August 27, 2009

The loss of normal responsibility

Ryan (2003) describes the tourist as a ‘displaced’ person: the traveler finds himself in unfamiliar surroundings, without being obliged to daily routines, thus being more susceptible to hedonism and the loss of normal responsibility.
The Roles of Perceived Risk, Travel Motivation and Perception Image on Destination Choice and Travel Satisfaction: A Hierarchical Model Approach, by Wann-Yin Wu, Hsiao-Yun Lu, and Sein Htaik [unpublished]
These last two weeks I've been up at 7am, coffee, starting work at the desk at 7:45 and on / off until at least 8pm, then a swim, then back to work for an hour or two if not out to a pub.

I've got all the usual papers on the go, plus six English for Special Purposes textbooks that are badly and / or half written to try and pull into shape for the local university on six wholly different domains, each with 16 classes of material.

While it's a little intimidating there are moments of pure Zen flow when things get done in the office and then it's out for a meeting or class that flies by full of interest, and money in envelopes, turning up in my account, like drinking water from a fire hose, but able to keep up, and as much as possible I surround myself with friends and / or beautiful women. An empty head can be a happy one.

Also running certain experiments on myself, which I'll get into in a later post. But am generally in a pseudo-manic phase, with all the superficial elements but none of the genuine mania. It's like I'm observing myself from inside and out, unconcerned with what's happening, controlled by forces that are unconscious and probably almost wholly external. A willing puppet of forces unseen, like spastic dancing on mdma, the realization of what just happened coming sometime after the event.

So I have this loss of normal responsibility, because at the most elated moments on the line just at the edge of chaos / order, where all the cool stuff happens, things neither breaking down nor boring, I seem to be able to give up choices beyond i) work hard, ii) exercise / eat right, and iii) try and be nice. The idea of this game being that you set up very simple systems and then release them into the wild, and see what happens over a period of time, making small adjustments all the while and clear in the knowledge that if one system is grasped for too long then failure is assured. The only way to not lose face is to tear off the old one on a regular basis, and not linger on the past.

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