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Howard Rheingold, (Re)Sliced
Matt Wood | Jan 9 2008
Howard Rheingold, online pioneer and dapper man of the mustache and Indiana Jones hats, has started a new video blog to update his seminal 1992 essay, “A Slice of Life in my Virtual Community,” with how he spends his time online with today’s technologies. The first video is a little remedial, but what caught my eye is his promise to clue us in to his daily process, including not only his office time, but time spent on hobbies like painting and gardening. Looking back at that sentence, I know that sounds about as exciting as getting a flu shot, but I’m a sucker for watching how smart people manage their days. Should be worth a watch.
Reading back through that old essay, one thing that made me stop was his explanation of how he found his online homebase, The Well:
I found this digital watering hole for information-age hunters and gatherers the same way most people find such places -- I was lonely, hungry for intellectual and emotional companionship, although I didn't know it. While many commuters dream of working at home, telecommuting, I happen to know what it's like to work that way. I never could stand to commute or even get out of my pajamas if I didn't want to, so I've always worked at home. It has its advantages and its disadvantages. Others like myself also have been drawn into the online world because they shared with me the occupational hazard of the self-employed, home-based symbolic analyst of the 1990s -- isolation.
I’m curious to see his updated thoughts on isolation of the self-employed, "symbolic analyst," because as someone whose daily companions are usually a toddler and a dog, I can tell you that it still exists 16 years later.
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