Sunday, April 18, 2010

Digital Detox Rules

The exact rules for digital detox week very from person to person, but here are mine.
  • My desktop computer, known as Goliath, is going to be off for the duration, unless being used by a roommate, probably Kevin.
  • My laptop computer, known as Sweetest Taboo (long story, don't ask), is going to be off and packed away for the duration.
  • I will not be going to any social networking sites .
  • I will not be playing any video games.
  • I will not be reading any web comics.
  • I will not be watching any movies.
  • I don't own a TV, but if it comes up somehow I'm not going to actively watch TV.
The interesting thing about this is that I'll still be able to do all of the productive social things that I do electronically. I'll still have e-mail, because of my smartphone. These rules don't forbid me from texting or calling, so those are still fine as well. Lets see how this goes.

Digital Detox

It's interesting to think that I only have four hours to write this. That's more then enough time, it's just interesting to think that in four hours I'll be observing a fast that will make me unable to write this. It's a fast taken from screens. It's Digital Detox Week.

I've been thinking about this for a while now, but the moment I really decided I had to do it was less then an hour ago. I was thinking about digital detox as I was half watching a TV episode on my left monitor and playing a facebook game on my right monitor, and I was thinking to myself that I didn't want to do it, which is when I realized how much I needed to. I don't want to do digital detox week because of all the stupid little games I'm going to miss out on. Not even the good games that the X-box which sits only a few meters from my computer can play, but the stupid inane facebook games. That's what I'm worried about? That alone was proof to me that I needed to do this.

There is one other thought I had though, the one that got me thinking about this. How many of the things you see and hear on a daily basis are actually there? Every face you see on a TV screen isn't actually there. The things they're saying aren't really being said. Think about how much the actions of those people influence you, how much of your life is about what they say and do. I'm doing digital detox for a handful of reasons, but the core reason for this, to me, is to get back to reality. To live, if just for a week, in a world which actually exists. I know me, I'll probably go back to the grand dream of digital existence when this is all done, but for just a little while I think I owe it to myself to wake up.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I've started packing up my room, part of my prep process, and I've learned a few things.

-Trader Joe's gives out free wine boxes.

-Science textbooks fit suspiciously well into wine boxes

-Text books and role playing game books, like those for dungeons and dragons, have the same basic dimensions, which means that both of them can be packed perfectly into wine boxes. I'm not exactly sure why but I'm sure there's some kind of conspiracy at work here.

-I've packed up around 80% of my non-clothing possessions, which means that I've packed up all of my books. I was looking at what's left to pack and the seven unlabeled boxes of books, and I've decided to leave those unlabeled and label the rest of them "Not Books."

-There's a number of things I decided to just get rid of instead of packing. Some of that means giving old promotional T-shirts to Good Will, but it also means that I've started scenting the entire house. It's really hard to pack incense.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I've spent some time here and there thinking about how people are sold things. Not the raw mechanics of commerce, although I've thought about that too, but rather the way things are successfully advertised. I've been sold any number of products by appealing to genuine needs. I've been sold some products through promises of greater quality then the products that have failed me in the past. I've been sold things because they would grant me access to new social realms, and sometimes that's even been true. I have no memory of anyone ever actively selling me a sword, or other bladed weapon, but I still have to put a great deal of effort into not buying them whenever I see that they are simply available to be purchased. I have two theories on that one. The first is that swords speak to a primal desire embedded in the genetic memories of my Y chromosome which is being amplified by a childhood fascination with weaponry and the role toy weapons played as items of reward, pleasure and social standing during the formative years of my early childhood. My other theory is that swords are Awesome.

I'm not talking about swords right now though. I want to address that small collection of things I have been sold through my own morbid curiosity. I don't necessarily want these things, but upon hearing about them I just have to know. I lost $5 to this phenomenon earlier today. I lost this money because KFC, which was already degrading the collective culture with it's nightmarish bowls, took the initiative to rip the hyperbole from the comedians and make the double down.

Do you know what this thing is? Imagine if you would a bacon and cheese sandwich, add a bit of that strange orange mayo sauce stuff that only fast food companies have access to, I assume through some unholy Faustian covenant with the snake God Yig, then instead of a bun, put it all between two pieces of fried chicken.

Just thinking about that for a minute. There isn't a single ingredient in that thing that's healthy. There isn't a single thing in that from the first two layers of the food pyramid. It's just meat dairy and self loathing.

I heard about this product and I had to know. And now that I know, none of you should go buy it. This thing should've been rich with decadent excess. Each bite should have been guilty pleasure, it should have tasted like the apple from Eden. This thing should be a piece of delicious sin, and it's not. It's a mediocre chicken bacon sandwich with too much chicken and no bread. That's it. Total waste of time and money, but at least now I know.