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Everything posted by LastThursday

  1. One of my great loves is playing piano. I'm not vaguely professional by any stretch, it's purely a hobby. I do like trying to push my limits though and learn difficult pieces (for me), mostly classical. What really holds me back though is my abysmal sight reading. Whilst I can read music score no problem, I read it like a five year old (no not like Mozart), so I have to be really determined to get through a piece. The consequence being that it takes me an age just to learn a piece, and I tend to just remember it through repetition rather than reading the score. I really want to change that. The biggest challenge is that a musical score is dense. If you take something by Bach or Chopin or Beethoven, it's very dense. Unlike reading words on a page, which is a horizontal process, piano music also has a vertical overlapping component and two hands playing simultaneously. In that sense it is much harder that conventional reading. At the moment my process is to look at the note written down, find the letter say "F" and then press the note on the keyboard. One speed up is to cut out the middle man, and just to read and press, there should be no talking to myself in between, it needs to be instant. The only way to get there is through rote learning. A further complication is key signatures, which flattens or sharpens particular notes, this adds to the cognitive load. There is also rythmn and accenting and phrasing and tempo, but that mostly can be done by feel once the notes are learnt. To take the bull by the horns I thought I'd code up a program that can test me on all these aspects. I have played with writing code to interact with MIDI, and I have a MIDI keyboard. So the ideal usage is for the test to display a note with a key signature and treble or bass clef (right or left hand say), and I press the corresponding note on the keyboard and it says "yay" or "nay". Ideally, the tests should be configurable to be able to select particular keys or hands or ranges of octaves, and even perhaps chords or at least multiple notes in succession. Ideally, in the end it could display a small set of notes with different lengths, but that's way harder to code. This is my process for coding it: Find a way to display the notes and other paraphenalia of music score. For this I'm using a music scoring program called Lily Pond. I need to work with images of notes, so I just blat out a bunch of notes and key signatures and output to PDF through Lily Pond, and then laboriously cut and paste each note of the scale as an image. My program can then choose an image(s) and compose it together with a key signature and clef symbol. So it chooses a random note, finds out how it wants to display it, and then waits for the note to come from the MIDI input. If it's correct it shows a nice green tick or whatever and big red cross otherwise. Working in different keys is trickier because you have to map the displayed note differently to the MIDI input coming from the keyboard, but that's just a bit of maths. Yesterday I coded up and got a working prototype. So I spent an hour or two using it to learn the first two octaves of the piano. And it works! I can now sight read a bit of the range. Ok, I'm still not super fast, but my god it's easier than it was. Just another 60 odd notes to learn!
  2. I think it'll be good to get out things that arise and put them down in written form. I have so many lost thoughts and ideas, and some of them were very good.
  3. Music to work to or do other things to:
  4. @Zigzag Idiot it's surprising to get such a good concise list of the causes of depression. These are universal human worries. I would only add one more: persistent physical bodily discomfort or disease. I would say that most shadow work and actualisation is all about working on these five points.
  5. I inherited a melancholy streak from my parents. In a lot of ways they lacked the insight and awareness to solve some of their most ingrained problems. I'm lucky. I do have enough insight and awareness to solve my problems. My melancholy doesn't have to be the driving force in my life. It's like a dead weight wanting to drag me down to its depths as far as it can. I've indulged in its mesmerising ways far too much. I was enrolled with a life coach a number of years ago, and he made light of the fact that I was suffering "existential angst". It triggered me at the time, I thought it was unprofessional of him, I wasn't paying him to make fun of me. However, I see how funny it is now, existential angst is kind of ridiculous. I exist, and there's no particular purpose to that existence - so what? Existing is absolutely absurd, why have angst, why not just laugh? Melancholy is just an excuse not to engage with existing. For a long time I've felt like something died within me somewhere along the way. The last post was partly me trying to work out for myself what it could be - and indulging a bit of that melancholy. I don't know exactly what died: freedom, optimism, laughter, being loved, awe, youth. Maybe none of those, maybe all of them, who knows? In fact, who the fuck cares? Whatever went, it's gone and scrabbling around trying to get it back is pointless. Being depressed about it is pointless and absurd. What needs to happen now, is I need to sow new life into my existing; the shape of that new life doesn't matter so much, just that I'm reborn, a new beginning.
  6. @Thought Art you don't need complete death. Just let the parts of you that need to die, die. Make room for new life.
  7. Thought I'd have a go, not sure what it all means though, my 4 seems average though:
  8. Whether the break up is respectful or not, you will need to cross the threshold of telling him "it's over". Keep it simple and uncomplicated, give it to him straight, then give each other room to mourn the loss of the relationship. Then move on.
  9. Depression is persistent negative emotion(s). The negative emotions can have any cause, you can be depressed about anything you like. It's hard to be depressed if you're persistently positive or at least neutral.
  10. I'm the product of contrarian parents. My mother married an exotic foreigner and moved away from her country and family. My father doesn't know how to be conventional, he doesn't have the mentality for it. What about their son? I've felt like I have to constantly fight against conventionality and yet some part of me wants the security and ease of living of conventionality. I've ended up being an uneasy blend of both, not quite one or the other; there's always a tension and tautness there. I feel strongly that society largely wants me to be an automaton. This is especially so with working for a living, employers simply want you to work and make them money, everything else is secondary. Even in a so called skilled job, you're simply an interchangeable cog in the corporate machinery. In work there is the constant farce of pretending that you're not an automaton: you have days off, and meetings and team activities. And then there's being professional, your life outside of work, your fears, desires, wants and emotions should be orthogonal to work, but the model leaks and begrudgingly HR departments mop up those leaks. The clue is in the title however: Human Resources, an oxymoron if ever I saw one. Our entire society is predicated on work, without it we collapse. It is entirely a product of the industrial revolution and the mindset of science, both seeing the world as a machine with many "un-godly" parts. But we are godly, we are hugely larger than some definition of work. Outside of work, it is much the same. The larger frame of society has a certain trajectory that it expects from its citizens: schooling, working, reproducing, retiring. In a free, Western, society it pretends that each one of us is free to choose how we want to live. But this is only a matter of degree. Wandering too far from the norms of conventionality risks ostracization and outrage: being gay is still difficult for example. Or for another example, workers demanding that they continue working from home post Covid, which works directly against the corporate mindset of compliant automatons. Naturally, I'm not completely blind to the fact of diversity in society, there are pockets of unconventionality everywhere, but these are always minorities and outliers. But for me the most insidious and innocent conventionality is simply surviving. I have to wear clothes, I have to eat, I have to be hygienic, I have to look presentable and on and on. In that sense my body is desperately conventional and absolute in its needs. Even the Queen of England or the Dalai Lama are not immune from their bodies. Surely @LastThursday you've lost your mind? How can you moan about the needs of your body FFS? What I see as being robbed by largely being or being treated as an automaton is mostly time and godliness. Work and survival takes up so much time. Time seems expansive as a young person, but it shrinks exponentially as you age. Eastern philosophy would have you simply accept your lot in life, because fighting is futile (see my previous post) and breeds unhappiness. Unfortunately, my parents didn't program me that way, I do have the spark of divine creation, how dare that spark be wasted as a mindless automaton! The divine spark is outraged. What to do? What occurs is that I simply want to shut down everything that requires me to behave like an automaton. I don't want to work. I barely have the desire to eat and clothe and bathe myself. I don't want to be in a conventional relationship. I find the endless merry-go-round of seeing friends and family tedious. No buying houses, no having kids, no holidays once a year, no paying bills. I just want to SCREAM and reject it all. So very childish. If only I could switch off consciousness on Monday morning and switch it back on Friday evening, and simply just let the automaton do its thing in between that would go some way to making all this grind bearable. I lay in bed most nights and hope that some amount of deviation from the norm happens tomorrow - it mostly doesn't. Let me wake up on a desert island, where only the concerns of the body take over, the rest can mostly go to hell.
  11. What is philosophy? Lofty mountains made of words, about words. Like algebra each word X and Y stands for some portion of reality strung together with operators of equivalences, subdivisions, analogies, compositions. As such philosophy is circumscribed by your native language's lexicon. Each word has to be heavily laden so it can take on the weight of describing reality. Reality is always larger and stranger than philosophy and language. Yet we're confronted by raw experience constantly, why philosophise about it? Is the rawness excessive and overwhelming, so that we need to hide behind the flimsy constructions of language; that we need to comfort each other by reciprocally checking that our raw experiences match? Is reality so strange that it needs to explain its own riddle, and you've been chosen to do it, created for the sole purpose of doing it? Simple acceptance is unsettling and ridiculous. We need to talk and shout our existence from the rooftops, even if it's futile.
  12. Привет @marinaaniram . Моего русского не существует. Что такое мдамс?
  13. What I like about Alice Cappelle is that she talks about stuff that I'm not even aware of, and deconstructs it intelligently. I'm all for broadening my awareness of different aspects of social media and electronic media. Although, the video above is not a case in point, I follow all the people pictured above! Probably why it caught my attention in the first place. Anyway, give her stuff a try. And this guy makes slick and entertaining and informative content:
  14. That's such a hard question to answer. I'll give it a go. Physically, we need to keep our bodies intact and functioning within specific margins - so the body will signal when we're out of alignment with its needs. So basically survival. Anything which pushes us out of our ideal functioning, will signal discomfort or pain. Or anything which might potentially do this will create fear or anxiety. Emotionally. Well suffering is all about negative emotions, even pain is an emotion. fear definitely is. So the body communicates suffering through the emotions. But the mind and thinking also triggers emotions. Any form of thought could potentially trigger negative emotions. There are thoughts about danger to the body, but also more abstract ones like losing a loved one, or not having what other people have, or not getting what you want. I'd say most thoughts that create suffering are either to do with survival or with strong attachment to something. In a way, survival is about strong attachment to the body. We also rely on other people for our survival, and threats of being ostracised (and left alone), or death of others (who help us survive), or being concerned for other people's welfare (because it affects us in return), all sit heavily and cause suffering. This is attachment to our tribe or society. Attachment itself is really about maintaining a status quo or wanting things to be a certain way. Attachment itself isn't suffering, but reality itself doesn't care about our attachments. The body causes suffering because it needs to be kept intact and functioning optimally, but reality doesn't see our bodies, it just does its thing (entropy increases). Our bodies constantly have to fight against the chaos of being dis-integrated, dis-membered, disolved. It suffers because it wants to keep existing. Other types of attachment, such as to objects, cause suffering because objects degrade, or get lost or stolen, and we have to somehow keep our inventory of objects intact. Again, reality doesn't care about our attachments. We have laws about theft, and insurance, and warranties, and property rights. All this concern about objects cause suffering. And attachment to ideas and thoughts too. The single biggest suffering caused by ideas, is that there isn't a single idea that's true. Whatever ideas you have about living, or ways of being, or anything really, they're never a perfect match to reality. Reality will always show you that your ideas are wrong in some way, and you have to fight to maintain your ideas in the face of contradiction. This is suffering. The map is not the territory, ideas are not reality. The best way to counter suffering is to be less attached to everything: ideas, people, objects and yourself. And I haven't even talked about the ego!
  15. My super-pragmatic observations: The woman is with you and not someone else. You already won. If wanting to impress her more means you work on yourself, then use that to your advantage to motivate yourself. Focus on your girlfriend's good points, forget the bad. We've all got bad points. Your girlfriend is not a "problem to solve" stop being such a man about it. Instead, have a relationship. Maybe your girlfriend tends to focus on the negatives instead of the positives, and you're falling for the same trap. Lead by example and show her how to look at the positives in life.
  16. No. Is it certain, yes. Sometimes it's not obvious that suffering is even happening though. Then you've got your physical suffering, and emotional suffering and mental suffering. Then there's the intensity of suffering. Then there's length of time, something can become suffering if it goes on long enough. Then there are causes of suffering: ignorance, world view, disease, genetics, poverty, race, sex, age, religion, and on and on. Of all the things to worry about, suffering is right up there. You can even suffer someone else's pain!
  17. Sure. You could also sit on it for that direct experience sensation.
  18. Or maybe just repeat the word God for two hours twenty-nine minutes and thirteen seconds, whilst looking at the chair.
  19. It's good to know that I'm an ontological anti-realist. I knew there was a name for it. The only thing that the video didn't cover was this: a chair is something you sit on. What makes a chair a chair is its function. So the stump of a tree in a forest could be "a chair" for example.
  20. Your memories are changing with you. Your memories are you. Nothing is fixed.
  21. For a sensory experience watch this on a big monitor or TV with one eye closed (or if you wear glasses cover over one lens). Wear headphones: Play this in the background: Yeah, I know, I'm weird.
  22. @Leo Nordin I believe you're lost in thought stories too no? You are creating a story about @LastThursday based on a story he has written about himself. But that's ok, it's all good fun. Elisabeth come as you are, Don't change for the stars, Only you can show me, Well, that's what I believe, Elisabeth, Elisabeth! Elisabeth we came so far, It was written in the stars, Your heart had shown me, Everything that I believed, Elisabeth, Elisabeth. Elisabeth why did we part? Now I look from afar, Please come back to me, And again help me believe, Elisabeth. Elisabeth.
  23. For the basics, books can be useful as a guide to what you should be learning. But I'm not a C# programmer so I can't really recommend any books. Although, any book with the word "beginning" or "starting" or "dummies" in it should be good! However, as you get more experienced there is so much on the internet, that I would say it's not worth relying on a book. The problem at the start is that you don't have enough knowledge to just go ahead and code, so it's hard to keep momentum without some sort of guide. But it looks like you're using tutorials anyway, so that helps a lot. Programming requires a lot of conceptual problem solving, so sometimes you can work things through by yourself, but a lot of the time you'll need to look stuff up to see how to solve a particular type of problem.
  24. I have the same problem although less severe than you. I regularly use a hay fever nasal spray (even in winter) as it's the only thing that works. I suspect in my case it's inflammation caused by an allergic reaction to something, although I'm not sure what. In the UK the spray is Beconase (beclometasone dipropionate), which is suitable for long term use, although not suggested as such on the packaging. It will take a week or two of regular use to start working. I can breathe normally now. I will say, it's always better to treat the causes than the symptoms, but just having relief can change your life.
  25. If you've done no coding before at all, then you'll need to get the basics under your belt. It's best just to choose a particular language and learn in that (so C# for you). Very briefly you have to understand: variables, variable scoping and typing, loops, conditional statements, functions, and expressions (maths). That's already a lot of stuff to know. If you can learn and use those without relying on a tutorial, then you're off to a good start. Other than that you have to understand the IDE (integrated development environment) you're using: how to compile a program, how to fix errors, how the editor works, and other tools to help you program. Start off with coding very simple programs and experimenting a lot. It might be dull, but you really need a good grounding before you do more complex stuff. C# itself is vast and it has a lot of very up-to-date and advanced programming concepts - so you have a long road ahead to understand all that. A lot of it such as learning syntax and basic programming is just rote learning and memorisation. Be persistent and don't give up if you don't understand something - use the internet and especially, ask plenty of questions. Where you want to get to is to be able to write a simple program from scratch without cutting and pasting from the internet or looking at a YouTube video. Force yourself to code from memory. In short, code, code, code and code some more.