In Episode 1.08, Hacking Time, I argued that we’re not well served by the technology tools that promise to keep us productive and efficient at work. I’ve been searching for a long time, and I’ve never found the idea e-mail manager, the ideal calendar, or the ideal to-do list app. (Or the ideal robot-who-will-just-do-my-job-for-me.)
All I really want is a tool that can help me manage all the information coming at me and meet my commitments in a stress-free way. But it turns out that technology can abet the problem rather than aiding with it. So I’ve hacked together a combination of digital and analog methods as best I can. And I think lot of people still struggle to survive in workplaces where the constant stream of tasks and meetings and memos can be deadening.
The up side to this truth is that it's the fuel for a lot of great office-comedy movies and TV shows—and Mike Judge’s Office Space (1999) is the granddaddy of them all.
At 7:00 pm on November 6, 2017, the historic Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, Massachusetts, will present Office Space as part of its longstanding Science On Screen series. I’ll be giving a short talk before the movie about the paradox of productivity: how, sometimes, it feels like the more technology we bring into our lives, the less we actually get done.
Funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Science On Screen “pairs screenings of classic, cult, and documentary films with lively introductions by notable figures from the world of science, technology, and medicine,” in the words of the Coolidge Corner Theater’s website.
This time I’m the notable figure! Whose idea was that?!
The site continues: “Each film is used as a jumping off point for the speaker to reveal current scientific research or technological advances, providing the perfect combination of entertainment and enlightenment—even for the most science-phobic culture vulture!”
I know none of you Soonish listeners are science-phobic. So put the evening on your calendar, and buy a ticket online today. It’ll be a blast!
Fans of the show who support Soonish on Patreon at the $25-per-episode level or above are welcome to attend the talk and the movie free, as special guests of Soonish.