Time for an update, I think. In the middle of December I was hit by some kind of flu-related virus: the sinuses remained dry and the sluices remained closed, but I was hit by chills and sweats for more than a week. After that, it was off to New Brunswick for the holidays, my first trip there in three years. Bittersweet, as the main reason for going was to see Jennifer’s grandparents, whose health is, shall we say, not good. It went well — what a relief. It was a quick trip: the weather was awful as usual, and extended our stay by a day; the roads are getting easier, though, and I’m getting the hang of the trip down and back. Still, I’m looking forward to the completion of the Autoroute 30 bypass of Montréal in a couple of years. We got back a week ago, but since then I’ve had to deal with a pretty bad flare, exhaustion, and a bit of unpleasant family business. Not much time or energy for blogging. Now for some catching up, though I’m still pretty sore and pretty tired.
Here’s some family news worth mentioning. My brother, Geoff, and his wife, Shannon, had their second child yesterday. Lind Honus Roland Crowe was born at 10:48 AM MST, weighing in at 3.9 kg. Pictures? Yes.
Via Tobias Buckell, here’s an interesting talk by Jason Fried — co-author of Rework, a counterintuitive look at work culture — on why work doesn’t happen at work. “Why,” he asks, “do we expect people to work well if they’re interrupted all day in the office?” Anyone who works in an office will find his argument all too familiar: interruptions by “managers and meetings” disrupt the flow of work to the point where people actually have to go outside the office to get anything done.
For creative work, he says, uninterrupted time is essential:
What you find is that especially with creative people — designers, programmers, writers, engineers, thinkers — that people really need long stretches of uninterrupted time to get something done. You cannot ask somebody to be creative in 15 minutes and really think about a problem. You might have a quick idea but to be in deep thought about a problem and really consider a problem carefully, you need long stretches of uninterrupted time.
Fried also makes an interesting comparison between sleep and work: both, he argues, work in stages: if you’re interrupted, you can’t go back and pick up where you left off, you have to go back and start over.
Here’s why this is relevant to my interests.