Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Zeigarnik Effect

I heard an interesting discussion on the No Stupid Questions podcast yesterday talking about closure. Specifically, something called the "Zeigarnik" effect (in an episode called Do You Need Closure?). The idea is that people more easily remember unfinished tasks than tasks that they have completed. 

Apparently, this brain mechanism extends to emotions, too. The idea is that our feelings linger — whether they’re positive feelings, like joy, or negative feelings, like frustration, when we don't get a complete understanding of what caused them. Obviously, this sucks on the negative side, and is why you should always talk things out when you are frustrated with someone.

But what about positive emotions? I'm making a bit of a jump here, but I can imagine it's related to why people are drawn in by wonder and mystery. Especially in a story or RPG session (though maybe in research, too). In the beginning, we don't know what's going to happen, why it happens, or what the consequences will be. 

But maybe thanks to the Zeigarnik effect, we are drawn in by the mystery, exploring it until we discover all there is to see.

Photo by Susan Wilkinson on Unsplash

Just like Minerva, here in scene 2 of Chapter 7 of my latest Patreon novel. In the last scene, she decides to make an early dive into the Nightland (like, at 9 am) to learn more about someone who's done her dirty.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Sustainability Goals

Greetings from 2024!

I'm not one for explicit New Year resolutions, though I sometimes decide to make a change in my life and attempt to create new habits around that desired change. One such change was to think about sustainability, when possible, when it comes to buying goods.

I haven't turned my life around by any means. But I've made a few small strides.

It was actually two or three years ago that we got a subscription to Ridwell, which promises to actually recycle various stuff that normally ends up in a landfill, including plastic films and multi-layer plastic, among others. 

About the middle of last year I decided to try Bite, which cuts out the plastic toothpaste tube that goes into the landfill after a few months, as well as the weight of the liquid being shipped, in favor of tiny tablets you chew to make instant toothpaste. That's been working well.

And just as I decided to make my next shampoo purchase one that didn't include a huge plastic bottle that goes into the landfill every few months, Batgirl read my mind and got me a solid shampoo bar. I'm looking forward to trying it, right after I use up the fluid in what is hopefully the last shampoo bottle I ever buy.

I wonder what's next? Suggestions are welcome, if you've discovered sustainable products or hacks that achieve similar ends.

In novel-related news, I've got more chapters to drop at my Patreon. If all goes as planned, scene 2 of chapter 7 will drop tomorrow. Stay tuned, patrons! I'm grateful to each and every one of you!