The following is a very unusual account of a true but unusual experience:
I had an arterial problem for a couple of years, which reduced blood supply to my heart and brain and depleted B vitamins from my nerves (to keep the heart in good repair). Although there is some vagueness as to the mechanisms, this made me forgetful, slow, and easily overwhelmed. In short, I felt like I was stupid compared to what I was used to, and I was.
It was frightening at first because I knew something wasn’t right but didn’t know what, and very worrying for my career because I was simply not very good any more.
However, once I got used to it and resigned myself, it was great. Even though I knew I had a worrying illness, I was happy as a pig in mud. I no longer had the arrogance of being frustrated with slow people, I abandoned many projects which reduced a lot of stress, I could enjoy films without knowing what would happen (my nickname before this used to be ‘comic book guy’ if you get the reference), and I became amazingly laid back and happy go lucky. I got on with people much better. I developed much more respect for one of my friends in particular who I always considered slow – it turned out he is much deeper than I thought, I just never had the patience to notice before. You could say I had more time to look around. The world just made more sense. The only negative, apart from struggling to perform at work, and having to write everything down, was that I no longer found sci-fi interesting – it just didn’t seem important. (I’m not joking, although it sounds like a cliché.)
Eventually after more physical and life threatening symptoms developed I got the right tests and they found my arteries were blocked up (2 out of 3 of my main coronary arteries 100% blocked – they couldn’t work out why I was alive – it later turned out that I had unusually good peripheral circulation from my intense cycling). I’ve since had stents to open up the arteries again and made a full recovery.
After a year or so I am almost as ‘clever’ as I used to be, although I tend to ignore distractions more than I used to and focus on a smaller number of projects. I’m still more laid back than I used to be though, and have more patience with people. Most people still find me more socially competent. I also enjoy sci-fi again.
So an unusual perspective, from a fairly unusual circumstance, but that’s what it feels like to be be stupid when you used to be fairly bright. In some ways it was a great learning experience, although obviously in other ways it is a life changing fact I have to live with. Not many people get to walk about in other peoples shoes, and then pick up where they left off. Plus it’s obviously nice to still be alive.
In short I would say that the frustration of dealing with slower people is worse than being one of the slower people, even if you know you are slow. Obviously most people who are relatively slow, don’t know it, but I think I’ve glimpsed how they experience the world.
I am ugly. I am unattractive. I know that my skin is awful, my hair is greasy, and society simply does not permit women to weigh as much as I do.
But, mind you, this is not the same as having low self-esteem. Because when I look in the mirror, I hate my body, not myself. I simply shake my head and think, “This isn’t me. This mediocre sack of meat isn’t me. I’m just renting it out, driving it around. It’s a tool. It’s a vehicle. I use it to take myself places that I need to go, and that’s all there is to it.”
Ok fine, I’m not Zen enough to actually believe I can escape with that train of thought. The truth is, I am frustrated with the irreconcilable disconnect between my pride and my presence. The acne mask and the fat suit egregiously fail to conform with my mental mockups of my perfectly badass self. I suppose the only real solution then, besides undergoing extensive surgeries, is to upload my conscience to a supercomputer.
Maybe the Singularity will happen, and everything will be great, but in the meantime, I much prefer the Internet to real life interactions because most of you haven’t got a clue as to what I look like, and if you don’t like me it’s because my ideas suck and not because you find my face unpleasant. The Internet allows me to temporarily abandon the limitations of my subpar physical avatar.
Even if people are especially curious about my appearance, I only allow them to make vague inferences based off a single profile picture, uniform across all my social media haunts, taken a very long time ago at a surprisingly flattering angle, in which I actually manage to trick them into thinking I look quite average. Well, I don’t. I’ve gained 50 pounds since then, and academic stress makes my acne flare up like nobody’s business.
Regardless, I decided a while back that everyone has his or her own strengths and weaknesses, and I would do well to focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. Even people who are bad at everything are less bad at some things than they are at others. After some introspection, I concluded that I was less bad at learning things than I was at looking pretty, so I would ultimately benefit far more from sharpening my skills and pursuing a technical career than from trying in vain to undo the effects of losing the genetic lottery.
As for the romantic side of things, I avoid unnecessary heartbreak by keeping myself from harboring silly delusions about reciprocated love in the first place. I have rationalized that it is okay for me to be ugly because 1) marriage is not the optimal arrangement for everyone and 2) the human race would likely carry on just fine without my genetic contribution.
I am irritated with the cliché that “everyone is beautiful” because surface friendliness and pretending to be PC don’t solve anything. It doesn’t help the young girl with confidence issues because even if you’re “nice” enough to tell her that she’s beautiful, are you nice enough to, like, actually date her? Words mean nothing without actions, yet it’s patently unfair to expect people not to be shallow because at the end of the day, beauty is beauty, attraction is attraction, and sexual desire is governed by deep-rooted evolutionary impulses that people don’t understand and can’t control.
It would be far more useful to promote the idea that people can contribute to the world in a variety of interesting and fulfilling ways besides making others salivate over their bodies. You can make original scientific breakthroughs! You can regale people with tales of heroic conquest! You can build products that make people’s lives easier! But I guess changing the world wouldn’t make for an effective beauty products campaign.
Being a female, you’ll never understand the horrors us men had to endure as teenagers during the rise of digtal porn. The days of dial up affected us all terribly. They were grin times. Did we have videos?! Hah! We had to wait one edge for a single image to load on the screen. As internet speed increased so did the arnount we could access. Limewire became a new source. A new haven. But you never knew what you were getting and it always seemed to be the same clips circling around under different titles. I remember Chalrie waited days for his to download. In the end it turned out to be nothing more than an add to download mp3’s. He never made it, poor Charie. The blue balls got to him in the end. Those times were hell on everyone. Then the uprising came. A road to a better and brighter world lied ahead. lntemet speeds were ﬁnally fast enough to stream videos. No more would we have to store our pornography, making sure our folders were carefully hidden to save embarrassment upon discovery. Good times to behad by all were just ahead. But alas, those tines never came. Because every site that offered streamed videos charged a fee and ﬁndng a site that offered it for free, but wasn’t full of malware, was like ﬁnting that one oasis in the desert. Sure we could watch the preview videos, but a 3 minute clip just isn’t enough damn it! And then it came. Salvation. After all the hardships we had to endure, the lnterret exploded with a flurry of full-length, free, streaming porn sites. This day is now known as ‘The Day of the White Seas’. We lost many good men to the porn drought of the ‘noughtes’ but we fought on and persevered to make a better fapping world for the generations to come. We have overcame!
Young people of America, awake from your slumber of indolence and hark-en the call of the future! Do you realise you are rapidly becoming a doomed generation? Do you realise that the fate of the world and of generations to come rests on your shoulders? Do you realise that at any time you may be called on to protect your country and the freedom of the world from the creeping scourge of communism? How can you possibly laugh in the face of the disasters which face us all from all sides? Oh ignorant youth, the world is not a joyous place. The time has come for you to dispense with the frivolous pleasures of childhood and get down to honest toil until you are sixty-five. Then and only then can you relax and collect your social security and live happily until the time of your death. Also your insolent attitude disturbs me greatly. You have the nerve to say that you have never known what it is like to live in a secure and peaceful world; you say that the present generation has balled things up to the extent that we now face a war so terrible that the very thought of it makes hardened veterans shudder; you say it is our fault that World War ll was fought in vein; you say that it is impossible to lay plans for the future until you are sure you have a future. I say Nonsense! None of these things matter. If you expect a future you must carve it out in the face of these things. You also say that you must wait until after you have served your time with the service to settle down. Ridiculous! It is a man’s duty to pull up stakes and serve his country at any time, then settle down again.
I say there is no excuse for a feeling of insecurity on your part;there is no excuse for juvenile delinquency; there is no excuse for your attitude except that you are rotten and lazy! I was never like that! I worked hard; I saved; I didn’t run around and stay out late at night; I carved out my own future through hard work and virtuous living, and look at me now: a respectful and successful man.
I warn you, if you don’t start now it will be too late, and the blame for the end of the world will be laid at your feet. Heed my warning, oh depraved and profligate youth; I say awake, awake, awake!
Fearfully and disgustedly yours, John J. Righteous-Hypocrite.
Everything seems distant for a second: the room seems dimmer and the lights, by comparison, brighter. sounds seem to echo and sound hollow, as if someone is calling to you through a tunnel. it doesn’t hurt, at least not acutely and not immediately. the most shocking thing about the sensation is the lack of sensation. you can think surprisingly clearly, but the connection between your conscious thoughts and your ability to make your body put them into action is tenuous at best. you can get hit, and your frontal lobe says "I need to circle right and step back to recover and avoid getting hit for a few seconds," but the part of your brain that’s in control is animalistic and survival-oriented, and it usually says "you need to get yourself into the fetal position, curl up on the ground, and not take any more damage." a fight is a constant battle for self control in the face of extreme fear and physical hardship, and getting hit like that is one of the most powerful examples of that fact.
When I worked at a decently sized corporation, most people would kind of jack around, look at their assignments etc., on Monday morning. They’d start working on it around 2 PM on Monday afternoon, half heartedly, and then start thinking about what they were going to have for dinner, go to the cooler, go have a snack, email, etc. They would have gotten about 30 minutes of real actual work in by around 3:30 in the afternoon.
By that time, they decide the day is shot, look at the project for another 30 or so minutes, "planning" until they get an email about something unimportant. They spend some time on the email for no apparent reason, and now it’s 4:30. They get on reddit till 5.
They come in Tuesday morning raring to go. They finish about half of the project by lunch. They spend the rest of the afternoon researching their fantasy football team, since they ate a big lunch to celebrate.
They come back, Wednesday, and there a decent amount of emails about nothing from Corporate in their in box. They have to fill out various forms and self evals. This sucks, and eats up their Wednesday morning. There’s a meeting around 2:30 of their department. They fuk around after lunch, until the meeting. The meeting lasts till 3:45. Fuk it, I’ll finish this Thursday.
They get another quarter of it done Thursday morning, since they are kind of bored of the work week, and their kid kept them up the night before. They start making plans and emailing and texting with their friends for Thursday happy hour, or college football watching or whatever it is that they are going to do. It’s now 2:30 Thursday and they have about 3/4 of their project done.
Their kid calls from school and needs X,Y,Z or something else occurs to take them from work, maybe they are sick, or need car repair, for whatever reason, no one was ever at work on Thursday afternoon.
They get in Friday morning, and now they are kind of anxious, because if something goes wrong, they won’t finish. That fear gets them kind of paralyzed until about 10:30. They start working on it, decide to eat lunch at their desk, and finish the work up at around 2:30 on Friday.
They go chat with their friend in HR because they feel good, and then realize they still need to send the work to their boss, look at their clock and realize it’s 4:45.
They send it to their boss, who is happy they finished "on time." Said boss continues to think it takes a week to get that kind of work done.
E-Minus 90 Seconds.
Virgin 18 to Mission Control: foreplay checks complete.
Mission Control Speaking: Roger that Virgin 18, Ground Teams Sound Off.
Pudendal Nerve Go.
Spinal Cord Go.
Parasympathetic Nerve Go.
Corpus Spongiosum Go.
Corpus Cavernosa 1 Go.
Corpus Cavernosa 2 Go.
Mission Control Speaking: Shuttle is now Erect.
E-Minus 60 Seconds.
Vas Deferens Go.
Mission Control Speaking: Crew is now approaching Ejaculatory Duct.
VIRGIN 18 TO MISSION CONTROL: CONSENT HAS BEEN GRANTED, PENETRATION IN 1…2…3!
E-Minus 10 Seconds.
VIRGIN 18 TO MISSION CONTROL: PENETRATION ACHIEVED!
Mission Control Speaking: Roger that Virgin 18, Emission checks proceeding
VIRGIN 18 TO MISSION CONTROL: REQUEST TO DELAY EMISSION!!!!!!
Hamburger, Bread crumbs, an egg or two, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, your favorite spices. Salt/Pepper. Mash together. form into golf ball size balls. Make jokes about playing with your balls. Put on a sheet pan. ~30 mins at 350. Find cute server. Ask her if she’d like to put your balls in her mouth. Sample her on your meatballs. If you’re not retarded, she’ll tell you that they’re great. Ask for her number, take her to a nice restaurant, order a few drinks. Afterwards walk down the street to see a reggae band. Groove out with your date (anyone can dance to reggae) Find the guy with the biggest dreadlocks and buy a joint from him. Get stoned. Get some greasy late night pizza. Buy more booze before the gas station closes. Go home together and get plastered until you have the spins. Have the sloppiest sex of your life. Have her put your balls in her mouth (it doesn’t matter if you shaved them at this point). After sex, she’ll probably feel like vomiting. Fall asleep. Wake up hungover, without your clothes or dignity, covered in vomit. Make her coffee and give her some ibuprofen (it’s the least you could do). Take her home. See each other the next day at work. Avoid one another. Say nothing. Weeks later find out that she’s pregnant. Fight about what should be done about the unborn child. She decides to keep it (cus y’know she’s pro-life). Be admonished by your family and hers (because it’s all your fault, right?). Be disallowed to visit the child in the hospital. Have her name it something stupid like Kelsee or Judah. Pay child support with little to no relationship with your child. Years pass. Live a sad lonely life. Contemplate suicide. Draft a suicide note. Plan your death. Combine hamburger, Bread crumbs, an egg or two, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire, your favorite spices. Salt/Pepper. Mash together. form into golf ball size balls. Make jokes about playing with your balls. Put on a sheet pan. ~30 mins at 350. Put your balls in your mouth (hey they ain’t bad). Forget about killing yourself (and where I was going with this). Enjoy your meat balls. Get a letter the next day saying the child isn’t yours (it was that douchebaggy male server, Brian) Clean your house. Take a shower. Go to work (you gotta close again tonight). Be ok with your life.