Friday, February 21, 2014

Talking to myself

Well I do. More people than I think might do. People you would never think of. You get the impression nobody endorse it though. Like you are the only one or one of the very rare species doing it.

On the internet you read psychology articles that it's not a bad thing in general to express feelings to oneself. It can even be positive. Except when it's a reciting of negative thoughts and I understand this. Although it's not the act of self talk that is bad here, but the fact that there is a tendency to think negatively of oneself. I do find that when I overdo it, I might increase stress. Or is it that I was already stressed out? Not the act again is responsible but the state you already are. Although maybe.. speaking loud of your thoughts is a way to make them stronger and more passionate. So maybe yes,. if I stopped talking for a while. Yes.. not source of problem, but help to calm down is to pause for a while.

But why we do it? And do all people do it too? I don't know the answer to the second one and sometimes I think many people will only open their mouth when they want to speak to other people. Or, preparing yourself for an interview or speech in front of a mirror (which I hate and never did for a reason, I don't want to see myself in a mirror speaking, it's confusing maybe, a distorter copy of myself).

Based on my feedback feeling, thinking about thinking and why am I thinking, it's obvious at first that I am strongly passionate about specific subjects that I want to talk loudly about them. As I already said, it's like the feeling grows stronger when you try to express it. I think I am more alive when I express frantically what fascinates me (or scares me) than silently thinking about it.

But then I found a more possible answer that matches the above but has more science in it. I was reading about one classical division of the brain in left and right. First you have the fact that left side is more focused on logic and speech. The right side is more abstract/feeling based. But maybe it's not what we think, that a mathematical person uses more of the left side or an artistic person more of the right side. We use both of our sides but another factor is the rate of communication between each of them through a thick pair of neural fibers called the corpus callosum. I was reading of interesting cases of patients whose carpus callosum was severed and got me into thinking about all these and what makes sense to me. Which I know, might be not right and you can correct me, as I am not a neuroscientist and maybe I shouldn't invoke science without knowing in detail. But I will just describe the feeling I have.

I know that in some people this callosum can have thicker connections for faster communication than others. There was this recent news article where they tried to analyze Einstein's brain again and found he had thicker connections than average in most parts of the corpus callosum. Which would make sense to me that in order to have such abstract theories in physics and also being able to express them mathematically, one had to combine well the left and right sides.

In my case, I find out (based on feeling and then analyzing what I feel and how it fits) that whenever I start thinking about it, first it has to feel right. I try to see/discover the whole picture of a problem like I am watching a full map from above. And then I go deeper into it's details trying to still keep the abstract big image in parallel view for comparison. What I feel as a bigger image I also want to make sense of it in logical terms, fitting well with every detail, feeling right both for my right brain and left brain. This urge is so strong that first I have the general feeling of a situation and then I try to analyze why this, that or everything. I need to explain it, to make all fit together. My brain is on fire. And I guess, starting from a feeling from my right side and passing to my left side that is obsessed with making a logical sense of it and also responsible for speech and there you have it, talking out loudly to myself.

One could just rely on logic. You could tell me 1+1=2 because it is, but if for some reason my right side didn't feel this is right then I would revolt and try to explain otherwise. You could also tell me to not think too much because it's not good. Then I should rely only on feelings. Yet, I refuse to conform to unexamined feelings. That's not how my brain works.

I even see how nicely this cooperation of both of my sides works on my programming hobby and job. With pure logic one can still be a programmer. It's only that most of the time he would simply copy what common algorithms are out there and replicate them. We can all do that. But what differentiates one is when he can focus on a problem that has not standard solution and make one of his own. Or when one has to think out of the box to optimize an algorithm with a novel approach that you can't find on books yet. But even several parts of programming (like OOP for example) need a more abstract kind of thought to understand and even evaluate how one should structure his code, what kind of code is more suited, elegant, easy to read or use depending on the problem he wants to solve. A pure logical person would just know a bunch of standard OOP designs and just copy them out of the book because everyone says they are the best overall. I sometimes think that the job of the programmer is that of a novelist and a logician/mathematician at the same time. I keep pondering about structure that makes sense and easiness of use about some of my code besides making them work.

It's not an easy life to be constantly bothered by things where overall feel and logic don't match together. Another reason why some general sayings, common opinions that everyone says (and so it must be true, eh?) bother me. Everything has to fit together. Pure feelingwise a fact seems to be true if 1) Feels right, 2) Everyone repeats it. But if you have a bad feeling about it then your next weapon is logic, trying to explain it. But logic has to be in harmony with your feelings. At least for the human affairs where things are subjective (or multidimensional, where each person is a different dimension). (It would be childish to be a cry baby just because of 1+1=2)

p.s. And speaking about arithmetics that don't fit. It's mindblowing. My logical mind cannot compute this (sum of infinite positive numbers should be positive at least, if not infinite). My abstract thought cannot make an intuitive sense of it (neither the creators of this video). Only little intuition that explains it is that you can't make sense of infinity the way we work with everyday mathematics. Seems legit (gut feeling) because I trust those Numberphile guys and all other sources mentioning the problem, also the history of different mathematicians arriving at the same result and the fact that it's friggin used in String Theory. And then you wonder how they arrived at 11 dimensions :)

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Introvert or not?

Am I an introvert? A shy extrovert? An ambivert? An obnoxious overtalkative person? How can I present myself? Should I even position myself into a strict category? Is it even defined well or makes sense?

In order to avoid placing me in a category but let others understand who I may be, I like to make lists of characteristics that feel strong in me and are relevant by various descriptions of introversion. I'd also like to make a second list of other elements that might cast me out of this view that I am an introvert.

  • I think part of my introversion comes from the fact that I sometimes appear quite shy or am a bit of sensitive or fearful to start conversation. There is also guilt for the times I happen to not have anything to say and feeling like the quiet guy.
  • The new mantra however is that shyness is not introversion, or that you can actually be shy and extroverted. Am I shy and a hiding extroverted instead?
  • I still don't think this. For I don't feel like I am interested in casual conversation just for the sake of socialization. But could I just be hiding this from myself because of my shyness? Could I be an extrovert that has to get out of the closet?
  • The strongest fact about myself and the one I like the most is that I am really interested about ideas and things and I feel like these are the most interesting things in my world. This reflects the way I am socializing which is actually talking excessively about specific subjects and overanalysing whatever rocks my boat. I couldn't care less about the people focused type of socialization which is more casual conversation, shallow instead of deep conversations, a means to an end of just connecting with other people.
  • It's not that I don't want to communicate with other people. But maybe I don't enjoy socialization the way it is meaned to be most of the times. I still enjoy a thorough conversation with people and I spend a lot of time discussing similar interests with close friends.
  • Meanwhile I am a bit conscious of how I communicate with other people and how different it is than most. Sometimes I wonder during my frantic monologue whether I am just killing the casual flow of a conversation because of my passion about specific subjects. Other times anxiety kicks in because someone made a casual joke or small talk and I am always supposed to respond but it doesn't come always out. I could say it revolves between two states, quietness (shyness or nothing to say?) and frantic monologues (obsession with an overflow of ideas that I really want to get out) that don't fit the casual style of conversation.
Things that could make you scream out that I can't be an introvert:
  • The frantic monologues I talk above. I might look quite obnoxious at times. I keep finding myself talking excessively about my favorite subjects with someone who might not be interested at all and wonder if I am making him tired. Some would say that this attitude could actually be quite annoying to a true introvert.
  • Yet, the source of this excessive talking, which is strong focus on ideas instead of people connections, is commonly identified as an introvert trait in many of the descriptions I find on the internet.
  • The most important thing that could outcast me, is that there is a very characteristic definition in the recent introvert craze about energy lost during extroverted activities and replenished while being alone. I cannot relate to this description (if it has not been misinterpreted since it's original depiction (Jungian?)) since I neither feel exhausted or energized whether I am with many people or alone.
  • And what is the type of energy we are talking about here? Physical? Mental? Emotional? It's never properly defined. It's more like a metaphysical term right now. While I cannot identify with this, I am certain that spending time alone is a more preferable state for me than socializing. But I can just survive nicely social situations in terms of restlessness, only drawback is some emotional frustration from not fitting in with the casual type of conversation, worrying whether I am a loner who can't always readily reply to spontaneous casual talk, sometimes getting bored and wanting to go back home or attack the food table at least :)

Decide for yourself. Actually the reason I am doing this is, besides wanting to describe myself in more precise details, sometimes my fear that someone out of this new craze who identifies himself with introversion, could come out and blame me that I am not that thing but rather an attention seeker who takes advantage of the trend and steals the title from people who are the real introverts or something. It's the fear that someone would say I should be ashamed and I shouldn't be identified with this. Although I made my mind with this and just state the facts. It's just that I am seeing this happening recently and it makes me sad that there is such a polemic in a community that should show (and has the capability of showing) more understanding.

Another thing that is very curious is that these are elements not only found within introversion but also in other categorizations I've been reading about in the past, from Asperger's to Hypersensitivity. I don't claim that I can be totally defined by any of these but I can't fail to notice some similarities between all these unique categorizations and the different movements around them on the internet, which is actually the same thing, a realization that you are not alone, a struggle against the feeling of being an outsider, a justification for who you really are. That's why I am quite interested with all these parallel movements of celebrating abnormality on the internet and I am really curious to see where that will leads us.

I would really like to see the whole picture here, to connect the pieces of the puzzle, because I think this is bigger than life, this is about my life struggle and yours and everyone's of being different, blamed by the society, feeling that something is wrong with you and then finally being justified. And this is a story about understanding of who we really are and trying to understand others who are also struggling by this even if they don't exactly fit your definition of what introversion or autism or any other category is supposed to mean. When new ideals evolve into movements, there is always this kind of noise, everyone trying to identify themselves and sometimes getting into quarrels about other people not belonging to the "club". It's kinda sad because we are really all part of the same story, just trying to understand who we really are and get along with ourselves. I am really really curious where all this trend will lead. I will be observing.

p.s. First this video and then this article and the subsequent links flooded my mind with interesting thoughts and made me really furious about sharing them with you (as a shy obnoxious ambivert :)

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Convergence

It's more than three months I started with my new job here in Glasgow. I already imagine how my life will be like in the future. For the moment I have all I want, a good job that provides me with what I was missing, financial support and independence. I am at my rented flat, enjoying my time completely alone and free.

Years ago I was desperate for that thing, that for some is a standard. Living no more with my parents, pursuing an independent life in a new place, not just as a foreign student but with a (more or less) stable job. In the past I was also angry because I couldn't pursue my demoscene hobby in a more free state. I think I've lost this energy or I am less young now, I wonder what would it be if I was at more ease when I started. I wondered if I know have the time, whether I could pursue this with the some passion as when I started. I doubt it.

It is a fourth thought that maybe I could get that back. But it would require a strong focus again, which even if I regain I leave other things back in the most crucial moment of my life. In my new environment I could strive for the things that I've left behind. No time for serious democoding anymore or at least till I fix some other stuff. It could feel weird, like going against pursuing my dreams, or not exact to my personality. But this is a big window of opportunity, finally I can have some more relaxed moments to cure myself from my fears and passions, I can slowly slowly build a better psychology, do the things I couldn't believe I would, give me some self-esteem that I can do that too.

Things like changing my food habits, maybe go to the gym, try to truly follow a program and loose some weight, also social things like make some new cycles here, and the all stars challenge, figure out how the thing with a girlfriend works. Yep! I think I'll becoming to refer to this more and more in this blog, not feeling so ashamed, talk about my thoughts, how strange it is seeing everyone with a girl and wondering how it works, how do they do it, why it feels so scary to me and wonder whether I really want it so much.

I don't even know the future. I don't know how things will go with the new job, whether I will be here for years (so this will be my new long life, so I'd need something more than my old habits). Eitherways I'd like to do something soon, so even if things failed, this is my window of opportunity for a change. I mean,. I could be here for at least 8 months, not knowing if my contract will go on, so in any case I want to think I used these freedom months to change something drastically on me. For this period, I think I will focus on the loosing weight, changing food habits thing. Sounds hard but it's the easiest of all and good for a sort 6 month period. The girlfriend issue feels so hard to me, it could even take long with destructive results and I prefer to make a more healthy change to myself and just enjoy my independence at the moment.

This is it and I might even fail. It is a good bet with myself.

Meanwhile, those are the things in some order I am thinking about.

  • Weight/Food/Gym/Health
  • Making new friends/cycles (even through hobbies/clubs in Glasgow?)
  • Gurlll (might never happen)
  • Could I regain my demoscene creativity? Or some new hobby?
  • Could I spend my creative time in something more commercial, like coding Android stuff? As a backup for a second income?

Most importantly I make a lot of thoughts about myself again. I try to focus on the good stuff. Not good as likeable, but important single points I should focus more. Without falling in the trap of self-pity. Things I should remind myself. Things I don't notice and they could help me understand who I am and stop the self-loathing and just accept who I am. Sounds contradictory when I say that I should accept who I am but at the same time I want to make changes, to specific things that also people who made me sad told me. It has to be like this. It has to be a contradiction. All the real life/get a life concept, things that are considered in and things that are a taboo, does it matter? But I need to make some never seen before changes and yet regain the faith on my personality. It's not that by making these changes, I make these people right. I'd say they were not right because they made me despise these things instead of endorsing them, they made me hateful and they don't really give a fuck, they didn't do it nicely. But then I say I should forget about all that and stop giving a fuck and just do what I am supposed to do. Maybe it will help me to regain my self-esteem and there I will feel more strong and infiltrate and influence people with my weirdness.

I resonate with this recently http://inoveryourhead.net/the-complete-guide-to-not-giving-a-fuck/. There are little thoughts that scare me, insignificant really and I decided to start accepting these and accepting the awkward feeling of myself. And then there is more I understand but make me feel the road is long. If I ever want to make every change anyway, I could just accept some things that change and some not. I don't need to be exactly this. I just need some inspiration.

And I am trying to learn the new things about myself. Trying to understand again what are the things I really want, but new stuff that I don't see and could be important. For example, it's a good recent observation that while I am claiming I don't care about what other people say, this is what I find myself worrying about all the time. Or else I wouldn't even mention it.  I could make many conclusions about this, asking what I really want, or whether I could get some of this and still be myself, or whether it's a faulty emotion as my logic tells me it's insignificant to waste tears for this.

And I think that sometimes I am about to converge into something that explains more correctly my problems, my fears and the solutions to make me feel better or make me act or make me accept or help me correct some things. It's still fuzzy as it always was but I feel there could be convergence soon. Or is this the same as doomsday theories that they never come?

What is the future? I don't think my personality will change much. I don't think I'll forget. But maybe I can gain lost ground so that I improve my self-esteem, so that I believe it's possible to change some of my habits and yet remain myself deeply.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Consciousness

Several times I am wondering if there is a primary idea where all my thinking could begin. I mean, if I wanted to erase everything and start from scratch and make a philosophical sense, or maybe an easily practical sense of things, myself, the world, my worries, everything but make it as less complicated as possible, what would be the primary idea to start from, the source of everything. Similarly as scientists search for the beginning of all, or the magic particle where everything begins.

Because sometimes my thoughts become more and more confusing, and I need to erase everything and rebuild. During times my mind passes through several things that I identify that they could serve as the primary idea. And then it doesn't make sense again. This time it's consciousness. And without consciousness I wouldn't even make these convoluted thoughts to begin.

Thoughts build on older thoughts, ideas that can be cultural, so I am born empty but my mind is filled with ideas about what is good or bad, sometimes I oppose or struggle these ideas because other powers are fighting inside me (desires? instincts?). I think the best thing to see it is to look at animals. Your favorite cat or dog or anything. I like to stare at them and imagine how free of all that burden they are. The burden of a higher consciousness. They don't even have a sense of ethics. They might not even have a sense of themselves, self feedback, like knowing that you are the one who is making these thoughts. Basic instincts run mainly.

Think about how much more rich world of a language we have that describes emotions, ethics, abstract ideas, how much more beautifully we perceive things, how alive we feel with our human consciousness. Yet it's also the root of all evil, a pandora's box, with all negative feelings, pain and sorrow. And because we can feel pain more lively, we understand the concept that someone can inflict more pain. Sometimes I watch the news and it makes me very sad that someone would torture or rape another human being in such bad ways, and it makes me ask why? But the answer is in consciousness. An animal would never understand the concept of torture because it just can't realize that it exists and neither have a more lively feeling of pain. And it can't be thrilled by the idea that it could inflict much more pain just for the kicks. Animals do inflict pain when killing prey but as much as necessary for their survival. It is really consciousness that have created such complicated societies, great ideas (and convoluted, non simplistic ones too), makes us really enjoy a more alive existence, but it's the same source that also makes our civilization put too much creativity into how one could inflict as much unimaginable pain as possible. It's a bliss and then it's a curse.

But do we need to go dark here? No. Consciousness is our primary characteristic and we just have to learn to live with it. I am just trying to make an emphasis here about one primary fact that can make lot's of sense about the human condition (and it's the primary thing that differentiates us from animal anyway) and how it breeds all complex ideas, society, good things and evil things. Good and evil are another bunch of ideas after all, understood by human consciousness. Universal laws don't carry ethics. All life on earth could be wiped out by a cosmic event and the universe wouldn't shed a tear. If I erased every existing idea in my mind so that I start rethinking about everything from scratch, one of the primal points would be consciousness this time. Before that, natural laws, and there comes the complexity of life and instincts. Human condition is a combination (or conflict) between the lower instincts (survival makes most sense sometimes) and higher consciousness.

The other thing that bothers me again is that there seem to be different grades of consciousness in humans. Of course I am not sure about that, for I will never be able to investigate and feel another person's consciousness while comparing it with mine. If we could do that it would be a revolution for understanding each other. But just being able to understand myself and see how different I can be affected by things that go easy with other people, and discover other highly sensitive people around I can conclude that there must be something in here. Of course I am not claiming that other people are lacking consciousness as much that they are robots (another impossible thing to investigate, as a philosophical and scary thought it's interesting). All human consciousness seem high enough, whether it's under or oversensitive. There are a lot that I want to discuss but will leave it for another time though. Like, that oversensitivity can make you so overwhelmed with some things that you avoid it, for example socialization, so moderately sensitive people might have the best performance in a social environment (also explains why socialization is casual talking and not more intense passionate talking, something that I make the mistake to fall into frequently, moving from total silence to excessive monologues in an instant). Also music. I realize I like music with so much emotional power, but most of the times I prefer to listen alone or with headphones. I am feeling so overwhelmed to listen my kind of music with other people. Also a reason that in the past I was not into listening music even if I wanted so much. Too overwhelmed, I had those feelings I called "shynesses (plurar)" but it was just emotional overwhelm.

p.s. I find out by this great Vsauce video (also that classic question many of us had, if my yellow is the same as your yellow) that this idea of never knowing how your consciousness feel to me consciousness, never been able to experience things from another person's reality, it's called Qualia. Now, that's quite interesting to get into and see what philosophers had to say about.

Monday, February 11, 2013

My worst enemy

More thoughts are formed or re-formed these days, my lifely marathon to make sense out of me and the world. Some snipsets here and there maybe. Easier reading I hope.

The eternal marathon, since my childhood and later on. The obsessions. Trying to escape from negative thoughts. Thoughts that are put into me. But nobod is there to put them. Rarely it happens, once in a while someone comes to me and argues effectively that something is wrong with me, whether he meaned it or not. And then I carry these beliefs too. But I digress, I react to this, emotionally and then I try to explain myself with logic. Logic is good, the fiasco of the social unwritten rules, which are surprisingly the unwritten laws of the 20st century, psychiatry, self help gurus, obsession with happiness, positivity but through an image that is supposed to be the only way to attend this as if anything deviating from this is a very sad existence.

I am going somewhere. Somewhere more focused, more certain about specific things, not as confused as in the past. But at the same time I realize something else. And it's important that I realize it and I am happy about this. It's an important step. I reacted too much, too obsessively about these things all these years that inside me I am my worst enemy. I speak with logic about how absurd normality is, I obsess about it, I manage to differ a bit, without wishing to be this but because it comes naturally, I am sworn to avoid preaching others and just try to understand them or understand that they differ. Sounds like I am an independent person that differs from the norms (and only at specific points) because he does, speaks his own mind, but what really seems to be and sometimes gets out is a horrible lack of self-esteem.

It is like a universal reversed effect, people see it and really believe that there is something wrong with me, because if there wasn't then I wouldn't obsess, I would continue living my life the way I want it instead without crying out loud! This is like disprooving my case, like I am showing weakness, like I am proving them right. And this last one is another trap. Do I need to prove to someone else that my life is fine the way I chose to live it?


I like some xkcd comics. I like those where the protagonist gets really unpredictable and does an epic win that makes sense too. When someone tries to force his opinion on you and he never get backs what expected and now he is the confused one. Normally you could reply like "Ok, you are right, I am wrong, you win!". The most expected one would be trying to defend yourself "No, I wouldn't jump but this is not the same thing man!". It's like a backup, "well yes, but no". It is logical, going to the gig with your friends is not the same as jumping. But it can still be akward. Tell them a Yes but in a clever way! Tell them what they cannot expect. Reverse psychology for you and a win at the same time? (my answer wasn't an acceptence of defeat, neither a defensive stance, it was telling in their face that yes I am an idiot and I would jump but it would make more sense!)

Sometimes I'd wish I was like that xkcd guy. I'd wish I had a perfect, clever and yet confusing answer to all this mostly internal and external nagging, why I am not "normal", why I don't have a girlfriend, why I am so fat, why I am so emotionally weak, why I get anxious, why I react to all these, why I am such a target for their self-fullfilling prophecy that people like me must suck and the only way is to just be like most of the people. I react, I do it with a feeling of what is unfair, because it's extremely unfair that I've suffered and now they blame me about it, when everything I was listening from them is blame and I didn't have the words to answer to this blame (probably something that puts them back in their place with extreme humor and insanity like the xkcd dude). And it feels unfair that my image is of someone who is extremely obsessive, not the layed back guy (and in my opinion, it's not always fair to think that the laid back guy is right and the angry sorrowful person is wrong, but let this aside for now). It's a shame to give such a negative image and prove them right.

But is this my business? Is it right to spend so much time trying to justify myself to others so that I feel more comfortable about my way of life? The more I am doing this the more I've lost..

It's such an irony that the old saying is true, the worst enemy is you. I feel like I've lost so much time ruminating about all these stupid ideas, feeling that it wasn't me who accept them, I am the one who oppose these ideas, I am the good or the wise guy who understands, who wants to fight this for the better, however this thing was eating me inside. It's still true today, and it doesn't need a justification, I wasn't doing something either right or wrong, there is a meditiation philosophy that your thoughts are not you, and so when I try to focus I realize that several contradicting ideas (from both opposing beliefs) are constantly jumping like they have a life of their own. There is a strange balance that I'd like to accept, at the same way that one wants to be an individual one also wants to be accepted (inspiring blog post here too).

Neither of these states are more right or wrong and even balance is subjective. Some people are really attached to the tireful trial of resembling the norm and they do really succeed in this, while others are either happy with their individuality or there are those poor cases where they are stuck between the two ideas. Like as if someone should only stick to a single one or we were not in a need for little from both sides :P. If I was some random weird guy who didn't give a fuck then I would be like the true individual. And it would either make me feel proud or I wouldn't give a fuck once more. But all that seems to be was that I was crushed from both my need to accept the person I am whatever that is and the blame that somehow I felt I was getting from this world (which was mostly residing in my head, acquired from modern society and less oftenly heared and reinforced by random people's sayings).

Blame doesn't work the same way with everyone. Maybe someone who was not very social or having trouble to fit in would be pushed positively into that direction when people are telling him to change even in a harsh way. Maybe this thing works with some of the individual. But it forces others to stay closed to their shells forever. This is something that all those people who are supposed to "help" do not even take in account. They think that everone is the same mind and reacts the same way. And if their way doesn't work on you then you are just lazy or stupid but they don't try to understand why someone could be lazy or stupid. They just stop there. They put the blame without much thought and let you suffer.

You can be easilly lost in cracked.com. Interesting, hilarious or stupid top-n lists. But once in a while I find a really good article that has to do with some of the above. 4 reasons humans will never understand each other. Three is how we think we put ourselves in other people's shoes but we think erroneously about it. The person who was never too fat or too sensitive or too introverted looks at me and wonders why is it so hard for me. He says "If I was you I would do this and that and the other one". But you are not me! Get in my own situation totally, which means take my brain with my psychology, my personality, my past trauma, my WHOLE me. It's absurd that I would look at the blind and claim that if I was he I could see! The rest of the four points are also inspiring. Someone is bad, is lame, is lazy, is stupid but we don't want to know why. One assumes that if the problematic person doesn't think and react like him then he is wrong.

Theory of (different) mind(s) anyone?

An improved perception of how each one is a unique individual that can't be handled the same way as each other of us, that one has to be understood from his own point of view, that we got the so called theory of mind totally wrong, should evolve into a new universal law in the similar way that people say "Carpe Diem" (or the absurd Yolo today :P) or "Pan Metron Ariston" (translated in something like: be balanced). Those last phrases have become cliche and they were actually used against me to imply that I am living my life very wrongly and will be a very sad person after 20 years. And you can imagine the negative effects. Besides the sorrow, I hate them like the plague, while most people feel like they are very wise by reciting them. If they were wise they would understand the obvious, the one of the few things I write above and I'd wish it would be a universal  law that people would learn to understand (more than blindly reciting it). Do we need to evolve telepathic powers to understand each individual uniquely? Or simply understand that they can't be thinking and feeling exactly the same as us and that's not more wrong than our thoughts and feelings, Can't we accept, understand and teach this simple truth even if we can never implant our brains into theirs to really get a grip?

People with similar sorrows, similar thoughts as mine, sensitive persons, open-minded people, with less arrogance and more hurt self-esteem. Look at the world around you, look again and see that you can't just be always wrong and everyone always right about you. Observe how arrogant this world is and what the reality is. Don't you see how self-asserted and without doubt most are? How certain they are that their world is everyone's world? Observe! And feel content with your more thoughtful and understanding personality. I have a hope. We could teach others. The world could learn.

p.s. I was reading one book called the power of negative thinking or something like that (though right now I find more books with similar titles in amazon and I can't find, oh wait.. it's called The Antidote. Happiness for people who can't stand positive thinking. It sounds counter intuitive, but it's not just going out and cry all day. It's more about an emotional stability of being neither sad or extremely happy, a strong arguments towards all the flood of overpositive thinking, self-help gurus and such extremety that based on the law of reversed effect brings the exact opposite results that it claims trying to do. This is very similar to the effect with the excessive idea of "You could be normal, it would be great, you'd be succesful like the rest, why are you so bad at this?" that is supposed to show you the "right" way but all it does is being so intimidating that it fails to motivate you and makes you more frightened instead (at least for some of us, this might work to some but not many others, remember how each one of us differs). The book goes through some interesting history of counter-happiness cultures, like the Stoic philosophers, the classic Budhists (I really learn here, that what has arrived as New Age in the western world is way much different and shallow than the old teachings :P), Memento Mori and more. Most insightful read since a very long time and it doesn't even claim to give you the answer. It's food for thought and some parts of it are coming together with several of my evolved thoughts and I think they could help me to wisely come in terms with myself and several of the things I was arguing about in this blog. Of course, I have more to learn and I won't stop in this one..

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Socialization as pure fun

I think we got it all wrong. Rules for socialization. Blame. Standards for how one should be or not. Ideas stuck in my mind. How can I enjoy something when everyone tells you that you should be doing as an obligation to yourself, you are not granted the choice to avoid it (you can, but then they suggest something is wrong with you) and that you also have to follow specific rules. How would then I like to do that activity and improve when all the negativity about it and how I handle it or how I avoid it makes me to not even want to think about it?

Recently (and always in my rare good moments and better as the years have passed and learned to care less) I am more relaxed with this. Talking to people and not talking. Yes, not talking too. Just being there and being a listener or not being there but residing in my own universe. One would say that maybe I don't like it, but the fact is that I don't hate it either. I don't hate it when the social anxiety goes away. I can actually be neutral with it. When fear is not there, I can be at worse neutral about socialization. Not getting to wild about it but not hating it either.

I remember for example some other neutral activities which doesn't inspire me but I can do them to pass the time with my friends. Some might tire me to death (like visiting too crowded places with very loud music and full of smoke), some others are more relaxing (going to a cafeteria that is less noisy where we can actually talk) and it also depends on the people. I said socialization can be neutral, but it can be more when I am spending my time with more close friends and people that I know and can discuss more interesting subjects or personal stuff. Actually, my optimism of at least a neutral feeling is about the other cases of visiting parties and places with people you don't know, talking to girls you can't connect, etc. So, I am talking about a fun strategy that works even in the harder for me cases. I am already social enough with my preferred cases anyway.

And I wouldn't care even. My strategy is an alternative path that fits better with my psychology. One that everyone would say is the right thing because it sounds good, but this is not what I am taking from discussion. Nobody told me to just have a time, one quote that an old friend from Erasmus told me once and it's still relevant today. To have a time, to exclude "good" from the equation. Try to visit some social activity and don't care whether you "failed" or not (it's subjective also). And even if you failed to visit it, do not care either. Yes, it's like eliminating ethics, eliminating good or bad, normal or not, healthy or not, successful or not. To exaggerate it, even if you totally failed and stayed all day in your bed like a seriously depressive person, you should calm down your negative emotions and say that's fine, another day passed.

Now you will disagree, you will say that yes we should be our selves, we should feel free and fearless about these stuff, we should not take them seriously BUT you should do stuff, you should wake up and act, don't let it go either. As a safety valve. Yes be free, BUT obligations, rules,. not true choice of the extremes. Because we want to have the most free spirit BUT we feel obliged to rule the exceptions.

I think the most wonderful feeling of freedom is to be able to say the most radical things without fear. I can be whatever I want no matter how insane. I don't need ethics. I don't need excuses. I beg for my inner emotional freedom to live without a second thought.

It's quite hard to say that. Because you can very easily be misjudged. Living without ethics would sound like you are a bad person, you could do harm to people and find the perfect excuses for that. But we are not talking about real harm, we are talking about socialization. I just need to be free and without ethics, without thinking I failed or I didn't do it the proper way in things that are supposed to be fun. I am not talking about real life ethics. How can you add exceptions and rules in things that are supposed to be fun? What's more natural and fun than socialization? Relationships? Why are we scared to approach a girl and work through it when it's supposed to be a pleasurable experience? What is wrong with us?

Someone would say that he socializes with rules and obligations and it's all getting well. Maybe they can live with rules and then contradict themselves by feeling free and making the mistakes while they suggest other things. Maybe the problem is us. The more sensitive people, the people who take it more seriously. Who feel obliged by rules and take failure negatively. But if it is this, then we should be handled with a different psychological strategy. And because we don't expect from the rest to react in our preferred way, we should teach ourselves to care less, to see the fun stuff as stuff of no rules, no obligations, either you do it correctly or awkwardly it's fine, either you are talkative or just sitting in a corner and talking to no one you should feel fine, either you come to the party or stay at home, fine. It doesn't even matter if you start talking about your special interests than doing casual talk in my opinions. And if they find you boring and move away that's fine. In fact that's a myth. They might like that you actually discussed something that is truly you. How do you know that universally, the next person near you felt the same as you, that they didn't like your crazy babbling?

I know how it works and this is my best way to fight this. No matter if I could express well what I feel, it seems to be working now. As a philosophy I think it's better for things that are supposed to be fun. People would misjudge this as unethical but what I am suggesting is a mind free of all the emotional distress some of us encounter with socialization. Just have a time! (needs time to truly learn)

p.s. The next step is having a good time with the other sex. That's a hard thing for me. But so far, fear of socialization played a role in this too, magnified by the fact that she is not a friend but you think her of something more. Last time I could talk a lot with many girls around even if with the aid of booze. But I felt with this philosophy that it's possible. Problem, this is only the first step. Then she stops being friend and things get more intimate. Though, these things should be natural, they should be fun. The idea that "you are xx age and it's a shame you don't have a girlfriend" is something I would erase now. These things are not obligations. These things are natural activities that we should enjoy! Having a girlfriend means living with her and that's stronger than friendship, so how would it be if you were oppressed into this even if it only makes you scared?

Random resolutions and retrospections


Well, it could be yesterday, 2 days ago or 3 days ahead, we could be all wrong with the keep of time and when they ask me about resolutions and I don't know I say 1080p.

And then I also do retrospections, which is to remember what I did back in 2012. Or what did I wished for in the end of 2011. Oh, I've wished I'd find a regular job. I didn't. At least we are working on a contract based project. And then the search again.
I did got some money from this one so far. I bought some good stuff lately, finally I can move on and buy stuff and plan stuff a bit after so many months of nothingness. But are money the happiness? They do give some happiness and safety that's for sure. Anyway, I bought a new android tablet, Google Nexus 7. An SD Floppy emulator for my 8bit/16bit computers. A DStwo card for my NDS. I am still waiting for my Raspberry Pi. I finally bought Grimrock from GOG. I could do some shopping again because we started that job and I got a small amount for a start. It's a growing trend in the end of 2012, so I think 2013 will be better in that aspect, but maybe a more steady job too? Or I am going berserk with rejections and try my luck building my own Android apps and see how this works. I will do anyway. One of my coding resolutions.

Oh, retrospections. I feel like making small comebacks in the demoscene. There was this sadness after 2008 maybe where I wasn't feeling like demomaking. I was declining and I was fed up. But then I said it's a good hobby and you can't just quit. Just make it fucking worth it! I think I did and I am in a good road. 2009-2010 I had my master in UK, so besides keeping a distance from demomaking during these years (though if I search, I still did few stuff, but crappy stuff) I had to focus on other stuff like the studies and an attempt to find a job outside (which didn't go well unfortunately). And then I came back a bit, especially on the CPC, with demos like Chunky Chan, Wolfenstrad and my 4k Clouds with virgins in the Skies. And a lot of tiny intros of smaller sizes for cpc, speccy, c64 and dos as I see. Lot's of small stuff just to get used to it. Meanwhile I managed to keep my psychology up, release smaller or medium stuff without caring about what people say, I didn't try to do my best thing ever, I just tried to take part in the competitions of some parties, provide for the scene, be active again and still keep being content about it. I see a growing trend here.

Although I still would like to stop chasing deadlines with demos and if I do more to take my time. And maybe concentrate on something else than demos like making a game with my wolfenstein engine on CPC. Time will tell. Still, for 2013 I promised to participate in a megademo for the 30 years of CPC with my own part and I haven't started yet. Another plan is to visit a foreign demoparty again, most probably Forever 8bit party, but if not then Revision. And when I visit parties I have this wish to participate in one of the compos. So, another demo or intro deadline? Everything ends in the middle of 2013 though. Or not.

I would like to try something else now. To work on a demo but slowly slowly far before the deadline. To take my time. Build new parts every day, improving old parts, without the stress that there are few times left. Oh,. I did also came back to GP2X coding with my Tyropite little demo, just a scrolltro with my new 3d software rasterizer. Had big plans but started coding the actual demopartys the last two days. I really want to try working slowly for something like 3-6 months. I doubt it will happen but this is my plan for my next GP2X demo.

And then there are many other small things, like my wish to get into Android coding and try my luck in the market. Everybody is begging me to start but it won't be that easy to have gains I believe. But I should try and see how it goes. I should say that I at least tried it..

Another demo wish, take my time, learn to make my own tracker music. Kinda hard start for someone who wasn't into this and what do I expect, to make fitting music for my future demos? I want to try and improve slowly. I would like to express some of my feelings through music. I think..

Are all my retrospections and resolutions about demos? No,. I just have a lot to write about that. Not much are left from regular life. A job perhaps. A girlfriend? What a joke!

Oh,. new hobbies? I actually started a new hobby this year and that is astronomy. I spent time with binoculars observing and I realized how relaxing that was, me alone looking at the sky, with the sounds of the night. Then I got the biggest present from my brothers, a reflector telescope. But this one, hmm.. too much time to setup, too much to learn about how to use it, I barely managed to see some stuff and I need more time for this. But it was cool! Coolest thing is that I also search in Stellarium or Wikipedia or other sources for the stuff that I've observed. The sightings are not as impressive as one would expect, but the things that you learn are interesting. The different way you see the skies. The mindblowing feeling of looking at something that is so far. The moons of Jupiter. The Orion Nebula. Andromeda Galaxy. Some are visible with binoculars, others with telescope. Some might be visible with naked eye without the city light pollution they say. Wow! I am just enthusiastic on the idea and so I wasn't disappointed.

Very lately the past year, I had some good social experiences (maybe with a bit of booze but not always) and kept a mentality that help me enjoy the social more and abolish fear. I might had periods of such good insights even years ago and rarely, but you have to live and relive the good concepts to finally learn to think in  a more healthy way. The ideas are simple, but one shouldn't expect people won't have problems adopting to them. Simply, I was in a meeting and realized that I should try to balance my emotions about "don't know what to talk". About feeling inferior when people around you are more social, or they know each other more, or you don't know what to say. Control your emotions, decrease negativity in many different paths. Am I talking? No? Then don't care. Don't think you are bad. Enjoy sitting there and be a listener. Do I care about what to say? Say something. Say something stupid. It's better than not say anything. But if you don't manage, don't be sad. You try to talk and then she leaves? Akward? Move to the next person. Don't want to talk to girls? Afraid? Go talk to guys. Talk about casual boring shit. Or talk about demos and tech stuff. Or UFOs. Or,... it doesn't matter!!! When it matters then negative emotions get stronger. Forget it. Talk, don't talk, talk boring stuff, talk your stuff, jump from a person to another, try to have fun. If you fail in all, still don't become bitter. Go eat stuff at the party and get a drink. Go home. But never never never get sorrow. Because that's what I did. Cheat. Succumb your emotions. Say it's all a bad joke. Fuck that shit!!!

Confusing, balancing either sides of emotions, but this is one great thing I learned near the end of this year for social situations. Also, don't think you are there just to get a girlfriend (this is a next step for me and it won't happen). Don't destroy your night with this thought "Ok,. I am perfectly social, so what? I am still not getting any!". I almost did it. I was sad for 1-2 days. No! At least you had fun.

There are more to say about stuff that I remember from 2012, things I've improved on and things I didn't do and what I want to do in 2013 and the things I don't even know I will do. But I will stop here. My improvement on my demoscene feelings and activity was a good positive curve. My attempts at personal evolution and recent thoughts on social fears is a good way to go. I don't know if these will evolve or if I will succumb again into nothingness. My job hunting fails, at least I have a part time project now.

p.s. Comic from XKCD. This is exactly how I felt recently. Without This Year's gonna be different though. Pessimistic and sometimes not..
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