Ropecon, engines, and shit

Just returned from the 'con, and realized that I'm in a mood to reflect upon my life over a beer with friends, but darned it, I just got back and I can't be bothered to cycle back to Dipoli...

Ropecon is great because you see friends you don't otherwise see. But people grow and change, and every year the experience seems to be more and more shallow, and I feel more and more like an outsider. I don't even really play games during the weekend, (though that has always been so), but I like the talks and the general atmosphere too much to skip the thing.

A particularly brilliant presentation on the highlights of the Nordic LARP scenes and 360 "immersion" by "Joc" Koljonen made me realize that my gamemastering and playing style is pretty much stuck in 1995. And, cycling home, I also understood that it is because I haven't really put any effort into it - it's as good as it's going to get, unless I really work on it. And that goes to a lot of things in my life. I have a tendency to start new things, work on them as long as my natural abilities reach, and when it comes down to really working hard on something, the wind just goes away, and I limp along for a while before letting it go.

Now that I look around, I see that I have a lot of things that I could do better - from cleaning the desk to working more on JSPWiki. At this moment, I don't have anything that I would be really putting effort to. Something - anything - that I would really want to work my ass off for. Not even at work, because even if I believe in and like my work, there are enough naysayers to discourage even the most stubborn and brilliant person. After a few years of banging your head against a wall, you just sort of stop caring, grab a couple of painkillers and leave the wall alone. And then it becomes "just work".

I feel like an idling engine.

Or maybe I am just a lazy asshole.


If it helps, you're describing my life as well. All good in lazy-ass-land.

--Niko, 13-Aug-2006

After seeing how incredibly talented my girlfriend was in oriental dancing, I realized that people can have incredible talents within them that they have not yet discovered. Once I realized this, the obvious conclusion is this: Instead of working hard at something you're already good at, it might be more rewarding to try a hundred other things to find the one thing that you can excel in, naturally, without all the hard work. Discovering your talent is more important than working hard to improve yourself in an area where you have no talent. Being lazy and not wanting to work your ass off is a healthy attitude. Just be sure to give yourself enough opportunity to find other, new things!

As for a work-environment with naysayers and "cold blankets": They kill all the enthusiasm because they take the fun out of everything. The only ones enjoying this are cynical old farts. A fate I'm trying hard to avoid.

PS: I really need the RSS for comments on this site. Where is it?

PPS: I also have the feeling that help and comment preview doesn't work at all. Do these create popups that my browser is supressing?

--AlexSchroeder, 13-Aug-2006

RSS for comments is here. Note that it's for all changes, so you will also see my new entries and edits...

Help doesn't work; it's a Javascript thing, I'm afraid. I'm not terribly good with JS. Comment previews seem to be broken, too, natch. I'll try to fix them soonish. I have an old template I am using with new JSPWiki; that's probably the reason.

What bugs me is that I know that I am capable of doing cool things. It's just that I can't seem to beat myself to making those things.

--JanneJalkanen, 13-Aug-2006

Do like me; get a kid (or, to be on the safe side, two...) - At least then you got someone you can "blame" for being... "lazy"... ;-)

--JES, 14-Aug-2006

Finding a scapegoat was never a problem ;-)

--JanneJalkanen, 14-Aug-2006

Janne, that sounds just like perfectly normal after-con-low. My feelings also so exactly a day after the con. Dunno, maybe we ARE getting old, or the kids in the con are getting more bright and more outshining. Or this is just illusion because of too little sleep and too much con effort and balancing ourselves against impossible odds: the World Out There.

I'd just get a very simple hobby, preferably simple and physical, and then just do it... repeatedly till you are good in it... Like kendo swordsmanship or snowboarding or... :-) I think there's truth in the biblical saying: Otsasi hiessä sinun on leipäsi syömän. (can't translate, I'm not very biblical person) To have one simple thing to really focus everything usually relaxes the rest of the life and releases some potential hidden.

--Tommi Korhonen, 14-Aug-2006

Well... I wrote the article during the con.

I don't know. I don't want to write this one off as a "yeah, well, everybody gets it". I feel as if I have been presented a choice.

--JanneJalkanen, 15-Aug-2006

Sound kind of familiar.

The roleplaying allegory is one way to look at it. One has just that much starting potential, and then some experience points (on the average based on time, but of course affected by many things). One can focus on single things and hone them sharp, or learn to be a jack of all trades with some strenghts... I'm definitely the latter kind of person, and I'll just have to swallow never being any achiever in anything... But quite often reaching levels in widespread activities that others look amazed upon. :) Tried most anything? Yupp, that too.

If you really really are weighing yourself again the feel, then I don't think you have much other choice but balance your abilities and time against things you really really want to get done / achieve in. Comparison against (all) the other people is very tough, they represent a hell of wide spectrum, and the most brilliant examples are those narrow specialists... Another gaming related anecdote: in an Internet game you might feel as if you were playing against the world champions, while you as well MIGHT BE! They probably have sat more time in front of the game than you at work... It's not fair comparison. Same happens in Real Life (tm) when you look at the spectacular examples. Well, they are spectacular since they outshine the others, being better, more refined, more focused in that area. Let's take golf... in it you weigh yourself against yourself, and the nature... There you'll face if you are any good (by your standards), not by other peoples standards. But still it's very honest, there are no ways to cheat the nature. Or make things better looking than they are as with people and marketing!

BTW: I usually look up towards you on many things, for the wide view and open intellectual. The very reason I read this blog so often. :-)

--Tommi Korhonen, 15-Aug-2006

Thanks, Tommi. I'm not particularly worth looking upwards to, I'm afraid - unless you mean I'm slightly taller than you ;-)

--JanneJalkanen, 20-Aug-2006

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