Posted Jan 3, 2008 18:50 UTC (Thu) by AnswerGuy (guest, #1256)
Parent article: Quote of the week
So, in the broader perspective, what can we do as individuals and what could we do as a
society to facilitate this throughout the year?
Regarding "really dumb" e-mails there is a relatively simple, if somewhat prickly solution.
We can have a policy directing people to open venues to which they can post their "really dumb"
Downsides: some "yahoos" are too ignorant to know that they should post questions to a public
list, some of them would be embarassed to post (admissions of their own ignorance) publicly,
and publicly posted questions waste the time of lots of people (every reader, in essence).
Wikis help a little with the later issue --- the "front" of a given wiki page will tend to
show a derivative of the original question (and hopefully its answer) in a vetted, revised,
form with the stupidity (ambiguities, tangled semantics, awkward grammar, etc) edited out.
What are these "other" distractions?
Perhaps some of us can, as individuals, arrange to set aside times when we are in a "working
retreat" (inaccessible to these cacaphonous distractions). Perhaps as little as a 4 day
"weekend" every two or three weeks.
At my current job I find that the first three days of every week are filled with regularly
recurring meetings and conference calls. These are not back-to-back, but are interspersed
with periods of time during which I catch up on e-mail, prepare for meetings, follow-up on
others and get interrupt/event driven work done. Thus the last two days of each week usually
have no meetings (well, we have an informal coffee gathering late Friday afternoon, but that's
deliberately not treated like a formal "meeting" even though we talk shop the and get more
done there than in most other meetings).
Anyway, I think that Dave's comment begs to be questioned. During each new year we have an
opportunity to mull over such things with a bit of social support to "make resolutions"
(Of course one of my personal resolutions every year, for about the 30 of them has been that I
would consider any day of the year as an opportunity to grow and change. Nonetheless, the new
year is a good time to meditate on such things in greater depth).