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inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #51 of 63: pardon my amygdala (murffy) Fri 27 Feb 04 11:47
    
>sounds like hypomania to me

Uh oh. I must be sick. Any good drugs that can cure me? What if I
don't want to be cured?
  
inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #52 of 63: Steven Johnson (stevenjohnson) Fri 27 Feb 04 12:02
    
Thanks for the plug and nice words about Fresh Air -- it deposited
Mind Wide Open at #3 on the Amazon bestseller list today, which is
pretty funny. Just Da Vinci Code and South Beach Diet separating me
from the top slot!

Interesting to hear some of you resonating with my dopamine story. I
think Jane gets it right the way she describes becoming conscious of
these patterns. They don't go away, exactly, but their effects seem
strangely subdued by recognizing them, by expecting their arrival. In a
sense, you can plan your day around them, or your work cycle. On this
tour, for instance, I found that there was something very draining, and
no doubt dopamine related, about going out and doing my little
performance about the book, particularly for a crowd, but also for a
media interview. I'd get amped up for the interview or the talk, and
then feel totally flattened afterwards. Now, normally, I'd have
scheduled a bunch of work at the hotel afterwards, but as I started to
recognize the pattern -- and as my schedule got increasingly booked --
I started blocking out time explicitly to just sit around and recoup:
take a nap, schedule a massage, watch TV, etc. The up-and-down cycle
was still there, to a certain extent, but I'd figured out a way not to
fight the down part of the cycle...
  
inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #53 of 63: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Fri 27 Feb 04 16:19
    
How do you keep up with what's happening in neurology?  Are there any
web sites you'd particularly recommend?
  
inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #54 of 63: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 27 Feb 04 19:20
    
Today would normally be the wind-down of this discussion, though of course 
everyone is welcome to keep the conversation going as long as you'd 
like... and I don't think we've quite had closure, anyway. But I do want 
to step in and thank Steven and Mark for baring their brains over the last 
couple of weeks!
  
inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #55 of 63: Uncle Jax, the Nicest Asshole on the Well (jax) Fri 27 Feb 04 19:49
    
I just wanted to ask Steve if he'd ever read the novel "Doctor Pascal"
by Emile Zola. Some funny 19th-C. ideas about neurochemistry in that
book from a time when the science was just being discovered.
  
inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #56 of 63: gary (ggg) Fri 27 Feb 04 20:27
    
picked up a copy at city lights, where it's prominently displayed in its own
little, face-out row on top of new arrivals ...

... the dopamine thread is very interesting too.   There's a resonance to
something Daniel Goleman talks about, wherein the "set point" gets reset
(through emotional intelligence) and so, in a sense, rewiring.

... and so now Steve knows that when he's bumped from his #3 throne at
amazon by some flash-in-the-pan fluke (later, rather than sooner, we hope),
he won't go pig out on a cartonful of reese peanut butter cups ...
  
inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #57 of 63: Jeff Loomis (jal) Sat 28 Feb 04 00:32
    
Re: hypomania, like you said it's a good thing in moderation. It's
funny how some research correlates it with larger amygdala and other
research smaller amygdala. But there does seem to be a connection
there.

Of course there are drugs, but they don't really cure you, even if
you'd like to be cured.  Just enjoy.
  
inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #58 of 63: pardon my amygdala (murffy) Sun 29 Feb 04 13:38
    
I'll do my best.

Thanks Jon, and thanks Steven for your time.
  
inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #59 of 63: pardon my amygdala (murffy) Sun 29 Feb 04 13:43
    
Oh, another thing, that Amazon.com sales rank has got to be a dopamine
curse for book writers. Something they ought not to pay attention to,
but how could they possibly not pay attention to it. I know I couldn't.
  
inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #60 of 63: Steven Johnson (stevenjohnson) Sun 29 Feb 04 19:27
    
Down to #20 on the Amazon list... Too distraught to post here...
Must... get... more... dopamine....
  
inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #61 of 63: pardon my amygdala (murffy) Mon 1 Mar 04 11:42
    
If your expectations have been reset to 3 or better, I'd say you're in
trouble.
  
inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #62 of 63: jane hirshfield (jh) Mon 1 Mar 04 21:57
    
And to think I leapt for joy on breaking under 1000. Which I only learned
about when an evil friend looked and tipped me off. I think I peaked in the
600s or 300s or something.

One thing about them selling the used books now, it really destroyed my
ongoing rankings for backlist titles. Every one of them took an enormous
dive from where they'd sat steadily for years.

By the way, I just got a new book by Michael Shermer which might be of
interest to those who read Mind Wide Open--it's about the biological bases
of ethics, morality, etc. He's starting his book tour today, and I heard him
give a private preview talk about it yesterday. (Hope it's not bad form to
mention another book, Steven, in your topic.)
  
inkwell.vue.207 : Steven Johnson, "Mind Wide Open"
permalink #63 of 63: gary (ggg) Tue 2 Mar 04 19:50
    
Amazon.com rankings aren't just the top books of the year (and I read that
there are now 150,000 books published, in English, in one year) --

-- rather, they're rankings out of the entire Amazon.com catalogue, which is
to say, of all the millions of books in print (I think it's like 5 million).
  



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