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Some Wild Mind Terms Defined

Click on the term name to return to the paragraph where the term is first mentioned in the main page.
Attention Deficit Disorder: a medically defined syndrome meeting certian specific diagnostic criteria; see also: ADD(2) and ADHD. You could also think of this as "Einstein's Disease"...
Awarness Distribution Distinction: a more positive way to view the constellation of strengths and weaknesses that may be the adaptation of some human brains to survive in a non-farming "civilized" context; advantages include: creativity, ability to tolerate (and even crave) change, often the ability to respond well to emergency situations, etc.; see also: Hunter and Forager.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: currently the only defined disorder in the American Pxychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Stistical Manual, Version III, Revised (DSM III-R) related to ADD. Subsequent study has shown that ADD can occur both with and without hyperactivity, so current discussion usually uses the term ADD, with ADHD seen as a sub-set of ADD. Basically, I think that if a hunter's environment is boring, they will seek the stimulation they crave either inside their own minds/imaginations (more typical of girls - broadly speaking) or by acting in such a way that their environment is less boring (more typical of boys - who, at least in the past, were *much* more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD) - usually to the anoyance or actual physical peril of those around them!
Einstein's Disease
Albert Einstein exhibits many or all of the characteristics of ADD. He was forgetful - he would call home (after looking his number up in the phone book!) to get the address and directions for how to get there. He did poorly in school and hated exams - he got his undergraduate degree by dint of sheer will, and only *after* he'd arrived at his main theories and had a need for the degree in order to gain acceptance for them. He didn't pay attention to where he was going - the list goes on and on. And yet he made major theoretical contributions to our understanding of the world and is the epitomie of a creative genius. In fact, there is a high corelation between "ADD" - traits and "giftedness". For a look at some other people who, in retrospect, have many traits similar to those of ADD follow this link. It shows a poster that includes: Ludwig van Beethoven, Thomas Edision, Winston Chruchill, John F. Kennedy, Orville Wright, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Benjamin Franklin, Agatha Christie, Walt Disney, Alexander Graham Bell, and Albert Einstein.
See also Forager and Wild Mind.
Term coined by Thom Hartman to explain ADD to his recently diagnosed son. This concept has been developed by him to put the constellation of strengths/weaknesses some people experience in their evloutionary context and to point toward how Hunters can better suceed in a Farmer's world. His books are thoughtful, well resarched and pragmatic. His most concise expliaination of the concept:
"For sucdess in theh field, forest, or jungle, a Hunter must be easily distractible, constantly scanning his [sic., see: Forager below] environment. He must be able to juggle many tasks or or pursue many possible prey at the same time. He must feel unafraid of taking risks, as risk is integral to the daily life or a Hunter. If, after starting after one animal, he sees a better oppoortunity, her must hten quickly (impulsively) have the ability to make the decision to alter course and pursue the new prey. A sense of impending doom would keep him aware at all times of hte possibility of predators, and on the alert against them. And he would thrive ont he adrenaline high of the hunt, while finding boring tasks like cleaning his living area to be so tedious that he'd procrastinate when faced with them. His sense of time would be either very fast or very slow, and he'd be either excited or bored 'just by life at the momnet'." Thom Hartman, in Focus Your Energy: Hunting for Success in Business with Attention Deficit Disorder. See also Forager.
The contrasting brain organization as posed by Thom Hartman: "Prehistoric Farmers, on the other hand, faced different challenges. To live successfully in an agricultural society 10,000 years ago, a Farmer endured long stretches of boredome and stayed in one place. It took months for crops to grow, and Farmsers spent much of that time in tedious tasks such as picking bugs off plants or pulling weeds. They developed good auditory-processiosn skills by sitting with other Farmers adn talking for hours to pass the time while the crops grew, or during the winters when the crops were in storage. Their communities were more social and interdependent. They couldn't afford to be easily distracted, restless, or impulsive: If and impatient farmer pulled the seedling out of the ground every few days to see how it was growing, it would die. And the Hunter's sense of doom was replaced by a calmer snese of quiet confidance that even though the soil hadn't moved in a week, those seeds were germinating and would eventually break through. A Farmer's sense of time had to be linear and even..." Thom Hartman, in Focus Your Energy: Hunting for Success in Business with Attention Deficit Disorder. Farmers also must also take the long view: their decisions will not "bear fruit" for months or even years - so evey decision must be fully thought through before implementation.
Task Switching Deficit Disorder: a possible extreme "Farmer" brain organization in which only one thing can be focused on at a time to the detrament of optimal functioning, posited by Thom Hartman. He describes a man who might be suffering from this brain disorder who is unable to both drive a car and have a conversation at the same time. This "disorder" is probably unrecognized because current society is so Farmer-oriented as to not see extremes of this brain organization as limiting.
Term coined by Molly Morgaine NiDana as a term to refer to the evolutionary context of someone with ADD that is less evocative of the potentially sexest steriotypes that "Hunter" or "Hunter/Gatherer" might evoke. I use all three terms: ADD, Hunter and Forager, somewhat interchangeably as they each have advantages and dissadvantages. "Hunter", probably because it is frequently associated with male steriotypes in our minds/language, evokes a clear and generally culturally lauded set of characteristice (whether we would laud someone who actully acts out those characteristics, it "hunters" and "hunting" is generally portrayed as an exciting or cool thing, and those - at least fictionally - who do well at it are held up for admiration). "Forager" also avoids the whole issue of hunting as an activity that involves killing, and the debate about whether society *should* venerate killers (of anything)! But Forager doesn't evoke as clear (and clearly positive) set of characteristics/activities, and, therefore, I will continue to use both words.
Wild Mind
Term coined by me, Robin A. NiDana to refer to ADD/Hunter/Forager minds. I like that this mind is more suited to integration with the natural world, and to the task ahead of helping to bring that re-integration about for human society. This is probably because, as a Forager, I have always found the natural world appealing: it's so stimulous rich - and mystery awaits around evey leaf! I would like to think that as Foragers work to integrate our strengths and skills into there proper, respected place in civilized society, we will also help that society find both peace with itself (the prison population is swollen with ADD inmates!) and the biosphere upon which it depends. My Wild Mind craves that re-integration where I can both fulfill my drive to Hunt and be a respected, accepted and rewarded part of the society I live in. {BTW: the World Wide Web is MADE to facilitate that integration - IMHO!)
The ability of those with Wild Minds to single-mindedly pursue "prey" and focus on a task (such as a computer game) to the exclusion of all else (including fire alarms, etc.). Hyperfocus can include increased energy expenditure, the ability to preform many tasks rapidly and accruately, and the ability to process complex imputs into one non-linear "matrix" at the same time. Sometimes I think my Wild Mind is either hyperfocusing or at rest (like a cat...). Hyperfocus can allow for amazingly rapid acquisition or processing of data/knowledge, but it also has a price: it is metabolically very costly, and requires a regular rest and recuperation, or burnout ensues.

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© 1997 Robin A. NíDána

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