Busy is not the same as productive

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Many of the technologies springing forth from the Internet are communication tools. This makes sense. When Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web back in the day, he did it to help scientists share their work with one another. Before him, the military computer scientists who created the technology that would become the Internet were focused on solving message routing problems that might be brought about if a nuclear war wiped out major cities and the communications networks that pass through them. Digital technologies often are focused on the very human activity of communication. The past 10 years have been focused on optimizing those communication tools. We've had long-form asymmetric publishing channels in the form of blogs for a long time. Twitter and Facebook revised the old hacker ".plan" status update into something less arcane for the mainstream audience their customers -- advertisers -- pursue. A variety of notifications and bells and buzzers have been added to an...