Where Is The Time?

I’ve been asked when I have the time to think about all the stuff that I put on this site. Which is funny ’cause I haven’t even had a chance to put forth my views on Capitalism and economic reform, how we should deal with the existence of a Higher Power, or how to end hunger in the United States…

I guess the short answer is when don’t I have time?… A cryptic but accurate response that i will attempt expound upon. WARNING: This will probably get long-winded so don’t say i didn’t warn you.

I am not sure – never having been anyone else – but I think my brain works slightly differently than other people. The best analogy I can come up with is that of a multitasking computer. Modern computers have the ability to process multiple streams of data at the same time – sorry, I’m getting techie again. For instance, at this very moment: I am typing this text into my Old-School Web Design SW (read WordPad) meanwhile Windows Media Player is playing the MP3 “Where is the love” in the background (i told you i liked that song), Outlook is periodically checking for new email, Internet Explorer is displaying the latest upload of ScottSoapbox.com, My FTP client is waiting for me to finish typing so it can upload an even newer copy of ScottSoapbox.com, Norton is protecting me from virus attacks, My good friend ShadowGnu just logged onto our IM client, and SnapStream BeyondTV is watching the clock so it can record South Park for me tonight at 11….

So that’s multitasking… not that I don’t think other people multitask, but in talking with people throughout my life I think my brain works on more things at one time than most peoples… is this better ? I’m not so sure about that… it can lead to pretty random conversations as well as be pretty distracting from people that i may actually be trying to listen too… and well i am listening to them, but i might also be thinking about two or eight other things at the same time… Now that I describe it, I’m not sure exactly how many things i can think about at the same time, there are varying levels of conscious thought and i guess it takes some processing power to count the other processes going on… I have also had the problem recently of people believing me to be unhappy in situations where i was completely content because I appeared “distracted”.

Anyway, after twenty something odd years of practice, I’ve become reasonably adept at multitasking or at least controlling my multitasking. I say controlling since I am unable to completely turn off this facet of my thinking… My brain seems to require a certain amount of activity and will fill the void if I don’t. So i often play music when i need to concentrate because listening to the music will partially occupy my background processes. An interesting side note to this is the fact that my background processes seem to actually crave a certain specific musical stimulation… which is why much to the chagrin of those around me i can listen to a certain song again, and again, and again, and again… it’s not just any song of course, but it’s almost like the feeling you get after getting your daily caffeine and changing the song is like decaffeinated [insert caffeine beverage of choice]…

So anyway, I have LOTS of time to think about stuff ’cause I’m always thinking about stuff and if I’m bored I’m thinking about several such stuff(s). In fact, it seems that since I’ve started getting stuff “down on paper” (well digital paper) for this site, my brain is coming up with stuff faster – I guess since it isn’t working to retain as much stuff. Incidentally, I do think there is a relationship between capacity and processing power in the brain… It’s almost like a trade off exists that the more you are (at least at one level) retaining the harder it is to process ideas at speed and vice versa. To paraphrase a Watson & Holmes exchange:

Watson: Holmes did you know XXXXX?
Holmes: No I did not and now I will try my best to forget it. (limited amounts of RAM and all – you understand Watson)
In this regard, anyone that knows me will vouch for my inability to remember things – though, I would argue that it’s not that I don’t remember things, I just don’t always remember everything at the most convenient/appropriate time. :D Now before everyone thinks that this diatribe about my intellectual processes is somehow trying to elevate my cerebral status, let me go on record with saying that I believe there are MILLIONS of people smarter than me. I am friends with several of them (i wonder what it’s like in their heads). I was simply trying to answer a question honestly – in probably more detail than anyone wanted. ;)