Logic’s Last Stand

March 26, 2008

My Life, My Worries

Filed under: Life, Philosophy — Tags: , , , , , , — Zurahn @ 8:24 am

If there’s a consistent trend in my life, it’s my growing number of concerns. Simple or complex, short-term or extending, they keep on adding up. I’ve long prided myself on my mental capacity to deal with problems I felt quite unique in facing (whether or not the uniqueness was ever true). This is one, though not the only, reason as to my true feelings–vulnerabilities–have stayed mostly hidden.

It is at this juncture, however, that I feel the need to list out, in some form, the major stressors I feel at the present time. A growing sense of comfort in self-expression and confidence therein, allows me to do this. Perhaps another consistent trend is my appreciation for the Internet. At any rate, here are my top 10 mental hinderences at the present time:

10. Career Path
Currently, I am nearing the completion of a three year, computer programming college program that has both solidified my absolute oppposition to the structure of the present Canadian educational system, and shaken all confidence in my own ambitions towards the area of computer science. I most certainly enjoy programming, as I do enjoy many things.

The problem, at its core, is that programming is something that requires a passion for it. To keep up to date with technology, to adapt to your client’s needs, and to complete complex programs in miniscule time-frames are just things that you can’t do without a pure desire to be absorbed within it. I don’t have this, as I do not have such for anything. The only thing I would claim to have a passion for is life itself. I want to take in as much as possible, and dedicating myself to one and only thing does not allow for that.

Whether I am correct in my original hypothesis that it does in fact require such desire, is in question. I feel I have no option in the matter, though, as another terrible post-secondary experience would be soul-crushing. This point of inevitability, is a pattern in all such worries.

9. Time
This is nearly a direct expansion on the prior concern over my career path. At the present time, despite aspirations to, but not limited to, learn piano, improve at chess, learn Japanese, code for enjoyment, play videogames, improve artistically, compose music, and write. This is not only not possible during my present schedule, it’s not possible in an empty day. And these things require continuous exposure, not simply periodical. I’m not going to get anywhere playing one game of chess per week, or drawing once a week or writing a page per week. This won’t work, and I have no solution other than narrowing my focus. While I clearly understand this, it’s not so simple to do.

8. Purpose
I have no confidence in my career path, my abilities or even my mental or physical state. In this, it is hard to feel much purpose. However, this is not the problem. The problem is that I feel as though I may have found a purpose, but it’s not something I’d at all feel comfortable in taking on, yet I feel the responsibility to do so.

That purpose to which I speak is politics. You look at the state of the world, and it’s hard to evaluate the world leaders as having had a very good job performance. More and more it seems as though something big is coming, and somebody is going to have to fix things before they get a whole lot worse. Forgive my arrogance to think I would at all be qualified (I’m aware that as of now I would not be), but nobody on the side of genuine good seems to have a spine left to tackle the serious issues. If all I feel I can do is rationally evaluate, express and make sound decisions, then this would seem apt. And yet, the whole environment seems as it’s something I’d be completely out of place in.

This seems a bit silly to be worked up about, but I have a tendency to think long term, and in terms of the possibilities (programmer’s process). So if this isn’t it, what then? Do computer work for a while, retire and that’s it? I guess it’s a bit naïve to think of things simply in terms of global heroism and monotonous failure, but here’s what I see: I doubt I’m an effective enough writer to be published, or at least, not focused and not dedicated enough. I don’t have the time or resources simply to train to be competitive at chess. I simply am not good enough at anything to make a significant difference–except for one thing: my unwavoring principles of rationality. This, from personal experience, is particularly unique, and the only way to do something important.

7. Social Anxiety
For a long time, it didn’t really matter if I didn’t do so well in verbal conversations. I’d have a few friends, get along well enough with them, and be rather independent otherwise. I had a good run. But now, as time forces people apart, and the culture of “networking” makes the art of saying what people want to hear is mroe important than being able to do what people want done, there’s an inarguable necessity to be able to converse affluently and charismatically.

Aside from being self-conscious about my pronunciation of ‘s’, I simply do not process conversations at a rate adequate for what would be considered a proper conversation. I have a necessity to phrase things correctly, and interpret what is said as it is intended. Often, what is asked by another is answerable literally, but would be misleading. Being able to immediately verbalize such a logical mental block is just something I am able to do. As such, I tend to be somewhat plodding in a more serious dialogue, and tend to stumble at first as I am unable to express what it is I have problem with in the prior statement.

All that aside, I also have significant difficulty stating something bluntly aloud. I’ve tried. I can’t. I don’t know why, but I can’t. Not if I haven’t built myself up long before, in preparation for a planned event, such as a presentation, at which I have strangely become rather apt.

6. Health
I do not have any serious physical health issues, but I have concerns of my health whether physical or mental. It’s difficult to properly express my concern as I have problems describing what is I feel, and how it is different than what is normal. One thing that is clear to me, though, is a bit of a problem in my thought process. I tend to have mental stopgaps in which I am unable to mentally function properly for a few seconds. It’s like a daydream without going on a tangent, and without tangeable thought. Problems in perspicacity also seem related.

On a physical note, I’ve had some stomach issues seemingly related to stress, joint soreness (though probably due to extended work periods at the computer), and excessive periods of weariness (whether requiring sleep or simply an inability to focus forcing me to lay down).

What I have some concerns about, though, is something that is not even on its own necessarily a negative. I have been shifting mentally toward a point where I have two distinct and separate states of mind: Rational and emotional, left and right, male and female, however it is best phrased, I’m not sure. One shifts on in a search for as much knowledge, and naturally shifts towards addressing the issues of the natural enemy of logic, being religion. I’m sure this is evident in my prior blogs. While I have been traditionally in this way, it’s the exceedingly polar shift that is of note.

More interesting in terms of this shift is the other half, which on a personal level as it is the emotional half, I can literally feel more strongly. This is the one that craves emotion, whether it’s the need for empathy to feel more of a sense of human togetherness, or inspiration as a desire to improve. This tends to lead to a search for artistic expression, and I’m sure you’ll see excellent evidence of this in my post about the Miyazaki films, and ironically in my “review” of Zeitgeist.

I can’t help but think that something has happened, and I don’t know what.

5. The World
The world is severely screwed up. There are wars all over, and for what? Seriously, for what? Let’s see, US in Iraq, officially attacked the wrong country, unofficially an attempt to spend money on the military on an endless war and drive up oil prices. US in Afghanistan, fighting “terrorists” which aren’t a state. Palestine/Israel, who owns the holy land? Most of Africa, basically an extended fight between Hutus and Tutsies over historical oppression. Darfur and Sudan, from the best I can tell, genocide just for the hell of it. There are plenty of others but you get the idea. The “leader of the free world” is asking like a terrorist state while everyone else destroys each other.

As a self-described rational idealist, this is pretty agitating. Even the constant and obligatory “I support the troops” rhetoric on American TV is pretty hard to take. While one can appreciate the concept of self-sacrifice for one’s own people, there are questions simply not addressed at all by that same media, such as what kind of mental state does it take for that to be a good idea, what happens after they return financially, mentally and physically, and what I consider most important, why they continue to fight a war nobody agrees with–scratch that, that’s another problem. Some people still agree with it. Nobody how completely, and utterly apparent that both the Iraq war was the biggest fraud and failure in the United States history, as well as George W Bush being unequivocably the worst president to ever take office, a steady 25-30% will still agree with the war, will still believe Iraq was linked to 9/11 and that they would vote for Bush one more time.

To go further politically incorrect, I support the troops getting home alive but I do not support the troop’s continued support of this war. We’re supposed to respect their sacrifice of going to war, then why is it that the same sacrifice is not made not to go to war. Surely there are many who are away of the disaster in Iraq? I will make one last statement of idealism, and in rationalism, I’m aware of the caveat of occasional unavoidance: A war cannot be fought without any soldiers.

A separate note from this is the knowledge of how incredibly well off I am in relative terms. There is such suffering all over that there’s nothing you can say about it. There’s no quick solution, there’s barely even any long term solution, and it persists. Others then try to use this suffering as a tool of guilt, attempting to invalidate any negativity at all, which is insulting to all parties. While I’d rather not think about it, it would be disrespectful not to, for it’s this willful ignorance that stalls help further.

4. Death and the Universe
You may have noticed my continued insistence on rational thought and evaluation. So you can imagine how incredibly frustrating the concept of death and the general function of life and the universe. The sheer matter of time being either finite or infinite gives two logically broken and terrifying conclusions.

Infinity leads to a mathematical logical fallacy in which there is always an infinite time between events (nothing would ever happen). Mathematically, it would be stated like this, if we were counting up in years from the “beginning” of time, negative infinity.

Let negative infinity = -i

-i + 1 = -i

No matter how many times that line is repeated, you always have -i, negative infinity. It doesn’t work. Even if it did, I can hardly even consider the ramifications of eternal existence.

Finite time avoids mathematical fallacy, but creates a horrifying question of beginning, non-existence, and the very question of what time itself is, and what are things without it.

There is no answer. I can’t answer it. And no, neither can the Bible, the Qu’ran, the book of Mormon, or whatever you care to throw out there.

3. Post-graduation
It won’t be long before I’m done college and have no idea what to do or how to do it. I’ve had a terrible time finding simply part-time work, so convincing myself I would have any chance at a serious full-time position is a bit hard to fathom.

I still live at home, so I am also concerned about when would, how would and when should I move out. This aside from my lack of savings as a natural result of a lack of finding work. A vicious cycle.

2. Schoolwork
This is natural, but it’s still frustrating. It’s the final weeks of the final semestre of my final year of school, so I suppose it’s apt that I have the heaviest workload I’ve ever had. But that doesn’t make it any better. One class is simply a group term project that is eating all of my time trying to get to the BETA stage, and wearing me down. Then there’s the other group project for an elective class, a final project for RPGIV (RPGIV is to programming as the manual mower is to lawn maintenance), continuous length assignments in Oracle (including a take-home test and an assignment coming up due, that require the school computers). To put this in perspective, I’ve played Brawl once in the past four days. This coming after the Easter long weekend. Yeah.

1. Loneliness
Tie everything together, and ultimately this is what you get. All things in some way are an issue of isolation and disassociation, all compounding upon each other. A lack of skills to make friends in what little time there is for them, in a career that may not suit me to meet whatever few are not screwed up in a broken world, before the ultimate isolation of us all.

I do, in some way, think about the issue each day, despite no expected solution. In fact, I’m am quite certain of the opposite. What I feel I need to return to a true happiness of a past time is to find just one person with whom I am perfectly matched; one resulting in mutual dependency on the essence of the character of the other. In simpler terms, “soul mate”. I once tried to estimate the odds of this, and came to a result that if I actively searched, at best the odds were 1/10,000. I’m aware there’s no way to empirically estimate this.

More to it than that though, is the growing concern of who that person would be, and the implications of what the result may be. The more I consider it, the more inclusive things tend to get, to the point that I fear I am only looking for myself or a better version thereof, which causes all sorts of psychological questions.

The main thing is, I haven’t the justification to even try in likelihood, social ability, time, or assets. As you can see, I have no answer, I have no method. I have only continued loneliness, to which I must cope. As you can imagine, I find that a bit of a burden.


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