Submitted by Shawn Conn on Thu, 06/25/2009 - 22:25

I've been in a constant state of agitation lately. If I had to describe it, I would say its a state of constant pressing thoughts. To use a  'pedia article I read some time ago, my brain is constantly make using of its executive functions. Between my job, finding a home, following the market, and other responsibilities, I've been set into this mode where I'm constantly taking in new information and making decisions on what I should do about them. I'm sure all of this is taking some toll on me. I've been managing my stress pretty well. Agitation turn aggravation has mostly been reserved toward computers whether that be fixing them or just interacting with them.

Recently I've taken a long hiatus from videogaming, a topic I'm sure to cover in here some time soon, but even though I put that down I still find I'm using the same skills in dealing with computers. Perhaps even more so now since less of my attention is focused on performing just-frames or EWGFs in Tekken. There are many times now where I find the computer lagging me where I can input data/keystrokes/etc. For example, the other day I had to bring back my Sanyo RL-4930 phone (with the kung fu grip!) from the dead when my POS Palm Centro fried (last Palm phone I'll probably ever buy). I had to update a lot of contacts in the phone since it hadn't been touched in 2 years.

As I was entering in #'s which was painfully slow, I slowly picked up the same input keys I was using over and over again: down, down, OK, number, OK, OK, right, OK. The more I kept doing it (I think there was 20-30 numbers to update), the quicker I got. Eventually I got to a point where I could time it so fast the display would lag behind where I was entering the keys to enter data and select options. The display was peripheral; at this point my mind had its own mental picture of the computer that was more accurate that what the display was telling me. This stuff usually only has happened when I was in an intense gaming session.

When I've noticed this happening before I get a real spooky feeling. Because as that's happening I notice I can completely take my mind off the physical task at hand. That is to say I don't have to think anymore about the what my body is doing to interact with the computer, it just happens automatically while my brain can think about other things as if my mind is now part of the machine. Of course, I can't do this for too long before I start to lose control. Or as I called it in videogaming, the "oh shit..." moments where I realize that I'm losing control of something in game and failure is eminent.

Thinking about your actions as you do them will help perform them better, but at some point you will level off to where more intensity won't result in better performance. This is because you can't control everything. As much as you can become a master at some action, whether it be typing, running, speaking, or what have you, there are some factors that you can't control. Profoundly, this is the source of my agitation; trying to control every essence of my actions, my life, that, while admirable, is inevitably futile.