30 votes

April is canceled

30 comments

  1. [15]
    goodbetterbestbested
    Link
    While I don't entirely disagree with this idea of encouraging people to use this time to complete whatever personal projects they haven't been able to otherwise... I also think that putting...

    While I don't entirely disagree with this idea of encouraging people to use this time to complete whatever personal projects they haven't been able to otherwise...

    I also think that putting pressure on yourself to be like Isaac fuckin' Newton in the middle of a plague is too much.

    We are all under a lot of pressure already. If you feel like working on your personal projects relieves that pressure, great. But don't let anyone make you feel like you're somehow doing something wrong if your muse flies away in the midst of death and disease rather than coming up to meet you.

    31 votes
    1. ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      I don't think it was meant as a forceful encouragement – certainly not to an extent where you have to perform the same as one of the sharpest minds in physics. You could, however, look up to the...

      I also think that putting pressure on yourself to be like Isaac fuckin' Newton in the middle of a plague is too much.

      I don't think it was meant as a forceful encouragement – certainly not to an extent where you have to perform the same as one of the sharpest minds in physics.

      You could, however, look up to the people whose qualities you admire, see that they did well during stressful times, say to yourself "How am I any worse?", and do a thing or two that you are well-qualified for.

      10 votes
    2. Parliament
      Link Parent
      It's not pressure, it's inspiration. That's how I interpreted it.

      It's not pressure, it's inspiration. That's how I interpreted it.

      9 votes
    3. [11]
      vivaria
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      CC @ThatFanficGuy, @Pariliament, @AugustusFerdinand: I definitely felt "pressure" and not "inspiration". Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I abhor the Drill Sergeant-esque "barking...

      CC @ThatFanficGuy, @Pariliament, @AugustusFerdinand:

      I definitely felt "pressure" and not "inspiration". Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I abhor the Drill Sergeant-esque "barking in your face" hyperbole and blunt language of communities like /r/GetMotivated. The OP website is a more subtle version of this, but it's still too forceful for me.

      If you're voluntarily consenting to this kind of language because you like it or find it motivating, sure, all power to you. Subscribe to /r/GetMotivated, bookmark this website. But, not everyone derives motivation from the same sources. Not everyone likes getting roped into statements with absolutes like "Let's all become Isaac Newton this month."

      Personally, I'm much more motivated by caring, nurturing language and curiosity/interest. A helping hand from ahead, rather than a shove from behind. I shrink and wither when I read stuff like this. It's painful and demotivating.

      also, part of me wonders how much the immediate "but acktually, it's motivating, don't you see" responses have do to with the masculine nature of this kind of motivation, and how male-dominated tildes/reddit are right now. but, that's a whole 'nother tangent lmao

      9 votes
      1. [5]
        Adys
        Link Parent
        Nothing to do with male/female. It felt a little pressuring to me too and I agree with you, in fact I'm feeling pretty burnt out in general right now. (I'm male)

        Nothing to do with male/female. It felt a little pressuring to me too and I agree with you, in fact I'm feeling pretty burnt out in general right now. (I'm male)

        2 votes
        1. [4]
          vivaria
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Ah! Sorry, I didn't mean male as in, inherent to all men. I meant in terms of the demographics of Tildes leaning more masculine, hence there being more people who connect with harsh/blunt/forceful...

          Ah! Sorry, I didn't mean male as in, inherent to all men. I meant in terms of the demographics of Tildes leaning more masculine, hence there being more people who connect with harsh/blunt/forceful motivation.

          If you're male and that kind of motivation doesn't resonate with you, then no worries! :>

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            Adys
            Link Parent
            I see I misworded my previous comment. What I meant is I don't think this kind of "motivating speech" is particularly masculine. I mean, yes, there's the macho-style "GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES,...

            I see I misworded my previous comment. What I meant is I don't think this kind of "motivating speech" is particularly masculine.

            I mean, yes, there's the macho-style "GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES, PRIVATE" military type motivation, which I think is only seen as masculine because of the military being primarily (or sometimes exclusively) male. But I'm not reading that in the site, and I don't think that's what you're reading in this either?

            What bothers me is there is a push to "be productive" during the quarantine and I understand it comes from a position of "Here, do something so you don't get depressed", but at least to me it rings as "Your life has been completely turned upside down, you can't do your regular activities, can't see the people you usually see, etc; and on top of that, you have to pressure yourself to be productive / lose weight / be your best self because otherwise you're wasting this opportunity" and it's like, jesus, give people a break.

            I've been consciously pushing myself but also consciously stopped doing that when I started to feel burnout. If ever there is a time to be careful about your own mental health, it's now, and you have to keep things nuanced for people.

            I'm going to follow-up in a separate thread because I feel a rant coming from a recent experience and it's going to go off-topic.

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              vivaria
              Link Parent
              Thanks for clarifying! I think what you've written makes a lot of sense. You're absolutely right in that I have qualms with the capitalist side of sites like this, and the push to be productive...

              Thanks for clarifying! I think what you've written makes a lot of sense. You're absolutely right in that I have qualms with the capitalist side of sites like this, and the push to be productive and create value even in times of crisis.

              I mean, yes, there's the macho-style "GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES, PRIVATE" military type motivation, which I think is only seen as masculine because of the military being primarily (or sometimes exclusively) male. But I'm not reading that in the site, and I don't think that's what you're reading in this either?

              The masculine trait I read in sites like /r/GetMotivated is the "harden up" kind of resilience. "Things may be tough, but you have to suck it up and push through it anyway." I find that to be a lot more traditionally masculine, as opposed to the "things are tough, so it's perfectly understandable for you to not have the capacity to push through it. You're human, you have emotions" kind of understanding.

              But, I think I may have been projecting my dislike of /r/GetMotivated too much onto this website. Thanks for calling me out on that.

              Am curious to read your separate thread. :)

              2 votes
              1. Adys
                Link Parent
                Here. Do you think the "suck it up" mentality is particularly masculine? I'm less attuned to female social groups but I've definitely seen it a lot there. Hell, my girlfriend is a textbook example...

                Here.

                Do you think the "suck it up" mentality is particularly masculine? I'm less attuned to female social groups but I've definitely seen it a lot there. Hell, my girlfriend is a textbook example of someone who tries far too hard to "toughen up" and often ends up breaking down and explodes when things become too much.

                3 votes
      2. [4]
        AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        Can you share why you feel a website can pressure you on anything? I'll admit to lacking understanding in how something someone visited voluntarily can have such an impact. Perhaps it is my own...

        Can you share why you feel a website can pressure you on anything? I'll admit to lacking understanding in how something someone visited voluntarily can have such an impact. Perhaps it is my own rugged masculinity speaking, but I fail to see how something with zero power/influence over an individual can cause such feelings of pressure.

        1. vivaria
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          You say websites have zero power/influence, but I don't think that's at all true. Words from a stranger on the internet can absolutely have power and influence. :V In an immediate sense, words...

          You say websites have zero power/influence, but I don't think that's at all true. Words from a stranger on the internet can absolutely have power and influence. :V

          In an immediate sense, words convey ideas, and ideas can trigger reactions in us as we process them. If someone can consistently trigger emotions like fear, panic, or shame in others by sharing certain ideas, then I certainly consider that person to be wielding power.

          In a more long-term sense, what we read and experience informs our worldview, too. Definitely in a subconscious sense, as we survey our environment and try to build an understanding of what's going on outside of us. But, also in a conscious sense, too. If someone is in a vulnerable place and looking for guidance, for example, it wouldn't be unreasonable for them try to learn from what they read, and balance those ideas with what they already believe.

          There are all sorts of examples we can point to that demonstrate the effect words have on the internet. The power of news headlines to draw attention or spark fear and uncertainty. The power of targeted harassment to cause someone to feel threatened and unsafe. The influence homogeneous internet communities can have on users' perspectives, even.

          To tie this into the other thread...

          And neither do you if you so choose.

          If you're working, then work.

          If it's become a dependency or compulsion then it's no different than the same for alcohol and it's time to make the choice to seek help and "step away."

          The way you write your other comments, it seems like you believe strongly in personal responsibility, and in the ability for someone to address problems by taking action on their own.

          But... I don't think everything we think and feel can be a conscious, informed decision or reaction. Some bits of our functioning are really difficult (if not impossible) to disrupt, control, or change. Sometimes we really are at the mercy of our own wiring. Other times, even if changing our reactions is possible, that process can be drawn-out and labour-intensive (e.g. therapy). The ability to follow through on that isn't always a luxury someone has.

          To be honest, I don't even think personal change is something that should be expected of individuals all the time. IMO a lot of the time the best solution is a compromise between a person and their environment, rather than placing the onus entirely on the individual to change. (As a side note, a good tangent from this is the "Social model of disability" which informs a lot of my perspective on this. Would recommend looking into further!)

          7 votes
        2. [2]
          ShroudedMouse
          Link Parent
          @vivaria spoke my mind and I was tempted to reply to your questions directly but now I wonder, what's the point? If you don't feel pressure/influence/power from something you voluntarily read, how...

          @vivaria spoke my mind and I was tempted to reply to your questions directly but now I wonder, what's the point? If you don't feel pressure/influence/power from something you voluntarily read, how could you empathise/understand any explanation I give?

          So I conclude your questions aren't genuinely seeking to understand but please let me know if I've assumed too much.

          5 votes
          1. AugustusFerdinand
            Link Parent
            You've assumed too much. One does not need to feel the same as you to empathize. In fact it's that thought that far too many have that I honestly believe drives divisions between us; far too many...

            You've assumed too much.

            One does not need to feel the same as you to empathize. In fact it's that thought that far too many have that I honestly believe drives divisions between us; far too many dismiss the experiences of others because they cannot fathom it themselves. While I cannot presently understand how a website I view as powerless can have power, I am asking so that a different view can be had.

            1 vote
      3. ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        I don't give a shit about what the website said. I didn't need another COVID-inspired page to tell me to find meaning in the work I do. The obstacles on my path are not of the "lacking the desire"...

        I don't give a shit about what the website said. I didn't need another COVID-inspired page to tell me to find meaning in the work I do. The obstacles on my path are not of the "lacking the desire" sort anymore.

        Maybe, I figured, changing your framing could work if you feel the bad kind of stress instead of the good kind. So I tried to change it for the reader. The "male/female perspective" conversation is not one I'm looking to have, partly because I think it's full of shit due to lacking in nuance.

        If it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for you. Nothing wrong with that. Find the source you find more meaningful than what didn't strike a chord.

    4. AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      Can I introduce you to our friend hyperbole? No one is pressuring anyone. No one is being literal. No one is forcing anyone to do anything. It's clearly meant to be inspirational encouragement.

      I also think that putting pressure on yourself to be like Isaac fuckin' Newton in the middle of a plague is too much.

      Can I introduce you to our friend hyperbole?

      No one is pressuring anyone.

      No one is being literal.

      No one is forcing anyone to do anything.

      It's clearly meant to be inspirational encouragement.

      4 votes
  2. [9]
    envy
    Link
    Isaac Newton may have changed the world during a quarantine, but he didn't have any digital distractions.

    Isaac Newton may have changed the world during a quarantine, but he didn't have any digital distractions.

    8 votes
    1. [5]
      SUD0
      Link Parent
      Honestly, that is one of modern human's big challenges. How to deal with our evolutionary programming that rewards bad behaviors in the time of plenty. To learn how to be bored. I was thinking...

      Honestly, that is one of modern human's big challenges. How to deal with our evolutionary programming that rewards bad behaviors in the time of plenty. To learn how to be bored.

      I was thinking about doing a small dopamine fast to help clear my head. It sounds super helpful.

      4 votes
      1. [4]
        envy
        Link Parent
        Like a meditation retreat?

        small dopamine fast

        Like a meditation retreat?

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          Like turning off your devices without ever moving to a remote location.

          Like turning off your devices without ever moving to a remote location.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            envy
            Link Parent
            So like camping, without the actual camping?

            without ever moving to a remote location.

            So like camping, without the actual camping?

            1 vote
            1. ThatFanficGuy
              Link Parent
              That's an interesting way to put it.

              That's an interesting way to put it.

              1 vote
    2. [3]
      AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      And neither do you if you so choose.

      he didn't have any digital distractions.

      And neither do you if you so choose.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        tempestoftruth
        Link Parent
        This isn't necessarily the case for everyone, some people need their phones or computers for work, and especially with the coronavirus crisis online communication is the only type of communication...

        This isn't necessarily the case for everyone, some people need their phones or computers for work, and especially with the coronavirus crisis online communication is the only type of communication that some people have access to, and even in the best of times it's never as simple as just "stepping away" if it's become a dependency or a compulsion, so I think it's a bit disingenuous to frame the act of avoiding digital distractions as an individual's choice at this point.

        2 votes
        1. AugustusFerdinand
          Link Parent
          If you're working, then work. It's highly unlikely your work involves digital distractions, social media, news sites, etc. Choice. If it's become a dependency or compulsion then it's no different...

          If you're working, then work. It's highly unlikely your work involves digital distractions, social media, news sites, etc. Choice.

          If it's become a dependency or compulsion then it's no different than the same for alcohol and it's time to make the choice to seek help and "step away."

          2 votes
  3. SUD0
    Link
    Stumbled upon this on Hacker News. I thought this was a super positive take on the situations that a lot of people might be finding themselves in. People all of a sudden have a lot of free time on...

    Stumbled upon this on Hacker News. I thought this was a super positive take on the situations that a lot of people might be finding themselves in. People all of a sudden have a lot of free time on their hands and can't go out anywhere. Boredom is a great spark for creativity. :)

    5 votes
  4. Icarus
    Link
    I probably won't become Isaac Newton, but I did purchase equipment to begin detrashing the areas around where I walk. I got: 2 grabbers A pair of puncture resistant gloves Heavy duty trash bags I...

    I probably won't become Isaac Newton, but I did purchase equipment to begin detrashing the areas around where I walk. I got:

    • 2 grabbers
    • A pair of puncture resistant gloves
    • Heavy duty trash bags

    I have been wanting to start doing it for awhile now but my small daily walks have finally pushed me to do it.

    4 votes
  5. [4]
    skybrian
    Link
    Although some people might have interesting and important ideas to work on during this enforced time off, most people, then or now, are not in a position to invent calculus. If you are eager to do...

    Although some people might have interesting and important ideas to work on during this enforced time off, most people, then or now, are not in a position to invent calculus.

    If you are eager to do something consequential then it seems more likely that there are unique opportunities to help with the global effort to defeat this thing, and that would mean looking outward, rather than inward.

    What are those opportunities? That's the trouble. It's not that easy to figure out.

    Some of us might find them by reaching out to friends and family and figuring out what they need. Others might be willing to go to work in an "essential business". There may be volunteer opportunities.

    Nobody should pretend that finding useful work that's suitable is easy. The job hunt isn't easy in normal times, so why would it be easy now?

    1 vote
    1. [3]
      AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      Who's to say you need to work on COVID? Newton didn't work on how to cure the plague. He worked on his own projects, the things that interested him, things he'd been putting off, tasks that he...

      Who's to say you need to work on COVID? Newton didn't work on how to cure the plague. He worked on his own projects, the things that interested him, things he'd been putting off, tasks that he hadn't made time for.

      It's working on things that you want to work on that the site is encouraging, not necessarily something world changing. That's exactly what the site is saying in the third paragraph...

      Go finish that book, write a new song, call your dad, your sister, bake a pie, make some tacos, fix the lawnmower, code that great app, learn a second language, donate blood, donate to your local food bank, do 5 pull-ups, then do 10, train like Arnold at home, learn about the current economy, learn about the future economy, lookout for people in need in this crisis, do that thing you always wanted to do but never had time to.

      Everyone just has to look past the second. Have to look past comparing themselves to someone that achieved greatness and just achieve what they believe to be great for themselves.

      3 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov
        Link Parent
        Exactly. Everyone has a list of things they would like to do if only they had the time. Well... right now... lots of us have nothing but time. We can choose to spend that time watching the latest...

        He worked on his own projects, the things that interested him, things he'd been putting off, tasks that he hadn't made time for.

        Exactly.

        Everyone has a list of things they would like to do if only they had the time. Well... right now... lots of us have nothing but time. We can choose to spend that time watching the latest Netflix show or levelling up on a computer game, or we can choose to do something else. And there lots of things we can choose to do.

        1 vote
      2. skybrian
        Link Parent
        I'm not saying that you have to work on COVID. But, for people who are interested, there may be good opportunities to get involved, if we knew what they were. To generalize a bit, whether you look...

        I'm not saying that you have to work on COVID. But, for people who are interested, there may be good opportunities to get involved, if we knew what they were.

        To generalize a bit, whether you look for work or not, finding meaningful activity when you can choose what to do with your time and there is no default choice is more difficult than many people suspect. Even people who retire voluntarily can take a while to adjust, and that's nothing compared to unemployment. The amount of freedom you have takes some getting used to, especially when you believe in general that you should not be wasting time, but have no particular cause.

        I find that most of the time I'm pretty okay with it. In times of crisis, especially, I sometimes question my decisions.

        I wish there were better places to discuss specific opportunities. Tildes is nice and all, but we come from all over the world, and the other communities I'm involved in discuss these things rarely.

        1 vote