Return of the Weekend Luddite

An everyday system, TM, is a simple, commonsense solution to an everyday problem, grounded by a pun or metaphor. Propose/discuss new systems here.
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reinhard
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Return of the Weekend Luddite

Post by reinhard » Tue May 03, 2005 3:59 am

Since the birth of my daughter, I haven't been a particularly conscientious weekend luddite. I've had so little time to do anything, that not doing something didn't seem like much of an issue. But I'm starting to think it is. Having less time makes what I little I have more valuable, and I'm scrambling enough without also scrambling to check the computer every free moment. So I've made it my monthly resolution for May to get serious about Weekend Luddite again, and as a sign of this renewed commitment I've decided to dignify it with its own semi-permanent everyday systems page:

http://everydaysystems.com/weekendluddite

Observant, long time yahoo groupies will notice that I pretty much just lifted the above from this post:

http://everydaysystems.com/group/6.html

But I'll tart it up a bit over the course of the month.

"Monthly resolution," which should probably be dignified with a page of its own as well, might be a good impetus for me to finally increase the number of published systems beyond three...

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Good luck Ludditing!

Post by gratefuldeb67 » Tue May 03, 2005 8:44 pm

Since you are a computer programmer by day, I can understand why you don't want to use all your free weekend time, at the computer..
Still, I find it hilarious, that you are now making a special site for this endeavor, because aren't you supposed to be having LESS time in front of the screen? Won't this site require you to check in even more? LOL :P
Perhaps you are just boosting up your resolve by making this decision public knowledge... I am, of course, writing all this in fun.
Good luck not checking in! It's a habit, just like any other.
Love,
8) Deb

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Post by reinhard » Wed May 04, 2005 3:27 am

There is something absurd about it. That just shows how far gone I am. Still, I'm confident it'll work, and I won't let consistency, "the hobgoblin of little minds," get in the way.

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hobgoblins

Post by gratefuldeb67 » Wed May 04, 2005 11:56 am

This is one I really don't get! LOL...
Maybe the hobgoblins got the better of me already, even though I have no clue what that represents, other than little teeny guys, with weird pointy ears who eat peoples children and cause general havoc...

Is "consistency" being equated with bad habits?
Duh?????
Oooh, sure hope you don't think *I'm* a hobgoblin *or* have a "little mind"
LOL... (just a slow, and paranoid one, right now!)
PS. I am happy that the Shogun of EDS is having fun posting again!
Seems like this board is more conducive to getting creative with writing :wink:
I look forward to watching Aparajito. As long as it doesn't have tacky popular Indian music in the background I'll be okay... I remember a Satayjit Ray movie which Ravi Shankar played sitar on, as a soundtrack. That was very beautiful and evocative of the nature scenes and the characters emotions... Is Aparajito one of his films too?

Rein, outside of possibly my son, when he gets a bug up his "you know what", to do some project, you must be the most determined guy around.
And, I want you to know that I totally admire that quality! You have inspired, probably thousands of people on the planet, to better their lives, through your example, and you are respected and loved for that!
I wasn't really casting doubt on your plans, just being a little devil :P
Whatever you set your mind to, I am sure, will be successful!
You have to tools and imagination, to make the most mundane of tasks into a personal growth crusade :D
Rage against mediocrity!
Sorry if I was being a hobgoblin
Have a great day oh creative one!
Shogun of Systems :D
Love,
8) Deb
(who uses metaphors without even knowing what they mean! LOL...)

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Post by reinhard » Thu May 05, 2005 7:06 pm

You're no hobgoblin. The apparent inconsistency is creating a luddite (anti-tech) web page (tech), replete with distracting links to irrelevant subjects. But see, that's where the "weekend" bit comes in.

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Weekend Luddite

Post by Marsha » Fri May 06, 2005 12:45 pm

Reinhard I am sending that page to my son. He is a computer programmer also and I think he needs it too. No family yet to really make it necessary (maybe that is why his girlfriend just broke up with him) but maybe he needs to learn to take a break before he really needs it.

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Post by reinhard » Fri May 06, 2005 1:19 pm

Let me know what he thinks, Marsha. As far as I know, I'm the only weekend luddite in the world, and only one consecutive weekend into it. I could use some company!

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Post by reinhard » Mon May 09, 2005 4:39 pm

Update: 2nd weekend down. So far, so good. A number of times I caught myself wandering like a zombie over to my computer for absolutely no reason, but I always caught myself on time. The only fudgery was my inlaws asked me to update their antivirus software, but I'm not going to count that as a violation because it would have been rude to object, I didn't initiate or enjoy it, and it took just a few focused minutes.

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Inlaws made me do it!

Post by gratefuldeb67 » Thu May 12, 2005 2:25 am

You're excused.
Especially since you didn't enjoy it! :lol:
But how will you post to us if you are ludditing?
:wink:
Love,
Deb

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Post by reinhard » Thu May 12, 2005 12:23 pm

You'll have to do without me for two 12 hour blocks a week. Sorry!

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Post by reinhard » Mon May 16, 2005 3:00 am

Third weekend down, this time no funny stuff whatsoever. Sorry for getting a little behind on the BB action... will remedy tomorrow.

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Post by gratefuldeb67 » Mon May 16, 2005 1:06 pm

So with all your serious weekend ludditing, didja do anything fun in it's place? :D How's the little Engel?
Have a great day Reinhard et al.
Love,
Deb

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Post by reinhard » Tue May 24, 2005 1:43 pm

4th weekend down, as you can tell from the lull in my posts, quite successfully. Just one more weekend left this month. Assuming that goes as well, I'll feel comfortable moving on to my next monthly resolution. I might keep posting my status here for a few weekends longer, just because a weekend habit doesn't get as much play as a weekdaily one, and presumably takes a little more calendar time to build. This is a great habit, and I'm determined to make it stick this time.

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Post by reinhard » Mon May 30, 2005 5:23 pm

5th weekend down. Monthly resolution officially performed. So what have I been reading about on these luddite weekends (or more accurately, for the couple free hours each weekend my baby daughter graciously allowed me)? 2 things, mostly: Plato's Meno and biblical/philosophical/scientific takes on the soul. May take a few more weekends to get to the bottom of these. :wink:

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Post by gratefuldeb67 » Mon May 30, 2005 7:40 pm

Plato! Figures, a guy like you who likes "Plates" so much! :P


Just kidding! It's a defense mechanism, you know...
I always make fun of people who are clearly smarter than me! LOL...
You are very cool!
I like your soul :D

Love,
8) Deb
Amatuer philosopher...

Oh, congrats on your monthly resolution! You are my hero!!!
This month my EDS resolution, is to attend Yoga 4 days a week...
Wish me luck!

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Post by reinhard » Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:07 pm

6th weekend down. Extra credit territory now. I'm confident I"ve got this down, but as I mentioned, I'll keep updating a bit longer. After that, I'll only post to this thread if I slip up. When you start a habit, both success and failure are information. Once you've firmly established the habit, success is assumed; failure becomes the only information.

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Post by reinhard » Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:51 am

7th weekend down: I think I'll stop recording sucesses here at this nice, satisfying number. Only if I mess up will you hear about it on this thread. Sorry for getting so behind on the bb again...

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Post by ClickBeetle » Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:16 pm

My brother said in an email the other day,

"I have been thinking for a while that as the rest of the world is sucked into purchasing high-speed internet services, cell phone plans, and other bank drafts that promise improved effectiveness through integrated access to knowledge, luddites may be the only ones left who can concentrate long enough to actually use the information that everyone else thinks they have access to.

"Then comes today's update on Kunstler's blog, which contained this nice restatement of my thought:

" 'it is finally clear that all this talk about "connectivity" just leads to more commercial shilling, shucking, jiving, and generally f***ing with your headspace in the interstices of whatever purposeful activity one may be struggling to enact on the internet' (Jim Kunstler, www.kunstler.com 6/13/05)"
Chance favors the prepared. - Louis Pasteur

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Post by reinhard » Wed Jun 15, 2005 11:41 am

Great quotes, ClickBeetle. The next breakthough in technology is going to be how to reduce the obtrusiveness of technology. In the meantime, we'll just have to rely on simple non-technological tricks like these. And technology better hurry up, or we'll see that we don't really need anything else!

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Post by JWL » Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:08 pm

Hi Reinhard,

So what did you think of the Meno?

Freakwitch, the philosophy major
JWL[.|@]Freakwitch[.]net

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Process what we consume

Post by brownstudy » Fri Jun 24, 2005 2:26 am

ClickBeetle wrote:luddites may be the only ones left who can concentrate long enough to actually use the information that everyone else thinks they have access to.
This reminded me so much of something Jeannette Winterson (British novelist) said on her web site a while back: that we consume far more than we process.

Here are the relevant paragraphs:
We eat too much, we drink too much, we have too much stuff, too many stresses, too many things to do. Ours is a society endlessly consuming without the energy to process what we consume.

Life has to be processed, or it lies in rotting heaps of discarded emotions and unfinished desire. Talk to anyone for half an hour, and once past the platitudes, you come face to face with a mound of frustrations and left-over business. The therapy boom thrives on left-over business, and whilst I am not against therapy, I feel that we could all do more for ourselves if we understood the simple principle of processing what we consume.

Energy cannot be lost - it can only be transformed. We convert food into heat and strength and movement - if we have too much, we store it as fat. In a world that bombards us with sensory input, what do we do? If we can't slough it off, our minds store it just as our bodies do - as restlessness, as misery, as all the discontent that clogs modern life.

Yowsa!

Anyway, I'm doing my own mental de-tox by paring my blog-reading to a handful (down from the 35 or so I had before), unsubscribing from my online newsletters, and keeping a list of stuff I need to do on the 'puter. My nutritionist one time said I'm the kind of person who needs to mull, so time away from the computer/books/magazines, time to just sit and mull, are essential to my own mental hygiene.

As a technique--I have a timer on my Clie set to 14 minutes for my shovelglove, so I give use the same 14 minute timer here and there in the day to surf wildly before getting back to business.
Mike Brown

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Post by reinhard » Fri Jun 24, 2005 1:44 pm

Freakwitch: Regarding the Meno, I feel perplexed, as if I'd been stung by the flat sting ray :wink:

I've been reading it with 2 different book groups, and I think the virtue of it is less in its ultimate conclusion (which I'm still not quite sure about), than in getting you riled up about the problem (and infuriatingly tangentially touched on associated problems).

I'm very much a novice when it comes to philosophy. Besides the stuff they forced us to race through in school for breadth requirement, what I have is mostly via literature (like the obscure but brilliant philosopher-critic Lev Shestov). Recently I've decided with some friends to try to remedy this ignorance and we started with xenophon's oeconomicus, or "on household management". We read it slowly, carefully, many times. It's "deep" and practical and gloriously impractical at the same time (lots of gory details on how to run a farm in ancient Greece) -- and relevant, because our reading group consists of recent (or prospective) fathers fumbling together new households. Ancient self improvement, you can't beat it.

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Slight mod to the rules

Post by brownstudy » Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:14 am

I will also not turn on my Clie unless i need to look up a reference. I keep lots of downloaded web pages, e-books, and such to read in spare moments. But I find myself sticking around to play a little game or something. So, in addition to no computer, no PDA.

And on days when I don't eat supper (it happens), I'll turn on the 'puter at 7 and turn it off by 9 or so.
Mike Brown

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Post by reinhard » Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:06 pm

Mike, I need to come up with a smaller site "whitelist," too. As a trained librarian, I'm a natural browser, and while this is great in a physical library where some activation energy is required and serves as a filter, it leads to utter paralysis on the web. It's a little disturbing to think that we've reached the point of social and technological development where artificial difficulties are required because things have gotten too easy. But better acknowledge and deal with this (and be thankful!) than wish we had more inspiring problems.

It seems like such a small, silly problem. But minutes turn into hours, hours into days, etc. -- big picture, it becomes almost like a voluntary prison sentence. And because it is so small, silly, and volutary, you can't even complain about it!

Now for the hard part: actually correcting this behavior. Weekend luddite is great, but it's just the tip of the iceberg. I have made more failed resolutions regarding wasting time on the net than almost anything I can think of.

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Post by brownstudy » Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:55 pm

reinhard wrote:As a trained librarian, I'm a natural browser, and while this is great in a physical library where some activation energy is required and serves as a filter, it leads to utter paralysis on the web. It's a little disturbing to think that we've reached the point of social and technological development where artificial difficulties are required because things have gotten too easy.
Well, I'm an information packrat and that's my downfall. Always the feeling that this bit of information will help me someday. Always the need to stay au courant with the latest/greatest. And the desire to create a master system to hold all this info together. A mug's game, as they say in noir.

What I'm trying to teach myself is that, if I hear myself say "I'll need this someday," to immediately let it alone. If I really need it later, Google will find it for me. (Also, the example of my wife, who spends very little time online, yet seems to get along just fine without knowing about lifehacks or yubnub or all the other things that make the web so sparkly to my magpie eyes.)

At one time, I used a program on my PC that would turn it off at 9 pm to force myself to step away from it. I think sitting and staring at the screen is a form of self-hypnosis. Your eyes stop blinking for long periods, the PC hums, the monitor burns, you feel like you need to be doing something with it all.

I have an alarm on the PC set to interrupt me every 20 minutes to do "eye ergonomics", and that helps with breaking the spell. It also gives me a break to ask myself, "What are you doing?" (That is, unless I'm in the middle of something and irritatedly close the reminder window so I can get back to typing up forum messages.)

[Also -- if you're online and hear yourself say, "just one more thing before I quit..." STOP! CEASE! That "one more thing" will keep you online for another hour, at least.]
Mike Brown

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Post by sibyl » Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:16 pm

Mike:

You are so right! In the morning I check my e-mail, my lj, etc., etc., and its always just 'one more thing' until I'm running out the door five minutes late scrambling to find my keys!!
I'm trying not to check the computer first thing in the morning, but its so hard. I confess - I'm an e-mail junkie. :oops:
I don't know if I can do a weekend - but maybe I can be an 'early morning luddite'. :)
"I have no idea what you're talking about, so here's a bunny with a pancake on its head".

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Post by JWL » Sat Jul 02, 2005 9:41 pm

Hi Reinhart, yeah I can't quite remember the Meno. I have a big book, the collective works of Plato, we used to call it 'the Platonic bible.'

But in general you're right on the money; Plato (and in general pretty much most of western philosophy) is less about conclusions and more about the questions, or the process of questioning.

As Heidegger wrote, "questioning is the piety of thought."

Keep reading, and enjoy it. It's good stuff that holds up surprisingly well after 2500 years...
JWL[.|@]Freakwitch[.]net

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Post by reinhard » Fri Aug 26, 2005 8:18 pm

Weekend Luddite is still going strong... I'd move a link to it to the everydaysystems home page, but I can't think of an appropriate biblical term for it. Any ideas?

Freakwitch: I've moved on to Phaedo (and Aristophanes).

Mike: I like your periodic eye ergonomics alarm breaking the spell... my problem is I go from one spell to the next. Starting is always the problem: with good things that I don't, with bad things that I do. Finishing isn't really the issue with either. I'm thinking, to get myself to start good things, I'll make the required time very short, say, oh, 14 minutes. Because it's such a short minimum, I'm more likely to start. Once I've started, the hard part's over, I could easily go for much longer than the minimum with which I entice myself. Paradoxically, for bad stuff, I'd set the minimum higher. No "I'll look at slashdot and check my email quick" but only look when I can devote maybe a full hour. The high minimum would make starts rarer, and the longer duration would enable them to actually be useful: I'd check my email only when I had really had time to respond to it.

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Post by gratefuldeb67 » Fri Aug 26, 2005 8:48 pm

Do you mean a biblical term for the problem you are trying to rectify, like Gluttony is to "Overeating" and Sloth is to "Lazy ass..."?

This might be hard, because computers are really not from Bible times.. The age of technology is host to it's own very specific plagues...

I'll think about it, of course...
Happy Ludditing!
Love,
8) Deborah.....

(I figured since your getting all Biblical I'd use my full name.... :wink: )

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Post by hlidskjalf » Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:31 am

reinhard

In the spirit of Xenophons farm tutorial I enjoyed this:

http://www.teach12.com/ttc/assets/cours ... s/4473.asp

The Greco-Roman Moralists were less concerned with the whys of the world and more with an important how. How to live a good life. These philosophers are largely omitted from philosophical compilations from Boethius onwards. Though to me it seems the field of philosophy obsesses over WHY to do a thing at the expense of HOW to do the thing.

I'm a big The Teaching Company fan I have 75 or so of their audio courses.

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Post by reinhard » Mon Sep 12, 2005 7:48 pm

Thank you, hlidskjalf, this looks great, right up my alley.

I've listened to a bunch of teaching company courses, too, (not 75, wow!) and have been generally pretty favorably impressed.

Unfortunately our local interlibrary request system is no longer doing audio visual requests (unclear whether this is permanent) and this has really cramped my listening style... the network does have this title, but the physical library is a pain to get to. May be a while before I get my hands on it. I'll let you know.

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Vonnegut is an "avowed Luddite"

Post by gratefuldeb67 » Fri Oct 07, 2005 9:32 pm

Ha ha ha...
I am at the library, and I'm sitting near the reference desk...
As I was typing I hear this young librarian say to another,,
"How do you pronounce luddite?"......
LOL..
I instantly got up to ask her if she was on Everydaysystems! LOL...
She said no, but she was reading an article from todays Village Voice and the word was in the article she was reading about Kurt Vonnegut's "A Man Without a Country"
Apparently he is an "avowed Luddite"...
LOL..

She was surprised that I knew who the original Luddites were...
I told her about your system Reinhard... she said she needs to use it! LOL..

Love,
8) Deb

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