Peter DePaulo

Just be kind

Read this first

A letter from a millennial in the comments section of Quora

What makes the United States a representative democracy?

This question gets asked weekly on Quora. I’m getting very annoyed answering it. The United States is not a representative democracy. It is a representative republic. I guess the high schools don’t teach Civics anymore. - Thomas B Walsh, Author and Retired Executive

Hey Thomas,

Sorry that you were upset that people aren’t searching for answers more thoroughly before they post these questions. Given your vitriolic and sarcastic response, I decided to tell you my experience with what you wrote here.

I am an educated California resident in my mid-twenties. I have professional knowledge and experience in writing, software engineering and biochemistry. I’m not a genius, but I’m well educated; I’m certainly not an idiot. I...

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Our Mortal Coils

Thank you…for gracing my life with your lovely presence, for adding the sweet measure of your soul to my existence - Richard Matheson, What Dreams May Come

We all gonna die, we bleed from similar veins. - Tupac

This one is about mortality.

A chilling thought crosses my mind from time to time: that the present is simply a recording for an older, fatter version of myself to replay. It forces me to consider the flimsiness of the present. And begs me to start taking in the granular details of life at high resolution.

The smells.

The sounds.

The feels.

I get emotional in that space and have to work to stay on top of whatever’s in front of me. The stuff that’s supposed to be important, but seems less than so. It’s hard. If you ever talk to me and I seem distracted, that’s one of the things I’m thinking about. Staring at a terrifyingly gorgeous situation. Trying to both absorb it now...

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Our Social Suicide

If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time. - Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past

Don’t let your dreams be dreams. - Shia LeBouf, reading Nike ads

Who the fuck are you?

Hello. I am Peter DePaulo. Peter Nathaniel DePaulo. I’ve got a lot of nicknames.

I’m lucky to be here. Both of my parents had compelling reasons not to exist before my birth. They had opposite life paths that brought them equal measures of pain. The kind of suffering that makes a person find solace in some inelastic resource; like alcohol. And thus, unsurprisingly they became alcoholics. My half brother and sister and my ‘full-blood’ brother (all of them I size up as more than full people - they are cherished) experienced the immediate backlash of alcoholism; the chaotic discordance that effuses from people making irrational decisions.

I did...

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How to survive in the promoted content age

Terrible stock photos are love

While reading blog posts from various sources, I noticed something uncanny: there were very few that explored a concept without linking to other posts, asking for a subscription, or plugging some product.

It’s because most blog posts are secretly just “content marketing” trying to get you to do something wherever the blog post is hosted. Somewhere in the past, “ideas” seem to have been replaced by “content.” If you have heard this word, you might have trouble pinning down exactly what it means. What’s the difference between content and ideas?

Here’s how I distinguish the two. Put simply, content is a vector and an idea is a scalar. If those are new or foggy words to you, it’s every nerd’s dream to tell you a scalar is a value and a vector is a value (called magnitude) with a direction attached. The classic example comes from physics: velocity is a vector and speed is a scalar. Simila...

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What we tell others

Dedicated to xiao mi mi

The term “ivory tower” describes a kind of academic and elite point of view, represented by a disconnect from the practical world. Some might say, for example, a tenured philosophy professor would be in an ivory tower because her or his day-to-day doesn’t truly reflect the world outside of that bubble. Depressing ideas from dead writers can’t really be turned into wheat, so to speak.

In a conversation with a close friend (we’ll call her Mia), this very term came up. Mia was told by (let’s call him Cham) that based on the way she speaks and reasons, she comes off as if she is in an ivory tower; effusing theoretically sound, but perhaps realistically detached ideas. Knowing her well, I initially reacted to the concept in defense. But considering the perspective of meeting her in the last year or so, I can understand where Cham is coming from.

The problem is not...

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New Bluetooth

A more secure and advanced method of sharing.

Push a button to broadcast.

Now the device is pulsing out to the world that it is available: it’s “discoverable.” If a nearby device is on the same frequency, both trade a series of keys allowing them to initiate the pairing process. They are encrypted to be sufficiently complicated to limit errors and yet simple enough to be carried out in an instant. In the more advanced versions of this technology, the sets broadcasting their signal run algorithms that randomly iterate through recent topics in culture and the news until they happen to find a match. Depending on the software, the pairing process can include a super advanced paraphrasing algorithm that actually summarizes the content of the topics; a certain number of keywords that were generated by each of the devices individually must match. This process is called “agreeing”. After...

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One Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds to Read

This was the morning of Saturday, December 7th. It is composed of perfectly true events.

Sometimes, the intangibles are too good not to capture.

“So where ya off to?”

Behind me sits the seed of a new love affair. It may blossom to a flower if it is watered. An older man with a red nose bandies a bouquet of flowers, fighting his way into a café against the inclement and unexpected weather. An excited look gives his eyes a youthful glint as they dance around the room searching for the recipient of the anti-effluviums. He is the first to arrive and he is eager, boyishly so.

Two minutes earlier I am sitting in a café in front of a plate of eggs Benedict by myself with a mendacious smile on my face. I am fighting back tears thinking about what a tenuous philosophical situation I’ve gotten myself into: stewing in an emotional hangover and mourning the death of fictional characters...

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