Thursday, December 28, 2017

It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be

This is a quirky little book by egomaniac advertising man Paul Arden. I've bought it twice now, which I think is an interesting lesson in memory. The first time, I bought it at a little shop in Edinburgh. I read it on the flight back, and one little section spoke to me so well, and connected with what I was trying to create with Gamesprout at the time, that I wrote a long blog post about it, in my short-lived game design blog.
I bought my second copy at the gift shop of the Carnegie Art museum. Upon seeing it, I thought, "Oh look -- a second book by that advertising guy." I thumbed through it, and it looked completely different from the first Arden book I read, and so I bought it, looking forward to new insights. But when I sat down to read it, I got to the "Thou Shalt Not Covet" section, and realized that this was the exact same book I had bought before.
The book has lots of interesting lessons, but what lesson have I learned this time? Partly, I think, that when things are in lots of disconnected little sections, like this book is, they are hard to remember. Secondly, we remember most what connects to our lives. At the time, the Thou Shalt Not Covet section was directly relevant to something I cared about. It is remarkable how much we forget.

Nobody is Perfick

I read this book of little vignettes by Bernard Waber over and over again when I was in first grade. I can remember exactly where it was on the shelf in the Denville Library. I find myself thinking of it often, but I never remember it very well, so I found a copy online. And there it all was -- children having frustrating and ironic emotional adventures, all capped off with the twilight zone tale of Peter Perfect, who does everything right, and everyone envies, until, well, that would be a spoiler.