Notes on life, art, photography and technology, by a Danish dropout bohemian.
When you drink the water, remember the river.
sounds rather good but sad in a way not really knowing your destination or purpose. domai is a nice site but puttering around the house all day would drive me crazy. how do you pronounce your name? E ohh lake? help me here ok?
btw............that pascal dude is a genius! where can i email him at? what a talanted writer and keen observer! thanks Eolake. and congratulations on your interview!
Maybe P will post his addy here. Or I can forward. e-mail [at] stobblehouse.comee(o)lake, ya. Discovery is hard, but I can't make a purpose stick if it is not true. The physical planet Earth is just a mere sliver of a large, exciting spiritual, intellectual, energy reality, most of which is avaiable to me without leaving my room. And if I want I can run the site with a laptop from Borneo or Monaco or Scotland.
thanks eolake, i appreciate it.as long as you are content, thats all that matters too.
Eolake,I wanted to share two related sites with you and your commenters. First is that of my daughter who has much in common with you:http://www.amygallaher.com/Second is of another life coach, Margaret Lobenstine. I just happened to pick up her book from the library a couple of days ago:http://www.renaissancesouls.com/
Thank you indeed.I am actually reading Margaret's book, it's wonderful!(Search her name in this blog.)
ROFL. Now OTHER people are telling Eolake to read "Renaissance Soul." :)By the way, my copy finally arrived at the local Bones and Norbert. I'm not impressed with the book itself. More later.
Well, already the nay-sayers chime in: "Anonymous said..sounds rather good but sad in a way not really knowing your destination or purpose."I remember an uncomfortable encounter with a neighbor down the street from my parents' home. I had come home for another extended visit (probably about three weeks) and was poking about for some job or other that might hold my interest. (This was before I'd found anyone sympathetic to the "scanner" or "Renaissance Soul" mentality.) And the neighbor said, "Well, what do you WANT to do?" And I said, "Short of playing jazz piano, which I can't do but always wanted to but let's not get into how much I blame my parents for not ever giving me music lessons, I don't really know. Certainly not work in an office!"She responded, snippety and old-school-marm-like, "How OLD are you?" It was pure judgment, nothing else. The clear implication was, "How DARE you be not like me? WHO on earth do you think you ARE to actually believe your life can be fulfilling while also not having A STRICTLY REGIMENTED MONOLITHIC CAREER?"It hadn't actually ever occurred to me, until that moment, that people who "choose" a career are often doing it in order to fit in with expectations, as much as anything else. I had always believed they "automatically" knew what they wanted to do. I never automatically knew anything.What do I want for a career? I want fame, respect, money, access to beautiful women. I don't care WHAT I'm doing, but I'm tired of not getting dates with hot girls, not being able to pay for my own dinner, being thoughyt of as someone NOT designed to lead men in battle. I'm an ideal leader, but nobody knows it ...Oh I'm venting again.
"that pascal dude is a genius"Well, if the smarter you are, the more you realize how much you still don't know, I probably am genius-level smart. :-)Although I wonder whether a real genius would spend lots of time every day playing Dora the Explorer : Journey to the Purple Planet. When it's not Baby Smurf or the Teletubbies. What can I say? My nephew LOVES that stuff and keeps asking to watch it on my gaming console!Oh, Eolake? Please stop calling me "P". Grow up!!! :-DThis is starting to get out of hand : I already have an anonymous stalker asking for my email! ;-)I know, "I should get my own blog". But untill Eolake finally decides to kick me out, I'm much happier trading chit-chat with all of you guys (and gals). You know, crushing a good party without bothering to organize it...I guess I should open an address dedicated to the mail that I'll start getting through this blog. So, un-named dark (and possibly dangerous) stranger, you can write me at [email@example.com]. Provided you excuse the expected delay in answering you. I'm already behind with my private mail. Too much time spent blogging...
P.S.: "Dilettante"? Is that how they call guys looking at naked girls all the time, these days?
Nah, doing that is just my day job.
So, un-named dark (and possibly dangerous) stranger............please, enough with the melodrama pascal. i say something nice about you and you refer to me as a stalker. yeah, right. people dribble in their pants simply because a reader finds their thoughts and ideas facinating. and i'm not a nay-sayer as you mentioned. i just told eolake that if he was content then so be it. i am using my real name now because it was requested. call off the dogs lol.
Terry, I think Pascal was so flattered that he was flustered, and was trying to be modest and funny at the same time. :)
thanks eolake,you're probably right.
"people who "choose" a career are often doing it in order to fit in with expectations, as much as anything else."Final Identity, have you asked someone in the CIA to research my life, or something? Otherwise, how would you know that about me, hunh?
"terry said... call off the dogs lol."I'm not sure if they'd obey a laughing order. ;-)Don't worry, I'm more of a cat person. No bloodthirsty hounds on this property. (But beware of the occasional guest vampire out for a midnight snack...)"I think Pascal was so flattered that he was flustered, and was trying to be modest and funny at the same time."Um, yeah. Maybe. I'm still trying to sort out the confusion. :-)Not used to enthusiastic compliments, you know.And what's wrong with being modest and funny at the same time? 8oPDoesn't take a genius to do it, right?
After reading final identity's post, I hope he is being somewhat tongue in cheek. Assuming that he is a legal adult, he has no excuse to blame his parents for not giving him music lessons. If he really wants to be a jazz pianist, then sign up for lessons, and practise. Alot. Lately, I have run into a number of young people who want things but don't want to work for them. I want to be a black belt in aikido. The only way to get that is for me to attend class 4-5 times per week, practise on my own, and work out. I would like to be a jazz flutist, but I'm not prepared to put in the time to become one (and I may not have the talent to be a jazz flutist, but I could become a decent flutist). I went to college to study physics, and discovered that I was good at computer science more or less by accident. Even so, I still had to work at it to get my degree. Perhaps his neighbor was more taken aback by the apparent slacker mentality displayed. My wife has gone back to school, and is amazed at the number of 18-20 year old (mostly male) students who want to be paid a lot of money basically for showing up at some future job. There are alwasy exceptions, but most people start at the bottom end of the ladder because they don't have enough knowledge or experience to do otherwise. I have interviewed people for engineering positions that really thought that they would be a senior design engineer with the $100K+ salary within a year. No I didn't hire them, but it was an amusing interview.
Dear dragonsbane:Thanks for your well-meaning advice. I did, indeed, "try" to become a musician. it was too late. I did not touch a piano or any other musical instrument (unless a kazoo counts) until I was 21 years old, at which point I discovered that I have perfect pitch (a genetic gift that only 5% of the population has) and an innate capacity for music. My fingers simply would not learn rapidly enough.I find insulting your suggestion, that I don't want to work for something I want. Nowhere in my post is any admission that I wish to sit around and do nothing, or have instant rewards without effort. In fact, one of the things that attracts me most about my (admittedly novice) piano playing is the experience of effort that practicing gives me. It is an opportunity to make long-term goals, grind away at them, and see incremental progress.I would suggest that your instant assumption, that the young people in your life "don't want to work" for their goals and dreams, is a misunderstanding. Sure, there are some free-loaders out there. But mostly, the young people I know aren't willing to participate in the traditional system of work-for-reward because they RIGHTLY see that the old system no longer works. They put in the work BUT THEY DON'T GET THE REWARD.For example, choosing a singular career focus. That USED TO operate properly. But the clear-headed among us see, that allowing ourselves to be cubby-holed into lower ranks is just as often an experience in very low glass ceilings, as it is an experience in working our way upwards from the bottom.I am forty years old, not one of your callow youths with unreasonable expectations. There is a cultural divide going on here. When I work at a 40-hour-a-week job, I DON'T HAVE TIME to also work towards an aikido black belt. It sounds to me like you're "willing" to put in the work for a longer-term goal simply because you CAN. Maybe your work is too easy for you, or your employment is one of those cush jobs in which you CLAIM to put in great effort, and therefore rationalize for yourself why it is appropriate for you to gain exorbitant salary while young men who have hopes and dreams get them dashed by you, when in fact you aren't working very hard at all. If you have time for that aikido plan, then you aren't in any job that I've ever experienced.It's often the case, that those in society who have been rewarded early, become quite proud of themselves for having put in "more effort" than people who got unlucky early. I certainly WOULD HAVE put in the effort to become a musician, if I had ever had the opportunity. But I am too busy trying to make ends meet. I sell my body. I spend more than eighty hours a week traveling, cleaning, working. I sleep less than seven hours a night. And then someone who has 5 hours extra a week to play at a sport tells me that I am not trying hard enough? Get a clue.Your old assumptions are dying. They worked for you, and now you are one of the privileged few who can look down upon the unlucky many and claim that your superior character is what allowed you to get the better of us. But that is not what got you there. We, too, put in the effort. We failed for unrelated reasons, and we're sick ofhearing the useless advice that the lucky few relied on. It didn't, and won't, work for us, to simply put in more and more effort into a losing cause. And the fact that you can't even see that, is yet more cause for consternation.The next time you see a young man in an interview who wants more than he seems to deserve, your first question should be to yourself. Why is it so important to you to cut down the aspirations of younger people? Is that because it will secure your own superiority over them, thus ensuring further your own gain at their expense. I'm sure that way you'll have even more time for aikido.I do wish I had time for soccer. I'm too busy working two jobs to undertake such frivolous pursuits. Indeed, I WOULD take up something with longer-term implications, if I could afford it, in time and money. But I've been screwed. BY PEOPLE LIKE YOU.I'm not surprised you're in computer science. The self-congratulatory note is simply too predictable. You've probably seldom experienced a society that tells you that you're wanted, but then doesn't reward you. You haven't gotten the DOWN side of "do what you love and the money will follow," which is that they don't always tell you that you have to love something profitable in order for the money to follow, or otherwise, DON'T do what you love! Many peole in the more lucrative professions think that their easy lot in life -- find something they're good at, get hired at it, continue ahead at a comfortable trot -- isn't given to many of us. I too put in the work, got the undergraduate degree, went to an elite school, got the graduate degree, worked hard, got annoyed at people who didn't want to work hard but wanted the same reward that I was getting, tried out the initial phases of work. And guess what? After two decades and many chances to advance, I'm still in a field that offers less than a living wage. My society says "Yes, we value you" with its mouth, but "you're trash" with its bank accounts. Your experience doesn't apply to me, and your arrogant assumption that you have some kind of view of the world the rest of us need to accept is both typical of the cloistered, uneducated engineer's assumptions, and also totally useless for most of us.I wish I could be so free as to be a frivolous, self-congratulating jerk who assumes he has put in more work than other people. But here's a little thing to note.Often we assume that the poor are lazy. We say they aren't willing to work. But in fact, most of the poor people I know are working two jobs.I'll bet I've put in more effort into trying to become a musician than you have in becoming a computer engineer. I'll bet you did some things that you thought were "cool" and then, lo and behold!, you got rewarded for them. And on you trot. Well guess what? Those of us who don't happen to be in computer science don't always get the free ride. We do things we're good at, and then we have to go shovel trash in order to pay the bills. We get a great education where our professors tell us to do things that we're good at, and then we have to change light bulbs in order to have enough money for rent. And then there's the further arrogance, of believing that musical training can be retro-actively applied. As though an eight year old's talent for remembering physical activity can somehow happen in a 25 year old's fingers. As though an eight year old ought to be the parent in the household.Look, I don't reject the notion that if you set a goal and work toward it, you might get the goal; and I certainly don't reject the notion that if you don't put the work in, you very likely won't get the goal at all. But I do reject the notion that you have any idea what kind of work I've put in. And I'm appalled that, again, the tecchies chime in with utterly unaware comment, impilying the following syllogism: "I get rewards. Therefore I must have put in more work than the other people who are complaining about not getting rewards. I therefore am better than them, and endowed with the capacity to treat them as lazy." What is missing from your thinking is, the very notion that quite often -- NEARLY ALWAYS -- the rewards aren't forthcoming even if you do put in the effort. Your world-view is incredibly rosy (and I congratulate you!) because you've always gotten something positive for your effort.I hope you enjoy your aikido. I can't afford to join an aikido studio. I couldn't afford the time to practice, if I did win a membership in a lottery. I'm too busy flipping burgers. Shut the FFF up about effort-for-rewasrd. Flipping burgers takes a lot more effort than sitting at a desk collecting a salary for something you have a talent at, and like to do. I had a talent, too. But I discovered it too late, and now you're telling me I'm not trying hard enough? You don't know what having to try hard means, you child.
Final Identity, your rant is so funny and so wrong it's hard to figure out where to begin.
Final, you've just reminded me of a true anecdote. For the record, I'm not suggesting it applies to Dragonsbane!Current U.S. president, George W. Bush, once amazed his university Economics teacher, when he walked to him after class and declared : "Why did you tell us all that baloney? If some people are poor, it's because they're too lazy to work, that's all!"I am ashamed to confess, I have someone saying the exact same thing in my own family. Perhaps more than one person.Some familiars of this blog might remember that I've mentioned an internship I did in a hospital a few years ago. Well, we were "generously" paid $300/month. I once calculated how many work hours we had to put in, 9 hours a day, plus being on call duty every few days... the total was 400 hours, for a 30 day month! And, I counted neither the overtime I frequently stayed to finish my job properly in the evening, nor the two daily hours on the road every day (except when we slept there because we were on call). So, at $0.75 an hour, it turned out that a clandestine Mexican in Texas got paid better than us prospective doctors. Except I was already graduated, and I should have been taken as a Resident. Which was promised to me for the next year, and of course never came.The chronic exhaustion, much more than the stressful atmosphere itself (having my diploma already, I didn't care much about THAT), eventually caused me a depression, which is still fresh in my memory...On the plus side, this confirmed what I already knew : depression isn't only the whim of pampered sissies, it can hit anybody. Especially the strong, because they usually think they're immune to it. So I've learned something important.Okay, so I didn't want to go on and on about myself like some dried-up droning old fart, but this bit was relevant to the discussion. I wonder how many in the lower classes are sub-clinically or undiagnosed depressive. And how useful this is to the traditional exploiters, that their "livestock" don't have the motivation or energy left to revolt. I know it's quite relevant in Lebanon, with the whole System so rotten, it makes Bush's dubious team look like the holy Salvation Army in comparison!Not to vexate you, Final, but your life isn't what truly bothers me the most. Not as much as thinking that your life is the same life as a vast majority of people, in the alledged "advanced" world. Now, THAT is a depressing thought. (Quick, where's my Prozac?)Sure, there are lazy parasites everywhere. But when this minority is used as an excuse to belittle the majority, something is definitely wrong with the System. I know for a fact (while not being one of them), that the deck is so prodigally stacked against some people, there's no human way they could ever play a winning hand one day, not even a pair of twos. I see them filling the world, all around me. Have you heard of Soviet mining legend Stakhanov? Perhaps the best worker in History. Broke all records, got set as an example and an inspiration to the Proletarian masses. If you don't know what he became, read Orwell's Animal Farm. It's a fine book, trust me.Not long ago, I watched Batman Begins. One of the parts I loved most, was when silver-spoon kid Bruce Wayne chooses to become part of the "real" poor world he never knew, in order to finally understand it, so that Batman would know how he's really needed.Today still, our views of the world are catastrophically warped by childhood mirages and fairy tales. We are raised to believe in justice, that honesty and virtue always triumph, girls will marry the Prince Charming (hello??? Diana Spencer, anyone?), hard work always pays off, and the dreaded American Dream, that in this country anybody can hope to make it to the top. Lowly niggers excepted, naturally! And Latinos. And Asians. And women. And...What I like in the Harry Potter series, is that the good guys NEVER win without a scratch, and sometimes they die fighting. Like Harry's parents, right at the beginning. Starting with book #3, Evil always seems closer to victory, and although there is hope, there damn sure are no certainties whatsoever about the final victory. It's a popular series because it feels real. Just for that, I'll want my kids to read it. I think the way book #5 showed the disgusting truth of real-world Politics is extremely beneficial to young minds, and to the adults of tomorrow. Today's new "fairy tales" are finally changing, and that's a damn good thing. We waste far too much time outgrowing our propaganda-induced misconceptions.For instance, when I was a kid, I was top of my class. THE first, honestly. For four whole years, nobody could even come near me. I was raised in the certainty that a golden future just HAD to rightfully await me. Well, it stood me up. To the same people who valued my grades so much (and put pressure on me to constantly excel), today I'm a failure, because I'm neither rich, famous, married, or vastly respected, I don't have a big car or a fancy house, etc. Well, at least, I'm a person I like living with, and I look at my reflection in the mirror with nothing to feel ashamed of. (But this is one story I'm NOT telling in public. Suffice to know it happened, and that I did the right thing when it was all but easy or safe.) You're NOT worth what you own.You know, today I look at "the most powerful man on the Planet", and I feel anything BUT envy. If this Alfred E. Neuman hadn't done so much harm, I'd just feel pity for him. Success is like beauty : always relative. Me, I know I've succeeded in building myself, and that's probably the most important thing in the world in terms of success. "What have I accomplished so far?" Well, not much. Just me... :-)I know some people twice my age who haven't yet BEGUN that, accomplish themselves. So sad.I find it very interesting that among the members of MENSA, there are all kinds of people, including some who are unemployed and homeless. Not that I'm adopting the same tone as Final Identity, but Dragonsbane, I think this ought to make you reconsider some of your beliefs. Clearly, some of the people who should have every qualification to succeed still can't manage to. There has to be a serious reason for that...Regarding age and learning : undoubtedly, children are superiorly gifted, in certain aspects. Mainly for learning. There's a time for everything. Remember, when evolution shaped the abilities of Homo sapiens, one was quite fortunate if he reached the age of 30. As soon as you hit puberty, you found a mate, had kids, and worked and hunted and fought to protect and raise them. You were an adult at 13. Had to. Menopause was something unheard of. OF COURSE at 25 it's too late to get started for something like music. If a newborn is raised by wolves (it has happened), after a certain age they lose the ability to learn speech and walking upright. Because the time has passed. Beyond a certain point, either you've adapted or you've died, and the brain has to make some final choices. That's life.
Well, I had pretty much never touched a computer until I was in my early thirties, ten years ago. While some things involving advanced use of the body (ballet) need to be started in childhood, many others don't, and people have started successful ventures in the sixties and seventies.
final identity:I do agree that not all work is paid according to what it's worth. Also it is hard to earn money with something that's not, or not much, sought-after. Decisions and behaviour of other people, first and foremost our parents, can have a huge impact on us for the rest of our lives, as can have detrimental circumstances. Having said all that, it doesn't get anyone anywhere to blame anything on anyone or anything. All blaming (or complaining, for that matter) does is to deepen the rut, harden the fronts, compound the problems, take your attention off what really matters most: where to go from here and what to do now to get there.You can spend your life looking forward and working towards some goal - which might need to be a different one from what it *could* have been, but get over that or you get nowhere - or looking backwards and stagnating.The difference between someone in dire circumstances who "makes it" and someone from the same place who doesn't, is that the first one knows what he wants and navigates towards it, while the second one is caught up in his circumstances and/or past.The question that neighbour asked you was exactly the right one:"Well, what do you WANT to do?"Your answer was you didn't want to work in an office, and as far as I understand you don't, so you got what you asked for. (That's not meant to be cynical but just how it works - if you don't focus on *something* you don't get anywhere. Not wanting to work in an office was something you focused on so you achieved that.)Now get more specific, and stick with it even if/when it's a slog. It can be done, only subject to you being ready to pay the price.As for the trade-off between something you want to do and something that earns good money - as I understand it what you're doing is neither so that looks like changing your strategy might be a good idea.In any case that's just my 3 Cents, as always.
OF COURSE at 25 it's too late to get started for something like music.I disagree. For everything someone says can't be done you can find 10 people who have done just that, and successfully so. It surely takes a lot more determination and effort if you start later, and one may find the price too high to pay or/and just take it up as a hobby instead, but never say "never". One thing which definitely has a use-by date in my mind is blaming your parents for the way your life has taken. Yes, our time with them has an incredible impact on how we emerge into life, but at some point it's up to us to take charge of our lives ourselves and steer our own courses. There are enough people out there who have been traumatised in all kinds of ways during childhood (like being abused, sold, enslaved, sent to war, mutilated, you name it) and yet took charge of their lives because they had a vision and the determination to get there. Hardly anything is impossible and the single most effective thing to stop a person in their tracks is them, saying "I can't".
I feel unduly castigated here. And I'm glad Pascal has understood my point. I agree, the real observation to be made, is that PLENTY of people in the developed world are denied the opportunity to truly excel, perhaps because (as is your theory) of mild depression (among other causes).Your anecdote about Bush believing "they just don't want to work" is perhaps the most cogent way of putting my consternation with the lucky few. Computer engineers tend to be members of that lucky group, not aware that it could EASILY be interpreted that their utility and value to society are WILDLY over-rated (currently) by the free market (a subjective point, at best), and that many many other people have been just as industrious as they, but also mildly unlucky. That they don't know these facts, is what angers me. Not that they ARE less valuable than the market says (I won't make that claim), but merely that they COULD BE interpreted as such. That their financial success is not necessarily "deserved" is a concept that never occurs to them; and by extension, they (the "lucky few") then learn that they are better people than the unlucky many. Well, thanks to all for their intelligent commentary. Especially Dragonsbane for demonstrating, in reply to my rant, an inability to address its particulars, thus proving my point (I indulge in logical fallacy).My dream was to be a professional, employed, full-time musician, specifically (most likely) a pianist. I wasn't given the opportunity because I started too late in my life. From that disappointment I have moved on.I don't really "complain" about that point. (I do think it's "too late" since I cannot devote the time to it that would be necessary, nor could I EVER in my life have done so. I was too busy working, to work at being a working musician. So, by the roundabout way, it is true that I started too late. Sure, if your'e a member of the idle rich, then yes you can devote all that it takes to accomplishing something later. Not me.)In fact, I barely mentioned my lost hope to play music, because my concern now is much more specific to what to do next. I was TAKEN as a wrong-headed person obsessed with the past, in absence of any evidence that would suggest that idea. Here's all that I said about music:-----And I said, "Short of playing jazz piano, which I can't do but always wanted to but let's not get into how much I blame my parents for not ever giving me music lessons, I don't really know. Certainly not work in an office!"-----That's all. No, "omigood life is unfair," no, "I can't ever be happy." In fact, I even put it mildly tongue-in-cheek, quoting myself (as is clear with the "and I said" language) and rattling in mildly hysterical mock-rant. From this very limited evidence, however, the holier-than-thou castigation descended on me.So I got drawn into a real rant by Dragonsbane, who delivered a very patronizing comment. I'm sorry I ranted. I feel the statements in my rant are reasonable -- every single one of them (in fact, so much so that I'm surprised at their cogency and accuracy). And there has been no legitimate reply to counter any of them.So I'm now understanding that Dragonsbane is comfortable being patronizing, which is beside the point for me. I'm also understanding that *I* have a very very hot-button issue, about being treated as though I don't put in enough work. As though my effort weren't sufficient. When this is hinted at, I get angry.Perhaps it's because I've, for a very long time, met a lot of people who don't put in effort but then claim they are better than me for having put in more effort than me. They get rewards because of luck or connections, then congratulate themselves. Dragonsbane is one of these.Generally, they are "privileged" in some way I would have wished to have been -- access to capital, or childhood training, or just "luck" in the sense of having a skill the marketplace values. When I meet a person who is having a hard time, I don't tell them, "You're a bad person because society has rejected you." I try to tell them, "You're a good person, and society is probably bad, because it does not yet value you." Dragonsbane evidently operates differently.This disjunction, and my failure to express it clearly to myself, or to handle it sanguinely in my own mind, have been the central issue of my life. I'm frustrated at my lack of success -- I seldom hold a job for a long period of time, and I do not "fit in" well enough with less-intelligent superiors, dysfunctional organizational schema, and the "daily grind" to keep a job. I "deserve" to be fired (or not re-called at the end of a set period) because I don't capitulate enough to "the system."From this, I conclude the system is radically broken. If Bush can be so idiotic about the poor (as Pascal quotes) and then use that attitude to get to the top of the heap in a climb that, quite plainly, includes trampling on a lot of poor people, then we have trouble brewing.I'm proud to so far come down on the side of the losers. I'm not ACTING like I deserve to lose. I just keep on doing the right thing instead of the profitable thing. Dragonsbane hasn't a clue that the two can ever be different.Gosh I wish I had the money to play at frivolous things like aikido ...
Caught red-handed in being an imperfect human.Of course, you can start anything at any age, and succeed. Some 80 year-olds do return to school and graduate.It's just that for certain things, the later you start, the harder it is to excell, and sometimes hard is synonymous with impossible. I don't see Final Identity finding the necessary time to become a professional musician today. It's not impossible, just exceedingly problematic in such a case, as you point out.But by all means, if you wish to endeavour, don't let anyone, including "smooth-talking me", dishearten you. Johnny Weissmuller, legendary olympic swimming champion and Tarzan actor, was deemed as "never walking again" after a childhood poliomyelitis. (Then again, he did overcome this with the potential of his youth...)Me, it's not music, but I think I've finally found out what I was born to do, and I just might end up doing it. (Crossing fingers. Then un-crossing them, because it's a silly superstition!)Ronald,I beg to differ slightly. I have found from bitter experience that blaming can have a very positive effect, if it makes you aware of a factor that majorly contributed to a failure. It happened to me with one person. I gave a second chance, and it happened again, exactly the same way. So I decided to consciously blame. Not openly, just acknowledge to myself the clear fact that this person was trouble, and I should definitely stay away from him/her from now on. You wouldn't believe the further trouble it spared me! A reasonable degree of blame helps you avoid repeating some mistakes, if you don't "just" dwell on it.Final,I feel uneasy giving you advice which I should be following myself at this point in my life (see two paragraphs above). But Ronald makes a valid point : if you're not happy with your life, you're never powerless to change it. It just might take a great deal of effort and reflecting. It is frighteningly easy, when for instance you're working two jobs, to just give in to routine. This is precisely the kind of resignation those who exploit the masses are counting on. You don't have to play by their rules. It's perfectly legal to think outside the box. You'll have to find your own path, nobody but yourself knows what's right for you, but if you will it hard enough, it is possible to accomplish it. (For instance, don't wait till you're unemployed to seek a better job. Give yourself the magnificent power of choice.)"I'm glad Pascal has understood my point."Don't mention it. I'm good at undestanding people. That's what I do. (I started very early.):-)"I'm also understanding that *I* have a very very hot-button issue"I've always wondered : is it REALLY anger, if you don't lose control and start slinging mud and lobbing very nasty names? You may have a button that heats easily, but I think it has an anti-meltdown safety valve. I wish more "angry" people would only get angry the way you do, so it's ALWAYS possible to discuss with them. Without trading bullets.P.S.: No, I'm not getting paid for this, I just love to speak my mind when it has compliments in it.;-)"Generally, they are "privileged" in some way I would have wished to have been"You know, I may usually appear as a religion-basher, but in my own way I'm very believing. And I believe if we are to be accounted in the Beyond, each will be given his fair measure, with all due consideration for their initial advantages or handicaps. There is far less merit in NOT becoming a criminal, if you were born a rich white American than a son of theSoweto ghetto or Rio's favellas...I know believing in Afterwards Justice might be just a comforting reflex against all the things wrong in THIS world, but then, maybe it's also real. Optimism doesn't need excuses, anyway!I'm starting to think this tendancy of mine to consider everybody with minimal prejudice has gained me many friends.:-)Oh, time for some product placement, with apologies to Eolake. I owe much of what I've realized about people to the helping insight of a great book named "How to make friends", by Dale Carnegie. Basically, it doesn't give you "tricks", but encourages you to a spontaneous attitude, which will last for life.One quote that Laurie/Signalroom will no doubt appreciate : "This little yeller dog knew a most important secret : in order to have people loving you, love them and you'll get it back."Read the rest in the book, it's brilliant. :-)"Gosh I wish I had the money to play at frivolous things like aikido..."If you happen to win the lottery, I'd recommend Kung-Fu instead. I think it is the best of martial arts. Precision before power, and all that.And remember, you have an address higher on the page if you'd like us to chat privately.
Final Identity:I agree, the real observation to be made, is that PLENTY of people in the developed world are denied the opportunity to truly excel, perhaps because (as is your theory) of mild depression (among other causes).So the point that there are heaps of people even more disadvantaged than that who still make it, doesn't count, right?Your anecdote about Bush believing "they just don't want to work" is perhaps the most cogent way of putting my consternation with the lucky few.There can be no doubt that there are heaps of judgmental idiots out there who don't even come close to appreciating how lucky they are.That doesn't mean, though, that that's all there is.Computer engineers tend to be members of that lucky group, not aware that it could EASILY be interpreted that their utility and value to society are WILDLY over-rated (currently) by the free market (a subjective point, at best), and that many many other people have been just as industrious as they, but also mildly unlucky.This is a blatant oversimplification at best of a big and inhomogeneous group of people from whatever limited experience you may have with a couple of its members. Quite a sweeping statement indeed, so how differentiating would you wish people to be with "people like you" while dishing out stuff like this yourself? A bit hypocritical, no?I happen to know quite a few computer engineers and not all of them are lucky, most of them are working hard and quite a few struggle to make ends meet. More than you would think don't like it too much but do it for the money (having given up on what they really liked to do) and more than just a few believe that computers are wildly overrated. That they don't know these facts, is what angers me.You mean you get all upset about some stereotypical belief you hold about a part of the population which isn't anything but a prejudice you hold. Please yourself, but complaining about other people's prejudices seems a bit moot, then.Sure, if your'e a member of the idle rich, then yes you can devote all that it takes to accomplishing something later.Let's conveniently ignore those people not belonging to that group who made it - things get so much more complicated when going from black & white to shades of grey..."Short of playing jazz piano, which I can't do but always wanted to but let's not get into how much I blame my parents for not ever giving me music lessons, I don't really know. Certainly not work in an office!"-----That's all. No, "omigood life is unfair," no, "I can't ever be happy."Although that would be a pretty accurate translation, or no? You're "only" saying that, since not only your chance to do what you dearly wanted to do was botched up, by no fault of your own, but that you'd have a tough time finding anything else that could tickle your fancy, you're still condemned to work two jobs you don't like at age 40.If that's not blaming/complaining then what is it?I feel the statements in my rant are reasonable -- every single one of them (in fact, so much so that I'm surprised at their cogency and accuracy). And there has been no legitimate reply to counter any of them.Well you're basically saying "life's a bitch" and there can be no countering that - in fact I think we all agree on that one. It's just been said that complaining that life's a bitch and blaming her for it doesn't help you or anyone else the tiniest bit. Looking at the lemons she serves you and figuring out how to make lemon juice might - in fact it's your only chance if you really want to change anything about your life.(Interesting use of "legitimate", though.)They get rewards because of luck or connections, then congratulate themselves. Dragonsbane is one of these.How do you know that? I found his post inflammatory, too, but what do you know about his life? He didn't say how he grew up, what his dreams were, if he could follow them or how much effort it took him to get where he is (nor really where that is) so you can't know any of that.Yet another sweeping judgement (even posing as statement of fact) based on implications resulting from your own beliefs. So that's permissible for you but not for others, right?When I meet a person who is having a hard time, I don't tell them, "You're a bad person because society has rejected you." I try to tell them, "You're a good person, and society is probably bad, because it does not yet value you."Fair enough, and sometimes that's what people need to hear for consolation. However judging society (or other people, for that matter) is just as counter-productive as judging oneself - you are as you are and society is as it is, work with it or/and change it, but if you don't accept things and people as they are in the first place all you do is giving yourself a hard time.As I said before: please yourself, but it won't get you anywhere.Dragonsbane evidently operates differently.He may, or he may not. I haven't seen him call you a bad person (so what's with that "evidently"?).I conclude the system is radically broken.I agree it is.I'm frustrated at my lack of success -- I seldom hold a job for a long period of time, and I do not "fit in" well enough with less-intelligent superiors, dysfunctional organizational schema, and the "daily grind" to keep a job. I "deserve" to be fired (or not re-called at the end of a set period) because I don't capitulate enough to "the system."I hear you. Have you thought about running your own business?If Bush can be so idiotic about the poor (as Pascal quotes) and then use that attitude to get to the top of the heap in a climb that, quite plainly, includes trampling on a lot of poor people, then we have trouble brewing.There's no doubt about that, in particular as Bush didn't have to do any climbing at all - he is at the top "thanks" to his father.I'm proud to so far come down on the side of the losers. I'm not ACTING like I deserve to lose.Yet you do, and you're proud of it even though you resent it. Anything wrong with that picture?I just keep on doing the right thing instead of the profitable thing.I understand what you mean, but the right thing doesn't necessarily have to be unprofitable. There are always more than two choices, in every situation.Dragonsbane hasn't a clue that the two can ever be different.Good that you never imply anything about anyone, or pass judgement on people you hardly know anything about, right?Gosh I wish I had the money to play at frivolous things like aikido ...Frivolous, eh?Your own posts show so much judgement of others (not just with this "frivolous", which might've been tongue-in-cheek, but judgement and implications show through quite a lot), and blaming of others for everything that doesn't seem right in your life, that I wonder why you would expect them to take a different approach towards you.Well I try to, and I was certainly not "castigating" you, but if that's how you choose to interpret what I wrote then you're obviously not ready to even consider my point, or maybe anyone's but your own. And no, I'm not "holier-than-thou" - unless you think that someone who knows your situation and has learnt something about it that helped them belongs into that category.Gandhi said "be the change you want to see". So if you don't want to be judged, how about dishing out a little less judgement yourself?Just a suggestion - take it as you will.Pascal:I have found from bitter experience that blaming can have a very positive effect, if it makes you aware of a factor that majorly contributed to a failure. It happened to me with one person. I gave a second chance, and it happened again, exactly the same way. So I decided to consciously blame. Not openly, just acknowledge to myself the clear fact that this person was trouble, and I should definitely stay away from him/her from now on. You wouldn't believe the further trouble it spared me!That I wouldn't call blame, rather than analysing the situation, and adapting your behaviour. A reasonable degree of blame helps you avoid repeating some mistakes, if you don't "just" dwell on it.That's exactly the point - you could've gone on doing what you wer doing and at the same time blaming them for doing what you know they do. There's a saying along the lines of "real madness is to keep doing the same things while expecting the outcome to change". Gather the facts, adapt your behaviour, make your next move, rinse & repeat.If you happen to win the lottery, I'd recommend Kung-Fu instead. I think it is the best of martial arts. Precision before power, and all that.To each his own, but do you know Aikido? It works solely with the power of the attacker, no blocking, hitting or forcing down, just flowing movements using the energy directed at you. I find it rather fascinating even though I'm not a practitioner (and probably never will be, due to my own choice of priorities in life).
I just came across this post and found it relevant to me with regards (not only) to the issue at hand:Who Are You?There are quite a few articles on the site which I find pretty good.
Thanks for your replies, Ronald and Pascal. Please don't point-by-point me -- it's a habit of internet discussions, but I find it causes more problems than it solves. Y'all who got my general gist, thanks for listening.By the way, "to judge" need not be a negative thing. It is, in fact, the natural inclination of a full 50% of the human population, if you believe Myers-Briggs personality type testing. There's a difference between the adjectives "judging" (neutral) and "judgmental" (negative). Kind of like how "critical" used to mean, strictly, careful and mentally astute but now has grown to mean "overly negative." Where would we be without "critical thinking"? That doesn't mean we need "negative over-cerebralization," just "intelligent consideration and careful thought with an eye toward remembering that we might have preconceptions."I'm not going in for music as my career. I can't. It's too late. The short version of that is, that now that I'm in the status of a daily grind and lack of childhood training, the intelligent next step is to realize the expenditure of time-effort-energy-lackofprofit would make it an unfeasible venture. Doesn't literally mean that I'm saying "I can't learn to play piano." Does mean I'm saying "In the current circumstances I can't afford the trade-off."Which is, quite frankly, what 99% of the human population throughout 99% of our history have said about 99% of all self-help and personal development schema. We few lucky Westerners ...
"I happen to know quite a few computer engineers and not all of them are lucky..."My brother's one of them. And he has a family to support."things get so much more complicated when going from black & white to shades of grey."Y'know, Ron, I think Final is simply a dark-grey guy who got upset at a mostly-white guy for going all black-and-white on him. Of course, there might be some subtler nuances to it. Yo! ;-)And I think that conversation with the lady might be less subject to debate if we had actually been there. Not everybody describes the subtleties of a daily life scene as aptly as Stephen King. If Final had such a talent, he'd be doing aikido in his spare time, right? Or he'd be a black belt in piano."Bush didn't have to do any climbing at all"Yeah, poor bloke. When you have the dramatic misfortune of being born at the top, there's nowhere you can climb anymore! My heart bleeds. (Well, technically, it does. If you considering pumping blood through the aorta as controlled "bleeding".)"Gosh I wish I had the money to play at frivolous things like aikido...Frivolous, eh?"Well, if you do it for fun and not because you're a professional champion, it can be considered as frivolous. For most of my childhood, my dad was too busy working very hard in a country at war to indulge in "frivolous" things like spendind time with his kids. As a result, we damn well know we love each other, but communicating is very hard after 30 years. I'm hoping we'll get it right one day.A local proverb here says "you can end up with a good friend after a good fight".Ron? Final? Peace? Looks like it! :-)"That I wouldn't call blame, rather than analysing the situation, and adapting your behaviour."Score one for cultural variations in language. ;-)"real madness is to keep doing the same things while expecting the outcome to change"Hey, I like that one! [Takes small notebook out of pocket and starts scribbling.] May I use that?Like, when I'll be campaigning against the Republicans? :-)"Gather the facts, adapt your behaviour, make your next move, rinse & repeat."You forgot "lather". ALWAYS make a good lather with what you're using, I say. At the very least, the camera loves it."To each his own, but do you know Aikido?"Hardly more than the principle you mentioned. But I'm in love with Kung-Fu. "The grace of a ballet dancer, the power of a sledge-hammer, the precision of a wasp, the balance of a mountain". (You know, that sort of oriental mumbo-jumbo... Just kidding!) I think the principle of Aikido is ONE of those of kung-fu. And there's no limit to what you can learn in kung-fu, a few Hong-Kong movies (those that are well done) will convince you of that. No more than there is a limit to music, or poetry.
Hey, I like that one! [Takes small notebook out of pocket and starts scribbling.] May I use that?Like, when I'll be campaigning against the Republicans? :-)Go for it, but know that it's not mine, either. I don't know who coined it but it's one of the guiding principles (or working hypotheses, to refer to that other discussion) of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming).(Which doesn't have anything to do with Scientology, just in case anyone should ask that.)You forgot "lather".Ah, thanks for pointing that out! Sometimes I think I'm doing quite well with my second language, but it's easy to miss the subleties...And there's no limit to what you can learn in kung-fu, a few Hong-Kong movies (those that are well done) will convince you of that. No more than there is a limit to music, or poetry.Sure thing - I find Kung Fu rather fascinating, too. I mean what I've seen of it so far - to me it seems more like a whole family (or tribe, or even people?) of martial arts than something specific one could pin down (pun not intended but accepted). And yes, the principles of Aikido could well be reflected in one or more of its disciplines but it's much easier for me to point out because Aikido seems quite clearly defined. If I were to learn Kung Fu, I wouldn't know where to start...
easy to miss the subleties...Sic!-> subtleties
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