Sunday, April 29, 2012

how to not waste time on the internet.

Or, at least, how I am trying not to waste time on the internet. A few weeks ago I came home from Sunday night yoga and opened my laptop. I deleted all of my bookmarks and started from scratch. I downloaded blocking software to keep myself from being tempted by sites that I either a) waste time on, or b) hate read. Yeah, that's a thing. And I do did it.

I added back bookmarks to help and not hinder, ones labeled with tags like stop worrying, go outside, laugh, move, pray, and listen. And now when I'm on the internet, I (mostly) am asking questions, learning new things, reading about reading, and finding inspiration (you can pry my Mormon design blogs out of my cold, dead hands).

from Steal Like an Artist

I got three new books in the mail on Saturday, and the first page I opened to in Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist says this:
School is one thing.  Education is another. The two don't always overlap. Whether you're in school or not, it's always your job to get yourself an education. You have to be curious about the world in which you live.  Look things up.  Chase down every reference. Go deeper than anyone else-- that's how you'll get ahead.  Google everything. I mean everything. Google your dreams, Google your problems. Don't ask a question before you Google it.  You'll either find the answer or you'll come up with a better question. Always be reading. Go to the library. There's magic in being surrounded by books. Get lost in the stacks. Read bibliographies. It's not the book you start with, it's the book that book leads you to. Collect books, even if you don't plan on reading them right away. Filmmaker John Waters has said, 'Nothing is more important than an unread library.'  Don't worry about doing research. Just search.
Kleon's gotten a lot of press lately, and I can't speak for the rest of the book yet, but I quite like that passage. There is a magic in questions leading to more questions and answers waiting to be found, be they in books, on the internet, in conversations, or just slowly being pieced together in our own minds.

P.S. Are you a fellow overflowing bookshelf type of person? Then you'll find this post, along with the Oscar Winning Animated Short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, quite sweet.

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