The modern freelancer is an effective cyborg. I’ve experienced multiple failures in my internet connection and entire left leg, and in terms of productivity productivity my sinister lower limb really isn’t in the running. As well as being an infinitely-inked typewriter, already a machine beyond the dreams of most of history, it has other useful functions.
1. What Day It Is
My sense of time has always been fairly fluid, kept that way by various fluids, but when working from home it dissolves completely. I can generally tell when it’s the weekend because the beautiful Dr X is around longer (though not always: she works in genetics, but none of her creations are sufficiently advanced to tell when it’s the weekend and take care of themselves so she can stay home), but on any other day I’m at the mercy of the computer clock.
2. Emotional Override
The body is a machine. Sitting and staring for seven hours (at least) confuses your body chemistry, which was told it was being built for a hunter-gatherer, not an intellectual processing silo, which is why some of the moodier macromolecules start bouncing around your mood looking for a way out.
Luckily that same machine has a mathematical override. Pipe in the proper patterns and the pure beauty of structure helps the brain regain control. True, sometimes “Harder Better Faster Stronger” comes on and you lose all ability as you dance for 3:45, but overall your productivity increases.
3. It’s An Entire Office
And not in a good way. An internet-enabled laptop is the world’s largest office, including every reason I list “not working in an office” as a boon from the networked electrogods. If you want endless gossip, people to hate, and enough interruptions to make Zeno give up and make tortoise stew, the internet is all you need. Which is why you must remember that the laptop is better. You can cast a spell of silence on every asshole there is. If people could incant “I MUTE THEE FROM POLITE CONVERSATION BECAUSE YOU’RE A RACIST” in real life, we’d all be working in much nicer offices.
4. An Easy Standing Desk
Until we engineer replacement spines, or some kind of fleshy rolling pin to unhunch us, a simple box is the best back-massage you’ll ever get
5. It can be closed
The brain is an analog network with an infinity of endless states which simply can’t be shut down to zero, no matter how tired or terrible they may be. The internet is an digital network which can override even the urge to sleep with endless input. The laptop hinge is a simple mechanical switch which can shut the entire electronic world into a smooth metal shell where we can’t see it, and one I should probably use more a little more often.