From Adam Bosworth on ‘Tensions on the web’:

Indeed, every year in August, I vanish for a month from the web, turn off email, and deal with the withdrawal and suddenly I relearn how to think and concentrate. In a world where knowledge and thinking is everything, it is ironic that increasing availability had led to decreasing time in which to reflect, ponder, and just let the mind wander and yet these periods tend to be essential to truly thinking hard.

As always, he is bang on target!

5 thoughts on “Ponder

  1. One month ago, I ran an experiment where I cut myself off from the internet for 7 days.It took quite a deal of effort (the urge to click ‘Connect’ was overwhelming) but I could really see what Adam means. After that, I changed my internet habits. I keep off IM a lot and also removed a lot of people off my IM lists. I also stopped checking ever mail as it arrived and handled mail in batches.I can see an increase in productivity..and also, extra time to think.

  2. I don’t think I can lay off the net for 7 days when I have a computer in front of me but I did get the idea after I forced myself to concentrate only on one thing at a time. It’s amazing the number of times my mind gets diverted.

  3. http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000022.html – You guys must have read Joel’s great essay on the subject. Bang on target, but something that managers who don’t come from a programming background will not understand. Context switching is massively harmful is you doing any worthwhile programming work. More than the manager the programmer himself needs to understand it. Some time back at work, I tried to track interrupts – drew one vertical line and crossed out the fifth interrupt. At the end of the day I had ten of those – i.e. fifty interrupts. Divide 8 hrs by 50 and you get the idea :-(. A lot of it was self inflicted – net, IM etc.

  4. I spent a week in feb without the net… I literally went MAD! Showed signs of irritation at every moment… the only respite was that I had LinuxAsia2005 to distract me…!

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