It's Already Been Done

Discussion in 'Self Improvement' started by unimportant, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. unimportant

    unimportant Fapstronaut

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    Have you run into this mentality or internet justification for not doing something?

    For instance, programming a game like Galaga or something. People will say (and you to yourself, in my case) "It's already been done, so what's the point?"

    How do you tackle this point of view? I find it incredibly difficult to overcome.
     
  2. alphakadabro

    alphakadabro Fapstronaut

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    Do it for practice and to hone your skills.
     
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  3. lolos

    lolos Fapstronaut

    Maybe the point of doing something isn't trying to do something that hasn't been done before.
     
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  4. countitjoy5

    countitjoy5 Fapstronaut

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    Somebody should do a remake of Galaga
     
  5. ItsOkay

    ItsOkay Fapstronaut
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    9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

    10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

    11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after. Ecclesiastes 1:9-11
     
  6. unimportant

    unimportant Fapstronaut

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    The argument that tends to get posed to these responses is along the lines of "But you can hone your skills doing something people will actually benefit from, something new." Which is really frustrating, because I think there is an element of fun to redoing the old, but it serves a point in mentioning as you can get stuck permanently redoing the old and never really benefit anyone.

    There is nothing new under the sun, agreed, but that doesn't mean there is nothing more efficient and beneficial that can be made presently. The issue is, people seem to think that the ideas just grow on trees to make things more beneficial, why can't we just have fun making something without friends beating you down for not doing something others will benefit from.

    This is enormously frustrating for me, I don't have an argument I can use, because in essence, it's true. If given the choice between two projects, one you know *might* benefit people, and one you know might *not* benefit anyone, why would you choose the latter?
     
  7. alphakadabro

    alphakadabro Fapstronaut

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    The world is very nuanced and complicated. These issues of deciding what is good for others and what is best for ourselves are highly complex deliberations that deserve a great deal of thought. They have rightly warranted a tremendous amount of philosophical investigation dating back millennia. I would recommend diving into philosophy, ethics and political theory so that you won't feel frustrated trying to reinvent the wheel in your own thinking. These arguments have been repeatedly explored and digested by great scholars and thinkers.

    Lastly, it would help you to think straight yourself by seeing how others work out the solutions to such challenges.
     
  8. unimportant

    unimportant Fapstronaut

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    Philosophy is an endless topic, but I have thought and read quite a lot. The solutions are always unclear, all you can do is etch a silhouette of one topic (like happiness) but you may never be able to answer what the topic actually is.

    I understand how to completely solve a problem. Working a solution to completion is something that drives you in programming. This isn't the issue as I understand it, though maybe more elaboration from you would change my perspective. I primarily have difficulty with the idea of what is worth working on.

    Most everything I want to work on is a reinvention of the wheel, with very little of it actually being the invention of a new type of wheel.
     
  9. alphakadabro

    alphakadabro Fapstronaut

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    My intuition is that you are discounting your own compass in favor of other people's expectations of you. If you pursue what is innately meaningful to you, you will be more driven/interested/creative at it then doing something which you expect other people to be pleased with.

    For instance, I read a lot of books. It's one of my main hobbies, especially during this year with travel restrictions all around the world. I read whatever interests me in order to answer the questions I have and to satisfy my curiosity. I never read something because someone has explained to me: "If you read this book you will be in a better position to serve the social good." I mean, it sounds silly to even hypothetically theorize someone saying that. But moreorless that seems to be the scenario you are grappling with.

    I think people often become obsessed with "changing the world" as an avoidance to face their own issues. It is unfortunately a form of escape. And then while they are "changing the world", they indulge in addictions, etc. in order to cope with the stress of attempting to be altruistic all day. So I see the fixation with always serving the greater good as an unhealthy avoidance and escape mechanism to ignore one's own self.

    The most difficult thing we can do is often to look in the mirror and be totally honest. I am very critical of anyone who gives advice, especially who gives me advice. Are they actually living what they say? Or are they hypocritical?

    Are the people telling you to program for the highest social good saints and prophets themselves? I can tell you that they're not. Because a saint isn't concerned with your programming goals. He or she is concerned with your actual life, your soul, your presence, your relationships, your intentions and understanding what it is that makes you uniquely you. And how can you contribute the most of yourself in the best way possible. Be fully yourself, by learning who you are and being that person, by becoming free from addictions, etc. and living that potential into being.

    This is a higher challenge that transcends any single activity or hobby. People giving advice should be looking in the mirror first and then contemplating the big picture second. And thirdly be concerned with the individual they are speaking to and being considerate of their unique circumstances. At least, this is what I try to do.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
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  10. unimportant

    unimportant Fapstronaut

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    First off, thank you deeply for writing that out. I find a lot of value in what you wrote, and clearly you have a better perspective on this so I'll think over your post more and possibly have some more follow ups later to help piece this out in my head.

    The quote above, I presume you are using "fixation" very strongly here correct? I doubt a general goal of serving the greater good is what you are tackling, but more the obsession with doing that and nothing else.
     
  11. alphakadabro

    alphakadabro Fapstronaut

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    Right. Of course I support social work and things that benefit society. I am also aware of the other extreme which is endless self-improvement that becomes narcissistic obsession. We should be aware of both extremes: fake altruism, and fake self-improvement. We can do that by looking in the mirror in a ruthlessly honest and critical way. And by mirror, I mean an existential reflection of our entire being: thoughts, desires, habits, appearance, faults, etc.

    If we attempt to improve society as a PMO addict, for example, will we be very effective? Our efforts will be dampened because our brains are compromised. Well, extend that example over the entire field of individual action and personal limitations. We are holistic creatures with a plurality of needs - psychological, social, physical, sexual - we are not robots. So it becomes a very delicate subject that deserves more attention than surface-level binary thinking: "which one serves the greater good?"

    Ultimately, that is still a relevant question. But it takes a lot of work to arrive at even tenable conclusions. And it takes even more work to arrive at prescriptions for individuals. And it takes yet more work to arrive at a prescription for a specific individual.

    So my point is to be highly skeptical of advice because it might be from well-intentioned people who just haven't thought out the issues much. Take care of yourself first and don't be manipulated.
     
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  12. unimportant

    unimportant Fapstronaut

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    Do you have any book recommendations?
     
  13. alphakadabro

    alphakadabro Fapstronaut

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    My general recommendation is to study whatever your background is - ethnicity/nationality/religion. Find out what the most influential works and thinkers are from your tradition and start learning about them. Its more important/socially beneficial for people in the Middle East to be knowledgeable about Islam, Rumi and Ibn-Arabi than Buddhism or Taoism. Chinese people study Mencius and Confucius in school. Americans have a strong tradition of literature and also philosophical Transcendentalists, like Emerson.

    I recommend Bertrand Russell as an introduction to Analytic Philosophy. Plato is for everybody. It depends on your specific interests, background and inclination. Classic great literature is for everybody. I am very interested in religion, politics and philosophy, so my recommendations are skewed in that direction.
     
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  14. ThePeakWae

    ThePeakWae Fapstronaut

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    That mentality will kill you at business, Instagram and others wouldnt have been made if their creators thought: "Facebook´s already done, so what´s the point?", Same with Crypto, Beers, Pepsi, etc... you can still compete with whoever came first, you just have to flex harder.

    If you arent willing to compete or think it´s unfair case the guy who came first has a advantage then you are mentally handicapped to give the win to the guy who came first right off the bat.
     

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