Every morning I awaken at 4:30 am. By 5:00 I’m reading a non-fiction book written by some author with excellent credentials. Usually it’s a complicated hardback and the information is fascinating. By 7:30 I’ve absorbed concepts that a very limited number of people will hear about in a few years, if ever. That doesn’t make me smarter than others in North America, but it does make me well read.
So I find myself at an intersection of interesting options. To follow path A is to content myself with the accumulation of knowledge for the sake of curiosity and personal wisdom. To follow path B, I must agree to sacrifice precious reading time on a regular basis in order to write a digital summary of my intellectual adventures so that others without the luxury of time freedom might gain from my accumulation of insights.
After considerable reflection, I’ve chosen path B for two reasons. First I do enjoy writing. Second, I have to believe that a market for intelligent blogs does exit. By market, I’m not refrring to a group from which I might derive a diverse cluster of economic gains, but rather a diverse cluster of intelligent folks who actually appreciate knowledge for knowledge-sake.
You’ll be happy to learn that when I recently turned 60 I made the conscious decision to abandon my efforts to become general manager of the universe although in my youth, especially during my drinking days, I was fairly certain that I would one day achieve that goal.
I don’t want your money so you need not ever fear that by reading my blogs you will be added to a data base and one day asked to join me on a special prosperity cruise for “Yarnell’s Secret Inner Circle.”
I am not interested in politics, have no new book to sell and could frankly care less about persuading others to believe what I opine. I intend to write for the pure joy of writing and if you like to read, I hope you’ll enjoy my blogs. I also hope that my research will be interesting enough to some readers that they will actually (OMG) buy the book that I’ve written about and read it.
Of course that’s asking a lot in a world where we can zap bloodthirsty zombies 24/7 on a hand held mini computer more powerful than the ones that put us on the moon. Why exhaust our brains with the effort required to gather information through old fashion reading when we can become wizards in binary wars (not withstanding their sheer irrelevance or the fact that they lead to zero “real world” competencies)?
I’ll tell you why. Because reading is fun, rewarding and a marvelous strategic advantage to those who prefer to excel in a very competitive global economy. And unlike the results of participation in the digital pandemic, reading real books does not lead to social isolation, diminished spontaneity, stimulus-driven ADHD or cyber emotional abuse, the latter of which is supposedly responsible for a massive increase in teen suicides.
A pandemic is defined as a widespread, fast moving epidemic that affects all people. Unless you have been living in a cave for the past decade, you’ve probably noticed that most people cannot walk down the street without using a hand held screen. At least half the population is tethered to a wireless feed drip of irrelevant minutiae every waking hour.
Therefore, in the next blog I will discuss the marvelous new book by Dr Mack Hicks, founding member of the American Board of Neuropsychology and lead research scientist for the National Institute of Mental Health. The title of his new book is appropriately called The Digital Pandemic: Re-establishing Face-to-face Contact in the Electronic Age.
Until next week….happy tweeting. Oh, and one final thought – did you turn the stove off?