Three: Radical Change

Are these projects going somewhere or is it futile? What would that "somewhere" even look like? I'm not sure.


My day is spent bouncing between quick-hit satisfaction triggers. Couplea laughs on Mastodon, little chat on Discord, maybe resolve a day-or-two old email, then it's back to Discord, a quick Twitter jaunt, maybe a longer Twitter jaunt, World of Warcraft (2) and so forth. In the spaces between, I might fiddle with a longer-term project bearing personal importance, whether to my "hobby" interests or my "work" requirements. When I don't have a hard commitment—a class or office hours or meetings or getting the kid ready for his day—I have a lot of freedom to do what I will, and I can say with confidence, I will weakly.

Favoring a gentle downhill path, even on a project for which I have a modicum of passion, is my biggest struggle with executive function. The day is debrided with a curette of inconsequence. When I have time to tackle something fun or interesting, I'm stuck with a fraction of my capacity, less of my attention. This is one impetus for the tech-reduction I'm circling. I do indeed find when I'm writing in Deepdwn in distraction-free mode, I write more. I do indeed have better recall for handwritten notes, and better retention and transference when I handwrite on the Supernote. And, honestly, I do indeed get more out of a limited distraction on Mastodon than I do an extended loll on Twitter.

So, like, ok, then?

If the goal is radical change, one must, y'know, radically change. I like the idea of a day where I write, I read (lol, when, when, when have I meaningfully read recently?), I engage with those engaged, I reflect, and I otherwise maintain. Realistically, this is less Discord, less Twitter, the fastest of the fast-acting dopamine inducers. It's also less impulsive F5-ing. I think about Calibre's RSS-compilation feature, where I can point it at a number of feeds and tell it to retrieve them every so often. I don't need to check m'blogs 3-4 times a day; when they're updated, I'll catch it on Monday. So, too, can I treat stuff like my synth Discords. It's fine. It'll be there when I'm there.

To jump into change and expect to be changed is folly. All this is gonna take some time, and that's where I think I can embrace my reductionist approach: strip away the things that get in my way, gradually; see my projects to completion; and strategically explore (3) where next. I don't need to know that last part just yet, because it'll depend on where I am then. We're getting there. Not there yet.

(1) @slime on worm.horse

(2) my fuckin' hunter died and I unsubscribed within minutes

(3) ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education, naturally