02 January 2007

Thoughts for the New Year

(Fortunately, other peoples' thoughts, not mine.)

edge.org's The World Question Center 2007: 150 prominent scientists, philosphers, and other thinkers answer the question "What are you optimistic about? Why?" - 16 pages of stuff.

Seth Godin's reposting of online "What to Read Now/Next."

Hey, Look at That Bright Shiny Object Over There... No, That One!
In 2005 and 2006, my online habits became more channel-surfy than I would have hoped, had I stopped to think about it. Whereas I used to pick up the occasional Wired magazine or read a few news-and-design websites, I find myself darting from page to page, blog to blog, in search of the right-sized chunk of information to make the session worthwhile.

Looking back, I didn't get much out of it. It felt like chugging a few Red Bull caffeine drinks and then tearing into the magazine sections at Barnes & Noble. (With the exception, of course, of the audio skit "Bulbous Bouffant," [.mp3] which I learned about from friend-with-alias Crispy Herb Polenta.)

Though J-Fav and I have considered "no-media" nights for a while, I can pinpoint my frustration with this web-surfing attention deficit trait to the above link of Godin's. So much stuff! So many "human news bots," as Guy Kawasaki calls people like me, who attempt to cull interesting news from an ocean of stuff for one's blog. Are we better for it? Is there a point of diminishing marginal returns in reading news sites, or reading periodicals in general?

I think my pendulum is swinging back. After T-Fav's asleep, Jenn and I hang out chatting and reading -- but the reading is usually online. Spending time "info slurping," as Joost Bonsen put it, is escapist, and I question if its value really is proportional to time. I think it hits a plateau each night. I'd like to step back, read words on paper instead of the screen. One of our iBooks just broke, and that's forced the first step...

Hey, isn't the first step recognizing you have a problem?


1 comment:

Crispy Herb Polenta said...

Uh, that isn't anything like "friend with privileges," is it?