Zen TV Followup

Just a few notes and thoughts on changing the position of television in my life.

First, Megan and I spent some time talking about this last night, and one of the things we decided to do was to eat our meals at the kitchen table and not in front of the TV. We tried that tonight, and it was nice.

Second, I finished the experiment tonight. I actually sat down and watched the television for 30 minutes with it turned off. It was an interesting experience. At first, I focused on the TV itself. I noticed smudges and things stuck to the screen, that I hadn’t noticed before. Then, I started to realize that I was tired. My eyes began to blur. I had to concentrate to prevent that. Then, my mind began to wander. I noticed a set of dominoes on the shelf below the TV and wondered how long we had them. I thought of different ways the furniture in the room could be configured. I caught myself, and went back to the TV. I noticed the silence. I noticed the sounds of the house. Eventually the 30 minutes had passed.

Tonight I learned that my mind is actively focused and engaged while I’m watching TV because it doesn’t wander, my eyes stay focused, and I don’t feel tired. I also experienced wasting away 30 minutes and being acutely aware of every minute that I could have been doing something else.

Also, on a related note, what you see on TV is even more fake than you probably realize.

Why is Technology Important?

Dave Winer just wrote a thought provoking piece (as he usually does) on the importance of technology. In it, he makes this assertion:

…Technology is important because it empowers people. That’s where you start. Not in novelty or neatness, not in the fact that it changes things, because it might change things by disempowering. Change is not in itself a valid reason for anything.

This is an interesting statement because it appears to contradict itself. How can something both empower and disempower? And how can both of those be important qualities?

I like this statement because it describes what we’re trying to accomplish with TileStack. TileStack is important first because it empowers people to create their own applications. You don’t need a computer science degree to build an app, you just need a good idea. It is this fact that described how TileStack is disempowering software elite (for lack of a better term). These are the people that decide what’s best for people, and charge people for access to their software. These are the ISVs and consultants that charge large amounts of cash for custom projects. Technology like TileStack takes the power away from the elite and gives it to the masses.

NOTE: I know TileStack isn’t ready for primetime just yet, so we’re not as disruptive as I’d like to be. But watch out! We’re coming!