manuel odendahl_systemprogrammierung & dj

24. November 2010 von Chris


(manuel odendahl)

(click the pix) Computers are nice. They are fast, they never forget things (if you do backups regularly), and they allow you to access the knowledge of a lot of other humans instantly (with an internet connection). This removes a lot of interruptions in your daily life. For example, we had ants in our kitchen this morning. I looked up how to kill ants and repel them in a green way. 2 minutes later, I had sprayed some soap water on the poor ants that made their way into the kitchen, and put up a mound of coffee ground near the hole they came in through. In less than 2 minutes, the problem was solved in a quite ecological way. This could potentially have cost me significantly more time before, and I may have resorted to pesticides because that’s what a shop owner would have told me to do. Computers speed up my thoughts, allowing me to concentrate on the things I like.

However, if you use the wrong software, this efficiency can turn into a very distracting thing. The computer can make you think that you can multitask, that is do two things at once: watch a film and read a book and talk with 18 people at the same time. That’s possible, of course, but the attention you give these individual parts will be less than every a fraction of what your full attention is. Sometimes that’s fine, but to me it doesn’t feel right anymore. Now I try to just watch a movie, and quiet my thoughts even while doing that. Or talk with only one person, and quiet my thoughts while doing that (that’s *much* harder for me :). Because if you don’t, you miss so many clues that something may be wrong, so many signs that things are good, so many beautiful details.

Because I want to get a lot of things done, and because I like a lot of people, and because a lot of ideas interest me, I found an alternative to multitasking: batch scheduling. I break up tasks into small parts, and instead of trying to do 2 big tasks at once, I interleave the small parts, giving them my full attention, and using the computer to store the “paused” task. I don’t want to do that for my friends and my private life (although I use highrise for clients and work related tasks), but that means I keep forgetting things :]

Inspiration Lounge Interview by le tapir: Manuel Odendahl  Part I | Part II
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