Consume and produce cycles

I like to imagine that a model human has concurrent consume and produce cycles—that such a person could create things and take in information at basically the same time. Study something while doing it. Write something while learning about it. Explain something while figuring it out. That seems well-adjusted, whatever that means.

I'm not like that.

My consume and produce cycles feel like offset sine waves—one cycle at its peak while the other is at its trough and then, wheeeeeeeeeee, down one goes and up goes the other, the other cycle at its peak and one at its trough. And so on.

I don't have anything to write here when I'm into a heavy consume cycle. I spent most of the last two weeks or so bootcamping myself through some C and Python programming courses. For vague reasons, it was useful to bring all the things that I semi-knew together into some kind of coherent knowledge. It was resource intensive—sit there, watch some videos, write some code, run some code, over and over again, filling in all the foundational knowledge that I had missed because at one point I had only time enough to just get things to work but not understand all the whys and wherefores. Anyway—I am pooped.

Aside—from an early reading of pre-published Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut at the 92Y:

My name is Dwayne Hoover and I am an experiment by the creator of the universe. I am the only creature in the entire universe who has free will. I am the only creature who has to figure out what to do next and why. Everybody else is a robot.

I am pooped. I wish I were a robot too. It is perfectly exhausting having to reason all the time in a universe I never made.

I don't know how human brains work. I don't really know how mine works either. I sometimes imagine learning things as scribbling new information onto crumpled sheets of paper and flinging them into the box that is my brain. The ones that miss get swept up and discarded [looks at mess on floor] eventually. The ones that make it in the box are piles of crumpled up sheets of paper with information scribbled on them—but they are safe in that box because it's too small for a broom in there.

How do those individual bits of information become useful? Eventually, after a few nights of sleep, [switches to passive voice] connections are made. Magic. This understates a lot of the work involved, but that's how it feels—the level of understanding is zero, then zero-point-one, then zero-point-two, and then it heaves exponential. There is a lag time in there during and after consumption of some new skill or information—a rather frustrating lag time—and then there is a cycle of fantastical production. All of that new stuff becomes something to talk about, something to use, something to overuse. And then that cycle gives way learning something new and different, or digging a little deeper into the thing just learned. That consumption cycle will run its course, and then production ensues, and round and round and round we spin.

I don't know if it's a good approach, it's just the approach that happens for me. I think it should be more balanced—less of an off-on cycle and more just adjusting levels on them. But I just live in this head, I don't really control it.

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