Jambo! My oh my have I neglected to write these posts. My glorious vision for XFA was to write a post every single night. Well, guess what. That didn’t work. It turns out life takes time.
It’s truly been a minute since I scratched the metaphorical nub across this metaphorical piece of parchment. What has happened during that time, you ask? Well, non-existent reader, I had various emotional nadirs.
But before that, why did I name this post the way I did? Because, gentlemen and female gentlemen, I am stream of conscious-ing this post like I have never done before. Some of you particularly befuddled readers are probably wondering what the rest of this flippin’ site is if not for a stream of conscious montage, and to that I can say…nothing. You would be absolutely correct.
Who cares? I have a difficult time believing anyone does, so onward to glory, to victory, to death, and the grave (that’s for you Dr. Ridings).
Oh gosh. There is so much coursing through my mind-icles right now. WHERE DO I BEGIN. Oh I know.
So I decided that my life isn’t nearly busy enough, so I have taken on a super-secret project. The person with whom I am working on this particular project wishes that I keep everything hush hush, so to honor her wishes, I won’t divulge any juicy details.
What I will say, however, is that it involves building an app. FRIK YEA. Ya boi ex fizz has been looking to get into the app dev business for a couple and half minutes or three. At one point in high school, I very unsuccessfully tried to start building Android Apps using Android Studio, but that was a cataclysmic failure, mostly cause I didn’t really know Java at the time.
If any of you reading this are actually app developers, you are probably shaking your slimy heads and grinding your moldy teeth because I’m so behind the times. Yes, I know FB released React Native 4 years ago. Whatever. I don’t care about you haters. Let your boi enjoy the wonders of React Native in peace, OK?
The rest of you probably have literally no idea what the flip shack frack I’m talking about. Look at me go: in one simple paragraph I have lost the attention or respect of app developers and non-app developers alike. For those of you keeping score, that partition of humanity is in fact the entirety of humanity. I guess I’ll just be lonely. I am, after all, alone in my room, typing away at a blog post that very few of my friends will ever read. Ha. Life is just the funniest thing.
Any discussion of my current loneliness provides a wonderful Segway to my next topic: mental health! Oh boy! Because I know the internet is a trustworthy place full of caring, loving individuals, its time to get personal. I, Daniel Matthias Jehoshaphat Geisz, am going to a therapist this Thursday. Apparently, there’s some sort of stigma associated with therapy, but I think I have done such a tremendously laudable job distancing myself from the rest of humanity that I feel rather immune to societal judgement. That is, of course, until someone judges me to my face. Then I’ll just wilt away like a dainty lil’ fuchsia under the gales of a Missouri storm.
Why am I going to a therapist? Well, I suppose that is the question. Many people throughout my life have told me I should see a therapist. Actually, in retrospect, maybe I should have taken offense at that. Eh, who cares. Life is too short to be offended. And, I mean, maybe they were right.
The real reason I’m going to the therapist is because, for a variety of reasons, I took Berkeley’s online screening for bipolar, and my test answers were very consistent with someone who has bipolar. Now then, do I think I think I have a serious case of bipolar? Absolutely not. I happen to know someone with this condition, and I cannot even begin to imagine what bad bipolar is actually like. Be that as it may, I suppose the narcissistic side of me is quite interested in talking to someone about myself and seeing what they have to say. Hopefully it will be…therapeutic. Ha.
I have been quite emotional lately. I suppose now is as good a time as ever to discuss that in some level of detail. Those of you who know me (let’s see, that’s all of you) will probably know that I was raised in a Christian household by my truly wonderful Christian parents, and that I took Christianity very seriously my entire life. My childhood essentially had the effect of baking in a belief in God to my very existence. With this belief in God came a certain belief in the afterlife. Regardless of whether I made it to Heaven or Hell, I was guaranteed existence after death.
Now then, even though I logically decided two months ago that I do not believe in Christianity, my body basically still did. What I mean by that is that for 20 years I became so used to believing in Christianity that my brain wasn’t really emotionally ready to accept my decision, and so I’ve basically been subconsciously believing in the afterlife for these last two months, even though I logically don’t believe in anything.
This all changed this last week, however. My brain was finally ready to accept my change in beliefs, and for the first time, I was forced to emotionally reconcile with the notion that this life might be the only life I get. For those of you out there who don’t believe in the afterlife, this realization is old hat for you. For me however, I was basically stripped of the emotional security I have been carrying with me for 20 years.
Normally, I try not to be too dramatic about my personal problems because that’s literally so annoying, but honestly who the hell is actually reading this? I don’t think I’m going to publicize this post, so I think it’s safe to say it’s going to get about zero views.
To that end, stripping is terrifying. No one likes to strip, particularly when it’s the metaphorical stripping of emotional security. Basically, I was frickin terrified of the future. For those of you fluent in the enneagram, I’m pretty sure I’m a 6, and 6s really don’t like it when you take security away from then.
But, blessed readers, I emerged from that gauntlet like the offspring of a hippocampus and a griffin. The fear of what’s to come has been crippling me…So to your silhouette I turn once more. Gotta love Mumford and Sons. Anyhooooo, this minor emotional setback has really driven home the importance of living in the moment and enjoying the present. Wow I’m original. Slap that on a building and call it a plaque.
Well now. I think that’s enough stream of conscious for one night. I’ve been trying to get to bed earlier anyway, so tonight’s going to be a win, win, win. A phat W, if you will. An upside-down M, if you won’t.
Best of luck with all your endeavors, and may no goblins attempt to lick your pinky toes.
What is poppin’ my bois? (Using, of course, the gender-neutral b-o-i spelling). I’m currently sitting in DIA, which, as I have been recently informed, is a haven of conspiracy and dark secrets. As I’m sure many of you cultured readers are aware, there’s a statue of an angry looking blue horse outside the airport that has actually killed someone. Spooky stuff, my friends.
Now then, allow me to jump right in. I was watching YouTube the other day when an ad came up featuring a musical artist who was talking about her work. She presumably has some level of fame, but I had certainly never heard of her before. The last thing she said before I swiftly and mercilessly skipped the ad is that her work is incredibly important to her because it gives her a platform to talk about her anxiety and depression. To be perfectly frank, blessed reader, when I heard that, I didn’t find myself to be sympathetic towards this artist. I was honestly super bored with everything she was saying.
A case can always be made that I’m just an emotionless unsympathetic wench. Perhaps I am. I think the better case to be made is that I’m a machine who’s more interested in code than some people’s lives. I think I could probably build a strong case against that, but that’s for another time.
Regardless of my potential sociopathisms, I found it quite interesting that my first response to this artist’s video was boredom. I’m of the opinion that mental health issues/depression/anxiety are incredibly important issues plaguing our society, and I don’t want anyone to get the idea that I’m trying to minimize their importance. For those of you thorough readers who have read the “About” page, you will know that I myself am prone to depressive thought patterns if I am not careful. So then, why was I bored by the artist?
To answer this question, I retreated deep within myself to have a quick conversation with my emotions. These conversations tend to be quite violent, overly anthropomorphized, and altogether unstructured, so I will leave out the details of this particular interaction. The general consensus among my emotions, however, was that I found the artist to be boring because it seems like every artist and their mother are all talking/singing/writing/dreaming about anxiety and depression. It just so happens that one of my favorite albums is about depression. Incidentally, that is also my favorite album within which to engulf myself when I (even I, rumored to be sociopathic, asexual, machine-like) am depressed.
Upon having this (incredibly straightforward) revelation, I began thinking in my brainicles about why it seems depression and anxiety are all the rage in pop culture. After doing some light thinking on the subject, I have formulated a hypothesis. For those of you nerdy or aggressively legalistic readers, no, I haven’t formalized any of these claims, and as previously stated, this is only a hypothesis. If you disagree with me or have a different opinion, please feel free to drop a hot comment down below. You are then urged to ring the bell, like this video, and subscribe to my channel.
My hypothesis is built upon four of my personal observations. My first observation is that the average human is hardwired to seek out and be fulfilled by interaction with other humans. As a sub-observation, I have found that I’m prone to my greatest fits of anxiety and depression when I am isolated (either by accident, or by my own doing) from other people. My second observation is that human interaction is difficult. Not only does it take planning and time, but I personally tend to feel some level of discomfort during most of my conversations. My third observation is that literally everyone around me is constantly on their phone. I realize this implies that I live in an area where everyone has the economic means to possess a smartphone, but regardless of wealth, I have found any exceptions to this to be the statistical outlier. My fourth observation is that social media is a frackin’ drug. Throughout my life, I have rarely posted on social media, but whenever I have, I get an unreasonable amount of satisfaction and pleasure when people like something I’ve posted. And if someone comments on one of my posts? Goodness me, the feeling is ecstasy! During my time on social media, I have found that I am frequently overtaken by the desire to open my insta, regardless of whether I would visually intake some dank, dank memes or photoshopped pictures of attractive human beings or videos of Fabio Wibmer being the most epic human to walk the Earth.
Now then, I will take these observations as temporary axioms, and I’m going to paint you the word picture that is my hypothesis. Basically, before phones, people felt the compulsion to interact with each other, and so they would overcome the discomfort associated with human interaction, and just talked to each other. Once my boi Zuckerberg came around, people suddenly realized, “OMG I can, like, talk to all my friends and post about my life on the internet! Now I don’t need to constantly be with people to interact with them! Yaaaaas!” This seemingly innocent desire almost immediately gave way to a deeper subconscious realization: “Wait hold on. Now I can spend time making everything I put on the internet perfect. Also, I can say whatever I want because the people I’m interacting with can’t actually hurt me, right?” And so, through digital media, humanity found a way to temporarily fill its desire for human interaction, and my oh my did it feel good. What an amazing feeling it is to know both the people you know and don’t know like something you’ve created. Amazing how that can quench your fundamental anxieties and give you a feeling of superhuman pleasure. And better yet, you can achieve this without putting a toxic chemical into your body! What a wonderful creation.
And so the world fell prey to this digital drug. This wouldn’t really have been a problem if social media was a perfect substitution for regular human interaction. Unfortunately, it isn’t. I can’t give you a definite reason why it isn’t, but I doubt many of you would disagree. And so, the fundamental issue with social media is the following: it gives the temporary impression of filling our fundamental desire for human interaction, but it doesn’t actually. What is it called when you want human interaction, and you don’t have it? Loneliness. So basically, social media creates a population of people who think they aren’t lonely but actually, fundamentally are.
This really isn’t groundbreaking stuff. I’m simply attempting to formalize the loose thoughts cascading around my psyche. Now then, what are the fruits of loneliness? You guessed it! Depression and anxiety. Given that the average modern artist relies on social media to market themselves, it really is no wonder they all are writing about how depressed they are. However, there is even a better explanation for this phenomenon. Talking about depression and anxiety is a remarkably effective way to garner sympathy from the masses. Anyone who doesn’t take mental health seriously and makes their views public is at high risk of large-scale public shunning, so there are incentives for even the people who don’t give a snort about mental health to pretend like they do. And what does sympathy do? It promotes the sharing of deep emotions which furthermore promotes more natural human interaction.
So then, this hypothesis is centered around the notion that your average population of humans are desperately striving for meaningful interaction, but through a twisted play on the human being’s natural fears and desires, people have been diverted from natural interaction by social media.
It appears as though I’m about to hit 5 pages (I’m of course typing in Word, with standard margins and font), so I feel as though I ought to wrap this pupper up. One last tidbit, if you will. At the end of the day, social media really ought to be thought of as the tool. I, for instance, am shamelessly using it to try to increase the number of people exposed to my incalculably vast stores of wisdom that have come through my many long decades of life. However, best to not let the hammer be the one calling the shots, don’t ya think?
What a faux ominous title! The title of this post could easily be the title of a grade school book series, like The Boxcar Children, or The Magic Treehouse books. As much as I hate to miss the opportunity to take us all back on a jaunt down memory lane where we could all reminisce about pre-prepubescent times, I do have a purpose behind the bland title.
I was in the car today with my father, two brothers, and my mother, and as one typically does while in a car, we were driving from one location to another. The nature of the two locations will be omitted for the safety of everyone in the vehicle. During the drive, my father and younger brother engaged in a conversation about afternoon plans. The nature of the conversation was such that at one point my father stated, “Some people devote their entire lives to being fans of professional sports teams.” The rest of the conversation is irrelevant in this context, but that one statement awakened something deep within me quite familiar but that had long been asleep.
The something that awakened was an acute feeling of one very specific fear: the fear that I may end up living a meaningless, unproductive existence. This fear is particularly dangerous for two reasons:
What is the point of this loosely logical discussion, you might ask? Well, as I was returning a ski boot rental today, I was able to identify the highly unconformable feeling that had plagued me since the comment my father made as this specific type of fear. Once I had done this, I came to a sudden realization. Fear is itself a manifestation of our inability to confidently know the future. If you knew the future, there would be nothing of which to be afraid. Perhaps if you had knowledge of some highly unfortunate or painful event that would occur in the future, you would have reason to be anxious or filled with dread, but there would be no reason to be afraid.
So then, as I pulled away from the ski shop, I understood that my feeling of existential discomfort stemmed from my compulsion to control my future.
But, my dearest of readers, we don’t control the future. All we can do is decide what to do in the present moment. Perhaps I may someday live a life that some might consider meaningless. That is a probably a definite possibility. However, when I arrived home, I decided to continue working on the XFA site. I figured out how to incorporate markdown into my posts, which will allow me to easily insert pictures and media into XFA entries. That certainly filled me with a level of irrational glee.
Tomorrow, I will likely finish my work on the XFA files. I simply need to add some pretentious pictures of myself and a schmeagy bio section, but then I’ll be ready to send that bad boy off to a server. And then, treasured reader, you’ll be able to read what I write.
This week I will also need to read through the material about quark gluon plasmas and relativistic collisions I was given in preparation for the research project I will be carrying out this semester. I will also begin work on Orchid, which is all works according to plan (which it won’t) will allow us to finally be able to digitize mathematics.
If nothing else, my friend, remember that life is the gift. Our ability to interact with reality in each present moment is intrinsically precious, and ought to be treated as such.