Thursday, August 23, 2007

Horizontal Vs. Vertical

Just got back from spending a bunch of days in Fort Lauderdale, FL. For those of you who read this and are incredulous, saying "You went to Florida in August?!?!?" I say "It's a whole lot nicer than DC in August!"

I lounged on my friend's balcony and watched a parade of tropiclouds at every hour of the day.
I marinated in the ocean every day.
I read a book, one actual book, the same one, every day.

I'm finding it difficult to go back to reading blogs and other online information, though. I'm pretty sure it's because when I read the book (Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert) I moved my eyes from left to right, then down to the next line and left to right.

Online I read from top to bottom. Oh sure, there's left to right. But I think there's more perusing of lists, more text going by my eyes like the credits at the end of a movie.

It hurts. I'll get used to it again. Funny, though. I didn't have to get used to reading "the old-fashioned way."

As for Stumbling on Happiness - I really enjoyed it. Gilbert takes us on a tour of our brain's capacity to feed us illusions of reality. If that sounds just too metaphysical, I'll add that he also supplies us with easily-digestible results of actual scientific mind-testing, on human subjects that were not harmed in the pursuit of knowledge and, well, happiness.

I found much in the book that I've figured out for myself over the years, as well as examples in my own life that further pointed up how even I can completely delude myself into abject misery and despair. I'll post a couple of examples in the next post or so. Once I get used to typing, my laptop, and all these things called Web sites once again.

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