Growing more itchy and agitated by the day

Sven Birkerts

“Sven Birkerts is an anxious man. By turns he is frightened, terrified, alarmed, filled with dread. On one occasion he shudders in his core; mostly he is just plain worried. What concerns him, a concern he is eager to transmit to us, is the rapid spread of computer, Internet and telephone technologies and more specifically what those technologies are doing to our minds. Forever glued to screens of one kind or another, clicking compulsively on the links others provide for us, we are losing the ability to concentrate, growing more itchy and agitated by the day, allowing our consciousness to be fragmented and dispersed.”

~ Tim Parks. Read his full NY Times review of Sven Birkerts new book here: “Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age.”

Amazon’s Book Summary: “After two decades of rampant change, Birkerts has allowed a degree of everyday digital technology into his life. He refuses to use a smartphone, but communicates via e-mail and spends some time reading online. In Changing the Subject, he examines the changes that he observes in himself and others–the distraction when reading on the screen; the loss of personal agency through reliance on GPS and one-stop information resources; an increasing acceptance of “hive” behaviors. “An unprecedented shift is underway,” he argues, and “this transformation is dramatically accelerated and more psychologically formative than any previous technological innovation.” He finds solace in engagement with art, particularly literature, and he brilliantly describes the countering energy available to us through acts of sustained attention, even as he worries that our increasingly mediated existences are not conducive to creativity. It is impossible to read Changing the Subject without coming away with a renewed sense of what is lost by our wholesale acceptance of digital innovation and what is regained when we immerse ourselves in a good book.”

About right

internet, social media,offline

Story at Time Magazine: Never Offline. Image via

(Truth) The junkie’s temporary relief at the fleeting fix


For most of my adult life, I have read, like E. I. Lonoff in Roth’s The Ghost Writer, primarily at night: a hundred or so pages every evening once Rae and the kids have gone to bed. These days, after spending hours on the computer, I pick up a book and read a paragraph; then my mind wanders and I check my e-mail, drift onto the Internet, pace the house before returning to the page. Or I want to do these things but don’t, force myself to remain still, to follow what I’m reading until I give myself over to the flow. What I’m struggling with is the encroachment of the buzz, the sense that there is something out there that merits my attention, when in fact it’s mostly just a series of disconnected riffs, quick takes and fragments, that add up to the anxiety of the age. How did this happen? Perhaps it’s easier to pinpoint when. Certainly, it began after the fall of 2006, when I first got high-speed Internet, which I had previously resisted because I understood my tendency to lose myself in the instant gratifications of the information stream. […] It all felt so immensely freighted that to look back now is to recall little more than the frantic blur of stimulation, the lab rat’s manipulated jolt at pressing the proper button, the junkie’s temporary relief at the fleeting fix.

~ David L. Ulin. The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time.

Related David L. Ulin Post: We immerse, slow down. Photo credit:

Go cold turkey for Cash? A tough call.


Source: Thanks Susan.

Batting .500!


All good on the caffeine, alcohol and exercise fronts! (So sad on the latter)!

Source: The Huffington Post via Ilovecharts

There’s only one lady I dance with…

And given that I don’t dance, this is saying something.  (I watched Dancing With The Stars last night so dancing is on the mind.)  I’ve tried them all.  Safari.  Firebox. Internet Explorer.  And others.  The Google Chrome Browser is simply in a league of its own.  Nothing comes close.  Here’s a quick review of why it works for me and why you might find it helpful as a blogger, writer or a PC/Mac desktop/laptop user:

Syncing.  It follows me where ever I go.  I log in on any computer and bang!  There are all my tabs, extensions and folders.  It’s like I never leave my favorite cozy couch and comforter.  It syncs across all computers.  I have immediate access to all of my tabs and extensions from any machine.  I can get started immediately without interruption.

Tabs: Tabs are Tabtastic as a PC Magazine’s review describes them.  I can set frequently-used tabs that I can click to access sites immediately.  I can park less frequently used sites into folders.  All easy to set up and access.

Extensions.  These are BIG.  I use them often.  You can hang free productivity apps from the browser (and they follow me on all machines).  There is a simple download process from the Google WebStore.  There are hundreds of apps.  My favorite 1-click extensions are the Evernote clipper (stores articles, jot notes, clip articles for sharing); Diigo (for quick bookmarking and highlighting); 1Password (password setting, storage and auto login – because who can remember all of their passwords? This works great);  Addthis (for sharing via email, twitter, tumblr, facebook and many others);  Chrome Notepad (handy, simple note taking app that I use all the time) and Readability (save articles to read later online or offline and syncs to Ipads and Iphones.  Works beautifully.) [Read more…]

Yep. About right.

fun, funny, quote, ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder, Focus, surfing

Now you can more fully understand why the exercise in the last post was such a struggle.


Best Jobs in America

Job, Jobs, Employment, Work, Business

Click on image above and then click again on the image in the article for a full size view of the Best Jobs In America. No surprise – Technology, Healthcare, Telecom and Professional Services rank high on the list.  Interesting research and findings. Best Jobs:

  • Online Affiliates posting links for Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter (Categorized as high pay, low stress).
  • Mathematician
  • Actuary
  • Statistician
  • Computer systems analyst

Hit for full article titled “Want a Tough Job?  Do the Math.”

Source: Thank you for the share.

    Note: Rachel/Eric, I hope you are reading and digesting this too!
    Related Posts:

The first step toward enlightenment?

Source: teachingliteracy