Nov 10

Information Cleanse Followup

It has been a week after my information cleanse, and I have noticed many changes. All of them are good.

As I said in the previous post, I used to mindlessly open up my web browser, check my email, then click on the Google Reader link. Now, I sit down in front of my computer, and I have no reason to click the link. There is nothing there.

Instead of clicking that link, I ask myself: “What can I do, right now, that is productive?” Which has been great because I end up creating things more often than I did before the cleanse.

I still get that urge to consume. But I focus that urge on reading longer articles and books that I have been avoiding because they were previously too long for my short attention span.

For instance, I finally picked up The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. I have been meaning to read it in order to find some time saving tips. And I like seeing what successful bloggers do when moving from the internet to bookstores.

I am a hundred pages into the book, so I can not say anything definitive about it just yet. But from what I have read so far, I do not recommend it. The majority of what he is saying is either trite (use the Pareto principle and watch out for Parkinson’s Law) or morally questionable (he exploited a technicality to win a national Chinese kickboxing tournament and suggests that you use similar techniques). However, he does have a chapter about going on a low-information diet. And he says to start off cold turkey.

I couldn’t agree more. And he is right when he says that I won’t miss it.

I know that there are a lot of things happening in the world that I am missing. But if something happens that is important enough, I will hear about it. And if there is information I need from the blogs that I used to follow, I will get it. But I will go to those blogs with a purpose. And it won’t be to just mindlessly consume information.

Oct 10

Information Cleanse


I have a number of ways that I put things off, but the main way is reading my news feeds.

So, I just unsubscribed from all 18 of them.

Most of the time, I did not even know that I was putting anything off. It just became a habit to get home, spend time with the family, and when free time came up, open up the laptop and pull up Google Reader. I could have chosen to do something productive when the free time came up. But, out of habit, I went to the news feed.

Reading the news (especially the kind that is customized to your interests) is a very difficult addiction to break. Keeping up to date on the latest happenings seems like a productive thing to do. Everyday I found out information that could have influenced the path I chose to take on projects at home or work. There were a ton of articles that I read that dove deep into technical subjects, listed out anti-akrasia techniques, analyzed world events, reviewed movies, linked to random, hilarious pictures, or consumed my time in any number of other interesting ways.

Continue reading →

Mar 10

TV is Not Enough

TV Static“[Nielsen's] report for 2009′s fourth quarter, which tracked viewing across TV, the Internet and mobile phones, found a 35 percent rise in the amount of time Americans used the TV and Internet simultaneously compared with the same quarter in 2008.” - The New York Times

I do it all the time. Actually, I rarely watch TV without the computer or my phone right in front of me. And this habit started relatively recently.

I remember when I would sit on the couch and just watch TV for a few hours in the evening. Sometimes, my viewing would consist of just flipping through the channels. I could never decide on a program that was good enough to watch all the way through. Some evenings, I would know exactly what I was going to watch, pay close attention to the show and turn off the TV when it was through.

Nowadays, I never watch a show without taking a moment to check my email or browse the web. And from the sounds of that New York Times article, I am not alone.

Continue reading →

Oct 09

Into the Cornfield

CornfieldIn an effort to continue to focus on inspiring things (and to keep in the Halloween spirit), I am going to go over another story that I enjoy.

“It’s a Good Life” is an episode of the Twilight Zone that aired back in 1961. It originated from a short story written by Jerome Bixby. Rod Serling adapted the story into an episode for the third season of the series. It was later made into one of the four segments of the 1983 Twilight Zone movie. The story is one of the most famous to come out of the Twilight Zone show.

Continue reading →

Oct 09

A Descent into the Maelström


“The slope of the sides of the vast funnel became momently less and less steep. The gyrations of the whirl grew, gradually, less and less violent. By degrees, the froth and the rainbow disappeared, and the bottom of the gulf seemed slowly to uprise. The sky was clear, the winds had gone down, and the full moon was setting radiantly in the west, when I found myself on the surface of the ocean, in full view of the shores of Lofoden, and above the spot where the pool of the Moskoe-ström had been.”

- Edgar Allan Poe, A Descent into the Maelström

Continue reading →