The Devil is in the Distractions

The Internet, academia, and 24-hour news are highly effective tools of Satan. A deluge of disparate clouds of unfiltered data creates cognitive noise. The intent of which is to inform, yet functions more effectively to distract us from events in life that have personal impact. The siren song of the 21st century is data, stimuli, input, in whatever forms they take. What is referred to as "The Information Age" can more accurately be called "The Data Age". Information comes from critical analysis of data. We get lots of data, which we mistakenly regard as information.

If we accept as ubiquitous this flood of data, the most important skill an individual can develop is the ability to distinguish what is true, necessary, and relevant from the superfluous. I would argue that a staggering majority of our daily data input is superfluous.
If this cognitive wheat-from-chaff skill is not developed, our executive functioning is impaired. This is a neuro-psychological fact, called cognitive overload. This phenomenon can also pervade on a societal level, not from a structural or organic malfunction, but from that simple, easily understood concept of capacity.  Like a mental traffic jam, too many cars and not enough road.

So what is the solution? I would argue that the steps are equally simple; less input, or more capacity. It is in our best interest to work towards developing habits that accomplish both in various measures. Simplifying life to decrease input, while devising strategies to increase our capacity to discriminate, store, analyze, and retrieve the information that is relevant. So if you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution, how about limiting exposure to 24-hour news channels and regular exercise. That's how we thrive. My apologies to our ever present punditry,(of which I might now include myself...odd)your services will be decreasing in necessity.

For everyone who freaked a little at my Independent Baptist opening sentence, feel free to replace "Satan" with your own nominal term for instrument of personal and social destruction. I chose Satan, but you may prefer "Evil","The Devil","Beelzebub","Lucifer", or "The Government / Corporations / Military-Industrial Complex", my premise remains.

While composing this I was listening to:

No music my boys were watching

The Dark Knight

Posted at 12/31/2012 2:03:28 pm by Wildolive
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OK, so I'm starting my New Year's resolution a day earlier.  For a few years now, I have kept a Catcher in the Rye-ish journal to document the daily happenings and insights from my lived experience.

: (adj.) -ly (adv.) rantings of a semi-crazy person,
 Dwight's journal is quite Catcher-in-the-Rye-ish.  Dwight's blog entries seem to be composed Catcher-in-the-Rye-ishly. (Salinger, 1951)

The Catcher in the Rye

I use the qualifier "-ish" to as a statement of self-reflection in comparison to Holden Caufield (Salinger, 1951) It never occurs to an actual crazy person that they could possibly be such...read Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton, "The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums")  If I may be so bold, some of my previous entries were quite extraordinary and in light of my recent reading of Romans Chapter 12, I am resolving to share my insights.  We are gifted for the benefit of others. If my journal serves as a mere opiate, my effort is little more than "mental masturbation". (Dave from class, I would cite him more completely but I should probably ask first) 
Thus, I am committed to submitting myself to the judgement and evaluation of any and all who would desire to do so.

So I invite critique, argument, or derision, but I would prefer fawning, applause, or awe-inspired silence. (Dr. Shelden Cooper, 2010)

In all seriousness, fear-of-evaluation is a lingering effect that has emerged in me as a result of the recent unpleasantness to which I was subjects. This is an effort, on my part to experience and develop what Tedeschi and Calhoun would call Post-Traumatic Growth. (1995) read Trauma and Transformation: Growing in the Aftermath of Suffering

Trauma and Transformation: Growing in the Aftermath of Suffering

With that:

"Let the Madness Begin" (Osbourne, Ozzy, 1981)

Posted at 12/31/2012 12:39:27 pm by Wildolive
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