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Cleaning out my Evernote notebooks, I found this quote:

Chris Macleod calls this “epiphany addiction”: “Each time they feel like they’ve stumbled on some life changing discovery, feel energized for a bit without going on to achieve any real world changes, and then return to their default of feeling lonely and unsatisfied with their life. They always end up back at the drawing board of trying to think their way out of their problem, and it’s not long before they come up with the latest pseudo earth shattering insight.”

That's Aaron Swartz from his series of posts called Raw Nerve.

I know I'm definitely an epiphany addict, though it's worse because I get sucked into epiphany hunting on the web. If I find a good author I relate to, or who seems to know something that I don't, I'll throw aside whatever I was supposed to do and go on a reading binge.

But I don't know that the habit is all that bad. They may not make me magically ten times happier or lower my time preference or help me get great grades on classes. But I do learn a lot on the way, and I do have interesting thoughts that lead to other interesting thoughts. I just reread Plato's Allegory of the Cave. I think he would call highly advanced epiphany hunting just "doing philosophy".

How about you? Do you have this affliction? Or maybe you have the opposite attitude--you don't get this frenzy for answers. What do you think?

Addendum 10-24: After a bit of reflection (all it took was responding to comments) I don't think I'm an actual epiphany addict. I'm much more excited about a lot of articles and books before I read them than after I read them. But I'll keep on clicking. Maybe the next one will have the magic formula.

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