After 72 hours and several calls to technical support, an issue I am having is nearing resolution. All of the human beings I’ve spoken with- some of whom simply could not help me- have been polite, attentive, and expressed what felt like genuine concern.
It’s not the people, but the broken systems and tools they’re forced to work with. And this in a company with a market value of 16 billion dollars.
I’ve been reading, lately, books about Wall Street (which just goes to show you how good the writer of said books is, as it’s not a subject I otherwise have much interest in). Talk about a broken system. Talk about tools that don’t work.
Consider, also, what’s going on in American politics right now. Nominees, duly selected, and utterly reviled at the same time.
My own brain, even. A few days ago I wrote about short-circuiting my own natural tendency to get bogged down in pointless, fruitless thoughts. These damned heuristics.
I see the appeal of shortcuts and tools, obviously, but they take on a life of their own. We go for efficiency, but there’s no escaping entropy. I’m trying to do more writing lately, right? But I end up spending more time playing with novel-organizing software, reading advice from so-called plot-masters, moving my manuscripts from Word to Scrivener to Google-docs. These processes can be emotionally satisfying—but they’re also absolutely unproductive. Maybe I get a burst and do some actually writing, but nothing’s getting finished.
Maybe this is why people tend towards a zen of simplicity. And urge to throw it all away. I’m all for self-reflection, and blog posts like this one are simultaneously the very problem I’m talking about and a kind of impetus to discover a solution. A kind of koan? I don’t know. I’m just trying to say I get why people are so gosh-darned smarmy about finding a way to “just be.”
That’s an excuse I make for myself, anyway, when I’m frustrated by what I said above, about how “nothing’s getting finished.” At least I’m writing. At least I’m being. And yet and yet and yet. All these tools, all these algorithms, all these soul-less artifacts.
When I climb into bed at the end of the day, with a book, I’m not thinking “let’s get lost in another world.” I’m thinking “let’s finish this and write a review and make note in my diary of my writing word-count and get on to the next book.”