Favorite Synthwave Artists

Synthwave (also known as outrun or retrowave) is a genre that I found in my YouTube recommendations, and it's one of the few recommendations that YouTube gave to me that I actually like.

For those who don't quite understand what synthwave is, it is a sub-genre of electronic music that is heavily inspired by the 1980's music of films and video games. It's called synthwave because of the use of synthesizer instruments.

With that explainer out of the way, here are my favorite synthwave artists (complete with links to their music so that you can support them):
  1. Scandroid - one of three projects of American multi-instrumentalist Klayton, Scandroid's tracks focus on the futuristic, neon-lit city of Neo Tokyo. He takes the normal synthwave sound and transforms it into an awesome futuristic sound that resonates with you. His most famous track is "Neo-Tokyo", and you might like it.
  2. Miami Nights 1984 - classic retrowave is what you will find with Miami Nights 1984, and the sound - in my honest opinion - never fails to fascinate me. It brought me to a time I'll never really know (because I'm a 2000's kid). I would recommend giving their track "Accelerated" a listen cause it's a masterpiece.
  3. LeBrock - his tracks give me a sort of synth-pop vibe, mixing elements of pop music with synthesizers. And it makes for a great combination. Tracks like "Please Don't Cry" and "Juice" are tunes to dance and/or sing to.
  4. PYLOT - He has two EPs: Shadowtask and Solai. But Solai is the one I tend to go back to, primarily because it tells a story. A story which can be read on his website in the form of journal entries that provide backstory and context to his music.

A Rant About Space

Space is so incredibly immense and so infinite that the human psyche fails to comprehend its true size. For as long as we've existed, we've looked to the stars - wondering what other life is out there, wondering to ourselves "what if we could travel past the confines of Earth?" In July 1969, we took the first major steps into space by sending three brave individuals - Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins - to the Moon and returned them safely back to Earth in the famed Apollo 11 mission.

Now, my generation – consisting of teenagers and young adults – will be the generation that sends humans to Mars within ten to twenty years. This is the side of humanity I would like to see more often: one making progress not only in peace and honor, but in science and technology.

I conclude this blog post with the following questions: Once we start to establish colonies on Mars, where do we go next? What is our next destination? What will the future look like in twenty, thirty, forty, or even fifty years?

I Fear Immortality

Immortality, by definition "to live forever", frightens me for good reasons. I personally consider it a curse to be immortal, and let me elaborate on why.

If tomorrow I suddenly became immortal, I would have to watch my immediate family and friends grow up, live their lives, and die. The same would happen to the children of my friends and family, and their children and their children's children - it's a cyclical process, and a mentally scarring one at that.

To further strengthen my fears I wonder what were to happen to my immortal body when the heat death of the universe takes place. Will I restart life anew? Will I be greeted to an afterlife or complete darkness? Will I simply cease to exist in this plane of existence?

Though it may spark existential crises, it is the unanswered questions - is there an afterlife, are we alone in the universe, are we living in a simulation - that peak my interest. If only they could be answered...

9/11: Never Forget

"Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our tallest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. We will not tire, we will not falter, we will not fail." ~George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States

The tragedy of the September 11, 2001 attacks is not lost on us - we will never forget the thousands of people who perished during those attacks: from the victims in the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and the airliners to the first responders on the scene saving as many people as they can. And to those first responders, I would like to express much gratitude for your service and sacrifices. It must have been very difficult and psychologically damaging to deal with a tragedy of such grand proportions as this. But your sacrifices and service were not in vain at all.

The Transportation Security Administration was founded two months after the attack and, according to PBS NewsHour, this included "stricter guidelines on passenger and luggage screening" and "an ever-changing array of machinery and procedures were introduced to scan for weapons and destructive items". Also according to PBS NewsHour, airplanes fortified their cockpit doors, and some airliners dropped first-class cabin curtains. Overall, these changes, among others such as the PATRIOT Act helped to improve air transportation and national security.

May the families of the victims be blessed with love and peace in these times of grief and despair. It's hard to lose loved ones, and we grieve over the loss of them - that is normal, and human.

As a nation, we will never forget the tragic events of 9/11. As George W. Bush said, "We will not tire, we will not falter, we will not fail."


Take a Break from Social Media

We need to take time away from social media, because clearly these sites are detrimental to our health and our online privacy. Sites like Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat are programming our minds to check for notifications, to check for likes or views or retweets or comments SUBCONSCIOUSLY - it's has become a psychological need.

A lot of us have low self-esteem because we tend to isolate ourselves to our cell phones and outcast ourselves from the real world. We don't think highly of ourselves, so we look to social media sites like Snapchat and Twitter and Facebook and Instagram for a sense of validation from others, a sense of validation that we're good people.

Social media is detrimental to our online privacy - every photo you post to Instagram, every post you make on Facebook, everything you Tweet, everything you post on social media makes you vulnerable. You post too much information about your likes, your hobbies, your places of residence - that information can be used in identity theft schemes and your accounts can be hacked into. Hell, you shouldn't give away your mother's maiden name outright - that is most often a security question on account with two-step authentication. Of course it's common sense not to post your physical address, your bank account details, your passwords to websites. But oftentimes we are too willing to reveal more about ourselves, and we inadvertently give away details that could be used against us or used to hack into an account of ours.

So how do we solve this? By taking a damn break from social media. There's books to read, friends and family to hang out with, opportunities to volunteer for a charity or a church - you could do anything in the real world and become a productive member of society.

Social media is turning us into zombies.