TITLE: Working Hard, Losing Ground AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: October 19, 2007 4:42 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Caution: Sisyphus at Work Some days I read a paper or two and feel like I've lost ground. I just have more to read, think, and do. Of course, this phenomenon is universal... As Design Observer tells us, reading makes us more ignorant:
According to the Mexican critic Gabriel Zaid, writing in "So Many Books: Reading and Publishing in an Age of Abundance", ... "If a person read a book a day, he would be neglecting to read 4,000 others... and his ignorance would grow 4,000 times faster than his knowledge."
Don't read a book today! Now there is a slogan modern man can get behind. It seems that a few college students have already signed on. My hope for most days is just the opposite. Here is a nice graphic slogan for this hope, courtesy of Brian Marick:
to be less wrong than yesterday
But it's hard to feel that way some days. The universe of knowing and doing is large. The best antidote to Sisyphean despair is to set a few measurable goals that one can reach with a reasonable short-term effort. Each step can give a bit of satisfaction, and -- if you take enough such steps -- you can end up someplace new. A lot like writing code. -----