Addios, Oaxaca

DSC03273Local folklore has it that if you eat grasshoppers in Oaxaca, you’ll be back. I ate a lot of grasshoppers over the weekend, but I didn’t expect any immediate effects. Twenty minutes after leaving Oaxaca, my plane turned around and flew right back! Seems that we’d lost 600 lbs. of fuel through a leaky valve. No harm done except to people’s expectations.

Today’s New York Times reported on Cognitive Behavior Therapy. The gist: if you’re among the four in ten Americans suffering from a mental disorder, don’t waste years on the couch exploring your past. Your relationship with your mother doesn’t make that much difference. You needn’t dig into the past to create a great future. Deal with the symptoms. Forget Freud. On the same page was an article about the recent research that found that what you eat has no impact the likelihood of succombing to heart disease. It seems like every week some core belief is found to be nonsense.

Uta and I are going to watch Woody Allen’s Sleeper this evening. Quotes:

Dr. Melik: [puzzling over list of items sold at Miles’ old health-food store] … wheat germ, organic honey and… tiger’s milk.

Dr. Aragon: Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.

Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or… hot fudge?

Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Those were thought to be unhealthy… precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.

Dr. Melik: Incredible!

Also: I haven’t seen my analyst in 200 years. He was a strict Freudian. If I’d been going all this time, I’d probably almost be cured by now.

In the middle of the last century, changes in major beliefs (e.g. health, mind) took at least a generation. Today they are frequently reported in the newspaper. Fundamental truths are toppled in a few weeks. Time is speeding up. Now you can feel it kicking in.

Stability used to be a prime success trait; today it’s adaptability. Innovation trumps efficiency. Ends outweigh means. Old is bad. New is different.

To ride the rising waves of change, one must be able to learn quickly, think fast, observe continuously, take risks, and deal with crisis well. Phil Quily’s blog pegs these as prime traits of ADD.

Just as Woody Allen returns to discover fat, fries, and fudge are good for you, maybe those with Attention Deficit Surplus Disorder Condition should begin leading the world. Of course, some of them already have: Richard Branson, Thomas Edison, Charles Schwab, Alexander Graham Bell, Ansel Adams, Ludwig Beethoven, George Burns, Cher, Agatha Christie, Salvador Dali, Walt Disney, Kirk Douglas, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Malcolm Forbes, Henry Ford, Galileo, Ernest Hemingway, John F. Kennedy, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, John Lennon, Abraham Lincoln, Mozart, Napoleon, Newton, Nostradamus, Louis Pasteur, Picasso, Rodin, Edgar Allen Poe, Babe Ruth, Tommy Smothers, Socrates, Steven Spielberg, Henry Thoreau, Vincent Vangogh, Jules Verne, Robin Williams, the Wright Brothers, Frank Lloyd Wright, and William Butler Yeats. It’s a great club.

What’s the #2 genetically inherited condition in the world?
ADD. (#1 is height.)