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.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August 2007
While the world doesn't stop in August, it does seem to slow down a little (at least, that small part of the world in which I'm located.) I've been taking some time off, and have been doing things away from the online world. I'm finding this time away is allowing me to actually think, long thoughts uninterrupted by the need to check email, respond to a phone call, or do just about an other electronic-related communication. It feels good... and so I'll be away from this blog until early next week (but I will be back.)