Gotta focus. No focus yet. It sure would help if I could focus.
Nope, still no focus.
Maybe I need to pay Tony Robbins(TM) to put me into a Peak State(TM):
http://www.lynxfeather.net/nest/humor/2002/alteredstates.html (Man, I love Dave Barry).
Maybe I should be like Tony Robbins(TM) and become successful by teaching people to become successful by giving them the example of myself, who became successful by teaching people to become successful. (Seriously. Tony Robbins(TM), Robert Kiyosaki and other success gurus consistently use themselves as examples. There's a chicken-and-egg problem here that I can't quite put my finger on.)
Maybe I should be like Dave Barry and write funny and/or interesting stuff and get people to pay me for it.
Maybe I should do like my grandparents suggested and invent [insert any of a number of inventions which my grandparents thought would solve some problem they happened to be conversing about; I got too many of those suggestions to remember more than the vague idea that I should invent something].
I know there's an answer, here among all this gosh darn junk I've been loading into my head lately. (I've been reading up on anything that feels like it might lie along the path to my destiny, things like complexity theory and artificial intelligence and econophysics. I spend entirely too much time at Wikipedia. Yes, I take anything I find there with a grain of salt.) It's right in front of me, I know it.
That's a theme we're presented with often in our culture. Many of our stories are parables where the resolution includes something like, "That's it! If we don't plug in the Doomsday Machine in the first place, then Doctor Danger can't destroy the Earth! The answer was right in front of us the whole time!" Well, fine, I get it. I'll take that lesson to heart. I understand that it's probably right in front of me.
And yet, sadly, knowing it's right in front of me doesn't automatically render me able to see it.
While those parables clearly present the idea that answers are often right in front us, they don't provide a generalized method for actually overcoming whatever mental block is preventing us from perceiving them. Such a method sure would be handy.
So it occurs to me, in my own quest, if I do actually figure out the answer, then I can immediately discard it and get rich teaching people the Right In Front Of Me Method(TM) that I used to find it.
This recursion theme... The thing about success gurus using their own success as success gurus as an example. I like it. Something's coming to me...
It's like Escher's picture of hands drawing each other.
It's like GNU standing for GNU's Not Unix.
It's like when Douglas Adams wrote the second episode of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. All the ways he could think of to get his heroes out of their certain-death predicament were too improbable. While he was struggling with this, he watched a TV show on martial arts which talked about how this tiny martial arts master could use his opponent's larger size against him. He decided to use this technique to solve his problem, to fight improbability with improbability, and thus was born the Improbability Drive which saved his heroes and became one of the funniest elements of Adams's universe.
Perhaps this is the secret which could lead me to the discovery of the answer. I know there's an answer to my troubles right in front of me, but I need a method to enable me to see an answer which is right in front of me. Of course, such a method would be immensely useful, and, if I had that method, the method itself could, in fact, be my sought-for answer. This is an important realization, because it means that I know what the answer is. And if I know what the answer is, I must know the method, in order to have gotten it (and also because the answer is the method, and I know the answer). So I've done it!
Now all I need to do is trademark the Right In Front Of Me Method(TM), print some glossy brochures, host a few seminars, and I can get rich and retire young.
Well, that's a relief. I'm glad that all this hard thinking has paid off.
(I'm not sure all of my examples are actually recursive. It's like that Alanis Morissette song, "Ironic", which, some people argue, is, ironically, not ironic. If so, I apologize.)