Human Machine

I received a most wonderful comment yesterday on my post titled The Year of the Chocolate from the creators of the We Feel Fine movement.

Hello!

My name is Sep Kamvar, and I’m a digital artist and computer scientist based out of San Francisco. A few years ago my collaborator and I made a project called “We Feel Fine” (http://wefeelfine.org), which collects human feelings from the Internet. Basically, it searches blogs for occurrences of the phrase “i feel”, and when it finds an occurrence, it automatically adds the surrounding sentence to a database. The project has been running for more than three years, and collects around 20,000 new feelings per day, having collected around 13 million feelings in all.

We are currently working on a book about We Feel Fine to by published by Simon and Schuster. In assembling the book we have searched through millions of feelings captured by We Feel Fine in hopes of selecting what we believe to be the most powerful. From statements that made us laugh to ones that made us cry, the most important criteria was that they simply made us feel. One of these selected statements and images was authored by you. The statement reads :
I feel that everything around me has improved a thousand times better, and I know it is partly because I have improved myself a thousand times better too.” The image is the one above on this page.

I am contacting you today to ask if you would allow us to include your image and statement in the book. We think this is a really beautiful sentiment and would love to include it.
Please let me know if you would be interested in participating. It would truly be our honor. If you decide you would prefer not to be included I thank you anyway and hope you will continue to express yourself as openly and beautifully as you did in this case.

Sincerely,
Sep Kamvar
(www.kamvar.org)
sep@wefeeline.org

Of course I agreed to their request. Actually I feel very much honored that they considered my writing moving – which of course was actually my goal: I wanted to make people feel, to touch lives, and affect change in my own little way.

This reminded me of something I wrote a couple of years ago as an introduction to our literary folio that was published for the university paper last AY 2007-2008, my ‘From the Editor-in-Chief’ piece. It talked about the magnanimous wonder that is the human psyche, the unbelievable passion and struggle that we call ‘normal’ human behavior.

Allow me to share it here once again as I believe it has the capacity to give you a rush of appreciation on how it is to be your own man.

FROM THE EDITOR IN CHIEF

What brings a man down on his knees to pray?

What directs a woman to want to bleed for her love?

What kindles the artist’s soul to seek fluid perfection?

What drives a civilian to run to the streets and raise his closed fist?

Man as theorized has the natural instinct to live; to thrive and toil time and again, amidst all the mixed magnificence and tribulations life has to offer. It is because of this innate nature that man endures and survives perpetually, from where he derives the astonishing strength to defend himself, and to seek vigorously what is due to him; that which urges him to reflect deeply, and figure out what is the one thing he longs to sustain every breath, leading him to never retire until it is gained and felt warmly in his grasp.

This same yearning for life and all  the glorious blessings it has to offer is the same reason why man cries piercingly to the heavens, to fall down on his Father’s knees and beg, and plead, and pray excruciatingly hard in favor of his deepest desires. This zeal of man often leads him to obsessions, to want maddeningly, to plead for his fervor to engulf him completely, until they beat as one, think as one, move as one, until there is no man and his love, because they are finally a single entity – one.

Living a life engulfed by intoxicating ardor is one thing, but as man traverse the unending trail towards his dreams, happiness, contentment, and love, the unforgiving claws of pain and despair cease not to haunt him along the cold, winding path towards transcendence. In the middle of the journey, dark clouds emerge, accompanied by fiery lightning and thunder that later brews into a merciless storm, that creates solid doubts, pounding fears, cutting disappointment and searing pain.

And during this darkest hour, when all hell silently dawns, the secret wish of man to die surfaces, to finally put an end to his sorrow and agony that tortures his soul night and day.

But the clandestine wish is just that – a wish, and that is where it ends; for in the midst of darkness, man never fails to realize that one is only defeated when he refuses to fight, and strive as hard as he can. And the burning desire to want to fight the battle till the end is born. Resiliency, and the strong refusal to bow down, is a must – both a necessity and an obligation.

Through the sultry and soulful notes of poetry and prose, The Defender’s very first issue of TANGGULAN recognizes and celebrates man’s melodius affair with passion and struggle – a fine spin off man’s deepest desires and heartaches that urges him to frantically want to live another day in search of his final destination, where he can finally call himself his own man.

This is an open invitation for one insightful expedition across the fields of triumph and resiliency of the human spirit. Feel free to wander and discover the ambition in the visionary, the compassion in the person-for-others, the verve in the artist, the spirituality in the believer, the intensity in the patriotic, the industry in the student, and courage in the keen traveler along his journey. Marvel at the war dance of passion and struggle, and discover life amidst the battle of the human spirit in a quest for sweet fulfillment and bloody survival.

Most certainly, there is a hefty amount of struggle when you are passionate for something, but you only get to experience struggle when you are passionate enough. And that is the point where the fight begins. Do what you have to do and life will take over from there.

What brings a man down on his knees to pray?

What directs a woman to want to bleed for her love?

What kindles the artist’s soul to seek fluid perfection?

What drives a civilian to run to the streets and raise his closed fist?

Passion. And struggle.

There you go. I wrote this when I was 19. Indeed, man is like one bottled emotion waiting to be poured time and again – and that’s what makes him beautiful.

***

Yesterday, PM went to the big city to take an exam for a job opportunity at the company of a national daily. It took me three long hours to accomplish it, but when I did it felt right.

I would like to give my biggest thanks to my Kuya Alex, MD and his father Kuya for all the help and support they gave me yesterday, for going out of their way to give me assistance. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much! It felt like a rerun of the way to my board exam! LOL. And advance happy, happy birthday to my Kuya Alex, MD on the 27th! Yey! Party time!

Speaking of party, my review center threw a victory party yesterday for what we registered as 87.5% passing rate for them. I was not able to go – I was dead like a road kill cat yesterday.

But to everyone from Succeed Review Center who passed, CONGRATULATIONS! You are now unemployed, but a licensed one at that! LOL. Seriously, good job mate, we did it and we did it good. See you when I see you guys.

FLASH REPORT: PM will be celebrating her first blog birthday tomorrow.

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10 thoughts on “Human Machine

  1. Sep is really going around the blogosphere. I also got this request when I was still a newbie in blogging (and still with my old blog). An entry about Mall of Asia’s fireworks.

    More writings from you, PM. Happy blogniversary!

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