Haven’t written in a long time because there was nothing really happening. There was learning drawing, drilling Japanese, and occasionally getting addicted to a videogame for between a day to a week every now and again, but nothing really worth writing about. I tried something smaller scale too, a more traditional diary to dump anything up from the most trivial thoughts into, but instead of going to facebook statuses I started talking to friends instead, so there was no real reason to use it. The physical moving of a pencil across paper didn’t really do much either; typing is simply too fast for that to compete. Sometimes though there are things that I feel should be recorded in a more permanent state, perhaps I should be opening a text file instead, or at the very least go back through my blog and make local copies of all currently existing entries, but maybe I’ll get around to that eventually.

At the end of my wits reading and wading through HR-ridden garbage I decided after a particular job application I would stop, and my plan turned to going to the local community college to take some random course, and using that to get student access to literally who knows what part-time jobs. It just so happened that particular application got me an interivew, and a little over a week after that interview I got sent a job offer. I had no reason to refuse or negotiate, it read part time engineer intern and was quite close to home all things considered. So I accepted and spent the next week waiting and at the end of my wits in anxious anticipation, because I thought I had completely fumbled my way through their short practical test, and would shortly be kicked back out once I did anything for any non-insignificant stretch of time.

It’s been two weeks since then. I’ve gotten paid and there’s been no obvious indications I’ve noticed that I am doing a poor job, if anything they’ve basically taught me everything I needed to know from ground up and continue to do so, even asking on the first day if I could do full time and maybe even overtime instead. There are some suspicions I have; on a response to a question before the interview I wrote what would supposedly/conventionally be seen as very desperate things, and my supervisor has demonstrated that his positivity is a skill and has other opinions while the person not in question isn’t around. But if that happens I’ll think about that then. While on company time I have only not worked while going to the bathroom or casual talk that someone else starts first, so I have done my part.

Also on the first day I thought I didn’t want to work for the rest of my life.

Not particularly in relation to the job I was doing, but any and all jobs that are 9-5 doing the same task following someone else’s HR and whatever policies and ultimately making money for who knows who. After getting home I didn’t want to do anything except eat and sleep – and then I’d wake up the next morning, eat, and go to work. It got somewhat better after the first two days because I actually started sleeping decently, and it got better this past second week, but I’m sure it’ll never get as good as “8 hours work, 8 hours sleep, 8 hours free time”. Maybe 3-4 hours free time at most. 3-4 hours of being half-awake, exhausted, and really not able to concentrate on much.

For what I’ve had I’ve had it pretty good. Parents aren’t divorced, house is owned, savings exist, no completely crippling mental or physical disabilities, significantly lower than average college loans… but I want more. It sounds completely stupid to just throw your hands up and say “well we’re not children anymore, it’s time to suck it up and deal with it” and just give a third (lose a half) of your life to make someone else money. Obviously you’re making yourself some money too but it’s not much by a long shot. I once read that if you can get hired for 100k you are actually worth at least 200k and if you can’t find a way to get that other 100k then that is your fault. I took it as true, but there’s no use believing something as true unless you give it some weight to “how true it is” with some experience to back it up. The company I work at is small enough so that when the thing I’m supposed to work on gets passed to me, I see the second half of the supply chain – exactly how much we’re selling the product for, and exactly how much the customer is paying. Offhandedly asking one time, I found out that after production costs, we (read: owner[s] of the company) sell it for double. And by the time it gets to the customer at retail price, the price doubles or triples another time, to ridiculous numbers you’d never find in any major store visited by commoners. One time as I couldn’t help but be aghast at the numbers at the numbers I was seeing, a co-worked pointed out on top of all that – “How much are you making off of that specific order?”. And then I pointed out back to him, everyone here is working on top of some previous engineers’ work; how much are *they* making off of *any* of these orders? Money, IP, and middlemen issues aside, in the end the relation between a company and its employee in California 2015 is far different from being part of any sort of thing close to a community or a family. Apparently there used to be something like company loyalty and pensions and some other things, but today we are much closer to cogs in a machine, or maybe more like a line of code in an ever-growing ever-bloating program.

The argument the other way is that while you are working you are also getting marketable skills and a reputation so if something ever happens you can always find other work. Which I can definitely see, having work experience definitely is different from anything you do in school, but I don’t see it as my fault at all that there was nothing around for me to do except go to college after highschool, and I got a decent enough vaguely above average GPA in MUH STEM degree so that pile of trash doesn’t work either, nor is it my fault that schools are shit and don’t really teach you things OR prepare you for work OR train any sort of skills whatsoever. I guess it’s my fault that I trusted my parents and trusted society so much? Granted I was probably going to arrive here eventually anyways; I am not so interested in what is claimed as I am in what is actually there. People say things because it either makes them money or makes them feel good. What does it matter if it is inconsistent with anything else from reality to morality to their own word?

As far as my opinion goes, I don’t feel good working when I don’t think I’m really doing anything of value, when I’m doing things that don’t really interest me much, when there’s who knows how many people up and down this supply chain that are making more money than they “should”, and when I basically have no time to myself afterwards. I’m aware money makes the world go round and money is always needed to do anything, and I believe truly that I should do something that’s productive to society, but I’m pretty damn sure that does not necessarily full-time work after having been employed to work essentially full-time. The products I am helping make are completely ridiculous markups to me, but lots of people out there apparently pay for these things, and this company and its competitors have managed, all nepotism and incestual corruption whatever aside that allowed them to survive and rise up against all the bigger supply chains, to actually get money by doing what it does. I think every job everywhere is basically along the same lines. The economy in the end is moving of resources/goods, and what determines what is a resource or good is who and how many are willing to pay for it. I agree that there’s a bunch of things ranging from unnecessary to worse-than-unnecessary-because-it-takes-up-resources-others-could-use to completely wrong morally and otherwise that are done and sold, but if the criteria for “productive working member of society” is “holding a job”, then those things are not in the equation.

A long time ago I wanted to believe that engineers “made things” so they had a more “productive” role than those who do HR or PR or marketing or whatever, but now I see that such roles could at least theoretically exist as productive roles, and theres probably some companies out there who do it all in a ratio I’d agree with, so I don’t know what “productive” really means in relation to society anymore except for money. Should I have figured this out after learning conservation of mass? Miners only take things from the ground, Fishers only take things from the sea, factory workers only put together things from miners while eating things from fishers, and the people who buy from those groups and sell to them and others are what arises out of division of labor because engineers could spend more time engineering and so on if someone else took care of accounting, calling, etc. Obviously, if someone is responsible for seeing and interpretting the overall picture they will have more information and more power, and they can change the distribution of tasks and money to a fair degree before others start noticing – if they ever notice. I have no voice or power whatsoever so there’s no real point for me to think too much more about it, but it seems fairly clear that “full time work” is a requirement and is equal to being a “productive member of society” is basically a farce. At the top of the supply networks allowing the people to have “full time work” are people who, whatever they do, don’t do full time work. Certainly they are doing useful and important things, but it is inarguable that CEO types (and those above them) who are on vacation in Hawaii or wherever half the time are not doing “full time work”. They’re not even doing “part time work”.

The idea that productive members of society are possible due to the existence of nonproductive members of society does not fit with any popular narrative.

It doesn’t give any weight to full-time work being a necessity for any sort of moral high ground. It also completely takes out any wind of the whole “dream job” or “make your passion your work” idea, and along with it all the other nonsense in that painting like living in some single bedroom apartment in the middle of some downtown urban city center, with very few things in it, with the things actually in it being of “minimalist design”, not knowing your neighbors names, or the faces of anyone in the next building over, and all of this alone with only your doctor and auto insurance agent and lawyer to call up and hand over money first to help you if you ever get into any trouble.

I understand why people want to “work” – they want to “do something”. For a year and a half I was not in school and had no job, and it was fun enough for a while, but then it started getting boring. Part of it was I never went anywhere, and I never really did anything really new, but even if I had those I would simply run into the problem a little bit later. I stopped playing videogames as a constant activity because they didn’t get me anything. In the moment they could be fun, but after I’m done, what’s left? I don’t really care about my winrate or progression. I like pretty places and beautiful women, and reading the opponent and pre-empting his moves is fun, but the former can be captured in images, and neither require a big chunk of the day every day. I wanted to do something that would both be fun and had something to show for at the end. Something I could build on and get better at over time. There are some other qualities I looked for, but those ones I think are the basics of what people mean when they say they really need to “work” and can’t really just “sit around doing nothing”. Everyone always needs money, so obviously if this one thing that they enjoyed doing also got them money, it’d be great – the original “dream job”, the etymology of “if you love your work, it isn’t work at all”.

The reason why I thought all this was because the first day and the second day and every day I come home from work, the first thing I think is “I don’t have enough time to draw today, and as long as I have a full-time job, I will not be able to have enough time to really draw”. I do what I can when I can, but the amount of energy I have after coming home from work isn’t enough to do much, and even if I moved it backwards and had my free time before work it still wouldn’t be much time to study. Even if my occupation was to draw, so long as it was 9-5 every day with set vacation dates and all that other stuff, it would not be enough time. Forced time is not interchangeable with having time. I’d certainly enjoy it a lot more, and in the modern sense it’d certainly be my “dream job”, but I don’t have a dream job. I dream to not have a job.

My dream would be something closer to working off commission or something irregular where I have more choice in time. It’s probably inevitable that there’d weeks or months on end where everything is harder, and money flow is less predictable, but I think that’s a fair price for returning the entire day to my disposal. You can get any number of dollars per hour, but you only ever get 24 hours in a day. There’s also the whole thing about “multitasking” – I don’t believe that people can truly do more than one thing at a time, but I also don’t believe that people can truly do anything that requires any brainpower for 8 hours at a time. Whenever I’m doing anything on my own time, every five~fifteen minutes I do something else for a minute or five. Anything I do for long periods of time only ever goes up to about three hours, then I have to stop and fuck around with something for a bit. And then some days I stop entirely, because why not. Granted the system makes allowances for this with random office chatter, lunch breaks, weekends, paid vacation days, and probably some other things I haven’t thought or heard of. Of course, those who control the systems basically get to do whatever they want, so it’s fine for them: my first week the CEO wasn’t around because they were on vacation, they’re back for these two weeks, then they’re off for another week for something, then they’re out for thanksgiving vacation, and then after they’re back for another week it’s off for christmas vacation. The owner, who isn’t the CEO, was literally said to only come by every blue moon or so to pick up his check.

I don’t think people get to those kinds of positions by working 9-5 doing shitty jobs and working their way up. As far as I’m concerned, it’s theoretically impossible. Working harder at your current position has no guaranteed bearing on what the tasks and responsibilities of the rank superior to *you* at *your* company, and then assuming that your work is actually better than everyone else’s both in your company and literally every other person on the planet whose name your superior is able to lay their eyes on, it has to both be recognized by *your* superior and be seen favorable (two separate items) in order to get a promotion, and even then you have to wait until the position superior to *you* at *your* company in order to fill it. And that process repeats every single step of the way up, until you reach the point at which the founders or owners or CEOs are around and there is no further way up, and they’re not about to just fucking hand it over to you. If you plan on living forever and not getting to be CEO until you’re 250 then sure why not, but then again if everyone could live forever then you wouldn’t even be able to get in in the first place because the entry level requirements are 150+ years experience, and even if you did, well, the guys at the top are immortal too, and you run into the same problem again.

There is no way out of a full time job by doing more of a full time job, until you die, or are close enough to death that savings are predicted to cover what you need plus margins until you die.

I guess it’s theoretically possible to only work a real high-paying full time job for a few years and then retire for the rest of your life if it paid that much money, but no one’s about to pay that much. A job like that certainly wouldn’t be found through any of the regular commoner channels.

Actually on the topic of regular channels the more I think and hear about them the less sense they make. The job I got I got through craigslist, my responses on it were odd, my interview was terrible, and as mentioned earlier I was fairly sure I failed the practical section. After asking I was apparently the second best candidate, the first being rejected due to immigration visa problems. How could there be people more terrible than me? Or rather, did I really fit the bill better than others? If that practical was a test in a freshman level class, or if any other part of the hiring process was done in a way that anywhere near reflected any of the ten thousand conflicting philosophies all claiming they’re right on google, I would’ve most certainly failed. It’s not impossible that I was the best candidate out of the ones they received applications from, but it was highly “irregular”. Then again the claim is that there are lots of jobs out there, just look at the title page of Indeed.com: “814,541 new jobs in the last 7 days”. If someone believes bullshit like that, they probably also believe the number thrown around on how many hot singles are looking for a cute date tonight on OKCupid. But it doesn’t stop there either, because there are actually people that believe Indeed and OKCupid, just like how there are people that actually buy the magazines and candy at the cashier. One day someone from the office came in and started talking about some football game? or something, and said a line something like “I wouldn’t pay 200 bucks for a ticket, and then there’s parking, and food, so like 400 dollars a head, I wouldn’t pay 400 dollars a head, for what like two to four hours of entertainment, just to see my team get their asses handed to them”. And the first thing I thought after hearing that line was, “I would pay 400 dollars a head to go to a game if my team wasn’t getting their asses handed to them”.

There are people out there who pay out the nose for every kind of thing imaginable, from football game tickets to the product I am currently being hired to help make. And there are people out there who believe every kind of thing imaginable. And they all say and think they’re right, and for most of them I think at least to a fair degree on some level, think it’s probably the only way to live. There’s also a shit ton of them these days that are saying things because it’d make them popular or get them connections or make them money. And if some of the more popular narratives are to be believed, most people don’t really think about this sort of thing at all, and believe what they’re told on TV or wherever instead.

If I got a job straight out of college I don’t think I would’ve thought about any of this for a very long time. All I ever really did with my time when I wasn’t in class or doing class-related things was basically only along the lines of videogames or masturbation. Every now and again I’d pick up something commonly recognized as a hobby for a while, like weightlifting, or cycling, or piano. I never really cared for school (except for a few courses here and there, but mostly only due to a few interesting ideas presented by specific teachers), but I was told it was required and going into engineering would get me a job and then eventually a wife would come along and a house and a family and then that’s what life is, and everyone of any vague trust said this, and I didn’t have a reason to question it, so I did it, and played and masturbated when I wasn’t doing it. If I got a job, even my “dream job”s at the time at SpaceX or something else, I would’ve just replaced school with that, and my life would not be too different. Maybe I would’ve bought more things for videogames or masturbation, probably continue going into/back into another transient hobby. I can’t say I won’t end up dropping drawing, but starting seriously learning something that I found fun and have always found fun, getting better at it after never having seen any improvement my whole life, having results I can show to people and they actually like when I’ve never had anything to show and never had anything people liked, all in a time period which was completely colored by failure and waiting for nothing and death, a long seemingly empty period bookended by a complete failure of a narrative on one end and now a continued deconstruction on another… if I do end up dropping drawing, it and its successors won’t be in the same category as the other “transient hobbies”.

Perhaps I would’ve thought of this much earlier if I didn’t go to school.

If I thought of it later, it probably would’ve been written off as “mid-life crisis”.

I think I’ll stop here for this time. I’ve gotten lost a handful of times already and I’ve written the main points and then a few I originally wanted text to remember for me – though I unfortunately forgot to weave the whole family/children/community/dynasty angle in there, probably because I talked about that earlier twice at length already with laxeris and sightless (then again I chose a more individual angle than a societal angle so it wouldn’t really have fit anyways). I’ll continue with the internship/job I have for now, at least until something big happens or they get rid of me. Since I got a job and since getting through interviews and hiring is the hardest part for me, I’ll stick around until I’m good enough to get recommendations or connections so I can come back to something that isn’t being a retail ~sales associate~ if I need to. Everything needs money, and I have no way to get money with drawing or anything else yet, so I’ll do work well and do it right for now. Only thing I have to do is spend my time drawing, getting good at drawing, and getting good at not just figuring out how to get money by drawing, but actually getting good at getting money by drawing.

This is the great challenge for now.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa i want to play more bideogaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaames
i also dont want to work full time the rest of my life
maybe i should make a compromise and take a nap

Mental Switches

I’ve been trying to learn how to draw for the past ~three months, though in the past two weeks I haven’t done much anything due to sickness and computer problems. Coming back to it today opening up my most recent incomplete sketch file, I didn’t feel anything in particular. No urge to improve, but also no particular grievances or misconceptions about my abilities. It was simply there, like any other random piece of complete amateur art you could find in the sea of the net.

But everything came back the moment I put a single new stroke on the .psd.

Like waking up from a dream.

Mental switches are pretty interesting. In particular, it’s interesting that my switches appear to be switched “off” to just about everything and only a few can be manually turned “on” without any need for some curiously specific set of reference events. It’s like a bunch of engines with their starters removed – or rather, misplaced and hidden in some sort of eccentric treasure hunt game.

Writing here for instance I have no idea where the switch went. I used to care, now I just come by every so often for indiscernible reasons.

The Education Mythos

Today I learned that guns today don’t actually use “gunpowder”, and that modern “smokeless powder” is required for automatic weapons.

This is almost as big a revelation as the fact that cars can’t actually theoretically run forever on the smallest bit of fuel.

I hate education.

>reading up on how smokeless powder is made because it’s clearly significantly different than gunpowder, which formerly explained one of the most important power shifts in history
>thread gets locked early in discussion by mods
>”3b. Descriptions of the construction or synthesis of illegal or hazardous devices or chemicals are subject to removal at the discretion of the staff.”

Among the other things education lies to you about is how complete it is while hiding where its holes are and how important those holes may be. There’s so many fucking holes in goddamn everything we actually do live in a magical world; the only differences being the terminology and artistic theme has changed to be dominated by angular metal and glowing glass rectangles rather than by twisted wood and colorful balls of light.


People will buy fucking anything if “Scientists Believe” is attached to it. Educated scientific society my fucking ass it is.

I actually wouldn’t have too much of a problem with it either, if they would actually just come out and say what knowledge was forbidden. But no, they have to talk about how it’s about obtaining truth and knowledge and truth will set you free and some other bullshit, doing it themselves while stopping you from finding out how.

But I guess it’s consistent enough with the general mythos of the West. “YOU can do it, YOU are in charge”.

It’s what they said about democracy, and who’s in charge of the government?
It’s what they said about free markets, and who’s in charge of the economy?

Why wouldn’t they preach the same for knowledge of the physical world?

This also reveals another huge fucking hole in another narrative, namely that higher education is nothing but Middle School Pt. 3 and fails to prepares you for any real jack squat work in the real world whatsoever. I thought it was odd when looking for jobs that there were so many seemingly super-niche fields requiring odd expertise, that it might’ve just been my lack of specialization or choosing interesting classes, but stuff like manufacture of smokeless powder is is literally hidden information.

You can’t fucking learn it in books or in classes or online or from undergrad research, because they’ll get the patent police on you. There is literally no way you can learn it without spending several lifetimes with the blessings of fortune and hidden unless they tell you how to do it. To put it another way, you don’t get qualified to receive that knowledge by knowing other knowledge, by having some “expert understanding”, you get it by fucking direct transfer. It is literally a secret.

Who knows how many other things out there are designated secrets, either by religion or the government or patents or any number of other powerful “old men” interests? The full extent is unclear, but the principle is well-demonstrated just by the huge divide between what’s listed on the curriculum and what’s listed on the job posting.

And this principle explains fucking everything. All the range of super-niche engineers, all the range of super-niche game developers, all the range of super-niche visual effects, they didn’t get there by knowing how to do any fucking bit of it straight out of “higher education”, they got it by either cozying up or being given a chance or something – anything – other than the “certifications” or “skills” it’s claimed to be.

What higher education prepares you for is to be a replaceable grunt of a marginally different kind. To be a replacement part for the gods of money. Maybe -maybe- if you’re lucky, not only will you not have to move to the third world to use your knowledge, you may even be arbitrarily endowed with a berry of knowledge. A shredded page which for once doesn’t describe the world as it worked two hundred years ago. And of course, it’ll be attributed back to the greatness of the alma mater and, when the time is right, to the Advancement of Knowledge for Humankind.

What a disgusting fraud, the “education” mythos is.

(originally posted to personal facebook in three pieces over the span of an hour; combined here with original pictures and slight edits)

I was writing something up but got interrupted a few times for hours at a time and now I can’t be bothered today. If I put it off for tomorrow though I think the likelihood a post goes up tomorrow is as likely sometime next week or next month.

So here’s one.

I’ve been writing a decent amount so it’s not like the skills faded or something like the other times I took long breaks. I’ll probably copy paste them over once this is all over. To be frank I’ve been so involved (see quotes blog) I forgot I had this. But now I remember.

So I should be writing here again soon.

Harsh Times Are Required : A World of Tanks Experience

I’ve been playing a game called World of Tanks for the past month and a half or so.

I had played it a few years back when it just came out of beta and had some fond memories of some of the tanks, but I had dropped and uninstalled it because I got fed up with the lack of power I had over the outcome of the game. The standard mode is 15 minutes, 15 vs 15 with each player in one tank, and everyone only lives once – if you lose all your health you cannot simply hop into another tank and continue. It wasn’t too hard to drop the game since I had picked it up like League of Legends for the purpose of training minimap awareness for Starcraft. This time around I picked it back up as I was invited by a friend who had another group of friends interested in doing company and clan battles, and I had Go, where I am actually in full control and anything that goes wrong is completely my fault.

Coming back there were a lot of changes; quite a few tanks I had remembered being good or at least fun to play had their best guns removed or were reworked entirely. My favorite tank felt largely unchanged but perhaps lacking a bit due to powercreep. As I had not gotten to the higher tiers / endgame of World of Tanks the new tank lines and meta changes didn’t matter to me too much, so I just played it as a new game with somewhat of a head start. At first I was performing about where I was performing historically, approximately the 47% winrate average. One of the friends was very into the numbers and statistics of the game and I learned a lot more about the mechanics, which I had ignored completely the first time around opting for a “feel first think later” approach, and I started looking at my own winrates more closely on the third-party sites that kept track of more stats than the official site, including individual tank stats and daily/weekly/monthly progress.

Learning about which tanks had which guns which did however much damage at whatever penetration, how far away they could see me based on their tank type and equipment, and how fast they could turn or move based on horsepower/tonnage ratio did not raise my winrates by much at all. It raised my daily winrates (50~100 battles/day) from a fairly stable ~47% to an unstable 49%. The two things I did learn were hull-down and sidescraping, which weren’t really about to help me since I wasn’t really yet playing at high enough tiers for these things to be crucial, or otherwise failed by themselves to have any significant statistical impact. I started reading articles written by top tier players and watching their videos and streams, and they bumped me up to a vaguely less unstable 52%. It’s hard and not very informative to compare the two jumps in a numerical way, but it felt substantial enough for me to believe that the future of improvement lay in following the footsteps of the better tankers.

Somewhere along the way I stopped playing regularly with the aforementioned group and played the game on my own. The original inviter turned out to be someone I really didn’t want to play with and for various reasons was clear he is not a person to learn from, and the rest weren’t really looking to be competitive or were unable to explain how they were improving. I had also stopped playing Go for the time being and spent time on other activities when not on WOT, so the “I’m only one man out of fifteen against fifteen, what could I possibly do” came back in full force. My winrate was still about 52%, but became a little more unstable – there were some days I’d hit 55 and other days where it’d go back to 46. I read a post about how team games don’t require teamwork, which helped a little bit more every time I read it, but it didn’t have much effect. Or so it seemed.

This past weekend was horrible, as most weekends are. Reasoning is that more bad players are out on the weekends and since WOT has no ranked games ladder where bad players only see bad players, the games were much more one-sided and the feeling of playing them ranged from “dumb” to “humans are garbage i have lost my faith in humanity”. The difference this time though was I kept trying to play and kept trying to focus. Usually I either 1) get really mad and quit or 2) get really mad and keep on playing. The former leaves me with a bad taste and a lower winrate, the latter leaves me with a worse version of the former.

This time I took no breaks inbetween games and forced myself to remember that this was a new game, with new players, sometimes on a different tank, most of the time on a different map, and even if players are still probably going to be bad because it’s the weekend, they might do something I can work with this time, and even if they don’t get better, I can get better, and that at least requires some experience in trying to apply what I’ve learned.

I forget what my winrates were, I didn’t bother to record them because they weren’t out of the ordinary. On the lower side of normal things.

This is what happened after last weekend:

Those were my numbers after Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday were something like 62 and 68 respectively; I didn’t record them because I thought they were anomalies of some kind. I thought it might’ve been RNG or MM (MatchMaking) favoring me, or perhaps it was because I was playing too much of tanks I liked (T-34, tier 5; T-150, tier 6) rather than grinding through tanks I wasn’t so comfortable in towards higher tiers. But three days in and a last minute check before bed opened my eyes pretty wide.

Thursday felt pretty bad and it was something like 56 at the end of the day. Today was the worst I’ve felt in WOT for a fairly long period of time and I simply quit after a fairly short session, and I thought perhaps this whole week was just a Flowers for Algernon experience and the window of greatness had passed.

These were today’s stats:

In a 15 vs 15 game a 2% disparity in overall winrate signifies a massive difference in strength, and on what I thought was one of my worst days I performed that much better than my historical average. I was killing more than a whole nother tank per game, doing more than twice as much damage, and instead of surviving one every five games I was still surviving one out of three. It used to be an extremely good day had this 51.5% winrate with >2.0 KDR – and now it was just the opposite. On reflection, I’ve found I now basically expect to win at least 2/3 of my games, kill 3 or more opponents, and survive at least 1/2 of the time.

In this past week I have read no new articles and watched no new videos relating to World of Tanks. I have only played more games. I have been playing no tanks this week that I did not last week, and while I have been trying a few new routes this week on particular maps this is something I do all the time anyways. My strategy and style has been largely the same for the past three weeks or so. Nothing directly measurable has changed.

My mind, however, has changed.

A post written by a fairly famous player states that there are essentially three things that separate a player from being just pretty good (52~55%) and amazing (60+%, as defined by WOTLABS): Activity, Consistency, and Deliberateness. As he defines it, Activity is basically firing more and always looking for a better way to approach the local and global fight, Consistency is about doing the right thing with your tank given the matchup, and Deliberateness is the mental focus for Activity. Activity I’ve been ramping up for a while now, due to playing more slow-firing tanks but still needing to output the same damage flowrate to win/stay alive, and deliberateness is in the same line. Consistency in the form that he mentions I definitely don’t have yet since I basically only have a “light tank” and “heavy tank” mindset.

What I have gained is another kind of consistency.

After a weekend flood of playing with straight-up no-question-about-it tomatoes and being able to keep some grip on my sanity and temper, playing with weekday potatoes shot my winrate through the roof. Being forced to spend a significant amount of energy on keeping myself under control while still wanting to play for wins, I didn’t have any room in my mind for thoughts other than what I thought would bring my team the victory. No doubts or hesitation, only correct moves or mistakes based on what I had understood from my studies and what I thought would be the correct move at the time. If I made the correct move, great. If not, reflect a bit on what went wrong and what could’ve been done better. If a different solution is found, great, do that next time; if not, oh well, just don’t do something similar to that thing that clearly didn’t work. Now that I had that much more mental energy to spend but significantly fewer things to spend it on, I was able to do the correct things much more efficiently.

It’s somewhat akin to a hardening or an annealing. All the things I had learned were indeed useful and they are definitely why I was able to play such good performances this week, but before this weekend those ideas and developing habits sat alongside their bad and counterproductive counterparts in my toolbox of available moves. Before I would just sit and wait for a bit to let the opponent potentially make the first move while I thought about which idea to execute, but this past weekend and now, that sort of doubt or pondering has been erased. If I feel like I want to try something new now, I ask myself and almost immediately answer – if not within two seconds, then I decide when my tank has driven to the last point where a decision can be made without turning around.

There are no more great debates in my mind between two great powerful voices.

Only a “That looks interesting. Shall we do it? Ok gogogo.”

The following is my general mindset in WOT, sorted by tank types. The first three are the main tank types in the game, the latter two are supporting types and generally require assistance from other tanks both to be able to do damage and move forward on the map. With a little translation, I think the Heavies and Lights mindsets can be easily used in playing real world power games.

Now that I know I like playing power games, what I’m interested next is what exactly my style and strengths are. I prefer certain tanks in WOT because of my playstyle; I play these tanks in WOT rather than any class in many other games because of my playstyle – what does this mean for my style in real life, and where can I find games in real life which my style can dominate?

2. Where is the furthest conceivable safe position I can be in at this point in time?
3. If I do not have sente, how do I gain sente? If I have sente, what move can I make that keeps sente?
4. HP is a resource. It is not only something that the opponent takes, but something that has ways for you to correctly spend it. HP generally buys either time or initiative.

5. I can’t die to this guy, I have to be alive so I can kill the next guy.


1. I must see the midgame/endgame to fully utilize my strengths.
2. What do I know about the enemy deployment and where are its holes?
3. “General” scouting is generally dumb. Scouting should be thought of as marginal.
4. Don’t shoot unless someone else is already shooting.
5. Don’t shoot unless it’s their sides or their ass.

1. High tier mediums: see Heavies.
2. Low tier mediums: see Lights.
3. Mid tier mediums: depends on specific tank. Pick either Heavies or Lights.

1. Fuck TDs.

1. Fuck arties.



Someone else’ll fix it.

And it’ll be me. And I’ll carry until my fucking back breaks. And those worthless fucking assholes will get another win they don’t deserve.

After a whole year of learning and failing to manage/lead/carry engineering project teams I was supposed to take a month off to just relax and play videogames, but apparently I just went from the pool to the pond; from being 1 of 6, 1 of 3, to 1 of 15.

And now I just don’t care anymore. It’s not even a 拖死佢 thing where I’m secretly hiding bitterness, I actually just don’t care whether or not someone’s “leeching” or if I’m carrying people anymore. Obviously it’d be better if every teammate was productive but it doesn’t really matter, and it’s not because of “we’re a team” or some feel-good bullshit.

It’s because what I want is to win. I happen to be playing a team game so I have to defeat more opponents. If my teammates can only contribute the most minimal things then mathematically the rest of it falls on me. If I happened to carry some shitfuckers along the way then they got lucky and I got experience. If there are teammates who appreciate my efforts and work with me then that’s great too. But it’s not the main idea. If it becomes the main idea then relying on other people becomes an MO, and both winrates and relationships will falter.

The idea is for me to win and survive. The rest is built on top of that.

The only difference is in real life there is no big public objective stat tracking board.