Daily Archives: September 26, 2017

** Deep Work by Cal Newport

There’s much to admire in the central idea of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, namely that to reproductive we need, at least sometimes, go into a mental cave and focus intensely. But why did the book grate on me so much? The random equations (e.g. high-quality work produced = time spent * intensity of focus) — so hokey, so unworthy of a computer scientist! The almost-exclusive focus on academic work, either ignoring or denigrating the “shallow” work of those in other professions. The arrogance of academics who refuses easy contact by the hoi polloi and instead rely on their assistants to open their (snail) mail. Really? And who has the luxury of an assistant these days? That said, most of my irritation came from the first part of the book. The second, where the author gives practical suggestions to organize for deep work, is surprisingly practical and accommodating of the majority of jobs that simply require a good measure of fast-paced interactions .

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