Thursday, June 30, 2011

Popcorn Brain

Today was unusually scampery, as the Thursday cavalcade of tasks was magnified by the presence of the summer-idled younglings.

Kids went to and from Swim Team for photos and a breakfast, for which muffins had to be procured.  Pre-vacation preparations were made.  Goggles, which are eternally lost and re-lost, had to be purchased in preparation for this weekend's swim meet.  Dog food needed to be gotten, to insure that our furry little girl will have nosh while kenneled.  Easy-prep summer kid lunch food had to be gathered, to facilitate them actually learning the rudiments of feeding themselves.  The lawn had to be mowed and the sidewalks edged and a few loads of laundry run.

In the midst of this, as the big guy had a friend over for Yu Gi Oh gaming, the little guy and I headed out with our bikes to the dirt trails around a nearby lake for 45 minutes of mountain-biking-with-Dad camp.   Which was, let me say, just awesome.  Then, off to a three hour drum lesson, during which I sat in Starbucks and worked on my last paper for my D.Min. intensive term.

In the thickets of that material busyness, there was less fluttering busy checking of the web.  And oddly, today felt more centered and productive.  Calm, even.

There's a recently coined term for that frenetic mindstate we get when we leap from email to Facebook to Twitter to Boxhead: More Rooms, then back to Twitter, then to texting on our iPhone, then back to Boxhead to just, like, kill a couple more zombies, man.

The term is "popcorn brain," in which we become so accustomed to continual input and stimulation that the pace of actual being becomes difficult for us to process.   This is part a factor of habit, but constant online inputs may also rewire us so that the physical structures of our brains are materially and negatively impacted.  Causality is unclear here, but it doesn't look good.

Chaos can be generative, the no-thing-ness from which creativity springs.  But it can also just be chaos.