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School of Thought: Existentialism | Hri-Write

Existentialism is a philosophical school of thought that deals with human existence, trying to explain the purpose of a human life. Existentialism, like many other schools of thought, is of course only a speculation and something we made up, take what you read here with a pinch of salt (after all, I don't know any more about life than you do!)

If I were to try to explain existentialism easily, I'm afraid I'll lose out on its intricacies, but I'll give it a shot anyway. Existentialism, at its most fundamental level, says that every person is responsible for defining their own purpose in this world and that we are governed by our free will. Existentialism says that we are not here to 'find purpose', but rather to 'create our reality and purpose'.

It sounds simple, but that's because I've tried to break down roughly a few centuries worth of study and philosophical evolution into four sentences.

Existentialism originated as a school of thought in t…
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The Science of Dark Humour | Hri-write

I'd like to begin by saying this blog isn't meant to offend anyone. It's all for the sake of fun and entertainment, and to satisfy my sadistic desideratum. If you're easily offended, or if this blog offended you in any way, it's because it was meant to.

(If that last line offended you, get out right now. It's going to get much worse.)

It might be worthwhile to address the question of 'why we laugh' before dealing with comedy styles such as dark humour.
We believe laughter evolved from the panting behavior of our ancient primate ancestors. Today, if we tickle chimps or gorillas, they don’t laugh “ha ha ha” but exhibit a panting sound. That’s the sound of ape laughter. And it’s the root of human laughter. Apes laugh in conditions in which human laughter is produced, like tickle, rough and tumble play, and chasing games. Other animals produce vocalizations during play, but they are so different that it’s difficult to equate them with laughter. Rats, for e…

The Marijuana Debate | Hri-Write

Marijuana, Ganja, Kush, Weed.

Whatever you call it, marijuana and its legalisation have been hot topics in the 21st century. There's a stark difference in both sides of this debate; those against it don't want to admit it has certain significant benefits, while those for it don't want to admit that while it is less harmful than drinking or smoking, it still takes its toll mentally and physically.

Wherever you seem to look, its influences are evident. Music, art, food and cinema have all seen references to marijuana lately. I know this seems like an outlandish topic to talk about and something that's considered a pretty 'hush-hush' thing to discuss, but that's what I'm trying to fix. The reason we cringe when we hear any rendition of marijuana's many names is because we know so little about it. We're a little afraid, and it's okay.

To begin, I'll try to introduce marijuana's history briefly.

Ancient Chinese and Indian references and …

Why I use Reddit (and you should too)

As I click on the orange app that reads 'Reddit' on my iPhone, my eyes widen as I open to a barrage of dark humor from /r/imgoingtohellforthis. Laughing agonisingly as I get out of bed, I scroll further down to posts from /r/space and see what's making top news related to space and astronomy. I'm 203 days old. At least that's how old my Reddit account is. In those 203 days, I've seen, stumbled upon, laughed at and shared things that I've never seen and possibly would never if I hadn't signed up for it. And that's why I love it.
Anybody that's spoken to me in the last 203 days has probably heard me talk about Reddit, and rightly so. Reddit changed the way I used the internet, because of its sheer size and diverse communities.

 I've fallen in love with its early 2000s reminiscent albeit ugly homepage, its hierarchal commenting system, and its non-existent search feature. But that's what makes Reddit, well, Reddit. It wasn't made to loo…

Here's why things you just discovered seem to pop up constantly

You know what I'm talking about, right? Have you ever learned a new word, one that you swear you've never heard before, only to find it popping up throughout your daily life for a few days after? There's a name for that: The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.

This phenomenon actually works on two major premises (or psychological processes, if you will): The confirmation and selection bias.

The first of these two, the selection bias. It usually kicks in when we come across something new, something unfamiliar and/or something interesting. From this point on, your brain is actively looking for this, and that's why you seem to notice it so much more on a day-to-day basis.

The second, the confirmation bias. This is a common statistical error our brain creates, because when it sees these random new words pop up everywhere, it wants to fit it into a rational idea. This feeds off the first process, but in this case, your brain is telling you, 'it's new to everyone, and has su…

Travelling: What's the fascination?

Summer's here, and that means most people will either have already boarded their cross-continent flights or will do so in the near future, so it's an opportune time to write about travelling. We aspire to travel as much as we aspire to pursue our dreams, and this a very important factor in understanding why we feel the need to travel.

In many cases, humans travel to escape the very lives that we have set up for ourselves, the work, family, friends and the metropolitan commotion that clouds our minds every instant. Travel is escape, it is freedom, although temporary, from the hectic routine.

When you see this image, what springs into your mind? Often times, images like these remind us of travel, of being isolated, of being "off the grid". That's important. Humans weren't thrown into a fast-paced lifestyle like the one we lead today. It's a social construct that we've designed, and it's ironic that we jump out at any opportunity to leave behind the…

Reflecting, and what's to come for Hri-Write

The last year's been pretty busy with grade 11 and other commitments, and with that I haven't fully had the chance to reflect on the massive manner in which this blog has expanded. 2017 has been a wild series of ups and downs for me personally, but even more so for Hri-Write. From being a blog with a total viewership of 5,000 people in January to being read by 15,000 in April, I could have never thought that my little hobby of writing on the weekends would grant me such a wide reception, across countries. Matter of fact, at the time of writing this, the blog has reached 25476 reads, all time.

But the numbers don't really matter. This blog started as a reflection space, a place to write about the things that were on my mind that particular week and to reach out to people about serious matters, and in some cases, my personal hobbies (astronomy!).  At its core, this blog has always been, still is and will always be unadulterated, unfiltered and honest in its content.

This bl…

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Where is all the 'alien life?' - Fermi Paradox and other theories

My first blog, ever, was about understanding the odds of alien life. I've gotten much better at writing blogs since then (or so I like to tell myself), and it would only be right if I reinstate the legacy of that one.

We should openly admit that when we happen to be under a starry night and see a sight similar to this, we all have a react in a different and interesting way. Some people are left boggled by the immense size of the universe, others by the sheer glamour of the scene and if you're anything like me, you're paralysed by the sudden realisation that you have a negligible impact on the universe. The point is, we all feel something.

When he looked up at the sky, Italian physicist Enrico Fermi too felt something, a thought that lingered around this question, "Where is everyone else?" It's been half a decade since Fermi passed on, but he left us with a fundamental query and idea.

Fermi realised that in a universe as old and vast as this, there should be…

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While I hate to talk about such a grim, dark topic, terrorism is running rampant across the globe, and there just seems to be no end. In 2017, the face of terrorism are organisations like ISIS. So, what exactly is terrorism? Merriam-Webster calls terrorism "the use of violent acts to frighten the people in an area as a way of trying to achieve a political goal."

Let's face it, terrorism isn't new. It's been around for a long time. The word, in fact, dates back to the late 18th century around the time of the French revolution. So why is it such a big deal now?

Because now terrorist organisations aren't local. They are getting more radical, and they don't just have political agendas. They've become irrational, crazed with the idea of securing the world under their woeful grasp.

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Tech Spotlight: Why you should be using IFTTT right now!

I usually don't do a lot of tech blogs, personally because I feel there's so many out there, but this one, I simply cannot avoid. This is a website you definitely should check out, and it's one that after a long while I can vouch for as the most ingenious app/service devised yet.

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT, a clever acronym for 'If This, Then That.', is a free to use website which features a plethora of applets. These applets are made to perform tasks based on triggers, which trigger actions. For example, the applet I'm using right now posts on facebook every time I publish an article on my blog. Coincidentally, this very post has been published using IFTTT.
It works based on two things: Applets and Services.

Applets are the pieces of code written to bring you services and combine the power of these services.
Services are the apps/devices that you use daily (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even smart home tech.)

Quote from their Wikipedia page:
IFTTT is a free web-bas…