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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