Every morning, I spend an hour on the computer, writing a blog post and checking e-mail.
Then I go to work for eight hours. Generally, I spend six of those hours at my desk, on the computer.
In the evening, I work on the AI for an hour and a half, and spend at least another half hour writing my journal and doing other little things.
If I’m lucky, I get an hour in there somewhere to read a book, or sometimes watch a little TV.
That’s 10 hours a day. I spend over half my waking life staring at rectangles.
The thing is, I don’t regret it. Work pays the bills. The AI is the project I’m most excited about. I love reading; I’d never give it up. And writing the blog is a way to channel and structure the mess of thoughts bouncing around my head.
I spend most of my time staring at rectangles, and I like it. What the hell? What does that mean? How do I make sense of a fact so utterly bizarre?
Actually, I think I know the answer. It’s like cells in the body. (Stay with me here.)
Lone single-celled organisms, like amoebas, have to survive on their own. They’re responsible for everything: finding food, avoiding danger, navigating obstacles. They have to be, because no other cells are helping them out.
Cells in the human body are different. They’re part of a system, so they don’t have to do everything alone. They specialize. A neuron, for example, doesn’t worry about chasing down nutrients or dodging enemy bacteria. It just does its thing, sending and receiving signals, 24/7. Other cells fill other needs. No single cell has to do everything, and the overall system is vastly more capable than the sum of its parts.
The body is like society, and I’m like a neuron – or a skin cell, or anything else you want to pick. I couldn’t survive in the wild on my own, and I don’t have to, because I’m part of a system. I’ve specialized. I’m good at working in a particular environment, and (judging by the paychecks) society needs that.
Is it weird to spend most of your time looking at rectangles? Of course. But no weirder than anything else.
How much time do you spend rectangle-gazing, and how do you feel about it?