too much of a good thing?

Folks, it’s been a long post-free week, hasn’t it? I can blame a busy sched (started classes, meetings all week, considering a big TBA purchase in my future…), but i can also blame…TMI.

That’s right, Too Much Information.
No, I don’t mean the awkward over-sharing, unasked-for personal detail kid. I mean just that:

Information. There’s TOO MUCH.

Just this weekend, thanks to Daily Show and Colbert reruns, I added two books to my list:
Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche: interesting take on mental illness and different meanings of “normal” all over the world. Author proposes that drug companies and a med-heavy attitude in the U.S. have influenced other cultures who view mental health in totally different ways (relying on community, spirituality, holistic health, etc.).
Fascinating. I am an advocate for medical treatments for mental health–but i also believe they aren’t the only answer. I wonder how much my culture, and drug companies, have influenced my attitudes…

Secrets of Mental Math: This author on Colbert was cracking me up. Stereotypical math geek… (he does math AND magic tricks!) Colbert would shout out numbers and he could answer instantly. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever get around to reading this one, but watching this guy made me realize something about math…it really can make you happy. Think about it: do you ever see a math geek who’s unhappy? (I’m sure there are some, but I can’t imagine too many mathematicians grumbling, “I hate my job…”) There’s something about the, well, magic of it. Working with numbers opens up this whole other world, a world that much of the world misses out on much of the time.
That’s got to be a pretty cool feeling.

THEN Oprah talked to Jason Reitman about Up In The Air, and even featured some of the “actors” who portrayed the people George Clooney spoke to during the “you’re fired” montage. Turns out these are actual non-actor people who had lost their jobs this year. Reitman let the cameras roll as these people replayed their experience. Unscripted. Real emotion. Unbelievable.
Such a great movie, too. Got to see it in St. Louis with good friends. At the Moolah, an old Shrine Mosque-turned movie theater with great character and comfy couches. This movie surprised me. Really good storytelling (I read somewhere that it’s like a return to old-fashioned moviemaking. The simplicity [and complexity] of the story of one man.) and really good food-for-thought: how connection with people adds to a life (makes a life).

But see? There it is again, TMI: “I read somewhere…” It’s hard to keep track of all the information i absorb in a given week.

I love the sharability of 2010.
like hieroglyphics, print, telegraph, telephone, television before it–the internet lets us says “this is meaningful (or funny or interesting or special or scary or neat-o). and i want to share it.”
Share it with YOU and with the future.

BUT is there a point where i have to say STOP? i can’t take any more new ideas for right now.
What am i willing to give up for the sake of my own productivity (sanity)? This seems to be an idea I keep coming back to, huh? The limited amount of ME to go around and the unlimited amount of things out there to learn.
It’s a choice. I can’t keep being a passive absorber of information and expect to glean any quality from it. I have to learn to Just Say No to TMI.
(ha. this sounds like a disorder just waiting for some pharmaceutical intervention, doesn’t it?)

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2 thoughts on “too much of a good thing?

  1. I have already read two books in 2010 and am about a third of the way through another one! I read The Talented Mr. Ripley and The Phantom Tollbooth (for book club, of course!) and I am currently reading A People’s History of the United States. It has been recommended to me many times and I saw it in Ryan’s stack of books-to-read so I borrowed it. It’s good, but it makes you mad about all the atrocities in our history that aren’t being taught in school.

    Big purchase?!? Whatever could it be???

  2. re: People’s History: I saw Howard Zinn speak at convo @Drury.
    ps–he died very recently. RIP.
    ps2–i almost spelled his name “Howard Zen”
    ps3–i remember him being very smart and more than a little bit shockin’

    re: big purchase: we-e-e-ll you’ll all just have to wait and see. : )

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