Exploding Brains and 2012

IStock_000001611647XSmall My friend, Paul Durban, tweeted something yesterday that brought tears to my eyes. However, upon further review, I'm not sure if they were tears of laughter or sadness. Probably both. Here is what he said:

2012 isn't the end of the world. It's when our brains become overwhelmed with information, reach critical mass, and explode.

If that is what happens in 2012 than I think my brain has already entered that time frame. For example:

  • I often write little notes to myself so that I don't forget something important. Then a week or two later I see the note and I find myself scratching my head as to what in the hell it might have meant. For example – can you give me a clue as to what I meant when I wrote Bone Hat, Liquid Money, Image Speech, Attention Interference, or, my favorite, Mozzarella Biscuits? I knew when I wrote them but I don't have a clue now.
  • The header on my Google Reader always says 1000+. That means I have over 1,000 items that I subscribe to that I have not read yet. It always says 1000+ even though I read some every day. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never be able to read all the blogs and watch all the videos that I would like.
  • I have an average of a dozen books these days on my nightstand with a few more scattered around the house. Why is that strange? Mostly because I am reading at least 4 at once all the time. I also know I will never live long enough to read all the books that I'd like to read. Since I don't know what day I might kick off, I read multiple books at once with the idea at least I got some of it done. Hey, I didn't say any of this was sane. Read the bold quote above again!
  • I currently have four computers in my office. I used to use them all. I cut back and now only use two at one time. Some applications are memory hogs and I've learned to keep them on the computer that sits behind me. That way I can keep things running there while I use the other one to do email, write this blog and most of my daily computer activities.
  • I have a number of applications that I don't use all the time anymore. For example, Photoshop. At one time, I was pretty good with PS. Last week I decided I needed a creative break so I started playing with an image. It was then it hit me. When it comes to creative type applications you either use it or lose it.

The mind can only contain so much information. And, mine feels like it's ready to explode any day. I wonder if there is a brain compression algorithm out there. I think I'll Google it and see what I find. I'll let you know – just in case you're feeling the same way as me.

4 thoughts on “Exploding Brains and 2012”

  1. Bob,
    I’m writing this from the future. Good news! 2012 came and went and our heads didn’t explode. Plus, we discovered a way to download info from our heads onto these tiny drives.
    Funny story: I lost my “Home and family” drive the other day and had no idea where I lived. Turns out, I left it in my other pair of silver spandex flying pants.

  2. We have pants that fly in 2012? Wow! I always thought it would be shoes that would fly. Silver spandex pants – I’m worried about how I might look in them. Do they come in green?

  3. Hi Bob, recognize this a lot. The feed reader +1000, the bookmarks listed but almost never looked upon again, dozens of books waiting to be read, etc…
    There was a time I was looking desperately for a sensible system to overcome these mountains of information. Yey I was afraid to miss out on something.
    The truth was that while being busy trying to devour all of this information I learned a lot, but I also missed out on the best of life.
    Why? Because I was devouring without tasting or digesting. Because I didn’t value the information I worked with.
    It’s like going to an all you can eat restaurant where you fill your plate all over again and at the end of the meal your stomach hurts, and you have absolutely no clue of what you ate. If you try to recall the sensations every separate ingredient or dish gave you, you cant. Your body is supposed to be filled with nutrients but you hardly feel stronger or enriched. It’s rather the opposite.
    At one point I decided this couldn’t last forever. I needed a new rule of thumb if I was going to make it through the information age in a sensible way.
    So here it goes: whenever I ‘eat’ information, I take the time to choose, taste and to digest.
    Does it work? From time to time. I have my relapses. But I’m gradually getting there. I now know I have a different option when dealing with information overconsumption. I know what that other option feels like.
    In a sense, it’s a different way of paying attention, of being aware of what you’re doing.
    It’s a different way of feeling. Maybe it’s like mindfulness for the information age. Maybe it’s just common sense with respect to all our senses (and not just our information eager brain).
    A small anecdote to conclude this rant. Someone once told me that there’s more mystery to common things than to so-called complex constructions. In a sense if you read it well, you can learn a lot from our society from looking e.g. at a chair (shape, materials, history, use, context).
    If you develop the proper way of tasting that stuff, it’s not a matter of how much you can eat but how much you do with what you eat.
    Bon appetit.
    Hannes

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