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

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

Înțelepciune vs poluare mentală

When media and the digital world become omnipresent, their influence can stop people from learning how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously. In this context, the great sages of the past run the risk of going unheard amid the noise and distractions of an information overload. Efforts need to be made to help these media become sources of new cultural progress for humanity and not a threat to our deepest riches. True wisdom, as the fruit of self-examination, dialogue and generous encounter between persons, is not acquired by a mere accumulation of data which eventually leads to overload and confusion, a sort of mental pollution. Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail, now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature.

Enciclica Papei Francisc – Laudato si’

Capcana productivității

Aplicațiile și sistemele de productivitate pot deveni un fel de a te ascunde de treaba pe care o ai de făcut:

Here’s the thing. There is always the next bright and shiny toy out there. There is always the next novel app, the next great list maker. Siri is always getting a little bit better. Evernote is always adding new features. There will always be productivity experts out there to tell you the best way to keep track of your life. In the end there’s no finish line. Maybe someday we’ll all have some perfect digital assistant provided by Google or Evernote, or Apple and we won’t have to think about this stuff any more. Except, we will. Because no digital assistant will be able to tell you what’s the most important thing for you to work on a Saturday morning. It won’t be able to shorten your to-do list. It won’t be able to be there at your kid’s soccer game. It will just be a little bit better at keeping your list.

Seamănă cu ce spuneau Whitson Gordon și Frank Chimero despre obsesia pentru gadgeturi și aplicații ca pierdere de vreme.


Destule unelte

Frank Chimero despre aplicațiile care complică viața în loc s-o simplifice:

Let’s talk about making tools. The things we make should either reduce pain, increase pleasure, or do some mix of the two. If you’re really good at goal A, you get a bit of goal B for free. And if you don’t figure out how to do either, you’re playing dress-up. Increasingly, I feel like a lot of my tools are dressing-up as tools, because they don’t offer any savings in time or effort, just slightly different methods to mindlessly shift information from one bucket to the next.

Whitson Gordon, editorul-șef al Lifehacker, spunea cam același lucru.

Economia atenției

  1. Everything begins with attention.

  2. It is vital to ask, “What must I pay attention to?”

  3. It is vital to ask, “What may I pay attention to?”

  4. It is vital to ask, “What must I refuse attention to?”

  5. To “pay” attention is not a metaphor: Attending to something is an economic exercise, an exchange with uncertain returns.

  6. Attention is not an infinitely renewable resource; but it is partially renewable, if well-invested and properly cared for.

  7. We should evaluate our investments of attention at least as carefully and critically as our investments of money.

  8. Sir Francis Bacon provides a narrow and stringent model for what counts as attentiveness: “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.”

Alan Jacobs – 79 Theses on Technology. For Disputation.