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Desire to Suffer.

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

The Buddha says "Desire is the root of suffering" and stocism, via Epictetus says "Freedom isn't secured by filling up on your hearts desires but by removing desire.".

We feel some sort of pain, loss or lacking when we desire something. Desiring meaning it's not within our means, whatever those "means" need be to acquire the object of our desire. So we have no object, but only the desire of it.

And the space between what we have, and what we don't have, is desire.

How useless. And knowing it's of no use to us, why keep it? Throw it away, be done with it and push it aside.

It serves you in no good way, so if you must lose something in the time from now, til then- lose the desire to suffer.

One Day in Forever.

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

Long-term thinking.

The phrase goes "take it one day at at time". Which is great advice, really is.

It means to focus on the "single step" in saying "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". To not take on any more than that, because why would you? What does taking on more than is necessary accomplish?

It's certainly not efficient, or sustainable.

You take it one day at a time, like you focus on the single steps that make up the thousand mile journey.

So too you see, that today is one day in forever- not your forever- just forever.

That were you to frame, this day, in your life, against the backdrop of the infiniteness (as far as we know) of the universe- and everything that came before you, and will come to be and pass long after you're gone- you would live your life accordingly in humility, gratitude and freedom from the lanes, actions and ambitions of others**.

Your one day, live it now, live it wisely.

That it pales in any real significance against the inifite helps you not to take it too seriously.

**caveats obviously.

Begin again. Forge in Iron.

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

When you have lived long enough, you can look back and remember how many times you started again.

Another life, another relationship, another fitness program or schedule you used to keep.

I say "another" and not "a new", because by this stage "e leai se mea fou i lalo le la" (there is nothing new under the Sun).

You know what works for you, not because you've theorised it as a teenager, but you've done numerous seasons of this thing that got you the result and you've tweaked most of the "fat" off it, and it runs lean.

But you stopped doing it. For whatever reason.

So, we start again. Maybe this time reviewing our history, and helping the weight of that knowledge, those memories, help us forge it this time, in iron.

Perfect is the Enemy of Getting Anything Done.

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

The known saying is "Perfect is the enemy of good". Which is good enough, I guess.

But there's so many things "lacking" behind this concept of wanting something to be perfect before you release it, post it, publish it, say it, share it.

Yes, there are things that need care and consideration ahead of release, but that list I'll argue is very small.

And the many things that get caught up in perfection really has no business, and benefits no-one with its delay.

Another saying that relates very well to this perfection idea is "there is no substitute for experience".

How is that even related?

Less is More

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

This is not a new concept, and something I'm going to going over, repeatedly as I reconfigure my world currently.

When you focus on less things, you produce **more.

A certain amount of knowledge required to reach a "critical mass" which then produces something- an insight, a thought, an idea- that is deeply more valuable than anything else you could possibly create from a very superficial depth of knowledge on any given topic.

Always "doing more" actually ends up doing things "by halves" and ultimately, like multi-tasking, you become efficient at generating lots of low-worth, mediocre things.

Do less and get more.

** more = given you do the other necessary parts to make this true.

Embrace the boredom

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

In a world where delayed gratification is torture, and we are more and more stimulated across all 5 senses, constantly, every day. It's harder to accept boredom in any part of our lives.

Why do we even need to accept this? Why should it even be considered something we should tolerate?

Because it's a space in our ever crowded mental world to leave room to breath, to not think and not do.

But just be.

Right, not Easy.

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

"The right thing, is the right thing"- subjective, but that's the gist.

In a world where we've let ourselves be conditioned by the whims and flows of our current society, from what's normal or acceptable, we're going to have a hard time once we snap out of this and realise what we're doing is not right.

And not in the "big" areas of our lives, but in the small every day choices we make that we know are not right. What we're eating, what we're watching or reading, or not reading. The time we waste on social media, or aimlessly browsing the web.

Especially in our thoughts and daily practices of self-control and perspectives. Are we making the right, or good choices?

Don't Fear the Uncomfortable.

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

Making things larger than they are is a great environment to feel pressure and "uncomfortableness" everywhere you go.

"Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius talks about being in harmony with nature and that everything happens exactly as it should so why should we feel uncomfortable with things as they happen?

How and What.

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

Lately there's been a lot of "What" from a lot of people, and not enough "How".

It's too often "What" is wrong with the world, examples, citations and evidence ad nauseum of all the ways this world sucks and is failing us.

"E leai se mea e fou i lalo le la" There is nothing new under the Sun- is how I feel about all the "look!" and "gotcha!" proclamations on social media.

Focus on Less Noise

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

It takes an amount of cognitive load to do anything, and our reserves for this i.e. "willpower" is finite.

So why do we waste it on shallow endeavours?

To answer this question we must go deeper, or step back far enough to see the bigger issues at play for why we do this.

Deep Work

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

Reading Cal Newport's book "Deep Work".

There's a lot to consider and refactor ones modern life in order to reap the benefits of his philosophy. But just like I believe in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, that turning up consistently will reap benefits, so too will deploying Cal's advice and recommendations in this book.

There's always a cost, or price to any investment or acquisition.

The real question, is whether you are willing to wear it.

We can only try.

Everywhere you go, there you are.

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

"Geographicals" in AA terms is just changing location without changing yourself.

Or worse, changing location hoping this would change your 'self'.

But there is no change unless you choose to, and a change of scenery is just that- scenery. But with the same storylines, with the same plot holes.

Because everywhere you go, "there you are".

If you're going to go anywhere, go "inside".

Change self. Change world.

Lived experience.

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

I've lived and experience life through this body (115kg Samoan, Male) and this context (NZ born, living in a metro city, working in Tech).

That experience is going to be different to anyone else, no matter how many of those things we have in common i.e. age, ethnicity, city etc.

I don't know what it's like to be you- I have an idea, I can empathise, theorise and hypothesize, but I don't really "know".

What I do know, is the difference in the things that I present (size, colour, age) elicits certain responses from people who experience "me".

Those experiences aren't always positive ones.

Die a Villain.

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

The famous Batman quote:

"You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain"

To me, says "overshooting the mark" or losing your way.

I know a "once great" man, who was a master of his craft, and year in, year out, he couldn't miss.

Nowadays he can't seem to hit anything at any time.

Think Global. Act Local.

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

The game is simple, so keep it simple.

The machine is massive. Yes. But you don't eat an elephant whole. You break it down; divide and conquer; all these gems, these pearls of wisdom, gained on the blood, sweat and tears of everyone who went before us.

Leave the ego aside. Listen. Learn. Act.

The problems affecting the Pasifika community are many. They are complicated issues. They are inter-generational. They are systemic.

But the game. The game is simple.

Doing the Work

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

This is one thing you cannot avoid, is "doing the work".

Many inspirational stories, given various constraints, can only really illustrate the time and effort involved in achieving the "thing".

And you get an idea. But like anything related to "experience", you really have to live the experience yourself to truly know the weight, size, scale of the effort involved in doing this work.

You may be inspired and make your best estimation of what this effort may cost you, what price you may have to pay to achieve such feats. But you will never really know until you attempt it.

To achieve the thing, you do the work.

You do the work, you (have a much better chance to) achieve the thing.

The bit before the work- deciding what you're going to do, and even the bit about the work- how you go about doing the work- are negotiable, debatable, configurable- the only bit where no quarter is given, is that there will always be "the work" to be done, and there is no getting around it.

So you might as well do it.

"Chop wood, carry water".

Trade-off

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

Otherwise known as a compromise, or an accepted cost, risk or price.

Having an ideology is good, it helps guide your way. It lets you determine what's important and what's not.

But as nothing is perfect, the "rubber meeting the road" of living out an ideology, is where you deal with trade-offs.

Trade-offs are real, and I would argue, necessary.

They don't have to be a bad thing if you know who you are, and what you're doing.

Time: Doesn't Exist. Doesn't Wait.

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

One of my mum's favourite sayings to us growing up was "Time and Tide wait for no man".

This brilliant video, an illustration of an Alan Watts monologue entitled "The Illusion of Money, Time and Ego" brought this saying back to mind.

"Time and tide..." one a mental construct, the other a physical phenomenon of nature.

And neither of them wait for you.

They both keep marching on, and the only thing that distinguishes this point in a timeline, from one in the future, is what happens in it i.e. what you do.

So, maybe "get busy living".

Gurus and Pedestals

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

This saying came to mind as I thought about todays daily blog post:

"I am not your guru."

In a twitter space today, another leader in a specific tech space said to Kelsey Hightower that his position on a thing "made him sad".

To which Kelsey said, "..don't be. It's an opinion and position, you don't need to be sad about it, we need to discuss it."

And therein lies, in my opinion, the dangers of creating guru's and putting them on pedestals.

Why do you think you need a guru? Why did you need to make it personally sensitive to you?

And why are you conflating the person with the purpose?

Perception is Reality

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

This is not a new idea. And it's something we can understand and relate to.

So why am I thinking about it now?

I've been thinking about (and working on) how we perceive the things we focus on, and how it affects us.

I often have a lot of deep & meaningful talks with my brothers about mindset, and how it first colours your thoughts, and then your entire world.

And we can't change reality- but we can definitely change perception.

The Other Side of Doing.

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

Everything you want to know is on the other side of "doing".

This is something my brother would always say to me when contemplating the things I wanted to do with my life.

We can sit and ponder all possibilities, risks, rewards, certainties and uncertainties until "the cows come home".

But nothing really answers your questions like doing the thing, and it provides the answers to you.

Discipline equals freedom.

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

Jocko Willink isn't the type of person usually on my "motivational" radar.

But credit where credit's due, and this idea, this concept of "Discipline equals freedom" is one that resonates- not with the conservative side of me, but the wild side.

The side that is reckless and self-destructive. It resonates because that side is out of control, it serves only itself and will see the 'whole' ruined. You think it's free. Free to do whatever it feels like doing.

But that's not freedom. It's a prison by another name.

Is it a Hobby? Or is it Work?

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

I've been listening to Seth Godin's wisdom on how we define and determine what our focus is and ultimately what becomes the result of our actions.

He asks "Is it a Hobby? Or is it work?"... because "if it's work, its for other people"

How does that change what we do and how we do it?

Look Beyond the Players

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

"...to the rules of the game".

This line is quoted in Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows.

Everything is a game. Not in that it should be trivialised, but that modeling the world around us in terms of a game can help us "play" it better.

Or, at least gain some power or control of the "games" we may find ourselves in.

Politics, Corporations, Police, Local Council, Parking tickets, Taxes, Insurance.

They all have elements of a game, to be played.

The Song and Dance.

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

We already know the ritual, the same thing has happened time and again and nothing changes.

The "song and dance", the hand-wringing and platitudes. And nothing will change.

That's not being cynical, or "realistic" or "pessimistic".

It's an observation followed by a logical conclusion.

Everything / Nothing

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

Stoic philosphy often asks us to make light of every day situations that plague us as human beings.

How we feel, how we were hurt, how things have been unfair. Everyday, human problems.

The stoics say we choose our misery and sufferings. That we suffer as long as we decide to, and when we choose to not suffer anymore, we don't.

That's fairly powerful if you can get into the habit.

Big if, right?

What you have to give.

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

Social, or community work, is fairly new in my world.

I don't purport to be some altruistic do-gooder in any sense, as much as someone doing something they are able- and most of the time "willing", to do.

So, why is it important to look at the intersection of "what you do" and "what you want to do"?

Intention and Focus

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Geek/Hacker/Engineer

Intention and Focus sound like two parts that make up the idea of "Drive", as in ambition, direction.

And that's a good place to start when restarting something like this blog.

I went back to the start of why this blog exists. What is it for? Who is it for?

And that lead me to Seth Godin (again)...

The Art of Resistence

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

My daily task is to write something. Anything.

I say anything, but internally I'm still telling myself it has to be "great" something.

It doesn't. The art of this is in it's doing, not it's intentions.

I'm reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and he talks about the almighty "Resistence" as the force of nature that be battle to get to the meaningful work in our lives, our purpose.

Who Rules the World and What We Do About It.

· 4 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

I just got finished Noam Chomsky's "Who Rules the World?" and boy what a harrowing read.

Chock-full of deep insights backed up with pages and pages of references, citations, bibliographies on the atrocities and depravity of world history under the United States, but also harking back to past empires and their crimes against humanity.

It's a lot to take in. Most of it leaving you feeling helpless in the face of it. Why helpless? Mainly because what, at my level of influence and effect, can I do to change this?

Going to Hell in a Handbasket

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

I remember this saying from many years back- growing up in rural, very white, South Canterbury will expose you to a lot of weird phrases like this.

And, from my limited understanding about the etymology of the phrase, it meant that something was going badly in a very convenient, efficient way i.e. cos a handbasket is convenient and handy etc.

I'm sitting here thinking what to write, because the exercise is just to write, and I have a bunch of random things I tend to think about, but this a lot of what I've been reading and consuming lately has to do with American political history (Who Rules the World, by Noam Chomsky) and how bad they've been to- well, pretty much the entire world- but I've also listened to Daniel Schmachtenberger on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast talking about what kind of catastrophic future we're in for, given what a bunch of dickheads our species has been to the planet and ourselves.

So, "Going to hell in a handbasket" was the thing that came to mind. And, funnily enough, not to implode and fall apart about it- what good would that do anyone? But to actually look at what's within our control to do something about, and what it might take to do that. Just because everything's on fire, doesn't mean there's not something we can do- even if what it turns out to be isn't the best we hoped for, it is what it is (at that point).

If that means playing a really solid rendition of "Songe d'Automne" as the ship's sinking, then at least we've got something to focus on.

Historical Amnesia.

· One min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

"Historical amnesia is a dangerous phenomenon not only because it undermines moral and intellectual integrity but also because it lays the groundwork for crimes that still lie ahead." - Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky.

Among many other (probably more) quotable passages from the book, this one stood out to me this morning.

Probably in the same vein as "controlling the narrative", it's about the stories we tell ourselves- about ourselves, that can project or forecast what potential "good" or "evil" lies ahead.

I don't have any great insights on this other than remembering the objective facts about our past- not dwelling on them or being paralyzed by them- can help keep our moral and intellectual integrity about them.

And probably safeguard us from repeating any of our not-so-great history, into the future.

Control the narrative

· 3 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

This phrase and topic can be seen in a few ways, but I think using this phrase instead of making another one up can serve to hijack whatever influence this one has for the one I'm about to write about.

I subject myself to a myriad of inputs, from newspapers, social media, blog posts and research papers to discord and slack chats, text messages from people and then talking to actual in-real-life people and getting their thoughts and opinions on all of the things as well.

I say "subject myself" because, after much thought and reflection, I've decided that this is something that I do to myself in that I allow it to happen. I have control over opening up twitter, reading an instagram post or newspaper article.

2022. Remember Death.

· 2 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

Today starts another year, and as much as I don't believe in new years resolutions (basically just plans you end up forgetting about by Feb), "making plans" and trying to see them through, is something I believe in. And the fact it just happens to coincide with the beginning of the year is more a convenience than anything.

In the spirit of Seth Godin's blog where he just writes something (every day?), I'm going to try that here also. Just write something. Every day.

I've been giving this a bit of thought- the "why" in "why do we do the things we do?"- and, as much as is humanly possible (for me), I'm going to try and do things purely for what it means to me. Difficult- yes, but not impossible and certainly won't be done perfectly. Mistakes will be made.

So, instead of new resolutions, I'm going to look at the whys.

  • Regular blog posts. Why? To improve my writing and thought processes.
  • Twitch stream. Why? To foster the "learn in public" philosophy and grow a community of like-minded learners.
  • 75 Hard. Why? To develop the mental resilience, and kickstart and continue good, healthy daily habits.
  • Reading more books. Why? honestly, to know and understand more things.
  • TryHackme/HackTheBox/OSCP. Why? To get really good level of red teaming skills.
  • Niutech (Pasifika Tech Club). Why? To expose more Pasifika Community to IT and opportunities in the IT industry,ry, in and for their best interests and no-one elses.

It might work, it might not. There's only one way to find out.

“Putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future. The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today. You are arranging what lies in Fortune’s control, and abandoning what lies in yours. What are you looking at? To what goal are you straining? The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” – Seneca.

I Started a Twitch Stream Today and the Goal Is Not to Be a Streamer.

· 4 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

I started a Twitch stream today.

Why?

I discovered the non-gaming world of Twitch recently thanks to my brother, an artist, who starting a stream where he just draws in full public view and chats to whoever drops into the chat.

Why did this intrigue me?

Well, several things actually.

The tech was the first thing that interested me. You can setup your own broadcasting station using OBS, send it to Twitch, and you basically have your own TV Station. And you can do whatever you want (legally and within the ToS of course).

How cool is that? I know it's not new, but the idea of that landed differently for me this time around.

Along with Twitch, came Discord...

The Distance Between Thinking and Knowing Is Bridged Only by This: Doing the Work.

· 4 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

A lot of anxiety comes from uncertainty.

Not knowing one way or the other how something will turn out.

Especially if it's something you really want, and the possibility you might fail to achieve it is enough to make you second guess yourself. Your ego kicks in and you start thinking about what others might think if you fail. You're already running the scenarios through your head, and there's a million of them- and very few of them good.

How Writing My First Tech Talk About Cloud Security Benefits More Than Just Technical People

· 3 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

I was asked to give a talk at an upcoming DevOps event, so I'm in the first stages of planning what I'm going to present.

I've never given a talk like this before, but I've done plenty of presentations to engineering teams of things I've built and how they work and where to find the documentation. I imagine this will be much the same- but to a bunch of strangers, instead of people I've worked with for months.

I'm okay with public speaking, my brothers and I grew up doing public performances for various church events, singing, dancing, choirs, church band, church plays etc. So that aspect of it doesn't concern me much.

When the Environment Is Right You Can Bring Your Whole Self to Work

· 4 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

It's not something I think people often think about.

I'm sure everyone thinks the way they are at work is 100% genuine (with a few caveats of course) and any deviations from a 100% authentic behaviour is expected because there are social norms to uphold and you don't want to make people uncomfortable when you don't abide by them.

Right? Sure.

So this week this idea of "Bringing your whole self to work" came to mind because of my new 100% remote-first team.

2021: New Year, Goals, Plans and Resolutions to Make the Most of the New Pandemic World Order.

· 4 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

Happy New Year!

Yes. I know it's the 12th.

2021 is here, it's still January and I'm getting the first post of the year out early!

I know this is the time of year people will do their new year's resolutions, plan for the year ahead etc., but this is the first New Year's I've seen through not as a contractor.

What's the difference?

I'd usually be working through the break, and just be focused on the contract in front of me. The usual plan for contracting is just work on whatever contract you're on until the final month of the term (whenever that is- sometimes the client would extend, other time's you'd just want out) then either look for another contract, or take a break.

Mentoring: Because Everyone Has Something They Can Give.

· 5 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

I'm a mentor.

I never thought I would be, and it's not something I ever aspired to be at any stage of my life.

But here I am. Mentoring in 2020.

And not just to one person, but two people. And just this year. As in, literally in the last couple of months, I have taken on mentoring 2 people.

They're both Software Developers. Which is funny because I am not a developer.

The Human Side of Technology Solutions: A Tale of 2 Projects.

· 4 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

This past week I've had a chance to reflect on 2 different projects I've been involved with at opposite ends of the lockdown.

At the beginning of Level 4, just before the lock-down, I was contacted to help out with what would end up being the NZ Governments WhatsApp channel.

The technology involved for the solution required some in-depth knowledge of cloud technology, container orchestration platform kubernetes, a secrets management CLI (command line interface), monitoring and dashboard building and deployment methods and configuration.

Reading More, Writing Better and Learning in Public During Lock-Down.

· 4 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

I'm not a great reader.

I still read with a voice in my head. I often have to re-read the page I'm on because I have a short attention span and my mind wanders easily. My wife has long suspected I have ADHD. I just think I get bored easily.

But all of these things -- attention span, reading, not having ADHD (jokes) -- are things that can get better with practice. I believe so anyway.

With the free time I have with the lock-down I decided I want to be a "better reader" (whatever that means).

Too Busy Being Busy: Documenting the Whole Journey, Even the Rubbish Parts.

· 5 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

I have to be honest, this side project journey isn't going how I had imagined.

I know its only been a few weeks, but I had an expectation that by now, mid March, I would be well on my way with my MVP. A small demo of the infrastructure setup, robustness and observability built on at least 1 of 2 cloud providers.

But what have I got to show so far?

When Starting Out and in Doubt About What You Should Do? Do What You Know.

· 6 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

I've been doing infrastructure in some way for a while now. I started with Linux System Administration, web servers, setting up routers, switches and how the network is setup to feed all devices that live there. Working on cloud infrastructure itself is relatively new for me but then again, its the same thing...

what's the saying?

"Cloud is just someone else's servers."

Documenting the Journey: The Hardest Thing About Getting Anywhere, Is Starting Somewhere.

· 3 min read
Ron Amosa
Platform Security Engineer @ Salesforce U.S.

Failing to Start

I'm at a point in my career, and life in general where I find myself failing to start.

To start the side project, or business or venture. I started a blog a couple years back to document and log the various tech things I'd work on. I then added to the technical blog with my thoughts & musings on my career in I.T., and the experiences I've had.

But despite the things I've done, there's a lot more that I wanted to do, but have always found some reason not to pull the trigger. So, its now 2020,and I'm going to start.