Dumb Little Writing Tricks That Work: Unplug your Internet!

And if you don’t have the self-control to do it, I’ve got a tip for you!

An observation from writer and essayist Jonathan Franzen:

It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction.

Oh, yes. The evil temptress known as the Web! Sure, you should buckle down and get started on that scene. You know, the one you’ve been struggling with now for a couple of days. You know the only solution is likely just slogging your way through it time after time until you get it right. So here you go, opening the file. And there it is, the vexing scene itself. And here are your hands on the keyboard, ready to go, and then…

Fingers…

Wandering…

Over…

To…

The…

Mouse.

Click!

Open Internet browser.

And suddenly, it’s two-and-a-half hours later, where you find yourself bidding on eBay for a glow-in-the-dark Michael Jackson prayer shawl or some such nonsense that you have absolutely no need for… other than to distract you from your writing.

So here’s the trick: Stay offline. I mean literally unplug your DSL line. If you’ve got wireless, disable it. Don’t tell me you don’t know how to do that. I’m the world’s dumbest computer person and even I know how to disable my wireless.

Or try a program like Freedom.

Freedom users report gaining an average of 2.5 hours of productive time each day. We’re proud to have helped our users reclaim 10,000,000 hours in the past year. No wonder Freedom is used by people at the world’s best companies and universities.

And then just write.

Facebook will wait for you. The DailyKos will wait for you. Twitter won’t wait for you, but writing requires some sacrifice… even refraining from tweets.

What won’t wait is the solution to that damn scene!

So when you sit down to write, admit that while you may be a grown-up, at least in terms of your age, you really need to treat yourself like a child — and just unplug your Internet.

This has been another installment of “Dumb Little Writing Tricks That Work.”

For more posts in the series, go here.

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Dumb Little Writing Tricks That Work: Unplug your Internet! was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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That ‘Game of Thrones’ Stark family reunion had the internet 😭 😭 😭

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Spoilers follow for Game of Thrones Season 7, episode four. So don’t act like you haven’t been warned, dummy. 

Finally, (most of) the Starks are back together. 

With winter falling all around Winterfell, it was only fitting that the Starks have a family reunion for most everyone who’s still alive. 

This episode saw the triumphant return of Arya. Though two dullards tried to keep her out of her own home, there’s no stopping a girl who is no one and it led to a very emotional reunion with Sansa over their father’s grave. Things were only made more weepy when Bran joined them by the weirwood (even though he’s v creepy now and wtf is he).  Read more…

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The next Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’ is a woman, and all the cool humans on the internet are thrilled

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The next Doctor in Doctor Who is going to be played by a woman, and before we examine the reactions of the trolls, let’s spend a little quality time with the nice humans first. 

According to the BBC, British actress Jodie Whittaker is scheduled to be the next Doctor in the long-running science fiction series. She’ll be the first woman in the role and (some) fans couldn’t be more pleased.

Whittaker is a fan favorite in the UK, and in some places in the U.S., for her role in the Netflix mystery series Broadchurch. If you haven’t seen the series yet, I recommend you take time out of your boring end-of-work-day Google searching and watch an episodeShe’s fantastic. Read more…

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‘Silicon Valley’ Season Premiere Review: A Whole New Internet

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The most brilliant comedy on TV returns! The fourth season premiere of HBO’s Silicon Valley is titled “Success Failure,” which is a pretty accurate description of the show so far.

Richard and the rest of the Pied Piper crew have seen tiny pieces of amazing success and attention thrown at them that promise to make them enough money to live the rest of their lives, only for them to lose it all each and every time. After three seasons of this, it’s hard not to get a little bit disinterested in this motley crew, but this season started off by doing something pretty brilliant – they’re rebooting it. Or at least, they’re changing the direction of the show.

A New Title Sequence

One of the most underappreciated parts of each Silicon Valley episode is its title sequence, which changes from season-to-season. The sequence shows the Valley being built up with corporations in a mere ten seconds, so quickly that it takes a few rewatches to catch the many in-jokes each contains.

For instance, near the space where a Napster balloon floated up before imploding and falling to the ground, a massive Uber balloon rose up in season two. In season three, a smaller Lyft balloon rose up to bounce against Uber, futily. But at the start of the season 4 premiere, they’re both about the same size and knocking against each other, probably due to Uber’s incredible snafus made earlier this year and Lyft taking advantage of their rival’s bad press so expertly.

Last season, there were a couple of drones delivering bottles of champagne to buildings. This year, they’re all over the skies, delivering six-packs of beer and individual pizza slices.

Another building now has a sign for Theranos, which immediately starts to peel off the building, probably due to the multiple FBI vans outside. The company isn’t doing well, lately. There are probably a dozen more tiny references taking place on the rooftops and streets, just a small hint of the brilliant depths of the show.

SV Gavin

The Most Silicon Valley Moment

If you think a $ 400 juicer is a stupid waste of money (it is), how about what Hooli CEO Gavin Belson gets up to in this episode? We see him with his new hire Jack Barker on the way back from a successful trip to China. Gavin becomes incredibly angry when Jack convinces him that it would be faster to drop him off at his destination first, even though it’s clearly farther. Gavin becomes so obsessed with this slight that he sends his right hand man on the exact trip from China to San Francisco to time how long each leg of the journey it takes. When he returns and confirms that it was indeed 28.3 minutes shorter if they had gone Gavin’s way, Gavin sends him back out to take five more private transcontinental flights in order to sum up the average time, to account for headwind and other variables. The purpose of this? He’s concerned with Barker’s corporate spending.

Barker ends up delightfully punished for this at the end of the episode, demoted to an “office” in the fourth sub basement next to the servers, facing the door of a men’s room.

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The Doors of a Billionaire

With each of these weekly review, I plan to single out the best one-liner of the episode, so color me surprised that this one didn’t belong to something from the mouth of Erlich Bachman. We all know that T. J. Miller is king of the one-liners and will usually dominate this section, but we can’t blame him because this episode features an appearance by Chris Diamantopoulos’ Russ Hanneman, the billionaire who put radio on the internet. He appears in his ridiculous car to meet with Richard outside of his kid’s school. His greeting?

“Thanks for meeting me here. My fucking nanny got a D.U.I. and lost her license and I’m stuck picking up my own kid like an asshole. So what’s up?”

This is perhaps the tamest portion of his dialogue, which is delivered in front of horrified children and parents. Russ may be crazy, but it’s only because of this interaction that Richard realizes that he’s not fully behind the new direction of Pied Piper, and he has only one thing he can do – quit.

By far the best joke in the episode is Russ peeling out in his car after his chat with Richard, blasting Papa Roach’s “Last Resort,” the way we all wish Paul Ryan did.

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The Most Inspiring Speech

Dinesh and Gilfoyle have the best (lack of) chemistry on the show, so it was perhaps shocking to think that Gilfoyle would ever back Dinesh as the new CEO of Pied Piper. But after Dinesh’s rousing speech, he had no option but to fall in line.

“Gilfoyle, can I please be CEO of Pied Piper?” pleads Dinesh.

“Spoken like a true leader,” replies our favorite anarchist. “But, since your failure as a leader is a virtual certainty, tolerating your short reign as CEO in exchange for a front-row seat to the disaster seems fair. Plus if I’m wrong, which I’m not, I get rich. So I’m down with Dinesh.”

And the new crew gets almost immediately to work on their video conferencing app, with a new gung-ho leader who’s actually interested in the product they’re creating.

SV New Internet

Building, Not Sustaining

Richard’s problem has always been that he’s a weirdo genius. He’s an amazing engineer and the rest of the crew has admitted many times that they can’t code like he can, but he has absolutely no social skills. This is what makes the show so fun to watch, but it also means thatany time he tries to steer the ship, it’s destined to smash into pieces against rocks he didn’t even see.

Richard finally realizes that in this episode, and breaks off from the new Pied Piper video chat direction (which Dinesh is excited about, since it’s his!) to do his very own thing – and that thing is to build a new internet using his algorithm.  He doesn’t even know how this will work, so this should be interesting. Will he achieve an engineering miracle, only to fall back into the same self-defeating problems? Or will he finally give up the front-facing roles of the company to people that are actually good at it? We still have a whole season ahead of us to find out.

The post ‘Silicon Valley’ Season Premiere Review: A Whole New Internet appeared first on /Film.


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Lynk & Co’s sedan concept boasts free internet

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Lynk & Co — Geely’s new car brand that tries to completely redefine the way we buy and use cars — gave us a glimpse of how all this newness actually looks on the road in October 2016, with its 01 SUV concept car

Now, the company (which is perhaps best known globally as the owner of Volvo) has followed up with a sedan concept, called Lynk & Co 03. 

Launched Wednesday, during the Shanghai International Auto Show, the new car is once again quite modern-looking, though perhaps a bit tamer than the 01. This is especially on the inside, where despite the large touchscreen on the dashboard, the overall look is comparable to any modern car. Even though Lynk & Co calls the car a concept, it actually looks like a lot like a finished product, ready for the road.  Read more…

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Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 Opens March 2018!

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 Opens March 2018!

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 opens March 2018!

Wreck-It Ralph is escaping out of his arcade and into the expansive universe of the internet next year when Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 hits the big screen. Dave Hollis, head of distribution for The Walt Disney Studios, revealed the much-anticipated sequel’s title and told CinemaCon attendees that Jane Lynch and Jack McBrayer would be returning to the roster with John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman.

Also returning are the team behind the original Wreck-It Ralph, who won an Oscar last month for Walt Disney Animation Studios’ billion-dollar-box-office-blockbuster Zootopia. Directors Rich Moore (Zootopia, Wreck-It Ralph, The Simpsons) and Phil Johnston (writer, Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia, Cedar Rapids), and producer Clark Spencer (Zootopia, Wreck-It Ralph, Bolt) are hard at work on the movie. “To take these characters we love and have them enter the enormous world of the internet has given us so much to explore,” said Moore. “Our production team has been hard at work designing a world that takes something we all think we know – the internet – but shows it in a whole new, imaginative way.”

Added Johnston, “We’re so excited to be working with Ralph, Vanellope von Schweetz, Fix-It Felix and Sergeant Calhoun again, and we have new characters we look forward to unveiling. At the center of this film, as in the first one, is the relationship between Ralph and Vanellope, two once-outcasts, who in each other, found true friendship.”

When Wreck-It Ralph opened on Nov. 2, 2012, it turned in the highest opening weekend ever for a Walt Disney Animation Studios film at the time of release. Nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for best animated feature, Wreck-It Ralph won the PGA Award for outstanding producer of an animated theatrical motion picture as well as five Annie Awards, including best animated feature, director, cast and screenplay. The film was named best animated feature by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, earned outstanding achievement in casting for an animated feature by the Casting Society of America, and won the Kids’ Choice Award for favorite animated movie.

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 hits U.S. theaters on March 9, 2018.

The post Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 Opens March 2018! appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

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The internet casts ‘Trump-Russia: The Movie’ so Hollywood doesn’t have to

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There’s a fine line between the current state of American politics and a movie so bad not even Delta would show it. 

The House Intelligence Committee’s hearing with FBI director James Comey on Monday was easily one of the most surreal moments in American history/CSPAN-3 in recent memory. A presidential campaign under investigation for potentially colluding with a foreign adversary. An FBI Director rejecting the POTUS’ claim that the former POTUS illegally wiretapped him.

Not even John Grisham could imagine a plotline so apocalyptic as this — so the people must instead.   Read more…

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Researchers discover how normal people (like you) become internet trolls

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The troll’s post is coming from inside the house. Possibly even your house, in fact. 

A joint research project out of Stanford and Cornell Universities has determined that internet trolls are not just the rando online harassers that our parents warned us about, but also consist of plenty of first-time offenders driven to toxicity by a set of predictable factors. 

Trolling has a recipe, in other words. 

Just what is reportedly pushing your average Joe to the realm of internet-dickery? Two main indicators were identified by the research team: The tone of other comments, and the person’s mood. 

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Microsoft launches Skype Lite for India that works on slow internet and supports Aadhaar

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Microsoft has just found the perfect Skype app for the Indian market. 

At an event in Mumbai today, Satya Nadella announced Skype Lite, a 13MB app that works even on slower networks and on lower-end phones with limited storage and processing power. 

On top of this, Skype Lite leverages Aadhaar, India’s biometric database, as its “fundamental authentication system,” Nadella said. “We’re very excited about what we are doing with Skype, and the India Stack (the infrastructure of Aadhaar that allows private companies to interact with the database).” Read more…

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