ADHD as an adult

For as long as I could remember I have assumed that I procrastinate a lot. On the other hand, if it's something fascinating, I'd find it extremely hard to stop doing it. There was no in-between. I have also known that I get distracted by the slightest stimulus and go in a complete tangent. I'd do well in subjects I like and do pretty poorly in subjects I hate. I've known that I'd space out a lot. Even when I really want to do something I'd struggle to do it unless there's an immediate deadline or a payoff. Surprisingly, I have also been told I'm a good listener - may be because in reality my head's somewhere else. I could learn by listening to my brother read (he had the habit of always reading out aloud) but taking the book and reading it myself was always challenging. And yet somehow, I have done decently well in school. Although, I still remember the look on my Principal's face when I told him I got into a decent college. Every one of my teachers thought I had the "potential" to shine if only I put in my effort.

On the personal and relationships front, I would also say whatever comes to mind without a filter. Since I could never hold a thought for more than a few seconds, I'd blurt it out in fear that I'll forget it - only for it to come across as cutting off someone and being rude. I could also never get social cues as well as others. I almost faced disciplinary action at work as a result of something I blurted out. I have missed out on so many dating opportunities because I didn't understand the social signals well. While I can read people's reaction to what I do and how it affects but could never predict this over an impersonal medium like text/email - resulting in a lifelong list of lost friendships and relationships. The only friendships that lasted are the ones that really tolerated me and overlooked my infractions. I'd instantly react emotionally to any criticism or feedback. I could almost never think on my feet - I distinctly remember this as a kid.

Unfortunately, those with whom you’re interacting don’t necessarily know you have ADHD—or understand its role in causing your behavior— and may see you as immature, self-centered, or egotistical.

Barkley PhD, Russell A. Taking Charge of Adult ADHD

The first time I heard the word ADHD was when I was ~30. And even then I didn't exactly connect with what I understood as ADHD - hyperactivity/distracted. Neither did I understand how complex ADHD is and how it extends to emotional intelligence. While I was trying to read books on Emotional Intelligence and being a better person, I could never apply it in real-life. All this changed a couple of years ago when I found this video on reddit (of all the places) by Dr. Russell Barkely. I almost broke down crying realising how much of my life I have wasted because - academically, professionally & personally. Weirdly, it felt good to know that there was indeed something wrong with me. Trying to fight this all my life had been like a disabled person who doesn't know they're disabled trying to climb a flight of stairs without even a crutch and not understanding how others seem to have no issues walking up and down the stairs.

The essence of it is that one or more executive functions are underdeveloped in people with ADHD .

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The Future of AI and Space Sci-Fi

There's an entire range of depictions when it comes to AI in space-travel themed science-fiction movies and TV shows. Hal, for example, is a conscious AI - for some definition of consciousness. While this is a wonderful plot device and something tech visionaries have been saying is right around the corner, it's not how I view AI at all.

I think the show Expanse got it just right. All the ships and stations are loaded with AIs but you'd never even notice them. It's subtle. The AI does the job and gets out of the way. Take the example of intercepting missiles with PDCs or firing a rail gun. It's not a simple or trivial process (and the show goes to great lengths to make that clear as well). There are a huge variety of parameters to consider to keep the ship stable when it's firing its rail gun. This is space after all and Newton's third law can be a pita. Counteracting forces - via thrusters - are required in extreme precision to keep the ship from spinning or moving in any of the 3D space.

Similarly, the countless other things to monitor in a ship and adjust automatically is the only way space travel would be possible with a reasonable crew. A very minor angle shift could mean the difference between reaching two entirely different planets and nothing's ever stationery in space.

I also found it cool the way the crew interacts with the ship is depicted - a mix of voice commands and gestures and an AI that can interpret what they mean. At least the way it’s depicted, they can also feed it "high level programming" - like Naomi creating a firing solution.

My point is that none of this requires an AGI - Artificial General Intelligence - "just" an AI would do. It’s in by no means a ding. If we could replicate what evolution has taught animals to do, that in itself would be nothing short of a miracle. If you think about it, a hummingbird with the brain the size of a pea, can flap its wings 53 times a second, maintain near perfect stillness, see things, hear things, dodge obstacles, seek out food and recognise what is good and what is not, identify danger, identify a mate and on and on. And the whole thing operates on a few grams of sugar.

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Gardening: Setting up Irrigation

The seeds are sprouting and growing much more rapidly than I thought it would. With summer here the temperatures are hot, and the need for watering has gone up. I figured it would be a good idea to setup irrigation to reduce water usage, even watering and save some time.

Even water pressure is much harder to achieve. The irrigation systems on Amazon come with 1/4" tubes. The pressure on these fizzle out with just a few atomizers and sprinklers. The better option would be to run a 1/2" tube as the main line and use the 1/4" tubes as feeder lines. Even that doesn't work beyond a point especially when your house uses the same line to feed all faucets and taps.

Next up is dealing with the stupid cat that wants to poop in my raised bed. A net would provide the necessary barrier. I needed a frame to support the net. This nifty hoops from Amazon provided a decent frame, and it was extensible. It also doubled as the supporting frame for the irrigation lines.

Here's what it looks like:

Raised Bed Irrigation  HoopsRaised Bed Irrigation  Hoops

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