We live in a fast-paced world. Delivering results quickly is rewarded. Well, friends, I work better slowly.
I’m not a paid philosopher–something another unpaid philosopher told me might be more like sophistry when you think about it. But I’ve been doing a bit of philosophy lately here on the blog.
I don’t invest time doing philosophy, honestly. I don’t “work for it.” I wait for things to come to me. Yes, I read and try to keep up with current issues in the field. But I don’t spend my time “doing” philosophy the way I did in that past. I spend my time, honestly, sleeping an awful lot because I both have schizophrenia and am on some heavy medications. I also spend time with family, friends, meeting new people, among other things.
Even though I’m doing philosophy on the blog, I don’t think I’m necessarily fit to be in the current world of philosophy. I know I can’t work just about any job. I’ve tried, trust me. Plus, there’s the sleep issue. I need 10-12 hours of sleep.
So, I take it slow. I’m on Texas time. (Or “Indian Time.” Or Kenya Time. Pick a culture where time and speed don’t matter as much–that’s what time I’m on.)
You can be the judge of my results, but I feel more fruitful doing this than doing anything else I did in the past. I’m not forcing ideas to come to me. I’m not doing any work. Instead, I wait. I do other things. And, sometimes, an idea comes to me. These are insights–and they make me feel very lucky.
In philosophy, we don’t always think of “insights” and luck when it comes to our ideas. But I’m a big believer that my thoughts, if I ever have good ones, are mostly a matter of luck. They are just insights that came to me. I wasn’t willing them to happen. In fact, if I try to will my thoughts, I go awry–just as I have done in the past.
I’d never be granted tenure on this path. And that’s fine. I don’t need tenure.
If you can produce good work in philosophy in the current system, I think that’s great. But I cannot.
I may never write a treatise. I may never even publish a paper. I’ll probably never even try to come up with a Theory of Everything. As it happens, I blog.
And, for me, that’s fine.