About Focus And Nerdery
I wish I hadn’t been such a supreme dolt in school. Now that I’m grown up and trying to teach myself the things I should’ve been listening to, it’s a lot harder. Being an autodidact is less cool when you have bills to pay and the life weight hanging around your neck.
I’m pretty sure autodidact is a word. Can’t be sure how to say it, because I learned it on my own. Damn you, young Tyler. You just had to make friends.
I kid. I had a pretty balanced rearing and raising. Big picture, small picture, I was guided by capable hands. Sometimes I wish I’d been kicked in the right direction, but that’s probably not a sustainable childhood development method. So I’m told.
Here’s what I’m running into. I want to be able to read old books, really old books, and actually understand. Sure, I understand on a superficial level, but these are works full of references harkening back to their ancestors and the ancestors before them. Old books assume you know certain things about the world and the traditions of folklore and legends and all the rest. Only we don’t. At least, I don’t. It’s like you have to be a scholar of exceptional nerdery to even begin to touch this stuff.
Assume for a second I’m not an idiot. I know, big ask.
So I guess I’ll become a scholar. But here’s the thing. I know about scholars. They’re pretty myopic. I mean we’re talking you have to go straight shut-in for years to get expert on—everything that’s happened. Meanwhile, the world’s still turning, and things are happening, things passing you by.
It’s a bit of a paradox. I think that’s what I’m trying to say.
There’s no fix to this proposed problem, but I’d say that adjusting focus could be key. If you’re buried in your Twitter feed thinking you’re learning something, that’s slightly delusional. Most of that stuff will pass without making a blip on the historical or cultural radar. Most of it.
But you can’t go all Sam at the Citadel and stay buried amongst ancient scrolls and tomes either. Not all the time. Get out and exercise, for God’s sake, adjust your focus. Meet someone. Talk about how the world’s going to end for the millionth time. It’s what people do. At least, that’s what I’ve heard. I haven’t left the house for seven years.
Cheers. See you after.