I am back from a 2 week break from pretty much all things Internet. With relatively few exceptions I stayed away from email, checking in, blogging, tweeting, reading Techmeme and all the other things I usually do during the course of a day. So what did I do instead and what did I learn from it?
- Read several non-fiction books including Dan Ariely’s excellent “The Honest Truth about Dishonesty.” Take away: There are some low hanging fruit in making people behave more honestly (with interesting implications for behavior online). Read this book!
- Read several fiction books including the first half or so of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Take away: The popularity of this book seems to be more about the power and fantasy of money than sex.
- Spent time in Tuscany and Rome. Take aways: It’s been another hot and dry summer there and the wine growers all believe in climate change. A lot of modern art really has no clothes when you are awed by the works of Bernini, Caravaggio, and Michelangelo.
- Went on an overnight sailboat race. Take aways: Sailing is a great model for teamwork. I am not all that seaworthy. And: experience matters a lot. Expect a future blog post about this.
The real lesson learned though is that taking time off from the minute-by-minute onslaught of information is a great way to regain perspective on the big picture and on family and friends. Sadly, the big picture is fairly depressing at the moment with the Internet offering the only silver lining against dark clouds of political corruption, economic bumbling and environmental damage. Happily, there is family and friends to provide support.
PS If I owe you an email response and you haven’t heard back from me by the end of this week please ping me.