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Dependence on Programming?

This is a discussion on Dependence on Programming? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hello everyone, Last week I felt very stupid at school and could not concentrate at all, I had no will ...

  1. #1
    That weird Java guy xniinja's Avatar
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    Dependence on Programming?

    Hello everyone,
    Last week I felt very stupid at school and could not concentrate at all, I had no will power to do anything, except play Pokemon. This week, on the other hand I am feeling very good, my mind feels clear and alert and I actually get the subject of the discussion in class. I also despise Pokemon for its anti-productive nature.

    The reason I believe this is, is because I did not have my laptop last weekend and could not program at all. This weekend I programmed all weekend long(and took the ACT). My question is, do I need mental stimulation during the weekend now to be able to function normally due to my habit of excessively programming? It seems like a weird concept but I believe it might be true. Other variables may have gone into my dull-wittedness such as lack of exercise (I usually run 30 min 5 nights a week) and the want to strive at Pokemon.

    Please leave your thoughts and if this has ever happened to you.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I don't know if I'd say I have a dependence on it, but I certainly crave it sometimes, especially after I've stepped away from technology all together for a while. A weekend of working on my house or car, or out camping usually means I'm super excited to sit down and code on Monday. And usually by Friday I'm super excited to not touch a computer for 48 hours. Some form of exercise during the week is pretty critical for me too, as it helps relieve stress and (as far as I can tell) improves my mental performance. Your mind needs periodic breaks from whatever it is you're doing. A chance for it to clear itself, step back and get the big perspective, etc. What I think it boils down to is largely just trying to find a balance.

    I'd bet you feel kind of crappy if you don't run or do some other physical activity either. I don't think you need mental stimulation during the weekend because of your habit of excessive programming*. I would wager your habit of excessive programming is a product of your natural craving for mental stimulation, which is not satisfied by things like Pokemon. I always loved mental exercise/stimulation, and found school to fuel my mental cravings, making me want to code and study more, even things that had nothing to do with my course work. And I don't feel very good if I'm not productive (with the exception of spending some time in nature decompressing), hence working on the house/car or exercising. All the jobs I've had that I really liked were the same way, I was constantly being challenged and learning. Like physical exercise, if you aren't actually pushing yourself mentally, you aren't really getting much of a workout or growing, you're at best just keeping the status quo.

    * Though it is possible that lots of programming is a factor in your craving mental stimulation, something like a mental addiction. Your brain and body gets used to pretty much any steady, unchanging input. If that input is positive (satisfaction from regularly learning and completing things, via programming), then removing that input (by stopping programming), may result in feeling a bit bad. This is perhaps akin to "runner's high", the euphoric feeling you get from all those endorphins released during exercise, which makes regular exercisers feel bad when they don't work out, just more psychological than chemical.
    manasij7479 and msh like this.

  3. #3
    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    If it happens regularly (transitioning from being blase about it all to working furiously for a period of time and then back again) then you're a lot like me... Just ride the waves, man

    I haven't gone to a doctor or anything but I figure it might be some mild form of bipolar.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

  4. #4
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Hard to say because outside of vacations which preclude it (eg hiking), I haven't gone more than a few days in years. I do believe programming contributes to my mental health, and one of the reasons is it gives me something concrete to think about on the bus etc. If for some reason I don't have that, I've sometimes felt its contributed to irritability.

    The other thing I notice like this is reading fiction. If I get really busy and stop reading for say a few weeks, I start to feel a little stir crazy or something, the same way I do if I manage to avoid other people for long enough, lol. Watching movies will kind of make up for that but not sufficiently. Again, I think I just need that book there to think about.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  5. #5
    Registered User manasij7479's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    and one of the reasons is it gives me something concrete to think about on the bus etc.
    Glad to know I'm not an odd man out !
    Manasij Mukherjee | gcc-4.8.2 @Arch Linux
    Slow and Steady wins the race... if and only if :
    1.None of the other participants are fast and steady.
    2.The fast and unsteady suddenly falls asleep while running !



  6. #6
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    Could it be a mild form of diabetes? That is, a sensitivity to sugar... I find particularly happy and talkative about 10 minutes after eating desert.
    Do you find any correlation between your 'happy time' and something you snacked on just prior?
    Or perhaps oxygen deprivation - again, mild form. Are you in different rooms with poor circulation between the good and crap times?

  7. #7
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anduril462 View Post
    I would wager your habit of excessive programming is a product of your natural craving for mental stimulation, which is not satisfied by things like Pokemon.
    There is no greater mental stimulation than deciding whether to use scratch or growl.

    To be honest, for me, I think I've felt very opposite effects towards programming... I've been stuck in a job for a few years now that leaves me doing tedious, simply programming with very short deadlines all day long. The result, now, is that I think I've come to associate programming with something less interesting than I remember it being. I'd love to take some time and work on private project with a higher degree of difficulty, but after work I find I don't have to the time or energy to do even more programming after I've been sitting in front of my computer all day.

    Anyone can have an "addiction" to something they enjoy... as long as it's not interfering with your life like you find yourself getting distant with your friends and family, or you're programming on private stuff in work instead of doing what you should, then there is no harm in it.
    GReaper and whiteflags like this.
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  8. #8
    That weird Java guy xniinja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyMaelstrom View Post
    There is no greater mental stimulation than deciding whether to use scratch or growl.
    I am definitely going to use that one later

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