I cannot resist musing about the avaunts in the concents of Stephenson’s Anathem who just might occasionally suffer from the acedia Kathleen Norris exposes in her new book Acedia & me: a marriage, monks, and a writer’s life. Can you see, with me, the auts (avaunts) poking their heads out their doors and windows to see what everyone else is doing?
And among the four groups — the Unarians, Decenarians, Centenarians, and Millennarians — does the denomination suggest its members vary in their ability to cope with “the noonday demon” called acedia? Do the Millennarians, who are allowed to emerge once every thousand years, have a special gift of focused discipline that allows them to endure? Or do the others do better? How do they vary in their encounters with boredom, or depression, or apathy? Stephenson may have some answers from the geek-sci-fi- side; I’m reading Norris for hers.