Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The brain is like a toddler that you have to treat with tough love

I read all news about the brain avidly because I just can't figure out why my brain can be so alert one minute and fog up in the next. Also, I suspect most of my dilemmas could be easily solved by brain manipulation. I love the PBS infomercials (yes, that's what they are even though they are instructive) around fund drive times. The ones on the brain are fantastic. I was relieved to find that just by jiggling (yes, poking mildly back and forth) a part of the brain you can stop the circular thinking that makes you obsess about why the bank teller calls you by your first name as if they've known you socially and had you over. It turns out all you have to do is jiggle that brain spot and say: "This isn't true, just stop it." It sounds as if the brain is a toddler that you have to treat with tough love.
I've already written that one of the major signs of the onset of Alzheimer's is the inability to recognize sarcasm. When I visit my mother who is 99, I always say something sarcastic. "That pink angora top is perfect with the lime chevron patterned slacks." When she says, "the girls dress me," I know everything is okay.
There is an ingredient in addictive eating that's never talked about. It has to do with distracting the brain the same way you distract a cranky child. That's the "better thing" option. Just as a quick example, let's say you're about to dig into a plate of French fries and the phone rings with the news that you've won the lottery. Or even you've won a vacation in Hawaii. Or even your lawyer calls and says you've been awarded $20,000 because you slipped and fell in the supermarket on a puddle of spilled milk. Or even if your ex called and said: you're the best thing that ever happened to me and I'm still not over you. I maintain that you would forget those French fries. The attention would shift and you possibly couldn't even eat. Something must happen to the brain when an event or some news grabs our emotional and psychological attention and we have to focus exclusively on the event. If we could manipulate the brain to react that way at will, we would solve the food addiction problem. I know this sounds unscientific and possibly lunatic, but I think it happens.

I think about my weight almost non-stop and that is a crazy way to spend one's time. I would vote immediately for any candidate whose primary issues were the following: At-the-job quality daycare for working mothers (it is a disgrace that this very important issue has not been addressed aggressively). The second issue would be research on "brain manipulation" to control eating.

On the e-book front, my sales have increased dramatically through artificial stimulation. Since I've priced Best Friends at $0.99 it sells hundreds of copies per month. There is an on-going controversy in the e-book community regarding e-book pricing and finding the "sweet spot" to higher sales numbers. If I priced all of my books at $0.99, I could sell thousands of books every month but I can't get myself to do it. I'd rather the books sold on merit rather than price.

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