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Blog

Blog
“If you read someone else’s diary, you get what you deserve.” —David Sedaris

This all started off in written form back when I was a kid. As an introverted only child with both parents at work most of the time, I had a lot of time to myself. So when I learned to write and that writing down my thoughts for posterity was a thing people did, I went at it myself.

I still have some of those papers which are basically just short recollections of the current day at kindergarten or elementary. Sometimes funny, oftentimes doodles of robots, I don’t think they’re particularly publishable to the internet at large, much less have an appreciative audience.

The bulk of these entries start off from high school and were largely typed on a then-modern 80386SX in plain text files (anyone remember Wordstar?) saved on 3½″ floppies. They were eventually transferred to Microsoft Word (receiving italics, boldface, tables, and proper typography in the process) and then to XHTML 1.1. They currently exist as XML-typed records in a MySQL database served through a custom PHP-based CMS. How far the times have come!

You’re welcome to comment and message me on these. However, please remember the historical context in which some posts were written. While some posts are mundane (I’ve always been my worst critic), if you read enough, you’ll notice the change in the topics, entry length, grammar and vocabulary, and tone of my writing.

If you see any typos or lapses in grammar, no need to call me out on them. I’ve probably seen them already as I was digitizing the physical copies of these entries and during their conversion from plain text to Word to XML. I’m keeping these as close as possible to their original form.

P.S. Some entries require further explanation or clarification and any editorial additions will be indicated in a box that looks like this.
P.P.S. It’s not readily apparent but there are a number of unpublished entries to this blog and large gaps of time between entries. Let me explain this briefly.

For the unpublished posts, those cover my life as a teenager full of angst and hormonal confusion from 1995 to 2000. While I initially balked at adding these, the thought of losing them won out. For purposes of posterity, these entries have been included in the database. After careful review, however, I’ve considered some of these entries to be too private for general public consumption. Maybe someday I’ll decide to eventually make them public.

As for the long hiatus between entries, I have only life to blame. While life certainly went on during the intervening periods, I just either didn’t see fit to make those entries public (for my own, as well as others’ privacy), events weren’t that important to write about, or I was just too busy at the time to write anything.

If you’re terribly curious about the more private entries, drop me a line and I’ll consider giving you access.

Plato’s Cave and the Matrix

Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Thursday, 18 March 2004. Posted in 2004

Imagine a dark, subterranean prison in which humans are bound by their necks to a single place from infancy. Elaborate steps are taken by unseen forces to supply and manipulate the content of the prisoner’s visual experience. This is so effective that the prisoners do not recognize their imprisonment and are satisfied to live their lives in this way. Moreover, the cumulative effects of this imprisonment are so thorough that if freed, the prisoners would be virtually helpless. They could not stand up on their own, their eyes would be overloaded initially with sensory information, and even their minds would refuse to accept what the senses eventually presented them. It is not unreasonable to expect that some prisoners would wish to remain imprisoned even after their minds grasped the horror of their condition. But if a prisoner was dragged out and compelled to understand the relationship between the prison and outside, matters would be different. In time the prisoner would come to have genuine knowledge superior to the succession of representations that made up the whole of experience before. This freed prisoner would understand those representations as imperfect—like pale copies of the full reality now grasped in the mind. Yet if returned to the prison, the freed prisoner would be the object of ridicule, disbelief, and hostility.

Untitled

Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Saturday, 06 March 2004. Posted in 2004

This is odd. It may be a lack of foresight or a lack of skill on my part but I never really expected it to happen. Foresight, in my opinion, requires at the very least circumferential experience of something. By this I mean that one might not have experienced the same thing before but would have had an experience at least somewhat similar to the one in question. Well, whatever I do lack is of no moment now since I feel really shitty.

Patriotism

Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Tuesday, 24 February 2004. Posted in 2004

People Power Day, first of all, is not just another day of respite from our regular daily routines. It is not another opportunity to sit back, relax, and catch up on much needed sleep. It is, more than anything, a day to be cherished for this, in my opinion, has been the culmination of that greater struggle for freedom of the masses.

The Value of Reality: Cypher and the Experience Machine

Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Sunday, 22 February 2004. Posted in 2004

Cypher is not a nice guy, but is he an unreasonable guy? Is he right to want to get re-inserted into the Matrix? Many want to say no, but giving reasons for why his choice is a bad one is not an easy task. After all, so long as his experiences will be pleasant, how can his situation be worse than the inevitably crappy life he would lead outside of the Matrix? What could matter beyond the quality of his experience? Remember, once he’s back in, living his fantasy life, he won’t even know he made the deal. What he doesn’t know can’t hurt him, right?

Freedom and Equality

Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Sunday, 22 February 2004. Posted in 2004

Just finished studying for my Constitutional Law class. I remembered the speech quoted above because we’re discussing involuntary servitude and nothing comes to mind more than the plight of African-Americans in the US during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Get on with your life, I have

Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Sunday, 15 February 2004. Posted in 2004

I shouldn’t be affected anymore but I am. Maybe just a little bit, I don’t know for sure. I’m sure that for a time she was happy being with me and so was I. It just seems that the past was such a big waste of time, effort, and emotion. I know I shouldn’t be regretting whatever happened. After all, I did take the plunge voluntarily. However, if you were in my position I’m sure you would understand.

I Can't Sleep

Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Monday, 09 February 2004. Posted in 2004

Yes, I know. It’s 4am in the morning and I’m not in bed yet. I should be getting some shut-eye but I can’t seem to fall asleep at all. I tried about an hour ago but I guess I’m not tired yet. That’s why I’m here. No, nothing is bothering me. Well, not much, actually. A lot has happened the past week and you don’t see me exactly jumping for joy right now, do you? I don’t know where to start so I guess I’ll begin in chronological order.

The Breakup and Soulmates

Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Thursday, 05 February 2004. Posted in 2004

This has been a particularly bad day. Haay… this is a long story that I’d rather not tell here. If you’re reading this, ask me about it and I’ll tell you personally. If you only knew how frustrated I am. There she was and yet she still slipped away, probably never to be heard from again.

Site Updates

Written by Raymond Santos Estrella on Sunday, 01 February 2004. Posted in 2004

Visitors may have noticed that this site has been dormant for the past 6 months. For this, I apologize. I’ve just been busy the past few months with schoolwork. Although I have promised a new, better, faster Flash-Database driven site, these plans have been put on hold in the meantime. Not to worry, though, for I’ve learned my PHP and with the use of the Flash Remoting tool, I’m all set to work on this site fulltime this summer. I’ve learned the PHP-SQL language last summer and was all set to implement everything. I even made the small PHP guestbook that you see in this site somewhere that’s made of pure SQL but making it work with flash is another matter altogether.