Quick Hits: Tales of Disconnection, Free Books, and Tips for Aspiring WritersAugust 16th, 2010 · 15 comments
Update (8/17/2010): I forgot to mention that a loyal reader has set up a Facebook fan page for Study Hacks. I’m not on Facebook, but I can still view this page and the comments you leave, and I really appreciate the support. If you’re a fan, consider joining (liking? friending?) the page as a way to spread the word to your own network of friends.
Quick hits is an occasional feature where I take a breather between my epic big idea posts to share ideas, ask questions, and in general provide a catch-all place for me to catch up with you.
Tales of Disconnection
Outdoors and Out of Reach. This latest entry in the New York Times’ meme-spawning series on how data overload affects our brain, follows five neuroscientists on an offline wilderness rafting trip. My favorite quote comes near the end of the article, when a hyper-connected lab director realizes:
“I have a colleague who says that I’m being very impolite when I pull out a computer during meetings. I say: ‘I can listen.’ … Maybe I’m not listening so well. Maybe I can work at being more engaged.”
Off-Line, I Reconnect. This article, from the Montreal Gazette, follows a freelance writer who works from home with no Internet service. He makes do by going online once a day, for about an hour, at a local Internet cafe, where he checks his e-mail and looks up any needed information. My favorite quote:
“Once I eliminated the Internet from my apartment, I rediscovered the joys of reading books (not blogs). It’s a feeling I haven’t experienced this intensely since my adolescence, when I devoured books, like a human sponge with a lust for everything.”
The launch of How to Be a High School Superstar is underway. (As always, if you like my philosophy and either know someone in high school, or are curious about how to build an interesting and engaging life — at any age — please consider buying a copy.)
You may have seen my guest post on Tim Ferriss’ blog. I have three more blockbuster guest posts lined up, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out this fantastic series on interestingness (a key concept from High School Superstar) at Justine Musk’s blog, Tribal Writer.
Last Friday, I sent out my first batch of signed books to readers who helped me spread the word about High School Superstar. Their book-earning actions included calling members of their school board to recommend my book, adding the title to a class reading list, and designing me an an excellent poster.
I have a couple more copies to give away; if you’re interested, do something cool to help spread the word, and then send me a report on what you did.
Finally, if you bought a copy of the book and enjoyed it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.com, as this helps other students decide whether or not the book is right for them.
Interested in publishing a book? My sharp literary agent, Laurie Abkemeier, became Internet-famous for the “Agent Obvious Tip of the Day” feature on her twitter feed, which corrects obvious mistakes that (too) many aspiring writers make. This wisdom has now been captured in a clever new iPhone app called Agent Obvious. If you’re trying to break into the world of publishing, listen to Laurie: trust me, she knows what she’s talking about!