Physical and psychological limits of a digital war

The battlefield is real and there are actual humans upon it with bodies that wear out

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I sometimes joke about “laptop poisoning” and how years and years of nonstop analysis of data, processing of messages, and construction of synthesis takes a toll. Information warfare uses computers as tools, but at the end of the day it is all about people — who have bodies and minds with genuine constraints. One of my standard quips is how my parents gave me a BBC Microcomputer before my teens and never saw me again, so the digital realm is natural and easy for me. That said, I am noticing a growing weariness with it from over-exposure.

Essays are great for “evergreen” content with big ideas, but these short video pieces allow me to say more personal things and get over my feelings in ways that are lost in prose. This information war is a very real and physical war for me, and I have been one of the most exposed individuals right on the front line via my Q and Great Awakening work. I am fortunate that I have (just!) enough financial support that I don’t need to think about doing consulting work or sell products, but I do face my own internal drive to produce output continually until we cross the line of final victory.

The body works differently to the mind. I have done rowing to a fairly high level at school, and a lot of (winter) mountain climbing in my 20s. I know what it means to press on when you feel you are already over your physical limits. There is a psychological determination to push your body harder, but it cannot be used to force yourself to think. This is especially true of relatively repetitive (but high engagement) tasks like dealing with correspondence. I am finding myself able to process a few messages, but then I blank out; my mind doesn’t want to take more in, so it halts. You can only overdrive yourself for so long before deep rest and recovery time is needed.

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It is drizzling outside right now but I will go out to take some photos anyway.