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  1. Yes yes yes! From a purely practical point of view learning to play an instrument engages all the major senses. You need vision to read music, hearing to hear the music - obviously - and touch to coordinate the hands or breathing. If you play with other people then it's also a social activity. So it can sharpen up your senses with practice. Never mind brain training apps, all you need is to learn an instrument. My own theory is that because the language areas of the brain are very closely linked to the motor areas (hand movement), playing an instrument can also improve your speaking ability, because there's crossover. But also the listening skills needed to play music transfer over to talking and conversational skills too. From a more aesthetic point of view, just learning to playing music you love, is very rewarding. That is the main reason I would have for learning an instrument. But some people like to entertain other people, so that could be a good motivation too. Find a piece of music that excites you and learn it on your keyboard, that should be enough to get you hooked. Not everyone is musical though, I would say if you don't have that much enthusiasm for practice then give up on it and do something else instead.
  2. Welcome To LifeWare At LifeWare we believe that community is everything. Eliminating those old-fashioned distinctions between work and leisure you will always have your own PersonaSpace to use how you wish and when you want to. PersonaSpace is an integrated hub that takes care of your physical and informational presence. Do you ever feel tired or out of sorts? PersonaSpace gives you 24/7 access to trained AI specialists in therapy or medicine, or your very own private Poddy where you can sleep, relax or consume leisure any time. LifeWare doesn't believe in fixed work hours or productivity quotas. Whenever you work you accrue LifeWare/Cents. Want that next AI enhanced suit or the latest T-Garment, just tap into LifeWareStyle for that perfect look. All purchases are seamlessly integrated with your Cents account, no need for clunky security transactions with real-world banks. You have the whole of LifeNet at your disposal, you need never leave your Poddy if you don't want to. Watch films, buy cool stuff, and 3d-print-order a three course meal. LifeWare employees are encouraged to inter-communicate as much as possible. We provide facilities for both VR tournaments, or Poddy parties for example. UnrealLife has been voted the most realistic VR game of all time, we think you'll find it a blast. LifeWare believes that data is the key to living a good life. In return for your data we are able to provide you facilities unrivalled by any other company. Some of that data is used by our AI to provide services that will directly benefit you. You can always opt out of data collection for any length of time, but we ask that you make a minimum work donation each week to keep your Cents account in tip-top condition. Friends or family are most welcome any time at LifeWare. Simply fill out a FamConsent request, which outlines how we gather visitor data. Of course any data gathered will accrue against your Cents account at the enhanced visitor rate. We think that is a win for our employees. As a LifeWare employee you are free to come and go as you wish and take any amount of time away from us. Your Cents account will automatically deduct for any periods of non-data at a fixed rate. If your Cents account falls below our LifeThreshold then we simply ask that you make a regular donation to ensure you keep your place with us. Failure to do so will involve disciplinary action or termination. I'm sure you stay with LifeWare will be experience you will never forget. Welcome.
  3. More navel gazing. I started to look at Leo's motivational speech video. The irony being that I haven't been motivated to watch it all. When I looked at the title for the video, I thought to myself "this isn't for me", I just don't need a talking head telling me stuff I already know but in a serious tone. But I started to watch nevertheless. That sensation I had beforehand was correct, I continued to have it whilst watching it and had to endure the dissonance of enjoying being tortured by the truth of it. In the end I gave up early on the video. I don't need a motivational speech. But I do need to solve the problem of motivation. It's a deep deep problem for me. It's a problem because I know at my core that I'm not being true to my ......... , I don't have a word for it. Ok let's try. I'm not being true to my abilities, intelligence, self-expression, showing love, showing empathy, being successful materially, being successful in relationships, feeling joy, and all round having a beautiful life. All that presupposes that I'm entitled to those things, but if I'm not then what am I doing here? It is torturing me; causing me suffering. I'm good at rationalisation and analysis, but I find it impossible to unpick why I lack motivation, it has nothing to do with logic. My intuition tells me that it's partly learned behaviour, but also partly response from trauma, and also partly lack of suitable role models or basic learning early on, but also temperament from genetics. The biggest thing that ground on me from the video, is that I don't need to be scolded into action. That's a good bit of learning. I need to stop poking myself about my lack of motivation, because it's actually counterproductive. Instead, I need to understand and be extremely honest about what does motivate and excite me. I literally need to sit down and work it all out, and build a coherent vision. If I don't do that, I will piss my life away and continue torturing myself. When I hear about other people wanting to do things, like go travel, or quit their mind numbing job, or get out of their abusive relationship, or write a book or anything, I feel like grabbing hold of them and saying "stop thinking about it and just fucking go do it now not tomorrow". I see so much potential in other people, and they're not using it to have a great life for themselves. But in reality I'm just shouting at myself. However, I don't actually know what to do. I have absolutely no idea which way to go. I just know that continuing to drift is not for me, I've had enough of it; it feels like I've held my breath underwater for too long and I'm gasping for air. --- Part deux I think I'm feeling off today because I have a sore throat coming on (for the first time in years). It's miserably grey and wet outside, and it's cold. I could switch on the heating, but working and living at home means that I would have the heating on 15 hours a day which is silly expensive - I have better things to spend my money on - a cup of tea and a fleece is cheaper. What I need to do is go outside and get some vague form of daylight and body movement and that'll improve things. Then I actually need to engage with the work tasks that are hanging over me and stop them being a weight around my neck. I learned that exercise and being outside were important for improving mood when I was depressed, also seeing and being with people too - but not gloomy people! And also, having a project or something going on is helpful. I just about have the wherewithal to recognise when I'm getting mopey, and not to slip too far down into it. But also just to indulge in the "my world is falling apart" narrative just once in a while and not fight it too much - it gets it out of my system.
  4. This is correct. As soon as we open our mouths, we are telling a story, not truth. The only solution is to experience things for ourselves and be satisfied with that. Words can only push us to investigate for ourselves, they can't be taken literally.
  5. Quick immediate thoughts: 1. Was the teacher given enough warning or training to handle this sort of situation? For example when you learn to drive you're told to keep to the speed limit or expect consequences. 2. Was the teacher suitably screened before entering the job? 3. It's possible your teacher had poor impulse control or lacked good judgement in certain areas. 4. Or maybe just a case of the right person in the wrong job. We all make mistakes some worse than others, it's our ability to recover that's important, that's where the learning happens. We certainly live in a more litigious age. I see this mostly as a consequence of society slowly moving into stage Green, and it's mostly correct: everyone deserves equality of opportunity and if a teacher wants to spoil that for a particular child, then they should be suitably punished. But when stage Orange sentiments get involved litigiousness is seen as an opportunity for a bunch of legal people to make yet more money and it can be applied too liberally. This can give the impression of not being given any slack to make mistakes, and fragility. The antidote is not to worry about it and allow yourself to make mistakes, just don't wilfully do wrong.
  6. LastThursday Soap Episode 2 Turns out that friend couldn't make the cinema this week. So we're hoping for next week, that is if Bond is still showing then. And so it is, organising people and why I don't like it. I haven't been out for my daily walk, maybe I should turn it into a quaint ritual ( I'll still be getting my dose of daylight though, since I'm driving for my weekend break in a couple of hours. It turns out there's a jacuzzi on the premises, happy days. I'm tempted to buy champagne and sup it in my swimmers to celebrate not being at home or just to celebrate being in a jacuzzi in Autumn. I actually can't wait to switch off from normal life for bit. I investigated the picture Vanity by Cowper shown in my previous post (thanks to @Myioko), and it turns out I can see it in the flesh at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, for free no less. London is amazing if you like art, I've seen so many famous art works there. So I'll line it up for a few weekend's time and possibly invite my arty friend A. along. It's funny, A's husband P. is very into photography and yet being dragged around an art gallery is his idea of hell - each to their own! (The P. and A. stand for their names, not their interests). At least it's not my friend R. who I was with at a Picasso exhibition in Nice, and he just thought it was crap and could do it just as well himself - heathen. I wonder if P. could stand a photography exhibition or if his head would explode? I think I might post about art I own at some point and go through why I have each piece. Could be mildly interesting. Other than that, whilst I've been working today, it's just been lots of little insubstantial tasks. Frustratingly, I've made no progress on the bigger chunks of work. I so so want to quit working altogether, it's just boring mind numbing grind, and I wasn't born for this. I need to engage my beauty and wonder and awe senses more and not be used as some cog in a money making machine. But humans like to treat each other inhumanely, such is the world. I need to find a way out of the grind (although I've journaled about that conundrum extensively here). So I ought to end with a cliffhanger. Will LastThursday finish coding up his last report of the week, before his friends arrive for holiday? Find out in next week's instalment...
  7. @Myioko I think we're a society of lurkers here in the journaling section. I really appreciate the artistry and art in your journal. I think I should get over my Brit introverted reservedness and be openly grateful about people and their journals. Anyway, I was especially struck by: I can't recommend NZ highly enough, the inhabitants are truly blessed. My only recommendation is to do what I did: buy a flight, book a hostel and go experience it yourself, their Spring is best. I went around in a big green bus, it was great fun. When I go walking I don't mind treading the same routes over and over, I enjoy seeing the slow changes of the seasons and different lights and weathers. The familiarity makes me feel like I belong to a place. Saying that I do go for longer hikes in the countryside for some novelty, the UK has a zillion rights of way through the countryside which is good for exploration. Since I like to try and be as present as possible I don't listen to music at all when outside, I find music takes me away from that, but that's just me. But I do love music for its own sakes. I like the idea of retraining ourselves to appreciate old things in a novel way. I would read the Art of Travel by Alain de Botton, there's a section in there that talks about this very thing, he frames it something like going on holiday inside your home or something like that. One way to definitely do it is to become an artist - painter, photographer, it doesn't matter - and spend time staring at things and really appreciating them from fresh. The only danger is not getting lost in the technicality of being an artist. I find that actually touching things helps, touch railings and plants and brickwork, smell them too. There's definitely a balance to be had when dealing with time. It's ok to just be in time and let it pass, there's a joy in just being and letting things happen - as you say thoughts of "wasting time" is itself a waste of time. Many times I've felt like I fell asleep in my twenties and suddenly woke up in my late forties - even writing it down feels odd, my thirties were a social blur. It's like I've had layers of years painted to the outside of me, but that fresh faced twenty year old is just beneath. I wouldn't undo or re-live anything though (edit: except my first kiss), it was what it was. My only advice, is to grab life by the shirt tails and really live it, especially when you're young.
  8. I think I'll ramble today. It's kind of interesting sometimes just to be nosey about other people's lives and what they get up to. I guess that's why some of us watch TV soaps (I do not). I'm fighting with the cognitive dissonance of having to do work, I have a shed load to do, but my brain is just going "nope". I just cannot quite bring myself to concentrate. Programming takes immense concentration - although it varies by task - usually I can get myself in the zone, but if anything's slightly off then it becomes nearly impossible. I do feel a bit of tiredness and I haven't been for a walk, enticingly the sun has just started shining, so I may just fuck it and go out. The problem is this particular task has been outstanding for months, and there is a lull in the influx of my workload, so now is prime to to knock this particular task on the head. If I worked for myself it would possibly be easier, my off days I would just switch off and vegetate or do something not-left-brained. I sort of like the spacey feeling of being a bit tired, it's like being in a dream. I notice this especially on walks. I have pretty much exhausted all the walking routes around my local area, and as things go I do have my favourites which I patrol often. So I can compare and contrast the days and how I feel each time. Sometimes I'm very "present" I feel connected to my senses and focused in a certain way. Other times I'm in my head with a kind of stream of consciousness thing going on, my thoughts are fleeting and incoherent (no I'm not psychotic) and I feel disconnected from the world around me - at times like these my walks seem to pass very quickly. I often try and force connection with my senses, by paying attention to what's going on around me, and it can work after some time, other times no chance. I do like using walking to ground me, as I'm very prone to being in my head. Yet other times, I'm completely in thought and rational analysis, which can be useful for problem solving. Also what's not helping is that I'm having the outside of my building painted. Scaffolding is up and I have to put up with the oddity of painters passing by my windows (I'm on the second floor). They're also painting my windows, so they keep fucking around with opening them, scraping them and so on. It's also cold outside in Blighty, so it's fucking annoying to have windows open. Apparently so my landlady tells me, they were meant to paint in Spring, but Covid or whatever. Why the fuck they have to do it in Autumn instead and not wait until next Spring I just don't understand. Yeah I know, let it go, let it wash over you, don't be too attached, it's just an illusion anyway, yeah yeah. The smell of paint fumes isn't that pleasant either. So I'm listening to more Dub Techno which I use as an aide to work, it's a device for shutting up my chattering mind (it's not working today though). But I appreciate the repetitive and ever changing soundscape of it. This one at the moment: I'll go into what music I like and why some time on here. But I will say I like rythmic music. I've never been one to go against my natural impulses and inclinations, rather, I like to explore them. But this can get in the way of things I have to do, there's a lot of that being a grown up and all, it's all so tedious. One of the biggest problems I find is that time passes so god damned quickly. I've wasted a morning already doing basically nothing. It feels like I've blinked and three hours have passed. I suspect that this is only going to accelerate as I get even older. I think what happens is that consciousness goes ever meta and novelty decreases over time. We need that novelty and consequent emotional stimulation to anchor us in time, without it, time collapses back into what it actually is: a singularity. I'm not talking black holes, I'm talking about the real nature of what's happening, anyway. Later on this evening, I'm going to see the new Bond movie with a couple of friends. I've known both about twenty years (used to work with them originally). But one of them is recently divorced and going through the e/motions of that. I don't really keep contact with that guy, we never completely clicked as people, but my other friend acts as a linchpin between us. I understand that role well. I think some of us act as a bridge between disparate sets of friends and family. I kind of have three groups of disparate friends which I go between. I would say on the whole they're probably incompatible with each other (and also geographically), and I'm a different person to each group, which is fine, we all modulate ourselves to the people we're with: we unwittingly play a familiar character to smooth over social interaction. As for Bond, it's a bit of fun and I've seen all the other ones, so I may as well. I'm going to stay off the beers I think, although the novelty of taking a beer into a cinema never wears off. This coming weeked I'm travelling to Norfolk for a weekend staycation with friends. It's a two or three hour drive depending, probably the latter as I'm travelling Friday rush hour, because it's unlikely my friend can organise his life to leave any earlier (wife + kid = time vortex). I've nominated myself to drive, because I enjoy it and I find being driven around less exciting. It also gives my friend a break from being "Dad" for a bit. There's a petrol crisis at the moment around London and South East where I am, and it's been hard to find Unleaded or Diesel, luckily I don't need to commute in the car! I better get that tank filled before Friday. This trip was organised by my friend. I never organise things. Mostly it's because I'm single and it's easier for me to go along with others' family plans than the other way around. I'm more flexible and spontaneous and I usually say "yes" to most things, I don't mind it, I'm very good at saying "no" if I don't want to do something. Plus, I dislike organising and administrating things, especially people, it's all so tedious. If others want/enjoy doing it, let them! Ok WALK! Back later. ---
  9. What war? It's more like lack of social skills, lack of empathy, lack of emotional intelligence, projection and self-righteousness. But none of us are immune, if you've mastered relationships you won't be on this dating forum. In any case, people come and go on here, the nature of the forum will drift over time.
  10. There are other senses, sound, taste, touch, smell. There are things that you are barely aware of, maybe traffic outside the room, maybe an aircraft flying in the sky, the moon, the smell of your neighbour's cooking, the rumble of your neighbour's washing machine spin cycle. Where's the boundary of your direct experience?
  11. There's two approaches which I use: Structured approach Unstructured approach With the structured approach, I use it for work that doesn't excite me very much. Mainly I use the Pomodoro method, with a pattern like: 30,5,30,10,30,5,30,20,30,5... all in minutes of work/break. This works for me because paid work is mostly boring and I'm very easily distracted by more exciting things. With the unstructured approach, I use it for work that does excite me. I start and then keep on going until something happens, nature calls or I get hungry or I feel brain fog coming on. My breaks will be longer to go and service my bodily needs. I may go for a walk or have a nap. After feeling refreshed I'm back to it. I tend to work in much longer periods, maybe 90 minutes or two hours between breaks. I find naturally that working longer than about two hours my brain starts to switch off. So this is a more natural approach to work.
  12. 🤣🤣
  13. I had some musings on the epiphenomenon of thought and being a "me" in a body. One question that continually bugs me is why am I me? The slap your forehead answer is: because I'm not someone else. But there's no joy in that answer, the alternative answers fling you down a deep rabbit hole of existentialism. One of those anwers is that the notion of me is just an epiphenomenon. The analogy is like that of a computer, hardware and software. The hardware is of course physicality itself, all those transistors and silicon. The software is the configuration of electrons in that all that hardware; electrons themselves also being physical, but the combinatorial properties of shuffling electrons around is the epiphenomenon of software. So it is with "me". The hardware is the stuff of consciousness, colours, sounds, smells, the software is the sense of a "me" inside a body and being a world. The stuff of consciousness arranges itself combinatorially (in patterns) out of which runs the program of a self. This analogy has a strong whiff of the simulation hypothesis. In a way it is, a "me" is being simulated, as if I were a computer game character; except the hardware is definitely not a silicon computer and the software is not electrons running a program. So what should I make of this fact in relation to asking myself "why me"? The first thing is perhaps the software is such that it has tendency to ask this sort of question about itself, maybe it's completely an epiphenomenon of no value whatsoever; if the software of "me" were to be wiped the hardware would persist and do its own thing. This is just enlightenment from a different angle. Enlightenment is just trying to break the programming enough that these sorts of questions are meaningless, it baldly points out that I'm just software and a frivolous epiphenomenon, and that the "me" can become aware of this. What enlightenment is, is the hardware asserting its authority over the software. Ok more about the question "why me?". What's the alternative? Maybe I would jump from person to person and time period to time period Quantum Leap style. In this scenario some core essence of "me" would remain between jumps, because if it didn't I wouldn't be aware of jumping at all. I say "person" because hardware-wise that is the nearest analogue that would fit my program. If I were to jump into a fly, the "me" program would have a very hard time running. If I were to jump into different persons, then that core essence would bleed into that person's character. There would be a discontinuity in that person. If you go to the literature this indeed seems to happen (walk-ins or possession for example). What about jumping around in time? This should be possible too as an alternative. Again the hardware of consciousness is all-powerful, it can manifest anything it likes. Time period is a very high level concept and involves notions of change. For example to say I could jump into a Victorian gentlement, my core essence would need enough knowledge to realise that this had happened. There is this sense again, that my core essence would have a hard time running say 10,000 years in the future on a foreign planet, so would prefer more familiar time periods. Maybe the idea of familiarity or compatibility is all that's needed. I am "me" and not "you" because if I were to jump around inhabiting different bodies and time periods, they would be too alien and basically incompatible with the software. I stay as "me" in this body because the software refuses to run on any other hardware. Don't get me wrong though, hardware is not materialism, it's not that "me" couldn't run in your body, that's not it, it's because "me" runs on this particular configuration of consciousness. That's the problem with epiphenomenons, they give the air of being detached from the substrate that gives rise to them, but in reality they are the substrate behaving in certain persistent ways. I am consciousness not separate from it, it's just that that consciousness has become configured in a certain way that gives rise to a "me". This begs the question of whether "you" actually exist. Maybe the reason I can't jump from body to body, is that there is in reality one instance of software of "me" running, otherwise known as solipsism. You see the software is programmed to recognise other persons and to reflect that back onto itself. I see two arms, two legs and a head that talks at me, and recognise that as some sort of analogue of "me". So not only is the program simulating "me" it is also simulating "you". Don't confuse the raw conscious experience of a person (hardware), with the experience of seeing your mother (software). The hardware itself does not recognise anything at all, any attempt at recognition or familiarity is all software. All the hardware is able to do is be aware, and it is aware of itself, all the rest is hardware configuring itself into software (like physical electrons running in physical silicon). So we have a picture of the raw consciousness of the world with the singular ability to be aware of itself, and the rest is simulation. Even enlightement can't jack you out of the simulation, because if it did everything would cease to make any sense at all, like turning off the power to the computer (and aborting all running programs). The power of enlightenment is over-stated. So, why me? Because I am an epiphenomenon of a slice of consciousness, that has sandboxed itself. The only option open to me is to modify the program of "me" running enough that the hardware asserts itself more strongly.
  14. I guess there's a sober realism about what he says, that makes it less than fun.