The Opt Out Weblog

The Blog for Garrick van Buren's 'Opt-Out: The Survival Guide for This Modern Age' Book

“Except you can’t.”

“The [Facebook Home] ad is an apt, if sanguine, depiction of what I’ve been calling ‘present shock,’ the human incapacity to respond to everything happening all at once. In a rapid-fire, highly commercial digital environment, this sense of an overwhelming ‘now’ reaches new heights. Unlike computer chips, human beings can only process one thing at a time. Whatever succeeds in attracting our attention only wins it at the expense of something else. Joke as we might like about it, our efficiency, our accuracy, our memory and our depth of understanding go down when we try to multitask.” – Douglas Rushkoff

Just Stop. Really. You’ll Be Happier

If you want to keep the illusion of “not missing anything important”, I suggest you glance through the summary page of the Economist once a week. Don’t spend more than five minutes on it. – Rolf Dobelli [pdf]

Their Success Means Destroying Your Memories

It’s good. Though I think Anil overestimates the social value of Facebook, Twitter, etc. But, on the flip side, you won’t know I said this because I don’t have a presence on those places – and I want to be the kind of person that does. Blah.

Just Stop Being an Unpaid Documentary Filmmaker

“The key thing to remember is that you are not enriching your experiences by sharing them online; you’re detracting from them because all your efforts are focussed on making them look attractive to other people. Your experience of something, even if similar to the experience of many others, is unique and cannot be reproduced within the constraints of social media. So internalise that experience instead. Think about it. Go home and think about it some more. Write about it in more than 140 characters; on paper even. Paint a picture of it. Talk about it face to face with your friends. Talk about how it made you feel.” – James Shakespeare

RSS – More is Less

“I define ‘better’ as something that doesn’t have an unread count. I have enough to-do lists in my life without having a giant unread list of articles in front of me.” – Justin Williams

Off is the new black

“The new connected is to be disconnected. Deadspots are the new hotspots.” – Liz Danzico

Get Better

“Like everyone, though, I did have relationships — a spouse, friends and family — and none of them got the best version of me. They got what was left over.…I didn’t have to be on my BlackBerry from my first moment in the morning to my last moment at night. I didn’t have to eat the majority of my meals at my desk. I didn’t have to fly overnight to a meeting in Europe on my birthday. I now believe that I could have made it to a similar place with at least some better version of a personal life.” – Erin Callan

It reminds me, the Japanese have a word for death-by-work, karōshi.

I hope there’s a word for life-after-work.

Blocking

“…my experiences show that after a certain point, material objects have a tendency to crowd out the emotional needs they are meant to support.” – Graham Hill

Adding by Substracting

“…each time I optimize for happiness instead of money, I have accidentally increased my financial returns as well.” – Pete Forde

Mine

“What are you gaining by letting Apple and Microsoft dictate how you use your computer? I suspect it’s less than you think. Don’t let them treat you like a tenant. You bought it, isn’t it supposed to be your computer?”