I listened to a short interview with Clay Johnson where he discussed the idea of ‘information obesity’. You can watch it here. For those of you that don’t want to watch the video, or currently cannot, his thoughts are that there is no such thing as information overload, but that instead the problem is indiscriminate information consumption. Basically we’ve entered a stage now where people are losing vast portions of their day just being lost in websites. The “grey rectangle” as he put it, websites like TV Tropes and Wikipedia, news sites, these all function in such a way that by the end of them people say “How did it get to be this time?”
I’ve been there, I imagine most people reading this have been there in the last week (multiple times). What was funny was listening to it while organizing magic cards. I organized a few hundred cards by letter and color and by the end of what felt like hours and hours I had only been doing it for an hour. Shortly thereafter I went and loaded up “Space Pirates and Zombies” and ended up blowing 3 hours of my day before I knew what had happened.
It’s a good game, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t really wanting to use up that much of my day. Something I tend to do, which I forgot to do, was have a clock within eyesight. If you can see the time constantly it is less likely to get away from you.
Something else he suggested was waking up every morning and write 500 words. This way you begin your day as a producer and not as a consumer. I like it and I think I’m going to try and do it for at least a week. I have difficulties building habits, I can’t even get into the habit of eating, I’m not entirely sure why. I’m a little annoyed because I lost a page I had read that discussed a potential cause for this. It was interesting because it accurately described the “what” of my problem, but certainly not the “why”.
The article discussed the linear thinking and the improvement thinker. Linear thinkers are people who think they are already experts and will avoid all information that says to the otherwise. Basically they don’t accept negative criticism, don’t handle conflict well, and a myriad of other things that get in the way of the confirmation bias of their brilliance.
Now I do poorly with hurdles, I fall apart at criticism, and for sure I tend to peak quickly and then others pass me by. However this is not because I think I’m brilliant. I often wish I was, it is one of those non physical super powers that I would steal up in a bit. I’ve actually wished in the past that Adderall had a test serving at pharmacies. See if it would open up my mind to new horizons.
I’m very lucky that there isn’t an over the counter drug that makes thinking incredibly easy to do, I’d be hooked on that so hard I’d never come off. What was odd about the page was the description of the what for the progressive person didn’t match me but the why did. I suppose that is the problem with dichotomies, and perhaps if I get the energy I’ll go looking for it again.
Basically the second group know there is always a new level to reach and they are always striving, good with conflict, and they look at criticism as a means to improve. Sounded like a pretty swell bunch.
Aw heck, I’ve got a little more on my mind. I really don’t like cellphones, I just want to get that out there. The games made for phones are absolutely terrible. The desire to stay connected to everyone you know is (to me) terrible. The expectation that you must always be reachable is terrible and pathetic.
Businesses and people have grown an unhealthy obsession with constantly being in contact. There needs to be some separation, there needs to be a quiet moment of reflection in the dewy morning. There needs to be disconnection when you drop in on a movie. There is absolutely nothing positive gained from obsessively checking the phone or answering every call.
If someone in your family isn’t deathly ill, or if you aren’t a member of the secret service, there is no reason to snap open your phone in a place where it is requested you don’t. Every one of these calls I’ve ever overheard was mundane and entirely unnecessary.
Tablets aren’t much better either. I’m happy for people that like them but for me it just seems like an obscene waste of technology and time. I realize nostalgia is blinding me viciously but the early days of gaming didn’t seem so poor or so blatantly predatory.
So I guess that’s it. I read a book last night (yes an entire one), I might review it sometime soon. As much as I enjoyed the dated humor, there were some inconsistencies that bugged me. I think tonight I might start on another. The 800 (1600 between my wife and I) dollars I’ll be paying to the government next month has inspired me to finish up some books. Maybe by the end of them I’ll feel enriched and energized. Cause there is some serious molasses in my cognition and its really bringing me down creatively speaking.
500 a day each morning…you can do this. Random final thought, did anyone else taste and smell letters as a kid? Letters had flavors and smells in my mind in Elementary school. I don’t really have that anymore…kind of a shame.