Being in London was a good excuse to visit nou, though. Admired some very impressive shiny knitting and miles of pretty yarn, acquired a viola and a pair of shoes, and chatted for a bit before going to find some food.
Very tired this morning, after getting back fairly late from London on the slow train. Now feeling dazed and useless and completely incapable of concentrating on all the job applications stuff I'm supposed to be doing, and getting progressively more stressed about the inability to concentrate, which of course is making it harder to concentrate, and... repeat ad nauseam. Quite literally, since I'm feeling really quite queasy, though not sure if it's the stress or general stomach-ickiness or what.
I know I used to be able to settle down and get work done; I used to find it quite easy. This feeling that I've somehow got worse at everything is the main thing that made me interested in that Reciprocality project article which nearly everybody else has objected to quite violently. I can't wholeheartedly subscribe to any attempt to divide the world into two types of people ("those who believe the world can be divided into two types of people, and those who don't"), but some of the things he suggests ring true with me at a more emotional level:
It seemed to me more likely that everyone was born a mapper, but somehow most people got "flipped" into the weaker packer mindset through social pressure. It seemed that packers were distressed by any reference - even implicit - to the mapper worldview. Yet this was a denied, neurotic kind of distress rather than an explicit disagreement about ideology.
This actually describes fairly well how I feel. I've gone from being able to think creatively to being trapped in routines; I've got to the point where the suggestion that I can think creatively just makes me feel distressed, makes me immediately say "No, I can't, I'm useless, I can't do anything".
I propose that humans have an ability to raise the level of the neuroinhibitor dopamine in their brains to reduce awareness if environmental novelty drops below a certain level.
I feel that this reduction in awareness is what's happened to me since I started working at ProQuest. I have no idea about neuroinhibitors and dopamine and so on; I'm not claiming that he's right. All I know is that the effect he's describing is exactly what I feel -- I feel like I've switched off, or at least turned down, a lot of my ability to think and work and learn. And what I'm left with is a combination of contempt for the pointless routine tasks that I am doing and can do, and (what feels like) a complete inability to do anything more. Which increases self-loathing in two different directions -- I hate myself for being unable to do anything, and for being conceited enough to despise the things I can do, conceited enough to think I could achieve anything better.
... None of this, of course, is getting my job applications written.