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Wellness Wednesday for March 1, 2023

The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:

  • Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.

  • Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.

  • Advice. This can be in response to a request for advice or just something that you think could be generally useful for many people here.

  • Encouragement. Probably best directed at specific users, but if you feel like just encouraging people in general I don't think anyone is going to object. I don't think I really need to say this, but just to be clear; encouragement should have a generally positive tone and not shame people (if people feel that shame might be an effective tool for motivating people, please discuss this so we can form a group consensus on how to use it rather than just trying it).

Jump in the discussion.

No email address required.

I'm 42 years old. Male. My weekly fitness regiment is

  • Madcow 5x5 (Mon/Wed/Fri). It's a barbell lifting program. Status is 280# squat (5 reps), 315# deadlift (5 reps), 165# bench (5 reps)

  • Cardio 5 1/2 hours/week. 80% Zone 2 training, 20% is VO2max training. Status: VO2max of 45. Can run about 6mph at Zone 2 for about 90 minutes, maybe more.

I trust that if I keep this up I'll continue to make strength and VO2max gains, though it's been kind of slow. It feels kind of impossible to make progress on getting my VO2max up.

If I had time to add something else in, what could I do to get biggest bang? Maybe something proven to really improve bone density? (My last DEXA showed a z-score of -1 on BMD)

Time is the biggest variable, and your body's tolerance/recovery for extra volume. I've had luck with adding significant volume of bodyweight and light(er) kettlebell work on a daily basis, but ymmv because it's highly variable and dependent on your body's unique issues. Building work capacity is good.

As far as things that will improve your other exercises, if you have a climbing gym close by adding one day of bouldering a week is going to do a lot to balance the push heavy powerlifts. After I started climbing I stopped having shoulder issues from pressing.

hmmm, not sure how much I want to update on advice from /u/FiveHourMarathon :P

How many warmup sets do you do on your lifts?

Ahh gotta love bureaucracy. A specific university won't waive the proof of English proficiency requirements for international students even if your undergraduate degree was taught in English. This came out of left field for me and I wouldn't be able to get the test results by the deadline. I am emailing back and forth with the department on how to sort this problem out in.. you guessed it, English!

Is it common for students to graduate from an English-speaking university while still not really being fluent in the language?

Can't be worse than having to renew your eligibility for a disability pension every year. You know in case your legs grew back in the meanwhile. Thankfully, not speaking from personal experience.

Anyone here take Kratom? I’ve been taking 2g a day (via caplets) every day for about 8 months and haven’t really built a tolerance. I get about 45 minutes to an hour of euphoria before it wears off. No major side effects, no hangover. I probably have some low level addiction to it at this point, but I can go days without using it and not feel badly.

Hah I have a post downthread about this. I also have very little tolerance and love it. Others have said they have issues though.

I use it on occasion when I need a pickmeup. I normally need to take two of the big capsules from UrbanIce to really feel anything, and then the impact seems to last throughout the day as a low grade non-jittery energy. A little more euphoric effect than modafinil, but less than large amounts of caffeine or marijuana. I've been using it very sparingly for a long time, less because of concerns about addiction (which doesn't tend to be an issue for me in the short term) than accounts of sexual side effects, I simply don't need it enough to risk my marriage.

large amounts of caffeine

Caffeine has Euphoric effects? I must have lucked into the particular type of shitty genetics where neither caffeine nor marijuana does anything for me psychologically.

In large amounts. Larger than one normally takes. Like if I just chug a preworkout I'm very much energized and feel like taking on the world. But that's also set and setting, I'm drinking it knowing I'm going into a weightroom for a big workout or an exam room. Maybe if I chugged it before a funeral I'd feel different emotions. Also very vulnerable to tolerance, but we're talking minimum a quad shot of espresso.

I've used large amounts during college (around 3-4 cans of red bull over 4-5 hours), which definitely kept me awake but I was unable to notice the commonly experienced caffeine-induced anxiety/jitteriness let alone euphoria.

Similarly with Marijuana, I had the equivalent of 7 cigarette-sized joints over a 10-hour period the last time I smoked weed with nothing but a mild high, the person I was smoking with was out of his mind laughing maniacally by joint #4.

I don't have a tolerance for either caffeine or THC. But I suppose the pre-smoking/drinking mindset plays a part.

I never experienced sexual side effects, tho I’m also taking SSRIs, which absolutely give me sexual side effects.

I’d suggest taking 4 of those at once and seeing how you feel.

You know, now might actually be a good time to give it a shot for a variety of reasons.

Does weed really make you feel euphoric? I’ve never felt or heard it described like that.

Huh, maybe I'm using Euphoric incorrectly? I've also heard that weed is more varied than other drugs, but I'm less of a social drug user than most, so I'll take your word for it.

What are your reason to keep living? Because I feel I will pull the plug. There is no sign of anything going better and death seems like a peaceful relief.

Sometimes life is nice. It's snowing right now. Looks pretty.

Honestly? I have to know who wins the Champions League this year. And the next. And whether Haaland becomes a true rival to Mbappé. And what the coaching career of Will Still looks like. And how good Endrick becomes. And if the USMNT will ever win a World Cup. And whether I’ll get that interview with Carlos Valderrama. And what that opportunity will lead to. And whether my work will be produced at a high level. And what that achievement might mean for finding love, simple happiness, and stature in my industry.

And when Michigan State will win the Big Ten again.

You still there, hopefully?

First of all: you have severe psychomotor weakness that is nearly certainly reversible and a sign that all this may be an embarrassingly crude biochemical failure along the lines of generalized stress-related inflammation (also could somewhat explain early balding) – go get checked out if you haven't yet; go see another shrink if you have. If shrinks have failed you, get ketamine. Beg or buy some crypto even if this leaves you butt-naked, go to your local Tor drug market or whatever is the way these things are done in your place, find a ketamine dealer with decent reviews, do an injection (or find a deadbeat acquaintance who will help). This has permanently cured and indeed fully fixed a number of people with treatment-resistant suicidal depression that I know of.

Now if you need some motivation, I'll answer your actual question. If you need more help with the advice above, write a DM.

When I feel like there are no reasons for me to keep living, happiness is a delusion and my existence itself is an exercise in sad absurdity, I remind myself that all of this has happened before, and was proven false, and every time I ended up being grateful in retrospect for gritting my teeth and pulling through: the sun is still out there, just hidden by clouds or the Earth or some ceiling I put myself under. This is a metaphor, but also a literal description. Deep in the depressive state, sunlight which is normally so pleasant doesn't feel real; it is important to keep in mind that what has changed was my perception, and it may change once more. The same applies to my ideals and long-term goals, including my ideological commitment to immortalism. When so diminished, it looks like mere letters on a screen, dead words; but it would be presumptuous of a diminished subhuman to make a decision to sabotage the plan of the master who is temporarily absent. Think of your better moments: they are not gone completely. Although not everything, much can be salvaged.

Death isn't some sweet relief either. Relief is a sensation, not absence of sensations; and in your current state it might be hard to decouple ideas of sensation and of suffering, and accordingly of the sensation of lacking suffering and lacking existence. Yet the difference exists and is profound. You cannot really conceive of death.

And needless to say: it's just interesting to see what happens next. Even if you don't feel excitement, you have to recognize cerebrally that is should be there. We may be on the precipice of a species-ending event, or the Rapture itself may be just around the corner, or the worst sort of Apocalypse and tyranny. People are mocking such expectations because they pattern-match to unfounded ancient millenarianism, but I think it's the other way around: ancients were just too smart for their times, and they saw that there is no logical reason to expect humanity to go on in its known shape forever; so they speculated about some Big Thing ending it. We are creating an unprecedented new kind of sentience (or at least intelligence) – if anything could be the Big Thing, this is it. Among the hundred-odd billion members of the Homo Sapiens lineage, quintillions of beasts with consciousness who have seen life in this Universe, you have been privileged to be present in this generation. Stay for a while to see the main event, at least.

I also think of people who would miss me. This isn't just dumb pity: I care about interesting stories that could be told. In general, most people – very much including smart, unhappy people – being taken out means that there are fewer worthwhile stories that will get told, fewer fates that ennoble the notion of living. That's just sad.

Again, your posts give the impression of a major yet reversible health condition that may not be limited to a major depressive episode, the psychomotor thing isn't the end of it. Listen to this shit: «I know I will never a good job, I will never recover my "smartness", I will never be in shape again». You've put on some weight but that's a nothingburger in the age of drugs like tirzepatide; basically you only need to wait a little for it to become commodified as tens of millions of fatasses conjure a market. Double-digit percentage of normies is virginal at your age – well, in terms of sex at least; the society is absolutely fucking young men over.

Identifying with your smarty-pants test-acing persona is more worthy of self-flagellation than losing those smarts, IMO; we live in an age of intelligence commodification anyway. But e.g. here, a month ago, I see a sharp and alert mind – so your self-perception may be skewed, or predicated on silly entitlement.

Hair can be transplanted or replaced with a hair system. You being gay is largely irrelevant to your parenthood plans seeing as women don't want to bear under realistic scenarios, you'll have to wait for an indirect solution anyway. And now this is a big thing: if any of this feels shameful, you must learn to hold the internalized shame in contempt, and hate it and all those who have made you its host. These are reactions installed in you by a hostile, homicidal yet retarded societal structure that is barely viable itself, via a backdoor of prosocial aspirations and empathy. You pursuing having a hairline, or whatever, for practical reasons, is enough of a concession; this scum is not entitled to dictating which methods you can use.

And, last but not least. Academia is oversaturated and artificially over-competitive, so academic careers suck, many academics love driving each other to suicide, PhDs are basically chimpanzees if chimps could learn statistics and had bigger dicks. It's a dysfunctional and worsening environment where miserable people compete in biting off more than they can chew, chasing pennies, and passively-aggressively gaslighting each other to reinforce their own delusion of still liking their projects. For some freaks of nature like Aaronson it's salvation, but for many more it's probably worse than neurotic bullshit like modelling or Korean idol industry. This is particularly true of hardcore STEM like your physics. Despite false advertisement, academia is not a place for people with mental health issues! Many smart, nerdy guys (of whom there is overproduction as well) who got hooked on educational rewards (due to paucity of other kinds) assume that this is their ivory tower, their Castalia, their natural path to success, far from the peons; they are being deceived, and not even for any good reason, it's just a mission-drifting remnant of a once-strategically relevant MIC subsidiary. Now, all of this doesn't apply to all of academia, it has an almost-perfectly opposite side, but the point is, more than half is this exploitative bullshit for tryhards – and you can fail to get into the other half, for reasons other than not being clever or strong enough. Go get fixed and learn2code while it still matters. You may not have enough time to start earning much, but you'll see a radically less fucked-up culture.

Also, some years ago I've written this. Maybe it'll be of interest to you, though it rehashes some of the points in this post. (Nice to see mow I'm at least consistent – so, not a word model that just spews out plausible verbiage).

That person is still alive, by the way, and has made a decent career since then. Apparently quite content with having failed the attempt.

When so diminished, it looks like mere letters on a screen, dead words; but it would be presumptuous of a diminished subhuman to make a decision to sabotage the plan of the master who is temporarily absent. Think of your better moments: they are not gone completely. Although not everything, much can be salvaged.

Genuinely great post, man, thanks for writing it.

tirzepatide; basically you only need to wait a little for it to become commodified as tens of millions of fatasses conjure a market.

OP doesn't even need to wait, I got semaglutide from this chinese source for roughly 7USD per 2mg, and it's worked wonders for the past 2 months.


I'd love to know more. How do you handle reconstituting and injecting it? What's your weight loss been like? Any other effects?

I assume that the website you're getting it from is a compounding pharmacy.

I'm not huge but I could stand to lose 10kg or so, and if I can take a weekly shot to make it happen, I would definitely consider it. Only the price has kept me from trying it so far.

I assume that the website you're getting it from is a compounding pharmacy.

Oh it's nothing so official. I don't have a prescription for semaglutide, so I've had to find sources that don't ask for it, the chinese website I linked is one such source. If you press "contact" on that website and send a message to the guy, he'll send you a whatsapp phone number, though which you chat with him about what you want, I bought 10 vials of 2mg semaglutide. Payment is through a payment processor like moneygram or wise, but in the end these are just middlemen which also accept credit cards (though there are some annoying verifications you have to go through, I had to send a picture of my drivers license).

I took a picture of what actually arrived, inside sealed packaging depicting some sort of chinese female-targeted face mask (so it better evades customs), you can see in the background the other 9 flasks.

To reconstitute it, you need to buy bacteriostatic water (I bought it from here, no need for prescription or anything). You need 2 different syringe types, the first one I use is a 1ml syringe to draw up water from the bac-water bottle and reconstitute the solution, and a second 0.3ml insulin syringe I use to actually inject. Most of the complexity of doing this water manipulation is being aware that drawing up water creates a vacuum in the bottle, so when you draw up 0.25ml in your insulin syringe, you first need to inject 0.25ml of air inside the bottle to maintain the same end-pressure. You need to also buy alcohol prep pads to clean every surface that the needle will touch (the top of all bottles, and the skin) about a minute before the needle goes in.

Semaglutide is a lot more stable than other peptides at room temperature, in lyophilized form at room temperature there was basically no degradation after a month, which means that you can keep it for a while in that form without risk. Reconstituted it's also stable at room temp for a few weeks.

Now onto the effects and protocol:

First, the main effects: this stuff has a massive, just massive dose-dependent effect on appetite. In my default state, I need to eat around 3500 calories (at my current 230lbs, around 27% body fat level) not to feel hungry going to bed. Semaglutide at the 1mg/week level made that drop to needing 2200 calories to feel completely satiated at the end of the day. It both seems to cause food to stay in my stomach longer, and cause hormone signalling to make my brain not crave food. I've lost 2 to 3 lbs per week over the past month following my current 2000cal/day diet. I did not notice any other effects apart from appetite suppression and very, very slight and infrequent nausea. I'd suggest to have a formal diet plan if you want to lose weight, and semaglutide will make it effortless for you to stick with it.

I started not with the injectable version, but with the oral version of semaglutide called Rybelsus (which I got without prescription from indiamart). The oral version has much lower bioavailability, so you need to take it everyday in the morning on an empty stomach with max 100ml of water and wait at least 30min before eating anything else, otherwise the absorption is shit. The recommendation is to start with the 3mg/day version for a month, then upgrade to 7mg/day for a month, then again to 14mg/day, at which point you can switch to an equivalent injectable dose of 0.5mg/week (this shows just how badly semaglutide is absorbed in the gut). The important thing to know is that semaglutide has a half-life of a whole week, so the equilibrium point of a 1mg/week dose is really 2mg flowing in your blood, which you get to after about a month at the same dose.

I didn't follow the recommended dosing, I did 10 days at 3mg oral, then 10 days at 7mg oral, then 2 weeks at 0.5ml/week injectable, then 2 more weeks at 1.0ml/week injectable. The whole point of going up slowly is to prevent gastrointestinal side-effects, which are by far the most reported side-effects in trials. I didn't get much stomach disruption, but I did notice that I got it more with the injectable than the oral, so I think it's the sudden spikes of semaglutide that are to blame, this made me switch to a 3x/week injection with smaller amounts, and it seems to have solved it. Insulin needle injections are nothing like the intramuscular vaccines or anything, the needle is absolutely tiny and doesn't hurt at all, like, me pinching my leg fat to create a suitable injection site hurts more than the needle going in.


Thanks, that's super helpful.

I imagine I will stick to the oral version if I do take the plunge. Taking a pill is easier than explaining to my girlfriend why I'm shooting up once a week. Looks like the price from Indiamart is about half what I would pay from a UK supplier.

Have you beat The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind Game Of The Year Edition yet?

So many times!

My two favorite characters are

Westernized Dark Elf male, starts in the Imperial Legion which is his introduction back to his ancestral country, initially in Imperial Cult. Starts to get into the thick of things, abandons the Cult, goes native in the Temple. Joins House Redoran, goes full Nerevarine, but still with an eye to trying to preserve the good parts of Imperial influence even while re-establishing Morrowind as an independent power. (And screw Bethesda for what they do to it afterward!)

Westernized Dark Elf female, scrupulous apprentice in the Mage's guild by day, moonlighting as a thief by night, supplemented by her budding arcane powers. Becomes intrigued by the native culture and joins the Morag Tong until she's well-steeped in that tradition. This opens the door for her to decide that her future lies on Vvardenfell and particularly in House Telvanni, as it's what will best-allow her to capitalize upon her inherent abilities. Always becomes the Vampiric Lady of Uvirith's Grave, complete with many of the truly-excellent expansion mods for that site. Has little use for the Tribunal. Uses Vivec's soul as a doorstop.

Is any mortal capable of the strength required to stop listening to the title screen music and actually play the game?

I time my “load game” to the end of the song.

I also have a copy in the explore music folder edited to remove the initial drums, so I don’t mistake it for battle music. I’ve got the Oblivion title music in the battle music folder.

I still have so much to do.

I don't really believe in suffering. It exists but (except in very extreme circumstances) is heavily outweighed by the pleasure of life.

Consider: the very worst form of suffering IMO is to lose something--whether a loved one, or a great opportunity, or an ability (such as the ability to walk). But all of those things are positives! The absence of a positive may feel extremely negative for a while but at worst, from the correct standpoint, it's just neutral.

And speaking as someone who has experienced a lot of physical pain, it's nothing compared to the pain of losing something.

In the end you have some degree of control over your "baseline", below which you are unhappy and above which you are happy. I guess this could be summed up to "lower your expectations" but it's more than that. You really can choose to appreciate the little things and care about the big things less.

A few reasons:

  • I'm curious how AI will turn out.

  • I think I can use my talents to help the world (again related to AI).

  • I want to experience my first child being born at some point.

  • I want to get married and experience that.

  • I want to see how deeply meditation will take me towards seeing past the veil of experience.

  • I want to experience the final Unified Theory Of Physics being created and know enough math to understand it.

  • I want to make more friends and have more fun with them

  • have more sex

  • I want to see just how good my body can look if I really dedicate myself to working out and eating well

  • eat more and different good food around the world

  • and finally I want to be around in case we do get an amazing transhuman future to see all the crazy shit that will undoubtedly be there

But I'll say what I usually do when a friend comes to me with thoughts of suicide. Once killing yourself is on the table, crazy shit becomes warranted. Like trying steroids to drive off depression (you can buy testosterone gel/patches on If you really, really feel like dying on a particular day, I would urge you to do a hit of 5-meo-dmt (again from an indian source), it's basically death in a drug (and very very different from the n,n-dmt you might have heard about), you feel your consciousness dissolving into an indescribable state for around 15 minutes before coming back. If you do try it with a large enough dose, I suspect that you'll find that a single Death per day is enough.

Because I have to I guess. I don't particularly like this world. But I do know that killing myself will only make it worse given that I do consider myself a 'decent person' and given how my family would react. I have to fight, even if I don't want to. This is perhaps not the most encouraging statement, however, I find it serves as a pretty good base, at least for myself. I mean, if you're depressed because you dislike the current state of the world, maybe it's better to attempt to change a small part of it to your liking instead of killing yourself?

A more generic reason is that things can always get better, and if you're seriously thinking about ending it, you can always start changing your life more radically in hopes of achieving positive change. Maybe not in a quit your job and take all the drugs kind of way, but to simply increase 'exploration' of all kinds of experiences you have not tried yet. How many types of human living have you experienced and how many are there?

One also needs to look into how many of 'basic needs' are not met, given that we are just animals after all. And without certain basic things is very hard for us to feel happy. Spending time reading about the human mind and body can be very helpful here. A common idea is that certain kinds of depression are simply an adaption to a certain kind of environment.

Other than that I'm not sure what to say, it might help others help you if you explained why you feel this way. If you have the energy to do so.

"Please don't kill yourself, something retarded might happen." cue the Joker quote on life being a comedy and all that.

I was very close to pulling the plug a few years ago. Am I thankful I didn't do it? Not really. Life still sucks about the same if not more, it's a baseline level of suck that I got more used to over time. I did rationalize to myself that I will still keep the possibility of exercising the nuclear option if things truly take a turn for the bad, let's say I develop some kind of debilitating disease or get crippled in a car accident and join our fallen brother with 2 arms and a head, but that option is always there, you can exercise it whenever you wish, it doesn't have to be now. As long as you can bear the shittyness of the moment, you can wait till things truly get shitty to reevaluate whether you can exercise that option or not, you might just be a different person by then, in the sense there could be some kind of change in your brain chemistry/wiring that makes that option less appealing, because by god does that option go against millions of years of evolution. Understand this doesn't assume your life circumstances getting better, but your self/mind getting better.

Also, the thought of my mom and dad finding out about the news is honestly too much to bear, and in my personal calculus tips the scale against it. A friend of mine died in a car accident at the age of 26 (potentially suicide), his mom's reaction to it was not pretty to say the least, it took the strength of 4 adult men to keep her from attempting to jump out of the balcony many times a day over a week.

Also do keep in mind that it is the final option. You might as well try to do a whole lot of unethical things to turn your life around before you truly have to reach for that. You can lie on your CV to get a better job, get plastic surgery to get more girls, whatever. Surely dishonesty is preferable to death?

Of course, all of what I said assumes that the struggle is entirely mental and not physical, if you are in unbearable physical pain, at least consider seeking out the most expensive potential help/treatment before the final call. It's not like your bank account transfers to the afterlife. If not, do consider gratefulness that your pain can be literally wished away as hard as that may be, not everyone's can.

I dealt with suicidal thoughts for many years before my depression cleared in my mid twenties. In the end, what I found most profound was a trite little phrase I read somewhere and which I’d repeat to myself sometimes, an eternity of nothingness awaits. Presumably this was originally followed by “and therefore you should enjoy the brief time you have on earth”, but I never found that part necessary.

There is a deep comfort in the inevitable, at least if you’re a neurotic like me. If you stay alive, anything could get better, or at least more interesting, at any time. And you can always walk out the door in the future if you change your mind. That’s what kept me alive, I think.

That's such a bizarre sentiment.

If nothingness awaits, there's no reason to keep it waiting any longer. I've long since decided that if I ever completely buy into materialist framework, with all hope of meaning and humans not being cursed from the moment of birth extinguished, I will take a reasonably high-caliber firearm and send one bullet in my temple. Nothing of value is lost; existential dread avoided, likely permanently. Also, a nice gesture of contempt, "no, thanks, that's not good enough for me" one in particular, I guess. Best available deal in a situation like that, as far as I'm concerned. I will never stop marveling at how different basic ideas about what make life worth living people have.

Partly out a sense of gratitude towards those around me and a wish to pay them back somehow, being dead gets in the way of that.

More philosophically, I try avoid conceptualising the bad in life as cancelling out the good. The best things in life justify themselves and every moment that led up to them, whereas misery is mundane and you just get on with it. Maybe I'm deluding myself, but there's no negative in this equation.

Well, you asked, but our experiences are probably a bit dissimilar. If I make a list with on one side, pleasures and joys, and on the other, pain and distress, it’s going to be a blowout for the light side. I experience very little pain, and pleasure from for example eating, alone, is already greater.

On a less rational level, as a kid one of my parents was constantly talking about suicide and it made me anxious that they might go through with it. I decided then I would never commit suicide if I could help it. Not only that, but I would make sure that everybody knew I was always happy and anti-suicide, to spare them the anxiety.

I made up rules that ‘allowed’ me to commit suicide if : I didn’t waver in my suicidal wishes for a year, plus, I called my parents and best friends and told them I was suicidal at least a month in advance. Or excruciating constant physical pain for two months. The closest I came to testing them was after an operation, but even then I rejected the idea immediately.

As far as I know I’ve always been a relatively happy kid, but it’s possible this personal philosophy through a sort of mirror effect, by forcing a smile, has made me happier. On that subject, one day, I decided I wouldn’t cry anymore, like I suppose most boys (though in my case it was again prompted by the sight of my crying parent). So I recorded a list of mostly absurdist jokes that I would recite in front of a mirror whenever I was crying. Inevitably I would laugh, and seeing myself laugh-crying I would laugh even harder. It worked. But now when I see people cry I have an urge to laugh, which is less than helpful in certain situations, like a funeral. Ah whatever, worth it. Life is weird.

Last week I applied for a position I'm underqualified for via LinkedIn. I applied on a whim for two reasons:

  1. EasyApply means it took all of 30 seconds to send in. Low barrier to entry + plus alcohol = wtf not?

  2. Ten seconds on Google told me the company's primary business was well-afield of what they'd be hiring me for. I'm in a niche field that a lot of HR types don't really understand and make up wild job requirements for, i.e. 5 years of experience using a toolkit that was only invented 6 months ago. Because you have to get through the HR gremlins to deal with the people who actually do the technical interviews, I generally don't feel bad checking "yes" for non-cert requirements I don't have. Everyone's trying to buy a Bentley at Kia prices and we'll all settle on an upmarket Honda in the end.

Fast forward to this morning and I get the initial screening interview email. Turns out the company I applied to is a start-up with an almost identical name to the one that popped up on Google. Aforesaid start-up is also being run by someone with some actual pull/clout/influence/whatever in my field. And that individual is the one conducting the initial screening call. (I did a little more digging and called around to confirm this isn't a scam and it isn't.) I'm not sure how to feel about this.

Point: I got the interview through misrepresentation. This isn't an interview with an HR gremlin who's ticking boxes, this is a screening with someone who knows their shit and very likely knew exactly what they were looking for. Is it ethical for me to burn 30 minutes of this person's time?

Counterpoint: On the other hand, if this person is doing the interview, it's fair to think they have read my resume, right? Some of the easiest flags to screen for, namely years of experience, is pretty easy to derive just glancing over my resume. So if this person read my resume and is still wants to do a quick phone call, that must mean they must see something worth at least exploring, right?

Counter-Counterpoint: This start-up probably doesn't have any organic HR gremlins but that doesn't mean the CEO isn't using some other HR gremlins to screen everything. There's a good chance the CEO just aid "Find me X" and the out-sourced HR gremlins said "Post the template for X on LinkedIn."

Counter-Counter-Counterpoint: This person probably going to interview dozens of candidates for this position. 30 minutes of his time really isn't that much in the grand scheme of things.

There really isn't a point to any of this, I'm just posting this here to keep from spinning out too badly.

Is the job worth the risks, and can you afford the fallout if this goes sideways? If yes, go for it, and be honest (or not, can't force you). If not, send them a email that you aren't interested in the position anymore.

I can probably afford the fallout. While this individual has clout, they can't blackball me from the entire industry. (From what I've read about them, they aren't really the kind of person to do so anyway.) Right now I'm thinking I take the initial interview and just lay my cards on the table at the beginning. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I reckon.

How did you misrepresent yourself? Doesn't EasyApply send your linkedin profile too?

I said I had 10 years of experience with a particular subject. I have anywhere between 7-9, depending on how strict your definition of experience is.

"got the interview through misrepresentation" and "burn 30 minutes of this person's time" implied something much more severe and obvious, like - "job's for experienced java developer, i kinda know javascript". If 10 vs 7-9 years experience was the main ""misrepresentation"", variation in job performance from skill/intelligence/character is quite a bit more than any difference in experience from three more years, you could easily be a good fit.

you only have 7-9 years when it requires 10, and this concerns you? I get that it's an actual nerd (,who might be similarly autistic) you're dealing with and not an HR gremlin, but come on.

That's an excessive degree of scrupulosity you're exhibiting. Go for it with zero guilt. Pretend your time studying at uni counts as "experience" if you must.

Come on, 9 on the vague end is practically 10! That’s barely a lie - go for it. I’d mention 9 years in the interview, that way if the “discrepancy” comes up (it won’t), you can say you discussed your experience explicitly.

Please let us know how this goes!

Remind me on the next Wellness Wednesday.

My post this week is a but different from the usual things. As a child I never really liked my family, my father would scream and shout at me and my younger brother daily with a really high frequency. I felt that this was normal yet it didn't somehow stop, ever, at all.

My family is dysfunctional, very very dysfunctional to the point where I hate living with them. Most people, most of my religious sentiments live in their ancestral houses forever with joint families, elders and whatnot but I just can't imagine doing any of that. The kind of unease I feel around my family when we sit down to eat our meals alongwith constant interruptions when I code in my room have forced me to commute daily to my unis library just to not be around them.

My ma stuck with her marriage because here marriages are decided by the elders and even though she didn't like it, her reason to stick by was because she felt that leaving would bring shame to her late father's name in their town.

Again, this isn't my way of blaming my family for my shortcomings rather just my acceptance of the fact that none of us are happy. My parents and grandfather have loved their life and have nothing besides screens left in their life, same for my brother who is fairly slow mentally and hence spends his days doing what I'd do but under exponentially worse circumstances.

Hinduism unlike other cultures ensured that traditional values remain alive with rituals and traditions. My life derives all it's meaning from my religious beliefs, I wish to some day have a family of my own too (not anytime soon tho lol) but it is kinda ironic that the religious guy who encourages others towards traditions is also the one wpuld run away the second he can.

My sabbatical will last six months, I knowingly took a decision to take it so that I could fix my knowledge gaps, prepare better for the future and ready myself for a far better quality of jobs. Most importantly develop actual skills and figure out what I like, am good at etc etc.

When I was first asked to consider one by my mentor, mt response was that I'd rather slit my wrists than stay back in this dysfunctional house in my dead town but I later realised the upsides. I'm posting here just to cope. My family fights during dinner and my grandfather who's hard if hearing at 90 watches, feeling morose over what he witnesses. He was in all honesty a much much worsw father. During todays episode, he asked me about why there was so much turmoil today, stating he doesn't much like what he sees but being in a bad mood, I responded by stating that it's his fault6too since he too was a terrible father. Surprisingly, my old grandfather nodded and agreed with my assessment, stating he wished he could do it differently.

There are skme nights where I pass by his room and hear him cursing his own parents in his sleep and seeing a man who's 90 having so much bitterness over this stuff does make me feel bad.

I'm not as young as I was once I began posting here and I already have many many things I regret very deeply. I learnt a lot from every single mistake but uts did cause significant problems. My GPA is terrible (slightly below 3 in the US scale of 4, 6.77 out of 10 to be exact) but besides that, not many things that Ibhave done will have permanent negative consequences forever, however as time passes, it'll just mean more of my decisions will matter.

Regardless, my time in my house is coming to an end flr this chapter of my life as I will move out. I wish I could have saved my brother, my whole family honestly but I can't.

Anyone who's read my entries here is familiar with my obsession with this one girl I met via the internet and could never get over despite never meeting her etc etc. My oneitis in internet lingo, one of the reasons why I liked her was because she was jubilant, truly jubilant, always happy with a genuinely loving family where shebhad a great relationship with her parents, her siblings plus she looks somewhat like my mom. In fact she does remind me of my mom but one who grew up under better circumstances without having to experience brief bouts of poverty and seeing her father die at a young age only for her family to bounce back. Maybe in my mind I saw a lot of what I like in my mom in her, psychologically and physically.

At this point I don't want to fight with my parents, I understand that they're a product of their times but I also am afraid that Ibtoo may end up like they did with boring careers forced on by their family living ablife where the only change is screens (TV, phones etc). They did their best yet somehow my cursed home didn't help us out. The reason why I try out things like isometrics and whatnot is the fear of ageing like my parents, of becoming like them someday. Seeing my grandfather struggle with literally everything makes me reconsider a lot of things.

I see the appeal of life as a young person in a large city, you meet so many new people, can work on careers, academics, visit nightclubs etc etc, things I like, I haven't done them enough but I genuinely love the fact that I am young, for now as I cannot and do not wish to be like, well like my parents. Despite my love for them, I do not wish to grow old, decay at a bad pace leading a life confined ti stagnation. The dynamic change life offers to me at my age is very exciting. It's life affirming, it really is. That probably is a big reason why many here are haopy to help me out as they perhaps see a slight sliver of themselves in me or more likely just wish wellbfor others, hoping they don't make the same mistakes.

I'm a much better programmer now and other things but these fights in my house take away any and all good feelings I have for days. My envy for that girl grows because I wish I got to have a relatively peaceful family life. Uni being trash despite its prestige is something I can cope with but family is permanent, you are after all a representative, a descendant of your ancestors.

Regardless, I am in the middle of my final mid terms, my internship has allowed me to get this semester waived so I'll be able to study full time, bang out code and fix my gaps.

It feels like yesterday that I discovered this place during my first few days in uni or before that and now I'm officially gonna be an engineer. Time goes by fast, I really did want my sabbatical to go fast too but I want to slow it down, as bad as my family is, it's still my family and I hope my last few months here before I leave for greener pastures are better.

I enjoyed reading this. And surprisingly, not with sadism, it actually put a smile on my face to read it, because it reminded me so much of myself.

I'm much older than you, married in my 30s, boring and well off. Life is decent. I've pure affection for my tossing and turning, genuinely miserable, deeply neurotic college self.

Nothing more profound to say except good luck, advice across ages doesn't work anyway.

I appreciate hearing that. I like posting here because I can look back at myself from the past and see the value in the advice and warning you guys dish out. It has been good so far, hell I learnt more here about "life" than I did in uni.

Have you read the blog The ideas he writes about might be helpful in a certain way. I though a lot like you when I was younger and even admitting that makes me a bit embarrassed.

Otherwise, and I say this in a way intended to be helpful. I think you take your life (and status) too seriously. You write paragraph after paragraph filled with big words that mean little. For example, you have no idea what her family life is like in reality if you've never been there. You're just extrapolating to feel bad about your own life. To build a pretty-little-narrative about yourself. Stop thinking and start doing shit instead, and perhaps you might be cured of your illness. You want to abandon your family for a chance at the Good Life? Sure, just don't make up excuses for why it's morally okay. For why they (you) deserve it.

Hopefully I'm not breaking any rules when posting this. The intention is to be kind (but not nice) in order to help. Your problem is the fact that you are neurotic as hell, possibly because of a hard and stressful childhood. Trying to fix anything other than this is just procrastination.

If you feel like I'm being completely off the mark please say so, I might be wrong. You know your life better than I. I'm just making an educated guess and projecting a bit.

Yeah you're right. I'll check the blog out, any posts you'd recommend?

Has anyone got opinions on the optimal amount of new words one should learn each day on Anki when learning a new language? I'm trying to learn French.

I initially tried quite high numbers but that made me start to dread my reviews and I ended up not doing them very often.

In the end I whittled it down to ten words per day. Pathetically low, I know, but it guaranteed that I'll actually do it. That and setting a Google calendar alert to remind me.

I would suggest starting low and increasing the number once the habit is ingrained.

Are you using a premade deck or adding your own words?

I initially tried quite high numbers but that made me start to dread my reviews and I ended up not doing them very often.

I've found that doing it on the laptop makes it seem like a far smaller task as opposed to doing it on the phone, not sure why. I've found about 20 a day to be the most I can do sustainably, but I'm wondering if I'm actually hitting a limit of learning or if I could do a lot more with some effort?

I would suggest starting low and increasing the number once the habit is ingrained.

The habit is well ingrained as I've used it for learning Spanish in my own time, but with French I actually do need to get good quickly as I'm moving there in a few weeks.

Are you using a premade deck or adding your own words?

Both, I've got a premade deck with a few thousand cards with audio, and another one where I add what I've picked up from general reading and listening.

For anyone who has low back problems and sits a lot, I cannot recommend this Pipersong Meditation Chair enough. My partner bought one on a whim and I tried it not expecting much, but damn it is a game changer.

It basically lets you sit cross legged at your desk, and for me at least makes it far easier to relax my lower back. I immediately bought another after I had sat in it for a couple of hours.

Oh, I think I would love this. I have a really hard time sitting normally in a chair and always have at least one leg tucked under me. Think I might spend my "home office stipend" on it.

Things that helped me:

  • the cheapest "shiatsu" neck and back massager from Amazon or its local equivalent

  • extended child's pose, YTWLs on the floor, cobra pose, cat/cow pose

  • lumbar support on my chair, for which I use this

Any nootropics folks here? I know someone mentioned Silexin (lavender oil) recently and I tried it. It has been okay, noticed a decent change but only after I forgot to take it - had some big changes in my life so difficult to tell if that affected me.

The one nootropic substance I do love and use regularly is Kratom. Is is truly powerful and I’m surprised it isn’t more popular. It has strong effects, is really not addictive, and very cheap/easy to produce.

I’ve tried alpha GPC and other stuff in the past but I’m too lazy to do research and leery of messing with my brain. Any highly recommended supplements folks on here like?

In my case creatine, magnesium citrate, pramiracetam + choline source, and phosphatidyl serine via chicken hearts. It's worked very well for me for years. It won't be that for everyone. It depends on your metabolism, and most people don't have access to testing with any resolution for likely low hanging metabolic deficiencies.

Not quite a nootropic, but I find psilocybin does similar stuff long after a mild dose; clarity of thought, insight, integration of logical reasoning with emotional reasoning; I find myself "trusting my feelings" in the Jedi-y sense.

Lions Mane. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what has changed. But I feel more awake to some degree. It might not help other people though since it seems to be the most helpful for people who've suffered minor brain damage. I suffered one concussion too many as a late-teen to the point that people around me noticed, and pointed out, that my language use got worse.

One objective thing is that my eyes open a lot more now. Not sure what that means (worse eyesight?). It also gave me some wild dreams and slight headaches (which i normally never get).

A relatively mild stimulant that works well as a complement to caffeine or amphetamines.

I initially used it as a way to ease the come down from my ADHD meds but I kept taking it after stopping to medicate my ADHD. Nowadays I mostly use it as a pre-workout supplement and for purpose i greatly prefer it to caffeine.

I have a different experience with kratom, it hit me like an opioid high and over time turned me into an asshole when I wasn't getting it, this lasted about 2 years and then I had to admit it was a problem and quit.

I tried to get into nootropics a bit during my university days, but none of the 'true' nootropics seemed to make much difference.

The only time I remember noticing a significant effect was when I took a premade stack product that made me depressed. It probably had too much choline relative to the piracetam in it.

However, I do still regularly use modafinil (I'm actually on it right now). It really can't be taken regularly but if I've had a bad night's sleep and need to be productive at work the next day, it's great. It makes me awake and able to concentrate without the anxiety of a caffeine high.

Although I have noticed a couple of weird side effects. I have to avoid playing video games while on it or I will play for too long, perhaps because it stops me getting bored. Also, it mitigates the drunken feeling from alcohol. This is a problem because it tempts me to drink **more **in order to get the same buzz as I usually would. Of course, it does nothing to prevent hangovers.

It makes me awake and able to concentrate without the anxiety of a caffeine high.

Also in partial response to @andenyalaa mentioning L-theanine- I've not tried any L-theanine supplements, but I've had very good results alternating my coffee with black tea (which has L-theanine) in terms of not getting hit with anxiety/jitters.

Not sure if the benefit was really from just "smoothing the curve" of caffeine intake or from the L-theanine itself, but either way worked in practice. Was definitely not from a reduction in overall caffeine, switch was from two cups of coffee to two cups of coffee with a cup of tea in between.

I learned recently that negative ions may improve mood. This is the strangest thing I‘ve read after phytochemicals from trees improving mood, certain bacteria in dirt improving mood, and certain essential oils demonstrably increasing alertness. Apparently, in certain environments like close to a waterfall and after a heavy storm, the air contains more negatively charged particles, although I don’t exactly understand how. I have a strong memory as a kid of feeling a strange sensation under a waterfall which I chalked up to the awe and humidity, despite not really being drawn to waterfalls much, but perhaps something else was going on.

I wonder what “this feels good but it can’t be for a reason” discovery science will support next. Perhaps wearing certain fabrics, grounding (feet on grass), being safely outside during a thunderstorm, wooden homes, and maybe being in spaces where people experience strong positive emotion will have some transference effect.

I've stood in front of a directional negative ion generator before (about 1,000,000 more negative ions/cm^3 than being next to a large waterfall) and I did feel weird, but not euphoric. It just felt harder to breathe.

Veritasium investigated this in the context of salt lamps back in 2019. IIRC, it's a combination of woo and placebo effect.

That said, it's certainly possible to have a local build-up of negatively charged particles--lightning, static shocks, and other forms of electrical discharges are the sudden neutralization of a pre-existing separation of charge.

I’m 99% sure that “negative ions” thing is bullshit. How would that even work? Chloride is a negative ion. There’s tons of chloride in your body already. Normal homeostatic variation would swamp any additional ions you might breathe in. If they are supposed to help from outside your body, how? Any macroscopic electrostatic field would cause the ions to accelerate away from each other. If the negative ions are balanced out by positive counter ions, then whence cometh the auratic effects?

I wonder what “this feels good but it can’t be for a reason” discovery science will support next. Perhaps wearing certain fabrics, grounding (feet on grass), being safely outside during a thunderstorm, wooden homes, and maybe being in spaces where people experience strong positive emotion will have some transference effect.

It's important to test our assumptions ruthlessly - this is what science was based on, and where all the big and useful discoveries are made.

We scoff at our own peril.