I spent the first few days back from vacation catching up and completing my yearly performance review, as well as half a dozen peer reviews and a manager review. As usual, the more I investigate my own performance, the less convinced I am that I'm performing at all (the alternative is that I'm on some insidious and unpredictable, though wholly deterministic, auto-pilot). The decisions I've made can all be traced back to a few personality traits that, though I have tried, I cannot alter. Anti-social behavior, secrecy, and pessimism underly a soft-spoken, pseudo-kind exterior. Every chance I get, I try to become more outgoing, less self-critical, but it never works.
I think my will is more or less an imperfect voting mechanism that makes decisions based on incomplete and inconsistent data, nothing more. Based on the senses, I construct a whole out of unconnected fragments, and project meaning onto a fuzzy approximation of my understanding of reality. This, as you can tell, is merely a string of words that approximate meaning and exhibit no passion.
Let's iterate on a metaphor for a while. Let's take a sand storm. Imagine a field of dunes whipped up into the sky with a powerful wind. You're watching events from behind sand-proof goggles:
Do the grains of sand have free will? I'm sure if you take a look at it, you would be able to find communities of sand swirling together, in some ways it may seem that they're pushing and pulling each other, spending lifetimes in marriage and divorce. Is their mixture of patterns and randomness distinguishable from the interactions of humans?
Does the wind exist independantly from the sand? If the wind is life, is that force in some way effected by the sand it carries, by its weight and its shape...
...this is just horrible. I don't actually think about these things, I just make them up and bore you with them. Sorry.
I was thinking about this metaphor. Have you ever been looking for your glasses, looking on the top of the refrigerator, on the coffee table, in the bathroom, and then realize that you're wearing them? Oh, I don't feel like actually forming the metaphor.
Okay, a little I more did this and that. Tomorrow night is Jim's going away party--he's going to Cambodia and Thailand for three months, and will be traveling for part of the time and also taking pictures for World Vision and Care International during that time. It sounds very exciting and I'm jealous of him. During those same three months I'll be working 40 hours a week at a dot com and maybe getting a few hours each night to myself to work on a website or a book.
Just when I thought that I was not going to be able to find any music to like ever again I found a whole slew: Kraftwerk, Interpol (slowly growing on me), Spoon to name a few. Perhaps there are still entertainment receptors in my brain yet.