Once In A Blue Moon

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  1. Once In A Blue Moon

    Loss of Hope

    Breaks help; be it from the internet or the business of normal life. I remember finding university very intense, so a few weeks to decompress should really help. My suggestion would be to start putting together a reading / watch / listen list of stuff you've been meaning to get around to; spending some time on a little light planning might help a bit in the meantime (or it might not.) It's interesting that you seem to be highly analytical of your shortcomings; I've seen plenty of people criticise themselves (myself included), but looking into the science behind why you buy is good... to a point. I'd suggest two actions: 1. Find another source of dopamine. Exercise is supposed to be quite good for that, but it's hardly the only source. Gambling is infamously destructive, and I wouldn't suggest that, but I have found a nifty way around that in Roleplaying Games. A beloved character running a blockade with a starship packed with black-market weaponry in search of a big pay day was a huge adrenaline rush, as was exchanging laser fire with pursuing mobsters in a grav-truck as they tried to escape with a shipment of stolen medicine. It's gambling with the life of the character, but if you're invested that's quite a big stake with no financial or health implications if you lose it. 2. Try not to solve everything. Accepting that you aren't perfect and will act in sub-optimal ways for the sake of your mental health is important; recognise that you only have limited capacity for problem solving (and for acting on those solutions) and target it where it will achieve best effect. Willpower can be viewed as a resource*, so if you can't find the will to do everything then prioritise and see if you can do the things that you think matter most. I can identify with the anxiety issue - thankfully I've found the workplace induces far less anxiety in me than academia, but whilst I was studying for my degree it was quite rough. It was fear of the consequences of failure rather than failure itself that tended to get to me, which spurred countless contingency plans and a deep knowledge of pass / fail thresholds and fallback mechanisms for failed exams. I found cooking helped me relax; I'd put on a comedy podcast and spend the next 30 minutes not thinking about what happened next or what I should do. Scheduled distractions calibrated to make you focus on the task (cooking) and the environment (comedy podcast) rather than planning is the more generalised form of that solution; I couldn't think about anything else because all of my brain was already focused on one task or another, and that gave it the break it needed. With regards to worrying about the world, politics and all that... I'm not going to lie and say that there aren't worrying things happening, but you can't take all that on yourself. What you expect from yourself is something you'll need to work out yourself, but with your current resources and influence you shouldn't expect yourself to have the grand strategic overview of the world and what course should be set through the storms and obstacles facing your country and your world^. It also looks like you've only had a particular economic viewpoint - there are other schools of economic thought that suggest that spending on benefits can pay off in the medium and long term. For example, if a few hundred dollars of unemployment benefits can prevent someone turning to crime, and so avoiding the damage their crime causes and the expense of incarcerating them, then that has saved the government and society money despite the initial outlay. Now I don't pretend to know which one is right (I'm a statistician, not an economist), but it is worth understanding the other viewpoints and the case studies their supporters use to support their positions. I'd suggest a rather good podcast called 'Economics with subtitles', which goes through current events and examines them commentary for non-economists - one example they look at is the link between fertility and inflation in Venezuela, which is an excellent example of how interconnected the market and society are. That... was a bit longer than I originally intended. Ho hum. Also... errm... *it's an imperfect model, but one I find easy to work with. I've also heard it explained as 'like a muscle' - so exercise is good, but you can push too hard and damage it. ^it's worth noting that whilst having the broader perspective is useful, having a detailed understanding of what and how the current situation applies to you is what will allow you to maximise your impact. Certainly I see this in the workplace - I don't see the big picture in the way the senior management do, but I have a good knowledge of my area and have been able to suggest improvements to it to my manager. They then made the judgement on whether that fitted with the overall goal or not, and as I have faith in their competence I accept when they reject my ideas.
  2. I have just learnt what the romanisation of Russian for 'Channel One' is. 

    That I found it rather amusing and possibly not suitable for printing on this site should tell you enough; search for a romanisation English-Russian translation.

  3. I've played a few computer RPGs, but it pales to nothing in comparison to the number of books I've read. I won't say I haven't learnt anything, but I don't think that it did much more for my vocabulary or reading skills in the grand scheme of things. Now, games have done a fair bit for my knowledge of history (from the Greek and Roman Empires to the cold war.) Face-to-face RPGs have done a lot for my social skills too, but the meeting of the two hasn't done a huge amount for either.
  4. @Soren Peregrine, @Duality I think you've covered it pretty well there; I could throw in a few suggestions about rough terrain, the type of wagon* and that the ponies would get fitter (and so able to pull for longer) over time, but as I can't suggest how to model those that doesn't really help that much. If we had time between two points over a variety of terrain then we could build a statistical model, which would be my preferred approach, as I think it would better account for unknowns and would allow us to produce a confidence interval to show how much weight can be attributed to the estimate. As an interesting aside, apparently J. R. R. Tolkein kept meticulous notes about his world - they go over travel times on the BBC radio program More or Less (an excellent program that I would recommend to anyone interested in mathematics & statistics.) *there was a general who won a campaign based on the ability his supply wagons had to go off-road, allowing him to consistently out-manoeuvre his opponent.
  5. I saw a car with a dreamcatcher hanging under the rear-view mirror today.

    I can't help but feel that if you're asleep at the wheel of a car then perhaps you have bigger concerns than bad dreams...

    1. JonasDarkmane


      Saw the same a few weeks ago near the parliamentary building in downtown Reykjavík. It is a strange place to have your dreamcatcher. 

  6. Once In A Blue Moon

    Gaming Do you still play video games from your childhood?

    I guess if it never worked properly then yes, that would probably be a bit challenging to run on a modern computer. I'm curious, though - what game are you referring to?
  7. Once In A Blue Moon

    Gaming Do you still play video games from your childhood?

    Oh yes - all the Command and Conquer games, Black and White, Stronghold... quite often I'll pick up* an older game I remember for a weekend of gaming nostalgia (or a month as it turned out to be with The Battle for Middle Earth and Tiberian Sun) in lieu of playing anything newer. *(sometimes buying digitally, sometimes literally from the shelf of CD games I have) There's usually a way to make it work; I'm no technical wizard, but I've managed to get most of my older games running at one point or another. Admittedly Windows 10 has been a bit more troublesome in that regard (and Red Alert 2 still won't work) but old game forums are surprisingly good sources for fixes and patches.
  8. Once In A Blue Moon

    What would you say you are known for?

    The slightly eccentric person with an eclectic knowledge range - I'll forget a person's name but then proceed to recall a snippet from a radio broadcast I heard six years ago. I guess I am often seen as clever as well; at least when I talk with people about the specific fields I'm familiar with (which is about 90% of conversations I have.)
  9. I have only just discovered that the Townsville in the Powerpuff Girls isn't the one in Australia.

    This has left me feeling bemused; it just seems so odd to name a fictional US city after a real one in Australia. 

  10. Once In A Blue Moon

    when did 'special' become an insult?

    Regarding the initial question, I assumed that 'special' was an abbreviation of 'special needs' (still an accepted term) that was used as a pejorative due to the association with people with learning disabilities. I would challenge the concept behind that - although stigmatised, mental health matters and can have a real and measurable effect on people. On the wider topic, I think it's worth remembering that some people will genuinely be upset by some things. Society (or, rather, a collection of societies connected by the internet) are still hammering out what is and is not reasonable conduct on the internet, and it isn't easy - I am an optimist, and I think that after a few decades things will have settled down, but until then it's worth erring on the side of caution. What is acceptable in one society (or in a microcosm of a society) isn't always acceptable elsewhere, and getting angry about a rude or intolerant response (or indeed about a response that is simply contrary to your views) isn't going to help matters; by all means disagree, but attributing malice to the opposition will only engender bitterness.
  11. Oh dear. This could be expensive...


  12. Once In A Blue Moon

    Ever come up with an bad/stupid idea(s) before?

    I was, for a while, proscribed a drug that acts as a 'beta blocker'. They work by blocking the effect of adrenaline, which really helped my anxiety and stopped my heart beating too fast. All well and good, one would think... until I was late for a bus. Seeing the bus pull up at the stop, I ran to catch it. ... Thankfully I survived the experience, but I do now have some idea of the effects of a heart attack. My heart kept a steady beat that, whilst fine for my usual walking pace, was insufficient for sustaining me at a sprint. It was quite a strange experience; I had black spots in my vision and I felt very badly winded despite being fresh and well rested. I stopped before I keeled over, and after a few deep breaths I felt fine again. The thing to take away from all this? Read the leaflet that comes with your medication.
  13. Once In A Blue Moon

    What are you doing for Halloween?

    I don't do the whole 'trick or treat' thing, and I'm not especially interested in Halloween. However, as I have a roleplaying game scheduled that evening I've offered to run a spooky one-shot. So on the night in question the players shall don the mantle of the king's nobles, courtiers, servants and assorted hangers-on, and they will go on an All Hallows' Eve hunt. Little do they know that the fey of the Autumn Court are also setting out on a hunt, and that our heroes are now the prey...

    If this is OK with you, my friend, please vote for princess Luna - the Moon Team!

    If you will decide to vote - please let me know about it. Thanks!:fluttershy:



  15. Once In A Blue Moon

    Personal Dilemma

    Unfortunately I was referring to administration in the sense of paperwork - dot the i and cross the t, then do it again for form 2-B. Systems admin is a bit outside my area of expertise. I'm fairly certain that there are people who work in system admin here though; a status post or blog asking about it might turn up something.