I’m a junkie

I admit it, and although that admission is generally the first step in ridding oneself of addictions, it has never worked for me.

That may be because my addiction is, especially in the 21st century, a socially acceptable one. People congratulate me on my addiction, on the fact that I know so many trivial facts. It’s a small joy but joy nonetheless when somebody asks an unusual question and I know the answer to it.

I’m addicted to all kinds of things. I’m addicted to reading. I’m addicted to news – on TV, radio, or on paper. I’m addicted to politics (which feeds into my news addiction). I’m addicted to – I hesitate to call it information, because I’m not addicted to Facebook or Twitter or any other social media – but I suppose I can say I am addicted to information of all kinds. Good information. Bad information. Trivial information. Important information.

If I tried to define what my addiction truly is, I guess it is to anything which feeds my brain. Yes, I have preferences (see above). But if I can’t find those? I’ll access any kind of information.

So when I’m bored (which happens rarely – see above) or I’m waiting for something or someone (which happens much more often as I’m always early) I often check out what happened on that particular day in history even though history isn’t one of the things I generally read or watch for. I love the things I find out. Every day I’ve ever searched had at least one thing that fascinated me.

My April 10 birthday? In 837 (and how in the hell do they know this?), Halley’s Comet and Earth experienced their closest approach to one another. This leads me to Halley, because I’m absolutely certain he wasn’t alive in 837 and so how in the hell did he know this? I’ll follow this thread until I’m satisfied.

And October 24? In 1901 Annie Edson Taylor was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. It’s not the fact it happened, it’s the fact that it was a woman. And that it was her 63rd birthday when she did it. Now I want to know more about her.

October 24 also seems to be a day when a disproportionate number of wars or battles have ended, from 69 with the Second Battle of Bedriacum (don’t ask me, I don’t really care about that part of it) to 1973 with the Yom Kippur War. I want to know why. Is it because it’s the onset of winter? Is it because soldiers get paid quarterly and the generals don’t want to pay for the fourth quarter? There must be a reason. And one day, I hope I’ll find out what it is because it’s going to bug me until I do.

What’s your information addiction?

Kate

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14 responses to “I’m a junkie

  1. Currently, because I’m writing thrillers, it’s the Middle East and South Asia. But as I look at my bookshelves, there are dozens of books on history and politics in general.

    My fascinations have always been targeted at what I’m trying to master or what’s nagging at me. I have lots of books on chess from I was learning the game. When I started sailing, I acquired books like Sail Power and Chapman’s Piloting. Beginning in the early 70s, when I felt the information American’s were getting about the now-defunct Soviet Union was scant and incomplete, that notion added volumes to my library.

    I guess I’m interested in things that bore most people. I admit it: I’m a nerd.

    • And, yes, for all the grammar Nazis (like myself) I screwed up: Americans should not have an apostrophe.

    • Raymond, for me, though, I never do research. I only do entertainment. If I don’t know it by the time I write the book, I might Google a very precise thing – like what year did this happen? – but other than that? My addiction to information somehow translates itself into books, rather than researching them. Weird, I know. And I never try to master anything – I tend to get bored long before the master level.

      I’m a flibbertigibbet, as my grandmother would say, or perhaps it’s just that I know a little about a whole lot of things – and isn’t that a song?

      Kate

  2. I’m a sucker for entertainment news. No, not the paparazzi-driven gossip crap. I hate that stuff. But I must know what music, books, movies and TV shows are coming out soon, what’s in production, and how everything is doing review-wise. (Which is not to say I let reviews drive my consumption, because I don’t.) I like reading about the latest happenings in theater, and the art shows going on around the country. So the New York Times entertainment section and some of the online entertainment venues are frequent reads for me. I’m also addicted to IMDb. 🙂

  3. Ah, Lisa – IMDb is one of my favorite things 🙂 though I don’t use it for future things, but for past things. I’m always talking to friends and then having to look up movies, actors, whatever. And BTW, what DID happen to Glee last week? I’m happy that they have a one week break, but two? I’m very sad.

    Kate

    • Baseball happened. 🙂

      No new eps until November. But, on the upside? Sam is coming back after all! (See, the entertainment trivia addiction is alive and well.)

  4. Space and science. 😀 I don’t understand most of it, but it constantly fascinates me.

    K

    • k, I’m totally with you about space and I do read science books – though I don’t always understand them. I’m often to be found at the NASA site just looking at things and I always put every planetarium on my vacation schedule.

      Kate

      • Ah! Planetariums… or is it planetaria? Anywho, I love ’em. Dang it all. Now I have to see if one exists in NM. There. You went and done it, Kate. Research again.

  5. Great addictions, Kate! It’s the type where you don’t have to seek medical help and people think you’re smart!

    I’m a music junkie. I love listening to it, and can tell by the first bar what the song is if I know it. I’d be great to have on your team for “Name that Tune.”

    I’m also a news junkie, and it’s about the only thing I watch on TV.

    eden

    • eden, I have a friend who is a music junkie and she’s very helpful when I need to remember a song or a songwriter. But I’m an information junkie – it doesn’t seem to matter what kind of information. I’m a great Jeopardy! player because I know that top level of information about almost everything.

      Kate

  6. Sorry I’m late. I was following my addiction–Life. I don’t want to miss a second of it. I tried drugs and they kicked my butt, I tried smoking, it made me wheese1 I’ve been told I am an abusive personality, rather than an addictive. Life is it for me and all that goes with it!

    Wally

    Nice post, eden

  7. Pingback: Where in the World is Josee Renard? | The World of Josee Renard

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