Tag Archives: questions

Thirty One

A screenshot showing a level 31 character in Genshin Impact

A few years ago, I asked myself some hard questions:

As if 2020 wasn’t already hard enough, I asked myself some tough questions. How do I become a person that I’m proud to be? How do I stop being jealous, obsessive, or so judgemental? How do I become a loving husband and dedicated father, should I ever find myself in that position? Is there a book for that? Some Medium post I can read? How do I know what I want out of life? Can I watch some inspirational YouTube video and instantly get all the answers?

I’ve been thinking about it a little more ever since I wrote that, and I think I, instinctively, already know the answers to most of these questions.

I’m already someone I’m proud to be. Not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but no one is. I’m a flawed human being, just like everyone else I know. While I find it difficult to admit my flaws to someone I’m trying to impress, I need to realise that someone else’s validation won’t necessarily make me feel better about myself, either. I get that honesty is a thing, and that refreshing honesty is a thing as well, but maybe there’s something to be said for not admitting my flaws and just, you know, quietly working on them.

I stop being jealous by finding ways to be content with what I already have. By recognising that other people have differing circumstances, I can either change my own circumstances to match, or learn to live with the differences and accept that no matter how much I want them to be the same, differences are what set us apart. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

I stop being obsessive by learning to let go of the things, ideas, and concepts — and yes, admittedly, people — that I obsess over.

I stop being so judgemental by telling myself that there’s no need for me to judge others by what they do or say, because at the end of the day, it’s none of my business, and unless it’s somehow directly impacting me, I don’t need to care. Which is great, you know, one less thing I have to care about, in terms of the dozens of things I have to care about now that I’m an adult and everything.

As for the dedicated father and loving husband part, no one is born with those skills, so I’m sure I’ll be able to figure out some semblance of them as I go along. Hopefully. With any luck.

I know what you’re thinking. Another birthday post? In such close temporal proximity to the previous one? But yes, it’s true. This one is shorter because I want to do a little catch up, but sometimes short and sweet is the way to go.

Twenty Nine

Genshin Impact character Qiqi at level 29 and almost at level 30

When did things get so hard?

Yours truly:

With every year that passes, every birthday post that isn’t posted on my actual birthday because I continue to make up reasons as to why I can’t seem to post things on any sort of schedule that have nothing to do with the real reason I can no longer post on my actual birthday, I find myself becoming increasingly worried that time is running out. I don’t think it’s because I’m afraid of getting old, per se, it’s just that I realise have less time to do the things I might want to do.
No one wants to wait until they’re old and frail to travel the world, but when you’re young, you often have a different set of priorities which mean it can be hard to find the right balance between having a career you’re happy with and still have enough time to yourself to do the things you want to do. Everyone’s time is limited, and I get that, but it can be hard to find the balance between finding out who you are, and just being yourself.

But who hasn’t? Who hasn’t thought that they work too hard, and live too little? What, you think you’re unique or something?

It’s not as if I’m not doing things, either. I do things that help me accomplish my goals — executing strategies in real life, just like I do when I’m trying to destroy the other team’s ancient in yet another game of Dota 2 — but often, it feels as though I’m not moving fast enough. I know that there are no shortcuts a lot of the time, but it’s still frustrating to be moving at a glacial pace when you want to be sprinting. We’ve been through all of this before, so I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but it’s something I think about when I’m writing melancholic blog posts reflecting on another year gone by.

It’s 2021 now. This post was originally drafted in 2020, but after that year that was, it’s only getting posted now for certain reasons I’m sure you’ll understand. 2020 was a heck of a year, and definitely not for the right reasons.

As if 2020 wasn’t already hard enough, I asked myself some tough questions. How do I become a person that I’m proud to be? How do I stop being jealous, obsessive, or so judgemental? How do I become a loving husband and dedicated father, should I ever find myself in that position? Is there a book for that? Some Medium post I can read? How do I know what I want out of life? Can I watch some inspirational YouTube video and instantly get all the answers?

Of course not. That would be too easy, and as I’ve been saying, life isn’t really like that. Besides, YouTube is filled with conspiracy theories and algorithms that are designed with engagement in mind but somehow end up you showing you videos from Linus Tech Tips, and Medium, well, Medium is paywalled to such an extent that I have not one, not two, but several different methods of bypassing it.

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There are no questions any more, only answers and Google.

A wise man said something along the same lines not too long ago, and I realised the other day how true his words actually were.

Scenario: you’re at a party or some other social gathering. Maybe out in town with a few mates or whatever, and you find yourself in an argument over, say, the Nexus 7 is the only tablet to be released thus far with Android 4.1, Jelly Bean. Your back and forth about how you know for sure that the Galaxy Nexus is the only phone that currently has Jelly Bean is for all intents and purposes, irrelevant, because you want to find out what current Android tablets can run Jelly Bean.

None of you know the answer for sure, so you pull our whatever smartphone you have, look it up on the internets, and find out that yes, indeed, the Nexus 7 is currently the only shipping tablet that runs Google’s latest OS.

There are no questions anymore, only answers and Google.

Scenario two: you’re at a gathering with a few more mates, this time around an open fire somewhere in the wilds of Tasmania. Somehow, the conversation turns to how many Pokémon are in the Generation IV remakes of the Generation II games. You can never remember how many Pokémon are available in HeartGold or SoulSilver — one of you is adamant that it’s only the original 251 (that appeared in the original Gold and Silver games for GameBoy Color), and the other one of you is sure you can catch many, many more Pokémon than just the original 251. Consequently, you get into some heated argument about how many Pokémon are actually available.

None of you know the answer for sure, so one of you decides to settle it by looking up the answer on the internet. Mobile data coverage is spotty where you are, but you managed to jump onto Bulbapedia and find that yes, “Pokémon native to Sinnoh and Hoenn can be found in various methods.”

Thanks to our constant connectivity, the proliferation of smartphones, and the basic need for burning questions to be answered in a timely manner, there are no questions anymore, only answers, and Google. In the old days, you might have had to wait until you were at home and at a computer before you could settle an argument — but by then, the moment would have passed, and no-one would likely care.

It’s a double-edged sword. Settling arguments is one thing, but such definitiveness (yes, that’s a word now) means that there’s no mystery. Of course, you could always not Google things right there and then, but where’s the fun in that?

This shorter post, apropos of nothing, proudly brought to you by random thoughts in Benny Ling’s brain.

Unanswered Questions

Blogtober 11 catch-up, part IV

Sometimes, just sometimes, I have many questions. Many, many questions, and too few answers.

Sometimes, stupid little questions, like: why did that girl stare at me? Is my fly undone? Do I have something unpleasant coming out of my nose? Is there something wrong with my face? Did I say the right thing? Did I act the right way?

These questions don’t really matter. I usually forget them after a few minutes, and then I move on to some of the more important stuff.

More important stuff, like: what kind of message do I want to convey when writing? What do I want to write about? Should I hit publish on this piece, knowing that it might not be my best work yet? Or should I publish that piece anyway, and just throw caution to the wind?

These questions matter a little more. They don’t really affect anyone apart from myself, and even then they’re usually forgotten the next day, or a few days later. There’s nothing wrong with these questions, per se, and sometimes they should definitely be asked, but the real, life changing questions are where it’s at.

Questions like: what should I be doing with my life? Am I really happy doing this Uni degree? Why can’t I seem to get the right work done? Why does the reward always seem to dictate the amount of effort I put into things? Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? How am I supposed to feel about various things? What kind of an effect does that have on my life? Where do I want to be in 5 years? Where do I want to be in 10 years? What is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything?

If only I could answer all these questions. I know no-one has all the answers to everything, but why are there so many unanswered questions anyway? Where do I get the answers from? How do I get out of this rut?

And finally, the most important question of all: what graphics card should I get for Battlefield 3?

This post part of Blogtober 2011, just a little thing of mine where I (attempt to) post something up on my blog every day in October 2011.

What is Aardvark? [NOW WITH INVITES]

Aardvark is a social search service that connects users live with friends or friends-of-friends who are able to answer their questions. Users submit questions via email or instant messenger and Aardvark identifies and facilitates a live chat or email conversation with one or more topic experts in the asker’s extended social network. Users can also review question and answer history and other settings on the Aardvark website.

via Aardvark (search engine) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


When a user joins Aardvark, Aardvark is added to the user’s IM buddylist. Users submit questions by email or IM. Aardvark guides the user through the question process by providing messages that confirm receipt of the question and explain any actions required by the user. IM users are also able to use a variety of “IM commands”–one word messages that can be used to fine-tune the question parameters, invite new users, or get help.

Aardvark currently supports Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, and AOL Instant Messenger.

If you need an invite link, feel free to use mine, available here.

Some people have responded to Aardvark by saying that it’s example questions can be answered using Google – and for the most part, I agree – increasingly, I find that people who use Aardvark are just damned lazy.

For example, I got this from some guy in Sweden:

How do I printscreen when using Parallels Desktop on a Mac?

Not having used Parallels before, I decided to Google it – I eventually stumbled across a couple of forum threads that suggested using XP’s built-in on-screen-keyboard with it’s printscn key worked a treat. It took me what, 30 seconds to look on Google? For crying out loud.

Another one I got was:

Anyone know any good Linux data recover software?

At the time Lifehacker hadn’t released their article detailing free data recovery tools, so Google proved fruitless. Of course, I wasn’t searching for “linux data recovery”, so I have to brush up on my Google-fu.

Last one I thought was pretty stupid:

How can i nstall the newest version of ICQ on my Windows 2000?


No, Aardvark is best used for those personal questions. “What’s the best way to ask out a girl?”, “Where’s the best place for a good meal on a saturday night in Hobart?”, “How do I tell my girlfriend of 15 years that I’m gay?” Okay, I’m kidding on the last one. But really – those personal recommendations that you can’t get though Google work a treat on these so-called “social networks”.

To each his own, I guess.

Anyways, if you need an invite link, hit up mine: available here.