Thinking Aloud About Clutter

I  explained a tech problem to an orderly friend, and from her dazed look I could see it was completely over her head. Then I realized something vital.

Visual people (un-math) actually think differently than techies (geeks). Really. It’s not just “don’t want to make the effort.” I saw the same blank look in other math-oriented friends. They just don’t get it.

Which brings me to the core of my issue. Too many words, in an unexpected order baffle most tech readers. Object, verb, subject is their preference. Jane sees the bird. (Which, of course, makes them look—and probably feel—illiterate) Thus explaining Twitter’s success with 160 characters, commas included.

But it’s the thinking process I’m trying to document.

Techies (geeks)

The tech/geek is one-pointed, which makes them insistent in their opinions. No stroke of genius for them, No Thanks, not interested. Nothing is worth considering if it hasn’t been mined with pick and shovel from solid rock, fully documented and understood, proved and tested by tech articles in esteemed publications. It’s a cautious, bridge-building approach, carpentered in such a way as to be unshakeable. It’s the Industrial Revolution approach to problem-solving.

Keys, sunglasses, plastic reward tags

Things you always lose


The Vision-ary approach is:”Problem-Solving by Looking at Things” and it’s messier—things must be laid out on the floor or table, even the wall-of-mind—before they can be comprehended, truly “seen-for-being-what-they-can-be.” It’s this approach that is tested by showing you a tray of unrelated stuff, all disorganized, tangled, mucky, not what anyone would want in a sterile environment: and this is just a psychological test mind you.

This must be the Hunter-Gatherer approach—kids start this way; some of us never outgrow it. The collectors of Memories and Things, (which may suggest another approach to the treatment of Alzheimers.)

Is that why we hang on to all our Stuff and some things are so hard to throw away?

Do our Things possess Memories, do we actually need them to trigger memories of a life well-spent or do the Things themselves possess memories, embued as they are with our thoughts, our handling, our smells, our touch. Do our Things make us who we are? Hunter-Gatherers at heart.



You can understand humor in a cartoon with no labels.

You keep reminder objects out in public: empty bottles upside-down to remind you to get more.

Keys in familiar place in full view.

Hazard: They get covered, hidden, misplaced.

Note your reaction:

  • Panic
  • Question whether you’re going senile
  • Frantic retracing
  • Loss of hours, days, $$$

When doing normal errands (commuting, shopping, etc.) if you always take the same path

and the path is blocked, do you . . . (see above @ panic)

  • Try another,and another and another random route
  • Sit and stew- do some frantic phoning
  • Access Mapquest/Google – but you’re in a tunnel, with no signal, so swear off tech forever.
  • Finally give up, turn around, go home, take the kids/dog to the park.

Congratulations on your creativity. You can always read a book,


You make lists of things to do, things to get,

  • Lose the list
  • Find its habitual HOME, it’s still missing
  • Stick next list on your usual pathway
  • Your house begins to resemble a board game so you quit inviting visitors, and go out to meet them in public places, and get lost.
  • See above at Mapquest

About helenscribe

Helen is a long-time writer, with experience in both fiction and non-fiction. Her latest fiction, an English cozy mystery "The Domino Deaths" is available on Amazon. She is also an amateur painter and sailor.
This entry was posted in Creative Spirits, inspirations, Psychological, The Writing Life and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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