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View Full Version : Television, RFF and working for a living


Roger Hicks
07-21-2010, 23:36
Have you a television? Do you watch it? On another thread, Pablito asked whether anyone had any work to do, rather than going on RFF. This led me to thinking: what are the greatest thieves of time? Rather than watch many hours of TV a week (I don't even have one), I prefer RFF for relaxation/recreation. I'm not sure I could fit both in, and earn a living. How about you?

Earning a living is another great thief of time. I recently read a wonderful observation by John Simpson, the BBC journalist, to this effect (paraphrased, from memory): "I had a plan. I usually do. It didn't work. Three-quarters of my plans don't. I survive professionally on the other 25%." This sounds about right to me, though it might be nearer 10% in my case. Again, how about you?

Cheers,

R.

Steve_F
07-22-2010, 00:09
Roger,
I've never been a big TV fan but I find the internet and in particular this RFF site to be a 'big thief of my time'.
As a father of two very young children my chances of getting out to meet like minded people for my RF interests are incredibly limited to non-existent.
These forums are a superb way of 'connecting' with like minded people in a way that we never used to be able to. It's not a waste of time as some people would say as we have all used them to further our knowledge of the equipment we use and share our interests with others.

Steve.

alun severn
07-22-2010, 00:12
Roger, Good question. Yes, we have a TV but I never watch it. I simply don't have time. Or, to put it another way, I am not prepared to have my time stolen by idiot TV programmes. However, I do have a new large screen iMac and already find the temptations of BBC's iPlayer to be quite difficult to resist.

Work is the biggest thief of time. More or less all of the left-over time I have is spent reading. I will sacrifice more or less anything in favour of reading. I always feel nourished and comforted by reading; everything else is a way of simply passing time...

And while RFF and other forums are, as you say, a form of relaxation -- and for me they are minutes or half hours snatched here and there as a break from work -- I also try to limit my time on these activities too because the internet in all its forms has become the biggest, the most crafty and the most sly thief of time.

Michael Markey
07-22-2010, 03:02
I don`t earn a living now (whether I ever did is for others to judge) but it is without doubt the biggest thief of time.
What constantly amazes me ,since taking up photography again a few years ago,is the time that I spend and the enjoyment I get logging on here and other places.
I too have largely stopped watching the TV.
If I want to catch up I use BBC I Player.
Time spent here just ...

Michael

DabCan10
07-22-2010, 03:33
There's rarely anything worth watching so I gave my TV away years ago, have not missed it one bit. Taking care of my daughter and cleaning the house seems to steal all my time!

aad
07-22-2010, 03:36
I watch TV when F1 or MotoGP is on. RFF for 5-10 minutes in the morning on weekdays. Both TV and most internet stuff is a waste of time, so now my evenings after dark are spent reading, and before dark either bicycling, motorcycling, etc or working on projects.

Photos when I have something worth making.

oftheherd
07-22-2010, 03:36
Work and the commute is the biggest theif of my time. My work is 9 1/2 hours per day. The combined morning and evening commute is about 2 1/2 hours. That's a 12 hour day before I even consider anything else. Not my real definition of fun, but family must be supported and bills must be paid.

I snatch what time I can here at RFF for the knowledge I can gain or share, and the cameraderie. I sometimes get to take photos. I like that too.

_mark__
07-22-2010, 03:45
Procrastination.

hipsterdufus
07-22-2010, 03:50
If you're talking about things that take away time from photography, well work is #1. Of course, I try to spend as much time at work on RFF, but that's more of an issue for my manager to deal with... ;)

I do watch TV, but it's always the content of my choosing, rather than just watching "what's on". I go through Netflix Instant, Hulu, and torrents to find decent content worth watching. Good TV has often inspired me in my photography, so I don't think that it's entirely worthless. For instance, I'm watching an anime series called "Death Note" right now that deals with Shinigamis (gods of death in Japan). The way that they are illustrated really makes me want to go out and try to turn a model into a shinigami. Seems like it would interesting, to say the least...

Anyway, owning a house and all of the accompanying chores also steals a lot of my time. I hate that. I am not the "handyman" type and home ownership disagrees with me in a big way.

Hanging out with my friends "steals" my time, but I don't regret that. I never thought that being a photographer meant I had to become a hermit. :D

Ronald M
07-22-2010, 03:57
Working for a living has got to be the biggest time thief of all. Rise, eat, transport, work, lunch,work, transport home and by then the day is 80% gone, but the kicker is so is your energy.

People who do manual labor get tired, office people are under stress which is just as wearing on you at the end of the day.

I strongly recommend being born rich, winning the lottery, marrying super wealthy, or whatever you can do to avoid avoid working for a living. Absent all the above, live like a cheapskate, don`t try to impress the neighbors, infact don`t give a whit what they think, and retire as early as possible. After that, your only worry will be trying to hang on to the money you did save and its purchasing power, no mean feat.

The television can be an easy choice I have made often when out of energy.

Jamie123
07-22-2010, 04:33
Have you a television? Do you watch it? On another thread, Pablito asked whether anyone had any work to do, rather than going on RFF. This led me to thinking: what are the greatest thieves of time? Rather than watch many hours of TV a week (I don't even have one), I prefer RFF for relaxation/recreation. I'm not sure I could fit both in, and earn a living. How about you?

Earning a living is another great thief of time. I recently read a wonderful observation by John Simpson, the BBC journalist, to this effect (paraphrased, from memory): "I had a plan. I usually do. It didn't work. Three-quarters of my plans don't. I survive professionally on the other 25%." This sounds about right to me, though it might be nearer 10% in my case. Again, how about you?

Cheers,

R.

Most of my time I consider wasted is wasted on the internet. I should be writing a paper right now but the damn web browser keeps distracting me.

hipsterdufus
07-22-2010, 05:11
...by then the day is 80% gone, but the kicker is so is your energy...


Well put, good sir.

Mongo Park
07-22-2010, 05:22
Must agree with Ronald M - would add, however, that if you happen to have a job you love or one that seems like a hobby then you are set for life.

Mongo Park
07-22-2010, 05:24
PS did I just describe Roger???

emraphoto
07-22-2010, 05:31
LOVE watching the TV on the occasions i get.

i like watching how different folks use different formats. studying the composition and styles in movies and documentaries.

there was an interview with Christopher Anderson where he mentioned he was busy, as of late, trying to capture the style and aesthetics of 50-60's hollywood. iconic images. that kept me and the TV busy for a while.

Sparrow
07-22-2010, 05:34
Yes; not much; and never went in for firm distinctions between work and recreation, sometimes the work is more fun and sometimes the recreation harder work, scanning is mostly that

Interaction aids creativity, not the banal "wot lense" stuff proper interaction, as does Radio 4

The interweb eats up my reading time I find, which is a shame

Sparrow
07-22-2010, 05:35
Procrastination.


are you sure?

maddoc
07-22-2010, 05:42
After being jobless for over five month and with a family to support I am more than happy that I could find a new job .... Being without work I had a lot of spare time to take photos, surf the internet or watch TV but honestly, now again having hardly any time for anything else except work AND a monthly pay-check is a much better situation. :) So ... rarely TV and occasionally RFF for me recently ....

John Lawrence
07-22-2010, 05:54
Age is the greatest thief of time. The older I get the more I have to do, and the longer it takes me to do it!

John

rbiemer
07-22-2010, 06:14
My work is a joy to me so I don't consider that "time theft".
I like TV in theory but the reality is so awful that I don't watch much anymore. Movies, however, I will spend the time to watch--Netflix has been a good thing for me. I also try to actually go to the movie theater as often as I find something worth while to watch.
Although, with all the movie remakes of terrible '80s TV shows lately, I haven't had to go very often.
I read a lot (and constantly)--I've generally got two or three books to read at a time--and consider that time well spent also.
I used to read a book or watch a movie to the end no matter how bad it turned out to be but any more, I will happily abandon it if it's crap and move on to the next one. My attention span is fine, I just have less time to waste as I get older. Or, I'm now realizing that I need to spend my time better.
I have been spending less time here but that is not because I like it less but that I am more conscious of how I'm spending my time.
The time I'm spending as I post this is time at work while I'm waiting for my delivery truck to show up. I'm not actually on the clock but I can't physically leave camp either.
Rob

Roger Hicks
07-22-2010, 06:17
Procrastination.

I'll get back to you on that one...

(Which is of course also the answer to "How many PR people does it take to change a light bulb.")

Cheers,

R.

Sparrow
07-22-2010, 06:22
I'll get back to you on that one...

(Which is of course also the answer to "How many PR people does it take to change a light bulb.")

Cheers,

R.

Just the one ... the rest just complain about all the changes:)

Ducky
07-22-2010, 06:28
What is time for except to do those things described above? Work is not a theif of time if it provides the necessities, relaxation in any form is not a thief if we want to relax, RFF is not a thief if it teaches and discussions like this are not thieves if used wisely.
Having the same argument (is it legal to take pictures?) over and over is wasting time, like throwing money to a thief and blaming the thief.
...That took about 1 minute....

-doomed-
07-22-2010, 07:09
I spend a bit of time on here unwinding , I really should have been trying to sleep late at night. My internship at the paper has me working late hours and my 40 min ride home keeps me wide awake. My day job has cut my hours drastically, so I now have this free time to hop on here for a few minutes here and there during the day. I watch TV in much the same fashion as spending time on here , in addition to reading books which also get the same treatment. Unwinding after long days and trying t get to sleep. I also put together cars for friends of mine in addition to any basically freelance mechanic work to make a few extra bucks . By late friday into early AM saturday I am on hour 80 or so trying to make sense of why I can't sleep. The upside is I have learned a vast wealth of information from many of the posters on this forum.
Television has become a bit of a white noise item in the background.

Roger Hicks
07-22-2010, 07:26
What is time for except to do those things described above? Work is not a theif of time if it provides the necessities, relaxation in any form is not a thief if we want to relax, RFF is not a thief if it teaches and discussions like this are not thieves if used wisely.
Having the same argument (is it legal to take pictures?) over and over is wasting time, like throwing money to a thief and blaming the thief.
...That took about 1 minute....

Time is stolen when we realize, after we have been doing something, that (a) we didn't need to do it, (b) we didn't enjoy doing it and (c) we didn't really benefit from it.

There are plenty of things that compete to make us waste our time this way. Learning to recognize them, and maximizing the enjoyment and benefit we get from our time (in whatever varying proportions we choose enjoyment and benefit) is something we are often actively discouraged from doing, especially at school, at work and in the consumption-oriented media.

As a musician friend said a few years back, "We are encouraged to become consumers of music, and discouraged from creating it." The same is true of philosophy, literature, and even thought.

Cheers,

R.

Paul Luscher
07-22-2010, 07:36
TV? Nah. Hardly ever watch it. If I'm not shooting, I'm working on pictures I shot. If I'm not doing either, and I'm not out and about, I'm reading....

D.O'K.
07-22-2010, 12:29
I never had a television until aged 42 (7 years ago) and only finally acquired one because my children were becoming disadvantaged at school by its absence. However neither my wife nor I ever watch it.

This is not to imply any kind of superiority to those who do--as a radio 4/radio 3 addict, I probably spend as much time in wasteful listening as a diehard couch potato spends comatose before the TV. Nor is radio an inherently superior medium (except that in fact it is...).

Regards,
D.

Roger Hicks
07-22-2010, 12:49
Nor is radio an inherently superior medium (except that in fact it is...).

Regards,
D.

As a dedicated fan of the BBC Home Service, I have to agree, though I spend far less time than I used to on listening to the Third Programme. What I can't understand is why the Light Programme now appears under two names. It was no good on ether medium wave or long wave, and to pretend that it now warrants two names is ridiculous.

Mind you, I quite like parts of Radio 7 (The BBC Wireless Repeats Service).

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
07-22-2010, 12:58
I watched most of the World Cup games on ESPN's High Definition channel, as well as on ESPN's Spanish and Portuguese channels (to get the Brasil, Spain, Argentina perspective). What a wonderful experience!

I don't think it's constructive to indulge in black and white thinking. A lot of intellectual snobs think that it's somehow cool to say that one doesn't own a TV. One can use discrimination in choosing what one watches. Booknotes on CSpan is a great program, as are shows on Ovation and Sundance. Ovation had a series on photography that was well worth watching.

Oh dear: you really are laying yourself open to the snobs, aren't you? But not all intellectuals are snobs, and not all snobs are intellectuals. I fear you are conflating the two.

I've never understood why anyone watches any sport, but then, I could never stand playing team games, let alone watching them. And if you don't play, I can see no reason at all to watch. What 'perspectives' are there? You have a load of young men chasing a ball, and that's of much the same interest to an outsider whether they're Chinese, Albanian or Welsh. I love Terry Pratchett's observation that everything happens for a reason, except perhaps football.

Consider also the possibility that it's not necessarily intellectual snobbery that stops me (or anyone else) watching television. It's the self-knowledge that it's all too easy to watch any old rubbish, even CNN (though not Fox). I've owned televisions in the past; I sometimes even watch them in hotel rooms; and that's why I don't want one any more. I suspect (I'm not sure) that I've spent about 1/3 of my life without television, in total, or maybe a little more, and I simply prefer life without it.

Cheers,

R.

D.O'K.
07-22-2010, 13:28
"As a dedicated fan of the BBC Home Service, I have to agree, though I spend far less time than I used to on listening to the Third Programme. What I can't understand is why the Light Programme now appears under two names. It was no good on ether medium wave or long wave, and to pretend that it now warrants two names is ridiculous.

Mind you, I quite like parts of Radio 7 (The BBC Wireless Repeats Service)".

I agree with all of this! Also this:

"I've never understood why anyone watches any sport, but then, I could never stand playing team games, let alone watching them...".

Shall we start a club?

Regards,
D.

kshapero
07-22-2010, 14:04
If I watch TV, it is to catch a baseball game. I usually fall asleep within 10 minutes. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

KenR
07-22-2010, 14:10
I watch a movie per week from Netflix, otherwise the only television viewing is if I go to the gym where there is not much else to do while using the machines (I'm not able to read while bouncing around). Otherwise, reading for work or pleasure is my most common at home activity. I wish I had more time for photo and darkroom work.

victoriapio
07-22-2010, 14:20
Watch films, soccer, and documentaries about photography, engineering or outer space on TV. Since I manage a TV channel (local municipal channel) in addition to other duties, I never watch any of the major TV shows, they are all crap to me.

tom_uk
07-23-2010, 05:44
Working from home - I mean in paid employment, not free-lancing/cosulting/contracting - is a huge thief of time; it's becomes very very hard to isolate work time and define when it's over.

I spend hours on-line participating in forums (not mainly photography); also time spent planning/pricing up the next holiday/cruise/etc. I'm afraid photography comes a poor third these days. There's also 'enjoying that nice bottle of Malbec/Sauvignon Blanc'; that seems to be coming up fast on the rails as way of spending lots of time.

Roger Hicks
07-23-2010, 05:55
You don't have to be on the grid. You can own a TV, not have any cable or antenna, but have a DVD player and watch movies and shows that you get from your local library. A perfect solution for your tribe, with you being in total control of what is allowed to stimulate your optic and aural nerves.

Dear Vic,

I think you're rather missing the point. It doesn't matter where it comes from, it's still TV.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
07-23-2010, 06:03
Working from home - I mean in paid employment, not free-lancing/cosulting/contracting - is a huge thief of time; it's becomes very very hard to isolate work time and define when it's over.

I spend hours on-line participating in forums (not mainly photography); also time spent planning/pricing up the next holiday/cruise/etc. I'm afraid photography comes a poor third these days. There's also 'enjoying that nice bottle of Malbec/Sauvignon Blanc'; that seems to be coming up fast on the rails as way of spending lots of time.

Dear Tom,

My last salaried job was working from home for ICL in the early 80s. ICL found that they tended to get more per 37.5 hour week from people at home than from those on site, because people at home didn't count idle conversation, time reading the paper, etc., as working hours. There's an awful lot of 'presentism' in working for someone else on company premises, 'presentism' being defined as 'being physically present, though doing nothing'. It's like 'absenteeism' but in a different place.

Then again, I'm not averse to a drink while I'm working. My first wife, no mean poet, songwriter and artist in her own right, used to refer to wine as 'writing fluid'. The trick lies in getting enough on board to aid the creativity, while staying sober enough to keep it coherent.

Cheers,

R.

sig
07-23-2010, 06:41
Dear Vic,

I think you're rather missing the point. It doesn't matter where it comes from, it's still TV.

Cheers,

R.

Some relatives of me have the same relationship to TV as you. It is evil (and not in a good way), the story is that the father threw it through the window without opening it.

JoeV
07-23-2010, 09:57
I'm finding the Internet-connected netbook computer to be the opiate of the masses around my house, I'm afraid. But, at least it's taken me away from watching the telly in the living room. But it's still a big time-sink, which I can justify by saying that I need (must, really) see if that latest thread on RFF explodes, or else watch some YouTube/Netflix/Vimeo.

~Joe

Roger Hicks
07-23-2010, 10:56
So what you're implying is that form is more important than content. Is that correct? The medium is more important than the message?

With TV, yes, in the sense that the medium is of its nature an opiate. There are good drug-induced dreams and bad drug-induced dreams (I had some good ones on morphine when recovering from my appendicitis last year). But they're still drug-induced dreams.

IF you have, at all times, the strength of will to watch ONLY programmes that are 'worth watching', I salute you. But most of us are suckered into watching rubbish sooner or later. Personally, I'd rather have interactive rubbsh, with real people, on RFF. Overall, the rubbish level is lower than on TV and I enjoy myself more.

As for 200-channel rubbish, I'd spend so much time trying to find anything worth watching -- a triumph of hope over experience -- that I'd never get anything done. I waste enough time re-checking threads on RFF that have been hijacked by the hard of thinking. Frances pointed out that she'd rather watch rubbish than be constantly channel-hopping.

Cheers,

R.

jarski
07-23-2010, 11:34
when I had TV (am moving currently), 90% of the output were soaps, reality shows, commercials etc etc. 8% semi interesting news updates, nature and history documentaries.

but that last two, random surprises of unseen classic movies or something that justified to tolerate the idiot box for all the rest of time :)

Sparrow
07-23-2010, 12:28
when I had TV (am moving currently), 90% of the output were soaps, reality shows, commercials etc etc. 8% semi interesting news updates, nature and history documentaries.

but that last two, random surprises of unseen classic movies or something that justified to tolerate the idiot box for all the rest of time :)

Yes but I live in the UK, where we still have a TV broadcaster and wireless radio service, it is harder here, altho, sadly I the golden years of the Home Service are only remembered by a dwindling few today

MPerson
07-23-2010, 15:33
Well my only real plan that worked was for both my wife and I to retire at 55. I now have the time to shoot film every day and have one day a week in the darkroom. Time seems to go faster now but it is my time now.

TV - well for me only the photography documentaries that pop up on BBC Four and the Documentary channels. Mainstay is the wonderful Cinemoi channel. Otherwise BBC World Service and Radio 7.

Usually check the various forums first thing in the morning whilst breakfasting and occasionally late night.

But the best thing I did, the day I retired, was a little ceremony where I took a hammer to my mobile phone and watch.

Utter bliss...............

Brian Sweeney
07-23-2010, 18:07
Sci Fi Friday.

Batman Brave and the Bold;
Ben Ten Alien Force;
Generator Rex;
Star Wars.

Fresh Popped Popcorn, not microwaved.

It's become a tradition.

raid
07-23-2010, 18:20
Our lives rotate around TV shows and news. Coming from a country like Iraq, there was no outlet for fun other than watching TV for many years. It becomes a way of life. The TV is turned on early in the morning and is turned off late at night.
I sometimes watch TV while I read stuff on RFF on my laptop.
Needless to say that we sample the most absurd TV shows, as you may know what is shown on US TV stations. Still, I have limits ... no Fox TV at any time. That would be too insulting to the mind. Areality show, such as New Jersey Housewifes is closer to life than Fox TV.

msheppler
08-29-2010, 03:17
Once I started streaming movies over Netflix I gave tv. When I catch a quality film that's shot well I tell myself that it's helping my photography.

Gazzah
08-29-2010, 05:05
I dont have a TV, havent had one for years. I watch DVDs on a PC connected to a 48 inch screen, listen to music, read a lot.
I earn my living working in IT for an internet company so Im online 14 hrs a day.
Throughout my life Ive worked hard for a few years, gathered money together and then taken off for a year or more - no family allows that.
Now Ive just built a new house and most of my money will be sunk into that for a few years to come, so guess work will have to take precedance for while...
I dont concider any of it a "waste of time" Ive done what I wanted most of my life and probably wouldnt change that much if I had it all to do again.

Gary

wgerrard
08-29-2010, 05:07
I have an aging Sony TV that refuses to die, and the cheapest possible cable package. Some days I watch nothing. I scan the TV listings to see if there's anything interesting, and then more often than not forget about it. Other days I'll watch an hour or of something in the evening. A local channel carries local news 24/7 so I'll often check on that for a quick update. On the odd occasion, the local PBS station carries something I make a point of watching.

My RFF time varies significantly. Sometimes I'm here a lot, sometimes not. It's a great resource for answering questions and satisfying curiosity. When I'm thinking about trying something new, or when I've run up against a problem, or even in the throes of a GAS panic, wiser, more experienced people will invariably have posted something useful here. In particular, comments about cameras, film, etc. are more useful and more accurate than articles on dedicated review sites.

TV and general web use, including RFF, do suck up time I might be spending working my way through my overly large stack of Books-To-Be-Read.

nathanp
08-31-2010, 05:56
My last salaried job was working from home for ICL in the early 80s.

My first "proper" job was for ICL and I still work for Fujitsu (who bought ICL). :)

By the way, I think I'm almost near your area next week (Les Mathes/Royan). I'll be using up my last Kodachrome on family holiday.

dmr
08-31-2010, 06:38
LOL, Roger, you don't wanna know how many TV sets we have between the two of us! Let's just say that both bedrooms, the kitchen, the bathroom, and also my little digital darkroom are covered. :)

And yes, I do watch, if only for background noise. :) I do need my fix of hardcore left-wing commie-pinko Pro-Obama MSNBC propaganda. :) :)

Ducky
08-31-2010, 06:44
Since reading this thread I have had this persistant vision:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4097/4939426285_ba05dd0da2.jpg

Dogman
08-31-2010, 08:24
Yeah. I watch TV. Often. I listen to recordings. I read novels, popular thrillers and a few classics from time to time. I piddle around in the garden, bathe the dog, go for walks, watch birds. I surf the Net, shop online, wash my truck, plan trips, balance the checkbook. I drink beer, occasionally something stronger. Sometimes I even take a picture or two.

Hell, I do a lot of stuff that takes up time. Haven't figured out a way to get through life without using time. May as well enjoy every bit of it.:D

JohnnyT
08-31-2010, 08:34
The problem for me is that Television is my "working for living" :D

And I don't like to watch TV when I'm not at work... So a little bit of RFF, photography and some more working...

I got a contract for the Weather Network this week... kind of weird since this is the only "show" that I'm watching :O

Edit : Oh yeah... And the only TV I got at home is a color reference monitor with a video waveform... That kind of thing you don't find often in a living room and worth more than a entire wi-fi setup.... I know... I such a geek... :)

MartinP
09-04-2010, 05:44
I have a TV in the living room, but it is connected only to a dvd player. I haven't had a cable subscription for years since I worked out that I was paying for never using it.

My planning doesn't work so well and the work-hours (and out-of-work work too :( ) have increased. It does seem that the less-young one gets, the quicker go the years.

The next cunning(?) plan is to get through my remaining Kodachrome on a worthwhile little project before the end of the year.

summar
09-21-2010, 11:36
I can't resist this: Your original post made me think immediately of the famous Oscar Wilde line, "Work is the curse of the drinking class."