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.

2 thoughts on “My name is Matthew, and I’m an addict (maybe)”

  1. Please be careful, Matthew. Don’t trivialize addiction (specifically drug and alcohol addiction) to fret over your Compulshons. They are horses of different stripes.


    1. To think that there is any measure of trivialization in this post is to not grok what this post is trying to say. What may appear to be different can quite plausibly be the same, when digging deep enough. We know enough about how the human brain works to show that there are, in fact, very striking similarities between chemical dependencies and addictions/compulsions of other sorts. But above all, as this post strives to do, it is important to explore and understand how you, specifically, happen to work. Do not underestimate the power of something that happens in another person’s head; nobody can truly know what’s what in there except that person who owns said head. You’d be best not to trivialize… well, anything.

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