Thursday, 6 October 2011

Nostalgia and plagiarising James

I liked James's most recent post, and thought, why not steal it? And besides that - I wanted to tie in those stolen goods with something I've been thinking about recently: how unbelievably biased nostalgia is, and how untrustworthy our memories of happiness are. Not that I'm critcising your graph James (it probably averages out on the long term), it's just that, at least in my life, there are moments I look back on with extreme fondness, which with a lot of thought on my part, I've realised weren't even that happy at the time. My graph would go like this, if I were to rip it straight from my subconscious:
But controlling for nostalgia, and asking outside sources for mood information etc.:
As you see here, things are a hell of a lot different, but make a hell of a lot more sense. For example, my particular mood disorder, (probably schizoaffective - but who knows - not my useless psychiatrist) becomes pretty apparent around late adolescence (the pattern at the start was simply because I was depressed at school, absurdly happy at home - I mean euphoric at home).  Also about those dips in late childhood: yes I'm being honest, at around 8 years old, I think, I started thinking about dying and how, at those moments, I would have been better off dead. The "zero-line = will-to-live" rule still stands.
The main problem I find with nostalgia is simply that sometimes this thought occurs to me - that I'm happy at every point in existence but the present one. What I mean simply is, even nostalgia of previous months (where I am horribly depressed) likes to glue itself to my perceptions, where no spatula can remove it. But my extensive keeping of journals does help me appreciate that my life is actually, well, a lot worse than I estimate it at usually. And the same should go for everyone's life, I think. Were you really *so* happy at that particular moment, or was that moment just so perfect, from an OBJECTIVE point of view, that your brain is equating the experience with SUBJECTIVE feelings of happiness, like fluttering little snapshots into worlds that never existed. I don't think anyone could really be "so happy" on say, their wedding day, unless they had shot up with heroin just moments before. Nostalgia, I think, is another important reason why people vastly overestimate their lives - and more importantly, most importantly in fact, their children's potential lives.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Intelligence is wasted on me, rainbows, puppies, and other cheery things

I was going to start in here with some sort of rant about how intelligence is a curse and how people would be better off as chimps or wolves, and far better off as painless non-feeling amoebae, but as it turns out, I don't think there's any scientific data to back me up on that one. For all I know, people of greater than or equal to average intelligence may actually be happier than those that are below that mark - in fact I think I remember reading something that suggested that there is some kind of correlation like that. So I'm not going to go into how my specific 'the world must be like me' bias makes me assume that every person of any better-than-average neurological functioning is depressed and misanthropic. Rather, I'm going to talk about why I SPECIFICALLY think intelligence is something of a curse FOR ME. If I were at least at an IQ of <90 etc., I am sure that almost none of these circumstances would apply to me.

My brain has become such a little snob that most conversations tend to force me into that awkward state in between sleeping and living. Nothing stimulates me in conversation but things that only old people and mythical 'scholars' talk about. If I were not at my current level of intelligence, perhaps I wouldn't immediately start liking football, but at the same time, I wouldn't need such outsider interests to actually stay awake.

I don't mean to imply that anyone religious is an imbecile, I just mean that my brain has too many in-built defence mechanisms towards religion. These 'if God can cause itself why can't the universe's and 'How can a just God make a universe so horrible's really wreck every attempt at conversion I undergo, and in my opinion, stop me from experiencing any of the benefits of religion. Big Daddy who isn't your Daddy in heaven to love you, a large fanbase to mingle with and feel at home with, and a free ticket to imagining miraculous places without the inevitable 'that could never happen' and the subsequent depression.

Getting good grades in school has given me this ingrained, rather disgusting superiority complex. In every conversation, every day of the week, I am so acutely aware of the ways in which I have beaten such and such that I feel as if I am wasting my time. And what happens when the superiority complex is - goodness gracious me! - invalidated? I freak out, and feel this hot little well of hatred seething inside me. This would not happen if I had an IQ of 90. The outcome would be too hilarious for it to be possible.

Now you may say that if I were mildly retarded, then I might breed, so the large amount of bullshit I suffer is probably justified. But at an intelligence level where I would be legally recognised as disabled, however, I am quite certain that my sexual prospects would be just around nil. So bla bla bla bla I'm not dead, but don't have enough free time to write here, sorry.