People like Emma Watson, Mark Twain, Lady Gaga, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Curie and the great emperor Marcus Aurelius have kept some sort of journal to evaluate their life decisions, day and values. According to the stoics,  journaling is one of the fastest way to improve oneself. Journaling can give you awareness to your inner thoughts and feelings; remind you to what matters most and help you measure your life’s progress. So starting a journaling habit is probably one of the best…

“No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne Few weeks ago, I ended my article by describing the dilemma of being yourself: To be yourself sometimes means to be rejected and shunned by others. To give in to social pressure and don a social mask means to lose touch with your own identity, your soul. What then shall we do? I realize that the advice “be yourself” is not that simple and is usually only applicable to successful people and the ultra rich who have amassed enough power and fame to be themselves.  Most of us works in a 9-5 job, has a boss to please. customer to wow and office politics to survive. Hence, I would argue that being yourself is the fastest way to lose your…

“Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life”- Chris Guillebeau The great psychiatrist, Victor Frankl once said, “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” In other words, one of our most important task as a human being is to answer this question “How do we want to live our life?” Because the answer to that question will help us find what makes your life worthwhile, and how to prioritize our lives. Answering this question is important because in a world full of entertaining distractions (Game of Thrones, Avengers Endgame, Mobile Legends and Instagram stories), it is really hard to focus on what matters…

“If you wish to have a leisure for your mind either be a poor man or resemble a poor man. Study cannot be helpful unless you take pains to live simply…” – Seneca In an age where religion was viewed with deep skepticism,  people delve deeper and deeper in to individualism and consumerism has become a way of life, many people have made the pursuit of pleasure as their purpose of life.  However, the pursuit of pleasure according to most Stoics, is a very dangerous thing. Seneca argued that pursuing pleasure is like pursuing a wild beast. On being captured, it can turn on us and tear us to pieces. He then elaborated that this was so because the more pleasures a man captures, the more masters will he have to serve. Thus, the stoics were very adamant about keeping their pleasure level in check. They used the following two…

We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin. – André Berthiaume One my favorite TV show as a kid is a film called Masked Rider. The very first installment of the Masked Rider series introduced us to a man called Takeshi Hongo. He’s a kind hearted gentleman who loves motorcycle. One day, as he was practicing some motorcycle stunts, he was attacked by a group of men dressed in black. And after beating the shit out of him, the men in black brought Takeshi to a secret laboratory and turned him into a cyborg (gasp)… As the men in black were about to erase his memories and turn him into a full cyborg, Takeshi was rescued by a professor (who apparently is his friend) and escaped the facility. However, just as they were about to successfully escape the…