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GoAgane

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  1. Hello. Time for some good old fashioned personal development cringe! Haven't been on these forums for ages, it's nice to see things still up and running. Changed my display name but kept the profile picture the same, for the old times sake( @karabas?) So to TL;DR the last 18 months, I crashed down from my highest peak of potential down to the rock bottom. I did graduate, although taking longer than expected but hey it's still a W. Near the end of my master thesis, I really started pushing myself once again. I was set to be finally free from uni and able to do "whatever I want", which meant accomplishing some of the dreams I've had since a long time ago. So I started a business, had my dad help me set up the beurocracy because in this country it's a nightmare, and I started making the product/service. I researched and wrote, and planned, and experimented, and in the end had something workable. I started looking for trial clients and found some. I also found a business strategy/mentoring programme that I would enroll in that would help me grow and that I also believed was a good approach. I started working with clients for free, refining/iterating the service based on how it goes with them. The future that I saw unfolding for me in the next couple of months was incredible. It was what I was always dreaming about. It was my mission, to help people in a meaningful way while building income and being independent of location and employers. Plenty of potential for creativity and growth, while also not based on working 16 hours a day for 5 years. I also found a girlfriend(now ex), who was just the most wonderful person and the way we were able to communicate and grow in such a short period was great. I visited her in her country and lived together for a month while I worked on my business at her place. On top of that I was meditating every day, working out, getting up on time, eating really well, everything was by the books and I felt amazing. I was SO close to living the dream. This is when something went wrong. Because I still had no income, it was time for me to return to my home town and make use of a room in a flat my mom owns(used to live there during highschool/early college), while I get at least a bit of income going. The other rooms in the flat are rented to random people, but at the time I came back it was all empty. I set up the room for work and the next 2 days I kept working as usual. Before, living with my ex was a bit distracting and so I wanted to go FULL focus on this venture, working all day and get things going. But that did not happen. All I had to do is pull one final trigger, and that was enrolling in the mentioned business mentoring programme. It was very costly for my standards but I viewed it as a business expense, essentially a part of the initial investment, because I wasn't as naive as to think I could figure out everything by myself. Because of the huge investment of money and also time(as the programme involved a good deal of pushing myself further), I viewed it as the final stepping stone. After I press that button, that's it, I'm out of the matrix. I am now living my life the way I've wanted to for so long, my passion and purpose being fulfilled. It also meant no more video games and fucking around. Of course casual gaming with some story-based games would be fine, but I could no longer no-life 10 hours a day playing league or wow. I remember it feeling like in Lord of the Rings, when Sam and Frodo venture out of Shire and Sam stops for a moment in the field and says "This is it, if I take one more step, it'll be the farthest away from home I've ever been". I couldn't take that step. I had no Frodo to grab me by the hand to go face the challenge together. I've spent most of my highschool days in this room gaming all night and the entire environment was pretty deeply ingrained in my brain to game. Coupled together with the challenge of taking that one final step, I just broke. I don't remember which game I played, but I gamed all day and deep into the night. I woke up in the afternoon, feeling like shit, and kept going. I kept in check with the clients and still did my work but it was very difficult to do and every moment I just wanted to game more, and so I did. I had no one to stop me there, no one could see my descent into madness, as I ripped my dream apart. At some point, I stopped working entirely and ditched everything, including my friends and girlfriend by ghosting everyone because of fear of confrontation. I was ashamed to show myself, to show that I did it again, after I was CONVINCED that I was finally 'fixed' and that I was on the right track. But no, the old Go Agane is back. Man I actually tear up writing this. It's been many months since then, and it's as if my life hasn't moved since. Literally still have no job, living off of what was essentially my fund for the business startup. I figured that this time around, I'll pick a different strategy for recovery. Instead of making a big and dramatic decision like I've done before, I will take baby steps and work my way up slowly but surely, as so many people recommend. But that apparently doesn't work for me at all and lead me into a spiral of complete lethargy and energy drain. One day I do a baby step, and then the next day I don't. It just doesn't stimulate my pitta energy, or maybe I'm doing it wrong. Either way, the life I dreamt about was literally weeks away from fully actualizing. And now, months later, I'm here sitting in the same fucking room, surrounded by trash and dust, barely having enough motivation to go outside. I'm still young, not as young as before, but still got time to fix this shit and get back on track. I don't think the dream is dead, I never believed in such finality. But it hurts. I want to be my own self again, vibrant, enthusiastic, creative, present. Not this dead slog of a body. Fuck.
  2. CALL SOMEBODY !! This is the most important thing and it is never mentioned in this community. Pick up the phone and start dialing! For real, addiction means the brain is physically damaged and to try and brute-force through the cravings with sheer willpower is a path to hell. Call any friend, you don't have to talk about the issue at hand if you don't want to, just ask what's up, how are things, exchange some stories, get out of your head and off your keyboard.
  3. Dude you're a beast congrats!
  4. Oooh, is your avatar Miller from The Expanse? Love that show so much^^ Welcome to the forums!
  5. I'm not a parent, but I'll share my 2 cents: It is vital that you give your son an alternative to gaming. If all he wants to do is gaming and you take it away, it will only create resistance and resentment. It's like taking all he enjoys away, leaving him sitting in a boring room with nothing fun to do. Even though there are other things, it's hard to see when the gaming immersion was strong. It's generally not a sustainable strategy to force somebody to do or not do something. Rather, we should try to make them themselves want to change. It might be the case that a kid is just too young to understand the long-term negative impacts, in which case the only way to make them want to stop is to give them something else they want instead. Is there something else he likes? Such as sports, building stuff, other outdoors activities, or even just other entertainment. Try to replace his gaming time with doing that activity instead. If there isn't anything obvious that he wouldn't mind doing instead of gaming, I would make it my highest priority to show him. To show him people(preferably teens) doing cool non-gaming things. I'd show him what even very young composers can do with music, how they actually do it in practice(Ashton Gleckman is fricking 18 years old and he's already a famous composer), I'd show kids building robots, I'd show kids doing street tricks with skateboards and parkour, I'd show programmers/hackers and what they can do, I'd show art, I'd show technology, I'd show travel, anything that might spark that curiosity flame that will engulf him by finding out about a completely new world and finding it even cooler and more fun than games. That's how I would approach it.
  6. Oh no I think your frustration was 100% justified. Also, when I read the title of this thread, I prepared myself for cringe and someone mentioning the communist manifesto, but I was pleasantly surprised ?
  7. Oh you're also doing AI? I'm doing my master thesis now too haha. I can 100% relate to the frustration that's for sure.
  8. Yeah I agree that really shouldn't be allowed. But non-digital companies don't do it just because they can't, not because they prefer to stay ethical. In digital space, you have constant interaction so they can always try to sway you. But once you've bought a bottle of vodka, that's it, you can do whatever you want with it and nobody will stop you from pouring it down the sink instead of your throat. But subtle techniques to "manipulate" us are everywhere, even for physical products. The layout of the grocery store has been studied and optimized extensively, for example putting the small-but-expensive candy packages near the cashiers so that you're likely to grab it while waiting. Imagine broccoli on the cashier shelves LOL.
  9. My problem with this line of thinking, however, is that there is no way to quantify what constitutes so-called "manipulation". Companies will argue that they are just making their products more pleasurable. There is no logical way to refute this argument unless you challenge that there should be a limit to how pleasurable an activity should be, in which case you're delving into completely unexplored and perhaps even philosophical territory. Here's the thing: Is a restaurant unethical because they make their food so delicious that people keep over-eating? Are car manufacturers unethical because their cars are so convenient we no longer use bikes? Are movie studios unethical because their films are too good and we keep binge-watching them? Are musicians unethical because they make such amazing music that we pump up the volume and create tinnitus? Are social media unethical because they connected the world so much we are unable to disconnect? Are CHAIRS unethical because they're so comfortable that we never stand up and stretch while working? There are just random stream-of-thought examples(so don't cherry-pick the weakest ones in order to make an argument..! ? ), but you can see how you could apply this to anything. In the perfect world, we would use our knowledge of how to make things pleasurable in order to hyper-optimize things that make us happy in the longterm as opposed to instant gratification, but that is indeed a utopia, because people will never in a billion years agree on what it is and how it should be done. Some people love video games and they play 20-40 hours on top of their job, family and whatnot, and would argue that it's their source of happiness in life. So because there is no actual logical distinction between making things pleasurable and being manipulative, what the society usually does in these scenarios where you have a scale, is to just draw an arbitrary line and say "this is ok because we said so, and this is not ok because we said so". For example, it is obvious as a day that making hard drugs legal would make them safer, but they are banned because people cannot handle something that is so intensely pleasurable. So the cost of drugs being unsafe is less than the cost of more people doing safer drugs, because they just couldn't handle them and get addicted/overdose. Again, IN THE PERFECT WORLD, I would love for EVERYTHING to be legal and just let the people decide what is good for their lives and what is not, but that is completely delusional and the society cannot function like that. Anyways, I think there indeed should be an arbitrary line drawn because games and audio-visual media, in general, is getting WAY TOO pleasurable. When VR gets better, I can honestly imagine games being more instantly pleasurable than drugs. Neuralink has revealed their initial research and it's mindblowing. Musk says there are going to be human trials in a year(make that two or three, because It's Elon). In 20 years, you can bet your bottom dollar that people are going to be wiring their brains into a VR headset for direct neuron stimulation. Shit is going to be nuts 100% - why? Because it will make a lot of money. This is why it's important to set the boundaries early, now that it's obvious that SO MANY people are getting addicted to games. I don't think it should be nor it is possible to regulate what elements can and cannot be in a game, but putting warnings or links/contacts to institutions/communities that can help when a gamer is having problems is a good start. With the recent acknowledgment of video gaming addiction=disease, we can start getting official data and hopefully enough people will push for some improvement.
  10. I think you're on the right path, you're gonna make it. Keep believing. I will join you in this "quit your job to follow your passion" thing in a few months.
  11. a ton of vegetables(an omelette with filling or salads that I eat daily) such as carrots, broccoli, paprika, cucumber, black olives, corn, 2-3 types of salad, and then feta cheese, a lot of tuna, regular cheese, eggs, peanuts, occasional toast and too-frequently-than-I-would-like I eat apple pie. While I was gaming I gained some weight due to eating A LOT of sweets and constantly drinking soda. I'm not overweight but also not ideal by my standards. I mean in the end it's about not eating more energy than we spend + getting enough micros. There are many ways to do that. I think most millennials in the west eat quite healthy, the rate of smokers went down significantly and except for some deficiencies such as no one getting enough vitamin D, we're doing pretty good on this front.
  12. Do you also have some ethical/environmental concerns with meat? Because avoiding meat just for weight loss seems so strange to me, I guess as you said you can't eat burgers and such, but in general, the nutritional values of meat are perfect for a low-carb diet. Binging on pasta or fruits can skyrocket weight. I've been eating 99% vegetarian for half a year and have since gained weight ? Though of course that's because of gaming in winter/spring and general neglect. Personally, I do have both ethical and environmental concerns with meat, but not nutritional ones, so it's like the reverse of yours^^
  13. How was your gaming period? Was it bad or did you manage to somehow stay functional and keep up with studies etc.?
  14. If you feel considerable depersonalization and/or depression, I highly suggest to get a proper blood testing done - it could be a simple medical issue. There's a youtube guy "bignoknow" who had very severe depersonalization for a very long time, highly suicidal, was hospitalized at times etc. In the end it was found through a blood test that he had dangerously low levels of testosterone, started a therapy for it and recovered.