Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fighting for

As I have written twice here in the past, a primary habit of me is to have these long walks/talks trying to analyze everything that matters me or not. Lonely walks in the city, talking with myself (A man in the dark speaking and waving hands in a serious extatic sense, oh just imagine the scenery) or doing the same in my room while spinning around in cycles (like in the cartoons! ;P). A lot of energy seems to be wasted during this practice but it seems like I am still having enough. It's a habit that totally intrigues me and the most important of this is finding the "truth". If there is such a thing. I am actually trying to reorganize my thoughts and I am preety strict on what can be actually considered as true. Everything is subjective. Every individual carries his own "truth".

In the past, feeling like reaching nothing else than this subjectivity after hours of endless discussions, resulted in total frustration. Well, actually most of my questions about this world revolved around myself and my own issues. In fact, what I was seeking for was a deeper knowledge concerning my nature and my place in this world. It's just that several little aspects that I tend to overanalyze, while they don't seem to have much of a connection with my own problem, shared a piece of the truth too or some common characteristics that show off the nature of my connection with the world. I could see patterns..

..but still something was missing. Some recent discoveries I have already mentioned here, already gave me that ground to stand. This article btw is not about something I discovered today. It's about those things that helped me recently reorganize my thoughts and I just had more of these today and decided I was in a great mood to share more. This is just the day to write some more points in a hopefully more organized form than random thoughts.

In fact, today I reconsidered the matter and know (hapilly) now that this time I am still into that furiously analyzing thing but for the first time, I know what I am fighting for. I know what I am doing and what I am seeking. It's a great feeling!

So,. was OCD an answer?

It was just the beginning. Later, I was really into reading as much as I can about autism, Asperger's or anything else inside the autistic spectrum anyways (Still confused about the vast ammount of definitions and what everyone means when using them. Autistic spectrum is all in one and does well with it's name :P). It wasn't as obvious as OCD because the first one was some really wicked teaser I had to bare since my youth while the other one was my own true self. I didn't even thought some of my traits are actually a problem. I just thought I was weird and geeky and that's kinda cool :)

But being focused and interested in things most people won't understand or care about were not the real buggers. Among with a geeky self there came the things usually associated with that which can really harm your social life. At first I thought that my social anxiety was a result of my OCD. Could be..

..but there was something else. In the past, I thought that being a geek, a weirdo, an introverted asocial ugly being is somehow my mistake, a cultular choice, the "wrong" way to go, maybe the way my parents raised me or maybe I just needed to see a psychologist about that. But no! There is something that nobody wanted to tell me as it seems. Something they were hidding from me. Instead they forced me to believe that this is my choice, my attitude in life, my big bad mistake! And I was constantly trying to fight against this thought popping up in my head, forming one part of my endless monologues with half answers that never seemed to satisfy me.

After further investigation into autistic spectrum disorders, reading personal stories and thoughts, visiting websites bearing their own philosophy on the subject and thinking back in my life I somehow got furious and thought I'd have to just start believing in something that seems to be close to my own version of the "truth" and stop doubting about myself.

That this "cultural choice/mistake/attitude/bad upbringing" is actually my nature. And that it's not a trait. In my opinion, it doesn't even need a "cure". Just a change in attitude, actually the way I am thinking it. There was actually never a problem with myself! That's what I mean with "change" ;)

Of course, someone will argue that because my geeky and asocial self matches the image of the average asperger/autistic person, I shouldn't hurry to assume that I also belong in the spectrum. Of course. I was patient and doubtfull about it as I am always when seeking for answers and didn't wanted to blindly believe to an unsure assumption. But something inside me told me that thinking it twice was enough for all those years of sorrow, that I should finally learn and accept what I am without a second doubt and that this answer was finally fitting my beliefs and the way of seeing things. And if this still seems like a belief without the facts, remembering some common traits I never associated with this before, especially my struggle with face recognition or eye contact that was always a major problem of me and got me anxious over social situations, are in fact common traits found on people in the autistic spectrum. Among with other weird things I remember from my past and now I can finally understand by associating it with the facts and stories I read on the net about the matter.

Nevertheless, I decided that it doesn't matter anymore whether I permit myself to call me autistic, aspie or not. What is important here is that the inside look into how several persons of the autistic spectrum look upon their lifes, how do they deal with it and the whole misconception behind it, bare great similarities to the primary issues that occupied my mind during these lonely walks.

What I kept analyzing when talking to myself while struggling to find the truth was all about neurodiversity, theory of mind and other minds, neurotypical world, feeling like an alien, seeing things in a different way, not being understood or being able to understand NTs, misconceptions, lies.

Hell,. I was always there! I just didn't know. And I had to find alone..

I was so glad to find sites and opinions stating the other side of the "truth", that autism/asperger's is actually not a "disorder" but that's one way to see it as it interferes badly with someone's social life. And that's because some people who we call neurotypicals instantly define what is to be a "normal" communication and what does not compute! And they expect you to behave and understand social cues the same way as most because you look similar to them. Even humorous sites point that we can reverse the effect and think that neurotypicals are affected by some kind of disorder with assumed "traits" that are common characteristics found in most of the population. In a world full of autistics, NTs would be considered as the disordered people with the weird reactions and social inability. And what is that thing called "Theory of Mind"? What about theory of other minds? Is there one way of communicating, one way of viewing the world, one way of living?

You know now why I am so happy! Whether I am into the spectrum or not, it's not important, rather than the fact that several of the autistic/asperger people have pointed it out well. They have already started their fight towards the beliefs that bugged me in their websites or the real world. Someone worked for my sake before I ever knew that I was betrayed. I don't feel alone anymore in my fight. I know somebody is listening or maybe it's me who am listening now to these people and can support what they try to say. I never felt so great, from sites I even went to other more interesting ones that don't have directly much to do with autism but present deeply philosophical ideas about the world, ideas that somehow seem to come out of these individual minds and really much my interests too. I have few of these sites in the right bar for a long..

Finally, there is ground to were I can stand! All of my life, my thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings, my worries make sense now. And they are connected with the philosophy of several of these individuals in the autistic spectrm disorder, especially those who don't need a "cure". I am not alone! Someone had been listening before I ever knew that. I am listening..

It became such big that I have to stop it. And that's only half of what I'd like to write. I guess I'll go for a second part in the near future, speaking of my thoughts on OCD and the rest of autistic spectrum plus my worries. Even more interesting stuff than this introduction. Geez, it reminds me my "beliefs that bothers me" series and that feels great! :)

p.s. Walking in the city, tracking my way back home, I kept analyzing (but with the ground now, unlike the past :), and suddenly spoke: "I have one life!". This is actually a phrase they usually tell me because they think that I am a geek who is not living his life. Assuming that I have one life I should live by doing as much in the field of what most people like to do, going out, enjoying life, making a family, etc. Heh! It doesn't ring a bell to me. It only rang when I thought back on my furious plan to find the truth now that I know the ground. I have only one life for this rare opportunity that's worth it but several for doing what everyone does in their lifes which is common and boring. And now I know what I have to fight for too!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I don't fight it.

It's too hot here. I would now prefer to live in a northern country. Somehow I can bare with cold more (and it's closer to my personality) than heat. In reality, temperature never seems to bother me as much as other people. When I was going through stupid situations in the army where they didn't allow us to move under a shadow but had us all under the sun, it didn't matter me much as other people who complain strangely (for me) too much for such a matter. And there are times when I am wearing something that is considered stupid according to the weather and people notice this and yell at me like crazy about that. But I don't get it at the time. It seems that either some other affair in my mind makes me forget of such "minor" incidents like that I have the habit to tie even the highest button in my shirt (and people always notice that) but don't find it necessary to losen it. Or that I am not as sensitive as other concerning temperature. But I still do understand how annoyingly hot it is today and at first I think that I experience it as badly as those people who complain more than me. Is it really so though? Is it maybe similar to the fact that other people tell me that most other people have to bear with anxiety like me and so I shouldn't complain, but can they be sure if my levels of anxiety are similar to theirs?

I went to a bar with some friend that came back from the army (He has to bare now with what I am almost finished with. Fortunately I will go back and get rid of my last 3 months during the winter, my favorite time! And not have to eat that heat over my head!). We ordered two Breezer but changed them to Ringo but she brought us Baylis. Ugh! Probably the music was too loud! And had to paid 8 euros each. UGH!!!

I am watching now my YouTube favorites. Sometimes, when the bandwidth gets too low here for streaming radio or I want to run something specific, I fire up some youtube videos of concert or other material that happen to have the specific music playing in the background (e.g. remember those industrial/ebm music people usually bounded to some random anime stuff) but then of course I have to go there and press the reply button each few minutes. Crazy? Now I am listening to something different, Enya and specifically to this clip. It's taking Enya's music and bounding it to some video someone created there. I like how it fits with space. As for the music, I don't know, I found the specifically one so... soooothing. That I loved it. It's really a great relaxation thing! It was funny to walk around the city after midnight, in darkness, listening to this in my MP3 player (and humming it too =). Enya is something new for me and different that I recently discovered and I really like her. Yey!

And so because I don't fight it (some greek expression you are used to in the army, like I am dead meat, ubertired, gone mad, etc) I write random things. Fun!

Now I said space, I remembered that today and yesterday I wanted to finally get back to coding after excessive adventure game playing because there are new projects in the table. But I didn't manage to work. My brother invited me to watch a whole season of Stargate. Oh and he and some sci-fi friend of him really got me into this and Battlestar Galactica too. I love them! Stargate is at first sight fun because of the characters (and the funny quotes of O'Neil) but especially interesting because there are so many diferrent worlds, civilizations, archeology, religion, philosophy, science, etc blended together. Battlestar Galactica is more serious and dramatic (which I really love!) and it really got me into watching it to get more into the story. Both contain an element that I find intriguing. The possibility of machines taking a step in evolution. In BG it's a main part in the story, in Stargate it's just those damn Replicators with their arachnoid things and humanoids expanding exponentially. It just makes me wonder in awe in how short time could they evade planet earth and use all machinery around to replicate themselves and conquer it. Scary!

Anyways,. these were some random thoughts.

So, I had to code, first for our second game project at Dot Red Games and secondly for some C64 release. I had a little request I have to finish soon but it's not so easy to suddenly move away from the compiler and start typing 6502 assembly again. I have an idea that displays a new effect from me (which I yet have to code) to show that I am alive and can code a good thing, but if I don't manage to start with it these days, the alternative option is to make something more simple that takes only 2-3 days of lazy coding just to finish with it. Because it can't wait, it's a party invitation. I'd prefer to go on with the effect idea than a simple text writer but if I don't stop being lazy I will have to go the second way. Fortunatelly I already have it in my mind and then just stick a logo and music there and voila. Maybe I'll only work on the commercial game project after I finish with this little request and forget my scene activity for a while. Till I start thinking about it again in August. I need some rest..

And so I was still lazy by watching Stargate or playing the AGS games. It's a tool allowing you to create your own adventure games and with vast capabilities and scripting (you can find adventures with quite many unique interfaces, from command line adventures to point and click or even non-adventure games similar to Flashback done with this engine). And there is a whole community making their own games with this. Once upon a day I played an AGS adventure called 5 days a stranger and that's how I found about the rest. Well,. if you play this one, try 7 days a skeptic, Trilby's Notes and 6 days a sacrifice in that order. The first one is not as intriguing as the rest but the later are all connected to the stories this creator have made, all bearing some great atmosphere, terror, mystery and well combined plot that is revealed time by time. Maybe there are several other good AGS adventures in the list but these are the first I played and personally I liked Yahtzee's works so much (Also try the 1213 series and his rather humorous rest of the other titles in the site). Now, I am trying to have a look at works from other AGS adventure authors..

I also finished KDIZD that brought me a headache but was worth the time.

Now I am in an internet cafe. My laptop is at home where the air conditioning works and I can drink water. I was working part time in a friend's home because I liked to be alone but it was unbearable anymore. Also, my desktop PC is kaput now so I can only work in the laptop which I took back at my home few days ago. Though I was still lazy..

Enough with that! I am still getting a bit nervous about not being able to sit my ass in chair to work for hours in some puzzling pieces of code. Maybe that's the reason I don't fight it (anxiety). Maybe I should be a gardener, not a programmer..

Tomorrow, I will work. (I doubt :P)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Bad Mix?

Αποφάσισα να μεταφέρω όλα τα posts του δεύτερου μου blog εδώ και να τα κάνω αχταρμά. Γιατί; Δεν γνωρίζω..

Έσβησα το δεύτερο blog μου με τίτλο Kode (και quote ΜΗ ΜΟΥ ΤΑ ΤΡΙΓΩΝΑ ΤΑΡΑΤΕ, ο Αρχιμήδης αν ήταν 3d coder σήμερα :) το οποίο κάποτε λεγόταν Catastrophic Failure. Το καλό είναι ότι δεν σβήστικαν οι εικόνας από τα posts που μεταφέρθηκαν εδώ και linkαραν σε εικόνες που είχα κάνει upload στο server για εκείνο το blog. Alles gut!

Έτσι, θέλω να ασχολούμαι με ένα blog και να γράφω ότι γουστάρω, από προσωπικές σκέψεις μέχρι programming και demoscene stuff. Ας πούμε, το τελευταίο post είναι δυσνόητο σε κάποιον που δεν γνωρίζει γρι από assembly και θα αναρωτιόσασταν τι σκατά γυρεύει εδώ στο optimus monologue, οπότε ανεβάζω αυτό το post για να σας ενημερώσω για την αλλαγή.

Ξέρω, χύμα. Αλλά ήθελα να ανανεώνω ένα blog, να είμαι σίγουρος ότι δεν χάνει κόσμο το Kode από το Optimus monologue αλλά και η μαυρίλα αυτού του blog να γεμίσει με όμορφες εικόνες από τα screenshots των demos :)

Κοινώς, ότινανε.
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