I thought it was ironic, in the sense that irony is the fifth fundamental force of the universe, that Newport referred to Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death.
I think it's true that, "We make our tools, and then our tools make us." There's plenty of evidence for anyone who cares to look. And the assertion is often offered as a lament about a perceived diminished existence as a consequence.
So we've recently been through a period where developers and the technorati (the élite technology class) embraced minimalist apps. Apps to afford greater focus. I still see that mentioned from time to time, here and there, but it seems to have lost some of its cachet.
What's hip now is a minimalist, wooden computer!
That will improve... something!
(In the same way that film makes photography more intentional. Which, one takes it, is a superior experience to the presumably less intentional digital photographic act.)
Maybe that's why Apple I auctions command such ridiculous prices. Wood. Limited. Perfect!
But I love the fact that we're uncomfortable with our tool-using existence, and the solution to our discomfort is somehow building a different tool.
Back when I was a more unhappy man than I am today, I used to tell myself, "It'll get better when..." And much of my unhappiness was compounded by the fact that "it" never got better, regardless of the "when."
That's when I learned that "it" never gets better until you do.
Looking for solutions outside of what goes on between your ears is a fool's errand.
But it can drive clicks, and sales.
As the wheels, and the widgets, turn.
Turn, turn, turn.Originally posted at Nice Marmot 10:05 Wednesday, 6 September 2023