Okay, well‒sigh‒it’s Friday. This week has already been about two years long, so I’m relieved that it’s coming to its end and that I have tomorrow off. If something surprising were to happen and they asked me to work tomorrow, switching weekends with my coworker, I would hope, I would want, to say “no”. Knowing me, of course, there’s a very good likelihood that I would go along with it, because I’m stupid that way*.
It’s not as though I have any sense of looking forward to the weekend, other than that I’m intellectually glad that I’ll be getting some rest. I’ll probably take some Benadryl to help me sleep, which, yes, I know, does interfere with circadian rhythms and sleep cycles and all that jazz, but at least it lets my body rest for a short while.
I don’t really get any relief or joy from sleep, even when I get enough of it, though I understand that many people do. Many people really look forward to sleep. The only time I ever enjoyed sleep was during the time I was taking Paxil, which didn’t last long, because it had untoward side effects (and coming off it gave me my personal experiences with sleep paralysis that inspired a scene from Outlaw’s Mind). While I was taking it, though, I got real joy, both anticipatory and actual, from going to bed and from sleeping, though I was in the first year or so of medical practice, so I did not sleep all that much.
Nowadays I don’t really get any joy‒anticipatory, actual, reflective, or whatever‒from much of anything, let alone from my quite limited periods of sleep. I’ve been having more and more trouble even finding books that I have any pleasure reading. Even non-fiction, now, has become difficult. I have well over 400 volumes in my Kindle library, and I am dismayed to feel that there’s nothing there that I want to read. And when I go to Amazon to look for new books on subjects that I have previously enjoyed, there’s just what seems like recommendations from the dusty, dingy, tiny little book aisle of an old K-Mart whose manager doesn’t read nor understand people who do.
I’ve long known that I’m not a very good match for the algorithms of places like Amazon or Netflix. They never have done a good job at finding things to show me that I want to read or watch. This is despite my having bought those hundreds of books on Amazon. Netflix is worse, or else they just don’t have many things in their library in which I have any interest.
To be fair to Amazon, the last time I went into a beautiful, two-story Barnes and Noble, in which I spent over an hour looking around, I left without buying a single book (or anything else).
YouTube does a slightly better job. It even introduced me to the nature (and possibility) of Asperger’s Syndrome via the inscrutable exhortations of its algorithm. But either that algorithm has degenerated or I’ve chewed through most of the material in which I have any potential interest, but In any case, I’m getting diminishing returns from YouTube. And now that the BBC has canceled Mock the Week, I don’t even have new clips from that to enjoy. Even I can only go through comedy panel show clips a finite number of times before I lose interest. And they keep offering me the same two compilation videos over and over, no matter how many others I know exist, because I have watched them all.
There are certainly inefficiencies and errors in their algorithms or deep learning systems or shallow learning systems or whatever the fuck** they’re using. But a lot of it is probably a problem*** with me. I’ve always had peculiar tastes relative to most of the people around me, and I think that’s gotten to be more the case as time has progressed, which is what time tends to do.
Mind you, if I’m with someone I like or love and doing something they enjoy, I can enjoy it with them, and indeed, I’ve always had a fairly broad ability to do so. But those days are past, now, as I have no one I like or love around me, and I don’t really have a desire to find any new such people. It’s just not worth the effort‒the return on such speculative investment is quite low, and the inevitable long term cost and injury is almost always severe. I don’t have to walk across a hot stove too many times before I just stop walking on the stupid stoves.
So, I’m corralled into a seemingly increasing region of anhedonia****. It would be a rather pleasing irony if someone could get real joy from sharing their thoughts and experiences about and with anhedonia. That seems unlikely to happen to me, though. Therefore, I’m going to call it done for today and for this week.
I hope you all have a nice weekend.
*That’s far from the only way I’m stupid. Like all other finite beings (which is all beings as far as I know) I am infinitely stupid, in the sense that there is a functionally limitless amount of information and understanding that I do not have.
**Note to all autocorrection people: I rarely discuss any member of the family Anatidae. I am, however, inclined to using profanity to express things more grittily than by “ordinary” words. There is neurological research pointing toward the idea that this is legitimately different in the effect it has on the one swearing and the one hearing (or reading) the swearing. Why do you think people with Tourette’s syndrome sometimes have coprolalia? There are, to my knowledge, very few tics where someone involuntarily shouts out, for instance, “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah”. Unless that were to mean something profane in their society. Someone with OCD might do so, but that’s a different kind of disorder.
***Reminder to self: look up the etymology of probably and problem. In what specific ways are the words related? Do they come from the same roots?
****Are there any fictional characters called Anne Hedonia or similar? There really ought to be.