January 3rd, 2023

There's an infinite amount of dimensional planes. They all contain the same amount of suffering.

I wish you all a happy New Year! Best of luck to all of you and your endeavors.

This year, I decided that the only thing I'm really going to substantially change is that I'm going to follow my schedule on studying for my CCNA exam as closely as I can. My philosophical goals for this year are to finish my first readings of Marx's unpublished manuscripts, his Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, the Paris Manuscripts of 1844, and the Grundrisse of 1858. But, before I decide to read these there's a few things I'd either like to read or re-read. Most important is Hegel's Philosophy of Right itself, which I own two translations of. Of second importance is a collection of the writings of Feuerbach published by Verso which I'll likely read from PDF. I think around the end of the year I should be able to put up notes/a gentle breakdown of Marx's unpublished writings on my website for all to read, maybe not for the Grundrisse though. I'll try my best to make it as readable as possible.

Recently, I finished my second reading of the Phenomenology in the form of Baillie's 1910 English translation. When I was in bed, I read a little of the Preface from Terry Pinkard's translation and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the readability of the wording so I think I'll give his translation a read as well. His biography of Hegel I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend. Before I go on to read another translation of the Phenomenology, I'm going to go ahead and make time for the three volumes of his Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences, the other introduction to his system, but written specifically to be textbooks for his lectures. I have a decent translation of his Lectures on World History as well so I think I'll give those a read before Pinkard's Phenomenology. The only volume I'm not terribly excited for is the middle volume of the Encyclopedia, the Philosophy of Nature. As far as the Science of Logic goes, I really think I won't have time to get to it until next year, but I plan to read two different translations. The Giovanni translation from Cambridge as well as the much earlier two-volume Johnston translation. I thank Hegel for granting me a more than acceptable ADHD hyperfixation.

Lately, I've been watching a decent bit of competitive Melee, mostly aMSa's meteoric rise as the red Yoshi at the Big House 10 and Apex 2022, as well as Magi and her more modest gains. I lost my USB gamecube controller adapter in the move so I'll have to order another one but eventually I'll ask my friend to help me figure out Slippi so I can start playing a little bit of it myself. To round myself out, I think I'll stick to playing Falco, Marth and Luigi. I heard it's better to practice tech skill on Falco for a while before switching to Fox so I think that's what I'll do. I was watching Mew2King on Hot Juans, who I regard as my personal favorite of the Five Gods. He said something that stuck with me and it was as simple as him saying, if you want to do something, just do it. Find what you like and just do it. Weirdly, it made me reflect on my interest in philosophy and it motivated me to study the Phenomenology longer and harder. I don't think I'll ever have the money or the time to go competitive with philosophy, meaning actually going to school for it and learning how to write for journals, but I'd like to think that deep down I still have that competitive spirit and that burning desire to be the fucking best at something, to be a god damn champion. That's why I like aMSa and the Melee gods, even Leffen, you don't get to the top of the summits without being hungry for it. I might not practice Melee for six hours a day, but on days I'm not studying for my CCNA I can study philosophy as hard as I want. I know what I like, and I'm going to do it. I might never defeat my Five Gods of philosophy (Hegel, Kant, Marx, Lenin, Spinoza), but it won't be from a lack of trying on my part.

Weirdly, becoming bilingual has always been a goal of mine, and I'd like to think I made a decent attempt at learning Esperanto. Unfortunately, I couldn't get over how monotonous and even ugly I find the language itself, but thankfully I've discovered much more interesting constructed auxiliary languages that look a bit more naturalistic. I went to the store and bought another very small traveller's journal and this year I'm going to make it a point to try to study at least a little bit of a Slavic auxlang I found every day, beginning with a decently sized grammar book I discovered on the internet. I've always found the Slavic languages to be quite appealing, yet intimidatingly complex so hopefully this serves as a decent gateway drug to the harder stuff. I've learned to write and pronounce its small alphabet but I've yet to learn how to type it. There's another auxlang that I found based more on the Romance languages that I'll likely give a try as well, but despite my enduring love of ancient Rome and being descended from Spanish colonial subjects I've never been as enthusiastic about the Romance languages compared to others. Also, here's a clip I think about every time I attempt to learn another language. One thing I feel the need to mention is that I appreciate how both the grammars for these auxlangs that I found number around 100 pages (and that's complete grammars) whereas you'll be lucky if you find a reference grammar for a natural language that isn't at least 500 pages.

As far as programming interests, my friend recommended The Well Grounded Rubyist to me as a decent introduction to programming, but I likely won't give it an honest attempt until after I've finished studying for my CCNA since I think right now I'd be piling too much on my plate at once. When I was younger I was obsessed with finding the right programming language to learn first and I think now that that was the wrong way to go about it, so I'd rather pick this one book to obsess over for a number of months when my study schedule is freed up a little bit. I don't know how long it'll take me to study for my CCNA exam but I hope it's less than six months, but we'll see. I don't what to expect from this year, but passing my CCNA exam is the only thing I want to have accomplished with my life this go around, so I can finally get a better job and get my own apartment for once in my life.

I'm still interested in writing fiction and tabletop RPGs and I think Labyrinth Lord and Stars Without Number are the books I'll end up ordering soon so I can have both bases covered, fantasy and science fiction. I considered GURPS so I could basically do anything I wanted with it. Sadly, the friend group I would've likely played with fragmented a little since once friend moved for college and another friend distanced himself from a couple of them for their political attitudes. I thought it was a strange decision but so far I've supported him and remained friends. I have friends with views I would characterize as mildly progressive and strangely reactionary, but I don't really have the theoretical acumen to attempt to seriously critize any of my friends for their beliefs at this stage in my own development. Who do I think I am, Lenin? Certainly not! My short stories have been coming along very slowly. As writing practice I attempt to bang out a single page on anything that comes to my mind on my typewriter so that I'm less distracted during the process. None of them have been very good, but as long as I keep doing it I think I'll slowly but surely improve over time. I hope going through the effort of learning a second language helps me in some way with writing in my very own.

One rather odd idea I've been considering is learning tabletop RPG systems that I'm interested in and straight up playing alone, apparently I'm not the only one who's considered doing this and solo RPG-ing seems to have a niche underground presence in the tabletop scene. I have fond memories of getting my roommates together at the dinner table and letting the beer, pizza, and bongloads flow as we play some good old Fifth Edition and have merry adventures, and I'll certainly miss the unpredictability that introduces. But, I also want my tabletop RPG playing to synergize with my fiction writing and fiction reading, so maybe solo RPG games aren't a bad idea for me especially since I'm no longer a day shift person. Another thing that I come across that you may have as well, finding a really cool looking tabletop RPG and then realizing you have no friends that could get as excited about it. I literally have the Shadowrun book sitting around and I've never been able to play it. Not to mention the Dragon Age tabletop I want to give a try. I speculate that it'll be somewhat similar to playing a video game RPG alone, but instead of it being a railroad you have the fun task of having to generate everything mentally as you go along. Who knows, maybe I'll like it. If I don't I can always just try finding people online to play more niche games.

Lastly, the only other thing I need to do is finally go through one of my boxes and dig out my sketchbook that I've been neglecting. A while back, I watched a somewhat long video on a person's technique of drawing a bunch of really small boxes all over a page and then filling those boxes with small drawings of things around you from various angles. I fiddled with the concept and decided to draw a bunch of boxes on a page and fill them with really small drawings from images that I've downloaded to my computer over a very long period of time so that I can get small bits of practice with a very wide variety of subjects. I don't expect them to look amazing but filling an entire sketchbook with drawings that are shitty is better than leaving it unused, which is the only true insult you can give to your art supplies. Hopefully, one day I'll be able to draw and write a decent comic book that looks somewhat similar to Alan Moore's From Hell, which I consider my favorite western comic of all time. Cruelty Squad fanart also has a pass to look rough as hell. It'll also be nice to have just one complete sketchbook that has a real physical existence, something to hold onto.

If you've read this, I thank you kindly for checking on me!