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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!

KDY

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  1. I just got Cam's e-mail with a link to the Las Vegas presentation. Watched the whole thing because of one word in the e-mail: depression. I finished the 90 day de-tox in June, and was well on my way to six full months game-free. I also started pretty much ignoring Gamequitters, because - HEY! I GRADUATED FROM DETOX, RIGHT? And besides, one forum member mentioned that Gamequitters itself could become a crutch. But exercise drifted away, and I wasn't recovering fully from a 4-way break in my right arm (January), so music also fell away. Meaningful stuff was falling away. In mid-September, I went back to "occasional" gaming on a (former favorite) website. I thought I'd allow myself half an hour once a week. Ahem. That lasted one week. Next week, it was twice. This past week it's been every night. The half hour grew to the usual play-til-ya-drop. I had been getting my (completely screwed up) sleep cycle into something reasonably human, but in the past week I pulled at least 3 all-nighters, slept a couple of hours by day, then did a few (internet based) tasks for groups I'm involved with . . . and didn't get off the computer when they were done. I even black-lined the dates on my game-free "thermometer" strip that's posted above my tower, so I could see the spread of the contamination. I was in near-panic mode when I realized I had blown most of the time I needed to get (effectively) ready for meetings, falling behind on paperwork, etc. Into all this, I've packed back on 10 pounds I had lost (I also watched Nick Bayerly's interview with Cam! Thanks Nick!) -- I actually once did serious weight training. Now it's just serious weight (and in women -- listen up, ladies -- arthritis is directly linked to overweight -- I already have the beginnings). But the kicker is that the black dog of depression is back. Complete lack of motivation to get up in the morning, to control my weight, to deal with the stuff of daily life. I even shower less -- pretty appalling. So Cam, when your e-mail said "We know from the research we've done with Dr. Daniel King that depression and gaming go hand-in-hand. In our recent study, 48% of our members met criteria for Moderate+ Depression, which can cause real difficulties with social, work, and domestic activities, including a lack of interest in normal pleasurable activities, and motivation. " it hit like a punch -- an alarm bell going off. So I watched the Vegas video, and Nick's interview, and your Relapse video on You Tube. You said "Remember that gaming isn't going to fix anything!" It definitely didn't -- but like you said in the Vegas presentation, knowing that I could go completely cold turkey for 90 days already, makes it easier to get back on the wagon. Knowing that you, and Nick, and a lot of other people in the community survived a relapse means I know I can too. But this time, I'm aiming for 12 months. I have to tell myself that, to motivate myself to keep the black lines off my game-free "thermometer". And I have to keep reminding myself how much better I felt without the extra 10 pounds (I still need to lose as much as Nick did), how much more I accomplished, and how much less intimidated I felt by the daily challenges we all face. Nick's point about health control and confidence is really, really important. When I was weight training, I felt like I could cope with anything. Anyway, thanks again to Cam and Co. for leading the way on gaming addictions.
  2. Mentally engaging website #2: THE ZOONIVERSE WANTS YOU! Real-world learning when the triggers get you . . . Here's my go-to place when the gaming bug bites -- except it's all real science. You get to work with "primary sources" -- actual research material that the ordinary person never has a chance to see: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects ZOO began back in 2007, when an astronomer realized that he was drowning in data. Automated data collection was the coming "thing", and he had the wisdom to recognize he couldn't keep up. This was back in the days of "publish or perish" and closely-guarded data. But hey, he was "perishing" anyway. So he took the unheard-of brave step of putting his data on line and, basically, hollering "HELP!". So ZOONIVERSE had its beginnings in astronomy, and still has a very strong collection of astronomy projects (map moon craters, the landscapes of Mars as its seasons change, track fearsome solar storms, find exo-planets, look for the birthplace of galaxies . . . and on and on). ZOO has expanded to include 69 projects in disciplines from Astronomy to Zoology. Study wildlife in Africa, count flowers in Ireland, transcribe original Elizabethan documents from Shakespeare's time, monitor penguins in Antarctica or condors in California, etc. For history and military buffs: Zooniverse military-related projects: Measuring the Anzacs https://www.measuringtheanzacs.org/#/ Operation War Diary https://www.operationwardiary.org/ Decoding the Civil War https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/zooniverse/decoding-the-civil-war History-related (more history than military) Old Weather - lets you choose Arctic or Whaling ship log-books, hunting for clues to weather data https://www.oldweather.org/ If you create a ZOO account, the system keeps track of all the projects you're on, and all the work you've done. I joined ZOO when there were about 14 projects and 685,000 registered participants world wide. There are now 69 projects and over 1.5 million people registered in the ZOONIVERSE. Thousands more take part without registering. New projects are always coming on line. These projects have some of the things Cam teaches us to look for: -- temporary escape (but into the real world); -- constant measurable growth (most projects keep a count of your work); -- a challenge (there's a tutorial for every project, so you learn new stuff); -- social (there's always a "Talk" forum for each project, and several for ZOO as a whole, including scientists and project leaders). Because most of the projects require close attention to detail, I find I don't fall into the endless-looping I did when gaming (going round, and round, and round again). I get tired instead of just going numb, like I did with gaming. Tired+sleepy = a good thing (going to bed). Another project that might interest a history buff: This one is from 2014, but looks like it is still running. The goal is to transcribe the letters of the letters of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists in post-war US. This includes a lot of correspondence with Albert Einstein. Again, these are original (primary) documents. The project is called "Dear Professor Einstein". It is run by Oregon State University, in the USA. http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/omeka/exhibits/show/ecas/letters-to-the-emergency-commi/index-of-letters
  3. Cam has a useful video called "Stop consuming content". I fall into this trap too -- binge-watching old TV series or crappy science fiction movies on line. At least Cam's video made me aware of how I was substituting mindlessly staring at videos for mindlessly playing solitaire.
  4. KDY

    relapsing

    Hey Smoked Beef . . . two thoughts for two cents. 1. To buddy, or not to buddy? That is the question. (Pardon me, Shakespeare.) Maybe it is time to toss the relationship with your "buddy" in the recycle bin. It seems you've tried hard enough. I think there's a big clue in the fact that, when you were sick, he didn't even wish you "Get well soon." He also certainly doesn't seem to understand that uni is important to you. This points to a specific personality type. Some clues are: the person is 100% self-centered. Everything they do is about enhancing their own self-image. They are often addicted to buying expensive stuff as status symbols. This person demands 100% of the attention in the room, 100% of the time. Sometimes they are masking insecurity, but sometimes it's about dominance. Does this sound like your "buddy", when he's around you? If you're into reading (even more than you have to for university) there's a book about this personality type. It's called "Why is it always about you?". The author (a professional psychologist) concludes that relationships with this personality type (narcissists) are "relationships of inevitable harm." That sounds very much like how you describe your "buddy"'s impact on your life. The professional advice is simply to avoid all such relationships. The harm is inevitable. The personality type does not change, because the foundation is laid by age 2. 2. Real-world learning when the triggers get you . . . Here's my go-to place when the gaming bug bites -- except it's all real science. You get to work with "primary sources" -- actual research material that the ordinary person never has a chance to see: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects Zooniverse military-related projects: Measuring the Anzacs https://www.measuringtheanzacs.org/#/ Operation War Diary https://www.operationwardiary.org/ Decoding the Civil War https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/zooniverse/decoding-the-civil-war History-related (more history than military) Old Weather - lets you choose Arctic or Whaling ship log-books, hunting for clues to weather data https://www.oldweather.org/ If you create a ZOO account, the system keeps track of all the projects you're on, and all the work you've done. I joined ZOO when there were about 14 projects and 685,000 registered participants world wide. There are now 69 projects and over 1.5 million people registered in the ZOONIVERSE. Thousands more take part without registering. New projects are always coming on line. Another project that might interest a history buff: This one is from 2014, but looks like it is still running. The goal is to transcribe the letters of the letters of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists in post-war US. This includes a lot of correspondence with Albert Einstein. Again, these are original (primary) documents. The project is called "Dear Professor Einstein". It is run by Oregon State University, in the USA. http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/omeka/exhibits/show/ecas/letters-to-the-emergency-commi/index-of-letters These projects have some of the things Cam teaches us to look for: -- temporary escape (but into the real world); -- constant measurable growth (most projects keep a count of your work); -- a challenge (there's a tutorial for every project, so you learn new stuff); -- social (there's always a "Talk" forum for each project, and several for ZOO as a whole, including scientists and project leaders). PS: I'm also going to post the ZOONIVERSE stuff on the forum for interesting websites. I hope some of this is useful to you.
  5. Fall down seven times, get up eight times. This proverb is attributed variously to the Chinese, Japanese, (Zen) Buddhists, and the Christian Bible's Book of Proverbs. But whoever it originated with, it's still a useful reminder. Like others have mentioned, you've gained 22 days of experience you didn't have before. You sound like you might be beyond this, but here it is anyway: Khan Academy is a not-for-profit winner of a Google Global Impact award for their contribution to education ("A world class education. For everyone. Free. Forever"). They have a department specifically on computers and programming. https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/computer-programming I've been studying with Khan Academy for more than 5 years. The website is clean, user-friendly. If you're interested in using your expertise to teach others, there's a huge need for skilled people in what are called STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). This includes emerging countries, like those in Africa and elsewhere. Starting about 20 years ago, the United Nations became so concerned about the need for increased STEM education, that they started the International Bureau of Education, under the auspices of UNESCO. Australia has a number of international exchange programs. (Actually, I was really miffed when I set off overseas a loong time ago . . . Aussies, Kiwis and Brits had access to a whole range of exchange opportunities that left us Canucks out entirely.)
  6. I just counted up the squares on my "90-day strip" -- seems I passed the 90th day last week. I still don't have a single game on my computer, haven't even played my once-favorite on-line 8 Ball Pool. Instead, I've gone back to science and math projects that got waaaay neglected. But 90 days doesn't look like it will be enough, in my case. All the crud and tensions that were submerged in gaming started surfacing somewhere in Month 2, and they aren't going away. So Cam's June 12 posting on responding to a shitty day was perfectly timed. Thanks (how did you know?). I'd be interested to learn if anyone else has noticed this. Once the fog lifts, ya gotta face the landscape. At least, I've gotten back to the subjects I missed. (Would you believe, it's taken me 5 YEARS to complete Grades 3 - 8 math!!!!!). Sadly, one of my main real-world coping mechanisms has had to be put on hold -- broke my right arm in 4 places back in January. The cast came off mid-March, but the specialist says no music (I play recorders) until I lose the "trigger finger" in my right hand. I've been running away from meditation (music took its place, nicely), but I guess it's time to deal with that now. PS: Gardening is also good for what ails ya. Dirt, bugs, weeds -- and making things grow. Very real.
  7. I especially liked the fact that your video didn't have a tidy, clear-cut ending . . . . cuz life's not like that anyway. Showing both extremes was important, especially the way sides are being taking in North America these days. Congratulations on the production -- to all of you.
  8. Egad, it's been a loooong time. I have actually passed the 90-day mark! The first two are inspired by Cam's June 12 post on responding to a shitty day. Cloudy Stormy, cloudy day Grey and unsettled, moody. Wind blows gloom away. Patience Dump on me, go on -- I'm not playing your game, see? Your moves expose you. The Long Game Two weeks was easy, Two months hard -- third month hardest. Ninetieth day -- in sight!
  9. Es gibt Wörter auf deutsch die besser als auf englisch diese Spielsucht beschreiben: Zeitfresser. Wilkommen in die non-Enlgish Journals, dirkj3. Musik kann eine Art Meditation sein (spielen, nicht nur zuhören). Als instrument, etwas einfach und nicht kostbar (ich habe gern Blockflöte, besonders tenor und alto). Es gibt auch Meditationen für Anfänger, zB mit Video https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.onemomentmeditation.omm1&hl=de Am leichtesten für Anfänger finde ich die geführte Meditationen, zB http://www.yourepeat.com/watch/?v=UqEqIWB2wnc die man runterladen kann, um mit Ohrhörer anzuhören. Schiesslich gibt es auch Musik mit “binaural” beats, von Alpha bis Delta Wave. Eine Erklung findst du hierhttp://www.binaural-beats.eu/ Es gibt immer Siten die kostenlose Downloads anbieten. Ich habe nur einige Minuten am Internet besucht. Die binaural Beats finde ich, haben eine gute Wirkung, auch wenn man sehr stressgeplagt ist.
  10. Jour 26. Dès 2-3 jours, je commence à vraiment sentir ce que j’appellerais des symptômes de sevrage. Je me sens toujours mal à l’aise, anxieuse, stressée. Me concentrer sur une tâche quelconque – c’est la galère. Mange trop, bouge pas assez. L’aut’ jour dans l’autobus j’ai vu un mec jouer à Boggle (jeu de mots) sur son smartphone. Je me suis immédiatement dit, “Ah quel bon jeu – que j’aimerais le jouer, moi aussi – c’est un jeu intélligent . . . . “ C’est ainsi qu’ont commencé des milliers d’heures passées au clavier et au souris, sans rien acccomplir. Je viens d’achever 63% des exercices necessaries pour finir 8me année de maths chez Khan Academy (y en a plus de 500). Ayant commencé le mois de mars avec environ 40% des exercices achevés, j’en suis fière. Je n’ai fait autant de progrès depuis plusiers mois. Je commence aussi à me refamiliariser avec mon logiciel de MuseScore, pour transcrire des danses du 17me et 18me siècles – je ne me rappelle pas la dernière fois quand j’aie touché de MuseScore. Dommage, hein. Le soliel se levra bientôt. Au ‘voir.
  11. DisOrienteering Feeling lost: seeking a mountain of achievements I can’t see for trees. Spillway Toxic gaming leak vented into cyberspace: warp core is safe now. Ohm If I meditate, just who will I encounter when I click “enter”? Anakin's Observation Om mani padme . . . hmmm. A galaxy drifts ‘round this black hole’s heart Astronomy non-Dominé Spiral galaxy: two arms, black hole for a heart. Data loss: guaranteed. Snow's White Turned seven hours loose upon the day. They reported back, put their feet up, napped. For Tom Lehrer Mathematically “prime” time can’t be divided between games and me. -- KDY
  12. Balance Zero, one, two, three -- Solve the equation: freedom Equals infinity . . . Volta Electricity fails, machines halt. Everywhere a fresh perspective. Stellae Stars come out to play, Tumbling across the night sky, Pixel-free, sharp, bright. KDY
  13. Jour 13 Toujours aucun jeu, ce qui me semble un peu incroyable. Pendant les 3 - 4 années passées, le plus longtemps que j’avais quitté les jeux n’était qu’une poignée de jours. Jai encore visité le site web de Khan Academy et achevé quelques exercices de maths. J’ai dessiné une affîche au moyen de GIMP. Une fois libérée du plâtre rigide alouridissant mon bras droit depuis le 7 janvier au 7 mars, j’ai même recommence à jouer mes flûtes à bec. )le kinésthérpeute estime que l’exercice musical peut servir de thérapie). But pour cette semaine: rentrer à un autre site web préféré au sujet des sciences.
  14. Welcome aboard! People like you are an inspiration to me -- I don't suppose I gamed as heavily as you or many others, but definitely went into a long dive over the past 3 - 4 years where every irritation was solved by heading for the keyboard & mouse. For me the key sign that I was addicted was that once started, I couldn't stop. 10 or 20 minutes of "relaxing" or "skill-building" games invariably ended 4, 5 or 7 hours later when I was falling down from exhaustion. Needless to say, my sleep cycle ceased to exist, I gained more weight than ever before in my life, I lost interest in things like gardening that used to be a real joy, etc. etc. I quit gaming on March 08 (2017). The one thing I think that tripped me up in my earlier attempts to quit gaming: I filled the time with more activities -- didn't dawn on me until I went through the Respawn stuff, that I had never designed an activity that was genuinely restful (except for reading). That one-trick pony just wasn't enough to keep me away from the keyboards. So I seem to be going back to writing poetry. Might try to put to use a pretty expensive drawing course that I took about 5 years ago. On top of gaming, I was/am addicted to my other drug of choice -- exhaustion. So a word of caution: rest. Marcus Aurelius put it this way nearly 2 millenia ago: Do the things external which fall upon thee distract thee? Give thyself time to learn something new and good, and cease to be whirled around. But then thou must also avoid being carried about the other way. For those too are triflers who have wearied themselves in life by their activity, and yet have no object to which to direct every movement, and, in a word, all their thoughts. [Meditations, Book 2, Med. 5] Hang in there . . . .PS what instruments did you play?
  15. Trinary Zero, one, two, three, Solve the equation: freedom equals infinity Transporter Room Ready to beam out: the only way off the ship is when shields are down. I guess creativity was one of the taps that got turned off when gaming took so many hours, cuz I kinda can't stop this . . . . Obstetrics I. Marshall MacLuhan called it the glass teat. Now, when we curl inside? the glass womb? II. Glass womb, classroom, flat screen to hide behind. Breech birth messy, painful, real. III. Who has ears to hear, hear voices unmediated by electrons: singing. IV. Who has eyes to see, see colours unbalanced (no RGB): free. V. Who has hands to touch, touch the living world again. It might touch you back. --KDY PS: Cam, thanks for the shift+enter tip!
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