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Old 2020-04-21, 23:41   #12
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Life's a bitch and then you die.

No evidence for reincarnation or cyclic universes.

Why bother?
Perhaps this will cheer you up:
Quote:
OPTIMISM, n. The doctrine, or belief, that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and everything right that is wrong. It is held with greatest tenacity by those most accustomed to the mischance of falling into adversity, and is most acceptably expounded with the grin that apes a smile. Being a blind faith, it is inaccessible to the light of disproof β€” an intellectual disorder, yielding to no treatment but death. It is hereditary, but fortunately not contagious.

OPTIMIST, n. A proponent of the doctrine that black is white.
A pessimist applied to God for relief.

"Ah, you wish me to restore your hope and cheerfulness," said God. "No," replied the petitioner, "I wish you to create something that would justify them."

"The world is all created," said God, "but you have overlooked something β€” the mortality of the optimist."
PREFERENCE, n. A sentiment, or frame of mind, induced by the erroneous belief that one thing is better than another.

An ancient philosopher, expounding his conviction that life is no better than death, was asked by a disciple why, then, he did not die. "Because," he replied, "death is no better than life." It is longer.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
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Old 2020-04-22, 02:13   #13
MattcAnderson
 
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If you are feeling sad or depressed, maybe some Bible verses can be helpful.

https://www.biblestudytools.com/topi...-bible-verses/

Hope this helps.

Matt
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Old 2020-04-22, 08:21   #14
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dleclair View Post
Maybe some time by the ocean would help?
The "Life's a beach and then you diet" approach?

Doesn't work. I am not allowed to visit the North Sea, let alone the Atlanic Ocean.
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Old 2020-04-22, 08:54   #15
Nick
 
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While physical travel is restricted, quality online resources have increased.
If you feel like a maths seminar anytime, for example, here is a current list:
https://mathseminars.org/

If you're more in the mood for an opera from Milan, say, or watching ballerinas from
(insert a famous ballet company here), their work is temporarily available remotely
as well.
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Old 2020-04-22, 08:55   #16
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattcAnderson View Post
If you are feeling sad or depressed, maybe some Bible verses can be helpful.

https://www.biblestudytools.com/topi...-bible-verses/

Hope this helps.

Matt
I am not a Christian.

Perhaps I should start re-reading Misner, Thorne & Wheeler, or perhaps Penrose.

I bought ISBN 1734358602 almost a month ago, and a tub of Play-Doh a few days later. Something to do during lock-down.
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Old 2020-04-22, 12:53   #17
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Life is like the universe.

Without purpose and almost entirely cold, dark and empty.

There are a few highlights but they are mostly isolated and ephemeral in the overall scheme of things.
In the second place, I say, with all due respect, you don't know that life is without purpose. At least, not life in general. I suppose you could resolve that your own life was without purpose, but I fail to see the point in that.

In the first place, I would say that, even assuming for the sake of discussion that life is "almost entirely cold, dark and empty," it still beats the alternative, which is entirely cold, dark, and empty. At least, according to your view.

Looking at "There are a few highlights but they are mostly isolated and ephemeral in the overall scheme of things," I note that life itself is ephemeral. We all die. Might as well live first.

But let us suppose instead that, rather than a conviction that life is without purpose, one is instead deprived of any sense of purpose -- perhaps of any connection with the rest of the world -- much as someone with a bad cold might be deprived of any sense of taste, hopefully only temporarily. If you stop eating simply because there's no enjoyment in it, you'll never get over your cold.

In the movie Catch-22, the character Orr keeps telling Yossarian that he really should fly with him. Yossarian objects: "But you keep crashing your planes! Why do you do that?" Orr replies, "It's good practice." Yossarian thinks Orr is crazy. But, as subsequent events showed, he was being truthful. He just wasn't saying what he was practicing for.

Now let us suppose you are faced with the question of how to interact with others, and you are feeling despondent. You can, of course, share your despondency, perhaps try to make others "understand" what you are feeling. Misery loves company. But that has a cost. Company does not love misery. If you felt isolated before going on campaign to convince the world that life is pointless, the campaign itself will insure that it becomes your reality.

Or, you can consider the fact that, though your suffering be real, it is not their doing, and instead be sociable, and act cheerful, even if you do not feel cheerful. But why should you do that? It's good practice. You might even bring a smile to someone's face.

Nowadays, with "social distancing," when I'm out on a walk and see someone approaching, and we are getting close enough to have to decide who goes how far left or right, instead of "Hey, how's it going?" or anything similar, I will say, "It's another human being! Run for your lives!"

IMO our greatest President, Abraham Lincoln, was constantly beset with depression. He was nonetheless able to see our nation through its Civil War, and shepherd the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, past its most difficult obstacle, a two-thirds majority in the House of Representatives.

One account of depression -- and subsequent recovery, I hasten to add -- is Darkness Visible by William Styron. Such accounts might always be better given in the past tense.

I offer the following thought: To struggle against despair is never in vain.

If studying ancient Sumerian doesn't seem pointless, then -- Hooray!
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Old 2020-04-22, 13:44   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
I bought ISBN 1734358602 almost a month ago, and a tub of Play-Doh a few days later. Something to do during lock-down.
As seen on social media recently... 100% truth.
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Old 2020-04-22, 15:14   #19
Nick
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
I bought ISBN 1734358602 almost a month ago, and a tub of Play-Doh a few days later. Something to do during lock-down.
Have you seen this already?
https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/2659837
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Old 2020-04-22, 15:18   #20
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
In the second place, I say, with all due respect, you don't know that life is without purpose. At least, not life in general. I suppose you could resolve that your own life was without purpose, but I fail to see the point in that.
Indeed.

Whenever I'm feeling a little down, I play Talk Talk's "Life's What You Make It" very, very loudly.
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Old 2020-04-22, 16:17   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
I am not a Christian.

Perhaps I should start re-reading Misner, Thorne & Wheeler, or perhaps Penrose.

I bought ISBN 1734358602 almost a month ago, and a tub of Play-Doh a few days later. Something to do during lock-down.
I would go with Misner, Thorne, & Wheeler- I don't know why, but there is something calming (comforting?) about the orderliness and logic, though admittedly complicated, of such concepts. There is a satisfying firmness to science. Strangely, there are times when I've read a good science article and I feel a genuine emotional warmth.

Hope your mood doesn't last as long as Marvin's-

Norm
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Old 2020-04-22, 18:03   #22
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
If studying ancient Sumerian doesn't seem pointless, then -- Hooray!
As I said: something to do.
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