For those of us in the business of thinking, we sometimes like to spend our free time not doing that. And I can hardly argue. Not thinking has long been a pastime of mine.
A great non-thinking activity is TV watching. TV and I have a serious love/hate relationship. Every time I sit down to watch some TV, I feel like I'm wasting time. However, I also feel like wasting time is not always a bad thing, and sometimes it's a really good thing.
Some shows render that debate irrelevant. By watching them, you are not only not wasting time, you're actually gaining something. A show like "the Wire" makes you realize that you can make a TV show AND be a genius at the same time. Everything about it connects, it makes you think, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. It's incredible stuff.
This weekend, I urge you to test the durability of your eyeballs and watch every episode of the first season of "the Wire". Ask a friend to borrow his copy, put them all in your netflix queue, get them from iTunes or Amazon (see below), or see if there's a rental store that has them near you (I would really really urge you not to download them illegally, but I'm not your mom).
We spend a lot of time with a lot of smart people, but usually it exists in our very narrow research universe. Every now and then, it's refreshing to appreciate genius in something completely unrelated to what you're doing. Maybe it can even help you think differently about your work. Enjoy your TV binge this weekend!
The Wire - The Complete First Season
Or if you really want to go crazy, here's a link to the ENTIRE series!
The Wire: The Complete Series