In the past two months, there has been little time for idle thoughts about Spime Wrangling. The expression "Dawn-to-Dusk" to describe how hard a peasant worked in the fields in the middle ages or a worker in a South Asian sweatshop doesn't do justice to how fully engaged I've felt during the 2nd quarter of 2012. I've had to devote myself to my other (non-blogging) duties because I've been wrangling new spimes, while traveling. At least, that's what I've told myself.
I'm back. I'm still wrangling, and traveling, but I've readjusted my perspective on the "madness," the feeling of anxiety that something important might be slipping away. What order I may have been (or will be) able to impose on the world as we know it cannot be measured. Can't be done. It's like trying to quantify the size of the ocean or the impact that our sensor-izing the world (putting sensors everywhere) will have on society.
Don't try! The way spimes work (continuously producing, automatically, effortlessly) we are guaranteed that there's not just "something" that is escaping our attention while our attention is focused elsewhere, we are sleeping or otherwise relaxing, but rather, there's more that's escaping us than we will ever know.
Sounds like I'm heading into another of those "accelerating pace of change" pieces but I'm actually going the other way. Tim Kreider's June 30 New York Times essay, The 'Busy' Trap summarizes beautifully the point that I, and I think many other people, feel. The essay ends with the short sentence that I've used as the title of this post. Stop reading this post. Take a minute to absorb Kreider's suggestion that a break is in order.
Despite cool temperatures, overcast skies, it's summer in Western Europe. Time for holidays. Millions of people are, whether they choose or not, going to feel their output, perhaps even their productivity, drop sharply. Either by choice, precisely as Kreider has done, or by default, because so many others have gone for some idle time on the beach, we are entering the slow period of the year. And it is overdue! I will be using it to digest and to summarize the trends I've seen in the first 6 months of this year.