Licklider grew frustrated with the long hours that he, as a scientist, spent ‘getting into position to think.’ Like Engelbard, Licklider imagined that computers might evolve into machines to help scientists — if only there were a batter way to link scientists with computers than punchcards and printouts.
—Howard Rheingold, Mind Amplifiers
I heard this quote today in a talk, “Stop Writing Dead Programs” by Jack Rusher (Strange Loop 2022), and couldn’t stop thinking about ”getting into a position to think.”
Isn’t that so much of what us knowledge workers spend time on?
Getting to the work, rather than actually doing it?
It’s time spent on the inessential (Essentialism).
Time spent setting up tools, reorganizing, and so on.
Chasing a new tag system.
Building out a dashboard.
Designing a productivity system that will “work for real this time”.
Our tools should never become the way.
They should help pave the way.