Investment, like ignorance, is self-referential.

Unlike ignorance, I struggle to maintain investment in anything beyond near-term gratification. This isn’t necessarily problematic; it’s not an objective failure. But it’s a challenge.

There are interests and dare I say goals which exceed immediacy. Writing as an avocation benefits from writing well, which benefits from writing with a frequency that allows for critical evaluation and improvement. Frequent writing is not very compatible with writing at the confluence of mood and interest. Ergo: a person possessed of such ambition might best devise a plan, even a regimen. But regimens fall apart in the face of hedonia. And this is just writing, the skills for which are readily available without much specialized instruction or technical aptitude. Try instead to learn mathematics or programming, and the issue quickly defeats any lingering confidence.

It’s not only a struggle with quick gratification. That’s actually a side-effect of a general malaise of spirit, an—I’m going to use that pretentious phrase—existential crisis. Evaluating the regimen requires some introspection and there’s a philosophical halting problem and then a sad is had and no things are planned. Nacho cheese dust on fingers. Life measured in frames-per-second. David Lynch coughing into a chicken.

There’s also something a bit more earthly, more basic, at work: pride. I once told a COO to whom my boss reported that I hate being told what to do, and by myself most of all. I set reminders and then often defy them because I’m a grown-ass adult so I’ll take my meds when I’m goddamn good and ready. But this pride, however powerful it may feel, is just a sidekick to the philosophical struggles.


My name is Daniel Black. I am on the internet in several places, including Twitter and Tumblr. I am a person. I am a father and a husband. I have a degree in mathematics. I ruminate about thinking and writing and how to make decisions.

Continue reading about me if, you know, you're curious like that. It's okay; no one's watching. You could also subscribe to the RSS feed, if you swing like that.