For me anyway. I can’t speak for anyone else. There was a time when I really liked listening to radio but radio has gotten really bad. It’s what drove me to SiriusXM to begin with.
Then I started listening to a lit of podcasts and SiriusXM only over the internet. For some reason this morning I felt like setting up my old desktop radio. Setup my channel favorites and hear we go.
About three weeks ago I had my fill with tech news and tech blogs. (I reserve the right to not list everyone here, even if I would be accused of “vaguebooking” or “vagueblogging”.) I simply could not stand to listen to the empty, shallow analysis that passes for tech commentary these days. I was also a little burned out. In what might sound like hypocrisy I was on an Android based podcast, though, I firmly believe the podcast tries to go away beyond the shallow analysis. It’s one reason I liked being on. However, I have a very busy startup I’m working on, I have a full life at home, and I wanted to try some new things. So I formally quit the podcast.
I was a creature of habit with podcasts. Every monday morning, I would listen to This Week in Tech. I’ve been a listener for years, but even that show has peaked and slowly slid. In order to have variety, you must have on a lot of different people, but truthfully, there are only a handful of people who really know anything that work in tech news. I was tired of listening to people get it wrong over and over again. The rest of the podcasts I would listen to throughout the week suffered the same problem. It’s annoying to hear people pontificate on things they clearly barely know or understand. Due to how busy I’ve been I was probably guilty of that myself on the podcast I was on, which also pushed me to quit.
So how am I doing three weeks later?
Honestly, there are tech blogs and tech podcasts I’ve already forgotten about. I thought I would be tempted to go back, to fill my ears with stuff, just to pass the time, but I’m finding that there are whole swaths of things I could listen to instead. I’ve gotten back to listening to more music. It’s so cliche to say (probably because it’s true) but music and the exploration of music has been so important in my life. There were a lot of lonely days in my “formative years” and music provided an escape while I bided my time until I things would get better (disclaimer: I didn’t have things really bad, but I was still depressed and lonely a lot). It’s perhaps a little harder for a nearly 40 year old to keep exploring music, with so much of popular music youth based, but I make a decent go of it.
I don’t know if three weeks is truly enough to “break a habit”, but I find people, websites, and podcasts are falling out of my memory pretty easily. Rage bloggers, drama bloggers, shallow bloggers, both who infest skepticism and tech news, are no longer occupying much time in my day. In fact, for some, I hadn’t thought about them until I wrote this post. I consider this habit broken.
Now if only I could break my late night snacking habit so easily….
Makes me think of college where I went to school along side the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. I wonder if basic research was going on back then.
The other night I had one of those classic “you’re back in school” dreams. Despite the fact that I’m almost forty, and high school was a mere 4 years out of my life, I still occasionally have dreams about being in high school or sometimes college. I think part of this is that for a number of years, I was a college dropout. I left college to go to work for a startup and then stayed for fifteen years. It never bothered me that I didn’t finish for a while, it was just unexpected. I think that is part of why I have these dreams even though I eventually did finish with a degree. I still have visions of going back to school and starting over, if I ever go into some sort of retirement.
But for now, I rely on one event every year that satisfies my education desires: The Amazing Meeting. I’ve been lucky enough attend nine previous TAM’s and a tenth is just a few weeks away. Every time I go, I hear great, dare I say, amazing presentations, discussions, and ideas. Now that I’ve tried to be more social, it’s become even more collaborative. I used to be too shy to speak up in workshops, but I’m getting past that every day. It’s really like going back to school each year, since so much is packed into such a dense timeline.
A number of TAM’s ago, they moved the meeting from January to July to accommodate more teachers going. Well, as has been reported by DJ Grothe and Barbara Drescher, we have a good number of teachers who applied for and received educational grants to attend TAM. This is awesome and I’m glad I’ve been able to help directly and indirectly with donations. After all, the E in JREF stands for “Educational”. Anything that helps that mission is a plus.
So in roughly three weeks, I head to #TAM2014. I’ll take notes, buy books, and write down which presentations I want to catch on DVD or Youtube, and make some new friends. Exactly like going back to school.
I watched this show just for the possible camp factor, but it’s truly awful. I don’t know if anyone involved takes as serious as they appear to onscreen, but I could only watch maybe 20 minutes before turning it off forever. Dreadfully boring. There has to be genuine mystery to make something like this work. In this case, there is little mystery. The attempt to use a picture of a human in a snowsuit as a possible Yeti picture is beyond pathetic.
If you want to watch a decent movie about Dyatlot pass watch Devil’s Pass. You’ll have a much better time.