Bookmarked Against Waldenponding (

How to manage your attention without smashing your smartphone or retreating to a log cabin

Venkatesh Rao provides a counter-narrative to the argument that we need to abandon social platforms perpetuated by Cal Newport. I think that the challenge is in finding some sort of balance. This is what I tried to capture in my post and I think is touched on in the #ProSocialWeb movement.


Whether you choose a Soft or Hard Waldenponding, and whether you choose it as an occasional break or a regularly scheduled retreat, just recognize that it is not a self-evidently more “moral” attitude then getting your mind all dirty and entangled in the “toxic” information streams.

We are all now part of a powerful global social computer in the cloud that is possibly the only mechanism we have available to tackle the big problems of the world that industrial age mechanisms are failing to cope with. We might as well get good at it. Do your part. Stay as plugged in as you can.

Liked Elderblog Sutra: 1 by an author

The idea is that in a complex game, after most players have finished a first full play-through, the mechanics might still leave interesting things for them to do. An Act 2 game-within-a-game emerges for experienced players who have exhausted the nominal game. A game dominated by such second-order players is an elder game. In Borderlands, the elder game was apparently gun collecting. […] An elder game can be contrasted with a late style, which is a style of creative production taken to an extreme, past the point of baroque exhaustion, in a sort of virtuoso display of raging against the dying of the night. Late-style game play is an overclocked finite game resisting the forces of mortality. An elder game is a derivative infinite game, emergent immortality hacked out of mortality.

via Doug Belshaw