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November 11th, 2020


I've noticed that consciousness recedes when I'm deep in a coding phase, many back-to-back days in flow. My mind narrows to tunnel vision, fixated on the software and its issues. My sense of self shrinks; non-code ideas cease to arise; I get less curious; writing yields little. ****

It's an odd feeling: flow is experientially satisfying, but the creeping self-abnegation is worrying. I also notice it takes quite a while to "reset" from this phase, to start hearing myself think again, to feel like less of an automaton. ****

I don't experience this feeling when I spend many days back-to-back in flow doing other work: developing an idea, writing, designing. I wonder if it's bc those activities are more creative, involve more reflective thought. Or maybe it's that I'm worse at them—so flow's less deep! ****

One alternative ofc is to not get so deep into flow when building stuff. I've tried that (accidentally and intentionally); it does avoid the self-abnegation issue. But then I get frustrated because projects take non-linearly longer to finish, and it feels like they drag on. 🤷‍♂️ ****

Amusing reflection: an afternoon with psilocybin is a significantly faster, cheaper, and more effective way to reset this tunnel vision than a week-long road trip. ****

How does one create a routine for creative pursuits? And I use creative pursuits to describe pretty much anything including math, science, engineering, etc.

I'm generally bad at sticking to some months-long routine. historically, I tend to work in bursts, that often tend to be like... 2-3 weeks of manic intensity the real game for me is to maintain a list of my interests, my projects, and to set up those things in such a way that my future self can interface with them well. So for me it's not about routine... I have to design my creative pursuits to survive routine failure 

I haven't been particularly interested in math for a while, but if I wanted to "get back into it", all I have to do is look up my past notes and threads about it. I can add to this thread whenever I encounter anything new that's interesting

every time you feel a creative impulse or urge, do something about it, write it down, make the thing (or even just a shitty draft of the thing), then index it – connect it to your existing body of work. over time the body of work grows. congratulations, you're a creative person. Do this for a few years, and maybe read a few biographies of creative people, etc, and you start to develop a bird's eye view of yourself.

y'know, Jung took 16 years to write The Red Book, intermittently, starting at age 38. Maybe your creative life hasn't even "started" yet


IME, and this seems true for everyone from Jung to Bruce Lee – the important thing if you wanna be a creative professional is to be taking notes. routine? as much as you can. if you wanna be a serious professional you will never regret taking a note

I have a large pool of unsorted and unindexed stuff. I index as soon as I *can*, which sometimes is never at this current stage in my life though I have some very clear projects and very clear things that I want to produce, so it's very easy to see how some new piece of data or thought fits into an existing project that I'm working on. took me like 10-15 years to develop this clarity 

that said I look forward to publishing everything and then diving back into a chaotic state of "idk wtf i'm gonna do, nice" ****

On my m2T0w15jf we talked about maybe doing some roam tours

Been reading the

on marriage and I have some thoughts

I don't think flow is really the opposite of boredom. flow is pure execution of a task, no learning or engagement or curiosity just glorious purpose *

biomining reactors