31 August 2007

Net Notes

Five years ago, I was surfing an average of 70 websites a day and receiving 63 e-zines a week. I was spending about 6 hours a day reading web-based material, snipping, clipping and filing digitally, racking up bookmarks by the dozens, My interests ranging from e-commerce to sports to technology, writing, politics, literature, philosophy, web trends, games, history, cooking and trivia.

That was then. Just yesterday I reduced my e-zine subscriptions to only 3 and My Opera Speed Dial start page has only 7 windows filled (of 9.) My weekly reading is down to 20-25 sites once or twice a week and though I websurf every day, it's down to an hour, maybe two, 4-5 times a week.

Given where I was five years ago, the dropoff is understandable: I didn't have a life. I went at everything through the Internet in maniacal frenzy because I didn't feel I had anything else to sustain Me. Sad, but ruefully true.

Now I have a better balance and what's more, less need to prove I am "aware" of all things Internet. So imagine My surprise when I encounter a couple of items square in the middle of My much-narrowed focus:

---The U.S. is preparing to invade Iran shortly after September 11th, and

---A major stock market collapse is expected at roughly the same time.


The Internet is perfect for conspiracy theorists, but except for the occasional stop at El Nuevo Día's website, I don't mingle with the lunatic fringe. What strikes Me as off this time is that, given the level of involvement I now have Internet-wise, these two predictions are smack-dab in the middle of My tunnel vision.

That's a likely possibility if My tunnel vision were aimed at politics or at the murderous moron defecating the Oval Office. But it isn't. My tunnel vision is...eclectic, for lack of a better word. I meander mostly through Metafilter, Madville, Fark and BoingBoing, all excellent sites but not exactly The Economist, Foreign Policy and The New York Times. So what's going on?

The sense that something big is about to blow. And like with all conspiracy theories--or spot-on predictions--once you "see" it, you can pick out the threads that weave up to the moment.

Do I think the U.S will invade Iran in the coming month? Maybe. I wouldn't put it past the military shirker and political smirker with the highly-deserved low approval rating. He's practically wiped his ass with the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, so why not take another criminal action against humanity?

As for a stock market collapse, hell yeah it's coming. Artificial or just part of the natural cycle of the economy, somebody's gonna take a bath and a few are gonna rake it in.

Of course, the true conspiracy theory is that those who push for the war and those who rake in riches when the bubble bursts are one and the same. My new tunnel vision doesn't follow that rabbit down any holes, nor do I care to. I have enough to keep Me occupied elsewhere on the Web, and more importantly, in My Life.

The Jenius Has Spoken.


Gabriel said...

How did you went about trimming your website visits and newsletters?
I myself have stopped most web surfing. I keep everything in Google Reader now. Firefox opens just 5 tabs, all work related. Its better to be focused.
The stock crash is likely before the election, I think its cyclical. The signs to invade Iran are there, I just hope there is enough thinking ppl around President Chenney that can avoid this.

Gil C. Schmidt said...

Gabriel, I simply dropped everything I hadn't read in the past 90-120 days. When I did that, I realized I'd only been reading about 10-15% of what I was receiving or keeping in My "Weekly Update" bookmark file.

I don't use RSS because I find it distracts Me (I want to read everything that comes in.) I use Opera as My main browser and Firefox for blogging. Both are set to open to websites I use for work and/or research. Fringe benefit to all this: I am more productive now and feel better (I found time to exercise!)

Wait a minute: More productive and exercise? That's not a fringe benefit: That's Life!

Gabriel said...

Oh snap!