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Desire is the root of all suffering.

There is a story told of a monk who got on a small canoe to meditate among the calm waters. While he was meditating with his eyes closed, he heard another canoe bump into his canoe. At first he ignored it because it was only a minor disturbance, but the other canoe kept bumping into his own over and over again. His irritation at the constant bumping kept building up until he angrily opened his eyes, determined to confront the rider of the other canoe. Alas, when he opened his eyes, he saw that the other canoe was empty and the bumping was caused by the waves on the river. Suddenly all his anger melted as he realised that there was nobody causing the bumping and therefore nobody to confront.

There is a lesson to be learnt here: The next time you are angry at somebody/something/a situation, ask yourself “Who/what am I really angry at?” Was the monk angry about the bumping of his canoe or was he really angry at the thought that somebody was behind it?

There is a difference between a phenomenon and our reactions to them. Most of the time, we mistake our reactions for the situation. Whatever emotions we express at any given time is already within us: Anger, Happiness, Joy, Calm. It only takes external factors to externalise them. Nevertheless, you alone hold the key to whatever emotion you choose to express. Some people will see a rat in their bedroom and freak out, shouting and screaming while others will see the same rat and remain calm and collected. The same phenomenon, different reactions.

Stoicism as a philosophy, teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions. What this means is that a Stoic understands that happenings and our reaction to them are two separate things and therefore seeks to develop better mental models to able to navigate the natural world.

A stoic understands that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ things happen in the world all the time and does not let those things adversely affect their mental balance. A feather is very light and can be moved in any direction by wind while a mountain is heavy and grounded and cannot be easily moved by wind. Some people have the mental fortitude of a feather while some have the mental fortitude of a mountain. The goal of an aspiring stoic therefore, is to get as close to the mental fortitude of a mountain as possible; to not be easily buffeted by external factors.

This is not to say that a Stoic is an unfeeling person who has no emotions, No. Rather, a Stoic is someone who does not easily let their prevailing emotion guide their action. A stoic can be angry but not lash out or speak destructively. A stoic can be in pain but not transfer their pain or aggression onto others.

The ethics of a stoicism advocates reason and self discipline; with Logic, reflection and focus as the methods for self discipline. It is important for a Stoic to master self discipline and to understand that we cannot control the world but we can control how we react to what is happening in the world.

Some of the ideas espoused in stoicism are neither new nor unique, as several religions of the world teach the similar things. In the bible, Matthew 6:25-34 talks about Anxiety and how to cope with it. The Buddha also teaches about detachment in achieving Nirvana with the title of this article referencing the Buddhist teaching of detachment, which in simpler terms teaches that all our sufferings are due to our desires and longings. For instance, you feel disappointment/anger/sadness when your expectations and desires are not met and you feel joy/happiness/fulfilment when your desires are met BUT the problem here is that all of these things are fleeting: your anger, sadness, joy, happiness are all fleeting. After a while, the thing that caused you to feel those things go away and you start to either long for them if they made you feel good or avoid them if they made you feel bad, essentially making ourselves slaves to our desires and longing, hence why it seems like we are always chasing the next high and avoiding the next low. Liberation therefore is when you unlink your emotional state from external factors, when you recognise that your anger/sadness/joy/fulfilment is not dependant on what is happening outside of you but rather inside of you.

Of course none of this is easy to master. It takes a lot of practice and dedication to attain a stable emotional state but the next time you feel yourself about to ‘explode’, step back, take a deep breath, count slowly to 10 and ask yourself why that reaction is the best possible reaction at the moment and what you hope to accomplish by reacting that way.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!!! 🥳


Covid-19 and your human rights

“Your right to swing your arm stops at the tip of my nose.”

The above quote by John B Finch (paraphrased) highlights the limits of our liberties with respect to others. In other words, our rights and freedoms have a limit and these limits are usually when it begins to harm others.

Continue reading “Covid-19 and your human rights”

Covid-19 and Religion, wetin de sup?

Whenever a new global illness arises in the world, there is usually a very predictable variety of responses:

  1. The conspiracy theorists who will go on and on about it being a huge scam by Big Pharma to manufacture an illness in order to make money or how it is a weaponized weapon to decimate the African population or some other fear mongering story…
  2. The religious nut-heads who will say it is a punishment from their deity for the sin of homosexuality or abortion or some other imagined sin they are currently pissed off about.
  3. The scientists and governments all over the world trying their best to contain it and find a cure, with various degrees of success and failure.
  4. Then there are the various other alternative cure proponents from herbalists, faith healers and other unorthodox treatment merchants.
Continue reading “Covid-19 and Religion, wetin de sup?”

…On Stan Culture.

Why do we adore celebrities so much?*

I love Tu face. I absolutely love the guy. Together with AĹźa, they are my 2 best Nigerian musicians. I have said before that if AĹźa or Tu face fart into a microphone and sell it as music, I’d buy it. That is how much I love their art.

But that is as far as it goes for me. I don’t care if Asa is married or not. I don’t care if Tu face has 33 children by 20 women. As far as I’m concerned, their private life does not concern me as long as they keep making good music and are not actively hurting people. I don’t spend my days surfing the internet looking for the latest scandal involving my favourite celebrity. I really don’t care what clothes they wear, what hairstyles they are sporting etc. Honestly, I find it quite amusing when people think that just because a Celebrity can sing/act/dance/write/whatever-their-talent-is, then that person is the go-to for every other life choices. I will not Stan 2Baba so much that I am going to ignore or defend him over something in his personal life that could be potentially harmful and of which I don’t even have all the details. Furthermore, I won’t take his opinion over other matters unrelated to his music as gospel just because I love his music. In other words, 2Baba can’t tell me who to vote for, the type of clothes to wear or the kind of food to eat…and honestly I’m still baffled why people look up to celebrities that much.

Continue reading “…On Stan Culture.”

Stop beating your children. Really, stop.

Why do we beat children? You say Discipline but I ask, is it effective?

Numerous research papers have looked into the long term effects of corporal punishment and the conclusion has been that while it causes immediate compliance, it is not an effective long term method for teaching a child discipline or conflict resolution. In fact, there is a strong association between corporal punishment (including situations where the parent doesn’t think it is abuse) and development of mental illness, future partner abuse, violence and anti-social behaviour.

Continue reading “Stop beating your children. Really, stop.”

Dear Azaya, why are you such a slut?

I’ve been in a lot of relationships in my life and I use the term ‘relationship’ very loosely. Nevertheless, every single relationship I’ve been in have taught me a valuable lesson about myself or about human nature in general, which is why I don’t usually have negative things to say about my exes. Of course, I’ve been lucky enough to not have been in abusive or terrible relationships and for that I’m thankful.

Continue reading “Dear Azaya, why are you such a slut?”

Dear Male Feminist, wetin be your work sef?

While talking with a friend recently, we got to the topic of victim blaming in cases of sexual assault and how a lot of people tell women to always be careful and dress well blah blah without bothering to tell men to not rape women. At some point she told me about how she asked her boyfriend if he had ever talked to his younger brother about sexual harassment and apparently it didn’t sit well with the boyfriend because he felt that talking to his brother about that would imply that he sees his younger brother as a potential sexual harasser; this, coming from someone who is presumably a feminist ally.

This got me really thinking…

A lot of men can see all women as potential rape victims but can never see men as potential harassers. Most men imagine that rapists are usually random people who waylay you on a dark lonely road and violently assault you but the reality is far from that.

Continue reading “Dear Male Feminist, wetin be your work sef?”

Introduction – Index post

I’m old old .

A few weeks ago I was thinking about getting back to writing my long posts seeing as I stopped active Facebooking and twitter doesn’t easily afford one the freedom to make long ass posts. I listed the attributes I needed from this platform in my head, namely: It has to be free (listen, I’m poor, okay?), it has to have a user interface like most word document apps and most of all, it has to be personalised without it being a regular social media platform.

Continue reading “Introduction – Index post”

Welcome to Outreachy week 1


Hi, my name is Isaiah Akorita. I am an Outreachy intern in the May 2023 cohort. I am from Nigeria and currently reside there. I officially began the internship on the 29th of May and my project focuses on Data Visualization. Specifically, I will be recreating the plots from the book “Fundamentals of Data Visualization” by Claus O. Wilke using the Bokeh library.

Bokeh is an interactive visualization library for modern web browsers. It provides elegant, concise construction of versatile graphics and affords high-performance interactivity across large or streaming datasets. Bokeh can help anyone who wants to create interactive plots, dashboards, and data applications quickly and easily.

Data visualization plays a crucial role in transforming complex data into meaningful insights. By leveraging the power of visual representation, we can uncover patterns, trends, and relationships that might otherwise remain hidden. As I delve into recreating the plots from the book using the Bokeh library, I am excited to explore the art and science of presenting data in a visually compelling and informative manner.

My greatest motivation for attempting to join the Outreachy internship program was the desire to experience working in a team, particularly as a newcomer in the tech space. As a self-taught python programmer, I have never had the opportunity to collaborate with others or contribute to open-source projects until now. Thus, this internship presents an excellent opportunity for me to gain firsthand experience of working in a globally diverse team.

I first heard about Outreachy through a friend who was a former Intern of the program. I initially applied when I was starting out in my Tech journey last year but I was not accepted. Back then, I was aware that my chances were slim due to my limited knowledge of the skills and requirements. Nonetheless, the experience provided me with valuable insights as I studied the work of the selected intern of that cohort. This is my third attempt to secure a place in the internship program, and I am happy my perseverance paid off.

During my first one-on-one meeting with my mentors, I asked them why they selected me out of the many candidates who also applied for the same project. They told me they were impressed by my application, contributions, proactive nature, and how I interacted with other applicants during the contribution phase. So, if you are considering applying for the Outreachy program, you know what to do!

I am a naturally curious person and have always wanted to be able to explain things about people and places through data. The field of data analysis and data visualization aligns well with one of my core values, and I believe this internship will enhance my skill set while providing me with invaluable experience in the field.

Furthermore, I consider myself open-minded and place great value on the exchange of ideas, especially when it involves opposing viewpoints. I try to form my opinions based on the strength and rationality of the arguments presented, regardless of the subject matter.

Kindness is another core value of mine. I appreciate acts of kindness in interpersonal relationships, and I try to reciprocate that kindness towards others. I firmly believe that the world will be a much better place if we approach our interactions with kindness, irrespective of the circumstances. Of course, this is easier said than done as we are all works in progress, continuously striving to become better human beings every day.

Join me on this exciting journey as I embark on this remarkable experience. Through recreating the plots from book, I aim to enhance my skills in data visualization and gain valuable experience in the field. I am eager to collaborate with my mentors, learn from their expertise, and contribute to the fascinating world of data visualization.

Until next time!