Saturday, October 9, 2010

Distractibility and Whatever Else Happens

So I just want to write about anything at all.

Today I assembled my Ikea bed in my new apartment. Now I'm back at my aunt's house, hanging out. Gonna go out later and get some food and drank, but for now I'm just relaxing. The rest of my moving will be done tomorrow. I'll move my clothes, my books, my other things. I need to get a bedside table. I lost my swiss army knife tweezers. They fell down the sink drain. Upsetting.

I need to fix this one thing in my new apartment. It is the little ring in the bathroom that would hold a hand towel or something. Maybe I don't need a hand towel, but I don't like having just some random screw sticking out of the wall, and some random ring not hanging on that random screw.

I am finding my distractibility to be pretty startling. Whoa and then without even thinking about it I just opened another tab and started looking at Facebook. Fortunately, because I was writing about it, I realized that I had been distracted from the previous sentence and immediately closed Facebook and came back to writing.

But gosh it is so easy to just stop looking at things and start looking at other things. Oh and then I just opened up New York Times and then immediately closed it again. The Shallows has really made me a lot more reflective on how I am engaging with the internet, what my attention span is like. What the internet does. I don't know. It is awfully odd to me. It is confusing me.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend last night about the internet and history and other stuff. We often talk about the internet. I think mainly because it is hard to establish clearly what is going on to us with this new electronic medium. The question is of benefits and drawbacks. The benefits are obvious: access to information, expansion of culture, expansion of people's horizons. But at the same time the drawbacks may counterfeit these benefits. If the internet is making us distractible, destroying our attention span, then what does cultural expansion matter? If people are being taught to engage with culture in superficial ways then is it really expansion?

I don't know. I just don't know. To me it feels like a crucial question for our age. For this time. Contemporary culture, the internet, the age of information, democracy and capitalism. My aunt made the point that education is essential to democratic societies because we need an informed electorate. But right now it seems as though our voting turn outs are really low. Less than 50%? About 50%? Less than 60%, definitely. So then what to do about education in America? Are people really informed on the issues? When did rhetoric become more important than real issues? Probably at least since the Cold War. Maybe before. I just don't know enough about history.

I sure do think a lot about graduate school. Whether I'm gonna go into a history program or an interdisciplinary program. My interests are so broad. My aunt told me that she can see me ending up at History of Consciousness, or at Chicago Committee on Social Thought, something interdisciplinary. She says that after talking to me a lot she sees how large my interests are and how I'm trying to weave them together. I think I can weave things together quite well. But what kind of program will help me do this stuff the most? I just don't know.

But fortunately I can keep reading for a while longer before I need to decide.

Lol I also just realized that the title of this blog is funny in some way. Distractibility and whatever else happens. I want my own writing to distract me. I want to flow from one topic to the next without knowing what I'm talking about. I'm not focusing. I'm not following linear chains of thought. Certainly Mr. Carr doesn't think that all thought needs to be linear, but that the age of the book did encourage this type of thinking, and that it has certain benefits.

Who knows.

I don't want to end this post yet. I want to keep going for a minute. But I don't know what to write about.

Tonight is an interesting night because it is the last night I'll be staying in my aunt's house. She sure has been great to let me stay with her. But now I'll be having my own apartment. Wild stuff.

I lost my Orca card last night. Huge bummer. I'll get a new one. But it just sucks to have to pay for buses now while I don't have it. Oh well. I will be happy when I don't have to worry about it anymore.

I feel really tired. Not sure why. Oh wellllll. Tonight I want to do something. Yup, gonna.

Oh why does this post feel so inadequate. I feel like I can't talk about what I want to talk about. Not because I'm afraid to talk about things. Well, I am. But also because I don't know what to talk about. I want to talk about romance and love. I want to talk about new socializing and feeling weird. Life is about to change again. Living in my own apartment is going to be a totally new thing. Life is about to change again. I suppose that is the pressure I feel. Is this room. This room that has become familiar over the last six weeks. Now I'm gonna have another new room to get comfortable with. So be it. Just feels strange. I just know it is gonna be new and interesting. HOW EXCITING.

How unthinkable, too.

That is the thing. Unthinkable.

I look forward to being settled in my new apartment. Then I will perhaps be able to write this new essay I have planned. I don't like having it planned and not writing it. So why aren't I writing it right now? Who knows. I'm preparing mentally for a number of things.

I'll write it. That is also what I really want to do, and what I really want to talk about. I want to talk about Zen and creativity.

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