I readily admit to being eccentric and having unconventional ideas. I have never completely subscribed to any one school or tribe of thought, instead choosing to cherry pick the best ideas from all sides while throwing out the rest. I get that some people consider me a hypocrite or even not having principles for picking and choosing ideas from the various schools of thoughts when it comes to things like economics, science, politics, and even religion. Since I hold views from many different sources, and have for years, I have found myself in conflict with most conventional and normal thinking people. Most of my friends, regardless of what their political dogma, find it extremely strange that my views don’t line up directly with either right or left schools of thought. Some call me unpractical and even a hypocrite. I call it ‘thinking for yourself.’ I get that people that don’t hold conventional thoughts or try to figure out ways to improve on currently used systems of politics or science or business or anything else are not going to make many friends. One of the most painful truths I had to accept about myself and life in general was that I will never have a great deal of friends or popular simply because I look at the world in ways most people can’t picture. I can see the world from multiple angles. I even try to see it from the points of view of people that would consider me an enemy of all they hold dear. My religious friends think I’m strange in that I love science and technology. My science minded friends think I’m odd in that I find value in many aspects of religion and spirituality.
I have never understood why I have to be all one thing or another. That shows a lack of thinking as far as I’m concerned. I have never been much of a conformer, which has gotten me in serious trouble with my teachers and family, ostracized by peers and coworkers, fired by bosses, etc. But, at least being a non conformist frees me to look at problems from many angles and contemplate more than one possible solution. I do not believe violence and war solves all problems. Also, I believe some people cannot and will not be negotiated with and only understand force and violence and death. I think one of the greatest tragedies of early 21st century civilization is how inflexible and unadaptable many people, especially people in leadership of business, government, education, religion, and sadly sometimes science, are in their thinking and views of existence. I don’t give anyone any career advice anymore because we don’t know what careers will be around in even fifteen years. Many jobs will become automated and computerized and many industries and commodities and skills will be made either free or almost free within the next generation or two. And our rigid and uncompromising ways of thinking and looking at the world are going to hurt individuals, families, communities, and entire nations in the coming years.
Change is coming. We can either embrace it, grudgingly adapt to it, or rage against it to no avail. We can’t stop science and tech changes, not even a major collapse in our civilization’s economy can stop it, at least as long as infrastructure and the thought processes of movers and shakers remains in tact. We all read in school about the Depression of the 1930s and major pockets of civilization being without work and destitute. Yet, many self made fortunes in business and science advances came out of those dark days too. And if the money system does fall apart like I’ve heard from my economist and prepare friends, well it will be replaced by something else. It’s not like we haven’t had failures in the money system before. I know this isn’t normal thinking. But so what. I am not normal. Never have been and hopefully never will be. I may not have many friends because of my abnormal and eccentric thought patterns, but the friends I do have are amazing. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Normal does not change the world or individuals for the better. Normal doesn’t improve anything. Normal is decay and death, especially in our time and age. And normal and stasis is only going to make things worse for individuals as time goes forward. Normal sucks.
I admit to being more lazy than usual about my postings. But I haven’t felt like socializing much the last couple weeks and have more or less stayed home if at all possible. Haven’t been much in the mood to read much so I’ve been watching more comedy videos. I haven’t even been in the mood much to follow the baseball playoffs. That is definitely out of the ordinary for me.
Even though I feel stable overall, I am quite lonely too. I manage to keep myself occupied with comedy shows, listening to music, playing computer games, etc. But I haven’t been socializing much and I think it’s starting to make me lonely. I hosted my parents and my aunt for a couple hours a few days ago when they were in town. Other than this I haven’t had much for social life. I find it harder all the time to connect with friends over social media. Seems like no one just wants to chat with friends and have a good time anymore. Quite sad if you ask me.
As it is I keep to myself anymore. I am starting to have entire days when I don’t leave my apartment now. It’s just too painful trying to stay in a positive mood and socialize when most people around want to be irritable and angry all the time. I try to tell people the positives of what is going on but no one acknowledges this. I’m am almost always met with dead silence from everyone except my tech groups and my own mother. Kind of discouraging that I’m almost forty and the best socializing I get is from my own parents. And people wonder why I’m starting to sleep twelve hours a day again. Socializing is just too discouraging now.
Fortunately I’m not having hallucinations anymore. But the sadness of not having anyone to even chat with for even a few minutes is getting to me. I am generally pretty happy overall but I can’t even share this happiness because no one else wants it. And that’s really discouraging. Makes me glad I’m an introvert by nature.
Had a few house guests last night at my apartment. Granted it was my parents and one of my aunts but it’s the first time in weeks I’ve hosted people in my apartment. I’m normally kind of nervous about hosting people as I am self conscious about my place and possessions. I feel paranoid that I’m constantly being measured and condemned for the way I keep my apartment and even the books on my book shelf. I moved my book shelf to my bed room just so fewer people would see it. As I have a wide range of interests I keep a wide range of what would be considered by many people of scholarly books. When my retired pastor friend died a few years ago, his family offered me some of his ancient history, history of religion, and philosophy books. Since many of his works were in ancient languages like Hebrew and Greek I had to turn most of what would have been really interesting down. I know a little Spanish from my high school years but haven’t used it enough lately to have any kind of working knowledge of the language.
As it is now, I can keep some of my more scholarly works in ebook form. I’ve downloaded hundred of free history, philosophy, religion, etc. books onto my computer and iPod. Yes I still have an iPod but it mainly serves as backup for my computers. I’ll probably never get to read many of these books but I’m glad I have them. I even picked up some sci fi and horror books. About the only real horror author I can get into is H.P. Lovecraft. I did read a couple Stephen King books but I never developed much of a taste for his work. As far as sci fi goes, I really like Issac Asimov and Cory Doctorow. I read mostly science fact books by people like Michio Kaku, Ray Kurzweil, Kevin Kelly, and Carl Sagan as I’m typically more interested in seeing sci fi become science fact. I don’t read much for fantasy novels but my brother and his kids are big fans of J.K Rowling and J.R.R. Tolken. I guess I always considered real life interesting enough. That’s probably why the two fiction novel drafts I wrote flopped. I don’t have much of my writings from the first ten years I was working on the craft. What I do have, well, I’m glad didn’t get published.
Since I’m spending more time alone since the weather turned colder, I’m spending more time reading articles and watching documentaries. I don’t really go out except to check the mail and break up the routine. I haven’t even socialized with friends much the last couple weeks. It’s gets lonely at times. About the only thing I hate about being an adult is that I can’t just spend time with my friends at a moment’s notice. As much as I couldn’t stand some aspects of high school, that is one thing I definitely miss.
I just don’t talk to anyone much anymore. But then it seems like people have been avoiding me too lately. I hope this is just my paranoia creeping in. But it does seem like almost no one has time or energy to just chat lately. I fear that I’m becoming this way too. I try to stay optimistic overall but it is tough. First, I’m not an optimist by nature as I wasn’t raised to be one. I was almost never told anything positive about the world or life in general from my elders as a kid. Made me wonder why anyone had kids if the world was falling apart as much as my parents, teachers, and church elders told me it was. But that was before I got out on my own and came to the realization that most people are more ruled by short term emotion than by long term logic. As someone who is part artist and part science enthusiast, I find my emotion and logical sides at conflict quite often. I have spent the better part of the last five years training up the logical part of my mind. It isn’t easy and it’s often frustrating. Bill Gates once stated that people tend to overestimate change in the short term but underestimate it in the long term. Getting to see what cool stuff happens next is one of the things that keeps me going. It’s the scientist, the engineer, the doctor, the humanitarian that gives me as much hope as most of my friends get out of their political parties. I try to explain to my friends that politicians can pass budgets, pass favorable laws, and then get out of the way. That’s about all they can do. I have never seen a politician build a power plant or figure out how to grow more crops with fewer chemicals. Many problems of modern civilization are science and engineering issues, not political or even social ones.
I just as well be speaking ancient Sanskrit to my friends in that they’re not coming around and probably never will. I would love to live in a world where the scientists and doctors were as well known and respected as pro athletes and big shot Hollywood stars. But I suppose that’s a pipe dream that won’t come true in my lifetime, if ever. As it is I am a mentally ill unemployed man trying to make sense of the madness in the people around me. At this point I’m glad I don’t have a regular job in that it would probably drive me to complete break down. I’m glad for the safety nets I have. It saddens and sickens me that there are people who want to remove even these. We live in a post industrial civilization where we can feed everyone, not some Stone Age Darwinian survival of the fittest setup our ancestors already overcame. Yet, it seems like some people are bent on bringing back the Stone Age. I hope it’s just my paranoia creeping in but it does seem like there’s too many people losing hope and giving up right before things get real interesting. As far as any politicians of any country go, they are merely “momentary masters of a fraction of a dot” to quote Carl Sagan. We would be wise to regain such perspective in our own lives.
Haven’t had much to report for the last few days. Been getting out of my apartment a little again. Spent a few hours out the other day because of maintenance work. I still don’t socialize much in person as it’s just too big of a drain dealing with rude and irritable people most of the time. Sadly it seems like most people I deal with are in foul moods more often than not. This is regardless of whether it is online or in person interactions. It’s times like this that make me glad I can keep myself company for days at a time if necessary. I have too many problems with my mental illness to be dealing with anger and rudeness from others.
I’m starting to sleep during the days again. But if I want to avoid people that seems the way to be. Let me rephrase that, I don’t want to avoid people at all. I just want to avoid rude, hateful, and stupid people. I find it sad that we as a civilization had almost godlike powers to get in touch with people all over the world that we would otherwise never met and we squander it tearing other people apart and subdividing ourselves. I would love to see people stop this madness but I imagine that’s a pipe dream. I actually think some people want to be angry and miserable. I think some people do not want to be happy. I hope I am wrong but I look at their actions and have to wonder.
As I have been spending much more time alone the last several weeks I have been preforming some mental exercises in an attempt to just let my mind wander and think. One thing I think about is what will future generations in future centuries condemn us in the early 21st century for. People today readily condemn past generations and civilizations for their attitudes toward slavery, women’s rights, religious zealotry, bigoted attitudes, and general ignorance. Maybe future generations will curse us for being too sensitive about what others say about us, maybe they’ll hate us for not reigning in our industrial pollution, maybe they’ll hate us for subdividing ourselves into factions and digital tribes, they may hate us for eating meat, they may hate us for medicating our children who don’t like school, maybe they’ll think us too narrow minded and hypocritical, maybe they’ll hate us for waging wars, maybe they’ll hate our general distrust of science, maybe they’ll think we are religious zealots. In short, we don’t know. We are not as enlightened as we like to pride ourselves on. We as a species have come a long way since we started out as hunter gathers in forgotten antiquity, let alone since we started building villages and cities. But if we think that we, in 2018, are the pinnacle of human wisdom and culture, then we are so sadly mistaken. We can do much better than we currently are. And, guess what, we will do much better in the years, decades, and centuries ahead providing we don’t destroy ourselves in some short sighted stupid fit of collective insanity. We are on our way to achieving some really super cool things within the next several decades, let alone in the far future. Sure the ride is rough getting there. There are times I have my doubts about my fellow man. But the fact is that most advances are discovered by a tiny fraction of the human race. The rest of us are along for the ride. We can follow, try but fail miserably to stop change, or get out of the way. Change is coming. Change is inevitable no matter how much we snipe at each other in our social interactions. The world is a cool place in spite what the news man tells us. If it bleeds it leads because that is what our species developed to notice first. It was a brilliant survival strategy when we were Stone Age hunters but it’s causing us unnecessary grief and anguish in the Information Age. Part of me would love to stick around to an old age for no other reason to see negative fools and naysayers proven wrong and I can laugh at their fear and hate.
Another month is all but over as summer fades into autumn. The weather is turning cooler and the nights are now longer than the days. I get outside some everyday to enjoy the cooler weather but I still don’t socialize much, at least not in person. It just seems that everyone I come into contact with anymore is in such a foul and angry mood all the time. I hope it’s just the paranoia of my illness talking. But it seems I can’t have any kind of conversation without the other person going off on someone or something or just being irritable. I hate it. It makes me so glad I live alone and just hole up for days if need be. I have enough problems of my own. But I try not to dwell on them. I won’t have anyone else trying to drag me down when I feel decent. I have even resorted to not talking to even close friends sometimes because even they are in foul moods. It’s getting old and I don’t want to put up with it anymore.
Been staying close to home for the last few days. I still really don’t want to socialize much in person. Yet I still socialize online via facebook and youtube comments all the time. I have found that I’m having more pleasant and enriching conversations with people that have common interests than even people I see on a day to day basis. I’m beginning to think that connecting people from all over the world with similar interests but will never meet face to face is probably social media’s greatest contribution to humanity. I guess I find myself alienated from many people I’ve known for years, including some of my own family, simply because we don’t share similar interests. Kind of sad but at the same time I’m grateful that I can connect with people who share my enthusiasm for science, tech, and living overall. I can’t imagine how bad it must have been for future thinkers and optimists in previous eras or even when my grandparents were teenagers. I know that had I lived in Medieval times, I’d probably be under house arrest, burned at the stake, or just a serf farming someone else’s land. None of those seem worthy of my nostalgia.
I suppose as it is I will be happy that I have a means to connect with similar minded people even if they are on the other side of the world. I doubt I’ll live old enough to see a Virtual Reality setup where people with similar interests can form their own virtual towns or even virtual nations. But I guess I am honored to see in platforms like facebook, twitter, snap chat, etc. the crude beginnings of such virtual communities. Of course some will abuse it and get trapped in echo chambers. But if I’m going to be in an echo chamber, I just as well be in an optimistic one that either attempts to solve problems or even just serve as cheerleaders for those solving problems in the physical world. I never had the math scores to be an engineer nor the science scores to be a doctor, but I guess since I can’t be among those making the positives a reality, I’ll be among the ones who appreciate what they do and cheer them on.
Been trying my hand at being more social in person and online the last couple weeks. Turns out it’s causing me more frustrations than anything. I try to talk to people in my complex, all they want to do is complain. I try to talk to my friends and family online, all the want to do is complain about anything and everything. And I’m burned out on socializing after only a couple weeks. I’m going back to hiding out with my books and computers. At this point I don’t want visitors in my apartment at all. I don’t want to socialize in person anymore, at least until normal people stop complaining about anything and everything. Socializing is supposed to be fun, remember? Does anyone just take a night off from their troubles and have a few laughs? Certainly doesn’t seem like from my friends and family and friends of friends anymore. I have better conversations with several of the members of my science and futurism groups than I do with most people I’ve known my entire life anymore. And I’m never going to meet any of these people in person. It’s quite sad, at least I think it is. I’m not delusional enough to believe if I moved to a larger city that my social prospects would ever change. It’s not that I fear stupid and rude people in themselves. I am scared that eventually I will become stupid, rude, and jaded myself. I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want my heart and soul to die because most people around me allowed theirs to die long ago. If isolating from other people is going to keep me humane, than so be it. It has been said that men go insane in herds and only come to their senses one at a time. True, too painfully true. Too bad pessimism is the spirit of our age, at least it is for most people I deal with on a regular basis.
Change of subject for this post. The summer is all but over. And it doesn’t bother me much. Summers have been my toughest times of year since I started having problems with mental health in my late teens. I just don’t do well in hot and humid weather. I have no doubt that being overweight only makes this worse. But I have lost some weight this summer as I’m down a full shirt size. I have no delusions that I’ll ever be able to run a marathon but I would love to be in better health again. There is just so much cool and amazing things happening in science, technology, medicine, humanitarian efforts, and even geopolitics that I would love to hang around for quite awhile just to see what happens.
In spite of our problems and divisions there really are some cool things happening even right now. Just a few days ago I read an article that stated the two Koreas are talking about placing a joint bid to host the 2032 Summer Olympics. I would have not imagined that to be possible even five years ago. I saw another article about a Japanese businessman who’s going to literally fly to the moon and back via SpaceX in 2023, also a few days ago. And I have little doubt that the first people to set first on Mars have already been born, I wouldn’t be surprised if we do go there within 20 years. As bad as the hurricane has been to the East Coast, at least we can organize relief and rebuilding efforts more rapidly than we could even fifteen years ago. Pretty much every space agency in existence is making plans to set up bases on the moon. Cryptocurrencies have filled in the gaps in some nations where the traditional economy is falling apart. Kind of kicking myself for not buying into bitcoin when it was only a couple hundred dollars a shot. Another statistic I read a few days ago that gives me hope is that people that can read are reading three times as much as their predacessors in the early 1980s did. Granted most of this reading is online articles, tweets, and conversations with friends and colleagues.
Advances are coming in fast and often. And as connected we as a species and civilization are, they aren’t going to slow down anytime soon. Get used to it. Adapt or get left behind. I may find it frustrating to listen to people talk about the ‘good ol’ days’ but I am also amused when I hear griping about the present and talking how there’s no hope for the future on forums that didn’t even exist twenty years ago. I might take these types seriously if they were moving into Luddite communes or Amish villages. I for one say ‘screw the good ol’ days, they weren’t all that great’, especially if you were a racial, religious, or sexual minority, woman, or a child. And I hope we keep advancing so should I find myself in the 2050s as an old man pining for the 2010s, the youngsters will tell me where go with my nostalgia. And I hope some of these youngsters can tell me off from a lunar or Martian colony or via computer based telepathy or in full emersion vertical reality.
I am convinced some really cool things are going to happen within our lifetimes, especially if we don’t anything really stupid as a civilization that we can’t easily undo. As much attention as we pay to national politics, it isn’t the politician who’s going to make a cool reality possible. The best they can do is pass favorable laws and step aside. Science the %*&@ out of our problems, to quote ‘The Martian.’ Otherwise other peoples in other nations will bypass these nations and make advances possible. America and Western Europe are no longer the only shows on Earth, and no amount of whining, politicking, and trade wars are going to change this. And why not let everyone have a shot at some prosperity? The sooner we as a species realize that we share the same planet, breathe the same air, drink the same water, and that a species at war with itself is doomed, the better. At this point, we can achieve some cool stuff as long as we don’t seriously screw up. We don’t seriously mess up, it won’t be a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when.’ And I feel extremely privileged to be alive to witness these transitions even if the ride gets bumpy and irritating at times.
Spent some time outdoors enjoying one of the last few days of summer. Also doing some cleaning in my apartment and rearranging furniture. It’s now a little easier to maneuver around, especially in the living room. Previously I had my computer desk in the middle of the room so I could watch ballgames and work on my computers at the same time. I now have a better setup as I won’t be tripping over power cords and wires as much now that I’ve moved my desk to a corner. I have my computers set up so I can watch them like a television from my recliner. I moved my couch so I watch tv from the couch. Previously I had used my recliner for everything. I use my regular tv mainly for play station games and live ballgames. Playoff baseball starts in a couple weeks and my Rockies have a shot of making the playoffs again this fall. We lost out in the first round last year.
After three months of changed eating patterns I think I’m seeing some positive differences. I am actually wanting to be active now rather than just spend entire days reading online articles or books. I socialize more often. I make it a point to now chat with other tenants at least three times a week. I rarely stay awake all night anymore. I am not as paranoid and anxious about my neighbors as I was this spring. I have fewer aches and pains. I still get winded sometimes when moving heavy furniture but I recover faster now. I still sometimes get stiff after sleeping, but it usually takes only a couple minutes of sitting up to be back to normal. And my clothing fits better.
Previously, from spring 2014 to summer 2015 I had lost slightly over 70 pounds in that time. I stagnated for a few months and then I had my car accident in fall 2015. After that I gained it all back. Oddly it took over two years to gain it all back, so it took longer to gain it than it did to lose it in the first place. I don’t really have any set goals as of right now.
I still sleep more than I would like. But so far it has helped me from having relapses. This has been a more pleasant than usual summer. Now the leaves are beginning to change and the weather will start cooling off any day. In Nebraska we usually get our first frost in mid October, so in three to four weeks if the averages hold out. I really don’t want to change much of my routine as it seems to be working. Sure I would like to travel more, but I’ll leave that for another time.