Ana Viseu on Mon, 15 Apr 2002 09:37:17 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> technology in the service of efficient leisure time

[A nicely written, satirical examination of the pervasiveness of the 
'efficiency' metaphors in our daily lives. Even if this article is written 
in a satirical mode, I believe the issue is real. As information and 
communication technologies (ICTs) permeate more and more realms of our 
daily lives we start to adopt new metaphors. Speed is one of great ideals 
of ICTs, wasting time for lack of speed becomes a luxury (and a conscious 
choice). Another good reference on this topic is Alan Lightman's talk 
titled "The world is too much with me: Finding private space in a wired 
world" and his book "The Diagnosis".  Enjoy, but slowly. Ana Viseu]
April 14, 2002
Your Life: The Highlights


MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL last week began rolling out "Condensed Games" on the 
Internet. The service, which will cost $4.95 a month, offers video of the 
pitches that resulted in action in a game  a hit, a fly ball, a ground out, 
a strikeout and so on.

America's pastoral pastime is thus reduced to a thrill-packed 20 minutes a 
game (roughly 85 pitches, according to baseball), and, as such, fans are 
spared the boredom of a pitchers' duel  or, worse yet, a no-hitter.

Technology, which has long been used to improve our productivity at work, 
is now helping us make our leisure time more efficient, too.

But there's work to be done. Here is how to make better use of your Sunday. 
Get started  time is wasting.

10 A.M.: BRUNCH You're already marrying breakfast and lunch here, so you're 
off to a good start. But your failure to combine waffle-making and 
abdominal crunches is a glaring sign of inefficiency. There are at least 
two excess minutes in the three-minute egg. And instant oatmeal is too 
time-consuming: try pouring the stuff down your throat with a funnel.

To more effectively eat and relax with the newspaper, the daily report will 
be prepackaged with breakfast. The famous pie charts of USA Today will 
appear on a pie, so you can feed body and mind simultaneously. Feel good? 
That's because 45 percent of Americans think that you're off to a much more 
efficient start!

10:08 A.M.: A BOOK BREAK You put your feet up and digest brunch over a 
classic novel. But what's that you feel slipping away? Yes, your 
hard-earned leisure time. To remedy that, something else must slip away, 
too  adjectives. They are gratuitous in literature. What's important are 
verbs  action words like "fly," "explode" and "day trade."

Computer technology would strip out the verbiage, as well as time-consuming 
literary devices like character development and conjunctions. This will cut 
the fat from lengthy texts like "To Kill a Mockingbird" (much more 
manageable and entertaining as "Kill") and even Reader's Digest. Can you 
feel the relaxation pouring over you? Good. But don't get too comfy. You 
have to hustle to the movies.

10:45 A.M.: THE MATINEE Using digital technology, the cinema should 
captivate your senses with bursts of action and explosions, deftly spliced 
into a melange that pares out the boring sinew of plot. True, we have this 
already, and not only in movie trailers; consider, for example, "Collateral 

But you deserve even better. Emphasizing the high-speed chases, and cutting 
to the chase, "A Beautiful Mind" would be called "Dude, Where's My Mind?" 
Similarly, "The Lord of the Rings," reduced only to battle scenes, would be 
cut to six hours.

11 A.M.: NAP TIME Rapid-eye-movement, or R.E.M., sleep just isn't enough. 
Your eyes should be blinking open and shut as if to the beat of a frenzied 
metronome. That's because you should be napping while simultaneously 
following the news ticker on CNN.

As technology advances, you can combine these experiences more thoroughly 
by having a news ticker implanted in your dreams: "This just in: the fish 
in your last dream was your mother."

O.K., time to get up, Mr. or Ms. Lazy.

11:04 A.M.: SHIATSU MASSAGE In theory, this is a total waste of time.
Nothing happens. It's less useful than yoga, even the new condensed yoga 
that includes the position "Standing Dog with Cellphone." What can you 
accomplish while lying on your stomach getting a massage, while everyone 
else is getting ahead?

The only choice is to expedite. Receive a massage from 12 therapists at 
once, each responsible for one body part. You'll be out of there in 20 
minutes, just in time for your next relaxing activity.

11:30 A.M.: MEDITATION Take time to reflect: What should you do with your 
life? Are you where you want to be? Good questions. Deep in your heart, you 
know that they are the type that can be answered only through the serenity 
that comes with Instant Polling.

Should I go to law school or become a chef? Should I cross the street at 
this corner or the next? Let's ask the audience! Inquiries would be posted 
on the Internet, delivered via Palm Pilot. Are you feeling relaxed now? How 
about now? How about now? How about now?

NOON: ROMANTIC DINNER FOR 2 Great concept, bad execution. Totally 
inefficient. This should be a romantic dinner for one. The other one of you 
should be filling out your income tax returns.

You should be done with your relaxing Sunday by 12:30 p.m. Your leisure 
time out of the way, you now have time to catch a condensed baseball game 
at Then you'll have the whole afternoon free to work.

[ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ]
Tudo vale a pena se a alma não é pequena.
[ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ]

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