Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Douglas Adams and Deadlines

I’m thinking of Douglas Adams . On one occasion he said

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by’

and here in my office I hear the beginnings of a small whoosh.

I remember reading in The Salmon of Doubt.. I’m sure it was the Salmon of Doubt but I can’t check because I lent it to someone and I can’t remember who… that once his publisher was so desperate for a book who’s deadline was extremely overdue that he (the publisher) camped out at the bottom of Douglas’s stairs, not letting him out until he had delivered the manuscript, which he did page by page. I'm not at that stage yet.. I think..

Coincidently while ferreting around my hard drive valiantly looking for something that was relevant for my deadline I came across the link to a 1999 article How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet ( don’t know why the question marks in diamonds are there ).

It’s here that I originally found his quotation about ‘the way things worked’ which could be applied to any new technology or even old technology –

  • everything thats already in the world when youre born is just normal;
  • anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;
  • anything that gets invented after youre thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until its been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.

Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to work out how old you are. “

It was a quote I used to use to begin presentations or workshops for Early Years practitioners which was guaranteed to raise a laugh and enable a positive and friendly dialogue about technology in the foundation stage and the children’s entitlement to have a setting in which they could play with and explore the technology that they were born to. I don’t use it so very much anymore although here are days when I think it is still needed.

Read the article, it has food for thought; I was struck this time by his comment that ‘we are natural villagers’

But I cannot linger as I hear the wind beginning…..

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