“What’s the point?” : Anhedonia, a reduced wanting

I needed to be in my fifties to hear about this concept of “anhedonia“, a diverse array of deficits in hedonic function, including reduced motivation or ability to experience pleasure. (Wikipedia).

Inability to experience pleasure, but also reduced

  1. motivation
  2. anticipatory pleasure
  3. consummatory pleasure

Well : the wanting and the liking are reduced. A big lost of interest!

This preliminary itself is interesting : it’s NOT depression. It’s just what we call in French “à quoi bon ?” : what’s the point, what’s the use, what good would it…, etc…

Association with boredom, a will to stay in bed, a will to sleep all the time! You can feel this even without being sad!

If one makes, in a good movement, an effort – like me with this article – one will stop very soon, because… what’s the point, right?

It’s sometimes a bit surprising, because in the past you LOVED to do it, right?

Then there’s probobly a seek for… oblivion. Video games? Stupid sports? Alcohol?

It can be helpful, after all, and more if you feel guilty! (because in our societies, one has to be busy, right?).

Anything vain will maybe help, like driving your car in the night, anywhere, for hours, with music.

And there are the old tricks : call a friend, get drunk, pick up a randombook, listen to some music, trance (go dancing?), shopping. It can work!

But most of the time, you don’t care about all this anymore… either!

Of course here I don’t talk about “major depressive disorders”, where you stay in bed crying or in catatonia for months.

No, it’s just the “not in the mood now”, a social detachment, random indifference…

We’ve all been there, right? Our mind like a Steve Reich music…

I am also convinced it can be linked to a loss. When you’ve been at war, for example, you’re into a “mode”, and then when you’re home you’re just… not bored, but not valued, not understood, alone, and you don’t understand what people do anymore. And lifting weighs seems suddenly… what’s the point?

What happens after a break up?

Wiki says : “There is no validated treatment for social anhedonia.”. Voilà !

I just found another word to explore : “Avolition”.

How do you deal with that? What if it becomes a constant mode? How to get out?

For me :

  • I do a little step anywhere. It can trigger…
  • A good book. There’s no better trick.

Thanks for reading!

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QEHT : https://qeht.photo.blog/

Hello everyone!

I’m happy to present you my new blog, all about photography :

https://qeht.photo.blog/

It’s about “variations in photography”, the way I search for… the perfect way to show a place, something.

I invite you for a little visit. Have fun!

I’ll go on writing in this Frenchtoolbox blog, of course.

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“With money, what’s better, to buy experiences or things?” 

I hate rhetorical questions, like “With money, what’s better, to buy experiences or things?”

It’s more complex than that! For example, you can buy a cam, or a bike, and have great moments in life with them…

Voilà. But last month I was offered a choice by the company I work with, something like $150 : coupons to buy things (in different stores), or coupons to buy experiences (like traveling, hostels, etc).

Waow! It became like the fulfillment of an artificial question!

I chose the second one. Traveling. Hotels. Train tickets. Etc.

After all, about “things”, I just bought a new cam, this one (and I’m so happy with it) :

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It becomes this article : sometimes, life forces you and pushes you into weird or rejected choices.

We’ll travel. And I’ll take my cam 🙂

(I’m a cheater, when I have to choose within two things, I take both)

Thanks for reading!

Musical Genres & Gorgeousities

Musical Genres & Structures : that was a lovely title, right? I changed it though…

It came to me in the shower, thinking about my “Best Albums of 2018” researches.

  1. I found many musics, soul, rap, indie rock, folk, metal, jazz…
  2. I found many shades of complexity, from simple to fractured or dissonant.

So I can draw an orthonormal coordinate system :

  • Horizontal would be “Complexity” (fractured, dissonant, too much something (too slow, too molten))
  • Vertical would be “Pleasure”.

So it becomes a cloche, a bell, a dome.

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On the left, things like Cat Power, Wanderer. Choose anything, you’ll be “Ah, OK”. A “gorgeous” voice, some quiet melancholy, piano, etc. Predictible thus boring. And everybody LOVES her. It’s not the genre (I am very found of Vienna Teng), but the absolute no invention/no surprise. Harmonically poor. Lazy structures & production. “She is art”, I read on YouTube. MMmmmh she’s not.

On the right end of the cloche, Sophie lost me. Too dissonant, too fractured. I need more structure, even in a multi-layered complex harmonically track like this. Like in the proliferant Tim Exile‘s Family Galaxy

So what’s in the bell?

Esperanza Spalding, 12 Little Spells makes me focus : What’s happening here? Go to 1’40”, or just listen to the intro. It’s like Science put into folk or soul. Harmonically risky (exhausting), it’s all about to lose me, but as it’s constantly snakily keeping me back into pleasure (modulations). Typical : I maybe dislike, but I wanna go back to it, and I’ll finish poisoned and in love.

Oh OK I love gorgeous soul, a bit sophisticated like Blood Orange or The Internet “Hive Mind”. It’s not risky, it’s just well done. Ah, I found this : “…is making me wanting to wear some lingerie and just dance on front of a mirror” – I’m not a girl but I understand this well. The modulation (0’40”), the bass, the production…

I kept AAL, US Girls, Let’s Eat Grandma and Mistsi… All in the cloche, not too predictable, but far from avant-garde either.

I wanted to finish this article with the idea that “I seek complexity in music”, more than simplicity, but I think that’s wrong.

I do love Annie Clark’s St Vincent, which is complex pop, but my two loves are Blonde Redhead and Röyksopp, which are skilled musicians with gorgeous harmonies. Hmmm… complex chords and modulations? Mike Oldfield, where are you?

I do prefer Bartok and Stravinsky than Mozart, and I explored the oceans of complexity of Mahler, a lot, but the composers I love most are Puccini and Brahms. It’s less complicated than Boulez, but it’s harmonically gorgeous.

It makes me think again about that : why do people love music? Energy? Lyrics? Warmth? Being in love with the singer? Virtuosity? Remembrance?

If you had to choose your best albums of 2018, what would you seek? One genre only, or one structure (like : great lyrics, big energy, danceability), which you could find anywhere?

Tool :

Choose your field : movies, books, sports. What is your coordinate system? What does it become?

Thanks for reading!

After / Other / Anti

This is a little triple-branched structure I propose you, as a set of leverages or as a dial. Weapon of choice.

Take progress, change, movement. I give you three roads :

  1. AFTER
  2. OTHER
  3. ANTI

 

Well that’s easy :

  1. You move forward on the same road.
  2. Or you change what you’re doing (or the way you move).
  3. Or you attack the ancient road.

 

Mmmhh. It’s something any artist thought about. Knowing the old masters, he can :

  1. Start from where they are and go further.
  2. Do something else (disruption?).
  3. Do the contrary.

 

It’s a funny toolset, right? My pencil case…

Where will I put it? What’s the ground here? Changes? Choices? Decisions? Movement? Avant-Garde? Invention?

Then, where to apply? Marketing? Art? Poetry? Teaching? Management? Science?

Thanks for reading!

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Movements in a line (and amounts of possibles)

A Fortnite/Gurushots pattern

A Fortnite/Gurushots pattern

ONE

I don’t play games anymore (though I spent hours online with Myth in the nineties) but I like to read about this world from time to time.

I often fall on this hated pattern : “You have to pay to play, then you have to pay to increase your powers in order to win”.

The feeling to be a cash cow is pretty unpleasant for people…

TWO

Fortnite is this big success online game who has more than 200 millions users. It’s probably a great game, but I’m sure the main reason is because

  1. it’s free to play, anywhere, on a PC, a Mac, a phone
  2. the things you can buy online (because every company needs money, right?) are only cosmetic (clothes, dances, etc), and they don’t affect at all the way you win or not.

It appears that when people don’t feel they’re cash cows, when then don’t feel the pushing hand in their back (“buy, buy, buy, or you won’t win”)… they buy. They pay. They give money. Fortnite wins hundreds of millions every month.

THREE

I just saw a similar pattern with GuruShots, which is a photographers social media, based on challenges and competitions. You post your best pictures, then you expect to be “liked” by the community : it’s very fun, fast and crowded, and it pushes you to be creative.

There, you get more views (and likes) when you just posted a picture, or when you use littles tools (boosts to be more viewed, swapping less viewed pictures, etc).

You get some of these tools at the end of challenges, and you can buy them.

They made one mistake : your tools-rewards are no distributed according to the level you climbed in a challenge, but a bit randomly. But well : it’s pleasant to get them, then to think about where and when you’ll use them to be effective.

It’s simple : participate, take good pictures, and get rewards.

Of course, the people who buy these tools in costly baskets are the one who win. There, you feel the pushing hand in your back (“Give us dollars and win”), and there you don’t pay, because you’d like to win “without this cheat” (but is it?).

But well, it’s a game, it funny, and it’s a kind of balance you have to play with. And that’s true : it makes you think about what is a good picture.

Now they changed the rules : you never get rewards-tools anymore at the end of a challenge, you gain them with “missions”, which are mainly to… vote for other pictures. I have to choose 60 good photos (therefore to check around 3-400 daily, in order to get one of these tools. But :

  • It’s too much work for me.
  • I lost the excitement to get them at the end of each challenge.

Therefore I can choose this :

  1. Abandon and quit the game (bye!)
  2. Go on playing without any support-tools (which is a “no action” mood – you lose a big part of the excitement)
  3. Buy tools (feeling a bigger hand pushing you in my back to do it)

I’m on 2, running towards 1 and quitting.

This is the Fortnite pattern they could follow :

One should be able to win because their pictures are good, or because they have fun using the pictures pushers tools, or because they pay. That’s fair! You should be seen, given rewards and likes (because this is all we like in a photography social media) according to the quality of your work (and not because you voted/watched hundreds of picts). This needs oils, a multiple threads forum (or ways to chat) to connect photographers, and less pressure to “spend money”, a pressure which is now ten years obsolete.

FOUR

Is this pattern usable elsewhere? What about this feeling people have to be cash cows? How to kill this feeling and make them happily give money though? What could be the science of studying where/when to pay? You pay to enter? Inside the game? To get useless but pleasant things (like in Fortnite) or power? Where to think about this science? Marketing, business, game, school, fashion, blogs, medias?

Thanks for reading!

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There are two people on this picture…

I wanted to write “There are two persons on this picture…”, is it incorrect, too formal?

I talked yesterday with a smart grandma whose son-in-law “just bought a bid deal camera”. We laughed, because the guy always took photos of his daughter, asking her to stop moving or to strike poses.

“It’s not the proper way to photograph a kid”, she smiled…

Indeed! Kids are so alive and funny to watch : you just have to be there around and ready, watching.

This lady was pretty aware and skilled, she had a camera for years and took many pictures around the world. Hence we talked a bit about people who don’t really know what they do…

Hence, thus or therefore? I found https://painintheenglish.com/case/4452/ and now I don’t understand that much…

I took this picture of my Eliette in 2009, she was eight years old, and the way she held her stick was so…

I affirm there are two people on this picture. The one you can see, and the photographer, the observer, the watcher, the guy who is focused and ready, who lets go and watches out for…

For what?

For what “happens”, or for what he wishes to capture (and to show)? There a dial to watch here…

I always have in mind : Intention of effect kills effect, though I think I can count of other people’s indulgence.

The watcher or the future watcher (who can be the person on the photography, right?) will have to decide where to place the dial : to guess who is on the picture and what does she think, but also : what did the photographer wanted to show? What did he see? Why?

Thanks for reading!

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