Abundance Bowl

Today feels like it’s all about abundance. Tyler in the backyard, lying in the sun, chewing a nylabone. The Cop sleeping in after a week of long shifts, thanks to the FBR and the bad behavior of its attendees.

And me? A nice practice at a leisurely pace, then a new GTD app for the iPhone. I am Pavlovian about my GTD practices at work — closely managed by Outlook mailbox and calendar promptings which are pushed to my iPhone & make a ding every time an email or appointment arrives (I can switch the sound off, and do, when I start getting insane). So I am accustomed to thinking of something, identifying the next step, and documenting it ASAP. Very efficient. Keeps my mind nice and clear. But then there are all those “real life” things. Buy Tyler a new chain collar (26″). Ask My Gift if she followed through with her eye doctor appointment. I don’t want to put stuff like that on the Outlook system. It’s a boundary I am loathe to cross. So I was happy to find Things for my iPhone. Now real life can be as efficient as work. Yes, I say that with irony.

And then eReader for the iPhone. I love accessing books immediately, right from the ether. And since it’s a trial run, I can read something trashy and amusing. Twilight. And have I ever admitted my perverse love of historical novels? I’m rather ashamed to admit it, but a lot of the things I know about the French Revolution, Tudor England and the Black Plague (God, I love a good plague novel!), I’ve learned through historical fiction. (Note to Patrick: I don’t believe there are any historical novels about the Dadaists. May be an interesting niche. Just sayin’)

And last, but not least, a diary app for the iPhone. For practice notes. You thought you got the practice notes on this blog, didn’t you? Well, not so much. I tend to write cryptic little notes-to-self in a notebook I keep in the yoga room. We’ll see if having it in the iPhone is useful.

Happy SuperBowl Sunday to all. I’m not particularly interested in the game, but I like the National Holiday aspect.


16 Responses

  1. Your dissertation could be a subjective account of the outsourced brain. Autoethnograhpic.

    Most work of that kind is self-indulgent and wallows in implicit personal psychobiography. Psyche-vomit more than documentation, and a little too heavy on the flowery aspects of stream-of-consciousness. All of which makes for horrible, useless reading.

    You’re different. Such an account would be useful and elegant.

  2. I have no reservations whatsoever about the outsourced brain. Used to, but no more — I surrender to evolution. In fact, I’m curious to see where we’re going!

    Plato wrote (about writing):

    Socrates: For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise.

    Plato, The Phaedrus

  3. Oh, this is WONDERFUL.

    At first I thought “good thing Aristotle was more practically-minded.”

    But Socrates’ sentiment is double-sided. He was criticizing book-learning, urging wisdom based on transcendent, not-merely-bookish principles.

    In a way that is the only formula for survining the internet. Otherwise a person becomes full of haphazard, poor quality data gathered and spouted on a whim.

    I actually like the classical values and the moral edge of his critique of merely factual learning. Resting within principles is part of the essence of brain-outsourcing too.

  4. It’s that tricky transition from oral to written learning — always a fascinating thing to think about! And to ratchet it up another level, think about a language like Sanskrit, where the meaning lies in the very vibration of the language… Whoa, talk about embodiedness meeting abstraction.

    Extraordinary to think about.

    I definitely get behind the resting within principles perspective — no information designer would argue that. Morality, though? Hmmm. I always get a little gummed up when morality comes into play.

    Smackdown time: Learning refined by principles and morality vs. learning refined by principles and embodiedness!


  5. To really bring this comment thread down to a remedial level: I love that you’re going to read Twilight! ha ha! You know I saw the movie, and though critics are putting it high on their WORST movies list of 2008, myself and all the young teenage and pre-teen girls all over the world would disagree. Loved that movie. Maybe I should read the book- mindless fun, right?

    Owl, I had never heard of such a term, “outsourcing the brain”. It’s so perfect. I happen to have a very bad memory, so I’ve always relied on writing everything down. I’m a list maker and if I lose a list, I’m done for.

    So true about the internet and the dangers of “knowledge” picked up here and there and then formed into an idea of worse yet, a belief. My man is very, very skeptical of the internet, while I’m one to google everything!

  6. Here’s something (from the internet!) about outsourced brains:


    He’s being sarcastic, but I can read it without a speck of sarcasm!

  7. Why is it perverse to love historical novels? Three (or four, depending on what cut-off point you use) are finalists for this year’s National Book Critics Circle Award. One was a 2008 National Book Award winner (Peter Matthiessen’s Shadow Country). Two appeared on the Washington Post’s list of best books published in 2008. And an author of historical fiction (Jean-Marie le ClĂ©zio) won the Nobel Price in Literature last year!

    For more info, check out my blog at http://www.HistoricalNovels.info, which also lists over 5000 historical novels by time and place.

  8. I LOVED that article, Karen! So hilarious and yet kind of freakishly true. Does anyone remember phone numbers anymore? I only know mine and my boyfriend’s. I don’t have a cell phone so I’m forced to remember. All other numbers I look up in a little phone book. I’m so late 20th Century.

    oh, and I have a guilty crush on David Brooks so the article was extra good.
    Thank you!

  9. Liz, seriously, you don’t have a cell phone? Wow, that’s really impressive.

    Karen, have you tried Ken Follett? World Without End….one of the main characters is The Black Plague.

  10. Sonya, I live in a cave. No, I don’t have a cell phone! I don’t know if it’s impressive, but I love it.

  11. Liz, with your confession I just had to admit to myself that I, too, have a secret crush on David Brooks. God no.

    He’s just… so… irritating. Especially when he’s–curses–right. Remind me of the boys at debate tournaments. Terrible.

  12. ha ha ha!!
    I love his little rabbit teeth. He’s cute! Nice cheeks too! (the ones on his face- haven’t seen the other ones)
    My love solidified during the RNC when he reacted to Mitt Romney’s insane rant and called Mitt a psychopath.

  13. Personally, I’ve been procrastinating on getting involved with the GTD movement!

  14. Cody, you’re spreading your sass all over the net today!

  15. Liz,

    I’ve been behind on my sassing and wanted to catch up.

  16. hi Karen
    wow, philosophy. love it. Sonya pointed to a fave writer, Ken Follet. i must have read 4 or 5 of his historical novels, usually my father’s old copies, until i started giving him Follet’s novels for Xmas, then borrowing them.

    good article by DB. now they are making the GPS goddess actually say “uhm, er, well it looks like you missed your exit. he he. no problem, you can turn around at the next intersection”. they are making her sound more human.

    i wonder if a color consultant told him a pink shirt and tie would stand out best in his picture. speaking of medieval times, in those days, red was worn by men and blue by women. color associations of blue and red (think baby clothes) where reversed for men and women in the early 20th century.


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