Thursday, April 28, 2011

code dependent

Well, one way to solve the problem of internet-based procrastination is to lose your internet access. The problem is, you also lose your access to the things you really need to do.
That's what happened to me. On Friday, April 22nd, at approximately 7pm, my computer went dead. Perfect timing--it was during spring break, and I was intending to catch up on some grading over the weekend. Plus I couldn't even get into my office because all the babysitters were out of town for the holiday weekend!And let's not even talk about the fact that the kids had two additional days of break (this past Monday and Tuesday) that FIT did not.

I took the laptop in to our IT folks first thing Monday morning. By Tuesday, I still hadn't heard anything, other than it was "work in progress." Finally, yesterday, I got connected with the guy working on it (aka My Hero). I'd somehow gotten a virus that caused my hard drive to be inaccessible. It had to be replaced, but fortunately he was able to retrieve my data files by connecting an external hard drive.

WHEW. I just got it back, four loooooong days later (and 6 and a half long days after the crash).

In the meantime, my only access to email, my online classes, and everything was during the time I was able to be in my office at FIT (thank goodness, I still have a desktop unit, albeit an old and slow-ish one).

The rest of the time I felt entirely cut off from the world, from my friends, my family, my boyfriend, my fellow writers and collaborators and partners in crime. It was like a big NOTHING. Silence. I couldn't get in touch with anyone whose phone number I didn't have. I couldn't check my bills and accounts. I couldn't even cook without looking up recipes on the web.

How did I become so dependent on this machine--this chunk of plastic, metal, and whatever other crap that circuitry and such are made of? It's a bit bizarre.

I realized yesterday that I had been going through a serious withdrawal, which was probably chemical in nature. I am a techno addict, and so it follows that my brain was deprived of the dopamine surges it was accustomed to. This reminds me that I need to read Dr. Gary Small's book iBrain, to see exactly what it up with our neurochemistry in this day and age. I've been meaning to get around to it, but now it's time to stop procrastinating and get to it.

I just found it in the New York Public Library's electronic resource, eNYPL. I'm going to download it as soon as I get home with my newly healed laptop. Because now, I can.

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