Tehnologie de dragul tehnologiei

Labor-saving devices … are invested with a halo of their own. This may be indicative of a fixation to a phase of adolescent activities in which people try to adapt themselves to modern technology by making it, as it were, their own cause… It seems that the kind of retrogression highly characteristic of persons who do not any longer feel they are the self-determining subjects of their fate, is concomitant with a fetishistic attitude towards the very same conditions which tend to be dehumanizing them. The more they are gradually being transformed into things, the more they invest things with a human aura. At the same time, the libidinization of gadgets is indirectly narcissistic in as much as it feeds on the ego’s control of nature: gadgets provide the subject with some memories of early feelings of omnipotence.

Work and Pleasure: Theodor Adorno on the Psychology of “Gadgeteering” and How the Cult of Efficiency Limits Our Happiness

Sfaturi de la designeri

Câteva sfaturi bune despre productivitate în materialul ăsta:

A lot of time can be wasted in pursuit of the wrong goal. The longer I have worked as a designer, the more I have learned establishing that you are working on the right thing from the beginning, not just working, boosts productivity. Sure, in the moment, time spent asking yourself, ‘Am I working on the right thing?’ makes you feel anxious, but it’s worth it. (…)

It’s important to make sure that when I’m not working, I’m not working. My job requires me to be in front of a screen all day, so I try to spend weekends away from screens—hiking, cooking, reading a book. And it’s important for me to have a life outside of work. Most of my friends aren’t in the design or tech industry. When life is interesting, meaningful, and offers different perspectives, then productivity at work comes naturally.

De ce ne vine greu să ne deconectăm

The problem is that my brain feels stuffed with so much information and pulled in so many directions that there is no room left to take in anything more, much less to figure out how what’s already in there fits together.

My brain has become less a repository for knowledge than a perpetual motion machine.

You don’t need another polemic on the evils of overload, overwhelm and overdrive. You’ve got so many URLs left to visit before you sleep, and such limited attention to parse out along the way. I ask you to indulge me just briefly.

At the risk of losing all credibility, I believe our attention crisis has reached a new Defcon level. I can’t prove it, but I sense it in countless conversations, like the one I had last night in which a young woman told me that she found it difficult to read even a short article on the Internet all the way through. Or the person who told me that being asked in a meeting to turn off email prompts in him something close to a panic attack.

Tony Schwartz – Struggling to Disconnect From Our Digital Lives

Reviste pentru bărbați

Instead of highlighting the realities of single life, Esquire‘s portrayal of bachelorhood was based on looking and acting the part of the swinging ladies’ man, even though most of the magazine’s readers were married. Esquire’s idealized postwar bachelor had no obligations outside of his own desire for women and luxury products (often considered one in the same). He bought his own clothes, drove his own car, and took solo vacations to exotic places. The bachelor became a symbol of postwar consumerism and hedonism, and as a result, became a symbol of freedom for white American men looking for a way to feel important again.

Manisha Aggarwal-Schifellite – How Esquire Engineered the Modern Bachelor

Nimeni nu poate să doarmă în locul tău

Taken together, the current research on sleep offers us a valuable lesson. We all want to be productive and effective at what we do. But when we try to boost productivity by expanding our waking hours, we aren’t doing anyone any favors. We lose more by skimping on rest than we can ever gain back by adding a few hours to our days. We are less productive, less insightful, less happy, more likely to get sick. And we have no idea just how much we’ve compromised our abilities and health in the process: ask most anyone and they will tell you they do just fine with five, six hours. We systematically undervalue sleep, and yet it is fundamental to our present and future performance. And unlike most anything else, sleep is one of the few things we have to do ourselves. No one can do it for you.

Maria Konnikova – The Walking Dead

Coloana sonoră a vieții

Once you accept that music is an input, a factor of production, you’ll naturally seek to minimize the cost and effort required to acquire the input. And since music is “context” rather than “core,” to borrow Geoff Moore’s famous categorization of business inputs, simple economics would dictate that you outsource the supply of music rather than invest personal resources — time, money, attention, passion — in supplying it yourself. You should, as Google suggests, look to a “team of music experts” to “craft” your musical inputs, “song by song,” so “you don’t have to.” To choose one’s own songs, or even to develop the personal taste in music required to choose one’s own songs, would be wasted labor, a distraction from the series of essential jobs that give structure and value to your days.

Art is an industrial lubricant that, by reducing the friction from activities, makes for more productive lives.

Nicholas Carr – Music is the oil in the human machine

Corpul ca religie

Ce să-i faci, nu te pui cu credinţa omului! Dar nici măcar în creştinism nu-mi plac habotnicii, iar pe fundamentalişti îi detest. În ceea ce îi priveşte pe habotnicii cultului corpului, aceştia pur şi simplu mă scot din sărite. De fapt, mi se par ridicoli pînă în momentul în care, cu o privire de iniţiaţi, vor să mă convertească la dreapta lor credinţă şi să jur călare pe un aparat de fitness şi cu mîna pe morcov că voi muri sănătos, întru gloria corpului de-a pururea detoxifiat. De asemenea, deşi sînt o fire compasivă, îmi este greu să le plîng de milă cînd îi ia cu ameţeală la serviciu sau leşină pe stradă în urma îndeplinirii cu prea mult sîrg a sfintelor lor canoane de mîntuire a corpului. Aşa că, impertinent şi impenitent, mă declar eretic!

Vintilă Mihăilescu – Detoxifierea şi păcatul originar

“It is a sign of aphuia” says he,—that is, of a nature not finely tempered,—”to give yourselves up to things which relate to the body; to make, for instance, a great fuss about exercise, a great fuss about eating, a great fuss about drinking, a great fuss about walking, a great fuss about riding. All these things ought to be done merely by the way: the formation of the spirit and character must be our real concern.”

Epictet, citat de Matthew Arnold


Somn ușor

The questions currently debated by sleep scientists, especially regarding the impact of light and darkness upon our well-being, do not begin with the advent of artificial lighting in the industrial age but rather in the more distant early modern period. Venner’s advice still rings true today: ‘If therefore ye desire peaceable and comfortable rest, live soberly, eschew crudity, and embrace tranquillity of minde.’

Katharine A. Kraik – The Importance of a Good Night’s Sleep

Cum ne schimbă Facebookul

I don’t think there’s evidence that Facebook makes us lonely. If you have friends, you use Facebook to build friendships. If you’re lonely, you use Facebook to mask friendship. It’s not the technology, it’s the self.

There are two ways social media challenges us. The first is, the idea of broadcasting yourself all the time where we create an avatar of ourselves that is the fake person of ourselves. It’s the highlight reel we put on Instagram. That’s an act of propaganda. The fatal line of propaganda is, the only person it persuades is the author of propaganda. As we put fake images on Facebook and Instagram, we come to believe that’s who we are.

The second is the distraction factor. I find it very hard to sit down and read books and read important things because I waste so much time answering e-mail and on Twitter. It’s like candy that’s always there, mental candy, and makes you shallower because you don’t carve out the time to read something that would make you spiritually enriched.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey – Interviu cu David Brooks