2014 – the year of feeling burned out

This post talks about my plans for this blog in 2015 - and how I'm going to overcome feeling burned out. Nothing drastic, just a change in gears.

Digital is constant. The "present shock" as Rushkoff calls it. The digiphrenia, the phantom vibration syndrome, the air traffic controller ADD, the high Asperger quotient, the always-on-ness, the Twitter soundbites, match scores, recipes, current events, big business, the Ubers, the AirBNBs, the profitable side business. Every sort of pop psychology and pop philosophy pushed on us through books, old media, and pushed out of our activity streams on Facebook, our RSS readers, and our Twitter stream. We have Seth Godin telling us to suppress the lizard brain, Jason Silva telling us to be optimistic about technology, and Kurzweil saying the singularity is a decade away (but only if we want it to be). It is stunning, and for creative types like myself - addictive, and prone to all kinds of problems. (Problems like isolation, feeling constantly burned out from choice paralysis, and feeling like tech is some sort of Penrose stairs that will never be conquered).

Deal with it

My only solution to this is to let go. Not in an extreme way. Just to flow with the current, and stop trying to tame computers, tame information, and tame The Internet itself. The Snowden revelations were very upsetting for me - and listening to Jake Appelbaum disseminating the leaks in human readable terms stirs my stomach each time. It's hard to be optimistic about our current setup when the tinfoil hatters were right all along - that all pervasive surveillance has saturated the very cornerstones and bedrock of The Net. I see an uprising occurring beneath the surface, and the grey-beards will default to strong encryption for every tiny thing they pass through the packet switched Internet - that is for sure.

Vent it out

2014 was a year of complaining. I ranted quite heavily in public, and in private. I sent outrageous emails to countless tech companies asking them to put a 'security' page at the bottom now instead of the usual 'privacy' and 'contact' links. I submitted bug reports to hundreds of big-name tech outfits about bad UX, sloppy design, and general bad practice. In other words - I gave back to the internet rather than passively consume it. I made a small, albeit financially unrewarding difference.

Time to step back

The weird after effects of being heavily involved in tech for what has been well over a decade now is - you get nothing at the end. It's the same story of successful people who finally buy an island in the sun, and sit in their hammock, and ponder - "is this it?". All that hard work and dragon slaying, for something anybody can do in their free time, and could probably be done on a dollar a day income too?

I will try to dabble in tech like a soccer coach who plays five asides twice a year. Tech for me is now a spectator sport.