My name is Matthew, and I’m an addict (maybe)

Two weeks ago I read Paul Graham’s Acceleration of Addiction essay. If you haven’t, you should.

I’m not certain that I exercise free will. I believe 100% of what I do may be controlled by a combination of various addictions and the systems I put in place to compensate for them.

Present-Me is likely to make the wrong decisions, driven by pleasure-seeking. So, Past-Me dictates how Present-Me should behave to compensate, in the form of calendars, the carefully ordered stack of books on my nightstand and my Instapaper queue, my GTD system, etc. etc. This doesn’t leave Present-Me any downtime to course-correct, without robbing time from Past-Me’s carefully considered ordering of time. This cycle, it is vicious.

I am not a healthy cyborg. I never saw this before. My wheels are spinning. More on this later.

If you want something to end up delightfully, wait until delight appears, then call that the end. If you choose to end on a sour note, you’ll accumulate few sweet memories.

From my friend David Schmaltz, writing in 2006.

What’s worth working toward, if you won’t live to see it?

I’ve read Cloud Atlas twice already and expect I’ll re-read it again. It has become one of the Important Fictions of my life. Now that the film is getting mostly positive reviews, my anticipation for it is building.

It’s still difficult to describe what the book is all about, though, and what — aside from Mitchell’s wonderful writing — makes it so worthwhile. Film critic James Rocchi, writing for MSN, totally nails it:

[It’s] about moral choice and moral action in the face of amoral power and amoral cruelty, a laser-blasting and knife-fighting saga about how, with struggle and sacrifice, the workings of the world can turn, slowly, towards something like justice and something like peace, and just because we may not live to see them does not mean we should give up.