I have this dear friend, Jansenist, and he's very driven and has a strong sense of values (meaning, he doesn't know how to relax and have fun). He knows that life is a gift and that we should make the most of it, but he doesn't know that 'wasting time' can be an important part of that. He believes in Making The Most of every moment, of being worthy. He is ... The Example. So, when I posted that I have been spending a lot of time recently playing internet chess and computer games (Civilization III), he sent me this email, which he begins by quoting me:
>"What do I do?... During the day when they're
>out at school, or out on an excursion, I usually
>play chess or play computer games. Or write
> stuff, or read stuff on the internet."
Dude, you sound depressed. You're not just some PS
with an awful disease. You're BRAINHELL!
You know you might not be around all that much longer.
You know that even six months from now you may not be able to do as much as you do now.
So what are you waiting for?
What is the legacy of memories you want to leave your family? What do you want to create and leave for them?
You have important work to do. I don't see how playing
chess or computer games helps you get it done.
Remember the guy who right after the diagnosis made
sure to get footage of himself playing with his baby girl,
so she would have it in years to come?
Where's that guy now?
That guy is here, right now, Jansenist, playing computer games with a big smile on his face. Yes, I have my other projects, and I'll cycle back to them. I already finished the first video for the kids, and burned the DVDs. I'm still working on more stuff, various kinds of projects, as you might imagine. But right now what I enjoy doing is immersing myself in this game and spending most of my spare time on it.
I know you can't understand, but to me it's just as valuable as harassing peaceful Quakers just because they annoyed you, which is something you know a lot about.
As far as chess goes, I am making an effort now to play only when I feel fresh and alert. Prior to this, I used to just play whenever I felt like it. My goal now is to win, and try to bring up my rating.
As far as Civilization III goes, I'm pleased to announce my first 'worthy' victory -- a conquest win in 2030, on a large world with about 10 opponents. I lagged about 100 years behind in science, but had achieved tanks, fighters, and bombers some years before the end. I used the peaceful approach until about 1700, and converted several cities by charm. Then after about 1700 I attacked my neighbors one by one in wanton displays of unprovoked aggression. My people certainly didn't like that, but I nonetheless elimated all other civilizations. The funniest thing is what the foreign advisor said at the end.