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CrosspostPSA: Mark Frost, author and co-creator of the television show 'Twin Peaks' is having an AMA on r/twinpeaks right now!

Nov 7th 2016 by MrFlow • 17 Questions • 108 Points

I'm a journalist who spent three years trying to solve a Rubik's Cube in under 20 seconds. Eleven years ago, I learned to solve the puzzle thanks to Toby Mao, who taught Will Smith for "The Pursuit of Happyness." I documented my quest in "Cracking The Cube: Going Slow to Go Fast and Other Unexpected Turns in the World of Competitive Rubik's Cube Solving," which was recently featured in the New York Post. The book touches on everything from my journey into speedcubing to the story of Erno Rubik, the reclusive Hungarian who invented the puzzle, and whom I had the pleasure to interview in person. Today I'm back in the Post's office to talk more about my love of The Cube and answer your questions.

Proof: http://imgur.com/8eZ4WEg

Update: Thanks for all your questions! I had a great time answering them! I'll get to any I didn't answer later! "CRACKING THE CUBE" is available everywhere books are sold--and I'll be doing more events in the future! Check out my website at www.ianscheffler.com if you want to learn more. I'm also active on twitter at @ian_scheffler, Instagram at @ian_scheffler and @thegentlemancuber, Facebook at @ianschefflerauthor and on YouTube!

Q:

Woah:

The young entrepreneur invested the ACC compensation payment he received after his accident into the stock market, he "did alright" and used his earnings to buy a house.

Was that a bit of a risky gamble in hindsight?

How much is "alright"?

A:

Do you know what were the reason(s) your family decided to come over to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago, and if so what were they?


Q:

Did you read guides on how to get faster (such as the Fridrich method), or if you figure it out all by yourselves? And since the world record is around 5 seconds, do you think you'll keep trying to go faster to reach that?

A:

I invested about 40k (not all of my money) into 10 different ventures with varied risk, after lots of research, so I was pretty safe but obviously not immune. I made 25-30k over a couple of years.


Q:

Specifically? I've heard this and that from my dad but I just never thought about it really. It hasn't been really something I've had to think about. Overall I think it was just in pursuit of a better life. The U.S. carries a certain mythos in Trinidad (probably a stronger, more positive one then than now to be 100% honest).

He was in the U.S. when he got news that my mother was pregnant and from what I understand he fell in love with the place so he wanted to bring us here eventually. I can ask my father more detail when he wakes up if anything and I'll definitely edit this post later with what he says.

EDIT: Typos, it's late :D

A:

So I've interviewed hundreds of people in the process of writing this book, and can more or less count on two hands the number of people who figured it out on their own. (Obviously Rubik, the inventor, had to!) So that's really hard, and you need some pretty high level spatial and mathematical skills.

I learned initially from a person, Toby Mao, a former world record holder, and then got faster by a mix of internet stuff (like youtube--check out badmephisto's videos on YouTube) and meeting cubers at competitions and asking for advice!

As far as the world record goes, there's no way I'll ever beat that. It's down to 4.74 seconds, which was set by Mats Valk, a really awesome cuber from Holland, just the other weekend.

but I do hope to keep getting faster--my goals next year are to get a sub-11 second single and sub-15 second average in competition!


Q:

Nice.

2 years ago I fell playing soccer and broke my c2. I was very lucky though and had no major issues after the bone healed. However I still have ongoing problems like headaches and neck pain that may never go away. There are days where I get very pissed off with it all. Then i find a thread like this and it puts it into perspective.

Very inspiring. Keep it up.

A:

What a dumb question. Have you seen Trinidad and Tobago? Enough said.


Q:

I taught him beginner layer by layer method. 4 look last layer.

A:

Thanks :-) I'm glad you healed well. 2 years isn't long though, my body was still adjusting until about 5 years, so if you keep up with physio and range of neck movement, hopefully you'll keep improving.


Q:

I think that's harsh. It's a young nation with the struggles that young nations face.

A:

Haha, hey Toby!


Q:

Thanks for that. It sure feels long :)

Overall, I'm probably having more good days than bad ones in the last while so need to stay positive.

Wish you well. It's folks like you that motivate others in similar situations.

A:

You've been in the US for 20 years...couldn't you apply for citizenship? The tests are based on stuff you should have learned in school.


Q:

What's your main speed cube?

A:

I'm glad I can help :-) I wish you well too.


Q:

Good question.

Citizenship is basically impossible to get. It is not easy at all, unless you get married, have a direct family member here who is a citizen, or have some extenuating circumstance like fear of persecution or death in your home country (so you're basically a refugee or an asylee). You can get sponsored through work, but that process carries so. Much. Baggage. And people are subject to a lot of abuse and manipulation very frequently because they're desperate.

It's also quite expensive. You can file the paperwork on your own, but there are so many different documents and directions and guidelines that all break down into such specificity that you need to follow everything to a T lest you get your paperwork denied or sent back for correction (and this takes months to work through sometimes). Most people opt to get lawyers, and those run into the dozens of thousands in some cases. Many people are manipulated by predatory lawyers who exploit their desperation for legal status and take their money, give them the runaround, then disappear or do nothing.

I actually could be a citizen right now. Parent to child naturalization is the quickest, most direct route there is outside of maybe marriage to a citizen, I believe. My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in my freshman year of high school (2008), so money and energy was very tight in the final few years of her life. My mother did file a petition for citizenship on my behalf, and it was approved, but she passed in 2013 before we could move to the next step.

Essentially, my petition went into limbo after she died. 3-4 years and several thousand dollars later, I'm back on the path, but it's only because of some clauses that were changed around during the Obama administration that extends certain exceptions previously only made for the surviving spouses of those that took the marriage route but then lost their spouse (as in, they died).

You can read more about it here.

A:

At the moment, I use a Gans 356 S, but I'm thinking of switching to the Valk 3. I tried out some magnetic speedcubes recently and really liked them!


Q:

Just made a pledge on KS. Best of luck with the game.

A:

Hey dude, I'm just like you. How do you feel?


Q:

I just switched from the Gans 356s to the Valk 3. Its amazing I would recommend it for a main.

A:

Thanks so much! I really appreciate it :-)


Q:

Numb. Isolated. I bawled my eyes out election night. I had so much hope that Hillary would win, if only just to preserve my livelihood and place in this country. I have friends who are immigrants or know immigrants as well, but none of them really know what this feels like.

I don't know what's coming, but I'm trying to minimize the damage it's going to have on my future. I have such a strong zeal for improving this world and it hurts for people to tell me that I'm not working hard enough or that I belong somewhere else, or just tough shit. I didn't fucking ask for this.

A:

I have one! It's almost too fast for me, though. It supercharges my TPS and then I lose my lookahead. :(


Q:

speaking of the bone zone, can your girlfriend enjoy your bone zone?

A:

I'm in the same boat as you man. I was brought here when I was 4, and haven't left these borders since. My experience is a little unique, in that I was completely fucked by the system. My mother, little infant brother, and I came here in 1989. At some point in the late 90s or early 00s, we were given our legal status, except that although my mother and brother received their green cards in the mail, mine didn't come. I waited and waited, and waited some more, for a couple of years. Then one day (I was about 15 or so), i received a letter telling me to go to the local INS office for fingerprinting. My uncle was a bit perplexed by this, but my mother assumed it was in order to receive my card. I, being 15 and having lived my entire life in America, felt all this to be inconsequential. After all, I'm a typical American teenager just wanting to go to football practice and doing my homework. My uncle came with me to the office, and coincidentally ran into a relative there who happened to be translating for a recent arrival from the same country as me. The recent arrival's name? U/roosterclan. Same exact name as me. When we finally got to speak to someone at the office, we realized that because both of us had the same original name and both were uniquely changed in spelling upon arrival to the exact same new name (if that makes sense), our papers were mixed up. They sent me a letter to give fingerprints again and start the whole process over again, although the letter was only intended for him. My original status? Washed away because they thought it was a duplicate and only his file was kept. I had no green card to speak of because it never came in. Only thing I had was my A#, and they were able to find some hint of my legal status, but not enough. They said they'd look into it.

I'm 32 now. I have never been able to get a solid answer from the INS. I have never filed for DACA because I was given employment authorization, as this a SS#, as a child because we were granted asylum. I have been paying taxes since I was 14. I read, write, and speak English better than anyone I know personally. I have a degree in English. I have a full time job. I am married three years to my natural-born citizen wife, and we have a brand new baby girl. I drive an American car, I root for American teams, I don't speak any language but English (not the language of my birth nation), I have never been convicted of a crime nor arrested for that matter, and I am uncertain of what my future in this country looks like.


Q:

I read your book and I would like to know whether you started going to competitions because you had the idea to write the book or vice versa.

So when did you decide to write the book? Was that before you attended US Nationals 2012 or did you have the idea there?

A:

Already answered - but you bet her sweet ass she can.


Q:

Oh my god. I am so fucking sorry, man. This is exactly what I'm talking about when I try to get people to understand that immigration in this country and what constitutes an "illegal immigrant" or someone out of status IS NOT BLACK AND WHITE. People get caught up in human fucking errors every day, people are fucked over every day even though they "do it right". You have my eternal sympathy and I pray this country gets its head right on immigration before too long.

A:

So, I knew i wanted to write a book, or rather to write something that was long and ambitious, but didn't really have a subject--so I suppose that came first. But it also went hand in hand with going to competitions--Toby Mao, the veteran cuber who taught me to solve the puzzle years ago, basically challenged me before my first comp, in 2012, saying "How can you write about this if you don't do it?"

At the same time, I wasn't sure this would turn into a book--I didn't have a publisher or anything at the time, and figured maybe I'd write an article about this--but the more and more I went to competitions and realized there was so much to it, and it hadn't been written about with much depth, the more I thought it could be done!


Q:

i was too excited to use bone zone i didnt think to check :P

A:

By deporting you and your family and continuing that policy with future immigrants who overstay their visas or otherwise come here illegally we'll prevent these situations from happening in the future.

Been here your whole life? You're right - it would really suck to be deported back to a native Country where you don't know the culture or speak the language. It's not exactly fair.

We should have deported your parents the moment they overstayed their visa. You wouldn't have grown up here for so long, and wouldn't be in this situation.

We can prevent this from happening to future generations by enforcing our immigration policies.


Q:

-What are your thoughts on patent holders vs actual manufactures. Are they just trolls?
-what brand model do you prefer?
-what's your current 3x3 pb? -do you enjoy solving other cubes? 2x2, 4x4, etc? -What's you wca id?

A:

I know the feeling :-)


Q:

My mother and her mother are naturalized citizens. I actually don't know if she overstayed her visa, to be frank. I didn't ask, and there was never any reason to tell me. That should hopefully tell you something about people like me. We are human, and our circumstances are deserving of compassion. I'm actually even entitled to citizenship, but you're telling me I should be deported. For what, exactly?

A:

1) This is a really complicated issue. I try to walk a fine line in the book between explaining that without the titans of Rubik's Cube history like Tom Kremer, the founder of Seven Towns, none of us would be talking about Rubik's Cube today, and to make clear that you don't have to have a speedcube to enjoy the puzzle. But it's also true that speedcubes and the progression in puzzle design are an integral part of the world of speedcubing.

So I think my hope is that both parties can collaborate--if cubing is going to keep growing, they'll have to!

2) I like a lot of different cubes and brands, but QiYi Mofange (which makes the Valk 3, and sponsors Mats Valk) and Gans puzzle are doing great work right now. (And I'd also like to point out that, for beginners, the new Rubik's brand speedcube is a great option!)

My current main is the Gans 356 S, which is a bit old, BUT i've spent a long time breaking the cube in and lubing it, etc., so it works for me.

3) My 3x3 pbs are 11.94 lucky at home, 13.xx nl at home, and 16.xx single in competition. (My best average at home is 16.5 and in comp is 18.4)

I do enjoy solving other cubes, but don't enjoy the other cubic puzzles as much as the classic 3x3, because you're always basically turning them into 3x3s. What I really want to get into is BLD and Megaminx!

My WCA ID is 2012SCHE03


Q:

Do you really?

r/imgoingtohellforthis

A:

Did your parents not come on student visas like you stated above? If that's true then they were granted on the condition that they were temporarily allowed to go to school here. And from what I can tell your parents were no longer going to school and decided to try and stay anyways right? Sorry bro, I don't like it or think it's fair, but you are definitely not entitled to be here.


Q:

Why do you suggest the Rubik's speedcube for beginners? From what I've heard it's not that great. Also, it's really expensive compared to cubes like the Qiyi Thunderclap (under $6 on cubezz.com). If a beginner is willing to spend that much money on a cube, why not just get a Valk?

A:

Haha touche


Q:

I actually don't too much about the specifics pertaining to my parents immigration circumstances. I do know that my mother came here with a degree and worked until she died. She was naturalized, and that most definitely entitles me to citizenship. I'm on the path, actually. If you don't understand immigration laws, please educate yourself about what does and doesn't entitle someone, what is and isn't possible, and the very real consequences of overstepping or doing something wrong in the process. People don't generally play around with immigration, man. We are not criminals. People get caught in the cracks all the time, and there needs to be an answer for them.

A:

Well, if you're at Target and want to get a cube for your niece or nephew, it's perfectly appropriate. Also, when you start out, hardware will have a much smaller impact on your times than getting more move efficient.

But if you want to get into speedcubing, and you know what speedcubing is (and I mean the general "you" here), speedcubes clearly make the most sense, both for price and performance; but, again, most folks who pick up the cube for the first time probably don't even know what sub-10 is! (Or if they do, they're a long way from getting there.)

Also, to be clear, I'm not trying to pick favorites. (I'm trying NOT to.) Any speedcube will be good for beginners, regardless of the brand, since there's so much learning to do before things like corner cutting technology really start to matter. Personally, I think it's much better to turn slowly when you start out, so you can develop your lookahead!


Q:

Hey Tim, just wondering - when you gonna chill the fuck out and stop making us all look bad?

Jk man. I wish you a long, beautiful and productive life.

A:

There is an answer, you just don't like it. Also you frequently admit you don't know much about the particularities of your parents situation, yet you seem so confident everything was on the up and up, how the hell would you know? Sounds like if anyone needs to study up it's you bro.


Q:

If you had to go back in time and choose some other competition/hobby besides cubing to get into, what would you choose and why?

A:

Haha thanks :-)


Q:

Eh, I know that I'm not getting deported anytime soon regardless of what Trump has done. I'm fine, my parents did it right.

A:

So I actually have a lot of hobbies--I used to swim competitively, for instance, and have considered doing that at an adult level (like with masters swimming). So I wouldn't say cubing is my ONLY competition/hobby.

But I would have LOVED to do the spelling bee growing up--only my school never did one! :(


Q:

Can I please help develop your game? I live in Canterbury too.

A:

How can you say your parents did right if you've admitted numerous times that you don't even know what process they went through? Personally I think if a kid is brought here legally but grows up here they should be allowed to stay. However I also think there needs to be a hard Crackdown people who willfully come here illegally now so as to not set a precedent that we are lax on illegal immigration. My parents came here in the eighties legally and even though it was hard they spend over a decade working for their citizenships. The process is difficult for a reason, we cannot as a nation afford to take in every desperate person or we will collapse


Q:

R2' F2 R2 is a little nicer and ergonomic

A:

Definitely maybe! PM your details and I'll be in touch if I raise enough monies. Unless you don't need money? Do you have experience with Unity?


Q:

We're talking about Rampart here, can we please stay on topic?

A:

So I've heard! Thanks for the reminder. Now that I have time to focus on other events, I'll definitely pick Ortega up :)


Q:

I don't know if you're still answering questions and this is probably a dumb one but how do you drive if you can't use your arms and legs?

A:

You have my sympathy. If you want more compassion I'd lose the word "entitled" as you communicate your very unfortunate situation. For all those that like and learn from history I recommend the book "A History of the American People" by Paul Johnson. Legal immigration when America had limitless free land needing to be settled was a completely different situation and the context for the words on the statue of liberty. Today's equivalent of limitless land is a job and the pursuit. Unfortunately, when citizens can't find jobs or believe in their version of the American dream, illegal immigrants will be perceived as their competition. My utopia - It would be great if the whole world had equivalent cultures to pursue life, liberty and happiness then immigration would be solved.


Q:

Have you always been interested in puzzles? Are there other puzzles that have helped craft your cube skills?

A:

Hand controls. Left hand has a glove with a pin in it which slots into the steering wheel to turn. Right has a glove that controls brake/accelerator, push/pull lever respectively. The head rest has buttons for indicator and high beam/low beam, which I control with my head. Auto gears, and auto windscreen wipers.


Q:

Well, the visas/green cards for parents seeking to naturalize their children are unlimited in number. I don't think entitled is an entirely inaccurate term. If it's too distracting, then let's say guaranteed as long as I maintain elibiglity (as in, no crimes committed by myself and I don't leave the U.S.).

A:

So, I have always liked puzzles, but I've never been obsessed to such a degree with any other puzzle. I think the cube is fairly unique, because most puzzles you play with as a kid (or that i played with as a kid) are two-dimensional, jigsaws and the like. (Although my mom did love her some three-dimensional jigsaws.)

I would say I'm now super-interested in puzzles of all kinds. I particularly love the work of Oskar van Deventer, a puzzle designer in Holland, and Kagen Sound, who designs these insane wooden puzzles that cost as much as sports cars. (One of them is basically a functional pipe organ the size of a desk, which is ALSO a desk, and you have to play the right sequence of notes by opening and closing the drawers, which activates the pipes, to open hidden compartments, which reveal still FURTHER puzzles.)


Q:

I don't have the physical level of problems you do but i am really struggling with disabilities. Despite not being as serious as yours, my ability to function is way less. The past 10 months I've hurt my knee and lost the ability to walk. Prior to that I've had a chronic condition for 17 years that impacts my upper body strength and is very painful. As a result I'm struggling with mobility. I am reliant on my husband ro carry my wheelchair down our house stairs so i can leave the house. That only happens on good days when my arms are strong enough to scoot me down while in sitting and when my husband has time to carry the empty wheelchair down and take me out. I can't self propel my wheelchair. I get intense pain when i do go out from overpushing my limits. As a result I rarely leave my home and my spirit and soul cry out desperately for the things of life i intensly miss such as a walk in the autumn leaves, a trip to Starbucks, a visit in a friends home, going on a little trip to a lake or park. The things you mentioned like travelling to 4 continents or going to school etc seem as far removed from my reality as a trip to Mars. I'd give every penny i posess to regain the ability to function in life. I am alive but not living. I guess what i want to know is how to do this. I'm not a quadriplegic and my disabilities are not as high yours, yet you live a life i can only dream of. Please, how do i function more like you? At this point, the ability to physically exit my own front door seems a dream. How do I find a life to live?

Thanks in advance for your consideration of my question. I'd be so grateful for your thoughts.

A:

I had so much hope that Hillary would win, if only just to preserve my livelihood and place in this country.

if you are not here legally, you don't have a place in this country anyways. If you are here legally, then great to have you--legal immigration is what has made this nation stronger over the last 240 years, and I welcome you with open arms.


Q:

What do you think is the largest accomplishment in the cubing world?

A:

That's tough. Aside from lobbying your government to provide carer support for those with disabilities, I would suggest trying to focus on the things you can do rather than the things you can't, and finding the courage to do things outside your comfort zone. Travel takes lots of planning to make sure everything is accessible, and it's definitely nerve wracking and uncomfortable (I had to bed wash while I'm away from home), but I was really motivated to find a way to see the world. Here's my travel blog if you're interested http://timsmosey.blogspot.co.nz/

I don't really leave the house often either, but with a computer and the internet, the world is my oyster. I studied online, except for a couple of block courses, and have tried to set up a career from home. Try to think about what you can do, set your life up to be fulfilling within that lifestyle, and try to forget about the rest. Also make long-term goals about where you want to be and take small steps (so to speak) constantly to work towards that dream. It will happen eventually. Good luck and Kia Kaha.


Q:

Thanks, when I get my green card, I'll remember to find you so I can take my place between your arms, baby. Be sure to keep 'em open in the meantime, your individual arms mean so much to me.

A:

Well, I'd have to say this last weekend is up there--there are some records that are just so hard to break. So Kaijun Lin breaking all the BLD records (except multi-BLD) is pretty exceptional. Not to mention Mats Valk using his own method--VLS--to get a 4.74!

But for me, personally, the biggest accomplishment implies something more: it's not just a record, maybe, but a result, or something personal overcome.

So, here's a couple of contenders for me:

  • Yu Da-Hyung becoming the first female world record holder (she broke the Megaminx WR, for the first time in 2014)

  • Feliks Zemdegs getting that insane 7x7 single WR at the World Championship in Sao Paulo in 2015. Basically Kevin Hays got the WR, left the stage, said to Feliks I hope you don't break the WR, Feliks goes on stage, breaks the record, all the while Kevin is tearing his hair out, and Feliks was just so nonchalant about it--he told me he didn't expect the solve to be nearly that fast. (Which is always how fast solves feel!)

  • Basically Feliks's whole career, which is just nuts, and includes everything from the first sub-10 average to his 6.88-second OH WR.

  • The way so many cubers have given so much to make this hobby so lively and thriving; from taking cubes to competitors abroad, who might not have the money for the equipment, to the Gutierrez Cuba brothers in Peru busking with their puzzles at traffic intersections to make money and get to Brazil for worlds. Really, as Natan Riggenbach, the former WCA board member, once put it, we're all in this together, and our only enemies are time itself and the cube; it's amazing that we've managed to build a community that is at once so competitive and so supportive, which is my favorite accomplishment :)


Q:

Can you be more specific about your mobility ? What parts of your body are you able to move?

A:

i don't care what the hell you do, just do it legally. and don't turn our country into whatever third world shithole you and your family came from.


Q:

Not to mention Mats Valk using his own method--VLS--to get a 4.74!

a tad pedantic but it's a subset, not a method :P

A:

Biceps, triceps (after tendon transfer surgery), deltoids, half of my shoulder muscles, and up.


Q:

I'm really sorry you feel that way. Trinidad and Tobago is not a third world shithole, it's just not my home.

A:

True! Thanks for the correction


Q:

is it difficult to use your computer after your injury? If you are programming you must use it well but do you need special computers or software. It must be difficult to find out about all different options

A:

Sorry so many people are being cunts in this thread OP. Stay strong, and know that you have at least 51% of the population rooting for you.


Q:

Not Ian, but there is no better feeling for a cuber than figuring out a puzzle on your own.

A:

I use my knuckle to type one letter at a time for small things, and the govt bought me voice recognition software which I use for longer messages/assignments. The govt also has technology specialists to tell you the options. Our healthcare is the shit.


Q:

I expected trolls, I know /r/t_d must be foaming at the mouth the last couple days and this thread is like a bat signal to them. I'd say it's probably much more than 51%. I trust that most Americans would have compassion for my and other's situations if they knew the realities we face. Thank you for your support. :)

A:

I have to agree. You should give it a try; I regret not trying harder as a kid to figure it out on my own, because that sense of solving a puzzle is super unique and really worth experiencing.

(Still, I don't regret at all learning from Toby! Had a great time falling sidways into the world of cubing.)

When I got a pyraminx (someone gifted one to me a couple of years ago) I was determined to solve it on my own, which is obviously a lot easier, since it has millions of permutations, not quintillions.


Q:

Have you heard of the studies involving stem cells to reverse paralysis and would you participate if it were viable? Congrats on continuing to LIVE in a manner better than people without your injuries.

A:

I know /r/t_d must be foaming at the mouth the last couple days

You mean months and months?


Q:

A lot of cubers like to do a lot of the various WCA events, is there any other event that you excel at?

And what do you think of some of the cubing legends like Feliks Zemdegs and Marcin Maskow Kowalczyk?

A:

Yeah there seem to be quite a few studies that are progressing well. Maybe in 5-10 years when they've done enough human clinical trials I'll participate. I don't think it will get me walking, but I don't need to improve much to be independent and not need caregivers. But those treatments can lead to more damage, so they are still quite risky. Thanks :-)


Q:

The buildup, then the release.

A:

Man, those guys are amazing! I think it's really incredible what Feliks and Maskow have accomplished! (Especially Feliks--and he's stayed so humble, which I think is just as cool as his times!)

I don't excel at any other events aside from writing about cubing, sadly. But I do want to get decent at BLD!


Q:

First time asking in AMA's *Have you ever been bullied with this condition? *Have you used your great power to do awesome jokes like "I sit around a lot, but I still get to do many things." ?

A:

I'm trying to figure out how to ask this question, because I'm behind you. I believe we need to be more welcoming to immigration and create a simple and common sense path to be vetted for citizenship. At the same time, this an opinion formed by compassion, not fairness or logic.

Seeing it from the other side, there are many native born people who feel, how ever misguided they may be, that immigration is a drain on our economy and their well being and that we need to take care of our own first. This perspective, while selfish, does have a logical basis.

These people believe you feel entitled to citizenship, they believe you are not. So all compassion aside, why do you feel you are entitled to citizenship when we have laws that were not followed in your immigrating here?

I'm not against your position, i'm very much for it, I just have a hard time making the case with the people who think you don't belong here. Because my only position is that I believe, out of compassion for others, that we should be more welcoming. This is not a very strong counter position.

Thanks for putting yourself out there.


Q:

What kind of music do you like?

A:

No, no bullying. I would verbally own them if they tried. Drunk people are annoyingly nice and supportive to the point where it's embarrassing for everyone.

Wheelchair jokes are easy and they always get a laugh so that's a good way to break the ice. What's small, black, and sits at the top of the stairs? Paraplegic after a house fire.


Q:

From what I'm reading from many people in this thread who understand the state of immigration a lot better than I do, the state of illegal immigration and immigration's effects on our country in general is a lot more complex than simply "more immigration = more drain".

It may be that immigrants being used as a scapegoat for larger, more complex issues that they certainly have a much less direct, much less negtively impactful effect on the economy than people really understand.

Anyway, I am on the path to citizenship. My mother was naturalized, and filed a petition for me, but she died. Before this came into effect, I'd have been left effectively in a legal limbo that could result in either deportation or a chance to continue on the path at the discretion of whoever was looking at my case at the time.

Sensible reform is what is needed to fix this country's immigration issues, things like the Widower exception expansion give hope where there previously was none and offers compassion for people struggling to navigate the complexities of American immigration and subject to things outside of their control.

A:

I played a lot of classical music growing up. So I like that a lot. (To be more specific: I played clarinet for about a decade, so I have a lot of familiarity with orchestral works and chamber music and solo clarinet pieces; Sabine Meyer is my favorite clarinetist.)

But I listen to lots of things. I have some family in the American south that turned me on to bluegrass, and I really like French hip hop. (Grand Corps Malade, the spoken word artist, is a BIG favorite of mine!)


Q:

I often think that if I broke my neck I'd be done for. I don't have the funds to have multiple surgeries.

So, where did all the $ come from to keep you going?

A:

If you were not already a DACA recipient, would you still apply? With the uncertainty of the future I struggle with telling my high schools students to apply in order to go to college.


Q:

When you try timing yourself solving the cube, do you first get to study the layout of the colors before starting the time, or does the studying happen only once the time ticks? And how does that work when they time the official record at 4+ seconds? If you get to study it before, how long does that take?

A:

The awesome single-payer health care system in New Zealand. It's called Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). And travel insurance helped.


Q:

I'm not sure. It took almost 9 months for my initial application to be approved, and by then he'll most certainly have taken action on it. It may still be worth it depending on the specific actions he takes on DACA. He may let our employment authorization cards run out, or he may revoke them immediately. He may negate all pending applications, or perhaps there could be some way that currently pending applications will still be considered. I really don't know. The best advice is to seek out a lawyer.

A:

Yep! According to WCA regulations, you get up to 15 seconds to inspect the puzzle. (Except for blindfold solving, where inspection is part of the overall time.)

And are you referring to Mats Valk's 4.74 second record?


Q:

I thought ACC was only while in NZ?

A:

this is the tough part for me and i just got a job offer for feb.


Q:

I'm about a quarter of the way through the book, and enjoying it so far. You tell the stories well, especially in how you describe other people. My question is, what do you think of the Youtube scene for cubing reviews, like JRCuber, the Cubeologist, RedKB, et al.?

A:

It also applies if you haven't been out of the country for more than 6 months.


Q:

Try to find pro bono immigration services, or something cheap if you can foot it. There may be a way for you to navigate the upcoming consequences in a way that doesn't 100% fuck you up, at least not right away. I.E. look into how e-verify works.

A:

Good question! I've met quite a few of them, but it didn't wind up being a big part of the book; I'm all about spreading the word about cubing, and really enjoy many of the videos. (Also, glad you're enjoying the book!) I was more focused on learning to solve fast, and my understanding is that a lot of the YouTube scene is about the personalities of the reviewers, which is great, but I was over here in the corner devouring slow solve videos from Collin and Feliks.


Q:

C5/C6 quad here, I have a degree in CS and have been playing poker profissionally for the last 3 years. Grats for your project mate. I´m interested in how you approached girls after your accident, I´ve been only with hookers after mine (bone zone works fine with stimulation). Never been a true "playa" but I used to be fine and now I´ll fail or not even try. How did you get laid, engaged etc?

A:

With no legal work how did your family make enough for housing and food?


Q:

Just being as confident as I could to talk to girls (fake it till you make it). Then it's a numbers game. Go on Tinder and online sites, be clean, and treat them with respect. Just keep trying. It took me a couple of years to find the right person, but don't settle for someone that won't make you happy long term. In my experience most girls (probably guys too) have to live through a few bad relationships before they realise what traits are important long term. Work on those traits, then just keep trying. You'll find someone eventually :-)

A:

They did work, they had visas of some sort I believe, but I don't know specifically and they never had any reason to tell me as I was a child. My mother came here with a degree from Trinidad and was working on pursuing her Master's when she died. Very smart lady. I miss her.


Q:

What was the first day of being a quadriplegic like?

A:

I'm a DACA student as well and honestly I am terrified. I've cried so much the last few days. What is your back up plan if DACA gets revoked?


Q:

Good question. It was a bit shit tbh. I did a lot of thinking, but I was also high AF on morphine and so I was sleeping a lot before my first stabilising surgery. The Drs rightly diagnosed my very broken neck and said I wouldn't be able to walk. They didn't tell me I wouldn't be able to use my hands too, which took me a while to figure out. There was definitely some crying.

The day after, my mum had already arrived on a flight from NZ, so it was really good to have her there. Then more crying.

A:

No idea. I'm just going to pray that he doesn't revoke our status immediately and allows the cards to expire in their set time. I'd be able to continue working, and at the least I'll have my driver's license until that expires as well.

I have a petition in through my mother that I'm waiting for some movement on, so there's a path for me. I'm less concerned about me, more concerned about the people who didn't have my fortune in that respect. I'm concerned about you. What's your backup? It'd probably help to know what other people may be doing, and might open eyes up to previously unknown opportunities.


Q:

How has fighting through all of the adversity and struggle changed your perspective of the world? What things that have occurred would you change and do you think they would change where you would be at now?

A:

In your opinion, what is the best way that citizens can show their support for undocumented immigrants? I plan to write to my congressman, but my district just reelected the same asshole that doesn't give a shit, so I'm pessimistic about that. I've reached out to my undocumented friends to say some words of support personally, but it doesn't feel like enough. I've been posting on Facebook to "publicly" show my support. Any other ideas? What would make you feel supported in the middle of this horrible train wreck?


Q:

I don't think it really has. Trump being elected president definitely has.

I don't really understand your second question sorry.

A:

Just be there for them if you can. Show them humanity, and compassion. When people try to falsely label them as criminals, fight the notion, and do your best to set the record straight. Ask about individual stories, because as you might see, many, many people on DACA came about it through very different paths. Most of us don't come off as very different from any other American at all, so it can be maddening to feel isolated among your own people, and then to fear the notion that not everyone will understand what you've been through and shun or harass you.


Q:

As a negative thinking person I have always wondered how some people seem to stay positive and motivated no matter what. Any insight you could share?

A:

Do you file an income tax return with the IRS?


Q:

Mindset by Carol Dweck has some good insight. I think I have been lucky genetically, and in the environment I was raised, but I think it is a mindset thing and it takes practise. Also understanding positive/negative feedback loops and how positive thinking will impact your life, might increase motivation for you to develop a positive (growth) mindset as you will appreciate the influence it has.

A:

Yeah, same as anyone.


Q:

As a person with almost zero physical ability, what are your thoughts on automation, and how it will affect society?

A:

Did you file before DACA?


Q:

I cannot wait, even though I will. The advancement of computers, touch screen smartphones, and the internet has already enabled me to do so much. I cannot wait till Google Home, Amazon Echo or other personal AIs develop a little more so I can be as productive as before my accident. Then a wheelchair/robot that could get me from bed to chair and back would be awesome. Obviously a decent Universal Income needs to be introduced to mitigate the damage automation will cause society.

A:

I couldn't work, so no.


Q:

Cheese! I was really hoping to come up with something more interesting than that but here we are. Any plans to spend some more time on the snow with a ski chair?

A:

They claim that they do because of the ITIN number, but that is just income tax and plenty of them get a large return because they claim family members, often who live in other countries. Those who work for cash do not pay taxes.

EDIT: Keep down voting. I know plenty of illegals and this IS how they do it.

Edit: suprise surprise, im latino cabrones. I know how this shit works. Downvote some more plz


Q:

Who even is this? Show yourself. Yeah I would like to but it's really expensive to hire the equipment and instructor.

A:

I have a social security number, actually. I file for myself alone lol.


Q:

Patches. You are now 1 of 2 people who know my Reddit username. What sort of money are we talking for a day on the snow?

A:

Are you eligible for financial aid? What options are available for people who want to pursue higher education?


Q:

Oh hey! I won't dig dw. $100/hr for the instructor and more for equipment, but the sit ski really needs to be custom built or I can't do it for long. Snowplanet is the best place. One day I'll get a custom sit ski though.

A:

Nope. I live in GA, so I can't even attend any of the state schools. Don't qualify for any federal and really most state forms of aid. I do pay taxes though.


Q:

Haha I don't have anything too worrying on here. I'd be happy to throw in a bit of dosh to get you back on the slopes when the time comes! And if I can help at all with this project let me know. I can't code but I have lots of free time if there is anything else useful I can do.

A:

So people protected by DACA have to pay out of state tuition? :(


Q:

That's what the Bone thought. Cheers maaaate! I would mucho appreciate if you contribute anything at all to my kickstarter, and convince any loved ones to join you :-) Let me know when you're in town.

A:

If they're in the wrong state, and that's even if they can apply. I can't apply for the University of Georgia, for example.


Q:

Do you use electrical stimulation to maintain your musculature? What kind of physical therapy to you do to maintain your body?

A:

Do you pay taxes?


Q:

Yeah I use the Revitive footplate once a day to keep my feet healthy, as they can easily break down and are prone to infection due to my poor circulation. Otherwise I play wheelchair rugby, and use gloves with a theraband tied between them to exercise the muscles I have available in my upper arms and shoulders.

A:

Yes, I have a social security card & number, so I have to file a tax return the same as anyone else. I pay for taxes on purchases I make as well.


Q:

Were you in the earthquake a few hours ago? I noticed you never signed off and stopped answering questions. If you get a chance, check back in to let us know you are ok!!

A:

What would you say to someone who is following the correct procedures and applying from say, the Philippines, and has to wait years to come to the us legally. Why are you more deserving of citizenship than they are?


Q:

I'm way up north but it was still really strong here! Thanks :-)

A:

Can I ask you why I'm less deserving? I literally took no action to be here. I'm an American in every way except for a piece of paper and plastic saying so. It is all I have ever known, and the notion that I belong somewhere I have no connection to is really silly. It is fucked up.


Q:

What is your greatest accomplishment that you've succeeded during your life?

A:

I just saw this. Soooo are you allowed to apply for citizenship?


Q:

Tough question. Probably completing my thesis for my Masters and finding a great female friend. I'm hoping Rocket Island will be up there.

A:

Not through DACA, no.


Q:

Hi thank you so much for doing this! I am studying to become an occupational therapist specializing in spinal cord inpatient rehab. Would you be willing to share any OT experience you had, how you would rate the experience and your therapist, and what do you wish you could've told your therapist or wish they understood that you felt they weren't being sensitive to?

A:

Why do you think Americans feel so threatened by your situation, despite trying to demonstrate that you're doing your best to contribute to this country by looking for ways to work legally and pay taxes?


Q:

What country are you in? Do they have good spinal rehabs? I had really good OTs that specialised in spinal and a couple of bad ones who didn't. The trick is to encourage and motivate without belittling and undermining. Also treat every person as completely different cases and try not to expect the same out of 2 people, even if they have the same break. Usually the young OTs are good. The annoying ones are usually older grumpy OTs stuck in their ways, just to make a few generalisations :-)

A:

Ignorance. They don't really understand the nuance in immigration law in large part, and how people can get caught in between the gaps in situations like mine. I see and hear that when people tell me I should've just applied for citizenship on my own, or that I deserve to be deported regardless of my individual circumstances and complexities because my parents supposedly fucked up (they didn't come here illegally mind you).

People of age can barely navigate the immigration system with a lawyer. How would I, as a child, have done that? It's silly, and you'd have to literally not be able or willing to conceptualize that people like me are American and also human beings and I think deserving of some kind of understanding. There are only 1.2 million DACA recipients and we've BEEN HERE. Many of us are skilled or have desires to go into areas of work that will absolutely advance the U.S. workforce. Many of us are bright, intelligent people. We did well in school and have kept our noses clean, which is the sole reason we qualify for DACA in the first place. We deserve help.


Q:

Psychologically, what do you credit with enabling you to adjust as well as you have?

A:

Have you ever thought of joining the military to earn citizenship?


Q:

Just knowing that a positive outlook on life would mean I would be happier, and more likely to do well and achieve my goals. I think my BSc in Psych helped me to realise that really early - within the first week. Later on, joining a wheelchair rugby team was another boost to learn to be a successful quad (aka tetraplegic).

A:

I can't.


Q:

Where do you think you would be if you hadn't been injured?

A:

How do you feel that people who are here legally are not benefited by such laws, and they have to go back, while kids of people people who come here illegally, or overstay are treated better?


Q:

I think I would probably be worse off financially and in terms of reaching my goals. ACC provides me 80% of minimum wage for weekly compensation (until I earn more than that), which means I still live like a student, but I can focus on my passions and achieve my goals. It would have been difficult to achieve what I have with a full-time job. And my gf is amazing, so I couldn't have done better there.

A:

What exactly do you mean? If you're here legally why would you have to "go back"?


Q:

She got a sister? haha

Seriously though, good on you man. Keep it up.

A:

Considering you have been here for 20 years, is there is a reason why you and your family haven't become naturalized citizens?


Q:

No but she's got a brother who's a bit of alright if you're that way inclined. Cheers :-)

A:

My mother did, she died. My father has been caught up in the cogs of a really messy legal immigration system for over a decade.


Q:

I'm just curious - do you think your life would be different if you'd been a woman? I constantly see disabled men who have girlfriends/wives, but very few disabled women who find men who will love them.

A:

I'm a DACA recipient as well and was wondering if the government knowing our information makes it more likely to be deported once DACA is gone? Also can California do anything for us? I always feel guilty asking for anything from the US because im not a citizen, I came her when I was 3


Q:

From my experience, someone's personality is the main reason for whether on not they find someone, rather than their gender. The three ladies I know in chairs all have partners. There are many more males in chairs than women however, which may lead to your confirmation bias.

A:

Don't feel guilty. As for deportation, I don't know. I've been trying to pay attention to Trump's attitudes and what he actually wants for the immigration system but it's difficult to tell. PM me, I'd like to hear more about your story.


Q:

I had a friend who broke his neck diving into a lake and ended up as a quad. Great guy and he was doing his best to live his life but he had some serious depression issues. He kept a suicide bottle of Xanax and a note that he'd change the date on, periodically. He was 30 when I knew him and had been paralyzed for about 8 years. He said he just didn't know how long he could go on like that for. I lost touch with him and found out, years later, that he eventually did it.

How have you dealt with this?

Also, he actually got laid pretty frequently. He told me that there's girls who fetishize the quadriplegic situation and called them "quad hoppers". Have you encountered this?

A:

[deleted]


Q:

Not sure, I just have a different mindset I guess. Haha not really. It creeps me out when girls are overly interested. The gf keeps any advances at bay.

A:

I've flown commercially since I have a Trinidadian passport, so not necessarily.


Q:

What are some surprising things about being a quadriplegic most people couldn't think of? Great to hear of all your success, good luck on your project :)

A:

You came here legally and have been for 20 years yet you've never applied for citizenship?


Q:

Most people don't know about autonomic dysreflexia which is quite serious. Since spinal care is very specialised, most medical professionals/emergency staff know either nothing or not much about it, which makes it much more dangerous.

A:

What path would I have taken, exactly? But no, that's not the case. My mother was naturalized before she died 2 years ago, but before we could move to the next step in getting me naturalized... Well, she died. DACA is the only thing that has kept me from blowing my brains out in the interim. I didn't know there was any hope for me, and what options I did know of, I was really too young to feel anything but scared shitless. My mother died, and I had no money, or a clue how to get help. Thankfully, I do have options and I've spent several thousand dollars to fix this, but not many people that were approved for DACA will have that fortune.


Q:

i Will donate some money, its not enought to bought the game but at least its something sorry, dollars are expensive here. I read some information about the autonomic dysreflexia and so you have to check every time for something "strange" low the spinal injury?

A:

What you're doing is illegal. If someone robbed a bank in the night without hurting anyone, that would also be illegal. Why should you get to do illegal things and not bank robbers? You're both trying to make your lives better and supposedly not hurting anyone.


Q:

Thanks a lot :-) That's okay, any amount is muchly appreciated!

Yeah, it's usually because my catheter is blocked, or as a warning to go poos (which can be slightly good so I don't have accidents). Sometimes it can be something more serious but it's really hard to pinpoint the problem. Having lots of kidney stones (because of lack of movement) has caused me quite a bit of trouble.

A:

I didn't do anything illegal, I was a baby when I arrived here. I'm actually on the pathway to citizenship because my mother was naturalized, but she died before we could complete the whole process. Some changes made over the last couple years to some very specific immigration law allow me to continue the process with relative ease without the need for a sham wedding, a substitute sponsor (as in, someone willing to declare themselves financially responsible for me for the 5 years I'd be a permanent resident before I could become a citizen), or something else. Read up on it here.

I get what you're saying, but I don't think there's really any equivlency in this circumstance. I didn't ask to be brought here, but it's all I've ever known. I got dealt a shitty hand and now I'm getting caught up in the latest immigrant scare. I just want to live. Truly, I don't think there's any way to reasonably frame me as some sort of criminal deserving of a punishment or to be sent "back" to an essentially foreign, alien land for the actions of my parents. I have no connection to Trinidad and Tobago outside of it being where my parents were born and where my birth ceritificate was printed. I'm even on the path to citizenship. You have no basis for what you said.


Q:

What are your plans for VR?

The natural interaction with hand controllers like on the Vive and the upcoming oculus touch controllers seem like a huge opportunity and a perfect fit for educational games, because even people without computer and controller experience can quickly jump in.

A:

[deleted]


Q:

Yeah I think it's a real opportunity to make education as immersive as possible. I've only looked at the feasibility of VR and possible ways to implement, but haven't fleshed out specifics yet.

A:

I'm entitled citizenship through my mother. She was naturalized.


Q:

Im sorry I know im extremely late but Which continent did you find to be the most accessible for you?? What was the hardest aspect of learning to drive??

A:

[deleted]


Q:

Every country was different. Italy's cobbles are bad but train service was good, South Korea didn't have many accessible taxis. I've heard Japan is better. Eastern Europe isn't great. Germany's pretty good. NZ is great :-)

A:

Nope. They never married.


Q:

This might be a dumb question, but how does sex work when you're in a chair? Do you have to move to the bed, or something like that? Your story is very inspiring. I wish you all the best.

A:

If your father robbed the bank, and handed you $100k dollars, should you be entitled to keep it when they found out your father robbed it? I know it sucks for you that your parents chose to do something illegal, but why are you upset at the country, and not at your parents?

Also, I have 99 downvotes. I feel like the question I ask is at least a fair one. Do you agree that you are currently breaking the law? I have broken the law by speeding in my car. I admit it. I disagreed with the law and broke it knowingly. Is this basically your position?


Q:

Family might read this, but we find ways :-)

A:

It's not really fair, nor is it an equivalent. The money might be taken away because it was never deserved, but you're not removing the person from the country and placing them in another country that they have no connection to. You might think I never deserved to be here, but you're also advocating for uprooting people who have only known the U.S. through no fault of their own and asked to live in foreign countries that the majority of us have no familiarity or connection to. There is no solution for us at present.

We'd have about as good of a shot at survival as if you did the same thing to someone pulled randomly off the street. I think it's just cruel, and your perspective doesn't take into account the numerous exceptions and clauses that offer compassion to people in extenuating circumstances already. I don't think it's difficult to make a case for why we are deserving of one as well. The immigration system is not cut and dry.

I'm not asking to be excused from operating a motor vehicle at a speed beyond the arbitrary legal limit and putting other drivers at risk. I'm asking to be allowed to keep paying taxes and pursue higher education and contribute to this place that I call home, and have always called home because I had no say in the matter. DACA doesn't even provide a path to citizenship, and most of us aren't even necessarily asking for that with DACA. We just don't want to be uprooted because of circumstances out of our control.


Q:

Wow, very cool! I have wanted to create an educational game related to socially responsible engineering for a while. I have a computer science degree and a bit of experience with Artificial Intelligence, but I have had a hard time finding good resources on educational game design. Would you be able to please suggest some good reading on the topic? Textbooks, articles, anything really that you think would help me design a better educational game. Thanks, love your game concept!

A:

What is this and why am I paying for it?


Q:

There is a good book called Mathematics Education for a New Era, that explains how to teach mathematical thinking in video games. Otherwise, Lave and Wagner (1991) teach about situated learning and the importance of teaching/testing in situations that are relevant to daily life; van Oers (2012 I think) that talks about including students in choosing what to learn, choosing their own goals and how to test skills etc to avoid them feeling alienated from learning process (which often leads to low motivation and behavioural problems); learn about differences and pros/cons for learning face-to-face or online/video games, as different environments affect social hierarchies between students, participation levels, and engagement. Learning these differences will help design the game so it compliments things students will learn in everyday life, such as social interactions and how to treat others. There might be some other stuff on my website you might find interesting :-) www.educationthesedays.com

A:

It's an executive program that Obama signed into law in 2012 that enables certain people without legal status who arrived to the US as children and who may be facing deportation proceedings to work and pay taxes, and guards against deportation for the term of the program, which is 2 years. It can be re-applied for every 2 years. It is not a path to citizenship and there is not means of gaining citizenship through it.

The qualifications for DACA are as such:

  1. are under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012;

  2. came to the U.S. while under the age of 16;

  3. have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present. (For purposes of calculating this five year period, brief and innocent absences from the United States for humanitarian reasons will not be included);

  4. entered the U.S. without inspection or fell out of lawful visa status before June 15, 2012; were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

  5. are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or armed forces;

  6. have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or more than three misdemeanors of any kind; and

  7. do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

why am I paying for it?

You're not actually. It's funded (mostly) through the $465 application fee DACA recipients must send to file an application.


Q:

Being in Canadian treatment: Were hormonal treatment options, specifically human growth hormone, ever discussed or used during your phenomenal recovery?

I've always been curious how open they are about treatments like this that involve increasing growth factors specific to nerves and brain function (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF)

Thank you.

A:

If this program, limited to no new entrants, is fully funded by applicant payments (which I would need more proof of), then I personally see the compassion in it and perhaps the merit to allow it to continue.

The argument you must address is the political one. Is it acceptable for a political party to enact specific amnesty programs for illegal immigrants? Is it acceptable for one party to make exceptions to immigration law, with the goal.of earning life long, loyal voters for their party? If you find that thought distasteful, tell me whether you think the people in this program have political leanings toward the party that gives them the right to stay?


Q:

Not that I remember. Just some anabolic steroids

A:

Yo, I got here as a kid and I couldn't work before this. I fucking hate what the Democratic party has become and I think this country needs political revolution. We are not drones, and nobody will buy our loyalty. If I'm ever hesitant to side with the party of the social conservatives in America, Trump and his base's ignorance about the realities of things like this is an example of why. My first vote may not be for the Democrats, but if the Republican party can't get its shit together, it's not gonna be for them either.


Q:

Do you have any sensation in your penis or testicles?

Glad you seem to be doing so well man:)

A:

You're claiming to see ignorance on my part. The only thing I see is a lack of respect for this country's laws and sovereignty. As long as this program fosters respect and loyalty to our democratic process, in at-risk youth who are not personally responsible for breaking immigration law, I would support it.

If it's another Democrat party sneak attack toward an amnesty that would disrespect the hundreds of thousands of law abiding immigrants waiting world wide for their turn at an honesty and up-front entry into our country, then let it burn.

There must be equality under the law.


Q:

None at all from 1cm above my nipples. Cheers

A:

There's no simple solution, but I don't think a sensible route is to take a bunch of people that are effectively Americans in an everyday sense and send them to places they have no connections to, and which might place them as targets. People like to pick on Americans, so just imagine looking and sounding like an American but not having any of the protections of actually being an American. This is setting innocent people up to be manipulated and taken advantage of. This is not a black and white thing.


Q:

Can i make the music for your game? I'm also from NZ!

A:

This is very true, and you also can't put a simple number on the cost or benefit of the undocumented/DACA citizens to the nation. What I do know is that the USA will be respected again, and the boundaries meant to keep citizens safe, physical and legal, will no longer be ignored.

That said, our nation is partly responsible for this problem, because we didn't properly enforce our laws(partisan politics aside). You can rest assured that Trump's administration will not be dumping helpless, blameless people out onto unfamiliar streets. There will be a compassionate softening for those deserving of it.


Q:

Definitely maybe! PM me. I won't decide that till next year though.

A:

I can't say I disagree entirely with how you've presented your argument. I just hope the last point you made turns out to be true.


Q:

With such a high injury, do you have to deal with Autonomic dysreflexia?

A:

What are the options your parents have in order to become citizens?


Q:

All the time, it sucks. I get it almost everyday going toilet or if my catheter blocks or bladder spasms.

A:

EDIT: This question was originally, "What do you think about naturalborn citizenship?"

It exists.

I think a few years ago I might have stopped there, but I've read some really interesting proposals about alternative means of understanding/defining and gaining citizenship if you're born into a country, i.e. eliminating or never establishing the idea of birthright citizenship and instead withholding it until someone is old enough to prove their understanding of the values of the country, its history, individual intelligence and intention to contribute fully, etc.

I don't know that I necessarily think that's that great of a thing or that it would work very well in execution or do anything but create something of a caste system.


Q:

What does your girlfriend do when she wants some cock?

A:
  1. Are you and your family trying to become citizens?

  2. Is there any advocacy group who can help you gain legal citizenship?


Q:

Asks me to give her some, which I oblige.

A:
  1. Mother already was. She gained naturalization through her mother. She filed a petition on my behalf but died after it was initially approved. I'm working on that, yes.

  2. Probably, but I don't know of any. I've already paid thousands of dollars for my path to continue so I'm not desperate on that front.


Q:

Thanks for doing what you're doing. Games and enjoyable hands-on projects/experiments are the best means of educating. The heads of the U.S. public education system are already aware of this but in an another example of government organization self preservation (and job preservation, in addition to some even less ethical motivations that I won't go into here) they cling to the horrendously outdated, mind-numbing, intelligence-stifling (and sometime insanity-inducing) teaching methods.
My question is: How do you think we can make games a major part of teaching in public schools when there's such strong opposition to it?

A:

You are an American, and you are deserving of all the benefits of this country,

That's the thing though...you aren't an American. You are a Trinidadian (Tobagoian?). You are not registered for selective service, and you probably don't have a social security number. You don't vote, nor can you run for public office. It's a federal crime for any employer to hire you or your parents, because you have no right to be here or work here.


Q:

We need lots of positive examples of video games, and good press behind them. Keep sharing good projects and spread the word. Public opinion is slowly changing.

A:

I am registered for selective service, and I do have a social security number. I had one when my parents arrived as well. I've been working, and I do pay taxes. I don't get any of the benefits though. No SS, no FAFSA, no health insurance, etc.

My parents came on visas, and my mother was naturalized through her mother. I'm entitled to citizenship, and I'm pursuing the path.

Go on with your ignorant narrative and project your fucked up, compassionless worldview on to me though. There are enough people in this country that see some sense and know the reality about the current state of US immigration that I don't need you to understand anything. You don't even understand how this country works.


Q:

How long did it take you to program Rocket Island? Also, after it takes off, do you plan on updating the game in the future? Great Kickstarter video and thanks!

A:

Oh, and that gives me another idea. SEA WALL! STop hurricanes and Trinidadians from reaching American shores. DOUBLE WIN!


Q:

So far it's taken 7 months to develop and longer to design. I'd say it will take a year or so to complete, depending on funding. Yeah I would like to update it to add languages, cell-phone features and gameplay, but again it depends on funds. Cheers :-)


Q:

[deleted]

A:

So one day you'll be an American. Until that day, you ARE NOT AN AMERICAN. That's a statement of fact. Sorry that you don't like facts, but by the very fact that it is a fact means that it isn't ignorant.

And congratulations on your parents stealing you a SSN. Enjoy your felony conviction and subsequent deportation. Back to Trinidad you go!


Q:

Sorry but I've got nothing to give, hence the crowdfunding. I find people are more willing to give funds to support an idea or product that they feel will allow you to continue to support yourself in the future. Don't give up, it takes a lot of thinking and research, but you'll think of something if you keep trying. Have you tried training as a draftsperson, 3d modeller or designer? You can do anything on a computer these days, but it takes time and effort to learn.

A:

I have an SSN through DACA, actually. My parents had tax ID numbers and my mother and mother's mother went about the process legally. They're good, hard-working people. And yeah, I'm an American. A piece of paper doesn't change that.


Q:

What's the first video you would suggest to watch on YouTube if others are interested in your path? I think you have a spectacular idea btw! I wish you complete success.

A:

You're SSN will be revoked soon, because you shouldn't have it, because you aren't an American. The piece of paper absolutely changes that, because that piece of paper says whether or not you are an American. American is a legal distinction between those who are subject to all the rights and responsibilities of US citizenship and everyone else. You are everyone else. You are a Trinidadian, not an American. One day, if you're lucky, we'll let you become an American. But until that day, you are, unfortunately for you, not an American. You're welcome to be here and bask in the glorious glow of American prosperity (doubly so now that we have President GodEmperor Daddy Trump), but until such a time as Americans, via our duly elected government, decide that you are an American, you aren't. You're a guest, a non-American guest.

Simply put, if you aren't allowed to vote, you aren't an American (with a few caveats). But, because us actual Americans are such a great and welcoming people, we might let you join our club one day, if you're good.


Q:

Thankyou :-)

I learned the basics of javascript and coding in general from Khan Academy. I use Unity to programme, and there are heaps of introduction videos on the Unity website which I would try first. Then search for others on YouTube, but there are lots to choose from.

A:

Whateva you say, man. You should read up on our country's immigration laws though. Maybe when I'm naturalized, I can come teach you something, not good to be so ignorant. It's a hot-button topic.


Q:

This may be an ignorant question, but is there any hope for a stem cell treatment that may improve your condition?

A:

I'll ask a politically incorrect question... as a citizen of Trinidad and a resident of the US what are your thoughts on other countries who's standard of living and conditions are even worse than those your parents (and you) escaped? If the US can sustain, lets say, a population of say 500 million, how should we pick who gets to stay in the US and who needs to leave to make room for someone more needy. I'm sure most of us on reddit are way wealthier (reference) than the average human on this planet, so is it our humanitarian duty to trade places with someone less fortunate.

A straw man argument, I know, but I am genuinely curious as to the economic group think of the open border policy. I know of no country besides the US that has unchecked immigration. We may check it, but then ignore the status. Your story and the 10 million other stories are important, but how is it more important than the 3 billion people worse off than you (and us)?

Edit: spelling


Q:

Not quite yet, but hopefully in the future :-)

A:

I have compassion for every person facing substandard living conditions in this world. I don't have an answer to any of that. All I know is my struggle. When I become a citizen, it'll be my priority to work on improving the world for everyone.


Q:

OP, Do you still worry about your immigration status and future?

A:

Less so, since I do have a path that I'm on through parent-child naturalization. My energy is put less into worrying about me and more into worrying about other DACA recipients who have more complex cases that they grapple with these days.


Q:

Have you or your family ever received any form of gvt assistance while here illegally? How do you justify that to the taxpayer footing the bill.

A:

My parents were/are taxpayers too. I'm a taxpayer. I don't qualify for any benefits under DACA btw. Not Obamacare, not medi-anything, not FAFSA, nothing.


Q:

In the body of your submitted text you make a statement that ,in general, you don't want to have a political discussion yet you refer to trump in the header of your submission. So my question why refer to trump if you want to keep politics out of it?

A:

It's something that he's vowed to do in his first 100 days. My DACA status wouldn't be in question if he didn't get elected. The only reason I'm posting this is because of Trump's election.


Q:

So you are saying that Trump is the reason for a situation you are afraid is going happen but you don't want to have a political discussion about it? What else is there to talk about? You are being slighted by an elected official and you want to talk about feelings? I'm going insane.

A:

Well, being in this country and being simultaneously as American as anyone else and Othered at the same time has, I think, offered me a unique perspective on what it means to be an American. I've also been having really good conversations about the current state of immigration both legal and illegal in America.

I've learned so much just in the last few hours from people's contributions. It doesn't need to be a hatefest. Trump is president, I can't change that. I can humanize this arbitrary thing he's going to do though. Whether you agree or not, people who have been caught between the cracks of the immigration system are going to be negatively impacted for something they had no control over, namely their presence in the U.S. I've had the opportunity to hear the stories of some of these people and offer support because it is an incredibly isolating situation to be in. I don't want other people like me to suffer in silence.


Q:

I completely understand and believe what you are possibly going to face will be hard and unfair but you are missing my point. You can't keep this from being a political conversation when you refer to the policies of a politician. My issue is with the wording of your title, not the content. I voted for a giant meteor to smash into us.

A:

shrug. I didn't know how else to contexualize why it's a big deal to me and why I'm doing this now. It's rather urgent, and it wouldn't be if Trump hadn't been elected because this something he explicitly stated he'd overturn in the first 100 days, so it is that much of a priority.


Q:

Let me get this straight, you've been living in the US illegally your entire life and now you're upset because someone is cracking down on immigration? I do agree US has pretty strict immigration laws and you should probably be granted citizenship if you lived there your whole life, but countries need to be able to protect their own borders otherwise you get the shitshow that's happening in Europe.

A:

I haven't been here illegally the whole time. I was a baby when I got here, and my parents had visas.


Q:

[deleted]

A:

Stay diligent on this issue, pay attention and help activist groups, offer emotional support and understanding to us, and listen to our stories. If you hear someone spreading ignorance about immigrants or trying to frame us as parasitic criminals, share your partner's story. Just be compassionate overall, and fight for compassion where and whenever you can.

Unfortunately, there may not be a whole lot to be done for DACA recipients right now. With this issue coming to a head in less than 2 months, people are going to start speaking up at increasing rates and with increasing volume. Pay attention and help these people if you can, and push for proper immigration reform, vote for people who will introduce this kind of legislation. And pray it doesn't get worse for us before it gets better.


Q:

So what prompted your parents to over-stay their visas vs trying to get here through proper channels?

A:

Naturalization through family isn't a proper channel? Naturalization through family is a proper channel, let me just answer that for you.


Q:

No. it is the proper route.

However, I thought you came over with your parents on student visas

A:

My mother was naturalized through her mother, and I'll be naturalized through her.


Q:

ask me anything

...I'd appreciate if relatively neutral questions could be asked

Do you see the irony? ;)

A:

Hasn't stopped anything, and I am responding, so the original purpose is still there, most definitely. It was just a request, but perhaps I expected too much.


Q:

DACA needs to get cut. I and many others including legal immigrants think that this is just flat out wrong. Why should you be given US citizenship because you where able to weasel your way into our country? That's just plain wrong and unfair. Sorry that your country is shit. Stay there and try to fix it, although it may be very hard to do so, it could help the future generations.

A:

I'm a legal immigrant, my mother was naturalized before she died. You're projecting, and I wish you wouldn't.


Q:

You're the only one I heard agree with this. I've meet and talked to a few and they all say they don't like it because they had to go through the rigorous process of getting here legally and the DACA is unfair to them. Just repeating what I was told from other immigrants.


Q:

Opinions are irrelevant.

There's only one important thing: Correcting for other factors, has DACA resulted in more immigration, yes or no? It doesn't matter what people think will happen, since we can simply study what actually happens.

A:

Probably not. As in, it didn't bring people here that weren't already here. DACA has a hard limit on the kinds of people that qualify for it, which only about 1.2 million people have been approved.

The requirements are as follows:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday; Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;

  3. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

  4. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012; Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and

  5. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor,or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.


Q:

If you're illegal, when do you plan on leaving?

A:

Where do you think I should go exactly? Trinidad?


Q:

What can I do to help expedite the deportation of criminal aliens and their children?

A:

Um, probably nothing. Lobby congress, maybe run for congress on that platform, it'd probably get you decently far as you can see.


Q:

In your opinion, which U.S. laws are o.k. to ignore and which ones should be enforced.

If current U.S. immigration law is too flawed by be followed, how could it be changed so that it would be right to enforce it?

Should the U.S. have any restrictions on who comes in and how long they stay?

A:

Yeah, they should. They do.


Q:

[deleted]

A:

EDIT: For future reference, this person asked what kind of questions I hoped to be asked because I asked to minimize contentious political discussion/questions. They also made a good point about there previously being a lot of info in my bio so I shortened it to keep it interesting and to leave room for questions and hopefully deeper discussion from there.

Questions about me! I'm a human, and there's a lot to know, and I'd like to share my humanity and my experiences as someone undocumented but outside of the popular narrative about what that looks like and how that has affected my worldview as someone otherwise like any other American on the outside (and inside, really). It most certainly does have an effect, and it is interesting to live it to be quite honest. I have a lot to share and a desire to share it. :)

I really just didn't want to get into an argument because things are difficult enough to process as is, and I wanted to maybe find some support. I'm not happy with Trump as president though obviously.


Q:

Where exactly will you be on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017? Im totally not an ICE agent.

A:

Hi, Mr. Not an ICE Agent. You'll be happy to know I'm on the path to citizenship, so you don't have any business with me. I'll be on the internet though, so if you wanna talk, feel free to PM me.


Q:

Thats a very classy reply to a joke comment. Have a great weekend.

A:

;) I always keeps it classy. Ditto, have a great weekend.


Q:

Have you considered applying for refugee status in Canada? Seems to me that being in imminent threat of deportation might be something they'd be interested in. Canadians of Reddit, is there any sponsorship program that can allow you to help this person?

I know there's a lot of talk of fleeing to Canada, but this is someone who legitimately may have to in order to avoid losing everything.

A:

Believe me, I have considered it, and I'm still open to it. I just don't know where I'd even begin. Trinidad is not an LGBT-friendly country and I've considered in a worst case scenario that I may be able to seek refuge somewhere that might be willing to take me in because of that.


Q:

Do you blame your parents for putting you in this situation?

A:

Nah. They did everything right. The immigration system is fucking messy, so that explains my dad. Only thing my mother did was die, and that sent my petition into legal limbo so I don't think I'd feel right in blaming her for not knowing she wouldn't make the full 5 years she was given.


Q:

You have a lot of excuses for why you never became a Citizen. "legal limbo, government's fault for the too complicated a process, legal fees, etc"

If you feel this was such an important issue to you, why didn't you pursue it further in your many, many years here? If you really wanted to become a citizen, you could have, you even said you have the easiest connection "child to mother."

Instead, you slacked off until the very end, when America was tired of you guys. And now you cry for citizenship? Get in the back of the line, like you should have, years and years ago.

tldr: this is a nice symptany ama for this guy but, too bad he's just full of excuses and all around making LEGAL immigrants look terrible. I wont expect a reply from him either, because there's nothing to really respond to besides he wants all of reddit to cry for him. Too bad.

A:

I'm sensing a lot of emotion in this response, so I'm going to try to address individual points that reflect where you either didn't read my responses or didn't fully comprehend them because you either don't want to or don't understand how the immigration system in America works.

If you feel this was such an important issue to you, why didn't you pursue it further in your many, many years here?

I think this where a little compassion is necessary. I only came into awareness about the breadth of my situation just out of high school. Prior to that, I don't think I could've reasonably made any effort as a child to raise thousands of dollars to seek legal counsel for this kind of thing. In any case, my parents were handling it so I didn't need to. After high school, I did everything in my power to seek counsel. I've been on top of this as much as I can for as long as I could've been reasonably expected to. I think I'm worthy of quite a bit of praise for how I've handled things, because it's a lot of responsibility for someone at 18-19 to handle. I know people that age that can barely do their laundry, and I was navigating a complex institution in the best way that I could -- effectively alone. I had family members that referred me to a good lawyer, but I was tasked with locating the necessary documentation, making my case to USCIS in writing, etc. by myself. I'm not a slacker, and anecdotally I can say that the average immigrant is quite a bit harder working and more focused/responsible than the average natural born American. We keep our noses clean and we do what we must because everything we hold dear is on the line if we don't.

Please try to understand this.

Instead, you slacked off until the very end

As soon as I found out about DACA, 4-5 months after my mother died, I applied. I was approved 9 months later, and renewed it earlier this year. I've been as diligent as I can be on that front.

Beyond that, in reference to my being caught in a legal limbo:

My mother filed a petition to naturalize me through her. The petition was approved, but she died before we could see things through to the next steps since she had breast cancer and that was really all that we had money for. The average American family is living paycheck to paycheck. We were the same, but with the added burdens of being barred from many legal healthcare benefits due to our circumstances.

Typically, this can be a dead end. Fortunately, there was an expansion made to a certain exception that's typically reserved for the Widows of those that are seeking to naturalize by marrying an American citizen but whose spouses pass before their petitions are completed.

I'm a legal immigrant. Many legal immigrants get caught in cracks and dead ends in the immigration system because there simply is no avenue for correction for them. The line between legal and "illegal" is not really a line, it's more of a flow chart with a lot of empty spaces.


Q:

and anecdotally I can say that the average immigrant is quite a bit harder working and more focused/responsible than the average natural born American.

And this is where I stopped reading because everything you just said shows a massive confirmation bias and/or just straight up are pushing an agenda.

tldr: making legal immigrants look bad, wants reddit to cry for him again. Not going to happen from me. Back of the line bud.

A:

That's not really your decision to make, but I do find it astounding that that's what got you to stop reading.


Q:

Why do you think you deserve an immigration slot over someone who came here legally? If you could talk to the person whose slot you are taking, what would you say?

A:

I did come here legally. I didn't get thrown across the ocean, we were on a plane and arrived in an airport.


Q:

What steps have you taken to become a legal citizen?

A:

Applied for a petition through parent-child naturalization.


Q:

If DACA is revoked will you go back or keep being illegal?

A:

I'll stay here and see my petition for naturalization through.


Q:

Yeah. My father is now a citizen (through marriage, but marriage is really only the start of the citizenship process, there's literally years of paperwork and lines after that) and he talks about how there were times he was illegal. Not by entering illegally, but by missing a renewal or stretching his student visa a bit beyond its life. He's very conservative, but illegal immigration is his one sticking point.

He knows how easy it is to technically be illegal, even without intending to be. And yet those numbers get added to the "illegal immigration" total because they sound scary and drum up votes. When in reality a lot of them are actually people trying to do it right, and getting stuck in the convoluted system.

For example, he tells stories of lining up at the embassy in the wee hours of the morning to do paperwork, line wrapped around the block. Then coming to the front of the line only to discover that the office closed while he was in line. Then doing the same thing the next time it opened. It sounds seriously disheartening.

A:

I wish more people knew about stories like this. "Illegal immigration" is a dog whistle label for a broad range of complex and incredibly messy circumstances that puts people under the burden of being labeled as criminals because people don't understand the immigration system.


Q:

No answer to this one yet, I am curious as well.

A:

The answer is no.


Q:

I don't understand why this isn't more questioned, sure it's sad that his parents screwed him over, but they did, very much, screw him over.

A:

Not quite. My mom's only crime was dying before I could see my petition for naturalization through her to the end.


Q:

So what's the best way to move to Europe and overstay my Visa? Asking for a friend.

A:

No idea.


Q:

On a serious note. Do you ever go visit Trinidad?

A:

Can't. If I leave, it just puts my whole situation in a more complex place. I could "technically" if there was some emergency, by applying for an advanced parole travel document, but I still wouldn't risk it.


Q:

Just wanted to say hi from your homeland. You ever come back to visit?

A:

No, and I can't. :/


Q:

I once heard a speaker discussing immigration. I'll paraphrase what he said to see what you think.

"If you ask most people if unrestricted immigration in the early days of the US were good or bad, most will say they were good. But if you ask them if we could do that now they say, 'Oh no we couldn't afford that.' If Americans are immigrating here for opportunity they should be welcomed. But in a welfare state every immigrant has the potential to cost a lot of money."

Now it may/may not apply to your situation. I don't know you. But do you have any thoughts or ideas about mitigating this aspect of immigration?

A:

I really don't. Immigration is a broad and complex issue, especially in a country like America. I know that the system has failed a lot of people that have done it "right", and left a lot people in extremely tricky situations without simple or clearly defined solutions, and I believe there needs to be a compassionate action taken for those people because the absolute vast majority of them are or desire to be fully productive citizens of the USA, and have a lot of personal investment in the principles and values this place stands for.

What I do think needs to happen is more education about immigration being spread and the narrative around the issue needs to shift to a more... accurate place. A lot of people just don't know what the real deal is, they just hear illegals and Mexicans and criminals etc. etc. etc. and it's like a dog whistle in how instantaneously their hearts go cold. That is to say that there's a perception that we're drains on society, that we don't pay taxes, don't contribute, take jobs that could go to natural-born citizens, etc. etc. It's just not the truth.