Reading “Intensively” (Vertical Reading) vs. Reading “Extensively” (Horizontal Reading)

“Time feels especially shallow these days, as the wave of one horror barely crests before it’s devoured by the next, as every morning’s shocking headline is old news by the afternoon.”

In today’s fast-paced digital world, making the time to read intensively has been a constant struggle for me. I get distracted easily, my phone is a sure-fire way to get easy, fast, and cheap entertainment. I browse reddit endlessly for hours. It’s hilarious and I laugh a lot when I surf through the content. But what have I gained? How have I improved by reading this content? What I have learned? Nothing substantial. Feels great in the moment, but afterward I’m left looking behind at a gross void of wasted time.

I don’t think I’m alone in this, nor is this a new problem. One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes, “a Classic is something everyone wants to have read, but no one wants to read” hits just a little too close for home for me. Even Twain’s pre-digital age, the world was full of great literature, and few people wanted to put forth the effort to read Moby Dick or Les Miserables. I gaze longingly on this wonderful reading list and cringe with terror. How will I ever begin? How can I understand this stuff? Who will help me?

I guess the journey to a finished book begins with a single page. I need to be patient with my progress.

This musing was brought to you by a recently-published article: Reading in the Age of Constant Distraction by Mairead Small Staid. Written February 8, 2019. Continue reading “Reading “Intensively” (Vertical Reading) vs. Reading “Extensively” (Horizontal Reading)”

“Social media is a tool. Guns are a tool. We are on the verge of discovering some very interesting parallels between the first and second amendments.”

–Mike Rowe

Rowe continues: “People who would never associate a firearm with goodness are ironically using speech as a real cudgel Continue reading ““Social media is a tool. Guns are a tool. We are on the verge of discovering some very interesting parallels between the first and second amendments.””

Talking to Strangers at Parties

Avoiding long awkward silences one question at a time.

I suck at talking to strangers. I used to better at it in my dating days, and when I worked for a digital marketing agency where we were expected to attend networking events and connect with people. You see, I’m an introvert, and somewhat socially awkward. I am hyper-aware of what other people might think of me, so sometimes I just don’t know what to say for fear of sounding stupid. To cope, I generally avoid one-on-one conversations with strangers at parties. When I’m in a group, I pray that someone else does all the talking, so I can just interject little tid-bits here and there. I don’t think I am alone in this; lots of people can relate. Right? Continue reading “Talking to Strangers at Parties”

Conversations!

Have we all forgotten our humanity? Oh. Of course not–because humans also LOVE drama.

There’s a guy at the renaissance festival that runs a puppet stand for a character named “Lord Felton”. He sometimes roams the festival and you can see him and his puppet together, but other times, he parks himself behind a black curtain in a little booth and he (Lord Felton) hawks, “Cooooooo-nversations!” Kids go up to the booth to talk to the puppet, but are often at a loss at what to say to him. Next to him is a little roulette wheel with various topics written in chalk on it. Spin the wheel and off they go! Conversations last anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. He’s one of my favorite characters at the festival, and he’s really fun to watch. Continue reading “Conversations!”