Weeknotes 2023 W31:
Reduced caffeine

Week of July 31 to August 6, 2023
What are these? These week­notes are a reflection on the past week. I write about anything from hobby projects and work to creativity and mental health. I publish my week­notes every Sunday morning. Consider subscribing via email or using the web feed!

Quick bits:

As an experiment, I’m reducing my caffeine intake. I’m having smaller cups of coffee, and not every day. The intention is vaguely to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality, or at least give it a shot for a few weeks and see what the benefits are.

So far, the results are mixed. I’m experiencing slight headaches, and I’m feeling sleepier than usual while at the same time having worse sleep. The latter could be because of unrelated reasons. I’m curious what coming week will bring.

I’m not as strict about being vegan anymore: I’m still 100% vegetarian, but outside of the house, I’ve been less strict as of a few weeks ago.

I find the case for veganism hard to follow consistently. I am primarily concerned about animal welfare and environmental impact, but being vegan does not automatically solve those issues for me.

I’ve been wondering about the value I create in society.

As a software engineer, I spend a lot of time working. I have a full-time job, for which I get paid a way-above-average amount of money. I of course am happy with that, but I wonder: what value do I create that warrants my employer to give me this amount of money?

On the most abstract level, I write and modify code, help others become better at writing and modifying code, and align as a group to make sure we have the best possible code.

On a less abstract level, I guide the product towards goals like sustainable development, easy maintenance, high reliability, and fast response speeds. All this so that the company can attract more customers and keep potential customers from competitors, so that the company can grow in number of customers, presumably so that the company can get more investments and more employees so that the product can be even more strongly positioned in the market so that the company can grow even more. Around and around it goes.

I’m not going into detail on what this product is, but I keep wondering about this product what human needs it solves. Figuring this out is, I find, extremely difficult, and not just for my current employer: for many of my previous employers, and plenty of companies I see around me, this is quite hard.

By human needs, I mean the things that matter to you and me — think along the lines of Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs.

Technology has solved some problems, but also created plenty of new ones. More technologies and companies have sprung up to solve these new problems, while creating more problems in the process. A few levels further, and the question of what human needs are being solved leads to nothing but a strong sense of alienation. It does not feel great.

But, you know… maybe a job is just a job. Perhaps I am overthinking it. Perhaps it’s best to see a job as a thing that allows me to provide for my own, to satisfy my own needs, to allow me to pursue my real dreams.

I’ve got this odd restlessness about me. After cleaning out my bookshelf last week, I find myself pulling into question quite some other things about my life.

Where do I want to live? Berlin is fine, though it can get a little boring, and I have lived here for ten years. I find myself longing for adventure.

What do I want to do in life? There’s having a job, but it doesn’t make me thrive. Truly figuring out what I want to do will be a life-long process, I imagine.



Tech links:

Explainer videos:

Week­notes for July 31 to August 6, 2023. Browse the weeknotes archive, get these week­notes via email or subscribe to the web feed.