There's been a bunch of good commenting lately. This comment by "jojomonkey" on "Conceding Defeat – The Internet is Stronger Than I Am" I thought is especially worth learning from.
jojomonkey wrote -
It is funny reading this. I have been doing the same thing for quite some time. I don’t put quantified limits on myself but instead qualitative limits. Overall, technology (not just the internet) has the power to zap time away from us when misued or overused. I used to read tech blogs like every hour – waiting for the next update. I used to fiddle with my Android phone downloading apps, customizing, etc…I used to download all the popular TV shows with bittorrent because it was easy.
The question I finally asked myself was the same you asked yourself – what am I getting from all this? Does it make sense to even read about a whole sector of a particular technology if say you’re not interested in buying a product from that area? Of course not (unless your job depends on it). This is because in 6 months something else will replace it. Did I get anything from watching this ridiculous yet popular TV show? Does my phone work/look better?
I realized how much time I’ve wasted over the years worrying or partaking in things that always left me feeling that I had spent my time doing something but that something lacked some real substance. I now find more time to exercise (best shape of my life), read books (I’ve read 2 books in the last 6 months – thats more than I’ve read in the past 4 years), listen to new music, meet new people, and do a lot of things that have actual value to me.
The best part is knowing that I am not wasting my time on things that leave me feeling empty and indeed there is a big satisfaction in knowing that I have control over technology and I don’t let it run my life (I can’t even think of going back to using Facebook).
Really, read that whole thing. It's excellent.
"The question I finally asked myself was the same you asked yourself – what am I getting from all this? Does it make sense to even read about a whole sector of a particular technology if say you’re not interested in buying a product from that area? Of course not (unless your job depends on it). This is because in 6 months something else will replace it. Did I get anything from watching this ridiculous yet popular TV show? Does my phone work/look better?
I realized how much time I’ve wasted over the years worrying or partaking in things that always left me feeling that I had spent my time doing something but that something lacked some real substance."
And then some thoughts on how he changed it up... excellent comment, JJM, thanks for sharing that.
A few of my friends - three friends, to be exact - mentioned to me that I write a heck of a lot on here and they're impressed. I have convinced the ultra-smart Sami Baqai to start blogging, and he just got the holy-shit-this-is-hard-I'm-overwhelmed feeling. Ah, yes, I have been there Sami. Perhaps I can share some thoughts.
First and foremost, I am a huge devotee of the Equal-Odds Rule. As far as I know, I'm the only person talking about it outside of academia. This Amazon review covers it pretty well:
The equal-odds rule says that the average publication of any particular scientist does not have any statistically different chance of having more of an impact than any other scientist's average publication. In other words, those scientists who create publications with the most impact, also create publications with the least impact, and when great publications that make a huge impact are created, it is just a result of "trying" enough times. This is an indication that chance plays a larger role in scientific creativity than previously theorized.
So I read that, and I'm like - whoa. You know Neo in the Matrix? Whoa.
If you want to make excellent stuff, you need to make a lot of stuff.
Do you remember getting stung by a bee as a kid? I do. I was 8 years old, running around our block. As a kid I lived in a small neighborhood with a block of houses where all the backyards were sheltered from the road by the houses and kids could run around without worrying about cars like we were meant to run in our natural state - the backyard. I was having a great time playing something - probably football - and got stung by a bee that migrated from a neighboring flower garden to our makeshift football field. I thought my day was ruined.
As a kid I had no perspective but I still felt like this fine fall day, one of the last nice days of the year had be squandered now that I was stung by a bee. I hadn't learned to curse yet but would have if I knew how. Then, like any other kid, I ran home to be attended to by mom who shared some empathy but not didn't share in my agony.
Twenty years later was the next time I was stung, and it hurt but it didn't ruin in anything. Instead of feeling like the world was ending because of this horticultural happenstance. It was a minor irritation, something I would hardly think about. I had gotten big.
As a kid, I lacked the emotional perspective that bee stings are small and insignificant and I lacked the physical fortitude to recognize that it didn't really hurt that much. As a then twenty, and now thirty year old, I have those things. But I wonder, what is the equivalent now? If being stun by a bee felt like my day was ruined when I was eight, what ruins my day now? The answer to that is people.
Other people are the single biggest force that ruins my day. More than rain, snow, any other weather or long lines at the grocery store - those I guess there are other people there. All that is really stupid. If people ruin my day then what does that say about me? When I was eight it said I didn't have much emotional maturity and my guess is that it says the same thing now. Let's stop all that nonsense then. If I overcame bee stings then I can certainly overcome people.