Preparing to Create instead of Creating

Sometimes procrastinating isn't as obvious as this

I’ve recently fallen prey to such “productivity” sites as: Lifehacker, Zen Habits and 43 Folders. These sites all offer useful types and links to a variety of content (soft and hard) that is supposed to streamline the and facilitate the creative process and act. These sites do a good job of finding content, that exists to help people create, across the internet and providing it to their readers in short blurbs and easy links. Lifehacker is full of information on websites, programs, apps, etc. that will help those who use them “create.”  Except they don’t. Instead you get caught up in getting ready to create. The focus of these sites, even when they tell you to stop reading and create, is not for you to create but to keep getting ready to create with the help of this app or that program.

I’ve been diligently reading all three recently and I want to show you some things:

It might be a little hard to see but go ahead and click on the two pictures above. The folders circled in red are productivity software, they’re there to help me create better digital images, better code, better digital audio, better notes for future projects, better computer management, better command line interface, easier scripting, etc… etc… My computer is full of the stuff. My cell phone is clogged with it as well. Now I’m going to show you my ‘documents’ folder where all the now easy to do creative works are stored:

Not much to show here...

That’s the entirety of my creative output for the year of 2011. Nine 200 word book reviews, one 500 word writing challenge, and two incomplete book reviews. I haven’t taken any pictures, let alone manipulate them. I haven’t written any code. I haven’t recorded or edited any audio. The extent of my idea capturing notes? Two entries; links to websites I wouldn’t to further explore later.  What does this mean? It means the idea of greater productivity has effectively made me non-productive. I’ve spent all this time optimizing, optimizing, optimizing for when I’ll have the perfect creativity system. That’s great, I suppose, when do I sit down and create though?

All this pursuit of productivity is great for Lifehacker and friends they’re getting millions of eyeballs on their webpage, millions of clicks to their adds, and making millions of dollars. It isn’t helping me, or you, create anything though! For the creators and makers all this productivity is just another excuse, another form of procrastination. It’s one more thing we can do to keep us from the difficult task of creation.

So, close your browser. Set down the cue card system. Pick up your pen, pencil, camera, keyboard, etc. and let’s start going about the hard work of creating. If you lose a few minutes, or hours, because however you create isn’t optimized, who cares? Worry about that after the creating is done!

A Quote Worth Sharing

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous

Found here. I haven’t had that problem so much here… But I’ve been on the internet long enough to have seen conversations that mirror the quote precisely. People do funny things when they think no one is watching.

The Build a Civilization Kit

Global Village Construction Set in 2 Minutes from Open Source Ecology

As regular readers of DiMortuiSunt (now False(B)logic) -Ed) probably already know I’m a big fan of DIY. I grew up living an average suburban lifestyle: separated from the people, processes, land, and animals that make my life possible. As I’ve grown up I’ve recognized this glaring absence in my life. D and I have been trying, slowly, to become more involved. We belong to a Co-op; we garden and compost; we are learning to make our own food products; we are pickling and canning. I grew up being a consumer and I want to make sure as an adult I am a maker.

I’m not the only person who feels this way. There is an entire movement among my generation of people who are trying to get back to a more sustainable and authentic lifestyle (by authentic I mean one in which the person is making something, working with their hands, and creating tangible items). Some people are taking it farther than others. Everything they are doing, is amazing. Some of them I’m sure will change the world, like the man in the video above.

The idea of a DIY Civilization kit seems ridiculous on its face. The task of knowing how to and being able to create all the things necessary for the comforts of a modern lifestyle are just too complicated for a single person or small group of people to know. Despite that though the Open Source Ecology Project is an attempt to put all the plans, instructions, know-how, etc onto a single DVD that will allow the owner the ability to build and operate advanced technologies to jumpstart an economy and even a civilization.

DiMortuiSunt April Book Giveaway #3

Technology Books!

Welcome to week three of the book giveaway here at DiMortuiSunt! Congratulations to Nicolas Rycar and Richard Smith for winning! This week I’m giving away three books (are you seeing a pattern?) all of which have something to do with technology. From my reviews at Sacramento and Portland Book Review:

Hacking: The Next Generation

Computer security has never been an easy job. The advent of the internet only complicated things, and now with social media it has become even more so. Hacking: The Next Generation is an in-depth, extensive look at how hackers are using new tools to get their hands on and in other people’s business. This book is not for the casual reader, and it isn’t even for the savvy computer user; IT workers, systems administrators, and computer security professionals are the target audience here. Dhanjani and Company go through the entire inventory of security breaching in this book, with real-world examples and sample code to show just how easy it is for hackers to get a hold of information in today’s world. Phishing, Social Engineering, Using Social websites for Data Mining, Cross-Site Scripting, Abusing SMTP and ARP, Blended Threats, Cloud Computing Vulnerabilities–it is all here with case studies and code. As computing becomes ever more complex and heterogeneous hackers and attackers will have an increasing array of options to use, security professionals need to be aware of these new threats and how the traditional methods (fortress like defenses) are ill equipped or, worse, completely unable to rebuff them. Hackers: The Next Generation is a guide showing where the hacking scene is now, where it is trending and how best to combat it.

The Net Delusion:

The Internet has been sold as a panacea for the world’s ills. Economic equality, totalitarianism, social justices are all problems that the Internet has been proposed to be an answer to. Much like its forebears: telegraph, radio, television, the Internet has failed to deliver on those promises. Despite this the Internet has eagerly been embraced by Washington D.C. as the weapon of choice against totalitarian regimes. Evgeny Morozov addresses these issues in The Net Delusion, a comprehensive look out how the Internet is not as simple a tool as politicians in the West believe it to be, how Authoritarian regimes can, and have, used the Internet to increase their hold on power, and how centering policy on technology blinds policymakers and citizens as to the nature of the issues they must deal with. Morozov’s culprits are cyber-utopianism and its child Internet centrism. The first is the belief that technology is always the answer to any problem and its offspring is the philosophy that the best answers to these problems should be addressed through the World Wide Web. Morozov thoroughly highlights the deficits of these views and reminds readers that “the promotion of democracy is too important an activity to run out of Silicon Valley.”

Cult of the Amateur  – I don’t have a review of this book (anymore.) I must have lost it somewhere along the way. I recall thinking Mr. Keen had an interesting take but was a little too worried about civilization falling apart. We do need professionals and they do need to be compensated for their work. I don’t think blogs or amateur created content  are going to replace them, unless of course the amatuers are doing a better job at a better value. A good read, just one I don’t agree with.

You can win one of these books by leaving a comment below. Next Friday, I’ll pick three winners at random from the comments and mail them a book. If you’ve already entered you can enter again. If you’ve already won you can still enter!

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