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About Zeno

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  1. Raising the Cost of Re-Entry My old PC, recently handed down to elder child, had been dubbed Distractotron5000. I named it with a kind of ironic self-awareness: I could see clearly enough that I was using it to anesthetize myself. My new, stripped-down PC is dubbed Scriptorium, to reflect it's more serious purpose, related to my vocation as a scholar and a teacher. By the terms of the Grand Bargain I struck with myself a couple of weeks ago, I've left open the possibility of building a new PC for entertainment - perhaps the Distractotron6000? - at some point in the future. After a pa
  2. I can relate to this, especially to that first, stubborn resistance when I sit down to write. The only way I've found to get over that resistance is just to start writing anyway, even if the first words from my pen are garbage, even if I'm just restating in different words the writing problem I'm facing at the moment. ("So, I've already written X, and I need somehow to get to Z, but what the heck is Y, and how do I express it in actual words?") Often, that's enough to get me hooked into the task, and I can then sometimes write for an hour or two with only a short break to stretch and walk arou
  3. Another Artifact, Unearthed I have spent some time today reconstructing more of my own history over the past ten or fifteen years, focusing on research and writing projects I have pursued, and some which I dropped along the way. This has been good, because it reminded me of good work I've done in my career, though my productivity took a sharp downward turn sometime around 2010, with sporadic up-ticks until it bottomed out in 2017 or 2018. There are still some good project ideas in those old files, and I can see how they led to and could be updated to fit with my current work, so I no
  4. Out With the Old! Another milestone, this evening: I moved the storage drives and graphics card from elder child's PC into what had been my gaming rig, so elder child now has the advantage of a better processor and more RAM, as well as a very slick case with RGB strips behind the front panel. I then broke up the other rig, setting aside the CPU and memory for possible use later, and putting the motherboard back in its box so I can sell it off.. So, here I am, officially without a custom-built gaming PC for the first time since at least 2015. I also did some yard work and ma
  5. Zeno


    Hey, @Theresa! It's been a minute since the last time you posted. It's good to know things are going well with you, and that you're finding goals and structures to remain in charge of your own life. Rooting for you, too!
  6. It's Done! The new, low-profile CPU cooler arrived early this evening. I had already prepared for its arrival, so it took me only twenty minutes or so to get to this: With the last-minute changes, the new rig is a little over budget, but most of the cost was covered by selling my graphics card. I'll have another motherboard to sell, soon, which should more than take up the slack.
  7. New Desktop PC . . . delayed, again! Good news and bad news, yesterday. The good news is that my new CPU arrived at last, after a long delay in customs. It was shipped from a seller in Hong Kong, and everything between China and the U.S. is a bit . . . messy, just now. In truth, most of the delay was probably due to the pandemic. So, I was able to start building my sleek new "downgraded" desktop PC! It works like a charm and, best of all, has no dedicated graphics card. The bad news is that I was planning to use the stock AMD cooler that came with the processor, which was a bad
  8. Another point against getting rid of a smartphone is that for better or for worse - and mostly for worse - they are now required for certain basic functions in many contexts. I cannot log in to any of the systems at work without two-factor authentication, and the only non-crazy-making way of doing that is to use the smartphone app. I think @Pochatok is correct, though: address the underlying cause, whatever it is that pushes you toward distraction and escape, and the pull of the smartphone will subside on its own.
  9. It depends a lot on the kinds of games that draw you in, and their technical requirements. If they're games that require a dedicated graphics card, downgrade to a system that uses a CPU with integrated graphics - good enough for doing things online and doing office work, but not good enough for games. That's what I've been doing, and the very nice "downgraded" desktop PC I'm building is almost complete. If the games don't need that kind of power, then you might look into apps that block particular programs from running, or block you from visiting certain websites. I haven't used those, my
  10. Burning Off the Fog I'm going to stop referring to games at all here, at least for a while. What I did a month ago was not to "quit games", but to begin to reclaim my life from the fog in which I had allowed it to be enveloped over the past five or ten years. The process of sorting photos and - now- videos in the ongoing (pandemic-prolonged) division of the household has been a harsh sort of therapy. With photos from my childhood, and with photos and videos of my children, I can now survey the entire half-century span of my life, and I can begin to reckon with the damage sustained in
  11. Advice from a musician: learn an instrument first, then learn only enough theory to do what you want to do with it. Making music is a living process, something that can only be experienced in the immediacy of the present moment. Theory is reflection after the fact; on it's own, without something to reflect on, it's just empty.
  12. One Month! Even though I quit games in the last days of March, I'm using April 1 as my reference point for keeping track of how long ago I left gamer-world. I figure that counting days would mean I'm thinking every day about the fact that I quit games, which is an indirect sort of way to be thinking about games. It would be nice to go for days or weeks or even whole months without thinking about games in any way, even in the negative. My various projects are coming along. My writing was a little disrupted this week, but I've still accomplished more in this past month than I had in th
  13. Welcome to the forum, Alexander! I was going to ask whether there is a difference for you between playing online and playing in person. I was thinking chess would be a different experience when you're face to face with someone. You mention playing Monopoly, though, and how much you end up hating those with whom you're playing. That may just be in the nature of Monopoly! Everyone hates everyone when playing that game: too much chance is involved, and once you start falling behind, bankruptcy becomes inevitable. (I've heard that people in Cuba were once encouraged to play Monopoly
  14. Welcome to the forum! Any way to get back in touch with them? There must be others working in the games industry who have the same struggle, maybe even people you work with every day. I'm not sure how you'd find them, but it might be worth asking around, discreetly. I'm just thinking it might be easier to find your way toward balance if you knew you weren't the only one, and if you could talk and compare strategies with others in the same situation.
  15. Also, the CPU I ordered was still stuck in customs as of yesterday. Today, though, there's a change in its status on the tracking page for the domestic carrier that will be delivering it to my door. So, there's some hope I'll receive it over the weekend or early next week. If it arrives on the weekend, I may spend time on Sunday building my new working PC, the slim case for which fits neatly on a shelf next to my desk. Then I'll move my elder child's gaming PC into the case I'm currently using, which will free up some parts I can then sell off to bolster my budget.