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 The low after the high

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Vito

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Location : Earth
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: The low after the high   Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:29 am

I solve problems for a living...well, not so much problems as puzzles — figuring out how things work, and sometimes how to make things work that have never existed before. It often involves creating order out of chaos...or perhaps more precisely, finding the order that's already there (potentially), and separating it from the noise and entropy and chaos that masks it.

It takes intense focus...so much that even the slightest interruption is a shock. I hate the phone, so I turn it off. Mail is a nuisance from hell. All that matters is finding the answer, solving the puzzle, figuring out how it all works, or how to make it work.

And then suddenly, it's done. Often there's a feeling of elation, but then..."Now what?" That level of intense focus must produce a neurochemical state that's almost like an addiction. If I don't have something else to plunge myself into, I crash. Happens every time. Meditation helps, but it doesn't satiate the need to create.

Thankfully there's music. It's a different kind of creating order from chaos, but it lets the right brain take the lead for a while. If it weren't for that, I'd prolly go nuts.  

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Sean68

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Age : 49
Location : Berea, Kentucky
Registration date : 2012-06-21

PostSubject: Re: The low after the high   Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:44 am

Sir,

I have always envied those who have this sort of mind. I understand the low, but those highs must be fantastic.

My mind is prone to emotion and daydreaming. I think in fantasies and fairy tales. My my wanders far more than my body.

I greatly enjoy intellectual conversation (and I do have a Master's degree so I am no idiot) but I seem to require outside stimulation to make it work.

I enjoyed how you articulated your thoughts in this post. Please keep solving the problems us daydreamers create.

Sean
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Carlos
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Age : 60
Location : Chestnut, IL
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: The low after the high   Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:57 am

They've probably created some "ism" for that.

Wink 

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"Never turn your back on a Breen".
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: The low after the high   Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:27 am

I'm not a highly educated man, no degrees, not even a diploma. But, since I was a small child I had the urge to find out made things tick. As I got older I found myself repairing things or at least trying with a good track record in succeeding. For the last 45 years I self taught myself electrical and mechanical repair, even took a course in electronics to get a CET. I've concentrated my work on old and sometimes antique mechanical and electrical items, repairing and restoring. Though it's hard for me nowadays because of my condition I find if I'm not out in the shop trying to solve a problem (repairing) an item and nowadays it can be anything, even a broken pipe. I slip into a sort of depression and not want to do anything. I was very hyperactive when I was younger and right up to my late forties. I may still be but, the ole body doesn't want or let me. But, I think I understand and may experience the same as you just on a different level. We need to keep our minds busy. With me I need my mind and hands busy. It's sort of an exercise for the soul and body.
Exercise has proven to effect our state of mind, so it only stands to reason that exercise for the mind does the same.
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Fazby

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Age : 60
Location : Chicago area
Registration date : 2010-04-22

PostSubject: Re: The low after the high   Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:06 pm

Sounds like the same problem Sherlock Holmes had.  Please, do not apply the needle with the 7% solution.

May I recommend some chess puzzles?  There are lots of books of those.  Some are short and sweet; others will (as the are designed) twist your brain.

I also enjoy cryptic crossword puzzles. Usually British, the Sun, and the Telegraph are doable once you get used to them. Those that can do the one form the Times, I salute!

Both lend themselves to solitude and a pipe.
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Vito

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PostSubject: Re: The low after the high   Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:09 pm

You're probably right Carlos...they have an "ism" for everything. Wink

The thing is, I don't think there's anything unique about the experience I described in my OP. Maybe the kind of work I do is unusual, but big deal...anyone can get completely immersed in something. All it takes is the ability to hyper-focus. That's the reason I posted about it...on the chance that someone else can relate.

Brother Cartaphilus probably nailed it:

Cartaphilus wrote:
...I think I understand and may experience the same as you just on a different level. We need to keep our minds busy. With me I need my mind and hands busy. It's sort of an exercise for the soul and body.

Makes sense to me. It sure fits with my own experience.

Sean68 wrote:
My mind is prone to emotion and daydreaming. I think in fantasies and fairy tales.

But that's a good thing, Sean...or it can be. It's the mark of a creative mind. Couple that with a passion to create certain things, and there's no telling what you can imagine into existence.

I solve a lot of problems that way. I'll be sitting there, apparently doing nothing, but if you were to ask me, "What're you doing, Vito?", I'd have to yank myself away from whatever I'm thinking about and say, "Huh...? I'm working." Or playing. I'm not sure there's really any difference...or at least that there should be any difference.

Anyhow, for me, the lows show up when I start focusing on "myself". I don't know whether that makes any sense to anyone else, but I've made the observation so many times that it's no longer a hypothesis. It's a fact: The path to the Dark Side starts with thinking about "myself".

I put "myself" in quotation marks because, as far as I can tell, the self is The Great Fiction — more precisely, the ego is a fiction...the thing we think others think we are. In other words, it's an opinion about what other people's opinion is. When you see it in that light, it doesn't seem very substantial...and it's not. Yet, the way we humanoids are wired, it's apparently a very big deal. It causes an awful lot of trouble.

If I had my druthers, I'd just as soon make do with a lot less of it. I think that's at least part of the reason why many of us are a lot happier when our minds and/or bodies are engaged with something that takes all or most of our focus...no matter what it is. Maybe it keeps us from focusing on The Great Fiction.  

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Richard Burley

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Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: The low after the high   Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:36 pm

Vito, your penultimate paragraph above is interesting and has aroused my curiosity. You have described what Ayn Rand called second-handism, or social metaphysics. Please tell me you have never read "The Fountainhead." You're too intelligent to have missed the point, if you have indeed read it. Just curious.
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Vito

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PostSubject: Re: The low after the high   Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:53 pm

Fazby wrote:
Sounds like the same problem Sherlock Holmes had.  Please, do not apply the needle with the 7% solution...

There's no danger of that, amigo. That particular "solution" isn't a solution to anything. No

Richard Burley wrote:
Vito, your penultimate paragraph above is interesting and has aroused my curiosity. You have described what Ayn Rand called second-handism, or social metaphysics. Please tell me you have never read "The Fountainhead." You're too intelligent to have missed the point, if you have indeed read it. Just curious.

Richard:

I read The Fountainhead once, 34 years ago. I read two others by Ayn Rand in the same time period — Atlas Shrugged, and Anthem. It was a long time ago, and I don't remember a great deal of what I read. I expect that I assimilated those things I found useful, but remoteness dilution has set in, and I'd be hard pressed to identify exactly what the extent of those influences is.

There are certain things about Ayn Rand's philosophy that I found compelling, perhaps even irrefutable. But her obsession with "objectivism" isn't one of them. Objectivism is impossible for beings whose consciousness is entirely subjective. We can minimize the degree to which our intrinsic subjectivism influences our choices, but the notion that we can ever be completely "objective" about anything is a fundamental epistemological fallacy.

Nevertheless, Ayn Rand’s analysis of "second-handers" is spot on. They have the kind of ego I was referring to in my last post, not the kind of ego that she means when she talks about "the egoism of achievement". As I recall, second-handers (by definition) don't achieve anything original or innovative.

They're like politicians, most of whom pretend to be "leaders". They find out what other people want to hear, what other people approve of, and then position themselves according to the polls. They're followers, not leaders. They know how to win elections, but they don't know the first thing about actually solving problems. In fact, they don't even know how to define the problem. If they did, they'd know they're part of it.

BTW, the subject of "ego" just goes to show the importance of defining one's terms. Obviously, Ayn Rand and I use the word ego differently. Neither definition is "right". If one is going to communicate, the important thing is knowing how we each define our terms, not insisting that we define them in a certain way. It just happens to be easier when we use the same definitions. Anyhow, I suppose there's room for different kinds of ego, as long as we know what kind we're talking about.

I know someone who maps ego on a Cartesian coordinate system. The [+,+] quadrant is probably the kind of ego Ayn Rand is talking about; having a positive opinion of oneself for rational reasons...based on actual achievement. The [–,+] quadrant is having a negative opinion of oneself for good reason. The [–,–] quadrant characterizes those who have a negative self-opinion for the wrong reasons, and the [+,–] quadrant is where most of the trouble comes from — people who have a high opinion of themselves for completely false reasons. I suspect that the second-handers reside there.

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Kyle Weiss

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Location : Reno, NV
Registration date : 2011-09-18

PostSubject: Re: The low after the high   Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:10 pm

Veet, your first post summed much up for me and my days.

Though for me, I'm engrossed in focus much of the time (days without sleep, if I'm unlucky), the world could end and I wouldn't notice. Laughing Distraction isn't a problem, balance and disorientation in life, well...that's another matter.

Use what works, warts and all, I suppose.

A Rand fan (if not in partial disagreement as well), I see "objectivism" as being a worthwhile, yet impossible, goal. It's like perfection. We use it as a mantra (maybe that's just me) but being real while in the midst of it, we realize "satisfaction" is the next step down--some of us, yes, like me, struggle with even that bar, so...there it is. There's being wholly objective without the consideration of subjectivity, and that seems unnatural in my realm. Multitools are great, but still can't do it all any more than a just a hammer.

"The Virtue of Selfishness" probably captured my pondering and imagination more than any of Rand's works. Ironic, this day and age, how an interesting view can go so terribly wrong. Laughing It was the first time I realized what "independence" really meant.

Meh. Short words for long concepts.



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