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LiNE Zine Spring 2001 - Being Analog

LiNE Zine Spring 2001 - Being Analog



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Published by Jay Cross

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Published by: Jay Cross on Mar 10, 2008
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LiNE Zine Spring 2001 - Being Analog by Jay Crosshttp://www.linezine.com/5.2/articles/jcba.htm1 of 33/9/08 1:50 PM 
The time pageatInternet Time GroupeLearning ForumJoin us! It’s free.Being DigitalN.Negroponte (VintageBooks, 1996)The Social Life of InformationJ. S.Brown, P. Duguid(HBSP, 2000)Management: TasksResponsibilitiesPracticesP. D.Drucker(Harperbusiness,1993)A Year to Live. Howto Live This Year AsIf It Were Your LastS. Levine. (ThreeRivers Press, 1998)Unwinding the Clock:10 Thoughts on OurRelationship to TimeB. Jonsson (HarcourtBrace, 2001) “You say yes, I say
Photo by Henri D. Grissino-Mayer 
"There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those whocan't." -AnonymousComputers are bipolar. A bit is on or off. 1 or 0. Unless you're a digital processor,this binary thinking can trick you into oversimplifying what's going on.The human world is not yes or no; it's a sea of maybes. Most decisions aren'tblack or white; they're shades of gray. Are you liberal or conservative? Perhaps likeme, you're a little of each.Treating the world as an open-or-shut case leads to thought crimes like "TheInternet changes everything." In my work, I struggle with the knuckle-headedassumption that learning must be either instructor-led or computer-deliveredrather than a blend of the two. Few things in life are really all or nothing."Computer scientists have a tendency to count '1, 2, 3, one million…'as if scalewere insignificant once the first steps were taken." - John Seeley Brown, PaulDuguid. The Social Life of InformationReal life is analog. Situations are continuums, not just the extremes. There's awhole world between the poles.You may be asking yourself, "Why bother?" After all, it's easier to use the
LiNE Zine Spring 2001 - Being Analog by Jay Crosshttp://www.linezine.com/5.2/articles/jcba.htm2 of 33/9/08 1:50 PM
no.I say yes, but I maymean no. You saystop, I say go, go,go. I can stay 'til it'stime to go. Oh, ohno.” —Hello Goodbye, TheBeatles “Time keeps onslipping,slipping, slippingInto the future.” —Fly Like An EagleThe Steve Miller Band “Well, I told you onceand I told youtwi-ice. But younever listen to myadvi-iceYou don't try veryhard to please me.With what you know,it should be easy” ”Well, this could bethe last time, thiscould be the lasttime. Maybe the lasttime, I don't knowOh noOh no” — The Last Time,The Rolling Stonesshorthand of yes/no than to give a situation a probability rating, simpler to paintsomething black than Pantone 7C gray.The rub is that everything's relative. Each of us sees things differently. Myinternal movie is not the same as yours. You've got your scale, I've got mine, andother people see things differently from either of us.each of us is at the center of the universe. so is everyone else. -e. e. cummingsPeople who stick to yes or no (and never maybe) are extremists. By definition,extremists have few alternatives. If you say yes and I say no, one of us has tocapitulate or we'll never agree. This is a zero-sum game. I win/you lose. Orperhaps you win/I lose. Life's too short for losing all the time.
This is an essay about time. Didn't I mention that?Timing is everything. Time is all we have.All too many of us are extremists when it comes totime. Chronologically, we are single-minded. We are sobusy chopping trees that we don't take time tosharpen our axe. Some of us can't see the forest forthe trees; others can't see the trees for the forest.The nearsighted live like there's no tomorrow. Thefarsighted seem far out.Peter Drucker once said that to be successful in business, one must have hernose to the grindstone and eyes to the hills. Certainly, balancing the short-termwith the long is healthier than fixating on either.Of course, now vs. then is another binary oversimplification. Here's a metaphor tohelp you when you're looking at the world, or when you're trying to imagine howsome other human being is looking at the world.
Think of the time period you’re focused on as a slide switch thatyou control.If you find yourself jumping around in the immediate present,perhaps acting recklessly, overlooking things that you know reallymatter, slide your consciousness into the future for reflection.Does what you’re doing right now make any difference in the largerscheme of things?Is this what you want on your tombstone? On the other hand, if you’re so wrapped up in the future thatyou’re paralyzed for the present, slide your concentration into theimmediate moment.Are you doing the things to get to that future you werecontemplating?Are you living the life you choose or going through the motions?

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