Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yes, this is true:

(via Mark Morford)
Your terrifying word of the day is "microtasking" and it comes by way of a relatively humble, ostensibly helpful article I read via one of those perky little DIY blogs that exist to tell you a million ways to tweak and hack your entire existence to gain maximum productivity, efficiency and improved overall time management, because, well, if that's not the true meaning of this manic American life, what is?The advice was horrifyingly simple: When you find yourself pausing in between normal projects and work tasks for anything more than, say, 30 seconds, why not take those tiny moments and, well, do more things? I mean, you're just sort of sitting there, right? 
What sort of things? Fast things, little things, otherwise inconsequential things you don't care about otherwise, like clearing your junk mail, refilling the stapler, changing your voicemail message, retweeting someone's Twitter blip or giving a momentary damn about something you need not give a damn about otherwise but hey, what else are you gonna do, breathe? Feel? Merely... exist? What are you, a hippie?
This is so right on. We have become a nation that seems to abhor leisure or even relaxation, where people have to be able to go online wherever they go and work on their time off at every moment.
Ain't it a shame? Don't ideas like microtasking speak directly to the toxic, Puritanical American work ethic that tells us if you're not spending pretty much every waking moment in some manner of chore, well, your value as a human is more than a little bit diminished? Is it not the idea that a given month, week, day or hour is nothing more than a giant, blank To Do list in need of a some items?

Yes, we're Americans. We are, by and large, utterly terrified of silence, stillness, spaciousness, the doing of nothing so as to feel the totality of everything. Meditation, for most, is disquieting and strange. Deep quiet feels weird and dangerous, a void aching to be filled. The Internet has us convinced that the world is a roaring fire hose of urgent information, and if you can't swallow it all, well, something must be wrong with you.
Warren Zevon sang "I'll sleep when I'm dead" many years ago, but I'll relax when I'm dead seems to be the new philosophy of our culture.

And which is more important? Microtasking or macromeaning?

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