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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Imagination


Well, this post shouldn't turn out to be that long; if for nothing else, I don't have that much time for writing right now (edit: long enough...).


Imagination. Without it, humanity wouldn't be worth much. The ability of imagining is essential for several human features, such as planning, creativity, or thinking in general. To be able to process information in your mind, and even make up new possibilities that exist solely in our minds is just astounding to me. Imagining can be a way to prepare for the future, trying to think of what might happen and how to deal with that.


Aside for that, Imagining can at times fill in otherwise empty time. If you've got nothing better to do, you might every now and then find yourself thinking of pretty much random stuff, maybe even day dreaming. Fun fact, day dreaming is actually a real type of dream. This is to say, while you're day dreaming, the activity of your brain noticeably changes. It's also possible to suddenly snap out of a day dream. What I mean is, you might have gotten so into your thinking that you've almost forgot where you were and what you were doing for a while, until you realize that you were inside your own thoughts for a moment. I really should make more entries about dreaming. At least for some of you that might be quite interesting reads.


Anyway, to imagine, is important. Many people say that their imagination was so much better when they were children. In a way, I can see what they mean. On the other hand, I don't feel that way myself. I'd say that the way I imagined things was just different. It's a given that I could live into things more. Frankly, I believe this was simply because I was much less intelligent when I was a small child. You didn't understand the world the way that you do now. Most children under 10 (approximately) don't even possess the ability to philosophize properly; their brains have simply not developed enough for that to be a possibility before a certain maturity. But it's just because of that that I was able to focus so well and live into my fantasies like I can't do now; I wasn't automatically forced to see more of the overall picture, I needed but to see what I wanted to and thought was fun. I guess that's part of the reason as to why children are often called so innocent; you can't really have them take too much responsibility!


All the movies I watched, all the games I played, they seemed so much more important back then. You can't really play a game and experience it the same way you did when you were little, the big eyes watching full of wonder when you for the first time played an amazing game on a console of any kind. Of course, there's always nostalgia, or otherwise just remembering the experience, but at least for me, it never gets to be the same. They say children are easy to influence, and I guess that in many cases that is true.

Role playing was also much, much easier when I was a child. I did it long before I even knew what RPG's were, I think most children do. Often, it's simply what children do when they are playing. For a parent, it might seem like the children are just randomly running around the garden, but in reality, the kids are living in a fantasy world, running around slaying beasts, or whatever. Of course that is very generalized. For instance girls usually have other ways of playing, let's say with dolls, but that's pretty much role playing all the same. I hope that you can relate.

Be wary though. One often glorifies nostalgic memories and puts them on a pedestal, making them out to be more than what they were. But there's really not much harm to that. I guess it's one way of coping with getting older. As I said, there's nothing wrong with my imagination now, it's simply different. Sometimes though, I wish I could for once forget everything else, and in a childish way run across the streets outside playing like a maniac. If I get old enough, maybe I'll get demented enough to do that, but it's not really something I'm looking forward to.


As to having a wild imagination, I think I've still got it. Children often draw weird pictures and everyone's like "Would you look at that! A rainbow colored fish with legs, who would have thought of that if not our smart little Billy here! I'm sure he'll grow up to be a doctor!"

Well, in that case, I'm sorry to break it to you, but anyone could think of that... It's not really that difficult. I'll prove it to you! (The sad ironic reality is that the drawings I drew aren't that much better than a small child would draw them...).






Well, I guess it's a bit brutal, but I'd say it's still at least as imaginative as a child's drawing would be. This is what happens when I have religion class at school. However, the picture isn't smart in any way, it's simply random. Well, I guess you could claim it combines the symbolic of the sacrifice with that of the fish (Ichthys), but that is a bit farfetched.








Well, I drew this picture during the same course as well... I saw that some people had had to draw the way they saw God (thus funnily enough going against the second commandment, I think) during a different course, and I wanted to give it a shot, and this is how it turned out (It's naturally, only drawn as a joke). The other pictures had been hung up on the wall, so I secretly put mine there as well.





I've drawn one more picture lately (apart from art class, from which stuff might end up on this blog later), but it's not yet done.




It's a slightly more serious picture. It's basically perspective training, since my brain (or rather, I) absolutely sucks when it comes to perspectives, as many could see from just watching this picture. But it's okay; it can be quite cool when things defy the laws of physics in drawings sometimes, hence making things more abstract. That stem that can be seen through the closest plant-thingy is however, momentary. I tried to visualize the base behind it... This will be the first picture in my new dream journal. In my earlier entries I've posted some old ones.











Well, that was all for now. I hope that you'll have a good day, and I imagine you will ;)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Laziness, Boredom & Productivity



Hiya.



Several of my previous entries have been more or less serious and long, so for once I thought I should just chill out and write about nothing relevant in any way.


Lately I've been feeling kinda bored, for no apparent reason. I've also been extremely lazy, even unusually so. Normally, I at least get something done, but for the past week, I've practically laid in bed watching Dexter all my free time, instead of reading for my matriculation exam. Well, there's still plenty of time left until the first round, in my opinion, but it seems like almost everyone around me has already started, which makes me wonder if I'm putting too little serious effort into things like this. To be fair though, I'll at first only be writing English and Finnish, so there isn't that much for me to practice.


I'm pretty sure that I've watched at least three whole seasons of Dexter in the past seven days, to put my not-doing-anythingness into perspective. In average, the episodes are 50 minutes long, and there're 12 episodes every season. Hence, I've spent more than 30 hours just lying in my bed, watching a TV-series, seemingly without anything better to do, in the time of one week. Again, to be fair, I've got plenty of free time, since I don't have that many courses this period (ha-ha). The real reason for why I haven't done much anything, is naturally not that I'm inherently lazy, but because I've been bored, beyond usual measures.


I planned on writing about boredom already almost a week ago (ironically, I was just too lazy to get started, 'til now), but once again, Vsauce managed to do a video about boredom just before me. This is I think the third time he does a video about something I'm planning on covering, just before I get it done. Coincidence? (yes).

(Seriously, I'm not gonna write much about boredom in depth, just watch the video).


There are at least in my opinion, several types of boredom, and different levels of them. And right now, I've got one that has pretty much plagued my mind. I won't categorize various feelings of boredom, and I'm sure the differ slightly for everyone. But the one that haunts me at the moment is one that makes me want to do nothing at all; it practically kills my motivation. I don't really feel motivated to do anything. So the easiest thing to do was to watch Dexter (and some other online stuff) to occupy my mind. Luckily, I've got a master plan.

The plan is: watch all the Dexter episodes available, until you get that empty void inside; something that has filled your life for some time has now vanished (I hope that you know what I mean). Then, fill that void with something useful. Well, now I've watched all the episodes that I can.

What I'm going to do, is to begin reading the Game of Thrones book. I've been meaning to do so for a long time now, but there has always been something else in my way, if not only the barriers of my mind. Also, I think reading the book will be good practice for my matriculation test, in English (I'll of course read the book in its original language). I guess that writing in my blog qualifies as practice as well...



Anyway, I've noticed that between all the Dexter watching I've been doing some very weird stuff. I guess that tedium itself can be a motivator in its own way, even if it might remove ones motivation in other areas. I for one have been creating stuff I haven't made in a long time, and doing other stupid stuff. Among the more normal stuff, I baked something for the first time in quite a while. Also, I managed to get some new ideas for compositions on the piano. That I do usually as well, but this time I tried out several new things, thus breaking my normal composing habits. Still, I tend to try thinking differently in order to be more creative usually as well.

Yeah... But precisely one week ago, I was supposed to get a gift for one of my friends, for her birthday. Now I am probably the worst present buyer ever. Thus, what happened was that I went to the store, and I got this weird feeling of wanting to do something creative and utterly stupid (mostly in order to escape from my internal catalepsy). So what I did was I bought four random cheap objects, and mixed them together into one of the worst presents ever.
Because I can.







These are the four things that I bought. What remained was to combine them into a horrid monstrosity.


At first I made a ball...

My cat kinda likes the ball...


Jupp, there it is.




After that, I for no good reason put the ball inside of whatever this is, and sealed it all with a padlock. Because I can. And guess where the keys to the padlock are? Forever to remain inside of the ball. (I might or might not have had a spare key).


A bit of a neater form.



And done.

Believe it or not, but making all this took about four hours. You may say that's a waste of time, but naturally, I did all this while watching Dexter at the same time... So that's productivity for you. I've also done other weird stuff. For example, I did some finger knitting for the first time in many, many years; it was so long ago that it felt a bit nostalgic. I'm surprised that I remembered how to do it. When I was seven or so years old I used to get yarn from my grandmothers mother, in order to do some finger knitting. I believe that my record is knitting something closer to 20 meters in length. There are several ways to do finger knitting, but it's mostly meant for children, or people that are extremely bored. So I did this while watching Dexter as well.



I don't think it's that useful for anything really, but it's strong as a rope. I can assure you, without a tool like a scissor or a knife, you won't be able to break this thing. Not with pure strength. Unless you weigh a ton, this should even hold your weight, if you were hanging from somewhere.


But basically, I haven't really done anything that useful for some time though. But I should get to it sooner or later, I'm in no hurry. What I wish that I'd have done more of is writing on my book though, I haven't really done that during the summer either...






Well, I'll post the intro to a composition that I might make sometime as well... But be warned, it doesn't sound that good. For starters, I recorded it crappily, and I also ran into some technical difficulties, which makes the whole thing sound even worse. If I ever make this song, I'll redo the intro for sure, and remove that piano noise that doesn't suit at all (also, I recorded it with too little volume).

I recommend that you listen with headphones though. I experimented a bit with the panning on the flute sound in the beginning. This is to say that the sound will begin by only being heard by your left ear, only to then shift to your right ear, and then being heard by both ears. It's a quite funny effect, giving the illusion of depth. It could have been done better of course.


Light is Darkness Too - Intro (yourlisten.com)






I'm pretty sure that this is the first post that I've written in a morning.




Well, that would have to be all for this entry. I hope that it didn't bore you to death.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sympathy/Empathy



It's very difficult to write when you're listening to certain kinds of music isn't it? I would know right know... But, do you know exactly what I mean, like you were in my shoes, or do you simply feel sorry for me?

Well, I know that was dumb (But it is related to the subject at hand). Most probably, you just read that as the text it was, and didn't really feel anything at all. I hate these things that only give you limited options. Which is just what EQ tests give you.

What is EQ then? Well, we're not talking about an equalizer, but what EQ stands for in this case is Empathy Quotient.

It's a very primitive grading system, trying to calculate how high your empathic skills are. To me, it's as difficult to grade as it is difficult trying to figure out if you're more happy now than you were sad the last time you didn't feel so well; It's possible to some extent, but it's not really something you can get accurate results from. Sometimes it feels like the people of today try to categorize pretty much everything, no matter how unnecessary it might be.

IQ, I can still understand to some extent, especially the origins of it, but even that is taken far too seriously. It feels a bit like people are sometimes missing the point (in general, I mean; no specific point...)


I don't really want to imagine a society, where everyone has to take an EQ test, and you're judged based on your results, making it difficult to achieve some jobs and stuff...

Okay... I'm not being that honest. Actually I'm not even interested in this EQ thing, and the tests can very well exist in my eyes. I just don't think you should take them all too seriously, as with most other survey thingies as well. I just decided to write a random introduction relating to the subject of empathy and sympathy.



There are several definitions of the words, trying to explain their differences. But many of them are in conflict, which is a bit interesting, in my opinion at least. Some people even believe that the words are synonyms. Nothing wrong with that really, if you haven't heard of them being different before, but the difference is of somewhat large importance.

Well, I'm not going to define the words exactly either, since apparently people have too different opinions of what they mean (if you try googling it). But basically, they are both feelings, felt towards another person, or why not several people, or in some cases even animals.

Let's begin with sympathy. There are several uses for that word as well. But basically, if you sympathize with someone, you recognize that there is something that isn't positive that they feel, but you can't really feel the same exact emotion yourself, or even understand all the factors to how they are feeling either. Simply put, you can feel sorry for a person, or even pity them. In most cases, sympathy would be what you feel when you see a homeless person or a beggar, lying on the ground, let's say in a marketplace. That is, you wouldn't really know what it would be like to be in their position, but you realize that they are not the happiest people around.


Then, there is empathy. It's closely related to sympathy, but isn't really the same thing. Having good empathic skills, means that you're good at feeling the same things as, or at least recognizing the feelings in a fellow being (mostly human). That is to say, you can basically feel as if you were in another person's shoes.
Empathy is what you'd often feel if someone is currently going through something that you're going trough at the same time, or have gone through earlier. Let's say that you've lost a close relative at some point in your life, and now one of your friends has done so as well. If you're somewhat similar people concerning your reactions and feelings, now's probably whey you would empathize with that person.


Those are pretty much the major differences, but one could discuss the definitions and different examples for eternity.


But as I said, levels of empathic ability cannot really be accurately measured, and I hope that I don't need to explain why, since that would take forever (my brain feels up for the task already, but I'm getting my drivers license tomorrow [hopefully], so I really should focus on getting some sleep instead).


Arrrgghhhhh!!!! I could write so much on this subject, but I don't have enough time... I might return to it later at some point. I've basically touched upon it in an earlier post once before already, when I spoke of being on the same wavelength; rapport.



(Magical jump transition, totally ignoring that side note)



But the sad thing is, no matter how empathic of a creature you are, you can never feel the exact same as some other person does, there are simply too many factors involved. There is really an infinite amount of feelings, but as I said, we humans apparently like to simplify things, by categorizing them, thus making their basics easier to see. You can say that you feel happy, and you might really feel happy as well. But you can feel happy in a BILLION (okay, that's under exaggerating it) different ways. Every feeling of emotion, is specific to your current situation in life. Granted, many feelings of happiness are inseparably similar, so close to each other that their difference is insignificant, but it's there. A bit like colors, really. There is an infinite amount of colors as well. Sure, there is a certain limitation to the amount of colors that humans can separate from one another, but even the amount of colors in the human visual spectrum is ridiculously huge.
Well, I'm not the first one to compare human emotions to colors, but the point is: No matter how good your empathic skills are, you can never feel the exact thing as someone else does. Even in your pure core, your bodies and brains are different.

Am I the only one who has wondered how it would feel like for someone else if they would feel the same pain as I do when I accidentally hurt myself? Would it hurt them as much, less, or more, depending on the person? Probably... Yes, I am the only one. And that is not even measurable. I should delete this whole paragraph, but I'll leave it here for your amusement.


What I was actually trying to say, is that it's a shame that we're stuck to our own experiences, and the way we feel. No matter how social we are, we are alone.

If you're short, you'll never really know how it feels like to be tall. You can logically think about all the factors, or compare it to other similar things (which can be a very effective method to coming close, as I'm sure you already know), and try to put yourself in a tall persons shoes. But no matter how close you come, you'll never quite be there (I can already hear some smartass thinking: "well what if that person was a kid, and he eventually grows up to become tall"... Very clever, but missing the point).

I just thought of a better example, so HA! (yes, I'm basically talking to myself via text, officially).


I'm pretty sure that most people have thought about this at least once. No matter how much you try to empathize, you can't really know how it feels like for the opposite sex to have sexual intercourse (actually, you wouldn't really know exactly what it feels like for someone of the same sex either, but you'd probably come much much closer to guessing correctly).  And yes, I know this isn't really what empathy is all about... It's about emotional feels, not physical. Still, they are also very connected.


But it's a shame that you can't see things from other peoples' eyes; you can't think like other peoples' brains do. You're stuck with yourself. You can't even (at least as far as we know as of yet) prove that my "green", is the same as your green. It would be pretty darn interesting to be another person for a day or so. Who would you like to live as, or would you be too afraid to try? There are certain things out of human grasp...


Your reality is also limited to what your senses tell you. You only know reality as you see it with your own eyes, but there's always a lot more to it. You can also calculate, and see new things using this new trendy thing called "science", which is probably the main reason as to why it's such a popular method to go around things. You don't need to guess that the Rain God must be angry when it's raining, but you can know what causes the rain instead, without any real need to experience the truth with your own senses.

But people are still skeptical, and sometimes with a right to be so, even towards "proven things". People often have difficulty to trust others to such an extent that they'd abandon logic just to believe you. Jesus must have been a mastermind at seeing the opposite get done... No but really, many want to "see it with their own eyes".


But still, your reality is bound to what your senses tell you. I'm pretty sure that platypi (platupuses) can feel some kind of an electromagnetic force. That is to say, they have a sixth sense. But what if you suddenly got a new sense? (well, technically humans already have lots more senses than five, but you get what I'm saying). Your perception of reality would probably change drastically, since you'd be able to recognize all these new things. And that's just it. Different perceptions.


It would be awesome to perceive the world as someone else. But since you can't do that, you have to turn to alternatives. The closest thing you can come to seeing things like others, is to really try understanding them. And to be able to do this, it really helps to have a good sense of empathy. Not sympathy, but empathy.

To be able to do all this, you need to discuss with other people, and often you need to be very close. It helps to have known people for a very long time. You automatically see things more like they do, since you've been in the same environment for a long time.

But even if you can have no close discussions with anyone, you could always do things like reading (why not this blog ;)? ), if you want to gain new perspectives.




















What is this? Well, I felt like posting some kind of a picture today, and I was lazy. So I made this. And it correlates to the subject!





What is this, you might ask? Well, it's something completely normal, seen from a different perspective. Everything has potential to become much more interesting when seen from a new viewpoint.






Okay... You got me... I lied again. That thing about correlating to the subject was a lie (I made that up on after hand). Actually I just wanted to photograph something with the negative effect. You, who know more than me, educate me: How does that negative scale thing work, really? Is it just opposite colors in some way or what? I'm too lazy to research it (I hate it how you can't really say "jag orkar inte" in a good way in English -_-) myself right now, but I think I will do so later.



Light looks really cool when you take pictures in the same way! I like darkness so, what can I say...










And thus I have a new song title! (I just have to compose the song). "Light is Darkness Too".


Yupp... I'll try to make that song sometime... I think...











That'd be about it for now!

Have fun : D !