Monday, August 23, 2010

The moment of pleasure.

I remember a psychological experiment (or example) where one leaves a candy in the table and tells to the child that he can either eat it today or if he is patient enough and not eat it he can have twice the number of candies the next day. This is supposed to measure things like ones ability to discipline and go for long term goals, resist ones desires for the greater good, or some say it's a short of means for evaluating the emotional intelligence factor (EQ).

Then there is the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. One would agree that intrinsic motivation is the most desirable one if possible to have. It results into working with great focus on something because you love the process or the subject. Extrinsic motivation from the other side is usually focused on the final result. One could rather go through the process of working hard in a subject just for some good grades, passing a lesson, pleasing his parents or himself or anything else that is not directly connected to the actual experience of the creative process.

Of course one cannot always explain human behavior so easily with these distinctions. First of all the double candy reward experiment. Who tells me that every child who doesn't eat the candy for the first day can control his emotions easier than those who eat it at the very first watch? What if one child really likes candies (say because he is addicted to carbs) and the other doesn't care so much? Of course the second child still wouldn't dismiss a candy so easily, but since he isn't much depended on it and maybe he is more dependent on showing that he has control and understands the concept, will prefer the second solution. Or a third child who also doesn't care much about candies but doesn't trust the leader of this test, chooses to take it now because there might be no candy tomorrow. He might be emotionally depending in showing how clever he is and he might define cleverness as "grab now what you can, don't trust people that are over 20 years old" :)

Take for example the university experience. We might agree that if you study just for the grades, for taking a fucking piece of paper or pleasing your parents, it might just not work well. You would say that one is more successful if he is really interested in the subject and that rote learning just for taking grades is not enough. Yet you can observe so many people who have finished their studies with good marks and they just seem to be obsessed with... getting good grades. You can meet people with a far better marks than you who though don't show real interest for their subject and only view it as their future job and not their hobby. And yet, I am a personal living subject of the paradox, one who is really involved in computer graphics programming for several years because of his passionate hobby and still does it, yet he failed somehow miserably in a master with the same subject. Of course there is much more than loving your subject to succeed in studying and I will come back to this later.



I would like now to focus on one fact. It might help us to better understand the problem of finding inner motivation (especially those who suffer from procrastination) and trying to solve it if we actually dismiss the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and realize that there is only one thing that motivates oneself: The moment of pleasure

I will try to explain myself here. In my view, there is no distinction between people who can easily motivated by extrinsic motivation like magic. Don't you wonder how can some people just sit down there and work on some university project you find senseless or boring and you would still struggle working on it even if they tied you on your chair and forced you to do so? And then you wonder, how can these people do it? How do they live? How does their personality not react? Are they robots or something?

I will tell you what I believe after so many years of observing myself and wondered about those who can do stuff. They DO have an intrinsic motivation for the task that is usually not clear enough.

What kind of motivation could this be? Many of them sound like extrinsic motivations but they are based on someone's inner desires. There might be no strong interest in the subject or part of the process. What might be there could be a sense of self-actualization, accomplishment, increasing self-esteem, feeling powerful even pleasing yourself or your relatives if you manage to reach the desire results by insisting on working on a project that doesn't particularly motivates you alone. Grades, Rewards, Praising would be just the tip of the iceberg of your attempt, but they could still work as a justification of your achievements. One might just need to constantly see that he is successful in real life and that gives him the fuel to work and focus toward that direction even if all that he cares is grades, distinctions and a respected career rather than being interested in the subject itself. If this is what fulfills him in life then this self-determination will be his intrinsic motivation. I see this as a neat way of internalizing the seemingly extrinsic motivations when there is no actual interest in the subject itself.



One would say that the same happened with my demoscene activity. It's not that I did it purely because I purely enjoyed coding demos just for the sake of it. As I noted several times in the past, my journey into the demoscene was really the means to fulfill some basic needs as my desire to belong and excel in something in order to boost my self-esteem and give purpose to my life. Maybe I wasn't very happy or successful with real-life and I saw potential in something that was closer to my interests at that time. The relevant fact is that a hidden intrinsic motivation was playing the big role here. It's not that I didn't enjoy the creative process, there were some positive moments into it, but the primary force was insisting working hard in order to release a demo that is great enough to give me some kind of status and boost my self-esteem.

It's still some kind of a seemingly external motivation internalized. I see people trying to be very successful in anything they do in life, even if they don't necessary identify themselves with the subject they work with. You can see people who can just start studying any subject, be it Physics, Computer Science or Ancient Philosophy and can outperform someone who is interested in the subject but lacks the determination. People like these are greatly motivated by a single pleasure, the pleasure of being successful students, researchers, workers, lovers, etc.. But this pleasure I believe, manifests during the creative process, a psychological beliefs that says "The amount of work I do is the amount of success".



I do believe this and actually only today I had this revelation, when in a relaxing moment I delved again into my current burden since the last week. How the hell will I motivate myself to actually finish writing my final project? I am strongly making inquiry these days on the matter and radically try to find some good sources of inner motivation to somehow make the process more desirable. I compared my motivation with the project (and the repulsive forces of procrastination) to my evolved motivation with the demoscene.

There is one simple rule that I found at first. It's similar to what I said before that even seemingly extrinsic motivations can really be intrinsic in nature especially when they seem to work well. It's when I wrote that the only thing that can motivate oneself at the specific time (and that time is NOW) is the present moment of pleasure.

The moment of pleasure is NOW. When extrinsic motivation is needed, it works when you can envision the desired results related to your current effort (NOW). When intrinsic motivation is enough, the moment of pleasure is easier to achieve and it is the creative process itself, which you are truly enjoying at the present moment (NOW).

Of course, a truly intrinsic motivating factor is the best for you. Internalized extrinsic motivations (effort in conjunction to results) are good alternatives in case of lack of intrinsic motivation. Sometimes extrinsic motivations might weaken by the time for various reasons.

I have resolved this in the demoscene. I might have felt the frustration and also procrastination followed (which I couldn't understand since I thought that I shouldn't procrastinate if I love this hobby) because of some of the initial primary motives for being involved in the creative process not working anymore. For example, today I am quite a different person and I am quite more confident with myself. I don't need to prove to anyone or even myself that I am good or great or intelligent or self-worthy because I can program demos. This way though, my determination with the demoscene hobby has also faded away.

Yet I couldn't throw away this great hobby and everything I have learned from it. When I come back to it I see that I still love watching and making demos and being part of the scene, and the pure creative experience after abolishing any ideas about the external motivators and focusing on the process can be not only quite rewarding but more productive and satisfying. Some people, when they loose the meaning in that vain search for acceptance, recognition or any other semi-extrinsic reasons that faded away, they decided that the knowledge at least will help them in their careers and they can just forget everything about the scene. But in my case I saw that there is still magic and there is a magic when one can just be creative with only the intrinsic motivation being active.

I have really reprogrammed myself concerning that. It wasn't that hard at the end, although after ten years of living in a vicious circle. My triptych (what a word) in the demoscene is simple:

Creativity for Creativity (NOW)
Releasing for the Scene (Demoparties)
Comments are Irrelevant (Pouet, etc)


  • In a nutshell, I will be truly working on any programming activity when I feel like enjoying the process, if for any reasons I procrastinate or don't feel like working with that then I can easily leave it for the day (since I am not dependent any more on an obsessive need to work on something and finish it just for the result, my motivational process is not any more the release or the deadline or the people).


  • If it happens that because of the creative process I have random chunks of code, unreleased effects that fit well together, some half-finished idea or anything that could be tampered for few days/weeks or how much time I wish to dedicate for the completion of a full demo and I wish to contribute my work to some demoparty I might be/or not visiting then it will do just fine to work with it before the deadline if I am motivated enough. It's just feels nice to release your creative stuff for people to see and to contribute to demoparties just for supporting the scene. It works well only if one does not become obsessed with the release DURING the creative process but only focus on the realization of it when he has something to show.


  • It's only an aftereffect and shouldn't be the focus that one might get plenty of comments at sites like Pouet or other scene web resources. Some of these might be positive or even so admiration and love for the kind of work one has done. One can be content at the present moment of reading these comments as it coincides that the think one actually does, be it oldschool prods, pure effect demos, abstract stuff, 3d flyebyes, story demos, noise demos, etc. have it's own special audience that happens to like the specific kind of demos one produces. If one doesn't like your style of demos and gives a negative comment for whatever reason then you should ignore that since there will be always few individuals out there that happen to like your style of demos. This however is just an aftereffect of doing what you like to do and one shouldn't let his feelings during the creative process be related to his audience. You create purely for your own enjoyment and people who happen to either like or dislike your demos will always be there.





It only pleases me how nicely I have resolve my demoscene hobby in my mind and I know this worked well and made the creative process during my last two recent demos more great than ever before. I am not looking here whether it made it more successful, whether those releases were crap or not, whether I achieved anything with it. Things just flew so nicely, procrastination was absent mainly as an aftereffect of not focusing on negative feelings associated with my old motives, and I now believe solidly that if one does what he truly loves without being distracted by external motives then productivity can rise since there is true motivation directly connected to the creative process. One enjoys every simple moment of it and so he is greatly compelled to work on a project no matter the outcome.

And now the main question and new challenge for me is: What happens for work that one HAS to do but DOESN'T WANT to?

What happens when there are no true intrinsic motivations? When one would take a good excuse as a way to abandon this work? When he would give anything to not have to do yet not completing the task also means something negative that he wishes to avoid?

Welcome to my final project master thesis. I am trying to do a very big scary change to myself since the night before yesterday because of this. I am trying to make me believe that I have pleasure during the productive process (Ha,. I didn't even used "creative") when trying to write my final thesis. The code was not so bad experience and still I procrastinated because I was flooded by anxiety and emotion concerning something that HAS to be done whether I like it or not. The same process "helped" me so nicely to procrastinate deadly even during the completion of several courseworks, even those who were related with things that I like in graphics or found quite interesting. It's amazing how counter-productive can the studying-system be for some individuals.

And now I am angry and want to retaliate. My focus is this, the biggest enemy is not the educational system but myself. Isn't this the greatest and hardest thing to challenge, your own passions, desires and habits that makes you be the same as the one you were ten years ago?

Before you say that I am kinda harsh on myself, yes, and that was my initial thought. That night I was angry with myself for not trying a bit more with my master and somehow I got the determination I needed to allow myself attempting something that I never did before in my life. To overcome myself. To become better than me.

Of course my second thought was that I will forget this the next morning and that I will go back to my old habits of doing anything else rather than the work that has to be done. And since I knew that from several older attempts to change something in myself (e.g. weight) and I knew how especially harder it would be to actually fight procrastination (which in two words is actually displeasure avoidance) I insisted into both inquiring harder into the reasons (asking myself rhetorical and tricky questions) and promise to not let the subject fade away during the next days. My final project, which will be one of my hardest struggles I guess, is a perfect battlefield for this effort and I still have fourteen days to give my best and possibly evolve.

Evolve.
This will be internalized extrinsic motivator that I believe it fits my personality at the present moment. I think this is a single good shoot opportunity to do something I have never done before. This is what I finally came with after stressing the subject, being angry at myself, observing how my task-avoidance repulsive force works and what excuses it finds to not do stuff, thinking over it again, having some good intuitive moments upon the subject and then struggling again with it. I started writing good enough text yesterday (after a full week of procrastination and imagine it's a final project that you SHOULDN'T procrastinate with, not a simple coursework) and hopefully I will continue today.

And the (external) focus here is not finishing the project, I could even work very hard for it and yet fail to submit for other reasons but then I would at least know that I have tried. The (external internalized) focus is a feat of self-accomplishment, a challenge against your worse addictive habits, of maybe going against your nature and overcoming yourself.

My biggest fear was that this goes against my personality, my beliefs, my ego really. Everybody was telling me that I have to change, that I should be studying, that I should not be lazy, that I am not trying enough. I was telling myself that if I don't have a great need for something and at the same time don't feel like going through the struggle and don't see any pleasure on it then maybe it's because it doesn't fit my nature. I said that you can't just oppress someone into doing something. And all these things are connected so negatively to things that people said and I hate that it's too hard to accept it and even force it with great pressure to yourself right now. This is the shit!

But then there is something that nobody told me. That to do this task one has to be determined, understand the reasons behind it, believe. One has to clear his mind from all negative emotions, accept the good reasons for still doing it and also accept his possible failures during the attempt and find some good motives for forcing this to himself, that still fit his personality.

p.s. It's that really hard to accept and finally decide doing this for once and for all! But now I have believed with full reason. Discipline is not bad when it's applied with a conscious mind for good reasons. Sometimes some things we have to do in our lives are things that we don't want to do. There just isn't any good intrinsic motivation in studies for me. I still don't deny pleasure. But I think conscious (with a true understanding in mind) deprivation of pleasure would be another good challenge to myself (might help losing weight once and for all). I have to learn to live in balance. I might know the following days because there is still the possibility I will forget everything after a few days. I already procrastinated a lot by writting this but it was worth the effort..

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Please, don't try to understand, this is just a reminder to myself for the possible future.

I swear to myself, if I ever manage to make this big leap, I will never forget my old self. I promise that I will come back at a later time to resolve an alternative way for those people who never did it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Procrastination, some more thoughts.

I decided to write the second part here, in order to avoid having a very big article with two parts following a different path. In the previous post I wanted to address the real problem of procrastination in me and other individuals in the shortest way I could. Here, I will discuss various random ideas I left.

In the past I had a problem with that concerning my demoscene hobby. Originally I thought that one procrastinates because he doesn't feel like doing something. I believed that it usually happens when you HAVE to study, HAVE to work but don't WANT to. It worked so "nicely" with my mathematics degree in Greece that took me eight years to finish. But what happened with my hobby? Isn't that supposed to be something that you LIKE to do? First of all, I'd like to say that something changed in that, I went through and over it, I am not affected anymore. My last two CPC releases and plenty of unreleased coding experiments positively suggest that to me (it's not visible by productivity, it's only obvious when I remember how I felt WHILE working on these projects). This is because I changed my general attitude towards the scene. I have seen the false motives of my hobby and how vain they were. Yet I believed that the creativity of the scene and being part of it is still great. Not thinking about the results, the finalized project, the praises or blames of the scene but just focusing on what you really love did the trick. I just had to clean my mind and remember why I started with this hobby and which pure elements still makes it worth. I am really hotly motivated now for scene coding and focusing on doing what I love helps me to not procrastinate with this.

It only remains to see whether this "impossible" change has really happened. There is one suspicion that maybe I was more motivated in contrast to the real work I had to do in my studies (although I was more absent from demoscene activity more than ever this year, officially and unofficially). I compared my university obligations to demoscene. At least I said, if I don't finish a demo till the deadline, I am not going to fail anything. This is not my obligation, it's my hobby, it should be what I love to do not something I HAVE to do. I can be motivated to work with it because I LOVE coding and demos but I don't HAVE to work with it. It's not a final project, it's not a full-time job, it's the last pure thing that I can still enjoy while being creative. Well, it's not just the contrast with real life (and good avoidance excuse) that made the trick, it's also those thoughts. I was having these realizations for a long and sometimes they need years to really catch up. It only remains to see if after my studies I will still find myself in peace with the demoscene (I don't need to show productivity, I just need to not fall into the procrastination well (Wishing to WORK but CAN'T). I need to be able to let go if for some reasons I am not motivated and be able to return back at periods when I feel like working on demos. And be happy with all that.)

And so, this is my revelation concerning my hobby. It's also a revelation concerning some real life aspects (like feelings of not being normal, of HAVING to get a girlfriend (why?) and stupid unimportant stuff like that). Those things cured me. Maybe I saw them in contrast to other more real problems. Some of the more real problems are the occasions where if you procrastinate then you are busted.

What happens if you have a deadline for your final thesis? This is my current concern now. I know that if I work like crazy for a week I can still make it. I am trying now to convince myself that if I don't finish this one week before the deadline then I am busted (and that's the problem, I can't convince myself, I can't fool myself to not let this run till the very last night before the deadline :P). But I think I will make it with that. I just have to plan a week or more before the original deadline, something I NEVER managed to do before.

The other thing is job seeking. I made some attempts in June/July. I might have to do more now. I don't have a certain answer for a job position yet. And if I don't do this till the end of September or even before then I might have to return back to Greece and there is no future there for the kind of jobs that are maybe suitable to my programming experience. I am afraid I will procrastinate with that as I already did. Needless to say that I also failed (I write this for the first time in this blog) in some exam lessons (procrastination == I was never a good student) which means I am not going to get my master diploma this year and this might make it harder to get a job too. Also, all these things and especially the failure in the exams have brought me so hard down recently that I even ask myself the question whether I wasn't made up for this thing anyways..

The procrastination article link in the last post tells us that this condition is not something to joke about. And sometimes it's true about my own case. But sometimes I find myself also joking about it, being between a semi-serious/funny situation. Maybe it's just self-sarcasm.

Though it makes me think this about it: What if there is another factor, how seriously you take your procrastination, how much do you accept your life as it is?. There are people who don't even discuss about this problem. I know they can be great procrastinators but only joke about it. I sometimes laugh and sometimes cry. One could say that I haven't done something drastic about it because I don't consider it more than 50% a problem in my life? It's like say being a drunkard and sometimes saying "Fuck em, life is about drink and fun!" and other times "Shit! I should stop doing this.." and then again this cycle of a self-loving/self-loathing condition.

One could greatly say that one should accept himself as it is and one is fine by being lazy and only doing stuff when he feels truly motivated. And this is one lesson I learned, to accept myself, so I could accept myself not necessary having any obligation to do demos but only do them when I love it, I also accepted something that freed me and I haven't written much. That I don't need to be obliged towards real life stuff about normality or having a girlfriend. Many will disagree with these but why should we take these things seriously when there are other more real and serious problems out there (like the uni/job obligations)? Needless to say the more I was in sorrow because of all these matters the less motivation I had to do anything. So let's accept the unimportant and let's see what we can do with the important.

Of course, maybe the answer is that there is no cure. One(two) thing(s) I learned from a procrastination coursework I took part here at the university is that (at least the accepted) primary solution IS that you HAVE to do it at the end. No matter what, if compulsive task avoidance is similar to other addictive conditions like alcoholism (as presented by the same article link in the previous post), at the end isn't what we want to see stopping the addiction? Except if we somehow don't agree with this fact entirely, because there are sometimes where you just don't feel like doing things and maybe my personality reacts and doesn't let me be a robot. You see how I am busted? If this is the only solution then I am not exactly following it, expect when the deadline is very serious and still only with struggle..

..the other idea, which I forgot to write in the previous paragraph, that I learned from the coursework is that what we avoid is dis-pleasure. And it's true. We somehow have to try feeling those negative feelings, in a way accept them and live through them in order to get the good feelings of accomplishment. It's a nice thing to have in mind.

I will end up this ugly big post by mentioning my Procrastinooze trick. I generally don't like those anti-procrastination tricks that are supposed to work miracles but don't really do anything for me (or I am too lazy to even try them). But sometimes I try some because they are good experiments. This one is similar to those time tricks where you set up your watch/mobile to alarm you at shorter or longer hours (some also set the clock randomly some minutes back to not be late to an appointment) but here it's just an SDL application I finished yesterday that runs minimized and after a random number of minutes (from 15 to 45 or how much I want) it will suddenly and surprisingly pop up and play some annoying sounds and show noise in a window, till you press Space to stop the random snooze alarm and minimize it again for the next time. Once it might pop after 23 minutes then after 42 so it's really a surprise and when it happens I told myself that this is a signal for me to pause for a minute and try to perceive what I am currently doing right now whether it's work or ...procrastinating. It's like a random slap in the face every now and then to remind me that I have to do work in case I missed the clock. I tried this experiment yesterday by setting snoozing at every 30 minutes in my mobile but this was so predictable that I was expecting it. And so I can try the unpredictable now. Needless to say, I did no work yesterday no matter what :P

What can I say? Months ago I invented Procrastinopoly.. :)

Do you really understand procrastination?

It disappoints me how most people think about procrastination and the solutions to it. It also saddens me that I still cannot find a true answer to fight this thing anywhere on the web. A lot of tricks exist, some of which are clever and interesting but they are not the solution to the problem. First of all, in order to follow these advices one has to change his habits or to plan well. Which is one thing alone that we procrastinators won't do. So, we will procrastinate finally making a change in our life... forever.

Then everybody talks about tricks or prompt us to just do it because as they say it's the only solution at the end. Nobody understands there is a deeper problem, a repulsive force. I can feel it. I don't wake up in the morning these days because I know I'll have to do work and I avoid it. When I wake up I go outside to eat, because I say that I need to not have an empty stomach, I need carbs and proteins for my mind to work. But this is also a nice excuse to avoid work again. When I finish eating outside I feel the repulsion. As I am going back home I feel it more. I want to do anything else, to find an excuse to avoid sitting down and working on the thing that I avoid all these days. An article describes it very well as compulsive task avoidance.

It's very common to say that clever people are usually the ones that fall into this vicious cycle because they find the best excuses to procrastinate. I generally disagree with that notion. First of all, these excuses are not so hard or clever to imagine. Saying that you can't do the job because you don't "feel" like doing it or you don't have enough time isn't a thought of a genius (they are actually trying to describe their feelings). As a secondary notion I'd say that it's not clever but idiotic to not choose doing something when you can have an advantage from that. I mean, do we have the choice to either be productive in our lives or not and we voluntarily chose not to be? It doesn't make sense..

Finally, I think what people mean by saying this quote is that they see a lot of creative (that's what they mean by clever) people having a hard time with that. My current view is that many creative people are sensitive, more conscious, feelingful and passionate about everything. This includes their creative hobbies of course but not only. It might explain the great passion they have about creativity or ideas or whatever else they are involved into but also results in problems in real life. Maybe it's much harder for some people to simply shut down their personal feelings and just focus on real life obligations. Sometimes I see people who are successful and always do great work as robots who have somehow found the mechanism to control their feelings and be productive. I wouldn't like to say that all these people are robots, in fact there might be some who had the same problem in a lesser or greater degree and just found the means or decided one day to change this. But I think that is the connection between the problem of procrastination and creative passionate people. I am always making the rhetorical question to myself: How do they do it?

This is how I see procrastination based on my personal experience. Regarding all these popular tricks on how to cure/fight procrastination seems to me similar to suggesting fancy tricks and "simple" solutions to people who have serious problem with drugs or alcoholism. It's like suggesting someone that in order for him to stop smoking he has to stop smoking. But is there a real solution for procrastination?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Individualism

I was inspired to write this post after watching Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life. I didn't know anything about Ayn Rand and her philosophy before except for a funny xkcd strip (check also the tooltip/yellow box over the strip). Some of the ideas expressed certainly reminded my own situation where I struggled being myself and being focused in the things that I love while living in a world where people insist that you should resemble them.

I would like to shortly discuss two ideas from the hundreds of random thoughts that occurred during watching this film. Ayn Rand looked so confident, so strong (maybe cold) with her beliefs and the way she drove her life. Very few people manage to follow a different part, keep up with the struggle and win. One of my computer heroes was John Carmack of ID software. In one of his interviews he was telling his story about how he had the dream to become a game programmer while his mother strongly fought against this. I purely identified with his situation the first time I read this, since I also wanted furiously at the time to become a great programmer which got me into bad conflict with my parents and also in bad mood when everyone told me I should be "normal" just like the rest.

But the main point here is this. I was weak. I wasn't Ayn Rand. I wasn't John Carmack. I wasn't everyone who I admire for 1) Following their own path with confidence and determination, 2) Don't stop at any cost, 3) Cut the self-pity and focus on the job. Number one alone doesn't cut it. I lacked two and three. But I accept that maybe this is who I am. I just wanted to point this difference on me and also reflect a bit on the idea that maybe only a very small minority of individuals who have chosen to follow the hard risky path finds bliss in that. We just never hear much from the majority.

So, what happens to the rest? I want to focus again on two specific scenarios. One gets stuck inbetween and revolves around the dilemma, should one continue following this gloomy path or should he quit and compromise with common life? This was my kind of dilemma. I wasn't strong enough to keep it going no matter the cost and not hard working enough to truly focus on it. I felt desperate. Oppression and no support from the outside world, lack of self-esteem, made me gradually weaker.

Now, the other scenario is something that I see very frequently. Something that makes me angry. And though it makes me curious why I haven't followed this path (yet?), why I keep staying in the middle, being stubborn to quit no matter if I am feeling like having lost the battle for a long and only making a fool of myself. Like being the last in the battleground of insisting being myself while seeing all these people changing radically opinions. Some of these people were geeks like me and sometimes with the same passion. They even found my old rants about following this focus strongly no matter if I had no life supporting their own beliefs. And then after years, they came back with beliefs that are 180 degrees opposite to what they expressed in the past. Reciting the common ideas about real life that I grew to hate.

Let's say that I respect the fact that someone decided to change his own beliefs to something very radically different, that everyone has the right to leave the old sack and become a different man. What bothers me is how frequently it happens to most people with geeky pasts. Most of the people quit their passion and convert to social standards. Some of them even despise their past activities and few of them preach. That's another part. I believe that most people who fanatically preach about how we need to get a life are geeks in disguise. They used to be like us. I have seen regular people, cool and social, not from our kind who can talk and listen to you and accept for who you are. Then I see people with a bitterness who try to put it on you. No person who would be confident and happy and complete as a person with his life would come and bother with your different lifestyle. I don't have proof about these lines but I truly believe them.

And so I decided to finish this with a final passage concerning these strange changes. And the fact that geeks are afraid. Most individuals who decided to follow a path that is quite radical to the common notion of what a "normal" life should be, don't seem to have the guts to keep up with the social struggle for a very long time. Some of them change radically, some just quit, others start preaching and most also compromise with common beliefs or excuses about their passion. One or two examples about the compromise/excuse part..

First example, some computer geek in a magazine, when internet cafe appeared in Greece (in my place it's like big halls where the youth meets today, similar to arcade rooms), he wrote that we geeks can be considered social now because they meet at these places and socialize while playing games (it was not written as a joke). Second example, I should be reading an nfo file from a famous PC demogroup where they also said somewhere: "Most of our group members have a normal life. They go to gym, have girlfriends, listen to music, blah, blah..". I don't say it's bad to mix these activities with real life, I don't say one should either be one or the other. All I want to say is why the fuck do you have to justify for your life style in such a sense that it shares similar elements with normality? Why are you compelled to excuse or need to show that your hobby is not interfering with your real life? It's like saying that you are a weirdo, but not from those weirdos that give bad fame to our kind..

Third example, my own ruminations. My endless self-monologues in this blog or even when walking alone to explain myself. Sometimes I wonder why should I ever do that? This was some kind of a way trying to excuse my geeky life style, that MAYBE this... BUT it has that positive, it's not so BAD, blah blah. Who will be my judge? I couldn't even explain it to myself. I was writing these endless essays because I had a very hard time to believe them myself..

I guess it's hard, almost a taboo to say for example that you are some very weird person with no interest in common life and that is perfectly fine. Is it really tough to say sincerely that you are who you are and that's just it?

And So I have decided. From now on I will try to express who I really am in the most simple way possible and without excuses. I might have lost many battles but at least I can keep doing whatever I love to do and be happy with that. And be proud of that!
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