If you're reading this, you're on the internet. And it's probably a good bet that you're on the internet a lot — continuously, indeed, if you're like me. This is by now unavoidable at the office and, it seems, unavoidable at the "office in your pocket," whether BlackBerry or iPhone or some other portal to the work world.
But I've got a winking modem at home and a honking great (and beautiful) desktop computer sitting on my desk that glows like a persistent fire in the hearth, ready to answer my every question in millions upon millions of vibrant colours. "Sapid," a word I'm unfamiliar with; I put down the book I've been reading and go to the internet to learn that it means "having a pleasant taste, interesting." And while there I check my email, have a look at Slaw… I'm drafting a document, struggling to find the right combination of words; think I'll take a break and look at the latest sports scores and, while I'm at it, what's being tweeted…
You see how it goes. Book forgotten, document abandoned. Me, captured for… quite some time.
And how it goes is not always a Good Thing, which is the point of the post.
One inventive young librarian, Fred Stutzman, decided that good as the internet was, it could become a hindrance to work (and, pleasure, I'd say, too). So he came up with an application — Freedom — that "disables networking on an Apple computer for up to eight hours at a time." Freedom is, well, free. (Only on an Apple, you say. Pity.)
Of course, you can abort the program if you really need to, but only by rebooting, which Stutzman considers to be enough of a barrier to prevent you from mindlessly drifting into the ether.
You can find Freedom on the internet.