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Ninth year of blogging

I know I haven't been updating the blog very actively this year. But I hope (and do believe) that it is going to change to the better, some time next year. A lot of blog ideas have been circling in my mind, but then when I have time to sit next to the computer I have been focusing on the indie game development, week after week, all year. This is also the case today - after the morning coffee I've been coding Ancient Savo, hoping to get the first beta version released today. Now it is already 9pm, everything seems to be ready for proceeding with the beta release. But at this point I decided to write at least a short blog post.

I remember that some years ago I've written blog posts about all the ways I've found social interaction difficult or tiring. And I've felt that I'd like to write a few updates on how that theme has changed in the recent years. But that has been hindered with the simple fact that social life always has a lot to do with other people. Friends. When I'm writing about my own inner thoughts I can fully control how much I want to publish for the general audience - and I always want to respect the privacy of other people, who might feel differently on how much of their personal lives they wish to be exposed to every internet user out there. Also, when there has been funny, nice, healing, meaningful, spontaneous interaction with friends, I've felt that it would be harmful for that spontaneity if there was a feeling that "anything what happens around Erkka might end up written and published in the internet". So I have chosen to write less about life with my friends.

Well, but I'd guess it is perfectly fine to outline a few themes. Like; all social interaction now feels less hard for me, I find it easier to speak and to be around other people. Yet, I'm as introverted as I've always been - in the sense that no matter how nice and enjoyable a social situation has been, afterwards I always feel a need to recharge in solitude. Being alone is the comfortable basic state for me, and I'm perfectly fine with that. Also, it is clear to me that not all social interaction is the same. I find it quickly very energy-consuming if the other people seem to be making a lot of quick and strong assumptions (about me, about other people, about anything). Usually I just prefer to stay away from such social situations. Often it feels that people with quick and strong assumptions about my personality are not really having any interaction with me - they are having a discussion with their own imaginary friend, a self-constructed straw-man they believe to be me - I might try to tell them "hey, I'm not that person you seem to assume me to be", but if they don't listen I just quit the communication and retreat back to the safe peaceful solitude. But luckily, not all people are like that. Also, with some of my closest friends it feels that we share similar kind of introvert traits. So, among the friends it is common that someone starts a conversation by asking "do you feel like talking?", or they can reply "for me today isn't a good day for social interaction", and then everyone understands, accepts that and reacts accordingly. No fuss, no need to explain why you are like that, or if it is because you hate the other person - just plain "Today I'm not in the social mood", and that is OK as such. So, I'm lucky to have friends who are okay with not being social - that makes all the social interaction with them just so much easier =)

To some extent I still do have a tendency to feel that if I need something from others that is probably just annoying and frustrating, so better just take care of myself alone. At the same time I find it meaningful and nice to pay attention to the needs of other, trying to provide when and how I can. Sure, this combination runs the risk of developing one-sided social relationships, so that I'm always the one who gives and the others receive. I have been fine with that, partially it is just my professional role when working as a massage therapist, or basically just any work - the employee is there to do what the employer needs to be done, and then the employee goes on to take care of ones own needs when they are away from work. I've felt that I have pretty healthy ways of managing such models of social interaction, no problem with that - especially if I then have enough time alone to recharge. That was the basic pattern of my life for so many years. But during the recent years I've had so many spontaneous experiences of being helped and supported by my friends that I've noticed how the deeply seated mental structures re-shape, and I've found new ways of just accepting to receive. Learning to trust that other people are not necessarily annoyed by my needs, but might honestly enjoy the mutual network of respect and sharing, where anyone can have needs, and others will offer what they can, but no-one will be blamed nor shamed if they can't help at some given moment. Sometimes my friends have offered their help even before I've myself realized that I could use some help. And many times the spontaneous flow of life has been just good, and only afterwards I realize how this or that shared moment left me feeling deeply supported.

More or less related to the above; this year I've been participating in a Philosophy Seminar at The University of Tampere. That has been made easy by the modern web-based technologies. But sometimes I've chosen to attend physically, which has often also included a possibility of less formal exchange with the philosophy students after the seminar meeting. The seminar has sparked the cognitive side of my brain, and there has been a number of themes it might be fun to write about. (I don't know if anyone would find them fun to read, but then that is the good side of never going to monetize my blog; I can just write whatever I enjoy, with no need to think if it is going to attract paying customers.) Well, that remains to be seen; sometimes I also feel that maybe I could try to write philosophy to be published somewhere else than my blog. And sometimes I feel that it might be interesting to arrange a series of meetings with other people with background in academic philosophy, and have some kind of structured conversations, and then writing series of articles based on those discussions... But, sure, this kind of ideas would take a lot of time and energy to realize them. And at the moment I feel indie coding as my main focus, trying to keep side projects to the minimum. (... and one of my game ideas actually is a game with a lot of philosophical content, something where the player would need to make difficult choices, and the choices would dramatically alter the rest of the game flow. So, a game which would make the player to face philosophical problems? Hmm...)

Ah, back to indie coding, and the Ancient Savo project. I started the project a bit more than a year ago. I've been working on it, having absolutely no certainty if it is going to yield any income or not. But, at least the coding has been fun and inspiring =) Some coding tasks have taken more time than I had planned for, so I'm lagging behind the original schedule by two or three months. But maybe that is not so bad - or, seen from my side it would be a relief to get the game ready for an official release. If it turns out that no-one buys the game, then I'd know that I need to adjust my plans and once again re-organize my work and income. Before that I just keep on improving my skills of being a starving artist, carrying on month by month sometimes with the help of my friends, sometimes doing odd jobs on the side, and maintaining a minimal amount of my main work, and then pouring most of my free time to the game development. Yet, I hope that there will be enough sales to help me become more and more full-time indie coder; in that case I'd be more than happy to steadily allocate more working hours to write pieces of simulation for Sami to use in UnReal World. At the moment all of this is uncertain, so I don't feel like speculating too much about 'what if, maybe, if then probably it could be'. For what is crisp clear is the moment at hand, the focus on indie coding, and then something else happens later on.

Well, this much of blog writing today! Thank You for everyone who has been following, greetings to all the newcomers and long-term readers!

Yay!
Yay!
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Comments

Lovely to hear your thoughts again.

It is so nice that there still are people interested in the blog! I like writing, so looking forward to 2022, hoping to find time to update the blog more regularly =)

Wish you an happy and great new year Erkka. I have been offline for a long time (family and projects - good reasons), without following blogs/people that I like, but it was a joy to come back and read during this holiday break. All the best for 2022.

Nice to hear from you, especially that the good reasons are good reasons =) Enjoy the holiday break, and may the 2022 be lucky one for you!

I wish you a Merry X-Mas and a great new year Erkka! Thank you for the blog, they are very nice to read, keep it going :)

Thank You! Yeah, let's keep it going!

Enjoying your content since around 2015. In the world of 'stories', notifications, doom scrolling, I feel like this place is a little web oasis. I hope you will find some time to write more, and launch next series of daily photos, because sometimes even one photo can cheer me up a bit ;)

Oh! I'll consider just continuing with the daily photos (instead of having a break for a year, as I've been doing before). From my side it sometimes feels that I'm just repeating the same themes that often - coffee, cat, coding, a walk in the woods. But then, on the other hand - that is how my life is =)

Something like a blog post once a month sounds like a realistic goal, I'll try to do at least that.

philosophy game!!!! yes!!

If I remember correctly, in Fallout I the player can have a lengthy dialogue with a computer, and the discussion is about the philosophy of mind, with references to Daniel Dennett's arguments. But that was just a little add-on amusement which the player could freely skip and anyhow the discussion didn't have any impact in the game world. Hmm, so, if I ever make a philosophy game it could start with some sort of situation where the user has to choose something like;
A) Philosophy is waste of time, for no matter what philosophical view one adopts it has no consequences on the level of practical daily reality
B) Philosophy is of foundational relevance, as every mundane opinion, view, action or belief is based on some assumptions, and Philosophy is about examining and questioning those assumptions; change something in those foundations, and all the rest needs to change, too.
C) I'm not satisfied with A nor B, give me more options!

(And then, in the course of the game the player would constantly face situations which seem to contradict or to question the validity of the choices the player made earlier, thus nudging the player to self-reflect on their philosophical stance. Spoiler alert: so the game wouldn't be about trying to prove this or that philosophical view, it would be about promoting and fueling the very process of self-reflection. But now, a critical reader can say that this already is a philosophical view, for Erkka seems to put little weight on view "Philosophy aims at a fixed set of eternal opinions", while he consistently puts more emphasis on the view "Philosophy is more about the process, the skills, the practice, the habits of critical thinking, Philosophy is movement of thought and not some stand-still collection of truths." Okay, then, the imaginary Critical Reader wins! So I need to edit my earlier statement: If Erkka is ever going to make a philosophy game, it is very likely going to be a game where the player is having hard time reaching any final and settled fixed opinion, but the process becomes an adventure in itself, and the more the player explores the game the more the player needs to practice skills of self-reflection, questioning and critical thinking. Although, it would be super nice to include a way for the player to protest again that, too - I see a player desperately trying to choose any option in style "This endless reflection sure needs to end SOMEWHERE, now give me the final options to choose from so that we can escape this maze!", but the more the player needs to do that, the more the maze stares back =)

sounds marvellous to me:-)

Just a comment to wave hello.

Hello!

Hyvää uutta vuotta!

May you have a happy and prosperous New Year with lots of blogging ;) I always get excited to see a new post from you and I love the daily pictures. Please keep up the good work and I'm very much looking forward to checking out Ancient Savo once it's released. Kippis!

Kippis!

I thoroughly enjoy you blog, and one of the reasons for that is that you are just providing us with your day to day stream of thought without limiting it or adding any commercial encapsulation to make it all too self-sering. Reading about your life allows me to dream how it might be like to live like you do, while I am grinding away in my (although lovely) day to day job in a big city with not so much nature around. And it provides me with a safe way to enjoy the process from my home and learn from your experiences. It's great, so keep at it, and keep your own projects in there, they are far from commercial, and a very welcome addition. I am currently daydreaming about a trip to Finland, maybe first to southern parts to meet my friend who just got a nice house from there with some rivers and a lake, and then all the way to northern lapland to visit my mom who lives there. When I eventually will do this road trip, I will hopefully fulfill all of the lovely thoughts your blog has given to me, and I can be once more rooted back to the soil I so direly miss. Keep us dreaming. What for you is ordinary, to us might be something to wait for years before seeing in full realisation.

Oh, thanks for the comment! I have a feeling that the only proper way to reply to this kind of feedback would be to write a new blog post =) I'm afraid I won't have time for that today, but hopefully some other day next week.

Hyvää alkanutta vuotta Erkka! Vaihdetaan kuulumisia, kunhan, mutta oikeestaan nyt vaan linkki Tapio Mattlarin uuteen levyyn, jota sun ehkä tarttis kuulla:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT6IKL10VN8&list=OLAK5uy_lbYUOI6COINrZOQ...
Toisenkin levyn hän on tehnyt, löydät sen tuolta youtubesta myös.

Kiitos musalinkistä, ninäpä pistän kuunteluun! Ja, joo - vaihdetaan kuulumisia jotain sopivaa väylää pitkin jonain sopivana päivänä! Oon ite ollut aikalailla uppotunut Ancient Savon koodailuun ja rahatöihin niin kaikkinainen yhteydenpito ulkomaailmaan on jäänyt välillä niukaksi. Mutta sellaista se välillä on. Mukavia päiviä teille, ja viesteillään!

No hätä ja iloa työhön! Palataan!

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