I have not had time to do anything much all week because I've been too busy caring humanely for my hair extensions.
Adopting hair extensions is much like acquiring a dog. They have to be continually patted, brushed, groomed and trained to stop being wild and to succumb.
When left to their own devices they get matted and rebellious. And, like a naughty puppy, they rule your life: "Mum can't get in the pool because her hair extensions will get wet."
Help. What sort of creepy message am I sending my daughter about body image and authenticity when she hears that? (I did have a swim in the end, although I considered wearing a shower cap. Afterwards, an elderly friend said I looked like a witch. Darn.)
Why did I get them? I never would have seen myself as the kind of person who cared enough about their appearance to get hair extensions. But I had my hair cut off for a Servilles campaign and then perversely I missed it, so this seemed like a practical temporary solution - from Servilles, of course - while it grew back. Why did I miss long hair?
On some deeper level, maybe I don't feel so feminine with shorter hair. Why? Is that oppressive patriarchal conditioning? Or just my obsession with Stevie Nicks? Or is it a heroic attempt to stave off ageing? Not so much raging at the dying of the light as brazenly ignoring it, as Vivienne Westwood said.
Why does ageing hold such special horror for me? Because it confronts us with the truth: we are all going to die.
A-ha. The ultimate reductionism: it proves if you ask "why" enough times about anything, even hair extensions, you get back to the existential crisis; the terrifying ontological reality of death.
In between brushing my hair, I realised there is no point in asking "why" about everything. There is no answer. My whole career has been based on the insouciant assumption that asking "why?" has an inherent value; if you can understand things you can make them better. But what if you can't?
I have spent about six months in various shades of despair - I'm feeling so much better now, cheers for asking - but as usual my attempts to try to understand were flimsily satisfying, yet ultimately ineffectual.
Did you know our so-called reward chemical, dopamine, does not represent a reward itself, but rather "reward prediction error", that is satisfaction according to the degree to which the reward is surprising to us. Did you know that the anti-histamine chlorpheniramine is known as the "accidental antidepressant"? Did you know some people have 40 per cent fewer D2 (dopamine) receptors in important areas like the nuleus accumbens?
See? This is enlightening, but it does not really help make one feel better or answer the question that we most desperately want to answer: why did things X, Y and Z happen to me and not to someone else? Why does anything happen?
We adhere determinedly to the time-consuming venture of finding rational, scientific explanations for events that occur, because the alternative - that life is terrifyingly random and meaningless - provokes an existential crisis, makes us feel powerless and nauseous in an unfeeling cosmos.
If we can only find out "why" then something, surely, can be done. Once we let go of the doctrine of perfectibility - that the world can be made good - we have nothing to hold on to and just plummet into nihilism.
Nietzsche said: "Truth is an illusion, without which a certain species could not survive." If you can surrender to this bleak credo, it can be liberating.
I have spent my life being told to "stop taking it so personally", and finally, I realise that is as much truth as you're ever gonna get. So I've stopped asking why bad things happened to me and started to ask why have so many good things happened?
Why was I born in an affluent Western country to middle-class parents? Why was I not born into grinding poverty in the developing world? Why do I have a loving family and two healthy children? Why am I healthy? (Albeit, like anxiety mascot Scott Stossel being somewhat "saturated with the vocabulary of mental dysfunction".)
The only answer to "why me?" Is "why not you?"
I might get rid of the hair extensions though. I don't need think I need them anymore.
Nerds' shine fading fast
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (right)
I am starting to hate geeks. The hero worship of Silicon Valley boy wonders is coming to an ignoble end.
Internet innovators, like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, have until now been treated kindly, credited with a patina of Alan Turing-type gentleness, as vulnerable, nerdy, bedroom-dwelling underdogs who got bullied at school.
Not any more.
It seems people, especially women, are increasingly realising the code-writing geeks have as much macho testosterone-fuelled swagger as Gordon Gekko or the global financial crisis' arrogant hedge fund managers. Don't forget Zuckerberg's first iteration of Facebook was to allow frat boys to rate the attractiveness of girls.
In Boy Kings, Katherine Losse, one of Facebook's first employees, exposes the boorish culture and the "Royal Court" around Zuckerberg: "I knew the rest of the world was full of people poorer, darker and less technologically provided for than the engineers were in Palo Alto, and this lack of awareness on the [engineers'] part was draining. Here it was like we were living in a fantasy of perfect wealth."
The New Statesman just published a lengthy, impassioned treatise critiquing "Nerd entitlement", chastising Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Scott Adamson for writing an online sob-story claiming he does not enjoy male privilege because he had a traumatic upbringing of "toxic masculinity and extreme isolation".
New Statesman writer Laurie Penny bailed him out for confusing having a wretched time as a kid with the kind of structural oppression experienced by women and those at the bottom of the pecking order.
Losse: "The engineers' success in life, achieved in their teens or earlier, blinded them. "They assumed everyone had the same chances in life, the same easy path to wealth, where knowing just a little more about gadgetry than everyone else went a very long way."
There has been a major reversal of social fortunes in the past 30 years. The nerds have had their revenge.
But someone should warn them their hubris makes them just as vulnerable to a Shakespearean fall from grace as if they had always been the cool kids.