Saturday, May 30, 2015

Stick to the Britannica

I’m pissed at myself. I just spent forty-five minutes Googling my ex-girlfriends and ex-crushes. That’s just information I don’t need. . . . Those forty-five minutes could have been spent any number of ways: reading the Britannica would have been nice,or hanging out with my wife, or maybe sorting our rubber bands by size and color. As Dr. DeBakey points out, I have a limited amount of time. So that’s it: No more inconsequential Googling, I tell myself. Though I know that vow will be unbroken for maybe three days, max.

It’s been a constant battle to dam the data flood that comes with being a 21st-century American. I’m trying to keep my mind relatively free from non-Britannica information on the Sherlock Holmesian theory that there’s only so much room in the mental attic. And I have made a little progress. I’ve cut way down on the New York Post; no more updates on Kirsten Dunst’s canoodling behavior for me. I trimmed back on my New York Times consumption—only the important articles about world events; no more whimsical stories about the trend for upscale luaus.
A.J. Jacobs, The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World (New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2005), p. 271.

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