Tom Sherman on 21 Dec 2000 04:54:29 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] I GET TIRED


I get tired of managing information all the time.  It would be nice to
just let go a little more.  To go with the flow.  I used to have a life
after work.  I was paid a salary to keep things organized in the office.
When things were crazy busy it was my job to follow procedures to keep
things moving and in tip-top shape.  When things were quiet my partners
encouraged me to stir things up, then to put things back in order before
I'd go home.  That's what white collar workers have always done--they use
telephones and computers to manage information, to stir things up and to
put things back in order.

My life got more complicated when I got hooked up at home.  I set up a
desktop and started working in the evenings and on weekends.  I found I
could straighten out the messes I'd make at work in my free time at home.
I could get a lot more done by extending the office into my time off.  I
resisted the laptop thing because I needed some time to think, and
commuting was the only time I had for myself.  It seems like I've always
carried a cell phone on the road, for peace of mind.  I use it mainly to
keep in touch with my partners and family.  I seldom initiate any business
when I'm on the road.  I know this goes against the grain.  I do answer
work related calls and react when I have to.  Mostly I listen to music and
read novels. I do like to talk with my mother when I'm commuting.

The other day I realized how sick I am of managing information.  I feel
like a damned cleric or a librarian.  Most of my waking hours are spent
opening and closing files, putting things back in order, hacking away at
the snarl of traffic in my inbox, launching reassuring messages in
response.  Staying in touch with people I hardly know.  I really thought
my life's work would be more creative.  I thought I'd be the one making
the messes--interesting, vital messes.  Instead I find I'm merely an
extension of this year's software.  I use the latest, most powerful
software as a template for my highly efficient, productive behavior.  I'm
consistent, methodical, and orderly.  There are loose-ends, but these
loose-ends dangle in the never-never land beyond the control of the
system, the network...somewhere beyond my desktop.  I think about these
loose ends when I'm commuting, between the time spent lost in my music, or
in my novels, or talking to my mother.

Tom Sherman

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