Is Everyone Else Depressed?


I am tired. Tired of waiting for bigots to die out. Tired of society to give us our due. Tired of dealing with shit. Tired of being tired.

So many of us are powerless. And for many, our due will never come.

The only thing I can do is do whatever I can to help.


Scientists don’t want their rat to be happy or depressed either, they just want to study an experiment, so I am not sure that there is much difference. I all cases, the box needs a positive and a negative reinforcement. That is what I am talking about: the existence of these reinforcement loops. They are sufficient to explain depression, in the absence of any desire to actually cause it.


I’m staying out of the Skinner Box discussion for now, but a quick PSA so y’all don’t drive the resident psychologists crazy.



Reinforcement: anything that increases the occurrence of a behaviour.

Punishment: anything that reduces the occurrence of a behaviour.


Positive reinforcement: encouraging behaviour by providing something nice.

Negative reinforcement: encouraging behaviour by removing something nasty.

Positive punishment: discouraging behaviour by adding something nasty.

Negative punishment: discouraging behaviour by removing something nice.


Skinner Box: more formally known as an operant conditioning apparatus. May involve any of the above behavioural modifiers, but does not require all. Most of the time, it’s a simple response/reward schedule.


As a leavening for the rest of the thread, related to Australia’s marriage equality campaign:


That’s my secret… I’m always depressed.


If a scientist structures the experiment so that a single behavior is the expected result, that is called bias. It’s a huge difference.


Watched The Good Place pilot, meh. Watched 1st season of Kimmy, but lost interest, never watched Brooklyn 99. Only sitcom that has really charmed me recently was Younger. She has a real MTM quality.

Back on topic, for me the best cure for depression is a hobby. Right now it’s fishing. Even if I only get out once a week, I can think about it, read about it, post about it. I can use it to drive out the black thoughts. Most thoughts too often lead inevitably to some dark alley, but not fishing.


“Rick and Morty”, perhaps? It can get dark at times and Rick isn’t a good guy, but for the most part it’s silly fun.


Could only get through 5 minutes. I’m really liking ST Discovery, even though the characters are pretty stereotyped they’re also somewhat neurotic like the rest of us. It’s more like DS9 than any others. I also liked that they killed off a character we all thought was part of the team. Gotta keep you on your toes!

I feel bad hijacking the thread, isn’t there a TV thread?


I’ve only watched two episodes, so watch the spoilers. But I think I know who you’re talking about, and I really liked that character.


See, it worked! Now you’ll be on edge not knowing who or where. This was one thing Walking Dead got right, at least early on. Another show I stopped watching.


I’ve pulled away from a lot of live-action TV myself, too. I’ve got things like Westworld, Veep, Silicon Valley, and Penny Dreadful started in my queue, and absolutely no desire to wade back into any of it. Other stuff, like Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Walking Dead are pre-emptive "never"s because as you say, there’s enough of that in real life right now. Cartoons seem to be the only place where you’re allowed to have fun anymore without apologizing for it the whole time, which thankfully cartoon makers seem to grasp because the stuff being produced these days is great for way more than just kids. I definitely wouldn’t put most of it on the same narrative pedestal as classic Trek, but for pure wholesome escapism I don’t think it can be beat. Here’s my watch list, if you or anyone else is interested:

  • The new DuckTales - Only 5 episodes so far, but they’re all a lot of fun.
  • Adventure Time - It’s wrapping up its final season right now, but the back catalog is on iTunes and in… other… places. It oscillates between really quirky goofiness and surprisingly deep worldbuilding. If you can get over the feeling that you should be watching the first couple of episodes while stoned, there’s really a lot going on.
  • Star Wars: Rebels - This is definitely worth a watch if you at all like the Star Wars franchise. It builds on the solid storytelling foundation of the earlier Clone Wars series, and so manages to hit the ground running a bit better. I also highly recommend Clone Wars itself. The first couple of seasons are more typical Saturday Morning Cartoon fare, but the later seasons are really quite great, and the show actually makes Anakin into the good, rounded character he so inexplicably isn’t in the movies.
  • My Little Pony - Putting aside its sometimes awkward-as-hell fandom, the show itself started incredibly strong and has remained good throughout, despite the loss of the original show runner and most of its original creative staff. The middle seasons are a bit wobbly, but the first two are particularly great, and the recent seasons have regained their footing a bit more. Also the movie that came out this weekend is a lot of fun.
  • Wander Over Yonder - A show so relentlessly upbeat it almost makes your teeth hurt, it was also literally too good for this world. Disney wanted a generic 11-minute filler show, and Craig McCracken and Lauren Faust delivered so much more that they got themselves cancelled after two seasons. The character dynamics between Wander, Sylvia, and Lord Hater are phenomenal and hilarious.
  • We Bare Bears - Three anthropomorphic bears hanging out in human society with neither group seeing anything wrong with it. The antics are a bit more grounded than most of the other shows on this list. Ice Bear is worth the price of admission all on his own, IMO.
  • Steven Universe - If any show deserves to be on the same narrative pedestal as Trek, it’s this one. It’s a slow burn at the beginning, but I implore you to keep going beyond the Cat Fingers episode, because it blossoms into an incredibly rich story with complex characters and a highly competent handling of some surprisingly mature themes for what is ostensibly a kid’s show (and by “mature” I mean “growing up, love, bigotry, single parenthood, war, death, and trauma”, not “burping and fart jokes”). I just wish Cartoon Network wasn’t allergic to running new episodes more than once every 6 months.


Cartoons actually are how I’ve been coping lately. :heart: Steven Universe and Adventure Time


I will add The Amazing World of Gumball, which certainly looks like a silly overly-chipper cartoon for little kids, but has some of the most unexpectedly rich, funny, surprising, self-aware writing of any cartoon on right now, and by far the most eye-popping visuals.


@orenwolf; Can we get a re-open on Whatcha Watchin’ season 2?


Yep. Done!


I think this really is key in understanding this mess - not only is news instant, but oftentimes filtered through social media. Instead of a daily dose in the print press, written by professionals who fact check, we have anyone and everyone’s opinion mixed with minute by minute sensationalism.

It’s why people are starting to switch off social media - it’s simply too much noise.


Thank you.


Thanks. I’m in really good shape; maybe good enough to do a career change to something fun.

(OTOH, not having a daily routine with people means temptation to indulge in news and/or Twitter.)


The only reason I don’t scream “SECONDED!” to everything on this list is I haven’t seen DuckTales, Wander Over Yonder, or We Bare Bears.

I watched a few episodes of MLP after Patton Oswalt gave a hilarious standup rant about it that explained it really well. A good filler while waiting for new episodes of . . .

Adventure Time and Steven Universe. Which are both awesome.

Man. MAN. SU is one amazing piece of work. Some episodes have stuff that just is designed to whoosh over kids’ heads, but make older readers giggle or get Feels.

Example of the former: The episode where the Gems are cleaning out Greg’s storage unit. “Yeah, I’m familiar Greg’s junk!” says Amethyst, in a context that suggests she’s not just talking about clutter.

Latter: Gems dealing with a falling out by having tense conversations out of earshot as Steven cluelessly goes about his goofy kid stuff.