Trolling For Tinfoil
Monday, June 20, 2005
 
Quickie
It's 11:00.
I just got home from playing the Ampitheater in HersheyPark after working all day. . It was bee-yoo-tiful out, so between sets I sat outside and watched sugar-fueled children scamper past followed by hot, weary parents trudging along behind the strollers.

HersheyPark is a huge expense, so I feel a little sympathy for the parents, trying to get the most out of their bucks- The ampitheater is shaded, so they sit, more apreciative of the chance to rest than the actual music I think.

All in all- It was a good day. I am officially tired, so I'm off to bed.

Comments:
I mentioned in my blog that I'll post a comment about a "technique" **guffaw** for keeping busy and keeping a person off that mental roller-coaster that I've found to be of some value. I was hesitant before, but with your encouragement, here goes. Be careful what you ask for and all that :-)

Disclaimer time. The results are not always guaranteed and the success rate is a little sketchy, but it's certainly better than polishing those resentments or in the case of some people, hitting that 151 proof. Also, it is not some wonderfully mystic shit and stuff. It is a series of simple, even seemingly mind-numbingly obvious observations strung together in an attempt to arrive at a rather uncertain but in some cases hopeful technique for overcoming one of the more difficult situations that one faces in life.

The premise of the technique is based on a simple scientific observation. Which is that the mind is notoriously inefficient at multi-tasking. If you are doing X, there is an excellent chance that you will not be able to concentrate on Y. And the more furiously you concentrate on X, the worse off Y becomes. And one of the things that concentrates the mind wonderfully and takes up the most mental bandwidth is reading.

I forgive you for not taking off your shirts and cheering wildly.

But wait, there's more. What's important is not just reading, but the quality of the reading. What should one read to distract oneself the best so that old resentments are not polished?

Fiction is not good. Too many associations and references to daily life which just may be troubling. Non-fiction is better.

But the best is to learn something. And the drier the subject the better, in my opinion. The topic could be almost anything. I am not quite sure what you do for a living, but let's say you are into computers. In this case, choose something that is related or even choose a topic that is some distance away from your own discipline that will require some effort to get into, as this will keep the mind active and busy. If you decide to choose an unrelated topic, then a good topic for a computer guy might be, say, Psychology. Or Statistics (If you have always wondered what univariate and bivariate data meant, or how to convert a z-score to a percentile, but were afraid to ask, this would be a good time).

As a matter of fact, if it is a possibility, go back to school.

I call the technique "constructive escapism", because escapism it surely is. But it is constructive in the sense that, one day, after Time does its usual healing thang and you are ready to start again, you will find that a lot of the time that would otherwise have been a yawning black hole, was actually spent picking up some possibly useful new knowledge.

I say "possibly useful" because if you choose a slightly unrelated topic, it may not serve well in later life for getting ahead and stuff like that. But this should be ok because the purpose of constructive escapism is to constructively escape, yes?

And maybe someday, just on the off-chance, you will actually get to use your newfound skills.

Just perhaps, one fine Monday morning, when your boss looks you deeply in the eye and asks, "So Rob, do you think you'll make those revenue figures for this quarter?", you can confidently reply, "I doesn't know massah, but extrapolating from the bivariate distribution of my salary over the last quarter, and computing the Spearman's Rho and Chi-Square Sigma for your own bloated take-home, all parameters would shore indicate that you need to give me a friggin' raise."
 
You sir- are a very wise man. Practical, logical and free of "feel good" fluff.

That last paragraph is pure genius. I spit coffee. You owe me a new keyboard.
 
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