Update

So on monday I called up the surgery, my usual GP wasn’t in so I decided that I’d just go and see any doctor. During the consultation it was established that I have the classic symptoms of bipolar disorder; a shocking revelation for someone with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

I wanted medication, specifically I wanted ritalin because there is literature to support its use with bipolar disorder and it’ll help me concentrate and focus. Instead what happened is I got referred to my community mental health team. Personally I think that this is a bit OTT, but whatever. They called on Tuesday and basically gave me the choice of a talking therapy or an assessment with a psychiatrist, which could lead to a talking therapy. On advice I chose to go for the assessment. I have no idea when this will be. I think maybe that because it’s been so long since I was under medical supervision that they want to drag me in and see where I am. Where I am, all in all, is a pretty good place.

At the moment my only real symptoms are that I’m exhausted all the time, I’m a bit subdued and I don’t enjoy anything or am able to motivate myself to do anything. That said, I did have a real moment at work today where I almost broke down. I sat there with my head in my hands and just stared out of the window for a good ten minutes crushed by what I can only describe as a wave of hopelessness. I nearly cried. Then it passed and I cracked on.

Oh and at lunch today I decided to actually just sit in Starbucks and read. Usually I grab a sandwich and a coffee and head back to the office, but I felt the need to be out. I’m reading The Fall by Camus. Reading Camus is very much a depression thing I think. Reading serious fiction, as opposed to sci-fi is a depression thing actually: I think something about being depressed and introspective makes me want to read fiction as a way of exploring alternative perspectives on life. Or something.

Update

Meh.

What can I say? I have a touch of depression. I don’t enjoy life right now. I’m not even enjoying going out drinking and everything feels hopeless. I just want to sleep all of the time and I’ve spent basically as much time as I can in bed. Rationally I know that everything in my life is at least no worse than it has been recently so I try and constantly check my moods with a bit of rational thinking, but you feel how you feel at the end of the day.

Also I’ve started using the I-ching again. Yes, I know, divination is bullshit. At least I think I know. I find it remarkably accurate but then I suppose the entire point of it is that you can read into it whatever you like. It’s unrelentingly positive about Dakota and things that it says will end badly end badly and things that it says will end well end well. It’s a crutch at a difficult time. Then again if it’s random chance what is the statistical likelihood of a positive result every single time?

I just have this profound ennui. I’ve started reading fiction, which is semi-rare. I’m reading Tropic of Cancer and I suppose I just feel trapped and bored. I long for something a bit more bohemian in my life. I want to take Dakota to Paris, sit in a bar and listen to jazz and just talk and talk and talk. I feel the need to write too, but I’m not inspired so I don’t know what to write about.

Actually, I’m just restless.

Meh.

Punk

I’m in weird mood. Pensive, in fact. I’ve read Count Zero and Mona Lisa Overdrive  back to back and loved them both. Cyberpunk is something that I really appreciate. It’s probably my favorite genre of fiction and it’s something that I sort of take refuge in. I was writing cyberpunk short stories as therapy and escapism before I realised that there was such a thing as cyberpunk; one of my ambitions is to actually finish off my cyberpunk novel.

At nineteen I think that both S and I dreamed of finding an underground world to slip into in the same way that Case from Neuromancer might slip into Chiba  or the Count might slip into the sprawl. We wanted something away from the ordinary world, something secret and I suppose more dramatic and meaningful. I think that all my writing back then was about us and that desire to escape into a world defined by bright city lights at night and high technology and low life. She was my Molly Millions, still is really.

Stasis.

Curious: The more things that happen the less I feel that I have to blog about. That said there is a sort of stability to my life at the moment. Or a new stability, my life is always fairly stable. Actually that’s probably the problem at the moment, if I have any, I’m expecting things to happen in the future and so it feels like nothing is happening now.

Things with BM are stable. Things with Dakota are, by the glacial standards of how we are, perhaps not so stable? I don’t know. We chat about films. Things with C are better in that we’re sort of talking, just “How are you?” chitchat but that’s better than nothing. S and I have fallen into our usual comfortable silence.

That said, I’m missing S and I keep replaying this incident in my mind where I was suffering from insomnia and ended up on the day bed in the conservatory, as usual. In theory she makes lunch and then I make dinner but in practice we sort of both do both together, it’s worryingly couply but whatever. So I was laying there half asleep and was going to get up and sort of help with lunch and basically she told me not to get up and then stroked my face until I fell asleep. When I woke up she was putting lunch on the table and I felt really rather cared for.

But yeah, stasis.

Everytime I go into the office I get asked if anything new has happened and it hasn’t. So time seems to be going by rather slowly. Xmas feels like about two years ago. That said my role there is being expanded, I’m shadowing more people and being asked to do more stuff. I’m actually planning on going in tomorrow for two hours or so just to get some stuff done that I was too tired to do on Friday.

In book news I’m reading The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution. I highly recommend this book, it is most awesome although the opening chapter is basically a rather annoying bit of housekeeping where the relativist language games are put to bed, which is interesting because it defines terms and makes preliminary arguments but is also quite boring because dealing with relativists just is boring. “You can’t say that other cultures are less scientific than the West”…….Yeah we can – where’s your culture’s moon rocket?

I finally got through The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta which is a good book, but, if you’re expecting to learn much about Sparta and you’re fairly up to speed about Athenian history isn’t all that fascinating. The book talks more about Themistocles than it does about any Spartan figure.

Anyway, yeah, so. Whatever.

 

Carnage and Culture.

So I picked up Why the West Has Won: Carnage and Culture   which is a most excellent book. I find that the more books like this that I read the more certain I am that the whole social justice thing is bat shit insane and intellectually lazy. The West is culturally unique and culturally superior. I think, at this point, if you disagree with this statement you’re actually ignorant of other cultures. The moment anyone starts comparing cultures, in the way that Hanson contrasts Classical Greece with the Persian empire, the idea that the West isn’t superior completely breaks down. You can do the same with the modern West and say, China or India or Islam.

So when the social justice crazies start talking about institutional racism and such I start asking if we’re not comparing apples and oranges. The West is the way it is because of the culture of the West which is contained in individual Westerners and so I question if it’s entirely unexpected that migrants from other cultures don’t perform as well in the West. Even when we’re talking about black people, I ask if we should be entirely surprised that people who are from “black culture” don’t perform as well in Western culture as…well as…I suppose, Westerners.

If we want to talk about racism I think we first have to ensure that we’re starting from a point of cultural equality and I don’t think that we do that. This is, frankly, too difficult a discussion for most people. I find that talking about culture with Westerners is extraordinarily difficult because most Westerners think everyone on earth is a Westerner and so when you say, “Well, we’re a guilt based culture with an internal locus of control but this is actually rare among cultures generally” they have no idea what you’re on about. To them culture is food, music and dress and nothing deeper.

I find that when I talk about culture, therefore, the discussion goes nowhere. The left has no concept of culture and will insist on the equality of culture and one of the great things about this book is that it compares and contrasts cultures and then it says, essentially, “And you can’t dismiss this because the real world result of this is Western armies continually trashing non-Western armies”. Logically it therefore makes sense to ask if freedom of speech, individualism, rationality and open debate, etc allow Westerners to demolish non-Western armies over the past three millennia, why would we be surprised that these same cultural institutions allow Westerners to outcompete non-Westerners in all other areas of life?

This, I don’t think, is a question that’s really been asked and certainly not answered. It’s much easier to just say, “racism”. This is much lower information, you don’t have to survey millennia of history or ask difficult questions or do much thought and yet you’ll be lauded for it. You don’t even have to get to grips with cultural differences, in fact, thirteen year olds can do it on tumblr.

The other thing, of course, is that it requires people who are profoundly anti-Western to acknowledge that Westerners do things better, which is incredibly difficult. If you’ve been habitually and reflexively attacking white males then coming around to the idea that white males are where they are because they behave in certain ways and have certain values that give them a huge advantage, rather than there is some system that privileges them must, be nigh on impossible.

Update and rambles.

My cycle is all fucked up: depression over the summer, then feeling better towards the autumn. At least I hope it’s fucked up because otherwise I’m going to be feeling like shit for months. I think that I’m feeling a lot better now though; I’m starting to get that need to be comfy feeling that I get in the autumn.

I found myself laying on my bed last night with a dram of Talisker, jazz in the back ground reading The Diamond Age i.e fiction. Fiction is generally what I read in the autumn and winter. More importantly I’d basically made myself comfy. I’m getting that desire to be out in a log cabin in the wilderness again.

I tell you where we are: I want a bottle of 18 year Glenfiddich, which is basically Christmas in a bottle: baked apples, toffee, cinnamon, raisins…………it’s gorgeous and it lasts ages on the palate.

I’m always more pensive in the autumn and winter. I find myself falling into thought a lot more and it’s not always a bad thing, I actually quite like to just sit and think and I get a little bit annoyed when I’m disturbed. I’m still thinking about writing, although actually doing the writing is still a challenge. Then again one must plan, which requires thought and I’ve actually fleshed out a cyberpunk novel quite well. I’m just trying to create a character now that I’ve got an interesting world to place them in. I suppose that’s why I’m reading The Diamond Age: I’m looking for inspiration.

I hate to admit it but I’m thinking a lot about Dakota.

C said something interesting to me the other day, yeah we’re talking again. She said that women don’t expect a man to be as confident as I am and it actually catches them off guard. I find that, depressive episodes aside when I’m really quite fragile, I really don’t give a shit about rejection or what someone thinks of me. I get the impression that a guy who reads Civilization: The West and The Rest intimidates the living shit out of a lot of women too. I keep finding myself in situations where I intimate that I read and women are like, “Wow, I read too” apparently it’s a rare skill or something, “who’s your favorite author?” they continue and I don’t really have one so I’m like, “I don’t really have one but, Bulgakov, Kawabata, Henry Miller, John le Carré, Camus but I read a lot of nonfiction too, like Niall Ferguson, Francis Fukuyama, Karl Popper, Thomas Sowell”. One day I will post pics of the look this produces; it sits somewhere between pure fear and total confusion.

Anyway, I feel the need to make myself comfy and read.

Toodles.

 

 

 

OMFG!

Cook this, eat it, experience joy. I followed the recipe, novel idea I know, and so I made enough for four and there’s only three of us so there was some left over. That didn’t last long.

In other news: On impulse I bought Tropic Of Cancer  and F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter  because it’s £1.19 at the moment and I have a real passion for ancient flight sims and retro games in general. I’m hoping that Tornado comes out because I haven’t played it in ages.