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Productivity Cast

91 EpisodesProduced by Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto PinaudWebsite

The weekly show about all things personal productivity


063 Was Email a Mistake? A Response

A recent article in The New Yorker, "Was Email a Mistake?," triggered a conversation around the veracity of email in the Digital Age. The author, computer science professor Cal Newport, discussed this on a recent interview on NPR. This is our response to the question, was email a mistake?

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In this Cast | Was Email a Mistake? A Response

Ray Sidney-Smith

Augusto Pinaud

Art Gelwicks

Francis Wade

Show Notes | Was Email a Mistake? A Response

Resources we mention, including links to them, will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.

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Raw Text Transcript

Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be substantial errors, but you can search for specific points in the episode to jump to, or to reference back to at a later date and time, by keywords or key phrases. The time coding is mm:ss (e.g., 0:04 starts at 4 seconds into the cast’s audio).

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Voiceover Artist 0:00 Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling productive life, then you've come to the right place productivity cast, the weekly show about all things productivity. Here, your host Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:17
And Welcome back, everybody to productivity cast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity, I'm Ray Sidney Smith.

Augusto Pinaud 0:23 I am Augusto Pinaud.

Francis Wade 0:24I'm Francis Wade.

Art Gelwicks 0:25 And I'm Art Gelwicks.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:26
And today we are going to be discussing email. And this is a topic that is perennial, but more importantly, Cal Newport, Professor Newport. he's a he's a professor of mathematics Computer Science at Georgetown University. And he recently wrote an article in which he discusses his topic was email a mistake. And he brings up several different angles at which he attacks email. And I wanted for us to have a discussion around really what he's talking about, and whether or not that's real, was email truly a mistake. And to start us off, I want us to kind of just take a litmus test just go around. And what was your initial impressions about the article? And where do you stand on your usage of email? are you stopping use of your email? Are you mediating email with other modalities in order to be productive? How are you using email today? Do you believe email was a mistake?

Augusto Pinaud 1:34
I don't think email is a mistake, we may argue that the way we are using email and how it went out of control is a mistake. But it's not the email that will be equivalent to say, well, the fax was a mistake. It wasn't it was just a matter of what happened with email. I think email came in a moment where we were trying, we were in the verge of going global. And it broke, it brought a vehicle that allows to communicate with anybody, regardless where they are on a semi effective way. And dad in combination with other technologies that came at a time as a Blackberry, and people begin saying, Oh, I can really be more quote unquote, effective if I adopt these tools. The problem was, there was not really a solid execution plan, and we just got on the horse and let it run and hopefully turn into a monster, to be honest with you.

Art Gelwicks 2:32
Email is a natural evolution of this back and forth method ...

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