Weeknotes S1 E3 2021


I’ve been doing…

This week felt like I spent quite a lot of it on video calls for one reason or another. I roughly estimate just six hours out of my working week that were totally free of video calls.

Whether that’s a problem or not really depends on the purpose of those video calls. Not all video calls are meetings, some are spent actually working on things together as if we were in the same room.

Speaking from purely my own experience and the type of work that I do, it does make me wonder if the time for focused or individual work is getting pushed out to the fringes of the day. I often find that the evenings are best suited for the adminny type tasks that rarely require input from anyone else.

Is this a lockdown thing? A remote working thing? Or just the nature of the work we’re doing right now? I’m not sure. Perhaps a little bit of all of the above.

It might be a touch of retrospective coherence, but it feels like ‘boundaries’ have been a running theme for this past week.

Boundaries for myself, to ensure that I’m not attempting to jam too much stuff into not enough time.

Boundaries for colleagues to help clarify where to focus effort and what can wait till later.

Boundaries for the work, to ensure it doesn’t become too big, too slow, too risky or too much.

I’ve been reading…

Neil Postman’s advice on how to live the rest of your life. (via Austin Kleon)

In a lecture entitled ‘The surrender of culture to technology’ Postman set out 7 questions for new technology.

1. What is the problem to which technology claims to be a solution?
2. Whose problem is it?
3. What new problems will be created because of solving an old one?
4. Which people and institutions will be most harmed?
5. What changes in language are being promoted?
6. What shifts in economic and political power are likely to result?
7. What alternative media might be made from a technology?

These are all the more impressive when you know that the lecture and book of the same name was delivered in 1997!

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