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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Friday, November 4, 2011

This week's good read: Talk Nerdy To Me.

I'm an info junkie.  I've mentioned that, right?  I subscribe to way too many periodicals, and if publishers fret about the future of the printed page, I can assure them I am not in the demographic to cause them worry.

Here's a juicy tidbit from last night's reading.

WIRED magazine (technology and culture) incites my early-adopter lust even though I can no longer turn on my TV without assistance.  But there's more to it than tech porn.  This month's issue, "How Science Can Help You... "(many blanks filled in), had great articles on "how to smartify your life."  Find out how to increase happiness (perform acts of kindness, exercise, get a pet), correctly and mushlessly dunk a cookie in milk, ace a test, keep earbuds from tangling, find your soulmate or rekindle your relationship-- with SCIENCE! 

But my favorite piece this month didn't even make the cover-- comedian Chris Hardwick's brilliant "Self Help for Nerds".  Excepted from his new book, The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (in Real Life), he covers the sins and gifts of a Certain Kind of (yep, obsessive) Mind.  From procrastination to addiction to classification and problem solving, the anxious minds and messy internal dialogues of the Sensitive Obsessive can be used for good or evil.  "Be warned!" says Hardwick.  "Sometimes obsessions cannot be piloted, and in those instances you must learn to donkey-kick your brain out of the way.  When nerds run out of things in the external world to deconstruct and analyze, guess where they go?  Inward.  We become the object of our own deconstruction protocols; an auto-cannibalism of sorts."

    Yep, it's that troublesome-- and blessed-- trifecta of big brains, big feeling, and big radar.  When it's properly focused, books are written, new species are found, Nobels are won...or at least bills get paid and nobody gets hurt.  But even non-nerds have to wrestle with brain's short-sighted desires.  Hardwick has some great advice:  talk back.  He uses the F word too much to be a traditional Buddhist, but he's onto something with his response to brain's suggestions to such brilliant ideas as " 'Get drunk in the morning!'  'Eat 50 Chocodiles!' 'Instead of working, you could masturbate!' "  Hardwick reminds us:   "You can simply say to yourself, 'I hear what you are saying, brain, but I chose to ignore you.' ...Be smarter than your brain."

You don't have to be a Junior High School Chess Champion or comic genius to make use out of Hardwick's hilarious and wise writings. See for yourself:   read the full article online at WIRED here, or buy his book at your local independant bookseller.

May your Nerdy Force be with you--

1 comment:

Sarahsan said...

I love the description of obsession, which is like "being fucked in the heart." So it is, and it truly hurts. And feels so unmanageable. My last remedy for being fucked in the heart was to pick up my trowel and dig in new plants. My other remedy was to speak aloud the obsession to a friend who could hear and care. And then we sat down and enjoyed a very fresh empanada. It was the best. Thanks for this article and for helping me enshrine the empanada.