This interview with Cormac McCarthy by the Wall Street Journal is well worth reading (Coincidentally(?) I just started rereading the Border Trilogy.)
This amused me
[CM:] Instead, I get up and have a cup of coffee and wander around and read a little bit, sit down and type a few words and look out the window.
simply because I can attest that yes, indeed, this is what he does! And, well, because my time at the Santa Fe Institute followed a similar pattern :)
On the other hand here is a more ominous reason why I enjoyed (my too brief) time at SFI:
WSJ: What kind of things make you worry?
CM: If you think about some of the things that are being talked about by thoughtful, intelligent scientists, you realize that in 100 years the human race won't even be recognizable. We may indeed be part machine and we may have computers implanted. It's more than theoretically possible to implant a chip in the brain that would contain all the information in all the libraries in the world. As people who have talked about this say, it's just a matter of figuring out the wiring. Now there's a problem you can take to bed with you at night.