Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Trending Analog

This is how I think. It's only a little bit messy. 

I may need someone’s couch to sleep on tonight.
A couple days ago I wrote how I don’t need the Technics SL-J2 linear tracking turntable I owned decades ago. I was intrigued by it, had an itch, and was looking at them, but would wait at least a day before ordering one. I made it exactly that long.
By the end of next week I should once again be a vinyl man and may also be single. My wife rolled her eyes and put a hand on her hip as she shook her head. “You’re going to have zero credibility telling our girls to get rid of anything,” she said. “No,” I said, “I’ll be able to tell them to get rid of stuff because they can always buy it back on eBay twenty five years later.”
As you can imagine, this didn’t much impress her.
Buying a turntable makes about as much sense as printing New York Times articles and reading them with my pen. Yeah, I do that too. I don’t print everything, certainly not email or most news, but I print things I want to really read and take in. To read for real gain, I need pen and paper. Nothing else works as well.
This morning, it was an article from Leo Babauta’s zenhabits called Filter Out the Noise. I find most of his pieces useful and have read him for years on my phone and computer. In the last year I’ve been printing the pieces, and marking them as I read, reinforcing what matters and generating ideas of my own. I might be able to do this on the computer or phone, but it works so much better with pen and paper.
Reading deeply requires more than my eyes. I need to mark up, write on, and even draw in the margins of a text. Doing so saves re-reading (though I go back again and again to good stuff). I used to want a notetaking system saved in some app or folder, but I don’t go back to the notes. It’s better to read well and integrate the ideas into my thinking. Pen and paper do that.

Pen and paper. Turntable and vinyl. More and more I turn toward analog ways. That’s something to think about. By next week I should be able to put an album on, print a few pages, read them with my pen, and dig in. My wife (who is much more lovely and understanding than I make her out to be) will likely be bopping her head to the music. That or still be shaking it at me. Sometimes, it’s difficult to tell the two apart.