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Virulent Optimism: Hating Smoking

This post was first conceived on Mirror, and then Substack.

You can quit it.


I hate smoking.

Recently, I attended an event at a local Ethereum community chapter, and I knew noone except for a couple of familiar faces. It’s sort of hard for many people to randomly meet strangers even though they are about to lay the foundations for a network state the next thing—which is also why substraction requires some level of an extrovert nature from the individual at times. Understandable.

I stood there amongst about 60 people on a cul-de-sac in front of this space, and it was the opening. Usually, I’d just be mingling with perfect strangers, and just chitchat. Smol talk. I’d gossip network the smol ting. Inversebrah. We would just place wassies in a vacuum tube and call it arpanet.

Yet, that evening, I was just kind of agitated, my heart was pounding, and all I wanted was to run amock across a wet field full of bioluminiscent floræ all the way down to the Antarctic waters so that I could cold plunge. I could not. All I could do was to greet a couple of people, and pound two large cans of lager.

'Twas because of smoking. Smoking agitates, and tire thy already weary heart especially you are a sporty type. Hence, none shall smoke even in the most libertarian patchwork since that very charter city will eventually lose subscriptions, that is, citizens.

I quit, and smoked it for 3 weeks again for aught.

I quit smoking on the 7th of May in 2022. Up until that moment, I had tried twice for serious durations, respectively, 5 and 6 months. Those times were the best times, and seeking a way to totally quit smoking and alcohol consumption, I just happened to enter a smol gym, and registred that day. As I was thinking that I’d be having my last single malt, soft cigarettes, I was sipping a cup of espresso doppio at 10 a.m. at a nearby coffee shop in the neighbourhood.There a kitten plunged his nails into my right arm, it bleeded, and since in societies like mine, there are zagillion stray animals around, and warning against rabies on foreign embassy websites plus the park next to the coffee shop where there are at least 100 cats in residence—you all watched the cat flute guy—I wanted not to leave it to chance and headed for the nearest public hospital since such vaxx such as that of rabies can only be found in certain health institutions and private ones are not amongst them.

I was then referred to their newly built campus right outside the city. The reception was avid and perfect in their response since the alarm line for me was “stray animal contamination.” I am lucky they did not try to go officious and not tell me that it was merely a kitten since a couple of nurses were trying to convince me that I indeed did not need another tetanus vaccine since I had been injected it during my mandatory military service back in 2019. The internet, and interwebz, and even irc hornets across gopher and gemini are full of people who paranoidly asks whether they should have gotten the tetanus, too.

Anyways, since it was but a weekend morning, there was a few MDs and a couple of male nurses, who were utterly friendly, and served my first vaccine. One of the doctors told me that I should neither drink nor smoke cigarettes for the next 5 weeks. I was already ready, and spent two days without smoking, and on the third day, which is the most stressing first salve for those who are about to quit smoking, I hit the gym. Everything was perfect, and I was about 250 lbs (~113 kg.) at the time.

Three days passed, and I got the 2nd of 4 doses at the same hospital. This time, the serving MD thereabouts told me that it’s always better not to smoke cigarettes, and I should quit but rabies vaccine had nothing to do with it. I could smoke but I should not. I listened to him, and my body, as I was rapidly coming to terms with my core strenght, and long muscle build-up considering I had a past of being a gym shark between 2017-'19. I was about to go and buy a pack after the vaxx but I did not.

I did not smoke till February 2023. I had not drunk till November 2022. I drank in November because I was able to secure a 5-day late Autumn escape from the cold Marmara in the North-westernish Thrace to the Turquoise Riviera’s most easily accesible Aegeano-Mediterranean spot, that is Bodrum, or Halicarnassus. I had to pound a couple of double single malts there. I did not smoke.

But in February 2023, I did smoke for 40 days. I think it was written. It is also very hard for an ex chain smoker not to smoke in a country where almost 7 out of 10 people prefer to just smoke anywhere they can right in yer face. Two weeks ago, I met a couple of friends from a bundler and paymaster service. The developer friend was rhetorically asking as we were walking to a tourist trappish Korean restaurant in the city that he wondered about the exact ratio in my country of non-smokers to smokers. They smoke everywhere. At the entrance to the gym, in front of hospital yards, in closed areas even though it has been banned for over a decade. I recall they were smoking in buses and airplanes, too.

It only took me a decade to realize that smoking is an idiot’s fashion of coping with being alive towards a miserable quotidian life where every breath you take is an agitated escape towards aloneness. You smell stale, you emanate poison, your lungs are worse than venomous mycelial conspiracies directed towards tree roots, and most importantly you are an addict.

Yesterday, there was a thread of thoughts by Aella under which an individual commented as thus:

helpful additional information: the qualia of it for the typical practitioner isn’t like stubbing your toe, it’s like taking a deep drag of your first cigarette of the day. relaxing, centering, relief. this is why it becomes habit and/or escalates

This is true. Some friends who enjoy the over-oxygenated Alpine downstream luxurious lives thanks to their success in behavioral markets might not agree by postulating that a well-rolled and rare cigar won’t do harm. I can understand them but I have already passed that threshold. It becomes so well especially you train like Spartan death racers 6 days a week for a year. In the meantime, by February 2023, I was down to 195 lbs (88 kg.) with a strong core, and only some leftover visceral fat that is still burning as I am burning and building at the same time because of a kidney stone that is still in me. All crystalline. The last time I tried cross-fit, I dropped an undetected one and for 8 hours straights I was yelling at home that noone should come near me, and that THERE IS NO PAIN. Those stones are also result of almost lifelong smoking and heavy drinking during the lockdown period.

I was superb, I made a mistake, I smoked. It was neither libertine nor hedonistic. Just pure stupidity. That’s when I realized that people were roasting on Twitter those who do not like people who smoke in public spaces—such as a Urbit gathering, or Milady ravers complaining that they cannot vape inside and even some body-building advocates who cannote tell the nicotine as supplement from actual smoking, and they were praising how Europeans and Near & Middle Easterns were OK with smoking anywhere. No, we are not. It is a broken system.

Some of you will be visiting Istanbul the next month for both ZuConnect Istanbul 2023 and Devconnect Istanbul 2023, and will understand what I mean by open air ashtrays. I see that some of you are already dealing with it during jogs and runs. People keep asking whether Istanbul is safe because of an upsetting conflict 2000 km. away. Yes, it is safer than many European capitals. But it is not safe for your lungs—at least for the time being. Yet, we are lucky there are woods, coastal areas, and skyscraper tops to alienate ourselves at the end of a long day.

Smoking is self-harm.

Smoking is a sort of a prolonged self-asyphixation. Had you not ever even puffed a drag, stay the fuck away from it. When you are hooked into the habit, you start to live in a parallel universe simulation which is worse than even the most low polygonal betaverse that airdrops scammy tokens to your public addy.

The only reason I am writing on this issue that in April 2023 I just went in for an upper torso screening for the usual check-up ends. My thyroid was clean, and I had a slight rotoscoliosis from puberty that does not effect anything, and my renal calculus was intact and smoller than 5 mm. in my left kidney. Everything looked great but there was an extra: a 4 mm. nodule in my right lower lobe in the right lung. I momentarily panicked, and contacted another renowned proffessor alongside my own MD. Both assured me that it was OK, it is nothing to fear. However, they both recommended another check-up for the same area in 6 months because of my smoking past.

Today was the 6th month, and I went in for a tomography again—my doctor assuring me that it’s radioactive just as much as a commercial flight. I was assuring myself if I could have an afternoon nap I can go back to the gym for the second day in the last 37 days. I first visited the gym for an 62-minute whole body HIIT session focusiong on long muscles, calves, quads and core 2 days ago. It was my 190th gym session since two days after I was scratched by that lil kitten. I dreamt that I would have done at least 300n days in the last 715 days but I was stopped by nature and my own stupidity 7 times, which include 4 separate surgical wisdom teeth removal ops, a couple of tendonitis periods, and two sets of smoking breaks where I just let it go.

My last smoking is mainly due to anxiety that I yielded from this sub-acute (hyper)thyroidits which turned my life into a hell for about 45 days where I was always sweating, or having fevers, and it was as if I was being beaten by 333 techno vikings at the same time at all times when it comes to muscle soreness. Tomorrow, I am doing a check-up visit for that end, too. But, I started smoking about 21 days ago because of this and my own feebleness in aspiration. Now, I am trying to get it together again.

Smoking alienates you.

I was there at that Ethereum event where I was agitated to the degree that I just kept torturing myself with cigarettes because I had already been seeking for an excuse to smoke all day, and I found one—I was already smoking! I just got agitated there, I had to drink two beers to relieve the mind but it got even worse so I was alone there in my own mind whilst trying to know people.

Smoking alienates you from your surroundings if you have ever tried to quit it once. You start to realize how stupid it is, and you are, and get heartbeats so harddance like Xol Dog 400 sets you started look into the abyss and watch yourself doing 180-minute training sessions from the upper deck of the 5D space. News: We are not yet able to bend space-time continuum that much yet. I think we have a future where we can our life quality, surroundings, and needs with the help of individual, collective and networked intelligence efforts into longevity, AGI, synthetic biology, biotech, and patchworking with the similar minded people a la network states, crypto resorts, or chartered neighbourhoods—whatever you call them.

GitHub CoPilot is trying to finish the above statement in this HackMD workspace in VSCode that we are not there yet but we might in the third quarter of 21th century. Good boi.

Let’s Meet in Istanbul.

I was very irritated at myself when I realized that I did not even know anyone from the Zuzalu City network who could have tipped in about Vitalik’s attempts at new forms of conviviality and governance. I was happy that David from Bankless covered the events as I was delving into on a personal Einsenhover matrix of matrices into biotechnology and longevity DAOs—even though I have been speculating on these stuff as a former Humanities scholar.

When I realized that Devconnect was not cancelled but just postponed I made sure that I was going to apply for at least ETH Global Hackathon, and I did. I also thought that I should apply as a volunteer, too. It’s been about a decade since I quit volunteering for NGOs where I mainly focused on conflict resolution events for reporting for the local across the Eastern Bloc and Caucasus. As an avid nerd into new forms of competitive governance, I was also doing a lower-case research into protocol-level governance mechanism design lately.

It was a nice interview and I got the volunteering duty. I also am going to the Pragma Istanbul if you will be attending.

Anyways, the last week I realized that ZuHouse and ZuConnect and Hackzulu were all separate events under Zuzalu. I applied to ZuConnect, and got a residence admittance. Now, I know that there will be generalist people like myself who are nerdsniped into longevity, AGI, network states, quadratic funding, the social layer, identity protocols etc.

But as a now again-quitter, I’d like to network with people who work on the life expansion sciences, and not feel alone thereabouts. I’d be very interested in simulating a synthetically grown charter city.

Feel free to access my Telegram, Matrix and Discord groups via my website please: A VALID URL. Maybe, we can work on an optimal health organization at the sandbox level upon which entrant projects might be interested to build.

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