Tag-arkiv: Internet

Morgenmad

Efter flere natter med for lidt søvn, havde jeg i går svært ved at gøre det jeg vil. Og det irriterede mig resten af dagen. Jeg kunne ikke tage mig sammen og næsten alt min tid gik til en undersøgelse af e-bog readers og Goodreads.
Jeg skrev i det sidste øjeblik min 30 minutter fokusskrivning og det blev ikke særlig interessant. Altså, det var fra den forkerte stemning, teksten jeg skrev kom ikke fra mig selv, men inspirationen kom alt mulige andre steder fra.

Her til morgen tænkte jeg også på Goodreads (skal jeg tilmelde mig og bruge tid på det?) og for eksempel blogposts. Men jeg var mere vågn i dag og klar over at det er enormt vigtigt at jeg holder fast i 30 min fokusskrivning, som aller første på dagen.
Det er dog morgenmaden som er det store problem.

Jeg kan godt lide at sætte mig bag computeren, starte den – sådan at den har tid til at gøre hvad den skal gøre – og langsomt lade mine tanker glide hen over alt som dukker op, sådan at jeg begynder at koncentrere mig på hvad jeg skal skrive.
Men computeren og jeg er meget hurtigere færdigt end min morgenmad er spist, så jeg spiser videre mens jeg… ja.. hvad skal jeg lave… jeg kan lige slå noget op, eller se på den fane som er åben…
Og det er altid interessant, og inviterer til mere – det går fint, og på den måde kan der godt forsvinde en time (eller mere). Så kommer jeg i en anden stemning og skriver om noget som er direkte kommer af indflydelser udefra.

Men jeg har et meget dejligt værelse til at skrive i, med to lænestole og et kaffebord. Så jeg burde sikkert spise min morgenmad på en stol. Og først når jeg er – endeligt!- færdigt, kryber jeg bag skærmen og starter med de samme i Zim. Det vil være meget bedre.

Jeg husker at Dani Shapiro ofte har sagt og skrevet (hun har sagt meget om procrastination, her for eksempel), at det vigtigste punkt på dagen for hende er gangen fra kaffemaskinen til hendes computer. Jeg tror hun referer til afbrydelser fra for eksempel telefonen som kan forstyrre hende. Men hun indrømmer også at internet er en stor fjende af hendes skrivedisciplin, så også for hende er det vigtigt at have en vaner og rutiner på plads.
Jonathan Franzen har sagt at han arbejder på en computer uden internetforbindelse. Det er en glimrende ide at have det slukket, i hvert fald om morgen.

Jeg har ikke noget imod gode indflydelser, og der findes der ufattelig mange af via nettet, det er fantastisk, det er dejligt. Men hvad hjælper de fineste sætninger fra en klog og godt menneske, når man ikke er nået til nogenlunde det samme punkt i sit liv? Man skal leve sit liv så godt som man kan, og der kan nogle visdomsord fra andre godt komme på det rigtige tidspunkt. Så kan man tykke på det og omsætte det i ens eget liv. Men man har ikke brug for at hurtigt, uden rigtig sammenhæng, læse de klogeste ting eller smukkeste sætninger, når man selv er et helt andet sted hen i livet og døjer med helt andre problematikker. Så er det spild af energi, lige der på det tidspunkt. Og når man slukker for stort set alt tilførsel af informationer, får man – især i vores tid – mere end nok i ørerne og under øjnene alligevel. Det sker af et eller andet grund.

Wikipedia thoughts

I looked up the word Lucifer on Wikipedia and read a Danish page that explained me that it is the name of a roman god and that it later was used in, for example, the Bibel to describe the planet Venus. In the late middle-ages it became a synonym for the devil.
The link to the Dutch version of that page leads to “Lucifer (Satan)” with no mention of the roman predecessor or a planet. In the overview-page of all articles in Dutch containing Lucifer there were many options (popband, novel, satan etc.) but non about the roman god. There was a one sentence mention (not a page) about Lucifer being “an old Latin name for the planet Venus”.

It irritates me that a general article in Danish about the name Lucifer is linked to a Dutch article about the devil, without mentioning any roman predecessors. This is in my opinion another small sign about the Dutch society still being so entangled in christianty that it misforms history. There are many prechristian traditions, names and stories that were transformed at one point in history to fit into christianity, and I think that it is our duty to at least inform each other that there actually was life before that.

The English Wikipedia page refers briefly to the name being a latin word given to the planet Venus and at the bottom of the page it links to an article about the ancient Greek god Eosphoros. They also mention the use of the name Lucifer or the interpretation of it in other beliefs than Christianity.

I do not know how to make a remark about this on the Dutch Wikipedia pages – I might have to read the Wikipedia introduction first.

Are we really getting more stupid?

Some people argue that there are too many easy distractions in our time. That we are seduced by an bombardment of entertainment on television, the internet and even in books and newspapers. Because of our acceptance of this mostly shallow entertainment we get less interested in more complicated issues, we don’t take the time to indulge into matters that take more than a minute to get into terms with.
The internet is to blaim, and commercialisation of just about everything around us.

I think that there is a great deal of truth in the argument, and yet I am unsure.

People have always looked for easy entertainment, from listening to the gossiping neighbour to reading cheap love- or supermanstories. The majority of people have always been oblivious to the more profound thoughts of their time.
The biggest change over the last decennia has been the growing accessibility of both the producing and receiving means of public information for a much larger age group. This means that we moved from a intellectual culture that was made by and aimed at persons of at least 25 years of age, to a culture where the participants are between 1 and 101 years old. It was for example not possible some 10 to 20 years ago to read thousands of articles, blogposts, comments and opinions by 12 to 20 year old people from all over the world.

Today’s technology makes every kind of information easily available to everybody and we can all ventilate our opinion in many ways. We are free to choose whatever tv-channel we want and we can read exactly what we want the truth to be in the many articles on the internet, not just what we are supposed to read or listen to.
The level of genuine interest in the more evolved and intelligent culture might still be the same, but it got company with the explosive growth of other interest groups.
Bookshops truly start selling to the masses, libraries change ideology, newspapers get even more shallow. Yes, but one could also say: The truth is coming out. We are what we are. Some of us read great literature, most of us read detective stories.
Should we worry about this or should we be happy that our real interest is visible now?
We have the choice to be critical, the freedom to make up our own mind, and make decisions about what we want to read, see or listen to.

Because that is what we need to do in our times of information overflow. We have to restrict ourselves to the things that really matter to us. A huge task indeed, as it is very easy to get seduced by unnecessary information, but what truly matters is available too, in large quantities. You just have to want to find it.

(Picture by Flickr user chuckyeager)

Limited Sources

There are texts on the internet that are so stupid that they irritate. Maybe we have too many voices. Many are screaming and trying to sound wise and some, probably to attract readers, abandon good sense or judgement.
I wish there was a method to exclude rubbish from good things. I suppose there is only one way: discipline in judging for yourself what you want to spent your time on .
I’d like to organize my attention in a way that is just like the best way to watch television: Check what programs will be shown before you turn on the television and decide what (if) you want to watch.
For the internet world that might be translated into: Keep your feedreader clean and healthy, limit the number of subscriptions as good as you can and be very aware if you surf outside it.

(Original spark: Peter Englund – Nyårslöfte).

LibraryThing

I spent some time discovering LibraryThing. It was a pleasant surprised to notice how serious the site appears to be. It seems to attract older people who don’t mind some social activity but prefer to do so “without meeting people”.

It basically is a good site to make a list of the books you own and get information about the writer, pictures of book covers, list of other books written by the writer, recommended books that you might like etc. The site links to many large bookshops (including Amazon of course) and many libraries, giving quick access to the details of just about any book in the world. The first 200 books you enter to your collection on the site are for free, after that an annual or a lifetime fee (25 USD) is required.

I started out by adding a few books that I just read, and who knows maybe one day I might pass that 200 books mark. It is fulfilling to think of all the data you can get from your reading habits, probably because it makes you feel that it really represents who you are. When we were teenagers many of us played our music loud to show the world what kind of cool guy/girl we were. That doesn’t really work anymore when you discover that wearing that extra earring doesn’t really make you look smarter, and that to many people it might actually be a sign that “things are not quiet developed up there”. So we middle-aged people try it with books. “I read Socrates” so that makes me smart; “I have more than a thousand books in my library,so don’t you tell me where to buy bread!”

It will take a while for us older people to discover that it is just as silly as writing “Red Hot Chilli Peppers” on your school bag. But until then i’ll fill out the books I read, tag and order them and compare my library with others to see how I am doing. “I’ve got The Poverty of Philosophy by Karl Marx, anyone else who is just as intellectual as me?”.

Welcome to the Internet

I read in the The Writer’s Handbook 2008 the article The Globalisation of Poetry by Chris Hamilton-Emery about the world of poetry but found it confusing as a lot of articles can be these days when dealing with the new situation after the internet got as popular as it is now. The writer seemed to have a very chaotic view of it all, apparently feeling that a lot is lost and going down (tradition, unions, order) and that there on the other hand now are overwhelming possibilities that one should get involved in and deal with in order to get the most out of it. I didn’t read much about a natural flow of wanting to get things out and interact or a simple joy for the possibilities and an eagerness to learn.
On the other hand I don’t know the classical, pre-internet structure of building an audience, publishing or getting published, so I don’t miss it and it therefore doesn’t bother me if it would disappear or diminish.
Personally I don’t think that much has changed, there are more possibilities but that is not per definition entirely positive. It is up to the individual to make the best out of the situation. In the end one just has to write good and interesting stuff and try to get it out somehow. Who knows what can happen from there. Just like in the old days.