Sunday, July 15, 2018

Unsustainable emotions

I'll try to make this short cause I am drunk. Yeah, I do this sometimes, rarely thankfully.
Just some thoughts, nothing special, not having to do with being drunk.

It's interesting to thing of one's self, what brought you here, what is your "agenda", why you do what you do, why you believe what you do. I think this about myself and sometimes I don't even know, I don't even know why I didn't go to the other direction. I sometimes think it about people too. Even strange people I agree with their opinions, but what was the think that made them go independent and didn't follow some of the mainstream? What made them escape the mainstream thought, what changed their mind, or where they predisposed to reach some conclusions?

It's sometimes awkward and I don't talk as much, why as I explained previously, I entered this rabbit hole, where I am hooked into the whole "red-pilling" philosophies, taking the side of the anti-sjw personas, devouring from Jordan Peterson's speeches and the "intellectual dark web" to 3rd party youtubers. It's awkward because politically some people would think you are on the wrong side of the history or something. And I was never political. I was incredibly apolitical compared to my peers, I was avoiding taking stances in such discussions. It was awkward, you could be characterized, and I didn't have enough information or knowledge on the subjects to be sure what I am talking about.

But the last two years, from observing the gamergate controversy, to realizing some of the nice sounding ideologies are not as good as you think, or at least, expressed very badly, in an authoritarian manner, I started listening more to people opposing the new trends of identity politics on the left. I was dragged more to this side. But why?

My fundamental question is why didn't I became an SJW? I realized long ago, that I have some of the personality traits that might be frequent with this kind of people. Mainly my high neuroticism and then maybe openness to ideas, agreeableness, low conscientiousness (a thing I am trying to work to improve). And a lot of the things I discuss in this blog in the past. My feeling that I am somehow marginalized by normality, being in a minority of people not fitting the mainstream ways of socializing, entertainment, etc. It was all expressed. And another element, I read now the theory (conspiracy? reality? who knows) of the postmodern philosophies and how the far left doesn't want to have the discussion (protesters just shouting and disrupting talks) and I remembered one thing. I once have a frustrating discussion in the past where I declared that "Conversation is just a way to dominate other people's reality". It's hard to explain this, but I felt like the other person doesn't care about the truth or maybe your reality or feelings, but argumentation is a means to make them right and demolish you and close the case in their advantage.

But wait. I now learn that short of this idea is a postmodernist claim that somehow the leftist sjw types like (that's the conspiracy theory). And I don't really know anything about postmodernist philosophy, so I will discuss it in simpler manners: Discussion is threatening.

I fully understand the sentiment. This is a way to understand some of the sjw people. When you are in a hard situation, where words feel threatening (but it's the emotions that words emanate) and maybe you are a weirdo in one or another way (from being an introvert, lonely, incel or autistic guy, or feeling guilty about being lazy having to justify yourself constantly, to being other things I am not familiar with, like LGBT for example) and you had to constantly justify yourself for not being normal, you just for a moment want to not hear any argumentation about who you are and what you are supposed to be or how you should live your life. It can be all triggering and it feels like you are in a fight to justify that you are valid as a human being. I understand the sentiment.

But what is invalid to me (and why I have disliked the trends of social justice) is the whole politicisation, the mob mentality of these people coming together and showing their worse self. This is what never catched with me, I would come despising those attitudes, which I think are unsustainable. They are unsustainable because what is the thing you are showing to the world? That all these minorities are creating more trouble to society than they solve, it's all a culture of outrage, nobody is gonna take them seriously! They just don't want to have the discussion, they don't really care about the truth, the just want the world to cater in their ways. I could just never get along with the mob mentality of protests anyway, so while I could feel the "struggle of normality" as I used to call it, I ended up making my peace with the world as it is and go my own way. Maybe I feel more like an individual, a lone wolf, than belonging to a pack of animals.

I thought about this in the following way. You have the feminists and SJWs with their political correct language, demanding that entertainment is not as "sexist" (however they perceive it and can't even agree between their group members about what is and what is not sexist), that we change culture as much as possible, by force. Now! Everything is sexist, everything is racist and we have to call it out. They want to push things fast! Yeah, sure.. and I'll tell you what: I don't like the majority of socialization. I don't like full bars with lot's of people, loud music, smoke, casual talk. I don't like that most people are more people oriented than thing oriented. I don't like the stereotypes about nerds. Or the virgin incel shaming. I don't like them at all. But you know what? I never demanded that the majority of society which is based on the more "people oriented" neurotypical way of thinking would radically change on my needs, and now! And that is unacceptable we have this culture. I never demanded that!!! So, why do these SJWs and feminists demand things cater in their way? And even go out of their way and also shame some other marginalized people out there, calling out geeks with derogatory as being virgin neckbeard losers, while they speak about acceptance and understanding and politeness? That hypocrisy rubbed me in the wrong way, another reason to oppose these groups btw.

I learned that the best strategy is to cope with yourself, understand that you are different and that can be problematic in a society of normies, understand yourself and how it clashes with societal norms and how you can cope without being radicalized, without only blaming yourself but neither wanting to dismantle society. Everything else is unsustainable. You will only look like a fool, you will demand society to fully change (which is more unlikely than anything else) without taking some compromises. And I understand that life is a struggle, and people feel marginalized, and "Strap on your boots" is not always the more compassionate answer. But forming mobs of people to just shout things without having a real conversation or trying to fire people from their jobs because they posted something on social media, that's despicable and it doesn't make you look good and it won't look good for your cause, whatever that is.

This is what I mean by unsustainable emotions. In darker circumstances, based on my burden and what I have written here, I don't exclude the possibility that I could have become radicalised, either by joining some of these groups, or forming some kind of anti-normality manifesto and would have started something on my own, radicalising other people with my ideas.

There has to be another way. Discover more about yourself, but don't necessary put it in a scheme of me versus society or us versus them. You are not totally wrong, don't blame yourself, but don't blame society and culture either. These aspects change slowly and are defined by the majority. It's harsh here in loneliness, but what can you do? Don't make fool of yourself.

I am not making too much sense, but maybe it's a weird equilibrium state, where I neither want to go to the path of hating myself, nor on the outrage path of blaming society. It is unsustainable. I hope some of the SJW types (and I am sorry for using the term, but that's to point out which people I mean by using one acronym) will see things differently and act in better ways. Learn to not being afraid of the discussion, because I believe there is something that they could have to say (and it would take a long time to be adopted), I just feel their tactics are so wrong.

I keep going with this and don't have a good epilogue (still almost drunk), turned out to be a big post, so I'll stop right here. I want to discuss (reluctantly) about these issues, and part of it even reflecting to my own past, where somehow I didn't follow their path, which is bizarre (why would I side with those "we don't care about your feelings" guys on the other side, one would wonder?).

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Doesn't seem to work.

I might not update this blog on a regular basis. Doesn't seem to work like this, I always come not feeling like it or having anything to say, when I plan it. It is working for Computer Hermit since I'd usually post some news from my coding progress. But here? The subjects here need more thought and used to be a thing of the moment, when I suddenly was emotional about some thing in my mind and wanted to write something. I could make a list of some things I want to write about and discuss them whenever I feel like (which means never? :). Not sure, but I might remove the Saturday task from habitica.

It shows again how things change in my life. I don't feel as much the need to write in the way I used to in this blog (although I might want to express my mind about ideas but usually I am not in front of the PC when this happens, and till I go back to write about it, I am occupied by other thoughts). There goes the days where I was expressing myself in such depressive manner.

Then again the reason I never come to write something fully here is that I am occupied by other plans and end up at night, very tired, having to write something, anything. I was completing my second session on coding till I realised it's more late than I thought. It's easier again with Computer Hermit because I allow myself to write my progress instead of discussing anything. But here, what to write? It has to be some expansion on ideas, while my mind is off at that point and only doing it as a habit.

So, you might not see much here, esp not plan Saturdays. I'll either think of another way (maybe make a list of things you'd like to talk about in the future) or update this one less frequently. It will be fine, afterall it has already been dead over the last few years.

p.s. And I wanted to talk about my dislike of identity politics or how some things I see now reflect things of myself or older thoughts I had. I don't feel like and I am not sure I'd always want to get deeper into these issues.
p.p.s. This blog is in limbo.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Random stuff continues..

I am here, almost an hour before midnight, trying to figure out what to write. It happens because this is in my list of things to do and I leave it for last so far. It's easier with Computer Hermit blog because it can be more casual writing of what creative projects I worked with, in the past week (although I should be writing on specific subjects sometimes). And here, I think like I have to write something more specific. But maybe it's all right that I start with something random and then this forms into something else. One problem of procrastination and motivation is catching up the flow, doing things right at the moment you feel like doing them, although as they say if you wait for feels to act then you will miss a lot of things.

Anyway, I was even stressed today, had my driving test (never before, doing it late at 38) and failed miserably. Then I was trying to code something in DOS and messing up with freezes, spending much more time, but I was also pissed with previous things. So, maybe I was too heavy to write something specific and time is few. I was thinking about getting deeper into some of my thoughts on the cultural wars, or opening a subject called "Identities". Maybe I can write fragments of what I think and how I got here. Maybe not.

It's a good question actually, we rarely are full aware why we do what we do, why we have the beliefs we have, what drove people into being obsessed with specific issues, what triggers us, etc. For example, concerning the whole politics/cultural war, if I examine myself I realise, I was always very apolitical compared to most of my friends. Everyone had a strong opinion, and 99% of the times it was left-leaning, the same narrative (that actually sounded ok and believable to my uninterested mind then) that capitalism is bad and "the rich get richer" etc, etc. And then you add all the "progressive" things about how open we are with everything and so on and so forth. And it sounded nice and I was "ok, that makes sense I guess?". Didn't have anything to counter (not sure if I have or I am ready now or interested). Anyway, your young friends would stereotypically lean to the right because that's the "cool" thing and when you thing conservatives you'd think of old authoritarian people. So, I understand why this was highly popular to every young person out there and why this was the only thing I'd hear from my friends.

And don't get me wrong, I am still left-leaning in a sense (at least in the social domain, as in the economic I don't know what's really going on), but without even identifying as one. It just happens that I am a live and let live person, so I am all open to the whole being tolerant to other sexualities and blah blah for example. But there was this fact, that I was never opinionated, I was never too strong or passionate about it. I wasn't interesting in politics, protests, activism, etc and was rather lost in my own special interests. I'd argue that maybe I had found my own identity in hobbies, nerdiness, computers, programming, demoscene and whatever, and didn't had the need for another identity in the sociopolitical domain.

But then something changed! Since at least two years ago, I started reading too much into what's going on with the cultural wars, identity politics, political correctness and the opposition to it. I have been watching podcasts, can recognise a lot of intellectuals that have something to do with it, the memes around it, etc. I still try to understand what drove me into it. There were some triggers for sure. As a gamer and a nerd, I had stumbled upon the Gamergate controversy as I mentioned previously, leaning more to the side of the nerds rather than the people who liked to shame the nerds.

Still, why would I get involved deeper? (although I am mainly involved by informing myself rather than participating in the madness) Gamergate is a thing that has mostly passed, not many people spend time and energy in a battle that's over. Maybe it's because through the whole thing I learned about a new world, new people, on a bizarre, almost hidden fight, I couldn't believe. Things I would naively believe or not bother so much would fall like a tower of cards. What the hell is going on?

I can't answer this yet (and I'd need to close this post now). There are things that triggers you or highly motivates you to learn more about. The absurdity of things, or how hidden some of them were and nobody talked about, makes it more appealing. Then you find other people who are also onto it, you wonder which of your friends are "red-pilled", but don't dare to ask them. I will also like to add Identity. As SJW are identitarians, the same happens on the other side. But maybe it's a conscious Identity where you think you found your new internet friends. I know, bizarre. Maybe that keeps me, being informed in the unknown truth and finding few fellows who are "woke" and the dopamine of it.

My favorite of the podcasts btw, is Honey Badger Radio. Many late nights, I fire up some of the discussions between these bunch of nerds I imagine being my friends or having something very common together, and enjoy the night. Maybe it's that, you found people with similar beliefs that are a bit further from the mainstream and that makes you feel connected. Maybe some things that you always had in mind suddenly make a new kind of sense and that makes those issues suddenly very very interesting. Maybe you are finding yourself.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Still random things

Habitica has been an interesting experiment so far. It's part of a bigger process trying to put my life in order and improve some things. Well, I had been attempting at numerous times in the past, setting myself in order, usually in a sudden gush just before burn out. It has become a self fulfilling prophecy to expect that it's another temporary false alarm, illusory hope, wishful thinking. Well, I've said that there are some things in my life that are better, so maybe things change in small steps so that you don't realise the differential. But all that remains is the dreadful feeling of how much of everything is a struggle sometimes.

I feel this as I set enough tasks every day to keep me active, fighting against my procrastination or my fight against the temptation to open social media or play video games or any other things that feels better at that particular time than what I am disciplining myself to do. It's kinda interesting with a list of planned things (I usually never like schedules) because at some days I feel like a robot and even forgot some other fun activities (like vidya :) I used to do. It kinda works. It even makes the smaller easier activities more easy to complete as they now seem much easier than coding sessions on my creative projects for example. It's easier to wash the dishes or do basic hygiene (that I neglected) han having to focus on writing/designing/debugging code when your mind isn't there at the particular time.

That's an interesting point too. One I didn't pay much attention before. It really is so variable how much I struggle and how my work productivity flows when I decide that at a particular hour I'll work with a specific coding project. Depending on the goals, how interesting the algorithm is, how trivial or hard it is, if it's debugging, solving problems or just designing classes, every one of these tasks need different mental focus. And usually my mind might be wandering elsewhere, while trying to push myself towards concentrating so that I may write few good lines of code. And I notice that thing too now, my hand on the mouse almost unconsciously goes at twitter or youtube or Steam. I notice the urge more. I am distracted or my brain wants me to be distracted (I currently started reading this book btw from my interest on how dopamine/serotonine and the modern world can explain these effects. From an author I previously knew from his book on sugar and diabetes). I also realize that if your work was automatic (like a factory worker) or if you do everyday chores (house or hygiene) then these should be much easier, because you can wash your teeth or the house while your mind can in parallel wander wherever it feels like. While programming (and other creative endeavours) need focus, something I still have to work with.

So, as I was still working on my 3rd youtube video (goes well, might finish tomorrow) I realized I got very very tired (the more tasks you complete or alternatively the more closer to the night you come) and there were still few things in my schedule, as writing a post in this blog. I was planning in my post to open to the new subject related to the cultural wars and my thoughts about the whole situation and where I am standing on, but as I was very late and tired and this needs a different state of mind to expand (and the right focus, this was not on my mind at the end of the day) I decided to postpone it.

However, I should write very little things about it just to reveal where I am and be done with it. It could make some people like me and other dislike me, I don't care. So,. one of my youtube addictions (after opinion videos about videogames or strange mysteries and other crap) is watching long podcasts, discussions and opinions from our side of the echochamber. I ironically call it "our own side of the echochamber" just to remind me, pay attention that I don't get too serious about it. It was since reading about Gamergate that I started getting into other domains I would never expect to get into (there is your "slippery slope" :), from the whole anti-feminist/anti-SJW craze to finding about Jordan Peterson and the other fellows of the "Intellectual Dark Web" (a term that I feel so so about). At times I'd watch Joe Rogan, Steven Crowder, and at other moments I go to more intellectual types like Gad Saad, and again Jordan Peterson of course. Other times some third party youtubers I really enjoy, and my worst being hooked from clickbaits like "This guy Pwned/Destroyed/Debunked that guy" or "Feminist Fails compilation".

It's been 2 years since I had this ride, and I do question myself how did I got here, because you know something? I was always very apolitical, much more agreeable or ignorant about politics compared to my friends. Also I was hearing always one side of the political spectrum wherever I went and it all sounded nice and correct, however I didn't pay more attention and never understood people who go into protests and their minds being taken by the forces of the group. So, the things I found about picked my interest about some realities I didn't even know exist (and still, in my daily life, I haven't encountered some of the madness of the cultural wars, so all the impressions I have are from the internet). Maybe it's my sense of individuality, or my stubbornness when I found out that there are some people who just don't want you to discuss specific issues. I read about political correctness, the radicals on the campuses, and the chance this creeping or already so in the institutions of society (which one could argue is just conspiracy theories but time will tell). Something seems so bizarre when you discover about it (they call it red-pilling but whatever :P) and see the manifestations from weird news around ("Fake news" from our own side of the echochamber? Or reality?). There are so much things I'd like to write about, some of them even partially related to previous things in my life.

Oh,. there is also another reason that influenced me to which side in the cultural wars I am closer to. During the Gamergate era, it kinda bothered me that there was an attempt to demonize the gamers, and I understand that some people inside the gaming community can act a little defensive or fanatic, but it seemed targeted from the game journalist media, calling people "virgin neckbeard losers" or writing articles like "Gamers are dead" and the whole fuzz started from people I don't think they care much about the community. I have seen it much later manifest in many geek communities, from comics, magic the gathering, e-sports, D&D, metal, etc. Just about everywhere, some feminist or social justice person who doesn't original seem like knowing much about it, tries to invade those communities and blame everything that they deem "problematic". Can't count how many times there was a new kind of #gate. I just don't like those kinds and their identity politics, and whether they wanted it or not, they succeeded in "red-pilling" me. Congratulations!

p.s. I end up a bit angry here. I should spend more time and focus properly expanding in some of the issues. It's a new world for me, and at the same time I realise how it affects me and should take it easy. If you get into, you can't escape. And maybe even if you tried to ignore it, it would still affect your daily life in few years from now. This new reality is here to stay.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Second era.

It seems, if I don't fall away from it, like this blog will be set to motion again. One reason is that I have hooked Habitica to things I like to do again. Besides daily chores, programming projects and such, I thought why not set a weekly goal to post one post per each blog and see what happens? I have set Saturday for this one. Sometimes the post will be small with some news and smaller thoughts, sometimes bigger with actual issues I want to talk about, but I'll always try to post once per week.

This is gonna be a new era for this blog, not only because it used to be something from the past that I have forgotten or don't have much reason, motivation or time to write, but also as I am gonna move into subjects I haven't talked before. It's interesting to think how different era's of my life totally change the things I like to think and write about, as I am not as interested to add to the confusing discussion of my mental issues that used to be a commonality as my life has changed a bit to the better since years ago that depressive nights in an internet cafe writing about stuff is not my thing anymore. I am currently living in another country (UK) with a more independent life and a job, still having a big road ahead concerning few remaining issues in my life, but generally I am less obsessed with some of the old issues and more looking forward. As the environment has changed, so did my posts and basically it was marked by my absence from regular blog posts.

It's mostly my idea to set up the weekly habit for a post, however there are some new things I will want to discuss in the future. One of these issues doesn't even have to do with myself (yep, this blog was quite "egocentric" to say, but what do you expect from a blog with this title? :) although there are some interesting parallels with my obsessions about normality and different ways to think of one's misery in life. I was a bit reluctant at first to write here about these issues as they can be a thing of divisions (and I am really curious where some of my unknown followers are with this and how they may take it). To cut it short, since the past two years at least, I got pretty hooked with the modern cultural wars and the nasty politics behind it, reading articles about it, watching youtube videos, listening to discussion panels, podcasts, and so on and so forth. And since it's one of the primary things that occupy my mind, and I prefer to write about things that matter to me, I am gonna make the start and discuss it openly in some of the future incoming posts. I will try to approach it in a nuanced way and even connect it with some aspects of my life or personal thoughts about mental and social issues. I hope it goes well as I am not sure if I can articulate properly and succinctly such sensitive or complex issues.

Besides this subject, posts of mine will still touch some other interests of mine, a big one still having to do with procrastination vs productivity. I realise now that I am a person of low conscientiousness, while I always wanted to drive my creative skills into something more fruitful and productive. I accept that it's not my natural and that's ok, but it's always worth to try. Meanwhile, I discover some interesting things in my behaviour as I try to tackle this issue, which I'd like to discuss from time to time. Posts on other third issues will come too, and who knows, sometimes I might have a new idea concerning my older mental issues that I will want to revisit.

That is for now. I am pretty waiting to get into this new subject from next Saturday and see how it goes. Hopefully I will have enough time and peace of mind to articulate the core of these issues, else it could be a more simple post about me procrastinating again :P

Friday, September 01, 2017

Energizing

I was kinda manic today and thoughts flew by fast. It's more rare, the state I was, and I always try to remember if it's something I ate, some change of mood or anything that could have affected me in such a way. I tend to talk to myself in a passionate manner. Somehow my thoughts are more consistent (or they feel so, maybe objectively they are not more consistent than when I am not in this state) and I talk fast. I talk to myself. Of course.

Besides many things around my head, this mania got me returning to an older question of mine, what exactly people mean when they say that extroversion/introversion is defined by feeling energized/disenergized while being with other people. I feel like it's never explained, defined or described and it's more like an aura of "hey, I have that too!" by those who identify with introversion.

I won't discuss again whether I am an introvert, extrovert or this new animal, the ambivert. I am interested in this "energizing" and it also relates to what I call motivational fuel. Which relates to another discussion on productivity and procrastination.

I tend to try finding answers in a kinda intuitive way. A hunch whether an answer feels right. And then I'll go on researching and using logic to explain my hunch. I pause and let myself observe how I feel about things. In this case, how I feel about some aspects of myself.

I can say for sure these are some facts about me concerning the energize/denergize state:

- Energized: By my thoughts, special interests, deeper discussions
I am just frantic and I can't stop and it never gets boring and it's so exciting and I am just ranting around.

- Neutral: Actually yes! Why is the question always whether you are energized or de-energized by social activities? Can it not be neutral? This is what I feel when I don't match the description, that in social situations I don't have to be bored, I either energize or de-energize, whatever that means. I can imagine what energize means because I have noticed this strong motivational fuel in my special interest about things and ideas. And then I remembered: Extroverted people somehow can be too many hours with many people doing smalltalk and never seem to get bored. I see that and I cannot understand it. What happens? They are actually energized!

So, imagine what happens with your special interests and examining ideas, how hooked up you are for hours without ever getting bored. Remember how you observe people in social situations being hooked like they are under the influence, for several hours, the same chatter, never seem to get bored. And of course the knowledge now that some people are more interested in other people while others are interested in things.

I think I am closer in the understanding (feeling) what people mean by Energize in introvertion/extroversion. So, how about de-energize?

As I said, I realize I am neutral in social situation. Maybe bored but not de-energized, whatever that means. Now, I just examined myself again and remembered some other cases where you feel heavy, emotional heaviness that might manifest as physical tiredeness.

- De-energized: When I am struggling putting myself to work on things that I have to do. I can feel it when I either want(?) or have to work on something in my computer that is not youtube or videogames, either trying to catch up in some of my creative projects (what are the real motives behind them, if you "want" but you can't? A subject for a future post/investigation, never solved it anyway) or even some other real-life responsibilities.

It's like you are trying your best but yourself is pushing back, is saying "NOPE", "Do not Want!".

Now, that feeling alone is not the one getting me tired. This is solved by procrastinating. This is how you try to force yourself to work on something you should be working but you feel a push back, one that makes you rather check something on youtube or run a videogame and pretend it will only be for five minutes. But when you really have to be better than that, avoid procrastination, and discipline yourself a bit, you are getting that. A dreadful feeling, almost psychosomatic.

I now think, speculate, but might be wrong, that this is the feeling of being de-energized. As I said, I don't feel that in social situation as many introverts claim to do. Now, my second, unchecked theory, based on feels and intuition. I got the de-energized feeling during my work, when I tried to push myself despite my being saying "NOPE", only then. So, my theory is that at social situations, I am mostly "FUCK IT" and never care much about what people think (but I do feel a bit guilty in a sense, like observing that I am in a corner and not talking, so it's a mix of giving a fuck and not).

My current theory is that people who are de-energized by social situations as introverts, might be trying more, might be feeling compelled to not luck like a loner in a social situation and they try more than I usually do, while their inner self says "NOPE" and yet they insist. That might even explain the other saying that many introverts are disguising themselves, so you wouldn't considered them introverts at first. The idea that it's not 5% but 30%. That would make sense.

This is just a theory. Realising that I may finally be grasping what people mean by Energized/De-energized in the whole introvertion/extroversion distinction. I think I am kinda getting it now by remembering at which situations I feel the similar motivational fuel/demotivational repulsion in the above examples and just trying to imagine how it manifest for some people in social situations.

Now, this has a lot to do with recent thoughts I have about procrastination/productivity. I am trying to observe myself more, right at the time where I want to work on creative projects and feel that pushback. Or sometimes where there is less pushback and more positive mood, but varies and changes in the very next moment. I try to grasp those moments and work for few minutes in my projects, observe what happens in the next 10 minutes and see if I can steer that. I am also trying to understand how it applies in many other things in my life that I am attracted or repulsed by.

p.s. Long time to write in this blog. The last few years I am either not into it or not having as depressive mood as I used to (maybe because I have a job and am more independent, who knows). I am still having many personal challenges and don't think am different than in the past emotionally. I am just more preoccupied by other things than making lonely night walks and writing weird texts in some greek net-cafe :)

p.p.s. Not sure what I would write in the future in this blog. I am into some new stuff in my personal interest on ideas, kinda political stuff, that have strange parallels with my old self, thinking that I am fighting for some anti-normality justice. There are things that I might want to write at some point, I just don't know how they will look to some people, not big things, just semi-political, but as the things are today these discussion divide. I might Out some things if so. More like I am more agreeing with one side than the other, so it's good that you know, and now I can write about it a bit and discuss the parallels with some older things and also why somehow I am so hooked into this new strange reality. I will do so, no big deal, is anybody reading anyway?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Short bursts of motivation

I start missing my moments of hobby programming again. Since my last job/relocation/new job I haven't even coded for a hobby while I was dreaming of things to start and ideas I want to experiment with. Of course it was a hard period, when you have to take care other more important things like being unemployed, moving house and generally feeling depressed. So, I was like fuck it, I am gonna relax for few months.

But now I settled in, the little sparkles of motivation have started again. But they are short. That's one thing I notice now. At least I manage to tackle them and also my lack of will by coding little random here and there. And I felt it works and maybe I'll keep it. If you can't think of working on a big project because of the dread you feel, just open the compiler and try something small for half an hour. Maybe test an algorithm, an optimization, try a new system, commit a bit of code in old abandoned repos, etc. It sort of works.

And now I am thinking it, a lot of my coding activity was fragmented. Unless it's a full time job or collaboration with people where you can't just fool around, doing some hobby stuff for the kicks or internet recognition or whatever, either it's indie or demoscene or any other thing, I never manage to focus and work steadily on something for few months. Even if I could say to myself "Work on this one project 1-2 hours per day every day and then do whatever you want" I can still not put myself on it. It's always a sudden inspiration where I am at the right place and time with a compiler and there is a spark of "I want to try this". And if I get this sudden inspiration and don't follow it, like let's cook something first and watch youtube before I start this, or even something happens or someone calls me, then I lose it, I come back later and it's a bit late and I am like "Fuck it! It's 9pm, I want to rest the last two hours before going to bed".

It might work for demoscene, sort of. Produces many mediocre demos. I must have never worked steadily on a demo for more than a month and usually it's even 2 weeks before the deadline where 90% of the work falls. There is never a constant flow of motivation where I work even for 1 hour every day on one project. And sometimes I might code something small on a Saturday and then not touch any code for two weeks or a month, then come back to it for 3-5 random days in 2 weeks, then leave it again and then there are a lot of repos with stuff and bigger things I wanted to start but never did. Yes, I love now to create repos, I also love to make lists of what crazy dreams I'd like to start working on, tell my friends about them, give weird amazing names to demos and projects but never even start. Few of them do get started and they end up mediocre.

But I am thinking I wish to move in new territories. One of them is games. I adore some indie games, I think indie development is the way to fulfil your game ideas without anyone having control on the creative process. I find myself imagining some game ideas that would be cool to create, or for example lamenting the lack of proper retro FPS games and thinking "Hmm,. if I argue so much, maybe I should make a retro FPS game of my liking". I would really like to get into hobby indie gamedev at some point.

Another territory I am thinking about for over a year is creating specific series of youtube videos. Sometimes I watch some gaming videos where they try to explain graphics in shallow ways and it makes me mad and I thought I could explain it better. Or I want to make some critic on video games like a comparison of oldschool and newschool FPS maps, or imagining ways I could render some animations to explain specific concept in a visual way that is both appealing and not shallow, so anyway I was playing with this idea and what tools to use or maybe start a codebase to render the little minimalistic animations I want with code, bought a better microphone for this which I never used, and I know youtube business needs to be very focused like a job and I am not even thinking of it as a business rather that I'd love to explain some concepts from graphics, demoscene, retro machines or oldschool gaming in a proper way, discuss the things that are never discussed but not in ways that make them shallow nor hard to get into. Big dreams. I can't even spend time to make a let's play youtube video sound alright. I understand now how much work is behind regular youtube channels.

So, I have these two areas which I realise need a different strategy. These cannot function (especially the youtube thing) by sporadically working on stuff whenever motivated. Maybe the gamedev can in a sense, if I promise to myself that whenever I code something it will be one single project, stop making demos, not jumping from platform to platform, and this could take some more time and maybe there will be moments of laziness or when I am in holidays and I can't work, that's ok. But it has to be one project for a long and never abandon, even if some days you don't code. Youtube is harder and easier. Harder because you might have to provide (although you could say one good quality video per month) and easier because each video is a small release, unlike a game where it's a big project for many months if not years.

And that's the issue. I can't imagine those successful indie developers working like me. I imagine them in a constant flow of motivation for months, building and growing, and yes maybe there are moments of burnout, where a developer doesn't want to code anything for a week, but then he comes back and works from where he left it, not grab a new project.

My problem is, if I am motivated at all (and I do question why am I motivated for hobby programming at all) I start with something and then abandon it, maybe few of the code is eventually used in a semi-finished demo (like an abandoned repo that I found after a year and finalized it under pressure in a compo deadline).

But the problem is not just lack of focus, it's a general dread I feel whenever I am excited about starting something creative. Maybe the fact that I know I have to encounter this procrastination, the uneasy feelings that if I start this I might fail to continue again, or unless it grows into a big release it's meaningless, so if I am at 5% of the code I am afraid it will be for nothing if not finishing it, which I know takes time. And also a dread of one part of myself which says enough, creativity shouldn't be like this.

Now, since I tested this other method, of never thinking about the above, never thinking about the final product, just code some semi-random stuff to keep you working. That works better when you have more unique things to work for. I was working on 256tros (saved them in big repo among with older code for futrure reference), then switched to some experimental DOS coding, then one day I wanted to check SNES coding which is exciting and new (now I left it), then went back to DOS coding, then dreamed of some other new stuff and old stuff, made lists, planned to make my Procrastinopolis platform which is nonsense and fun :)

It's ok, I code more than the last 3 months. But these days I was feeling whoozy again, because the feeling of never actually finishing something, which I shouldn't think. And then I thought that at one point I want to take the opportunity to focus on one big project. When this happens it will be established motivation which might not last but I would have to strategically prepare and think of a way to keep this in focus even if the development is slow (but if it's slow, I get the feeling this will never be released, but do I want this to be released just to get rid of the development?)

Or I feel I will never get into the big things. It's a misconception that it takes genius to create great stuff, all it takes is a great deal of perseverance. I am only wondering if most of us are naturally lacking this and that's why we never reach our dreams.


p.s. I keep thinking of this problem again, if you can call it a problem. Procrastination. From what? Responsibilities? No,. right now I don't have any responsibilities. I mean besides work and basic stuff. Free time. How to motivate myself to use it for creative purposes. And the question is why? Why do I want this? Why not just finish my day by relaxing activities? So many questions and so many misconceptions about what I really want and whether I am procrastinating or that is normal.
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