Kayla, my academic counselor who has inspired me on more than one occasion, called me a couple weeks ago to let me know if I changed my program focus from cyber security to software engineering I could graduate almost a full year early. This would also save me roughly $15k.
Of course I agreed because I’m going to college to get a bachelor’s degree; the program certification I receive is irrelevant to me. I’m going to be bogged down quite a bit by extra classes over the next several months but I should graduate by the end of July.
It’s bewildering… it seems like not so long ago that I was hiding beer bottles under my bed and peeing out of my bedroom window so that nobody would hear me go to the bathroom. College was certainly not on my mind! Now here I am about to graduate and, hopefully, begin a career in a field I eagerly desire to be a part of.
Writing here has taken more than a back seat in my life… one could say it’s not even in the car anymore. I still intend to update this blog when the mood suits me and it’s conceivable that I’ll find an interest in writing in the future. I’ve simply realized that writing was always a way for me to indulge in the megalomania and sociopathic narcissism that came with all of my flaws such as addiction and inaction. Now that those are dissolving before my eyes, I just don’t care about expressing myself to people who don’t know me.
Some day I’d like to publish academic articles and possibly a book or two which aren’t at all focused on me but I don’t know that I’ll ever return to the mental illness that gripped me for most of my life which compelled me to talk about how brilliant I was and how stupid everybody else was. We’re all the same.
Lately my YouTube history has been peppered with recorded police interrogations of murderers and lesser criminals. I’m creeped out by people who watch too many true crime shows because they seem to be a bit unhinged themselves, but I find interrogations to be a more genuine study of psychology.
Criminal behavior hasn’t been a subject I’ve been particularly fascinated by in my lifetime. Both the criminal acts themselves and the mainstream public’s response to them are depressing, and I try not to subject myself to information that makes me feel bitter. For example, knowing what we know about how psychopathologies develop, if you can’t fathom feeling sympathy for even the most hardened criminal in the world, you simply aren’t a very serious person.
It goes without saying that we all have agency and when we commit a heinous act we need to be held accountable by our given society, but to pretend criminals are just “bad people” is to guarantee that more and more criminals will be produced. Treating a disease is always more difficult than treating its symptoms so it’s no surprise that our solution in America is to put people in prison and talk about “monsters” and “scum” on social media, while ignoring the drug addicted thieves that we are raising in our own homes.
Emotionally, I still find it difficult to not see both pedophiles and domestic abusers as “other” but logically I know that it’s not as though they simply materialized out of a puff of smoke. That whole agapic love thing is stretched to its limit in these cases. However, only by knowing and confronting such individuals can we ever begin to rescue their victims pre-emptively and, maybe in a few dozen centuries, eliminate the psychopathologies entirely.
Previously, I wrote about how 2020 wasn’t nearly as bad a year as the zeitgeist would have us believe. Our past twelve months have been the best year of my life, unequivocally. While many have certainly suffered job losses, death, and pending homelessness, I don’t believe this is nearly as widespread a problem as is sometimes claimed on television. Certainly the poorest of us have been affected the most, but they are affected the most by literally everything that happens, so we can’t exactly claim to have pity for them while sitting warm and snug behind our desks.
Much of the last year confirmed what the most cynical among us have said for decades: America isn’t that great and it’s already crested the hill of its twilight age. What should have been a minor illness that was easily contained by the more successful people’s of the world has devastated our economy and shone a spotlight upon the depravity of our political and social landscapes. I use the phrase decidedly because shining a spotlight on something does well to illuminate one specific problem while leaving millions of others in the dark. As such, I’ve never been less convinced that we’ll actually do anything about any of these problems. In fact, there’s basically no point to list any of them.
John Vervaeke, a cognitive neuroscience professor at University of Toronto, has for the past couple years been recording and publishing a series of lectures titled Awakening from the Meaning Crisis which I strongly urge everyone reading this to check out. It illustrates everything I’ve ever talked about throughout my life in a better way than I could ever hope to.