Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

The most difficult part of professional academic life so far  §

is convincing my subconscious that that it is okay to spend time reading and writing in a self-directed fashion, for hours on end and according to my own judgment, even if I can't explicitly tie a given day's reading or writing activity to a particular pile of dollars or a directly identifiable paycheck.

After a lifetime's conditioning in the labor market, it's very difficult to allow yourself the time to simply read and write about your interests. It continually feels as though you're slacking/self-indulging/hiding/wasting time. Ironically, this sensation, which is all about the need to feel as though one is engaged in productive work, also makes it precisely impossible to work productively in this particular profession.