Dehumanization — I am a Computer
I know I should, but I don't want to. I want to, but I know I shouldn't.
Emotions. They are in a constant battle with our logic. And that's the exact reason we don't get anything done.
Emotions are part of the human software that helped us survive until today. Without them, we wouldn't feel pleasure while eating, satisfaction during intercourse, secure with valuable people around us, and scared from threatening animals:
We’d practically be dead without our dear feelings.
Today, it’s different
You most likely have realized that the world has changed since then.
Today, we have technology, laws, and human rights that protect us from all these bad, bad things; life has updated to modern life, but the software, our thinking, and reasoning processes have stayed the same.
We still use feelings as guiding signals in a world that rewards logic-based approaches.
Have you ever asked why computers are so damn productive? Kind of a weird thought, so probably not. But imagine that every time you pull out your phone to call mommy, your phone would get into procrastination mode because it doesn’t feel like converting your voice to a digital signal and then transmit it to a nearby cell tower. If mommy is even talking back to you, it would have to do all of that in reverse as well. What a huge load of work!
Gladly, that’s not the case…
So, suppose the computer’s productivity secret is to complete tasks purely on logical patterns (in the absence of conflicting emotion). What could be the secret for us to get the things done we deem important?
Life is simple
Life, in abstract, is simple:
- There are a few goals we set for ourselves, and a bunch of problems separate us from them.
- Those who solve these problems at the root cause live a more enjoyable life than those who ignore or only scratch them on the surface.
- Those who solve their problems efficiently and sustainably will have more success than those who use inefficient methods.
- An efficiently solved problem makes us feel great through our internal reward system and saves us from dealing with the problem recurringly for a very long time.
So, according to this theory, the best problem solvers win the game.
There’s a specific job description that fits all the discussed within the article:
Programmers write code to solve real-world problems for themselves and many others. Thankfully, they have solved many problems for you as well (how nice of them). Check out your surroundings: the dishwasher and washing machine save you from doing the annoying work yourself; all the apps and websites help you manage your data and life; the list of you using other people’s programs is endless.
If you have ever written code to make a computer do what you want to do, you have already experienced the secret:
- You laid out logical patterns to achieve a goal.
- The achievement made you feel great.
- When you need the program to solve the initial problem again, it will be there when you need it.
You won’t have to waste mental energy anymore when the issue arises again, thus reduce drain and stress.
Programming is more than writing code — it’s a life philosophy that trains you to conquer obstacles with a clear and rational mind.
The Wow Moment
You are the programmer of your life, your brain’s the computer, and the neurons and synapses forming within are the code.
Internalize this. You are in control of your software. You are the software.
In your life, it has not always been like this. We get indoctrinated with various outdated & error-prone scripts from kindergarten to high school from teachers, parents, relatives, and friends. They upload their code onto us because it’s the best they can offer. However, if you would not want to trade places with them, you are probably better off creating and extending your own software.
Computers are susceptible to bugs and viruses, and so are we. Bugs like low self-esteem, bad decision-making, distorted self-awareness, and even physical effects like obesity can ‘easily’ be fixed by updating your software. When it comes to viruses, we don’t want to risk catching one through a long-running undiscovered bug.
Viruses are deceitful and dangerous. Once one gets into your system, they suck the self-awareness out of you to the point that you lose control over your life.
Know such a virus? I wouldn’t blame you if not because they have ‘complicated’ names like the news, political propaganda, opinions on social media, and cults. They penetrate your healthy system with malicious code-bits known as fear, uncertainty, and dogma to make you a server to their own needs.
The news will create outrageous and fear-inducing content for you to generate ad money by clicking and sharing their articles.
And the rest of the mentioned do not have any good for you in mind either.
An all-new experience
Being a programmer is hard and puts a lot of responsibility upon you. You will be the one to blame for all the failures and bugs it has, but most importantly: you are in control. You can change what doesn’t work to get you closer to your final destination. You have the ability to experiment.
The only other option would be to be controlled by someone else’s software, and that — by the fundamentals of human nature — is not what is going to lead to a full-filling life. We don’t like to take orders and be forced to obediently execute them (in most cases). We rather aim to be the creator of our destiny.
Time to take the learned into practice
Now that we have that covered, there’s one last thing left. Ask any programmer you know, and they will tell you their favorite IDE (an application that combines many developer tools into one) or code editor to write, manage and test their code in.
Programming the human mind is not as fast and straightforward as updating software. Still, the analogies have done well demonstrating the importance of being the creator of your own life, to not fall into the script of someone else who has planned nothing good for you.
Taking control of the programs in your mind happens in 3 steps:
- Discover psychological principles & scientific facts
- Review them daily until they become a part of you
- Apply these principles in your life
You could technically use a manual process of combined research, note-taking, and daily reviews of the entries.
Been there, done that, and it works well to a specific point where everything becomes too substantial to be managed.
Since we are programmers and problem solvers, we use automated tools and methods that make our lives easier.
FREEIAM is one of these that follow the exact same techniques outlined in this chapter. A true game-changer for game-changers.
Update your software. Take control. Live freely.