Death to Success

I’m going to conduct an experiment.

You can participate as well. Or you can watch this spot for progress reports. Or both.

The hypothesis for this experiment is as follows:

The mind is plastic. Evidence of this is that the internet and specifically, social media (through PCs and smartphones) has, unbeknownst to us, rewired our brains and we are now victims of our own desires to engage the world through the dings and tweedles, red and orange notifications dots and numbers we yearn to see on our computing devices. Our brains have been remolded making us all social notification addicts.

It therefore follows that, so altered, the mind, my mind, can be altered back. Specifically, my fixation with death, and the nihilistic attitudes I’ve cultivated for the last few years, which, if the theory holds true, I’ve inadvertently wired my brain to gravitate towards, will be attempted to be transformed to — not thoughts of death and the end of the Universe — but to a simple idealistic desire for success.

Every time I think of death and any and all of the terms and constructs that surround it, I will intentionally divert my thinking to the word “success”. This word, I believe, can embody a diametrically opposed belief system opposite of Morte.

Along the way I’ll be attempting to also alter my use of the internet, trying to curb my insidious predilection toward the dopamine-drip fed feeling of social acknowledgment found in said software dings and dots.

The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains — Nicholas Carr, a book recommended by Zarah Parker, has me convinced that this experiment can be attempted.

The null hypothesis would be that, in six months or so, I retain the tendency to dwell on my mortal demise (or I’ve shoved an ice pick into my ear) and will report such results (or not). To reject this null hypothesis, we’ll have to see where my head is right around the summer solstice.

It’s a fun and exiting experiment you can do at home, work, or traveling. So, come along and join the joy. Let’s all change our minds together.

[And now for a dram of Inception’esqueness: Where Brian has eloquently, if anachronistically verbalized the above verbiage.]

11 thoughts on “Death to Success

  1. Reblogged this on Brian's Blog and commented:
    Anony Mole has written on his blog about how technology is rewiring our brains; he has read a book on the topic called The Shallows which I have read also. However, while I was reading his post I found myself being silly (I was drinking coffee) and decided to read the piece in one of my silly voices… into a microphone. You can listen to the subsequent recording here:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I write for myself, if the hits and likes are any indication. However, in the spirit of teamwork I will follow your playbook with the slight redesign of turning my (mental) rearview mirror to the floor and when the urge strikes to check my email or find ancient anger, I’ll hit your “success” button. Maybe I’ll get something done!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A most admirable experiment! I think there are also levels of habituation in the mind. For instance, when I first stopped drinking, for about 2 or 3 days afterwards, I was still obsessed with thoughts of drinking combined with mild symptoms of physical withdrawal. About 6 months later, it had now become my new physical habit to not grab a beer and consume it, but there were still periodic moments when the mental obsession would briefly return — those brain channels were not yet completely smoothed over, so to speak. Several years later and I am now in a place where in order to drink, I would have to deliberately force an inverse change of mental and physical habits to start the process of recreating the “drunk” brain channels from scratch once again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that I know (or suspect) that one can actually *change* one’s mind, I find myself opening to other behaviors that I once thought were set in stone, but now think, hey, could I alter the way I react to “X”?
      I do like beer though. I’m gonna leave that one on the shelf for now.

      Liked by 1 person

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