Monday, May 30, 2016

Boredom and Intelligence

I am a bit struck by what constitutes boredom, especially people who get depressed because they are bored all day. I feel like I can never feel that particular feeling, like I lost all meaning because nothing is interesting anymore. That kind of boredom.

If you leave me alone in an empty room, yes maybe I will want to get out and do stuff, but I won't feel I can get bored in life. I could phase out and think about philosophical ideas or the next creative things I want to do. I feel I will never be bored, even with a sole hobby like programming, because there are so much things one can do just with a computer. And if they took away computers, I would still think I might never get bored in life, because there are so much mysteries in life and so much scientific questions to answer or so many other creative pursuits to do. They do ask me what I would do if I was in the past where computers never exist. I would be a philosopher or explorer, I would pursue a creative hobby or job, there would be always something to do that inspires me. Thus I cannot relate to people who are alone in an evening after work and feel like they are bored with life.

But these people exist. I can think of some people who cannot be alone, maybe they are somewhere where they have no friends and can't do something on their own but if there were some people around they would do social activities together and stop being bored. And maybe, maybe, there are some other people who are not extrovert, don't need other people around them, yet they kinda get bored and loose meaning in life, like nothing meaningful is left to do anymore. I can't relate since I don't feel the same thing, I feel there are always interesting things to do, but I can imagine there are such people. Maybe this is one indication of real depression.

There is also another discussion all around, whether intelligent people are the ones who get bored with life. And there are some discussion boards where people disagree with that notion and things are very polarized.

Of course, I do understand, the cliche says that intelligent people are bored in school. Well, I think everybody is bored in school, extroverts will throw paper to other students, some introverts might phase out, unless you somehow are hooked by the teacher and the subject. School wants you to be there paying attention for 6 hours whether you like or not. Everybody would get bored if they don't like to be there at the particular time. And of course some asocial or introvert people will get bored of social situations where you only have to do smalltalk for 4 hours or stand still in a bar with loud music where you can't talk. I could get bored in that sense in social situations (until the alcohol hits or I phase out absent minded). I do get this feeling, but I don't call it "Bored of Life", I can never get bored of life, so many interesting things to do and sometimes I feel I will never have the time to complete all of them.

But there were some discussions where the poster said "Intelligent People != Get Bored" and many people said "Intelligent People == Get Bored" and blamed the OP of not being a true intelligent person. Because there is this myth that the second exists, because of the myth of intelligent people getting bored of school (but everyone gets bored of school eventually, forced education). There is also the myth of intelligent people == drop outs but there are some brilliant minds which were not drop outs and some of them getting great marks (for myself, I got good marks and then deteriorated during university to average and base marks).

And maybe there are different kinds of intelligence and it's too simplistic to say "If person has this == he/she is intelligent". We all want to feel intelligent, we all want to feel special and we internalize this with specific characteristic. And then we read somewhere, that a specific celebrity/scientific person/great thinker had this disorder or acted like this, and we like to see our self in it.

There is something I have hard time to put into words because the more I think of these things the more it gets complicated, because I don't want to fall into the trap saying that "THIS == THAT" and that's it, I feel like if we dig deeper and we don't make fast assumptions, we can get more to the truth, but then I will question this truth and go to step zero. And this sort of fascinates me. Maybe all about introversion/extroversion/adhd/autism/aspergers/our need to feel intelligent compared to other people is another construction upon constructions upon constructions and we are missing some big ideas or we are deluded with wrong assumptions that sound nice of course because we can attribute it to ourselves.

I am so overwhelmed by pushing myself, pushing my thoughts, discovering flaws in certainties or cliche believes, things generally accepted, but some hidden truth or counter-intuitive fact lying beyond, trying to be discovered (that's why I can never be truly bored). That I lose track. One answer creates multiple questions like multiple paths of a hydra and I wonder confused. While most people just need social connections, repeating shallow facts commonly accepted. And that's fine. I am fascinated by ideas and discovering the hidden truth behind things, they are fascinated by social give and take.

I diverged though. How can I focus this intuition into really setting some facts? Instead of endlessly taking jumps from ideas to ideas to ideas. There is always an alternative, a counter-intuitive arguments to something I thought. I lost it now. I lost my thought process. So many things are connected. And I am dizzy,

My gin&tonic is finished.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

You have so much potential BS

Sometimes I am lost, having conflicting thoughts or rather trying to discover the essence of things, like some thoughts bothering me but trying to ask the proper questions, why do we even do the things we do, why do we even feel like this, not being able to put even the effort to understand what's hidden behind all these and how can that help me. And I search almost random keywords in google, I want to search counter intuitive things like celebration of laziness or fuck it.

It's funny when you try to search a counter argument to the most cliche nice sounding things (find your potential, follow your path, love what you do), when you want to search for example things like nice sounding new age cliche phrases near the words bullshit, lies, wrong and sometimes it doesn't work and you get more bullshit nice sounding articles on how to unlock your potential, find your love, be more productive. I do want to find some counter culture books, counter to the whole societal idea that you must always be productive, you are a diamond that shines and you will be successful and such BS.

I search again and I find some random blog at reddit of depressed or adhd people. In fact, that's more real than all my other results, telling me more about these issues than any shiny happy advice. There is a whole generation of people being depressed of not fulfilling their own potential, or actually arguing that's what their parents or teachers told them and that put a lot of pressure on them, never being content with themselves, because they can always do more.

I am looking a lot at counter-sayings towards this culture of human potential tapping, our insistence of only glorifying productivity, because yes who would praise laziness? (although some of you will see that's the problem of society today, but does that mean people react to the norms that makes it unbearable?).

But there is a problem you know. I like one example I am constantly thinking. Some people are successful and some are less and less. And one could blame the ones that are more of a failure, like "You didn't try enough!", "You were lazy!!!". That's a hard accusation isn't it? But it WILL happen, Always. Because this is a race. And in a race, someone is gonna fail. If everyone was 100% successful, then 100% success would mean nothing, it would be just the norm. Someone would have to break that and become 150% successful to differentiate from the rest. And then everyone would try to reach 150% as the new norm for success. And then it will be common. And people will want to exceed other people and reach 200%. It just goes on and on and it's kinda unsustainable for the human psyche. I think we are missing something here. There is a problem here but I don't know what the solution is.

One way to think it is to ponder, why do we want to be successful in the first place? Is it something on the human psyche, in the way the brain works, in the biology, in our tendency to compete? Trying to focus on this thought, what makes me want to be productive (with my demoscene hobby or other things with potential for success and recognition), almost struggling, one part of myself telling me "let it go" and another part arguing it is important to not feel insignificant, being approved (another primary part of the human psyche). It's like I want to solve the puzzle of human existence, realize the human condition, what makes a lot of us people depressed, feeling we are wasting our potential, or rebel against all these notions at the same time, find more counter-literature against the improve yourself culture.

It's funny when there are some shy articles, trying to say all these mainstream and new age culture are counterproductive, which makes sense, but then try to say "You can escape from all these BS so that you can finally achieve your true potential" in one sense. Nobody says "Fuck it", it's a taboo to say here are some good ideas to make you happy and a failure. Noone is accepting that maybe most of us will never reach that "true potential". We will have normal lifes and most of our dreams will never be accomplished. We only look at highly successful persons and motivational quotes, forgetting the 99.999% of the people who are invisible because they never made it high to be relevant even if they were told they are special.

p.s. In fact there are some amusing literature, like "Fuck it" or psychology books criticizing positive thinking (search The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman), or counter psychologists (like David Smail), or the philosophy of stoicism which seems rather relevant. They are good ways to get you out of the feedback loop for a while, but then somehow you expect they will magically change your life, which is a trap. Is like you try to find counter-ways to avoid the positive/productive/nice thoughts/motivational quotes trap so that you end up being productive/happier/positive. Sort of. It's like avoiding obsessing of positive thinking/human potential but at the end in order to verify that this worked you have to see positive changes which makes you go back in the negative loop. Or maybe do we never want to be happy else we would just stop improving? What if happiness is not a natural state? All about struggling in life being something to be fixed is a lie? What if life is a constant struggle in a depressive state and that's normal?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Freedom and procrastination

Some random thoughts I just wrote.

I thought about freedom. Freedom is a bitch. It's in everything and really a double edged sword if you think about it. The idea that freedom is a sacred good like "love" is flawed. You get more freedom, you lose some other stuff.

Simple mental experiment:
Everyday you wake up and you want to use your time productively. But there are distractions. Gaming, internet, masturbation, excuses. And you don't just wanna be a robot. You don't just wanna be a nofap (I don't believe in that shit anyway), never play games again, stop looking at youtube, stop entertaining yourself. You believe that you can have entertainment and still be productive. And that's fine. I don't want to be a robot. But you have to balance.

But what happens? You kinda start your day, check something on the internet, start playing a game while yourself says:
"No, don't start this! You know where it leads. Do work first and then play!"
And your other self says: "It will be just for few minutes, I am gonna play a smal session of Spelunky, Borderlands, Doom, whatever.. I will be working before lunch"
And then there is lunch and you are like, ok I am gonna cook something and then work, and you cook but if you eat you wanna do something while eating, like watching youtube. Just for the duration of the lunch, isn't it? Not replying to comments, checking more recommended videos, etc. Well, wrong.

And so you realize. What if I said NO sometimes?
But you can't. Habits. Of course. The monkey kicks.

And then you ponder. Imagine there was an entity that could kinda possess me. Nothing scary, just an hypothetical motivator.
And it will tell me "Hey, you. Please stop it now! Do it a bit later. Focus for just an hour in the work. I am begging just for an hour, then do anything you want!"
And it's just an hour. And I would be doing something, say playing Doom, or watching youtube after youtube, or reading about something on the internet.
And I will be like, wait just a bit more. Yes, we know this. It's the monkey that procrastinates.

But say you had this entity. And it really nagged you. It destroyed your game session. It abruptly cut your internet. But not you, because you, you can't control it. Something preprogrammed that can control you out of you.

Say you had the entity. And then you feel the dread. You realize. You realize, that you wouldn't like to have an entity dictating what you do when at that point for some fucking reason you just want to play Doom for 5 fucking straight hours. You don't want to have some entity in your head that magically sometimes cuts your entertainment even if you know it's the right thing to do but something you just don't want right now to stop it.

Yes, you say that might be discipline, although I don't know what it is and how people say it's like a muscle and how they define willpower. It's the abstract new buzzword that nobody defines precisely, it's just what makes the difference between productive and not productive people.

But I diverted. These thoughts made me think of freedom. If you had an entity that sometimes controlled you, you would lose some of your freedom for the sake of productivity. And it's not necessary bad because freedom must be sacred they say. Maybe we need a bit of that entity. You'd say you would be a fool if you needed this control system to manage yourself. You'd rather be totally free and manage your life creatively.

But you might be lying. From the moment you enforce this kind of discipline, you are not free. You put restrictions on yourself. Can you play 24 hours videogames and somehow still be creative?
The difference is, you do it yourself, not some hypothetical entity. It's harder because it's still me who can turn off the internet. But it's like your productive self restricted your entertaining self. Just thinking you had the choice.

And no, I don't consider that someone unable to be disciplined on his own a fool. It's easy to say if you are outside of this (are you really? maybe I am also more productive than I think, just being harsh at myself). You are not the hero who can be both 100% free and disciplned. Everybody procrastinates and it's a natural state.

I am not sure about this, but I have some nice interesting feeling with this thought experiment. It's like telling to myself "If you want to be creatively sucesful you kinda have to restrict your freedom". It's like telling to myself to simply realize it. And maybe I would want a second voice sometime screaming at me to fucking be productive at least for an hour. How hard can it be?

p.s. Also just devising ideas for habit breaker/avoider strategies but I know I tried before and failed.
p.p.s. Think that we live in societies where we are more free than ever. And some of us are still depressed. Like something is missing. Maybe if we struggled for survival we wouldn't need anything else. We wouldn't want to create mediocre demos, write a novel that you never start or participate in tumblr politics.
p.p.p.s. Strange modern psychopathology of modern societies, I'd say. We have it all and then wonder why we are not verified special snowflakes?
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