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

Ne place să ne ofensăm

Outrage is a kind of drug, one that gives the illusion of involvement, of caring, when really derives its power from an emotional and informational distance that the stories themselves then strive to deepen, laying the groundwork for the next piece of outrage porn to do its work. And thus proceeds an addictive cycle. (…)

And I don’t know what to do about that. In my own life, and my own writing, I strive to follow the line from “Wargames” – “the only way to win is not to play.” As a consequence, outrage, like cheap vodka, which once seemed to reduce my inhibitions and make me feel strong and confident, now makes me feel a bit ill, and puts me to sleep.

Noah Millman – Fighting Outrage Porn Addiction

Viețile celorlalți par mereu interesante

I only tweet or gram (Is that a word? Kids these days!) when I have something interesting, funny or of value to share. In reality, 99% of my day is filled with non-interesting, non-funny stuff.

I know this about myself yet when I go online and read or see other people’s stuff, I assume they’re different, and somehow, their lives are awesome and interesting all of the time. That’s because all I see are their interesting bits and bytes.

Paul Jarvis – No one on the Internet is living the life you think they are

De ce unii preferă să asculte muzică în timp ce lucrează

My hypothesis, subject to your sage review, is that the baseline stimulation of normal life has become a higher distraction than loud music blaring in both ears. Music once created a distraction in a quiet world. Now music creates a bit of a buffer from the baseline circus of your normal existence. And in this context I do not mean the noise of the outside world so much as the mental distraction of simply knowing you might have a message if only you looked. Stuff like that.

Music is somewhat predictable, especially for familiar songs, and it soon blends into the background of your mind, creating (in my experience) a sort of force field that keeps away the outside world. It is a defense against the distractions the world has inserted in your mind.

Scott Adams – Digital Distraction Syndrome

De ce e generația noastră obsedată de mâncare?

I really think it comes down to technology, for a few reasons. One, is sensory deprivation. We have formed into a society that’s so accustomed to sitting in front of a screen and typing, for the vast majority of the day. And the truth of the matter is that it’s not exciting all of our senses. Through interviews over and over again, I kept hearing that people want something that’s tangible, that they can see and feel and smell and taste and that we’re the guinea pigs of growing up in that [digital] world.

At the same time, it’s also making us more isolated. We’re craving community. And food is also allowing us to access the globe, so we can find out what harissa is made with and how to prepare something with it, in two seconds on our phones.

Joe Pinsker – Interviu cu Eve Turow

Datoria scriitorului introvertit de a se promova

I am grateful that there are many vibrant, engaged, brilliant people involved in the arts community who are much smarter than me and much more talented than me and much better writers than me, and who take pleasure and satisfaction in being a part of this community. For many, this inclusion is stimulating—it feeds the creative impulse, warms it with community spirit, keeps the mind and heart percolating. But it’s not right for me. I still don’t like where it’s taking me personally, the way it’s coercing me and guilting me and laying down standards and requirements for my viability, complicating my very simple ambitions with all this clutter: get your name here, network on this platform and that one, take photos, give a talk, show up.

Meghan Tifft – An Introverted Writer’s Lament

Lucrurile de care fugim

Apropo de impulsul de a face aproape orice pentru a ne feri de întrebările care contează, se pare că cineva i-a luat-o înainte lui Louis CK:

Nobody diagnosed this problem as brilliantly as Friedrich Nietzsche, the cantankerous 19th-century German philosopher who argued in Unmodern Observations that we seek out distractions in order to stay mentally busy, so we can avoid facing up to the big questions—like whether we’re living genuinely meaningful lives. We tweet and click and dive into angry online arguments because “when we are alone and quiet, we fear that something will be whispered into our ear.” Worse still, even work that feels productive can really be a form of distraction, if it keeps us from addressing what’s most important. “How we labor at our daily work more ardently and thoughtlessly than is necessary,” Nietzsche wrote, is because “it is even more necessary not to have leisure to stop and think. Haste is universal because everyone is in flight from himself.”

Oliver Burkeman – Why Are We so Distracted All the Time?

De ce se vând tabloidele

There can be no denying the public appetite for political sex scandals – but why is this the case? Perhaps, as Myisha Cherry suggests, it’s because we take “vicarious pleasure in the rule-breaking of another”. The actions of Sewel are reprehensible but also titillating – he is breaking rules in the most flagrant fashion and behaving in a way many of would certainly not dare to. (…)

More generally, returning once again to the ideas of Cherry, perhaps political sex scandals provide a “distraction from the tedium of one’s own difficult everyday problems”. Simple familiar escapism, then, where unacceptable sexual behaviour is punished by public humiliation – followed, in some instances, by professional ruin.

John Jewell – Very British scandal continues rich tradition of tabloid titillation – and never mind the ethics

Inteligență cristalizată într-o lume conectată

Crystallized intelligence is the ability to use experience, knowledge and the products of lifelong education that have been stored in long-term memory. It is the ability to make analogies and comparisons about things you have studied before. Crystallized intelligence accumulates over the years and leads ultimately to understanding and wisdom.

The online world is brand new, but it feels more fun, effortless and natural than the offline world of reading and discussion. It nurtures agility, but there is clear evidence by now that it encourages a fast mental rhythm that undermines the ability to explore narrative, and place people, ideas and events in wider contexts.

David Brooks – Building Attention Span