Everyone seems to be talking about all the amazing things that have happened this year and all the amazing people they have met, so as usual I will approach it from a different angle.

For me, 2010 was nothing special as far as years go. From January until July I was working for my A2 exams, which turned out to be a pointless venture as I missed out on my place by the smallest of margins. I then spent the summer working a menial job in a supermarket which I despised from the first second until the last. It was a horrible place to work and wouldn’t wish that fate upon anyone.

And then I came to University, which while being a massive change, and one I have quite enjoyed, it was nothing massively special. Maybe it just hasn’t dawned on me the magnitude of what I am doing here and the fact that I am, too an extent, independent.

This year has just felt like a year I had to get through, to jump through certain hoops on the obstacle course that is life.

Maybe I haven’t realised what this year has given me, maybe I don’t appreciate the events of the year yet. I don’t know. Either way I am probably the stereotypical pessimist.

But more importantly, what do I want from 2011? Truthfully, nothing really special. I’d like a year where things go in my favour, but I know that real men make their own luck, so I will have to work on that myself. A year is a long time that can pass far too quickly if you don’t stop to look at it. I lost 2010 to that problem, so I don’t want to lose 2011 to the same issue. Currently my priorities are very short term, which mainly involve finding a house for next year and passing the exams in three weeks. Beyond that I have no real aspirations for this year, except to carry on blogging (as expressing myself in text is rather cathartic) and to try and go a whole 365 without missing a booth on DailyBooth.



Friend ≠ Housemate

This is day two of my rant about losing my current housemates. If you don’t want to read these then I would suggest clicking away now.

When the house mate who manned up enough to inform me that some of the other house mates thought it may be best if I move out, he firstly asked if I had any friends on my course. I obviously answered ‘Yes’ as I think I do. I have people on my course that I chat to at least every other day. I am also friendly with anyone on our course as we are all physicists, we are all into the same general things and we are all interested in Physics. This makes it easy to get along with someone, though as anyone who is now at University will understand, there is a difference between friends and housemates.

I had a lot of friends back at Trent, and quite a few close friends, though I doubt I could live with very few of them. There is a difference between being friends with someone, hanging out with them in between lectures or chatting to them before them, and living with someone. It’s the same logic that applies to couples who wait a long time before moving intogether, as the style and needs are different.

I may have friends on my course but do I really have friends I can go up to and say ‘Can I live with you next year?’ I don’t know. I’ve had one offer from another House Hunter in Swansea but I don’t know whether to take it. While my options may be narrow, I don’t want to make a rash decision of any offer that I get. The lesson I learnt from house hunting was that when times get desperate, take what you can, but it is best to take time to consider your options and make an informed decision.

And the last thing it has made me reconsider is why I was not wanted as a house mate next year. If it is the different views on religion, then I don’t know what I can do. I won’t change my views just to make someone happy, even if I try and keep them polite and quiet most of the time. If it is due to my ability to integrate being comparable to ex then there is not a lot I can do about that.

My ability to socialise is severely compromised by factors outside of my control. Those online tests that compare your answers to certain to questions to the answers given by those with autism, and I always come out exactly on the border between autism and normal social ability. Certain old friends from Trent know of my awkwardness around crowds and my difficulty with making new friends, it is not something I can really overcome. I try and get round it in my own way but there is only so much I can do.

All in all, I feel a bit like there is nothing I can do to appease these people, as there is nothing I can do with the things they take issue to.


Faith Hasn’t Touched You Yet

That simple phrase may have been a contributing factor to my loss of house mates for next year, and the inability of some to realise how offensive that is an expression.

I live in a house of different faiths, mainly a split between Christians and Atheists, and to me I don’t find it gets in the way. We have the occasional discussion about it but we try and keep it friendly. I don’t exert my views as strongly as I can, I merely present my evidence with the inference that it shows a Godless universe, but never the direct denouncing of a God.

However, during a discussion, which I think may have been over Facebook chat which ended coming up in JC’s was the line that said something along the lines of ‘Faith just hasn’t touched you yet.’ You may see this as a relatively harmless, maybe misinformed statement to be made but to me it is incredibly offensive. As it implies that I am just wrong.

I don’t mind discussing religion as a topic as I am really passionate about the subject. I am a lot more angry at the Church then I let off, the anger I express in my blogs and posts is just the tip of the iceberg, but I choose not to express it as I hold a view of mutual agreement. I don’t like having your religion shoved down my throat, so I won’t shove my views upon you. So when I get a chance to discuss it in an intellectual way I really enjoy it, the chance comes up far too infrequently. Though when I discuss I generally expect some sort of standard discussion, as follows with most topics. Someone presents a point, usually with evidence to support it, then the opposer presents information to counter that claim, and usually throws in an additional claim on top of it, and this continues until a decision is made to finish it.

I enjoy that as, in my opinion, I am relatively educated on the topic and I am able to generally construct my argument into what is usually a coherent series of statements. The statement in the title defeats the whole point of the argument. It basically says ‘You can present as much information as you like, you can explain it as greatly as you want, to point out the fallacies and hypocrisies but you are wrong, because you are.’ And from a person who is hoping to make a career out of being able to argue this poor, and offensive to me.

I am still annoyed at this whole situation, and I am not sure what the ultimatum will be.

Video Game Addiction

I’m pretty sure by now you will have all heard about the Panorama show exposing video game addiction, it’s presence in Britain and more international examples, and what an awful show of journalism it was. I am not going to spend much time attacking the show but will instead explain the major problem with videogame addictions.

The journalist presenting this show, was clearly not educated in the industry which he was investigating. This was shown by his comment made about the Starcraft II release where he couldn’t ‘believe how many people are here to buy a game’ and then seconds later said that the videogame industry in Britain is worth £3 billion. If you could not work out that a lot of people buy video games from that then your journalistic ability to collect information and interpret correctly to show the case is clearly tainted. By the time they began to interview the experts on the case they neglected to give them enough time to fully explain their studies.

It was noted that video game designers know methods of how to keep people playing, and they do, and they should. Video game designers need to sell games, they need to make something people want to play, and will keep playing. This is both because it triggers enjoyment in people, and people are simplistic, and because if people keep playing they will buy further products from the game developers. I suppose on the same note we should ban loyalty cards at restaurants and shops as they increase the amount of times we will go and get a products from these places (shown from studies) which is wrong according to Panorama.

A lot of cases of individuals were highlighted and while it was said a few times it was never really expressed by the presenter. Those with addictions had other underlying mental health issues: depression, addictive personalities and other such things were mentioned. This was the major point that is fundamental when understanding psychological addictions. There is a reason for these addictions and with looking at that you are not doing it any justice.

I’ve personally been called addicted to video games, and I would describe mine as being obsessive. I have an obsessive personality, I will stay awake for hours at night when a problem is presented that I can’t solve, if I am enthralled in a book I will read it a lot (I read the last three Harry Potter’s in a day each) and when I want to complete something in a video game I will really want to complete it. I had the problem with MW2 as I was trying to bump my KDR (Kill Death Ratio) as for the first 4 months of the game I was rubbish and only on a 0.7 but in the next 4 months pushed it to a 1.3. It took so long as by the time I was at 0.7 I had 30,000 kills. To get it higher I needed to pull it up I needed a lot of kills. Why did I want this higher KDR? Because I enjoyed seeing it increase. There are random things that other people like.

Some people like watching Soap Operas, others listen to songs or read comics for simple amusement. Some things just make people happier or feel good.

Does Video Game Addiction exist? Probably. Does it need more research? Definitely. Is it a major threat to our country? Not really. Was this TV mocumentary a farce? Yes.

Nearly Home Time

The time is nearly upon, it is nearly Christmas time.

But to be quite honest, I don’t care about the Christmas-ness of this holiday as this will be the first time I have been since I left for University in September. I’ve been here two and a half months which is both a long time and not that massive a period of time.

It’s a long time as it is the longest I have been away from home, though the time has flown by. I’ve been exceptionally busy and weeks disappear into nothing as the workload, while allowing down time does act like a constant onslaught. It also feels like a long time, the house mates I love with seem like guys I have been friends with for ages, and the friends I am making in my class are good friends.

But then it hasn’t been all that long. I’ve only really started getting into the stride of University life and all that it brings along with it. I’ve only really started making friends within my class. There are few guys I have been friendly with since the start but proper friendships are only just starting.

But at home is my old life, my life before I disappeared to University. My family, friends and home town. That life seems like a past life, and I really am looking forward to meeting everyone again. I am not sure how it will make me feel though. I haven’t really felt like I am at University yet, will seeing my old friends suddenly make me remember I have indeed moved to different school and city or will it just make me regress to those times.

But Christmas will not be massively fun as I have exams in January. Thank Swansea