Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Time

Thanks for all the cheers and rah-rahs. Hopefully, I'll have a second story to share soon.

But, the writing is why my posting has been spotty. There's only so much time and energy in a day and the career writing has to take precedence. I'm hoping to start using blogging as a warm-up, though. Yeah, right, that's it. Warm up. That doens't sound like procrastination at all.

This morning, I was listening to the April 30 podcast of QN (formerly Quirky Nomads). She read an essay by Clay Shirky that I thought was just fantastic. He talks about how, with the advent of the 40 hour work week, human beings have all this extra time and energy on their hands and we've been using TV to dull the shock of this major cultural shift.

He also talks about something that knitters have to hear all the time--Where do you get the time? He does some geek math and proves that, compared to the time people spend watching TV, a huge project like Wikipedia is not actually all that time consuming. They get the time by turning off the box. Of course, with anything internet related, they're just looking at another box, but they're being less passive.

He's not suggesting anyone give up TV--he calls gin the 19th century equivalent to TV and I'm not giving either one up. (They both go great with pomegranate juice, by the way). But maybe we can dare to dream of a time where we won't get such condescending questions. Because really? Once you've gone through the time and concentration it takes to learn to knit, knitting while watching TV takes the same amount of time as watching TV empty-handed.

Go read it for yourself. And come back and discuss, if you'd like.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, man, I just read that Shirky essay aloud to Hombre and we were both blown away by the amount of time people spend watching television.

    People ask me how I get so much stuff done (and by my own standards I don't, but that's just me) and my answer is that I never follow more than one TV show at a time. Ever. Right now it's "The Office." If that goes off the air or fails to hold my interest, I might pick up another one later.

    Leaves me more free time for dance class, gardening, time with the kids and of course commenting on blog posts!

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