Cognitive Bias

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Hi, I just thought I would share a diagram I found whilst procrastinating from a post I’ve been working on.

the_cognitive_bias_codex_-_1802b_biases2c_designed_by_john_manoogian_iii_28jm329

I had the idea to pick out what I believe to be “the most common” biases (which in of itself is probably a bias) & some of my own biases, but the list is very fucking long. I don’t want to spend too much (more) time sorting out & writing about biases, which will likely distract people further.

If a distraction is what you are looking for, here’s the list of biases along with the above diagram. At least this distraction will give you an idea of your own biases (unless you have a “bias blind spot”).

Try to remember that not all biases are bad. They mainly function as decision making shortcuts that minimize cognitive load.

The “we notice things already primed in memory or repeated often enough” area seems particularly relevant to me, given that I’m trying to write about life recurrences (again). I might refer to some of them in this post.

Thank you Wikipedia for distracting me yet again.

Farewell.

Overdue Update – Still Alive

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Hello again blog (& people who still check in), sorry I forgot about you for a while.

Part of the reason for my absence is because I got sick of just writing life update posts yet I couldn’t think of anything else I wanted to write, nor did I feel the motivation to write at all. I-um… hmm… well, this next bit is going to be weird.


I had a moment when writing this where I formed the sentence below & actually looked at the posts I linked:

I’ve also been feeling bad about… things I’ve already written about before: unemployment woes, social issues, worries about my future, blah blah recurring personal issues; so I felt no need to repeat myself.

Let me just toot my own horn for a bit – I think I just realized the value of my own posts (well, except for ones like ‘unemployment woes’, that’s just me complaining). Reading the later two has brought an earlier, better, mindset back. They reminded me of some important points for myself & may have re-centred me a bit. Now that I think about it, I’m actually kinda proud of those posts since they feel like the clearest version of my own thoughts.

Except now we have a problem – this segment has completely derailed this post… Try to bare in mind the rest of this short post was written before this part.

Awkward meta self indulgent segment aside.


Since my last update in February:

  • March = despair resembling a post from mid 2015. Only thing worth noting is I received my first contract payment – yay!
  • April – getting better (I think), though still feeling troubled. For some reason the only points I can remember are:
    • I’ve actually been getting some solid weeks of work doing ‘business intelligence reporting’.
    • On the last week of April I had a flatmate attempt suicide. He’s fine now & doesn’t seem to be considering it again any time soon though the experience left me uneasy, particularly with how nonchalant everyone involved has been.
    • Whilst I have no intention of committing suicide (I think), I have been wondering – what am I living for?

Yeah, I’ve been thinking about death & existence a lot lately. I’ve been writing pieces of another post about this topic as I wrote this one, so there may be a post about that soon… whenever that is. I feel like I need to get back into writing.

Anyway, this is just me saying I’m still alive but I’m not sure why.


😐

What’s happening with this post?

This may be the weirdest thing I’ve ever written.

February Life Update – New Adventures

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Hello, this month has been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster. More than once I’ve just had to stop because I wanted to cry, but there have also been some unusually fun times. I guess you’d call it cathartic.

Also, side note, why has an old post of mine been getting views from a lot of random people this weekend? Not complaining, I just find it kinda weird that people are suddenly interested in a post from late 2014 (wow, this blog has been going for that long?).

Anyway, the main things this month:

  • I’ve been getting myself setup as a freelance IT Sole-Trader, & thinking about how to make it viable has left me feeling a bit overwhelmed.
  • I went on an impromptu road trip with some friends to Twizel overnight. It was nice to see central Canterbury & help a friend move some stuff back home.
  • Been looking at the writing/lore aspect of my storytelling game prototype Sojourn.

If you’re wondering what a Sole-Trader is, it’s essentially a one person business. If you’re wondering what I’m offering here’s my draft business card:

XML Business Card

Yes, I’m intending on this being my business card (I wish I could say this was an original idea). I tried to do this in C# but I could see several problems with this approach.

Fortunately there isn’t much I need to legally do before I can begin work (I think I’ve got everything setup with my accountant now), but I’ve found myself having to wait regardless. Continue reading

Games & I

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This post relates back to my 2016 retrospective. I’d advise reading this first.


A question that has particular been on my mind is – how do I approach my aspirations in a way that is both fulfilling & ethical, yet realistic? How do I do this whilst holding to my own values?

Like the questions I had before, I don’t have a clear answer for this. To be fair, this post isn’t about looking for an answer but rather the affect this question had on me in regards to a major aspiration of mine.

You see, in 2016 a part of me gave up on my dream of making games. These are my reasons:

  • Having knowledge that the world is more screwed then I thought, my wish to make games, & the kind of games I wanted to make, feel comparatively trivial & unimportant (that was a truly sad thought for me). A part of me feels obliged to help the world get truly better in some way. I’m still not sure how I can help but I don’t think providing another form of escapism is the way.
  • I had reached a point where just thinking about making games brought about feelings of frustration, self-disappointment, & apathy. I’d tried many approaches that all lead to similar results, each one not able to account for my own shortcomings.
  • I have an awful habit of stating I’ll do something & not actually doing it for whatever reason. I’ve become really sick of being that kind of guy. I’ve become hesitant to say I’ll do anything, unless I seem to be already doing it.
  • I’ve known for a long time that its difficult to get into the games industry, & that surviving or even making a living from it is even more difficult. Hell, I know how difficult it can be just to try & make one game, I’ve been trying to do it alone since graduating in 2013. I admit the task has only become more daunting over time.
  • I like games, but I’ve become disgusted with the mainstream games industry. Cultural toxicity aside, it’s market driven nature has become more apparent to me. Any regard for experimentation, artistic expression, & the effects of the medium is seemingly relegated to indies, small studios, & critics, since everyone else is comfortable with games “just being games”. I feel like this point alone is worthy of it’s own post (I know, more to write about!).

Continue reading

2016 Retrospective

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Whelp, this took way too long. This is not a review of world events in 2016; just my own reflection on what I’ve been learning & how that’s affected me.


2016 has been a year of further complex realizations. Before I’d been musing on how my own thoughts & actions can effect myself & others. Since moving to my current flat, my thoughts have broadened to systems & ideologies that may affect us all.

I’ve been learning concepts related to socio-politics & philosophy, as well as figures & movements within these topics. I’ve gained some familiarity with concepts like Post-Modernism, Socialism, Neoliberalism, Subjectivity, Cultural Hegemony, & Hyperrealism; even Veganism. I’ve gained some familiarity with names like Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, Focault, Kierkegaard, Camus, & Hegel; plus some modern names like Chomsky & Zizek. These topics & names have provided a lot of insight & new ideas that I would love to see more media & stories explore (I’ve gained a new found appreciation for the ones that do). It helps that over half my flatmates study &/or have an avid interest in these topics & are quite happy to talk about them.

Side note: a flatmate actually compared my thinking to Hegel’s philosophies. It’s weird having your personal philosophy supposedly match a philosopher you were completely unaware of just months ago.


Yet, I’m still quite clueless as ever. I’ve been introduced to these terms & given a basic idea of what most of them are about, yet I feel I don’t have a true understanding of them.

If anything, what I’ve learned has a tendency to throw me off. About every month or two I seem to learn something that makes me question my assumptions & “what I should do”; all in the backdrop of a wider world & global system that I’ve known to be messed up, yet I keep discovering new perspectives that make it apparently bleaker then I thought. I’ve come to learn that the best information may very well be the knowledge & questions that deconstruct & challenge your foundations. Continue reading

December/January Life Update – Discomfort

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Hello to you & 2017, it’s been a while.

This was going to be both a life update & a reflection of 2016, but the reflection kept growing & growing. Dividing this into three posts seems more humane, which I’ll space out over the next few days. My other excuse for the absence is that I’ve become more lazy & distracted since the Christmas & New Years period.

So, the main things that have happened:

  • My part-time contract ended on December 23rd & I’ve received news my boss’ higher ups will not employ me at this time for legal reasons. Fortunately my boss is willing to help get me setup as a “self-employed” contractor just so he can hire me back himself. I just need to get setup with WINZ again & go from there. 2017 is going to be rather interesting since I know nothing about being self-employed or being a contractor (yay?).
  • I actually found a boardgame I’ve been wanting to play for a long time – Tales of the Arabian Nights (this review serves as good insight into what the game is like). I love this game, I wish I had it when I was younger. It’s one of the inspirations for the prototype I’ve been working towards, & now that I’ve actually played it I’ve been reconsidering some of my design choices so far. Good thing I’m still in the planning phase.
  • I’ve had my brother come down & stay at my flat in late December through to New Years, though we stayed in Te Anau with my parents for Christmas. Seeing family & the dogs has been nice but it left me in a subdued mood. This feeling seems to have passed though I still find myself stuck with questions.

Continue reading