Sunday, April 23, 2006
I’m the father of a 10-month old charmer, and I divide my time between running a business and looking after her, and time is unsurprisingly at a premium for me. So it’s not a shock that it’s time off that suffers – time to read the papers or hang out with a good book, or a good TV show.
The DVR has helped in this, making sure when we slump down on the couch for an hour, there’s always something we want to watch available. My trusty RSS reader gives me the internet-based lowdown from many a site, but there’s a new kid in town that’s also more than pulling its weight – ’The Week‘.
Rather like The Editor section in the UK Guardian (don’t know if they still have it since they went all Berliner), it pulls together the best of the US and international media in one slim and scan-ready publication.
You get analysis, book and movie reviews, some weird stories and one full-length feature, and you can feel like you’re keeping on top of things, including some interesting stories from foreign news sources you wouldn’t be reading unless you were being paid by the Pentagon or MI6.
Of course there’s the danger that this is a type of continuous partial attention, where you mistake being mildly informed for actually knowing what’s going on (as Neal Stephenson remarked, quoting Donald Knuth, he’s not about keeping on top of things, he’s about getting to the bottom of things), but to my mind, a little breadth is a good thing, so long as it’s accompanied by some real rigour.
And if you’re looking for well-chosen breadth and you’re on a time budget, The Week fits the bill nicely.