How does your daily engagement with different apps and websites look like? 

I’ve been musing on this one for a few days. A few years ago I wrote an AppleScript that would periodically do the F9 show all your windows and dump a screenshot. On Sunday afternoon I dug it out and ran it from just befoe 4pm until 11pm. I pulled these together in a gif.

I am not sure how much this tells me other than I have a lot of windows open most of the time. Luckly it does not show how many browser tab I am using…

As Natasha Dow Schüll shows in her excellent book Addiction By Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas, while casino operators want us to think that addiction is the result of our moral failings or some biological imbalance, they themselves are to blame for designing gambling machines in a way that feeds addiction. With social mediaâ “much like with gambling machines or fast food” our addiction is manufactured, not natural.

from: Technology’s Mindfulness Racket | New Republic

Today’s stillness prompt connects with the idea around software design I’ve been thinking about recently.

On the one hand, I’d guess, GUI designers are trying to help us do something; communicate, connect etc.

On the other if we don’t pay for their services, they are serving the service. We, or I certainly, forget this when thinking about how a piece of software works.

I also wonder how deep it goes, I notice that phone apps that I’ve turned notifications off for fell quite different that ones I’ve left them on for.

Some things seem to slip by but are still under our control:

gif showing flickr settings

But there are surely a lot more subtile things that we normally don’t notice or understand going on that will require a fair bit of mindful attention if we are to even notice them.

#tds251 Life saving poetry | The Daily Stillness

Take 10 minutes to enjoy the ‘ephemeral absolute’ today. Could you just sit back and enjoy? Did you find yourself getting impatient and wanted to see the next painting and the next and the…? Did you want to break the artist’s intent and get a screenshot of that favourite painting to keep (Disclosure: we nearly took a screenshot for this daily)? So many lessons about how we relate to the impermanence of life in such a simple artistic idea.

from: Ephemeral art for stillness | The Daily Stillness

Géneration …Etc…  This is great. Even before I had got through reading the daily post I was thinking screenshot.Â

This is exactly the sort of thing that makes my mind race.

Before I have watched three images stream by: how is this done, can I do something like it, let’s look at the source.Â

Not stilling my mind. I pop down to the bins and the newsagents. I am excited, gifs, servers, writing this response. I love being excited by a stream of thoughts and ideas.Â

Half way through the hundred yards to the shop I remember that this should be about stillness. Feel my feet, watch my step, breath, follow a crow, smile. A few seconds later I am thinking about thinking, and this post, and my neighbour who passes…

Back in the flat I watch the webpage while coffee boils. Not exactly stillness, but absorbing. Are there patterns? or am I making them up. I like this stuff, maybe I can get it on the big screen at work…

I could save any image by pressing and holding on the iPad. I don’t.Â

The image with this post is a gif made from a string of imaged generated by Decim8 on my phone. Giffed with a reduction of colours in fireworks. Sort of inspired by the images from Géneration …Etc…


I didn’t make it very far through this video but I got further than I though I would. There is something nice about watching the world come towards you and pass by.

I didn’t learn to drive until I was 24 and got my first car at 49 so I’ve spent a fair bit of time as a passenger. This is quite reminiscent of that. The track, like the road markings at night focus and slightly hypnotise your attention.

I am finding the recycled dailies from @livedtime a very nice thing. Often I read these in the morning but don’t follow through, it is good to get another chance. They are also the kind of exercise that can take a bit of repetition.

Starting by listening to the video in one window while doing something else in another with 30 odd tabs open was probably not the best start:-)

I never did get to one tab. I did pay a wee bit more attention to how many tabs I have open and why.

Some tabs are open because I’ll come back to them.

Some tabs I have open because I want to collect a bunch of links and I have a script for that.

Sometime (quite a lot) I have more than one tab open because I am copying something, like the code for the tweet above into a post.

I am logged into a service I know I’ll need later on. I am actioning the mail in one tab in another. I need to read both.


I don’t think I’ll be giving up my tabs too soon, but I found thinking about it interesting.

Command-Shift-\ is a useful safari shortcut: