Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Ranting is Habit-Forming.

It’s been my custom in recent years to read ranty blogs in the morning that I was twittering, responding to and getting irate about. Ranting can become a habit, I’ve discovered (No shit!). It can also affect your health both mental and physical. Ranting becomes a fall-back, cringe moments become more frequent, you find yourself spending time putting together bitchy bile-filled responses to people who aren’t going to take any notice anyhow, and end up just feeding their bile too. It also tends to eat up your time and distract you from the things you should be concentrating on. So now I’m trying to break the habit.

I’ve been getting behind on the science, while the science has been accelerating. I’ve been burning up time on ranty shite that would be better spent writing. So what I’ve done is delete the blogs concerned from my favourites, then estimate how much of this stuff I’ve been reading and supplant it with science and technology articles relevant to what I do. (I’m also seeking blogs and websites on English usage, so if you know of any please let me know)

At first it was difficult. I kept feeling the urge to go back and read something bilious because that’s easy, that’s the guy giving up smoking deciding to have one cigarette, just one. That’s the brain getting hard-wired, the habit. Now I’m finding my interest restoring and increasing. By my estimate, to supplant my previous internet reading required about six medium-sized science articles from the likes of Physorg.com, Science Daily and Science News, but now I’m reading about ten or so.

Of course there have been lapses, but not on the usual subjects. Recent comments I made on J. G Ballard lured a Guardianista into attack mode but I laughed that one off when I tweeted his description of my stuff as ‘pornographically violent space opera’ and it sold me some extra books. And I was tempted back on another blog when, in response to a comment of mine about book piracy, the same guy couldn’t resist comparing me to Jeremy Clarkson and the Daily Mail. That he neglected to drop a ‘Thatcher’ in there was almost astounding. I must resist this kind of temptation.

Really, I’m trying to be a better person…      

18 comments:

Chrish said...

Hear, hear! Good for you!

Neal Asher said...

Oh I was aware of how negative it is before you told me, Chris, but you along with others have helped confirm it. It's also all to easy to never change such habits.

How's retirement treating you by the way?

Steve said...

David Brin spotted that too, after his own fashio : http://www.davidbrin.com/addiction.htm

Phil M said...

Personally I wouldn't mind being compared to Clarkson!
Nothing wrong with a rant every now and then, you just have to be careful these days that you don't get wound up by almost everything,
which is difficult.
Don't change too much Neal, we all love you just the way your are.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

we are all preying for your rage Neal. here's a fun 'un.
http://naturewantstoeatyou.tumblr.com/
&
http://dailyparasite.blogspot.com/

sent an Open Thread pic to your virgin acct.

Neal Asher said...

Sort of already covered, Steve, what with adrenaline junkies and the like. There are many forms of behaviour reinforcement and oddly not just by pleasure. How else to explain self-harmers?

But you don't understand, Phil. If you are like Clarkson on the Guardian planet then you are a buffoon. He happens to be a very wealthy buffoon who likes prodding his detractors with a stick. On green issues he loves blustering about big cars and pressing the climate apocalypse button, then goes bird watching and is now, apparently, in the process of planting a woodland. That must annoy the hell out of them.

Thanks for those, Vaude. I'll add them to my favourites when I've figured out how to do so with Google Chrome.

Neal Asher said...

Oh yes Vaude - love the parasite blog.

Neal Asher said...

Except the black background, which is a bastard for old sods like me.

Graeme ILTYT said...

Yes. You were being a cock. Easy done :-) That's why I de-activated my Facebook for a while... I spent too much time being a dickhead making unfunny comments on Daily Mash stories, when I could have been writing actual writing stuff.

I thought when you started banging out the puns, you were having a little re-invent... a bit of therapy. I like funny Asher... I wish my dad would stop reading the Daily Mail, he's turned into a right old moaner.

ttfn

Neal Asher said...

Thank you for your ... ahem ... candour Graeme. And yes, at about the time of those puns I was reinventing.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

"Except the black background, which is a bastard for old sods like me."

you racist rantur. adding that to war pandering pornografister.

bhhenry said...

Check out William Safire's On Language column: http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/features/magazine/columns/on_language/index.html

Chrish said...

Thanks for asking,retirement is treating me great,it's heaven to me;)is not that I don't like working is more that I hate the fact that people have power over you if your not selfemployed and if you are selfemployed usually the banks have power over you....or the customer...(not if one is a writer hahaha), feel a bit guilty though cause Anna is really fed up with her job but has a few more years to go to get a decent pension, bummer....
I trust you will not rant at Revans too this summer :):):)

Neal Asher said...

Vaude, I found it difficult to read. My eyes have been pretty crappy lately - a series have styes have blurred the sight in my left eye. Need to go and get checked out. However, I emailed Dr. Tommy Leung and he's changed the background - turns out he's a fan.

bhhenry, can you post that url again either divided in two or as a tinyurl. I can't get to it as it is.

I was going to ask about Anna, Chris. I take it her pupils are still making her life hell? But it's coming up to another year out of the way and I bet she's marking off the days on the calender.

bhhenry said...

Here is a shorter URI:
http://goo.gl/zgvh6

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

"However, I emailed Dr. Tommy Leung and he's changed the background - turns out he's a fan."

the disabled have all the clout. pretty cool qwinkydink!

Graeme Finch said...

Loving the science links on FB. You me old saus are blessed with that rare commodity "time" to go looking.

I have lots of links on all the PC's I use, to main science based front ends, but rarely get to dig to deep because work gets in the way in the week, so all these snipped out links to articles on interest that have been tried and tested, saves lots of time reading stuff that can sometimes with the best will in the world be way over ones head and therefore disappointing or yawn inducing... that happens a lot with me and technical memoranda... nightmare being in IT.

PS: Apologies, candour was a very kind word... mine were not :-)

Neal Asher said...

I tend not to tweet them, Graeme (my twitter account is connected to facebook) if I don't finish them. If I finish them they are usually of interest to me at least.