Chapter 9.1

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So Glad to See You Looking Ahead!

HyperLearning Has been Designed With Your Optimum Potential and Greatest Focus in Mind!
Make Sure You Have Made The Most of the Sections You Have Covered Thus Far in the Course!
More Material Will be Rolling Out to You Soon!

See You in The Crucible Forums!

David Rainoshek, M.A.


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Reduction and Organization

A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor’s cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. “It’s overfull! No more will go in!” the professor blurted. “You are like this cup,” the master replied, “How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”


Reducing Extraneous $#!@

Extra stuff you don’t need or want is a drag. Even when you aren’t focusing on it, the stuff is there in your subconscious mind spinning around waiting to be taken care of one way or another. And this reduces the qualities necessary to HyperLearn: space, organization, freedom, and time (time saved not having to deal with the stuff anymore).

How do you know if you have extra stuff? If you have been to a friend’s house that has a clean living room, garage, attic, driveway, kitchen… and you are jealous, guess what? They are living your clean, uncluttered life for you.

Your authentic, clean, organized, free of extraneous-stuff self that wants energy and space to HyperLearn is hiding in the shadow of YOUR EXTRA STUFF.

And that stuff is limiting your creative energy to learn about new things. Your cup has runneth over. Time to empty the cup, as the Zen Master said in the story above.

Otherwise, how can I properly teach you about HyperLearning? Let’s look at some potential things to let go of, or that you can significantly upgrade in service to cultivating a HyperLearning environment.

Paperwork: Reduce and then Organize

On March 26, 2006, I wrote the goal:

It has worked. I have very few papers laying around anymore. They are recycled, or scanned and put away. Accessing them on my computer is much easier than finding physical files (particularly if your computer travels with you, or you store your scans online with Evernote at

Here is what I have done:

Reduce: Recycle.

Recycle any papers that you can straight away. You will be amazed what is lying around in piles, files, drawers, on desktops.

Get a Scanner.

Next, get a flatbed scanner. I use a Canon LiDE 210. It is the size of a laptop computer, is powered by a USB cable (no extra power cable hanging around), and will scan up to 8.5 x 11 in grayscale or color, fast.

Hook that baby up, learn how to scan (most documents are readable at a scan resolution of 150 dpi) and begin scanning documents. Label the scanned files on your computer, and organize them into files or use Evernote (see below).


Organize: Computer Folders and Files.

We are going to go over this in greater detail in the next chapter, “HyperOrganize Your Interests and Passions.”

In short, create a MAIN FOLDER for all your Topic Folders. For example, some Topic Folders might be:

  • Work
  • Health
  • Family / Parenting
  • Self-Improvement
  • Humor
  • Income
  • Taxes-Receipts
  • Business Cards
  • Letters-Cards-Communications
  • House Related
  • Education
  • Computer Related
  • Important Documents (Driver’s License, Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards, etc.)
  • To Do
  • Writing Projects – Notes

These folders will contain scans of all these papers – some of which you may keep and file deeply away in a cabinet, others you can get rid of altogether (like business cards which are always floating around).

Question: So what does scanning and/or computer filing do about my physical possessions that I want to let go of?

Answer: Years ago I realized that I had too many trophies from childhood sports. It wasn’t grossly ridiculous, just onerous and unnecessary to have them anymore. I also had a lot of Boy Scout mugs from my days as an Eagle Scout.

I got out my digital camera, set up the trophies and mugs, photographed each one, and then put the whole lot out for recycling (trophies) and give-away (mugs to the local Scout Troop). That felt good.

The next year I did it with swimming ribbons and medals from 10 years of swim team, and my life became several boxes freer.

HUGE POINT: The only reason I was keeping this stuff was for the childhood memories, but as it turned out, a photograph was sufficient to bring back all the memories I needed.


Consider Using Evernote: An Online Organization Solution. Evernote is an awesome app that installs on virtually every platform, be it your computer, laptop, iPhone, or iPad. Windows and Mac are both supported along with access on the web. Mobile devices like the iPhone, Android and Blackberry all have supported apps.

Evernote is the most important tool in your day to day activities. People use Evernote to remember virtually (no pun intended) everything that filters through their day. Reading books, websites, snapping photos of things around the house, or leaving oneself voice notes. It has become a “bucket” of all the information a person might need to reference at a later time.

You can organize your notes (or thoughts) into their own notebooks and tag them in any fashion you would like. These notebooks can be shared with other users of Evernote or even remotely published much like your WordPress blog.

An example of favorite uses of Evernote is when reading books. You can use your iPhone to snap a photo of the book page and makes reference notes so you don’t forget a particular passage. With Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology built in to Evernote, you can search your Evernote account for words that are in the picture from the book. A simply awesome feature.


One of the best books I have read on working smarter has been The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. In 4HWW, Tim outlines how to reduce your email burden significantly.

The first step is to stop incessantly checking email by setting regular times to check it during the day. Currently I check email at 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, and when I receive emails, an automatic email is sent back:

You are important to me. Due to high workload, I am currently checking
and responding to email twice daily at 10:00 am ET and 4:00 pm ET

If you require urgent assistance that cannot wait until 10:00 am or
4:00 pm, please email my assistant at:

(email here)

Thank you for understanding this move to more efficiency and
effectiveness. It helps me to accomplish more to serve you better.

David Rainoshek, M.A.

If you don’t have an assistant, no worries. Set another email account anyway, and check the email that comes through there first when you do so at your appointed times.

You might also like to watch Tim Ferris talk about the subject himself:



Also, for Junk Email: The Direct Marketing Association has an Email Preference Service (eMPS) to help you reduce unsolicited commercial emails. To opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial email from DMA members, visit Registration is free and good for six years.

Regular Mail

Go Paperless.

Most financial institutions and service providers will allow you to go paperless with online statements or billing. Get that stuff out of your mailbox, and set up automatic bill pay online or with the service provider.

Reduce Your Junk Mail.

This stuff is a nuisance, clogging not only your mailbox, but your mind with more advertisements.

To reduce your general junk mail, the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Mail Preference Service (MPS) lets you opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from many national companies for five years. When you register with this service, your name will be put on a “delete” file and made available to direct-mail marketers and organizations. This will reduce most of your unsolicited mail. However, your registration will not stop mailings from organizations that do not use the DMA’s Mail Preference Service. To register with DMA’s Mail Preference Service, go to, or mail your request with a $1 processing fee to:

Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512

Take Magazines Electronically.

While flipping through a paper magazine can be delicious on the couch or in a waiting room, ask yourself if you are already using electronic reading devices (laptop, iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc.) that might be more eco-friendly (for your home environment and the planetary environment) to read on the device itself.

Catalogs are Old-School: Go Online.

All catalogs are sexier, more up-to-date, and easier to order from ONLINE. Save some trees, and your efforts moving these things around your house and eventually to recycling. Use your beautiful computer and internet connection to eliminate the clutter of mail-order Catalogs.

Television Programming (Cancel the TeeVee)

If the television craze continues with the present level of programs, we are destined to have a nation of morons.”

- Daniel Marsh, 1950

Twenty-five billion dollars a year is spent in advertising, which is more than we spend on higher education nationally.

It is called Television Programming for a reason. And its main purpose is to market and sell you. Items are not being sold on television, you are the item being sold. Marketers, politicians, and businesses know that getting their information into your mind has value – which is why they pay for advertising to television media outlets. They price out who watches, and how many watch, and pay for advertising per mind that is viewing it. In effect, your own mind is being sold as ad space by television stations.

An excellent book and documentary on this subject is Manufacturing Consent by professor Noam Chomsky. Click below to watch the documentary and to add his book to your library.

Manufacturing Consent Documentary Online

Manufacturing Consent (the book) by Noam Chomsky

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright had a point when he wryly observed that “Television is like chewing gum for the eyes.”

Quite (W)right. Television is a time-wasting activity that goes little or nowhere. In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube! That’s enough time to get a Bachelors Degree and a Masters degree and start your Doctorate! And the few redeeming things that are broadcast can be found in books, online on the internet, or on DVDs.

Going TV-Free

The first time I got rid of a television and enjoyed a T.V. free house was in college. Those were some of the happiest years of my life, until I had a T.V. again. Several years later, I got rid of another T.V., and I have been free of that box ever since.

If you have never done this, you will be amazed how the feeling of being in your house – living room, bedroom, kitchen… is changed subtly, yet dramatically.

Time opens up. You can hear yourself think because the Tee Vee Programming is not calling for your attention anymore. Something else is, such as your family, a good book, some excellent music, exercise, sleep… Your world will open up immensely, as will your energy for being truly alive.

No bullshit. Really. Throw that $#%@ing thing out, give it to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, or turn off the cable/satellite connection and just use it for movies you choose to watch on DVD. Television is a mental addiction that cripples our ability to learn and deprives us of the time necessary to build a quality life full of meaning and productive Life Practices.

Active and Passive Harm of Television

The detrimental effects of television programming on your creative and HyperLearning abilities are active and passive:

Active Harm. Television actively harms mental performance by breaking down your attention span and your critical thinking.

According to a study by, Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle:

“Frequent TV viewers in early childhood were most likely to score in the highest 10% for concentration problems, impulsiveness and restlessness. Scoring within that 10% doesn’t mean a child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but many would have it, and the others could face major learning problems”

This is corroborated by clinical tests performed on the brainwave activity of people in three different activities: Drawing, Reading, and Watching T.V. Here are the results:

Without deliberating too long on the details, notice that brainwave activity is very active when doing the highly creative, thinking activity of drawing (particularly note the yellow “hi beta” line), very engaged while reading (hi beta is around 4-6) and quite low when watching TV (hi beta is half what is was while reading).

In a conversation with a stage designer of his time, Rudolf Steiner (founder of the Waldorf School) cautioned that TV corrupts people’s relation to time and space and spoils their ability to have a real imagination.

These issues are well observed in children and it’s no accident! Television programming is designed to cater to the shortest attention spans. Part of the process of creating a television program is to ensure a certain number of “Jolts Per Minute” (or JPMs) to forcefully hold the viewers attention. These may be images of violence, loud emotional speech, laughter, sexual innuendo or just about any other form of emotional manipulation.

Passive Harm. Television passively harms mental acuity by hampering physical activity. In fact, the average American more than 4 hours of TeeVee every day. A study by the American Diabetes Association followed 41,811 men ages 40 to 75 over a ten-year period. A direct association was observed between television watching and risk of developing diabetes. The men who reported sitting in front of a TV more than nineteen hours per week were more than 150 percent more likely to become diabetic than those who watched less than three hours a week. Every two hours per week you spend watching TV instead of pursuing something more active increases the chances of developing diabetes by 14 percent.[1]

What does this mean? Being sedentary for too long watching television (and probably eating at the same time) increases your average blood sugar levels . . . which in turn creates hypoglycemia, or the sudden and noticeable dropoff in blood sugar. You experience this as:

  • Agitation
  • Short attention span
  • Hitting “the Wall” in the afternoon
  • Anger
  • Lack of desire to create new thoughts or ideas
  • Road Rage
  • An over-riding need to eat something to get your blood sugar up again.

These roller-coaster rides of blood sugar translate into mental and emotional ups and downs – turbulence in your life that is not conducive to focus, creativity, and passion for learning and growth.

==> Besides turning off the TV, Isometric Strength Training (a form of strength training done at home with no equipment) as a Life Practice in just 10 minutes a day can begin to turn your health around in significant ways. See the Complementary Life Practices chapter for more on Isometrics.

Books on TeeVee Programming

For further information on Killing Your Television, consider these books (that will get you off the television!!!).

Endangered Minds by Jane Healy

Is today’s fast-paced media culture creating a toxic environment for our children’s brains?

In this landmark, bestselling assessment tracing the roots of America’s escalating crisis in education, Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., examines how television, video games, and other components of popular culture compromise our children’s ability to concentrate and to absorb and analyze information. Drawing on neuropsychological research and an analysis of current educational practices, Healy presents in clear, understandable language:

+ How growing brains are physically shaped by experience

+ Why television programs — even supposedly educational shows like Sesame Street — develop “habits of mind” that place children at a disadvantage in school

+ Why increasing numbers of children are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder

+ How parents and teachers can make a critical difference by making children good learners from the day they are born

Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander

A total departure from previous writing about television, this book is the first ever to advocate that the medium is not reformable. Its problems are inherent in the technology itself and are so dangerous — to personal health and sanity, to the environment, and to democratic processes — that TV ought to be eliminated forever.

Weaving personal experiences through meticulous research, the author ranges widely over aspects of television that have rarely been examined and never before joined together, allowing an entirely new, frightening image to emerge. The idea that all technologies are “neutral,” benign instruments that can be used well or badly, is thrown open to profound doubt. Speaking of TV reform is, in the words of the author, “as absurd as speaking of the reform of a technology such as guns.”

The Plug-In Drug by Marie Winn

After 25 years, Winn (Children Without Childhood) has completely revised and updated her landmark study of the influence of television on children and family life by incorporating findings based on recent research and investigating the impact of the home computer, the VCR, and the video game terminal. She has also shifted the focus from the TV programs children watch to the negative effects of television on children’s play, imagination, and school achievement. Although Winn pinpoints many key shortcomings of television, this study is not argumentative; Winn instead aims to stress the quality of family life without television, to show educators and parents how to control the medium, and to offer practical suggestions on how to improve family life not dependent on television. This refreshingly candid and inviting study is highly recommended for both public and academic libraries.

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

Originally published in 1985, Neil Postman’s groundbreaking polemic about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse has been hailed as a twenty-first-century book published in the twentieth century. Now, with television joined by more sophisticated electronic media—from the Internet to cell phones to DVDs—it has taken on even greater significance. Amusing Ourselves to Death is a prophetic look at what happens when politics, journalism, education, and even religion become subject to the demands of entertainment. It is also a blueprint for regaining control of our media, so that they can serve our highest goals.


The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore

30 years after its publication Marshall McLuhan’s The Medium is the Massage remains his most entertaining, provocative, and piquant book. With every technological and social “advance” McLuhan’s proclamation that “the media work us over completely” becomes more evident and plain. In his words, ‘so pervasive are they in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, or unaltered’.

McLuhan’s remarkable observation that “societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication” is undoubtedly more relevant today than ever before. With the rise of the internet and the explosion of the digital revolution there has never been a better time to revisit Marshall McLuhan.

Coming up next time: Chapter 9.2: Cultivating Transformative Relationships!


Stay Sharp,

David Rainoshek, M.A.

[1] Hu, F B, Li, T Y, Colditz, G A, Willett, W C, and Manson, J E. “Television watching and other sedentary behaviors in relation to risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus in women.” JAMA, 2003, 289:1785–1791.

Reduction & Organization Introduction

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Television Programing – Cancel the Tee Vee

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Reduction & Organization Introduction

Television Programing – Cancel the Tee Vee