Saturday, October 18, 2014

Time Wastin'

I said I'd be busy.

I have been hammering away at the remake of a table that, honestly, confirms the sentiment that I'm completely crazy.  I won't go into it, but suffice to say that it involves creating travel routes for every market city in my system - hundreds of market cities, at an average of 8 market cities per hour.  I have this vacation spent about 55 hours setting up 400+ said cities and I am not quite halfway through yet.

Still, this post is about how easily I get bored with things.

Of late, it has been de rigueur to write long posts upon the manner in which food and electronic manufacturers are redesigning their products in order to make them more addictive to the general population.  The term 'addictive' has grown to be quite positive in describing anything that we'd like the general public to buy.  Manipulating the public, encouraging them to ignore advice about nutrition so that they'll eat another hundred pounds of sugar a year, or inducing them to microspend themselves into the poorhouse is all the rage - and it is just as much a rage to spend plenty of words talking about what a seedy, evil, unholy practice it is.  After all, we've all had five decades of television drama to pound home the principle that if someone is addicted, then someone in the equation must be the pusher - and pushers are bad, bad people.

I am the first to step up and say that big corporations are evil.  Mostly, however, they're evil because they serve as shelters to keep sociopathic personalities from having to spend any money to clean up the damage they cause in the process of making the goods that the general public supposedly finds addictive.  You know, the pollution they cause, their resistance against sharing wealth, their unwillingness to contribute to the general welfare and that sort of thing.  I personally feel that the damage the creation and management of unregulated plastic does to the environment is a greater evil than that the plastic is tranformed into a shape that makes people spend too much money on candy crush.

But this is just me.  I'm very different from everyone else, as is evident when I read anything that anyone else writes on the matter.  I don't care that people spend too much money or eat too much or get horribly sick and die of liver failure or whatever else.  I care that I don't do these things, but I don't see the habits of other people in this regard as evil.

I view it as normal.

Being that I'm old, I look back on the television that was available to us in the 1970s and I wonder how the hell we spent so much of our lives watching it.  I don't think the 80's or 90's is any better. Please don't start me on the last decade.  Television has always been shit and yet people have always watched many hours of television.  I won't say 'too many,' because my point here would be that it doesn't matter.  One way or another the 10,000+ hours I've spent in my life doing absolutely nothing besides watching television isn't coming back to me or anyone else.  At the time, I didn't know any better.  I remember I tried to do other things than watch television, but in the long run the time I spent hiking or hanging out at the mall or trying to date girls who had commitment issues was just as much a waste of my time as television.  All the baseball or football I played is as much a write-off - and hell, I spent time practicing to do those things.  What difference does any of that make now?

People would say that in practicing such activities, I built up good practicing habits.  We were told that at the time.  It is a load of shit, of course - since practicing to watch television is just as useful in building good habits in finding the best shit to watch from among enormous piles of even worse shit. It's no different now, since we practice using apps that make us better at whatever the hell purpose for which the game is designed.  No matter what you decide to 'waste' your time on, you're going to get better at it, oh yes.  Which will only be important to people who also spent time practicing that thing.

Please understand that.  All the time I spent learning about history is only important to people who have also tried to learn about history.  The effort I have put into writing is only important to people who care to read writing.  For other people, for people who dislike history or reading, then all my time was 'wasted.'  I might just as well have drank heavily and watched more television, or spent more time on facebook or twitter.  To some group of people, somewhere, everything is a waste of time.  Everything.

The only thing that makes spending any time doing anything worthy is when we don't get bored.  Television in the 70s was, mysteriously, not boring to us.  Fuck knows why, it's awful.  Football and baseball fascinated me, books fascinated me, writing fascinated me, sex certainly did and D&D has been a terrific fascination all around.  On the whole, I've been able to find a great many things these last four decades that seized and shook my imagination, keeping me from being less bored.

Facebook, not so much.  Twitter, even less so.  It took me about two hours, spread over three weeks, to get completely bored shit of twitter.  It's supposed to be addictive, but it bores me.  The internet, largely, bores me.  I have a few pages I check daily and I research a bunch on it, but besides that I search mainly for movies, documentaries and university lectures.

I've been on vacation for 8 days and I have hardly touched my cellular phone.  I don't miss it.  It's a phone.  Sometimes it serves as a camera.  When I owned an ordinary phone and an ordinary camera back in the 1980s, I didn't use either all that much.  I don't get interested in other people's photos and unless something really unique happens, like the snowstorm last month, I don't care to take pictures of it.  That bores me.  I just don't see my cellphone as addictive.  I know I'm supposed to.

But writing line after line after line of market cities and how far this is from that - hell, I can get fanatical about that.  Borisoglebsk is 8.9 days from Voronezh, so cell E917 equals 8.9+E920 . . . damn, that's good time wastin'.

I'm going to do more of that now.

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