Joonas Pajunen

you know, stuff

Page 4

a silly arpuger

There’s this silly “action role-playing game”, which I’ve played countless of hours to date. It’s dumb-easy to get started with, but requires effort to master. Not that e-sports effort though. You don’t directly play against human players, but you can play in this ladder/leaderboard style, where your results are compared with others’. The best part of the game is, that I can play in pretty much any state of mind possible.

I can really concentrate, think, optimise and furiously abuse my mouse, and still have a challenge.
I can be near blackout drunk, mindlessly poking around my underpowered laptop keyboard and a mouse I picked up somewhere, and still have fun.

group effort

The best part of the game is the cooperative mode. Fire up Skype or something alike, start a conversation and launch the game. For the aforementioned reasons, the balance with gaming and conversation can sway. Which...

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crypto and security

I just finished Neal Stephenson’s 900+ page book Cryptonomicon. I’ve since (and during the long read), been dwelling more on information security. Even though the book is fiction, it points out there’s been this hidden effort of espionage and information gathering, long before NSA’s recent accomplishments.


The book’s an epic story in two timelines, mixing historical events with fictitious ones. There’s fictitious interpretations of real people and unreal characters. It spans Europe, North America and East Asia, during the second World War and the end of the 90’s. There’s Alan “Türing” and Douglas MacArthur. Reagan and Yamamoto make an appearance, as do the world’s first digital computers.

The book’s main theme is cryptography, information security and wartime intelligence. There’s a bunch of characters, and some of them represent a regular dudes’s viewpoint from the...

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Why is it that integrating into another system can be so tedious? Sometimes, the integration endpoints are backed by vast financial support and professional care. Too often, though, they’re a mess that’s just been pieced together in a hurry.

Larger companies like Google, Twitter, etc., have their shit together concerning this. A substandard API would be a sign of either low effort or immaturity. Also, it would cause a mess within customer service. Public APIs are generally OK, and getting better. The problem lies within those private ones where the integration is implemented ad-hoc. Many of these APIs (that I’ve seen) are more like a nightmare of arcane old techs, crackling communications channels and pompous colleagues on the other end.


Estimating the time required to implement an integration, even to a well documented system, can be difficult. There’s bound to be...

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free will

People are products of genes, upbringing, chance, etc. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be accountable for their actions, or that it’s all just destiny. But thinking that no one chose how they ended up as they did, makes it easier to understand or withstand them.

I’ve recently been thinking about what Sam Harris has to say about free will. His thoughts can be accumulated via podcasts, videos and of course the book titled “Free Will”. I was most intrigued by the fact that we exist in a state machine of sorts. And that even though we can consciously affect that state, it couldn’t have ended up in any other way.

This is one of those things that still keeps me thinking about it.


The universe, and therefore our minds, have a state at any given time. Sometime in the past, could you have decided and then done something differently? How much can be attributed to randomness? Quantum...

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pattern recognisers

I’ve repeated the following quote before, and I’ll do it again:

“to understand is to perceive patterns” - Isaiah Berlin

I’m intrigued by this because of working as a programmer, after seeing Jason Silva’s many outputs, and after reading Raymond Kurzweil’s “How To Create A Mind” last year.

What Kurzweil’s does in the book is first he attempts to explain how the brain works and how the mind then emerges from it. Later, he proposes some techniques on how this could be digitally replicated and what philosophical and cultural conundrums that would create. I find both interesting, but to me, the part about what constitutes the mind is more thought-provoking.


Kurzweil argues that the thinking mind emerges in the neocortex, with it’s approximately 300 million pattern recognisers. The pattern recognisers are then linked with each other, in a hierarchical grid of sorts.


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inflation of good ideas

Agile used to be the hottest buzzword for project planning and progression. Minimum viable product wasn’t an excuse for low quality shit. Some ideas are overused and misused, so much so that they’re losing their meaning. I’ll look into these two, as I’ve witnessed their usage most:


Agile concepts were introduced in the 80’s, and around 15 years ago within the software industry. The “agile methodologies” then quite soon reached adoption within smaller companies. These companies would ridicule the enterprise world with notions of rigidness and waterfalls.

Scrum is an example of an agile framework with strict rules promoting agility. Following them too closely and dogmatically can be an contradictory to agile. Applying scrum orthodoxically is a challenge. At best, Scrum can promote easier approximation, planning and productivity. At worst, it’s a battle of schedules and...

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I was watching “Going clear”, a documentary about the “church” of Scientology. It details the creation, growth and present state of the religion/cult. It’s a display of how people end up following ridiculous rules, religious or not.

The documentary consists of narrated history and a multitude of interviews from former top-level executives to public figures. Out of which, the likely most recognisable is Paul Haggis. These interviewees obviously no longer participate in those shenanigans. They are free to provide insightful commentary on how people end up in, stay and finally leave these groups.

Haggis summarised some of these thought patterns:

“We lock up a portion of our own minds. We avoid things that could cause us pain just if we looked. If we can just believe something then we don’t have to really think for ourselves, do we?” - Paul Haggis


Following rules and...

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gene testing

I subscribed to the gene testing service from 23andMe some time back, and have been inspecting the results during the last couple of weeks now. Overall, I find the results interesting. I’m slightly concerned about the privacy and security aspects of this kind of a service. Not so much from the technical standpoint of this particular site, but from the nature of the data itself. I am also unsure if the ROI for this (169 €) is what I was looking for. I did, however, buy myself some peace of mind.

I’m no biologist, but more of an engineer, and don’t pretend to be an expert about this stuff. I’ll do my best not to butcher the facts. The whole process takes a month or so, including the two-way shipping of a saliva collection kit and the analysis of the spit with some kind of a chip technology.

genetic information

The results list things like inherited conditions and genetic risk factors...

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I’ve just finished “Leadership and self-deception”, and it was eye-opening. It’s a book about management and leadership, but more importantly, about managing relationships with people. I’ll go over some of the things I found most revealing, and hopefully without confusing anyone with too much of the book specific concepts and ideas.

Personally, I expect the message of the book to induce a change in how I behave and think about others.


The shit starts to roll downhill whenever people “betray themselves”. This would be a moment when they perceive certain actions as being favourable and “right”, but for any reason, act the opposite or not at all. From that moment on, people begin to think and generate reasons why they didn’t really need to act good on that particular instinct, and perhaps even why it was better this way. The situations of self-betrayal are many, ranging...

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I’ve recently been playing Grim Fandango, a remastered release of a classic PC game from the 90’s. I find myself confused how I first have no recollection about what’s going to happen next, until a new screen loads. Broken parts of stories and and images instantly flood my mind from over 15 years ago.

What’s troubling, and interesting, is that some of those memories are blatantly false and inaccurate.

false memories

This particular game consists mainly of dialogue, problems and solutions. The more difficult (and sometimes ridiculous) solutions are usually achieved by interacting with the environment and different items. I remember things totally wrong, and actually remember seeing wrong items interacting in incorrect places and events happening in different order.

I’m not sure if I’m making these incorrect memories up as I go. Maybe I imagined these possible solutions 15 years ago...

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