September 12th, 2008
I’ve recently started listening to the WNYC public radio show New Tech City. It’s an interesting and well-done show! (The episodes are also not that long, so it’s a quick listen.)
Paying attention to our smartphones through so many of our waking moments means our minds don’t spend as much time idling. [...]
Mann’s research finds that idle minds lead to reflective, often creative thoughts (we discuss her projects in depth in this week’s show). Minds need to wander to reach their full potential.
During bouts of boredom our brains can’t help but jump around in time, analyzing and re-analyzing the pieces of our lives, says Jonny Smallwood, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of York in the UK. He says inspiration strikes in the shower because it’s a moment when we’re not really looking at or focusing on anything else. [...]
“That’s where daydreaming and boredom intersect,” Smallwood says. “What smartphones allow us to do is get rid of boredom in a very direct way because we can play games, phone people, we can check the Internet. It takes away the boredom, but it also denies us the chance to see and learn about where we truly are in terms of our goals.”
In addition to being some good, interesting radio to listen to, the Bored and Brilliant series is also presenting a challenge. They’re asking people to sign up for an experiment in which they make certain experimental changes to the way they relate to their phones.
To start with, they’re asking for people to record baseline behavior…And then, starting in February, they’ll actually start giving daily instructions to experiment participants.
I’m down for it — I’m fascinated by what we can learn about ourselves, what kinds of unconscious things come out, when we pay close attention to our habits, and try to examine or tinker with them.
Whether you want to sign up for the experiment, or just want to check out the show, visit Bored and Brilliant at New Tech City!
civil rights: first generation fights it, second generation accepts it, third generation chafes at the suggestion it was ever even an issue
— David Malki ! (@malki) January 20, 2015
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win, then their children claim it was their idea all along.
— David Malki ! (@malki) January 20, 2015
I kinda liked this last phrase so I mocked up a design for Teespring! I mainly want to get one for myself.
The stickers are available through StickerMule, a store that also sells my other stickers by the each if you ever want just a single one of them.
Do people ever say that? “By the each”? Sounds weird to me but I swear I’ve heard people say it. Now, it’s always sounded weird even when they said it, but I’m pretty sure they were grown-ups, so who knows??
Wondermark Valentine cards are still available too!
I made a simple, printable wall calendar for my office! You can have it too — here’s a PDF file you can print yourself.
Those of you who’ve picked up copies of the Wondermark Calendar in any of the last three years know about my interest in progressive calendars.
By that, I mean a calendar that doesn’t have any breaks between months. I think I invented the term? By that, I mean “nobody else has ever used this term.”
But this year, I also wanted a big work calendar I could mount on the wall and write on. I like being able to see the coming weeks and months at a glance.
So I made this:
It’s an entire 2015 calendar that fits on six sheets of regular typing paper. In the picture, you can see I’ve trimmed the pages so they line up in columns of 2 pages each; you could arrange it a different way, if you prefer.
I tried to make it very simple and very clear, with no wasted space or ornament. We all basically know which holidays happen when, so holidays and other observances are marked with just an abbreviation.
The “businesses-are-closed” holidays (where I live, anyway) are further indicated with a shaded circle. The letters “DS” mark the Daylight Saving changeover dates. Some other possibly confusing ones are “CNY” (Chinese New Year), “RAM” (Ramadan), and “CHAN” (Chanukah).
Since I also do a lot of weekend travel, I decided to group the weekend days together on the right, and start each week with Monday on the left.
I thought this might be useful to you as well, so here you go! Please feel free to print out your own!
EDIT: Jason McDermott has created a version featuring the significant Australian dates!
João Paulo Bernardes has created a Brazilian version as well!
I’ve also updated my version to correct the March 8 date for Daylight Saving Time.