Are scanners the minority, or majority?

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Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Camoon » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:27 pm

What do you guys think? Take a look at your family, your friends, people you know, people you know about... are there more scanners, or more divers?

I'm just curious to what you guys think.



Also, a side-note, I'm currently halfway through "What do I do when I want to do everything" and so far, the discovery of my scanner-ism has made me want to cry. Barbara you are a life saver.
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Andreya » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:48 pm

Hi Camoon! Nice to see you here!

I think in the old times scanners were a majority... Now, many people became divers, haven't really looked at % or such..
Most people around me are at least semi-scanners (with many interests)
I only know one relative who has no hobbies, only gardening, and I hear he's bored a lot. :)

Most people are scanners in the form of job+outside interests/hobbies though.. Some stumble upon fun scanner jobs (eg working in a store, in different stores over the years)
I don't know many full-time scanners (with job-related scannerness too..) I guess it depends on the definition of scanners too..
And of course these things can change over time, people can develop strong interests later in life or when they get retired etc.
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Me and my Hamster » Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:01 pm

Interesting. Maybe we all are scanner, but with the time, scanners have been shaped into divers so they can fit the needs of the society. The society engenders the people it needs to survive. For many people, being a diver or acting like it is not a problem. For others (like us!) it's just hell.

When I look at my family, we all have different interests, but I'm the one struggling with life. They all have a job or a kind of carreer or do brilliant studies in one area, even though they do have different interests. My mom says I'm like my dad: really disorganized (or have a very personnal sense of organization), thinking of too many things, forgetting others and so on. It looks like if two persons had ADD in the family, that would be us. LOL.

Is it something with the brain?
Is this evolution, like, I don't know, the average age of puberty or people's average height?
Or is this just a matter of society and people who adapt, and others who don't?
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Andreya » Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:41 pm

Well, I think scanner-ism is like a continuum - and one can go from being a true scanner to specialist and back to scanner.. (Barbara Sher describes it as serial scanners). Human brain has capability for both.. Some may be more drawn into one or another, but I think 100% scanners that never 'specialize' even for a tiny bit of time and 100% specialists that only specialize for one thing and live for that are rare..

In the past, scanners were hugely prized: for spotting elephants on the horizon etc! (While the others were cooking or cleaning fireplaces etc.) For being able to build huts AND make necklaces, or so..
Farmers had to do A LOT of different stuff. Nobility had time to devote themselves to science and arts at leisure, I mean it's crazy what Goethe did (and STILL had time for the many mistresses!!) I wish to make ink myself too :)
Even now, there are farmers who are also handymen and merchants etc. And small biz owners or people working there sometimes have to be A LOT of things too.. It's only natural..
Big companies may do better with specialists, it depends.. But ad agencies and some other businesses look for 'multitalents'!

Hamster, about you and your Dad - interesting! I think me & my Dad both have some ADD or something like that too.. The Fidget book says it's partly genetic, and more transferable from Dads too.. What you describes sounds like typical 'professor' :) Well, we are all quite forgetful in our family, but then we live next to a chemical factory too, Mum lived next to one as a kiddie too..
I think it's normal for people to have many interests. As for ADD - there are many factors, nutrition and lifestyle and environment too.. (And the same nutrition and environment can have different effects: someone may get ADD and rheumatism, someone can become overweight, etc etc.)
Brain neurology is fascinating, and there are many factors for many things.. Did you know there may be similar causes for ADD and such, bipolar, high sensitivity, OCD, and a ton of other things?

You don't sound like struggling with life - you sound pretty fascinating! :)

Is this just a matter of society and people who adapt, and others who don't?

Yes, I think so. Some catch behaviours and jobs good for them 'naturally' or with help of people around them, others may have a longer 'road to travel'... The road and the view may be more interesting also! :)
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Me and my Hamster » Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:29 pm

My brother looked like an ADHD kid when he was really young. He got more quiet when he started to play tennis in a club. There's definitely some patterns in the family. My mom and little sister are organized, compared to my dad, older sister and I. My brother is quite organized too. My family is not very typical. I realized this when I was young. Growing up I came to notice that I wasn't like everybody else nor was my family. Always felt a bit apart. Anyway...

I me be fascinating... thanks!

But I really have the feeling that I'm struggling. I don't see how I will make a living, I change my mind so often, and have hard time to write papers and assignments, because of my tendency to 1-procrastinate, 2-to think that if I know something, everyone does so I don't see the point in explaining everything. My papers are too short and superficial and I don't seem to manage to do a real good paper. :( , 3-I'm easily bored and even if I want to do something or know that I must do this or that, I'm so bored that I won't do it, or I don't know where to begin or which activity to choose.

The continuum thing is interesting, and when we look at the scanner thing, it seems to fit.
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Andreya » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:06 am

lol If I managed to become fascinated with LAUNDRY - of all things!! I think you can manage almost everything!

I had a real laundry-phobia, and never managed to figure out exactly how to do it.
I realized a while ago that my learning style is adapt for academic thinking and learning (writing things down, explained theory+practice) I am visual and kinaesthetic - so I took notes from Mom in the laundry room! :) That was last year or so. Then, I still procrastinated with it. I just had a phobia - a few first times things indeed did go wrong with the laundry machine, so then I was just afraid to break it or do something wrong, like color the whites red or something (my Mom is very picky with laundry).
I also realized I hated the mess in the laundry room, so an intermediate step was to clean it all! (Or at least the scariest part of a very dirty yucky cabinet! with chemicals from eons ago..)
So now I've done 4 loads in 2 days, still a few to go - I saw I prefer to do 'big things, sorting etc, organized' and it's best for me to do it alone (if other people do parts of it and just asked me to do small bits I lost 'the big picture' and got lost..)

So why I explain all this?
Writing papers or finding what to do in life is just like this. You need to figure out your buttons, your inspiration/motivation and your best way of doing things. A lot has to do with learning styles and preferences.. (I want to get an office room back to usable!)

I really have the feeling that I'm struggling. I don't see how I will make a living, I change my mind so often, and have hard time to write papers and assignments,

Making a living has no connection with writing papers and assignments - unless you want to write papers and assignments for living? (Do you want to work in academia, be a college professor or such? Then, it might be somewhat relevant, as it's expected from professors to publish stuff.)
Lots of people make a VERY good living without ever writing a paper - in their life!

because of my tendency to 1-procrastinate,

I've had a tendency to procrastinate often too. Quite some writers on writing forums and other people have it too. I think they still manage to write enough to make a living.. Have you read about procrastinating in Fidget to Focus? I found it fascinating! That actually we're trying to 'up the excitement' - so possibly giving extra interesting and fun stimuli could help?
Are you tracking overwhelm/underwhelm any? I found it fascinating to do that! And then just withdraw if overwhelmed, and do something if underwhelmed - I haven't been bored in the last few days! :) Somewhat tired at the end of the day though lol.

Do you exercise any? Go running etc? When I was writing my thesis I used to lock myself in the room (metaphorically) and didn't want to venture outside until done - I see now that was a big bad from my side.. I might get it done sooner if I went outside more lol-- I even didn't want to see friends much to not be interrupted (and when I did see them I felt distracted).. There may be a fine balance there.. I used to study easiest with friends in the study room, or if my roomate was studying too.. so I think I might get things done more easily if working with others (separately, but together in breaks, chatting and frolicking :)) too.. Can you give it a try?
I decided to start every day with running again (or at least walks). Even asked the neighbour if she'd join me in the morning lol. She looked at me like if I just fell from Mars, lol!

2-to think that if I know something, everyone does so I don't see the point in explaining everything.

I have some tendency for that too.. But if something interests me and I ask people about it, and they don't know, or I blog about something or write on forums and people get fascinated, then I know it's something that is not common knowledge.
(ie I search for it and it's hard to find, or scattered across several sources, or totally different fields of knowledge..)

My papers are too short and superficial and I don't seem to manage to do a real good paper. :(

I also wrote good papers, it took me a while though, and many drafts. How many drafts do you make? A professor told us never to expect to 'get it right' in the 1st try! You can learn to write good or better assignments and papers.. It's good to know what the professors want (I took notes the 1st day when they explained expectations and it really helped!)
My Mum taught us to write assignments when we were kiddies this way: what can you say about it? (as in talking to her) - Then she said: 'Now write it down!' (You might want to outline or mind map things first, or not.)
A successful freelance writer imagines she's talking to a friend (for general audience magazines, I think. If not, then maybe imagine a more expert friendly audience - ask around what is common knowledge and not, and if experts in the field don't seem to have a clue, it's your niche and it may be common knowledge from another field and you may want to write a lot about it. If they are not doing it or using it in their work or writing about it it may be a good niche for MA or PhD or articles or such too - do check first though, if it's at all relevant and not outdated/impossible or something.
For papers where you need to cite others or you need others' help - eg for BAs (at least here in Slovenia), it's good if you have good mentors and reliable sources to study and quote, even if they are international.)

Also, what is the level? For BAs you do not really need groundbreaking research and earth-shattering things - are you trying to make it more complext than is appropriate for your level? Are you trying to squeeze 'too much' into one meagre paper? (I did! Basically I'd need two MAs first to write a good BA, lol!) You may want to take a step back and re-evaluate, and change the scope if needed. (That's what I did, faced with a really big deadline that involved returning/paying A LOT of money and doing extra work if not finishing in time!) What are the consequences if you finish? What if you don't?

If you are new to the field it's easy to get flustered. If you have researched the field or read/heard friends'/classmates' papers or presentations, or what previous years did, it's easier to see what level is expected from you.
Not sure what kind of papers you write, a good approach to writing essays on literature was in a fiction book lol. To just give more of yourself into it, opinions, etc. I put insight from psychology books into literary essays (and wowed the professor :)).. If it's maths of physics, don't really know - can you study other students' papers? Or even experts' papers? (From scientific journals?) There are also manuals on how to write papers etc. And lots of info online. Or maybe you could even get coaching, maybe even for free or for exchange of services, or for $$ from another student or senior year or professor?
lol I think I could write an article about this! :) Sorry this is so long, must go check laundry again! :)

3-I'm easily bored and even if I want to do something or know that I must do this or that, I'm so bored that I won't do it, or I don't know where to begin or which activity to choose.

Yup, sounds VERY familiar!
Sometimes it's not boredom, but other things masked as boredom. Julie Morgenstern has a good way to point it out, I think. Have you read any of her books? (Orginizing from Within and Time Management from Within) She also has a good system to make a schedule like Barbara Sher advises in Refuse to Choose (Barbara Sher doesn't give details on how to do it, Julie does).
First, you ask, 'What works?' (='When and where am I not bored? What do I manage to get done?') Julie has some good questions on this.. It may be that your room/office or time of day aren't right, or....
I'm still working on it all.. (First need a good COOL temperature home office, hence the laundry lol!) I realized what has worked for me in the past was watching TV in the background, or at least having radio on.. So we'll see if this works again!

Yup, you're definitely fascinating - a drummer who's into Physics and Maths - WOW! :)
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Me and my Hamster » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:22 am

Thanks!

I forgot to mention that I'm doing a master in nordic (medieval) literature and my exams are essays to be delivered. That's why I talk about papers and assignments: exams! Though the subject is interesting I can't find a way to write the required number of pages.

Anyway...

I'm gonna read your post again, and really think about it. There's a lot of interesting things and good points!

For the exercise part: not enough. Unfortunately, I have a fragile back and a bad knee. Doctor said I should avoid biking (which I love btw). I'm planning to do running, and begin with slow and short time. I would love to play softball.
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Andreya » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:16 pm

Hamster, I've had back problems too - there are some really good websites and books out there... (Mine is okay-ish now, knock on wood! :) Also - check your monitor height!! VERY important!

Oh, you've mentioned nordic (medieval) literature in another thread - I forgot, lol! Well, that all simply makes you just much more fascinating! :mrgreen: Oh, how I want to build a hobit house! (unrelated sorry)

I've had problems with a knee too (minor, nothing diagnosed really) so I don't do aerobics or such. Walking might be okay, most of my jogging turns into walking anyway :mrgreen: A doctor recommended Nordic walking (with sticks) and back swimming - you might wanna check those out too! (I've actually got the darn sticks, lol! I loved it back then and then just stopped - it was too cold I think - could do it again, I guess! hm?)

I'm transcribing some stuff I recorded on a mp3 recorder - do get one if you haven't any!! (It can be plugged into a computer, files & folders re-named etc!) I am writing novels and 'got bored' or 'too lazy' to finish!! (Now you see how bad it can get! :))
with radio in the background - cool music!!
I'm trying to make it into a 'do this as fast as possible' (kinda what I did with laundry) and basically race with myeself! :)
Chatting with you in the meantime, he he!! :)
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Me and my Hamster » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:21 pm

Totally unrelated to the two or three previous posts: we're getting a bit out of the subject. Maybe we should start another thread to talk about what we're currently talking about. here: viewtopic.php?f=30&t=23937

So we can keep this thread for the minority/majority thing.
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Andreya » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:27 am

lol I was thinking the same, that we need a new thread for this! :)

Great minds think alike! :mrgreen:

Somewhat related to this thread :mrgreen: - I went for a jog/walk today and then saw the neighbour putting up chairs/benches for outdoor table - he seems proficient and interested in soo many things, and so interesting! I commented how I think sometimes 'low-tech' (low education) jobs are most interesting - he said, 'Yup, there may be more specializing higher up'..
I commented how I missed Math at Uni (I was studying languages and we had NO math..) He used some mathematic calculations to set up angles for the benches, it was quite exciting!
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Me and my Hamster » Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:03 am

That's funny.

I notice a lot of people around me seem to have many interests. But other have one strong interests. One of my best friends knew since she was a kid that she would do biology and teach in middle/high school. That's what she does now. One of my other friends was fond of English when we were in middle school... and she did studies in English and get specialized. My sisters is fond of cinema and has no trouble to get specialized in that area. Those are specialists with other interests.
But I also see of of my friends, he's a real scanner, when he sees something new and interesting, he goes for it. When he hears a music instrument he doesn't really know but like the sound, he wants to learn how to play it, and so on.

So, yeah, I may agree with the continuum thing.

As for majority/minority... I think we're kind of "minority". Otherwise, more than 50% of the population would be scanners and we won't feel so bad about not fitting the diver's world. LOL.
More than 50% seems to be divers, or at least, act like divers.
So let's say (and my numbers are rubbish, just an example!) there's 40% of real divers, 30% of people who act like divers. 30% who don't seem to fit (scanners who don't act like divers.)
My question now: how do we define the spectrum? What is the limit, where a diver with other interests is still a diver, and a scanner who manages to specialise is still a scanner?
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Ilah » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:15 am

I would put the break at where the normal/eccentric line is. On one side, you are seen as pretty normal. On the other side you are eccentric at best. People may say you have a problem and need to make changes in your life.

Part of it is number of interest. Someone with 3 interests might be a scanner, but on the low end of the spectrum. Someone with 17 interests is on the high end.

With 3 interests you probably come across as fairly normal and don't have much pressure to get rid of one or two interests.

If you have 17 interests you are probably under lots of pressure to give up some and get down to a reasonable number. You probably need a support group of people who understand you. :wink:

Long term v. short term is an issue as well. Having a new hobby every five years is more acceptable than having a new hobby every 5 months or every month. Technically both would be scanners, but the long term scanner is more acceptable.

Ironically I think being very good at something works against a scanner. If I did art for several years and was very, very good at it, people would think I was crazy to stop. If I did art for several years and was only so-so at it, I would not get much as criticism for quitting.

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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Me and my Hamster » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:38 pm

Even with only 3 interests, getting rid of one or two is pretty difficult. No matter how many interests, as far as they are really strong. One may get rid of two, but will feel quite bad about it as time passes, and one will miss these interests. Maybe that one would seem normal or something, but inside, it would be a different way.

Being good indeed can work against. When people around you say "you can do everything, you're good at everything you do" it's pretty irritating. They expect you to take one of those things and make your life, and when you don't do something they thought was made for you, they wonder why and can sometimes consider it as a total waste.
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Ilah » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:37 pm

I think that a major factor is how "successful" you are in life. For example, if you run 3 small business and get a good income from them people will be impressed. If you work in a low level job so you have more time for your 3 interests, you get criticism for it.

Another issue is disorganization and distraction which seem to be common in scanners. Some one who always drops unfinished projects to work on other projects will be looked down on. If you complete a project before moving on, you get more praise and less cricism.

I have a theory that we are put down by others not for being scanners, but for being unsuccessful, disorganized scanners.

If I had multiple income streams and was making good money of all my interests, my mom would be bragging about how multi-talented I am, not talking about how I can't stick with anything.
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Re: Are scanners the minority, or majority?

Postby Me and my Hamster » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:29 pm

Totally agree. I think you got the point.
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