Battle Network Was Kinda’ Spot On

Back in Middle School the Nintendo Game Boy Advance (GBA) was the console to have. It let you show off your game to friends and if you had a link cable you and your pals could set up a nice little multiplayer game too. One game that was popular between my group of friends was Mega Man Battle Network. It’s a silly game where a kid has what amounts to a virtual pet that fights viruses in a world where everything is connected to the internet. My friends and I used to laugh about the premise a bit. The first boss you fight in the game takes over your character’s oven at home causing a fire. Why would you ever make an oven that connects to the internet? That’d never happen…

It’s moving towards that direction it seems.

I think it funny how accurate that game was. At the time we all thought the game’s setting of a world where everything was connected to the internet was ridiculous, from ovens, to chalkboards, to plush toys. The Internet Of Things (IOT) came in soon and it predicted most of those things spot on. Now I find myself arguing with other people online asking why so many things even need to be connected to the internet.

The next big that’s coming along is our interaction with our devices and internet. It seems like that’s slowly moving towards voice. Big companies are supplying us with access to their AI assistants allowing us to simply ask for our lights to be turned on, our air conditioning to be turned up, and our TVs to record or favorite shows – Though that’s in our homes specifically. In our pockets are our Smart Phones that travel with is which we ask for directions to places we need to drive to, ask to be reminded of something important to do later on the day, and to play our favorite music play lists when things get too quite.

Screenshot from Mega Battle Network 5
Your new AI assistant.

I can see that aspect of things evolving down the line. Virtual assistants will be able to better imitate human interaction down the road and instead of command and questions we’ll have conversations with our AI assistants. To match that we’ll get some type of digital representation of that assistant as well as probably a selection of voices sold to us at a premium. Down the line these will be how we interact with the internet and even represent us online. They’ll take our messages for us and the like. Those clever enough will even give their own flare and create their own designs and looks for their assistant. As time goes on we’ll want to be sure of who we’re dealing with. That these digital representations are representing who they say they do so you’ll probably see some sort of block chain solution to better keep track of who doing what with who and what transactions have been agreed to and completed. Though this doesn’t take into account virtual reality either. That’s been making crazy strides forward we well. People might not need some AI to represent them, but choose to represent themselves and be seen in whatever way they choose in the virtual world.

It’s fun to think of these things. This kid’s game was more accurate in predicting the near future than many other science fiction stories I’d read. At least in ways relevant to me. There’s no real point to this post other than the nostalgia I get in thinking of this game and the possible future we could have.

Introverted

I am a happy introvert. I like to be by myself. I only need a little bit of social interaction to be happy. That’s the case with most introverted people, by the way. It’s not that they don’t crave any social interaction, but that they need less of it. Some people need to be outside and be around other people every two days, every week, every month. Me? I need it about every three to five month. Otherwise I am happy to be home alone with my animals, my garden, and having choices to do whatever I may want to do for the day. An annoying thing for me is to be pinned down often to do something. If anything comes up there is no more choice and what I’m committed to doing becomes a chore.

During 2020 when we were hit with the corona virus, please don’t misinterpret this, but it was a pretty nice and calming time for me. I understand that some people got sick and others lost family, but that aside many were just forced to stay home. For me that was not an issue in the least. It wasn’t until later that I joined a group of friends for video chats every Saturday that I realized how hard the situation was- for others. For me meeting every Saturday was a little annoying, but that’s because I’m an introvert and while I don’t need interaction with other people every weekend; that lack of interaction for others is torture. I’d hear stories on how people missed going to movie theaters, to eat with friends, to see others walking in malls or sitting in the food court. It means a lot to them… it’s just so foreign to me.

I feel bad for the extroverts out there. It’s not easy for them to be by themselves. I might not be able to completely empathize, but I can see that it’s not easy for them. My sanctuary is their hell it seems. While I feel for them though, people don’t seem to understand the other side. In the same way I can’t really empathize with them they can’t seem to empathize with me, but also believe there is some kind of underlying issue that I need help solving. “He’s always alone- let me spend more time with him”, “He’s always reading in the corner, poor guy- let me find him a girlfriend”, “He must have a hard time meeting people- let me try and get him into a group or club”. It’s a big pain in my butt.

After college many friends tried to organize outings with me or I made new friends who wanted to hang out. We would go out for lunch, watch movies- it was such a chore. Don’t get me wrong. I love them, but to go out so often was mentally exhausting for me. On top of that it wasn’t always a group of people, but different people on different days. Mix that with a culture of school/work and weekly church services- more forced interactions- and my time felt so confined. I had lost relationships with people who felt I had neglected their friendship. For the most part I didn’t mind losing said friendships, they wanted something that I couldn’t give them. It’s completely fair that they feel that way. It’s rare that I meet someone who understands me as an introvert. They’re there though. We call every so often, meet up maybe once a year, and if they need me for something like life gets hard or heavy furniture needs to be moved we’ll contact each other and help each other out. There are some that I wont see in person for years and we can continue right where we left off. I appreciate those people.

This last year I’m trying to be a better friend towards my extroverted pals, especially when I know how hard it might have been, but it’s can be mentally exhausting for me. A great day for me is to come home, take off my shoes, open a book, or start up a video game. Just wish it was that easy for others.

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/river-fishing-mountains-fisherman-5900547/

Money

Before I screwed up my blog and lost all my posts I had a post complaining about how difficult it was to save money with my family. I’ll just type that up again.

My mother and father were not money savvy. I have been living a rented house, somebody else’s house, since I was about Eleven. Since I was a child the only financial lesson I learned from them is that you have to work hard for your money. Not what to do once you have that money, not to save that money, how much of it to save check to check, and not to put it towards a goal. I am 30 living with my parents still and nothing has changed much on their end. At the very least I’m now a bit more savvy on how to save money. Wish I learned some things early on though.

One of the worst money tricks I learned was college. The education system is a joke, especially if you’re a young person with no idea of what you want to learn. It’s designed to drain you of money with no way to pay it back. With promises of success and respect of your family and peers. That’s not the case. There is no guarantee of a job when you graduate the only good thing that comes from it is networking. To a certain degree you are better off partying with friends and making possible job connections than being studious. I went to school to learn about computers. I left with a bachelor’s degree in Software Analyst and Design. I have no idea what software analyst and design is.

Protip. If you want to go to college for computer science, networking, and or programming. You are better off skipping school, learning from the bevy of free material online, and trying to get a job afterwards. You can always work on your own projects or help out a couple open source projects online to color your resume. If you need a degree to move forward in your career than you can worry about it then. At least by then you’ll have an actual job to help you pay and plan for the debt you will be undertaking.

After college I found a nice seasonal job that payed me very well. I was making enough money that I was able to pay for the houses rent for three months. I was very proud of that. It was a big mistake. My first mistake.

This is where I learned about the poor person’s mentality. In my head I thought I was giving my parents some alleviation from their financial issues. That was not the case at all. Their situation did not change. No money was saved, and no debts were paid off. The money went else where. Probably to feed my fathers addiction to eBay auctions. Though he uses them for tools he could possibly one day use for work it was a money sink. My and my brother once sat in while he did he taxes with an accountant and came to the realization that in one year he had spent about 10,000 dollars on eBay purchases. A nice some of money that could have been used for a down payment on a house. He cleaned up his act since than- it was a surprise to him too, but still makes the occasional purchase. Claiming now he can sell it back on eBay for a profit. Mind you this is a person who refuses to be asked how much he spent on purchases, how much profit he has made from said sales, and has no plans with whatever profit might come his way. It’s very frustrating and at this point I’m just venting. My point is no matter how much money a person can receive if they live with this poor person’s mentality more money will not fix the situation. I imagine this is why you hear of some of those horror stories of people going broke after winning some lottery contest.

It was around this point that I started trying to save my own money. I even played around with investing in stocks and cryptocurrencies. I did okay. When I showed my parents how much I saved- my second mistake- they were proud to see someone in the family actually save money. At that point I became my families emergency fund. If something came up like rent or bill and there wasn’t enough money to pay it off than they’d consult me for help. I would pull away from my crypto or stocks to help. Those possible gains are now gone. I wanted to help though, I wanted to be a good person. Whoever is reading this- if you’re going through something similar let me tell you. A poor person stays poor- comfortably so. As long as they have their big screen TV and smart phone (What the poor in the US have) they will not become homeless or risk losing electricity. If they need to come up with the money some other way THEY WILL. DON’T HELP THEM.

They will tell you how much they appreciate your help. Than test you. I often did not ask for money to be paid back. If they were feeling kind enough I would maybe get a 4th of what I gave them back. I once made the mistake of asking for asking for the money back from my father. He suggested paying it back gradually. I had to remind him, he’d insult me when I did. He once told other people how he hated when people would want to borrow money from him and pay it back slowly over time- in front of me. I wasn’t sure if maybe he wasn’t self aware of the situation or if he was mocking me. In the end I never got it all back. I stopped reminding him. I’m venting again, but to whomever is reading this, don’t put yourself in that position. I eventually lied to my parents when they needed money. Like I said earlier if they were behind on a bill they manged. Maybe work a little more, stop with the online purchases, or speak with the landlord on paying late.

I’m saving for a home now. For me and the folks. A mortgage is cheaper than rent and if I head up north I can get more bang for my buck. I showed my parented the bit of money I was able to scrape after a bit and told them I could not help them like before and the plans for our new home. It seems to have finally sunk in. The fact that we live in a house that seems to be falling apart right in front of us and have a landlord with no plans to fix the issue if also helping let everything sink in. I’m put in a 4th of my checks towards a home and will be upping that to half of my checks down the line. Now that I don’t have to worry about pulling investments out I can just let them grow now too. I’m hoping to get us out of here in three years. Afterwards I’ll need to also focus on planning towards my own home- for myself.

If you’re a younger person reading this and you’re not financially secure try and set that up now. Get something that’s yours. There’s a stress when it comes to living in someone else’s house. You may not feel it not, but you will. If you are renting you may call it your home, but it’s not yours. Go online and try and do some learning about money, just like that computer science stuff I mentioned earlier you can learn that on your own. Get a credit card too and start building up a nice credit score. Turns out that important if you wan to buy big things like a car or a home. That’s more learning you’ll have to do, but it’s not so difficult. Best of luck.