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Off-line Victory over Waste on the Hard Drive

Very well then, we are all agreed that in pursuing a winter lifestyle that enlarges our overall lifestyle we must move towards complementarities rather than outright reversals. For instance, the internet is a pretty big part of most people's lifestyle these days. But surely most people suspect that much of their online time is wasted on predictable repetition of absolute trivia. It's tempting to fantasize smashing the computer with a hammer and chucking the whole thing into a dumpster, and then dropping the expensive monthly charge of the cellphone carrier.

But wait. Where is the perpendicular move? It must make a youngster's eyes roll when an old timer tells them that that they used computers for several decades without being online. (Although they were hooked to a mainframe computer, usually.) In fact it even makes me wonder sometimes what I ever found to do with an offline computer at home.

But remember my sighs over the great charnel houses in the cloud, or for that matter, on our own hard drives? I mean the photographs and music that moulder in a heap that is so astronomically big, in part because the heap is so big, and because the "online" mindset habituates us into ignoring anything that isn't "breaking news" or "trending" on the stupid internet.

Lately I've taken to going through my own photographs and music on the hard drive. It has been enjoyable. If nothing else it is a great thing to do the last hour of the day, when the eyes are too tired to read, and when you need something else to do as you valiantly fight the Early Bedtime Syndrome. There is a sweet nostalgia when remembering where and when you took that photo. With the music, you can't help but appreciate how much wealth you have learned to overlook.

Of course reading a book (rather than some silly and predictable website) is another "offline" activity that we should probably emphasize more in winter. Last episode I mentioned Patrick O' Brian's "Master and Commander" novels. I had to grin at the incessant reminders of how concerned the sailors were, with wind and tide; they are even more so than roadies, aka, road bicyclists.

But think of this as a new pleasure that comes from seeing a commonality in two activities that seemed to have no connection: reading and bicycling.

In disinterring the photographs on the hard drive, there are many such opportunities; it's just that I was being too much of a blockhead to notice them. Photographs taken in different places and different years can appear like two manifestations of a general principle.

Maybe finding these commonalities is the point, and the pleasure, of photography, rather than just how purdy (or Dairy Queenish) the stupid thing is. And if we took photographs with relationships in mind, we could build entire webs out of the connections. So too could we build our music collections into better and better playlists.

As another example of perpendicular addition to your winter lifestyle, consider today's post by Charles Hugh Smith on buying non-mainstream books.


Wayne (Wirs) said…
I like the idea of a 'perpendicular move' during winter months to develop our natures (being a Florida native, winter was never different enough to justify a change in lifestyle).

On photography: If you keep in mind that people often take photos for different reasons, then it might make it a little easier to be forgiving. Most people take photos to DOCUMENT what they are doing. Sometimes they'll take photos to MAKE A POINT. Sometimes they'll take photos of BEAUTY. I tend to stick to the last reason, but if you take into account the photographer's REASON for taking the photo, well, then we can be a little more forgiving of 'postcards.' :)
Well you're probably right. Beauty means nothing to me, though. (Except in music.)

But I certainly appreciate #2: MAKE A POINT. Photographs can be amazing mental shorthand.
Wayne (Wirs) said…
Just FYI: I wasn't using caps for shouting, but emphasis (didn't know if your blog took HTML codes).