Brain Crack

Are you guys familiar with the concept of brain-crack? It refers not necessarily to the euphoria of crack cocaine but more specifically to the addictiveness and sort of downward spiral of repetitive behavior that leads to more repetitive behavior.

Basically brain-cracking is when you get an idea and you can’t stop thinking about it, and the idea gets bigger and bigger and you start thinking “oh wow it would be SO GREAT if I did this idea” but as time goes on and on the expectations grow so great that it is completely impossible for you to do anything productive toward the idea–all you are capable is thinking about how great it’ll be when you do it.

Which of course, you won’t, unless you can stop brain-cracking and do something completely unrelated for a while and start completely over, at least in terms of thought process, with whatever idea you first had.

I’m pretty sure the concept was first described in this way by Ze Frank, but I’m not 100% on that. It was more recently described to me in CGP Grey and Brady Haran’s podcast, Hello Internet.

This whole trip sitting in the passenger seat on the way to my Grandpa’s house I’ve been thinking about the little cabin on his property and how great it would be to fix it up, and how great it would be to get tools and a workflow working out of his shed there and just to start cranking out guitar amps. But first I had to think about that cabin and how much work it needs and whether I’m capable of that and what I would need and money and time and construction permits and whatever else.

And somewhere along the way I start realizing that I don’t think enough about what the long term effects on the brain are of indulging in incorrect ideas. Like I can feel my brain rewarding itself for it’s own anti-productive thought processes. I can feel the dopamine and the weird little voice saying “aww this is just great” the same way you feel when you eat crispy fatty salty foods or smoke cigarettes or say curse words or pick fights or play candy crush (or post blog posts) or whatever it is you do that has bizarrely inexplicable addictive qualities. And I’m completely inside myself yelling NO IT’S NOT NO IT’S NOT slapping myself in the face but my stupid self just keeps thinking and saying “this is nice”.

Anyway, I should look for the source material I mentioned that talks about this subject. I’m out of town so no shirt picture today.

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4 Responses to “Brain Crack”

  1. thecuriousbum Says:

    So, what I do all the time basically. I’ve had the idea to become a shaker (there are only three left and they’re pretty old). They own like 1500 acres, so if I outlived them it would be all mine! But I would then turn it into another playboy mansion or something.

  2. girlforgetful Says:

    I like the cabin idea. That’s why “awww” is appropriate. It’s the stuff that happens in between that poses the obstacle. Choose your voices wisely. Happy holidays!

  3. heidenkind Says:

    I do this a lot. But I think following through on the idea is more important than trying to stop yourself. Even if you don’t finish and realize it was a dumb idea, at least you followed your dreams! :p

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