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At the end of high school, Bastien didn't really know what to do, what path to follow. He was told: "do something that opens lots of doors for you." That's what he did, choosing an engineering school in Brittany. He then found his way quite easily, following what he liked to do. However, a chain of events, accentuated by the key moment of graduating, led him to deviate from this trajectory. Here's his story...
Great studies = Confusion of choice?
After high school, when Bastien entered the famous engineering school, he wasn't sure what to do or where to go next. He asked himself some questions, and one answer instinctively came to him: video games! "It's such a shame... Hmmm where was I? Ah yes, the video game!"
When environmental issues take center stage.
It was when he left for Canada, to continue his studies in computer science and specialize in video games, that a gap opened up between his professional dreams and reality. As roommates at the time, discussions often turned to what each of us was going to do later, after graduation. He was thinking of joining Ubisoft, one of France's biggest video game publishers, "It's still important to have a job that makes sense" he realizes during these roommate exchanges. Then in his head, questions flood in: "Video games have meaning for me, of course. But is there anything else?"
Orelsan, Bo Burnham... amplify the doubt.
While small seeds were being planted, Bastien continued on the course he had set himself. Yet new "slaps", as he describes them, come to wake him up. First came the show Inside, by American comedian Bo Burham, filmed during the confinement. In one part of his show, the comedian tackles the subject of anxiety. Aille, ça vient toucher Bastien... When Orelsan's album Civilisation came out, same scenario..."I take a slap at myself. It feels good, that kind of slap." The sounds that mark him are "Civilisation"and "Baise le Monde". In the latter sound, Bastien retains, for example, this passage: "I've been working all week, thank God it's Saturday, whisky and coke in a plastic cup, which may end up in the Pacific Ocean, or in toxic particles in the body." For Bastien, this music clearly describes what cognitive dissonance is all about. Finally, artists are for him a good gateway, "they have the sensitive side" and "if it comes to touch you, you're going to get informed."
"Artists have a sensitive side. If it's going to touch you, you're going to get informed."
After the slaps, the need to understand.
The Shift Project, the Low Tech Lab, Jean Marc Jancovici... Bastien takes his courage in both hands and then begins to inform himself to understand the sources of his anxiety. Except that, when confronted with reality, there's no turning back:"I'd feel too guilty going into video games, knowing that there are much more major issues at stake." Chatting with friends, however, they tell him:"it's possible to work in video games, doing ecology." Bastien thinks about it. For him, even if video games can have a message scope, he needs to act in a more concrete way. And then, in projecting himself into this option, he anticipates this:"if you push video game subjects in big boxes, it doesn't move, and if you go into independent structures, it's freer, but less secure in financial terms." It knows that it him so need to find an activity "more concrete and more sure".
"I have the choice to do what I want and at the same time I don't have a choice;
Make the best possible choice.
Bastien, what comes to grip him is the guilt he might feel in the near future: "I can't see myself in a few years saying to myself that I've done nothing." At the end of the year in Canada, Bastien returns to France, and needs to find an end-of-studies internship. Facing the wall, he oscillates between two realizations "I have the choice to do what I want and at the same time I don't have the choice." So he found an internship with Quiet Ocean, a company that fights noise pollution in the seabed. The sounds generated by human activity can disorientate living marine creatures that use sound to orient themselves. One example he gives is a military test which generated a sound so powerful that dozens of whales were found stranded on a beach close to the test site a few days later. Bastien's assessment of the experience is rather positive: "doing an internship in ecology reassured me. I felt better because it was in line with my values. What's more, I put the video games to one side, and felt good all the same."
"I recommend taking advantage of the internship to try and branch out into something more ecological. It can help solidify your ideas."
What to work on next?
Following this end-of-study internship, to find a job, he went to the Shift Your Job platform, which lists companies that are taking action to reduce CO2 emissions. In fact, Shift Your jobs links up with jobs_that_makesense, where its job offers are listed. His choice then fell on two companies: Greenspector or le Shom. GreenSpector is an IT organization based in Nantes, which helps its customers make digital more responsible. The Shom, in Brest, is the French National Hydrographic Service. It's a public service that provides data on the French seas publicly. Within Shom, there's a branch called "Maritime Spatial Planning", which helps organize activities at sea, such as wind turbines, marine protected areas, industrial activities... the aim is to show all this to decision-makers, so they can have a clearer idea of how to link human activities without further damaging the marine environment. This is work on a European scale, and it's notably framed by WWF. "I'm a developer, and my goal is to develop an application that allows you to do EMP." Bastien is happy with this professional choice, making the link with his convictions and that he can exercise in the city of his studies, in which he has his friends. "It's impressive to see people getting so involved in ecology, but mentally you need to have strength." He knows that he's one of those people who make things up as they go along.
After the pro, the personal.
After moving to Brest and finding stability in his new job, at Shom Bastien knows that he now wants to take action in his daily life. He's doing it bit by bit: cycling to work, taking the train, stopping eating beef... These are just some of the things he's already done. For him, after his job, if his lifestyle didn't keep up, it was just as problematic;
Dissonance, explained thanks to Matrix.
His dissonance, Bastien explains it this way: "At some point you have a choice between the blue pill or the red pill, to either stay in this life or see the truth. I feel like I'm constantly between the blue and the red. From the moment I started doubting my job, I also started changing the way I eat and move. The more I pull the thread, the more I see that there are problems in the smallest details. That's why I say I'm glitching in the matrix: I'm starting to see the problems more and more, and I think that's why I still have this dissonance." This dissonance, however, is more diffuse than in the early days, when he was still following the video game course.
5 good tips from Bastien!
- "The more I do, the more I calm this dissonance".
- "Doing the best we can, that's the main thing."
- "Don't deny your fear, your anxiety. Understand why. Solve the problem."
- "Make it up as you go along so you don't go totally mad."
- "You can't look at every problem from a personal point of view. We have to start by solving our own problem."