LastThursday

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  1. Ok then I shall. Part II: 8. Constant context switching is guaranteed (i.e. flipping between different tasks), 9. Context switching always hurts productivity, 10. Actual project managers are super rare, 11. If you work in a big company, especially a bank, you can't touch the database (and this is always a PITA, see point 2) 12. Most projects are chaotic and unstructured, 13. Launching a new project will always be months late and this will create friction all round, someone will get fired, 14. Knowing what the hell is going on in a new job takes 6 months, 15. You'll watch other (non-coders) go on jollies and travel to nice places, you'll be chained to the monitor and keyboard forever, 16. You will have to speak to people outside the company, and it will always be a PITA, 17. Specs and requirements are rare and if they are produced nearly useless for anything except getting the gist of what's needed, 18. If you think you know better than your manager, you will eventually be fired, 19. Most software managers are egotistical or get off on their power, 20. When 13 happens, you will work unreasonable hours and not be re-compensed for it, 21. Customers are a PITA. 22. Customers will not understand or care what problems you're having with their requests, 23. Managers will always kowtow to customer's demands even if unreasonable, 24. Managers will always care about customers more than they care about you. 25. Your physical comfort is generally low priority for the company, 26. Apraisals are completely pointless, and you'll struggle every year to come up with stuff to talk about. Ok, Ok, that's enough whining. I'm changing career right now or becoming a manager.
  2. By learning to be more present and aware of what is actually happening around you, and less in your head. By seeing the good in everything that happens or turning it to your advantage. By being more calm and a bit more stoic when difficult stuff happens. By just getting on with things without complaint and allowing yourself to enjoy it. By being a bit more realistic and less idealistic. By allowing things to be imperfect or out of your control.
  3. It varies a lot between companies some are more into time wasting than others. There are several truths about working in software: 1. There's always a massive code base, 2. You'll spend more time with the database than writing code, 3. No coder can code for 8 hours straight, 4. There's never enough documentation, 5. If you want enough documentation you'll spend all your time writing it. 6. The spread of talent between different coders is generally huge, especially in larger companies 7. Managers are non-technical. I could go on... lol.
  4. It may be ASD. I used to find talking on the phone excruciating. Even the thought of making a phone call or taking one gave me a lot of anxiety. Even now I'd take meeting someone face to face over phone calls - and video calls are much easier. It's the lack of cues, the crummy audio quality, and the need to make decisions on the spot sometimes - it's a very immediate medium. However, I've had to do it so much with work, that I've largely overcome the anxiety. Practice makes perfect that would be my suggestion: work in a call centre lol.
  5. For the first time in many months I started playing piano (electric) again. I've been wanting to learn how to play a version of Autumn in New York, basically this one: Thing is there is no sheet music for it. I've tried to work things out by ear, but the bass notes elude me. But yesterday I found a way to turn the music directly into Midi format: https://piano-scribe.glitch.me/ And amazingly it was actually ok. Not a fast service by any means, but it works. There's a couple of missing or too many notes (I think), but it's good enough for me. The next thing is, do I actually have the skill to play it? Just about, with lots of practice, the end of the piece sounds tricky though. I also think my hands are not big enough to do some of the chords spanning over an octave, so I'll have to make do. The hardest bits will be the accentuation, smooth playing and getting the general "jaunty" feel of the rhythm. I always think it would be so cool just to casually sit at a piano somewhere and knock out a few jazz numbers and impress my audience. I've done this before, but I only really know classical pieces which is not to everyone's taste. Although I do know a few of the more popular ragtime pieces.
  6. No definitive answer. These are some off the cuff ideas: It strikes me that the hard problem is just one of definining a thing (consciousness) in terms of itself. So can you retrieve anything from a recursive definition? If you try and use logic then it fails, it ends in a circular argument, or effect without cause. You can collapse the recursion and say something like "a brick is a brick", but that feels unsatisfactory even if you "know" what a "brick" refers to. You could try and cheat and say that consciousness is the only thing that can be defined in terms of itself. Hence consciouness is exactly what you get if you have a pure recursive thing, i.e. the essence of consciousness is recursion itself; consciousness is conscious of itself. There's no room for another pure recursive thing because consciousness appropriates it all. In maths and computer science recursive definitions are everywhere. But they are always finite in some way and operate within some sort of framework - numbers or algebra or bits and bytes. It's not clear if consciousness has a framework at all, that's what I mean by pure recursive. In the case of consciousness, it seems like consciousness is the recursion operating on itself. It is clear that consciousness has stuff going on and structure and qualia to it. I'd call this "Content", what materialists would call matter and laws. Is it possible to have pure recursion without Content? In other words is it possible to be conscious of being conscious, in what might be called a complete void, where nothing happens? I'd call this a "Singularity". If you go for Occam's razor then a Singularity would seem a simpler form of pure recursion than consciousness with Content and so more likely. But there is room for Content in pure recursion, if the Content is defined in terms of itself (i.e. it is cause and effect). This implies that Content is always relative to itself (recursive) and has no absolute ground or base. Recursion has built into it the idea of process and hence a component of separation with each iteration. This seems to tally with consciousness we experience, Content changes at a fixed rate. This appearance of rate of change seems to be a core part of what Content is. To have a rate of change at all, there must be a "stickiness" to Content. To be conscious of change there is a form of comparison, where the previous iteration of Content is compared to the current Content. Enough must "stick" to be able to do the comparison at all. On the other hand for anything to change at all it must be "fluid" in some way. Fluid is just a different way of saying ungrounded or prone to forgetfulness. So Content itself is a recursive tug-of-war between stickiness and fluidity, or remembering and forgetting, living and dead, absolute and groundless, existence and non-existence. Content also seems to be endless and abundant. A Singularity as its name implies would be a finite entity of one. The opposite of a Singularity would be complete fluidity in Content without any stickiness - i.e. everything would happen at once. But consciousness seems to be something in between. I'd add that consciousness is both Content and recursion, and that they are the same thing.
  7. Lately I've been doing a lot of retrospection. It seems to just bubble up at times. The sensation is somewhat like looking through binoculars. What I see seems so close and very familiar, but the view is constricted to a small circle of light. I remember and re-feel stuff clearly, but I can't fully re-enter that old reality again, so much is lost. And, when I stop looking through the binoculars I'm suddenly sucked back to where I am, and I realise how far away things were and how irrelevant all that stuff is to me now - and yet all that stuff is just there should I wish to look again. What I feel is that a lot of what makes "me" originated back then and also got left behind then. I got to re-invent myself along the way both consciously and unconsciously; there's a lot to like about my new self and my new circumstances. But I'm feeling untethered. Back then I was tethered to my family and my surroundings in a deep way and I didn't question it: I felt I was part of the fabric of my lived-in experience. Along the way that sense of being integrated got exploded, mostly because the family I belonged to was dysfunctional and eventually crumbled. It was a painful awakening for me, I felt lonely, more and more disconnected and betrayed by the people who were supposed to love me. I was cast out at sea with no life support. And nobody came to help. The 80's wasn't a soft time, not a time of support groups and mental health help and space for neurodiversity: you dealt with the roughness alone. It's made me hard and defensive at times, I know how to survive. But my nature should be/is a soft loving joyful optimistic person. I haven't been the same since. Repeatedly, I feel like I lost a big part of myself back then. I'm mostly just winging life like a kite being buffeted by the wind of circumstance, I'm not in control of it. I'm living my life in reverse, I had to become an adult early and take on responsibilities I didn't ask for. Now I don't wish to take on any more responsibilities, I want to take back that lost time and be the teenager I should have been. Unfortunately and ridiculously, I'm 51 in a couple of days, and I can't live a topsy-turvy existence; I can't both be a responsible adult and unresponsible child. But my aversion to taking control and the pain that goes along with it is strong. I'm just doing the bare minimum required to keep on flying. I want to resolve the conflict and the melancholy and resentment. I want to flourish and stop floundering. I want to re-connect to the fabric of my existence. But all that old connection is gone forever and I can't re-connect to it again, I have to try a different way and as a different person. I have to re-learn to be an adult, but the right way this time. Winter blues? Drama? Possibly.
  8. I need to get myself a cook, both metaphorically and in reality.
  9. Get at least half an hour of full daylight every day. Even on a rainy overcast day, it is still much much brighter outside than indoors. Regular exercise does help. I've also taken St John's Wort tablets daily with some success, but effects take about three weeks to kick in (for me). You may be able to get it in your country, but it varies; here in the UK it's easily available. There are warnings of some side effects, but I've never experienced any.
  10. I've been on this forum a long time now. Originally, I was just watching Leo's videos and I couldn't get enough of them. At some point, I believe around the time "What is Islam?" video came out I pretty much ran out of steam and stopped. I think soon after that I discovered the forum and I just lurked for a long time. Then something must have piqued my interest and I started to post. I find it amusing that even Leo himself seems to have run out of steam with his videos. I see my relationship with the forum in kind of the same way as I had with my relationship to smoking. I smoked because I was addicted and out of habit. But the benefits and reasons for doing so were hard to pin down - but I felt there were some. I stopped smoking in the end, but other than to my health and pocket, I feel the same as I did then. In other words smoking had a net-zero effect. I like to call this "empty calories". There are a lot of activities which are empty calories, but we do them anyway. We do them to fill time, or because we believe it's doing something for us, but the actual benefit is always hard to pin down. Now, the activity may actually have good or bad effects, but they are side effects. So I call smoking empty calories not because it had no effects, but because the main reason for actually smoking was hard to pin down. Being on this forum is also empty calories for me. There are side effects yes, like improving my writing, getting things off my chest, interacting with people and on and on. But it's definitely hard to pin down why I'm on here. If I stopped (which I have in the past) it wouldn't make much difference to me in the long run. There's definitely something here which I've yet to explore more deeply in my own psyche. I think a lot of my malaise is to do with the notion that everything I do is "empty calories". It's like I'm eating, but not getting full. It's hard not to compare myself with my peers and they seem to "get full" on what they do in their lives, which I'm envious of. But my envy isn't really about what they have but the fact that they seem to be satisfied by it. I can't get no satisfaction - and even thinking about that makes me emotional and frustrated. To swing it back to forum. I see a lot of questions being asked and a lot of answers, but very little dialogue and exchange. Often an OP will ask a question, get ten different disjointed answers and that's that. The OP has seemingly no interest in replying to the answers, and the answerers have no interest in each other's viewpoints. Often the OP has to be goaded into replying. There is also often an absolutist sense to a lot of the answers: "this is the way it is", rather than a more nuanced and relative standpoint: "what if it was like this?" and exploring that. I think this really comes from several places. First, that people really don't know how to converse properly especially on a digital medium. People are so brainwashed in to posting "status updates" that other ways of communicating seem alien; a lot of answers are in the style of a status update: this is what I think and that's that. Second is that there isn't any amount of deep thinking going on, but it is often dressed up as that. The upshot is that people (often aggressively) defend views that are shallow and illogical or just taken verbatim without much thought. I'm guilty of this, but what gets confused is that I'm not coming from an absolutist standpoint, my views are generally subject to change and really are about "what if it was like this?", but I'm forced to follow the implicit forum style. I want dialogue but I don't get it and it's empty calories. Lastly, there is a lot of immaturity in the forum. To me it's blindingly obvious (because I'm older and more mature), but you can't blame others for not knowing what they don't know. I very often feel for others because I have experienced the same things when I was younger (especially anxiety and stress and social problems), and I want to get hold of them and say "honestly, it's fine, it will work out in the end". To that end I try and impart my knowledge but it often goes over people's heads; there's only so much that can be done via text. I need to be satisfied and full and consume real calories in my life. I just don't know how or what that should be. Until then I'll carry on as I am. Enough rambling!
  11. Neither. I don't know your history, so it's hard to comment on it. Everyone procrastinates at one time or another. But procrastination is actually a fiction. The underlying assumption is that a particular task must be done. If the task were optional, and you chose not to do it, then there wouldn't be any procrastination. Apart from doing things which maintain your survival such as eating and having a roof over your head, all other tasks are in fact optional and fictional (and mostly imposed on you by others). Related to that is that tasks stop being tasks when you actually want to do them. Bingeing on the internet is also doing a task - which you don't seem to procrastinate about. You already have the solution. In my eyes the psychology of procrastination is this: You/someone needs to invent a "task". You put off doing that task. You wait until you can bear it no longer. You do the task. (Or you let it slide) You or someone who invented the task, gets angry or stressed for not doing it quickly and/or efficiently. You beat yourself up for getting angry or stressed and concoct stories about being lazy, stupid or worse. @Husseinisdoingfine what do you think?
  12. Some random thoughts today. I was chit-chatting to a work colleague last week. We were on the tube in London going to a work's do. She mentioned that after going to university she'd racked up an £89k debt (loan). I was gobsmacked. I didn't get the impression that she was profligate, it was just the cost of doing education nowadays. I imagined myself at 22 and having to pay back a debt for a large part of my life. The thought fleetingly crossed my mind of giving her my savings so she could be debt free - it would make more difference to her than it would to me. It's disgusting that this is what the UK government is doing to their future workforce. (rant mode off) I definitely had some wild dreams over night. In one there were two diseased rabbits lying on the floor, one dead, one barely alive. Between them my sister was lying in some sort of box or something. Despite not actually seeing her, I thought she was dead. My parents were around and I tried to explain the situation, I even began to cry but they seemed cold or non-understanding. I looked around and realised that I could see my sister on the floor curled up and noticed she was breathing. I felt a strong sense of relief. I think I better contact her... In a different dream I was on a push-bike and looking for a place to park it. I turned left onto a busy road, unsure of where I was going. I then had to go uphill, but realised there was water gushing down the road, it looked like a ladder of weirs going all the way up. But somehow I found it easy to peddle up and I even bunny hopped over the weirs. I woke up. I have been thinking about time. Specifically about entropy and degradation. Hypothetically if I had a lump of matter, say something with a rigid crystal lattice (a crystal perhaps?) and was inert, would it experience time? The thought was that if none of the crystal's constituents got disrupted in any way, then even if it's constituents (atoms) jiggled around it would keep its identity indefinitely. In other words it would be immune to increasing entropy. Of course nothing is ever completely immune to its environment, but during the time a lump of matter is not "interacted" with, it would in effect be outside of time itself. You could argue that the thermal motion of atoms in the lattice act like little timekeepers, being as they are subject to the speed of light. But taken as an average over all atoms you couldn't actually tell the time with them, although time may sneak in because the thermal motion has an average speed. However, the thermal motion can be changed by increasing the temperature of the lump of matter and the average speed would be higher. The upshot is you can only use thermal motion to mark time, if you know the temperature, but you can only know the temperature if you "interact" with the crystal. All temperature gauges work by waiting for the thermal equilibrium with your measuring device, and so all temperature measurements affect the system they're measuring. It could be argued that you could use thermal imaging to gauge temperature, but then photons would have to be given out by the crystal, but I'm not allowing that because the crystal is completely inert: it does not radiate. In practice everything radiates photons. All this is a long-winded way of saying time=increasing entropy.
  13. I wonder if wildebeest believe in gods? When you're regularly hunted you have to be on your guard at all times. So you must have sharp perceptions and a good imagination. If the rustling in the grass could be a lion you'd better be ready to run. But it could just be the wind instead. The wildebeest must conjure up a lion from the movement of grass, and act on it. The wildebeest has to believe its imagination even if it's a false positive. Humans are the same, except our imaginations are wild. We were prey to lions, snakes, spiders and scorpions when we lived out in the open. We let our imaginations get the better of us and can believe there are invisible entities everywhere. Animism was the first religion. Either that or gods are real.
  14. The beauty of reality is that it is both fragmented and unified at the same time. Completely still and in complete motion at the same time. I agree that spirituality is a fragment realising it was unified all along.
  15. @k-ahmadzadeh to re-iterate what @flowboy is saying: apply your military discipline to working through your traumas and unmet needs and you'll see good results.