Einstein's Corner: The Last Digital Frontier House Rule #1

We render and bear witness to so many dreams nowadays. Every single media encounter is an encounter with someone else’s dream(s). Everything -- from the global war against terror to the wide-screen heroics of Spiderman -- is hyper-realistically rendered and methodically over-produced, from every conceivable angle. Even and especially realistic are the movie monsters and villains (and all dark things that once existed exclusively in our hearts and between our ears). Not to worry: We have them all on tape and server.

Most dreams we encounter are not our own, of course. We may sympathize or act upon them in perceived self-interest, but they aren’t ours; someone else likely paid for them to be there. Regardless, the sheer number of daily encounters with dreams not of our own design is staggering. And they all compete for our time and attention. More important, they compete also with our own dreams.

The daily avalanche of media-borne dreams always commands our immediate time and attention. Our own dreams often get deferred in the process. Sometimes they get buried entirely after years of attrition and neglect. Many never emerge.



Our own dreams can only suffer as our media consumption increases. The more time we spend with the dreams of others, the less time we can spend with our own. We pretend we can turn the media-borne dreams on and off at will, but the exact opposite is true: The only dreams we can turn on and off at will are those we own. So we too often silence our own dreams instead, and maybe leave the TV on in the background for comfort while we shop online.

Rule No. 1 in casino gambling: The house plays forever, we don’t. Likewise, the media plays forever, but not so our dreams. Our dreams live only as long as we keep them alive -- for now anyway.

The struggle is to keep our personal dreams alive -- in a daily crush of competing and far more convenient and attainable dreams -- over the many years it may take for those personal dreams to manifest.

The only way to keep our personal dreams alive is to spend time with them and to spend time cultivating them. But that time is already being spent elsewhere, likely on some form of media consumption. We can’t manufacture more time. We can, however, shift time from one activity to another.

Check out my “Ritual Inventory” exercise under “Links” on Einstein’s Corner at

We’ll talk more about ritual next week.

Many thanks, as always, and best to you and yours…

Please note: The Einstein’s Corner discussion group at is dedicated to exploring the adverse effects of our addictions to technology and media on the quality of our lives, both at work and at home. Please feel free to drop by and join the discussion.

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