My favorite games to play on my phone are those made by Square Enix. Final fantasy, Chrono Trigger, Dragon Quest, lots of classic remakes.
They range from $6.99 to $20.99, which made people balk when Square Enix first starting publishing on mobile, but you pay once, and you get a full game to play, no bullshit.
Once again, cheap is better than free. Pay a few dollars and never get bothered again by ads or pay-to-play, but most importantly, you don't feel like you're being manipulated by a never-ending game that starts to feel much more like work than play.
But old school/classical ff games always have that grinding and levelling part where it also feels more like work than play. Games from before were also designed to be addictive (whether it was intentional or not).
McKibben's book, just like Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death, is even more relevant to the internet age than the television age.
There is something insidious about "information" that's doled out like slot tokens at a casino. Something dangerous about "facts" that are carefully designed to fit with what we want to believe. Something manipulative about "teaching" that is designed to fit through the gaps in our mental defenses for the benefit of the "teacher".
This week I've met otherwise "normal" people who are flat-earthers, anti-vaccers, and who believe Hillary is a Satanist and Trump is the "Bringer of Light".
But ultimately who cares if your hairdresser is an anti-vaccer, or your tennis partner is a flat-earther? Does it really matter if that cute girl at the check-out is an anti-Semite? Does it harm anyone if the guy building your deck believes in zero-point energy?
So long as people fulfill their economic roles quietly and efficiently, does it really matter what's in their hearts and minds? It's all relative isn't it?
Just wait until diseases that were previously eliminated from the continent cause outbreaks in the elementary school your child attends. Just wait until a demagogue exploits prejudices to commit unspeakable atrocities or until some ideologues push anti-intellectualism to the point where our leaders are unable to overcome partisanship long enough to even acknowledge the existence of what might well soon be the biggest change in our species' environment since the last ice age.
All of this has happened before and all of this is happening now, right before our eyes. We can care about all of these conflicting perspectives and try to mold them without becoming unbearable zealots. We can't afford not to.
(I think I missed your invisible /s?)
I do not agree with this line of thinking; often people have valid problems with what they're doing. I think that if there is injustice, one should speak up about it, rather than "fulfilling their economic roles quietly".
I don't know what's so unnerving about this statement. It's so enforcing the status quo, I'd guess. I say that if you're a Communist, or a Nazi, or whatever persuasion, and you feel something is unjust - speak up about it. Many people would rightly think there's something wrong with the current state of affairs.
A step back from that, should those sweatshop workers in Bangladesh fulfill their economic roles quietly and efficiently? I'd say it matters a great deal what's on their hearts and minds. And if it matters to them, if they have problems, why wouldn't it matter to us? Because our labour isn't being exploited as much?
I'm sorry if this comments comes accross as attackative, I just took issue with the statement. Please correct me if you didn't mean this at all. It unnerved me.
it apparently matters a great deal to a great many people what is in other people's hearts and minds. I suspect they don't have enough .... ego or something. The metaphor I have used with my kids about this is "they have stopped having a reflection in the mirror, or they have nothing but the reflection in the mirror."
Honestly? Seriously? The pastor at my childhood church thought that things like "Godspell" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" would lead to narcissism and a vapid sense
of identity. And not just because religion - the general ...emphasis on self was a thing to be skeptical of. It
wasn't a ... liturgical argument - he was a trained
I am not sure wasn't right. It also makes me think of Otto's burned out hippie parents from "Repo Man", listening to the TV preacher.
That said, as for your hairdresser, tennis partner, etc... in a democracy it can make a difference if enough of them are anti-vaxxers, flat-earthers, anti-Semites, etc.!
This matters rather a lot if you're Jewish. You're arguing that "it doesn't matter if you don't look up", Star Wars passim.
Similarly it matters if your hairdresser is an anti-vaccer and spreads something contagious to you.
A certain amount of difference can be looked past, but when it comes to matters of life and death - and it can come to that surprisingly easily when things get heated - it matters.
What is truth??
EDIT: Well if Trump takes us to war, we will see a lot of fireworks /s.
Feel free to prove it to yourself:
Internet is only available in hotel lobbies and government parks. It runs you 3$/hr.
However, be warned that Cuba (including Havana and the resorts) is a machine designed to extract money from foreigners. While you can get by for <$15/day, the government recommends $100. It's the only place where Rick Steeves gave up on his 'travel like a local' creed and went with private drivers and the touristic experience.
He was right. It's nearly impossible to find an authentic experience in Havana. They'll tell you anything to make you happy and get your money. Even the family I stayed with - who I assisted with translations, technology, and donations - tried to rip me off on my last day. It's just business.
Treat it like a great retro theme park. Ride around in classic american cars, walk around entirely safe at all hours, and overpay for everything. The art, music, and architecture/decay is awesome. Just don't take it too seriously :)
How'd you feel if your city was summed up thus with buckets of tar and a great big brush?
"...I lived on the grounds of an old estate down in central Virginia, next to a town called — terrifyingly — Lynchburg..."
...when a 10-second Google search reveals the less-than-terrifying reality:
First settled in 1757, Lynchburg was named for its founder, John Lynch, who at the age of 17 started a ferry service at a ford across the James River to carry traffic to and from New London.
And yet, the crime is named for the brother of the man that the town is named for.
Pardon the metaphor, but you're hanging on a pretty thin thread.
Also note that burkaman was pointing out the irony of an insufficiently researched (and churlish) accusation of insufficient research.
Which is incredibly frustrating because the article burkaman linked to specifically mentions (in more than one place) the claim has not been verified.
So guilt by association is a thing now?
I happened to see your comment almost directly after reading the submission "The Sound of Silence", as they sat as siblings on the front page, and it seemed oddly appropriate. A benign bit of narrative prose somehow distracted a reader enough to make outrage their primary response.
It's like being surprised that there's a city called Reading in England. "Must be a bunch of libraries there".
(And don't even try to guess how Leicester is pronounced from the spelling.)
Reading - /rɛdɪŋ/ or "red-ing"
Leicester - /lɛstər/ or "less-ter"
No idea how they worked out that second one, and Wikipedia isn't too helpful there.
It's a wonder we don't call the first two month Jan'ry and Feb'ry, yet.
This is more honest when it doesn't involve an unrelated (especially negative) connotation.
Additionally, Mod is from Brooklyn and Lynchburg, Virginia, is in the South (at least for a New Yorker like Mod). If he'd never been and had been aware of Lynchburg's media reputation as home of religious conservatism, "terrifyingly" is understandable.
As someone who lived in Virginia for seven years, I remember the town Lynchburg having ominous associations. I also recall stories about lynchings that had occurred in Lynchburg as well as something about a haunted building on school grounds. Not that these are things Mod was aware of.
I'm only pointing out that the idea that Lynchburg is "terrifyingly" named is not about being "honest" to the historical and geographical fact of Lynchburg.
"but why add unnecessarily ignorant asides"
I've been using QualityTime (Android only, I think: http://www.qualitytimeapp.com/) to measure and track usage daily. Seeing it quantified was a bit of a shock even though I thought I was doing a good job of mentally monitoring myself.
As far as calm goes, I started writing again instead of consuming HN all day.
No GPS was a difficult feature to find as well, but desirable for reducing the data footprint available to third parties.
I go walking without a phone now.
I'd love to find one with a decent camera. I have a fairly nice and compact point-and-shoot that I bought a couple of years ago, but it doesn't have a lot of the software-assisted processing that makes it so easy to take good pics with my (midrange) smartphone.
I don't think I'd have as strong of an outlet for constant distraction without my phone.
Trait self-control seems to better relate to removing temptations from our lives via planning rather than having a high threshold for resistance. People who identify as "having good self-control" tend to have fewer strong desires and weaker resistance. Tellingly, trait self-control also doesn't seem to change the relationship between resistance and enactment. So people with self-control are just as likely to succumb to temptation when it is present, but less likely to be confronted by temptation in the first place.
Check out Hofmann et al. Everyday Temptations for an example (2011).
This would be an actionable observation if it was possible for someone with the problem to fix the underlying issues. But neurology just isn't there yet. Until it is, your best bet is crutches like the author uses or:
Alongside getting 9 hours of sleep at the same time every night and 30 minutes of vigorous exercise every day.
I'm not saying don't use the tools you talked about. I'm not saying don't take breaks from consumption. Just next time you do choose to consume try to maintain awareness of what you're doing. You might find some small success in guiding what you choose to do.
One can also work on increasing self-awareness at the same time. They are not mutually exclusive. I would guess that a combination of both approaches would be beneficial for most people. I've personally found benefits from both approaches.
Quitting the internet on your phone is much the same. It's no merely a matter of discipline, it's a matter of addiction.
The solution is to develop awareness.
* The internet goes off before bed.
* The internet doesn’t return until after lunch.
Information is free. Attention is inherently rivalrous. The author, Craig Mod, seems to get this:
Time boxed disconnection has proven to be both generative and — most importantly — sustainable.
Time-boxing is setting bounds on attention. Depending on what you do, it can be difficult to enforce -- some types of creative work simply want to expand to fill time, and rebuilding state is difficult. If that work requires online access ... beware the manfalls.
Attention is a muscle. It must be exercised.
Muscles also need recovery time. Alvin Toffler's Futurshock is one of the earliest works I've seen which seems to grasp that intellectual effort has similar bounds.
There's also Gleick's The Information, which notes the opposition of information and attention.
We had to launch it as a web app because Apple said an app that encourages you to use other apps or your phone less is not appropriate for the app store.
Really? That's the sort of app I'd pay for. Ideally, I'd spend less time on my phone, and more time on my (apple) computer.
Pretty shortsighted of apple.
Product feedback: I don't really know what it does, or how it does it. I accessed this on a computer, so I couldn't preview.
Just got my ipad, so I had a look. Interesting idea. I actually switched to launching all apps via spotlight typed commands though, so I don't think I can use it. The spotlight method did reduce a lot of impulse use though.
Good new! You can! We use Stripe. I'm sure our conversion rate is a lot lower than if we were in the app store. But it's still possible for people who love it to help us keep working on it.
Do you think it would be useful to add a physical item nonetheless?
If so, you could try creating a space icon linked to your problem app and give the space icon a name that will cause it to appear above your problem app in spotlight results, then search for it in spotlight a few times and see if you can get the space icon to appear in Top Hits when searched.
The principle behind all of this is to get the space icon to appear in your app launch flow where the icon of your problem app used to.
What is it about this web app that requires iOS Safari?
Doesn't have to be complicated:
1. Mute notifications
2. Install Chrome "Timewarp" extension
3. Break work down into bite-sized tasks
2. Fear of not knowing/mental fog (the kind you encounter when learning something new)
3. Fear of futility (that your efforts are in vain)
4. Not knowing where to begin
Look, yoga and meditation have existed for a looooooong time. And guess what, for every time period, be it modern "over-loaded" time or ancient time, only a handful of people can master them. And what are they? Oh, yeah, attention controlling. I mean, if the past is so focused and attentive, shouldn't everyone be meditation master? Shouldn't people be super productive and focused and attain greatness? Guess what, they don't. What does that imply?
It implies this: please, for the love of progress, stop your whining and start appreciating how much luck and resources you have access to today. Please. Pretty please.
And what's with the fetish against "algorithm"? I despite those who take regular but uncommon concepts and make a demon/angel out of them. Algorithm, simply put, is how to calculate something or how to solve a problem. Sorry, algorithms do not have "tendrils". They neither scheme against you nor love you. Think about it: if you trip over a rock, does it "conspire" against you? If you burn time on some game, don't blame the game, please. Blame the publisher, maybe. Don't blame the poor tech. It does nothing but to please you.
Back to time and attention. Is it challenging to keep my attention in today fast pace world? Sure it is. How easier compared to starving world of the old? Or racist world? Or back-breaking labor (think agriculture before advent of machine and fertilizer)? Luckily, I have not been made to find out. Very luckily. And I think everyone can appreciate that luck.
I always appreciate advices on control of attention and focus. I might not find them valuable (I frankly feel like I can focus just fine with emails singing their songs, for example, so I don't need to completely cut cord). But I would not make a statement against those. I need all the ideas and advices: attention is very hard to control.
However, the whining and fetishizing and conspiracy theorizing must stop. Please. One nation have voted for economic regression while another elected a racist bigot as their First Citizen. Why? Because of all of those whining and fetishizing and conspiracy theories. So, please, stop. For the love of progress, stop.
If I had two points to up-vote a story, I'd give it to this story.
I have always been in the fight to maintain attention. I can remember cutting the wires to a radio to maintain focus, studying for school. For me the question I ask is, "How do I work on the Internet, but not be sucked down the addictive ^attention^ sucking black-hole?". This article is looking for this balance. 
 I also note, pg updated his article "Disconnecting Distraction" noting the techniques he thought would work, do not. http://www.paulgraham.com/distraction.html
I am equally a culprit.
It's interesting that he also mentions twitter and facebook but the comments here seem to skip the social media angles. I wonder if we feel subconsciously collectively that gaming has done us more harm than social media. I know it has done me more harm.
Personally, I find turning off my cellphone and email client to be adequate to work into my schedule several quiet thinking times a week. I usually hike with friends a few times a week but I also use long solo hikes as another resource for thinking.
I'd wager having little control over attention has been the default mode for couple generations. The world is full of distractions that start from childhood. Gaining control over attention requires awareness and a more deliberate effort, through meditation or the like.
Heard there was a Android port in the works.
This is racist