Some call it daydreaming; others call it fantasizing. Whatever you call it, it’s actually your brain’s default mode. We spend at least a third of our waking hours thinking about things other than what is happening immediately in front of us. Mind wandering isn’t all bad—it can foster creativity—however, when you need to be present, it takes practice and intention to get there. You can in fact train your brain to focus on the here and now using meditation, but it’s not something you just “get” immediately.
It is admittedly pretty difficult to be present in our lives (so much so that researchers out of University College London admit our smartphones have become a second home, in a sense), but technology isn’t entirely to blame. In the case of learning how to meditate, it can actually help. However, practicing mindfulness requires more than a meditation app and some free time.
While my Apple Watch follows me almost everywhere, sometimes the smartwatch leads me to my next adventure. Not long ago I found myself scrolling through a seemingly-infinite list of activities the Apple Watch can track, when I realized I could try out a new one rather conveniently.
Group video calls in Telegram allow up to 30 users to stream video from both their camera and their screen, and now a maximum of 1,000 people can tune into the broadcast. Telegram says it intends to continue increasing this limit “until all humans on Earth can join one group call.”
Mastodon describes the app as particularly geared toward getting new users on board the nontraditional social platform. As we’ve outlined before, Mastodon looks similar to Twitter but is built around independently run communities (and the ActivityPub protocol) rather than a single central network.
After a decade in which online identity came under increasingly centralized control, in which various digital and offline identities were mingled, and during which personal data became a hot global commodity, control over one’s identity is starting to look more like a threatened privilege than a right. To exist online is to be constantly asked to show yourself.
Getting all humans on earth on that one group call to please mute yourselves is going to be difficult. :-)
I may be getting too old to stay up in the middle of the night to upgrade my servers, but I may still be too young to admit I'm too old to upgrade my servers.
And then I woke up at the same time this morning, automatically.
When I do retire, I've gotta learn how to take naps.
Thanks for reading.