May 2017 Update

Damn, it’s been a full months since my last update. There’s a really good reason for that – I’ve been on vacation for half that time, and in that time I haven’t kept up with any of my habits. For me, anyway, vacations are a good way to reset and destroy and preexisting habits I had before leaving. This is both good and bad. Bad, because it destroys my good habits, obviously. I haven’t written a blog post in a month, which I’d definitely characterize as bad. Even after coming back from my vacation, I let the inertia of not writing posts continue on for a couple extra weeks. I’ve also had time to accumulate story fodder. A couple interesting tidbits:

  • Macau has wild dogs everywhere. They’ll try to fuck you up. I know this from experience.
  • Orientals love Baccarat. Apparently, so do I.
  • I’ve always wondered what these things were called:

  • I went to a toy museum. As expected, I saw some pretty old toys. I also saw some pretty weird toys.
  • I have no idea how well this toy sold, but shaving doesn’t seem like that fun of an activity for kids. Maybe I’m wrong.

  • They somehow managed to top it with this terrible idea:

I can’t imagine having that much fun with an alcoholic Wall street fat cat. Well, maybe in real life, but not with a toy.

  • This one’s my favorite:

It’s a surprise robot toy. The surprise is, when you open the helmet, a dinosaur appears. I love the anachronistic nature of this one. The dinosaur’s probably roaring because of its impending existential crisis.

  • I love this guy’s idea of stealth:

  • These last two are presented without comment.

 

Lucid Dreaming

A while ago I was interested in learning to lucid dream. The motivation petered out, but I still think lucid dreaming has a lot of potential as side interest. One area that would be worth exploring is using lucid dreaming as a staging ground for therapeutic purposes – essentially a safe environment to overcome trauma or work on social cues.

Lucid dreaming is the concept of controlling your dreams, or becoming self aware when you’re dreaming and being an active participant in your dream. Basically knowing that you’re dreaming while you’re dreaming. Imagine if you had full control over your dream, as if you were in a VR simulation. The practical applications would be immense.

Imagine you had a relationship that ended on bad terms. Let’s say, a parent. But then they died, so you never got a chance for closure. Now, getting closure in a failed relationship through a final meeting is a bit of a myth that people chase after, but in this situation, you can still get emotional closure through lucid dreaming. Imagine if you could say what you wanted to say to them and have the other person respond how you’d always imagined they would. You might know intellectually that nothing has changed, but on an emotional level you’re going feel differently about the relationship. Especially if you can repeat this process over a period of weeks or months, your feelings on the situation can change for the long run. Even though dreams don’t exist physically, they do exist in the capacity to affect our emotions and gut feelings.

There’ve been plenty of times where I’d wake up with tears streaming down my face or fright from falling off a mountain or something. Nothing  actually happened, but my body was stimulated in response to my dreams. I’d be sweaty and my heart would be racing or I’d feel a genuine sense of mourning for something that I wouldn’t even remember after lunch. Dreams have the ability to affect you on a level more basic than the intellectual level. If you can control your dreams, you can potentially control your emotional regulation. Powerful stuff.

On Hobbies and Finding Your Passion

I like the idea of being passionate about something. Having said that, I don’t really have a passion. I do have hobbies, though. For me, hobbies are something that improve the quality of my life in some way – something I can derive satisfaction from, or gain physical or mental benefits. However, they’re optional. I can do without them pretty easily, but they’re nice to have. Is it good to hit the gym? Sure, but I don’t mind skipping a day. I could sit at home and veg out or reddit all day and I would be fine. Not thrilled or anything, but my life would be adequate. Which is why I think the idea of finding my passion is so intoxicating.

When I think of passion, I think of people who are completely encompassed in their hobby to the point that it’s one of if not the main driver in their life. It’s something they actively look forward to or focus on when they wake up in the morning. For me, hobbies are something to break up the filler space while I wait to die. I don’t mean that in the sense that I’m sitting around depressed and waiting for the sweet relief of death. I’d say I’m just being pragmatic about my life in terms of time usage. After all, everyone dies one day. It’s something that you have to consider – best case scenario, you live to somewhere in the range of 70-100 and have a pretty fulfilling life. But in the present day, there are still a bunch of obligations that you have to deal with – money for rent, food, bills, that force you to get a job. You spend a large portion of the day doing something that you probably don’t (actively) enjoy to subsidize the other portions of your life. I think, if I were to die relatively soon, I wouldn’t regret the the time I allocated for my hobbies. It’s a minor pleasantry that improved my life by a marginal uptick. The alternative would’ve probably been reddit, anyways. Or sleep. Actually, I don’t allocate enough time for sleep. I wish I spent less time on reddit/other bullshit on the internet and slept more. Now I want to do a write up on sleep.