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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Frameworks: late night thoughts

There are several models we might consider.

*Your main problem is your enemies.
*Your source of obstacles is your rivals.
*Your problem is a system or set of circumstances that is rigged against you.
*Your problem is your own self or behavior.
*It is something else? Random events? Sheer luck or the lack of it?

Any of these frameworks might be correct for a given problem. I don't think I have enemies to speak of, and if I do I don't think they are doing much harm to me. My rivals aren't hurting me. I might envy Christopher Maurer and Andrew Anderson their superior knowledge of Lorca, but nothing they do holds me back in any way, and in fact it furthers my own ends.

The system is rigged in my favor so it's not that.

So in my case the majority of barriers to productivity are self-generated. And, frankly, I am productive so even here these barriers cannot be all that frightening.  Yet I find that they are... I'm publishing my book later than I thought it would come out, for example.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Had a reunion the other night with 2 newer faculty members from my other department who had quit, and coincided coming into town to finish up business (e.g. sit on exam, so their student wasn't left in lurch, this kind of thing).

They didn't cite any of these frameworks but another: the low morale created by the authoritarianism, which, they say, drains energy because so much emotional labor is needed just to withstand the general negative blast. They said that the fact that this blast wasn't directed at them in particular, but was rather generalized, is what made things seem so hopeless--they had concluded that it was a losing battle no matter what they did as individuals. It was fascinating how clear-headed they were. (This may be a function of it being their first job, they still have a sense of reality.)