Tag Archives: addiction

Opening Addiction

Chess has three main stages: the opening, the middlegame and the ending. The middlegame is everyone’s favourite, because that’s where all the tactics, sacrifices and combinations come to the fore. If you have a favourite game, either a classic one or one you played yourself, it’s almost certainly the middlegame that made it stand out for you.

Or maybe the background stood out to you. Both work.

This is also why no one likes the endgame: there are virtually no tactics or sacrifices. Nothing really happens and then suddenly one side loses. Or, more often, it’s a draw. Yawn. Chess players like nothing more than to play the middlegame and ignore the endgame … but when it comes to studying, nothing supplants the opening. Continue reading

A Diatribe Against Coffee

For most of the Western adult world, waking up and coffee go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the order. Well, you can try, but people get very cranky very quickly. Here in Canada, our local coffee place is Tim Horton’s, which is a central meeting place in many smaller towns. Virtually every city has at least one, and just about everybody goes in once a week, if not once a day.

Except for me. I don’t drink coffee.

Yuck, I’m gagging just looking at it.

It’s interesting, because I dislike coffee for the exact reason most people like it. Most people can’t believe I hate the smell of coffee. That’s right, I hate it. It sends me into revulsions. I wouldn’t put that stuff near my face if you paid me, and some have tried. I cannot do it. Continue reading

I Sleep More Than You Do (?!)

If you are the average person, then there’s a good chance you are insane. Or at least drunk. That’s because if you don’t get enough sleep, your cognition and reflex speed slows down the same as if you had a blood-alcohol level of .05. If you pull an all-nighter, that number climbs to .10. Without sleep, you are a worse driver sober than you would be wide awake after chugging several beer.

All of this likely isn’t news. People function better when they get more sleep. It’s common sense, and anyone who had a terrible sleep can vouch for it. Or conversely, sleeping in on a weekend where you have nothing to do, especially after a very hectic week, is one of life’s greatest and yet simplest pleasures.

You know it’s a good sleep when you’re smiling during the photo shoot.

Here’s the thing, though: there’s a good chance I get more sleep than you do. As in, me, the guy with insomnia. As in, me, the guy who takes 45min to fall asleep every night. I get more sleep than you do, assuming you are average, and if so, what the hell is wrong with you? Continue reading

The Odd Appeal of Idle Games

For the past two months I have been addicted to a certain videogame. I broke this addiction yesterday, and now I look back at this whole scenario and wonder what on earth came over me. I’ve had some problems with videogames in the past, but this was different. With this particular game, I did virtually nothing, and I did that nothing almost all day.

An image full of doing nothing.

Let me explain. I was playing Clicker Heroes, a type of idle game. In fact, it’s likely the best idle game out there. What is an idle game, you ask? As the name implies, it’s a game where you mostly let it sit idle. You check on it every now and then, but the game in general will always increase even without your input. If you haven’t played one before, that explanation likely didn’t do much for you. If you have played one before, you know that explanation doesn’t capture it at all. Continue reading

Another Look at Bacon and Cancer

What if I told you there was something you could easily do to increase both your health and your lifespan? It would be simple, uncomplicated, and you can apply it instantly. In fact, it’s not so much something you do as something you don’t do. All you would have to do is avoid one simple activity and you would increase your health in a big way. You would likely be interested, yes? After all, who does not want to live longer?

Good news, because I will tell you right now: don’t smoke cigarettes.

Seriously, don’t do this.

Continue reading

How Videogames Ruined My Life, Part Two: Dota Addiction

Video games have had a fairly big influence on my life. They were my go-to leisure activity throughout childhood and adolescence. I have likely spent more time playing video games that any other activity, possibly including sleep. That’s staggering. That said, I’d state that videogames had a mostly positive to neutral influence on me. They didn’t turn me into a terrible person.

Mario and Final Fantasy would never turn someone evil, right?

That said, a few specific instances have harmed me. I wrote, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, how videogames got me to study ancient philosophy at university, effectively earning me an unemployable degree. That’s a pretty heinous crime, but the next one may be just as bad. I became addicted at university to Dota, a videogame. Continue reading

On My Procrastination

Let me describe the situation and tell me if you know the feeling. You go online to look for something, maybe check your email or something else relatively trivial. No worries. You’ll be done in a few minutes. One of your emails has a link to a YouTube video. Okay, no problem, let’s watch that and then get back to whatever you were doing. After watching, you see the list of recommended videos after it. Oh, that one looks good, better watch it as well. You watch one video, then you watch another, and another, and the next thing you know it’s been several hours, it’s one o’clock in the morning and you’ve wasted your entire evening.

Amen.

Let’s look at another possibility. You go to search for something online, and naturally you check Wikipedia first. I’m not saying you completely trust Wikipedia, you certainly wouldn’t use it as a source in a university paper, but it can be an informative read on some things. You read the article and feel more knowledgeable because of it. That said, there were a couple of things that you wished were explained in a bit more detail. Fortunately, those things are links on Wikipedia, and you can now learn in that depth you wished. While reading you click a few more links, because they sound interesting, and then those links beget more links, and the next thing you know it’s one o’clock in the morning and you wasted another evening. When will the madness stop? Continue reading