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Shut-in Learning Addict

I felt sick, took a sick leave, and took a nap, but not before I drink a cup of coffee, how clumsy of me. I felt my body numb, but my mind kept running. A series of vivid dreams, not so fortunate, however, as those were about pull-request reviews and a programming language philosophy talk. In that dream, a sensation of challenges against my ideas surfaces from the experiences when awake buried in the unconscious mind. I stayed busy even in sleep.

Learning is like a thermodynamic process. Entropy of a system that approaches a constant value. A diagram that has a moving dots on it, but slowing down to a halt over time. The chaos that turns into order. Unknowingness into knowingness. Strangeness into habituality. White and black paint, which when mixed, becomes gray.

That constant value, the one approached in the process of learning is truth, but one cannot guarantee whether it is the objective truth or the subjective truth. Is being subjective bad though. as it may come that no one can know there is even objective reality.

Learning is not all about knowledge. A swimming athlete does not just apply techniques from the coach. They need time and exposure. Some day it clicks, the swimmer knows how to exactly decide how to move in the water so that it just feels good. Familiarity.

On the other end is boredom. As darkness is the absence of light, the absence of opportunity to learn is boredom. It is excruciating to open one's phone, browse the internet, only to find that what's in it yesterday and the day is all the same. Shall we just pick the filter bubble to blame?

Some people find commitment toilsome. It is indeed sometimes hard to choose when the other options will not be there afterward. The fear to be stuck. The fear to miss out. Indeed it is a fear to be able to stop to experience, to learn.

Some cannot bear with the absence of cigarettes, alcohol, social media, games, sugary drinks, or Reddit karma. That is zealotry, fanaticism, the mind's incapability to learn that at the other opposite end there's another source of dopamine. And it does not help that the root of zealotry is embedded biologically in every human being. Be aware not to overfit.

Learn to relearn. Sometimes that value that is supposed to be constant, changes. When it changes hard, it is hard to adapt. The truth turns out to be not the truth. The realization can be painful. Learn to relearn, so that when the truth changes, it wouldn't be so dramatic as to render one insane.

Be careful not to relearn too fast. More precisely, do not appear to relearn to fast, because one can inadvertently become the agent of dramatic changes of truth to others. At the least bad one risk being inconsistent, which some people cannot tolerate. At worst one can forget their old self.

And with that one weird, not really pleasant dream, I realized:

There is one progressive-metal band I'm obsessed with, whose albums are full of songs with odd time signatures 23/17, 23/16, 17/16. I loved the way it sounds so irrhythmic, but as time goes by the pattern becomes more and more apparent, emulating the dissipation of entropy of learning. Meanwhile, I had a disdain toward pop music, with almost every song has 4/4 time signature and indistinguishable instruments. That is until I found this really nice pop song. After that I find my disdain is a bit irrational.

That is because I needed to avoid boredom. I was overfitted to feel underfitted. But I didn't realize that there are boredom-remedic songs in other genres. I think it is similar to why some people open so many tabs while surfing, only to end up closing it all. It is similar to why some people subscribe to film and tv shows providers and end up not watching it at all, and why some people hoard games and end up never playing them. All out of being a fearer of boredom, a zealot of the unstuck, a shut-in learning addict.

Considering, that may be just an overactive imagination from coffee before nap.