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Author Topic: The pleasure and possibilities of living a time-shifted life?  (Read 3269 times)
mouser
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« on: August 06, 2012, 07:03:52 PM »

With the power of sophisticated digital video recorders (like Tivo) and digital streaming services (like Netflix), it's becoming increasingly convenient to watch previously aired episodes of a series all in a row.

I know I'm not the only one who has found this to be infinitely more rewarding than trying to catch these shows one at a time, once per week, as they air originally.

The benefits of watching shows in this "time-shifted" manner are numerous:
Much better continuity since the previous episode is fresh in your mind.
The show has aired long ago so you have time to decide if it's something worth your time.

But I was thinking, it's not just tv shows that are receiving this "time-shift" treatment, where we ignore new things and instead set our focus back a few years to items that are *purposefully* new to *us*, because we avoided them at release time.

All things periodical seem to benefit from such an approach: comic books for example.  I know people buying video games routinely ignore the new releases knowing that if they simply wait a few months the prices will drop precipitously.

I wonder if this approach can't be extended to other less-obvious domains of life?  What would life be like if one purposefully shifted their entire focus of life back 5 years?
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40hz
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2012, 07:42:16 PM »

I'm a little like that with TV series. I'll wait for the entire season to be released on disk or via stream before I'll watch it.

24 was an interesting show concept that got spoiled by some schlocky TV-style writing and plotting. But if you watch each episode back to back and over a two or three day period, it hangs together much better than you'd expect.

The only problem I can see with time-shifting 'real time' things too much is it makes everything effectively 'virtual' - which I think has a bad effect on some people. Because once everything becomes somewhat unreal or 'less real' there's a risk of a damaging sense of alienation creeping into a person's mindset. At least from my experience with people who electively spend much of their lives in the metaverse and mostly removed from 'real world' sequential reality and causality.

Just my 2 anyway.
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barney
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2012, 09:14:21 PM »

Well, I can see the advantages/benefits of the approach, but there might be a disadvantage or two (2)  Wink.
Like dental appointments, maybe?  Or cancer surgery?  Or jury duty?  Granted, that's an extreme, but ...

On the other hand, Baby Daughter has been hooked on several series that she'd never have watched in real life.  She's been using our NetFlix subscription to examine a number of series, most multi-season and most Sci-Fi stuff that she'd never have watched otherwise.  Currently fixated on Heroes, a series that definitely benefits from back-to-back-to-back viewings  tongue.  She's gone through several vampire series - got hooked on Twilight (the book, not the visuals), and started checking out most anything that's outre, paranormal, fantasy.  So, in that respect, she's interested in venues that she would never have considered otherwise, gaining experiences that she'd never have had. 

Suspect the whole concept is Damoclean  tongue.
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2012, 10:29:42 PM »

What would life be like if one purposefully shifted their entire focus of life back 5 years?

That'd be great, I'd do the whole Sth America/Antarctic trip again only this time I wouldn't get on the plane to come home.
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2012, 11:00:47 PM »

I usually buy 2 years old hardware. Not second hand, but such as a video card that was state-of-the-art in 2010. They become much cheaper then. And add to that the tendency to play 4-5 year old games, I get amazing FPS out of so little money smiley
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2012, 11:03:46 PM »

Well, I can see the advantages/benefits of the approach, but there might be a disadvantage or two (2)  Wink.
Like dental appointments, maybe?  Or cancer surgery?  Or jury duty?  Granted, that's an extreme, but ...

Under a bit of flair, it looks like this is largely talking about "media entertainment" in general. It doesn't work as well for almost any other category. You can't randomly not do "required" tasks and then decide you're bored and go serve your Jury Duty for the O. J. Simpson case.

So since it's about media consumption, it was easy in the old days for the advertisers and producers, they'd all bicker for the Thursday at Eight slot or whichever night had The Killer Show on it. Now that people are either day-shifting or year-shifting, we're saying that we're making ourselves less valuable to traditional advertising. Hence all the other woes that befall us with the more invasive ads.

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barney
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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2012, 11:23:52 PM »

Under a bit of flair, it looks like this is largely talking about "media entertainment" in general. It doesn't work as well for almost any other category. You can't randomly not do "required" tasks and then decide you're bored and go serve your Jury Duty for the O. J. Simpson case.

Oh  huh?

I wonder if this approach can't be extended to other less-obvious domains of life?  What would life be like if one purposefully shifted their entire focus of life back 5 years?

I read that as a bit more than media, don't you?  With that in mind, my comments stand  tongue.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2012, 11:40:22 PM »


I wonder if this approach can't be extended to other less-obvious domains of life?  What would life be like if one purposefully shifted their entire focus of life back 5 years?

I read that as a bit more than media, don't you?  With that in mind, my comments stand  tongue.

Well, there's some great SciFi story material there! I can see the ads now. "Getting old and tired? Annoyed you gained 20 pounds in 5 years? Shift your life back 5 years instantly! Undo that bad marriage!"  cheesy
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Renegade
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2012, 02:04:12 AM »

The only problem I can see with time-shifting 'real time' things too much is it makes everything effectively 'virtual' - which I think has a bad effect on some people. Because once everything becomes somewhat unreal or 'less real' there's a risk of a damaging sense of alienation creeping into a person's mindset. At least from my experience with people who electively spend much of their lives in the metaverse and mostly removed from 'real world' sequential reality and causality.

BOOM~! Nice insight there! +1 The increasing disconnect is there for anyone that wants to see it.

Reminds me of an insightful essay that most people would laugh at and dismiss without ever reading:


For time-shifting, I love it. cheesy

It's great to put on "season #" of a show, especially if it's a great show like Trailer Park Boys. cheesy (Stuck in season 1 & 2 a week or so ago.)


But, if you look at it a bit differently, you can only "time-shift" live events. If you look at a newspaper, isn't everything in there already time-shifted? This isn't a very productive perspective though as it is really limiting. Like, who would want to watch a time-shifted news program of live coverage of some random sporting event or parade from 10 years ago?


For products, I'm in the "wait & see" boat usually. I'd rather wait until the price of technology comes down and the quality goes up. But not too long... My Raspberry Pi (that I have yet to play with) at $35 has hundreds or thousands of times more power than the $4,000 computer we had when I was a kid. Waiting decades isn't really all that wonderful. So, it all depends on what's out there.

I think eleman's idea of buying a 2-year old graphics card is bang on! Great example of hitting a sweet spot in performance per $.

If you look at music, truth be told, there's so much out there that if nobody ever wrote another song, you'd still never be able to listen to all the music, and "time-shifted" music would all be new to you.

Seems like time-shifting kind of destroys "new" in some ways, or makes "new" kind of pointless. Well, unless you're a vapid fashionista with your identity wrapped up in commercialism, brand-value, and rapidly fading trends. tongue (Hmm... kind of sounds like 'fanboi'.)

Mulling that over, seems to me like the "app store" model forces people to stay current with hardware and software as it's either impossible or too difficult to get out of those walled gardens, which makes "time-shifting" either more difficult or impossible in those contexts. Good for the seller, but not so great for the buyer/user.

It's kind of hard to do sometimes with software/computers/phones. Interoperability seems to be the stumbling block there.

Classic books? cheesy Some books are timeless. Every now and then I go back to some books of essays I have to read for fun. 20, 200, or 2000 years doesn't diminish them in the least. I wonder how much of the music and movies now will be like that? In 200 years, what movies from this period will people consider worth watching?
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2012, 05:06:13 AM »


I time shifted shoes once! For a while back in the days, I had a bit of trouble finding shoes that fit right. So one time I found some fun classy looking black steel toed boots that looked almost like loafers, I bought an entire extra pair! So then when the first pair wore out a couple of years later, there was my time shifted pair!  Cool
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wraith808
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« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2012, 07:48:30 AM »

I time-shift my bills, but I actually do it forward.  And then I time-shift my pay back.  I'm currently up to paying my next month's bills at the very least with my prior month's paycheck.  It sounds crazy to do... but I have software that actually lets me (and encourages me) to do so.  Of course, it drives some of my bill people crazy, because their systems aren't set up to keep track of someone who is ahead... I wonder why...  undecided

But it's incredibly freeing.  I don't pay bills on the date when they say I should... I pay them at the time of month when it best fits my schedule.  And I always have leeway if something unexpected comes up.  Some might say that's just savings... but my savings is totally separate.  The paychecks that I have set aside untouched haven't been allocated at all.  Quite hard to effectively explain... but it works.
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mouser
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« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2012, 09:09:08 AM »

I've seriously considered timeshifting my consumption of news.. Trying to make sense of the news of real-world events is incredibly inefficient, and so little of it has any immediate impact.  It seems like it would be so much more manageable and relaxing to read newspapers and watch news shows on a 1yr delay.
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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2012, 09:13:20 AM »

I time-shift my bills, but I actually do it forward.  And then I time-shift my pay back.  I'm currently up to paying my next month's bills at the very least with my prior month's paycheck.  It sounds crazy to do... but I have software that actually lets me (and encourages me) to do so.  Of course, it drives some of my bill people crazy, because their systems aren't set up to keep track of someone who is ahead... I wonder why...  undecided

But it's incredibly freeing.  I don't pay bills on the date when they say I should... I pay them at the time of month when it best fits my schedule.  And I always have leeway if something unexpected comes up.  Some might say that's just savings... but my savings is totally separate.  The paychecks that I have set aside untouched haven't been allocated at all.  Quite hard to effectively explain... but it works.

Sounds like a good plan!

The amount I make is pretty much unpredictable. Sometimes I'll make as much in a few days as in some months. And I'm always getting paid a couple months after the work, so... Not something that I could really manage to do myself unless I were to time-shift bill payments by making them late. tongue


I've seriously considered timeshifting my consumption of news.. Trying to make sense of the news of real-world events is incredibly inefficient, and so little of it has any immediate impact.  It seems like it would be so much more manageable and relaxing to read newspapers and watch news shows on a 1yr delay.


Just as long as you don't try that with the weather news. Grin
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wraith808
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2012, 09:44:35 AM »

The amount I make is pretty much unpredictable. Sometimes I'll make as much in a few days as in some months. And I'm always getting paid a couple months after the work, so... Not something that I could really manage to do myself unless I were to time-shift bill payments by making them late. tongue

That's actually when I started to do it- when I used to contract.  You have to do it a bit at a time, and it takes real discipline.  I remember the first time I actually saw the problem- the company told me when I started that I would invoice 30 days after starting, then get paid 30 days after that at the most.  So I had 90 days saved up to pay each month as it came.  What wasn't accounted for was the time it would take me to get into their system as a vendor - it was a multi-national company, so one vendor they weren't going to go out of the way for, no matter how key I was to this project.  120 days later, I was paid. 

A full 4 months... but I received all of the payments for the 4 months at once.  I wasn't so far off in my projections- it hurt, but it wasn't so bad.  So I put money aside, and I paid an extra month on a few of my bills.  Each month, I did that, taking it out of my discretionary money, and by the time a year had passed, I was very near ideal. 

I don't think that most people could do it all at once... but a little at a time with discipline and it works.

Which reminds me of the other big thing to time-shift... vehicles.  I never buy new vehicles, but always get them 1 or 2 years old at the minimum.  I've also been trying to stretch the life of my vehicles so I can put the payments towards the down payment on the next vehicle.  Hopefully, one day, I'll be paying cash for vehicles instead of financing them smiley
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40hz
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« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2012, 09:48:09 AM »

I've seriously considered timeshifting my consumption of news.. Trying to make sense of the news of real-world events is incredibly inefficient, and so little of it has any immediate impact.  It seems like it would be so much more manageable and relaxing to read newspapers and watch news shows on a 1yr delay.


Just as long as you don't try that with the weather news. Grin

About the only thing I think I really need in real time is an air raid alert.

But not so much to take cover. More like to give me enough time to grab a bottle of Scotch, go drive to the nearest Ground Zero point, and offer up a final toast. (I would so not want to be a survivor following a nuclear attack.)
 Wink
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2012, 10:10:19 AM »

I time-shift my bills, but I actually do it forward.  And then I time-shift my pay back.  I'm currently up to paying my next month's bills at the very least with my prior month's paycheck.  It sounds crazy to do... but I have software that actually lets me (and encourages me) to do so.  Of course, it drives some of my bill people crazy, because their systems aren't set up to keep track of someone who is ahead... I wonder why...  undecided

But it's incredibly freeing.  I don't pay bills on the date when they say I should... I pay them at the time of month when it best fits my schedule.  And I always have leeway if something unexpected comes up.  Some might say that's just savings... but my savings is totally separate.  The paychecks that I have set aside untouched haven't been allocated at all.  Quite hard to effectively explain... but it works.

Not all that tough to do. I pay off my car insurance for the year within about 5 months of the yearly cycle, and then I try to do my yearly savings (or in this case desperation while unemployed!  ohmy   )  in the summer.

If a vendor's system gets grumpy with "forward paying" you can try a Restricted Funds account. I run a double checking, one of which gets used strictly for certain bills and I don't even have the atm card in my wallet when I go out. So then as you get slack in your paychecks, you just dump money in there, and then just pay off whatever random bill that doesn't like forward pays. (The US Post Office PO Box Renewal fee is a good example.)
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wraith808
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« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2012, 12:55:25 PM »

Not all that tough to do. I pay off my car insurance for the year within about 5 months of the yearly cycle, and then I try to do my yearly savings (or in this case desperation while unemployed!  ohmy   )  in the summer.

It's a little more involved than that.  An example.  I change jobs today.  My new job pays 30 days in arrears, but my old job pays on time.  Let's say that both pay on the first.  Since my pay is time shifted, on 9/1 I'm actually releasing funds from 7/1 (full paycheck from old job).  With that, I pay bills from November, including estimated utilities based on the average for the year.  It doesn't matter that I actually haven't gotten paid from my new job.  It also doesn't matter that I didn't get paid from my old job (except for the 8 days in August).  That money used was already made two months ago.  And is paying bills from two months in the future.  I'd have to (1) not get paid for two months, and then (2) not pay bills for two months for everything to be back to normal.
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2012, 01:32:42 PM »



It's a little more involved than that.  An example.  I change jobs today.  My new job pays 30 days in arrears, but my old job pays on time.  Let's say that both pay on the first.  Since my pay is time shifted, on 9/1 I'm actually releasing funds from 7/1 (full paycheck from old job).  With that, I pay bills from November, including estimated utilities based on the average for the year.  It doesn't matter that I actually haven't gotten paid from my new job.  It also doesn't matter that I didn't get paid from my old job (except for the 8 days in August).  That money used was already made two months ago.  And is paying bills from two months in the future.  I'd have to (1) not get paid for two months, and then (2) not pay bills for two months for everything to be back to normal.

As a dear family member once said, "we are actively agreeing". Sometimes you can't pay bills forward, that's the same concept I had with the Restricted Funds account - you "Allocate" the money, and it's not there for you to play with at the beach getting ice cream.

I used the US Post as a reason - I was one day early the other day to renew my PO Box. No amount of anything will let me pay that forward. But by shifting that into the Restricted Account, you just burn calendar days until it becomes sensible to pay it. In Accounting methodology, you Accrued it as Pending on 7-31, and transferred funds to the Restricted Account, then you just burn time until it goes (banks work backwards) debit bank credit Postal Fee.

(Edit: I use a REALLY fancy system that involves a triple-switch, but it's just smoke and mirrors to deal with the fact that I never have my Restricted ATM card on me *ever*. So it's just a fancy real-time bank switch per transaction)
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 01:39:01 PM by TaoPhoenix » Logged
wraith808
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« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2012, 01:49:02 PM »

Well, as long as what you have works for you.  I haven't found anything yet that I can't pay in advance... it's just that their systems don't sometimes keep up with it as a forward payment.   This includes a PO Box... I'm not sure why your post office doesn't let you re-up in advance... mine doesn't care.
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« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2012, 01:52:45 PM »

Well, as long as what you have works for you.  I haven't found anything yet that I can't pay in advance... it's just that their systems don't sometimes keep up with it as a forward payment.   This includes a PO Box... I'm not sure why your post office doesn't let you re-up in advance... mine doesn't care.

Several times, the person was nice, they seemed helpless; "We can't renew a box earlier than 30 days before it's due."

Dunno how to answer that. Maybe some Postal reps in other states hacked/patched the system.
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40hz
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« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2012, 02:54:57 PM »

Well, as long as what you have works for you.  I haven't found anything yet that I can't pay in advance... it's just that their systems don't sometimes keep up with it as a forward payment.   This includes a PO Box... I'm not sure why your post office doesn't let you re-up in advance... mine doesn't care.

Several times, the person was nice, they seemed helpless; "We can't renew a box earlier than 30 days before it's due."

Dunno how to answer that. Maybe some Postal reps in other states hacked/patched the system.

It was explained to me that it was an attempt to ensure the box renter was mostly "local." Prior to that you'd have businesses rent a box for years at a clip, disappear, and then have the box tied up needlessly while the waiting list grew and grew. They also did it to discourage people from setting up "box drops" all over the country in advance for scamming and other questionable purposes. Which kinda makes sense since back in the old anti-war/counterculture underground era, a lot of that went on and made for easy moving of cash with no risk of traceback to people who needed to 'stay disappeared.' They used to call that the "Underground Western Union" or "Mexican Laundry."

 Simpler times. smiley
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