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April 26, 2004

Link of the Moment
Check Your Head.

Screensaver of the Moment
Coolest idea for a screensaver that I've seen in a while: Holding Pattern is the view out of a passenger jet window...

Screensavers...what a sad little lost artform. The fact is usually screens don't need that much saving, burn-in is relatively rare, and then there's the way it's much more power effecient to suspend both the CPU and the monitor...sigh. But it was such a nice idea: when you're not using the computer, it should show you something cool 'til you want to use it again. Ah well.

At one point I kind of wished the phrase "about as useful as a screensaver on a PalmPilot" would come into vogue, but I was younger and maybe even geekier then.

Summary of the Moment
A John Shirley blog entry on a recent Scientific American article about how we're being drowned in options. It also touches upon how there are two basic chooser types: Maximizers, who tend to become obsessed about looking for the "best" option, and Satisficers, who have less stress in general by following a "good enough is best" philosophy, but even that path is becoming more problematic.

That's one truth I'm coming to terms with: there's too much cool and interesting stuff out there. You can't read all the worthwhile books in the world, or even a tiny fraction of them. It's not easy to know the ratio of cool stuff I'll see over the cool stuff out there is closing in on zero.

In another related's only been a few days, but I feel like the discipline needed to keep my house ready for unexpected drop-ins is good for me and my dreams of decluttering. I know it's a fantasy to think that I'll be able to keep up this level of neatness once the real need to do so passes, but still, it's a nice fantasy.

Update of the Moment
"How do you know I'd be afraid?" Lloyd said, "How do you know that would be the last thing I'd feel?"
"I don't know that." Shwartz tick-tickeded the pen. "You can never know. That's what's terrible about death."
"Lots of things you don't know when you're alive. So what's the difference?"
Schwartz's fingers stopped, and he stared at Lloyd as though he had seen him purely and for the first time.
--Thomas H. McNeely, from "Sheep" kind of ties in with the previous entry. See today's comments for an explanation of how the "too much cool stuff" ties in to the anti-packrat decluttering simplification bug. In short, it's about learning to let go. I'd like to say it's about not defining ourselves by our posessions, but I think we ARE somewhat defined by our posessions, and that's ok.