“The only factor becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention” Kevin Kelly
I don’t know who Kevin Kelly is yet, but in one line he summed up what probably is the biggest threat to humanity in the coming age of technology, artificial intelligence, and the bot life. you can see the precursor or foreshadowing of it today. simply walk into a public coffee shop or café in the USA and count how many people are staring into their cell phones, oblivious to anyone around them. this trend is in various parts of the world, but you can still see people talking in most countries – enjoying the company of each other, and not an infamous staring at the phone.
it might be like going to school to learn etiquette and manners and having the teacher always answering calls and checking emails while teaching. not to be critical, but i really am getting tired of really good writers thinking it is cool to have to feel the need to use george carlins seven words you can't say on tv and think it is hip, or somehow adds value to their message....it dillutes it, while i guess the writers think it is distilling it?
when did incivility become the norm of civil in the west?
yesterday I lamented that I was craving deeper content, yet, the various models that are out there – have me wonder, “what is really worth the money?” today, buried in the email from medium was an article that pretty much sums up and sounds like what my normal life is like, and the model we are learning to build and/or move around the planet that would allow for deep thinking and the use of prototype fabrications (working with one's hands) at the same time.
as I read this article, I wondered if I had a twin, as he explained the how and why’s of what I had to take a great deal of time to learn, and probably even more trials & errors to make the process a habit. I stopped going to the coffee shop years ago when people watching became, “watching people staring into their mobiles” and in Switzerland, I would go broke drinking coffees in a café with a sketchbook. I never understood, “one café?”
I digress. while it might not look like it from the outside looking in, a great deal of time and work has gone into trying to create a life that is not following the herd, is not based on some social “keep up with the jones” and will allow for as much time working on things to do what I like, versus, working for a wage. I worked for a wage starting out and asked, “I am doing this just because I want money to get to where I want to go.” it was unfulfilling and sort of a drag to have a dream, yet, not be putting all ones time into it -but if you were not born with a silver spoon, that is how you can get ahead – work hard.
the other part of the article is about the shifting of deep work and how it really only can happen a few hours a day. with me, the deep work, or deep thought, is each morning where you really can’t keep your mind flowing at that speed all the day long. rare is the full day brainstorm – a bit of a magical place where you are surrounded by good ideas, concepts, and ways to create the best solution, and then a plethora of line extensions or new ideas spew out from the original.
to do this, you do need undistracted spaces and time. when you are in that space, a simple person distracting you can throw you off completely. it is the same with prayer and meditation – when you are there – in a zone – it is very delicate. it is also so easy for someone to walk in and ask you a question about nothing and have you wonder, “is this the most important thing in their lives? or are they being busy to be busy?
the last question – if you really take a hard look at how you spend your time, what you watch, and do – I think most people would be shocked at how much of their time is filled doing stuff that is business and/or a habit that has crept into their lives, that they might not even be aware of.
it seems we have created a world of rewarding being busy and figuring out some path that you can springboard yourself into a higher position of business and money, by doing the least amount of work and being more of a social butterfly. there was another part of the article in which the man talks about the sharing economy and open workspace design and how it inhibits deep thinking. the reality is this doesn’t have to happen – you can do both – but modern management does not like the idea so much as there is more effort placed on control and quantifying productivity. just because you have a lot of meeting and a full schedule doesn’t mean much if you are not productive – it simply means you are busy.
what we are working on now, a mobile brainstorm/make space has come out of two things. the first is the death of the coffee shop in the sense of what it was before the internet and everyone having a mobile device to distract them and keep them busy. I have to confess, I had no idea how much time I was wasting talking to friends about all my “stuff” and it was almost like I hear today…everyone is talking, but how many are listening? I mean how many people are really taking the time to listen to the other? are you? what do you do when you are listening to the others “stuff” and you want to ask, “when is the last time you did something to change yourself or your situation?”
they say love is being patient and spending time with others – yet – what if the others don’t want to actually do anything to change, or are afraid of what change might bring? this point was brought out in the article about pushing your limits. in a world with much, and a plethora of choices and instant gratification – it makes life really easy to sit there and not change oneself and just follow the herd.
the one constant I do have in life is that I never really was part of the bigger herd much. I always had a slightly different twist or asked, “why?” all the time. perhaps that is my struggle with limits and the idea of spirituality/religion in the modern world. I have to say “spirituality” more for the sake of what I am writing because how many folks simply go to a religious institution much like they show up at a gym or place of work to punch in on the timeclock, spend the time, and think, “I profited from this?”
there is a lot to be said about a balanced life and the discipline of certain pieces of it in everyday life with exercise, deep work, hand work, rest, sleep, meditation/prayer, family, and great coffee (like how I threw that in)
what blows me away, and I see this from various levels – is how the few want the mass to behave or believe in a certain way. we get the same issue in the 3rd world where we run into a form of control/power/corruption that has people speaking, much like our leaders in the USA that they want a better life for the people. in our case, it is “do you want to really teach people to fish for themselves? or just feed them for a day?”
the sad reality is that on much of the planet, the idea of control and having people living in a fear based world is far easier than having people take the time to stop, get still and ask, “what exactly was I doing on that gerbil mill called life? just running all the time and going nowhere?”
my current issue today is that I am scattered across half the planet. while I can operate and do many things like this – it is not the same, nor does it have the depth to really produce some things that really can help others. perhaps it is later in life, when you get off that gerbil mill that you realize life has more value not in acquiring stuff – but sharing stuff.
what I don’t see happening is the sharing economy and way of life in the developed world. actually, I take that back – as when I think of the opening quote, “the only factor becoming scarce in a world of abundance is human attention” Kevin Kelly I realize, that humanity can contract back a bit and learn to share time with each other.
the question will be will people really learn to communicate, talk, and listen? really share?
or will the information simply become a blast furnace of noise with everyone talking, and no one listening?
I have to find this writer and send him a hand written thank you note. I don’t know if I need to read the book “deep work – rules for focused success in a distracted work (I would say world)” as I spent a lot of time, money, trial and error to seemingly come up with the same conclusion I read about. have a great day…now…I realize I really haven’t done deep brainstorms lately – I am so “busy” trying to type documents up for people to see the ideas clearer. It is why I miss having the prototyping space with me – and ironically why we are designing the global make/prototype space – I just got tired of seeing how universities, politicians, and co-working don’t really share all that well. the irony is in the 3rd world, I see people sharing well all the time. the reason is because they don’t all have as much.
go figure. to my friends running and working in the Badwater 135…good luck, I have no idea how you all do it.
what I do realize is why with invention and innovation, you don’t have the ability to shut off or check out when you punch the time clock, as I have heard the term, “leave it at the door” with most work – as people are doing it because they are working for a wage. if your work is something you love to do…then you have to work in a way that is a bit different than the masses….they might relax watching television and all the freaking varieties of the same talent, cooking, baking shows (when did this happen in the USA?) I would prefer making a dinner and a cake and having some people over…ideally to talk about ideas, but truthfully, to talk about whatever…
…now if only I could master learning to listen! :o?
I am laughing, as I am trying to find a way to write to the author, but you can't connect to him unless you sign into the Facebook and other social media - I found was more distracting than productive to deep work...irony. now i go find out who Kevin Kelly is wiht a cup of fresh coffee! (if you read this post..this is what goes on in my mind all day long)