The exploration Mindset: Making Boring things fun and feel like not a waste of time

It isn’t hard to imagine that if you go into something trying to explore, you will come up with something interesting eventually. Also, everything is connected, if you are looking for connections, you should find them…although trying to find connections can sometimes be like iunno, work? lol However, I feel like it can turn into more of a day dream once a connection or something interesting is found, so that from there it is smooth sailing.

So the technicalities. One I thing I’ve just realized, is that when I’m trying to learn something I might need to actively stop and explore my experience, instead of just continuing to try and cram my head with stuff.

Just like mindfulness when if you are in a bad mood, you can explore that mood and it becomes less bad,exploring the mood is different from just experiencing it.

So! I tried exploring and it felt ok. What happened was I started with and was just reviewing, then I went onto some new characters, but instead of just going through a bunch I started asking questions about each one like “what is the main concept?” “do you have anything to add to this observation?” “can you give three observations about this character?” “does any thing come to mind that this idea relates to in your life?”

This kinda helped for the first 2 or 3. Then I came to one where I really had very little to say. So what I did was I moved on to the words it was used in, and obseverved those, then the characters in those,
and the words they were used in. So I ended up taking notes on I guess 10 characters, 7 of which are part of words. I still feel a kind of stress from this, like I feel that lump in my throat or the need to swallow…however I feel like if I can explore endlessly and voraciously, only trying long enough to
TEST if there is something interesting, befor moving on, maybe I will be able to keep some kind of interest.

Also, after that, I though, well I have a comic book I can read now I guess I’ll do that. However, then that felt like, too easy. Like, it felt like just eating candy or something unhealthy but that tasted good. Iunno. I wonder if maybe the exploration mindset is healthy, and the mindless entertainment is unhealthy, and if I can somehow switch to only exploring. It feels like, with the exploration mindset, it’s challenging yes, but it’s also like I am responsible for my own fun, instead of sitting back to be entertained by someone else. I have to find the fun, the interesting aspects of what I’m working on. This is good because if I can do this, the “interesting things” will be probably more valuable than things I didn’t have to work to notice or discover and that are closer to common knowledge anyway.


How to focus on the journey & Can you make it enjoyable?

Heres another idea,

I just thought of, when I realized, even though I
can learn Hanzi way faster, I still feel like rushing,
just getting it over with, and that that attitude is like
almost garanteed fail.

Even with something like exercise. If I were to say,
“ah, I just need to be 180lb and I’ll be set for life”
I would burn out, because then I’ve set like a goal,
an end point that I need to reach, as opposed to just
working out.

“just working out” for me, is more like, seeing every workout
as a goal in itself, where as “trying to reach 180” means
every workout inbetween counts as almost nilch/ziltch/whatever lol.

When I forget about the long term and just crank the music,
and get the pump for that day, and be strong and awesome
in the moment’s I am working out, and focus on those
things, it becomes enjoyable.

So I think it’s important, maybe especially to really focus on
feeling awesome in the moment for my performance.

Now kind of related might be that I enjoy making music more
when I’m just out for a walk and doing it to entertain myself.
In this case maybe I’m more focused on an artistic awesomeness
Still though, I mean it maybe partly about the enjoyment.

So iunno, I wouldn’t call it mindfulness exactly, but it is
about being present, making the most of the situation, basically
turning it into an expression of me(well that’s how I’ve been making
the most of things with working out etc.

I turn it into an expression of awesomeness. I play music, I make it
dramatic, almost role play. It’s also creative, even though in a
more subtle way. I pose in the mirror, I lift to the music, make
facial expressions, focus on technique(which is probably diff for everyone).
All these things enhance my experience at the gym and at this point they
come naturally I guess.

With singing etc, same kinda deal, imagining I’m on stage,
expressing myself. Being creative with how I sing, with technique,
facial expression, timber, pronounciation, etc.

My hypothesis as I sit here and reflect on all this, is that all those
little things I do, give me little boosts of dopamine.
The time between chosing to be creative in some small way, and
acting on that impulse and thus being rewarded, is so small that
the dopamine is almost instantaneous.

Let’s compare that to if I were just focusing on reaching some
far off goal. Every day that I measure myself and see that I
have not reached that goal, could be seen as a small failure in
which case dopamine would decrease instead of increasing.

That is no fun.

So what I need to do when I pick up a goal, is to not be
focused on the long term at all. I mean, I can set the goal
so I can work effectivly towards it, allocating the right amount
of time each day. Beyond that though, I need to let go of it,
and focus on enjoying every moment of the process.

How do I do that.
It seems for me it will come down to creative expression through
whatever work I am doing. It needs to be creative for the sake
of enjoyment though. Like, I have decided to do this thing, now
I want to turn it into something I love.

So part of that is I need to have decided, otherwise if something
better comes along and distracts me it wont matter if I was
enjoying myself. So I need to first decide that this thing is
important enough to me, which for Chinese it is.

Then, how do I make it fun?
For learning the hanzi, I need to write them out, so the best
I can do there, is write them in a beautiful way. The strokes,
the positioning, sentences, altering lines to make it even more
cool looking. There is a lot to play with there.
Then after creating these things, and I need to make it as
perfect as I can along with it being creative, so that I wont feel
like it’s creative but sloppy. I want it to be displayable. Then I
want to actually have them on the wall of my room, so I get constant
feedback about the beautiful work I’ve created. Constant reward
to add to my motivation.

For talking, for one I can watch funny things. For another though,
I mean, when I’m bored (yes this again), when I’m bored and I just have
chinese flowing through my head, sometimes I’ll just repeat what I can
remember, and really pronounce it as beautifully, or creatively, as I
can. It feels good to do this. Well, even to be more precise, it could
be that I like repeating things that just sound good to me for whatever
reason, iunno. I could start there, at least on rough days lol, but
in general I feel like as long as I can be creative enough I can turn things
beautiful for my entertainment.

So I’ll try to get into these things and just make them into habits.

even with doing the dishes at work, I’ve created techniques and I do
them in ways that make them beautiful. Like, iunno, like a robot, or something.
Just really, I guess efficient and maybe graceful.

This is opening up a whole new way of seeing achievement.

Also another important thing to realize is that, well at least for me,
as I get older and a lot of my childhood memories are fading or so it
seems, I want to creat new memories. I see the importance of experiencing life
in a way that is memorable, instead of always seeking something else.

So it’s good that through this way of seeking goals by just enjoying them,
I can kind of do that because I’ll be more focused on making the things
enjoyable and so I’ll be more focused on the experiences. Way more than if
I could somehow get a high paying job that was meh.

So an even higher level of thinking that I’ve afforded myself here is that
I can see that this is my expereince of life that I am taking control
of by actively seeking to experience my activity, instead of just finding the
fastest way to the goal. The goals are really not that important. Final
Fantasy, is not about the goal, it is about the journey, and making it as
exciting as possible, so that you hope it never ends.

Theories in motivation and learning

One theory is that there is this period of development where a child wants to take things apart and see how they work. If they are aloud to do this and taught about the things they take apart, their interest in those things will grow, but if they are not aloud to take them apart or if they can’t figure out anything about it afterwards the interest may fade. Just an idea. In addition to this is my idea that that interest doesn’t go away completely but remains as dormant interest that can only be rekindled in the proper environment where things can be taken apart and understood.

Notice schools mostly don’t work this way. For the most part school relies on teaching kids about individual components and only at the very end do they learn how things come together in maybe on or two applications. This is the reverse from a childhood motivation which is to seem many completed devices and wanting to work their way down to see how they work.

This leads me to my next idea. That maybe I could create a learning environment for myself based on things that are whole, completed things, that I then take apart.

Beyond this is the idea that it doesn’t necessarily have to be like, a whole computer, just the basic functioning component. What I mean is, if you hand me a capacitor I wont be intrigued. Sure you could hand me a whole computer, but really if you just handed me the smallest application of the capacitor and let me look at that whole thing, I would also be intrigued. By application I mean something where I see a visible or audible effect. Something that has an effect on my physical world.

So this is another theory I want to think about. Are we more intrigued by things we can actually see, hear, touch, and even more so by things that we can see having a mechanical/automated effect on the environment. If this were true it would mean the difference between learning computer programming by just writing code for a long time vs purposely compiling and running that code every minute just to get that hit of dopamine when you see your program have an effect on the screen.

You know how people say, ” I loved programming from the first time I got the computer to print words out to the screen.”, ya? So this must be a pretty important idea. Maybe critical to the enjoyment of learning programming. Being able to see often, the results of your work. This could be hard in some cases when you have a lot of errors etc, but  guess the whole point would be to create a system of learning that keeps errors to a minimum, but also if possible is not predictable in what comes to the screen.

I notice a strong paralell between this and learning a language where learning just hanzi in chinese has become actually painful, and I would much rather learn sentences which are actually functional.

I’m already in school for psychology, I might as well see if it’s possible to create the kind of system that makes learning anything fun.

Are you the type who likes someone to teach you how to play a game first, or do you like to learn as you go along? I feel most people would rather get right into the fun of the game. To me that is the difference between learning about components and learning about simple applications.

In fact, even a capacitor is more fun if you hook it up to a dmm and see how current reacts to it etc. But a small application hooked up to that dmm would be more interesting.

Productivity: Active Learning = Flexing between Sets 在 the gym, makes 它 fun

Anyways, So, I can promis myself day of awesome productivity if I don’t sleep properly
(althought there is always green tea and/or excercise etc to try and get energy). Even on a
nice kind of rested day though, working on something boring, will be boring. I mean, as
I do more cardio I guess my receptors will improve and I’ll have more ability to just work
on stuff. However, that is only one factor. The other is enjoying the work. You know,
making the time count for something more than jus putting in the hours. That is where
perspective is important. A work out with no music is even ok because it’s kind of rewarding
to get that pump and leave the gym on a bit of a high. Add some good music to that and
you feel bad ass. How do you feel bad ass about studying for an exam.

Well one idea I have is to not make it about “studying” and make it more about actively
creating something as much as possible. Express yourself through your studies. The simple
example is in a lecture, do you just listen and try to absorb, or do you listen, summarize
in your head, try to take notes only on what you think are the key points. Active learning.
I guess it’s not a new concept. It’s usefulness when it comes to making life more rewarding
though, there I think it hasn’t been stressed enough.

I just realize the things I can keep up with best are things where I am active. It takes
more energy initially, but really that is actually better. It takes energy to make energy.
Same with excercising, which I’ve become really consistent with because of this. As well,
I’ve found it to be more rewarding. Now to do the same with something like studying.

Now, I”m going to go straight to the thing I’ve had the hardest time keeping motivation
for. Chinese. What have I been doing. First, not writing out the characters. Doing everything
I can to keep it a completely mental endevour. I feel that will have to change. I will have
to practise speaking out loud, and writing on paper. It’s interesting, I can actually
imagine how rewarding it could be. Repeating a word or sentence until I got it right.
Re-writing a Hanzi neater, faster. So much more to improve on, so many more areas of the
brain being used.

It seems therfore like trying to take the easy way out has ended up being the hard way and
that I will benifit from doing more WORK. Hard work is rewarding, easy work is boring. That
seems to be the basic idea.

Maybe that’s just the extroversion in me though, getting energy from the world or something.
Hmm, I got tired of writing out characters though, that’s why I stopped in the first place.
They just took a long as time with little reward beyond doing them which I would have to
do for a year at that pace.

So what might be better then for me is skipping that learn hanzi phase and moving on to using
Chinese to actually do stuff. Say hi to people online, start a blog in Chinese and write in
it every day, etc. Stuff like that is also active learning and it’s I think more rewarding
and relevant to language, than learning Hanzi in a vacume would be. I think I absorb ideas
fast enough not to need to learn in a vacume. So a blog and I guess a youtube Channel, both for
I guess just sharing sentences I learned and as I learn more trying to combine the sentences
I learn each day to create new novel sentences.

Next, as far as other subjects go, same thing. I think I’ll learn better if instead of trying
to learn the subjects in a vacume I take each new concept I learn and try to think of it
from different angles, maybe look up things based on my ideas, then record all that other stuff
in a blog as well. If I did this it would be serious active study.

Making connetions is to studying, what grunting flexing after lifts is to weight lifting.
If you never get to see your body and your lifts improve, why lift. Same with study etc.
It’s important to be able to be active, with what we learn, to enjoy it, to make something
of it.

Basically, studying wouldn’t be worth the time if I couldn’t see the bad-ass ness of what
I was doing. Music might help, but still, learning Hanzi in a vacume for a year, never trying
to communicate. It’s like, purposely limiting yourself for no reason. Not allowing yourself
to grow, for no reason. Active learning is more than just flexing in the mirror I guess. I
mean it’s like actually seeing the weights go up and down, actually feeling it, trying to
add more weight, etc. Yeah it’s like adding more weight on the bar to see what you can
actually do. Without active learning you are stunting your own growth, and you know it, and
that is why it’s demotivating, I guess.

Making connections (Weight on the bar) + Music(Perspective of bad-assness) maybe= an enjoyable
lifestyle. Especially if the connections you are making are in the realm of science and you
find yourself actually able to contribute. Or it’s in langugae and you find youself more
and more able to communicate with people in that language.

Not saying you need to have an end goal(I work out for the hormonal benifit firstly). Just that
the sense of achievment(beyond any actual end goal) is going to make it addictive in the
short term. Addictive thigs become lifestyles. Productive addictions = productive lifestyles.
Productive lifestyles can then facilitate more things we want, without having to
throw our time away for them (we instead work actively to challenge ourselves and improve
in bad-ass ways).

Oh, and even more importantly I guess is to make it so that your active learning is
in-line with your long term goals. This is for specific types mostly. For example,
I feel like my long term goals revolve around learning things about the universe
and about biology and gaining more control to create. For example, if I could use
what I learn in school to improve body and my mind. See it seems like a lot of
people go into course like psychology hoping to get a “job” when they finish. They
memorize whatever they have to memorize in order to get there. Then they have a “job”,
which is a way to make money to fund other things they want to do. For me that wont be
enough. Damn, either I slept really well, or the maca is working, or both, or possibly
neither, but I am more clear on this now.

It’s not that I need to chose to either go into something for money or go into
it because it is interesting. I go into it with goal independant of money. I go into
it as a scientist, seeking to gain more power. Just like I work out to feel stronger
and look better and feel better. I go into science so I can become a better scientist.
So I can produce things in the feilds that will improve our lives. Money shouldn’t ever
even enter into it. It’s all or nothing.

It’s interesting that this seems so clear to me now. What was missing before?
Was I scared to get to into science in case I were to get bored and then have no
motivation to continue. Did peopel lead me to believe striving to make ground breaking
discoveries was not something I should aspire to? Wow, people really need to figure
their shit out. Not believing in themselves. Well, I have not choice but to believe
in myself, and dare to dream. Anything else would be just too f-ing boring.

Two things kind of trigger this emotion right now. One is this song I made that has this
sort of “unknonw” vibe. The other is the sexually attractive girl I saw at a computer
A fe minutes ago (although I’m not that horny actually).

Hanzi Burnout impending: My Counter Measures

well I’m starting to get that burnout feeling with the Hanzi again. Well, either that or it’s that I did them right after a wheat based meal and that is the real problem. and/or sleep.

I’m gonna try something though because I think the problem is reviews and new mnemonics are both too much of a strain.
Btw, I’ll note I’m not using RTH. WHy? Well mainly as a challenge.

So, during reviews I’m gonna skip any Hanzi I can’t get really fast, and for reviews If I don’t know it in 10seconds I’ll suspend. it. Also I could even try to add a new one for each Hanzi I suspend in this way.

As for learning new ones, my pIan is to go through the deck learning all the easy ones first. Skip any of them that I can’t easily make a story for. I might even focus on etymology, or what seems like it would be the etymology or could make sense in that way. Those seem to be the best for me in terms of memorizing. The ones that are enjoyable to do.

Then I go back through the deck and the ones that WERE hard will be less hard the second time through because I’ll be able to use my knowledge of the already known characters as a stronger base. I’ll just keep doing that, making it so I am only ever learning easy Hanzi.

Ok I’ll try it.

Also I’ll add, that peole usually can do rtk/rth and learn them in 2-3 months at 20-25 a day. For me it’s been 10/day and taking 30+ minutes. I know it’s because I’m not using rth so I’m left having to come up with stories including 4+ elements which rth would avoid.

So I think this new idea will adress that problem because I will skip over any characters that have more that 2 elements, unless I can make sense of them right away.

Also it’s actually very interesting that the characters where I make mnemonics using stories about super heros ect, actually make me mad and frusterated (which leads to burn out). Where as the characters where I just make sense of the radicals in some way, lead to satisfaction. I’m going to take this seriously. I feel it has to do with my personality, where I enjoy learning things conceptual logical things, and dislike learning things that have no connection to anything else (and a very strong example of having no connection is stories that I make up just to form a memory but that I have no interest in otherwise).

On the macro level the example would be going to school for electronics and computers which is not something I had much interest in, and it being hard. Then now I’m studying psychology and philosophy ect which is very connected to who I am and what I want, and it being easy.

Letting go of need for recognition: The Joy of Sharing Interests

This post outlines my process of discovering of an overarching interest I have that is strong enough that it brings love into my life which I can give to others without expectation of return in any way.


Yesterday I was thinking the whole day of new goals I could work on. My reason was that I wanted to be known for what I was, for my potential, ect. However, that just led to a sort of stress as it’s unatural for me to just decide to do things, without actually wanting them for more intrinsic reasons.

I’m realizing further today that I probably need to let go of trying to gain any sort of recognition, at least for it’s own sake. It’s just as it is for attracting women. You attract them best when you
are living your life for you,being healthy, having fun, ect, and not for them. So I’m brainstorming what can make me happy when you take away women and take away the ego.I mean, should still want respect for intrisnic value wether or not it is admiration. Also, if wanting to be awesome is an inspired want(like, wanting to be like some idol/superhero/ect), then I guess it’s worth striving for. However I feel like I did a lot of that when I was younger and so now I want something more. I want to do things that will improve my life in more interesting an useful ways.

Anyway, I feel one thing I’m doing right that I wasn’t before, is I’m allowing myself to watch tv when I feel the need. Another thing is I’m in school around people. Whether they admire me or not is not as important. Just that there is a social exchange is pretty good.

I guess this is going into a bunch of tangents but the main thing is I realize there are two things I want focus on:

Focus on helping others
Focus on helping myself(like having more fun)

Also that helping others things might be based on fun, like extroverted energy building when teaching someone something. I rarely care if I’m admired for it. Just when I’m in the mood I see someone doesn’t know something, and I feel this urge to make sure they know it.

I guess that’s my way(way).

Two main categories of (goal oreinted)fun that I seem to focus on intensly are:

1.Being Admired (ego based, therefore expecting recognition in return for achievment)

In stuff like video games, or actually any form of goal where the value is based on what value others have prpoduced before it seems fairly enjoyable but at the same time if I look back on childhood there was a hint of obsession that developed where I would coup up in my room trying to make a deck and it was at least partly about proving myself because if I could prove that I could kick ass with such and such a deck then I would be admired, and I guess win friends?

Even stuff like writing has this feeling like I want the recognition for what I’ve figured out and achieved. However, the reality is that people don’t need a lot of what I’m writing. Not just because everyone is different, but because other people can and should figure stuff out on their own. Also because there is a difference between teaching, and showing off what I’ve discovered, I feel this feeling of recognition is not the same as times where I am helping someone with something they need help
understanding. I guess it’s different.

2.Curiousity (Interest based, not expecting anything in return)
Learning about things is extremly fun for me. I feel though that what I enjoy learning about (just for the curiousity, not to solve a problem) might be focused on the realm of people and myself. Isn’t it interesting that I cared more about cellini’s story than Da vincis note book of inventions. Well for one, Cellini’s was a glorious and entertaining tale, but I feel I generally care more about people are than what they have to teach. Unless ofcourse, what they have to teach applies to a problem or interest of mine already.

Music, Art, Language, (film/movies/stories), etc

These are all about different perspectives on the world. I guess these are higher forms of education, because instead of learning about specific concepts, you learn how to conceptualize in general. I guess philosophy stems from that, but philosophy is actually a level beneath. The study of how people think/feel/what they are/ect is the highest level education one can get. Beyond that there is a level of learning above education, which is experience.

I also spend a lot of time solving problems, and you could say this is productive, but it is far from ideal. The ideal would be to not have those problems, and be able to focus on the fun. At the same time, that fun, at least the definition I just described for me, would involve learning things that should very applicable to solving problems.

Oh btw, competition can be about learning how people think as well, and in that cause it would go under the second form of fun.

I feel that in focusing on what people are etc (including myself)(and I guess other curiousity based interests) I will automatically have things to talk about that I can go on forever about, without the focus nessesarily being on me (except when someone recognizes my contributions and observations ect by chance ( could happen a lot but it wont be my main drive)). My main drive will be enlightening people about all the cool shit that is out there. Sharing in that cool shit.

It’s making more sense now. I will teach stuff that is so interesting to me, that I can’t keep from teaching it. When I take the focus off trying to be something, I allow myself to find what is actually interesting for me (even if it’s a tv show, or a culture, ect) and tell people about it, giving that true passion to them, without even trying. I may not end up doing this through writing, or through youtube, but however it happens, I just want to make sure I enjoy it for it’s own sake. I just need something that is truly fun, in my life.

Language Learning Motivation: Avoiding Pain

I just realized another very interesting thing. I mean, a well known technique for motivating yourself to continue is to realize that if you quit, there is a good chance you will regret it at some point. However, that motivation is just as distant as the motivation to continue. Just like telling yourself, “in 6 months time I will be glad I stuck with it” is often not enough, saying, “If I quit, in 6 months time i will regret it cause I’ll know where I could have been” is also not motivating enough on it’s own.

However, Once you’ve actually experienced that regret, you’ll realize it’s not like, in 6 months you’ll suddenly feel like, “O snap if only I stuck with it”. At least that’s not the case for me. It’s actually an on going thing, if I’m not actively learning, especially after how much time I put in, every day I am seeing Chinese or bumping into situations where I would love to even be able to say “I am learning Chinese right now, this is what I learned today, ect”. Just that feeling of knowing you are progressing, that you are in it, that you have that affiliation with it. This is a reason to maintain it daily.

Daily is what you need, and it doesn’t have to be a lot. Just something. I give it around 20 – 30 min a day depending on how my reviews(using anki) and new hanzi come to me.

SO, well I guess it’s kind of moving towards pleasure as much as it is moving away from pain. Maybe these two are part of the same spectrum. I just realize this type of motivation is really important in tasks that you know you will have to do every day, especially before they have become habit. Part of the motivation does come from failure from doing too much and quitting. I know this, so if someoen is just starting out and has the urge to do too much, I kind of feel like saying go for it. It will be more meaningful when you finally internalize how these things need to be done, and if you still have a flicker of passion left after quitting many times, you’ll know how much it really means to you.

For me, I can feel the difference when I do just 10 new hanzi each morning and the rest of the day I don’t need to think about learning any more but I have the constant assurance that I am getting there and that the whole time I am having more and more to show for it. Night and day compared to quitting and having less and less to show for all the effort, every day.


I walked into my local game/comic book store to meet interesting people and learn of new and intersting things. I saw a bunch of guys playing Kaijudo. They were ver friendly and quickly introduced me to the game and let me play a few rounds. Then they got me some promostional decks that were free and I played with those. Then they told me about a legue they are starting and something they are doing tommorow. I thought wow what a nice group of people. If only I found the game interesting.

So I started to reflect on why I find Magic interesting but not Kaijudo. It comes down to a few very important concepts.

Art Work – The art work in magic the gathering is so much more advanced, the art work in kaijudo is cartoony by comparison, imo.

Linguistics – The choice of language is far richer in magic as they make may references to history, myth, and ideas from many realms of social sciences, health sciences, botany, ect.

Then for stuff like creature tokens, and dealing damage anyways you chose, and over a certain number of turns, omg it could get real with calculus ect. This could turn into a whole other game based even more solely on math skill but it would probably be intensely fun. If this is possible, if there is a way to make a math game that is actually fun, then even if I don’t get rich, everyone who plays it will be amazing in school and life. That is the kind of thing I want to focus on. Not drudgery.

Lore – the story hinted to through artwork, lore text, and other elements of the cards is also extremely rich

Perceived significance – The sum of the above three aspects and maybe others I haven’t even mentioned is a game is at the same time, an education, especially through the curiosity it provokes in those interested, those who feel the pull towards the powerful ideas the cards are based on.

Kaijudo cannot compare in these aspects and this is I think the reason I can’t get into it.

What I can do is continue analyzing what makes games like these, and other games in general, good. For instance, it seems most of the top selling games from larger companies make sure to have these elements in place in one way or another. They make sure the ideas behind them are as intellectually stimulating as the actual game, if not more. For instance most FPS these days are heavily based on real military combat meaning the player gets an immerse education in this field. Then there are games like starcraft where even though it is based on the future and on aliens, it makes sure to be brimming with technical concepts beyond game mechanics. I feel the element of learning is, well it’ important to me at least.

So if I were to make a game, I would probably focus at least a much on the ideas as on the game play, and I would go as in-depth as possible, as I feel the further in-depth you go, the more immerse the experience. What I wonder is what the limit to this is. I feel like Eve online is pushing this limit for sure. They obviously make sure there are ways to play that are immerse but avoid any dullness that rea life would have. I mean, could people be taught mathematics in Eve with the hope of using it to affect that world? Or would that be too immersive? I mean, is the enjoyment of the game in the removal of tasks that are too challenging, or is it about the world itself. See I wonder, is anyone using complex mathematics to help them in the game? Also, if the game introduced a way to level that involved mathematical manipulations on an in game screen with a really fancy design for the numbers and everything, would that remain immersive? Or would it be like snapping back to reality and not fun. Adding and subtracting is boring as shit if someone just hads you a piece of paper and says do it for 30 and hour. However, if it’s for the sake of a game it’s no problem. Same with reading. If it’s for a game I’m sure people would be willing o even learn a new language to take part.

Basically I think learning takes place best when there is a world that you want to get involved in but the only way to experience it is to jump through educational hoops. I mean, learning magic the gathering I’m pretty sure was were my reading comprehension really took off. However, it wasn’t like the game worked on a work reward basis. I think the pictures just made me want to know what the words meant, and then the words made me want to know the concepts and or history behind them. I can see this working with Chinese characters. For one, people already are probably curious about the artistic lines ect of the characters, but memorizing would be beyond their level of motivation. However, at least for some people, if there was a card game or some other sort of collectible item that paired curiosity peeking pictures with a Chinese characters or sentences that were related to them in a powerful way, I could see people wanting to know at least the meaning behind those characters.

Ways to do this

Beautiful Photographs/Art + characters

Possibly sexy and mysterious pictures/Art + characters

Photos/Art + small blurb with a few words changed to characters and characters as a title, then a legend that allows the person to make sense of the blurb. Or even make the legend a separate card. Or make it a puzzle where multiple(maybe just a few) cards are needed to piece together the meaning of a story, which makes them collectible in that way.

Or it could be short stories in general, with pictures, and collectible, and with a legend for figuring out the 10-20 words that are in each case written in Chinese.

That’s for languages, it would work amazingly well the more people got involved with their own ideas to collaborate on creating something. As well it can be given importance in another way by making it actually all related to some aspects of daily life. Either humor, or gossip, ect. So basically it could even be comic strips, but they would have to be organized around a specific set of vocabulary and graded so that everyone can start from a beginning or some starting point and work through learning as they enjoy.

Another way I’ve thought this could be done is take a comic book in English, and use whiteout over 10 frequently used works and write over them, or glue an printed out tag, of the Chinese for them. Then read the book with a legend to refer to at the start until you get those words down cold. Or maybe no legend or only some words in legend and just learn the words through context. Or do the opposite with comics that are only in Chinese write English over all of it except the word you want to learn, or write enligsh over key words and try to understand the rest through context.

Or someone could edit all online comics to make this an option for anyone looking to learn the language.

Now, that is for languages, and to make it even more of a game you could make it social online by letting people test their knowledge of what they learned and then get a score based on how many words they learned. That just bridges the gap between beginner and intermediate in terms of motivation so that people will be more likely to read for the learning as well as the story instead of just getting it translated for them. Of course this is assuming the comics are original otherwise they would be the ones to not even try the learner’s verision.

For math it might be a bit more tricky, but it would be basically some aspect of entertainment that already involves using math, and just add more math in without making it too boring? For example, if instead of the creatures having an integral power and toughness and spells integral damage, the damage they deal could easily be written as a formula the player has to solve, or even roll the dice to see which question of which page of the math book to complete to solve for damage. If the cards were printed this way, I think it would arouse curiousity for players so that without trying to solve the problem they would at least study the problem to get a general idea of how much damage would be dealt so they would know if it’s a lot or a little. As well, the numbers to plug into the formula could be based on number of swamps in control + number of swamps in casting cost of all creatures, ect, to keep people from just memorizing the number for the cards. Or even a more randomized way or doing it, like dice rolls with a computer generating dice. ect. The formulas would have to require some form of transformation to make sure it isn’t just a calculator plug and chug. However this may be too tedious and take to long for every turn, if this is the case maybe the math needs to become a more integral part of the game without sacrificing story and art elements ect. However, it would be fun if the players were then given a very high number of life, with the possibility that a card would come down dealing close to infinite damage. Then the players would have to constantly be thinking of way more complex equations so they could form their strategy to avoid that, and it would be based on the card formulas, plus other aspects of the board plus their hands, plus probability. It would be more complicated but I think it would also be far more competitive and therefore possibly far more fun.

If I were to do this I would need quite a few people working on it. We copy an existing game model almost exactly except for this to save time. How about it, do you want to compete based only on strategy and on who can add and subtract, or do you wanna take things to the next level. I feel that one of the only ways math works well in games is when it is related to competition, but maybe it could somehow work with other things as well like mystery or an adventure book. The math would have to be integrated enough that the answers wouldn’t be available online. Also the story and/or other elements would have to be top notch if this is to be a solo game. I mean, I guess I can see this working in rpgs if the swords damage is an equation instead of just a number, but maybe a lot of people would just do trial and error if they find it too taxing. Or it could be that there are time savers like avoiding battles ect, but they require the use of higher math skills.

For some reason I feel the best way to use math is when it is focused directly on the persons chance of winning, in a strategic situation. In this way because we feel a very primal relationship between quantity and winning vs losing, so it makes sense that where the quantities can vary more greatly and are more mysterious and unpredictable without higher math, I feel it should increase excitement.
If the cards were actual lcd screens instead of just cards, it would mean even more possible variation in card attributes from game to game. Also instead of MTG requiring set expansions, the attributes could just be downloaded from online every few months.

Infact, I wouldn’t even have to make new cards yet, I can just shove sticky in the shield with each card and the title would be something like Insane mode ect. Of course, when introducing it to new players I would have at most 2 decks and I would have a legend for the new formulas on each. Also the rule could be no using a pen to actually calculate these, you have to just know what the formula is doing and then estimate. You only get to calculate after the damage is dealt. That way more time is spent understanding the math under pressure, and less time is spent actually calculating. Rounds are already time limited so I guess there’s no need to limit turn times, just be fair I guess, no running up the clock.

As well, the math can become increasingly complex in each new expansion. For instance, if the next expansion introduced powers only, as a way of writing attack power, like 2^2/2^2 as a attack power, kids would quickly learn what that meant. WTF hasn’t anyone thought of that yet??? Then it could even be a new type of spell that involves all the crazy new formulas to start with, almost like a taste of what many cards may have in the future. Or maybe since people will say, why didn’t they just put 4 instead of 2^2, well maybe it would have to be 2^w where w = number o white mana, obvious cause it say w. So if the card as 2w/2w and someone destroys all your white mana, that card will die because it will be 2 x 0/ 2 x 0.

So Basically I feel the only way edutainment works, is where the new math or language actually enhances the game play. Chinese looks cool so it kind of pays for itself t have a bit of it in a game or book and absorb it slowly. Basically the math works if I find the areas that depend on the understanding of math and numbers to make it fun, and add more to the math.

I realize I enjoy simplifying my ideas to make them more easily actionable for me. I just narrowed it even further so that I just have enchantments that have functions that effect the numbers of any other spell you play. I could even narrow it further and say it’s those new cards called conspiracies, that way they don’t even have to be real cards basically lol. Maybe that’s taking it too far but a conspiracy could say your creatures power = Pw^w and toughness  =  Tw^w, however, that shrinks the number of cards that will be interesting and I feel this shrinks the richness of the mod.

I just realized, the most important thing to me is learning and that if I can’t enjoy my learning (endutainment) that is the most dis-empowering thing. If three years ago when I started learning mandarin, I enjoyed it all the way through until now I would be bilingual. However I was stuck in the situation of not enjoying it and that is why back then, I didn’t succeed. I tried to go to fast, and I tried to put productivity before enjoyment. Languages are not learned by memorizing, they are learned by enjoying things through them. I feel the same thing should be for anything else. It should be through enjoyable use and enjoyable results of that use, that any subject should be learned. Now I see why khats of ajatt(probably entp) had so much success and worked so hard on getting the fun in Japanese. He figured out + learned from antimoon, that enjoyment was key.

I will apply this to my life in general. First of all I will try to focus only on learning things I authentically want to learn, (chinese for example), then I will focus on making it fun if it isn’t already. For chinese I think the best way is through tumblr, characterize, I want to start using a comic book method soon, and learning and creating funny stories to learn the hanzi(I will check out koohi and make a deck of only very funny stories and learn  them maybe just 10 a day, and whatever ones I get tired of get deleted. Its fun first. I may use some of my own stories if they are funny enough that I would share them with other people, and maybe I will share them which will make them stick even better. I’ll focus on enjoyable learning of what I want to learn, first. Maybe through in a mtg mod or something else if I get a itch to revolutionize learning for myself ect.


Magic the Gathering vs Programming: Perceived value of learning material and it’s effect on motivation

Reduced perceived value by division

If you want to get someone interested in programming, one of the best ways to do that is to teach them the simplest program that runs and produces something useful. A good example is the “hello world” program. When people realize they have just made a program that communicates, it’s an empowering feeling. What is not an empowering feeling however, is to start off by teaching them about characters, ascii, bits, bytes, the compiler, ect. Not empowering because it doesn’t teach them anything actionable, that will feel valuable. My philosophy of this is that even if you know how important bits an bytes are, the mind is geared towards what is useful to it in the present. What is most useful, most valuable, most cutting edge. On the other hand if you try to teach them a full program for a game right off the bat, that will also be dis-empowering for two reasons, one is that it will take a long and frustrating time to learn something useful, and two I will explain it the next segment. Maybe we just have a natural sense of how long we should spend learning something, what is a suitable amount of time to spend to gain something valuable, what is efficient.

In Magic the Gathering, everything is an object. A card, with a few lines of text maximum that can do something. Cards like mana, and attackers and direct damage spells are like functions like hello world, and adding two numbers together. They are obvious value objects. When I was a kid, those were the cards I wanted when I started playing because to me, those felt easiest to start having fun with. I feel programing works the same way. Then you have cards that effect the other cards in play and you realize the value of those cards. At the same time, you are getting a feel for the whole game through these cards and realizing what is a good card, a bad card, what will and wont work. Eventually you will start thinking, I wish I could have a card that did this or that, then I would win, ect. That would be the development of motivation for a beginning programmer as well. So basically I feel like programming shouldn’t even be taught line by line. They should be taught function by function, object by simplistic object. Then slowing things should be combined together creatively and strategically to create new things. Then eventually the basic logic will sink in and the person will think, it would be cool if the function did this instead, only as it’s a program and not cards, they will be able to do that, and have the background to know what to do.

Reduced perceived value by summation

I realized when I try to follow tutorials, I feel inspired around the beginning when they show one thing, one function and how it works. I follow the instructions and create the same function and get it to work and I understand exactly how it works and it’s cool. How ever, as they try to teach further by building onto that same module, I find that understanding takes more and more effort as all these things are being introduced as part of the whole instead of shown in isolation first. Not only that, but seeing them as only parts of the whole, shows them in a light of being only useful as part of that whole, instead of as valuable as individual entities. Therefore, the more things are taught in this way, the less I will feel I am actually learning. For example, you learn how to print out hello world. Your first program amazing. Then you learn how to print hello world in a window based on inputted data, just for example. The detracts value from both of those ideas when they are introduced as one whole. It would have been better to introduce the idea of imputing data separately. The inputting co-ordinates separately, then showing a window, separately, ect then putting them all together.

In Magic the Gathering, we are not introduced to the game by someone handing us a deck. At least not as kids, at least not for me. For me, I saw a blue mana, and a few other cards and said wow wtf is that? What does that say? Tap for mana? What is mana? What does this thing do? If someone handed me a full deck, I’m thinking I would explore it card by card and try to play with maybe a few cards only, like I did at the beginning as I was only given like 5 or 6 cards by a friend. I study each card individually and then try to use two of them together to make something happen, then I get more cards and add them and try to explore and make more things happen. At the same time, kids would be telling me, this is a “good card”, this is a very good card, This card might seem like it sucks but you need it for this card, ect. So you realize all the cads have a kind of intrinsic value, instead of it being just one big deck. I feel that programming should be taught as separate functions. I mean,  feel each concept or function introduced should be introduced in isolation in it’s most basic usable form, so it’s value can be understood better and therefore learning it would be more motivating.

What I’m doing

So what I realized is that these tutorials for pygame were just going to far without enough introductions and so I decided not to completely scrape what I was working on, but to kind of take out anything besides the minimum viable product and then slowing work in more things. I feel like sometimes I get ahead of myself, trying to create something new without having enough background at it just makes me feel nauseous because I know deep down that I’m just wasting time. It just get’s to me because I feel like maybe all the smart programmers learned everything just by being smart lol, and that unless I try to emulate that and basically reinvent programming, I would be any good. I actually feel that’s one of the bad ideas I learned from my college professors, like if I don’t want to learn this way maybe I don’t like real programming and just want to copy. However, not only does that seem silly when I think about it but since it’s not fun at all for me to think about it, I might as well not go about learning that way. Sure these programming languages were developed by people over time, but that doesn’t mean beginners should feel obligated to do the same thing.

I am working with pygame creating plat formers and I’m going to have a look at most of the needed functions and concepts in isolation first, as created by someone else, and then work on putting them together to make something interesting. I mean, I might have to follow tutorials, but I’ll just take out every function they introduce and try it out in isolation first. Btw I feel like I find the physics engines in game programming to be interesting. Not sure why that is, I guess my Ne sees the possibilities for alternate physics realities and find it interesting. It gives me a sense of power as well, but maybe it’s the Ti can sense that something like a physics engine is empowering for me to grasp, even if without the financial potential, and it’s motivating. I mean, I like music, but you would think I would get more psyched up about creating a killer song and want to experiment with music all the time but it obviously doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t feel constructive enough for me and I feel that could be my Ti talking. So I feel like I have this need to do something constructive. I feel I have always had that, and remember my first time feeling basically euphoric over a k’nects set as a kid. I mean, I guess I could feel a similar feeling from running a business but why go through all that trouble when I don’t have to. I also wonder why I’m less interested in mechanical engineering and stuff like that but I’m guessing that stuff is less cutting edge and also harder to get into than programming. Even my university classes mostly psychology don’t feel very constructive to me and therefore not as much fun. I feel like maybe the reason why I feel bored is that I need something constructive but am finding so much discouragement from lack of social atmosphere in the areas I’d like to construct in, as well as discouraging teaching methods by teachers who don’t understand/remember what a beginner enjoys.



Doing what interests me: The study of People?

I started thinking, I need to stop focusing on just meeting people. It just doesn’t feel like a fulfilling idea on it’s own and it seemed that whenever I would be meeting people just for the sake of it, out of desperation, it wouldn’t work out. At least with the last person I met just in public, I was more focused on the curiosity, what could happen, who is she. Not on some need. At least I think that’s what it was although yes the habit of approaching was learned because I felt I needed to meet someone. I that one situation I had started jogging and taking vitamin d and sleeping well so iunno I’d like to say it wasn’t because of desperation that I met her, I’d like to say meeting her is inline with the idea I’m coming to.

The idea I have now is that ok so I need something meaningful to do, I can’t just be meeting people, trying to have sex, ect, it’s just not fun. So what is worth doing. What is meaningful is what I give to improve this world. What I can give from a place of abundance where it just happens almost effortlessly. What happens out of love. For me that is as I said in last mega post, that I organically come to discover ideas as I do things I’m interested in in the short term. Either conclusions that help me solve some problem I want to solve with some immediacy or just something cool  discover. Then I share that with others as a way of simply spotting and removing the piece of glass from the floor because I noticed it first.

So yeah I have problems or, well not really, I mean just deciding what to do is a problem you could say, but It’s more of a necessary hobby lol. Then how to gain muscle ect, problems but more of hobbies. Then stuff like the heel spur I have, problems but whatever I’ll fix it. What I’m looking for is not really a problem to solve, why would I look for problems just so I can be productive. That’s no fun and not even that productive. So What I’ll do is look for things I can discover. Discovery is fun. It’s what i enjoy doing. It’s organic, short term gain with no commitments. So what is interesting for me. Not movies or video games or anime anymore, they all seem the same now. People though, that is different. Well I know I just said I don’t want to focus on meeting people, but that was meeting people for the sake of company and support. Now I am talking about meeting/seeing/reading about people for the sake of discovery, learning, evolution.

Now I’ll just mention, I can study people in other ways like I can listen to new music as a way of studying the composer. New art as a way of discovering the mind of an artist. Ect. I might get to that actually but right now…

So I realized, why not check back to youtube and the MBTI channels. Find some I like. Then I found this INTJ and thought, well INTJ’s cognitively go well with ENTPs so let’s hear what she has to say. Which lead me to her blog which I’m glad I found!

Coincidentally I am using this blog titled knowyourselffree which was a name I came up with I think back in 2009. Since I have thought of many other things worth doing beyond knowing myself but somehow it always seems to come back to it. Not as a direction in itself but as an important tool in doing what I want to do. It’s coincidental because knowing ones self is what her blog I or at least the post I read is about.

Got some Bleach soundtrack music in the background so I’m taking in new information that way as well, and I feel like maybe I’m getting on track. Also I’ll not that learn about people doesn’t have to be studying people as objects. At least I hope not. I think the key here is for both people to be on the same page as far as wanting to learn about one another, otherwise the studier is always objectifying the studied.

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