Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Progression / Regression  §

The dissertation is moving daily once again. Making this happen has been one of my top priorities for months. Daily progress in dissertation-land was lost months ago when I essentially reinvented my work life.

That change restored career and financial progress, but it put academic progress in jeopardy.

Now, hopefully, we have both. And, hopefully, it is not too late.

— § —

Some of this, of course, depends on other kinds of progress, or at least on avoiding other kinds of regression.

Personal life springs to mind.

I’m not that great at compartmentalizing. In fact, I suck at it. My work life, my relationship life, and my inner personal life have always been completely inseparable facets of the same person.

If my personal life is a mess, I can’t work. If my work life is a mess, my personal life suffers. And in either case, I become completely catatonic and confused.

Not ideal for modern, highly rationalized life, but it seems to be the way I’m wired.

— § —

Sometimes, for no reason that I can articulate, I find myself reading histories of the Soviet Union and in particular, of the last decade and last few months of the Soviet Union.

I don’t know where this impulse or this remaining fascination comes from.

Perhaps from the radical destabilization of the world that the collapse of the Soviet Union represented—not of the geopolitical one, but of the ontological one.

When I was young, there were three certainites in human existence: death, taxes, and the bipolar geopolitical earth of the Cold War.

The cyclical tug, counter-tug of the United States vs. Soviet Union nexus was like the tides, ebb and flow, a fundamental part of the known human universe. It had always been there, since time immemorial, part of the landscape into which I was born.

Then, it disappeared.

How is that possible? It represented an ontological epistemological, and ethnomethodological break for people in my generation, a strange rupture in the fabric of space-time.

— § —

Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I exaggerate. Hard to say.

— § —

Time is marching. June is almost over. June 2013.

I still have motivational crap from 2011 hanging on my walls that feels fresh, indexed to a coming sphere of endless possibilities—that has not only passed into history already, but that is largely forgotten in most everyone’s daily life already. Except, apparently, in mine.

— § —

Some people talk about working on their laptops in bed.

I’ve never mastered this feat.

I’d love to—it would revolutionize my life—but somehow I think, if for no reason other than that of my own physiology, that I never will.


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