Our Love For Coffee Is Proof We Exist

A body that understands and responds to caffeine is what being awake is. Don’t get it? Read the following statistics.

  1. Caffeine is unquestionably associated with lower risk of mortality. And an even greater reduction in the risk of death with higher coffee consumption. In short, you can live longer if you consume more coffee (total, caffeinated, and decaffeinated). (study)
  2. Caffeine’s biological effect is antagonism of the adenosine receptor. This means that caffeine speeds up nerve cells by tricking certain adenosine receptors. (study)
  3. Contrary to its positive side, there is a potential discussion that coffee consumption is directly linked to health problems such as cancer, heart disease, and anxiety. This is when you take coffee consumption to an extreme level; that is, more than 5-7 cups a day. (study)

Of all the times I’ve come across such statistics, I’m convinced of the psychological effects of coffee. The secret to “waking up” even after waking up consciously is coffee; in its smell, aroma, and flavor.

So, do you wake up and smell the coffee for staying awake? Or do you wake up and smell the coffee because you absolutely love to?

I tried to draw a line between these two questions. The answer comes out groggy and confusing. Groggy because that’s how most of you feel before drinking a cup of coffee. And confusing because that’s how I feel about coffee after researching on something popularly known as “coffee psychology.” Coffee psychology is deciphering what coffee does to the human body. How it makes you focus on the positive and how it makes you see things more clearly. But what I didn’t find, at least not in the initial stages of my research is this: the deliciousness of coffee as a hot or cold drink. Yeah right. What was I hoping to find?

The first few words we think of when we talk about coffee is alert, energy, clarity, and active. It’s hard, but not impossible, to find the words: delicious, delicious, and delicious. No more or no less. Maybe this article will belong to the “delicious, delicious, and delicious” family. But wait a second. Is my love of coffee a trickery? Is caffeine tricking my taste buds, just as it tricks the adenosine receptors, into loving its taste even when it’s the most bitter thing one could taste?!

The more I drink coffee, the faster the caffeine continues to conspire and blur my sensitivity toward what tastes good and what tastes bad. To someone who’s never had a sip of coffee, coffee tastes bad, right? Wait until the caffeine kicks in. We can avoid it… we can but then we go ahead and dilute it with milk and sugar and the caffeine’s conniving booby trap begins. From very sweet to mildly sweet to not-so-sweet to slightly bitter and finally, to boldly bitter.

If someone were to ask me why I love drinking coffee, I would say, “Because I love the taste so much. And it’s not about the fact that it keeps you alert, thinking quick, and energetic. I just love the taste. And yeah, I only drink it without sugar. I mean, who drinks coffee with sugar anymore?!”

People do not talk about this. But it is a good conversation starter. Look at this for example.

Cornell University (study) suggests that caffeine alters the perception of taste. Just the act of drinking coffee every morning made participants feel more awake. Also, when you taste food right after drinking coffee, the flavor of the food is noticeably altered. This happens because caffeine tricks certain receptors in the brain into reducing our sensitivity toward sweetness as a flavor. That’s precisely why we crave the bitterness of coffee.

So, are you telling me that the day I stop desiring coffee in the midst of my coffee drinking habits, I stop existing?

What I Think About When I Talk About Working Out

I don’t always think out loud. But when the time’s right, I do.

One of the most titillating conversations about life involves talking about the things we do to stay active and healthy. Such conversations aren’t frequent, but they’re certainly a mind-opener beyond the stereotypical perspective.

Stating that fitness is nothing but an accomplishment to lose weight disappoints me to my very core. If you’ve ever been a part a similar conversation that lasted for not more than 15 minutes about the importance of staying physically fit and nothing else, then I feel sorry for you.

Who I don’t feel sorry for is the person who shares such an incomplete and self-defeating perspective about fitness. It’s clear why anybody would think the way many do.

Entering a gym is a matter of “necessity” because weight loss is at stake. It is also a matter of “gaining pride” because it’s rewarding, especially for men, to prove their masculinity with muscles. While the idea of a girl or a woman working out is beyond such standards.

Practicing yoga is a matter of “importance” because our culture does well to strike a chord with regards to dealing with stress and life problems. Yes, yoga does help you deal with emotions, but it isn’t a solution in itself. There are many layers to practicing yoga or any other form of exercise that stimulates flexibility and patience.

There’s a benchmark we’d all like to meet, in one way or another. For me, it was to be able to do a split or do a long-mile run. But it’s not anymore. These are no longer goals I’d love to reach, but rather stepping stones for the purpose of doing something. The idea that it’s my purpose to do something, whatever form of physical fitness it may be, might sound vague to you. But it’s what I use, daily, to get on that treadmill, head for my aerial fitness class, or do my inversions training.

The way to do something, is to do anything that requires you to get out of your comfort zone. This thought changed the way I perceived and pursued fitness in my life. I no longer had to incorporate a lifestyle that involved giving time to fitness, it instantly adapted to mine.

You don’t have to force a fitness schedule to reap its benefits. There is a strong case against feeling physically out-of-action and languid. All I did was metamorphose the ropes a bit and the effort I put in inevitably did me.

The psychology of running has been around for years now. And by giving it deeper thought, I’ve realized that it’s non-existent if it’s taken word for word. There is a certain kind of process or transition you go through when you start running. It doesn’t unwrap itself in the first week of training, or even the first month. Running feels different when you do it with the hopes of actually changing. And running feels different when you do it because you want to do it more often. I did it for the latter, but in moments- for the former. Even so, the effort to run reflected back to the way I converse with people and to myself when I’m alone.

When I started feeding my brains with the things that should have motivated me to work out, somehow they never satisfied me. I never obsessed over the details, the tips, or the easy ways to kick-start the “life-changing” process. I was being fed the same things millions of people are and that didn’t work. So I decided to sign up for something that might seem less ordinary, but effective. At least it was in my case.

The act of simply doing it. I didn’t wait to strike a chord with some fitness instructor or diet plan. That wasn’t my purpose. What was, and still is, is to do any form of physical exercise and keep at it. Imagine you’re reading about the same topic over and over again. Not that it’s not interesting to you or you’re getting bored of it, but there will come a point when you need to shift the scales a bit. Read about something else. Some new idea, research, or essay.

I just translated the way I read into what makes me physically active. This kind of behaviorism made up the rest of my life. The expression “know thyself” is confusing and, at the same time, terrifying. Because once you start on this journey, it’s not so much about changing the way you think, but discovering the ethos that exists inside you.

What I’m going to say next is ordinary, but it’s the hard truth- working out shouldn’t be your aim to be accepted and appreciated by others, it has to be your aim to accept yourself. So is working out a good decision or is it a decision that’s right for you, as a human?

When someone tells you to start working out because you start panting when you climb the stairs or when you eat a lot of junk food and are growing a belly- that’s bad advice. It’s normal to start working out because of those reasons, but it’s time to look above and beyond such a confined purpose.

What’s dangerous advice? It’s telling someone to understand the workings of their own mind. That’s when you see yourself as yourself when you work out and not how you want the world to look at you. There’s a slow shift of self-image, the kind that contradicts your effort along the way. And this contradiction cannot be predicted or explained, it’s only felt. That significant mental and physical effort you make for your physical set-up isn’t only physical. It leads to unexpected discoveries and revisions, even emotionally.

The best thing about working out is that you can make up your own purpose of doing so. It doesn’t have to be only one thing or one motive. We live stressful lives, all of us do, and having such options that force us to break that shell, step out, and reflect our choices is what we truly care about. Even if we are a little late at realizing it.

And running along with the fact that there’s a deeper problem (or gift?) to our lifestyle – and that is change – we set up these unrealistic objectives to beat them down and rise above. And that’s precisely what makes us bear a grudge against the idea of working out and living a healthy life.

Can We Do Better?

This article is concerned with online reading.

It’s no longer easy to stand one’s ground when it comes to online reading. It’s overwhelming to consume information, day in and out, on several topics. As consumers of the digital world, there isn’t only one topic we’d love to read about. There is plenty. And the list is growing still.

So should we dissipate every ounce of stamina we have left, for each day, to consume whatever tabs we have left open? Or there’s some simpler, less confusing way to read what we read today and remember what we have read the day before?

I wouldn’t go so far as saying that the internet is draining our lives because I may it sound like it’s supposed to happen that way. That our habit of responding to the internet is causing the sheer burdening on our brains. While it’s also taking away our social hustle and bustle. It’s now become easier to respond to a comment or article online than it is to reply, via message, to friends and family.

The truth is that we’re letting such godawful things happen to us. And there’s a possibility we aren’t even noticing it. Shrugging it off by believing it’s indifference or contemplation in society.

What role does online reading play on these protocols? It’s quite clear to me, even though it’s not the whole picture. Deciphering the paradigm of online reading down to its last bits is impossible because the existence of it depends on the lives of millions of people worldwide. People have been welcoming and responding to all kinds of information; whether positive or negative, valuable or redundant, accurate or red herring. And it’s because of this movement that we are now throw off guard with so much to read and so much to like and dislike on the web.

The result of such behavior is a sort of disconnect we have with the outside world. While we have become a part of the technology, we are slowing plucking little pieces of it and keeping it for ourselves. A thing like this soon escalates into a habit, a behavior, and later into an invulnerable personality.

Living independently isn’t an option anymore. It’s practically non-existent. The freedom to read, learn, and grow is definitely empowering. But the idea that such a lifestyle holds the license to self-discovery and individuality is horribly, horribly wrong.

Online reading is like an empty parking lot. It’s not your responsibility to fill up the empty spaces, but because you cannot comprehend its emptiness that you decide to show up with all sorts of puzzling pieces of information that aren’t worthy enough to influence your way of thinking.

Collectibles, of any kind, digital or materially-bound, need to have value. So adopting versatile strategies to create a sort of enclave of genuine and unfiltered information is the only way to straighten the little we can of our mystifying digital presence.

From A.I. To What Lies Ahead

Artificial Intelligence will soon replicate human labor by half. Doctors, engineers, pilots and such. But would it last? It’s highly unlikely. Humans are known for their innate ability to draw from experience, knowledge, practice, and even privilege. And since Artificial Intelligence might be the next big thing in technology, and since humans are impervious to become more aware of their competitive surroundings as they are to themselves, this might just tip the scale to a whole new level.

I’m not saying that humans aren’t replaceable and A.I. is doomed to exist for just a generation until we realize the transparent scope of human civilization and how profound it is that it is run by humans and for them, but it seems to me that A.I. is just another existent trend that may soon boil down to just one purpose: proving to humanity that intelligence is much greater that what it was ideally set out to define. I’m saying that if there is a sector somewhere that would do more intelligibly with A.I. than with humans, there is still the demand for human beings to create that sort of technology, to build that foundation, and to maintain a certain kind of status in this world. We see it in the movies.

We hear about it from futurists, but what A.I. represents is just a fraction of what was meant to be invented. It’s not build to replicate human labor and make it more efficient, it is build to encourage intelligence from point X to point Y in a way that was never expected before.

For the short run, A.I. is challenging. For the long run, it may be exhaustive. One of the best qualities of human beings is that they derive a sense of belonging from what they do professionally and if this is taken away from them, it would mean the closing stages of augmentation. And frankly, what’s the point of it all then?

The evolution of humankind is to humanity what cement is to concrete. It’s great that brainy makers of this world have brought to us the scope of transformational reality that bridges the gap between what we have and what we think we eventually might possess, but that bridge is standing on human heads, human intelligence, and human-made postulation. Take this away from them and it will get complicated and knotty (no, it isn’t yet!).

That sense of belonging is great, isn’t it? It is in you as much as it is in me. We have to do something about something, no matter what it is to feel like we’re something. If humans are replaced by commanders who insisted that amount of power and intelligence, then this world will soon become one twisted tale of sadistic progression. I like to call it regression since the road has to lead somewhere, especially where science is concerned.

With the amount of expertise on this subject, A.I. is inevitable and it may soon surpass its own inevitableness when we regard it as an alienated convict that’s capable of defeating us in a way that our entire lives, online and offline, start depending on it. Already we’re turning tables between two worlds, and next in line is Virtual Reality that grants the very much pretended, but actualization of many whims and fancies in our minds, it is expected that we will soon adopt the mask of anonymous trounce of self-insecurity to live our lives made of something more “intelligent“, yet artificial, to the end of our days; this is only if A.I. is excogitated and materialized in place of HUMAN LABOR.

As much as A.I. is an advanced accessory waiting to shine, humankind is the only force that will stand the test of time and progression. Human history and the accurate representation of how A.I. is brought to life is the evidence of that force.

Another key point that differentiates A.I. from human beings beyond compare is the learning capability of the human mind. Even though A.I. research takes the prize in terms of machine vision and speed understanding, computer scientists conveyed in a research paper that A.I. will have more hurdles to jump over one after another infinite. Sectors that are meant to replicate human labor such as driving cars, medical services, etc. aren’t expected to adapt to sudden altering circumstances as they’re hard-wired without an authentic emotional intelligence quotient.

As it turns out that Artificial Intelligence represents the kind of life that might cause more harm than good, considering how people in the past have reacted to an unusual invention. The human mind is now adept to rely on machines one way or another for their betterment, but never will that time come that they begin to embark on a journey that makes human effort even remotely irrelevant.

To,
Artificial Intelligence

It doesn’t give to take. Neither do you. But what’s different between the two of us? We’re made to perish, learn, grow then build, and sometimes even conquer. What you’re made for are all those things that the human mind is incapable of achieving faster and in a more “plastic” way. So, as it takes for a plastic surgeon to make something seem artificially appealing, your appeal is quite on the contrary, that is useful, but it is still artificially developed meant for intelligent jobs alongside humans, but not equal to them. Because when there’s deep learning, there’s humanity; and when there’s calculated feedback, there you are.

Don’t take this personally. With you in the picture I have been awakened to the extended possibility of human intelligence and what it is capable of, but the bigger picture still relies on the human mind and its capabilities in this civilization. Not yours because you’re human-made.

Can you imagine more efficiency in all different walks of life when humans are the crisp representation of everything that ever was and ever will be? I’m sorry that I’m not sorry that I’m just not that into you.

Don’t fret. I expect great things from you. I know you’ll do incredibly well. After knowing you, I have found more depth in technological advancements and autonomous systems. You’re capable of many useful adventures, alongside humans of course. I just don’t see the meaning in working without the “human spirit” in all candidate-sectors. I’d love to meet you one day, someday. I’d love to interact and observe you just as you are. It’s a pleasure knowing you exist while I’m alive.

And I will always want to know more about you. Write back anytime.

Talk soon,
Ayesha Dhurue

What Feminism Is Not For Me

Maybe you have been “told” by others what feminism means for you, individually, or maybe you’ve “seen” some short-lived video of what feminism means for both women and men today. But how is that going to make any difference if you’re still fastened to the mediocre remarks made by both men and women, especially youngsters, about how women MUST be treated equally and how they MUST be looked at differently in the eyes of men, and even society.

Given today’s influence of social media among Facebook or Instagram scrollers, feminism has become a kind of temperament for some women rather than a strong mindset. It has become a weapon for some, while it remains a wave of embarrassing confusion or assumptions for some who are ignorant enough to make up their own “idea” of feminists and debunk the entire realistic concept of it.

Suppression of a concept such as sexism or the mere slaughtering of it by means of completely untrue and contradictory feministic terms is disgusting and frankly, discomforting. We have been told what feminism is, but when do we learn about the truths that don’t make feminism. What feminism isn’t is something that I haven’t been exposed to, if I were to compare it against the versatile articles I’ve come across written by feminists about what feminism is for every human, on an individual level.

If you’re reading this, I request you to make a quick list of what feminism is not, for you and why. This should be done, obviously, after you know the transparency of the concept and its concise definition that frames the society.

WHAT FEMINISM IS NOT FOR ME

  1. It is not ignoring the way men are treated in society:

    We have heard this chant a lot. People think that being a feminist means that you disregard male oppression and only focus on female abuse and issues circling around it. For me, feminism is not just talking about prostitution or rape in the eyes of how women are abused and tortured. When I speak about important and worldly issues that involve the use of bodies as acts of suppression or exploitation, I refer to all men and women. Yes, a majority of them are women, but supporting only one side of the argument means that you don’t care enough about the global consequence of the matter, rather you’re being sexist yourself.

  2. It is not hating men.

    Feminism doesn’t mean hating men. That’s called misandrists. Instead, if we focused on equality of all genders rather than equality of women, we know what’s going on and why. Misandrists hate all men. It is a term like misogynist, but for hating men instead of women. And frankly, as a feminist, hate is a strong word because what good are you doing by hating somebody for what they believe in when feminism is about changing the way people think in the society by means of action and reaction. Women are beautiful when they’re angry, but don’t do it for the wrong reasons.

  3. It is not blaming every man with a “dick” because of certain deceiving men.

    If you think all men want to get into your pants, you’re wrong. But if you only meet men who want to get into your pants, I believe you. But how would you feel if you meet a man who thinks all women are emotionally overpowered just because he met only such? Categorizing the entire human race on a bunch of good-for-nothings, then you truly don’t believe in anything.

  4. It is not making it a “woman’s world”.

    I’m so sick of hearing this. When women get offended by “It’s A Man’s World”, how is that any different when they say that it’s time to make it into a “Woman’s World” through feminism. I thought you were a feminist, not an extremist. What matters the most when you filter the concept of feminism to its absolute definition, is that it is about gender equality and not gender dominance. Don’t make the fact that you’re a woman a weapon to impose upon men everywhere.

  5. It is not about being physically violent with men just because they’re women.

    You want gender equality or do you want men to obey you? We see this now more than ever. Women want to be excused whenever they hit a man. Why? Because we’re women and hitting us would mean sexism. All I’m trying to say is that if we want to be treated equally then we should be willing to accept the entire picture. We won’t let women get away with hitting men in the name of feminism because that’s not what this is all about. For this point, I must say that feminism is discouraging one human to hit another, regardless of their gender.

  6. It is not about showing your bra strap.

    Saying that public display of any kind of clothing is a sure-fire act of feminism, at least in some cases, is disgusting. Both men and women are mouthed off about the kind of clothes they wear. When men wear extremely short shorts, aren’t they laughed at or told that they should wear something more mannerly? It’s the fashion that certain people want to suppress, not sexism. It’s a perception, not a concept. Don’t make something as little as showing your bra strap in public a matter of feminism because it would only make sense if men, too, wore bras and they were not questioned for showing the strap in public.

  7. It is not about perceiving women who do not want to work as being sexists.

    I do want women to work and become independent, but that’s not something that I would express in the name of feminism. Telling women that it’s unacceptable to become a housewife or mother, just because you might not want those things, is ridiculous. Do not label that as being a feminist in any aspect.

  8. It is not about male restriction.

    I know a few women who have been subjected to social or financial restrictions by the men in their lives. Some women do that too, mainly mothers or sisters, but mostly it’s a man who imposes restrictions upon a woman on matters of dressing, social interaction, work life, etc. That doesn’t mean feminist get to impose those same restrictions on men just to prove that they’re equal. The feminist path is to change the perception of having no restrictions at all on another human being, man or woman.

 

These are just the basic and, most often, misunderstood definitions of feminism. Frankly, feminism is a life-changing and revolutionary idea, something that both men and women have to encourage and promote in their lives, but some pillars have been disgracefully manipulated by those pretending to support it in a way that it benefits their individual convenience and comfort.

Being a feminist is hard for every woman because it calls for equality, not dominance. Being a dominant soul is an effortless act, and it doesn’t require courage or intelligence. It calls for insecurity or extremism. Don’t be a dominant soul and learn to be open to gender equality.

If tomorrow you’re riding the bus to work, don’t feel insulted if a man doesn’t willingly get up to let you sit on his seat. You don’t own that seat and unless you’re physically disabled, you shouldn’t be sitting on it just because you’re a feminist.