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Comment by anomier on Roommate interest and coordination thread · 2013-04-08T19:32:59.768Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I live in the Bay Area, and am looking for a room.

I would like to improve my psychological environment.

Comment by anomier on How to Be Happy · 2013-04-08T16:42:44.989Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

#Wasted Effort

I'm not sure if this is the best place to post this, but I did not find any others.

I have created an account here to seek some help, since this seems like a more thoughtful, hesitant environment than most.

Recently, I have come to a bit of an existential crisis. It is likely a product of the Existential Angst Factory. It sounds like a plot to a shitty romantic comedy, and I would laugh if it weren't that it was happening to me. I fell in love, to the extent that I can define idea, with my housemate's live-in "fuck buddy" in whom he was not, professedly, romantically interested. She was also quite enamoured of me, it seemed, until learning of how hard intimacy is for me, and how inexperienced in relationships I am. That, and I think, though she will not admit it to herself, she would rather deal with someone more socialized. She seems to still think of me as a friend, though I still hold out hope of perhaps winning her to me. There are a few more odd coincidences to do with this which increase its humor factor, but I will omit them in the interest of brevity.

Regardless of its source, this anxiety has, rightly, caused me to examine my values, and whether and how what I do, prefer, and believe relate to them. Achieving a sort of mild contentment seems easy enough. Do I value happiness? If not fundamentally, and happiness is extrinsic, does it increase my ability to achieve what I do, in fact, value? What, outside of all towards which reason, intuition, and feeling point, does my sentiment prefer? Is it even worth asking these questions? The fourth paragraph from the bottom of The Moral Void fits well enough.

I have been in and out of school for computer science since the age of 18, and have accomplished little toward my "dreams," such as founding a bioinformatics quasi-religious cult, whose feasibility and value I now question.

I have the ability to self-discipline, maintain a high level of extroversion, and exercise creative "outlets" of music and writing. However, my demonstrated mastery over akrasia vanishes under severe uncertainty. It is hard to exercise willpower when I do not trust my will. My estimate for the probability of my work paying off in increased satisfaction or accomplishment of any of my best aims, lacking clues to what they are beyond general self-improvement as preparation for their discovery, has dropped below a level I can tolerate.

I would trust my intuition, but, having been ignored for so long, it has become unhealthy. Normal people have suggestions to themselves of "Hey, why don't I go for a stroll," where mine have such desperate themes as, "Hey, why don't I climb to the top of the roof and yodel for a while? That could be fun." "Have a problem paying the rent? Why not just leave for a squat in an abandoned building? It would save money." A tendency to "break the rules" in the creative decision making process has led to a bias to go against any bias, until my intuition has become confused.

There are many other avenues of self-support open to me, like working as a waiter, selling drugs, and many others which I have likely not considered. An contrarian intolerance for arbitrary authority has led me to suspect that I might enjoy a career in organized crime.

Applying a "recursive why" algorithm to these problems has resulted in self doubt, a hall of mirrors, dread, indecision, and, in the areas affected by that indecision, that is, all those aside from the basic maintenance of hygiene, diet, physical fitness, and intellect, complete uncertainty.

The last time this happened, I simply postponed the creation due to time constraints. I cannot do that again, though, not if it means that I end up wasting another seven years.

Anyway, the latest decision is about whether to drop my schooling.

My SAT scores were 800 in critical reading, and 630 in mathematics, which, though it may not matter much, reflect my interests.

So, here I am, in the middle of a semester of Linear Algebra and a second-semester physics course, having never coded a professionally useful piece of code before, wondering if I'm even cut out for the field of computer science, or if I ever really have been, beyond a vague sense that a non-technical field was a dead end in the making. I am ready to call my professors, drop the courses, and cease my 60 hour week of work and school before I run it into the ground, which I may already have done. I am stuck with a serious scope problem, of the level of complexity that does not seem to admit of calculation. I can't seem to trust, or even know my intuition. If any of the more knowledgeable among you know of any well-proved technique for dealing with this sort of destructive introspection, I would hear it.