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  • Ahito81

    Thinking deeply and thinking broadly about the human experience sometimes reminds me of the roles played by the forces of lift and thrust in aeronautics. There is one complete set of conditions to be dealt with before "flight" can be sustained and controlled. You've used the term "prune" for what might be called "trim" in sailing or flying. I like it, especially if I change my underlying model of culture from the arboreal to the rhizome. Without the continuity of interdependence the cultural enterprise fails. We can't be comfortable with the idea that "I'm o.k." while others are "failing." We have a great deal of work to do on our socio-economic and political thinking before we'll reach anything that can remain vigorous for very long. DNA has preserved and expanded life across the ages mostly because it adapts. Maybe Bitcoins, or other technological advances will allow us to come up with a 'truer," more sustainable socio-econimic model than "the market." I'm only optimistic because almost everyone detects some kind crucial flaw in the current metaphor.

  • Carolyn Strauss

    People who like this will also like my recent GOOD post about the Slow Mind, as well as a variety of slowLab musings about Slow Technology over the years. If you think this is good and worth learning more about, please check out and support our current Kickstarter

  • Danny Greene

    Love this! I gave a speech at my business school this year about the National Day of Unplugging and the value of disconnecting. I have yet to summon the discipline to implement this on a weekly basis; maybe monthly is a good start!

  • jess007

    Hi...The whole discussion reminds me of Daniel Kahneman's distinction between fast and slow thinking he makes in his book of the same name. Broad but not deep is not a good trade-off.

    thank you for sharing..
    thank you for sharing..

  • furrious10990

    I have very little connection with my electronic devices. I don't feel the need to have my cell phone with me and I don't use it much. It's a utility and a valuable one for communication but almost totally useless for achieving the transference of feelings. In other words I don't understand at all why people bother to post so much and check so much.
    The whole discussion reminds me of Daniel Kahneman's distinction between fast and slow thinking he makes in his book of the same name. Broad but not deep is not a good trade-off.

    • Tiffany Shlain

      you are so lucky you are able to easily control your use of technology. I was starting to feel like a junkie.

  • Harryupp

    Today we discusssed how this reliance on technology often tends to make us so efficiency oriented that we do not find it efficient to look att problems from every angel, including a couple "stupid point of views".
    Often the solution lies hidden in the "stupid and inefficient" or in slow, outdated and lowtech stuff.
    Having the latest Ipad, Iphone or Imac does not in any way increase your personal brain capacity!
    With the things we nowadays have there is an amazing capacity to produce multimedia communication for the community around us. But how many of us use these resources?
    I experienced this similar "unplugged bliss" when I went to the mountains for a week. Down in the valley you have stores electricity, media and modern accomodation but once your'e 1000 to 3000 feet up on the top of the mountain you have to carry all things you need with you including firewood, and though a phone with a GPS-function is handy, it makes it harder for you to be at one with nature.

  • Ariana Friedlander

    Thanks for sharing this is a very intriguing post. I think sometimes we forget that we have a choice to unplug. It is one of the things I always enjoy about camping trips or going on vacation, getting unplugged (and I think other people do too). But to make a conscious choice to disconnect from it all without changing your physical surroundings is a very different thing. It is a choice I've been mindful to make more consciously and consistently lately.

    • Tiffany Shlain

      Ariana, I highly recommend trying it weekly. There is something about knowing you will have this time each week has really been profound for me and my family. *

      • Ariana Friedlander

        Thanks Tiffany, I'm working on routinizing my life right now in general. Have been very free form for years; finding it difficult to set and follow schedules and routines......this is one of many activities I'd like to make ritual in my life. One step at a time, day-by-day!

  • Joshua Neuman

    After the tragedy today in CT, I feel like this country could use a "national shabbat" so we can drown out all of the sensationalism and devote some time/head-space to think super-clearly about our interconnectedness.


    Wonderful ideas on both the deconnect and the ramping up and appreciation of technology. During a Mexico yoga/health retreat, my father suddenly failed. Though phone connections were weak, I could send a picture of me waving and smiling thumbs up to my dad through my sister in the hospital room, and could talk to him for a few short minutes on the same iphone. But another friend just spent time in another country to celebrate a milestone birthday with his three brothers and was saddened they spent more time checking their devices - another way to fill the gaps that still remain. Maybe that's what we want most of all - to fill our gaps with something meaningful. Personally, I'm in the season of 'Advent' - preparing for the miracle of Christmas - and I"m not doing that very well online.

    • Tiffany Shlain

      thank you for sharing this and I am sorry to hear about your father. *

  • Arthur Grau

    Thank you for this collection of ideas. For several years I have taken both sabbath and sabbatical from connectedness. It's remarkable how the world appears differently after a day offline. Or a month. Last year we came up with a slow communication manifesto that addresses this a bit. Having been adult before the advent of the internet, I often wonder what it is like for those who have no knowledge of life before mass connectivity.

    • Tiffany Shlain

      I can't wait to read your manifesto!

  • santoro8

    Unplugging can be so very important. I find that in my twenties, I'm one of very few people I know who can forget their phone for a day and not have a panic attack. I don't immediately turn around and drive home to find it. A day or 3 hours or a trip to the grocery store without a smartphone does not mean the end of the world, nor the end of my social sphere.

    As helpful as the internet can be, I've learned exactly how dependent I am on it, and how restrictive of original thought it can be. I lived in Ghana for 3 months where my access to the internet was limited. I quickly learned I didn't know the first thing about research without a computer. When asked to do something new, I immediately thought to look it up online.

    How do we teach future generations to respect the access that they have, while still allowing them to use their brains not just to absorb and repeat information, but to innovate and create NEW content as well?

    • Tiffany Shlain

      I am starting with the next generation with our kids. Hopefully this modeling will last. *

  • Jimi Clarke

    Hhhhmmmmm. . . I had this experience of being off line completely in the jungle in Thailand. It took a few days to adjust and then. . . I didn't care. However, back in London Im working as a Technology Manager and going off line is harder than just convincing my self. It didn't help that I stay on top of Unified Communications.
    I totally feel you and your post got me reflecting a lot so its one-step in the right direction.

    Great great topic  and important for all of us!