Update: 30 January 2022
You may have seen or heard about my meltdown on Twitter a short while ago.
The story goes like this: I was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's in 2015. I thought I was handling it Ok, no visible symptoms etc. But the disease and meds take a heavy physical & psychological toll. Recently I started shaking noticeably at times, causing people to look at me in fear, and run away from me when I'm out and about in public. Most people treat me as though I'm retarded and/or dangerous, just because my body shakes.
It all came to a head over a week ago when I had a day of misadventure trying to self-admit myself to hospital, then trying to get arrested, and eventually winding up being chased by my parents, then taken by the Police to hospital.
Having made a fool of myself in public trying to supposedly get people to face the reality of living with Parkinson's and attempting in vain to get them to realise that dying with dignity isn't an option for people with diseases like Parkinson's, but damn well should be, things got even better in hospital.
There I received plenty of sympathy and numerous risk assessments, but very little in the way of actual help. Worse still, they initially gave me the wrong dosage of my meds, then took an honest conversation I had with one of the Neurologists there about me feeling like my life lacked purpose and that I wanted an assisted dying option to mean I was at imminent risk of "self harm" (I honestly wasn't planning to kill myself). They used this as an excuse to move me to the "Neurological Ward" of Canberra Hospital - which basically resembles a stereotypical nuthouse, complete with people screaming for hours at night. This only made my condition worse. I only managed to get out the next day by agreeing to be discharged to my mother's care.
At no stage was I a danger to anyone. And despite my repeated pleas, at no stage was I offered genuine, competent assistance, nor did the experience ease my concerns about dying a horrible death after a prolonged, pointlessly uncomfortable existence in conditions resembling those shown in the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It was mostly about identifying and classifying me as a risk, and making sure I stayed alive simply to cover their own asses.
I've hit rock bottom, exhausted and demoralised. It seems inevitable that I will plod along towards an institutionalised environment in which I will steadily lose not only my independence and self worth, but all of my physical and mental capabilities, yet be denied a peaceful and relatively dignified death.
Suffice it to say that I'm not particularly good company right now; I'm not going to be engaging in witty banter on Twitter or writing any wonderful new tweak guides. I definitely appreciate your concern, but I'm not a big fan of being a consistent object of sympathy. Truth be told, I want to permanently disappear from public view, and if possible, be remembered for who I was, not the pathetic joke I've become.
Welcome to KoroushGhazi.com. If you were looking for TweakGuides.com, you've been automatically redirected here because in late 2019 I closed down my site TweakGuides.com, ending a 15 year run as its sole owner and author.
For details of how and why I started the site, and some highlights over the years, see this TweakGuides Nostalgia article, as well as the Nostalgia Redux update dated 14 September 2019 on this page - both mirrored now by PCGamingWiki, as well as several other sites. That's because I released a full archived copy of the entire site for free, which you can download from here (1GB), under the terms specified in this Creative Commons license.
I closed the site for a range of reasons, as elaborated in my shutdown announcement. But the one that people instantly gravitated toward was my health; I was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's Disease in 2015, at the age of 44. I tried to explain that my health was fine - at least in terms of running the site - and that it had much more to do with a marked decline in visitors to the site, a lack of feedback, no real financial support, and ultimately, a changing environment in which people are far less inclined to read (and think critically about) a detailed text-based article, as opposed to consuming shallow flashy material produced by YouTube tech shills. Clearly, this was not as palatable a reason, since it implied some responsibility on the part of readers, so it was ignored.
To drive the point home, and to prevent people from remembering me as some sort of crippled martyr, I made a totally cringeworthy video, in which I jokingly play-acted a video breakup with a girlfriend (i.e., the readers), insisting that it had nothing to do with my health. This only confused, angered and/or saddened people more. I haven't rewatched that video (beyond the first few seconds) since I made it. It's terrible, but it served its purpose: to show that I'm not a doddering wreck yet, and I don't want to be turned into a stereotypical object of sympathy, to be filed away under "do you remember that poor guy who ran that tweak site?"
After I quit TweakGuides.com, I craved broader interaction with the world, both in terms of topics outside of the tech sphere, as well as the wider community, not just tech enthusiasts. And these are things that only a site like Twitter can provide. I knew full-well that Twitter is a cesspit of unsubstantiated opinions and, in general, a monument to the undying stupidity and selfishness of the human spirit. But I thought "What the heck, I'm up for a challenge". Whether you consider it arrogance or confidence, I know what I'm capable of intellectually, and I'm also familiar with the IQ and debating skills of the average Twitter user. So I waded right on in like John Wayne. You can check my posts on Twitter here @KoroushGhazi
The truth is that I enjoyed my first year on Twitter. I loved confronting morons like Trump supporters, anti-vaxxers and a host of other mentally defective adults who seemed to be getting away with posting falsehoods scott-free. I was also getting accolades from a wide range of people, as well as attention from people I greatly admire like Ricky Gervais; I accumulated something like 15 likes, 3 retweets, and a personal reply from him. May not sound like much to some people, but for those of you who play Twitter, you'll know that's a great celebrity score! Of critical importance is the fact that when someone has millions of followers, you don't get their attention by being reserved or conventional. So many of my posts wound up being really out there, deliberately designed to be quirky and provocative. At times I know I overstepped the boundaries of what my followers, as well as some celebrities, would consider rational or acceptable behaviour. I imagine many thought that I was losing my mind due to Parkinson's.
While my Parkinson's medications do indeed have sometimes quite pronounced physical and psychological effects, they weren't the driver of my seemingly erratic and at times outrageous behaviour on Twitter. The largest impact they've had on me so far is to make me lose many of my inhibitions. And I actually embrace that aspect of their influence on me, because I've lived most of my life being reserved and risk-averse. Given Parkinson's is incurable and relentlessly degenerative, I'm acutely aware at all times that I have a limited period in which I retain my mental faculties, as well as physical independence. I basically live the YOLO (You Only Live Once) lifestyle now, and I try to do whatever makes me feel good, short of hurting others.
As far as I can tell, I'm still me. Sure, I make more typos, and my mood varies noiticeably. But the political opinions I express, the ridiculously unfunny jokes I make, the people I support and those I've gone after, are all well-considered, and in line with my personality since I was very little. If they come as a shock to you, perhaps because you've constructed an image of me as a shy, mild-mannered, unopinionated tech author, then I'm sorry to have disappointed you. I now have no reason to hold back, and yes, I can and do go to extremes at times in terms of how I express my thoughts. But I remain fundamentally committed to the concepts of facts and fairness being paramount.
Some final thoughts regarding my Parkinson's: I'm not ashamed of having PD, but I don't feel it's necessary to bring it up constantly either, or identify myself as a "Parkinson's sufferer". Despite what you may see to the contrary in places like Social Media, life is not a Victimhood Olympics, and everybody has their own struggles. I'm an Atheist, so I don't believe in any nonsense about my incurable degenerative illness being part of a loving God's plan. The human body is a machine, and machines break down in a variety of ways, simple as that. I'm fortunate in that as I near the seven year mark, I'm one of the small proportion of people with PD who don't visibly shake - although that takes copious amounts of unpleasant drugs (currently a pill every 3 hours) to achieve.
Sadly, Twitter confirmed to me something that I'd long suspected: people are people the world over and as a species, we are fundamentally flawed. We're still tribalistic, we often reject facts that don't align with our interests, and we are unceasingly selfish, lazy and superstitious. Spend more than 5 minutes on social media and you should be able to see this for yourself. People like me who are not only outspoken and eccentric, but, more importantly, not on any defined side/team, are hated by both sides. I recall the first time I dared criticise Greta Thunberg, comparing her to Donald Trump - both of them unqualified rabble-rousers in my opinion - I lost about 100 of my 400 followers within 48 hours.
A short while ago I decided to abandon Twitter, as it's too far gone to be of any further use to me. But I want to keep a channel of communication open with the world. So I figured I could start a new site, allowing me to return to at least being able to write detailed, nuanced posts as opposed to the 280 character sloganized Twitter missives. But upon further reflection, I realise that this just takes me right back to the original reasons why I closed TweakGuides: basically a lack of interest and a lack of relevance to modern audiences.
I've come to the conclusion that unless I can come up with some brilliant new idea that will make me relevant and useful to modern audiences, there's no point spending my limited functional time writing articles which nobody reads, and expressing opinions that only help make me about as popular as cancer. Things may change, so keep an eye out. For now though, for however long I have before I become a crippled parody of myself, my primary focus to try to get the most enjoyment I can out of my life. If you want to keep in touch with me (no tech questions please!), you can Send me an Email.
Thank you for many years of support, sorry if I've let you down in any way, and I hope you and your loved ones live long, happy lives!
2 December 2021