information & intelligence

I was surfing the blogosphere looking at articles on beef when I had an epiphany about how cheap information has become. It used to be important when I encountered a rare idea or a beautiful factoid. If I read something about the exotic mating habits of lobsters, I could put it into the mouth a character in a play to make them sound smart and inspired. The knowledge felt precious, because I had reaped the benefits from a scientists' journey to discover something obscure.

....And now? Fergetaboutit. Everyone knows a whole lot of obscure shit. I'll see your story about dog sperm with my anecdote about soy products. I read about it on the Internet. If you want the information I'll send you the link. And even though the levels of misinformation and ad-campaigns-disguised-as-information have ballooned to the point of nearly drowning out all useful knowledge on the web, the delivery systems have improved so that we now have constant, high-speed access to all this whatever. So it's easier to know, but harder than ever to care.

....And I know this to be empirically absolutely incorruptibly true, because I used to work for a search engine.

i can't help it

...a friend in high school told me once, "you need to take responsibility for your emotional state," and I know that this is true; when you feel shitty, it's useless to hope that someone or something else will take the shittiness away.

But, but, but. Sometimes someone else can make my whole day. Sometimes there's a little cerebral interaction that happens, whether it's telling a well-received joke, or sharing a communicative look, that helps revalidate my breathing of air. I feel that I can hear better, speak clearer, act truer. Sometimes the spell lasts for days, a feeling of buoyancy, a dizzy sense of hope that is every bit as imaginary as the episodes of despair, so quickly substituted.

neural chaff neutralized

....i'm pretty sure now that it was the sleep aid, Lunesta, that I'd taken excessively last week, causing the fuzziness. That really should've been my first guess. Although on the list of possible side effects, "anxiety and depression" rank far below "liver failure," so I wasn't really anticipating it.

...I have found lately that eating peanuts before bed helps put me to sleep without calamity. Peanuts, like turkey, are apparently a natural source of tryptophan, which I believe is spelled like that.

neural chaff

In issue #16 of Justice League of America (the latest version), the arch-villain Prometheus attacks Green Lantern with something he calls "neural chaff" -- a (presumably) radiated weapon that interferes with the thought process, rendering GL incapable of focusing his will and imagination to create those big green plasma shapes that are his bread-and-butter.

Something like that is going on with me lately. I'm in good health, and starting to sleep more regularly, but over the past week I've been having these weird moments where my head feels full of fuzz and I can't quite process information or focus on simple things. Or rather, doing simple things feels like much more of an accomplishment than it should.

Mind you, none of this affects the performance of my duties at work and the daily routines of life, because they are just that: routine. It bothers me, though, to feel inarticulate, unable to get words and thoughts together. My imagination and wit are my strongest attributes in this life (as opposed to say, my dazzling cheekbones) so without them I'm pretty much totally without game.

I've felt like this before, but that was back in high school and my early 20's, and seemed like normal angst at the time. Since then I've made big strides towards mental maturity and social eptitude. But lately, I have these attacks of regression.

It usually passes, but sometimes it takes hours, or a particularly intense session of attempted Sudoku-solving, to get my brain to work right again.

In the midst of these moments of fog I get anxious that I'm having some kind of nervous breakdown, but I don't think that's what's really going on. Like any good psychiatry-, Prozac- and religion-fearing introvert, I have tried to self-diagnose and have narrowed it down to a few possibilities:

a) I'm frustrated with the extremely dragged-out process of finishing TA91, and its unfinishedness is feeding a sense of lack of control over my life.

b) I'm feeling very emotional over a certain person, and my attempts to deny that emotionality due to her extreme unrequitability (if that's not a word, it should be) are causing a kind of Moebius loop in my head that interferes with my thought processes.

c) I am a completely normal 30-year-old with the same anxieties as everyone else.

d) Prometheus is attacking me with neural chaff to prevent my metamorphosis into a superhuman being.

For the sake of pure excitement, here's hoping for "d)".

going for some kind of absolute something

I'm in a blue mood, and I'm trying to shake myself out of it, and I just thought that would be a good title for a post. Or an essay about blogging. Or a blog about consciousness. Or a poem about lint.