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Search - "fear of death"
I've been away, lurking at the shadows (aka too lazy to actually log in) but a post from a new member intrigued me; this is dedicated to @devAstated . It is erratic, and VERY boring.
When I resigned from the Navy, I got a flood of questions from EVERY direction, from the lower rank personnel and the higher ups (for some reason, the higher-ups were very interested on what the resignation procedure was...). A very common question was, of course, why I resigned. This requires a bit of explaining (I'll be quick, I promise):
In my country, being in the Navy (or any public sector) means you have a VERY stable job position; you can't be fired unless you do a colossal fuck-up. Reduced to non-existent productivity? No problem. This was one of the reasons for my resignation, actually.
However, this is also used as a deterrent to keep you in, this fear of lack of stability and certainty. And this is the reason why so many asked me why I left, and what was I going to do, how was I going to be sure about my job security.
I have a simple system. It can be abused, but if you are careful, it may do you and your sanity good.
It all begins with your worth, as an employee (I assume you want to go this way, for now). Your worth is determined by the supply of your produced work, versus the demand for it. I work as a network and security engineer. While network engineers are somewhat more common, security engineers are kind of a rarity, and the "network AND security engineer" thing combined those two paths. This makes the supply of my work (network and security work from the same employee) quite limited, but the demand, to my surprise, is actually high.
Of course, this is not something easy to achieve, to be in the superior bargaining position - usually it requires great effort and many, many sleepless nights. Anyway....
Finding a field that has more demand than there is supply is just one part of the equation. You must also keep up with everything (especially with the tech industry, that changes with every second). The same rules apply when deciding on how to develop your skills: develop skills that are in short supply, but high demand. Usually, such skills tend to be very difficult to learn and master, hence the short supply.
You probably got asleep by now.... WAKE UP THIS IS IMPORTANT!
Now, to job security: if you produce, say, 1000$ of work, then know this:
YOU WILL BE PAID LESS THAN THAT. That is how the company makes profit. However, to maximize YOUR profit, and to have a measure of job security, you have to make sure that the value of your produced work is high. This is done by:
- Producing more work by working harder (hard method)
- Producing more work by working smarter (smart method)
- Making your work more valuable by acquiring high demand - low supply skills (economics method)
The hard method is the simplest, but also the most precarious - I'd advise the other two. Now, if you manage to produce, say, 3000$ worth of work, you can demand for 2000$ (numbers are random).
And here is the thing: any serious company wants employees that produce much more than they cost. The company will strive to pay them with as low a salary as it can get away with - after all, a company seeks to maximize its profit. However, if you have high demand - low supply skills, which means that you are more expensive to be replaced than you are to be paid, then guess what? You have unlocked god mode: the company needs you more than you need the company. Don't get me wrong: this is not an excuse to be unprofessional or unreasonable. However, you can look your boss in the eye. Believe me, most people out there can't.
Even if your company fails, an employee with valuable skills that brings profit tends to be snatched very quickly. If a company fires profitable employees, unless it hires more profitable employees to replace them, it has entered the spiral of death and will go bankrupt with mathematical certainty. Also, said fired employees tend to be absorbed quickly; after all, they bring profit, and companies are all about making the most profit.
It was a long post, and somewhat incoherent - the coffee buzz is almost gone, and the coffee crash is almost upon me. I'd like to hear the insight of the veterans; I estimate that it will be beneficial for the people that start out in this industry.3
I quit abusive relationship. I quit smoking. I quit vaping salt nicotine, yes, the one that vape bloggers tell you is impossible to quit. I overcame opioid drugs addiction that developed when I recovered after a surgery back in 2015.
My last addiction is sugar. Yesterday night was the night when I ate about 100 grams of it in one take, feeling like I need more and more to take that hunger away. It felt EXACTLY like when I was hitting my 50mg vape literally every 20 seconds no matter the headache and dizziness.
I’m already insulin-resistant. After I’ve eaten all that sugar I felt really thirsty and then it hit me. I don’t want diabetes. I don’t want to inject myself. And I’m already insulin-resistant. It’s not me who crave sugar, it’s my internal animal and it only understands the language of pain and fear of death.
After I quit it, I’m officially a superhuman. Addicted to nothing but self-expression. That’s what I like, that’s who I naturally am.13
I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but I'm fucking sick of my experience with the world.
I have a feeling that all that 1984 conspiracy type of ideas that I previously considered bullshit and fear mongering are real.
(Just to be clear, I'm not including most conspiracy theories which are very ignorant like flat earth, fake moon landing, or antivax, the people that spread those theories can die a horrible death IMHO).
Corporation consolidation is a fact and appears to become irreversible.
Because of technology, I can stay in the comfort of my house, safe from crime and be entertained without needing to have direct contact with humans.
People might say "that's your fault for not leaving the house". True but that is just how the world is.
The outside world in the cities I lived in is not a welcoming place.
Hell if you fucking find a bench it's a goddamn miracle, and if you do and sit for a long time, the police stares at you like you are up to something.
People don't talk to you because "don't talk to strangers".
It can be rare to find water or a bathroom that isn't a complete shithole.
So no wonder I rather stay at home, the outside world is hostile.
So yeah, go to a mall or something. And consume, consume, consume, because the outdoors suck.
Many pioneers thought technology was to improve the quality of life.
But no, it's just more isolation, less direct contact with people, less giving a fuck about other people.
And that's how feel about people of today. The least amount of fuck giving about others possible.
You would you would connect to more people faster, but no, the result is just millions of people browsing through the same "entertainment", shitty aggregated content.
Yes, consolidation affects internet too. Everything goes through fucking google, youtube, or whatever other fucking top 10 company.
Just like the class disparity, 1% of the things online get 99% of the exposure.
So if you're a small time anything, basically fuck you, because you're not something enormous.
Like, I wished I was a game developer, but there's thousands of brilliant indie games that get released every year, and they barely make what they're worth.
So why should I fucking try? So I can get ruined financially and I don't have a place to live in?
Software itself is so complex that is impossible to scrutinize decently.
We all laugh at congressmen asking the zuck silly questions.
Out of touch, true, but in hindsight, it is true to some extent that software is hard to regulate. Every software I on earth doesn't meet some standard one way or another.
Or maybe it's just too many of us right now.
When people scroll their search results to get access to the things they should be interested in, the only practical interface right now is being showing one link at a time.
But there's millions and millions of results.
One redeeming aspect of life is that one day I won't be alive anymore to observe the disgusting world we live in.
This could be just pure rambling and I can't prove any of the things I'm saying, I could just have been making the wrong friendships. So take this with a grain of salt.7
Anyone else feel like it's hard to connect with people online? I mean *really* connect. I feel like some of the communication platforms that we use to share our thoughts are not suitable for meaningful exchanges, or are not being used in such a way. Nothing is long lasting. All communication is transient and shallow. Posts get buried underneath new posts. Memes get more interaction than questions or stories. I totally get it - a meme is much easier to digest and to really like and it doesn't require a written response, and there's nothing wrong with any of that, but what happens when you have a legit question or you just need to talk to somebody deeply about a subject? There's always gonna be someone who dismisses it but leaves a snarky comment behind, or somebody answers in such a way that doesn't move the discussion forward. Now that I am writing this, I realize that similar things happen in real interactions. You do small talk, you talk about a movie or a TV show - no problem. But whenever you wanna touch on a subject that doesn't have a clear answer, or is a bit emotionally vague, it seems that people close up a bit or try not to get into the thick of it. Fuck man, I don't need a coherent, well-structured answer, backed by research. I just wanna know how you feel. Do you ever feel like this too? Are you afraid of this, the same way I am afraid of it? Or tell me why you're so excited about this? I don't know, all this is obviously very abstract and I don't know where I am going with this. I suppose there's the fear of ultimate impermanence behind of all this, and I want to share that fear with someone else, not in some kind of hardcore blood-brothers way, but just like fucking wanna feel like we're all in this together, like that we acknowledge each other as something a bit more than just a pixelated avatar (which are funny as hell by the way) somewhere out there on the network. Maybe it's all in my head.
And at the same time I recognize that if somebody responds to this post and opens up in some kind of way, any kind of way, I will possibly not know how to open up in return as awkwardness settles in and defense mechanisms go up and just the vagueness and the uncertainty of the whole situation becomes too confusing, and the whole effort drops back to a level of chitchat for a glimpse of a second before it is swallowed whole by the new waves of conversations started by other people trying to connect with somebody else to escape their own loneliness.
I think that nobody captures this kind of abstract stuff better than David Foster Wallace: "You don't have to think very hard to realize that our dread of both relationships and loneliness ... has to do with angst about death, the recognition that I'm going to die, and die very much alone, and the rest of the world is going to go merrily on without me."19
And this is how it starts. I bought a Raspberry Pi 3 B+, quite some time ago. Plain board, just the board and a case. Why? Well, I have no idea. I always wanted one for some reason... and finally got one.
I got a good sd card for it, and flashed raspbian and... now what? What should I do with this?
*Looks up "Cool RPi projects"*
*Nah, I already have a NAS... No, wouldn't really use a media center... play games?*
*Well, let me just install sshd and come back to it later.*
Today, I run pi-hole, jekyll, node, gitd, a ton of other things that ends with d... I am even considering buying an extra one (maybe two).
Now I'm really afraid of what would happen if I give in to the urge of buying sensors and add-on boards.2
"Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important." - Steve Jobs3
Should I be myself? A tougher question than is seems.
I’ve had major struggles, faced and conquered death, travelled the world, and live with highly functioning Aspergers and much more. Not boasting, just laying the background info.
With all of this it has led me understand, on a fundamental level, difficult truths that most people only understand upon death (if ever at all).
These lessons have had an unspeakable positive impact on my life and the way I approach things.
The problem seems to be that many of these truths are non-transferable, and that the process of even mentioning them makes most people uncomfortable.
I understand though, that the best truths in life are ALWAYS uncomfortable, and that there is great value in this for those who choose to accept it.
But should I risk putting these views into the world in a recorded manner?
This is something I struggle with all the time.
Currently, I do not use social media often (devRant excluded) because it is a cancer. Even when FB came out in high school I knew (without having the words to express it) that it was dangerous and cancerous to real life.
But it is such a powerful tool that it cannot be ignored.
For example. I moved across the country without a job, away from everyone I ever knew, to pursue the goal of starting my own software businesses.
The responses I got to this included...
“Won’t you miss you family and friends?”
“Why don’t you save for a while and go then?”
“Why don’t you look for a job and leave when you get one?”
“Aren’t you afraid of being alone?”
Most these seem like legitimate questions, and because I cared about these people I treated them as legitimate.
But my real opinion is that every one of those questions is based on either weakness, fear or stupidity.
- Of course I will miss my family and friends, why try to guilt me into sacrificing life for this!
- Why not wait for “the right time”, because the right time never comes. That is an excuse for failures to continue failing.
- Why not wait to get a job? Because that won’t happen if your not there! It’s just a fact, get over it!
- You are alone! You can try to fill your life with people and crap but in the end you are born and die alone! I’ve been dead and know this like I know the sun will rise.
But you see all of that above, for most people that stuff hurts. It seems insensitive and cruel.
It hurts because it is true.
That’s just a small sample of things.
The larger question still stand...
Should I be myself?
I really don’t know the answer and don’t expect one to come. Maybe someday I will find a way to do this.
For now I will continue to be what people expect me to be.
To end this I am gonna quote the rapper Pusha T and his new album...
“Remember Will Smith won the first Grammy?”
“And they ain’t even recognize Hova until Annie”
“So I don’t tap dance for the crackers and sing Mammy”
Maybe some day I will be able to stop tap dancing...