Events today: Went to lab. Since my application was still being processed, I could only observe other researchers or study research papers. I studied the professor’s paper, writing comments and circling important ideas. I watched my sister photograph some tissue cultures. Daily affirmations: Spent some time with my sister at night, walking around the neighborhood. Inspired by the starry sky, I shared with her the paintings from Roy A. Gallant’s “Our Universe” I owned as a child. I really enjoyed the time together. Feelings today: Between faculty and family members, I maintained a cautiously optimistic personality by speaking softly and abstaining from criticisms in conversations. Cautiously optimistic means consciously anticipating conflicting triggers in discussions such as attacks from others or arguments among family members and handling the attacks or lack of in a friendly way. I was cautiously optimistic around my family with their numerous disagreements towards each other. Goals: My path to posthumanity is composed of 4 stages: biotechnologist, biophysicist, biomaker, and transhuman. I thought my informal knowledge of biology was enough to create mathematical representations of living things but that may not be the case. My mathematical studies will be relegated and I am going to continue working on “naive biology” in lab with occassional math studies when I have the chance. What went well today: Replied to several posts in the forum. It took a lot of time writing replies and I partly felt like it was mindless browsing but I also felt like I was contributing to the Gamequitters community by sharing my experiences. Improvements next time: My sister drives me to the lab and I want to show her how much I look forward to it by bringing it up in conversations and walking about to observe other researchers performing experiments instead of studying all the time in lab.
The porn problem was strong for me especially since I sleep in a soft, warm, sweet smelling bed. @WorkInProgress games and porn fed off of each other for me, but whatever I tell myself about the harm in games, the same will apply for porn. @RegularRobert you are right, porn and games are the norm nowadays. Both games and porn are addictive so I can say to myself, "watching porn (or playing games) won't help me, it is a never ending cycle of desire if I keep doing it." I also tell myself "the porn (or game) is rewiring my brain so that I cannot enjoy everything else in my life. Abstinence will bring back that enjoyment". When I get good at quitting games, I also get good at not watching porn.
Sometimes I have nightmares to the point where I wake up sweaty and exhausted. I have the suspicion that they occur more frequently after playing games but there are also days of nightmare without games. Playing games often literally causes headaches for me and when combined with vivid dreams, I would wake up the next day with the headache still there. It seems like the games do something but I am not sure.
Masturbation seems related to games. I always feel like doing it after playing. So whenever I masturbate, I would want to play games and vice versa. When I stop doing both, it is easier than stopping one of them. And masturbating just makes it easier for me to watch porn.
Knowing what to do when you don't feel like studying helped me make time when I studied for an hour and feel exhausted. My classification for the 3 states are: Sleepy: I want to sleep but doing it in the day may ruin my night sleeping and there are places (ex. library) where I can't lay down. It can make an hour or more go by when I sleep. I need energy, so I can get it by stretching or food. A high carb snack worked for me recently but staying awake is still hard. Jumpy: I get up and walk around repetitively, thoughts racing, can't sit down. Meditation works here, it will calm you down. The challenge is to convince yourself to stop being jumpy. Distracted: I think of games, girls, whatever that will throw off my day. You can redirect your attention by studying something else and coming back to the original study later. Detox will also help with distracters, hang in there. Dealing with distracters requires a set of defensive reasons you have to learn which is beyond the scope of this post. Once you identify your state, you will have a strategy to deal with it and save your day from derailment!
I told myself many times "what is the point of living if I can't enjoy my life" and then go off to play games. I think I heard this saying from a Youtuber: "No one is going to regret not playing Call of Duty 4 (or 5?) on their deathbed" and it was totally insightful for me. There are so many things I want to do in my life and I keep feeling that games get in the way of those things. So I keep on searching for that one activity that I will enjoy more than games. I feel that my life is too precious and being a gamer is just not who I am. I believe you can find your own bliss and the games are keeping you from seeing them around you.
Events recently: Yesterday night I tried to review notes from my Biology textbook. Just reading and summarizing a few paragraphs took a lot of energy and focus which left me drained and anxious. I was surprised a simple review would take so much work. To learn Biology, I think I should be doing Biology, not only reading a book on it. Learning by doing while making money from it is even better. A Synthetic Biology makerspace maybe? Daily affirmation: The weather has been partially sunny and warm. I am grateful for spending the past several days running in the morning. Feelings today: Online research made me anxious so I took a break of meditation which left me sleepy. When someone is sleepy, they have trouble focusing and lose consciousness easily. The meditation was too soothing so it made me sleepy. Then I ate some corn chips and drank some water which surprisingly woke me up. Eating an orange was not as effective as this. It might be the dense energy stored in the chips that gave me more energy. Still, my eyes were feeling rather light, I feel like I will return to the state by laying in bed. Goals: I feel like I can study any hobby as long as I find some income. I started to think about the feasibility of a makerspace in my area. A makerspace sounds like an effective way to empower the community using technology. I feel challenged from the thought of starting and governing one, I have never led anything big before. The makerspace in my area does not do Biology to my knowledge and I want to focus on Biology. They seem like valuable resource to help me start if I wanted to contact them. What went well today: I was able to control my sleepiness today without going to bed in the day. I can use this day to alter my sleep schedule so I stop waking in the night and staying awake or getting sleepy in the afternoon. Improvements: Haven’t been on Game Quitters for a few days. I want to continue journaling consistently.
January 4, 2017, Events that happened today: Went grocery shopping with my dad to buy food for a hot pot dinner. He watches a lot of TV and I wish he would keep on studying in his old age. Daily affirmation: Found an interesting site of a group studying Rosen’s MR systems. With Rosen being long dead, it is encouraging for other researchers to carry on his work. I can also seek out these researchers and work with them some day Feelings: In reflecting on a theme to dedicate for 2017, I thought of the times spent every day at my parent’s house with no friends to talk to and no work to make a living on. It made me worried about my situation. When someone is worried, their thoughts will shift multiple times to goals they have yet to achieve. I was worried that I won’t be able to support myself if my parents pass away as well as live an independent life Goals: I want to work with others on understanding living things using math. I can start bringing others in by making a Facebook group where members submit articles on Mathematical Biology, Biotech, and Biomedical Engineering. I am afraid of being vulnerable to criticism that can happen with online interactions but it will be a way to attract others to learn from me. What went well today: My dad wanted me to set up a new printer but I wanted to study in the morning first. I studied until I became too anxious to continue and then went to set up the printer. The prioritisation in the face of other’s goals helped me get some learning done that day. Improvements next time: Did not exercise today because it was too cold outside to run. I should have done push-ups in the morning along with other physical routines to keep in shape. Other thoughts: Interested in Mathematical Theology as a way to understanding my life, got to make some time to study it.
January 3, 2017 I have returned with greater dedication to overcoming my propensity towards gaming. Events Today: With the difficulty of doing biotech work, I began trying to construct simple and complete mathematical models of living things to ground my understanding of Biology against the deluge of facts that will bombard me in my Biology courses. This led me to the works of Robert Rosen who used mathematical objects called Metabolic Repair (MR) systems to model life at any complexity. The key to MR Systems is the belief that metabolism and repair is functional. I rediscovered properties of nonfunctional mappings today. Affirmations Today: I was cycling through a routine of studying math with breaks of practicing balance, “hula hoop” stretches, posture stretches, and running with a afternoon nap and lunch with my dad. My fear of gaming interfered with my consistency of activities in the past, putting me in days of sluggishness and distraction. Now, whenever I want to game at the end of the day, I can go to the Game Quitters forum to rededicate myself. Feelings Today: I feel uneasy or low confidence in my consistency because it was always easy to relapse. My dad doesn’t agree with me about playing games being an addiction so I don’t feel like I can depend on family. Goals: My short term goal is to model networks of living things starting from sets and functions. Later I can combine the Category Theoretic approach with the model of genes as signals in networks inspired by cybernetics. Improvements: In the early evening, I thought I could go back to gaming and make my own guild promoting math and Biology. I was able to escape relapse by going to the forums. I will find another way to make friends without using gaming as a connection to others. Other thoughts: Started reading Eugenia Cheng’s “Cakes, Custard, and Category Theory” book I received for Christmas. The book explains math along with recipes for dessert. Thinking of cooking sometime.
I haven’t been writing for the past weekend due to continual feelings of little achievement. I redownloaded my computer game and played for an hour before I stopped to eat dinner or go to sleep. There are some reasons for this feeling. After years of study in college, I am still not able to design a robot or understand basic university math such as linear algebra. Mathematical notation is difficult to understand without a thorough background. I also find that it takes me the same amount of time to learn new things as it did several years ago. So I have not improved in learning basic subjects and my ability to learn new things has not improved either. Scott Young has written about the fluidity of knowledge (for example, seeing the equations of songs) and though this desire is mighty ambitious, the ability to find connections in various subjects is open to disputes of realism.
I played that game, this time, to find new friends. Maybe I could meet them in real life, though they may only like games, it feels like a tedious, unnecessary idea now. Because, for one hour, I did not ask anyone I met if I could add them to my buddy list. I was too focused on levelling up and the players I ran into only made my levelling up slower.
In past posts, I could not find a meaningful reason to make quitting games an identity. Maybe I want to quit games, but putting my soul into the struggle made me uneasy. Then I realized that game quitting takes the joy out of games and puts them into real life. My insight was that a game quitter is someone who does not play games because they enjoy real world experiences more. This insight, though a little obvious, makes me want to struggle more because I do want to achieve my life goals as a super intelligent scientist.
I thought of starting a “society of science losers” club so I could learn from people at the same level as me but I am not sure about it. We would all be studying something by ourselves and we would not be able to understand each other as novice scientists.
I finished a worksheet on gene expression yesterday. It was a simple assignment but I want to make it valuable to myself. What did I learn from doing this assignment? By making a task into something special, I wanted to gain confidence knowing that I made progress in my life. But a part of me thinks that forcing the meaning into the task is too much effort on my part.
I was still struggling with study aversion yesterday. I would walk around the room with my mind wandering to games and movies. It seems like sitting down and writing anything will put myself in the mood to sit and focus on studying. I had 20 minutes left in the schedule before going to the shower, so I went to take a shower early with the aversion still active. If writing anything can make me more calm and focused, what do I write about? I can explicitly define my problem and some strategies to alleviate the problem. I can also write about a particular subject from my studies such as strategies to start a mindmap.
It seems like I was isolating my category theory studies from my other lessons. This was because I did not know enough about categories to apply it to other areas of study. However, by isolating one subject from other subjects, the knowledge from both subjects will not build on each other. It seems like commuting diagrams is a major component of categories so I will draw examples from biology in making diagrams and then commute those diagrams. The goal is to practice noticing math in everyday life as well as understanding how analogies work. After all, category theory is about the study of analogy.