Wednesday, October 11, 2006

One of the many perils of too much blogging…

…that I’ve noticed recently is a kind of Tetris Effect on my reading. When I come across an interesting or funny passage in a newspaper or book (you know, retro, manual ones made of paper), I sometimes find myself mentally trying to highlight it, for copying and pasting purposes.

The Tetris Effect is so called because people who became addicted to the Nintendo game would find themselves automatically sorting everyday objects in their field of vision into shapes, and imagine rotating them and fitting them together.

I remember experiencing something like this myself as a boy. On a religious camp at Buckfast Abbey I spent so much of the week playing snooker, pool and billiards that for days afterwards I would mentally line everything up as if cueing: so during mass I would be unable to concentrate on anything other than the angle I would need to strike the priest so that he ‘potted’ the altar boy out of the chapel door.

So the moral of the story is: don’t do anything all day everyday. It will drive you quite mad…

4 comments:

martpol said...

After a long day at the computer screen, if I make a mistake or do something embarrassing, I'm prone to immediately thinking "Undo". It comes as a disappointment that I can't undo things, and it's also somewhat disturbing to imagine myself as a computer.

Peter Burnet said...

Well, that little Buckfest Abbey tale sure explains a lot about your spiritual development. We Prots always suspected you guys were playing kissy-face with the Devil at those bingo games.

It isn't just with the the visual. After a hard motion in court, I spend at least a day mentally perfecting my argument, even if I've won. This also explains, I think, why middle-aged academics are prone to such bitter battles with colleagues they barely know, why artists cause such havoc in the lives of those around them and why serious blogging inevitably becomes fractious. The pull to ideological purity is like a magnet.

This also may be one reason why democracy thrives in countries that are traditionally suspicious of experts and intellectuals. I'd happily say long live the muddle, were it not for the worry that the muddled are too prone to assuming their enemies are equally muddled.

M Ali said...

I had similar experiences with some recent XBox orgies of Burnout Revenge and Halo 2.

They resulted in my trying to figure out what angle of impact would be optimal for causing maximum carnage when stuck at traffic junctions and seeking out positions in rooms which would protect my back from sniper fire.

Susan's Husband said...

What's the problem? Are you implying that using computer based mental frames for real life is wrong, somehow? Should I not use my standard mental frame of "computer system architect" for my work, my blogging, and my personal interactions? Hmmm, maybe I should do a design study on that …