It's amazing how much this ideal can effect your life. I was living through this, I just didn't know how to explain it. Once I started reading Nassim Taleb's book Antifragile, many of my doubts where supported by this philosophers writings. Which Put into focus my past and present.
When I was growing up, my young childhood consisted of ridiculous relationships with girls, ones where it was all just for show. Of course, I was a stupid child back then and was bumbling my way through grades 5 and 6. What I later realized was that due to my obscene amount of useless relationships I caused damage to the other kids without really realizing it. Which is why I was pushed around by them.
Going on into high school I started toning things down, realizing that relationships can have meaning. But old habits die hard, and I soon started dating a friends ex which was one of those big no's no's that I just didn't understand. Luckily he was a great persom and the friendship was salvaged of which I'm still thankful of today. As it was the beginning of the end of the first extreme on the social spectrum. Once I changed high schools and went to boarding school. Relationships had lost there appeal.
During my time at BCS it was marked with some great memories and friendships. I realized by not getting involved in any relationships I avoided attention. It was awesome, I was like a hermit* for about half a year until I started naturally developing friends. I didn't try to make friends, I honestly didn't care about that. I just wanted to relax and not have to deal with this culture of gossip and ridiculous assumptions leading to half truths and a whole lot of luggage to carry around. I'm glad that on my way to BCS the plane crash left me with no social standing, neither positive or negative. What was left to my name was the wisdom from past experiences and the new determination of now finding my own way, in a more positive manner of course.
On a camping trip we did some kayaking and found some clay. Rawr!
At this new high school many things changed, instead of being one of those hard core jocks, I quit football, and hockey of which I've been playing my whole life. These intense sports were replaced with cross country skiing, adventure training, tennis and gaming. I guess I was just going all out with the hermit life style. But luckily there were some great people there and friendships ensued. These where the best times I had so far, my somewhat nerdy friends and I didn't care about relationships. We just wanted to have fun and play some games! With our abused school laptops we managed to by-pass most of the admin restrictions and make mini lans in the dorm rooms. We played SC: broodwar, counter strike 1.6 and plant vs zombies. That second year of BCS was one I won't soon forget.
Next thing I know, I'm out of the dorm rooms and stripped of my smith house title. Due to my parents moving to Sherbrook. I became what was known as a day student, and was integrated into Ross house. But being a day student did have its perks which lead me to becoming even more hermit like. Now that I lived off campus it was harder to have those lans as I couldn't just walk to their house anymore. At least that's what I told myself. Truth be told I wanted to play starcraft 2. That's all I did other than school. Of course I still had my friendships from past years, but they weren't at the forefront of my goals. CS and Broodwar just lost that fun touch they once had.
My first fans, who were also conveniently my friends. Where all amazed that I had reached the rank of master in Starcraft 2. All we talked about during my last year at BCS was SC2. Which was just amazing. With my getting into masters another great thing happened, vVv gaming.
I still remember this moment where one of my sc2 practice partners that I was close to suggested that we join this supposedly great gaming community; RampD, thank you for showing me not a great community, but a life changing one. Before we get all emotional. I want to describe how I actually became a vVv member.
So I remember specifically reading that I couldn't be on another team If I wanted to be in vVv. Well, shit. With friends that I had made in another clan, it was hard leaving them and I felt torn. But I ended up talking to this guy. All the people in vVv that I've talked to so far said this man was very intimidating. Well, just like the knights who go and face off dragons, I was confident, how bad could he be? Well, I dropped the ball on that one, I ended up stuttering and slurring my words when speaking with Jerry. He first went through the showing off of vVv gaming, which to the humble nerd is honestly breath taking. Well, I was still processing the fact that the president of vVv gaming was willing to help me out on what he must have thought, a trivial affair. After his rant on why I should choose vVv over some half assed clan that where full of mindless retards. Well, at least he said something around that... Damn I wish I recorded it! With my doubts burnt to a crisp, I said good bye to that clan.
This was from an interview of the "
From going to one extreme to the next of the social spectrum. I have come to learn that less is more. Given that you don't go to either of the extremes. I'm now living the best years of my life, with close friends in vVv and now in college as well. Maybe Jerry did see this in me, that first time he shit on my friends. That I'd be blogging and visiting him in L.A becoming some want-to be philosopher and socialist. While also aspiring to be an engineer. But I know for sure, that this is who I am, and who I want to be. A picky hermit aspiring to do great things.
Less is More
Before reading Antifragile by Taleb, I couldn't piece together how I really went about my life. I now see that I was experiencing the two extremes until finding a mid point to really be happy. While the saying "Less is more" can be something great in some contexts. But horrid in others. Let's take my life for example. I first started off with a more is more attitude, but what happened is that the more I got, the more problems I created, which then got to such incontrollable proportions that it was impossible for me to be happy. When I became more of a Hermit, people who cared about me began to surface. They weren't my friends because I had social standing, but because they enjoyed being in my company, and I theirs.
What we often see today with people of high social standing or economical standing, is that they have ridiculous trust issues. Who's to blame them? Everyone's jealous about their superior position, and will try to mooch off them in order to increase their own. If rejected they'll try to ruin your image or bring you crashing down with them. Jealousy can ignite the cruelest of human actions.
So how does a person remove such jealousy from someone's path? A minimalist lifestyle. The term "go big or go home" is such a ridiculous term. Most likely created by a football coach with one too many concussions. Living a comfortable life does not mean having the most expansive clothes, or the biggest house. It's about having the ease of mind that someone who you haven't talked to in 5 years isn't planning to bring your livelihood crumbling down. It's about finding that nice midpoint where people don't see you as a benefactor to their social standing or a celebrity flaunting their monetary value.
The biggest thing to get out of less is more. Is that if you meet someone in a ordinary place, in ordinary clothes. They'll benefit you so much more. Than showing up in a suit and tie attracting other individuals in suit and ties who are also worried about finances and upping there social status.
So, then what to do if you do have all the extra cash? As Nissam Taleb says, put it under your mattress(literally or metaphorically, either way works). This way with your minimalist lifestyle, you don't have to worry about dept, or losing your job. While getting the benefit of being surrounded by people who take you for your personality instead of the money in your wallet.
Where it fails.
Education is one of those nifty things that I experimented with. I was an alright student, I didn't take notes, I mostly just listened and asked why is that or why is this. Which got in the way of my "education". I was against this notion because I wanted to know how it worked before even knowing how to hammer a nail. This is why I wasn't getting high 80's like I am now. I just had to reverse the process at which I learned.
You can't build a house, without first knowing how to hammer a nail. And this was my problem. I had to first learn the techniques, without question. Through this I was able to answer a few of my own questions, as well as refine the ones I still needed answering. For those wondering why you need to learn algebra. You'll see that without it, calculus, chemistry and physics would be impossible to do without your perfected hammering skills. You'll save yourself so much trouble if you focus on perfecting it, as your house won't come toppling down due to a few poorly hammered beams. As does a calculus question that takes many variations of nail hammering to build up to the finish product that is your answer.
In education, Less is More cannot work as the more you know, the less trouble you have of finding the answer. We could also call this the inverse of less is more.
Now that you've seen what I've experienced and learned. I hope that you'll be able to take something from this and apply it to aspects of your life. I don't write this for money or for social status(well, ok, maybe a little). But because I just get such highs when writing. It also allows me to put in context my life and what I live by.
I'm sorry that this has nothing to do with gaming. But I have something churning in my head that might be similar to this, but entirely on gamers. Anyways, thanks for reading and I encourage you to comment on anything pertaining to this subject.
Good luck and most importantly have fun with life!