Friday, May 22, 2009

Beginning to think in Tweets


Facebook and Twitter can reduce the mental operations to quips and tweets. Seriously, I think these sites pose a danger for writers. Thinking in sound bites isn't good for the creative process, unless your job is composing greeting cards.

However, I have learned some interesting things on FB. One is that prayer and meditation can reshape your brain, according to NPR. Another interesting thing I learned today is from the Gazebo In Exile, the poetry workshop site, where a poem by Stephen Bunch led to a link to an essay by Michael Pollan in New York Times magazine on the democratic American lawn. Sounds highly undemocratic to me, as in, you better keep your lawn as nice as your neighbors' lawns or you'll be hearing from the Lawn Committee. Where I come from (the San Francisco Bay Area), lawn-ocracy is plain undemocratic.

The new field of neurotheology sounds like a scientific dead-end to me. How can you brain-map a spiritual experience? If only we had the MRIs on St. Theresa, John Donne, Emily Dickinson and St. Francis. I have a feeling it would show they had no brain activity whatever in moments of exaltation. And what would that tell us? But it's a fascinating article. One quote I really like:

“The more you focus on something — whether that's math or auto racing or football or God — the more that becomes your reality, the more it becomes written into the neural connections of your brain.”

That's a principle you can bank on. Whatever you love, you become.