Sometimes, being offline helps me focus

The past few days, I’ve been listening to Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, as read by Mark “the Brooklyn Bluesman” Forman on his Getting a Leg Up blog. Forman’s not a great reader — or maybe I’m totally spoiled, having just listened to Stephen Fry read the last Harry Potter book — but at least this way I can load it up on my iPod and listen while I’m walking around town or on the subway. If you prefer the printed word, you can also download it in PDF from Doctorow’s site, where he makes some of his writings available for free under a Creative Commons licence.

I was walking and listening today, and heard a bit of prose that describes our current age as seen from the vantage point of people in the future who live with embedded hardware in their brain that provides constant access to their digital environment:

…living like the cavemen of the information age had, surrounded by dead trees and ticking clocks.

I was struck by the imagery that that phrase conjured up for me, of the old days when paper was still a significant budget item, and as a cavewoman of the information age I immediately rushed home and browsed the PDF version to get the full quote. The following line was even better:

Being offline helped me focus.

Oh yeah, I know that feeling. Someone please take away my RSS reader for a day or two?

2 thoughts on “Sometimes, being offline helps me focus”

  1. Hi, I have been reading this ebook for the last couple of nights, and I came across this quote and I was also struck by it… I decided to Google it. Your link popped up first so I thought I’ll comment, even though this post is four years old now and the book seven… wow… Greetings from 2010!! 😛

    The book is starting to sound more and more prophetic everyday. I love the qoute and hope to find more nuggets of wisdom and wit in his other works!

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