How I Got My Attention Back

How I Got My Attention Back

There are a thousand beautiful ways to start the day that don’t begin with looking at your phone. And yet so few of us choose to do so. For twenty-eight days this winter I lived on the grounds of an…

Here is how I try to keep my attention. I have an office with two desks. One is for online work and the other is for the real world. I have a rolling chair and can stop any time to make a liminal move from one to the other.  Plus, because we are shepherds and farmers we are never far from the weather, the stars and the world of chores and keeping a fire set and breaking ice from water and all the happy quotidien field walks with the dogs.

Below is my analog space. I do charge my various tablets here, but I write here and go full-on Gutenberg here mostly.

 

I do digital here.

I drink coffee in both spaces.

I need balance. Today my wife and I will go walk together doing shinrin-yoku (森林浴). You get balance, too.

By the way, how do you get, keep, find your balance between digital distraction and real life?

 

 

 

Rock Solid in a Storm: Daniel Bassill with a Life Rope

Daniel’s posts always do more than inform. They are full of persuasion and  they make me a better person.  I have been mulling over his latest post,

Conflicted: How to focus long term when world around is in turmoil?

As usual he has some serious wisdom to share. This time he takes the long view about giving in a world full of turmoil. I say it is wise because it runs counter to what the prevailing wisdom is (which is really an oxymoronic thing to say, right?). Most folk are saying ‘resist’ and even fight. Dan says instead that we need to save democracy by giving more. More money and more service.

I am annotating both the images and the text at NowComment and have added a few other choice readings from Isaiah Berlin and an article about the ‘triple bottom line’ from Tanya Hall and Timothy F. Slaper as extras. Come visit. His writing always repays on its ROA–return on attention. It is not a zero sum game either. You will gain life for time invested. No, really? 😉

Attendez! If a #Netnarr Fell in the Forest & No Network Heard It…

 

Attendez!

I was reading Daniel Bassill’s comment to my post about signal & noise and wondering why it had taken me so long to get back to it. I almost always attend to the business of reciprocating with folks who have honored me with their attention. I had not done so for Daniel F. Bassill . He has been kind, gentle and considerate in responding over the years to my posts. Sorry, Dan. I promise to do better.

I replied to his comment

Yes. The wheat from chaff problem. How do we decide what needs attending and what doesn’t? We need filters to do this initial pass at the noise. Questions are a way to do that. I teach my students that research questions are their only hope if they want to carry on in the face of the digital world. Other filters include personal interest or what used to be called curiosity. Passion might be another. Categories would be another of these filters. Creating filters is job one for anyone hoping to help others learn the knowledge biz. So, as much as we hate the dismissal, tl;dr is a legitimate filter. A more interesting observation, I think, is the one you make: the massive amounts of information flowing from the simplest of possibilia, a tweet or a blog post with links or… I would love to know the decision-making process behind your Facebook friend’s tl;dr. Was it a gut decision or a conscious and rational decision tree at work? How do we decide what to attend to and what not to attend to? Thanks for helping me come up with this intriguing question, Dan.

I have had a similar issue with #netnarr, the networked narrative MOOC sponsored by Alan Levine and Mia Zamora. I hit the ground running well before the course started then school began and I had to back off to attend to classes. I lost my way in an ever-rising tide of tweets about alchemy and daily do-this-and-do-that (#dtdt). And when I did try to play the game, to ante up with creative posts about identity and origin stories and psychological alchemy like this one. I got none fucks given. It was my own fault. I don’t even follow my own credo.

I needed to engage.

Did I engage? No, I pulled away. So,  I draw back in with my credo above in hand (or heart). I try again. I am Boxer in Animal Farm, filled with the surety that all I have to do is try harder for a different result. You can see how I am of two minds here: step away and let go or bear down and keep on.


Boxer (Animal Farm) – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

(Point of Information:  The embed above about Boxer was created using Wikipedia and Zuru, a HaikuDeck semi-bot for creating presentations.  Took five minutes to make.  1. Find Wikipedia page, 2. Import into Zuru, 3. Decide on a few piz to go along with preselected text, 4. Create deck. )