Grab your notebook and a writing-tool. If you don't own any, do yourself a favor and buy a moleskin and a pen that glides smoothly across the pages, then return and continue reading. We're wired for physical connection: the contact of pen and paper, the sensation of skin on an organic surface - these have a strong effect on our psyche...

I don't have a bathroom mirror or any mirror, for that matter. When I wake up, I grab my electric shaver and mow the lower half of my face, until it "feels smooth enough". My hair, on the other hand, has a personality of its own. I call the sheepish shrub above my forehead “Dennis" (although he likes to be...